Saturday, May 31, 2008

scheduled trash pick up

Here is our local dumpster, with the sign as to which days we can leave which things.  It seems so complicated but basically I just have to remember on Weds. morning to put out the unburnable stuff like cans and glass in the clear bag with blue writing on it.  Also same day I can take out the burnable stuff in a yellow bag with red writing on it.  On Friday evening for Sat. morning pick up is when I have to take down our large junk (sodai gomi in Japanese, Japanese women sometimes call their retired lazy husbands this!)

So different in Idaho where all garbage is just put out mixed up in any kind of container.  In CA too DS2 just dumps everything in the condo joint trash bin. DS1 has 2 trash cans one for grass and leaves and the other for mixed garbage with each a different pick up day on the street.  I think at the place where all this garbage is taken is where it is sorted probably by magnets?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Plum treats

Our land has this plum tree on it that produces every year quite a number of plums.  I discovered up on the edge of the bamboo forrest 2 more trees that need to be taken care of so they will produce in the future too.  These plums are now selling in the store for between 600 and 900 yen a kilo.   To the American this means a nice sweet fruit or if sour a great jam.  However, here in Japan it means pickles!  This is where they get the sour red plum(umeboshi) they put into their rice balls.  MIL puts these into a large container with vinegar and lets them set a year.  Most use salt instead, but she is trying to cut the salt intake. 

 For me I pick them green--I mean really green--(for umeboshi they are picked when turning yellow) and then have a recipe that I got from my student that makes the most delicious candied plums.   Last year I did this and my students turned out nice and crunchy but mine are kind of soft.  This year I am trying again to get the crunchy feeling ones. I used the natural salt and let them dry under a fan this year as that was the only difference between mine and hers!   We'll have to let them set in these jars over 3 months before checking.  They can set for  10 years and still be good.  If anyone requests the recipe I'll post it later.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

young driver

And you think Japanese have to wait until 18 to drive?   Here is our precious neighbor girl with her grandpa and mother looking in through the opposite side.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Did you catch a cold?

I was surprised to see my company class student come into the airconditioned room wearing a mask and his winter jacket.  I asked him if he caught a cold, but he replied that no he was allergic to airconditioning!  He gave me permission to use this photo in my blog if I cut off the top of his head so no one would recognize him. 

Monday, May 26, 2008

quilting again

Somehow I'm in the patchwork mode.  If you wonder what happened with the triangle patterns of before, well my DIL wants me to bring them to USA and then buy the blue strips/back/ruffle to make it into a bed spread.  I'll take a photo then and share later in August after it is done.

Well I got in the mood to make a star/block design from some material sent to me by R.  Wondering whether to just make many six pointed stars and then connect with strips or just extend the star out and out/around and around until the right size?  
These are not sewn together but just laid out to get an idea.
Or mabye just make them blocks and forget the stars?

Saturday, May 24, 2008


Today is raining so no tennis.  That is sad but will take a walk with Jack to work off the meatless meatballs and pasta I had for lunch!
Sorry no photo today as my IPhoto library contains nothing new to upload.  I'll be looking for interesting things to photograph soon.

golf ending

After our 18th hole we came into the club house return cart area and these ladies came out and polished our clubs for us and then took them to the place for our pickup when we drove our car up there from the parking lot.  I thought that was kind, until I saw the bill.  They charged over 3,000 yen for this service!  It wasn't an option either.  Oh, well poor stingy people like us are not supposed to play golf in Japan!  And when we do we are to smile, pay the bill and pretend we are rich!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Golf still

This is a typical view on a tee-off.  This course was so fun as most all tee-offs were up in the air with a downward slop or drop off to the fairway and on to the green.  The drive in the cart between the green and the next tee-off is very interesting with lots of narrow little curvy up and down through the woods type drives.  Jack is driving here on the fairway with T making a fairway shot in the  background.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


First time I have ever played and not gotten a bunker.  Above T is doing her bunker shot and below is Jack pitching over the bunker.  I said before this is one of the best courses I've ever played on--but the exception is the bunkers here were all like pavement!  Probably because for the few days before there was alot of rain.  Actually sand shots are pretty easy for me as somehow the grass scares me as I don't want to have the dirt fly up so usually top spin--however I have no fear of digging down in the sand.

funny/dangerous hit

If you enlarge the top photo you can see Jack on the other side thinking he could hit his ball through these trees back to the fairway on our course.  However in the photo below you can see his ball landed just behind the tree where he couldn't hit straight to the green.  He thought he could make it and I took this photo then quickly went over to the right as I feared he might hit the tree and it would rickashay back and conk me.  And that is just what would have happend as the  next photo shows him back in the trees!  That was the worst scoring he had the whole day.  But I thought it was funny and Thanked God for having me realize my danger and moving!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

lift to the tee

We had to park the cart and take this lift up a steep mountain side to the tee off.  It was a moving path so difficult to turn and look back without loosing balance and you couldn't grab the stable handrails!  Finally we are at the top ready to tee off!  You can see our cart on the otherside of the lake.
TW and I pose before teeing off.  Luckily my ball didn't go for a swim, just hit the path on the right and staying in the ruff before the fairway.
Here was the trail down from the tee off.  No moving path down--just up!

Monday, May 19, 2008

golf at Yawata

Last Thursday, Jack, TW, and I went to Yawata Golf course and played 18 holes.  Before the first tee off they had this huge mirror so here we are!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

IH rice cookers

My sons rice cooker kicked the bucket.  He wants me to get him another one.  The qualifications were it had to be an IH Rice cooker.  IH stands for inductive heating which is supposed to make it taste better.  The above cooker was the cheapest one at Yodobashi store.
The one below was the most expensive.   I'm sure you know which one we will get!  The photo at the very bottom shows prices in between.

Friday, May 16, 2008

beach combers

After the goddess statue we went down to the beach and enjoyed picking up shells.  DH was into getting the fat shells for his ceramic firings.  I was looking for perfect shells for my shell garden, the kids were digging clams, which we don't eat but brought back to give to the aunt who does.  Ka-chan enjoyed drawing in the sand.

Statue Continued

Even Christianity was represented in one stage.  Here is the Madonna and  child.
Below we went out into the arms where we could overlook the bay/jungle/small town.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Inside the goddess

The inside of the goddess is divided into different stages with a circle stairwy winding around and up to the top.  Below DIL is standing by the gong at the base of the statue.  Also you can see the beginning of the steps up.
At each stage there is an inserted character in a lighted space.  Above each is the name of the character and which area of life he is supposed to be involved in.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Goddess of Mercy

In Tokyo Bay, in Futtsu City is this huge statue overlooking a beach, jungle and the bay.  This was always one of my mother's favorite places to visit when she came to Japan.  In the lower photo you can see how huge the statue really is.  My family at the base are almost like ants. The next few days I'll show you what it looks like inside and explain more about it.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

inner cargo

The ship is now on the way to Chuuk with the Nissan Prarie.  We managed to find this little scooter to put in with some other donated inner cargo.  We had to lay down all the back seats and then take off the mirrors to get it in.  We had been collecting a lot of clothing and toys so these were padding.  On top we covered with an old kingsized blanket.  Hopefully the island people of Chuuk can enjoy these donations.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Jabon Tree

Years ago my tennis friend would bring me jabon from Kyushu when she came back.  Well, I was so happy and kept begging for more than one year she came back with a tree for me!  It has grown up quite a bit.  Here it is.  With the cutting of the pine trees, the jabon tree should be much happier!  Last year I pruned it like I used to help the folks do in Idaho.  I guess I did too much as there were no fruit last year.  This year there are a few blossoms which if you enlarge you can see are still in the bud.  When the flower comes out I'll have to pollinate them.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

trimming te pine trees

One morning during Golden Week, DH cousin came over and we had a 1/2 day of trimming the row of pine trees that stand on the edge of the cliff overlooking the PIL garden.  Above you can see DH standing by the next one to be cut.  Right beyond him is the drop off.  You can also see how short they cut them down.  We're determined to not let them get out of hand again!
Cousin had a back hoe that he would tie a rope to to pull the cut branches over to the mountain side instead of letting them fall down into the garden.  My job was to pull the cut branches over to the pile for drying before burning (probably my job next fall!)

Friday, May 9, 2008

blooming hen and chicks?

When I was a child, my grandmother had a whole section of her massive flower garden devoted to her "hen and chicks".  About 5 months ago I visited this lady who had this massive plant and she gave me a lot of starters which I planted in this pot.  I was amazed when in the center these blossom developed!  Then they bloomed!  Grandmother's never did that I remember!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

patchwork question?

With my scrap blue,green, & white pieces I'm making a patchwork spread.  Do you think it would look nicer to sew them together as a solid patchwork like above, or should I put in some running strips?  I'm also thinking to buy some solid blue and make a ruffle around the edge and bottom and buy enough for strips.  Any ideas?  The last photo is a quilt I did years ago that is on my king sized bed.


Here my husband sits between 2 of his high school classmates.  The guy on the left is one year younger.  They guy on the right they hadn't seen for 40 years.
Below is the chef who deep fried lots of veggies and synthetic meats.  He was a college student when I was a teacher at that school.  His wife was one of my students.