2/27 – 3/6: mochi, sushi, girls’ day, and calligraphy

The past nine days have been busy! I worked seven out of the nine days and only had last Sunday and today off. However, “off” means only off from work, as Sundays are football game days, which means I’m at the field for about five hours, leaving me just a few waking hours to have fun (aka time to myself) between or after having to be a responsible adult/Mom. I try to practice my lettering at the field, but the position of my hand and the size of my book on my lap makes it quite frustrating to get quality practice in.

So here’s some pics from this past week, starting with the best mochi from Two Ladies Kitchen in Hilo. My husband had to go to Hilo for the day last Saturday to deal with some tenant issues so he brought back the yummiest of treats for us… mochi stuffed with grapes, mandarin oranges, strawberries, and pears!


On Monday night, I took the managers out for a dual birthday celebration (two of the managers had February birthdays). We went to Doraku in Kaka’ako, which is one of my favorite restaurants to go to! Here’s a sample of some of the food and drink we enjoyed:


From the upper left corner going clockwise: Rising Sun cocktail (sake, plum wine, juices and rimmed with li hing mui powder) and a shot of Ozeki nigori sake, Spicy Crunchy Trio with only spicy tuna (my new FAVORITE!!!!!), Honey Toast, Ozeki nigori sake, Brownie Tempura, Tofu Poke, Bread Pudding (we got two of these huge bread pudding desserts for free since we were celebrating two birthdays), and East Meets West rolls. Along with all this yumminess, we also ordered Chicken Karaage, Tuna Tataki, Beef Tataki, Edamame, Garlic Steak, and various sushi rolls. Oh, and I really liked what was written on the hashi (chopsticks) wrapper: “Doraku in Japanese means ‘the road to happiness.’ DO means road or path and RAKU means happiness or pleasure. We are committed to live up to our name and hope you find happiness here as well!”

On Wednesday, I received a package of goodies from a calligrapher I met on Periscope. I sent him a predetermined payment and trusted him to put together an arsenal of calligraphy “toys” good for a beginner. Boy did he please! I received a couple of oblique pens, a handful of straight pens (including one that I believe I’m supposed to fill with ink… kind of like a fountain pen?), tons of various style nibs – broad point, French, modern, etc., and a package of walnut crystals to make walnut ink with. What I love the most is the hand written letter he calligraphed for me live on Periscope (although I’m so bummed I missed it) and included with the package. I will do a post on this later when I have a chance.

Thursday was Girls’ Day, or Hinamatsuri, and I had a blast (insert sarcastic emoji) going to SIX stores trying to buy traditional pink and white mochi for the residents at the Assisted Living Facility that I work at. I easily could’ve pre-ordered the mochi from this one place (Nisshodo) in town, but I did not want to drive all.the.way. to town from the Westside just to have to drive back to Central Oahu for work. But after my adventurous morning, I decided that next year, it actually may be easier and less time consuming to drive all.the.way. to town and back.

Nisshodo Candy Store - Honolulu, HI, United States. Chi Chi Dango (aka pink & white "milk dumplings, $4.75/lb): Sweet, soft & chewy!

Photo courtesy of Yelp

We bought our girls some pineapple coconut balls and colored sweet rice treats for Girls’ Day and they received packages from both sets of Grandparents full of treats from Maui (strawberry mochi, pink arare, puffed colored rice, etc.) and the cutest shirts and pins ever from Hilo!

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The Life is Wabi-Sabi pins came with an explanation about Wabi-Sabi: “Wabi-Sabi is the Japanese view of life that finds beauty in things that are imperfect, humble and simple, ordinary and unrefined. It is a way of living that peacefully accepts the natural cycle of life. Everything ages, nothing lasts forever, and sometimes things don’t work out as planned. Embrace the Wabi-Sabi concept and discover that life is “Purr-fectly Imperfect.”

That night, I had a chance¬†sacrificed sleep to play with my new calligraphy goodies. I tried out the wooden oblique holder and two nibs: John Heaths Telephone Pen 0278F nib and a French Baignol and Farjon No. 803 nib. Here’s a pic of my drill attempts (note: it was VERY late at night and I was practically falling asleep while writing, but I just HAD to try out my new goodies):


After a long day of work on Friday and a barbecue with some friends for dinner, I retreated up to my room to write a little. That night, I didn’t feel like doing drills, so I just let my hand go and do what it wanted. I had to wake up early the next morning to go to work, so I had to cut it short, but here’s what my pen did when I just wrote without thinking too much:


Notice how I couldn’t even come up with what to write, so I just wrote the obvious… name, “I just wanna write!”, alphabet, date, and the materials I was using at that moment in time. Talk about lack of creativity! Oh, and I thought I’d take a shot of my working area as I thought it looked kind of like a beautiful mess.

I usually don’t work Saturdays, so after work yesterday, I was just too tired to do anything other than absorb inspiration from Periscope and Instagram.

So there you have it. The last nine days of my life in short. After writing this, I’m thinking that maybe it is easier to post more frequently than to try and compose one long post like this??? Well, we’ll see…