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Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Summer Reading

Aloha Everyone,

The ease of reading books on an iPad give us a chance to explore a large variety of genres from history to geography, philosophy, art to travel. Some writers skillfully merge these subjects.

With the exception of National Geographic on Complete National Parks of the United States, all of these readings were thought provoking. Some passages make one question prior understanding and belief. It definitely allowed me to explore and learn about the exciting world which we live in.

Aloha -- Cathi

Monday, August 29, 2022

Bailo Therapy

Aloha Everyone,

Sandra, a friend in Ecuador shared with me about her participation in Bailo Therapy. The Spanish word, bailar or baile translate to dance or spin in English. People gather at parks in Cuenca, Ecuador after business hours and they dance to an assortment of music led by experienced dancers.

Listening to and moving your body to music during social gathering are physical, mental and emotional stress relievers especially when so many people are dealing with daily challenges.

Aloha -- Cathi

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Congratulation Hawaii - Little League World Series Champio

Aloha Everyone,

A huge congratulations to the players, coaches, supporting staffs, parents, families and friends on winning the Little League World Series Championship! A 13-3 score over Pablo Little League from CuraƧao is impressive!!!

Aloha -- Cathi

Friday, August 26, 2022

Bare Faced Beauty Pageant Winner

Aloha Everyone,

Is it a big deal? Yes as it could have a broader implication on multiple industries, businesses and even cosmetic surgery.

Melisa Raouf won the Miss England beauty pageant and will compete for the Miss England crown in October make-up free.

What made it headline news is that this is the first time in its 94-year old history a contestant chose to go on stage make-up free.

The cosmetic industry includes manufacturing and distributing products. Cosmetic products broadly include foundation, mascara, skincare, haircare, bubble bath and soap.

Johnson & Johnson, L’Oreal, Gillette, Nivea and Chanel are the industry leaders. According to this news release, “the worldwide cosmetics and perfume industry currently generates an estimated annual turnover of US170 billion.

To make one’s self more attractive and appealing, some take unimaginable steps and incur costs. Cosmetic surgeries may include Rhinoplasty, Lipo suction, Breast Augumentation, Skin lightening and others I cringe just to read. The truth is some celebrities and TV personalities have no reservations sharing about their multiple surgeries to preserve their “youthful” appearance.

Until recently, I have never heard of individual false eyelashes which are being offered at eyelash salons. Costs vary depending on the salon’s location but estimated to be $120 to $300. I understand individual false eyelashes need to be replaced about every two weeks or until they begin to fall off.

More power to the bare-faced pageant contestant and may she inspire millions of young girls and their parents to be proud and to be comfortable with their natural look.

Aloha -- Cathi

Sunday, August 21, 2022

7 Purchases Retirees Often Regret - AARP Article

Aloha Everyone,

This is an interesting AARP magazine article by Donna Fuscaldo

Some of us make a bucket list of travel destinations when we retire. Others make a bucket list of things to purchase.

1.  Boat
2.  Resort Living
3.  Recreational vehicles
4.  Dream House
5.  Giving to Adult Children
6.  Time Share
7.  Fancy Cars

As you know, the two of us sold our home in Hawaii and purchased a recreational vehicle (Honu) when we retired. For the past 8 years, this move made sense and worked out well.

David & Vicki, very good friends of ours, purchased a sailboat. David, an experienced sailor and his wife have sailed along the costal waters of the Atlantic Ocean, visited Caribbean islands, through Panama Canal and ventured to Portuguese and Spanish coasts. They have great sea adventures planned for the remainder of 2022 and beyond.

Here is a link to the article:

Aloha -- Cathi

Saturday, August 20, 2022

Private Label Brands

Aloha Everyone,

Walmart, the biggest retail chain in the world has market domination selling apparel, shoes, home furnishings, appliances, electronics, household goods, groceries, personal care, pharmaceuticals and more. 

Walmart has two of the top five private label brands. They are Great Value brand purchased by 72.7% of US customers and Equate, purchased by 51% of US customers.

The Kroger Company had 60% of its private brands produced by third parties. Simple Truth is Krogers’ private label.

Some consumers shy away from private labels while others are attracted to them. For example, Costco’s private label, Kirkland is known for their consistent quality and lower pricing.

Personally, I prefer familiar products for personal care items such as Vicks and Vaseline. However I would be more flexible with household cleaning supplies, towels and office supplies, provided that their qualities are comparable to better known brands. Many households are feeling effects of the current economic conditions and switching to store brands and purchasing in bulk are one way to stretch the family budget.

Aloha -- Cathi

Friday, August 19, 2022

Second Shingles Vaccine

Aloha Everyone,

We were cautioned that usually after the second shingles vaccine, one might have a slight fever, overall body aches and pain.

After answering routine questions, we each paid $186.91 and the pharmacist administered the vaccine. No immediate reaction but after our lunch, J.J. and I both felt lethargic with overall body aches. Fortunately, I only had to take one Tylenol tablet and went to bed for a nap with no further pains or discomfort.

We each received four packages of BINAXNOW COVID-19 Home Test Kit. Each box contains two.They are issued by Medicare and individual boxes have printed labels with for example, my name, my address, DOB. Cash value stamped states $79.52 each with a notation, patient pays $0.00.

The pharmacist actually came over to talk to us to inquire if we have any questions regarding their usage. Receiving these 8 boxes of test kits for the two of us was totally unexpected.

Aloha -- Cathi

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Watercolors & Etchings

Aloha Everyone,

Post cataract questions from our family and friends are: “Are you able to see better?” “Can you see noticeable improvement from pre-operation to post operation?”

The simplest way to describe is that my overall vision has definitely improved. With both eyes open, the colors are brighter and I can discern further in distance. But details, especially with my right eye only appears blended like watercolor paintings. In comparison, seeing just with my left eye is that colors and details are focused and chiseled like etchings.

Hopefully, using iPhone photo editing features, I was able to share with you.

Aloha -- Cathi

Friday, August 12, 2022

First PostOp Appointment

Aloha Everyone,

According to my ophthalmologist, my cataract surgery went very well. Had my next day follow-up exam this morning and so far so good.

Keeping myself busy with 10 eye drops daily regiment for the first week. No pain, no discomfort.

Aloha -- Cathi

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Surgery Day

Aloha Everyone,

Thank you so much for those of you who assured me that cataract surgery is no big deal. It is a procedure that would be over before you know it. 

Prep nurses, surgical nurses were all caring and attentive. In preparation, IV was placed in my right arm, and steady eye drops from 4 different bottles were administered. 

One of our friends had mentioned to me that his wife had a psychedelic light show during one of her cataract surgeries adding this phenomena apparently happens for about 10 or 20 percent of the patients.

It was incredible. When I described it to J.J., he thought what I have seen sounds like  a photographer could achieve using mirror telephoto lens. Subject at a distance is sharply focused but area surroundings look full of bright colors in different sizes moving in circular motions.

Vita, another good friend, explained this way, “I think the light show may be caused by swelling or pressure resulting in  firing of the retina receptors.” It was truly mesmerizing and the colorful effects ended when my surgery was over.

Aloha -- Cathi

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

A Satisfying Day

Aloha Everyone,

This was a satisfying day for us. We were able to accomplish 3 out of 3 things we had planned to do today. 

The self car wash place J.J. takes Honu is always popular. They only have 7 washing stalls and one of them is currently under renovation. It was a matter of luck we found an empty stall.

Sprouts Supermarket is always enjoyable. Aside from our weekly treats of made-to-order sandwiches, a large bag of Canadian cherries are a welcome addition.

Even with the ESA hotel management team pitching in to clean rooms to prepare for new arrivals, cleaning our room was delayed  by 4 days. As with so many things today, lack of staff .was to blame. When a housekeeper finally knocked on our door, we gladly vacated our room so she could do her work.

Unexpected surprise was delivery of homegrown figs by my sister. She generously shared some of the fruits which was given to her by her good friend.

Aloha -- Cathi

Monday, August 8, 2022

Started my 3-days Eye Drops Regiment

Aloha Everyone

Following the chart, I began my eye-drops regiments.  One medication is one drop 4 times a day and the second one, twice a day.

I do this for three days prior to my first cataract surgery on Thursday, August 11th.

In order to obtain maximum results, I give a 10 minutes rest in between 2 different eye drops. 

Hallelujah by Taylor Davis’s violin rendition is beautiful, peaceful and has a calming effect on me while I wait for eye drops to do their work.

Hallelujah (Violin & Piano Cover) - Taylor Davis & Lara de Wit

Aloha -- Cathi

Sunday, August 7, 2022

Don’t Give Online Review of your Accommodation Until You’ve Checked Out

Aloha Everyone,

This is a true story about Susan Leger and her six-year-old granddaughter. They were kicked out of their pre-paid hotel at Baymont Inn & Suites in Helen, Georgia. The reason given by the proprietor is a negative review she wrote about the hotel. Apparently, it is legal in Georgia to throw out guests the proprietor doesn’t like. This was in the middle of the night.

Lesson learned is never give an online review — especially unfavorable ones— on Hotels.con or for that matter any booking services until you are clear out of the premise. Some hotel owners have also sued because of a bad review.

Aloha -- Cathi

Saturday, August 6, 2022

Does Your Name Define Who You Are?

Aloha Everyone,

Names are not just random labels. Shakespeare, in Romeo and Juliet wrote, “What’s in a name that which we call rose. By any other name would smell as sweet.”

So why do teachers tend to favor names such as John, Paul, Michael,  Michelle, Jane, Alice over Sigmoid, Stewart, Melvin, Sophia, Ashley and Lorraine? What’s popular today maybe least favored the following year.

People name their offsprings after their family members, favorite writer, hero or heroine in a book. There are books and websites that lists baby’s names in the US and UK.  

Whenever I meet a person with an unusual name, I ask its meaning and origin.

Shakara, who works for Extended Stay America, thought her name is Nigerian origin but she had no idea as to its meaning. I googled it. Shakara is of Arabic origin and it means a woman who is thankful to God for everything. During the 11th and 12th centuries, Arabic traders followed established trade routes to Africa and some settled in Nigeria.

Aloha -- Cathi

Friday, August 5, 2022

Cracker Barrel’s New Menu Controversy

Aloha Everyone,

Whenever we were on a road, the two of us enjoyed stopping at a Cracker Barrel Country Store. J.J. always orders from their popular breakfast menu which includes two sausages, eggs, hash browns and sides of apple sauce plus choices of breakfast muffin or corn bread. The breakfast menu is available all day. People go to Cracker Barrel not to eat healthy food, but hearty old-fashioned home style food.

Their new breakfast menu has plant based sausages. This is an outrage to their old, established customers including J.J.

Read in TheStreet:

Aloha -- Cathi

Thursday, August 4, 2022

My PreOP Appointment

Aloha Everyone,

Pre-OP appointment scheduled at 9:00 am took a total of 75 minutes. Anticipating check-in delays, J.J. took me early.  Medical technician was cheerful and efficient, but she seems overworked due to staff shortages.

More lab works required for my cataract surgery. I was given an EKG as well. 

In the afternoon, we had a gathering at my sister’s house. The occasion was to celebrate my late Mother’s birthday with cake, food and happy memories, joined by my niece and her 4 sons.

Aloha -- Cathi

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Millions of People Followed Nancy Pelosi

Aloha Everyone,

A friend of ours tracks our flight whenever we travel.  hus he often knows that our flight from an European airport will be delayed even before we have the information.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s flight to Taiwan was tracked by more than 700,000 people via Flightradar24. Due to the unexpectedly large number of people, the company had to set up a waiting room to prevent the site from crashing.

Additionally, it has been reported that over 16 million watched on Weibo, a popular Chinese social media platform.

Aloha -- Cathi

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Diagnostic Imaging Appointments

Aloha Everyone,

I was ready for today’s back-to-back appointments at the same Diagnostic Imaging lab. The last minutes change of time and one of the places made it a little complicated. Still managed to get my morning walk done before taking shower and getting ready.

During my 30 minutes wait, I found out the reason for the last minutes time & venue change was a need of sufficient time for installation of a new 3D imaging machine for mammogram. Yikes, I was tortured by one of the old-fashion instrument which I haven’t seen for the past 10 years. 

Bone Density appointment took more time for questionings and only 5-7 minutes of actual testing. Do I smoke or drink, have I ever smoked or drank? With my emphatic “No!” response, the technician focused on taking my bone density measurements. As I jumped off the platform, I asked so how’s my result. He turned serious and said after a MD review, only he or she could release the results. I jokingly said because they have Error & Omissions Insurance? He concurred and stated that’s why their charges are high.

Aloha -- Cathi

Monday, August 1, 2022

Good News Amidst Inflationary Times

Aloha Everyone,

We are creatures of habit. J.J. and I purchase generally same or similar products including meat (usually steak or lamb for J.J.), 5-6 different fresh veggies, 5-6 fresh fruits, 3 loaves of healthy bread plus our favorite made to order sandwiches.

The two of us anticipate our weekly grocery bills at Sprouts to increase by 2-5 %.

However there is some good news. According to today’s AARP online news, recently 6 commodities have seen price reduction.  They are:

1.  Gasoline
2.  Steaks
3.  Televisions
4.  Smartphones
5.  Cruise fares
6.  Gold

To read the report, please go to:

Aloha -- Cathi