Saturday, December 10, 2011

My poor tree, new zabuton and I made a new friend!

I haven't blogged lately because I have been busy!  We've been busy with our shops which is great but we are a bit tired and therefore every time I sat down to blog, I just didn't have the energy. 

So...the title of the blog post starts with "my poor tree" and I have to say I'm still not happy about what happened. So about 2 weeks ago my husband emailed our landlord and asked them to please come and remove the dead bushes as they had started to fall down and my assistant who weeds our "garden", aka patch of dirt, wasn't sure what to do with them. It wasn't her responsibility or ours as they were put in by the original owners of the building.  They had been dead for at least 9 years but this year they started falling down so we wanted them gone. We never heard from our landlord but last Monday, while I was in the living room I could hear voices outside below. There were a group of 5 older people wearing hard hats and I was happy as I figured they were here to pull up the dead bushes. But...that is not all they did. They butchered one of our small trees, cut off one of our trees, cut off the neighbours tree and then really pruned our big tree. I actually went outside and told them not to cut it all off and apparently, they kept telling the older guy who was up in our tree not to cut too much off as she (IE me) didn't want too much cut.  It used to be that all I could see out of the side window in our living room was the tree rather than the neighboring apartment buildings which is how I like it. Now, I can see the damn buildings!  I just keep reminding myself that the tree will grow.  I really wish I had some more before pictures to show you but here are a few of both before and after.

This is our "garden" and now we have a blank slate to perhaps do something with. We would like to have some kind of wood deck or patio area for BBQs and what not, but in order to do that we need to build a fence or something in order to have some privacy. No one in our area has BBQs or spends any real time outside so I can only imagine people checking us out as they smell delicious food cooking and hear English being spoken. Also, on the other side of the "fence" (the short white metal fence) kids play there in the summer so definitely don't want to see them or have them watching us. We will figure something out.

Another bit of news which might seem like nothing but we just ordered these "zabuton" and I'm so excited! "Zabuton" are floor cushions. We live a very Japanese life as in we don't have a dining room table so we do everything on the floor in the tatami room/living room. I'm having some high school students over for a little party later this month and I was looking at our sad sorry excuse for zabuton and decided the party was a good excuse to buy some new ones. And really, ours are at least 6 years old and look it! They can't be washed and all the puffiness is gone. So, we went online and found these amazing zabuton. You get 5 in the set, free shipping and all for just under 4000 yen (about $55). The covers are hand dyed and 100% cotton and in "wafu" colors (wafu means "Japanese style").  We decided to get one in each color as I think it will make the room look lovely!

Other exciting news is that I made a new friend! Yes, I know that sounds if I don't have any but the truth is for us long term foreigners who don't live in a huge city, it can be hard to make friends...especially friends who plan to stay more than a year or so.  How we connected is also so ....funny for lack of a better word.  About a year ago or so, Connie from made a comment on my blog. She is an American married to a Japanese man and at that time she was living in Saipan but was planning to move to Japan. I read her blog and posted some comments.  She then moved to Japan but I wasn't sure where. While reading one particular blog post, I realized that she must live close to me because she mentioned the shrine in my city.  So, I emailed her and it turns that while she isn't in my city, she isn't far from it. She asked me if I knew Kristin who does live in my city. I didn't!  So, Connie told Kristin about me and Kristin and I got to emailing and finally we connected last Thursday and went out to lunch. I can't believe that she has been in Munakata for so long (I believe at least 8 years) and we have never run into each other! But we do have very different lives as she has 3 children so her schedule must be closer to a typical Japanese schedule whereas my  husband and I area almost opposite to most Japanese people's schedules. Anyway, we had lunch and then she drove us to the mall and we did a wee bit of shopping and then, as there isn't a Starbucks or nice coffee shop in town, we went to Mr. Donuts to chat some more.  I tell ya, old men stopped and starred at us! I mean, 2 foreign women in the same space....must be a convention!  Anyway, we hit it off and I have to say I'm thrilled to have a foreign friend who lives in my city! Oh and Kristin's blog is here.

So that is my news! For those who celebrate Christmas I hope you are enjoying all the preparations!! Have some eggnog for me!


illahee said...

i love the zabuton! very pretty!

Izzy said...

what site did u buy the zabuton from? Can it be shipped to US?

FromJapanWithLove said...

Hi Izzy-sorry but they only deliver within Japan.


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