Sunday Afternoon 12/19/2016

Mom in Uruguay in 2009 - still traveling at 85!

Mom in Uruguay in 2009 – still traveling at 85!

Thank you so much for all your kind thoughts this past week; they were all appreciated so much. Mom passed away peacefully last Monday evening, so it’s been a somewhat subdued and sad week here. It’s been especially difficult for the girls – Mom was the only grandparent they knew and her loss is felt deeply.

Meiling meets Island Taco

Meiling meets Island Taco

Meiling arrived home safely last Sunday evening, albeit by the skin of her teeth. Her flight from San Francisco to Honolulu was delayed over an hour because of weather delays back east, so it was very touch and go as to whether she would be able to make her connecting Hawaiian Airlines flight over to Kaua’i once she arrived in Honolulu. Her flight to Lihue was the last one of the day, so if she had missed it she would have had to spend the night at the Honolulu airport AND purchase a new ticket (and Hawaiian is currently charging bit more than usual for a one-way flight – we had used miles to purchase her ticket). But, a very kind shuttle driver at the Honolulu airport got her and two other passengers over to the Hawaiian terminal in time, a real feat because their United arrival gate and their Hawaiian departure gates were at complete opposite ends of the airport. Since she’s been here she and Brett have been taking care of all sorts of “business” issues, and she’s been practicing driving – she finally wants to get her driver’s license.

WenYu arrives home this Wednesday, so all of our fingers are crossed that everything goes smoothly with her flights.

This afternoon I am:

  • Reading: I started Strawberry Days: How Internment Destroyed a Japanese American Community, by David A. Neiwert, this past week, about the evacuation of Japanese from the Seattle area into internment camps during WWII, one of the most shameful episodes in our nation’s history. The book is a combination of historical facts mixed with human stories about the effects of the evacuation both immediate and over time. I still haven’t been able to go back to It Can’t Happen Here.
  • Listening to: It’s quite breezy again this morning, but the birds are singing and the chickens are a bit quieter than usual. Brett had the laundry started early this morning, so right now we’re listening to the sound of our beach towels tumbling in the dryer (YaYu uses them throughout the week after swim practice). 
  • Watching: Brett and I watched the series Hinterland for most of this past week, a crime procedural series set in Wales. We enjoyed it, but Wales sure seemed to be a very bleak place. We watched Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? again last Thursday evening, and started the second season of The Man In the High Castle on Friday evening and are working our way through that.
  • Cooking/baking: Because Meiling asked for it, we’re having kalua pork, macaroni salad, rice and a cucumber salad for dinner tonight. Brett got the pork going in the slow cooker early this morning and it smells wonderful. No baking today.
  • Happy I accomplished this past week: It’s kind of amazing how much adding just one person to the household changes things, so it’s been a bit more of an effort keeping up with things. I still was able to get all my water drinking (56 glasses!), bike riding (45+ miles with 1680+ calories burned) and Japanese language study done every day. Brett and I finished the last of our Christmas shopping (gift cards) on Friday so we are officially ready!
  • Looking forward to next week: WenYu’s homecoming! Can’t wait to see that girl again, and have all three of our girls at home (YaYu’s winter break begins on Thursday). They are all so excited about being together again and have a slew of activities planned for the week that WenYu’s and Meiling’s stays overlap. We’re also all looking forward to our Christmas Eve dinner from Pono Market!img_4407
  • Thinking of good things that happened: We had a wonderful lunch and get-together with friends Alan and Cheryl, who will be moving permanently to Kaua’i in 2017. We ate at Street Burger, one of our favorite Kaua’i restaurants. The burgers are amazing, and many of the ingredients are locally grown or produced. Brett’s sister sent the girls a big package to open on Christmas, and sent Brett and I a generous check to spend on them while they’re here. I discovered that Big Save market carries one of my all-time favorite snacks from Japan, Ginbis Asparagus Biscuits. The deliciously crispy, lightly sweet cookies are NOT asparagus flavored, but are named for their asparagus shape. We had no food waste this past week – Meiling being home insures there are no leftovers – and we put $6.12 in the change/$1 bill jar.
  • Grateful for: I’ve been exceeding thankful this week that Meiling has been home, and for the support and love from Brett and all my children and grandchildren.
  • Bonus question: Has 2016 been a bad year, or good year for you? I know many have spoken of 2016 being one of the worst years they can remember, for a variety of reasons, but it’s honestly been a bit of both for me. On the bad side, there’s been the election results, the death of my mom, and a lot of little things not happening the way we liked, but on the up side there were WenYu’s scholarship wins and her admission to Wellesley, and we added an adorable granddaughter to the family. We had a fabulous trip to the Grand Canyon and Sedona last March, and a great getaway to Honolulu in June. Our children are all healthy and doing well. So, overall I’d say it’s been a good year for us, with a couple of negatives (although they were big ones).

Thank you all again for your thoughts and wishes this past week. I hope it’s been a good week for you, and that good things happened in your lives.

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15 thoughts on “Sunday Afternoon 12/19/2016

  1. Patti says:

    Happy Sunday afternoon!
    So much going on these next two weeks I am happy to have an afternoon of rest
    Reading- Silver Thaw by Catherine Anderson, A good read, grab me at the beginning and as much as I have to do this weekend it has been very hard to put down.
    Listening to and watching – Hallmark movie channel “The Christmas Nutcracker”
    Cooking/Baking: I used up the rest of the pre-cooked ground beef and some veggies and made hamburger soup, I also have some leftover ham and chicken to get me through the week.
    Everything else would fall under the category of… I get the keys to our new rental house on Friday, so I’ve been packing, eating through the fridge, freezer, pantries, Chris is working in Austin for three months so this move is between me and the movers along with two dogs and a cat. We’ve been looking for a reasonably priced rental house for almost 2 years and thankfully we found one, the pups will finally have a yard and I can finally stop having to walk them four times a day.. I am beyond excited, nervous, but trying to keep it real.
    2016- definitely a mix of good and bad. But it’s ending on a high note and that’s what is most important hopefully this Craze of goodness will continue to 2017

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    • Laura says:

      Ah, moving. So glad to hear though that you finally found a rental that fits your needs. I did all of our navy moves, both packing up and unpacking, on my own except for one. It wont be as bad as you think. Have drinks and snacks for the movers, a meal if they work for a long time, and they should do right by you.

      Cant wait to watch Love, Actually and White Christmas with WenYu once she gets home. I could do with some fluff.

      I am going to look up Silver Thaw!

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  2. JJ says:

    Sorry to hear about your mom. From what you’ve said about her, she lived a full and interesting life and that’s something to be grateful for. Was there a funeral?

    2016 was a year of changes for me, but most of the changes were for the best. Some others are ongoing, but 2017 will definitely be interesting.

    What do you think of the Man in the High Castle? It’s an intriguing premise and I’ve been thinking of checking it out.

    Enjoy your time with your kids. Christmas Eve dinner at Pono Market sounds amazing! I look forward to hearing all about it.

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    • Laura says:

      There was no funeral for Mom; she requested cremation, and she outlived pretty much all of her friends and relations in her generation. Our extended family is also pretty scattered around the country. There was a small gathering today for some of her caregivers.

      We both like The Man In the High Castle. It can get heavy at times, but you’re right, the premise is very interesting (and scary).

      We’re planning to get fried chicken at Pono Market, and maybe some lomi lomi salmon. Will serve with mashed potatoes, and gravy and a salad of some kind. Traditionally we’ve had a meal of various hors d’oeuvres on Christmas Eve, but I just don’t feel like it this year.

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  3. Hawaii Planner says:

    I’m so very sorry to hear about the loss of your mom. Your family is in my thoughts. Judging by the photo – she had great adventures well into her life.

    Here’s my Sunday afternoon roundup.
    Reading – just finished a book yesterday, so I haven’t picked anything else up. I need to get to the library to ensure I have books for our trip. Nothing shouts curling up with a good book & a cup of tea like the Oregon coast in the winter. 🙂

    Listening to- the sound of the heater. Our house is not designed to retain any heat (usually great), but it’s been 40 here all week, so it’s brisk!

    Watching – we’ve been watching free Christmas movies on Amazon this week. Not sure what we’ll find today.

    Cooking/baking – I made my cardamom bread yesterday, and am making goat cheese crostini to go with our soup (pumpkin) from the freezer.

    Happy I accomplished – another week of crazy, utter madness at work.

    Looking forward to this week – we fly to Portland on Friday!

    Good things that happened – M & I had a great date last night, and we received our yearly bonus, which were quite generous and will allow us to save for some upcoming adventures.

    Grateful for – my healthy family, and that my other family (parents, sister, etc) all genuinely love to get together & make it a priority. I feel very blessed.

    Bonus question – it’s been an overall personally positive year, with some obvious challenges on the more global front.

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    • Laura says:

      First of all, safe travels as you head up to the northwest. Hopefully you’ll have better weather than they’ve had this past week. I’m honestly glad to be away from it. Have a wonderful time with your family, and out at your vacation home (one place I do miss in Oregon).

      Glad to hear you’ve had a positive year. As I wrote, ours has been mainly positive with a couple of (big) negatives.

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  4. anexactinglife says:

    Hi Laura, I am sorry about your mom. It’s good you will all have time together to process everything. Wishing you a peaceful and family focused week leading up to Christmas. Canada interred Japanese-Canadians during WW2 as well 😦

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    • Laura says:

      Mom died peacefully in her sleep – we can’t ask for more. Things could have gone much worse, so we’re all grateful she sort of slipped away as she slept.

      I did not know Japanese were interned in Canada. Was that in British Columbia or somewhere else? Surprisingly, there were arrests on Hawai’i, but no internment. The Issei, Nisei and Sansei here were too vital a part of the economy to put them in internment camps.

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  5. Vivian Gibson says:

    Sorry about your mom.
    2016 has been a topsy turvy kind of year, hoping that 2017 will be better.
    Watched an episode of “Flesh and Bone”, I thought it was about ballet dancing. Dumb me! Next time I will read reviews before I watch anything.
    I know you don’t like science fiction but just finished the 3rd in a series of Stargate books. Great as always.

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    • Laura says:

      Topsy-turvy is a good way to describe 2016. Overall we did well, but those two big things (election and Mom’s death) really knocked us on our sides.

      We’re already looking for what to watch next, after we finish The Man In the High Castle. A new season of Sherlock begins on January 1, and we’re greatly looking forward to that. We were going to do away with our basic cable, but it’s only costing us $9.95/month, which we can live with, and now we get to watch Sherlock on the “big screen” in our living room (actually, our TV is not all that big).

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  6. tpol1 says:

    My condolences… May your Mom rest in peace.
    Since life goes on, I guess you must be excited to see all the girls back at home. Hope you enjoy your time together as much as possible.

    I have finished watching the 4th season of Elementary which is a really cool contemporary version of Sherlock Holmes. Let me see if The Man in the High Castle is available in my area.

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    • Laura says:

      I’ve loved having Meiling home, and can’t wait for WenYu to arrive. We’ll be a bit crowded while their visits overlap, but well worth the inconvenience to me!

      We’ve watched Elementary and liked it. We’re all super excited about the new season of Sherlock arriving on January 1 – perfect way to ring in the new year!

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  7. Laurel says:

    So sorry to hear about your mom, Laura. It’s hard to lose a parent, no matter what age we are. It’s nice that you have your girls at home. Family is the best antidote I’ve found to grief.

    This year has been mostly good for us, but I share your feelings about the election results and I am concerned with the world situation in general. It seems to be getting worse. May 2017 show us some positive change. Enjoy your family!

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