Sunday Afternoon 9/4/2016

The beach is not just calling me, its practically screaming at me to get myself down there!
The beach is not just calling me, its practically screaming at me to get myself down there!

I think I may have finally recovered from the jet lag that hit me so hard this time as well as the lower back pain that I developed on the last day of traveling. I expected to feel jet lagged when I was back in Massachusetts, but never had any problems while I was there, and I usually don’t suffer any jet lag effects when I travel west, but this time it felt like I’d been hit with a two-by-four as I moved westward. The lower back pain, brought on, I believe, by all the sitting I did on planes and in airports last Tuesday and from lifting my heavy carry-on bag up and down from the storage bin above my seats hasn’t help things either.

The house feels very different without WenYu’s presence, but she is settling in and doing well. She got all the classes she wanted, loves her professors already, and is slowly meeting people and making friends – we can’t ask for more. YaYu misses her terribly, but she is keeping as busy as ever with cross country and her many other volunteer activities. Today she’s volunteering with a friend and with Brett at the annual Kaua’i marathon. Maybe she’ll just earn another volunteer t-shirt and a water bottle! She seems to come home from every event she works or volunteers at with some kind of water bottle, from high-end Hydroflasks to simple plastic containers – we have a whole cupboard filled with them!

Hurricane Lester is in the vicinity, but is traveling north of the islands, which of course means trade winds may be blocked for a couple of days and the humidity will soar until they can resume. Our electric bill was higher than usual last month due to our increased fan usage.

Anyway, today I am:

  • Reading: I’m thoroughly enjoying reading The Little Friend again – Donna Tartt is such a superb writer. I’ve got another couple of weeks left in my checkout window, and think I can get it done in time (it’s a big book). I haven’t been doing any reading at night lately though – my head hits the pillow and I am asleep!
  • Listening to: It’s pretty quiet around here this morning, with both Brett and YaYu gone. There have a been a few noisy roosters running around out back, and the washing machine is going, but otherwise it’s been a quiet and peaceful morning with a blue sky overhead and light breezes to keep things cool.
  • Watching: Brett and I started watching Larkrise to Candleford this past week, and are enjoying it so far. We’re still looking for a good new suspense/crime series though. I watched the film Demolition (with Jake Gyllenhaal) on the flight home and thought it was quite good.
  • Cooking/baking: Everyone was on their own for breakfast this morning – Brett and YaYu left the house at 4:45 a.m.! I had another one of the delicious blueberry & raspberry oatbran muffins I bought at Trader Joe’s back on the mainland. They’re vegan and taste divine. Tonight we’re having grilled fish tacos with fresh peach salsa, and some Spanish-style yellow rice.
  • Happy I accomplished last week: Brett and I did our big Costco shop on Thursday, and came in way under budget, I think because we did not have to buy several things we kept on hand for WenYu (i.e. cheese). It will definitely be costing us much less going forward to feed the three of us based on YaYu’s food preferences. Everything I brought back from my trip has been cleaned and put away, and life has returned to its normal routine.
  • Looking forward to next week: I really, really, really want to get to the beach. If I do nothing else next week that’s going to happen! I’m also looking forward to getting back to more regular posting again on the blog. YaYu has her first cross country meet of the season on Saturday morning – she’s been running/training all summer so can’t wait to hear how she does (it’s the one meet I don’t go to as it’s held way down on the west side, and runners have to be there at 6:30 a.m.). We’re all looking forward to a day off from everything tomorrow!
  • Thinking of good things that happened: My first-class seat on the flight between Seattle and Lihue was a wonderful splurge. It’s not something we can afford to do often, but it made a difficult stretch of my trip home bearable. Besides WenYu settling in nicely at Wellesley, Meiling also has an interview this week for a new job at her university. She’s been very unhappy at her current job for a while now, but nothing else had opened up and she hasn’t wanted to leave until she found something new. We’ve all got our fingers crossed that the interview goes well – it would be a great position for her. She’s all moved into her new apartment off campus as well. I’m so glad I was able to go to Trader Joe’s while I was in Colorado and stock up on a few favorite items, and that ripe peaches were still available here at Costco. We put $35.23 into the change/$1 bill jar, mostly from what I saved while I was traveling.
  • Grateful for: I’m feeling very thankful right now that we chose to live in Hawai’i. It isn’t perfect (nothing is), but after my trip back east, and to Colorado, both of which are beautiful, I am more sure than ever that we came to the right place for us. It may be hot and humid at times, and lack some of the amenities that are easy to find on the mainland, but it’s calm, friendly, peaceful and green, I can see the ocean every day, and that suits me just fine.
  • Bonus question: What is your favorite memory from college? I had a wonderful roommate my first year at school. Bobbie was from Hawai’i, I was from Southern California, and we hit it off right away. We used to tape messages to each other on the back of our door, and I remember how sad we both felt when they all had to come down – they were such a reflection of our time together, and held many memories. Outside our room was an apple tree, and although we had been told not to pick the fruit, we’d go out at night and pick it anyway, and I used the apples to make apple pies for the other girls on our floor. Forty six years later I still have and use the cookbook I bought for its apple pie recipe. Bobbie and I both participated in the Overseas Study trip to Japan, but the next year she lived off-campus with a department team doing research, and I got a different roommate who I barely remember at all. The only thing I remember from my second year was gathering with the girls every Friday evening in the TV lounge to watch Rod Serling’s Night Gallery and get scared out of our wits. We all came in our pajamas, made popcorn and other snacks, and there were no men allowed! That was the last time I lived in a dorm – after that I lived at home (either my family’s or my own) while I attended classes.

That’s a wrap for this week from Casa Aloha! How has your week been? What are you looking forward to? What good things happened for you?

8 thoughts on “Sunday Afternoon 9/4/2016

  1. I think jet lag has become harder as I’ve aged (I’m your age). It’s not keeping me from travel, though. And since retiring, I have more time to recover. 🙂

    Haven’t ready any Donna Tartt except The Goldfinch, so I’ll have to check out her other work. I’m reading All Stories are Love Stories. Having lived in the Bay Area, I’m fascinated by all earthquake stories.

    I think you mentioned The Americans at one point. I’m watching it on Netflix, and I have to say it’s great, although it’s also kinda scary and I can generally only stomach one episode at a time. But I look forward to one more each night. And I’m looking forward to our trip to the Big Island in October! I’ve seen every other island and this one has been on my list for a while.

    Finally, I am so grateful for the perfect weather we’re having in the Midwest over the Labor Day weekend. It’s open window temps at night (60) and high 70’s in the afternoon.


    1. I definitely think age is a factor this time around as well as experiencing so much stress before WenYu and I left. Once I got her settled and saw that everything was going to be OK, and once I spent some time with my mom and found that things were not as dire as I had imagined (for now), I began to relax and all the lack of sleep caught up with me. But, I learned that if and when Brett and I travel eastward again we need to build into our schedule a day or so on each side just to catch our breath and adjust rather than try to plow through and suffer at the destination.

      The Americans is #1 on our list after Lark Rise to Candleford. It’s a sweet show, but I’m looking forward to something with a bit more tension/suspense.


  2. I am also finally recovered from the jet lag. Today is the first day I’ve felt normal. I wish I could have upgraded to first class on the trip from SF to Newark because the seats on that plane were the newer ones that are narrow and so close together that you feel like a sardine.

    We’re having beautiful weather here today. We were supposed to get hit with a hurricane (Hermine) but it thankfully took an unexpected turn out to sea so we were spared. Whew! Tomorrow should also be nice. Have you been getting any rain from Lester?

    When I was on Kauai, my favorite beach turned out to be Lydgate. I’m not a good swimmer so it was the only calm one I could find where I didn’t have to be concerned with being swept out to sea. I also wanted to try ‘Anini, but it rained the day we were going to go there and never had a chance to go back. Next time…

    My nephew is a senior now and is running cross country for the first time. He seems to like it so far. He is really using it for conditioning for winter and spring track where he is a sprinter. The coach said cross country would help with that. Hope YaYu does well in her meets this season!

    Is there a Trader Joe’s near WenYu or Meiling? If so, hopefully they can bring you back some goodies next time they come home.


    1. As I replied above to Hope, I think Brett and I need to add in a day to decompress when we make long trips. The trip from Kaua’i to the east coast is brutal. We had a short overnight in San Diego that helped, but probably would have felt better if we had spent a full day there and then continued on. Same for coming home – a full day or two in Seattle would have made a world of difference (and we have friends in both places!).

      Both WenYu and Meiling have TJ’s nearby, so I will be asking them to bring a few things home with them when they come at Christmas. The problem is we all travel with carry-ons only for the most part, so can’t bring jars of the sauces or any of their canned goods. Those need someone coming with a checked bag. Next time I’m on the mainland I may take a checked bag just to replenish our Trader Joe’s stockpile!


  3. Mom and I were in Italy last week. It was such a blast! The flight is only 2 hours so there were no jet lag to speak about. I always find it more difficult going East whenever I have to travel between continents.

    It must be really difficult to get used to WenYu’s absence for you guys but, that is life. You must be really proud of all of your kids. Wish them all the best. I find you and Brett to be totally amazing parents. God Bless all your Family!


    1. Coming east is always difficult – when I go to Japan I don’t experience any jet lag, but coming home it takes me a few days to get my body clock back to normal (they’re 19 hours a head of us).

      WenYu is such a positive person – always has been – and that’s what I miss most, her positive spirit. She’s doing well though and having a good time already, so we can’t ask for more. Thank you so much for the kind words too – parenting is tough, but it’s always been my favorite job!


  4. It took me two weeks to get even close to back on track after coming home from the Philippines. Fiji generally just takes a few days, so I guess that extra five hours have something to do with it!

    iTunes doesn’t have Vegan Before Six, so I’m going to look for it the next time I’m at a book store, or Jim is ordering from Amazon Prime. I just haven’t found a book that’s “caught me”. I’m going to try again today after I get my chores done!


    1. Were not even going to talk about what it was like when we came home from China with the girls! It took all of us weeks to adjust. We’re 19 hours behind Japan here, which is almost 24 hours, so the adjustment isn’t too bad coming back – it takes maybe a day or two and we’re back to normal.

      I often go through dry spells when I can’t find anything interesting (to me) to read. I like VB6, and it let me give myself “permission” to add more foods back in, although meat still doesn’t interest me. I love cheese, but my body sure didn’t love me eating so much of it while I was gone, so I will enjoy it in great moderation from here on out.

      Still pinching myself that we were able to get together in San Diego, and that it won’t be long before you and Jim are here!

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