February Odds & Ends

A few miscellaneous things too small for individual posts:

  • Grandkids: We spent quite a bit of extra time with C and K this month beyond our usual duties. M came down with Covid the second week of the month so we kept the kids with us as much as possible until she recovered. Getting them up, dressed, fed, and off to their respective schools in the morning was a challenge – we were definitely out of practice!! Their schedules don’t sync at all either so there was lots of driving for Brett. Both kids are somewhat picky eaters, so getting them fed was also a challenge at times but we managed. I have baked like crazy all month making cookies, brownies, muffins, and cakes for some of their snacks, and have vowed to be better prepared next month. For those who might wonder, we are generously reimbursed for gas, snacks, etc. every month even though we don’t ask for or expect it.
  • Eye surgery: My first surgery went very well, with a much faster and easier recovery than I expected. The almost-immediate improvement in the eye that was done was absolutely remarkable – I have 20/20 vision in that eye again. The other eye will be operated on tomorrow morning. I cannot wait to get all of this over and get new glasses (for close vision) but that won’t happen until the end of March, when both eyes have fully healed. In the meantime all I need now are inexpensive reading glasses.
  • Breadmaking: Count me in as the latest convert to no-knead Dutch oven bread. I made my first loaf at the beginning of the month and it was instant love for both of us. I’ve been making a loaf per week since (the grandkids love it too), and have tried the cinnamon raisin version which we enjoyed as well. The main challenge is not to eat too much after it comes out of the oven! I’m still kind of mad at myself for taking so long to try it because it’s so easy and makes such a delicious loaf of bread. We’re also very happy with the take & bake items we’ve gotten from Whole Foods: blueberry scones, cherry turnovers, and croissants. The cost per item is the same or less than already-baked goods, but this way we get the items fresh and warm from the oven, so we’re going to continue to keep them in rotation (we have a pastry around once a week for breakfast).
  • Reservations for Maine: I made our hotel reservations for four nights in mid-coast Maine following Meiling’s and KN’s wedding this summer. At first I thought it might be too early, but some places were already sold out for the dates we wanted! We’ve reserved a pet-friendly room in a well-reviewed place that provides a site-made free breakfast every morning, and the location will be perfect for exploring up and down the coast.
  • Weight update: I was weighed the morning of my eye surgery and was very happy to find my weight far less than expected. I honestly thought I had gained a lot since we’ve been here, but even being fully clothed with shoes on my weight was only a few pounds more (less than 10) than I weighed when we left Hawaii. I don’t get as much exercise here as I did there, so all things considered I’m calling it a win. I’m very motivated now to keep up the walking and the way we eat! Brett is in good shape as well – he’s the primary dog walker and regularly gets 10,000 – 15,000 steps a day.
  • Happy birthday, Kaipo! Our little pup turns one year old on Sunday. We are so happy and grateful to have this little guy; he’s everything we hoped for when we decided to add him to our lives. I can’t get over how much he’s changed since we got him last August – his breeder said he was pretty much as big as he was going to get, but he’s actually bigger and more filled out more than expected. He’s matured in other ways as well although he still loves to chew on things (thankfully not the furniture), and is a digger – he “digs” in his dog bed and “buries” his toys under the cushion. I felt bad for a while because we don’t have a yard for him, but can see now it would either be full of holes or he’d dig himself out under the fence. Meiling sent him a box of cute, fun birthday toys the other day and he had them all chewed up or damaged in less than 48 hours. I’ve repaired them as best as I can, but we knew when we first saw them they were doomed. We still love this little guy to pieces!
  • Taiko concert: Brett and I are attending the Kodo One Earth Tour concert on Monday evening in Nashville courtesy of M and the Japanese Consulate. If it’s like any other taiko event we’ve attended it will be a very exiting evening!

The taiko: a traditional Japanese drum with limitless rhythmic possibilities. Kodo’s mission is to explore these possibilities, and in the process forge new directions for a vibrant living art-form. Since 1981, Kodo has given over 6,500 performances in 52 countries on five continents. This figure includes 4,000 performances under the “One Earth” banner, a theme that embodies Kodo’s desire to transcend language and cultural boundaries, all while reminding their audiences of the common bonds we all share as human beings. 

Time is flying by: just a few more days of this short month to go and then it’s on to March!


10 thoughts on “February Odds & Ends

  1. We love Maine…I recognized that lighthouse from one of our trips. Would definitely go back there any time. I’m sure it will be a great trip.

    Your dog is so cute. We gave up on the “standard” dog toys and bought what we thought were indestructible Kong animals. They last longer, but last week DH had to sew the head back on the raccoon with dental floss. 🤞 He is our most faithful dog walker, too, and calculated the other day that he’s walked the dog 1000 times since we got her. I go along or take her myself if he’s busy, but I can’t say I’m eager to take over the 7AM walk in winter, and the ice storm we got yesterday made for short and treacherous outings. He goes through Yak Trax at least annually.

    So glad you eye surgery went well! I’m sure the other one will, too.


    1. I visited Maine when I was 13 but don’t have any memories of it other than our family a BIG lobster dinner one night and my dad got food poisoning! So, it’s time to go again.

      Today at the complex they’re celebrating “Doggie Treat Day” and giving out free dog treats in the main office. They keep encouraging us to come back with Kaipo, so we’ve stop each time he goes out for a walk and gotten him some things he enjoys. His favorite supposedly indestructible chew toy “died” today – I see a shopping trip in our future for some new chewable things. We’ve gotten him Kongs but sadly he hasn’t been interested.

      Ready to go tomorrow – it’s nice knowing what to expect!


  2. OK, you have convinced me to try my hand at no knead bread, LOL. My daughter makes it as well, and loves it too!

    You seem content and engaged with your family and with life in general, Laura, which is wonderful. Our granddaughters have been in Germany for two years now, with two still to go, and it has been beyond hard in between visits. It’s a bit easier now, finally, with my oldest granddaughter, as she likes to FaceTime me on a regular basis so we can chat and do cross stitch together. (I taught her to cross stitch during a visit this past summer.)

    Time is indeed racing for us as well. We just kicked off our official training for our Camino hike in May, and I know the trip will be here before we know it. Upon completion, we’ll head to Germany to meet our family and head out together for a Greek Isles cruise. I am so looking forward to seeing my granddaughters faces when the get their first sight of our enormous cruise ship!


    1. The bread is fantastic, and made better by the fact that it’s so easy! My next adventure is to make a 50/50 all purpose & whole wheat blend loaf and see how that goes.

      We have a day off from the grands today as M is home all day after a l-o-n-g day yesterday. We love having the kids here, but know they prefer to spend time with their mom. They will be with us quite a bit in March as M has a three-day business trip, but our son is arriving mid-month for spring break so that will be our break too!

      Time is flying by, and we have just over two years to go here. We’re trying to use our time wisely to get ready for our next destination as well as enjoy where we are and time with the family. It will be over before we know it, and then we’ll sadly be back to long stretches of not seeing them.


  3. I am having cataract surgery on March 15. Glad to know you didn’t have any problems. Makes me feel better.


    1. Both surgeries went very well and were over quickly with minimal after effects. I just can’t get over the improvement in my vision and that I may no longer need (expensive) prescription lenses but can instead use OTC readers for close work.


      1. Just about everyone I know who is over 60 has had cataract surgery and all were amazed at how they didn’t need glasses anymore (other than for reading). It’s comforting to know there is a fix for it and that the outcome is so successful. Prescription glasses are so expensive it’s ridiculous. The ones I’m wearing now were $600.


      2. I almost cried yesterday when the doctor said I would have 20/20 distance vision for the rest of my life – I couldn’t believe it! So, now I on a search for readers. I would have been paying around $480 for my next pair of prescription glasses if not for this surgery. So, so happy! The money I had set aside with go for a *good* pair of sunglasses and a couple of good pairs of readers.


Comments are closed.