My son’s doctor ALWAYS asks if he has traveled out of the country recently. ALWAYS. I am talking about even before the Ebola epidemic started happening.

Obviously the patient in America was being treated by the Three Stooges.

Just sayin’


Plus, why were we first told that the patient only came in contact with relatives, and then later learn he came in contact with various children?  Are the children relatives?   Plus it is obvious he came in contact with:  doctor, nurse, receptionist (if he talked to her) other patients, ambulance drivers, etc.  I hope they are being quarantined.

I think we are not being told everything truthfully.


食欲の秋  Autumn is for eating!

Shokuyoku means “appetite” so if you say “Shokuyoku no Aki” it means something like “Autumn is the season of delicious food.” Grapes, pears, persimmons……yum!

I think one of the many reasons that Japanese people manage to stay so slender (most of them, anyway) is that they adore fresh food that is in season.  Not to say Americans don’t, but it is almost an art form in Japan.

One little example is our local sweet potato truck.  Autumn is the time for sweet potatoes, and this truck has started roaming the neighborhood in search of hungry customers.


One of the nice things about autumn is chasing down the sweet potato truck!  Just make sure the truck sells sweet potato….and not something else, like, I don’t know, bamboo poles!    Because they have bamboo pole trucks, too.  Don’t be like me and ask the bamboo truck man for a sweet potato.  恥ずかしかった。。。  How embarrassing….


Joy of 7-11

Well, I went to Starbucks today to meet a friend. Starbucks prices are VERY expensive. I didn’t even get a coffee for myself, I just got a pricey donut (240 yen) for my son’s snack. I felt I had to buy something for the privilege of plunking myself down in one of their comfy seats.

Previously I wrote about how Wi-fi is free at Starbucks. However, it is also free from 7-11. Here is the link: http://webapp.7spot.jp/?tmst=1412051343

You can just go to the store and apply there and get access. I personally had trouble reading the Japanese (no English?) and the sales clerk helped me. They’ll send you an e-mail to click.

The nice thing is that the free Wi-fi is available at all their affiliates, too, like Denny’s and Ityokakodo and Yorkmart and whatever else is written at the bottom of that link. So even though there are no comfy chairs at 7-11, surely you can find a nice seat at Ityoyokado.

IN OTHER NEWS: My love for Seven and I Holdings must be growing because I am awfully fond of their Nanaco card. I got it for free because I applied on a day that ends with the number “8”. Otherwise it costs 300 yen. (So make sure before you pay money for it that there is not a free day available to obtain it.)

I put money on it and use it all the time. So simple. Japan is a cash society (which I personally like because I think it helps to save money.) But this Nanaco card is like using cash because you can still see your money flying away on its little wings. Bye-bye money!


A problem

I had always sort of thought that once I got the kanji memorized, the rest would be easy. The problem is that I am studying reading comprehsion and there are parts that I just simply don’t understand, despite knowing the meanings of all the words.

In daily conversation, I understand everything, assuming I know the vocabulary. But spoken conversation is a lot easier than reading essays.

And this is why it is important to encourage your child to read! There is so much more involved in reading than in speaking.


Mt. Shinobu

This is a little mountain near our home.  It’s just a mountain, not a volcano so it is safe.  We frequently walk along its path.


The road to multilingualism….


may be steep…..


but when you reach the top, it is worth it!



Ganbare! Go, go, go!


And you may find interesting acorns along the way.

However, in the Fukushima City region there is an active volcano, Mt. Azuma.  This is its photo:

It emits smoke now and then:

Nobody can predict what a volcano will do……..
My thoughts and prayers go out to the hikers on the mountain of Ontake.




When books are bad….

My mother gave my son a book about the U.S. presidents. It is a nifty book, with facts about each president. (“Shortest president!” “Never married!” “Dies after eating cherries and ice milk on July 4!”)

However…………it starts like this:

The U.S. Constitution says that the president of the United States must be:
*born in the United States
*at least thirty-five years old
*a United States citizen and must have lived in the United States for at least 14 years

The Constitution does NOT say that!!!!!!!!

It says:

Age and Citizenship requirements – US Constitution, Article II, Section 1
No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty-five years, and been fourteen years a resident within the United States.

It says specifically: natural born citizen. The question is what is a natural born citizen?

I found this:

The following shall be nationals and citizens of the United States at birth:
(a)a person born in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof;
(b)a person born in the United States to a member of an Indian, Eskimo, Aleutian, or other aboriginal tribe: Provided, That the granting of citizenship under this subsection shall not in any manner impair or otherwise affect the right of such person to tribal or other property;
(c)a person born outside of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents both of whom are citizens of the United States and one of whom has had a residence in the United States or one of its outlying possessions, prior to the birth of such person;
(d)a person born outside of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents one of whom is a citizen of the United States who has been physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for a continuous period of one year prior to the birth of such person, and the other of whom is a national, but not a citizen of the United States;
(e)a person born in an outlying possession of the United States of parents one of whom is a citizen of the United States who has been physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for a continuous period of one year at any time prior to the birth of such person;
(f)a person of unknown parentage found in the United States while under the age of five years, until shown, prior to his attaining the age of twenty-one years, not to have been born in the United States;
(g)a person born outside the geographical limits of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents one of whom is an alien, and the other a citizen of the United States who, prior to the birth of such person, was physically present in the United States or its outlying possessions for a period or periods totaling not less than five years, at least two of which were after attaining the age of fourteen years: Provided, That any periods of honorable service in the Armed Forces of the United States, or periods of employment with the United States Government or with an international organization as that term is defined in section 288 of title 22 by such citizen parent, or any periods during which such citizen parent is physically present abroad as the dependent unmarried son or daughter and a member of the household of a person

(A) honorably serving with the Armed Forces of the United States, or
(B) employed by the United States Government or an international organization as defined in section 288 of title 22, may be included in order to satisfy the physical-presence requirement of this paragraph. This proviso shall be applicable to persons born on or after December 24, 1952, to the same extent as if it had become effective in its present form on that date; and
(h)a person born before noon (Eastern Standard Time) May 24, 1934, outside the limits and jurisdiction of the United States of an alien father and a mother who is a citizen of the United States who, prior to the birth of such person, had resided in the United States.
So if you read that, it is clear that people born outside the U.S. to an American or Americans are considered natural born citizens.  That makes sense!
If you follow the “Only born in the U.S.” need apply, the a person born to illegal aliens could be president, but a person born to Americans while in Germany could not be president!
It made me angry when certain people consider Obama not a natural born American citizen.  I think this is based on racism, without a doubt.  It makes me sad for our country when people want Obama to jump through the hoops of showing his birth certificate when previous presidents and presidential candidates have been exempt.
Furthermore, as far as Japan goes, being born in Japan does NOT make you a citizen.   Not at all.  Citizenship flows through parents, not from where you were born, according to Japanese thinking.

Halloween Shopping


Yes, it is that spooky time of year again.  Or in Japan, I guess I should say ultra cutesy time of year again?  Because Halloween in Japan isn’t scary, it’s absolutely darling.

Except when it looks like this:


Um, wait, never mind.  Back to cute.

Okay, if you look at the ABOVE photo (the photo above the above photo) you will see some of the Halloween goodies I have purchased.

Cute Halloween candy?  Check!

Cute Halloween postcards?  Check!  (150 yen each.  Though I saw cheaper at Seria 100 yen shop.  Not as adorable, though)

Cute Halloween stationery?  Check!  (Good for forcing son to write to relatives.  Although he doesn’t write much beyond “Happy Halloween”.   It’s a work in progress.)

Cute Halloween ponytail holders?  Check!  (Yes, I am that kind of person.)

Cute Halloween earrings?  Check!  (To match my ponytail holders, of course.)


Actually the ponytail holders and earrings are gifts!   They are cute, though, aren’t they!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Long Live Zombie Cute!









Note to self:  Don’t ever google Sadako again……. :O