Byodo-In Temple

If you visit O’ahu, get out of Waiki and the North Shore and take a break at the Byodo-In Temple in lush Kahalu’u, on the Windward side of the island. I’ve lived on O’ahu for 29 years and it was my first time visiting this shrine. It’s gorgeous!

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Byodo-In Temple

The temple is located at the foot of the Ko’olau Mountains, in the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park (a graveyard). Don’t let that freak you out, though! It isn’t a graveyard with creepy headstones.

Once I crossed the wooden bridge at the entrance and saw the temple, I felt relaxed. Even with tourists mulling around, I was in a state of calm (this feeling was still with me in the gift shop!). There was a temple tour being held and people going in and out of the shrine that housed a giant Buddha.

The Byodo-In Temple is a non-practicing Buddhist temple, and I always liked the Buddhist teachings. To me, it’s not a religion, but a way of life, and the principles behind Buddhism is what I like. (Plus, I’m a big fan of the Dalai Lama).

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Backside of the temple

We walked the manicured grounds, seeing small waterfalls, ponds, and a lot of koi. It was a peaceful way to spend the afternoon.

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Lots of koi, which you can feed

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Black swan

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10-Year High School Reunion

I chose not to go to my 10-year high school reunion. Do I regret it? No. High school was an emotional time, for me and all of my classmates. We were dealing with growing up, relationships, friendships, homework, thinking about the future. It was stressful.

But I met my good friends during those years. After I quit band my junior year I needed somewhere else to eat lunch, so I found the art room. And that was where I met a bunch of lovable, nice, and funny people. I still keep in contact with some to this day.

Seeing Facebook posts from my former Japanese teacher, a friend, and our class group hasn’t fazed me and made me change my mind about not going. It looked like a fun time, though. From the looks of it, the theme was Vegas. Of course. The same people who were part of the student council and planned our dances and events also planned the reunion! It’s cute that they were so dedicated to our class. I was amazed then and I’m still amazed now.

Despite me not going, I was curious to know what some of my classmates were up to…looks like I have to go to my 20th high school reunion huh?

 

Apple Picking

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kozirsky/Shutterstock

One blog I read is Extra Petite, a style blog for petite women. Besides fashion, Jean blogs about makeup, her travels, and more recently, recipes. Gorgeous pictures flood every post, making each one very attractive. And she does all of this while highlighting her home city of Boston. Her blog makes me want to get on a plane and visit Beantown.

I can imagine it now…watching the sailboats glide along the Charles River, strolling through Boston Common and admiring the flowers in the Public Garden…going apple picking in the fall…

Okay, the main reason I want to go to Boston–and the East Coast in general–is to experience fall. On Extra Petite, Jean recently blogged about her and her husband’s apple picking adventure.

And I wanted to BE THERE!!!! What a fun way to start autumn, huh?

One thing about living in Hawaii is that there are only two “seasons”: summer and “winter,” the latter being cloudy and rainy. I think experiencing the seasons would be fun! Getting stuck (in my hotel room) in a blizzard would make for a great story back home, I’m sure. And so would sharing photos of the bright fall colors of the trees and my apple picking experience…

Have any of you picked seasonal fruit before? If you live on the East Coast, is fall all that I imagined it would be? Full of color, the smell of cider and pumpkin, and apple picking?

My Pinky Journey

My left pinky has been swollen for about a month, and I finally saw my doctor last Wednesday. (I’m still not sure how it happened, but it’s annoying).

What’s great about my doctor is that she’s young and nice. She also knows what tests are needed to fully make a diagnosis. Case in point, she checked my joints for inflammation and told me that I needed to get blood drawn (to be 100% sure that there weren’t other areas of inflammation) and hand x-rays.

I decided to get the needlework over and done with first. Whenever I have to get shots, I CANNOT look at the needle going into my arm and coming out. It’s how I manage through it, actually. My logic is, if I can’t see it, I can get my mind thinking of something else faster and the pain won’t be terrible.

The hand x-rays were different, as I’ve only gotten a full body one. I sat in a room in front a large white machine and placed each hand, one after the other, in the middle of the table, which had marks on it. It looked like a target, but square. Each hand needed three x-rays.

All this for a swollen pinky.

I have a follow-up appointment in two weeks but received the news that I have to see a rheumatologist because I had a positive ANA test. When I heard that I immediately began thinking of the possible joint and bone diseases that might have caused it. (As you can tell, I worry). Of course, my parents told me to not think about it and not Google anything except who the doctor was because I was only going to make myself feel worse.

Positive thinking = positive outcome

But, my x-rays were normal! According to my mom, besides showing if bones are fractured, x-rays also display signs of arthritis and osteoporosis, so I’m safe from having those conditions.

*Breathe*

Everything will be fine.

I’m not going to think and talk about the unknown and focus on getting my pinky better with ibuprofen and ice.