Sunday, March 30, 2008

Birthday Wishes

For me, today is my sister's birthday...of course, for her, it is not until tomorrow but I going to wish her a happy one now and hope she has sweet dreams and a great day tomorrow even though it will be a Monday.

Happy Birthday Sis!!! You are the best and I miss you like crazy....come visit me (I'll pay, you just need to get the time off)!!!!!



Well, I spent almost all day yesterday moving furniture around. I am sure my back, leg and arm muscles will thank me later for it.

I tried moving a bookcase out of the tatami room so I could put the curio cabinet that the new hutch is displacing there, but it looked terrible so the book case went back in, along with all the books I moved.

I had to move the old dining room chairs to the laundry room so I could start unpacking the new dining room chairs. I have not even started with the new dining room table. I have the boxes stacked in my garage for recycling.

I managed to put four things in the paper for sale/giveaway and the giveaway ones are already gone. I meet the girl today at 11am to drop them off. Hopefully the sale items will go as quickly so I can have some space to work with.

Today, I have to get the banquet table out of my office and put the old dining room table in there (it is a dinette really and it will fit better). Then I can unpack the new dining room table and get it set up.

The new hutch looks lovely in its new home and I have put in the stuff that I want in there....and while it looks like I have room for more, I have to remember that I didn't bring all my stuff here and I don't want it to be overcrowded when we move back...just means I'll have to be selective in my purchases...and I need to get the pictures out of what I already own that it is in storage.

I'll post pics as soon as I get everything situated.

Saturday, March 29, 2008


Last night it was sprinkling when I got home after we had a pretty nice day over all. I went through the house closing windows so that rain would not get in. I had used the bathroom at my friend's before leaving her house so I never went in the bathroom that has the toilet in it before heading to bed.

I woke up at 7:30am to use the bathroom and found that it was pouring outside and not only that, it was blowing towards the one window in the room. The OPEN window....Needless to say, the floor, the bathmat and the toilet were all completely soaked. I had to go to another room to get a towel for the floor, and when I came back (note, I did not have my glasses on or my contacts in), I noticed a dark spot on the toilet seat. As I moved closer so I could see it, I realized it was a little snail making his/her way across my toilet seat because it was soaked as well. I thought for a minute of flicking him/her into the toilet itself but decided to be nice, and picked it up and put it outside. I guess the screen we have on that window is not a completely tight seal....

It's Here

Our new furniture was delivered today but it is not unpacked or set up'll have to wait for pictures until I get that done, but since I have a party happening here at my house on the 14th, I am very motivated to get it done and move on to other projects....

I just wanted to announce that it was here....

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Caved In

Okay, yesterday, after discussing it with J, I caved in and purchased the new dining room set and the hutch (yes, it was still there when I went back). So I need to call the guy that delivers and see when I can get it here and how much it is going to cost me (it just won't fit in our little cube car).

I have to move things around again (not the TV stand) but the couches because I think they are too crowded looking right now. I have to move a curio cabinet I have in the diningroom, into our tatami room so I have room for the hutch...I think it will fit well. The fish might have to move down a bit and one of the plants will get moved too but oh well...we'll see how it goes.

J is not big on crowded spaces. He would rather not have a lot of stuff filling up each crack so I need to make sure I don't over do it, especially since I still have some things on my list of things to get before we move.

This also means that I need to get my folding 6 foot table in my office on the market as well as the 4 solid oak dining room chairs so that I have room for the new stuff. I'll probably just sell them in an free newspaper that goes around here that is in English, rather than trying to sell them at a flea market or something.

I'll put our current dining room table in the office where the 6ft table is and that will give me some room in there (the dining room table is smaller).

I really need to do a flea market but the yen rate is bad right now so I will hold off for a bit. If it comes back up to even (100 yen to the dollar) I will get to it as soon as I can.

Monday, March 24, 2008


Somebody tell me, what is the purpose of fragranced soap, shampoo, and conditioner? While it smells great in the shower, as soon as you get out, you put on lotion and hair products that cover it all up anyhow....or is it just for the shower?

In Case You Were Wondering

For my location...

Length of Day 12h 13m (on 24 March 08)
Tomorrow will be 1m 34s longer.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Gorgeous...But Busy

I woke up today after a very rainy Easter, to a beautiful sunny, breezy, dry Spring day. I guess Spring did officially start the other day. I managed to take down my snowflakes off the window that I leave up for winter.

I also cleaned all my silver and did my bi-annual switch over to silver. It tells me that Spring is here and Summer is not far off and I am really looking forward to Summer this year in particular.

I have a little list of things to do, and I plan to get some of them tackled today if I can...hopefully I won't be inside too much and can fit a little bit of geocaching in as well. Days like this are the kind we live for. The birds are chirping and the wind chimes are dinging happily outside my office window.

One of the things to do was added by the workmen that were here for three days recaulking all the windows in this house (it is definitely a three day job when you consider how many windows we have), and they got caulk all over them so I need to clean them. Today is a great day for that, not too hot, but warm and dry enough that cleaning them will be easy. Oh, and cleaning my car....I can take it do a little gas station down the road from here and have them wash and wax it in their machine, then clean the windows, wipe down the interior and vacuum the whole thing for about 10 bucks (1000 yen). Can't beat that.

Hope you having a nice Spring day where ever you are as well.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Just Add It To The List

Well, I have been wanting, for a while now, to change my livingroom around*. We are kind of limited though, because every room in our house (including the bathrooms) have one wall that is completely glass. This means, no putting leather couches up against hot drying sunlight, and therefore limits the options. Since I have a 96 inch couch and 70 inch loveseat and a huge oversized chair and ottoman...we are talking some work trying to figure it out. Our livingroom, because of the tatami room and the dining room, only really has two walls and since I need outlets for some things, I can't put all the sitting spaces on the walls.

The easy fix I thought I would do (just switching the couch and loveseat) didn't work. I have now completely rearranged the whole room (which means getting out more cable so I can hook the TV back up to the satellite) and I am not sure if I like it much but it will have to stay for now. My husband will probably be pleased because I rarely move furniture around after I get it like I want it, and he likes to change it up some. Of course, he is not the one that connects all the electronics either so that might be why it seems easier to him...haha.

Oh, and in the midst of all this, I had to condition the leather since I had everything out and that added to the mix but it sure does look good now.

Update----First let me mention that rearranging the livingroom and treating the leather was never on my list of things to do but I am glad to have done them. That said, I don't know if I like the way the living room is set up and might be changing it around again next week. It depends on if the hutch/cabinet I have my eye on is still available and if it is, then I might not be changing it much. If it isn't, then I will move it around a bit....Right now, it seems a bit crowded....

*The loveseat was being sat in more than any other piece and I don't want it to look more worn than the others.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Finished Taxes

Okay, I finally sat down and finished up our taxes today. I had started them a few weeks ago but couldn't finish them until I got info from our rental company. I talked to a tax professional and because of the depreciation issue on the house we sold in WA, I also had to do amended returns for 2004 and 2005. So I guess knowing that I had so much to do still on it, I kind of stalled.

Well, we had workers here at the house all day so while I was waiting around, I decided to tackle the taxes and see what I came up with. I was able to get the two amended returns out of the way pretty quickly although since I no longer had the software for the 2004 ones, I had to fill out forms from the Internet and print them based on my PDF file for the tax pages I filed in 2004. It wasn't that hard once I found the forms.

When I had those two done, I could do the final stuff on our current year and while I am not getting as much back as I had hoped, I think we fared better than we could have. We were able to get a capital gains exception on both houses we sold last year rather than on only one. I did have to pay gains on the depreciation but if we had had to count one of the houses too, we would really have paid.

So that is my exciting day....aren't you all glad you checked in?

Monday, March 17, 2008

Post Secret

Lately, I haven't been able to read post secret's blog. It is just too depressing....

Sunday, March 16, 2008

February Reading Update

Just wanted to let you know that I finally got around to updating Mishka's Reading with the February books.

Check it out if you have time and are looking for something to read.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Nekid as a Jaybird

Chase after first cut of the yearShe was cut yesterday. I think it was a bit of a shock to go from full winter growth to nothing but she seems to be comfortable with it now. This photo was taken shortly after getting home. I left most of her tail intact so it looks like she has it wrapped around her for warmth...but she really isn't cold. It is in the 70s here...she just looks so much littler to me when she is cut. Like a kitten almost...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Koi and Fan Quilt Squares

Okay, I finished the stitching on both of these tonight...and here they are in all their glory. These are the ones I am giving to the donation quilt along with the drum square I showed on here. I have not even started stitching on my own squares that are going in my quilt...and I have a couple of other ideas for squares that I want to do as well so it could be a project that stays with me for a while.

The Fans

The Koi
I left the link intact so you could check out the detail if you want.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Hoping Against Hope

Last night while watching a movie, I started hearing sirens. Because our house is located in what constitutes farm country here, we rarely hear sirens but this was a lot of sirens and they were coming down my street. Now, my street if you follow it to the end runs into the East China Sea and when I got outside, that is where all the emergency vehicles were parked. There were two fire trucks, two trucks with trailers (one with a boat, and one with a jetski), 3 cop cars and an ambulance. It was about 9:30pm at night. I put shoes on and headed out the door. Wanted to see what was going but also wanted to help if a search party or something was needed. By the time I got the three blocks in, there were lots of neighbors outside waiting to see what had happened.

Turns out that an elderly (and elderly here is completely different from elderly anywhere else...Okinawans live forever) who frequents the beach at the end of street for octopus and other staples, had not come home that evening and her family was worried. We stayed out there for over an hour watching the truck with the big lights scan the ocean and beach, snorkelers with rescue printed on their wetsuits suit up and run down to the beach. We thought perhaps she just didn't come home on time but was going to be okay.

Eventually a lot of the searchers came back up. Some of them left. One set of snorkler's came back for a surf board. The truck with the big light manuevered even farther down the beach. Then I started to see flashing lights at another beach down the way and realized that they had moved the search down the beach.

I came home without knowing what was going on. I have heard sirens on our street twice today. Finally I decided to walk down towards the water and see what I could find out. Apparently they haven't found her yet. The Japanese coastguard has a big boat off the beach searching for her and the helicopters are out as well. I hope they find her okay but I am thinking that it is not looking good now. I feel terrible for her family. The live in our neighborhood because she just walks to the beach in the evenings.

I guess if I see the black and white stripes in the next few days, I'll know it didn't turn out good.

Update on 3/14: I still don't know the outcome but today I have not heard any sirens and yesterday they were looking for her all day. Heard a rumor that she turned up at home but I don't know anything for sure.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

My Vice

I am a member of the Stephen King Library. Have been forever. I got hooked on Stephen King when I was in junior high school after my mom read The Shining and told me how much it affected her. I had already ventured into some horror on my own in grade school but Stephen King is way more than horror, as any loyal reader will know.

I don't know what it is about his books, but he always sucks me in even in the first few words. He just has it down and I connect.

So, as a member of the library, I get the hardcover books as soon as they come out and at quite a discount off the jacket price. I received his latest in the mail on Monday and having forced myself to finish the other book I was reading yesterday, I was primed to get some reading in last night before bed.

As soon as I opened that damn thing, I was hooked. I didn't even get to bed until after 1am but still had to read because it had been something I was looking forward to all day long. I managed to only read for a bit before the need to shut my eyes took over but first thing this morning, I cracked open that book again.

I have no willpower...I could easily make some food, go out on my back porch in this great weather and lie on a towel and read all day long.....any other plans out the window. That is how much I love reading his stuff. Of course, because I am also a very fast reader, the book would be over in no time if I just took the day off to read.

I know I must sound like some kind of freak but his stories are always just so good, and these days if there is horror in them, it is a new kind of horror. Gone are the days of vampires, and clowns in the the horror usually resides either in the book or in the character and the reality of it all is the anticipation that keeps the story moving along without knowing it is going to get you.

So try as I might, I will get some things accomplished today but I can't promise that there won't be a part of the day spent on my deck with the fountain running, the sun shining and me smiling at my 609 pages of pleasure...if I could only make it last.

Monday, March 10, 2008

I Won!!!

It didn't actually change what I pay in taxes but at least I made my point...they lowered the value down to what we paid for the property instead of their inflated figure they had....whoooeee!!! So nice to be vindicated.


Okay, this is going to be a rambler so if you want duck out, I completely understand.

There is this thing about me that I have noticed in recent years that I may have always had and just didn't notice or just noticed because it just appeared. Regardless, it has come to my attention that I believe that in sharing something with someone else about myself, I change the way that person perceives me from that point forward.

I think I have started keeping a lot of things to myself because I don't want that permanent imprint to be there, unless it really is something that is permanent. Meaning, if I tell someone something about my history or experiences, that is fine because it is factual and happened and is part of who I am permanently, but if I tell them about something I am feeling or thinking about at that moment, it is not permanently part of me...just momentarily part of me but I am afraid it will be part of me in their mind forever more. Does that make sense?

Obviously there are things that I don't mind making a permanent part of my memory for others, like how I feel about saving the environment or cruelty to animals but I guess it is more the internal fears or questions that worry me will cloud a person's perception of me in a way that I can't stand. Sometimes I even find myself keeping anger to myself because I don't want to imprint them with me as being an angry person or a fly off the handle kind of person or a person that is not cool and collected.

I remember as a college student, who has kept a journal from the age of 12, that my mother asked if anything ever happened to me, could she publish my journals. Now the idea of being published is fabulous...I would love to be a paid writer, but I was scared that someone would read those things (which are all marked by date and time) and think that I felt all of that all the time, rather than just in that moment. This is kind of the same thing.

The other day, one of my friend's nicknamed me Oracle on the bowling scoreboard. I didn't get it and asked what it meant. She said because I know everything. I know, of course that she didn't mean this in a mean way, but all of a sudden I started to wonder, do I come across as a know it all? I do like to be informed on my life, it is best to be informed (those of you that actually know me, will agree this is so) and I like to help keep my friends and those I love informed as well if I can but I don't want to be thought of as a know it all....that is for sure. I guess it seems like a negative thing to me but probably to others it is not.

I shared some things with my sister the other day, and then I started to think about it today that now she probably thinks of me in a different light. I know deep in my heart that this is probably not true that she just thinks of me the same as she always has as her big sister and none of it was a big enough deal to really dwell on for long anyhow but there is still that nagging little part that worries about it. Weird huh? Because I know things about her that are very similar to what I shared with her and none of that changes at all how I look at her so why should I think it would change how she looks at me?

Those are just two examples of what I am talking about overall here. I feel like even with friends and family, I am keeping more of myself close to the cuff so I don't leave a permanent imprint that I didn't intend to the same time, I feel like if I don't share myself, especially in the moment, will I end up leaving an imprint at all?

The thing is, because of my belief system, this life we have is the one and only final run, no rewinds, no do overs. As humans, we tend to think we need to have meaning to our lives (I don't know that any other animals think this way), and perhaps that is a good thing. It instigates us to make a difference and try to do some good. But at the same time, it fills us with this feeling like we don't amount to something if we aren't creating Pulitzer prize books, or curing cancer. Do cheetahs care about if they have made a mark on the world? No, they live, die and the world moves on....they can have a short life or a long life and the only difference will really be on how many offspring they ended up having.

As a human, I am stuck wondering if I am making a mark on the world, even a little one, and if that is enough to count my life as worthwhile. Should I be doing more? Should I worry about the permanent imprint a rash comment or outburst might cause or should I be focusing on the big picture and the fact that I am here for a very short time and should be enjoying this life I have for what it is worth and just try to help those around me enjoy theirs too?

For those of you reading this and going "ahah, she is having a mid life crisis"...don't think you have everything figured out just quite yet. Number one, I am not in mid life (in my thirties)....I plan to live a very long time (assuming I don't get hit by a bus), so this is in no way my mid life, and number two, I think that this age is a great time to think about these things because I still have tons of time to make changes if necessary and still affect the outcome.

I don't want to be a clique, so I hope that sharing this part of me has not left a permanent clique imprint on you.....(see, I am still worried about it).

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Makes My Back Ache

This is my friend's dog....his name is Matix and he sits in the strangest positions. It is hard to get him on camera because he is afraid of the flash but I did manage to get this shot of him the other day...and this is not even the worst of his positions...

Friday, March 07, 2008

Seventh Generation

I have happened upon a socially and environmentally responsible company that I am proud to do business with. According to their website (link also in title), they have been around for 15 years but I only just found them. I use their toilet paper but will be on the look out for other products that they put out so I can make a small change in whatever way I can to make this earth a better place for those that come after me.

They have a blog that I have added to my reader so I can get an idea of what other options might be out there. I might end up linking them on my blog as well, but for now, I will be happy to just read and educate myself.

I have put a button my sidebar to the company website so you can check them out anytime you want. I know that at least a few of you will find this as interesting info. In the meantime, here are some astounding facts found on their label that might help persuade some of the naysayers...
"If every household in the US replaced just one-4 pack of 400 sheet virgin fiber bathroom tissue with 100% recycled ones, we could save:
  • 1,450,000 trees
  • 3.7 million cubic feet of landfill space, equal to over 5,500 full garbage trucks
  • 523 million gallons of water, a year's supply for over 4,100 families of four
  • avoid 89,000 pounds of chlorinated pollution.

Recycling paper prevents unnecessary landfilling of valuable resources. In addition to saving trees, producing recycled paper uses less water and energy than paper made from trees."

Update- had to remove the button on my sidebar because they redid their website and no longer have gifs or jpegs to use as buttons....unfortunate but true.

Saturday, March 01, 2008


I hate that iTunes is not intuitive if you need to move your music to another harddrive, file or spot on your computer...I should be able to point the whole damn program to the new folder and it should just say okay rather than making me point every single damn song to the new folder.....grrrr.