YaYu was not selected as a Questbridge finalist. After an initial bit of disappointment, by evening she was actually feeling somewhat relieved that she had not been chosen. While she would have welcomed the prestige that came with being named a finalist, all of us would have been scrambling to get things off to all her ranked schools in the coming 11 days, and even with that she knew there was almost zero chance for her to receive a match scholarship to one of those schools (there were over 15,600 Questbridge applicants this year; approximately 5,700 were chosen as finalists, and somewhere less than 800 will receive a match scholarship.). YaYu is planning to apply early decision to the top school on her list (application due November 15), then regular decision to several others that waive the application fee – those applications won’t be due until January 15. The toughest part of the application – the essay – is finished, so it will just be a matter of filling out the rest of the online application. Her “safe” school is the University of Hawaii, and she said she will be happy to go there if she’s not accepted at one of the other schools ahead of it on her list.
It’s been a busy week here at Casa Aloha. Brett and I had our lunch date in Hanalei on Tuesday, and on Wednesday and Thursday we did our monthly Big Shop. YaYu has been as busy as ever with all her activities, and we’ve been doing extra cleaning around the house this past week. Our landlord is coming over this coming Thursday to do a “walk-through” before we sign a lease for next year. We’re not sure what that “walk-through” entails, or what he’s going to be looking for or at, if anything. We keep the house clean and well-maintained (well, the girls’ room is usually a dump), but we’ve been going over things carefully in the past few days to make sure everything is as perfect as can be. Our landlord’s been very hands off up to now and he gets his rent on time every month, so we’re also not sure why he wants to check on things now other than we had a plumbing issue last month and the problem with the oven the month before, so maybe he just wants to make sure we’re not trashing the place or something.
While last weekend’s humidity was brutal, we’ve had lots of lovely cool, breezy weather this week, and a couple of days have been downright blustery. It’s rained every night too, which means we haven’t had to turn on the sprinklers, and the dust has been tamped down (a bit). Everything is greening up again and looking fresh. Fall is here!
This afternoon I am:
- Reading: Because I was so busy this past week I got very little reading done, even at night. The second Inspector Rebus book, Hide and Seek, came off of hold though, so I’m going to have to step up my game to get them both it and Lilli de Jong done in time.
- Listening to: We’re having a lovely day here so far: sunny but cool-ish and with a nice breeze. LOTS of people are out working in their yards, so we can hear plenty of weed trimmers and an a lawn mower. The roosters seem to be enjoying the weather as well. We sorted all our laundry last night and Brett got up early and started the washing machine, so we’ve also got that to listen to as well!
- Watching: We didn’t watch a whole lot of TV this past week, but the past couple of nights we’ve started watching Travels With My Father, on Netflix, and are enjoying it immensely.
- Cooking/baking: Costco had Kirkland semi-sweet chocolate chips in stock again (yeah! – they are so much better than the Nestle ones), so we bought a bag this past week and I’m going to make and freeze chocolate chip cookie dough for Brett and YaYu. We’ll be having the Shakshuka and couscous tonight that we missed having last week (although no couscous for me).
- Happy I accomplished last week: I cleaned all the window blinds last week, a BIG chore because of all the dust we get here, and because the windows are big. Because our house is secluded enough, we’re keeping all the blinds raised to hopefully keep them from accumulating more dust for a while because I’m sick and tired of trying to keep them clean. I also got started on shoveling out the girls’ room with YaYu’s help. I don’t think either she or WenYu throws anything away, ever. Brett also washed off the outside of the house – another big chore. We got the college girls’ Halloween candy boxed up and sent off (and I didn’t sneak any!), and we put away a bag to give to YaYu. Brett and I walked for three miles on the beach path every day except for Wednesday, but after shopping at Costco and working in the girls’ room for a while I felt too tired to do much of anything that evening. I drank at least 64 ounces of water a day this week, and did my language study every day.
- Looking forward to this week: There will be a big surprise in the blog tomorrow! Otherwise there’s nothing special on our calendars. I can’t say I’m looking forward to the walk-through with the landlord, although I’m very glad he’s feeling better and recovering.
- Thinking of good things that happened: Brett and I had a wonderful time on our lunch date up in Hanalei this past week. For the first time since we’ve been here, it didn’t rain while I was there! YaYu ran a terrific cross country race yesterday, her last as a high school harrier. After the meet she and other seniors were showered with lei and gifts from other teammates (team tradition). I was so excited to find a pair of shoes I wanted for our upcoming travels (gray slip-ons) and they were both in my size and on sale! The freezer has been working fine all week, so apparently the humidity was affecting the outlet. And the whales are back – a few have been spotted off of Maui, which means it won’t be long before we can see them here!
- Grateful for: There’s nothing in particular today, but I’m feeling very blessed for our entire family’s good health, that we don’t have to worry about having enough to eat, that two of our girls are attending the college of their choice and that YaYu still has many opportunities awaiting her.
- Bonus question: What’s the scariest story you’ve ever heard? Last Monday, the wind was very strong during Brett’s and my walk down by the beach. It was at our back the first half of the walk, but on the way back to the car it was blowing very hard against us. Brett said at one point, “Well, now you know what it feels like up on the deck of an aircraft carrier during flight ops!” We started talking about his navy days, and I told him that nothing in my life had scared me as much as some of the things he told me he did up on the flight deck. For example, running up to jets that had just caught and released the arresting cable and were still rolling, sending hand signals to the pilot, and then climbing up on the jet while it was still hot to get into the cockpit and start pulling gear for maintenance. Or, being blown down the flight deck on his back by hot jet blast, and only avoiding being blown overboard because he was able to grab one of the padeyes on the deck. Or, standing on the edge of the deck leaning backwards as far as he could go without falling over. BRETT!! It got to the point I told him I did not want to hear any more stories, that when I thought about him out at sea the only images I wanted in my mind were the opening scenes in Top Gun, where everything on the flight deck looks very controlled and smooth and safe (which the flight deck is not – there’s a reason it’s often referred to as “controlled chaos,” and people who work the flight deck get hazardous duty pay). The opening credits and scenes in the video above (action starts at 1:00) are still the best example I know though of what Brett did for a living for 22 years. The separations when he deployed were miserable, but he loved his job, and was very, very good at it.
That’s all for this week! How was your week? What did you accomplish? What are you cooking today? What good things happened for you?