Sunday Morning 4/26/2020: The New Normal

A few front-door sunsets from last week.

It’s been a so-so week, a continuation of our new normal. We’ve gotten out for a couple of walks (although that can be difficult to do with the restrictions), and to get food and supplies. Our washing machine was delivered and works great, but the dryer can’t be hooked up yet (no vent) so clothes will need to be hung up or go to the laundromat to be dried for the time being. Finding a drying rack on the island though was like searching for a needle in a haystack, although a small one was eventually found. A few more packages arrived from Amazon this past week with items to make our lives easier, but we are still waiting on several other things, especially our bed linens, which seem to be either lost or trapped in limbo somewhere. The weather has been mostly delightful, but we’ve also had rain and it’s been cloudy and quite windy some days. The sunsets have been amazing though. It feels for the most part like we’re neither going forward nor moving backward. Kaua’i hasn’t had a new case of the virus in over a week, and only two people on the island still remain in isolation. Oahu, Maui, and the Big Island had only a handful of cases last week which has been wonderful news as well. Openings are already being planned for next month, but as for visitors, how many will dare get on a plane to fly here? What will open? And, testing someone for the virus after they arrive is too late for the islands, but who is going to test everyone before they come? And what happens if a visitor brings the virus again – what will happen then? 

Last Wednesday, following the advice of a reader and reading up on our rights for a refund, I contacted Aeromexico. Because the flight would have arrived in the U.S., and because they, not us, canceled the flight, US Department of Transportation regulations clearly state we are entitled to a full refund. Period. Aeromexico wouldn’t budge though – all they would offer was a voucher good for 365 days or a reservation on another flight, neither of which works for us. So, we are now disputing the charge through our bank and have reported Aeromexico to the DOT, who has already issued strong warnings to all airlines about the rules for issuing refunds, international carriers included. It may take a while, but hopefully, we will get those tickets refunded (not sure of what happens though if Aeromexico declares bankruptcy).

We are also having difficulty setting up anything with Royal Hawaiian. We have called and emailed, and have been told they will get right back with us, but we’ve heard nothing. We are trying to be patient – it can’t be easy for them under current conditions, but we also don’t want to have to buy more things to tide us over until our shipment arrives. We learned this past week though that one saucepan and one frying pan were not enough to work with so we added a big covered saute pan to our collection of cookware as well as a ladle and serving spoon. These are all things we already own but that are currently in storage, but will be put away for YaYu once our stuff does arrive.

I was able to snap a few pictures at Glass Beach before we had to leave.

We’d like to get outside every day, but sometimes all we manage is a trip out to the deck to sit and read. On Monday we drove down to Poipu to walk and see the sunset – it was lovely and the sunset was gorgeous. We also got back for a walk yesterday afternoon. On Wednesday we went in the other direction to walk on Glass Beach, but the police arrived about 10 minutes after we did and ordered all nine of us that were there to leave. Thank goodness for our Hawaii driver’s licenses because we would have received a ticket and fine otherwise. We had hoped to put off shopping until next week, but we ran out of food on Wednesday, so on Thursday Brett and I went to Costco and then to Big Save in Koloa, the nearest store to our house, and stocked up again. Other than a weekly trip to the farm stand, we now have enough to get us through at least another three weeks. There are no bargains to be had on Kaua’i though – our food bill was through the roof again, especially since we’re feeding three right now.

This morning I am:

  • Reading: I finished Secondhand, and am a little over halfway through The Splendid and the Vile – it’s a much longer book than I realized, although very interesting. Midnight at Chernobyl came off of hold at the library this past week so that’s my current daytime book. It’s very readable, especially for such a complicated topic – I actually can now understand nuclear fission, radioactivity, and how a nuclear reactor operates because of the author’s clear explanations. Secondhand was a very thought-provoking book about what happens to our stuff after we’re done with it, and after finishing the book I felt pleased with how well we did before leaving Kaua’i in 2018 in getting our things recycled and reused. We threw away very little. 
  • Listening to: Sundays have been very quiet in our neighborhood, but someone was mowing their lawn earlier. Otherwise, all I’m hearing is the sound of a fairly strong breeze blowing through the trees outside. YaYu is still sleeping, and Brett’s quietly making himself breakfast in the kitchen.
  • Watching: All three of us have been watching the British detective series Shetland, one episode an evening in order to stretch it out. We have three more seasons left to go, each with six episodes, so we’ve got another couple of weeks until we have to find something else. YaYu watches a couple of other shows, but I have no idea what they are.
    We got all this from the farmstand down the road for $20: two zucchini, three papayas, a mango, three tomatoes, a cucumber, a big bunch of apple bananas, and cilantro. They had so much beautiful produce that it was hard to decide what to get – can’t wait to go back!
  • Cooking: Our small refrigerator and freezer are full once again, as is our pantry. Tonight we’re having grilled Polish sausages with potato salad, and we’ll also finish up the last of some four-bean salad. Also on the menu this week will be mabo dofu with steamed rice; grilled fish tacos with fresh mango salsa; and fried rice. We’ll be trying out the Instant Pot as well, although we’re not sure what we want to make just yet.
  • Happy we accomplished this past week: It was a pain to take care of, but I’m glad I got the ball rolling to get our refund from Aeromexico. YaYu also organized the refrigerator and pantry which was a big help. I am also glad we got our food shopping done as it’s currently a difficult and somewhat unpleasant chore these days.
  • Looking forward to next week: I am especially looking forward to getting our coffee table this week – I never realized how much we use one until we didn’t have one. The table we ordered is nothing fancy or expensive, but it’s solid wood, has a design we love, and it got good reviews on Amazon, so Brett and I have our fingers crossed. This coming week will also be YaYu’s last for this term’s classes – she is ready to be done with those and move on to her junior year!
  • Thinking of good things that happened: Our Instant Pot arriving yesterday was a huge surprise as it wasn’t scheduled to come until Wednesday of this week. YaYu and I have been deep reading the instruction booklet and we have decided to start slow and work our way up to more complicated recipes. In spite of not being able to use the dryer right now, having a washing machine again is wonderful. A brand new stacking unit was delivered on Thursday and by that evening we were caught up with all our dirty laundry, at least the washing. Don’t know what the solution will be for venting the dryer though – possibly under the house? We actually prefer line drying for many things so we had ordered a big drying rack from Amazon, and Brett (eventually) found another small one hidden away at a local hardware store – between the two we should be able to get everything dried on laundry day and will save the dryer only for a few items. We can also drive down to the laundromat in Eleele if we need to, to use the big dryers there – the washer’s spin cycle does such an amazing job of extracting water that it didn’t take long and cost very little to dry the three loads of wet clothes we brought to the laundromat on Thursday evening. Brett also found what may have been the last set of ice cube trays on the island, also hidden away at a store, and we were set by Saturday evening for gin & tonics once again. They were made with Hendrick’s Gin, from Scotland (found at Costco in blockade runner-sized bottles) so we also had some lovely memories of our time in the UK while we sipped our drinks.
    They were as tasty and refreshing as we imagined!
  • Thinking of frugal things that happened: We had five no-spend days this past week, but then spent a lot when we did our food shopping which ran our daily spending average right back up to the limit. We are well stocked with food for the next few weeks though. I also found a quarter that had been left behind in the change machine at the laundromat, but every little bit counts, and it was put away for the future.
    Brett apparently got the good genes – he just does not look like he’s 70 years old.
  • Grateful for: I am both fortunate and grateful, as always, for Brett’s steadfast companionship and love, and for his willingness to assemble all these many items that keep arriving from Amazon but also for his help with unglamorous household tasks like laundry, dishwashing, recycling, and all sorts of other things that need to be done each day. YaYu has also been a huge help, especially with cooking. It’s been fun to prep everything for her knowing she will turn it into something delicious. Under what are difficult conditions for her, including being separated from her friends and boyfriend, and being cooped up in a small apartment with her mom and dad trying to finish her classes remotely, she has stayed positive and helpful and is fun to have around.
  • Bonus question: What’s the first thing you want to do when the stay-at-home restrictions are lifted and things start opening back up? I NEED A HAIRCUT! (yes, I’m shouting). While I have enjoyed having longer hair these past few months, and the cut I got last December in Portland has grown out well, Kauai’s humid/windy weather and my very curly hair are not a good match. As long as I stay inside I’m OK, but if I step outside for a moment all I’m left with is a big frizzy mess. I am also growing tired of how long it takes for my hair to dry now that it’s longer (and I can’t use a dryer – that also makes for very frizzy hair). So, as soon as it’s possible, I am getting my hair cut short again. I am also looking forward to getting back to the beach and sitting in a beach chair under an umbrella with my Kindle and a Diet Coke or an iced tea. Right now if I tried it I’d get a ticket (as it’s a non-essential activity).
The view from my chair on the deck. The hose runs from a rain barrel next to the house over to the koi pond on the left.

My wish for the next week is that outside of a visit to the local farmstand, we don’t discover something else we need so we don’t have to buy anything. I am sick of spending money! I am greatly tired of “moving in” too, and outside of the few things yet to arrive from Amazon I would like to feel a bit more settled than I have for the past few weeks. I am hoping to have a week where we can get out a few times for walks, but also really enjoy the space we’re in. The deck is all set up now, with a big umbrella, comfortable chairs and side tables for drinks, and I’m looking forward to being out there more (weather permitting) and enjoying my coffee or some iced tea while I look out and savor our beautiful back yard (which was “groomed” this past week so it’s looking especially nice!).

I try to stay positive, but it’s been a whiny, not so happy sort of week, and I have to believe this one coming up will be better. This has just been such a crazy, sad, frustrating, mixed-up time for everyone, and then having to get through this move on top of everything got the best of me the past few days. It will all work out though – things always do. 

That’s all for this week – I continue to hope that good things happen for you and yours, that you have good books to read and good food to eat, and that you’re all staying safe and well.


37 thoughts on “Sunday Morning 4/26/2020: The New Normal

  1. We are also big fans of Shetland, though sometimes we do struggle to comprehend the accents. Certainly a fabulous show. Netflix has been getting a workout during lockdown in our household. Lots of good french and nordic shows to watch. Unit 42, Valhalla Murders plus a new season of Babylon Berlin.


    1. We have had to enable close captioning in order to understand what’s being said on Shetland!

      I am so grateful for all the comments that are including names of shows people are watching. We are compiling a great list. Babylon Berlin and Valhalla Murders sound especially interesting – we love Scandanavian mysteries.


  2. I had heard the beaches were closed. OW! I hope your beaches open with some social distance police soon. Good thing you still have that driver’s license! I hear you on the moving front. The saga of a dryer…I appreciate your ingenuity.
    It was a down week. We were close to phase one until someone figured out that they should test in the packing plants. We are on the rise again, the lock down will be tough to get out of. Paying $7.5 for three chicken breasts showed me that the chicken plants were, indeed, closed. North Carolina chicken on Delaware shelves, who thought? Bit the bullet and just bought what we needed. No more chicken for a few weeks I anticipate. I also put away the rum—lol. It wasn’t helping me sleep or my attitude.

    Turned the page yesterday and am settling into a new, new normal here. Checked out a few new books, began harvesting spinach and settled in to watch Belgravia (drinking lots and lots of water)… works for me. The sun is rising earlier, which means walks in the morning are easier to do. Our CSA looks to be WAYYY too controlling. The portions are twice the size and four times the costs. Oh well. I don’t think strawberry picking (or jam making) is in my future either. I SO miss my farm stands.
    Our search is on for someplace in Colorado or Utah for next winter. I don’t see me surviving another shut down. Our house in Idaho won’t be ready until May 2022… Maybe I need to start painting this house!


    1. The cost of food is awful here right now. It has gone up anyway since we left in 2018, but right now there are no sales or specials or any incentive to lower prices. Plus, we are still trying to retstock a pantry, and selection is limited so it’s just all EXPENSIVE. I didn’t buy any more chicken this past week as it all cost too much, and we are currently sick of chicken!

      I am so happy though to have visited the farmstand and discover how great it is. It is close by too, so we plan to go once a week, and keep spending at $20 or under. The CSA bags turned out to be disappointing for their lack of fruit, one of the things we love most about living here. Dragonfruit season is coming up and we can’t wait!

      Brett and I are starting to toss around some ideas for traveling after things settle down into truly what will be a new normal. We’ve both realized that with this move and all it has entailed, we miss the give and take of ideas we exchanged when we were on the road so want to keep some of that going. Japan will always be on the annual list, but there are places to see and things we’d like to do.

      I don’t know whether I’d prefer Colorado or Utah in the winter. Both can be beautiful, but they’re too dry for me and the weather can turn absolutely miserable on a dime. But those mountains!!


  3. Gorgeous sunsets and a beautiful deck and backyard. I walk for an hour in my neighborhood every day. I have wondered about Insta pots. I have a crockpot my son gave me and use it often. I heard the beaches , or most of them, opened back up in Florida to walkers last week. I am surprised they haven’t opened your beaches back up to at least walkers since there are so few cases of Covid. I agree about being an unsettled time. I updated my will last week. I will be around a lot of Covid, I fear, at work when they open back up here soon and our cases are still rising. I didn’t want any confusion if I died. It is dreadful to think I had to update my will because of a pandemic. I guess it needed to be done, but still it didn’t make me feel all safe and cozy inside. The world will get through this. My youngest is finishing his last two finals for his undergraduate this week so I understand how relieved all of you feel about your daughter finishing her semester. The good news is that my oldest may get called back to his job as a cook in s restaurant soon. His boss had texted him. I know Hawaii needs tourists for lots of jobs so it is sort of a catch 20/20. I do not know the answer.


    1. I hate to admit that after a few drop dead gorgeous sunsets, we have become judgemental about the ones that aren’t so spectacular when in reality, they’re all beautiful. I honestly don’t think we’ll ever tire of them though.

      We updated our wills before we traveled, so that’s done, and nothing has changed enough to need updating. I don’t think there’s anything about writing one’s will that makes you feel safe and cozy, but it’s something that needs to be done.

      I honestly don’t know what’s going to happen here. If they open up the state, people will come back, and some will bring the virus along with them unless they are tested before they come. The islands are equipped to handle a massive uptick in infections, but are dependent on tourism for economic survival. Hopefully a happy, sensible medium will be found.


      1. I vaguely remember you mentioned doing your will in one of your posts back then and you used one of the online will prep sites. Can you let me know which one you used? I need to make a new will. Thanks.


  4. Another interesting post. You have done some amazing things in such a short time. I. hope you get things settled with the airlines to get your refund; they are in the wrong and should pay up. Also, I hope your things being shipped get sorted out. That must be so frustrating to know that the shipment is out there some place, but not where you need it to be.


    1. Thanks, Beth. I sure hope we get that refund from Aeromexico. It isn’t a huge amount, but enough to make the effort of going after it worthwhile. Things from Amazon are coming sooner than initial estimates, thank goodness.

      Tomorrow I am going to call the business we ordered our linens from – they were shipped on April 4, but have been in limbo since April 10. Both UPS and USPS have tracking numbers for the shipment, but according to their websites, neither is in possession! Hopefully the company will reship the items – we’ve been sleeping under a thin fleece blanket and it’s gotten old.


  5. Hello Laura, have been enjoying your updates from the island, including moving, purchasing and settling in, all while dealing with Covid-19 restrictions.

    It IS a little unsettling to realize our new normal may go on for quite sometime until there is a vaccine. Meanwhile for us mulch is needed for flowerbeds, as well as perennials—but getting those items in a contactless manner is not so easy. But we are grateful for among other things Walmart Grocery pick up with no fees of any kind, Zoom for meetings and doctors moving fast to use Telemedicine, and beautiful Spring weather with lovely flowers and shrubs in our yard/garden.

    It has been wonderful to see and hear about retailers who are open and implementing safe practices.

    However it is frustrating when folks want to ignore the science, recommending unsafe practices and protest to have self isolation end. Time will tell but in my opinion there will be many who will continue a variation, if not the same, isolation practices until there is an effective vaccine.

    I so enjoy the information on books you are reading. I wholeheartedly recommend a book that was recommended to me by a library school friend. However as he is an Oregon author you may know of and/or have read William Kent Krueger’s Ordinary Grace. Wow! I will probably reread that book again.

    Meanwhile it is wonderful to know you two have landed and are nesting. Hoping you will get your ordered items and storage too quite soon. Have you noticed whether food prices have gone up on the island because of normal inflation or as a result of the pandemic, as in limited shopping options or due to prices rising due to demand and/or scarcity?

    Sorry have been missing regarding commenting, but I have enjoyed each note/post from the Island.


    1. I agree that this new normal is going to go on for a while. We’re hoping though that a few more things will open up locally (like the hair salons!!!) but not enough to draw tourists back in. But, that still leaves loads of people out of work, and yet no one wants people coming in who may bring the virus along. And do people really want to make the long flight over here when there’s a chance someone else on the plane may spreading the virus?

      Hopefully I will be able to connect with Royal Hawaiian this week and get things started but I’m not counting on it. Along with few places open to buy things, prices are high because there’s absolutely no incentive to offer specials. We’ve been able to find everything we need although some times it’s taken a while to find them. The only thing groceries seem to be out of is flour, sugar, and yeast. Other prices are higher than they were when we left and there are little to no sale prices.

      Thanks for the book suggestion too. I am adding it to the list!


  6. I so enjoy reading these posts. Would love to hear how your instapot experience turns out and what you make in it. Mine has been sitting in the laundry room, still in the box, because I am afraid of it! I love my crockpot and use it constantly (chicken and mushrooms are crocking right now). But crockpots are slow and unexciting…..rather like me, so in my comfort zone. Still enjoying tea in my sweet Oxford mug….seems so long ago now, and a very different world when you gave that away and I was the lucky recipient. P.s. You are so right…..B. does not look 70!


    1. I have been a long-time slowcooker fan, but YaYu and I tried out the Instant Pot today and fixed potatoes for potato salad and also hardboiled eggs. SO EASY and FAST and everything came out perfectly. We’re going to try rice pudding in a few days. I have heard that authentic Indian food is easy to make in the Instant Pot, so I want to eventually try that. And, I also want to make yogurt.

      So happy you mentioned your Oxford mug – that brought back lots of memories. It was a very different time, and seems like absolutely ages ago. I am so grateful we got to go.

      Brett has always looked young for his age. He has some gray hair now, but few wrinkles. His grandfather lived into his 90s, and had black hair right up until the last few years. My dad also stayed youthful looking until the last few years of his life, but I unfortunately did not inherit those genes.


  7. Nice to read your updates. Hawaii is so far from Massachusetts!
    I read yesterday that Hawaii, based on science, medicine and smart guesses(not stupidity, sarcasm and recklessness) would be one of the first states that could open up in the next couple of weeks. But it’s true, how do you plan around what tourists bring in? Because they will come! Testing is hugely important to make this a reality and keep the numbers from exploding while boosting Hawaii’s economy. Just my thoughts I guess.

    Here they say Vermont is not that far behind Hawaii but Massachusetts has had such an awful time with Covid19 and cross state traffic is so high……I wonder.

    I’ve been watching Ozark after abandoning it when it first came out. It is true what you hear about that show, it starts out slowish and then gets waaaay better!

    I am heading out to the bigger store tomorrow to stock up, it will only be the second time to a bigger store in about 6 weeks. I’m sure they will be out of things Im looking for but i am excited for some greater selection.
    Anon in mass


    1. Hawaii is far from everything! The islands are actually the most remote place on earth, if I remember correctly. It’s easy to forget about that when you’re here, but not when you think about how many hours it takes to get here, all of it over water. Which is why having visitors potentially bringing the virus here in any sort of numbers would be catastrophic – the infastructure to handle a major outbreak just doesn’t exist here.

      We didn’t intend to spend so much when we shopped the other day, but wanted enough to last through three weeks which translates into $$$. The only thing we will need between now and then will be milk and produce.

      I am adding “Ozark” to the watch list, and will remember that it has a slow start but builds to something better.


      1. I will actually re-phrase what I commented…… Ozark actually isn’t slow, thats probably not the right word. It actually starts out great but for some reason after a handful of episodes I couldn’t stay focused and felt maybe bored? But im I gladI returned to it. It’s not the best show you’ll ever watch but it is good. Im enjoying Jason Bateman in it too
        My shopping trip today was exhausting. Honestly people were very annoying!
        Anon in mass


      2. Thanks for the update!

        I used to love food shopping but these days, not so much. People here are always nice, but it’s such an effort now with the masks, sanitizing, etc.


  8. Laura, the Hawaiian attitude about Corona seems much the same as here in Alaska. The tourist business is important here as well, but it’s a likely bet that with tourists will come more cases of the virus. Our governor began opening things up again as of Friday- but it has been interesting to see that many businesses (like mine) seem to prefer to stick with curbside for now. And restaurants with takeout. The new regulations are just not feasible and clearly were developed by bureaucrats who have never worked in retail or food service. And many people think it’s too much too soon. Alaska had no new cases yesterday! But we know that won’t last.


    1. I think we will start seeing local businesses begin opening in the next couple of weeks, but nothing that will start drawing in the tourists – they will still be required to quarantine for two weeks and be monitored (until the end of May). The stay-at-home order here is being extended until the end of May as well but access to beaches will be less restricted – yeah! There is a standing order that if cases of the virus reach 500 on the islands that masks for everyone will be mandatory – currently they’re only mandatory to enter a public building or store.


  9. Oh I loved Shetland too! There are so many great shows to watch on Netflix. Every time I finish one, I think I will never find another show as good as the last. But I always do! I totally understand the waiting for items to come. Some things come right away and others take weeks. On the whole Amazon seems to be doing the best job in shipping. I feel very blessed where I live that we have no police monitoring our movements. I am able to get out early in the AM to ride my bike. Getting very hot here in AZ. during the day so we are inside in the AC. I too really need a haircut. I look like a shaggy dog…..stay well….


    1. We subscribed to Britbox this time because we fell in love with shows when we were in the UK, and also have Netflix (free through our phone plan), Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Disney+ (the last two are the girls’ accounts but we can access them). We didn’t even bother signing up for a cable plan.

      I am hoping the strong breezes we get here on the south side continue a little longer – we never had anything like this when we lived up in Kappa on the east side. Most days we don’t even have to turn on the ceiling fans. We’ll know for sure about mid-summer though – that’s when the trade winds die down and the humidity starts to climb.

      Brett has offered to trim my hair – NO!! I’m not that desperate! But getting my hair cut is what I am looking forward to most of all, but that it might not happen until June (sob).


  10. I’m loving your pics of sunsets and Kauai in general. The new normal was a struggle for me this week. I had a lovely Zoom gathering with a bunch of friends this weekend, and when we all started talking about our new reality, several of us were feeling pretty sad. But the group was cathartic, and I’m feeling better today. Of course, the sun coming out doesn’t hurt. 😊

    I’m reading a charming book, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. It’s very English and entertaining given my experience visiting my DD and her stories of living in England. She is (finally) off work for her maternity leave and seems to be doing well. Dryers are scarce and inefficient there, so she sent me a pic of all the baby clothes drying in the sun in prep for the big day. I’m still pretty sad about missing the visit, but overall, I’m focused on her health and gratitude for FaceTime. Delta said they’d refund my money, but I haven’t seen anything and their website refund tracker shows no sign of my ticket at all. So I guess I’ll join the queue tomorrow. Again. Sigh.

    Our governor “loosened” some of the lockdown rules this week – landscapers, nurseries, and big box closed areas (paint, gardening, etc) can open again. And there is great rejoicing over golf courses reopening – no carts and proper social distancing, but DH is a happy camper. He generally walks the course anyway. No word on builders and realtors, though, so we’re still in limbo on that front. For some reason, Monday still feels like the beginning of a week to me, which is odd since I have no concept of what day it is generally speaking. 😂


    1. Brett and I had gotten snippy with each other a few more times than usual this past week, and realized it’s because we’re no longer planning our days together, and doing all the other things we used to do when we were on the road. Neither of us still really has our bearings other than we’re glad to be here and don’t ever want to deal with winter again LOL.

      I’m surprised Delta has been unresponsive – hopefully just a glitch. They were wonderful for us. Aeromexico is another story though. Alaska would only give us credit but we can use it to get YaYu back to college, even if that doesn’t happen until early 2021 (I think 2020 is going to be a “gap year” for most college students).

      I only track the days now so that I know when a package might be arriving from Amazon! Once all our stuff is here, I’m not sure what I’ll do. I do have the Sunday post though – maybe this will become my beacon for what day it is.

      Glad your husband can get out to the golf course! Trails on the island have opened up and Brett is already busy planning to get out for a hike (with YaYu).


  11. Florida has so many essential businesses that nothing has really changed. Lot’s of traffic. Lot’s of people wear masks and a lot don’t. Over 30,000 have tested positive and over a 1,000 have died. Nursing homes are being hit very hard. We are a tourist state too and the worst area is South Florida where all the cruise ships came in. Like you, I don’t know how we can let tourists back in and stay healthy.
    My father usually has a crew cut and going without a haircut is driving him nuts. He keeps asking when they will open up.
    I have noticed some grocery prices are higher and there are shortages. Commissary had no hamburger, toilet paper, bounty and you could only buy one container of eggs. Hamburger at Publix was expensive at six to seven dollars for a little over a pound. Publix is still having sales and bogo items. The deli has been very good at providing hot meals and still offering sales like 10 piece shrimp dinner for $5.99 last week. I am waiting to see what happens in Georgia as they have opened everything as of Friday.
    Love the pictures at sunset. Stay safe.


    1. From everything I’ve read, Florida got into the game (Covid-19 protection and mitigation) very late, and are paying for it now. Essential businesses are one thing, but my goodness, beaches are being opened . . . and people are crowding onto them! Have you seen the video of where people traveled back to after a day on the beach spring break – the potential spread of the virus was more than one would think. Very scary.

      Ground beef was unavailable at Costco the other day, and at the grocery store it was nearly $7 per pound. Nope. Brett drove up to the little minimart near where we used to live and got some locally raised, grass-fed ground beef for around $5 pound. Everything here is expensive though.

      News is that beach restrictions will be relaxed soon so that locals can visit as long as social distancing is maintained. Currently surfers are the only ones who can use the beaches, but just to get in and out of the water. The stay-at-home order has been extended though until the end of May, and visitors and returnees to the island still have to be quarantined in their room/home for 14 days – can’t even go to the grocery store.

      I sure hope they figure it out, or a vaccination is available soon. I saw an article about it – 8 top universities and medical centers around the world are working on it now.

      Take care, Vivian!


  12. I quit buying yogurt and make it in my Instapot instead, using a reusable cloth strainer (I prefer Greek yogurt). So much cheaper! We also make rice in it. If you google 365 days of slow cooking and pressure cooking, you’ll find some great recipes to try . Trying new recipes appears to be the thing to do when you’re sheltering at home.


    1. I am very excited about making yogurt in the Instant Pot – I especially like lowfat vanilla yogurt and it’s very difficult to find here, at least at an affordable price. I also bought it specifically so we didn’t have to buy a rice cooker, so am excited to try that function as well. Most of all though I am excited to make Indian food in it, especially butter chicken! I’ve already ordered the spices I need. Thanks for letting me know where to find recipes!!


  13. I’m a fan of Shetland too. Though I often have to turn the subtitles on. What on earth are they saying?

    Beautiful sunsets! Perfect for mindless gazing and daydreaming with a gin and tonic.

    Australians are big on drying clothes on the line. We even invented the Hills Hoist. They use to be massive steel things that kids swung around on. Until they turned into lightweight aluminium affairs. Of course with more blocks of apartments, more dryers are being used. But I have family and friends won’t don’t own a dryer. Ours is 24 years old – bought when I had my second and we lived for a year in a tropical area. It rained all the time so the cloth nappies never dried. Now we only use it to finish off things on winter or if it has been raining for a while. I prefer towels to be line dried – they are crisper and I feel they absorb more. Also like the disinfectant quality of sun light.


    1. We cannot watch Shetland without close captioning because we cannot understand the accent.

      I can’t believe how quickly we became judgementat about the sunsets – a couple of glorious ones and suddenly the good ones aren’t good enough any more LOL. No sunsets today – it’s been rainy, cloudy and windy all day. We had planned to go out for a walk but are too afraid now of getting soaked.

      I prefer most things sundried, although a few I like to run through the dryer at the end, just to get rid of the last few wrinkles. I agree about towels: more absorbent, and disinfected by the sunlight. And, I love the way clothes dried in the sun smell – so fresh! All we need now is some sunlight again!

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  14. As far as when tourists will return, I can tell you it’s going to be a long time before I feel comfortable enough to fly again, but some people aren’t as afraid as I am, so I bet as soon as Hawaii starts opening up, people will return. As you said, that will bring more cases, and I don’t see how taking their temperatures proves much because they could be asymptomatic or they could develop a fever 2 hours later, etc.

    Funny you mentioned a drying rack because I just bought one from Amazon. I haven’t put it together yet but it looks sturdy.

    It sounds like there are more restrictions there than there are here (in the epicenter NY/NJ area). I see people defying orders all the time and there is no enforcement, so I’m surprised to hear the police there chased you off the beach!

    The books Midnight at Chernobyl and Secondhand sound interesting so I will have to check those out. I am currently reading The Book of Ichigo Ichie: The Art of Making the Most of Every Moment, the Japanese Way. I’m not far enough through it to give a review, but it’s interesting so far.

    I’ve been thinking of getting an Instant Pot forever but I keep putting it off because I don’t want to add more kitchen gadgets, but this one seems like it’s a worthwhile purchase.

    Brett does not look 70 at all!


    1. There are still visitors coming to the islands, although Kaua’i has not had any for days. My guess is that these visitors own a condo or other property, and are coming for a month or so, and can easily quarantine themselves. No one is coming to stay in hotels as far as I can tell.

      We’ve had fun so far with the Instant Pot – YaYu made rice in it yesterday – easy peasy and fast. We’re going to try rice pudding tomorrow and I want to give yogurt a try this weekend.

      I am adding The Book of Ichigo Ichie to my reading list. “Ichigo” means strawberry in Japanese – I am curious about what the term means.

      Brett doesn’t look 70, and mostly doesn’t act like he’s that old either. But he is slowing down (a little bit). We’re both getting lazier, I think.


      1. Are hotels open there?

        You’ve convinced me to get an Instant Pot. I’ve never heard a negative thing about them.

        Ichigo Ichie basically means to be present in the moment and embrace the impermanence of life, according to the book. Very appropriate for these weird times we are living in. Odd that Ichigo means strawberry though, lol.

        I think everyone is feeling lazy these days since there aren’t a lot of places to go or things to do. The governor here announced he is reopening parks and golf courses. I think it may be too soon, but we will see.


      2. I think most hotels are closed here. I know the Grand Hyatt is – our landlord is the operations manager there, and there’s only a skeleton staff currently overseeing the property. They were going to try and reopen on May 20, but the stay at home order has now been extended until the end of May so they may stay closed until then. I’m not sure about other hotels, but there are been less than 20 visitors to the island since the quarantine was enacted, not enough to keep hotels open.

        I looked up “ichigo ichie” – not strawberry, but a Japanese proverb that means “once in a lifetime” (it doesn’t translate well). Basically, it seems to express the idea that every meeting and experience will be different and unique, even if the same people are present, and they should be experienced to the fullest. It fits in with my life’s motto that “Everything changes,” or as the I Ching says, “You never jump into the same river twice. You’re not the same person, and it’s not the same river.” I am looking forward to reading the book!

        I am looking forward to the restrictions on beaches being relaxed. Apparently you still cannot go to sunbathe, but you can use them for exercise. The final clarification isn’t out yet though.


  15. Love your blog and thankful you all are back home safe. I have just gotten my Instant Pot up and running and found a great and easy mushroom risotto recipe on All Recipes which was really good.


    1. I am going to look for the recipe – YaYu just announced that she now likes mushrooms. We are loving our Instant Pot – we made rice pudding today and it was delicious (and so easy).


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