Only one life to live

November 29, 2018

This is a photo I took yesterday of the trees with lovely purple flowers, planted outside Straub Clinic.  So pretty.

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One of my doctors recently got married.  She is from India and is 50 years old.  Never too old to get married.  Good for her.

Though we are retired, David and I still have issues with our health.  The medications we take don’t really cure us.  We both see the doctor, but nothing really helps.  Our conditions are chronic.

Two friends of mine died recently.  One was 78, and the other one was 85.  With every passing year, we get older and older and closer to the grave.

I guess the only solution is to relax and take it easy.  Avoid stress as much as possible.  Enjoy your life, because you have only one life to live.

Things to consider

November 27, 2018

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Blast from the Past:  That’s my friend, Suzanne, in the red blouse.  We were having lunch with our high school classmates at the Hau Tree Lanai.  (May 2015)

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I was looking into annuities, but I don’t like the fact that they are not FDIC insured.  Someone is going to call me about it, but I will just tell him to forget it, I have changed my mind about annuities.  I plan to sink some money into a CD instead.  I like the terms:  2.20% for 13 months.  And it is FDIC insured.

Sometimes, I have a potty mouth, and people are surprised that I am not a lady.  But, I always feel that being the way I am has led to longevity, a nice house that costs so little to live in, and a good marriage to a man, who shares my interests and is easy to live with.  I am doing okay without a halo above my head.

I really like living in my 3 bedroom 2 bath house.  If David dies and I need a caregiver, I plan to remain in my house and hire a caregiver to help me.  Maria can always make unannounced visits to see that I am getting the proper care I need.  It’s probably less expensive to have the caregiver come to me rather than for me to go to a care home.  I’ll also hire a yard man to mow the lawn once a month.

Right now, all is good. David and I treat each other very well, and we are still independent.

Why do I host parties?

November 25, 2018

These are photos of some of the parties I have hosted over the past two years.

A family reunion in March 2017 to honor the deceased in the family:

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Thanksgiving party in November 2017:

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A family party in January 2018:

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A family party in June 2018:

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Finally, a Thanksgiving party in November 2018:

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My table setting with a red, yellow, and white color scheme:

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Thanksgiving has come and gone, and I am finally back to normal.  For a while, I thought the pain in my leg and back muscles would last forever due to standing in the kitchen, cooking, carving, and washing the dishes and glassware.  But, the pain is now gone, thank goodness.

Why do I continue to host dinner parties?  Because it is good for my brain.  It forces me to think about the food, the dinner music, the table setting, the seating of the guests around the table, and the logistics of hosting a party.  If I were in a retirement facility, where the staff did everything for me, my brain would atrophy.

Further, it is fun to host a party.  When it is a huge success, as it usually is, I feel satisfied about a job well done, and I can pat myself on the back and beam with pride.

I am definitely slowing down, though, and I look forward to attending my niece and nephew’s party on Christmas.  It will be potluck, and I plan to bring baked chicken as my contribution.  David and Lisa will also attend the party along with Maria and other guests. We look forward to having a great time.

Thanksgiving 2018

November 22, 2018

David and I hosted a Thanksgiving party for eight people at our home today.  We invited our daughter, Maria, and her family and my paternal cousin, Ethel, and her husband, Hollis:

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We had a dessert table and a main table to serve the buffet:

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On the main table, we served rolls, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, turkey, cranberry relish, vegetables (cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots), and fruit salad (lychees, pears, oranges, and pineapple).  On the dessert table, we served pumpkin pie, pecan pie, and apple pie:

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Red, yellow and white color scheme:

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We served sparkling apple cranberry juice and water:

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We all had a good time!

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HAPPY THANKSGIVING FROM HAWAII.

More power to my family

November 20, 2018

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Maria, Lisa, and David at Lisa’s graduation in May 2015.  Lisa is a board certified doctor of physical therapy in Nevada.

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Our daughter Lisa called us the other day.  She plans to arrive in Hawaii on December 23 and spend two weeks with us.  She is building a gymnasium in her house in Nevada, buying strength training equipment.  She is not buying any aerobic machines, such as a treadmill.  Her whole focus is on building strength, because as a physical therapist, she has to lift patients.  She will be working at the hospital on Thanksgiving.  Yes, even on Thanksgiving, patients still need a physical therapist to help them get out of bed and learn how to walk after surgery or a stroke.

Our other daughter Maria is focused on taking her family to the mainland next summer.  Her 11 year old daughter Julia plays with a soccer team here in Hawaii, and they want to qualify for a berth in the national soccer tournament.  Last year, they played in Colorado, but lost.  The year before that, they played in Washington and WON.

More power to my family.

The aloha spirit and Conrad Tao – 2018

November 18, 2018

Life is pretty good for us right now.  At 4 pm today, David and I will be at the Blaisdell to hear a performance of Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 1.  The dynamic 24 year old Conrad Tao will be the pianist.  I love this concerto very much.  It will be followed by Dvorak’s Symphony No. 4, a piece that I don’t hear often.  The Hawaii Symphony will be guest conducted by Ankush Kumar Bahl.

These photos were taken from the concert program:

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As usual, David and I will wear aloha attire to the concert.  I’ll wear a muumuu, and David will wear an aloha shirt.

There is one thing that will never change, and that is the presentation of a flower lei to the guest soloist and conductor after their performance.  You will not see this done anywhere else.

It’s Hawaii after all, and we still have the aloha spirit.

Decorating for the holidays – 2018

November 16, 2018

We are hosting a party for eight people at our home on Thanksgiving next week.  It will be a catered lunch, consisting of roast turkey and side dishes.

With that in mind, we are decorating our home.

Poinsettia from Home Depot:

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Blue cellophane tree from Ben Franklin:

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A lighted tree from Target:

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My Thanksgiving guests will range in age from 8 years to 89 years.  Looking forward to good food and good fellowship.

Our friend, Steve

November 14, 2018

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David and me at the Taj Mahal in Agra, India (November 2012).

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We always see our friend, Steve, at the Hawaii Symphony concerts.  I have known him since 1999, when we both worked at a library in Liliha.  He is an Italian Catholic from New York.  He is a very spiritual person, spiritual in every sense of the word.

He spent a few months in India back in the 1980s, working in Mother Teresa’s convent.  He had arrived at her door in Calcutta and asked to speak to Mother.  She came to the door and asked, “What can I do for you, my son?”  Steve said, “Mother, I have come to help you care for the poorest of the poor.”  Mother replied, “There are poor people in your neighborhood, too, my son.  They might not look poor, but they are poor because they feel unloved.”  Steve said, “Mother, I would like to help you.  Please let me stay with you and help you.”  So, Mother Teresa allowed Steve to stay in the convent.  He felt so honored, especially when she invited Steve to sit next to her during a program at the convent.

Then, after a few months, Steve left the convent and traveled in south India.  When he contracted Hepatitis A, he returned to New York, where his parents took care of him until his health was restored.  Now, he has made Hawaii his home.  He bought a one bedroom condo, graduated with an MLS from the University of Hawaii, and works as a librarian.  He still attends Mass and observes Advent and Lent.

Steve also likes classical music.  It’s always a pleasure to chat with him in the concert hall before the music starts.

Civil defense siren wailed yesterday

November 12, 2018

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No bomb shelter in my backyard (2017).

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Yesterday morning around 3:40 am or so, I lay in bed and suddenly heard the civil defense siren wailing.  I wondered what the siren was for.  Was it a nuclear missile aimed at us?  Was it a tsunami?  I wondered what to do.  David was fast asleep.  I decided not to wake him up.

I got out of bed and turned the computer on, but saw no blaring headlines on the internet.

So, I called 911.  Someone answered and asked where she could direct my call.  Fire, police or ambulance?  I said, “There’s a civil defense siren sounding over here.  What’s going on?”  She said, “I don’t know.  I’ll direct your call to the police.”  Then, I was put on hold with intermittent ringing and an announcement that all lines were busy.  I hung up the phone.

Minutes later, the phone rang, and a woman said, “This is the police.  How can I help you?”  Well, I was stunned.  The police actually traced my call back to me?  How efficient. When I told the woman about the civil defense siren, she said, “It’s a run away siren at Camp Smith.  It’s over now.  You don’t have to worry.”  Whew!  I was glad it was a false alarm.

Sometimes, I wonder about the need for a civil defense siren.  After all, what can we do if we are going to be bombed into oblivion?  There’s no bomb shelter over here.

Bruno Mars or Mark Votapek?

November 10, 2018

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This is a photo of Bruno Mars.  He has joined Roosevelt High School’s Hall of Fame (bottom row far left).  Yes, he graduated from my high school.

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Bruno Mars performed at Aloha Stadium on Thursday and will perform again on Saturday and Sunday.  All three concerts are sold out.  David and I will not be attending any of the Bruno Mars concerts, because that kind of music just does not appeal to us.  However, we wanted to hear his latest CD, so David ordered it on Amazon, and we should be receiving it shortly.

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This is a photo of Mark Votapek, principal cellist of the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra.

Instead of attending the Bruno Mars concert at Aloha Stadium on Sunday, we will be at the Blaisdell to hear Dvorak’s cello concerto, performed by our principal cellist, Mark Votapek.  We have heard him play before.  Votapek’s cello has a rich, deep tone that is wonderful to listen to.  We are looking forward to this concert, which will feature Czech composers Dvorak, Smetana, and Suk.

After the Mark Votapek concert, we will dine at Bubba Gump Shrimp Company at Ala Moana Center:

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The coconut shrimp looks mighty fine:

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All in all, we will have a splendid Sunday.