Tuesday, March 29, 2016


I must provide a new caveat for The Awkward Widow site.

In recent weeks I've had some lewd "comments" posted on this blog.  Who has time to do this nonsense?  If you have gross sexual links to share, I'm sure there is a group or blog just for you and yours.

So I have set my page to allow me to review ANY and ALL comments before they are published.  Sorry to have to do this but I'd hate any of my readers to have to be exposed to such depravity.

EVERYONE should do this!  And it's very easy to do.  Thanks to my blogger friends who shared this control with me!

Saturday, March 26, 2016


Thursday was an extraordinary volunteer day.  Happy.  Anxious.  Scary.  Friendly.  Hopeful.  Exhausting.  Fulfilling.

At 5:45 am I met Gunta.  She needed a companion to travel with her to Oahu for a medical procedure.  A lung biopsy.  She is a very YOUNG 78 year old widow from Latvia.  She lost her hubby 5 years ago.  Three stepchildren who live on the mainland, she is close to just one.  Starting in January this year, she has been slammed with health scares, beginning with pancreatitis.  While determining this problem, enduring scans and xrays and all sorts of tests .... doctors discovered a mysterious mass on her left lung.

Kaiser Medical flew us both to Oahu at 8am where we caught a 15 minute shuttle to the hospital.  Her biopsy was scheduled for 10:15 am ... and was delayed over and over again until 1:30 pm.  I was finally allowed back to visit about 11:30 am while she was waiting.  She's so chatty and interesting.  Her family had to flee Latvia when she was 5 years old because the Germans took over her village.  They had to find a sponsor in the USA to "accept" them ... and her parents were indentured for a YEAR for this opportunity.  I learned once again how lucky I have been.
She is so brave.  Apparently they do not put you out as you have to hold your breath and be aware of sensations.  UGH!  They let me back to visit as she was waking up.  We were scheduled for a 5pm flight home to Maui ... but since the surgery was so much later, no way could we make that. Finally at 4pm, her vitals were steady enough to allow her to get dressed.  I went back to the waiting room.

The upside to spending so much time at a place where there is NOTHING to do, I got a lot of computer work done.  The hospital has free wifi and the waiting room had three separate office cubbies complete with electric outlets.  I finished up the condo newsletter.  Wrote some additions to Maui HOA documents.  Caught up on email, online games with friends, etc.

Suddenly my leisure was interrupted by a nurse telling me Gunta had an "episode" and was being rushed to the ER.  I hobbled along behind them as fast as my body would allow, thanking my lucky stars that I brought my cane.  

Different doctors, different nurses and I helped her recount her day for them.  They had rescheduled our return on an 8:30 pm flight but all of them were pessimistic about catching that.  She was so worried about me but I was more worried about her.  She wanted me to leave without her but I just couldn't do it.  

They did another xray to be sure air hadn't leaked out of her lung or complications around the wound.  We both made a pact to be optimistic!  Finally we got to check out at 7:15 pm, took a taxi to the airport and arrived with time to spare.

The cab driver was also interesting.  Just moved to Oahu 8 months ago from Wichita, Kansas.  One child is a successful timeshare salesperson, married, living in a $6,000/month apartment in downtown Honolulu.  One daughter has her Doctorate in Culinary Art.  One son is a past contestant on American Idol who now travels the world opening for big name stars like Lady Gaga.  Sorry I can't remember the other daughter but she too was a success.

(Von Smith)

I tried to talk Gunta into spending the night with me as she has FORTY THREE stairs to climb to get into her home.  Stubborn little lady.  But she promised to call me the next day so I would know she is alive.  She said she felt like a horse kicked her in the side, but doing okay.

What a day!

Friday, March 25, 2016


I cannot even believe it.

Finally I met a friend who wants to go walking!  About three weeks ago, we set a date to start with a 20 minute walk, twice a week.  We were both excited!  We are the same age-ish, same degree of out of shapeness and about the same number of  pounds overweight.  PERFECT!  She works and will stop by before she hits home so she is not tempted to skip.

The first walkie talkie date was RAINED OUT!  And it rarely rains in Kihei (average is 9 inches per year!)  The second date was also rained out.  The third date was 30 mph winds.  Same with the fourth date.

Then I had the stomach flu.  We decided to join a gym so if we EVER have inclement weather again, we will use the treadmills.  She had today off work so we met for lunch at a restaurant she had never been to.  It is fabulous food, service and ambiance, Monkeypod.  We lingered for two hours!  

Next, we headed to the gym!  My health insurance contributes to preventative health so it would only cost me $100 a year!  When I entered the parking lot, I was a met with barricades and security guards ... it is our monthly outdoor street fair (in a huge parking lot).   We promised we would only be 15 minutes and he gave us a break.

FINALLY!  We entered The Powerhouse Gym ... only to be told to come back next week.  All the managers were away for a wedding.  Can we possibly overcome any more roadblocks???

Red wine and potato chips tonight!

Thursday, March 17, 2016


I hope you remembered to wear green and add an O' to your last name!  It's St. Patrick's Day!
Today I woke up with the luck of the Irish.  Full of energy and no pain! That is such a crazy good feeling.  I've had a stomach bug for several long days (I get those several times a year) but at least it wasn't the flu.  Which many people on the island are getting ... 

I've found a buddy from my volunteer driving.  I've driven her three or four times and we just hit it off.  She's 84, widowed for 3 years and is a stitch.  She's a long time island lady with over 600 relatives in Hawaii.  I'm learning history and traditions and the best brand of poi.   

She lives only five minutes away and just loves getting out, even for just an hour.   My plan is to continue to take her to doctor appointments, but also call her once in awhile and maybe go out once a week.  Drive by the beach ... shop in a different part of the island ... go out for lunch.  Whatever strikes her fancy!

You just never know when you'll meet a friend.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016


UGH!  I do hate tax time.  It's so time consuming and stressful ... and I know I don't cheat but gosh!  Why does it have to be so much work!  

Just in time to cheer me up, my new mini office was installed yesterday.  I think it will be a cozy serene place to do any office work.

"BEFORE"  The poor pitiful corner

This desk had a pull out drawer for a keyboard but nowhere to put the chair, except up against the wall.

"AFTER" nice clean and serene

It took three guys over three hours to install this work of art.  They closed the bedroom door while they worked (sawing and drilling and vacuuming) and because the owner told them to surprise me!

She stopped over later in the day to look at the finished project ... and we BOTH agreed we love it!  Today I staged it for a photo for her to add to her project binder.

The glam shot .... 

Now ... to get rid of most of the artsy things and put my reality in its place.  The baskets used to be in my closet and contain mailing things.  All of them need sorting and reorganizing.  Things to do on a rainy day ....

Thursday, March 3, 2016


This morning I was chatting with my sister.  She is honestly my BEST friend.  We don't talk every day but usually a text or an email.  I need to make an effort to phone more!  Just her voice cheers me up.

Both of us have the entertaining gene, she more than me.  Today we discovered we both now prefer SMALL intimate groups.  Husbands both loved having as many people as possible.  For many years, both of us supported these big parties.   Since I am now alone, I get to do all the planning.  Her hubs is turning 60 so she is attempting to slow him down.  (But, since he likes bigger, she's doing his surprise party bigger!)

I find that in the past I was just the hostess.  Making sure the food and drinks were restocked, trash picked up, checking that everyone was having fun.  Now I can be a guest!  I like to have conversations.  Exchange ideas (totally avoid politics these days). It's kind of like the saying above.

Four quarters for me.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016


Yes.  Life in paradise does have its pitfalls.  And they all happened this past week.

Maui Centipede

This handsome creature was on my bed the other night.  I'm surprised I didn't scream out loud!  I pay Terminix every quarter to keep my house and garage pest free.  EW!  So yes, I smacked him with my shoe and then had to change the sheets before I could get to sleep.  Also had to take a sleeping pill that night.

sprinkler system broken part

Saturday morning when I went to enjoy coffee on the lanai, I noticed the drip system was watering the plants.  Usually this happens around 6pm every day.  Being the confident homeowner that I am, I went to the controls to turn off the system.  Sprinklers still on.  My next door neighbors weren't home so I called a guy that I kind of know who lives further away.  I just needed the water to the sprinklers turned off until Monday when I could call a professional.

Of course, being a MAN ... he just thought he would fix it for me.  He sent me to the closest nursery to get a diaphragm and a solenoid.  Naturally they don't sell them separately any more so I bought the whole valve system ($25).  My sprinkler system was installed just three years ago but the new pieces are not quite the right size.  Matt had to go work and sent me to Home Depot ($18).  Ugh I hate that place.  After asking for help 3-4 times, finally a nice senior man helped me ... but also had to sell me the whole valve.

Since the water was off, I decided not to bug Matt to come back and would wait to call a service on Monday.  But he called me and came over Sunday morning.  I got tired of listening to the technical talk but he cannibalized the Home Depot part and got what he needed.  He wouldn't let me toss the rest of it ... just in case!  Now I can return the nursery one and get my money back.  All he needed was the solenoid.

I can't do it today because I am waiting for Terminix to come spray my house.  Yesterday I saw this ...

Maui Scorpion

Paradise does have a few icky parts ...