Sunday Afternoon 10/1/2017

The rainbow shower tree is as close as we get to “fall color” in Hawai’i (and those aren’t leaves – they’re flowers).

And it’s October! This year feels like it’s flying past. Big things coming up for us this month include fall break for YaYu (and a chance for her to catch her breath) and signing a new lease for the house. It feels like “fall” is finally arriving here, although it’s still summertime hot and humid during the afternoons, and Wednesdays have stayed the worst day of the week. After a very dry summer it’s been raining a bit more, and mornings and nights have been cooler and more comfortable. Yesterday we had a long, cool, soaking rain which we have really needed – it was wonderful.

We had a wonderful and much-needed soaking rain yesterday.

YaYu sent off her Questbridge application on Tuesday evening although it went down to the wire (like only 5 1/2 hours remaining) because of the counselor’s recommendation and other forms she had to submit. The counselor told YaYu she would have it done on Monday, but when YaYu passed her in the hall that day she threw up her hands and told YaYa, “Don’t even ask!” At noon on Tuesday, when YaYu still had heard nothing from her, I emailed the principal and told him the situation and that it was unacceptable, that the counselor had known about this recommendation for several weeks, and we did not want to see YaYu’s chances harmed by the counselor’s inaction. The principal got right back to us, contacted the vice-principals and the counselor and by 2:00 everything had been uploaded and the application was ready to go. In Hawaii there’s a cultural ideal of “go along to get along” and not complaining, which is generally a good thing, but sometimes you need to step in and call someone out when something is just not right. Anyway, YaYu submitted a strong application (although we have no way of knowing how good the counselor’s recommendation was) and she’ll know on the 19th of this month if she’s in the finalist round. I’m already nervous!

This afternoon I am:

  • Reading: I finished Shark’s Fin and Sichuan Pepper, and especially loved reading about the author’s experiences and the food in Hunan province, which is where all three of our girls are from. It’s no wonder YaYu loves spicy food! I’m still reading Stephen King’s It (and yes, it is getting scary), and also just downloaded The Child Finder, by Rene Denfeld, so will start reading that during the day and sticking with It for my nighttime reading.
  • Listening to: We started the laundry early today, so the sound of that is overpowering everything else. But, it will all be finished and put away earlier rather than later today, which is a good thing. YaYu is also catching up on one of her favorite TV shows. LOTS of roosters are making LOTS of noise outside – they are so tiresome. Yesterday’s rain will bring out the bugs, so I’m pretty sure we’ll be seeing/hearing plenty of poultry around the yard in the next few of days.
  • Watching: I don’t know what we’re going to watch tonight, although there’s a movie on Netflix called The Hippopotamus that we think might be interesting. Vietnam was an intensely powerful documentary, and I’m grateful our local PBS station is going to show it again beginning on Tuesday. I’m going to re-watch it all because I felt somewhat overwhelmed the first time with it all and know I missed a lot.
  • Cooking/baking: I baked a pan of brownies (with pecans) this morning, so that will take care of baking for the week. We’re having breakfast for dinner again this evening: omelets (cheese for Brett and me, barbecued pork for YaYu), roasted tomatoes, toast for Brett and YaYu, and cut up watermelon for “dessert.”
  • Happy I accomplished this past week: I got started on my Christmas shopping, and found everything I wanted for Meiling and YaYu, but WenYu is going to be the difficult one to shop for this year. I know what I want to get Brett, but will get it next month or early December. I drank my daily water allotment and studied my language every day, and rode my exercise bike six out of seven days (and twice yesterday because of the rain). I made at least the lower goal on Swagbucks every day, so I should get a nice bonus next week.
  • Looking forward to next week: I’m not sure if I’m looking forward to it or not, but I see the island’s one dermatologist this week for my annual skin check – with Medicare and our military insurance there should be no out-of-pocket expenses. I’m hoping for a clean bill – I’m very careful here about sun exposure, but did a lot of stupid things when I was young, and it catches up to you.
  • Thinking of good things that happened: YaYu getting her Questbridge application off before the deadline was the #1 good thing – we honestly thought she was going to have to submit it incomplete. Next thing to go off is her partner college rankings – she picks the top 12 that she’d like to be matched with. We hosted some of YaYu’s cross-country team on Friday evening for the weekly pre-meet “carb fest” (also known as a spaghetti dinner). It was a very nice group of kids, but we ended up with a ton of leftover pasta. I was happy to learn my cataracts are not progressing, and that other than my vision slightly worsening my eyes are in good shape.
  • Grateful for: I was impressed by and very thankful for YaYu’s principal’s swift response to my email last Tuesday. He was off campus, in meetings all day, and yet he took care of the problem immediately as well as got back with me to let me know what he was doing. We have always liked him, but feel more thankful now for his caring and leadership.

    A Pizzacato pie

  • Bonus question: What’s your favorite kind of pizza? I love pizza – it’s always been my #1 favorite food, and although I cannot eat it now it’s been on my mind. My all-time favorite pizza is a simple margherita, with just tomatoes, basil and fresh mozzarella cheese (no sauce). I also love a good, classic pepperoni slice. When we lived in Portland there was a wonderful local pizza chain called Pizzacato that made the best pizzas with the best crust. Besides their margherita I loved their Thai chicken pizza, and one called the Squisita, made with roasted peppers, lamb sausage and feta cheese. Both were amazing.  Before we left Portland we ate at Apizza Scholls, in the Hawthorne neighbornood – I thought I had died and gone to pizza heaven. I will eat almost anything on a pizza, but am not a fan of pineapple and ham. Brett makes a very good pizza – he worked in a pizza shop when he was young and can still toss his dough like a pro! OK, good job, Laura – now I’m really hungry for pizza!!

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

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6 thoughts on “Sunday Afternoon 10/1/2017

  1. Snoskred says:

    I can’t remember the last time we bought a pizza, it would have been almost a year I think. We do have a place locally that we like but now that we have to watch the sodium we make almost all our food ourselves. And nowhere locally makes anything like the King Arthur Supreme at Round Table which is my favourite pizza on Oahu.

    Friday night is pizza night here and we make our own. I like to pre-cook my sliced mushrooms in the oven for about 10 minutes to get some of the moisture out. I then layer on the mushrooms on the sauced base with a sprinkle of cheese in a big circle shape, and add olives, pineapple, feta cheese, bacon, ham, some more cheese, pepperoni, and right before it goes into the oven we add an egg – two if we are using the eggs from our own girls as they are a little smaller.

    Egg on pizza is the best thing. I think it is an Australian thing, as far as I can tell. 🙂

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    • Laura says:

      Your pizza sound so delicious (well, except for the pineapple 😦 )! We used to have homemade pizza every Sunday evening, but no more. Pizza was the first Western food YaYu ate and loved, and WenYu ate ALL the cheese off a pizza when she was just 14 months old (the beginning of her love affair with cheese).

      I have had egg on pizza and it’s delicious. You don’t see it often in the U.S. My dream is to eat a margherita pizza in Italy some day.

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  2. The One in Debt says:

    I totally understand that Hawaiian culture from the other side because when I used to request medical records for patients, it could sometimes take 3 months to receive! Fortunately, I found an inside contact and started getting the requested records quick! quick! 😉

    OMG! Everyone is starting their Christmas shopping. I’m not even ready for it! LOL

    Pizza… I love a good classic Margherita pizza.

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    • Laura says:

      YaYu was scared at first that I emailed the principal because she didn’t want the counselor giving her a bad recommendation, but when she saw the letter I wrote she was OK. I called the counselor out by name in the email, but didn’t make any personal attacks, and just said her lack of action after knowing about this since last summer was unacceptable.

      I still have more Christmas gifts to get, but I wanted to get a head start this year and had enough Amazon credit through Swagbucks to get started now.

      Margherita pizzas are the best – simple, but they let the crust and flavors shine.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Isabella says:

    I can’t believe how unprofessional that counselor was! It was good that YaYu had an advocate in her parents. That was a little too close for comfort. I hope good things come of this application.

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    • Laura says:

      There is a second girl from YaYu’s class that applied, and I think her parents got involved as well. Brett spoke with her at the cross country meet on Saturday and she’s still upset about how long it took the counselor to submit the recommendations and school reports. The counselor’s procrastination was VERY unprofessional.

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