Sunday, December 4, 2016

Mikan - The Perfect Fruit

I've found an open air fruit stand selling bags of mikan for only 300 yen!  I've been buying them for several weeks and eating them every day.  They are easy to peel and have no seeds.  I think they are the perfect fruit.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

The Alphabet Club - Q

There is no "Q" in Japanese, but I'll take this chance to show my quilts (or kiruto  in Japanese). 


Bigger Quilts - Wall and Bed

Linking up with Chiara at the Grey Tail.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Heating My Apartment

I'm feeling quite pleased with myself and I'll tell you why in a minute.  

The weather in Shizuoka is quite different from the weather in Hokkaido. In Hokkaido, there was no need for an air conditioner because it never got hot enough to need one.  In the winter, it was very cold and snowy and we used a toyu stove to heat the apartment.  I wrote about it here

In my apartment here, I have a combination air conditioner and heater, called an air con.  When I moved in, it was set for the air conditioner mode, but recently it has been getting cooler at night.  I wanted some heat, but didn't know how to change from air conditioner to heat.  I couldn't read the Kanji on the remote control.  

Everything can be found on the internet!  I was able to find this and have now changed it to heat!  I just compared the kanji in the article with  the kanji on my remote.

It's a difficult world when you are illiterate, but I'm always happy when I can win over Kanji.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Let the Birthday Begin!

I love my birthday!  I love it so much that I don't just celebrate the DAY I was born, I celebrate the entire month.  This year, with my medical challenges, I am even happier to celebrate my birthday. 

My wonderful friend in the USA, who knows me well, stitched this amazing gift and sent it to me for my birthday.  I am so happy with it.  My favorite animal, my favorite color, what could be better?  I know how long it takes to make a gift like this, so I am overwhelmed with gratitude.  

Thank you Rhoda! 

PS  You may remember this gift I received for my birthday in 2013, also made by the same friend. She knows me well!  I was the only Giant Panda in Hokkaido and always got a lot of attention when I wore my panda hat and scarf.  (Thanks again!)

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Work In Progress Wednesday - Felt Coasters

Here are the two in progress coasters I'm working on.  The backside fabric is blue with tiny tea cups and tea pots.  

I've also been working on some gift stitching that I'm not showing yet.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

My New Ironing Board

I've wanted and needed an ironing board since I moved here, but hadn't been able to find one.  Finally, I found this one at Home Assist for about 3,000 yen.  I can sit on the floor and iron, or put it on my little table.  (I don't think I'll be ironing on the floor.) Before I bought this, I was putting a bath towel on a folding chair to iron - very inconvenient!  

I am happy with my purchase and expect to get a lot of use out of it with my many projects.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Eating Contests

Did  you ever see the movie Cool Hand Luke?  It's one of my favorite movies.  In one part of the movie, Luke bets with his fellow prisoners that he can eat 50 hard boiled eggs in an hour.  Whenever I hear about eating contests, I always think about Luke eating eggs.  

I often read about eating contests in Japan. Just the other day I read about a 28 year old man who died after participating in an onigiri (rice ball) speed eating contest in Hikone City in Shiga Prefecture on November 13th after a number of rice balls became lodged in his throat. He was given medical attention, but died in the hospital three days later.  

Iwate Prefecture hosts soba noodle eating contests. These soba noodles are served in small bowls in a tradition that began 400 years ago. People eat hundreds of these small bowls of noodles!    I like soba noodles, but one regular bowl is all I can eat.

Have you ever been in an eating contest?  What and how much did you eat?

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Elderly Drivers in Japan

The National Police Agency in Japan reports there are 17 million drivers age 65 and over in the country.  Recently, aging drivers have been in the news after an 87 year old driver in Yokohama drove into a group of elementary children.   One six year old died and 11 others were injured.

Last week a 97 year old high ranking Buddhist priest returned his driver's license because of this controversy over elderly drivers. Originally the priest wanted to keep his license to drive until he turned 100, but decided it was stupid to try to maintain his license out of pride. He encouraged other elderly drivers to be safe and give up their licenses.  

I can understand wanting to stay independent, but there comes a point when it is safer to stop driving.  Do you know anyone who is still driving when he shouldn't be?  Or, on the other hand, do you know an elderly person who is still able to drive safely?  I don't drive in Japan, and may be quite old when I go back to the US.  I think I will be fine not driving when I'm elderly, but time will tell.