Sunday, June 29, 2008

The one where Debbie's 'think positive' goal got put to the test





This summer, I had every intention of taking the boys to the States at the end of July for a month. My plan also included a small group of Japanese students to go to Colorado at the end of our trip and then after spending a week with them doing 'touristy' kind of things (of which I had set up everything!!), we would all return to Japan together.

Well.....due to one lady's husband getting ill and needing surgery, she cancelled.....and the other 2 (with whom she was traveling), being typical Japanese women....they also cancelled. I asked the remaining two (a very lovely couple!!) if they wanted to go ahead and go....but (and I totally agree with them) they would rather go with a group.

Since part of the money they were paying was going to help pay for one of the boys' tickets, I am now in a bind. So...being the mature individual that I am (I really am!!)...have decided that NOT going to the States would be the best thing. It would be so much fun to go, but....I just don't think that I could truly enjoy the whole trip knowing that I had just charged a little over $6,000 for tickets...just to get there!!! That didn't include food, fun and festivities!!! I would rather go when I don't have all that debt and whatnot hanging over my head!!!


So....in line with all that "thinking positive" stuff I had said I was going to work on this summer...I've decided to make a list for "Why it is good that we stay in Japan this year"....you know...to help me feel better about all this!!


#1. I don't have to spend 18 hours on various planes....with the boys (one very closely resembling Calvin, of late)....and having to eat all that really totally disgusting wonderful food.

Oh....and the hours in the airports in-between? About 10...in total....IF the planes are flying on time and the moon and stars are aligned and all is right with the world.













#2 Think of the money I will save by NOT going to these establishments (and many more like them). Yes, I know...I can still order from the Internet (except from the VFW....I just go there to drink, dance, play pool...you know...spreading the joy!! I doubt they could send me beer!!).....but...since the US Postal service did away with the Sea Mail....aka "Slow Boat"....there is only Air Mail...and the shipping is dreadful!!!



















#3 Do you know how dry Colorado is?!?! Here in Nagasaki, in the summer the humidity factor may be up to 80% or higher.....Colorado? Maybe....just maybe....8%!!! And the heat?!?! Holy Mother of God!!! It can get up to 106 degrees there!!! And windy!! Lord, but the wind never stops blowing!!! I usually spend a small fortune on Jergens and other products just so my skin doesn't just crack and peel off!!! My skin will thank me for this in a few years!!!














#4 Think of calories I am NOT going to consume by not traveling the big water. Yes, of course I drink beer and eat here....but....it's just not the same!!! We all tend to go a bit crazy when we're home....it's all just so damn good!!! My mom's motto/mantra of "Moderation, moderation, moderation" pretty much gets tossed!!!




I may post other things when I think of them. Sometimes I think about this more often than others....consider this a 'work in progress'.

I am feeling a bit better...but...maybe I need just one more thing to help me through
this difficult time.....kind of like a band-aid for an emotional cut....

Aaaaaahh...there ya go. A little bit of Matthew helps all the time!!!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

That Maddening Mosaic Meme

I had actually thought about going in and trying the Mosaic Meme that my friend Jenn (@JugglingLife) had going on over at her blog....but...I'm in a pretty mellow mood tonight...don't want to take the chance of getting aggravated so.....will just put them Mosaic that i found purely by accident!!! (I was smart enough to save it somewhere on my computer Good thing I'm putting it here because I'll probably never find it again!! Must be good karma. I think I'll go buy a lottery ticket later!!). I'll type in the "answers" or the words I used to search...under the mosaic.

Here’s how it works . . .
Answer each of the questions below.
Surf over to
Flickr (set up an account if you don’t have one–it’s quick and easy) and type your answers (one at a time) into the search bar.
From the choice of pictures shown only on the front page, click on the one that moves you.
Once the page with your picture opens, copy the URL.
Surf over to the
Mosaic Maker, set up your mosaic, and paste your URLs.
Click “Create!”
The Questions:
What is your first name?
What is your favorite food?
What high school did you attend?
What is your favorite color?
Who is your celebrity crush?
What is your favorite drink?
Where would you go on your dream vacation?
What is your favorite dessert?
What do you want to be when you grow up?
What do you love most in life?
Choose one word to describe you?
Your Flickr name?


Do you think you can figure out the answers???

1. Debbie 2. Mexican Food 3. Springfield High
4. Pink 5. M-M-M-Matthew 6. Margarita
7. Greece 8. Cheesecake 9. Rich and Famous
10. My two boys 11. Enthusiastic 12. Lola (Divine, that is!!)
The last picture, along with that man in slot #5 (and in my heart forever), is one of my favorites.
The title of that was "Go, Lola, Go". Love it!!!
I think I might go and try another Mosaic....but this time, using my own pictures.....we'll see.

Oh!!! To those of you who came to the Open House...thanks for stopping by!! That was really fun....and a great way to get to know better the people that I read almost daily and.....to "meet" some new friends!!! (After reading so many blogs a day, really....what's one or two...or five more, huh??)

((hugs)) to you all!!!

Friday, June 27, 2008

An Open House...of the Blogging Kind

Mrs. G ("our fearless leader") posed these questions to her peeps:
"Reader, where is the heart of your home? What room in your house makes you breathe easier-makes you feel genuinely content?"
Well.....since I am a sucker for whatever that woman puts down...
come on in...let's see what we can find!

The House of Kuroiwa is a house that we are only renting....oh, we could maybe someday afford to build a house of our own, but we wouldn't be able to afford the land to put in on, so, until then we will live in and utilize what others have built. We moved to this house about 5 1/2 years ago....it was the first one we looked at and it seemed too good to be true. For the price it seemed almost unreal. We looked at many houses in different parts of town, but kept coming back to this one....and I am oh so very glad that we did.

Our house has 6 rooms....2 tatami rooms on one end, living room (also tatami), dining/kitchen, and then 2 regular rooms on the other end (one is the K-man's office/music room and the other is the boys' bedroom). We sleep in one of the tatami rooms....no bed, but futons we put down every evening and then put away every (most) mornings! The other tatami is my space.

Answering Mrs. G.'s question is a little difficult. You see...for me...the whole house makes me feel content. After living in really small spaces, this house feels so right. The heart of the house is....everywhere!!! But...there are special things about this house that add to the contentment.

First....my entrance way "display" area:

I change this place often....now, I am using 2 obi (the sashes for Japanese kimonos...I received many as gifts from friends) as part of the decoration. I love using them. The lava lamp was Issei's 7th birthday present....the handmade basket is full of dried flowers from different bouquets and rice that the K-man actually grew in a Styrofoam box!! Please don't ask me about the Earth, Wind and Fire album in the back...I came home one day and there it was. Obviously.....someone felt he needed to help in the decorating. Actually....I've grown accustomed to it and I kind of like it!!!

This is my reading/talking on the phone chair.

So much of our furniture was given or sold to us by other foreigners who were leaving the country. I got this chair 15 years ago...paid about $100 for it....since it has lasted this long that was a very good deal. I spend a lot of time in this chair....either reading (which I often do) or when I'm talking on the phone. You can't see it in the picture, but the phone is on the left....on Sundays, I spend most of my mornings here....on the phone...talking to my mom and any one else who will answer theirs!!!

In our living room, we have "my" chair and then the rocking chair and sofa. The rocking chair is the same age as Issei....I bought it about 1 week after bringing him home from the hospital. It's falling apart now, but....we love it. The kids who come to play...love it. We usually have to "paper, rock, scissors" to see who gets to sit in it.

The sofa (another hand-me-down) is great....now, with the glass doors open, we can get a great breeze...so when we are watching TV or reading....this is a great place to sit. Outside the window, in one of the trees, the K-man has put a small box of birdseed....and it you sit really still, the birds will come up and you can watch them feed....or fight as they usually do!!!

(Just in case you are wondering...yes, that's a sewing machine in the background..sometimes I even actually use it!!! Behind the sofa is not some alien-type creature but a fan that we haven't taken off the plastic we put on when we put it into storage!!!)

In my kitchen....the chili peppers (and there are many, many more, but just not in the picture!!!) are a bit of America for me...and that is very important.

Ah.....the ofudo...another place I spend probably way more time than is really necessary......a warm bubble bath, a hot bath in winter, or a cool bath in the summer are all a part of what I have grown to love about living in Japan. Of course, people just relax in here....I always bring a book..sometimes a glass of wine...and REALLY relax!!!And now....here I am....in my little corner of my tatami room. It really is quite messy now...and believe me...if I say it's messy, honey...it's beyond what most people would be able to handle!!! This is where I spend the "quiet hours"....after everyone has gone to sleep...or when the boys are outside playing and my work is done...doing what I do here on the computer....keeping in touch...with you.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

AAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!


Yesterday, I spent about 30 minutes putting together a mosaic meme that somebody had done on her blog....it looked very cool, so thought, "What the heck? I'm as cool as her! I can do this!!"
Obviously......and no thanks to whatever powers there are out there...I guess I'm not and I can't.
I was almost finished with the 'going through and finding pictures to match your answer' process...when...suddenly.......the screen went blank....the lights flickered...and it was quiet for about 3 seconds before the computer "peeped" and came back on.....all clean and ready to start over.
ARE YOU FREAKIN' KIDDING ME?!?!?!
5.....4......3......2......1.........and breathe........
Okay....so fast forward to tonight....I've got some things on my mind...well...one thing mainly and it's causing me some stress. It's one of those things that you keep thinking about.....when really....you KNOW what the solution is....you just hate it don't like it very much.
So I thought that I would try the meme again (therapy, you know).....after going through and finding the 12 (yes...12!!) pictures to match my answers....I had the mosaic all ready....needed to do one more thing and it took me to a page to "register" my account....didn't want to do that....hit the "back" button.....and......yep...you guessed it....the page had expired.
frustrate: /prevent/ v to prevent the plans or efforts of (someone or something) being achieved
If I were to say, or type (as the case may be) that I was frustrated with my computer....and since this whole post is mainly in red.....really.....
are you feeling the anger at all????
Okay....so something to make me smile is definitely in order........here is something that my friend Misti sent the other day......I love this and it made me smile....and a little less frustrated!!!

video

I hope that the video works....if it doesn't....I'm sorry.......but...we could look at it this way....maybe you're a little frustrated you can't see it and well.....I hate having feelings like this alone.

**At least....it was a beautiful day today....almost perfect weather!

See.......I'm still finding the positive in things!!! (smiles) and to you all!!!!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Goodbye, George

Another great person has left us....and he will be sorely missed. His sense of humor...his spot-on way of looking at life...his thoughts and ideas that we laughed at and then a few seconds later went, "Hmmmm....he's got something there." Not everyone liked him....he did have his cruder moments....but....he was still one funny man!! I remember my brothers and I, laying on the bed in the back bedroom, listening to an album of his....and laughing our collective butts off...especially at the "news reports" he would do. His old stuff is classic...the new is pretty good, too.

One of the funny routines he had, (yes, other than the "7 Words You Can't Say on TV") was his list of "New Rules".
**Okay...so seriously...how many of you just ran through the 7 words?!?!? **

Here were a couple of the ones that I really liked and laughed out loud at:

New Rule: There's no such thing as flavored water. There's a whole aisle of this crap at the supermarket, water, but, without that watery taste. Sorry, but flavored water is called a soft drink. You want flavored water? Pour some scotch over ice and let it melt. That's your flavored water.

New Rule: Ladies, leave your eyebrows alone. Here's how much men care about your eyebrows: Do you have two of them? Good, we're done.

New Rule: The more complicated the Starbucks order, the bigger the asshole. If you walk into a Starbucks and order a 'decaf grandee, half-soy, half-low fat, iced vanilla, double-shot, gingerbread cappuccino, extra dry, light ice, with one Sweet-n'-Low, and One NutraSweet,' ooooh, you're a huge asshole.

New Rule: If you're going to insist on making movies based on crappy old television shows, then you have to give everyone in the Cineplex a remote so we can see what's playing on the other screens. Let's remember the reason something was a television show in the first place is that the idea wasn't good enough to be a movie.

So....in memory of George Carlin....One of my favorite clips....there is some colorful language, it wouldn't be George without it....laugh...and remember.....then go back to YouTube and see more of "his stuff"!!!

The one where Debbie was truly amazed....

First of all.....can we hear an AMEN from the congregation today?!?!? The sun came out....and it stayed out pretty much all day long!!!!! The breeze was cool....it wasn't too humid....it was wonderful!!! And a really good day to be doing the "Mt. Fuji" of laundry I have in my bathroom, but....no...I had to go to class...that's okay....we've got other clothes to wear!! (See...I'm really working on that "positive" attitude thing again!!!)



Are you familiar with this book?
A couple of years ago, one of my classes and I decided that we needed a bit more of a challenge. In our two hour class, there was plenty of time to do conversation and grammar type stuff plus...something else. In my search for "something else", I put to them the challenge of possibly reading a book. "**GASP** What?? You mean a whole book? " Obviously, they wanted a challenge....but, Debbie-sensei, an easy one, please!!

I did some research....knowing the levels of my students and came up with a list of books that were for 4th-5th-6th Grade elementary school readers.

I had remembered Sarah, Plain and Tall , ordered a copy and found that, even though the vocabulary of the book was going to be a bit of a challenge, I thought they could handle it.

And....a challenge it was. If you're not familiar with the book, it is the story of Sarah, a single woman from Maine in, maybe, the late 1800's. She answers an ad in a newspaper written by a man who lives on the plains for a wife and mother for his two children. The story is told by the oldest child, Anna, written many times, in diary-form.

The vocabulary was difficult. Plants and birds, among other things, that are not here....had me in Google Images most evenings searching for pictures to use as visual aids. Having oldER Japanese students understand the idea of "flat", in the first place, was challenging for me.

Thank goodness, two of the ladies in the class had actually gone with me to Colorado one summer for a visit and they shared with the other students what "nothing" and "can see forever" and "a true horizon" really meant.

Anyway....we made it through the first book....and as a treat, I ordered this...for them to watch.

The movie followed the book so closely, one lady was actually watching, with the book upon her lap and turning pages, following along as the story progressed. Glenn Close and Christopher Walken were the stars of the Hallmark produced movie...and it was wonderful. Needless to say that when I asked my students if they wanted to read the next book....and the next ones...They were very excited to do just that. There are 5 books in the series...and we have read them all!! It's was amazing for my students to realize that the books were. getting. easier. as we kept reading. Funny how that happens, huh!? Plus...having the movies for the first 3 books....made it extra special when we finished reading.


Anyway....I had been thinking that I really wanted the author to know how much my 23 students have enjoyed reading her stories. I did a quick search on the Internet and found so much information about her.....and then....just on a whim....knowing the name of the town she lived in...I searched for her address in hopes I could send her a letter directly and not have to go through a third party.


What I found was not only her address....but also...a phone number. Last night....I called. She answered. I forgot what my own name was.


On the other end of the line was THE author of the books. A Newberry Winner, for crying out loud. And SHE answered the phone!!!!!! Yes, I know...but of course she would answer the phone...it was ringing....but work with me and my excitement for a minute, okay??!!

After I stammered through who I was, I double-checked to make sure she was, in fact, Patricia MacLachlan, the author and NOT Patricia MacLachlan, the garbage collector (or someone else who just happened to have to same name!!). Yes, it was her. She was absolutely lovely....and thought it quite fun that someone would call her from Japan!!! She graciously agreed to answer any and all of my students' questions...which I will send to her in an e-mail (yes, I have her address..and when she answered an e-mail "test", she signed it "Patty"....I feel like she just invited me into her kitchen for tea and cookies!!). She even asked me to call her when I come to the States this summer because she would love to talk to me some more. My students this morning thought it was wonderful that I had spoken to her...they have many questions that I am getting ready to put into a message to send later.


So really....I'm not accustomed to meeting famous people, by any stretch of the imagination...the closest I've gotten to "stardom" was a moment with Ken Watanabe a while back...this woman is somebody pretty damn special...and how totally cool, is that?!?!

I like being amazed at the kindness of others....that someone would take the time to talk, on a Sunday morning with some sputtering stranger who called out of the blue. Yes...today...the sun was shining for more reasons than just the fact that there were no clouds today!


I hope that your Monday is a bright and shiny one....


Saturday, June 21, 2008

I 'double-dog-dare' you NOT to smile or laugh when you watch this...

No...really....just try....'>This is great!!!
Makes me wanna get up and dance...and by golly...I think I will.....
Smiles and hugs to you all on yes, yet another rainy day...but it's cool and breezy and nice!!
(See....I'm working on that Suzy Sunshine thing!!)
Dance...Matt...Dance!!!!
(If the video doesn't work, try clicking up there on THIS...that might work!!)




My friend Claudia just posted this video on her blog....but she went that extra mile and got some info on Matt.....go to her post and get the scoop if you're curious!!!

Friday, June 20, 2008

The one where I posted from my "happy place", dammit!!

And...just in case you are wondering...yes, it is STILL raining!!!

Before I go on with this...I just want to thank those of you who commented and sent "bloggy luv and hugs" messages this week....all were appreciated more than you will ever know!!! And for those who just stopped by and read...thank you for doing that!!!

For the past week or so, I've been thinking about a meme that I was tagged with by MsTeacher...where we are to make some (drum roll please....) Summer Time Goals.

For me....Issei is still in school and won't be out for "summer holiday" until July 20 (I think...need to check the schedule). It's been hard to come up with things I want to accomplish during the "summer".....but....after my last couple of posts, I have come up with one that I think might possibly be a bit of a challenge, but...one that I can succeed at doing...starting right now!!!

Summer Time Goal #1
I'm going to be more positive and try not to be so gosh darn cranky.
I'm usually a very happy person. One time during class, some of my students asked me if I was ever sad....to which I answered "But, of course."
The didn't believe me.
I then proceeded to explain that it didn't happen very often...but when it did....watch out!! It really wasn't very pretty.
But....it usually happened on the weekends, when I'm not around my students...only my family is lucky enough (?) to be witness to the event. So....I'm going to work on squelching those negative thoughts...putting the bite on "Ms. Cranky".......and instead....in her place will be.....

**The list of Summer Time Goals will be a "work in progress"....I'll post a new goal next time!!!**

Speaking of my students.....I consider myself lucky to have about 130 of the nicest and funnest (and funniest!) people in my classes!!! The other day, one of my ladies brought everyone some souvenirs from her visit to Seattle (her son and his family live there). She and her husband spent 10 days there and they had a wonderful time.....yes, I know...Of course, they did!!! Anyway....she brought some Seattle's Chocolates (Oh, my Lawd!! Second only to See's...IMHO!!!) While everyone was happily munching their orange and raspberry and other absolutely divine chocolaty tidbits...she "psssst"'ed me and then handed me a bag. I very carefully opened the bag and peaked in and .....Oh My!!! I was a happy camper!!!!

Is there any doubt that I have got some of the best students evah?!?! And, really......do they know me....or what?!?!?! Yes....you gotta love those edible (and drinkable) souvenirs!!!!!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Yesterday, Koji brought home an art project from the daycare. About once a month, a special teacher comes and does some really cool and fun things with the kids. This week....they were to make clocks...using different colors of paper and they were supposed to make arms and legs by braiding some pieces together thus getting that "boingyboingy" effect. Everyone did a great job and all had their boingy arms and legs....all except....one.....yes....Koji had his own agenda that day...and really...why should this day have been any different?

The teachers commented about the "personality" attached to this "flying dragon" clock....complete with a really vicious looking face (on both sides of the paper, mind you!!) glued on for effect. I asked Koji why he didn't make the "boingyboingy" arms and legs....he replied that they "were too cute and he wanted to make wings instead".

Personally....the clock is so "Koji"....and is hanging in the living room, watching over us as we go about our day and forever stuck at 3:32.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

This is NOT the way I like to wake up in the morning!!!

Seriously....are you sure it's Thursday? It's NOT Monday?? I'm on a bit of a tear and just need to vent......Please, my dear friends, be on the ready for positive comments and 'huggy-type' words, 'cause I'm needing them something awful!!!

The weather just pretty much sucks right now. This morning, at 6:30, it was cloudy and rainy and almost cool....UNTIL I MOVED!!! This is the season of the almost cool breeze....when one is standing still. Move even the slightest bit.....and the mugginess will attack you like ants at a picnic.....like people rushing to buy cheap crap at the New Year's Day sales....like opening day at *name your favorite sporting arena*.....it's nasty I tell you....downright yucky, nasty, gross.
Oh...but wait....I usually try to actually put on a little bit of make-up....for show ya know, 'cause sure as anything it'll be off in about 2 shakes!!! Fixing my hair?? UGH!!! Have made an appointment for a haircut this weekend and I do believe, I'm going VERY SHORT!!! It's always such a thrill to be blow-drying my hair and having a bead of sweat roll down my neck!!!!! And no....I can't just "wash and go"....not that kind of hair, my loves....this morning, I just put a headband on and said "Voila!!". My students know me well enough and recognize that dark cloud hovering over me that no one said a snarky word....which tells me...yep...they are my good friends and I probably should make some cookies for next week's class to say "gomen nasai." (I'm sorry).

Driving in this weather is just another challenge. Breathe inside the car and the windows will fog up. So..."defrost"? Warm? Cold air? Which? Remember....the air outside is still kind of cool....Koji and I both have hand towels on our seats so we can wipe the windows clean!!! "Why don't you roll the windows down?", you're saying to yourself? Love to...but remember..it's raining and in the Toyota, the water comes in...from any angle!!! grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Shoes? Still wet from the downpour yesterday.....say "See you later" to dry shoes for the next few weeks days, at least.

Got home after my morning class to get the house presentable for my afternoon class...do you know how hard it is to vacuum a floor that is....swear to God...wet from the humidity in the air?!?!?! Worked up, yet another sweat as I was cleaning around and under the kitchen table.

After class....I spent about 30 minutes on the phone with United Airlines...AAAAARRRRRGHGGHGHGHGHGHGHGHGH cough sputter cough cough!!!!

Earlier, when I was talking about buying tickets to the States for our summer holiday, I joked to someone about stopping off somewhere and selling a body part or two to help pay for the tickets.....am now looking into that option!!!
It's not the ticket price so much...it's the "oil charge" that is killing me!!! Right now...as of 4:00 on June19, the tax and "whatever" charge is.........$500.....PER TICKET!!! My ticket is going to be about $2300 and the boys' will be $1800...each!!! Am thinking that when we get to my hometown, I'm going to look into putting those buckets near the registers at all the stores...you know..."Help Debbie and her boys"...for donations!!!!

I have 5 students going to the States in August....we will all come back to Japan together....we usually spend the night in a hotel the night before we leave Denver, since we are on that 6:00 a.m. flight out.....but.....thanks to the National Democratic Convention, of which we are flying out right in the middle of....THERE ARE NO HOTELS IN DENVER.....ANYWHERE!!!! Now trying to book tickets to another town...making this vacation possibly the "most stressful in the planning stages" EVAH!!!!!

Oh....my....I do sound like a whiny girl, don't I?
I need to stop before I start in on the neighbors and the stupid people I have seen/met/talked to in the last few days and the latest "Stupid English" sign I saw at a restaurant the other day! (More on that one later....when a good mood has taken over and I can see the humor in the mistakes...now, it's just pissing me off!!!)

Wait.....here is just what I need....some flowers......

....and some of my favorite "eye candy" ........

You gotta love Matt.....but YOU...from afar, because always remember....HE'S MINE!!

Now I'm going to close this ranty post....take a deep breath and try to find my "happy place"!!!

Wish me luck....if you comment and it makes me smile or laugh..I will love you forever!!!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Since I needed a smile.....

We are now on about "Day 3" of rain....and honestly....a little sunshine would NOT hurt one bit!!

Feeling a bit blue this morning and even though I have a free morning with no classes to actually get something constructive done...can't do it...nope...nada...the "creative well" is dry!! Maybe spending some time with you, my bloggy friends will help....it usually does!! I have enjoyed reading all about graduations going on out there (big and smaller kids!), parties, and all the Father's Day posts were really nice.

I realized earlier, as I was perusing my GoogleReader and getting a bit caught up, that there are blogs that I have been reading but....doing a really good impersonation of a "lurker"....no comments....sorry...sometimes, I just like to read....and even though I am enjoying the crap out of all what is going on out there in "the real world", my commenting has been lacking. I am sorry. Once we get some sunshine, maybe that will change. {smile....or at least trying to!!!}

So....here are some things I found/borrowed/fixed....they make me smile...I hope they do you too!!

Hugs...smiles...and smooches to you all!
d.






Saturday, June 14, 2008

Blogger causing me fits...and so I say, "AAARrrggghhHHHhh!!"

Any other Blogger users out there having troubles?? By asking that question, am I opening a big 'ole can o'crap?!?! Today...I found out, from another blogger that my "archive posts" would not pull up. Went to Blogger to get some help....and I got lots of.....nothing really helpful. Found somewhere that if I changed my layout, then...maybe...the problems...would be solved.And so.....*sniff sniff* good-bye my lovely flamingo!! I sure did enjoy you while you were here. I did find some smaller ones to take your place....but...even though they are cute...and pink...and definitely flamingos....no..I'm sorry...still not the same. Oh well.....
So....I blatantly stole borrowed an idea from another blogger (Thanks Claudia...and Happy Birthday, Sweetie!!!Your party looks like tons of fun!!!)....she had a great slide show on her blog and I went into Photo Bucket and put one together with some photos that were just 'hanging around'!!!Here are the photos..... But...I couldn't get that damn thing to work so I finally gave up and went to Picasa and put a slide show together there. GRrrrrrrrr......Will go back and try to figure out why the hell it wasn't downloading.....until then....try these...and REMEMBER......If it's going too fast, just slide the mouse/arrow over the bottom of the picture screen and just click "pause" and then you can forward them yourself!!!





I hope that you are all having a good Saturday....I'm sure there are a lot of things, you know...constructive things...I could be doing...but, I think I'm going over to YouTube beforeI go to bed check out some music!!! TTFN!!

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Feast...and some what-not

The Feast for Friday....the 13th...mwahahahaha....sorry...ahem...here we go...
(okay...and really...is "mwahahahaha" an actual word?? My spellcheck didn't catch it...WTH??)

Appetizer
Do you consider yourself to be an optimist or a pessimist?

I would like to say that I am basically an optimist...but I do have pessimistic moments.

Soup
What is your favorite color of ink to write with?
BLUE.....and the pen point needs to be not too fat and not too thin...juuuuuust right.

Salad
How often do you get a manicure or pedicure? Do you do them yourself or go to a salon and pay for them?
Oh...honeys...no often enough...can you say "almost never"?!?! I'm so sad. I usually do my own nails and I'm always buffing and scraping and other painful sounding stuff to my feet....and I ALWAYS have polish on my piggies!! Right now, I'm working to get my feet into being "summer-worthy"!!
Main Course
Have you ever won anything online? If so, what was it?
Does blogging bling count?? I've gotten some "awards" from my blogging buds...and a delicious "goody bar" and book from Gina during that blogging frenzy in February. I'm counting on winning the carpet from the contest in her blog...very soon!!! {smile}

Dessert
In which room in your house do you keep your home computer?
It's in a little corner of "my room".....I am still in the dark ages, it seems, because I don't have a laptop....still using the antiquated desktop....hard to carry around....extension cord not quite long enough to go anywhere else!!!

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Don't know if you've heard or not, but, here in Japan...there are quite a few towns that have the name...Obama. Can you guess which Presidential candidate they are supporting??

The largest city of this name made up t-shirts with this design. For my favorite "Obama Mamas"(you know who you are!!), I'm looking...I've got "my people" on it...We have an Obama town near us, but...nothing yet. If we find do them..they are yours!!! :-D
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So...at the store the other day, I found these handy, dandy little kitchen gadgets....They are little punches....for the nori ("seaweed")...to decorate the rice balls in children's lunch bentos. They are called "NikoNiko Punch3".....

No...sorry...huh-uh. I refuse to jump on that "oh my gosh...I have to make my son's bento look really cute and special so he will know that I love him and the other moms won't think I'm a bad mother by just putting regular nori around the rice ball." bandwagon.

(It was really hard to type that with one hand while pounding the top of my desk with the other!!)

It's really a good thing that Issei and Koji don't care about stuff like that. I'm thinking that, some mornings when they need a bento, they feel they are lucky knowing that I actually remembered I had to make a bento that morning and they have something edible in their bento boxes!! :-D

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**Rainy season update.....this week we basically had 3 seasons....

Monday and Tuesday~~rainrainrainrainrain and more rain. Wednesday and Thursday~~ absolutely beautiful spring weather....a little cool, slightly breezy and sunshine both days!! Friday (today)~~sunny, no clouds and it was pretty damn warm, almost hot about 3:30 this afternoon...very nice early summer-like day.

I wonder what it will be like tomorrow when we wake up?!?!?!

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Oh...by the way....I have a friend who has started a small business on the side to make some extra cash. She is selling these beautiful towels and towel-hangers as a special 2 for 1 combo.

Buy the towel and get the hanger for free!

I'm trying to help her out so.....Please let me know if any of you would be interested and what colors you would like ... (see below for image of towels and hangers). I intend to order one of each color!!!

**ah yes... working definitions of "beefcake" and "eye candy"!!!**

And with that, my loves....have a great Friday...

(yes...I was talking to you right then....NOT the "towel hangers"!!! teehee)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Oh My Gawd!! I found them...but you really have to hurry!!!


After diligently searching for about 35 minutes a really long time.....guess what I found????

THESE!!!!! ON THE INTERNET!!!! BUT.......

You really have to hurry because I found them on eBay....if you are interested go Here (you've got only about 3 hours!!) or go Here (you've 4 days on this one!!) or you can even go Here (this one has 8 days left!!). I think that one of the auctions is from China and the other two are from Australia.

But...if you don't want to do that....you can always go to Amazon and get these..... .....they're not as cute, but....they still get the job done!!! And, let's be honest...if you've got a glass of wine, (insert favorite rocking CD here) on the stereo, and these on your feet....nothing but good, cleaning, fun!!! Get some for the whole family....spend some good quality time with your kids!!!

**You do realize that this will be my mission....to find Hello Kitty mop-slippers for all my friends who desire them....'cause just the kind of person I am!!!



Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Buckets of rain....Gumi

Yes....as of yesterday, the rainy season is now with us and will be for, Lord only knows how long. So, this cute little "funny" (that I borrowed from Natalie Dee) is almost right....but..you need to just change the hours.....to weeks....and yessiree Bob, that's where we'd be!!! I hate the rainy season. Oh...don't get me wrong...I like rain...I really do...but...when it rains...aaaallllll the tiiiiiiiiimmmmmmme for daaaaaaaayyyyysssss on eeeeennnnnd....well...that just gets a little old.

For example...it started raining yesterday (of course it did, it was the opening of the season!!)....and it is now almost 11:30 p.m, tonight....and it's still raining!

What's really aggravating is that if you stand still, the air is cool...but, move...just one little bit...and it's muggy....really...really...muggy. Which means that everything is wet. It really is kind of disgusting...especially if you are lucky enough to experience "the mold factor". My first rainy season, 16 years ago, I had some really nice Birkenstock sandals in my shoe box (kind of like a shoe closet that is in the entrance way of every abode in this country.) I was a newbie and didn't know that there are these really cool "dry boxes" that you put into places that help pull the moisture out of the air, thus keeping everything in those places nice and relatively dry.

Let's just say that when I took out those lovely $125 Berks....they looked like they had been totally violated and would seriously, never, ever recover.

My tan leather Berks had turned a lovely green....I wish I could find a picture, 'cause I'm sure I took one...but that was so long ago...just use your imagination.


For the next few weeks, we will see the sunshine a few times....our shoes and sox (if anyone actually wears them this time of year..sox, that is), pants, shirts, big shoulder-bags that don't quite fit under the umbrella...everything will be wet or damp. The windows of our cars are constantly fogged over because it's so hard to regulate the temperature inside the car to keep it from happening. "Bad Hair Day" is a common thing for most people. Electric "room dryers" (which pull the moisture out of the air) are going at all times of the day in most houses...and laundry?? hahahahaha....don't worry about clothes having to dry inside the house thus smelling kind of..."yech", because everyone else smells the same way!!!
Thank God for Febreeze!!!
(I'm like a breath of freaking spring everywhere I go!!!)


Okay...enough complaining...it's still early in the "season of the rain"...will leave more for later...'cause honey, you know there will be more!!!! And of course, the rain is good for the rice that has been planted lately....I don't want the price of rice to go up like everything else has...so...taking the good with the bad, I guess!!

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Do you know what these are???

The look so cute, don't they?? These little fruits are called gumi, in Japanese. I had no idea what they were in English and so....I found in my trusty dictionary that they were "silverberries". uh-huh. okay. so much clearer now. So I went to Wikipedia and found 'gumi'...it said that "Elaeagnus multiflora (Goumi, Gumi, Natsugumi, or Cherry Silverberry), is a species of Elaeagnus, native to China, Korea and Japan." (Sure...okay....)

And it said that the "the fruit is juicy and edible, with an acidic taste."

In another place it also said that the berries were "lacking a good flavour".

For those unsuspecting, innocent souls who fall prey to the mischievous ways of little boys who will lovingly say, "Oh, Mommy, these are good! Why don't you try one?"......do...not...believe...the little liars....for when you bite into one of those lovely, juicy fruit-like tidbits....

here is what you might possibly look like.....

"Lacking in good flavour".....that's the understatement of the century!!! These jelly-bean looking berries are, seriously....the tartest...the sourest...the most nasty things you will every put in your mouth...unless, of course, you like that kind of eating adventure and the puckering of body parts that follows, then...by all means...eat 'em up. Take mine. We have a very large bush in the backyard with about 200 of these tasty fruits.....Not enough sugar in the world, my friends, to make these things edible.

But of course, I'm not a 5th grade boy...Issei and 5 of his friends were back there today, standing under their umbrellas, daring each other to eat them. After rousing games of "rock, paper, scissors", the losers had to eat one. I wish I had recorded the laughter....listening to them (taking the enamel off their teeth in the process, I'm sure!) was pure sunshine on this dreary day!
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Sunday, June 08, 2008

Bloggy Blockage...What's a girl to do?

Maybe after having a really "blah" kind of day yesterday, my brain was/is having a really hard time getting going...so...when there is nothing exciting (other than the fact that YEAH!! even as I type, some "pit stop" or deodorant/anti-perspirant is on its way here....I love my mom!! And thanks to all of you who offered to send some...I will be keeping your comments, just in case it is evah needed again! Okay?) I guess I will just have to 'drop back 5 yards and punt'...



Okay....look at these....the K-Man has an incredible "green thumb" and here's what we got going on in our garden right now......

If we can just keep our favorite 5-year-old from picking them, we might possibly have enough to make some blueberry muffins in a few days!!! And yeah....I must admit that I , too, have been known to pick one or two....they really are yummy!!!!

Thought about that "first crush" again today....definitely NOT on the same 'train of thought' as I was the other day...funny how that happens, huh? :-D

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Japanese people love their slippers.

When you enter a house here, there will almost always be a pair of slippers for you to put on. (If you are a student coming into my house, then, of course, there are slippers...If you are just a friend...."mi casa es su casa" and I don't wear slippers ergo....you don't either, unless you want to and then, sure...I'll get them out for you!!!)

There are also special slippers for the toilet....yes...you read that correctly. Upon entering a toilet(again...not my house!), you slip off the slippers you are currently wearing and stepping into the restroom, quickly slip on the "bathroom slippers"....when you are finished, make sure you take those off and once again put on the regular ones. God forbid should you forget and walk through the house wearing the bathroom slippers......major faux pas, my friends....muy grande OOPS!!!

I had to laugh at a friend one time because her restroom was, and I kid you not on this, the size of a very small closet.....it was like the toilets on an airplane...and damned if she didn't have slippers for you to change into. That just made me giggle!!

If a house or apartment has a balcony or deck, there will be...yeah...special slippers for you to wear outside....no no no...we (again....this does not include me, usually) never wear our "inside" slippers outside.

I have actually seen my husband, when somebody rings the doorbell, take off his slippers in the entrance way...go 2 steps down and put on his outside slippers to go and answer the door!! You should see the looks on the faces of the people when they see me answer the door in my, *gasp* bare feet!!!! I'm guessing that it would be the equivalent to answering the door in your underwear in the western world!!


Anyway...I did have a point here.....so...in our house, we have a lot of wood flooring...and cleaning it really is, pardon the expression, but...a bitch. A few years ago I found these and I love them....

They make cleaning the house just a bit more fun....I put on some music...push back the chairs and just dance and clean...clean and dance!!! Bob Seger (and his Silver Bullet Band) is what I've been "cleaning" to lately.....I sent some to my mom and her choice of music when she does her floors is Elvis or Neil Diamond!! (Hey Susan...what about you?!?!)

So...the pair I have is falling apart..I was looking for some new ones and I'm thinking that I really do need this pair....

And on that Hello Kitty-ish note...I will say...good night.

Have a great week!!