Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Kona Bound


I drafted a lot of this post while sitting at the airport waiting to board. It was a good thing I was early, I forgot to give Dad's photo ID & medical card to Curtis before he dropped me off. Fortunately he remembered and I was at least an hour away from boarding my plane when he called about it. I headed back out and handed it off to him when he drove up to the Departures lane. The TSA guy in the Pre-check lane recognized me when I went back through again.
This is a better time of day to be active.

I went to meet up with my friend Jody and her friends Ron & Joy who have a time-share condo in Kona. I'm staying with them tonight, then tomorrow I will take them on a tour of the north end of the island! It should be fun and a lot more relaxing than today. I started out by going to Verizon to get my hot spot turned on again since there is no wi-fi at the house. But I arrived too early, they weren't open for another 15 minutes. So I went for a walk around the mall; I think I will look in to walking at Kahala Mall as an option to my early morning walks around the neighborhood. It is indoors so heat (or rain) will be no excuse for not walking. Plus its level and I don't have to look out for cars. One down side is that I can't be looking for Momo while I am walking. Another down side will be impulse buying, kinda like I did today. I got some omiyage for Jody, Ron, & Joy from MinamotoKitchoan.

Then I went to Kaiser for my physical therapy appointment and to pick up my new contacts; both the contacts and glasses arrived a lot sooner than they said they would. While I was there I noticed that they had added earthquake-resistance hardware to cubicle walls and a shelving unit in the PT area. I guess its better than nothing.
The cubicle wall is attached to the ceiling on the left; the shelving is attached to the cubicle walls on the right.

On the way to Kaiser I crossed paths with another lousy driver! This time in a Mercedes. Again I noticed the driver on the freeway; the driver signaled to move to the right lane, then straddled the line between both lanes for a while until getting off at the Lunalilo Street exit that I was also taking. It was an elderly woman driving and she seemed to be confused as to where she was going. As she got off the freeway she moved to the right lane, then as I was coming alongside her she began to drift into my lane, so I slowed down to give her space. She ended up straddling the line again and stopped that way when the signal light changed. Further down the lane splits in 2 with the one on the left going to the post office; she got in to that lane. At the turn where both her lane & my lane go left, she swung wide and came in to my lane. But I was prepared for that and left enough room so she could do that without hitting me. Then she headed back to the left lane, then the right lane (that I was in). At the stop she had her signal on to turn but went straight. Then just before Beretania Street she signaled to move to the left lane and was doing so until she changed her mind and made a right turn on to Beretania! I was glad she was no longer going in my direction.
Mercedea driver not quite sure what lane she wants to be in.

I had a meeting with Harold at HG Capital right after physical therapy. It was supposed to be a short meeting but it ended stretching to 2 hours! I learned a lot. He helped me with an application for life insurance that provides long term care if it is needed. But if its not then its like a normal life insurance policy. Mom had a long term care insurance policy but never used it because it only covered care in a facility and she did not want to go to one (and didn't need to). But even though she didn't use it there was no pay out to beneficiaries (since there were none for that type of policy). This policy with Harold is different; if I don't use it for paying for long-term care, there will be a pay out to the beneficiaries.

Harold also helped me apply for a home equity line of credit. He said I should do it now and have it available if I need it. He also said to do it now then do the credit freeze because of the Equifax breach. I applied through Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union since that is the one near the house. Even though the interest rate is higher than Harold would like to see it, I told him I did not mind since I want to support financial institutions that do business in the community that I live in.

Xander will be spending the next few days at the Cat Clinic boarding facility. Which is upstairs from the clinic itself. That way no one else has to stick him twice a day with his insulin. I was concerned that Shiro would have to also be there so that he would get his new medication properly. But Dr. Dean called this morning and said all his blood work came back normal so he wouldn't need any meds. His thyroid levels were back down and his kidney levels were also normal. Dr. Dean thinks perhaps his weight loss was due to him being on the low protein kidney diet when he didn't need to be on it. So he is back on a normal diet; I have him back on the Royal Canin Siamesediet, which he likes much better than the Hil's k/d diet.

Happy Birthday to Maria!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Button Up

For breakfast today we went to the Button Up Cafe, its a place that Curtis had only been to once before; it wasn't in their Top 20, just OK. We were the only ones sitting down to eat; but 4 or 5 people had called in & ordered a take-out breakfast. Curtis had the Portuguese Sausage & SPAM Omelet, I had the Korean Braised Short Rib Eggs Benedict; they were better than Curtis remembered them. The breakfasts were a little on the pricey side but once they came, it was apparent that the cost matched the amounts served. I took half of mine home for breakfast tomorrow.

They also have a paper laminated menu.
Photos of some of the menu items are on the wall.
I like it when the "Water" is clearly labelled.
Portuguese Sausage & SPAM Omelet with Tater Tots. We took the Tater Tots home for Dad.
Korean Braised Short Rib Eggs Benedict with potato hash.

Shiro went to the Cat Clinic today for his biannual senior check-up. Other than being 2 pounds lighter than his previous check-up 4 months ago and having very dirty ears, he was looking good. The loss of weight could be due to an overactive thyroid, just like Momo had. Dr. Dean is doing a senior cat blood panel to check out what might have caused his weight loss; we'll get the results tomorrow.
L to R: Mariko, Shiro, & Dr. Dean.

Jody called this evening. She and her friends arrived in Kona last night. I will be staying with them at the Kona Coast Resort condo tomorrow night. Then we'll do a tour of the north end on Thursday. And hopefully on Friday Dad will follow through & go to the Big Island.

Happy Belated Birthday to David, Olga, & Nashla!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Pepper Wanders Around the House

I let Pepper out this morning as I cleaned the bathroom she is staying in. She wandered around the house meowing, looking for something or someone. None of the other cats were anywhere near her; I think they learned from last night that she is a little grumpy about meeting new friends. Chibi was under the bed, one of her normal hideouts when she can't get in to Dad's bedroom. (He had the door closed because its been very windy today.) Xander was hiding under there with Chibi, not his normal place. Shiro was on the chair in the dining room, one of several places he sleeps during the day. Pepper lay down in the other bathroom for a little while, then she started wandering around meowing again. I put her back in her bathroom when I got ready to make lunch for Dad.
Chibi & Xander hiding under the bed.
Shiro sleeping on his favorite dining room chair.
Pepper hanging out in the main bathroom.

I picked up a new-to-me blender today. I have an account on Freecycle, I get notices whenever someone posts something in the geographic areas that I have indicated; I started it in Washington but am now on it here. Shannon had posted an "Offer" of an Oster Versa blender base, the jar had a crack in it; here at the house we have 2 jars and no base! Sounded perfect! So I took our 2 jars over to her place to check if they fit. They didn't. :( But Shannon still had the jar, which is plastic, and gave it to me; I think I can fix the crack, it doesn't look that bad. It will be great for making smoothies for Dad! I gave Shannon some oranges from our tree, she appreciated them.
It has a pre-programmed function to make smoothies!

On the way back I stopped at Kokua Market to pick up more bananas for Dad. He had eaten all the ripe ones and the green ones I picked up earlier are no where near ripe enough to eat. (I also picked up some bananas on "special", they're just right for banana bread!) While there I checked out what other food Dad might like to eat. I found yuba noodles; he had them tonight and liked them! I also got some lamb stew, which he has had before and enjoyed very much.
The photo on the packaging looks much more noodle-y than the actual product. But the taste is still good.

Happy Birthday to cousin Michael! Happy Birthday also to JoAnn!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Good Bye, Mrs. Ohta!

Today was Mrs. Ohta's memorial service. I got there about half way through the visitation but they were already out of programs so I don't have a good photo to post. The Kohala Senior Center Club Ukulele Band was performing during the visitation. After the service there was a lunch in the social hall. When I went to leave Joy asked me to look at an old photo they found for the photo collage of her mother; she said they thought that I might be one of the kids in the photo. It turns out I was!
Seated, L to R: me, Fran, Mrs. Ohta, Susan; standing: Wayne.

On the ride to the airport this morning Curtis said he didn't really remember all the Ohta kids or Mr. & Mrs. Ohta. He said he thought it was because he was younger than me so he couldn't remember as much. I thought it was because of the year & a half that I lived at Halawa Camp. I asked Joy how much they remembered of us; she said they could remember me, Steve, & Fran very well but not much about Curtis & Susan. I know that Alton couldn't remember me; he was Uncle Kenneth's best buddy so I reminded him that I was his niece. I think the last time I saw Alton was when he and Uncle Ken were inducted in to the Army in 1962.

Because of the Ironman Championships causing road closures, in order to get to the service on time, I decided to take a very early flight around 5 am. Curtis got me to the airport about 3:20; the security guard said things would open up at 3:45 so we went to breakfast at McDonald's. We got back around 4; I had printed my boarding pass at home so I headed to the TSA Pre-check line. And found out that TSA doesn't open until 4:15! It was about 4:25 when I got to the gate; no one was there! But it left on time.


Frank, the Alamo shuttle van driver, gave us a bunch of information about the road closures. He said even though the handouts say that the highway closures would begin at 6:30 am, that is the time that the race begins with the swim and they actually keep the highway open until the bikes actually get on the road. He said it would be 30 minutes to an hour after the start of the swim before the first bikes would be getting on the road. I had no problem getting to Hawi.


I picked up the rental car so early I was able to see  the sun beginning to come up over Mauna Loa as I left the airport.


I can see why they choose to close the entire highway once the bikers are on the road. They have a lot of relief stations along the way. And although they are set up on the shoulders, the bikers would be in the travel lanes which would make it dangerous if there were vehicles on the road as well. (Earlier in the week one of the competitors was training on his bike and got hit by a truck; he was seriously injured.)


I made it to the house in an hour, which is the usual time when going via the Queen Ka'ahumanu Highway (SR 19) & Akoni Pule Highway (SR 270). I walked around, taking photos of all the changes and found that there was a dragonfruit, unfortunately it is now overripe and composting itself.
 

I also took a "before" photo of the garage; Chris has started working on it. By the end of the year he will have replaced the roof with one that can support solar panels. He is also replacing all the termite-damaged wood and upgrading the electrical wiring. The garage will also be dry.


I saw Lem at Mrs. Ohta's memorial; later I went to visit Uncle Kazu. I told both of them that we have plans to take Dad to Kohala next weekend. They are looking forward to his visit. When I pulled up to visit Uncle Kazu I saw him rolling himself around the parking lot. After I left he continued with his exercising.
Uncle Kazu in my side view mirror.

Because the Akoni Pule Highway is closed south of Hawi and the Queen Ka'ahumanu Highway is closed between the junction with Akoni Pule to Kailua-Kona everyone was having to use the Kohala Mountain Road. Usually I only see about a dozen cars between Kapa'au and Waimea; today I saw 134 vehicles, including 3 semis. 
On the Kohala Mountain Road near Pu'u Mamo Drive.

In Waimea, I had to take the Mamalahoa Highway. It runs along the plains of Mauna Kea & Mauna Loa. It lot of the area is grazing land for cattle. Parker Ranch is located here.


The Waimea Airport is off the Mamalahoa Highway. After commercial airlines switched from propeller-driven planes to jets, they could no longer use the Upolu Airport in North Kohala. So we had to fly in to the Waimea Airport; I remember it frequently being fogged in. As jets got larger, the new Kona Airport with longer runways was built to handle them.
At Waimea Airport, August 1961. Front row L to R: Susan, me, & Curtis; back row Dad & Mom.

Using the Kohala Mountain Road & Mamalahoa Highway took me 1 & 1/2 hours to get to the airport. There was a short section where I had to drive on the Queen Ka'ahumanu Highway; I passed a bunch of bikers who were on their way back to Kona. At the turn we had to wait for the police officer to wave us through between groups of bikers. On the news tonight they said the first person finished in about 8 hours, the first woman finished in just under 9 hours; so they finished about 2:30 and about 3:30. I was passing through here about 2:45 pm.
The signal lights in the distance are at the turn to the airport; the palms to the left lead down to the airport.

Ricardo the rooster was on the front lawn at the Alamo car rental place again. I dropped the car off just before 3, my plane was scheduled to leave at 4:08. There were more people at the gate this time than earlier this morning. 


I stopped at the restaurant in the airport to get something to drink. This 16.9 fl oz coconut water was $7.29! I can normally get a 33.8 fl oz coconut water at Longs for $6.19; when its on sale I can get two of them for $5.

After we got back, we let Pepper out so she could mingle with the other cats. It was really interesting watching her; she almost walked in to Shiro twice and both times she hissed at him. He just watched her. She never warmed up to them tonight, she just walked around meowing.


Happy Birthday to Fran & Zab!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Xander Needs More Insulin

When I give Xander his morning insulin, I check the Wireless Whiskers to see how much food he has eaten since midnight. Dr. Belcher said he should have at least 15% of his daily amount. This morning he had eaten 71%! Then I checked the water bowl and it was empty, all 22 ounces were gone. Over the past week they usually drank only 13 to 15 ounces over the previous 24 hours. (Obviously it could be one of the other cats, however, it is most likely Xander that is the one that is drinking more water.) I called the Cat Clinic and left a message for Dr. Dean who was the vet on duty today.

My goal today was to get all of the Trust accounts updated with the new trustee paperwork; I had 3 different banks to go to. I started with Territorial since it was the farthest east and worked my way west. Mitchell at Territorial took copies of all the applicable documents. He had to send them to their legal office to have them reviewed before we could update the signature card for the family Trust. He said he would call next week and let me know. I was there about 25 minutes.


While I was at Territorial (and Mitchell was on the phone with their main office), Dr. Dean called back. She wanted Xander to come in for more blood glucose tests. So I took a break from visiting banks, ran home, loaded Xander up, & dropped him off at the Cat Clinic.
The Cat Clinic all ready for Halloween.

After I dropped Xander off, it was a couple blocks drive to the Hawaii State Federal Credit Union. Patrick was great! He helped us consolidate the accounts after Mom passed away. He took copies of the new documents for Dad's Trust and set up the new account signature card. It took about 45 minutes, but it was all done in one visit.

American Savings Bank was right next door. Diego, who helped us when we put Dad's account in to his Trust, was there. But tomorrow will be his last day; he's leaving to take care of some family issues. Diego said he needed to make copies and send them to their legal department to review (much like Mitchell at Territorial). He returned about 15 minutes later, very apologetic. Their copier was not working well and he was only able to copy 3 pages in that time. After a total of 25 minutes, I left the papers with him, said I would return when I had to pick Xander up, & went home to make lunch for Dad.

After lunch I checked the mail, there was a lot of it. One of them was the check from Zurich. While I was balancing the checkbook, Fran from the Cat Clinic called; Xander was ready to come home. I told her I would be there in about an hour.

I went to Central Pacific Bank first to start a savings account to go with the checking account for the Kohala house. Mom had started the John Hancock & Zurich accounts for the Kohala house. The John Hancock payments are directly deposited in to the checking account; the Zurich check went to the savings account. Eric was really helpful; it took him about half an hour to get all that set up. We also talked about credit freezes because of the Equifax data breach.


Then I went back to American; Diego was able to get all the documents copied. Now he only needed a copy of my license. He sent everything off to their legal department; I should hear from one of his co-workers some time next week. This time it took about 10 minutes. Once the legal department approves the paperwork and I sign the new signature card, all the bank accounts will be updated. Yay! By the way, we closed 7 of Mom's accounts and consolidated them with Dad's. This is what's left. They had multiple accounts because they had different things direct deposited to different accounts. For example, this account is only for Dad's social security. Not sure why they did it that way, but its working so I don't want to change these accounts for Dad.

I picked Xander up after I left American; he will now be on 5 units insulin in the morning & 6 units in the evening. On Sunday I will be reducing his prednisolone to half of a 5 mg tablet per day. Since that can affect the amount of insulin he needs, we had planned to do a blood glucose test next Friday. Since he will be boarded from next Wednesday evening through Monday morning, Dr. Dean will check his blood glucose while he is there. He was not happy tonight since I only gave him a little cottage cheese so I could give him his insulin but no more.

Tomorrow I will be on the Big Island; Mrs. Ohta passed away a few weeks ago, her memorial is tomorrow. Since I will be going next week to spend time with Jody when she is visiting I decided to only stay for 12 hours so I don't impact Curtis too much while they are in the middle of their remodel. I am taking the 5 am flight because tomorrow is the Ironman World Championships and they will begin closing the highway at 6:30 am; the turnaround spot is in Hawi. Although there is an alternate route, I would rather take the more direct route. Last night it was storming, they were expecting it to stay for the weekend, but it seems like things are changing and it might not be so bad tomorrow.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Deja Vu!

It was like deja vu all over again this morning. I went in for a deep cleaning of the pocket at the back of that one molar. I was in the same exam chair and had the same view as yesterday! Briana did the deep cleaning and Dr. Mizuno checked everything out; Dr. Ching was at their other office today.
It was brighter this morning, with less traffic.

When I got back I had enough time before my class at Kaiser later, so I did laundry and started weeding the back yard. I had to stop before I was finished weeding in order to go in and make lunch for Dad.
This isn't exactly "before", I pulled a bunch of weeds out near where all the things are, then remembered to take the photo.
Not done yet , but a whole lot better than when I started.

On the way to my class at Kaiser, there was a car right on my bumper while I was on the freeway. I changed lanes to get ready to get off the freeway and a big black Escalade went zipping past me. As I exited the freeway I saw the Escalade right in front of me; hmmmm, that erratic driving didn't get it very far! Not only that but the traffic on Lunalilo Street was stopped due to traffic on the surface streets so the Escalade was getting nowhere.


The Kaiser class this evening was "Get Your Plate in Shape". "Whether you have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or just want to improve your eating, come to this session. Learn to shape up your plate with healthy portion sizes that boost nutrition." I went because Dad needs more calories and I need less. The class made me think about ways I could get more calories & nutrients into Dad's really tiny portion that he now eats and also possible ways to increase nutrition in my portion without having to cook 2 totally separate meals.


Laurie gave my e-mail to Sue, who sends out info for the Neighborhood Security Watch (NSW) in this area. Sue sent me the minutes from last night's meeting. I gave her more information about me and asked her what the limits of the watch were and exactly when their meetings were held. It turns out Sue knew Mom and her brother was Curtis' classmate. I found out we are in the District 7 Community Police Team area which covers 40 square miles; this is one of 50 NSW groups in the district . This NSW was started in 2009 but has been meeting only sporadically lately; last night's meeting was the first since June 2016. It turns out that the limits of this NSW group have changed since it started and is now larger so I am in! I'll have to see if I can make it to the next meeting so that I can meet some of the neighbors.

Pepper is not getting it. Not sure why she was eating yesterday but not today. She wouldn't go near the WonderBowl today or tonight. I will let her get hungrier which should make her more likely to put up with the movement of the WonderBowl lid.
Pretty much the same as when I gave it to her last night.

Happy Birthday to Kathy & Griffin!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Taking Care of Business

This morning I had an appointment with Dr. Ching, a periodontist. Back in Washington I was told I needed periodontal work on all 4 quarters of my mouth; I had the 2 lower quarters done before I moved. Today Dr. Ching was checking how my status had changed. The lower half (the one that was worked on earlier) was doing really well except I had one deep pocket at the back of a molar where a pocket was left when my wisdom tooth was removed about 40 years ago. The good news is that the upper half that had not been worked on has improved. Dr. Ching just wants to do a deep cleaning on the one pocket then monitor every 3 months to see how it does.
Here's the view for the examination chair.

After my periodontist appointment I had an appointment at HG Capital with Harold, Curtis' financial advisor. And now my financial advisor. Now that I am retired I need to have my money working for me since I am on a fixed income. I have another meeting with Harold next week.
I've got the Risk Management & Reserves levels handled already; Harold will help with the Income level.

Before my appointment I waited in the lobby at Harold's office, as the previous family came out I recognized the mom at the same time she recognized me. It was Nurse Michelle from the Kaiser ATC where Mom had her transfusions! She remembered Mom and also how Curtis would bring lunch for us. She and her husband are working with Harold to make sure their 2 kids have the funds needed to go to college. (That's one of Harold's main objectives when helping families with investments.)

I saw a flyer on the telephone pole across the street yesterday. Another cat in the neighborhood is missing; Mumu hasn't been seen since Sunday morning. I had met Mumu & Laurie (his human) a few months ago when I was looking for Momo. I talked to Laurie to get more info on Mumu's disappearance; Mumu is a light orange cream cat. Laurie told me there is a Neighborhood Watch group and a Neighborhood Security group; she is going to get me hooked up with them.

Happy Birthday to Pete & Alana! Happy 3rd Anniversary to Kai & Percy!