Monday, December 30, 2013

Oosouji big cleaning

In Japan there is a tradition of doing big clean before the new year.  I usually get my cleaning finished before Christmas.  But this is not a usual year and it has taken a lot more energy to get things done than normal.  Yesterday I rallied the troops and gave orders.  It's the only way to get anything done.  David managed to change the filters on hood above the stove.  That was always hubby's job and i had no idea how to do it.  Took a few hours but he got it done.  Managed to get the stove top cleaned down.  Also moved the furniture around in the living room.  Looks a lot better!
I was shocked at how much I had let things go this past year. I just stopped caring, most days couldn't be bothered.  I think grief is very exhausting.  So from tomorrow 2014 I have to try better, not only taking care of my home but taking care of the kids better and better care of myself.  I'm not making resolutions, I only break them but I want to improve my life.  I never wanted this life but it's what I have and I need to make it good.
So Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Looking Back on 2013

This has been one long hard year.  I hope never to repeat it again!  The first few months I was in a fog, in total shock.  I kept thinking that I would wake up and find that it was all some awful nightmare!  But of course it isn't!  I think that the brain protects itself by putting you a daze to get through the worst times. The problems start when the fog lifts and the realisation hits that things aren't going to get better and only time (lots of time) can help!  I remember one day in the summer thinking that I felt so much better, then breaking down crying and sobbing for over an hour.  That is grief, it is raw and unrelenting.  I miss my husband every second of everyday, I think about him all the time, the kids talk about him a lot.  Not a day goes by when at least one conversation starts with "Do you remember when Dad..........". 
But we keep on going, some days I had to take things one hour at a time.  I would tell myself you get through this hour, just get to lunch time.  Some days only the very basics would get done, laundry, food cooked, and lessons taught! And I was okay with that! 
In March Christopher finished junior high school and got into high school.  In Japan there are ceremonies to celebrate these times. I felt so strange not having Hisao there with me. I fixed a smile to my face and went through the motions.
May was Hannah's birthday, that was hard because of the circumstance of her birth (she was premature, just 900 grams at birth) her birthday was really celebrated as a miracle!  The fact that she not only survived when the doctors gave her only a 30% chance but she doesn't have any problems is a real miracle.  Hisao made a fuss of all the birthdays but Hannah's was special.  I missed Hisao a lot on that day as well.
Summer was it's usual hell, the heat and humidity here are really hard for me.  Mikey went to driving school for two weeks and got his licence.  We got a car in October and despite few near missed his driving is getting very good!

Bad day, me doing computer games and watching TV

Sports Day at Hannah's school


Going to school camp for three days
I know at lot happened this year, but it really was a year of just getting through.  I hope that 2014 will be better!

Friday, December 27, 2013


It is very cold today!  I even put a coat on to run to the shop this morning, so it must of been cold!
It snowed for about an hour, quite a few flurry's but it didn't stick.  I am glad to have a kotasu table to sit under and stay warm! For those who don't know what a kotasu is here is an article from Wikipedia
But one problem with a kotasu is that you are warm until moving!!!  And I don't want to move at all.

I managed to get a couple of jobs done.  Sorted out a load of books for recycle.  Called Book Off but they don't do pick up service at this time of year.  Mikey and David took some books and got 300yen and a 50 yen discount ticket!  I found another online service, they took a box today so I'll see how much they give and then decide what to do with the thousands of books we have!

I also took down the Christmas decorations!  I feel sad seeing the tree after Christmas.  I had the decorations up for a month, so taking them down refreshes the area.  The living room looks a lot bigger now!
And I get some family photos taken.  Only took the best part of an hour, not the usual 3 hours!

 One with the kids being daft, the other kind of okay!!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013


Got through Christmas.  This is the 2nd one without hubby but last year he was around during the planning and organising, the pressie buying.  But this year I had to do it by myself.  Not easy! I spent hours checking out Amazon etc.  With Mikey having his car really helped but of course he doesn't enjoy shopping! One week before Christmas I had all the pressies and the food bought.  Helped a lot, no last minute buying.. 
Kids had a good day.  Hannah was very happy with her "Cats Musical"  DVD (she is watching it now!), she also got the T.S. Elliot book that the musical is taken from.  The big boys got gifts as well.  But I didn't over spend.  I want this time to be about making memories, of having time together.

Christmas Eve I made lasagna and some salads.

I bought cakes this year, just too tired to bake!

Christmas dinner I did beef in the slow cooker.  Good choice as it came out very tender.  I also bought a small chicken.  We ate a lot but didn't over eat so nobody got sick!


 Opening pressies with Dad watching!!!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Of Course

Of course I over did it!  I spent almost all day Sunday and Monday baking cookies. I think I made over 200 cookies.  Tuesday was running around going to Hannah's school, shopping then David's school.  Wednesday did another load of cookies, and teaching.  Thursday no cookies but spent the day cleaning.  Today I was wiped out!  I managed to do a few more cookies and got the living room cleaned again.  But Hannah came home from school with a fever.  Typical, she manages to get sick every year at this time. Anyway she finished school for the year, so get some rest and hope that we feel better for Christmas.

Some of the cookies

Mikey doing parties

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

One Year

Today is exactly one year since my husband passed away.
It's hard to believe that a year has gone past.  I didn't think I could get through one day let alone one year.  I miss him everyday.  I go to bed wishing that time could be reversed and that awful day had never happened.  I wake up wishing he was here, to tell me his silly jokes, just to give me one last hug.  To tell me that he loves me and that I am beautiful, even when I feel like crap.  He was part of my life for 25 years, for half of my life he walked with me.  Now I am alone but not too lonely.  The kids keep me going.
This past year has seen a lot of changes.  Christopher finished junior high and entered high school, Mikey took charge of our English school and got his drivers license, David has stepped up and helped a lot in the house, Hannah has grown up a lot as well.  We have had adventures. Got on the train to Fukuoka, to the big shopping mall and to the big city near here.  I learnt a lot about Japanese banks, post offices and the kindness of strangers at the city hall.  I also realised how much my husband protected me from the not so nice side of Japan.  I lived 21 years in a bubble, my husband took all responsibility for our money, for the kids school, for dealing with all the red tape that goes with living here.  I was shocked to find that even the smallest of task took so long and was often frustrated by the silly things I had to go through just to change bank accounts or get my name on the rent agreement!
One good thing that has come out of all this heart break is that my kids have really grown up this past year.  The older boys no longer have the luxury of messing around, they have become very serious to help out and have made decisions about the running of our English school.  Sometimes I have stepped back and let them make the decisions.  Part of that was me not being able to cope, part of it was me wanting them to take responsibility!


The Great Cookie Bake Off

It's that time of year, time to get baking.  I started on Sunday, made about 2 dozen of three different kinds, did another 2 dozen yesterday and today but most have already gone!  Yesterday was two big classes.  They seemed to enjoy their cookies and Mikey did magic for them,from the sound of the laughter I think the kids had a good time.

On another note I am rather worried about the state of English education in the local elementary schools.  Hannah has been saying that her English class is boring for the past few weeks.  I thought it was because her English is good and learning the alphabet and basic greeting can get to be rather boring.  Today Mikey and I went to see her English class and it was awful.  If we taught like that the kids would quit.  The ALT teacher had no enthusiasm for the subject, all the dialogue was monotone, the subject matter was not dealt with in an interesting or engaging way.  For adults this might be okay but not for kids.  After 10 minutes the kids looked as if they were about to fall asleep!
I am wondering if a letter to the local education board would help!  But can I complain after just watching one class?

One of the small classes has just arrived, this class is just two brothers, but they invited friends, so there are now 7 kids shouting in the teaching room....Oh fun!!!!!!!!!

Monday, December 9, 2013


I make plans, great plans. I then ignore them and wonder why nothing gets done in time and why I am always two steps behind!
Today's plan was to give the kitchen a real good clean out.  Change the filters for the fan, steam clean the sink and ovens, get things in order for the great cookie bake next week.  That was the plan! Instead I went shopping.  Got something fro David's Christmas.  Just have a couple more things to buy then I think all the presents are done!
Tomorrow I will clean the kitchen.  But you know the old saying "Tomorrow never comes"

My entrance all dressed up for Christmas, the painting is one hubby did in high school

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


I am so glad that Mikey can drive.  His driving is improving, still takes corners a bit to fast for my liking and he still parks as far away from other cars as possible.  But we can get out and about.
Yesterday we went to Saga City to get a few things for Christmas.  Got most of the pressies, need to get something for Mikey.  He wants clothes so I guess I'll give him some money and he can buy what he wants!
One thing I realised yesterday is that I have to loose weight.  I got so tired just going to a few stores.  I don't have the stamina to keep on going for hours like I use to.  Part is age but the biggest part is my weight. So I need to cut calories, easy to say but difficult to do!

Monday, December 2, 2013


So it is now December.  Last month of the year.  Kids are excited about Christmas, especially Hannah.  Which is just as well as I have no desire to do anything about it!  I just want time to stop so I don't have to face the day my hubby died. But I have no choice do I?
On to more interesting things.  Hannah made miso soup for us the other day.

Hannah's miso soup
It was good considering it was only the second time she had made it.
I tried out curry pan.  Got the recipe from a web page (which I can't find now).  It was a bit fiddly but tasted good.  I always make too much curry so now I have a way of using left overs!

I will try and update more often this month!!!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Upsetting Mikey

I had a great plan for today.
The plan was to get out of the house at 7:20, drop Hannah at school, go on to MIL's to drop off some boxes and then go to the mall and start some Christmas shopping.
Great plan!
Reality.  Got out of the house okay, dropped Hannah off on time.  Mikey says he has to put gas in the car. I told him that I didn't want to double back in heavy traffic because it would add another 20 minuets to the journey.  I was confident that on the way we find a gas station.
We head off towards MILs, I am watching the fuel gauge, it was in the red, but I felt sure we would be okay.  We got half way there when the car stopped, we had run out of gas.  There were no gas stations, we were on the edge of an industrial area.  I had no idea what to do, we didn't have our cell phones with us, there were only a few houses and a load of factories around.  Mikey and David took off walking to find a gas station, I sat in the car and waited!  It took 3 hours to get the gas.  The first small station they came to refused to sell gas in a container.  The 2nd place said that they had to go to a home center to buy a special container, another half hour walk and half hour wait for the store to open!   So me not wanting to spend an extra 20 minutes cost us 3 hours.  Poor Mikey was really upset.  But I told him that I had a good story for the blog.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

What happened?

I can't believe that we are already into the first week of November!  Time is just flying by!  I am still in September in my mind, so every time the date comes up I do a double take!
October turned out to be rather tough. I was busy, kids also had a lot going on. Sports Day and camp for Hannah, Eiken test and Halloween stuff here, which meant everybody helping out.  Then I got hit with a combination of allergies and a heavy cold.  That put me in bed for two days!  I am still recovering and face days of awful headaches.  I think my nose is stuffy at night so I wake up with the most awful headaches.  Mornings are getting cold, I am up at 5am to make breakfast and obento. Poor Christopher has to leave at 6:40, he has signed up extra class that starts at 7:35.  Kind of tough but I hope it helps him with tests!
I have some photos to post, next time!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


Hannah's grade has 3 day camp this week.  She left yesterday morning and will get back tomorrow afternoon. It is so quiet without her.  I never realised how much noise and energy she has. She is usually on YouTube watching some musical. The latest is "Cats".  She trys to find it in different languages.  Then of course she is bouncing around, and talking, sometimes non stop.  So it is very quiet without her.  I'll be glad when she gets back. I don't know what the purpose of this camp is.  The kids do lots of fun things, night hike, camp fire, making curry outside and some other stuff.  Not really educational so what is the purpose? 
The other kids are doing okay.  David got knocked off his bike by a dog, the dog then ran over him.  Also this morning David was trying to cut down the hedge a bit when a pigeon attacked him.  Not a good day for David and animals.
I am getting back into my schedule after a weeks holiday.  It was nice to have no work for a few days.  This next will be busy with Halloween.  I'll make some cookies and do something for the kiddies classes.  But I am not doing as much as I did last year, I really don't have the energy!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Long Overdue Update

Been really busy and just a bit out of things lately!
The first Sunday of the month was Hannah's field day.  It is a long day and for me rather boring. Hannah's school is large so each child only does 4 or 5 events.  each event is only a few minutes long, so watch Hannah run, sit around for an hour or so, watch Hannah do the team cheers, sit around for a few more hours and so on until about 3:30 or so.  I was up at 5am to make obento so a rather exhausted day for me.  But Hannah had a good time.  A few photo's from that day.

The local football mascot came to cheer the kids on

Hannah carrying one of her friends in the gymnastics display

In other news Mikey passed his driving test and we got a car.  I am so happy.  I can finally shop. Mikey has problems with parking and of course he is still nervous.  That makes me nervous riding with him.  I hope that with time and practice he gets better.

Our new car, 2nd hand but new to us

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


I don't like any kind of bug!  Any creepy crawly makes my skin crawl and reduces me to a screaming mess.  Amuses the kids no end but I hate bugs.
Hubby was the gardener, every year he would spray the trees outside to stop the bugs taking over. This year I never even thought about it until we had an infestation of stink bugs.  They were on the trees near the entrance so of course when we put the lights on in the evening the entrance would be full of these things.  As students came in and out the bugs would follow, they would take up residence on the celling waiting for me to get sleepy then dive bomb me!!  More screaming and running in circles.  Finally in desperation I called hubby's friend.  He came last week and sprayed the trees, we are now bug less!!!

And just to add to the screams, we had a visitor in the shape of a large spider!

Then just to keep me smiling one of my students came in this tee shirt

Friday, September 20, 2013


David is my second son.  He is a sweet, caring young man.  Since hubby died David has taken over the extra shopping and helping out around the house that needs to be done.  Most days he will load the dish washer, hang out the laundry, tidy up or go to the supermarket without being asked.  He sees that something needs to be done and just does it.  For that I am very grateful.  But he tends to be rather accident prone.  Whenever I hear a bang or crash I immediately think  "David".
This past week was typical David.  Monday lunchtime he goes to get a plate out of the cupboard.  There's an almighty crash as the other dishes come falling out, five broken plates!  Monday evening I had a pizza in the oven, David lifted it out, using the oven gloves, but the plate slipped and burnt his arm, leaving a nice burn mark.  Tuesday morning he offers to go to the local convenience store to pay some of the bills.  He rides off on his bike only to reappear again a few minutes later.  He had fallen off his bike into one of the ditches.  He is covered in scratches and walking funny.  He said that his knee was very painful.  So off to the doctors, 2 hours and an X-ray later we find that he has pulled the ligament in his knee.  Thankfully no broken bones.  Just round things out he gets a fever Tuesday night.  I think it's this cold that we have been having.  Poor David.  I am glad that it isn't anything worse and that he kept a sense of humor through it all!  He reminded me of an incident that I had forgotten about.  A few years ago there as a TV programme about the effects of stress.  That too much stress can lead to heart problems.  David was in the 5th grade at that time, he remembers watching that programme and telling me not to get too stressed, the next day he broke his arm.  I guess stress goes with David!!!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

New Blog

I've decided to restart my blog on teaching English.
Hop over have a look, there is only one post so's a start!

I am hoping to add materials that I make and ideas for teaching.  I'm hoping to get some feed back as well!

Friday, September 13, 2013

When Grief, Stress and Exhaustion Meet......

...there will be chaos!
The past week or so have been really tough on me.  Emotionally and physically hard to deal with things.
Grief is really an horrible companion. It settles in your heart and mind, and just when you think it is under control it rears its ugly head again.  As time moves forward, the shock wears off and the reality of my situation sets in.  Nothing is going to change, hubby is not going to walk in through the doors and give me a hug, make me laugh or offer to go shopping.  That chapter of my life has finished, but I am not ready to start a new one!  Most of the time I am okay but recently my fine has been so good.  I keep thinking that this time last year Hisao was here.  In a few months time that statement will no longer be true!
The stress I have is just day to day stuff.  Some days I feel so hopeless. I applied for a credit card this week.  Simple enough but I had to walk to the bank...twice, wait for over an hour each time.  Spent ages filling out forms, with most forms here one of my older boys writes out the address but for the credit card I had to write in English and my son write above it in Japanese, complete waste of time and effort!  Also I am realising that I need a lot more money for next year when David starts college.  I have some saved but not enough!  That is one big stress!
The exhaustion is from the heat.   We had a week of nice cool weather but the heat is back.  Plus this past week we have all had colds, slight fever and awful sore throats.  Because of feeling under the weather for the past week I haven't kept up with he cleaning that needs to be done. If I miss one day things get out of hand, miss a few days and the kitchen, dinning, living room looks like a tornado has blown through.  Today, Saturday, is busy for teaching.  I am hoping that the kids will help out with cleaning a bit I'm not holding my breath.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

rain and reading

We got the rain I was wishing for the other week.  A lot of rain! Non stop torrential rain.  Of course the storms were the worse when it was time to go to school.  Poor Christopher came back soaked through, that was with a rain coat and umbrella......the poor umbrella got ripped apart in the wind!  I think I'm the only person that actually enjoyed the rain and cooler weather. Not the thunder storm though.  That was really scary,  a couple of close hits!   Today it is really nice out, some sun but not really hot.  Good cleaning weather!

As for the reading, David is trying to improve his English by reading the Bible.  He is reading through the Book of Proverbs.  I sat the other day with him just to make sure that he was reading okay.  But I wasn't really focused.  He read one passage along the lines of "you simple fools you should find better ways"  I asked him what it meant, David started going on about a healthy diet and eating more vegetables.  EH?  I asked why he said that, David said that the passage was talking about "simple FOODS"....Got my work cut out for me here!!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Back to School

Hannah started back to school yesterday, Christopher started back last week. Yesterday morning it was so quiet in the house!  Nice somehow. I love having my kids at home but it does get to be a bit overwhelming at times.  The constant cooking drove me crazy this summer. I think the fact that I had little appetite and cooking in a kitchen that felt like a sauna didn't help.  Also we were stuck inside all say everyday, not having a car made it impossible to go anywhere.  Somehow my kids were very good about that, they didn't moan and whinge about being inside all the time.
The second term here is very long, there are no real holidays until Christmas holiday, 4 months!  Also this term is the real focus for study. Hannah has a very busy term, the school has field day in October and then a 3 day camp a few weeks later!  Lots of fun!
Christopher has been practicing for his field day event. The weather hasn't helped at all. The event was supposed to be on Sunday but heavy rain was forecast so the event was postponed until today.  But it is pouring down with rain now, I guess it will be inside.  Poor Christopher has to walk a good 30 minuets to school.  I suggested that he wear  a rain coat but he isn't allowed to, school rules.  I am so not happy about him walking without a raincoat.  Maybe call a taxi?

Actually the weather has been rather unsettled here. After a month of extreme heat, up to 39C some days, the weather changed to the most amazing rain. Last Friday we had a really terrible thunderstorm, it lasted all night and most of the morning, I did a lot of screaming.
And yesterday afternoon a tornado hit part of eastern Japan.  When I saw the news I was amazed that nobody was killed, the damage was very extensive.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Happy Birthday To Me

Last Friday was my 51st birthday.  I really can't get my head round being 51.  Where did the years go to?  One thing I have realised that I have to live my life now.  Hubby always talked about doing things later, he never got that later.  So I am trying to live in the now, be more aware of things around me.  I am learning a lot from Connie (her blog is listed as midlife in japan, she has changed the title of her blog but I didn't change the link).
Her one of her recent posts she was saying how the cicadas cry has finished, I never noticed until I read that!   Now I try and take time to listen and look at things!  Thanks Connie!
My kids were really sweet for my birthday.  They cleaned up and cooked lunch. David biked to the DVD store and got a couple of movies.  Christopher bought me a cup!  I had a nice relaxing day which is what I really wanted!

And we got rain, lots of rain.  I am so happy that it rained, I am also happy that it was a bit cooler for a few days.  Today will hot, up 35C not as bad as last week!  I'm a bit worried about Christopher, his started back to school this week.  The whole week is dedicated to field day practice, not a good idea in this heat!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

I want rain

It is official, I cannot take this heat any more. I am going crazy here.  Yesterday I had to go to the City Hall, it 10 minute walk from the house. I've done this walk many times but yesterday it was killing. I went at 10:30 but it was already 35C.  The high was 38C.  It has been 33C plus for the past 3 weeks and 30 something for at least 6 weeks.  I CAN'T TAKE ANYMORE.  I want cool nights so I can sleep properly, not waking up every couple of hours in sweat!  I want cool afternoons so that I don't have to run the air conditioner just to survive!!  The forecast is for rain tomorrow, I really hope it comes!!

Got a couple of funny photos to share

Who are you?


A place for Hisao's picture

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Welcome back Mikey

Mikey got back yesterday from 2 weeks driving school. He has passed his drivers test, the road test at least! He has to take the written test locally as it is prefecture by prefecture.  The written test is not so hard, I'll be glad when we get a car and I can start shopping at the cheaper shops!

The heat here is really getting me down!  Every day is up to at least 35C. We have had very little rain as well but the humidity is so high.  I really hate summers here.  I dream of cool places and long to just go to UK or even Hokkaido!  Today is the last day of my vacation.  Didn't do much but just hanging around watching TV and movies was somehow nice.  I have to think about teaching tomorrow and how to build up our little English school.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Happy Birthday David

Yesterday was David's 19th birthday.  That is so hard to believe, where have 19 years gone to.
I made us a nice lunch,  kimichi beef, miso soup tempura, salad and rice.  All the things David likes. In the evening we had sushi, trifle and cake.  Out of all my kids David is the most Japanese.  He loves Japanese food, especially fish,  I could do fish everyday and he would never gat fed up. 
His presents this year were again very unusual. He never asks for anything unless he really needs something.  He has this wonderful attitude pf being content with what he has.  This year I got him a fan and a desk cover.  Nice and simple!

David with is fan

  My computer is refusing to co-operate this morning and my brain is not doing much better! 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

I must be mad

Decided to try out my new steam cleaner on Monday.  The bathroom has a lot of nooks and crannies where mold had built up.  Even using the strong bleach wasn't really getting it off, so in comes the strong arm, steam cleaner.  Not a good idea in 37C heat with 70%humidity.  The result was a nice shinny bathroom and me sweating out at least 2 litres of sweat.  Just to add to my sauna experience I made homemade hamburgers and chips, standing over the hot pans was killing.
Yesterday the kids and I went to Saga City by train.  I had to renew my Aileen Registration Card.  Real pain in the neck but has to be done.  Getting to Saga City was easy enough but from the station to the government office was an awful walk, only about 15 minutes but felt much longer in the heat!  We had a quick lunch then back home. 
When we got back I went to lie down for a while and felt like my body was on fire.  I can't wait for winter!!

This is the sign at the local station saying that something was made in Germany in 1889

At Saga JR station, Hannah is copying the pose

All the kids

Saturday, August 10, 2013

A lot of Shopping and a Bit of Gardening

My friend came by yesterday and took me shopping.  I am so grateful to all my dear friends, both in real life and online.  My dear friend who takes me shopping really gets where I'm at.  Her husband passed away 15 years ago. She really understands that even a simple thing as buying a steam cleaner is not that simple.  That's what I bought yesterday.  I had one before but it got dropped and broke.  I've been wanting a new one for ages but kept putting it off. Then last week I noticed a build up of mold that even the strongest bleach wasn't moving and the only thing I could think of to do was buy a steam cleaner,  So we went to a home center store and I stood there looking at the limited choice of steam cleaners, big size or small size.  I stood and thought, thought about what my husband would say ( something along the lines of "lets check online first").  I stood and thought some more, do I really need this? Yes, Can I really afford this?  Kind of if I am a bit more careful with running the air conditioner.  Should I buy it today or wait for another time?   Through all this my friend was quiet, she understood that this was not an easy decision and that I needed time to think things through.  In the end I bought the steam cleaner.  I am very grateful to my friend for driving for me and helping me to buy what I need. 

The bit of gardening was this morning.  I don't really enjoy gardening.  I like it when it looks nice or when we have grown some nice vegetables but the process is hard.  I have a hard time with any kind of insects, anything that creeps or crawls has me screaming my head off, gives the kids a good laugh.  This morning I got up early and went out to cut the front hedge, it has been looking awful.  David came and helped.  So the front looks a lot a better.  The back needs a really good clean up but that will have to wait for another day. 
Mikey is still away on his driving course.  He passed his first test on Friday and will have his drivers test this coming Friday,  I really hopes he passes. We need a car and driver.  I have already planned out where I want to go shopping.  I'm going to need a lot more money!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Too Hot

I am really having a hard time with the heat!! 
It is hot every day and the nights don't get all that cool.  Even now at 7pm it is still 33C.  I am running the air conditioner in the main room but the other rooms are unbearable. 
And cooking is killing. The kitchen is part of the main room but the air conditioner doesn't reach that far.  I am trying to make things that are healthy and cooling.  The kids seem to have appetite, I don't.  I am happy with toast and fruits but the kids want meat or fish.  So I try to cook something.  Shopping is also hard.  I get somethings from the Co-op delivery service but with the kids on summer holidays I have to prepare two full meals a day.  Today I bought sushi for dinner, with some salad and rice balls it filled the kids up.  I have a load of fruit and some snack bread for a bit later when the kids start with "I'm hungry" 
All I want to do is sleep, is this normal?  I am so tired all the time.  Even the most basic of chores seems to exhaust me.  I am hoping that once the weather cools down this will pass!!  I have too much to do!

Thursday, August 8, 2013


I can't believe that the first week of August has past. Time really flies.
The last weekend of July Christopher got really sick.  39C fever for 24 hours.  Nothing I could do broke his fever, so off to the doctor.   Turns out that he had a virus of some kind.  Doped up with medicine he returned to your usual self.  Wish I was so lucky!  I have had the most awful summer cold for the past week.  At the moment my ears are blocked and driving me crazy.
Summer holidays are well under way.  We went to a mall last week.  Treated ourselves to an all you can eat buffet.  Lots of laughs, lots of fun!  Mikey bought himself some nice clothes and sandles.  he has been away since last Saturday at a driving school.  I really hope he passes his test as we need a driver!
Kids are watching some daft ghost programme on TV,   I guess Hannah won't go upstairs by herself.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Yes I am still alive

But only just!
Not sure why I haven't been posting.  Life is still as crazy as ever.
Last week the dog went strange.  She has always been a bit weird but last week she really freaked me out. She wouldn't eat or drink, I gave her some bits of meat, tried some ice cubes, even her favorite bread was ignored. She then spent the afternoon walking in circles and barking at nothing.  She walk to a spot,  sniff around and look at something ( that I couldn't see) then start barking.  This went on for an hour.  In the afternoons when it is really hot she gets under the bushes where it is cooler.  But not that day. Finally I asked Christopher to put inside.  Our house has a large living, dinning kitchen area.  This is where we tend to hang out as the air conditioner is on.  Christopher tied the dog to the dinning table. She stayed there for about two hours, she cooled down a lot. After a quick walk she went back outside, ate and drank okay. 

Today Christopher is sick.  He had a 38.5 fever.  I think his bedroom was too hot last night.  Poor kid, he is my bed at the moment with the air conditioner on.  Hope he gets better as I really  don't want to go to the doctors with him.
The other kids are alright.  The summer holidays have started, that means summer homework.  Hannah has already finished one of the workbooks for her homework.  She has a lot to do but she doesn't complain too much about doing it and does some everyday.  Christopher also has loads to do, but he complains about doing it.  I always feel it's too much for the kids, I can understand giving the kids some homework but the amount they get here is rather crazy!!

Mikey and David are doing fine.  Next week Mikey goes to Kumamoto for 2 weeks driving camp.  I really hope he can pass his drivers test, we need a driver and a car!!
David is doing most of the shopping for me.  I try to get to the local store but the heat makes me really sick.  I also order some things from the Co-op delivery service but my kids seem to be constantly hungry!!  I don't know how they can eat but they can!

As for me!
I've been rather down and extremely tired. I do get exhausted from the heat, this is a problem I face every year.  But this year it seems to be worse.  Maybe the combination of grief, allergies and heat have really knocked me about.  I am not sleeping properly,  I haven't used the air conditioner at night so I doze off but wake up an hour later soaking wet with sweat.  It is not that hot in my room but the humidity is far too high.  I am so tired some nights that I am falling asleep watching TV, something that I never did before!

I will try and update more!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Not feeling so good

So much for going cold turkey and getting all healthy!!!  I have spent the past couple of weeks in bed.  Started as allergies, turned into a cold, now back to allergies with a lovely cough to go with it.  I can't believe how exhausting this has been.  And of course this week is seeing record highs, up to 35C yesterday and today.  That makes me feel awful as well, just no energy, no desire to do anything!  Even the most basic of chores takes a load of energy.
Tomorrow I have to push myself to clean the kitchen, the base cabinets and the pantry need a good clean.  This evening I was watching TV when a massive cockroach flew out of the kitchen.  The thing was a good 2inches long, it flew at the curtain, right where I was sitting.  My reaction is a lot of screaming and jumping around.  David managed to spray the thing but we don't know where it went to.  As I'm writing this I keep looking around, these things really scare me!!
David just walked past making a buzzing sound, my heart stopped, he is laughing himself silly now.
Good news I lost 2kgs but put back half a kilo.  It's a start!!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Going Cold Turkey

I have to stop eating sweets, snack breads, chocolate, cookies, cakes, anything with sugar in. I thought I could cut down, be careful but I am all or nothing.  I can't have one cookie or one piece of cake, I want more. So I have to stop all together.  Tough but at the moment my weight is making me ill.  I have a strange lump on the back of my thigh. it is kind of painful.  I am wondering what it is and if I need to go to a doctor.  I am hoping that by loosing some weight it will go, looks like a lump of fat.  Started when I was sitting funny on my chair, the edge of the chair dug into my leg and caused this pain.  I'm also so tired ALL the time, I sleep okay, but never feel refreshed when I wake up.  My days are unfocused and even the very simple jobs I have to do sap all my energy!
So going cold turkey.  Not going to be easy but no choice.  I lost 1kg but gained back half kilo.  I need to loose each month, each week would be the best. 
Wish me luck, there will be many posts about how hard and awful this!!!!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Six Months

Today is six months since hubby passed away.  Six very long, hard months.  Looking back I am surprised at how much got done!  Dealt with banks, credit card company's, post office accounts and sorting out welfare.  Got through Christmas, New Years and two January birthdays. All of that is a bit fuzzy, I think I was in shock.  One thing that really helped during that time was a couple of very good friends, one in Japan and one in UK.  My friend here came and drove us around, took us to a restaurant for the boys birthday and lent me a shoulder to cry on.  My UK friend sent me an email everyday, some days the thought of that email waiting in my inbox is the only thing that got me out of bed.  To those two dear friends, I really don't have words to describe how deeply grateful I am to them, they kept me going when all I wanted to do is stop. 
As the first shock lifted I realised that there were so many things to be done.  Christopher graduated Junior High School and got into High School. Never thought that I could deal with that, Mikey has been a real god send,. He has spent hours filling out forms and dealing with people who don't seem to understand that when a person dies suddenly they don't have time to pass on information such as passwords or PIN numbers.  David became my goofer, he shops for me and helps a lot around the house. Last Sunday I came down at 9am, David had cleaned the living room, done the dishes and laundry!
Hannah's birthday in May was hard.  Hisao always made a big fuss for her birthday.  We celebrate the fact that she is alive, she was born extremely premature and only had a 30% chance of surviving!  Every year Hisao would tell us the story of how he changed his mind at the last second and came home instead of his first plan of gaping to the cell phone company to change his phone.  If he had then he wouldn't of been back in time to get me to the hospital.  Hannah's life is a miracle made up of little things!! 
The next thing that had to be done was getting rid of the car.  That was harder than I thought it would be.  It's only a car but it held so many memories.  But if I hold onto everything that hold memories of Hisao I would never be able to let go of anything!

Externally things have progressed.  On an emotional level I am not so sure.  I am not sitting on the kitchen floor screaming my head off any more but tears are always close by.  I  just miss hubby so much.  I miss his daftness, his smile, his calm wisdom, his love that he showed the kids, his belief in the future.  The way he knew how to win me over.  One very strong memory I have is a fight we had.  This was a few years ago and I really don't remember what we were fighting about.  Hisao went out and came back with a "Jackie Pack",  DVD, diet coke, chocolate and chips.  I was still sulky when he came back but when he handed over the Jackie Pack I cheered up.  David was watching this and said in an innocent way "So that is how to win a fight with your wife"  And Hisao always won the fights!!! 
I have been looking at photos the past few days to see if I can find some that show who he really was.  Enjoy!

The day we got the car

My birthday, few years ago

Space World,  9 years ago

Typical Hisao, sleepy at the computer

With Mikey

With Christopher, Hannah and Mikey, 4 years ago

with David
I hope the next six months pass just as well, that we have no more major stress.