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Sunday, March 31, 2024

AARP Special Report - Go Inside the Mind of Super Agers

Aloha Everyone,

Today, two of our dear friends are joining the august rank of Octogenarian! As we celebrate their lifetime achievements, both unknown to one another will tell us they are only beginning. What retirement? NEVER!

Each deals with own personal health issues but that is life and means we are still on this planet.

Flipping through an old issues of AARP magazine, with a Special Report on Super Agers. I believe all of us, regardless of our current age, could learn something.

Saturday, March 30, 2024

Exercises to Combat Inactive Rainy Days

Aloha Everyone,

Woke up with rain drops hitting our bedroom window. We had to drop off our income tax documents at H&R Block. The strip mall parking was empty at 10:00 am. In the midst of heavy downpour, J.J. delivered our files.

We then went to purchase takeouts for the next 4 meals. Somehow we managed to hit the peak of rain. Never mind if our walking shoes were getting wet. 20 minutes later, we emerged the Japanese supermarket to bright sun and blue sky.

This went on for most of the day. Not to get defeated by nature, I am getting my exercise in our room practicing one of the most versatile yoga techniques, kapotasana, pigeon pose.

Aloha -- Cathi

Friday, March 29, 2024

Back to Torrance

Aloha Everyone,

Sunny and beautiful travel day. We were slow in getting ready to move. I always think of a Japanese children’s folk song which basically says, “Going is good but the return is frightening...” Not scary, but we were reluctant to leave and prolonged our farewell with souvenir photos and hugs.

J.J. and I have less than a week for our next cruise. We had good intentions of getting many chores completed, but after spending nearly 3 hours on California freeways and Honu to a car wash, we were ready for lunch. At Olive Garden we both enjoyed Shrimp Scampi with linguini. By the time we arrived at ESA (Extended Stay America) our room was ready.

My sister came by to drop off 6 packages of items we had ordered from Walmart.

Aloha -- Cathi

Thursday, March 28, 2024

Back to Drawing Pads

Aloha Everyone,

To motivate me to continue with my practice, whether in drawing or physical exercises, I asked my granddaughter to make a recording of one of her 90 minutes daily flute practice. 

I looked everywhere of her recording which she made for me. I was adamant in my search which was safely stored in Voice Memo folder. Yeah!!!

My granddaughter and I spent about an hour drawing together. We probably spent a total of 3 hours during our stay in La Jolla. Aside from her drawing video animations, my granddaughter is also adept in using Pentel mechanical pencils. She showed me her recent drawings with hands in various positions, full body movements, and some more focused on faces and hairs.

I promised myself that I will work on my drawings with short time limits to discipline myself. It is truly gratifying that my granddaughter and I continue to connect and communicate via art.

Aloha -- Cathi

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Lebanese & Mediterranean Cuisine

Aloha Everyone,

Our family is very fond of Middle Eastern Cuisine. Tonight, J.J. and I were treated to wonderfully delicious takeout from a nearby Lebanese restaurant. Among the dishes all of us enjoyed was Fattoush, a kind of salad made in Arabia including in Lebanon. Tomatoes and pomegranate, pine nuts and walnuts are often used and lamb shanks and chicken may be added to make it a substantial meal.

Tabbouleh is another salad made mostly of chopped parsley with tomatoes, mint and onion seasoned with salt and pepper.

Pita with grilled vegetables, lamb and choices of dips including hummus kept us busy. Strawberries, blueberries and raspberries with our daughter-in-law’s rice crispy dessert kept all of us lingering at the dinner table.

Aloha -- Cathi

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Winter Weather Arrives in Rapid City, SD

Aloha Everyone,

Today’s major weather news is winter weather advisory for the Dakotas, Montana, Wyoming and Utah. Our home away from home, Rapid City is expecting 2 feet of snow in 12 hours. Today’s high is 25 and low of 14 degrees Fahrenheit.  Just thinking about it makes me shiver.

Weather here is 57 degrees and rain is expected today. It is currently sunny and I am wearing double layers of top and bottom.

J.J. and I feel truly blessed with mostly great weather we enjoyed during our round trip to South Dakota.

Aloha -- Cathi

Saturday, March 23, 2024

Introduction to Computer Animation

Aloha Everyone,

Animation is a filmmaking technique by which still images are manipulated to create  moving images. In traditional animation, images are drawn or painted by hand on transparent celluloid sheets (cels) to be photographed and exhibited on film. Animation has been recognized as an artistic medium, specifically within the entertainment industry. Many animations are computer animations made with computer-generated imagery (CGI) that is popular and accessible to anyone who has a iPad, apps and simple tools that are affordable.

Felix the Cat was created in 1919 by Pat Sullivan and Otto Messmer during the silent film era. Felix the Cat was the first full animated character in the American film history of animation.

My granddaughter and I have been drawing pencil sketches.Today, she suggested that we try animation. What looks like a simple animated movement, she told me that it took her 2 hours. Starting from a paper storyboard, I will challenge myself to getting a simple ball bounce across a page.

Aloha -- Cathi

Friday, March 22, 2024

Food on the Go & Home Prepared Meals

Aloha Everyone,

Compared to breakfast on the go and being back at a home base, my breakfast plates are a lot more interesting and healthy. For example, I can have an assortment of salad, fried egg, cottage cheese, etc at home base.

Today, we had homemade Quiche for lunch, ground turkey and an assortment of fresh vegetable tacos for dinner. Now, I have to be more conscious about carbs, protein and glucose counts. While I do not need to reduce my weight, I should be cognizant of how much gluten I am consuming.

Aloha -- Cathi

Thursday, March 21, 2024

New Walking Shoes

Aloha Everyone,

J.J. and I purchased new walking shoes. He is a creature of habits. Once J.J. finds shoes that are comfortable, the colors and style are less important.

I found exact same shoes I am currently wearing. I wanted with similar fitting in different color. It took us about 30 minutes to make our purchases.

J.J. got another pair of New Balance very close to his previous shoes. 

Mine is rykä, promoted as made for women. Mohammad Usman DPM, a pediatric surgery specialist in Chicago, IL chose rykä as her top choice for older adult female for 2024. Primarily because as we age, we are more prone to experience elevated discomfort, pain and a range of foot-related issues. Also according to UCKA Health, they include blisters, bunions, tightness, cramps, heel pain and arthritis.

As an older adult, I certainly would like to prevent injuries, such as ankle fractures, plantar fasciitis, shin splints and potential falling.

I wore my new pair this morning and looking forward to see how effective they are in helping me with my walking.

Aloha -- Cathi

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Getting Motivated to Practice

Aloha Everyone,

Feeling relax at a familiar place, I slept well. In the morning, I went walking with my son. Three layers of top and a scarf around my neck to keep me warm, but he was comfortable with just t-shirt and shorts.

In the 5 months since we last saw each other, our granddaughter has made enormous improvements in her flute and art. She has been studying Tang Soo Do since she was in kindergarten. She started her flute when she was in the first grade. Her current teacher with whom she has been studying for nearly  3 years is helping her to reach another level.

Higher expectations, more challenging pieces and the required practice of 1 & 1/2 hrs a day, in addition to all her school work, requires great time management. 

Our granddaughter is competitive, but she also says that “I have no plan on pursuing Tang Soo Do or flute. Once I go to college, I will have wider opportunities to consider.

It will be a totally different world when she graduates. Who knows what field she might go into. But watching her manage her time, she motivates me to practice some of my interests.

Today, I walked 14,045 steps or 5.7 miles. But a smarter way to manage my day is to set aside time for my drawings, studying Korean and Japanese with my daughter-in-law, and strengthening exercises for my body.

Aloha -- Cathi

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Back to LaJolla, CA

Aloha Everyone,

There is definitely a change of pace driving in California. Freeways have much more lanes and heavier traffic. We also saw more highway patrols. The two of us were expected in La Jolla for lunch. But less than 200 miles distance, it took us nearly 5 hours.

The two of us were travelled fatigued. After a quick lunch, J.J. and I washed our clothes then took a nap. 

So when I went walking in the neighborhood with our son, my daughter-in-law was surprised that I even did a couple of laps within our compound. I deduced that my stiff right shoulder comes from holding onto Honu’s safety handle as well as my safety belt which wouldn’t work unless the airbag is activated. I will try and see if compression sleeves would help me alleviate stiffness.

Wonderful to see our family. Birthday cake to celebrate J.J.’s birthday with turkey, tofu and assortment of veggies and fruits.

Aloha -- Cathi

Monday, March 18, 2024

From St George, UT to Hesperus, CA

Aloha Everyone,

Happy Birthday Dearest Husband!

The Virgin River Gorge, located between St George, UT and Beaver Dam, AZ is a canyon in the Northwest of Arizona. This morning it took us about 15-20 minutes to cross the narrow I-15 corridor. Going from East to West direction, perfect, ideal lighting in capturing this scenic section.

I asked J.J. what would he like for his birthday lunch. The two of us remembered a couple of Chinese Dim Sum places in Las Vegas. It took us more than an hour to find the first place. First one had closed and currently it was a restaurant serving different type of cuisine. The second place did not open until 11:30 am. To kill our time, we walked around the large parking area getting some exercise.

Our hotel tonight was Sure Stay Plus Hotel in Hesperia. Hotels in this area were fully booked. J.J. thought it might be due to spring break or some other event in the area.

Today we drove another 350 miles or a total of 9 hours on the road including stops. There’s no interesting restaurants nearby. Fortunately, we had sufficient leftovers for dinner.

Aloha -- Cathi