Saturday, December 29, 2012


I got through Christmas.  I am not sure how but managed
The kids liked their presents.  I cooked the turkey and did the trimmings.  A good friend came and helped make the table seem less empty.
It wasn't the usual Christmas we have.  There is usually some disaster that ends up having everybody crying with laughter.  Hubby always said that the Japanese don't do Christmas but he loved it.  He spent ages looking for the perfect gifts for the kids and was willing to go out of his way to do things for them.  This year we bought an electronic darts set for David.  The boys took it upstairs and set it up.  I could hear them laughing.  I realised that this game was probably as much for hubby as for the kids, that's the kind of thing he would of loved.
I am still in shock and have spent far too much time the past couple of weeks sorting out all the official stuff, then I had flu, still down with that but need to tidy up and take down the Christmas tree.
I will write again.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Not the post I want to write

But I have too.
At 1am December 18th, Japan time, my beloved husband passed away.
He had a heart attack, according to the doctor he didn't suffer and went peacefuly.
Mikey came home from his part time job and found him sitting at the kotasu table.  Mikey thought that
he was asleep until he touched him and found him already cold.  We called the ambulance but I could see that it was too late.
Friends have rallied round and I have to get through the funeral and the next couple of days, after that I don't know.  I am taking things one hour at a time.
I am not sure when I will write again.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Very long time

I can't believe that so much time has passed since I wrote.  I have a load of excuses, basically very busy, very cold and kind of sick, just allergies but I get a lot of headaches because of it! 
So what has been happening.
Sometime in November a group of kids from the local junior high school came to interview me.  They were doing a study about businesses in the city.  As a small business I was chosen.  It was a rather fun time, I thought an English teacher would come but they came by themselves.  David helped out, I could understand their questions but couldn't answer!!  Guess I should study Japanese!!

1st year junior high kids, bit shy

Taking pictures of my classroom

Camera shy, he was hiding from his friends camera but I got him!!!!

The end of November we went to MIL's to pick up the Christmas tree and decorations, I go a bit crazy for Christmas.  I love having the tree up and lights outside the house.  At MIL's house there is a large storage area.  All the stuff we don't use is put there.  But that means that nothing is ever thrown out .  I found a box of clothes that I had when I lived in America, 30 years ago.  Why am I keeping this stuff?   So what should of been an one hour job became a 4 hour job.  We burnt a lot of stuff, I think every time we go we will burn stuff.  I really want to be able to get our stuff to a manageable amount!
One of my students gave us some tickets to the museum near here, so on December 1st Hisao took the kids to the museum.  I think they had a good time!

My students have been working very hard the past couple of months.  The girls that come with Hannah have been learning past tense.  I think they have it now, I hope so.

Above the girls notebooks, last picture is of the girls working hard!!
I am sure that there is more, but I just can't think at the moment. 
I will update more often, I promise.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

What a Day

My insomnia got the better of me last night.  I went to bed about 10:30 but woke up at 2am and couldn't fall asleep again.  So I got up at 4:30, put some meat in the slow cooker for lunch and made some banana coffee muffins.  Hubby started to wash the dishes a little while later.  While he was washing the dishes water started to pour from under the sink, a pipe had broken.  He turned the water off at the main and we cleaned up as best as we could.  This is a rental house, so after dropping the kids off at school, hubby went to the real estate agents and asked for a plumber to come.  Somebody came and had a look at the situation but couldn't do anything because of the contract .  The guy who has the contract came at 9am, looked and left.   We are now 4 hours without water, we could get some cold water but no hot water!  The cold water was from outside the house, fill up pots and pans and bring in.  By 12:30 the plumber still hadn't come back, so another call to the real estate agent.  The plumber returned at 1:30 and has just finished fixing the pipe......maybe!
At times like this I wonder how people cope in areas that are hit by disasters, how do you deal with NO water,electricity or gas?  Even one day with no water has driven me crazy, a few days I would be climbing the walls!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Mom's birthday and Ikea shopping

Last Sunday (October 28th) would of been Mom's 73rd birthday.  It's hard to imagine her that old!  I had already planned the dinner for that day, shepherds pie, per Christopher's request and apple pie.  It was while I was making the pastry for the apple pie that I realised the date!  Baking with Mom is one of my earliest and fondest memories!  Sundays were always roast days and because the oven was on for hours my Mom would bake pie and sponge cakes.  I can remember as young as four or five "helping" Mom in the kitchen, I would get to beat the batter and be given the scraps of pastry to roll out!  One very clear memory I have is my Mom balancing the pie plate on one hand and cutting the scraps off.  This looked like a very difficult operation, involving the ability to balance and turn the plate all the time trimming away the excess pastry.  I remember thinking that once I could do that I would be grown up.....guess I'm grown up now!!!

Nice photo of Mom holding Hannah!  That is one thing that makes me really sad, Hannah never had chance to get to know my Mom.

On to something a bit more!!   Hubby took me to Ikea on Tuesday.  2 hours drive but I really enjoyed looking around and I even managed to control my spending.  I got a good size teapot and a nice roasting tray that fits my oven.  I could of spent a lot more but we were going to Costco as well and I always spend a lot there!   I haven't been to Costco for about a year but I really wanted to get some good meat.  I've started using my slow cooker recently and I'm amazed at how well the food turns out.  So I got some cubed stewing steak and mince meat, so am looking forward to some nice meatloaf and beef stew.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Crazy Busy Week

It's been one of those weeks, just so busy.  Actually I often wonder what to write about because my life gets to be rather routine, nothing really happens, so nothing to write about!  Then things get crazy busy like this past week and I have no time or energy to write!
The week started out with a rather unusual problem.  The light switch for the toilet broke.  I thought the light had gone, so hubby changed it.  But the light wouldn't stay on.  It would go on for a few seconds, then turn off.  The switch is on the outside of the toilet, so one way was for somebody to hold the switch down while somebody else used the toilet!!!!  Not the best idea in a house full of practical jokers!  Hubby came up with an interesting idea until we got the switch fixed, he out a reading lamp inside.

Not the best solution but better than nothing.  Hubby managed to fix the switch himself.

The week was dominated by Halloween parties and the hundreds of cookies I made.  Talk about exhausted, I was up at about 5am every morning to make cookies and cakes.  Fun but exhausting!

Hannah helping out.

Mikey did most of the teaching last week and judging from the screams and giggles the kids had a lot of fun.  He also did some magic for the kids, that was a great hit!

Mikey also helped with the cookies!

Hannah's drawings


Classroom dressed for Halloween

Mikey cuts off a kids finger then serves it up!!!!

Also this week David went to Tokyo for 3 days school trip.  He was not impressed, he said that it was expensive and crowded.  He took some photos, so I hope I can share some.
This coming week is also busy, but more relaxed.  I have 3 days holiday and I hope to go to Ikea.  I have been wanting to go since it opened but never had chance!  Also I do something for our kids for Halloween.  More baking and fun!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Halloween at Hannah's school

I was invited to Hannah's club to do a Halloween lesson.  the club is "The International Club", which is really the English Club.  Kids here get a little bit of English in the 5th and 6th grade but nothing before unless they have private lessons. The club is from the 4th grade and only meets once a month.  So I was expecting no English at all from the girls (all girls this year) but I was pleasantly surprised that they could answer basic questions like "What's your name?"  and "What grade are you in?"   I dragged Mikey along, I had to walk to the school carrying cookies and materials.  Mikey then took over and did all the teaching!  Aren't I clever?  He is such a good teacher and had the girls laughing and trying new words!   At the end we had them line up and say "Trick or Treat" to get the cookies.  Hannah was very happy that we came and the teacher asked me to go again for Christmas.  That should be fun.

Mikey teaching Halloween words

Girls having a good laugh
The rest of this week has been kind of busy, basically preparing for Halloween parties next week. I want to buy some food coloring, not the Japanese stuff that I have a hard time with but American stuff.  I have seen it in a shop somewhere, but this shop is in a mall and I have no idea where. So Thursday was spent driving to different malls trying to find this shop, I'll have to go again on Sunday.

I did manage to buy some color hairspray for Mikey, gold and red.  Been trying it out.  Fun.

And this is what happens when I leave the camera out.

Hannah's other school

Sunday, October 14, 2012

long time

Yes I am still alive, some days only just.  Managed to finally get to the doctor for my allergies.  The medicine I have is really good.  But I have done my back in, not sure what happened, just a lot of pain.  I really can't seem to win!
The past couple of weeks have been busy. End of September was Hannah's field day.  I really wasn't looking forward to it, long day and just sitting around for hours doesn't inspire me at all.  The school is big and so each child only does 3 or 4 events,  lots of waiting in between.  Also Hannah managed to get sick the Thursday and Friday before the big day.  Just a fever and sore throat. Plus the weather was rather stormy with a typhnoon passing by and very cold weather on the morning.  But I made the obento and sat there all day.  Because Hannah had been sick and she was coughing again during the lunch time we managed to come back after her dance, about 2 hours early.  That helped a lot.  Took a load of photos, of course.

Ready, set, go

The school

Lots of waiting

Of course a terrible one of me

End of the dance
The next morning I saw the full moon at 6am.  I was very surprised and managed to get a good photo.


Tomorrow I'm going to Hannah's school to do a Halloween lesson for the international club.  I've been busy making some cookies for the kids, hope they enjoy them.

Witches fingers!
I'll let you know how it goes. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


I like to knit, I'm not very good at it but making something simple that requires no shaping is doable.  So I made Hannah a scarf.  Not just any scarf but a nori-maki scarf.  It's quite good.

Looks good rolled up and it's very long and warm.

In other news I am still down with allergies.  I'm a bit better but still feel a total lack of energy. Most days I manage to make some lunch and dinner, tidy round a bit and teach my lessons, other than that I am out of it. The medicine I take makes me sleepy and unable to focus, that is one of the reasons I haven't been here much the past couple of weeks.
Had better see to lunch, one thing with the cooler weather cooking is a lot easier than before!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Eccentric and allergys

Christopher is studying for the 2nd grade Eiken Test at the moment.  One of the words that came up was eccentric.  This word comes from Greek and means out of the center.  This describes my kids to the T.  They' re all eccentric to one degree or another.  David, my 2nd son, will come up to me and say the strangest things, the other day he said "Did you know that if cats eat dog food they go blind"  then he walked away! This comment came out of no where, he didn't wait for a reply or to start a conversation on feeding cats, he just said his piece and left.  Of course that leaves me with my head spinning with question "How do people know this, do they feed cats dog food to see what happens, how can you tell that a cat is blind and how can you tell it is blind because of what it ate/ And why in the great order of things is this important and how does David know such useless information?"  David wants to study Buddhism next year and dreams of travelling to India.  Even that is not really normal.  Why don't my kids dream of having normal jobs?  Mikey is trying to become a professional magican, Christopher wants to be a writer.  Hannah's dream is to be a teacher, which is normal enough but she is possessed by the story of  'The Phantom of the Opera'  she has gone through 3 DVDs of the musical, has read the book 5 times and watched the other movie versions of the story, yep eccentric!
And allergies are bad, VERY BAD.  I can't stop sneezing and snuffling, my eyes are teary and itchy and I feel totally miserable.  This drives me crazy, the weather has cooled down enough to get somethings done but then I get sick, every year this happens!!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Strange Week

Not really strange strange more of "what happened?" kind of week.  I have been really tired the past week and have spent a lot of time just sleeping.  I think the end of summer heat has caught up with me.  The past couple of months have been extremely hot, up to 35C some days.  My body doesn't deal well with the heat so when it cools down I tend to collapse.  But I managed to get a few jobs done, there is always something that needs to be done, something that needs to be put away or thrown away.  Never ending!
Sunday was the field day for Christopher, so I got up early to make a lunch box for him.  Christopher left for school at 6:50, he had to be there early to help set up the tents.  At 11 o'clock Christopher came back, the rain hadn't stopped at all so the event was canceled.  But Christopher still had a nice obento!

Hard to see but I made hamburgers, bacon and asparagus roll and salad, nice!

Looks a lot better, can actually see the sign
Hubby managed to get the front of the yard tided up, looks a lot better.
The back is really like a jungle but we have some veggies, pumpkin and beans and of course goya!

Pumpkin and beans!
I hope that this week gets better, at least the weather is a lot nicer for me!