Sunday Morning 7/25/2021: Gloomy Weather, Beautiful Sunsets, Busy Week

Gloomy weather during the day created some beautiful sunsets in the evening.

Good morning! Aloha kakahiaka!

Tomorrow morning at 9:10 I will be checking in at the hospital for an upper endoscopy to hopefully determine for good the reason for my ongoing stomach issues. I personally think all that’s going to come of it will be confirmation that I do indeed have a hiatal hernia but it will good to have things settled. I’ve had every other test performed and nothing else that could be causing the GERD has been found so this procedure is all that’s left to do (i.e. cancer, ulcers, bacteria, and so forth have been ruled out). I can have no water, food, etc. after at midnight tonight, and Brett will drive me to the outpatient surgery clinic in the morning and bring me home later. I was scheduled to have this procedure done in 2018, before we left on our adventure, but it was before I had Medicare coverage and we would have paid a hefty amount out-of-pocket. Today, between Medicare and our military insurance, 100% is covered.

After a busy previous week with Etsy, this week has been blissfully peaceful with just three small orders and I’m fine with that. It’s given me time to get better organized and redo, update, and add some listings. One big project was corralling and organizing all the for sale goods and shipping materials into one convenient space. We sold our sofa table at the beginning of the week, and put the slatted bench that had sat at the foot of our bed in its place, which works much better for us and gave me room to organize everything. Another Etsy project accomplished was cleaning up and re-photographing the antique Japanese cast iron tea kettle that’s for sale. I sort of quickly threw pictures of it up on the site when I first got started, but after some serious cleaning and new photographs it looks much better and will hopefully have a better chance of being sold. I went through the house again and pulled out a couple more Japanese things, got them photographed and listed, and got some photoshopped items back from Meiling and have one of them listed as well. There are still more things to be photographed and photoshopped, but I’m going to wait a couple of weeks to get to those. I expect sales to go more slowly now after an initial burst of interest, but for now time is on my side. Brett is still working on getting his eBay site going.

The yard is nice and green, but otherwise it’s been mostly wet and overcast this week with lots of rain.

Our Big Shop on Tuesday completely wore us out and about midway through shopping we decided to go ahead and overbuy so we didn’t need to do it again at the end of the month. Costco was a three-ring circus with all the visitors in the store (the amount of liquor in their carts is always the big giveaway) and Walmart wasn’t any easier. Once the new Target finally opens the crowds at Walmart will hopefully dwindle, but that opening is already behind schedule and no one seems to know when that will happen. The traffic into Lihue was pretty unbelievable as well, one more reason for us not to go out any more than we have to. We did have to go back to Walmart yesterday to pick up more shipping supplies which they were out of on Tuesday but that were thankfully there the second trip. On top of everything else going on this past week else the weather has also been quite gloomy and unpleasant with very strong winds and/or rain every day and we’ve had to run around between storms to get things accomplished. There’s never a dull moment here, I tell you.

This morning I am:

  • Reading: I finished The Witch Hunter but The Magus continues. The Witch Hunter was great, and very suspenseful, and I had forgotten what a pleasure The Magus is to read but also how strange it is. Of course two more books had to come off hold this past week, The Lost Man by Jane Harper and The Cruelest Month by Louise Penney. I downloaded the latter and am now reading it along with The Magus, but postponed receiving The Lost Man. I was hoping for break so I could enjoy reading one book instead of two, but it seems to always feast or famine when it comes to getting books from the library.
  • Listening to: This past week has been LOUD, with the wind blowing through our yard almost constantly and sounding like freight train moving through. Even wearing earplugs at night hasn’t been enough to cut the noise. Add in heavy rain, and it’s been a very noisy, wet week. This morning however is pleasant and quiet for a change, with only a gentle breeze blowing (for now). Birds are singing for a change, and I can even see some blue sky peeping over and through the clouds. Sadly, it’s not expected to last. Inside it’s quiet although Brett has already set up everything in the kitchen for me to fix mini-waffles so it won’t be long before I have to get up and make some noise.
  • Watching: We finally got to the end of Marcella which had quite the ending. We’ve been watching Clarkson’s Farm (thanks to a suggestion from reader Vicky) and and are really enjoying it, especially since we were in the Cotswolds when some of it was being filmed (we were there for the nonstop rains that affected his planting, for example). We didn’t realize at first that it was a documentary and thought it was a comedy show, but we’ve had fun seeing all the twists and turns Clarkson goes through trying to run his farm (how hard can it be? he thinks at the start). We’ve been surprised by how much money he seems to end up spending whether that’s buying farm equipment or a herd of sheep or fixing a stupid mistake he’s made. I’ve gotten through quite a bit more of Great British Menu but have a few more episodes to go before I’m done (for good). I’m definitely ready to watch something different.
The woman who bought our sofa table creates tables that look like this. She wants our coffee table as well whenever we’re ready to sell it.
  • Happy I accomplished this past week: I’m happy to have my Etsy materials better organized, and my listings updated. All of that had been sort of overwhelming before. I was also glad to finally get the teakettle cleaned up and learning more about it so that I could write a more accurate listing. Hopefully it will sell soon as it’s the most looked at and favorited item in my shop. I listed and sold the sofa table in less than 30 minutes! The woman who bought it is a local artist who paints the top of tables with wave design in resin, and our table was perfect for her projects. She also asked us to contact her first whenever we decide to sell our coffee table! We did our big shop last Tuesday and are good to go for the next few weeks, with only produce needed to be purchased between now and next month.
  • Looking forward to next week: We didn’t get to either the beach or the Maha’ulepu trail because of this past week’s sketchy weather (especially in the mornings), so fingers are crossed both of those can happen this week. I’m hoping my procedure goes well tomorrow and that I have some better answers about what’s going on with with my upper digestive system. I am not looking forward to not even getting a drink of water, let alone any coffee, tomorrow morning when I get up. It will be hell.
  • Thinking of good things that happened: There were no real standout good things this week. We had some days that were harder than others, but things got done, good meals were enjoyed, good books were read, more things left the house, and money went into our bank account. Life continues to be pretty wonderful.
My sweet husband went out in the rain to the farm stand yesterday morning to get me a bouquet . . . of basil!
  • Thinking of frugal things we did: We had a very good week when it came to side hustle income. Besides selling our sofa table, Etsy paid out a nice piece of change into my savings account, and I even randomly found a $1 bill blowing around on the golf course one day! We put $27.06 into the change/$1 bill bag, and I earned 1,863 Swagbucks, although that was a bit of a slog this past week. We went well over budget with our Big Shop but it was intentional. We made a command decision while we were in Costco to go ahead and buy enough to get us through a month. After the craziness there we want avoid the crowds as much as possible going forward. For now, all we should need to buy at the end of the month is coffee, produce and oat milk (which Costco didn’t have this past week). Other than the big food shop, buying gasoline, a quick trip to the farmstead for basil, and having to purchase a few boxes for Etsy sales (less than $5), we had another no-spend week. We ate all our leftovers, used up odds and ends in the freezer, and didn’t throw any food away.
  • Grateful for: I am feeling very thankful these days for my daughters’ suggestion that I open an Etsy shop to sell our Japanese stuff. Sales have been slow but steady, and I feel happy that these things we have enjoyed for so long are now going to others who want them and will equally enjoy them. It has been a bit more work than I imagined, but I get better organized as I go along, and have earned more than I imagined – I had no idea the hashioki would be so popular!
  • Bonus question: This week the question is directed outward: what would you like to know? Bonus questions are the most difficult part of writing the Sunday post, mainly because at this point I feel like I’ve asked everything at least twice. But maybe you all have some good ideas or things you’d like to hear about or know? It doesn’t have to be anything major or earth shattering either. Maybe it’s time to change things up and instead of a question have Pet Peeve of the Week or something else? Anyway, I’m open to all and any ideas or questions you have. Please let me know!

I miss going to the farmers’ market every week, and almost went this past week but in the end neither of us were ready or willing to deal with the crowds of tourists that go now. With cases of the virus on the rise on the island and in the state, we prefer not to mingle. However, I miss the variety of produce, the low prices, and checking in with our favorite farmers. We’ve missed lychee season this year because we haven’t gone, but dragonfruit season is coming up and that will probably get me to go back if nothing else will. For things like cilantro or basil we can make a quick stop at the nearby farmstead, but otherwise I’m buying most of our produce at Costco these days (because they carry a lot of Hawaii-grown and organic items).

As much as the number of tourists can drive me crazy, this has been one of those weeks where I feel sorry for those who spent a lot of money to come here only to have to spend it indoors most of the time.

That’s all for this week. Supposedly this weather is going to continue through next week, but I hope we catch a break now and then. This has been the strangest summer we’ve experienced here, very cool and rainy. Usually by now we’re wilting from the heat and humidity. We know it’s coming though, just maybe a little later than expected. Anyway, here’s to another good week coming up and getting lots accomplished!


18 thoughts on “Sunday Morning 7/25/2021: Gloomy Weather, Beautiful Sunsets, Busy Week

  1. I hope your surgery goes well.I like all your pictures of well, everything. I even like your photos of folks in casual clothes because I think I am sick of business suits. I am enjoying my 720 sq ft weekend house bc my son painted it in fun, vibrant colors, and it is so close to my walking park, Target, Aldi. I have a terrible cough from my airplane ride (not Covid) so I travel through your photos.


    1. Thanks, Cindy! We live VERY casually here . . . everybody does. Dressed up here for Brett means he puts on an aloha shirt! The only place you will see a suit here is in court. The casualness is one the things we love so much about living here. For the most part no one cares what you’re wearing – it’s very freeing.

      Thank goodness you do not have COVID after your flight. I am still very afraid of flying but have my fingers crossed things will be improved by next spring.

      Your house sound like a wonderful, pretty, and perfectly located retreat!


  2. It’s interesting after listening to complain about tourists – I watched a YouTube family visit Hawaii and the horrible treatment they received while driving on the Road to Hana by locals is disturbing and made me take Hawaii off my bucket list.

    Hope your surgery goes well.



    1. Melissa – I hope that you will rethink not visiting Hawaii, especially after seeing one YouTube video. Please remember that while the Road to Hana is a beautiful trip much favorited by visitors, it is also a road used daily by locals to get to and from work, see family, go shopping, etc. My niece visited Maui last month and said the Road to Hana, while beautiful, was very crowded with tourists and traffic crawled along with no places to park to get out and enjoy the sites. Visitors may be having a tough time, but you can only imagine what it’s doing to locals and possible someone just snapped that day. Visitors have left trash, trampled plants, etc. – those are things locals are dealing with on a daily basis now.

      People who come to Hawaii want and expect a perfect “Hawaii experience” but the state is not an amusement park or resort purely for others’ enjoyment. People live and work here, raise their families, but are not here to make sure every visitor has a perfect experience. It goes both ways. Our small island with 75,000 full-time residents is experiencing an influx of around 3,000 visitors a day, and it is overwhelming. It’s worse on Maui. Most visitors are great and we welcome them, but the numbers are still very hard on local people. One family’s bad experience, for whatever reason, shouldn’t be used to blame the entire state or any of the islands.


      1. The Road to Hana is a great memory for me, but I agree there is virtually nowhere to get out and I can absolutely see how that would be annoying to locals. 😬


      2. I do think that visitors to Hawaii sometimes forget that people live here, use the roads, stores, etc. and that when they warn against doing something, or get upset there is typically a very, very good reason. Everyone who lives here is not responsible for making sure that everyone who visits has a perfect experience.


  3. Hi Laura, Hope surgery goes well and you have the answers to move forward. Glad to hear you are enjoying Clarkson’s farm. Prior to watching this show I thought he was a bit of a prat, however have enjoyed how he has been able to highlight what hard working farming is for minimal reward. I do enjoy Kaleb who tells him like it is. A couple of questions I do wonder if you would be willing to discuss, and guess this is coming from my own situation of confusion. How have you made friends in the local community in Hawaii? Also after the next travel adventure what then? With record low interest rates are you tempted to buy yourself a sweet little one bedroom place that would be yours for life? The last thing which is playing on my mind is what do I want my legacy to be? Do you or any other readers as the same questions I’m 10 years behind you and in good health but have no children, no family I would consider close, 6 nieces and nephews who never so much send a card or a birthday wish and can see no reason to leave our money to a crowd of people who are strangers to us.


    1. The procedure went well this morning, and yes, I do have a hiatal hernia but everything else is fine. So, I am going to have to make a few changes, but I am relieved to finally have an official answer (the HH is what I self-diagnosed a couple of years ago).

      Those are great questions and I will use them in the future for bonus questions.

      We know people here in the same situation you are – no kids and no one to leave their money to – they keep buying bigger and bigger homes here on Kaua’i! They’re spending it all!


  4. All the best with the procedure.

    Buying the basil in the rain – that’s my idea of a loving gift. Making an effort to get something simple and with a little discomfort. Better than spending lots of a thing.

    What do you watch all the TV series on?


    1. Everything went well, and I am in good shape. One nurse informed me before the start that the doctor would be asking me to do things throughout the procedure while at the same time another nurse anesthetist was administering the drug that would put me into twilight sleep. I was out for nearly three hours and have no memory whatsoever of the doctor evening coming into the room, let alone speaking to me!

      I needed the basil for a recipe that night, and Brett offered to go out and get it. I’ll take a bunch of basil from the farm stand over a big showy bouquet any day!

      We have both Netflix and Amazon Prime (and Hulu). No regular TV at all, so everything we watch is streamed. Some shows we discover on our own, but I’ve gotten great recommendations for shows from the readers.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Two days later and I am still feeling the effects of the anesthesia (ugh), but otherwise all is well. The diagnosis is what I expected, and I am to continue on doing what I’ve been doing! It will be with me for the rest of my life, but hopefully not grow any worse.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I hope the procedure provides clarity on what is causing your GERD and that there is an easy, and pain-free fix. This has been bothering you for a long time and kudos for doing the work to eliminate all the other possibilities.

    I am very concerned about a Covid outbreak in Provincetown, MA – 551 people tested positive and 69% are fully vaccinated. Here’s a link to an ABC News video about it:

    Questions/topics: Advice for parenting young adults, thoughts on each country on your travel list and what you find compelling about visiting there, what you know now that you wish you knew back when, thoughts on a changing climate and what you want your kids to anticipate, more on politics,….

    Also would you be so kind as to repost the link to the arm exercises you are doing? Thanks!


    1. As I thought, I have a hiatal hernia (small one) but everything else is good and looks good. I will see my doctor in a couple of weeks and go over a plan for how to deal with it, although I have to say that cutting meat from our diet has already made a big difference. Things are nowhere near as bad as they were in the past, even a few months ago.

      I saw the news about Provincetown – just awful. I asked one of my nurses this morning about all the cases here and she said almost all of them are being treated at home. They had prepped for a big influx at the hospital but so far the really bad cases haven’t hit. Fingers crossed it stays that way.

      Thanks to for the many question ideas – I very much appreciate them. I’l probably never write about politics, although I definitely have a point of view and opinions. A semi-political post (or at least I think some will see it that way) will be appearing on Wednesday, more of a thought piece than anything.

      This is the video I initially followed for my upper body strength exercise. I do them on my own now, 20 reps for each except for the ones that switch arms – those get 10 reps.


      1. I’m so glad you have a definitive diagnosis and that there were no surprises.

        That’s great news about Covid cases on Kauai being treated at home. I still find it anxiety-producing that fully vaccinated people are contracting the virus. On the plus side it is probably boosting their antibodies once they recover.

        Thank you so much for posting the link to the arm exercises!

        I have been hooked on watching videos about living in Positano, Italy on this channel – they have to climb 465 steps to get to the closest road! Fascinating way of life: She is British and her husband is a Positano native. Videos are in English or when her husband speaks they have subtitles.


      2. I got lots of pictures of my insides and everything looked very pink and healthy, so other than the HH all is well.

        So much for all COVID cases being treated at home – as of this morning (Wednesday) there are now five people in the hospital. The nurse was saying on Monday that they thought they had dodged a bullet, but I guess not.

        The Amalfi Coast, including Positano, is on our bucket list. Not sure I am willing to climb 465 steps though. Going up is doable for me, but going down would be a nightmare with my knee.


  6. Glad to hear the procedure went well. I had a similar experience – being told the doctor would want to speak to me during the outpatient surgery, but I have no memory of it. I think that’s a good thing! 😂 And I think you and I have similar digestive issues. It does become easier for me to avoid foods I know will irritate my system even if I love them. And overeating just makes me truly miserable.


    1. I am still feeling the effects of the anesthesia from time to time – it always has a much stronger effect on me than realized, even if I tell them in advance!

      Reducing the amount of meat in our diet has decreased the amount of discomfort I was experiencing before. Carbs also seem to be a big trigger for me, but thankfully not the usual ones (coffee, chocolate, and such). I’m thankful that everything else in my upper digestive system looked very good!

      Liked by 1 person

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