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.
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.
- 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?