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When I used to walk around with my aging parents, I was always grateful for “small kindnesses” like these. They are actually huge.

Like the café worker who waved enthusiastically
to my father as he walked in the door of the coffee shop
like she was expecting him,
like he was a regular in this hipster enclave
instead of a septuagenarian
in khaki shorts and white tennis shoes.

He met me here on my workday
so I could help him format a document —
something he couldn’t figure out how to do at home
no matter how many buttons he tried,
something my mother always did for him
in the decades after he gave up his trusty typewriter.
So he arrived at the coffee shop
vulnerable and exasperated in that way
that only technology can make us feel:
like slow, dependent children — and
sorely missing my mother.

Like the barista who didn’t blink
when he ordered his coffee the wrong way,
when he said la-TAY instead of LAH-tey,
who took his order from our table
as if we were in a sit-down restaurant
and she was our waiter,
who smiled the whole time like a halo of warm light,
softening the space everywhere,
who made him feel like he belonged.

You cannot know how those small gestures matter,
unless you are him,
unless you are me, watching,
unless you see his shoulders relax,
in that way that we can do only
when we feel safe and seen enough to let go,
and his eyes dampen, the tiny liquid pools held in at the rims,
barely noticeable, as he smiles and says,
She always knew how to do this for me. For years she did this.
She would have been 69 today. How I miss her.

Siri Live Myhrom

From the blog: On Being.

 Saimin is on the top of July list for comfort food. It was my favorite childhood dish that my family made, that I ate in restaurants with my grandmother. Chewy noodles and salty broth with various fixings – kamaboko(fish cake…the pink and white kind), scallions, sliced spam, won bok or char siu.

This version from Da Kitchen is the best one I’ve found in Maui. Maui is better known for dry saimin where the broth is served on the side. While this version is pricey, there were a lot of extra toppings. The broth tasted more like shoyu flavor than pork/shrimp found in most saimin.

Also Da Kitchen lacks the old style feeling of saimin places left over from the plantation days in Hawaii. The saimin was okay, but Da Kitchen won’t be a must stop like Hamura’s on Kaua’i is. 

Kris has an amazing green thumb. I really think it comes from the consistent care and attention he gives to the plants. I guess we all need that, huh? Even though we travel a ton, he makes a huge effort to see that the yard and garden are watered and fed.

We came home to the bounty in our garden. I harvested broccoli, a red bell pepper and limes. I love picking the broccoli when the stems are thin and tender. You can eat the leaves, too. It spoils me and I have a hard time with the thick woody stems you find in the market. The lime tree was dropping limes because it was so full and I love lime or lemon in water…so refreshing!

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I love broccoli with garlic, chili and anchovies with pasta and the thin stalks from our garden would be perfect for the dish. I saute the garlic, chili and anchovies in olive oil until the anchovies break up. Then the cut up pieces of broccoli are added until they turn a bright green and are cooked to your liking.Image

I’ve been on a gluten free diet and we tried a corn pasta. The one we tried last night was Mrs. Leeper’s spaghetti made with corn. I love, love, love pasta and eating gluten free pasta is a stretch for me. I haven’t really been willing to experiment with pasta without gluten as I think it’s perfect WITH gluten. If it wasn’t for the fact that the back and hip pain that was waking me in the middle of the night is gone, I would not be continuing this diet.

Mrs. Leeper’s was very chewy. The package said 8-9 minutes and I started checking it at 7. At 7 minutes, I couldn’t bite into the pasta. It was beyond chewey.  At 9 minutes the pasta was cooked and al dente. The texture was a lot chewier than pasta made with wheat, but it was passable. We’ll keep experimenting.

This image is this July’s photo-heart connection for several reasons. This clock belonged to my mom who died in 2009. I bought it for her because she loved flowers and small pretty items for her dresser. I can still see her hands when she held it.

The image is a reminder that time does pass quickly.

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