Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Week 6



This is the final week in the current  Bible Memory Challenge hosted by DoNotDepart.com, and we are working with Isaiah 12:6.  

Saturday, March 27, 2021

#Ten Things of Thankful: March 27, 2021


  1. the anemone hepatica in our backyard 

  2. the long walk on the riverbank last Tuesday 

  3. a new light bulb for my desk lamp
  4. the winter jasmine in our backyard 

  5. warmer afternoons
  6. our neighbor's winter daphne 

  7. strawberries for breakfast 🍓🍓🍓🍓🍓
  8. the toaster oven 
  9. peace and quiet at night

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Week 5



In  The Bible Memory Challenge hosted by DoNotDepart.com, we are learning Isaiah 12:5 by heart this week. I'm memorizing it in NIV and in Hebrew.

Pondering on this verse, I also think of the glorious things that the LORD has done for us. 

Saturday, March 20, 2021

#Ten Things of Thankful: March 20, 2021


  1. I played the organ at church last Sunday.
  2. I lost my folding umbrella on Monday, and found it at the Lost and Found at the supermarket on Tuesday. 
  3. more camellias in front of our house 

  4. I took a long walk along the riverbank on Tuesday, for the first time this spring. 

  5. the ohagi, sweet cake made of rice, adzuki bean paste and sugar, which we had last Wednesday 

  6.  the buds of the anemone hepatica in our backyard 

  7.  a cup of Chinese blackberry leaf tea after lunch
  8.  pain that warns me to slow down 
  9.  sufficient sleep 
  10.  the newspaper 

Friday, March 19, 2021

Thursday, March 18, 2021

#Six-Sentence Story: At A No-Frills Beauty Salon

I usually have a haircut at the no-frills beauty salon in my neighborhood, where it takes less than half an hour to have my hair cut.

About three weeks ago, I went there for the first time in six months, wearing a disposable non-woven mask. They were taking every measure to prevent virus infection, using a touchless thermometer, hand sanitizer sprays, and transparent partitions between the chairs. 

When I sat on the chair, the hairdresser asked me to take off my mask lest it should get damaged. Then, she put a paper coffee filter over my mouth and fixed it with surgical tape in its place. Looking in the mirror, I tried not to laugh. 

via Wikimedia Commons

this week's prompt: filter

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Week 4


We are working on Isaiah 12:4 in The Bible Memory Challenge hosted by DoNotDepart.com. I am learning it in New International Version, and the first phrase of verse 4 is exactly the same as that of verse 1: In that day you will say: 

In Hebrew, however, the first words, which mean "you will say", are different:

   verb (second person masculine singular)

    verb (second person masculine plural)

King James Version shows this difference clearly.

And in that day thou shalt say, O LORD, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me. (Isa 12:1 KJV)


And in that day shall ye say, Praise the LORD, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted. (Isa 12:4 KJV)

In Japanese, you (singular) and you (plural) are distinguished clearly. The former is anata, and the latter, anata-gata. 

Last week I memorized Isaiah 12:3 without paying any attention to whether 'you' is in singular or plural. Reviewing it, I have found that the pronoun is in plural. 

According to a Bible commentary in Japanese, Isaiah 12 consists of two poems, the first one (verses 1-2) and the second (verses 3-6). I wonder if that is why the first part has you (singular), and the second one you (plural). 

I am thankful that this memory challenge is helping me to read the Bible more carefully and learn more about the languages. 

Saturday, March 13, 2021

#Ten Things of Thankful: March 13, 2021

  1. taking part in the monthly Bible Study meeting last Friday, where we studied Esther 7
  2. the Rev. F* 
  3. Mr. W*
  4. having just solved a serious computer problem thanks to the information found at a website 
  5. most of the snow on the riverbanks has melted and we can take a walk there now
  6. camellias I saw in my neighborhood 

  7. gentle rain this morning 
  8. flowers, whose name we don't know, in the corner of our backyard  

  9. having recorded a short organ prelude composed by C. H. Rinck
  10. Linking up with Ten Things of Thankful, which reminds me to be thankful all the time 😊

Friday, March 12, 2021

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Six-Sentence Story: Journey


Vera believes that the best thing about going on a journey is anticipating it and she loves to make a detailed plan carefully far in advance. She spends hours reading about the places she is going to visit, looking at the maps, writing an itinerary, and daydreaming about the trip. When the journey actually begins, she does everything she can do to make everything go as planned. 

Jessie, on the other hand, doesn't think it very important to stick to the plan, which sometimes irritates Vera. Even if something goes wrong, he doesn't seem to fret, for he likes to experience something unexpected, enjoying every moment of the process. 

I hope they will live happily ever after.

this week's prompt: journey

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Wednesday Hodgepodge: March 10, 2021

 1. March 9th is National Get Over It Day...what's something you need to 'just get over already'? 

National Get Over It Day? -- Well, right now, I cannot think of anything in particular. On second thought, probably, myself?

2. Something you're currently 'over the moon' about? 

'Over the moon' would be an overstatement, but I am glad that the winter seems to be over earlier than usual and most of the snow on the riverbanks has melted. I will start taking a walk on the riverbanks soon.

3. What's something you're 'chewing over' these days? (meaning-thinking over carefully)

I'm pondering how to age gracefully. 😊 The first step will be to learn to be more thankful so that I am not tempted to complain or feel depressed.  

4. The last thing you cooked or ate that was overdone? 

Pork sauté. I tend to overdo pork. 

5. In celebration of hitting volume 411 in the weekly Hodgepodge, give us the 411 on something happening in your life in the next 30 days. 

  I am going to take part in Blogging from A to Z April Challenge!

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

the photo is from pixabay.com

I saw some yellow crocuses blooming for the first time this year in the flowerbed in front of a store when I was taking a walk yesterday. I am glad that spring is coming. 


From this Side of the Pond

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Week 3


I'm taking part in The Bible Memory Challenge hosted by DoNotDepart.com, and this week, we are learning Isaiah 12:3 by heart. I am also trying to memorize it in Hebrew, and I have realized that part of the verse sounds familiar. 

When I was a junior high school student, we learned how to dance Mayim Mayim in P. E. classes. The teacher told us that 'mayim b'sason' means 'water! with joy!', but we didn't know this phrase is taken from the Bible. In fact, the entire lyrics of the dance song come from Isaiah 12:3. So, I am singing it in Hebrew to help me commit it to memory. 

It is easier for me to memorize this verse in English translation. "Water" is a beautiful imagery of salvation. Water quenches our thirst and sustains our life. If it weren't for water, we couldn't live. 

Monday, March 8, 2021

A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal

#AtoZChallenge 2021 Theme Reveal

I have been an amateur church organist for years, and my repertoire now includes hundreds of hymns and chorale preludes. So, I am going to play and write briefly about either a hymn tune or a chorale prelude in public domain on each day of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge this year. 

In order to make my goal realistic and achievable, let me declare that the basso continuo of the series is "NO FRILLS." 

a sample recording

Amazing Grace

played by Romi 
on the electronic keyboard, CASIO CT-X700 

Saturday, March 6, 2021

#Ten Things of Thankful: March 6, 2021

  1.  the camellia in front of our house 

  2. re-reading Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
  3. the city library 
  4. kind people around us 
  5. time to practice playing the electronic keyboard 
  6. the Doll Festival display in a shop on March 3rd 
    This photo was taken a few years ago,
    but the ones I saw this year were similar to these.

  7. the rice cakes of the season 

  8. making preparations for Blogging from A to Z April Challenge 
  9. taking a walk almost every day 
  10. my father's smiles

Thursday, March 4, 2021

#Six-Sentence Story: Philosophy 101

Professor Kudo, who looked somewhat like a Kewpie doll, turned to the blackboard and wrote a word: 'θεωρία'. He pronounced the word, and explained that it is a Greek word meaning contemplation, adding that the English word theory comes from it.  

That was the first session in Philosophy 101. I took the course out of curiosity, and I kind of liked learning about the history of European philosophy, though I often found many different 'isms' confusing. 

Decades have passed since I graduated from university, and nowadays I seldom think of the philosophers and their ideas that were mentioned in Philosophy 101. The only things I remember about the course are the word 'θεωρία', its meaning, the feeling of excitement when I learned it, and the fact that the professor looked like a Kewpie.


this week's prompt: theory

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Lions, March, Flour, and the Doll Festival

 1. Is March coming in like a lion where you live? -- This year, no. It is warmer and sunnier than usual. --Aslan, Simba, Elsa, The Cowardly Lion...your favorite 'famous' lion? --Aslan. I read The Chronicles of Narnia for the first time in my twenties, and I was impressed. I still have the books with me, and reread them from time to time.

2. In what way do you 'march to the beat of your own drum'? --Now that I stay home most of the time, I seem to be marching to the beat of my own drum in almost every aspect of my life these days...

3. What item that you don't have already, would you most like to own? Any chance of that happening soon? --Let me see... More wisdom? I'm always praying about it. 😊

4. March is National Flour Month...are you a baker? --I used to like baking, but I seldom bake anything these days. Cookies-cakes-or pies...your favorite sweet treat to bake? --I should say, cakes, simple, easy-to-make cakes.  What's the last non-sweet thing you made that called for flour? --Bagels, and it was more than one year ago.

5. There are 31 days in the month of March...where were you and what were you doing when you were 31? --I was living in a small town surrounded by mountains on the main island of Japan, teaching English as a foreign language at a high school there.  If you haven't hit that milestone yet, then tell us where you were and what you were doing 31 months ago? (if math is not your thing, that would be August 3, 2018)

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

In Japan, where I live, March 3 is Girls' Day, which is also known as 'the Doll Festival.' Traditional dolls are displayed in most houses to celebrate the occasion. The photograph below shows the humble set of dolls my parents bought for me when I was a baby. --The dolls are ornamental, and children are not supposed to play with them.  

My set consists of only bare essentials: the prince and the princess, lanterns, flowers, colorful rice cakes, and a few other items. (A complete set includes three ladies-in-waiting, a quintet musicians, two ministers, three servants, and elaborate models of pieces of furniture.)  

When I was growing up, I didn't like the concept of celebrating the Doll Festival very much, for I suspected that it might indoctrinate girls with a certain idea of gender roles. Having said so, I cannot help smiling at the lovely dolls.

From this Side of the Pond

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Week 2


This week, we are learning Isaiah 12:2 by heart in The Bible Memory Challenge hosted by DoNotDepart.com. I'm memorizing it in New International Version and in Hebrew. Working on this verse, I've realized that NIV is different from other translations, in that the word 'defense' is used instead of 'song'.

Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation.  (Isa 12:2 NIV)


The original word is 


Its definition doesn't seem to include 'defense', and the footnote in NIV says 'or song'.

I have an older version of NIV (published in 1984) with me, which says.

Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.

I'm curious about why they have changed it to 'defense' in the latest NIV.