Monday evening’s sunset was absolutely amazing. It bathed the whole interior of our apartment in color.
Good morning! Aloha kakahiaka!
Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there! Hau’oli la makuakane! I hope all you dads will get a bit spoiled today. Brett and I are heading out in a short while for brunch at the Little Fish Cafe in Poipu. They have a wonderful bagel sandwich menu, and we’re going to choose one to share. I also got him a (very) small gift, and he’ll be off KP duty tonight as well.
What a great week we had! We had a wonderful evening with my good friend’s daughter last Sunday evening, sold something during the week, and even a miracle (for us) occurred! Of all the things that were in the box the movers lost last year, the one thing we could not get over losing was an antique cotton Boy’s Day banner, found in a pile of old textiles during our last tour in Japan. It’s a one-of-a-kind piece, with a warrior tangling with a tiger (symbolizing strength for Boy’s Day), and was created using a wax resist method. I initially used it to cover some holes in the wall of the Japanese house we were renting (long story) but we’ve enjoyed it in every home we’ve lived in since and were miserable about losing it. The banner had been clearly marked on the shipping manifest for the lost box (“1 fabric banner and poles”), so we had accepted it had been lost along with the other things in the box. However, this past week I got out WenYu’s hat lamp to put on Buy & Sell next week – the lamp’s base had been sitting up in the top of our closet, still wrapped in paper, and marked “lamp.” As I removed the paper, a thin bamboo pole caught my eye and lo and behold, there was our Boy’s Day banner, rolled and packed next to the lamp base! Brett hung the banner this past week, and we are so happy to see it in our home again, a favorite piece of art restored to us. It’s one of the few things that will not be sold when we move and will be sent to stay with one of our girls for safekeeping. Anyway, finding that banner counts as a miracle in my book, and made me especially glad that I decided to go ahead and list the hat lamp now rather than waiting until later.
The virus has returned to Kaua’i. After a few weeks with no cases on the island, COVID has returned, and there are currently 20 active cases on the island. I’m beginning to think this is going to be the new normal going forward, that vaccinated or not we will need to remain careful for a long time coming. Apparently if we are vaccinated we will be safe from the virus, but can still transmit the new Delta variant because it’s so contagious. I was surprised and disappointed to learn this past week that a woman my high school class has apparently chosen not to get vaccinated and for nothing more than political reasons as far as I can tell. She was very angry that she was required to wear a mask at a hair salon while others who had been vaccinated didn’t have to. I honestly don’t get it, because I’m sure she’s never had a problem with getting vaccinated for school, travel, the flu or other things, but COVID is apparently a bridge too far.
I made my first travel reservations for next year this past week – very exciting! The date for YaYu’s commencement has been set, so I started looking at hotel prices in the area last week and was able to reserve a room in a very nice hotel less than five miles from the BMC campus for more than $400 less than I thought we would be paying! That’s a huge savings. I also reserved a car for our time back there, including a toll pass, for less than $400, another big savings. These were the two reservations I wanted to make early because prices will only be going up during the next year as we get closer to the date, and hotel rooms will become more and more difficult to find. Neither reservation involved a pre-payment, good for us in case things get changed. Our flights back east will come later though – it’s still way too early for those, but we have $1500 in gift cards to put toward that expense. We already plan to do most of our dining at the hotel’s complimentary breakfast or in our room to keep our food costs down. The room comes with a refrigerator, and there is a Trader Joe’s nearby, so we’ll stock up when we arrive.
This morning I am:
- Reading: It’s been very enjoyable having only one book to read, and I’ve been slowly going through Kate Atkinson’s Blue Sky. There are links back to the earlier Jackson Brodie series and I sometimes have to stop from time to time to think about things and link characters and incidents to what’s going on in the current book. John le Carré’s The Spy Who Came In From the Cold is up next.
- Listening to: Even though it’s Father’s Day, Brett is making the coffee and putting last night’s dishes away. Our upstairs neighbor is thumping around upstairs a bit, but nothing too loud. There’s also a pretty good breeze blowing outside that’s making some noise, but the sky is blue and it’s delightfully cool so all is well. After our bagels we’re going to head over to Salt Pond for some time on the beach!
- Watching: We’ve started the third and final season of The Unforgotten, and are contemplating what to watch when it’s over. The second season was incredibly sad and finished unresolved, but the topic was child sexual abuse and that’s something that’s both incredibly sad and really never resolved, so the ending made sense. I finished the final episode of Great British Menu on Friday and have decided to rewatch the series again because I loved it that much, and want to watch some of the chefs cook again. Brett and I tried to watch The Longest Day last Wednesday, but our Internet connection kept skipping (a sometimes frequent occurrence here) which made it impossible to watch on YouTube. We’re currently looking for another way to stream it.
- Happy I accomplished this past week: 1) Our grocery shopping trip was a genuine chore this last time because we visited three stores versus two, and had to take several things off of our list in order to stay as close as possible to our budget (we still went over). It didn’t help that all three stores seemed to be out of things we wanted, but we eventually found what we were looking for or substitutions. 2) I created an Etsy shop to start selling our Japanese items, but it’s a work in progress, and more difficult than I imagined. I try to add a couple of items every day (and get help/critiques from Meiling and WenYu who are helping with photos). Once I get it up to speed I’ll provide a link. 3) I am so happy to have gotten the reservations done for our hotel stay and rental car when we go to Pennsylvania next year, and to be saving so much from what we thought we’d have to pay. 4) We had a wonderful day at the beach last Thursday, along with a hike on the Waiokapua Trail. 5) I got a new set of activity cards made up for the next six weeks. The last six weeks went by very quickly.
- Looking forward to next week: So far we have nothing on our calendar, so we’re looking forward to maybe a couple of trips to the beach, and some nice walks up at the park in the evening.
- Thinking of good things that happened: 1) Our Sunday evening with Jess was grand, and we spent nearly three hours eating and talking and catching up. 2) I cried when I saw that banner sitting next to the lamp this past week. Finding it safe and sound was just the best thing. 4) We had a perfect hike and day at the beach on Thursday, and just a lovely week overall. 5) Our landlord gifted us a 1.75 liter bottle of Bombay Sapphire gin as a thank you for being such good tenants!
- Thinking of frugal things we did: 1) Besides the frugal travel deals I found this week, I also sold a Le Creuset baking pan that I hadn’t used in years. I had earned it as an incentive back when I sold cookware, so what I got for it was pure profit. I also sold another lamp that we never use. 2) We went $12 over budget on our grocery shopping, and that’s after removing several things off the list, but I still consider it a win all things considered. Costco prices have remained steady, and Walmarts are always low, but Safeway’s prices were off the chart. Unfortunately, it’s the only store in the area where can find certain things (e.g. cannellini beans). 3) We put $7.69 into the change/$1 bill bag, and I earned 1,930 Swagbucks this past week. I am growing more and more annoyed with Swagbucks each day though, but I am determined to earn at least one more $500 Delta card by the end of the year so I grit my teeth, curse under my breath at times, and continue. 4) All the leftovers were eaten, and nothing was thrown away this past week.
- Grateful for: We’re feeling grateful for good weather, good friends, a great landlord, and in spite of the rising cost of living our life on Kaua’i. Island life is a good fit for us and we plan to enjoy our time here as much as possible until it’s time to hit the road again.
- Bonus question: What albums do you count as the most influential in your life? For the past couple of weeks, the albums above have been popping up in my Facebook feed, from when I did an Album Challenge to pick 12 favorite albums that have had an impact on me. I was nominated by our son and had a lot of fun – it was very thought provoking. The above 12 are not ranked in any way, but all are still favorites, and I can still sit and listen through them all with the same joy I felt when I first heard them. There are more, but these are the original dozen. Sadly, they all make my age very clear.
We enjoyed other pretty sunsets this past week beyond Monday’s showstopper. There are so many things we love about our apartment, but the sunset views from our front door are at the top of our list. As the days grow longer we have to wait later and later for them to appear, but the warmer weather seems to produce better sunsets than we get in the the winter, and they last longer as well.
And that closes the book on another very good week here at Casa Aloha! I hope everyone enjoyed a great week as well. Wishing a happy Father’s Day to all the dads reading – I hope you have a wonderful, wonderful day. And, I’m hoping the week coming up is another great one for all!