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Archive for the month “October, 2012”

Nostalgia at its best

For some reason the start of baseball’s World Series, particularly this year with the SF Giants playing, really reminded me of our trip to Japan in 2010. We were on our last day or so there when the games started and I remember sitting in a restaurant at the Tokyo train station eating breakfast and watching the game on TV. Of course that got me thinking about the rest of the trip and what an amazing country Japan is. I was 11 weeks pregnant at the start of our trip and 14 weeks when we returned. The first half I had some nausea, and a couple of really embarrassing moments, but everyone was very gracious and kind. So, I thought I’d walk down memory lane with some of my favorite pictures. On this trip we crisscrossed the country trying to see as much as we could. I think we did a pretty good job for our first trip.

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Tokyo from our hotel very small hotel room.

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I saw these berries while walking around Kyoto. If someone knows what plant this is, please tell me because I want it!

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The Golden Pavilion in Kyoto, which was one of our favorite places.

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The previous night we were wandering around the Gion district hoping to catch a glimpse of a geisha. The next day while traveling down the philosopher’s path, we were in luck!

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This is at the Adachi gardens in Western Japan near Matsue. It has been ranked the number one garden in Japan for several years and it was stunning.

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Matsue is known for its brilliant sunsets, and event though it was cloudy, it was very beautiful.

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The floating Tori on the island of Miyajima. We went here after touring around Hiroshima. There was a street festival on the way to the ferry that was highly entertaining.

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We stopped off in Iwakuni on our way down to Beppu to view this bridge and eat some lunch. Historically this bridge divided the town between the samurai class and everyone else. The construction of the bridge was very interesting and it’s all wood.

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A bath house in Yudanaka, one of our favorite destinations.

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The outdoor hot spring at our inn in Yudanaka. I highly recommend staying at inns and ordering their dinners, because the food was amazing and this bath was one of the best.

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Jigokudani Snow Monkeys Park. It is about as close to a wild living situation you can get as they leave every night for the forest and come back to warm up in the hot springs during the day. I love monkeys so this was probably my favorite day. It was fascinating and if they would have let me hug them I would have. However, they are pretty feisty and I was pregnant, so I kept my distance, but I could have spent days there.

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Ikaho which is known for its rust colored water. Here and Beppu were the only two places that we felt that the general population wasn’t as friendly. Maybe they weren’t used to seeing tourist, I don’t know, but it was an interesting spot.

Knitting Update

I love knitting while I watch TV. Not movies, but things that don’t require a lot of attention like sports. I can listen to the commentators, understand what’s going on and if I really want to see something I can stop and watch. As a result I have made a lot of progress on my sweater. Yippie!

I have completed the back

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And have finished about half of the front.

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Now I just have to knit up the Right and Left sides, sew together, knit the sleeves and add the collar. Almost done…right?

Happy knitting!

Sukiyaki

The greatest thing about being over the first trimester (well almost, but we won’t count days), is I finally have my appetite back. So I decided to make something delicious and nutritious.

Sukiyaki is what one would call a one-pot dish. The only time consuming part is chopping all the vegetables, but the actual cooking time is quite quick.

Here is a list of what went into my sukiyaki: beef (sliced very thinly), onion, carrot, celery, shiitake mushrooms, napa cabbage, spinach, and tofu.

This is the recipe I used:

Heat the skillet and grease (I use sesame oil, but suet will work too). Add the sliced beef and fry. Add onion, carrot and celery; cook over medium-low heat. Add ½ c. soup stock (I made fresh for this, but you could also use an instant soup stock), ½ c. mirin, ½. Soy sauce and 3 tsp sugar (I only use about half because the mirin is already sweet). Add the mushrooms and cook until softened. Add cabbage and spinach and cook until wilted. Add tofu and heat through.

Traditionally you serve with raw eggs and each bite is to be dipped in the egg before eating. I don’t do this and you don’t have to either.

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Itadakimasu!

When it rains it pours

It’s that time of year in the PNW again.  It has actually been one of the most beautiful falls we’ve had in a while, but the past couple of days it has been raining buckets.  We were not deterred, however, as my son and I headed outside to have some fun.  He had a blast splashing around in the puddles and wasn’t at all bothered by the wet stuff falling from the sky.

Of course I brought my camera along to capture the moment, but it is pretty difficult to take pictures without getting water on the lens.  Here’s a good one from the day.

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Happy Fall!

Ready for round 2

So I had high hopes after my last posted, but that lasted about 24 hrs. The second bout with nausea was worse than the first by far, but I hope that it will begin subsiding now. After all, I am only a week away from the 2nd trimester.

Anyway, this past weekend I flew down to San Francisco for my first dance convention in 2 years! I was extremely worried about how I would fare, but once I stepped into the airport in SFO I was feeling pretty darn good. Except for a couple of scares, I managed to keep my eating schedule up pretty well and I had a blast. I didn’t dance too much, and yes, I actually competed! I didn’t make finals, no surprise given my hiatus and nerves, but it was still fun and like riding a bike. More so, I had fun just hanging with the girls, getting caught up on all the goings on and just getting away from it all. After a horrible day back on Monday, I am doing much better and feel up to writing. I am hoping that this pattern will continue, but I can’t guarantee anything.

Besides dancing, talking and just generally relaxing, I picked up my knitting needles again. Yay for fall weather! I have this gorgeous Cascade Yarns baby alpaca chunky yarn in dark plum that I have been trying to find just the right pattern for. Well, I found it and this is what I have started making.

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This pattern is knit flat, which is kind of refreshing. I am knitting the extra small size and adjusting for the extra bulk of the yarn. I chose to knit this with dpns because I found I could easily break up the two sections (lace and cable) without using stitch markers which I always end up dropping.

The pattern can be found here: Gentle Teresa and her blog can be found here

I had one hiccup that I had to redo because I was watching my friends give a dance workshop, but other than that, it is going beautifully. I think I will be very happy when it is completed.

Progress updates to come!

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