Sunday Morning 3/14/2021: Stormy Weather Pt. 2

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. 

Our view for most of this week  . . .
. . . but we got some welcome sunshine and blue skies on Thursday.

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.
    We’ve never seen a rainbow out this direction before. It only lasted a minute or so.
  • 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).
    When we were in England in 2019 I could not zip up this raincoat because my hips were too big. I’ve got room to spare now and could actually wear the next size down.
  • 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.

I’m no flower arranger, but these are cheerful, beautiful, and free!

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!


18 thoughts on “Sunday Morning 3/14/2021: Stormy Weather Pt. 2

  1. Great news that you both are getting your vaccines! Since we’ve had ours, we’re not going crazy, but do feel safer when we are around others, especially if they have also been vaccinated. I had originally thought I would wait and see how others did with the vaccine before getting it, but after chatting with my PCP about it, decided that I would get it as soon as I could and am happy with that decision. With so many people getting the vaccine and our numbers are going down quite a bit, it seems like a light at the end of the tunnel.

    We’ve had a couple weeks of warmer weather and in the past week all sorts of things have started blooming. We have daffodils (some with smaller, spikier petals and other very large ones), camellias, lenten roses (Hellebore), and this morning I noticed some of the irises and tulips are budding out. Although I love winter, I am quite ready for spring and all the beauty it brings.

    Hope your week goes well and you get some sunshine and beautiful sunsets!


    1. I was surprised but excited to see the appointments for my age group come up so quickly! Now that they are receiving adequate doses of the vaccine, Hawaii is doing a good job getting them distributed in a timely manner. It really does feel like a light at the end of the tunnel, or at least we’re entering the final tunnel and can see the end of it. Fingers crossed.

      I think we have another week or so to go of this crazy, awful weather. We woke up to sunshine this morning, but a few hours later and the wind has picked up and big clouds have rolled in again. Sigh.


  2. So glad to hear about your vaccine! I am also scheduled for Tuesday morning, and as you said, I feel very grateful. I didn’t expect it so soon.
    We watched about mudslides and the heavy rain on the news and I was wondering how you’d be affected. What a scary situation must have been for the people who are directly impacted! Early spring weather can be wild, we had extremely heavy winds, and hail -a couple of days ago some of our neighbors were making snowmen out of the hail on the ground. We still need a lot of rain though as this area really has only 2 seasons and we’ve been in a deep drought that will only get worse as we’re heading into the summer months.
    A year ago I didn’t have a clue of how this pandemic will affect me and my life. Looking back I was so naive, I thought it will be something short-lived, and in few months we’ll be back to normal. By May, however, I realized that the virus was freely roaming among us and we’ll play catch up for a very long time. I must admit that it is a little unsettling to think that we may never go back to what I thought of “normal”. Despite this sense of loss of a way of being, the arrival of my sweet granddaughter, the joy of my life, sweetened the grief. She is reminding me that life is powerful and beautiful and worthy of any sacrifice.

    Wishing you and Brett a calm and warm week ahead! Take care!


    1. We live up on a hill and with no other slopes or hills around us, so we are safe from landslides where we are. We could see several of them off in the hills when we came home from our walk yesterday, and there was a small slide next to the road we take up to the park, but it didn’t impact driving conditions. Some of the flooding has been incredible – we watched a video last night of the flooding in Koloa last Friday, when the incredible rains filled the stream that runs through town (Koloa is where our bank branch and Big Save are located). Just incredible, and we could see that more than a few homes were impacted.

      We have felt very safe on Kaua’i, and are glad we came back here when we had to return to the U.S. We honestly had no idea though that it would last this long. I can’t wait until we can travel and see our grandchildren again. Thank goodness for Messenger and FaceTime!


  3. Great news on the vaccines! I’m done and DH has his second shot on Saturday. TBH, it hasn’t changed the way we are living much, but there is real comfort in feeling more safe overall. Also wanted to mention DH had parathyroid surgery three years ago this month and is doing fine. He does buy his calcium at Costco. 🤣

    Really love the flowers. Oh, to have birds of paradise to cut and vase. Lucky you! And the hibiscus are always beautiful!


    1. I know we will still be wearing masks around here for a while longer, and keeping ourselves fairly distanced from others, but I’m excited that I will finally be able to get together with a good friend here, something we couldn’t think of doing before.

      I absolutely love heliconia, and how long they last. The bird of paradise in our yard, once cut, don’t last very long though so I don’t cut them any more. Gardenias will be blooming soon!

      Thanks for the good word on the surgery. We will be getting Brett’s calcium from Costco as well LOL.


  4. Excellent news on the vaccine for you both!!! I’m in the health care tier in CA, so will hopefully getting vaccinated in the next few weeks, as will M. We’re both very excited and our plans to be able to be a bit more free in the upcoming months seems like it may very well happen. Hurrah!


    1. The best part about getting the vaccine is the feeling that we will be able to expand our boundaries a bit and get out and do some things we really haven’t been able to do this past year, like enjoy a meal out in an actual restaurant! Hopefully it won’t be too long before the girls are able to be vaccinated, but neither of their states (MA and PA) seems to be doing a particularly good job of it.


  5. I do not like grapefruit…lol. I am with you on olives, I am just not that crazy about them., It is predicted we may have tornadoes on Wednesday….spring weather is unpredictable. I did not know it rained like that in Hawaii either.


    1. I’m not crazy about grapefruit either, but have a good excuse to avoid it now because of the medication I take. Believe it or not, I used to LOVE olives when I was little, prior to age five but then lost the desire to eat them. I’ve tried again, but no.

      Fingers crossed that bad weather does not come your way. As a bunch of tiny islands out in the middle of the ocean, Hawaii is at the mercy here of any big storm or weather activity that crosses the water. They usually miss us, but when they don’t . . . .


  6. You’ve never appeared to be on the large side to me, even when I look at older photos of you. But those clothes don’t lie do they?! I’m glad your approach to food and health has been working for you. I’m still trying to figure out something for me….entering menopause is not helping.

    I will say as far as popular American foods that most like but I do not? Steak, not a fan. I can eat it and and not gag or anything but I have never ordered it out to eat and it has been decades since I’ve had a bite. Honestly cannot even remember when I ate it last.
    Vaccines appointments are awful here in Massachusetts


    1. I have a very small frame, so can appear “small” to others, but am definitely prone to carrying too much extra weight on there, and it’s mostly from the waist down. So, if you’ve only seen pictures of me from the waist up, I look smaller than I actually am. What we are doing now seems to be the magic ticket for not just losing weight but changing my shape as well.

      I am also not a fan of steak, unless it’s a small piece (like a petite filet mignon, but who can afford that?) or sliced thin, like a flank steak (also difficult to afford). What I really, really dislike though is prime rib – I absolutely cannot handle seeing that big slab of meat falling over the plate.

      With two daughters now in MA we’ve been tracking the vaccination appointments there and you’re right, it’s awful. Same for PA, where YaYu is.


  7. Operation warp speed is doing well. Woo Hoo.I am glad you are scheduled. I don’t know many over 65 who have not gotten their first dose. I still have a bit of time to wait, but that is OK. They finally did a clinic at the casino- which is in the poor section of Dover, so many were vaccinated who could not get to hospitals easily.
    Mudslides are not fun. I stay inside for a bit when they are happening. Scardy cat that I am 🙂
    Put our house on the Market on Thursday and signed papers to close on tax day for it today! The housing market is CRAZY. You are lucky to have a great place to rent.
    Good job on the clothes fitting. AWWW….must feel SO good.


    1. Well, things are moving at warp speed here in Hawaii, but not so well in MA or PA. It will happen though.

      Congrats on your quick house sale! When we sold our house back in Portland, we used a friend for our agent. She was awful, and nothing happened. So, we fired here, interviewed new agents, took their advice about staging and making a few quick upgrades (i.e. painting), hired a new agent and she had it sold before it was even resisted!! Such a good feeling, especially after all the drama we had gone through earlier with the first agent.

      The weight loss does feel good because I feel better overall. And, I love how my clothes fit now, like they should rather than being squeezed into some of them.


  8. It’s a huge relief to get the jab! My husband gets his second shot this Wednesday and I get mine a week later. We are fortunate to live in Alaska, which leads the nation in vaccine distribution. I don’t anticipate huge changes to my life immediately but it will be nice to have dinner with my sister-in-law and her husband indoors!


    1. I’m heading off to the clinic in just another couple of minutes for my job – so excited, and I know I am going to feel very relieved afterwards. Alaska is doing an amazing job of distribution – way to go! We don’t expect any immediate changes either, but we are looking forward to feeling safer when we’re out and about.


  9. Congratulations on your vaccine. I get my second on March 22. I’m surprised you’re getting your second one so quickly. It will be more than 5 weeks between doses for me.
    My cousin and her husband had the parathyroid surgery two years ago. They are both fine.
    I don’t like seafood or vegetables. Love french fries but can’t have them much, like corn and broccoli if it is cooked right. My doctor just told me to eat lots of vegetables and fruit. Haven’t figured out how I am going to do that. I also need to start walking but I’ve only managed that for two days and only for short distances. I envy your discipline.


    1. Well, I’m surprised you are having to wait more than five weeks for your second dose. I understood that the second dose had to be in three weeks. I will get my three-week appointment when I get my first dose today.

      Have you ever tried roasting vegetables? There are some I never liked until I began roasting them, including Brussels spouts. It makes a difference in how the vegetable taste, and almost everything can be roasted.

      We started slow with the walking too, and have gradually built up our distance and speed. Just give yourself time – it will happen. I didn’t care for going out before but now I miss it if we don’t get to go.

      Thanks too for the good word on the surgery. I’m feeling better about it.


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