Sunday Morning 8/20/2020: She’s Leaving Home

There were some very pretty sunsets this past week. Thursday’s was a showstopper!

Good morning!

When I sat down to start this post this past Thursday (I lay out the outline on Thursday, make some notes, and then gradually fill it in by Sunday morning) my first thought was What am I ever going to write about this week? We are living such a simple, low-key life these days, with outings constrained by both virus precautions in place and our budget. We spend most of our time at home, which I have to admit as an introvert I love, with our only outings once a week trips to Costco, Walmart, Big Save, and the farmers’ market and our daily walks up at the park. It’s definitely not exciting or different from out people’s lives these days, and I continue to wonder how much of interest it is to many any more. We hope that things will begin to change by the end of the year, but that remains to be seen, especially as cases of the virus are exploding in Honolulu. Brett and I have been talking about places here we want to visit again and things we can do after the first of October and have come up with a few ideas, but we’ll most likely continue to spend most of our time at home, especially if the virus gains a foothold here.

YaYu heads back to school this week. She will leave early Wednesday morning, and will eventually arrive in Philadelphia nearly 16 hours later. While she is excited to see her friends again, she is also concerned and worried about catching the virus, and knows she will have to stay vigilant with mask wearing, hand washing, and cleaning. She just learned this past Friday that she will be doing her initial quarantine in a hotel off campus as the floor she’s on in her dorm is the only one without A/C and is apparently beyond stifling in late August and early September. She’s especially excited that while she’s there the college will pay for room service so the she can remain inside her room, and that she will have a private bathroom. It will be strange for us at first for her not to be here as she moved into the apartment with us last April and has been a constant presence – we are going to miss her. For the most part we’ve gotten along well, but we have had our issues from time to time. YaYu has never complained, and we realize it’s been a difficult and mostly boring time for her, but she has also been mostly oblivious about the work it takes to keep even a small home running and the costs involved. In other words, she has enjoyed being taken care of. YaYu mentioned a couple of weeks ago that she was seriously thinking about not going back to school after the winter break, and staying here until fall 2021 while doing online classes and working, but we have told her that unless the college officially closes and/or she is sick we cannot afford to have her stay with us and continue to put away enough to help pay for her senior year. There will be no jobs here for her next year either, and our landlord, while tolerant of her being with us for the summer, will definitely charge us more rent if she moves back in for a 10-month stretch (especially since utilities are covered in our rent). The apartment is really too small for three people as well, and we don’t plan to move – we love this place, and also can’t take on the expense of relocating again. 

Following our hike last Monday, the rest of the week was one of research and reflection on how I can better manage my chronic bursitis. I’ve done a lot of research and reading to understand better what’s going on, how I developed the condition (most likely a hip injury all the way back in 1994) and have learned that exercises and stretches that were recommended in the past are no longer thought to be effective, that isometric exercises are the way to go these days. I should also be taking a regular anti-inflammatory, such as Aleve or Advil; however, those mess with my stomach so that will be a last-ditch response. Rough surfaces such as cobblestones and the trail we were on last Monday are definitely aggravators and should be avoided if at all possible. As reader JMac commented, walking sticks are a game changer as they help with hip balance, and while I was going to ask for a set for Christmas I am instead looking at finding some sooner than that. I plant to check at Costco this coming week, although our store is more likely to have boogie boards and beach towels than hiking gear. I have decided that I will most likely hat to get steroid therapy before setting off on a long walk/hike, such as our planned Cotswold Way walk, but in the meantime I have some good information to get this annoying but not life-threatening health issue under better control.

This morning I am: 

  • Reading: I finished The Chain quickly – I couldn’t put it down – and I’m now reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince during the day and They Were Her Property at night. I thought the latter would a dry-ish historical read, but it’s very well researched and quite interesting. Another book came off of hold too, Breasts and Eggs by Mieko Kawakami, a novel examining modern womanhood in Japan. I was able to delay having to check it out by a few days, but really need to get through these other books as it won’t be too long before I have to accept it.
  • Listening to: Ally the cat is outside talking to (yelling at?) YaYu – it’s almost like she has a big story to tell her. Otherwise, the wind is gusting through the trees and making a lot of noise, but it’s also keeping things cool. There are lots of clouds out there this morning but we can see some blue sky as well so hopefully it won’t rain.
  • Watching: Brett and I finished all the available episodes of Silent Witness, and are just about done with Mum, which we will be sad to finish. It’s been a very sweet, gentle, but funny show and we have enjoyed it immensely (it’s a BritBox exclusive). We just got started with Mindhunter on Netflix. We’ve already seen the first season but are re-watching it to reacquaint ourselves before moving on to the second season.
    My best cake idea yet, I think.
  • Cooking/baking: With YaYu leaving, Brett and my meals are going to become much more simple, with less cooking for me, something I’m looking forward to. Tonight though we’re having the hamburgers that were on last week’s menu as we ended up making pad Thai last week instead – we got mung bean sprouts which needed to be eaten immediately after purchase. YaYu is making pasta again tomorrow which we’ll have with pesto along with grilled Italian sausages and roasted zucchini (we’ve eaten the sausages all summer as YaYu loves them, but I’m ready to give them a rest for a while). Tuesday evening we’ll have pork and vegetable fried rice. Brett and I plan to have beans and rice later in the week as well as stuffed peppers, and a pork and pepper stirfry. Peppers don’t agree with YaYu so we’ve kept them off the menu as much as possible this summer, but Brett and I love them, and are looking forward to eating them again. While not giving it up we’re also hoping to cut back on the amount of meat we consume – YaYu is definitely the carnivore in the family and it’s been reflected in our menus this summer. I baked a chocolate cake yesterday which we’re having topped with a little cherry pie filling – so yummy! Without YaYu’ helping us to eat them, each cake from now on will now last Brett and me for nearly two weeks. Bring it on, I say!
    We pretty much had the beach to ourselves again out at Barking Sands.
  • Happy I accomplished this past week: We made it to the beach yesterday! Finally! This past week saw another seven days of walking, and including our hike last Monday on the Moalepe Trail we got in four days of walking at least three miles. We’ll continue our current route at the park for another couple of weeks and then will kick it up again, up to four miles per day. Even though I always go out slathered in 50SPF sunscreen, I noticed this week that I have accomplished something of a tan, at least on my face, neck, and arms, and almost look like I live here or something. I give up on my legs though – they just don’t tan at all. I finished up five weeks of daily task cards yesterday and got a new set made so I’m ready for the next five weeks. When I get to the last card in the set I’m always a bit surprised that the five weeks have gone so quickly.
    A new set of tracking cards ready to be filled in: Every day I have a goal of drinking eight glasses of water, going for a walk, reading at least 45 minutes, studying Japanese for 20 minutes, trying to earn some Swagbucks, and filling out the next day’s food diary on MyFitnessPal.
  • Looking forward to next week: While we’re not happy about YaYu’s departure, at the same time Brett and I will admit to looking forward to “being on our own” again. Not sure what we’re going to do next week other than walking as it will depend on the weather. Right now I know we’ll be doing another small bit of grocery shopping, probably on Wednesday after YaYu has left. We should have enough ripe guava from our tree this coming week to make jam – we are planning to pick up some canning jars and pectin mid week.
  • Thinking of good things that happened: Our Taco Tuesday night from Paco’s Tacos was fantastic – Brett and I shared an order of al pastor-style tacos and YaYu had carne asada fries. It was all very affordable and I appreciated not having to cook that evening. The movers finally called and arranged to pick up the empty packing boxes tomorrow morning – we’ll be glad to have all of that out of the way. Although they still haven’t located the missing box, they are continuing to search for it. They went ahead anyway though and sent the forms for filing a claim. Although I wasn’t able to complete our planned hike on Monday, I did learn some valuable things that I’ll be able to change and/or improve for the next time. My favorite afternoon snack these days is a pack of big, light senbei (Japanese-style rice cracker) basted with soy sauce and a little bit of nori (seaweed), and I to discover Big Save market has them in stock all the time (I had been getting them at Walmart but they kept running out). Less than 100 calories for two crackers, they’re just enough to keep my stomach happy for the time between lunch and dinner.
    Shelley Senbei crackers come in three different flavors. My favorite is “snow roasted with seaweed” and Brett and YaYu like “snow moon’ with a tiny bit of sweetness. The third flavor is spicy teriyaki.
  • Thinking of frugal things we did: We had to have the front brake pads and rotors in our car replaced mid-week – ouch! That was a several hundred dollars repair. Otherwise, we came in under-budget with our food shopping, and put $5.24 into the change/$1 bill jar. I earned 1,182 Swagbucks this week and now hope to earn another $100 Southwest gift card by the end of October. We did a great job again with leftovers and had no food waste.
  • Grateful for: I continue to be so very thankful for the cooler weather we’ve experienced this summer, especially when I remember how miserable I was previously, when we lived in Kapaa. We’ve rarely experienced high humidity here, and if it does arrive it doesn’t seem to hang around. We have a constant breeze (sometimes it feels like we live inside of a vortex), and temperatures have not gone above 83°. I came to wonder in the past if Kaua’i really was paradise, but it sure feels like it where we are now.
  • Bonus question: What’s something you do on Kaua’i that you would never do elsewhere? The first thing that comes to mind is shopping at Walmart. I think I went to Walmart once back on the mainland and hated the experience, but it’s very different here. And, other than Costco there are no other mass-merchandise stores on the island. We actually do some of our food shopping there now as Walmart’s prices are definitely lower that island supermarkets, and they have a fantastic Asian foods section – we always go there before heading over to Costco. Walmart has started to get in some produce lately, some of it grown in Hawaii, so we always check that as well. I bought their cherry pie filling the other day as it does not contain high fructose corn syrup, but otherwise we usually stick to name brands (their chocolate chips and a few other Great Value products were mediocre). Walmart is also a great place here to get things like toilet paper, paper towels, etc. Costco has been out of stock of those items for ages, and we don’t have room to store such big packages anyway, and the larger size packages at Walmart are not overwhelming. Anyway, I never thought I would ever be a regular Walmart shopper, but it’s what you do on Kaua’i.

We finally made it back to the beach yesterday. YaYu very much wanted to go one more time before she left, and the stars aligned yesterday with the weather so we headed down to Barking Sands. We stopped at the Navy Exchange/Commissary on our way to the beach and picked up some sandwiches and cold drinks to take with us, and then spent three and a half glorious hours basking in the sun, reading, and taking long walks along the beach before packing up and heading for home. Every time I go back to the beach after a long time away I remember how much I love it. We all decided that we’d like to rent one of the beach cottages at Barking Sands when YaYu is home again for the winter break, and spend a couple of days right on the beach for a little local holoholo (getaway).

We’re going to miss our girl!

It was a quiet but good week for us, and I hope it was a good one overall for everyone else. We’re going to miss our girl, but we knew she couldn’t stay forever. Here’s to good things happening, good books, good food, and more in the coming week!


14 thoughts on “Sunday Morning 8/20/2020: She’s Leaving Home

  1. Happy travels to YaYu! It’s nice she’ll be getting room service. Sounds like a good deal to me! Will she be at the hotel until the weather gets cooler or just for the quarantine period? I haven’t flown since COVID started so I’m curious to know, will she have to wear a mask the entire time on the flights?

    I went to the beach here on Friday with my niece and it was so crowded we only stayed about an hour. We just didn’t feel comfortable and there was one guy who was coughing and sneezing (no mask). Yikes. Is Barking Sands just for active duty and retired military?

    I like the Kauai Walmart. They have a lot of unique things and I’m always amazed at the food choices. I haven’t bought much of the food since I’m only there as a tourist without access to a kitchen, but I think if I lived there, I’d buy a lot of my groceries there. Paper towels are impossible to find where I live. I’m down to my last two rolls. Japanese rice crackers are amazing!


    1. I think YaYu is more excited about the room service than anything. Actually, she’s very happy to be staying in the hotel because it will be easier for her to isolate and make sure no one around her has the virus (they will all be tested upon arrival, and then two weeks later). She will wear a mask for the entire flight, unless she is eating.

      The Kauai Walmart really is different. I don’t mind shopping there at all, and their prices are much lower than elsewhere.

      Barking Sands is a working base so only military (active, retired, and reserves are allowed on). We have brought friends along, but have to sign them on and off. I would have loved to have been stationed here when Brett was on active duty!


      1. The hotel with room service is a great idea since they will have their meals brought to them so there’s no reason to leave the room. It will also give YaYu a chance to unwind and relax from the long flight and before classes start.

        My only complaint about the Kauai Walmart is it’s always very crowded, although I haven’t been there since December so maybe it’s different now with COVID and fewer tourists. I found a youtube video last night someone took while they were riding on the Kauai bike path, so I hopped on my stationary bike and pretended I was there. I’ve only been on a small portion of the path (Lydgate Beach area) in person, so it was fun and the closest I can come to the real thing for now. The video also makes a stop at the Pineapple Dump!

        A good friend of mine is retired navy and was stationed in Pearl Harbor for 6 years. I was so jealous! But he invited me to visit back in 2006, which was my first visit to Hawaii and his final year there. He actually was offered the chance to stay there for another 6 years until he retired in 2012, but he decided to go to Europe and then his final stop was in Japan. The old slogan the navy used to use, “join the navy and see the world” was true for him because he really did see the world.

        I forgot to mention in my previous comment that your posts are never boring! I enjoy reading about whatever is happening there. It’s such a different lifestyle and, for me, since I’ve been to Kauai a couple of times, I enjoy reading about whatever you and Brett and doing, the hikes, the scenery…anything! It makes me feel hopeful that I’ll be able to return there someday. A lot of times, you’ll post about a place or a restaurant I’ve never been to, so I add that to my list of places to visit next time. Thank you!


  2. We love having our grown kids with us, but we know they have their own lives. And we are happy by ourselves, although there is always an adjustment when they leave. The type of discussion you had with YaYu re: finances is a tough one, and I remember several of those over the years. Better to lay out the facts, though. They might not like it, but they understand. And it’s another step toward their independence, which I think is a priceless gift.

    I always poo-pooed DH’s walking sticks, which he got when working search & rescue. But he convinced me I needed a pair before our last trip to Sedona and I am a convert! I hope they help you – they definitely helped me!

    My latest read is “Love & Other Consolation Prizes”. I read a review of it and put it on a TBR list, but hadn’t gotten to it. Last week, I checked my library’s ebooks and it was available, so I grabbed it. It’s about a young boy who was raffled off at the 1909 Seattle World’s Fair and is apparently based on a true story. So far, I really like it. Like you, I have a book available to me at the library that I need to pick up by tomorrow. I’ve stretched it as far as I could to finish this book.

    We don’t do much either TBH. DH golfs, I have done some canning (lids are GONE around here…everyone must be canning), and we watch some Netflix, read, etc. My hospice work in on hold except for writing notes to our patients, since no one is allowed to visit right now even if a patient is in a private home. My harp circle hasn’t met in months, although we are trying to do an outdoor group play this week. Unfortunately, I haven’t practiced in ages, and we’re leaving the next day, so I’ll be kinda busy that day. It could be worse, but it’s a little dry compared to our normal pre-Covid lives.

    We are actually going up north for my niece’s (outdoor) wedding this week. We’ll skip the reception only because we’re trying to be super cautious and we’ll have my 88 yo mom with us if all goes well. The area we’re visiting has really low rates of the virus, but we’ll be masking, using hand sanitizer and keeping our distance anyway. It will be sad not to hug everyone since it’s been SO long since we’ve seen them, but such is life right now. And I continue to focus on our family being healthy right now. That’s a real gift.


    1. OK, another vote for walking sticks! I am sold. I will probably look funny walking with through the park, but I’m in training!

      I like our lazy life these days – it’s what I dreamed retirement would be like. For me, waking up when I’m ready in the morning, enjoying a cup of coffee at leisure, etc. has been wonderful. It’s so unlike our earlier time here when we were beholden to the girls’ schedules.

      We are going to miss our girl, but I know the apartment is going to seem much more spacious after she’s left. She has pretty much spread out everywhere, and it’s been hard to keep things picked up and/or organized at times. She’s been good company for the most part, but has also loved having us take care of her again (financially and otherwise). I mentioned her working for her brother again next summer and she did not rule it out. She knows there will be nothing here for her.

      I hope you get to enjoy the wedding – it sounds lovely. I feel the same way you do though – keeping our family healthy is the priority.

      I’ve added the book to my list!


  3. Costco is 100 miles from me so Walmart is where I shop. I use and have most things delivered to my door. I go to the local farmer’ for fresh vegetables. Love your photos andI always find your food and pics so interesting. I hope YaYu has a safe trip and a fabulous year at school!!! As far as cases of Covid in Hawaii, I recommend to continue being safe and keeping your distance from tourists. The neighboring county near where I live has their entire circuit court clerk’s office out with Covid. There was no one to answer the phone. I have another friend’s husband who died of it. Another four friends have it. One is in the hospital. I have known so many with it, who have been pretty sick, that I have lost count. Several of my colleagues have had it and were very sick. I have also personally known teenagers with it who did not seem to be sick at all. I hate to be a downer, but I hope until a vaccine is found, you do not have many tourists. It is just not safe for those of us over 60.


  4. Hope YaYu has safe travels! That’s nice that her school is taking care of her so well.
    I would talk to a dr about an anti inflammatory medication. I have psoriatic arthritis and in addition to other meds, I take one called meloxicam. It’s only once a day, and I think it’s easier on the stomach.


    1. I am going to ask the Dr. next time about a anti-inflammatory, although the other day I took two Advil and my stomach did OK. Aleve works best, IMO, but don’t think it will be a good choice going forward.

      YaYu is packing as I write – she is dreading the flight (has always hated long flights) but looking forward to being back at school.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I have been reading your blog for years but don’t comment, etc. Today when you wrote I don’t know if anybody is interested right now I did want to say I enjoy them and am interested. Your blogs don’t have to be “exciting” to be of interest. I enjoy them just the way you write them. Thank you!


      1. Thank you too, Sherry! I hope to be writing more about life here going forward, but there’s not a whole lot we can do for now with all the restrictions, etc. in place. I hope though that I can “demystify” what it’s like to live in Hawaii, even just a little bit.


  6. I love reading your blog! I can imagine how YaYu feels, there is nothing like parental love and affection sometimes!! But unless the economy picks up, you are right – there will be no work for her there next summer. Has she considered staying with one of her sisters? And working where they are? Even travelling to work for her brother next year may be out of the question! I am kinda crossing my fingers that maybe she will find a job to allow her to work remotely, and then maybe she can stay with you guys again! What tough time we are all in.


    1. Thank you jj!!

      We will discuss summer options for YaYu this winter when she’s back home. We’re hoping she can go over to Japan again to work for her brother – good money and she had a good time (he and YaYu are the furthest siblings apart, and last summer was a great chance for them to get to know each other better). Even if there are travel restrictions he may be able to get an exemption for her since she is family – we’ll just have to see. She is actually hoping to get an internship next summer so that will be the priority.

      This is the weirdest time. I was just thinking about it all this morning, about how the year started out with such promise and then how quickly everything spun out of our control. We were supposed to be in Mexico now for an extended stay, but are happy to be back on Kaua’i.


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