We woke up to clearer skies and a bit of a breeze today, thank goodness, although it’s still very humid. It’s been a difficult week weather-wise here on the east side of the Garden Island. This past week started out alright, but by Thursday the humidity had set in with a vengeance while the trade winds disappeared completely. It’s felt at times like we’ve been living inside a soggy ball of cotton. The humidity was at 100% all day Friday (raining), and with no breeze to help keep things cooler. We picked up YaYu at the airport early Friday evening, and as we drove home instead of seeing the usual rolling surf the ocean instead looked like a lake – there was no wind, and therefore no swells. Things are thankfully supposed to continue to improve next week. YaYu said the weather was gorgeous the whole week long over on Oahu.
The issue of the missing Hawaiian miles was resolved this past week. After a contentious call with the bank’s customer service department last Monday I filed an official complaint with the CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) and included a copy of the card member agreement. That got the bank’s attention very quickly because the very next day I received a call from the office of the president of the bank with an apology, and the miles were in my account on Wednesday afternoon. I also received an email on Friday from Hawaiian Airlines customer service with an apology for the poor service I had experienced, and to let me know the bonus miles were in my account.
YaYu leaves this week on her two-week trip to China! She had a great time last week at the orientation, and bonded with several of the others in her group. I’m not looking forward to her being gone, but am so happy and grateful that she has this opportunity to visit the country of her birth, and use the language she has studied/maintained for so many years.
This afternoon I am:
- Reading: I finished American Heiress last night, but took a break during the week to read Your Keys Our Home by Debbie and Michael Campbell, the Senior Nomads. I’ll be posting a review tomorrow! Raven Black, the first in the Shetland mystery series by Ann Cleeves became available from the library on Friday, so I’ve got it downloaded and will start it today.
- Watching: We finished up Season 2 of Fargo yesterday evening and wished Season 3 was already available for streaming. That show was good. We’re going to start watching The Returned tonight on Netflix. It comes highly recommended, combining mystery and the supernatural, and sounds like something we’ll enjoy. I’m into Season 3 of Top Chef, my show for when I’m Swagbuck-ing at night. I wasn’t so sure at first that I liked cooking combined with personal drama, but the show has grown on me and I look forward to watching it now. And, there are 10 more seasons available to watch!
- Listening to: For now it is blissfully quiet both inside and out. Outside is the sound of the breeze through the trees, a couple of birds singing but no yard work or other noise. Brett is on his daily hike, YaYu is at a meeting (I know, on Sunday), and WenYu is back in her room so peace reigns for now.
- Cooking/baking: I will do the prep, but the girls are going to make tonight’s egg drop soup and egg foo yung because I know I will die from the heat otherwise.
- Happy I accomplished this week: I set up a series of cards listing different aspects of the BIG Mystery Adventure,™ of what we will need to accomplish before we go. The cards will help us stay organized, and check things off as they get done. I’m getting antsy to start tying things down, but Brett and I agree that we need to meet our savings goal first. In spite of the humidity this week I still managed to get in two daily bike rides. The evening rides though were worse than the afternoon ones because the humidity has been worse at night. Brett has done his walks/hikes every day, but has probably lost several pounds from sweating so much. I’ve moved up to the next level in my language study, so that’s going well. I can actually construct sentences in the language now, although they’re pretty basic. I made my small goal every day with Swagbucks, and the second goal on a couple of days. I have a two particular personal goals in mind for the Swagbucks, and have almost completed the first one, which is to add to our Christmas savings. The second one is connected to next year’s travels.
- Looking forward to next week: Once again we really have nothing lined up or planned other than getting YaYu packed and to the airport for her trip. It should be an easy, relaxing week.
- Thinking of good things that happened: Getting those bonus miles into my account so quickly once I contacted the CFPB was a happy and satisfying surprise – I thought it would take much longer. Until they got involved the bank was not going to budge, no matter what I sent them. Even though the woman who called from the president’s office apologized, she was still making excuses though for the initial problem. We finally heard from our landlord after several months of radio silence, and he said he is doing well. Apparently he was away getting treatment for his cancer. He’s a good guy, so we were happy to hear that he’s feeling OK for now. I was able to comfortably wear one of my size small pair of pants this week. I am feeling much smaller these days, and wish I could wear the other pairs I have put away but they’re still a bit too tight – maybe in another month or so.
- Grateful for: As YaYu gets ready to set out on her journey, I’m feeling thankful for the scholarship she earned that made it possible for her to go, and that we were able to find a way for her to continue her Mandarin studies this past year here on the island.
- Bonus question: Most people can easily remember their favorite teachers, but did you ever have one that made your life miserable? I was very fortunate and had wonderful teachers all through K-12 and in college, but I did have one truly awful teacher, for 8th grade Home Economics. My mother taught math at the middle school, and did not get along with Mrs. White for who knows what reason, and all through my year in her classroom this teacher made catty, mean remarks about my mom in front of my class (and several of the students had my mom for a teacher!). I could do nothing right for Mrs. White either, apparently because I was related to my mom. The worst though was when she created a “dress code board” for girls. If someone thought your skirt was too short or you were committing some other dress code infraction they could anonymously submit your name to the board, and you were then ordered to appear before the board and be judged. If the charge was that your skirt was too short you were made to kneel before them so the distance from the hem to the floor could be measured. The girls Mrs. White selected for the board were of course the ‘mean girls,’ and the experience was meant to be humiliating. I got called in front of the board once for wearing a supposedly too-short skirt, and had to kneel even though my skirt turned out to be regulation length (back then girls didn’t/couldn’t wear jeans or pants to school). I so remember Mrs. White though, sitting in the back of the girls on the board with her smug face, reveling in what was going on. I was never so glad for a year to be over and to be out of that class and away from her. She was so unprofessional, but could get away with it in those days – students weren’t supposed to or allowed to complain about teachers.
That’s it for this week at Casa Aloha. How was your week? What good things happened for you?