In spite of stormy, windy, weather during the day, we still got a beautiful sunset almost every evening.
Good morning! Aloha kakahiaka!
This has got to be the weirdest summer when it comes to the weather. Last Sunday, August 1, I found myself wearing long sleeves, leggings, and my wool slippers because it got so cold. The rest of the week we dealt with crazy winds, rain, and everything in-between. Usually by this time of the year the trade winds have died down and humidity has settled in, but that hasn’t happened this year. The humidity shows up now and again, but for the most part strong winds and cooler temperatures in our area have kept it at bay. We definitely have not been enjoying a lot of beach weather this summer, and temperatures have often been cooler than back on the mainland.
Last week was another a good one for side hustles – three big Etsy orders and I sold the blue dragon bowl on Buy & Sell. That sale was funny: I got a notice on my phone that “Cheryl” wanted to purchase the bowl so I shot off a simple, standard message that it was available and about meeting at her convenience. When I went back later to check for her reply I saw that Cheryl was actually our friend Cheryl of Alan and Cheryl! Anyway, we chatted online and then got together up in Lihue on Monday to pass over the bowl. We met at a patisserie that Brett and I had seen located two doors down from our eye doctor, and he and I shared a piece of haupia (coconut) cake and a cup of coffee. The shop had absolutely beautiful pasteries and cakes, and we are planning to stop in again during the holidays for something special when the girls are here.
Like most other places in the U.S., the COVID situation here grows worse each day. Kaua’i had a 46% increase in cases this past week with two hospitalizations, but is doing far better than the other islands. Although the state achieved a 70% vaccination rate earlier, the unvaccinated, both locals and visitors, have caused a steep rise in the caseloads on all of the islands, with 95% of those now hospitalized unvaccinated. The Big Island has been especially hard hit, and apparently whole families are finally going in together to be vaccinated. The state has mandated vaccinations for all state and county employees, but unions are balking so we’ll see how that goes. Most health officials believe that the worst is yet to come, with cases peaking in October.
This morning I am:
- Reading: I took my time and enjoyed reading Jane Harper’s The Lost Man – it was such a pleasure to read only one book instead of having to try and squeeze in time for two. I loved the characters, and that I could clearly picture the setting in Australia, a cattle station west of Brisbane on the edge of the desert, because we rode through similar areas on our train journey in 2019. I could also remember quite well the unforgiving heat that plays a role in the book. Anyway, I liked the book so much I checked out another of her books, The Survivors, and am reading that now.
- Listening to: Well, I’m not listening to the wind roaring through the yard for a change this morning. After a week of constant strong, loud wind, there’s only a gentle breeze blowing outside this morning – yeah! However, it’s also wet and completely clouded over, although it looks like maybe that will burn off before noon. We’ll see. There are a few birds starting to sing outside, and Brett is making coffee and putting away last night’s dishes in the kitchen so it’s momentarily noisy in there, but otherwise a very calm and quiet morning, much appreciated after a very noisy week.
- Watching: We finished watching Collateral on Sunday, and on Monday we signed up for BritBox and began watching Vera – they have seven seasons available, and also several other good series available for afterwards that makes the small monthly cost worthwhile to us for now. Vera has been a nice change from other series because each story finishes in one episode versus being carried over a full season.
- Happy I accomplished this past week: Beside my three sales on Etsy, I also got some hashioki rearranged and re-listed, a necessary chore as things sell. So many of the groups I created to start out have now only got one hashioki left in them, so they have to be changed to single listings. I have sold about 15% of the hashioki I started with. Not my accomplishment, but Brett got his second shingles vaccine done this past week, so he is good to go for a couple of months until it’s time for our flu vaccines. I still need to get my shingles vaccine ordered (I admit to procrastinating). Otherwise, nothing out of the ordinary was accomplished.
- Looking forward to next week: Not sure how much I’m looking forward to it, but I am determined to have my Hawaii business license by the end of next week. It’s affordable ($20), and I need it because of my Etsy shop, but it’s still been a somewhat confusing endeavor to figure out. I plan to go talk with someone in the Dept. of Revenue office here on Kaua’i and get my questions answered before I purchase.
- Thinking of good things that happened: It was great to see Alan and Cheryl again and catch up after a long stretch of social distancing. I am also always happy to get more things out of the house and on to new owners who are happy and excited to have them. There are no more items in the house to sell right now though as it seems everything that remains is being used for now. The apartment is definitely looking more stripped down these days, and I love it. Guavas on the tree are starting to ripen – Brett picked three this past week and there are more coming on. The ripe guavas make the apartment smell so good, and we know when the big harvest hits in about a month or so we’ll be innundated, and it will be jam-making time again. The yard guys came and gave us a haircut this week – I always love how much nicer our yard looks when they’re done. Sort of a bittersweet thing going on with the yard this week: the koi in our pond will be moved to a nearby hotel. Brett has been faithfully caring for them since we moved in but those duties will end and I think he’s secretly glad.
- Thinking of frugal things we did: We had a good side hustle week with selling the blue dragon bowl and the three big-ish Etsy sales. It wasn’t a no spend week although we didn’t spend a whole lot: we shared a piece of cake and coffee on Monday when we turned over the bowl to Cheryl; we bought a tomato and bottle of mustard at Safeway for the burgers we had that evening; and we bought Brett the shirt pictured above – the minute we saw it we knew it was perfect for him. He rarely buys new clothes, but the shirt ticked all the boxes and was priced reasonably. We put $2.62 into the change/$1 bill bag, and I earned 1,825 Swagbucks. All the other stuff (i.e. leftovers) got taken care of but I had to throw out two sweet potatoes that went mushy.
- Grateful for: I’ve been feeling thankful all this past week for our apartment, its location, size, yard, amenities, cost, our great landlord, and the giant luxury bathroom. It’s a cozy place, just perfect for the two of and how we choose to live now – we couldn’t have found a better place if we had tried.
- Bonus question: Is buying a small place someday and settling down in our future? The short answer: I don’t think so, or at least not the buying a small place. First of all, for now we can’t come up with any place where we would want to settle permanently, and this is something we have gone over and over again and again, and given much thought to. Second, for now anyway, the thought of being stuck in one place just doesn’t feel right to us. We were homeowners for 20 years in Portland, made some money on our homes, and honestly hated every minute of it. It made sense to own a home when we were raising kids though, but not any more. The other day I spotted a cute, small condo for sale in Portland. It was a studio, 468 square feet but with a layout that would work well for Brett and me (we do fine in small spaces). It was in a great, walkable location in the city, another plus, and the price was very affordable. I crunched the numbers and discovered (because of property taxes and HOA) that our mortgage payment would be only slightly less than what we’re currently paying for our 700 square foot apartment in Hawaii, which has a deck and a yard, no utility payments, a washer and dryer, a huge bathroom, and sunset views almost every evening. And, we feel restless here – I can’t imagine how stuck we’d feel with that condo! Just thinking about owning something makes us feel even more restless. We’re realistic enough to know there is eventually going to come a time when we have to settle down somewhere, but we’re not there yet, and when we get there we will rent.
We go long stretches these days without seeing Alley the cat, but she came by a couple of times this week to say hello and get a drink. She looked healthy and was as chatty as ever as I freshened her water bowl – it’s like she wants to catch us up on everything she’s been doing since the last time we saw her. She definitely prefers Brett to me, although she will let me scratch her back (briefly). She’ll sit with Brett though and let him pet her. We know she comes by mostly to see if The Girl is back, but we’re always happy to see her and know she’s still OK.
That’s a wrap for another good week! I hope it’s been a good week for everyone, filled with good food, good books, and lots of good things happening. Even if there’s nothing big coming up, I’m looking forward to the coming week, and hope everyone is too!