2012 in review

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I got this great report today from WordPress.com. I found it very interesting and inspirational. Hope you enjoy it too.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 9,900 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 17 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Slow Leak

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About a month ago the little yellow light came on in my car telling me, the air in my tire was low. I had it filled and two weeks later, same thing.

As it was the Saturday before Christmas, the tire person said to come back the day after Christmas. Well the day after Christmas I was in the hospital with pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs), so that was not on the agenda.

Today I finally got around to it. Seems there was a nail in my tire. The place I went to is called Lex Brodie’s. It is a Hawaiian institution. I remember when it was just tires. Now it is brakes and shocks too.

They even have a line of purses and briefcases made out of recycled tractor tires. If you think these would be cheap, think again. Most of them are $200 and up.

I had to wait in their customer lounge nearly two hours. Here are some photos from that experience. Wonder who their decorator is?

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Christmas Week and After in Hawaii

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Today is bright and sunny. Temperature is close to 80 degrees and there is a very slight breeze. We call the breezes, ‘trade winds’.

Yesterday at the mall it was actually humid. After Christmas shoppers were wearing shorts/sandals. We call those ‘slippahs’ in Hawaii.

Shopping is a huge passion for our visiting tourists from Japan. They think everything is a bargain. Evidently designer goods cost a lot more in Japan. They are loaded with shopping bags from Chanel and Dior. Also Prada and Louis Vuitton.

Not to mention Escada and shoes by Jimmy Choo and Manolo Blahnik. For handbags there is a huge choice. Coach, Fendi, Dolce & Gabanna, and on and on. Jewelry stores like Tiffany’s and Harry Winston and of course Lego and Apple.

Neiman Marcus has every fine designer in full force. The men’s department is loaded with $400 shirts and $300 jeans.

The same is true of steak. A good steak dinner in Tokyo can cost $200 a person, where here, the best in town is about $50. And we are talking Morton’s or Ruth Chris.

Benihana is a big draw and their complete dinner with filet is around $50. They are always packed. Many birthdays are celebrated there and the waiters sing Happy Birthday in Japanese.

Meanwhile I spent Christmas Day in the hospital. My room was ‘freezing’. Luckily the nurses kept bringing me warm blankets.

Then when I got home, Peter surprised me with the neatest thing: an electric towel warmer. This can be used to heat towels, blankets, robes and whatever you want to be warm.

It looks like a stand up tall oval waste basket with a lid. Just put two towels in, press the button and ten minutes later you have nice warm toasty towels.

If this seems like a funny item for warm Hawaii, remember that I live in an air conditioned condo and it is always cool inside. Plus when you are born and raised in Hawaii, two below is 68 degrees.

Christmas Delay

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My Christmas celebrations were delayed this year by a trip to the emergency room on Christmas eve. After a pleasant evening of opening presents, I lay down to rest and suddenly I couldn’t breathe.

An ambulance was called and they got to my home very quickly. All of a sudden there were eight men in my bedroom. (not for fun) Four firemen in long yellow slickers and four techs from the ambulance. My bedroom is 12′ x 12′ with a queen bed, two dressers, a desk and a dressing table/chair, so it was a little crowded.

They did all the right things immediately and then carried me out in a sling contraption. The ride to the hospital was only about ten minutes and I was soon on a big oxygen machine. Seems my lungs filled up with fluid and it felt like I was drowning.

I was admitted to the hospital, where I spent Christmas Day and the day after. Here is a photo of me having my Christmas lunch. Chicken in Burgundy sauce (right), and the featured item: a gingerbread man cookie.

Note the festive Christmas place mat. (dinner returned to the regular hospital food and no Christmas place mat)photoAnd here is another one of me actually eating the cookie. It was so huge, I only ate the legs for lunch. For dinner I had the arms, and on the morning after Christmas I ate the head and body.photo copy 2

Some things I am happy about, besides having my life saved: I had a mani/pedi the day I got sick, so my nails and toes looked great. Candy apple red for Christmas. Every nurse commented on them. I had my favorite perfume ‘Must de Cartier’ in my purse and was able to use it to ‘lift’ my spirits. Again the nurses said how my room was the best smelling room in the whole hospital.

I am home now, recovered from my ordeal. I didn’t have a heart attack, but I do have a 74 year old heart.

Post instructions include to watch my salt intake and not drink too much fluid. And rest when I feel tired.

Typical me: The thing I was most upset about was missing the day after Christmas shopping spree I was planning.

Merry Christmas

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Have a Happy Holiday: And don’t forget the great after Christmas sales. One not to miss is the Neiman Marcus gourmet food department, if you are fortunate enough to have that store in your city. Great buys on candy and Christmas foods like cakes and popcorn.

Be sure to study the ads in the paper on December 25th. Have fun.

Photo on 12-24-12 at 10.14 AM

Last Minute Shopping

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Fortunately I did all my Christmas shopping during the year and mailed everything early. I knew I would be on vacation from the 15th to the 22nd, and the last day to mail packages was December 18.

When I got home all I needed to do was to go to the market. I decided that Costco would make sense for some holiday dinner food. The parking lot was a zoo. The store wasn’t too bad, and they had almost everything I needed.

They were out of onions and stuffing, so I went to Safeway. They had onions, but the stuffing shelves were bare.

So I went to Foodland and they only had Stove Top stuffing mix by Kraft. I decided to make it from scratch. When I got home, I hit the internet for some stuffing recipes.

There are two ways to do this. One calls for fresh non toasted bread torn in pieces and the other uses cubes of baked bread.

One recipe had chopped apples, sugar and cider for the liquid. That sounded disgusting to me.

So it will probably be the baked bread one, with my usual additions of saute’ed onions, celery and lots of spices. I am old school and like the stuffing inside the turkey.

We usually open presents on Christmas Eve, but Santa doesn’t come till Christmas morning, so that is when we open our stockings.

Macy’s is open 48 hours starting yesterday, so if I think of anything I absolutely can’t live without, I can always run across the street at three o’clock in the morning.

Back from Vacation

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Gee, a whole week with no driving, no marketing, no cooking or baking. Now I am back to reality. It was a nice change, but it is good to be home.

Of course the worst part is the unpacking. So far I have emptied one one of my two suitcases and about half of my makeup and toiletries are put away.

The Marriott Ko Olina is very relaxing. There really isn’t much to do except relax. It was rather cool at 68 degrees and windy. The tourists from cold climates were frolicking in the pool and playing water vollyball.

The children were splashing around, even in the evening. Meanwhile, I was cuddled up under my down quilt reading a book.

Marriott is a timeshare resort and I was fortunate to be able to make an exchange at such a beautiful time of the year.

One day I took a shuttle all the way to the Disney Aulani resort a few blocks away. While there I had this great photo of Goofy and me taken. It was taken with my iPhone, but Peter ‘photo shopped’ it to improve it a little.

My outfit is a study in contrasts. The sweater was a thrift shop find, the Hue tights were a half price sale item at Macy’s, the no lace Ed Hardy tennis shoes were $15 from Ross. But the purse is a Dolce & Gabanna handbag from Neiman Marcus. (Christmas gift from my son).

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When I got home, the first thing I did was to order Photo stamps from Photo Stamps.com using this photo. (Just the heads and shoulders down to Goofy’s hands).

Then I ordered New Years cards from Vistaprint using the same photo.

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I did venture out for dinner and took the beautiful sunset photo around six p.m. on my last night. This was shot with my iPhone from the casual beach restaurant called Longboards.
photo                                                                                 This would make a great postcard from Hawaii.

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