HONK!

All about the struggle bus.
I feel like I want to apologize for not having something to say but I’m learning to not say “sorry” for things that are out of my control.  So instead I’m going to say “thank you” for being here or there, or wherever you are, for me.
Today I bailed on my plans to stay in my pajamas and snuggle my rabbit (I mean a small animal you perv!) and watch trash tv.  I just couldn’t make myself do it.   I couldn’t go, and make small talk with people I don’t know and who don’t know me.    I know it’s childish and selfisH but I just couldn’t do it.

And I mean really, who could resist a day like this????


I did get a bunch of household chores done too which was nice.  Tomorrow is really busy for me so I needed a day to prepare.  Right??

Anyway, “see” you tomorrow.

Bunny Gone Wild

Or.  A little wildish.
(Sorry guys!  This was supposed to be posted on my Tuesday!  I’m not sure what happened!)

First he did yoga


Then he got dressed.


And hated me for it.

But then he got to go outside.


He spent a lot of the time in my armpit so he could feel safe.


But eventually he decided to give outside a go.

W

That’s really all I did today.   I mean, I made it to station to get coffee and cash out but that’s about it.  I have plans for the next few days so I’ll have more to say then.

For now I leave you with Baxter and Isaac having a headache snuggle.

Laying Low

I’m saying that I’m laying low, but really what I did today was be lazy.  and it was LOVELY.

I mean, I cleaned Baxter’s cage, I cleaned the floors, I did 2 loads of laundry and I pressure cooked a bunch of black beans for the week or so.  But I also wore jammies all day (2 pairs because of a bunny, errr. . .incident) and didn’t leave the house.

Someone was happy I was home.

He also figured out that if he crawls on my arm he is in the perfect position for snuggles.  He practically fell asleep on me today.

Then he found my leg tunnel (NOT THAT ONE YOU PERV) and flattened himself out in there for a while.

But seriously. I think Nathaniel might have gone to the pet store and said “Hi, do you have a bunny that poops more than all of the bunnies on bunny island combined?”  SERIOUSLY.  I cleaned his cage this morning and he’s pooped all day.  ALL. DAY.

But he played on the iPad.

And he gave kisses.

And he took selfies.

It feels really good to be home though. I slept like a log last night in my own bed. And woke up to my own stuff.  Although total fail: Out of coffee and the hot water dispenser was empty so no VIA for like 20 minutes this morning.  I need to remember that when we pack for Tokyo in May. CHECK COFFEE BEFORE PACKING.

So yeah, I don’t have a lot to say today. I’m working through a lot of feelings, so you’ll see those on Friday.  And the kids have a concert they’re performing in on Friday night too, so that’ll be good.   Nathaniel is back to overtime (which is both good and bad) so that will change our nights back to the schedule we had 2 weeks ago.

Tomorrow I’ll leave the house to at least get beans for my coffee maker (VIA in the morning) and cash from the ATM.  #LIFEGOALS

Bunny Island!!!!

Today’s adventure was Bunny Island “on our way home” from Hiroshima.

It started with us RUNNING to catch a train.  Like full on, suitcases, coffee, breakfast, backpacks, etc booking it to the train station and on to a train.  Please note that Nathaniel said last night when I was asking about today that he “didn’t want to rush” in the morning.  Apparently then he looked at what we needed to do to get where we were  going and realized we needed to move.

Anyway, the train was a scenic viewing training which was lovely. Once my heart rate made it back to a reasonable level, it was nice to drink my coffee and look out the window.  And the train itself was pretty too!


Then we took a ferry to Bunny Island or Okunoshima.
A very small ferry.
  Okunoshima was used during WWII for the manufacturing of poisonous gasses used in combat.   The story is that the Japanese army used rabbits to test the safety and effectiveness of the gasses.   When the war was over, the bunnies were just released on the island.  Because there are no natural predators on the island, and the wascally wabbits had nothing but time on their hands, the Island became home to eleventy billion rabbits.  (Another story starts with an elementary school project gone wrong and bunnies be left on an island however that seems far fetched to me).

The Island, in addition to being home to Thumper’s entire extended family, now offers a beachside resort and hiking trails as well as glimpses of the original buildings on the island.


It is said that there are still tanks that are sealed, filled with destructive gasses.
It should be noted that there have been no efforts to remediate or decontaminate the Island, so if that freaks you out, this isn’t a trip for you.  Or if you’re offended by Bunny poopsies all over the ground, skip it.
You can purchase bunny pellets at the ferry before you depart or you can bring your own veggies to feed the rabbits.  They cannot be picked up or carried, but some will let you pet them.  Bunnies like to be massaged behind their ears by their shoulders, and good friends can rub bunnies’ ears too.

Anywho.  Blah blah, history, blah blah.  BUNNIES


You guys.  That was a picture Nathaniel took!!!  He’s so good!

More bunnies. 

Literal, snuggle bunnies.


It’s not a tumor. (Thanks Arnold!)

Uh.  Wait, maybe it is.

We also saw some of the historical buildings which were, of course, up a mountain.  My knees people.  I’m old.



This is supposed to mimic bunny’s hearing. Or make you look ridiculous. Maybe both.

We intended to get on a return ferry at 3:30 however we were too far back in the line. The next ferry was due at 4:06 which would have gotten us to our train just in time.

It got there at 4:30.

So we missed our train.

After 3 days of travel and pure exhaustion.  Awesome.

We walked to the train station and found a sitting room where we could spend 30 minutes or so until an appropriate train arrived.

So we had dinner.

Don’t judge me.

3 local trains later (including Rosie napping with an old Japanese man.  I wish there was a picture) we made it to Shinkansen.  Where there were only middle seats available.   By this time it was 7pm and we just didn’t care.  I’m calling it a “mommy time out”.


Our original plan had us back to Nagoya at 7 pm.  Whoops.
2 hours later at 9pm we hit Nagoya station. And then onto our yellow line. 30 minutes after that at 9:40 we made it to our station and then made a Slllllllooooooooooooooowwwwwwwww trek home with tired kids and luggage at 10pm. In the rain. Hahaahahahahahah   Sorry Mr. Charlie and Ms. Johnson.

Tomorrow the kids and Nathaniel will head out and I’ll do all the laundry and clean the poopsies Baxter left us all weekend.   Then I’ll snuggle him and take a nap.  This stay at home mom thing has its perks.

Hiroshima

Let me start off by saying that this is a hard post to write.   Today was a good day but it was a sad day too.  I feel cheated by the “history” we learned in American public schools about the destruction that we caused here and the lives that were lost, both on August 6, 1945 and in the years that followed.     I spent a large portion of the day in near tears for the parents who lost children and the children who lost parents and the people who lost everyone.

Firstly we had breakfast at a popular coffee chain called “Doutor”.  I forgot take a picture because Rosie and I were too excited to eat our chocolate cake for breakfast.  Don’t judge me.  I needed to fortify for the day ahead.

We took a street car to the Atomic Dome in peace park.  The street car was a super fun experience that I’d never had and I was glad to share it with the kids.

The Atomic Dome was a large, beautiful building before it was destroyed.  It was right under the A bomb as it exploded so while al of the people inside the building were killed instantly, some of its walls were left standing.  It’s remarkable really, given the severity of the bomb that anything could be left.

It took some time and there were disagreements about what should become of the shell of the building but eventually it was decided that it should be preserveref as a reminder to all of the travesties of war.
This led to a discussion between Nathaniel and I about how a group comes to a decision like that in the aftermath of such devastation.  When you think about it, history is happening all around us, every day.  It’s up to the people who experience it or are close to it to say “this is important”. I don’t know how people do that but I know now is the time for me to learn it.

We walked through Peace Park where you can see a number of different memorials.  Every year in the park on August 6 there is a celebration to help remember the victims of the A Bomb.  I imagine the park is full of green grass and flowers then and very beautiful.

The next photo shows a mound that is built of ashes from people who died.

We eventually made our way to the Childrens’ Memorial inspired by Sadako Sasaki.  Groups put together 1000 paper cranes and bring them there.   The statue shows Sadako holding a golden crane.



Inside of the statue with another golden crane.  Visitors are welcome to ring the bell.

There is another bell in the park, referred to as the “Peace Bell”. Again visitors can ring the bell to ring out peace among the nations.


In the park is a flame, lit from the eternal flame of love we saw yesterday, that will stay lit until the last nuclear weapon is destroyed.


We happened upon a little festival with Japanese Flamingo dancers and then a Capoera demonstration.  It was a nice way to warm our spirits after a tough morning.


Then we walked to a little area famous for the Hiroshima food speciality called oknomiyaki which is grilled stuff with eggs and a pancake ish thing.  Also it’s delicious.


After lunch we walked back to Peace Park and visited the Hiroshima National Peace Memorial for the Atomic Bomb Victims which shows the registry of all the more than 300,000 victims of the bomb.  It’s quiet and beautiful.  I was impressed here by Isaac who read each sign.  It was beautiful and moving.
There are no photos because the peace hall is dark and meant for inner reflection and prayer.  However outside there is a memorial with a sundial “set” set to 8:15 which is the time the bomb fell.  Around this fountain are pieces of rubble from the buildings.


Next we went to the Peace Museum.  This museum is more about what happened, how it happened and why it happened.  This was moving in a different way.   A very sad way.   Here you can see clothing pulled from dead people who suffered while wearing them and most notably (for me) a tricycle melted from the heat of the blast.

This above photo shows black rain stains on a white wall.

Though the museum was packed (part of the building is being updated so the exhibit area is smaller currently) it was mostly silent.  Eerily quiet.  Especially considering my children were there.    Again there were few photos taken.

After the museum we had ice cream and Nathaniel made a paper crane.

We also received postcards made from recycled paper from paper cranes.   The kids each will keep one and I plan on sending the other 2 to people in places of power to remind them that people are people, period. And people deserve to be respected.

We took the paper cranes back to Sadako and Nathaniel left a message of peace.


We walked to Honkawa elementary school which has a small building still standing that was near the hypocenter.  The schools PTA runs a small museum there however it was closed.   I had to laugh because my Facebook flashback today was running the book fair last year.  Perspective is everything I guess.

On our way no,e we happened upon what we thought was a paddle board performance.

But it turned out to be some sort of crazy Yokai festival.  Which was odd but a munch needed laugh.

So. . . Yeah.   Hiroshima people.   I know there is more to this city than what happened here not so many years ago, but I’m glad that people have taken the time and effort to preserve the past so that we can learn from mistakes of the past.
It was an experience I’m glad I got to share with my kids.  Although they might not be able to fully grasp the gravity of it right now, I hope that someday they can reflect on what they saw here.    It’s more real for those of us who have lived through some “history” like the September 11 attacks, but I remember as a kid thinking how far off and hypothetical things like an atomic bomb seemed.  Now, having lived in a time where terrosit attacks (both domestic and foreign) are not uncommon, and war is not a thought but an actuality, I feel like I have a deeper understanding for tragedies such as the one that occurred in Hiroshima.
If you want more information, speficially not western biased information, we were introduced to this blog today:  A-Bomb In-Utero Survivor Speaks

This is not a blog that is for the faint of heart, and I would have tissues at the ready.  However, it goes into a lot more detail and personal stories than you would find in a text book. Some articles may be good for children while some are clearly for a more mature audience.

I’m sure I’ll have nightmares tonight.

Miyajima Island

Our trip to Hiroshima went well. I spent most of the day yesterday (Thursday) running around packing everything, washing all the things so I wouldn’t have to when I got home, cleaning the house, cleaning the bunny cage etc.  Toward the end of the day I told the kids we were leaving in an hour.  I shit you not, Isaac says “for where?”
Seriously kid.  You kill me with your ability to block out the whole world.

Also I found these at the 100 yen store.


So yeah.

The kids and I met Nathaniel at our train station to speed up our trip. This meant the kids and I had to get all of our luggage to the train station.   I was pretty impressed with how well the kids handled this and helped me.

We made our way to the Nagoya Eli and onto the Shinkansen.
I then demanded Shinkansen selfies.

We made it to our apartment and were pleasantly surprised to find they too have hedgehog curtains!

This morning we had breakfast in a little French bakery.

They were pounding dough in the kitchen and Rosie said “I hear the music from the kitchen!!!”

And then headed out to Miyajima.
The kids were excited to take a ferry and so was I.  I love the smell of the ocean even if it was blustery.  It was beautiful.


We caught our first glimpse of the “floating” tori gate.

Once we hit land again, Nathaniel had an agenda that included history and learning.  But the kids and I saw deer.  And it was basically all over after that.   We just snuggled deer all morning.


We did head  through the “floating” shrine which was beautiful.

And through some more shrines and sights.


Then lunch, also beautiful.

Then back to the tori gate to see it up close while the tide was out.   It was so amazing.  It’s so remarkable up close. It’s immense.

Our next item on the agenda was the rope way  up the mountain.  It was remarkable.   It just kept going and going and going.  In fact, it’s so tall you have to get off of one and onto another.

AND THEN YOU HAVE TO WALK ALMOST 2KM STRAIGHT UP A MOUNTAIN.


but we made it.  And it was worth it.  The view from the top of a mountain is spectacular.



Near the summit is a fire that has burned for 1200 years, and represents the eternal flame of love.  It was also the flame that started a memorial flame in Peace Park which remembers the victims of the atomic bomb.

For some ungodly reason, we opted to hike down the entire mountain.   My knees reminded me that I’m old.   I couldhave done without this leg of the trip but Nathaniel  in particular enjoyed it so it was worth it.



Luckily we didn’t see any of these.


Then we saw the worlds largest rice paddle which weighs 5000 lbs!  Nathaniel wouldn’t buy me one.

Rosie’s face says it all.

By this point in the day we’d walked 8 miles, lots of it on a mountain, and the kids were pretty done.   I took them to a bar, cause I’m klassy, and Nathaniel stayed out to see the floating tori gate in the dark.


Of course after some beers we were fortified and took the kids back out to see the shrine and gate all lit up.


And some deers in the dark


Then it was back to the ferry, back to the train and back to Hiroshima.
Rosie passed out on the train.


And since no one wanted venison (my suggestion.     Just kidding!) for dinner, we had Indian.

Yum.


And now I die.

Well not really but at least I sleep.  I apologize for our of place pictures and repeats or words that don’t make sense.  It was a long day with slow internet.  My kids though were AMAZING.  Im super proud of them.    Like, tears in my eyes as I write this and not just because I’m  so tired.  I’m looking forward to sharing tomorrow with them.

Spring Break Day 3

Improving.
Isaac is now fever free and just has a really nasty junky cough.  He is still worn down though for sure.

I FaceTimed with my sister which was a need and definitely helped.

I made the people go outside and play though which was good for all of us.  The. I took them on a walk to one of the close stations to get ramen.

Except it turns out it wasn’t a ramen shop.  It was a soba, udon and rice bowl shop.  Isaac was really disappointed.  I felt really bad for him because ramen is his favorite and he was really looking forward to it.  Luckily the food, though not ramen, was amazing.


Rosie had cold soba which is her favorite.


Isaac and I each got a beef and rice bowl.   And it was amazing.


Then to make it up to him I got them ice cream for the walk home.


For quiet time, I took a nap.  You know, cause Isaac is sick.

I worked more on the house.  If you haven’t started organizing your life with magazine holders, you are missing out people.  Here I get them for 100 yen which is less than a dollar.  My entire house is going to be done in these soon!!!!


It’s so nice to be able to see everything and just grab what I need.  Ahhh.  Satisfaction.

I also mopped today which was AMAZING.  It’s the simple things.

And something is growing in my pot!!!!!


Of course I don’t remember which pot has which veggie.  So that will add to the fun.

Last night I looked over during my show and saw this.


I died of cute.

And you guys.  Look at this.


He’s so smart!   No treats or anything.    You’re not supposed to lift a bunny in or out of its cage. You want the rabbit to learn that their home is a safe place for them and it’s not a punishment.
Of course being a good bunny makes one very sleepy.


Tomorrow evening we are heading to Hiroshima.   We just finished the book about it tonight.  I’m not sure how much it impacted the kids but I had to fight back tears to get through it.   I’m looking forward to the trip.

I’m not sure what our internet connection or time will look like on the trip but I promise to update as I can!!!

Spring Break Day 2

Only slightly better than yesterday people.

I did put on a super cute outfit, so there is that.  Next time I’m wearing it I’ll get a picture I promise.
Isaac started the day feeling pretty crappy but as the day progressed he started getting better.   By this afternoon he was too the point where he felt just good enough to be a pain in the butt.   Parents, you know where I’m at.  Of course Rosie just antagonized him.  Basically it was a fun day of wanting to scream.
I made this for dinner.

https://thisoldgal.com/pressure-cooker-nordstrom-tomato-basil-soup/
Tasty tasty.
It all went well until I tried to put it in a bag to freeze.

fml.

That’s kind of it.  I did have my first rude Japanese person experience today.  I “sumimasen” ed for help st my market today and the woman looked right at me and turned around.    I assume she didn’t think my Japanese would be good enough. And it was raining.
So tomorrow will be better.

Spring Break Day 1

Fail.

Isaac has had a cold for a couple of days now but when I got up this morning he was lethargic and burning up.   Our ear thermometer read 103.   I spoke to a nurse friend who recommended he be seen because that’s high for a virus in big kids.  He’s my healthy kid so I never know what to do.  He is also NOT a high fever kid.
So off we went to one clinic, which was closed.   So we tried another one. Closed.
I remembered then that today was some Japanese holiday (although google reveals nothing).  Nathaniel checked with his coworker who agreed that clinics would be closed.
By this point, Isaac was exhausted from coughing and fever so I did the best thing I could, and we took a nap.
After our nap we went to a “holiday” clinic which is like urgent care but faster, better and cheaper.   So there’s that.
But there’s also a language barrier.  Luckily for us there was a young man being seen too who spoke both languages fluently.  He came and helped me translate paperwork and helped me understand that I needed a different piece of paperwork so Isaac’s care would be FREE!  Hello Socialism!

It took us less than hour to have a flu swab, a strep swab And a diagnosis of high fever and ick.  Plus a prescription pain reliever/fever thingie.
And instead of removing your shoes here you get them vacuumed!

But somebunny didn’t feel well all day. Poor kiddo.

I found them all snuggled up while I was dealing with this.

Rosie spent the day in her pajamas playing with balloons.  At one point she took a bath where she snorkeled with a straw and and pirate  songs.   So that was adorable.
I did some more organizing and chasing Mr. Bunny pants around.

And we got the vest on!

In case you can’t tell he hates me now.

Me: ah.  I’m finally caught up on laundry!

Bunny: (glares, pees on blanket)

This evening we started reading “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes” in preparation for our upcoming trip.  I’m sure I’m going to sob.
Isaac still feels really crappy so tomorrow will be another lame day.    I hope whatever this ick is goes away and states away.

We’re over here washing us hands like:

(Check out the ear cleaning which is by far my favorite thing he does)

Explore Japan Sunday (9)

Ahhh. It’s here!   I got to be in charge today because I picked the Saint Patrick’s festival!!

First Baxter ate some greens.

 


Then we headed out.

 


Rosie and I wore matching headbands.

We heard an alarm on the subway today that indicated something was on the tracks. It stopped the trains and caused quite a ruckus among the station masters. It was pretty crazy to see but also very efficient so I’m glad to know they’re prepared.
We got to take a really old train which we thought was neat.

Then we got to Osu Kannon which is a shrine.   There, people can feed the pigeons for 50 yen. It’s a pretty crazy experience to see so many pigeons.

So we fed the pigeons because that’s what you do!

Nathaniel unfortunately missed the pigeon that landed on my head.  I, however did NOT miss it and might have nightmares!
Then we had a traditional Irish lunch of burritos and beer.  No green beer.


But Rosie had green melon soda.


There were a lot of people celebrating. Tons of festivities.


Saint Patrick has snake boots on.  For serious.

We met some Irish wolf hounds.  New life goal is to own one of these!!!

Then we watched a parade.

And saw some more dogs.

And ran into a friend from Rosie’s school.

I held the weight of the world on my shoulders.

Or at least a planetarium.
And we played at the park.

And finished up with some Irish (ish) dancers.

It was a great day and of course, were exhausted.  We are planning on trying a few different things this week for spring break so I’m looking forward to sharing that with y’all.
I also might get the harness on Baxter.  But last night it scared the piss out of him.  Literally.  All over my lap.
Also apparently bunnies ARE allowed on the couch. I was mistaken.


But he is so cute.