Good morning! Aloha kakahiaka!
YaYu arrives home this week for her two-month winter break! She was tested on campus for the virus yesterday, and then will have a second test on Thursday that meets Hawaii standards. She’ll quarantine here for a couple of days, until she can get the results online from the Thursday test and submit them, but should otherwise be good to go. We talked with her the other day and could tell she is nervous. She has been exceedingly careful, but remains terrified of bringing the virus home to us. We don’t have any other options though and would prefer her to be here for these next two months. She still has no idea when she’ll go back to school in January, but hopefully she’ll hear soon as return flights from Honolulu to Philadelphia are currently very inexpensive. We were able to get a credit from Hawaiian Airlines for the flight we had reserved to get her from Honolulu to here next week as they had changed the time of the flight making it impossible for her to make her connection to Kaua’i – it will be used in January. She’ll instead be coming over on a later Southwest flight. I asked her the other day if she had snacks, etc. for her long trip and she said yes, but that she couldn’t imagine taking down her mask to eat or drink during the day. She says she will wear double masks during her journey, and she is a fanatic about wiping things down, disinfecting, and using hand sanitizer so we think (and hope) she will be OK.
This week in the park has been windy and cool. There have been more than few rainbows. And chickens. Lots and lots of chickens.
This has been one of those “be careful what you wish for” weeks. Just a short while ago I was moaning about the missing trade winds, but they came back, and with a vengeance this past week. Seriously, we had near gale-force winds on several days, enough that it’s been cold (for here) and we haven’t needed our ceiling fan on. There have also been several short but torential rainstorms along the way as well, and thunderstorms too. On Friday the house next door was being tented for termites, and the poor guys trying to get the tent on were almost blown off the roof a couple of times. Things have been blown over in the house because we keep the windows and the French door open almost all the time, but walking up at the park was a treat in spite of the wind – it was nice and cool all week. I had to give up wearing my visor though as it kept being blown off my head. On the plus side too the winds took care of some dead palm fronds that were hanging from a tree in our yard, but on the down side we still haven’t been able to use our new fire pit. Maybe next week
Can I say once again how incredibly frustrated I am not to be able to comment on Blogger sites? I have tried numerous permutations and NOTHING works. For a short time it seemed as if I would be able to comment using my phone, but that only worked with one blog and didn’t last. I don’t comment often, but it’s maddening not to be able to comment at all these days.
I am going to take the next week off from writing. I’ve been feeling like my muse has been off doing something else for a while, and that I need a few days to refocus my thinking and let inspiration flow. I’ll be back next Sunday though.
This morning I am:
- Reading: I finished reading Climb, and overall I give it a score of 3.8. I enjoyed the book, but it seemed more of a travelogue overall, although Susan’s personal journey of finding strength and building a new life for herself along the way is documented. That’s just my 2¢ though – Brett loved it. I’ve just started reading Caste and have a feeling it’s going to be more than merely eye-opening.
- Listening to: I’m enjoying a very quiet morning, especially as there’s only a gentle breeze blowing. It’s about time! There are blue skies too, another nice change. Brett’s fixing his breakfast in the kitchen, and some birds are signing outside, but otherwise there’s not a sound to be heard. I love it.
- Watching: We finished The Queen’s Gambit this past week. It was absolutely pure viewing pleasure from start to finish, and one of the all-time best series I have ever watched. We’ve got three more episodes of Bordertown to go, watched Dessert Week (the quarterfinals) on the Great British Bake Off last Friday, and started Young Wallender on Netflix last night. Season 4 of the The Crown starts tonight (Princess Diana!) so we plan to watch an episode of that each evening as well. We’re also watching an episode of Unsolved Mysteries every evening – it’s more interesting that we imagined. Brett especially has really gotten into it.
- Cooking/baking: Tonight’s dinner will be A Dozen Cousins Trini curried chickpeas, served with jasmine rice and a cucumber salad. Also on this week’s menu will be chili pork burritos; barbecue pulled pork sandwiches with cole slaw; and grilled teriyaki chicken with simmered kabocha pumpkin. We’ll also eat leftovers and other odds and ends we want to get out of the refrigerator before YaYu comes back. We plan to pick up another big pumpkin pie at Costco this week and along with YaYu hope to have it finished before Thanksgiving as we have decided on lilikoi chiffon pie from Hamura’s to go with our holiday meal. I’m greatly looking forward to YaYu helping out in the kitchen again – she’s a very talented cook!
- Happy I accomplished this past week: We walked every day this week even though a couple of days were pretty sketchy weather-wise. On Friday we got caught in a shower for a few minutes but decided to carry on and the rain thankfully stopped. On two days we were able to push our distance to 4.5 miles, and will go for three days at that distance next week. All of the girls’ Christmas presents have been wrapped, with Meiling’s and WenYu’s box almost ready to send back to the mainland – we just need to pick up two more small things to tuck into it first.
- Looking forward to next week: 1) YaYu’s homecoming is at the top of our list, of course – we can’t wait to have our baby girl home again! 2) I also can’t wait to get my hair trimmed up tomorrow – it needs it. 3) We’re hoping the cooler temperatures remain, and that we can walk every day, but also that the wind doesn’t feel the need to blow quite as strongly as it did this past week. 4) Brett and I are planning to have a breakfast date again the week at the Kalaheo Cafe, sometime toward the end of the week.
- Thinking of good things that happened: 1) I’ve lost another five pounds and am very happy about that, especially since I’ve now met the amount my doctor’s wanted me to lose. I plan to keep on doing what I’ve been doing for a while longer though and see where it takes me. 2) Meiling steeled herself this past week and asked for a raise . . . and got it! We’re so proud of this girl and all she has accomplished and is accomplishing. She has set some solid goals for herself and is on her way to accomplishing all of them. 3) We’re getting a new stove! The large burner on our current one has been acting up and now only has two temperatures; high and melt-the-pan high. And, the knob started smoking the other day as well – scary! A repairperson came to look at it, but wanted so much to fix it that the landlord decided it was more cost effective to purchase a new stove. The stove has to be special ordered because of its size, but should be here in two to three weeks. In the meantime, no pan goes unattended on that burner, and I avoid it as much as possible (it’s great for stir fries though). 4) Since my “political” post last Sunday, my daily readership has climbed by over 500% per day for the week. It’s been kind of fun but I know it’s not going to last for long.
- Thinking of frugal things we did: 1) We put nothing into the change/$1 bill jar this week because the only spending we did was at the farmers’ market where we spent every dollar of the $20 we took with us. 2) I wrapped the Christmas gifts with the sheets of Japanese newspaper the dishes we bought during our 2019 stay had been wrapped in and that I had saved for some reason. I added red and green ribbon to the packages and they’re very pretty. 3) I earned 2,411 Swagbucks this past week. It was a slog, but worth it as I’m getting very close to earning my first $500 Delta gift card. 4) Aside from those things we did all our other regular frugal things: ate leftovers, didn’t throw away any food, etc.
A year ago today we walked a mile and half down to where the old Blockley station used to be. It was downhill going and uphill the whole way back on a cool, overcast November day. We stopped at the Blockley Cafe before going home for some cake and tea.
- Grateful for: I took so many pictures last year and the year before, and Apple has been throwing up a memory each day from our travels, using pictures from my photos file on my phone. I sometimes wondered if I was taking too many pictures, but now am so grateful that I did take of all we saw and did, and the memories we made.
- Bonus question: Two music questions this week – What’s the first album you bought with your own money? and What’s an album you can put on and listen to all the way through? I don’t really remember the first album I bought with my own money, but it may have been either The Doors or the Beatles White Album. I honestly can’t remember but I know we had those two early on. The Doors album’s Side B was mistakenly pressed with a different artist from the Doors – we had no idea who it was and never figured it out, but it definitely wasn’t The Doors. My older brother and I still wore out the A side (“Light My Fire” and all). The first album I owned on my own though was Herman’s Hermits (a gift for my 13th birthday), and the first 45 single I bought was “The Letter” by the Box Tops. We wore that out as well. I haven’t listened to an entire album in years, but a few older ones that I could still put on and listen all the way through are Mad Dogs and Englishmen by Joe Cocker; B.B. King’s Indianola Mississippi Seeds; Introducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent D’Arby; and Ladies of the Canyon, Blue, and Court & Spark by Joni Mitchell. There are others but these are the first ones that come to mind. By the way, does anyone remember being able to go into a listening booths at music stores to “preview” singles? I used to stop by our local store several times a week to listen to records I couldn’t afford to purchase otherwise.
This past week we had to change the route we take to go over to the park because of three very close calls last Monday. We were almost hit head on not once but twice as we headed up the hill to the park – two large pickup trucks came speeding around sharp corners in the middle of the lane, assuming I guess that no one would be there, and pushed us off into the side of the road. That was scary enough, but on the way back home another truck came along in the middle of the lane and pushed us up against a bridge we have to cross. That was, as they say, a bridge to far for us, and we now are taking a longer route but with a wider road, and fewer curves and blind spots. Not sure what was going on last Monday, but it was a very unnerving experience and we feel lucky to have come out OK. Hopefully those truck drivers were a little bit unnerved as well.
A Hawaiian ginger plant in our yard has started sprouting out of its blossom – so strange. We’re thinking of cutting off the blossom and planting it for more ginger plants. Also blossoming in our yard are several ti plants, something I never knew happened. All of our plants currently have a long drooping blooms sprouting out of them, all in a shade of pinkish lavender – they’re lovely.
That’s a wrap for this week! Other than ferocious winds, it’s been a very good week, and I’m looking forward to the one coming up and hope you are as well. I’ll be putting things back together again and will be back next Sunday!