Friday, October 28, 2016

FINDING EMPATHY

em·pa·thy
ˈempəTHē/
noun

the ability to understand and share the feelings of another

I volunteer a bit with the elderly. I started in 1994 after Mr. Ralph's mom passed away.  She was lucky enough to have friends (neighbors, church friends, relatives) who offered her help when the need arose.  She lived in a pretty small town in Indiana (population 18,000 and most of that has been in the past 15 years) where people knew each other and chatted and share news, happy or sad.  She remained independent in her own apartment.

It's important for all of us to have empathy when our seniors begin losing some of their daily independence.  Driving. Cleaning the corners of the kitchen floor.  Carrying out the trash.  Doing laundry at the laundromat. Even getting out of the house.

Ms. Phyllis just loves having her own personal driver.  I drive her to doctor or dentist appointments.  Groceries and prescriptions.  The bank. Usually to include lunch.  And then I realized we never got together for just FUN.  Now that I am moving back to Oregon, there are a few touristy things I'd like to redo.  

I asked her if she'd like to go for a drive.  Her eyes just lit up!  The island is our only limit!!  She couldn't come up with any ideas so I just started a stream of consciousness of places to go and things to see.  Last week we drove north to Ho'okipa where the water toys appear when the surf is up.  It was so crowded and busy and exciting and we were both thrilled.  On Thursday we drove to a little cowboy town (Makawao) part way up our mountain of Haleakala.

Just for fun.  No errands.  Empathy for the small things we take for granted when someone has to give up driving.

Just for un.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

FACT CHECKING

I think I would love to be a detective!  Who would suspect a little old lady?

Nancy Drew was my favorite book series.  Luckily I got to read every single one ... and owned most of them.  My cherished possession.  Today I continue prefer mysteries.

Of course the internet is my biggest assistant.  It's amazing what I can learn with a little snooping.  A Maui HOA owner claimed that she bought her home a year ago already painted (color was not approved) and with a white plastic picket fence (not allowed).  I went on Google Earth and gosh!  There was her house frozen in time the month she bought the home.  It was NOT the current color and there was no picket fence. Busted!
So many things are public knowledge if you know where to look.  You still have to verify information (just like in genealogy!) and double check everything.  Especially rumors on Facebook.  It's curious to me how intelligent people simply repost without applying common sense ... or checking the source.

For internet rumors Snopes.com is the oldest and most widely used source.  If your inner voice doesn't tell you "nothing worth anything is FREE" or "how could Bill Gates get his $5,000 to me", check it out.  

Another fact checking site is Hoax-Slayer.  It's a newer site for checking email, social media hoaxes and current internet scams. The crooks are getting more sophisticated so before I open an attachment or visit a link (even from my sister), I text her to be sure it is from her.

The other site I use is Truth or Fiction.  


And don't even get me started on all the political fact checker sites!  Too many to list!!

Friday, October 14, 2016

BULLYING!!!!

My heart is aching.


 (Hours after a hectic arrival)

Kind, sweet Braeden is being punched at school.  The first time the teacher didn't see exactly what happened ... Braeden said he was playing with a toy and the other boy said he had it first (neither the teacher nor the Gramma believe that).  The next day the Bully told Braeden he had a "baby spoon" to eat his yogurt (a foldable spoon that looks like a truck).  Braeden said he thought it was a cool spoon cause his Mom bought it for him .... and the kid smacks him in the face again!

The teacher sent the bully to the office and walked Braeden out to his Mom when she picked him up.  She explained what happened and Kate said Braeden never mentioned the punch the day before!  She included Kate in an email to the Principal requesting meeting with the boy and his family, the teacher and the Principal.  Once more and the boy will be moved to a different class.


(lost his first tooth!)

Kate is beyond shocked.  Braeden gets along with everyone!  Last year in preschool the little boy next to him would reach over and snitch part of his lunch.  After the third time, he talked to me about it.  I asked him how he handled it.  He said "nothing ... I think maybe he was just hungry".  But the breaking point was parting with his strawberries.  I suggested that he gently put his hand on the boy's hand and say your Mom packed his lunch special and maybe you could ask HIS Mom to put strawberries in his lunch.  Kate also mentioned it to the teacher who reinforced the hands to yourself policy.


(During their visit to Maui in August)

I'm beyond sad that my little man has to learn the wicked ways of the world.  Especially so young.  And we have to help him talk to us so that we know what is happening, good or not so good.




Saturday, October 8, 2016

I DID IT!


The excitement of returning to Lake Oswego, Oregon is constant. My mind is preoccupied with what needs to happen there.  And what has to happen here before I depart.  I've started a list of things that need to fly home with me.  After a few days of this .... there is not much!  In fact, I think I can get everything back in just two suitcases!

I checked with my new tenant to see if they could make a weekly trip over to check on things until they move in.  And she agreed to ship me anything I may forget.  Today I cancelled my return flight to Maui.  My return to my little family is December 14.

There are a few things I can sell on Craigslist.  So much to donate or recycle.  Quite a few things on the Honey Do list so Lisa has a tip top place to start.

Will I miss Maui?  OF COURSE!  I lingered longer in the outdoor shower today.  Will I still be able to use my homemade sugar scrub when sharing a bathroom with the babies?  Hope so.  I will surely miss the sunshine and will have to up my Vitamin D intake.  Oregon gets a lot of fresh fish but I do think it is fresher here. Fresh produce markets are open daily here.  The flora and fauna is forever ingrained in my memory.  The scent of the ocean is such a bonus.

I have a few circles of friends here that have helped me become the almost balanced widow that I try to be.  Yet my condo neighborhood is a closer bunch and even with my pink flowered cane, I can walk to visit anyone there.

I'm heading home.  For good long while.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

MY AFFAIR IS OVER ...

Well, those two weeks just flew by!  

Jodie (the Havanese) was a perfect angel while her Mom was away.  I could tell she missed her Mom but she made do with me.  Only woke me up in the night twice for an additional potty break ... mainly because something else woke us up (barking dog or fighting cats).
(Jodie snuggled in bed with me)

Mom Julie returned Sunday in the late afternoon.  Fortunately for me, I had a last minute gal pal come Sat night and staying til Weds.  So I'm weaning down from all the puppy snuggles.

Sue had business in Honolulu last week.  Financial planning group.  Lots of learning during the day, then cocktail parties and dinners in the evening.  She was getting by on four hours of sleep!  Sunday morning she slept in til 10am!  We've been enjoy nice slow mornings with lots of coffee, then shopping and then eating!  Of course she had a few hours of work every day so I get to keep up with my reading and online games.

(Lime pie)

We have a great many fabulous restaurants here, so we started with pie at Leoda's.  I chose Olowalu Lime pie and she tried Banana Cream.  OMG!  It was perfect after some shopping and driving along the ocean.  Right next to Leoda's is an outdoor produce stand and she went crazy buying fruit.  Neither of us had ever tried Dragonfruit and she had not tasted Starfruit.  So here's what she made for dinner:

(fresh, fresh, fresh)

The red balls in upper right is the dragonfruit.  Sort of the texture of kiwi and not much flavor.  To the left of the top of pineapple is the starfruit ... kinda like a mild orange.  

Then she started talking about an easy, healthier version of a lemon dessert (my tree is bending almost to the ground with too much fruit) ... lemon curd, yogurt and whipping cream.  Then frozen.  We went to THREE stores looking for lemon curd.  Never found it.  So we decided to make it although I didn't have eggs.  Finally got all of our ingredients and the curd is now awaiting transformation.

She departs tomorrow morning!  Too short and very sweet.