Sunday Afternoon 4/30/2017

Looking out to the island of Niihau (the “forbidden island”) from the beach at Barking Sands PMRF. Nothing but blue skies.

I can’t remember the last time I had a cold, but one found me this past week, dug in and just about knocked me out for a couple of days! Because the weather has been so warm, it’s been the equivalent of having a summer cold, which always seem to be nastier than ones that you get in the colder months. I felt fine over last weekend, and into Monday and Tuesday, but on Tuesday evening my throat started to feel a little sore and by 10:00 p.m. it was on, complete with a head that felt like a concrete bowling ball, fever, sore throat, etc. It’s almost done now, thank goodness, and all I can say is “good riddance!”

Brett and I drove down to the far west side of the island last Thursday morning to the Barking Sands PMRF (Pacific Missile Range Facility) so I could get my military dependent ID renewed. It rained the entire way drive there until the last mile or two when suddenly it was gorgeous! After I finished getting my card, we drove to the beach area on the base to look out at Niihau. The base has fully-furnished beach cottages that we are eligible to rent, and there’s a very good restaurant on the base, so Brett and I think that’s where we may try to go next year for our anniversary/birthday getaway, if we can get a reservation. Being back on base is always a very nostalgic experience for both of us – it was our life for so many years.

Looking to the east from the same spot on the beach, and the storm we passed through on the way down and back. It rained all the back until to Lihue.

YaYu got a call on Friday informing her that the essay she had submitted to the island newspaper’s Everyday Heroes contest had been selected as the winning entry! When I asked who she had written about she told me I’d just have to read her essay in the paper – hmmm. She will meet with staff from the paper this week for photos and to pick up a $100 dollar prize!

This afternoon I am:

  • Reading: I finished My Year of Meats on Thursday, and I’m now waiting to read Faceless Killers, by Henning Mankell. I was ready for another mystery/procedural, and greatly enjoy the Scandanavian genre, so decided to start in on Mankell’s Wallender series (Faceless Killers is the first in the series). Once again though the library is taking its time releasing the download. In the meantime I’m catching up on some magazine reading.
  • Listening to: Loads of songbirds are out and about this morning – they’re actually quite loud. I can also hear lawnmowers, etc. in the distance, and kids are out playing in the street. Surprisingly, I haven’t heard a single chicken or rooster.  Inside it’s quiet – YaYu is studying, and Brett is out on his daily walk/hike/run. The washing machine will be doing its thing though in a few minutes.
  • Watching: Brett and I enjoyed the documentary, Five Came Back, but then started right in on Escape to the Country, or as I call it, “English Country Househunters.” It’s a fun show to watch, but other than a couple of them none of the houses have really appealed to me.  I guess English Country style is just not my thing, but I like seeing what interests people and why they choose the house they do, and reject the others. The countryside is gorgeous though, and really the star of the show. Last night we watched Jackie. I had watched some on the plane on the way home from Japan, but fell asleep before I finished so wanted to see the whole thing. Both Brett and I thought it was very good.
  • Cooking/baking: As seems to be our habit these days, everyone fixed their own breakfast this morning: oatmeal and berries for Brett, leftover pad thai for YaYu, and yogurt and berries for me. The farmer that sells sprouts at the market did not have any mung bean sprouts this last week so the menu plan got switched around a bit. We had the Chinese three-color salad on Thursday, and after a return to Big Save yesterday for sprouts we are having egg drop soup and egg foo yung for dinner tonight (eggs on Sunday!). We are just about out of all the treats we brought home from Japan for YaYu’s lunches, so I’m going to bake a pan of brownies this afternoon. Just one more month of school lunches to go before we get a break!
  • Happy I accomplished last week: I almost cannot believe that I was able to get out and do the food shopping, let alone do anything last week because I felt so miserable, especially on Wednesday and Thursday. But, we needed food, and I had to be up early and out on Thursday to get my ID card renewed (because the old one would have expired today), so we stopped at Costco on the way home from that trip and I did OK. Except for Wednesday and Thursday, I still got in all of my bike rides, drank all my water and studied Portuguese. It’s been a rough week though, and yesterday’s bike rides about did me in as the cold had moved down into my lungs.
  • Looking forward to next week: Afterschool sports practices are over! YaYu has segued from one sport right into another from the beginning the year with no breaks, but will be coming home right after school from now until the end of the school year and we can hopefully enjoy a more normal daily schedule. It also means less laundry as there won’t be all the running shorts, t-shirts, swimsuits, towels, etc. that have been added all year. She’s also finished her Chinese tutoring, which means our weekends will be free once more. YaYu’s AP exams begin this week, and she takes the SAT exam on Saturday. I’m not sure she’s looking forward to this, but I’m glad to be getting them out of the way. She’s currently spending most of her time at home in her room studying, only coming out to go to school or eat dinner.
  • Reporting gains and losses: I lost four more pounds this month, bringing my total weight loss so far to 18 pounds. When I lose another five or so pounds I plan to replace my afternoon bike ride with a walk with Brett (after getting a good pair of walking shoes). We put $682.63 into our travel savings account this month toward this year’s goal of $7000. The total amount we’ve saved so far is $2484.34 so we’re right where we need to be.
  • Thinking of good things that happened: Learning that YaYu won the essay contest was the highlight of the week! Also, I guess it’s a good thing that all I caught was a head cold versus something more serious. Colds are miserable, but they have a regular progression and I’m almost done with this one. We stayed within our food budget, although it was tight this month, even after cutting back – we had run out of a lot of things. We put $19.29 in the change/$1 bill jar.
  • Grateful for: I am very thankful that as of tomorrow I am officially on Medicare! Between it and our military health insurance we should see no or very small co-pays from here on out, which is a very good thing, especially since a whole bunch of medical billing finally showed up this past week (like from last year’s physical therapy) – ugh. Brett has been on Medicare for two years now and it’s worked very well – I don’t think we’ve had to pay anything out-of-pocket for him since he enrolled. We really don’t get sick very often, or use our insurance much, but I feel very blessed to have the insurance we do.
  • Bonus question: What is something that you currently want that you really don’t need? For me, that would be an iPad. Between my MacBook Air, iPhone and Kindle, I have everything I need right now, technology-wise, but I’ve been thinking a tablet would be nice. I’m honestly not sure though why I need an iPad at this stage of my life (although I can think of several instances in the past where it would have been great to have one). I’m not a gamer, I don’t watch TV shows or movies other than on TV, etc. But, I still would like one. I’d love to hear from those of you who have an iPad or tablet about how you use it and what it does better than other technology you own.

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

19 thoughts on “Sunday Afternoon 4/30/2017

  1. Snoskred says:

    I have a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 which these days I use purely for book reading. Over the years I have collected up nearly 12,000 e-books – many of which I did not like or want to read. So last year I set about narrowing them down to books I did want to read. But how will I sort them, was my question?

    It turned out easiest to do alphabetical by author, and every so often when I get new books those go into a “new” directory so I can easily find them and read them. Every so often I will update the new directory and shift the previous new books into their author directory.

    By the time my sorting was done, I had culled nearly 10,000 books from the list and have a much easier to navigate couple of thousand on the tablet.

    I have used the tablet for watching tv shows and movies and also for playing games in the past.

    If you do get yourself a tablet let me know, I will send you my book file. It is about 2 gig worth of files, everything from Austen to Stephen King and a lot of other authors in between. I am constantly surprised to find books I want to read are already on there – eg I wanted to read The Handmaid’s Tale and it was there waiting for me. So I must have done a really good job with the sorting but have now completely forgotten about it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Laura says:

      Oh, I would love to have your book file, if and when I get tablet! That is impressive! Right now I am feeling very angry with our library – six days after requesting a book with no holds on it, I am still waiting! Your file would come in very handy right now.

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      • Snoskred says:

        Shoot me an email, or send a contact form over at my blog, and I will send you the link to the file. 😉 You can probably read them on your computer or phone in the meantime. 😉

        Like

  2. anexactinglife says:

    Glad you are starting to feel better! If YaYu doesn’t get too stressed about studying and exams, she should have a good month. We also save $6000-7000 annually for travel, just to see our family in Toronto (CAN) and London (UK), but that includes a generous entertainment and dining allowance each trip. I have an iPad Mini which I love. However, I don’t have an iPhone (my cell phone is barely smart). That was a choice since I rarely call or text, but I love using the iOS apps (such as Fitbit, weather, WordPress and BlogLovin) and I really like it as an e-book reader (I am OK with the backlit screen).

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    • Laura says:

      My phone does everything right now (and I love, love, love the camera), and I love my Kindle, but I like the idea of having the apps is use on a bigger platform is what is tempting me.

      I think the cold is on it’s last day today, but I am feeling much better – thank you!

      Fingers are crossed for YaYu – she’s a smart girl, but does not do well on standardized testing (none of our girls have).

      Like

  3. Vivian Gibson says:

    Still eating the kit kats. One each day. Mama doesn’t think she will try the wasabi and will ask if anyone at church would like to try it.
    Congratulations to YaYu
    Sorry to hear about your cold but glad you are feeling better.
    Please send rain our way and we will send sunshine to you.

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    • Laura says:

      YaYu winning was a big surprise – we’re excited to read her essay!

      We’re still eating our KitKats too, although I think we’ll be done at the end of this week. We each have one a day after dinner, and some of the flavors have run out. Tell your Mom that the wasabi one isn’t spicy – it’s actually quite good!

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  4. Hawaii Planner says:

    We got a lot done this week (lots of random chores: setting up appointments for the kids, arranging work for our hopefully soon to be sold rental house, grateful for M taking the boys to a super early soccer match this morning. And, highlight is that my incredibly picky youngest eater (he has major texture issues) volunteered to try steak. . . it’s been a year since he’s volunteered to try anything new, and not cried/thrown up from trying different textured food. This was HUGE & super exciting. He ended up eating 4 bites. Major progress!

    Congrats to YaYu for getting her essay published. I’ll be thinking of her with the SATs! She’s in the home stretch of the school year. 🙂

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    • Laura says:

      You guys do so much! I’d like to think I had that kind of energy back in the day, but these days not so much.

      One of our girls has a fairly strong sensory issue related to smell, and I understand completely what a challenge that is, especially getting when it was time to get her to try or adapt to something new (she also has mild issues with food texture). So congrats to your son for volunteering to try steak!

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  5. Bernie M says:

    I have tried various tablets but I just like the way the I pad feels in my hands. It sits nicely and the light is great. There is a part of me that is a bit shocked that really I paid for one to surf the internets and play the odd game, but I don’t care! I paid cash and they are soooooo easy. If you don’t care to learn technology (me) get an apple hahahaha.

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    • Laura says:

      I have been an Apple/Mac user since 1992, and the times I’ve had to use a PC or other platform have been very unpleasant for me (including at work). Apple is so easy, and so intuitive, to use. So, I’d only go with the iPad. My husband is just the opposite – he likes Android and other platforms better. As I said, I don’t need an iPad, but I kind of want one!

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  6. jacquelinawonders says:

    I use the iPad for travel, reading, Face timing (same as Skype), I have my music on there for long trips (I have noise cancelling headphones, they are precious on the overnight flight from Hawaii to Vancouver when we go), our library has books and magazines digitally now, I have a food travel show called Spain, on the road again I usually rewatch some of that when flying.

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    • Laura says:

      Question: Do you use your iPad to take photos? That’s the feature I love the most with my iPhone – the camera is just great, and so easy to use. I think I would like it better for Face timing, and messaging – with free WiFi we were able to use the video feature to chat with our daughters while we were in Japan!

      Decisions, decisions . . .

      Like

  7. Bob says:

    My wife likes her iPad mini 2 since we have a son and granddaughter in Japan and the FaceTime experience is much nicer on the larger screen -vs the iPhone. She has an older first gen kindle which she almost never uses anymore as the iPad is backlit and easier to use. Once you get used to the touch screen the non-touch Kindle becomes much harder to ‘drive”. You can probably find a used iPad mini on EBay or other site for a reasonable price as well.

    Like

    • Laura says:

      This is what I’m thinking – that I’ll enjoy the larger screen for Facetime and messaging more on the iPad versus my phone. I know you can buy refurbished iPads from the online Apple store, and they come with a one-year warranty, so I may start there if I decide to buy. My Kindle thankfully is the touch version – I couldn’t deal with one I had to “drive” either!

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  8. Natalie says:

    Glad you start feeling better. Congrats to YaYu! I had a good busy week, getting busier with my condo refresh project. I don’t need but want the ipad mini. Its size is perfect for my travel and use when I’m away from home. I have an ipod that I like and use daily.

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    • Laura says:

      Thankfully this cold is nearing its end, but it was sure rough when it started.

      My phone was enough when we went to Japan, but it is small (I have the SE), so I’m thinking something a bit bigger for future travels would be ideal. My MacBook Air is light and easy to carry when I travel, but nothing I want to drag around with all day – it stays back in wherever we’re staying, but in some places we want to (eventually) go that won’t be safe. So, I’m thinking the iPad might be the best solution. But for now it’s a want, and not a need.

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  9. Laurel says:

    Congrats to YaYu! You’ll have to share who she wrote about…maybe you. 🙂 And happy you’re kicking out the cold. They’re miserable, and I agree it’s worse in warm weather.

    I have an iPad with keyboard and I love it. Got it because my MacBook got old enough that it couldn’t be upgraded. It does everything I use a laptop for and weighs next to nothing next to the laptop. Also, some of the reading I do online has great apps…NYT, New Yorker, etc. And our library now loans magazines and the Zinio apps is great on an iPad. I do still prefer my Kindle for any books (with no pics or illustrations) because of the lighting and lack of glare. But anything with graphics is better on the iPad.

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    • Laura says:

      I will be flabbergasted if she wrote about me. She may have written about Brett though. He was somewhat of a mystery figure to them growing up because of his work schedule and hours, but since retirement he’s been the go-to guy for meals, running around, etc. He’s the one that makes ALL the sports practices and meets. WenYu wrote a beautiful essay about getting to know him for one of her college application essays.

      My MacBook (11 inch) is just a little over a year old, so it’s going to last a while. It’s light and easy to transport. But, I still think the iPad would be more convenient for travel (and more fun). I’m keeping the Kindle for reading – I love it.

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