September 19, 2014


Friday - Warm & Sunny, some rain

A good day…a good vacation too!

We're back from our trip to Guam.  We spent 4 nights on Guam, did a lot of shopping, a lot of eating, and had a bit of fun while we were away.  It wasn't all great however.  During our stay in Guam it rained every day, some days torrentially, we had an earthquake and F lost his iPhone at the airport.  Sigh.

Our flight back to Japan yesterday was fine, we went through security easily (except for getting sniffed in highly personal places by the new "drug" dog at Sendai airport), and managed to kill the time between our arrival and check in at our hotel for the night without incident.  I took a nap, F used the computer.  We went out in the evening, did a little shopping and then had dinner at "our place" in Sendai for gyutan.  We bought a few foreign foods and then walked back to the hotel for the night.

This morning we slept in a bit, had breakfast in the hotel, and then checked out and parked under the Aer Building in Sendai.  I went over to the station, got my Gotochi cards and some stamps at the station and then went to the office store I frequent in Aer and bought my Christmas cards AND about 30 postcards.  That would be in addition to the 20 I bought the night before, and the 10 or so I bought in Yamagata before I left.  They are all gorgeous though.  I do send a lot after all. I usually send 30 a month these days.  

We spent some time in the bookstore and I got another Elizabeth George novel, then we decided to have lunch.  We went over to Parco and ended up going for Thai food.  It was a good choice. They had a salad and dessert buffet, so with our main dish, we had lots of interesting food to eat.  I was less than thrilled with one woman however.  She took it upon herself to show me how to make a rice roll.  There was a station set up for doing that.  In the first place, I was there first and she came and plunked her plate down on the space for rolling.  She grabbed a spray bottle of alcohol and squirted it all over my rice roll and then hers.  I protested and said,"It's alcohol!" but she didn't listen until her friend said the same thing.  Then, she took the two rolls and put them away somewhere.  At that point I just walked off as I was too angry with her and could have lost my temper.  

After dinner, F and I decided to leave the city.  We had a nice drive home and made good time.  I think we were home before 5 or 6 pm.  

I took a long time to read email, register postcards and take care of other business, so it was a tad late when we left for dinner.  F wanted fish, so we went to his fish restaurant and had a lovely meal.  We both had sashimi and tempura.  

We bought a few groceries on the way home, I finished reading or deleting my email and I watched a very little TV.  Then, F went to bed.  I really should go to bed soon too as I'm tired.  

It was a good break for a change.  We didn't argue and only had one day where we were annoyed with each other.  Our hotel wasn't great, but it wasn't as bad as some of the comments on Trip Advisor had said.  All in all, we really had a good time, despite the difficulties!  Night.

September 12, 2014


Friday - Cooler, cloudy and then very rainy

A good day.

I got up this morning a little after 8 and got dressed and went out to the park.  For the first time in forever (isn't that from a song??) it was cool this morning.  Also, when I finished my first lap I discovered that they'd cut the grass in part of the park, which my nose didn't really like. From then on I did a modified walk around the park, but did put in my 30 minutes today. Yay me.

I came home, sweated a lot, and watched my shows.  Then I had breakfast, and read the paper.  I made the bed, showered and got dressed and on with my day.  I washed my walking clothes so they'd be clean to come back to.  Yay me.

I had a good afternoon, I received 4 postcrossing cards today too, 3 of which were from the US.  That was a nice surprise.  I readied a bunch of clothes for my trip, although I didn't pack them yet. 

When F called, I started getting dinner ready.  We had a really nice meal, but it was sort of a "clean out the fridge one"!  We had fried potatoes, chicken wings, soup and salad, plus bread and a tortilla.  F was quite happy with today's meal too.  I had better be careful or it'll go to my head!

After dinner I started packing.  I think I did well.  I made up outfits from the clothes I planned to take and made sure I had all the pieces I needed.  One sad thing though, I was going to pack my Ecco sandals when I discovered that their bottoms were cracked and really worn.  The tops still look great.  I could probably still wear them, but I'd hate them to break while I'm away.  I've had them for years and I love them.  I wonder if I can get a similar pair?

Around 11 I put on the Meryl Streep/Tommy Lee Jones movie Hope Springs.  I really liked it.  It was deeper than the usual Hollywood marriage movie, and it was about a couple…no affairs, no baddies…no car chases.  I laughed and cringed a lot at it as I could see things that happen in my marriage too. 

Anyway, I think I'm finally done packing.  I have a book for the trip, a craft, some letter writing paper, some addresses for postcards, so I should be set.  Should be!  I have my passport and my residence card too.  Okay, well then, I'm off.  We'll go to Yamagata tomorrow night and then fly to Guam on Sunday.  We should be back home on Friday, so expect an update on Saturday probably.  Wish us luck?  Night!

September 11, 2014


Thursday - Warm and sunny

A good day.  I got up this morning mostly on time, got dressed and went for a walk.  It was great.  It was still cool from all of the rain we had last night.  I didn't realize when I updated my list of music that  three Barenaked Ladies songs had found their way onto the list, so I was pleasantly surprised.

I came home and did most of my usual morning things except I ate breakfast a little earlier and I started crocheting a granny square.  I fell asleep however right at the end of the show.  Sigh.  Guess I'm not going to bed early enough! 

I got a call from F inviting me out for lunch.  I told him that we had lots of leftovers, so I'd rather eat them.  He still wanted to come home for lunch, so he brought a bento.  In the meantime, I took a quick shower.

F came, we had tea and he ate.  I wasn't ready yet.  After he left, I watched a bit of TV and did some stuff on my computer.  Around 2:30 I had my lunch and it was yummy. I had leftovers and they were delicious.  

I scanned some of my incoming cards in the afternoon so that I could make entries to my Postcard Blog in the evening.  It took a little bit of time, but went well.  I uploaded the scans to Postcrossing and to my blog.  

A little before F came home I went into the kitchen and started dinner.  I wasn't sure how it would work out.  I cut up a cucumber that F had brought home, washed the mushrooms, and then he was home!  I began cooking dinner.  Tonight we had pasta with a bought sauce, which I added ground chicken and the mushrooms too.  We had a side salad and cucumber sticks too. It got rave reviews from F…and I liked it a lot too!

F did the dishes and I watched telly.  Tonight was a big night and I watched The X-Files (with Donnelly Rhodes and Michael Horse), then House and BonesBones was a really good one….I was in tears at the end.  It's been a bit that kind of day.  A friend of mine has just lost her mother, today was my mother's birthday, and so when a character died, they had a memorial for him and I just couldn't help it.

Anyway, it was a quiet except for the TV kind of night, but a fairly good one.  Tomorrow I hope to get packed and finish getting ready for our trip!  Wish me luck with that.  I'd also really like to go out for a little bit so that I can relax and have a little me-time.  But, it might not happen.  I'm also cooking dinner again and hoping that we'll eat everything so there won't be leftovers in the fridge for that long!  Gotta go.  Night!

September 10, 2014


Wednesday - Hot & sunny, then torrential rain later

A good day.  

I got up this morning when F took the bread out of the bread machine.  My first alarm had gone off anyway, and I wanted to be off early if I could.  My foot was bothering me quite a bit, so I only did a couple of rounds at the park and then came home.  I was even back before F left!

I had a nice quiet morning.  I watched my shows, had breakfast and read the paper.  I relaxed a lot.  I fell asleep on Charmed and only woke up when F called.  I dozed off again, and it was almost 12 when I woke up again.  I took a shower and while I was in there, did a bit of cleaning too.  I had been waiting for F to move the bath cover, or empty the bath, but he didn't.  I did instead.  I cleaned some of the walls and know it looks much better in there.

In the afternoon I used my computer and waited for F to come home.  He finally made it around 2:30.  We decided to go out for lunch, so I suggested Bikkuri Donkey!!. They have lunch until 3, so that's what we did.  I had a burger with a big salad, a bit of rice, some deep fried squid and a big bowl of miso soup.  It was good.  F had another dish that was on their lunch menu too.

We checked the craft store for some yarn for me.  I want to work on a baby blanket while I'm on the trip.  I dislike having idle hands unless I'm reading or something.  The craft shop didn't have the yarn I wanted and what they did have was quite expensive.  Sigh.  After the craft shop, F asked if I'd like to go to the Internet Cafe.  I said I would if I could stop by our apartment to pick up my bag.  That was fine, so off we went.

We were able to get in right away and I watched some of the news and I finally finished up the Benedict Cumberbatch movie on Stephen Hawking.  I did some crochet (long handle for my bag) and reading….finished my current novel (Hunting Ground) and read a bit of an old magazine.  I also watched quite a bit of the regular junky TV that I usually watch! 

F and I left when our 3 hours were up.  We talked about food and I suggested the Japanese place that I like that does soba, udon and sushi, so we decided that would be fine.  Well, verrry sad to say, when we got there it was closed.  As in gone.  Oh no!  We were quite sad.  I liked it because they always treated me like a customer, not like someone to be scared of or curious about.  We went to Aki for okonomiyaki instead.  We had a good meal there and then bought groceries.

While we were in the Internet Cafe, we didn't know that the weather had changed.  It had rained a lot.  When we were at Aki, it rained a lot too.  However, when we were in the grocery store, it started to thunder, there was lightning and the power even flickered off a few times.  The rain was coming down in sheets, so instead of running to the car, we waited in the little table and chairs section.  It was kind of fun actually.  

When it calmed down, we went outside and F drove the car over for me.  We came home and he drove me right to the door.  Sweet! I still got wet though.  

The rest of the night was good.  We had a quiet evening, I turned on the TV around 11 for Grey's Anatomy, I did the garbage up before midnight, and F set up the bread-maker again.  With yeast this time!

Anyway, that's it for me.  It turned out to be a good day after all.  Night!

September 9, 2014


Tuesday - Hot and sunny

A good day.

I got up on time this morning and went out and did my walk.  I went for a little over 30 minutes and it was great.  I came back home, grabbed more water and then opened up my computer.  I was happy to get an invitation from a friend asking me if I'd like to meet up for lunch or coffee.  I emailed her back and said yes! 

I showered and had breakfast, and watched Charmed.  I worked on my computer for a while before getting ready.  When my friend came, we decided where to go and ended up at the Grand El Sun.  We both had chicken for lunch and it was very nice.  We had cold carrot soup, lovely bread, salad and quinoa…first time for me!  We had drinks with our meal too.  Lunch was great.  After we finished, we went and sat outside in the shade for a few minutes and talked.  Neither of us have the chance to do that very often.  There are no shady places near my apartment!

We went over to Athena next, and my friend found a carpet for her apartment.  She bought that and then we did some window shopping in the hundred yen shop.  I didn't buy anything, but my friend picked up a few early Christmas presents.  Sadly, it was time to go after that, and she drove me back home and dropped me off.  

I came in, washed some dishes and made a start on dinner.  I did up the garlic pork and put it back in the fridge.  After F phoned to say he was going to his mother's, I peeled the potatoes and put them in a pan with water.

When F came home, I got him to make his fish soup.  He told me it would take 20 minutes, so I didn't do things like start the potatoes, which I would have done normally.  He was done in less than 10 I think, so we had soup and then a break.  The soup was actually better than I thought it would be.  

I boiled the potatoes and then cooked the pork.  Thankfully, everything came together fairly quickly, so we finished our meal.  It was nice.  The potatoes were good and the pork was too.  I'd deglazed the pan with a bit of Worchestershire sauce, so some of the pork had a nice savoury taste to it.

F did the dishes after dinner, then asked me if I'd like to go and see the moon.  I was in the middle of writing an email, so asked for time.  I thought he meant that we'd go off driving somewhere to see the moon, but he just meant to go outside and look at the moon in the parking area!  

We came back in, but in a few minutes he asked me if I'd like to go for a walk with him.  I said it was fine, and we headed out.  We got a few blocks away and I asked him where he wanted to go.  He suggested the station and I said no way!  I still am having foot problems, I'd already done one big walk today and am planning another for tomorrow, so I really didn't want to stress my foot out even more!  He was pretty agreeable and we came home at that point.  It was lovely out there.

And then this is when it gets a bit weird. We both had some ice cream. No problem.  He had a beer, then some instant ramen, and then made himself udon.  Then, he decided to make some bread for one of the neighbours who had given him some sashimi.  While he was making it, he knocked my bottle of curry powder on the floor and smashed the lid.  Then, he proceeded to get the vacuum out to pick up the curry.  This was after midnight, so I wasn't pleased.  I'm sure the neighbours weren't either.  I tried to get him to throw out the curry because if something spilled out, a contaminant could have gotten IN, but he wouldn't.  ARGH.

Thankfully he went to bed after this because he was driving me a bit crazy!

He's off work tomorrow and while I know he'll be busy with his mother in the morning, I just worry that he'll be with me the rest of the day.  It'll probably be fine.  

Anyway, that was my day.  It was good.  Oh, and F doesn't even know I met up with my friend because he couldn't be bothered to ask me about my day. Ha! I should run.  Night!

Edited to add that he forgot to put yeast in the breadmaker, so he made a big paperweight.  He won't be giving that to the neighbours!

September 8, 2014


Monday - Hot & Sunny, nice wind

A good day.

I had a baddish night last night. I kept waking up every couple of hours so when I finally woke up this morning I was tired.  I did get up and go for a walk though!  In fact, I went for a few extra minutes.

When I came back from my walk, I checked my email and such and then went over to the couch for my TV programmes.  Unfortunately, I dozed off on them.  I woke up a few minutes after twelve after dreaming that we were having an earthquake.  My cellphone alarm didn't go off, and there were no notifications on the TV, so I finally convinced myself it was a dream.  

I showered, did some of my computer work and then wrote one more card and then scanned them all.  Around 4:40 I headed over to the post office and mailed my cards.  When I came home, I put my purse in the apartment and came out to sweep the apartment building.  It took me a few minutes, but looked good afterwards.

I went back inside, washed my dishes from lunch and the miscellaneous dishes around the apartment.  Then, I started to set the table for dinner.  F emailed me to say he'd be late as he was in Sakata.  I took a break for a while.

After a bit, I did more prep for dinner and F called to say he was done, and would now visit his mother.  He was there a while, but it gave me the chance to cut the bread, the duck and get more of the food on the table.  

When he came home I asked him if he'd like to change, he would.  Then, we had dinner.  It was very simple tonight, just grocery store soup and make your own sandwiches, but it was very nice.  F had made the bread last night, my favourite pain de compagne, which is tres yummy.  

I gave him a break and let him off the dishes.  I cleared the table, did the dishes and even cleaned the table.  Then I was done.  

We both relaxed for a while.  I watched a couple of shows, and F went to bed around midnight.  He was quite tired.  I am tired, but I'm still up.  Sigh.  I have a book that isn't going to read itself and I had some email to check.  

So that's it for me.  Tomorrow I'm going to cook a bit for dinner, but it should be fine really.  Come back tomorrow and see what I get up to.  Night!

September 7, 2014


Sunday - Sunny and hot

A mostly good day!

I got up early this morning, as in before my alarms.  I woke up and realized that if I went back to bed for my extra 45 minutes of sleep, I'd probably oversleep, and miss my alarms.  I decided to just get up and stay up.  Over all it was a good idea, although I was a tad tired.

We had lunch in the Indian/Nepali restaurant.  It was very nice.  I had chicken curry with naan, and so did F.  We got a choice of drink plus a piece of tandori chicken and a salad, so rather a good deal.  It was very filling though.

After lunch we took our bedding to the laundromat and washed them.  It wasn't without incident though.  When we were getting the bedding out of the car, I offered to help F, but he didn't listen to me.  Next thing I know, he'd hiked his bag up to his shoulder, and the glass jar in which we'd been saving the coins for the laundry shot out the top of his bag and smashed on the ground.  ARGGH!  We had coins and glass everywhere.  We did pick up all the coins I think, and as much of the glass as we could. We even swept up a bunch of it too.  

We put all our stuff in one washer and both of us did a little reading.  For the drying portion we put things into two dryers, a novel concept for F, but a pretty good one. I got a lot of my novel, Hunting Ground read.  

When we finished laundry and things were done to F's satisfaction, we loaded up the car and came home.  I started to make the bed, I called to F to ask him to help me move the mattress, but either he didn't hear me or ignored me.  I couldn't flip it today, so I turned it around.  I started making the bed, but I was rather annoyed, since he sleeps there too!  We had a few words and I thought that I'd ruined the rest of the day, but I hadn't.  

F was getting the fishing stuff ready for us to go out.  We drove over to Kamo Port and spent the next few hours fishing.  I did rather well for a change.  I got one small aji and two small tai or sea bream.  F got a couple of aji, although both of us threw back quite a few as they were too small.  It was a lovely afternoon for fishing and we were almost sad when we had to pack things up.

We came back to Tsuruoka and were going to go to our favourite place for sushi but it was busy.  We ended up going to Kappa Sushi. It was busy too, but we got a seat fairly quickly and had an okay meal.  

We bought groceries for the next couple of days of meals and then came home.  F cleaned the fish and made bread for tomorrow.  We're having soup and sandwiches tomorrow night, so it shouldn't be too much work.  

I watched Byzantium tonight.  What a cool little Vampire thriller.  I had a hard time taking my eyes off the screen of the TV.  It wasn't for everyone, but it was moody and dark and a little sad.  I loved it.

And that was about my day.  I wrote a few postcrossing cards and hope to get to bed soon.  That's it for me.  Got to go.  Night.