Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Grass and rice field update and also a few other bits and pieces for good measure too...

Grass update! If you remember last year, we decided to give away our massive kids playground/jungle gym that we bought for Branden and Noah when they were toddlers, so they could have their own playground right in their very own backyard. Lucky boys, that we live in rural Japan because in rural Japan.... backyards are more American-sized yards. Versus if you lived in say the heart of Tokyo or Osaka city for example. Anyway...if you remember after we gave the jungle gym away last year, to our friends... we had this huge eyesore of a an oval shape with bark, where the jungle gym used to be. And then we started in with stage 1 of the clean up. And we removed and threw away all the bark. And then we did stage 2 and we went and picked up a massive amount of sod (squares of grass) Then not sure why... but half the sod died. So we removed the dead ones and replaced them. @_@ OMG! And then we replanted. And we watered and put down nutrients. And we watered all summer... in the evenings. And while...it looked okay. Granted you could still *strongly* see the difference between the new grass in the oval shape. And the older grass. So this is the updated pic taken a few weeks ago. I can still see a light oval shape... if it's an aerial view. But if you are standing right in the backyard, it's getting harder to make out the oval shape anymore. And that's a good sign. Noboru told me last year. It would look VERY different last year, between the new grass and the older grass. But he said each year it will look less and less different and eventually blend right in. And it hasn't even been 12 full months yet but...to me this looks pretty good. Also, you can see the grass is slowly starting to turn green. I have mentioned this on here a bunch of times. Japanese grass turns hay yellow in winter and gradually turns greener the closer it gets to summer and then the closer fall gets.... it slowly loses it's color again. : )  Oh and this is the view from Noah's back bedroom window. Each of my kids have their own bedroom and they each have 2 windows in each of their rooms. A big window and a side window. I think as the summer comes... the oval shape will get less and less. And the grass will get greener and greener. Noboru does such a fantastic job on the grass. And I really do enjoy having our own open space and our own backyard. For BBQ-ing or for just enjoying being outside. Sometimes Noah cart wheels all over the backyard and it makes me smile that he can enjoy such a nice big yard. With such soft green grass. And it's been raining quite a bit, so it'll hopefully hurry and get greener soon. : )
Another view. That's our shed of course. That holds every one's bike. What's inside the shed is...the BBQ, the undokai (sports day things) my seasonal wreaths, bicycle pump, that sort of thing. We have an open/vacant lot... this side of us. Lots of bamboo. Rice fields all full with water now. You can see hills and bamboo forests. A huge garden way way way in the back that farmers tend. Solar panels for that 1 elderly couple, who got too old to farm, but still need to eat... so they now create energy. It's way way back there. And just wilderness is to your facing right. See these bamboo near our shed....there is a lot of bamboo around. Anyway one night we came back from Jolly Pasta. You know my car is like dead silent right? She's electric, boogie woogie (electric slide reference, lol). So anyways... we surprised 1 mama raccoon and her baby. The mama ran towards and into the bamboo near our shed. And the baby ran down the street. The wrong way/opposite way where they live. We were surprised they were there. They were surprised we came home too!!! We felt bad, there was a missing toddler raccoon. We went in the house. That's 1 story. Ferrets, story 2. Those brown super long things. We saw one in the field next door to us this past Monday. As we were unloading Costco goodies from my car, a ferret waddled out of the field...they're *very* long. And went to a neighbors yard. Story #3 The family who drives a blue car down the street from us, her husband is in the Father's Club too, anyway he swears he hears and sees monkeys. @_@ I have yet to see any. But honestly they're such a trusted family, I have no doubt. If *they* say they have seen monkeys. I believe it. Story #4 Those birds with bright red heads, pheasants. They live in the field right next door too. And boy oh boy... do they make some racket in the day time once in a while. LOL. : ) But honestly...it's peaceful living here. I would never trade our simple country life here for any other area in big city Japan. Sorry I am sure big city lovers...do love that life and that's fine. But, I much prefer this quieter low key life. 

I like that thick brush, that bamboo near the shed it creates such privacy for us too. And my gosh so many things living in there ya'll. Raccoons, pheasants, ferrets and 1 homeless kitty. : ) Do they know each other, all live there too? They must. : )In the Spring when it gets warm enough to open the window at night. Before it's hot enough to warrant the AC usage. You can hear water trickling from the rice fields. Frogs a croakin'. It's awesome. It's a nice little sound. In the old days people would go to Sharper Image to buy sleep sounds on those expensive units. That sound like the rain forest sounds or of rain drops etc. Those nature sounds. I always tell my family...we'd never need a background CD. LOL. We get all those soothing sounds outside for free, LOL

And what's behind that hill...more rice fields and behind the other hills and bamboo forests...more rice fields too. I now...look forward to seeing the rice start to shoot up out of the water. And then everything will be lush and greenFrom the dinner table you can see the water in the rice fields and it looks absolutely beautiful. We enjoy watching the fields as we eat breakfast and dinner every day. It's relaxing and yes you can hear water trickling from the dinner table. It's ever so slight, but yes if you're quiet you can hear it. 
Honestly? Sometimes after the kids go to school and after I do my walk. While the wash is upstairs washing. I'll sometimes sit on my back patio with a hot cup of coffee and just chill for about 5 minutes looking out and thinking...wow what peace place to live. It's so quiet and peaceful here. 

Yep a perfect view of the water.: )

Anyway...just an update. The rice fields have been planted. The grass in our backyard is indeed getting greener. and from this level you can barely see the oval shape, it's just noticeable if you're looking out Noah's bedroom or out the laundry room window. Otherwise we can't really see any difference between the older and newer grass from this standing level anymore which is nice. : )

Any current updates on me or the fam-bam? Hmm. I have a fun lunch date with my besties tomorrow. We're meeting at Coco's tomorrow at 11am. And Noah gets off school at 2:50pm, so I know I'll have to drive back to my town around 2:30pm tomorrow.... to make it in time since I live where I do. Which is fine. But...I am wondering how many hot cocoa's and sodas and various other drinks I will be having tomorrow. I'm looking forward to it. So much, I had yogurt this morning for breakfast and will be having a salad for lunch today for my lunch and I will be making a curry (powder) veggie stir fry for supper tonight. I'm really still making sure my meals are as low calorie as I can make them... because I know I am going to be having tons of drinks and probably pizza or something delicious but bad on calories for my lunch tomorrow. 

Umm anything else to add? Bran went to Tokyo Disney Sea last week with his high school grade. He had a blast!!! He had so much fun!!! He straight up...loves his school. He had some tests last week, he totally aced them! For the English kids (department) for his grade... he had the highest score. He got 98 points out of 100! I was surprised he missed one.  Not that I care either way...you all know that...we're very chill parents... but it's just because as his mother, I know my son and he legit.... usually *never* misses anything English related. Neither does Noah. Because both my kids have *extremely* high English writing skills. But apparently everyone in Bran's class was like...OMG you only missed 1 question...like holy crap!!! @_@ So they were surprised and apparently impressed, lol. The 2nd best score in the class was 80 points and went to his best friend. And these tests are superly hard. So...I am really proud of Branden. And he aced his math test and his Japanese test too. He's just killing it at school you guys! He has tons of friends. He's just enjoying his high school life.  Even Branden's gym class is and has to be conducted entirely in English. So the English kids, they do everything in English, including gym, lol. Even roll call is in English. They're supposed to say, "I am here" or "I'm here" is acceptable. LOL. I told Bran, ya'll are so much more polite than my school in America, because we would just say...."HERE!!!!" LOL. Japanese class is in Japanese though, but that's about it.: )

Noah meanwhile is enjoying his final year at elementary school. He does his homework every day. He plays with his friends. He helps me around the house. He cruises with me every evening to go and pick up Bran from the train station. He's like... my right hand man. He's such a helpful kid. We're also working on a lot of English writing here at home. And spelling. Cursive too. Noah's cursive is getting better. Not quite as pretty cursive, as Branden's. But to be fair Bran's older and has lots more practice, so it's getting there. : )