Saturday, September 30, 2017

Farewell to September

It's the last day of September, and I'm still surprised. How is it the end of September already? 

I wanted to get in one last post before October, so here is a completely random post.

This is my favorite tree, and I'm eagerly waiting for it to change. It gets really gorgeous in the fall.
 One of my dreams has been to eat this giant cotton candy. Thankfully, I shared it with a friend. It was SWEET!

Here's a pumpkin coffee in honor of fall.

Here's one of my favorite foods in Japan. It's currypan, a bun filled with curry.

 Here's a coffee and a target, which pretty much sums up my life.
That's pretty much it for here! Work has been really busy this term. I'm hoping next week will be a little easier. The weather is starting to get nice, so I need to spend more time outside in nature. It's easy to get too much city!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

A break from the city

There's a beautiful walk about an hour from here that I've definitely written about before. Here are some more pictures from that walk! We had a holiday on Monday, so I did it again. I enjoy city living, but I find that I often need to take breaks and get back in touch with the world. 

Selfie towards the end of the hike - so tired! And I forgot water for the hike, which was a little dumb.

My favorite part of the hike is this teahouse/rest stop halfway through.
 Got caught in the rain and was glad I brought a poncho.
 Misty morning

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Update from Japan

It's a rainy Saturday here in Nagoya, and I'm curled up on top my bed drinking some coffee while my laundry dries around me. It smells pretty good!

So, my life since returning hasn't been very photogenic. That should be changing soon as the weather starts to get nice enough for outdoor activities. I've also been doing a lot of archery. There are only so many pictures one can take on the range! Haha!

But it's been fun to go shooting anytime I want with my equipment. Am I any good? Not really! Turns out that I'm gonna need a LOT of practice before I'm good at shooting without a sight.

What else is happening in the good old Nagoya? Well, school's back in session, so we are back to school lunches (yay! no cooking! no dishes!). We had a special lunch on Friday for the harvest moon. The dessert was jello that looked like an egg.

Oh, I also made it out to the beach one weekend!

 I was really glad that I went! It turns out that I need nature and beach in my life!
Besides this, my life is pretty much teaching, going to the gym, and going to Japanese lessons! Haha! It's hard to make a pretty blog without ferries!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Kayaking on sunny days

Well, it's my last day in the good old US of A for a long time. What a day it has been! It started early this morning when Mom knocked on my door and asked if I wanted to go kayaking. Naturally, I said yes!

We loaded the kayaks into the car, drove them to the water, carried the kayaks to the water, and got in all by ourselves! They are heavy and unwieldy, so it was no easy feat. But we did it.

Here's Mom, demonstrating how to float.
 Kayak selfie!
 Mom paddling into the diamond path.
After our paddle around, we headed back to shore and I headed off to catch up with an old friend. I got back to the house before the eclipse started, which was my big goal. At the last minute, I decided that I wanted a pinhole camera, so I made a huge one out of an Amazon box.

Here was the view from the start of the eclipse. Ahhhh!
 Modeling my new hat.
Mom and I spent a lot of time on the porch just chatting and watching the world go dim. We did NOT look at the sun!
 I caught a handful of eclipse inside the box.
 Now I'm just sitting on the floor of my empty bedroom feeling a little sad. These past few weeks have been absolutely jam-packed, but they've been great! And tomorrow, I head out for the second half of the school year.
See you on the flip side!

Saturday, July 1, 2017


This short story is about the best $40 I have ever spent (I think).

In April, I was doing some gym research and came across a blurb about an upcoming 8 lesson archery class at the Chikusa Sports Center. I was immediately intrigued and intimidated. The participants were to be picked by lottery, and everything was (of course) in Japanese.

Well, I trundled over to the gym to figure out how to enter and managed to enter the lottery. 2 weeks later, I called the gym and found out I was in! That was a Cloud 9 afternoon!

Finally, the first class arrived. I was pretty nervous that I would misunderstand something important. I was pretty bad that first day. My first shot went in someone else's target. I was pretty sure that I wasn't built for archery and would just have to muddle my way through. But it was really fun and I loved it!

Now it's time for all the pictures because they are too hard to move around the blog. Argh.
Here's me after the first class practicing my archery 1000 yard stare

And my first injury

Here's my silly bucket hat that has been an important part of my shooting career and a large contributor to my general dorkiness #howisshesingle

My first sneaky class selfie - missed most of the bow

My humdinger of an elbow bruise. It looked worse in person, and it seriously impressed my students.

Warmups today

A slightly better sneaky bow selfie!

After class, glowing from happiness and too much sunshine and humidity. Also notice how my hair expanded from the morning!

Well, second lesson came and I slowly got a little better. And third...and fourth. It was amazing to see myself actually improve! 
Last week we played archery bingo in teams of three. It was pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Shooting with a team is scary because you might let your team down if you do something weird. team came in first! 
So, today came and I really wasn't looking forward to it. Yep, last class. And today was hot! It's hard to hold a bow with a sweaty hand!
First warmup round...I put 2 arrows into someone else's target! At least I was aiming at it this time! And one was in the yellow zone! Maybe I need glasses. Bahahaha. It made me nostalgic for day 1, anyway.
We shot for a while and I got a helpful tip from one of the instructors that seriously messed up my shooting. Haha! When I started archery, I thought that wherever you aimed your arrow was the place it would go. Er, nope. Feet, hips, elbows, chin, fingers, and thumbs all matter (to name a few)! Annnnnnnnd...shoulders. Apparently, I've been lifting my shoulder, which makes my arrow go down. When I learned about dropping my shoulder, my arrows went up! So I had to start readjusting life.
We broke into pairs to do some shooting with scoring. My partner was Green Guy, one of the members of last week's Bingo team. We shot 6 rounds - I had some good ones, and one wild one when I adjusted one little thing. Every little thing makes a difference in archery!!!

Green Guy and I did pretty well, I think! We stayed within a few points of each other each round. He finally won by 3 points. But I was thrilled with my score. We took down the targets and the instructors gave them to us. But I got one that wasn't ours. Oh, well.

The instructors collected our scorecards and announced the results. I came in 4th! I was super proud because I came behind two really good guys who have their own equipment and Green Guy. It was a great 4th to get. And first place among the girls! That made me really happy, because I beat my nemesis by 2 people. She's someone who is pretty good, but reeeeeeaaallllly slow. We all have to wait for her at the end of every round.

When I left class today, I was pretty much glowing, and it wasn't just from heatstroke. And even though today was the last class, it's not quite the end of my archery career. Next week, a bunch of us have entered a beginners' archery "festival" (I think they are trying not to scare us off). We prepped all of our gear at the end of class, and I'm really looking forward to it!

And who knows, maybe I'll buy my own bow someday when I save up the pennies (or yennies).
After class, I went for a shop but the target was too big to fit anywhere else...

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Hello birthday!

 My birthday turned out to be pretty fun! It started with one of my favorite fast breakfasts - bacon cheddar cream cheese and a blueberry smoothie.

But then I got caught in a storm on the way to school. I got soaked in the rain.
 The wind didn't do much for my hair, either.

Things improved at school, though! Classes were fun, and school lunch was great! Got lots of happy birthdays from my little ones - lol. Curry and rice is one of my favorite school lunches and we got a chocolate mix-in for the milk! We only get those once or twice per term!

After classes, my coworkers surprised me with cake in the file room! I had some suspicions that something might happen, but I wasn't expecting it to be there! It was such a fun surprise!

Here's the cake right before it was eaten at dinner! So gorgeous and delicate and delicious.

After the birthday party, we had a coding seminar for an hour and a half. It was cool! I want to learn to code now!

This evening, I was just going to chill out and relax, but I wound up having dinner with a friend instead, which was a fabulous way to spend the evening.

It was a lovely day, and I'm enjoying finishing it with a birthday facemask and a book from my coworkers. I'm excited about the year ahead and coming adventures!