Sunday, April 29, 2012

Erica Says

Walked up to Grandma at the airport to carefully say "Welcome Grandma"

While I was brushing her hair a new show came on Discovery with 'die thingy mans' (soldiers)

Next was a jungle. First she asked me if penguins live in the jungle. I said no. Then I said 'but monkeys live in the jungle'. 'Not jungle, jumple' she said. 'No, it's jungle' I said. 'NO!!! JUMPLE!' she insisted. She  then said she'd show me and ran off to get a pen, and then some paper. She settled herself down at her desk, and a few seconds later called out 'Mum! How do you spell jumple?'

We picked up Baachan at the Stand, and Grandma said something to me. Erica told her to speak Japanese to Baachan please! We explained that Grandma can't speak Japanese, and said, with a very puzzled expression, 'But I can talk Japanese!!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Man flu?

I really shouldn't blog in the evening when I am tired and just want to get it over with, like last night! I ended up taking the path of least effort, deleting things that would require extra explanation, and just plain forgetting really important stuff, like my poor husband upstairs suffering with influenza.

But if you thought this was going to be a rant about bloody man flu and how the world comes to a halt for poor bloke to moan and suffer, you're wrong. I can't. He's could win a prize for stoic endurance, actually came downstairs mid-fever to make his own meals, and diligently tells me he doesn't need anything... the only things I've done for him so far is make the bed and buy a newspaper.

This wouldn't be so bad, only I'm extremely selfishly worried that it means that I will be expected to be just as strong and silent when it's my turn (hoping desperately that my turn won't come, as I am booked solid for the next six weeks). Whereas I, you know, prefer to act like the world has come to an end and everyone should wait on me hand and foot.

Meanwhile the Great Living Room and Study Clear-Out continues at the same snail's pace. Lena and Erica are playing some variety of fetch. Amy is blobbed in my computer chair. Swimming starts in 20 minutes, but I think we will be giving it a miss this week. I'm going to leave you now, check facebook, turn on some music, check on Kanji and see if he wants some ginger lemon drink, stand in the hallway for ten minutes and contemplate where to put all the furniture on Sunday evening, go get some milk for my tea, realize it's getting late and serve dinner, and then lament that I didn't have time to clean up my computer desk as I head out the door to Haradas' English lesson.

(edited to add:
Ha! foiled again. Tired children plus germs meant I decided it was a better idea to just cancel everything. So I DID get the computer area cleaned up...)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


I spent most of the day cleaning.

Do you know how often I can write that sentence? Almost never. I finished the bathroom, did laundry, cooked dinner, cleaned the freezer and the shelf above the kitchen sink, which is always a disaster.

The tatami man is coming on Monday, so the living rooms have to be gutted. Amy and Lena are in the middle of clearing out their desks for removal, which of course means the room looks like a tornado swept through. I (I sheepishly admit) have not yet started on my desk area...

And I am once again happily suffering from my own variety of the mid-week hump day - only it's actually more like Sunday night as I contemplate my very short work week of two days. I must search out some more work, but not until after Mum goes, I think. She is in Oman now, probably having the time of her life, very hot, in a desert somewhere or enjoying the shopping in Dubai.

Another good thing about work is that it stops me drinking, I was drinking too much over the spring break, that Journal drove me to drink in the end!!! But I can never drink on a work night and try to avoid it on a school night too, as I am useless the next morning. At least I'll save some cash. Until I make that order from Wassy's, Mum's Sav...

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


I would seriously ask myself why I got such pleasure out of a bit of economical shopping and buying food for the next three dinners for ¥3000 (with ¥1000 left to buy fish on Friday night for the fish'n'chips hanami excursion), but I think I know why. It's the satisfaction of plinking those shiny ¥500 coins into the savings tin for Mum's trip to Japan and our family trip to Huis ten Bosch (minus hubby, he costs too much).

Or maybe it's the satisfaction of knowing that if I am careful and stretch it out all week I can indulge a little at the weekend, include a meal out, or a hungover trip to MacD's (and the wine to get me hungover in the first place).

Or maybe because I worked hard - four stores in the rain. Or because I estimated the cost before hand and got it nearly all right, except I thought lettuce would cost less and pumpkin more.

Or maybe it was just the most energetic thing I did today. I did not make it to swimming...

Anyhow, for future reference or fellow madwoman budgeters, today's haul:

Chicken breast meat: ¥184 and ¥214 (budgeted ¥300)
3 pumpkin quarters: ¥285 (budgeted ¥600)
potatoes: ¥100 (budgeted ¥100)
lettuce ¥299 (budgeted ¥200)

Chips (crinkle cut french fries): ¥299 (budgeted ¥300)

Tea bags: ¥198 (not budgeted)

Little Mermaid (bakery):
5 butter rolls: ¥500
Half a crusty loaf: ¥225
Small French loaf: ¥120
total ¥895 (budgeted ¥1000)

Youme Town:
Cheese: ¥248 (budgeted ¥400)

Oh, and..

Youme Town:
Japanese champagne, half bottle: ¥498
Six pack of not-even-happoshu fake beer (Nisshin Super Sounama): ¥498

I suppose I should add the menu!
Today, pumpkin soup with bread and cheese
Tomorrow, spicy chicken wrapped in lettuce leaves with chopped tomato, crushed corn chips and parmesan cheese
Friday, fish'n'chips in the park

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Annual 'Last Day of Spring Break' post

Only it's technically the day after the last day, which wasn't even the last day really as the girls went to school in the morning to collect their text books and learn what teacher they have this year. Amy has the same teacher again, which is fine as he's okay, but she'd prefer the other sixth grade teacher because she's also the music teacher, so it would be easier for her to ask permission to practice the piano every morning. Lena is in the second class - again - which annoyed her because she's been in the second class in every grade so far. (a random, not an academic assignment). She was upset because her best friends are in the other class.

Busy spring break! Hanami and hanami and out for dinner and something then a day off then another hanami and a night in then another two picnics yesterday. More about those another time when I get the photos sorted.

Our little world has changed again as it does every April. I'm down two classes, and with no Journal to do now, I will have to look for some more lucrative ways to pass my time - after I finish the spring cleaning and Mum's visit is over. We now have nothing on a Monday, juku on Tuesday, nothing (cooking and English at home) on Wednesday, swimming for all three girls on Thursday followed by us teaching the Harada family English.

And I joined the swimming club! Chance to go tomorrow, though I can see myself rewarding myself with a glass of wine for my efforts. Or maybe I should be telling myself I am not allowed a glass of wine tomorrow night UNLESS I get in that damn pool.