Sunday Morning 3/21/2021: Good Week, Bad Week

We had a somewhat pretty sunset on Monday evening, and another evening with a pretty afterglow, but otherwise it was nothing but gray clouds all week.

Good morning! Aloha kakahiaka!

I was a giddy as a child going to Disneyland for the first time as I waited for my turn to be vaccinated last Monday. The staff at the hospital was wonderful, everything moved along swiftly even though there were lots of people in line for the vaccine, and it didn’t hurt. Well, it didn’t hurt when I got the shot. However, by Monday evening my arm was sore, and I had trouble going to sleep because of that. Tuesday it was downright painful. We did our shopping on Tuesday and I’ve never felt so grateful for Brett’s help. I could push the cart along, but that was about it – he did all the heavy lifting otherwise. By Wednesday morning though the pain was gone although I had a runny nose and a bit of a sore throat, but that was due more to the weather we’ve been having than anything else, and was gone by Thursday. I will get my second dose on April 5.

It’s going to be a few weeks before we see our stimulus money – it was sent to our bank for direct deposit, but the bank screwed something up and THOUSANDS of accounts had their direct stimulus deposits rejected and sent back to the IRS, ours included. Some people only had half of their stimulus deposited, some were told the deposit was pending but it never showed up. Brett spent nearly an hour on hold waiting to talk to the bank on Thursday to try to find out what was going on and we knew something was up then because we usually get right through. The customer service rep wouldn’t tell him what exactly was wrong either other than it was something to do with our account number, and we learned later customers were getting all sorts of different reasons for the screw up (while others got their money with no problems). We haven’t changed anything with our account, there were no issues getting the last two stimulus payments or any previous refunds from the IRS, but for some reason this time it wasn’t going to happen. Anyway, the IRS has informed us a paper check will be mailed to us at the end of this week, so we’re hopeful we’ll get it within the next few weeks. Brett and I don’t need the money now, but it sure would be nice to have it sitting in our savings account.

On a brighter note, Brett and I have made a decision about our future plans! We realized this past week that none of the places we were looking at were sparking any joy whatsoever even though they met many of the criteria we had set. The whole experience was becoming very depressing, to be honest. But we eventually came up with an idea that not only met a few of our wants but also gives us great joy and excitement. All will be revealed soon!

This morning I am:

  • Reading: I finished Now You See Me in just three days – I could not put it down – and then planned to get through Interior Chinatown in a few days as well, but yet another book came off of hold on Monday: The Woman In Cabin 10, by Ruth Ware. It was another page-turner, and I finished it before the end of the week. I finished Interior Chinatown on Friday(which turned out to have a murder in the story that had to be solved but was the not the central focus of the book), and then dedicated myself to The Woman In White and finished it yesterday. I will be spending part of the afternoon today finding new things to read at the library.
  • Listening to: The wind is blowing loudly outside again but at least it’s not as loud as it has been this past week. The wind has been intense. There’s also some blue sky out there as well for a change. We’ve gone to bed every night listening to the wind blowing and rain falling and dripping off the house, and it’s beginning to get to us – we’re getting anxious for some quiet. And it’s been cold! Except for the noise from outside it’s quiet inside – Brett’s working on his bookkeeping and our upstairs neighbor isn’t moving around too much.
  • Watching: We’re finishing up the last season of The Sinner, and it’s just as compelling as the first two seasons but very weird this time. We still wish there were more seasons to watch! Bill Pullman is the star and he has been great in his role as the older police detective. I’m now watching the third season available of the Great British Menu (the second season was unavailable for some reason). My least favorite chef from the previous season was advanced to the final, but so was my favorite chef, who did not make it to the final in the first season I watched. He’s also the first chef so far to be awarded a perfect score for one of his dishes. The theme for this season is “the Olympics” as it was filmed in 2012, when London hosted the them. I’m so glad I discovered this series!
  • Happy I accomplished this past week: Getting my first dose of the vaccine was #1. Coming to a decision on our future plans was also a big accomplishment, and we’re very happy about it. There is lots to do going forward, but at least we now know what we’re working toward.
  • Looking forward to next week: Better weather? Is that too much to ask? Please?
    The little jade plant that could.
  • Thinking of good things that happened: 1) Padma Lakshmi – PADMA LAKSHMI! – liked a tweet of mine this past week. I respect her so much, so this was like reaching the top of the mountain for me. 2) We learned the income tax deadline has been extended until May 17, a good thing as we have to pay taxes this year and we like to hold onto our money for as long as possible before we send it off. 3) We also learned that Bob Lowry (Satisfying Retirement) and his wife will be coming to Kaua’i this fall! We are looking forward to finally meeting them and have been planning a couple of outings with them that we can do together. 4) A small thing, but early in the week I pinched back a jade plant that was getting leggy, stuck the piece I took off into the dirt, and crossed my fingers . . . and it has taken hold! 

This past week’s food shop: Everything in the two carts for just under $225 – not bad!

  • Thinking of frugal things we did: We managed to stay under budget by a few dollars this week when we did our food shopping, and other than that trip and the farmers’ market we had another no-spend week. We had taken a few things off our shopping list before we started out, but also decided not to buy a couple of things while we were at the stores because of the price (like parchment paper, which is now nearly $8 for a roll at Walmart. At that price I can figure out a workaround). We put $7.34 into the change/$1 bill bag this week, I earned 2,024 Swagbucks, we ate all the leftovers, and I did have to throw out a few mushy green onions that had gotten buried under everything else in the produce drawer but thankfully nothing else.
  • Grateful for: I’ve been feeling very grateful this week for every thing we have and the realization that we neither want nor need more. Enough is a very good feeling.
  • Bonus question: What’s your greatest fear? I am very afraid of heights. My legs will literally stop working if I climb too high, like on a ladder. I hate going up above the eighth floor in any building. I learned a few years ago people fear heights for two reasons: fear of falling or fear of jumping. I have a little of both, depending on the situation. I get very anxious watching people approach things like the edge of a cliff (I can barely get close), especially children, afraid they might fall while at the same time wondering what it might feel like to fall through the air. I’ve thought about doing a bungee jump just to get that urge out of my head once and for all, but not sure my legs would get me out to the place to do the jump. I also have great fears of something happening to my children, but I keep that those pushed well into the back of my brain.

This Tuesday marks the one year anniversary of our return to Kaua’i. The whole experience of Japan shutting down, our abrupt departure from Japan with empty airports and planes on the way back; getting YaYu over here when her college closed, and setting up a household again with everything shut down on the island almost seems like a (bad) dream now, but we got through it, got ourselves settled again, and have been happy that we came back to the island. It’s been a very safe place for us to be and given us the chance to reevaluate our lives and goals as well as get in shape again.

Big yellow hibiscus always make me happy.

We have accepted that normal we knew before is not coming back, but we have hopes that we will be able to carve out a new normal that allows us to travel and see our family now and again. We didn’t see a lot of flowers this week, but the hibiscus at the Kukui’ula Marketplace are in bloom again and a bush full of the yellow beauty above (the Hawaii state flower) was right in front of our car on Wednesday to go along with the blue skies.

That’s a wrap for this week! Lots got done, some things didn’t, and it was a mix of good and bad. But no sense dwelling in what was – here’s a great week coming up!


20 thoughts on “Sunday Morning 3/21/2021: Good Week, Bad Week

  1. Always love your flower photos! I’m so glad that you’ve worked out future plans and looking forward to reading all about it. Aloha!


  2. Ha! Funny…. I was hoping to hear your decision this week, just nosy. I’m glad you were able to find a choice that feels right. Sorry if I missed it, but which vaccine did you receive?


  3. I am having a similar issue with my stimulus….sigh. So exited to hear your decision and decision process soon. Maybe it will help me make up my mind where I want to retire to and when. I am anywhere between right now and four years from now….max.


    1. I wonder what went wrong? At our bank there were so many different things happening: deposits returned, only half the stimulus being deposited, people being notified their stimulus was pending and then nothing showing up, etc. Apparently a second round is being deposited this week, but we’re still getting a check. It’s hard at time to know who screwed up, the bank or the IRS. Maybe it was a bit of both.

      All will be revealed this week! We’ve very happy with how things turned out.


  4. Excited to hear what your plans are of your future! I follow both your blog and Bob Lowry’s so am looking forward to when you all meet in person and you write about it.


  5. Check Costco for parchment paper, it’s a really good price here in Canada. Love that you’re figuring things out. I’m sure it’s a hard decision. Look forward to your decision.


    1. Thanks for the tip – we will check next time we shop there and see if we can find it.

      Our decision turned out to be quite easy once we got there. Up until that happened it was impossible and frustrating, and growing more so each day.


  6. I get a paper check because I always owe and didn’t submit my bank info for the first time. It usually comes between three to four weeks after mailing.


    1. Thanks Barbara – good to know. We don’t need the money so can wait, but it’s still frustrating not knowing what happened, especially since all previous refunds and stimulus payment were deposited without any issues, and nothing has changed with our account.


  7. Ditto fear of heights. I took flying lessons, for some reason easier to do than getting up on the roof.
    I go for my second vaccine tomorrow. Yippeeeee!


    1. I have wondered where this fear came from – I had no traumatic experience linked to heights but probably my imagination got the best of me when I was young and that was all it took. I have no problem going up in planes, or looking out the windows, but pretty much all other experiences involving heights are a no-go for me.

      Yeah on the vaccine! Brett gets his second vaccine next week, and mine is the Monday after that. Done and done!!


  8. I have a fear of heights, too. And, my thought processes are the same. Did you know parchment paper can be used about 3 times? That is expensive!


    1. I honestly thought for a long time that I was the only one who had an awful desire to jump to experience what that felt like (although I wasn’t interested or curious about dying).

      I primarily use parchment paper when I roast vegetables, so it’s always coated with oil and the edged are browned when they come out of the oven, not suitable to be used again. But this is something good to know!


  9. Yay to vaccines and the clever people that make them!!!! Did you take any paracetamol to help with the pain?

    Can’t wait to hear about your plans and where sparks joy.


    1. Yes, a big cheer to all who made the vaccine possible! I took ibuprofen for the pain, but it was gone in a day – just the muscle pain from getting the shot. I’m sort of worried about the second one though – I’ve heard the reaction can be worse.

      Post up on Wednesday outlining our big decision!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. We had the all vaccine weekend. DH got his 2nd Covid and I got my 2nd Shingrex. So we basically did nothing but take Advil and sleep. We both had a “fluish” feeling for a day and a half and today we’re both well, although both of us still have sore arms – his more than mine. BUT, we are done! I counted it up and I’ve had 7 vaccine shots this year. I was due for pneumonia, DT, flu, etc. and then I added Covid and Shingrex. I’m a pin cushion. 🤣

    So cool that you will get to meet Bob & Betty. I look forward to seeing pics of all of you together. And what a treat to have your tweet liked by PL.

    My greatest fear is deep water – always. Weirdly enough, it never bothered me to sail with DH once I got used to it. But I think growing up on Lake Superior and having ongoing stories of drownings throughout my childhood and adolescence just put that fear in me forever. To overcome it, I took Red Cross swim lessons in my 30’s, determined to get past it. I did everything up to the last test, which was the deep end, float for X minutes, then swim the length of the pool. I did that test three times on two different nights and finally gave up. The instructor ended up pulling me out each time – I just completely panicked. So I gave up. 🤷‍♀️ It’s kind of a running joke around here. I’m a rock.


    1. I am going to ask my doctor about the shingles vaccine when I see him this week. Brett and I took place in the drug trials for the vaccine – Brett got the real thing while I got the placebo, so he’s protected and I’m not. I asked for it both times we were in Portland, but the hospital never had any on hand for some reason!

      I can understand a fear of deep water. It’s never been a comfortable place for me to be, but I did learn to swim in the deep end when I was young. My dad had taught me how to swim when I was 3 or 4, and he took me to the deep end one day and asked me to swim a short distance to him. OK, but then he kept backing up to the shallow end, and I ended up swimming the whole length of the pool! After that pools were OK, but lakes or rivers, still not so much.

      We’re already excited about meeting Bob and Betty this fall and have come up with a couple of things to do with them while they’re here.


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