Sunday Morning 11/13/2022: An Unexpectedly Busy Week

What the coffee table looked like for most of last week

This past week unexpectedly turned into a busy one for Brett and me, with K staying with us not for one but for three full days. The original plan was for her be here all day Tuesday (schools closed for Election Day) and spend the night and then go to school on Wednesday, but she arrived on Tuesday with a slight cold and fever and by evening the fever had climbed to 103 degrees. I stayed awake almost all night with her making sure she was comfortable, and trying to keep her cool. The fever thankfully broke early in the morning, and she woke up cheerful and feeling better but because the district requires 24 hours fever free before a student can return to school we kept her home with us again on Wednesday (M picked her up in the evening when she got home from her trip). K’s fever came back a couple of times on Wednesday so she ended up spending another day with us again on Thursday, although she was in good spirits (and back to her very active self) and able to walk with us in the afternoon and go with us on a couple of errands as well. Needless to say, Brett and I were very tired by Friday and took that day and yesterday to rest and recuperate, and do our food shopping. K will be staying with us again for two nights next week when M has yet another trip to make for the consulate. We saw K and M yesterday and K is well and going back to school on Monday, so things shouldn’t be as intense as they were this past week.

Bundled up and watching TV with a cool washcloth on her forehead.

On Thursday I had a chance to talk with a 73-year-old Trader Joe’s employee. She has worked for TJ’s for over 11 years, and told me it is a great and fun place to work. She explained the shifts, how things are done, the benefits (20% employee discount!), etc. and said if I only want to work two days a week then that’s all they’ll give me. Shifts are 7 1/2-hours, and she says the first couple of days are hard but it gets easier after that. I told her I didn’t want to work until after the new year and she said that was fine, that they hire year round. After talking to Brett and giving it some more thought, I’ve decided I will apply in early January and see what happens!

We are very relieved the election is over. There were some disappointments throughout the evening but overall we are very happy with the results, both locally and nationally. I still don’t think I’m over having to vote (in 2022) for whether Tennessee should ban slavery as a form of punishment or not. Slavery! The measure thankfully passed here, as is did a similar measure in three other states (Alabama, Vermont, and Oregon all had a similar loophole in their constitutions), but Louisiana voted to keep the slavery loophole. Just unbelievable to me in this day and time.

This morning I am thinking about:

  • What we accomplished: 1) Brett hung a second set of Command picture rails in the bedroom in preparation of our freshly matted prints being ready either this week or next. He put two side by side to create one long rail which involved quite a bit of measuring to keep them together and level. Next job will be to move our Japanese fabric banner across the living room in preparation of our big print being hung where the banner is now. 2) Taking care of K required us to call back up a lot of parenting experience. Caring for her was tiring and worrisome at times, but she bounced back and we’re glad we could help M attend her events (two Japanese companies are opening plants in Tennessee; this is her area so she was required to attend the opening ceremonies). We’ll be ready for more K-care next week!
  • What we’re looking forward to this week: 1) If it warms up a bit we’re hoping to visit nearby Radnor State Park this week. It’s located nearby to us and is filled with great walking trails, wildlife, views, etc. 2) Most of this past week was warm, almost summer-like at times so we were looking forward to things cooling off. Be careful what you wish for though: winter arrived yesterday with temperatures at or below freezing, and barely reaching 40 degrees during the day.
Last week we went from “looks like fall, feels like summer” to . . .
. . . “looks like winter, feels like winter.”
  • Healthy eating and exercise: 1) Last Sunday turned out to be a rainy day, so no walking, and I didn’t walk on Wednesday due to exhaustion after being up all night with K, but otherwise I walked three miles on Monday and Tuesday, then two miles on Thursday and Friday, and yesterday was just too cold to walk outside. 2) Healthy meals this week were cheese and pepperoni calzones; leftover pork chops with sauerkraut and mashed potatoes; an election night dinner of samosas, broccoli with curry dip, and naan bread; mandarin orange chicken (without the orange sauce), sweet potato fries, and four bean salad; beef Polish sausages with sauerkraut in rolls and sautéed green beans; roasted red pepper and tomato soup with onion and cheese focaccia; and Trader Joe’s turkey stuffing fried rice last night (recommended and it was good!). We did a good job during the week of cleaning out odds and ends from the freezer in preparation for refilling it with more things from TJ’s and ALDI. I ate too many pieces of shortbread on Election Day, mainly from nerves, but thankfully that only happened on one day.
We were able to clear the table for our election night dinner that we enjoyed as we begin watching the election results come in.
  • The ways we saved: 1) We didn’t put anything into the change/$1/$5 bill jar because we used my debit card last week. I did my regular bi-monthly shop at Trader Joe’s on Thursday, and Costco and ALDI on Friday, and went $92 over budget but we have enough food on hand now for another month, including everything for Thanksgiving. I’m still surprised when I see the total each time because everything here is still always less than I expect for so much and I always think the total is going to be much, much, more. 2) Lots of leftovers were eaten and no food was thrown out. 3) We had three no-drive days this past week.
Home Alone was released 32 years ago this year. It’s still fresh and funny.
  • Good things that happened: 1) The best thing all week was K’s health improving especially after a long, difficult night on Tuesday. She was thankfully back to her sunny (and active) self on Wednesday and Thursday. 2) K and I watched Home Alone on Thursday afternoon (first time for her), laughed a lot, and she said it’s now her favorite movie ever. It really is a classic. 3) The new season of The Crown started, and our favorite baker made it to the finals on the Great British Baking Show. 4) The frame arrived from Walmart (and it’s huge!) so we’re ready to get our new print hung once we get it back from the frame shop.

Last Sunday evening I was awakened at around 2:00 a.m. by a very loud, strange, and unidentifiable sound right outside our bedroom window. The sound happened four times and I couldn’t tell if it was coming from an animal or a human. Brett of course slept right through it. The sound eventually moved away but I could still hear it in the distance for a while. When I woke up Monday morning I wasn’t sure at first whether I’d dreamed what I heard or not, but the experience was too vivid to have been a dream, and I spent the day on YouTube listening to animal sounds trying to figure out what I had heard, if possible. It took a while, but I finally came across a video of a male deer going after a female and the final set of the sounds he makes before he’s ready to hook up with her sounded just like what I had heard outside our window! I never imagined for a moment when we moved here that I’d have to identify animal calls, or end up knowing what a horny male deer sounds like, but here we are, living next to the woods and hearing nature close up.

We will continue to enjoy our fall decor for another few weeks before changing over for Christmas.

I almost couldn’t believe it when we shopped this past week how strong the push is now for Christmas; Thanksgiving barely seems to register at all. All the holiday hoopla is hard to ignore, and while we’re preparing for a busy December, we want our house to stay Christmas free for at least another three weeks: no poinsettias, trees, or other decor until then. After our years living in Hawaii, Brett and I are enjoying the change in seasons and just don’t want to move things along any more quickly than they seem to be moving now.

We had a busy week that ended on a good note, and although we know next week will be busy again we hope it proves to be less stressful than this past one. So, here’s to good health, more good food, good books, good friends, and more good things happening next week!


8 thoughts on “Sunday Morning 11/13/2022: An Unexpectedly Busy Week

  1. So glad K is back to normal. Sick kids are nerve wracking, but I’m sure your parenting skills came back quickly. They do bounce back more quickly than we do though.

    We went from 70’s to 30’s this week. Add that to the time change, and I just want to sleep. 🤣

    Quite unexpectedly, I’m off to the UK next weekend. My DD snapped her ankle and it’s broken quite badly. Based on the x-ray, we’re expecting she’ll need surgery (and a pin?) when she sees the ortho doc this week. In any case, she’s in a boot and quite a bit of pain. Add in an active 2-1/2 year old, two jobs and they really need Mrs. Doubtfire for a few weeks.Ha! Not the time of year I would choose to leave home, but it will be great to spend time with them, especially my granddaughter who has grown SO. MUCH. I’ll be interested in how the travel adventure has changed since I was there a year ago. ✈️


    1. One thing we were up against with K is that she flat out refused to take any medication that would have helped to reduce her fever. M stopped by with some kid-friendly options but K just would not take them (shades of her dad). So I had to resort to cool washcloths, cool sponge baths, etc. Thankfully she is fine again and will be back to school tomorrow – she missed all of last week.

      Yes, not the best reason for heading to England now, but know you’ll enjoy seeing your granddaughter again, make the most of your time there, and be a great help and relief to your daughter. Fingers crossed on both hands for her to heal quickly!

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  2. I am so glad she is better! It is so stressful when kids are sick. Home Alone is my very fav movie! I love to look at that house and think how did they afford that house and the electric bill…. Lol


    1. We had dinner over at M’s apartment last night, and K is back to her bouncy, happy self, but last week was stressful, especially when she refused to take any sort of fever reducer. We’ll have her with us for two nights this week, and then most of next (Thanksgiving) week as well as schools will be closed for the week.

      I loved seeing Home Alone again, although my favorite holiday movie of all is Love, Actually – WenYu and I watch it every year, or at least try to. I make sure to watch Elf. You are right about the house used in Home Alone – the regular electric bill must be immense, let alone when it’s decorated for the holidays!


  3. So glad K is better! Kids tend to get high fevers quickly and then just as quickly bounce back. I totally understand being exhausted after watching her for 3 days….. Last week was chemo week for our daughter (thankfully, her last treatment!), so as usual, we spent several days helping with taking/picking up her girls from school (ages 3 and 7), preparing meals, entertaining the girls, and otherwise helping out. We were exhausted after that…. my aging body really felt those 13-hr days!


    1. We were exhausted too after taking care of K for those last three days even though we didn’t go anywhere. M had Friday off so we ended up getting a 3-day weekend and we needed it! This week will be more of the same, but we know we can do it, and we honestly enjoy spending time with K and doing things with her. We know she will eventually return to Japan and it will be ages before we get to see her again.

      Fingers crossed and thinking good thoughts for that your daughter has finished chemo!


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