Wednesday, December 29

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year


Happy Holidays, ya'll.

The boys are off fulfilling a Christmas wish to see their friends in Nara and I am here with poor Colette who appears to have eaten something that disagreed with her. Enough said, right?

I am okay with the situation though because I am anxious to engage in お掃除.

This institutionalized yet private tradition of cleaning the house before New Year's is something we always strive for and I think this year, we might just make it. Our apartment is small so we have that on our side but we have large closets. With boxes left unpacked. And lots of random papers to be sorted. Needless to say, I should probably work on that instead of typing here. The peace and uncontested computer made me think this was a good opportunity to pop in here and say:***

よいお年をお迎えください (I wish you the best in the New Year).

In case I don't have the opportunity in the next few days, may you all have a fantastic transition away from the fierce strength of the tiger and towards the calm and peaceful nature of the rabbit.
Best wishes to you and yours.

We might have a few unexpected announcements soon, though rest assured it is not another addition to the family. Unless you count hamsters. If so, then I'll introduce you to Angel and Pippi next time.


***No such luck! It's the stomach flu. Triple yuck plus a barrier to our grand cleaning plans. But no worries, it will pass and the house will eventually be clean.
Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 12

"I've been nominated for membership in the National Geographic Society"


The boys are watching It's a Wonderful Life. We'll see how this goes. It always makes me both excited and nervous, sharing my favorite movies with them. It's ten minutes in and they are still sitting, mouths slightly agape. Maybe it's working. Just maybe.

"Buffalo girls won't you come out tonight..."

Friday, December 10

Market Day


We went to Osu Kannon Flea Market a few weeks back. This is, sad to say, only our third visit to a Japanese flea market. Our first was to the famous one at Kyoto's Toji. Then we stumbled upon one next to the streetcar stop near our favorite hostel in Nagasaki. Though much more humble than the first one, it had charms that made us say, upon leaving, "we must make sure we stop back by before we go". And of course we didn't. The market at Osu Kannon was not full of glories. It was mainly full of junk, and had about all the charm of a neighborhood yard sale. The temple itself is really nice and I am glad the boys insisted on climbing the steps so they could toss their coins and pull the bell ringer.

I did come away with what I had sought. I found some cheap, ugly kimonos that I am going to cut up and make into creatures. And hopefully they will be interesting enough that others will want some because kimonos are made with a lot of fabric. Dozens of creatures can be born from the yards of silky material I elbowed for. It is part of a project that will be revealed here in the new year. You readers get the exclusive preview of (one of) my Grand Ideas. Notice the capitalization and be awed.

Now the beeping of the oven is telling me my scones are finished so I can pull them out and hit the hay. Good night dears.


Thursday, December 9

Rocking and Rolling


I am writing to you in the brief ten minutes I have before my next lesson (with a really polite gentleman in his mid-thirties who likes Cadillacs and playing the slots on his weekends.)

I am writing to you because I feel guilty that I bring my troubles here. Then I think: hey, my troubles are truthful parts of my life. Then I think: I should really balance those posts with some more realistic parts of my life. Like how I get to bicycle to work and back past the most gorgeous trees you have ever seen. How the gingko leaves glow yellow even in the inky darkness that descends at sunset. How the children run to meet me when I return home and then we snuggle in bed reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. How Sebastian is reading pages of it now. How pretty Colette is, how kind Nico is to her. How good cookies smell when they bake in my tiny microwave oven. So I feel I have done you, my dear readers, a disservice by being such a fair weather blogger. In payment for your patience, I promise to be here everyday for at least this next month. (We'll see how it goes from there.)

Okay, time to go help Mr. Cadillac with his grammar. Take care and stay warm (or cool depending on the hemisphere).

Much Love,

Wednesday, December 8



I have come to another graduate school crossroads. I have to take two additional classes that I did not anticipate. This means more money and more time that I just don't have. I will be finished in another semester but now am not sure if I can or want to. I worry that my family and I have invested in a money pit.

I am thinking of putting a little collection can on the sidebar, something like Pennies for a Poor, Pitiful Grad Student. Not because I think that it is a legitimate way to solve my money woes (being a highly educated poor person gives me this insight, at least). Being a grad student is also a sign of being an optimist. My hope is that some benevolent saint will be looking for a blog with scantily written random thoughts coupled with equally random photos mainly of the backs of people's heads, see my little collection jar and have some sort of epileptic fit and accidentally hit the "donate lots of money" button. Stranger things have happened.

We are also posting some recommended reading books in the Amazon list on the side. If you click on it and buy a book, then a bit of the proceeds go to us.

It seems that we are turning into a little charity operation here. I hope you know that I am writing this with a bit of tongue in cheek. Just a bit.

Sunday, December 5

Settling In


The cooler days have come and now I am feeling the opposite of homesick for our old place. Winter reminds me that last winter, I was busy visualizing a snug, sunny apartment that would be warmer inside than out.
And here we are.

Hello Winter.