Sunday Morning 4/11/2021: Rest & Recovery

There were some nice sunsets this week, but other evenings all the sun provided was a glow over the horizon.

Good morning! Aloha kakahiaka!

Happy Laura getting her second dose of the COVID vaccine. This one was easier than the first.

We had Brett at the hospital at 6:00 a.m. on Monday morning, he was into surgery by 8:00, and ready for pick-up at noon! Everything went according to plan, and his post-op bloodwork showed the results all were hoping for. I left Brett at the hospital before 8:00 a.m. – the anesthesiologist gave Brett something to help “relax” him but it knocked him right out – so it was a good time for me to go. I drove home and took care of things here (sleep was impossible though) until I got the word a little before noon that he was ready to be picked up. On the back way into town I stopped and picked up a prescription for him, and then went to the vaccine clinic to see if they would take me earlier than my appointment for my second dose. The answer was “sure,” and other than a very slightly sore arm for a couple of hours that day I had no side effects from the second dose. Brett has spent the week resting and relaxing – the surgery knocked him for a bigger loop than he imagined it would – but he’s pretty much back to a normal level of activity now. We’re back to our daily walks, but still don’t have any desire to get back out in the thick of things here. Visitor numbers are ticking up every day – we’re sort of dreading the farmers’ market this coming week.

It looks warm and inviting, but it’s actually quite chilly out there.

The week started off cold and very windy and it stayed cool all week. The pattern for the week was rain still dripping off the house when we woke up, but with surprisingly blue skies and sunshine with cool temperatures outside. By late morning clouds would roll in to a point where we started to wonder if we’d be able to walk that day because it could be raining. With fingers crossed we would go up to the park every day to discover that it was mostly sunny and beautiful up there with a cool breeze – perfect walking weather! Yeah! After sunset though the temperature would start dropping again, and by the time we go to bed it was downright chilly and often raining once again. I don’t remember it ever feeling this cold when we were here before, but I think the house we lived in previously was better insulated, and it was also designed in a way that air did not move through the house (no breeze flowing through the house to cool things off). We experience much more wind where we live now (the other house sat on a lot with hills on two sides that blocked any wind), and the windows in our apartment are arranged for maximum airflow. I’m trying to appreciate the cold as much as I can because I know hot and humid weather is coming and I’ll be wishing then for cooler and breezier days.

We’ve missed the old school local vibe of the Tip Top Cafe.

Less than two years from now we will, God willing, be on the road once again. Sometimes it seems like such a long way off, but then I remind myself we’re already into April of this year and how did we get here so quickly? There seems to always be something happening or coming up that moves the calendar along faster than we imagined. Brett celebrates his birthday toward the end of this month, and now that we’re vaccinated we’re planning to celebrate with breakfast at the TipTop Cafe in Lihue. We’ve missed being able to eat there, but it just didn’t feel safe before (and they were closed when when we arrived and for several months afterwards). Anyway, his birthday will be here before we know it, April will finish, and then we’ll be on to the next month. I want to lose an additional six pounds this year, but am beginning to wonder if I can to accomplish that goal – the year seems to be speeding by while the weight loss has slowed to a crawl. While we have much to look forward to in the next two years, I know time is going to go faster than we can imagine now, and before we know it it will be YaYu’s graduation, for our fall trip to Japan, and finally to pack up and move on to our next Big Adventure.

This morning I am:

  • Reading: Just as I finished When Will There Be Good News?, the third book in the Jackson Brodie series by Kate Atkinson, two more books came available from the library at the same time. So, I’m reading two books again, with my daytime book The Moonflower Murders by Anthony Horowitz, and my nighttime reading the fourth Jackson Brodie book, Started Early, Took My Dog (which I think is the last book of the series). Yet another book came off of hold mid-week, but I was able to have it held for another week or so until I can get one of the other books finished.
  • Listening to: For all my ranting above about how cold it’s been this past week, this morning is lovely! The loud winds of this past week are soft breezes, and it’s actually warm enough that instead of wanting a blanket, we’ve opened the French doors. Brett’s knocking around in the kitchen putting last night’s dishes away and making coffee, and our upstairs neighbor just left for the day so the footsteps upstairs have stopped. It’s a quiet, warm morning with lovely weather but I feel like we’ve earned it.
  • Watching: We finished watching Case Histories this past week. We loved all the Edinburgh scenery and sites we recognized as we watched. We began watching Season 7 of Endeavour last night – it’s always well done. The Olympic banquet finale on Great British Menu was great, although lots of things kept going wrong. The chefs were still able to overcome it all and get out their dishes. I feel like the current season has started off sort of meh compared to the two past seasons so hopefully things will pick up as it goes along. In this season the chefs need to create dishes with a comedy or “fun” theme, but it’s just not as interesting for me as the past seasons’ requirements.
  • Happy I accomplished: On the day of Brett’s surgery, it took a wild bit of scheduling to fit everything in, and having to operate on a limited amount of sleep didn’t help, but everything got done and turned out the way it was supposed to. Otherwise we’ve had a very quiet week at home as Brett recovers. I’ve semi-successfully weaned myself off of Twitter (I’m only reading it for a few minutes at night) and am enjoying having more time for other things.
  • Looking forward to next week: I’m looking forward to Brett feeling good enough to walk our regular route with me up the park again – I’ve missed my walking companion. We’ve don’t have anything on the calendar for this coming week, but if we get a nice day we want to go to Barking Sands for a picnic and walk there.
Proof of life
  • Thinking of good things that happened: Besides Brett’s surgery going well, and getting my second dose of the vaccine – both very, very good things – our neighbor brought over a large, beautiful bouquet of flowers from their yard for Brett. She works at the hospital and met us going into the surgery entrance the other morning. Bryn Mawr announced all students and staff will be receiving the vaccine on April 19 and we’re hoping it won’t be too long before WenYu and Meiling will get theirs as well. My new passport arrived in the mail so I’m officially ready to travel the world again for the next 10 years! Both Brett and I are saving our old passports this time for sentimental reasons.
  • Thinking of frugal things we did: We had some milk going sour so I made a double batch of pancakes to use it up and froze them for later. The weather was sketchy enough on Wednesday afternoon that we decided to skip the farmers’ market and instead picked up a few items at Big Save and spent less than $5.00. Other than that and picking up a prescription for Brett we had a no-spend week. $3.81 went into the change/$1 bill bag, and I earned 2,206 Swagbucks this past week. The leftovers are once again manageable and being eaten quickly, and nothing needed to be thrown away this week.
  • Grateful for: We are very thankful for the good outcome from Brett’s surgery, and that his recovery this past week has gone well. He has felt tired most of the week, which was expected, but he’s almost back to normal and ready to get on with things. Both of us are also grateful for our COVID vaccinations, and to all those who made it possible.
  • Bonus question: Would you rather be busier or have less to do than you do now? This requires a very subjective answer because what many would consider being busy others could see as not having much or enough to do at all. Some might look at my current life and find it boring, or think that I don’t do much of anything, but my days are full for me, with projects always being started, worked on, or completed. After years of having a daily schedule loaded with activities and responsibilities from work and the girls’ schedules, and always having to fit in the things I wanted or needed to do where and when I could, I love being able to fill (or not fill) my days when and as I wish. There are several things I work to accomplish every day and I keep weekly activity cards to make sure those things get done (reading, writing, exercise, and so forth) but I love the ability to do them at my own pace these days rather than trying to arrange them around what everyone else is doing. Anyway, I guess the answer to this is I like being busy but in a relaxed way, and prefer the happy medium of having plenty of things to do on my own schedule.

Although we stayed close to home this week, we did get out in the neighborhood to look at some of the hibiscus flowers that are blooming around us. The yellow ones in the lower right are absolutely huge, each about the size of a large dessert plate! I keep meaning to ask our neighbor if we can come over and take a peek at their yard, where they grow the beautiful flowers that are in Brett’s bouquet. The garden is large enough to be able to provide flowers for hotels in the area, so I can only imagine how glorious it looks (the husband is retired and growing flowers and other tropical plants is his hobby). More and more plants are blooming in our yard as well, the orange tree is still blossoming, and the guava tree is beginning to set fruit – we’re hoping for as good a harvest as we had last year. We can almost no longer see the little house behind us because the trees have grown so much. It turns out they’re durian trees and there are now two giant fruits hanging in among the branches and leaves.

The large brown football-shaped fruit hanging in the tree are durians. I’m happy not to be around whenever one of those is opened!

That’s a wrap to a quiet but successful week where everything happened as it should. Wishing all a good week coming up, filled with good things happening, good food, good books, and enough to keep you all busy without wearing you out.


20 thoughts on “Sunday Morning 4/11/2021: Rest & Recovery

    1. Brett is doing very well and is back to normal. He’s seeing the surgeon today to get his stitches removed.

      The best thing about those flowers? They last a long time, especially the heliconia. So, instead of a few days we get to enjoy them for two to three weeks. Our neighbor has said come and get all we want – they have to be regularly cut back and thinned out.


  1. For your daughters in Mass
    I read recently that New Hampshire has opened up to all ages as well as no residency requirements. Just a thought

    You guys are doing great! Your blog is inspiring and the ads are no problem. I hope you can get some compensation for your work!
    (Also yay for health success for Brett)


    1. I have told the girls about New Hampshire – fingers crossed they are able to get this done soon, and then we’ll all be vaccinated!

      It will be interesting to see what the ads bring in, if anything. I am not expecting much, but even a little each month will help out.


  2. Good news, I’m glad that everything went well healthwise. It must feel liberating to be over with surgery and vaccination. Tue I’m getting my second shot and we’ll be set too. California plans to fully reopen by June 15th if everything goes well and stays the current course. Until then, we’ll stay put and do the same we’ve been doing so far.
    I agree that somehow this year is flying by so fast. This morning I bought milk from Trader Joe’s which has a June expiration date – what?? How did that happen?
    I am a little envious of your rain. Here we’re in trouble with the drought. This winter it hasn’t rained much and I can just see how we’ll be bracing for a scorching summer. The wildfires were brutal last year and I fear this year will be much worse. I’m preparing evacuation backpacks and keep my fingers crossed.
    The flowers are just gorgeous, you are so blessed to be surrounded by so much natural beauty! Thank you for sharing it with us, it brightens my day!


    1. The surgery was successful, and to have both our vaccinations done is the icing on the cake! We are so glad the surgery was able to be done on Kaua’i too – we were imagining having to spend several days over on Oahu.

      The visitors are streaming in now that resorts are back open – we can already feel the difference. I am thankful we live where we do now because we won’t be as affected by the traffic as we were in our former location.

      We seriously thought about buying a house in the Sierra foothills a couple of years ago, and then fire season showed up and nixed that idea, although the town we were looking at (Arnold) wasn’t affected that year. It would only be a matter of time though until it was.


  3. I got my second shot yesterday and besides a slight headache and a sore arm I feel great! I can’t believe it’s been three years since I was there with you!!


    1. Hopefully the side effects from the vaccine are over. Both Brett and I had less reaction with the second one than we did the first which surprised us.

      I was looking at the ATV site the other day and noticed that riding with the guide like we did is no longer offered. We are hoping to do the ride again the next time our son visits, but guess we’ll have to get our own vehicle.

      I sure hope you’re able to get back over here before we leave in 2023! We’d dearly love to see you again.


  4. In answer to your question, it’s not that I am super busy but I seem to spend all my time in Doctors offices, at the lab or physical therapy. I’m now doing Daddy’s legs every other day. I tried not doing anything to them for a couple of weeks but they just got in terrible condition because he refuses to do anything. His head finally healed after 3 months but I am still cleaning his hair and forcing him to wash his face every other day. It helps that he was finally able to go to the barber shop and get his hair cut (crew cut). Tomorrow is a 9:05 lab appointment for daddy and a 3:15 Procrit shot for mama. That means that I will have to spend the entire day at their house because it’s too far and takes too much gas and time to go back home. I would just like to be able to do the things I need to do at home. It sounds weird I know but sitting around waiting on them makes me very weary.


    1. Caring for elderly parents can be just as involved and demanding as caring for children. You’re life runs on their schedule and needs and not your own. I can only imagine how exhausting it is, but at the same time there’s no imagining not caring for them. I there respite support you can access so that you get a couple of days to yourself now and again?


  5. Once again, you’ve expanded my horizons! I read a little bit about durian, which I’d never heard of. Have you ever tried eating it?


    1. I have never been able to get past the disgusting smell in order to eat the actual fruit, which is said to be sweet and delicious. My students used to occasionally bring me snacks made from durian, things like cookies or small cakes, and I couldn’t even bring myself to eat them – the smell was that bad!


  6. If you don’t want to go to the farmers’ market on Wednesday, you could go to Ned’s farm stand in Kalaheo. He is on Papalina between Kauai Kookie and Medeiros on wednesdays and saturdays from 9 to 2. Not the variety of the full market but he has a nice selection and good produce. It’s best to get there before noon. I’ve been buying from him for about a year now instead of going to the big market since I’m trying to avoid crowds. I plan to keep going long term because it’s so convenient for me.


    1. Thanks for this information, Jane – we plan to head to Ned’s stand tomorrow instead of the Kukui’ula market. The market was fine when visitors weren’t coming, but the past few weeks there have become more and more unpleasant and crowded, so it’s great to have an alternative. We noticed there’s another stand at one of the farms down Koloa Road – we may check that one out as well one of these days (although driving on Koloa can still be a pain because of the ongoing construction).


  7. So glad that Brett’s surgery went well! I can only imagine how glad you both are to have this behind you. It was found summer of 2019 when you were in Portland, if I’m remembering correctly.

    It is fascinating how different each of the hibiscus flowers are – so beautiful.

    Busy/not busy – for me the most important thing is feeling that I have control over my time and am not living with an extremely rigid schedule. I also like to have some margin in my day to think/reflect/journal/process rather than running from one thing to another without stopping.


    1. We were so pleased and relieved the surgery could be done here on the island, and that it went so well. It turned out the surgeon here trained under the doctor that would have done his surgery in Portland (he was scheduled for surgery December of last year).

      Having control over my own time is what’s critical for me as well. I’ve gotten so used to running my own time these days that even a doctor’s or hair appointment can set me a bit on edge now! I love having the time during the day to think/reflect/process, to write, and read. All of those things always had to wait until late at night before, when everyone else had gone to bed. And then I had to get up early to start the next day . . . . It was no wonder I always felt so tired.

      I have yet to be bored with hibiscus – all of them are beautiful.


  8. Happy to hear all went well with Brett’s surgery. Busy/Not busy…Getting renovations wrapped up so looking forward to more not busy as spring rolls in than busy.


    1. Renovations will definitely keep you busy!! I can only imagine how much you’re looking forward to having those done so you can rest, relax, and enjoy the fruits of your labors.


    1. It definitely could be jackfruit – it’s hard to get close enough to see how rough the fruit is. We’ve seen both occasionally. at the farmers’ markets here. I’d be happy if it was jackfruit – we love it!


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