Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Misha, the Baby Kitty

Misha's exact birthday isn't known, but we believe she was born in June 2019.  With her first birthday coming up, this seems like a good time to tell the story of how Misha came into our lives.

We decided last summer to get a second cat because Sasha seemed lonely.  He had started to wake us up in the middle of the night crying for attention, and he would practically demand that we brush him several times per day.  Lilly said that Sasha had been much happier when she had had other pets, including Sasha's sister, Mimi, and a dog named Moby.

In August 2019, we went to the animal shelter operated by the Hawaiian Humane Society in Honolulu.  After checking in, we walked to a small building where the youngest of the available cats were kept.  There were about two dozen adorable kittens playing, sleeping, and hiding.  Several other prospective adoptive families were also there, oohing and aahing at each kitty.

We decided right away that we didn't want the one unhappy kitten that tried to escape the shelter each time the door was open.  Lilly and I were getting to know the other kittens, but then a teeny-tiny gray cutie with long legs and big ears caught my eye.  I picked her up, and read her ID tag:  "Donna (short-hair female)."  Well, it was love at first sight.  I said to Lilly, "This is the one."  Lilly looked at the smile on my face, saw how comfortable Donna was with me, and agreed.

Lilly took a picture of the ID tag Donna was wearing, and she went to the office to make the adoption official.  I stayed with Donna where we had found her.  I had convinced myself at that point that Donna was the best kitty in the place (if not the world), and I was determined to prevent anyone else from getting their hands on her.  I held her tightly to make sure no one could take her from me.

Lilly returned with the adoption paperwork, which indicated Donna was two months old, weighed 2.08 pounds, and had just been spayed.  Her size suggested Donna might have been the runt of her litter.  We put Donna in a cardboard pet carrier box and took her home to Kakaako on the city bus.  I protected that box as if it contained the crown jewels of England.

While on the bus, we decided that we would change Donna's name to "Misha."  To me the name invoked memories of Russian literature.  The name reminded Lilly of a Game of Thrones character.

Once we got home, we introduced Misha to Sasha, who did his best to ignore her.  When Misha became too annoying, which was often, he would hiss at her.  She wasn't scared in the slightest, but his reaction was a concern because Sasha was at least 10 times her size.  Lilly said (correctly) that he would quickly get used to her and grow to love her.

A greater worry, however, was that Misha had digestive problems during our first week with her.  We brought her back to the shelter to be seen by a veterinarian, who suggested that we change Misha's food and give her medicine.

We did both, and Misha quickly got better.  No one could have been more adept than Lilly in putting drops of medicine down Misha's throat while I held her wriggling torso.  Misha made it clear she didn't like that medicine at all.

We did a little research and concluded that Misha is an Egyptian Mau.  She has most of that breed's distinctive characteristics, most notably the extra flap of skin that allows her to stretch to run faster.  There's no doubt that she's a natural huntress.

During our first few weeks and months together, Misha would often climb on me to take a nap.  If I was working on my laptop, she would try to walk on the keyboard or even fall asleep on my hands.  We had truly bonded.  Although Misha provoked Sasha often, he learned to accept her, and even show her affection.   We were becoming a true family.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Monday, May 25, 2020

Memorial Day

‎⁨National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific⁩,  ⁨Punchbowl Crater, Honolulu⁩.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Saturday Out and About

We went to the Puʻu ʻUalakaʻa State on Mount Tantalus to enjoy the panoramic views of Honolulu.  You'll note we brought masks, and we put them on when near other people.

We then went to the Wa‘ahila Ridge State Recreation Area, at the top of St. Louis Heights, where we checked out the beginning of the Wa‘ahila Ridge Trail.  I expect we will return to it later.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Lilly's Garden

Lilly is now growing various vegetables and herbs on our lanai, and she's doing an amazing job.  She's growing string beans, radishes, basil, peppers, onions, and several others.

She starts with seeds that she puts on a damp paper towel in a small clear plastic bag.  The seeds that sprout get planted in potting soil in a container that originally held eggs.

Onions are the exception.  Lilly starts with the roots that normally get thrown away when you buy onions in the supermarket.  They get placed in water to see if the roots revive.

When each new sprout gets a few inches tall, Lilly moves it to one of the pockets of dirt we have hanging from the lanai railing.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Tantalus Hike

It's been almost a year since we hiked in the Tantalus area.  Need to get back there.

Monday, May 11, 2020


Lilly successfully baked her first sourdough bread with starter she created herself.  The crust was a little harder than she wanted, but Neil loved it because he's a big fan of crusty bread.

Yeast has become hard to find in supermarkets, but we can now have fresh bread without store-bought yeast.  We smartly bought flour before it also became scarce.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Poor Teddy

Job losses in Honolulu due to COVID-19 have also affected Teddy bears, who figured they would be the last workers to get laid off.  Some turn to bourbon-infused honey to get through the day.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Love Seat

Koke'e Beach Park is a narrow strip of coastline along the Portlock side of Moanalua Bay, near Hawaii Kai.  Visitors (and there aren't many) access the park from a quiet residential neighborhood.

We made our second visit there about a week before our wedding.

A wood bench for two people hangs from a tree above the water.

Sand Island

Sand Island State Recreation Area and Beach is across the harbor from Downtown Honolulu and Kakaako.  It's just a mile or two from us, and we have a great view of it from our living room window.  But, that's as the crow flies.  The drive to get there is significantly longer because the only bridge is near the airport.

Sand Island was once known as Quarantine Island, and it has a sad history.

The harbor side of Sand Island has industrial piers with gigantic cranes, but there's a beautiful beach on the makai side and a (less beautiful) camping area.  Only a small percentage of the tourists (or even locals) that visit Waikiki and Ala Moana ever make it to Sand Island.  They're missing out on a real gem.

Lilly across the harbor from downtown Honolulu.

Our home is on the left side of this photograph

Lilly loves to walk in the sand.

A rock wall protects cautious swimmers (and waders!) from the ocean's waves.

Honolulu is a busy commercial harbor, and cranes on the piers lift trailer-sized containers on and off ships, such as the Tallahassee shown here.  The "Lady Maria" is the smaller boat coming into the harbor.


Zooming in on the Lady Maria as it passes in front of the Tallahassee.

The two of us on the beach.

It was interesting to see a pink container being hoisted off the Tallahassee at Honolulu Pier 1.  Pink containers are owned by the Japanese Ocean Network Express (ONE) company.

We stared at this car-carrying ship, the "California Highway," when it left Honolulu harbor, hoping to see how the pilot manages to get off the ship and into the small boat below.  Unfortunately, the ship was a little too far from us when the pilot disembarked. Next time, we will bring binoculars.

Rail has already made it to Honolulu.

Sand Island Station

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

New Version of Wedding VIdeo

Lilly combined the video shot by young Veronica using an iPad with video from Julia's iPhone and added some music to produce this new version.  Lilly also made our voices easier to hear above the ocean waves lapping up against the shore.

Click on Our Wedding Video to watch the video.  The file is quite large (about 1.5 GB), and it may take a minute or two before the video can be played on your computer.  There's small play button on the bottom of the screen.

The text version of the ceremony and vows can be found here.

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Cocktails on the Lanai

We try to live well every day, and enjoying the view from our lanai is a special pleasure.

The pupus Lilly prepared this evening included crackers and cheese, olives, and bread she just baked. I contributed the Honeymoon GTL^2, consisting of Gin, Tonic water, Lime liqueur, and freshly squeezed Lime juice. 

Friday, May 1, 2020


Makapu'u is where we originally planned to be married, but we moved the ceremony to Kahala because Hawaiian parks were closed as a result of COVID-19.

Fortunately, many parks re-opened on May 1, including Makapu'u.  We followed a Hawaiian tradition by going to Makapu'u and throwing into the ocean the haku (a floral crown) Lilly was wearing and the maile lei (string of flowers) I was wearing during the wedding ceremony.  It's such as special location.

The Eternal Song

When we got home after the wedding, Lilly gave me this medallion on a chain, and she told me about the poem The Eternal Song by Rosemonde Gérard.

"And as every day I love you more,
Today more than yesterday and much less than tomorrow,"

The medallion has been around my neck ever since.