Sunday Afternoon 6/18/2017

All dads deserve a break (this dad can sleep anywhere!)

Happy Father’s Day! WenYu and I got a special breakfast treat for Brett this morning, and tonight we’re fixing hamburgers and french fries, one of his favorite meals.

Believe it or not, the HawaiianMiles credit card saga still continues. Last week the 50,000 miles showed up in my credit card account along with the miles earned when I booked YaYu’s ticket to Oahu, but when I checked my HawaiianMiles account at the end of the week just the Oahu ticket purchase miles were transferred, and not the bonus miles. Le sigh. I went back and looked at my credit card statement to make sure they were there, and the statement said I was supposed to get 100,000 miles! I’m not counting on that many, but as soon as those miles show up in my account, I am done with the card. What a nightmare it’s been.

Both Brett and I are grieving for the sailors, and the families of those sailors, who died this past week on the USS Fitzgerald, when it was struck by another ship off of Japan. As a former navy spouse, I can tell you there is nothing worse than getting a call that there has been an accident (the navy has an incredible call tree that gets the word out to families very quickly). The navy is a a big, tight-knit family, and when any sailor is injured or killed it affects us all, whether we’re on active duty, retired, in the reserves, or just a family member. The families and shipmates of those killed will be enveloped in care, and looked after long after the incident has been forgotten by most. We’re also thinking good thoughts for the sailors who were injured, but saved and evacuated, and who are recovering in the Yokosuka Naval Hospital.

The wacky, hot weather continued into this past week but by the end of the week sanity had returned. We had not one, but two BIG thunderstorms pass over us – they’re very rare here – and of course, as the storms were approaching, the humidity built up to near intolerable levels. But, after the storms the trade winds returned along with cooler temperatures and we’ve had normal June temperatures for the past few days. I’m still concerned that we might be in for a very unpleasant late summer/early fall – some of the weather we’ve been having so far this summer is more usual for later, and to get it so early in the summer is somewhat unsettling.

This afternoon I am:

  • Reading: I am still working my way through Raven Black, and enjoying it immensely. The book was turned into one of the episodes on the TV series, Shetland, but while I remember the names in the story I don’t remember how it turned out or who committed the murder. A second book by the same author just came off of hold, so I’ll be right on to that after I finish Raven Black.
  • Listening to: It’s a pretty quiet morning around here. WenYu is getting ready to go to work, Brett it doing something outside, but otherwise there’s nothing going on. There are a few birds singing (and no chickens screaming, thank you!) but it’s slightly overcast and cool so they may all be elsewhere. The laundry will be starting shortly though, and there goes the peace and quiet!
  • Watching: Brett and I finished watching The Returned – there was only one season (10 episodes) and unfortunately there was no resolution to the story. It was as creepy as we imagined, so we were disappointed there wasn’t more. This past weekend we paid homage to Queen Elizabeth: on Friday we watched The Queen at 90, a wonderful documentary on Netflix, and on Saturday we watched Helen Mirren’s award-winning performance of Queen Elizabeth in The Queen, one of my favorite movies (also on Netflix. The Great British Baking Show is back with a new season on PBS, and Granchester, with its “dishy vicar,” is back as well!
  • Cooking/baking: We’re having grilled hamburgers tonight, along with french fries for Brett and WenYu. WenYu and I got Brett some pastries and sausages for breakfast, and a special treat for dessert (I’ll be having fruit).

    Lots of stuff to check off before we can go . . .

  • Happy I accomplished this last week: We used the spiralizer for the first time, and all of us loved our first dish, a cold salad with a peanut-sesame dressing. I see lots of zoodles in our future! Brett and I collaborated on a set of cards with all of the things (for now) that we need to take care of for the BIG Mystery Adventure™ – they’re hanging in the hallway so we’ll see them every day. We’re both looking forward to getting started with checking things off, but that will start later. With the heat and humidity it’s been hard to keep up with the housework and cleaning, but I’ve gotten it all done even when I really didn’t feel like it. I got in two bike rides a day except for last Sunday (which was unbearably hot and humid), drank all my water, and did 10 minutes of language study every day. I made my first goal on Swagbucks every day except for three where I also made the second higher goal. There are days I log on to Swagbucks and say to myself, “I don’t know if I can do this again” and yet a couple of episodes of Top Chef later I’ve made my goal.
  • Looking forward to next week: Brett and I will be doing our monthly big shop on Thursday, but once again, our calendar is pretty much empty (which I have to admit is fine with me). WenYu is working every day but Monday, but she is really making some money. I see a beach trip or two in our future if the weather stays nice.
  • Thinking of good things that happened: The weather returning to normal was a very good thing. We got YaYu packed and off on her trip to China – the group arrived safely and she has texted to let us know she’s having a wonderful time. Yeah!

    Where did the time go, and how did it go so fast?

  • Grateful for: I am so happy and thankful that WenYu is here with us this summer, and that she’s found a great job and is making good money (she dropped the second job – it was just too much). Meiling and YaYu have similar temperaments and clash quite a bit, but WenYu is very calm and even tempered and gets along with both of them – her nickname is “Her Serene Highness.” She’s always good company and willing to try something new. Even when she goes back to her room she entertains us with beautiful music on her guitar. She rarely gets to be the “only” so Brett and I are taking her out to lunch tomorrow as a treat.
  • Bonus question: What’s the best road food you’ve ever had? I’ve had lots of good meals on the road, but back when both Brett and I were in the navy, he was stationed as an instructor at NAS Memphis (in Millington, TN), and I was stationed at NAS Pensacola, operating a flight trainer for upcoming naval flight officers. We were considered to be in the same geographical location (less than 500 miles apart), so we did a lot of driving between our two duty stations, through Mississippi, Alabama and into Pensacola. Neither of us can remember now where it was, but we stopped once at a small diner in a small town in Mississippi, and I had the most unbelievably delicious meal of chicken-fried steak with mashed potatoes, gravy, greens, and biscuits. It was heaven on a plate. We never had a chance to stop there again, but that meal was the stuff of legends. I’d actually never had chicken-fried steak before that, and it quickly became one of my all-time favorite dishes, although nothing I’ve had since has matched that meal. I wish I could remember the name of the little town, and wonder if that restaurant is still there.

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






13 thoughts on “Sunday Afternoon 6/18/2017

    • Laura says:

      So happy you found my little blog – I hope you’ll stick around.

      I think there are plenty of things you would still recognize here, and lots you wouldn’t. I hear over and over from locals here that what’s changed the most is the sheer amount of people here now, both tourists and residents. It’s nothing like Oahu, but they say it’s a lot more crowded now.


  1. Laurel says:

    Happy Fathers’ Day to Brett! That picture of your girls is just adorable.

    I hate heat and humidity combined and we’ve had both this week in the Midwest (90”s is not my jam). Kudos to you for any exercise in those conditions. We finally got a reprieve and I’m vowing to get back into my long walks tomorrow morning. I have NO energy in heat/humidity.

    The best road food I remember was with a former boss who introduced me to Cincinnati Five Way Chili long ago. It’s total junk food, but I was hooked immediately. I’m sure it’s not on the heart smart menu, but I still love it if I’m passing through Ohio (Cincinnati airport, anyone?) and i have dreams of recreating it on my own…to the point of saving recipes when I see them. I’m sure I’d have historic heartburn, but dang. That calls me me. 🙂

    Nice to have “only” time with our kids…especially the ‘easy’ one. ha!


      • Laura says:

        The girls’ picture was taken about six months after YaYu had joined our family – she’s 5, WenYu is 7, and Meiling is 9.

        Yesterday (Sunday) was quite humid, but today there’s a strong breeze and it’s much, much cooler – yeah!! (Just looked outside and it’s also raining). I never thought about the weather all that much back in Portland – it was either raining or it wasn’t – but feel much more affected by it here.


  2. Vivian Gibson says:

    I was reading online that Hawaii is the worst state to retire to. Obviously, they haven’t read your blog.
    Watched the British Baking show, it still amazes.
    The best meal was a steak in Texas when we were traveling. Most tender and best tasting I have ever had.


    • Laura says:

      Hawai’i is expensive . . . if you want to live like you did on the mainland. If you are able to simplify and live like locals do, it’s not that bad. Housing is the main reason it’s so expensive – it’s the biggest part of our budget.

      We actually stumbled onto the first episode of the GBBS last Friday – we all love that show, and were sad to hear that Mary Barry, and Sue and Mel have left the show. Paul Hollywood will still be continuing as a judge.


  3. Julia Hansen says:

    Thirty-five years ago today my husband and I were married in Berkeley, CA and getting ready to leave for our honeymoon in Kauai. We’ve been back there a few times; wish it could be every year. I love the vegetation on Kauai; some of my favorites are beach naupaka, tree heliotrope, seaside morning glory, and hala. Limahuli Garden is awesome!


  4. Nancy says:

    Upon your recommendation, we watched the first and only season of the American version of The Returned. However, we are now watching the French version of The Returned, also on Netflix. We are reading the English subtitles and are enjoying it very much. There are actually two seasons of the French version. You might want to give it a try.


    • Laura says:

      Thanks for the tip about the French version – we’re going to check it out this week! We were so disappointed when the first season ended – so many unanswered questions!


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