Sunday Afternoon 6/26/2016

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A coworker drops by to deliver drinks to our son, including a Coke, at the end of Lap 9!

First thing to do today is give a big shout-out to our son, who participated in the first annual “Imperial Challenge” on Saturday in Japan. The goal was to do as many laps around the Imperial Palace as possible, a distance of 3.3 miles, and our son walked 12 laps in 12 hours (!), raising ¥270,000 (around $2700). His contributions will go to Nanbyo Network, an organization dedicated to providing support to children suffering from severe and often incurable illnesses and the families of those children. He posted on Facebook every time he finished a lap, and it was inspiring to see so many friends and coworkers come out to support him, bring him food and drinks, and walk a few laps with him. M created this event and was the only participant this year, but he’s hoping more will join him next year!

It’s almost hard to believe that it’s the last weekend in June, and how fast once again another month has flown by. Overall it’s been a very good one, with our wonderful getaway to Oahu and lots of other things started and accomplished. We’re settling in now for the summer, and getting ourselves ready both physically and mentally for the next three or so months’ worth of heat and humidity. Our current house can get warm, but nothing like our old house did, thanks to having more and better ceiling fans. We’re also closer to the ocean here, meaning there’s a bit more breeze as well.

WenYu has been looking for a job here to help add to her savings, something she can do for the next couple of months. Fingers are crossed. The other current “big” issue right now is figuring out how to get her comforter back to Massachusetts in August. It wouldn’t be an issue if we were on the mainland, but from here . . . . I think we can downsize it in a Space Bag and fit it into her large suitcase, but we’re also debating whether it would make more sense just to mail it back east or whether that would cost too much. She’s being very careful and frugal with her “preparing-for-college” budget so know she will think long and hard about what to do before she makes a decision. We’ll get that unwieldy thing back there somehow.

Anyway, on this very ordinary Sunday afternoon I am:

  • Reading: I just started the new Ian Rankin book, Even Dogs In the Wild. I’ve read all of his Inspector Rebus books, so was excited to discover a new one had been published this year. They’ve never disappointed.
  • Listening to: I’ve been playing one of my all-time favorite Beach Boys song, Sail On, Sailor, this morning. I grew up listening to the Beach Boys, still know and love all the surfer songs (I am a California Girl, after all), and many of their songs instantly call up a particular time and place, but this song still grabs my heart every time I hear it. They’re singing about my life.
  • Watching: WenYu and I finished up all of Twin Peaks last week, and we’ve decided to watch the entire Downton Abbey series from the beginning – WenYu said she wanted to see it all in one piece before she heads off to school. Poor Brett – DA is just not his thing.
  • Cooking/baking: Brett made BLT croissants for the girls’ and his breakfasts this morning; I had a bowl of raisin bran. He’s going to make a batch of banana-nut waffles for the (kitchen) freezer this afternoon to use up some of the bananas we overbought at the farmers’ market last week. Tonight’s Thai-style pork stew is cooking away in the slow cooker now.
  • Happy I accomplished this past week: There was nothing much that needed accomplishing this past week other than the usual chores around the house. I did convince the girls to get their very messy room cleaned up . . . or else. We got a bunch more food cleared out of the freezer, but still have another week or so to go until it can be defrosted.
  • Looking forward to next week: We don’t have anything on the calendar next week other than Brett and the girls are going for a hike on part of the Kalalau Trail. I would love to go along, but my damaged knee cannot handle the downhill part of the hike. Because of that we won’t be making our usual farmers’ market trip, but we’re looking forward to checking out a couple of others that we haven’t been to in a while. And, YaYu has accumulated all her practice driving hours and may be able to take her driving test this week if she can get all the paperwork notarized and signed.
  • Thinking of good things that happened this past week: Other than the going to the farmers’ market and Brett getting two new front tires put on the car to be ready for the annual inspection next week, we didn’t spend any money. He also had a good visit with the dentist, and doesn’t need the (expensive) crown he was expecting. WenYu finished all of her upfront paperwork and requirements for Wellesley, and YaYu volunteered yesterday morning at the annual “Mayor-a-thon” walk/bike/run event and won a 40-oz. Hydroflask water bottle (retail value $42.95) – sweet! I haven’t been on Pinterest in a while, but discovered I am now just 98 short of 36,000 followers – I’m not sure how that happened. Brett turned in all the recyclable cans and bottles that were hanging out in the garage, and we put $8.08 in the change/$1 bill jar.
  • Grateful for: We’re feeling very thankful for our military health insurance right now. Because Wellesley is in Massachusetts, students are required to carry a certain level of health insurance, which is billed at the beginning of the year. Our insurance coverage exceeds theirs so WenYu is exempted, saving us $2100.
  • Bonus Question: Which languages have you studied? I have absolutely no natural aptitude for learning languages, but have tried to learn German, Spanish, Italian and Japanese. I did a year of German in high school before switching to Spanish, and knew and understood enough by the time I graduated to get myself around and converse at a basic level. I’ve studied Japanese for over seven years, and am still at less than a low-beginning level – it’s very frustrating. I took Italian classes for a couple of years when we lived in Portland and enjoyed them, but gave them up when we decided to retire in Hawai’i. At a minimum I can at least say “Hello,” “How are you?” and “I don’t understand” in all four languages. Brett and I are thinking of taking a Japanese class together at the community college this fall though – we need to get better if we’re ever going to stay there for longer than a week or so.

And that’s it for this Sunday! How is your Sunday going? How did your week go?

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6 thoughts on “Sunday Afternoon 6/26/2016

  1. Vivian Gibson says:

    I have taken German, French, Spanish and Japanese. I cannot speak any of them except for counting to 10, 6 in Japanese and saying hello and good bye. During college, I could read in French but even that is gone now.

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  2. Laura says:

    I don’t think I can count to 10 in Italian any more; the other languages, yes. Other than Japanese, I never really had the chance to use them all that much. I did go to Mexico and use my Spanish, and saw it and heard it enough in southern California that it helped me to remember it some.

    Otherwise, it’s true what they say: If you don’t use it, you lose it!

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  3. sbeckhamprofessionalblog says:

    Sorry to be out of the loop but what Pinterest board/boards do you have with so many followers? I use Pinterest sporadically and would be happy to be a follower. Because of your blog I have read some great books and recently made mug cake! Thx, Sonja

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    • Laura says:

      Most of my Pinterest boards are about Japan, and Japanese things that I love, but I also have boards about other things I like or am interested in. I have no idea how or why I got so many followers, other than I know Japan is a very popular topic. I’d love to have you as a follower, if you’re interested! I wax and wane with Pinterest – sometimes I pin will go a stretch where I pin every day, but than I can go weeks without looking at it.

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  4. Laura says:

    When I was at Wellesley they had free summer storage for students; the further away you lived the more stickers you got. I’m not sure if they still have it but it was a lifesaver for so many of us. You had to store stuff in the basement of the dorm you currently lived in, not the one for the next year, but at least it meant you didn’t have to bring everything back and forth each year. Maybe ask if they still do that? If so, you might be able to find a deal on a comforter that makes it cost effective to buy a new one.

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    • Laura says:

      This is really good news! Summer storage for her stuff has been something we’ve been concerned about, although after a couple of years it’s likely that she’ll be staying back east for internships, etc. and will be needing her things. We’re still going to take back her comforter (which we bought a couple of months ago – her first big going-to-college purchase) – we may have to SpaceBag it and stuff it into a Rubbermaid container and check that through. There’s a big sale with stuff from Wellesley’s departing seniors in early September – WenYu’s going to check that out and see what else she can get.

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