Thursday, February 28, 2008


Well, I started our taxes on Thursday around 2 in the afternoon and pretty much finished them up around 8pm....I had a question to ask a tax person today so I had to wait to get that done this morning. I have to file two ammended returns for depreciation I didn't take for our rental (I can only do 2004 and 2005) because we are going to have to pay capital gains on the depreciation even if I didn't get it so I might as well get some of it...

I also don't have the final paperwork from our current rental company for the house so I just estimated for now and will wait to print it and get it done completely when their stuff gets to have those numbers match.

I am thrilled though with all the massive amounts of things we did this year that they aren't going to be completely impossible for me to do and we should come out getting some back...not as much as I would have liked, but at least some.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Quilt Squares

On Wednesday, we did the exchange of quilt squares with most of the people involved in this quilt. There are some really cute ones out there. I guess I have some stitching to do, huh????

I still need to finish up my fans and the koi for the quilt we are donating so I won't post pics of them until I am done but I am excited to see what the finished product is going to look like.

I still have a few squares that I want to make for myself (and a few that have asked me) but those will have to be a bit later, because I have a lot on my plate this week and can't get out to get fabric. I want to do a Japanese motif wave, and then also one with the kanji for where we are...there might be a few others I can think of too...

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Answering Machine

I found out the other day, quite by accident, that a couple of my friends have ones that work just fine here and they are also American made (not really but at least sold in America). So I decided to get an American phone/answering machine and see if that would be my answer. When we lived here last time, you couldn't use American phones because the frequency was the same as the emergency services, but this time, the phones are at a different frequency so they sell them all over the place.

So I will put my 900 mHz Sony cordless phone away for a while (probably in the same place I have my ATT digital answering machine), and will use my new Uniden phone w/answermachine and two handsets for now. I am currently only charging the one handset for now so I can see how the reception is in this house (the other phone can't be used everywhere because of our thick concrete steel reinforced walls). If I can use it all over, then I'll find a spot for the other base station and charge the second handset up as well....this new phone is 5.8GHz so it might be a much stronger signal...we'll have to see.

The reason for this rabbling post is that I wanted to announce to the world that I have an answering machine at home now!!!! Yeah!!!!!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Finished Taiko Drum Square

Even though I have had the applique done for a while, I still needed to do the stitching before taking a picture of the final product. My name is stitched on it as well but I blurred it out. That was probably the hardest part (not the blurring, but the stitching) because I was doing it without any thing to direct me (no lines). I think this one came out the best of the three square designs I did. It has the most color and the most detail. I'll finish stitching the others and get pictures of them up there as well.

PS I left the link to the larger photo so you could see the detail if you wanted.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Toenail Woes

GROSS WARNING!!!! I am warning you, my toenail woes are a bit gross...

A while back, I rolled over my big toe on my right foot with the back motion on the vacuum. At the time it hurt like a bitch but I didn't think much of it. Well, apparently, it damaged my toenail quite a bit, but only on the left side. When I took my polish off a few weeks ago, you could see some discoloration on my toenail but it looked like it was going to be okay eventually.

Now it has started to grow out and because a new healthy nail is growing under it, the part that is damaged is starting to lift off. Problem is, it is only on half of my nail so the right side of the nail is completely fine all the way from cuticle to edge. This poses a problem. It is not like I can just cut the damaged part off and not leave a jagged edge that might get caught on something. I have tried filing down the edges to keep them from snagging but since I don't trust it and I can't have the entire thing just get ripped off my toe, I started wearing a piece of tape over it. I am hoping that it will keep it from getting snagged but will not keep it from continuing to grow so at some point I can cut the damaged part off.

So I look like a bonehead with a piece of tape on my big toe but since it is nice, I mean really nice weather today, I can't not go in bonehead I will be I guess for the time being. My friend is trying to get me to go to a pedicure with her soon (which I have never done before) and I really think I should wait until the new healthy part gets long enough that I can take the damaged part point in paying to paint the damaged part, especially if I am going to cover it with tape...haha.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Free Rice

My record having only played once so far is 160 grains and some of those were high can you get?

Learn and Donate


My french press that I have had forever (my sister bought it for me when I first got married), finally died. Today, when I went to plunge the grounds down, the whole screening part moved up the stick...there isn't a way to fix it and since it is 16 years old (I haven't used it the whole time), I can't get replacement parts for it.

I have ordered a new one from the same company on Target's website today and it should be here in a few days. I'll drink tea or coffee from the vending machines. I don't have coffee every morning but the french press has been used a lot since the winter started.

My friend from Taiwan is bring me a water heater similar to the one that she has lent me for the last 6 weeks so that she can have hers back. It warms up about a teapot of water but if you forget about it or take some of the water out, the weight difference will turn it off...only in tea drinking countries would they come up with such a great thing. Anyhow, I am excited to have my own because I have been using the heck out of hers every morning for either tea or coffee.

Monday, February 18, 2008

My Soup

Using this one as my new header on Finding My Happy Medium

Just found out that someone has been stealing my pics and putting them on their site as their own...will be modifying all my pics to small and removing the link to the bigger version...sorry but I can't put up with this kind of jackassery....

Yardwork Kick Butt

Well, I got out there and got more than I thought I was going to do done. I was just planning on weedwacking our little patch of backyard (easier than bring out the mower) but I found these awesome choppers in our yard bin that I had forgotten about and that gave me ideas.

First I took out too large branches of the plant that grows in our garden off the bathroom that has the tub in it. They were getting too big and needed to go. I threw them over the wall to gather later. Next I went out the side gate and cut back all the vines coming over from the neighbors. I planned to cut down these little sucker trees that we have growing along the fence but when I got over to them, not only were three of them too big for me to cut, the way they were spaced, they started to look intentional so I will talk to the rental company first. I also discovered now that they are bigger that they are papaya if they are intentional, I will be thrilled to have them in the yard.

I swept up leaves and debris and bagged it up, and then I weeded before I hit the backyard with the weedwacker. Finally I raked and bagged up all the stuff and hosed off our back step (that was covered with grass from the weedwacking).

My arm muscles hurt a bit today (shows how weak I have gotten), but I know it was for a good cause and now when I open the blinds in my bedroom each morning, I see a nicely cut yard, instead of the mess I had going.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Eating Soup

Okay, the soup has gone really well but I still have tons of it. I am hoping to have a few more friends over today for lunch and be able to put it away for good. For sure, I'll be eating it for lunch and dinner. I'll try to get a shot of one of my bowls full before it gets eaten...they are 100 yen bowls that I love. I want to get more of the bowls but I haven't found them in a while at the store (I got them when we lived here last time). On Friday morning, I was able to find "paper" bowls to use in case I ran out of mine (I only have 4 of these really big soup bowls) but I ended up being able to wash them as people came and went and we never had to use the "paper" ones.

Along with my soup, we had a birthday party for one of my friends at the bowling alley on Friday. My bowling sucks, especially since I haven't done it in ages but I did okay on Friday night. At least I broke 100 in the last two games...haha. We had a lot of fun, being goofy and laughing. I have some great video of the girls but I wouldn't be that mean to put it on the web...although I did threaten that. Some of it is very dark too because at 9pm they turned off the lights and turned on the black lights.

Anyhow, this week has completely messed up my eating log for Finding My Happy Medium, but on Monday, I am starting with a strict program anyhow. Not changing my food too much (although Valentine candy will be out), but I will be getting some exercise in even if I have to do it in the rain and cold. I want to be fitter when it gets warm so I can go to the beach without feeling like I am going to scare away the tourists. I already eat pretty healthy (minus the Valentine candy) but I am not currently getting enough exercise in and that is going to change tomorrow.

So it is back on the bandwagon in many areas for me....still have the taxes to knockout and plan to get some yardwork in today but I also have decided to do some hanging plants in the yard this spring and I'll have to get started on that pretty soon as well.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Making Soup

Picture credit goes to bbcgoodfood.comI am making one of my favorite Thai/Vietnamese soups on Friday for a bunch of my friends. I basically told them when the food would be ready and people can come and go as they please and to what fits their schedule for the day.

This is the soup I made when my mom came out to visit and since we are having the weather that matches "winter" for us (high 50s at night and low 60s during the day), I figured this would be a good time for it. I hope that everyone likes it.

I got the filing done just in time to get the living room cleaned up and presentable, and I'll get some errands and cleaning done tomorrow so I won't be stressed at all. I'll pick up the last fresh ingredients on Thursday afternoon or early Friday morning so they are nice and fresh. I need to pick the basil out of my yard and get it washed and prepped and double check that I have everything I need for the soup on hand....I'll definitely need more soup base after this round, that is for sure.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Filing Is Done

and the sun is out...if only for a second....the sun, not the filing...haha. I even went through the pile of instructions and paperwork from our new house. It feels so good to have a cleaned out system and know that it is not done half-assed this time.

I can now officially get started on our taxes (although I am waiting for paperwork from our rental company still).

In the meantime, I have some yardwork, shopping, and cleaning to do tomorrow because I am having friends over for Thai soup on Friday. Tomorrow also involves some errand running so hopefully, I will get it all in....

I still have stitching to finish up on my quilt squares before I can post pictures of them and I also want to get some movie watching in since I have several on loan from a friend and two Netflix ones that I need to get to...oh well, the list never gets smaller...haha.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Rash Attack

I have a rash under my chin and on my neck on the left side. It is typical contact dermatitus for me but I don't know what I got it from. Usually I only get it from poison oak or ivy....but I think I might have gotten this from my poinsettia plant I have in my kitchen. I was pinching off some leaves on Wednesday and I am thinking that maybe I don't like the sap for some reason. I have never had a reaction from poinsettia before and I am not allergic to latex or anything like that so I am not sure what is going on. I wish I knew for sure that it was the poinsettia so I could just beware but since I don't know anything for sure, I could be running into whatever is giving it to me again and not even realize it.

I have two other spots (one next to my left eye and one on my left hip) but they aren't as big or irritating as the two on my neck. They are already starting to dry up because I have been taking benedryl at night and putting caladryl clear on during the day but they are still red and irritated looking and it makes me not want to see people. It is also making me look like I have a huge double chin.

I have not seen any people since Saturday night and I probably won't see anyone until tomorrow night if I can help it. I really do have a lot of will power when it comes to the itching, and I wouldn't even be that uncomfortable with it if it wasn't on my body where I can't really cover it

Anyhow, that is my life. So I have been indoors for two days working on stitching my quilt squares and filing....the weather sucks so I don't mind being inside too much right now. Enough babbling....

Sunday, February 10, 2008

The To Do List February

Well, since I feel like I have been making some headway in my taskings, I thought I would put up my list from the beginning of this month and see how it looks.

1. Taxes
2. Filing
3. Quilt Squares
4. Pillow covers
5. Photos for Gma
6. Yardwork
7. Wireless network
8. Cutting hair
9. Washing car
10. Bleaching teeth
11. Reorganizing harddrives
12. Scarf for Sonia
13. Color hair

As you can see, along with my daily crap, I still have a ways to go but at least I am tackling things....

Friday, February 08, 2008

Amy's Enchiladas Are Awesome

Okay, for heathly and low calories this stuff is awesome. I don't know if Chicken and Mindsprite can eat this on their Weight Watchers plan, but I hope they can because this one is great.

It has no gluten either so Jo, this one is for you as well. It has the best taste for a microwave meal that I have experienced in a long time. Beats most that I have tried. My friend's daughter turned me on to them and they are organic as well. There are several different ones but this one pictured is the one I had for lunch today and really enjoyed.

Just thought I would share the discovery.

Thursday, February 07, 2008


Pillow Covers

I made these the other day for my friend K to put over her current throw pillows on her couch. She has lived in Hawaii forever so is very big into Hawaiian prints and such and they are just so very her. I leave one side unsewn and I just put velcro in it so they can be taken off and washed....I made 4 of them total.

Getting It Done

I started tackling the huge filing and tax project the other day after I got the livingroom cleaned up from the quilting and pillow cover project. I decided to separate everything first and then tackle the little parts instead of getting overwhelmed in the bigness of it all.

I got a lot of the filing done yesterday before I had a few friends over for lunch. I even got most of the year end pulled out and separated into what gets shredded and what just goes in the trash. I am determined this year to do a thorough job of it and really get rid of stuff that we don't need and so far, I am doing well.

Today, I tackled the banking/investments pile. I had to go through the prior year stuff on the investments and retirement accounts because I was keeping everything, and I really don't need to do that. I managed to trim it down quite a bit. Then I started organizing the bank statements. I have been very bad and have not reconciled our main bank statements since the end of February 2007. So I had almost a year of statements to go through and check. Now, probably for most this would be a quick thing to do but I have a method and my method is a bit time consuming.

First, I have to take the statements and check off things in the checkbook as they show up in the statements and then add to the checkbook any dividends that I might not have known about. After I do that, I take the checkbook into the office and input everything from the checkbook into the MSMoney program we use. After I do that from the checkbook, I take the statements and reconcile the MSMoney against it. This is a way for me to triple check the numbers against each other and it keeps me straight on the money.

Needless to say, I managed to reconcile the checking, savings and market saver at our main bank. Tomorrow, I have to do the investments and the small savings accounts we have at two other banks. I am proud of myself for getting this huge hurdle out of the way, even though it was there because I was not doing it all year long like I should have been. I am one step closer to being able to do my taxes soon. I still don't have all my documents in the mail yet but I am sure they are on the way now that January is over and by the time they get here, I will be ready to start.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


Okay, I don't know if this is what it is called in Japanese but I learned about it from some friends that lived in Hawaii for a long time. They are these great little nori (seaweed) sandwiches (for lack of a better word) with rice and various fillings. The one I went for was the Spam and egg version so that my first try would not be a complete surprise. It was very yummy and I am definitely going back for more, as soon as I can figure out what are in the other versions (meaning I need to learn my Japanese). You can get them at the local convenience stores. You warm them up in the microwave (they'll even do it for you at the store if you want). I am so happy to have found these and now I have another little thing I can eat without feeling too bad on the run if I have to.

This is mine in the picture on one of my sushi plates with my tea in the background...yummy lunch all around and Popi, I am getting in some Spam...our hidden family secret...haha.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Helping Out

I helped my mom switch over to the new layouts on Blogger and spruce up the blog a bit. I put in a picture to the header I took during the winter last year so she would have a wintery feel. I'll change it up for her as needed since getting the header right does require a bit of work these days.

Anyhow, if you want to check it out, her blog is called Haha's Perspective and it is here. Let us know what you think.

Reading Updates

I updated Mishka's Reading with my January reads. Check it out when you have time if you want.

Lame But True

Now that I check the blogs I read via the Google reader so I am not to miss an update, I find it very irritating when a blog doesn't have full feeds. I hate that I have to click over to read the full post even if I am not going to comment.

I know that people do this so that you will go to their blog itself and they get the visits on their counters and even on their ad income but it still peeves me that I can't read the full post in my reader.*

Oh well, that is my peeve for the day...

*Chatty brought up a good point. Some people have to do it because of cyber stalkers. I didn't think of that there are people out there that do that kind of thing and force others to have to be so careful.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Ebi Filet

I had never even heard of this, but if you read my fitness blog at all, you will know that on Friday night, I ended up at McDonald's (because the people I was with wanted to eat there). I decided to try this sandwich because I thought it might not be as bad for me as some of the other options (and it wasn't), and because it was different. McD's is known for having regional food depending on where their stores are and this apparently is one of the regional things for McD's in Japan.

It is a shrimp filet sandwich. Called Ebi Filet. It was very good and I felt better about eating it over my other options (Big Mac's have never tasted as good as they do in Asia, but they still have a ton of calories). I was thrilled to get home and find out that the sandwich was not that bad on calories and that I now have another option to a grilled chicken sandwich when I eat at McD's (which is rare to none).