Christmas at The Willows

December 26, 2017

David and I had a wonderful Christmas lunch at The Willows.  It’s an open air restaurant, established in 1944 and located on Hausten Street near the University of Hawaii.  The weather was lovely in the high 70s low 80s:

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We had a nice view of the man made pond:

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Here we are, posing at our table with the trees and the waterfall in the background.  I am wearing a muumuu and David is wearing an Aloha shirt:

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This is the buffet room:

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I took my favorite food (crab macaroni salad, seafood cake, roast lamb, baked ham, prime rib, shrimp vegetable salad, and mushroom salad):

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I washed it all down with iced tea:

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Dessert (eggnog bread pudding, mango haupia, and apple fritters with strawberry cream):

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David enjoyed the crab legs and the prime rib:

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We had a wonderful time at The Willows!

Christmas Eve 2017

December 24, 2017

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This is a nice photo of my Christmas tree, placed on a blue tablecloth.  I like the way it looks.  Such beautiful colors.

Today is Christmas Eve.  I have experienced 71 Christmas Eves in my lifetime.  Some of them were very lonely.  Others were very lovely.  But, I have every reason to rejoice today.  Despite all of my trials and tribulations, I am so grateful for my marriage, my children and grandchildren, and my beautiful, spacious house.  I have all of this and more!

MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYONE!!!

Liking the same food

December 22, 2017

So much is said of what makes for an enduring marriage.  David and I have been married for 37-1/2 years.  Compared to my sisters who are either divorced or widowed, my marriage has lasted an eternity.

It helps to have sex and romance.  But, what do you do outside the bedroom?

Well, how about liking the same food?  A vegan should never marry a meat lover.  If that happens, there will be a constant battle.  You don’t want that.

In the morning when we are both up and about, I ask David, “What do you want for dinner tonight?”

David:  “How about chicken?”

Me:  “How do you want your chicken?  Mustard chicken?  Mushroom chicken?  Honey chicken?  Soy sauce chicken?  Baked breaded chicken?  Mexican chicken?”

David:  “Let’s have the Mexican chicken.  It’s tender and juicy.”

Me:  “Okay.  Do you want it with brown rice or baked potato?”

David:  “Brown rice would be nice.”

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And that, my dear, is how we get along with each other.  Next June, we will celebrate our 38th wedding anniversary.

Grandkids

December 20, 2017

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This is my photo of my 10 year old granddaughter, Julia.  She stayed here on Monday and Tuesday because of a bad cold.  She seems better and will attend the Christmas party at school today.

I am always happy to babysit my grandchildren.  No problem with that.  I find it to be such a blessing to have grandkids in the first place.  Especially grandkids who are normal and healthy and are doing well in school and on the soccer field.

If all goes well, the family will be traveling to Colorado for a soccer tournament next summer.  Julia’s team won the tournament in Seattle last summer, so if they can make it to Colorado next summer, what a wonderful treat that will be.  Something to look forward to.

Lest we forget my 7 year old grandson, here is my photo of Rylan and Julia in February 2017.  Rylan joined the soccer team this year:

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December and January happenings

December 18, 2017

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This is a photo of Maria, Lisa, and David, taken on the day Lisa graduated with her doctorate of physical therapy in 2015.  She then passed the national board exam on her first attempt and was hired immediately as a physical therapist.

I am looking forward to seeing her in January.  She will be staying in our guest room for ten days.  I have not seen her in 1-1/2 years.  She recently purchased a beautiful 3 bedroom 2 bath house.  I have seen photos and am quite impressed.

It also will be nice to see David’s brother and sister in law, Mike and Shirley, who will be staying in Kailua.  They reside in Massachusetts and visit family in Hawaii at least once per year.

I am already planning the menu for a dinner party in January for nine people, including David, me, my older daughter Maria and her family, Lisa, and Mike and Shirley.  Probably taco salad, pizza, and fruit salad.  Followed by coconut cake for dessert.  One bottle of Chardonnay.  Three people will drink the Chardonnay:  David, Lisa, and Mike.  The rest of us will drink ice water.

Now, for Christmas this month, David and I have reserved a table for two at The Willows.  Since it’s a buffet, we look forward to dining on prime rib, crab legs, and roast lamb with mint jelly.  Especially the lamb.  I once broiled some lamb chops.  Eeeeek!  The smoke from the oven was horrible due to the fat in the lamb.  My kids complained about the stench, too.  Bah!  I never bothered to cook lamb again.  Lamb served in a restaurant will be a wonderful treat for me.

So, we are satisfied with what’s going to happen in December and January.  We will enjoy socializing with people who are compatible with us and who are pleasant to be with.

Makino Chaya

December 16, 2017

On Thursday, David and I drove to Westridge in the Pearlridge area and had a pleasant lunch at Makino Chaya.  It’s an all you can eat buffet, which is quite affordable for seniors like us.  If you go at lunch time Monday through Friday, and if you are a senior 65 years or older, you pay $13 per person plus tax and tip.  If you want a drink, that’s extra.  We usually just ask for ice water and nothing more.  Of course, the price is higher on the weekends and evenings:

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As you can see, most of the customers are local Asians, dressed informally:

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I try to take food that I don’t normally make at home.  This was my plate (shrimp tempura, sushi, sesame balls, gyoza, chicken, fish, and lettuce salad):

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This was David’s plate (steak, sushi, vegetables):

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We also had the crab meat soup:

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For dessert, I had lemon bars and frozen yogurt (chocolate and vanilla swirl):

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Since it is an all you can eat buffet, you can go back for more food.  Just don’t waste the food.  Take what you can eat and not more than that.

After a lunch like that, who needs dinner?  We returned home feeling satiated and satisfied.

Glad that I have not lost my house

December 14, 2017

Because of the wildfire that has swept through Ventura, California, I contacted my friend Lynn and asked how I could help her.  She replied that her house was spared and did not burn down.  She and her husband are now staying with their son in another city and have been told that they cannot return home for weeks, if not months.  I was so happy that her house was spared and that she is safe and sound.

I love my house in Hawaii.  I cannot imagine losing it, because I will never be able to buy another one like it.  I would have to live in an apartment, paying an exorbitant amount of money for rent.  I hope that never happens.

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I took these photos recently, simply because I changed the tablecloth from a red one to a yellow one.  It’s amazing how different colors affect my mood.  I have tablecloths in red, yellow, blue, white, beige, and brown.  I like variety in my life, don’t you?

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Relaxing at the Blaisdell

December 12, 2017

David and I attended another symphony concert at the Blaisdell Concert Hall.  It was the 4 p.m. matinee on Sunday.  The weather was balmy and breezy in the low 70s.  This is the scene from our bench outside the concert hall:

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We purchased a bag of cinnamon roasted macadamia nuts from this vendor for $5.00 and ate the nuts with a bottle of water from home:

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The concert hall was decorated for the holidays.  Note the snow flakes on the ceiling, the decorated trees on the right side of the stage, and the poinsettias and flags on the left side.  We were told not to take photos, but since the concert had not yet started, I felt it would be okay to take a photo of the orchestra:

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The concert featured a slack key guitar concerto, which was composed and performed by Jeff Peterson.  It was a melodious composition, and I was impressed by its lyricism.

I also enjoyed the Prokofiev Symphony No. 5, especially the string section, which was fascinating to watch and listen to.  The Beethoven Overture to Egmont was also stirring.

This is what I love about Hawaii:  The ability to relax outside before the concert, eating nuts and enjoying the scenery, and during the intermission, conversing with friends.

Not bad for a simple woman from Hawaii

December 10, 2017

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These are muumuus (long Hawaiian dresses) hanging in my closet right now.  I wear them constantly, to bed, around the house, the concert hall, restaurants, and even on trips abroad.  Since they are loose fitting, they forgive my lumpy figure.  I enjoy wearing muumuus.

There are people who try to bring me down with ugly words and bad vibes.  In response, I let the facts speak for themselves.

I own a house and am still married to David.  My children have successful professional careers, and they are homeowners.  My grandchildren are healthy and normal.

I also traveled around the world, was a published author, a radio commentator, a trained musician, and an English teacher in Thailand.

How about you?  Can you say the same about yourself?

I pat myself on the back and say:  Good job.  Not bad for a simple woman from Hawaii.

Celebrating life in Hawaii

December 8, 2017

Two days ago, David and I drove to Home Depot to buy two plants for our patio.  It was a gorgeous day with temperatures in the 70s.  The plants outside and inside the nursery were beautiful:

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We purchased these plants for our patio.  They lean backwards, but we hope the stems will straighten eventually as they are exposed to sunlight:

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Today is Friday.  David will shop for groceries at Target, and I will make a nice Taco Salad for dinner.  I made up the recipe, which consists of lettuce, ground beef, black beans, taco seasoning, salsa, and shredded cheddar cheese.  It’s delicious and nutritious.  A complete meal with tortilla chips on the side.

Our widowed neighbor down the street sold her 3 bedroom 2 bath house for $900,000 to a Chinese couple.  She now lives in a nursing home and pays $8,000 per month for her care.  Judging from photos, her house is beautiful with a remodeled kitchen and professional landscaping.  The house next to hers is still unsold, because it’s dilapidated and needs to be gutted and remodeled.

David and I have no desire to sell our house and move elsewhere.  We intend to live here until we die.  Hopefully, we will celebrate our 100th birthday together.  No reason why we can’t keep the status quo until that happens.