Sep 19, 2010

Airing Our Dirty Laundry Part 2

So my neighbor called and said "You'd better take that post down before everyone in the states wakes up and reads it.  I don't think Doug is gonna like it."  (She thought it was highly amusing, for the record.)  So I deleted my last post.  Unfortunately, that doesn't take the post out of the "Google Reader" of my 143 followers so a few people are wondering why they can't leave a comment.
(Let this be a cautionary tale for any of you who want to blog about your fight with your husband but might regret it later.)

So let's just do it this way, shall we?  (Because I HATE the thought of missing out on comments!)

How do you handle laundry at your house?
Do you do it all yourself (if you happen to be the SAHMom or Dad)?
Does your spouse help?
How many days does it take?  One, three, or seven each week?  (And how many grubby little children do you have?)

You may now comment to your little heart's content. (Is "heart's" apostrophized or not?  I always screw up plural/possessive punctuation!)

And now I need to go finish folding the laundry.

Sep 17, 2010

...But I Turn Into A Pumpkin Around 2200...

Doug:  "Blah blah blah Air Force Ball blah blah..."
Me:  "Huh?  What?  We're going to the Ball?  No one asked ME!  Where's my engraved invitation?"

A few days later:

Well, in that case...

"YES!!!  I'll go to the Ball with you!!!"

 A few of our BFF's:

 My friend Masami in her BEAUTIFUL kimono!  Gorgeous!

The new base commander and his wife:  Good people!

A good time was had by all.  I'm glad I said yes!

Labor Day Weekend: Second & Third Adventure Destination

We had a goal in mind when we left Inakadate, unfortunately, we had neither directions or even a specific location.  Just a city--Goshogawara--famous for its pottery.  Within Goshogawara, we were hoping for a sign.


We were hoping we'd see some kind of Pottery road sign (Is a little English too much to ask? Yes.) pointing us in the right direction to a place I'd heard of.  No such luck.
So, we did the next best thing and went to some random museum:  Tachineputa No Yakata.

D-Fresh had looked it up earlier and we figured it was--at the very least--something to do.  The museum is pretty cool and houses three very tall Tachineputa floats.

Doug's Blurb entry:
These floats are similar to the Aomori Nebuta floats except they are build straight up. They are huge doll lanterns 20 meters tall. The tradition began in the 1900's.  The Neputa were a symbol of wealth and power. They were shouldered by 100 people through the streets.The blue prints were lost in the 40's after town conflagrations. In 1996 fortunately some photos and blueprints were found and Neputa in Goshogawara was revitalized. 
I took Max and Gabe into the paid area to see them. We went up four stories to see the top, then the walk way spirled around them to the bottom. They were quite impressive and Max and Gabe were amazed. Sam got to peak at them too and thought they were awesome. 

The best part of the museum for me (besides getting an ice cream cone) was that they had directions for the POTTERY.  Not only that, but the little map they gave us made it look like it was very close.

So after the requisite ice cream stop, we headed out in search of the pottery a few short blocks away thinking it would be NO PROBLEM to find it.

Approximately one hour later, we found the Kanayamayaki Pottery Studio.  Turns out, the map we got was accurate, just not even remotely to scale.  NOT EVEN REMOTELY!!!

Luckily, it was worth the long (LONG) and frustrating trip to the boonies!

And now, pottery geeks, please enjoy the following pictures:

I read on Ceramic Arts Daily today that unglazed ceramics are called Shigaraki-Yaki

99% of these pots were unglazed.  They use various combustibles (like rice stalks) wrapped around the pots in the kilns to get the cool patterns and colors.

Neat little Sake or sushi set or something.

These are silly.  I like 'em.

(The red is paint not glaze.  It looked cool though...)

I loved the cool wooden display shelves.

The upstairs gallery was especially cool

I want the below shelf thingy for my house.  With the pots included.

Oh, and I want this outdoor sculpture garden.  With the pots included.

This is their seven room wood-fired step kiln.  
(I'd say I want this too, but it's probably a little excessive for my needs.)

And finally, a pretty little outdoor work area.
(Yes, I want one of these too.)

A good time was had by all.  (Mostly me though.)
One stop left on this grand day out.  Maybe I'll tell you about it tomorrow.  Or next week.  Or never.  Let's just play it by ear, shall we?

Verbatim from a brochure we got at the museum, including spelling and punctuation errors:

Tsugaru Kanayamayaki
Mt. Bonju is a famous district of "Sueki" archaeological ceramic about 1,000 years ago.  The pottery uses a good quality clay that is heaped up in a reservoir is baked in wood fire kiln.  No glaze on it, and it's baked slowly in a high temperature about 1,360 C.  The technique is called "Yakishime (stone ware)" and it gives natural depth on the surface.  You are always welcome to the pottery facility IT has 7 wood fire kilns and can you have an experience of the ceramic art class.

The neputa floats of Goshogawara reached a grand height in the Mejii period.  As electric cables came into use, the height of the neputa floats had to be reduced.  With the discovery of a photograph and the base drawing of a neputa float, a group of local volunteers decided to reconstruct a giant 22 meter neputa float in 1996.  The neputa float was offically named "Tachineputa", and the festival was brought back in 1998 for the first time in about ninety years under the name "Goshogawara Tachineputa".

Sep 15, 2010

Max and Sam's First Day of School and a Sam Update

Sammy doesn't like change.  We knew we'd need to prep him for first grade.  

We told him he'd have a new teacher.  (It took a few weeks, but he came to grips with it.)

We told him he'd be in a new class room.  (He adjusted.)

We neglected to tell him he'd have all new classmates. 

 He was NOT happy.  
 He cheered up a little once we got to school, though.
("If I have to hug my brother, I'll squeeze him super tight just 'cause I'm a punk!")

 It's been a good year so far.   Sam has had a few more irrational melt-downs than usual, but he's (slowly) adjusting.  He told me last night "The thing I don't like about first grade is when my teacher tells me we're doing an activity, and then she gives us a paper.  We get SOO MANY PAPERS!!!"

He likes his new teacher and class though and has only been sent to the principle for fighting once.


 (sigh!  His defense was "I saw some kids beating him (the victim) up and I just helped them!  I like to help people!!!")

(Some people's children!  SERIOUSLY!!!)

(Yes, I did give him a lengthy lecture and told him to direct his helpfulness towards the VICTIM next time!!!)

(Yes, I did bang my head against the wall wailing "WHY?" and wondering where I went wrong as a mother.)

(So far both of our school age sons have been sent to the principle for fighting.  Max twice last year.)

(Yes, I did decide it must be all Doug's fault.)

I'm placing all my hopes and dreams on Gabe being my angel child.  (No pressure Gabey!)
So far so good.  

But cross your fingers for me just in case.

Sep 14, 2010

Another Excellent Day! Get (another) Tissue!

My oldest child is sort of a spoiled brat.  I mean, don't get me wrong, he's really cute and sweet and all.  But he's lived in some cool places and done a lot of cool stuff in his 8.5 years on earth and he takes it all for granted.  It's really really hard to impress the little punk!
This most recent example was frustrating because we (his parents) were SO PUMPED...

Us:  "Hey Boys!  This is a really special day!  We get to do something REALLY cool!"
Max:  "What?"

Us:  "Well first off, we get to be HERE!  They usually don't let ANYONE on to this part of the base unless they work here and have a special pass.  And not very many people do!"

Max:  "So?  It doesn't look very secure to me!"

Us:  "Well it IS!  And lot's of people would LOVE to see what you're about to see."

Max:  "Why is it so cool?"

Us:  "Because this plane is REALLY COOL and costs MILLIONS OF DOLLARS and most people have to stay far away from them!  AND, Mr. Wes is FINALLY coming HOME!!!"

Max:  "How long has he been gone again...?"
Us:  "Almost five months!  Miss Tami hasn't had anyone to help her for FIVE MONTHS!"  
Max:  "Oh. -pause-  I need to go to the bathroom."
Us:  "ARGH!  We give up!  Just trust us!  Someday you'll think this is REALLY COOL!!!"

This is where it gets really good...
He missed his oldest daughter's birthday...
He missed his baby's first birthday...
And he missed his wife's birthday.
He missed parties and get-togethers.
He missed climbing Fuji, helping his wife through illness and injuries, the changing of copious poopy diapers and helping get three kids ready for church every single week.
He really missed his family...
and maybe even his friends a little.  
"Doug, this is as cool as your job will ever get!"*

And we REALLY missed him!  

Wes, we're so glad you're home!!!  
Plus it was super rad watching you fly in and land your F-16.

At least Sammy thought it was cool...
We'll work on Max.
The End

*Our friend Tyler said this to Doug while his picture was being taken with Wes.  Amen to that!