« July 2008 | Main | September 2008 »

August 2008 Archives

August 4, 2008

Still hot!

It seems like this humidity and heat will never be over! Our air conditioner seems to be having a hard time keeping up with it too. Our current place has one pane windows and not much insulation to protect from the outside, so it will be interesting to see how much cooler we are in our new place with two pane windows and better insulation. Speaking of the new place, we recruited Li-san, our Chinese friend, to help us last Saturday to get rid of some of the junk at the place. It was hot, but those two guys seemed to enjoy themselves--throwing old furniture out of second story windows and destroying some furniture so that it could be removed easier. We were traditional Japanese workers with our long towels hanging around our necks. I wet mine with ice water around my neck and it really helped to keep me more comfortable. I worked on unpacking the Japanese doll set and armor set that the man from the recycle shop said would not sell. It looks like I may have a bit of a museum in our attic in the new house! We were especially grateful for our "parents" next door. "Otosan" (Dad) saw them struggling with renches on some frames and came over with his proper tool and completed the task so easily. "Okasan" (Mom) supplied us with cool tea in the morning and crisp cool watermellon in the afternoon. I continue to marvel how God seems to have sort of "cloned" my parents in a few ways and made it His will to make them our new neighbors. We went for lunch and I was suprised to see a taco salad--you know--those fried tortilla shells that look like a crispy bowl? I had that--with a Japanese dresssing of course--and a quesadilla and it was delicious. We don't see much Mexican food here in Japan. That night we had Kan and Li-san for vegetable pancakes and had fun playing Akihiro's board game "Rich Dad Poor Dad". On other food notes, we ate recently at Subway and it was interesting to see the Japanese version--wasabi, shiso, sesame, etc. No rice, though!

Sunday we went to Tokyo church and were able to meet Bro. Bob and Sis. Rika Allen from Philadelphia. Rika is Japanese and they are here visiting family and friends.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that on Tuesday we had a short service for one of our elderly Shioda sisters who passed away last Sunday. They plan to wait for the funeral til September because they and their friends are very busy with peach harvest and they would like Bro. Willis to have the service, so they just asked for a short service before the cremation. Akihiro was a bit nervous about his first "funeral" service, but it went fine. Nearly everyone from the Shioda church came to support and sing. This was my second experience with a cremation service and it was much easier than the first. The place was very nice--out in the country with a view of the valley and mountains. We were the only group there, so we didn't have to listen to any Buddhist chanting, etc. We had a nice visit with the family over our cooked eel lunch boxes while we waited for the cremation to be complete. We are so thankful that the family agreed to have a Christian service for our sister. This is not the case in all circumstances. We pray that the scripture and prayers would comfort, yet convict her family as they are not yet Christian.

August 12, 2008

Garbage men angels, a few culinary notes, summer fellowship meeting, etc.

Last week we had a Japanese man and his wife working at our house to take out all the metal out of the storage area. I am so grateful for my Japanese mom for finding them for us as they would do it for free! They were so nice and worked so hard and took so much stuff for us! One day we loaded up the stuff that we wanted to take to our storage unit in Yamanashi. It was quite a feat to get a fairly large and very heavy safe moved from the second floor to the truck we had rented. We ended up wrapping it in a blanket, tying a rope around it, and basically letting it fall down the stairs! We also moved a nice big washing machine (hope it works!), another smaller safe, a few chairs, a small couch and chairs, coffee table, decent dresser, and quite a few other odds and ends. Our storage there is full, except for room for the piano which will come later. As it is in the upstairs of the house, we need to hire a crane to remove it once one part of the office is demolished. Apparently when the piano was originally delivered, there wasn't a house in front of our house, so it was easier. Oh well, this should work out ok.

On Friday and Saturday we had our church fellowship meeting at Tokyo church. We had Bible studies on Friday afternoon and then ate a delicious lunchbox supper and went to the local public bath. Then we all went back to the church to sleep on the rented futons. It was like a church slumber party! Men downstairs and ladies upstairs. In the morning after breakfast (first time for me to see eggs scrambled with chopsticks, I think!), we had another Bible study, ate curry rice for lunch, and went home. We had a very blessed time. It was a smaller group this year (about 10-20 depending on the time) with no visitors and some of our congregations in America, but that made for good discussions around the table at meal times and during Bible study. As people shared their hearts, I was reminded of how important it is to pray for each member. Many have difficult situations to deal with and need extra portions of God's grace.

Saturday we added Leo the cat to our pet watching responsibilities at the Klaus's. He is such a cute cat! We let him run around in their house while we walk the dog. He really misses his owners who will return the end of August!

As we had ate too much at the fellowship meeting, I wanted to make a light supper. I had seen an advertisement on a natto (fermented soy bean) package and thought it would be something that Akihiro would really like. I was right! In the bottom of the bowl was cold udon noodles in a soy sauce soup. It was topped with shredded Japanese ginger (myoga), daicon radish sprouts, ume (plum) flavored nato, mashed ume, and topped with toasted sesame seeds. I had gotten the myoga at our old house. My Japanese mom had informed me what that plant was. There are big leaves, but under those leaves are tiny little root like pink things. I made some pickles out of some of them too. It is fun to eat things from our own land--makes me really look forward to having a garden!

Sunday we were able to assemble again in Shioda--nice to be in our home church again. I put on a bit of a bazaar with some of the stuff from the house and was so glad to see about 14 bags of stuff leave!!! There's still a lot more, but the stuff that is left is probably going to just get pitched as it isn't that great. Yesterday they came and got all of the desks and office furniture out of the office--again, good riddance! Later this week, the garbage people come to get 8 large dressers, 13 smaller furniture pieces, a sofa, massage chair, old chairs, etc. We are getting there!

Just a side note, but we are tentatively planning to come home to Tremont on November 10th through the 20th. Akihiro needs to present lectures at SIU and UOI in Peoria before the end of November. Already looking forward to seeing many of you!

August 14, 2008

A thankful update on Dad

Our family is very grateful to report that Dad’s last PET scan revealed that all of the cancer except for the small nodule in his lung (the original site) is gone! The blood tests are also very good. He will continue to have frequent checkups for blood work,etc. The doctor is confident that if the cancer comes back, it can be stopped with further chemo. Yesterday he got the results of his brain MRI and the doctor said it was good--I guess that means no cancer? Anyway, he lenghtened the time before the next MRI. Only God can create an outcome like this! Thanks for your prayers!

August 26, 2008

Yo, Mo, O, and Company

For the last week, Akihiro's parents' company had some Chinese guests here for some business issues. This is who Yo, Mo, and O are. The Chinese man (Yo-san) brought his wife and 9 year old daughter, his business partner, and an interpreter with him from Shanghai to consider buying some property. We took them to the north island to go fishing for a few days. We had fun catching squid and eating them both raw and cooked that night for supper. I think I had blogged on squid spaghetti last year about this time. The Chinese girl could speak pretty good English, so we got along good. She reminded me a lot of my neice, Laura. Her father was a Chinese version of one of the song leaders in Tremont church (perhaps some of you can guess--tall, deep voice, a bit rudy complexion)--it was almost uncanny! The mother and daughter seemed pretty bored with all of the business talk, so we decided (Akihiro and I) to take them to the aquarium on Monday. It rained (and has been raining for the past 5 days, it seems), but we still had fun. She taught me a little bit of Chinese and we became friends. She stays at a boarding school where she never wears her own clothes--even has uniforms for pajamas! She said the food is good and she really likes pizza--that surprised me. She only sees her parents on the weekends. I also had the sort of weird expereince of having my Japanese translated by the Chinese translator to my Chinese "uncle" as Yo-san insisted we call him. We will probably be visiting Shanghai in the next month or two to do further business with them and they can't wait to show us Shanghai and feed us the "best Chinese food". They also have business in Hong Kong and want us to visit there to. We'll see. Before I got married, I liked to travel, but I had no idea that God had China and Chinese friends on the agenda!

When we were at the north island there was one day that we spent with another business man and his wife and their young daughter (Japanese).. It was my first experience to spend a whole day speaking basically only Japanese to these people. They were very patient with me and we had a nice time. We did a big maze, rode 5 small bikes that were hooked together, and ate really good sushi.

Speaking of speaking Japanese, I also had a chance at teaching Sunday school last Sunday. Toru-san wasn't there and Akihiro encouraged me to give it a try. The two boys were patient with me and encouraged me to try to read the Bible story (Sa-moo-eh-ul "Samuel"). I could read it, but I couldn't understand it all. The kindergartener read better than me, but somehow I felt fairly satisfied with my accomplishment. We played some Bible games and got along pretty good. I can "get by" ok, but want to learn more verbs and grammar, so will probably start classes again near our home soon as I am nearing the end of the cleaning out things at the old house.

This week Judy Bauer and her cousin Elaine Young will be visiting Japan and we will keep them at our home for two evenings. It's still much easier to have English speaking guests!

About August 2008

This page contains all entries posted to Welcome to ITO NEWS in August 2008. They are listed from oldest to newest.

July 2008 is the previous archive.

September 2008 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Powered by
Movable Type 3.34