Since getting my dog Betsy I have been quite unproductive. Well, that is not completely true as I have raised a puppy, learned things about dogs I never knew, learned dog characteristics and behavioral training and spent hours walking and playing with my dog. As with having children, I have shorten my sleep and the time spent on myself because my new life now involves another creature which is my dog. Don't get me wrong, I am happy with my choice but I have forgotten my other interests in the cloud of new happiness. Life has become a routine which is something I always dreaded. My new years resolution is to get things done, prioritize and not waste my time. Quality will always come before quantity but sometimes I believe I need to find a balance between the two of them. Instead of aspiring to accomplish one big thing very well, I am the kind of person who likes to have many project going on at the same time, i will finish each project while working on another one. I like to have a long list of things to do and tick them off as I complete them. It's like my work desk, I work well when my desk is cluttered with various folders with different projects and work tasks. At the end of the day I file way the completed work, i tick of my To Do List and I pile the unfinished tasks in a neat pile that will meet me in the morning of the following day.
Going forwards I will try new recipes more often, made a moussaka tonight (3 hours), I will bake, I will go hiking more frequently and I will work on my 10,000 craft projects that bring fun, creature, inspiring and exciting moments to my life. On top of that I want to pick up my interest in reading again and I want to continue spending great times with my dog and husband!!!! That's it, I can do it!
While I am on it, I thought I'd update the blog with some pictures from my most recent trip. there is no better time than the present! My husband and I just returned from Japan. I was partially sent there for work but we decided to make the trip into a vacation in order to re-experience our time in Japan and see my family. My mom is Japanese and I was lucky enough to visit Japan a few times growing up. In 2003 I also had the opportunity to spend one year at Kyoto University, during this time my husband, than boyfriend came with me to teach English. We have not been back to Japan since so we left for trip with empty stomachs and eating as the number one objective for this trip.
This is a the food at one of the hundred Izakaya's we went to in Tokyo.Casual environment and very reasonable prices!
I had an amazing experience at this restaurant by the Tsukiji market. This is fresh tuna on the bone! We scraped the tuna off with a seashell. I am really crossing my fingers that this tuna was caught humanly to all creatures around.
This is the jaw of the tuna. I personally don't like cooked tuna very much as it has a tendency to come out dry even when just lightly seared. I was pleasantly surprised how juicy the meat in the jaw area was. They also served cooked tuna neck which also was amazing.
The vending machines in Japan are everywhere! In summer you find cold drinks for sale, in winter there are warm drinks for sale and in spring and autumn you will find both options. Wherever you go there will be a vending machine. Usually we are environmentally aware citizens and carry around water bottles but this time we were on vacation and wanted to try the drinks on offer. Those of you who have been to Japan know that drinks are not the only things offered in the vending machines. You will find cigarettes, eggs, rice and even naughty things that I will not mention right here.
After a few hectic days of work we decided to spend one night at a Japanese Ryokan and Onsen (Hot spring) in Hakkone. We were awfully exhausted after all the running around in Tokyo, staying out late singing Karaoke, shopping and eating that we were in bed by 9pm. I am sure that the cold air in Hakkone, the Onsen and the extremely huge traditional Japanese dinner contributed to the exhaustion. We had a wonderful stay and my uncle picked us up at 10am the following day.
My uncle took us on the winding roads to Hakkone where they cook eggs in the smelly sulfur water. We frequently visited this place as children and call it "The Egg Land". This time, we passed on the eggs and enjoyed the view instead.
This is one of the very busy shopping roads in the young area Harajuku. In the middle of this road we found a colorful dog store that sold some really fun dog clothing and beds. Unfortunately I didn't get the chance to buy anything for Betsy but enjoyed seeing the crazy costumes.
I'd love to share more pictures but I think this is enough for now. We spent a couple of wonderful nights on the country side with my uncle and wife. They cooked fantastic foods for us and we relaxed among the rice fields and the view of mount Fuji. During my trips to Japan as a child that house also had my grandmother and grand father living there. Unfortunately both of them have passed away but many memories are still left in the house and the gardens.