Wednesday, July 27, 2011

a blogpost by numbers....

....number of men i counted today, while shopping, who seemed to be wearing
their wives' slippers/mules. numbers in my cell phone address book.

....of those numbers belong to foreigners.

...the number of hours that i pretty much sleep a night...any more/any less and i do not function well.
i don't.

....the number of years i have lived in nagasaki.
(this week is my "anniversary"!!!)

...the number of months i had originally planned on being here.

....was the number of the typhoon (we go by numbers, not names here!) that i basically
came with when i first arrived in japan.
(i had to stay one night in seoul, thanks to #18 getting here just a little bit faster)

....the number (give or take one or two) of classes i teach every week.

....the number of weeks i had to stay in the incredibly swanky hotel-like hospital each time i had my babies.
(c-sections= 2 weeks, regular delivery=1 week)

...number of hours i danced, one summer, at a festival in a contest
(with 2 small saucers in each hand, clinking those little mothers the whole time in rhythm to the music).

...the amount of yen (about $3,000) i won for dancing in that contest.
oh, yes.
i did.

**all numbers were lovingly borrowed from the good people at google images. thank you.
the randomness is all me!!**  (^-^)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

obviously...random worked....let's do it again, shall we?

the hula festival is over.
despite the nervousness,
(really! i do get more than slightly nervous!!  butterflies? nope. try bats...they're that big!!)
and that first little bit, where i'm standing there, on the front row and i'm like,
"wait. do you hear music? was i supposed to start dancing now??",
 it was all fine. was more than fine.
it was great!!!
i don't think we made any major mistakes (i know i didn't!!) and by the smiles on everyone's faces when we got off stage, i'm thinking everyone thought the same way.
either that, or we were all just soooo relieved it was over!!
it always amazes me that we work so freakin' hard for such a long time and then...
in 3's over.
(okay...i have to stop for just a bit here because my mind just went totally into the gutter after that last thought and it's hard to type while chuckling!! heh heh heh)

i will try to get some hula pictures this week....some of the ladies took some and when we meet for class next, i'm sure i'll get copies.  for some strange reason, i didn't have my cell phone with me...which, had i been thinking earlier, i would have thought that was a jinx and refused to go on stage.
i'm NEVER without my cell phone (and it's incredibly awesome camera!!).
see.  i told you.
i did take one shot, the night before, when i was trying on my, just to give you an idea of what it all looked like.....

oh...and by the way....
the rubber bands in the hair worked and the flowers (and those humongous clips!) stayed in just fine.
koji and i went to a hamburger place today....
i was thinking that a 'happy set' would be just what we both needed, but,
he informed me that there would be no 'happy set' for him today.
(the ones here don't even come in those really cool boxes either...that's kind of lame, we think)

he declared that he is too old for that size of burger and he was going to order a much bigger one today.
this is all fine and dandy by me (i really don't like that little "prizes" that come with the set, anyway)....
but really...
could someone explain to me how a boy, who is too big for a "kids' meal"
is not too big to do this........
....and to ask me to take his picture???
they are sometimes really kind of funny.
just for the record....
let me perfectly truthful when i say that,
this summer gift giving thing the japanese got going on?
i'm lovin' it!!
(usually a box like this will have beer AND a variety of fruit juices.  the students who gave me this? yeah. she loves me and wants me to be happy. i love her! )
koji and i went to the grocery store the other day.
at the register, i noticed that, as the lady was checking our basket of stuff, koji was standing at the end of the counter, just grinning like some kind of little fiend....he might have even giggled maniacally for just a bit.
shaking my head and writing it off as "him just being a 9-year-old weirdo" (which happens more often than what one might think) we finished up and i took the basket to the table to put everything in our bag (which, yes, i had, as always, brought from home).  as i was in a hurry, i didn't really pay attention to the items...i just really needed to get home.  i was running oh so very late.
then....when i got home and was taking the things i bought out of the bag, i realized why koji was being such a goofball...

yeah. see that container of 'cup of noodles'???
sorry... not on my shopping list.
(and really....why would i buy only one??)
now i understand the grinning and slightly crazy giggling.
koji...1.  momma....0.
did you ever, when you were younger, have a contest with your friends to see what was the funniest things you could secretly slide into other peoples' shopping carts without them knowing it?
me, either.
i just heard about people doing that.
heh heh heh.
 i think i'll go now as i have my mother's voice in my head saying,
"what goes around, comes around" and i need to do something, like listen to music or something,
to make it stop!!

*and just for the record....issei IS still around...he's just being your basic 13-year-old and way to cool to go with his mom and little brother, you public...where his friends could possibly see.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

oh....well....sure....but it's gonna be kind of random....okay? okay.

today is the annual hula festival here in nagasaki city.  the new group that i joined a few months ago will be performing this afternoon...there are 60-some groups doing their "thing" today...and probably just as many tomorrow.
from nagasaki city.
that's a lot of hula, my friends.

so....let's see.....
i have the dress...
...i have the lei...
i have the flowers for my hair...
it's all quite lovely, isn't it?
yes....i think it's all very nice...
except....there is one...well....two problems....
those flowers for my hair are clips....HUGE clips...
yeah...i know. i was thinking the same thing when i first saw them, too...
"but....those are for someone who actually HAS hair!!!"
 hmmmmm.  what to do? what to do?
after some experimenting with a couple strategically placed rubber bands, i think i may have figured a way to make it least i hope it works...
send your best hair karma thoughts my way, would you?

it's officially summer here.
the rains stopped....or should i say the torrential rains that we were getting during the rainy season stopped.
we did have a typhoon (#6, she was) cruise into the area this past week, but, she opted for the eastern side of japan, so we were safe.  we did get some absolutely wonderful cool breezes.
but those are gone.
what is a good way to know that it is summer around the kuroiwa house?
kuwagata....or stag beetles....and more than a few different beetle "cousins" that the boys have found.  which means.....pretty much at the butt crack of dawn every morning the boys are out searching for these bad boys.  on some evenings, they take honey to different areas of parks and woods around here and....honestly, i'm not sure exactly what they do with the honey but whatever it is, it seems to work because most mornings they come back with one or two critters.
which also means that at any time, there could be "battles" in the entrance way, living room, or even on the kitchen table.  i came home one time to find about 8 boys of various ages, huddled in the garden cheering on one particular battle. 
hmmmm.  i wonder if money ever comes into play here.....the boys have got a couple of really mean beetles...we could possibly turn this into a money making thing.....
heh heh heh.
no. we won't.
i'm just thinking that having these critters in the house and knowing that they were kicking some other beetle butt and we were making some cash from their winnings, i'd feel a bit better about having them around.
the best $4 i EVER spent on a pair of shoes....3 years ago....
i love summer and i love these shoes.
(and yes, i know...i really need to clean out the car!...tomorrow!)
fun things we found in the kitchen.....
happy green pepper!!!
we love spinach....and spinach loves us!
finding these two lovelies just reminds us that we need to pay extra attention to the little things in life....see what kind of specialness we would have missed had we just hurried through.

and with that, my friends, i'm done for the morning....'tis time to get my hula on.
.....i hope your weekend is full of special things and
 little things that make you smile.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

a fill-in type post's just easier this way

my friend, janet, does this thing called friday fill-ins and i thought that since i haven't posted anything for 10 days (so much for trying to do better, huh? oh well....) this would be a good way to get something up.  let's see how this goes, shall we?

1. I hold my shoulders back and my back very straight when i walk...thank you grandpa rock for making me walk with books on my head when i was younger.

2. the k-man is someone I like to travel with because he makes traveling fun and he doesn't care that i usually fall asleep when we are  on the highway.

3. That day, like most days, was busy but good.

4. I pray that the hot and humid summer doesn't last too long this year.

5. Trust me that i will do whatever i can to help.  really. i will.

6. my imagination sometimes works overtime  in the dark.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to the 3-day holiday (monday is 'day of the sea', umi no hi), tomorrow my plans include bowling with a PTA group (whoohoo....i'd rather be doing laundry..or getting my teeth cleaned) and going to the International library with koji in the afternoon and Sunday, I want to  wake up to find that even though it was an absolutely incredible game and the Japanese girls played their hearts out, the US women won the soccer game!

on the fourth of july, koji turned 9.  he had some friends over for hamburgers in the garden and a sleepover on the saturday before (from which i am just now recovering!!), so monday was just a 'family only'/super easy kind of celebration.
here is the cake we got for him....we love us some rolled cake with fresh fruit!!
happy birthday, little man!!

and just in case you thought i had completely forgotten about that whole flamingo friday thing
i had going on....

~~my sister, anna, sent this to me a while back...i love it!!

happy friday, everyone.
have a good one!!

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

just long does one have to be gone before one can stage a proper comeback?

good lord.
obviously...someone has lost more than her blogging mojo.
she has also lost a total sense of time.
she's got no excuses.

she would love to tell you some incredibly wonderful story about how she won the lottery and with her winnings she took her family to hawaii and they have spent the last month frolicking on the beach, eating fresh mangos, and learning to surf....oh, and hula-ing every day at dawn and sunset.
yeah. she'd love to tell you that.

so what has she been doing?
thinking, here......
a lot of nothing too terribly blogworthy.
she has gone on and on about the rain and how it seems to have rained for the last 47 days this month and that she really doesn't remember a rainy season this wet.

oh...and then she got one of these beautiful pieces of  technology...

and thanks to her friend, cheri, she now refers to it as her
i-pad goddess.
(you can, know...if you have one.)
she's been spending a lot of time with her goddess....they do wonderful things together but those birds that you slingshot to attack pigs (or monkeys, depending on which game you have)...yeah, they spend a lot of time together.
oh, she also uses it in class, just in case you were wondering.

thanks to the rain and the fact that she doesn't have a dryer and there are 4 people (1 of which likes to play in said rain, like the goofball he is) in this family,  she has been spending a lot of time down at the coin laundry....ever so often, she washes a buttload  a few loads of laundry, piles them into her car and hauls them down to the before mentioned coin laundry to dry those piles of wet laundry.
oh....she takes her goddess....her music....gets herself a refreshing drink that she can only seem to find at one vending machine (that just happens to be in front of the coin laundry) ...
and she waits...and listens...and plays until all those clothes are dry so she can haul them back up the mountain to her home.  she feels really good when she does this because those clothes

actually...she has just spent the last few weeks, just being she.
she needed that.
 and can't really say for certain that she'll be posting at regular intervals but she
is going to try. 
she really will.
she hopes you'll hang in here with her.
and she thanks you.
the "but, where did they come from" lilies that were blooming in the garden...the official name is "chocolate lilies" but, she thinks they were more of a burgandy lily. 
come to find out, the bulbs were a present from a student.
she loves that student very much.
yes, she does.