March 28, 2020

Saturday - Sunny then a little rainy

I went to bed terribly late last night, then got up once to make a trip downstairs. I came back to bed, fell back asleep. I got up around 11 for a brief time and then went back to sleep. I dragged myself out of bed around 1pm.  F was in bed a lot longer than I was. He didn’t get out until well after 2 pm. 

We discussed where to go for lunch and I suggested a few places. I wanted to take his mother out with us but I wanted a quiet place where she wouldn’t have too many people around us. I suggested Coco Ichibanya and that’s where we went.  It was a pretty good idea as there weren’t many people in the restaurant, so we could stay in a quiet corner away from people.  K had a curry with croquettes, F had a curry with liver and I had Spice Curry which was a sort of roast chicken and masala curry. It was amazing!

We dropped K off at the house and then we went out. Today, we drove to Yutagawa Onsen to see the ume blossoms.  We parked in the public parking and then had to walk to the park. That wasn’t the hard part. The hard part was climbing up the hill to get to the flowers! I had forgotten how steep it was and even that there was a hill to climb.  Still, I did it. I had to take it a bit slowly, but no worries. We were there around 5 pm and there weren’t many people there at all. We avoided most of them too so that was good. There were quite a few different types of trees and the colours were interesting. There were light, light pinks to deep almost reds. We took oodles of photos and then came down the hill. I wanted to be down the hill well before sunset so we weren’t taking stairs in the dark.


We bought a drink and then walked back to the car. We stopped in at a couple of places. One to buy our drinks and the other because it had a Hina Doll set in the lobby and were selling some sashiko items. Sadly, the items were things I don’t need, so I wouldn’t let F buy them for me!

On the way back to Tsuruoka proper we discussed what we’d do. We wanted to go and see a movie tonight and needed to get K a bento or something in case she got hungry.  F suggested going to a grocery store that we never go to, and that’s what we did. We drove out to the grocery store and found K a bento. Then, I saw something that I thought looked good, and then F did. We decided to get a few things for later. We weren’t hungry right then, but after the movie, we probably would be.  We bought our stuff and came back to the house. 

K got her bento. I wasn’t sure that she’d be hungry already (I wasn’t!) but she ate it. F and I put ours in the fridge for later and then we went off to the cinema.

We went to see Motherless Brooklyn tonight. There were only 3 people in the cinema, and we were two of them. It’s a shame because I loved the movie. The whole mood and tone of the film just intrigued me so much and I really loved it. I’ve always liked Edward Norton (except maybe during the Hulk thing) and I thought this film was amazing.  After the movie, I told F that I needed to buy the soundtrack. He liked it too, he volunteered his opinion so it must be true!

We came back to the house via a convenience store for a few non-essential essentials. We had a really quiet evening in.  F’s been on YouTube all night, I’ve mostly been on my computer. I read some reviews of the film and people hated it! What?  Why?  It was so compelling to me. 

Anyway, I have absolutely no idea what we’ll get up to tomorrow. If you want, come on back and find out. Until tomorrow….

March 27, 2020

Friday - Rainy, but clear in the daytime

I had a usual quiet day here today. It was like all the others except around 1 pm I started marinating some meat for dinner and then after lunch, I did a bit of mending on F’s jeans. This is the third time I’ve had to do a patch on his jeans, I kind of think he needs new jeans, but…. I tacked the patch onto the jeans and did a couple of rows before I had to stop. It looks sort of cool right now. It’ll take a bit of work to get it done though.

Around 5:15 F called to say he was finished work. For some reason, I didn’t go downstairs for a while and he was actually back here before I did. It wasn’t a big deal though.

What actually was a big deal was that he’d come in bearing flowers. He said they were for me, but I really don’t think so. I told him quite plainly that I didn’t have a vase and so maybe he should give them to his mother! 

He did. Oh heavens. She brought this huge flower arrangement into the kitchen from the genkan. It had a lot of yellow flowers that started dropping their petals all over the place. She tried to cut the new flowers stems but did a really bad job. Meanwhile, I’m trying to get dinner ready and I can’t do anything in the kitchen. F was yelling at his mother (she can’t hear otherwise) and I just wanted the pair of them to get out and leave me alone!

Finally, I got things started. I did garlic pork tonight with rice and miso soup, plus pickled eggplants and baby leaf lettuce. It wasn’t a difficult meal by any means, most of the stuff came from the store so it wasn’t hard work, I just needed to get on it. I also made up some raspberry vinegar drink as that sounded nice for a change. F was looking for something for the bread maker while I was getting things ready and it really upset me. I need peace and quiet around me, not rustling papers and raking through drawers. 

Dinner was okay. Of course, F had done a bunk and was in his bunk…I had to go upstairs to get him to come to dinner. The pork was good, very garlicky, and the salad was yummy. Everything disappeared.

F and I did the dishes, he ran off at the end as usual. It’s so annoying. I told him multiple times that I needed to clean the stove but he wouldn’t get out of my way. I finally got it done and then went upstairs. Where he was back in bed.

I reminded him that we were supposed to go out. He didn’t want to at first but relented later. 

We went to Komeda coffee and each had a decaf. We both had a dessert, so that was quite nice.  After an hour we came back to the house.

F went back to bed, I took a shower and then came and watched a bit of TV. I should have watched The Walking Dead tonight, but I’m finding that I just can’t watch too much of it at once. I watched an episode early on today and it depressed me a bit too much!

I watched a bit of comedy that has somehow found its way onto Japanese TV and felt a bit better. 

That’s about it for today. Oh, today was the 23rd anniversary of my arriving in Japan. There is so much I love about Japan, but so much more that I dislike. It’s a quandary sometimes about why I still live here. One day I’ll think more about it. 

Come back later if you like and see what I get up to. Until tomorrow….

March 26, 2020

Thursday - Sunny and warmish

Today was the 23rd anniversary of the day I left Canada to come to Japan. I was left at the airport by my brother in law, but a few minutes later a friend came and had breakfast with me before I went through security. 

On with today’s report. I did what I’ve been doing for a few days now. Waking up early, then watching the news from the bed. I watched Jamie Oliver from the bed too but kind of fell asleep on him. Oops. 

I got up and dressed, went downstairs to get breakfast, but K was bopping around in the kitchen so I came back upstairs. I went down again a few minutes later.

I had a very quiet morning and early afternoon. A friend was supposed to come and pick up some books from me, but couldn’t. I was outside waiting for her when I got her text to say she couldn’t come. Oh, dear.  

I watched a bit of TV off the DVR today. I got through an episode of The Walking Dead. I love the show, but it is a hard slog to watch it sometimes. I think I am too nervous for it!

F came back to the house around 6:30 and a few minutes later the three of us left for the onsen. I left a bag of books for my friend in the garage so she could pick them up. Her plan was to come at 7 pm.  She did, but I wasn’t there!

F and K went and took baths at the onsen, I stayed in the lobby and did some crochet. I got a row and a bit done on my scrap shawl so I was quite pleased. It is really looking pretty right now.

We had our dinner at the onsen too. K just had an ice cream cone, F had the cheap ramen on offer and I had Katsu curry or curry and rice with a pork cutlet. It was really quite nice, came with a salad too. F didn’t like the ramen at all. K loved her ice cream! 

We drove back into Tsuruoka and dropped K off at the house. I grabbed the books that my friend had left for me and put them in the house.  

F and I went off to the grocery store. I was hoping that he’d want to go for coffee too, but he was tired and sore after work so didn’t want to go. Oh well.

We picked up a few things from the store and came back to the house. We put away the groceries and then came upstairs. I watched a small amount of TV tonight and then turned off the set.

That’s about it for tonight. Oh, I forgot, I also wrote up a couple of Postcrossings today. One is going to Belgium and the other to Tokyo, so that was cool. I hope I can do a few more tomorrow…or some mending for Fumihiko. 

Come back later if you like and hear all about my Friday. Until tomorrow….

March 25, 2020

Wednesday - Sunny, but a bit cold

I woke up after F left the house and got up a couple of minutes later. I did my stay in bed and watch the news thing, followed unfortunately by a snooze in bed through Jamie Oliver.  Sigh. It was an okay show and I did see some of it. I can’t get his ingredients though. I wish I could.

I did three loads of laundry today. I have a lot more to do, but I got my jeans washed, some work clothes and a few nice shirts so that was okay.

I had a bit of a late lunch. I relaxed a bit too much today. I watched the news at 4 and a while later went downstairs to wash dishes and get dinner on the table. I reheated my yummy stew and got it plated for K. She was surprised that F wasn’t here yet, but I reminded her that he was working late tonight.

After dinner, I cleared the table and was washing dishes when a friend started to text me. While I was texting her, F FaceTimed me so it was a bit of communication overload. F was lonely and wanted to tell me he was still working.  My friend wondered how my classes went last night and wanted to make arrangements to pick up the textbooks.  She’ll swing by tomorrow for them.

I finished up in the kitchen and then went upstairs. I was just settling in when F called to say he had finished and was on his way back.

He arrived around 9:30 I think. He was a bit tired so didn’t want to go out. We’ve made tentative plans for dinner tomorrow night. They could change.

We had a quiet night in. I watched a little TV off the DVR and then took a shower, F took one after me. No big deal really.

So, today was a little quiet but really okay. Come back later if you like and see how Thursday goes. Until tomorrow….

March 24, 2020

Tuesday - Snowy and cold

Before bed last night, F called my attention to the snow that had fallen. Well, this morning, it was still there! Bleck. It stayed most of the day, although the snow on the roads melted fairly quickly.

I was in bed before Fumihiko. Well, no, he was in bed before me, but I tried to fall asleep before he did! He tried to go to sleep soon after that, but he was cold so I turned on the heater for him.

When I woke up this morning he was already gone. I felt bad that I hadn’t heard him at all. I got up at my usual time and watched the news from the bed again. Sometimes I just want to pull the covers over my head and sleep until 2021.  

I got up and watched Jamie Oliver. He does some interesting things with food. Sadly for me, quite a few of his ingredients are hard to source here in the boondocks.  Harissa paste anyone? Maybe in Sendai but doubtful in Tsuruoka. 

I had an okay morning. I had breakfast, I watered my plant a little and then I got a text from F saying that he was going to take the afternoon off. Sigh. His back was bad again so he wanted to take time off. Okay, no problem. 

I did a few things in the room, I got my clothes for work all set out. It was a good thing I started early as I had to really search for my new cardigan that I wanted to wear today. I found it. Whew. 

When F came back to the house, instead of just going to the doctor as I assumed he would, he went to bed with his computer. Okay then. He fell asleep. No biggie.  

Around 3 pm I went downstairs and grabbed some lunch and brought it upstairs. I had my usual lunch but added on an extra piece of toast since I wouldn’t be able to eat until late. 

After I ate my lunch F apologized for not taking me out for lunch. It really was fine. I don’t have a good record with him taking me out for lunch before MY work, so I wouldn’t have gone anyway. 

I got dressed for work after 5 pm because I wanted to watch the news today. It was pretty good actually. They ran the PBS news longer than usual and didn’t put Nightline on afterwards, they used the ABC news. I think I prefer that. 

I got ready for work, I ran a few things downstairs so I was ready to go. I was using the washroom when the doorbell rang. F answered the door and I tried calling out to see if it was my taxi. It was…but he didn’t tell me right away. Ack. As I went to the door to grab my coat, backpack and purse and put on my nice shoes F said something about me being nervous. Well, yes, I am actually. I haven’t taught at this place for a year, you are at the house and are getting in my way and just generally being not very supportive at all. I said I was nervous and left. 

Work was fine though. When I got there, I found out that my last class’s students had called in to say they’d be absent. Oh.  Surprise. I took my paperwork for the first class and went to the classroom to set up. I called the company I work for and asked what I should do. They told me that I could just leave after my first class. I’m sure I won’t get paid for the second class, but I was ready for it. I called my husband and asked him if he’d pick me up at the new earlier time. He said he would. Yay!

Only one student showed up, but we had a good class, mostly discussion. After class finished, I cleaned up the classroom, turned in my paperwork and left.  

F was waiting for me in the parking lot and off we went. I asked to go to Cocos for dinner and that’s what we did. I had a Caribbean spicy chicken which was quite spicy and very nice, F had a Japanese style meal which he complained about. The fried fish wasn’t fresh enough for him…why he orders fish in a family restaurant, I do not know. 

After our meal, which lasted forever as F would not leave…too much YouTube…We went over to the grocery store across the street and I picked up a few things for dinner tomorrow night and some salads for my lunch. F will be late tomorrow night so I’ll be doing kitchen duty with K.  

F was supposed to heat up my lovely stew for him and his mother but instead took her out for ramen with him. He’s lost his bloomin’ mind! There’s a pandemic and he takes his 80-something-year-old mother to a ramen shop? Well, at least it wasn’t my idea. I will be able to heat up the stew for K and me tomorrow night! Yum.

Well, that’s a pretty longwinded way of saying that my day was okay. I’m not sure what I’ll get up to on Wednesday. I might do a bit of crafting/mending for F or I might go for a walk in the park just to get out of the house. That will depend on the weather. Come back later if you like and read how my day goes. Until tomorrow….

March 23, 2020

Monday - Clear but cold, snow at night

I work up before my alarm this morning. F had made a lot of noise…no big deal really. I went downstairs and then came back upstairs to watch the news.

I managed to drag myself out of bed a little earlier than I have for a while so that was good. I watched Jamie Oliver, who is now on in the mornings. I enjoyed it but won’t be able to make his recipes as I don’t have the ingredients. 

I did something a little different today. I took my avocado seed out to the shed and I potted it today. It’s been growing in the window for a while, but the weather wasn’t warm enough to take it outside. I watered it after I had put the soil in the pot and left it outside for a while in a sheltered place from the wind. 

I had breakfast and watched a bit of TV.  Then, I took a nap. I couldn’t keep my eyes open. I tried. I napped for much too long but finally got up.  I had lunch and then started to work on my lessons for tomorrow. 

I managed to get them both planned out. I know that they might not all get taught that way, but I’d rather have at least a basic plan of what I want to do than show up with no ideas in mind. 

Around 5 pm I went downstairs to get started on dinner. Before I did that, I brought in my plant. I found a new spot for it upstairs on my DVD rack. I put it on a plastic dish and left it. 

I made another stew today. I’m working tomorrow night and it means that F can just reheat the stew for his mother’s dinner (and probably his too) without too much trouble. F called me while I was prepping things and said he’d be back soon. He was.  

After he came downstairs he said that my plant needed more water and he was going to take it outside and water it again. Ack.  I had carefully brought it in so that it wouldn’t get cold and I didn’t really want to water it so late in the evening. He wasn’t too happy with me for not letting him do what he wanted, but honestly. Every time I get a plant he takes it over and does what he wants with it. It was my blooming seed!  I wanted to grow it myself, thanks anyway.

Anyway, I made the stew. F helped by doing the rice and we had dinner on the table before 7 pm. Not too bad I think. 

We did the dishes after dinner and then I went upstairs to change. We went out for a brief visit to get some gas for the car and hit up a drugstore too. We didn’t find what we were looking for, but did find some chocolate so that was nice!

We came back to the house and had a quiet evening in. I took a shower a little earlier than usual and then watched some TV. No big deal. 

I did water my plant a little more. I think he was right when he said it needed more water, I just didn’t want to take it outside. 

That’s about it for today. Tomorrow I’ll check in on my plant and then see if it is warm enough to put outside for a bit. It snowed tonight so that isn’t an obvious thing. 

I have work in the evening too, so I hope that’ll go well. Wish me luck!

Until tomorrow….

March 22, 2020

Sunday - Rainy-drizzly sort of day

F and I slept in very late today. We’d gone to bed very late last night. I went somewhere around 4 I think, but even that was earlier than Friday, so good I guess? 

We slept in very, very late and then F got up to make lunch for his mother. He had a bit too apparently, then took me out for lunch. We went to a place near my first apartment in Tsuruoka and had an okay lunch there. F had cheese toast, so he ate a little something and I had my usual dish. The only problem with the usual dish is that today it wasn’t as great as usual. Usually, they serve it on a spitting hot metal plate…today not so hot. The green beans in the dish were cold…so not what I wanted.  Anyway, it was fine, just not as great as I hoped it would be.

We did a few other things after lunch. We went to the craft shop. I ogled some yarn but ultimately didn’t buy anything. I have yarn at the house, I need to use more of that before I buy more. We went to the Mall to get a coffee and then after a while I picked up some meat, F got a bento for his mother and then we brought it back to the house for her. 
F wanted sushi for dinner tonight. The best place has seating that is very close together around the revolving sushi, so I didn’t think it was a good idea. We ended up at one of the other places and had a table near where the sushi comes out from the back. 

We had an okay meal, but I wouldn’t call it a great one. Some of the sushi was nice, but F is a bit of a snob. He complained about the rice and some of the fish. Same as usual then.

We bought a few more groceries on the way back to the house. I’m going to make another stew tomorrow night and then F just has to heat it up on Tuesday night for his mother and himself. I’ll be at work if all goes well so it will work out nicely for him after work.

We came back to the house and stayed in. We watched Guardians of the Galaxy again in the evening. It’s a fun film. I did a bit of crochet too, which I very much enjoyed doing. I haven’t done any in a bit. 

Oh, did I mention that I’ve been asked to teach a few classes in April too? I really hope that it works out okay. It will help make up for the classes that were cancelled this month because of the Corona Virus. 

From being in the restaurant and some of the other places we go, Japanese people just don’t seem to have heard of social distancing. When F was paying tonight, a woman came and stood directly behind him…when we were at the cinema concession stand yesterday a guy was flitting between cashiers and was again, standing directly behind F.  I feel like blowing a whistle and pushing people away! 

Anyway, that’s it for me. Tomorrow I want to transplant my little avocado plant into a real pot and hopefully get started on my lesson planning for Tuesday. 

Come back later if you want and see what I get up to. Until tomorrow….