Good morning! Aloha kakahiaka!
Other than the weather being kind of wild this past week, with the wind sounding like a freight train moving through the yard most of the time, we’ve had a very simple, ordinary week. We did our food shopping, walked almost every day, took care of chores and such around the house, and did nothing out of the ordinary. I have worried all week about what I would write about today, but in hindsight it was great to have a week without a lot of stress or running around.
We will be glad to see the backside of January – it has been a very expensive month for us. Three birthdays, flights for both Brett and YaYu, over budget on food and supplies, and a few other expenses have rung us dry. The girls’ birthdays were an expected expense, as was YaYu’s flight, but Brett’s trip over to Honolulu and back sort of came up suddenly when there was a cancellation with the specialist there. Besides his ticket we also have to cover his ground transportation, meals, and such while he’s there. We honestly didn’t figure on running out of so many things at once either, especially items that we typically buy in bulk. Anyway, February is so far looking better – with YaYu’s return to school food costs will drop, we’re well-stocked with supplies, and there should be fewer surprises, or at least we hope so.
YaYu heads back to school a week from tomorrow. She is excited, but we will miss our girl. It has been a very boring stay for her as there hasn’t been anything for her to do here, and her remaining friend on the island headed back to school a few weeks ago and they were only able to get together once during her stay. Ally Cat is going to drive us crazy after YaYu is gone as well – she shows up two or more times a day to spend time with YaYu – the two of them love being together. Brett and I are honestly looking forward to having more space once again as our apartment really is too small for three, at least for a long-term stay, but we’re very much going to miss YaYu’s company and cooking. This year she won’t be coming back for the summer either – the next time we see her will be next winter, whether that’s here or elsewhere.
This morning I am:
- Reading: I was dividing my time between A Perfect Spy (daytime) and A Necessary Evil at night this past week, but finished A Necessary Evil last night as it moved along a more quickly. I will concentrate on A Perfect Spy for now (reading both day and night) and then get back to The Woman In White.
- Listening to: This is the first morning all week where the wind isn’t howling out in the yard as it blows past. The sky is blue and the breeze is a normal level, although it’s still nicely cool. There’s a rooster screaming now again but otherwise it’s quite peaceful for a change. It’s quiet inside too – Brett is reading and YaYu is still sleeping – and I’ve got a nice fresh, hot cup of coffee in front of me so things are just about perfect as far as I’m concerned.
- Watching: Brett and I finished watching both Dark and Ratched this past week, and have started Call My Agent and The Umbrella Academy. Call My Agent is French, and has subtitles, so I have to pay careful attention to catch what’s going on. I can understand about every 50th word but hopefully I will do better as it progresses – there are four seasons. Umbrella Academy is strange but promising. Last night we watched The Dig on Netflix, a lovely story and lovely movie. YaYu is watching a show called The Magicians, and I catch some of it from time to time – it’s a strange but interesting show as well. I have been thinking about how Brett and I rarely watched TV before we set out on our Big Adventure, but got into the habit when we were in Portland in the summer of 2019 and then in England, and now we look forward to watching together every evening after dinner.
- Happy I accomplished: I got my activity card filled in this week, but don’t think we accomplished anything special this week although we did get our food shopping done including lots of snacks for YaYu to take back to school with her. Otherwise it was just our usual cleaning, laundry, walking, meal prep and clean up, etc.
- Looking forward to next week: I am frankly not looking forward to next week as Brett will be quarantining for 10 days following his return from Honolulu tomorrow. That means I will be walking by myself each day, he will not be dining at the table with us, he will not be able to go to the airport to see YaYu off, and other precautions will be taken. He is going over to Honolulu with a KN95 mask and wearing a cloth mask over that, and bringing along loads of hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes, so hopefully all will go well but it’s still worrisome. I have my fingers crossed for continued better weather this week, with more sunshine, and that the temperatures will creep up a bit. It has been very chilly at night all week although the humidity has stayed low.
- Thinking of good things that happened: 1) We were coming down the road to our house from our walk last Wednesday and passed a neighbor, who was on her way up to the park, and she stopped and gave us a gorgeous bouquet from her garden (she thought see would see us in the park)! It was such an unexpected and lovely gesture. We only met her a few weeks ago up at the park – Brett recognized her dog and car – and we ended up talking for a long time. Her husband is also retired navy, so after YaYu has gone back to school we’re having them over for cocktails and conversation. 2) We were able to get lilikoi at the farmers’ market this past week – such a treat! It’s hard to find these days.
- Thinking of frugal things we did: 1) We had slightly under $11 left over when we did our food shopping last Thursday, even after buying extra fruit and snacks for YaYu, and spending a full $20 at the farmers’ market. Some of that went into the change/$1 bill jar ($6.21) and the other $5 was put away for a future farmers’ market trip. 2) We finally received a $20 Costco card we earned when we signed up for automatic renewal last year, and used it at Costco this week but put $20 out of our regular shopping money into our travel account. 3) We also put $24.10 in credit card rewards into the travel account. 4) I earned 1,564 Swagbucks and will receive bonus SB later this week as I reached my goal every day in January. 5) I made a big pot of vegetable rice soup last Tuesday using up odds and ends from the vegetable drawer, some open containers of chicken stock, and a half-cup of rice, and enjoyed that for lunch for four days. 6) All other leftovers were used up and we didn’t throw away and food.
- Grateful for: I feel sometimes like I’ve hit a wall with this pandemic – I’m tired of not being able to go out other than to food shop, tired of wearing a mask when we do go out (but grateful that everyone here wears one without argument), tired that other than food shopping our only outing is a trip up to the park each day to walk or up to the Stone Dam trail. But then I remember that I am healthy and that my family is healthy, that I live in a very safe place, that I do not have to worry about losing my job or not being able to afford to eat or pay my rent, etc. and I am very grateful for all those things. Far too many others have not been as fortunate. I know we will get through this, although I am beginning to realize and accept that the world will not be the same, that there is no going back to what was “normal” before. Still, I can dream and I do, and I remain grateful for that as well.
- Bonus question: What’s something you’re very good at but hate doing? This turned out to be another question I really had to think about for a while, and had a hard time coming up with a satisfactory answer. One of the joys of being retired is that I don’t have to do anything I hate these days whether I’m very good at it (or think I’m good at it) or not. Actually, I don’t think I’m very good at much of anything now. I was a very good academic writer back in the day but that’s something I would hate doing these days. I also used to be very good at embroidery, but while I don’t hate it I’m also not eager to pick it up again. Everything else I do very well these days I don’t hate doing.
For someone who has prided themselves on have a green thumb with indoor plants, I have nearly killed three of them since we’ve lived here (four others are doing great though). I think the mostly likely problem was overwatering – because of the humidity the plants didn’t dry out as much as they should have between waterings and I nearly drowned them. Oops! We set all three outside and all are now sending up new leaves and shoots. For the time being we plan to leave them outside on the porch – they’ll get plenty of sun and water – and then will plant them in the yard later.
That’s a wrap for this week. It wasn’t bad, it wasn’t great – it was just very ordinary. I plan to savor this last week with YaYu, and help her get ready to head back to the mainland and will deal with Brett’s quarantine. I hope this past week was a good one for everyone, with good books, good food, lots of good things happening, and that everyone is looking forward to the week coming up!