Thursday, May 5, 2016

Today's Lunch

Had to go to the store a bit earlier today because I needed to stock the kitchens in preparation for a short term team arriving this evening from Canada.  So I decided to pick up some lunch as well.  I opted for a traditional quick meal.  These triangles are Onigiri.  I was in Japan several times before I learned that Japanese people often call these Musube, from the word that means "to wrap". These consist of a filling wrapped in seasoned rice in turn wrapped in a piece of nori.

Today I chose my two favorites: Ume and Tuna Mayo. Ume boshi are pickled plums. Tuna Mayo is what Americans would call Tuna Salad. They are wrapped in an ingenious Japanese manner to preserve the crispiness of the nori. Rather than reinvent the wheel, here's a link to one of many YouTube videos describing the proper way to unwrap this food.

The soft drink is Aquarius. It's a Japanese Sports Drink, but don't think "Gatorade".  This is a mildly citrus flavored drink purported to contain all kinds of beneficial minerals and aminos. I've always considered it to be pleasant. I have felt rather dry the last day or two, despite drinking water and tea and coffee, so I thought this might be good.

At the grocery store I also picked up some overripe bananas on the special rack reserved for cut price-beginning to be past their usefulness, produce items. Reduced price of course.  I'm almost ready to try a new recipe for banana bread for next week's guests who will be participating in special leadership training. If it turns out well I may just remember to post a picture. Stay tuned :)

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Doing Cyber Acrobatics

Well the method is not pretty, but I figured out a way to take photos with my Kindle Fire which upload to "the Cloud". Then I can share them to Facebook from there and from FB I can download to Dropbox (a different Cloud) And from Dropbox I can upload to here.  The issue I'm skirting is that I am using a computer here that does not have a program installed that will process photo files.  So since it is not my computer but just the one in my office I don't want to bog it down with extra programs.  I got permission to install Dropbox so that I can continue to work on Japan Harvest magazine, so it's the only bit of storage that's mine.

If anyone else understands what I'm saying and can provide a less convoluted solution I'm taking suggestions.

So, the photo you can see here is of tonight's dinner at my house - Ramen. Note that I did not make it from dry noodles in a Styrofoam cup, but from fresh noodles I bought at my local supermarket.  This kit contained three servings of noodles and three packets of soup concentrate.  I added some leftover chicken and some vegetables along with a boiled egg which you can see is somewhere between "hard' and "soft" boiled and seems to be the norm here.  So much yummier that you poor folk who are stuck with Cup Noodle or other brands of petrified dried noodles.

Oh, almost forgot to tell you about the chopsticks (O Hashi). Note the grooves at the pointier end. These are for eating noodles.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

No New Pics Again! (But some old ones :))

For one thing I haven't gotten used to having to carry a camera instead of just using my phone for pictures. Another thing is that today when I'm thinking of it, it's mostly raining and quite dreary. Cold too while we're at it. I don't feel like tromping about in the rain to take pictures that probably won't turn out because the light's bad.

Life goes on here at the Guest Home. Dear friends from the old days and not so old days, the Taylors were here for almost a week getting acclimated to the time zone before going off to visit and serve in some of our churches to the north.

Golden Week starts tomorrow and carries on to Monday and next Friday which are all holidays and days off for our Japanese Staff.  So some things go to a low simmer for a bit.  The week of the eighth we have a good sized training happening here so full house and some cooking as well.  The summer holiday season is fast approaching and also the time of year for teams to be coming from various other countries for short term assignments.

My replacements are on schedule to be here the first of July so things are ticking along as to plan.

These are photos from a trip to Kyoto several years ago around this time of year.

Hopefully I will get motivated to photograph something in the next few days. Watch this space!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Back "Home" Again in Ichikawa

Sunday Afternoon,Windy with Rain Showers, 70 degrees.

For a long time I thought I would just never make it back here. It was easier to think that way when I returned to the US in 2012.  But here I am back in Ichkawa at the OMF Guest Home seeing old friends and seeing all the new stuff that has cropped up while I've been away.

Jet Lag was a bear this time.  I got next to no sleep in the 24 hours before the flight and closer to none on the flight, besides that I never seem to get younger. My first day back I nearly injured a couple people by just being unreasonable.  I'm somewhat better than that now, but still waking up at 5 am everyday.

Today I was back in my old seat in the Language Impaired section at church. Remembering a lot and realizing I have forgotten even more.

I'm looking forward to meeting up with some friends in the next weeks. Visiting some new places and revisiting some old haunts.

So if you're looking for me...

Tuesday, February 16, 2016


I have tickets to fly to Tokyo in April! I'll be volunteering as Guest Home Manager at the OMF Japan HQ Guest Home to fill the gap between the couple there now and the couple lined up to serve next.

I am excited. It's an opportunity to reconnect with friends and colleagues as well as to be useful, even in my retirement.

I'd appreciate prayer for strength and safety as well as assistance with living expenses. If any of you would like more information you can let me know: in the comments below, in a personal message on Facebook or an email or phone call.

I'll also be attempting to move house before I go.  A friend is moving soon, vacating their current condo. I've been offered the chance to rent it from them.  Definitely a move up and a quieter neighborhood. Lots to do.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Updates and Upgrades

I continue to be entertained by sunrises in their infinite variety. Yes, I am still getting up a couple or three times a week and taking a walk before I'm awake. This is from last week. Today it was kind of misting rain, so I kept the camera/phone in it's pocket. I only saw one other person out tramping in the damp today.

There is a new quilt block finished,(Two more to go) for the Austen Family Album Quilt, however the light is really not good at the moment.I haven't found any decent photo editing in the Windows upgrade, so will have to look further afield, I think.  I've played a little with Instagram on my phone, but haven't quite figured that out yet either. I seem to be in a private maelstrom of upgrades/changes/new programs that is taking me a little time to sort out. Maybe a trip or two to You tube or similar. I contacted my cell phone provider the other day concerning a difficulty I was having and the tech I was talking to discovered some upgrades that had never been sent to me. It's all change, I tell you.

I finally finished a Craftsy class that I got a couple years ago; Janet Pray's Jacket Express.  I have wondered about the Islander System for a very long time. I did enjoy myself with the "no pins" approach and the smaller seam allowances that mean less trimming. The jacket is finished except for redoing a button hole on one of the pocket flaps. Another day when the light was bad and I cut too close with my buttonhole chisel.

Are you are making some discernible progress in something in your life these days? I'd love to hear about it. It does help to keep engaged and moving.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Happy Birthday to my Fan!

I do have a fan. I am grateful for that. It of course it affirms my efforts. I have been gently reminded this week that it has been an awfully long time since I've posted here. So, since today is my fan's birthday, I will post a special wish for their continued good health and say that I'm looking forward to the January migration of Snow Birds.

Happy Birthday BD on the dawning of your Sixty-Eighth year.