Sunday Morning 8/22/2021: A Somewhat Unexciting Week

(I have absolutely NO idea why WordPress decided to place this post before Thursday and Friday’s posts on Sunday. My sincerest apologies.)

Sunsets this past week were all of the “glowing horizon” genre

Good morning! Aloha kakahiaka!

What a sad title for today’s post! It honestly has been a very quiet, uneventful week for us though, with our trip to Puhi/Lihue for a Big Shop and a return trip the next day for the packing supplies I had forgotten to buy at Walmart some of our only “excitement” for the week. Both days we had to deal with lots of tourists, some of them annoying, but it looks like we can pretty much stay out of the stores for another month except for a couple of quick stops at the farm stand and Buy & Save for produce (Costco’s produce selection has been very meager lately). We accept that this is the new normal for us these days, but we’ve decided we need a breakfast or coffee date to liven things up.

We had a somewhat weird experience during the past two weeks selling our antique ranma (carved Japanese transom), but it finally left the house yesterday. I had not one but four people, three on Buy & Sell and one from Craigslist, message me and ask if the ranma was still available, usually a good sign that they are seriously interested in the item. But no, after all these queries I then heard nothing back. Nothing. I had several requests from the Craigslist ad though, and a man made an appointment to come and get last weekend. He ended up not being able to come until Monday and then didn’t have the full amount of payment with him, usually a ploy to get the item for less. But no, he gave me what he had AND left the ranma with us and said he would be back with the rest of the money on Tuesday. He didn’t come back until yesterday! He was a very nice local guy and we talked story with him for a long time. In the end, that’s the best part about selling things here: the local people we meet and get to interact with.

The ranma has sat up against the wall almost the entire week, waiting to go to its new home.

It’s been another week here of strange, unpredictable weather, with everything from heat and humidity to overcast, wind, and rain. We’d be complaining about the heat one day and the next remarking that it felt like a fall day back east. I keep reminding myself of the oppressive summers we experienced when we lived here before, where the trade winds didn’t blow for weeks, and know things could be far, far worse. The weather has honestly been great for walking and other exercise, and perfect at night for sleeping, but overall it’s still been a very weird summer, at least in our little microclimate.

This morning I am:

  • Reading: I almost went back to reading two books again but in the end decided to push through the one I had started (A Clubbable Woman), and then start the second book, John Le Carré’s The Looking Glass War: A George Smiley Novel. I can read two books at once but I don’t enjoy it so this may be the better solution. I finished A Clubbable Woman on Thursday and am now reading the LeCarré. His writing is near perfection.
  • Watching: Britbox put up more seasons of Vera so that will continue on for a few more weeks. I’m enjoying Father Brown again – the stories are sort of corny, but I love getting to see so much of Blockley again and all the memories they brings.
  • Listening to: There is currently a chicken outside somewhere nearby that is having none of it, and is screaming her head off, but otherwise all is quiet, inside and out. There’s only a slight breeze right now, but lots of clouds, and there’s a flash flood watch on all islands now as the remains of a tropical storm Linda will be passing by and bringing lots of rain and strong beginning later tonight.
The final Etsy order for the week arrived late Friday night; a surprise. I packaged it up while we watched TV and it was on its way the next morning!
  • Happy I accomplished last week: Not my accomplishment, but Brett got both his annual skin check and biannual eye exam done this past week. Everything is great with his skin, and his vision hadn’t changed since the last check so no new glasses necessary this time around. Brett also helped our landlord get all the koi out of the pond and to their new owners this past week (the pump for the pond was failing and the landlord decided he didn’t want to buy a new one). That took a couple of days as some of the koi were very good at hiding. Brett and I spent the past week tweaking our future plans and getting them solidified, and I’ll have a post up about the updated plan on Wednesday. Five Etsy orders were packaged and sent out.
  • Looking forward to next week: Mostly these days we look forward to getting a little closer to our goal, both time-wise, health-wise, and financially. Circumstances (like weather and the number of tourists currently on the island) keep us from getting out as much as we’d like, but we always look forward to the simple things we do, like our daily walks and seeing how many golf balls we can find, trips to the beach whenever the weather agrees, and the other small things that make up our days. We are living a very relaxing life, the one both of us dreamed of. We have decided to go out for breakfast next week, but aren’t sure whether that will be pancakes at the Tip Top Cafe in Lihue, or pastry and coffee at the Midnight Bear Bakery in Hanapepe.
We got a second chance for an outdoor fire this past week, and made and enjoyed s’mores and a long stay outside talking about the future.
  • Thinking of good things that happened: Orders from Etsy are always a good thing and I had five of them this past week, three on one day creating a busy morning getting everything sorted, packed, and ready for shipment. The weather cooperated on Wednesday evening and we enjoyed some quality time out by the fire pit, made s’mores, and watched the sun set. We had long conversations with all the girls and our son and family this past week.
  • Thinking of frugal things we did: We came in under budget during our big shop which is getting easier to do now that we’re no long buying meat. I had arborio rice on our shopping list, but at $14.95 at Big Save for a two pound container I passed ($14.95 was the sale price; regular price is $16.95. Last year it was $9.95). After we got home I checked Amazon and bought four two-pound containers for $23.95 with free shipping. They are scheduled to arrive next week. We put $5.08 into the change/$1 bill bag, and I earned 1,629 Swagbucks. All of the leftovers were finished before we shopped, and nothing was thrown out.
  • Adding up what we sold last week: Fourteen more hashioki left the house this past week, and the man who bought the ranma came and picked it up yesterday and paid the rest of what he owed. Brett was never paid for his eBay order (when something seems too good to be true it probably is), but eBay stepped in, it’s been re-listed, and he’s going to go through with an auction this time. Total side hustle income for this week was $199.01.
  • Grateful for: Although life is currently much calmer and seems less interesting than it has been in the past, I am grateful for having peace and time to think more deeply about things, the choices we make, and how we want our life to be lived going forward. I’m also grateful for the time to focus on getting in in better shape and improving our health; saving as much as we can, and downsizing as much as possible before it’s time to move on.
  • Bonus question: What are the top three favorite places you’ve visited? I am blessed to have so many places to choose from to answer this question. We enjoyed every place we visited on our Big Adventure, and Brett and I can still easily have a long conversation about any of them at the drop of a hat. Our top three favorites though are clear: 1) Tokyo, Japan; 2) Strasbourg, France; and 3) Blockley in the UK. Stays in all three weren’t just fun and interesting, but turned out to be the three locations we know we could happily, although not necessarily easily, make a life for ourselves (learning the language in France and Japan would not be easy, for example). We enjoyed our time in so many different places but when it comes down to it. unlike the three cities named above we could not imagine living in those places for a variety of different reasons.

Cases of the virus continue to rise in the state, and on Kaua’i – as of yesterday there were 359 active cases on the island! I read on Friday that Portland area hospitals are filling up or are full – one man had to be taken by ambulance to three different hospitals in a fairly wide circle following a stroke before they couldn’t find one that had room to take him, and even the one that finally accepted him couldn’t admit him because there weren’t any beds available; the man went home and a family member that’s a nurse stayed with him. On the plus side, vaccination numbers are going up – the combination of rising cases, hospitalizations, and death seems to be having an effect. Still, it’s not enough and something has to give, although I no longer have any idea what that something might be. We really are living in the stupidest time.

That’s a wrap for this week, a good one even without very much happening or going on. The things that needed to happen, happened, and stuff that didn’t, didn’t, so that’s a win for me. We continue to look forward to the coming weeks in spite of our inactivity – we are moving forward, albeit slowly. I raise my virtual glass to toast the coming week, filled with hope that it’s another good one!

11 thoughts on “Sunday Morning 8/22/2021: A Somewhat Unexciting Week

  1. I also enjoy the slower pace of life this pandemic forced us to adopt. It gives me more time for reflection and focus on what is really important ( my granddaughter for instance). There is value in slow living.

    Our travels aren’t as vast as yours by any stretch of the imagination, but we have few places that come to mind as favorites. Vienna ( Austria) is the first one. Verona is the second. Ascona- Locarno ( right at the border of Switzerland with Italy) is the third. I also love Atlanta and Washington DC while my husband likes Bucharest(Romania) very much. We seem to gravitate towards cities and who knows, we may end up moving to the city after we send the little one to preschool😃

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    1. Vienna has been high on my bucket list – fingers are crossed we make it there one of these days. I have heard of Locano – I will need to do some research! As an American, I also love Washington, D.C. and am fortunate to have visited several times.

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  2. Top 3 favorite places you’ve visited? That’s actually a real tough question.
    For me, I will say 1) Poipu, Kauai. You’ll probably say, it’s just a beach, and it is, but our family had the happiest summer vacations there. For several years when the kids were little, we came over from California for 10 days in mid August enjoying nothing but the sun and sands and our own company. 2) Moab, Utah. Nothing but in awe with nature and the vastness of our country 3) Italy (Rome, Venice, Varenna Lake Como, Cinque Terre, Florence) 15 days were not enough.

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    1. Your visits to Poipu sound idyllic! I have similar memories of summer visits to our beach house in San Clemente. Not a lot there back then, but lazy days for us at the beach – they were wonderful. I wish we could afford to live in San Clemente now – I would move there in a heartbeat! I have never visited the southern desert regions of Utah – all our trips have been driving across on I70 to meet up with I84 to get back to Portland. We still talk about doing the Western national park loop and which would get us there, but I don’t think that’s going to happen any more. But who know? We also loved our time in Italy (Florence, Cinque Terre, Tuscany, and Rome) and would love to see more. Travel is a big unknown these days though.

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  3. Wow, 359 cases is a lot for a small island. I wonder if Hawaii will have to go back to the travel restrictions?

    It’s tough to pick my favorite 3 places I’ve visited, but I’d have to say Kauai (the entire island, LOL), Rome, and Tokyo are up there. I actually am planning to go on a trip next month to visit some of the National Parks out west. It’s with a small, private tour group and I know all of the people who will be on the tour and we’re all vaccinated, so hopefully it will turn out ok, but it’s still a risk since flying is involved. This is a trip that I’ve always wanted to take and even if it might not be the best time to travel, I felt like it was now or never, so I’m taking a chance. Wish me luck. I would not travel outside the US right now, although I know quite a few people who have been doing that.

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    1. It’s terrible here, and the state is getting close to start restricting things again. Sadly, most of the cases are unvaccinated locals who have picked up the virus on travels to the mainland and then came back and spread it here.

      Your trip sounds wonderful, and is maybe how travel is going to change and be planned going forward: small groups, vaccinations required, etc. I’m not interested in international travel right now either, although one of our daughters just booked a short trip to Paris in October. We’ll see how that goes, although she’s very careful.

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      1. I had been thinking of coming to Kauai in December but that is on hold. I’ll see how things are going in November and make a decision then, but it doesn’t seem likely that I’ll come.

        I think you’re right about the future of travel, at least in the short-term until COVID ends or is well controlled.

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      2. Kaua’i is still the “safest” of all the islands as far as the number of cases, but it has spread here. We expect shutdowns and/or limitations in the future, but how long those will last is anyone’s guess.

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  4. It’s hard to pick three favorite travel locations. But I would say (top of head) Assisi, Yosemite (off season), and the San Juan Islands. But that leaves out Big Sur, which is LOVE, and that entire California coast. We did so many wonderful weekend trips when we lived in N. California. And the San Juans was a week long bike trip with meals and SAG wagon, etc. Such great memories. I’m so happy that we have such great memories while we’re stuck at home. We’re still considering a fall trip via auto here in the Midwest but haven’t booked anything yet. My DH really wants to see the Split Rock Lighthouse on L. Superior. If not this year, next for sure.

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    1. I love, love, love Northern California. I love almost everything about California, actually except for the wildfires and prices. There’s actually a good chance we’d be living there now if not for the fires.

      So many beautiful places to visit in the U.S. If it ends up we can’t go overseas, we could do worse than spending time on a road trip around the country.

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