My time in the dentist’s chair went well this past Monday; in fact, it went much better than expected! I was numbed up to the max, the filling went quickly with no problems (there had been the possibility of a root canal) and the extraction was over before I knew it. There were few to no post-extraction problems either – we rode home on the tram and bus without my having to keep a wad of gauze in my mouth. Pain was also minimal to non-existent. I will go back mid-month to have my crown prep done, and then at the end of the month I will get my new (gold) crown and the second filling. The prep for the new bridge will begin mid-July and I will be finished with everything at the end of July! Well, everything except the bill.
The last of some new wardrobe items I had ordered arrived this past week, so that summer-in-Portland task is done. I had started thinking back when we were in Japan about what I didn’t want to continue to pack going forward, and what I might want to add to freshen things up. Along with finding some great sales in the past few weeks I now have have a wardrobe that’s a little more stylish, one where everything will get worn, and one that will also give me some variety. More on this coming up!
The end of last week was cool to cold here, with temperatures dropping into the low 60s (Friday’s high was 59º). We wore sweaters and sweatshirts, put an extra blanket on the bed, kept a comfy throw over us while we watched TV, and we still felt chilled. However, yesterday it started warming up and the sun came out, and this coming week temperatures are supposed to climb into the 90s (today will be in the 80s)! On the plus side there will be very low to no humidity, so hopefully it should be bearable, especially up here in the hills, and the forest should be cool(ish) enough for hiking. YaYu is already complaining about the humidity in Japan, and I sadly had to remind her it’s just getting started there for the summer. The humidity is the one part of living in Hawai’i I don’t miss in the least.
Finally, don’t forget you can enter Giveaway #2 once a day through June 19 for the chance to win some supermarket favorites of ours from Japan, including three different CookDo sauces and some Kewpie mayonnaise.
This morning I am:
- Reading: I had three books come off of hold this week, and I picked up a book at the library when I was there so I am currently reading two books at a time, one during the day and one at night. During the day I’m reading Small Fry, by Lisa Brennan-Jobs, Steve Jobs daughter. She is a wonderful writer, but it is one of the most bittersweet books I have read in a long time. Her relationship with her father was not an easy one, but she writes about him with love. My current book at night is Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan. It’s about a political sex scandal that takes place in England, and I’m just getting started (had to finish An American Marriage first), but so far so good. I read a short but funny book while I was waiting for Brett at the library: Why Don’t You Write My Eulogy Now So I Can Correct It? by Patricia Marx (and wonderfully illustrated by Roz Chast). I recognized more than a few of her mother’s aphorisms – my mom and/or grandmother said many of the same things (but less humorously)! Books waiting on deck now are Distant Echo by Val McDermid, and The Unquiet Dead – A Novel by Ausma Zehanat Khan, and I’ve moved to the top of the waitlist for yet another book I have on hold.
- Listening to: It’s another delightfully quiet morning here. Brett is eating breakfast and reading, and I’ve been enjoying my morning coffee, reading blogs and Twitter, and have my breakfast ready to go. It’s nice and cool this morning, but the sun is out – it’s going to be a beautiful day.
- Watching: We watched the third season of True Detective this past week which was excellent, and in honor of the 75th anniversary of D-Day we are rewatching Band of Brothers. It’s my fifth viewing of the series and it’s just as compelling as it was the first time – I’m still discovering things I didn’t catch before. We plan to watch the partner series, The Pacific, after we’re done. Band of Brothers is especially meaningful for me this time because of our visit to Normandy last fall. Tonight we’re also going to start watching the new season of Big Little Lies on HBO.
- Cooking/baking: I’m eating fat-free Greek yogurt with a ton of berries on top for breakfast this morning, and dinner tonight will be chili-pork sauce over cauliflower rice topped with some grated cheese. Leftover sauce will be served over eggs for breakfasts this week. Also on this week’s menu will be slow-cooker turkey pepper pot, zucchini frittata, CookDo pork & pepper stir fry, and our Friday night pizza (we’re thinking topped with sausage and peppers this week).
- Happy I accomplished this past week: Besides getting that dental experience behind me, Brett and I also made two trips downtown. One was to pick up a book from the Central Library about slow traveling in the Cotswolds, and the other trip was to visit the Lan Su Chinese Garden in Northwest Portland. I filled in everything on this week’s goals card and walked every day except for Wednesday when my back was acting up again (Brett took a four-hour hike through the forest that day though), and Friday, when it rained. We missed going to the OHSU farmers’ market on Tuesday because I got the day and time wrong, but we found out exactly where it was held and the correct time so we’re definitely going this week.
- Looking forward to next week: Other than Brett’s calligraphy class on Saturday and the class’s summer barbecue potluck afterwards, we have no appointments or errands this week. Our time is our own, which is always lovely (I am looking forward to the barbecue though – we’re going to take a prepared noodle salad from New Season’s market). We’ll see how it goes here in the heat, but we’re thinking about maybe visiting the Oregon Zoo later in the week, with a side visit down the hill to the Japanese Garden and the International Test Rose Garden (the zoo train makes a stop where we can get to them). We also need to make a trip over to Trader Joe’s in NW. I’m hoping to get a LOT of reading done so all the books I have checked out can be returned on time.
- Thinking of good things that happened: At the Chinese Garden I ran into a former colleague of mine from my teaching days and we had a lovely, long chat to catch up. Then, yesterday morning there was a knock on the door and it was another good friend who had come to visit – we ended up chatting and catching up for nearly four hours! We heard from all the girls this week – Meiling is getting ready to graduate (next week!), WenYu is still waiting to hear one way or another about an internship but is also applying for other work, and YaYu is settling into life in Japan and had gone out into the neighborhood on her own for the first time this past week. She went with our son and family out to the Atsugi base yesterday so they could get some American stuff at the commissary and she thankfully had no issues sponsoring him onto the base. Brett and I stopped in at the downtown Goodwill store across from the Central Library last Tuesday – Brett’s been wanting to add a sports coat to his wardrobe, and we found a Burberry(!) one that fit like it was tailored just for him (I also found the summer dress there). The downtown Goodwill is one of their “boutique” stores, and carries designer and other higher-end items (but of course has higher prices than a regular Goodwill store).
- Thinking of frugal things we did: We had a fairly low spend week, and we’re once again below our $50/day average for the month. At the Chinese garden we got both a senior discount and a military discount on our admission which saved us $4. Brett’s sports coat and my “new” summer dress were both things we were looking for this summer, so we’re very happy that we found such nice ones at Goodwill for such low prices. We continue to do a good job of using up leftovers and things we have in the fridge so there’s no food waste. We put $10.28 into the change/$1 bill bag this past week.
- Grateful for: I am so thankful these days for the giant package of mugi-cha (roasted barley) tea bags I found at Costco in Japan. It is my favorite summer drink and the package contains enough to get me through the summer. I make it every other day in a half-gallon jar – all I have to do is put two teabags into cold water, wait three hours and it’s ready! I find it more refreshing than iced tea, but it has no caffeine so I can drink it at any time during the day (a good thing because I finally have settled into some normal sleeping hours).
- Bonus question: What is your favorite type of book? I love, love, love reading mysteries and police procedurals, including ones written about true crimes. I especially like fictional ones that are set in Great Britain or Ireland, or outside the U.S. However, I also enjoy novels about the human condition (like An American Marriage or Anatomy of a Scandal) and also books about social history and historical events both famous and not, especially those centered on World War II, and books about healthy eating and nutrition. The types of books I don’t like include romance novels, science fiction, and self help, but I’ll generally read just about anything if it’s well written.
When I wrote the title for this post I had to stop and think, have we really already been here for four weeks? It seems like we just arrived the other day. We’re still enjoying living up in the hills – I’ve already told Brett that if we ever came back to Portland, this is where I’d want to be versus over the east side. The Marquam Nature Park and its forest trails are pretty much my idea of heaven.
Once again, I hope all of you had a great week, got lots done and also had lots of good things happen for you. Here’s to next week being a wonderful one!