A Universal Dip.


I am in a funk. Ask my husband. I am so in a funk. The weather in Hawaii is a bit tinged around the edges. The trade winds have ceased, allowing the vog to float in from the south upon gentle kona breezes. It will give people runny noses and sneezing fits and headaches.

Not sure what my personal funk is about. It could be the weather. It could be the way I seem to be brushed off every time I reach out to someone. Maybe it’s wondering too much. I know my little aches and pains are big enough to scare me.

On days like this I am happy to be at work where the climate is controlled. That’s about all though. The work load is dynamic and the managers are talking into two phones at once, answering texts and emails, shoving crunchy snacks into their faces because they don’t have time to eat a real meal. We do love our deadlines, and we do love our pressure, but we also love it when the juices flow in our brains well and our efforts trigger the chorus of angels across the hall.

A wall of Island Scene covers behind me and my colleagues, HMSA writers, editors, and my manager, a PR pro. Tagged on Facebook!

We don’t always, so we go back to the drawing board.

At work today we said good bye to a fellow writer, Andrea, and her husband Mel, who worked on our web team. Same department, different units. They got married last summer. When they announced their engagement, many of us who worked among them didn’t even know they had dated. At department meetings they never sat together. Each of them is really quiet compared to people like me! And Andrea’s even from South Jersey where everybody is loud all the time! When did they even have a conversation, let alone date, let alone get engaged, and then get married? 

You never know when a colleague will bust out the ukulele and serenade the office. This is farewell, Hawaiian Style. Aloha Andrea & Mel!

As another colleague serenaded the couple with his ukulele, singing two songs including “Over the Rainbow,” ala Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwoole, I took a photo and then ran over to the other side of the wall to my cube where I just dabbed my eyes until he was done. THEN I got to blow my nose. What the heck? I think my hormones might be part of this emotional symphony as well. Sometimes listening to Iz helps:

OFFICIAL Somewhere over the Rainbow – Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwoʻole.

I do like kona weather for weekend bicycle rides and it might mean I’ll get in a stand-up paddle board session on the beach. My girls would love that. It’s time for the weekend. I’m going to find a way to scrub out the negatives, the doubt, and the insecurities that sprout up when I feel alone. Does merlot go with guacamole? Time to turn this funk into fun!

A Meyer lemon on an avocado pile. Looking at tonight's guacamole!

By lavagal

Hawaii Kai wife and mom. Melanoma Stage 3a Cancer survivor. English Language Arts teacher, English Learners Coordinator, and Paraprofessional Tutor. Super sub teacher. Dormant triathlete. Road cyclist and Masters swimmer. Gardener. Mrs. Fixit. Random dancer. Music Curator. A teenager trapped in an aging body. Did you know 60 is the new 40? It is.


  1. i read “universal dip,” and with super bowl sunday coming up, i’m thinking chips and dip. or crudites and dip. no mood swinging kinda dips need apply. i was so relieved when you brought it around to guacamole. i guess i need to burn some calories to earn a reward.

    speaking of dip, check out this recipe for williams-sonoma onion dip. mmmm. maybe this would enhance the mood. not sure how it would go with merlot, but then again …

    French Onion Dip via Williams-Sonoma


    2 Tbs. unsalted butter
    1 large yellow onion, finely diced
    1 tsp. kosher salt
    1 garlic clove, minced
    2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
    1 1/4 cups sour cream
    1/4 cup mayonnaise
    1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
    1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper


    1. In a fry pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and salt and cook, stirring often, until soft and caramelized, about 20 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the Worcestershire sauce and stir to scrape up the browned bits from the pan bottom. Transfer the onion to a small bowl and let cool to room temperature.

    2. In a bowl, stir together the sour cream, mayonnaise, cayenne pepper, and black pepper. Stir in the onion. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 week.

  2. Nice. But what I actually did was:

    Guacamole, Spiked, Sassy & Swift.

    Unload an avocado into an 8-inch Russel Wright bowl.
    Chop some Kamuela tomatoes and dump onto avocado.
    Chop some Maui onions and dump onto avocado and tomatoes.
    Mash with antique potato masher.
    Add 1/4 cup Kirkland salsa.
    Squirt Meyer lemon juice on top.
    Squirt Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce on top.
    Season with salt and pepper.

    Enjoy. Should I switch to beer?

  3. You could switch to beer. Whatever might encourage you to not quite finish the guacamole would be the recommended course. 😉

  4. I switched to seltzer, and there’s some left over in the Foodland poke container. It was mmmm.

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