Tuesday Miscellany


Matcha mug cake

A few things too small for their own post:

  • Have any of you tried making a mug cake? Do you like them? I found a recipe for a matcha (green tea) mug cake, and it’s easy to make and good tasting (and vegan when I use soy milk). The consistency is a little weird though, so I’m wondering if it’s just this recipe or if they’re all like that. If you have a favorite mug cake recipe, I’d love to hear it!
  • Yesterday I got butterflies in my stomach for the first time over the upcoming Mystery Vacation™. I almost can’t believe it’s coming up in less than two months! Within two weeks of returning from that trip WenYu and I will be making our quick (and probably exhausting) trip to Colorado Springs to check out the college. Our Oahu trip is coming up in June, but yesterday we were reminded that if YaYu attends summer school the dates for that trip will have to change.
  • Meiling is back at work with the same company as she worked for in Portland, but with a new boss. He gave her nearly full-time hours, but with fewer responsibilities than she had at her old location, so she is happy. She says her schedule still gives her plenty of time for classes, homework and assignments. Although the business she works for is located on campus, the job is not school-related so she will continue full-time employment during the summer, and will just have to figure out where she is going to live after she has to move out of the dorm.
  • Both Meiling’s and WenYu’s FAFSAs were completed and submitted this past week – so glad we are done with those for now. The timing for the FAFSA submission is changing this year, and we will be submitting them again this fall for the 2017-2018 school year using our 2015 earnings once more. The move to a fall submission will be a big step toward helping families better figure out how much aid they will qualify for so they can make better decisions about college expenses and affordability.
  • Once again I am feeling very grateful that we stuck it out with the navy and earned those benefits. It was time to renew a prescription for WenYu that she uses to control her acne, and when Brett called the automated renewal line yesterday he was told the cost would be $60 for a 23-day supply. We didn’t remember paying that much for it the last time the prescription was filled, so Brett called back and spoke with a real person and it turns out the cost is $16 for us, not $60. The reason we are feeling so grateful though is that while we were trying to find the price through our insurance we discovered that the regular price for a 23-day supply (there is no generic) is $470.95! Yikes.
  • I will be able to finish up the rest of my annual medical check-up this week. There was an opening at the hospital’s women’s clinic later this morning for a mammogram (I was expecting to wait weeks), and on Wednesday morning I’ll have a fasting blood draw to check my cholesterol and thyroid levels. So far so good with my thyroid, but I have familial high cholesterol (thanks, Mom!) and last year my cholesterol numbers were a little high even thought I take a statin (Lipitor). My doctor would like to continue with my current dosage, so I’m hoping that my eating vegan and getting more exercise this past month will improve my numbers and the dosage won’t need to be increased. My doctor is impressed though that at nearly 64 years old the statin is the only medication I need (I’m relieved).

8 thoughts on “Tuesday Miscellany

  1. Vivian Gibson says:

    I had to quit taking Lipitor because it raised by sugar to diabetic levels so be careful.
    Like you, I am grateful that my parents get their prescriptions thru MacDill AFB or Express Scripts. Hugh savings.


    • Laura says:

      I’ve been taking Lipitor for the last 10 years with no problems (I actually take the generic these days). I took Zocor and another simvistatin before that and ended up in the emergency room twice with a reaction!

      The prescription savings is huge.


  2. JJ says:

    I love mug cakes! So easy to make and so fast. I’ve only tried ones from a mix, but I’ve seen a lot of recipes online that I want to try. What was it about the texture that you didn’t like?

    You’ve mentioned many times the benefits you have from your and Brett’s time in the military, so do you think you would have been able to move to Hawaii if you both had never been in the navy? Just curious because I know how expensive it is to live there and I wonder how someone without any type of help could make it work the way you have.


    • Laura says:

      The texture of the mug cake is kind of chewy/spongy, for lack of a better term. It’s not awful, just different. But, the cake is easy to make and tastes very good. I’d love to try some other types though.

      The biggest benefit we get for Brett’s time in the service is the monthly retirement check; the health insurance is just one other piece of the retirement benefit. That monthly check would be very difficult to make up. I know now that we could still afford to live here without it BUT we’d have to work. Actually, we’d both still be working back on the mainland without that retirement benefit! We didn’t always use the military medical insurance either – when Brett first retired it was not very good, so we dumped it and enrolled in the insurance offered through his employer. But, a few years ago we started hearing that the retired military insurance had really gotten their act together and was worth using, so we decoupled from the work insurance and went with the military. So far, no complaints. Brett’s on Medicare now, and I will be in 2017, but the military insurance will provide our supplemental insurance and we can continue with the prescription benefit, so yes it helps.

      Hawaii’i does have a high cost of living, but I think it’s a myth that you have to be rich to live here. You have to be rich if you intend to live like you did on the mainland, but that’s not necessary here, at least on Kaua’i. The mammogram technician and I were talking this morning about how much you don’t need here compared to back on the mainland; that’s been the biggest savings, I think,


      • JJ says:

        Thanks for the reply. That’s very interesting. When you say, “how much you don’t need here compared to back on the mainland; that’s been the biggest savings, I think.” what do you mean? I’m assuming you mean you don’t need winter clothing, but I can’t think of anything else, other than maybe you don’t have the expense of heating or cooling a house since you don’t need heat and have the breezes for A/C.


  3. Tahoe girl says:

    I think you’re right, that you can live in Kauai on a budget. You are fortunate to have Brett’s retirement, but I think also you both planned this and it’s working. It must be lovely.


    • Laura says:

      I think planning (over-planning, actually) is the key. There is so much information out there about how much it costs to live here, just day-to-day stuff, but many people move over here and then seem to be caught unawares. And, living here is w-a-y different from being here on vacation. People move here with expectations based on vacation experiences and then when the reality of day-to-day life doesn’t live up to those expectations . . . . My advice would be to move here with no expectations other than you will enjoy good weather almost all of the time, and you can see the ocean every day. Remain open to new experiences and new ways of doing thing. And then let Hawai’i reveal herself to you.


      • Laura says:

        I think besides the clothes and the heating and cooling (which are major monthly expenses), you also don’t have cleaning expenses for winter clothes. And no one cares what you’re wearing or where it came from. The weather has a big effect on how you cook and what you eat: more local fruits and vegetables which can be purchased cheaply at the farmers’ market, less heavy stews and soups and such. You can spend a lot going out to eat if that’s your thing, but you can also eat some very tasty food for not very much. Gas may cost more per gallon, but we drive less here on Kaua’i so are actually spending less. Property taxes are low if you own your home. In our case, it also costs less to raise our kids here – the things they like to do are free, or done through the school, and we’re not having to buy lots of clothes for them. A school-approved t-shirt or tank, a pair of shorts and slippers and they are good to go! Anyway, it’s lots of little things, but Hawai’i can be affordable if you do your research, and are willing to adapt.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s