Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sunday, December 4, 2011

If it were legal, I would so bring these home. They are crackers with a dried shrimp surprise inside. Isn't your mouth watering??

Saturday, December 3, 2011


I’ve never really had a locker of my own. Being homeschooled, it wasn’t exactly necessary. When I came to Japan, I found out that most teachers at the schools I visit and even the staff members of the Board of Education have their own lockers. I was a teensy bit jealous, I have to admit.

Things do get a little ridiculous in the winter especially, because I usually end up surrounded by a pile of winter gear. But, I’ve been doing this for over two years now, so I’m pretty accustomed to the way things are.

Well, last week, I visited the night branch of my biggest high school. I shed my layers of winter apparel, and set them on the couch next to me. Imagine my surprise when my JTE told me that I had a locker! He seemed a little hesitant, and mentioned something about the men’s locker room. That seemed a little strange to me…

He told me he would show me where it was, so I followed him out of the staff room. He stopped in front of the men’s locker room, opened the door, and told me I could come in. I peeked in the room to where he was pointing, and yep. Sure enough, there was a locker marked ALT in the men’s locker room.

I think Captain Picard sums it up best:618px-JeanLucPicardFacepalm

My JTE did also seem kind of confused about the whole thing, I have to say! It wasn’t just me who found the situation a little odd.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, America! Please enjoy the day, and eat a piece of pumpkin pie for me! Today was a regular working day for me, and I visited my night school. I ate school dinner in the cafeteria with some of the other teachers. So, without further ado, I present my official Thanksgiving Dinner:111124_1840~01It tasted pretty good! The soup was really nice.

However, yesterday was the day I really celebrated Thanksgiving. I went to a neighboring town and enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner with several American families from around the northern part of Hokkaido.

Here is my real Thanksgiving dinner:

111123_1311~01  It was quite tasty! And it was really fun to hang out with lots of different families. I even indulged in a slice of delicious apple pie. Yum!

Then, as the lone singleton, I fell victim to the “Let’s all feed her” marathon. I came home with plenty of tasty leftovers. So, for my lunch on Thanksgiving Day, I had a lovely plate of Thanksgiving!


Happy Thanksgiving, all! I hope you have lovely days full of fun, friends, and families!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Sunday, November 13, 2011

NaNoWriMo- Mister Donut style



My goodness, these smelled good! It was like running the gauntlet to get to my cafe au lait! They still smell good, but at least I can't see them!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Do Re Mi

Just hangin' and waiting to rock out at the choral concert.

Wonder if anyone would be down with a mosh pit...

Friday, November 11, 2011

11-11-11, Natto Man, and purikura

Today I came back from my last overnight visit to my floating flower island for this school year.  Yesterday was a beautiful morning, and the ride to the island was almost lovely. I had to be flat about halfway through the ride due to – uh – rocking.

All three high school classes both days were a lot of fun. We played a word relay with the first year students – my team won both times – yeah!

The second year students worked on organizing stories, and then they worked on writing their own original stories (following a pattern). I also had to write a story, so I worked on a story about a new superhero. His name is Natto Man. Japan has Anpanman (a superhero with bread filled with bean paste for a head), so why not Natto Man (natto is rotten fermented soybeans)?

The third year students had the most challenging class, but it was really fun. The challenging part came in the preparation. The teacher and I wrote a murder mystery story with all the characters being people at the high school. Writing a murder mystery is really hard! And writing one simple enough so that non-native English speakers can read it is even harder. Then, making sure everyone in the class had lines and parts in the mystery added another layer. Oh, and don’t forget making sure no students kill anyone, or get killed, or beaten up in the story – that wouldn’t be so good. But I think the story we eventually came up with was pretty cool.

Too bad I can’t copy and paste it into my NaNowriMo project! That would be convenient, since I am a bit behind on it – eek!

I left school pretty late – it was actually a bit funny, because the events that led to the beginning of our story started to play out in real life. No murders, of course!

I was a bit late to dinner at the hotel, but someone had called ahead for me and told them I would be running late. It was definitely a dinner worth waiting for. Everything was so delicious. Mmm.

Today was really fun, because when I got home, I stopped by the store and ran into 5 students from one of the high schools in town. They were doing purikura (photos in a booth with cute backgrounds – you can add decorations and words and stuff). They pulled me into the booth, and we took crazy purikura pictures together. In the first one, I look hilariously stunned, but the rest were really fun.

And, it’s 11-11-11, which is just cool.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Ferry NaNo

One of the fun things about NaNoWriMo is writing in different places.

And hoping to avoid seasickness while writing!

Monday, October 31, 2011

NaNoWriMo Eve

It is almost November 1, and I am filled to the brim with excitement! I was going to do the responsible thing and go to bed at a reasonable hour…

…but then I was so sad that I would be missing one of my favorite parts of NaNoWriMo – staying up until midnight to ring in the month. So, I decided to throw caution to the wind and stay up anyway! I”m just going to stay up for a few minutes after midnight…I promise.

No snow this NaNo eve – but the air is crisp and clear, and the stars are shining brightly. I certainly can’t complain!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Mostly, I'm just excited to have dessert in a pretty glass!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Making bread

I have always loved the blog, The Pioneer Woman. She makes amazing recipes, and posts step-by-step photos from her beautiful kitchen. She also basically just has a really cool life on a ranch. When  I grow up, I want to be her!
Well, here is my version! How to make coconut flour bread in a tiny apartment kitchen with no fancy stuff.
First, convert things as needed. No, I didn’t hold a service and sing to the butter. I just used a website.CIMG3554
Next, whack off a hunk of butter with a sharp knife. By the way, do you like my American flag plate? It cracked me up when I saw it in the 100 yen section at my grocery store. CIMG3555
Now, melt the butter. Don’t be like me and let the butter explode.CIMG3556

Now for the dry ingredients...coconut flour, sea salt, and baking powder.
Then, beat some eggs
This is generally not the accepted way to beat eggs
Now, mix it all together!
And glob it into the pan. Hi again, crazy plate!
Then, bake it and hope for the best!
Finally, EAT IT! Hurray!!
I used a recipe from Mark's Daily Apple. It was super easy, and I had all the ingredients. I can’t wait to have another piece tomorrow! Maybe I’ll toast it!
Yeah, that’s how I roll.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


We all do it. Crash straight into a door clearly marked Pull or yank on a door that says Push. That's why this door sometimes causes stress in my life. They really really really want everyone to push it, but if I often fail at opening doors marked in English, what do they think will happen here?
You should see me trying to get into the train station before an early ferry. There, the door is not marked quite so emphatically, and I usually spend a few minutes each day tangled up in it. Oh, well!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Caramel Apples

Two of my schools want to try making caramel apples this fall. Well, if we must, we must…I suppose.


Now, my dad makes absolutely wonderful and amazing caramel corn. Amazing. I’m gaining weight just thinking about it. So, I think my secret hope was that the apples would have a bit of a similar taste.

I found a simple-sounding recipe on an interesting blog. Only 3 ingredients are required, and all of them are easily found here in the tundra. Shock! Awe! Anyway, here is the original recipe:

101 Cookbooks - Caramel Apples

Looks pretty drool-worthy, huh?

So, I set out to do a trial run.

Here are my apples, speared with chopsticks instead of lollipop sticks.


Creeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaam! Hello, darling. And hello, invisible sea salt.


Cooking the caramel takes forever. And ever. Amen.


Finally! Time to roll!


And, I forgot to take a picture of the finished product. But it was pretty tasty, especially once the caramel got good and cool. Definitely not as good as Dad’s, though!

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Hi, friends! I’ve been away from here for a long time. Oops.

There’s not too much going on here – fall is moving right along.


So, I was moving pictures off my SD cards this evening, and came across some random things I figured I’d throw up here for you.

Here is one of my favorite hotel rooms in recent times.


Rishiri Island pizza – so bad, yet oh, so good. You can’t really see the tentacles in this shot, but they are in there, hidden by cheese.  


  Hanging out with the Japan Self Defense peeps


There’s a big, pretty bus that drives around town. I saw it had a block of text on it, and I finally caught it for a photo. It kind of makes me smile.


One of my little towns


Well, I’ll try not to be such a stranger. But NaNoWriMo is coming soon, so I can’t promise anything!