Monday, March 31, 2008

Japanese Motel

Here is the outside of the motel.  Notice you can not see into the windows.  This one is built on a hill and we had to park outside since our van had a roof carrier.  The usual parking is to drive into that hole and then they have hidden parking. (for small cars)
Here the price is advertised outside the entrance.  However the tax is added and also extra charge for weekend and a higher class room.  Actually it was quite reasonable compared to the cost of staying at the regular hot springs hotel...less than 1/2.

Here is the inside of the window!  Looks sunny outside but that is only a solid blue shade that is impossible to see out of.  The windows open but then there is another iron bars with plastic shades that don't let anyone see in or out.  Yes that is a slot machine beside the window and no we didn't play it.  By the second night DH learned how to shut off the light that shown out in many least it was silent!  There was music piped into the rooms that we finally figured out how to turn down to no sound, but never saw a turn off button.  More tomorrow!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Trip to Kobe

Just got back from our fun week in Kobe.  We left on Tuesday of last week about 10 and got into our daughter in law's parents house about 8 in the evening.  We had a reservation to stay at one of the many Arima Hotspring Hotels for 2 nights but it was impossible to get a reservation for the last 3 nights which were on the weekend.  So we had quite a unique experience of staying in a Japanese style Motel.  (many photos of that to follow!)

This photo is not the DIL parent's house, but it is the treasure doll house of her mother.  I also thought it was great and if the kids have a daughter I'm sure she will spend hours playing here.  Yes, the good news is DIL is expecting our first grandchild, but not far enough along to tell whether it will be a boy or girl. 

Monday, March 24, 2008

Birthday presents

Other Birthday presents given to me by classes.  I love the little Hanae Mori anklets as they feel so much nicer than my usual 100 yen socks!  
My son and his wife just got in from LA and tomorrow we take off for Kobe where her parents live.  After we return which will be in April, I will post again with photos of our week adventure.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Here is the yellow jacket.  Actually it is nice--just wish it was pink!    

Friday, March 21, 2008

Sons' present

Here is the wonderful pink Columbia water proof jacket my sons sent over to me from California.  I just love it.  But what did I do?  I wore it to Tokyo to my friend/students house and she fell in love with it.  I told her I'd get the boys to get me another one and then I'd let her have this one.  But she would have to give me a "go home " jacket that I could then keep or donate to the island mission box.  She gave me a yellow nice jacket with coffee stains on the front.  I washed the stains out and now have a lovely pale yellow jacket--that is not MY color but looks okay on me.  So asked my son to buy me another one and he tried but they only had L and XL size which he said would be too big for me.  So I'll have to wait until summer when I go over and see if I can find a replacement!  Tomorrow I'll post the yellow jacket replacement.

Happy Birthday

Last week I had my Birthday!  This was the card that I got from my sons.  It brought back memories when the boys told me when I would visit their school, "Mom we are not ashamed of you, but if you lost weight we would be proud of you!"  I can't say I've lost much weight, but time does make mothers more beautiful in their children's eyes!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Going to Chuuk

Here is the Nissan Prarie Mini-van that my friend gave us to send to Chuuk.  It will be the pastors car there.  He has 5 children and 1 wife so will enjoy this nice car.  We were going to take it to the port this week but still need to paint the scratches on the 4 bumper corners and find a few more things they can use to put in the back.  Last vehicle that went to Chuuk, most of the inner cargo was stolen by the dock workers we believe so we didn't want to put in valuable stuff.  But the pastor is Chuukese and he says he knows the dock workers and he will insist that they give him everything.  The bill of lading clearly states "Not responsible for inner cargo!" so we'll see if he has power to stop the thefts.
Here are 3 of the baby transplants that aren't going to make it!  I'm not really sad about that as I think we have enough without them.

Monday, March 17, 2008


Here are the successful transplants.  Trouble is they took a lot space where I was growing lavendar.  You can still see some lavendar in front of the tiny one.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Sotetsu tree

This is one of my husband's favorite tree types. I call it a palm, he calls it sotetsu.   So when we had to move some when we built the garage, he decided to take them and transplant.  Tomorrow I'll show you the transplants.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Here is the third tangerine tree.  It was the biggest but became dinner too many times for bugs.  I now have it covered with plastic as there are new little leaves coming out and they will be just too delicious looking for the bugs to resist if they can get to them.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

mikan and avocado

DH student gave him 3 little sweet mikan(tangerine) trees a couple of years ago.  We had them out in front of the house but the tiny bugs kept eating all the new sprouts so we moved them into the glass house where he keeps the wheels for the students to use in ceramic class.  The other one is an avocado tree that was growing out in the compost pile, so decided to try to get a real tree out of it.  I heard though that our chances of getting a good fruit on it are small as it needs to be grafted.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

recycling clay

Even though new clay is cheap, DH recycles.  Here is the left over clay after trimmings  that is mixed with water and spread out to dry a bit before being rekneeded into workable wedges.  My job is to take a sharp blade and chop up the little hard pieces so it can be blended more easily.  He has a machine that would do this work, but it is too slow, takes too much electricity, is too noisy and wastes too much clay.

4 colored ball bowl

DH made a very interesting bowl.  Firt he made same size balls of 4 different  colors of clay.  Then he placed them on a thin cheese cloth like net and put inside of a plastic bowl, pressing them in tight.  After they were set and had dried a bit he took them out of the bowl and took off the cloth and had a new style of bowl.  He then trimmed the top to make it smooth.  Now it is drying completely to be fired.  This was done for a ceramic class that he is teaching this technique to.

Friday, March 7, 2008


I just couldn't believe the message on this hat!  I wanted to buy it for my father who has quite a collection of unique hats.  But I'm to stingy to pay for a hat I know he wouldn't wear!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Nepal pour

Here the Nepalese waiter pours the wine/whiskey? into the tiny cups from this high angle.  My student said it was amazing that he never missed.  Reminds me of when we visited WILD BILL'S in Bueno Park, LA area for the wild west show and the waiters would serve us desert by throwing the icecream up in the air and then it would land on the apple pies.  This attraction is now closed but there is a new one open in that place with Pirate theme.  I hope to go there someday to check it out.  

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Nepal again

This was taken in a restaurant with live dancers.  What amazed me was that the guests were sitting like the Japanese on the floor at very low tables.  Now after 30 plus years of Japanese culture, I have a hard time sitting at these low tables.  Even the Japanese usually go to the higher tables with chairs rather than scrunch up their legs on the floor and then have no back support.  When I have to join a low table group, I always look for a place where I can lean back against a wall and then stretch me feet out under the table--which kind of makes it hard for the person across if they want to do the same thing!

Monday, March 3, 2008


No, I didn't visit Nepal.  But my student today had me bring my MacBook to class so she could show us her CD photos of her trip.  I thought this photo was just too lovely not to share.  She said this was not Mt. Everest but still part of the Hymalayas.  

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Shinkaijusha group

Here are some of the members of the Shinkaijusha Artists group.