Sunday Afternoon 10/2/2016

My kind of show! So sad there are only three seasons of 'Penny Dreadful.'
What a show! So sad there are only three seasons of ‘Penny Dreadful.’

It’s October? Already? Actually, this will be an eventful month for us – stay tuned!

I’ve spent almost the entire last week on my bed or on the sofa . . . and I’m about to go stir crazy. I was able to get an appointment with my doctor last Monday, and along with a new prescription for pain medication, plenty of bed rest, and heat applied to my lower back my back is getting better. Brett has made sure I follow doctor’s orders because just a short while up can quickly make things bad again. I had an appointment with the eye doctor on Tuesday morning which took a bit longer than usual because they had trouble getting my eyes to dilate, and by the time I got home I was miserable again. Brett did the farmers’ market shopping on Wednesday, but Thursday I accompanied him to Safeway and Costco to finish up our monthly shopping, and while it thankfully didn’t make things worse, it didn’t make them better either. Still, it was wonderful to get out of the house for a while. I was disappointed that I couldn’t go to YaYu’s cross country meet on Friday as planned, but we did take her out to breakfast on Saturday morning which went OK. I begin physical therapy tomorrow morning, and hopefully will soon be up and about and back to normal because I’m tired of the pain and feeling like a slug.

I did get a surprise at the eye doctor’s though. My vision hadn’t actually changed all that much in the past three years, but I am beginning to develop cataracts. Yikes! I have to go back in six months for another check up, and he said I will eventually need surgery, maybe next year or the year after. Something else to look forward to!!

WenYu found a job! She’ll be working part-time as a server at a small restaurant in the town of Wellesley – they mainly hire students from the college and work around their schedules, so the owner had no problem with WenYu being gone for nearly a month over winter break. Meiling is also very happy with her new employment – it’s her first “desk job,” and while she will start out being paid through work-study they will pay her as a regular hire once the work-study allotment is used up. It’s a year-round position, although busier during the school year.

In other news, fall has arrived on Kaua’i. We still have warm days and lots of sunshine for the most part (it’s cool and rainy today though), but it cools down in the evening so it’s been comfortable for sleeping. Other than pumpkin lattes at Starbucks, we don’t have to deal with the pumpkin craze here, thank goodness. It was getting out of hand back on the mainland before we left, and I’m guessing it’s only gotten worse since then. Pumpkin spice cat litter, anyone?

This afternoon I am:

  • Reading: I’m still reading Between You and Me, but have also downloaded Tana French’s The Secret Place from the library. I can’t remember if I’ve read it already, but it doesn’t sound familiar, so that’s a good sign that I haven’t, especially since I remember all her other books. I’m already on the waiting list at the library for her new book, The Trespasser, which is released tomorrow.
  • Listening to: Brett has already started the laundry, so I’m writing to the sound of the washing machine. We’re in between bouts of rain right now, but more is expected later on and one optimistic soul is currently out trimming his yard. Our neighbor is watching football – I can hear him yelling whenever something happens for his team.
  • Watching: Brett and I are now into the second season of Penny Dreadful. What a wild, creepy, horrific, wonderful show! Up on deck is the newest season of The Mysteries of Laura (with Debra Messing) as well as finishing up the other series we were watching before we discovered Penny Dreadful.
  • Cooking/baking: A small pork roast is in the slow cooker, getting ready to be turned into Thai-style pork stew tonight for Brett and YaYu. We found some vegan “pork” sandwiches at Safeway (which has turned out to have the BEST vegan selection of items on the island) so I’m going to try one of those for my dinner.
  • Happy I accomplished this past week: I’m proud of myself for staying in bed as much as I did considering I thought I would go out of my mind. I’m glad too that we finished up the month’s food shopping, and that I got the eye appointment taken care of – I had been postponing it for too long.
  • Looking forward to next week: I’m eager to start PT, and eager to get back into my regular duties around the house, although I’m pretty sure I will still be relying on Brett a while longer to help me out. Maybe, just maybe, we can get to the beach – I’m really eager to get down there again too. FAFSA forms for both girls will be submitted this week. Since we have to use last year’s income figures again, filling things out should be a snap compared to the usual experience. Airfares to Tokyo may drop this week according to forecasters, so I’ve got fingers crossed that we’ll find something in our price range.
  • Thinking of good things that happened this week: YaYu, Brett and I had a tasty breakfast yesterday morning at the Tip Top Cafe. YaYu was over the moon with their menu and practically couldn’t decide what to order, but ended up a big bowl of oxtail soup, which she said was delicious. I found some terrific new frames at a great price at Costco, and could not get over how little it costs to get my glasses made there even with no insurance, especially since I have a complicated prescription and got Transitions lenses as well (per doctor’s advice). I paid half of what I used to pay back on the mainland, even though we had excellent eye care insurance through Brett’s employer. Our current insurance covered all of the eye exam itself (which we did not know) as will all future exams because of the cataract issue. We had no food waste last week (yeah Brett!) and put $2.17 in the change/$1 bill jar.

    The 'Red Glasses Era' will end this coming week. I will miss them!
    After three years, I will be giving up my signature red glasses this week for something new.
  • Grateful for: I’m feeling very thankful that both my doctor and the physical therapy provider were able to fit me in for appointments so quickly. I’m used to having to wait days to get an appointment, but the doctor took me in the same day I called (and he’s a busy guy), and PT was able to set up a treatment schedule beginning less than a week after I called. I’m also thankful that Costco will have my new glasses ready so quickly, too. I remain thankful as well for all that Brett’s doing around the house since I still can’t do much right now.
  • Bonus question: What are your favorite fruits? My two all-time favorite fruits are a perfectly ripe Bartlett pear (which I’m enjoying right now – Costco currently has them) and a sweet, juicy Santa Rosa plum. One of our next door neighbors when I was young had a Santa Rosa tree as did a neighbor in Portland, but otherwise they’re not all that easy to find and are a treat when I can have them. Late summer and early autumn is fire season in Southern California, and my mom had a connection to pick up the leftover fruit that had been brought in for the firefighters, usually pears, plums and apples. She canned most of what she got, but always left some out for us to eat, and I loved those lush, ripe Bartlett pears. Some fruits I don’t care for are apricots, which surprises me because we had a huge tree in our yard that always produced bushels of fruit. I just never cared for them. I never cared for nectarines either (although I adore peaches). I like berries, especially blueberries, and we were spoiled by the quantity and quality of fresh berries when we lived in Oregon. I will eat apples, and love to cook with them, but they’re not one of my favorite fruits, and I’ll always pass on Red Delicious apples – they have no flavor in my opinion. I used to love oranges and tangerines, but not so much anymore for some unknown reason. Living here I’ve come to enjoy many new tropical fruits, such as dragonfruit and lilikoi (passionfruit), and there’s no way I’ll every buy or eat another grocery store pineapple or banana again. I also dearly love dates and figs.

That’s what’s going on here – how has your week been? What have you done? What are you looking forward to? What good things happened for you?

11 thoughts on “Sunday Afternoon 10/2/2016

  1. it’s apple season in Michigan and I’m in heaven. I also love blueberries and strawberries (local are best, of course, but I also eat the California ones although I am concerned about pesticides and try to find organic). The other fruit I will eat until ill in season is cherries. 🙂

    Glad you’re getting help via PT and hope it helps quickly. I didn’t realize Costco did complex prescriptions. My DH is unhappy with his latest glasses (he had them remade and is still not thrilled), so I’ll pass that along. OH, and he has had cataract surgery on both eyes and was thrilled with the “upgrade”. For most people, it’s fairly simple surgery, I think.


    1. Fresh cherries are the best! I loathe anything cherry “flavored,” but adore fresh cherries when they’re in season. It’s another fruit that’s incredibly difficult to find here, and if you do, you’ll surrender your first born for the privilege of buying them.

      I was more surprised than anything when I heard “cataracts” because I didn’t have them when I had my last exam. The doctor said they could be partly caused by so much exposure here to bright sunlight, which is why he was happy I was getting Transition lenses. Also, my pupils are very small which apparently protect my lenses somewhat. They had a heck of time getting them fully dilated.


  2. Oy, our backs!!! I see the doctor next week and hope to be in physical therapy in Hanalei soon!!! We’ll have to swap stories. Concerning cataracts. I had them. My vision was horrible, legally blind without glasses, big, thick , heavy glasses. So, I see the eye surgeon, they took a bunch of measurements and then I had surgery on the left eye first. They put a tube in your eye and break up the lens with sonic waves. Then, he placed the new lens in my eye in the spot where my vision would be 20/20. A week later, he did my other eye. First eye took 10 minutes, second eye took 9. No pain. Just perfect vision. I bawled like a baby when I could see for the first time. My vision has been 20/15 since the surgery in 2009. Yep. Had it done in Anacortes, Washington. My doctor only did cataracts. He was done with his surgeries at 9:30 in the morning. I think he started his first surgery at 6 a.m. It was amazing.


    1. I’ve had a sore back before, but none as persistent as this time around which is why I finally went to the doctor. He said I’d apparently gotten my nerves and muscles mixed up somehow which is why it’s not healing quicker. Bed rest and heat really help though. I’m sure the PT will do the trick and I’ll be back to normal before I know it. He ordered 8 weeks of it, but doubt I’ll need that much.

      My cataracts are in the beginning stage, so I apparently won’t be needing surgery for a while, but the Dr. wants to start checking every six months to see how they’re developing. There are several doctors/clinics here on the island that do the surgery (biggest eye center is in Puhi) so I’ll have my choice of where to get it done. The thought of not having to wear glasses is kind of exciting, although I’m pretty sure I’ll still need them for reading/computer work.


      1. The doctor gave me a choice. He could keep one eye weaker and possibly not need reading glasses. I told him I could care less about wearing reading glasses!!!!! No problem. I just didn’t want to be near sighted anymore. My vision has still remained extremely sharp. It’s been a thrill since 2009!


  3. Cataract surgery seems to be a real godsend for most people. A friend of mine had it done a couple of years ago and no longer needs to wear glasses–and she had previously had a very complex prescription, although she does need glasses to read.

    I have vision insurance through my employer, but it’s only good at expensive places like Lenscrafters. I’ve always been tempted to try Costco, even though they don’t take my insurance. It might actually be less expensive.

    My nephew runs cross country but I haven’t been to any meets because there really is nowhere for spectators to watch because they only run the first part out in the open and the rest is in the woods. Is YaYu going to be on the swim team this year? My nephew is doing winter track and then spring track. My younger nephew is a freshman now and is playing football.

    Hope your PT gives you relief and you’re back to your regular activities soon! I’ve always had good results when I’ve gone to PT for various issues.


    1. I’ve always heard what a difference cataract surgery makes, so am not nervous about it. It was just a surprise though to hear that they are now developing.

      The price at Costco for my glasses was much less than I’ve paid in the past with insurance. Totally surprised me. Their selection of frames is limited, but I still found some that I totally love.

      The cross country meet was a no-go because there’s no seating – I would have had to stand the entire time which would probably have sent me to the emergency room (we could have brought on of our beach chairs, but that wouldn’t have been much better than standing). The season is almost over here and then YaYu heads right back into swimming. She complains mightily about it, but loves the coach and team and gets better every year.


  4. Physical therapy has always helped my mother. Hope you have good results.
    I love strawberries and blackberries, I have a lot of wild blackberry plants and I usually make blackberry cobbler when they are in season.


    1. Blackberries were considered a weed when we lived in Portland. There were bushes everywhere. I loved it though and always made blackberry cobbler too when they were in season.

      Fingers are crossed that it won’t take too long for the PT to make a difference!


      1. San Juan Island was like one giant blackberry bush. They were all over our neighborhood, alongside roads, everywhere.


  5. I am surprised that your doctor had to dilate your eyes. Old school 🙂 I would get a second opinion before getting the eye surgery. I am very careful with my eyes since I got a retina burn many years ago in the sands of Saudi Arabia. Sunglasses are a must ALL of the time. 🙂 Did you get a pair at Costco while ordering your regular glasses?
    I grew up in the land of oranges and grapefruit. I have been converted to fresh blueberries and lichee as my favorite fruits. HoneyCrisp apples are a close third.
    Back problems- PT is the best! Glad you got to the doctor so soon.
    We are currently addicted to Poldark and Victoria (BBC). Off to check out Mysteries of Laura.
    Have a great week!


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