Wednesday, 30 September 2009
I've got some cute letter sets and some rather nice Hello Kitty stickers whose listings will expire in a week or two and that I don't really want to relist. So if you spend 20 dollars or more (not including shipping) in the shop, you can have one for free! Just write in the 'Message to seller' section what you would like (choose from the letter sets and stickers listed in the shop). Offer is valid until the listings expire or while stocks last.
And I've just listed some new fabric too.....
Saturday, 26 September 2009
Mum and Dad brought lots of goodies for K, including some very cute T-shirts and some great charity shop finds, especially books. This is the pile after K had already laid claim to several that took his fancy:
Most of them are a bit 'big' for him yet, but I'm looking forward to bringing them out little by little as they become more age-appropriate.
Mum also brought 4 jigsaws for when K is bigger, including two that were hers when she was a little girl. I remember playing with them at my grandmother's house when I was little and I'm thrilled that Gran has passed them on to K.
They both have a really cute vintage feel, don't you think? And it's lovely to have these family things....
As well as all these goodies, Mum and Dad also brought Christmas presents from family in the UK, which we will of course put aside until then. Of course we will.
Thursday, 24 September 2009
What an amazing charity shop/thrift store find! It's a stationery case and it just about fit into (and completely filled) one carry-on bag. Mum knows that I love all those chests with tiny drawers that you get, apocathary chests and so on, and suspected that I might like this. And she was very right! Here's what you see when you open the doors:
And then the top part hinges up and there's a little drawer at the bottom, plus a secret compartment down the back of the whole case. Except now I've told you all so I suppose it's not really a secret anymore...
Now, you don't think they would forget their one and only grandchild in all this lovely loot-sharing do you? Stay tuned for some more great finds!
Sunday, 20 September 2009
And now for some birds that I can't name either, including one with a hairstyle rather like K's...
K enjoyed watching the owls, and joining in with the applause. He pointed out various birds throughout the day with the little 'Oooh!' sound which means 'Look! A cat/dog/living creature of some form!'. It can also mean 'Look! A plane/truck/noisy machine of some form!' though...
K also enjoyed playing with the little lion glove puppet that his Gran had wisely thought to bring along to entertain him with...
Friday, 18 September 2009
Tuesday, 15 September 2009
All the water from the rice fields has gone now but the ground is still very soft. The rice was harvested using a little combine on caterpillar tracks. It cuts the rice stalks and separates the grain from the straw.
And here it is in action! The rice grains go straight into sacks to be taken away and dried in some kind of drying machine. After that they are polished completely to produce white rice, or partially for brown rice.
Meanwhile Mrs A was cutting the corners of the next field by hand, so that the combine could turn.
Monday, 14 September 2009
Random things I've been doing lately: gearing up for the arrival of my parents on Thursday, monkey-making, joining the 5 year memorial service (and all-day party...) for H's great-uncle, helping at a friend's cooking class and then celebrating her birthday, teaching, dancing, buying cool fabric, yoga, hanging out with K...
Things I need to be getting on with: monkey-making, house-cleaning, rice-photographing, shop-updating, photo-organising...
And more pressingly, seeing to a noisy little boy who has finished his breakfast! Bye!
Tuesday, 8 September 2009
... going out
(yes, that is the lap-top he's sitting on)
... go up and down stairs by himself
... walk confidently and almost run
... point to his own head, tummy and feet on request
... do simple jigsaw puzzles
Saturday, 5 September 2009
That means the winner of the giveaway is Aik, who guessed 1,000 tomatoes. She has chosen this letter-set and these stickers from the shop:
Congratulations Aik! I will send you an e-mail soon but if you read this first, please send me an e-mail with your address.
Thanks again to everyone who entered, it was fun to get lots of comments!
Friday, 4 September 2009
Thursday, 3 September 2009
The rice is coming on nicely now, although the field nearest the house is a bit behind the rest. You can see a clear difference between that plot, still bright green and upright, and the next one where the rice is starting to ripen and bow over.
On the subject of harvests, there's still time to enter my little giveaway!
Wednesday, 2 September 2009
The house across the street from ours is quite typical of those all around us (although the built-in garage is rather unusual). Many of the houses around here were built about 25 to 30 years ago, making them quite old by Japanese standards. Lots of houses here have these orangey-brown roof tiles and complex roof shapes. The brightly-reflecting thing on the lower roof is a basic solar water heater.
A bit further down the road and we find the entrance to the shrine, marked by this stone lantern (shame about the TV antenna):
Tuesday, 1 September 2009
The previous government had earned a reputation among many as arrogant, complacent and full of jobs-for-the-boys. Many people came to think that it was time for a change and I think that many of the votes on Sunday were 'not for X' rather than specifially 'for Y'.
I agree with many of the policies of the new government, but they do seem to have a lot of contradictions too. They are going to increase child allowances, but scrap tax deductions for dependents. They have pledged to further cut CO2 emissions, but also to get rid of tolls on highways and reduce tax on petrol. Some of their plans seem more right than left-wing, and their plans to reduce various taxes leave people wondering how they are going to pay for all their pledges, particularly as Japan as a country is quite heavily in debt...
Overall I can't help thinking that this party was so determined to win that they promised everything to everyone and that the population was so eager for a change that they voted for the opposition without paying too much attention to their manifesto. Still, it's quite exciting and it'll be interesting to see what happens next. And it makes a change from blog posts about sock monkeys, tomatoes and cute little boys, right?