It’s another cool and rainy day on the Garden Island. Yesterday it poured most of the day and into the night, but this morning thankfully hasn’t been as bad. I am always happy when it rains here because it not only keeps things green, but also means that we don’t have to turn on the sprinklers for the lawn. It also makes riding the exercise bicycle much more comfortable.
Not a whole lot is going on around here otherwise, at least for me and Brett. WenYu made it into the track finals (running the 1500m) this past week, which means another week of practice and one more meet to go. She is ready to be done though. Both girls have been extremely busy with school and community projects, and besides their regular coursework they’ve also been studying for their upcoming AP exams, which begin in another three weeks. I don’t remember ever being as overloaded as they are when I was in school, but then again AP courses didn’t exist, and I went to school pre-Title IX: girls weren’t allowed to participate in league sports.
P.S. Why I love living here: After I posted this I went out to the garage to ride my exercise bicycle. A group of nine teenage and pre-teen neighborhood girls walked by, and all either waved or threw me the shaka. One even yelled out, “Yeah, Auntie!”
This afternoon I am:
- Reading: I’m into the last one-third of Over the Edge (it has nearly 600 pages). I just finished reading about the freakish, accidental deaths that have occurred in the canyon. Unlike previous deaths that have been discussed, where many if not most were preventable, these are ones that no one could plan for (lightning strikes, random rock falls). Interestingly, most of lightning strike victims over the years actually survived, which greatly surprised me but was a welcome relief to read. I’m now reading about deaths that occurred because of animal interactions (snakes, scorpions, mountain lions, etc.). Believe it or not, they are extremely rare if not nonexistent. There has never been a death on any of the paid mule rides since they started back in the early 20th century, and the only snake-related death in the national park came when a man was startled by a snake and had a heart attack. The entire book has been extremely interesting, but sobering as well, and has given me quite a bit of thought about safety, planning, and such.
- Listening to: It’s been a very quiet morning. A few roosters have been screeching off in the distance, but mostly the only sound is the wind blowing through the trees and some occasional rain. Lawnmowers and such have been quiet today because of the wet. Brett just took YaYu to her weekly history study group, and WenYu is studying in her room, so the house is quiet.
- Watching: Instead of watching Death In Paradise last Sunday, I watched Call The Midwife, Grantchester, and Mr. Selfridge, all of which I will watch again tonight!
- Cooking/baking: I’m making another pan of brownies this afternoon for brownie sundaes for tonight’s dessert and for the girls’ lunches next week. Dinner tonight is slow-cooker chicken pho (sesame-peanut noodles for me) – the whole house smells wonderful!
- Happy I accomplished this past week: I finished another Shutterfly photo book for my mom and got that sent off. I also finally ordered a new phone – my four year-old one lacked WiFi calling, and because our house sits in a small valley I’ve been unable to use the phone in the house for either talk or text because I can’t get a signal, and it’s been hit or miss outside as well (Brett and the girls all have WiFi connectibility on their phones). After losing my connection twice on Friday while standing outside and speaking with a friend from Oregon, I decided I’d had enough and bought a new phone – it’s expected to arrive tomorrow!
- Looking forward to next week: Brett and I will be going to the florist this week to order lei for WenYu’s graduation. Family members have been very generous, so she will be getting some lovely ones! Brett and I will also be giving her a haku, a floral wreath for her head.
- Thinking of good things that happened: I had a lovely conversation this past week with my Mom, who turns 92 at the end of this month. It was obvious that there are many things she cannot remember these days, but she knew who I was, where I lived, and asked about Brett and all four of our children and her great-grandchild (thankfully I stayed connected during that call). I used the $20 coupon that I received from our last flights on Hawaiian Airlines to help cover the Shutterfly order. I also had calls from two friends in Oregon. I rode my bike every day this past week, even though the weather was a bit warm for a few days and it wasn’t much fun. We put $8.64 cents into the change/$1 bill jar.
- Grateful for: A husband who will come and chase giant toads out of the garage for me – one came in yesterday evening. He’ll also catch and release geckos outside for the girls, and take care of any other bug that manages to make it into the house (although I have no problems handling bugs and spiders on my own).
- Bonus Question: What would you request for a last meal? Years ago Brett and I had an anniversary dinner at The Ark restaurant in Willapa, Washington (which has since closed). To this day that dinner remains the most perfect meal I have ever eaten. I said then that my dinner was what I would request for my last meal if it ever came to that. I had fresh Willapa oysters on the shell for an appetizer, followed by a perfectly cooked medium-rare petite filet mignon and roasted potatoes with herbs. Dessert was a Swedish Creme with berries along with a cup of freshly brewed coffee. It was nothing exotic, but every bite was exquisite. I also bought one of their famous Szechuan brioches as we left and enjoyed that for breakfast the next morning.
And that’s a wrap for this Sunday! How was your week? What good things happened for you?