Saturday, February 26, 2022

Ten Things of Thankful: February 26, 2022

  • I have borrowed an easy-to-read book on psychology from the library. Its title can be translated as "Recipes for Wellbeing".
  • Chapter 1 of the book mentioned above is about the habit of writing down three good things before going to bed, which reminds me of the importance of thankfulness to enhance our wellbeing. 
  • Kaneko-san has brought us some glory lilies. 
  • I took part in the monthly neighborhood community meeting last Monday. It began at 19:30 and ended at 19:45. 
  • It was our turn to clean the church building this week. I am thankful that we didn't have so much snow on the day when we went there. 
  • The church building has good acoustics, and my singing voice sounds more beautiful there than in any other place. 
  • Noriko-san gave me some flower-shaped candies the other day. (They were lovely. I should have taken photos of them.) 
  • I am thankful for the radio that I listen to while I am working in the kitchen. 
  • I've finished reading the first chapter of Jean-Christophe, and I am ready to go on to the next chapter. I find the story more interesting than when I first tried to read it decades ago.
  • The coldest month of the year is going to be over soon. 

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Mundane, Mundo, Mundus

This week, the prompt for Six Sentence Stories is MUNDANE, the word I first saw in a book of vocabulary words for advanced learners' of English that I studied decades ago, in which the word is defined as "ordinary and boring".  

Before I started writing my story a few days ago, I consulted a dictionary and found that it also means "worldly" and "earthly." 

Then I noticed that the spelling of mundane is somewhat reminiscent of the Spanish word, mundo, which means "world", and sure enough, the OED says that the English word is derived from mundus, a Latin word for world. 

"Mundane, mundo, mundus...," I said to myself, feeling happy to have discovered a simple mnemonic.

It reminds me of the time when I was able to infer the meaning of the new word "verdant" from the context and from the Spanish word "verde" (green). 

I find it exciting that what little I know about Spanish can help me learn new English words, and vice versa.

this week's prompt: MUNDANE

Six-Sentence Story: Mundane

Ms. M* is content with her "mundane", fairly predictable life now, cooking three meals a day, doing the dishes after each meal, doing the laundry every other day, going grocery shopping twice a week, cleaning the house whenever it is necessary, and enjoying her hobbies in her spare time. 

When she was younger, she devoted herself to her job as a teacher, until she began to struggle with repeated bouts of depression. She often felt as if her self-worth were dependent on her work, so she was devastated when she finally decided to give up her career.  At that time, Ms. M* was so depressed that she found it difficult to do even simple household tasks.  She didn't remember what it was like to be happy.  

It has taken a long time to rebuild her life, and she is thankful that she is able to lead an ordinary life now.

this week's prompt: MUNDANE

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Ten Things of Thankful: February 19, 2022


  • We had a lot of snow last Thursday and Friday (--about 2 feet deep in two days), and I am thankful that I got up early to clear the snow from the sidewalk in front of our house.
  • I am thankful for the cups of hot chocolate I had after struggling with the snow.
  • My father's backache is getting better.
  • I chatted with Toshiko-san last Sunday.
  • I reviewed the Greek alphabet. 
  • I started reading the first chapter of "Jean-Christophe" again. I bought the book decades ago, when I was a high school student, and I have not finished reading it yet, though I have started several times. I have the entire series (4 books in Japanese translation), but I have never finished Book 1 yet. 😀
  • It is sunny today. 
  • I am thankful for the Sudoku puzzle on the newspaper on Saturday, which both my father and I enjoy.
  • I am going to play a prelude by C. H. Rinck at church tomorrow:

  • I am thankful for the blog community where my blog is listed. (At first I posted the link to the list, but it didn't seem to work for some of you, so I have deleted it. I am thankful for the people who voted for me, and I am sorry for the inconvenience it may have caused.)

Friday, February 18, 2022

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Six-Sentence Story: Rambunctious


One of my aunts, Yoko, lived in a large house on the hill in the eastern part of the city. I loved Yoko, but I didn't like her dog. She had a Yorkshire terrier named Ken in her house, and the word that best described Ken was "rambunctious." 

The last time I visited Yoko, Ken kept barking at me all the while we were having tea in the living room. I had to SPEAK IN A VERY LOUD VOICE to make myself heard, and I felt exhausted when I left her house. I didn't like Ken, Ken knew it, and Ken didn't like me, either.

this week's prompt: RAMBUNCTIOUS

Saturday, February 12, 2022

Ten Things of Thankful: February 12, 2022

  • I listened to the podcast, Surprise! (Week 2) @ DTW, a Bible study discussion on the book of Jonah.
  • I am thankful for peaceful, ordinary days.  
  • We had a lot of snow last weekend, but it is melting rapidly. 
  • My father cooked pasta for supper last Thursday.  
  • When I wake up early in the morning, I can spend an hour or two reading and/or listening to music in my room without being interrupted. 
  • Last Friday I attended the Bible Study meeting, where we read Judges 16.
  • I am thankful for our pastor.
  • I am thankful for Mr. and Mrs. W*, who also took part in the meeting.
  • I enjoyed listening to another podcast, Samson - the World's Strongest man, after coming home on Friday.
  • It is sunny today.


Thursday, February 10, 2022

Six-Sentence Story: Redemption

I live in Japan, where less than one percent of the population are Christians, and it was not until I was 20 years old that I went to church for the first time in my life. 

In my childhood, I had read about the Bible in some of the books that I read in Japanese translation, such as Heidi, Anne of Green Gables and Les Misérables, and I was impressed with the characters praying to God, and I wanted to know more about their way of living. I had thought that the Book would be full of strict rules, wise sayings and moral stories, and that following the rules would make me a good person.

As soon as I started going to church, I joined a Bible Study group for beginners, and  learned that the Bible is a story of redemption. Until then, I had been unaware that I was a slave. I was a slave to myself, to sin, and the fear of death, desperately in need of the Savior.

this week's prompt: REDEMPTION

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Snow Shoes

Last Sunday, I put on the snow shoes for the first time in my life, not out of necessity, but out of curiosity. It was amazing how they help me walk on the deep snow. 


Saturday, February 5, 2022

Ten Things of Thankful: February 5, 2022


  • Mr. Z*, who had a surgery last month, has got out of the hospital and I talked with him for a short time last Sunday.
  • Though it is still cold, the days are surely getting longer. 
  • I am thankful that I heard from K*. 
  • I listened to a podcast, Surprise! at DTW, which is an insightful discussion about the book of Jonah.
  • I am thankful for the washing machine.  
  • I am also thankful for the water heater. 
  • I am thankful for a bowl of hot green tea that I have every morning. 
  • I've come across a web site where we can download free music scores of British organ pieces composed mainly in the 18th century. 
  • I am also thankful for the YouTube channel, Rousseau Media Music, which offers recordings of organ works by British composers such as J. Alcock and S. Goodwin, whom I have come to be interested in recently.
  • I'm thankful for the lovely prelude I am going to play at church tomorrow:

#4 from 105 Organ Preludes by C. H. Rinck

Thursday, February 3, 2022

Six-Sentence Story: SCRIBE

Looking at a photo of an ornate 14th-century Bible in the encyclopedia, I tried to imagine how the medieval scribes worked, spending countless hours writing each letter carefully and faithfully, day in and day out. 

--Do you happen to know how many words there are in the entire Bible?

 The mind-boggling work must have required enormous amount of diligence and patience, let alone excellent penmanship. 

--How long did it take them to copy a Bible?

In those days, only a small number of privileged people had access to precious hand written books. 

--I am thankful that we can get printed books and digital books easily today. 

this week's prompt: SCRIBE


Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Electronic Keyboard


My favorite pastime is playing the electronic keyboard. I often wish I could keep practicing it all day long without being interrupted. 

In my childhood, when my parents made me take lessons in the electronic organ in the hope that the musical instrument would help me learn to sing in tune, I was a reluctant student. To my disappointment, I am still poor at singing, but I can make my keyboard sing beautifully instead. 

Now that I am an amateur church organist, I am eager to keep teaching myself. 

The following is a recording of a short chorale prelude I played, Liebster Jesu wir sind hier, (Dearest Jesus, We are Here) arranged by C. H. Rinck.