Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Is there a doctor in the house?

When I think back to when I first came to Japan and what we had in the form of "entertainment" on TV...well....it really was quite sad.


Now...we have satellite receivers, bi-lingual televisions and with the touch of a button, the programs that have been dubbed in Japanese are easily changed back to the original language, whether it's English, Spanish or Korean or any other language that might possibly pop up on a program. We have come a long way....I remember my first little bitty TV....that had the video player attached to the base. It was a hand-me-down from the language school that I worked at and I also had a CD/Tape player-AM-FM radio from them. The radio really came in handy on those nights when an English movie was being broadcast on TV (usually on Friday or Saturday nights). Waaaaay at the end of the FM dial, one could find the English movies being broadcast!! No more trying to read the lips of the actors and block out the Japanese to try and figure out what the heck they were actually saying!

*Of course, when I watched The Milagro Beanfield War I was really frustrated...whenever they spoke Spanish, they put only Japanese subtitles....my Spanish was beginner-level and I'm sure I missed much of what was going on!!!





The video shop was my favorite place....I spent an awful lot of money renting movies...and television dramas, even ones that I didn't really care for....take for example, Twin Peaks. I never really liked that show, but because it was in English, I watched it....never understood many of the parts, but I watched the first season and most of the second....just because I could understand what they were saying, the English, that is!!





My mom, bless her heart, would send videos every week or so with recorded American TV shows....Seinfeld, ER, LA Law, Friends, Frasier, Ray Romano...she would even toss in an episode of Another World or Days of Our Lives if there was time left over at the end of a tape. When I think of the money we spent on videos back then....holy moly!! But...it was money well spent....and her efforts were appreciated by many! The videos made the circuit.....being watched by many a foreigner!!





And now...we have cable. CNN...Discovery...Disney....The History Channel...and yes, there is a God...FOX. And with FOX came a new love.....Dr. House. I know....in the States the show is House, M.D. I asked a Japanese friend why they didn't just use the same title over here and she said that most Japanese people might recognize what the M.D. stands for, but they'd have to think about it....Dr. House is probably more easily understood.





I really wish that I had started numbering my Secret Boyfriends....I'm not sure as to which number I should put Hugh Laurie....hmmmm...let's just say that he is somewhere after Matt...and George.....around there....maybe No. 6 or 7. I don't think that he is really in the same category as Matt or George when it comes to physical beauty (yeah...uh-huh...I said beauty)....with Dr. House, it's a combination of his looks, sarcasm, his 'don't really give a crap about much' attitude, and his ability to be so damn smart...oh yeah...and he rides a awesome motorcycle...all that adds up to one very attractive package! (In my humble opinion.)





I first saw Hugh (I can call him that...you should probably just say Mr. Laurie.) in a show from Britain called Blackadder. I have to admit...in that show...no...huh-uh...not the man I came to know and love from Dr. House. Funny....yes...sexy....mmmmmmm....cute maybe...not sexy.


(I am NOT a fan of the Mr. Bean series....Rowan Atkins in that just bothers me....but in Blackadder, he was actually quite attractive...and funny!!!)



Then, when I watched the Stuart Little movies with the boys, I liked the dad....Hugh, of course....he was just so cool. Hugh does well with all kinds of actors and actresses...even mice!!!





So anyway....where was I...oh yeah....tonight I was going through some of the sites I had bookmarked and came across the GraphJam site....I forget that I have it and there were many graphs to get caught up on. I came across this and knew I had to post it:





song chart memes






more music charts

Oh....my....yes!

Okay.... I'm ready to play house....annnnytime!!


EEK!!! This kind of makes my eyes hurt!!! Thank goodness he was funny!!

*Thanks Google Images for the pictures of my Secret Boyfriend..even that last one!!



And since I brought it up....here's just a sample....of Hugh...before he crossed the ocean and became a household name.


Sunday, September 28, 2008

Boom De Ah Da Boom de Ah Da.......I love the whole world...

The other day when I was picking up Koji at the daycare, one of the teachers came over to me to talk. Noting the look on her face~~~believe me, it's one I have seen hundreds of times~~I was bracing myself mentally for what it was that my little man had done that day that warranted a special talk with the teacher.

I must have had a "just give it to me quick and painless, please" look on my face because the teacher just laughed and said "Nan ni mo nai, yo...shitsumon dake." ("It's nothing, I just have a question.") Okaaaaaaayyy.......

She was wondering what the "boom di ah da" song was that Koji had been singing for the past few days. What? Hmmmm......thinking that it did sound familiar, I was searching in my sleep deprived brain for where it was that I had heard it and then.....A-HA!!! I remembered. (Thank God I did...I hate it when I can't remember something and then I have to go through the ABC's and then sometimes I end up going through the Japanese sounds list, too!!)

A while back, my friend MoxyJane posted a video on her blog. Koji was in the room with me when I played it and he and I both loved it!! We watched it a couple of times and, since the words are not too terribly difficult to sing, we were singing along with the video.
This was a few weeks ago, so why he would all of a sudden start to sing that song...now...is really kind of funny. But, even funnier is that at the daycare....his buddies are singing it, too...with Koji, when they are playing. I explained this to the teacher and she just laughed and then asked me to write the name down on a piece of paper so she could go and watch it later herself!!

Now....we sing this song a lot. It's really a great song. Koji has gotten pretty good about making up his own words...."I love a sunny day. I love Mommy. I love dangos. (meatballs!) I love Lego's..............Boom de ah da Boom de ah da......." and on and on it continues. It's great!!

The weather has gotten so that we don't need to use the air conditioner in the car so much and on the way home we have the windows down and we...are...singing....sometimes, pretty loudly.....and laughing. Our words get kind of silly...but that's okay...we are kind of silly. And that's okay, too.



So....here's wishing you a Boom de ah da kind of day!!!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Actors come and actors go...but a classic will live forever in our hearts

What a sad way to end this evening...finding out that one of my all-time favorite actors has passed away. I grew up on Paul Newman....Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid, Cool Hand Luke, The Sting, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Long Hot Summer....just to name a few of the many movies of his that I have watched again and again and again.

The man was an incredibly talented actor....in this day and age of so many young actors here and then suddenly they are gone, Paul Newman was of a special group of actors that outlived the rest and had that special something that is rare to find....he truly belonged to an elite group.
Yes, he was sexy....but the thing that made him even sexier, in my opinion, was his total commitment and devotion to his wife, Joanne. When Playboy magazine asked him in an interview one time about the temptation to have an affair, he responded, "I have steak at home, why go out for hamburger." They have been married since 1958.





Now, I'm going to spend some time on You Tube, going through clips of my favorite movies and remembering the great man that he was....and always will be to those of us who loved him.
Rest in peace.



**Photographs borrowed from Google Images.

Friday, September 26, 2008

....and then....it was Friday.....

....and what have I gotten accomplished this evening? hmmmm...dinner? check. (taco salad on rice). dishes done? check. boys to bed at reasonable hour? check. (10:00) bath? check. (actually, I took a shower) spend two and a half hours organizing pictures on hard drive? ~~sigh~~check. (but look how nice my folders look!!)


So here it is, almost 1:00 in the morning and am I ready for tomorrow's classes? No.
Have I posted anything on my blog yet? Working on that right now.
Will I get to bed before 2:00? Probably not....but I'll try! (outlook unclear...try again later!!)

Tonight on Yahoo news was this tidbit:



McCain will attend debate.

John McCain says he will be at the first

presidential debate with Barack Obama.


I don't know about you, but when I read that I was like "Well....du-uh. Isn't that the whole point of this? I mean...if he didn't go, could we actually call it a debate?"


And for heaven's sake...why wouldn't he go? By not showing up, would that have been some kind of sneaky "Statue of Liberty play" in the campaign game?




And then...well....gosh...as my darker hair started taking over the blond, I wonder who else is running for president? I mean, other than Ralph Nader, right, because doesn't he always run? The media has been focusing so much on the Obama/Biden and the McCain/the AlaskaDisasta Palin tickets....there has to be others.....




A quick check on Wikipedia (the place with most of the answers) and I found that there are indeed more people running....There are 14 candidates actually running in this presidential election. And yes, Ralph Nader is a candidate....representing the Independent Party, among others...his list of affiliates is pretty long...he's a busy man!!! And really....how old is Ralph now anyway? I haven't heard anything about him or his age so he must not be much of a threat.



My favorite party in the Wikipedia list, which I had never heard of before, in this context that is, was the Boston Tea party. I wonder how long it took them to think of that one. That's a good one.




Did you know that Sarah Palin is NOT the only woman running? She just happens to be the only one being focused on in the media. The Socialism & Liberation party has Gloria LaRiva running...and the Green Party has Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente (gasp! another woman!) as her running mate!




Now, I know that being in Japan puts me at a bit of a disadvantage when it comes to being up on all things current in the news....but, have you heard of these women? I wonder what they have to offer us, the American people? Lord knows it wouldn't take much to be more than what Palin has. (IMHO)

Interesting stuff in the news.....it's all making me kind of tired...so....moving right along (The time is now 1:31...)
The K-man is a very nice man. The other day he brought me this.....

He knows that I have a soft spot in my heart for pretty much anything hula....and seeing this container of mint flavored gum, he bought it for me....just because he's that kind of guy.

It's a great container and the gum is pretty good, even though I don't really chew gum anymore, it's the thought that counts, right?

What I found on the inside was something I thought was actually very cool for a company to do....take a look... You can see in one compartment are the pieces of gum (They look like Chiklets to me!)...but do you also see the smaller compartment? Those are little pieces of paper....one for each piece of gum...when you are finished chewing the gum, you can use the paper to wrap the gum in to throw it away. Yeah, I know...it's easy to find a piece of paper or tissue to use...but how cool is that for the company to think of something beforehand?

And being that I am my mother's daughter....I'm thinking that if I don't use those little pieces of paper to throw away the gum, I could always use them as little, bitty memos...'cause you can never have too many of those!!!

Flamingo Friday.....
Hula and Flamingo...together...what more could I ask for?? *Thanks Google Images!!*

I wish you a day full of things you like!!


(The time is now 1:44 and I...am...outta here!!!)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Really? It's ONLY Wednesday?!?!?!

I'm having an incredibly hard time getting the energy to post something. I had all these really great ideas earlier....witty comments about interesting and exciting topics...and then, sometime during dinner (I think I was eating some salad) I was hit by a tsunami of the blaaaaaahs. So, I apologize if there are spelling errors...or grammar mistakes...or a total disregard for organization in posting (that you should be used to!!).....I'm blaming it on {insert excuse here} and hopefully...surely...it will be better tomorrow. (And yes, I know...your name's not Shirley!!)


My son....the manga character.

And I just realized from looking at this picture that he really needs a haircut (Issei, not the manga character!)!! I know...."But it's so short," you're saying....Actually, my son goes for the "one or two more millimeters and we'll be calling it a 'shaved head'" kind of haircut!!! Better put that on our list of "stuff we have to do this weekend".
After dinner, in my 'blahdom', instead of jumping up and getting to that sink of dirty dishes, I opted to take a bit of a break on the sofa before diving into the bubbles. It was nice to just lie there....and I do believe I snoozed...just a bit.
When I woke up, was refreshed enough to tackle the kitchen, Issei informed me that Daddy had taken my picture with my cell phone.
"Why did he do that?" I asked.
"Today is Wednesday....you always take a picture of your butt on Wednesday."
I'm so glad I can get my family involved in my blogging!!! {smile}

A 5K LazyAss Picture Update

This week was pretty good. I took a couple walks around the neighborhood....we have some good hills ("feel that burn"!!) and the weather has been a bit cooler at night so working up a sweat wasn't as painful as it was a few weeks ago.

When I first started this whole "lifestyle adjustment", I was very lucky that 8 kilograms (about 18 pounds) came off pretty quickly. I knew that couldn't continue at that rate, but still....when the plateau hit......

...I wasn't very happy. I'm trying to stay positive in all this because I know that this plateau will pass, I just have to hang in there and not give up. The good thing is that I haven't gained any weight...so as long as that continues, I'm okay!!! I have 4 more kilos that I want to lose....I can do this!!! I just have to remember how incredibly good I feel....how nice it is to wear those pants I bought about 12 years ago (uh-huh...still got 'em, and a couple of skirts, too...you know...in my "skinny box"!!)...plus if I keep in mind the incredibly nice and encouraging comments I've been getting here from you and from my students...all that combined will help me be strong when temptation (aka. Oreo Cookies!) strikes!!!

So...I think that this calls for some yumminess of the hunky kind...a lot of it...you know...to help me through this. Matt would want it that way!!

But wait....a giggle before I go......

I wish you all a great day....lots of positive stuff and sunshine...and skinny pants that fit!!!

*Images from GoogleImages and my personal album.

Monday, September 22, 2008

You know you've been in Japan too long when.....

A few years ago, there was a list of things that were signs of warning, so to speak, to see if you had been in Japan too long. A few years ago....the list was hilarious. My friends and I sat at the dinner table one night and went through each item and laughed our collective butts off.

Tonight, as I was thinking of this particular post, I thought that I would find that list and see if it was still funny....yeah, still pretty good...but.....in a more ~~sigh~~kind of way.

I think that for most foreigners, living here is a "temporary" situation. They are here long enough to notice the sometimes silly things that Japanese people do...they see the hypocrisies that lurk in many situations...and they can recognize the illogicalness of so many things in this country. And yet, when they go back to their home countries, they just have some really funny stories to tell their family and friends.

But for those of us who are the "long timers"...the ones who have decided that we are here indefinitely...many of these situations and things have become "the norm"....some of us have even picked up a few of the mannerisms of the people. And...I have noticed...that the older I get...the worse it gets.
So I went through the list and picked out 10 of the best ones (not an easy task to do as there are many!!)...and not in any particular order:

*...You see another foreigner in your neighborhood and wonder what he's doing on your turf.
Here in Nagasaki, many times, unless you live downtown or near a university, other foreigners are few and far between. There are a few that live over the hill...but, in my case....no...I'm "the foreigner" here in my part of the city!! If you're walking through and I see you...I'll probably ask you what you're doing!!

*...You use the Japanese "excuse me" hand gesture while crossing the street or after you bump into people--in your own country.
The hand gesture is done by making a chopping or slashing motion with one hand in front of you, at chest level. I'm guilty of doing it crossing the street, passing in front of cars....or when I have to find my seat at the movie theater and pass in front of other people. I call this the "magic hand "!! People in American were a bit confused as to what the heck I was doing!!!

*...Not only do you enjoy drinks like Pocari Sweat and Calpis Water, but you serve them to other foreigners.
These are actually really good sports drinks!! The boys are fond of Calpis Water...I love explaining the funny part of that to Japanese people when they question the reaction of foreigners who hear that for the first time. "Would you like some Calpis?" teehee!!!

*...All of your shoes are mashed down in back.
The boys are guilty of this....I spend good money for shoes and it's too much of a bother to put them on all the way?!?! Okay...okay...so maybe I have one pair of Keds that I have done this to....~~sigh~~But everyone else does it!!!! :-D

*...Slogans like "Vegetable Communication" and "For Beautiful Human Life" no longer faze you.
But "Inspire The Next" will put me in a tizzy for about 10 minutes...."The next...what?!?!??!"

*...You bow while talking on the phone.
Puh-lease!! I've been doing that for almost 15 years!!! Watching me do that on the phone cracks my mom up!!

*you bow to other drivers who give you the right of way.
...and if you are sitting shot-gun, it's your job to bow to the cars on that side!!!

*you have trouble figuring out how many syllables there really are in words like 'building'.
Actually, there are 4..../be-ru-din-gu/. Saying "McDonald's" will mess you up!!! It has 6 syllables!!!!

*you go for a drink with friends back home and start pouring everybody's beer.
In Japan, when drinking with Japanese people, you never pour your own beer!!! Someone will always be there to "top off" your glass or fill it up. If you do happen to pour your own, the people on either side of you will apologize profusely for not paying attention!!! In America....I'm not fond of "pitcher nite"...I keep forgetting where I am....but now my friends, just smile and go on!!

*you go to a book shop with the full intention to read all the interesting magazines and put them back on the shelf.
Here, the "buy it if you want to read it" idea is not alive. In book stores and convenience stores everywhere, you will find men, women and children, standing and reading the magazines and then putting them back when finished. I usually read Cosmo...Good Housekeeping....and I will thumb through various other ones at the book store. At the prices one must pay over here, it just seems easier to do it the "Japanese way"!!

If you want to, you can read the whole list here...for anyone who has been to Japan or who knows Japanese people, you might find some humor.....Sadly...reading through...I was all like "uh-huh"..."oh yeah"...and "sigh" at most of them!!!


And now...for the final "I know I've been here too long" of my own.....

I have a student/friend, K-san, who has been in my class for about 2 years now. She is a few years older than me (just a few!) AND we have the same birthday!! Cool, huh?
So anyway.....here we are...we had dinner the other night and then went out to karaoke (she sings some great Chicago songs!!!)

Joining us for the evening was her daughter, Miss M....who also just happened to be my student...when she was in high school...about 6 years ago!!!
A few months ago....in class...and I'm not even sure how we got to talking about this...but...we realized that this man.....K-san's father....
....was also a student of mine.....16 years ago!!!!! He was one of my private students while I was working at a conversation school.
Yeah...that's right...I am now a "3 Generation Teacher"!!!!
And with that.....I'm thinking....I'm done. It's time for me to go somewhere else!!! :-D
No...just kidding...actually...what this does is help make it more difficult to ever leave. And....for right now....that's okay. I"m happy here...for now....
And with that, my fellow babies....I will close as all this has made me tired...that and the fact that it's 12:36 and time for bed!!
Have a great Monday...here the day was hot and a bit steamy (Oh the discussion in class today about the word "steamy"...too funny!!!), but the night is cool and going to be great for sleeping!!Good night!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Flamingo Friday...do you think this comes in adult sizes?

....and if it did, would it be as cute?

No...huh-uh...I didn't think so either!!! Darn it!
I guess I'll have to look for something else for a Halloween costume this year.~~sigh~~
*Picture from Google Images
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Typhoon #13 was the "typhoon that wasn't"...at least for those of us here in Nagasaki. It went on a southern path and hit the the southern-most part of the island of Kyushu. It went so far away from us....we actually got nothing....nada...zip...from it. Issei was very a bit disappointed as he was planning on getting Friday (today) off from school due to the bad weather. Aaaah, the look on his face when he woke up to clear skies, bright sunshine and a nice breeze (at least in the morning)...almost broke my heart!!! By 10:00 this morning, the coolness had left and in its place was "geeeeez it's hot and muggy"!!! Welcome to the autumn in Nagasaki!!!
Thought I do love me a good thunderstorm, I'm thankful that this typhoon passed us by. It hit pretty hard down south and one of my students said that there were a couple of landslides. THAT I do not need.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So back to a bit of flamingo-themed posting....a very good friend of mine (Hi Tomoko!!),who knows that I am all over anything flamingo...told me about a site on the Internet for kids who are learning English. It is called....




Mingoville is a city where flamingos live and speak only English. (I'm liking this already!) There is an interactive dictionary with 32 different languages...and they also have spelling, speaking, listening and reading activities. And the best part.....IT'S FREE!!! She told me about it, not only because of the particular theme this site has, but because it is a pretty good site for Issei to work on his own reading, spelling and writing skills. Though the young man can communicate verbally in English.....he is just like most other kids his age here in Japan when it comes to the other aspects of communication.

When he was a first grader, he was doing really well with his ABC's and phonics and trying to write, but...his teacher said that he was really struggling with the Japanese writing system and reading. So, that summer, we didn't work as hard as I had wanted on English, but focused instead on the Japanese. And all that he was able to do in English...was lost. No...not lost...just put back somewhere in his brain...it's still there and when they start to study English in school, I think it will all come back....but for now....no. So, websites like this one (and a host of others) will really help...and as long as he is doing it because he wants to do it, I'm happy!

We have some time this weekend, so I'm planning on showing him the site...I'm hoping it will be something he likes and will want to do. If you want to take a look at the site, click on this right here, and it should take you there!!!

Okay...time for bed....no classes tomorrow, but don't for one minute think that I'm just over here, lounging on the couch eating Hershey's Peanut Butter Kisses...oh..no..no...NO...I'll be busy...don't you worry. I think the pile of laundry is about to take over that part of the house and I swear to you, I think something moved in the restroom....yuck. Three male-type-persons in the house....it's a never ending battle!!

I wish you all a clean, nice smelling toilet kind of day...and pink flamingos...lots of flamingos!!

**oh...and if anyone happens to find my blog-reading & commenting mojo...please let me know. My GoogleReader is about to bust....some people have over 15 posts waiting for me to read...and I need to get back on that particular game!!! Thanks for helping!! {smile}


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

pretty close to a Lucy and Ethel moment, all by my lonesome...

So, last night...there I was doing some blog reading...not really commenting as I have sort of lost my "commenting mojo"...doing a lot of lurking (just in case you were wondering where my absolutely charming and sparkling wit had gone to!).
I sat here and chuckled reading one particular blog........she was talking about how she and her sister have Lucy and Ethel moments and their latest one was pretty good (and still, looked quite yummy...mmmm.. peaches!!) As I was reading...totally out of the blue I remembered that I hadn't donated to my friend Lila's team in the Denver Race for the Cure. Still chuckling to myself, because I am a Lucy fan from a long time ago....I went in and filled out the form to donate my usual $25. (yeah...I know...I'm not a big spender, but...I give what I can...wish I could give more...which is evident.....keep reading....).
I checked all the information....name...check...address...check....amount...check....e-mail address...check....visa information....check.....and then I clicked on submit, and soon the confirmation of my donation came up. And really, to get the full effect of this whole situation, please click on the letter....

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And 3...2...1....

This....was me.....


Okay...so I love my friend Lila, but NOT $1000 worth (sorry dear!!).

And really....I screamed....and I said " %#^$&$" and "&$^!#!**" ...and then I got a little nauseous!! Okay....whattodo?whattodo?whattodo?holyhellwhatdoIdonow?!?! Forgetting that I really function better when I actually breathe was not good. The K-man was totally useless...but then again, I'm thinking that my explanation was not the best I could do (remember that whole not breathing thing) and he really had no clue as to what had just happened. "Lila-san gave you $1000?!?!" AARRRRGGGGHHHHHH! JUST LET ME PINCH YOUR HEAD WHY DON'T YOU?!?!?!

And then, it dawned on me....my friend had inadvertently passed to me the

"Lucy and Ethel Phenomenon".

After a 10 minute TOTAL panic attack....(filled with much more colorful language!!)...I finally got it together enough to find the number to the Denver office. As it wasn't yet 9:00 AM, no one was in, so I had to leave a message, grrrrrrrr....yeah, I'm sure that one was real understandable. Then, I came back to my computer and found an e-mail address to someone and sent a "pleasepleasepleaseplease can you help me?" e-mail.

In about 5 minutes, I got this response:

No need to call back from Japan! I received your phone message and am refunding you $975.00 based on your donation of $1000.00 that you intended to be $25.00. I am attaching a copy of the refund transaction.

Now...can I hear a Praise the Lord from someone out there?!?!?!? Thank you !!!!!!!!!

You know....today....I can look back and yeah, that was pretty funny. But last night... "WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!"

Before I continue...after reliving that whole ordeal...and realizing that I'm really not over it yet, I do believe that I deserve some eye-candy......

Aaaaahhhhh....muuuuuch better!!!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Yes...I know it's Wednesday and time for the 5K Ass Update. Well...hmmmm....I have been doing the hula, not every night, but this week I did it 3 times....which is pretty good for my schedule, I think.

This week has been really fun in that more people are noticing that I have lost weight. As of this morning, I am at an 8 kilogram loss....which is....8 X 2.2 = 17.6 pounds. Yeah!! I now weigh about 3 pounds less than what I did when we got married 12 years ago!!! And....when I lose 8 more pounds, I will weigh what I did when I was a Senior in high school....and yet...that lovely body, me thinks, is gone forever!!!!

Today in class we were talking about fashion and when the phrase "baggy jeans" came up, I could actually use my own jeans as an example!!! That was great!!! I would like to lose 8-10 more pounds....not putting myself under any deadline or anything but....by Christmas I want to be able to buy some new clothes for myself. I want to get rid of those baggy jeans (!!!) and get me some new ones that fit. I want to be able to wear all the clothes that are in my "skinny box" that is waaaaaay in the back of my closet!!! (The K-man, being a man, just doesn't understand the whole concept of a "skinny box" or a "fat box"!!)

Instead of a derriere picture, (I actually forgot to have one of the boys take one...they got a new Sponge Bob Square Pants DVD set and well, everything else ceased to exist!!), I thought I would just post one of me....on a good hair day...feeling great about pretty much everything!!


And that is what I wish for you....a "good hair and feeling great about everything" kind of day!


Monday, September 15, 2008

A holiday in honor of the older people

**Okay...so...this post is actually from yesterday (Monday)...last night,as I was downloading some pictures onto (into?) my Picasa account we experienced a major &*#$^&#&$ and all was lost. ~~sigh~~ Now will go to Picasa and see if anything can be salvaged!! **





Today, the third Monday of September, is 敬老の日, Keirō no hi, or Respect for the Aged Day. Until 1966, it was called "Old Folks Day"....I guess it didn't sound honorific enough for the people of that time, so they changed it. If you want to read about this holiday, I found a pretty good article from one of the newspapers here....click on this link right here and it will take you to that article...it's short but gives you some really good information. (If you have any questions, just ask. Okay? Okay.)





So....today being the day to honor the older people around us, I was curious as to what age was "old" among the people that I know....I questioned a few (of varying ages) and here is what I found:


*the elementary school kids I asked thought that 40 was pretty old. (I know. What the hell do they know, right??)


*the ones who were in the 27-35 age bracket (like I actually made a chart to go with this...!!) were smart enough to say that 65 was what they considered to be "old". That is the age that you can start receiving the monthly pension....what will probably be depleted by the time I am able to get it.





After that....it was interesting....for those that were over the age of 50 that I asked, it was pretty much a given to add 10-15 years to that person's age. For example, one friend (age 53) said that she thought that 68 was 'old'. Another (age 64) said that 75 was 'old'. One friend (age 84) said that she was old. :-D (She added another element to this experiment.)





Japan is an "aging society". I mentioned the pensions that many have paid into for most of their lives, (me--since I've been here!).....because so many of the young people in this society today are choosing NOT to go into full-time positions, but instead choosing to be freeters, or freelance workers (when I first heard this term I thought they were saying "fritters", as in frittering their time away doing nothing...my definition might actually work better !!)...which means they are working part-time or for cash only...and not paying into the pension system. What many are afraid of is that in X-number of years, that money is going to be gone and those of us who are younger who have been paying into the system may NOT be given the money we thought we would.



Wow!! That wasn't a "losing a train of thought", that was a total derailment!! Sorry about that!!



Anwhoooo....so what did the Kuroiwa Family do on Monday? Well....the boys got up and made some cards....one each for Grandma K. (K-man's mom) and for a couple that we have adopted (and they us)....they are like grandparents for me...and great-grandparents for the boys. She is 85 and he is 90...and we love them dearly!!!


The handmade cards.....making use of crayons, colored pens, stickers and those pearly things look mighty familiar...wonder where they found them?!?



After the cards were made, we went to our favorite cake and sweet shop and bought some really good puddings and small cheese cakes (Oh, so very yummiful!!) and had them wrapped up with pretty paper and a bow.

Because the weather wasn't so good (rainy and a bit cool), all three older people refused our invitation to join us in our outing. We took the boys to the Penguin-Aquarium....Koji had never been and it was a perfect day to go.

So.....here you go....our day at the Penguin-Aquarium...in a slide show....enjoy!!!



It was a great day.....the perfect end to a three-day weekend.

Tuesday (today) was back-to-normal...and it's time to get the boys into bed....I have hidden out long enough back here in my little corner of the house....time to put my "Super Mommy" cape on and get to work!!!

Have a great day!


Sunday, September 14, 2008

As far as days go...it did

So....you remember this man, don't you?

Remember one of the very first commercials you might have noticed him....there he was, very early in the morning, trying to wake up, walking through the house mumbling "It's time to make the donuts. It's time to make the donuts." I loved him. I thought he was much funnier than the "Where's the beef?" grandma. (IMHO)
Anyway.....Issei is NOT a morning person. It is so hard to wake his butt up in the morning...especially if there is someplace to go (ie. school!!). Yesterday, I had classes, so the boys had to go to their "places"....Koji to the daycare and Issei to the "afterschool/Saturday daycare for big kids". And yes, Koji was up and ready to go like someone had put a fire to his bottom and then.....Issei....not EVEN wanting to move out of the confines of the nest he had built in his bed.
So....me, being me and thinking I'm just too cute for words....I go into the room and as I am nudging him...I say, "Come on Issei...it's time to make the donuts. It's time to make the donuts." To which he responded with a mumble and a rollover that almost knocked me off the bed.
Finally....he rolled out and came shuffling into the kitchen, mumbling something about donuts..because, my Issei..... is all about the donuts.

When I gave him his toast (with strawberry jelly), 2 Jimmy Dean sausages and a small container of yogurt...he looked at me with the most hurt of looks on his face and said," I thought we were having donuts?!?!"

Quick thinking mom that I am responded with, "Only if you're making them."

Issei was not amused. I, on the other hand, giggled about it for most of the day!!
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Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest...Really?? Oh...right....it was from when God was making the earth and everything...must be something written in the fine print about it applying only to "Gods, Goddesses and other higher beings" because I have to tell you now....It's not so resty for this about-as-full-time-as-you-can-get-working-momma camper.

As my coffee was brewing (NOT as fast as I think it should be....may have to order a new, speedier coffee maker...) I was trying to see where the typhoon was that is 'out there' somewhere. Earlier, we thought that it was going to China, but...and really, if you look at the drawings on the weather channel, it looks as if it hit their coast and then did one of those pinball kind of ricochets and is now, yes, you guessed it...headed our way. Damn.

According to the weather channel, it will be the closest to us here in Nagasaki on Tuesday...probably late afternoon...IF it continues on the path they think it is going. I'll keep you posted.

And speaking of weather....for any of you in the South Texas area who were hit by the hurricane...I hope that you are safe and those around you are too. Looking at the pictures on the Internet just make me sad.....Mother Nature seems to be pretty mad about something and is taking it out on a lot of people. I hope the recovery is faster and better run than when Katrina hit. My thoughts are with you all!!!

Anyway....(Sorry...my train of thought is so easily derailed!!) ....after my coffee and weather report and checking of the TV schedule to see when Prison Break and Dr. House were going to be on today (FYI...later in the afternoon!), I did some laundry (while the weather was still pretty nice.) and then.....I pushed up my sleeves and got to work on the boys' room.

Holy Toledo!! It took me awhile to work through it all, but...3 hours and 4 garbage bags filled to the point of bursting later.....the room went from this.....(taken about a quarter of the way done)

....to this.


(Sorry the pictures are a bit fuzzy....my cell phone camera must have been going for that "soft image" look without my knowing it!!!)

I deserved a break after all that.....so....I treated myself to some Sweet Baby James on the stereo....some "me" time with my feet up and one...two of my favorite beverages...outside...in the garden.....it was wonderful.

I hope you all have a great Sunday. Get some rest. Put your feet up. Grab a beer. Enjoy!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Be Random?? Why...of course, I can be random...I mean..since you asked so nicely

Greetings to those of you who keep coming back...."I love ya like my luggage." (Name the movie that line came from and you'll be my friend for life...whether you want that or not!!!)

It's been a strange week....weather not sure if it's going to go back to hot or not, so teased us a bit with it, which prompted many students to ask about "Indian summer". No, I thought that the warm temperatures after cooler ones had to be after the autumnal equinox to be considered "Indian summer" and really....warm, hot, cool, rain, hot, cool, warm....pretty much sums up late summer/early fall weather here in Nagasaki, or so I believe.

There is a typhoon brewing....right now it is not headed our direction, it's moving towards China, but there for awhile it looked as if it were headed for us....and coming up on the western side of Kyushu does not make for good typhoon conditions for us here in Nagasaki. We've been really lucky (knock on wood!!) the past few years....here's hoping the good luck continues.

My classes are back now in full swing but...this week, due to rescheduling, I happened to have three mornings free. Not sure how that happened, exactly, but it was great!!! I spent 2 of those mornings doing some cleaning and what-not blog reading and watching YouTube videos and spent one day in the office of a friend getting information about "teaching teachers English"....I'm just getting ready...you know...just in case things work out.


Flamingo Friday

We have two of these plastic flamingos and they keep popping up in different places. Tonight, I found one just hanging on the oven, I guess he was waiting for the pizza I was about to put in!!!

So, on Wednesday, I went back to the shopping center I went to last week and went to the game center (again!).....I was on a mission to get some more of these.....

As it was on a school day, the people in the game center consisted of young mothers and their babies, some university-aged kids and many, many oldER women. In the game centers here, along with the variety of kid-centered games, there are also some that are geared for older people.....and then, there was me...at the game with the shovels to try and scoop up the baby Croc-wannabe key chains and accessories. I was on a Croc-y roll....after doing it three or four times, my little bag was pretty full and I was about to quit when I realized that there was one old lady, watching what I was doing very intently. I smiled. She smiled back. I said, "Konnichiwa.". ("good afternoon). She konnichiwa-d me back....and moved a liiiiiitle bit closer. I looked at her (and wishing so hard that I had the ability to raise one eyebrow in her direction)...then told her that this was really fun and the key chains were cute and I bet her grandchildren would love to get one. She told me that she had never done that before...wellllll...I had some time before my dance class and a few extra 100 yen coins in my pocket and I proceeded to show her how it was done and then gave her a couple of my sure-fire ways to get a bunch of things in the scoop. I then told her "gambatte" (good luck) and went over to the stationary section to see what new pens they had that I needed to buy.

After about 5 minutes and three new pens in my bag, I was ready to go and "do my thing on the dance floor". As I was leaving the area, I glanced back at the game center....and there...by the game I had left was not one, but three little old ladies...all dropping 100 yens into the game, trying to scoop out the key chains...with the one that I had helped earlier, standing in the middle, tell the other two how to do it.
See....Pay It Forwards don't have to be big...just as long as you keep it moving, it counts!!!

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You did know that I come from a small town, right? Back in February, when I took part in a month-long-post-everyday challenge, one of our 'assignments was to post about where we come from. If you missed it (personally, I thought it was one of my best..but, I'm prejudiced!), you can go here and read...but come back, okay!

Anyway....our county has two newspapers and my mom sends me one of them faithfully. Now, when I am there, I don't really read it very thoroughly...but here in Japan, I read. every. single. little. article. I'll ask my mom sometimes about something I read and she'll be all like "Where did you hear about that?" Hello.....it was in the paper!! Didn't you see it??

There is a big difference in the content of big city newspapers and that of a smaller community. For example, before she passed away, my grandmother was the reporter for her area of the county and would put the news in every week. Going out to their house to visit..sometimes just to borrow their toilet or get something to drink.... would result in a "Debbie stopped by to see her grandparents on Tuesday." in the next paper. I love it.

So, imagine my joy and the giggles that followed when I read this in the paper from a couple of weeks ago:

Please...please...don't get me wrong....I am NOT making fun of this. I just think that anywhere else, a snake on the loose really wouldn't be newsworthy....but how nice of that woman to put it in the paper.....her neighbors will be a bit more careful in their gardens now, thanks to her. Hmmm...I wonder if my mom read about this....I better go call and find out. {smile}

Look who found the box in the closet with the Halloween decorations........






And finally....finally an end to all this jumping around...I will leave you with this.

I am not really a political person...not compared to some good friends that I have. While others have posted about this and that happening and being said about this candidate or that candidate...while I appreciate all the information....I must admit that it is really getting hard almost to tell the BS from the truth.

One of my favorite things to watch on YouTube is Craig Ferguson. He is a nutter. His sense of humor usually has me laughing out loud. I was over at another blog that I read faithfully 'cause she's just so great, and she had posted this video, which I borrowed (thanks, Janet!!)

Yes, Craig Ferguson is a comedian. But, unlike other comedians who are poking fun at the different candidates and the issues....Craig is different. His message is to everyone....Republicans, Democrats, young people, pig lovers. And it is a good message. Watch it all the way through...his words and his message...coming from a man from Scotland who has just become an American citizen...rings very true and packs a pretty good punch. Go on...watch it. Then pass it on....it's that good!



Wednesday, September 10, 2008

An observation....2 Questions.....and...oh yeah...it's Wednesday...so...my butt!

Today's observation: (Actually, I had many, but this was the best one!!)

There truly is a God....and he/she is a meat lover and wants us to be happy!!!

Yes....that is a package of Jimmy Dean Sausage! Now, for those of you (especially in the States) possibly wondering to yourselves, "It's just sausage....why is Debbie so excited?" Let me explain.....
Sausages here are....well...unless you pay the big yen and go to the specialty shop that has real brats.....sausages are bona fide "party weenies". When I bite into a piece of sausage, I want to experience a bit of spice...some sage, perhaps...and Jimmy Dean...he knows sausage.
I found these at the store and I'm afraid there might have been some dancing...I might have even told myself (out loud) that "tomorrow was going to be a great day" AAAaaand I might have wondered "how many packages could I buy and not arouse too much attention?" (The answer to that, my friends, is 3...small freezers make it difficult to buy too much in mass quantities!! And the lady at the register did raise an eyebrow. pppfffllltttt!!)
This morning, I fixed them for the boys.....the smell was......heaven.
Issei took a bite and said, "These are like Grandma Linda's. I looooove these."
And they were so close.....Yes, I took a bite, but, I had only a half of one. The temptation to have more was great, but.....the first one tastes sooo much better than the fifth, don't you think?? {smile}
Question #1:
Do any of you ladies (or men....if that's the case...I rule out nothing!) use this Cover Girl lipstick?

If you do....does it make your lips seems a bit more....puffy...than usual?? One of my students asked me today what I had done with my lips...she said that they looked different. I checked in the mirror and, though I hadn't been doing anything other than teaching, they looked like I'd just been smooching!! Just wondering if this is happening to only me.....

Question #2:

During the Olympics....at the opening and closing ceremonies....the Chinese had, what the Japanese call (and the Koreans excel at!) Mass Games. I have always been confused by this term, as I am not Korean or from a communist country (those countries seem to be really good at this sort of thing!).....I was wondering what we call this in English. I thought that mass performance was a bit clearer to describe the gazillion of people all dressed alike, out on the field of the opening and closing ceremonies, all doing pretty much the same thing. But....I don't live in an English speaking world anymore...what do I know?!

Can you help me out here? If your kids were to do this sort of activity at school, or say, at a professional football game you went to, you were given a colored piece of paper and told to raise it up at a specific time...or even if you were to just do 'the wave'.....what would you call that particular group situation??? (Inquiring minds want to know!!)


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And now.....before we get to the Weekly Update of Mrs. G.'s 5K Ass Project...I think that I need to stress something. As it has been pointed out to me countless times over the past 30-some years....I don't really have an ass. I got a pretty good rack...but not much back there.

Oh....I do have something...but...it's a bit flat. (And thank you my dear friends~~you know who you are~~who reminded me of this fact when I told you about this project...amid your giggles and laughter...it's a good thing I love you.......don't forget....I know where you live!!!)

So....to work on this non-existent behind that I have....I have started doing exercises to help build those muscles. We're going to try anyway....we'll see.

I also have started doing a workout, here at home....as I am NOT one for aerobics...or jogging...or weightlifting....I'm doing what I'm enjoying the most right now.....this....4 times a week....

And before you're all like, "oh, that's not exercise..."-- Let me stop you right there. If you do it correctly, it's a pretty good workout...makes a person sweat... plus, it's pretty inspiring. See that girl...on the cover??

THAT is what I want to look like!!!

Butt...for now....this is what I got going!! It's not much at this point in time...but in a few weeks...it's gonna look great!!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Feeling discombobulated....and blaming it on Travis Tritt

According to the Urban Dictionary...
discombobulated: out of order, blabbering nonsense, confuzed, confuzzled,
dysfunctional,
Yes, my friends....that be me right now. I have taken randomness and turned it up a notch.

I sat here at the computer last night and seriously...had so many thoughts and ideas on what I wanted to post....I finally just gave up...watched some YouTube and went to bed.

Thought today would be better...but...hell no! I've just had some coffee so the thoughts are coming in clearer now. Buckle up....it's gonna be a weird ride.
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Realized that brown lipstick...even shiny, sparkly brown lipstick looks really really bad on me. I'm not much of a girly-girl, but I do have my moments. Must go and buy some shiny, pink stuff today.

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Putting on a pair of pants that I haven't been able to wear since, oh, I don't know...1990...makes a girl feel just pretty damn good!
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Having a son's kindergarten teacher inform me that while she was talking to him about something, he flipped her off (oh yes, he did!) is probably NOT going to make the evening go very well. A) No...we don't do that in this house and have never done that...at least not where anyone under the age of 10 can see. B) I don't know where he got that but am looking at the various manga (comics) that are as far from 'age appropriate reading' as you can get that keep coming into this house....could also come from any form of media that surrounds us....grrrrrr. C) Inform oldest son that the before mentioned manga are no longer allowed in this house. D) I don't really have a (D), I was just on a roll there for a moment.

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I had an "if it hadn't been for the beer, I might have been embarrassed" kind of moment on Saturday night.......went to a friend's house for a party...had so much fun as she and I hadn't seen each other in a long time. Other people were there...including another American, who I hadn't seen in ages either. Now...this particular American is younger (27), male (pretty damn close to the Alpha-variety), and just really cute. Since we last saw each other, he has been working out and looking very hot nice.

Debbie: So...really...you're looking bigger since the last time I saw you.
Hotty: Bigger? Is that good?
Debbie: Oh yeah..I mean...you know...in a "have you been working out" kind of way....
(at this point, I'm think that probably there was some touching...fondling...of his arm)
Hotty: Yeah...I've been working out during the summer holiday.
Debbie: Well....you are looking good.
(Which actually probably sounded more like "gooooooood". And my hand was still on his vurrry niiiiiice arm.)
Hotty: ..................................
Debbie: Sorry....was that just a bit too cougarish for you?
Hotty: Actually....that was just enough.
At this point, I might have giggled....if I had long hair, I would have tossed it over my shoulder.
~~Sheesh~~

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I need to do some two-stepping. (Here comes the Travis Tritt part!)
After years of denying that I liked country music, I will come clean and say, okay okay OKAY...I like it! I was going through some CDs the other day and found some that I hadn't listened to in a long time. And now.....I need to dance.
And no....not just any kind of dance.
I want that hold-me-close with your hand on the small of my back ('cause you know I have a tendency to want to lead!) kind of dance. Where I can feel your breath on the side of my head....and the sound of your voice in my ear is just....~sigh~...nice.

The first time I ever felt this was when I was a 6th grader....at one of our friend's party in the basement of her house (with parents perched on the stairs, I'm sure making sure no funny business was going on!!). I danced with another friend's older brother....and in spite of the fact that he changed the lyrics to one of the songs into something dirty...that feeling that comes with two-stepping was something that I really liked.

Over the years, I danced with my late father, various cousins, my brothers (yes, even my youngest brother, Mr. "don't talk to me, I'm counting") and while in high school there were a few of the "boys from another town" that were always good for a turn on the dance floor....one in particular, I shall call him "Sexy Rexy", because I always did...and he was.

So listening to the sounds of country music has brought back a flood of really nice memories. And it has reminded me that I didn't get my "fix" of boot-scootin' across the floor that I usually get during the summer when I can go "home". I've tried to get the K-man to dance like that, but....no...sorry...doesn't work. He likes to dance, just not two-stepping. I'm trying to teach the boys...and they think it's fun....for about one song and then they are done.
Hmmm....I wonder if the hotty from Saturday night can dance.....{smile}.

So.... I think I've rambled long enough...and will leave you with the song that, I think, pretty much started this whole discombubulated feeling....turn it up...grab a partner, or if no one is there with you, what the hell, just pretend you have one and...enjoy.


Friday, September 05, 2008

My commitment to a thinner me, a nicer butt and a flatter belly

I've been procrastinating doing something....I don't really think I meant to put it off, but...it just kind of happened. I had told someone that I would do something a few weeks ago, but just never got around to doing anything really seriously about it.

Well....Debbie is about to get serious.

One of my most favorite people in this whole blogging world, Mrs. G, threw down yet another challenge to her readers that, shall we say, felt some exercise and getting into shape was something that they...we....I needed to start doing. It's kind of a blogging "Get Your Ass In Shape" support group. Each of us committed (some more loosely than others...sorry.) to doing something to get into a shape better than the one we had. Some people, like Mrs. G...have posted pictures of their bottoms (keep reading as an explanatory picture follows) to show that they are committed to this project. Some pictures have been more revealing than others...but all have been pretty entertaining...and yes...encouraging. (Okay...so seriously...I can see my mom....right now as she is reading this...shaking her head and saying, "Oh, no...Debbie...not a picture of your butt." :-D This is so fun.)
Mrs. G. has asked that everyone post weekly results, on Wednesday....there is a list of everyone doing this challenge on her site and people can check up on others to see how everyone is doing. Some people are really doing great....exercising, running, walking, working out....nothing but good stuff happening out there!! It's nice to belong to such a supportive and encouraging group.

I am not a thin person. My grandfather used to say that I had big bones! I'm a big girl....not fat by any stretch of the imagination (in my mind, "fat" is for those who resemble sumo wrestlers...and that...I do not!!). I was looking at some pictures that were taken at Issei's birthday party, in February and honestly, it just made me sad. That...was not me. It was time for a change.

I have literally been on a diet/watching my weight pretty much since I was about 17. I have done most of the diets out there.....the apple diet, the banana diet, the "9-Day Wonder Diet", the soup diet....need I go on? Oh, yeah, I would lose some weight, but....the rebound would soon set in....and I'd be back to square one.

So...two months ago, I decided that enough...was enough. I am 40-coughcough years old and it. is. time. At a party, I ran into a Japanese friend that I hadn't seen in almost a year. She looked wonderful. Then I noticed her husband...and he, too, looked incredible. I demanded that she tell me politely asked her what they had done....and she told me Herbalife. At first, I was all like "oh....no way...that's shakes all day...no...can't do it." But she assured me that it was easy (two shakes a day plus one meal) and not that expensive. I thought to myself that, well, okay...I'll give it a try...for a month...you know...just to see.

In the first month....I lost 4 kilos (which is about 9 pounds)!! I was so excited that I went for one more month...and another 3.5 kilos have come off......I have just now started my third month and have decided that 4 more kilos is my goal. Let me tell you....it really wasn't that too terribly difficult...my motivation is pretty high right now and with my schedule (go! go! go!), it works great!! (If you want to know more, ask and I will tell you about it!!)

Now....it is time for some exercise. (Picture me with my right hand in the air, left hand on a very worn out copy of the Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood) Starting tomorrow.....I will try to do some kind of exercise to get this belly (sorry, Mrs. G....my belllllayyy is the problem area!!) in to shape. I want to be able to put on a 2-piece swimsuit and wear it without making people laugh or want to hurl their cookies! (Not that I would actually wear a 2-piece in public, mind you, but...IF I wanted to, I want to be able to, dammit!)

And so....in meeting the suggested guidelines of this challenge....I give you... my butt. (Okay, okay...so it's just part of my bottom....sorry, that's all you're gonna get for now, folks.) Check in on Wednesdays for an update....when this is all said and done...I am going to feel much better and healthier and yes, look mah-ve-lous, dahlings!!!


And of course there is some yummy stuff to look at tonight.....'cause I know what some of you like!!!

Flamingo Friday

(I found this picture on Google Images...it was tagged as "In honor of Lance Armstrong and his efforts"...I think this is a great picture!!)

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Random stuff on a really nice fall day

For the time being, Summer, has decided to cool down a bit and let Fall come in and tempt us with nice, cool breezes....cool evenings and mornings...and very low humidity/great laundry-drying days. Oh...I know that Summer is a bit of a bitch with a wicked sense of humor and she will be back...but for the time being, I am appreciating the heck out of this time of year. We haven't used the air conditioner for about 4 days, so my bank book is also appreciating it!!!






This is on a bag that I will proudly carry...one that finally supports one of my philosophies of life!!! Pack Rats of the World....unite!!! (and carry a very cool bag!!) And yes, I know what I'm reading it as and what I'm sure the company is wanting people to read it as are different...but...it's my interpretation and I'm sticking with it!!! :-D



Yesterday, after dance class...I had some time to spare so did some "gosh I wish I could buy that/don't you think I can make that for much cheaper" kind of shopping. My favorite department of any store is the stationary area. I can always find a pen or brush or letter set or memo pads or you name it that I positively must buy and can't live without!!!


At the big shopping mall-type place next to the community center, as I was meandering around the school supplies, trying to ignore the obnoxious sounds coming from the kids game center that was next to it.....my eye was caught by a game....not just any game...really no skill is needed...just put in the money and the (1) push a button to make a scoop go down into the goodies and then (2) push another button to make the scoop drop whatever goodies that are picked up in the scoop onto a shelf....that has an arm moving back and forth pushing the lucky goodies off the shelf and into the bottom....if you're lucky!




Normally....I pass on this kind of game...."Total waste of 100 yen.", is what I tell the boys. But....really...this particular one, (that had my eye and wouldn't let go) was too cute.




I "played" two times....and this is the 'bounty' for the day....three Croc-wannabe key-chains and about 15 different accessories for those Crocs!!! The boys and I each have one (the K-man wasn't too terribly hurt he was left out.) and we all have some new fun stuff to put on our own real Crocs!!! In case you're wondering...mine is the pink one, Koji...blue, and Issei...the orange!





With the new school year starting for most of you, I have been reading many blogs about moms sending their little ones off in that bright new world we call the "education system". The first time of putting their little one on the bus and watching it drive away....or having to write their names in and on everything....or going to the store and buying things on the incredibly long list of "things you need for ~insert grade here~."...all made me smile and even sometimes brought a tear to my eye.



And then....it hit me.



Koji....is going to First Grade in April. This is his last year of daycare. From now on, everything he does will be "the last time to do that".....the summer festival they have every year (which was last weekend and so much fun!), the Christmas Pageant, ice skating, .....



Soon....we will also be "too big" to do this.....



.....and that kind of makes me sad. When Issei got too big to do the 'sit on my lap and snuggle' thing, it was okay, because by that time, Koji was here and he was a baby and well....it was okay....still sad, but...okay. Oh, we still snuggle, but....it's a sit-on-the-couch kind of snuggle or a let's-read-this-book kind of snuggle...a "big boy snuggle". Koji and I have our own special time in the morning...after Issei has gone to school, before we eat our breakfast and start our day. I'm making a point of really savoring these moments....because I know that, like with all other things involved in the whole growing up process...this will soon end. Now...when I talk to my students about "mixed emotions", I have a new working definition!!! And yes...I know...in the process of many things going by the wayside, there will also be many new and exciting things happening for my little man...but...still......


Now...since I'm feeling a bit blue, even though the weather is still nice...what this little girl needs is some quality time looking around one of my favorite internet shops....Indigo Wild ("any more natural and you'd be naked") is a great place to find some really good deals....and I'm in need of some new soap...they have a 'vanila sugar' scented soap I'm thinking I need to try...plus, a bundle or two of small pieces is great to find new scents I like...and ones I don't really care for (of which, sadly, there are a few)!!