Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Osaka bound for GW and a few other bits for good measure

Ever since the earthquake, at least once a week if not more, I get a question from someone asking where our family lives compared to the Fukushima power plant or what's the air like where we are. One of my cousin's even asked me, for my town name so he could look at it on google earth the other week. @_@ I know this comes from...just a lot of folks being honestly worried. And so I took this picture this morning from the Geiger counter, I check every morning that shows the readings of the radiation particles found in the air. Now if you live in Japan, you probably can figure this map out easy peasy. But for those of you not in Japan. I'll explain some. Now if you look at the bottom left area you'll see Yokohama on the left side of the bay and then on the other side of that bay it says Chiba. I do not live around those areas at all. We used to. Okay...so now look back at the picture up above and go towards the right you'll see 3 names...Narita...Sanmu and Katori. We live someplace (not gonna say exactly) but we live someplace between those areas. On the bright green countryside colored area on the map up above. Our area has been testing same as everywhere else and does daily readings but our air is so clean it isn't even registering. Why our air is coming out so clean, you know. I don't even question it anymore, I just am thankful it is, what it is. And breeze wise we seem to be located in a very good spot because nothing has gone our way (knock on wood it stays that way) and we do check daily. We check the Geiger counter every morning. So, anyway hopefully this will give my family a sigh of relief at least, reduce some of their worry and stress about us here.: ( But hopefully the visual up above will ease my family's worry even by a little. Hopefuly Tepco can get a better handle of the reactor soon and then everyone can breath a huge sigh of relief as well.
Nope not even registering a thing down here. We don't live on the light green area but on the dark bright green area. Anyway, in other news. The city nearest us, they got their water turned back on last Wednesday. That was the happy talk last Wednesday during Noah's swim class. So that's a positive good thing. Also the roads in the city nearest us are now about 50% fixed, so while they're not totally done, they're really working hard to get things back to normal. Life is pretty much back to normal here in our part of Chiba. The cherry blossoms are blooming everywhere and me seeing them this year..... gives me hope. That Japan will recover and rebuild and be better then ever!
Last Friday, I baked an apple crisp/apple crumble.
It came out pretty good. I'm planning to bake one this Friday as well.
Last Saturday we had family movie night.
This Monday, after I sent both Branden and Noah to school. I ran to the laundry mat. I did everyone's bedding from our house.
I was the only one in there. yep, just me, myself and I. 30 minutes for the wash and 8 minutes for the dryer. I read a magazine while I waited.
Hmm, half day at Noah's school. He gets/got out at 11:40am. And I just threw the laundry into the dryer, glanced at the clock and realized. I was really pushing it.... time wise. After they dried, I went directly with blankets in the car and everything to the yochien. I was right on time. Phew. Took Noah to Mc D's afterwards for 1 shaka shaka chicken (100 yen) and 1 cheeseburger. He ate watching cartoons while I went upstairs and made the beds. I came down and boiled 2 eggs for myself and I had an egg salad sandwich for lunch.
I haven't blogged about my healthier 2011 lately. Or weight loss. I've not stopped with the exercising at all. Have been going strong since January 10th is when I started Spark. I have lost a total of 13 pounds since January. I am in a few groups on there and spend a lot of my free time (if I get any) on Spark. One group I belong to, keeps track of their "fitness minutes" sort of compete against one another in the group, who logs more fitness minutes. We're all friends, so we are obviously actually not enemies or rivals, we're actually motivating each other. I was in 4th place when I took the picture a few dyas ago, at 465 fitness minutes for April. And right now, I have about 550, this pic was taken a day or so ago.
Here it says I am ranked #4 for my group. So, it keeps me motivated a lot. And I actually feel happy waking up in the morning and see...OMG! So many of my friends worked out while I was asleep, they knocked me to 6th place! A couple of the girls will leave me an email or a PM (private message) saying....catch up! And so all day if I get bits of free time here and there, I will be treadmilling or Doing the Wii, or Jillian Michaels. and then by the time we're winding down here at night in Japan. I'll leave a little cheeky note saying....I caught up and passed ya! Now it's your turn. And so we sort of feed off each other and motivate each other in a positive way. Last night before I went to sleep I was in the #2 spot. But this morning I was knocked back to #4 again. ; ) Anyway...enough talk about that. Nutshell on that...my exercising is going great, my portions are doing great too.
These are yummy. I've been on a yuzu eating kick lately. Noboru doesn't care for these so much. But I love these. They've been my 1 guilty pleasure. I'll find myself go to Yacs drugstore and get a pack or two once a week.
At the first day of school. Noah brought home a sakura. Because now he is in the final year and the final class, the sakura (cherry blossom) class.
These little things I am saving into Noah's yochien box. So he can see when he's older. : )
Friendship letters. Noah gets so many of these at yochien. Which means he is also writing many of these in return. @_@ Many trips to the Daiso for me, to buy paper sets for both the boys. The funny things is watching the progress of these letters. When they were red badges, they wrote mostly pictures and no words. Then last year they wrote crazy (just learning to write type words; ) And now this year, they all seem to write beautifully. I do save all these letters for him in his yochien box. Same as I saved Branden's. Though now Branden likes to keep his locked in his desk. ; )
Noah was selected to be one of the guardian angels yesterday (that's what it says on this paper) for today if he could show up early at school by 8:30am so he can help the new kids get adjusted at yochien. He's a sweet kid, Noah is. Very kind and very helpful. So anyway he will be doing that this morning. Only a handful of kids were chosen for the job. He was so proud being asked. And I recall when it was Noah who was the little one with a guardian angel a few years back. Anyway what else.....anything last minute to add or throw in here, hmmm. (thinking) Oh yes, I nearly forgot.....

We are going to Osaka for the first few days of Golden Week this year. I am really excited. We haven't been to Osaka in a very long time (like years). I can barely wait to see Noboru's grandma (she is so fantastic and short and cute : ) And Noboru's father who as you know was in the hospital for many many years. Came out of the hospital and came home mid December. So, I can't wait to see him. I can't wait to see my SIL (sister in law) and my MIL. And my niece. So, we're all pretty excited. Our first thought was to fly, for us it's cheaper since Noboru works for an airline and we code share with other airlines etc. However how would we get around in Osaka once there? That was the issue for us and why we deicded to drive. Noboru wants to go to places where public transportation just doesn't work, like the middle of a mountain where his family graveyard is, for example. So he can pay his respects to his other grandmother (fathers side). Etc etc. So, we decided to drive. It'll be like we're the Griswald's and it's the movie Vacation! : ) Except we're going to Osaka and not Wallyworld! ; ) We will be staying 2 nights. We are staying at a hotel, since we have those free stay vouchers. 4 a year remember. And we didn't use 2 from last year so they are null in void. But we got 4 more starting in April, so this month for this year.... And Noboru doesn't want to lose these vouchers by not using them, so that's why we're staying at a hotel. that way it'll knock 2 nights off. And then we'll have 2 vouchers left for the year.

Other plans for Golden week....just staying home. A family BBQ no doubt. And just resting here at home.
Plans for this week? Just sending both the boys to school as usual. Kumon and swim club. Same ol' same ol' regarding all that. I cleaned the entire downstairs Sunday, even mopped the kitchen floor. Monday as you know I did the blanket washing for the bedrooms upstairs. And this week, in little bits here and there I am now trying to tidy up the upstairs. Wednesday/today we are planing a family BBQ. It was originally to be last Saturday but it rained so we have been delaying it and are looking forward to it today. And tomorrow, I have my driver license renewal class from 9:30am. @_@ Noboru went to this class 2 months ago and he said basically it's a lecture, and you do have to circle a few things in the pamphlet, also Noboru told me this....that 1 lady had her head down while the instructor was talking (cat nap perhaps, I don't know) and so the instructor told her...you aren't paying attention so just leave! The lady was shocked but he was serious and so he had her leave right then and there. Anyway, I'm glad Noboru warned/told me that though, and so I know tomorrow I will be paying 100% attention, I was planning on it anyway but now I'll make doubly sure. I'll be like @_@ the whole time. ; ) I won't take my eyes off the instructor at all. I will just follow him with my eyes, if he walks to the right of the class, my eyes will follow and if he walks to the left.... again my eyes will follow. lol. Anyway that's what Ill be doing tomorrow after I get Branden and Noah sent to school and obento made tomorrow morning. : )