Sunday, November 29, 2009

Jenni's Garden 2009

NaBloPoMo#29. Sharing some photos from our Spring/Summer 2009 garden at the new house. I didn't do a good job of prepping the soil, I just bought some small potted veggies and put them in the ground. So, the garden this year did ok, some plants died, and others only produced 2-3 things before blight and other things became a problem, and it just wasn't the bountiful garden that I had hoped for. It might take a few years to get the soil to be really nice. Anyways, here are the photos.
At far right was a ficus tree we took out. The stump is still there,
so I put some potted cactusand planted some succulents--April 18.
Best Boy and Momotaro tomatoes
(Momotaros died early on and replaced with Heirlooms)
Maiya helping water some peppers and cilantro
Took out some lily bulbs and put in squash and Japanese cucumbers
Aww, the first flowers are the prettiest--May 1
First zucchini, early morning harvest--May 24th
Better Boy - June 6th
Cucumbers started well, but only produced 3 cukes
Had a lot of nice zucchinis until the fusilium wilt set in
Still lots of tomatoes--July 28

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Nisei Week Community Ondo 09

Maiya and my first time to go the Nisei Week Community Ondo, the Sunday that closes out Nisei Week activities in Little Tokyo. Here are some pictures.
I thought he was a squirrel, but no, Akita the Dog.
Maiya was happy to see her friend Lotis from preschool dancing
Lotis knows the moves pretty well so she's a good one to follow.
Actually, Lotis was following Tamlyn Tomita, who also knew what to do.
A bit of chaos as the line dance becomes circles
Maiya sees the Nebuta from the Nisei Week Parade
in front of the Far East Cafe on First Street

I have to say, it was pretty fun. Aside from a very cranky girl and a hot day, she did have a lot of fun dancing in the street. At first she wouldn't let me drag her out of the Koban because she was doing origami with Nancy. We had our first Shave Ice with Mochi Bits from Fugetsu-do, and man was it delicious. Often when we drive down First Street on our way to preschool, she will say, "hey this is the street with the dancing." Happy to be making memories of J-town for my little girl, wearing my grandma's obi. NaBloPoMo#28

Friday, November 27, 2009

Buy Nothing Today #27

This is the 2nd time we have participated in "Buy Nothing Day." The idea is to not buy material things on so-called Black Friday, filling our house with things we probably don't need, and for sure the earth needs us not to add more things. The first time was in 2007. Last year for 2008, we bought a house on Buy Nothing Day, opening escrow and everything. But at least we were helping the housing economy. This year, we stayed home, watched some TV, did some housework and cleaned the garage. I was up in the garage attic for the first time, and organizing things. I wish I could see more progress in the garage itself, but it is a work in progress. We were going to go up to Larry's house to work on it, but didn't. Anyways, I am happy to say that I am caught up on NaBloPoMo. It is coming to an end soon and I still have all these things to blog about. So maybe I won't go complete AWOL in December. Ok, got to run, I've got 2 mortgages to pay. NaBloPoMo#27

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Turkey Day #26

We had a good Thanksgiving yesterday. In the morning, we hung out at the house, I was playing a little Farmville, and then made 2 broccoli bacon nut salads. Then we went over to Tony's Aunt Janice & Uncle Meg's house. This year, Maiya had two kids to run around and play with, so she had a nice time. It was also nice to see Nina & Danika, who entertained us with funny stories. I didn't eat any turkey as often I don't, but I had my fill of salads, salmon, stuffing, potatoes and gravy, and one bite each of four yummy desserts. Maiya started getting overtired, so then we headed back towards home, stopped at the grocery store, put together another salad, then went over to the Ayala's, where we usually go on Thanksgiving night. Had a nice time there as well.
Tony fitting in his high school football jersey!
Danika, Nina, Tina, Nori, Uncle Bill & Tony
Daniel, Kayla and Maiya
Back at home after a busy Thanksgiving Day

As always, thankful for health, family and friends this Thanksgiving. Lots of plentifullness in our lives. NaBloPoMo#26

Back to 2 1/2 Months (#25)

Aww, this is a cute one of Baby Maiya from 2 1/2 months old... Here is the link to the blog entry from April 2005. More backblogging to catch up #25 on the 26th... is this cheating? Cause I could look at and post these old pictures all night, but since tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I'm freezing in my heaterless house, I'm going to go to bed. And, for the Farmville friends out there, I joined tonight. Not sure what all the fuss is about, but I was getting tired of taking my cookies out of the Y'oven.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Nisei Week Parade 09 (#24)

Better late than never, I suppose. Here's some pictures of the 69th Nisei Week Parade. My first time to sit and watch it in over a decade at least. It was fun to bring Maiya. We came straight from the mountains to the parade.
Maiya on the parade route
Korean dancers
Maiya & Justin waiting during a lull in the parade
Open your eyes, Grandma Machi!
Friends from Bombu Taiko doing "Ashura" on a flat-bed truck!
Kokeshi float
Nebuta dancers make a joyful noise! Such fun!
Please Nebuta twins, don't run me over!

Well, it was fun. I'm glad Maiya got to see the parade. I have memories of going when I was a kid. And this ends my 2nd blog post for today. Only a few more days to catch up. NaBloPoMo#24

Family (Literacy) Fun Night (#23)

Last Friday night, Maiya, Letty & I went to the Angelina Family (Literacy) Fun Night event at work, part of the celebration for National Family Literacy Month (November). It was a joint event with our Family Literacy, Male Involvement and DISKovery Angelina programs. We had a good time. After a fun circle time dancing to "We're Going on a Bear Hunt," we set about to join Maiya on 5-6 activity stations. Maiya spent over an hour on the first activity, but she made a fun collage that she was very proud of. I accidentally forgot her cereal necklace at the taco place where we had dinner afterwards. So far, she hasn't noticed.NaBloPoMo #23

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Monday, November 23, 2009

Four Hours of Ping-Pong (#21)

When the Ping's come to town, we get together. Period. On their way back home after a quick weekend in San Diego, Mary and her family stopped by to visit. So, 19 of us got together with Darin & Sao's family, Steve & Maile's family, and Kaz & Chris' families for a quick 4 hour visit.

Tony threw together a big pot of spaghetti and some snackies and we sat and laughed and caught up on the craziness of everyone's lives. The kids had a great time doing arts and crafts in Maiya's room, making a Fortune Cookie House (fort), playing with every toy imaginable, making plans between the older kids and the younger kids (except Kevin joined the older kids), and just running back and forth from room to room. Maiya had a blast playing with all the friends. Lauryn the oldest said, "I love LA and visiting all my friends." Here's some of the crazy energy of 19 people in our dining room at once.

Kids Tables
Parents table (Photo Credit: 8 yr old Grace)
Mary & Friends
Everyone at once! (Click to enlarge)

Ping-Pong! And then, all too soon, it was over. NaBloPoMo#21

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Happy Leela Day (#20)

Happy 3rd birthday and adoption celebration to Leela! We loved your Red Cat Cake!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

My awkward relationship with sports (#19)

I never learned to like sports. I was afraid of most sports, especially those where people might be watching you (goes back to being a shy kid), and those where you might need coordination or skill or muscles or to have a competitive bone in your body. That's why I like the gym, cause you can read a book, listen to music, and no one's really watching you.

I have memories of elementary school where I was excused at the beginning of the year for being afraid to play socco (and my excuse was that I didn't know how to play), and then at the end of the year being yelled at by my 4th grade teacher because I said I still didn't know how to play (same lame excuse). I have memories of 6th grade softball and praying for dear life that no one hit the ball into far center field, and if it did, I would hope that it would veer more to the right or left so someone would come help me out and the disappointment at me when I would be chasing after a ball and not being able to catch or throw it... being consistently the last picked when setting up teams, to all the kids coming way in, when my dreaded turn at bat came up.

In middle school, my sister and brother would go outside in the morning to play and then come back at dark. I would sit upstairs in my room reading a book and hearing all the neighborhood kids play in the street. I would go to my sister, brother and friend's softball and soccer games, but never had any interest myself.

In high school, I was on the gymnastics team, but don't you know that I never competed, because after 8 or so years in the sport, I could not do the basic competitive skills in the routines, back hip circle, roundoff to back handspring, backroll to handstand, really pathetic if you are going to be a gymnast.

In college, I took racquetball, and liked it until I sprained my ankle... I never tried it again. I took a golf class, and also body conditioning. My family and friends skiied Mammoth together for years, and although I enjoyed skiing a lot, and braved the Cornice Bowl countless times, I was afraid of moguls, and honestly my favorite part of skiing was coming in for hot cocoa, and lunch, and coming back to hangout and chill with friends and family.

After college, my group of friends would take biking trips. I actually had a weekend job working at the YMCA taking inner city kids mountain biking, but my job was to always stay at the back to stay with the stragglers, but really I couldn't keep up with anyone except the kids at the very end. I got good at fixing flat tires of the kids who got left behind. As a mountain biker I was slow, but steady, likening myself with the tortoise who wins the race.

All that said, Maiya is lucky that Tony excelled in basketball, football, baseball and sportsmanship. And, here are some pictures of Maiya's first day at basketball clinic at the Y. They covered dribbling, shooting, and defense. She was pretty good at hitting the basket. And although a little tentative, she tried her best and had fun. So far so good!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Saying Goodbye to Val

Fran with Val @ her 60th Birthday party in 2007

This is a hard post to write. Tony's godmother Valerie passed away yesterday, just 2 days after we heard that she was sick. My heart goes out to her only daughter Beth, only grandaughter Erin, and son in-law Brian. But also to Tony and Fran, Tony's mom, who has been best friends with Val since junior high school. Fran was able to fly in from Idaho on Wednesday and spent the night with Val, but had to go back to Idaho on Thursday. Tony and Maiya were able to see Valerie on Wednesday night.

Tony might have some stories to share about Val. In the meantime, a few "F" words I can think of to describe Val:


We will definitely miss having Val in our life.

Val, Beth, Erin & Tony on Maiya's 3rd Birthday in 2008

Thursday, November 19, 2009

We Can. We Will. (NBPM#17)

I post this in solidarity with UCLA students arrested and even tasered while protesting a 32% fee hike today. As background, I wrote this poem back in the depressing days of Bush in office, before I had ever heard of Barack Obama and his "Yes, We Can" slogan, after attending the 2007 Manzanar Pilgrimage and Manzanar After Dark program.
We Can. We Will.
dedicated to and inspired by mari, traci & tad

Today in the sun, my 2 year old ate watermelon and collected rocks at Manzanar. Too hot for a 2 year old, I thought. Tonight, After Dark, I witnessed the passion, heat & intensity of 250 people both young and old, eager to learn, hear, share, speak, heal…
Then later in the after-madness, I heard my sistah Mari say:
The president is never going to listen. To. Me.
Maybe not.
But We.
We have power.
We can change things.
We have the power.
We can start a boycott.
We can start ethnic studies.
We can rise up in the fields.
We can sit down at the front of the bus.
Not because we’re tired, but because enough is enough.
We can stop a jail in Little Tokyo.
We can fight redress.
We can write a poem.
We can make a film.
We can write a column.
We can. We will. We have the will.
We can start a letter writing campaign.
We can do our own petition. Online, myspace, mass email, in the paper.
We can organize the students, Nikkei, JA, Hapa, Latino/a, Chicano/a, Black, Muslims, gay, straight, transgender.
Mari also said:
It’s not just me.
There are a lot more people like me behind me.
They’re going to come here.
They’re going to be asking questions.
(It’s not a threat. It’s a fact.)
We have the power. We have the Baka guts*.
We can. We will.
manzanar, ca.
* Baka guts in reference to Manzanar Committee Chair Sue Kunitomi Embrey's family phrase about having the courage and guts to stand up for what you believe in, no matter what it is (baka in Japanese is stupid/idiot).