Sunday Morning 4/4/2021: Happy Easter!

Good morning! Aloha kakahiaka!

Wishing all who celebrate a very happy and blessed Easter! I think this is the first year I can remember where I haven’t had a Cadbury Creme Egg (or several of them). They are my favorite chocolate, but are definitely something I can do without these days.

Brett has to be at the hospital tomorrow morning at 6:00 a.m. so we’ll be having a very, very early wake-up, something I’m not looking forward to. I’ll stay with him until he goes to the operating room, and then I will head over to get my second dose of the COVID vaccination before coming home to wait (and maybe sleep). There’s a two-hour break during the surgery while tests are done to make sure that none of the other parathyroid glands need to be removed, and if they don’t he’ll be done, and I will be called then to come back to bring him home. Everything looks good though according to all the pre-op tests and stuff, so fingers are crossed for tomorrow. Full recovery should take about four weeks.

There was a BIG increase in the number of tourists when we went to the farmers’ market this week, and we saw several who were wearing masks but pulled down so it wasn’t covering their noses. Grrrrrrr. Several were also crowding and pushing in lines versus staying socially distanced. Resorts and such are officially reopening state-wide tomorrow, but with new resident cases of the virus in the state averaging over 100/day, the governor has said that if those numbers aren’t brought under control soon he will put the state under a complete lockdown once again. The uptick in cases isn’t just because of tourists returning, but also because locals are no longer being careful or following safe procedures (although locals on Kaua’i continue to be fanatic about mask wearing). Brett and I are glad to be vaccinated, but know we still have to follow protocols for a while longer to stay safe.

This morning I am:

  • Reading: I finished One Good Turn early in the week, my 18th book for the year, and was all ready to download the next in the series, When Will There Be Good News, but One By One, by Ruth Ware, suddenly became available for download. I finished it in three days (another great page turner!) and then I got started on When Will There Be Good News. I am greatly enjoying the Kate Atkinson series – so happy I discovered them!
  • Listening to: Although the sky is blue it is LOUD outside this morning with the wind just whipping through the trees and other plants. It’s too noisy to know if anything else is happening out there. The temperature is thankfully nice and warm though – it should be a good afternoon for walking. If this keeps up though I can see having to shut the door so that I can concentrate.
  • Watching: We finished Wandavision last Wednesday evening, and what seemed very quirky and fun at the beginning ended up being quite melancholy and thought provoking at the finish. One of the greatest lines ever written for a movie or TV show, in my opinion, came in the next to the last episode: What is grief, if not love persevering? There’s no forgetting that. We’re now watching Case Histories, the series made from the Kate Atkinson books. So far it’s good and sticks close enough to the books. Tonight I’ll be watching the main and dessert course finals of the Olympics season of Great British Menu and will find out who is going to the banquet (and will watch the banquet episode tomorrow evening).
  • Happy we accomplished last week: Our food shopping trip last week was a bit of a challenge because we had to shop for a three-week stretch versus the usual two weeks (due to the timing of when my SS income shows up), but we stayed disciplined and along with upcoming farmers’ market trips we will have enough on hand now to get us through until it’s time to shop again (I think the only thing we’ll have to buy from the store in-between is another half-gallon of milk). Brett got his second dose of the vaccine last Wednesday, and also got tested for the virus on Friday (negative, but required before surgery).
  • Looking forward to next week: About the only thing I’m looking forward to besides Brett’s surgery going well is getting my second dose of the vaccine. Otherwise we’ll be having a quiet week at home while Brett recuperates, and I’ll be walking on my own for a few days.
  • Thinking of good things that happened: We had a very fun day for our anniversary in spite of the rotten weather. The rest of the week was low-key and enjoyable, we had some great weather on a couple of days, and everything pretty much went the way it should.
  • Thinking of frugal things we did: We came in under budget with our Day of No Cooking last Monday and gave ourselves not only a new but a more frugal and fun way of celebrating our anniversary. We also managed to somehow stay under budget with our food shopping, a definite challenge this time. We put $8.41 into the change/$1 bill bag this past week, and saved a total of $24.78 in March from change and $1 bills. I earned 2,095 Swagbucks this past week, and a 728 bonus for the month of March, putting me 3,000 SB ahead of where I wanted to be at the end of the month, so it was a good one. Finishing up our leftovers has also been a challenge this past week because eating out all day Monday threw everything off, but we’ve worked hard at getting them finished, finding ways to use them, and nothing has been wasted or thrown out.
  • Grateful for: Once again we’re feeling very grateful for our military health insurance. Between Medicare and Tricare For Life, there will be no out-of-pocket expenses attached to Brett’s surgery.
  • Bonus question: Could you pass the U.S. citizenship test? I sure hope I could, but I don’t know because I’ve never taken the full test. I’ve taken the practice tests and done well, but I’ve taken a lot of American history and government courses over the years, read the news every day, and do other things to understand our government so I hope I would do well. None of the questions on the test are “trick questions,”, but studies have shown that only around 36% of U.S. citizens could pass the test these days, something I find very, very sad and discouraging. I think a couple of my children would fall into the 64% that couldn’t pass the test – U.S. history was not required, or at least not much of it, and they chose to study other things instead. Again, that’s something I find sad as I think American history and civics should be a requirement for high school graduation, with courses also required in elementary and middle school.
The “plant hospital” – all four have revived and are growing again since going outdoors.

I have always had something of a green thumb when it comes to houseplants, but have had nothing but bad luck here, with all of the plants we’ve gotten almost dying indoors. They’re currently on the porch outside the front door – the “plant hospital” – and are reviving and growing again, so I guess that’s where they’ll stay. We’re in a great location for light and such but I think if I were a plant in Hawaii outside is where I’d rather be too. My little jade plant and an orchid we got when we arrived are both doing well inside though, so there’s still a little bit of green going on in here. Our avocado tree continues to increase in size, and now has branches and is developing bark on its trunk.

Our tree may be big enough to be transplanted into the ground by the end of the year.

Can I say how much I still thoroughly HATE the new WP editor? So many tasks that were easy to accomplish before aren’t any more.

Anyway, that’s a wrap for this past week, overall a pretty nice one. Here’s to another good week coming up!

10 thoughts on “Sunday Morning 4/4/2021: Happy Easter!

  1. I tried the UK citizenship test a few years ago, and there were some very strange questions that made no sense – at that time anyway. Luckily we didn’t have to do one when we applied for New Zealand citizenship.

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    1. There’s always been a test for U.S. citizenship, for adults anyway. The last few times I’ve tried it’s seemed easier, but I’ve tried a couple of sample tests in the past that were quite difficult, in my opinion. I knew then there were citizens who would never be able to pass it.

      Worse than the citizenship tests though are the voting tests – impossible! Those were specifically designed however to keep certain populations from voting. Thankfully they are are now illegal, but the way things are going it seems like some states would love to bring them back.

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  2. Happy Easter! I hope Brett’s surgery goes well and you’re both back home quickly. I’ll be thinking about you tomorrow.

    We normally do Easter brunch for our extended family, but it’s another quiet year here. We’re both fine with that right now. It’s also Spring Break in the area and a lot of people seem to have chosen to go south to warmer weather. Our Covid stats in Michigan aren’t good right now (never good to be on the nightly news lately) so I’m a little surprised, but we’ll just “stick to our knitting” and stay safe. DH is happy that the golf courses are open, and I am too. 🙃

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    1. Brett’s surgery went will, with an almost instant return to normal ranges once the wonky parathyroid gland was removed. He’ll stay quiet for most of this week but we’re glad this has been taken care of.

      Hope you had a lovely Easter. We did nothing special here except took a longer than usual walk in the park because the weather was so lovely.

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  3. My sister and brother are headed your way in the next week. They are vaccinated and will be COVID tested to get into their resort. We have plans for Hale Koa a year from now- but you might be gone by then. Even the 13 year old should be vaccinated by then.
    We have a special name for nose non maskers…. but it isn’t repeatable. The name makes me chuckle. I get it- so people just cannot breathe…tiny noses? Too big of noses? Anyway, I think of the name in my head when I, very occasionally, see them.
    You might trim that branch from your Avo. It might make the trunk stronger.
    Our food shopping has calmed down now that we are eating to move. $45 last week–Woo Hoo. I am saving money for our first shop in June. It will, probably, be staggering. My daughter was just saying that she needs to control the monster that is her food bill. With kids at 13, 8 and 5 only school opening will help her out. I told her we will work together on it in September. No more complaints on the price of school lunches for her.
    Enjoy the week. Hoping you have excellent weather.

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    1. I hope the weather cooperates for your sister and brother! It’s been all over the place lately – and cold!

      I’d like to lower our food costs even more, but between the costs here and our current lack of storage I think we’re doing pretty good and will try to keep it where it is. I shudder to think what we’d be spending if we had all the girls with us. They’re all planning to be here for Christmas this year – I’m going to start putting things away for that visit in September. The food cost will still be outrageous, but worth it if we’re together again.

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  4. Oh, those sunsets…oh my! And I followed your directions and now I have an avocado plant growing roots in a jar. What a miracle!
    I took the citizenship test when I got my American citizenship in 2009. I didn’t find it particularly difficult since there was a brochure about US history included in the preparatory materials I received from the Department of Homeland Security. I just studied that booklet and was able to answer all the questions on the test. But I agree with you that there should be more emphasis on learning about our nation’s history. Although it is a relatively young nation ( compared with other nations which are thousands of years old) children and adults should study more about it so there would be a collective understanding of our past and present as well as a little more clarity about our future.

    Wishing you a good week ahead, with a fast recovery for Brett and congrats on becoming fully vaccinated!!

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    1. The sunsets were pretty nice last week, but have been a bust so far this week – no clouds in the sky so the sun just goes down and it gets dark.

      The most recent practice citizenship test seemed fairly easy, or at least easier than some I have tried in the past and asked questions about some fairly obscure things. There is so much these days that kids have to study (and need) to be successful in today’s society, but as our current political environment shows, we’ve cut history and civics at our peril.

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    1. Everything went very well yesterday (except for having to wake up so early in the morning – that was awful).

      I can’t believe how long it has been taking me to figure out the new editor. NOTHING is intuitive.

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