Friday, May 29, 2009

...and was Friday....and all was right with the world

It's not very often (thanks to the Internet) that an actual letter arrives in our mailbox. Imagine my surprise when yesterday, I found this....waiting for me.

The person it came from is someone that I truly admire. She has been a bit of a "creative muse", if you will, for me. Her excitement to try new things inspired me to do some experimenting of my own....and I am having a great time!! The Goddesses that I am making to send to people are...almost, they are helping me to re-discover some creativity that has lain dormant for many years!!

Go to her place and see some of the truly fun and interesting things she has done.

Anyway.....inside the package, I found this....

Eh? Chocolate? Godiva, even!!!

But, no....her note..

" chocolates"....I have to admit, made me a bit....well...sad.....I do so love Godiva chocolates!!!

and then I turned over the card and found another message.

Okay....presents are good.
Feeling better.....

Carefully taking out the tissue paper....

Look at what I found.......

Michelle is an artist and a few months ago was involved in a "charm giveaway"....she makes some incredible origami cranes....coats them with a glaze and then makes charms....and whatever else she can think of.

I showed these to a couple of my Japanese friends and they were very impressed by how incredibly small they are!!!

(Don't you think those pink ones look a teeny little bit like flamingos?? Right? That's what I was thinking!!!)

Here is MY charm!!

Taking the picture with it hanging like an earring gave me a great idea......hmmmmm...those pink ones.....the flamingo-looking ones....would look great as earrings!!

A good friend who makes jewelry is going to see what she can come up with.....I told her what I was picturing and we'll see what she can do!!! How fun is this!!

The blue charm? Is now hanging from the light next to where I am sitting right's beautiful. It's also a great reminder of the truly wonderful people there are out there.

Michelle....thank you so much!!

And speaking of fun friends.......

Have you ever been going through blogs, just from one to the other, trying to get caught up because you have so many that are just sitting there, waiting for you to read?

While you are clicking through the ones to "quickly read" or "save to read for later", have you ever come across a blog post that has your name in the really big letters? And then you see that,yep, that really is you that she is talking about because it says something like "My Friend Debbie In Japan Is Going To Love This" and even though "Debbie" is a pretty common name, that whole "Living in Japan" thing kind of clinched the deal.

My friend, Hula (Can't imagine at all how I ever found her, can you?!?! Du-uh!!) was having lunch at the bakery that her young'un, Teen Angel, is working at for the summer and she found something in the cookie case that, gosh, made her think of me!!

Take a look...... a closer look.....

Oh...did I mention they were shortbread? Lordy, Lordy. Just a little piece of heaven right there slathered in pink frosting!

Thanks so much Hula, my certainly helped make this Flamingo Friday a bit nicer.....and about a gazillion calories richer!!

Flamingo cookie cutters. Who would have thought? Just one more thing (three or four more things) to put on my list of "Important Items I NEED To Buy In the States"!!!)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tired Tuesday.....


The breeze coming through my window right now is has been raining for a little bit and the thunder is rumbling around in the night sky. I do so love this kind of weather. I'd love to get a book and sit next to the open window and read for a bit, but....'tis not in the plans for tonight.

I have lesson plans to write...messages to travel agents to send (I have 3 of them working on finding us THE best tickets for the summer!!!)....and this post to finish. Mondays and Tuesdays, in a good week, will kick my butt to the curb, but....this week we are just a bit more knackered than usual.

On Sunday, the boys' school had their annual undokai (sports day). Here in Japan, we take our undokais very seriously. I was up at the butt-crack of dawn getting our bento made for lunch....then breakfast for the boys and sent them on their way. I did get everything finished, bags packed, all 5 thermoses filled with tea, the picnic sheet cleaned and folded and the K-man and I were there before the first event.

There were that I'm still not really sure what exactly was going on...dancing...gymnastics and pyramid building...more smiles and laughter than you would ever be able to count...and so much fun. The day was cloudy and cool, then sunny and warm off and on all day long. I got a bit of a sunburn, but not too terribly bad. The whole family had a great day!!

But, on Monday, while the boys had a day off from school (a substitute holiday since the undokai was on a Sunday!), I had to get up and "seize the day" bright and early. By my last class, which started at 4:00, my wagon was a'draggin' something terrible! Today was a little better...tomorrow will be even more so. Yes, I'm tired,'s a good tired.

This year's undokai was extra special because it was Issei's last one as an elementary school student and Koji's first. This one will be the only one they have together. It was a good day.

I do hope that your Memorial Day weekend was a good one.

Friday, May 22, 2009 you think one bag will be enough?!?

Because I'm can never have too many little bitty flamingos...right???

It's Friday night....I am so frick all out of anything worthwhile....random is even eluding me...what's up with that, huh? My head is empty...the well is dry....

you might as well move along...

But, in the spirit of this blogging madness, I went to Google and searched for inspiration....something...anything....

So....I typed in...Elvis has left the building

and this is one of the pictures that came up.

Maybe the evening wasn't a total waste after all, huh?

Oh, yeah....stuff dreams are made of.

And with that....I bid you all...Good night.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

4 Things....

....that even though the weather was something out of "typhoon season" (but without the actual typhoon...just think rain, wind, rain, wind, sticky, yucky, more rain...)...
these 4 things made me smile today
1. Issei brought these 5 kanji (Chinese characters) tests he had taken at school home today.
Please take special note of the numbers at the bottom of each bright red pen!!
Believe me when I say that this hasn't happened very often and me? Yeah, I am so proud of him!!! Finally...things are starting to click.....and we have his teacher to thank. Finally...someone has helped make the light bulb go on and he is actually liking school and is doing what he should be doing!!

2. Over at , I found this:

3. On Google, I found this under "Laundry Porn"
(and please do NOT even ask how I got there, okay? okay.)

4. In the de-clutterization that is slowly, very sloooooowwwwly going on over here...I found a box that had (among oh so many other things) this t-shirt from a trip I took a very long time ago to a place know....for the t-shirts I could buy for all my friends alone, I would love to go again!!
(The beaches are pretty awesome, too!!)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

If I say "Happy Hump Day", will that make you giggle?

I used to work with a British guy, and from the very beginning of our time together, I realized that there are certain terms we use in "American"English, that drove him freaking nuts. (And just for the record, I think that there are waaaay more "British" English terms that make me equally nuts, if not way, way more!!) If he was really getting on my nerves, I'd just try to work fanny pack and hump day into the conversation and that would disgust him enough to leave the area. Worked every time! teehee...snort!


So...really....Who took the "P" out of PMS??? the supermarket and on the way home...I had PMS. In that short 25 minutes ...I went through some of your basic PMS fun-filled emotions and what-not:


(to the taxi driver in front of me) "Is the concept of 'blinker first THEN pull over to the side' completely lost on your sorry ass??"


"I need some 'patio time"'with my mommmmmmmmmm."


(to the lady in front of me in the check-out line) "Good Lord a'mighty, you think you could buy MORE crap for your stupid kids to eat?"


" broke my fingernail."


(in the supermarket) "What did I need to buy? Where IS my list? Where am I?"


"Ooh...cheese...must have cheese...Wo! Chocolate! Hey! Peach flavored Kit Kats! Do I smell bacon? Oh, yes, I'll have a sample of American beef, thank YOU!"

and finally...




Just a couple more reasons I really do like my boys:

1) By the time I had parked the car under the carport and walked...nay, trudged up the steps to our house, an invisible, pointy elbow was sticking itself into the small of my back, making me oh so very cranky. Needing a hug something terrible, I beckoned my oldest to come into the kitchen.

Me: Please....just come in here for a minute.

He: Why?

Me: I need a hug, realllllly bad.

He: ~~sigh~~ Okay.

In the middle of the hug, I kissed him on top of his sweaty, stinky head and said,

Thank you very much. I needed that.

He: Anytime.

As he was letting go, he patted my behind, chuckled a bit... and then went back into the living room.

2) Koji has found some older DVDs that he has been watching in particular, he has been watching a lot! One that....yeah, I'll admit it...I really do like!
So, when he yelled at me to come and watch his dance....can you imagine my smile and laughter as I watched him do his really good version of this:

Oh, yeah, baby.....tequila!!

So...let me make sure I understand this.......
2,000 calories.....

are bad, especially if since I would have to eat 5 Big Macs......or....

one of these 'onion blossom' thingies....all by myself

But....2,000 calories
are good for
my eyelashes?!?!?!
Since when did this come about??

Has anyone tried this mascara?

In my opinion, sure it might look good, but...
it takes a sandblaster to get it off!!!

I'll just stick to my regular one in the pink and green's the one that most models prefer anyway!!!


I am doing some searching for a new swim suit for summer. For the first time in a very long time, I'm not going to the "big girls' store" to buy one. (And by "big girls" I do NOT mean "girls over the age of 18", that YOU, very much!)

So, one place had an interesting suit...actually, it was the name that reached out and grabbed my attention.......and the name of that particular suit was:

"Distortion Swim Suit".

Now...I'm sure that is exactly what it does...but really? Could the guys in Marketing NOT have come up with a better name???

So...after some perusing of on-line catalogues....I'm leaning pretty close to

this one....and it has a much better name.

I do love me some Eddie Bauer!!

Happy Hump Day, Everyone!!!
**Yeah, yeah, yeah...the pictures are from
Google Images and one from Eddie Bauer, himself.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Since I came to Japan 19 years ago, life for a gaikokujin ("a foreigner") has gotten so incredibly much easier. I'm not talking about the language problems/difficulties...because, in my opinion, I seriously doubt those will ever get fixed (Don't believe me? Go to and look'll be amazed!!)

No...I'm talking about the things in our lives that we have around us that either make us happy, more comfortable, or make us more beautiful.

Thanks to companies like CostCo, which came to our part of Japan about 10 years ago, I don't have to have someone ship peanut butter, refried beans, or Nivea hand lotion to Japan anymore!! I can also order turkey at Christmas, cheese of all kinds pretty much whenever I want, tortillas by the dozen, and olive oil without having to take a loan out from the bank. And also, thanks to our friend, Brendan, at The Flying Pig, we can order from Cost Co, on-line and it is delivered within days of purchase, without the 3 hour/$65 highway toll drive to where the store is.

In the first years of living here, when I would go "home" for a vacation, I would pack lightly, but carry 2 almost empty, inside the other....and on the way home, both would be packed "Oh, my's gonna blow!!!" full. Coming back to Japan would be things like soap, cosmetics, perfume, shampoo, personal items, deodorant, taco seasoning, ranch dressing/dip mixes, underwear, shoes, clothes and whatever else we might need or want to last for the next year...or until the next trip "home".

After the boys were born, we would also hit garage sales, used clothing shops and I would buy more than enough to last a year for them. Having older cousins also meant hand-me-downs for Issei and we never turn those things down!! Most of these items were usually packed very carefully into boxes and sent on the "slow boat to Japan" form of shipping. As I would send the things to be used during the winter months, it wasn't so bad waiting the 3 months it would sometimes take to reach Japan.

*A note: A few years ago, the American Government decided that they weren't making any money on the "slow boat" service, so they discontinued it. For us, that meant, no more really great Christmas more shipping of items for more because that meant everything was sent freakin' Air Mail.....right back to that idea of taking out a loan to mail clothes, coats, shoes and whatnot. Sometimes you have to draw the line.

Now, thanks to Yahoo and the Internet, the foreign population have found a way to get around the government and it's asinine decisions.

There is a Yahoo group here in Japan that is a network of buying and selling items among the foreigners living here. Pretty much anything you want to sell, you other foreigners. Or, if there is something you are looking for, put it out'd be amazed at what you can find.

Over the past few years, not only have I sold stuff (clothes and books), but I have also purchased clothes for the boys, the K-man AND for myself (for things actually in MY size that fit, thank you very much!!), hair color, books, a waffle iron (that we actually used today for the first time in a long time!!), computer and game name just a few things.

But the best thing I have purchased? Shoes, baby....nice that I paid very little for...that had never been actually worn outside!!!

Here in Japan, I have monster feet...for a woman. Oh, men's shoes, I can find....but thank you. The only men's shoes I wear, are these:

Granted, they are great and comfy, but.....sometimes a girl just needs a little something extra.

So, when I was going through some of the old posts and saw that someone was selling sandals, I had to go and check them out....sizes 9 and 10?....good....kind of dressy?....really good....3 pair for about $12?.....Score!

They came yesterday....and seriously...I was so happy...I might have actually danced in the genkan. Yes, you're right...sad to say it, doesn't take much to make Debbie happy these days, does it? :-D

But really.....these shoes? I need to take these girls out dancing....or dinner....or just for a walk because honeeeeeee....they do make a girl feel good!!

Here's the bounty...thanks again, Kelsey!! It was great doing business with you!!

**Looks like a sad version of some other pictures I've seen where a group of friends get together and take a picture of their shoes.....would those green ones be worthy, I wonder? :-)


One of my dreams of summer......
My mom, Leslie (my SIL) and I during "patio time"....could someone run to Tar-jay and pick up that furniture because I think Mom's patio could really use something like that!!!

Friday, May 15, 2009's Friday! This week has been the longest month!

And...since I can't embed the video (by somebody's request), you'll just have to go there and watch...but's good...I do love me some Alan Jackson with a little Jimmy Buffett on the side!!

I was over at Smilebox earlier and have found a great way to spend a few spare minutes!!
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: This and That
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox slideshow

**Happy Friday!!**

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Not So Wordless Wednesday and.....a whole lot of gratitude

**Mother's Day flowers from the boys....Koji bought them on his own~~with my money~~ but,
he picked them out all by himself. **

Thank you so much to those of you who wrote such wonderful comments and sent e-mails and e-cards over the past few days.
Your words have helped.
Your "hugs" have been felt and oh, so very much appreciated.

Grandma's funeral was on Tuesday morning. My mom said that it was well it should have been.

My family in Colorado has spent many hours, I'm sure, talking about Grandma...reminiscing about when we were younger...laughing......and crying.

Writing that post was my way of joining those conversations without actually being there. I needed to talk about her and my blog was the best way to do that.

Thank you for reading....thank you for your love and sympathy.

One of my cousins asked if they could read what I had written at the funeral and even though it was not written for that purpose, I was honored that they asked.

I'm even more honored that my brother was the one to read it. Grandma would have liked that.

Thank you.

Monday, May 11, 2009

'Dirge Without Music'

by Edna St. Vincent Millay

I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts

in the hard ground

So it is and so it will be, for so it has been,

time out of mind:

Into the darkness they go,

the wise and the lovely.


With lilies and with laurel they go;

but I am not resigned.

Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.

Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.

A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,

A formula, a phrase remains,--but the best is lost.

The answers quick and keen, the honest look,

the laughter, the love,--

They are gone. They are gone to feed the roses.

Elegant and curled

In the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know.

But I do not approve.

More precious was the light in your eyes

than all the roses in the world.

Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave

Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;

Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.

I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.

My grandma Iris passed away on Saturday morning.

She was 97.

She became my grandma when I was 3....and one has never felt so loved or safe as when wrapped in the arms of that lady.

Grandma was born in 1912 and experienced more things in her life than you or I could in two.

Story goes that she met my grandad when she was 14....quite young by today's standards, but in those days, not so. My grandad, on the other hand, was 24 when they met....I can remember when a few of us cousins made the connection and started teasing Grandad about being a 'dirty old man'....he just smiled and said, "You didn't know Grandma back then."

I'm still not sure how to take that and once when I mentioned it to her,

she just smiled.

Grandma and Grandad were from the times of working hard all week and then everyone getting together in someone's barn on Saturday to play music and dance. Grandad played fiddle and Grandma danced.

Of course, Grandad always said that "Grandma really couldn't dance very well, but boy, could she intermission." (We all still laugh about that...can you imagine...telling your grandkids that about their grandmother?!?! Grandad Vess was a funny man!!)

They loved each other and thought the other hung the moon...I'm thinking that feeling never went away..even after Grandad passed away thirty-some years ago.

Grandma and Grandad raised 5 children--1 daughter and 4 sons--in a tiny, 4-room house (with a "scenic route" to the toilet and shower in the well house!!) waaaaay out in the country.

Growing up and spending so much time out there, we didn't really think of that house as being so small....but as adults, going there and seeing the old house is almost shocking...that so many women could fit in that kitchen, making some of THE most delicious meals anyone has ever eaten....that the 2 bedrooms (with very little walking space around the beds) would be the coat-room, baby room and play room for the 21 grandchildren that the Hutches family was blessed with and various other relatives from one side or the other.

When it was time to sat in any open space you could find.
For us kids, it was usually on the floor...or outside on the porch.

We all have wonderful memories of Grandma...some of them are woven together with someone else's...and others are just our own.

When I would go home in the summer, she and I would drive down to Amarillo to see my dad and his wife. I would drive her boat big, red Cadillac and we would talk about so many different things in the time it would take to get there.

One particular trip, she started telling me about life during the Dust Bowl Days. Her voice was filled with so much emotion as she spoke of how hard it was and what all they had to do and how scary it was at times and always how frustrating it was.

Through her words, I realized the strength it took to survive that incredible time in our she spoke, I found myself with a lump in my throat and the sudden urge to reach over and just hug her.

But...since I was driving and couldn't really do that, I just reached across the seat and took her hand....she clutched it and as she continued to speak, she rubbed her thumb across my fingers.

"It was just a different time."

I asked her if she and Grandad had ever thought of leaving...of starting over somewhere else.

"Where would we go? That was 'home' and we knew it was going to get better."

And they were right.

Ever since my mom told me about Grandma passing away, I have been overwhelmed with emotions and memories. All day long, anytime a class slowed down a bit or there was a moment or two of time to myself, she...was who I thought of.

I was looking forward to seeing her again this sitting on the floor, next to her chair and talking with her, like I usually did. The boys remember her well....Issei calls her "the soft Grandma". The loved to explore around her house...inside and out.

Each visit, she would always tell me "You need to come home."
But, she tried to understand why I didn't.

Grandma is....

(among a host of other things)

*homemade biscuits....that are actually made with Bisquick...."that is just so much easier and tastes almost the same." I have her old biscuit cutter and think of her each time I make my "real" ones!!

*rose milk hand cream.
She used to have some on the window ledge, above the kitchen sink and she would use it when she was finished doing dishes. Even today, the smell of roses will remind me of her.

*butterscotch pie.
Each of us has a favorite dessert....and Grandma was good about always having someone's favorite (or three) on the counter in her kitchen. Mine is her butterscotch pie....something that resembles caramel pie in recipe books. I say "resembles" because I don't think she ever really used the recipe...she was one of those "if it feels like enough" kind of cooks...which was really frustrating for those of us wanting to learn to cook like her!

On Sunday, I got out the recipe from the family cookbook for her pie....since I haven't made a decent pie crust since Christmas, 1996 (and that was with her help over the phone!!), I decided to forgo the tears and just make pudding.

I have to was good....not quite to Grandma's standards, but...pretty close.

Actually, Grandma's butterscotch pie is quite popular and at a family reunion a few years ago there was an incident of a missing pie.

I don't know what happened. I saw nothing.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

(And for the record, my cousin Gail and I just happened to find the missing pie before anyone else snooze, you loose around the Hutches crew!!)

*Sunday dinner with the following basics:

ham or fried chicken

roast beef

some kind of potato


brown beans

and in the summer....sliced cucumbers and onions with half & half and vinegar.

*never actually sitting down to a meal

Only when she got when she was in her 80's...did I ever see her sit down at a family dinner...she was always right there though, ready to help anyone if they needed it, or to get something or to refill a bowl or dish.


In this family, there is myself and a few others that were not born into the Hutches family, we were just lucky enough to have mothers to marry into it. Yet, I cannot remember a time that we were not "Charles' daughter" or "Vess' kids"....we were always family.

This with the addition of about 50 great-grandchildren and quite a few great-great-grandkids thrown in...will miss Grandma terribly.

We loved her so much....the next reunion, in July, will be hard for us.
My Uncle Vess (my Dad's oldest brother) also passed away this year making it doubly sad for everyone.

But....the love we have for each other and our faith in all that is right, will help us through this....because...that is the way we are...that's how we were raised.
It may just take me a little longer...I'll feel better when I get "home"...with the people I love most family.

In loving memory of Grandma Hutches.

Grandad Vess and Grandma Iris....

May they rest in peace....but still go dancing on Saturday night.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

I do love a good pissin' contest....

....especially when these two hot-hottie-McHotties are involved!

( know...if you're one of those that's interested...0:06-0:08....yeah, okay...I'll say it...."Holy Hell! Now THAT'S how you wear a pair of Levi's!!"....niiiiiiiiice." Oh, and....YUM! )

One of the best comments on this clip and about Craig....I wish I could say it was mine, but it's not...I just totally agree:

"He could be talking to a puppet and I wouldn't care."
Amen, sistah...A--men!

Friday, May 08, 2009

Something flamingo-ish and then....something else, not flamingo-ish

Well, honeys....

I found something new to put on my "wish list":

How lucky I feel to have so many things just screamin' my name!!

Concerning last week's Happy Lei Day post....

it seems I've been lei'd before!!

I found this picture in one of my extremely short-lived/almost non-existent de-cluttering moments in time. When I first saw it, I sat here and just laughed. This was taken back at the end of the school year in 1991. Every year, the teachers at our school had a "Thank God We Survived Another Year And No One Died" party and that year's theme was Hawaiian. Actually, my good friend, Lisse, didn't work at my school, but....since I didn't have a date for the event and there was an extra chair at our table, I asked her and since she was always one for good, free food and beer, she agreed to go with me (but she swore it wasn't a "pity date"!). I think we made a very cute couple!

Do you like our leis? We entered the "homemade lei" contest. We got the idea to make a "beer lei" (I'm assuming while drinking beer already!) and proceeded to drink many more cans of beer (hey! sometimes you have to take one for the team!!) so we could make our creations!! We didn't win....or at least, I don't think we won....but we had a great time!!

Upon looking at this picture, I realized a few things:

*Wow! But I looked young back then. Of course, I was young, but still......

*My face was really round!

*That perm looked pretty good...I've been thinking about maybe getting one. That color was nice, too. My natural blond hair has decided to turn dark...or (dirty)"dishwater blond", as my grandfather used to call it. Yuck. Time for a change!

*Good Lord!! I still have that shirt!!


Thursday and today were hard days getting up for the boys...they were pretty worn out from all the "adventuring" we did. I do so love that kind of tired on my's so much better than the Nintendo-tired or the "I've been sitting on my butt doing nothin' but complaining"-kind of tired.

Me? Oh...pfffft. My energy runs pretty high on most days so it was no problem getting up and going and ready to "seize the damn day"!! (Coffee does help a little!!)

And...well....since I have your attention...I just thought I'd let you know that...........and Queens are notorious for bouncing back, being strong, encouraging others around her to do the same and standing on the edge of cliffs while their husbands take photographs!!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

And so we played, for's back to school and work

In the last 2 days, we have done more as a family than we have done since the Christmas/New Year holiday. On Monday, the weather was cold and rainy and down-right dreary, but we packed up some provisions and spent the afternoon at some friends' house....just hanging out....chilling with some good food, great wine and had a lovely time with our hosts. I'm glad we relaxed a bit that day because when we woke up on Tuesday, the rain and drear were gone and it was a great day to be outside.

So....we had an adventure. A 2-hour--493 meter's high (about 1,618 feet worth) climb....hike, if you will or..."climb of death", according to Issei!

But...we did it and we had a pretty good time.

(Oh yes, we did, dammit.) wasn't so bad. Of course, this was taken about half the way up!

Along the way, there were many little shrines and one which we stopped and prayed at each and every one.

Many Gods and Goddesses along the path....we kept the heck did they get them up there?!?! This would not have been an easy job as the path was barely that in some places and rough steps the rest of the way!
At the top, we were the only ones there. It was a great place to have a picnic and then prepare for the hike back down (which only took about 50 minutes!!).
(Some of us take our hikes verrrrrry serious.)

We had parked our car at a shopping center and when we made our way down, we treated ourselves to some ice cream!

That night, during dinner, it was decided to get our onsen bags out and go to the new hot springs place that opened up here in Nagasaki a few months ago.

The new place is called Fukunoyu (foo-koo-no-you) and it was built on the big mountain that is a major landmark in Nagasaki City (Mt. Inasa for those of you who have been here!). It's a true hot spring and a very lovely place to spend a relaxing couple of hours.

(Please, if you have time, click on the links to see what I'm talking might not understand what is written, but, if you click on the smaller pictures to the left of the big one, you can get an idea!)
The main bathing area and inside baths were very nice. The area is quite spacious and it was easy to forget that I was with about 150 other ladies, girls and small children!!!

The rotenburo (outside bath) was incredible. There were almost as many places to put my naked butt as there were on the inside of the building! And the view from there?!?! Lordy, but it was beautiful!! It is quite amazing how being naked, in hot, herby water, outside under the stars and on a place overlooking the whole city will help you realize that life....yeah, life is pretty good.

I plan on going back to this place....and soon! There was an area that I have been really wanting to is called ganbayoku....and I'm not really sure how to translate that into English...maybe "hot rock bed"? It's tied in with the massage part of the onsen.

Hmmm...Mother's Day is coming up....maybe I leave some hints for a gift certificate!!


And so today, Wednesday, the adventure continued. We took a drive along the coast....

...and found ourselves at a nice beach so decided to get out and look for shells and beach glass...
...and do some "hunting", or whatever .

Then....we drove to our favorite park where we rented bicycles...
...and rode 5 kms (3.1 miles) around this!!
Another great day for the Kuroiwa Family!!
We came home after getting a quick dinner (no, huh-uh, I was NOT going to cook!) and got ourselves ready to "seize the day" bright and early tomorrow morning!!

We took many pictures today, but this one of my favorites!!!