Thursday, April 28, 2016

WHO'S WATCHING ME?????

Have you ever had the feeling someone was watching you?  

The same car and driver drive past your home at different times of day?  Are people staring ... Do I have spinach in my teeth?  Did my pants split in the back?  Do they think this fat girl should not be eating french fries?  All of these are true.

So this morning I did it.  Again.  I rejoined Weight Watchers.  The 7:30 am meeting ... and I arrived early to fill out all the paperwork....after picking up a grande coffee to drink AFTER the weigh in.  The meeting was lively (where do they FIND such peppy leaders?).  Some members drove from Lahaina to Kihei (about 45 minutes) and one lady rode her bike from Lahaina.  Here I was moaning about having to get up at 6:30!

I've been on the potato chip and red wine diet since I returned to Maui in November.  It works great if you are trying to GAIN weight.  So now I'm investing in myself.  It is a big job and it will take months of hard work..... this time it has to be a forever plan.  

My sister inspired me with a sweet little card I received a day or two ago .....

Inside caption "And then I thought, maybe this much awesomeness can't possible fit into a smaller size."  Of course, she brought tears to my eyes with "I love you any size ... and you are so much awesomeness".

Here's to sister inspiration and grandson motivation ..


I'll be 64 on Sunday.  I've planned out a reward system for each meeting, pound, 5 pounds and 10 pounds.  A gal who also joined this morning has the same savory and alcohol evening routine so we traded phone numbers.  After dinner is my most difficult time so I may send myself to my room at 8pm to read or watch Netflix.  After I go for a hobble around the neighborhoos!

Monday, April 25, 2016

USPS

Unbelievable.

This morning I got an email from my VISA company confirming I had changed my due date for my payment.  ????  I did no such thing ... at least not on purpose.  I check all my charges and deposits on Mint.com and rarely visit the VISA site.

Today I am feeling spirited so when I couldn't find a way to email my concern, I made the phone call.  Fortunately, Lindsey in Florida didn't have to ask for my credit card number and the last four digits of my SSN after I dutifully typed it in when nicely asked by the mechanical voice.  She said someone changed my mailing address and when I said it wasn't me ... she forwarded me to the Fraud Department.

Tammy, physically located in Denver (in the fraud dept), did a little research and discovered the United States Postal Service computer system told their computer system that I lived in Maui.  I explained that I live both places (lucky me) but I have my mail sent to Oregon.  After a bit of being on hold (the whole call lasted only 30 minutes ... why does it seem so much LONGER ....), she put my old address back in and changed my due date back.

Don't you think you would notify the cardholder BEFORE you changed their address when such information doesn't come from the cardholder?  Often when you use a credit card the little machine asks for the zip code of your billing address.  Imagine my embarrassment if this had happened and I didn't have another credit card?

She tried the old "explain it to elderly lady" routine but I gave her two instances (and I'm sure there are many more) of why I would, and any large corporation should, verify and confirm any personal info change WITH the person whose name is on the account.  I get mail here in Maui addressed to Mr. Ralph's mom, Hazel.  She passed away in 1993 and had never been to Maui.  I also get mail addressed to his ex-wife who also has never visited Maui.

Mission accomplished.  The rest of the day was much more fun!



Saturday, April 23, 2016

EGG FOO YUNG

Maui does not have very many Chinese restaurants.

The only one that people recommend is in Lahaina which is about a 45 minute drive.  I'm much too lazy for that .. unless I'm there for other reasons.  We have lots and lots of other Oriental and other Eastern ethnic foods ... Japan, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and the all inclusive "Asian"  and "Hawaiian" which is anything with teriyaki sauce.

Growing up in Columbus, Ohio most of the Chinese restaurants were really, really Americanized.  We grew up without much money in the early years, we would go to Ding Ho for an annual "vacation" meaning we each could order whatever we wanted AND have an appetizer.  Good times.

Mom and Dad would go there for a date once in awhile, or with friends.  As some of us got older (and could chip in) and my Dad had worked his way up as a super good carpenter (and made almost a living wage), we would get to go there more often.  In my teens, it was a fun dinner date.


One of my favorite dishes was egg foo yung.  It's a Chinese omelet with a gravy/sauce on top.  I haven't seen it on a menu in years.  My Mom actually made it at home on occasion.  She was an adventuresome cook.  That's a whole other blog!  I sure miss her.  And her cooking.

Today when I was taking my buddy Phyllis shopping (she's making beef stew!), I saw a nice small bag of bean sprouts, cabbage and carrots.  I have a Costco chicken and some left over rice from soup the other night.

Tonight I am making egg foo yung.


Monday, April 18, 2016

GIZMO, HUM and MORE

My daughter has a horrible time with cell phones.  Dropping them, leaving them where the little one can get them and throw, etc.  At least once a year her screen gets cracked and she has to buy a new one.  Every other year, I buy her an upgrade for her birthday.  This year it's about two months early.



While she was being confused by the salesperson (I always am), they talked her into a "free" Gizmo for Braeden (who was with her).  It's a Dick Tracy type of watch that she can set up to send or receive phone calls from four special people ... Mom, Dad and Gramma so far.  My heart just lights up when he calls!  So far, he is calling every day.  I love being connected as I know by the time he is 10 or 11 Gramma will be more of a duty than a treat!

My phone is also due for an upgrade, so I went to Verizon a few days after Kate.  Since I wasn't accompanied by a Kindergartener, my sales pitch was aimed at SAFETY.  My car is 10 years old, I'm old and gosh ... wouldn't I like to get a second opinion when my mechanic quotes me a price?  Well .... meet hum!



Shouldn’t your car be as smart as everything else in your life? With hum, you can track your car’s speed and location, (which will save on my insurance) decode engine lights or summon help with the push of a button (or give you an estimate based on data received ... as well as tell you about mechanics in your area). It’s an easy way to get a smarter, safer, more connected car.  

You buy the device and for ONLY $10/month you get all of this reassurance.  I listened to it all (because I love technology) and if I didn't have AAA and a very reliable (old) car ... I might be interested.

Guess what MIGHT be coming in the very near future ...

Solar panel phone screens (so you can always be charging, even on a hike!)

A robot to schedule your meetings (it will check you calendar first, stay on hold while you wait for your cable company to answer)

Control your computer using gestures (Something the Italians will really love!)

Self-driving cars - and yes, I know the Google Car has had one accident

The suncream pill.  This is is right up my alley!  Instead of slathering on SPF50 every time I head to the beach, I can take a pill that could last all day or all week or even a month!  Count me in.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

WHAT AM I DOING?

My poor tired brain is on overload.


I volunteered to work 3 days a week at Na Hoaloha in the office because the full time worker quit April 1 (no joke!).  My understanding is that I would help out for a couple of weeks while they interviewed replacements.  I helped out last year about this same time of year when they were test driving new software to match drivers with clients needing services.  

We three get along just great and I was flattered when they offered me the job!  Good salary AND reimbursement for my health insurance ($628/month right there!).  I'd have to give up my $1,000/month Social Security and who knows the red tape that will involve.  Then getting it back again when I retire (again).  I've been mulling it over ... but really do not want to work full time.  I counter offered with a part time rate ... it was rejected.


Now they have decided to not fill the full time position.  I'm not wanting to volunteer on a permanent basis.  I love love love the work.  (They ended up buying a different software system which is a real learning process, interrupted continually with phone calls from clients needing rides or visits.)  Being a nonprofit the office is small and antiquated.  The equipment (desk, chairs, file cabinets) are horrible!  (Although they did rush out and get me a new chair.  The other one would slowly sink to the ground and need to be pumped up.)  One drawer won't even open.  One drawer will open on occasion after many prayers and attempts.


Today was my Friday!  TGIF!!  I gathered up the energy to go to Verizon to upgrade my phone (and am gifting my old one to the UNson-in-law for his birthday in June)(early ... he has Ralph's old iPhone 4!)  My brain was not able to comprehend their new way of upgrading as well as all the sales pitches for everything else (have you heard of Hum?  Another blog!!)  It took an hour and then I have the 30 minute drive home.  Thank goodness for NPR.

So much to reload or restore to get new phone up and running as smoothly as the old one.  I'm exhausted.

P.S.  And I caught a mouse at the office ....



Sunday, April 10, 2016

STRANGER FRIENDS

Isn't technology a great asset to meeting new friends?


Many years ago we met a young lady at a wine tasting and we have remained friends on Facebook.  When I lived in Oregon, we would meet about once a year.   She lives about 40 miles from me, so we would meet in the middle.  More often than not, since her town was so small, she'd come to Portland for retail therapy or culture, so we'd meet closer to my house.  Sometimes she would bring Morgan (her daughter who was maybe 7-8)(now driving .... I don't know how that is possible!!)  They got to know Mr. Ralph as well.  They did come to visit me in Maui but they all had the flu so we did not get together!

Wasn't it just last year that a young friend of Mr. Ralph's (whom we had never met in person) brought his new wife to Maui for a speedy Valentine's weekend?  So fun!

This week a young woman who once commented on this blog, is coming to Maui and we are going to get together.  She and her hubby visit Maui almost every year and are dreaming of retiring here.  From Tennessee!  I hope we get to spend a few hours together.  I love being a resident information sharer!  And I have friends here who remain even though their children move to the mainland, their husbands have died ...  and they are approaching old age (which is always 20 years older than me ....).


In May another young couple will be spending a week here at Kawailani Circle.  He worked for Mr. Ralph's company for many, many years.  Despite the 25 year age difference, we always manage to find something in common.  Lisa and Kerry remain connected to me via Facebook and I was flattered that they would want to spend their anniversary with me!

Living in Paradise may be conducive to having friends as well.  Who wouldn't want to come visit?








Tuesday, April 5, 2016

APRIL ALREADY?

April is Volunteer Appreciation month.

Saturday Na Hoaloha honored us with a luncheon and we were allowed to bring a client guest.  I chose Phyllis.  Another volunteer (who has now become a friend) brought her special client, Fern, who lives in the same subsidized housing with Phyllis  We car pooled.


                                  
We each got a lei, a name tag and a door prize ticket.  Na Hoaloha recently received the Presidential Volunteer Service Award thus we had speeches and congratulations and awards.  Apparently Lisa and I are underachievers as we didn't even receive a bronze award for number of hours donated.  Mainly because we didn't turn in our time sheets.  I worked a LOT of hours at the office last year but didn't think to record them a volunteer hours.  Now I dutifully log every trip.  I'm aiming for the gold next year!

The lunch was a nice little buffet and we enjoyed a stand up comic which I loved.  Lots of drawings for door prizes throughout the afternoon to keep people from leaving.  Phyllis won a $25 gift certificate for a local restaurant ... that she has never been to!  So we will go for lunch a couple times so she can use it.

(Lisa monkeying around during spray painting)


(Yep ... she kinda made a mess of herself ... and my garage)


The theme was You Are an Essential Piece to the Puzzle ... Lisa and I made heart shaped puzzle piece covered centerpiece inserts.  She designed a Word Search puzzle and I did a crossword puzzle that were in the program.


It was a fun time for all!