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!
- 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?