Sunday Morning 11/7/2021: It’s November Already?

Good morning! Aloha kakahiaka!

I almost can’t believe we’ve arrived in November. It felt like we flew through October with rockets on our feet, and I think this month is going to go by just as quickly if not more so. Six months from now we’ll be on our way to Pennsylvania for YaYu’s graduation, and then on our way to France. Six months!! We have lots to do before then, but if the months coming up go by as quickly as these past few have been, May is going to be here before we know it. We’re going to take break from selling our things for the next couple of months (other than golf balls), but then pick that back up in earnest in January. Anyway, I love November, especially Thanksgiving. We’ll be on our own for the holiday again this year, and haven’t even thought about what we’ll do or what we’ll eat (other than there won’t be any turkey).

The wool rug’s bespoke carton for shipment to Oahu.

All’s well that ends well, and the wool Bokhara rug is now with its new owner on Oahu. I went to pull the ad from Buy & Sell last Saturday evening and was surprised to find a request asking if it was available. I hesitated for a few moments wondering if I should even respond, but eventually hit the available button. The buyer turned out to be legitimate (owns a well-known clothing company on Oahu) and she paid upfront for the rug to be flown over to Oahu via Hawaiian Air Cargo. Although I don’t regret the sale, I think the rug may be one of the very few, if only, items we will miss as it’s been a part of our home for over 30 years. I enjoyed dealing with the buyer though and feel very, very good about where it’s going.

We were sort of expecting this past week to be a gloomy one, and while there was some rain and cloud-filled skies, we also enjoyed some absolutely lovely days with light breezes, cool (but not cold) temperatures, and more sunshine than we thought we’d get. The heavier summer air has “popped” and feels different from how it did just a couple of weeks ago, and the sun is once again setting quickly (if we blink the sunset is over) and in a slightly different direction due to the earth’s seasonal tilt. We’ve definitely moved into fall.

This morning I am:

  • Reading: I finished Apples Don’t Fall on Wednesday, but am still reading Truth Be Told – both stories got very interesting this past week so I started reading more quickly through both. The next book in the Inspector Gamanche series, The Brutal Telling, came off hold and I began it as soon as I finished Apples Don’t Fall.
  • Listening to: I slept late this morning (until almost 11:00! Strange, but I must have needed the sleep), and woke up to strong, noisy winds blowing outside once again, and the sound of Brett making pancakes in the kitchen. The coffee was already made so I’m set, and otherwise it’s a peaceful morning.
  • Watching: We watched The Exorcist last Sunday evening for Halloween, but the movie has never scared me as much as the book did when it came out – I read the entire thing in one night because I was too frightened to put it down! We have just a few episodes of Billions left to go and will finish this week, and I think we’re over halfway through Inspector Morse, and on to the quarter-finals with The Great British Bake Off. I am officially sick to death of Bobby Axelrod on Billions though; I haven’t disliked a character so much in I don’t know how long, but appreciate Damien Lewis’s good acting. We finally found Inspector Lewis available on PBS but are planning to get back to Squid Game followed by Ted Lasso and The Morning Show first. I’ve been informed by the girls that we’ll be binging the new Dexter series when they’re here – I’m looking forward to it!
We’re off to a good start – tags & ribbon will come later. And, yeah for free paper!
  • Happy we accomplished this past week: 1) Getting the rug sold, packaged, and shipped off to Honolulu was a big job. It took us just under an hour, but Brett and I rolled it up and created a shipping container out of a large, sturdy Amazon box we were holding on to, apparently for just this sort of thing. Hawaiian Air Cargo was very easy to deal with and the rug left Kaua’i on Thursday. 2) After finishing that errand we headed to the T-Mobile store and I got a new phone! Buying a phone these days is getting close to buying a car with all the side deals, accessories, etc. but it’s another pre-departure task taken care of. 3) We got some of the girls’ Christmas gifts wrapped, and still have plenty of paper left for more. 4) Brett and I got the last of the golf balls we found washed and somewhat sorted but there’s more to do this week before we can get them listed. We currently have nearly 1,000 golf balls sitting in our bathtub. 5) Brett and I started French lessons this past week, Brett took a test before beginning and we started further along than we thought. We’re doing 15 minutes a day and hope to have some basic skills in place before arriving in Strasbourg.
  • Looking forward to next week: We have yet another week with nothing special on our calendar. You would think the days would drag by but they don’t – between our daily walks and other things we have to take care of the time goes by quickly.
This second avocado tree is growing at a crazy pace!
  • Thinking of good things that happened: 1) A highlight of my week was receiving a tweet back from one of my favorite authors, Ian Rankin, author of the Rebus detective novels. He tweets lovely photos of Edinburgh almost daily, and I commented on one and he wrote back! His photos make me wish we were there now (next year, Laura!). 2) I had three Etsy sales this week, always a good thing. I have sold well over one-third of my hashioki collection, much better than I ever thought it would go. 3) Our avocado tree has leaves! The “trunk” has grown like a vine this week – very different from the last one. 4) The new curl cream I bought last month really makes my hair curl! I love it.
  • Thinking of frugal things we did: 1) Because my phone trade-in was more than expected, I was able to afford an iPhone 13 for less than what I had expected to pay for the 12 and with more memory. 2) Other than the phone purchase, we had a no-spend week. 3) We put $2.63 into the change/$1 bill bag (leftover from the upfront phone costs), ate all our leftovers, and didn’t throw out any food. 4) I have now earned enough in additional Swagbucks – doing just two searches a day, answering the daily poll, and playing 10 games of solitaire – for a $25 Amazon gift card. My goal is to earn another $25 before the end of next March, and then we’ll use the cards to buy books for our Kindles before we depart. 5) Rather than buying flowers, Brett cut and arranged leaves from our yard to place in our bathroom. After nearly 45 years together he can still surprise me. 6) We got a $5 coupon from Target for the grand opening; we will use it to purchase ribbon and tags for the Christmas presents.
Married nearly 43 years and Brett can still surprise me.
  • Adding up what we sold this past week: Besides the rug I sold 12 more hashioki this week. The total going into our travel account tomorrow will be $282.69.
  • Grateful for: I’m thankful for all the positive, kind, and helpful people that I dealt with last week, from the rug buyer in Honolulu to the crew at Hawaiian Air Cargo to the young man that helped me with my phone purchase. Every encounter was made easier and more pleasant because of them. Sometimes it’s easy to get discouraged, and wonder if kindness and professionalism has gone the way of the dial telephone, but it’s still out there if you look for it. Not everyone has a chip on their shoulder these days.
  • Bonus question: Can you describe where you grew up with four pictures of food? I had to think carefully about what choose, but the four below are definitely associated with growing up in the Los Angeles area, and were all things we ate regularly. See’s still makes the best chocolates ever, and you still get a free sample when you visit their stores. I have no idea if Van de Kamps exists any more, but their bakery items were always fantastic. One of our family’s favorite items was the half layer cake (9″ cake cut in half) – we had one for dessert about every other week, affordable but unfortunately no leftovers with our family of six (German chocolate was my favorite). Their pecan tarts were to die for. Tacos and In-n-Out were/are LA staples.

Every month. like clockwork, Delta Airlines sends Brett the same offer: 70,000 miles into his FF account if he gets a Delta American Express card and spends $2000 in the first three months (My mistake: I originally posted it was 700,000 – no way would they give that much for just $2000!! Sorry!). It’s very tempting as that is a LOT of miles , and we know we’ll have at least $2000 of expenses coming up early next year that we could put on the card and pay off immediately. However, since we plan to be outside of the U.S. for a few years, we have no way to use those miles because while Delta flies to overseas locations they do not fly between overseas locations, and the miles can’t be used to purchase fares on partner airlines. Having all those miles would be helpful if we ever have to come back to the U.S. for some reason but otherwise we don’t see ourselves needing or using them. We also don’t really need or want another credit card, so we remain tempted but undecided. I’d love to know what you all think – worth getting or not?

That’s a wrap for the first week of November 2021! It’s was a good week with lots accomplished, read, eaten, saved, and more. Here’s to all of us enjoying the week coming up – may it be another great one!

18 thoughts on “Sunday Morning 11/7/2021: It’s November Already?

  1. I’d have to say I’d be all over that offer from Delta. I am surprised to hear you can only redeem on Delta who admittedly have appalling redemption rates on their flights as I’m eyeing up the remainder of our Delta miles for a flight from Paris to Bangkok on Air France which is reasonable 95k in business class. Delta miles don’t expire so even if you are based outside the US in future years you could use the miles to fly domestically within the US or even on your next overseas legs. I think if you were strategic you could cover quite a few flights with 700k Delta points.

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    1. We think we will probably take advantage of the offer at the beginning of next year, and bank the miles for times we may need to go back to the U.S. for after we settle but still want to go over to Japan, for example. 700,000 is a LOT of miles.

      If an entire international flight is coded under Delta (e.g. JFK to Paris to Bangkok), then you can use your miles for the ticket. But if the Paris to Bangkok is a separate segment, then you can’t use miles for the purchase, although you would receive mileage credit from the flight as AF is a Delta partner. At least that’s my understanding of how it works. And, as a U.S. carrier, all Delta flights originate or end in the U.S.

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    1. See’s is the best. We can buy it here at the hospital gift shop! That was a happy discovery. My favorites are the nuts and chews or the molasses chips. We used to sell the lollipops in high school back when they were 5 cents each (we’d sell 3 for 25 cents). No way that would be affordable now.

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  2. If you are watching Apple TV, believe it or not I think you would like Invasion. I started watching and it is very well done. It’s a show with one episode a week but it’s now about 5 in?

    Also, I’m tickled to think of you all watching the new Dexter season as this current one was filmed quite a bit in my tiny Massachusetts town of Shelburne Falls. When they were all here earlier in the year I was able to get a few videos of Michael C Hall. Who knows if it will be any good but I plan to watch it too. 🙂

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    1. Thanks for the suggestion for Invasion. We’ll check it out!

      Michael C. Hall went to the same college as our son (not at the same time though). I had a very hard time imagining him at that school though after watching Dexter. The girls and I can’t wait to see the new series – we were faithful watchers of the original. So cool it was filmed in your town!! I would have been out there every day.

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  3. 700k miles? I thought I was doing good at 70k. I have never seen an offer that high! Active Duty can get a free AM Express- my son just got the Delta 90k platinum.
    I am struggling over a Costco card. It is my main grocery. We do rent cars through them. 5% back on gas is a big one with gas almost $4 a gallon. Now that we are pretty settled, our gas usage is decreasing as is our need for volume anything. Hummmm.
    Good Job on the French. It will serve you well. Aloha!

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    1. Janette – you are right, it was only 70,000. That’s what I was thinking the whole time and yet wrote 700,000. YIKES! Anyway, the miles would be nice but we’re torn about whether we need or want to have another card or not. We’ll see – anyway, thanks for the knock upside my head, and I got it corrected in the post.

      We are canceling our Costco card when we depart. For Brett, this is almost as hard as giving up his driver’s license, but we honestly won’t be needing it and there’s no sense in paying the annual fee while we’re on the road.

      French grammar is fairly easy, there are lots of cognates, but they pronunciation! I’m glad we’re doing it together – Brett catches things I miss and vice versa.

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    1. I did get a very good deal on the phone as well as some good freebies that came along. I love it, especially that it’s bigger than my old phone. I can actually see things on it.

      The man has hidden talents that he reveals slowly. We were married 14 years before I knew he knew how to make pizza (like toss the dough pizza).

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  4. The Delta offer sounds tempting, but I have finally gotten the message about the impact on my credit score of opening and closing credit cards. My score is always above 850, but due to a local bank that automatically issues a credit card if you have a checking/savings account, my credit score is now more sensitive and volatile (although always still above 800) because the amount I could possibly spend is too high, even if I carry no balance at all. It’s not a problem for me currently, but if interest rates climb I might lose my advantage on qualifying for the lowest rates.

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    1. Brett and I talked about it today during our walk and we’ve decided we’re going to pass, for many of the same reasons you mention. We honestly don’t need another credit card, not even for lots of FF miles.

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  5. You mentioned that those miles couldn’t be used with partner airlines – how about partner hotels or Airbnbs? Just a thought…..
    And we LOVE See’s candies! Although we can rarely get them around here unless someone is coming through the airport.

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    1. We’re not going to get the card. It’s tempting, but we don’t need another card.

      The best place I ever found See’s was in Hong Kong, in the Ocean City Terminal , back in the early 80s. The night before Brett’s ship came in I bought a small box, brought it back to my hotel room and ate the whole thing all by myself. One of the best food experiences of my life.

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  6. The plant leaves in the vase are gorgeous!
    If your bathtub is full of golf balls, how do you bathe? Aren’t I nosy? Sorry!
    Have you read “Island of Sweet Pies and Soldiers”? Or others from Sara Ackerman? I really like reading books about the places I have been to, or really want to visit. Since you are in Hawaii it might be fun to read them.

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    1. The new arrangement Brett did today is even better – I’ve fallen in love with the man all over again.

      Our bathtub and shower are separate. The tub is the size of a small swimming pool, but the jets don’t work so we’ve never used it.

      I will put Sara Ackerman on my list for next year. I know what you mean about reading books about places you’ve been. I love reading books about Tokyo because I often know exactly where they’re talking about – I can walk right along with the characters.

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