Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Japanese Christmas!

Lucky me, I get to help Nicole with her homework!  PS this is still 6th grade homework!  And PS again, I really do love factoring!!!  

I though this was cherry popcorn.  Turns out it was shrimp.  Could you tell?  I couldn't either.  I had to wash my mouth out with Mountain Dew!!!

I was invited to a rice pounding party!  First they gave me a jacket so I would look the part...

And a bow!  

When it was our turn (we went in the second round), and I got to walk up to the plate... Mortar... Sledgehammer...  I got to pound the rice 5 times with the sledge hammer!  


Actually, I really never understood what they were saying when the rice was struck.... 

But many dishes were prepared for us already to try.  That is a soy soaked seaweed (took away the fishy flavor) with mochi inside, a delicious broth with veggies and mochi in the bottom, 

A sweet bean paste/soup with mochi at the bottom...
They also had a piece with sesame paste over the top of mochi, aaaaand a mochi topped with kimchi or cabbage or something... Most of what we tried was good!  It made me miss my friend's butter mochi!!  But I felt like I ate something really heavy, even though I only had a few bites!  

Later, Ramona and I found tomato gum.  Tomato.  Gum.  It was sweet!  And weird!!!  I'm done!!

I drove my friend to Hach to pick up their new van!  Cool wheels, huh?

I haven't been running in almost 2 weeks.  It's icy and snowy.  Well, it was.... Now it's just chilly.  Anyway, a friend told me he transformed his wife's running shoes into winter running shoes!  Those are some kind of tacks... Roofing tacks?  Anyway, the dave-guy is going to help me with mine!!  I just haven't told him yet!!

We went out for Mexican (Japanese Mexican?) for a farewell for a coworker.  nic was so excited!

Such weird animals in Japan!  Spooning reindeer!!

The MDG Christmas party was a masquerade!  (Actually, almost every squadron had a masquerade this Christmas!  Maybe I should help pick an original idea next year!!). 

I'm planning a trip to Tokyo next summer... I've started studying the subway system early.  I hope it makes sense to me soon!!!

I'm not sure what this is.  I think it was a mask... At the 100¥ store.. A pickle ninja?

And there were these adorable kids singing Christmas carols on Christmas Eve day at the post office!!!  It was cute!

I firmly believe in family traditions around the holidays... It's not my fault the rest of my family doesn't like eggs Benedict!!  nic had no ham on hers and the dave guy just had an egg mc muffin, no hollandaise!

Christmas was fun!  Except nic was sad I didn't have anything in my stocking on Christmas morning!  So she and dave picked a few things out of the hall closet to give me!  Look, the straightener ann gave me a couple years ago, And the necklace I found at the recycle shop!  And some other fun products!!

Tink loves Marge!

And dave loves his pillow and new hat! 

And Nicole had the BEST look on her face when she opened her electric violin! I think she likes it!!

Later, we went to the lodge for a potluck Christmas dinner/party!  There was turkey and ham and roast, a bajillion side dishes and desserts, and then we played a collection of minute to win it games!  This is the Christmas conveyor belt.  

These are my reindeer

Face the cookie

Stuff the Santa

And the results!  

Look ma, I finally wore the leggings you gave me 4 years ago... They look good with boots, and I fit in here in Japan!!

The vending machine sells double-yolked eggs... I can't seem to get over it!  The eggs are long and oval, too!

Then we went to a hipster birthday party for a 1 year old.  Nicole wouldn't show me her stache... 

The birthday boy didn't really know how to wear his!

And I really wanted to eat mine!

Tink got a bark box subscription for Christmas, she loves her... Whatever it is from this month!

And Nicole loves her superhero socks!  Superman on one side, batman on the other!  Honestly, this girl doesn't know how to make her socks match!!

We went to a Japanese shoe store, I know they have my size, it's listed right there.... I just can't get my foot in any of their shoes!!

We went shopping in veedol plaza... Something for everyone there!

Dave and nic played the taiko drums... It's like rockband, Japan style.  

You can always stoop and pick up nothing.

Dave is playing chemist... Brewing his own beer

Some pumpkin ale to start the new year off right.... In about 6 weeks or so!

Until then, I'll go visit more of Japan!  This is the swan lake!!

Japan is so much fun!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Lovin' it! All!

I'm branching out in my shopping!  I can recognize a lot more and I'm brave enough to put those things in my basket now!!  

I finally made it to the 9's market... Lots of great produce (great prices, too!)...

I love these ornamental cabbages... I bought one today to put it in a vase on my counter!

The Japanese love Santa!!  Apparently he's tasty, too...

I finally caught a picture of this satellite dish... It's on the street right out the gate.... If I wasn't looking for the little fun stuff I might not have seen it., but now I can't help but look for Mickey every time I drive past it!!

Nicole was having dessert... Uncle Connie style!

She was also fitted for a snowboard and boots!  We're ready to eat lots of snow this winter!!

Oops, driving and taking pics!!

My neighbor and I drove to shipwreck beach. It was beautiful!!!  We were looking for floats.... 

Found this fish instead ;)

Kind of a trade off... 

On the way home I went on a shopping spree at Lawson's!  I found these Mickey ear muffs and thought it might help me blend in here in Japan!!

I want a rubber duck!!

These 'cases' (can't call 'em refrigerators!) have hot AND cold drinks!!

Tink ate a bunch of Hershey kisses... Shame on her!!  This is her acting ashamed.... She acted drunk, she was leaning against the door and she wouldn't move!!!  Too much chocolate!?  Naughty puppy!!!

Our pots came.... Or whatever they are!

Please, come to misawa!  And I'll take you to the place that serves this amazing bread and the most delicious cappuccinos you have ever had!!!  But if you don't come, that's okay, too... More for me!!

Tink is making that ashamed face again!  But she didn't do anything.  I'm just convinced she's always a guilty puppy with an old man's beard and eyebrows!!

We have a masquerade coming up next week!!!  

Mall sightings:

Complimentary green tea at the mall!

Delicious ramen!  I'm not sure what kind, but apparently that pink and white thing on top is fish of some sort...

We were serenaded by Christmas carolers!  

And then had salted caramel crepes for dessert!!

This isn't even anywhere near a lot of snow, but the dave-guy HAD to get out the snow blower!!!!

I 'graffitied' some cars while he was busy  cleaning up the snow!! 

A new yummy drink: hot ginger ale!  It tastes like a warm apple cider and it's fizzy!  And delicious!  And it kept my hands warm!

I've been making homemade Christmas gifts for friends.... This is my peppermint bark!  

This morning we went to the elementary school in misawa and Santa surprised the special ed class with a visit!  They only get 1 visit a year, but these special classes got a 2nd visit!!  The principal brought us some hot green tea while we were waiting in his office!

The kids LOVE Santa-San!!

Afterwards, we were given a coffee service!  Such royal treatment!!

I like the sign on the principal's door!  It actually looked just like the principal!!

Santa-San is a cowboy!!!

I find this hilarious!  This rice cake is coated in chocolate!  That's the only way to eat DIEt food!!

Then I found this... Lost my appetite, anyway!  

And I love the paintings on the truck... That way driving across the city isn't so boring ;) oh, there are lots of pretty things to look at in the countryside!  The truck just adds to it ;)

I didn't know we were the United States base!!

This van is advertising vending machines.... And I can call and have new ones put in if there aren't enough!!!  But aren't there enough?  Maybe not EVERY building has one, just every other building!!!

The rec center is giving us free arcade games for the month of December as a Christmas gift.  Nic 'n I love air hockey!  

And basketball!  (Just me, not nic!!)

9 points, prize get...

The sky is so beautiful!!!

Misawa is beautiful!!