It’s the last Sunday of summer vacation! Well, in Hawai’i it is anyway. It’s almost hard to believe, but the girls head back to school on Thursday. Neither is feeling particularly ready to go back either. The summer break here is much shorter than they’re used to, and WenYu has had very little time off because of her summer classes. One big difference coming up this year though will be that WenYu will be able to drive to school a few days each week. Brett will still get up with them and fix them breakfast, make their lunches and see them off, but he won’t have to make that trip over to the school and back twice every day (which will bring down our gasoline costs). We’ll be stuck at the house of course on the days they take the car, but will deal with that as it occurs.
Brett and I thought the puzzle we started this week was going to be easier than the last but we were wrong! Way wrong. The pieces are larger, but we’re finding it much more difficult because the picture is a painting, with lots of soft, fuzzy edges to the images in the picture. We like a challenge, but this puzzle is going to take us a bit more time than we expected.
Otherwise, today I am:
- Reading: I finished Untangling My Chopsticks last night, and today I’m starting a mystery, The Decagon House Murders by Yukito Ayatsuji, set in Japan. I’m really craving books about Japan right now, but none of the ones I want to read are available for download through the library so I’m going to have to decide if they’re worth buying for my Kindle.
- Listening to: The hum of the fans. There is only a little breeze right now so it’s very quiet. The girls are still sleeping in too, and Brett is reading something.
- Watching: Brett and I are working our way through the Inspector Morse series. The stories are still entertaining, but we’re having fun as well with the fashions and technology that were in style when the series was filmed, things like big shoulder pads, midi skirts, frizzy 80s hairstyles, and phones the size of a shoebox. I also watched a terrific thriller last night on Netflix: The Awakening. If you enjoy a good, scary movie I heartedly recommend this one. The acting is superb, the storyline gripping, and the ending a true surprise.
- Cooking/baking: Brett whipped up some banana-coconut pancakes this morning to use up the rest of the overripe bananas. I had planned to make “super nachos” for our dinner tonight, but the avocados we bought are still not quite ripe enough so I’m going to make a turkey divan casserole instead. No baking today – the girls made banana-chocolate chip muffins the other day so we’re set for now. I’ll probably make a loaf of bread tomorrow though.
- Happy I accomplished this past week: Getting the monthly food shopping done and staying under budget. This month was difficult because we had to get items that work in school lunches that we haven’t had to buy the past couple of months, and our “month” covers five weeks this time instead of four. Social Security pays on a particular Wednesday each month based on your birthday date, and a couple of times a year there’s a five-week gap which takes a little extra planning. And, I also finished another lesson of Japanese on Rosetta Stone – just one more to go and then I can move up to the next level. It’s still familiar, but getting more challenging as I go along. It feels like I have forgotten more than I ever learned.
- Looking forward to next week: I will miss having the girls around each day, but I’m also somewhat excited about them heading back to school. It’s WenYu’s senior year and she and I are both kind of anxious about it, for different reasons. The girls have settled in nicely to their new school, and I think this year will be a great one for both of them.
- Thankful for: That Brett’s and my time is, for the most part, our own these days. Today is absolutely beautiful, and when I came out to the living room I told Brett that if we didn’t drop everything and go to the beach today we were idiots. Being spontaneous wasn’t often worth it in the past for the havoc it could create in the rest of a week’s scheduling, but these days I’m grateful we finally have the time to make up our day as we go along.
- Bonus question: What’s the most money you’ve ever found? One year in college I needed to take summer classes. I was attending the University of Arizona, and lived with two friends out in town. I received money from my parents at the beginning of the summer, but after paying tuition, fees, books and three months’ rent upfront I had very little money left over. As I feared, even with careful budgeting it ran out before the first two months were up. I literally had no money left for food, transportation, anything, and had no idea how I was going to survive because I couldn’t ask for more money. I had been unable to find a job that worked with my class schedule either. Feeling near panic one day and not sure how I was going to make it, I walked over to see a friend (in 100+ degree heat!) who was living in a dorm – I thought maybe she could loan me a tiny bit of money (my roommates were already covering my part of the utilities) so I could buy some food. As I climbed up to the dorm, I found a pile of money lying on one of the steps, both bills and coins. I looked around – there was no one else out in that heat. I sat down and waited a while to see if someone came back for the money, and when no one showed up I picked it up and took it into the dorm. No one was around there either. I waited some more, but no one seemed to be missing the money and after a while I decided it was safe to keep it. The amount I found was $87 and some change – more than enough to feed me through the end of summer and cover my part of the utilities. To this day I believe my guardian angel put that money there for me to find so that I could eat and finish the summer term.
So how is Sunday going for you? What are you up to today? How was your week?