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Sunday, February 28, 2021

My New iPad

Aloha Everyone,

I love my new iPad. It is the basic model but has everything I need. The cost of $348.79 including tax and regulatory fees is reasonable compared to the top of the line model that could triple the cost.

My son helped me do the digital transfer of most of the content and apps from my old iPad to the new one. Other apps need to be uploaded one at a time. With any new digital device, there is a big learning curve. But each time I am successful, there is thrill and excitement.

Aloha -- Cathi

Saturday, February 27, 2021

February Additional Dining-ins

Aloha Everyone,

We had a diverse dining-in month beginning with rare take outs from Leucadia including their signature pizzas, calamares, chicken wings and desserts.

Our daughter-in-law also prepared Chicken piccata 

Chicken Marsala

Curry with veggies, ground turkey & tofu

Freshly baked Corn Bread is simple to make and always a welcome treat.

Aloha -- Cathi

Friday, February 26, 2021

Lucy Jarrard, a Surfer from Nanakuli Aspiring to Compete in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics

Aloha Everyone,

Lucy Jarrard is 19 years old and lives in Nanakuli, Hawaii. She is an amateur surfer and is ranked amongst the top surfers in the United States for her age bracket. Lucy hopes to represent American Samoa in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. This will be the first time that surfing will be included as an Olympic event.

Lucy is trying to raise enough money to compete at the International Surfing Association's World Surfing Games in El Salvador in May 2021.  This is a qualifying event for the Olympics. After qualifying, Lucy hopes to raise enough funds to go to Japan in August 2021 for the Olympics.

Lucy currently attends Leeward community college and strives to earn BA degree to either teach on the Leeward Coast on Oahu or open up her own small business related to surfing. It is encouraging to see a young woman who is so focused and determined. She has a healthy attitude, lifestyle, and life goals.

Jeff, our younger son, is the Social Studies Department Head at Nanakuli High and Intermediate School. Lucy was a student in his class during her junior year. Jeff also knows her parents and her younger sister whom he also had as a student. Jeff, and his wife have made a monetary donation to help Lucy purchase her competitive surfboards. J.J. and I are also contributing to help Lucy advance towards her dream.

Below is a YouTube video that Lucy created:

Aloha -- Cathi

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Chicken & Mushroom Pasties

Aloha Everyone,

This is a week for us to try new recipes. Pasties is one of our son’s favorite foods from his trips to England. Previously, I made Beef Curry Pasties and this time he asked if can try making Chicken Mushroom Pasties. I love challenges especially when it comes to trying out new recipes.

The preparation took about 4 hours including first roasting the chicken in the oven. To eliminate the distinctive scent of poultry, I borrowed Farah’s technique of laying chicken on a bed of orange slices. J.J. helped me with cubing, dicing onion and garlic. After frying sliced bacon pieces, I added vegetable including thinly cut mushrooms and cubed chicken pieces. A can of mushroom soup, a little sprinkle of salt & pepper were last to be combined to the mixture.

After 3 hours to cool down the stuffing, it was easy to make individual Pasties. Chicken Mushroom Pasties will also be making repeat appearances at our diner table.

Aloha -- Cathi

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Sunrises with Watercolor Pencils

Aloha Everyone,

Incredible sunrises are surreal, fleeting as the light changes instantaneously, blending colors only nature could imagine. I have seen photos taken with my iPhone at a ten seconds intervals can differ noticeably.

Watercolor pencils are an amazing tool for artists. When you use them like an ordinary dry color pencil, they function as such. But you introduce water to their color pigments and voila, the colors come alive.  They become sharp, intense and brilliant. They also blend or run into another color. The only thing is, that you can always go overboard in adding water with paint brushes.

Here are my 3 color pencil sketches before and after adding water.

Aloha -- Cathi

Monday, February 22, 2021

Delicious Baked Cod

Aloha Everyone,

My daughter-in-law and I were not familiar with preparing fresh wild Alaskan cod. Numerous on-line recipes were confusing at best. Fortunately, several of our friends are excellent home chefs. They quickly responded to my text message for assistance and generously shared their favorite cod recipes. Just from our friends, I was amazed how many different ways one can prepare cod including Italian style with crushed black olives and tomatoes, Midwestern-style fish boil, Texas-style deep fried, grill with BBQ sauce, etc. I chose one from Farah due to its simplicity and that I had all the necessary ingredients.

I believe a secret maybe to place the filets of cod on a bed of sliced lemon then diced garlic and ginger and cover with another layer of lemon slices.

Farah also suggested baking broccolis, carrots and cauliflowers in the same baking pan. Preparation time was less than an hour and the baking took only 25 minutes. The result was a fabulously sumptuous dinner. The cod was tender and delicious!

Fresh cods are a healthy substitute to salmon and definitely an excellent alternative to Battered Alaskan Cod. Cod liver, processed to make cod liver oil, is an important source for Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E and Onega-3, Fatty acids.

Aloha -- Cathi

Saturday, February 20, 2021

What’s New in Hotel Rooms

Aloha Everyone,

Traveling during the time of COVID-19, some of the modifications and renovations may not be as apparent,
but are definitely important.

Sprayers & Foggers - some hotels are using such devices that are used on airplanes. 

Robot Room Service - used to deliver meals and amenities to guest rooms.

Sanitizers - use UV wands to sterilize room surfaces. Some establishments provide your cellphones and room keys UV sterilizing boxes.

Thermal scanner to take guests temperature upon entering the premises.

Greater use of your personal cellphone for room service, luggage pickup, shuttle to the airport.  

Source AARP 
December 2020/Jauary2021 Magazine

Aloha -- Cathi

Friday, February 19, 2021

Leslie Sansone Home Workout

Aloha Everyone,

Leslie Sansone’s 20 minutes YouTube on walk at home workout is fun and effective. She instructs for the participants to lift our feet, kick them forward and take big steps side ways. As the program progresses, the velocity and intensity of walking increases. Within 10 minutes, I began perspiring.

Purposeful walking gives you positive energy and a clarity of mind. I recall from a wellness seminar as we get older, we don’t lift our feet to walk. We shuffle.

Tim Conway (1933-2019), an American actor & comedian was one of the regular cast member for The Carol Burnett Show. His lovable sketch of The Oldest Man with frustratingly slow half step shuffling were poignant and memorable.

So lift our legs, take big steps, put spring in our feet and let’s walk.

Aloha -- Cathi

Thursday, February 18, 2021

TED Talk “What Makes a Good Life” - By Dr. Robert Waldinger

Aloha Everyone,

This segment of TED Talk is a “must watch”.  Dr. Waldinger outlines 3 points on what keeps us healthy & happy as we go through life. This research is based on a Harvard Study of Adult Development which for 75 years, they tracked 750 men.

Results of findings are:
  1. Good relationship keeps us happy & healthy
  2. Benefit of social connections to family, friends and community 
  3. Quality of good relationship
  4. Good relationship also protects our mind 

Good life is not about wealth, fame or hard work 

Hope you can take a few moments to watch this short video TED Talk “What Makes a Good Life” By Dr Robert Waldinger

Aloha -- Cathi

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Rice University Online Class - Mindfulness and Well-being Living with Balance & Ease

Aloha Everyone,

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, I have taken several classes through Courses, an American open online program which offers immense selection of courses with your ability to earn professional, undergraduate and graduate degrees.

This was a 4-weeks online class titled Mindfulness and Well-being Living with Balance & Ease. Taught by Dr. Elizabeth Slator, a Clinical Psychologist affiliated with Rice University, she primarily employed pre-recorded video to cover the subject. Mindfulness, loving kindness, equanimity, open awareness and other such terms used to describe one’s spiritual practice have now become common and less mysterious.

Mountain meditation presented towards the end of the 4-weeks course truly captivated my attention. I have not heard of this particular form of meditation before and when I sat down to practice following Dr. Slater’s voice, my experience was very positive and exciting.

I plan to incorporate Mountain Meditation into my daily meditation practice.

Aloha -- Cathi

Monday, February 15, 2021

Keep Sharp, Build a Better Brain at Any Age by Sanjay Gupta, MD

Aloha Everyone,

Sanjay Gupta is a practicing neurosurgeon and CNN’s chief medical correspondent. His latest book, Keep Sharp was published jointly with AARP*. *AARP is a US based interest group focusing on issues affecting people over the age of 50.

First part of the book goes into the science of the brain. Some data’s Sanjay Gupta shares are alarming. Putting his neurosurgeon hat, he explains that about 47 million Americans have some evidence of preclinical Alzheimer’s disease.  He also provides a number of reasons how the brain begins to malfunction.

Keep Sharp is a self-help book. Sanjay Gupta’s message is that dementia is not necessarily an inevitable consequence of old age. 

Keep Sharp is an uplifting reference book for me to turn to. It contains a wealth of information, references of medical specialists in different fields and disciplines as well as where to get professional help when one is needed.  

Aloha -- Cathi

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Happy Holiday Weekend!

Aloha Everyone,

This is a three days weekend with a triple celebration. On Friday, some people celebrated the Lunar New Year. We enjoyed our pancake Friday!

Today Is Valentine’s Day. JJ and I were able to connect with numerous friends and family members to express our love for them. And tomorrow is Presidents Day. Officially in the United Stares, the third Monday of February is the day to honor George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. This is a Federal holiday and now is the day to honor all US presidents.

Aloha -- Cathi

Friday, February 12, 2021

Coronavirus Companion Vaccine

Aloha Everyone,

Massachusetts announced a new state rule that anyone can get a vaccine when accompanying someone age 75 and older to a vaccination center.

It’s a novel idea as many seniors no longer drive or may not have anyone to drive for them. Of course there are always enterprising individuals to benefit from such a rule. Offers of driving a senior in their luxury car, giving them cash or dining out, buying them a gift are some of the thing I have read. Uber and Lyft drivers are also offering free services.

Massachusetts Governor is warning against getting a ride from complete strangers. Seniors must be extremely cautious to avoid becoming victims of inscrutable individuals who might have ulterior motives.

Aloha -- Cathi

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Michelle Obama & Her Cooking Show

Aloha Everyone,

Kid’s cooking show on Netflix seems like an ideal venue to promote Michelle Obama’s mission to encourage children to eat healthier.  

She will be the proprietor of a “whimsical supermarket” where Waffles and Mochi, the two best friends and aspiring chefs are employed.

Possibilities of this kid’s cooking show attracting not only an American audience but going global is limitless. According to Netflix, initially 10 episodes will be filmed. They will feature kids, ordinary “home cooks”, celebrities plus renowned chefs preparing and eating foods from all over the world. “Waffles + Mochi” will make its Netflix debut on March 16th.

Aloha -- Cathi

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

COVID-19 Pfizer Vaccine #1

Aloha Everyone,

J.J. and I just got our first Pfizer vaccine. He accessed the Scripps website late last night, and was able to schedule appointments for both of us this morning at 10:00 am. Although we were preregistered, it took about 5 minutes to receive our COVID-19  Vaccination Record card issued by the CDC. The nurse who administered the shot was so skilled and efficient that I didn’t even feel a pinch.

Everyone who received vaccine injections were asked to stay between 15-30 minutes in the adjacent waiting area where seats were all spaced to observe social distancing. Thankfully our daughter-in-law drove us to the vaccination site which took away the stress of driving to a hospital.  

No reaction from the vaccine. J.J. and I feel happy, relieved and even elated after finally getting our first vaccine.  

Aloha -- Cathi

Sunday, February 7, 2021

2021 COVID-19 Super Bowl

Aloha Everyone,

Americans are adaptable. We are also resourceful. So with COVID-19 still surging, Super Bowl 2021 looked different from the all other previous Super Bowls.

Less spectators in the stadium. Where in 2009, Super Bowl 43 had 70,774 attendees with expanded seating, today it was limited to 25,000 including healthcare workers and families of the players.

Entry fees were waived.

The NFL gave out gift bags with N95 face masks. Everyone, unless a player was on the field, was wearing their mask.

Stadium had placed cut out figures to fill the seats. For a fee,  I believe $100, they printed a photo submitted, as if you are one of the spectators.

To compensate for the smaller crowd size, sounds of cheering were amplified. Of course this is nothing new in show business. The television producer and editor have their hands in controlling “audience participation.”

J.J. enjoyed the game. He likes Tom Brady and was happy that Brady showed his worth to his former team, the New England Patriots. It was also a dream come true for Tampa Bay Buccaneers for winning the Super Bowl with their new quarterback.  

Overall, this year’s Super Bowl is another event most of us will remember as during the year of the Covid

Aloha -- Cathi

Saturday, February 6, 2021

The Little Mermaid Jr, a Remote Performance

Aloha Everyone,

The Little Mermaid Jr. is a stage musical produced by Disney Theatrical. It is based on the animated Disney film called The Little Mermaid which is based on the classic children’s book by Hans Christian Andersen.

The remote performance we watched was produced under a licensing agreement with the Music Theater International and Disney Theatrical Productions.

The performers from several high schools and middle schools in the Nanakuli, Waianae and Mililani on the island of Oahu, Hawaii recorded their scenes separately. Two main characters, Ariel and the human prince, had beautiful speaking and singing voices. Restricted by the pandemic, The Little Mermaid Jr. is not a stage performance but rather a video format platform. A big congratulations and credits go to the director and the editor who were able to put together the fragment parts of numerous performers into a strong visual that were impressive and also made sense.

Aloha -- Cathi

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Potential of Our Ability to Resume Traveling

Aloha Everyone,

For the past 11 months, the two of us along with most of our friends have been adhering to sheltering at home and living in our own safe bubbles. Encouraging news is that J.J. and I are learning a number of our friends and family members have already received their first vaccine. The two of us are getting optimistic that our turn will come soon.

Not surprising to learn that half of Americans cited their willingness to get vaccinated is influenced by their desire to travel.

Here is a link to the copy of the article by TPG. 

Aloha -- Cathi

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Emotional Intelligence

Aloha Everyone,

Emotional intelligence boosts our self-awareness, motivation, self-control, social skills and empathy. These are what makes one become better leaders.

The term Emotional Intelligence (EI) were coined by two psychology professors, John Mayer and Peter Salovey in 1990. Daniel Coleman wrote the book “Emotional Intelligence” in 1995 and followed up with an article for Harvard Business Review called “What Makes A Leader.”

Philosophers, psychologists and great teachers have also touched upon this subject including Socrates, Dostoyevsky, Dale Carnegie, Norman Vincent Peale, His Holiness Dalai Lama and my favorite spiritual teacher, Pema Chödrön.

It is therefore insightful and profound for the writer of this article to cite Joe Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon  as a powerful lesson in Emotional Intelligence.

Aloha -- Cathi