Holidays in Hawaii

I’m not a pork eater, so the tradition of savoring Kalua pig roasted in an imu on Thanksgiving did not appeal to me.  We brought our own tradition with us and cooked a meal with some family and friends for the day. One of the things we are used to on Thanksgiving is eating around 2pm, but in Hawaii it’s mostly done around dinnertime.

Christmas in Hawaii is much different than it is on the Mainland. I didn’t notice as many in-your-face “buy, buy, buy” ads, and no one was really in a hurry to buy anything. Black Friday happened, but nothing like everyone on the Mainland is used to. I didn’t experience the selfishness among the people in Hawaii as I was used to in the rest of the United States. It was a nice change of pace.

Where I come from, people begin decorating for Christmas on Thanksgiving weekend or right after that. We expected the entire island would be lit up with holiday lights. But that was not so. Except for large businesses in Waikiki and some churches and homes, there were very few places lit up. We realized quickly that it’s not because Hawaiians don’t celebrate Christmas; it’s that the price of electricity is so ridiculous in Hawaii that putting up a lot of lights or anything extra that requires power isn’t exactly cost efficient.

To give a price comparison, our home in Florida with running the air conditioning (and washer/dryer/etc.) all summer long, our electric bill averaged $175 at the highest month. In Hawaii, however, running the air conditioning a few nights in August for 23 days cost us $200. We learned quickly not to run the a/c – period. Still, every bill we received was $200 for the month. When we discussed decorating for Christmas, we decided to sell our pre-lit tree and outdoor lights and opt for something much wiser – a rosemary bush – because I could use it to cook with year-round.

Decorations at a church
How Santa gets to the island.


This yard had the most decorations in the area.


On a main highway


What Christmas Tree Shortage?




The most affordable Christmas tree in Hawaii



Another Bad Hair (Dye) Day

I decided to go a little lighter with my hair for the summer and thought of highlights, but I don’t care for the high cost and maintenance of highlights. I normally use L’Oreal hair dyes, and I’m pretty good at picking out the right colors so I don’t end up having to go to a professional. L’Oreal has put out some new “Sunkissed Caramels” on the market that are supposed to make hair appear to be “sunkissed” or somewhat highlighted. This one, called “hi-lift  gold brown” is specifically for dark hair – dark brown and black – and promises no brassiness that boxed dyes often do to dark hair.

I thought that this $7.99 deal was the answer to the expensive and high maintenance highlighting issue. What my hair turned out to be was nothing near what the box promised. Brassiness didn’t even begin to describe my new ‘do. I could have passed for Mrs. Ronald McDonald.

Luckily, I was able to cover this one up with a neutral dark brown the following day. Loreal Sunkissed Caramels for dark hair? Unless you want this to happen to you, I would rate this as highly NOT recommended.

Think Twice Before Purchasing a Memory Foam Mattress

Just under four years ago my husband and I decided to make an investment on a good mattress. Both of us had back and neck problems from sleeping on cheap mattresses, plus we wanted to upgrade to something bigger. We researched memory foam mattresses – which were getting high reviews at the time about how comfortable they were – and decided that’s what we needed. Shopping for one wasn’t difficult; a store only about two miles from us sold Sealy Posturepedic TruForm mattresses for a little lower than the other name brands. After purchasing the special box springs and frame, we had invested nearly $2000 on a king-sized bed that we had planned to last us at least twenty years. We considered this to be about right if we replaced a new $500 mattress every five years.

At first the mattress took some getting used to because my husband tends to get hot easily. (There is no air flow with memory foam mattresses.) The first year we had the mattress we both slept well. I had no complaints about not sleeping or having back problems like I do now. The second year, I started frequenting the chiropractor, yet I didn’t think it had anything to do with the bed. By the end of the second year, I was at the chiropractor’s office almost weekly.

My husband and I flipped the mattress, switched sides, and did everything we possibly could to get comfortable. Still not thinking the bed had anything to do with it, I slept crosswise in the opposite direction one night when my husband was at work. I noticed a lump in the center – in the exact spot where we did not sleep. I could not see it with my own eyes, but I could feel it when I was lying down. It was very obvious.

So I started doing a little research on memory foam mattresses. Lo and behold, there it was – tons and tons of reviews about memory foam mattress with the exact same complaints. The mattress we owned had numerous complaints as well. They all said the same thing: after two years, the mattress is no good, the mattress sags, the mattress has no support. After two years, no one really has a good night’s sleep, and some even said they’d rather sleep on the floor.

Since the warranty only covers “visual sagging” the manufacturer’s 20-year warranty is no good. Although memory foam loses its density over time, it visually pops back into place. What a ripoff! We did more research and found out that the larger manufacturers are using cheap materials and selling at high cost – typical of big companies.

Because I could not get comfortable, I hadn’t been able to sleep well without pain. My health insurance does not cover chiropractic care. I estimated that we have spent more in chiropractic care over the last couple of years than we did on the bed itself.

Due to my experience with this mattress and name brand and warranty ordeal, I would never purchase from Sealy ever again. Sealy Posturepedic TruForm Memory Foam Mattress – I rate this a big fat ZERO.

Shopping Sucks

This may come as a surprise to many people, but I am a woman who hates shopping. I would rather be reading a book, sitting at the beach, or writing. Shopping was something I did at the mall when I was a bored teenager. And even then I really didn’t shop because I was broke; I hung out. Today, the mall is one of the last places you’ll find me.

When I tell people I hate shopping – especially men – I get responses like, “What?! You’re a woman! Women love shopping!”

Well, not this woman. And besides, not all women are the same.

Shopping is a chore to me. It’s boring and redundant. The only time I enjoy shopping is at thrift stores because I get most of my reading material at Goodwill for only about a buck.

Shopping? You can have it.