Sunday Afternoon 5/14/2017

Happy 65th birthday to me (and call the fire department)!

Happy Mother’s Day! Today is my official “Day of Doing Nothing,” where Brett and the girl(s) take care of every chore and activity around the house, and let me completely and totally relax. As it’s also my birthday, Brett and YaYu are going overboard. I just finished a long call with WenYu, and Meiling has messaged that she’ll be calling later this afternoon. My son wrote from Japan late last night. Life is good!

I received the best Mother’s Day gift of my life though when I read YaYu’s prize-winning essay on Thursday. Her ‘essay’ was actually two letters, one from me to her about meeting her for the first time, bringing her into our family and getting to know her, and the other was from her to me, about what I have meant to her. YaYu can seem distant, and keeps her emotions close, so it was so very, very special to hear her express her feelings. She got my emotions and feelings for her perfectly too.

I am also officially “old” today, 65 years. I don’t feel particularly old, other than having a head of gray hair (but my hair has been turning gray since I was in my 30s). I’m healthy, in fairly decent physical shape and getting better, and living a happy, comfortable retired life with Brett. You’ll hear few to no complaints from me.

With Marji at the Kalaheo Cafe

Brett and I had a delightful meet-up with blog reader Marji and her husband, Art, last Monday. We took over a table at the Kalaheo Cafe and stayed there for nearly three hours, without ever running out of things to talk about. As I wrote last week, every reader I’ve met has been a delight, and with Marji and Art the streak continues! And, yesterday I got together with someone I haven’t seen in over 40 years – the niece of my former boyfriend. Even though things didn’t work out between the boyfriend and me (we both went on to long, happy marriages with someone else), I always had a great relationship with his family, one of the nicest, most close-knit group of people I’ve ever had the privilege to know. I reconnected with my old boyfriend’s older sister on Facebook a few years ago, and this week her daughter has been visiting Kaua’i, so we got together for a catch-up and lunch. And yes, Brett has met them all, including the old boyfriend, and likes everyone as much as I do.

Brett and I with Renee at Street Burger, in Wailua

This afternoon I am:

  • Reading: The day before I finished reading The Snowman, one of my hold became available for download: Band of Brothers: E Company, 506 Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest, by Stephen E. Ambrose. “Easy” Company fought on D-Day, in the Battle of the Bulge, and were the first to reach Hitler’s retreat in Berchtesgaden at the end of the war. I’ve watched the mini-series twice on Amazon (it’s excellent), so the names and experiences in the book are very meaningful and easy to follow. The book is extremely well written, and I’ve found myself a couple of times going much further than usual on my bike because I’ve gotten so caught up in the story.
  • Listening to: It’s semi-quiet around here right now; YaYu is talking with WenYu, Brett is reading, and I’m writing.  A few people are mowing lawns as it’s a beautiful day, and there’s a pretty strong breeze outside. I’ve heard on rooster off in the distance – I don’t know if I’ve finally gotten used to them, or if they’re just not around all that much these days, but they don’t seem to be as noisy as they were in the past.
  • Watching: Brett and I are almost done with Shetland (love it, and I’ve got a couple of the books that inspired the series on hold at the library), and last night we finished watching the latest episodes of Death in Paradise. I’ve left before the ending several evenings to do my last bike ride of the day, but have correctly guessed the murderer 100% of the time. I’ve finished re-watching all of the Great British Baking Show episodes which were actually more interesting to watch the second time around, and am now watching the accompanying Masterclass shows while I work on Swagbucks.
  • Cooking/baking: I am doing absolutely NO cooking, baking or dishwashing today. Brett and YaYu have a zero-carb surprise up his sleeve for dinner tonight, and made me a lovely bowl of yogurt with fruit for my breakfast this morning.
  • Happy I accomplished this past week: Not my accomplishment, but YaYu somehow got through all her tests last week – she had one every day! Now we just have to wait and see how she did. I got in all my bike rides, even though there were days I really didn’t feel like it because of the heat and humidity, drank all my water and then some, and did my language study every day.
  • Looking forward to next week: WenYu is coming home on Tuesday!!! We’re all super excited about having her here again. She had a terrific first year at Wellesley, and will spend her summer here working and building up her savings account. Brett and I will be doing our monthly big shop this week rather than the week after. I can’t believe how much we’ve run out of in just three weeks, and I’m hoping, hoping,  hoping that we can stay within our budget. I’m pretty sure WenYu is going to want to go to the beach, so we may actually finally get there this week.
  • Thinking of good things that happened: As I said above, our visit with Marji and Art was wonderful – they are delightful! We also hadn’t been to the Kalaheo Cafe in a while, so that was a treat as well (Brett had eggs Benedict, and I had a big, delicious smoothie). And, I loved seeing Renee again and finding out what everyone in her family has been up to all these years. We put $4.00 into our change/$1 bill jar – $1.50 left over from the farmers’ market, and $2.50 from recycling bottles and cans. All those little bits add up!
  • Grateful for: I’m exceedingly thankful these days for my good health. I occasionally have aches and pains that I didn’t have before, but for the most part I’m in very good shape. I’m eating well and losing weight again. Nothing is perfect, but for all the abuse I’ve heaped on my body over the years I think I’m doing very well.
  • Bonus question: What’s the best thing about growing older? What’s the worst? I think for me the best thing is that I worry far, far less about what other people think of me. I wasted an awful lot of time in my life trying to please people, meet unrealistic standards, or be something I wasn’t but these days I’m happy and content with who I am. I don’t worry about pleasing others so much and am comfortable in my own skin. I also have a much better sense of what’s truly important and what’s not, and am proud of what I’ve accomplished. The worst part of getting older? Chin hairs and flabby arms. They are the bane of my existence these days.

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

10 thoughts on “Sunday Afternoon 5/14/2017

  1. Happy Birthday! You’re one year ahead of me. I’m loving the ‘letting go’ of aging. Not feeling like I ‘have’ to do things, and yes, worrying less about what people think of me. To quote a good friend from years back: You wouldn’t worry so much about what people think of you if you realized how infrequently they do. Ha! Wish I had been able to really take that in earlier. And I’m SO with you on flabby arms. I don’t think there is anything I can do about it and I’m going sleeveless anyway. I would have NEVER done that a few years ago. It helps not to be working anymore with 30-45 years old all day long.

    How special that YaYu DID write about you! That really sounds lovely. You are clearly very important to your kids.

    Happy Mothers’ Day! Enjoy your day off.


    1. I had a lovely day yesterday – thanks!

      I’m always grumbling about my flabby arms, but the girls all tell me it’s no big deal, that no one cares. So, I’ll continue to stick with sleeveless.

      I’ve heard that same quote that you got from your friend, and I too wish I had taken it to heart earlier. These days I remind myself that most people, in most situations, are people I’m never going to see again, ever, so why worry?


    1. Thanks! Happy Mother’s Day (belatedly now) to Kate – hope you had a lovely weekend. I’m imagining you got together with your girls and the grands!


  2. For flabby arms I have been using 2 lb weights a couple of times a day. I am surprised at the difference it made.
    My cousins and Aunts spent an afternoon together yesterday. It has been a while since we have been together and everyone had a wonderful time and we got some good pictures.
    (This next part is for women readers only)
    Don’t laugh but the best part of getting old is no more periods. I had my first at 10 and my last at age 56.
    The worst part of getting old is losing friends and family at a much more frequent rate.

    Happy Birthday!


    1. I have 2# weights – one of them is being used as a doorstop right now – but I look at them and think sometimes I should be doing something with them. When I lost weight a couple of years ago I walked a lot and carried hand weights and my arms did get smaller.

      Oh I agree about the no periods part. I had a hysterectomy when I was 28, and that was the best part of it!

      So far most friends and family are hanging in there. I lost my mom last year, but otherwise we all seem to be doing well for now. But, it’s coming, and when it does come it will get faster and faster. I am dreading it.


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