Saturday, June 25, 2022

#Thankful: June 25, 2022


  • The hydrangeas in our yard are in bloom. 
  • I am thankful for seeing Mr. T* for the first time in more than three years last Sunday. 

  • Though it has been hot an humid, I still enjoy taking a walk along the river in the early morning. 
  • I am thankful for the lovely wild flowers found on the riverbanks. 
  • Last Tuesday, I cleaned the windows in our house. 
  • The grilled sardines we had for lunch last Wednesday were especially good. 
  • I am thankful for a quiet, ordinary life.

  • I have made a bag with a piece of leftover cloth. 
  • I am no longer scared of the electric sewing machine.

  • I am thankful for the choral prelude I am going to play at church tomorrow.

Friday, June 24, 2022

#Sky Watch Friday: June 24, 2022


The rainy season has set in, and it has been hot and humid, but I make it a rule to take a walk early in the morning, unless it is raining. 

I took the photo above while walking on the riverbank a couple of days ago. It was misty.

Skywatch Friday


Saturday, June 18, 2022

#Thankful: June 18, 2022


  • The alstroemerias in our garden are in bloom. 
  • The plums from Yamanashi, which we had a few days ago, were delicious. 
  • I am thankful for Noriko, whom I chatted with last Sunday. 

  • I have made a simple pajama top with the sewing machine. 
  • I used the cloth and thread that my mother had left unused, and I didn't have to buy anything new for the project. 
  • It was easy to make.

  • I have also made a short rectangular apron with the pieces of leftover cloth. (It has strings at the back, though they are invisible in the photo above.)
  • I am thankful for a new idea for my next sewing project.

  • I didn't feel well when I got up yesterday, probably because of the lack of sleep and the low atmospheric pressure, but after having a few cups of green tea, I started to feel better. 
  • I am thankful for the health, which I tend to take for granted.

Friday, June 17, 2022

Jacob's Ladder


I took the picture above last Monday, while I was taking a walk along the river early in the morning. The view from the riverbanks was beautiful. 

Skywatch Friday


Thursday, June 16, 2022

#Six-Sentence Story: Strokes

These days, Japanese parents tend to spend a lot of time and energy to decide what to name their new-born babies. They seem to think that creative, hard-to-read names are better than conservative ones. 

Since most names are written in kanji characters, we pay attention not only to the sound but also to the spelling. For example, the common name pronounced 'Yoko' can be spelled in dozens of different ways, including 陽子, 洋子, 容子, 葉子, 蓉子, 燿子, 瑶子, and so on, each of which has different meanings. In addition, some people believe that it is crucial to use the kanji with the right number of strokes because the number may affect the characters and destinies of their children, and they consult dictionaries and web sites in order to choose the most desirable names. 

In my humble opinion, however, I would prefer a name that is easy to write, easy to read, and easy for everyone to remember. 

this week's prompt: STROKE

Saturday, June 11, 2022

#Thankful: June 11, 2022


Some of the things I am especially thankful for this week:

  • I attended the Bible study meeting on Friday, where we read 1 Samuel 4. 
  • We celebrated Mr. T's 84th birthday together 
  • I am thankful for the heavy rain on Friday morning, which washed away the bird's droppings on a window pane, so that it was unnecessary for me to clean it myself. 😊 
  • Mrs. S* is getting much better rapidly and her doctor says it is miraculous. 
  • I am thankful for encouraging emails from K*. 
  • I am getting accustomed to using the sewing machine little by little.
  • I enjoy watching baseball games on TV with my father in the evening. 
  • I am thankful for the healthy meals I cook every day. 
  • As usual, I am thankful for the time to practice playing the electronic organ.
  • I am thankful for the blog hop, Ten Things of Thankful.

Friday, June 10, 2022

#Sky Watch Friday, June 10, 2022


I got up a little later than usual, but went for a walk along the river. It was a peaceful morning.  

Skywatch Friday


Thursday, June 9, 2022

#Six-Sentence Story: Around Midnight

When I was a university student, I rented a room on the second floor of a building close to the campus, where the elderly landlord and his wife also lived. 

One day in winter, around midnight, when I was already in bed, I heard someone knock on the door. I ignored it, pretending to be asleep, but the person at the door didn't give up. 

"Romi, it's Lisa. I left my key in my room when I went out this morning and I have locked myself out, and I don't want to wake up the landlord now, so please let me in so that I can go out of your window and get into my room through my window, which is unlocked."

I turned on the light and opened the door, and anxiously watched my neighbor climb into her room through the windows safely. 

this week's prompt: KEY

Sunday, June 5, 2022

#Thankful: June 5, 2022


  • I baked oatmeal cake last Tuesday. -- I hadn't baked anything for months, and I hadn't planned to make it until that morning, when I realized that I needed to use the eggs before the best-before date. I took out a cookbook and found a suitable recipe in it; I happened to have all the ingredients in my kitchen at that time: eggs, oatmeal, waterflour, honey, vegetable oil, yogurt, and cinnamon. The low-calorie cake was easy to make. --I wish I had taken a photo of the cake. 
  • On the same day, I washed a blanket and some cushion covers. It was sunny and they dried in the sun in several hours. 
  • I am excited about my new sewing project
  • I am thankful for my favorite chorale prelude that I am going to play at church today:

  • I have a very long to-do list, and I enjoy getting things done.
  • I am reading "The Definitive English Grammar Guide" by Seki Masao, which I got after seeing an ad in the newspaper. It is written for Japanese people studying English. I have read only the first two chapters so far, but as a former teacher of English as a foreign language, I totally agree with the author.  --I am reading it mainly because I am curious about how the author explains some of the core concepts of the grammar to his students. 
  • I am thankful I have managed to write this gratitude list, though I have been busy.

Friday, June 3, 2022

#Sky Watch Friday: June 3, 2022


The other day, I walked to the park next to the city library very early in the morning. I enjoy taking a walk in different parts of my city, and when I get up early enough, I sometimes go to this park surrounded with trees, which is about a 40-minute walk. 

Skywatch Friday


Thursday, June 2, 2022

#Six-Sentence Story: Blades


Taking a walk leisurely along the path on the riverbank edged with tall grass early this morning, I casually picked a blade of grass that reminded me of a grass whistle I used to play with in my childhood. I held the leaf in my hand carefully so that I wouldn't get hurt with the sharp edge, and walked on, pondering on the English word 'blade'. 

The word has several different meanings, and thus there is no Japanese counterpart that expresses all of them in a single word. However, it is interesting that the words for a leaf (葉) and a blade of a knife (刃) sound similar in my language. Both are written as 'は' in phonetic hirgana, and pronounced as 'ha'; the former with a flat pitch, and the latter with a slightly higher pitch. 

Then I remembered I hadn't written my six-sentence story yet, and I thought I would write about this, though it might be rather far-fetched.

this week's prompt: EDGE

Saturday, May 28, 2022

#Thankful: May 28, 2022

  • The other day, I took a walk on the other side of the river early in the morning. It was refreshing.

  • Last Tuesday, I walked to a small park full of trees by the river in the morning. 

  • I practiced using the sewing machine by making ten white cotton tea towels. 

  • I am thankful for the simple navy blue dress that I got decades ago.
  • I have remade it into an apron. -- I sewed it by hand.

  • I have bought some summer socks at the shopping mall.
  • I went to the church and practiced playing the electronic piano for an hour last Tuesday afternoon.
  • The literal pain in the neck, which I have had for the last three weeks or so, has disappeared recently. 
  • The strawberry geraniums in our humble garden are in bloom.

Friday, May 27, 2022

A Beautiful Day in May


The other day, I went shopping by bicycle by way of the path on the riverbank, and took a photo of the trees at the foot of the bridge. It was a beautiful day. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

A Scripture Memory Challenge

I have signed up for a Scripture memory challenge, in which we are going to learn 8 verses from Romans 8 in 8 weeks.

The followings are the verses we are going to memorize:

  • Romans 8:1
  • Romans 8:15
  • Romans 8:26
  • Romans 8:28
  • Romans 8:31
  • Romans 8:37
  • Romans 8:38
  • Romans 8:39

This chapter is powerful, and fills us with joy. 

Saturday, May 21, 2022

#Thankful: May 21, 2022


I am thankful for the old reed organ that has been used in our church for decades, and also for the newer portable electronic piano that we have just started in its place. The electronic piano was purchased more than a decade ago, but I have played it only a few times. Unfortunately, the user's guide is missing, but someone said the manufacturer's website might have a downloadable guide. He was right, and now I know how to use its various functions. Since I am not used to playing the electronic organ, I went to the church to practice it last Thursday and Friday, when there was nobody else there.  I am thankful that the piano can be made to sound like the pipe organ and that touch response can be turned off.  I hope to practice it a few more times next week.

I saw the ophthalmologist last Tuesday.  I am glad that my eyes haven't got worse. 

I have started teaching myself how to use the electric sewing machine that belonged to my mother.  The sewing machine had been gathering dust in the storeroom for a decade. -- I prefer sewing by hand. I have been extremely clumsy with a sewing machine, and I am afraid it would take me longer to sew with a machine. -- Thanks to the user's guide that I found in the case, I have learned how to make straight stitches and zigzag stitches. 

Thursday, May 19, 2022

#Six-Sentence Story: DETOUR

I have often heard the paradoxical Japanese proverb, 急がば廻れ (isogaba maware), which literally means "If you are in a hurry, take a detour."  In most dictionaries the saying is translated as "More haste, less speed" or "Slow and steady wins the race." 
Though we may be tempted to take a dangerous shortcut in our haste to reach our goals, it is advisable for us to choose a safer way to be successful in the end. 

According to Wictionary in Japanese, this proverb comes from a poem by 宗長 (Souchou (1448-1532)), 武士のやばせの舟は早くとも急がば廻れ瀬田の長橋, (Mononofu no /  Yabase no / fune wa / hayaku tomo / isogaba marare / Seta no nagahashi),which roughly means, "Even though the boat leaving Yabase is fast, if you are in a hurry, take a detour and cross the long bridge of Seta." 

Incidentally, I am impressed with the kanji for taking the long way: 廻 , (though we use the simple form 回 more often today.) The left component, 廴, signifies 'prolonging' and the right component, 回, stands for 'turning'; indeed an apt ideogram for this concept.

this week's prompt: DETOUR

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Thankful: May 14, 2022


Things I am especially thankful for this week:

  • a very long to-do list 
  • the new frying pan I got last Tuesday 
  • the new battery in my wristwatch
  • the apron I have remade from an old cotton dress

  • taking a walk along the river early in the morning 
  • the Bible study meeting last Friday, where we read 1 Samuel 3
  • chatting with the members after the meeting mentioned above 
  • soft music I listen to when I wake up too early in the morning 
  • my father 
  • time to practice playing the electronic organ at home every day

Friday, May 13, 2022

Thursday, May 12, 2022

#Six-Sentence Story: Confetti

I have been working on a new novel for weeks, but I haven't made progress at all.  
While I am writing, I feel as if it were a good story. When I reread it a few days later, I usually find it boring. I tear the pages into pieces, and throw them into the trash can like confetti. Then I start over again. Well, I should probably type my story on the computer, so that I won't waste any more paper. 

this week's prompt: CONFETTI

Saturday, May 7, 2022

#Thankful* May 7, 2022

  • The columbines in our backyard are in bloom. 

  • The tiny white flowers we call naruko-yuri have also come out.

  • It has been sunny most of the week, and I have started taking a walk early in the morning. 

  • Last Thursday was a national holiday, Children's Day, and we had some kashiwa-mochi, which is often associated with this holiday. The soft rice cake is wrapped in a fragrant kashiwa leaf, and inside the cake is sweet adzuki bean jam. It was delicious.

  • It was our turn to clean the church building this week, and I am thankful that I have finished it. 
  • I have also spent a lot of time cleaning my house this week. I still have the unquenchable desire to clean the house thoroughly. 
  • Yesterday, I put all the cushions and mattresses for guests on the roof to air them in the sun. -- For the last ten years or so, we have had no guests to stay with us, but we need to keep them ready to use. 
  • Today, I have put the other mattresses and blankets on the roof. They are basking in the sun right now. I am thankful for the sun. 
  • I have also cleaned the storage space above the closet this morning, before writing this post. 
  • I am thankful that tomorrow is Sunday.


Friday, May 6, 2022

#Sky Watch Friday: May 6, 2022

I went for a walk early in the morning yesterday, which happened to be Children's Day, a national holiday in Japan. 

I walked along the river and got to a park where a lot of carp-shaped streamers called koi-nobori were displayed. --The streamer is one of the symbols of Children's Day. 

If it had been windy, we could have seen the carp swimming in the sky...
However, I didn't have time to wait for the wind to take a better photo, so that I would be in time for breakfast.

Saturday, April 30, 2022


Friedrich Wilhelm Zachau (Zachow) (1663-1712) was a German musician and composer. According to Wikipedia,  he was George Friderick Handel’s first music teacher. 

I first saw his name in a book of liturgical organ chorales, ORGELCHORALE IM KIRCHENJAHR, which I got in Tokyo more than thirty years ago. The book has 71 short chorale preludes arranged by a number of composers. 

One of the first pieces in it that I learned to play was Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr (All Glory Be to God on High). The following is a recording of this piece I played on the electronic keyboard in my room.