Category: Pondering (page 2 of 3)

A Christmas Gift

Rick and I received this as a Christmas gift. I have had mixed feelings about whether or not I’d like one because I love everything about books. The feel, the smell….everything. Books are part of my first memories. My great aunt was a librarian and always had a book to share. One of my favorites was about a little girl and the crescent moon. My grandmother would often bribe my sister and I on shopping trips with a reward of a Little Golden book. It worked and we had quite a collection. I had a library card from an early age. I think I discovered that reading about other people’s lives allowed me to escape reality and since my reality wasn’t always so great I read all the time. In 6th grade I read every biography in my school library. I also read Rosemary’s Baby! Where was my mother?

Back to the Kindle…In early December I ordered a book from Amazon Japan. I thought it would be a great read during my December travels. The website did not state, in English anyway, whether the book was a hardback or a paperback. It arrived and it is a hardback, a very thick and heavy hardback. Since I was already carrying my laptop I could not bring myself to take the book. It cost about $15. That is when I decided a Kindle would be great. The Kindle version of the book is $9.99! Will I buy that book for the Kindle, too? No, I’ll just have to read when I’m home for awhile which will be after March 3.

I just booked two trips, one to the freezing Appalachian Mountains and the other to sunny warm Perth. By the way, I do like the Kindle a lot!

My favorite kind of day!

A year or two ago I posted on my favorite kind of day. Today is my favorite kind of day, cold, blue skies with wisps of white clouds and wind. I love to be out in the city on a day like today!

Today is also a sad day because I have to take my tree down. I love having my Christmas tree up and I am sad on the day it comes down. I do like how clean and orderly the room feels without it.

New Toy

Just before Christmas on a day when I was rushing to get Christmas pillowcases sewn and sent to Maddie and Izzie in Australia, my sewing machine started sewing with huge loops on the bobbin side. I “googled” the problem and tried everything. The final step said if none of this works you will have to take the machine to a shop for repair. A US machine to a shop in Tokyo? I’m not even going to try.

My friend Jo called and asked me what I was doing and instantly offered her machine. I made the pillowcases and got them in the mail that day. After sewing on her machine I realized that I might want to upgrade. The machine I have been using was won in a contest that I should have never entered. I won it from the Cotton Shop in Provo and had picked it up and was on my way home to Tokyo when Rick reminded me about the poor BYU mom who could have used instead of me. I have money to buy new sewing machines, by winning one I was possibly taking it away from someone who may not be able to afford to buy one. I rarely enter contests anymore and when I do it’s for something I plan to give away. Like the two contests I entered recently to win a Madsen bike. I planned to give that to one of my girls. In fact, that is the only contest I have entered this year.

So… that was a long story to get to my new sewing machine. I researched and read many reviews before deciding on a Brother. Yes, I know my my grandmother would cringe, being the Singer owner that she was (but if I had her Singer, I probably wouldn’t have needed a new machine). The machine that broke was a Singer, a little, very basic machine.

The machine I chose was the Brother Project Runway (yes, I could do without the Project runway emblazoned on the front). It is a great machine and with free two shipping from Amazon Prime and no tax, it was a good deal. I got it out in Texas and tried it to make sure it worked and then sweet Rick brought it home for me in a wheeled carry on.

I was anxious to try it out today and it is great! So different! I just needed to read the directions on how to wind a bobbin (seriously ?) It’s a bit different than on my Singer. I plan to do a lot of sewing this year. Today I am piecing a baby girl quilt.

What I’m reading now…

In The Warmth of Other Suns Elizabeth Wilkerson”has documented the sweeping 55-year-long migration of black Americans across their own country. She has challenged the dismissive assumptions that are sometimes made about that migration, treating it as a briefer and more easily explained event.” Read the NY times review

Since 2001, the books I tend to love the most are about life in the southern United States. I have long held To Kill a Mockingbird as my favorite book and I read it every couple of years. In 2001 I took a course at the University of Houston titled African American Psychology. The course surveyed and we discussed African American literature and since that course I have been drawn to books like this one, The Help, A Lesson Before Dying, Cane River…the list is endless. My fellow class members were mostly African American. They were at the campus in Houston and I attended by video from The Woodlands. During one discussion I discovered that they were still very angry about slavery. I remained quiet, there wasn’t anything I could say. I hated the idea of slavery. The professor finally said, “Vanalee, you have been awfully quiet, do you have anything you would like to say?’ I said that there was nothing I could say. I told them that my heart ached and that I hated what had happened, but I couldn’t truly understand because it hadn’t happened to me. I was truly sorry that it had happened at all. Suddenly, the class remembered that I was there. This course opened my eyes.  It was my favorite class of my long university studies.

My heart breaks at man’s inhumanity to man. A young activist friend’s blog detailing her efforts on the Thai/Burma border often brought tears to my eyes and aching to my heart. My visits to Cambodia and India this year opened my eyes a tiny bit to the poverty and suffering there. What can an aching heart and tears do to help? I don’t know the answer yet, but there is longing inside of me searching for some small way I can help someone. A way to serve and help lift the hands that hang down…Hebrews12:12.


A Room With a View

This is what I see every night from my living room window. Living in Tokyo may be the only time my “tent” literally faces the temple.

“And they pitched their tents round about the temple, every man having his tent with the door thereof towards the temple, that thereby they may remain in their tents and hear the words which king Benjamin should speak unto them…” Mosiah 2:6

It is my hope that I will always have my tent facing the temple even when I can’t see it from my window.

I Feel Like Tevye

I saw this sweet face in July and it was still the face of a baby. How did she turn into a little girl so fast? I need a trip to “OZ”!

The Answer

Which is correct?

I would rather eat persimmons then pears.


I would rather eat persimmons than pears.

I don’t understand when or why the word “than” dropped out of sight and so many people started using  “then” in it’s place. I see this mistake everywhere. I don’t profess to have perfect grammar, but this common mistake makes me crazy.

Here are the definitions of then and than that I found online at the Cambridge dictionary:

then- (at) that time (in the past or in the future) “I was working in the city then.”

also Next or after that “Let me finish this job, then we’ll go.”

also In addition “This is the standard model, then there’s the deluxe version which costs more.”


than-used to join two parts of a comparison “My son is a lot taller than my daughter.” “You always walk faster than I do!” “You’re earlier than usual”

also used with ‘more’ or ‘less’ to compare numbers or amounts “I spent more than I intended to.” “It cost less than I expected.”

The correct answer is….

I would rather eat persimmons THAN pears.

P.S. I really do prefer persimmons over pears! YUM!

Persimmons and Pears

Which question is correct?

1. I would rather eat a persimmon then a pear?

2. I would rather eat a persimmon than a pear?

Look for the answer along with my rant tomorrow.

Reading Japanese

Recently, I have had the opportunity to attend a 3 part class on learning to read three different types of Japanese; hiragana, katakana and kanji. The method for learning them is very much like the method taught to me when I first arrived in Japan. What I have decided after two classes is that the ability to recognize and read the characters depends on how often I practice. If I practice everyday I remember them and can read some Japanese. I think it should be easier than it is, but I forget that I practice English everyday with all the reading I do. So… back to practicing!

A Japanese Heart

Deciding to post a new photo every day has been much more challenging than I expected. I got a little behind and have finally caught up. Sometimes I just have a difficult time finding things that I think are interesting and sometimes I just get tired of packing my camera on my bike rides or errands…hurray for my new bike basket.  The blessing has been looking for new things everyday and growing to love this city. This is the first year I have noticed myself watching for signs of the changing seasons. The Japanese are always quick to mention they have four seasons. I think many truly believe that this is the only place in the world with four seasons. It is one of the things I love most about living here. I think it’s because I grew up in Utah and there are four seasons there, too. I think in my heart I have become a little bit Japanese. Now, if I would just practice speaking Japanese more.


Older posts Newer posts

© 2021 Life!

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑