Friday, November 30, 2007

Nature? Nurture? or a twisted combination of both!?!?!

Case #1:
(conversation overheard from the boys' room)
Issei: Let's listen to this CD.
(Sounds of a CD being put into the player and then....the unmistakable sounds of "Smoke on the Water" coming LOUDLY from the speakers!!)
I peaked into the room and the "air guitar" action going on was totally 'stage-worthy'!! Koji noticed me in the door....and says...
"We REALLY like this song!! Look......I'm Daddy!!!"
and proceeds to not only "play" the guitar, but to also dance!!!
(I just quietly went back into the kitchen, laughing as I went, and finished cooking dinner!!)

Case #2:
(In the car with Koji going to the daycare. I had just put in a Dolly Parton tape...and the first song that came on was a pretty peppy song!!)
Koji: Yee-haw!!!
Me:.....................(and looking in the mirror back at him...)
Koji: (Using a "Du-uh" kind of tone) It's a cowboy song!!!

Case #3:
Issei has been practicing for the annual all-city 4th Grade Music Festival that was held this week. His class is singing a couple songs and playing the drums, recorders, xylophones, and pianacas (harmonica + piano!!). Issei's group is playing the recorder. The other night he said, "Listen to this, Mom!" and proceeded to play, perfectly, the music from"The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly". I asked him if he had the music for that to learn from and he answered, "No...I've just really been working on that!!!"
I wish I had had a camera to capture the smile on his face when he said that....priceless!!!

I think I am just going to sit back....and enjoy the ride!!! :-D

Saturday, November 24, 2007

One of the many things I'm thankful for...

Hi again...did you enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday? I hope you in the Kuroiwa House, we had roasted chicken, herbed veggies, cranberry sauce (one lone can was "hiding"in the back of my cabinet!!), salad, and chocolate cake (of course, homemade...left over from a cake I made for a friend's birthday!!). The dinner was nice...not quite turkey and stuffing, but we will get that at Christmas!!!

So....a conversation I had with a friend has prompted this particular post. She is a member of a dance group that I joined about 3 1/2 years ago....and she asked me what my family thought about my dancing. ..........................Well......hmmmm....let's mom sister-in-law sisters know...and a few friends (very close friends!!) have been told. "Why" my friend asked, "haven't you told anyone?" Again.....hmmmmmmmm.....really don't have an answer for that.
Three and a half years ago, in the course of my job situation changing....I needed something to keep me from going crazy. By chance, this particular dance group was brought to my attention and I thought "what the hell?" and gave it a shot. For a while, I told very few here. This was something that was "mine"....something that I needed. I have two very dear friends here who have been supportive....and didn't think I was nuts by doing this. ...and if they do, they don't share with me!! :-D
It's a big case of "Don't laugh AT me, laugh WITH me."
So what is it that I do?

I am a member of the Kyushu Hula Association. Two or three times a month, our group Chitose Hula, meets and we have class.
Hula has become one of THE most popular classes at the community centers here in Japan.
Yes....I am the youngest in our group and one of the youngest here in Nagasaki.
Yes....I am the only foreigner (at least in Nagasaki, possibly in Kyushu!) doing this!
Yes....I am loving it...and getting better all the time!!!
For 2 hours each time, we put on our pau skirts, leis and flowers and we are transported to another place....for just a bit.

This is part of our group. We are getting ready for a performance at the community center's culture festival next week and not everyone chose to participate.
This group of women have become so very important to me. Even though I understand only about 50% (on a good day) of what is going on around me, they welcomed me from the first day. We have such a wonderful time.
Last year, at the BIG Hula Festival held every year here in the city (106 groups!!!Holy Moly!!), some of us were in the elevator when some ladies from another group got in with us. One of them said to a member of my group, "You are from Chitose Hula, aren't you?" "Yes, we are. How did you know?" And the lady, pointing in my direction said, "You have the foreigner." And with that, my good friend turned to me, whapped me on the arm and said, "You're a foreigner?!?!?!" We all got a really good laugh out of that.

But later...when I got to thinking about it...what a nice thing for her to say. For us foreigners, we will never be totally accepted into this matter how hard we won't happen. But, now I know that there is at least one group here, that accepts me...for me.
And I am oh so very thankful for that.

To my friends in my hula group.....Mahalo....arrigato...gracias...thank you.
*and even if they were to read this, I seriously doubt they would understand, but...they know how I feel.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

So really...little boys and long sox...what's the story??

This is a picture that I took yesterday of Koji before we left for the daycare. I figure that if he was really cold, he would have just put on long really likes those sox!
Now....I have a vivid memory of my brothers doing this with white tube sox when they were little...with very little leg actually showing because they had pulled the sox up so high!! Then, various high school basketball players (in the mid-late '70's) were wearing ones that came right to the knees (I can remember even then, thinking that just looked goofy!!) Fast-forward about 25 years and my two nephews, when they were maybe 4 and 3 years old....I have a picture of them jumping on the bed, in their underwear with T-towel capes and yes, reeeaaaalllly high tube sox on!

Anyone care to offer an explanation for this strange phenomenon that strikes many little boys....and sometimes, not-so-little-boys?!?!

Monday, November 19, 2007

What we have is a failure to face a few realities...

1. I'm not a size 12...haven't been since I WAS 12 probably.

2. I'm not getting any younger and telling people that I'm 37 might not actually work anymore.

3. Though I function fairly well on a daily basis, I need more than 5 hours of sleep a night. (Any suggestions for sleeplessness will be happily accepted.)

And though there are many more of these "realities", the biggest one right now is.......THE HOLIDAY SEASON IS SOON UPON US!!!

*sigh* My last blog was on Halloween and most every night I sit here at my computer surfing a bit, reading e-mails, Yahoo-messaging friends (some of whom I haven't seen for many moons!!)and reading my usual list of blogs.....and yet...I have had a hard time getting the energy to get past the Halloween post. Ah..denial...what a great state to be in!!!

So....I'm working on getting over this...I try not to scowl at the pink and blue Christmas trees that are around town...and I have dusted off my ability to totally ignore really loud Christmas music being sung by rap "musicians" (and I use that term very lightly!). Even though I actually forgot that Thanksgiving was this week....hey! give me a's a regular day here but this year Friday is a National Holiday in Japan....don't have a turkey, but will find a chicken and improvise!!!

I told Issei that we would get out the Christmas decorations in a week or so...we have to start soon, though, on convincing the K-man that we NEED to put up the lights outside!! Last year, he "did it for Lila"....hmmmm......what will I use this year?!?!

The weather has gotten cooler....the hot carpets and katatsus are out and up ("hot carpet"..exactly what the name electric carpet...and a "kotatsu" is a small coffee-table-like table with a heating unit underneath...we put a futon/comforter over the top...kind of like when we were kids and made forts...then put a tabletop over that....absolutely toasty to sit under!!) and the kerosene heaters are filled and ready to go!! Though it is pretty chilly in the mornings, the afternoons are still warm....just waiting for that wonderful cold to hit. Maybe then it will feel more "holiday" like!!

I hope you all are having a good week. If you are driving anywhere to be with family or friends during the Thanksgiving holiday, please drive careful.

"Talk" to you soon and Much much love to you all!!!