Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Of peaches and potties

One of the first "culture shocks" I experience every year going back to America happens soon after landing at the airport. Inevitably, after sitting in an airplane for a few hours with the fasten seat belt sign on, standing in lines for immigration, customs and baggage claim, mother nature calls and we all need a quick trip to the restroom.

I understand that airport restrooms are not necessarily the best representative of American potties, I do find that they are pretty much standard for a public restroom in America. After entering the stall and getting situated, the shock happens. The gaps. The cracks between the doors and the door jams in each unit. I can sometimes fit a whole finger through those gaps! If I can see the people outside of the stall, they can see me. Not that they are looking, right? But still!

The average public Japanese potty stall is more like a broom closet. There are almost never any spaces between the door and the stall, no gaping cracks through which to look out or in. Its a private little haven.

I'm not saying they are necessarily any cleaner - heaven knows Japan has more than its fair share of dirty potties. No judgement call here on which country is better or worse. Just a little observation on my part. I wonder what public potties are like in other countries. Just don't get me started on my experiences in China....

Oh! But this was probably the most shocking thing I've seen in any public restroom anywhere. The morning we were leaving to come back to Japan, at the little regional airport in my parents' hometown. Situated right over the sinks, at first glance I thought it was some new-fangled hand dryer. Not! I've never seen this one before. Sure just the fact that it was there in the first place was surprising enough, but even more so the fact that it was nearly halfway full. I'm sure I'm not the only one who's ever blogged about public potty gaps before...

Okay! Back to our regularly scheduled programing.

I've been relaxing this past week. Reading, scrapping, cleaning and cooking. I just happened to stumble upon a lovely little kit called Peachy Keen at Sweet Shoppe Designs and thought I would use it to scrap my photos of our days in the orchard.

Last May, there was an eclipse. Do you remember? Well it was big news here, and since it was pretty much a once in a lifetime event (unless I live to be 150) we had to take a few photos. Last week the ladies known as ViVa Artistry came out with their huge Celestial Collection and not surprisingly there are some beautiful, funky papers and elements that I thought would be perfect to scrap my eclipse photo.

This last page is photos of my babes just a few weeks ago. My parents and I took a day-trip drive up over a gorgeous Colorado mountain. We always have lunch at our favorite little hummingbird restaurant. What happy memories. And Sherwood Studio's From the Ashes was perfect for these photos. Julie - the designer of Sherwood Studio - also lives in Colorado so she knows exactly what tones and textures go with Colorado nature pictures. You should definitely check out her shop!

As always, thank you so much for stopping by my little corner of the web. Please come again soon!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Back in Japan Back to Scrapping

Well, I've wasted no time jumping right back in to scrapping after having returned to Japan just 5 days ago. Actually, a few of my pages were made before leaving and I'm just now getting around to updating.

I'll have some pages and commentary about our vacation in a few days (more like a few weeks knowing me). It was great fun and the best part was to be with my family again. Its always soooo hard to leave not knowing when I'll get to see them again.

Still suffering a very little bit from jet-lag and still have a ton of things to get done around the house before the kids go back to school and I go back to work, so I'll be brief today. But I'll be back "soon."

all papers and elements from Point.Shoot.Capture.-The-Bundle by Alamama's Pressed Petals
clear alpha is Seeing Clearly Alpha by Etc. by Danyale
staple is from Yearbook - Alumni Class by Alumni Digichick Designers
page template is from Solos Part 11 by Busy Bee Designs
font is from Storytelling Sisters by Darcy Baldwin {fontography}

papers and elements from Practically Perfect by Sahlin Studio and Ju Kniepp
template is from Summer Flavors: Raspberry Lemonade for the The Daily Digi August Digi Files by Busy Bee Designs
font is Mouskateer Kim by Darcy Baldwin at Sweet Shoppe Designs

everything here from Maiko by Studio ViVa Artistry, the August 2012 DST Gold Member kit

 As seen in the July 2012 Artisan Notebook

papers and elements from Thriftique and Thriftique Borders by Sherwood Studio
font is Ma's Handwriting by Darcy Baldwin Fontology
sketch is stock image on internet
lyrics are from "I Am" by Nicole Nordeman

for the Homecoming Weekend Event: School Memories Challenge at The Digichick

TDC Yearbook - Class of TDC
TDC Yearbook - Alumni Class
Blockhead Templates - Little Green Frog Designs

 papers and elements from The Great Outdoors by The Digichick Designers
font is Shannon Print by Darcy Baldwin
page template is from Little Green Frog Designs

for the Tell Your Story Everyday - Great Outdoor Traditions Challenge

Summer Flavors Raspberry Lemonade by Busy Bee for The Daily Digi August DigiFiles
Sweet Songs by Studio ViVa at Scrapbook Graphics
font is Miss Jinkie Van Pelt by Darcy Baldwin at Sweet Shoppe Designs

As always, thank you so much for stopping by my little corner of the web.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Not scrapping Not in Japan

So, this won't be a post about scrapping and it won't be about Japan.

My children and I are right I the middle of a one-month vacation visit to my family in Colorado. I can't necessarily call this town "home" since this is not the place I grew up. But this is where my family is. Home is where the heart it, and my heart is with my family. So this is home.

Just a few days after arriving here, my childhood neighborhood was scarred by a movie theater shooting. I was surprised when a few of my Japanese friends contacted me, sending me their thoughts and prayers for my hometown. I guess the incident was heard about worldwide. I won't get into any controversial thoughts I might have on the situation, just let me say that I am so happy we don't have to worry about guns in Japan. Not that it's a better place or a worse place, no judgement calls. I can't say how many movies I've watched over the years in that very theater. It was sad and shocking for so many. I pray that one day these kind of incidents will be no more.

I was able to spend five days in Aurora, with my beloved niece and her precious family. Water World - I can't even remember how many years it's been since I've been there. Great fun! Church - visiting with friends and Pastor. Seeing old friends and their own growing children. I wish I could have stayed longer and visited with more. One of these years I'm going to have to just schedule a few weeks trip to Denver.

Road trip through the Rockies, such beautiful scenery. Outlet shopping in Castle Rock. I can tell why so many foreigners like to come to the states just to shop.

My parents moved away from Denver several years ago. The big city, the crazy traffic and the all-too-fast paced life wore on them and they chose to retire in a smaller city on the other side of the Rockies.

Orchards are common here. So when my mom and dad built their home, they wanted an orchard of their own. It's not huge, but they have several fruit trees of various types of fruit. Apples, cherries, apricots, plums, pears, and of course, peaches.

This small orchard seems like a great deal of work to me, but when you get to harvest time and actually get to "reap the fruits of your labor," I can imagine no greater reward. While we're here we try to earn a little of our keep by helping out in the orchard - digging water ways, pulling weeds, making mud pies, etc. Although I'm not sure the latter counts as help.

nothing like a hot mud footbath while working away in the orchard.

hello dear son.

hello dear daughter with your silk blanket on your head.

hello precious dog and cat helpers (supervisors).

me. hiding out under mom's summer hat.

Us. Making the most of our summer here. Loving every minute of it.