The doctor released me from my splint on Friday, which means I can sort of type normally again. I say ‘sort of’ because my broken finger is buddy-taped to the fourth finger, and the two together get in the way of typing cleanly. I still have to wear the splint from time to time because of pain, and when I go out, more as a warning to others to be careful around my hand and not bump it. The bruised rib is (slowly) healing as well and although it still hurts it’s nothing like it was at the beginning of last week. So, huzzah for getting better! I am an impatient sick person, and having to slow down as much as I have has been difficult at times. Brett has been magnificent, as always, in picking up the slack. Also, a BIG thank you again to all who sent get well greetings.
With the confirmation of our India tour dates, and the booking of the cross-continent train trip in Australia, the rest of the 2019 part of our Big Adventure is firming up, and we now know for sure where we’ll be when and for how long. This past week I also came across lovely Airbnb rentals in Tokyo and Portland that are not only in great locations for us, but come in well under budget, something that we had pretty much given up on for both places. It’s too early to book the rentals now, but we’ve been in communication with the owners and they are tentatively holding the dates for us, so we’ve got our fingers crossed those work out in the end.
YaYu got her first college acceptance, from the University of Hawaii! It’s not her first choice of schools, but she says she will be happy to go there if she doesn’t get accepted at any of her other preferred colleges.
Finally, it’s normally a rare occurrence here to see a Hawaiian monk seal sleeping on the beach – their numbers are dwindling, and they’re on the endangered list – but over the past two weeks Brett and I have seen four of them when we’ve been out for our evening walk! Unbelievable! Apparently for the seals, Baby Beach is THE beach to head to right now when a rest is needed. When a seal is spotted on the beach a volunteer is called, and he or she comes and sets up a perimeter around the sleeping seal with cones and such, and hangs signs letting people know not to bother the seal. The volunteer (or volunteers, depending on how long the seal is there) stands watch to make sure the seal is not disturbed. The seals are greatly loved here, and we feel incredibly fortunate to have had the chance to see four of them in such a short time frame. One of them was positively huge, and found his spot under one of the picnic tables that are along the beach.
This afternoon I am:
- Reading: I have been dragging out finishing The People Are Going to Rise Like the Waters Upon Your Shore because I am waiting for a couple of other books to come off of hold, but I’m going to have to pick it up because the download ends in three days. I have nothing else on deck so hopefully the other books will show up sooner rather than later.
- Listening to: We enjoyed another cool (cold?), breezy morning here. Thankfully the sun is out today though because it poured rain all day yesterday. I’m listening to the washing machine and dryer inside on top of the sound of the winds through the trees outside. Otherwise it’s pretty quiet around here.
- Watching: Brett and I re-watched Ken Burns’ The Roosevelts while I was on my healing break, but that finished and we’re all back to watching the Chinese soap opera with YaYu, Auntie Duohe. It’s so dramatic, with lots of crying (and lots of running too for some reason). I discovered the Big Family Cooking Showdown, sort of Great British Baking Show-like contest for Britain’s best home cooks, and watched that while I worked on Swagbucks at night. It was a fun show and I loved it (Nadiyah Hussein, who won the bake-off one season, is one of the hosts), and can’t wait for the next season.
- Cooking/baking: I made more chocolate chip cookie dough last week (which was an interesting and somewhat challenging experience), so no baking going on right now. Dinner tonight is baked chili relleno casserole, cucumbers, and yellow rice for Brett and YaYu, .
- Happy I accomplished: Brett and I did our Big Shop last week, and it was a particularly BIG one because of Thanksgiving and Meiling’s coming home before next month’s shop. We also finished up our Christmas shopping except for two gift cards, and got most of the wrapping done. It was not my accomplishment other than to be Reminder Mom, but YaYu sent her Early Decision application off this past week, so we’ve all got our fingers crossed once again. This college is a long shot, but it’s her #1 choice so she wanted to try for early decision and know one way or another whether it’s a yeah or nay. Brett and I walked every day down on the beach path except for Tuesday and yesterday because of rain. I moved up to Level 5 in French, et encore une fois, j’ai étudié le français pendent dix minutes et j’ai bu huit verres d’eau tous les jours.
- Looking forward to: Thanksgiving! It’s my all-time favorite holiday because it’s all about family and food, with no pressure to decorate or find gifts. We’ve gone out to eat the past couple of years but will be staying at home this year, and I’ll be serving a traditional turkey dinner with help from Costco. We’ll watch The Descendants again, and take a family hike out to the Pineapple Dump to check out the view.
- Thinking of good things that happened: The discounts on the India tour, the Australian dollar price for train journey versus U.S. dollars, and finding affordable rentals in Tokyo and Portland were all absolutely the #1 good things to happen last week. If we get the rentals, the total for those four things will be a savings of over $3600 from what we had budgeted for that part of the trip. I had a clean skin check at the dermatologist’s – not one thing that looked troublesome or to watch out for. And, I was told I had beautiful skin for someone my age, especially for someone who experienced as much sun exposure as I did when I was young (I think I’m pretty wrinkled though). Our daughter-in-law sent lots of videos and photos of the grands over the last two weeks – we can’t get enough of those two! And, Brett and I had a lovely time down on the south side this past week, including coffee and a pastry at the Monkeypod Jam shop when we stopped in to pick up a jar of their scrumptious cranberry-orange relish for our Thanksgiving dinner.
- Grateful for: I’m feeling very, very thankful that I am continuing to heal, and for all the support I’ve gotten at home these past couple of weeks. YaYu and Brett really stepped up, especially when on top of everything else going on they had to listen to me moan constantly for several days from the pain caused by the bruised rib.
- Bonus question: What are your best and worst Thanksgiving memories? The worst was getting food poisoning one year when I was around 10 years old – my mom had cooked a stuffed turkey and then let it sit too long and I got food poisoning (the only one in the family too). It was miserable, and it was several years before I would eat turkey and stuffing again (my Thanksgiving meal for years was just mashed potatoes, no gravy, and vegetables). I have happy Thanksgiving memories otherwise – no arguments, rude guests, etc. – just good times with family and friends. My funniest memory is the first time our daughter-in-law came for Thanksgiving. She had never seen a whole turkey before (and our turkey that year was a big one), and when she came in the kitchen I was in the process of cleaning out the cavity and had my hand shoved up the turkey’s rear. M screamed and was absolutely terrified by the turkey. Since then she’s learned to cook one, but that was a true clash of cultures at the time. Both of us can thankfully laugh about it now..
That’s it for this past week or so at Chez Aloha. How was your week? What good things happened for you? Are you looking forward to Thanksgiving?