Sunday, November 30, 2014

Churchill: Never give in ...

In honor of the birthdate of England's Prime Minister,  Winston Churchill
(30 November 1874 – 24 January 1965)
 whose  famous words from WW2  live on, and  cheer me whenever I happen to read,
 or hear of them. 

Here's another one.  As a follower of Christ, yes I have enemies. 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Unable to translate, yet I still bought it.

This was how it was displayed  on the floor of the resale shop. Turns out it was not right side up

This large, sturdy, well-made framed work of art in stylized calligraphy was 50% off of its original price at the re-sale shop. Beautiful! Irresistible! But I could not read nor understand it. The employees at the shop were just as perplexed. One suggested that I take a phone picture and do some research first. When I got home, son's phone app was unable to translate it. He said to buy the mysterious framed-art anyway, and he'll ask one of his college Profs for help if need be. If it turned out to be a language that said something nasty, or was an homage to an idol, I would just destroy it and not feel wasteful since it was an inexpensive purchase.

 My first hopeful guess at the shop was that it was in Hebrew saying something biblical and meaningful (wouldn't that be great?!). Alas, perusing Wikipedia told me that it was not in Hebrew! It was my second guess as to the language that turned out to be correct. I had to wait two more days to show my phone picture to our friend who was a native from that country. He read the saying easily, and loosely translated it for me. Are YOU  smarter than I am and know in one glance what language this is, and what it says?

NOPE,  it's not read this way either.

Nor this way...

Aaah, finally ... NOW, it's right side up and readable!

My friend said it was a quote of 3 John 1:2 in Korean.
  Here is the verse in the authorized KJV; the desire that is in every Christian's heart  --

 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper
 and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Shangri La, Hawaii: Doris Duke's Mughal Garden

Continued from  here... 

More views of the Mughal Garden at Doris Duke's estate in Honolulu. Note the presence of the elements that would make up a Mughal-style garden (though her garden is a lot smaller): water, illuminated niches, walls, a central waterway, lotus shaped fountains, geometrically-shaped planters; and of course, overall beauty and peacefulness.  My visit to the estate was on a very warm day, and the sight of the water had me grabbing my water bottle for a long sip. 

looking through the open door  from inside of the Mughal Garden to the estate's courtyard & banyan tree

The courtyard below is where tourists are dropped-off by the Hawaiian MOA shuttle bus. Tours to Shangri La are conducted Wednesday to Saturday;  at 9am, 10:30am and 1:30pm.  Cost is $25 general admission to the tour, and includes entry to Honolulu MOA. Note:  ONLINE BOOKING way in advance highly recommended. 

Main outside courtyard with Banyan tree and door to Mughal Garden

... continued HERE  

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Almost a dog-mauling

kitty hiding from the big bully

The first two years of Y the male dog's life are a blank.  He was picked up as a mixed- terrier stray from the mean streets of my daughter's town. After their first walk with him, my daughter knew for certain that the dog absolutely detested cats. She and husband adopted him anyway. However, I had never felt more afraid than when Y attacked -- not our kitty shown above -- but our beloved/helpless/innocent/cute/dumb/sweet little Shih Tzu, Cadeau, she with the bum hip and all. 


Y had come in and after getting a whiff of our two dogs and the cat, seemed tense.  We managed to keep the cat out of his reach; so he focused in on the next smallest animal -- poor 
Cadeau.  Y somehow managed to wiggle out of his leash (under my watch, sigh ....) and walked stealthily down the hall.  By the time I noticed his absence, he had gotten to our youngest daughter's  bedroom where Cadeau was peacefully dozing.   He grabbed Cadeau's tail, and let that go; then grabbed her neck area and hung on. There was growling, yelping, and barking as poor Cadeau desperately turned this way and that in her attempts to shake-off Y's hold. My loud screams mixed in with our daughter's just-as-loud yells did nothing to help the situation. I felt helpless, terrified yet incensed. How dare this punk of a dog try to hurt my pretty and innocent puppy?!! My husband, God bless his soul, finally gained control of the situation and managed to separate the two (I had never been more grateful for the presence of a strong and decisive human alpha male).  Tufts of hair were in Y's mouth and Cadeau's fur had saliva all over, but no blood was drawn and no bones broken, thank God. Hubby made certain Y now KNOWS who is top dog in our household, and it is not a four-legged would-be Jack Russel Terrier who was a former stray. Love me, love my cat and dogs with bum hip and all, kiddo.

I really want to like Y. He's cute and affectionate to humans, and now seems to like our bigger dog; but with this brawl we were off to a bad start.  The Lord Jesus Christ help us!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Shangri La, Hawaii: Home of the Richest woman in the world

Our Biltmore Estate visit this Summer whet my appetite for a closer look at the lifestyles of the rich and famous.  I delayed getting tickets for  SHANGRI LA ,  home of Doris Duke, the richest woman in the world in 1993,  till it was too late, but I prayed and asked the Lord God for me to be able to see it anyway.  There's is always a couple of people who won't show up, right? 
 The tour originates from the  HONOLULU MUSEUM OF ART .  So after brunch,  we hitched a ride to the museum, got on the tour's waiting list, and sat down with my Hawaii-appropriate blue BV @ their Palm Courtyard to wait. Tick. Tock.  Tick. Tock.  Were there any available spots for us in their 10:30 AM tour??

The answer was YES! Yes, yes!  Yipppeeee!!!! ... but only 1 ticket was available  ... oh no!  That meant my photographer-son could not come along. I was left with only my cell phone's not-so-great camera for pictures.  Oh, well. Que sera, sera.  Off *I* went on the 30-minute shuttle bus ride to begin my guided tour of  Shangri La; and off son went -- on foot--  to who knows where with only his smartphone as his guide. 

The home had heaps of treasures for tourists' eyes to feast upon. Oh, what pretty things Ms Duke's money could buy! She literally created her version of paradise on earth through her home.   Ms Duke may have had an empty life (lost her dad at 12, sued her mom, divorced twice, no living children, her butler was her most trusted companion), but her money was invested wisely in Shangri La with us tourists as beneficiaries.  We are the recipients of one woman's  intense focus on collecting beautiful, rare, intricate, and mostly one of a kind Islamic Art and priceless treasures, with Syria, India, and China thrown in.  That was what I found to be the biggest difference between Biltmore and Shangri La. The Vanderbilts' collection was more vast, more valuable, but it was to me a  hodge podge collection ... anything and everything that caught Mr Vanderbilt's eye. I enjoyed Biltmore immensely. I enjoyed Shangri La even more because it was one quick intense lesson on a more or less single subject I knew almost nothing about, and I came away feeling that I had actually learned something. 

DOOR NUMBER ONE:    There were two entry ways as the shuttle bus lets you off at the courtyard.   Here is the entry-way to the main building.   These are 18th century Chinese smiling Camels Ms Duke bought from Gumps, HI to guard her front door.  They were installed in March 1939.

via: onegirlsstyle.blogspot
Below: The lady in pink was our docent. The lady on the right is tourist Sarah, a lawyer from NY, who helped translate/pronounce some of the Islamic writings. 

DOOR NUMBER TWO:  The other entrance leads to the side garden --  the Mughal Garden --- which was the door most of Doris Duke's guests entered to get into the house. 

via: onegirlsstyle.blogspot
... the view behind the garden door

 continued  --->>  HERE

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Brunch at Rainbow Drive-in, Honolulu

 Oahu Hawaii Diary, Part 2:  On our first morning in Honolulu, it was decided by other family members to have Brunch @ Rainbow Drive-In --- for a taste of authentic local fare.   Once we got there, I quickly realized that there was no AC (!), and scanned the area for shade.   The humidity was already high when we got up early that morning.  Sigh. Got quickly tired of scanning the menu board.  I let my son decide what to order for the both of us and sat down at the most comfortable-looking spot in their outdoor dining area, and chatted with others.  What son brought to me was fried eggs, meat pattie (reminded me of an 
 On•Cor  Salisbury Steak) on a bed of rice; and macaroni. Huh?!! The food looked too normal. 
 I could  do the dish at home.  It may look appealing to a hungry surfer, but what about a tourist like me?  Why couldn't I get  octopus or seaweed or  exotic fish or something ... anything ...  that was abundant in Honolulu, but expensive to obtain at home?  Second sigh...  Thank You, Lord for this food, amen. So I ate and kept on eating, though the food was bordering on luke-warm and was a little bland.  My oversized cup of iced water was good, though. 

 Here are pictures of a couple of other dishes that family members raved about, surprisingly: 

Portuguese Sausage


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Oahu Hawaii Diary, Day 1: Hale Koa Military Hotel

We stayed at Hale Koa (House of the Warrior) Hotel for my sister's destination wedding.  The hotel  is a beautiful, beach-side resort serving members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families (how appropriate that today is Veteran's Day!!!).  It is located on 72 acres, next to the Hilton Hawaiian Village. We were on the 9th floor of  Maile Tower.  Our family took-up three rooms, one after another.  From our balcony we could catch sight of Maile Gardens, Trump International Hotel; and Waikiki Beach. My sis & her hubby had even better views from their 12th floor suite on the other tower.  Friendly pigeons would sometimes check us out.  No food for them meant they'd move on to another balcony.

View from our hotel balcony. To the right is the groom and his mom

Honeymoon ready!

My Bottega Veneta bag made it to Hawaii!

Bye bye, birdie.

Waikiki Beach, and Diamond Head Volcano