Sunday Morning 11/21/2021: Was That More Time Just Flying By?

We had a few pretty/interesting sunsets this week, but they all were over quickly.

Good Morning! 🌴🌺🌴 Aloha kakahiaka! 🌴🌺🌴

We now officially have less than six months left until we depart Kaua’i for Pennsylvania and then France! Time is moving along very quickly, with the days flying past, which is actually getting bit concerning as we have much left to do. Lots has been accomplished already with things continuing to get sold, money going into our travel account, plans being made, research getting done, and so forth. I am trying to focus as much as I can on our girls’ upcoming visit and getting ready for that (less than a month to go until they arrive!) but I still feel like there are a lot of plates I need to keep spinning.

We made a couple of positive financial discoveries this past week. One. our little car is apparently worth quite a bit more than we imagined, more than double what we thought we’d ask for it. With the current shortage of cars on the island, both new and used, we now may be able to get a couple of thousand dollars more than planned, although we’re not going to get greedy as the point will be to sell the car quickly. And, we had planned to take the train from Paris to Strasbourg, but discovered we can save $$$ by flying. Taking the train would require taking a taxi over to Gare L’Est (60 Euros) from the Paris airport and although the train is non-stop to Strasbourg tickets cost more than flying with the travel time the same. The wonderful and affordable Strasbourg tram system runs out to the airport, so by flying in it will be just as easy to get into the city after our arrival. Anyway, I am always happy when I find a way to make money as well as save on travel expenses! However, as of November 1 France is no longer providing their health pass online for free; we will now have to pay (36 Euros each) to get one at a pharmacy after we arrive Strasbourg. You win some, you lose some.

My Etsy shop now fits into the blue box and the plastic box on top. Everything else is packing materials. The fish plates sitting in the bottom of the blue crate were sold yesterday.

My Etsy shop has now shrunk to one box of hashioki, an antique basket and a small jubako. Although selling online has had it moments, I am so grateful to have been able to downsize through Etsy sales, and be able to sell so much of my hashioki collection (close to half of it has now been sold). We have earned far, far more selling this way than we could have otherwise. I’m not sure how much longer I’m going to keep the shop open though, or what I’ll do with the remaining hashioki. WenYu had said in the past she would take it over but she’s very busy these days so not sure that will be possible any more. We are done with eBay though. We sold a few things, but for the most part it was a very unsatisfying experience for us.

This morning I am:

  • Reading: I finished both Truth Be Told and The Brutal Telling last Sunday, and have been reading A Slow Fire Burning this week. All three are so different from each other, and transitioning from one author to another required a major adjustment.
  • Watching: Two of our three favorite bakers on Great British Bake Off are going to the finals! We were positively shocked when Jurgen was eliminated after the semi-finals last Friday, but unsurprised that Chrystelle was sent through to the final. She’s photogenic but an inconsistent baker (she has done poorly on every technical challenge), but I sensed the fix was in with her from the beginning and she is indeed going to the finals next week as expected. Oh well – fingers are crossed that either Guiseppe or Chigs wins next week. We finished Inspector Morse on Tuesday evening – the final episode, “The Remorseful Day,” still remains hard to watch and as always, I got choked up at the end. Our time with Inspector Lewis will begin after the new year and then we will be on to Endeavour before we leave so we will be well-prepared for the Morse tour when we’re in Oxford. And what can I say about Squid Game? It was crazy, violent, and yet very thought provoking – I’m glad we watched. We also watched another episode of Shetland, we absolutely love Ted Lasso, and we just started Little Fires Everywhere (on Hulu).
A beautiful Kaua’i morning! Lots of hibiscus are in bloom behind the fence. And, just to show how fast things grow here, a little over 18 months ago there was a house visible behind the trees on the right.
  • Listening to: I was curious what the weather would be like this morning because it was very humid yesterday, rainy and cloudy at times, but there’s not a cloud in the sky this morning, and a lovely cool breeze blowing. Brett’s already made his breakfast, I’m enjoying a hot cup of coffee, so it’s a perfect, quiet morning inside and out.
  • Happy I accomplished last week: Big Shop done: check. Eye exam done, new glasses ordered: check. French studied every day: check. Christmas shopping finished and gifts wrapped: check. My shingles and flu vaccines done: check. Everything that needed to be accomplished this week: done! (P.S. The shingles vaccine knocked me out! I was tired and sore by Thursday evening, but I felt truly awful all day Friday. I was mostly fine again yesterday though, thank goodness. Still glad I got it done, because who wants shingles? I will be better prepared for Round II.)
The Descendants has been our traditional Thanksgiving viewing for the past nine years.
  • Looking forward to next week: 1) Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday of the year as it centers on family and food without all the hoopla about presents, decorations, and so forth. Once again this year it will be just Brett and me, but we’re planning to take a long walk, watch The Descendents, and enjoy a simple but tasty meal that ends with some pumpkin pie. 3) Hopefully we’ll get another beach day.
  • Thinking of good things that happened: 1) A day at the beach is always a good thing. We headed out to Barking Sands on Tuesday and enjoyed relaxing under the umbrella with the whole beach practically to ourselves again (we also walked the 2+ mile Waioukapua Trail before getting set up on the beach). 2) Our daughter-in-law sent us another huge batch of photos and videos of the grandkids’ fall activities. I think I’ve looked at them more than 100 times now. 3) I enjoyed this week’s episode of Rick Steve’s Monday Night Travels and learned a lot about the current state of travel in Europe and how we can be better prepared. We also got some ideas for future travel destinations. 4) I had six sales from my Etsy shop, something that’s always a good thing. 5) My vision had only very slightly deteriorated from last year and it will be a while before I need cataract surgery – yeah!
  • Thinking of frugal things we did: 1) Our upstairs neighbor finally paid us for another three months of Internet sharing, and that went right into our travel account this week. We asked him if he wanted to pay for six months, up until we left, but he said he might be moving on in another three months. 2) Because of the cost of gas and known delays due to highway maintenance, we combined all of our errands in Lihue into one this past Thursday. We first shopped at Costco, then went for my eye appointment, and followed that with a small shop at Safeway, where we used one of our $10 off $50 coupons. I also got both my shingles and flu vaccines done at Safeway while we were there and received a 10% off any purchase coupon (and, I’ll get a second coupon when I got back for the second shingles shot in a few months). 3) Although we put $0 into the change/$1 bill jar last week (we used our debit card), we ate all of our leftovers. and didn’t throw away any food. 4) Between Costco and Safeway we went approximately $45 over our shopping budget, but that’s because we picked up two instead of one of a few items where stock was low. For example, I bought two bottles of the wine I drink because that’s all that was left in Costco: two bottles. The apples we usually buy were gone so we bought a larger package that cost more. On the other hand, a couple of items we had planned to buy this trip had completely sold out since our last time there, and Costco still didn’t have their organic peanut butter in stock – it’s been missing for months. Overall though we found what we needed. We know things can disappear quickly here though, but lots of floor space at Costco these days is being used for non-food items with the area for food items shrinking.
Just two boxes of golf balls left to sell!
  • Adding up what we sold last week: Fourteen hashioki (five orders), a book, two sets of blue fish plates, and three more boxes of golf balls left the house for a total of $152.91 into the travel account. We have two more boxes of golf balls left to sell (whenever) but from now on the only potential sales happening until next year will be on Etsy. The fish plates were a challenge to get ready to ship (we had to build our own box). Packaging and postage ending up taking a good portion of my profits, but I still made more than we would have selling them at a yard sale, the buyer is thrilled to be getting them, and they’re something else now out of the house.
  • Grateful for: We grow more thankful all the time for Medicare and that Brett stayed in the navy to retire and receive continuing healthcare insurance. Our savings this week for two health-related tasks were considerable. I was told my shingles vaccine might cost up to $250, even with Medicare, but the entire cost of the vaccine was covered by Medicare and Tricare For Life so there was nothing out of pocket. Same for my eyeglasses – I paid less than 25% of the total cost for both the exam and new glasses that have all the bells and whistles, much less than expected. When Brett was serving we gave no thought at all about having insurance later in life, but this benefit alone has provided us a quality of life that was unimagined back then.
  • Bonus question: What’s been the most influential change in your lifetime (so far)? We memorized phone numbers. We memorized driving directions. No one knew what we looked like. No one could reach us. We were gods. (from a tweet I read this past week). I honestly wonder sometimes though how we ever managed without the Internet, Google, etc. in the past. Actually, I do remember how we managed but I am much, much happier with the technology we have available today. If I need or want to know something it takes just moments to search and find the information I’m looking for whether it’s the definition or spelling of a word, comparing flight schedules, the cost of something, and so forth. I can buy food, clothing, airline tickets, a car . . . anything but the actual experience of being somewhere online now (and I guess that could happen with virtual reality, but no thanks). It’s beyond amazing when I think about what we can do now, something our children and grandchildren take for granted. I love my cell phone, and use it constantly, but still have mixed feelings about its (potential) intrusiveness. And, also the impatience it engenders. Still, a (good) camera in my phone? Amazing and absolutely wonderful. And, the best part about technology? It’s maybe the only thing gets cheaper as it gets better, unlike cars, houses, and other items.

With the holiday season starting up, the number of visitors to the island is already starting to increase again. Traffic is getting worse, there are more shoppers in Costco, Walmart, and Target, but thankfully the changes are fairly subtle for us so far as we tend to stay down in our little un-touristy neck of the woods. We noticed several retired couples on the beach at Barking Sands the other day, far more than usual, but we are guessing the beach cottages are probably fully booked through the summer by now. We avoid going anywhere near Poipu, or driving up beyond Lihue because of the crowds and traffic. We are starting to wonder how crowded it will be in Europe next year. Rick Steves said it will be something of a “transitional” year for both tourism and businesses that serve them, and he feels the crowds will be less than pre-COVID times but building again. I read this week that there is yet another version of the Delta variant now in England, more infectious than the current variant but apparently less deadly, but vaccines are holding their ground against it. COVID, like the flu, is always going be with us going forward, but people want and are going to travel and will make adjustments. I think though most countries are going to require a vaccination for entry, or at least a negative test at the barest minimum, and require mask wearing for a long time going forward. Fine by me!

And, there goes another week! It was a lovely one, with mostly good weather, lots accomplished, a beach day, and more. I hope it was as lovely for everyone else. I’m looking forward to the coming week and Thanksgiving, and wishing the best for all!

14 thoughts on “Sunday Morning 11/21/2021: Was That More Time Just Flying By?

  1. Thanks for mentioning the Rick Steves’ show. I just watched the episode you mentioned on his site. Even though I have no plans to travel, I still like to know what’s going on and how COVID has impacted it all. I was supposed to go on a trip to some national parks in September but had to cancel because I had a sinus infection (at the time, I didn’t know if it was COVID so I had to cancel and wouldn’t have gone anyway since I felt so miserable). Anyway, I thankfully bought trip insurance and got the full refund yesterday. What a relief!

    Thanks also for posting the video of Barking Sands. I almost feel like I’m there! I went to the beach here the other day. It was in the 60s, so a warm day for this time of year.

    I was thinking the other day how I used to memorize phone numbers and addresses, but there’s no need now. And having to lug a camera around when on vacation. No need to do that either (unless you’re a pro photographer). Technology has been amazing in a lot of ways. When I tell my younger relatives how we had to use pay phones and had to make sure we carried change with us at all times in case we had to call someone, they just can’t imagine!

    I had a nasty reaction to the Shingles vaccine. The first dose didn’t bother me, but the second knocked me out of commission for a couple of days. I’d never had a reaction to a shot before so I was surprised. I go for the COVID booster this week.

    It’s hard to believe you only have less than 6 months to go!

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    1. We’re sort of having a hard time wrapping our minds around just six months left. Sometimes it seems such a long ways away, and other times I feel almost panicked, that we won’t have enough time to get everything done and sold before we go. I absolutely can’t get over how fast the time seems to be going at times these days.

      Brett told me his reaction to the second shingles vaccine was worse than the first, so I plan to be good and ready for that. I felt pretty good the first day after this first shot, but when I got up the next morning it was a whole different story. I can’t remember the last time I felt that miserable. By Saturday evening I was feeling better and on Sunday was back to normal although my arm was still a bit sore. I had absolutely no reactions at all to the COVID vaccines or booster. Glad to get these done though before we travel.

      I forgot about always having to carry change with us in case we needed to call (I’m also old enough to remember how shocking it was when calls went from 10 cents to 25 cents).

      Salt Pond beach is closer, but Barking Sands is our favorite because of all the space. It’s definitely not a swimming beach though – there are rocks and the surf is rough and dangerous. For sitting on the sand and relaxing though, BS can’t be beat.

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      1. I had no reaction to the first shingles shot, but a nasty reaction to the second. Upset stomach, fever, headache. I actually got the COVID booster today. Glad that’s done. Now I feel a little better about traveling, which I hope to do early next year (within the US).

        I remember when pay phones increased to a quarter. I had just graduated from high school and wasn’t happy that I had to start carrying quarters around instead of dimes.

        I can’t swim so Barking Sands sounds perfect to me!

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      2. That’s what happened to Brett – the second shingles vaccination had the big reaction. I still would rather be uncomfortable for a few days than get shingles though.

        I’m sad I won’t get to see you before we leave Kaua’i – would have loved taking you to Barking Sands for the day.

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      3. The 24 or so hours of discomfort after the Shingles vaccine is a small price to pay to avoid getting Shingles. I know so many people who have had it and it’s not fun.

        I’m sad too about not being able to visit before you leave. There is a slight chance I may be able to come maybe in March or April, but it’s too soon to say. I’ve been thinking of visiting my nephew in CA and then continuing on to Kauai, but he may be getting transferred, so I’m waiting to find out about that. We’ll see.

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  2. I had the Shingles vaccine Thursday! I was so ill Friday, I had to leave work. It upset my stomach, horrific headache, etc. and arm is still sore today!!!

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    1. I wouldn’t have made it through work the day after my vaccine either! My whole body ached and I just felt so TIRED. It’s Monday and my arm is still slightly sore. Brett said the second shot was worse – great. I need to get it done though, but will be better mentally prepared.

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    1. So glad to hear from you Vivien. I hope things are going well for you, and that you’re getting things accomplished and staying well. Best wishes back to you for a Happy Thanksgiving!

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  3. We’re enjoying the most recent series of Shetland – always great stories and Douglas Henshall is really good as DI Perez. We are hoping to get to Europe next year to see family and friends, but we also want to go to Canada where we were supposed to go in 2020 to see my brother. And then there is the family in the US….ah well…..

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    1. Shetland has always been a good series – I was glad to see the same actors continuing on. With so many other series when a new season starts old characters have left and new ones introduced and it takes a while to adjust and get into it.

      Even with COVID still around, it seems countries and people have figured out how to make it safe or at least safer for travelers and citizens. We will be following every rule and recommendation to the letter!

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  4. I’m not planning on getting the shingles shot even though it’s recommended. I do take Acyclovir daily to prevent shingles and have done so for years.

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    1. I wasn’t planning on it either, but since we’ll be traveling full time our doctor thought it was a good idea – we don’t want shingles, and we don’t want to have to carry another prescription medication with us. My mom had shingles late in life and was absolutely miserable and we hope to avoid them. By the way, both Brett and I took part in the drug trials for the original shingles vaccine. Brett got the actual medication and I got the placebo, but apparently this new vaccine is far more effective than the old one ever was.

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