Monday, October 23, 2017

Our weekend. Flu shots taken. The outlet mall yet again. Typhoon Lan with pics. Lots of good meals at home. And a Costco run...

So last Wednesday, as I was at the plaza picking up Noah from school. As you know Branden came home early because of his 3 days of high school tests. So Bran was home and it was now the end of school day at the local elementary school. Wednesday October 18th and as I was standing outside my car and chit chatting with 2 of my mom friends. They were saying, a typhoon is heading our way. It might hit Chiba prefecture hard this time. And the other one was like...say what? When? And so she said it's coming this weekend sometime. Either Saturday, Sunday or next Monday. And so us 3 sat there. Wondering would it actually hit Chiba prefecture or lose it's steam as usual by the time is goes all the way through other parts of Japan first. Like it usually does. So we wondered. But we all said, we would prepare a little anyway, just in case and thanks for the heads up. So, Noah came down the hill that day and said. Our school said a typhoon is expected this coming weekend sometime. I thanked my kiddo for the heads up too and I said...so and so's mama just told me and.... so and so-kun's mom about this too. So...I think we had 8 rolls of toilet paper left last Wednesday. And we had enough food to last our home until Monday October 23rd. So food, I wasn't worried about and drinks...I had 2 cases of mugicha. 5 bottles of jasmine tea. A brand new carton and a half of milk. About 15 eggs left. And tons of veggies and whatnot. But just thinking about it. So Thursday, I ran to Costco in the morning after both my kids went to school. I went for just a case of toilet paper. And another pack of eggs (there's 20 in the Costco egg packs) and that's it. 

I also went into the Matsumoto Kiyoshi near Costco in Inzai and bought a new tin of shea bath powder. I figured what a cozy way to ride out a typhoon. Or a weekend of rain. I made sure I was back in my town by the time Bran got home on Thursday. On Friday, Branden got home super early and he told me. "my teachers all told us that school will most likely be canceled on Monday because of the typhoon, because most of us use trains to get to school and trains are expected to either be delayed or cancelled all together, that day." And sure enough by 9am Saturday, Branden's school emailed and said they decided to cancel school Monday for everyone. Branden was thrilled. 

I baked a yellow cake with chocolate frosting on Friday on Friday morning, sliced 2 rows and as soon as Bran got home, he had a slice immediately. And I made some delicious tacos for supper after everyone came home. For us to really enjoy the weekend about to start. And with a typhoon expected to hit sometime. We were all set. With plenty of food. And we had DVDs and plus we have excellent American cable TV. So we were set. Here at our house. And well prepared for Typhoon Lan/Typhoon 21. I picked up Noah on Friday after school and Noah also said his school might be canceled on Monday because of the typhoon and sure enough by 10am Saturday for Noah's school...they emailed all of us and also said, school was canceled for Monday. So, both my kids now officially had a 3 day weekend. Woohoo.

Homemade shells. I buy the soft corn tortillas from Kaldi and fry them up my own, so super easy. Branden said...store bought shells are good, but nothing beats homemade shells. We had chicken breast tacos and also I made lean ground beef ones too. And we all had yellow cake with chocolate frosting for dessert. Even though the kids had some cake as soon as they each got home from school. : )

The Amazon DVDs got here Thursday night around 7pm. Via DHL. 

We had movie night both Saturday and Sunday night. We watched Spiderman Homecoming on Saturday night. And Transformers The Last Knight on Sunday. The kids picked which movies we'd watch. And I still haven't had my chance to watch The Big Sick or Everything, Everything. : ( But, I will get my chance, I know. So I am just being chill. And I know I'll get my chance this weekend. : ) So it's cool. So Friday was low key. We all were well prepared for the typhoon. Noboru in the day time Friday....went around the yard and put anything that could tumble during the typhoon away. And I put the Fall wreath that usually hangs on my front door and scarecrow in the shed for the weekend. From Friday, until Monday afternoon after the typhoon had left. So we had the house all free of anything that could possibly take a tumble and go flying through the neighborhood. All hanging baskets on the front porch were put safely inside our shed. And we basically did our typhoon prep Friday afternoon. So by the time Friday evening happened. We enjoyed dinner. Cake. And we were all hunkered down and ready for Typhoon Lan!

Saturday morning. We all quickly woke up and got dressed and quickly ready for the day. We all had a quick fast bakery bread toasted with butter and yogurts. We left the house at 9:30am and went to the Ami Premium outlet mall. Gosh are we getting sick of that place! Hahaha. Our nearest outlet mall to our home. We went into the Gap. With the intention to get Noah 2 sweatshirts and 2 long sleeves. And we bought just that. Also wanted to mention everything was at 30% off sale already for that weekend. However there was a "morning additional sale" And for a limited time until 11am, everything in the store was an additional 20% off and they were handing out white plastic Gap shopping bags and they said when they give the last one the sale will be finished. Only the people with the white bags, they were handing out would get 50% off. So whoever was lucky enough to have grabbed a white plastic Gap shopping bag, they got everything that morning for 50% off. A 1 hour only sale. And we caught that. Wow. Right on! Dressing our sons cute plus while still saving tons of cash...so super happy about that!!! Nothing wrong with grabbing a great deal.

One bright green Gap zip up sweatshirt and 1 bright happy yellow pullover Gap sweatshirt. 
Noah is in the largest size for Gap kids. He's not in the largest size for kids at Old Navy however though. 

And 2 adorable long sleeve tops from Gap too. And for 50% off. We got everything for half off. 

I could tell by Noah's face last weekend that he too wanted to be included and get the same sweatpants as Branden and I picked last week. But, I was unsure if they had a size XXS. And Noah's never worn adults sizes yet for clothes. But, I had Noah try on the XXS and XS sizes this weekend. The XS were enormous. And the XXS were perfect. I asked Noah...would you like to be twinsies with Bran and I? Technically triplets... but when peeps dress the same doesn't matter... they call it being twinsies regardless of how many there are. He smiled and said...sure! I always want both my kids to always feel included. 

So 3 of us are twinsies. We did ask Noboru if he wanted to get a pair too? He was like..thanks but I like my Uniqlo pair. LOL. By 11am, we were heading back to our tiny town. With 35 eggs at home. I boiled 10 and made a batch of egg salad. I rinsed some lettuce. And we all had egg salad sandwiches for lunch Saturday. Our flu shot appointment wasn't until 3pm. Although we left the house around 1:45pm. Arrived by 2pm. And we were out of the doctors office by 2:35pm. 

Before we left to the doctors for all our flu shots. I quickly chopped up curry nabe veggies. I peeled and diced up 2 potatoes. A whole small cabbage. A pack of mushrooms. From 11:30am to 1:45pm. I made lunch and did dinner prep. I knew working hard right then, would lead to a restful night later.

I diced up a pack of chicken tenderloins that I had in my freezer since the week before. I buy these from Japan Meat in Inzai. Less than $4 feeds a family of 4, yes. And I also add in 12 chicken meatballs for Noboru since he loves those. The kids and I prefer sliced up chicken sesami though. I put the diced up chicken in a ceramic bowl and wrapped it with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge until we came back from the doctors from our flu shot appointment. I washed my hands twice. And we left to the doctors office. Flu shots here we come!!!
It's been all over the news but there's a big shortage of flu shot vaccinations in Japan this year. And so whoever waits until the last second will most likely not be able to get one. There are over a million less than less year. Again though, I was glad that I always make our appointment right away for our shots. And so I knew, ours were reserved and waiting for us. It's peace of mind knowing our kids and Noboru and I now have our flu shots. And ours are paid for 100% by Noboru's job. So for us they're totally free. Branden getting his shot Saturday around 2:10pm. And yes, I always have my kids wear short sleeve shirts underneath a sweatshirt. Those poor nurses and doctors always have the darndest time when folks wear long sleeves...yet they need to give you the shot in your upper arm. So...to make things easier for everyone... I always have my kids wear short sleeves. You have no idea how much our nurses appreciate that we all do that, every year!!! : )

Noah getting his flu shot, Saturday about 2-3 minutes after Branden did. I went after Noah and Noboru went last. Flu shots 2017 are done for our family now! Woohoo!
Branden gets about 3 haircuts a month. He loves getting his haircut. He likes his hair looking clean and tidy looking. And plus his hair grows like a weed. He actually needs haircuts that often. Noah's hair on the other hand grows slower than you could ever imagine and he hates going to the barber and he only goes about once a month. But they both go to the 1000 yen barber in the small city nearest our town. Anyways...while at the doctors office, Branden asked. Since we were in the small city anyways...for the flu shots...could he gets a haircut? Honestly...he needed one. And dinner was prepped. The rice was in the rice cooker already set with the timer on. And so...yeah sure. You can go and get a haircut. So, there was no parking space at the barbers because the bakery and whatnot people were parking there, so we parked across the street. However the barber was deader than a doornail. Meaning Branden zipped right in...and got his hair cut. Noboru went with him and waited, Noah and I meanwhile sat in the car and watched TV in the car while we waited. In 10 minutes there they stood together in this pic... about to cross the street and get in our car and go home. Branden was happy with his spiffy new hair cut. And I was happy and relieved we had all gotten our flu shots and Noah now has 4 sweatshirts total. And so...we're getting closer to done regarding our winter clothes shopping. Plus dinner was prepped. And we were already hunkered down at home...all flower planters and whatnot removed and put away. So we were now ready. Saturday around 3:30pm and we were now heading home. 
Sent Branden to take a quick shower since he had just got his hair cut. And sent Noah in after Bran. Meanwhile I threw all the meat and veggies in and things started to boil up quickly and nicely. Before you know it, we 4 were sitting at the kitchen table. Pulling yummy udon noodles out and chicken sesami/tenderloin, potatoes, bean sprouts, cabbage. Noboru was pulling out meatballs and whatever he wanted too. And we sat and just enjoyed the end of Saturday. Sundays plan was to stay home, stay safe. We enjoyed our curry nabe Saturday night. With bowls of rice. We drank mugicha/jasmine tea or straight tea, your choice. I jumped in the shower real quick after dinner clean up. And Noboru went after wards. I popped some popcorn. And when all of us were ready we threw on Spiderman Homecoming. We loved it. A nice way to end Saturday. Sunday. Was raining. And we watched how it was hitting various parts of Japan on the news. It seemed to hit according to 2 of my very close friends who live in Osaka. It seems Osaka got slammed hard by the typhoon. It also seemed to hit Shizuoka quite hard too. I am glad that it did lose steam by the time it got to my particular area of Chiba, near Ibaraki. We got tons of rain. We did. It rained and rained and rained. But, I see no structural damage in my town at all. And on Monday we drove to Inzai to pick up Bran's birthday cake and again...we saw lots of flooded with water areas. But no structural damage like there was in Osaka. So our part of Japan did get tons and tons of water. But...on the news... seems train tracks were broken in Osaka. That was on the news. I hope they got those fixed. Again one of my friends who lives in Osaka saw a shed collapsed. And some roofs torn up. I just didn't see any signs of tangible physical damage here in our area other than gobs of rain. Already harvested rice fields drowned in rain. Smart farmers! But other than that. Nothing really noteworthy around where we live. And that's a good thing!!! Everyone took turns soaking in a hot shea bath at home after showers Sunday evening. I made baked chicken parmesan on top of pasta Sunday night for supper. Comfort food to ride out the typhoon. I also made a delicious bacon and eggs breakfast Sunday morning too. 
We didn't leave our house until Monday. These pics are from Monday. See this picture? Looks like 2 rivers right? Wrong. The water farthest back IS the actual real river. And the 1 closer river is not a river at all. That's flooding. That's usually a grassy weedy area to park your car to go and enjoy the river. And the closest thing to us is a sidewalk.The water should go back down in a day or two. But yep tons of rain in my area.

See the white ripples? That's how windy it was Monday. Monday was super hot weather-wise after the typhoon. I assumed it would be a cool day. I wore a sweatshirt. Needless to say I melted the whole time I was at Costco Inzai. I was not expecting it to feel like summer time outside. @_@  That's Mt. Tsukuba in the background. Yes, I am close to Tsukuba in Ibaraki. In fact the other side of this river is Ibaraki. That's HOW close I live to Ibaraki. I seriously live so super close to Ibaraki. LOL. 

This is sad. Because nobody works harder than farmers in my opinion. Look at the rice fields?!!! Totally submerged. It looks like a lake. It's not. And it looked like that all over my town and all the way to Inzai too. The bright side or silver lining is...farmers are much too smart and they frankly harvested their rice in early September. So their rice fields were flooded yes, but there was nothing the rain could damage. Farmers are too smart. Farmers 1 point Typhoon 0.  The rice had already been cut.  So while other areas of Japan got lots of wind damage and structural damage. We didn't get that. It did lose steam by the time it reached our town. Sorry. However...we did face the wrath of huge rainfall. Flooding types of amounts of rain. Whoever's crazy enough to have built their house at rice field/ lower land level. Perhaps their homes might have got flooded too? I do not know. I honestly do not know. Our housing community is built on a naturally elevated higher part of town. You can see when you see my backyard how much lower and down below the rice fields are. So we're not at flood level/rice field level at all, not even remotely. And our house is not in a mudslide area either. Noboru was really smart when he picked the spot to build our house. The original parts of town/older parts of town are at rice field level. So...hopefully my kids classmates who live near there...their houses are okay. Though I am sure they're old school enough to know to toss sandbags and stuff to prepare by Friday. They're smart folks.So yep...just wanted to share a few pics of flooding. And as for our house in particular. Our house got zero damage. 
Noboru will be working on Bran's birthday October 26th. And Bran wanted a Costco cake versus an ice cream cake. So, I ordered it last week. And 2 weeks ago, I brought home 2 papers and let Bran read his choices and he picked American football. I filled the form out last week and we picked the pick up date to fall on Monday October 23rd. We figured we could take Branden out to dinner at the restaurant of his choice Monday. And we would have cake and ice cream on Monday October 23rd. And considering the cake is ginormous we will be eating cake until the weekend I'm sure. However with the typhoon approaching. Either Sunday or Monday. And not knowing if we would be able to pick up the cake or not. We were relieved that...it did lose steam in our area/part of Japan. Because by Monday 9am it was long gone. Slightly windy Monday and super hot. But other than that not even a drop of rain. Nothing. Our area just got huge amounts of rain Sunday night to Monday early morning ended around 6:30am. And that was it. We were lucky to be able to cruise right to Inzai. Roads were totally fine. And we did grab a weeks worth of meat beforehand at Japan Meat. And then hit Costco. Grabbed what was needed and went back to our town ASAP. : ) My kids took rotisserie chicken sandwiches today to school. With those dinner rolls. You see Mexican style cheese. Mozzarella cheese. Tortillas. Dinner rolls, a rotisserie chicken, a birthday cake. 

Yeah provolone stop trying to hide...we see you!!! ; )

Ice cream. One big container will go for the birthday cake and the other container will be turned into peanut butter ice cream. We went home. Unloaded the car. Brought lunch for the kids. And we relaxed for a few hours. It was a restful Monday. And about 5pm, we went to dinner for Branden's early birthday dinner. celebration. He wanted to go to Jolly Pasta. And we're lucky now that there are 2 Jolly Pasta's in Ibaraki now. There used to be just the 1 in Mito. Which is way too far for us. But now there's one way closer to us. This one just opened September 27th this year. It's a 30 minute drive from our home. Where as the other one in Chiba was an hours long drive. So this ones much closer. And the one in Chiba City has traffic for days. Where this one is all inaka back roads and no stop lights. So we zipped there in no time. 

The most beautiful sunset the 4 of us saw on Monday October 23rd long after the typhoon had passed. On our way to dinner.