Someone had their first birthday this past week! For such a little thing she sure is a pistol (my son calls her “The Destroyer”). According to the photos and videos we received, the board books we left for her present were a big hit – yeah!
I did not make it to my dermatology appointment last Wednesday, but not because we didn’t try. Brett and I set out with what we thought was plenty of time, but there was traffic and construction almost the whole way. Plus, when we got to where the office was located, we couldn’t find it – there were no numbers on the buildings and it was very poorly marked, so we spent an additional five minutes driving around the parking lot trying to find the office. I was nearly in tears by the time I finally found the place, but since I was over 10 minutes late at that point my appointment had gone to someone else (the Dr. is the only dermatologist on the island, so he is booked solid). Traffic on the east side of Kaua’i has grown progressively worse since we’ve been here. What used to be an easy 20 – 30 minute trip from Kapaa down to Lihue now typically takes 45 minutes or longer, even using the bypass. Anyway, I got a new appointment for next month, and even if I end up reading a book in the waiting room we’ll give ourselves an hour to get there.
We’ve had lots of rain this past week, and for the most part it’s been delightful, with cooler temperatures and less humidity (sometimes – at other times it’s been like living in a wet blanket). More please!
This afternoon I am:
- Reading: Why do all the books have to come off hold at the same time? I finished It on Friday (and wasn’t all the crazy about the ending), but the day before both The Child Finder, by Rene Denfeld, and A Legacy of Spies, by John Le Carré, came off of hold. I finished The Child Finder in a day in a half – I couldn’t put it down – and just started the Le Carré. I’ve enjoyed all of his books, and am looking forward to this one.
- Listening to: Lots of weed trimmers are going outside. The laundry is all sorted and that will be starting up soon. YaYu is away volunteering again this morning, and Brett’s fixing himself something in the kitchen.
- Watching: I thought I was going to watch Vietnam again, and tried, but it’s just too sad and difficult. So, maybe later. Brett and I watched the second season of Top of the Lake, starring Elizabeth Moss (Nicole Kidman is also in the cast). It was just as compelling as the first season. We finished all of it though in a couple of days, and now are re-watching Ken Burn’s The Civil War (our third time). It was very sobering (and disturbing) to listen to the state of things in the U.S. before the start of the war, and see the headlines in the papers, and realize we are hearing many of the same themes now.
- Cooking/baking: No baking today – I made white chocolate chip-macadamia nut cookie dough the other day and froze it in portions so Brett or YaYu can pull some out and make cookies whenever they feel like it, or Brett can bake some in the morning for YaYu’s lunch. Dinner tonight will be egg foo yung, and YaYu is going to make egg drop soup. Yum!
- Happy we accomplished last week: It was a very quiet week, other than the attempt to make my dermatology appointment on Wednesday there was nothing much going on. I think I need to finally accept that because we’re retired now that not a whole lot is going to be happening every week. I drank at least 64 ounces of water every day, did my language study every day, and rode my exercise bike at least once every day, but on a couple of days got in two rides, and on one day I was able to ride three times!
- Looking forward to next week: It’s Fall Break week, so no one has to get up early except for YaYu on Wednesday for a cross country practice. Brett and I are going to begin walking together in the afternoons this week. We’re going to start small, with short, flat walks on the beach path, and will work ourselves up to longer walks to be ready for all the walking we’ll be doing on our Big Adventure.
- Thinking of good things that happened: Our daughter-in-law and son sent so many photos and videos this week, with lots of our granddaughter celebrating her first birthday. It was wonderful to see so much of her and our grandson (and our son). Because it was cooler all week I was able to ride my bike more than once on some days, a very good thing!
- Grateful for: After the hot, sticky summer, I have been exceedingly thankful for the rain and cooler temperatures we’ve enjoyed this past week. The heat and humidity will be back, but this past week was just the break I needed.
- Bonus question: What’s the best treat you ever gave yourself? During our first tour in Japan (1980-1983), for the last year and a half I splurged and hired a housekeeper to come once a week to clean the house and do the ironing. The cost for this luxury was just $14 per week, the going rate at the time. Tomoko, who was in her 60s, less than five feet tall and weighed less than 100 pounds, came every Thursday and cleaned in the morning and ironed in the afternoon. I would pick her up at the station at 9:00 a.m., take her to our house, and then our son and I would disappear for the day, arriving home in time to take her back to the station at 3:00 p.m. It was an unbelievable luxury, and a once-in-a-lifetime treat. Although $14 seems like a pittance now, for us the nearly $60 a month was a lot – Brett’s take-home pay then was less than $700 a month. I paid Tomoko out of what I earned teaching English (which was about half of what I earned) and provided her lunch on the day she came – her favorite meal was tuna casserole! When we returned to the house in the afternoon it was spotless, and it glowed. Tomoko was a wonder, and we all adored her. One day our son, instead of taking his nap, drew all over his bedroom wall with a tiny piece of red crayon he had discovered. I worked for two days trying to get it off, but the crayon wouldn’t budge. Tomoko got it all off in less than a day and still did everything else, and I still have no idea what she used or how she did it. Anyway, it’s the only time I’ve had someone clean my house, and it was a luxurious treat at the time.
That’s our week here at Casa Aloha – how was your week? What good things happened for you? What did you accomplish? What are you reading?
P.S. I’m not sure how or why or when this post got published. I was working on it late last night (like almost midnight), it disappeared and then I wake up this morning, ready to do write it all again and discover it was published! Something weird is going on with my WordPress account.