Sunday Afternoon 7/10/2016

The schedule board is a necessity to make sure nothing gets forgotten!

The schedule board is a necessity to make sure nothing gets forgotten! Not on the board is WenYu’s work schedule or YaYu’s tutoring schedule.

I’m reveling in another sunny, beautiful day here on Kaua’i. The trade winds are keeping things nice and cool (for now), and best of all, no one has to go anywhere today. Our recent schedule has been nuts! Between WenYu’s job, YaYu’s volunteer schedule and tutoring, and other family obligations and appointments we have been on the go, go, go!

WenYu’s first week on the job had its ups and downs. On the up side, she has been making fantastic tips. She gave herself a savings goal when she started, and after just a week she is almost halfway there (and has six more weeks of work until it’s time for her to head to college)! But she has also had a couple of bad experiences with some pretty awful customers. One group stiffed her on their cocktail order, and another group became rude when they couldn’t order something that was not on the menu or available in the kitchen (goat cheese medallions). But, management has had her back, as has the kitchen and rest of the wait staff and other customers too, and she’s learned some valuable lessons on how to deal with unpleasant people.

On Friday evening Brett, the girls and I headed into Kapaa to enjoy an evening at the Bon Dance, an annual summer event held at Buddhist temples all over Hawai’i. The purpose of Obon (as it’s called in Japan) is to honor the spirits of one’s ancestors, and express gratitude to loved ones who have passed on. It’s a joyous occasion, with lots of music, dancing, taiko drumming, and special foods for sale, and most participants come dressed in yukata (cotton summer kimono), or happi jackets. People of all ages and social status, men and women, join in the dancing. I could only remember the steps for one of the dances from when we lived in Japan, but the girls danced the entire time – they picked up the steps very quickly for each dance. It was a very fun evening! (The video will give you an idea of what the dancing is like – participants circle an elevated platform/stage which is surrounded by drummers on the bottom.)

Otherwise, this afternoon I am:

  • Reading: I finished The Caller this past week, which had a perfectly creepy ending, and was ready to start on Seabiscuit but discovered Empty Mansions in my Kindle queue. I bought it ages ago and had forgotten about it so am reading it first. It’s the story of Huguette Clark, heiress to the Clark fortune, and the strange life she led.
  • Watching: WenYu and I have been working our way through Downton Abbey and are getting ready to start Season Three. Tonight though I’ll be watching another episode of Endeavour followed by The Tunnel. Brett and I still sneak in an episode of Land Girls when we can – we’re almost done with the series.
  • Listening to: It’s very quiet here this morning, other than a couple of noisy roosters in the neighborhood. It’s an absolutely beautiful day, so I’m guessing everyone in the neighborhood has gone to the beach somewhere.
  • Cooking/baking: Brett made a lot of waffles earlier in the week, so he and the girls had leftovers for breakfast (I had raisin bran again). I baked an Olive Oil Orange Cake this morning to have for dessert tonight. We were supposed to have Killer Noodle Salad and grilled shrimp on Friday evening, but that got bumped to tonight – we ate leftovers on Friday before heading to the Bon Dance.
  • Happy I accomplished last week: The freezer was defrosted! I don’t know why it’s always such an epic chore, but it is. Brett and I also got several cleaning chores done around the house and got everyone where they needed to be on time (a major accomplishment!).
  • Looking forward to next week: I kind of have the week “off” and don’t have to be anywhere for anything other than our weekly trip to the farmers’ market. I am looking forward to a relaxing week!

    The 'Wired Monkey'

    The ‘Wired Monkey’

  • Thinking of good things that happened: Both girls passed all of their AP exams! YaYu earned a 4 (out of a possible 5) on her history exam, and WenYu got a 4 on her Calculus B/C exam, which means she will receive credit at Wellesley for a full year of calculus. She also received a 5, the top score, on her Studio Art portfolio. WenYu got her first bill from Wellesley this past week, and with her grant and scholarships applied her balance is a credit of $1.00! I had a lovely catch-up visit with my friend Mary at Java Kai on Friday, and spoiled myself by ordering a ‘Wired Monkey’ – frozen dark chocolate, espresso, banana, coconut and rice milk. YUM. We put $16.17 in the change/$1 bill jar (Brett turned in more recycling).
  • Grateful for: I’m feeling thankful today for the beautiful weather and the fact that neither of the girls has anything on their calendars. Between their busy schedules and some undesirable weather this past week, Brett and I haven’t been able to get out much, but today we’re going to hang out and relax at the beach.
  • Bonus Question: Do you have a whole lot of acquaintances or just a few very close friends? As an introvert, I’m a few close friends kind of person. Definitely quality over quantity, and I deeply treasure my friendships. Some are closer than others, but they are all precious. A recent joy has been reconnecting with friends from my childhood. I let those go when we moved from our hometown, but thanks to Facebook we’ve been able to communicate and catch up.

That’s what’s happening at Casa Aloha this Sunday afternoon. How is your day going? What are you up to?

7 thoughts on “Sunday Afternoon 7/10/2016

  1. Hawaii Planner says:

    Big congrats to both of the girls on their AP tests – that is fantastic & so much hard work. I still shudder at the thought. 😉 Like you, I’m a close friend kind of person for sure. We’re finally doing a belated 40th birthday trip for myself, my best friend & my sister next weekend & I’m really looking forward to a little “girl time.” The rest of my house is all boy, so it’s a nice treat. 🙂

    Enjoy your relaxing week!

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    • Laura says:

      We are all sick to death of the testing, and have two more years of it to go! Tonight at dinner she said they should be paying her for all of the tests she takes.

      Girlfriend trips are so much fun! I’ve got one in the planning stages for next summer . . . .

      The beach was fantastic today – hoping it’s the start of a very good week.

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  2. Jen says:

    Goat cheese medallions (?sp). Ugh. I couldn’t even read the rest of your blog after seeing that that was a problem for some poorly mannered customers at WenYu’s job…Ugh again. People can be so rude….Glad that she handled it and had support from her co-workers. Hope next week is better. I am so impressed by the savings goals, and, as usual, am passing on my new knowledge to my own kids (ages 15, 13 and 10) so thank you for sharing.

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    • Laura says:

      That group of customers made her cry, but . . . they tipped her. Not a lot, but not bad either. And, the other customers who witnessed their rudeness tipped WenYu more than required, and one even had a hug for her! But, she hopes not to encounter any more of these types of customers.

      WenYu has not always been a good saver, or good about setting goals, but she’s turned over a new leaf with college looming, and there’s something she is saving for so is very motivated. Every dime gets put away!

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  3. M'Shell says:

    I hate that WenYu had bad customers during her first week. There is no excuse to be rude or mean to a waiter/waitress. I truly believe that everyone should work in the service industry at some point in their life. It really makes you realize how hard of a job it is. (Not that I think WenYu would ever be mean or rude to waitstaff previous to this job)

    I loved Empty Mansions. It was fascinating and sad at the same time. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the people that took care of her at the end of her life. Do you think they took advantage of her or were the only people that actually cared about her and not just her money?

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    • Laura says:

      I’m sad too she had to experience rude customers during her first week, but thankfully the nice customers have far outweighed the bad ones, and management and the rest of the staff have backed her up. She’s not a quitter, but it’s been difficult for her to experience these types of (entitled) people. She knows they want to have a good experience, and she tries, but for some apparently that’s not enough.

      Right now I’m leaning toward the “take advantage of her” side of her actions. From what I’ve read so far, she did not need intensive nursing care, and was not suffering (yet) from any mental decline, so even if no demands were made (her nurse seemed to know just how to ask for things – right now I think she was the most shameless) they were fishing for money. The hospital administration knew exactly what they were doing. I haven’t gotten to the end though so don’t know exactly how it turns out in the end. I like her personal assistant – he seems to be mostly honest, and so do others, and they show how much the nurse and others took advantage.

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  4. JJ says:

    When I worked at McDonald’s many years ago when I was a teenager, I was always amazed at how rude people could be–and people were more polite then than they are now. I think though that it’s a good experience for WenYu to deal with these types of people because (unfortunately) they do exist and she will learn how to handle them in the future.

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