Friday, December 30, 2011


Royal Court Caterers, Courtney & Evelyn Barry

At Kris Barry's art show opening last 11-11-11, Phil won the big prize of a dinner catered by Kris' son, Courtney Barry, a professional chef.  Since our daughter Kiki had a birthday coming up, we thought it would be wonderful if we could celebrate it with that promised catered dinner.  We were so lucky that Courtney was available on the date we wanted, and that's how we ended up with a marvelous birthday dinner on our lanai last night!

We started off with a yummy vegan split pea soup.

And here is our entree:
Pasta with fresh and tender pesto mahi-mahi 
and crunchy sauteed vegetables.

Dessert was vegan chocolate mousse topped with fresh raspberries.
Can you believe, I was so eager to dive into it, I forgot to take a picture of it!

Here's Kiki, the Birthday Girl, with hubby Gary 
whose own birthday is coming up pretty soon too.

And here are the happy receivers of the Royal Court Caterers.
We feel so blessed!

Thank you, Courtney and Evelyn!!!!
You knocked our socks off!!!

And thank you to Kris Barry 
for having such a talented son and daughter-in-law,
and for picking Phil's name as the prize winner!

Below are some photos of Kris' show, called "Bits & Pieces,"
after the bits & pieces of fabric she likes to stitch together.

Yay for Art & Eating & Birthdays!!!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Our son-in-law Gary and daughter Monique ("Kiki") 

Kiki and Gary were the splendid hosts of our 2011 Christmas Eve dinner.  They both love to cook and are expert at preparing healthy meals.  Both are also great planners and work together well in the kitchen.  So, when Phil and I arrived, even though they were busy and focused on getting the food ready, they were also amazingly relaxed.  Everything was beautifully under control.  The aromas made my mouth water.  Their condo looked gorgeous.  The atmosphere was festive and welcoming.  It was a pleasure to visit and watch Gary and Kiki do their work with efficiency and ease.

This is Wally, their sweet 15-year-old bichon.

 The view off their lanai

Inside the condo

View toward the kitchen

Happy Phil

Gary's long-time friend Loren

Gary busy at the sink

So all was well.  Until all of a sudden their little toaster oven started to belch smoke.  Kiki had left a tray of nuts inside it to roast, but they had somehow caught on fire.  When Gary opened the oven to pull the tray out, huge flames poured out of it.  Gary heroically reached through the flames and snatched the burning tray out, threw it into the sink and managed to douse the flames with a stream of water from the faucet.  Phew!  That was a close call.

A bit shaken, but otherwise alright, Kiki and Gary continued working, putting the finishing touches on their exquisite holiday meal of grilled pesto salmon, roast beef, squash stuffed with an exotic quinoa dressing, roasted Brussels sprouts with grapes and nuts, green beans with shallots (without the burned nuts!), no-butter mashed yams, and Gary's fabulous cranberry sauce.  

Everything looked so fantastic that I grabbed my camera to take a photo of each individual dish.  I asked Phil to please move a serving spoon out of the way, so I could snap a picture of the salmon.  As Phil  kindly obliged, he accidentally knocked over his glass of water, which of course splashed all over the freshly grilled pesto salmon, leaving it sitting in a puddle of water.  Undaunted, Gary quickly grilled up another batch of salmon and we heartily commenced our dinner. 

 From the top:
Green beans, pesto salmon and mashed yams

 The unusual dish of roasted Brussels sprouts and grapes

 Here is my yummy plate!
(Not shown: dessert of warm and moist gingerbread a la mode)

All of the excitement however turned out to be too much for Wally, the sensitive dog, who quietly puked out his dinner on the kitchen floor.  

With that the three trials of FIRE, FLOOD & VOMIT were completed and we could get on with the rest of the festivities.  
Here's to the fearless threesome of Gary, Kiki & Wally: 

Monday, December 19, 2011


Four days ago Edgar surprised me with a gift 
made by his little brother Khahn:
A small piece of plywood, bearing a bare twig 
with two delicate cocoons precariously dangling from it.

"Place it somewhere in the sun." Edgar said.
But our lanai does not get a lot of sun 
and it has been raining off and on.

I balanced the extraordinary gift on the table outside
among the sturdy leaves of an orchid 
where it would be protected from wind gusts
so it would not get blown over.

We had some hard rains last night and this morning.
Everything on the lanai was wet, 
a far cry from the warm sun that butterflies would need.
Or so I thought.

At 10:00 AM the cocoons were still intact.
But when I checked again four hours later,
I was in for a big surprise.

Two butterflies were hanging from the twig in all their glory!
They had snuck out when I was not watching!

I moved the twig to another place to get a better background 
 for photographing the process.

Twenty minutes later one butterfly opened its wings,
flapped it a couple of times and flew off, just like that.

The second butterfly took its own sweet time just hanging around.

I watched it release a lot of moisture,
equivalent to two full buckets if it were a human.
After about half an hour, it started moving its head this way and that.
Another rest period and suddenly the wings popped open.

And off it went into the great unknown...

leaving behind two empty sacs twirling in the wind....

What a great Christmas gift!
Thank you, Khahn!

Sunday, December 11, 2011


Mele Kalikimaka me ka Hau'oli Makahiki Hou!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Phil is wearing his favorite Santa hat and his favorite shirt with the fake epaulettes.  He wants me to sew epaulettes onto all of his shirts.  I'm game, but I'm drawing the line at adding stars, ribbons, medals, or eagle heads.

I'm wearing my favorite Big Head.  It always astonishes me how big my face is compared to Phil's.  Or is it just a perspective thingie because I push myself to the forefront to get more attention? 

The Honolulu Pen Women held their Xmas luncheon at the Outrigger Canoe Club on Kalakaua Avenue on the same day of the Honolulu Marathon, which meant that getting to the Club was a little more complicated because of various street closures.  Ordinarily Phil and I would just walk right over (a 10 minute walk through the park), but because we needed to leave the luncheon early to make it on time to the last performance at TAG (The Actors Group) across town, we took the car.  By the time we arrived most of the runners had finished.  My plan was to park the car at the Club, then run over to the finish line to take pictures.  But just then it started to pour again and I gave up.  Here are a few shots I managed to take before heading inside.

 Friends and family waiting along the route

You can see by the direction of the fountain waters how hard the wind is blowing.
On the left side of the picture you can also see a group of runners coming in.

 Someone needing help walking after the race.

From Hawaii News Now:
·         A thrilling finish at the 2011 Honolulu Marathon. Kenya's Nicholas Chelimo beat out two-time winner Patrick Ivuti by just three seconds, with a time of two hours, 14 minutes and 55 seconds.  It is the second straight win for Chelimo at the Honolulu Marathon.
·         Ethiopia's Woynishet Girma took the women's crown.  She finished just 12 seconds ahead of the top three women's finishers.
·         Conditions for today's marathon were extremely difficult: runners were dealing with strong winds, rain and possible thunderstorms. 
·         There were 22,615 people registered for the marathon.

And here are my pictures of Pen Women, Friends & SO's at the luncheon:

This is a typical Margo expression

Guys, don't believe a word she says.