Well, yesterday morning was interesting! WenYu and I woke up to the cancellation notice for the ballistic missile attack that was erroneously sent out – for some reason neither of us received the actual alert of an incoming missile attack (“this is not a drill”) on our phones (and those alerts would wake the dead). And, Brett and YaYu were stuck in traffic on the way to her swim meet when they heard it – there had been a bad accident earlier in the morning which had backed up traffic both ways on the two-lane highway. They followed what was happening on the radio, although only one station was keeping up with the situation. Poor YaYu was completely traumatized – she honestly thought she was going to die. The warnings here though are really only good for giving you enough time to say good-bye to your loved ones and friends, if you can get to them. There are no shelters here, or any way to leave the island quickly. This was a MAJOR mistake though beyond all the panic created. Hopefully there will never be a real attack, but if there is, many people may be more complacent and figure it’s just another error. And Brett, who worked with “special buttons” during his military career thinks there’s a bit more to this than “just pushing the wrong button.” It’s not that easy to do, or at least shouldn’t be.
It’s been a busy, busy week here but things are slowly beginning to return to their normal pace. WenYu’s friend left for the mainland on Wednesday morning, so it’s just the four of us now until the end of the month. Still, there have been lots of extra errands and running around, and there are more things coming up on the schedule this week as well. I’m not a fan of the busy life any more, and am looking forward to calmer days.
I had a bit of fun on Twitter this past week when one of my tweets briefly “went viral.” I mostly read Twitter to keep up with the news, or to post cute pug pictures to WenYu, and rarely tweet or comment, but when someone posted a tweet about Oprah running for president I threw off a line that rather than wanting her to run for president, I wanted her to buy Fox News instead. For some reason that caught people’s attention, and it took off. In a day I had over 700 likes on my rarely read feed, but a couple of people with a zillion followers retweeted it, and one of them got over 33,000 likes and 15,000+ retweets – crazy! A few more people followed me, but they’ll soon be disappointed and leave when all they start seeing from me again are the odd re-Tweet (without comment) and cute pictures of pugs.
This afternoon I am:
- Reading: I finished We Were Eight Years in Power on Friday, just in the nick of time before the library snatched it back. It was a very thought-provoking and enlightening book, one I’m going to be thinking about for a while, especially the chapter on the case for reparations to African-Americans. I started Personal Memoirs by Ulysses S. Grant this evening. Written when he was broke and dying of cancer of the throat, and published in 1885, Grant’s Memoirs are now considered to be one of the great works of American literature. Grant thought no one would be interested in his life, but the Memoirs were very popular and well received and their success guaranteed his family’s financial stability (he died five days after finishing the last edit). His writing is clear and insightful and an absolute pleasure to read.
- Listening to: The girls are up and fixing breakfast while YaYu watches a video on YouTube, the washer and dryer and going, and a rooster is screaming his lungs out right outside. Oh well. It’s a beautiful day though, with not a cloud in the sky and a lovely breeze blowing so I can’t complain. We may head down to the beach after the laundry is done.
- Watching: I still haven’t been watching anything! Brett has been watching The Republic of Doyle on Netflix, and he and the girls watched the newest Pirates of the Caribbean movie last night, but I’ve been heading back to another room and reading instead. I saw that there is finally a new season of Doc Martin on British TV, but know it’s going to be a while before it shows up on Netflix (but worth waiting for). I’m eager too for another season of Happy Valley to show up.
- Cooking/baking: Tonight we’re having a beef and broccoli stir-fry along with steamed rice (we had our egg meal last Friday while YaYu was at her team spaghetti dinner). WenYu and I made matcha-chocolate chip cupcakes with matcha buttercream frosting last Thursday, and there’s a few of those still around. Coming up on our menu this week will be spaghetti with marinara and meatballs along with grilled zucchini and garlic bread (YaYu’s birthday dinner); grilled chicken-apple sausages served with rice pilaf; tofu curry with vegetables and basmati rice; potstickers with rice and coleslaw; and the sloppy joes which didn’t get made a couple of weeks earlier. I’ve been wanting to make an olive oil orange cake, but we got an cookies ‘n’ cream ice cream cake to celebrate YaYu’s birthday so no more baking this week.
- Happy I accomplished last week: So many errands! As a one-car family, we spent an awful lot of time all week coordinating schedules so that everyone could be where they needed to be on time. Brett had his hearing aid fitting on Thursday, and they should be ready for pick-up tomorrow. He and I were able to take most of our walks (we missed a couple due to scheduling difficulties), I got in all of my daily water intake, and studied French every day.
- Looking forward to next week: We’ll be doing our monthly Big Shop on Thursday – our refrigerator was packed full over the holidays but things are looking pretty sparse now and the girls have been asking when we’re going again. YaYu turns 18 this week! She got her present last year – a small TV that covered last year’s and this year’s gift – but we’ll celebrate with her favorite ice cream cake in the evening. Brett and I plan to go to Java Kai one day for a coffee date and use his Christmas gift card. I have my annual doctor’s appointment for a cholesterol check, etc. on Wednesday and will get set up for this year’s mammogram and other tests then. I hope he is pleased with my weight loss!
- Thinking of good things that happened: Our son got a big promotion this past week – so proud of him and all his hard work! He thought he might get promoted next year, so it was a nice surprise for him. Two necklaces I was having re-strung/made at a local bead shop were finally ready, and they did a beautiful job (and the work was very affordable). I went through the other bits of jewelry I still have and gave a few more pieces to the WenYu and YaYu (Meiling took some earrings back with her earlier), so the only things I’m keeping for now are my silver charm bracelet with charms I collected from all over the U.S., and a cameo brooch that my grandmother gave me – her brother brought it back from Italy after WWI, where he had served as an ambulance driver. I got all the clothing I’m planning to take on the Big Adventure sorted and weighed and came in nine pounds under our goal weight – yeah!
- Thinking of frugal things we did last week: 1) By choosing the Kirkland brand of hearing aids, Brett saved over $1000 over the other brands they had available. The cost was over $1600 less than what we thought we would be paying for them. 2) We used our credit card to pay for the hearing aids and will receive a nice amount into our rewards account (we paid off the card the next day). 3) After a few weeks that included several restaurant meals, we ate all meals at home this past week, and used what we had on hand or what we picked up from our regular trip to the farmers’ market. 4) When we were at Costco for Brett’s hearing aid fitting, we made sure to fill up our gas tank – the price at Costco was $3.09 per gallon versus $3.55 out in town. 5) We put $17.14 into the change/$1 bill jar this week: $3.16 back from recycling, $2.00 left over from the farmers’ market trip, $2.22 from buying YaYu’s ice cream cake at Safeway, and $9.76 change from the cable bill.
- Grateful for: I am so very grateful there was no actual ballistic missile attack.
- Bonus question: What are your favorite genres when it come to reading? Your least favorite? My least favorite are easy: Science fiction (including dystopian stories), romance or self-help books on any topic, although I do admit to liking the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondō, as well as the follow-up, Spark Joy. My guess is that those two books aligned closely with my own feelings about tidiness and the accumulation of stuff, so they were fun to read. I’m not a big fan of “chic lit” either. Otherwise, I like all sorts of books, both fiction and non-fiction. I especially love a good, meaty mystery or thriller, ones that take a while to work through and put together. I enjoy fiction about families or family situations, the more complicated and somewhat dysfunctional the better (maybe because my own family was so dysfunctional?). And, I love travel books and books about history, both non-fiction and fiction, especially the periods of history or places I’m particularly interested in: The Civil War, World War II, East Asia (Japan, China and Korea), and India. But for the most part, other than the topics or genres listed above, I’ll read just about anything.
That’s it for this week! How was your week? What did you accomplish? What good things happened for you?