November 25, 2014

Tuesday - Rainy, clear at night

A good day.

I got up when my alarm went off, came through to the living room and promptly fell asleep on the couch over X-Files.  I woke up when F popped in to get something.  

For the rest of the morning I did a few things on my computer but never did get around to having breakfast.  I was planning to shower when F called and said he’d come home for lunch with a bento for himself, did I want one too?  I happily agreed as there wasn’t much food in the apartment.  

Between his call and arrival I managed to get dressed, make the bed and was just on the way to put the kettle on when he walked in.  It was nice to see him.  He heated up the bento, I made tea and coffee. 

He left again and I did my usual things on the computer and then took a shower.  

I did some laundry and unpacked a little, although I’m still not quite done.  

In the evening F came home and we discussed dinner.  He wanted to go out somewhere I didn’t at first, so we compromised.  Then, he came up with a new idea that was interesting.  He has a friend on Google Plus that started an izakaya, so he wanted to go there.  He’s never met the person before, just wanted to show support.  We hit up S-Mall first for a few things at the hundred yen shop, then went over to the izakaya. 

The place is right on the main old shopping street and the food was very good.  It’s a hard business to be in, but the beginning signs were good.  

After we ate a lot of very nice stuff, we came home via the grocery store and I got ingredients to make chicken fajitas tomorrow night.  Since neither of us like green peppers, I will use mushrooms.  I hope it goes well!

We had a quiet evening in.  I watched some TV and worked on my Christmas project, then went back to my computer and did some postcrossing cards up.  I also watched the Project Runway finale for season 10.  It was really good and I can actually say I’d wear a lot of the clothes, if they made them in my size!

That was my day.  Tomorrow I’m doing dinner and I half promised F that I’d make an apple crumble or something so I might try and put it together during the day and then bake it in the evening.  We’ll see how the time goes!  I’ll leave you with this thought.  It’s only one month till Christmas.  Night!

November 24, 2014

Monday - Sunny, some rain on the way home.

A good day…an odd weekend!

It all started rather swimmingly.  We left Tsuruoka around 7 pm on Friday night, got to our hotel in Shibata and had a pleasant night there.

We got on the road before 10:00am the next morning and arrived at our destination around 1:00 pm.  We drove around, found our hotel, but didn’t check in as we were too early.  We did a little shopping and more driving.  We checked in around 3 pm.

The hotel was older, basically a Bed and Breakfast.  It was supposedly an example of an Early American house.  Our room was fine.  We left our luggage, went out for a little more sightseeing and dinner.  I suggested going to a restaurant I’d been to before.  We went to Gravity Worx and had a really yummy meal.  F wasn’t too keen on the idea, but after he had some of the food, he was okay with ordering more!  I took a break from my diet for the weekend.  We had bread to start, then pizza and pasta.  We followed it all up with dessert too.  Yum.  

We went back to our hotel, had our bath, went upstairs to our room and relaxed.  I was doing some crochet, and had just finished darning some ends in when the house started to shake.  Yes, dear F and I went to Hakuba in Nagano, the epicentre of the earthquake!  Although I experienced the big 3/11 earthquake, I was on the other side of the country from it, and it wasn’t as strong here.  This earthquake was right under us and felt much, much stronger.  The lights went out just as F made a dive towards me on the bed!  On the other hand, I very carefully felt around for the needle packet and put the needle away. I remember thinking somewhat clearly that if I didn’t put the needle away safely, someone might step on it in the dark.  F opened our room door and the emergency lights were on out there. Fortunately for us, the lights came back on a few minutes later and the hotel owners came up to check on us.  

We had many aftershocks all night.  We couldn’t use the gas heater in the room, so the hotel owners brought up an electric one that we used instead.  F also sagely suggested that we change into our “street clothes” in case we had to make a run for it in the night.  All I can say is thank goodness for yoga pants because they are comfortable to sleep in. 

I am also glad for my smartphone because I was able to email my friends and family and let them know I was okay, probably before some of them had even heard about the earthquake.  

Sunday was F’s Birthday so we did a few things that he wanted to do.  We had breakfast in the hotel, then went out.  We did the “ashi-yu” or footbath next to the station, after buying towels at a drugstore for drying our feet.  It was something walking through the drugstore seeing all the merchandise on the floor.  Somehow, the stuff on the floor didn’t bother me quite as much as seeing the dishwashing liquid all this way and that on the shelves.
The Ashi-Yu had free wi-fi!

The ashi-yu was great, and then we looked for a museum, but it was closed for the season.  We had lunch at a soba restaurant, which was pretty good I have to admit. We also went to a glass bead shop.  I thought we’d just look around, but we got to make glass beads!  Each of us made a bead.  It was quite cool, and ever since I read the Dick Francis about the glassblower, I had wanted to work with glass.  We didn’t blow the glass, but we did work with it.  We had to let the beads cool before we could take them home, so we drove back to the station area and had drinks in a cafe there.  

Back at the Glass Bead place, we got our beads and were invited to make a necklace or a keychain with them.  We chose necklaces for me, so we spent some time putting them together.  F was really good at it and did most of the work.  Then again, he could understand the man’s explanation!  It wasn’t cheap, and I probably will never do it again, but it was fun learning a bit of a new thang.

We drove around more, even going to the Hakuba Ski Jumping Hill where the Olympic Ski Jump was.  It was technically closed so we couldn’t get too close, but we snapped a few pictures!

We went back to the hotel for dinner.  That’s where my problems started.  I won’t go into too many details, but I became under the weather and had to leave the dinner table a few times during the meal.  Poor F.  His birthday and he almost ends up eating alone.  

After our meal, I decided not to take my bath, but encouraged F to go.  The aftershocks had died down somewhat, although they did continue.  He went to the bath, I fell asleep on top of the bed.  I was surprised when F came back to the room.

We watched a bit of TV, I crocheted, but both of us were in bed and I think asleep before midnight.

This morning, we had our breakfast at the hotel, checked out around 10.  When we were in the room, F said, "I’d like to visit the Chihiro Museum." Since the only Chihiro I could think of was from a Ghibli movie I asked if he meant “Sento Chihiro”.  He didn’t.  He meant Chihiro Iwasaki, a famous Japanese artist.  I’m not a huge fan of her work, but it wasn’t my birthday the day before, so off we went.

F drove us there, it was about an hour away, and we spent the next 4 hours at the museum. It was huge, but rather interesting.  We did have lunch there too, and after we saw all the artwork, we went to the gift shop where I bought a few postcards!
The grounds of the Chihiro Art Museum Azumino. I think it would be lovely in summer.

After that, it was home.  It took us a long time to drive back, but apart from having to take a detour through Hakuba because of road closures, went surprisingly smoothly.  F was a powerhouse behind the wheel.  I dozed a bit and then found my  second wind for the last bit.  

We came home and have been catching up with email and “stuff” ever since.  F is in bed now, I’ll be joining him soon I hope.

Whew.  Long story…still with me?  Got to go. Night.

November 20, 2014

Thursday - Cloudy

A good day.

I got up in time to watch X-Files this morning, and did. I watched a couple of other things in the morning and had my usual sort of morning.  

In the afternoon, I made myself some tea and had lunch after a bit.  I got a few calls from F and as he was at an import store I suggested that he look for our Christmas goodies.  Surprisingly, he found them too.  Woot!  

Lunch was another quesadilla, this time I finished the duck and had one with a little cheese and a sun-dried tomato.  That was really quite nice.  

I was making dinner tonight and had originally planned to do mashed potatoes, but I realized that I didn’t have enough burners to do everything, so I changed to making couscous instead.  I’m so glad!  When F came home, I had things just ready to go on the stove, so it didn’t take very long at all.  Tonight I went the more simple route and had steamed cauliflower, couscous, sautéed chicken and salad.  The plates looked rather boring, but it was good.  F put tons of mayo on the cauliflower, plus had sujiko and rice too.  I don’t know where he puts it all!

F did dishes and I watched telly.  I had a good evening.  I did up 3 postcrossings tonight, and went over to the couch for a bit of crochet time later on.  I’ve re-finished the squares with the white edging and have just crocheted what I hope will be the tree at the bottom of the Christmas tree.  I hope to sew it all up and decorate it next week.  

That’s about it for me.  I had a good if quiet day.  Oh, I also packed my suitcase.  Tomorrow F and I are off for a few days of vacation. I hope it goes well.  We’ll be back next week.  Night!

November 19, 2014

Wednesday - Warmish and sunny

A good day.

I got up early for me and took a shower.  I got ready to go out and at about 10:25, I began the trek to the bus station.  I got to the mall rather quickly and painlessly.  I made a quick stop to take a picture
Outside a new Japanese restaurant

and when I was at S-Mall I had time to ask the bus station staff how much the bus cost. Yay me.
On the bus, I read my book and occasionally looked out the window to see the scenery.  When I got to Mikawa Mall, I got busy.  I did a lot of window shopping at first and picked out a few things that I thought I might get later.  After a couple of hours of that, I decided to have lunch.  

I took myself off to a family type restaurant and had a lunch of beef and chicken. It wasn’t bad, and it was fairly low calorie too.  Yay. 

After lunch I got down to the serious business of shopping.  I got a lot of different stuff, for different people.  I think I’ve finished my husband’s birthday present, my best friend’s Christmas present and definitely my niece’s present.  I’d still like to get something for my nephew’s Christmas and birthday, plus my sister’s Christmas and my hubby’s Christmas too.  Whew.  But, still, I think I got nice stuff.  And mostly in budget too!
F met me after he finished work and we had some tea or a Java Kula in Seattle’s, then picked up a few things in Uniqlo.  Then we had a not great dinner in the mall.  After that, he picked up a book for our trip and I looked at kitchen goods but didn’t buy anything else.  

We came home via the grocery store. I’m going to cook tomorrow night.  I chose easy to do stuff, and hopefully stuff that won’t leave us with a ton of leftovers.

We came home, watched a little TV and I tried to catch up on my internet stuff.  I’m not sure if I’m there yet, but it’s late, I’m tired and I need some sleep.  

That’s it for me.  I’ll probably talk to you tomorrow.  Night!

November 18, 2014

Tuesday - Rainy and cool

A good day.

I got up before 9 this morning too.  F was up and in the living room already. He had to make a run to the doctor before he went to work.

I got up and dressed because I was expecting a delivery and didn’t want to go to the door in my pajamas.  I watched X-Files and also my usual Next Top Model, but F came back for a bit during that.  He didn’t like me sitting on the couch in “his” space!  I liked it just fine.  I was doing some crochet on my Christmas decoration.

I got my delivery and then I started doing my normal house things.  I made the bed, and did a few other things around the apartment.

In the afternoon I did watch Broadchurch…NOT over yet, and some stuff on my computer.  I also had a bit of a contretemps with Postcrossing too. They deleted one of my card scans saying that someone had complained about it.  Thing was, it was the front of the card I had scanned, and the person who sent it to me chose to write on it.  I had covered up part of his name to protect his identity, but they still weren’t happy.  This is a long time after the card arrived anyway.  Oh well, it is memorialized on my blog and I have plans for that spot on my Postcrossing wall now!

I had lunch and did the dishes, and then grabbed the vacuum cleaner and did a pretty fair job of the apartment. It sorely needed it.

F came home around 5:30 and put dinner together quickly. However, we waited until a little later to eat it.  We had shabu-shabu tonight and it was yummy.  We had lots of veggies and tofu too, so it was quite healthy.  I did the dishes afterwards.

We got a call from Uniqlo and they said that the shirt we ordered on the weekend has come in.  So, I decided to go to the mall by bus tomorrow morning and do some solo shopping.  I still haven’t got F’s birthday present, and it’ll give me a chance to do some shopping alone!  Yay.  I’m looking forward to it.  

We had a quiet evening.  I watched Grey’s Anatomy from the couch and did more crochet. It was relaxing for me.  I needed it!  

And that’s about it.  Tomorrow I hope to get up a little early and go to S-Mall and catch the bus to Mikawa.  Wish me luck with the whole thing!  Night!

November 17, 2014

Monday - Rainy and cold

A good day.

I was able to talk to my sister and my nephew last night before I went to bed. It was really lovely talking to them face to face!  I got to see just how my nephew’s braces are and heard all about the family going ons.  

I went to bed and had a pretty good night.  This morning I first woke up just when F was getting up, then went back to sleep for a bit more sleep.  I did wake up before my alarms this morning, but for a change decided to just get up.  Good decision.

I had a quiet and relaxing morning.  I watched X-Files and did a little bit of crochet, read two newspapers and had breakfast.  It sounds busy!  F made a quick stop home, and after he was off again I took a shower.  

In the afternoon I scanned my cards as well as having lunch.  I watched Broadchurch too.  I’m hoping its getting near the end as I don’t want to miss any when I’m away.  

I was going to go to the post office with my card, but I ran out of time, so decided to let F take me out tonight to do it.  He would have to buy kerosene anyway, so I wasn’t making him go out.  

I got dinner started after he came home.  It was a bit more fiddly than I like, but was really good.  Tonight we had lemon pepper chicken, roasted romanesco (a cauliflower/broccoli hybrid) and sautéed swiss chard.  All very yummy.  We had a caesar salad with it too…or the lettuce for one.  We didn’t eat until 7:30ish though.  

F did the dishes and after a bit of relaxation on both our parts, we decided to go out for kerosene.  We picked some up and then F drove by a mailbox for me to drop off my cards.  They’ll probably go out tomorrow.

We came home and I made some tea. This was different than usual, it was ume kombucha, and was a nice treat.  I’d found the packet while I was decluttering and it hadn’t expired yet!

I watched Person of Interest from the couch and sewed in the ends of all my little squares.  Whew! And that was really about it for my day.  These days I feel like I have so much to do, but no time to do any of it.  Ack!  

That’s it for me.  Talk to you tomorrow.  Night!

November 16, 2014

Sunday - Rainy, windy, cloudy & cold

A good day.  

I slept in today.  I didn’t mean to, but 2 alarms didn’t wake me up at all.  Sigh.  My new phone’s alarms just aren’t as annoying and difficult to turn off as my old phones.  I’ve been taking my old cell phone to bed and using its alarm to wake me up!  I’m not sure how long I’ll be able to do that though.

Anyway, F and I ordered in sushi for brunch today and it was very nice.  I made tea and we sat on the couch and ate our repast.  Yum.

I was getting mighty house-sick by the late afternoon, so I suggested going out for a while.  We did.  We went to the new supermarket again, and this time checked out the new 100 yen shop above it.  It was quite nice and I picked up a few things.  We also bought our groceries at the new grocery store.  We got a few neat things and I’m looking forward to seeing what to do with them!

We came home and dropped off our groceries, then went off to S-Mall.  I needed dark brown yarn for the tree trunk part of my Christmas decoration.  
I went up to the hundred yen shop, and F went to the grocery for the rice that he forgot to get for himself! 

We met up, I bought my  yarn and then went off to  Doutors for a drink.  I had my usual Royal Soy Milk Tea and F had Royal Milk Tea.  Yum.

Then, we discussed where to go for dinner.  On the way to the mall we’d gone past a restaurant we haven’t visited in ages, so we decided to go there.  When we arrived, a big group were just leaving, so it was good timing.  

We had a nice dinner at Jour Faste.  I had pasta, spaghetti with asparagus and shrimp in a cream sauce.  It came with a yummy salad, tea and dessert.  For dessert I chose a rucola chiffon cake.  It was quite nice, even if it was green! F had a hamburger and his came with the same salad, soup and dessert and coffee.  His dessert was chocolate cake. It looked good, but you know, I really enjoyed mine!

We came home and had some decaf tea, and watched a little telly.  I watched Project Runway and enjoyed it, although I did think that some of the clothes weren’t all that!  

It’s my sister’s birthday today and I’ve been waiting around to see if I can video chat with her, but she’s very busy, and I’m going to bed soonish. I did a little texting with my niece though to see if I can get her something she’d like for Christmas.  

Anyway, that’s about it for me.  Oh, wait.  Er, um…I wasn’t able to do any de-cluttering today either. I was either asleep or out most of the day.  The next two weekends I’ll be away, so I’m thinking to table the decluttering until February or so.  It’s a shorter month, so easier, and I don’t think I have any plans for it yet! I really enjoyed getting rid of stuff though, which is why I want to do it all over again.  

Tomorrow, I’m cooking at home and I have to run to the post office and mail some of the postcards that I just wrote tonight. I hope to fit in some vacuuming and other fun stuff along the way though.  Night!