We enjoyed lots of pretty evening skies this past week.
Good Morning! Aloha kakahiaka!
We’ve had a pretty nice week overall, with good weather and lots accomplished. Brett and I have settled into a new normal and a sort of schedule, and we move slowly through each day making sure things get done and we keep moving forward. It’s both relaxing and boring, truth be told, and I have feelings of both love and hate with it all. Eyes on the prize, I keep telling myself though, eyes on the prize. One of these days things will start moving very quickly and know I’ll look back fondly on these quiet, slow moving day with fondness and nostalgia.
I have decided to grow out my hair again, and cancelled my hair appointment for the week after next. Although this is not an earth-shattering decision by any means, it was a difficult one because of the weather and humidity, and knowing frizzy puffball or old lady poof are going to be my looks for the duration of our time here. However, longer hair is easier for me to care for when we travel, there’s less worrying about whether I can get it cut properly when we’re on the road, and it’s way more economical overall. I am dreading the grow-out experience, but by starting now I should have a nice set of curls by the time we attend YaYu’s graduation next spring, and be ready for a DevaCurl cut by the time we set out on our travels in 2023. My screams and tears from frustration in the interim will be probably be heard all the way back on the mainland.
I had another nice week with Etsy. First, I finally got all the hashioki photographed and listed. I can’t begin to say how happy this makes me because it had gotten to be very tiring and I had to push myself to get it done. I have a few more other things to list, but I am looking forward to taking a break from listing for a few days. I had four sales this past week, all good things, but one item that sold was wooden box that had been covered with washi paper. The box was very light, but by the time I got it packaged and weighed for shipment it turned out that my “profit” on the item was only going to be $2.50 due to postage costs! That was a big reality check on the cost of shipping some of the bigger items back to the mainland, so I am going to have to be more careful going forward with pricing things as I include free shipping with my orders. Despite the small profit, I am glad I didn’t lose money (which looked possible for a while) and that another item has left the house. I also heard from my first buyer mid-week that her order had not arrived even though according to the USPS tracking it had been delivered to her mailbox on June 28. I had a horrible feeling that the buyer might have been a victim of package theft, but she messaged the next day that it had been found! Her mother had picked it up when she was out of town and forgotten to tell her. So, much relief for both of us and a happy ending.
This morning I am:
- Reading: I’m once again reading two books at the same time: Shadowland and Transient Desires, by Donna Leon, which came off of hold from the library on Monday. It’s the 30th book in her Commissario Brunetti series, all of which are set in Venice which is as much of a character in the book as it is a setting. When I finish these two books I will have less than 10 to go to meet my reading goal for the year . . . and it’s only July!
- Listening to: We having sort of a gloomy morning – lots of clouds and overcast, a good breeze, and we can see that it rained most of the night. No beach today! Other than the wind through the trees and a few birds singing though, it’s quiet both inside and out. Brett is reading and eating his breakfast, and the rest of our day off should be pretty quiet as well. I love it.
- Watching: We’re now watching the third season of Marcella, but are starting to think about what we’ll watch next. Great British Menu marches on. I can’t believe how much I missed the on the first go around.
- Happy I accomplished this past week: Etsy business this week has been my biggest accomplishment, and I am ready for a short rest! I have a few more things to list next week, but hopefully things will slow down a bit – I feel like one order a week would be more than enough (although I’m actually very excited by and thankful for every order and have fun putting them together and sending them out). Otherwise there were no big accomplishments this week, just all the regular things that keep our lives moving along.
- Looking forward to next week: We appear to be in the doldrum season here as once again there is nothing special going on and nothing on our calendars. We’re hoping for more good weather so we can get to the beach at least once next week, and get as much walking in as possible. Our son and family move into their new house this week – we’re so excited for them and looking forward to pictures of the completed space after all the renovations/remodeling they’ve had done.
- Thinking of good things that happened: We had a lovely, simple Fourth of July celebration here and the fireworks weren’t very loud at all. We got a recall notice on our 2012 Civic, but Brett was able to schedule the repairs and that got taken care of a couple of days later, at no cost. We were glad to know we are still in the system for notices. Finally getting all the hashioki listed was a very good thing – I was gritting my teeth at the end every time I had to take photos or write up the listings for them. I honestly had no idea I had so many and what it would take to get them listed. It was a huge chore that’s thankfully completed. Our son and DIL wrote to let us know they have each received the first dose of the vaccine in Japan, and will finish up at the end of the month/beginning of August. Yeah!
- Thinking of frugal things we did: I had to buy more packaging supplies this past week – Walmart thankfully had everything I needed – but those came out of my Etsy profits. I was able to use a free flat-rate box I had on hand because it fit what I was shipping but I covered it with brown paper because using an Etsy mailing label was $7 and some change less than the post office’s retail fee. The only thing we bought this past week was a piece of ginger (59 cents) from Big Save that was needed for a recipe. Our neighbor behind us gave us a huge bunch of bananas from the tree in their yard. Brett loves bananas and has one every day so we didn’t have to buy any this week. We put $4.41 into the change/$1 bill jar, and I earned 2,000 Swagbucks. I unfortunately had to throw away a piece of cheese this week that went completely moldy, and I also had to toss a head of cabbage that was filled with mildew (a constant problem here). All the leftovers were eaten.
- Grateful for: I am very thankful for and appreciative of all who sent in suggestions for comfortable shoes, orthotics, etc. I have lots of new information to research and use to find new and better traveling shoes. Thank you!
- Bonus question: If you could choose any time period to live in, what would you choose? As a forward looking person, I’m not one for wanting to go back in time and have no desire for “the good old days” as those are a myth in my opinion. The past that’s longed for is always highly personal and idiosyncratic, good for the person wishing for it or others like them, but always not so good for others. As much fun, or as interesting, as living another time period might seem to be, there would still be problems, difficulties and issues that I’m glad I and others don’t have to deal with now. Times change, and today is far from perfect, but what can be viewed as “bad” or “troublesome” now will someday be remembered with nostalgia. All that being said, I do think it would be fun to go back in time for a short period to observe, and get a feel for how things were compared to what I’ve read about. But, I wouldn’t want to stay there.
I am still surprised almost daily by how many Japanese things we still have from our two tours there over 30 years ago (1980-1983 and 1989-1992). Every time I walk into a room or open a cabinet it I seem to discover more – I had no idea we kept this much stuff or at least never thought all that much about it. The other day we ate zaru soba on bamboo trays and I realized they can eventually be listed on Etsy as they’re as vintage as everything else. Same for a small porcelain bowl that sits by the bathtub – I must see it every day but only realized the other day, “well, that’s something that can go on Etsy.” However, this past Thursday I walked over a wool rug that sits at the foot of our bed and realized I do not want to let it go – we bought it at the beginning of our second tour and it’s had a place in every home we own and I still want it to be a part of any future home we have (Brett agrees). So, it will be stored with the girls when we take off again. I am so glad we have lots of time to figure all this out so we get it right, or as right as possible.
That’s a wrap for this week! It was a nice one even though nothing special happened, and hope it was a good one for everyone. Here’s to good books, good food, good friends, and good things happening in the week coming up!