Sunday Morning 9/18/2022: Autumn Is Coming

I am thankfully feeling much, much better than I did last week with an occasional cough the only thing to remind me of how awful I felt last week. Our daughter-in-law is also well again and was back at work all week. Brett never got sick and thinks we both had bronchitis, possibly picked up from K who had had a mild cold the week before we got sick. Both M and I remain extremely grateful we did not have Covid because what we had was bad enough.

We’ve had a lovely week weather-wise, with somewhat cooler temperatures. However, along with fall officially arriving this coming week, so is another heat wave, and temperatures are expected to be back in the upper 90s here for a few days. Ugh. The complex pool is still open though so we plan to take K over to swim after school, and will otherwise do our best to stay cool. I am so ready for things to change though; I’ve had enough of heat and humidity for the year. All the pumpkin things at Trader Joe’s have put me in the mood for fall as well.

Two giant pots of chrysanthemums from Costco and a pumpkin from Trader Joe’s will be the extent of our fall decorating.

Have I mentioned we have valet trash service here? Seriously, someone will come every week and pick up our trash – it’s included in our rent. We were provided with a large kitchen trash can when we moved in, and if we place our bagged trash inside and set it outside on our door on Monday morning our trash will be picked up for us. We’ve never used the service because Brett carries our trash over to the bins when he walks Kai but our daughter-in-law uses the service as it’s very convenient with her work schedule. Also, we have been recycling our trash for over thirty years (beginning when we lived in Japan then continuing in Portland, Hawaii, and overseas) but there’s no recycling here – everything goes into the trash. It feels weird and wrong to put cans, bottles, plastics, paper, etc. into the trash bin without sorting it, and we’ve looked into whether there are any nearby recycling services but there’s no place nearby that takes recyclable trash. Tossing everything has made me realize how much time we used to spend sorting and getting things ready to be recycled, and how much space it took, but while it may be quicker now the truth is we’d be very happy to start sorting once again.

The credenza parts did not arrive even though they were promised to be here this past Thursday. However, our package was picked up at the warehouse on Friday by FedEx and is on its way, with an early delivery scheduled for Tuesday. I’ll believe it when I see the credenza fully assembled and our TV sitting on top, but after what we’ve been through both of us feel a bit doubtful about what might arrive or even if the missing pieces will actually arrive. We have mixed feelings about this company and we’re torn about asking for a refund if things go wrong again. From the partial product we have received we can tell the quality of the piece is very high, and the customer service department has been excellent about trying to straighten things out, staying in touch with us, and communicating what’s going on, but the coordination with the delivery service gets less than a zero. The right hand really doesn’t have a clue what the left is doing and vice versa and the whole experience has been beyond frustrating.

This morning I am thinking about:

  • What we accomplished: 1) Brett and I are now officially Tennessee residents! I got my Tennessee driver’s license and registered to vote this past Wednesday. I felt sad when I surrendered my Hawaii license, but am now good to drive for the next eight years. We’re still waiting on Tennessee plates for our car, but they should arrive this week or next. 2) Brett finished getting the school district’s security screening done in order to serve as a field trip escort for K’s class. He was fingerprinted and went through a criminal check this past week. 3) Otherwise, we had a very low-key, easy week.
  • What we’re looking forward to this coming week: 1) I’m getting both the latest Covid booster and a flu shot on Tuesday so I’m ready and protected for this fall/winter. I have never had the flu, and never used to get the vaccine, but at age 70 I’m no longer taking any chances. 2) Brett and I are hoping to take a couple of longer hikes in the area this week, spreading out from our apartment complex. We are working at building our walking distances back up and keeping our weight down. 3) We are planning to visit Shiloh National Military Park next Sunday.
  • Eating and exercise last week: 1) We went on three good hikes this past week, each around a mile long, through the woods behind our apartment complex. There are marked trails to three scenic overlooks. We discovered a crumbling low stone wall along one trail we’d like to know more about, whether it’s new or old. It looks like something that could have been around during the Civil War but it’s most likely newer than that. 2) Meals we enjoyed this week were: BLTs with chicken noodle soup on a cool day; spinach & cheese ravioli with pesto and meatballs; smoked pork tacos and corn on the cob; vegetarian hamburgers with onion rings; broccoli stuffed chicken breasts and mashed potatoes; chili pork burritos and coleslaw; and pepperoni pizza. When I write it down it looks like so much food, but we keep our portions small and there are almost always leftovers for our lunch the next day. 3) I am also trying to be more conscientious about drinking more water every day.
  • The ways we saved: 1) We reexamined our monthly budget this week and made some adjustments as several things here are/will be less than we initially estimated. We still have a cushion every month, but I was able to increase the automatic deposit into our travel savings by $100/month. 2) We put $1.90 into the change/$1 bill jar. 3) We ate all our leftovers and didn’t throw away any food. 4) Before cancelling my trial Amazon Prime membership this past week, I ordered our Christmas gifts for the family. Besides free shipping I was also able to use a coupon on one item for more savings. Although the total came in under our budget, I used credit card rewards to knock off almost half of the total. Meiling has been reminding everyone that there’s less than 100 days now left until Christmas – she is already that excited about this year!
K’s Fabulous Friday treat from Crumbl: a BIG sugar cookie with Minion sprinkles.
  • Good things that happened: 1) K officially named Friday after school Fabulous Friday because that’s the day we take her for a treat. This past week we stopped at Crumbl and got her a giant Minion-themed cookie. 2) We lucked out and were in Costco in time to get three giant chrysanthemum plants yesterday – several people there told us they regularly sell out in a few hours. Two are for our patio and one was for our daughter-in-law. We had been planning to get chrysanthemums anyway, but these ones were about four times the size of any we’d seen and for just a few dollars more.

I can’t believe that this week will be Kaipo’s one-month anniversary with us – it certainly feels like it’s been much longer as he has so fully integrated himself into our lives. He is everything we hoped for when we selected him, and a great fit for us overall – we are so happy to be dog owners again! He has gotten slightly bigger than he was when we met him, and put on some weight but he’s now pretty much as big as he’s going to get. His first grooming appointment is scheduled for October 10, the earliest we could get him in. We found a local groomer who specializes in Shih Tzus and toy and miniature poodles, so she should be a good fit for Kai. He is going to be a very floofy dog though by the time we get him there.

That’s all for this week – it was a nice one. Fingers are crossed that the one coming up will as nice in spite of the weather, and we’re hopeful we can stay cool and that the missing parts to our credenza finally show up. Hoping everyone had a good week as well and are looking forward to the next one as much as we are!


20 thoughts on “Sunday Morning 9/18/2022: Autumn Is Coming

  1. Your granddaughter is so cute and that cookie looks so good! I adore a good cookie and not picky about what kind!


    1. Cindy, she is such a character! She’s smart as a whip and bilingual, with an impressive English vocabulary, and the stuff she says has us in stitches at times. We are enjoying every moment with her.

      The Crumbl cookie was absolutely delicious, but when we went to the store they were sold out of all their flavors except for the sprinkles and chocolate chip. Thankfully K wanted the sprinkle cookie, but we were disappointed we couldn’t try the other flavors. We’ll go back, but probably in the morning and get a box with every flavor and let her pick from that.


  2. Frustrating about the credenza, but it sounds like it was a terrific week in all other regards! Especially your Fabulous Friday with K 🙂

    I have to say that I’m really shocked about the lack of recycling.


    1. Our credenza package is currently in St. Louis, so it’s really moving now. Fingers crossed this week will see the end of this frustrating saga.

      We love that she came up with the Fabulous Friday name. Believe it or not, she has learned about alliteration *in kindergarten* and came up with the name for her treat day.

      I wonder if they tried recycling but in a complex this big it was difficult to get everyone to go along and they gave up (or just decided it would be too difficult). Versus just have trash bins, our bags actually are tossed into a compactor; not sure where it goes after that (maybe gets burned?),


  3. Our condo complex has also stopped recycling. The reason is, we are paying extra for the service and people do not ever seem to understand what is supposed to go in there and what is not. If the wrong things are in there, then the recycling company puts the entire thing into the garbage. They do not recycle it. It is frustrating and a terrible thing what with climate change etc. I don’t have an answer.


    1. I think a decision was made here that it would just be too difficult to get everyone to recycle, and like at your place, everything would just end up getting thrown into the garbage anyway. Trash here is compacted, so hopefully it goes somewhere to be burned. It is frustrating though not to be recycling.


  4. Those Costco mums are HUGE. Really lovely. And I see Crumbl cookie shops around us but haven’t stopped yet. Time to try them, I think.

    We pay extra (not much) for a recycling bin in our condo complex, but we also notice that many of our neighbors just have a trash can. They have closed a couple of the county recycling centers here, so we were happy to have the pick up option. They actually pick up with two different trucks at different times of day, so I remain hopeful they’re actually recycling. 😂

    Hope the credenza saga ends well this week!


    1. I could barely lift the tubs in Costco because of the size, but they are gorgeous. We have the yellow bush and a purple one out on our patio now; our DIL chose the orange ones. Pushing the three of them through Costco was an effort and I am very lucky I didn’t crash into anyone.

      The credenza package is currently in St. Louis, so it’s on its way! Hopefully this frustrating experience ends well this week.

      We’ve been spoiled by the recycling efforts we were part of before. Japan has it down to a science, as did Portland. We recycled everywhere during our travels, although not as thoroughly as Japan and Portland. So many places now do not take recyclables any more, or strictly limit the ones they do take, which makes the whole issue that much more difficult as well. But cans, paper, glass, cardboard, and regular trash is easy to sort and would make a difference.


  5. I, too was shocked to hear about the non-recycling at your complex, but then I don’t know what the complexes do around here. In our neighborhood, we all have a separate recycling bin and separate pick-up from regular trash. (We also have a yard waste pick-up, bulky waste (such as furniture) and household hazardous waste.).
    I know it’s exciting to be able to up your travel saving by $100 monthly! And the broccoli stuffed chicken breasts sounds wonderful – is that something you made from scratch?


    1. I wonder if there are just too many people here that wouldn’t potentially follow the rules to make recycling work here. All it takes are a few not following directions to screw the whole thing up.

      The broccoli stuffed chicken was something I discovered at Aldi and it was very good, although it ended up be more like chicken with broccoli sauce. I don’t know if that’s because I cut it wrong, or what happened, but it worked, tasted good, and I will buy it again!

      The extra $100 will make a measurable difference in our travel savings. Our DIL and I will start planning a big family trip for 2023 at the beginning of the year, and the extra $$$ will definitely help toward that!


  6. In my town, we have recycled for over twenty years. Schools had recycling trailers for people to use. Here, Publix takes recyclables in bins outside–styrofoam, paper, plastic bags. They will take bags of water bottles but take those to the back. We put soup.tuna type cans in one bag, coke cans in another. Maybe you can find a place to drop off things once a month. I just googled “Publix Nashville” and found five locations, albeit some are not right in Nashville. Oh, we do give the cans to someone who needs money, and that person takes them to a salvage yard.


    1. That’s a good idea, to check our nearby Publix and see if they do any recycling. Also, Whole Foods might do some as well. Brett is still researching our options.

      We always separated our soda cans from the others, but in Hawaii and Portland we got $.05 back for each can. There’s no cash refund here either. I’m surprised we don’t see more cans and plastic bottles lying around but it’s very neat everywhere we go, so people must be trained to use the trash!


  7. The flowers are gorgeous! And, I adore Crumbl cookie. I try not to go too often, because I prefer the frosted kind, which are a huge calorie bomb. But, oh so delicious. Frosted cookies are my favorite treat of all time.

    It’s wild to me that people don’t recycle.

    Love that you’re getting time with your family, & hope the credenza shows up this week.


    1. We are going to give K a box of cookies for her birthday in a couple of weeks – six of them because she’s turning 6! We’ll go in the morning though before they’re sold out! Their cookies were very good, but i agree: MAJOR calorie bombs. I love how their calorie counts are for only 1/4 of a cookie. Eat a whole cookie and you’ve eaten the equivalent of an entire giant Costco muffin!

      Tomorrow is delivery day for the credenza parts and both Brett and I are nervous – so many things have gone wrong before. We’re trying to be hopeful but we’re mostly scared.

      We’re pretty sure there’s a solution to the recycling dilemma that we just haven’t figured out yet.


  8. I also have valet trash twice a week. There is recycling in my town I could go to but it’s at the dump, and my lift
    , carry and walk abilities to and from the car are problematic nor sufficient. Freestanding homes have recycling not multi units.


    1. I think the non-recycling here is due to the size of the complex – there are just too many ways for it to get screwed up. We’re glad they at least compact the trash. It either gets burned or takes up less room in the landfill.


  9. Crumble is a favorite of my grands. My daughter orders them the day before for pick up. Otherwise they are regularly sold out by two.
    I was told In Delaware. that recycling costs way more and it much more people intensive causing more actual pollution then regular garbage. Here garbage is shedded and composted. I work hard to only buy things packed in objects that compost easily.


    1. Portland used to be a very recycling friendly city – we could pretty much recycle *anything*. When we stayed the summer there in 2019, what could be recycled had really been narrowed down, mainly because the market for many previously recyclable items had dried up. Community recycling only works if EVERYONE is doing it conscientiously. Recycling in Japan works because everyone does it – it’s a wonder to behold.

      Great idea about calling Crumbl and ordering the day before!


  10. The stone wall is likely really old. My grandparents’ family farm was over in Spring Hill, not far from you. Their fields were completely surrounded by those walls. My grandfather said that they dated back to when the land was settled. The ground in that part of TN is full of those rocks. In order to be able to work the soil, they had to remove the rocks and they stacked them to make those walls. Over time, more rocks float to the surface of the ground, so the wall building is a continual process. Their fields also yielded a lot of ancient Native American stone tools.


    1. We thought the stone wall looked old – we got pretty good at looking at rock walls in Hawaii and guessing how old they were and this one here just had a “old” look. It’s located halfway down a hill, and located in a woods, and we could just imagine Civil War soldiers hiding and firing from behind it (although no battles were fought in our area). The new stone walls people have erected here don’t have any of the character of the old ones – I’m grateful so many are still around and to find one so close.


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