Sunday Afternoon 5/7/2017

Blue skies, a few clouds and a soft breeze blowing – what you can’t see is the heat and humidity.

We had a quiet week here at Casa Aloha, mainly because YaYu took the car to school almost every day as Brett and I really didn’t have anyplace we needed to go. She has had so many places to be this week, and it was frankly just easier to let her take herself. Both she and WenYu got their driver’s licenses here on Kaua’i, but YaYu is the only one of them who actually enjoys driving (Meiling has never gotten hers, and still is not sure if she wants one). YaYu is a very good driver too, very conscientious. As a rule, teaching the kids to drive has been Brett’s responsibility, and I’ve stayed out of the car with them (I get too nervous), but I drove with YaYu a couple of times and it was almost relaxing because she drove so well.

The weather has had its ups and downs as well, from positively gorgeous to positively miserable. There was lots of conversation this week at the farmers’ market, as several us waited for the opening whistle to blow, about how hot and humid we fear this summer is going to be, based on conditions we’re already experiencing this year. Our ceiling fans have already been getting a workout, I’m drinking more water than usual, and I’ve told Brett that I’m putting the stove and oven on moratorium – pretty much if it can’t be grilled, fixed in the slow cooker, or eaten cold, I’m not making it!

We brought home enough KitKats that the three of us each had one every evening for 41 days!

Every evening since our return home from Japan, Brett, YaYu and I have randomly chosen and eaten one KitKat after dinner, but tonight is our last night – there’s just three left. It’s really been fun trying all the different flavors (rum raisin is still my favorite). I guess we’re just going to have to go back to Japan sooner rather than later!

This afternoon I am:

  • Reading: I gave up waiting for Faceless Killers to become available (it turned out to not actually be available as an eBook), and instead downloaded another Scandinavian mystery, The Snowman, by Jo Nesbø. It’s very good, and delightfully creepy. Actually, just the title made my skin crawl (in a good way) for some reason. I read when I’m out on the exercise bike, and have been squeezing it as much as I can otherwise. I also put several other books on hold at the library, but I think it will be a while for most of them.
  • Listening to: It’s pretty quiet right now, although the songbirds sound like they’re in competition with each other for who can be the loudest. It’s a beautiful day, so I’m sort of surprised no one is out with their noisy lawn equipment. Brett already has most of the laundry sorted, so that noisy task will be starting up soon, but in the meantime I’m enjoying the peace and quiet.
  • Watching: Brett and I finished up Season 3 of Endeavour, and realized after we started that we had seen before. But, we had forgotten most of it so it was still enjoyed. Mavis over at 100 Dollars a Month has had some good movie/TV recommendations lately, and we just started one of her most recent, Shetland. She wasn’t kidding when she said you needed the subtitles to keep up with it, even though they’re technically speaking English! The scenery is gorgeous though, and we’ve already been hooked by the story. I’ve been watching re-runs of The Great British Baking Show while I work on Swagbucks at night – Netflix now also has the Masterclass series with Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood, so I’ve been watching those as well.
  • Cooking/baking: I had omelets on the menu for tonight, but I don’t feel like standing at the stove, so I boiled some eggs this morning and am making deviled eggs instead, which we’ll have with cheese, cold cuts, vegetables and fruit. There will be absolutely no baking today either, but we still have brownies left over from last week.
  • Happy I accomplished this past week: Nothing much other than the usual chores around the house. It’s actually been a very relaxing week, other than the day two guys were cutting back everything on the lot next door – saws and weedtrimmers were going all day. It was loud and miserable😖. Brett and I reserved YaYu’s flights over to Oahu, for her pre-trip orientation in early June, and to and from the Honolulu airport for the main trip to China mid-June. I got in all my daily bike rides, drank way more than eight glasses of water each day, and studied Portuguese every day.
  • Looking forward to next week: Tomorrow morning Brett and I are getting together with Occasional Nomads reader, Marji and her husband, in Kalaheo for breakfast! I’ve had positively wonderful experiences meeting my readers and I don’t think this will be any different. YaYu’s award-winning essay will be published this coming Thursday – we still have no clue what she wrote, so I’m looking forward to finally getting to read it.
  • Thinking of good things that happened: YaYu thinks she did OK on her AP Mandarin exam, and managed to make it through the SAT yesterday morning. I don’t believe in letting these standardized tests define your life, but with the Mandarin test it’s the culmination of over a year of independent study for YaYu, something she was very motivated to do, so fingers are crossed that she does well enough to receive the credit. We put $8.95 into the change/$1 bill jar.
  • Grateful for: We have a lovely lanai at this house, something we didn’t have at our first house, and it’s a wonderful place to be able to go in the evening when temperatures start to cool off. The house also has big ceiling fans, and big windows to let in the breezes, so we’re as ready as can be for the summer weather and heat. Brett’s and my bedroom is the coolest in the house too, almost always comfortable for sleeping.
  • Bonus question: What’s your blood type? Do you believe your blood type influences your personality? My blood type is AB, the “universal recipient” (I can accept blood from either Type A or Type B). My blood type is pretty rare – I remember being in a large college auditorium once, with over 300 people in attendance for a biology lecture, and I was the only one that raised their hand for Type AB. My dad was also AB, but he also carried a distinctive antigen or something, and was sometimes called in special cases to donate blood, once in the middle of the night. I don’t believe your blood type affects your personality, but this is a big thing in Japan and other east Asian countries – kids have been grouped in school according to their blood type, work teams made up of those with the same blood type, and it’s a question that couples often ask of each other. Actually, some of the characteristics for Type AB fit me pretty well: ABs are very rational and level-headed, and are excellent at planning and organizing. Our moods can be pretty intense at times, but we excel at managerial and educational positions. ABs get along with all other blood types, but can be critical, unforgiving and aloof at times.

That’s a wrap for this week! How was your week? What did you accomplish? What are you looking forward to next week?

11 thoughts on “Sunday Afternoon 5/7/2017

  1. I am O negative (universal donor). I am a baby donor because of something that isn’t in my blood. I used to get called a lot to donate when I worked at the hospitals. Don’t see how it could have anything to do with personality and when did Asia come up with this idea?


    1. That’s why my dad often got called in to donate, for babies. We lived just outside of Los Angeles, so he would go to L.A. General.

      Apparently it’s been a thing in Japan since the 1930s, but many think your blood type influences your personality. I’m not buying it.


  2. We’re just about done with Shetland I love it. Mostly I love the scenery. I don’t think I could live in the shetlands but it is romantic to think about it. I’m pretty sure I’m AB negative. Negative when I had my children I had to get a shot. Of course, I can’t give blood, ha, ha, ( actually not funny) because I have a blood cancer. Just to keep the humor in. But when I went thru my transplant I did need 2 bags of blood as my white and red blood cells had tanked. Fun times and I don’t think about much anymore:) so grateful to those that can.


    1. Agree the scenery in Shetland is gorgeous, but I live on an island less isolated than the Shetlands, and can imagine it’s pretty bleak there.

      AB negative is very, very rare. My dad might have been negative (I’m not though), but I’m not sure.


  3. oh, I forgot… have you started the Handmaids tale? OMG, it is very intense. and really scary but you must watch it … Hulu..


    1. I’ve heard good things about The Handmaid’s Tale, but haven’t asked Brett yet if he wants to watch. If not, I’ll watch it while I do Swagbucks. I read the book back when it came out – it was pretty intense then, so I imagine the show will be too.


  4. I could see personalities being linked to blood types. That’s interesting to know that Asian countries will group people according to blood type. I don’t remember my blood type and will need to see if I can find it.

    My teen is learning to drive. I really am willing to give the responsibility of teaching her to others. It makes me SO nervous because the child has not learned defensive driving yet. And we have a lot of traffic here.


    1. I feel very grateful that the girls got to learn to drive here – so much easier than back in Portland. Teaching my kids to drive is just one of those things I knew I couldn’t do. My mom was the one in the car with me and my siblings – my dad was too nervous, like me. He did take me once, to the Santa Anita racetrack parking lot (HUGE!!) and I about did him in there, and he said no more!

      I don’t know any of my children’s blood types, except to know they’re not rare. If blood type is related to personality, each of my children should have a different type – they’re nothing alike.


  5. It was an extremely chaotic work week, capped off by M being out of town & me handling all of the kid activities. I’m exhausted! 🙂 I got the normal amount of stuff done – survival type stuff with feeding people, sorting out an emergency childcare situation for tomorrow (school is closed, my backup camp cancelled last minute), & coordinating prep work for listing our Seattle house. It’s going on the market this week! Fingers crossed. 🙂 Would love to have it in escrow by July, but we shall see.


    1. I’ve got my fingers crossed for your Seattle house as well – hopefully it will sell quickly and give you & M one less thing on your very busy, already overloaded plates. And once it’s listed, you can kind of sit back and relax until you get an offer (and then the craziness starts up again).

      I did everything pretty much on my own for years when Brett worked and it about wore me out (three kids with three different schedules – I felt like I lived in our car). I’m really enjoying it now that Brett is willing and able to do all of the running around.

      When the girls had a day off and I didn’t, they went to work with me! They would sit at the back of the classroom and read, or work on homework. They were very well behaved, but apparently others brought their kids to school and the kids didn’t behave because my last year of work bringing that option was no longer allowed. I had to scramble that last year to find childcare – the public schools gave so many days off that the college didn’t.


  6. I don’t buy the theory that blood type and personality are related. I know it’s a popular idea in Japan, but it makes no medical sense whatsoever!

    My big reading accomplishment last week was finishing Six Four, a mystery by Japanese writer Hideo Yokoyama. It was reportedly a big bestseller in Japan. I had to make a big push to finish the 575-page book by the library due date. Intriguing twists to the plot, and an interesting glimpse into the Japanese culture and way of thinking, but I thought it was unnecessarily long.

    It took a few days, but last week I got my diet back on track after a weekend when my eating went off the rails. My Buddhist temple’s Hanamatsuri Festival had all kinds of tempting food, and I definitely indulged over those two days — wontons, Spam musubi, beef teriyaki plate, beef teri burger, chicken teri plate, shave ice…. Plus the workers’ lunches for all of us festival volunteers. My big carb disasters were the dango (round donuts that Japanese Americans on the Mainland call dango; in Hawaii they are called andagi or Okinawa dango) and the imagawa-yaki (pancake-like griddled pastries filled with sweetened azuki bean paste). Eating that stuff awoke the carb-craving beast lurking within, but I eventually got my dieting mojo back!


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