Sunday Morning 6/7/2020: A Surreal Week

There were no pretty sunsets this week . . . except for Tuesday’s, which was a showstopper.

I wasn’t sure I was even going to write the Sunday post this week. I wrote two posts last week, but in light of what’s been happening back on the mainland, they both seemed very insignificant and unworthy compared to the bigger picture so I let them go. I re-published a former post instead, just to put something up, but my heart wasn’t much into doing that either. I apologize.

The best word to describe how this past week has felt for us is surreal. Here we are, out in the middle of the ocean, enjoying beautiful weather (most of the time), going to the beach, shopping at the farmers market, and so forth while over on the mainland what feels like a battle for the soul of our country is being waged. We have all been following closely what’s been happening and it’s frankly been shocking and discouraging at times – how did we ever let things go for so long to get to this? But, we’ve felt hope too, that the bandage has finally been ripped off and people are now seeing a very ugly wound that’s been festering for too long. Change is in the air, but whether it can overcome what exists now still remains a question. So much work needs to be done, and the rot is deep.

Hundreds showed up for the Kaua’i #BLM protest in Lihue yesterday – they stretched for a long distance up and down Rice Street. Brett said many were from churches around the island (photo credit: Hawaii News Now).

YaYu is a rock – she has researched and written to her friends and others of ways to get involved and contribute, even if they are stuck inside or living in the middle of nowhere. She and Brett made posters and participated in yesterday’s #BLM protest in Lihue. We’ve been having some good discussions these past few days about racism and of ways we can all go forward, do better, and change. We are not giving up – we love our country, and refuse to allow authoritarianism, violence, and hatred to gain an even greater foothold than they already have.

This morning I am:

  • Reading: I finished American Dirt and am about half-way through The Prisoner of Azkaban. There is a lot of controversy surrounding American Dirt, and I understand the reasons for the complaints and empathize with them, but it was still a good read. I am greatly looking forward to getting my copy of The Daughters of Erietown, by Connie Shultz, on Tuesday (the book’s release day), and I just started Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, by Bryan Stevenson. I am also near the top of the waitlist for another couple of books I’ve had on hold at the library.
  • Listening to: So far this morning has been a super quiet – Brett is reading, YaYu is still sleeping, and instead of the strong winds we’ve had the past couple of days noisily blowing everything around outside, there’s just a quiet breeze. It’s rained recently, and the sky is overcast, so it may be mostly an indoor day. One rooster just started up, but otherwise, it’s very peaceful – my favorite kind of morning.
  • Watching: Brett and I are now in the middle of Line of Duty (Season 3 out of five), and YaYu and I started watching Dead to Me this past week. I have already watched the first season but have forgotten a lot of it, and I’m looking forward to the new season that’s now available. I think all three of us have decided to watch Ozark when we’re done with our current shows.
  • Cooking: We’re continuing to use what we have on hand this week as other than a trip to the farmers’ market, we’re not going food shopping until the week after next. YaYu is making pork and vegetable fried rice for our dinner tonight, and other things we plan to have this week are another Mississippi pot roast; leftover open-faced pot roast sandwiches along with coleslaw; zucchini frittata and Italian sausages; tuna melts (that didn’t get made last week) with crudités; and one-pan pasta. This past Thursday I baked a loaf of zucchini bread; we’ll finish that tonight and then I’m going to make a chocolate-orange poke cake. We’ve all gotten very good about only having one small piece of cake/bread after dinner for a daily sweets fix.

The surf was pounding at Brenneke this week, but there were still plenty of daring boogie boarders and body surfers. We also spotted several turtles again, totally unfazed by the pounding waves.

  • Happy I accomplished this past week: We kept busy this past week in spite of hot and humid weather on some days and rainy, windy weather on others. I filled in everything on my daily activity card, including walking 2 to 2.5 miles on six days. We made it to the beach twice, including an afternoon out at Barking Sands last Sunday afternoon.
    The beach at the Barking Sands base, looking out to the island of Niihau, was practically deserted, as usual.
  • Looking forward to next week: I have an appointment with my new doctor tomorrow and hope to get some ideas for dealing with my recurring stomach issues. My new glasses should be ready this week as well. We’re looking forward to more good walks and hopefully two trips to the beach (at least).

The views from the eastside beach path never disappoint.

  • Thinking of good things that happened: Our storage items were picked up from Joan’s basement last Tuesday and are on their way over to Hawaii, with a timeframe of four to six weeks before delivery. The invoice also arrived and the final cost is nearly $2000 less than the original estimate! Hallelujah!! We had two great trips to the beach this past week, and the beach on the base at Barking Sands was as beautiful as ever – we plan to go back soon as it’s only a 30-minute drive away now (versus well over an hour like it was previously). We also discovered a new (to us) walking path in Kalaheo, around the Kukuiolono Park and Golf Course. WenYu’s graduation package had been lost but was found and delivered on Friday. Our living room rug arrived on Friday as well and once in place pulled everything in the room together.
    The rug was a better fit than we expected! It’s much bluer than it appears in this photo.
    The view out to Poipu (in the distance) from the Kukuiolono golf course walk. Our place about halfway between Poipu and the houses in the foreground.
  • Thinking of frugal things we did: We had a spend-free week except for last Wednesday when I bought a new pair of slippers to replace the ones I wore out, we all got new cloth masks (our paper ones ran out), and we went to the farmers’ market. I was happy to see that the price of OluKai slippers hadn’t changed from when I bought my last pair four years ago. I still need to get a cheap pair of Locals slippers next time we’re at Walmart (to wear to the beach), but otherwise, both Brett and I are now set for footwear for the next several years. We put $2 into the change/$1 bill jar, and I earned 751 Swagbucks (from taking several high-point surveys).
  • Grateful for: We are beyond grateful that the cost of getting our stuff back over to Hawaii will be no more than what we paid sending it over to Portland in 2018. The original estimate scared us to death because it would have pushed us beyond our relocation savings. That account is now nearly empty, but that’s what it was there for.
  • Bonus question: What’s personally been the hardest part of settling back on Kaua’i? Honestly, we’ve had a very easy time of physically getting settled here, and with the arrival of our things from the mainland, we’ll be set. It’s been annoying at times not having our stuff, but we’ve managed – Brett and I learned a lot during our time on the road about improvising when things we needed were not available. The most difficult part of settling back here for me has been coming to terms with knowing we’re not going anywhere for the next couple of years. I’m definitely still not to the acceptance stage with that. I have a huge desire to continue to travel, and desperately want to see the grandkids again, but for the time being, I am going to have to be content with just dreaming and planning, and enjoying being on Kaua’i again. If I can’t go anywhere, this is a pretty nice place to be.

As much as we are enjoying having YaYu with us this summer, I did have to talk with her this past week about the number of clothes she has been putting into the wash each day – on Wednesday, I washed and hung up 24 pieces of clothing, and 18 of them were hers (I had just washed everything two days earlier)! Most laundry days have similar ratios of her clothes to ours. She seems to change her clothes two to three times a day, and I asked her to see if there were some things she could wear a couple of days in a row (like her nightwear and some of her exercise things). We have a small washer now, and a small drying rack, so I’m hoping she’ll help out a little more, at least by not creating so much that needs to be washed. I used to only have to do laundry once a week; these days I’ve been doing a load almost daily because the pile grows so quickly and I need to make sure I have enough room on the rack for everything. We do have a dryer, but I prefer line drying here.

Above are a few more hibiscus pictures from when we’ve been out and about. The one unfurling was located beside the beach path, and was very pale pink with slightly darker pink edges – I snapped a picture because I knew it would be gone by the time we got back. The pink changing to yellow on the outer petal is one we have seen before, but the one above was perhaps more stunning and very big. I have been reading about all the different colors and varieties of hibiscus this past week. They are a big thing in Florida and there are some amazing variations that have been created.

That’s a wrap! I hope it was a good if not a great week for all of you, with lots of good things happening in your lives, lots of things accomplished, good books to read, and things to look forward to this coming week. Have things opened up where you live? It’s still going slowly here, and masks for everyone remain de rigueur.

20 thoughts on “Sunday Morning 6/7/2020: A Surreal Week

  1. Don’t know what’s scarier – Trump or that people vote for him!

    We have a Mr Washalot in the house too. I do not do their washing. Sometimes I ask if they have something to throw in my load – if it isn’t full – but I stopped doing their washing years ago. Mr Washalot is finally learning that washing wears out clothes, it’s not wearing them that wears them out. And it is learning the benefit of airing.

    Love the pink double. It’s almost like a camellia. You are in an amazingly beautiful place.

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    1. I don’t mind doing the laundry, but it was getting out of hand, the number of items she was wearing once and then throwing into the pile. I’ve noticed she’s been wearing her nightwear a few days in a row now, so that’s a start. The exercise stuff I get as she perspires (she both runs and then does a workout daily), but the other things she can mostly wear at least a couple of days.

      I continue to feel like I’ve seen all the hibiscus varieties but they keep showing up. I’m going to have to find something else eventually – orchids maybe?

      I don’t claim to understand Trump voters, but the ones who continue to support him confound me. What do they see? What’s so appealing in him as a leader?

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  2. I’m a long time lurker coming out to comment that your lovely photos of the various hibiscuses remind me of your photos of the numerous Japanese KitKat flavors. So. Many. Varieties!

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    1. Haha – I never thought of it this way! We had so much fun hunting for KitKats, and this is the same – I’m always looking for a new variety.

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  3. What a week! Surreal is a good word. I will say I’m very encouraged by the young people (like YaYu) that are taking this on and determined to change things. One of my DD lives in Chicago, and we chat about the line between activism and avoiding Covid. It’s a crazy time. Bringing the armed forces into our cities is just chilling, and I’m so glad to see military leaders speaking out against it.

    Between the national news and the house sale, I’m having a hard time concentrating on reading. We had some documentation problems with our sale (not our mistake, but we caught them!) and the buyer had to move the close from Friday to this coming week. Honestly, we are both fit to be tied. But I keep packing, taking things to Goodwill and trying to remain calm. And reading something “fluffy” at 3AM that puts me back to sleep on the craziest days.

    Meanwhile, DD in the UK tells me they have opened the schools, but only about 40% of parents are willing to send their kids back. And they now plan to open everything June 15, but they don’t really have much in the way of precautions in place. They announced that incoming folks must self isolate/quarantine for 14 days starting tomorrow (June 8), but they haven’t been doing that according to DD, so it sounds a bit like closing the barn door after the horses have escaped. It’s not sounding like a place either of us thinks I should go right now, sadly, but we continue to monitor it and hope.

    Our restaurants are opening (for indoor dining) at partial capacity tomorrow. People are out and about again, with masks and social distancing required. Most people seem to be complying. But the best news is the salons can open on June 15 and my scheduled appointment is the next day. SO EXCITED! I look like The Shaggy Dog. 😂

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    1. I am also encouraged by all the people getting out each day (although also concerned about what it means for the future spread of the coronavirus). I agree too that the thought of U.S. military being placed in cities around the U.S. is chilling, although I think we’ve already seen troops of unknown provenence in Washinton D.C. (no badges, no names, etc.). Anyway, it feels like people have had enough, both of out-of-control police and Trump’s tactics – the protests feel like a combination of both. The numbers of protestors are impressive.

      YaYu just heard this morning that her college will be opening in September, but that they will be skipping fall break and the term will end before Thanksgiving. Of course that could all change if the virus spikes again, but for now she’s very happy, and we’re happy for her. Living here with us has been very boring for her – there’s nothing for her to do here. We have lots of Alaska credit so will be able to get her there and back.

      My haircut is scheduled for the 17th – I CAN’T WAIT!!! I don’t even know what I look like any more, although I believe a shaggy dog’s locks look better than mine currently do.

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  4. We are rather isolated from the surreal events of the last week here in Alaska as well – although not missing the racist behaviors. All our matches and vigils have been peaceful thus far.
    Our governor opened up the state for “business as usual” Memorial Day weekend and our beautiful coastal town has been packed with visitors ever since. We are now the hotspot for COVID in the state. Many small businesses ( like mine) are requiring masks and precautions but there’s a lot of socializing going on at the beach and parks without masks or distancing. It’s very frustrating to feel like the sacrificial lamb for everyone else’s fun. Encourage your Hawaiian leaders to learn from Alaska’s (bad) example.

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    1. We are still not seeing visitors here – the numbers are posted by the state every day and the majority are going to Oahu. I think there may be one flight a week, maybe two, coming to Kaua’i, and visitors still can’t rent a car and must be quarantined for 14 days. Masks are worn by everyone here too – the only place we don’t see them is when we’re out walking, but there’s lots of social distancing going on in that environment. Locals get together in groups at the beach, and although all people in a group are required to be from the same household I don’t think that’s being enforced. There have been no active cases on Kaua’i though for weeks.

      The governor here has had no problem shutting things down – he extended the quarantine the minute new cases showed back up on the islands. I imagine though those cases are from residents who traveled to the mainland and brought it back.

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  5. My wife and I began watching Ozark quite a while back. I don’t recall if she made it through season one. I made it through season two and Thursday night I started up again. I’m now at episode six season three.

    I remember when Jason Bateman’s sister Justine played Mallory on Family Ties, all the boys loved her, soon thereafter I saw Jason in something and I was meh. He has eclipsed her career big time. I don’t know if she acts anymore, but Jason’s talents both in front of and behind the camera are to be commended, he is talented

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    1. You are the second person to write that Ozark starts off kind of slow but then really gets going. We’re looking forward to it, although it will be a couple more weeks before we start.

      Agree completely about Jason Bateman!

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  6. You are right. The events of the past few weeks have been sad and difficult. It is heartening to see more unity however.

    Great news about your shipment! I know you are looking forward to getting your things from storage.

    I fount Just Mercy to be very enlightening although sad due to the inequities in the justice system in many parts of our country—and probably in far more than I can begin to imagine.The book is a compelling read. I look forward to your thoughts once you read it.

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    1. I am impressed by the number of people going out and sustaining the demonstrations, and keeping them peaceful. I think the big game changer this time is the advent of phone camera’s – almost nothing can be denied any more and people are beginning to see the truth of what blacks and other minorities have been telling us for a long time.

      I’m just a few chapters in and Just Mercy is already an emotional read for me. I consider myself well-read and someone who pays attention, but what I know is barely the tip of the iceberg. One of the best recommendations I’ve read recently is for those of us who have not had to deal with the justice system or racism (police, courts, jail, etc.) to read more about the experiences of those who have. Also to read more by Black authors, both fiction and non-fiction. So that’s what I’m trying to do.

      I can’t begin to tell you how much we’re looking forward to getting our things. I’m especially excited about getting our kitchen items, like the cookware and utensils.

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  7. We have had a lot of protests here, covid 19 is spreading with almost 64,000 cases and the protesters are not wearing masks or social distancing. What disturbs me most is that two of the families on my road have big vote Trump signs on their gates. How can anyone in their right mind support the idiot.
    Sorry I needed to vent!

    On a high note, I loved the pictures at the beach. It must be extremely calming to have that kind of a view and being able to hear the waves crashing on shore, Your living room looks great too. The new carpet makes a huge difference.

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    1. While I am encouraged by the demonstrations, I’m also scared about what they mean for the spread of the virus. I’m glad to see so many of the demonstrators wearing masks, especially since I recently read that it’s much more difficult for the virus to spread outside versus indoors.

      I don’t get the continued support for Trump either, at least not at the numbers polls seem to show. I personally know a few people who support him – two are evangelical Christian – and they excuse everything. That is especially baffling to me.

      We love getting to the beach – I can sit and stare out at the ocean for ages. We’re currently experiencing less than ideal beach weather though – hopefully that will improve as the week goes along.

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  8. I live in North Alabama and it seems like everyone is trying to stick their head in the sand about the coronavirus still being an issue. Our restaurants are supposed to be at half capacity, but the parking lots are overflowing?! Only about half the people in stores are wearing masks anymore, including workers. So it’s no surprise that our numbers are climbing faster than they were at the start of the quarantine. I feel like I am being a tattletale even telling you this, but it is just so bizarre….I love seeing your Hawaii pictures every week. They bring me so much happiness:)

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    1. I don’t get it either. I think many people are going to be shocked when the virus reappears and spreads, maybe even faster and in greater numbers than the third wave. That’s what I’ve been reading from scientists and doctors anyway. Arizona is now near ICU capacity in many cities, with no end in sight. The sad thing is that there will be no putting the genie back in the bottle with this – there will be no lockdown the next time, or at least no mandatory lockdowns. I am grateful to be here on Hawaii – no one likes the quarantines or the closures, but people here seem to get it. Everyone wears a mask, everywhere, and social distancing is still practiced in most places. The governor is unafraid to close things down too or maintain the quarantine.

      I told Brett once that people must think I’m a tourist because I’m always snapping pictures with my phone, but I like having pictures to use in the blog. I feel very blessed to live again in such a beautiful (and photogenic) place!

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  9. It’s been a hard few weeks for sure. The kids our old enough to ask lots of difficult questions, and just express a complete lack of understanding about how/why racism is so prevalent in the US. Growing up, I thought we were well beyond this point of racial equality. I feel we’ve moved back tremendously, which is really awful to contemplate.

    We continue to get things done around the house (two more closets now have adjustable shelving, and we are reorganizing & cleaning as we go). We had a huge yard work project done, and it looks amazing. We have a tree trimmer coming today. In a few weeks, we’ll have trim done inside of the house. It was always really hard to arrange for all of this, with our previous schedules. So, chalking this up to one of the advantages of quarantine.

    We are heading to the Oregon coast on Friday, and really looking forward to the change of scenery.

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    1. I thought we had moved beyond the racism as well but it just was buried and/or hidden. The election of Trump was the equivalent of turning over the rock for me, letting out and letting us see ALL of the ugliness that was hidden. It is awful to contemplate.

      We’ve used the quarantine and our dwindling savings to pull our tiny apartment together and get resettled, and have one final leap to go once our stuff arrives from the mainland. I keep remembering things and often have to wonder where we’re going to put them. Thankfully this apartment has a LOT of storage, but I still wonder if everything will fit.

      Envy your trip to the coast – so happy we got to experience it again last summer.

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