Friday, September 30, 2016

What am I Reading?

Actual printed books in English here are very limited, so I read free books on my gadget from iBooks.  Free usually means public domain, or older books, but there are so many to choose from.  

Currently I am reading my way through the works of Fergus Hume, who was an English mystery writer who lived from 1859 to 1932. Although he was born in England, he lived in New Zealand with his family from an early age, studied law at university and was admitted to the bar there.  Later he moved to Australia, where he worked as a barrister's clerk and began writing.  After the success of his first book,  The Mystery of the Hanson Cab, which was self published, he moved back to England in 1888. This mystery novel became the best selling mystery novel of its time and was said to be the "most sensationally popular crime and detective novel of the century."

He wrote 130 mystery novels plus many stories and articles.  Not all of his books are available on iBooks, but I am reading the ones that are available.  If you like mystery/crime drama type books, you might want to check out Fergus Hume.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

2016 Smalls Stitch A Long - Tiny Candle Ornament

Cross stitch over one with one strand of DMC floss.

Linking up with Heather at Stitching Lotus, the hostess of this SAL.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Work In Progress Wednesday - Mitten Ornament Finish

This week I finished the mitten ornament, lining it with some pale blue fabric.  I think it turned out kind of cute.  What do you think?

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Stitch Group Biscornu

The stitch group started a new project this week - a little Christmas tree biscornu, like this one, only on a bigger count white fabric.

We are planning to take a weaving class together next month, so we had to check the calendar to find a date that works for everyone.  Won't that be fun!

Thank you!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Monday Morning Star Count - More Japanese Hexies

I've basted an additional 28 Japanese hexagons, so I think my total is now 114 - I had 100, then used 14 for the placemats.  

More to come! 

Linking up with Anthea at Hibiscus Stitches.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

UFO's I Want to Work On

I have many many unfinished projects and I do want to finish most of them. Sometimes I just get tired of a project I'm working on, or I get an idea for something and have to start working on it.  So anyway, here are some of the UFO's that I really want to finish.

Four Block Crazy Quilt  

Rose Cross Stitch Afghan  

Midnight Mystery Quilt  

Plum Panache Velvet Beaded Shawl  

House Quilt  

Scrappy Cat Quilt  

Stumpwork Pansies 

RSN Rice Fields 

Kogin Bag 

RSN Knot Garden 


Ribbon Album Mini Quilt

48 Count Silk Gauze Chair Cushion 

Paisley Purse 

Yes, there are many more, but these are some of them.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Shizuoka Snack

It seems that every area in Japan has special foods and snacks.  Besides green tea, I learned these snacks are a specialty of Shizuoka.  

They are hard to describe, but I will try -- they are made from rice and are pink for sakura, with a sweet kind of glaze on the outside. This bag was a gift to me from stitchers. What a nice treat!  (It's a good thing I ate them before going to the hospital because I can't eat them now.)

Friday, September 23, 2016

Miss Japan 2016 and Being "Hafu"

Recently 22 year old Priyanka Yoshikawa won the title of Miss Japan 2016.  Her title win has been in the news quite a bit as her father is Indian, so she is considered "hafu" or half Japanese.  Critics complain that a "pure" Japanese should have won.  This follows last year's Miss Universe pageant winner who was the first mixed-race person to win a major pageant in Japan. Only 3% of babies born in Japan every year are biracial.  

A few years ago, we went to the screening of a film called Hafu, which illustrated the difficulties and prejudice biracial Japanese face.  If you are interested you can find clips of it on YouTube. 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Hospital Food

In the hospital, I wasn't allowed to eat from Sunday noon until Thursday lunch.  This is what I was served when I was able to eat again. 

Thursday lunch - rice gruel in closed container

Thursday dinner - rice gruel in the open bowl

Friday breakfast

Friday lunch

Friday dinner

Saturday breakfast

Saturday lunch

I've often heard that hospital food is bad.  (Maybe that's just hospital food in the US?) I didn't know what all of it was, but it did taste good.  I wasn't able to eat everything each meal - it was just too much!    

Have you ever eaten hospital food?  What did you think of it - good or not?

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Work In Progress Wednesday - Hospital Stitching

Surprisingly I have progress this week. I stitched quite a bit the day before the surgery, when I was just waiting.  I also stitched a little before leaving the hospital.  I have just a little more to stitch on this mitten (front and back).  I used Caron Watercolors for the main part of the mitten, and RG Splendor for the red.  

I started another mitten with another Watercolors that has bigger color changes.  I thought  I would work the stitch across instead of up and down because of the color changes, but that didn't work out.  I'll abandon this attempt.  

Now that I'm home I have other things to work on so I might make just one mitten.  Or,  I might start another with some other thread. We'll see.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Hospital Life

I never stayed overnight in a hospital in the US except when I was born, so I can't really compare, but I can tell about my experience  here in Japan.  

The hospital floor I was on was the surgery floor.  The day I checked in, I was in a room with three other women.  They were all bed ridden, with their curtains closed, so I don't know anything about why they were there.  I had surgery the next morning (Monday), then spent that day until the next morning in the room next to the nurses' station.  The next morning (Tuesday) I moved to a room with five other women.  Like the first room, these people also stayed in the beds with the curtains closed, although these people had visitors during the day within their curtains. 

Every morning, the loud speakers woke everyone up at 6 am and the lights all turned on.  Through out the day there were other announcements, like meals were about to be delivered or nurses would be coming to check or other things I didn't understand.  At 9 pm was the announcement about lights going out, then they did.  There were motion sensor lights near the floor, so if I got up I could find my way to the hall to go to the toilet.  The night nurses all had flashlights.  

Every day, each patient got one of these cards to record toilet trips.  Urine had to be measured and the amount recorded. There are six kanji to record kinds of poop!  The only one I know is second from the bottom, which means watery.

Each person had a thermometer kept at their beside to use while there.  In Japan the thermometer is under the arm not in the mouth. I think the first two days or so the nurses checked temperature, blood pressure, pulse, and oxygen level six times a day, then three times a day after that.  I kept my own chart each time they did.  

I was allowed to start walking the morning after surgery (after xrays and blood tests said all was good), so I walked the halls as much as I could. I thought it would help me get to go home sooner.

There was only one shower for the entire floor and it could only be used between 8:30 am and 4:00 pm. There was a sign up sheet on the door. Very few people signed up, so starting the second day after surgery (Wednesday) I could take a shower pretty much anytime between those hours.  

I liked the bed moving up so it was like a lounge chair. The pillow was the typical Japanese pillow made of chopped up plastic straws. I prefer regular fluff kind of pillows.  I didn't sleep well at all.  Besides the snoring and coughing and other types of noises people make in their sleep, there was a lot of hospital alarm kind of noises and the nurses' squeaky carts and stuff like that. 

There was a day room, with manga books and a televison and tables and chairs.  The family members of patients waited there and some patients who were ambulatory hung out in there.  I could practically see my apartment from the window there.  I live about a 10 minute walk from the hospital.   I kind of "met" a patient and his wife through seeing them in the doctor's waiting area and having tests.  I guess he was on about the same schedule as I was.  I was happy to see familiar faces the day after my surgery, but sorry that he was going through what I was.  I finally talked to the wife in the day room.  I called him my byoin no tomodachi, which means hospital friend. I wrote him a little note after his surgery that said get well soon in hiragana.  His wife wrote me a nice note back in hiragana.

Is there anything else I can tell you about the Japanese hospital experience?  If you've been in the hospital elsewhere, what is different or the same?

Monday, September 19, 2016

Monday Morning Star Count - Finished Pen Holder

I had pieced this pen holder quite awhile ago, but was undecided on how to finish it.  The day before I went to the hospital, I finished it with a snap and the lining.  It was a quick finish that had waited such a long time.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Good To Be Home!

Thank you everyone for your kind comments and emails and cards and letters.  I appreciate it so much.  After six days in the hospital, I am home again.  

Japanese doctors like their patients to stay in the hospital a long time, and Japanese patients expect to stay in the hospital a long time. Before surgery, the surgeon told me two to three weeks in the hospital. I was pretty sure I wouldn't be staying so long.  

I checked into the hospital Sunday afternoon, with no food after lunch, no water after 9 pm.  Monday morning was surgery. I vomited most of Monday and Tuesday. With nothing to eat, it was just a clear liquid vomit, but the muscles used to vomit are the muscles cut into with the surgery, so it was painful.  I think it was the pain medicine in the IV drip making me nauseous because when that was turned off, I felt much better.  I started walking Tuesday morning after x-rays and blood tests.   Thursday I got to start eating again - soft bland foods, but after no food for four days, it was delicious!  Friday I asked the surgeon when I could go home.  He said Monday.  I said how about Saturday?  In the end, Saturday it was!  I'm feeling good, no pain, but still a little tired.  I didn't get to sleep much at the hospital but am feeling better in my own bed.  

I'll have more to say about this experience in the days ahead.  Thanks again for all your well wishes.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

The Alphabet Club - N

The letter N catches me up with the rest of the group.  My Japanese word with the letter N is  Nihon, the word meaning "Japan". I will show some Japanese stitching techniques and a little Japanese stitching kit that I received as a gift, then stitched.  


This is a needlebook I finished.  

This is a bag I started and want to finish!

Sashiko - I've done a few sashiko table runners and such and have a few other projects ready to go.

Temari - I have two Temari that I've started but I think I need some help getting back to work on them.

This simple temari is from a class I took with Barbara Suess at the Japan Center at North Carolina State University in 2006.

Japanese stitching kit - this kit was a birthday gift from some Japanese friends, who know how much I like to stitch!  Since finishing it, it has hung in my apartment so I can think of them every time I look at it.

Linking up with Chiara at the Grey Tail.  Check out the posts of other Alphabet Club members!