Friday, May 30, 2008

Flowers....Fun....and a Fond Farewell

I woke up this morning in an incredibly great mood....because there were 5 Fridays in the month of May and most classes only meet four times, my morning class took a break...which meant that I could have a morning off...the first in a very long time.

I didn't actually spend the whole morning on the computer as I am tempted to do....I did get some things accomplished....I washed and hung out 3 loads of laundry (which, by the way is still hanging outside and...what's that? Yes, I do believe that it's raining....good thing I thought to hang the clothes where they wouldn't get wet...just in case. See....she's smart, too!!)

I mentioned before that our garden is full of many different plants and flowers...some we planted ourselves, others that were here when we moved in. In the back corner of our yard stands two hydrangea bushes....both are quite big and are now blooming. (FYI....the hydrangea is the official flower of Nagasaki City.) They have just started to bloom so the colors are not as vibrant as they will be in a few days.....but they are still very beautiful.

The other bush....which is just starting to bloom... is pink.

The hydrangeas start out as one color and then will change into different colors as the season progresses....the blue will turn almost purple, and the pink ones will turn very dark....or at least, that's what they did last year...I'm assuming they will again, never knows!! miniature rose bush now has a bloom...and 2 buds.


As I was getting dressed this morning to be ready to get out there and "seize the day", I found myself choosing things that reflected my whimsically girlish mood today..... denim capris....CHECK! (and butt is NOT that angle people, cam~er~a angle!!)

Really fun pink shell earrings......CHECK!

MP3 Player...CHECK! Jeff Healey (at a resonable volume).....CHECK!My "Hollywood Starlet" sandals (with little spike heels and sparkly things)......CHECK!
"Diva" sunglasses and a smile......CHECK....AND CHECK!!
Oh...yes...just in case....a pair of flip flops....CHECK!

**Which I did change into at about 5:00....those others are cute, oh man...after a while, those sparkly things start digging in and be damned...I wanted some comfort...but...still managed to follow today's theme!!!**

I love this time of year...but...with the blooming of the hydrangea, the "rainy season" will soon follow....and how quickly it becomes my "least favorite season of the year." (Anyone who has been here during the rainy season, knows what I am talking about. Can you say, "UGH"??)

I'm not going to say anymore about this dreadful season as I can feel my incredibly great mood slowly fading.....will save that for another day!!


And now....on a more serious note....I saw on the Yahoo News that Harvey Korman had passed away on Thursday. I don't know about you, but I grew up on the Carol Burnett Show. She and Harvey, Tim Conway, Vicki Lawrence, and Lyle Waggoner entertained us weekly from 1967-78.

I went to YouTube to find a video and spent about an hour... just laughing...they really don't make shows like that anymore, do they?? I remember watching carefully the sketches with Harvey and was extra funny many times because Harvey Korman would crack up and try to hide the fact that he was laughing....which made the skit even funnier!! this...and remember a great, funny man.

Harvey Korman, 1927-2008

Thursday, May 29, 2008

...And this is how I'm feeling today....

Today is Thursday....holy moly but where does the time go?? Every week, Mondays and Tuesdays pretty much kick my butt. I love my students but the schedules I have on both of those days are pretty squeeeeeeeeek tight. In the evenings, I have every intention of sitting down here and posting something...but this week, even last nothing to post!! My GoogleReader is about to run over it's so full. Sometimes I read a post that really makes me laugh...and I want to!! Somebody stop the madness!!! Calgon?????

One of my most favorite classes just finished...its here at the house and 2 ladies came (usually there are was on a business trip!! She'll have great omiyage (edible souvenirs) next week, so I will forgive her for missing today's class. {smile} )., the three of us were just laughing and talking and we just sort of vented about things that happened this past week. It's great for all of us that we can do that....though I am a foreigner, I, too, have a Japanese husband and many times we all share the same problems and/or situations. This class is a great support group without actually even trying!!! I always feel so much better about things .....even when we don't vent but just laugh and talk!!!

So....on that is another graph that I just love....and pretty much explains how I feel a lot of the time!!!

song chart memes

And if you find yourself singing the song I have been most of the day...then let's write it off as just a really great way to remember the late Jeff Healey. His version of this song was one of the best!!!

Have a great day....I'm going to go and see what is on FOX now....maybe~~hopefully~~ Dr. House....'cause he always gives me energy!!! hubbahubba!! :-D

Sunday, May 25, 2008

A couple of questions from my students...f

The undokai ("sports festival") was held today. After Saturday having just totally crappy, rainy weather all day long...Issei went to bed last night and added an "oh by the way, God....could you let tomorrow be nice" at the end of our nightly prayers. I have been up since about 5:45...had to get some major amounts of java in my system to get the proverbial "show on the road". The morning started out a little cool and foggy.....and throughout the day I was, in no particular wet...misty-ed finally, sunburned.
Sheesh!!! We had 3 seasons all in one day!!! :-D
But...the day is over....we all went out to eat dinner because the kitchen was "Closed", the cook was gone!!! The K-man just brought in the disc with pictures so will go through them...more than likely tomorrow....and hopefully post some good ones from the day.

But...the main reason for this post students have some questions (about things that have bothered me so...sorry...was listening to Jimmy B and I have his words in my head!!!) .
Sometimes, my students will ask me questions about "life in America" and sadly, I can't answer those anymore. Oh...don't get me wrong...I could...but it would be "life in America....17 years ago!!"

QUESTION #1....Since the Presidential campaign is big news over almost seems at times that my students know more about what's going on and who said what, than I do! This came up a few times last week......What is American health insurance really like? How much do you pay a month? What does it cover?

Japan has a National Health Insurance plan and, from how it has affected us, it's a pretty good system. The K-man pays about $600 a month for insurance for himself, me, and the two boys. This insurance is for our regular doctor, but also for dermatologist, dentist, eye doctor (sometimes).....pretty much any kind of doctor's visit is covered.
Now...when we go...we pay only 30% of the total bill. (When I was working at a private school, our coverage was 10%!!!). You can get extra insurance for things like cancer, and other diseases...but we don't have that.
Here's a good example of how it has worked for us.....both boys were delivered by Cesarean....10 and 6 years ago, the mandatory hospital stay for this type of delivery was 14 days (regular delivery is 6 or 7 days!). Most women here have their babies at private maternity hospitals which could seriously double as really nice hotels. Our total bill for the 14 days...only about $3,400!!!

(**Then....the city of Nagasaki, like many cities here in Japan to help combat the dropping birthrate gave us a "Thank you for having a baby" gift that was about $3,000....yes....the whole bill for the hospital stay and delivery itself was about $500 for each!!!!)

So...if you could briefly let me know what YOUR insurance is like...either in the comment section OR you can send me an e-mail ....(briefly because please remember I will probably have to translate it!!! be kind, please!!). We can call it the

post....and I would be forever in your debt for your help!!!
QUESTION #2...again from my students, but a bit more on the less-than-serious side...
What do YOU say (words or just sounds!) when you are standing up...or sitting down...or walking up stairs...or doing something that requires some physical effort on your part???

In Japan....we (oh yeah...I'm so with everyone else on this...) say something that sounds like
"yo-show" (when doing something that's hard!) or "yoshe" (can be used for "light" things...opening a door, for example!). I think there are probably many more, but these two were the most common for this part of the country!!!

So...think about your mothers/fathers/grandfather/grandmothers and pay attention to what they say when they plop down on the sofa or when they get up from that sofa! Report back to me....if you can......My students appreciate hearing about stuff like that...and let's be honest....whatever answers you can give me, will take some of the pressure off of me!!!

Due to the undokai today and classes yesterday morning and afternoon AND to the fact that even though the kids have tomorrow off (alternate holiday) parents still have to go to work.... going to be my theme for the following week:

Saturday, May 24, 2008

NOW I understand that Walrus really...*sigh*

So my sister...I call her "Sara"....'cause that's what her name is....has this really important job and I'm sure a really nice desk and she gets to tell people what to do. But, even with her busy schedule, relatively new husband (Hi J-Man!!), and new house, she still finds time to post some really cool sites that lure me in like the net-whore I am keep me entertained for so much longer than is really necessary!!

Take this new site, GraphJam(please!!!) that she just blogged about the other is full of fun charts and graphs and why, yes, some of them even do make you think!! One or two of them, I must admit, did confuse me and I had to resort to the "Cheat Sheet" to explain what the heck it was trying to say!! But, in my defense, they were musical-type ones and I wasn't familiar with the song and/or the artist!!!

Here are two (of the many) I really enjoyed.....

song chart memes

and.....this one....

funny graphs

**Go ahead...sing the song...all the way through 'cause you know you have to!!!

Have a good weekend....hopefully tomorrow (Sunday) is Issei's school undokai, or "sports festival"or if you're in America, the "field day". I say "hopefully" because it rained all day today and the last we checked, the weather forcast was for "rain until the early morning"....will have to wait and see what the weather is like when I crawl my butt out of bed at 5:30!!!
If the day is "on" I'll make a bento (lunch) ....and then head over to the school. It's an all day affair and I'm on the "clean up" detail after it's over...I think I'm helping to take the tents down...better check to make sure. There should be some good pictures, so will post about it tomorrow night.

Have a good weekend....and since this is a holiday weekend (which I had completely forgotten about!!) , drive safely if you're going anywhere.

Friday, May 23, 2008

A Feast I Meast...and some "new" stuff...

The Friday Feast site was "taking a break" this week, so will go back and do one that, somehow, got missed a couple of weeks ago. *Bon Appeteepee*

What was your favorite cartoon when you were a child?

I would have to say that the "Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Show" that was on at 7:00 on a Saturday morning was one of my favorites!!! Oh...and Scooby Doo!! Still love 'em both!!!
Pretend you are about to get a new pet. Which animal would you pick, and what would you name it? honestly...I'm not a pet person. Growing up we always had a dog or time a raccoon...but, I can't even think of any pet I would want to pretend to get. Now...if I was going to pretend to win the Lottery....I could think of lot's of stuff to get!!!
On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being highest, how much do you enjoy getting all dressed up for a special occasion?

Are panty hose involved?? Because if they are...I would say about a 1. But...if I can go sans stockings, then....I've give it an 8....if alcohol and dancing are involved...then a 10!!! I'm all about the party and looking good!!!
Main Course
What kind of music do you listen to while you drive?

I listen to different kinds of music...right now I have Lifehouse in the CD player....LOVE THEM!! Usually there is some kind of rock music playing....and more often than not...really really loud!!!
When was the last time you bought a clock? And in which room did you put it?

We bought a clock a couple of months ago and it is hanging in the room where the K-Man and I sleep. Not sure why he thought we needed it, but...we now have one.
And now...for some "newness" around us.........

Issei and his new summer cut (I'm such a sucker for that face!!)
5mm long....he was pushing for 3mm...Mom said word for the day...
The new flowers that are blooming at the corner of our house....
A seashell that magically found it way into Koji's hands... then he decided the plant needed some accessorizing.....(I need to ask neighbors if anyone is missing shells from their garden.)

One of my students brought this new drink to class the other's a "mango orange" drink...I really need to get a job in advertising here...I could kick some major commercial butt!!

A new white flamingo (?) the pink one wouldn't be lonely....and she's all ready for a wedding, too!!

and omiyage (a souvenir) from the seashell!!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

and then...there were 200

The past few days I haven't been able to really think about what I wanted to do for this particular post. There was a feeling I had that I should do something...but, life has decided that other things are more important. No...nothing serious or anything....just life itself.

I commented on a blog the other day about how sometimes I feel as if (please picture this, if you can)....there is Debbie (and since we are using our imaginations, imagine her about 30 pounds thinner, okay?)...she's riding her shiny bicycle down a nice road with flowers of every color imaginable growing on the sides....the sun is shining and high up in a beautiful blue sky with little white fluffy clouds floating along in the breeze.....the birds are singing is. a. good. day.
And's almost as if God looks down and says to her/himself......"What is that Debbie doing? I see no character building going on in her life right now."....and KAZAM...a huge bird poops on my bicycle gets a flat....the road turns into the "path into hell" itself with sharp rocks and holes....and then the clouds turn black and it starts to rain....hard...with the wind blowing....crap.


Okay....whew! I'm done..maybe....just a bit of a "pity party w/some venting" glad you could come...thanks for bringing the *insert food or drink of choice here*.

The bane of my existence right now is trying to find a way to the States this summer. I'm one of those foreigners who, needs to go "home" to, just for a bit, and then I'm happy.
I can find the tickets.....finding the extra gazillion yen to pay for those tickets is another obstacle.
As I have done before, I am getting together a "Colorado Adventure with Debbie" tour with some students. Right now, there are 4 people who definitely want to go....and about 4 or5 more who are "seriously thinking about it". I will admit that the more that go, the less money I have to come up with for tickets. As I am the one making ALL the arrangements, I also allow some extra for me!

Flights to the States this year, as they were last year, are very expensive....and I have to buy 3. Though the boys' tickets are cheaper than mine, they aren't that much cheaper.
But.....being ever the optimist that I am....I believe that things will work out. I will stop by the church tomorrow and say a quick prayer....then...on Friday, go to the temple and pray to those Gods....might even throw down the runes and see what they say....and then, just to cover ALL my bases....I'll be following The Secret and "putting it out there" (will find a good time so the neighbors won't feel they need to come and ask me what I am doing in my back yard talking to the sky!!!)

Enough of that!!! Let's nudity in this post. I couldn't get any of the men in my house to least when I had the camera that is out.
Not enough money in the world but talk to me later if you have all the money in the world could get me to do that. (Mrs. G. did post the other day some 'pictures of the nude kind' along with her post so if you really wanna see some "ample bosoms and Rubenesque figures"...head over to her!!).

My friend Jan, here in Nagasaki, mentioned that some people have a "giveaway" on their 200th post....hmmmm....thanks for the idea...might do that later...but, I already have so much stuff in boxes ready to be sent (as "thank you" for the Girl Scout cookies I received...and all that other stuff in that one box!!!) that I will save that for another day.

So...I probably should leave you with something...but.....

STOP....before you click on the video, there are a few very important things for you to keep in mind as you are watching. First....I made this video...or I tried to make it...after my hula class last week...and I was tired. We are learning new dance and I was afraid I would forget the hand and feet I sometimes make a video to help me when I practice.....and, can see for yourself, that I did in fact forget some parts (the other videos, dance-wise, were much better!!!).'s the end of the day and I look like crap.......that the camera adds 50 20 pounds....and holy mother of God, when did I get such a "toothpaste jiggle"??? (the Japanese call that furisode, or "kimono sleeve arms"!!!) You'll see....don't look too hard, you might hurt your eyes!!

The reason for the video is NOT for the'll see why.....enjoy...and really...don't laugh too hard, please!! ( )


.....isn't that the truth!!!


A quick message, to you....thank you for coming to my blog. If you come here often, I appreciate it so much. If you are come again. When I first started this whole "blogging life", I had no idea it would turn out to be so, yes, time consuming, yet so very much fun!!! And as "they" say, "Thank you for your support."

Sunday, May 18, 2008

A do-as-little-as-possible kind of Sunday...which is always good.

(Blogger was giving me fits last night and I wasn't able to download anything....finally gave up!! So the "yesterday" in this post is actually Saturday!! Sunday was spent, once again, trying to keep little boys out of the entrance way of our house....and since it has started getting warm...make that "stinky little boys"!!! I actually lit some nice smelling candles to combat the aroma.....the candles won!! Thank goodness!!!)

Yesterday was spent kicking gently pushing little boys out of the house, pretty much all damn day. The weather was beautiful, but....they were "haaaaaaahhhttttt". Puh-lease....they just wanted to play their games inside a house so the reflection didn't keep them from seeing the action on their DSs!!! At one point....and I kid you not about this....there were 5 boys, with DSs open and they were sending messages and each other!!!! Oh....and did I mention they were also laughing and giggling like a bunch of little girls?!?!? ~~sigh~~ I alternated that whole "pushing them" outside with walking over and around them as I went about my day. the midst of all that frivolity....I made the guitar cake. It's funny how the plan that I had made and was ready to do, got changed...ever so slightly... I had originally thought to make the cake into the shape of a guitar....but....decided to make a regular cake and put the shape on the cake with frosting.

I ended up doing a bit of both.....I went ahead with a regular, rectangle-shaped cake, but I also baked another one and used that one to cut out the shape of "the head" of the guitar. The color of the cake was almost exactly that of one of the Fenders in our house, so I didn't even have to frost that part!!!The K-Man (my ever present cake "advisor"!) felt that the neck could have been a bit longer, but...I did make note of his idea and will use it the next time!!! He also had the idea when I was "stringing" the guitar (with real strings....I had other options, but that one was best!!) that since the "birthday boy" was left-handed, I needed to "string" the cake guitar the right way. So....instead of having the strings go, from top to bottom, thin to thick....I put them thick to thin, going down!!! Must admit....that advice was the best so far as the birthday boy and his wife noticed immediately what I had done and were very impressed.

I tried to write his name in a style that resembled the Fender style...was going pretty good, but right as I was about to do his name, 3 of the boys came in and were wondering what I was doing. I have a hard time doing something like that with an it's their fault Toshiro's name is a bit "scribbly"!! :-D

The cake was delicious (she said confidently)...I mean, can you go wrong with a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting?!?!?!


So, now it's Monday....a new week is starting. There is a typhoon "out there" somewhere and it is messing up our nice weather. Today is a bit humid and overcast with the threat of some rain later on. I haven't checked the weather report but, I'm thinking that the typhoon is on the east side of the country and we will be spared the storm, but we will get some wind and rain. It's a good thing I got ALL the laundry done yesterday!!!

Have a wonderful week.....and I will leave you this~~some "bloggy-friend love"!!!

Friday, May 16, 2008

The one where Debbie forgot to put a title when she first! It's Friday...

(**This is post #198...can't you just feel the excitement in the air?!?!?! teehee!! And yeah...I was one behind of what I should have been....yes...I'm a true blond...and that's the naked truth!!! pppfflflltttt!)'s Friday, again...gosh how time does fly, huh? I am in the process of drawing out the plans for a cake I am going to make for my friend's husband tomorrow. The cake will be a carrot cake....with, but of course, cream cheese frosting, (it would be criminal to put anything else on such a delectable cake!!) He, much like my own K-Man, plays the guitar and I am working on a "Fender" design I make a guitar-shaped cake? or do I put the shape of a guitar on the cake?? And what do I use for guitar strings?? I'll post pictures tomorrow to let you know what was decided....gosh...the excitement here at Etc., Etc., Etc. is just almost too much, don't you think?!?!?! (seriously giggling here!!!)

We're going to slow things down a bit and do the Friday Feast.......

What is the nearest big city to your home?

We really live in a suburb of Nagasaki City....there are about 452,000 people here. People from other parts of Japan will call us inaka, or "the country"!! I laugh at this because my hometown in the States has about 1,800 people!!! Come with me...I will give you a whole new meaning to the word "country"!!!!!
Fukuoka ("foo-koo-oh-ka") is the largest metropolis near us with about 1,415,000 is about 3 hours by car or 1 and 1/2 hours by train away.

On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being highest, how well do you keep secrets?
I have kept/am keeping some doozy of some I'm going to say a 10!!!

Describe your hair (color, texture, length).

My hair is fine, thin...blond (but getting darker by the year!!...I am looking forward to gray so I can be "light" again!!!) and right's in a bit of a "bob"....still kind of short, but I need a haircut something awful so that may change if I can find the extra cash!!!

Main Course
What kind of driver are you? Courteous? Aggressive? Slow?

I think that I am a very careful driver....courteous? much that when I go back to the States, my mom laughs because I bow at people when I drive!!! I do have a bad habit of "talking" to other drivers who are just stupid....Koji has developed a very colorful repertoire of English words!!! Aggressive? Of have to be in Japan. Slow? Not very often. I'm speedy, yet, (as they say here in Japan...) a "safety driver". You should see some of the roads that I drive on many of them look like one-way streets,'re 2-way....with hills and curves!!! mwaaahahahahahaha!!!!

When was the last time you had a really bad week?

Hmmmm....a whole week?!?!?! I've had bad days up the wazoo...but bad weeks?? Probably the one that sticks in my mind the clearest would be about 2 1/2 years ago when my Daddy Charles passed away. He passed away on Friday (the 13th even!) and I was in Colorado on Sunday (total trip time was about 22 hours!!!)...funeral was on Monday...and I was back in Japan on the following Sunday (another 22 hours but was broken up with an overnight stay in San Fran because of snow in Tokyo!!!) was one of the hardest weeks of my life.

My friend, Assunta, who is an ESL teacher in Ohhh-ohh-Kla-homa ("where the winds go sweeping 'cross the plains!!") sent me the funniest video yesterday.
This is for anyone who wanted to learn a foreign language to be able to speak to someone special....
I laughed because this is what the first year of "Dating with Debbie and the K-Man" was like at times...except, he spoke really good 'music English' know...using lyrics from songs....what a knucklehead!!! :-D
(again...if you can't see here...

Thursday, May 15, 2008

To "nude", or not to "nude"...shoo-be-dooby-doo!!

Someone once told me that naked meant you had no clothes on; nekkid was when you had no clothes on, but were up to something. So when the idea of nudity was brought up in the comments of the previous post (You crazy women, you!!)...well....not just "no"...but "hell no"!!!
And then....I was sitting in my car with nothing on the radio to listen to and the batteries on my MP3 player gone....I had some quality thinking time as I sat in traffic.

I am a "language instructor" and I try to make my lessons interesting and I started thinking about the word "naked"....and how we use it when we talk. As with many words and phrases, my students can understand the words's when we start playing with those words and using them in similes or idioms that really messes them up!!

So....since I have about 2 seconds to spare before I really should go to bed some free time, I have done some Googling and whatnot to see what I could find about the word "naked".

First....I went to the Internet Movie Data Base and found that there are 404 titles with the word "naked" in them!! (The last one, by the way, was "Would You Kiss A Naked Man?", from 1976...that just made me giggle!!). I found The Naked Fame...Gun...Runner...Naked to the Bone (now naked!!)....Naked Thighs....Ambition....Cage...Circus (can you imagine?)...Naked Lunch...Evil...Fear...Monster, to name a few.

I can tell the naked truth....or have naked aggression.

"The naked eye"

(and yes just a bit puffy and's not easy taking a picture of your own eye with a cell phone!!! The things I do for this blog!!! :-D )

I plugged in "naked city" to Google....and this is what I got.....I'm thinking that this is NOT what Mark Hellinger meant when he wrote, " There are 8 million stories in the naked city. This has been one of them."

Did you know that the phrase "buck naked" is said to have come from "butt naked" because it sounded more polite??

How about The Naked Chef? I have to admit that when I first heard of Jamie Oliver I was a bit disappointed because he wasn't really naked. Bummer.

"Naked as a jaybird." No...sorry...don't really understand that one.

a naked light bulb

a naked flame...which is dangerous, so be careful...especially if you are dancing around naked in your house...I'm just saying.

Here in Japan, we have the Naked car..that's the name...basically, it comes with...nothing...only the bare necessities (to quote one of my favorite bears!) is naked... in the world of cars!!

**just checking to see if you're still with me!!!

And I will leave you with one of my favorite songs (which I use in classes!!) by one of my favorite bands...The Barenaked Ladies!! Enjoy!! (if you can't see the video..go to

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Wacky Wednesday...weally, it is!!

Just for the record....and not that anyone is counting or anything 'cause I certainly wasn't until now....but...much to my surprise....

Butter my butt and call me a biscuit, my friends, but...this is Post #195!!!

Gosh....only 5 to go to #200 (yes, not only beautiful and charming, but, also a whiz at Math!!).....hmmmm....must think of something really cool and "out there" to celebrate this event....does one "celebrate" posts??

Did you?? Will you?? Would you? Could you? In a house? With a mouse? In a box? With a fox? (Can you guess what book we read at bedtime tonight?? :-D)


"Koji!!! Where are you? It's dinner time!!!"

Why it is usually a good idea to check on a 5-year-old when he playing just. a. bit. too. quiet. in your room.

Obviously...things got a little crazy at the, the at Pixar...WTH?!?!


On my way to somewhere really important on the Internet, I took a detour and wound up in South Park....(I am from Colorado,ya know...I do know where it is!!). That is such a fun place to hang out......

Issei Koji
The K-Man
and moi!


And finally....I borrowed this from a post from PegSez......

This is sometimes how I feel here in Japan....trying so hard..yet not really succeeding at blending in!!!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Some answers...and then...something really nice.

Happy Sunday everyone!!! Today was a wonderful day filled with~~~~ a warm, dry breeze that made doing 5 loads of laundry so much easier~~~some good quality international phone time with my mom and a couple of really good friends~~~a little bit of cleaning which was stress free since both boys were out doing whatever it is they do~~~and to finish up the day, we will make pizza and there might be beer involved (juice for the boys). I'm not even dreading the folding of all that laundry as I'm in a pretty damn good mood!!!

So....there have been a couple of questions asked in comments and I thought that I would supply some answers.

katydidnot asked about cleaning our tatami mats....well..first of all... what tatami looks like:

As it is actual woven straw, when tatami is new, some of it is still green....and will have mold on it. To clean that, I was told a very long time ago, that wiping it with hot water was the best way to get the mold off the mat. Sometimes, if I have left a piece of carpet or furniture too long on the tatami, especially during the rainy season (wet...humid...and more wet = mold everywhere!!), the hot water method doesn't really work as good as I would like it to so I will go and buy some heavy duty cleaning stuff for it. For every day cleaning....or every week, as in my case....just running the vacuum over it will clean it quite nicely. I have, on occasion, used some special cleaner just to freshen it up a bit.

Grandy and Stephanie asked about the Friday Feast that I resort to when time and energy are lacking.....just go to and they post the questions every week. Sometimes, the questions are just too....out there...and I will skip. They are kind of fun to should try them!!!

Karen....Oh My Gosh!! Yes, I remember Rush....Tom Sawyer was one of my favorite songs!!! After I read your comment, I spent about 30 minutes in YouTube watching and listening to their stuff.....thanks for that natsukashii moment!!!

Heidi...(sorry it took me so long to get to this) asked about the languages we speak here at Kuroiwa, I speak mostly English to Issei and Koji. (Koji is kind of hardheaded sometimes---I know...go figure-- and Japanese is just easier for him to understand.) When it is just us, Issei will speak English with me...Koji is starting to really try. But, when we are out, I speak English and the boys speak Japanese!!! The K-man and I speak mainly ( more like 98%) Japanese to each other. Ask Issei if Daddy can speak English and you will get the funniest laugh from him!!! The boys, when playing, either just the two of them or with friends, will speak Japanese. We do get some funny looks at the store from people who are listening to us talk...and yes, they do's quite obvious at times!!!

Okay....and honor of Mother's Day...and in honor of my own Mom....I found this poem somewhere on the net...not sure now exactly where, but I thought it was a good one....I have great friends all over the world, but no one quite compares to my mom. Though we had some difficult times early on...we made it through them...and's just a really, really nice mother-daughter friendship.

You can see it in their eyes,
in tender hugs and long good-byes,
a love that only moms and daughters know.

You can see it in their smiles,
through passing years and changing styles,
a friendship that continually seems to grow.

You can see it in their lives,
the joy each one of them derives,
in just knowing that the other one is there...

To care and to understand,
lend an ear or hold a hand,
and to celebrate the memories they share.

Once upon a memory

Someone wiped away a tear
Held me close and loved me,
Thank you, Mother dear.

Linda and Debbie...April, 1965
(check out those Diva Glasses of Linda Loo's...I do come by this naturally!!)

and Linda and Debbie, Christmas, 2004, Japan.

( make the call!!! :-D)

When Koji was a month old, we had a "blessing ceremony" at the shrine and Mom, bless her heart, flew over for it. (she did for Issei's too...not bad for a girl who really doesn't care to fly!!) This picture was taken in the garden of the shrine.......the woman on the left is Mrs. K.......the K-man's mom....

We laugh because so many people have started that "Oh, you and Debbie look just like sisters." routine with which I have such mixed emotions....(many of you may be in the same situation)....I'm sure Mom likes hearing that waaaay more than I do!!! :-D my my incredible sister-in-law, Leslie (mother of her own 4 boys!) and to my friends with children much older than mine (Susan, Dena, Cindy Kay, Sue....) who I have watched carefully over the years and have taken notes on how things are the friends who don't have children of their own ("Aunts" Cheryl, Trenda, Lila, Kim....) yet who have offered tons of support to me over the past 10 years and have treated my sons like their own (remember you can borrow them anytime!!) my Aunt Janice and Aunt Marcia whom I love my other friends~~both Foreign and Japanese~~~ with kids who, as a group, we have been through so my blogging friends who are also moms....and finally, to anyone else stopping by.....

I wish you flowers....

and hugs....

and a very, very.....

Friday, May 09, 2008

Friday Feast....and some old guys we saw last night!

So....I leave the computer alone for one day....ONE DAY....and what do I come back to find....Holy Moly Myrtle...I found 67 new posts in my's overflowing!!! Don't you people ever take a break?!?!?! Just kidding....not about the tons of reading I have to do tonight, but...the taking a rest part!!! :-D

Since I have so much reading to do tonight...and there are only so many hours that I can devote to this...I'm going to do the Friday's quick, it's easy...and well, it's quick.
Here goes:

When someone smiles at you, do you smile back?

Du-uh....I smile back. Hell...I was probably already smiling !!!

Describe the flooring in your home. Do you have carpet, hardwood, vinyl, a mix?
We have 6 rooms in our house....3 are hard wood...but not the expensive kind...and 3 rooms are tatami...the woven mat flooring we have in Japan.

Write a sentence with only 5 words, but all of the words have to start with the first letter of your first name.

Delovely Debbie Derives Delight Dancing.

Main Course
Do you know anyone whose life has been touched by adoption?
I know quite a few people....those who have been adopted, those who have adopted...and those wanting to adopt. What a great way to share the love, huh?

Name 2 blue things.

1. The sweatshirt I am wearing right's a GAP one...with a hood.
2. The batik that is hanging on the wall right in front of me, behind my comptuer...with some really cool fish. My friend Rachel picked it up for me on her trip to Bali a very long time ago!!!

Yesterday....the K-man and I went on the Express Train, about 1 hour and 45 minutes to Fukuoka (don't hurt yourselves trying to pronounce that..../foo-koo-oh-ka/) to a concert.
(Ergo, why I didn't blog or do anything on the computer yesterday!!!)

The K-man is a musician. Since he was about 15 years old, he has been a member of various bands. Though he is too busy now, he still has his "music room" where he plays guitar (think "guitar karaoke"!) on any one of the 8 that he has....sometimes he plays the ukulele, or keyboard...he even has a very small steel drum he got from "Santa" one year.

His first love is the Beatles...especially, George Harrison (Go on...ask me what Koji's middle name is....go's Harrison!!! :-D ). After the Fab Four....pick any "progressive rock" band of the '70's (think Pink Floyd, Yes, Emerson/Lake and Palmer.....) and he will be able to tell you, not only members' names, but....particular instruments they played on certain albums, where they went after the band broke name it...he can probably tell you about it. It's actually kind of freaky how he can do that!!!

Through the years, we have been to many a concert....the Eagles (2x), Eric Clapton (2x), Sting, Cyndi Lauper, Art Garfunkle, Neil Young, Crosby/Stills/Nash (2x), Queen (w/Bad Company lead singer Paul Rogers), Phil Collins...just to name a few. rock is still his favorite.
So.....when the group ASIA came to Japan for their new tour (Debbie: "They're still playing??")....of course, we got tickets!!!

Remember them?!?!? I barely did....but when they started playing, honey....I was clapping and singing...which always just thrills my husband to death...haHAhaHAhaHA!!! One of the highlights was when, as they were doing songs each member did from other bands, they did "Video Killed the Radio Star".....yes....we stood for that one!!! that was a "highlight" for the 45-year-old group...the 50-and-older were rocking to "Roundabout"!!!

In Japanese, they have a word natsukashii....which translates to "nostalgic". I have always told students that I wasn't old enough to feel nostalgic...I was more like "Oh...I remember that song!". No more, my friends, no more....last night was a total nostalgic night!!!

Some observations:
*In the 2,000 plus member audience...I was the only foreigner.
*In that 2,000 plus member audience...there was only a handful of women. Seriously...this was the first concert I have ever been to where the line to the Men's' toilet was longer than that of the Women's'!!!
*Average age of the audience....maybe about 48-50...maybe.
*In the audience, there were men that came straight from work, long-haired rocker dudes (old, older and young alike), young guys who probably listened with their dads, and regular guys like the K-man.
*When it comes to 'progressive rock'.....I really don't understand the meaning of the words...I have been told the songs are like "volcanoes erupting, full of emotion and angst". OkaaaAAAaayy. I still don't really understand the meaning...oh's usually got a good beat and I can dance to it!!

It's time to get the kitchen cleaned up from supper....and then I can do some reading...Heidi, my love, you are first on my list...I have neglected you...I'm so sorry!!!
Have a good Friday, all.....
...........and I will leave you with......this...from the concert last year, but still pretty much the same.....does this song bring back any memories?!?!?!
(*If you can't get the video...go to: )

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

For want of a better title..."Just Stuff" (but still, worth looking through!!)

I really wanted to post yesterday, yesterday was the last day of our holiday, I tried to get some stuff done that would qualify as "constructive"....not sure if I succeeded, but until about 6:00 last night, I was feeling really good about the day. "What happened at 6:00?", you ask? that time, or thereabout, I suddenly developed a serious case of PMS and a huge case of crankiness!!! It wasn't pretty.....and after the male-type humans of this family had escaped gone to bed, I found myself still not in the mood to do any blogging, so I found a sleazy romance novel and did some escaping of my own for about an hour before going to bed.

It was hard this morning to get everyone up and around...but with my crankiness turned down a few numbers on the dial, I was pretty damn cheerful (thanks in part to Motrin and a cup of coffee!!)...everyone was a little less 'cautious' as they came into the kitchen. yesterday....I did some "cleaning" of picture files...going through pictures...and here are some things I thought I'd post today:

This is a picture of Koji, when he was about 9 months old. Behind him is just some of the display stuff we have for "Boys' Day"....the helmet he is wearing is actually part of the display, but...we try to make things "real" here in the Kuroiwa House!!!

(Look at that double-chin, will you?!? Those arms!! Yes, we love our babies 'chunky-style'!!)

And of course, Issei tried it on.

(Please, try to refrain from commenting on the Easter Eggs still out...I'm telling you that Easter was VERY late that year...EXTREMELY late!!!)

Yesterday, I made these. A good friend of mine is taking a Cartonnage (French paper-craft) class and they had some of the kits left over....I thought I give it a shot! The small tissue boxes were the easiest to make (she said)...and surprisingly enough..they were!! I might even make some more!!! I'm thinking that I will keep one and then give the other to the K-Man's mom for Mother's Day. there WAS some 'frittering' of time at the computer...I was just playing around with this new web-cam!!! That was just one of the 'picture accessories' you could choose!!! (and again...refraining from comments, this time about the hair, would be greatly appreciated!!!)

This is for Claudia....last year, I got some jasmine clippings and we planted them behind the house...they have really taken off this year. The smell is so nice and just floats around the house in the breeze!!! The K-Man said that it was "Madagascar Jasmine"...neither one of us is sure about "night Jasmine"....I'll ask some of my students and see what I can find!!

The flamingos have landed!!!!

If anyone ever needed proof that my sister Sara and I are actual sisters, we can use this as "Evidence #55". This is the house that she and her husband Jarrett just bought. They had a "yeah! We bought a house!" party the other night and some friends of hers sent these as a gift. Sara was VERY excited and thought this was a great present!!! So did her big sister!!! They came from the Eastern Onion in Atlanta!!! The sad thing, for me anyway, maybe for Sara too, is that the flamingos disappeared the next day....but what fun you can have while they are there!!! The Eastern Onion also has cows, pigs, penguins, and hearts....along with the usual singing telegrams and such...what a fun company!!!

And here are the flamingos I got in a birthday card from my friend, Tomoko!!! Her kids (Sho and Leia) are absolute dolls and I *puffy heart* this picture!!! I was looking to see what Yahoo had to offer me...they had the list of TV shows that were airing their final episodes.....and I found.....


Am I in the throes of PMS or is just an incredibly HAWT picture?!?! The Tudors is a show that I feel I must...nay...need to know....for historical purposes!! ~wink wink~ I checked out some of the clips on YouTube and...lordylordylordy!!!

I don't mean to be forgetful, but in the blogs I read faithfully, someone mentioned this show....and I canNOT for the life of me remember who it was!!!!! If it was you, please let me know!!! I am thinking about writing to a couple of the channels here that are pretty good about getting American programs and strongly encourage them to get this one!!!

Oyasumi nasai....Good night.....sweet dreams!