Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Sam Deep Cleans the Bathroom

Sam started the deep cleaning of Mom's bathroom. I had done a little around the sink & the old things in the shower, but had not started on the shelving unit over the toilet. Sam did that as well as under the sink. Then she started wiping down the walls. We had talked about painting the walls, but after she wiped part of it down it looks like wiping down is all that it will need. Sam will take a break tomorrow and finish off on Friday; I'll steam clean the floors after that.
Over-the-toilet shelf unit, before. (Photo by Sam)
Cabinet under the sink, before. (Photo by Sam)
Sam in action!
Cleaned over-the-toilet shelving unit. (Photo by Sam)
Sam has wiped down the wall on the right side. (Photo by Sam)

Curtis came by tonight to clean Dad up. After he was done with Dad he spent an hour or so doing more work on the bookshelf in the hallway. One of the interesting things he found tonight was the invoice for the Cougar when Dad bought it in 1967 (on Curtis' birthday!). It was $4,075. He's giving the paperwork, as well as the original owner's manual, to his friend Mike who bought the Cougar from Dad.


While Sam and Curtis were hard at work I was making Fluffy Dinner Rolls for tomorrow night. I had read an article about cooking for Thanksgiving; it said to concentrate on making 1 or 2 dishes as your contribution to the meal and make the same thing every year so you get good at it. The Fluffy Dinner Rolls are my go-to potluck dish.

This morning I had my periodontal follow-up with Dr. Ching; he was checking on how well the deep pocket at my upper left back molar was doing. He said it's doing very well & I can be on a 6-month follow-up.
The view from the exam chair.
This is the art on the wall.

On the way back I stopped at Kokua Market. The eggnog is in! Not sure if it's as good as the one from Fresh Breeze Organic Dairy in Washington but it's probably better than the commercially made ones in the cardboard cartons.
Kai's favorite holiday beverage!

I picked a dozen oranges for Lori; now there are only about 3 or 4 left. We have now harvested about 80 oranges from this little tree! Since most of the oranges have been picked I started doing a little pruning. Today I mainly focused on cutting out dead wood and branches that were extending in to the walking area around the tree. My goal is to encourage the tree to grow a little taller while removing crossing branches; hopefully it will still be able to produce as many oranges after I'm done.
Orange tree, before. I actually cut off a long branch on the left that was blocking the waling area.
I have removed about a dozen branches. I'll do more to open it up, removing crossing branches & ones going in the wrong direction.

I also spent a little time trimming the orange 'ohai ali'i. I need to trim a little more to remove one of the branches and start sending all the growth to the branch I will be training to grow in a tree form so it gets tall enough so it doesn't block the view of traffic as I back out of the driveway. I did that with the pink one and it is looking really good without blocking the view; I now only need to do about 10 minutes of maintenance pruning about twice a year.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Dad Aces His Physical

Dad had his biannual check-up today, just like the kitties. And Dad passed with flying colors! His blood pressure was 103/65 mmHg, so even with the new guidelines he's doing fine. Dr. Nakano also had a bunch of blood work done; almost everything was well within the normal range, except his cholesterol. Dad's cholesterol is a little high at 242 mg/dl; the standard range is <200 mg/dl. His HDL is 35 mg/dl which is just in the standard range of >34 mg/dl; while his LDL at 99 mg/dl is well below the standard range of <130 mg/dl. Overall his cholesterol-related numbers have improved over his results 6 months ago so Dr. Nakano just wants us to keep doing what we have been doing. His Vitamin D is 24 ng/ml, the standard is 30-100 ng/dl; Dr. Nakano is increasing his daily intake to 2000 IU to try to get it up to the standard. And he got his flu shot. As long as he has no falls or other issues, he doesn't have to come back until his next biannual check-up in May.


Today we went to breakfast at Diamond Head Market & Grill. The grill part has an outside order window and seating is also outside; this morning it was nice & sunny! I think the market is going to become a go-to place for quick comfort foods for Dad; they have breakfasts, lunches, & dinners to go. They also have a microwave there so you can heat it and eat it outside!
The sign is over the door way to the market portion.
The menu is posted across several windows.

Both Curtis and I had the Fluffy Omelet. I had mine with fried rice; Dad & I had my leftovers for dinner. I'll be back to try more of their offerings.


Kasondra left today. Her plane left about midday so in the morning she went with Sam to pick up more birds before she left. She was great helping Sam set up the place at the zoo to care for the birds. It was fun having her here! Sam & I now have her very interested in visiting Kohala; I invited her & her husband Cory to come and visit us there.
L to R: Sam & Kasondra with the Hawai'i Wildlife Center van.

After we returned from breakfast, Curtis & I started packing up more of the living room in preparation for the flooring project that starts in December. Mom had some really interesting things and some very mundane things. Here are photos of some of the interesting things.

On the top of the shelves I was working on are dolls that are too tall to fit on the shelves. Two of the dolls have glass cases to protect them; the 3rd does not. The 2 are dolls that were purchased, the 3rd was made by Big Aunty Judy, one of our calabash aunties. It is an Okinawan doll in traditional dress, which is much brighter than Japanese kimono. We are going to offer it to her sons if they don't have any of the dolls she made; if they do, I would like to keep it.
This is a Ryukyu Ningyo or Okinawan doll.
This is a Japanese doll.

Mom had 4 little plastic airplanes that are salt & pepper shakers. Looking closer I found that they were Aloha Airlines planes; they went out of business as a passenger airline in 2008 so we  are keeping them.


I also found the plaque Dad was given when he retired. I didn't know that he had worked at Hickam for 36 years!


Another interesting find was the 1971-1972 Who's Who in High Schools book; it has photos & biographies of the National Merit Scholars across the Nation for that year. Susan is in it; we're going to offer the book to Sarah & David. I had e-mailed the photos to Curtis; he called back, his wife Lori is also on that page! An interesting part was the Student Achievement Leaders Survey, that "registers the pulse and attitudes of America's leading young adults."

Susan is the last photo in the 2nd row; Lori is in the last row, 2nd from the end.

I also found 2 mini-kimonos. They are actually handkerchiefs that have been folded origami-style into kimono. There are instructions on the back on how to do the folding.


There was also a red brocade box. Inside was an unopened mahjong set. 


I also found an ashtray from Naito Service Station. I want to keep this one, Naito Service Station closed a while ago. One of the other Naito brothers had a grocery store, but that is now a mini-mart.


A curious find was a bunch of labware. I think these might have been Susan's.


Xander tried to help as I tried to take a photo of the shelf I was starting to work on.
He makes a better door than a window.
Here's what my reference photo looks like sans cat.

Happy Birthday to CJ! (Dear Reader, you should also thank CJ, it is because of her request that I started this blog.)

Monday, November 20, 2017

Another Vegan Dinner!

Kasondra leaves tomorrow; Dad's tradition is to take guests out to dinner the night before they leave. Even though its been a few months since Dad has wanted to go out to dinner, we kept up the tradition without him. (I fed him dinner before we left.) I took Kasondra & Sam to the Peace Cafe for dinner. FYI, Kasondra is vegan.
The phone definitely needs a new battery; it died after one flash photo.

Kasondra and I had the Moroccan Stew with a side of cornbread, Sam had the mini BLT Sandwich. I also had a Kinako Latte, which I am going to try to recreate at home. They were out of the vegan ice cream, but by the time we were done we were so full we wouldn't have had room for any. This was home-style vegan cooking but still tasty like the 5-star meal we had last night.
L to R: cornbread, Moroccan Stew with salad & brown rice. (Photo by Sam)
L to R: Mini BLT, Mexican Miso Soup. (Photo by Sam)

After we got back from dinner Sam was sitting on the couch when Chibi came up and sniffed her before trotting off again instead of bolting out of the room. Sam brought out the cat treats she brought with her & started feeding them. Chibi actually let Sam pet her a couple times!
The Cat Whisperer.
Success!!!

This morning Xander kept looking at me and meowing. I sort of ignored him until I realized he was missing his collar; he needs the tag on his collar in order to get the Wireless Whiskers feeder to open so that he can eat. So I started looking for his collar. Since he had come out of the middle bedroom I started there, but didn't find his collar.
What's that under the bed?
It's not a collar, it's Curtis' phone cover case that he has been searching for for several months. He owes Xander!

He had also been in the cat run in the morning; that's where I found it. He probably was scratching himself & hooked it just right to undo the collar. I use only breakaway collars so that the cats can't get caught on things and strangle themselves. He stopped following me around & meowing after I put his collar back on & he could open up the feeder again.


After lunch I spent an hour with Adelia talking about how to invest some of Dad's money. Adelia was one of Mom's financial advisors, she is also helping Curtis & myself with some investments.


When I got back from meeting with Adelia I went to pick up the mail. In the mailbox I found 2 avocados along with the mail. I think they might be from Dale; as I was leaving to see Adelia I saw him walking along the street & go over to the Loi's also, then come back, he just waved. Usually he goes for a much longer walk with Koa.
Special Delivery!

Happy Birthday to Dottie! And Happy 13th Anniversary to Hazuki & Todd!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Yummy Vegan Dinner!

If you've eaten vegetarian food and found it unappetizing, you haven't found the right places to eat. Vegetarian doesn't mean just rice and salad; and there are also many ethnic vegetarian as well as vegan dishes. And chefs can create 5 star vegetarian & vegan dinners, such as we had tonight. Sam & Kasondra invited me to join them at Roy's Waikiki for dinner; Kasondra has an app on her phone that said Roy's has a vegan menu on request. We all decided to try the Vegan Prix Fixe Menu; it was fabulous! Roy's Waikiki changes the vegan menu every month, it would be worth going there once a month to try the new offerings. Unfortunately this is the best photo I was able to get of our menu tonight, my phone was not fully charged & the flash really drained the battery. (I think I need a new battery.)

We started with an edamame appetizer. It was similar to what you would get at a sushi bar.
(Photo by Kasondra)

The first course was Kaila Butter Leaf Salad, which included deep-fried avocado. I'll have to remember that when my avocado tree starts producing fruit; deep-fried avocado is so ono!
(Photo by Kasondra)

The main course was Coriander B. I. Hearts of Palm Dumplings. There were many other things on the plate including Kahuku Sea Asparagus, which is a vascular plant of the Salicornia genus found in salt marshes in North America and parts of Europe, but not in Hawai'i. It is grown hydroponically in Hawai'i.
(Photo by Kasondra)

For dessert we had Kiwi Lime Parfait. It was like a key lime pie in a parfait. And also ono! Our only complaint was that the spoon provided with the parfait is too large to get to the bottom of the glass; it left about an inch of deliciousness at the bottom. They did give us a fork along with the parfait, we turned it around & used the handle end to get the very last bit of parfait at the bottom of the glass.
(Photo by Kasondra)

Earlier in the day my back was acting up from the steam cleaning yesterday so I looked in the medicine cabinet to see if there was any Salonpas. Mom used to have a lot of it around but I only found one box of very old Salonpas. I put it on and felt a little of the warming "burn" as the salicylate is absorbed through the skin. It wasn't as strong as usual but it did provide enough relief from the spasms & allowed me to take a short nap since I didn't sleep well last night. (They also now make a Salonpas with lidocaine if you need more than just the salicylate for your pain.)
Newer boxes come with opaque green wrappers surrounding the plasters.

And I found some camphor! I have not been able to find any in the stores so I shall take this back to the Big Island with me to keep the moths out of the clothes.
I kinda remember this box from when I was in high school!

While rooting around I also found some Bag Balm. For those unfamiliar with this, it was originally used to treat abrasions and other skin irritations on the udders of cows. Although the tin said "Veterinary Use Only", while applying it farmers also discovered it was great for human skin, too, so they disregarded the warning. Grandpa raised a few head of cattle for the family so I suspect that is why we have Bag Balm in the medicine chest even though Mom and Dad never had any cattle. Now Bag Balm is used for a lot of other things besides udders.



I think I need to get a new can of Bag Balm.

And I also found Tiger Balm, which is made for people, not tigers. But no White Flower, also made for people, not flowers.


Today was a sleepy day for the kitties, unlike yesterday when the drilling for the termite bait stations kept them awake & nervous for an hour or so.
L to R: Xander & Shiro.

Happy Birthday to Dwayne-O & Naseem!