We thought we’d have a good sunset on Thursday evening, but a big rain cloud spoiled it.
Good morning! Aloha kakahiaka!
I have an appointment tomorrow to get the vaccine! Hawaii opened up for ages 65 and above beginning Monday and I just happened to catch the appointment website just after it went live so I picked tomorrow afternoon. I am so excited to get this started!
Confined to our neighborhood in Tokyo last year, we happily discovered there were several temples and shrines located within walking distance, and we had a wonderful time discovering ones we might have missed otherwise.
We’re coming up on our one year anniversary of returning to Kauai, and Brett and I have been reminiscing about how little we understood about what was coming and what we were doing a year ago. We were as up-to-date about the virus as we could be and had been taking precautions in Japan for several weeks although it was impossible to find masks and hand sanitizer in Japan – even hand soap was a difficult-to-find commodity. Toilet paper, tissues, and other paper products were impossible to find as well. Our outings had become limited to where we could walk in our own neighborhood, and once busy streets were mostly deserted. Schools in Japan had been closed down nationwide, and we spent our weekdays over at our son’s home helping our our grandson adjust to online learning while our son worked upstairs from his office. Our granddaughter still went to her hokuen (preschool/daycare) but our son and DIL had made adjustments to their schedules to pick her up so there were no more bus or train rides. We had no idea how bad things would get and that we’d soon be returning to the U.S. and hunkering down for a year on Kaua’i.
We’ve had another cool, (very) wet week here, with everything from high winds, thunderstorms, incredible amounts of rain and flash floods and mudslides to sunshine and blue skies. I had to break out my cold weather pajamas and slippers again to get through a couple of nights, as well as some of my cool weather clothes just to stay warm. We’ve gotten out when we could, but walks have been shorter or didn’t happen at all because of the rain (and the park is currently a muddy, wet mess in many places). There was no farmers’ market on Wednesday because of the weather, but on Thursday it was sunny, hot, and humid. That didn’t last long though and storms were back that night, and Friday was literally a washout, with rain and winds so strong it was coming in under the weather stripping on the front door. Brett and I gave up on going anywhere, and stayed in our pajamas all day. Before we moved here I naively thought Hawaii was always sunny and balmy but I know better now, especially that spring comes in like a lion and can be downright tumultuous when it comes to the weather. I refuse to complain too much about it though because I know when August arrives I am going to be wishing temperatures were this cool again and that we were getting a bit more rain.
Brett’s parathyroid surgery has been scheduled for Monday, April 5. I woke up last Wednesday morning with a knot in my stomach, full of worry about it, but we had a long visit with the surgeon that afternoon and both of us left feeling better about what would be happening. The surgery is thankfully outpatient surgery these days, and I will be allowed to stay with Brett until he goes to the operating room, and then after he gets out of recovery until he’s ready to come home. Otherwise I will have to wait at home or somewhere else – no hanging out and waiting at the hospital these days. Our appointment with the surgeon went on long enough that we barely had time to grab a sandwich at Safeway before Brett had to be back for his first COVID vaccine appointment. He’ll go back for the second does on March 31, and I will get my second dose the day of his surgery (something to do while he’s in the OR).
This morning I am:
- Reading: I finished Trial On Mt. Koya on Tuesday and finally started reading The Woman In White again. I was hoping that nothing else would come off of hold at the library until I could get it finished, but it was not to be because two books came off hold on the same day. I’ve set The Woman In White aside once again and I’m now reading Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu and Now You See Me by Sharon Bolton. I can’t remember if Interior Chinatown is a mystery or not, but I will make an exception for it however that turns out. I should be ahead of schedule with this year’s reading goal by the end of the month!
- Listening to: I woke up to the sound of water dripping off the eaves, but the rain’s stopped (for now) and currently I’m listening to the sound of some fairly strong winds whipping around the house and through the yard and trees. The sky looks fairly bright and almost blue in places, but it’s scheduled to be a mess once again (rain, wind, etc.) by early afternoon. I’ve got a couple of good books to read and some warm pajamas on, so I’m ready. We did get a lovely surprise this morning out the front windows though.
- Watching: We’re into the second season of The Sinner and it’s just as great as the first. I’m starting the next season of the Great British Menu tonight – the first one got me hooked and there are several seasons to go (each season has 45 half-hour episodes – I watch two every evening). It was was gratifying to see who made it to the final and cooked for the big banquet at the end (hosted by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall). My favorite chef from the season cooked the main dish, and my second favorite chef’s recipe was chosen for the starter.
- Happy I accomplished this past week: This past week’s cool weather was the perfect time to try on and reassess all of my cool/cold weather travel clothes and figure out what to keep and what to let go. I have a big bag ready to go to the local thrift store.
- Looking forward to next week: Of course getting my first dose of the vaccine tomorrow is #1! We will also be doing a semi-Big Shop on Tuesday, much needed as it feels like we are running low on or out of so many things. Otherwise, we still are staying optimistic and hoping for some good weather and that things improve around the the island (everything from Hanalei and north has been cut off because of mudslides, but there were slides all over and it’s very, very soggy everywhere).
- Thinking of good things that happened: 1) Brett’s getting his first dose of the vaccine under his belt was the best thing and my being able to get an appointment so soon after his was the second best thing. 2) I was very happily surprised by how my travel clothes fit now. For example, I have a couple of jackets that I was previously unable to zip up around my hips that now fit with room to spare! Other things I was squeezing into fit the way they’re supposed to, but a few other things are way too big now and look very frumpy. 3) The past several months we’ve had to wait until 10:00 p.m. to start our Swagbucks day, but the start of Daylight Savings today means we can once again start at 9:00 p.m.. Having to wait until 10:00 for the past few months has been a massive pain, but we’ll both be able to finish up now before we go to bed most of the time. 4) The relief bill being passed is a very good thing. Our stimulus money will go into our down payment fund. 5) The sun came once this week, which helped my mood.
- Thinking of frugal things we did: Other than a trip to Big Save for some produce because we couldn’t go to the farmers’ market on Wednesday, and picking up a sandwich from Safeway for our lunch that day as well (we shared it), we had a no-spend week. Not spending money is the easiest way to save! We put $3.53 into the change/$1 bill bag, I earned 1,994 Swagbucks in spite of two 100+SB completed surveys not paying out (I submitted claims through the Help Desk); we ate all our leftovers; didn’t throw away any food; and had two no-drive days (mainly because of the weather), saving gas and wear & tear on the car.
- Grateful for: Both Brett and I are very grateful that the COVID vaccine is finally happening for both of us. We’re grateful to all who made this happen, from the scientists who worked to create the vaccine to the transportation who made sure it to the islands to our government who facilitated the disbursement to the health care workers administering the vaccine. Getting my vaccinations started tomorrow is much, much sooner than I expected it to happen. Most of our behaviors won’t change once we’re vaccinated, but we will definitely be feeling safer when we do go out.
- Bonus question: Can you think of a food that is beloved by most/many people that you don’t care for? I can think of two right off the top of my head: olives and French fries. I have tried to like olives and just don’t care for them although I do like olive oil. Olives are just too briny for me in a way I can’t get around. I don’t care for potatoes all that much overall, but I’m really am not a fan of French fries. There are a few places where I have had them and enjoyed them (I enjoy the ones at Street Burger up in Wailua mainly because they’re very crisp and the perfect vehicle for their homemade ketchup which I can never get enough of) but for the most part I can happily and easily leave them alone. I also don’t like green salads but that’s more because I know the lettuce is going to cause problems, and I don’t care for things that are cherry or lime flavored although I like the actual fruit. I used to not like pimento, but like it now, so I can still change. Otherwise, for now I’ll eat anything else, although I’m still not sure about bugs (I tend to gag when I watch people eat them).
In spite of the crazy weather, spring is starting to appear, with plants blossoming all over the place. I am eager to start searching out hibiscus again, and I spotted the three plants above in the parking lot of a church we drive by on our way to and from the park. The larger blossom looks a little bit worse for the wear thanks to all the storms, but I could still get a sense of its loveliness, and I loved the delicate colors of the other two. Lots of blossoms had been knocked down off of the plants though. I am also someone who never liked cutting flowers out of our yards, preferring to enjoy them in their natural setting, but lately I’ve been cutting some of the heliconia and ferns from the yard here to put in our bathroom – they last for over two weeks.
That’s all for this week! In spite of the awful weather we’ve had a good week with good news and good things happening, and I hope the same is true for everyone. Here’s to a good/better week coming up!