Saturday, May 31, 2008

Flowers Galore

I take my camera with me on my one hour walks in the morning. Sometimes I have lots to take pictures of and sometimes I don't. The light is usually great and that helps. The last few mornings I have been lucky and have found some gorgeous shots....too bad I can only post small unlinkable versions here due to thieves, but you'll get the idea of how great the flowers are.

That is one great thing about the weather here....seems like something is always blooming regardless of what time of year it is.


Two Years Ago on In My Words...Weekend at the Beach

Friday, May 30, 2008

Why Don't We?

A better way to clean the seatThink of smart cool things like this?


One Year Ago on In My Words...Out and About

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

AC is Done

The repairpersons or should I say replacepersons, have been here and gone and now I have a shiny new AC unit in my office/guest room that has HEAT in it as more freezing in the winter (who am I kidding, since we don't get below 50 most winters)...I am just excited to not be sweating in here when I am wasting time on the computer...haha. Even with little to now verbal communication available...sign language and written directions seem to be enough to get by and I have already deciphered the instruction manual so I will know how to use the remote.

My back is hurting a bit from my hour long speed walking the last two days so I decided to give it a break today but I wanted to hit some golf balls...I might have to hold off one day to just make sure I didn't tweak anything...can't be hung up with a back thing...too much to do.

I got the car washed and vacuumed yesterday and then of course it rained...I didn't mind though. The car is still clean inside and out and the rain watered everything and cooled things off a bit.


Two Years Ago on In My Words...Weekend At The Beach

Monday, May 26, 2008

Checking It Off

I am making some headway in my To Do List. There are a few things that have been added and then checked off and then some of the old stuff has been checked off as well. It feels great to get some of it gone...out of my mind and off my list.

Yesterday was a particularly productive day and I hope to make today productive as well. I managed to get the three little videos put together and loaded to YouTube, that I had promised my friend I would do for her of her kids at their respective sports. That was a huge lift off my chest.

I also managed to get her scarf finished, which wasn't a huge deal but for some reason was taking me forever to do. I planted a few flowers to hang on our front gate and managed to get some Japanese studying in as well as some exercise.

Today has a couple of out of the house tasks on it but I think I will still get home to get some things off the list again today. I will get exercise (at least some of it) out of the way this morning before I even start anything else....have to make it a priority...what else am I to do at 6am in the morning...haha.


Three Years Ago on In My Words...Cliffhanger

Sunday, May 25, 2008


The humidity is here and I am afraid it is here for the duration of the summer. It hit a couple of days ago and I haven't had any windows open since. I miss it but it is unrealistic to think I can keep the windows open when the humidity is so high....everything inside will mildew...

So this morning, I went on a hard, hour long walk to get back into the groove. I know I have been saying this for months but I figure at least that I am continuing to try and that is what matters most. This was the first morning where I really got a sweat on, due to the humidity, and it felt good. It felt like I was doing we will see how it goes.

I hope to get to the gym later today and perhaps even hit some golf balls...that would be fun. So here is to motivation, determination, and a better Mishka.


One Year Ago on In My Words...Wait'em Out

Saturday, May 24, 2008

She's Always A Woman

Today, I was going through some CDs being donated to the libary, but that I needed to grab some songs off of. One of them was a Billy Joel Greatest Hits album and the title song above was one of them.

When I hear it, it reminds me of a very specific time in my life. I was a freshman in college. I had a group of friends in high school but most of them went away for school and I stayed in our home town for the first year because I really couldn't afford to do anything else. So I was basically starting out on my own for the first time in 12 years. I didn't know hardly anyone at my school and I actually kind of liked it. Growing up in a small town led to years of knowing the same kids, what to expect and how to get by. Now, it was all new and no one knew me or expected something specific from me.

I started to make decisions on my own. I started to spend time doing some things that I either didn't know I was interested in before or had put on the back burner because they didn't fit into my life. I left my high school job at McDonald's and started driving for Domino's pizza. I would deliver to the college dorms and started to meet a few people that lived there or worked with me at Domino's from the school. My confidence began to grow as I made friends.

I worked parttime at a boat yard at the lake teaching/renting sailboats. I made new friends there. I started to get noticed by boys that I didn't grow up with and this was a huge boost to my self esteem and body image...I think this was the first time since puberty that I felt like my body was cute. I learned how to flirt and enjoyed the reaction I could create. I never thought I was ugly growing up but I always thought I was fat, even when I was playing soccer year around.

I started playing soccer with the club team at the school and was the only girl on the team. I became the "little sis" to everyone on the team and it felt great to have a bunch of friends that I could count on.

Okay, so back to the song. During this time, one of the players developed a crush on me but I didn't know it. His name was Kevin and he was a defender like me. He was really nice and we were friends outside of soccer but I didn't know how he felt about me. We hung out all the time, went to dinners and I even went to see his trio play at the local restaurants.

At one point, I was over at his place, talking to him about this other boy I had a crush on...disappointed I believe because I had just discovered that he had a girlfriend back in his home town. It was hard on me because he also played soccer with us on occasion and so I would see him more than my heart could take. I confessed this all to Kevin not knowing how he felt about him.

The next week, he called me, telling me that we needed to meet. He had some news for me. So I met with him. He gave me this note and a cassette tape he had made for me. This Billy Joel song was one of the songs on there. I listened to the tape and read the note...I was shocked. I had no idea. I felt horrible for having confessed my feelings for this other boy to him knowing how much it must have hurt him. Problem was that I didn't feel the same for him as he felt for me. He had told me he loved me and would always love me. I didn't know how to react and thankfully because it was in a letter and on a tape, I didn't have to react face to face but eventually I did have to face him. He had said in the letter that he knew I didn't feel the same as him but that was okay, he still loved me and wanted to be my friend. It changed everything. We were never that close again.

The tape had some really awesome songs on it, and I listened to it long after Kevin was not in my life anymore but now, I always think of him and that time in my life when I finally realized the effect I might have on a boy and how that could be a good and a bad thing anytime I hear songs off that tape.

I wonder if I have the tape somewhere??? Knowing me, I have the letter somewhere in storage...but I am not sure about the tape.


Two Years Ago on In My Words...Blog Passwords

Thursday, May 22, 2008


I know I mentioned this in passing once.....there is a new Starbucks within a mile of my house. This is both good and bad. The good is that sometimes you just need it, and it is within walking distance so I rarely ever drive motivates me to walk there even if I am meeting friends (which we do almost every Friday). It is also good because I have stock in Starbucks so seeing the company do well is reassuring to me....(I only have a few shares through TD Ameritrade so I am not a huge stock holder...haha).

The bad is that it is so close the temptation is always there. It also (along with the gazillion other stores that opened in the same area this month) causes a bit of traffic on the intersection we have to deal with on a daily basis. Good news on that front is that I am discovering work arounds....


One Year Ago on In My Words
...Back In The Land Of The Living

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Thankful This Thursday

Continuing project...this week's thanks are:

I am thankful for our families as a whole. When J and I got married, our families barely knew each other because his mostly lived in California and mine was in Oregon. Now a large majority of his lives in Oregon and they all see each other occasionally. Having them centrally located has made things so nice for J and I because we want to spend as much time with them as we can when we are in town. Whenever we have get togethers in the States, it makes it easy to invite everyone to one function and see all of them at one makes for great pictures too. Both of our families have been very supportive to us. They are there when we need them and are understanding of the distance we all usually have to live with. We would not be as successful as we are in our daily lives if it wasn't for them.

I am thankful for my friends here in Japan. We are all thrown together in different circumstances but manage to make the best of being far from our families. This summer a few of my friends are moving to new places and while I will be sad to see them go, I am excited for them to start a new adventure in a new place. Being that we have left this place before and a different set of friends then, we know how life can be completely cyclic and that we aren't going to be saying goodbye, just see you later.


Three Years Ago on In My Words...Party's Over

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

How Often

do you get to see this side of a moth? They are hatching and breeding down the street on these particular trees (I am not sure if they are fig or olive). This moth in particular hung out on my slider for most of the day. The other night I came home and there were 6 of them on the sliders throughout the livingroom and tatami room. It is kind of cool to see so many of them but I am sad because the hatching/breeding is going on close to the road and I am sure there are lots of casualties to the road as well.


Two Years Ago on In My Words...We Be Wireless

Monday, May 19, 2008

How Is It?

These are two of the current ads in the sidebar of my blog. Do you see anything wrong with this? How is it that the powers that be at Google would think that these two ads would go together on the page, much less right next to each other?


Three Years Ago on In My Words...Baggers

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Tropical Storm Halong Update

Well, now we are not in the ship avoidance area so we probably won't get much from this, assuming it stays on course. We are getting some rain and wind today but nothing too bad. The strongest winds we'll get will be this evening into tomorrow. It will be at typhoon strength by then but far enough away that we mostly won't feel it.

It is a good day to stay inside and tackle some projects that have been put off because of nice weather and the desire to be outside....haha.

I am continuing to eat soup but I am hoping to be done with that today as well..we'll see though because I still have quite a bit of it left.


Three Years Ago on In My Words...Ten Years of Mishka

Happy Birthday Aunt L!!!

For me it was yesterday but for her, it is today....I hope you have a great birthday and you are able to relax and celebrate with family and friends. Don't think about school for at least a few hours, okay?

We love you and wish we could be there.


Two Years Ago on In My Words...Happy Birthday Aunt L

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Tropical Storm Halong

Well, this one looks like it won't hit us directly but it will skirt by us pretty close and will be at typhoon strength when it does. I might tie down some of the lighter stuff in my yard today in prep for tomorrow's gusts.


One Year Ago on In My Words...Reflections at Weymouth Woods Rerserve

As cyclone refugees wait, Myanmar refuses aid - Yahoo! News

What is wrong with these people?


One Year Ago on In My Words...Reunions

Friday, May 16, 2008


I walked 7 miles yesterday morning with a friend and while I was tired a bit when we first finished, I didn't feel any different the rest of the day.

Today I made soup for some friends (thank you to those that were able to make it over), and this meant being in the kitchen on my feet quite a bit. I also did a buttload of cleaning beforehand in prep for visitors. Now my foot has a sore spot on the bottom that feels kind of like a stone bruise.

It is weird because I wore little house slippers all day knowing I was going to be on my feet just to give them a bit of a break...guess it didn't work. Hopefully it will feel better tomorrow since I have to get some walking in.


Three Years Ago on In My Words...It's Official

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Continuing project...this week's thanks are:

I am thankful for my Aunt L. There was a period of my life when I was in high school when she seemed like the only adult I could talk to. I shared pretty much everything with her and because of that, she has always been close to my heart. She taught me (without even realizing it probably) that adults were human too and that they could be trusted with our dramatic high school lives when we needed them to. She and my uncle would sleep in the living room with us kids on "camp outs" on the weekend and we would stay up late watching scary movies (back in the days of only 4 channels on the TV). Her special relationship with my mom, even after they weren't "related" anymore has always been amazing to me. What a great example they set for us kids in their friendship.

I am thankful for my cat Chase. While she does drive me crazy at times, I am glad to have her around to keep my company when I am on my own. She loves us unconditionally and shows it in her headbutting (which she learned from Madison) and her licking. She loves nothing more than being the center of your petting attention and of course a few treats. I know she has been though a lot moving with us all over the place but I am glad that we have her and she has us.


Two Years Ago on In My Words...Almost Done

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

New Art

I went to an art auction the other night where some of the proceeds were for charity. It was being hosted by a local organization but the art was all being provided by the same gallery that I bought my Norikane etching from a while ago. They were donating 10% of the profits to the organization along with all the proceeds from a few pieces that were labeled "special donation".

I had gone through all the items up for bid and circled on the ones I might want to bid on. I also went through the pre-sale items just to get an idea of what things were worth so I wouldn't go too crazy during the bidding process. Some friends and I went there together so we got some food and then settled in for the auction.

One of the pieces (I don't have a photo of quite yet) that I had my eye on came up right away in the bidding. I held off until the bidding slowed down but was still under what I thought it was worth. Then I made my move and I ended up getting it for about 60 dollars less than I thought it was worth originally.

Now it turns out that because it is an artist's proof, it is possibly one of a kind and worth quite a bit more than I first thought....this of course works for me. It is a Norikane print like the one I purchased from Kanda's before but this one is called Spring. It has a thatch roofed house in it and it has some of the artist proof items still in the printing, like the title and artist's name in writing in the corner but in reverse. I'll have to take a picture of it soon since I couldn't find an image of it anywhere on the internet. I don't think it is quite as well known as some of his other prints.

The second print that I bid on was much later in the evening. It was a special donation which meant that all the proceeds went to charity. I had thought someone had told me it was worth about 200 dollars so when the bidding got near there, I slowed down but then I was then told it was much higher than so I started to bid quite a bit and managed to get that one for about 185 dollars less than what it is sold for at the same gallery. I was very excited. This too, was a Norikane print and it is called Engawa-6. It has the shoji screens on it and I just love it.

Overall, I feel like I made two great deals. Now I have the Engawa-6 hanging in the living room, the Miyajima-2 in my office near my computer, and the Spring in my bedroom so I can see one of my prints no matter where I am in the house...haha.


One Year Ago on In My Words...Freedom Writers

Monday, May 12, 2008

Naha Harii

May 5th is Children's Day in Japan. It is marks one of the holidays that all fall during Golden Week (one of the biggest holiday seasons in Japan). It is also the traditional date of the Naha Harii (Naha Dragonboat Races).

I competed in the races for 3 years when we were living here before. I always enjoyed being a part of the culture and the experience that comes with it. It was a lot of fun. Twice now I have gone to the races as a spectator and experienced the festival side of the event. It also is a lot of fun.

This year, I went with a few friends down to the port. The weather was not terrific but while we were there, the rain stayed away and we were able to watch some of the races and get some festival food without getting soaked.

I'll probably blog a bit more about this in detail on my travel blog when I get a chance but I did take the opportunity while I was there to take some pictures and I wanted to post a couple of the ones I liked the best.


One Year Ago on In My Words...Mom Visit Update II

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Boat carrying Myanmar aid sinks; toll climbs beyond 28,000 - Yahoo! News

I am amazed at how some humans treat each other and this do they sleep at night? It makes my heart ache to see this kind of thing. What is wrong with us?


Three Years Ago on In My Words...Corona

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Super Typhoon Rammasun

Looks like it is going to miss us but we are still getting a few gusts from the out of season biggie.

The wind has been great this morning. I have all the windows open and the fresh air is awesome. The air is surprisingly, dry. The sun is shining, so for now, we don't have any rain coming from it. I think I might even get some sun today on the porch and then save my walk for later in the afternoon when the sun is not so potent so I don't accidentally double dip.

I might even make to the Makeman store to get some things so I can finish up some yardwork this afternoon...wouldn't that be great??? This kind of weather really motivates me to get outside and get things done.

Friday, May 09, 2008


I managed to get off my butt and get some repotting done yesterday. I waited until late afternoon when our backyard was in the shade and then I took all of our house plants out back and moved them all up one size in pots.

I also got all the flowers I purchased last week put into pots and placed around the yard so it looks nice. I need to go back to the store and get more dirt and herbs so I can plant the last pot of herbs.

Once I am done with that, I need to get some yardwork done....there is really no excuse for the state of my front bed, other than procrastination. I am sure the owner drives by and just cringes. There is a dead small tree in there that has to come out as well.

So while I was able to cross off 1 1/2 items off the To Do List above, I still have some work to do. I don't know if the weather will cooperate for actual planting today but at least I can get the shopping part done.


One Year Ago on In My Words...Mom Visit Update

New Feature

I just found out this new feature on my digital camera. I can save pictures that I might want to use in blogs or email to people as a much smaller file while the pic is still on my camera. Then when I download them, they have a different file name and I can pick them out and put them in my blog or email folder.

Cool beans...saves me from having to reduce them in a photo editor just to blog about them.


Two Years Ago on In My Words...80 Years Old

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Happy Birthday Grandma!!!

For me, her birthday was yesterday, but for her it is today. I sent her card and gift in my Mother's Day box to her house so she probably doesn't have it yet but I hope it gets there before the weekend.

As you can tell from my last week's Thursday grandma means an awful lot to me. She is the best and she deserves to have a great 82nd birthday. We love you Grandma, have some fun on your birthday. We wish we could be there.


Three Years Ago on In My Words...Me, Myself, and I

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Thanks on This Thursday

Continuing project...this week's thanks are:

I am thankful for my Aunt C. She has been a light in my life for as long as I can remember. Growing up, she mostly lived in California but I always looked forward to the annual trips we would make to see her and her family. She has always seems like an icon of fashion and trends to me. She is so cool. Today, she lives in Oregon near some of my other family and I am priviledged to see her everytime we are in town. She is a beautiful person inside and out and has always gone out of her way to make everyone around her feel good about themselves. She has a huge heart and is always trying to help those that have less than her even when she doesn't have a lot herself. She is there for my grandparents, should they ever need her. She is one of my favorite people and I am so glad to have her in my life.

Today is a hard day for me to find something else to be thankful for. I am burnt out in general, but I think that is why these kinds of projects are so important. They force me (and hopefully others) to look deeper to see the beauty in things even when things are hard. So I guess I will say that I am thankful for the willpower to find something beautiful in the small things in my life even when I don't want to. On my walk today, I saw some amazing flowers in bloom and said "ohayo gozaimas" to some friendly people working on their fields or fishing at the beach. The sun was on my face and the breeze was at my back and overall the day is just awesome. I need to take my camera with me tomorrow so I can get some shots of the flowers.


One Year Ago on In My Words...They Arrived

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Antique Sake Cups

I picked up three of these the other day when we were on a antique shopping run. I think they are a great little piece of history. They are WWII military sake cups. I don't know if I will collect anymore of them but I thought having a small token set of them was cool. Two of them are from honorable discharges and one is from victorious return from mission.

Note: I left the link in so you could see a larger version if you want.


Three Years Ago on In My Words...Checking The Items Off

Monday, May 05, 2008

Tropical Cyclone Death Toll in Myanmar

It keeps rising. I might see if I can send some money via the Red Cross but I hope that it gets to those that need it and not just to the pockets of the government there that doesn't seem to care about it's people.


One Year Ago on In My Words...Mom Visit

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Antique Kokeshi Dolls

Here are a couple of shots of my current collection of antique kokeshi dolls. I tend to like the ones that are hand painted but the striped one did grab my eye. Some of these, I have had for a few months and then some I have had for a few days.

I didn't get any on the most recent antique expedition, but I plan to go back there. Rumor has it that sometimes the owner gets in the itsy bitsy ones that are almost as small as a grain of rice...this is just something I have to see.

Amongst my group of friends, the antique ones are becoming much more popular than the newer ones you can find at the various gift shops. I like both but the newer ones have to be unique to really get my attention.

Some of the antique ones have heads that squeak when you twist them...the owner gave us the impression that the sound is specific either to the doll or to the family that made (makes) that particular style of doll. We were quite astonished when he grabbed one of the dolls and squeaked its head but once we knew what he was doing, we readily walked around the store twisting doll heads ourselves.

Some of the other antique ones have bobble heads. You can see in one of my pictures that the head of one of mine is tilted off to the side...that is a bobble head. I found a bunch of small antique dolls in a clearance bin at a store one time and I am planning to send some of them to the States to friends and family...I think there are some bobble heads in there too.

Note: I left the links to the bigger pictures in so you could see the detail if you wanted.


Two Years Ago on In My Words...Whew!!!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Mother's Day

Mother's Day is creeping up on me (at least it didn't come early like daylight savings and Easter did) and due to my distance from those I like to acknowledge for Mother's Day, I have to get my stuff out a bit early.

I am trying to finish up my cards, and packaging so I can get it all in the mail by Monday in hopes that it will reach it destination before Mother's Day. Keep your finger's crossed for me. This is probably the latest I have ever sent this stuff out. Thankfully, it is all going to the west coast and the mail seems to get there pretty fast.

I am already going to be late on my grandma's birthday since her gift is in the same box with the Mother's Day stuff, but I am hoping she will forgive me.

Right now, it is only the cards that are keeping the boxes from being taped up so I better get going on those so we can be done before Monday and ready to go.


Three Years Ago on In My Words...Come Back Birds

Friday, May 02, 2008

Update to Mishka's Reading

I was able to update my reading blog today with the books I read in April. Check it out if you have time...


Three Years Ago on In My Words...Passive Aggressive

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Continuing project...this week's thanks are:

I am grateful to my grandma. She has been there my whole life, helping to mold me into the person I am now. When I was young, we would see her off and on, since we had to share her with our cousins who lived in California, but by the time I was in 4 grade, she was permanently living in Oregon with us or near us. I remember watching movies with her in her room and having her there after school everyday. She taught me to hand embroider (something I do to this day), and still makes beautiful linens and blankets for those she loves. I get my neatness and cleaniness from her via my mom (I am sure). She is a great cook and some of my favorite recipes are ones I grew up eating from her kitchen. Nothing says home like pintos, potatoes and cornbread. I am sure she doesn't know how much she has meant to all of us grandkids but I would like to hope we give a bit of it back to her now. Her birthday is this month...she will be 82. She was like a second mom to me when I was a kid and still holds one of the closest spots to my heart.

I am thankful for the postal service. If mail was not as fast as it is these days, it would make staying in touch with my family much harder than it already is living so far away. It makes it possible to pass back and forth needs and gifts that help all of us feel so much closer to each other. I realize that it costs more than it used to, but it is much faster than it was a long time ago, and relatively speaking, it is much cheaper than other options out there.


One Year Ago on In My Words....Barely Moving