Sunday Morning 10/23/2022: BRRRRR!

The sky was blue and the sun was shining, but boy was it COLD!

Cold weather officially arrived this past week in middle Tennessee, with overnight temperatures dipping below freezing on three nights and temperatures in the low- to mid-50s during the day. Thing have warmed up a bit since (temperatures are back into the 70s), but it’s still cooler overall than it was the week before. It was definitely the week though to break out the warm socks, sweaters, and fleece, Kai included! The complex had notices posted mid-week about keeping the heat on and letting faucets drip at night so pipes didn’t freeze, but except for one morning our living room has pretty much stayed right around 70 degrees without turning on the heat – so far so good. Our bedroom temperature is cooler, but perfect for sleeping.

Little dog in a big, warm sweater!

At eight months old, Kaipo has suddenly ramped up his chewing and boy have we had to watch him carefully this past week. One day he snuck into a corner out of sight and chewed through his harness! He also chewed two small holes in his new sweater, and sometimes even wanted to chew (not bite) our hands. He has lots of chew toys and “bones” (no rawhide) and uses them every day but this past week he’s become a lot more interested in things like shoes, laundry, etc. He is a fun, affectionate puppy but it’s truly like having a rambunctious toddler in the house right now.

A rare moment when he wasn’t chewing on something. Thankfully so far he’s left the furniture alone.

There will be no Sunday post next weekend because we are heading out of town on Friday with M & K to visit western North Carolina over the weekend. We’ll be staying two nights in Boone, leaving Friday afternoon to drive over, then visiting the surrounding area and driving some of the Blue Ridge Parkway on Saturday. On Sunday we’ll visit the Biltmore House and Gardens in Asheville before heading home. I’m going to try to write a post for Monday instead, but give no guarantees.

We excited to see the Biltmore Estate wrapped in fall colors.

This morning I am thinking about:

  • What we accomplished last week: 1) We wanted a quiet week last this past week, we created one, and it was lovely. Other than picking up K after school every day (and taking her with us to shop at Trader Joe’s one afternoon) and Brett taking her to the school’s annual Family Fun Night on Friday (because M had a late meeting that evening), we stayed home and read, relaxed, and walked almost every day. 2) I finished two more books in my current library-imposed reading marathon, but still have three more downloaded books to go. 3) I had to organize the pantry again – it is so small and after a few weeks everything seems to end up a jumbled mess. I always assume it’s going to be a quick, easy chore but it never is because we have a lot of food in there (mea culpa).
K and her grandpa had a very good time at her school’s annual Family Fun event!
  • What we’re looking forward to next week: 1) We’re hoping for another quiet, uneventful week topped off with good weather and a wonderful visit to North Carolina. 2) Once again there’s nothing on our calendar we have to do so we plan to continue reading, relaxing, and walking although we will shop next week at Costco, Aldi, and Target.

I miss Kauai’s views, but am loving all the fall colors in Tennessee.

  • Healthy eating and exercise: 1) We took only four two mile walks – we took last Sunday off, and then Thursday and Friday we didn’t walk because early I developed a chest cold (not Covid) that made breathing in the cold uncomfortable plus I just felt miserable. I have been missing the beautiful ocean views we had while we walked in Hawaii, but there are still beautiful things to see here and it’s a good workout for us without having to get in the car and go somewhere. 2) Healthy meals this past week were a medley of samosas from Trader Joe’s along with naan bread (I think TJ’s samosas are almost spicier than the ones we ate in India!); chicken pot pie; fried rice with shrimp & vegetables; chicken in Thai red curry sauce with steamed rice and a wedge salad; pumpkin ravioli with cacio e pepe sauce and roasted zucchini; roasted red pepper & tomato soup; and wonton soup with spinach. Lunches were either apples and cheese(s), or leftovers.
  • How we saved: 1) We got through almost the whole week without turning on the heat (we turned it on for two hours on Thursday morning), and did just three loads of clothes (washed in cold water), so a good low energy use week. 2) We went to Trader Joe’s on Wednesday, and Aldi on Thursday, and still have $120 of our monthly food allowance left over for savings as well as plenty of food. 3) We put $3.71 into the change/$1 bill jar. 4) I had to throw away two ears of corn that had gotten pushed to the back of the refrigerator and forgotten, but everything else and all leftovers were eaten. 5) Last Sunday was a no-drive day. We try for one day each week that the car stays parked, so that at the end of the year we have at least 52 days (over seven weeks) of not burning gas or putting wear and tear on our car. So far this year, with our time in Mexico removed, we’ve had 11 days in Tennessee where our car (and the two of us) have stayed home, and 41 overall for the year.
The change/$1 bill jar is an actual jar again versus a plastic bag. We’ve saved nearly $70 in it since we left Massachusetts back in August.
  • Good things that happened: 1) I started a new medication for my stomach this past week, and oh, what a difference! The proof was being able to enjoy a big cup of tomato soup on Friday and not suffering mightily for it. I think I might be able to give up the baking soda in my coffee as well. 2) Otherwise, there were no big standouts this past week – everything was good (except for my cold, but it’s getting better)!

I noticed at Trader Joe’s the other day that the pumpkin items are on their way out – there are still a few available but stock is diminishing and some are gone completely – and they have already started stocking some Thanksgiving-related items, things like stuffing mixes, turkey stock, cranberry sauce, and gravy. Christmas items were already being put out at Target week before last and Costco has been fully stocked for Christmas for at least a month. We’re ready for the holidays as far as our gift shopping, but my goodness (old lady raises her fists and yells) could we hold off with the gift wrap, decor, candy, etc. until we at least get through Halloween? Can we have a moment to breathe between the holidays?

Time marches on though and another week has come to an end – it was a good one and I hope it was a good one as well for everyone reading. We’ve got another great week coming up with delicious and healthy food to eat, walks to take, good books to read, more fall color and an exciting getaway planned that we’re looking forward to. Bring it on!


20 thoughts on “Sunday Morning 10/23/2022: BRRRRR!

  1. Could be a puppy phase, could be that your pup could use some mental challenges ! There are some great toys now where dogs have to move flippers or push buttons with their noses to find treats. We got one for our dog and he loves it and it seems to wear him out in a different way than running and playing. They are also great if a dog is laid up after surgery and needs to stay quiet.


    1. First, thanks for the tip on the “challenge toys” for dogs. Our little guy is not at that stage yet (although he’s smart as a whip) but it’s a good idea for the future. We’re pretty sure he was sort of going through a phase last week as he’s calmed down considerable today. I told Brett it was sort of like with our kids when they were little – we could always tell when they were going through a developmental phase as their activity level would ramp up for a few days until they figured it out.


  2. I wanted you to know you saved us money! My husband scheduled a colonoscopy without checking the date of his previous one. When I told him to call to check the date it had not even 10 years! Thanks for putting that freshly in my mind!
    Have fun on your trip.


    1. Brett once had a lab work done that, unknown to him, was not covered by Medicare. And, if Medicare doesn’t cover it, neither will Tricare. Getting the bill for that was not fun! We check everything now, and it was Brett who had noticed the 10-year requirement with Medicare. I checked again and it’s still in place, so I can wait until next year!

      We are really looking forward to our getaway next weekend. Brett’s parents come from the area around Boone, so he is very familiar with it but I’ve never been. Both of us are excited about seeing Biltmore House. One downer though: it’s supposed to be raining next weekend. That’s never stopped us before, but definitely will put a damper on things if it indeed happens.


  3. My brother’s dog is two and was just like Kai at 8 months (chewing on everything). She also was biting our feet, which was really annoying, but she’s a shepherd dog and apparently they do that in an attempt to ‘herd’ since that is their instinct. She’s a lot better now. The dog trainer told them that dogs settle down at two and that has been the case.

    I didn’t know Trader Joe’s has cacio e pepe sauce. I’m heading there tomorrow and will look for it. I also didn’t know Walmart has pumpkin Kit Kats! I was there the other day and they already had an entire section devoted to Christmas items.

    Your trip sounds like fun and I look forward to reading about it and seeing photos! It’ll be an adjustment for you since you haven’t spent fall or winter in a colder climate in a while. I’ve been thinking of planning a trip to Kauai for next year, but I checked the prices and they’re quite a bit higher, so not sure if I will. I may go somewhere closer and cheaper.


    1. We know he’s going to calm down . . . eventually. We know we have a ways to go with this as well, but right now we have to know what he’s doing absolutely every moment.

      I like the cacio e pepe sauce – nice and peppery and easy to use. A jar gave us two meals with a little bit left over. I’m planning to buy more next time I go to TJs. I am going to see if I can find the pumpkin KitKats too – we’re going to Target tomorrow and I’ll check there first. That’s one flavor I never found in Japan although they made them.

      A friend is currently visiting Kaua’i. Her pictures make me miss it, but when I think about living there again I don’t miss it so much. It was crazy before we left and I can’t imagine it’s gotten any better (and still very expensive).


  4. Our Cavapoo is the same age and we are having to spend more time keeping him occupied and redirecting his play. He did chew on a chair leg but mostly is grabbing things he knows he shouldn’t and hauling them around. You are right that it is like having a toddler especially when he came running out of the bathroom with the end of the toilet paper in his mouth and the rest streaming behind him. Enjoy your pup!


    1. Right now our little guy has his bed tipped over and dragged halfway across the living room. He’s trying to chew and claw his way through it through the bottom! All the rest of his toys are scattered all through the room, but he’s not interested . . . he wants to destroy the bed!

      Thankfully he hasn’t found the toilet paper yet. He did get into the laundry this morning though . . . . We love him!


  5. Is your new medication over the counter? Is this too personal? I’ve noticed my tums intake is increasing and it might be time to try something else.


    1. No, it’s a prescription PPI. I had been taking an OTC medication (Pepcid) but it wasn’t working as well as it should and my Tums intake had increased as well. I will send you an email with more information.


  6. I too have bad reflux issues and am on a PPI and would like to switch. Could you tell me the name of the med you are now on? It sounds so promising. If privacy is an issue, could you email me?
    I love your blog, you make even your everyday mundane times interesting.


  7. I know I too am going to freeze next month when we go for our month long visit to Mass. I have all the proper gear but still…..I am not used to it after 4 years here in Arizona. I didn’t know that about Medicare. I am on the 5 year plan with the doctor so I wonder if that means Medicare won’t pay for my next one due in May of 2023. Oh boy. That could be pricey. Thanks for the heads up.


    1. The cold was sort of a shock to my system after all our time in Hawaii, but on the other hand it’s fun to wear sweaters again. Hopefully the segue into the really cold weather will be more gradual.

      I would check with Medicare, but their handbook clearly states they pay 100% for a colonoscopy every *10 years*. The only exception noted was for those at high risk, and the definition for that was clearly outlined (high risk can get one done every two years). One was recommended for me in five years as well, but if Medicare doesn’t pay, neither will Tricare, the military supplemental we have, so I will wait until next year when my 10 years is up.


    1. She is having a wonderful time here, although she misses her dad and brother. They will be here again in a couple of months though. She is fully bilingual, so no ESL required, and switches back and forth effortlessly between English at school and with her friends and us, and Japanese with her mom.

      Anyway, we are thrilled to have all this time with her.


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