Sunday Morning 7/26/2020: Waiting for Douglas

Just one glowing sunset this past week, and it was gorgeous!

Good morning!

Douglas is now a Category 1 hurricane and is still on a direct path to Hawaii. From the way things look outside this morning though you’d never guess there was a hurricane coming. However, as of 11:00 p.m. HST last night we’ve been under a hurricane warning. Kaua’i is not expected to get hit until late this evening but for now it’s sunny, cool, and breezy. This morning’s sunshine was quite a surprise as yesterday was miserable with lots of wind and rain all day, and last week we endured more clouds, rain, and wind, with temperatures moving between cool and very hot and very humid. We were able to get out and walk most days, although we barely made it out of the park last Wednesday without getting soaked. Anyway, we’re prepared for Douglas’s arrival: we have lots of bottled water, extra toilet paper, fuel for our butane camping stove, and a full gas tank in the car. All batteries on our phones and computers are fully charged, and our portable chargers are full as well. If we need to, we’ll fill our giant bathtub with water later today.

Friday, with Douglas two days away, was breezy, with intermittent squalls. It was also extremely humid moisture was pushed forward ahead of the storm’s arrival. We were thankful to be able to get out for a walk.
The “phony hurricane” arrived yesterday morning with heavy clouds and lots of rain. Winds started picking up at around 9:00 in the morning and continued throughout the day, although they were more gusty than sustained.
You’d never know from this morning’s weather that a hurricane is bearing down on Hawaii.
Douglas’s location this morning as of 8:00 a.m. HST. The full force of the storm should be over Kauai tonight and early tomorrow morning.

This past week started off with quite a few unknowns and a feeling of dread. I woke up in the middle of the night on Sunday feeling a bit scared because so many things seemed to be off and I didn’t know if they could or would be resolved. A box had indeed gone missing out of our shipment, one that contained among other things my recipe books, our two Japanese breadboards, all the bakeware, and an antique hand-painted Japanese banner that we used as a wall hanging (it was when the banner never appeared out of all the other boxes that we knew one hadn’t made it because we had definitely included the it in our shipment). Apple had had plenty of time to receive my old computer, but there had been no word from them, and no way to track whether they had received it or not. The chair pads I ordered back at the beginning of June were still missing and the last tracking update had been July 8. And on and on it went. However, I woke up on Monday determined to turn things around so I called the moving company first thing – they started the process to find the box (somewhere back on the mainland). On Tuesday I got an email from Apple saying that they had finished inspecting my old computer and I would be receiving the full credit I had been quoted, a miracle considering its condition. Although USPS tracking had said the chair cushions were still lost on Tuesday evening, they arrived out of the blue on Wednesday morning, right as I was getting ready to write the shop owner! Brett had all our pictures hung on by the end of the week. The only unknown now is the update on YaYu’s financial aid; hopefully that will show up this week (especially since the mistake was theirs, not ours).

In the meantime, our apartment is finally put together, and with the pictures hung and everything put away it feels like home. After living in a somewhat empty space for so long it almost seems like there’s a bit too much stuff again, but it’s also wonderful to have our things as we kept just the items that were truly important to us when we left Kaua’i two years ago. The only things we have left to do is to hang some sheer linen curtains in the living room and patiently wait to see if our lost box comes back to us – the antique Japanese banner is definitely missed, and will go on the wall behind the television if and when it shows up.

 

I have once again given up commenting on Blogger, for the time being anyway. I’ve tried again and again and everything I write disappears into the Internet ether, including choosing Anonymous and signing my name. I am not willing to install Chrome on this computer as it caused several problems on my old computer, and I don’t use my Google account as it links to all my personal email, etc. I’m going to keep trying to see if I can find a workaround, but it’s been very frustrating not being able to comment.

This morning I am:

  • Reading: I finished The Blossom and the Firefly last Wednesday. It turned out to be a work of young adult fiction, so was a quick read, but very enjoyable as it had been very well researched. The story was about young “special-attack” (kamikaze) pilots toward the end of WWII; the young girls that supported them by doing their cooking, cleaning, and waving them off on an attack day; and the relationship that formed between two of them. I am now reading The Vapors: A Southern Family, the New York Mob, and the Rise and Fall of Hot Springs, America’s Forgotten Capital of Vice, by David Hill. So far, so good – it’s very interesting, and all about a place I’ve heard of but never thought about much. I had no idea there was so much sin and iniquity going on there for so long.
  • Listening to: A couple of roosters are out this morning and doing their thing, but otherwise the only sound is the breeze blowing through the palm trees. Brett is puttering around in the kitchen fixing his breakfast, and YaYu is trying to sleep. As I said, it’s hard to know there’s a big storm bearing down.
  • Watching: Well, Ozark finished with a bang (literally), and we can’t wait for next season! Brett and I are now watching the most recent season of Father Brown and YaYu and I are watching Taste the Nation with Padma Lakshmi. That show is every bit as wonderful as we heard it would be. In the very first episode of Father Brown, in the very first few minutes, we spotted a clear shot of our Blockley cottage which of course flooded us with lots of happy memories, and we’ve seen it a time or two since. The filming for this season had taken place just a month before we arrived.
  • Cooking/baking: There will be lots of grilling going on this week once the storm passes. Tonight though we’re having fried rice, as it can be cooked on our butane stove if we lose power. Later this week we’ll have California roll salad; grilled lemon chicken and vegetable kabobs; barbecued ribs with three-bean salad; pasta with pesto, grilled Italian sausages, and roasted squash; and beef Polish sausages with coleslaw and macaroni and cheese for the sides. I’m making the carrot cake later this morning.
    The crazy weather this past week produced several beautiful rainbows!
  • Happy I accomplished this past week: For a week that seemed to start off on the wrong foot, we got a lot done. Besides calling the moving company and beginning the hunt for our missing box, I also contacted my doctor and got a referral for a mammogram and got that appointment scheduled, as well as an appointment with the dermatologist for a skin check. The earliest available dates for both of those appointments was in October! We found a place everything, got the last of the boxes and paper out of the apartment, and Brett got all the pictures hung. We walked five days this week in spite of some not-so-good weather, and got our food shopping done for the week.
  • Looking forward to next week: I’m hoping for a somewhat relaxing week after Douglas finally passes, especially since we have no special chores this week, and the apartment finally pulled together. All I want to do is get out in the afternoon and walk, go to the farmers’ market on Wednesday, hit the beach if possible, and read, read, read.
  • Thinking of good things that happened: The chair pads finally arriving was a highlight this week as their arrival was w-a-y overdue. According to the post office website, on Tuesday evening they were still lost somewhere, and I was planning to write the Etsy shop owner on Wednesday to let her know they had never arrived, but lo and behold, they showed up Wednesday morning! They are just what I hoped for and they look great. The much-desired blue dress that had been sold out last week was shortly back in stock in a couple of sizes, one of them mine, so that got ordered and is on its way. Our landlord came and installed a new screen door in front – the old one was on its last legs and sometimes refused to open or shut (plus it had a lot of holes). 
  • Thinking of frugal things we did: The credit from Apple for my old computer along with the refund from Aeromexico meant that I ended up paying less than half of the retail price for my new computer, a very nice bit of savings. I put $60 into our travel savings account from change and $1 bills I had been putting away, and we started a new bundle by putting $11.17 into the jar. All leftovers were eaten this past week, and no food was thrown away either. The only two days we spent anything were Tuesday and Wednesday (food shopping, the blue dress at 30% off, and the farmers’ market). I earned 484 Swagbucks this past week – I hope to have enough for my first $100 Southwest Airlines gift card by the end of August, or early September at the latest.
  • Grateful for: I’m thankful for all the things that showed up or were taken care of this week, even if some of them were late. I know the post office has currently been dealing with issues like having their hours cut back (no overtime allowed any more for example), but they get eventually get the job done and I’m grateful for all they do, under some pretty miserable conditions sometimes. We depend on them so much for so many things, and try and do our part to keep them from going under.
  • Bonus question: Have you ever experienced a hurricane before? We went through two BIG typhoons (Category 3 & 4) during our two tours in Japan, and one Category 1 hurricane (Floyd) when we were stationed in Key West. The two in Japan were very powerful, and very scary as they hit the Tokyo area directly. The second one was in early autumn, and stripped the leaves off of the trees, which caused the cherry trees to blossom a second time that year! Floyd was scary as well – we were especially worried about flooding – but we never lost power and the sound of the howling wind for so many hours about drove me mad, especially from the back side after the eye had passed over. We’ve also been through a few tropical storms as well, that while not as bad as a hurricane are still nothing to sneeze at. We’re glad Douglas’s strength had diminished by the time it got to Kaua’i, and hopefully it will quickly move on without too much damage.

While I’m enjoying being finally settled in the apartment, I am mourning the loss of that one box. We’ll give the moving company a month and if nothing turns up we’ll file a claim. While nothing in the box is especially valuable, some of the things that are missing are not replaceable and carry considerable memories of place and time. With all of our moves, we have only once had a mover lose something once before: when Brett retired from the navy in 1992 our express shipment (small shipment with basic items to get started with before the main shipment arrives) showed up but instead of our boxes there was a small (ugly) cast iron pot-belly stove on the truck! It was very weird, and we never learned what happened to our things. I read once that every couple of moves was the equivalent of a small house fire in terms of damage and loss, but for as many moves as we made then and since, we’ve done pretty well. We’ll probably move once more here, but that will be the last one for us.

YaYu baked white chocolate chip-cranberry cookies to welcome Hurricane Douglas.

I sincerely hope your week started off better than ours did, and that it continued upward and ended on a high note (versus the arrival of a hurricane/tropical storm!). Here’s to more good things happening this week, good books to read, good health to celebrate, and a great week overall coming up!

22 thoughts on “Sunday Morning 7/26/2020: Waiting for Douglas

    1. Thanks, Kris! So many memories as we unpacked our Japanese things. The only three items we still have from our first tour is the big hibachi, the plate inside (purchased from Betty), and the haniwa horse from Mashiko. It’s leg snapped off during the move, but I was able to repair it.

      We hope the box is found as well, but we’re not counting on it.

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  1. Sorry your responses to our comments are disappearing. I always enjoy what you have to say. Stay safe, please.

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    1. It’s only on the Blogger platform that they go missing. I’m not a frequent commenter, but it’s frustrating when I want to add something to the discussion. I discovered something I can do on my Mac, but they warn there are no guarantees it will work, or work consistently.

      Douglas was thankfully something of a dud here on our side of the island.

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  2. Wow, your apartment looks amazing! YaYu’s cookies also look amazing. Hope your box shows up.

    I hope things aren’t too bad with the hurricane. It’s rare for hurricanes to hit the islands directly so I bet you’ll be ok. The first time I went to Kauai in 2016, there were two hurricanes heading there just as we were leaving. We were at the airport wondering if our flight would be cancelled (it wasn’t). I believe they both went out to sea the day after we left.

    The only hurricane I’ve experienced was Sandy in 2012. I lost power for 8 days, but at least my house was ok. A lot of people weren’t so lucky. I also went to help a relative in Florida after Hurricane Jeanne in 2004 and couldn’t believe the devastation. I remember going to Walmart to pick up a few things for my relative and noticed birds were flying around inside the store and I was a bit confused until I looked up and saw the roof had been blown off. The store was open though as if nothing happened.

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    1. Thanks, JJ – we’re very happy with how it’s turned out here, and how comfortable the small space is.

      Douglas didn’t really end up bothering us at all – I’ll have a post up tomorrow about it. We were still glad to be well prepared.

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  3. Your apartment looks great and I love the blue colors. It looks calm and serene.

    Hope you make it through the hurricane with no damage. I have been in a few when we lived in Florida, but thankfully never a really bad one. My go-to hurricane meal was BBQ beef in the crock pot the night (or day) before the storm was to hit.

    Hope your week goes well and that you get good news on the missing box soon!

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    1. Blue is my favorite color, and I love how it looks with the soft grays. It is a very comfortable space, and I especially enjoy sitting on the sofa and being able to look out the French doors. It’s a wonderful way to start the day.

      Fingers are crossed they find the box, but we pretty much expect it’s lost for good, especially if it got into someone else’s crate by mistake.

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  4. Your house looks great! Yes, to answer your question, a few hurricanes, lots of tropical storms, etc. That is reason I do not want to live any closer to coast than I do, insurance rates, power outages, and repairs….ugh. Saw South Mississippi immediately after Katrina…whoa… unrecognizable…..Hattiesburg, which is 70 miles from coast, looked like a war zone and became tarp city….Daughter went to LSU for college in 2006, New Orleans, and South Mississippi, were still big messes a year after Katrina. It was unbelievable. Take care and be safe!

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    1. The odd thing though was that Baton Rouge, where LSU is located, which is what 80 miles from New Orleans outskirts, looked untouched to me. They did have a hurricane when she was there and the professors took in the students. I got the impression they were very hurricane/ rain savy there.

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      1. Nice for professors to take the students in! I do think some places are more hurricane savvy than others. Japan is very typhoon-savvy, but still seems to lose several houses every time one rolls through because landslides are so common.

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    2. Thanks, Cindy. Oh my gosh, the stories I’ve heard about hurricanes in Mississippi, Alabama, and the Florida panhandle, from Camille to Katrina. Yikes. We tried to visit New Orleans twice when Brett was in the navy and both times a hurricane was expected so we steered well clear of the place.

      Our house here is up high, so no fears of flooding, but we can get strong winds as we sit at the end of a valley, and the wind comes rushing through at times. Thankfully Douglas didn’t directly hit the islands, and we were spared the effects of a full hurricane.

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  5. Your apartment looks great! You and I could definitely furniture shop together. 😁 We have a sectional in our family room that is a cousin to yours. Ha!

    The post office deliveries have been really random lately. Twice in the past month, I’ve requested refunds from online orders, gotten them, and then had the orders show up. One showed delivered to a random place nowhere near me (which I haven’t straightened out yet), and the other showed up after a month (normal shipping time is about 4 days). I called and said they should reinstate the charge since the package finally arrived. But what a hassle for everyone involved. That said, the packages I’ve sent to England have done well. Everything is just a little scrambled right now, I think. I try to allow people some grace, but I have my limits.

    Fingers crossed for you that Douglas isn’t awful. I had an outbound flight from FL when my daughter lived there, and we were driving to the airport when we hit some feeder bands. Not something we wanted to drive into, so we turned around and I ended up staying for a couple days more.

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    1. Laurel, I LOVE your furniture. You’ve got the modern classics that make my mouth water when I see them.

      I have read a few things lately about how bad the postal service is all over. They are doing their best, but the new Postmaster General was tasked with taking it apart. It’s one of the reasons I do a lot of shopping with Amazon – they have the most reliable delivery these days (sadly). We had one package that showed up after the box had been declared lost – we had gotten a refund, but when it showed up we called the company and they told us to keep us and never charged us again.

      Douglas was pretty much a bust, for us anyway. I’ll have a post up about it tomorrow.

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  6. I’ve lost count of the number of Hurricanes I’ve been through although Charlie, Frances and Jeanne stick out in my mind. I finally purchased hurricane panels for all the windows. Once they were installed, I just left them up except for the front window. I have one clear panel for each window so light still gets in. I am also going to get a quote for a generac generator. I am so tired of power outages. Even without a hurricane my power goes out frequently. Last time was for 6 hours, usually because some vehicle has hit a power pole. The joys of living in the country that I could do without. It’s all very expensive, but I think it will be worth it in the long run.
    Your house looks like a home now. I hope your missing box is found.

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    1. I’m sure you’ve been through a few. I’ve always wondered why Florida, and some other hurricane-prone areas don’t have hurricane shutters added onto houses when they are built. They’re on every house in Japan, in sort of a cabinet that sits to the side of the window. When a typhoon shows up, panels can be slid out over the windows, then easily put away when the storm is over.

      The worst power outage we ever went through was in Key West, and had nothing to do with a hurricane. I can’t remember what caused it, but we were without power for several days. The only restaurants open in town were the ones with gas stoves!

      Fingers are crossed the box shows up, but we’re not very hopeful.

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  7. Where i live in AL, we get the tornadoes caused by the hurricanes. Once, the hurricane remnants came right over us. I thought a 100 yr old oak was going to blow down as it bent so. It was all very wet and scary. We do get the power, winds, and flooding caused by Hurricanes. But, we do not get the storm surge. I would not want to live 50 miles closer to the Gulf.

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    1. I always associate flooding in Alabama with hurricanes (other than Mobile, which gets that storm surge). Didn’t know about the tornados though – I always associate them with other weather conditions.

      There is a reason we do not live down near the ocean. We like to live up high, away from the effects of storm surges and tsunamis.

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  8. Oh, i meant to say i love your house. And, i am glad your things are showing up. Hopefully, the box that is missing will resurface/

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    1. Thanks, Linda. We are still pinching ourselves that we found this place. It’s small but cozy, and our stuff and the furniture we’ve picked up fit well.

      We don’t have a lot of confidence the box will be found.

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  9. Have you tried adjusting your cookies setting for Blogger? That’s what finally did the trick for me a few weeks ago. Speaking of cookies, the cookies YaYu made look great! Stay safe with the hurricane, and fingers crossed that your missing box will turn up.

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    1. There’s another setting I can fiddle with on a Mac that might do the trick so I’m going to give that a try. I did some reading on the issue and it’s been going on for a while as Blogger is an old(er) program that apparently doesn’t update all that frequently. I know they just did a major upgrade, but it still doesn’t work. I will try removing the cookie setting for Blogger and see what happens.

      I have hadn’t one of the cookies yet, but Brett says they are delicious!

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