Sunday Morning 8/9/2020: Walk, Walk, Walk

It was usually raining at sunset, but we still caught a couple of good ones this past week.

Good morning!

It’s been another wacky weather week on the south shore of Kaua’i – every morning we’ve awoken up to clouds, and it’s rained off and on most of the week making it a crapshoot every day whether we would get to walk or not (we did). Even if things looked good, as we headed to the park we knew there was often a strong chance of getting rained out once we were there. This morning is more of the same. This is so not the summer I imagined, but on the plus side the temperatures have stayed lower than usual and the humidity hasn’t been bad at all. Our apartment stays nice and cool from the breezes that blow through all day, and sleeping weather at night has been ideal. I’m just to a point that I’d rather it would just rain if it’s going to rain rather than this off-and-on, will-it-won’t-it? we’ve been experiencing. I’d also love to get back to the beach one of these days as well.

The Kukui’ula farmers’ market moved back into the marketplace from the parking lot. Everyone local wears a mask, but we’ve spotted tourists without even though mask-wearing is mandated in Hawaii.

We continue to self-isolate as much as possible, but there have been triple-digit increases in the number of cases the past few weeks over on Oahu, and the governor has hinted that he may order another state-wide shutdown to get things under control again. Oahu parks and beaches will close again this coming week, and the inter-island 14-day quarantine will also be reinstated. We have sadly seen up close this past week the effects of the shutdowns and the quarantine as our upstairs neighbors have gone back to the mainland in order to find work, and the couple that lives on the other side of the building is hurting as well. They ran a big garage sale this past weekend, and when I asked them how they did the answer was “pretty good, but not enough to buy groceries.” I’m not sure what’s going to happen with them, but they have lived on Kaua’i for many years and have many friends and connections so know they will stay on the island. The husband also frequently goes fishing so that will help as well. Even our landlord has said he’s worried about losing his position, although he continues to generates income for the resort and hopes that keeps him safe.

The moving company still hasn’t located our missing box, and we pretty much think at this point they won’t. We’re going to give it another two to three weeks and will file a claim after that if the box doesn’t show up. It won’t come close to replacing what was lost, but it’s all we can do. 

This morning I am:

  • Reading: I am almost finished with Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix; it’s been another fun book to reread, and I have only two more to go in the series to complete my goal. I gave up on The Vapors – it got less and less interesting as I went along and I began to dread picking it up which is when it’s time to let a book go in my opinion. I postponed getting They Were Her Property from the library, so I’m going to read Kevin Kwan’s Sex and Vanity next.
  • Listening to: The weather is nice enough this morning that we can open the French doors, and I can listen to the breeze and the birds while I write and drink my coffee. Last night though the wind was howling as a big storm blew through – we have a big tree near our bedroom and it got noisy as the wind blew through the yard. It’s all quiet inside this morning though – YaYu is still sleeping, and Brett is reading
  • Watching: Brett and I are still watching and enjoying Silent Witness – each episode has two parts – but we finished up A Confession, which was excellent, with an outstanding cast. We’ve now started watching a British comedy call Mum, about a widow and her ditzy family. It’s very gentle though (like the mum) and enjoyable. The newest season of Endeavour starts tonight on PBS, but since we don’t have cable we’ll have to wait and watch it online tomorrow.
  • Cooking/baking: We’ll be putting more meals together from the freezer and pantry this week – the only shopping will be our weekly trip to the farmers’ market. We still have leftovers to deal with as well this week. Tonight I’m going to fix a zucchini frittata to go with grilled Italian sausages, and other meals this week will be Mississippi Pot Roast along with roasted vegetables; French dip sandwiches using leftover roast; mabo nasu; Japanese-style chicken and vegetable curry; and leftovers on a couple of nights. This week’s cake (to be baked on Wednesday probably) will be a plain yellow cake with vanilla buttercream – simple and delicious.

An eastside beach path walk never disappoints. Heavy clouds to the south and the west created lots of humidity, but thankfully it didn’t rain while we walked. There was a strong breeze from the northeast for most of the walk.

  • Happy I accomplished this past week: Brett and I walked all seven days this past week, over 17 miles, although we got rained out at two-thirds of the way on Tuesday. We saw rainbows almost every day when we were at the park too thanks to the rain and clouds. We developed a long-term walking plan for the next two years, to increase our distance and endurance, and started that this week. I finally got my hair trimmed up yesterday  – two weeks ago it was still too short and I had the appointment postponed to this past weekend. Otherwise nothing major was accomplished, just the usual daily chores.
  • Looking forward to next week: Once again, better weather? The missing box? Possibly a beach day or two?
    Litchis have a very short season so we’re always happy when they show up at the market.
  • Thinking of good things that happened: Litchis finally showed up at the farmers’ market! Yesterday we were up in Kapaa for my haircut so we walked the beach path again for a change of pace. Kapaa was very hot and humid compared to our area, but as long as we could catch the breeze we did OK. I love that my hair is short-short again – so comfortable and easy to take care of. My daughter-in-law sent a boatload of photos from their recent vacation in Nagano, which is located in the mountains on the west side, and was home to the 1998 Winter Olympics.
  • Thinking of frugal things we did: The only spending we did this past week was at the farmers’ market. We put $2 into the change/$1 bill jar. I earned 977 Swagbucks this past week as I’ve added an additional 30 minutes of searching or doing a survey in the mornings. I discovered I can earn Delta Airlines gift cards as well as Southwest ones at Swagbucks, so after I finish with my Southwest cards goal I’ll move over to earning Delta cards. We did a pretty good job of eating leftovers this past week, but there were an awful lot of them and we still have plenty to get through. Thankfully we didn’t have to throw out any food. I always remind myself that the most expensive food we buy is the food we throw away, and that keeps me motivated to find ways to finish things up.
  • Grateful for: We’re feeling especially thankful now that we have a steady, dependable retirement income. It isn’t a huge amount, and our budget is pushed to the limit right now because of YaYu’s college expenses, but at least we know we will get paid and when, and that it won’t be reduced.
  • Bonus question: Are you having issues with slow mail delivery? Oh my goodness, yes. And, it’s getting worse. I used to get my prescription-by-mail orders in five days; they now take nearly three weeks to arrive (all of our prescriptions are by mail only too). Thank goodness both Brett and I have enough back-up that we can get through another couple of months – hopefully we’ll get our refills before then. My primary ballot has never arrived, and we’re all waiting on a bunch of other stuff as well. Our address is at a small local post office, but this has been going on all over the country, it’s getting worse by the week, and most upsetting of all is that this is being done deliberately, to mess with the election and mail-in and absentee ballots. Rural residents are especially having a rough time of it, as are veterans waiting on their by-mail-only prescriptions, but I heard today from someone who lives in a big city, and she hasn’t received any mail for a week, so the problems are everywhere.

The walking plan Brett and I have developed to increase our distance and endurance over the next two years is very simple. Since we have almost two years to get ready, we want to take it slowly and build ourselves up gradually (and avoid aggravating my bursitis). Basically, we will add 10-15 minutes to our daily walk (currently around 45-50 minutes, averaging around 2.5 miles) starting with one day a week. The following week we will walk two days with the additional time, the third week three days, and so forth until we are walking the new time and distance every day. We’ll do that for two or three weeks or so and then start the process over again, adding 10-15 minutes to our new route. We think we can work up to around five miles per day walking at the park, but after that we’ll have to branch out to other trails around the island. Anyway, we’re hoping that by taking it slowly and patiently we can get ourselves conditioned for long distances by the time we head over to England without adding any trauma to our bodies. I’ve also been investigating long walks we can do when we’re in Tokyo when we’re there next. We generally walk about four miles per day when we’re there, but want to increase that and do at least one long walk per week while we’re there to stay in shape.

A house located next to the beach path in Kapaa had some beautiful hibiscus.

YaYu’s laptop died on Friday afternoon. Because she just finished paying her tuition bill she has very little left in her account for anything new, but she’s hoping it’s only a dead battery. We have nothing left for her either as we had just given her what we had to help with the tuition and for her flights. The little we do have left will go toward her flight back to Pennsylvania in January and spring tuition. She is currently communicating with her dean to see if she can borrow a laptop from the school until she can (hopefully) replace the battery in hers. She hates to spend her money on anything though so this is like a major trauma for her. 2020: It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

Anyway, that’s a wrap for this week! Some ups, some downs, but overall it was another good one and we’re looking forward to the week coming up. It’s almost hard to believe but YaYu only has two and a half weeks left here before heading back to college – really, where has the time gone? I hope it was a good week for everyone, and that you’re looking forward to the week coming up.


14 thoughts on “Sunday Morning 8/9/2020: Walk, Walk, Walk

  1. The weather here has been horrible. 95 degrees today with what feels like 100% humidity. It makes wearing a mask really difficult.
    Love the pictures of the grandkids. They are getting big. Will they be returning to school this fall. Our school board is still dithering about making masks mandatory. Their next vote is the day after school is supposed to start.
    Like you, I am so glad to have my retirement income.
    Have a good week.


    1. I agree that wearing a mask when it’s humid is the worst, but we deal with it. For some reason we are currently living in some sort of wind vortex, but at least it’s keeping things cool (the living room feels like it’s air-conditioned!) and knocking down the humidity. It’s so loud too.

      Both grandkids are returning to school this fall. They are already very accustomed to wearing masks – not sure right now whether they will be mandatory or not. They will go to different schools (both international though, with classes taught in English) so the policy might be different at each one.

      Our retirement income is a blessing, especially Brett’s retired military pay, and the health insurance that comes with it.


  2. That look of determination on your granddaughter’s face is beyond precious, and reminds me so much of my oldest granddaughter. Yeah for strong females!

    I newly understand your sentiments about having a steady income stream during uncertain times. Pensions and Medicare kicked in this year for my husband, with SS for us both, plus Medicare for me, still to follow. We could live on just those revenue streams if need be, and that provides considerable peace of mind. More than considerable!

    I also plan to re- read the Harry Potter series at some point. That series was so monumental in our family when my girls were growing up. Remember the excitement when the next long-awaited book in the series would come out? We’d draw straws to see who got to read it first! Wonderful memories.


    1. She really is a pistol! I just hope it’s not too long before we get to see them again. She is going to be a force to be reckoned with!

      Medicare along with our military insurance has been the greatest benefit, and really upped our quality of life and given us more flexibility with our other income streams. I think if Trump goes along with his plan to defund SS and Medicare he is going to reap the whirlwind – he won’t know what hit him.

      It’s been a lot of fun to reread the Harry Potter books, but the later books are much, much better than the earlier ones, with better plot lines. Our middle daughter was a Harry Potter fanatic and eagerly awaited the release of each book – she still has her whole set! I remember taking her to a party at a local bookstore when the last book came out. She dressed as a Hogwarts witch and chatted with everyone, was very excited, but then let me read the book first (it took me only a day because I couldn’t put it down!)


  3. Like you, we are really glad we’re retired and not still in the work force hoping we’re not the next layoffs. My former industry is doing big cuts again, and people you would never think would get laid off have been in the past couple of weeks. And many are taking the package offered to retire early if they can. Commercial real estate and all the feeder industries are going to be hurting if they aren’t already.

    The mail service, which has always been super dependable, has fallen off a cliff. It’s hard to believe the damage this administration is doing some days.

    Your grands are so cute. So nice of your DIL to send pics. My DD has also been great about pics, videos, and FaceTime. It’s not like being there, but it is definitely better than the every other year visit with long distance calls only on holidays that her grandparents had when they emigrated from Scotland to Canada. 🙂


    1. I hate to think where we might be if Brett was still working, especially since he worked in aerospace, mainly serving commercial airlines. He barely made the cut after 9/11, but I think the knife is cutting much deeper this time.

      I am pissed off about the cuts to mail service, and I know I am not the only one. It doesn’t matter what party you belong to – when you’re prescription don’t arrive, when you can’t vote unless you stand in line, and so forth is going to make people angry. It may not have the effect Trump is hoping for.

      I am grateful for every picture my DIL sends. We try to talk once a month, but the time difference makes its hard for them to get the whole family together at a time we’re awake. I think back to when Brett was in the navy with no phone calls, no email, no video messaging, etc. and am so grateful for all that we have these days.


  4. Another vote for glad of retirement now. All our kids are still employed as is most of the family who are not yet retired. Family has been lucky, BIL survived a seriously bad Covid bout in April-May and is still doing PT. Nasty stuff.
    Our mail here in Indiana has gotten spotty – with at least one day a week with no mail. We have a box going overseas stuck someplace (Chicago?) for 20 days. Maybe due to few flights to Japan.
    We will do early in-person voting this year if we can. Not trusting the mail. I will offer to older neighbors to drive them to in person early voting if they want. It’s going to be ugly come November. If he wins again, I will know this country has “jumped the shark” and is on the downward path to something not good.
    People here protesting the statewide mask mandate – what a bunch selfish- whiners. Indiana had record infection day last week 1265 new positives. Death rate down though – maybe due to younger positive people? or delayed reaction coming?


    1. @Bob…same story with my package to the UK. Haven’t seen any tracking update in two weeks. The system is definitely under siege.


      1. I read today that the best thing we can do is to call and write our representatives over and over, all though all of ours here (well, not Tulsi Gabbard) are on it.


    2. I worry about our kids and what the future will be like for them. Our two oldest are working in secure jobs, but our middle daughter is still looking – jobs for her (recent college grad) are few and far between. She’s spending her time now working on a website to show more of her work as well as polishing her resume and her presence on social media.

      Our son sent us a package last week from Japan – we don’t expect to receive it until late October, if then. Some stuff we had been waiting on did arrive today, but all of it took much, much longer than usual to get here (and mail is already slow here).

      We are so grateful to be here on Kaua’i right now – it’s safe, at least as long as tourists are not coming to the island. It’s been murder on the economy though – the next few months are going to be brutal unless more unemployment help comes through.

      I applaud your offering to help others get to the polls. We vote completely by mail here in Hawaii, but the slowdowns meant I never got my primary ballot, so fingers crossed I get my regular ballot, and can get it turned in early. At this point though I would practically crawl over broken glass to vote, or stand in line for hours. It’s that important this year. And yes, it’s going to be ugly.


  5. Please tell me, or post a link, for what one does with litchis or lichee! They are so interesting-looking. Hey, maybe a whole post about Hawaiian fruits and vegetables. (Jackfruit, fresh or canned is a funny story in my Illinois life.) I apologize if you’ve already done it- I’m a fairly recent reader, and I really enjoy your blog.


  6. How are they dealing with those who are not wearing masks there? Is it being enforced? Wearing a mask outdoors is not mandated here, but indoors it is, in public places. It’s scary what is happening to the economy there, but the virus can’t get out of control either, so it’s tough to know what to do. Too bad your upstairs neighbors had to leave. I hope YaYu will be able to fix her laptop. Is she excited about going back to college? Thanks for posting all the pretty pictures! I miss Kauai so much.


    1. We noticed that people who are not wearing masks at the farmers’ market were quietly approached by security and asked to put one on. Kaua’i is a gently place, but people are reminded to wear one and they usually do. We saw several tourists though the other day up in Kapaa without masks. Not sure how they are dealt with. Most people here seem to accept that masks are what are going to keep the number of cases down on the island.

      YaYu is looking forward to going back, but is a little worried about the flight back. So far though seats sold on her flights are few and far between, so think with a mask and armed with disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer she will be OK. The computer battery is problematic – there is an Apple store not too far from the campus; she may get permission to go if the school thinks getting your computer repaired is essential. So far she hasn’t heard back from her dean.

      We are so happy to be here again, and especially to be on the south side this time. Much cooler than up in Kapaa, less traffic, etc. Plus, we love our apartment – it’s a great space for us.


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