Sunday Morning 10/9/2022: More Autumn Goodness

There’s more fall color every day!

This past week was a quiet one. We walked a lot, we read a lot, and we ran a few errands – but that’s pretty much it. We celebrated K’s actual birthday this week with a surprise box of Crumbl cookies for her treat as well as a bouquet of birthday balloons. She got a much-desired scooter from her mom, so we’ve been including that on our afterschool walks .

In another world we would be traveling up to Edinburgh today after finishing a two month stay in Oxford. I never felt sad about cancelling our time in England for some reason, but it took me a while longer to get over feeling sad about not going to Edinburgh. We had a quick trip there in 2019, and we were greatly looking forward to exploring more of the city than we were able to do earlier, as well as taking side trips to Glasgow, up into the highlands, and over to Isle of Skye. I firmly believe we are doing what we are meant to be doing, and we are surprisingly happy here in Nashville, living in suburbia. I will be forever grateful for the time we get to spend with our daughter-in-law and granddaughter as well as the opportunity to save a little more than we expected. Travel has only been postponed.

Otsukimi (お月見), meaning, “moon-viewing”, is a Japanese festival honoring the autumn moon. The time for the viewing normally fall in September and October. Tsukimi traditions include displaying decorations made from susuki grass and eating rice dumplings to celebrate the beauty of the Moon.

This evening Brett’s taking K to a Japanese moon viewing (otsukimi) celebration put on by the Japanese consulate while I stay home with the puppy. Our daughter-in-law will be working at the event, serving sake and Wagyu beef appetizers created by the Consulate’s personal chef at a special tasting booth with admission by ticket only. The event (and tickets) apparently sold out very quickly, in less than two days. By the way, in America we see a man in the moon but in Japan they see a rabbit pounding mochi!

This morning I am thinking about:

  • What we accomplished last week: 1) Family members worked together this past week to set a date for next year’s Big Event, which looks like it’s now going to happen in early 2024 versus December 2023 because it’s easier for our son and DIL to take time off then. We also strategized together ways for everyone to afford the Event and came up with some ideas and plans. 2) I finally got around to ordering some good walking shoes, another pair of HOKAs. Skechers are comfortable for casual walking but are not cutting it on the longer walks we’re taking.
  • What we’re looking forward to next week: 1) We’re very excited about Kai getting his first haircut tomorrow because he is such a mess right now. It’s been seven to eight weeks since his last cut which is far too long, so we have a pretty good idea now of how frequently he’s going to need to be groomed (around once a month, five weeks at the most). 2) Cold weather pajama week has arrived! It’s not cold enough for fleece and socks yet, but I need to wear something warmer than my summer PJs. Mornings have been quite cool recently. 3) We’ll go food shopping again at the end of the week, always fun these days. 3) I am meeting with the gastroenterologist mid-week to discuss my ongoing stomach issues (which I currently seem to have somewhat under control) and to possibly schedule a colonoscopy although I’m hoping to put that off until next year.

Some upper loop apartments have beautiful views of the hills. The trees are more mature, and larger and fuller on that side; there are more garages; and more apartments have fireplaces – on our side only the top floor has them. If we were going to stay I’d request a move to the other loop!

  • Healthy exercise and eating: 1) We got in five, good walks this week. Last Tuesday I told Brett I was just going to walk around the apartment complex a few times, thinking I’d do two to three loops, but instead I headed up to the upper level of apartments. By the time I walked one loop through our section and around the upper area and back to our apartment I had spent 40 minutes and covered over two miles! The route has some gentle hills as well so it’s a good workout. We enjoy walking through the upper level because it’s gorgeous, with lots of big trees and some beautiful views. For now Brett and I are going to walk the two-mile loop each day, and do a shorter walk with K some afternoons, but we’re planning to double up next month for four miles/day. Kai seems to be enjoying the longer walks as well. 2) We enjoyed some delicious and healthy meals this past week: leftover shrimp and smoked salmon from K’s birthday party; feta & spinach chicken sausages topped with tzatziki in a roll along with roasted butternut squash; bacon-cheeseburger pizza; pork & pepper stir-fry with steamed rice; chicken noodle soup & cornbread; and falafel in pita sandwiches with tzatziki, lettuce, and chopped tomatoes. M took us out to dinner to celebrate K’s birthday at a nearby restaurant serving Southern cooking. Brett had a bacon and avocado sandwich but I had smothered fried chicken, green beans, and collards. The food was delicious but neither of us could finish our meals and the leftovers provided lunch the next day.
Smothered fried chicken, green beans, and collards: maybe not the healthiest meal, but it was delicious!
  • How we saved: 1) Brett washed and vacuumed our car for free at the apartment complex’s car wash station. 2) Yesterday M & I went on a “treasure hunt” at two local Goodwill stores, and treasures were found. See below for details! 3) I resisted purchasing an armchair for the living room. The price was right, the style was what we’ve been looking for, the color was perfect, and I came this close to ordering it. But, I finally convinced myself to wait 24 hours and see if I was still as excited about it the next day, and in that time realized the chair could wait and that I’d rather save than spend right now. 4) We put $3.15 into the change/$1 bill jar. 5) We didn’t throw away any food and all our leftovers were eaten.
Watching TV at Grandma & Grandpa’s with her birthday balloons.

Good things that happened: 1) We had a good time at K’s birthday party last Sunday. There was a unicorn piñata that Brett ended up nearly beating to death with the stick because no one could get it open – too funny! M eventually had to rip it apart with her hands to pass out the prizes. 2) My insomnia is fading, helped in part by this past week’s increase in walking distance. I am tired at night and have been falling asleep earlier than before, sleeping soundly, and waking up earlier as well. I’m still not totally back to my normal routine, but I’m getting there. The allergies seem to be tapering off as well – I only needed to take a Zyrtec tablet twice this past week in spite of being outside for longer periods of time.

Goodwill scores from yesterday!

Yesterday I invited M to go thrifting with me. I have a somewhat limited fall/winter wardrobe and thought maybe I’d be able to find a couple of sweaters at Goodwill. Thrift stores are a recent addition to the shopping mix in Tokyo; Japanese traditionally prefer new items, so this was a new experience for M. The first Goodwill we visited had a limited clothing selection but a fabulous household goods section, and M found a few things (vase, serving platter, Day of the Dead glass for K, and more) and a new, still-in-the-package toy and a book for K. I discovered a cute Christmas platter, a Crockpot mini-dipper to use when everyone is here in December, and two red mugs for a Christmas project I’m putting together. I also found a red cotton turtleneck and red fleece pullover for sleepwear this winter. My best discovery though was a black wool & cashmere blend peacoat, for the astonishing price of $7.99. The second store we visited was the reverse of the first, with lots of great clothing but a very limited household good selection. M found a lovely glass bowl in the shape of a Christmas tree, but I scored a wool marine blue turtleneck sweater, a gray wool & cashmere sweater, a deep pink-red corduroy shirt, and, as I was walking to the register, a L.L. Bean striped shirt in gray with white stripes that I have desired for years! So, a very successful day for me with only $58 spent on everything, tax included. I did leave behind a complete set of Fiestaware (dinner plates, salad plates, bowls, and cups & saucers) at the first store. That took some willpower.

We have a busy week coming up because K is on fall break all week. M has tomorrow through Wednesday off from work, but we have several errands and then will have K with us all day Thursday and Friday. The week sort of caught us by surprise (we knew it was coming but hadn’t paid attention to the dates), but we’ve got some ideas to stay busy the two days K’s with us. There are always hikes to take, her new scooter to ride, books to read, movies to watch, and pictures to color or paint for starters. She and I are also wanting to bake muffins (chocolate chip and pumpkin-raisin), and she wants to help Brett make pancakes for lunch one day. Hopefully with all this going on she’ll have a good time with her old grandparents.

It’s been another great week full of fun, good things, bargains, and surprises, and we have much to look forward to this coming week as well. I hope it’s been equally good for everyone as well, and that you’re looking forward as much as we are to the week coming up!


11 thoughts on “Sunday Morning 10/9/2022: More Autumn Goodness

  1. Such a fun week! She looks so cute sitting on y’all’s couch with her birthday balloons! The views of your walk look gorgeous!


    1. It was a fun week! There were supposed to be six balloons for her but one had deflated by the time we got it home, but no one but us missed it. I am becoming well-educated on all the kids programming available today, and some of it is pretty good. There’s a lesson/moral in almost every episode.

      The landscape is very pretty here, although I feel like it’s going to be very dreary once all the leaves are off the trees.


  2. Don’t you just love thrifting! I would have had a really hard time to leave the Fiestaware behind too….we love that stuff. Fortunately, we are able to visit the factory in Newell, WV, which has a seconds room and the Everything Fiesta outlet in Sutton, WV (also with a seconds room) fairly often. So between that and thrifting or buying at yard sales, etc. have not paid full price for any of our pieces.


    1. Yes, I do love thrifting! My DIL and I had a good time, and I love being set for the winter without having to spend a fortune.

      I kept thinking how much I could resell the Fiestaware and get, but in the end I just decided I didn’t have the energy for it right now, and that I hoped it would get picked up by someone who loved it and was starting out to collect. Also, I don’t know where I could store it in this apartment!


  3. You had great luck thrifting! And the weather looks awesome. Fall is so nice…we’ve been having perfect days here. Today was window washing day, and living in a construction zone, we didn’t realize how much dust they collected. We can see! 🤣

    Any day I can postpone a colonoscopy is a good day! DH got his Covid booster and is bugging me to get mine. I just dread the thought of that day of feeling yucky, but I guess I’ll bite the bullet.

    Good luck with your granddaughter’s school break. It sounds like you’re prepared. (I
    have noticed that the kids’ programming has some great lessons now, too.)


    1. I think I got lucky too. I took the coat and two wool sweaters to the dry cleaners today (much less expensive here than it was back in Portland!) and the owner was shocked I got that coat for only $8 – other than one loose button it’s in perfect condition. Even with the cost of dry cleaning I’m coming out way ahead over what I would have paid retail. Anyway, I’m now set for winter! The girls are excited by the mini Crockpot and want us to do a chocolate fondue when they are here in December. The red mugs were a real find too – I’m putting together a hot chocolate basket for the grands’ Christmas Eve (Cadbury hot cocoa and chocolate dipped marshmallows, and Brett is going to personalize the cups with a Sharpie).

      I got the flu shot and booster at the same time, but in different arms. At first there was no reaction, but the next day I was sore. Thankfully that didn’t last long. And, I feel protected for the winter.

      Fall here has been wonderful so far, but rainy days are predicted for next week. I feel like it’s going to be very dreary though once the leaves fall off the trees, and I’m accustomed to year-round green (and sunshine). I feel like we’ll still get a lot more sun here than we ever did in Portland.

      I’m guessing our complex will wash the exterior windows – so far they’re OK. I sort of keep up with the interior ones but window washing is one of my least favorite jobs, although who ever invented microfiber cloth should be sainted.

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  4. I just bought my first pair of HOKAs this weekend! I love them so far. I usually buy Brooks but tried I the HOKAs and they felt comfortable and supportive.
    Seeing the fall leaves change colors always amazes me. We went to Natural Bridge State Park last week and some of the trees were starting to pop. I love fall but don’t love that the winter is around the corner. I think that’s why spring is my favorite season.


    1. My HOKAs arrived today – what a difference good walking shoe makes! The sole is so comfortable, and the shoe provides great support. I’ve tried other brands but HOKA is the best, IMO.

      After spring comes broiling summer. When I was young I loved summer but these days I prefer winter’s cold over summer’s heat. Fall has been my favorite though for as long as i can remember.


  5. Around here, Goodwill stores are only o k. There is a great thrift store here that I call the “Ladies that lunch” store. It is run by a local group of society ladies as their charity work. Some of the finds there are unbelievable! You might search online to see if there is a similar one in your area. Earlier this summer, I let a great deal get away. There were two short sleeved shirts that I liked, but I talked myself out of buying them because I had never heard of the brand. Later, when I looked the brand up, I saw that they were $150 apiece! Doh!


    1. Thanks for ideas of how to look for other thrift stores. We knew about Goodwill, so wanted to check them out first – they were OK, but not as good as the ones in Portland, so there has to be other stores we can check out in the area.

      I found all of Brett’s aloha shirts at Goodwill in Portland, a couple with the tags still in them. They retail for around $135! One day I found four of them, all with tags, but they were size small. If we hadn’t been so busy getting ready to move I would have listed them for resale, but I asked another woman in the store if she would be interested and she took them. I still can’t get over that coat I found for just $8! Neither could the dry cleaner – it came out looking fabulous!


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