Friday, February 26, 2021

#Ten Things of Thankful: February 26, 2021

  1. Someone has told me about the Interlinear Bible Search at and I find it helpful. 
  2. I enjoy learning new Hebrew words.
  3. I cooked herring meunière for the first time in my life last Tuesday, and it was O.K.
  4. It snowed last Wednesday, but we didn't have as much snow as we had expected.
  5. I had my hair cut last Thursday.
  6. It was sunny when I went to the hairdresser's. 
  7. The snow in front of our house is almost gone now.
  8. I'm thankful for the refreshing smell of satsuma oranges I have for breakfast. 
  9. I'm re-reading "The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft" by George Gissing.
  10. The camellia in front of our house is in bud. 

Thursday, February 25, 2021

#Six-Sentence Story: Rodeo


Once upon a time, there lived a boy named Kintaro in Mt. Ashigara. With an ax in his hand, Kintaro rode a bear, pretending to be practicing horseback riding.  He also practiced sumo wrestling with beasts in the mountain.

Almost every Japanese in my generation knows the song about this legendary boy, though few of us are familiar with what he did when he grew up. 

In most children's books, the bear carrying Kintaro on his back looks obedient. As a child, I thought it was because the boy was so powerful that he was able to keep control of the animal completely, but listening to the song today, I am imagining him having a rodeo-like experience, trying to tame a wild bear. 

this week's prompt: rodeo

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Household Chores, Canned Food, Spa, And So On

 1. Your favorite cleaning product? --Baking soda. Do you clean your own house or hire out? --We clean our house ourselves.  Most disliked household chore? --Ironing the clothes. What one chore do you not mind so much? --Preparing breakfast.

 2. It's Canned Food you use a lot of canned goods?--No, I don't think so. It depends, but I use canned food less than once a week on average. What are the three canned items you purchase most often?--Boiled mackerel, boiled sardine, and tuna in oil. Last thing you made using a canned ingredient? --I made pasta with onion, tomato, and canned mackerel a few weeks ago.

 3. Can of worms, anything can happen, can you imagine?, as best I can, kick the can down the road, more than one can take, no can do, not if I can help it...choose an idiom and tell us how you currently relate. 
As best I can. Since last October, there has been something wrong with my fingers, which can be irritating at times. I would like to continue, however, to serve as an amateur church organist as best I can, being careful not to spend a lot of time practicing at home. 

4.The last Tuesday in February is National Spa Day. Are you someone who enjoys a day at the spa? --No, not really. Last time you visited a spa? --More than two decades ago, if I remember correctly. Do you have a favorite spa? --Among a small number of spas I have been to, I should say, Sasakura-Onsen (in Japan) is the one I like best. It is a quiet place in the mountain. Are salons open for business in your area? --Yes. Have you made changes to your hair and nail routine since Corona hit? In what way? --I feel more reluctant to go to the hairdresser's, but I must have my hair cut at least twice a year. 

 5. Believe it or not this is the last Hodgepodge of the month. In one sentence sum up your February. 
It is advisable to wait for the right time.

 6. Insert your own random thought here.

We have had much more snow this winter, but even on a cold day, unless it is too windy, I go for a walk in the afternoon. I love walking on a sunny day. The bridge across the river has sprinklers that melt the snow, so it is comfortable to walk there.

From this Side of the Pond

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Week 1


The Bible Memory Challenge hosted by has started. This time, I'm trying to memorize Isaiah 12 in Hebrew, too. In the email that the organizer has sent us, I found a link to Interlinear Search at, which I find helpful.  
For a beginner like me, it is easy to use and understand. When I place the cursor on a substantive word in English, then the corresponding word in the original is highlighted, and vice versa. When I click on the word I'd like to study, the definition appears on the same page. 

The Hebrew word that appeals me most today is the word that is translated as "I will give thanks to you" (e.g. ESV), or "I will praise you" (e.g. NIV). 
(I haven't learned the Hebrew grammar systematically yet, so it was impossible for me to imagine that its root is 
The verb literally means 'use (that is, hold out) the hand.'  


hand (noun)


On this side of the Cross and Resurrection, 
His anger has turned away 
for the sake of His Son, Jesus Christ.
I give thanks to Him, 
and I praise Him.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

#Ten Things of Thankful: February 20, 2021

  1. the Sunday worship service, which reminded us that we are precious in God's sight 
  2. one of my cousins, who called me last Sunday afternoon
  3. a phone call from a friend last Monday 
  4. having finished cleaning the church building (We were on duty this week.)
  5. staying home during the snow storm
  6. the heaters in my house 
  7. fresh green vegetables 
  8. tropical fruits available at the supermarket 
  9. friendly neighbors, including Mrs. T* 
  10. a cup of hot chocolate 😊

Thursday, February 18, 2021

#Six-Sentence Story: Kaleidoscope

Vera sighed a heavy sigh.

Most of her friends describe her as too sensitive, difficult and aloof. 

She often finds it hard to deal with a kaleidoscope of vivid, intense feelings her everyday life evokes.  

How much time and energy has she wasted being on an emotional roller coaster, blaming herself for what she is? 

Time and again, she needs to remind herself not to take off the invisible veil that is covering her sensitivity, so as not to react to everything others say and do. 

For the time being, she is the sole audience of her inner fireworks.

this week's prompt: Kaleidoscope

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Ash Wednesday and Cabbage Day

 1. This week's Hodgepodge lands on Ash Wednesday which signals the beginning of Lent. Do you mark this season in some way? If so tell us more. Did you grow up 'celebrating' Lent? Is attending church part of your weekly routine? Are churches open for in-person worship where you live? 

I go to church every Sunday, but no one mentions 'Ash Wednesday" and 'Lent' there. --I am a member of a Protestant church in Japan. I wouldn't know that today is Ash Wednesday if I hadn't got an Email from a Bible Memory Challenge Group the other day. -- I am taking part in the challenge to mark this season this year. 

I'm thankful that we still hold in-person worship services where we live. 

2. When is the last time you sat beside a 'real' fire? Do you have a fireplace in your home? Wood or gas logs? Favorite thing cooked over a fire? 

If I remember correctly, it was about a decade ago, at the barbecue party in the backyard of the church in summer... We don't have a fireplace in my home. Most houses in Japan don't.

3. Something that's currently got you fired up? 

The news about a certain nuclear power plant in my country. (I'm not going into details here, for just a thought of it would make me angry.)

4. February also happens to be National Cabbage Day. Who knew? Do you like cabbage? Is cabbage on your menu Wednesday? Of the following cabbage dishes which is your favorite-coleslaw (mayo or vinegar?), sauerkraut, cabbage rolls, cabbage soup, kielbasa and cabbage, grilled cabbage, bubble and squeak, kimchi, or haluski? 

I've never heard of "National Cabbage Day" before! I hated cabbage as a child, but now it is O.K. We will have salad with steamed cabbage for supper today. My favorite dishes in the list is cabbage soup.

5. Do you hang on to pennies? What do you do with them? Last thing you purchased for $1.00? Last thing you purchased for $5.00? 

Since I live in Japan, I'll talk about one yen coins instead. There are several one yen coins in my wallet, and I usually spend them when I pay in cash. Last thing I got for 100 yen is a dish cloth. For 500 yen... if I remember correctly, a small jar of honey.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

I'm learning the importance of taking my time and doing less things by getting my priorities right. 😊

From this Side of the Pond

Saturday, February 13, 2021

#Ten Things of Thankful: February 13, 2021

  1. a cup of amazake (non-alcoholic sweet rice wine) on a cold day
  2. chatting with K* last Sunday
  3. seeing the ophthalmologist last Monday 
  4. the radio in my kitchen
  5. the potstickers we cooked for lunch last Thursday 
  6.  going to bed before 10 P.M. every day
  7.  the snow scoop 
  8.  taking a walk last Friday 

  9.  the Bible study meeting, where we read Esther 6. 
  10.  my favorite chorale prelude that I can play, "Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier" arranged by J. S. Bach (BWV 706)

a rendition by Romi 😊

Thursday, February 11, 2021

#Six-Sentence Story: Snow

Hannah was woken by the characteristic roar of a snowplow in the street in front of her house at 3:10 A.M. 

The winter service vehicle was moving very slowly, making a loud noise, which made her wonder how much snow had fallen during the night, but she didn't bother to get up and look out the window.

More than ten minutes later, everything became quiet again, and she drifted back to sleep. 

She had a dream, in which she was a cheerful little child plowing through the knee-deep snow hand in hand with her best friend, whom she had lost in touch years before. 

Hannah wanted to keep dreaming about her happy childhood a little longer, but the dream was interrupted by the sound of her neighbors clearing snow from the sidewalks. 

The clock on the side table said 5:50 A.M., and she jumped out of bed.

image source

this week's prompt: PLOW

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

A Bible Memory Challenge


I'm going to take part in a Bible Memory Challenge that starts on February 17.
I once memorized Isaiah 12 about six years ago, 
but I'd like to review it again.

Monday, February 8, 2021

Staff, Tribe and Almond


Numbers 17:8

In the sermon on Numbers 17 yesterday, the pastor mentioned that the Hebrew word for staff, mat-teh', also means 'tribe.' I found it interesting and consulted the dictionary later.

A: staff, rod, shaft,  
B: branch (of vine), 
C: tribe 
company led by chief with staff (originally)

A staff is a symbol of a leader. 
In addition, the Bible has a figurative expression "staff of bread", which means 'food supply', as staff is associated with something that supports us. 

Incidentally, almond trees come into blossom the earliest in spring,  and the Hebrew word for almond is derived from the verb meaning wake, watch, awake, and be alert.

Saturday, February 6, 2021

More Than Ten Things of Thankful


Vater unser im Himmelrich
arranged by J. S. Bach
played by Romi 
on the electronic keyboard

  1. the 'video' above, which I have managed to 'create' 
  2. YouTube and Blogger, which helps me share it with you
  3. a free version of the video editor, BeeCut
  4. a free software that I used to record the music, Audacity
  5. the electronic keyboard, CASIO CT-X700 
  6. electricity
  7. my lap-top computer
  8. the hymnal that has this piece in it
  9. J. S. Bach, who arranged the chorale
  10. the anonymous composer who first wrote this tune
  11. my ability to play the keyboard 
  12. the teachers who have taught me music 
  13. my curiosity to learn new things 
  14. my determination to make use of only what I already have, without spending money on any other devices and gadgets that may make things much easier
  15. enough spare time at my disposal 
  16. ample room for improvement 
  17. hope of sharing more recordings in the future

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Why I Chose to Study Spanish


“¿Cómo estás?”

This is the first Spanish sentence I saw somewhere when I was a junior high school student. I had never seen the inverted question mark before, and somehow I was fascinated with it. That may be one of the reasons why I chose to study Spanish as a foreign language at university. 

Another reason is that Spanish is far easier for a native speaker of Japanese to pronounce, than German, French, Russian, and so on. Besides, I really like the way the Spanish language sounds, with its lyrical intonation.

this week's prompt: MARK