Sunday Afternoon 1/8/2017

The view from my exercise bicycle

It’s been cold here, although the sun has thankfully been out the past couple of days. Temperature is a relative thing, so while on the mainland 63° right now might seem downright balmy in places, when it gets down that far here we’re ready to break out the parkas. Cooler weather here though also means less humidity, which I have to admit is a treat.

We learned this week that there will be an additional $1000 coming to each of our girls from my mom. All of her 12 grandchildren will be receiving this amount, so our son will be getting a check as well. It’s not very much in the grand scheme of things, but it will help the girls’ college savings. We haven’t told them about it yet; we want it to be a(nother) surprise. There is apparently also a very small amount left over in Mom’s other accounts to divide between me, my older brother and my younger brother’s two sons. I’ve never thought I would receive anything, so whatever amount it turns out to be will be appreciated.

YaYu gets ready for her first race of the day. The sun is shining, but it’s cold. All the girls in this picture are shivering, and they’re not wet yet. Unless you were standing out in the direct sun for a while, it was quite uncomfortable yesterday morning (for here).

Winter break is almost over, although swim season has picked back up again – we spent all yesterday morning at our local pool for a meet. WenYu will be here for another couple of weeks, but YaYu goes back to school tomorrow. This next semester is going to be a hard one for her – she’s taking two AP classes and a college math course (for which we have to buy a graphing calculator – this is why we excluded her expenses from our no-spend year) and will also be studying for her SAT, ACT and three AP exams (Biology, English Composition, and Chinese). On top of this she’ll also be keeping up with sports, Key Club (she’s the president this year), NHS, and her weekly Big Brother/Big Sister commitment. It’s going to be rough, but if anyone can pull it off it’s her – she is one determined girl, with big dreams!

This afternoon, I am:

  • Reading: I finished A Tale For the Time Being, my first book of the new year, and have started Full Dark House, by Christopher Fowler, which I downloaded from the library at the same time. It’s a mystery, set in London, and will be a quicker and less heavy read that For the Time Being, which was a great book to start the year.
  • Listening to: We’ve had a very quiet morning. The sun is out, but it’s still cool (although not as cold as yesterday). Brett got up early and started the beach towels in the washer, and they’re drying now. YaYu uses them all week, so we always have a full load on the weekend. There are a few roosters making themselves heard outside, but they’re further away than usual so more background than anything.
  • Watching: Brett and I started Season 3 of The Killing last week, but aren’t enjoying it quite as much as we did the first two seasons. The killing of the title actually took the first two seasons to solve, and the ending was a genuine surprise. We used Amazon’s current 99¢ movie offer to watch Sully this past week. This coming week WenYu and I plan to get back to American Horror Story.
  • Cooking/baking: We still had a little bit of ham left over this morning, so we had fried ham along with blueberry pancakes for breakfast this morning. YaYu and WenYu are making pasta for tonight’s dinner, and I’m going to make fresh marinara. We’ll have those with grilled Italian sausages, grilled zucchini, and garlic bread. I’m also planning to make a pan of pumpkin bars this afternoon to use up some leftover cream cheese, and the last can of pumpkin in the pantry.
  • Happy I accomplished last week: I got a fasting blood draw done on Friday for my annual cholesterol check, and am very glad that’s over for another year. Not only did I have to get up early, but I also could not have anything to drink other than coffee and water, and I was starving by the time we got home! I finished my first book of the year, drank at least eight glasses of water every day this past week, got in all my bike rides except for one day, when I was under the weather (60+ miles ridden; 2100+ calories burned), and did my Japanese and Portuguese study every day. Portuguese prepositions are kicking my behind right now.
  • Looking forward to next week: WenYu and I are going to go shopping one day for her birthday present: a new bikini! All of us have our fingers crossed on both hands that we can get to the beach. It’s been too, too long since the last time we were there. Brett and I are very pale.
  • Thinking of good things that happened: We all enjoyed seeing Moana last weekend. I got a nice surprise when I discovered one of my former high school classmates standing right in front of us in line at the theater! He’s lived here on the island for more than 20 years, and still looks just like he did in high school – no gray hair! WenYu got her first set of college grades, and she did very well. Wellesley has no grade inflation, so her good grades represent some very solid work on her part. I went over 37,000 followers on Pinterest this past week. We had no food waste, and put $24.09 in our change/$1 bill jar. We have decided to put away $5 bills away this year if we can, to bump up the amount we save.
  • Grateful for: My niece took care of my mom’s financial affairs for the past five or so years, and was the co-owner of my mother’s bank accounts. Under Colorado law all of Mom’s financial assets therefore went automatically to her. However, she is following Mom’s wishes even though she technically doesn’t have to. Both my older brother and I will give back a percentage of whatever we receive as a thank you for her efforts over these past few years.

    Yubaba (‘old hot water woman’) is the witchy madame who runs the bathhouse in Spirited Away. She’s one of my all-time favorite film characters – a little figure of her sits by my bed.
  • Bonus question: Are there any movies you’ve watched more than five times? I can’t even count how many times I’ve watched Merchant & Ivory’s Room With a View, and When Harry Met Sally, my two favorite films of all times. They never get old for me. Carrie Fisher is in When Harry Met Sally, so I know the next time I watch it’s going to feel different though. I’ve watched them enough that I can quote dialog from both of the films, but it seems I always find something new to appreciate each time I watch them. I’ve also watched Miyazaki’s Spirited Away more than five times, in both Japanese and English, and it remains fresh for me as well. Miyazaki’s animation is pure genius.

I hope you are enjoying your Sunday afternoon? What good things happened for you this week?

18 thoughts on “Sunday Afternoon 1/8/2017

  1. Those are brisk temperatures for the islands! We are about at the same (61 today), but it’s extremely rainy & windy. Downed trees, some flash flooding, etc. We’re getting a ton of rain (which we need), but not at all at once. We had futsal practice & one game (a 7-6 win), and now we’re about to go to an open house. Such is life. 😉

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    1. I don’t know if I’m really complaining about the temperatures, but it’s uncomfortable. It’s the equivalent of it dropping into the 40s (or lower) elsewhere, and we’re not really set up for those types of temperatures. We have sweatshirts and such, but no extra blankets for the bed and so forth. I really felt sorry for the kids having to get in and out of the pool yesterday, especially when the wind picked up or it started to rain. They shivered the whole morning.

      California still needs rains, but no so much at once! Hope it all goes well.

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  2. Ahhhhh low 60s sounds wonderful. In the mountains of Colorado it’s been -30 twice when I woke up this past week. Although even with that kind of cold we don’t have humidity so it isn’t completely unbearable! I agree, Season 3 of The Killing wasn’t nearly as good as the first two, but, keep watching. Very interesting wrap-up of the series. We have currently been on a British show marathon using Netflix and currently are watching Last Tango In Halifax. We are really enjoying it. Good things that happened this past week, well I work in the tourist industry and all of the people I dealt with that came for New Years were delightful! Everyone was in a good mood and the mountains have plenty of snow to keep the skiers very happy! When they are happy, we are all happy!

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    1. I know for any place else the low 60s would be wonderful right now, downright balmy, but it’s cold here when you’re used to temperatures in the 80s almost all year round. We’re such wimps!

      I loved Last Tango in Halifax! I haven’t checked recently to see if they added any new episodes.


  3. My all time favorite movie is When Harry Met Sally, too. Carrie Fisher’s role in that film is hilarious. And I love the soundtrack. The only other I’ve seen almost as many times is Love Actually and we didn’t watch it this year! DD and I did a Hugh Grant movie marathon last year, so this year we decided on Tom Hanks. SO many to choose from, we had to really narrow it down. Decided on Big, Apollo 13, Sully and That Thing You Do (one of her all time faves).

    It’s wonderful that your niece took care of your mother’s finances and there is no conflict in following your mother’s wishes. I’ve seen that go so badly in some families. And also wonderful that all of your children got something from their grandmother.

    I’m up for my cholesterol blood tests this week, too. I hate them, but I’m hoping I do better this year with my weight loss and consistent exercise. Fingers crossed.

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    1. I loved Carrie’s character having a file box with cards for eligible men. And her telling Bruno Kirby, “I want you to know…I will never want that wagon wheel coffee table.”

      I’ve seen Love, Actually more than five times as well; same for White Christmas. But they’re only for Christmas viewing so maybe that’s why I didn’t think of them.

      I see the doctor in another week or so about my tests. Fingers crossed that everything has stayed the same. I also just got a letter reminding me it’s time for my mammogram.


    1. 30-40 degree temperatures were the main reason we decided to move here. We’re just the opposite here though – we look forward to cooler winter temperatures and drop in the humidity. And then are uncomfortable when it gets cold (for here). It’s all relative, I guess. I really felt sorry though for the kids yesterday, climbing in and out of the pool. They were miserable.


  4. Yes, 60’s sound great. It is so rainy here and there’s flooding and wind, my least favorite thing. You’d better check on the fasting test as I was always told only a little water, NO coffee. It could alter the results.

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    1. Keeping my fingers crossed that all you get in CA is lots of much-needed rain, without too much flooding, etc. The water is needed; the other stuff, not so much.

      I was told I could have water, black coffee, or plain tea before the test. Nothing else was allowed.


  5. We were in the 40’s last night and for central Florida that is cold. It didn’t make it out of the fifties today but we are supposed to be back to the 80’s by Wednesday.
    The movies I have watched the most are The Shawshank Redemption, Joshua and Rudy.
    Your niece must be a truly lovely person.

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    1. The day we left Key West in December we drove to Ocala, and spent the night there. The next morning we woke up and it was near freezing. We thought we would die. We’ve been to Disney World twice in the winter when temperatures dropped below freezing – not fun to wake up to, or walk around in, and loads of plants died. It was warmer back in Portland!

      Believe it or not, I have never seen the Shawshank Redemption. I guess I should one of these days.

      Nothing will be settled with my mom’s accounts for another three months or so, to make sure everything has cleared. My niece provided a very valuable service for my mom, and the accounts needed to be held jointly so that she could pay bills, etc. But Mom’s will was very clear about how she wanted her estate settled. My brother and I will compensate our niece out of what we get, and she is also receiving a stipend from the estate for closing everything out. There were a few pieces of furniture to be divided. It would be too expensive to bring anything over here, and probably for my brother, who lives in Australia. I suggested my sister and my niece keep what they want, and otherwise sell everything else and keep the money.


  6. When I was a teenager, I took swimming lessons at a lake, early in the morning, and the temperatures were often in the low 60s before the day warmed up. I still shiver to think about it! The movies I’ve seen most often are Kiki’s Delivery Service, My Neighbor Totoro, The Lion King, Love Actually and the Rocky Horror Picture Show!

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    1. Getting in and out of an unheated pool in 60 degree weather is not comfortable, and even less so when there’s wind. It doesn’t matter where you live.

      Kiki’s Delivery Service was the the first Miyazaki film I ever saw. I watched it in my Japanese class at the time (and I could actually understand some of the Japanese!), and was immediately hooked. We had the great pleasure of visiting the Studio Ghibli Museum when we visited Japan in 2015, and I was happy to hear that Miyazaki is coming out of retirement to make one more film. He has been WenYu’s inspiration since she was tiny – her dream to become an animator is because of his films.


      1. It was amazing, and unlike any museum I’d ever been to before. Not too big, but very entertaining and enlightening. You have to order tickets well in advance – they only allow so many visitors per day.


  7. Enjoy your nice warm weather. We are buried under 40-50 inches of snow, and temperatures in the 20s F. The blizzard started last Friday evening and is still going on. All the snow that ends up in North America every year must have lost it’s way and ended up in Istanbul:)

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    1. Somehow I don’t think of Istanbul as a place that gets snow. In my mind it seems like a place that’s always warm and Mediterranean. But when I looked at the map I realized it’s not on the Mediterranean at all, but further north. Hope the snow has stopped by now and that you are able to dig out!


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