Tuesday, November 29, 2011

For the love of Christmas

Today my love for Christmas was rekindled. In the past I would pack up the whole house so I could put out all my Christmas decorations. Thinking about it now,  it was like having a life size doll house to change over. I know my daughter and son both feel scared by how cluttered the house would look  at Christmas with Santa staring at you from every corner. My ex got more Grinch like every year until he was down right nasty. So for the past few years with everyone yelling at me not to decorate, I stopped. Always made me sad because when you unpack the ornaments or Santa, the memories of when and why you got it come back. During the purge of my house a few months ago, the Christmas boxes got over looked so where not sold off.
With the holidays now here and the staff party is at my building, I finally get to decorate again! It's wonderful to see the smiles on people's faces when they walk in. The best part was, I asked a friend if he would pick up a tree for me since I was running out of time (tree had to be up by Thursday for the tree trimming party) and trust me, this is not a favorite activity for him. It was fun to joke and debate the pros and cons of real and fake trees.  For the first time in many years it was nice to feel the happiness and warmth of being with people who enjoyed the process (maybe not as much as me) of getting ready for the holidays.  Yes, I'm a real tree kind of person and I did learn it's best if only one person goes out and gets the tree. :)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Is Hawaii in my future?

Related Posts with ThumbnailsIf you follow my blog a while back I posted if I lost all the weight the doctor wanted me to lose, I would go to Hawaii. Well good news is that I've lost all the weight and more (over 50 pounds in two years) The bad news is that I'm also in the process of getting divorce so money is and will be tight. I put the idea of going to Hawaii on the back burner.
Today, someone I didn't know before offered me a week stay in their condo on Maui. I know it's my mom's spirit pushing me to go, but Hawaii is a place for honeymooners, not single people. I went there for my honeymoon over 30 years ago (boy that makes me feel old) and if I was still married, I wouldn't hesitate. The condo lani is right on the water and I will see the whales breaching without even having to get out of bed.  It's not that I won't travel alone, but Hawaii is a couples vacation spot IMO. There are some hiking trails I would like to try but again it's more fun to hike with a buddy.  It's not everyday you get an offer like this. So what should I do? Go on the trip alone or give it up to a charity to auction off?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Driver License

I haven't been around a scale since we put our house on the market a few weeks ago.  To my surprise this morning I lost another 10 pounds. I'm not actively trying to lose weight but with the all the packing and moving boxes everyday and not remembering to eat the pounds are dropping off. Guess having no free time and not being a fast food eater and getting divorced must be the ticket. 
I'm now only 10 pounds away from what's on my driver's license.  I was wondering if anyone else has never changed their weight on their license thinking they would get back to it someday. ;)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Knee Squats

Related Posts with ThumbnailsWith all the moving and packing up of the house I haven't had the time to do all the physical therapy on my knee. After the run in with Annie and her friend Tasha my right leg has been very weak after coming out of the leg brace.  I have NO muscle strength anymore and it has caused a lot of problems all the way around. Moving and lifting so many things everyday my back is starting to complain big time.
One of the good things about working at the Wellness Center is all the various treatments available. One of the massage therapist is also a personnel trainer so I asked him for some pointers on what to do. 
Here's George doing a demo for me with the help from Annie. Now there is no way I can get the low yet but my goal is I will some day. I will start out slow and only do 15 squats a day and then add some other strength exercises.
Annie on the other hand is in tip top shape. Getting to playing almost non stop all day, she is one fit puppy.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Packing more boxes

Related Posts with ThumbnailsIt's been months now that I've been purging, packing boxes and moving things and there is no end in sight either. I'm just exhausted from having to wake up every morning at 5:00 to pack something up and move it to where ever it needs to go before going to work, only to come home at night to more packing and moving. So wish Annie and I could be moving to our permanent home or at least one we come stay at for while.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Chef Alan Wong - The Blue Tomato"

Lisa, Arnold, Robin,Linda, Chef, Sandy

Group photo of us at the Chef Alan Wong book signing.
Guess which one is Chef?
On my serving plate.
Was a super fun event and the food was wonderful! 
Chef Alan's cookbook is very nice too.  I still have to try some of the recipes but I think it would be better if I went to Hawaii instead. :)  Could use some R&R.

Update on the sale of my house

Update on the sale of my house. We had 13 offers, almost all of them over the asking price. As sad as it is to lose my house, I'm thankful for the fast sale. The family moving in have young children so it will be nice to know the house will once again be filled with laughter and the energy only children can bring to a place.
I'm still in search for a place Annie and I can live together, so if you hear of anything let me know. As bad as it is going through a divorce there are some positive things too. So here is my list of positives.
1) No more $$$$ mortgage payments to worry about.
2) I can now fit into a size 4 pair of jeans. I can't sit in them but I can get them on. Last year I was wearing size 14. No, I didn't buy the size 4 jeans, I still like to be able to sit down. :)
3) Annie's foster parents are still wonderful and Annie loves them.
4) Getting a good routine down in the kitchen at work so I can plan out my meals better.
5) At the end of this week, I can start to get rid of all the things kept for staging the house.
6) Thankful for friends who drop off chocolate to help cheer me up.
7) Big thank you to the family buying my house and for the nice clean offer they made.

Cooking Pot Roast is the best

Pot Roast!
My day starts super early, around 5:00 am.  Not that I'm a morning person but my life just turned out that way. Having to make sure Annie gets her workout before she eats sets the schedule. Amazing all the stuff you can get done that early in the morning.
One big advantage I have at work is that I have access to a  commercial kitchen. I can start my dinner in a slower cooker and work while my dinner is cooking. It also makes the building smell super good. I find that is a major stress reducer.
Someone waiting for her friends to show up and play
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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Buttons to Billionaires

If you read my blog you know a lot about me. The most important thing is the written word is not one of my strong point but I force myself to keep posting, mistakes and all. You also know I work for the Yu Ai Kai Senior Center and run the Akiyama Wellness Center which is part of the YAK.
As with any non profit group we are always in search of money to help support our core programs and support the staff to keep those programs running. To show the range of people I interact with, two things happened this month. At a recent staff meeting our lunch program coordinator told us that someone paid for the lunch with buttons taped in the lunch money envelop. Our lunch program is free (suggested donation is $2.50) and you only have to fill out a form. It shows us a trend of seniors who are in need who don't want anyone else to know they are in need. Since we can't track this person down, we can not help them and this has us concerned.  Now on the flip side we are a private senior center (meaning we are not part of any city or federal government program) so we must raise all our operating expenses through grants, fundraising and donations from donors. At one of our donor appreciation nights, I met a billionaire.  There are a lot of millionaires around here, but I've never met a billionaire. I had a nice little chat with him and his wife about the programs we run here. At the time, I didn't know they were in the "B" league.  What impressed me most was what a cute couple they were.  Not Hollywood glamour cute but two people who are devoted to each other. Not only are they generous with their support to our agency but they are truly interested in the welfare of others. Nice people all the way around.
I never know if I will have buttons or billionaires walking through my doors and that is what makes this job so interesting.

Friday, November 11, 2011


Related Posts with ThumbnailsI do like sweets but with all that is going on in my life right now I don't really eat a whole lot of anything anymore. One way to lose 50 pounds in a hurry.
Last night was our donor appreciation event at work. One of the donors (thank you boy toy 1) ordered a dozen of each of the "bundtinis" flavors "Nothing Bundt Cakes" carries. It was a bundt cake fest last night. Pumpkin spice is the seasonal cake of the month and is pretty good. I think more sampling is needed to be sure. 
There were a few leftover this morning so I made the sacrifice and ate a few.  Now I'm in a sugar coma and looking for a place to take a nap.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

How to handle stress - the Buddha's Triangle treatment

Working at the Akiyama Wellness Center is not your typical work place. Today was a "how to reduce my stress" day after my melt down last night. So with apple confit cooking away in the kitchen making the whole building smell of baked cinnamon apples (yes it smelled super good) I asked if acupuncture could help with stress reduction.  Well, did you know there are two types of stress?  Angry stress or depression stress, both are treated differently.  I had to think about it because going through a divorce you bounce back and forth it's a tough call. I went with the depressed stress treatment since I'm sad to be losing my house.  She did what is called "Buddha's Triangle" to help get my good feelings back into my heart.  I also had a few needles put in my forehead to help get a better night's sleep. Now that hurt a little since you can't frown or really move your face muscles while the needles are in.  I have to have all my treatments sitting up at the front desk since I run the building and don't have the time to lay down. Moving is not a good thing when having acupuncture done but I have no choice.  After all that I had a nice steak for lunch which helps with my low level iron issues and some very tasty apple confit.  So we will see how it goes tonight.

Help Beat the Blues

Related Posts with ThumbnailsI always thought I was a stress eater but after losing close to 50 pounds in two years, I've found out I overeat when I'm bored.  With all the stress and work of getting divorced, I've had little time to be bored.  I had a little melt down last night as we get one step closer to selling the house. I'm really sad to lose the house that I love so much. My listing agent is great and as she hugged me during the melt down she said "be strong and stay positive so you can attract more positive energy to you." Kathy is very wise.
Good smells coming from the kitchen always put me in a good mood, even if I'm not hungry. One major advantage I have is that I have a commercial kitchen at work.  So early this morning I fired up the crock pot to make some apple confit - really a fancy name for apple sauce.  Not so much that I plan to eat it but is sure smells good.

To follow the lead of my buddy Toni here are some things I'm thankful for today.

1) Great kitchen to cook in now that I can't at home.
2) Happy puppy at my side waiting patiently for someone to throw her tennis ball.
3) Nice warm bagel being delivered any minute from a good friend.
4) Triple berry scone with my triple chocolate mocha this morning.
5) All my skinny jeans are now too big for me along with the rest of my clothes.
6) To my buddies who know when to call and check in to make sure I'm still moving forward.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Words of Wisdom

Related Posts with Thumbnails"Just as a cautious businessman avoids investing all his capital in one concern, so wisdom would probably admonish us also not to anticipate all our happiness from one quarter alone."
Sigmund Freud
 "A succinct corrolary to Freud's wordy observation is "Expectation is the mother of disappointment." When we expect too much happiness from one part of our lives (a person, a career, marriage, parenthood, material items), that one part is destined to disappoint us. Life is far too rich and diverse and ever-changing to allow for this sort of narrow anticipation.

Plus, when we suffer the extreme disappointment that follows extreme expectation, we might grow bitter and angry. I have known several people whose bitterness and anger made me wonder what sort of disappointment they had suffered, what kind of happiness they had anticipated and failed to receive."

Saw this on Susan's blog "Simplicity" and it rang true to what is happening in my life and to my soon to be ex.  A good friend gave me a "man's" point of view on what is happening with my ex.  He put all his hopes and dreams in one area and when it crashed and burned how it manifested in his reaction isn't always predictable or the best solution. In my ex's case it was thinking another women would make him happy. Yes, I now hope this solution will work for him because his angry and bitterness is taking it's toll on both of us.

For me, I'm past the angry and the hurt.  Still dealing with the sadness of losing everything, including a relationship of  33 plus years but I know it's part of the spiritual death process and I have to keep moving toward the positive light that is ahead of me.  Yes, women handle it differently.  There are many new things ahead of me as scary as it is to start over at 54, I'm excited to forge ahead with Annie wagging her tail at my side.

I'm thankful for:
  • My friends being there for support 24/7
  • The great foster family that is taking care of Annie for me at night.
  • A job that supports me both financially but more importantly supports me emotionally and offer me a safe quiet place to be me.
  • A good cup of double chocolate mocha - my new go to stress deduction fuel.
  • To the new home that is in my future.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Cup of Tea with my friends

Some of my best friends live thousands of miles away. Without the support from all my buddies far and near I would have never made it this far with my divorce. My house went on the MLS today and I hope for a quick sale. It's super hard to lose the house that I remodeled for our retirement. So today I decided to have to cup of tea (Earl Grey is a favorite of one of my buddies) with those far away who I know are sending me positive thoughts.  Looking forward to when Annie and I can go home together to a peaceful and safe place all our own.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

One lucky dog

Related Posts with ThumbnailsAnnie had another great day with non stop tennis ball throwing and to top it all off, her dinner was made by the cooking staff of Chef Alan Wong.  Chef Wong was the one throwing the tennis ball for Annie. :)  Don't know too many dogs who can say a famous chef made her a chicken dinner.  I do have to say Annie ate it in record time! 
I just had leftover pie.  Way too tired to eat anything else. I will be attempting to make the Japanese pasta and clams on Friday. Decided Fridays would be food fest day here since I've been hanging out with so many chefs and there is always a big crew of people here to help eat it.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Guess what I had for lunch today?

Twice Cooked Kalbi Short Ribs
Today was a total food stuff day.  Chef Alan Wong was here at Akiyama Wellness Center doing a food demo and book signing of his new cookbook " The Blue Tomatoes".  Author and food historian Arnold Hiura is also here with his book "Kau Kau". This was a wonderful event.  Tickets are still avaiable for the evening event at Hukilau Resturant if you feel like eating some super great food.

Sashimi Stack
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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Chef Alan Wong in the house!

Related Posts with ThumbnailsCelebrity Chef Alan Wong from Hawaii will be at Akiyama Wellness Center on Wednesday for his "Taste of Hawai'i" tour.  There will be cooking demos, tastings from his new cookbook and book signing.  From what is in the kitchen now it's going to be super good. Tonight was the prepping of the rooms and kitchen. I had Annie with me so she entertained the chefs and their staff. I have one exhausted puppy at my desk right now.  It was a very good day for Annie.  Almost non stop tennis ball throwing and stick toss.