Saturday, August 12, 2017

Half Way Through August

This morning was the first day in about a month that I woke up without sweating!
It was actually cool! Went out and trimmed the hedge a bit, left Michael and David to do the rest!
The yard is a disaster and I have no idea what to do about it, we are fighting a never ending battle with weeds. Some are taller than me!

The first week of August Hannah went to 2 high schools for there open campus day!  The first one was the school she is hoping for. We dropped her off, she met up with her friend and spent the morning doing a sample lesson and listening to older students!  The other high school was an all girls school in the main city.  Nice school, lovely modern campus, 11 courses to choose from but so far away! There is a school bus to pick up the girls in the morning but leaves from our city at 6:30am!  Because most students do club activity there is no bus to get back home, they have to use the train!  I figured out that it would take at least 3 hours a day to go and come back!  Plus it would cost at least 20,000 yen a month (about 200 dollars, 140 pounds), a lot of money!   So looks like the best choice would be the local commercial school! I am pushing Hannah to  study as much as possible!   It's a shame that summer holidays are not that free, loads of homework, open campus days and two days at school!

One thing I realized is that this heat is not going to change!  I keep hoping that the next summer will be cooler, easier to deal with!  But looks like this intense heat is here to stay!  So I have to change.  Have tried to be more active this year and get things done, not just sitting in front of the air conditioner!  Not easy but I've gotten a few things done! One thing that really helps is that David can cook.  I haven't cooked for about two months!  Cooking in the heat really exhausts me!  But I miss it, I enjoy cooking and baking!  Roll on cooler weather I will be back in the kitchen!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

End of July

The first month of the summer has come to an end!
But there is no end insight for the heat!
The weather forecast for the next 10 days is 35C!
One week of such temperatures I can deal with but we are going onto the third week!
It really is exhausting!  I can't go out for anything!  Even shopping the other week I came back with heatstroke!  At least the schools have finished for the summer!  Walking to and from school was hard
on both Christopher and Hannah!
But poor Hannah has a load of homework to do!  She is in the last year of junior high school. The end of the summer is the first of a series of tests to determine which school she can apply for, then she has to take tests to get into the school!  The school that she really wants to go to has cut 40 places this year because of falling population!  That means competition for the school will be strong!
One problem with this city is that there not that many schools and the other ones are about an hour away on the train!  I really can't see Hannah getting on a train at 7am every morning, then not getting back until 6pm or so!  She just doesn't have the stamina!   This just another thing to stress about!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017


So summer has started!
And I am not happy!
The yearly rainy season came through later than usual.  We usually get a load of rain in June, a week to 10 days of non stop rain.  This year it didn't really start until the beginning of July!  One city that is just down the road from here was hit really bad!  Floods and landslides, at least 30 people have lost their lives!
After the rainy season the heat and humidity start in earnest!  Most days the temperature is about 34C(93F). I know for people living in cooler areas that sounds nice, and for a few days it is okay.  But this will be for the next month and it doesn't drop below 30C until about November!
For me I get so exhausted!  I went shopping yesterday, just walking from the car to the mall was killing!  I felt like my body was being cooked.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Of Birthdays, Pianos and Falling Down

Last week would of been Hisaos 56th birthday!
I was trying to imagine what he would of looked like. Maybe not so different!  The only
thing that showed his age was his receding hair line!
We didn't really do much this year, I just had no energy to do anything special!
One nice thing is that he is still very much part of our daily lives, the kids have their own  memories that they share, I have mine and that seems to be part of dinner conversation!  It's nice somehow!

fun with the kids!

In other news we  got a new piano!  Not new but new to us! one of Mikey's friends moved house and his piano was too big so he sold it Mikey.  Mikey got it very cheap so we are happy.  Both Mikey and Hannah play.  I would love to learn but have no real patience for all the practice that goes into it!

And falling down!  That was me the other day.  Hannah and I had gotten out of the car, David was trying to back into the parking space a bit more, I was telling Hannah to move from the back of the car when I fell over the blocks that are there to stop the cars!  I fell heavily on my right side, scratching my arm pretty bad!  Hannah went into panic mode for a while, when she realized that I was okay she found it rather funny!  The next day was awful.  I was in so much pain down the right side of my body and my back!  Feel better now but am very careful of those blocks!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

How did get to be June......

And I haven't posted!
Every day I think about updating this blog but it's always later!  Then the day is gone and the blog hasn't been updated!
May was a rather crazy month!
The first week everybody except Mikey got sick.  Just some stomach bug that was going around.  Not nice at all.  But we managed to celebrate Hannah's birthday!
I took her shopping, she wanted a game for the Wii machine that we have but we couldn't find the one she wanted so I ended up buying  a Wii U game.  I know it's old and the latest thing is the Nintendo switch but we are always behind on these things!  She also got a lovely watch!
She is spoilt, I know that and so does Hannah.  The other day I was saying that she is too spoilt, her answer was "Of course I'm spoilt, I'm the youngest and the only girl!"  What more is there to say!

The rest of May passed by in a daze of teaching, cleaning (always cleaning), reorganizing the teaching room, planting a few herbs and veggies (hoping to get something from the garden). 
I took a quick trip into the city, I wanted to check out the big bookstore to see if there were any good books for Junior High School  kids, but couldn't see anything that appealed to me!  I was totally exhausted by the time I got back. I can't believe that some people do that trip everyday for work!

David had been cooking up a storm the past few weeks, He has found that he enjoys baking, so we have had some nice treats!

Hannah's birthday

The cake, I made the cake , David did the cream and strawberries.

David's homemade pizza.

No chairs or tables, kids kept falling off the chairs!

Egg custard, David

Chocolate and berry tart, David again.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The Last Week in England

We spent the last week in England at my Dads! 
I was worried that the house would be a disaster, I know that my MIL hasn't
taken care of her house so I was expecting the same from Dad. I was shocked to see how clean
and well taken care of the house was!

Dads living room

kitchen from the dinning room
I was also surprised at how well my Dad was!  He cooked for us every evening, nice homemade meals!  Even Hannah, who can be fussy, ate everything!  Besides being deaf Dad seemed very healthy!  Better than me!
I can really see where David gets his teasing from.  My youngest brother found one of my old dolls!  It's a bit scary!  I left it downstairs but when I went to the toilet in the middle of the night it was sitting outside my bedroom.  My brother had left it there, exactly the same kind of thing that David would do!!!

My other brother came to visit with his family. I finally got to meet my niece!  That was a nice day, it felt good to be with my family.  Hubby had no brothers or sisters so there are no uncles or aunts, and of course no cousins on his side of the family. Sometimes it feels a bit lonely without having any real extended family around.  So being with my Dad, brothers, sister-in-law and niece was really good!

the family together, just my older boys missing

Dad with Christopher and Hannah

Of course I went shopping almost every day!  We went to the art gallery in my town and the museum in the next city!  There were other places we wanted to go but no time! 
All in all we had a go time in the UK.
Mikey and David went a month after we did. In between the two trips was the terror attack in London.  So of course I was worried but the boys had a good time!

David and my brother

Dad and Mikey

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Back in England.......continued

During our stay in London we went to the British Museum.  Even though we spent a good 4 hours wandering around we didn't get to see everything!  I was really impressed (there again I am easily impressed).  I miss good museums! We have them in Japan but they are expensive and of course in Japanese!  We ate lunch in one of the cafes there, I was shocked at the size of the portions. I don't remember the portions being so big!  But it was nice!

my lunch was steak and mushroom pie, kids had pizza

Happy but totally exhausted!
The last day in London we wandered around Oxford Street!  It was okay but not the great shopping experience I thought it would be!
That evening we saw "The Phantom of the Opera".  Hannah's treat!  She was so excited that she was shaking!  We had to pick up the tickets that I had ordered on line. My plan was to go about an hour before the performance started, we turned up almost 3 hours early, Hannah couldn't wait!  While waiting we had a look round Piccadilly Circus.  Strange place!  One shop that caught out attention was the 'Kingdom of Sweets', the whole shop sold nothing but snacks, candies and chocolates! 
We ate dinner at a Lebanese restaurant! 
The show was very good.  I like musicals but have only seen them in Japan, so this was a real treat for me as well!  All in all worth the money!

in the hotel room before the theatre

where the phantom of the opera is playing

outside the theatre


Hannah with the tickets

That was our time in London!
I enjoyed myself more than I thought I would!  I refused to worry about things during this time!
I spend so much time worrying about life that I never really enjoy myself but for those few days I turned off that part of my brain and just relaxed with the kids!  Well worth it!
Maybe one more post on England then back to day to day life!!!!