Sunday Afternoon 6/24/2018

We spent some of Father’s Day at the beach – it was a beautiful day!

After a few weeks of feeling like nothing much was happening around here, things are about to get busy, at least for the next few weeks. This coming Friday morning Royal Hawaiian will arrive to pack up the items we are shipping back to the mainland, then the following week our friends Alan and Cheryl arrive on the island and we’ll be moving the furniture and items they purchased from us over to their house, and the week after that will be our big garage sale. I’m going to try to keep to my regular writing schedule, but will not make any guarantees. If nothing else, I want to at least do the Sunday Afternoon post to catch up. I hope readers will hang in there with me until all these things get taken care of and we can sort of stand down again..

The glassy water on Tuesday should have been a warning about how still the air was.

This past Tuesday evening I had a scary run-in with heat exhaustion while Brett and I were on our walk. We are walking later in the day now in order to give the sun time to go down a bit more and the breeze to pick up a bit, but that evening there was absolutely NO breeze when we got to the beach path – I’ve never felt the air so still. It didn’t seem all that humid though, or overly hot, so we started off at our usual brisk pace. We always carry water, and always stop to drink at our turn-around point before starting back, which we did. The return trip to the car is mostly downhill and there’s usually a breeze in our face to cool us off, but if anything the air was even more dead this time on the way back, and about halfway to the car I started to feel strange. I stopped and drank some more water but by the time we got down to the bottom of the hill I knew something was wrong – I was sweating profusely, my legs were cramping, I was starting to get a headache, and felt like if I went further I was going to pass out. I stopped and sat down at one of the shaded picnic tables and Brett went off to get the car. I must have looked awful because a woman who was walking her dogs stopped and stayed with me until he came back. I took a long, cold shower and drank a lot of water after we got home, but it took several hours before I felt normal and not overheated. Anyway, lesson learned – we can still walk if it’s hot, humid and there’s no breeze, but not at our usual pace, and we need to turn around sooner.

We’ve decided our landlord is just plain nuts. He brought some potential renters over this past week, a lovely retired couple, but after showing them around he made himself at home in our living room and proceeded to rant about his expectations, what someone could and couldn’t do in the house, how much he charges for minor things, etc. pretty much effectively talking them out of ever wanting to have to deal with him. Plus, he slipped in a few racist remarks and gossiped about other potential renters including making up stuff about them. It was appalling. We’ve pretty much decided he’s setting us up to give us back very little if any of our security deposit – he was looking over everything while he was showing the house, and told us while he’ll do a walk-through with us the “real” inspection happens after we move out and that’s when “finds” things (which is illegal under Hawaii landlord-tenant law). We will be glad though to be finished with this guy – but it’s sad because up until the last few months he has been very easy to work with.

Some of the “river of debris” that currently runs the entire length of Kealia Beach, made up of small pieces of driftwood left over from April storms and flooding. Clean-up crews will eventually get to it, but it’s not a priority for now.

This afternoon I am:

  • Reading: I finished Grant – such a good biography and for a couple of days after it was done I felt a bit lost not having it to read. I had two more books come off of hold at the same time though which worked out well. I read The Year of Less: How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings, and Discovered Life Is Worth More Than Anything You Can Buy In a Store by Cait Flanders in three days and am now reading The Temptation of Forgiveness: A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery by Donna Leon.
  • Listening to: Another quiet day at Casa Aloha. YaYu is working the breakfast and lunch shift today, and Brett is reading. It was raining earlier this morning, and there’s a nice, cool-ish breeze now. No one for now is working on their lawn or power-washing anything, and the chickens are quiet, so it’s all very peaceful and I love it!
  • Watching: We finished up the second season of Goliath – great acting all around – but didn’t enjoy it as much as the first season. We’re currently watching Scott & Bailey, a British series about two female police detectives in Manchester. So far it’s been good, and we’re glad there are a few seasons of it as well. We continue to watch an episode or two of Parts Unknown a few evenings a week. The new season of the Great British Baking Show is back on PBS too – I love that show!
  • Cooking/baking: Not sure what we’re having for dinner tonight but we have several choices. Quiche maybe? The oven door is supposed to be repaired on Tuesday, so it will be nice to have that option available for cooking again. On the dinner menu this week will be pork and eggplant stir fry, macaroni and cheese, pepperoni pizza, and noodles with pork sauce. My KA mixer is going into our shipment on Friday, so I’m going to try to bake one more cake before it goes.

    My favorite view on Kaua’i shows the power of the ocean, and how far away we are from every other place out here in the ocean.

  • Happy I accomplished this past week: I got the last of the pictures down and nail holes filled, but the landlord not so subtly let us know the other day that in his opinion we were in violation of our lease by hanging any pictures at all (even though I dare him to find any of the holes), so I’m not sure at this point why I’m putting all this effort into it. I’m still working on the pantry shelves because the shelf liner we used stuck to the paint so I’m having to sand and then repaint the shelves. YaYu did a great job of cleaning out her room, closet and dressers the other day so things are moving along in there as well. We had hoped to walk five days this past week, but only got in four – we didn’t get to walk on Friday because it rained most of the day. On Saturday though it was cool and breezy enough for us to walk out to the Pineapple Dump to check out my favorite view on the island.
  • Looking forward to next week: I’m greatly looking forward to getting the first round of our upcoming move out of the way on Friday. We’ve got lots of work to do this week to get ready for that, but it will mean things are starting to move along again. Hopefully Brett and I can also fit in another trip to the beach.

    Duke came a relaxed with us for a while – such a good little pug!

  • Thinking of good things that happened: Brett and I went to the beach not once, but twice this week – so nice! Last Tuesday the sweet little pug in the picture above came and sat with us while his “mom” went swimming – he had come up to say hello and then made himself at home on my beach mat, and the young woman asked if we would keep an eye on him while she went out in the water. No problem – he must have known we were “pug people!” YaYu worked lots of hours (and got overtime) and made lots of tips this past week. She is getting ready to pay her first bill at Bryn Mawr in the next couple of weeks so this helped calm her down a bit. We found haupia (Hawaiian coconut custard) cakes at Costco and  bought one – Brett is in heaven as he hasn’t had any for over two years and it’s one of his favorites.
  • Thinking of frugal things we did: It was just a so-so frugal week for – we skipped the farmers’ market again but stopped at Safeway for a few things so it evened out, and we bought peaches and another watermelon (and a cake) at Costco when we went to get gas for the car. I also ordered a replacement screen from Amazon to hang in the doorway between the house and the garage – the one that was here when we moved in is on its last legs. We put $3.46 into the change/$1 bill jar, the change we got back at Safeway.
  • Reporting gains and losses: I didn’t gain or lose any weight this month, and we put $2775 toward the Big Adventure.
  • Grateful for: I’m feeling sort of thankful right now for all those times we had to clean our navy housing for white-glove inspections – we know how to deep clean and we’re going to hold the landlord’s feet to the fire to get as much of our deposit back as possible!
  • Bonus question: How did you learn to cook? I am for the most part a self-taught cook. My grandmother on my mom’s side was not a good cook – the only thing she made that was memorable were her stewed apples. They were divine, but she never passed on how to make them so they’re only a memory now. My dad’s mom was a wonderful cook, but she lived far away so I only got to observe her and eat her cooking during the times I visited Indiana (same for my dad’s sister and his sister-in-law – they were both amazing cooks). My dad didn’t cook, and mom was frankly mediocre. Cooking was more of a chore for her because she had never really learned from her mom, plus she worked full time and was heavily into convenience foods which were very salty and not very healthy. Growing up I paid attention when my friends’ moms cooked and picked up some of their techniques, ideas and flavors, and I also noticed things that tasted good whenever I went out and often tried to replicate them. I consider myself a “journeyman” cook though – I have solid basic skills, know how to follow a recipe and when and how to adapt or change it, and the things I make turn out well and taste good, but cooking is not a passion for me. I’m also at a stage in my life right now where I’m ready for a break from regular cooking and meal planning.

The grands – this cracks me up!

That’s all for this week! I’m not sure when or if I’ll get to post this week – we have a lot going on. How did your week go? What are you reading? What frugal things did you do? What good things happened for you?

12 thoughts on “Sunday Afternoon 6/24/2018

  1. Joy Franks says:

    I’m always amazed when I read your “weather report”. What a different world we are in up here, you can’t imagine! We always have a cool trade wind. We got a new koi wind sock and it’s flying at all times!! 😉 Our highest temperature this week was 83 with humidity around 60% and down to 50% for awhile. Of course this is at OUR place and not deep inside of Princeville. And forget Hanalei, love that town but it’s hot due to no trade wind off the ocean.

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    • Laura says:

      We’ve had cool breezes all week . . . except for last Tuesday, which was a real aberation. I don’t think the temperature was ever more than 85 degrees, if that, but without the breeze it can get miserable. Later on this summer though it will go through a period on the east side where the breezes die off in the late afternoons and evenings, but by the time that rolls around we’ll be over at the Waipouli, with a pool and air-conditioning!

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      • Joy Franks says:

        I had heat exhaustion as a young adult and have been heat sensitive ever since. I still hate the heat but in our 4+ years here, I’ve yet to feel even remotely miserable from it and that says a lot! Thank goodness you didn’t get any sicker from the heat. Be careful!!!

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  2. UnwrittenLifeBlog says:

    You should walk through your house and make a video after you leave, and take pictures of any areas you think the landlord may have a problem with. If he tries to say something is broken or damaged, you have proof that is was fine.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Laura says:

      We are going to film everything before the walkthrough, and in spite of what he thinks, we’re going to make him write down the problems he sees when we do the walk-through so they’re documented. It’s also been suggested by several people who deal with this stuff that we tape him during the walk-through. According to the law he doesn’t have to give us estimates for any repair work he has done, but he does have to tell us what he finds that we caused before we turn over the keys so we have the chance to fix it. He seems to think though that the walk-through is just a “casual” look and that the “real” inspection comes after we’re out. When we were moving in, he let slip that he was going to charge the previous tenant $250 (!!!!) because he forgot to dust off the top of the refrigerator, something the tenant could have easily taken care of if it had been pointed out during the walk-through. Same for the ceiling fan in the bathroom.

      One problem we may have though is that security deposit issues are only handled in small claims court, and we would have to appear here which will be impossible for us – point in his favor. However, we also know that he does not have a state tax I.D. for the rental, and has not been paying required GE taxes to the state. Since we are leaving the island, I will have absolutely NO problem playing hardball if things get hinky, and letting him know we will report him. The back taxes he owes as well as fines would cost him a whole lot more than our security deposit. I don’t think he has ever had tenants who pay their rent on time, don’t trash a place, etc. so he has always been able to keep the deposit and he’s panicking now because he’s going to have to give ours back or at least some of it. His wife was with him the other day, and she thanked both Brett and I for taking such good care of the house, but whether that means anything who knows?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Laurel Hill says:

    Scary adventure! My DH became dehydrated during a search & rescue outing and had to be pulled from the field search. He had similar symptoms to yours and it wasn’t pleasant! Glad you’re OK.

    Darling picture of your grands. We had ours here this weekend, along with a family gathering for birthdays, and we’re have been napping and pooped out this afternoon since they left. Such fun though!

    I’ve just started watching The Good Wife, which I haven’t ever watched, and I’m quite enjoying it. And I’m trying to catch up on my New Yorkers…they’ve been piling up since my DD came from England and I’m 3-4 back. I would like to just skim them, but I love so many of the long form articles, that I let them build up, but it can be challenge to catch up.

    Your landlord sounds crazy indeed. Good luck with getting the next phase completed and moving on.

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    • Laura says:

      I’ve never suffered from heat stroke or exhaustion before – it was scary, especially the way it seemed to sneak up on me so quickly. Lesson learned!

      Glad you got to spend time with you grands – I am so excited about having three months near ours next year. That picture of them always makes me laugh – how do kids fall asleep in those positions?

      Crazy doesn’t begin to describe our landlord these days, and we’re wondering if the cancer has affected has him somehow. He is totally off the rails these days, and we are girding ourselves for battle.

      Loved The Good Wife – another series I wouldn’t mind watching again.

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  4. Jane Has Debt says:

    My mom has always been a great cook. So I learned early on from that. Then she handed me her 1970s copy of Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book. I still use it to this day when making pancakes and peanut butter cookies. I also have passed on the basics of cooking to my daughter. She took off with it and now makes wonderful Asian food dishes. Go her!

    So sorry about the landlord becoming such a PITA. That’s really a bummer. My last place I had stuff hanging up all over the walls. Glad you are going to record everything for your own protection. And hopefully the wife will step in for a good return.

    Thanks for sharing the pictures. The pug is so cute!

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    • Laura says:

      We’ve always hung pictures on the wall! Who doesn’t let tenants hang pictures? He has gone totally crazy – his latest thing too is that he is going to get the tenant before us to pay for some repairs – good luck with that. That tenant, if he’s even still on the island, is going to laugh in his face. We can’t figure out what’s going on though – he was a totally reasonable sort of guy when we first rented from him. As I’ve said though, I don’t think he’s ever rented to anyone who kept a place clean, paid their rent on time, etc. and he’s always been able to keep the deposit. Now he’s facing having to return it, or at least some of it, and he’s freaking out. If we were staying on the island we would take him to small claims if we had to, but since we’re leaving I have no problem turning him into the tax authorities if he tries to keep all of the deposit.

      YaYu is the only one who ever wanted to learn how to cook, and she’s pretty good at it. She’s even learned to make homemade pasta and makes an amazing fettucini Alfredo. Meiling has developed an interest in cooking since she has her own kitchen, and calls or writes frequently asking how to make something. She’s been thrilled to get kitchen gadgets and equipment from us these days.

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  5. Vivian says:

    Hi Laura,
    I was able to post for the first time in a while to Brett’s blog. For some reason the site has not been allowing me to make comments.
    My uncle was the sweetest man until he had Chemo and then he had a complete personality change and got downright mean. Either that or he doesn’t have the money to return your deposit and is panicking as time gets closer to paying you back. Do landlords in Hawaii have to keep the deposit in a separate bank account or do they simply pocket it and forget it?
    Heat exhaustion is a scary thing, please be careful on your travels.

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    • Laura says:

      I am SO GLAD to hear from you Vivian! I had been thinking about you for a few weeks, but never linked it to the Blogger-Wordpress issue. Hopefully that is all behind us now, what it was.

      We do think our landlord’s chemo may have affected him – he was not like this when we rented from him. But maybe he feels comfortable enough with us now that he feels he can let his freak flag fly? I never thought about him not having the cash to give us back our deposit, and he’s now freaking out about that (in Hawai’i it doesn’t have to be kept in a separate account as far as I know, but maybe it does and he spent it).

      We’ve had cool, breezy and sometimes rainy weather since last week – that one day was weird, and we weren’t paying attention to the signs. A good lesson was learned though.

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