What a week we’ve had, weather wise, that is. We had several storms pass through with strong winds, lots of rain, and cooler than normal temperatures. It was raining again just a few minutes ago. When I woke up on Thursday I was hard pressed to know I was in Hawaii . . . in July . . . because it was raining so hard, and the winds were so strong. Blue skies eventually showed up, but it didn’t get a whole lot warmer throughout the day. This was not a week for going to the beach or trying to set up an umbrella! The cooler temperatures have actually been a blessing in some ways though, especially making our walks in the late afternoon much more pleasant because there’s always a good breeze up at Kukuiolono. Sunsets this week have been hit or miss, but we enjoyed a few good ones.
We got a full refund of our Aeromexico tickets this past week from our bank! I’m so glad we stuck with it and didn’t give in to Aeromexico’s stubbornness and refusal to refund. In the end we got our money returned for all of our flights except for the ones we had on Alaska. I’m glad we took credits for those flights because it looks to be enough to cover YaYu’s roundtrip trip to Pennsylvania in late August and her return home for Thanksgiving! She is definitely going back to school – Brett attended a webinar hosted by the college this past week and we are satisfied with all the precautions the college is putting into place to keep students safe. We are still waiting on the bill for the fall term though – that should come through this week – and news of her dorm assignment.
We are now considered “regulars” at Kukuiolono, and we chat and joke almost every day with other regular walkers (and everyone we pass exchanges a greeting). A couple of weeks ago we got to talking with one woman that we see every day, and somehow mentioned we had a big rosemary bush growing in our back yard. She said she loved to make focaccia with rosemary, so the next day we brought her a few sprigs from the bush. A couple of days after that she brought us a beautiful loaf of rosemary focaccia! We had also talked about mask wearing one day with her, and had mentioned we were going to buy a few more, especially for YaYu to take back to school, and this week she gave us four masks she had made for us – two for YaYu, one for Brett, and one for me. Over and over people here have reached out to us, and made it easy for us to connect and share as well. When I think I couldn’t love Kaua’i more, all I have to do is think about the aloha here, and how freely it is given, and my love for this place grows even more.
This morning I am:
- Reading: I am still waiting on books to come off of hold at the library, so in the meantime I’m reading the fourth book in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I finished Citizens of London this past week, as well as the last book in the Inspector Morse series, The Remorseful Day (and got a little weepy at the end). I’m genuinely sad that series is over, but grateful for the advice I got when we were in Oxford to reread the entire Morse books again – so many things made more sense this time, and I could picture locations and other settings as I read.
- Listening to: It’s quiet inside (Brett is reading, YaYu is still sleeping), but the wind is fairly strong outside, and I can hear water dripping from the recent rain. Lots of blue sky is peeping out here and there so we’ll just wait and see what happens.
- Watching: We started the third season of Ozark last night – what a wild ride it’s turning out to be!
- Cooking/baking: Lots of cooking going on this week! Dinner tonight will be chili pork sauce served over rice, and other dinners this week will be chicken risotto; chicken adobo with bok choy; CookDo mabo dofu; Snake Alley noodles; a Mississippi pot roast: and French dip sandwiches with the leftover roast. The Instant Pot is going to be getting a workout! I made a small peach upside down cake yesterday, and after we finish that in a few more days I’ll make a chocolate-raspberry poke cake topped with white chocolate ganache. We have discovered that a 1/24 piece of a 9″ x 13″ cake after dinner each evening is enough sweet for the day and doesn’t provide too many calories.
- Happy I accomplished this past week: I walked six days this week (Brett walked seven) because I took Friday off. I intend to make this schedule a pattern: walk five days, rest one, walk five, rest one, etc. Otherwise, all we’ve accomplished are the usual chores and tasks around here.
- Looking forward to next week: Our stored items have arrived on Kaua’i and will be delivered this coming Friday afternoon! It will be a mess for a while while we get things sorted and put away, but we are looking forward to it. We’re hoping for better weather next week so we can get to the beach at least once before Friday.
Our yard is blooming!
- Thinking of good things that happened: Getting those airplane tickets refunded was the best thing that happened all week. It had been a frustrating issue to deal with, so I’m very happy it’s finally been resolved. It was also such good news to get an actual date and time for the delivery of our stuff. Our yard got its “haircut” this past week and is looking lovely (as always) – we’re especially enjoying all the flowers in bloom right now. I’m actually very thankful for all the rain we got last week – it keeps everything green and lush, not only in our yard, but everywhere else around here. The winds, although noisy, have kept the apartment cool as well.
- Thinking of frugal things we did: The ticket refund covered nearly half of the cost of my new computer, so the timing actually worked out well. My old computer was sent back this past week, so fingers are crossed I get something back for it, although at this point I doubt I will get what was originally offered. Other than the farmers’ market, a trip to Costco for another flat of peaches, and a regularly budgeted food shop yesterday we had a no spend week, and we put $9.83 into the change/$1 bill jar. I earned 651 Swagbucks this past week.
- Grateful for: I am very thankful that giving up Diet Coke has gone easier than I imagined. I honestly haven’t missed it at all, which was a huge surprise for me as I had been anticipating some serious withdrawal pangs. One evening this past week I did a Swagbucks survey that was all about Diet Coke – I was a bit afraid when it started that I might start craving the stuff, but it ended up having no effect at all (and I earned 75 Swagbucks).
- Bonus question: What are the top five things you had in the past that you think your kids would not understand at all? YaYu is someone who has grown up with technology and could probably program the space shuttle back to earth on her phone, so it wasn’t too hard to come up with a list of things that would make no sense to her. My top five were 1) The Princess phone, with its illuminated dial. It was the iPhoneX of its time. 2) Train cases. 3) White go-go boots. 4) The technological marvel that was the IBM Selectric typewriter, and 5) The Lawrence Welk show (there is no way to explain this one). Brett and I were laughing so hard while we talked about all these things, and YaYu was confused and skeptical that such items/shows were popular or desirable. Other things we came up with that were a “thing” in the past were Spalding saddle shoes as a fashion statement, Wang computers, floppy disks, skate keys, and Gilbert chemistry sets that had real and sometimes dangerous chemicals. We decided not to get into all the ins and outs of TV watching back in the day including getting up to change the channel, having only three stations, B&W versus color, etc., all of which are completely unimaginable for her.
So far things have been going well with the lifestyle changes I’ve made and my new eating plan – it hasn’t been too difficult to stick to 1200 calories a day, and I haven’t had to resort to special foods or dishes. It’s all just been a question of eating less, using the MyFitnessPal food diary to keep track of things, and walking five to six days a week. Is it making a difference and have I lost any weight? Who knows? Our scale is coming in our shipment and so maybe next week I’ll have a better idea if weight loss is one of the things I’m accomplishing. The most difficult part of all of this has been living on one cup of half-caff coffee a day. I thankfully haven’t had to deal with headaches, but I do feel like I have less pep than I did before. I am sleeping better though, so that’s been a positive change, if nothing else. Brett has pretty much given up coffee as well. It has taken him a little longer to get adjusted, but he’s living with one cup of half-caff as well.
That’s a wrap for this week! Here’s hoping it was a good one for all, that lots of good things happened for you, and that you’re looking forward to the week coming up!