Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Art Purchase

Yesterday two of my friend's and I went to a little hole in the wall Japanese antique store. We had heard about it from another friend.

When we first walked in, I didn't think I was going to find much. We came specifically to check out the antique kokeshi doll options (since we seem to be into those more lately than the newer ones). I have a few of them that I will post about later and am always looking to see what might be available.

As we were walking around looking at things and saying "oh how cute" about a gazillion times, we started to unearth a few things. The owner didn't seem to mind if we dug through boxes or opened cabinets so we went ahead. He would tell us in Japenglish info about whatever we happened to be looking at. He had several books he would reference and it seemed like the longer we were there and the more interested we seemed, the more free flowing the information became. It was a great experience.

In the cabinet below the big kokeshi doll display there were all these handpainted little cups. Turns out they are military sake cups from WWII. I ended up with three and he gave me a sheet that tells me what the writing in them is for. I'll post about them later too.

Next to the cabinet was leaning a reproduction print from a famous artist that did pictures of kabuki actors. I have been wanting a woodblock kabuki print for some time and told myself I would get one before we left this time.

Well, I have one now. The owner told me that the print is 85 years old. The original is in a museum. The back has some information about the artist and the subject of the print. I realize that it is not an original but to have something that beautiful and old is still an awesome thing. The artist's name is Sharaku and the subject's name is Otani Oniji.


Two Years Ago on In My Words...Poison/Oak Ivy

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Patio Turmoils

Beautiful mothI wake up this morning, and the umbrella, that was in the center of my table stablized by a stand underneath my table last night, is sitting on the deck next to the table. I am lucky it wasn't in the pond or worse, in someone else's yard...haha.

When I got home just now, I found a little beautiful moth in my pond. At first, I thought it might be in there on purpose but then it seemed to be struggling, so I went out there, picked it up and put it on the patio chair so it could dry its wings. It stood there for a bit letting the wind flutter through its wings and then it took off flying again...I felt good about saving it.

The pic is from last summer when I found one outside our house...but it is the same type of moth.


One Year Ago on In My Words....Soccer Woes

Monday, April 28, 2008

Rain Is Back

Some of my projects are on hold because the rain came back today. I did get a couple of boxes in the mail this morning and I paid some bills at the Family Mart yesterday so I am not completely worthless. I also went to this cool festival that I will blog about on my travel blog later and leave an update notice about. I rode my bike to the festival so I got some exercise as well. I spend the last of the afternoon at the beach with a friend and took some cool shots.

Overall, a somewhat productive weekend. How was yours?


Three Years Ago on In My Words...Made It Home

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Beachin' It

Yesterday was the official season opener for the beach down three blocks from my house. I beat the traffic and parking mess by just walking for me.

I met some friends there and we watched the kids on the waterslide and tried to keep them from drowning when they came out. We had some lunch and just enjoyed being out in great weather that is not yet hot and humid....

I managed to keep from getting sunburned, just a bit of pink on the top of my feet but otherwise, I am good. This is great because usually the first day out in the sun here results in an uncomfortable few days afterwards.

There was a lot of seaweed on the beach, it smelled great. There was one man in a less busy part of the beach shoveling it up into his truck...he must use it for mulch or something because there was way too much sand intermixed and I don't think people eat this type much. It was not nori. I bet it makes his garden smell like the beach....what a great air freshener.

On the way back home, I saw a guy taking pictures (which I should have done more of) and he asked me in Japanese (which I only speak a few words of) if he could take my picture. This conversation was accompanied by hand motions and head nodding. He took my pic while I stood up on a big volcanic rock on my way back home. I would have loved to see how it turned out but probably never will...oh well, it was fun.


Two Years Ago on In My Words...Updates


Wow, Friday was busy for me. I had a get together at a friend's where we made some awesome Mother's Day cards (although I'll keep most of them as examples to use to make more from to send to family). That lasted most of the day because we had some breakfast and lunch to consume as well. It was fun hanging out with some of my friends in a relaxed and fun environment.

In the evening, some of us were heading to a bunco party being hosted by a service organization we are close with. It was fun, but not quite what I was expecting. We had a good time of it though, we always do.

Later one, K and I had told a friend we would show up at their get together for a bit and we did. It was fun even though it was cold out and I wasn't really dressed for it. We were able to get in some people watching (drunk ones can always be very amusing). We hadn't seen our friend for several months so it was great to catch up and retell some of our hilarious stories. Now we have heard another friend might be in town in a few week so we might have to schedule some food or something....that would be great to catch up. We'll see what comes about...

Anyhow, I got home late and decided to sleep in a bit....and I was actually able to...miracle of miracles...haha.


Two Years Ago on In My Words....Utterly Ridiculous

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Thanks on Thursday

A Younger VersionContinuing project...this week's thanks are:

I am grateful for my dad. He chose to be my dad even when he didn't have to and without him, I would have been lost. He also gives me perspective when I come to him with questions and opinions. He is my friend. He has always brought out the goofy, spunky, and spontaneous side. He taught me to not let things get to me and ruin my day. He rubbed my back at night when I had a nightmare and told me that everything was going to be okay. He always had a lap big enough for me and my sister.

I am thankful for the sun. Today was a beautiful day and it really makes me think about how lucky we all are to have this wonderful planet to live on and enjoy (assuming we don't mess it up). Spring is in the air and the flowers are in bloom, the birds are chirping and the cycle moves on. It is refreshing to see.


Two Years Ago on In My Words...Technical Difficulties

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Car Is Back

I was able to get a ride from my friend yesterday to pick up my car from the shop. It seems to be running like normal but the brakes feel a million times better, there is no pull to the side, and the windshield looks like new.

Next month, I'll have to pay the annual road tax and when I do, I'll have them fix the stupid sticker situation on my windshield but in the meantime, I am just glad to have my car back.

Now I need to run my friend's car back to her house and walk will be good exercise for me and the weather is cooperating today.


One Year Ago on In My Words...Mystery Bump

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Bunco Success

Typical decorative Thai rice basketI had my bunco party last night. Even though I didn't get every little chore done I wanted to get done beforehand, I did get the main and noticable ones out of the way. The house looked good and we had plenty of room.

I made Yum Nua (Thai Spicy Beef Salad), Massuman curry (Thai mild curry from the southern region), and then for dessert Khao Neao Mamuang (Mango with sweet sticky rice). I had Chai yen (Thai tea) and a couple bottles of wine as well. Everyone liked the food and some even took leftovers home so I didn't have to worry about running out. The mango dessert could have been better but overall the food was a success.

The gifts were a hit (rice baskets from Thailand) and the weather was awesome so we had all the windows and sliders open and one table was set up on the deck and everyone loved it. Too bad this weather won't last....warm and sticky is on its fact just this morning the humidity is much higher...

I had a ton of fun last night and I think my guests did too. Now I can start focusing on a few other things...


One Year Ago on In My Words...Almost There

Sunday, April 20, 2008


Saturday, I spent a few hours at our local DIY and got myself a flat and 1/2 of flowers. They had a gardenia and a jasmine for 680 yen each and then I bought a bunch of little perennials for some of my pots near the door. I also plan to plant a herb container to augment what I have growing naturally in two of the owner's beds here.

So I plan to get some breakfast in a few minutes and then get out back and weedwack our back yard. I have a luncheon I have to go to around noon but then I will be off on some more errands and duties before my bunco party tomorrow night. I don't know if I will get the flowers and herbs planted before bunco but if I don't it is no biggie...the yard will be dark by the time we get started anyhow...

I just can't wait to have a little bit of spring around the house where I can see it (our flower beds are out front and we can't see them from inside the house). At least one of the big pots is going on our deck...

I am keeping the jasmine in the house until after bunco...who needs air freshener with that beauty around?


One Year Ago on In My Words...Water, Water and Wasted Plastic Bottles

Friday, April 18, 2008

At The Shop

I had a friend help me drop off my car at the shop yesterday. Every two years here, all drivers have to have a safety and maintenance inspection and purchase a special kind of insurance. This helps the govt make sure that cars on the roads are up to standards and are not polluting more than they do naturally. Japan has very strict emission codes (something we could learn a thing or two about in the States). I never mind doing the inspection or insurance but it does take some time.

The garage will have my car at least until Monday. I asked them to call me when they knew for sure what it would need to pass inspection. Turns out that I need front brake pads and an alignment (which doesn't suprise me because it has been grabbing to one side when I brake), and it needs a brake rebuild (which I think means a cylinder rebuild) in the back. I also have a chip in the windshield (which was there when we bought the car) that has to be repaired before it will pass. I will talk to them today and make sure that they also check the charging system because every once in a while it will sound like it is having issues in that department.

Overall, when I am done, I will have a car that I can rely on, and hopefully will have no mechanical worries for another 2 years. In the meantime, I have a loaner from a friend to drive for the weekend and one more thing checked off my list.


Three Years Ago on In My Words...Bad Idea

Thursday, April 17, 2008


it is rude to tell people about an event/party/get together if they are not invited....


Two Years Ago on In My Words....Flashing

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Thanks For This Thursday

A Younger VersionContinuing project...this week's thanks are:

I am grateful for my mom. Unfortunately for her, she had to be the heavy my entire childhood and I know that was hard on her but I am a directed, and independent woman because of her. She is my friend. I can turn to her with questions, or opinions and always get a new perspective on things. She made some hard decisions in her life when I was little just to give me a better life and I am so thankful for that. She pushed me to be a better person and look outside of myself. I have learned more from her than I can even remember. She always finds the beauty in things.

I am thankful for my education. While it has cost a pretty penny and I probably haven't gotten my money back out of it yet, I will never feel that learning is a waste. I hope to be learning until the day I die. We can never be too educated in this life and that doesn't mean all education has to be book or school learned. I realize that my education has opened doors for me, and kept them open in a world where doors are so often slamming shut on people. I hope that I can use my education to improve upon someone else's life, even if it means just convincing them to continue their educations. I know that my education has broadened my horizons both literally and figuratively. I hope to do the same for another.


Eighteen Months Ago on In My Words....Interesting Finds

Golf Clubs

I have got them in the car so I can be ready to hit some balls at a moment's notice....that has got to be a good sign right?


Three Years Ago on In My Words....Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Nothing Is Easy

Yesterday I got pissed off at IE because no matter what I do the Link folder in Favorites always comes back and it makes itself show on my toolbar and it also moves my Google toolbar around. My spyware blocker sees it coming in even though I have used every registry edit option out there to keep this thing from coming back.

So I decided to switch to Firefox....which is okay. The fonts and size of fonts are not my favorite and I am not used to the whole tabbed thing but I am learning.

There are three things missing though that really bug me....

1. No word wrap for long urls....hello, Firefox has known about this issue since 2006 and still they do not have a fix...well when CSS3 becomes the standard I guess they will be forced to deal with it.

2. There is no "apply" button in the internet options you can't try something out without exiting out of the area you are in.

3. There is no way to block third party cookies....this one bugs me a lot as well.

So while I have searched all over Blogger and Google today to find a solution to the word wrap issue (my biggest peeve), I find that there is not going to be a solution, at least not for a while. This SUCKS because now my Testing Blogger blog looks like crap in Firefox (of course it always looked like this, I just didn't know). I might have to change templates just so I don't have to deal with seeing it look so crappy for now....this really does piss me off.

Get with it Firefox....this should be an easy one to fix.


Two Years Ago on In My Words...In Memory

Stinky Lotion

I recently tried a bottle of Suave Cocoa butter with Shea lotion on the recommendation from my mom that Shea butter lotions are great for your skin....well they might be, but this one in particular turns on me. Not immediately, but as soon as I start sweating at all, I start to stink like I haven't washed under my pits in a week. This is very uncomfortable for me because I am kind of phobic of BO on my own body (don't mind it on others much).

Now that wouldn't be a complete issue if I lived somewhere else but here, sweating is a way of life and I can't have it turning into stinking sweat within ten minutes of getting out of the shower....that will just not do.

I don't know if it is the shea or the cocoa butter that is doing it but I know that I am not going to use that particular one again. I was trying to finish out the bottle but yesterday I got fed up with it, so it is out of here....I am using Nivea for now...when it is gone, I'll try something new again.


Three Years Ago on In My Words....Trips and All The Chaos

Monday, April 14, 2008


I had a very strange dream about J last night that might turn into a story later. I woke up from it around 4:30am and felt terrible (sometimes happens when I have bad dreams about him), but amazingly enough I remembered most of the dream, even the details, at 7am when I got up so I wrote an outline of things so I can flesh it out later if I so desire...we'll see.


One Year Ago on In My Words...Time is Flying

Making Headway

Okay, so we have narrowed down that my project issues are genetic...haha. I am doing much better at breaking things down now that I know it is not just me...

I have finished the Okinawa kanji squares, I just need to write my name on them and give them out to those that I am giving them to. I am still working on the wave ones...I have 5 done but the cutting is hard so I can only do a few at a time before my hand gives out. I obviously need to stitch the ones I am keeping for myself.

I put our tiki torches out and took inventory of the big pots I brought with me so I can get some flowers and herbs planted and pretty things up outside. I will probably need at least a flat of flowers from our local DIY store. I cleaned all the windows I could reach without a ladder the other day on the outside...this will take much more time since we have a wall of glass on every room in our house, including the bathrooms. Fortunately, I don't have to clean them often.

I was able to visit a friend I haven't seen in a few days due to schedules and we got caught up. I need to get some flowers sent to another friend that is having surgery in the morning in WA. In fact, she is probably in surgery right now.

I have done some updates on two of my blog templates and will probably do more soon but for now, I like what I have done and am happy to leave things as is.

I feel like I got some things accomplished today even though I didn't hack out the whole list and I didn't get any one full project completed...I guess I am in project remission though and that is a step in the right direction...haha.


30 Months Ago on In My Words...Image History

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Losing Its Appeal

I went out geocaching the other day after dinner. It seems like it has gotten a lot more complicated to geocache here than I really want it to be. Some caches here are hidden near or in the water and can only be gotten when the tide is out which means coordinating the tide schedules (terrible for me to deal with). Others are camouflaged micros in very busy areas that really don't take me to a new place, but seem to be a test of the hider's ability to stump everyone and cause us to seek caches only in the rain or at night in order to not be seen. Then others are hidden amongst trash in dark scary caves that homeless people live in making finding them almost impossible.

It has been ages that I have gone to find a cache in a nice hidden away place that doesn't require me to beat off habu snakes, or tourists and still shows me something new. It makes the sport very frustrating for me. A lot of the fun has been taken out of it for me. I do it because I want exercise and to see something new. I don't do it so I can drive up to a little spot on the side of the road and find a cache 5 feet from my car, unless the spot is cool and I wouldn't have seen it otherwise.

One other issue is that if a cache is not hidden properly, it is found, quite frequently, by either tourists, landscapers or others not playing the game. Many times because NO ONE here thinks to put a Japanese translation page in their caches, they are tossed in the trash. So many coins, and travel bugs have been lost in just the last few weeks because of this....this makes me not want to put any of my travel bugs out there.

Now all of this is not on the hiders alone...the nature of this place adds to it. The parks here are very finding a hiding spot that won't be weedwacked every 6 months is very hard to do. This place is also very crowded so it is hard to find a spot where there isn't someone else already sitting enjoying the space. Creatively camouflaged micros are sometimes the only option.

Okay, that is my bitch session for the day. I want to go out geocaching today but my frustration from the other night, might just lead to me to find other things to do instead...grrrrr.


Two Years Ago at In My Words...Typical

Friday, April 11, 2008

New Square Prototypes

Here are two jpegs of the designs for squares I want to make for my quilt. I made these designs so I could figure out what will end up looking the best. I already have the material...just finishing up the prep work so I can get started....

Okinawa in Kanji

Japanese Style Wave

I think the wave will need some detail stitching on the white part...maybe even in a light blue...


Three Years Ago at In My Words....The Somewhat Downside

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Not Motivated

I am fighting the procrastination bug big time. I did finally manage to get to a store I have been meaning to visit for over a week, today. I got what I needed, now I just need to mail it. I was telling my mom via email this morning how I am getting bogged down because I can't just let something be a task....if I have two yardwork items to do, it becomes a project rather than just two items. Because it is elevated to project status, I tend to not start unless I have a huge block of time to tackle it in. I like to be done with it rather than have it sitting around half done (although the way I have been tackling projects subconsciously lately, you wouldn't believe this about me).

So, instead of repotting a few house plants today and then weedwacking the yard tomorrow and then weeding the front yard the next and planting some spring flowers and herbs the next, I just keep putting the whole thing off as a "yardwork project" until I have everything I could possibly need from the store and the weather to tackle it all at once....this can mean that it doesn't get done. I refuse to live this way anymore.

Right now, I am experiencing the 4pm I need to get off the computer and doing something physical so I can get past it. I have windows to clean outside and that would be another one that I have turned into a project rather than just doing a few at a time....grrr...sometimes my personality conflicts with my reasoning....and then none of us are happy.

Update- I did get some exercising, geocaching, yarding, and window washing in...none of it is complete but at least I made a dent in a few things...I guess I had a break-thru because doing a bit rather than all didn't kill me.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Thursday Thanks

A Younger VersionContinuing project...this week's thanks are:

I am grateful for my sister. She is my closest friend. I can tell her anything and not be judged. She is my secret holder. She motivates me and drives me to be more like her. She is fun and alive and makes me get out of my shell and live it up. She is beautiful inside and out and brings out the best in people when they are around her. The room lights up when she comes in. My childhood would have been boring without her. She helps me to keep perspective and focus.

I am thankful for my health...for a few weeks I haven't felt that great (most likely a bug I picked up traveling) but I seem to be okay is amazing how you can feel less than 100% and it can change your entire perspective. Then when it hangs around longer than you expect, it really starts to knaw at your brain and the worrying does you no good either. I am glad to be worry free, sleeping more peacefully and able to get back to my regular life.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


Yesterday I did a bit of errand running and hopefully got some things done. I did fine the fabric I am going to use for two more squares I am making for my quilt. I'll have enough to make a few extras of each so I'll put those up for grabs when they are done. I know my friend K wants some of them.

I updated the ToDo list this morning and I noticed that every time I try to type strike to put in the cross out html....I misspell it....every time. Don't know what the deal is but it pisses me off.

I talked to the local authorities about the speeding on our road the other day, but I don't know if it will make a difference. Until someone gets hurt or killed, I am sure no one will do anything.

I need to do some geocaching since I have a coin that needs to be put out.

I had a very weird dream last night about my husband's work...very strange indeed. Can't go into it here because that would blow some of my anonymity so you know how that is.

I managed to sleep (kind of) in until 7am this morning...don't know what the deal is but 6 am seems to be my body clock time to get up, even if I read in bed until 12 at night.

I am reading a book that is only okay right now...actually, I am reading two books but I thought the second one would be a quick fast read so the first one was put on hold. If you want to get technical about it, I have a third one I started ages ago in my night stand that I need to finish too....oh well.

I have been doing my brain age training on my Nintendo DSLite in the still tells me my brain is 56 years old...I am wonder if I have a younger brain in the mornings.

I spent an hour at the 100 yen store last night on my way home from my friend's house. I got some things to mail out but also some things for the house. We could learn so much from the Japanese on economy and is amazing. I could sit in one of those stores forever thinking up ways to use the stuff in there. I even found some little screen repair things I am going to try out in the office screen. We'll see if they work. I did find some big soup bowls. They aren't matching to the ones I have already but they are blue, white and black so they will go with all my other stuff. If I ever come across my other ones, I'll grab them up.

The sun is out and I am meeting some friends for coffee at the Starbucks that opened a few weeks ago less than a mile from my house.

Monday, April 07, 2008

New Furniture

New dining room
Okay, I promised I would post a pic of the new furniture I bought when I got it situated. This is a pic of our dining room looking from our living room area towards our kitchen. The two chairs stacked on each other on the right are not there anymore...I found homes for them in another part of the house. The table expands to seat six and it is countertop height. All of the furniture is made out of mango wood and is pretty heavy and hard.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

I Found Them

I guess I never blogged about this before because I did several searches and couldn't find this one...but ever since we got here, I have not been able to find a pile of giftcards that I had. I knew I put them somewhere safe but in my organizing way, I couldn't find them any where. I mean it was to the point that I started a Word doc on my computer to keep track of the places I already looked for them just so I would stop looking for them repeatedly in the same spots (which all seemed like logical spots). This reminds of me of when I "lost" all our foreign bills when we moved back to the States last time because I stashed them someplace safe. It took me months to find them too and I just happened upon them one day.

Same thing today. I was putting some coupons away and found all the giftcards in my coupon organizer (you had to know I had one of those, right?). When I think of it now, I am not sure why I put them there and not one of the logical places I already looked but I am happy to have found them...J will get a laugh out of this one when I tell him.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Lazy Day

Today has been a totally lazy day for me. The only thing I have accomplished besides watching movies that I need to return, is coloring my hair. I hope to get a square of my quilt stitched but we'll see if I can even knock that out or not. I don't know what the deal was but I figured I would not fight it and just enjoy a day of doing almost nothing...

Now I do have to go because I am hungry and that can't wait for another day.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Thursday's Thanks

I was reading today, about a girl I don't know, that has cancer. She is a mom, and has beaten cancer two times, but now it is back and might be back to stay. I have never read her blog before (I was directed there by someone else) but it struck a cord with me and really made me think. Her blog is in my reader now and I am sure that I will be adding her to the list of Internet "friends" that are made through the communities we all have when we put ourselves out there on the Web. Note that, because I tend to stay pretty anonymous on the web, my community (minus those that know me in real life) is probably pretty small and non-substantial but it is still there.

So anyhow, she asked us what we are grateful for and this got me to thinking. I have a ton to be thankful for, much of it is small everyday things, but the bigger things are probably things I take for granted everyday and don't really even think about. Those are the things that I would incredibly miss if they were gone for even a second of my life and probably need more attention than I give them. They are things that if they weren't in my life at some point, would have changed the person I ended up being. This is a good exercise for my brain because I think I need a good dose of reality and perspective. I tend to sweat the small sh1t and I need to think about all I have got and realize that those small things that I can or can't control on a day to day basis are not the things that matter. The things that matter are bigger than that.

So each week, on Thursday, I am going to put up a post that talks about what I am thankful for. I have so many things that if I tried to put it all in one post, it would be huge and the thanks would get lost. So if I spread them out over the weeks, it will keep the posts at a readable length but also give me a chance to focus on the things that I am grateful for over time. Bear with me, since these might get a bit sappy....

I am grateful for my husband, who is also my best friend. We have a lot in common while still being different enough to keep it interesting and we love each other for those differences as much as we do for the things that are the same between us. We stablize each other, keep each other sane, and in the here and now. I would not have grown into the woman I am without him in my life the last 16 years.

I am thankful for the spring weather (even if that means days of rain as well as sun). It makes me feel alive when I go outside and breathe in the air. It motivates me to get exercise, enjoy the outdoors and tackle projects. It makes my skin feel good. It tells my brain that everything is cyclic and we can always start again.

I am grateful for the Internet because it allows me to stay in touch with my friends and family when I am far away (which seems to be how I always am). If we lived in another country 20 years ago, phone calls and letters would be our only option. And while letters were cheaper than they are today, phone calls were not. These days, I have email, blogs, IM, VOIP, texting, letters, and phone calls, and that makes it so much easier to still feel like I am apart of something that is not near.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

What Was the IOC Thinking?

These stories are making me so sad....the three YouTube videos (one program) are somewhat sensationalized but that doesn't take away from the fact that there are serious problems in China right now and the fact that all eyes will be on them is not going to be easy for their government to deal with....seems though, that they are not choosing to deal with it in a good way...instead they decide to demolish homes and hope that all the the sad or poor people will just not be seen rather than trying to actually fix things.

I saw a segment on NBC Nightly News tonight that made me cry. They were destroying some of the ancient areas of the city (note these are historic areas as well) and those that were displaced were crying. There was an elderly man in a wheelchair with tears in his eyes and it just made my heart break. The stats stated that 13,000 people were being diplaced per day and that the number is expected to be 1.5 million by August of this year.

I just don't understand why they have to do this. It makes me not want to watch the Olympics this summer.

Mishka's March Reading

I updated my March reading list on Mishka's reading if you want to check it out.