Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy 2008!!!

Just wanted to wish everyone we know and that reads this a happy New Year!!! Hope this finds you celebrating with family and friends and staying safe and healthy.

Another Mission Accomplished

I managed to post something (not always quality something) every day this month (December) in my attempt to meet the Holidailies goals...it was fun and not really that difficult as long as I had material to go from....haha.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Blog Post Icon Issues

I noticed this morning that my email post icon was missing from my blog posts. I had to reset the widget to get it back and in the process the template wouldn't save. So I ended up having to reload a fresh template and then I had to put in all the hacks I have to the template to make it look the way I want....guess that will deter me from changing up my template for a while....grrr.

It took me several hours to get it back to the way it is supposed to be and I just now noticed that it is messed up on my fitness blog as well. I might have to try a different approach there because I really don't want to go through all of that again.....

I wish blogger would just fix this issue and not just leave it to us to do work arounds.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Chase's Catnip Christmas

Just a little something I put together today from a couple of clips I took of Chase yesterday.

Property Taxes

I am in the midst of a bit of a property tax issue with the county our new house is located in. They have my house valued at 70,000 dollars over what I just paid for it, which I think is blatantly wrong.

They didn't send me my tax bill on time (which you need to have the house re-appraised), so I was late in getting my taxes paid (which I did, even though I don't agree with the amount). I don't want to be in the rears even though I am displeased.

Anyhow, the clerks at the county office have been very helpful, it is the appraisers who need an attitude adjustment. I requested another appraisal as I just had the house appraised myself when I bought it and know exactly how much it is worth. It doesn't make sense to me that I am paying taxes on a value that even the bank would not agree too.

So they did an appraisal sometime last week. The new appraiser agreed with the old one, so I am filing an appeal. I got notice that the appeal had to be done before the end of the year (this year). Fortunately the forms are online, I filled them out and printed them. I had to include a copy of my tax bill and the appraisal I had done (both of which I was thankfully able to find considering my filing mess right now) and I express mailed the entire thing. I found out after the fact that it could be postmarked before the 31st and still be okay but I am glad to know it is on its way and will be there before the end of the month with no reason for it not to be addressed this year.

I realized based on the way our county does taxes (not on the real market value but on this other number they have made up) that I might not see much change in my bill itself but it is the principle of the thing for me. I should not have anywhere on my tax paperwork that my house is worth more than I am paying for it (at least not in the same year I have purchased it in). The housing market is not still going up where the house is....it is in a lull so there shouldn't be much change this year at all from last year (but the bill reflects a 40,000 dollar change in real market value). Would be nice to have that much equity but who is fooling who here?

I think our county is just looking for a way to get more money out of people that mostly don't have any extra to give in hopes that none of us will notice. I did notice that a large portion of my tax bill goes to the local community college and school district when both should be supported from our EDUCATION lottery....not sure how that works either but it is interesting to ponder*.

*Please do not misunderstand, I am all for paying for our schools, and I think that teachers should make much more than they do, but I question where our lottery funds are going if they aren't going to the school as intended when the lottery was voted in a million years ago. I am sure I don't know all the ins and outs but I do know that a lot of it was supposed to be earmarked for schools.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Beat Up

I have managed to ding myself a bit in the last few days. The other day, I was trying to find a cache that was located in a stupid spot and had to reach through some very sharp palm leaves to get it. I was stabbed in the arm a few times and then slid on the coral have scratches on my knees and shin.

Then yesterday when vacuuming the house, I ran over my big toe on my right foot with the vacuum during the back pull. My toe ached all night.

Last night after vacuuming, I was putting the bath mats back down on the floor of the bathroom and on the way down to the floor, I wacked my head on the glass sink counter. I actually saw stars...and now I have a tender lump on my forehead. I haven't looked in the mirror yet but I might also have a nasty bruise.

Fudge Is Here

I got a tin full of Darlene's fabulous fudge in the mail yesterday...it is sinfully awesome. I will have to take some of it over to my friend K's house because I will die if I eat it all by myself....

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Feeling Better

I think I am feeling better today. Will probably get up to the post office and the library at least so I can get mail and change out some rental dvds....haha.

I watched Nanny McPhee, Red Eye and Pavement yesterday while laying low. The sun is out today as well so I might sit on the deck for a while and absorb some rays and some Vit D...I remember when I was a kid, sometimes the best thing was getting outside into some fresh air and sunshine when I had a cold.

I also am supposed to be getting some flowers from J today....he didn't forget me after all...haha. We were able to talk on the computers yesterday with webcams so I was able to at least see one person on Christmas day....haha.

Depending on how I feel, I might head over to K's for a while to see the kids and all their new toys since I missed out on going there yesterday.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas

Hope this finds everyone having a safe and happy holiday season.

I managed to catch a cold yesterday (Christmas Eve) so I am probably going to stay in and just watch movies today....right now, I am going to make some soup so I can see if I can get rid of this yuckiness in my throat.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Happy Birthday K!!!

Today is one of my good friend's birthdays. She is turning 40. She seems to be taking it pretty well, better than I think I will but that is just me. We are going to do some stuff with her this morning and then I have a few gifts for her. I am sure growing up with a birthday on Christmas Eve must have been hard.....kind of overlooked I bet.

Well, it won't happen today...we are going to try to chill and just have fun before all Christmas chaos breaks out tomorrow....(she has 5 kids...haha).

Saturday, December 22, 2007

New Cache And Bug Drop

Went geocaching on my walk yesterday for one that is along one of my walking trails. It was in an interesting area but the spot itself was not the best. I would have chosen a few other spots but oh well. I probably won't ever go to it again. I was able to drop two TBs I had had for a while...and that was the main purpose of the search.

The walk was nice, it was blustery out but not cold and I was able to get 2.5 miles in by the time I was done. I should have done some lunges but I didn't....will have to try for that tomorrow.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Our Christmas Tree

Okay, a more reasonable size for the tree picture has been obtained and now I can post it. The boxes below it are the tins I keep ornaments in...I just thought it looked too bare with nothing under it (since I don't have gifts under there). The basket is a giftswap gift that I gave away at a party I went to a few nights ago. I ended up with a cigarbox purse that has a sushi theme on the back.

The tree is sitting on top of a cabinet I use to hold DVDs so it is up high (not a figment of your imagination). The lights on it are the led lights I bought last year for our porch rail and they seemed to light nicely on this tree and since they don't get hot I can leave them on all the time...which is nice for me.

Obviously, I didn't put all of our ornaments on this tree (or you wouldn't be able to see the tree) but picked out some that I love and then some that are just sized right for a tree this small. Our new ornament for this year is on it and I believe I put our first year ornament on it as well....just to cover the span. The angel on top is actually another ornament but she is perfect for fitting up there.

I'll try to get some pics of some of my other decorations now that I have all the wrapping mess put away....

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Mum Lights

We live in the country on our small slice of the world. This means that while there are still houses everywhere, we do have quite a few fields of various crops, some animal pens and some roosters all very near by. Most of the crops are this wonderful purple sweet potato, sugarcane, or mums. They grow mums here and send them up to mainland for sale. The interesting thing about the mums is that they use grow lights on them at night to increase their growth time. My understanding is that this causes them to not only grow faster but also grow straighter and longer (which is apparently ideal for the market in mainland Japan).

Since we live the in the "country" we get to see a lot of the processes involved in all of these different kinds of crops and the mums in particular have this very cool feature (at least to me). On certain nights after 11pm or so, the farmers turn on the grow lights. So you are in pitch blackness and there are fields and fields of lights hanging from wires drapped over all these mums lighting them up. On balmy nights, it is so amazing to see. There isn't a sound but these lights, and it is just serene and beautiful all at once. I always have to stop and admire them on my way home if I am out and the last two times I have seen them, I have tried to put my new camera to work.

This picture is from the first night I tried to capture them. The camera automatically lowers the light intensity but I thought the picture came out well. The lights are very bright and this pictures is definitely muted but it kept the feel for me so that is why I like it. I took a bunch of other pictures last night with the night feature on my camera and while they are more realistic of what it looks like, the feeling was not captured like it was in this one.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Santa Cup

This santa cup has been a part of my Christmas as long as I can remember. We used to put milk in it when I was a kid to go with the plate of cookies we left for the old guy....(no not you Dad).

When my parents divorced, my mom sent some of Christmas with my sister and I and I ended up with the Santa cup. For a while, I stupidly put a candle in it since we weren't leaving milk and cookies for the old guy anymore but I finally came to my senses (and I am lucky the candle didn't ruin him).

Anyhow, I always have this cup displayed at Christmas time. It is one of the things that takes me back.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Late Presents

Okay, the ones I haven't gotten out yet are going to be late. Some of the ones I did get out are probably going to be late but these ones that are still in my house are guaranteed to be late....sorry folks...life has been busy here on this side of the ocean.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Snowflakes For Me

I did this one last year but Sourpuss reminded me of it so I am going to post a new one this year.



If you want to make one too, you can go here to get started.

Regrets

Do you ever get irritated about something and say something you wish you had better control over later?

I didn't say anything I regretted saying, I just wish I hadn't let such a small thing make me so irritated in the first place. Sometimes there are things about my daily life that just make me want to say GRRRRRRR!!!!!

Okay, got that off my chest, now I am okay....

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Christmas Tree

Well I was going to post a picture of our Christmas tree right here since it has been up since the first of the month but I didn't have a camera to take pictures of it with. I can't post it today because I need to reduce it in size to upload it here and the picture I have is over 2 MB. The camera defaults to its second highest setting which is 12 Mpixels.....and that is too big for MS Photo Editor (the easiest way for me to reduce file size) to open. Can you believe that?

So I would have to open it in Fireworks and bring it down and I just don't feel like messing with it right now so I will have to post it later. I'll take another picture of it with the setting a bit lower on the camera and see what we come up with....

I did take pictures of the blanket I made my friend so I can get that sent in the mail too, before the kid is walking and doesn't even need a blanket....wouldn't that be nice? I know, it shouldn't have taken me so long to do it but I was busy moving to another country and I didn't manage to get it done before she was born because I am a terrible procrastinator and I had school work, and such to do as well...no excuses...I just need to get it in the mail.

Oh well, enough for now...I'll get the Christmas tree pic up tomorrow so you can see its cuteness.

Mishka's Friday Feast on Saturday

So I am a day late....fills in my need to post today so there!!!


Appetizer
Make up a word and give us its definition.


Schmirgurl- a term of endearment for my cat

Soup
What is currently your favorite song?


I don't have one, and I am so filled with Christmas music right now, I wouldn't know one if it bit me.

Salad
What’s at the top of your Christmas wish list this year?


Something I can't have and can't talk about here.

Main Course
Name a scent that reminds you of someone special in your life.


Jungle of Gardenia (my mom), this musk perfume I can't remember the name of (one of my grandmas), this spray all over body spray I can't remember the name of (one of my other grandmas), lilac (my grandma, because we use to pick them together), rose (my sister). There are more but those will do for now....

Dessert
Who is someone on television that you feel probably shouldn’t be, and why?


Any TV evangelist that takes money from people for their own desires.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Not Happening

Well since it is Friday and our post office is not open on weekends, and I only have 1/2 hour before the last truck leaves for the day, I would say I am not going to get my packages out....those that love me will understand and those that don't can just.....well you know.

I feel relief though, knowing I can now wrap and package at my own leisurely pace for the remainder of the weekend to dump the motherload on the postal workers on Monday morning.....(insert sinister laugh here).

It is time for lunch during my slightly unproductive day so far, but I did watch a movie and that counts for something right? Oh, and I folded a load of laundry too...whooeeee! I am on a roll. So as long as I get some exercise in I will feel accomplished today....I know, life seems easy for me, huh? Well it is not...you don't know the half of it but I can't explain it here because that would be telling oh too much. Let's just say that you can't judge a person by their blog...okay?

So, I am going to go have some left over tacos (when you cook for one, it means eating the same thing for days on end because it is impossible to just use half a packet of taco seasoning), and iced tea and get started on some packages, exercise and maybe some yard work if I really feel like stepping out.

Packages Are Rolling In

Well, I got the second calendar now....guess the third one will not be far behind. I haven't gotten an email back on what I am supposed to do with them so I haven't opened this second one but my friend K is waiting on one too (the same one) so if her's don't show up before the end of the month, I might just give her one of mine....

I also got the phone I ordered so we could have a phone in the guest room/office....this makes it easier on me when it rings so I am not running from one end of the house to the other.

I am still working on getting the last of my packages out....I finally gave up on making any cards this year and everyone is getting store bought ones...I just don't have the time right now and I was getting tired of worrying about it....life is too damn short as it is.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Urge To Search

I so need to get out and get some geocaching done. I have two TBs that I need to move along and I just got notice today of a new one placed not far from my house. I wish I was a bit more adventureous because I am often afraid when people place them in places that I don't think are public areas. I don't want to get yelled at in a language I don't understand for breaking some rule I didn't know existed...this makes me a bit more careful than I would be if I was geocaching in the states.

I still have not found the one near where I took this picture because the tide has to be out to get to it and you have to climb up on something in a very visible place to find it....not a big deal but I think I am more geared to the caches that take me to new and interesting places or require some effort to get to, than the ones in popular spots that require a ton of stealth. I never feel I am being stealthy enough....

Monday, December 10, 2007

Christmas Shipping

I managed to get four boxes off in the mail today. Two to the East coast that were my big worries because the East coast takes longer from where we are. The other two were Westcoasters but didn't need to be wrapped inside so they were quickies....now I have to get the rest of the stuff wrapped and boxed and hopefully out of here in the next few days (definitely by the end of the week). Then I will feel like I have one less thing hanging over my head.

I still have cards to send but the pictures are here so I just need to get them out. I am probably going to not make as many cards as I was going to because I am just out of time and don't have the time to spare but I will at least get cards in the mail to everyone on my list....and I guess that is what matters.

Next year, I will get a much earlier start...I will be adjusted to the time by then....haha.

Good News, Bad News

Good news is that the calendar I ordered in October for the new year, finally came today. Bad news is that it is the very first one that was sent out, to our old address, which means the two replacement ones that they have sent out will probably arrive at some point too....

Good news is that I did get a great walk in this morning and even some yardwork done (11,000 steps today). Bad news is that I had way too many peanut M&Ms at my friend's while helping her to move furniture around.

Good news is that the package I have been waiting for with my new camera in it came today. Bad news is that they sent me the wrong camera (the one I ordered and paid for is 130.00 bucks more than the one they sent).

Good news is that I can get the camera I want (and did) at our local store. Bad news is that with the email receipt for one camera and the packing sheet for another, I am not exactly sure how I am going to go about returning the wrong one and get my full money back.

Good news is the package that my sister sent for my birthday got here today. Bad news is that my mom's didn't yet....thanks Sis and hang in there Mom....

Good news is that I am done Christmas shopping (even the online stuff). Bad news is that I still have tons of wrapping and shipping to do and I still have cards to make and send...

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Little Thing For Me

I got one of these yesterday. I was getting one for a certain someone for their birthday and decided that I wanted one too. I know they are trendy and I am not usually one for trendy things but we were able to get some cool charms only relevant to this area and I didn't want to miss out on them. I actually have one that has Yoshi's face on it and another one with some sushi on it....

I figure now that I have one, I can get extra cool charms when I come across them, which I figure won't be too often but still something I might see once in a while.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Christmas Shopping

Well except for a couple of small things I have to order online, I am done Christmas shopping. I finished up on Wednesday and it is nice to be done but now I have a tatami room covered in gifts and wrapping paper until I get the wrapping all done. I hope to finish up over the weekend and get the packages out on Monday if possible. Then at least they won't be too late....haha.

Since we are not near family, everything has to be shipped. I will try to send as much as I can in flat rate boxes since that will probably be the less expensive way to go and I think that also gets them there faster. I also got the photos I ordered online in the mail so I can get those cut up, put in the cards they go out in, and then I will be officially done with cards too....all 95 of them. Whew!!!

Friday Feast For Mishka

I hope this one counts...


Appetizer
What was the last game you purchased?


I purchased a game for one of my best friend's kids but if I put it here, they might see it and it is for Christmas....

Soup
Name something in which you don’t believe.


Many things but I don't want to ruin it for those that do...if you know me, you know what I do and don't believe in.

Salad
If you could choose a celebrity to be your boss, who would you pick?


I am not a big fan of celebrities in general, they get too much money and fame when it should go to people who do things like fight fires, and teach kids....I would never want a celebrity to be my boss.

Main Course
What was a lesson you had to learn the hard way?


Not to tell fibs. I figured it was better to do it than to get in trouble for whatever I did but my parents always knew if I did fib and then I got in trouble for doing whatever it was and for fibbing.

Dessert
Describe your idea of the perfect relaxation room.


It is not a room at all. A hottub outside with no people or manmade sounds around . The only sounds I want are wind in the trees, the sounds of the ocean or another body of water, or the sounds of birds.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Fat Cat

When we were still in NC, we had friends who were cat sitting a couple of cats. They both had very interesting personalities but the thing that got me the most was the size and look of this cat. We called her Sissy...I think she had another name too but that was her nickname. She would hang out near the food bowls and keep the other kitties away.

She had some kind of nervous thing where if you pet her in the right spot, she would lick her forearms so she didn't have much hair on her forearms and I thought that just added to the Kliban look of her. We had several Kliban books when I was a kid (one our parent's wouldn't let us read until we were older) but we always like the cat ones the best. In fact I sometimes wonder if the Far Side was not inspired a bit by Kliban kitties....anyhow, when I first saw this cat, that is exactly what she reminded me of. The picture does not do her justice and you have to remember, we are talking about a 26 lb cat.....that is 2 1/2 of Chase.

By the way, who in our family still has those books? Anyone?

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Dragonfly

We have a small rock pond in our back yard. It is off the dining room and the deck that is off the living room. That side of the house (looking out over the pond and deck) is all glass. I was in the dining room when we first moved in and saw something flying around out there. Couldn't figure out exactly what it was because of the coloring until it landed and took a break. Amazingly, it stood still on the edge of the pond long enough for me to get close and snap this shot of it through the glass. Isn't it beautiful?

Participation

I am participating in a little holiday posting thing through this place. I didn't sign up in time to do the portal which I am now glad of because I don't know that I would have time to do the required summaries each day but I am doing the at home version and we'll see if I can do an update everyday this month...I am not going any where so it shouldn't be too hard.

I put a link button on my sidebar to them as well if anyone else wants to sign up for the at home version. I signed up on the third but fortunately, I already had posted each day so I wasn't behind....haha.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Taiwanese Tea

Today, I went with a friend to run some errands and after lunch we stopped by this shop on the way home that allows you to make traditional style Taiwanese tea at your table (very similar to the Chinese traditional style as well). She taught me how to do it and all that the different parts of it mean. When she goes home to Taiwan in a week or so for a while, she will probably be picking me up a set for myself since it is much cheaper there than it is here to buy it.

There is a whole complicated process to it and the cups are absolutely tiny (in fact the teapot is also tiny). We were there for several hours just drinking tea and talking. It was a great.

The process involves warming/rinsing all the parts with heated water before the leaves are even added to the pot. The entire set sits on a tray that drains away the water that is discarded during the process. After everything has been rinsed, the tea leaves are put in the pot, hot water is added and then discarded quickly. Then hot water is added again and allow to seep for about 1 minutes. After it is done, it is poured into a picture and then from there into a smelling cup (smaller than the tea cup) and the tea cup is put on top, then held together and flipped. You wait about 30 seconds and then remove the smelling cup from the top allowing the tea to flow into the tea cup. Then you roll the smelling cup in your hands and smell it (it should smell like the tea, and give you an idea of how it is going to taste). Then you start to drink the tea. Once the original process is over, you just refill your tea cup from the picture...you are basically done with the smelling cup.

Apparently this practice of tea making is very common in Taiwan but has become less common in China. I was thrilled learn this new cultural aspect of tea drinking...my friend would probably hate to drink tea at my house....haha. I am planning to visit her while she is in Taiwan and I know she will show me all sorts of really awesome things about this country I have only flown through in the past.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Randomness

Well, I feel like I have been making headway on things but the list seems to grow as I work on it like some kind of virus.

I spent some time out of the house yesterday in the sun (which has been hiding behind a tropical depression for a week) and it was glorious. I think my cheeks even got a bit pink. Today is another gorgeous one and after I get some lunch in me, I am heading out to get some exercise in it...maybe even a geocache or two as well.

So this morning, I finished up another leg of the Christmas card saga....even with dropping some names off the list that we haven't heard from in years, I am still sending out over 90 cards, 30 of which I am making myself. Some of them I can't send quite yet because we have pictures coming in the mail that I want to include...hopefully they won't take too long to get here. Anyhow, that is a lot of writing, licking and stamping....but I figure we are only here once and we have to make it count and in the end the only thing that matters is who you love and who loves you (all the other material crap is dust once you leave anyhow), so I figure that I better make it worth it while I can, right?

I still have buttloads of Christmas shopping to do but since we aren't local to any of our family and friends that we shop for, it will be a light Christmas this year....nothing heavy or breakable if I can get away with it. There are a couple of cool sales going on at the various gift shops so I will see what I can find and hopefully get it all wrapped and mailed before Christmas gets here. We have a few things we picked up in our travels and adventures during the year that we are sending out so I have marked those lucky individuals off the list for now...haha.

I started decorating the house yesterday, and made a ton of headway. I need to get the little 3 foot tree out that I am going to use (we got this tree when we lived here before) and put on the ornaments I have already selected (it is small so I can't put everything up on it). I might be able to put some lights outside or on the roof, but I need to get out there and check out the outlet situation. I might need to see if I can find a solar cell too because if I do ones on the roof, I don't want to have to climb up there everytime I want to turn them on...and a solar cell would help me out (the outlet to plug them in might be on the roof too). Hmmm...will have to check that out before heading to the store.

Watched some college football this morning and can I just say that the Oregon Ducks uniforms were terrible....I know they are doing some kind of retro thing but I thought they looked like they were wearing leotards and tights. I shudder to think that these are their home uniforms too....how sad. I have to think that might be what caused them to lose to the Beavers in DOT. Not really but I had to throw that in there. The game was actually very good and I had to see it because the others that I was interested in were the LSU and USC games and they weren't close at all. Chicago is playing the Giants for us tomorrow so I have to get my shirt out and show my spirit even though their season is not going as well as they hoped.

I have a lot of other stuff on my to do list but I think I am just going to concentrate on getting the holiday stuff done on time and worry about other stuff after the new year starts...at least it will give me something to do (this is a joke because for those that know me, you know I am always busy....).

Anyhow, how is that for a quick catch up on all things Mishka???? (or at least the parts I can share on the Internet....haha)

Mishka's Reading: November 2007 Books

Updated Mishka's Reading with the November books today.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Mishka's Feasting on Friday

Appetizer
What is your favorite carnival/amusement park ride?

I like the loopy rollercoasters. Nothing with a big drop and nothing that spins....yuck

Soup
How do you react in uncomfortable social situations?

I think this depends on the type of uncomfortable situation it is.

Salad
On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being highest, how much do you enjoy discussing deep, philosophical topics?

2-I think about them, but I don't know that I like to talk about them much. Maybe once just to get my ideas out there but not regularly. I would rather write it down.


Main Course
Did you get a flu shot this year? If not, do you plan to?

Nope, never do and haven't had the flu in ages....it is just not worth it to me. Maybe when I get old, I will.

Dessert
Approximately how many hours per week do you spend watching television?

Too many for my taste. Lately, a lot more because I am working on Christmas stuff in the same room as the TV so I just put it on the movie channel and go.

Typhoon Water

Our typhoon season is coming to an end at the end of the month. I have started drinking the 3 gallons of bottled water I buy and keep throughout the season because the plastic doesn't last forever and they will start to leak....it is weird to know the season is almost over.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A Fix I Could Live With

Saw this one while sitting at Starbucks having a coffee the other morningWe need to all be driving these in the States and a lot of our problems would be gone. First off, the gas usage would drop because these things can go forever on a tank of gas. Safety would increase and deaths due to accidents would decrease because we wouldn't have to worry about someone in a hummer hitting us and crushing us. Insurance premiums would decrease because of less accidents and death...and last but not least, road rage would be gone....it would just be too hard to have an attitude in this little number.

Mystery Bumps

I have a few little red bumps on me that I would normally say are a bug bite of some sort but they haven't gone away of the last couple of days (like bug bites tend to do) so I am thinking that I might have touched something in the yardwork I was doing that I am slightly allergic to....took a benedryl last night and the itching went away but I still have the little bumps....sometimes I hate a good mystery.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Meme Time

Got this one from PoppyCede

1. What were you afraid of as a child?
My parents dying, Phantom of the Opera, and getting burned.

2. When have you been most courageous?
Probably the last 16 years during various points that those that know me will understand about.

3. What sound most disturbs you?
Breaking bones...

4. What is the greatest amount of physical pain you’ve been in?
I would have said my hernia surgery 15 years ago but my one time issue with tooth pain has now topped that. I feel for anyone that has to deal with tooth pain all the time...it actually gets into your brain.

5. What’s your biggest fear for your children?
That our planet will not be in a condition that they can enjoy for their lifetimes.

6. What is the hardest physical challenge you’ve achieved?
I guess I would say some of the rockclimbing I have done with J....I had to get over an emotional as well as physical issue to be successful at it.

7. Which do you prefer: Mountains or oceans/big water?
Both equally depending on how I am feeling. Right now I have lots of ocean so I take advantage of that, and someday when I am far from the ocean, the mountains will be my solace.

8. What is the one thing you do for yourself that helps you keep everything together?
I make time for me to just enjoy being alive and happy.

9. Ever had a close relative or friend with cancer?
I have had some relatives with cancer but most of them were not super close to me. I watched a few young friends die of it too so I know that no one is completely secure from it but I don't let a fear of it rule my life.

10. What are the things your friends count on you for?
Knowing stuff, being able to do physical things, being independent, being spontaneous, being giving, being a good listener and good company.

11. What is the best part of being in a committed relationship?
So many things I can't even explain them all. Knowing someone loves you more than themselves. Feeling that love everyday even when I am being a bitch or feeling crappy. Seeing how much that love is a part of both of us by just looking in his eyes. Having someone that knows me better than anyone else and loves me anyhow.

12. What is the hardest part of being in a committed relationship?
Missing them when they are not around.

13. Summer or Winter? Why?
I love all seasons for different reasons.

14. Have you ever been in a school-yard fight? Why and what happened?
It wasn't at school but I did punch a boy in the nose and make it bleed when he pushed me.

15. Why blog?
Because I love writing and I love sharing.

16. Did you learn about sex, and/or sex safety from your parents?
My parents were/are pretty open so we talked about all of this stuff way before it ever happened with me. I didn't actually learn it from them since they were not there when it finally happened but I also had some bad things happen to me that made the whole thing much harder than it had to be and fortunately, I am married to a guy that understood that and was patient with me when I needed it.

17. How do you plan to talk to your kids about sex and/or sex safety?
Since I don't have kids, I am not sure but I talk to my 16 year old niece about it pretty easily. I don't think it has to be a big deal...especially if you are trying to explain to them why it is so important to not give your heart and body just to anyone. I am just honest and I don't throw a bunch of guilt, religion or other complicating stuff in there. I ask her to make good choices.

18. What are you most thankful for this year?
My family, my friends, and my health

Saturday, November 24, 2007

White Towels

I had to buy all new towels and mats for my bathrooms recently. We usually have dark earth tones in our bathrooms (and throughout the house) but with the frequency of towels being wet due to showers and beach activity, they were just not drying quickly enough and would get musty really quick.

Because they were dark colored, I couldn't bleach them in the wash to really freshen them up, which is why I have now changed over to white towels and tan mats. Since we have to bleach the bathrooms as well (humidity is sometimes not your friend), having light stuff is just easier all around. I'll keep a couple of dark towels for dirty jobs and dying hair but the rest of them are going in the swap meet pile.

So right now, I am in the process of washing all the new towels (lots of lint in the dryer filter) and getting the old ones out of there. Of course, I have to wash all the old ones too before I sell them so that means having the new ones done so I can "retire" the old ones. I figure since we keep everything forever...we'll probably have these ones for a long time....assuming they don't fall apart or something on me. I know bleaching is hard on them and I won't have to do it all the time, mostly in the summer when we are taking multiple showers in one day. I splurged a bit and bought ones that cost a bit more but hopefully it will be worth it. I hate when towels start to fray or something (especially right after you purchased them). JcPenney's (which has great shipping to here) had a set deal so I just got 3 sets of them to cover us.

Anyhow, I better go, I think I have towels coming out of the dryer so there is some folding calling my name, not to mention the yardwork I have to do today, that I have not even started yet.....bad...I know.

Yardwork Sunday

I have to do a bunch of yardwork today. I need to get my butt in gear but it really does need my attention and after I am done, I know I will feel great. I wish a had a camera already so I could take before and after pictures but oh well...such is life.

I am really hoping that it won't take me too long, but the getting started is the hard part. At least now, I know where the spigot is so I don't have to haul buckets of water all over the place like I was doing before....I knew they had to have a spigot up there in front, I just couldn't find it.

The weather is decent (around 73 degrees out) and not too much sun but enough to keep things warm. I figure if I can get it all kicked out then I'll be one step closer to getting my Christmas stuff up.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Caching at Zakimi Castle

I went geocaching the other day for two different caches located on or near Zakimi Castle (which is not far from my house). I didn't really think I was going to get a workout in, but I ended up getting a great one. I won't go into a ton of detail since I'll probably end up doing a post on this on my travel blog but I just wanted to share the site I found that can give you an idea of this castle ruins along with several of the others around her. The first one was off the grounds just a bit but the second one took me to a section of the grounds that I had never seen and a trail that was just great with lots of stairs and jungle. It was a lot of fun and I didn't have to make time in my day for a workout because I got both done in one...

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!!!


To all those out there that celebrate it, Happy Thanksgiving. Hope this finds you healthy, happy and staying safe.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Money In The Bank

Whew....the house is done and we have the money in the bank...although it won't be there for long since we are going to pay down the loan on the house we just purchased this summer...but it is done, and that is nice to know, even if sentimental me is a bit sad about it.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Things To Do

Sorry to do this to you guys but I need to write it down somewhere where I will be forced to stick with it and get some things marked off (not in any particular order).

1. Laundry
2. Blanket
3. Filing
4. Cards (xmas)
5. Cards (bday)
6. Xmas decorations
7. Yardwork
8. Swapmeet
9. Wash car
10. Recycling
11. Post office
12. Pictures
13. Wireless setup
14. Computer maintenance
15. Close on house
16. Geocaching....(have to put fun on the to do list too... )

I won't add eat right and exercise because I can't ever cross those off since I need to do them everyday....but they are on the list in spirit...

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Japan fleet sets off to hunt humpbacks - Yahoo! News

So sad to see this....I love the Japanese culture but I don't understand why this needs to be done. I hope that someone is able to stop them.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!

I know I am a day ahead but for me it is your birthday and I hope you have a great one. I am so thankful to have you in my life and I hope you know that Chicken and I had a great childhood. We wouldn't have had it any other way!!!

I can't wait for you to come visit, we are going to have so much fun....just like your visit to the East Coast only more relaxing and fun.

Blanket Woes

I am making a blanket for a friend. I am really close to being done with it. I have pulled out the same stitches now 3 times trying to get it just right. I don't think it will ever be perfect so I am just going to have to live with it. She will know it was made with love and determination regardless of its level of perfection...I will have to wait for my new camera to get here so I can take a picture of it before I send it off (I take pictures of all the stuff I make)....new camera is not even supposed to be shipped until the 29th...don't know if I can wait that long...

Friday, November 16, 2007

Another Mishka Friday Feast

Appetizer
What was your first “real” job?

I guess by real job you mean not babysitting and paperroutes....my first paycheck job was McDonald's from when I was 16-18....then I started driving for Domino's.

Soup
Where would you go if you wanted to spark your creativity?

I don't need to go anywhere. I can read a book and get inspired to write, or make cards or bead and all of that can be done here at home. Of course, anytime I am out in nature, I am inspired in all sorts of ways, so I guess if I were to go somewhere, it would be into whatever nature was locally available to me...here it is the ocean or beach, and in the NW it would be the lakes, rivers, woods and coast.

Salad
Complete this sentence: I am embarrassed when…

people I think I "know" spout off racist, bigoted or prejustice statements about another group of people they can't even claim to know anything about.

Main Course
What values did your parents instill in you?

So many things, but most importantly, some of the things that seem to be lost in society these days, like not judging people without knowing them, being considerate of others, and having an open mind.

Dessert
Name 3 fads from your teenage years.

Cut open necks on sweatshirts that hang off one shoulder, leg warmers, and acid wash jeans....all fads that I hope never return....but a lot of the other ones from my childhood have come back so I won't be surprised if these do too.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Done!!!

I sent off the signed paperwork on our house in WA....it is sold. Should be recorded by early next week and hopefully we'll get a check in the bank around the same time. I love that house and I am glad that someone will be living in it that owns it and loves it too. It deserves to have people in it that care about it. I am also thrilled to not have that worry on my plate anymore....

I sent off a package of paperwork to the realtor too of all the manuals and info that I have on the house, minus any receipts I need to keep for tax purposes. I hope they appreciate having the info.

Mixup

Lately, I have noticed that I tend to type "right" when I mean "write" and "mail" when I mean "male" and I am not sure why but my brain puts those words to my fingers before I can get them to stop.....wonder if I am developing something that I need to know about.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Google Reader and iGoogle

I finally broke down and started using a reader for my blogs of interest....Blogrolling's "recently updated" function just doesn't work well enough for me to know when a blog has been updated or not....so I am not relying on it anymore. I just use my reader and it tells me exactly who has updated.

I also have the reader on my iGoogle page (much like MyYahoo) and it is nice to see news, weather, my Google groups (where I volunteer), my reader, my todo list, and the sports scores all in one place. I even have a sudoku puzzle on there that I can play anytime.

The thing I really like about my iGoogle page is that the theme I picked is the beach one (since I live on an island and only 5 minutes from the water), and changes based on the time of day...didn't know that when I picked it but it asked for my timezone and last night I noticed that it was darker with the moon out....what would be really cool is if the moon actually matches the phases but I don't think it does.

Anyhow, that is my new discovery and so far I am liking it....Google reader and iGoogle....just one more step in organization of my life.

Bunko

Just got home from a fun night of Bunko....it was a Japanese theme so I wore one of my kimono jackets I got at a sale and put my hair up with one of my cool dangly sticks in it....we ate lots of Japanese food and had a blast. Our bunko hat for the evening was a rice paddy working hat...and I had three bunkos so I wore it alot.

I ended up with the floater (had bunko at the end of the night) and then got the snakes prize so I have a new tea pot with two cups and then I got a couple of other cups as well....not bad considering I usually go home with the door prizes only...haha.
We took some pics in our outfits....hopefully I will get them by email soon.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

House Appraisal Update

Appraisal went through....we are looking at being closed by the end of the month for sure....whoooeee!!!!. I need to drop a key in the mail to our realtor and now starts the long process of signing my name about a gazillion times....haha.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Mishka's Friday Feast

Appetizer
Which snack do you like to get when you go to the movies?

I like to eat popcorn if I can get it with nothing on it, or I'll get nachos with lots of jalapeƱos and mystery cheese.

Soup
What year did you start using the internet?

I started using the Internet as we know it now in 1995. I think I was using a rudementary version of it before that but my first "email" was in 1995.

Salad
What is your first name in Pig Latin?

Ishkamay

Main Course
Name something you are picky about.

Cleaniness and organization of my surroundings.

Dessert
Fill in the blanks: I ____ ____ yesterday and I ____ ____ today.

I did laundry yesterday and I went shopping today.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Anyone Want Anything To Drink?

I have a walking loop that I do pretty regularly (not regularly enough) near my home that is about 2 miles long. It takes me through the "country" farm land our house is in the middle of, down to a beach park and back. There is a school, lots of sugar cane and mum fields, and some bull pens along the way. I can hear roosters crowing from pens behind some houses, and smell the sea at the same time. It can be an amazing walk depending on the time of day and the circumstances of the environment. One thing I can always count on though, if I happen to get thirsty, is that there are soda machines around every corner....in the middle of nowhere, there will be a machine sitting out in the open offering cold or hot beverages for the road weary. I stopped to get a shot of these ones because they were such a perfect example of how they can just spring up anywhere. As long as you have some yen, you'll always be able to quench that thirst.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Caching It High

I had to climb up this.....

to find a stage of a geocache other day. This thing is located in a park near the seawall and the wind was howling. It doesn't look very tall but when you are on the top of it (and I was) on the outside of the ropes (because I don't fit on the inside up that high), it is pretty scary and I am not afraid of heights like some people are. I know I wouldn't want my kid climbing to the top of this thing...that is for sure. I would say it was probably about 30 feet up, and all I could think was "3 points of contact" the whole way down. The next day, I had some muscles I didn't even know I had (and I lift weights regularly) hurting...but I think that is because I was so intent on not falling, I was holding on with every muscle in my body clinched.
Note: I did go to this by myself and if I had fallen, it would not have been pretty....lesson learned....maybe.

Monday, November 05, 2007

House News

Word has it that our buyer is past the inspection stage. We are now waiting on the appraisal and it should be smooth sailing from there. We will hopefully be closed by the end of the month for sure.....whooeeee!!!!

One less thing for me to worry about, until tax time of course....this year is going to be a doozy!!!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Mishka's Reading Update

Got the October books up there today....still need to go back and modify my other posts to drop Amazon and transfer over to Powell's but I will get it done eventually....check it out if you have time.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Mishka's Friday Feast

Appetizer
How much money do you plan to spend this upcoming holiday season?

I don't know yet...probably not too much, I have quite a bit of my shopping done from other events....

Soup
What was the last television show you watched, and was it good?

I watched a taped copy of this week's Survivor and it was pretty good....it one of the only "game" shows I will watch.

Salad
If you had to paint the walls of your living room tomorrow, what color would you choose?

Probably some kind of sand color, but I can't paint the walls of this house for two reasons. One, they are cement, and two, it is a rental.

Main Course
Name something clever or practical you have thought of that should be invented, but hasn’t yet.

Now, wouldn't that be giving away my secrets?

Dessert
List 3 things you would like to receive as gifts this upcoming holiday season.

Books, online gift cards for places other than Amazon (since I don't do business with them anymore) that will actually ship here, candles (Gardenia or Jasmine smelling).

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Thai Noodle Soup

Not my picture...I made my soup yesterday. We'll be eating it today too. I invited a few friends to come for lunch but I don't know if they will make it or not...kind of short notice. Anyhow, we haven't had the soup since my mom visited us in NC so it was a nice treat to have. It is finally cool enough (low 80s) that it is reasonable to eat soup and the last few days have been cloudy (we might even get some much needed rain today).

Anyhow, I don't make it in a traditionally Thai way because I learned to do it from both a Thai person and a Vietnamese person so I put daikon and carrots in my soup even though I don't believe that is a Thai thing to do. I just love the way the veggies taste after they have been cooking in the pot for several hours.

I wish my family was here to enjoy it with us, but maybe if they come visit when it is not too hot, we can make some.

Happy Halloween

We are a day ahead so we have Halloween happening tonight and I don't even have my pumpkins carved yet. Don't think it is going to happen tonight either...I guess I will be doing some fall motifs on them instead for Tday....

This pic is from last year's pumpkins...had to do something to add a bit of spook to my post.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Urinal Balls

We have a urinal in our bathroom that has the toilet in it. It doesn't smell or anything but it does get a little pink ring from stagnant water so I wanted to put a bleach disc in there like I do in the back of the toilet tank but I wasn't sure if I could without messing it up, so I purchased some of those little balls that sit in the urinal that are supposed (according to the pictures on the package at the 100 yen store) make it fresh....well, now the bathroom has that antiseptic bathroom smell because these little buggers are strong....don't know if I like the public restroom picture it brings to mind every time I walk by the door....

Monday, October 29, 2007

Bad Idea

Doing walking lunges and good morning raises (with 25 lbs) on the same day....I can barely move my hamstrings today!!!

What's Next

Saturday, 10/27/07

Well, the buyer on our house in WA fell through again...he wanted the entire roof (even though it didn't need it) replaced before we were to close in two weeks...not going to happen. That is okay though, because we have a new bidder and she seems very excited about the house. I am thrilled and hope it works out because that house really needs to have someone in it that loves it...it is so awesome and deserves to be treated well.

Our realtor is doing a great job and I give her kudos for being able to deal with us long distance too...haha.

Heading out to a beer tasting and live music festival tonight. We are going to take the mat with us and just chill out at the beach, listen to some music and drink a little bit of beer. The whole thing is happening within walking distance of our house at the beach so we couldn't really ask for more, huh?

Update at 8:05pm JST 10/29/07- we have another person looking at the house now...they want to be back up in case the current escrow doesn't go through. What, did everyone take their houses off the market last month and we're the only one still out there??? Works for me!!!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Amazing Weather

Fall has been fabulous here so far. The weather is sunny but drier. Heat in the low 80's everyday with a breeze usually. I have been loving the fact that I can open all the windows and let some fresh air in without sweating to death. Now, if only I could get some leave changes...which we don't get here at all, I would be feeling the fall for sure....

Friday, October 26, 2007

Mishka's Friday Feast

I am always late....grrrr!!!

Appetizer
Name a great website you would recommend to others.

Africam!!!!!

Soup
On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 as highest), how often do you dream at night?

10!!! All the time and I usually remember them...I think this is because I am a light sleeper.

Salad
Did you have a pet as a child? If so, what kind and what was its name?

We had many pets but nearest and dearest to my heart had to be Ernie Bert, my black lab and sheppard mix because he was the first and ext would be Madison my cat that I had for over 19 years.

Main Course
If you had the chance to star in a commercial, what would you choose to advertise?

Anything that helped to save the earth!!!!

Dessert
What is your favorite kind of hard candy?

Peppermints (real ones) because they make your tummy feel good and your breath smell great.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Packing Tape Monster

Okay, for those of you with sensitive dispositions, you might not want to continue or else you will think I am a cruel person.

I have a rule in our house....no pets on the furniture. The pets know this (the fish are particularly good about following this rule). Chase used to be really good about this but since someone spoiled her (no names, but it was not J or me) and let her sleep on the bed at Gma's, I have been trying to rebreak her of this.

So our guestbed, which is in the room that she sleeps in, has been a target of her late night lounging. I have caught her up on it physically more than once and I have come in to find her hair all over it a couple of times too. So I had to put an ugly blue tarp over it to keep it clean and in hopes that the cold crinkles would keep her off. Well it didn't...she was still getting up there.

So a couple of nights ago, I put the packing tape back on there (the trick I had to use years ago to break both cats of countertop walks when I wasn't home). I lay the tape out sticky side up. Cat jumps up, get stuck and freaks out and doesn't get up there again. My friend uses tinfoil to keep her dogs off her bed because it scares them, but the tape works exceptionally well on cats.

So anyhow, it had been a few nights, and no kitty caught in the trap, and then last night, right after turning off the reading lamp to go to sleep, I hear a ruckus in the guestroom. I get up and she is on the floor, looking guilty and irritated, with a huge clump of tape stuck to her tail.....I spanked her butt, and left the room with the tape on there for the night. I got up this morning and it was still stuck there. I took it off. But it was funny to see the tape there in the morning...I figured she would spend the night trying to get it off there.

I know you all must think I am cruel but the tape doesn' t hurt anything but her pride and it does work as a deterent...since Chase doesn't seem to catch on as quick as some other animals, I might have to leave new tape up there for another week or so but she'll figure it out eventually.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Why Is It?

That the lady in the minivan that sits in the middle of the aisle in a parking lot waiting for a space to open (so you can't go around her) is the same one that puts her damn cart in the middle of the aisle once you get inside the store so no one can get around her ass?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Mishka's Friday Feast

Appetizer
If you were a dog, what breed would you be, and why?

I think I would be a black lab because that is my favorite. They are loyal, and loving companions.


Soup
What does the color purple make you think of?

Prince


Salad
Approximately how long does it take you to get ready each morning?

10 minutes unless I have to wash my hair and then it takes longer. I am not a foofoo head so I can be out of the house in nothing flat if I want.


Main Course

How many cousins do you have, and are you close to them?

I have quite a few actually and even more if you count my husband's too. I grew up with most of mine so we were closer as kids than we are now but I am still pretty close to a few of them.


Dessert

Take your initials (first, middle, last) and come up with something else those letters could stand for. (Example: SFO = Sweet Funny Otter)

That would require me to give too much away....heehee...

Monday, October 15, 2007

Travelblog Update

For those of you not on my subscriber's list....I updated my travelblog with our trip to the Tug of War this weekend. Hope you enjoy it. If you want to be added to my subscriber's list, just drop me a note at my email (in my profile) and I'll add you. All I need is your email address. Oh, and the emails come from Travelblog.org so don't block them if you can.

Mishka's Reading Update

Hey all,

I updated my reading list at Mishka's Reading today with September's reading. Sorry it took me so long to get it up there but I had to make some changes because of Amazon and my issues with them.

Check it out if you have time.

New Fish

This is one of my first mollies (note that none of the babies or the tetras survived). These three have been hanging out in the tank all alone for a week or two so the tank could cycle through.

This week I started to feel sorry for the two girls being hounded by my obnoxious male all the time so I decided to add some fish to the tank. I added 2 more female mollies but these are albinos orange ones and then I got some angel fish. I have never had angel fish before but these ones seem pretty cool. I have three of them in there and I have no idea if they are boys or girls since I think they are egg layers and it is much harder to tell. They seem pretty laidback and not nearly as hyper as the mollies are.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Chase At Home

My mom and I bought this little pop up tent thing for Chase when my mom was visiting in NC. Chase didn't pay it a lot of attention and then we started packing up so it was put away. I got it out a few weeks ago and it sits near the big windows in the tatami room. Chase is in it all the time...in fact when it is time for her to go to bed at night and we have to get her into the office, I have to put this tent up on something so she won't run back into it...

Anyhow, I thought Mom would like to see her enjoying it...

Friday, October 12, 2007

Planet Earth

I was searching the web to buy something educational for one of my "nephews" for his birthday. He is really into sharks, dinosaurs and dragons so I thought I might be able to find him something from the Discovery Channel Store. I was right (and I did) but while I was there, I ordered this for me. I had seen a few episodes on the Discovery Channel when we were still in the states but not the entire thing. I splurged and bought it for myself and am so glad I did. It rocks.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Mishka's Friday's Feast

Appetizer
When was the last time you were surprised?

When I went out to lunch with a new friend the other day and she gave me a gift.

Soup
Fill in the blanks: My eyes are ________, but I wish they were __________.

Hazel and I love them they way they are...

Salad
If you were a Beanie Baby, what would you look like and what would your name be?

I would look like a lion and my name would be Lucy

Main Course
Name two things you consistently do that you consider to be healthy habits.

Exercise and log my food

Dessert
What brand of toothpaste are you using these days? Do you like it? Why or why not?

I use Colgate Total Mint Paste, and have since I started picking my own toothpaste. I love it and I have never had a cavity so I must be doing something right....haha.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Autobacs

We purchased the little car I posted about earlier used and it came with a pretty decent Kenwood stereo system in it. Not only do we have a radio and separate equalizer, each face place moves away (on its own power) and behind one is a single disc CD player and behind the other is a cassette player. The entire thing is then connected to a CD changer under the passenger's seat. We weren't able to use the CD changer (I just found out today it holds 12 discs) because we didn't have a magazine for it. I have been trying to "talk" to Kenwood for ages about the model number of the magazine for it with no luck so today, I went into Autobacs which is a car part store (like those in the US but they also sell nice electronic car equipment and wheels). It is great for the street racers and drifters around here, I am sure.

Anyhow, I went in, hoping they could help me locate my magazine...and they did. I found a young girl who went out to my car to double check the model number, made several phone calls and was able to find out what I needed. I was there for about 45 minutes I am sure but in the end, I was able to order the magazine I needed and it should be in, in the next few days. They also gave me directions to the Nissan dealership because I need to get a replacement case for my remote access key. I just wanted to note here how awesome their customer service was and tell you if you are ever in Japan and you need parts for your car or car stereo, I highly recommend these guys.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Secret Beach

We were shown a secret beach by some friends of ours this weekend. It was really nice but we can't tell anyone where it is, because it will get ruined if too many people know about it. It is kind of cool to have a place that no one (or at least hardly anyone) knows about.

Fish S3x

I actually saw my fish having sex the other day...it doesn't seem like that much fun for anyone involved but it must be, because the boy chases the girls around constantly.

(Now) Super Typhoon Krosa

October 4th, 7:10am

Another one is one its way but this one is not tracking towards us much, we'll get some weather from it but unless it turns, we won't get a full hit. Sucks because they are cancelling all the weekend activities and this is a long weekend....grrr. Oh well, I guess we have two more months of typhoon season left so...

Update: October 5th, 11:09pm

Well, it still isn't coming to us but it has been upgraded to a Super Typhoon (equivalent to Cat 5 hurricane in the States) so we are getting some good wind and rain from it. We had a bbq at the beach with some friends today and we'll all probably have some wind burn on our skin because it was blowing pretty good.



Update: 8 October 5:37pm

Not an issue anymore. We still had our bbq at the beach and it is too bad that they cancelled all the activities this weekend because other than a bit of wind and some sporadic showers it was okay outside. Oh well, live and learn, I guess.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Mishka's Friday Feast

Appetizer
On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being highest, how much do you look forward to your birthday?

5-I look forward to it when I am around family because it is fun but when I am alone, it just makes me sad.

Soup
What is one word you don’t like the sound, spelling, or meaning of?

There are several but the n word, and the c word would be two of the top ones.

Salad.
Do you wear sunglasses when you’re outside? If so, what does your current pair look like?

Why, yes I do and they are dark blue Oakley 5s

Main Course
If you were to write a book, to whom would you dedicate it?

To my family and my husband for always urging me on.

Dessert
Name a beverage that you enjoy.

Alcoholic-Cranberry juice w/vodka
Non-alcohlic-Georgia coffees

Monday, October 01, 2007

Goodbye Amazon

They are on my sh1t list right now. They have changed their shipping policies (for the hell of it, it seems) and most of the stuff you can get from them can no longer be shipped to me. This sucks because when we lived here before, they were one of the few companies I did business with because shipping here was so easy.

So I have made my wishlist private so no one will buy me anything from them and I am not doing business with them again until they change their ways. In the last two months I have tried to order three different items to be shipped to me and none of them could be shipped but I was able to order the item from other sites and they were shipped with no problem.

So goodbye Amazon, until you can get you sh1t together!!!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Earthquake

We had a small earthquake yesterday morning. I was on the phone with a friend and J was in the tatami room. It sounded like an explosion and was very short so we weren't completely sure it was an earthquake except for the fact that my friend lives several miles from me and she heard and felt it too.

I found some info on it today ad we did indeed have one. It was a 3.8 just off shore. Don't know why specifically it was so loud compared to others that I have been in but it was definitely different. Just a little reminder that we are a bit smaller than we all think we are...and not really in charge either.

New Fish

Well, I went with K to the Makeman store and we were able to get some fish. I decided to start out with three mollies (silver ones, 1 male and 2 females) and 4 neon tetras. She purchased some fish for her tank too.

In the morning I checked the tank and all seemed well but 2 of the neons were missing. I found one stuck to the intake and figured that they must have died from stress but questioned whether the mollies might have eaten them. Now I have had mollies with tetras before in a tank and never had any issues but neons are pretty small and the mollies here seem kind of aggressive.

So yesterday, J and I stop at an aquarium place we happened upon while paying rent and eating at Yoshinoya and I got 10 more neons. I didn't want the two to be in there alone (they like to be in bigger groups). As soon as we dropped them in, I saw one of the mollies try to grab one and I had to tap on the tank to get them to let it alone. I immediately put some food in there to see if that would help and it seems to have. This morning, all the tetras were still in there...but I had another suprise.

One of the females gave birth last night and now I have about 15 little mollies swimming around in the tank. I don't think the tetras will eat them (they usually do but the neons are pretty small to eat these fish) so I might end up with a buttload of fish without even trying....we'll see how many survive. The tank has not even established yet so I would be surprised if many of them survive the ordeal...

UPDATE: This morning (Monday) the baby fish are all dead and missing, and 4 of the tetras are missing. I don't know if they were lunch or if they just died because the tank has not cycled through yet so it is not balanced yet....too bad for the babies, that is for sure but I think the male fish is not wasting any time getting the girls pregnant again so we'll see. I want to set up a vase with guppies in it....and a bamboo plant...we'll see.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Friday's Feast

Appetizer How are you today?

Doing good but sore from working out the last few days.

Soup Name 3 television shows you watch on a regular basis.

We are pretty limited these days on TV but I would say ER, Medium and CSI Las Vegas.

Salad What’s the scariest weather situation you’ve experienced?

Weather doesn't really scare me (although it probably should). I think I was in a pretty good earthquake in college that got my heart pumping though.

Main Course If you could wake up tomorrow morning in another country, where would you want to be?

I am in another country so I guess if I could wake up somewhere other than here, it would be in Thailand or the States.

Dessert What do you usually wear to sleep?

Boxers and a t-shirt usually.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Sentimental: Good Or Bad?

I am a sentimental person...always have been, probably will always be. Not sentimental in the traditional sense though, more about putting value on things. Sometimes this is a good thing and sometimes it is not.

In my travels and moves, I have learned to shed a fair amount of things but then I think of all the stuff I can't part with (most of which I hardly look at) and I wonder if I am really doing myself or anyone else any good with it all.

For some reason, this came up for me today very vividly.

My biological father is deceased. He has been for a while now and even when he was alive, we were not close. I actually dreaded the idea (and this probably makes me a horrible person) that when he got old, it was going to fall on me (as his only child) to take care of him. He never got old.

As a kid (and to this day), I love(d) my dad (the man I grew up with) and felt a lot of angst and confusion about how I should feel regarding my biofather. I knew I was supposed to love him and I guess I did in a way. When I got to know the "real" him later on in life, I was interested in the similarities we shared and the things that really made him tick (none of us got to see that much of the "real" him). As a kid, because I got very little from him, I treasured those things I did get...not out of love but out of something else I can't really describe. I guess because he made a choice in life regarding me and my mom (and thankfully he did because I would have missed out on a great dad, sister and childhood, had he not) and I felt like those little gifts were some kind of validation of that choice.

Prior to the few weeks I spent staying with him and my grandmother the summer after 6th grade, I had received a plastic doll piggy bank that had a musical base, and two glass piggy banks shaped like pigs filled with money from him. I still have all three of those items (minus the money of course). When I hear the music on the doll, it brings me back. I keep the doll in storage with a lot of other sentimental items but the piggy banks are on my dresser. One is big and one is little. The big one even has a broken part but I keep it anyhow because it is functional. I can't believe that neither of them has been broken in all these years. Now I keep my foreign coins in the big one and pennies (before they get rolled) in the small one. I move them everywhere we go. I would cry if one of them was to break by accident. I don't know why really but I know that I would.

When I stayed with him after 6th grade for a few weeks, I ended up with a few stuffed animals (some of which I still have) and trinkets of sorts, but nothing that has stayed with me emotionally like the others. I don't know if it helps me feel like there is a connection to a person who did little but donate genes to my being, or if it helps me to remember a time ( I hoard memories...which explains the pictures, journals, blogs, etc). I just know that I am terrible about keeping things (this is only a small example of what I keep and why) and sometimes I wish I was able to let things go a bit easier.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Visit To Columbia University

I found it immature and ridiculous that Columbia would invite this man to come speak at their school and then introduce him in such a way. While I don't agree with anything the president of Iran stands for and I feel that most of his beliefs and judgements are incorrect, I would never invite someone as a guest and then treat them that way with no warning.

I think the president of the school felt pressure for having invited him and figured this was the best way to get out from under that pressure. I think it just made him look like a j@ck@ss.

Puss n Boots

I took Chase in today to get shaved again....she was about half way grown out and I wanted her to remain cool, and not have hairballs. She did okay until the bath time and they squeezed her glands and boy, she didn't like that at all....

Anyhow, they leave quite a bit on the feet here and I think it looks like she is wearing little fur boots....the pic is not great, but I think you can see what I mean. What is funny is that the fur on her feet will continue to grow and get much furrier looking as the rest grows out.....it will be months before she evens out....haha.

She is standing on the tatami mats off the side of our living room and it took three tries for me to get one of her standing still...

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Sunday Treats

A new friend of mine is from Taiwan so when she invited J and I for dim sum brunch this morning...we knew we were in for a treat. I was dying to find a place that had dim sum and we weren't disappointed.

We drove south a bit towards Ginowan City and ate on the 13th floor of the ANA Laguna Garden Hotel. The buffet is all you can for 1800 yen which is a bit different from the dim sum I have had in Seattle and Hong Kong in the past but I wasn't going to complain because that is a great price. We were given some appetizer-like dishes to share amongst those at the table, and then the steam baskets started to come with various dishes inside. There was soba soup, and also a soup of the day (in our case, Egg Drop) along with several pastries, fruits and drinks available to us at tables set up in the area. Jasmine tea was offered at our table and was delicious.

The food and experience was great and I definitely plan to return on another Sunday to enjoy again.

Tonight, I made yakisoba w/beef because I had the makings, it doesn't take too long and it makes great lunch leftovers. I use cabbage, carrots and green onion in mine but I am sure you could add any other kind of fresh veggies you had sitting in the fridge as well. I know mushrooms make a great addition to this dish. I cheat because I buy premade yakisoba sauce at the grocery as well as fresh soba noodles but I am sure you can find a way to make all of this from scratch if you were so inclined....

Anyhow, just thought I would share our fun with food for this day, since we didn't get a lot else done (just some laundry and yardwork...haha).

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Coming Along

Today I feel like I made a real dent in things and that always motivates me to do more. I was able to get the fishtank set up and filled with water. It is running happily in the dining room with no fish in it yet...we'll wait a bit before we put any in there.

I also attacked our storage area in the garage because I want it to be organized and so far we have just been throwing stuff in places without really organizing so we could get to the bottom of the pile. Well, we are at the bottom of the pile now and I need to know where stuff is and make sure it is not just willynilly. I took everything out of it, organized it, labeled totes and then restacked everything in a much nicer way. I was sweating my brains out by the time I was done but it is done.

I am hopefully going to a flea market next weekend (not this weekend) to get rid of some stuff that is filling up my laundry room right now and then I'll be able to put more stuff away where it ultimately needs to go. I still need to figure something out for this little storage area we have in our big bathroom so I can put some totes in there of stuff we actually do use without them falling over, but it will have to be later on that I do it because other things are calling right now.

Anyhow, just a little update on my anal little life....haha. (I definitely see some more of those space bag things making a home here).

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Busy, Busy

I have way too much stuff to do and not enough time to do it in.....I hate that. Our weekend is already getting busy with friends and such. We are going to have some dimsum with friends on Sunday morning....I am excited because then I'll know where a place is. I have never had it in Japan, only in Hong Kong and in the States.

Saturday we are going to a bbq in the afternoon but in the morning, I (and J if I can get him to go) am doing a beach cleanup. It is only for two hours but I'll feel like I am making a dent since recycling is so difficult to do here.

I better run, have to get some tea made...perhaps that will help me get over my nap feeling. Since lunch, I have felt like I need a nap...it is probably a mixture of feeling full and also the fact that I spent the morning walking in the sun and wind exercising and looking for a geocache....you know how the sun can be. At least I am not pink from it....haha.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Now Super Typhoon Wipha

2:29pm:

Well we have another one out there. This one is not supposed to get near us according to its forcast but we are (as you can see from the satellite picture) getting some weather from it....lots of blowing rain today folks....



1:57pm update on Tuesday:

It still isn't going to hit us but it is definitely getting us some weather. We have had a lot of wind and rain for sure. It looks like it is going to hit Taiwan while very strong and then hit China on the way out.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Loving The Space Bag

We have these two mats that we bought last time we lived here so that when people came to visit they would have something to put on the tatami mats to sleep on. They are about twin bed sized but thinner and fold into thirds. Normally in a Japanese style house the tatami room has a big closet in it that the mats and bedding go in everyday after everyone gets up. Because this house doesn't really have a separate tatami room (it is just off the living room but not really separate, we don't have that big closet and finding a place to store these mats where they won't get dusty or buggy has been an issue for me.

I found the Original Space Bag at the store and thought I would give it a try. The jumbo size looked like it might fit one of these mats in it so I bought two of them to try it out. Since it was a combo package, each one came with an large one as well so I figured I could use those ones for our sleeping bags.

Back story: this house actually has quite a bit of storage space, but the issue is the biggest areas are 1. the storage area in the open garage (which locks but is subject to humidity and heat and is not air tight to bugs or mold) and 2. the laundry room area off the back of the house (which is also very hot and humid but seems to have less of a bug issue). So the stuff in the storage area outside has to be able to handle the weather and can't be anything that we are worried about bugs or anything. So far, we have yard equipement, empty boxes that we have to keep, and some camp chairs, or pop up shade tent and our golf clubs out there. The laundry room has our bikes, our dive stuff, some sports stuff, tools that won't rust or don't have electric parts, all the boxes of stuff that I am donating or selling at the swap meet, and the laundry stuff. I would like to be able to store more out there but I won't be able to until we get some of the donation stuff out of there. Anyhow, I didn't want to put any clothes, mats or sleeping bags out in either area without having a way to keep them from molding or getting bugs. So this limits quite a bit what can go where and finding places in the house for all the stuff we have to store has been fun. End of back story.

So anyhow, I decided we could put the mats under the guest bed in the office. Thing is that the cat is in that room and I didn't want them to get dusty or too much infected with kitty germs (haha). So these bag things work great in that aspect. Now the kicker on these bags is that you vacuum out the air and it makes the mats super small (I can actually stack both of them on top of each other under the guest bed (which has the smallest clearance of the two beds)). They won't get dustmites or allergens or even mold because there is no air in there. We put the sleeping bags in the other two bags and sucked the air out of them and now they are so small I can put them both in one tote and store them in the closet.

I might end up finding some more of those bags and putting lots of other stuff in them. I am thinking I could probably reduce my 3 totes of winter clothes down to one...it would be heavy but it would only be one....we'll see.

Anyhow, I just wanted to tell you that even though I felt like I was stepping back to the seventies with these things, they work awesome and if you are cramped for space, and/or have weather issues that make storage tricky....these things are the bomb!!!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

We Have Football

Yeah, we finally, after much fiddling, got the satellite to get signal and we have all ten channels now. We can actually watch some football and the final two rounds of the Fedex Championship in golf.

I know it sounds trivial but sports are about the only thing we watch consistently on TV (except for me with my ER), and we were basically cut off completely from them except for MLB which neither of us likes to watch on TV much (in person is fun).

Besides that little project (that seemed to take all day), I managed to get some things organized and put away. Right now, things are functional so it is hard to get motivated for the finishing touches, but I need to do it. I can't live with it like it is around here for long. So yesterday I got all the little shoeboxes (clear ones for storing) off my kitchen counter, organized how they need to be with all the little misc household stuff in them and put away. Whooooohooooo!!!!

Today, I am going to get the fish tank up and running (has to run for about 2 weeks before we can put fish in it), and maybe even some work done on a blanket I need to finish before the child is so old they can't even use it....haha.

Oh, and I did I mention this will all occur while watching some FOOTBALL!!!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Storm Is Over

It was raging pretty loud when we went to bed but I put my earplugs in and around 3am it was quite again. We didn't have any damage and J is outside trying to get our satellite dish set up so we can get more than one channel. It will be nice since they don't broadcast any of the sports that we like to watch on the one channel we can get but we can get a bunch of channels through the satellite company and they are even in English!!!!

I found a trojan on my computer this morning but Norton and Spybot put it down with no problems. I think it got on there yesterday when I was trying to help some bloggers with their sites....seems that there is a lot of malware floating around blog sites these days, so be careful in your surfing. I didn't have Spybot turned on for continuous scan and that is why I didn't know when it first hit that it was there. Fortunately my scheduled full scan w/Norton last night caught it. I have enabled the continuous scan on Spybot now...

Luckily, it didn't transfer onto my thumbdrive or to the laptop (which hasnt' been on the Internet since we left the hotel). I need to get the wireless set up today if I can, so we can at least print from the laptop without having to use the thumbdrive.

J and I went to the Eisa Festival a while back and I have some great footage and pictures from that. I want to make a little movie from the footage but I need to do some harddrive shuffling now that we are settled so I can get things organized before starting a new project. I'll try to post about the festival either here or on my travelblog and upload some photos from it in the meantime.

Oh, and I have been playing a bit with my site over on Vox.com. I kind of like their set up over there but am loyal to Blogger as well (along with the fact that I don't want to transfer everything over there). I might just start blogging occasionally over there as well. They have some neat features. I'll get a link to my page over there on my site here soon. Problem with them is that commenting requires membership (free, but still one more thing to sign up for). Grrrrr...

Kitty Diet

Chase is on a diet. While she was at the kennel, they were leaving her bowl full of food all day long. This is not how I usually feed her. So, when she came home the first night, she was following us around like she wanted to eat more. We just ignored her. The next morning, I put the normal amount of food in her bowl and she ran over and scarfed it right down. Then she kept checking back all day long to see if there was more in there.

This morning, I put the same amount in there, and she has slowed down to allow herself some throughout the day....I can't believe how fast they remember things. I will be curious when we take her into the vet for her 30 day check up, if she has gained pounds from being at the kennel.

She gets another hair cut on the 24th....I am going to keep her short at least until it gets cold here.