Thursday, November 26, 2009

10 minutes

Ten minutes left of work.

Ten minutes of this dull, tiring day.

Only ten more minutes to freedom.

Ten minutes to the weekend.

Ten minutes to blog! :)

Yesterday was Thanksgiving. Originally I planned on hosting some sort of
dinner, but my energy (and money) have been sooo focused on Christmas,
that there was none left.

Luckily, someone else did all the work for me.

A bunch of JETs got together at this super fancy military apartment owned
by a Jet's airforce friend, Mike. He also hosted the Halloween party, and
apparently has JETs over all the time.

The satokibi (sugarcane) crew (those of us who live here amongst the
sugarcane farms) arrived a bit late due to traffic, but there was still
PLENTY of food left for us to indulge in. And boy did we.

As is the American custom, we ate until we couldn't stand the sight of
food, and then we just grazed lightly. It was excellent. There was turkey
(cooked to perfection by said Mike), stuffing (stove top), pies (even
pineapple!), two kinds of mashed potatoes, fresh made (from scratch)
rolls, and more. Delicious.

I, having stayed up too late every night this week, gave in to the
triptofin-induced comatose (sp?) and curled up on the couch after awhile.
It was a lovely little nap. And a lovely Thanksgiving.

Not quite like home, though. ;)

Speaking of home, dad already posted pictures of their Thanksgiving
festivities and they are lovely. Thank you, Dad, for sharing that with me
so quickly. It makes my heart happy and sad at the same time.

This year, I am thankful for:
-a great job
-a better apartment then I could have imagined
-new friend's who already seem like old ones
-long-term friends and family who take the time to read my silly thoughts
-Turkey comas
-a family to miss.

Love to you all!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Test Photo Blog

Hi friends and family :)

I want to blog about Fukuoka with pictures, so I am sending this blog to
see if it will work to post them through photobucket.

Thanks for your patience. :D Enjoy the photo, if you can see it!

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Monday, November 23, 2009

from the freezer to the fire

I had a blast in Fukuoka. I plan to blog on the subject extensively when I
get better internet, but for now I will just say that it was lovely,
expensive, and COLD. And it is HOT here... I went from sleeping in flannel
and felt pajamas to sleeping with the windows open on top of the covers.

Quite the dramatic change.

I am excited to write about the trip. I have a LOT of photos to share, and
luckily the students have term tests this week which leaves me little to
do, so I have lots of time to edit the photos and get them ready for

So, stay tuned! Fukuoka blog is coming soon! If I survive the heat...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Traveling Traveler

It seems a bit surreal that tomorrow I am flying to Fukoka, a prefecture
of Japan.

My friends Julie and Ruth suggested a trip to Fukoka about a month ago in
order to enjoy the scenery and some shopping, and I said, "sure." The
tickets are fairly inexpensive, and I have been yearning to see some fall
foilage, so I jumped on it. Besides, Julie and Ruth are two of my most
favoritest people here, and I am excited to travel with them.

Most of the trip will be devoted to shopping, but my list is actually
quite short. I need a few "cold" weather clothing items to keep me through
the Okinawa "winter," I hope to purchase some holiday-related food at
Costco (please have butterball turkey, please have butterball turkey!),
and maybe pick up a few Christmas gifts, but other than that I am just
tagging along. :) I plan to just go with the flow and bring a book if I
tire of window shopping.

This, though, should make the trip more than worth it:

Dazaifu Temple:,temples_shrines,0,,1,1,0,,x.shtml

Mount Hiko:
(but with FALL leaves! :))

This will be my first time (hopefully of many) traveling in Japan (outside
of Okinawa). Yay adventure!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Christmas Thoughts Come Early

Last night, after a successful test-making session, my coworkers and I got
together to cook and enjoy a meal. This is a little tradition which
sporadically takes place every couple weeks and is usually very
spur-of-the-moment. This time we made banana-chocolate-chip pancakes and
yakisoba (delicious fried noodles). Quite the random combination, but it
sounded good at the time. :)

After Max went home, An Yang and I settled down in the living room. This
girl is an angel in my life. She is constantly encouraging, sweet, and
hillarious. She makes me laugh every day. :) So we took out some scissors,
some fancy paper I bought at the hiyakuen (100 yen) store, and made three
dimensional snowflakes while listening to Christmas music.

An Yang is from China, so she has never celebrated Christmas before. I
told her all about my family traditions last night, and promised to give
her the best Christmas experience I can this year. :) I might even buy her
pajamas to open on Christmas Eve. ;)

Knowing that I have good friends to spend the holidays with makes the pain
of being away from my family a little less. But only a little. The
Christmas music last night was making me tear up quite a bit, and I fell
asleep imagining the late night Christmas wrapping session with Mom, the
excitement of the little ones, and the jokes and laughter of the adults on
Christmas morning. Not to mention Mikey's breakfast, lunch and dinner at
grandma's, the chaos of everyone in one small room trying to open entirely
too many presents in an orderly manner, and passing out on the bean bag
chair with Tana or Peewee or someone in my lap watching cartoons. Now, of
course, I am getting all choked up thinking about it at work.

I remember making a conscious decision to stay here this Christmas, and I
remember thinking it was a good idea at the time, but now I can't remember
for the life of me why I made that decision. Was it finances or the
intention to tough it or character building or what? I know I have to
stick it out now, but Christmas is going to be extremely difficult for me
this year. Send me some love and some prayers, please?

Monday, November 9, 2009

First Email Blog

After listening to me complain about not having internet at home for awhile yesterday, Thatcher countered one of my points by informing me that I can post from email and will therefore be able to blog while I am at work! Thanks, Thatcher! :)

So, this is my first attempt. :) I don't have much to say at the moment. I am borrowing my friend, An Yang's, internet for awhile. It smells like pigs, unfortunately. Such is the downside of living in the country... especially when the wind shifts. Luckily, the pig smell doesn't make it to my apartment. I just get regular old cow stink sometimes... which is somehow SO much better.

I intend to post more blogs soon--I have a loooot to catch you up on--but for now I just want to see if this emailing thing works. :)

Thanks for reading!

Here is a new photo to make it worth your while: