May 30, 2016

Monday - Hot and Sunny

A good day.

I spent the last few days in Tsukuba at the annual AFWJ Convention.  It was marvellous and I really enjoyed myself a lot.  I was in the company of roughly 150 other foreign wives and had a lovely, life-affirming, “you aren’t an idiot for marrying a Japanese person” kind of time!

I left Tsukuba yesterday and made good time to Niigata.  In Niigata last night I went out for dinner and bought some books too.  I ended up crashing in bed at before 1am which is rare!

Today I woke up early, watched Castle in my Hotel room and after a bit checked out.  I asked the hotel to keep my bag and then I went out.  I did a little shopping, I did a little eating and drinking and a lot of reading too.  It was rather fun!  I probably spent too much but I enjoyed myself.

I was able to pick up my bags from the hotel and I caught the train handily. I had been most worried that I’d miss it as I had to walk to the train station a little faster than I had planned.  Still, I made it.

When I arrived in Tsuruoka, F was nowhere to be seen.  I phoned and apparently he was running late.  He did come and pick me up within  a couple of minutes so believe him!

We had a cheerful dinner in Cocos and then bought some groceries.  I’ll be cooking tomorrow night, so be warned Japan.  

We came home and I tried to catch up on my Facebooking.  I don’t think I’m quite there yet. 

However, I am yawning up a storm and I am very tired, so I think I’ll just end this and get some sleep.  Talk to you later.  Until tomorrow….

May 25, 2016

Wednesday - Hot and muggy, rain at times.

A good day.  I got up this morning, watched Castle and had a bit of breakfast.  I took a quick shower and then got dressed and waited for my friend.  She was able to come from the next city over today.  Yay.

F came home for lunch, but just after he arrived, so did my friend, so I left!  My friend and I discussed where to go and finally decided on Simon.  It’s a French/Japanese fusion place.  She had never been, so I had to navigate with lots of help from Google Maps.  The restaurant wasn’t busy, so we were seated right away and got down to the serious business of talking, eating and enjoying ourselves.  I had fish for a change and my friend had steak.  Hers looked really good, I sort of wished I’d had it too!

We were politely asked to leave the restaurant and then went over to Komagihara Spa.  We wanted some ice cream and a place to chat.  First we toured the veggies and she bought a few things.  I decided not to as I’m going away soon.  After that, we had ice cream, followed a little later by coffee or tea.  All too soon it was time for her to go, so we drove back to my apartment, detouring a bit for the Tenjin Matsuri events in the park.

I had a few minutes in the apartment to relax so I did.  Then, I changed my clothes and went out to sweep the lobby. It took a while, but I got it looking decent.  I came back in and then worked on getting my suitcase ready to go.  

I took everything out, and then checked that I had enough outfits that I would wear and would be practical for this time of year.  It’s already quite hot where I’m going, but air conditioning can be too cold in places.  I put most of the stuff back in my suitcase, added a little, but kept out a couple of things I wouldn’t need.  

When F came home he was tired and I was sad about that.  He was the kind of tired where misunderstandings could happen easily. He changed and we brought my suitcase to the courier service.  Since I’m travelling by train, I really don’t want to have to take it all the way by myself.  I’ll have them deliver it back here after I come home too.

We went out for dinner.  F wanted his Taiwan restaurant and since he’d helped me and was tired, I said it was okay.  We had a good, if much too big meal.  I even managed to give him a bit of mine, but I still left some of the rice.  

We did some grocery shopping after dinner.  We got a few things at Yamaya and then MaxValu.  I’ll cook dinner tomorrow night, probably just pasta, but I won’t have to cook for a few days and that’s a nice thing!

We came home and a few minutes later went for a walk again.  Tonight we were out for over an hour.  We walked back through the park and as we did, it started to rain.  Oh dear.  We made it home but were a little wet.  

I watched Penny Dreadful again, and F took his bath and then made noise as usual on the couch.  I worked on my crochet by darning in some of the ends on the little motifs I’ve made.  I still have a few to do.  I’ll probably try and do a few more tomorrow night.

And that’s about it.  I’ll probably skip tomorrow night because I’d like an early night. Don’t miss me too much, and I’ll see you next week if all goes well.  Until….next week then!

May 24, 2016

Tuesday - Hot and sunny, muggy

A good day.

I got up this morning at 9:00 am and turned on Castle.  I did my usual stuff and had a good time watching the show.  It was the one that gave me the idea for using “until tomorrow” as my sign off, so I was chuffed to see it again.

I decided not to do a workout today.  I had walked a lot yesterday and my legs were still tired from the night before.  I usually rest on the weekends, but this weekend, F wanted to go walking so I needed a break.  I’m glad I did.  

He came home for a quick lunch and then left again.  I did some laundry and finally hung up all the clothes from the drying rack.  I’ve been putting it off for months.  I also went through a couple of drawers and threw out a few things from them.  I really need to go deeper, but I get attached to clothes and I just don’t want to.  I’d really be happy if I did I think.  

I scanned my cards, walked them to the post office and then I tried a new recipe for dinner.  The funny thing is I just found it this morning in my inbox, and thought it sounded good and even more surprising, I had the majority of the ingredients!  The ones I didn’t have I could either leave out or fudge, so no worries. Today, I made Paprika Chicken with Chickpeas and it was really good.  It wasn’t difficult, and if we weren’t going into summer I’d probably make it again soon.  It will be too hot to use the oven in a week or two.

F came home just as I got the food in the oven.  I told him to relax while it cooked.  I cleaned up the kitchen, set the table and then put out the salad and dressing plus cooked the maitake mushrooms.  Everything was really nice when it was ready.  I was very pleased with the chicken.

F put the dishes in to soak and asked that we go for a walk.  He wanted to check out the park.  This is Tsuruoka’s big festival of the year, the Tenjin Matsuri.  It’s running over three days this year.  We walked through the park and there were quite a lot of people there.  I almost wish that we hadn’t had dinner as there were some yummy things on offer, but F doesn’t really like to eat festival food.

We walked for 50 minutes tonight, not as long as yesterday, but far enough in all honesty.  It was good.  I told him I’d like to go again tomorrow night as I have a lunch date tomorrow and won’t exercise in the morning.  

We came home and I started in on a long forgotten craft that I’ve been working on for my sister for forever!  I made it up one size and then decided I didn’t like it, so I am taking it back and making it up again in another pattern!

F went to bed around midnight as he was tired and I should be off soon.  Oh, I’ll be away this weekend so I probably won’t post from Thursday to next Monday or Tuesday depending on a few factors.  Don’t miss me too much.  

And, before I go, here’s a look at the purse that I made.  I found the pattern on Ravelry and adapted it for my own use.  I also added side panels to the purse so my glasses case would fit into the purse.  It was made of the same yarn as the shawl I finished recently.

This is the Shell Stitch Clutch, Pattern by Lisa Van Klaveren

The inside.  I lined it with some cotton fabric that had a star design.
 The theme of our Convention is Reach for the Stars!
That’s it for tonight. I’m yawning up a storm!  Until tomorrow….

May 23, 2016

Monday - Hot and Sunny

A good day.

I got up a few minutes late, but came through to the living room quickly.  I made tea and breakfast, watched Castle and checked Facebook, the usual.

I got dressed quite early and made the bed and started a workout out before 12.  I finished about 3 minutes before F came home for lunch.  Safe.  He made and then ate his lunch and then left.  I did actually offer to make him something, but he turned me down.

I did some of my computer stuff, but in the middle I found I was so hungry that I needed lunch! I made myself a “skillet” lunch and it was awesome!  I cut up the leftover potatoes from last week, fried them and added in a wiener.  Then I took it all out of the pan, put it on a plate and topped it with some shaved cheddar.  After that I fried an egg, but left the yolk runny and put it on the top of my mound of food.   Yum.  I was surprised because I rarely eat eggs.  They just aren’t something that I eat nowadays.  

I finished up my computer stuff, watched some stuff on the DVR and then took a quick shower.  

I went into the kitchen and started to prep for dinner.  I did the dishes and then washed some veggies and divvied out the salad in two plates.  

I had a weird idea yesterday for today’s dinner and I tried it out. It worked rather well.  We had bought some nice wieners at Costco, so I made Yakitori with them.  I cut them up, threaded them on skewers with some vegetables and then with the leftover veggies I made vegetarian skewers.  We had them with boiled potatoes.  It was pretty cool.  I grilled them on the fish grill and dinner got quite good reviews!  The one thing F commented on was that I didn’t put the wieners on the skewer the way a Japanese person would.  I think he liked it!

Around 8:30pm we went out for a walk again.  I suggested the general direction and we walked for ages.  After 9:00 pm I suggested going home, but it still took us another half hour (including the time it took to visit a convenience store) to get home.  I have been piling up the miles over the last few days.  Honestly, it’s a little much.  Usually when I walk I have 24 hours to recover.  At the moment it is around 9.  I’m debating skipping my workout tomorrow morning or doing an easier one just so I don’t wear myself out.  I won’t be walking on Wednesday morning as I have plans, but I’m undecided about tomorrow.  I think I’ll play it by ear and decide tomorrow!

We came home and I did a few postcrossings.  I took a break to watch an old CSI and finished my purse.  Yay!  I’ll try and post a picture tomorrow for your viewing pleasure!

After midnight I noticed I had tons of calories left so I offered F another couple of mince tarts.  We had a late night snack and it was lovely. I was swearing not to buy the mince tarts again, because I don’t eat them at New Years, but even eating them in May is lovely!  Not seasonally appropriate, but yummy.

That’s about it for me.  I’m quite tired and I need my sleep.  Come back later for pictures of my purse and to find out what I end up doing!  Until tomorrow….

May 22, 2016

Sunday - Hot and Sunny - Summery

A good day.

I got up this morning around 11.  I was late as I had actually set my alarm for earlier.  A friend and I were planning to Skype each other.  I got dressed, grabbed some water and went on-line.  We had  lovely chat and I shared a bit about a craft she was interested in.  

Fumihiko came home and as soon as I was off the computer we talked about lunch.  We had a few ideas, but when we left the apartment we decided to go to Hyakkenbori, the restaurant near the University.  It was a great choice.  They weren’t too busy for a change and we were seated quickly.  I had teriyaki chicken and F had a “fritter” dish, which was basically tempura.  After we ordered he noticed a sign saying they had takenoko soup.  Takenoko is bamboo shoots, and apparently it is a local delicacy. He wanted to order some.  I suggested sharing a bowl, but he ordered us each one.  Of course, our meal arrived and then the bamboo soup arrived and it was huge!  It was really good though. Yes, we did eat it all, but I’m not sure how!

After lunch we didn’t really have any plans so F suggested going to Sakata.  He thought that part of the festival might still be on, or something.  I didn’t mind, so off we drove.  The road was nice and the car was cool.

We drove around Sakata, but didn’t do anything. The festival was over and it was too hot and sunny for me to go walking anywhere.  All of a sudden F suggested going to Starbucks, so that is what we did.

When we got there it was quite busy and lined up so I gave F my order and I found a seat for us.  I had a frappucino and it was wonderful! We drank and then left fairly soon afterwards.

We drove over to the Mikawa Mall area and spent some time in Don Quihote.  We got a bit of food and I also picked up a mobile battery charger for my phone and iPod.  As I said to F tonight, if I have any trouble on my trip, chances are it’ll happen at the precise moment my phone’s battery dies and I can’t reach him!  We bought a few other things in the food department, mostly drinks for us.

We went to the mall for a few minutes.  F wanted some new undergarments so we got a few and then came back to Tsuruoka.  It was a very low key and fun trip.  

We came back to our apartment and just relaxed for a bit.  F ended up watching volleyball again.  I don’t know why.  

We went to Bikkuri Donkey!! for dinner and had a nice one.  It had been F’s suggestion for lunch and actually dinner was nice there.  They didn’t allow smoking while we were there and I tried a new burger with yuzu sauce.  It was nice.  F and I shared a salad and that was good too.  

We bought a few groceries from the store and came home with them.  I’m going to do a bit of cooking this week, I’m thinking of trying something a little experimental tomorrow, but not crazy if you know what I mean.  I’ll tell you about it later.

F caught the end of the volleyball game and then asked if I’d like to go for a walk.  I would!  Between the huge lunch and the frappucino, I was feeling a little overindulged.  We set off and had a lovely time. F had wanted to go a really long route, but I just didn’t think it was a good idea.  He has to work tomorrow and I am going to workout in the morning so…We ended up walking through the grocery store’s parking lot.  They have blocked off one of the entryways with a wire.  I decided to be a smarty pants and go under the wire, but I’d forgotten about the backpack/purse I was wearing and it got caught in the wire.  Oops!  F didn’t laugh too much at me.  

We stopped into the McDonalds to get a drink.  I thought it was just to get a drink and go, F thought it was to sit and stay!  They were closing up and in the midst of cleaning up too.  We had a quick drink and then went on our way.  It was actually a lovely walk and I’m glad that we went.  

When we came home, The Mentalist had just started so I turned it on and watched it.  I also worked on my purse a bit.  I finished one side of it and have pinned the other side, ready to join it.  I’m terribly biased, but I like the way it looks!

F was tired after our walk so went to bed around midnight and I’m going to go soon.  Next weekend I’ll be away and probably won’t have a lot of sleep!  

Tomorrow I hope to finish my purse, make something interesting for dinner, win the lottery and finish packing.  Mostly anyway!  Come back later and see what I manage to get done.  Until tomorrow….

May 21, 2016

Saturday - Warm and a bit muggy

A good day.

Today I got up at my first alarm and got dressed.  I had some breakfast too. Hurray.  When F came back from his doctor and his mother’s we went over to another doctor’s office.  Things were fine there.  He just wanted to check in.  After we paid, we left the clinic.

I suggested going to the Tsuruoka Hospital for lunch.  They have a decent restaurant upstairs and I also wanted to visit the gift shop.  I had a pretty good set meal upstairs.  It had grilled salmon, salad, rice and some vegetables.  F had a huge bowl of ramen, but didn’t like it that much.  After lunch we picked up some sunscreen for me at the giftshop and then went on to S-Mall.  

At S-Mall I got a magnifying mirror for my handbag or suitcase and then we went off to Mister Donut.  F wanted to go again.  They close tomorrow so I do understand him wanting to do that.  

We came home for a few hours in the afternoon.  I did some computer stuff and so did F.  

When it was dinnertime, F suggested the Chinese Restaurant near our apartment.  I wasn’t sure, but thought it would be okay, if he would order some food to share with me.  That’s basically what we did.  We got two dishes off the specials and another off the regular menu and had a nice feast.  

After dinner I asked F if he wanted to keep walking, and he did.  We did make a pit stop in the grocery store, but then kept on going.  We did quite a long circuit and I took F the way that I sometimes ride on my bike.  It was a lovely evening for walking, not too cool and not too warm so we both enjoyed it a lot.

At home I Skyped with one of the AFWJ ladies for an hour or so.  That was fun, since I didn’t know her that well. When we finished, I watched a bit of TV and got a bit of my purse done.  I really have to try and finish it soon.  I’d like to send it down to Tsukuba in my suitcase! Still, it is coming along.

I served us some mince tarts this evening too.  I bought them for New Years but we didn’t eat them then.   They expire at the end of the month so it’s a very belated New Year celebration!

And that’s about it.  I have made plans to Skype with another AFWJ member tomorrow to talk about crafting for a while, if I can wake up in time.  After that, I am really not sure what we’ll get up to.  Come back later and find out.  Until tomorrow….

May 20, 2016

Friday - Warm but a touch muggy

A good day.

I got up late today. Oops.  I had breakfast…porridge and yogurt and tea, and had a relaxing morning.  I was planning to work out, but then decided not to.  I was going out so knew I’d get some exercise.

In the afternoon I prepped the garlic pork for dinner, then did a spot of cleaning.  I scanned my cards and stamped them too. I dressed for going out and then grabbed my bike and went.

I rode to the closest bank machines and made a withdrawal.  After that, I rode to the drugstore and did a little shopping.  I came back, rode through our apartment parking area and went on to the post office where I mailed my cards and bought some new stamps.  Then I went to a convenience store and bought a sandwich and a drink for lunch.  Yay me.  

I came home and ate while I watched the news.  Around 5 pm I took a shower and then started preparing the kitchen for dinner.  Tonight’s dinner was simple but good.  We had garlic pork, boiled potatoes, steamed green beans, and salad.  We were supposed to have mincemeat tarts for dessert, but….

After F did the dishes he asked if I’d like to go out later.  I said sure.  A little after 9 we went for a walk.  Luckily I had recorded Castle.  I thought we’d try going to a tea shop, but we ended up going to a Snack (a kind of bar) that F has been to before.  We went there and had a bit of food and F had a drink, I had my usual oolong tea.  We sang a few songs on the karaoke system and then left.  It was quite expensive, but also a little different.

We got home just before midnight.  It was not what I planned to do tonight, but it was kind of fun.  Not an every day occurrence I hope, but enjoyable. 

And now, I must be off as I have an early appointment.  Come back later and find out if my Saturday is as good as my Friday was!  Until tomorrow….