Sunday Afternoon 8/14/2016

Fruit scores this week from the farmers' market
Fruit scores this week from the farmers’ market. The pineapple was so delicious!

I’m looking forward to another (hopefully) relaxing day today. It’s cool, and has been raining off and on, and other than YaYu having a Key Club meeting this morning and a tutoring session this afternoon the rest of us don’t have anything scheduled. YaYu’s tutoring sessions were on Thursday and Saturday afternoons, but for the school year have been switched to Saturday and Sunday afternoons because of the after-school sports practice schedule(s). It kind of screws up the weekends for us for the year, but will be worth it to get her ready for the AP Mandarin exam next spring. She didn’t go to her lesson yesterday because she worked all day at our local polling station for the Hawai’i primary. We’re so proud of her – she’s too young to vote, yet was willing to give her time for the process. She said because she’s trained she’ll most likely be working again on November 8.

WenYu and I enjoyed a fun mother-daughter day yesterday taking care of some final pre-college shopping errands. We headed down to the south side of the island and picked up some things she wants/needs to take back east with her, and I bought her a “Keep Calm and Think Aloha” sign for her dorm room, and some Maile organic products. We had a fun lunch at Puka Dog in Poipu, gelato and sorbet at Lappert’s, and WenYu found a cute hoodie at one of the surf shops that will work for fall weather back in Massachusetts. The sales clerk took 30% off because a button was missing (!!!) even after we showed her that we had found the button on the floor. It’s been sewn back on, so the jacket is perfect. My favorite moment occurred last night though when YaYu lectured WenYu on why she should have saved her money instead of buying the jacket. WenYu has been very careful though with her savings/earnings, but still needs more cool-weather clothing so this was not a splurge.

Nothing says “Hawaii” like hibiscus, and we saw a variety of lovely blooms yesterday. Here are a few of our favorites:

White hibiscus
Frilly yellow hibiscus
Frilly yellow
Bright orange-red hibiscus
Bright orange-red
Yellow, Hawaii's state flower
Yellow, the Hawai’i state flower

This afternoon I am:

  • Reading: I’m about halfway through China Rich Girlfriend, by Kevin Kwan, the sequel to Crazy Rich Asians. The books are a fluffy, but fun, read about hyper-rich Chinese in Hong Kong, Singapore, and mainland China.
  • Listening to: The yard man was here early this morning making lots of noise, but right now it’s nice and quiet. It rained hard this morning too, but that’s stopped and the sun is out the trades are blowing. The washing machine will be starting up in a few minutes though to disrupt all this tranquility.
  • Watching: We’re still hooked on the Olympics and are pretty much not watching much of anything else right now. The girls loved watching all the swimming events, and are now getting into track & field. The U.S. athletes are absolutely fantastic! We did watch the final episode of The Great British Baking Show, and were thrilled when Nadiya won.
  • Cooking/baking: Dinner tonight is Killer Noodle Salad, with Brett and the girls having some grilled chicken added to theirs. I’m making a lemon cake this afternoon for WenYu and will frost it with vanilla buttercream topped with coconut. She loves cake so I want to make one more for her before she heads off to college.
  • Happy I accomplished last week: I got several chores (some sweeping, mopping and dusting – I hate dusting!) done around the house toward the end of the week that I had been putting off because it was just too hot and because I was sick for a couple of days. The chores will be waiting for me again this week, but hopefully the weather will continue to cooperate and stay cooler than it was last week.
  • Looking forward to this week: I am going to let myself completely enjoy WenYu’s last full week at home before she leaves for college next week. We will set up and start packing for her departure on Saturday, but before then I want to focus on her and what she wants to do.
  • Thinking of good things: Besides the wonderful day we spent on Thursday with Eriko, Jun and Joe; my day yesterday with WenYu; and YaYu’s working at the polls, the weather also finally calmed down and the last few days have been positively lovely. I’ve been getting to bed earlier, sleeping better and waking up earlier, even after having a cup of coffee in the afternoon or early evening. We scored some incredible fruit at the farmers’ market last week, including a big, beautiful, super sweet sugarloaf white pineapple – even the core was sweet and juicy. Once again we had no food waste this week, and we put $9.75 into the change/$1 bill jar.
  • Thankful for: I’m feeling very grateful right now for the help my family gave me this last week when I didn’t feel well and was having a hard time dealing with the excess heat and humidity. They helped out around the house with the cooking and other tasks while I laid about trying to stay cool. Brett and the girls can tell when it’s all getting a bit too much for me, and always step up. Brett and I have decided though that we’re going to buy a portable air conditioner next year. We won’t need to have it on all the time, but hopefully it will ease the misery (and my collapse) when the humidity and heat are at their worst.
  • Bonus Question: Are you more likely to avoid conflict or engage it head-on? I certainly don’t go looking for conflict or argument, but it doesn’t scare me. I have no problem standing up for myself, and enjoy having a good argument/discussion with someone, where different opinions and points of view can be shared. I’m all about “fighting fair” though and will bow out when someone starts using ad hominem or strawman attacks (and let them know why). Back when I worked for the community college in Portland, we could take classes tuition free, and I earned a certificate in conflict management. I learned a great deal about inter-personal communication, consensus versus compromise, how to argue, how to diffuse a difficult situation, and when it’s time to step away and let things cool down.

That’s a wrap for this Sunday! How was your week? What good things happened for you?

8 thoughts on “Sunday Afternoon 8/14/2016

  1. I’ve been watching the Olympics too. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s track events because one of the runners lives near me and I’ve seen her race in high school meets. It’s just unbelievable that she went from running in high school meets a couple of months ago to the Olympics.

    When I was a little older than YaYu, I worked at a polling station checking IDs and answering questions. It was a good experience and it helped me get a county job after college, although I didn’t stay with the job too long because I found I disliked politics!

    I’m surprised they even sell sweaters and cold weather clothing in Hawaii. I don’t think I’ve ever noticed that when I’ve been there, but then I wasn’t really looking for it. Does Kauai have a ‘swap meet’ like the one in Oahu? That might be a good place to buy things for college, if there is one.


    1. Years ago, in the 60’s, in February when I was leaving Hawaii to move to Chicago for stewardess training, my mother took me shopping for warm clothes. We went to a lovely little boutique type shop in downtown Honolulu. I bought a beautiful wool suit to wear for traveling (yes people actually dressed up to travel!). We debated as to whether it would be better to buy a warm coat also, or wait until I was in Illinois. Decided to buy it then and got a perfect camel colored coat (with a fur collar no less). So glad I made that decision as there never would have been time to shop had I waited until I reached my destination…..and it was freezing cold. I have no idea if you can still do that kind of shopping in Hawaii, but I do know that my sister who lives on Oahu has a leather jacket she wears in “winter” in the islands.


      1. We probably could have found more winter- and fall-appropriate clothing in Honolulu if we had waited until now to show versus going in June. WenYu has found some fantastic deals online though and bought some very nice pieces to take back with her. She’s waiting though to buy her winter coat back east, as well as sweaters and such.

        I’m nodding in agreement with your sister wearing a leather jacket here in the “winter.” Once you get acclimatized, weather in the 60s can feel VERY cold, and we all have put on sweatshirts and jackets here, which seems a bit strange. We lived in Key West for two years, and when it dropped into the 50s in the winter we were ready to break out the parkas and gloves. In Portland, when it reached 50 degrees people were out in shorts! It’s all relative.


  2. I don’t think YaYu is all that in to politics either, but she said it was an interesting experience. She said it was pretty boring though because there were few voters. Most voted early, and there were no genuinely contested races on the island or in the state other than for mayor of Honolulu.

    The jacket that WenYu bought isn’t very heavy but will be a nice layering piece. Often people here like to wear a light jacket in the evening, especially if you’re down near the shore and wet. So, surf shops often carry lightweight hoodies and sweaters.

    No swap meet on Kaua’i. She found affordable items in Honolulu when we went in June, and has bought a few other items online – she is very savvy about finding good deals, sales, coupons, etc. We’ll do a bit of shopping in MA the day before we get her moved into the dorm and will hopefully be able to find some affordable sweaters, long-sleeved t-shirts, etc.


  3. The pineapple looks perfect – much better than what we can find here, and we typically get great produce. Best part of my day? Finishing my 8 miler (last long run/walk before the relay in a couple of weeks) & M making me fresh lemon drops. We used to struggle with all of those lemons, but not now.

    Also, I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a white hibiscus, but it’s gorgeous. More subtle than some of the other colors, but absolutely beautiful.

    Enjoy this last week with WenYu!


    1. The pineapple was amazing! They’ll be in the market for another couple of weeks, and then we’ll have to wait again until next year for the local ones. We can buy nice ones from Maui at Costco almost all year long, and they’re OK, but the ripe, local ones are unbelievable.

      The most beautiful hibiscus I’ve ever seen was pale yellow with the petal edges tipped with a coral pink. It was breathtaking, but I’ve only seen it once. Just solid colors yesterday, but they were all beautiful.

      I don’t want to think about WenYu leaving, but it’s coming.


  4. I’m waiting for my pineapple to get ripe before I pick it. It didn’t get really big but I am looking forward to tasting it. It’s the only plant that has produced even though I have planted several.


    1. I never realized until we moved here how long it takes to grow a pineapple! Two years! And, each plant can only produce two and then they’re done. I have a new appreciation for how labor intensive it was to grow pineapples, and how miserable it must be to work with them, harvest them and can them. The local ones have so much flavor that we don’t buy pineapple now unless it’s from the farmers’ market. They cost a little more, but the flavor is amazing and worth it. We haven’t tried to grow them here, not yet anyway.


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