Sunday, July 19, 2015

Home Away From Home

Don't you all like "before" pictures? Well, here are the "before" pictures of our new apartment in Japan.  It's actually fairly large for there and I think it's going to be good.  How about this crazy bright front door? This whole experience is going to be a "make it work" experience.

This kitchen is actually very large compared to all the apartments that we saw.  You can see my little dishwasher (white) and my little microwave/convection oven (black).  There are cabinets above and below, but this is all of the counter space.
However, UNHEARD of is an actual pantry, guys!  A pantry that you can walk into.  Most of the kitchens we looked at had no other storage than one row of lower cabinets.  They were basically maybe just three lower cabinets and that's it, so, this is amazing.
There was a girl in the apartment, cleaning and taking pictures.  She had a pile of things in the bathroom, so you can't really see the cabinet here.  I am standing in the doorway to the shower room, photo below.
 Their showers are basically the entire room. The toilets have their own separate room. 
This is the view of the kitchen and the front entry hall from the balcony.  
Still more stuff from the cleaning girl. 
 The yellow door is to the bathroom, the white door is to the back bedroom.
 The door to the front bedroom and looking out of the living room through the balcony.
It has a south facing exposure which will always be bright and sunny. And hot some days.  
 The bedrooms are adjoining through two sliding doors. There is pretty good storage as well.

Exciting stuff!  We are renting furniture and it is not particularly my style, but I'm determined to make this apartment feel like home. With all of the other details to figure out, I'm contemplating how I'm going to manage to decorate it.  I cannot hang anything on the walls and the living room curtains are going to be beige.  So, lots of beige, beige, beige.  I'm formulating a plan as I type. Keep hanging around and see how it progresses.  Moving is set for first of September!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Changes Ahead!

We've been home a week from our visit to Japan.  My first trip there ever!  I had a lot of mixed feelings heading into it and apprehension.  I'm really happy that I went, because I can see that it is going to be just fine.  Of course, ask me in two or three months and we will see.  Here are some pictures from our week.

 Our entire trip was cloud covered.  I was hoping to see Alaska or Russia.  But no, clouds the entire way.
 I doodled, read a book, watched two movies and napped on the way there.

The beautiful city view from our 33rd floor hotel room.
Here's a glimpse of our hotel room.  Small, but very nice.
 Funny buttons for the fancy toilets they have in Japan.  I didn't try any of the options.
 This just seemed wrong.
The mechanical parking garages were just fascinating to me.  You drive in and park.  The mechanism puts your car in its "spot".  When you're reading to go again, the car has been turned around and brought back down to you.  Crazy!
 A delicious restaurant for lunch where they prepare the food right in front of you.
I ordered some kind of pork with garlic on top of cabbage.  The little salad was good too, but I can't remember what it was and some Miso soup was included.  
 Vending machines everywhere. But alas, no Diet Coke.
This is the only photo I got of a different dinner.  They gave us all kinds of things that were dipped and fried and served on the end of a skewer.  You dip them in the sauces before eating.  I tried scallops, a prawn with his head still on and a herring with his head and tail attached.  I only ate the tail.  When something is that breaded and fried, you can't tell you're eating strange stuff.  That's as weird as I got last week, though.  
 My club sandwich from another lunch.  That is a little bowl of potato salad on the top right.  
Do you think there is a little disparity in portion sizes to the US? Just a little?
We had Thai food another night and these all of these dumplings were delicious.  
I even used chopsticks a little.  These were mushroom and pork and were my favorite.
 These dumplings were rice.
 These were shrimp.
 Sweet and sour soup.The food just keep coming and coming.  They bring it in a lot of little bowls.  
I would hate to be the dishwasher!
 We really needed pizza during one lunch hour.
 Proof that cheese does exist in Japan.  I had been told otherwise.  It'll cost ya, though.
 This is a half pound of beef and it's about $4.50.  This is also the only size it came in. But, knowing now the size of my new refrigerator, this is probably a good idea.
 Little bags of chips for $3.50 +/_.
This was the entire chip selection.  American's are used to an entire aisle devoted to just chips!

Well, I'm ending this post with the food options.  I have a lot more photos to show, but this is going to get way too long.  I enjoyed the food.  It was very fresh and delicious and there is a variety.  We even had Mexican food one night.  It wasn't like here in California, but it was good.  They put pineapple on my Carne Asada tacos.  I kind of liked it.  I will be back with pictures of our new apartment in a few days!  Sayonara everyone!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Big News

We are moving to Nagoya Japan in a little over a month!

There you go.  I've said it.  It's finally out there for all to hear.  Next week we travel to Japan to find a place to live and get things set up.  My first visit, ever.

Because of this impending news, I have been cleaning.  Why is it I wait for some big event to go through old boxes and files and CRAFT CLOSETS???  Then I get distracted by overwhelming projects like scanning every living single photo I come across.  I do work best under pressure, although there is too much to be done.  

I actually started in my closet.  Have you seen the craze over the book "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" by Japanese author, Marie Kondo?  I knew I needed help in this area, so I gave it a whirl.  It worked really well, even though I've only used it for my clothes.  Sorry, this is an UGLY PICTURE ALERT.
 These are literally all of my clothes pulled out of the closet and drawers and stacked in my room. 

Empty, empty.  I gave away a large amount of clothes that I never wear and I don't miss a thing. Later, going through my photos led to a little panic over a rather large missing segment of our life.  I couldn't find those pictures anywhere.  Finally, victorious, they had been hidden under a larger box and not opened for years.  Here are some treasures from that period.  


Okay, skip a few years. 
 Look at how young I looked, even with gray hair!


Back to the not-so-pretty pictures.  There have been a lot of trips to the thrift store to donate, donate, donate.  I don't have the patience or time for a garage sale.  I'm not sure who would traipse up here anyway for one.  

Well, one last pretty photo for your viewing pleasure. Cuz who doesn't like flowers?
Goodnight all. Hopefully, I'll post more exciting updates next time.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Missing In Action

This blog use to be so much more interesting. I'm so sorry about that. I've lost my blogging mojo I guess. There's a lot going on around here and it's stuff I can't blog about. Yet. In the mean time I will share more art journal pages with you. 
I didn't realize I hadn't shown you any this year! What? 
You can tell that these first two were about setting goals for the year. Can you see that mine were about exercise? Only now in May am I getting back on track. 
This one was my nod to artist Georgia O'Keeffe. 
Words with Friends
We were to use underpaper which is the paper you lay under your artwork to wipe off brushes and try out stamps, etc. I had doodled a face on mine and kinda liked her. 
Layers you will love. It was also Valentine's weekend. 
One of my favorites was to "cover up the good stuff." Essentially, more layers.  
Repeating elements. Obviously, I used rectangles. 
This is the last one for February and was  suppose to be five layers. I probably have more. I think I'll stop for now and show you March and April in a week or so. 

We are traveling to see family tomorrow and so I'll be posting from the road. I'm on Instagram almost daily so join me over there, if you'd like. Talk to you soon! 

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