Thursday, August 31, 2017

Exercise Ball

Curtis gave me one of the extra exercise balls that they had around the house. He found it while he was packing things up in preparation for the inside work that the contractors will be doing soon.

Today I decided to blow it up and use it. When I injured my back at work a while ago, I did physical therapy and chiropractic rather than surgery; my boss' wife hurt her back around the same time and did surgery. She was back without pain quicker than I was but a few years later she was in pain again and needing more surgery. My back took longer to heal but it stayed pain-free and stronger longer. Sitting on an exercise ball while I was at the computer helped a lot to strengthen the small muscles between each of the vertebrae to help stabilize my spine.

I started pumping up the ball with the pump that came with it. It seemed inadequate for the job. When I do certain activities I try to use my non-dominant arm to give it a workout; like carrying grocery bags, I flex my arm slightly so the muscles are getting a mild workout. Today I started out using my non-dominant hand to pump up the ball. There is a white tape they tell you to use so that you don't overinflate the ball. There were 2 holes on the tape; I did the math and found one was for a 26" ball (which this one is), the other was for a 29" ball. Not sure why they give you a tape with 2 unmarked holes including one that is larger than what they want you to blow it up to.
After 5 minutes of pumping.
10 minutes.
15 minutes; my right hand, which was keeping the pump attached to the ball, started cramping.
20 minutes.
25 minutes.
30 minutes; its getting fuller, so air now leaks out through the pump if you stop pumping.
35 minutes; I'm using the plug to keep the air in while I take the photo.
40 minutes.
45 minutes.

I took a break after 45 minutes of pumping; my alarm went off reminding me that I needed to get lunch started for Dad. Both my forearms were sore. Before I started up again after lunch I decided to see how much more I had to pump the ball up. I decided I had enough exercise for today; I'll finish it off tomorrow.
The top of the tape is at 26"; they probably give you the white tape so that you know that you have to keep pumping!

This evening after dinner I started weeding the olena and mountain apple bed in the front yard. I only got the area around the olena done before it got too dark to see. Tomorrow I will complete the area around the mountain apple. I also checked out the volunteer papaya that I had found in the compost pile. It seems to be struggling now. And the unknown plant now appears to be a weed; there are no fruits on it at all.

Happy Birthday to Danny, Lillian, & Heather!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017


I got a wonderful surprise this afternoon. My friend Brenda called! When I saw her number come up I was hoping she was calling to say she was coming for a visit. But she wasn't; she was calling to say "Hi!" since she can't come right now. But her sister & her friend have time-share condos, one on Maui and one on the Big Island, so there is a possibility that she might tag along with one of them some day. We talked for almost an hour about a whole lot of things, including things we've learned about helping aging parents. It was really nice to hear from her!

Yup. That's the most exciting thing that happened today, so no photos. Did a lot of updating financial stuff and organizing the computer room so I can move things in to it as we get ready to change the carpet. We have to pack up everything on the shelves so that the flooring guys can move the furniture out to the garage.

Happy Birthday Pam & Cousin Yvonne! 

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Anna Miller's

We went to breakfast at Anna Miller's this morning. It's a Hawai'i restaurant open 24-hours like Denny's. But it also does pies; the sign outside the restaurant says 25 varieties, the website says 31. But we only counted 23 on the list in the restaurant; I think if we check all the lists we might figure out what all of them are. There was a sweet potato pie in the cold case, but its not on the sign at the table or on the website. Curtis had the Portuguese sausage & SPAM scramble, I had the smoked salmon scramble.
Portuguese Sausage & SPAM Scramble.
Smoked Salmon Scramble.

During breakfast Curtis showed me the Fitbit that Lori got him for his birthday. He scrolled through all the different functions that he is able to do with it; at least the ones he has been able to figure out. Right now he is using it to figure out what his normal level of activity is, then he will compare it to when he goes to Las Vegas where he says he walks a lot more than when he's at home. 

The contractors are moving along with the work at his house. When we got back there was a big pile of gravel in the driveway. Later they brought a very small front end loader to move the gravel to the backyard to level out the ground in preparation for pouring the footings and slab. The reason all the equipment is small is to get it through the gate without having to take down any of the walls.
The gate to the left of the house is the one they take the equipment through.
Mini-loader. (Photo by Curtis)

This morning, as I was getting ready to leave, all the cats were lined up at the door.
L to R: Chibi, Shiro, & Xander.

I did laundry when I got back from breakfast; it was a beautiful, sunny morning. No sign of rain, even on the horizon. But late this afternoon there was a rainstorm. A really quick, heavy rainstorm. I got soaked when I ran out to grab the laundry; the clothes were dripping when I got them in. They were wetter than when I hung them out in the morning; I threw everything in to the washer and put it on the spin cycle and got half a gallon of water!
Wet laundry.
Soaked laundry cart.
Water on floor from soaked laundry.
Half gallon of water extracted from laundry.

Here's the weather radar that they showed on the news about the thunderstorm. The yellow is the areas with heavier rain, the green is areas with less rain. There was localized flooding around the city, the whole island was under a flood watch from the late afternoon to mid-evening.
Weatherman Guy Hagi. (Screen shot from TV)

Happy Birthday to Diana!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Cat Retraining

Shiro has been sneaking food from Xander & Chibi's feeder for a couple of weeks now. Since Xander started on the hydrolyzed protein diet Shiro has been eating more food out of Xander & Chibi's feeder. In fact, yesterday Shiro ate nothing out of his feeder.
Here's Shiro's feeder set in the "Default Closed" door position.

Shiro is on a special diet for kidney disease; he was diagnosed in January 2016 and has been on the special Hill's k/d Diet since then. Previously the other cats have preferred Shiro's food to their own, so I was using the Wonder Bowl that would only open up when Shiro approached it. But I bought another Wireless Whiskers feeder for him earlier this year because I was always having to change his infrared tag for the Wonder Bowl because it was not water tight and would rust out after a few months of being dunked in the water bowl every time Shiro took a drink of water. When Xander had to go on the special Royal Canin Hydrolyzed Protein diet for his diabetes, Shiro decided he liked that better than his k/d diet.

The Wireless Whiskers has several door control settings. I started with it on "Default Open" since it was easier to get them trained to eat; that was a year and a half ago. Now I will have to retrain all of them that they need to stand near their correct feeder so that it will open up. They might go a little hungry for a few days before they get the hang of it.

I talked to Dad this morning about going to Kohala in October. He was open to it if we were only going for the weekend. Curtis & I have been talking about this for a few months but because of the dementia we have been a little leery about making a bunch of reservations then having to cancel at the last minute. Dad will want to do something, then later decide not to go. When we talked to Fran on Saturday she said for $13 per ticket Hawaiian Airlines will provide a full refund if we need to cancel at the last minute. She learned about it because Doreen would also refuse to go places at the last minute.

Happy Birthday to Jeff & Arden! Happy 24th Anniversary to Sili & Taliga!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Birthday Dinner

We had Curtis' birthday dinner this evening. He has been eating differently since he was diagnosed with diabetes a couple years ago; minimizing his carbs and choosing more whole grain options.
L to R: broccoli salad, poke, sriracha poke, shrimp, & chicken wraps.
Clockwise from lower left: chicken wraps, whole wheat dinner rolls, andagi, & shrimp summer rolls.
L to R: salmon & vegetable gumbo.

For dessert we had the edible arrangement that Curtis received yesterday. Lori made a vegan whole grain cobbler with blueberries. Chocolate dipped pineapples are surprisingly good! And the cobbler was excellent, too!
Birthday Boy!

Anita & Gavin joined us for dessert. They had just finished dinner, but you couldn't tell that Gavin had eaten a full dinner; he did a great job eating the edible arrangement! He ate about half of it, Anita will be stir frying the kale with some caramelized onions. 
Anita watching Gavin polish off the edible arrangement.

Here's Shaun's tattoo.

Earlier today I tried to go to the 36th Annual Greek Festival at the McCoy Pavilion in Ala Moana Park. I left the house an hour before the event started, but since it started at noon all the parking was already taken by people at the beach. The parking at McCoy Pavilion was reserved for the people working at the festival.

On the way to Ala Moana Park, I drove by the Marco Polo. This is the condominium that caught fire last month, killing 3 people. Apparently about 2/3 of the over 500 units has significant fire, smoke, or water damage. Since then the City has been trying to pass an ordinance to mandate sprinklers in the 300 or so condos built before 1975 like the Marco Polo. They have not been successful.

Since I couldn't go to the Greek Festival I decided to check out the Aloha Gas stations close to the house. I filled up at the closest one which is on Campbell Avenue; its a very tiny station with awkwardly placed pumps. I also checked out the ones on Monsarrat and Kapahulu avenues which are about the same distance farther away from the house but have better pump layouts than Campbell. Now that I have the Aloha Gas card, I paid $2.869 per gallon, which is 6 cents less than the posted price; I saved 92 cents today. I will have to remember to fill up on a Monday, Wednesday, or Friday when an additional 5 cents per gallon is taken off, making the price $2.819 per gallon; I would have saved $1.68 if I had remembered and waited. If I pay the balance off by the payment due date they will take an additional 3 cents per gallon off my bill.

Happy Birthday to Deb! And Happy 50th Anniversary to Diann & Bob!

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Lunch with Doreen

Curtis & I went to visit Doreen today. We met Francine there. Janeth made pinakbet and shoyu chicken for lunch for everyone. She served Ted's pumpkin haupia pie for dessert.
L to R: pinakbet, rice, & shoyu chicken.
Pumpkin haupia pie.

While we were visiting Doreen a healthy edible arrangement arrived for Curtis' birthday. It's from one of his work buddies.

They have scrapped off the topsoil and excavated for the incoming & outgoing pipes for Curtis & Lori's extension. They also built an enclosure for Salty so he could safely be out in the backyard while they are working on the extension.

Salty's play pen made with parts of the deck railing.    
Basaltic termite barrier under the patio slab.

Here are photos from the inside. They are adding 2 bedrooms and a full bathroom. They are changing the greenhouse window over the kitchen sink into a pass-through window to the patio. They're also changing the stove.
Kitchen before remodel.
The family room will be extended,

Salty was sacked out after a hard day of hanging out in his backyard pen.

It took me about 1&1/2 hours to get home from Curtis' house today, usually it takes about 30 minutes. There was a major traffic jam; it basically started as soon as I got on to the freeway. And it stretched to the junction that I needed to take; about 5 miles. Apparently a motorcyclist lost control of his bike and crashed.

Honolulu Police Department investigating the accident.

Happy Birthday to Teena & Kyle! Happy 27th Anniversary to Lorna & Darrell!

Friday, August 25, 2017

Happy Birthday, Curtis!

Today is Curtis' birthday! He and Lori are going out to a movie tonight. We will have a celebration dinner on Sunday night.

Xander had his blood glucose test this morning. He failed. His blood glucose level at 8:30 this morning was at 513 mg/dL, which is very high; they would like to see it at half that amount. They gave him 3 units of insulin and tested him several more times during the day. It did go down a little but not below 250. For now he will be on 3 units twice a day; next Friday he goes back in for another blood glucose test.

In the meanwhile, the vet would like to see Xander gain a little more weight. Which should not be a problem, he has been eating more over the last week. Right now the Wireless Whiskers is set at 25 minutes for him; it was at 16 minutes when he was on the Hills i/d food which is much more calorie dense than the Royal Canin Hydrolyzed Protein. When I discovered that I increased his time to 20 minutes; but he kept reaching 100% in the early evening so I increased it 1 minute each day. I'll keep an eye on how much he eats over the next week in order to find the right amount of food for him.

Happy Birthday also to Penny & Corinna!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

"Bath" Night for Dad

Curtis came over this evening. He gave Dad a shave with the new electric shaver; it worked pretty well on the shorter areas but still needs a hand on the longer areas. Curt said there was no hesitation on Dad's part when it came time to change his clothes and get wiped up. He thinks he may soon be able to get Dad to take a real shower. Yay!

Last night I got Chibi's attention with the tamper seal on my new contact soaking solution bottle; it is one of her favorite toys. When she heard me tearing it off she came running out of her hiding place.
What's that on the floor?

Happy Birthday to Redwolf!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Breakfast on Base

This morning we went to the base for breakfast; the new identification process is 100% ID check, meaning everyone going in the gate needs to show identification. We went to Wilbur & Orville's Wright Brothers Cafe' & Grille; which is also known as Wright Brothers Cafe' or Wilbur & Orville's. From signs around the place, it looks like it was originally Wright Brothers Cafe' & Grille; perhaps there was a copyright infringement going on so they had to add more to their name.

We both had the #7 breakfast which has corned beef hash. I haven't had corned beef hash in a very long time! I had to ask permission to take photos of the menu & breakfast.

After breakfast Curtis drove me around Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and gave me a tour. We were calling it the $45+ tour because we saw an ad on the reader board at Wright Brothers for a Historic Hickam Tour for $45. There are big signs all over the place saying, "No photos", so you'll have to use your imagination.

There was a noticeable difference between the Hickam (Air Force) portion of the joint base versus the Pearl Harbor (Navy) portion. Hickam has a lot of residential areas so it looks more like a suburb with trees, grassy areas, and retail building. Pearl Harbor is more industrial with docks and dry docks, radars, hangers, and more. Because Curtis was in charge of facilities, among other things, I got to hear the stories about & see the sewage treatment plant, the mangled trees under the power lines, the historic wall that made them move the new building since it couldn't be removed, the historic building where they accidentally put a hole through the wall, and more. I would say more than half the buildings we saw on the base were historic buildings; apparently if something was around when Pearl Harbor was bombed they have to keep it, even it its not on the Historic Register.

The contractors have started working on Curtis & Lori's extension. They deconstructed the deck yesterday; today they loaded up the remains and hauled them away. This afternoon they also started excavating to prepare for the footings & the slab on grade.
The remains of the deck are on the lanai; the lumber is at the outer edges of the extension.
After I left they brought in a very small excavator; I've never seen one this small! (Photo by Curtis)

On the way to breakfast we saw another view of Leahi as we got on to the freeway at Curtis' house.
Leahi #33 from the Waipahu on ramp.

Happy Birthday to John, Peter, & Soya!