Thursday, October 25, 2007


This morning I found this lovely bug in my garden so I captured it. This is our neighbor Maura who loves Lucky in the way only a two year old can.

Monday, October 22, 2007

しらけ (Shirase)

I belong to the Japanese American Wive's Group. The only word from that sentence I ever thought might apply to me was "American". Another member of the group is the Japanese wife of the Commanding Officer of the Shirase, the only Japanese Ice Breaking research vessel. The ship leaves Japan every November, travels over 20,000 miles to the Shoya base in Antartica, drops off 30 scientists who will stay there for one year and picks up last year's group. They return to Japan in April. The staff told us that the ride is so rough the scientists meet the ship in Australia. So all this woman had to do was say "can I bring a few friends over?" and presto, 70 of us were treated to lunch, tours and goody bags. The senior engineering officer asked for a volunteer to press the emergency panice button, someone did and alarms and lights went off. He thought that was a riot.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Wouldn't My Mother Be Surprised

I was going to title this post: "My Mother's Worst Nightmare" but Mike suggested I use the above title instead. My mother was a teenager during WWII; she bought all the slogans and sold war bonds,her social life revolved around the USO and newsreels. Her friends and relatives went overseas to fight. After December 7th she was afraid there was a chance a kamakaze pilot would target 110 Huron St. because that's what she was told in the Fireside Chats. She told me often not to trust the Japanese and don't forget that "loose lips sink ships". I love Japan and the Japanese but my mother's 60 year old history comes with me. So on a day like today when the base is open to Japanese residents in the form of a Mikoshi Festival I think about my mother's experience and I am grateful we share our cultures in a peaceful manner.
I took this photo of the Kitty Hawk underway from the deck of the Blue Ridge this morning.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Hanna to Hiru Gohan (Flowers and Lunch)

A kind, childless woman, the headmistress of an Ikebana school , never married and has no one to leave the school to. She adopts a lovely young woman, teaches her all she knows and sends her to Tokyo University, the Harvard of Japan. In addition to being my youthful fantasy this was a reality for Toko Adachi. She was the daughter of a Zen master and went to live with the Ikebana Headmistress when she was 10 years old. Her adoptive mother died last year and she is now the Ikebana Headmistress. She demonstrated at our Ikebana International luncheon at the Kamakura Park Hotel. My friend Kathy and I have officially eaten more meals together this year than Mike and I have. By the way, it's Kathy and Mike Krentz, we sat with Kathy of Kathy and Mike TI (they made up their names when they emigrated from Taiwan).
So anyway, here is a picture of my frequent dining companion with her favorite accessory.
I have included a picture of my student Keiko in her kimono. Because the chances of Keiko reading this are slim I will tell you that she is over 60 years old. Japanese women don't age and don't get fat. I think that's proof that God is Japanese.....and a woman.

Monday, October 15, 2007

You Are Here

When we first moved here we tried to guess what these lines in the street were for. Our best guess was some kind of dividng line for bicycles and pedestrians. Last night on our way to sushi Mike said "What are these lines for again?" I told him that Kathy Krentz told me they are for the blind and then I googled them.

These blocks are called 視覚障害者誘導用ブロック (shikaku shōgaisha yūdōyo block) "guidance blocks for visually impaired". They are ubiquitous. We have seen them imprinted on tee shirts.

We have been watching the playoffs live while we eat breakfast (and lunch yesterday). Tonight we take seppuku lessons, which is a good skill to have if the Red Sox are your team.

Friday, October 12, 2007

What if I AM Too Old for Any of the Questions?

You Are a Henna Gaijin!

You're not Japanese, but you wish you were!
You can use chopsticks with your eyes closed, and you've memorized hundreds of Kanji.
You even answer your phone "moshi moshi."
While the number of anime videos you've seen is way higher than the number of dates you've been on, there's hope.
Play the sexy, mysterous gaijin, and you'll have plenty of Japanese meat.

Monday, October 8, 2007

We Are Here Because We Love You

I am waiting for the day when I walk into my home and everyone I know is sitting in a circle in my living room holding a script. At the front of the circle will be a person I have never met whose job title is "facilitator". So maybe Japan is a bit far for you all to come to stage a knitting intervention,
Mike leaves a trail of papers wherever he is that I used to think was enormous. HA! I have been sitting in that pile of yarn for two days, watching "The Soprano's" season five. By the time Janice tried to kill Tony at Sunday dinner I had made this baby sweater for people I barely know.

Friday, October 5, 2007

This About Says it All!

Your Power Element is Fire

Your power color: red

Your energy: hot

Your season: spring

Like a fire, you are full of power and light.
A born leader, you easily draw people toward you.
You are full of courage and usually up for anything dangerous.
You have a huge ego and love to be the center of attention.