Good morning! Aloha kakahiaka! And, happy Fourth of July! We have no big plans here for the day other than to grill some burgers this evening and finish with some s’mores. Otherwise it’s going to be a typical relaxed Sunday although it’s currently raining so who knows how the day will turn out. Costco and Walmart were both well-stocked with fireworks this past week, which we were more than able to resist. It’s most likely going to be noisy this evening, but hopefully not as much as it typically is on New Year’s Eve.
I’ve gotten five more orders this week from my Etsy shop! I have been getting lots of views, been favorited by a few people, and have received my first five-star review! Creating listings and getting things packed for shipping have been real work though and kept me far busier than I expected. We have almost reclaimed our living room although instead of hashioki everywhere there are now stacks of shipping materials to deal with. I had to take a couple of days off from creating listings this past week because between taking photographs and writing things up and all the other things going on it was becoming a bit overwhelming. On the plus side I’m so pleased that I’m getting orders – I honestly wasn’t expecting anything to happen at all for a few weeks. I’m still waiting on updated photos of some items to come back from WenYu – she’s had a lot going on recently, but we talked this past week and they’ll be on their way soon. Meiling has also said she’s ready to Photoshop a couple more sets of photos for me as well. I’m guessing that after this initially flurry of orders things are going to calm down for a while, but that’s fine with me. Slow and steady is the way to go.
This past Thursday afternoon while I was writing I had a sudden onset of chest pain. It was quite strong, and felt like a band was being tightened around my chest. I waited to see if it subsided and got up and did a few things hoping it would go away (like make a salad for our dinner), and then finally went in and told Brett I thought maybe I should go to the emergency room. I have a family history of heart disease and know that women’s heart attack symptoms don’t always come across like men’s and can mimic other illnesses. So, about 40 minutes after the onset of pain we arrived at the ER, and they could have not been more lackadaisical about things if they tried. Almost 15 years ago I went to the ER in Portland with chest pains, caused by the statin I was taking as it turned out, but I was immediately whisked into a room and work and tests were started immediately to determine whether or not I was having a heart attack. On Thursday I was directed to sit in the waiting room, and after about five minutes was called into the triage nurse who told me it was “probably just a gastric issue” but she would order an EKG. It was another 15 minutes before that was done and then I was sent back to the waiting room once again. After over two hours of waiting I told Brett we were leaving – the waiting room was not crowded at all, but there a couple of others who had been there longer than we had and they weren’t being seen. My pain was lessening, I was feeling somewhat better, and figured if someone wasn’t going to read my EKG and report to me in less than two hours I probably hadn’t had a heart attack and there was no reason for me to hang around. By the time I went to bed that night the pain had resolved and I’ve felt fine since. It probably was a gastric issue, but it sure felt unlike anything else I’ve ever experienced, so it’s something I’ll discuss the next time I see my doctor. The entire experience was extremely frustrating, especially since we’ve had good experiences with the hospital previously, so I’m not sure what was going on this past week.
This morning I am:
- Reading: I finally finished The Spy Who Came In From the Cold this past week, and put the next book in the series on hold at the library. I have started Shadowland, by Peter Straub, in the meantime. I read it when it first came out in 1980,, but it’s a creepy book and I want to see if it’s as thrilling now as it was then. I also put The Magus, by John Fowles, on hold, another book of mystery I read and loved a long time ago.
- Listening to: It’s kind of noisy around here this morning. Brett’s banging around in the kitchen (making coffee, putting dishes away, etc.) and outside it’s quite wet and blustery with the wind roaring through the trees. It’s also somewhat humid but at least it’s cool and the breeze flowing through the apartment is wonderful. Hopefully this all clears out by this evening so we can barbecue and for everyone else’s fireworks.
- Watching: Brett and I started a new show this past week: Marcella. So far we like it although we’ve never watched a show that’s gone in so many directions so quickly – it’s been hard to keep up at times. The show has got three seasons for us to get through, which makes us happy. I’ve started watching five episodes of Great British Menu each evening, enough to get me through a round of Swagbucks. The finals episodes are longer though, so two of them are enough at a time. I’m eventually going to have to find something new to watch.
- Happy I accomplished this past week: I am satisfied with all the hashioki I got listed this past week. It was a challenge at times but I’m getting closer to being done and organized, with around 20 more groups to go. I’ve been able to get all the orders sent out the next day in spite of having to scrounge for packing materials at times. Our big food shopping trip was a success this past week, and we did better than we have on previous trips. Otherwise it was just the regular stuff getting done all week.
- Looking forward to next week: We’ve got nothing on our calendar – every day is our own to plan whatever we feel like doing. Hopefully it will be a bit less chaotic than this past week seemed to be.
- Thinking of good things that happened: 1) I had five sales this week from my Etsy shop, have been favorited by several people, and received my first five-star review. 2) I did not have a heart attack. 3) We enjoyed a long afternoon at the beach on Tuesday which included another monk seal visit. It’s so exciting to see them as they’re highly endangered. 4) We had an exhausting but successful shopping trip on Wednesday, and 5) we sold another item in less than half an hour on our local Buy & Sell. That’s one more thing out of the house!
- Thinking of frugal things we did: I continue to use the packing materials we had on hand to send out orders, but I did order a few shipping materials from Amazon (bubble wrap, boxes, and foam sheets) that were either unavailable or too expensive here on the island. However, at one location we checked they were stocking shelves and I was able to pick up some small boxes for free that are perfect for mailing hashioki. Every little bit helps! Other than the above Amazon order and our planned food shopping trip we had a no-spend week. We miraculously stayed under budget with our big food shopping expedition, and we put $10.13 into the change/$1 bill bag. I earned 1,861 Swagbucks, and it looks like I will be getting a 600 SB bonus for June’s efforts. All the leftovers were eaten and nothing was thrown away. The most expensive food you buy is the stuff you throw away.
- Grateful for: I’m very thankful for (and surprised by) all the interest shown in my little Etsy shop, and grateful for the purchases that have been made. I’m also very grateful for and pleased by for the review I’ve received and the personal messages I’ve received from buyers. All of it gives me hope that I’ll be successful in finding new homes for our Japanese things.
- Bonus Question: What colors of clothing do you tend to gravitate towards? I tend to wear mostly various shades of blue these days as well as some black and gray, and I have a few white tops. I have to keep gray away from my face though because of my gray hair, but my glasses are blue so that helps break it up. At my high school girls had to wear either a gray skirt or gray jumper every day, and I still have bad memories and associations from that and greatly dislike wearing gray from the waist down. Gray sweaters or t-shirts are OK though. My favorite color is bright spring green but the only thing I own in that color right now is a lightweight insulated vest that doesn’t get worn in Hawaii but is great for traveling. Indigo blue of any shade is also a favorite and I own lots of pieces for both hot and cold weather in different shades of indigo that I can mix and match, both for here and for traveling. I tried wearing navy blue on our first Big Adventure but didn’t like it at all and the pieces I brought mostly sat in my suitcase the entire time. I really don’t care for pastels of any shade either, and I won’t wear pink any more. I prefer solid colors over prints – I think I’ve only got three or four warm weather tops that are prints these days and I don’t wear them often.
With the launching of the Etsy shop I’ve developed three additional small income streams going into our travel savings account. A few months ago I couldn’t think of how we were ever going to bring in anything extra short of selling all our stuff, but these three streams added a few hundred dollars to our account last month and hopefully that will continue. I’m not expecting them to be consistent from month to month, but along with selling at least one item on our local Buy & Sell each month the money that comes in will help bring us over the finish line for next year’s travels and our next big adventure in 2023. I’ve got my fingers crossed.
That’s all for this week! I hope you have a glorious Fourth of July celebration today, whether that’s at a picnic with friends or family, a parade, or home in front of the TV or whatever you do. Here’s hoping the holiday will be a great start to a great week ahead!