Most evenings the sky just went gray, then dark, but a couple of times . . . oh my!
It was quite hot when we visited Hanapepe but our masks stayed on the entire time.
We’ve had a lovely week with errands run, visited nearby Hanapepe, and had a beach day at Salt Pond. We did a small-ish food shopping at Walmart and Costco on Tuesday, went to Hanapepe on Wednesday afternoon, and spent Thursday afternoon on the beach. Several businesses have reopened in Hanapepe, but many still only open by appointment only. While it was quite hot there and not all that nice to be outside (especially wearing a mask), we still managed to look around the Talk Story Bookstore, stop in a couple of other shops and chat with the salespersons, look through windows at the art galleries (and learn paintings by our favorite local artist go for over $2000 – yikes!), and share a Meyer lemon danish at the Midnight Bear bakery. Before we left we took an obligatory walk over Hanapepe’s historic swinging bridge and back, always an enjoyable (but shaky) experience. There’s a walking path up on top of the levee that runs alongside the Hanapepe Stream, so we’re going to investigate and see how long that is and hopefully get out there for a long walk some day (when it’s cooler).
We also made a trip to my happy place this week. We went to Salt Pond Beach Park on Thursday. It was my first time to the Salt Pond beach, and in spite of some very strong winds I really liked it there and look forward to going back. It was nice enough that I even went out in the water for a while! Salt Pond has beautiful, clear water and a protected area that’s perfect for little kids, so I’m already looking forward to visiting there with the grandkids in the future. We had hoped to go over to Barking Sands yesterday, but the weather didn’t cooperate so we’re going to try and go today (although the weather still isn’t that great).
It was very windy the day we went to Salt Pond Beach Park, but still sunny and warm.
WenYu called early last week to let us know she had been hired as a waitress in a high-end Italian restaurant near where she lives. She had been looking for work since she graduated last May, but hadn’t been feeling all that enthusiastic as jobs in her field are pretty much all in Boston, over an hour’s commute for her each way. So, when this local position was advertised she decided to go for it as it’s close to where she lives, will provide her with a cash flow, and gives her time to work on her portfolio, figure out what she really wants to do, and spend time with her boyfriend. The wait staff position was apparently highly competitive, but we felt somewhat confident when we learned she was made the cut for an in-person interview. She’s that person everyone enjoys having around and wants to have on their team, the one who can always find the positive any situation (plus she has waitressing experience). She always interviews well, and she’s a hard worker who always puts in extra effort. Anyway, she’s happy and we’re happy for her. We know she’ll eventually find a place where she can use her considerable artistic talents, but for now this is a good place for her.
This morning I am:
- Reading: I almost halfway through Breasts and Eggs. I am enjoying it, but it’s very Japanese, both the topic and the writing, and it sometimes jumps around a bit. I’ve put Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on hold at the library – almost can’t believe I just have one more in the series to go. The books have gotten so much better, exciting, and enjoyable as the series goes along.
- Listening to: Brett is puttering around in the kitchen (putting dishes away, making coffee), and outside there’s a soft breeze blowing through the palms, birds are singing, and a couple of roosters are doing their thing off in the distance now and again. In other words, it’s a lovely morning in spite of the sky being filled with clouds. Hopefully they’ll clear out in the new few hours so we can go to the beach!
- Watching: We’ve had a few nights where we couldn’t get into Netflix because the girls were all watching something (Netflix is provided by our phone plan so they all can access it as well), so Brett and I watched some other shows on Amazon and Britbox (Wild Bill, with Rob Lowe) those evenings. One favorite was A Suitable Girl on Amazon, a documentary about three young women in India and their quests to find a suitable husband and get married. It was fascinating and we enjoyed seeing scenes of India again. WenYu has recommended Indian Matchmaking on Netflix as a complement to that show, as well as a couple of others we now have on our list. When we can get on Netflix we’re still watching Mindhunter and Hinterland, but we should finish those this week.
- Cooking/baking: We’ll be having be another (A Dozen Cousins’) beans and brown rice dinner tonight – tonight it will be Mexican Cowboy pinto beans. Other dishes on the this week’s menu are chicken adobo with bok choy; grilled ribeye steaks one night; and chicken and vegetable curry. Leftovers will fill in the gaps. I didn’t end up making the lemon cake last week because there were no lemon cake mixes at Walmart, and I refuse to pay nearly $4 to buy one elsewhere. I would have made the lemon cake from scratch except that we unfortunately didn’t have any lemons! I instead made a vanilla cake which we’re topping with apple pie filling. It’s not as good as the cherries and chocolate cake, but still very tasty and a nice sweet treat to end the day. I’ve promised myself though that our next cake will be something a bit more spectacular.
- Happy I accomplished this past week: I feel like I turned a corner this week with Japanese. It was easier for some reason to read and remember kanji, and even though I still made mistakes, there were no where near as many of them as before. Before it often took me several tries for me to get things like the sentence above correct, but this past week I was able to get through review exercises without an error, a big step for me. We again walked every day (and got soaked on Monday – the rain started before we were able to get back to the car), and had five 3+-mile days. I’ve started carrying hand weights along when I walk. It’s been a bit of a challenge though as I thought I ordered two one-pound weights but instead ordered two two-pound weights. I know it won’t take long until they start to feel lighter. We didn’t get any of the windows washed this past week, so that job has been moved to this week, although we need to have a day when the sun is not shining brightly. We also did not get to see our friend on the north side as she was having a difficult week recovery-wise, so that’s been postponed until she’s feeling better.
- Looking forward to next week: Brett and I are planning to go out on a breakfast date this week, to the Kalaheo Cafe just down the road. They do several different Eggs Benedict variations, so I know I will find something I like (and Brett will no doubt have French toast). Weather permitting, we also plan to get back to the beach, starting today, and hopefully get to go more than once. Otherwise, we have no specific plans for the week.
- Thinking of good things that happened: Costco got flats of peaches in once again, and we found one with ripe peaches (soft to the touch and smelled like peaches versus hard as a baseball and no aroma). My idea of heaven for breakfast is nonfat vanilla yogurt topped with a fresh peach and a sprinkle of Anahola Granola, so getting to have peaches one more time is a wonderful thing in my book. Ally the cat continues to come by each day for water and a little attention. I never thought I’d say this, but we actually got worried one day when she didn’t come until late afternoon.
- Thinking of frugal things we did: We stayed right on budget with our food shopping this week – I actually put a few things back at Costco just so we wouldn’t go over. We put $15.27 into the change/$1 jar. Our only other spending this week was the farmers’ market, the shared pastry at the Midnight Bear Cafe in Hanapepe, and some gin. Brett and I are not big drinkers – we only have one gin & tonic three evenings a week – but Safeway recently remodeled their liquor department and currently have a big wine and liquor sale going on, so this past week we stocked up on some small batch/specialty gins we’ve been wanting to try: Hendrick’s Midsummer Solstice, Roku Gin from Japan, and Aviation Gin, distilled in Portland. Safeway’s prices were good to begin with, but we saved an addition $40 on top of those! We have enough gin now to last us for months. Otherwise in frugality, our travel savings balance at the end of August was $853. I got lucky and did several high-SB surveys, and along with receiving my monthly bonus award, I earned 1,854 Swagbucks this past week! Without YaYu here the amount of leftovers has dropped considerably, and all were quickly eaten. No food was thrown away this week as well.
- Grateful for: We’re thankful that all three of our girls is settled and healthy. Meiling is working (still full time from home) and she and her boyfriend moved this past week into a larger apartment (still in Manhattan); WenYu is now employed, and is otherwise happy and doing well; and YaYu is back at school and ready to start classes tomorrow. We couldn’t ask for more.
- Bonus question: Where do you get your news these days? We don’t have cable TV, nor receive any local channels, and don’t currently subscribe to any newspapers. These days I keep up with what’s going on via Twitter. It may be seen as a strange source, but I have a highly curated list of (trusted) people I follow and I skim though tweets from them a couple of times a day to see what people are talking about and what issues, if any, I want to find out more about. Some of the stuff being put up on Twitter is frankly silly, and not worth my time, but there are other issues appearing almost daily where a tip from someone posting on Twitter gets me digging deeper. I then try to read articles from a variety of sources, and hear and weigh different viewpoints. At the same time I almost always refuse to read comments on Twitter because those can easily devolve into a trip down the rabbit hole or a bunch of name-calling or worse. Almost nobody follows me on Twitter because I rarely if ever tweet anything myself. I actually had one tweet of mine go viral last year, but it wasn’t enough to make me want to keep trying for that again.
We are so accustomed now to seeing everyone here wearing a mask that when we spot someone who isn’t it’s both shocking and maddening. The other day at the farmers’ market a women with five kids (definitely visitors) was shopping without a mask but instead had it dangling around her wrist. I guess she couldn’t be bothered to put it on, or though masks were for suckers or something. There are tons of signs throughout the market too reminding people that mask wearing is mandatory. I’m hoping someone eventually stopped her and told her to put it on. We also received an email from Bryn Mawr letting us know that apparently last weekend there were indoor gatherings on campus with no one wearing a mask, and several people had left campus to head into Philadelphia and elsewhere. Both activities are in violation of the agreement that students were required to sign before being allowed to return to campus. Being that the Honor Code at Bryn Mawr is a BIG DEAL, apparently these students are being dealt with individually, but the campus has gone into serious shutdown mode as well with ALL classes now online for the next week or so. YaYu says that almost everyone is trying very hard to stay safe and healthy, and everyone she knows is pretty upset about the actions of the few who chose to break the agreement and possibly endanger other students. The campus is also having issues with outsiders (not wearing masks, of course) wanting to walk their dogs on campus, etc. even though there are lots of signs posted that no visitor are allowed
That’s a wrap for this week. It was a very nice one for us, and moved along fairly quickly. Hope all of your weeks were good ones as well, and that you’re looking forward to the one coming up!