Good morning! Aloha kakahiaka!
August has arrived! The year is moving steadily along, and we are one month closer to making our travel dreams come true next year and in 2023. It’s become obvious, to me anyway, that COVID is going to continue to play a major role in any plans we make going forward, so at this point nothing is solid or a done deal, but hopefully we’ll have a better idea by this time next year. Our plans for now are to continue to hang tight here in Hawaii, and save, save, save as much as we can so when things do change for the positive (and I have faith that they will . . . eventually) we will be ready and able to go.
All went well with Monday’s procedure, and I finally have a definite answer to what’s been causing my GERD. As I thought, I have a small hiatal hernia and for now I’m to stick with my current medication and follow a hiatal hernia regime (avoid food triggers, keep head elevated, continue current medication, etc.). The examination also looked at my esophagus, stomach and the opening into the upper intestine and all those were in tip top shape and healthy. The only issue I had on Monday was with the anesthesia. I was supposed to follow orders from the doctor during the procedure, but fell asleep from almost the moment the medication went into the IV so have no idea how everything got done. I somehow woke up enough at the hospital that I could be discharged, get out to the car and home even though I was very wobbly and nauseated. I then slept several more hours after I got home. Anesthesia and I have never gotten along and this last outing was no exception.
This last month was a great one for our side hustles. With the Etsy shop up and running and a month of fairly steady sales, income from the blog, the sale of a couple of things from the apartment, and a couple of other sources paying in we added an additional $803.43 to our travel fund on top of our regular allotment. I am excited to see how the Etsy shop does going forward: hashioki sales have been steady as have some other smaller items, but I have yet to sell any of the “big ticket” items. My gut feeling is that sales are going to slow down, but that’s OK because time is on my side. I have my fingers crossed for the upcoming month, but I’m very happy with how everything came together in July and hope we can keep some of this momentum going (although we don’t have much of any more household items that we can sell for the time being).
This morning I am:
- Reading: I finished The Cruelest Month, the third in Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache series, on Tuesday so I could focus entirely on The Magus, and finished it yesterday. As it did when I read it before, The Magus contained lots of twists and turns, and left me with unanswered questions or at least a lot to think about at the end. It was still a great book though and perfect for this year’s reading theme. I put the fourth Louise Penny book on hold and The Lost Man by Jane Harper became available again just as I finished The Magus – perfect timing (for a change)!
- Listening to: Big winds are blowing outside this morning – very noisy! If nothing else though the wind is keeping the apartment nice and cool and there’s no need for the ceiling fans this morning. It’s also quite overcast outside, more than I expected anyway, but no rain. A little bit of blue sky shows itself now and again but quickly disappears. Brett is puttering away in the kitchen but other than the roar of the wind and one rooster screaming its lungs out in the distance it’s going to be a quiet morning. I love it.
- Watching: We watched a wonderful movie last Sunday evening (on Amazon Prime): One Night in Miami, a fictional account of evening in 1964 following Mohammed Ali’s surprising win over Sonny Liston for the heavyweight title, where he, Malcolm X, singer Sam Cooke, and football star Jim Brown get together. Amazing story, amazing dialog, and a fantastic movie. Things have changed since then, but sadly not that much and not enough. Otherwise we finished Clarkson’s Farm (a very fun and enjoyable show) and are currently watching Collateral, a four-part detective series set in London. I’m still watching GBM while I do Swagbucks – there are more episodes than I realized but I should finish this week.
Getting an Etsy hashioki order ready takes about 15 minutes, give or take: 1) locate the hashioki that were ordered; 2) wrap each hashioki individually in a foam sheet; 3) wrap bubblewrap around hashioki and fit into a box; and 4) print and add mailing label and then . . . off it goes! Depending on when I receive the order, they either go out the same day or the next.
- Happy I accomplished: I finally got a large Japanese serving bowl listed on our local Buy & Sell on Thursday, and although there have been quite a few views there hasn’t been a sale (yet). I love the bowl, but haven’t used it even once since we’ve lived here. I was going to list it on Etsy, but when I figured out the shipping cost would be four times any profit I got for it I dropped that idea like a hot potato. The bowl is selling for $85+ on eBay and along with postage is over $100; I am asking considerably less. Anyway, if it doesn’t sell online, it will be put away for our pre-departure garage sale. I also got some other items photographed for future Etsy listings, and Meiling sent an item she photoshopped for me so I got one new listing done. We did a very quick shop at Costco on Thursday for a few things that were unavailable last week and we did not overbuy. I finished up another six-week set of activity cards and got a new set ready to get me into the middle of September. Otherwise, all that ended up being accomplished were the usual household chores and tasks.
- Looking forward to next week: I’d love to have another easygoing week like this past one. It was very relaxing and enjoyable (hospital procedures notwithstanding). A day or two at the beach this week would be much appreciated, but no guarantees on that.
- Thinking of good things that happened: My procedure going well was the best thing – done and done! We rarely get chickens in our yard, but this past week a few showed up, and even climbed the steps up to our front door to check us out – funny (they ran away when I tried to take their picture)! Otherwise, there were no big standout good things – it was just a very nice week overall.
- Thinking of frugal things we did: We bought just the five things on our list at Costco on Thursday, and left the store with $25 out of our shopping funds. We’re now good to go for the next two weeks, until it’s time to again shop big. I had two Etsy orders this past week so will have a little money going into the savings account next week. Other than what we spent at Costco and $20 for gasoline, we had a no-spend week. We put $6.50 into the change/$1 bill bag and sent a total of $33.56 into savings from this in July. I earned 2,337 Swagbucks, including a 592 bonus for July. We had a lot of leftovers, but stayed on task, were creative, and finished all of them, and didn’t throw out any food.
- Grateful for: I’m thankful that I now have a definitive answer for my stomach issues. They’re not going to go away, but I now have tools and knowledge to make living with the condition easier going forward. I’m also grateful for all that Brett did for me last Monday (a lot, much of it above and beyond the call of duty) so I didn’t have to worry about anything and could rest and get through the day.
- Bonus question: After your next big travel adventure, what then? This is the BIG unknown for us, one we are still working on and talk about all the time. The two big parts we don’t know right now are how long we’ll be able to continue to travel (that is, IF we can do nomadic travel again), and if we do eventually settle down, where would that be? We’re having a very difficult time imagining living in any one place. We think about different places for a while, discuss the pros and cons, but after a short time realize we will most likely be miserable . . . and stuck . . . and we can’t imagine or deal with that now. The decision on where to end up is the one thing we need to get right so we’re willing to spend the time on this. It’s something we continue to hammer out between us, both personally and financially, but we have faith the right place at right time will come to us.
Some of the damage we have found from our move: cracked and chipped jubako; a broken leg on our beloved Japanese Haniwa horse; Sharpie written directly on an item; and tape damage on a washi-paper covered tea box. All of these things had survived numerous moves without damage beginning in the 1980s, from cross country to across the ocean, until this last crew got their hands on them.
As I go through things that I had hoped to sell on Etsy, I grow more and more frustrated by the number of things I find that were damaged when we sent the items for storage in 2018. We used Royal Hawaiian to move our things over in 2014, and everything arrived perfectly – it was the best move we ever had. So, when we wanted to put things into storage before our Big Adventure we didn’t hesitate to use them again. However, the crew they sent packed things very poorly (an understatement), causing numerous chips and/or breakages of irreplaceable and sentimental items, and of course they also lost a full box of goods when everything was shipped back last year. Four out of seven of my antique stacking boxes (jubako), which were in perfect condition before being packed this last time, came back cracked and damaged to the point that they have lost almost all value. We had beautiful tea boxes I had covered with washi paper when we lived in Japan but the crew applied packing tape directly to the boxes to close them versus covering first in paper, thereby causing the washi paper to be ripped and destroyed when we opened them. They wrote directly on items, including the Japanese tea boxes, with a Sharpie. Over a year later we’re still discovering damage. The only thing I’m relieved about these days is that they did not actually lose our Boy’s Day Banner, just hid it very well. That had been the most painful loss.
That’s all for this week! I wish sometimes I had more exciting things to write about, as I did when we were traveling, but I’m also thankful for the peaceful days we are enjoying now. We eat well, there’s time to read and exercise . . . it’s all good. So, raising my virtual glass, here’s to another week of good food, good books, time outdoors, things accomplished, and good things happening!