22 March 2013

a cold start to spring

It's been such a damned cold start to spring so far! Yikes. Hopefully we'll get some milder days again soon here. I've officially started up my "container garden" again! Bought a few seeds that will be firsts for me this year, things I haven't tried to grow yet; sugar snap peas, lavender, strawberries, marjoram, & spearmint.

Hub and I (last year I think?) went to this "pick-your-own" farm in the area, and I really loved picking peas from this huge field. So I though this year, why not try to grow some myself? The same thought for strawberries. I think it'll be fun to grow strawberries at home. :) I've had mint before (apple mint that's dead now...T__T), but never have tried to grow it from seed. Same as lavender. I have chive seeds also - they'll be sown sometime in the beginning of April. Which is not too far away actually...wow time flies.

I have tons of lettuce seeds still, but I'm hesitant to use one of the shallow, long plastic containers for that again. Lettuce was difficult to grow for me, last year. They just never flourished as much as I wanted them too. What I may do this time around is just plant one seed in it's own individual small pot or container - see how it goes.

Some woolly lavender I bought transplanted into a slightly bigger pot - so fuzzy!

My two strawberry starts - trying different containers for each one

Marjoram seeds sprouting

TEENY spearmint sprout emerging

A tough life...

27 February 2013

work & nihongo

It’s gotten to that usual point every year, where I am done with winter and want spring to get now! It’s probably been brought on by these recent random days of milder temperatures. Mother nature is a big tease, I swear.

Things have been going fine, and much as they can be I suppose. We’ve all just been working our tails off, day in and day out. Design job keeps me busy everyday, and recently they’ve just finished doing some renovations around the HQ office. Our HQ is pretty basic – consists of a small square office space downstairs, the same thing upstairs, and then a larger warehouse space in back (where they pack tea, do orders, etc.) through a door. The only downside to all of these new changes lately is that they’ve re-organized peoples’ desks. They essentially moved everyone’s desk upstairs, except moi. Some people had already been up there to begin with, so they really only moved one person up there, who used to be with me down here. But now I’m by myself, and I do miss having company. I have to walk upstairs to talk to people face-to-face. I am a person who relishes their alone time, but this is a little too lonely for me! I know they didn’t do this for any mean reason, but I can’t help but feel “left-out” some days, because they’re all up there talking to each other and stuff. I feel like I’m in grade school again, where I was the weird kid who no one picked for their kickball team, and sat alone at lunch. Bleh. It’s crappy how those experiences stay with you long-term.

Biggest news is that the in-laws are coming to visit! They’ll be visiting the States from the end of April to the beginning of May, so not too, too long. The last time we all saw in each in person was when we left Japan to moved back to the States again, in 2008! Wow. Long time. This is obviously greats news because Takeshi gets to see his parents again. It’s making me somewhat nervous because uh – oh shit I haven’t used/studied Japanese that much at all since we’ve been back. Which I hate because I genuinely like learning Japanese, I love the language – and yet I can tell how this visit’s going to go already. It’ll be like it always was in Japan – me sitting there, not knowing enough nihongo to actually carry on a true conversation with anyone, and Takeshi having to act as translator 24/7. Me sitting there while they all talk to each other, wishing like hell I could follow along and contribute. It’s the one thing that’s made it so awkward between me and them – the thing that prevents me from totally feeling like a part of their family.

And if I voice these thoughts, TK would turn to me with annoyance and say, “Well, why don’t you just study the language?? Just do it, and stop complaining.” Which is fine to do when I have oodles of time, blah blah. Which he’d roll his eyes at. There’s not even a SLIGHT opportunity in the U.S. to use Japanese (never mind any other foreign language) for an average working person, and the one source of knowledge (a.k.a. hub) is busy with a 80+ hour work week. I don’t like to study on my own all the time, and I can’t practice conversation by myself, now can I?

The most I can do at this point is hunker down and brush up on as much as I can before the end of April!