Archive for the ‘dad’ Category

Aiea crystal shop "rocks"!

October 4th, 2016

Aiea, apparently, is Where Crystals Rock. That's the name of a new-ish store that features a marvelous selection of crystals, fossilized rocks, meteorites, and some spiritual tools.

Helen Uyehara and Cookie of Where Crystals Rock in Aiea

Helen Uyehara and Cookie of Where Crystals Rock in Aiea

I first learned about it by reading this paper's "5 Things We Love" feature, and knew I had to check it out. My daughter and I share a love for all things shiny!

Ooh! The things you learn from reading the paper!

Ooh! The things you learn from reading the paper!

Olivia and I were not disappointed. In a small, welcoming, and blissfully air conditioned shop in Harbor Center, co-owner Helen Uyehara and her dog Cookie greeted us cheerfully. Turns out I know Helen from church, but that's a whole different story.


Helen opened her shop in 2014 as a post-retirement hobby. She's always loved gems. "I took lapidary courses in my youth, so I learned to cut and polish stones. I've had a lifelong fascination with crystals and gems," she shares.

She started testing the waters back in 2010, by selling crystals out of her house and hosting open houses. In 2014, after leaving a career with the State, she went into business with her niece, Mika Pantaleo.


Helen goes on buying trips twice a year, to gem shows in Denver and Tucson (ooh! I want to come!). Sounds glamorous, but she jokes that it's actually a little tiring to buy for everyone else but yourself.

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She sure has learned a lot, though. Names of stones, spiritual meanings. Just that alone could take quite some time; she tells me there are more than 3,000 kinds of minerals!

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"I consider crystals like Earth's blossoms. On land, there are flowers that bloom. And when you look into the Earth, gems are the beautiful things you find," Helen says.

The most popular sellers are amethyst, rose quartz, and Labradorite, though her favorites are rutilated quartz and pyrite. "It seems to me that people are more spiritual now, and crystals have a calming effect. They're said to have certain energies that benefit the wearer, but it could be as simple as wearing it and reminding yourself of your intention," she says.

Our stuff!

Our stuff!img_2386

I went just because I was curious, but left with a bunch of stuff. Olivia wanted a pretty wire gem tree, a citrine necklace, and a glittery goldstone. I got a gemstone cage and stones to put inside it, and bracelets of agar wood and Labradorite.

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The price range is very reasonable, from $1.50 single rocks to $3,950 for large amethyst geodes. There are necklaces, pendants, wind chimes, jewelry, strands of gems, and much more. One regular customer tells me she thinks Where Crystals Rock has the best gem selection on Oahu.


Locally made Aloha Elixir candles and sprays

Cleansing tools include smudge sticks, candles, and sprays, though the focus of the store is on the rocks.

We get caught up in just looking and looking at all the pretty delights. Even my long-suffering husband decided he could't beat us, so he joined us in enjoying shopping. (Those crystals must really be calming!)


We also all enjoyed talking to Helen. She's extremely sweet, knowledgeable, and delightful to be around.

"This is my new favorite store!" Olivia declared.

I have to agree. It's pretty rockin'.



Harbor Center (behind Cutter Ford)
98-025 Hekaha Street, Bldg 4, Unit 10


Just after the Harbor Center entrance, Building 4 is on the left. It's kind of across Rainbow Gymnastics. It's easy to miss because the building is behind you as you drive in and you don't see it until you drive out.

If you're worried about hitting HART construction traffic for the rail, go on a Sunday when it's tolerable.


Fish eyes

October 4th, 2016

This headline is dedicated to my friend Glenn, who loves to use the term "fish eyes" to describe the blank stare of non-comprehension (intentional or not).


I get very, very excited to plan parties and events for Olivia. I really get off on thinking about the menu, the guest list, the favors, the activities, etc.

I delight in envisioning her excitement, and enjoy having conversations with her to further plan. She's so much fun. I love to make her happy.

Olivia is hosting a big slumber party coming up with six girlfriends. It's her biggest sleepover ever. We've accidentally had two neighbor girls over once, but historically, the standard is one friend.

This isn't even for any special occasion. It's just that I'm eager to jump back into Mommy Life in all forms, which I largely ignored or did the bare minimum for when I was recently working and very tired.

I'd like to send the girls home with a little favor, so I got cylinder vases and planned to layer colorful candies to create an artful effect. In the store, I asked Claus to help me decide which candies are best.

I love chocolate, but I wanted unwrapped candy if possible because that's prettier. "Candy corn! That's perfect!" I uttered, but as I reached for a bag, I realized there's four different types - candy corn, autumn corn, pumpkins, and mixed fall designs.

"Which one looks best?" I agonized, while Husband stood mutely next to me. I really would like an answer.

"This or this?" I asked.

"Yes," he said.

"No, really! This or this? I think Mixed is good, but then maybe Autumn Corn looks nicer with the fall-themed M & M's?" I persisted. This is really important stuff.

"This is great," he said, and, I suspect, reached for the bag closer to him. I accused him of disinterest.

"I really wish you'd be more into this," I complained.

"I'm totally into this," he assured me unconvincingly with his Fish Eyes.


It was pretty much like this for every candy decision until I gave up, which was, I'm sure, his desired effect. *sigh*

Later that day, he came home from a visit with his stockbroker. "How was your meeting?" I inquired politely. I hate finance and I don't really care what the answer is past "Good" or "Junk."

We both know this, and have both known this for years, yet he went ahead anyway with telling me about it. "Funds... equities... pricing levels... speculation... pullback... interest rates... portfolio... stocks and bonds... market fluctuation."

He concluded with a question for me that I didn't even hear, but nodded yes in the hopes that was the right answer and that I wasn't making anybody mad. He probably asked me if he could blow all our savings on buying an airplane and I just approved it.


Anyway, he didn't get mad. But he did know I wasn't really listening. "Fish Eyes, right back at you," I laughed.

Life is like Scrabble

October 4th, 2016

Our family has been playing a lot of Scrabble lately. Olivia's at an age where she's ready for this, and I see that it enhances her mental skills and broadens her vocabulary.

I usually team up with her or I give her an assist if I'm playing on my own. In this manner, she routinely kicks Daddy's butt.

It's nothing to be ashamed about. He's ESL; he totally gets a pass. If this were Numbers Scrabble or Danish Scrabble he'd bury us every time.

It's interesting to watch Olivia struggle between what is and what could be. She often makes complete words out of the seven tiles she has, but then she has nowhere to place it on the board. ZCAT is not the phonic spelling of a Frenchman saying "the cat."

She also complains that she has nearly enough letters to produce the word she wants, but if only she had a ___ or a ___. "What are you going to do, wait and hope to get it?" I ask. "Just use what you have."

Then I realized Scrabble is like life. You get what you get from a blind draw of tiles. You make the best of what you've got. You see what the board has laid out for you and find how you can work into that.

If you keep waiting and hoping for the perfect letter(s) to make up the perfect word, you may be waiting forever, so don't.

Sometimes you have all consonants and you wish you were playing Polish Scrabble. That's hardscrabble, and then you have to throw all the tiles back to refresh your hand, and forfeit your turn. Rest and take a break.

And every now and then, it all comes together and you get a real zinger. I got to use my Z (10 points; the highest value tile) on a TRIPLE LETTER SCORE to spell ZEN. Excellent! And just like that, the little victories give you a boost to get excited and keep going.




Clothing confusion

October 4th, 2016

I have a pair of skinny jeans, and I just realized I haven't seen them for a month. I searched my closet fairly well and they were not there. What a mystery!

My skinny jeans, at the August Honolulu Rainbow Film Festival. Olivia will be taller than me in no time.

My skinny jeans, at the August Honolulu Rainbow Film Festival. Olivia will be taller than me in no time.

By coincidence that night, I was helping Olivia pick out her clothes for school and I saw my jeans in her drawer. "Did you put these here?" I asked.

"Yeah, but they were in the pile of clean clothes Dad put on my bed," she answered. When folded, they pass for her skinny jeans.

Aha. I knew it. Since she was three, he's been getting her clothing mixed up with mine. Usually it's her panties. Every now and then it's her shirts, too.

I'm small, but there is no way I could have been mistaken for having Three Year Old Butt. And her undies used to have Disney princesses on them. Mine have Sanrio characters. Just kidding. Or not.

These days, his mistakes are more understandable since Olivia is nine. I'm five foot three and she's creeping up on me - it's her half-Scandinavian genes.

That, and I delusionally bought size small women's underwear recently and sadly had to give them to Olivia because after I washed them, they were too tight. (I blame the dryer.) So her stuff is really starting to look like mine.

But thinking Olivia would fit jeans clearly long enough for a short woman? Oh, Daddy. Silly Daddy.

This kid! She likes to try on my high heels, too.

This kid! She likes to try on my high heels, too.

We love him so, and he tries. I think we're going to have to take a tip from elementary school and label our belongings here at home, too.


Panty shopping is not for panties

October 4th, 2016

This is a story about shopping for underwear, but it's really about a father who can't let go of his little girl. I took Claus shopping for underwear for Olivia.

Our nine-year-old wears women's XS or Petite Small. She prefers to be a Big Girl so she wants me to buy that instead of from the girl's section.

We only figured this out when I delusionally bought myself size small, and after I laundered them, realized I gained weight and can't fit them. Very sad day.

When I looked at it on the bed in the pile of clothing, I noticed they looked to be the size of her undergarments, so I had her try them on, and they fit. She was very proud.

Back to today. So we shop in the women's section now, and I dragged Claus with me on errands. I have told him this, but his brain refuses to accept it because he headed for the children's department.

Reluctantly redirected to the ladies' area, he turned pale when he saw all the filigree and fantasy. It's funny how a husband would be excited about that, but a father becomes morose when realizing this is the future of his daughter's intimates wardrobe.

"Don't worry," I assured him. "I get her the conservative kind; the athletic styles with moisture-wicking material." Really, I wouldn't let her wear sexy anything, either.

But he didn't trust me. We browsed the racks looking for conservative panties and more often than not, came across lacy bits and skimpy pieces of material. He looked very distressed.

A couple of times I thought I saw something appropriate, but when I pulled it out, it had, like, a 2 millimeter patch of lace across the front. "NO!" he bellowed at the speed of light, and pushed it back, out of sight.

You should know this is a slow-moving, quiet man. He speaks slowly, he walks slowly, he thinks before he speaks, and then he speaks gently. He's not stupid, he's just mellow. Except for this.

To tease him, I found thongs and held that up, as if for serious consideration. I thought he was going to ask me for a divorce.

I knew this excursion wasn't going well after ten minutes. Luckily, I'm a fast, decisive shopper, so I got the minimum of what I needed and we left.

I could have stayed longer and hunted down a few more pairs for Olivia, but I think another quarter hour in there would have been a Widow Maker.

I'm really not sure what is going to happen when Daddy's Little Girl gets a boyfriend.

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