Tuesday, January 31, 2017

17 in 2017 - January Progress Report

Not much progress this month.  I worked on 2 items from my 17 in 2017 list.   I finished the January cat for the 2017 Smalls Stitch a Long.  

I also worked on this needlebook and fob, finishing the cross stitch part.  Next is to add the beads!

I hope to have more progress than this to show next month!  To see all of my 17 in 2017 projects, check out this page.  To see the progress other participants have made, check it out here.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Monday Morning Star Count - More Japanese Hexie Placemats

I made these as gifts, but I like them so much that I might make some for me.  I'll probably wait until my fingers heal to make more though.  The Japanese fabric is difficult to push the needle through.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Clean Up Day!

After returning from my Okinawa trip with a broken arm, then being busy with the new term at work once my arm started healing, I haven't been able to do a big clean up in my apartment.   My "To Do" list is missing and I need to find it.  I still can't lift with my right arm, but now I can put things away and fold again.  I hardly have any floor space because I have been pulling things out but not putting them away.  I live in a small apartment so putting things away is very important.  This is the floor plan for my apartment.

Today is Sunday, with no work today, so I am planning to do some putting away and organizing to make my place a little more livable!  My place is small but I have a fair amount of storage.  I just need to get my things put away and organized again.  

When you first come in the door from the outside, I have a shoe closet.  In Japan, shoes are taken off at the door, so you need somewhere to put them.   

In the toilet room (separate from the bath room), I have a shelf above the toilet and some baskets I bought at the 100 Yen store for small things.  I wasn't able to fold one handed, so I just shoved the clean towels on the shelf.  They need to be folded.  

Next to my wash machine, between the toilet room and the bath room, I have a shelf that needs to be organized again.  

Above my small refrigerator is my microwave, hot water pot, and food storage area.  This too needs to be organized, as I have just been shoving things up there.  

My kitchen is small, but big enough - I don't cook.  You can see I don't have many dishes - two bowls, two coffee cups, one plate, and one small sauce pan.  In the US, I had about every matching piece of Yorketowne dishware made and multiple pieces of everything!  Big change living here.  

Under my bed I have storage and the two steps to get to the bed are storage too.  I keep my vacuum cleaner in the top step and pajamas in the bottom step.   I also have a desk between the bed and the closet, but it is too messy to show!

My little table is cluttered and needs to be cleaned off.  

I have two big closets, where I have been stuffing clothes instead of folding them.  Above the closets I have books that need to be arranged before they all come crashing down.  

When I get it all in order again, I'll vacuum the floor.  Sounds like a lot to do, but this place is so small, I'll have it done before I leave to go to stitch group in the afternoon!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Wrist Rihabiri

I go to physical therapy or rihabiri in Japanese (sounds like rehabilitation, I think) a few times a week for my wrist. I can't push, pull, or lift with this arm for a long time, but I can type and write and eat with chopsticks again. 

My therapist is young and sweet and very good at her job. First, I lay on a table with my wrist wrapped up in a heating pad thing for 15 minutes. After that, she massages my hand and arm and slowly pushes it in different directions.  She is able to rub some place near my elbow and it makes my wrist bend further.  I don't understand how she knows where and what to do, but she really does!  It is very relaxing to have her manipulating my wrist and doesn't hurt at all.  After that we go to a table and she has me do different exercises for three minutes each.  At the end of the session, she used a tool like a protractor to measure my range of motion.  I also have exercises to do at home several times a day. My wrist is still very stiff, but getting better.  

This is what my wrist incision looked like two weeks after surgery - pretty rough!  

This is what it look like now, about five weeks after surgery.

I met with the wrist specialist Wednesday and he thinks it is healing well.  He thought my range of motion was very good for only two weeks with the physical therapist.  Yes! Doing my home exercises is helping, I think.   

There is a cute elderly woman who had a similar break as mine about the same time as me, and the same surgery with the metal plate and screws.  I see her waiting for the doctor or in the rihabiri room and we talk a little.  Thursday I saw her when we were both getting bloodwork done.  She just got her cast off.  I don't understand everything she says, but I did understand when she pointed to my arm and said hayai, which means fast.  I think my arm is healing fast too.

After I had bloodwork done Thursday, I met with the oncologist yesterday.  Even though I feel good, my blood isn't so good.  I started back on the chemotherapy drug yesterday, but at a reduced dose.  The doctor is concerned and gave me many warnings (like if the whites of my eyes turn yellow, if I feel extreme fatigue, etc.) to stop the drug and go to the hospital.  I think I'll do okay with it.

Friday, January 27, 2017

2017 Smalls Stitch A Long - January

This year I plan to stitch the calendar cats (free charts at Happiness is Cross Stitching).  One small ornament per month, so this month is January.  I will wait to finish them all at the same time in December so that they will be the same size and somehow coordinate.

I'm Linking up with Heather, at Stitching Lotus, the hostess of this stitch a long.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Omamori - Japanese Lucky Charms

At every shrine and temple you visit in Japan, there is a booth selling Omamori or lucky charm amulet things.  I never know what is for what so I haven't bought them.  I did recieve a beautiful gift of one when I found out I had cancer last fall (Thank you Sano San!)  

They are especially popular during the New Year Holidays and during test taking times, and with both Shinto believers and Buddhists. They are made with a fancy silky fabric and have little printed prayers inside, but you aren't supposed to open it or you will release the blessing and say good-bye to the good luck.  (How does anyone know there is a prayer inside if you can't look?)  The good luck is said to last about a year, then you need to get a new one.  There are special Omamori for every different category you can think of - success, money, travel, ward off evil, learning and education, love, traffic safety, to name a few.  

I'm not superstitious, nor am I Shinto or Buddhist, but somehow I believe in this omamori. I have had some medical challenges, but I haven't had any horrible side effects from the chemotherapy and my broken arm is healing much faster than I imagined it would.  I think I am very lucky.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Work In Progress Wednesday - Embroidery Stitch Quilting

I know I should be working on one of my "17 in 2017" projects, but instead I've been playing around with this blackwork wall quilt piece.  I'm using embroidery stitches through all layers to quilt this along the seams.  I only work a little at a time because it can be tiring to my wrist, but it is coming along.  I never seem to make a plan; it just works itself out.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

National Cherry Blossom Forecast

Every year the Japan Meteorological Agency predicts when the sakura will be in bloom across Japan. Cherry blossom season is a very important historical and cultural time in Japan. People have Ohanami parties under the cherry trees and travel to view beautiful places. Looks like it will be the end of March where I live.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Hands in the Pockets

I often put my hands in my jacket pockets when I walk, especially when it is chilly out.  It just feels like a natural thing to do.  At the place I work, it is not allowed to walk with hands in pockets.  They consider it a safety hazard - if you fall, you won't have hands to break your fall.  At work, I don't put my hands in my pockets, but when I'm out walking I do.  After putting my hand out when I fell in Okinawa and breaking my wrist bone, maybe it is not so good to use your hand when you fall.  What do you think and/or do - hands in the pockets or not?  

I love living where I can see Mt. Fuji!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Okinawa Museums

I visited three museums this trip.  The first was the Naha City Tradional Arts and Crafts Museum, which is connected to the Center where I took the weaving class and the bingata class. Photos were not allowed and it was a museum of Okinawan Traditional Crafts.   It was small and although the exhibits were nice, once is enough for this museum. I'd do the hands-on classes again though.

The second and third musuems are side by side - The Okinawa Prefectural Museum and Art Museum. I have been to both before, but exhibits change and it's very interesting with a lot of information and displays, so a second visit is good.  Photos were not allowed in the Art Museum, but I did get some photos of interesting displays in the Prefectural Museum.  

These photos are  from outside the museum. 

I'm always interested in the clothing and textiles!  

If I live to be 88, I want this. 

There were many interesting displays, but I didn't take pictures of all of them.  

If you are in Naha, I highly recommend visiting this place.