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.
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.
- 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.
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!