Saturday, March 29, 2014

Being Busy + Problems= Chaos

Life is not easy.  It's defiantly not for sissy, especially the life of a foreigner in Japan, with limited Japanese!
I decided that it was time to really sort the house out.  I am holding onto Hisao's stuff in the stupid belief that he might come back.  Grief does things like that to you, makes you hope for the impossible!  But he isn't coming back and leaving his stuff around doesn't help either.  So with the coming (and going!) of spring I felt that the time was here, let's do this, get it over and done with!
The biggest problem is the books.  Hisao was selling books on Yahoo Auction, when he died he had over 3000 books in stock.   Can you imagine how much space 3000 books take?  So we gave a load to Bookoff, I know they say they buy books but at 70 yen for about 200 books it's more like giving them away!!   A load of books got put under my bed, the bed is old and the frame not so good so the books are supporting the bed!!  Good use for the books!   That cleared out the under stairs cupboard so I use it for the vacuum cleaner.  Moved all the books from the downstairs hallway as well!

These were some of the book in the hallway!
Moved the dinning table back so we can use it.  For over a year I couldn't eat at the table, too many memories.  But now we are back to using it, feels better!!
And of course all the spring cleaning that needs to get done.  I seem to spend far too much time just cleaning.  We also have to do the yard.  I tried to dig out some weeds the other day but it almost killed me.  I think the boys are going to have to pitch in!  Plus all the daily stuff, cleaning, cooking, laundry and work, never ending. So very busy the past few weeks.

Being busy is good, it helps me to focus on the here and now, not to get lost in "if only" land!  But problems make me freeze up.  One problem I can deal with but that never seems to be the case.  They all come at  once.  It all started with a letter from our rental agent.  The old lady next door was complaining about the smell from the dog.  And I am the first to admit that the dog does stink.  We are trying to clean up but she is a big dog that eats a lot.  And what goes in must come out.  As much as I was upset that the old lady was complaining, I was more upset by the fact that she knows which rental agency we are using.  There are at least 6 in the area and up to 20 in the city. How did she  know which one to contact?  Not a nice feeling that my private information is known to all!
But because she complained and I know that we need to do something about the yard, we went  and bought a dog house.  At the moment the dog is under the balcony which near to the neighbours yard.  So I thought that by having a dog house we could move the dog!  Great plan! Reality, the dog is scared of the dog house.  She spent the first night just crying at it, the next day it poured down with rain and the stupid dog stood outside the house, howling (she also hates water).  She is back under the balcony!  Need plan B.
The next problem is more serious!  Last December we changed our Internet and telephone carrier. The only thing I was worried about was our free dial number.  I was reassured that it would be no problem.  Last week somebody called and said that our free dial number wasn't working.  After poor David called the companies it turns out that we have lost our number!!  I am so mad about this, we have about 2000 leaflets with this number on.  We have to reprint them, which costs a small fortune, plus we will miss this season, which is one of the best times to get new students.  This has caused me so much stress!  Then just because misery loves company we lost Internet service.  Looks like one the Wifi machine isn't working, so out of 7 computers that have Internet access only one works!!! And of course it has to be the one that has Japanese OS so I am guessing at things if there is nobody around to help me!

But in good news. I AM HEALTHY.  I got my blood tests back.  My blood pressure is back to normal 116 over 70.  My cholesterol is normal, I don't have diabetes and there is no fat in my liver.  So I am a fit fatty.  Actually I got a pleasant surprise the other day.  I was walking up hill fast with Mikey.  By the time we got to the top I was out of breathe and my heart was beating like crazy!  But with in 2 minutes my breathing was okay and my heart rate back to normal!  So I am still okay but do need to loose weight!!!

A few photos to end with

David's graduation

We keep finding pictures of Christopher, the photo below is on top a soup stock, similar!

Before cleaning up, looks a lot better now

Hannah feel asleep on the sofa!

Thursday, March 13, 2014


I live in the southern part of Japan and we almost never get earthquakes.  I think in the 23 years that I've been here I have felt about 10 earthquakes.  We get typhoons not earthquakes.  But last night, just after 2am, the whole house moved.  At first I thought it was the wind.  We had very strong winds yesterday with more forecast for today.  But the windows weren't making a noise!  I came down and checked the TV.  The earthquake was M6 at the center, here about a 4.  Kind of big!
And the reason I was awake at 2am. I am hungry!  I'm going to have blood taken for diabetes test this morning so I couldn't eat after dinner last night. And we ate dinner early, about 5:30, so now I am really hungry.  The doctor opens at 8:30 am, I can't wait.  I want food!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


I took myself off to the doctors yesterday.  This allergy/cold/asthma thing that I have is driving me crazy!  I spent most of Sunday. Monday and Tuesday nights hacking away.  So annoying!  I have so many medicines now, 3 for asthma, allergy medicines and something for my nose!!  I hope that it helps as I feel really miserable!
The big shock was my blood pressure. Even though I am big my blood pressure has always been low  to normal.  This time however it was 140 over 80.  I was really shocked.  I guess this is the reality of getting older and fatter.  My weight is no longer a cosmetic concern but is becoming a medical problem!!!  Friday I am going to get blood work done to check for diabetes!!!  My brother has had diabetes for about 12 years, so it is a worry for me!  I've checked twice before but I have noticed that my desire for sweet things is the strongest ever.  I hope that I'm okay but it's better to check!
Wish me luck!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Near Death Experience

Well not quite!  Yesterday during lunch I ended up choking on a piece of meat.  I couldn't swallow it or cough it up.  It was well and truly stuck, plus having asthma didn't help at all.  The choking didn't last long but it is amazing the amount of thoughts that can go through one's head in such a short time.  First I was scared, not being able to breathe is really scary, I wondered if this is what Hisao felt when he died, was he scared?  Then I thought about my kids and how I am their only parent now.  Even if I feel that I am not doing a good job of parenting them most days, I am all they have.  I need to be around to protect them nd help them grow up to be the best they can be!!!  This has led to a me rethinking my health and diet, I guess it is time to grow up and take responsibility for my health.  I am over weight and ignoring it doesn't make it go away.  I want to have a long life and I want to do things,  I also have get my allergies under control.  The past week I have been rather ill with allergies and blocked ears.  I have so much to so but feeling so run down and wiped out doesn't help at all!! 
Also I have so much to learn.  Japanese of course, not the most inspiring thing, but I need to be able to understand more and read and write at least basic things.  I never bothered before because hubby took care of everything and I could rely on the kids but I need to be independent to a certain degree and I need language for that!  Also I have to do something about the garden.  Mikey and I went to the local home center yesterday to pick up some plants for the front.  I was overwhelmed by the choice and had no idea what would be good. I bought four little plants but have no confidence that they are okay.  Plus I need to learn more about computers.  All our computers are rather old.  Hisao's hobby was repairing computers, he could rebuild them from parts that he picked up.  But we might need to invest in a new one in the next year or so.  And I want to get the best for our money.  So a lot to do!

Hannah came home with a certificate yesterday. She got it for her art work.  They had to make a letter holder and hers turned out rather well.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

endings, beginings and sniffles

It's that time of year again.  March is the end of the school year here in Japan, so many graduation ceremonies.  In our family we had one graduation, David graduated from high school.  Mikey and I went to the ceremony. It was nice but rather long. We were there from 9 in the morning until 1 in the afternoon.  239 kids graduated, 238 kids walked up the steps to recieve their dipolma, only one kid fell on the steps and of course that was David.  After the main ceremony the kids in the evening school meet together with their teachers.  There were only 4 kids in the class, but nine teachers!!  Each teacher spoke about the kids, everybody was crying, except me!  I guess not understanding much Japanese helps sometimes!  I'm glad that it is over and done with!  Now he has to start university!  He is applying to the University of the Air, similar to The Open University in England.  He is going to study psychology and education.  Should be interesting.
Other than that I haven't really done anything the past couple of weeks!  I have seasonal allergies and this spring has been the worst in years, I feel really ill with awful headaches and now coughing all night!  Also poor Mikey is bad with it as well!!!  I hope that I can get over it soon as I have a load of things that need to be done. I really want to get in the garden, it needs a good clean and I want to start growing things, not just weeds!!!
Sorry for any spelling mistakes, the spell checker isn't working!!!!