Sunday Morning 11/15/2020: Blowin’ In the Wind

Last Sunday’s sunset was a showstopper!
The only other sunset was on Thursday. There were no clouds to the west, but the eastern view glowed.

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.
    Lots of great produce for just $20: apple bananas, a big dragonfruit, some rambutan, a bag of green beans, cilantro, two papayas, and a kabocha (Japanese pumpkin).
  • 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.

This is the strangest thing going on in our yard right now.

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.

Blossoming ti plants

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!



24 thoughts on “Sunday Morning 11/15/2020: Blowin’ In the Wind

  1. The Sound of Music was the first album I bought with my own money. I knew the words to every song and danced around my parent’s living room as if I were 16 going on 17. I was 12. Today I could listen to any James Taylor album all the way through. I am old enough to remember listening booths. And yes, I even remember record stores!

    If you are getting ready for season 4 of The Crown and have seen The Queen’s Gambit (Netflix), I highly recommend a virtual exhibit from the Brooklyn Museum.
    The short interviews with the costume designers are interesting.

    I always look forward to your posts, especially on Sunday. I find your writing to be intelligent, calm and relaxing (except when large trucks are careening toward you!) I enjoy peeking inside your shopping bag of farmers’ market goodies. When traveling I love going to local grocery stores.


    1. Thank you for your lovely comment! Even though I can see how many readers I have each day, it’s something special to hear directly that someone is enjoying what I write.

      The Sound of Music was my mom’s album. We tolerated it LOL. I like James Taylor but not enough to buy an album. I loved stopping at the listening booths – I didn’t have money for records, but loved that I could listen and keep up with things.

      Loved the museum exhibit – than you for the link! Beth was so fashionable in The Queens Gambit, and I swooned over her white outfit at the end. It was sublime.


  2. Here’s hoping YaYu gets home safely and with all negative Covid tests! I’m sure you all will enjoy the time together through the holidays. Enjoy your “days off” but come back soon…..we enjoy your blogs!


    1. We’ve got our fingers crossed that all goes well. She sent us a picture today of her wearing a full face shield over her mask! Not sure if she is actually going to wear one, but it was kind of funny.

      I’ll be back next week – I’m using this week to think about ideas for new posts, and the direction of the blog since we won’t be traveling next year.


  3. We call the sprouts coming out of the red ginger flower “keiki” ( children). You can plant them. The flowers growing on the ti plants will eventually turn to seed. You can plant the seeds but you will probably get something very different from the original ti. Sometimes you can get a beautiful ti from the seed. If you want one exactly like the existing ti, you can cut the stalk and stick it or pieces of it in the ground. It’s also fun to cut the stalk and put it in a vase of water in the house. It will produce roots but also can make a very nice arrangement. Try several in a vase at different lengths.


    1. Thank you for the information Judy! We think we’re going to sneak out and cut off some of the ti in different lengths and see what happens. I have the perfect vase to do that in.


  4. My daughter (18) has been putting on kitchen nightmares, so occasionally that is on in the background. What to watch continues to plague me….I have started Truth seekers which is British and kind of cute, Virgin River which is a bit too hallmark channel for me and rewatching Breaking Bad and The office. And unsolved mysteries?!! I am watching too… I can remember the original and how much it used to scare me in middle and high school……but always looked forward to watching!

    It sounds like Ya Yu has the right mind set and is doing everything she can to protect herself and others. For all of you, if it helps don’t be afraid to encourage and support mask wearing inside the house when she gets home. It seems weird for families but it does/is helpful…..and to spend as much time outside as possible in the beginning. I’m glad testing is more available now than back in the beginning. I am so sad that our country could not have done a better job. We failed miserably…

    And your weight loss is so inspiring….still working on my own goals. 🙂

    Anon in mass


    1. Brett and I never got to the end of Breaking Bad – we had been binge watching and frankly got overwhelmed with it all. Maybe we should consider rewatching and getting through it all this time. Brett didn’t think he was going to like Unsolved Mysteries but he is hooked and now we have to discuss every episode – it’s fun.

      I miss my girls so much but with all that’s going, I’m glad they both have a safe place to shelter right now, and that they won’t have to risk long flights to get here this year. If there had been a way for YaYu to stay back east with her sisters we would have done that instead but neither of their living quarters support an extra person.

      When I climb on the scale each month one of the first thoughts to go through my head is, “how many times have you lost these pounds only to find them again?” Our daily walks this time and consciously measure our food is making a huge difference for me this time. Just wish my skin snapped back like it used to.


    1. We had no idea when we moved here how beautiful it was. Our last home wasn’t in a beautiful setting, so this apartment and the surrounding area have been so much better than we hoped for. It really is paradise – the only thing better would be an ocean view where I could see the waves rolling up to the shore.


  5. I wonder if that record album is a collector’s item and worth some money!
    The gale-force winds are here in the Midwest now.
    Thanks for letting me know more about a variety of topics!


    1. I wonder the same thing now, but back then no one was into collecting albums, and we didn’t have the ability like we do now to research and find out who the mystery artists were on the B side. I have no idea what ever happened to the album either.

      Our winds have finally returned to normal – THANK GOODNESS!


  6. What album can I listen to all the way through? All of them. My young cousin was scrolling through my music and said, “Oh, you’re an album person.” I wasn’t even sure what that meant initially. I recently caught A Walk in the Woods on tv and was reminded of Lord Huron, the Indie group from CA that’s featured in that soundtrack. I’ve been introduced to some great music by movie soundtracks.


    1. Oh, I have a lot more that I could have added to that list – those were just the first ones to pop into my head. Our son has nearly 5,000 CD. He has alphabetized them, and listens to every single one in alphabetical order – it takes over a year now, but he listens to every song on each album. He likes rock, but has eclectic tastes otherwise, and his collection includes LOTS of soundtracks. I love them – one of my all-time favorites is from “Married to the Mob!”


  7. Have you watched the Japanese tsunami episode on Unsolved Mysteries? It’s very well done! And I just may get to go to England next spring, and will hopefully at least make a stop in the Cotswolds. I’m very excited at the prospect!


    1. We just saw this episode this past week! Yes, very good, and aligns with the little I know about Japanese ghosts (which can actually be very scary, but not these ones thankfully).

      You will LOVE The Cotswolds! It’s one of two places we visited that we plan to go back to – Brett and I very much want to hike the whole Cotswold Way footpath. Let me know when and where you plan to go – it’s such a beautiful place to visit and explore.

      Otherwise, hope you are all well. Also hope you can make it back to Kaua’i one of these days!


  8. My first album was either James Taylor or Simon & Garfunkel. Carol King Tapestry was right behind them. DH bought me the remastered original recordings of S&G for Christmas a few years back, and I still listen to the whole thing in my car periodically. It’s like going back in time…all the memories that come back with each song.

    We are halfway through The Queen’s Gambit and loving it! I’m saving The Crown until we’re finished, as DH doesn’t watch that one with me. He loved Mindhunter but it’s hard to engage him in a long term series, so I’m glad I talked him into Queen’s Gambit. He’s a hard sell.

    Fingers crossed for YaYu’s safe journey and negative tests. She sounds very conscientious and I’m sure she’s doing all the right things. We are locked down (mostly) for another three weeks, and That Woman from Michigan is taking heat again. But she has the authority (and law) of the health department behind her, and I really admire her for doing the right thing. I just hope they have upped her security after the crazies tried to kidnap her. As we’ve all said many times over, this just should not be a political issue.


    1. When I did my overseas study in Japan in 1971, we had two albums (cassettes): Cat Steven’s Tea for the Tillerman, and Carole King’s Tapestry. That was it for American music for FIVE MONTHS and we wore them out! I still love both of them deeply and can listen to both straight through. I saw S&G in concert at the Greek Theater in LA when I was in high school – they have always been a favorite, and I can listen all the way through to their albums as well. The memories, as you say, go deep and take me right back to a place and time of my past.

      We started The Crown last night and are doing one episode per night, but Brett did get up and do some other things for a while – it’s just not his thing. I’m a harder sell though for some of the things he wants to watch from time to time.

      Go Michigan and Governor Whitmer! I think it’s only a matter of time before ALL the states have to buckle down – read today that ND is going to enforce a mandatory mask order there, although someone I know there is very much up in arms about it. She’s been saying the virus is a hoax for several months, but the other day said that she had had a cough and wondered if she had gotten it.


  9. Hi Laura, we arrived in Maui on Sat. It is gorgeous here, only rained one night and sunny/partly cloudy days. Highs around 88 but after the 45/50 temps and rain storms in Ptld, it is heaven. Here with Scott, KiLee, Linda (my BFF from HS). Linda goes home on Sunday. LeeAnn arrives Thanksgiving afternoon and then the 4 Of us go home together on the 6th of Dec. this trip is basically a celebration of the 2 of us beating Cancer!!! I read your Blog all the time, truly enjoy it! Do you correspond or keep in touch with any of our Woodstock families? You can text me if you are so inclined: 503-806 6171 ! Our condo property that we like to stay is starting to fill, but must be off to a slow start because a couple of weeks before we came they upgraded us from a mid court garden view to a ground floor ocean view! Too die for! Hope to chat soon!

    Sent from my iPhone



    1. Sandi! I’m very sorry for the late reply, but I haven’t looked at the blog for the last few days so I missed this.

      First, BIG congratulations to you and Scott for beating cancer! And a trip to Maui is a wonderful reward to both of you for your efforts. Hopefully you’re having better weather than we’ve been having this week over on Kaua’i.

      A is home from Pennsylvania tonight for two months, but the other two girls will be staying back east this year although they will celebrate Christmas together in New York.

      I’m not really in contact with anyone from Woodstock these days other than you and a couple of others. Life has changed for all of us, I guess.

      Here’s wishing all of you a fabulous time in Maui, and continued good health!


  10. Hi Laura and Brett, I’m happy your kids are all doing well and YaYu will be back soon! Lilikoi chiffon pie sounds like heaven. Your plants are very cool. I LOVE that Terence Trent D’Arby album! And I am an album person, still. Like your son, I have listened to my whole album collection in order (twice) but it’s been a while and I may want to do that again!


    1. Sorry for the late reply – just looking at the blog again for the first time in days tonight.

      Our son wears ear buds from the moment he gets up until he goes to bed at night and listens to music all day, softly. He can still carry on conversations, do legal work, etc. while listening – not sure how he does it, although I’m pretty sure he takes them out for client meetings and conferences. It’s the only way he can get through all the music he owns. He is still adding things to his collection as well – it’s seems amazing to me that he can still find new stuff he doesn’t have.

      I’m am so happy to know there’s another Terence Trent D’Arby fan, at least for the first album. His second effort was frankly awful though.


    1. I loved West Side Story! Actually, I loved musicals so much back then. Fun fact: our high school did a high-end musical production every year, but passed on West Side Story because it was “too racial.” Sigh. Never mind that it was GOOD!


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