Sunday Afternoon 1/15/2017

The view from my beach chair on Tuesday

The view from my beach chair on Tuesday – nothing but blue skies. The surf looks inviting, but there were signs up everywhere warning about dangerous riptides.

We’ve had a lovely week here at Casa Aloha. The weather has improved – it’s been warmer and sunnier during the day, but still cool at night, perfect for sleeping. We actually got to the beach not once, but TWICE this past week! It was wonderful to sit out in the sun (well, under the umbrella for me) and watch and listen to the surf, although signs were posted up and down the beach warning not to go in the water. We saw plenty of whale action on both days, with several full breaches, and lots of tail and flipper slapping going on. Seeing the whales always does my heart and soul good – they really are magnificent.

The view on Thursday. The surf is rougher, and the sky is gray from VOG

The view on Thursday. The surf is rougher than Tuesday, and the sky is gray from vog. Also, if you look very hard there’s a very little bit of white on the horizon to the left of the middle of the picture – that’s a whale splashing around.

We’ve had a pretty heavy vog (volcanic emissions + fog) invasion from the Big Island since Wednesday because of winds coming up from the south. We rarely get it here, so when it comes it’s miserable. It was bad enough yesterday that I didn’t ride my exercise bicycle because my breathing was affected. Usually vog doesn’t hang around too long, but this round seems determined to stay for a while.

WenYu will be home for just a few more days – she returns to Massachusetts next weekend. Brett and I are going to miss her terribly when she goes, but we know she’ll be back in a few months. YaYu is going to miss her the most though, I think – she has loved having her sister around again.

Wednesday's sunset view. Our house faces the southeast, so we don't often get such gorgeous views. It looks like a bird of paradise!

Wednesday’s sunset view. Our house faces the southeast, so we don’t often get such gorgeous views. It looks like a bird of paradise!

This afternoon I am:

  • Reading: I finished Full Dark House, and am back to reading Strawberry Days, which I had to set aside when the last two books became available from the library. Full Dark House was kind of an odd book, but interesting – it got off to a slow start, but picked up at the end. I thought I had guessed the murderer about half-way through, but was totally wrong, and surprised by who it turned out to be.
  • Listening to: Right now I’m listening to this week’s load of beach towels tumble in the dryer. The roosters in the neighborhood were on a rampage last night and very noisy, but so far today it’s quiet outside. BTW, I had a wonderful listening experience this past week – I was up late, past midnight, and it was very quiet  . . . and I could hear the roar of the ocean down the hill!
  • Watching: Brett and I finished The Killing; it ended on a high note, thank goodness. WenYu and I started back in to Season 5 of American Horror Story, but tonight we’re going to watch Sherlock and Victoria on PBS. WenYu and I are having a hard time connecting with AHS this time, but are going to stick it out and see where it goes.
  • Cooking/baking: Tonight we’re having the baked chili rellenos casserole, yellow rice and iceberg wedge salads. The casserole will use up the last of our eggs. I’m going to make a blueberry cobbler later this afternoon (it doesn’t require eggs).
  • Happy I accomplished this past week: I finished Full Dark House just the day before it was due, thanks to some intense reading for a couple of days – I wasn’t sure I was going to make it. The library deadlines for downloads can be both motivating, but also a pain in the neck at times! Other than a trip to the farmers’ market, and a stop for a head of iceberg lettuce, we didn’t spend any money. I got in most of my bike rides (125+ miles, 2200+ calories burned), and drank eight or more glasses of water and studied Japanese and Portuguese every day.
  • Looking forward to next week: YaYu turns 17 on this week! We already gave her her birthday gift, but I’m going to fix one of her favorite dishes for dinner and bake her a chocolate cake. We’ve got our fingers crossed that we’ll get to the beach at least one more time before WenYu leaves on Saturday – she wants to go back to school with a good tan!

    Thursday's sunset view

    Thursday’s sunset view

  • Thinking of good things that happened: Being able to get to the beach not once, but twice, was rejuvenating, as was seeing the whales again. While having to deal with vog was not fun, we did get some lovely sunsets because of it. Other than the trip to the farmers’ market, and stops for a head of lettuce and bread for YaYu’s dinner, we didn’t spend on anything else. Meiling had a wonderful 21st birthday celebration back in Oregon – I almost can’t believe that little baby we brought home 20 years ago is all grown up! We had no food waste this past week, and put $12.05 in our change/$1 bill jar.
  • Grateful for: My official Medicare enrollment notice arrived this past week, and I am set to go on May 1. Combined with our military insurance it works very well. With the changes that are already in the works for the ACA (i.e. elimination), and probably Medicare down the line, I am very thankful that we currently have good medical insurance, at least for the time being.
  • Bonus question: Do you have any vices? Well, I don’t gamble – I’m more of a sure thing kind of gal when it comes to money. I try to be honest. I used to be a pack-and-a-half-a-day smoker, but I quit exactly 33 years ago today (January 15, 1984). It was not easy, and it was one day at a time for months afterwards, but every payday (twice a month) for a year, instead of buying cigarettes I bought myself something else that I couldn’t before because I was buying cigarettes (which were only $5/carton back then). It was very motivating, and showed how much I had been wasting on cigarettes. I still drink alcohol, but I’m back to having either one glass of wine or one cocktail on Friday and Saturdays only. Nothing makes me gain weight faster than having a drink every evening. Otherwise, my only other vices are an occasional Diet Coke (just one a day if I have one) and books for my Kindle if I can’t get them through the library.

That’s a wrap for this week from Casa Aloha! How was your week? What good things happened for you?

8 thoughts on “Sunday Afternoon 1/15/2017

  1. Joy Franks says:

    Les got out his window washing stuff and “zip zip” all the windows are washed clean. He handles that squeegee quite well and I don’t. I washed all our white curtains and have to iron them. Boo!! But, the sliders are done and now for our 3 side windows. Oh, I also vacuumed downstairs this morning. I’m so grateful for my back not acting up!!!

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    • Laura says:

      We are due for a house washing soon – Brett said he’s doing it after WenYu heads back to school. Our landlord provides us with washing solution. Brett just attaches it to the hose and it does the whole outside, including windows. We take the screens down and wash them separately. One of the things we’ll pay for though whenever we leave this house is a professional window cleaning – somehow if the windows are sparkling landlords tend to go easier on the other stuff ;-).

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    • Laura says:

      Believe it or not, I have never been to New Orleans. There have been plans to visit, both with my family as a child and with Brett, and every time we have had to avoid it because of a hurricane! I finally said, “I get the message!” I still would love to go though. Brett’s sister lived there for many years and still talks about it, and Brett has been a couple of time, to visit her.

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  2. anexactinglife says:

    I haven’t heard of vog before. The closest I’ve experienced was from forest fires. Your youngest is 17! and well-poised for the next steps in her life. I am glad you have good medical coverage. You know my vice – eating candy. I have done away with my old vice – toxic men!

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    • Laura says:

      Vog was one of the main reasons we chose to live on Kaua’i versus the Big Island – it’s a major issue there. I grew up in Los Angeles in the 60s, when the smog there was at its worse, and just did not want to be around any sort of pollution again, even if it was “natural.” My lungs were affected back then, and I’m very sensitive to it now.

      I can think of worst vices than candy :-). I had the toxic men vice for a while as well, but gave that up when I met Brett.

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  3. Janice Kelly says:

    We are traveling to Cambodia & Laos in November and have a 19 hour layover in Japan. Do you think we should spend the time seeing the major tourist attractions or would you recommend something else. It is our first time in Japan and don’t expect to go back for many years ( 7 or 8).

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    • Laura says:

      Well, it would depend on which airport you’re flying in and out of in Japan. Narita is not very close or convenient to anything (2+ hours each way in and out of Tokyo), although I understand the nearby town of Narita is interesting – there is a large temple and other sites to visit. The big issue though, for me anyway, would be getting in and out of the airport. I’m not sure what your status would be coming from Laos/Cambodia – you may have to stay in the airport. We transited through Narita on one trip to China, and had to stay in the airport. I know in some countries you can leave, but not sure of what the rules are in Japan. If there is a tour you can take, that might be one way to handle any immigration issues, but I would be check very carefully first. BTW, Laos and Cambodia sound fascinating. I have a friend who has visited, and considers it one of the best trips she’s ever taken!

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