Monday, September 29, 2008


On Sunday afternoon a group of us foreign wives of Japanese husbands met at a BBQ park in Yachimata for lunch and fun.  Many various countries were represented and quite a few of us came without our husbands for various reasons but mainly because they had to work.
Of course the husbands that came were roped into doing the BBQ while we sat around eating and chatting with old friends and making new ones.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

baby time again

Just can't resist posting photos of my baby holding his baby!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


At the church we went to with our son in Yokohama, my son is holding his classmates son.  This little boy was so cute.  One of the few Japanese babies that doesn't scream when they look at this foreign face.  But he was so good, he even laughed and enjoyed my hugs & kisses!
Here are a few more friends getting in the photo.  The two girls behind Andy are Erika and Jun, classmates of our younger son Koji. The taller lady is calling in more friends.  She is Julie and a good friend of Waka.  She will have her 3rd baby in December.
Waka and a few more friends join.
Above the babies mother joins too.  She, her husband, Andy and Waka were all 4 classmates.  Below we even got the fathers to join.  The guy in brown is Julie's husband and the 4 sitting down are the 4 classmates.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Behind the kids house is a mountain of brush/trees/rocks.  There is a little cave that comes out on the side (photo below).  The people living higher up on the hill came down as I was taking this photo and he said not to go into the cave as it might cave in.  But when I questioned him about the chance of the mountain sliding down and knocking down the kids house he assured us that this hill is very strong and for years has never moved.  He said his family owned the whole mountain behind their house.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Spanish house?

Would you believe this house is in Kamakura, Japan?  It is on the way to my son's house and I think it is cool!

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Just got back last night from Kamakura again and today went to the Sodegaura Club Tennis tournament finals.  Jack was playing last weekend when they stopped the matches because of lightening.  Well, today they continued and he and his partner won their doubles, but couldn't win the 3 of 5 games necessary as a team.  Our A womens team was to play after the men got their best 8 down to best 4.  Well, the women were just on their first game when it started to pour again!  So now they will hopefully play on the 23rd which is a holiday here in Japan.  The weather report which is hard to believe said it would be okay until 3, but have had slight showers all morning and then this pouring at 1:30!  The courts are all weather and as soon as the rain settles down to a drizzle they could play--but not when there is a lake on the court!  No. 13 typhoon just passed on Sat. early morning and this must be the beginning of number 14.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

baby face

Just can't stop looking at these precious faces of our little Nami.
My father couldn't remember her name so I mentioned that he could remember the international word for tidal wave is tsunami.  Then just leave off the tsu.  He laughed and said he would call her Sue Nami!  Actually her name is Nami Suzanna so fairly close.
Wondering what she will call her grandma and grandpa?  Bet she will be a free thinker and chose her own words for us.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


     Oyabaka is Japanese expression for a mother who is bragging about her kids.  In their culture it is not polite to show off your wonderful kids/grandkids as that might make other people jealous.  So instead they talk negative about their family even though in their heart they are so proud.  Their family understands this and don't mind being called ugly, fat, stupid because they know their Mom really is meaning the opposite.  However I am AMERICAN and we tell it like it is!  Above my son is sleeping with his precious little one week old first grandchild. 
    Once my English students asked me how to say Oyabaka in American English.  I thought and finally said, "We don't have such an expression in English because we think a person who is always bragging about her children (even if they are bad) is a GOOD mother.  We have the expression "A face that Only a Mother could love." and that means no matter how ungly,bad our kids are to us they are beautiful/wonderful/good!"   
    I'm so lucky to have such a wonderful family.  Thanks to SKYPE I can give my new granddaughter cyber hugs.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Kamakura temple

You can't visit Kamakura without visiting a temple.  Here was the one near the station, but don't ask me the name!  There was a concert going on and if you look carefully you can see the people sitting behind the temple on the steps.  We couldn't get in without a ticket.  
Every temple in Japan has these little fountains to wash your hands.  Not sure if it is safe for drinking, but with the communal cups I wouldn't risk it.
In the temple gardens was this hollow tree by the edge of the water lily pond.  I told A to get inside it but he only would go this far as he said if he got inside it would probably fall over.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Kamakura walk

On our trip to Kamakura we took a walk from the kids house down to the JR Station.  It took us 30 minutes and when it started to rain we stopped at this curry shop for supper.
Kamakura station.
Many cute shops line the streets near the station and we checked out a couple--especially the pottery shops.  Below, Andy and I made a quick look and are waiting outside while Waka is stuck talking to the owner.  Somehow she is a magnet for talkative people and then she is too polite to excuse herself.  If you look carefully you'll see her in the back room with Jack in the fore room.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Skype photos of Nami

Today on Skype I tried the techinque of taking a photo of what I see on the screen as I talked to my son and his new daughter Nami Suzanna.  I don't know if it will work on Windows but my MacBook sure is nice.  She has her Dad's fat cheeks that he had as a baby.  Photos of her grandpa and great grandpa show the same.
Here you can see her double chin of the mother's side.
Almost a smile?
Below is Nami going to sleep--just like her dad with her mouth open!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Last of the Kamakura house

Here is Waka outside.  In the background you can see between the car and the house the stuff that has no storage space spot!  The landlady says she'll make a cover and they need to buy a storage house to put under it.
Here is a cute little outside water spot.  The kids put in some sea plants and are thinking to put in some little fish.  I warned them it would be a lovely cafe for the neighborhood they are rethinking.
This is the view from the balcony looking down.  The road on the left goes into a house and the one right behind the red van goes immediately to a dirt road and goes left and up the hill where there is another house that is hidden from here.
Closet space is so limited.  In CA they had huge walk-in closets, so hard to get everything in here.  Luckily they didn't ship over their queen size bed.  They decided to buy futons and go the ancient Japanese route.

Kamakura home cont.

Japanese toilets are usually in a room all to themselves instead of being like USA where all the bath stuff is combined in one huge room.  It has the advantage of being available when someone else is in the bath or brushing their teeth!  Above is the downstairs toilet and below is the upstairs toilet.  Notice at the back of the toilet there is a tiny sink where you can wash your hands as the clean water is running into the tank to fill for the next flush.  These rooms too are the only rooms with pretty wall paper!  

Above is the washer/dryer sent over by the Navy for them to use.  
Below is the Japanese bath.  Typical style is to wash outside the tub and then after getting clean to get inside the hot (I mean they know HOT) tub for soaking.  We only took a shower as it is just too hot in August/September for using the ofuro (tub).  Notice the little box at the head..that was the electric computerized controls to adjust the water temperature.  The original ofuros in Japan were heated by wooden fires.  I remember DH grandmother sitting stoking the fire for the family baths.  It is nice to remember but I don't want to go back!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Nami Suzanna

Here is my first Grandchild, Nami Suzanna.  Nami in Japanese means a wave like in the ocean, but the parents decided not to use the Kanji or Chinese characters, so they will use only the sound characters of hiragana.  All three are doing fine!  Her mother is also there with them to help.  Wish it was me, but I will get to hold her via SKYPE and in person over the Xmas holidays.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Got the call last night that our first Grandchild, Nami Suzanna was born at about 9:00 a.m. on the 9th Month on the 9th day!  She is healthy and weights 6 and 1/2 pounds.  Both parents are doing fine!  I'll post photos when available!

Kamakura house inside

Above is the cute little kitchen with a tiny dishwasher and 3 burner range with a microwave and toaster oven.  Hard to put all her dishes plus food stuff inside such small cabinet space.
Below I am standing by the sink and taking a photo to the dining room.  On the left you can see the dresser they bought to hep hold the dishes.  The dining table and benches were purchased in California and are a snug fit.  I jokingly call it her picnic table!  But actually it is a very expensive heavy Indonsian wood.
Below the kids and DH are sitting on the sofa and reclining chair that they had shipped over from the States.  Somehow USA stuff just doesn't fit well in a Japanese house, even though much more comfortable.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Family special Music

Here is our family that was present for the baptism and my husband's student playing the violin.  DIL is on the piano.  Actually this was done before the baptism and the PIL shigin was done the next week in church.  But these details really don't matter!

Ojiisan Shigin

Here is Ojiisan's shigin for his baptism.

Kamakura home

Here is my son's new home in Kamakura for the next 3 years that he will be working for the Navy in Yukosuka.
Here is a tree planted and a small space where the kids plan to put in a tiny garden
Below is our only worry.  Kind of a steep bank at the back of their house that goes up a long way.  It is help by some mesh up to the foilage, but when a typhoon hits and if the bank gave way?  But the night we stayed there there was terrible rain and nothing slid down so probably okay.