Sunday Afternoon 10/8/2017

“The Destroyer” helped mommy organize her purse

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!

Happy birthday!

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.

    The laundry basket derby! (The video of this was hilarious!).

  • 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.

 

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11 thoughts on “Sunday Afternoon 10/8/2017

  1. Tamara / My Retirement Project says:

    Good things – time with our granddaughter, who we are visiting this week along with her mommy and daddy.

    Reading – ‘And The Mountains Echoed’ by Khaled Hosseini (excellent!) and ‘Alexander Hamilton’ by Ron Chernow. The first comes off e-loan in just a couple more days, and the second needs to be completed before we see the play in November and I’m only on page 25!

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    • Laura says:

      First – sorry you got to see an unfinished post! It’s complete now (with photos). I was working on it late last night, then I got a message it had posted but I couldn’t find it, and yet there it was this morning. Yeah WordPress!

      Anyway, both of your books sound like ones I need to add to my hold list NOW. I’ve been wanting to read the Chernow book for a long while now, and he just published one on Ulysses S. Grant, and I want to read that as well. I’ve read The Kite Runner twice, so I’m confident this other Hosseini book will be good as well (plus I’ve got your recommendation!).

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  2. Laurel says:

    Haha. My books all seem to come off hold together, too. It’s been a frantic reading month or two. I need to stop requesting so many I suppose. Recently finished “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me” by Sherman Alexie after hearing him on Fresh Air. I hadn’t read any of his work before, but I’ll check it out now. Very interesting. Am now reading “Lilli de Jong”, the story of an unmarried Quaker woman who decides to keep her child in the 1800’s. Can’t remember where I read the review, but I’m enjoying it.

    We once had a great cleaning woman for about a year and I still miss her. But I had a rather disturbing experience with a cleaning woman when I lived in CA and had to change my locks and let her go. So I haven’t tried it again, and now that we’re retired, I can’t justify the $$.

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    • Laura says:

      The Child Finder was a very quick (and enjoyable) book to read, so now I can really dig into the Le Carre book. I have enjoyed everything I’ve ever read by Sherman Alexie – terrific writer. I’m also going to check out Lilli de Jong – sounds like something I’d enjoy, especially since my father’s side of the family are all Quakers.

      We’ve had cleaners come in for a day to help when we move out of a place, but having someone come once a week was such a luxury, and one I’ve never been able to afford again. Tomoko was a very special person – we were lucky to know her.

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  3. Hawaii Planner says:

    I made fabulous granloa bars yesterday, but they are too crumbly. Last time I made this same recipe, too sticky. They taste fabulous, but I have some work to do on the texture.

    As for a luxury, I treated myself to a Thai fusion massage last summer, and it was truly the best massage I’ve ever had. I’ve never felt as good from a massage. It ended up being free, but I didn’t know that at the time, and it was super pricey!

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    • Laura says:

      I have never made my own granola bars – no one here really likes them all that much – but I get that making my own would save us some $$. We do buy Fiber One bars now for YaYu – she eats one in the afternoon before cross country practice, and will before swimming practice as well. She specifically asked for those because they’re the only ones she likes (I think they’re too much like candy). Hope you get your recipe figured out!

      I get a massage once a year – a friend and I go for a spa day (which is coming up next month) and catch up. I’ve never heard of a Thai fusion massage! The best massage I ever got was the foot and leg massage I got at our hotel in Beijing, when we were on our trip to adopt YaYu. Unbelievable, and for around $7.

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    • Laura says:

      I agree – the end of It felt rushed, or like an add-on. It didn’t really go with the beginning, and turned out to be less scary than it could have been. I am looking forward to seeing the movie, but will wait until WenYu is home at Christmas – we both love a good scary film!

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  4. Libby says:

    The Destroyer is adorable! Curiosity is such a good thing in kids but exhausting for the parents 🙂

    I’m reading the newest Jan Karon novel about Mitford. I always find them so calming and centering.

    Three years ago a local massage therapy center was offering a 20% discount for gift certificated bought in December. I purchased 12 and gave myself the gift of a massage every month. It felt so decadent and anxiety-producing to spend that much money on myself for something that was a want…..but I loved every one and looked forward to it each month.

    Wondering if the citizens of Kauai should do a “Northern Exposure” to get another dermatologist on the island!

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    • Laura says:

      Did you notice that she’s wearing a harness in her high chair? She is a climber and if they don’t strap her in she apparently will be up and trying to get out of the chair in moments! Can’t wait to see her again!

      I think a year of massages would be divine. I’m going to have to think about that, but first we need to get this Big Adventure under our belt. I agree, it would be worth it even though quite the splurge.

      I was very surprised to learn there was only one dermatologist on the island – you would think there would be enough of a market here to support another one. My former physician was a skin specialist, but not a board-certified dermatologist, and she did skin checks, etc. before.

      I’m loving all the book/author suggestions I’ve been getting today!

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