Sunday Afternoon 12/4/2016

The road near the Hanalei bridge on the north shore was completely flooded out last week.

The road near the Hanalei bridge on the north shore was completely flooded out this past week.

It’s been a busy week here at Casa Aloha: a bike riding, freezer defrosting, water drinking, language studying sort of week. But, it’s also been a cool, rainy sort of week, and there was enough rain Thursday night and Friday morning that flash flood alerts were sent out, and roads made impassable from all the water. Flash flooding alerts went out again yesterday afternoon, but were just cancelled. The county sent out word yesterday evening that several kayakers on the Wailua River had to be rescued yesterday, and one tourist drowned.

Did you know it snows in Hawai’i? Both Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, on the Big Island, have received over a foot of snow this past week, and up to another foot is expected by this evening. Crazy days.

And, go to the beach? What’s that? I’m entering my fourth month without a trip to the beach, and I miss it! YaYu’s crazy schedule, my back injury, and a run of lousy weather have all combined to make even a short trip down to the beach impossible. Maybe this week though – a girl can hope.

img_4379We have one more week to go until our first not-so-little-any-more bird returns to our nest. Meiling arrives home next Sunday night, and I’m already so excited I can barely stand it. Brett and I got our Christmas tree up and decorated yesterday, and will be restocking the freezer this week in preparation for her arrival – she likes to eat! WenYu has another two and a half weeks of classes though before she takes off for home, but we’re hoping the time will pass quickly.

This afternoon I am:

  • Reading: I’m over halfway though The Wongs Vs. the World – it’s a good read. I had to put It Can’t Happen Here away for a while because it was making me cry every time I started to read it. By the way, Brett reread the entire Harry Potter series this fall, and finally finished the last book in the series this past week. I think I need to read them all again one of these days as well, but Dar at An Exacting Life posted a terrific list of books suggested by her readers that I intend to explore as well.
  • Listening to: It was very noisy outside this morning – lots of yard work, sawing, etc. going on, I guess as people rushed to get things done before the rain started up again. We heard thunder rolling through this morning too, but now it’s just the drip, drip, drip of the rain. The washing machine is also doing its thing so not so quiet inside any more.
  • Watching: Brett and I gave up on The Americans. It’s a well-done, intense drama, and the acting is superb, but I grew to hate the characters and couldn’t summon up even an ounce of sympathy for them. I didn’t care what happened to them, and felt disappointed and angry at the end of every episode that they were still operating, so I stopped watching, and Brett did too. Anyway, this week we have been watching Goliath (an Amazon series) which stars Billy Bob Thornton, John Hurt and some other great talent. There’s currently only one season available, so when we finish tonight we’re going to have to find something new to watch.
  • Cooking/baking: Breakfast was leftover chocolate chip pumpkin pancakes. Brett made them on Friday morning to use up the last of the pumpkin puree we made from our Halloween pumpkin. Dinner tonight will be yakisoba with chicken, cabbage, carrots and onions (no chicken for me). I kind of wish we still had our electric griddle because it would be fun to cook it at the table tonight, teppanyaki-style, but we gave the griddle to a friend before we moved.
  • Happy I accomplished this past week: I’ve ridden my exercise bike twice a day every day this past week, and have been drinking eight glasses of water a day too. I started back studying Japanese for 30 minutes each day, and am doing 10 minutes of Portuguese (!) language study every day as well. I chose Portuguese because I wanted something a bit more challenging than Spanish, but not too challenging. We got our Christmas tree up and decorated yesterday, and on Friday evening I got all the girls’ Christmas presents wrapped. And oh yes . . . we got the freezer defrosted!!
  • Looking forward to next week: Brett and I are going to do the second half of our Costco shopping on Tuesday, and a little more shopping at Big Save on either Wednesday or Thursday. I’ve got my fingers crossed for some good weather showing up again too – There’s a rumor that we might see the sun on Tuesday.
  • Thinking of good things that happened: I rode a total of 140 minutes, over 42 miles, and burned over 1400 calories this past week on my exercise bike! I’ve drunk 56 glasses of water. I saw the doctor and got my ears taken care of so I’m feeling pretty good now. Thanks to YaYu’s fundraising we got $26 back from what we paid for her swim team bathing suit and cap, and put $6 in the change/$1 bill jar.
  • Grateful for: As I hung the ornaments on our tree yesterday, I felt very thankful for the memories that comes along with each one – I can remember when and where we bought or received each ornament. We’ve really had a wonderful, blessed life together.
  • Bonus question: Do you have a personal motto or philosophy? Yes: No one ever steps in the same river twice; it’s never the same river and you’re never the same person. I figured out a long time ago, especially from watching my children grow, that everything changes, eventually and always. Sometimes it’s because of the passage of time, sometimes it because new events move things around, but sometimes it’s because I change and adapt. Things don’t always get better, or worse, but they will always definitely get different over time. I’ve learned that I can either fight change, or go along as best as I can, and try to figure out which fights are the ones worth having and which ones are not. Optimism has gotten me a lot further in life, and served me far better, than pessimism ever has. Sometimes it’s hard to be optimistic, sometimes I’m scared, but I keep moving forward because I know things will eventually change.

That’s a wrap for this Sunday! How was your week? How’s the weather where you are?

10 thoughts on “Sunday Afternoon 12/4/2016

  1. Kit says:

    We watched Goliath – wonderful series. If you get Netflix, try ‘The Fall’, ery suspenseful thriller from BBC Two with Gillian Anderson. There are 3 seasons. Also Good Girls Revolt via Amazon Prime, only one season, period (60’s, 70’s) drama with great music and girl/women power in the workforce. Try Transparent, transgender drama available on Amazon prime.

    Love reading your write ups on life in Hawaii and your take on life. Cheers.

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    • Laura says:

      We REALLY liked Goliath, and LOVED The Fall. What a show! Last night, after we finished the last episode of Goliath, we watched the first episode of Hinterland (Netflix), a procedural set in Wales. Very good. We’re also going to try The Keeper of Lost Causes (Netflix again) this week on, set in Denmark – I’ve read the book (first in a series) and loved it so hope we like the adaptation as well. I’ve heard good things about Transparent, so will probably head that way eventually.

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    • Laura says:

      I have no idea why the defrost is such an effort, but it always is. Maybe buy less food?

      And I cannot believe I said you were Ann in my blog – I know better! I will get that changed ASAP. I bookmarked your post so that I will have your book list handy!

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  2. Vivian Gibson says:

    Great Christmas tree.
    Please send some rain our way, it’s been at least 2 months since any significant rain. Everything is brown and crunchy.
    Is the reclining bicycle really comfortable? It has always looked awkward to me.
    Motto: It’s easier to do things right than to explain why you didn’t.

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    • Laura says:

      I do like the recumbent bike – it is far more comfortable than the regular bike – no more hunching over the handlebars, so much easier on my back.

      So much rain here – I woke up to sunshine this morning, and it’s already clouded over again at noon. It is lovely and green here though.

      Love your motto too – I could claim it as well. Sort of like “measure twice, cut once.” Do it right the first time.

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  3. Natalie says:

    Your tree looks nice! My week was pretty good. I stuck to my exercise routine, had coffees with my friends, did some gift shopping, and just finished my post on Machu Picchu. The weather in Toronto is cool, with low temperature at night about 3C (37F) and high around 6C. My motto: Seize the day!

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    • Laura says:

      I do love our Christmas tree, and all the ornaments. Eventually we will separate out the ornaments and give them to the kids, but for now I love having them all up on the tree. This tree lets us put up ALL the ornaments – before we had to rotate them because we couldn’t afford to buy a tree big enough for all of them. I love too that our current tree is pre-lit.

      More cloudy weather again today, and it’s warming up a bit, but still nice and cool at night which is great for sleeping.

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  4. Hawaii Planner says:

    You are doing great with the fitness & water drinking. Keep it up! Our week was good – it was a bit of a transition from vacation back to work. But, we managed to stay on budget for our trip, get back into the swing of work/school/family/soccer & got the house decorated for Christmas. I also am 90% finished with my holiday shopping. Hurrah!

    Can’t wait for you to have the girls back at the house – so exciting! Here’s hoping you get a chance for a beach trip when Meiling is in town. Enjoy your family time.

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    • Laura says:

      Loved your pictures from Maui – it looks like you had better weather there than we did here.

      I’m really enjoying the new bicycle. I hated hunching over the old one, but the recumbent style is so comfortable so I’ll actually be able to eventually ride longer than I did on the old bike. I keep a chart and check things off every day which has helped me stay on track with the water, exercise, etc.

      Can’t wait for all the girls to be here. Wish we could all be together for more than a week, but I’ll wring every bit of happiness I can while the three of them are here together!

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