Tuesday, January 29, 2008
My kerosene heater is blowing out constant heat, which is a blessing. However, the smell is a curse. My kerosene heater and I have a love/hate relationship. I wouldn't trade it for anything, well, besides central heating. November and December 2005 were cold, cold months back when I didn't have this kerosene heater. It's odd, because it doesn't smell much when it's on full blast. It's mostly when I turn it down that it stinks. I don't really understand the science of it all.
It's almost eleven pm and I am definitely ready for bed. I definitely stay up later during the past year and a half or so. In the past, I remember multiple nights when I would pass out at 7:30 or 8 from sheer exhaustion. But now, I am often up past 11, watching downloaded TV and crocheting. I honestly think it's that combo that inspires me not to nap and not to fall unconscious onto the couch in the early evening. I always want to watch another show, or finish a bit more of my current crochet project. Lately, I've caught the lace crochet bug. I have been making doilies in bright colors. I love following the patterns and seeing these beautiful things emerge from the thread in my hands. I still have a lot to learn, but I feel like I am flying along and learning so much for a self-taught crocheter.
Ok, I think it's time to snuggle my fleece-clad body beneath my heavy covers and dream away the hours until I have to drag myself out of bed into my almost sub-zero apartment. O, how I hate winter mornings in Japan!
Sunday, January 27, 2008
On the fourth grade cork board, they had this poster about my Halloween lesson. It put a big smile on my face knowing how much fun my kids had!
Yes, November 30th is still fall here in Mie, Japan!
Stan got me an adorable, delicious birthday cake from my favorite bakery. Thanks, Stan!! The cake says "Happy birthday, Megan".
Later that night I met up with lots of friends for yakiniku dinner (grilled meat and veggies that you cook on your table).
Here's Mitsuko and I with some of the Rilakkuma bear heads that you can put a disposable heating pad in.
Jessica and I with the scarf she crocheted me and homemade chocolate covered pretzels. At every Mie Stitch and Bitch I've taught Jessica a new crochet pattern, so it was so sweet of her to make me a scarf!!
Youkou, Kasumi and I. There was lots more strawberry stuff inside that bag!
Chinatsu and I. Glasses are sexy!
After a fun and delicious dinner, we headed to Paradise for karaoke. It was so much fun, and I felt really blessed to be surrounded by so many great people on my birthday!
I didn't get pictures with some of my favorite Mie ladies, but the already know that I love them!
Thanks to everyone who wished me well on my 30th birthday. I am looking forward to life getting better and better from here on in!
I was tempted to take my 30th birthday off work, but I was scheduled to go to my favorite school that day, Nishiki junior high school. I also knew that some of my students knew it was my birthday and might bring me cards or presents, so I decided to just take the afternoon off, so I could see the students who had brought so much joy and laughter to my life during the past two and a half years. It was a wise decision. I wasn't feeling ambitious enough to make cupcakes, but I did bring candy for my students and we played English games during all my lessons.
These are my 8th grade students.
These are my 9th grade students. I don't know how Gou ended up on Chikashi's shoulders!
Here I am with my 7th grade students, in a bizarre formation. Why is Kenta sitting in front of everyone else? Who knows!! They were too hyper to even attempt to wrangle them into a nicer formation.
A few of my 9th grade students brought my presents and wrote me birthday letters. Look at all my cute stuff! The girls who did this for me have been my students since their first year in junior high school and will graduate in March, 2008. It has been a joy to watch them grow and learn, and I know that I will never forget them!
Recently, my mom told me that my grandmother and great-grandmother were talented crocheters. I remember my grandma making homemade clothes for my Cabbage Patch kids, but I couldn't remember if they were knitted or crocheted. Well, they were crocheted!! It made me so happy to know that I am carrying on a craft that my grandmother and great-grandmother had a passion and a talent for! I hope that one day I can team my own daughter to crochet, and maybe my mom, too!
Check out some of my fall and winter creations...
I made this scarf for myself in just about a day and a half. I used 2 colors of silk garden yarn by Noro, a Japanese yarn maker. The pattern is called "spider web lace".
I made this scarf for my friend Keiko. I used the "Catherine Wheel" pattern, which I am absolutely in love with!
Here's a close up of the "Catherine Wheel" pattern.
I made this scarf for my friend Mary, using hand-dyed cotton yarn for the scarf and wool on the border. She told me she wears it all the time. Yay!
I made this granny square scarf for one of my young cousins. I hope she likes it!
One of my first "technicolor doilies" made for Molly for Christmas.
As usual, I took some toilet paper to school, taught my students some body parts vocabulary, and then let them wrap each other up in toilet paper bandages this Halloween!
And then there was my favorite Mie JETs party of the year, the Halloween party!
Stan's easy-to-make Judo champion costume!
My "Supaa Ichigo" (super strawberry) superhero costume. I won the prize for most ridiculous costume at the party. Can you imagine why?
The sexy space Lauren and I.
Sam as Nintendo's Mario and Anjeli as Medusa. Look at that stare!
Jessica and I.
Molly dressed as her boyfriend, Chito, with handknitted wig, Kjersten as Cruella DeVille, and Angie with Christmas spirit!
Kasumi and I. I still haven't figured out what her costume was exactly. I think she was something like a walrus pre-school student!
I had so much fun at the Halloween party, and I felt so cool in my strawberry costume. Believe it or not, I was actually surprised when I won the "Most ridiculous" prize!! Looking back at these photos, I think I can understand it better now.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Needless to say, I'm struggling to get back into the school day rhythm. To be frank, all I want to do is take a big, long nap and watch TV. These endless hours of no classes and nothing to do are torturous!