Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Chillin' with Daddy

So I've been hangin' out with Dad for the last five days while Becky and Julie are partying hard at Disneyland with Kainoa and friends. (yes, I'm a good sister..) It's funny. We Kaai kids have always been close to our parents. I don't know what it is, but it's a pretty unique love that's hard for some to understand. Anyways, more on that later. As you know, Dad has been sick since September. Recently, he's lost his short term memory skills. He can remember the day he graduated from high school, but he can't remember what he had for lunch. We kids get to make sure he takes his meds on time and that he's puffing on his two inhalers correctly. Sometimes he wakes up in the middle of the night thinking it's time for breakfast. This morning I woke up and found the jar of peanut butter next to his bed with a butter knife and a few bread crumbs. Don't's low sodium peanut butter!

So, the point of this post it to share a few things about Dad that I just wanted to document for family history reasons....Here goes:

1. Dad attended Kaahumanhu Elementary School at the corner of Piikoi and Beretania. It has since been converted to a hospital.

2. Dad attended Iolani High School from 7th to 12 grade. He graduated on June 7, 1948.

3. Mrs. Tanaka was his favorite teacher. She told him.."Most Hawaiians are lazy and're not!"

4. He disliked Mrs. Webber who was a Hawaiian teacher. He remembers her saying that "you folks talk with a fat lip and mumble your words." Grandma Kaai threatened to beat her up.

5. Dad wanted to go to Kamehameha, but they wouldn't let the "real locals" go. Outer island students had priority. He attended Iolani.

6. Richard Pa'paa was his best friend in elementary school.

7. He attended the Long Island Merchant Marine Academy on Mare Island. He was in the navy from 1953-June 30, 1964. He came to San Mateo after he graduated.

8. Ice cream was 5 cents and hamburgers were 10 cents. A McDonald's hamburger was 18 cents.

9. He was a paper boy as a child and his route consisted of City Hall to Alapai, up to Punchbowl ,up to Lusitania and part of King St. The daily paper was 5 cents and the Sunday paper was 10 cents.

10. After the war, his first "real" job was taking down the "black" in the windows. It was made of denim material and was used to hide out all light from the enemy.

11. He also worked at Hawaiian Pine. He was a tray boy and had to line up 5 rings of pineapple and put it in each can. He was a trucker, supervisory, and eventually left to play football.

12. As a child, he had a white "poi" dog called Prince.

13. He worked at Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Vallejo for the rest of his career.

I'm sure there are more bits of information that I'll be adding to my list. Stay tuned.
Thanks for listenin'

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Perfect Pancake

My friend Paula just came to California for the Festival of Trees and Lights. About two weeks ago, she invited Tyrone and I over for dinner at Val's house. She made her father's famous pancakes. Below is the recipe that was printed in the Honolulu Star Bulletin. Try them. They're truly the best pancakes ever! I've decided to add them to our Christmas morning agenda.

Paul Chun's Pancakes
2 cups flour
3 tablespoons baking powder
Dash of salt
3 or 4 tablespoons sugar
3 eggs, separated
1-1/4 cup milk
1/3 block melted butter, cooled

Combine dry ingredients. Beat yolks slightly and add, along with a little milk. Stir. Beat egg whites and add, along with a little more milk. Add melted butter. Stir and gradually add enough of the remaining milk so batter is of the right consistency (this is a judgment call -- it shouldn't be too thin and should still have lumps, but needs to be loose enough to scoop easily). Batter will get very fluffy as baking soda activates; do not be alarmed. Do not overmix. Let sit 10 to 15 minutes to settle.

Preheat griddle or skillet over medium heat. Pour about 1/4 cup batter for each pancake. Turn when edge are dry and bottom is golden. Makes about 12 pancakes.

Here's the rest of the article....

CHUN, president and chief executive officer of Chun Kim Chow Ltd., died June 21 at age 84. His company had extensive real estate and retail holdings, including the Robins shoe stores and the Waikiki Circle Hotel. But his hobby was cooking. "Every Sunday was an extravagant nine-course meal," Chun-Ganske says.

During the West Coast dock strike in 1971, the hotel ran out of pancake mix, so Chun put his skills to work and developed a scratch pancake recipe by studying cookbooks in bookstores (he didn't actually buy one, his daughter says).

The recipe became the hotel restaurant's signature; people would line up for the 99-cent plate of two pancakes, eggs and breakfast meat. At his funeral, the family passed out the recipe. A nice way to remember someone, isn't it?

His daughter says she still makes them every Sunday. "I tear up every time."

p.s. They're amazing with coconut syrup!

The Perfect Gift!

This is my boss, Bob. The other night at our work party he jokingly asked for a Sham Wow and I couldn't find one. Sooo..I bought a snuggie. I had no idea how comfortable these things really are!
Do you have a snuggie? Would you like a snuggie? or do you think they're lame? Well, I love snuggies and I think they're awesome!

3rd week of December- Sacramento's Homeless

The highlight of the week was visiting the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament. I went shopping on Tuesday night to get food to make "lunches." On Wednesday night, the youth from our ward made 50 ham and cheese sandwiches, and then we filled the bags with oranges, granola bars, chips, water bottles, and Kit Kats. (Don't ask me why I chose the Kit Kats. I was just in a Kit Kat mood.) I bought the "good" ham and the "good" cheese. We made all the sandwiches in the kitchen and the boys got the non-perishable food in the lunch bags. Rancho Cordova Stake has been making these lunches for months. However, this was the first time that an LDS youth group would pariticipate with the delivery.
We then drove down to the Cathedral. We met Deacon Jorge Usi. I have worked closely with him during the Festival of Trees and Lights and thought it would be a great service project for our youth to help him deliver the food. He's responsible for the Cathdral Homeless Square Program. He introduced us to his Catholic youth group and then took us on a tour of the Cathedral. The youth loved the beauty and reverence of the Cathedral. Deacon Jorge then split us up into three groups. We spent the rest of the evening walking the streets of Sacramento delivering sack lunches. We finished around 9:30 p.m. Deacon Jorge does this about twice a week on Mondays and Wednesdays. My dear friend Evie also helps. It's an experience I'll never forget. In my opinion, it was sacred. I know we all left feeling very grateful for everything that we have..especially our family and friends.

Second Week of December

So this week was a little intense. Tyrone had his annual Breakfast with Santa event for the Scouts. This was followed by Kainoa's birthday party at the Happy Frog in Vallejo. I then had to return to Sacramento for a work party at my boss's house. Soo much to do and so little time. I also forgot to mention the school-wide Christmas program at school. I play the piano and the classes perform by grade level. This year's theme was "Peace, Love & Joy."

  • 6th grade - "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing"

  • 5th grade- "Feliz Navidad & We Wish You a Merry Christmas"

  • 4th grade- "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas"

  • 3rd grade- "Twelve Days of Christmas"

  • 2nd grade- "Winter Wonderland"

  • 1st grade- "The 5 days of Christmas in California"

  • Kindergarten- "It's a Small World After All"

Ms. Fedro's class also did a few songs on the recorders. The show includes 525 student performers, 25 teachers, and 1 principal. The kids were amazing. I'd like to publicly thank my piano teacher, Beverly Davis, for teaching me how to play the piano. Because of her, my life has been truly blessed by music.

We also had a great work party at Bob and Kevin's house. Because I had to go to Kainoa's party, Tyrone made the potato casserole for the party. These are otherwise known as funeral potatoes. They were yummy. Anyways, I got the "ZONK " gift. Here's a picture.

Have you ever received a ZONK gift? I might add that this gift is actually a centerpiece made out of some sort of soda pop bottle.

Festival of Trees and Lights

During the first week of December, we completed the 3rd annual Festival of Trees & Lights in Sacramento. It was amazing. I learned so much. I learned that we shouldn't plan every December event during the first week of December. Ugh! I learned that the best job in the world for the Festival of Trees and Lights is the volunteer coordinator. You get to meet hundreds of people and they come from all different walks of life. You also get to meet all the tree designers and watch their brains go to town. AMAZING! I don't think I could ever be a Christmas designer. However, I love being walked through the process by an expert. They generally have a plan and they implement it perfectly. As teachers, we constantly have to change our plans to meet the needs of our students. It was neat to see perfect plans be implemented perfectly..or almost perfectly. hehe..(inside joke!)

Neat story about one of the designers. Valerie Valentine owns the Design Gallery on Fair Oaks. She's amazing! Anyways, I visited her store when she wasn't there with a friend. We walked around looking at all the beautiful trees. When we entered, we saw this amazing tree at the front door. I fell in love with it. It was definitely over the top, but it was just warm and welcoming. Anyways, I knew she was going to donate a tree to our event, but I wasn't sure which tree would be chosen. When her delivery guys showed up, the tree they brought in was "the Apricot Tree." It was the one we wanted! I literally shed a tear when I saw it! Thanks Valerie for all your hard work.

Then there's Chelsey. Chelsey LaPlaca is my amazing friend with three triplets. She sings. She dances. She's a gifted decorator. She was the decorating queen designer for the event. Can you imagine decorating a community event with three triplets at home? Anyways, she's "off-the-hook." How she does it I'll never know. I had the opportunity to work with her a little during the event. Her support system is awesome and her brain can process more information than a head chef at a 5 star restaurant. Its unbelieveable to watch. Anyways, all that garland and all that sparkle comes from her expertise. During the same week, she was responsible for our Relief Society Meeting. We put together over 150 crafts to sell at the Holiday Boutique. She was once again the leader on that event. I know..amazing..huh?

I also wanted to thank my sisters, Julie, Becky, & adopted sister Nancy, for coming and buying out the place. Your donation to the homeless in Sacramento is greatly appreciated. :) They left with three trees..two small and one big. They also left with a few crafts and a ton of other goodies. Thanks girls! Thanks again to everyone that came. If you're interested in volunteering next year for the event, let me know. We're always looking for people to make scarves, aprons, and other simple crafts for the holiday boutique. :)

Top Ten Things I learned this year at the Festival of Trees and Lights

10. Don't forget your parking pass. (could cost you $15 a day if you don't get one.) Volunteers get a free pass from the volunteer coordinator.

9. Carl's Jr. has strawberry soda at the downtown mall.

8. Don't forget your green floral wire to tie on all your tree ornaments.

7. Invite all your friends to be volunteers. It's a great way to catch up with all your buddies that you don't see regularly.

6. Teachers and my students' parents are great volunteers. They always show up on time.

5. Don't talk to tree decorators until they're "done," and don't mess up their plans. EVER!

4. Ettore's cookies are the best.

3. Live auctions are intense! If you have an extra $300 bucks next year, you can get an awesome tree. Some large trees sold for only $250 this year.

2. My family is pretty lucky when it comes to raffle tickets. Tyrone won three things last year and Becky won two things this year! (an ipod and $100 in gift certificates for Golfland Sunsplash)

1. Even though the economy is horrific, we still were able to make a profit and fund the Cathedral Homeless Square Program for the year. In other words, when people tell you that you shouldn't do something because the economy is bad, don't listen. We still have homeless people we need to feed and help in Sacramento. Go Team FOTL!