Thursday, August 28, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Anyway, it is true I have become the new mother who talks about nothing but her baby.
The other day Pam, Yuri and I went to lunch at the Zushi Marina. At 3150 Yen a plate, roughly $31.50, it was the best Italian buffet I have ever been too. My Gott! I did not have the cold octopus salad, tempting as those reddish-purple tentacles looked. But they had tiny squares on polenta with a tiny piece of bacon on top of each, and a cream sauce. Crab pasta and sea urchin pasta and eggplant Parmesan, linguine and fettuccine and penne, slivers of the yummiest melt-in-your mouth raw salmon. Don't get me started on the desserts. My diet is pretty much shot for the week, in fact.
Frankie is enjoying 8th grade. The are reading Charlotte Doyle and getting ready to learn how to saute, broil, stew and make soups. They are doing algebra and learning history. Because he is in that gifted program, his same buddies are in class with him again except for the ones who have PCS'd over the summer.
Nate lives to go to lunch and recess. He and his friends are hooked on Club Penguin, an on-line game from Walt Disney that looks very cute and fun. He has been able to chat with his old friend who moved to Washington this summer. At this age, old friend would qualify as someone he met this past year after we moved to Ikego. Here is a new whine: "But Mooooom, I need to get on line at 5 o'clock, because I promised some friends I'd meet them after school."
Here is a little note I found penciled in, in Frankie's handwriting: "Meet at The Faithful Bride pub, 4:00."
Times sure have changed since I was a kid.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
The dogs are doing better and becoming best frenemies. Natsumi seems to win at tug of war most often. She is doing well and this is her last day of the three pills she has to take BID. Whew! She still has a bit of a wheeze and this week, is going to the Vet for a nebulizer treatment every other day. At roughly $45 a day, I am hoping for a faster recovery. Apparently she is much improved but part of her lung has been damaged probably permanently, and she still has fluid there in addition to the dark area that doesn't work. I may have already said this but I am sooo tired from getting up at night with her...Jose says her lungs will grow bigger anyway and that small part won't make a difference. He sees a big healthy rascal in our future.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
She cracked us all up with her enthusiasm for her two pet beetles that she had been raising for about a year (it is popular in Japan to buy a huge stag beetle and keep it for a pet in the summer, but hers have lived a long time). Her lovebirds laid some eggs which hatched and she kept those in a separate jar. "Aren't they cute?" "Aren't they sweet?" I tried to stifle a scream when she held up a beetle for me to pet. Then she asked if my boys wouldn't enjoy raising one of the babies once they get a little older. I artfully dodged that bullet. Ummm, hey, look at that huge butterfly out there!
Across from her house was a pottery shop having a sale, so we couldn't resist having a look, and we all left with some new treasures. My lovely square plate with a light blue wave on it, looking very Japanese, is still in the trunk of Yuri's car.
Lunch at the Cantina rocked. As always, the food was excellent. I had a summer vegetable pasta and got to try bites of sardine pizza and also fish egg and potato pizza (not my favorite).
Meanwhile, Frankie was home earning babysitting money and Nate was playing video games with his friend William, eating regular frozen pizza. I did bake it though, that was nice of me. Poor babies.
Like we have done every year, I got up early and made cinnamon rolls (from a can of course, I'm no Betty Crocker). Now I sit at the computer smelling the rolls, drinking coffee and listening to the Power Puff Girls which the boys left on the TV when they left. Ahhh. Peace.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Also like a regular new puppy, she is up every few hours at night howling in her crate. Consequently, I'm a bit tired. During the day, she alternates between running like crazy and trying to pee everywhere, biting and chewing everything, and sleeping a peaceful sleep sprawled out on the floor. She has three pills to take each morning and night. I try to pack a bit of canned food around each nugget, but last night she put a clean-licked pill on the top of my bare foot: No thanks!
Friday, August 15, 2008
Today I hosted a little tea box making class in my kitchen. I love tea boxes. They are these wooden or cardboard boxes lines with metal that the Japanese use to hold tea. You can make them any size. You can cover them with paper or fabric and batting. My finished one is the red one; I'm going to use it for a recipe box. Jaudon used a blue dragonfly paper and Pam did a large size for a toy box, using fabric. You can see Sensei there in the white pants. In the next few weeks we are going to do another class and make more.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
I have brought her to the base vet three times in the last 7 days since we brought her home. I just knew she wasn't well. The first time, the (quite) handsome, soft spoken Japanese fellow said it was kennel cough and put her on an antibiotic for any secondary infection that may be going on.
I came back 4 days later, saying something just wasn't right with her, she was sleeping all day and not eating well. He laughed at me a bit and thought I worry too much and it had only been a short time, I did not give it much time to work. Ok, I can be a bit of a worry wart. But he could see that she was the same, so added a different antibiotic.
Then yesterday I brought her back again. He saw me come in and just grinned. So cute he was, I must admit. And I can say this because me poor beloved husband, who I truly adore, is off on his mission for the next few months and I know for a fact has not been reading my blog the way he promised. Anyway, I told him that poor baby girl had not been eating or drinking well at all, and not getting any better.
So he reccomended that I take her to the pet hosital in Hayama, the Japanese one. Yuri and I drove her over and she interpreted for me (love her!).
Poor baby girl is very very sick. Her lungs have lots of fluid and she has a severe pneumonia. She is malnourished and dehydrated. this is the way we got her, pretty much. They admitted her and I left her resting in a clear box with oxygen, and an IV. The vet said she cannot guarantee whether Natsumi will actually make it or not. She said that they will do another lung x ray later today and if no change, then we will need to have "a conversation".
It has only been a week since we got her, but we have come to love her in a very short time. I hope she doesn't die!
Please say a prayer and keep your paws crossed for her, she is a really sweet girl!!!
In the meantime, Yuri has been calling the Japanese pet store and hollering at them. They have already sent a box of puppy food and treats by way of apology, but after some updates from Yuri they are asking, How can we resolve this to your satisfaction?
Yuri is the type of aggressive, confident person that can get things done. Things that we signed away, like not holding them responsible to vet costs later, etc. Of course we had no idea what we were signing. And we knew she had "a bit of a cold" when we got her.
My backup plan is to sell all of Jose's coin collection, computer games, computer and ipod and other electronic gadgets of his to pay for her bills at the hospital. I am sure he would be fine with that.
Miss you honey!
Monday, August 11, 2008
For anyone who doesn't know, after much soul searching we have decided that Jose is going to apply for a fellowship in Pulmonary, in San Diego, for next year. If he gets in, we move. If not, he leaves the Navy and we go back to MN. So that is the latest thing. I would miss my friends and family like crazy, but on the other hand I don't know if I want to be done exploring new places, and there are certainly worse places to live than San Diego! I sure wouldn't miss the long winters...We'll see...
A really special thing happened. I was ordering a big book on Akita from amazon.com, the one with the most stars in front of it, the one which with shipping would have been over $40, when I got an email from the seller that she was not going to charge us because we are military, and thank you for our service!
Wow, that was sweet. Then, turns out she was the author of the book and sent us a bunch of akita websites to check out as well, and asked us to send pictures of Natsumi.
As for the divine Miss N, she is still sick and has been back to the vet for another kind of antibiotic which means she has two kinds twice a day, and one kind at noon. The vet is a sweet Japanese guy who works on the base. He thinks I worry a bit much. He thinks I need to give things time with her. But he did say that if she doesn't get better he will do a chest x-ray and consider putting her in the hospital for nebulizer treatments, etc.
Little Miss Natsumi is so precious I cannot tell you. I do not know what to say about the pet store that sold us this puppy, or the puppy mill she may have come from, but we love her already and I desperately hope she is going to be ok.
Saturday, August 9, 2008
The little girl doggie is starting to perk up which is a good thing, and Cricket is putting up with her a bit better even though he must always be petted first, and more, than she is petted. If she is on my lap he must be on my lap. I think now that bringing Natsumi-chan into our lives at this moment was a very good thing for us all - she will keep the kids and I busy taking care of her and feeling sorry for ourselves less.
On the up side, my neighbor Yuri is having her mother-in-law over for the next months, and we are planning to set up our sewing machines in her kitchen and make quilts. I have been inspired by Amy Butler's book "Midwest Modern" and the website www.amybutler.com She has a free pattern for a simple quilt that I am going to try to make from her fabrics that I've ordered on line.
As for the boys, Frankie has pottery and a guitar lesson on Monday and Nate and I have a date to bring his guitar to a shop off of Blue Street in Yokosuka and get some new strings and some adjustments done on it, then get him in for some lessons. Later this week, they will both work on some swimming lessons, and help me volunteer at the thrift shop. So ok...
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Oh, yeah, Jose brought me roses for our anniversary. 15, one for each year we have been married! It was a wonderful day for us, and I'm so glad we could spend this day together before he has to leave for Columbia on Sunday. We had dinner at the Cantina, which is an Italian place facing the ocean, Zushi beach. We got a table in the front facing the water, and it was very romantic. When our neighbors got wind of it being our day, they had a barbeque outside and took the kids out to feed them. They filled up the pool and watched all of the kids have fun in it. We came home with chocolate truffles from the cantina for everyone. It was a wonderful day.
Then before bed we gave Natsumi-chan her anibiotic and tucked her in to her crate.
Aw, my new baby girl is sick! We took her to the vet after she started hacking, coughing and blowing dark smelly grossness out of her nose. I saw that she had a bit of a cold when we took her home, but it has turned for the worse. She has a bit of kennel cough, and a secondary bacterial infection in the upper respiratory. she is on antibiotics, but her lungs are clear, she is otherwise healthy and she should be fine after a week or so. Right now she is sweet but a bit miserable. Very very smart, and already learning to pee outside: better than Cricket!
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Monday, August 4, 2008
Another day and I cannot find the cord to the camera. but what a cute picture of this little Japanese boy and his faithful Akita nanny! I want one. I want I want I want.
Anyway, we had a regular domestic type day over here. In the morning, my neighbor Yuri and I went shopping in Zushi for bread, veggies in the stalls, sushi and fresh fish from the fish market. I picked out some awesome sword fish that must have been swimming that very morning. Yuri said that was the perfect fish for making fish tacos, and proceeded to rattle off the recipe. For 250 yen a piece, the guy wrapped my fish in newspaper and handed them to me in a bag.
Later after we got home, Yuri came knocking on the door with some cilantro and some tortillas which she said, with her husband on the ship, she would not be able to eat. What a sweet gal. Then she asked me if I wanted to learn how to make tea boxes, since she has a friend who makes the Japanese tea boxes. Do I ever!!!
Frankie has a pottery class and then a first guitar lesson. Frankie has gotten himself a used acoustic guitar from Hard Off, the second hand shop close to where we live. Since Nate's guitar is electric and we are waiting for the case to come in the mail and then take in somewhere for repairs, he is not in lessons yet, even though he is Mr Rock and Roll with his Guitar Hero Game. While Frankie was in class Nate and I did what we do best: went shopping a bit and went to Starbucks.
Later that night we ate the fish tacos which were very good:
- combine olive oil, lime juice, cumin, chili pepper, cilantro
- marinate the fish in this
- grill the fish
- put in taco wrapper and top with cabbage and cilantro, sour cream, green onion
After dinner we had an unfortunate avalanche of kool-aid over the table, chairs, newspapers and white linoleum. The culprit, only to be known as F, made a token effort to clean it up. This morning, I got right out of bed without any urge to linger like I usually would, and mopped it. After getting back to the gym, I seem to have gotten out of my funk. Thank God.
But Jose is still leaving us on Sunday.
Sunday, August 3, 2008
a coffee bath
a wine bath
a green tea bath
a sake bath
a waterfall bath
hot and cold baths in the rock pools
a hot pepper bath!
a bath for your feet only, with "doctor fish" that come up and bite the dead skin off your feet = tickles
the dead sea bath with tons of salt, so that you float
the rose petal bath, very nice
lots of special pools for kids and some water slides
food and stuff to buy $$$
there are places to gets massages and treatments
there is a geyser that blows hot water and steam faithfully around the clock, every twenty minutes
Frankie seemed to like everything, but I think Nate's favorite was the coffee bath. Every couple of hours, a guy would come out and refresh the bath with buckets of warm coffee, making a great show of splashing the bathers. He surprised one guy by dumping the whole bucket over his head and everyone was hooting and laughing. Nate got splashed with coffee pretty good. Amazingly, the Japanese migrated over to the coffee bath when it was time to pour more in, and the times were posted!
I had to tape over my tattoo and hide it because, no! tattoos! allowed!
Today is Monday, and back to reality: climbing Mount Washmore!
Friday, August 1, 2008
It seems like the other Navy wives in this courtyard are in the same boat, except for the rotted meat. We try to call and urge eachother to get out of the house and sit outside in the late afternoon, to "stitch and bitch". Emphasis on stitch.
Jose has been home which has been wonderful, but I still have the urge to sleep late while he is at work, wear my pajamas as long as I can, and eat stuff. I was horrified that my weight went up a whole 1o pounds since he first was deployed. Now I have to eat small amounts of things I don't like, to get into my clothes, including some shorts!!
I do not seem to have the motivation to do anything out of the ordinary right now. Just cooking, taking care of the boys, some sewing/cross stitch, and taking them to swimming etc and other things they like to do. I have been buying stupid things online that turn out not to fit, then leaving them in the corner of the closet, in the original packaging. I watch Oprah even though I don't give two hoots about the person she has on. I miss being a social worker. Hell, I miss fitting into last years shorts.
The kids have had a good summer I think. They have had a good time with Dad, and now I am trying to numb myself to the fact that he is leaving again soon and will not be back until after Thanksgiving.
Oh, wellll.....I suppose some chocolate ice cream will cheer me up...perhaps a nice glass of wine...