Sunday Morning 5/16/2021: Older, Better, Wiser

Nothing spectacular this week, but lots of pretty evenings nonetheless.

Good Morning! Aloha kakahiaka!

Just what I wanted!

Last week was absolutely wonderful, better than I could have dreamed. I ended it another year older, but in the grand scheme of things also better than ever, and somewhat wiser too. My Day of Doing Nothing on Mother’s Day was supremely relaxing, and Brett also spoiled me on my birthday. I received the beautiful earrings on my list from him for Mother’s Day; mid-week a package arrived from the girls arrived containing a red slate cheeseboard and the mini-waffle maker I wanted; and on my birthday I woke up to find a $50 Amazon gift card in my email, a gift from our son and DIL! The waffle maker is positively adorable, makes delicious waffles, and it’s also light enough that we’ve already decided it will go along with us on our travels. I’m still thinking about how to use the gift card but leaning toward purchasing another pair of earrings. Anyway, I had a wonderful week and it a great entrance to the last year of my 60s.

All the above was spread throughout the drawer in my bedside table.

Brett and I started a push this past week to use up all sorts of little odds and ends we either brought back from our travels or have accumulated since we returned here. For example, I cleaned out the drawer in my bedside table and discovered three containers/tubes of lip balm, one tub of cuticle cream, and two tubes of papaw ointment (for dry heels). We have other jars and tubes of stuff in the bathroom that we can use up rather than toss. We also have some medications left over but most of those will get thrown out and we’ll start from scratch again when we get ready to go next time. We need to rethink our first aid kit for the next round of travel as we took too many things that never got used (like bug repellent wipes) and not enough of other things (sinus and cold medicine). A couple of other items we didn’t take the last time that will definitely be going this next time will be masks and bigger packets of disinfectant wipes. Hopefully the masks won’t be needed by the time we get ready to go, but I don’t think we’ll ever go anywhere without them again.

This past week was a semi-bad one for allergies, but so many things are in bloom right now all over the place and all sorts of things are popping out on the trees, so I’m not really surprised. The weather and barometric pressure swings have given me off-and-on sinus headaches during the week as well, and the humidity is starting to creep up at times too, although thankfully that hasn’t been consistent either. Mostly it’s still breezy and cool, and it rains every night.

This morning I am:

  • Reading: John Le Carré’s Call For the Dead came off hold from the library on Tuesday, the day before I finished Jo Nesbø’s The Bat so I segued right into that. Call For the Dead is the first in Le Carré’s George Smiley series, and was a fairly short book as well (they get longer as they go along, sort of like the Harry Potter books), so I quickly finished it. Le Carré’s prose is such a pleasure to read and I’m looking forward to the next in the series. The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino came off of hold just as I was finishing Call For the Dead so that’s what I’m reading now. I read it several years ago but remember absolutely nothing about it other than it’s set in modern-day Japan.
Crazy windy out there this morning!
  • Listening to: The wind roaring through our yard is crazy loud this morning, like a freight switching yard at times. It started early in the morning and woke me up because it was so loud (and I wear ear plugs!). The temperature is lovely though and the sky is blue, so no complaints. Indoors Brett is fixing his breakfast but otherwise it’s calm and quiet in the neighborhood.
  • Watching: We finally finished all of the DCI Banks episodes this past week and have started Tennyson, the “prequel” series to the Prime Suspect series, which starred Helen Mirren as DCI Jane Tennyson. I’m still working my way through Great British Menu, and the D-Day banquet contest will be coming to a close this week. We enjoyed watching The Woman In the Window on Friday (on Netflix) – the suspense and tension were well done, but it was different from the book. Still a good film though.
  • Happy I accomplished this past week: 1) I had a good discussion with the gastroenterologist this past week, but even though I am doing all the right things my GERD remains enough of an issue that I have been scheduled for an EDG procedure at the end of July. I was surprised to learn it may be hereditary – my dad had a very acidic stomach and I might have inherited the same from him. 2) Brett and I got in a good hike and a quality beach day at Barking Sands on Thursday, with the whole place to ourselves once again. It was sunny and warm there with a gentle breeze and very peaceful. 3) I put several more books on hold at the library and added quite a few to my “for later” list as well. 4) I made a shopping list, but hope to take at least two things off of it before we go later today.
  • Looking forward to next week: It’s time for another food shopping trip, but this one should be fairly small as we still have many things on hand. We have a busy week coming up so are going to take care of that errand today. Shopping is one of our few “public” outings these days, so I look forward to it and have fun trying to stay at or under our budget. I’m excited about putting together my first charcuterie board for one of our dinners next week, and I’ve put some things for that on our shopping list. Both Brett and I have dental appointments this week (cleanings and exams), and we also have to go out to Barking Sands on Tuesday afternoon to renew my ID card, so will try to fit in another beach day as well (if possible). We’ll also try again for a trip up to Waimea Canyon and Kokee State Park this week.
  • Thinking of good things that happened: I had an absolutely wonderful week, and felt spoiled every day. Receiving everything on my gift list and more was icing on the cake, and I loved talking with all of our kids and grandkids during the week. Brunch with Brett on Mother’s Day was fun and delicious, and for my birthday he picked up Puka Dogs and a bottle of Diet Coke for my birthday lunch. I haven’t had a Diet Coke in nearly a year and it was a fun treat. Both Meiling and WenYu received their first dose of the vaccine this past week, very good news that left Brett and I feeling very relieved. Oh, and our grandchildren got a puppy yesterday, an adorable Boston Terrier they’ve named Oreo!
Best pals already.
  • Thinking of frugal things we did: Our monthly Internet payment went up by $15/month in April because our one-year introductory price ended but with our upstairs neighbor now paying half, we’re in good shape. The cost of two meals eaten out this week (Sunday brunch and birthday Puka Dogs) came in under $50, pretty good for Kaua’i, and overall we had another pretty low spend week. We skipped a trip to the farm stand on Wednesday as we had lots of produce on hand and want to get it used up, but we bought two tubs of ice cream (Dreyer’s, 2 for $7.50 with coupon at Big Save) for desserts when half of our beautiful lemon cake had to be thrown out on Wednesday when we discovered mold – ugh! We made a planned stop in Waimea on our way to Barking Sands to pick up some Auntie Lilikoi jam and lilikoi butter, and were going to buy a jar of lilikoi mustard but they gave it to us as a thank you! Nothing other than the cake was tossed last week, and all leftovers were eaten. We put $5.00 into the change/$1 bill bag, and I earned 2,037 Swagbucks.
  • Grateful for: I’m feeling thankful these days for all the great mysteries, thrillers and detective stories that are still out there for me to discover and for the wonderful books I’ve enjoyed so far this year. I am having so much fun that I’m already thinking about continuing the theme next year.
I still love this movie – so romantic! – but couldn’t they have found an Asian actress for the lead? Jennifer Jones was so obviously not Asian or even half-Asian. William Holden was a hottie though. The theme song for this movie is burned into my brain to this day.
  • Bonus question: What were your favorite TV shows as a child? Boy, am I going to date myself with the answer to this. We only had three channels for as long as I remember (there wasn’t even PBS) and I didn’t watch all that much TV, but when I was young I always loved the annual showing of The Wizard of Oz – it was “must watch” TV every year from elementary school all the way through middle school. The Million Dollar Movie was also a favorite, where a local station showed a different movie each week and played it every day, twice on Saturday and Sunday. My all-time favorite was Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing with William Holden and Jennifer Jones. They played it every year, usually in the summer, and I would watch every showing if possible. It was so romantic! My favorite TV shows back in the day were Sgt. Bilko (still a favorite and still very funny), Get Smart (I still laugh every time I think of the Cone of Silence), The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Mission Impossible, and the original Hawaii 5-0 (“Book em, Dan-o!”). My favorite made for TV movie of all time remains Dracula, with Jack Palance in the starring role. It was very creepy at the time but in a good way and I’d love to see it again. And, I absolutely loved seeing the Beatles for the first time on The Ed Sullivan show – my siblings and I parked ourselves in front of the TV early in the day so we wouldn’t miss a moment LOL. As children we weren’t allowed to watch Westerns or crime or detective shows (my mother considered them too violent because they used guns) but I occasionally snuck out and sat with my Dad and watched with him. Thinking about it, I never got in the habit of watching a lot of TV – a couple of hours in the evening has always been plenty for me.

This past week has been one of reflection, on all the good things that are going on for Brett and me right now. Our marriage is strong, we love where we live and our current lifestyle, we’ve got some big, exciting goals that have us very motivated, we’re in good physical shape and getting stronger, and we are financially comfortable. Life isn’t perfect because it never is, but we seem to be able to ride the ups and downs easier than we did in the past. We also know from experience that life changes, sometimes suddenly and unexpectedly, so we are working hard at being more mindful of all the good things we have now. We feel very, very blessed.

I hope that everyone enjoyed a great week filled with good friends, good books, good food, and lots of good things happening. Best news this week is no masks necessary if you’ve been vaccinated – we really are putting this virus behind us! Anyway, I’m looking forward to the week coming up and hope everyone is as well. Here’s to another week of good things!


13 thoughts on “Sunday Morning 5/16/2021: Older, Better, Wiser

  1. Glad you had such a great birthday. That waffles iron looks perfect for two people. Now to find a recipe that doesn’t make so many or do you have one? I know you can freeze them and stick them in the toaster, but it’s not as good as fresh.

    Maverick was my favorite as a kid. That’s the only one I can think of. Love James Garner.


    1. I LOVE the waffle iron! It was super easy to use too. I doubled the everyday waffle recipe in the book that came along with the iron, and it made around 20 waffles, so 10 is the regular amount, I guess. I ate two of them, Brett had four (!), and that would mean an additional four to have later if I don’t double. I’m eager to try out some different recipes, and make some savory waffles as well.

      I never watched Maverick (Western, guns, etc.) but loved The Rockford Files. James Garner was flat out fun to watch.


  2. Happy birthday. Life isn’t perfect for most of us, but when we take time to reflect the positives normally outweigh the negatives. That is one adorable puppy. I’m also working on consuming all the little bits that seem to pile up if not carefully managed. I find it strangely satisfying when I’m able to consume the last of a product and throw a container out.


    1. I am trying to be more reflective these days about all that I have and how great my life has turned out. Not perfect, but things have turned out well and there’s more to come!

      I too find it satisfying to use up the last of a product before I throw out the container. That cuticle cream is going to take a while to use up, but otherwise I am already making progress.


  3. My absolute favorite was Star Trek.. i saw it when we were visiting Florida and was mesmerized, alas when we returned to Ft Campbell it was not available.


    1. I remember when Star Trek came out – very exciting. My older brother loved it, and I got through the first season, but science fiction has never been my thing and I lost interest after that.


  4. Happy Birthday, it sounds like you had a lovely celebration! I share your optimism, I think we’re finding our way out of this pandemic with our hearts full of gratitude and wiser minds. Thank you for the beautiful pictures, they are like little windows into the beauty that’s surrounding you!
    I don’t remember spending a lot of time watching TV either, I was busy playing outside with my friends. I liked The Persuaders and Mission Impossible as far as I can remember😃. Talking about getting older…


    1. I did have a wonder birthday this year. So many times in the past few years we have been traveling on that day. A couple of years ago we flew back to the US from Japan on my birthday, so I got to have it twice because of the International Date Line, but the first day I was on a plan, and the second I slept all day due to jet lag! I imagine there will be more like that coming up, but this one at home was very nice.

      Don’t remember The Persuaders, but Mission Impossible was must watch TV every week.


  5. Great BD gifts! Glad you had such a lovely week.

    We also waited for the annual showing of the Wizard of Oz. And I loved Cinderella with Leslie Ann Warren. We only had one channel so our options were limited to CBS. But I did get to see Ed Sullivan and the Beatles!


    1. I did get some lovely gifts this year. I used my gift card to order a new pair of silver earrings, cushioned socks for walking, and a couple ingredients that are either hard-to-find or outrageously expensive here. Happy, happy! We’re going to fix up a cheese board this coming Friday, and I’m already thrilled to pieces with the little waffle iron.

      Only one channel? My goodness, we were living large with three! I remember Cinderella – it was so well done and had a great cast.


  6. HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY! Sounds like you had a wonderful celebration.

    Favorite childhood TV: agree with annual Wizard of Oz showing – was terrified of the flying monkeys for years, the Peanuts holiday specials, Bewitched, The Partridge Family, F Troop, and, if I was home sick, reruns of older shows like Family Affair, Green Acres, Mr. Ed, and Hazel.


    1. Thank you! I had a wonderful birthday this year, one of the best in many. For some reason my birthday seemed to end up being a travel day. In 2019 we flew back to the US from Japan on my birthday (exhausting), but because of the dateline I got to celebrate it again by sleeping all day because of jet lag!

      I LOVED F Troup!! I can still quote lines from that show, and Larry Storch is still one of my heroes – an amazing man.


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