Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy New Year!!!

Okay, this has been a busy year for me. I have taken on new tasks and responsibilities but have also let some other things slide. I have enjoyed all the time I have been able to give back to the community in the last two years, but I do see that winding down as we prepare to move again. I have a limited amount of time left here in Japan and I want to make the most of it. I can't believe that we are already out of the first decade of the 2000', time flies.

I hate doing New Year's resolutions, especially with my perfectionist personality because it generally just means one more thing on my To Do list...that might or might not get done and then I might or might not feel bad about.

So let's just say this....I plan to be more flexible, both physically and mentally (and for those that know me the mental part will take some work). I plan to spend more time on myself and get back to some of the things that I love to do and have not had time for. I plan on trying to get some paid experience under my belt so I will be prepared to re-enter the workforce full steam after we leave here. I want to enjoy things that I will miss from here while I can and experience some new things before we go. I want to look in the mirror and admire the person I see there (both mentally and physically) and that means devoting some time to me (both mentally and physically).

There is a lot to be done and not much time to do it in so I am tackling the New Year with gusto and anticipation of all it holds. Tonight we are heading down to the beach for a party with our friends, some food and a bonfire. The wind is blowing fierce and it will be chilly I am sure.

I hope this finds everyone else enjoying their holidays, and staying safe and healthy!!! Happy New Year!!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Old Family Friends

One great thing about the holidays is that you get to reconnect with people that you might not hear from on a day to day basis...especially when you live as far away as we do.

R has been a friend of our family since I was a little kid and lived in a commune in Compton, California...that translates to many, many years. We have been off and on in touch most of my life.

He recently recorded himself singing a duet with himself and wanted me to post his video....since it is a Christmas carol...I thought it nicely here goes!!!

Kitty Flu

Chase has all the symptoms of the kitty flu...weeping eyes, running nose, sneezing and what I think is also coughing. I have been trying to hold out from going to the vet because all my books and research say that it is viral and as long as she is not getting cloudy, white/green mucus coming out, she is still okay and that it can last 7 10 days just like it does with humans.

I have been keeping her indoors at night so far and giving her lots of pets and tons of food to keep her immune system humming. She acts pretty much normal so I am not too worried but I feel bad for her as I wipe her eyes and face a few times a day that I can't explain to her "blow" so she could just get some of it out...she knows I am trying to help her and she is a pretty tolerant cat anyhow so it hasn't been too bad.

One of the things recommended to make them more comfortable is to put saline drops in their eyes and nose to help break up the mucus....somehow I don't think she would enjoy this. Another one is to take them in the bathroom when you are showering so the humidity can help break it up...and I have considered running a hot bath and putting her in the room with it while it is steaming to see if it helps her at all (not in the bath itself though). We can't do the shower thing as the entire room is a shower and she would get soaked being in there while either of us was showering...but the bath is definitely a possibility for tonight.

If she stops eating or seems to get much worse, I will take her to a local vet here and see what they can do...thing is that antibiotics won't help her unless things get a lot worse...and since antibiotics also give her gastrial intestinal problems that neither of us want to deal with, I think we will wait and see how she feels in the next couple of days...poor kitty.


Two Years Ago on In My Words...Chase's Catnip Christmas
Chase fully enjoying a little catnip toy at Christmas time.

Tree Up

So I did manage to cross off quite a few items this last week and getting the tree up, and the house decorated was one of them. I had to buy a new tree this year (just like the old one, only less expensive somehow) and it seems to be a bit fuller than the old one as well. It is a small tree since we don't do a real one here, and I usually set it up on our DVD cabinet. We use LED lights we bought in the States that don't get hot, last forever and are very bright. I am able to leave them on all the time so the tree always looks twinkly and bright. This is nice since it took me weeks to even get it up and decorated, so I have to get in all my "tree" time I can...haha.

So due to the fact that we are using the little tree, I have to be selective in what ornaments go on it. Every year that J and I have been married, we have a new ornament so I have to get out each year's ornament and make sure I have them all. Those go on for sure. Then I also have a few favorites that are small enough to fit on this baby tree. Unfortunately most of my bigger ornaments won't be out and about until we are someplace again where we will have a bigger tree.

I managed to put out our stockings, a stocking/wreath on the front door, some Christmasy candle holders and our Christmas cards around the entry door to the livingroom. Overall, the place looks like a little bit of Christmas touched us and I am enjoying the season knowing I am pretty much finished with all the tasks.


Four Years Ago on In My Words...Trees and Snowflakes
I haven't cut any snowflakes this year...but it sounds like fun so I might have to do a few for our sliders...

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Fun Or Not

It is supposed to be the season of cheer, joy and well wishing but it seems like it has gotten lost behind stress, pressure and greed somewhere a long the line. I want to enjoy the season but as of right now I don't even have my decorations up because I have just not been in the mood nor have had the time (I do actually intend to remedy that right after I post this).

I made about 50 cards in November (when I was feeling some motivation) and put most of them up for sale at our little gift store. I figured that if they didn't all sell by the time I started addressing and sending out cards, I could always use them for my own cards. I managed to crank out 40 more over the last two weeks (mostly it was just that I have been so busy that I couldn't devote any direct time to them).

Today, I was able to send out 40 cards...mostly to those east of the Rockies since it takes longer for mail to get to them than it does for our west coast friends and families. I also pulled those cards I had at the store so I can start addressing and mailing them out as in reality, I should be feeling pretty good about it all.

J and I decided (actually, he didn't get a say) that we would do donations gifts for those that we normally exchange gifts with, with the exception of bookstore giftcards for nieces and nephews. This of course, has made my Christmas much easier because even though I tend to shop all throughout the year during our travels, I only wrap and package in the weeks before Christmas and due to the distance we have to get things in the mail very early. I didn't have to worry about that this year...all I had to do was these really, I have no excuse for feeling humbugish...must just be all the other stuff I have on my plate that is causing me to not feel the season. I think too that Christmas starts so early now...we had Christmas stuff in the stores here before Halloween, that makes me a bit sick of it by the time it rolls around.

So as of this post, and the dispursement of my Christmas decorations, I am determined to get into the spirit. I think I can manage that for at least the two weeks we have left...and then I can get back to the craziness of normal life after the New Year!!!


Five Years Ago on In My Words...Bathroom Kitty A funny little story from when we first moved to NC.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

My Christmas

Hey look! Survey time! For those of you bloggers or those who are reading on Facebook, please feel free to copy and reuse for yourself. In all your "free time" this holiday season. Heh.

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Both...I like Eggnog but know it is so bad for me and can only really drink it one or two times, but I love hot chocolate as long as the weather is chilly.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? As a kid, Santa did both, but I think that for the most part, our Santa wraps them ahead of time but usually stuffs the stockings with unwrapped small items...

3. Colored or white lights on tree/house? Colored and blinking randomly...

4. Do you hang mistletoe? If I have some and remember to, but it doesn't last from year to year...gets thrown away at the end of the season.

5. When do you put your decorations up? In years past, it was the day after Tday but this year, I still don't have anything up and we are already at the 6th...guess I better get to it.

6. What is your favorite holiday food? Mashed potatoes, cheddar squash bake, or stuffing...any of the three make me very happy.

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child? I don't know that I have a favorite, but I do remember the Christmas that I got my ballerina Barbie pretty vividly for some reason...

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? My mom could probably answer this better than I can. I don't remember it being a big revelation...I just knew at some point that my parents were involved. I do remember being re-convinced of his existence when I was in middle school because he came to visit all of us kids in the middle of the night and woke us all up.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? As a kid, we always opened one gift on Christmas Eve and then the rest had to wait until Christmas morning (even if we didn't get a fun gift that night). These days, we don't have much under the tree (being that we are so far away from family), so I think we open everything on Christmas day.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? While living in Japan, we do a different scenario than we would if we were in the States. Here we have a small fake tree that we put up on one of our cabinets. I put lights and are ornaments from each year on it and that is about it because it is really little. In the States, we usually have all our ornaments out and we either have a real dead tree or a real potted tree depending on our location and the availability of potted trees.

11. Snow! Love it or dread it? I love snow...

12. Can you ice skate? Don't know because I have never been ice skating.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? I think this answer would change over the years...I have particular gifts that stand out, but I don't know that I would call any of them my favorite.

14. What’s the most important thing about the holidays for you? Friends and family (if we can swing the family part logistically).

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert? Pumpkin pie or my mom's Mexican fruit cake.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? One that I don't get to do anymore...caroling. I love to sing and I miss that we used to go to friend's houses when I was younger and we would all sing Christmas songs. Music has always been a pretty big thing in my house growing up and I miss that.

17. What tops your tree? Here, I have a little angel ornament that gets put up there, but in the States when we have a bigger tree, I have a capiz shell star that lights up.

18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving? Honestly? Both.

19. Candy Canes: Yuck or Yum? I don't like to eat them by themselves but I don't mind them dipped in hot chocolate...

20. Favorite Christmas show/movie? All the ones from when I was a kid, Rudolph, Frosty, and Charlie Brown...

21. Saddest Christmas song? Don't think I have one.

22. What is your favorite Christmas Song? Funny, since I am not religious, but Martina McBride's rendition of Oh Holy Night is one of my favorites to listen to. Dona Nobis Pacem is my favorite to sing and I usually can be caught singing it all year long...


Five Years Ago on In My Words...Locked Out