Good morning! Aloha kakahiaka!
Hau`oli La Makuahine! Happy Mother’s Day! Brett’s giving me my all-time favorite gift of the year today: the Day of Doing Nothing. He’s taking over all my chores today from bed making to cooking so I can enjoy an entire day of relaxation, but we’re also going out to brunch at the Kalaheo Cafe later this morning (eggs Benedict!). All the kids have checked in from all over, so I’m a happy mom!
I have felt myself starting to burn out with doing Swagbucks, so I’m purposely going slower this month as I still want to reach the goals I set for myself this year (two more $500 Delta gift cards), and I’d rather go slower and earn them than push myself too hard and give up early. This month I’m concentrating on reaching my daily goal and not worrying about earning more or getting to the higher second daily goal (which was getting ridiculously high). So far, so good, and I’m feeling less frustrated when yet another survey rejects me. Whenever I feel discouraged though I stop and imagine myself in Japan or at YaYu’s graduation next year, and that helps me continue. I’d been trying to decide whether to continue with Swagbucks into next year as well, maybe even earning yet another card, but right now quitting at the end of this year seems a better goal.
I woke up to pouring rain this morning. We are beginning to wonder if the weather here is ever going to calm down this year. It’s been another week of extremes, from beautiful, sunny skies to pouring rain and wind. Brett comes from the “weather report is always right” school of thought, and says things like “there’s only a 10% chance of rain at 4:00 p.m. so we can get out and walk.” I adhere to the “look out the window and see what’s happening” school of weather prediction. We both get it right about 50% of the time. Kaua’i has so many different microclimates operating though, so while it may be miserable at our home it can be sunny and breezy a couple of miles away up at the park or other places, and vice versa, no matter what the weather report says or the sky looks like here. The weather can also change in a very short period of time. I can’t count the times we’ve gone for a walk, skies have been blue with few clouds, and then a big cloud rolls in and rain arrives before we’re done (or the opposite happening). Anyway, I’d love to have some more consistently sunny weather than what we’ve been dealing with this spring. It will be here, but I’m feeling impatient!
This morning I am:
- Reading: I finished two books this week: The Guest List: A Novel by Lucy Foley, and The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena. Both were great page turners and fun reads. One of the things I love about the mystery genre is that while they can sometimes be dense and full of detail, backstories, etc. and require a lot of concentration, they can also be full of action and suspense, like the two above, and move along quickly. You can have your choice of a fabulous, several-course gourmet meal when you read a mystery, or dip into an exquisite box of chocolates: quicker but equally as satisfying. I’m currently reading The Bat by Jo Nesbo, a Norwegian mystery writer.
- Listening to: It was pouring rain when I got up but that’s stopped and I can see blue sky off to the west. Birds are singing again, so there’s hope for a nice day coming up. Otherwise it’s a lovely, quiet morning inside and out!
- Watching: DCI Bates and Great British Menu continue. We were planning to watch The Woman in the Window on Friday (on Netflix), but discovered it won’t be available until this coming Friday. I’ve read the book and know the story, but am greatly looking forward to seeing the film version and hope it’s as good as the book was.
- Happy we accomplished this past week: Getting through the ton of leftovers we produced this past week was a huge challenge, but we were determined and got creative and there are none left now. Along with the leftovers from our meals we also had an entire bag of avocados ripen at the same time at the beginning of the week, and getting those eaten before they spoiled added to the challenge (there was lots of avocado toast eaten for breakfast). You’d think I would have figured out by now how to cook less or put leftovers on the evening menu, but no. I also finished up another six weeks of activity cards and have another set ready to go. I am always so surprised when I come to the end of a set – can’t believe the time has gone that fast.
- Looking forward to next week: I’m supposed have a phone consult with a gastroenterologist this week, and am looking forward to maybe getting to the bottom of my stomach issues, or at least getting a better handle on them. My birthday also happens this week and Brett is going to take me out to lunch. Nothing fancy – I’d like to have Puka Dogs again – but it will be a nice change. We’ve also been talking about taking a drive up through Waimea Canyon to Kokee State Park and the overlook, but that will depend on the weather.
- Thinking of good things that happened: I got good news from the eye doctor on Friday: there has been no change in my cataracts during the last six months and I will not need surgery this year. Yeah! I will return in November for another assessment, but otherwise all is well for now, and a new prescription is not needed either which made me very happy. Our neighbors on the other side of our building are leaving Kaua’i at the end of this month (not really a good thing), but they are slowly divesting themselves of their things and brought over a large box of kindling and a small ax for us to cut more for our fire pit! We had been planning to purchase a small ax this month for just this chore, but we’re now set for the summer. We will miss them – they generously helped us as we moved in last year, and have been good neighbors over the past year.
- Thinking of frugal things we did: Other than a quick trip to the farmstand for produce, we had a no-spend week. We put $2.00 in the change/$1 bill bag, and I earned 1,752 Swagbucks. I have less than 10,000 Swagbucks to go in order to earn another $500 Delta gift card.
- Grateful for: This past week Brett got the bill for last month’s surgery: over $22,000, which stopped our breathing for a couple of seconds. However, between Medicare and our military insurance we owe nothing out of pocket. Brett’s staying in the navy to retire has turned out to be the best, most frugal investment we’ve made even though getting there was difficult at the time. Any expression of how grateful we are now for that decision would be an understatement.
My birthday gift list
- Bonus question: What would you like for your birthday this year? I usually don’t ask for or expect anything for my birthday (for the past several years it’s often ended up being an exhausting travel day!), but this year the girls and Brett asked for a list so after some thought I came up with three items: a slate cheeseboard for charcuterie, a Dash mini-waffle maker (practical for us), and a pair of earrings I spotted on Novica. The earrings were sort of an add-on, but I lost several pairs during our travels, and in the past two months I have had more pairs break, and I am down to just two pairs now and would really, really like some more! I’ve already told Brett that I think the only items on my Christmas list this year will be earrings as I enjoy having a variety to wear, but otherwise I’m good with stuff for now. It remains a mystery whether or not I will receive any of the above items, but at least I produced a list to work from.
The amount of visitors arriving on Kaua’i each day has grown to over 1,000. It’s good for the local economy, but I already miss the peace and quiet we enjoyed during the pandemic. The virus has also been making its presence known again on the island as well, with the largest case numbers ever, even more than last year. Most seem to only require home quarantine thankfully, but it’s still worrying. Both Brett and I are grateful to be vaccinated, but we have no plans to change any of our behaviors and plan to continue to limit our outings along with social distancing, hand washing, and mask wearing. We’ve also started talking a little more about our Plan B, as with the rise in cases around the world we are starting to wonder if there will ever really be an end to the pandemic, or how safe it will be to travel in the future. We remain hopeful and optimistic, but there are still so many unknowns right now. Tokyo just set another state of emergency this past week to try and tamp down their increasing numbers and so the Olympics can go on this summer. Although our grandkids will continue to attend their schools, both our son and daughter-in-law are once again working from home, and businesses have had their hours shortened, and other measures have taken to curb the spread of the virus. India and other places in Europe are still struggling as well, and hot spots remain on the mainland.
That’s all for this week! I hope it was a good one for all. We’re looking forward to the week coming up, and for more good things happening, good weather, and all sorts of other good things coming along as well. And to all the moms: enjoy your day today!