Sunday Morning 7/18/2021: A Busy Week

We enjoyed another nice variety of sunsets this past week.

Good morning! Aloha kakahiaka!

Wednesday morning, not a rain cloud in site at 9:00 a.m. . . .

Every day Brett gives me a weather report for the next day. And almost every day, it usually turns out to have nothing to do with the actual weather that shows up. This past week he told me on Tuesday that it would be pouring rain when we woke up on Wednesday and would rain all day. I was given percentages and times for rainfall. We woke up to blue skies, gentle breezes, and fluffy clouds. I asked him what happened to the rain and he said it was now scheduled to arrive at 4:00 p.m., and if we wanted to walk we should go early, at 2:00 instead of our usual time of 4:30. The rain did arrive, but at 12:30 p.m., blowing sideways along with the strong winds that arrived at the same time. It rained off and on the rest of the afternoon but was over by 5:00. Sometimes I honestly don’t know why he continues to tout the daily weather report, rain percentages, times, etc. when the weather here always does whatever it wants, when it wants, in spite of what he or forecasters believe will happen. We’ve got ocean currents, weather gyres, mountains, etc. operating around the islands and each and everyone of these can upset the weather in a moment’s notice and usually do. In my book, if you want to know what’s happening with the weather, look out the window.

. . . and Wednesday at 12:30, after I had been informed that the rain wouldn’t show up until 4:00 p.m.

I’ve been trying to figure out what we can sell next from the house, something that won’t impact our day to day lives too much. The slatted bench at the end of our bed could go, except it’s the perfect place to sit while I do my strength exercises. Our sofa table could also go, but we like it and it holds the jubako for now. Most of the items in our cabinets that we’re planning to sell are more suited to a garage sale versus online, but I want to keep the downsizing momentum going, if possible. I think I’ll be able to let a lot more go after the girls’ time here, and after we get back from YaYu’s graduation next spring, but I love adding $$$ to our savings account now, and not having to worry about whether something will sell next year or not. Brett has started going through the boxes in our closets and getting those sorted, and along the way discovered a collection of vintage navy cloth patches he put together while he was on active duty (and had forgotten about). He’s going to put them up on eBay and see what happens.

Brett took this picture of me standing in what appears to be an oil (benzene?) slick out in the water the last time we went to Salt Pond.

We got word first from YaYu, and then from Costco, that the sunscreen we have been using, Neutrogena’s Beach Defense SPF 60, has been recalled because it contains benzene. Ugh. We’re taking the one can we have left back to Costco this week to receive a full refund, and will keep our fingers crossed that they have the Alba brand they sometimes carry in stock. Otherwise, we’ll pick up something new at Walmart. Hawaii has strict regulations about the sunscreens sold here because of environmental issues, and this was a major breach of those regulations by Neutrogena. If you travel to Hawaii, it’s always recommended that you buy your sunscreen here versus bringing it from the mainland so that the sunscreen will meet Hawaii’s environmental standards, and this appears to be one that slipped through the cracks. We prefer to use spray on sunscreen because of the coverage it provides (I always miss an area when I use lotion), so fingers crossed we can find a good substitute for the Neutrogena.

This morning I am:

  • Reading: I finished Transient Desires and Shadowland mid week, and as nothing else was available from my hold list, I thought I would try some old school Agatha Christie. Hah! Every single one of her books had multiple holds, so that idea fizzled quickly. I finally checked out The Witch Hunter, by Max Seeck, for some Nordic noir. Of course that meant that just a few hours later the next book on my hold list, The Magus by John Fowles, became available even though the day before when I checked I had been several numbers down the list. So, once again I am reading two books at the same time. Sigh.
  • Listening to: It’s wet, windy, and cool this morning. The weather was very loud last night (absolutely pounding rain and strong wind) and although things have calmed down it’s not much quieter outside this morning. It’s almost hard to believe it’s July. Brett just finished putting away last night’s dishes, and making the coffee, so it’s very quiet inside and I’m looking forward to enjoying it for a while!
  • Watching: I’ve lost interest in Marcella although Brett is still following it. The story took a completely different turn in the third season and just isn’t that interesting to me anymore. Great British Menu keeps moving along though – I think I’ll be done rewatching everything next week, or at least be close to it, and am going to have to come up with something else. I’ve been thinking of rewatching all of the Top Chef episodes that are available because I’ve found cooking shows are the easiest to keep up with while I do Swagbucks in the evening.
Found in the box Brett went through this past week was this watercolor of me as an infant, painted by an unknown relative. I looked like the Gerber baby! Bugs did some damage (brown spots), so I took this photo of it and let the original go.
  • Happy I accomplished last week: Not the most ambitious of weeks, but I kept busy all week. I updated my Etsy shop name and look, got a few more things listed, and took care of four big orders. Most of the Etsy action seems to happen over the weekend with weekdays slow and perfect for doing other shop-related tasks, but three of this week’s orders came during the week. I got our shopping list made for this coming week, always a bit of work, and will tidy it up tomorrow in preparation of Tuesday’s Big Shop. Not my accomplishment, but Brett got out a big box of papers that we had put in storage, went through everything, and got rid of most of it. What’s left is stuff to go to the girls and our son. It’s the first of a couple more boxes that need to be gone through, but a good start.
  • Looking forward to next week: Other than shopping on Tuesday there’s once again nothing special on our calendar for the coming week. We’re hoping to get to the beach, although will have to get new sunscreen first. We’re also hoping to do a short hike on the Maha’ulepu Trail in Poipu – we were going to go last week but didn’t make it. I’m hopeful too for at least one Etsy sale next week – fingers crossed.
  • Thinking of good things that happened: Costco had ripe peaches! I thought we were not going to have any peaches this year as Costco just didn’t seem to be getting in their usual mid-summer boxes of them, but this past week they had a few smaller boxes available (nine peaches for $6) and we bought one. I’ve been having one every morning on a bowl of Cheerios – so good! My two Etsy sales this past week were both big ones, so that was a good thing too.
  • Thinking of frugal things we did: We did a small a mid-week shop last Tuesday to get us through until next week, and bought only five items at Costco, a new record, with the only thing not on our list the small box of peaches. Otherwise it was another a no-spend week for us. We put $5 into the change/$1 bill bag, and I earned 2,001 Swagbucks. We produced a lot of leftovers this week, but all were eaten and enjoyed for lunches, and the only food that was thrown away was the remaining bit of a head of lettuce that had completely frozen in our crappy refrigerator and then turned to mush.
  • Grateful for: So thankful once again we are living on the south side of the island these days. It was cool and breezy when we left our apartment to head up to Costco last Tuesday, and when we stepped out of the car we were hit with heat, humidity, and no breeze – ugh. It reminded us of what summer felt like up in Kapaa and how much we disliked it then. We love staying cool and comfortable on the south side and feel grateful to be here.
There is actually one variety of snake in Hawaii: the Brahminy Blindsnake, or Hawaiian Blind Snake. As you can see, it’s a monster. We came across one once out on the eastside beach path – it looked at first like an earthworm, but moved like a snake. (Photo credit: Explore with Diane)
  • Bonus question: Are you afraid of spiders? Not really. Spiders and other bugs don’t bother me much at all and I tend to just leave them alone and let them go their own way. The centipedes here frighten me out of my wits though – they can get very large, are poisonous, and their bites are very painful. I hate snakes (one of my favorite things about living in Hawaii is NO SNAKES), but I am terrified of frogs or toads and they have poisonous ones here. I am also very afraid of lizards, especially big ones like iguanas, but love the little geckos here that dash all over the place (and eat bugs). They used to be regular visitors in our previous houses here, but I’ve only seen them three or four times inside our apartment since we’ve lived here – they seem to enjoy being outside more.

From the first world, retired lady problems file: it now seems I have almost too much to do every day – Etsy, blogging, meal prep and cooking, family, housework, Swagbucks, exercise, reading, etc. – and no time to stop, rest, think about anything. None of it is major, overwhelming, or very time consuming on its own, but lots of small things that seem to take up every second of the day. I often go to bed at night feeling exhausted and like I’ve left so much undone that I’ll have to face the next day. However, since there’s nowhere to go right now I just keep plugging away, and remind myself I’ll be grateful for my efforts later. I also try to remain grateful that I have things to keep me busy instead of not having anything to do. I can’t wait until it’s time for us to go somewhere again, but that’s another 10 months away at the earliest. With virus cases on the rise again, even that’s feeling a bit wobbly at the moment, and I’m hoping we can pull off next year’s trips (Japan in the fall of 2022 is still very iffy right now).

And that’s all for this week. I stayed busy, got a lot done, and am tired but looking forward to the week coming up. Here’s too good books, good food, and good things happening in the coming week!


18 thoughts on “Sunday Morning 7/18/2021: A Busy Week

  1. What a cute water color of you! And clever to take a picture and then part with it. I have done that with several things and never missed them. My dad bought a fuzzy at the Monterey Aquarium when he visited me in California and when he died I wanted it. It sat on a shelf for years virtually unworn. I finally took a pic of myself in it and donated it to a charity shop. Hurray for digital memories. 🙂 As they say in decluttering books, these items are not your loved one and your memories are always yours.

    We started watching The Sinner (which you recommended following Broadchurch) and it’s grabbed us. DH recommended it to a friend, he and his wife watched two episodes and realized they had watched it before, but then decided to keep going because they couldn’t remember how it played out. LOL.

    My books all come in at once, too. Now that I can read again (my eyes are mostly healed), I just finished Revival Seasonf and am reading The Midnight Library which is waited for for AGES. I don’t like reading multiple books either, But I downloaded a couple audiobooks while my eyes are healing and I’m trying to get through those, too. ARGH.


    1. Thanks for the tip about The Sinner – sounds like it just may be our next show! I’d love to watch Broadchurch again but it would be just for the acting as I know every twist and turn of it.

      More decluttering: I just listed our sofa table today. I love it, but figured out the mid-century slatted bench at the foot of our bed would work better for me now as a place to organize all my Etsy goods, shipping supplies, etc. Hopefully the table will be gone in a few days, we’ll add to our bank balance, and I’ll have a more workable space for the Etsy clutter that’s there now.

      Thanks for the book tips as well. I’m sticking to mysteries, etc. this year but am keeping a list of things to read next year. I have no idea why The Magus showed up so quickly. I checked the day before and was #5 on the list, and yet there it was available the next day. I think people must get tired of waiting, go out and buy the book, and then forget to cancel the hold. The Magus is a long book so I’m on a tight reading schedule so I can finish it before it goes back.

      I just cannot do audiobooks. I’ve tried a few times, and without except I fall asleep in the first few minutes, no matter what’s going on. There is NO WAY I’d ever put one on in the car – that would be an accident waiting to happen.


  2. My airline report. I flew from Atlanta to Salt Lake and back this week. First, the good news. My roundtrip ticket was a little under $285. Now the bad news, the plane was packed both ways, and many had their mask hanging under their nose. What is worse is that the plane was late getting into airport for the trip back, they quickly disembarked everyone, and then announced they were going to board us as quickly as possible. It literally seemed like it was only ten to 20 minutes, enough time to refuel but certainly not enough time to clean for covid protocols. I was horrified but had no choice but to get on so I could be back at work on time the next day.


    1. I will add your horror story to all of the other ones I’ve been reading lately. Can I ask what airline you flew on? We usually go with Delta. Good for you though for getting such a good price, and I’m glad in spite of the airlines lax attitude that you made it back safely. Fingers cross that you continue to stay healthy.


  3. I just finished reading Midnight Library and have to say it’s one of the best books I’ve read this year. Also with regards to viewing, if you have Amazon Prime watch Clarkson’s Farm. Very enjoyable and you will love the British countryside. I’m booked to travel to Hawaii in August except I’m having concerns about the wisdom of doing so. It’s the CV test here in Oz before I board the flight, then another CV in LAX before I go to Hawaii. Then because of our idiotic government there is a good chance I won’t be able to return to Oz before the end of the year. What to do eh? I’ll be glad when CV is in our rear view mirror and we can get on with life.


    1. When I read you were coming from Australia my first though was, “how will she get back in?”

      I think we’re all going to be on a VERY bumpy ride for a while because of COVID. We are trying to stay optimistic about future plans, but it remains to be seen if we will be able to fulfill our plans and dreams. Even Japan next fall (2022) seems like it might not happen now. The more people don’t get vaccinated and catch the virus, the more variants there are going to be, and the longer it’s going to take to get things under control again.

      If you come to Kaua’i, let me know – I’d love to get together!


    2. The Midnight Library is wonderful! So is “Nothing To See Here” by Kevin Wilson. The audiobook is terrific. Laura, you have a walking partner, but I listen to them on walks. And also when I’m cooking! Maybe that would work for you?


      1. I hadn’t thought about listening while walking, but for now I’ll keep listening to Brett! I have put both books into my “for later” file with the library though. There is just something about listening to someone’s else’s voice reading to me that puts me right to sleep.


  4. So funny about the weather predictions! I’m still envious about all the rain you’re getting, here everything is bone dry.
    I’m not afraid of spiders but I can’t stand to have them inside the house. The same about flies and other creepie crawlies. I’d be terrified about those centipedes too, so I am glad we don’t have them in this area.

    It does seem like you’re extremely busy. It’s all good as long as you’re enjoying what you’re doing. Stay safe and healthy, here we’re again on the upswing of Covid.


    1. The weather is just one of those things he does. He tracks weather every day, earthquakes around the world, and a couple of other quirky things. It’s raining this morning – he predicted it last night and got it right for a change!

      I don’t like bugs in the house either, but leave them alone for the most part. We had huge spiders around our houses when we lived in Japan – very creepy – but we never saw a single bug or fly inside our house. They got them all. Live and let live.

      I have had some good sales on Etsy, but I am hoping for a week off. They kept me very busy last week and I’d like a break (although I do like the income).


  5. That’s one ugly snake! Like a leech crossed with a worm.

    Well done on the constant decluttering. I’m slowly getting books out. Not touching Mr S’s books – but hopefully he will appreciate the space and get rid of books he has no intention of opening again. They get brown spots like your picture. Hot humid weather will do that. Cute watercolour of you!

    Have you watched the NZ show Broken Mysteries? An Insta blogger from Denmark put me onto it. So good. Then my sis-in-law told me it’s one of her favs. Can’t believe I missed it but for some strange reason, NZ shows aren’t promoted much here.


    1. Ugly but so, so tiny. We saw one once on a hike, and thought it was an earthworm. But as we watched it move we realized it was a snake. So, so happy it’s the only snake on the islands. They are ruthless here about keeping them out, although people still sneak them in. Woe to you though if you’re ever caught owning a snake here. The biggest worry is the brown snake coming from Guam – inspectors practically field strip the planes coming from there to make no sure no snakes hitched a ride.


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