Friday, September 30, 2016

Five on Friday

Our daughter
My first Five on Friday for a while as we've been traveling. Thanks to Amy at Love Made My Home for hosting this. We just finished a 17 day trip to Japan, Korea and Cambodia.  Our daughter lives in the city of Fukuoka, Japan.  It is located on the southern most island of Japan, Kyushu.  It is a city of more than a million, but never felt like a big city, very walkable, and our daughter saw to it that we did lots of that.  When she was very young we use to  walk her feet off, this trip she returned the favor.
First impressions of Japan, it's clean, quiet and the people are so polite, I will never get use to people bowing to me.    The subways are clean, no loud talkers on cell phones.  They dress very stylishly, but in subdued colors: grey, black, beige, brown and white.
Our daughter lives in a small studio apartment down by the bay, so we stayed in a hotel, The Richmond in Tenjin, the main shopping district.  Our hotel was very modern, though rooms were small, we had a corner room that gave us great views. it was a great location, about a block from the subway and loads of shopping.
The first day she took us walking to sort of orientate us
I believe this was the Nakagawa River one of several rivers running through the city.
to the city and we walked miles past shrines, shopping arcades and to Canal City a huge outdoor shopping mall.
The Richmond Hotel

Canal City
Model of a float used in one of their festivals

A canal across from our hotel where we walked the first day

One of many temple dogs we were to see

Godzilla, my hero, just missed a big exhibit on the history of his movies.

More views of Kushido Shrine, a Shinto shrine that we visited the first day.

You wash your hands and purify yourself before addressing the shrine

More than five, but we saw so much, do go visit all the others participating at Five on Friday.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Home Again, Home Again

Home from our journeys, a million things to get caught up on, a cat clambering for attention, 200 pounds of laundry and still half asleep.  But the trip was wonderful.  Japan was great, so easy to see why our daughter is in love with it.  She was a wonderful tour guide.  Our day trip in Korea was fun and Angkor Wat was a dream come true.  So just a few quick photos. I think I have the pictures labeled correctly, if not my daughter will let me know.

Kushido  Shrine, Fukuoka, Japan

Dazaifu Shrine, Japan

Buddhist Temple Incheon Korea

Buddhist Temple Incheon, Korea

Main temple Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Sunday, September 11, 2016

September 11

Franklin Roosevelt said that December 7 was a day that would live in infamy.  But for me it's Sept.11. We were in England when it happened.  Saw a tv set in a cafe and couldn't believe it at first, thought it was some kind of an accident and then the second plane hit.
Our daughter was living outside of Washington D.C. and I was so worried about her, took forever to get a phone call through to her.
We weren't scheduled to leave England for a while, but we contacted Delta and they said that once planes were allowed to land in the States again that they would book us.
I felt numb, couldn't stand looking at the pictures.  Every time a plane flew overhead I was nervous.  When we got to our flight I stared at anyone who looked the least bit different. It was a long flight home to California.
I'm better now, we still travel a lot, have even flown on Sept.11, but I'll never forget that day.  Our flag flies today and every day.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Fifty-One Years and Counting

Today is our 51st wedding anniversary!  I know I say it every year, but it's so true, it just doesn't seem possible that we've been married that long.  Not a blink of an eye, but oh so quickly.
Starting when we were still teenagers we've lived in 2 countries, 4 states, 9 towns, 15 houses or apartments, had 15 cars and 1 truck, 4 dogs, 8 cats, 2 horses, 1 goat, 1 donkey, 1 parrot, numerous fish, at least 2 lizards, an assortment of turtles and ONE daughter.
We exchanged gifts and cards today, but will celebrate with our daughter in Japan.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Five on Friday

Friday really crept up on me this week.  We're busy getting ready for our trip and that's all that's on my mind.  So that's my theme this week, trips and trip planning.

1.  Find out if you need a visa for the country you're going to be visiting.  We're so use to traveling to Europe where we never need one that we almost forgot to check on the countries we're visiting this time.  No visa for Japan or Korea, but we had to have one for Cambodia.   Our daughter found us an online site to get them, just had to submit passport size pictures in jpg. format.  Got them in a little more than a day.

2.  Get rail passes, they're cheaper when purchased outside the country.  Again our daughter, who lives in Japan, directed us to the site to get them and they FedExed them to us in under a week.  We then take them to the central train station in her town, Fukuoka, and exchange them for the actual passes.

3.  Recommended vaccinations.  Again, we're use to Europe and never need any vaccinations beyond what we take normally.  But Cambodia was a bit more of a challenge.  Our daughter took the Hepatitis A shots, our doctor said that if we were careful we shouldn't need them.  But he did order Cipro for us, an antibiotic, to take at the first sign of fever or infection.  He also recommended something for diarrhea, Lomotil.   I told him I probably wouldn't eat while we were in Cambodia, he laughed.

4.  What to do during a long layover.  We have a lengthy layover in Korea and Mac found out that the airport runs free tours into Inchon or Seoul for those with layovers and he made us reservation.
He also booked us a private guide for Angkor Wat in Cambodia.

5.  Let your credit card companies know you'll be out of the country so they won't be surprised by an overseas use of your card and block it.

One last thought, we're often asked if we use tour services to plan our trips and in ways we do, we use Trip Advisor and read loads of traveller reviews and pictures.  It's a big help

That's my Five on Friday.  Do join Amy at Love Made Home and the other bloggers to see what they're up to.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Wednesday in the Swamp

Haven't blogged in days, I honestly do not know where the time goes.  It's been lovely weather since the tropical storm went through and I'm loving it.  Also got our electric bill for August and I was happy with it.  Our house is all electric and I try to be thrifty with the air conditioner, but when it's hot, it's hot and I want air conditioning.  So to get a reasonable bill after we'd used the air conditioning so much was a pleasant surprise.
When I've gotten my work, exercise and piano practice done for the day I've been busy with the cross stitching project.  I watched several You Tube videos and read some blogs.  You'd think you just make X's and off you go, but it turns out it's a bit more complicated than that.  You start in the middle and work left to right and make half an X, in other words a whole line of /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////. Then you work from right to left to make the X's.  So \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\/
That's easy enough, it's counting the spaces in between that's blinding me.  They're so tiny.  But I'm making progress and I'm pleased.
Today it was off to the commissary, a commissary that's being remodeled while we shop, the aisles are so narrow now that there's barely room for one shopping cart.  What a mess!  And we found out that this is going to be going on for a year, YIKES!  But then, as Mac said, it beats having them close it while they remodel.  Then we'd have to drive out to Ft. Stewart which is much further away and a total pill to get to.  So a little inconvenience versus a big inconvenience.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Saturday Clean-Up

Hermine is well gone, heading up the east coast, they say she may become a hurricane again.  We're cleaning up the yard.  Nothing big came down, but loads of smaller branches and debris.  Plus it bent a Lantana tree over and almost pulled it out of the ground.  I helped Mac straighten it out and stake it so it will stay up.  Some bigger branches came down on the south side of the house , but we have an open field there so no need to clean up.
Mac has worked on cleaning the driveway which was a big mess.
Took our morning walk and saw many branches, some quite big, and a tree or two down.  Glad it's over with.  Should have lovely weather for a few days.  It actually got down to 66ยบ last night, first time since about March.
I spent awhile, for the first time in months, pulling weeds in the garden.  Hope to get back out there tomorrow.
There was a 5.7 earthquake in Oklahoma so I called my sister who lives there to see if all was ok at her place.  She said she felt it, that it was loud, but that it didn't hurt anything.  She wasn't real close to it.
And to top things off a typhoon is headed to where my daughter lives in Japan.  It'll get there Monday.  Mother Nature needs to calm down.

Hope everyone here in the States is having a good Labor Day Weekend.  We all work hard, one way or another, so we deserve a holiday.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Five on Friday

Time to join Amy at Love Made My Home and all the other bloggers for the first Friday in September.  We took the month of August off, but now it's time to get going again, so follow the link and see what everyone has for the first Friday.

My first has to start with Tropical Storm Hermine.  She came ashore last night in Florida as a category 1 hurricane, but now she's down-graded.  Our rain started last night about 8 pm and we had intermittent rain, thunder and wind all night.  The main part of the storm is staying west of us, but it continues to rain and the wind to blow.  We're under a tornado watch until 4 pm.

We have a table and chair set on the back deck and we probably should have taken the umbrella down, but we forgot.  It's done ok, but one of the pillows in the chair has blown into the pool.  They're made with outdoor fabric, so I'm hoping it will dry out ok.
Poor Pillow

As I was typing this I heard a thud.  Mac said a branch blew off a tree on the side of the house and blew across the deck.  Glad it wasn't any bigger.
Lots more small ones down in the yard.  Most of our trees are pretty healthy, thank goodness.

The driveway is littered with small branches, but even small branches can hurt if they hit you in the head, so we did not do our morning work and I'm off to do some indoor walking.

To keep myself entertained I'm going to be working on some Christmas presents.  No photos because they're a gift.  I ordered a cross stitch kit and requested one that was printed on the fabric.  That's not what I got.  Instead I am instructed to find the square in the middle of my material and start there.  The diagrams to work from are large and once I get going I think other than going blind from the tiny stitches I ought to be ok.  Does everyone start in the middle of their cross stitch?

That's my five, hope you have a good weekend.

Whoops, just as I went to post this our electricity went out for 3 hours, just came back on.  Boy was it hot and stuffy.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Batten Down the Hatches

It looks like the worst of Tropical Storm Hermine will miss us, but they're saying it's possible we'll get from 3-5 inches of rain.  So we went out grocery shopping to pick up anything we thought we might need in the next couple of days so we won't have to be on the road during the storm.
All is well here at the Little House in the Swamp, we are moving slowly towards Fall, a couple of days in the 80's and if it were not for the 97% humidity it'd feel pretty good.
Finished a really good book last night, The Unseen World by Liz Moore.  It's the story of Ada an only child raised by her father, there was a surrogate mother who played no part in her raising.  Her father is a mathematical genius and heads the lab at BIT (a stand-in for MIT) where he's helping to develop Artificial Intelligence.  But he develops early onset Alzheimer and her whole world changes. She loses her father in more than one way when she starts to find out he's not who she thought he was.  Really enjoyed this book, went to look for more by the author.
Have a cross-stitch project I want to start today if time permits.

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