Sunday Afternoon 7/23/2017

Dragonfruit season is back!

It’s been another lazy, summer week here at Casa Aloha. I am beginning to feel a bit like my entire existence these days consists of trying to stay cool and somewhat comfortable. Brett and I did our Costco Big Shop on Friday, and it about did me in. The weather that day couldn’t have been more hot and humid, and because we bought more than usual it required extra effort to get everything loaded into the car, then out of the car when we got home, photographed and put away. Just as soon as we got that done it was time to head out again to the farmers’ market, but thankfully that errand didn’t take too long. By the time we got done though both Brett and I were ready to melt into puddles. The rest of the week wasn’t as bad, and mornings and late evenings have been very pleasant and breezy, and we also didn’t have as much to do on those days.

I feel like all I do lately is complain about the heat, but then I remember the summer we arrived, and what we are going through this summer is nothing as bad as it was that year, when the trade winds died and there was absolutely no breeze for several months. Plus, we lived upstairs where it was naturally hotter, and we had no place to escape the heat outside other than getting in our car and driving somewhere else. Now we have a nice shady lanai, we’re on the ground floor, and the trade winds blow every day. I try to remind myself as much as possible that things could be worse.

Our oven quit on us this week – it seems the igniter failed. The stovetop works as does the broiler, but the other day the oven just wouldn’t light even though the gas feed was OK. We called the landlord and he immediately arranged for the repair which will be happening on Wednesday. I’m frankly thankful right now that we can’t use the oven – one less way to heat up the kitchen!

This week I am:

  • Reading: I’m still reading Evicted, but the latest Kevin Kwan book, Rich People Problems just came off of hold so I’ve got that to look forward to later this week. His two previous books, Crazy Rich Asians, and China Rich Girlfriend, were fun to read so I’m looking forward to this book as well.
  • Listening to: It’s been a quiet morning for the most part. I can hear the sound of weed trimmers and saws in the distance, but everything’s quiet in our neighborhood. We haven’t had any chickens around us for a while – not sure why – but I sure don’t miss their noise. Brett is reading, WenYu is eating her breakfast, and YaYu is still sleeping so it’s quiet inside the house as well.
  • Watching: Two of our PBS shows, My Mother and Other Strangers (cannot wait for the next season!) and The Story of China, finished this last week, but we’ve still got episodes of the Great British Baking Show and Granchester to watch, and we started a new and very creepy three-part series on PBS, Remember Me, starring Michael Palin. We found ourselves yelling “Get out of the house!” at the TV last week as we watched – it was that scary! Brett and I started another new mystery series (on Hulu) this week, The Top of the Lake, set in New Zealand, and starring Elizabeth Moss (Mad Men, The Handmaid’s Tale). You would think from listening to her that she’s from New Zealand, her accent is that good. Not sure though what we’re going to watch next week though. I’m a little over half-way through Top Chef Masters – wish there were more seasons.
  • Cooking/baking: I’ve got my eggs boiled and cooling already for deviled eggs this evening. We’re also going to cook up the rest of some bacon to go with those, and will also have some fresh vegetables (cucumbers, carrots, daikon radish), pickled beets, and cut up watermelon – a nice, cool dinner. Baking is out of course for the time being, not that I feel like baking anything in this heat.
  • Happy I accomplished this past week: Getting Wednesday’s shop at Costco done felt like a major accomplishment, much more than usual. We went a little over budget (barely) on our monthly shop, and will have to go back to Costco mid-month for some fruit, probably peaches and maybe another watermelon. I am quite proud of myself for getting almost all of my bike rides done in spite of the heat/humidity, as well as drinking my water rations (and then some) every day and doing my language study. I finally moved up to the next level!
  • Looking forward to next week: There’s nothing special coming up, so I’m looking forward to sleeping in every morning, a hot cup of coffee or two in the morning, a good book, two exercise sessions a day, and otherwise relaxing and staying cool.

    New suitcases mean travel!

  • Thinking of good things that happened: Our new big suitcases arrived! They are just what we hoped for, so Brett and I are very happy (and thrilled that we got them for such a good price). Dragonfruit is back at the market – it has become one of my favorite summer fruits and I’ve been looking forward to it. And, our daughter-in-law sent LOTS of photos and videos this week, always a good and happy thing. One of the pictures was of our grandson immediately after he lost his first tooth, and it really felt like we got to share that experience. Our son and family are all heading to Seattle in a couple of weeks to visit friends, get out of the Tokyo heat, and let our grandson attend a couple of summer camps so he can keep up his English skills. Our granddaughter is standing now, and growing leaps and bounds!
  • Grateful for: I’m so thankful that in spite of all the heat and humidity, the mornings and evenings have stayed cool and breezy, and that sleeping is comfortable at night.

    A mojito is very refreshing on a hot day

  • Bonus question: What are your favorite beverages? I have probably answered this before, but hands down, coffee wins the favorite beverage contest every time. I ♥♥♥♥♥ coffee, and it is through sheer effort of will that I don’t drink more than I do. I begin drinking coffee when I was five – my grandmother had a little coffee pot and coffee cup for me, and I would drink with her in the afternoon when she had her afternoon coffee (mine was more cream and sugar than coffee though). By the time I was in high school I was drinking my coffee black, which is how I still prefer it.  I usually have two cups in the morning, one in the afternoon, and another after dinner. Both Brett and I drink our coffee half-caff: we buy both dark roast regular beans and decaffeinated beans (which, believe it or not, are nearly impossible to find on this island) and Brett blends them, and grinds our coffee fresh for brewing every morning. After coffee I would rank water, then iced tea and Diet Coke – I have just one every day – as my next three favorites. I don’t like other sodas except for root beer and ginger ale occasionally, and although I’ll drink hot tea it’s not a favorite. I really don’t care for juices either, although I do like lemonade now and then. Brett and I drink alcohol just twice a week, mainly because we’re watching our calories and carbohydrates. We each have either a glass of wine (red for Brett, white for me) or a cocktail (mojitos or gin and tonics) on Friday and Saturday evenings. It’s enough.

That’s it for this week at Casa Aloha. How is your weekend going? What good things happened for you this week? I hope you are all staying cool!

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10 thoughts on “Sunday Afternoon 7/23/2017

  1. The One in Debt says:

    I have recently determined that I need to get the makings for Moscow Mules in my house. It’s my favorite drink with alcohol. But otherwise, I am happy with ice water w/a slice of lemon.

    Love those travel cases. Exciting!

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    • Laura says:

      Moscow Mules sound delicious, but vodka and I don’t get along so well. We put lemon in our water, at least while YaYu was in China – she doesn’t like it though so we’re back again to plain filtered water (which is delicious and refreshing).

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Vivian Gibson says:

    Iced tea and diet A&W root beer for me. I can drink water if I’ve been working outside but it has never been my favorite thing.

    I don’t drink coffee at all but a lot of people here drink iced coffee in the summer.

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    • Laura says:

      I loved root beer when I was young – one of my favorite summer treats was a frosty mug of root beer along with a frozen Reese’s peanut butter cup – they were delicious together. A&W was ‘back east’ root beer – out west we drank Dad’s.

      I can’t remember a time I didn’t like iced tea (with no sugar), but hot tea’s never done anything for me. I’ll drink iced coffee if I’m desperate, but I prefer hot coffee.

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  3. quesoit1 says:

    I really enjoy your Sunday afternoon posts!

    I read Evicted a couple of months ago and it was a real eye-opener. I didn’t know about the economic and psychological dynamics of the poverty rental housing market and didn’t realize how loss of housing could start a disastrous downward spiral for families and communities. Also startling was how some well-meaning policies can have unintended consequences that actually leave the people they are intended to help worse off. And the book really made me reflect on how easy it is to be judgmental about other people’s life choices when I don’t have an understanding of what they have to deal with in their lives. (By the way, I learned a lot from the footnotes, which are full of meaty background info.) I hope you share your thoughts with us after you finish reading the book.

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    • Laura says:

      I will try and write some more about Evicted when I finish. It’s enlightening, but also deeply, deeply depressing. I don’t think many of us realize how privileged we are.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hawaii Planner says:

    I saw dragonfruit at our local produce stand, and almost bought one to try out. Thought of you! 🙂 I love coffee, but only drink it in the morning. During the hot summer days, I love decaf iced tea. A particular favorite is the Starbucks/Teavana passion fruit team. Yum!

    It’s really hot here. I’m grateful for our swimming pool, because we don’t have air conditioning & the house really heats up.

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    • Laura says:

      You should try dragonfruit – it’s delicious! It’s cool and refreshing without being too sweet. It also goes nicely in fruit salads.

      I envy your pool! I would have about sold my soul for one yesterday – it was beastly hot here.

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  5. anexactinglife says:

    I am a coffee addict but I did switch to half-caff and I make it the same way you do. I have 3 large ones a day! In the summer I will actually drink water as well 🙂

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    • Laura says:

      I had a doctor ask me once if I had a shrine where I kept my coffee cup – LOL. He said he would understand because he loved coffee that much! That was 30+ years ago, and he recommended I go half-caff, and I’ve been drinking it that way ever since. When I drink a cup of regular coffee I get BUZZED, so I try to avoid it.

      I drank water before, but I’ve pushed myself to drink more this year, and I do feel better, although it took a while. My skin has thanked me too.

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