University of Hawaii

March 3, 2017

As you know, the University of Hawaii athletic department opened a sports apparel store, called H-Zone, in Ward Center, but the store is shutting down on June 30 due to poor sales.  David decided to take advantage of the close out sale at H-Zone and buy T-shirts for $10 each.  These are the shirts he bought:

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I graduated from the University of Hawaii in May 1968 with a BA in Sociology and a minor in Psychology.  I enjoyed the social sciences and hoped to have a career in social work.

However, when I look back on those years as a UH student, the courses I truly loved were Art History and World Literature.  When I was growing up, I was not exposed to art museums or art exhibits.  Nor did I hear any intellectual discussions about literature.  My parents were not college graduates, and my grandparents were Korean immigrants.

I remember marveling at Professor Norris’ slides of famous paintings by master artists.  When I traveled through Europe in 1969, I recalled what he said about art.  I chuckled while touring the Louvre in Paris and viewing the “Mona Lisa” by da Vinci for the first time.  This painting was covered with tiny cracks due to the fact that it had been painted many centuries ago.  But, what a thrill it was to actually see this masterwork in person.  I felt the same thrill when I saw Michelangelo’s paintings in the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican, not to mention his marble statues in St. Peter’s Basilica.

I also remember my world literature classes at the University of Hawaii.  I’ll never forget reading works by Russian authors, such as Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” and Dostoevsky’s “Crime and Punishment.”  French author Flaubert’s “Madame Bovary” was riveting.  I was fascinated with works by Shakespeare, Homer, Chaucer, and Dante, among others.

Isn’t it funny how courses I took during the 1960s are still cherished many decades later?  I certainly received a great education at the University of Hawaii.

Let the good times roll

March 2, 2017

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Plants at Home Depot.

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I had hoped to visit the Honolulu Museum of Art yesterday, since admission on the first Wednesday of each month is free.  The regular price of admission is $10 per person.  However, we had a terrible rain storm and the streets were flooded.  No way could we venture out of our house to visit the Honolulu Museum.  Hence, I have no photos of art to show you at this time.

I spent Wednesday planning a large remembrance party to honor the memories of my deceased relatives:  Mom and Dad, brother Dathan, brother in law Pete, and sister in law Pat.  This party will be held on March 26 at 12 pm in my home.  There will be 20 of us, and the food will be catered by Marian’s Catering.  I have already paid for this lunch by credit card, and plan to add a fruit salad, chips, and coconut cake to round out the buffet.  After lunch, I plan to show everyone a family video, which was taken in 1996, the year my mother turned 80.  People will laugh and cry, as the video will bring back memories of these dearly departed family members.  I anticipate that my remembrance party will be a resounding success.

I always think of my father, who praised me for turning my life around:  “Despite my eldest daughter’s nervous breakdown and despite the fact she was a single mother back then, just look at her now.  I am so impressed.”

You can attribute it to my marriage, which certainly helped.  But, it takes two to have a successful marriage.  David and I have common interests and values.  Let the good times roll.

Pressure washing and a frittata

February 28, 2017

Our porch and eaves were showing grime and dirt, so David cleaned them.

First, he covered the door with plastic to prevent water from entering the house, and used this type of detergent to dissolve the dirt on our porch:

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Then, he switched to a pressure washer:

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The eaves above the Boston ferns also were dirty.  David removed the ferns and closed the windows:

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David did a good job washing the porch and eaves.  He plans to clean the eaves on the other side of the house next.

His reward for his hard work?  Well, I baked a frittata, consisting of eggs, milk, ground beef, potatoes, onions, celery, green chilis, red pimentos, salt, pepper, and Italian Seasoning.  It was delicious, hot from the oven:

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David does his thing, and I do mine.  Ultimately, we both profit from our endeavors. It’s called team work.

Grandpa and Korea

February 26, 2017

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Plants at Home Depot.

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My maternal grandfather, Keum Whan Chang, was born and raised in Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea, and immigrated legally to Hawaii in 1904 after signing a contract as a laborer for the sugar plantation.  He was met at the dock in Honolulu by his boss and then lived for many years in Hawaii until his death in 1963 at the age of 79, a few months shy of his 80th birthday.  He died a millionaire, having amassed a fortune in real estate.

This is one of the parcels he owned in Honolulu (a 2 story house and a 3 story apartment building).  I lived in the house with my maternal grandmother while I attended the University of Hawaii, graduating in 1968:

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My maternal grandparents, Keum Whan Chang and Do Yun Hong, were honored by the South Korean government in 2002 as “Patriots of Korea.”  Their bodies were exhumed from a cemetery in Hawaii and cremated.  Their ashes were transported in urns to Seoul, South Korea and were buried with full military honors in the Korean National Memorial Cemetery.  They are considered heroes, because they led the liberation movement against Japanese colonization.

David and I attended their funeral and burial in Seoul, South Korea in 2002 with great pride.  We stayed in Seoul for 5 nights and thoroughly enjoyed our visit.

My friend, Helge, stayed in Pyongyang, North Korea for 8 days in 1990, attending an international seminar regarding “Creativity.”  It was open to scientists from all over the world.  Helge told me North Korea is very mountainous and very beautiful. Since Grandpa was born and raised in Pyongyang, I assume he has many relatives still living there.  It’s too bad that there are no diplomatic relations between North Korea and the USA.  I guess I will never get to see Pyongyang.

No surgery for David

February 24, 2017

Yesterday, David saw Dr. Akau at Straub Clinic’s sports medicine department regarding chronic back pain.  His X-rays showed arthritis in his hips and arthritis nodules in his back.  He had already seen Dr. Ching for four physical therapy sessions.  Both doctors advised David to continue his exercises at home and refrain from repetitive bending.  An MRI and back surgery are not warranted at this time.  He also was told that surgery would not cure him and could make his problem worse.

Hence, David does not envision surgery this year.  Good news, because he will save money and won’t depend on me for caregiving.  Halleluia!

Meanwhile, David has been using a McKenzie Lumbar Roll on his recliner to ease back pain.  It was prescribed by Dr. Ching and seems to be beneficial:

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Lunch at Mariposa

February 23, 2017

After weeks of hard work fixing up our house, David and I decided to reward ourselves with a fine lunch at Mariposa Restaurant at Ala Moana Center on Wednesday.  There must be a new chef, because the menu is so much better.

This is a view of Ala Moana Park:

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We sat inside the restaurant, because it was cooler, but many customers preferred to dine on the outdoor balcony:

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We started with a popover, strawberry butter, and a small cup of broth:

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Roasted butternut squash soup with kale on top:

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David ordered the lobster club sandwich with fries:

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I ordered the lobster club sandwich with green salad:

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Close up of the sandwich:  Bread, tomato, bacon, lettuce, avocado, and huge pieces of lobster:

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This kind of food, plus a beautiful view of the park, made our day, capping weeks of hard work on our house.

Two sons

February 21, 2017

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Plants at Home Depot.

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My previous post showed photos of my grandson (age 7) and my granddaughter (age 9).  Today, I would like to discuss what happened to the sons of two mothers I met in the distant past.

One mother told me that she had been taking birth control pills when her doctor told her she was three months pregnant.  She said she had taken the pills regularly and could not understand how she became pregnant.  Perhaps, the pills were old and past their expiration date?  She was not sure.  She was worried and anxious that her son would be abnormal.  When her son was born, she was told that he was healthy and normal.  However, she monitored him carefully during his first year.  She was relieved when he flipped over by 4 months, crawled by 6 months, and walked by 1 year.  By 2 years, he could say “Safeway,” when he saw the sign above the store.  The kid could read!

The other mother was sitting next to her son, who was in a wheelchair.  I asked her what happened to her son.  She said that he had gotten off the bus, tried to cross the street in front of the bus when a truck’s side mirror struck the side of his head.  He collapsed and was in a coma for several weeks in the hospital.  In a split second, his life changed forever.  He cannot speak or walk anymore.  He was awarded a large sum of money from the truck driver’s insurance company.

By now, these two sons must be adult men.  I wonder what they are doing now, as I have not seen their mothers since then.  I hope my own grandson remains healthy and normal.

Grandkids and electronics

February 20, 2017

I babysat my grandkids last Friday, because they had the day off from school and their parents had to work.

Rylan (age 7) and Julia (age 9) in my home:

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Of course, they brought their tablets and Pokémon.  This is Rylan, sitting on a chair in my guest room:

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This is Julia, showing me her wallpaper for Pokémon, on the bed in my guest room:

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This is David, looking at his IPad, and Rylan, looking at his tablet, in my living room:

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After lunch, Rylan and Julia (holding her Pokémon), walked up our street to get some fresh air and exercise:

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My grandkids are so easy to babysit.  I just love them!

Solar water heater

February 18, 2017

In 1997, we took advantage of a tax credit by purchasing a solar water heater.  This cut our electric bill by a considerable amount, depending on the number of people living with us.  In 2012, we replaced the entire system after we installed a new roof on our house.  Every five years, we have the solar water heater serviced.

This is how the laundry room and the heater in the patio look when the doors are closed:

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The 80 gallon water heater is on the right side.  The hose on the bottom is flushing and draining the heater, and the water flows into the grass:

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This magnesium rod prevented the heater from rusting:

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This is Douglas White, the owner of Affordable Solar, who installed our solar water heater in 1997 and 2012:

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This is his assistant, who cleaned the solar panels with water and a towel and is shown painting the rubber lining with black paint:

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This is Douglas White, removing the hose from the water heater:

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David and Douglas chat:

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We are very pleased with Douglas White and his company, Affordable Solar.  Good job!

Shirokya: Japan Village Walk

February 16, 2017

On Wednesday, David and I drove to Ala Moana Center to dine at Shirokiya’s Japan Village Walk for the first time.  There was ample parking on the Ewa side street level, and I noticed that I had parked my car near Foodland.  I always like to find some sort of landmark so that I won’t forget where I parked.

Here’s David in front of Shirokiya:

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This is what we saw:

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David was excited to see this bar, featuring draft beer (Budweiser and Bud Lite) for $1.00 per glass:

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We bought our food from this station, called Pineapple Steak House:

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I ordered the Pupu Plate for $12.80 and a can of passion orange juice for $1.11.  The meal consisted of a vegetable salad with French dressing, chicken, garlic shrimp, fried calamari, steak, and French fries:

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David ordered the same Pupu Plate for $12.80 and two glasses of draft beer for $1.00 each:

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The food was delicious.  We had such a pleasant time at Shirokiya’s Japan Village Walk.  However, we did not know that we could have had a senior discount on Wednesday by showing the sales clerk our ID with our date of birth.  What a shame!  David (age 67) could have gotten 8% off, and I (age 71) could have gotten 10% off. This deal is only available on Wednesday.  No discount on alcohol.

Upon exiting Shirokiya, I was able to figure out where my car was parked by looking for the Foodland sign.  For an old lady, I am doing just fine.

P.S.  I am sorry to report that my blog friend, Dianne Schmidley (see my blog roll), has just had a stroke and is now in ICU at a hospital.  Please keep her in your thoughts, and let’s hope that she recovers.