What a difference a week makes! Last weekend I was dragging, and felt like my head was stuffed with cotton. I had absolutely no motivation to do anything. But, I slept through the night for the first time last Sunday and woke up feeling refreshed and like my old self. Although I’m going to bed earlier than I usually do (around 10:00 p.m.) and waking up much earlier too, I’ve slept through every night this week, so I guess I’m over the jet lag, the fastest I’ve ever recovered.
We’ve had a very productive week. Brett and I have been hiking or walking almost every day, either on trails in the nearby forest or in the city. I’ve actually felt like cooking in the evenings, I’ve been reading up a storm, and have taken care of all sorts of little jobs that I just didn’t feel like doing up until now. We turned the rental car back in last Tuesday and have either walked or used public transportation since, including a trip over to Trader Joe’s in NW Portland. I had a bone density test done this past Thursday and walked to and from the clinic in the Kohler Center at OHSU (with seven flight of stairs each way). We’ll have a real test of the system though when I go over to the dentist’s office next Tuesday – it’s located on the far east side, and the bus and tram ride over is estimated to take over an hour. Our motto this summer though is if we could do it in Tokyo, we can do it here!
We’ve been enjoying pretty nice weather too – some rain, some cooler temps, but also quite a bit of sunshine. It’s been warm enough to have the windows open on some days, and Portland is lush and green all over, especially so in the forest. My new trail shoes are very comfortable, although I can tell I will eventually need some thicker socks if I am going to walk longer.
Finally, don’t forget to enter the current giveaway for the brocade obi from Japan! You can enter once a day until June 7 by leaving a (short) comment on the giveaway post even if it’s just to say hi. The more entries, the greater your chances of winning.
This morning I am:
- Reading: Because I’m still waiting for a library book to come off of hold, I downloaded The Line Becomes a River by Francisco Cantú, voted one of the best books of 2018. Cantú writes about his experience working for Customs and Border Patrol as an agent in the southwest, and why he finally decided to leave the agency. It’s an amazing piece of writing.
- Listening to: I’m enjoying a very quiet morning – Brett is up and reading, but YaYu is still sleeping and it’s very quiet outside (which is one of the things we like about where we’re living this summer – it’s a very quiet community). After a rainy day yesterday we were hoping for sunshine today but can’t tell yet whether that’s going to happen or not.
- Watching: We watched one of my all-time favorite movies on Netflix last Wednesday evening, Kung Fu Hustle. It’s a very different sort of Chinese kung fu movie with lots of humor and laugh-out-loud moments (but also has great fighting sequences). Since we finally have access to Amazon Prime, YaYu and I have started binge-watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and Brett and I are watching Fleabag.
- Cooking/baking: We’re having scrambled eggs and bacon for breakfast this morning once YaYu gets up (she and Brett are also having toast and jam with theirs). Dinner tonight is mabo dofu served with steamed rice – cauliflower rice for me – and a cucumber salad. Other things appearing on the menu this week will include beef Polish sausages with fresh sauerkraut, chili shrimp and sweet and sour pork, chicken in Thai curry sauce, and Cobb salads.
- Happy I accomplished this past week: I got all sorts of little things done that I just had no energy nor motivation for last week, like creating my checklist cards, sorting through all the hotel toiletries we brought back so we can use them up; getting my compression socks and a couple of other things ordered, renting a car to get YaYu to the airport next week, taking some hikes through the forest, and walking through the OHSU campus a couple of times.
- Looking forward to next week: Two of our three girls are taking off in different directions this coming week: WenYu will return to Massachusetts following a successful term abroad in Cyprus, and YaYu will depart for her big summer in Japan on Thursday morning. I will miss having them with us for the summer, but am so proud of both of them for their initiative. I’m looking forward to taking some more walks/hikes in the forest (including one with my good friend Joan), weather permitting, but mostly am excited about being able to relax and not have to rush around and run a lot of errands and such except to see the dentist – I am not looking forward to the trip over there and back.
- Thinking of good things that happened: Nothing particularly stands out – it was just a great week all around. I especially loved getting back into downtown Portland, and over to the NW Nob Hill neighborhood.
- Thinking of frugal things we did: 1) YaYu asked to stop at Goodwill last Monday and we bought a nice vase for 99¢, a gorgeous black velvet shirt for me for $9.99 that I couldn’t resist, a summer cotton shirt for $7.99 for Brett, and a paper towel holder for the apartment kitchen for $4.99. 2) We have not thrown out any food this week except for one package of Trader Joe’s hamburger rolls which were covered with mold after just a couple of day in the fridge (grrr) – everything else, including leftovers, has been used up or eaten. 3) I signed up for a free month of Amazon prime and saved $7.68 in shipping fees on my order of compression socks and a couple of other things we needed (now I just need to remember to cancel it at the end of the month). 4) I reserved a rental car for next week to take YaYu to the airport early in the morning – the cost was just $6 more than an Uber ride and we have the car for 24 hours. 5) We put $8.46 into our change/$1 bill bag.
- Grateful for: I am beyond thankful for the medical care we’re able to receive because of Brett’s military service. Between Medicare and our military insurance we no longer have any out-of-pocket charges, and here in Portland we can access clinics and be seen by doctors at the Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU), which provides some of the best healthcare in the city and state. We also now have even better dental insurance now than we did in the past and also vision care (finally!) through the military.
- Bonus question: How does it feel to be back in Portland? I told Brett the other day that except for the long dreary winters I could easily live here again. I love being so close again to friends. I also love all the green, the stores, and everything the city offers, but I don’t think I can deal with the cold, wet winters again – it was very depressing last winter. I am enjoying being on the west side (of the Willamette River) this time, up in the hills for a change – the views! – so we’ll see how that goes through the summer.
I am still unable to comment on any Blogger platform for some reason. I thought it might have been a Japan problem, but I’ve tried to comment a couple of times this week and my comments still vanish into the ether when I submit them. Also, I now get notices that several blogs and websites I read are “not secure” and I’m not sure what that means either.
Tomorrow is Memorial Day, a day for remembering those who gave their lives in service to our country, and for saying thank you for that service and that we remember you for a debt we still struggle to repay. Veterans Day is for thanking those who got to come home from their service; this weekend is one of remembrance for those who didn’t.
Anyway, I hope you all had a great late spring week, that lots of good things happened for you, and that you’re looking forward to the week coming up. And don’t forget to enter the giveaway!!