Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Kimono Adventure

Okay, I promised to post some pics from my kimono experience. Since this is a public blog, I can't put any recognizable pictures of myself but I can show you parts and pieces. These are all duplicates from the album I posted a week ago on Facebook. If you hover the mouse over (at least in Blogger) it will give you a description for the image.

It was a great experience and I would do it again in a heartbeat. I was not uncomfortable at all, and I didn't feel restricted in my movement either. The one thing I had to do was sit up straight because any time I tried to lean back in my chair, I could feel the obi knot being squashed.


One Year Ago on In My Words...Chase in Miniature

Crazy Weather

Okay, both the Philippines and Vietnam get slammed by a tropical storm this week causing flooding and deaths, then Samoa gets hit with a huge earthquake that caused tsunamis all over Asia and now Indonesia just got hit by another big earthquake which has the Indian Ocean on alert for tsunamis...on top of this we have at least two tropical storms/typhoons churning out there...whew!!! The rest of the summer was pretty unexciting but I guess Mother Nature has decided to pack it all in at once.


Three Years Ago on In My Words...Spectators


Well, we have a doozy of a storm churning out there. It is over Palau and Yap right now and we can't see the tracks out far enough to see if it is going to turn up our way, but I am sure we will get some weather (which we need the rain) from it at some point next week.

It is already very well formed...I love the definition you can see near the eye of the can see the depth and strength of it. I hope it gets a bit closer to us and we get a decent storm this far it is has been pretty slow in the storm category.


Four Years Ago on In My Words...TriMet

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Yummy In My Tummy

I haven't induldged in Coco's curry for quite some time...usually it is because when I am out on the road, I am not ready to eat and when I am home, and hungry, driving out to get food is not on my agenda...needless to say, I have been craving it but not getting it.

So the other day, it was lunchtime and I was on my way home (right past Coco's) and I decided to get an order to go (since I didn't have a book with me to keep me amused at the restaurant).

I got the corn salad (and I am hooked on corn salads) with sesame dressing and a half order of seafood curry. It was yummmyyyyy!!!


Three Years Ago on In My Words...In Geocaching News

Monday, September 28, 2009

Construction Woes

What is the deal with our homes and construction? If you have read my blog for a while, you will know that last house was nice and serene until after the first winter when they decided to build a house, and then a second house (not at the same time but consectutively). So it really shouldn't surprise me that it is happening yet again (although this is a rental).

This lot has been sitting vacant (used for parking) for the last two years. This is the only window in my entire house that looks out from our property...all others are internal to our fortress-like walls. As you can see, there is a small grassy field (which our owner owns) and then the dirt lot at the corner.

The first day of construction, they brought out the big back hoe and tractors and started leveling the dirt lot. They seemed to dig awfully close to our fence as well onto our owner's land. There is not much I can say since I don't own the land and I did inform our rental company so they could let the owner know just in case he hasn't driven by recently.

Now, and I'll have to post the picture later, I have big huge hills of dirt behind the house with rebarb and cement forms. Hopefully whatever they are building won't be too huge or they will be able to see over our fortress-like walls and all privacy (since 1/3 of the house is glass) will be gone.


Three Years Ago on In My Words...Tiles

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Fruit Bats Galore

The other night, I was heading out for a walk...sometimes I don't get all my exercise in during the day and have to take walks at night...sometimes kind of late at night.

We have these huge fruit bats here. They don't bother humans, they usually just hang out in the berry trees eating fruit and you only really hear or see them at dusk time.

I don't know what was different about this particular night, could have been the lack of moon, the nice breeze, the coolness of the air (we have been hot and humid consistently prior to this) or maybe it was just a bat social night I didn't know about. Anyhow, there were bats everywhere and they weren't hanging out in the trees. They were hanging on the telephone and electric wires. In my 6 years of living here, I have NEVER seen one of these bats outside of a tree. And it wasn't just one, I passed at least 5 of them on different parts of my neighborhood (I did a 2.5 mile walk) hanging on wires.

This one in particular was there when I went by at the beginning of my walk and then still there when I went back by so I stopped at the house and grabbed the camera. He stayed up there and let me take tons of pictures of him. I wish I could have gotten better ones, but I will be taking my camera with me for now on during my night walks just in case.


Two Years Ago on In My Words...Don't Mix Them


This week, in fact, the last several weeks, have just flown by...I have been so busy I don't even realize half the time what day of the week it is.

I have been slacking on my posting is not that I don't have tons to say, I just can't say everything I want, and I sometimes just don't have time to say anything at all but I am going to improve on that.

I have been working out at least 5 days a week for the last two weeks. I had just gotten to the point where I had to do something and getting back into a routine was it. Now getting the gym is easier because it is automatically a part of my day rather than trying to fit in it and I am already feeling fitter and much better about myself.

For two weeks, I was covering my friend's preschool class on Fridays and her tutor student on Wednesday along with the usual stuff I do, so my week was a bit more jam-packed than normal. Her tutor student has graciously accepted to keep me as her tutor permanently (extra money for me and a great opportunity to talk with a local Okinawan about whatever we want to talk about). Takako is a great student and we have fun together.

I have been battling our pond for the last month. The owner has it cleaned once a year usually but last year when the contractors were here, they were here for 8 days and during that entire time, they were powerwashing rocks (we have a very shallow rock pond in the back yard). It was noisy (since the pond is right off the dining room), and my electricity and water bills went up. So this year, I have been trying to keep it from getting green on my own. This means being proactive with leaves that fall into it and also hosing it out regularly to keep the temp down and the algae at bay...right now, I am losing the battle but tomorrow morning I am getting out there to wage war. I have half of the yard work I have needed to do for two weeks done, but I just need to find time to do the other half.

Being the membership chair for two great organizations in the month of September means being busy, busy, busy since this is when the year starts for each org. I know that the rest of the year won't be as hectic but September has just flown by because of it.

I spent a good portion of my day on Saturday at a fundraiser for a third org I am part of, but it was a lot of fun because good friends were there with me.

Today, I pretty much locked myself in the house to work on cleaning tasks that have been neglected this week...I am happy to say my house is pretty spotless now.

What amazes me that amongst all this, I still manage to get some of the little nagging tasks knocked out...most it is a time management thing (which I know I am improving upon). It helps that I seem to have kicked the procrastination bug for now (otherwise I would be drowning in all this).

So tomorrow is Monday and I am going from the shopping, meeting, babysitting for a friend and gym time...we'll see what else I can squeeze in.


Two Years Ago on In My Words...Puss in Boots This post is relevant because I just had Chase shaved again and she looks just like this picture right now.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Monopoly's Hidden Maps Help World War II POWs Escape - ABC News

What a cool me a whole new respect for the game and for the industry...


Two Years Ago on In My Words...Buss n Boots

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Trying to Figure Things Out

I made some changes recently and since I seem to be in the swing of things, I am finally posting about it now. I didn't want to post until I was sure I could get back into the routine...rather than just reposting a post here, I am just going to link you back to the post I wrote on my fitness blog.

I already feel better...and that is a pretty good feeling.


Four Years Ago on In My Words...NW Geocaching

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Kimono Quest

So, having been in this country for 6 years now, I have never had the desire to wear kimono. While I do try to embrace and experience the culture where ever we go, I just thought that kimono wearing was not for me. Now, don't get me wrong. I love them, think they are totally beautiful but the cost and the fact that most kimono's are not made for average sized Americans has always kept the idea of it at bay.

In the past, I have purchased a few used kimonos at resales to give as gifts to friends or family. I have even purchase a couple of yukatas (a summer casual kimono) to use for lounging around the house. Recently, I had managed to get my hands on a beautiful formal kimono kurotomesode (worn mostly at weddings by the bride's mother) that I thought was beautiful (and it only cost me a few bucks), but I was only planning to hang it on the wall...not wear it. It actually looks very similar to the one pictured at the link.

Fast forward to this month...we have a luncheon at OIWC that is traditionally one that many members wear kimono or yukata to. The cool thing is that the ladies that know about kimono wearing, help those of us that don't. I didn't wear one last year because I didn't have one (or all the parts you need) in order to be able to do it. This year, as the date started getting closer, I figured I would see if I could find all the parts for a reasonable amount of money and finally experience this aspect of Japanese culture.

I managed to find an antique formal silk kimono irotomesode (a step down in formality from the kurotomesode and an antique obi to go with it. I have been told that new, each of these items would be in the thousands of dollars and I managed to get both for 100 dollars each. After getting the hard part out of the way, I started to look for all the parts and pieces that go with wearing a kimono. I needed the under kimono nagajuban (which needed to be formal as well), the shoes zori, the socks tabi, the ties koshihimo and bands datejime, and cords/decoration obijime/obiage.

Since my kimono ended up being such a formal one, I decided to stay as traditional as possible and wear white for the majority of the accessories. This meant spending a bit more but I figured it is a once in a lifetime kind of thing. I will have a master kimono dresser helping me to get dressed for our luncheon, and while I am sure I will not be able to breathe or eat the entire time (not to mention not going the bathroom), I know it will be an experience I will remember and always have.

I have pictured my yukata here with its accessories as you can see, a lot less goes into wearing the more casual summer yukata.


Two Years Ago on In My Words...Sentimental: Good or Bad?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Bucket List 2

The Bucket List.

Place an 'X' by all the things you've done and remove the 'X' from the ones you have not. At the bottom of the list, add something you've done that's not already on the list. NO EXPLANATIONS! If someone asks you about something, then fine - explain away. Tag 20 friends (including me) and then publish.

Things you have done during your lifetime:
( ) Gone on a blind date
(x) Skipped school
( ) Watched someone die.
(x) Been to Canada
(x) Been to Mexico
(x) Been to Florida
(x) Been to Hawaii
(x) Been somewhere tropical
(x) Been on a plane
(x) Been on a helicopter
(x) Been lost
(x) Gone to Washington, DC
(x) Swam in the ocean
(x) Cried yourself to sleep
(x) Played cops and robbers
(x) Recently colored with crayons
(x) Sang Karaoke
(x) Paid for a meal with coins only
( ) Been to the top of the St. Louis Arch
(x) Done something you told yourself you wouldn't.
(x) Made prank phone calls
( ) Been down Bourbon Street in New Orleans
(x) Laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose & elsewhere
(x) Made a snowman
(x) Caught a snowflake on your tongue
(x) Danced in the rain
(x) Written a letter to Santa Claus
(x) Been kissed under the mistletoe
(x) Watched the sunset with someone
(x) Blown bubbles
( ) Gone ice-skating
(x) Gone to the movies
(x) Been deep sea fishing
(x) Driven across the United States
( ) Been in a hot air balloon
( ) Been sky diving
( ) Gone snowmobiling
(x) Lived in more than one country
(x) Lay down outside at night and admired the stars while listening to the crickets
(x) Seen a falling star and made a wish
(x) Enjoyed the beauty of Old Faithful Geyser
(x) Seen the Statue of Liberty
(x) Been on a cruise
(x) Traveled by train
(x) Traveled by motorcycle
(x) Been horse back riding
(x) Been to Disneyland --- or Disney World
( ) Truly believe in the power of prayer!!!!!
( ) Been in a rain forest In baltimore...aquarium
(x) Seen whales in the ocean
(x) Been to Niagara Falls
( ) Ridden on an elephant
(x) Swam with dolphins
( ) Been to the Olympics
(x) Walked on the Great Wall of China
(x) Been water-skiing
(x) Been snow-skiing
( ) Been to Westminster Abbey
( ) Swam in the Mediterranean
(x) Been to a Major League Baseball game
(x) Been to a National Football League game
(x) Thrown up after riding a roller coaster or other carnival ride
(x) Buried a pet
( ) Auditioned for a television show
(x) Peed in the woods
( ) Visited the Taj Mahal
( ) Been to Iran
( ) Given birth
( ) Walk on the bridge at Royal Gorge
( ) Been knocked out
(x) Been to a National Hockey League game
( ) Been to Jamaica
(x) Won a school spelling bee
(x) Been on TV
( ) Hit a 'hole in one' in golf (i.e. not miniature)
(x) Spoke with someone over 100 years old
( ) Been to all 50 states
(x) Been to the top of the Empire State Building
(x) Fallen asleep in church
( ) Been to a World Series Game
( ) Been to a High School Football State Championship Game
(x) Wet your pants
(x) Lied to your mother
(x) Rode the NYC Subway
( ) Been to Africa
(x) Stood at the Continental Divide
(x) Been rock climbing
(x) Spoken more than one language
(x) Eaten fried grubs from a vendor in Bangkok
(x) Went scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef
( ) Ridden a gondola in Venice
(x) Saw the Vegas lights from above
( ) Been to the Alps
(x) Gotten married
( ) Seen a play on Broadway
(x) Been Tailgating
(x) Found the love of your life
( ) Been to a Bob Dylan Concert
(x) Gotten a tattoo that really meant something
( ) Been to CREATION!
(x) Stood on top of a mountain
( ) Found Jesus
( ) Appeared in a play outside of school
(x) Danced like nobody is watching
( ) Ran a full marathon
(x) Egged someone's house
( ) been to the Vatican
(x) Dissected a human
( ) Ran into someone famous
(x) Made a difference (for the good) in a someone's life
(x) Found the value of the friendships you have
(x) Been on a sailboat
( ) Been to a game at Fenway Park
(x) Had a song or poem written for you.
( ) Had a book dedicated to you
( ) Been to Apple Studios in London
(x) Been to Mt Saint Helens & Mt Ranier in the same day
(x) Been to the top or the world trade center
(x) Rode in a boat along the Mekong Delta
(x) Been to the top of the Taipei 101 building
(x) Been in the tallest hotel in the world
(x) Gave back more than you took
(x) Camped near Denali
( ) Been to Mile ZERO
( ) Biked down a volcano
(x) Been scuba diving
(x) Been on a jet ski
(x) Saved an animal
(x) Been to a pow wow
( ) Been to the top of Eiffel Tower
( ) Caught bird poop in your hand more than once
(x) Eaten sushi in Japan
(x) Watched the sunset from inside Angkor Wat
(x) Been snowboarding
(x) Eaten at Pho 2000 in Saigon


Last Year on In My Words...Kitty Land

Saturday, September 05, 2009

AP picture of wounded Marine sparks debate - Yahoo! News

I am sorry, this picture should not have run if the family asked for it to not be used (unless the Marine had previously signed an agreement with the embedded journalists to include pictures and quotes).

It doesn't matter to me what the AP feels needs to be expressed in the news or not, what matters is what that family wants. Why is it that their privacy can be invaded in the name of news, when you have to get permission from everyone else to use their likeness in the media?

Sure, I would agree that most Americans probably don't have a clue how much the servicepeople sacrifice so they can shop at Walmart and bitch about gas prices and that showing bodies in the news would help to clarify that issue, but they were specifically asked by this family to not use this specific photo...several times in fact, and they still did it anyhow.

It is appalling to me their complete lack of compassion and taste in this case.


Two Years Ago on In My Words...Sentimental: Good or Bad