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January 1st is the official “restart” date. Aw, those infamous resolutions! We’re bypassing all those and going straight to the nitty gritty of our home’s yearly inspection. As our reference I have used the THIS OLD HOUSE YEARLY INSPECTION CHECK LIST. The list is extensive and thorough. Maybe some items will not apply to you but they are well worth perusing. Due to the length of the newsletter, this will be in two parts with the exterior checklist this month.

Now let’s begin.

CHECK for cracks in asphalt or concrete on the driveway, sidewalks and path. These can be tripping hazards and can invite water that will do more damage.
MAKE sure retaining walls have no bulges or loose areas. One heavy rain and you could have a mud slide on your hands. Make sure the weep holes built into the wall are clear.
EXAMINE lanais and decks for sagging ceilings, loose rails or boards and damaged steps. Check to make sure the posts are still firmly in the ground and not loose, or worse yet, rotted completely out of the footing.
GIVE fences and stone walls (and their gates) a once-over for leaning and loose parts, which could fall or blow off during a storm.
LOOK for stains on the siding which could be a sign of a water problem or a roof issue.
LOOK for signs of insect or bird nests in soffits, eaves, or attic vents. If you see signs of animal waste in a certain area, look around for the possible nest or culprit.
TAKE note of where paint is peeling, brick mortar is missing, or stucco is cracking on the house’s siding.

LOOK for leaning on the chimney. Check that the flashing is in good condition and not peeling up or missing. Examine the flashing and vent/chimney caps for missing or damaged parts. Look for rust. This applies to your skylights as well.
CHECK gutters and downspouts for debris or improper pitch, especially during a rain storm. Look for stains on the soffit, which could be a sign of a leak
EXAMINE the foundation for cracks and bulges..
TAKE a look at the sill, checking for rot and insects. Look for raised mud channels, which indicates the presence of termites. Use a sharp knife or other probe to see how much the wood gives when pushed.
MAKE sure the grade of the ground around the foundation slopes away from the house.
LOOK at the roofing. Are there cracks, missing shingles, crumbling pieces? Check asphalt for dry, blistering, alligatoring, or curling shingles; wood for rot and splits; slate and tile for broken
pieces; and flat roofs for holes and low spots where water can accumulate and turn black from mold or mildew. Shake roofs have their own set of problems. Beware of cupping, broken or missing shakes. Look closely for rotted ends, as well. Be especially vigilant under trees, where falling branches or jumping animals could have done damage. Try not to allow any branches touch the house if at all possible. Look for moss and other debris on the roof.

CHECK the action of the garage door and look for dents in the tracks or cracks in the door.
MAKE sure tool storage and hanging rakes and shovels do not create falling or tripping hazards.

EXAMINE weatherstripping around exterior doors and windows for tears and wear which leads to water penetration.

LOOK for cracks in window glass and glazing around panes.
CHECK the action of the windows for sticking points and cranks on jalousie windows.
LOOK for peeling paint and other signs of wear on window frames and sills, usually in the bottom corner. Check that weep holes in the sill outside have not been caulked or painted over, inhibiting drainage.

After your thorough inspection it will be up to you to determine what needs to be addressed. Some items are quick fixes while others will require professional help. If you recently purchased a home, most, if not all, items were covered by your home inspection. Lucky you! But for the rest of us, let’s set aside the beginning of each year to do our inspection. This is where the old adage, AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION IS WORTH A POUND OF CURE fits in perfectly! You may want to keep this checklist as a reference.

Next month we tackle the interior, so buckle your seat belts!

We would like to take this opportunity to wish you wellness and happiness in 2018.


I quickly walk down Smith Street in Chinatown, passing Lucky Belly noodle shop to the Livestock Tavern. Fortunately, I have a reservation with out of town guests, otherwise, I would have to “suffer” (LOL) sitting in their excellent cocktail lounge enjoying some of the most innovative cocktails in Honolulu. After quaffing a Whistlepig Old Fashioned, I glance at the menu. I love to begin with the clam chowder that is authentic Boston style. (As a native New Englander, I can attest to that). They even have Maine lobster rolls but more often on the lunch menu. The service is friendly, if somewhat disorganized at times, however, the food makes up for that in spades. Some of my dinner favorites are the hen of the woods and asparagus salad with poached egg and shaved fennel, grilled octopus salad, oxtail stuffed pasta and smoked prime rib. When I am lucky enough to get there for lunch I really savor the braised beef tongue sandwich, tavern burger and oxtail pappardelle pasta with a Hefeweizen from Honolulu Beerworks.

The setting is comfortable with open brick walls in the renovated space.
While this is a new American Restaurant, it seems authentic and not pretentious. Friends from Boston to Tokyo have enjoyed both the lunch and dinner menus.
Livestock Tavern is open for lunch 11 am to 2 pm and dinner 5-10 pm, Monday through Saturday.
Park on the street, if available or in one of the municipal lots nearby.

49 N Hotel Street

Phone: (808) 537-2577



It’s New Year’s Eve. For professional firework displays, consider any of the following venues:

New Year’s Eve Pineapple Drop at the town center in Mililani.
New Year’s Eve fireworks at the Kolina Resort.
New Year’s Eve Party of the Year at the Aloha Tower Market Place.
Fireworks at the Turtle Bay Resort.

On New Year’s Day, celebrate Hatsumode 2018. Be blessed for the new year at the Hawaii Kotohira Jinsha-Hawaii Dazaifu Tenmangu. Enjoy the Shishi lion dance and taiko drums. Parking is available at the Damien School. Midnight until 5 pm

Celebrate the Year of the Dog at the Japanese Cultural Center on Beretania Street January 14th.
Food, demonstrations and games for the whole family. 10 am-4 pm


Whale watching season peaks in February and March, but January is a great time to go whale watching, as well. You might consider a great vantage point from the Makapuu Lighthouse or the Blowhole.

Pacific Islands Arts Festival will be held at Kapiolani Park on January 20th and 21st. This is a craft fair for local artists with entertainment, including hula and a Lion dance on the second day.

January 8-14 is the Sony Open golf tournament at the Waialae Country Club in Kahala.

As an added bonus, the Hawaii Tourism Authority will sponsor the Pro-Junior Challenge on January 9th at the country club to pair our state’s elite junior golfers with PGA pros.


Manoa Valley Theatre presents, Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery January 11th to January 28th.

Hawaii Opera Theatre schedule includes:
As One Chamber Opera January 11th to January 14th.
Fry Street Quartet on January 12th.

Blaisdell Concert Hall and Exhibition Hall schedules include:

*Hawaii Symphony Orchestra plays Disney in Concert with movie scenes from your famorite animated Disney films st to live music. January 5th and 6th at the Concert Hall.

*Diana Ross concert January 12th.

*Hawaii Bridal Expo January 12th through January 14th.

*Hawaii Symphony Orchestra Eastern Light at the Concert Hall January 7th.

*BIA Home Building and Remodeling show January 26th through January 28th.

Kind regards,
Cathy, Mary and Jeff