Sunday Afternoon 3/18/2018

Second round coming up!

It’s been a week of ups and downs. YaYu received rejection notices from both Bowdoin and Colby on Friday, but took them in stride and we all drowned our sorrows in bowls of ice cream that evening. Yesterday morning she heard from both Colgate and Bates: rejected at Colgate, and waitlisted at Bates. Admission to all four of these schools was very competitive this year – the increase in the number of applications received at the schools ranged from 25% – 45% more than last year. This first round of decisions was tough for YaYu, but she will hear from five more schools this week, and remains hopeful for good news. Brett and I keep reminding her that whatever school she ends up attending, even the University of Hawaii, will be a great fit for her and will be her school. On the bright side though, earlier in the week she learned she had been awarded a General Erik K. & Patricia Shinseki Foundation scholarship for $1000! That will be officially awarded on May 2, at a recognition luncheon held at Gaylord’s restaurant in Kilohana (Brett and I get to go too!). And, in other good news, Meiling got the tech job she interviewed for week before last! She’s especially excited because beyond the experience her salary will be more than double what she’s made at previous jobs.

Blue skies and calm seas for as far as the eye can see.

After nearly three weeks of overcast skies, strong wind, and lots and lots of rain, Friday saw the return of sunshine and beautiful weather. It was actually even hot when Brett and I walked on Friday! All the gloomy weather reminded us though of why we decided to leave Portland more than four years ago. Brett and I have both concluded that wherever we settle when the Big Adventure finishes, sunny, warm weather will again be a top consideration.

I’ve been going through my annual bout of insomnia for the past few weeks, but hopefully it will be over soon because I’m very, very tired of being tired all the time. I have absolutely no idea what causes it, but even reducing or giving up caffeine has no effect on my ability to fall asleep, nor does any of the other tricks or sleep aids I’ve tried. I think nerves over YaYu’s college news has been playing a role this year, but that should all be over next week and hopefully my sleep schedule will start getting back to normal.

This afternoon I am:

  • Reading: I finished Chinese Lessons this past week. It was a thought-provoking read for me because I could identify with so much of the author’s experience, thoughts on, and nagging questions about adoption. I’m just getting started with Eat Up!: Food, Appetite and Eating What You Want by Ruby Tandoh, about one of life’s greatest pleasures: eating. Ruby was a finalist on the Great British Baking Show one season, and this book has gotten great reviews.
  • Listening to: It’s very quiet here, both inside and outside. Everyone is reading or writing, and the laundry hasn’t been started yet either. Outside right now there’s a wonderful breeze blowing, enough to cause some noise as it rushes through the palm trees. Otherwise even the animals are quiet this morning, and no one is working on their yard, at least for now. There are some clouds out, but it’s still mostly sunny. I hope that lasts too!
  • Watching: This past week I watched Season 2 of The Tick on Amazon. I didn’t think it was quite as funny as the first, but still entertaining. Brett and I watched the first episode of British series The Brief, but switched to movies on Friday evening beginning with Get Out (really good), then Ladybird last night, and tonight we’re watching The Shape of Water. We’ll be back after that with The Brief.

    Open-faced hot turkey sandwich – yum! They’re a total carb-fest, but I skip the bread and have just a quarter cup each of the stuffing and mashed potatoes.
  • Cooking/baking: Dinner tonight will be baked chili rellenos, along with rice and cucumbers. I made a plain yellow cake this morning – we have a lot of whipped cream on hand, and YaYu thought yellow cake filled with whipped cream would be delicious. I wasn’t able to fix yakisoba with chicken last week so we’re having that this week, as well as slow cooker chicken adobo with bok choy; vegetable and chicken curry; roast turkey with mashed potatoes, stuffing and gravy; hot turkey sandwiches; and turkey divan casserole (we’re picking up a roast turkey breast at Costco). And, there will be some more ice cream eating going on as well, one way or another. YaYu is on spring break this week, so I need to make sure there are leftovers and snacks around for her.
  • Happy I accomplished last week: I got the big living room tansu pretty much cleaned out, and did some work on the baking cupboard in the kitchen. We had planned to mail some of our baking things to Meiling, but unless it can fit into a flat-rate box it will go out at our moving sale or to the thrift store – the postage to mail anything from here, even to the west coast, is just too much. Although I drank lots of water and studied French almost every day, between YaYu’s practice and meet schedule, being under the weather on Monday night and most of Tuesday, and some epic rain on Wednesday, Brett and I were only able to walk on Friday and yesterday. We’ll be out again though later this afternoon.
  • Looking forward to next week: All of us are excited and nervous about hearing from the rest of the colleges – Wellesley and Bryn Mawr announce on Wednesday, Carleton on Thursday, Smith on Friday, and Amherst on Saturday. Last week YaYu got an email from the Bryn Mawr financial aid office asking her to clarify some information for them, but we don’t know if that means good news is coming or not – the notice certainly wasn’t giving anything away. We’re also supposed to get another week of overcast and rain, but we are hoping beyond hope that the sunshine continues – we (me especially) need it! Brett and I had to postpone our Starbucks coffee date last week, but should be able to go this week.
  • Thinking of good things that happened: In spite of not receiving good news from colleges this past week, YaYu’s scholarship award and Meiling’s new job were enough good news to keep our spirits up. Also, the sun broke through the clouds Thursday afternoon in time for YaYu’s track meet so it didn’t have to be held in the rain – thank goodness! She beat her personal best in the long jump by a foot last week! She was also moved up to the next faster heat in the 800m race, and while she didn’t finish as high up as others she also didn’t come in last!
  • Thinking of frugal things we did: We almost had a no-spend week except for buying ice cream, chocolate sauce, and whipped cream to celebrate and/or mourn YaYu’s college announcements. Otherwise we did the typical frugal stuff around here, including getting the list made for next week’s Big Shop. We put $11.11 into the change/$1 bill jar: $5.01 change from our cable bill, $2.87 back from recycling, and $3.23 from ice cream shopping.
  • Grateful for: Believe it or not, I’m thankful for all the rain we have received this winter – it’s the rain that keeps Kaua’i green and lush, but all the cloudy days have also helped me appreciate the sunshine that much more, as well as realize that I am happier when there’s more sunshine than not. I just don’t do well with clouds, rain, and overcast anymore, at least not when it drags on for days or weeks. I am also thankful that because of the clear skies and calmer ocean Brett and I were able to watch some whales off in the (near) distance yesterday when we took our walk! We saw one leap out of the water, and another wave its flipper, and there was also plenty of spouting going on. I had been afraid I wouldn’t see any whales this year because the ocean has been so rough, and it’s almost time for them to leave Hawai’i.
  • Bonus question: How did you and your spouse/significant other meet? I’ve probably mentioned it before, but Brett was my instructor in a transistor theory class at navy “A” school in Millington, Tennessee. I can still close my eyes and picture the first time I saw him, standing in the middle of the classroom holding two electric leads as I walked in. He came right up to me and introduced himself. He was above me in rank (obviously), so I had to address him formally in class, but something definitely clicked right from the start. The transistor class was only two weeks long, but after I finished and moved on to the next course he asked me out. Our first date was going to see the totally forgettable movie I Will, I Will . . . For Now with Diane Keaton and Elliot Gould. I came home from that first date and told my roommate I was in love. I found out later that Brett used to watch me from the window when my previous class took our breaks (my class before transistor theory was on the first floor; TT was on the second), and he pointed me out one day to the two other instructors he worked with, telling them he was going to marry me some day. Our meeting was 41 years ago this past May 25th.

How was your week? What good things happened for you this week? What are you looking forward to next week?



11 thoughts on “Sunday Afternoon 3/18/2018

  1. Congrats to YaYu and Meiling’s on their successes! Sounds like you have a week full of anticipation coming up. I had a great time in Chile and took lots of pictures. I’ll sort them out and post them soon.


    1. The scholarship for YaYu was really good news, as was the news about Meiling’s new job – she is very excited and can’t wait to begin. Fingers are crossed that YaYu gets some good news from one of the remaining five colleges. Last week was tough, but apparently it’s been harder than expected for many students this year.

      Looking forward to seeing your pictures from Chile and reading about your trip!


  2. Ice cream is the perfect celebratory/consolation food. And it’s wonderful that YaYu got that scholarship and Meiling got the job she wanted. I agree that YaYu will shine wherever she goes. I hope she gets great news this week.

    I feel your pain on the postage rates. They’re pretty high on the mainland, but nothing like going offshore. My daughter in the UK gets the smallest, lightest packages I can manage. When she first moved, she was craving graham crackers, so I thought I’d send her a box. When I got the PO, I ended up spending a small fortune to send her a $3 package of cracker and they were all broken when they arrived. At least she could use them for key lime pie crust. Ha! She will spend a month in the US this summer and plans to come with a fairly empty suitcase and go back with all the things she misses and can’t find there.

    My DH and I met at work. Ironically, we worked together for 10 years and were friends all that time before we married. It’s a second marriage for both of us, and there were a lot of twists and turns along the way. When we met I was going through a divorce and he referred to me (not to my face, of course) as The Ice Princess. I was pretty put off by men at that point. He also listened to my dating adventures for a lot of years. We still laugh about some of them.


    1. We discovered the same with the mailing rates to Japan a few years ago – we wanted to send our grandson a couple of boxes of Cheerios and the postage cost over three times the cost of the cereal. Nope! They stock up on stuff whenever they’re here too.

      We’ve always told the girls that when it comes to finding your partner, “when you least expect it, expect it.” I was so not interested in getting together with anyone at that point in my life (had recently left a long-time, serious relationship and was still not over that experience) but when I met Brett – BOOM! – he was The One.

      We are all feeling nervously hopeful about what the news will be this week, but YaYu is starting to talk about UH and what she can do there. It’s VERY competitive this year for spaces at the LACs that YaYu applied to. We’re sure our financial aid needs are also playing a part in some of the decisions.


      1. One more thought. My stepson wanted to go East and didn’t have the grades to get in at his first choice school (although I know that is not the case with YaYu). He went to UH because he’s a world class sailor and lettered in sailing that year. He also got his grades up enough to get into the E. Coast school and graduated there (while sailing, of course). It’s so hard to watch our kids not get into their first choice school (also happened to one of my daughters and she thrived where she ended up), but it’s usually all for the best. Easy for me to say from a distance, and hard when it’s your own kid. All the best this week!


  3. I like to believe that everything happens for a reason and perhaps in this case there is something that is a better fit for Yayu coming her way. It’s never easy to take rejection in any form. However, she sounds as if she is an extremely bright, resourceful young lady and I am sure those qualities are going to do her well in life. Fingers crossed for even better news this week for her.


    1. This is what we keep telling YaYu! Everything happens for a reason, and she is going to end up in the right place for her. We’ve been telling her that these rejections have nothing to do with her or her worth as a student, but that admission committees are given a list of criteria that they have to meet (geography, financial aid, certain majors, etc.) – it’s really a black hole for students. You just do your best, hold your breath and cross your fingers.

      I am hoping for an admission at one of the women’s colleges she applied to: Wellesley has been a wonderful experience so far for her sister, and I think it will be the same for YaYu. She leans toward Smith, but any one of them would be a good fit for her, in my opinion any way.


  4. Well I know that has to smart a bit for her. And I hope she knows it’s not about her. So much competition!! She can always transfer after freshman year, but I have a hunch she will love U of Hawaii. I was so hoping Bowdoin would be one of the last to respond….but with an acceptance letter.
    I work in Amherst mass and grew up in this area. I was driving through Northampton just today and I know she would love Smith as well. My coworker went to Mt Holyoke so there are many options in this area. And I think I’ve said this before here, but there are so many great colleges and universities in this country!
    And I think it’s weird about how the FA office at Bryn Mawr has communicated that way…..maybe their office is just ahead of admissions? It just does not relieve anxiety for those who are waiting. Best of luck to all of you.
    Anon in mass


    1. It was painful for her, but we keep reminding her again and again that it’s not her. The number of applications are way up everywhere this year, so we we knew it was going to be tough. Hearing from Bowdoin first though was sort of like having a bandaid ripped off – it was quick, painful but now she can get on with things. We’re all nervous though about this week.

      Sometimes hearing from the FA office so close to the decision could be a good sign, but it may mean absolutely nothing. This was a very specific request though that would affect the amount of aid she qualifies for, so we’re hoping it means good news rather than not!

      She is mentally preparing herself for UH though – she would enter there as a second year student. By the time she graduates she will have over a year’s worth of credit that they will accept.


  5. Sorry to hear YaYu didn’t get into those schools, but as others have said, maybe UH is where she is meant to go. If she finds it’s not for her, transferring is always an option. Sometimes it’s easier to get in as a transfer, but UH is a good school so she may end up loving it. I wish I could have gone to college in Hawaii! 😉

    The story of how you met Brett is really one of those “it was meant to be” moments. Thank you for sharing!


    1. UH would be a good school for her – they have a superb Asian Languages department, which is what she wants to major in. So, we will see.

      Brett and I still marvel at how we met – it was meant to be. We are two VERY different people, with different likes and temperaments. I think it has worked because we’ve always agreed on the big things, and have respected each other in spite of our differences. We’ve always gotten along well, and can talk about anything. We “get” each other!


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