Good morning! Aloha kakahiaka!
After a busy and rewarding month that seemed to speed by, August is sort of slouching out at the end. We had the remains of a hurricane pass by early last week, with lots of rain and wind and cooler temperatures which kept us inside all day Monday. The virus is running rampant through the islands, with most cases occurring with unvaccinated locals. Everyone is sort of holding their breath right now to see if and what restrictions may be put in place again.
Brett and I are apparently going into the used golf ball business. We’ve learned that what started out as a bit of fun for us can actually be turned into something quite lucrative. We have already found over 300 lost balls, and we spent this past week reading everything we could find about selling them, from which are the top brands to how to grade used balls to the best places to sell. We sorted some of our finds this past week based on brand, and will continue sorting as more come along, and will hopefully be ready to start selling by the end of the year. In the meantime, we’ll continue to look for balls on our walks and build up our stock, although I’m actually hoping the number we find sort of drops down for a while so we can catch our breath. The bags of balls we have already collected are beginning to take up a lot of space, so where we’ll store them is something else we’re going to have to figure out sooner rather than later.
I had a very slow week with Etsy until yesterday when I had three sales. I kept busy during the week getting some other items listed on eBay, including ten coffee mugs and my old travel backpack, which is still in tip top shape. One of the coffee mugs sold within a couple of days! The prices that coffee mugs sell for surprised me, and because eBay sales can take a while we figured that getting them listed now rather than later would be to our benefit. I also cross listed a couple of items from the Etsy shop which immediately turned into a small problem when I got a scam offer from a bot, and had to remove the listing from Etsy until it gets resolved on eBay. I’ve got a week-long sale scheduled (20% off of everything in the shop) this coming week to see if I can get some more items sold. I’ve been getting LOTS of looks and favoriting, and some very good reviews this past month, so I’m hoping a sale will encourage more to buy and kickstart purchases again.
This morning I am:
- Reading: I finished the The Looking Glass War on Wednesday, and downloaded and started the next book in the Dalziel and Pascoe series, An Advancement of Learning. Mysteries and such currently appear to be in high demand at the library, and almost everything I’d like to be reading has a long waiting list. I felt fortunate to find the D&P book available for checkout, especially since all the subsequent books in the series have a wait list. I miraculously discovered that Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, the next book in LeCarre’s George Smiley series, was available and also checked that out so I’m ready to go. I read it years ago, and loved the movie as well (starring Gary Oldham as George Smiley).
- Listening to: Out the windows on one side of the house are blue skies and a few wispy clouds. Out the French doors its gray and overcast, Kauai’s weather in a nutshell all summer! There’s a slight breeze this morning and it’s cool, and I can hear someone using a saw in the distance. Brett’s putting away last night’s dishes in the kitchen and making a bit of noise, but overall a nice, peaceful, quiet Sunday morning.
- Watching: We finished all the available episodes of Vera on Wednesday, and started a new series: McDonald & Dodds. The stories are good, the acting is good, and we’re enjoying all the location shots in the city of Bath, but sadly there aren’t many episodes available so we’ll be on to something else before the end of the week. Father Brown watching continues though. I love seeing scenes filmed around Blockley and remember so many of the places shown. The Blockley exterior scenes are all shot in August, when the crew apparently takes over the village.
- Happy I accomplished this past week: Getting things listed on eBay was an accomplishment for me as I found it a far more difficult system to operate than Etsy. Selling stuff online is work! Otherwise it was another very quiet week with not a whole lot going on.
- Looking forward next week: We don’t have much on our calendar next week but we’re hoping for a day or two of beach weather. I’m also looking forward to my Etsy sale hopefully bringing in some new customers, and maybe another sale on eBay. And, we will segue into September. Even though we’re in the land of perpetual sunshine, I’m still looking forward to fall beginning and being another month closer to our next adventure.
Brunch in Hanapepe
- Thinking of good things that happened: Brett and I had planned to have a nice brunch at the Midnight Bear bakery in Hapapepe on Wednesday morning. They don’t make pastries any more, so we went later in the morning and were going to each order a big sandwich along with some coffee. However, when we got there it was closed! We walked around for a bit trying to decide what to do, and as we got back to our car we noticed there was a sweet little cafe, Ku’ulei’s Gourmet, located next to the bakery and it was open. Not sure how we missed it before, but Ku’ulei’s had several vegetarian options on their menu, the prices were extremely reasonable, and the portions were HUGE. I got an order of eggplant lasagna, and Brett had an ahi tuna melt. We will definitely be going back! I had three sales on Etsy yesterday and woke up to another this morning, always a good thing. I also made my first sale on eBay: a Starbucks Hawaii coffee mug we bought on the island on our first visit in December 2012. The antique Japanese charcoal basket I cross listed from Etsy “sold” in less than 30 minutes to a bot and really messed things up. eBay cancelled the sale in less than two days but I still can’t relist the item until Tuesday. On the plus side, the antique iron teapot I also cross-listed is getting lots of views and has attracted my first watcher.
- Thinking of frugal things we did: We made one trip to Big Save for produce, and I bought a used J. Jill denim jacket on eBay for $24. It arrived in three days and is exactly what I hoped for (in beautiful condition and fits perfectly), especially since a new jacket from J. Jill is currently $98. Our lunch orders on Wednesday were only $10 each but they were so big they also provided dinner for us on Thursday and lunch on Friday! We put $3.95 into the change/$1 bill bag, and saved $12.31 this month. That’s the least amount we’ve ever put away in a month, but I guess that’s what happens when you’re not spending much. I earned 1,729 Swagbucks, putting me that much closer to my goal. In other frugal happenings, all the leftovers were eaten or used up in one way or another, and we threw nothing away.
- Adding up what we sold last week: It was a very slow week on Etsy and eBay, but yesterday’s three sales meant that nine hashioki left the house and that there will be more funds into savings next week. However, $18.94 was released from my reserve fund, but that’s the only side hustle income as earnings from the eBay sale won’t be released for more than another week.
- Grateful for: I am beyond grateful for all the hospital staff – doctors, nurses, and others – who are working endlessly and tirelessly to help those suffering from COVID. It seems a pretty thankless job right now. I am also extremely grateful for Brett’s and my free vaccinations, and that there will be upcoming free boosters to help keep us safe.
- Bonus question: How much time do you spend on social media? I’m not really active much on any form of social media these days. I took myself off of Facebook before the election last year and although I have gone back, I’ve found I’m less interested in getting involved than I was before. Most of my feed these days is advertising. I post somewhat regularly on Instagram, both on my personal account and the Occasional Nomads account (which are pretty much the same, truth be told). I read Twitter every day to keep up with what’s happening in the world, but rarely if ever post there. My Twitter feed is highly curated and I never read comments, so it remains a fairly safe place, although I find it discouraging at times. I also have a Pinterest account, but can’t remember the last time I visited. Otherwise, there’s no TikTok (unless the girls send me one), no Snapchat, or anything else other than the blog.
We had a conversation with one of our neighbors the other day, a nurse, who told us Wilcox Hospital is currently filled with COVID patients, a sharp contrast to the situation a month ago when I had my procedure, when the nurse said things were OK here and although prepared, the hospital hadn’t experienced any increase in patients. Kaua’i still has the fewest cases of all the islands, with the west side doing best as far as infections, and Kapaa and Lihue the island hotspots. Nothing has been shut down or restricted yet, but the governor is asking for visitors not to come to Hawaii right now, and we’ve heard there will be some restrictions starting on Oahu, especially regulating gathering and group sizes. Dr. Fauci said the Delta variant would run through the unvaccinated like a wildfire, and it looks like he got that right. Nearly 99 percent of the hospitalized in Hawaii were unvaccinated. Don’t get me started on the horse wormer or sheep drench.
That’s it for this week, another peaceful quiet one with things getting done that needed to get done, but time as well for rest, reading, walks in the park, and all sorts of other good things. Here’s hoping that COVID cases and deaths begin to decrease all over, that there is no more bloodshed and loss of life in Afganistan, everyone that wants and needs to get out is able to do so, and that life is gentle with us all.