Saturday, November 03, 2018

Right place, right time

Sean is a homebody. We have a few small people who have taken after him in that trait. I am the complete opposite of a homebody and we have a few small people that take after me in that trait. Every weekend is a bit of a battle of wills. Over the years, I've figured out if I suggest a day trip that's completely ridiculous, I can get him to agree to other slightly less ridiculous places. Today, I wasn't at the top of my game. I had a place I really wanted to go, but he caught me off guard and I spit out, "Showa Park."

Dang it.

I already went there this week. I even have plans to go back next week. I knew the leaves hadn't changed yet, but I couldn't reel it back in once he'd already said, "Hm. Okay." So off we went. The stinking (literally) leaves are still mostly green, but I got a few keepers and we got the bonus of feeling like movie stars/a freak show as so many people eyeballed our crowd of children. 

Boy, what a difference a year makes. 

As we were leaving the park, I noticed an older fella up ahead of us on the path. He was shuckin' and jivin' a bit and it seemed odd. I was about to say aloud, "Why is that old man dancing?" He kind of jerked backwards several steps before going completely stiff and slamming to the ground. The sound of his head hitting concrete is something I wish I could un-hear. True to their culture, no one freaked out. Only one family cautiously walked up to him as we rushed to his side. A small crowd soon gathered as the silly white man tried to communicate with the unconscious old Japanese fella. Thank GOD the one Japanese lady who had stopped understood enough of what Sean was saying that they could help him. 

They got an ambulance en route. Sean was making sure he was breathing and had a pulse. He was holding pressure to his head wound. About that time a Romanian(??) guy came running up speaking a heavily accented English and Japanese. Turns out, he used to work on an ambulance. Between the three of them, the got the guy to tell him his name(Ohashi san), but he was in bad, bad shape. The ambulance got there in probably five minutes. At that point, we were kind of in the way. Sean lost his sun glasses in the chaos and quietly asked the Romanian if he'd seen them. One of the Showa Park workers overheard and it suddenly became top priority to find Sean's sunglasses. Despite the, "Mondainaidesu (it's okay, it's okay)," over and over again, Mr. Ohashi played second fiddle to finding those sun glasses. 

They were located quickly and, thankfully, Mr. Ohashi didn't die while they were searching. One of the medics had tucked them in with the patients belongings thinking they were his. Then it was all over and we walked away with zero closure. I'm so sad he was there all alone. I hope he has a family to go home to to take care of him. I hope his melon was okay. I hope it was just a fall and not a heart attack or stroke. Sean made sure to calm my fears (nope) by telling me all about what could've been wrong with the man. :(

 A few more shots to compare last year with this year. 

Felix and Simon have been going to the gym 4 days a week with Sean. Buncha beef cakes. 

 And one of the sleepy princess. She was such a trooper. I kept pulling her from the warm cocoon of her stroller for pictures. She wasn't a huge fan of that, but still gave me a few apathetic stares into the lens. I'll take it, Kid! 

Tuesday, October 30, 2018


I know we aren't supposed to have favorites, but she's definitely my favorite daughter. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Ten on Tuesday

I'm going to try and make this quick because baby is sleeping. I've been trying to catch a Tuesday since 2015.

1. Isn't she cute? It's a good thing because she's kind of a time hog.

2. I finished this quilt the other day. I made the top last Fall, so it only needed sashing, basting, quilting, and binding. Basting a quilt on your diningschoolsewingart room table because your doodoo brown velcro carpet transfers dog hair is enough to make one find pictures of their previous ginormous house and stare longingly.* Basting a quilt on your diningschoolsewingart room table and having it slip and slide to the doodoo brown carpet gathering dog hair along the way is enough to make a saint cuss. Not that I'm claiming to be a Mother Theresa, but sometimes I pretend. I should add, I didn't intend for my quilt to match our ugly fence.

3. *While staring at pictures of our big beautiful house, I got to dreaming. I don't know if we'll end up back in that same house, but I wouldn't hate it. Time will tell!

4. Sean has officially put in for separation from the Air Force. < you hear the angels singing? No? Just me, then?> We are excited about the future.  Excited to figure out where to live. Excited to make an actual living. Excited to have something, anything permanent.

5. I finished this quilt yesterday. I had all the boats, lighthouse and sun made pre-Sparrow. It took a bit to piece the top together, baste, quilt, and bind this one. I wanted to get this one off the table so I can start with Christmas sewing. This is one of my top 5 favorites ever. I love it so, so much.

The origami boat pattern is not mine, but I came up with the lighthouse via some trial and error. I just monkeyed with it until it looked right. 

6. Sean said just because a quilt turned out more baby-ish than intended, it is not enough of a reason to have another baby. How are we even married with logic like that? Obviously, sewing projects are too a good enough reason to procreate. I mean...come. on. Which brings me to point 7. If quilts aren't enough of a reason, bonnets certainly are.

7. Her bonnets finally fit. Ooooooh my goot-ness. They don't match anything as we've moved on from Summer to Fall. I suppose I'll have to make more to match her warmer clothes.

8. I was totally sort of kidding about more babies. I was watching Simon with her yesterday and it occurred to me that he will be 31 if she were to start dating at 16 (which she won't, obviously). 31! And Felix will be 28. It's going to be like she has 3+ dads instead of brothers. How weird is that?

9. Her brothers adore her. They all still flock to her whenever anyone announces that she's smiling. It's awesome.

10. Simon has outranked me as photographer in this house. He has the energy for it. Most of the time, I don't even lug my camera along anymore. I'm proud of him, but I miss the challenge. Given the changing of the leaves, I'm hopeful Fall will give me the boost I need to get to clicking again. It is nice to be in the pictures for a change, though:

Before you think it. No, she doesn't. She looks like me. 

Monday, October 15, 2018

Up North

It's no Cambodia or Bali, but heading up to northern Japan is my kind of vacation. It's easy, comfortable, and cheaper than most places(not normal places, Japan places-it's still ridiculously expensive). 

I went a bit easier on the agenda this trip. Our first stop was supposed to be Tenbo Rice Art, which we missed by a DAY last year. Wouldn't ya know it? We missed it again. Oirase Gorge is on all the must see lists. Um, hm. I'm thinking we were a week or two early for Fall. Not quite the brilliant colors we were hoping for. 

 Except in this man's painting. He took some artistic liberties with the colors. 

From Simon's camera, All genuine smiles because a Japanese man had skidded to a stop in front of a giant dump truck coming down the mountain. The dump truck driver had some very universal words for him. There are some words that really don't need to be translated... 

/\ /\ /\ Our only double dip of destinations was the Namiki Farm. They sell gelato and have llamas, so...
\/ \/ \/ Just last year. My goodness how they've grown. Especially Felix and Titus! Oooph, and Simon and Jude. 

These two were a nightmare in the car en route to this particular destination. They got the, "That's it!" after a millionth warning and lost their gelato. Mercy kicked in and I whispered to Sean, "Better idea. Let's make them share a cone." SO MUCH BETTER than the original punishment. Bonus: nobody dripped melting gelato anywhere because they were racing to eat more than their fair share. Obviously, Jude was thinking, "Well played, Parents." Or perhaps he was running through a mental catalog of nursing homes. 

She's so preeeeetty.

Not forced. Not forced at all. 

Another destination we aimed for was a pack of wild horses on the northern coast + lighthouse. The lighthouse was locked up, so that was a bust, and horses were in hiding. They did leave us lots of poop to step in, though. 

The kids were all, "What's that thing on the top of the rocks?" We had them go check it out. It was a baby Buddha, complete with clothing. Yep, as freaky as it sounds. 

We drove for a bit and found a few horses. They were eyeballing me pretty good. I don't think they liked gaijin, so we didn't hang around long enough to see if they kick. 

Only because we were super close, we opted for a destination we purposely skipped last year. Osorezan (read about it!)is creepy. The air is completely still and it's super quiet. I don't know how insensitive we looked showing up with five kids to a place that is all about dead children, but I felt like we had a right to be there having lost a baby.

The piles of rocks got to me. These sad little monuments representing so many kids. I'll admit that I was a little ticked to see what I thought was a pile of litter. Nope, it's all kid food. I went from ticked to choked up pretty quick.

The sound of the pinwheels turning, thousands and thousands of pinwheels, was enough to give any horror movie producer a perfect transcript. Freeeeeaky. 

The whole place smelled of sulfur. Overwhelmingly so. 

All in all, it was a good reminder that our hope is in Christ alone and that Osorezan is the closest we'll ever come to hell. We set up our own little pile of rocks to remember our lost baby who has never been lost to One. 

It was creepy, but I'm glad we went. 

From one weird place to the next. Someone told us about these Gundam statues at a random barber shop in the middle of nowhere. Exactly as described. The barber was there and he came out and smiled a lot. It was one of those times I really wish I knew more Japanese. I wanted to know the hows and whys of this man's obsession. Instead, we just smiled at each other a lot. 

Sparrow turned 2 months old on my birthday. I wanted some pictures on the beach, but it started raining a few minutes after we got there, so we only got a few

On our way home, I offered up that we should take a super quick off shoot from the main highway. Yeeeeeah, about that. It set us back 7 hours, because Japan. But we did get to see Ryusendo Cave. 

Is she not the most beautiful baby you've ever seen?!

And because we're gluttons for punishment, there was one more destination that really, really was just off the main highway. A grove of birch trees on a plateau that felt like the top of the world. It was freezing cold and the wind was blowing over 30mph, so we didn't stop to enjoy the views for too terribly long. 

\/ \/ \/ Another one from last year. MAN!!!(click on the picture to see it bigger)

I love Japan. I love Fall. I LOVE Fall in Japan.