Sunday Morning 3/7/2021: Cool Kaua’i

Just one pretty sunset this past week, on Thursday.

Good morning! Aloha kakahiaka!

We had hoped after last week’s expensive car repairs that we would be done with that for a while, but it was not to be. A few days after we got the car back we began having trouble getting the car started; last Monday morning it took Brett eight tries. So, instead of running his other errands that morning he went directly to our mechanic and ended up having the starter replaced. Ugh. The car starts up nicely every time now so it was a needed repair but once again that was several hundreds of dollars we wished we hadn’t had to spend. Our car otherwise runs very well, gets great gas mileage, so both of us now have our fingers and toes crossed that this is it for awhile. 

There’s been some sunshine this week, but mostly cool, windy weather has continued. It’s been cold enough on a couple of nights that I had to break out my cold weather pajamas (which are now too big!). We were up in Kapaa this past week for my hair cut, and took our walk that day on the beach path. If the wind hadn’t been blowing at nearly 20 mph it would have been hot, but the wind kept it cool the entire time. The ocean was fierce though, and between the noise from the wind and the waves Brett and I could barely hear each other. The rain has mostly been at night, but we had a couple of stormy days that have kept up indoors as well. Our guava tree is starting to bud out, so we’re hopeful for another good harvest this year. Lots of flowers blooming around us as well, and I’m getting antsy to start hunting for new hibiscus colors.

Brett has an appointment for his COVID vaccination this week! Slots for 70-75 year-olds opened up statewide on Friday, nearly two weeks ahead of what had been predicted. They expect to open up vaccinations for 65-70 in another couple of weeks, again ahead of schedule. Fingers are crossed! We have no plans to do anything differently than we are now once we’re both vaccinated, but are excited about having the extra security the vaccine will provide.

This morning I am:

  • Reading: I finished Tana French’s The Searcher last Monday so that it could be passed over to Brett before it has to be returned to the library. Death and the Chaste Apprentice was finished next, on Wednesday. I finished the Shirley Jackson classic, The Haunting of Hill House, on Friday night. I’ve seen the movie of The Haunting of Hill House (still scary) and there’s now a series based on the book on Netflix which has been added to our watch list. I’m going to read a book I’ve had on my Kindle for nearly two years, Trial on Mount Koya by Susan Spann, and then get to finishing The Woman In White. I have a whole list of new authors and books I want to download/reserve, but am holding off until I finish TWIW.
  • Listening to: I can barely hear anything outside this morning because all the doors and windows are closed up tight. It’s still too cold and windy to open things up even though the sun is shining. The wind is strong enough that it will probably stay cold/cool for most if not all of the day. It’s nice and quiet inside though – we’re both working at our computers, drinking our coffee, and getting our day started. 
  • Watching: I’m almost done with the first season of The Great British Menu and can’t wait for more. I honestly had no idea there were so many Michelin-starred chefs all over England, and I love that some of them, if they lose, come back to compete year after year, win or lose. Brett and I finished the first season of The Sinner on Friday and will start Season 2 tonight. It’s an interesting series that has grown on us. Yesterday evening we watched Nomadland. I read the book back in 2018 and the film does a very good job of capturing it all. I also love watching anything Frances McDormand is in.
    I love it when my hair is this short. In a month though it will be a bunch of curls because my hair grows so fast here. I’d love to keep the curls but they don’t really work or behave in the humidity.
  • Happy I accomplished this past week: I got a much-needed hair cut on Tuesday, and Brett and I followed that with a lovely four-mile walk on the eastside beach path. Otherwise, all we accomplished was the usual day-to-day stuff. We did a LOT of talking about our future, and are sort of moving toward a decision about what we want to do and where we want to be. There is much still to be decided and figured out though.
  • Looking forward to next week: Besides getting his vaccine, Brett meets with the surgeon on Wednesday and should have a date for his surgery arranged then. We have nothing special planned for this coming week otherwise. There are always things to do around the apartment though, and we’re talking about driving up to Kilauea and hiking the Stone Dam trail if the weather permits. With the amount of rain we’ve been having though it may just be too muddy now. If we get a really nice day we’ll head down to Barking Sands and spend some time on the beach.
    Baby’s got new shoes!
  • Thinking of good things that happened: My new walking shoes arrived and they’re great! We talked with all the kids this week as well. We talked last night with our son, DIL, and granddaughter, and they sent loads of new pictures and videos. The grandkids are growing so fast, especially our granddaughter. The biggest change is that she is now English-dominant – it was great talking with her last night and hearing about all she’s doing at school. Meiling moved in to her new apartment and is doing well, and WenYu finally got her Massachusetts drivers license – a big accomplishment for her. She continues to crochet like crazy and hone her skills, and is even creating her own patterns now!
    Our change/$1 bill jar is actually a Ziploc bag, with pennies kept separately. When I there’s enough to roll the change, or bundle $25 in ones, it goes off to the bank.
  • Thinking of frugal things we did: Outside of another expensive but necessary repair on the car this was a very low-key spending week. We shopped at the farmers’ market and I got my hair cut (price of the haircut went up by $10 though), but otherwise there was no spending. We only put $2.00 into the change/$1 jar this past week, left over from the farmers’ market. I earned 2,572 Swagbucks, which includes my February bonus of 723 SB, and we did all the other usual frugal things.
  • Grateful for: I didn’t realize how much I had been missing them or how much they would cheer me up, but I am very thankful for the return of blue skies now and again this past week. It always makes a difference in our moods.
    Both Brett and I dream of returning to the village of Blockley.
  • Bonus question: If you could only go back to a place you have visited before, what would be your top three destinations? This turned out to be not an easy questions to answer for either Brett or me, and if I had asked myself this three months earlier I know I would have had three completely different places than I do now. In three months’ time I’ll probably have three new ones. Right now my number one choice would be to return to England, to the Cotswolds again. There is so much we didn’t see or do last time, and with a car we’d be able to get further afield than we did before. My second destination choice would be Buenos Aires. We were only there for 10 days in 2018, and regretted that we didn’t have more time to explore and get to know the city. Number Three on my list, after a great deal of thought is split: either more time in Bordeaux or Normandy. Again, we didn’t spend a lot of time in each place, but enough to discover that there was so much more we wanted to see and experience. As I said, three months ago my choices would have probably been Paris, Rome, and New Zealand (I would cheat and visit the South Island on a second visit), and who knows what they’ll be in another three months – as I think about our travels different memories come to the surface and I’m constantly reevaluating the places we visited. If we had to go back and live full time in one of the places we visited it would be Strasbourg – it remains our favorite. Second choice would the village of Blockley.

We’re approaching the one-year anniversary of being back on Kaua’i and have been thinking of the wild ride it’s been in many ways. It’s been an expensive ride too, as we set up housekeeping again and are dealing with higher prices. We learned a lot about living frugally in an expensive location during our previous residency, and those skills continue to guide us and help us navigate the cost of living here. The pandemic has kept us from doing many of the things we did before, but overall this was the right place for us to come, for now anyway. It’s been very safe, and the state, the county, and residents here have taken (and continue to take) the pandemic very seriously. You just don’t see anyone out here without a mask, for example (except for a few tourists who think the rules don’t apply to them). With the return of tourists, life will be returning to some type of crazy normal in the next few months but it’s time.

Ally continues to be upset with us because we haven’t made The Girl come back yet.

We didn’t have a bad week, but between the repairs and weather not the greatest of weeks either. Lots got done, we’re moving forward, and we’re looking forward to the new week, and excited about the changes that are coming, both Brett receiving the vaccine and the next stimulus arriving which will recoup what we’ve spent on car repairs and fatten our savings a bit. Here’s to good food, good books, good friends, good weather, and lots of good things happening in the coming week!


22 thoughts on “Sunday Morning 3/7/2021: Cool Kaua’i

  1. Looking sharp with the hair cut!

    My return place would be UK, France and Germany. Again and again and again…….. probably only get to NZ in 2022 if the vaccines don’t get COVID under control. With so many saying they won’t, especially in US, it may take a while.


    1. I would love to grow my curls out a bit, but when I do that here my hair ends up looking like Albert Einsteins. There’s no way to control it, and the humidity doesn’t help.

      France was a very pleasant surprise for us. We weren’t sure how we would like it there, but we enjoyed every places we visited and would happily go back again.

      I honestly think there are a lot of people in the US who say they won’t get the vaccine but are doing it anyway and not telling anyone. Especially if there are going to be things you can’t do or places you can’t go without having the vaccine.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Poor Ally! That is one unhappy cat, you can see it in her face! My return spots always have to do with family, and I do return to them as often as possible if family lives there, or wants to visit a place. I have been to many other places, but I tend to visit a place once, and then I am ok with not going back. That dynamic changes if family wants to go there. For me, I guess, it is all about who I am with. I never really thought about it before. I think that is because I am able to take so few days off, that what little time I have off, I want to spend with family. I am wondering if that will change once I retire. Love your haircut!


    1. I felt like you did until the last child went off to college – by the time we got there Brett and I were ready to head out on our own. But, we had been raising children continually for 40 years and really wanted and needed a break, some “us time.” Now that we have grandchildren it’s important for us to see them as much as we can, difficult because they live overseas. I think we will spend more time with the girls as they build their own families, but for now they’re happy to spread their wings on their own.

      The only issue with having short hair is that it has to be cut frequently (every 7 weeks for me). Mine has to be scissor cut as well.


  3. The 3 places that I would visit again are: Islay (Island of Scotland), Isle of Lewis (Scotland) and Saint Emilion (France).

    And London (Sorry, I picked 4)


    1. We loved, loved, loved St. Emilion! We took a wine tour there when we were visiting Bordeaux and had a wonderful time. We had a charming guide, and we got to visit one of the chateaus in the area and drink some fantastic wine. We enjoyed our time in Edinburgh and hope to get back again for some more exploration of the countryside.

      We only spent three days in London – no enough to begin with, and it poured rained all three days. We hope to go back and spend three weeks to a month there someday.


    1. We are back to gloomy, rainy weather. I shouldn’t complain as soon the sun will be shining and we’ll be complaining about the heat. But I love the sunshine too!


    1. We toured the North Island in 2019 – rented a car in Auckland, then spent two days in Rotorua, on to Napier, then down for three days in Wellington, over to Mangorei and then up the west coast a bit and back to Auckland for two days. Now we need to see the South Island!


  4. I like the looks of those shoes. Nice hair cut, though I like your curls too. My frugal goal is to get my hair cut every 6 months. I get mine cut short then it grows & has a little natural wave & curl. Funny your jar is ziplock bags. Our jar is a plastic bowl.


    1. I love my curls (I’ve always had curly hair but it’s super curly now for some reason) but they’re impossible to maintain here because of the humidity. I should take a before and after of my hair at 7 weeks – it’s curling all over the place. I wish my mom could see it – she always wanted curly hair while I always wanted mine to be straight.

      I would use a food storage container except we don’t have an extra one. The bag works fine and is easy to keep out of sight.


  5. I haven’t had my hair cut since…February 2020! It was short then and now it’s down to my shoulders. I’m pretty sure this is the longest I’ve ever gone without cutting it, but I have very straight hair and so it’s really not a bother. I plan to get it cut in the next couple of months because I don’t want such long hair in the summer.

    My top places to return to would be: Kauai (of course!), Japan (anywhere!), Lucerne, Rome. I couldn’t pick just three!

    No vaccine for me yet. All of my friends who are older than me have had at least one shot so far, so I’m hoping they’ll lower the age soon. The governor says anyone who wants a vaccine will be able to get one by May, so we’ll see about that.


    1. Long, straight hair was always my dream – I used to chemically straighten my hair in high school and ironed it for years. It’s a wonder I still have any hair! My hair has always been curly but since I went gray, and as I get older it’s been getting curlier, and long doesn’t work any more.

      I wasn’t all that crazy about Rome when we were there but as time has passed and I think about it I would love to go back – we were both sick with colds so really weren’t able to get out as much as we wanted. Lucerne was just lovely – I am so grateful we got the chance to visit there.

      Since Brett’s vaccine is coming earlier than expected, I’ve got my fingers crossed my group comes a little earlier too.


  6. You world travelers are an inspiration. I live in Illinois and have lived in the same house since 1986. I’ve been to 38 states, Mexico, and Canada, but UK as soon as possible, and them who knows?


    1. We can’t wait to travel again but have to get through this year first. Then it’s back to the mainland. We are both greatly looking forward to being back in Japan again as well in the fall – we’re planning to spend six weeks there and hope that will be enough.


  7. I love short hair – yours looks great! – and love having mine cut regularly. It’s pin straight and a real pain once it get a bit longer. Feels so good to be shorn. 😊 And those shoes are cute. I struggle with not enough padding no matter which shoes I wear. I have inserts that help, and a podiatrist gave me some pads that are strategically placed for specific aches and pains. The joys of aging. And genetic arthritis.

    Nomadland was quite a movie. I hadn’t read the book, but like you, anything with Frances McDormand pulls me in. We just started Broadchurch and we’re both hooked. It’s hard to find something DH will watch with me, but if I can get him to watch one episode, he’s usually hooked. Ha!

    My three return spots would be Italy (more of Umbria and then Rome), France (Normandy and the wine country/chateaux) and of course the UK.


    1. Your hair is like mine – once it gets a bit too long it’s a pain in the neck, and mine ages me considerably. I look like I have an old-lady perm!

      I do wish these shoes had more padding, but they’re still comfortable. I have some condition where I have little to no padding on the soles of my feet – the podiatrist that did my bunion surgery was very surprised by it. So, without padding in my shoes my feet burn after walking.

      Broadchurch is fantastic: the actors, the storyline, the settings . . . everything comes together perfectly. We’ve watched it three times now and it’s been equally as good each time even though we knew how it played out. You and your husband might enjoy The Sinner. It started slow for me, but I am really enjoying it now.

      Rome calls me to come back, and there are other areas of Italy Brett and I would love to explore.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My feet are doing the same. A friend’s husband told me years ago his podiatrist told him he had none and it was not unusual for people to have this happen as they age. He was never to go barefoot or wear things with no padding. I have always loved going barefoot, so this is a challenge for me. 😂


      2. I have to wear slippers inside – I have a pair of very cushy Crocs flip flops that I wear indoors. This has been a problem for me though for ages, since I was in my 20s, and having bunions didn’t help either.


  8. I’m happy to hear your Covid shots are not far off! I like your hair, glasses and shoes 🙂 I was very surprised to see your change/$1 bill jar. I had always assumed it was virtual, not cash!


    1. Thank you! I am very happy with my haircut this time, and I love my new shoes. I will be sad to give up these frames this year, but I’m already thinking about what I want next.

      Fingers are double crossed that my vaccination will be in a couple of weeks.

      It makes a difference for me to see the cash and watch it build up. We used to keep the bundles of $1 bills under our mattress until we got to $400 dollars, but these days it goes right to the bank as soon as I bundle $25.


Comments are closed.