Tuesday, April 10, 2012

round & round

It looks like an empty lot

but if you look a little closer you'll spot these prehistoric confirmers of spring.

Called つくし tsukushi in Japanese these spore-bearing stalks of a variety of horsetail (Equisetum arvense) are edible and delicious. 
It was my ceramics teacher Arai-Sensei who taught me how to collect, clean, and prepare tsukushi.  A year later, my belly full with our lil' spore, Edo and I went collecting them again.  On our way home who did we run into but Arai-Sensei (whom I hadn't seen in months) and after a brief exchange of be-wells and take-cares we continued on our way.   Later I couldn't help but admire our tsukushi, dusting green spores in a bowl made in Sensei's class.  Isn't it lovely how cycles complete themselves?

Thursday, March 29, 2012


It seems feels particularly apropos to return to the world of blogging at the first signs of spring.  Beautiful glorious spring. In the four months since I last wrote, a few things have changed but mostly winter was a period of quiet hibernation.  Bedding down, acquainting ourselves with the marvelous invention of a heated carpet paired with pots of hot tea.  Family paid us a visit bringing us a dose of holiday cheer.  We fought a couple of bouts with viruses; our first since arriving to Japan.  But March has us poking our noses out of our den.  There are some big changes are on the horizon and we're welcoming them just as the flowers call to the bees.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

to: joy

We started the day off on the wrong foot.
With all that's going on in the world and disheartening news at my alma mater I suppose I shouldn't be surprised to be included in collective off-kilter of global juujuu.  And so what a welcome reprieve it was to hear this performance this afternoon in our town.  At the moment, along with peace I can't think of a better sentiment to wish to humankind.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

and so it begins

It's started.  We've been hearing it for days now -soon after darkness settles- a deep beat of a drum.  Preparations are being made for next week's taiko matsuri, an annual harvest festival whose ancient rhythms, like the Piped Piper of Hamlin will call spectators far and wide to join in merriment.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


I think that's the longest I've been away.

I'll blame it on getting hitched and the humid quagmire that makes for a Japanese summer.   But really, this summer was lovely, a busy one full of love and work.   Recently, a lite side project's been keeping me busy and along with a new camera - my hands are pleasantly full.

In weather news, a typhoon came through and with it took with it the last of a hot heavy summer.  It's been a glorious few days, cool nights and temperatures that make frowning an impossibly.   Perfect weather for our local grade school's Sports Day, an annual field day event where parents come to watch kids get sweaty in unison.   I stopped by today to take a peek.  I caught the relay race and for some bizarre reason, as I stood watching kids run around a dusty track, I felt a familiar tightness that predicts the falling of tears.  After giving it some thought I think what moved me, was the conviction in which the kids ran; the purity of their hearts.  They ran cheeks puffing, awkward bodies pumping, and all the while smiles cracking - a welcome transference of joy.

Monday, July 4, 2011

vantage of a tadpole

For me poliwogs along with Sea Monkeys are  in that beloved group of creatures that inspire endless wonder.  I love anticipating the metamorphosis looking for the smallest signs in change - budding limbs  and dangling bits of poo.  Ever since I heard the chorus of frogs in our nearby rice paddy, I  knew I'd be catching myself some poliwogs.  So I did, and the past few week's I've been delighted by my new found friends.  This morning, though,  I notices a couple were looking peaked (overzealous feeding on my part?)  We're leaving for on a big trip in a couple of days, so I figure it was time for them to return to whence them came.  It was fun while it lasted.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

sweet rides

A lot of people ride bikes in Japan.   In an area of tight spaces, expensive fuel costs, and health consciousness,  bicycles make a lot of sense.   Here's are a few of my favorites along with amenities:
Representing kiddos learning how to ride their first two-wheeler: Hello Kitty Bike - complete with fenders, white-walled tires, and safety handle.
Obasan trike - reversed tricycle with two wheels in front, for greater stability and grocery toting capacity. 
Finally,  ride in comfort with bicycle-attached-weather-proof-mittens - come in a range stylish colors including white, silver, and my personal favorite pumpkin.


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