Sunday Morning 5/30/2021: Memorial Day Weekend

Pretty evening skies this week.

Good Morning! Aloha kakahiaka!

Ads for Memorial Day sales have been popping up all week on the Internet, and as another veteran we know said this last week, we’re being thanked again and again for their service. We appreciate the sentiment (we do!), but this is not the holiday for that – Memorial Day is for our country to remember those who gave their lives in service to America. It’s a day to have a picnic, spend time with family and friends, and reflect on all of those whose goals went unrealized and dreams unfulfilled, and the sons, daughters, husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, and friends that sacrificed all for our country.

On Sunday evening the weather was perfect, the wind was only a soft breeze, and we were finally able to build and enjoy a fire in our fire pit! We got out our s’more ingredients, had one each for our dessert that evening, then sat out and talked while we enjoyed the sunset and warmer temperature for a while. It was wonderful. So wonderful, in fact, that we did it again on Wednesday and Saturday!

What we were hoping to see at the Koke’e Overlook . . .

Brett and I finally headed out to visit Waimea Canyon and Koke’e State Park last Monday, on what was supposed to be the best day of the week. Hah! It was sunny on the drive to Waimea and as we started up into the canyon, but the higher we climbed the denser the clouds became and it eventually started raining. We drove all the way up to the Koke’e Overlook hoping that there would a break in the clouds but instead we ended up in the middle of a giant, misty cloud. We stopped at lookouts all the way back down and walked around a bit, and were able to enjoy some great views of the canyon in spite of the weather. The sun came out just as we left Waimea State Park and shone all the way home until we got within a mile or so of our house where the rain started up again. We had a great time though, and it’s always renewing to see Waimea Canyon, which Mark Twain called the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. Both state parks were packed with tourists the day we went, and reminded us again of how spoiled we were during the pandemic when we had the island to ourselves. It was disturbing to see visitors already doing stupid and dangerous things – at one lookout the lower viewing platform was closed due to unstable and dangerous conditions, with the paths to the platform closed off with barriers, but it was still crowded with tourists who had climbed over and under the barriers, or created their own paths down the hillside from the upper platform, including a family group of over 25 people who were all leaning against the railings for group photos!

. . . and what we saw. There is a view there somewhere under that cloud LOL.

This morning I am:

  • Reading: I finished The Lady In the Lake on Tuesday (good book with somewhat of a surprise ending), and also finished The Bitterroots, by C.J. Box, a mystery/procedural set in Montana. The book opened with a 39-word run-on sentence and I was worried how the writing would go after that but thankfully things got much better and it was a good read. I started The Chestnut Man on Friday, a Danish thriller/procedural by Søren Sveistrup, and another book, Deception Cove, by Owen Laukkanen, came off hold yesterday, so I’ll be reading two books at the same time once again. Fingers are crossed also that some of the vegetarian cookbooks I put on hold will be available next week.
  • Listening to: We’re enjoying a very quiet morning today – the skies are blue this morning with a few clouds, but the leaves are barely stirring on any of the trees or plants outside, nothing is going on in the neighborhood, and Brett is reading while I write. The only sound I’m hearing is the birds singing. I wonder how long the the calm will last?
  • Watching: Brett and I watched Agatha Christie’s Ordeal By Innocence for three nights last week – very good but a bit confusing and hard to follow at times as well. Bill Nighy was one of the stars though and he’s always fun to watch. We’ve started a series called Silent Witness, about a pathologist who helps solves crimes (sort of an updated, British version of that old show, Quincy). Amazon did not have The Great British Menu season with the Women’s Institute that I was expecting for some reason, but instead skipped to next season where the chefs are competing to cook for a banquet celebrating Outstanding Britons (those who have won awards from the Queen). This is the penultimate season of Great British Menu that’s available on Amazon Prime and I can already feel I’m going to go through withdrawal when I finish the last season this coming month.
  • Happy I accomplished this past week: Besides getting up to Waimea Canyon, being able to enjoy not one but three evenings out by the fire pit feels like a huge accomplishment after waiting so long. Our main accomplishment otherwise this past week was getting our car inspected and registered for another year. It’s a nine-year-old car, but it still runs great. We’re glad that’s over though, at least for another year, but we can’t wait not to own a car again!

A rainy day up in the canyon, but a beautiful drive up and back nonetheless.

  • Looking forward to next week: We have a busy week coming up with four appointments Tuesday through Thursday: 1) a new ID card appointment on Tuesday at Barking Sands because last week’s appointment was cancelled again, and hopefully a beach day and hike can be included; 2) a much needed hair cut appointment for me on Wednesday and hopefully a walk on the eastside beach path; 3) Brett sees our Dr. in person on Thursday morning while 4) I have a tele-appointment with him on the same day at home. All these are necessary things and I’m looking forward to getting them done! We’re also hoping to enjoy at least one fire outdoors next week as well, s’mores included.
  • Thinking of good things that happened: Our three evenings out by a fire, and Monday’s trip to the canyon were the best things! The weather cooperating most of the rest of the week was also a good thing, although some afternoons were quite humid and a real taste of what we’ll be up again this summer. The full yard crew came in and gave us a “deep cleaning” this past week versus the usual “haircut.” The yard always looks nice to me but the difference after a big clean-up is so noticeable. And, Alley the cat came back! We had not seen her for well over a month, but this past week she showed up again looking fatter than ever. We had been worried she had gotten sick or even died because she had been coming so regularly and then stopped so abruptly, and we were thrilled to see her again looking well. We sent loads of pictures to YaYu.
Alley the cat was well fed during her absence!
  • Thinking of frugal things we did: We had a very good week, spending-wise. Besides getting the car registered and buying a tank of gas, the only other spending we did was our grocery shopping for the next two weeks (yesterday) and just $5 at the farmers’ market last week for a giant bunch of bananas. Swagbucks was a chore all week, but I was still able to earn 1,991. We put $1.37 into the change/$1 bill bag. Our change/$1 bill earnings for May were $15.43, and our total for the year so far is $126.55. We ate all the leftovers created this past week, but had to throw out a zucchini that had gotten buried and forgotten in the bottom of the produce drawer. Our former neighbors left us a new-ish tower fan that we’re going to use in the bathroom on humid days. They also left behind several rolls of Christmas paper and a brand new queen-size fitted sheet that we snapped up.
Our farmstand purchase: 14 tasty apple bananas for $5.
  • Grateful for: Memorial Day always is a time of reflection for me. I am in awe of the men and women who have gone into battle without hesitation even when knowing the danger and risk. I know they have been scared but relied on their training and sense of duty to their comrades to go forward and do what they had to do, risking everything. I think of the men heading on to the beaches of Normandy or in the trenches of Europe, of those in firefights in Vietnam, Afghanistan, or Iraq, or those who fought in the Civil War, and give thanks for what they did that I have never had to experience. I know I could not have done it. My gratitude for what they risked for our country and what so many gave is unending.
The view the Germans had of Omaha Beach in Normandy as the Americans landed. The fire from the Germans was terrifying and unrelenting, but the Americans kept coming and were at the top by the end of the day. We owe them all so much.
  • Bonus question: How many hours do you sleep at night? I’m sleeping very well these days, much better than I did in the past. I’m generally not awake past midnight, and am usually awake a little after 8:00 in the morning. After two cups of half-caff coffee in the morning I go all day now without feeling tired – I can’t remember the last time I needed or took a nap. Our daily walks have made a big difference in how soundly I sleep as does having a very, very good mattress. I almost always read before I go to sleep, but even checking my phone doesn’t keep me awake any more. I still wear a sleep mask and use earplugs every night, a habit I picked up when we lived here before, and the dark and quiet also make big difference in the quality of sleep I get. I took me a few days to adjust to wearing a mouth guard at night this past week, but it’s no longer an issue. I also have to sleep with my head elevated, and a few months ago I bought a wedge pillow which helped but also turned out to be extremely uncomfortable. I slid down the pillow all night, and would wake up each morning in a lump at the bottom, so I went back to sleeping with two regular pillows and so far that’s been working out alright.

WenYu and Meiling have purchased their tickets to come in December! They found a great price for a flight this past week and snapped them up. They initially didn’t think they’d be able to come until January because ticket prices around the holidays are so high, but they found an affordable flight that will give them 10 days here. The catch is that they have to depart on Christmas Day. We’re all fine with that though, and will have our big family celebration and present opening on Christmas Eve, and a brunch on Christmas morning before taking the girls to the airport. It’s going to be crowded in our little apartment, but with the yard and lanai area outside, I think we’ll manage. Two of the girls will sleep on the sofa, and we’re going to buy an Airbed (twin) for the third girl – they can figure out who sleeps where, but it will be a nightly slumber party for them. Brett and I are so excited and happy they’re coming – we have missed them terribly, and can’t wait to have all our girls together with us again. We’re already planning to get together again for YaYu’s graduation in 2022, and before we head out on Big Adventure II, but this year’s Christmas will be special.

This hibiscus is a “trespasser” – it found its way from the neighbor’s into our yard through the back fence. No charges will be filed.

That’s a wrap for this week, another great one for us. Wishing everyone a safe holiday tomorrow, and that all sorts of good things come your way. Here’s to another good week coming up!

12 thoughts on “Sunday Morning 5/30/2021: Memorial Day Weekend

  1. Beautiful sunset photos!
    BTW, is Alley the cat well-fed or is she going to be gifting you with some little cats??

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    1. Alley the cat has a droopy undersides – she has had several litters apparently in the past. She is well-fed though. We give her water, but have no idea who in the neighborhood feeds her. YaYu tried to give her treats but found out she has almost no teeth so chewing is difficult if not impossible with many things. She is a love though.

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  2. If happiness is something to love, something to do and something to hope for, you must be happy. Yeah, that stuff in the bottom of the fridge drawer. Jerry Seinfeld once said that it should be called the rotter, not the crisper. I’m usually in bed ~10PM, read for awhile, then sleep ’til ~6AM so typically I sleep 7-8hrs each night. It’s always a hallelujah morning when I wake and realize I’ve only been up once to the bathroom or not at all.

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    1. Thank you – I am happy. I love having something to plan and hope for, and it’s something I love doing too.

      I told Brett yesterday “no more big bags of zucchini!” We like zucchini, but just cannot eat it fast enough – there always seems to be one or two of them that get lost in the crisper before we can get to them.

      The biggest surprise of all for me is that I don’t wake up any more for trips to the bathroom – I sleep straight through. And I drink A LOT of water these days too. I used to wake up almost every night though and then had trouble getting back to sleep.

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  3. Beautiful hibiscus! It could come into my yard anytime.

    We finished the entire 21 (I think that’s how many) seasons of Silent Witness last Saturday. We enjoyed it. The later years are definitely different from the early years. I believe it’s still being produced.

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    1. Twenty-one seasons! This really is our type of show then, although a season only has four episodes, I think. But, we love to sink our teeth into the characters, see what plot lines they come up with, and watch things develop and change over the years. Plus, it’s set in the UK so even better!

      The neighbors behind us have a beautiful yard and garden – we are happy to take advantage whenever something slips through or over the fence!

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  4. That hibiscus is striking! What a great color.

    Normally, I am a champion sleeper. Seven hours without any problems every night. If I’m really stressed, I might lie awake at 3 or 4am if something wakes me. This week has been a bit of a challenge with jet lag, and I’m finding myself really tired. Luckily, I have no real agenda, so I’ve been doing things as I have energy and nothing when I don’t. 🙃

    We have fond memories of Waimea Canyon. We had some mist going up, but it did clear so we saw most of it. Really does have striking similarities to the Grand Canyon. I’m always amazed by the people who venture past signage and take their lives into their hands for – what? A photo op? When one of them falls to their death, it may sound cold, but we always think “Darwin.” 🤷‍♀️

    Love the fire pit and s’mores sound really yummy.

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    1. The red on the neighbor’s hibiscus is so vibrant! We love having them come over and through the fence. They also have a yellow one that’s been producing blossoms the size of a salad plate – absolutely gorgeous. They can’t get through the slats, but we can enjoy them at the top of the fence.

      I love Waimea Canyon, and a visit is always worthwhile, no matter the weather. “Darwin” was exactly our thought when we saw that huge group of tourists. Apparently there have been several incidents of tourist misbehavior going on all over the island though – it’s to be expected, I guess.

      We were starting to feel like our purchase of the fire pit had been a waste but this last week showed us that it was not – it was a very pleasant way to spend an evening. After this week it’s almost time to buy more firewood (the big pieces – we otherwise use driftwood we pick up at the beach). And the s’mores are an added bonus. They really are too sweet for us these days, but we still enjoyed them and they’re fun once in a while.

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      1. It’s surprising that the level of tourists is so high. I read an article in the WaPo this week and the steps to be allowed into Hawaii (and to move between islands) are complex and time consuming. More complex than my trip to England, I think. But I suppose where there’s a will, there’s a way.

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      2. People are flocking here now because inspire of the restrictions in getting here hotels and airlines are offering good deals. Plus, people just want to get away but many other “overseas” locations still bar visitors from the U.S.

        Our niece and family are here right now, doing a week on Maui and then a week on Kauai. They all had to have negative Covid tests within 72 hours of departure, and will have to be tested again on Maui before coming over to Kauai.

        The amount of tourists here though is nuts – the numbers were back up so quickly.

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