Sunday Afternoon 05/13/2018

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there! I hope you are enjoying your day and being spoiled by your loved ones. Today is my annual Day of Doing Nothing: Brett and YaYu are taking care of all the chores, cooking, etc. while I relax and read all day.

We didn’t want to lose our reservation at this beautiful resort, especially with the ocean view. The whole property is amazing – our son and family just stayed here.

We almost cancelled our condo reservation this past week, the one for our last three weeks on the island, but heard back from the owner yesterday and thankfully got everything straightened out. Earlier this month I could no longer find the listing online, so did a bit of sleuthing and discovered the unit is for sale! I wrote the owner and told her we did not want to have to deal with showings, etc. but she got back to me and reassured us that the condo was now professionally managed by an on-site company; is only shown between bookings; there have been no offers; and even if they got an offer next week escrow here takes so long that the sale wouldn’t be complete until after our reservation is over (this is true – escrow here takes several months).  I’m glad it’s been straightened out, but we spent a couple of very anxious days wondering if we were going to have to find someplace else, especially now when there is very little available for our dates.

This week a representative from Royal Hawaiian Movers will be coming over to see what we’re shipping/storing and to give an estimate. We moved 4,500 pounds over here, but are hopefully moving less than 1,000 back so fingers are crossed that the shipping fits our budget. Royal Hawaiian did a superb job with our move over here, and I don’t think I’d trust anyone else to handle our stuff at this point. A good friend in Portland has offered to store our things in her basement for while we’re on the road and until we’re ready to move to our new location, a huge savings for us. This past week I listed a bunch of stuff on our local Facebook group, and all but five items sold in less than an hour – it was crazy! I had to create waiting lists for a few items because I got so many requests. Most buyers came and picked up their stuff quickly (and sometimes bought other items we planned to sell later!), but as always happens some didn’t show up or kept changing when they would be coming. Sigh. More stuff will get listed in early July, after our shipment goes and before we hold our big moving sale.

I thought we might be able to leave Kaua’i without any centipede interactions, but Brett got bit on his heel on Friday. It was very, very, very painful, but the swelling isn’t too bad and the pain was gone in a day. Besides the toads here, nothing frightens me more than centipedes. They’re the reason I will put up with the chickens and roosters in the yard – centipedes are a favorite treat!

Also, the Blogger platform continues to eat almost all of my comments. I keep trying though – occasionally one sneaks through.

This afternoon I am:

  • Reading: I finished Little Fires Everywhere the middle of last week, and re-started I’ll Be Gone In the Dark again. I’m especially excited to read it now as the alleged Golden State Killer was captured between now and when the book was released. However, I may have to put it down again as it looks as if another book from the library may be coming off hold soon.
  • Listening to: I’ve enjoyed a nice, quiet morning and it’s very quiet outside except for the sound of the breeze moving through the trees. Brett and YaYu have the laundry sorted but thankfully haven’t started it yet – that’s going to change in a few minutes though and things will get noisy.
  • Watching: Brett and I have been watching the Footloose travelogue series on Amazon Prime and enjoying those. We’ve watched episodes on the Cotswalds, Ireland, Scotland, Switzerland, southern Italy and we’re getting ready to watch one about Tuscany and Rome – we’ll be paying close attention to that one! I find the host’s voice almost hypnotic, in a good way, but one evening it actually lulled me to sleep.
  • Cooking/baking: No cooking or baking for me today, and I have absolutely no idea what YaYu and Brett are fixing for dinner tonight. Brett and I will be doing our Big Shop this week although it’s actually not going to be very big this time. On the menu will be another CookDo pork dish with rice; pepperoni pizza; stuffed peppers; and hot turkey sandwiches with gravy and stuffing. YaYu has finally completed all of her evening events/meetings/celebrations and is home every evening for dinner.
  • Happy I accomplished this past week: I got my travel notebook caught up to date, and so we’re clear on what’s done and what we still need to take care of. Getting pictures of everything we wanted to sell and getting it posted on Facebook took a bit of effort, but I was thrilled by how quickly most everything I posted sold. Brett and I walked every day last week except for Friday – it felt great even though we got caught in a downpour yesterday and got soaked. I went over or closely approached 10,000 steps on several days, and am generally walking 3/12 to 4 miles per day. I drank lots of water, but still haven’t gotten back into my French. I can read lots and understand some, but cannot speak it for the life of me and still have lots of trouble with pronunciation. Nothing is sinking in any more – I need to be in a classroom.
  • Looking forward to next week: I don’t know if I’m exactly looking forward to it, but my birthday is tomorrow. For my present this year (birthday and Mother’s Day) I ordered a pair of capri leggings from J. Jill. There’s nothing special planned for my birthday, which is fine by me. YaYu baked a chocolate-glazed matcha cake this morning, but mainly she and Brett will be eating it. I’m greatly looking forward to meeting ON reader Laura on Tuesday. She and her husband moved to Kaua’i a while ago, and live on the north side of the island. Everyone I’ve met so far through the blog has been delightful, and I treasure the friendships I’ve made. The other Laura, her husband, Brett and I will be meeting at Java Kai in Kapaa, my favorite coffee spot on the island. The weather has been improving and we are hoping for the chance to go to the beach this week.

    So proud of our girl!
  • Thinking of good things that happened: Brett and I enjoyed attending YaYu’s Kiwanis award banquet last Tuesday, and were surprised to find she was the only senior to receive the scholarship award this year. Usually it’s divided between three or four students – we don’t know if she got it all because no one else applied this year or because they thought YaYu deserved all of it. YaYu was also awarded another $1000 scholarship from the Zonta Club of Hanalei – her scholarships now total $5000! On a different note, we got a lot of stuff out of the house last week because of the sale.

    The most popular item I listed was this blue & white garden stool from Thailand. SO MANY people asked to buy it.
  • Thinking of frugal things we did: 1) We raised $450 from our sale. Hopefully the last few things will sell in the next week or so. 2) Our landlord bought two more pieces of furniture from us and we will be able to take the amount of what he’s bought off our rent this and next month. 3) I cashed in the $495.89 we’ve earing in credit card rewards and had it applied toward the balance. 4) Other than buying produce at the farmers’ market and one stop at the store for eggs, we had a no-spend week. 5) We put $8.00 into the change/$1 bill jar this week.
  • Grateful for: I’m glad we’ve been able to get so many parts of the Big Adventure taken care of already. Things are starting to get a bit crazy now, and it sometimes feels like I’ve got too many balls up in the air. I know it will all come together though. The travel notebook has already proved to be an immense help. I’m also grateful for all the people who responded to our sale on Facebook, and were so pleasant to deal with, whether they bought something or interacted with me online. Brett and I got to “talk story” with some very interesting people from around the island when they came to pick up their stuff.
  • Bonus question: What’s your earliest birthday memory? It’s interesting what memories stand out as we get older. My family did not make a big deal over birthdays, so most of what I remember is that because my birthday always falls on or right after Mother’s Day, that occasion always got all the attention when I was young. My parents did throw me one big party on my sixth birthday which fell toward the end of my year in kindergarten, and invited all the girls from my class. I don’t remember what we all did at that party, but there is a photograph showing all of us standing around our backyard swings with the girls all wearing lovely white dresses (except for me – my dress was a pastel color). Mom served us tea sandwiches (with the crusts cut off) for lunch, but the most special thing that day were the individual little square packages of ice cream in assorted flavors that my parents served with cake following lunch – I remember all of us being very excited about the ice cream because we could choose the flavor we wanted (I remember the assortment included pistachio because my Dad was happy no one else wanted it). I also distinctly remember all the girls arriving to the party with presents, but don’t remember any of what I received other than a much-desired set of Colorforms. My siblings had their way with my gifts shortly after the party though and few if anything I received survived for very long. Also, in kindergarten we brought treats to school on our birthday to share with our classmates during snack time. I had the same birthday as another boy in the class so we were given two days to bring our treats. I got the first day, and my mom baked chocolate chip cookies for the class (cookies were the usual treat) but the next day the boy, whose family owned the LA Times newspaper, brought cake and ice cream and a clown to entertain everyone! Even at age six I felt glad I had gotten the first day and didn’t have to follow that fabulous experience with just cookies.

That’s all for this week from Casa Aloha! Again, happy Mother’s Day to all the moms who are checking in – wishing you all a wonderful day. How did your week go? What are you reading? What good things happened for you? What frugal things did you do this past week?


14 thoughts on “Sunday Afternoon 05/13/2018

  1. What a great week for you. Those scholarships will really help!
    Golly, I hate to move. What a wonderful gift of a place to store your stuff. 1,000 lbs! I am impressed!
    Founding Mothers is a slow, but excellent read. The Revolutionary War through women’s eyes. Since we moved to Delaware, I have a better understanding of the lay of the land and how people went from place to place. I am learning to really appreciate those early times!


    1. The lastest scholarship was a very happy surprise, and she almost didn’t apply for it! The scholarships she’s earned mean that most of her savings/earnings can stay intact for her second year, when she won’t receive as much financial aid. This year we have three in school; next year it will be just two, and after that YaYu will be the sole recipient of financial aid and the amount will drop drastically.

      Thanks for the tip about Founding Mothers. I know so little about the Revolutionary War (and World War 1) and I really should know more. We are going to visit Valley Forge when we’re back in Pennsylvania in August – it’s just a few miles from Bryn Mawr.


  2. I’m so jealous you’re going to Java Kai! I stopped by there on my way to Princeville, but only the once 😦 I’m curious what you thought of Little Fires Everywhere? I just read it for book club, and I loved it up until the ending!


    1. Love Java Kai although we don’t go very often. My favorite drink there is the Wired Monkey: frozen chocolate, espresso, banana, coconut and rice milk. SO GOOD!!! I’m going to be a good girl this time though and have a skinny latte.

      I liked all of Little Fires Everywhere, even the ending. It wasn’t unexpected or shocking, especially since the author did such a good job of developing the characters and relationships throughout the book. Also, the ending allows the story to possibly continue in the future in another book, albeit in a different direction.


  3. We are looking forward to seeing you and Brett at Java Kai on Tuesday – and Happy Birthday!


  4. I too appreciate my chickens centipede murdering – plus they eat spiders which in Australia is no small benefit. 🙂


    1. Our spiders aren’t at as big here (well, except for cane spiders – they are huge and scary, but generally harmless), but we leave most of them undisturbed around the house because they eat the bugs that would get in the house otherwise. Between our spiders and geckos, we’ve been pretty much bug-free in this house, or at least a LOT less than we had at our last place. The chickens do a good job here with the centipedes – the one that bit Brett had crawled up under our barbecue grill cover, and when he picked it up it got him!


  5. Laura, I share your struggle with disappearing comments, so I ALWAYS copy them in their entirety before I attempt to post them to someone’s blog. Including this reply! 😅

    Congratulations to all on the unexpected scholarship, because it does indeed take a village!

    Coincidentally, we are in Colonial Virginia currently, learning all about the last battle of the Revolutionary War, in Yorktown. Like you, I didn’t appreciate history until later in life. I surely do now, so better late than never!


    1. I have copied the comment, and even tried to post again at different times, but no luck. But keeping it copied is a good idea – maybe I will just have to send it on to the blog owner and see if they can get it posted! I just want others to know that I am trying!

      The scholarships will greatly help YaYu’s bottom line this year, and allow her other funds to stay in the bank for the coming years. She has really knocked the ball out of the park though – she’s worked very, very hard though these last four years and deserves every one of the awards she’s received.

      I’ve always been interested in the Civil War and WWII, and have avoided the Revolutionary War and WWI (other than what I needed to know to pass exams), but am finding myself more interested in both these days. Like you say, better late than never!


  6. Happy Birthday! And another congrats to YaYu. What a nice little collection of honors she is receiving! 🙂

    My first birthday memory is of my mother throwing me a surprise party when I was in kindergarten. I walked in from school (we lived one block away) and everyone yelled “Surprise!” I burst into tears, ran into the bathroom, and my mom had to talk me into coming out. I was embarrassed by all the attention and hate surprise parties to this day. I remember just hating having everyone looking at me.

    We are still watching Six Feet Under. DH hadn’t seen it before and he keeps saying, “This show is really weird”, but he continues to watch it. It’s definitely not your run of the mill TV, but I always liked the weirdness juxtaposed with the rather deep topics.


    1. I am not a huge fan of surprise parties either. A friend did throw one for me in high school, but was smart enough to invite only a few close friends so it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. I’ve thrown a couple of parties for others, and had fun making the plans, and thankfully both people were thrilled with the surprise.

      I want to watch Six Feet Under again, but we keep finding other shows to watch – we’ll get to it eventually. It is a weird show, but the acting is superb, it has interesting characters and story lines, and it tackles, as you say, deep topics dealing with life and death.

      I loved my Day of Doing Nothing yesterday and wish I had asked to have it extended for my birthday! The one day though is pretty overwhelming for Brett. Getting everything done is easy for me because I’ve done it for years and know how to coordinate everything, but it takes him a bit more effort. He always does a good job though.


  7. Happy birthday! Everything is coming together so well for your travels. I have a question – between the time you leave on your trip and YaYu starts university, where will she be living?


    1. Thanks! I had a wonderful day.

      We will be accompanying YaYu back to Pennsylvania from here (with stops in Portland and Dallas on the way) and moving her into her dorm, then leaving for Miami that evening with our flight to Buenos Aires the next morning!


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