Sunday Morning 6/21/2020: Father’s Day!

The last pretty sunset this past week was on Monday.

Here’s wishing all the dads, both those with us and those in our hearts, a happy Father’s Day! YaYu got up this morning and is baking two kinds of scones for Brett’s breakfast: cranberry-white chocolate and blueberry, and I’m fixing a special seafood dinner tonight of panko-crusted fish (a gift from our downstairs neighbor, who goes fishing every evening), jasmine rice, and coleslaw with miso dressing. YaYu and I are also baking him a triple chocolate cake topped with ganache. She and I went together on his gift: Two bottles of gin, Bombay Sapphire and Tanqueray Rangpur, and two four-packs of Fever-Tree elderflower tonic, which we found at a local market. Brett enjoyed it when we were in England, so this was a no-brainer once we had decided to give him gin. We were also going to give him a Day of Doing Nothing, but he was up ahead of both of us and already doing things. Meiling and WenYu sent him a box of fancy biscotti but unfortunately, it won’t arrive until next week.

Father’s Day libations! We now are pretty well set for G&Ts for the next several months.

This week started out with great promise and then sort of went downhill from there. We drove down to the Barking Sands base on Monday and enjoyed having the entire beach to ourselves for over two hours. Brett stopped at the exchange on the way in and purchased the beach chair of his dreams, complete with a side table for his drink and book, and all of us took long walks in the sand (did you know that walking in sand increases the calories burned by anywhere from 20% to 50%? I do now!). On Tuesday we woke to high winds and rain, both of which hung around for the rest of the week, most of the time anyway (Friday and Saturday were especially miserable, although it did clear enough in the afternoon for us to walk on Tuesday and Friday). The sunsets started off nicely but then turned fairly insipid as well. I have been having a tough time reconciling the weather we’ve been having with the fact that we’re approaching the end of June! Usually, by now it is hot, sunny, and humid, but it’s been unseasonably cool instead – great for sleeping, but less than ideal for going out.

YaYu has been out pounding the pavement this past week looking for a job, even if it’s only a for minimum wage. She is bored hanging out at home all the time, and would like to earn something this summer to contribute to her upcoming college expenses – that bill is coming up in a couple of weeks. She went to a job fair on Wednesday and then visited several other places on Thursday asking if they were hiring. Nothing has turned up so far, but there are jobs available and she plans to go out again this week.

This morning I am:

  • Reading: I’m still reading The Daughters of ErieTown, by Connie Schultz, although I’m almost finished. It’s very good, very well written, but not really my style. Citizens of London: The Americans Who Stood with Britain in Its Darkest, Finest Hour, by Lynne Olson, came off of hold at the library yesterday and was downloaded – I am eager to get started on it.
  • Listening to: Brett is rustling around in the kitchen making coffee, while YaYu is anxiously awaiting her turn to get in there to make scones. Since it’s not raining, there are lots of birds singing in the trees outside, but one noisy rooster is trying to get into the act as well. While we have woken up to wild winds the past few mornings, this morning’s gentle breeze through the trees this morning is a nice (and less noisy) change.
  • Watching: Same old, same old again this past week, but we finished Line of Duty and Dead to Me and started Ozark. We haven’t watched enough to have much of an opinion, but so far it’s got our attention.
  • Cooking: Fish dinner tonight, and then we’ll be having Snake Alley noodles (although we’re all having it with zoodles instead of pasta), California roll salad, Vietnamese-style salad rolls, chicken tacos, Instant Pot mushroom risotto, and beef Polish sausages with a three-bean salad during the rest of the week.

Things I saw on our walks this week.

  • Happy I accomplished last week: In spite of the not-very-good weather, we got in five days of good walks. I also finished up my first set of tracking cards, and got every day filled in – those five weeks went by quickly. My next five weeks’ set is ready to go!
  • Looking forward to next week: Hopefully, I will finally be getting my new glasses! I called this past week to see what was up, and was told “they didn’t pass the final inspection” but I think that really meant they forgot to send in the order – oops! Packages are due from Etsy as well – our seat cushions as well as some handmade pottery salad bowls I almost forgot I ordered, but I checked the tracking information and both are moving through the system very slowly. Fingers are crossed that we get another couple of beach days this coming week!
    K’s first harvest of green beans from her garden!
    M & C checking whose hair is longer. M hasn’t shaved or gotten his hair cut since he started working from home in February.
  • Thinking of good things that happened: I have short (very short) hair again and that is a very good thing! I did love wearing my hair longer and curlier earlier in the year, but it’s a style that does not work for me here (an understatement). We had a long video call with our son and family on Friday. Boy, have the grandkids grown in the last few months! K chatted right along with us in English too. She attends a nearby international school where she speaks English full time, and that has made all the difference. We miss them all terribly. I bought yet another Oxo hand-held spiralizer, our fourth, found on sale for a ridiculously low price at Macy’s. I thought our third one was the charm, but no, we left it in the cupboard back in Japan.
    This one is not leaving the apartment.
  • Thinking of frugal things we did: This was not a particularly frugal week. Not a crazy week, but we spent more than usual (haircut, spiralizer, beach chair, Father’s Day gifts). We put $10.74 into the change/$1 bill fund (recycling week). We didn’t throw away any food, and all the leftovers were eaten. I earned an additional 565 Swagbucks.
  • Grateful for: I’ve said it before, but I am continually grateful for the companionship and help of my partner-in-crime, best friend, and the love of my life, Brett. Beyond being thankful for his daily help at home, and his willingness to do many of the tasks that I dislike or don’t feel like doing, he has been and is a wonderful, loving, involved father with our children, rising above his own less than ideal upbringing. He has always made sure we have what we need, and has been the steady hand on the tiller through all the ups and downs we faced over the years. 
  • Bonus question: Do you have, or have you ever had a nickname? When I was very little I was called Laurie, but apparently, when I was three years old someone called me “Laurie” and I announced my name was Laura, not Laurie, and I’ve been Laura ever since, with two exceptions. One of my high school math teachers was a good friend of my mom (she was also a math teacher) – he had known me since I was little and still called me Laurie; I let it slide. My childhood next-door neighbor always called me “LR.” I was sort of afraid of her, so I let that one go as well. My older brother and sister had nicknames for me, but I don’t acknowledge either of those anymore. My brother’s nickname started out as a putdown and I’ve always disliked it, and I am no longer am close with my sister so that doesn’t get used either.

Kaua’i recorded its first active case of Covid-19 in nearly two months this past week. There has been an uptick in new cases in the state as inter-island travel has reopened, but almost everyone here continues to practice social distancing, mask-wearing, and so forth. A few more visitors seem to be coming to the islands these days as well, and we have seen a few people out and about without masks and assume they are visitors. Most venues however have someone there to remind people to wear a mask, places like stores or farmers’ markets. Fifty-seven percent of the households on Kaua’i now have someone who has lost a job because of the virus, and it is affecting the overall mental health of island residents, especially as businesses are only slowly reopening here, and the visitor quarantine has been extended until the end of July. Our upstairs neighbors returned from the mainland this past week and both are worried that they will soon be laid off permanently; both are already applying for jobs back on the mainland. They are currently under quarantine here, getting regular, but unscheduled visits from the police or National Guard to make sure they are staying home. As with many places, things are currently stuck between a rock and a hard place here. Open the state and there’s a high risk of a catastrophic infection rate, overwhelming the islands’ health care system. Stay closed and the state’s economy craters, maybe beyond ever reviving again.

Once again, that’s all for this week! I hope it was a good one for everyone, with good weather, good food, good books, and lots of good things happening. Happy Father’s Day as well to all who are celebrating today, and here’s to a good week coming up!


13 thoughts on “Sunday Morning 6/21/2020: Father’s Day!

  1. Love the parasite choking the palm tree!

    Father’s Day is in September here. When I was little, I was floored that countries had Mother’s Day and Father’s Day on different days – I thought it was like Christmas – it had to be be on the one day Imagine my shook when I found out Christmas Day is celebrated on different date by some! I had the view that the calendar was an act of nature and special days almost a natural law!

    Good luck to YaYu!


    1. We’re not sure if the schfflerra is a parasite or not. The palm seems to be healthy, and schfflera seeds just must have blown up there at some point and taken root. It’s really something to see.

      My birthday sometimes falls on Mother’s Day here, and when I was growing up, if that happened it was always Mother’s Day, and nothing more. Also, Children’s Day in Japan is May 5 – one year our son whined and asked me why we didn’t have Children’s Day in the U.S. My answer? Every day is Children’s Day in the U.S.!


  2. You probably will do better than me with Ozark, it is not a bad show by any means but I definitely need to return and keep watching.

    I hope Hawaii can keep things controlled…everywhere is opening as if the virus is gone. Nope! It’s not, we just need to be responsible and yes, still be faced with things we don’t want to do…But even here in hard hit Massachusetts you wouldn’t know it, people are just acting like it’s over.
    I dunno. I think I have lost faith in humanity…

    On another note, hopefully those that have found your left behind spiralizers, have been putting them to good use!


    1. We are liking Ozark so far, but it’s hard for me to follow. I always seem to look away or get up at the wrong place and miss some critical piece of the action. I hope we can stick with it – it is supposed to just get better and better.

      I also hope those spiralizers are getting some use by others. I cannot believe though that we left three of them behind!

      People here seem to be very upset that the new cases have arrived on Kaua’i. Hopefully it can be kept within the family and not spread, but who knows who family members interacted with before they learned they were infected as well.


  3. I’m glad you mentioned that spiralizer again. I keep meaning to try it and it slips my mind. I bought frizeb spiralized zucchini from Trader Joe’s and liked it ok, but fresh would be much better, I’m sure.

    Love the pics of the grands and your son. It’s SO hard not to see them, isn’t it? My DD sent me a news link the other day from the BBC re: a company that’s doing trials on a Covid test that might allow passengers to pay for the swab test upon arrival and if it’s negative, you can be released from the 14 day quarantine. My fingers are crossed! I would pay for that in a heartbeat.

    Meanwhile, we’re at the stage of moving where we have a hot mess in two houses. We rented a UHaul van and moved quite a few things that we wanted to handle ourselves and realized pretty quickly we’re not young anymore. 😂 But we gutted through it and now we’re left with sore muscles, a few bruises, and packing up the things we’ve hiring done. So by next week at this time, we should be out of this house and completely into the condo. We are both ready for this dance to end.


    1. The hand-held spiralizer is a nice simple tool, and gets the job done. We had zoodles for dinner tonight – I forgot how good they were. We spiralized 2 1/2 medium zucchini, microwaved for four minutes, and they were perfect.

      I do not envy you at this stage of the move, but it will soon be over. I am excited to get our storage items, and can’t wait for their arrival, but know it’s going to be a real mess as we work to get everything put away. I keep remembering things that went into the shipment and am wondering if there will be room for them. I don’t want to get too crowded here.

      My fingers are crossed for you that you get over to England sooner rather than later to see that sweet new baby!!


  4. Love the pictures of the grand kids.
    The doctor I took my father to see spoke admiringly of Hawaii and its lock down practices. We are currently adding over 4000 cases per day and just had a 17 year old who died. A lot of the new cases are people under the age of 40 and the Gov says we will not be shutting down again. Seems as though we are between a rock and hard place — get sick or run out of money to feed your family.
    My nickname is Vicki.


    1. Hawaii is prepared to stay shut down if they have to even though it will ruin the economy here. I have to admit though it’s nice here without all the tourists, but I know it comes with a price – people are really hurting.

      I had a friend whose name was Veronica, but always went by Vicky.

      I miss our grandkids so much. I dream of seeing them again every day.


  5. That is funny that M & C are comparing who has longer hair, yet you chopped yours off. Hubby is the family barber and stylist, so I have been getting my hair trimmed and my two teen boys, who are extremely picky about their hair, actually more than me, are getting their haircuts every three weeks. Hey they aren’t going anywhere, so hey, I am bored, the boys are due, give the boys their haircuts. I will sit and watch. So they are staying home, doing yard and garden chores, but not looking shaggy. Hubby does his own hair and trims his own beard, on his own schedule. I am definitely tired of the lockdown garbage, I invited two of my best friends to grill burgers and dogs, plus sip wine on the deck a couple weekends ago. The topic of the conversation turned to the hair shops being closed, and my best friend asked hubby to give her a trim, he does regularly on her mid back length hair. My other friend mentioned that she needed a haircut as it had been months since her last one, the bangs in her eyes and the mullet thing on her neck was bugging her big time. She was concerned about whether he could cut short hair, it is harder than trimming long hair. I mentioned that hubby gives my boys their haircuts, and she said they look really good, cut mine. He got his bag of barber tools, caped her and put a neck strip on her as well. Her instructions were to cut her hair really short on the back and sides, leave it a couple inches longer on top. He asked her if she was ok with clippers and she said go for it, so he did using different attachments and then he took off the attachment and did clippers over the comb cutting on the top and to blend it with the sides and back. He did the neck line with the peanut clippers. My son vacuumed up the pile of hair, and hubby took off the cape so she could feel her hair. She commented that it felt so good with all that hair gone. She inspected her hair in the mirror and gave two thumbs up. It would definitely tide her over until her salon opens in a couple weeks. I really needed that social time with friends as a break. They both felt getting a haircut was definitely a great feeling to boast their self image. No wonky quarantine haircut disaster. I know it is going to be a long summer until my boys get back to school. We went swimming at the lake and did some fishing. The outdoors is definitely a great return to sanity check. I am still working from home, and I am definitely looking forward to getting back and seeing my coworkers. I have had enough of the home working on the computer experience.


    1. My haircut last week felt so good – I love having it so short again. You are so fortunate to have such a skilled husband -I wouldn’t let Brett come within 50 feet of me with a pair of clippers (or scissors). My son’s hair is starting to curl again because of the length- he got my very curl hair but usually keeps it quite short.

      I’m happy with the little bit of normal we have retuned to for now, but I understand completely yours and other’s desire to get out of the house and back to the workplace.


      1. You are not the only one who feels that way about their husband touching their hair. Hubby told my best friend that he could show her husband how to trim her hair and she gave a definite no! She said she would not trust him to put her hair in a ponytail and not mess it up, shears, no way! Hubby has given each of my boys over 100 haircuts each, he has been doing them since they were quite young, and other parents at school have asked where I take the boys for their haircuts as the barbershops nearby do not do very good work. They asked if he would give their boys haircuts. I don’t volunteer him. My short haired friend posted pictures on Facebook the next day and got compliments, her stylist commented that she really liked the haircut, but was surprised that she would cheat on her, and hoped that she would be back when she reopened. She assured her that she would definitely be back. So I would agree with you that he has a knack for cutting hair, my friend certainly did not feel she received a wonky quarantine haircut disaster, she told him he should open a shop, but he has no interest in doing that. I figure that him doing our home haircuts saves me over $1500 a year, no small change and I am ok with him giving haircuts to my friends that ask, I just don’t want strangers showing up at the house.

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