Tuesday, March 05, 2013

a favor....of the energy kind

in japanese we say onegai , or favor....as in 
"i have a small onegai...."

this time tomorrow
and the next

please take a few seconds to send some positive energy this way.
issei...and our friends kayla and saori are all taking the
public high school exams (on the 6th and 7th).
though at different schools...
they, along with a gazillion (or maybe it just seems like that many) other 9th graders here in nagasaki city,
will be sitting through 5 exams (and possibly an interview)
that are can be quite stressful for them....
and their moms.

in hawaiian....
makia mana

makia-> concentration
mana-> confidence

energy flows where attention goes
everything is energy


if you have some extra, please send a bit our way.
thanks.
arrigato.
muchos gracias.

and just a note.....
issei and i had a long talk the other night about the test and the results....
it was good, i think, for him to talk about his own nervousness.  though he has taken two other tests and he does feel confident about most of the subjects he will be tested on, there was still that 
"but, what if i'm not accepted?" question lingering in the back of his mind.

knowing it was time for me to "mom up", i did my best to reassure him that if he passes? we will celebrate a bit and life will go on.
if he doesn't pass and he has to go to one of the private schools?
"i'll give you a hug....and life will go on."

things happen for a reason....we may not understand those reasons (and we may question them!!), but...
what you are doing right now, is what you are supposed to be doing

and this? i truly believe.


Thursday, February 28, 2013

...because i need to vent some frustration....

the act of "holding one's shit together" is something i do pretty well...
usually. 
but, for the next 7 days...and then until March 18...
i'll be lucky to get out of the house with my sox matching.

long story short....my oldest will take the high school entrance exam next wednesday and thursday.


this particular test is for one public school.
and he gets one chance.
that's it.
one.

in january, he took exams for two private schools.
he passed those.

but...he really needs to pass this next one.
public school is relatively free.
private school is  *cough...gasp...gag* not.

and this, my friends, scares me.
the very idea that we would have to borrow money for him to go to high school....
is just wrong.

test...march 6 & 7
graduation...march 15
announcement of public exam...march 18
if he passes?  celebrating, knowing that all we really have to pay for is his uniforms,
 will begin soon after hearing the results.
if he doesn't? we have one day to get to the private school he chooses to attend,
major cash in hand (120,000 yen/$1304) for the entrance fee and
let them know he will be attending.

that, my friends, is a lot of yen.

yeah.
stressed.

oh...and just in case you are wondering....the monthly school fees for those two private schools are both around 38,000 yen/$423.
every month.


i'm like a duck...

on the top of the water, 
all calm and cool and "dah di dah di dah" (that's singing, by the way)
but underneath?
 paddling like crazy to keep from sinking.
that's me.

the thing is....my boy knows how important this is.
but....i'm trying to keep it calm....not freak him out.
he's the one who has to take the test and be all charming for the interview. 
(oh yeah...did i not mention an interview?)
he's been studying...going to two different tutors to help him.
he has his own stress to deal with.

so...for me...
stress means....
i'm not sleeping very well.
my stomach feels hoojie more often than not.
i'm spending waaay more time over on facebook than what i usually do.
oh...and....yeah....

that.

major change in eating and exercise habits....march 20.

keep us in your thoughts....and if you have any
"keeping from going freakin' crazy" prayers....
send those my way, please.

thank goodness it's almost spring and at least we have the
promise of warmer weather....hopefully soon.
*the ume/plum blossoms in our garden...
blooming even as i type, i'm sure*








Thursday, January 31, 2013

the 'non-resolution' post

the idea of making new year's resolutions is not only for people of the western world.  people here sometimes make them....and as with most of us in the western world, they also are pretty much done with them very quickly.
(i'm thinking that my 'record' would have to be about 2 weeks....i know...awesome, right?)

in one of my classes, we were talking about resolutions and how no one even tried anymore and then, one lady said...."i wrote something for this."  all of us were very interested in hearing what she had to say....i mean...really? resolutions? was she serious?

and she was.....in a way.

she then told of us her "resolution".....she decided that this year, she was going to focus on three things: english, tai chi, and volunteering at the hospital.

focus.  
            not
                    "i will study english everyday." or
                              "i will practice tai chi three times a week."  or
                                                                 "i will volunteer twice a week."

focus.  she's just going to focus on those things.

i think i like this.

one of the main things i don't like about making resolutions is not the fact that i gave up so quickly, but, the fact that i was so hard on myself for giving up.  it was almost as i was giving myself a guilt trip...or tying to anyway.  doesn't that sound ridiculous?

so, for the past few weeks, i've been thinking about focusing....i'm liking this idea so much better.  a 'non-resolution' kind of thing.  guilt and pressure free.

i can handle that.

i can also handle not being too terribly specific about what i'm focusing on.  sure, i've got a couple general things to focus on for the year (hula...staying calm with the boys and spending more time with them..finding the floor of my room, underneath all that crap stuff i have collected.....), but, i've also decided that monthly/weekly/daily focuses will be good, too.  
                      i will focus on all the dust that has collected on the top of the fridge. 
                            i will focus on getting to bed at a more decent hour...unless CSI: las vegas is on, then...meh.  i'll just focus on NOT sleeping the next day in class.
                                  i will focus on getting my disaster craft area under control and actually try to  
                                                     create something....or a few somethings.

i like this non-resoluting idea.....it's working for me.
 (even though it's after midnight and i'm still awake..that's okay...really..it is.)
















Thursday, January 10, 2013

ahem....hi. my name is debbie and i haven't posted here in 6 months..

i have no excuses.
no grand reports of world travels
 or secret liasons that kept me from
updating since...when? july?

i'm not even sure if i'm on anyone's "radar" anymore.
and that? is okay.
when i started this blog in may of 2006 (586 posts ago),
it was before i wasn't going to be able to go to the states for the summer and, to be honest, i was a little depressed about that.  blogging helped me "meet" friends and gave me something else to think about.

since last july, we've been busy....doing a lot of little things....but things that, when i sat down here to tell you about, didn't seem too interesting or "blogworthy".  so, i typed out a sentence or two over on facebook and called it good....and that became the pattern.
not a bad pattern, but still....not blogging.
so...
i'm back.
i've missed it here.
it will be
baby steps

baby. steps....
cute, little bitty baby steps...
to get some blogging mojo back.


i hope you're having a good one....
it's cold here in nagasaki and if it's cold outside, it's freakin' freezing INside the house.
 yikes.  not too much fun.
hey!
i may have a blogpost soon on
"how to stay warm in japan"....i've had a lot of experience in this.

stay tuned....my  blogging hiatus may be about over.
(^-^)/*

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

enjoying the sun while we can......


i've mentioned it a gazillion times before that it's the rainy season, right?
seriously....we had rain for, oh i duno....8 days....18...24 days....straight.
(after awhile, it all just starts to mesh into one huge rainy day so it's hard to keep track)

rain.
light rain.
hard rain.
showers. downpours.
enough to cause flooding...mudslides...accidents 
here in nagasaki city, we were pretty safe...just a lot of warnings.
we were lucky...other parts of the island weren't so lucky.

and then....
on sunday, we woke up to this:
my goodness!!  
the blue sky!! 
the cloudless sky!!
and....it was dry!
the sun was shining..
and all was right with the world again!!

it was a perfect day for
drying out our shoes....
....airing out our futons....

....getting all laundry done.
then...
stopping and enjoying the sky some more.
i even took a couple of projects outside.
it was so very nice.

it was also a great day for a party.
a surprise party.
you see...it was koji's birthday on the 4th of july and he really wanted a party with his friends.
but...for the past 3 years, we've had parties, only to be stuck inside because of rain, i wasn't really looking forward to doing all that again.
not a lot of fun.
a few weeks ago, he and i actually had a discussion about this (we really did!!) and we okay, i! came up with the idea that during the summer holiday, we would do something..maybe at the beach.

imagine my surprise when at 11:00, sunday morning, the doorbell rang....
and there stood 7 kids (2 boys and 5 girls) ready for a party.
they had snacks.
they had cards and presents.
yes....koji had invited them.... for a party.
"but the weather was going to be so nice...it's okaaaaaay, mom!"
~~sigh~~

being the quick thinker i am, i made a big pitcher of kool-aid and dug out some of our favorite candy from the states (that i've been hiding and saving for a "special occasion"...yep..."special occasion", this was it!)...and served all that to the kids out in the garden.
after a little bit, they decided to move the party to a park (thank you, baby Jesus) and the k-man and i drove quickly to the supermarket and bought onigiris and other japanese snacky type things for the kids.  we delivered them to the kids in the park...
all in all, it turned out pretty good.
koji got his party.
he got some great presents.
he and his friends could spend a great time in the park playing and eating and having fun...there may or may not have been water guns involved.
i know nothing.
teehee

it's now tuesday night and we've had 3 days of absolutely gorgeous weather.
but, the weather forecast tonight said that for the next few days we can expect  clouds....rain...light rain, heavy rain.
our rainy season "half-time" is almost over.
it was absolutely wonderful while it lasted.


oh...one more thing...
happy 10th birthday, little man.
you have, most definitely, made our lives more interesting and fun.
we love you! 



Friday, June 22, 2012

sporadic....hmmmm....i can live with that


so, really...did anyone notice the change in header but...yeah...
no new post for quite awhile?  (hi karen!) if you did...thank you for saying nothing. (ahem.) (^-^)
if you didn't? well....hmmmm...hey, there!!  how are you?  glad you're here.

so...according to that dictionary of the urban kind:
sporadic: 
1. Inconsistent; difficult to predict.

2. To be sporadic: Is to be random to a cooler extent

3. ocassional,not frequently happened

yeah....that be me in the blogging world.
(personally....i'm liking #2....randomly cooler, ya know!)

shall we carry on?


so....the rainy season has begun.
i don't know if you know this but from about a week ago and for a month or so (give or take a few days) the weather here is....sporadic.
sometimes, not so very much fun, at all.

a haiku:

rain....'tis the season

cool, wet, humid, breezy, hot


all of the above.

early, last friday, it began to rain.....and rain....and rain...until sunday morning, when we woke up to a pretty nice day.
and then....monday, more rain...tuesday was stormy in the morning (thank you, typhoon #4, which was passing by), but the afternoon was quite nice.
there was another typhoon (#5) headed our way, that was supposed to hit us early friday morning, but it was downgraded to a tropical storm and we're supposed to just get some rain in the morning.
possibly.
welcome to the rainy season, my friends.


**update to this as i wrote this on wednesday night....friday's weather:  
absolutely freakin' awesome!!!  sunny...breezy...cool with just a tint of humidity...a great day for a day off and for the laundry to dry!!!


during rainy season, everywhere i look, i see women wearing really cute and stylish rain boots.


and i'm sure that, if i remembered, when i go to the states i could probably find a pair, just as stylish and colorful that would actually be my size.
but...i don't.  remember, that is.
so, when it starts to get rainy, i make the annual trip around the shoe stores and pretty much, this is all i can find in my size:




yeah. no. huh-uh. sorry. no thank you.
oh, i'm sure they would work but just looking at those make my feet start to sweat...and i don't like that.
plus, really....fashion-wise, oh no....for a teacher,
they got "glamour don't" written all over them!!


so, this is why i would like to introduce you to


"the plastic shoes i didn't mind spending $40 for"

yes, my friends...these are crocs.

don't get me wrong, i like my regular crocs
(the pink ones with some very cool hawaiian accessories on them), but...when i'm in my 'teacher clothes' (which means 'no shorts'...usually), i felt i needed something a little nicer.


now, i know that these are not exactly what one would expect in a "rain shoe"....no, they don't cover the whole foot....
yes, there are little air holes in them.....but...
1. they are super comfy
2. they dry very quickly
and
3. i always have a towel in the car...i can dry my feet if i have to.


by the way...these are the CrosMesh Hover Skimmers....and i'm thinking of getting another pair in pink!!!


so, last saturday, when issei and i were walking in the downpour and the water was almost to our ankles for part of the way?
no prpblem.
none. at. all.
i love it when the stress level of my day is less.


**********
you know...i just thought of something....what if....IF...i had a friend...OR TWO...who were way creative with sharpie pens.....could i throw them a challenge to help make those green boots "debbie-worthy"???
heh heh heh......





Monday, May 28, 2012

it's not saturday, but....work with me, okay? okay.

over the however many years i have escaped into devoted to the blogging world, i have taken part in quite a few weekly events or assignments...from the friday night "fill in the sentences" memes... 
to a "here are some questions--what are YOUR answers?"  kind of thing....
a few times, i tried that "here's just a photo" (but, seriously, i have a hard time saying nothing!!)....and my favorite, that i still do quite often,
 the "shoot from the hip" photos
(that my friend says i'm going to get busted doing one day and she truly  hopes she doesn't have to witness that!!)

a couple of my favorite bloggers have been doing something that looks kind of fun.
and really, let's face it.....i'd follow these two pretty much anywhere....
just make sure that we're going somewhere good, okay janet and heidi??
okay.

every saturday, sandi@thewhistlestopcafe hosts something called 
the saturday photo hunt. 
she has a theme for the week and people post pictures accordingly.
there are some great pictures over there....all done by non-professionals (though some, i'm a bit suspicious about as their shots are quite amazing!!).

my blogging mojo is needing a boost, so i thought that this might be something i'd  try for awhile.

this week's theme is (okay, okay...was) "creative".....and for my first try at this....
here we go....

creative....x 2

in march, while we were in colorado, we were waiting at my aunt and uncle's house for a friend to come and pick us up.  my aunt and uncle have a small rock garden in front of their house and the boys got tired of waiting and they left messages...
this was one of koji's...."rockman hiking'.

then...after my uncle saw it, he made it a bit more permanent by gluing the rocks onto a board...
"walking dan-o man"

i love that uncle dan-o did this.
creativity squared.

have a great week, everyone.  for those of you in the states, i hope that your
weekend was a safe one.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

the random-themed blogpost typed up in 7-8 minute intervals....

tomorrow is issei's undokai (sports day) at school and tonight, as i was doing dishes, he asked if i could make some cookies for dessert.
"for tomorrow?"
"well....yeah."
....
.....
(picture me, giving him a "really??" kind of look)
......
.......
"okie, dokie, then....."
and once again, i will prove to my son that i can pull the proverbial rabbit out of a hat....or....
cookies out of the kitchen at a moment's notice.  
(and thank the goddesses above that i accidentally bought too much oatmeal awhile back!)
even as i type....some very yummy smelling oatmeal/chocolate and caramel chip cookies are baking.
hence....the 7-8 minutes.

let the randomness begin.......

so...i turned 50 in april.
remember that.
yeah...i got a bit wigged about it there for a bit, but...meh. it's all good.
i do have a suggestion for those of you who are going to help a friend celebrate a momentous birthday....
tiara.
yep. t-i-a-r-a.
she'll need one.
when i was in the states, my one of my very bestest friends in the whole wide world friend, dena, gave me one to help start the celebrating.
it was very cool.
i'm sure i look even more fetching that what i imagined.
(and yeah...i'm giggling as i'm typing!!)
ANYway.....
fast forward to the party my friends and i had.
it just so happens that one of my friends has the exact same birthday (she's just a little older) and another friend (who is the same age) is the day after.
cool, huh?
so....i went to "that american accessory shop that is in every shopping mall "to see if they had tiaras.
of course, they did.  even in japan.
so i bought two for my friends.....and...yeah...okay...
one more for myself.
(a girl can never have too many tiaras!)
aren't we lovely? 
that's us...and some young'un sneaking into the picture!!
we had a great dinner...much to drink...and then dancing.

 i seriously think that the tiaras might have really 
helped the fun along.
really.
they did.
you need one
(or two!!)

******************
last week was our 'golden week' holiday.
we had monday and then thursday and friday off  and since the k-man only got the last saturday and sunday off from work, we chose those days to do something.
so we took a drive.
we drove to a small island about 3 hours away and it was lovely.
we went to a museum that focused on the dutch trading connection that was around hundreds of years ago....seriously....the original building was built in 1639.
while it wasn't "whoohooo! that really blew up my skirt!" exciting, it was pretty interesting.
the drive was nice.
we went over a cool bridge

and another one to the next island

we climbed a hill (getting a great view of the newly planted rice fields)
and we went to my personal 'power spot'....a kannon, a goddess that has powers of some really good stuff for me...i could just stand in her glory and.....breathe. 
relax.
refresh.
power-up, baby.

it really was a great day.

**************
i just put i the last batch of cookies into the oven.
the recipe said that i could get 48 cookies....
i just counted and there will be 65!!
(not counting the two that i ate fell on the floor!)
booyah!!
**********

and the cookies are done which means that i really need to get to bed.  it'll be a 'regular' day tomorrow, with issei getting up at 6:00.....i'll have to get the bento ready before the rest of us head over to the school, about 9:00.
by the way, this years bento will be a bit different.  instead of being like everyone else (as we usally do...spicy fried chicken, onigiri, various veggies.....), we going to live dangerously and stir things up a bit.
i'm making......*wait for it*.....a french bread sandwich.
i know.
crazy right?
we'll see how it goes.
there will be pictures.
**********
oh...and one more before i go....
hApPy MoThEr'S dAy
to all you moms out there!!
i hope your day is just fabulous.