July 30, 2008

Broken needle

While I was picking up and down my current project, I broke one of my Brittany sock needle (5 inch US 1 / 2.25 mm ).  It's a sad incident, but, they guarantee the replacement of broken needles for five years.  I am not sure if they send a replacement even to a foreign country, but, I'll try.   For your information, I found out I can keep on knitting with Japanese Standard 0 (2mm, but slightly thicker than US 0) instead of the broken one. 

Thanks for the jet lag, we are waking up considerably earlier than usual (6:00, which is not very early for many people. I know.) every day.  My daughter apparently is on the way of outgrowing naps.  She just can't miss the fun with her cousins, keeps up with big kids until dinner time, and falls asleep at around 8:00.  (It's important to let her bathe before her limit comes to keep her from itchy-scratchy back.  She already has heat rash from a lot of outdoor activities and still doesn't care about getting sweaty and dusty.)  I am supposed to have a good chunk of a knitting time every evening after she goes to bed, but, my eye lids get very heavy almost as soon as my daughter's does.  And my lap top is having a hard time keeping connected to the internet, which means there's not a lot of Ravelry time.  

July 28, 2008

Moving Update 7/28

We're in Japan. 
Now, staying at my husband's parents' house to shake off jet lags and wait for the customs to give a green light to our stuff.  And of course, to start making purchases, my cell phone, to begin with.

We're in Japan. For three days already.

July 24, 2008

Day 10 Newark

Breakfast; BW Delaney's (restaurant in the hotel) Blueberry Pancake, French toast with sausage, "Basic" (toast, eggs, bacon)

From Cobleskill to Cooperstown was slightly less than one hour's drive.  The road was local two-way Country Road.  I lost where we were on the map, but all things went well and my husband found a pretty good parking spot at only a few minute's walk from the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

I felt electrified.  The history.  The tradition and the will to save it, and the passion to play.  I felt hot inside.
But at the same time, I felt I was in NY Yankees' territory.  I could have enjoyed much more if I were a Yankees' fan.  Later, I found out that my husband was feeling the same way.  Our conclusion is, the HoF must have been made first to enshrine the incredibly talented batter, Babe Ruth.  He must have been too good to just keep in memory.   People must have thought that they (we) need something special to record his greatness.  The rest of the exhibits just followed his memorials after that, we guess.  Anyway, it is a great place to visit for a baseball fan for sure.

Lunch; Autumn Cafe at Oneonta, NY  Hot Open Veggie, BLT, Plain Omelette 
Note; My husband has been in Oneonta before with his business.  He talked again and again about the curried fish he had at this Cafe.  We visited one of  family "legends", so to speak.

From Oneonta, it was only a driving to Newark, to be closer to the airport.
I took over the steering at a service center on I-90.  The weather was not good, raining on and off, sometimes very hard.
I started feeling a slight headache near Newark.  It was just impossible to give back the steering to my husband, so I just kept on driving, which was good, because I couldn't have navigate that complicated direction near the hotel, and my husband couldn't have find the right access road to the hotel under that construction and one-way madness.

It was a little past 7:00 after my husband picked up his last prescription medicine at nearby Walgreens and arrived at hotel.  We just went out for dinner, but I started to feel a little dizzy while driving, and my husband took the steering.  Thus, my driving days are over.  Maybe I was too tired.  Maybe it is my female hormone working weird.  I just didn't feel like driving anymore.  I am done.  I am not going to drive in Japan.  We will not even own a car; it is just too expensive and we don't need it.  I didn't become a good driver after all.

Dinner; Dennys (again)  Double cheese burger, Grilled chicken salad with Ranch dressing (again), Mac & cheese (again) with pineapple
It was almost 8:00 when we got to the restaurant.  My daughter ate almost all the food.  I am so sorry to made her that hungry.  She was happy anyway.

We are running out of clean clothes.  Our hotel doesn't have a guest laundry, so we dropped in at a K-mart and bought some underwear.  This kind of thing is what we can do now but couldn't do five years ago.  We learned a lot, we got used to living here a lot.  We are going to miss a lot of things for sure.

End milage; 2467.3 mile

1 day in America

Tomorrow, we are leaving the hotel at 7:30 to get the 11:10 flight to Narita, Tokyo.  I am not sure I have time to post anything at the airport, even if Wi-Fi is available.  This is going to be the last post from America. 

July 23, 2008

Day 9 Cobleskill

Last night, my daughter was too tired to eat well.  She did eat some noodle and rice, but that was it and it was 6:30 pm.  This morning when she woke up at 7:20, she was hungry.  Very hungry.

This is what she ate for breakfast; half the waffle (of waffle maker at breakfast buffet), one hard-boiled egg, 3/4 container of vanilla yogurt, a small cup of apple juice AND a half cup of milk, and 1/4 of a small apple.   Phew. 

Today was a day for a long drive.  From Toronto past Kingston, back to USA, to today's hotel at Cobleskill, NY.  We started at 8:30.

The weather was not so good. Rained on and off all the way.  We took turns on driving, long driving on highway.

Lunch; Cracker and Barrel (again) at Waterton, NY.  Tuesday's lunch special (meatloaf and mushed potato), sugar-cured ham, fried chicken tenders (again) with green beans, turnip greens, carrots and corn for sides  We chose almost the same vegetables for sides.  They are just great. 

And on highway again.  Except for the weather, it was like the day 5 and 6 mix-and-match.  My daughter could catch up a lot of sleep.  

I fell asleep after my husband took the steering at Oneida Service center. (Oh, I noticed the sign was "Service Centre" in Canada.)  When I woke up, he was making a left turn into a local street, under the sign that says "Cooperstown" with arrow pointing to the right.  I remembered that we have a reservation at a hotel in the town located about 40 minutes from Cooperstown, because the hotel in Cooperstown was ridiculously expensive.  We drove through the hilly farms to get the lovely town of Cobleskill.  The car was very low on gas, so it was a big relief to find a gas station after 5 minutes of looking-around-being-worried-what-if-this-town-doesn't-have-any-gas-station kind of driving.

Hotel; Best Western Inn of Cobleskill

As soon as you enter the front door, you smell pool.  My daughter was so excited.  Good thing we arrived before 5:00.  She went to pool with Dad, and I knit a little at pool side.

Dinner; BW Delaney's (restaurant in the hotel)  Pot roast and mashed potato, Chicken Bruchetta pasta, Fish and Chips, Cheesecake and icecream for deserts.

My husband has a soft spot on Pot roast.  He just loves it.  The best one he had was at a diner in Port Lavaca, TX.  He says mine comes the second (but far behind), and today's was the third best.  

After the dinner, my husband found a nearby playground and took the activity-depleted little Japanese girl there.  I went back to the room early, and read the e-mail from my knitting friend, Cynthia.  I was so happy that I got one yarn (Handmaiden) from her recommendation.

Tomorrow, we will visit the main purpose of this trip.  I am feeling sad from time to time since yesterday.  Tomorrow is practically the last day.  

2 days in America

July 22, 2008

Day 8 Toronto

Breakfast was leftover steak & potato for me and my husband, and cereal & milk and orange juice for my daughter. Apparently, our family is moving toward better way if a person is what he eats.

We visited Toronto Zoo first in the morning by car, stayed until a little past 1:00.  Our daughter had a really good time there, although she was staying up late until past 11:00 last night (got in the bed around 10:10, just couldn't make herself up to sleeping.  Partly, our fault as parents.)   
Lunch; Toronto Zoo Africa Restaurant pizza and chicken wings
Note; We are idiots. Didn't have more than 5-6 Canadian dollars (thinking we are going to pay with credit card for all the purchases and all), almost missed a lunch. The ATM machine looked shiny when I see it inside the Africa Restaurant. An afterthought, maybe they accepted American dollars at the Hamburger stand we cancelled all the order and got pissed off. Hunger makes our mind blurred. End Hunger. Seriously.

Took TTC from Scarborough Center (parked the car in mall parking lot) to King to visit Hockey Hall of Fame. I think I lost the extra money we withdrawn before the lunch (maybe with all the paper napkins down to trash). I couldn't find it at the subway station anyway, and withdrew again. The attendant at the train station booth looked pissed off by something. Maybe it was me. I didn't like him, too, anyway.

Hockey Hall of Fame was so clean and shiny. We had good time there, made a lot of purchase at the store, including my husband and daughter's Sidney Crosby black Penguins jersey.
We took our family's "Hockey Guy", Kuma-tan the Bruin with us, too. He looked really moved.
After a break at Starbucks, walked to Queens to take a street car, took another at Spadina, got off at Nassau St. to go to Lettuce Knit. It was close to 5:30 when we arrived. I got these;
allhemp6LUX, KPPPM in two colorways, Handmaiden Casbah, from upper left to right to down. 

We had a healthy Vietnamese supper at SaiGon Palace on Spadina, walked to Bathurst subway station, went back to Scarborough Center and went back to the hotel.

Dinner; Chicken noodle soup (Pho Ga),  Vietnamese Vermicelli with Grilled Beef,  Spring rolls, steamed rice
Note;  We are idiots.  We didn't have enough Canadian dollars (again) and had to make our payment partly with American dollars.  I feel very bad I didn't add enough tips.  The food was so good and the nutrition of the soup felt to sink down to the core of our body and spirit.  I swear I'll come back to Toronto someday as soon as possible to make up for it.

Toronto is a big city.  We had known that, but should have known better.

3 days in North America

July 21, 2008

Day 7 Toronto

We had leftover Chinese to-go for breakfast.  It was much better than it sounds, thanks to the quality of the food (not oily) and a little help from the hotel's breakfast buffet (Froot Loops and Milk for my daughter, apples to go).

Weather was not so good.  It began raining last night, and it still was hanging around us.
Today was the biggest "sight seeing" day in this trip.  Niagara Falls.
It was awesome.  Just "Wow. ......  WOW."  
If somebody watched us go American Falls and the Falls at Canada side, he might have thought we were not enjoying so much.  Well, we did enjoy and get very impressed, are very glad to come, but did not spend money for more than the parking fees (on both sides) and snacks, souvenir penny, and lunch.  We didn't ride any trolley or boat, didn't visit behind the falls, didn't go up to the observation tower.  My daughter (sometimes fearless, but considerably cautious almost all the time) was scared by the water and got worried about the trees stuck on the rocks under the bridge near the Falls.  My husband has an acrophobia.  We all got satisfied just by walking down to the river side, taking a look and feeling the mist and sound.  As my husband said, we all "filled up" by the atmosphere.

Lunch; at the Falls Souvenir shops area (Canada)  Burger, Hot dog 

From the Falls (I think I love this simple Canadian way of naming that natural wonder) ,  it was a smooth drive to Toronto.  The rain was coming down sometimes pretty hard.  We were glad to get to the hotel by 4:00.
Problem was, our room was not ready yet, and we found out that when we entered the room.  Very disappointed.  We had to take down all the baggages again to the lobby and wait for the housekeeping to be done.  My daughter and I went to the pool and my husband opened his laptop and checked the e-mail during the waiting.  In afterthought, it was a very useful time.  The room itself is very good.  We are so glad we are staying another night here tomorrow.

Dinner; The Keg (two buildings down along the street from the hotel)  Lobster and Steak, Sirloin Steaks, Billy Miner Pie (coffee icecream pie in chocolate crust and caramel sauce)
Note; Their service was excellent.  Their food was awesome.  The server lady offered celery&carrot sticks with orange wedges as salad for my daughter, whose good vegetable eating demand hasnot  been filled for several days.  She said (with daddy's suggestion) "Everything was good!" when we leave to the server with a big smile.

Hotel; Best Western Executive Inn

Tomorrow is a big day.  Zoo, Hockey Hall of Fame, and yarn shopping.

4 days in America (North America, correctly)

July 20, 2008

Day 6 Buffalo, NY

Last evening, after dinner, my daughter couldn't go to sleep without checking out the hotel pool (at 9:00 PM).  To cut it short, I had to promise her that we would come back first thing in the morning, but only if she can wake up with the alarm clock.  She did.  And I had to keep the promise.

Pro Football Hall of Fame was an amazing place.  The history, the passion, the record....  I had tears in my eyes in every exhibition room.  We spent more time than we had thought.

Lunch; Cracker&Barrel  Saturday's special chicken&rice, Chicken&dumplin', Fried chicken tender
Note; their vegetable sides were awesome. 

From Canton, OH to Buffalo, NY was about 4 hours' drive.  The weather was not perfect with lots of clouds.  We have not seen the Great Lakes yet.  Driving was great.

It has a pool, too.  Of course my daughter had to go to check it out.  We went to the pool 3 times in less than 24 hours.  I haven't done that for these 25 years. (I was in a synchronized swimming team back in my early 10's.  Back then in summer, it wasn't so uncommon spending more than 8 hours in the water everyday.)

Dinner; China King Chinese Restaurant  Egg drop soup,  Wanton soup,  Moo goo gai pan, Lo-main, Bean curd Szechuan style 
We had them To Go and ate at hotel room, bringing down pillows and sitting on the floor.  Yes, we need doses of Asian thing from time to time.

Tomorrow, we will drive to Toronto, Canada.  I need to do a little homework about its public transportation.

End milage; 1786.4 mile

5 days in America

July 19, 2008

Day 5 Canton, OH

On this trip, things look to be getting better and better.
The hotel had doughnuts (Krispy Kreme!) and muffins for breakfast, guest laundry was available for us in the morning, better yet, I got a free cycle.  They seemed to have a trouble on the machines, and I happened to be there at the time it got fixed.  I was just wondering when the empty washer's spinning cycle ends, if ever, when the repairman arrived.  I talked to him and he was kind enough to reset the machine.  He assured me it was OK that I didn't put my coins in, just I was lucky today (and suggested me to buy a lottery ticket with that one dollar meant to be used for laundry), and promised me he would leave the dryer so it would work just pushing the "start" button.  When I went back to the laundry room, the dryer was there just as he promised me as, but the price was raised from $0.75 to $1.  If my timing was not right, I would have paid $2 to finish my laundry (which is what I would do without complaint, though).  Only two dollars, but came with the conversation with the repairman, enough to make me ridiculously happy all day.

Start milage;1125.4 mile (not the odometer reading, but the "trip" meter.  Didn't bother to reset it.)
From Chicago to Canton, OH takes about 6 hours' drive, according to MapQuest driving direction.  Problem is, we move from Central Time Zone to Eastern Time Zone along the way.  Which means, we need at least 7 hours on the clock.  We started around 9:30.

Lunch;  McDonald's at service area on Interstate 90  Chicken nuggets,  Grilled Chicken Club Sandwich, 1/4 Pounder Burgers without cheese

Since the trip to Colorado last summer, Cars soundtrack CD is "the travel songs" for us.  I just don't know how many times we listened to it again and again, cruising at 70MPH on highways.  While our daughter is taking a nap, we would turn on the radio for a little change (usually a country music or 80's), but when she wake up, we just go back to the CD.
When our daughter was still a newborn, I used to sit right beside her child seat.  After I resumed driving, my husband always sat next to her in the backseat, not wanting to miss any minutes to be close to her.  Now it's a rule; one driver in the front, other two in the back.

Fried calamari, Eggplant parmigiano, Pesto tortellini, Spaghetti with butter

End milage; 1574.9 mile

Checking e-mails every night, I am starting to unsubscribe the newsletters from grocery stores, bookstores and online shopping sites who only ships for North America.  Wrapping up things is sad.  
6 days in America

July 18, 2008

Day 4 Chicago

Everything is going on now as we planned before.

Our daughter, fearless four year old slept on upper bunk last night.  We should have known that she wants it - she wanted a bunk bed so badly after we look around for her first big-girl bed, saying, "I want that 'two' bed!"  (We talked her into a regular, low, twin-size bed, with the condition of getting a Dora sheets and everything with it.)

Breakfast; dining car.  Vegetable omelette, Continental (oatmeal, croissant, banana, yogurt), French toast

We played cards, took a little morning nap, before lunch.

Lunch; dining car.  Burger, Turkey salad with cranberry sandwich

The train had delayed about one hour or so yesterday, and the delay was still not recovered.  It's not a big deal.  Trains delay here in the USA. 

When we arrived at Union Station at Chicago, it was a little past 4:30.  First plan was to take Metra and CTA to O'hare to rent a car, but the weight of our baggage had made us think again (during the train ride) to take a taxi.
It was around 5:00, so, naturally, there was a severe traffic situation, which was not so bad for my daughter who needed a nap to catch up sleep she should have had these two days.

Rent-a-car is a red Chevy Impala with a Florida license plate. When my daughter and I saw the car, we shouted "McQueen!' in unison.  He is going to carry us all the way from here to Newark Airport.  Tomorrow, if I don't forget, I will note the starting milage.

Dinner; Shoeless Joe's Sports Bar & Grill (next to the hotel)  Hey Batter Batter Cod, Today's Special (Chicken Parmigiana), beer for my husband.  He deserves a good brew.  Special came with Chocolate Sunday as a desert.  We all (kind of) celebrate the end of the train trip and beginning of the long drive.

7 days in America

Day 3 On the Train

I can never be too proud of my daughter.  I woke her up at 3:15 (though after all the re-arrangement, she went to bed at 10:40), saying, "Hey, wake up.  We're going to airport, take an airplane to catch the train."  She opened her eyes in the second she heard the word "train."  She rubbed her eyes, went to potty and started the day.

The taxi zipped through the early morning (midnight?) downtown LA to the LAX airport.  The airline was United Airways, that means we have to make each of our check-in baggage under 50 lbs with no exception nor negotiation.  After a little pick-and-drop, we managed it.  After the security check, which my daughter and I got picked up randomly for a close look-up, it was just a little waiting and breakfast smoothie from Starbucks for my daughter before getting on board.

My husband has an amazing statistics on getting delayed his flights.  About half of his flights get delayed.  I sincerely prayed to whoever has the holy power for arriving at Albuquerque on time.  My prayer was heard.  Getting there on time,  we could even take a luxurious time to take a southwestern breakfast at Albuquerque Airport.  From the airport to the Amtrak station was a short 4-mile ride on taxi, routing on the historic Route 66.

After that was like a happy ending of a cheap movie, backgrounded by tra-la-ri-la-la kind of a music.   We waited in the waiting room, the train came, and asking the conductors where our designated seat (which was a family room) is, welcomed by the conductor saying "so glad you folks show up!", calling to the travel agency (who had called to my husband at the train station to make sure everything is going on OK) that we were really really on the train.

Lunch; at dining car.  "Chef's special" (roast beef and mushed potato), chicken salad with cranberry sandwich, mac-and-cheese
Dinner; at dining car.  Flat-iron steak, roasted game hen.  For our daughter, chocolate ice cream for desert.  She well deserves it.

The landscape from the train window was amazing.  We drove to Colorado Springs from The Woodlands (30 miles north of Houston) last summer.  It was my husband's words during the drive , "Hey, I see a train track.  How I wish I could ride a train goin' on that!" which grew into  this train trip   (At that time, we didn't even know there runs a passenger train.)  The train went on the exact train track we saw from the car, the car we sold less than a week ago.  At that time, we didn't imagine that we would leave the USA in the next summer.  My daughter was on the way of potty training.  Long drive was a challenge.  Now, she managed to keep up on us with this crazy schedule change, carrying all the important stuff such as Handy Manny coloring book and a crayon box by herself in her Hello Kitty bag.  Time flies.  Child grows up.

I finished Back to Basic socks and casted on a pink scarf.

Sleeping; in Southwest Chief running through the state of Kansas.
No internet connection (exactly as expected.)  This post is done in Chicago.

8 days in America

July 16, 2008

Day 2 Los Angeles (plan B)

There were a lot of ups and downs today.

The breakfast at Radisson was awesome.  Of course, it costs a lot, but the quality is excellent.  The family we sat next to last night was there, too.  They are from French Polynesia, and speak only a little English.  We had a very friendly happy conversation, though.  Power of words and smiles. 

After that, we checked Hollywood & Highland, drove up and down to get a good shot of "HOLLYWOOD" sign.  We found a very nice playground near the sign and my daughter had a really good time at the slide.
Lunch was at Denny's.  Headed to Griffith Park to ride a miniature train at the Travel Town Museum, and ended up spending a lot of time climbing up and down on the real train exhibit.  
The Pacific Ocean on "this" side was ...  expensive to park, considering we were only going to take a two of pictures.  We decided it's not worth touching.  It's just the same sea water as we can go in Japan after all.

Took a light supper at Del Taco, headed to the Union Station.
There, my husband turned pale.  He remembered the departure time of the Southwest Chief wrong, and the train we had scheduled to ride already left.
He quickly recovered (not completely, of course) and contacted the travel agency, reserved a hotel for tonight, got the plain for Chicago tomorrow.  We were all felt sad.  My daughter kept asking me "Why the train gone?"  I felt awfully sorry for my husband and for my daughter.  They had been looking forward to this train trip, this exact two nights and three days for so long.  He had talked her countless times about the train trip.  I can't remember how many times my daughter said "I can't wait!"  It was my husband's (kind of) dream, the way-overdued  treat for himself.  Although it was his mistake, he doesn't deserve this disappointment.  I cried.  A little.  My daughter learned that sometimes even a grown-up cries.

But, later, the lady at the travel agency called back again and told us that we can catch the train if we fly to Albuquerque.  The catch is, we have to catch the 6:00 flight from LAX.  My husband asked me if we want to try, and I answered "yes, of course" in no time.  The flight to Chicago is cancelled, and the one to Albuquerque is ready.  Let's see if we can make it.  A taxi will pick us up at 3:45 at hotel. 

9 days in America

July 15, 2008

Day 1 Los Angeles

Yesterday was a big Good-bye day.  In the morning, we drove to Huntsville to say bye-bye and thank-you to Mr. Sam.  In the afternoon, I took my daughter to my "Italian sister"'s house.  We were classmates at ESL when I was pregnant.  She is from Italy, and I call her "my sister" because somehow I feel relaxed when she is with me.  Her husband, who used to be a pilot, had a stroke two years ago and lost the ability to walk, but he still is a man of quick humor.  I took the measurements on their feet (and of the teacher at the ESL class we met, who bought our TV, gave me a lot of presents and adopted all the rice and beans and flour left in my pantry).  I will try to make the most comfortable and well-fit pair of socks for them.

Today, we went to the post office to send a package to Japan (for ourselves. To reduce the amount of stuff we are going to carry all the way), and to the bank to deposit the check from Carmax.

And off we go.  To the 'Trans-Am Sports Pilgrimage Tour".

We flew from the George Bush International to LAX.  We all took a good nap during the flight.
Checked in the hotel, took Metro and picked up a rent-a-car at Hertz in Union Station.  Why bother going all the way to the train station, while we are right beside the airport?  Because we're going on a train trip tomorrow.  The sight from Metro was very interesting.
We were planning to go take a look at the Dodger Stadium and Rose Bowl before going back to hotel, but there was an accidental misdirection, and our daughter wanted to go to the pool.  We decided to go back directly to the hotel, take dinner at hotel restaurant and go to the hotel pool.  Only one miscalculation was we are no more in Texas.  The outside pool after 6:30 in the evening was too cold for me, but not so for my daughter, so I ended up developing whole upper armful of goose bumps.  

10 days in America

July 13, 2008


Second post of the day.

I felt somewhat wrong about NOT posting any knitting-related thing for a long time.  I am knitting (not for a few days but will break a fast right after posting this), but getting a little sick of knitting only socks, as I mentioned a while ago.  That is making me not so excited about picking up the needles after a hectic day for sure.

Today, I asked my daughter which of these two skeins she likes better for her next socks.  
As I (and my husband, too) expected, she chose the first one.  She says because it has blue (her favorite color) in it, and more than that, colorful.  "This one is just.... pink." was her word for the second one.
She said it's OK for her that I make a scarf, not her socks, with the pink one.

Hmm.  For this girl, "because it's just pink" is not a positive comment.

I will happily knit Omo scarf with the pink yarn, anyway.

Moving Update 7/12

On finishing up the finishing-up;
*Opened the key for the house cleaning crew.
*Brought a ladder, two armchairs, two folding tables and a recliner for outside use to my husband's co-worker who is also from Japan.
*Returned the keys to our wonderful landlord.
*Sold the car to Carmax.  Didn't know we can keep the license plates.  I was almost in tears looking at them.  It's like a farewell present from the car.
*Sold child seat to my friend.  That makes $77.20 to be donated to March of Dimes.  I feel a little bad about NOT donating all the proceeds from selling the car, but it is a college fund for our daughter.  We'll add some money to the donation check for sure, though.

A horrible mistake;
*My purse I used last time we went to Japan is not with me.  That means (or so I seriously hope) it is somewhere in the packed boxes and gone by ocean (more likely than by air), which means I won't get it back until late August or early September.
 I am really glad my husband didn't get mad to hear this news. He just assured me that it's OK because he has his Japanese bank card with him (and got a little nervous and got up to check it - I woke him up at 3:30 in the morning), and laughed a laugh that means "but I am never going to forget it- and I'll make a joke of it forever!"  ... Well, I think I really deserve it.

Not so horrible;
*Several things we didn't intend to take to Japan was neatly packed and shipped.  A pack of tennis balls, broiler pan which was in the oven when we moved in, a wall pocket in the pantry.  I am sure we'll find out some more when we receive the package.

To be ready for the trip;
*Asked a fellow Raveler (is it the right word? I need to find out.) for the tips on sightseeing in Toronto.  

One and a half day in Texas
12 days in America

July 12, 2008

Moving Update 7/11

What we did on these three days;
*... don't remember well.  Everything went very fast.
*Ate too much.  For sure.
*Brought a slide and a toy car to KidtoKid, got declined the car (three balls were in a new one, all gone), the slide made $15.20.
*Took our daughter to a check-up.  She got 4 shots for immunization.  She did very well at a vision screening and measuring (35 pounds, 39 inches) but didn't respond at hearing screening.  It might be just that she didn't understand the concept (very common in the children who just turned to 4), might be that she really has a problem in hearing.  She doesn't have any trouble in language or musical development, or so it looks like, that it's likely to be the former case.
*Drove to the airport, rent a car.  Turned out George Bush International has one of the best rent-a-car centers you can imagine.  My husband is looking forward to next business trip to his former office already.
*Emptied the fridge.  To me, who was raised by Japanese parents born before the WWII, throwing away the foods is a sin.  I am a sinner.  I even threw away a half-pint container half of ice cream.
*Tried to empty the pantry.  My former English teacher helped me, encouraging me to pass even an open box of rice to her.  She was raised by a father who went through the Depression, has the same idea about throwing away the food.  She saved me.
*And she bought our TV at $20.
*Brought the broken appliances to the recycle center.
*Packed some stuff.  Not a lot.
*Took pictures with my daughter and her teachers at the preschool. 
*What else...?  Oh, shipped everything at home.  The boxes finally counted more than 220 (including the 100 boxes shipped already on 6/20).
*Sold the fridge to one of the movers came today at $40.  He is the one whom we are the most thankful to other than close friends.  He took care of our stuff when we moved to the USA, to the house we have been living these two years, and today.  We can't think of a better person to pass our beloved refrigerator to.
*Returned a modem and a digital box to Comcast.
*Brought some appliances and the toy car which was rejected at KidtoKid to a Goodwill Donation Center.  I wanted to bring them to The Salvation Army, but Goodwill was the nearest and time was pressing.

Things I didn't do these three days;

There still are some things to be done here.   

2 days (and several hours) in Texas
13 days in America

July 09, 2008

Moving Update 7/8

What I did yesterday and today;
*Bought "little something for everybody in the family."
*Brought our car to Carmax and got an appraisal.
*Cancelled water service.
*Met my former English teacher at a gelato stand.  We talked,  ate gelato.  She got a kitten (toy) for my daughter as a birthday gift and a nice earthenware water jug for me as a farewell gift. 
*Invited to my husband's co-worker's house, who is also from Japan, is also going back to Japan at the end of this month and my husband's golf mate/mentor.  His wife is visiting here to help the moving and to go to a trip to Canada.  She is a good cook.  We had a very good time.
*Cancelled my cell phone contract.  It was to be expired this month anyway.
*Called to insurance company for the cancellation.  They are going to send me an e-mail and the reply to that e-mail will complete the process, according to the lady who helped me.  It looks too easy for me, but naturally, I don't have any complaint for that.
*Called to a friend to ask for her awesome Maple Fudge recipe.  She is actually the wife of my husband's boss, and we had met each other only once or twice.  She had given me her phone number when we first met, and I was keeping that like a charm.  (I asked her husband when we met last week for the number again, indirectly, by mentioning I wished I had asked her for the  Maple Fudge recipe.) Knowing for sure that I could call someone I know when I got in trouble is priceless.  Fortunately, we didn't get in any big trouble that I didn't call her until today.  But I wish I had talked with her more often.  I cried when I hung up.
*Brought clothes and books and some hardwares to Goodwill Donation Center.  The Salvation Army Donation Center has much cheerer atmosphere, but Goodwill was closer.
*Went to Kids to Kids to ask if I could bring in a slide (I was afraid it might be too big.)
*Talked to my daughter that I am going to bring the slide to a store tomorrow, that we have to say bye-bye to it.
*Bought light bulbs, but forgot about garbage bags.
*Still waiting for the mail from remodel company in Japan.  

I have to speed up selling/donating/throwing process for sure.  And I definitely have to start packing suitcases to bring to the trip.

3 days to the final shipment
6 days in Texas
16 days in America

July 07, 2008

Moving Update 7/6

During this long weekend, packing didn't make a lot of progress.  We spent these three days meeting friends, buying birthday present for our daughter and just enjoying family time.  Our 4-year old girl needs Mama, and I am saying a lot (maybe too much) of  "Not right now."s these days.  On her request, I stayed right by her side while she watches Handy Manny today, instead of sending e-mails or picking up bits and pieces.

Still, there are some things I have done over this weekend;
*Sent an e-mail to the remodel company in Japan.  Their paper (order form) should be here days ago, but is not.  We are a little bit concerned.  (Got an e-mail response, saying they sent the same paper in priority mail again to make sure it is delivered before we leave here.  Good.)
*Tried to open utilities via online at our new house.  Turned out electricity order doesn't work from my computer (probably because I am not using Internet Explorer), gas order needs valid telephone number in Japan,  telephone order (sort of re-connecting to be exact) can't be done online.  Later turned out that electricity order needs valid Japanese phone number, too.
*Keeping on the effort to empty the pantry throwing away as little food as possible.  Means our diet is getting heavy on carbohydrates.
*Keeping on the effort to empty refrigerator, throwing away as little food as possible.  But for about 10 scary fossil-like jars I found far deep in there, I didn't hesitate to put them in the garbage bag.
*Asked GTA Fiberfaces board on Ravelry about LYS and yarn suggestion in Toronto.

It's about time to make a serious to-do list.
*Buy chimney starter (for my brother), oven mitts (for mother-in-law) and several silly T-shirts (for nieces and nephews).
*Go to CarMax to get an appraisal on our car.
*Bring broken appliances to local recycle center.
*Bring toys and so on to The Salvation Army.
*Complete cancellation process of water, insurance and cell phone contract.
*Buy more garbage bags.
*Buy 60W light bulb.  (Pantry light burnt out.)
*Wash blankets and pillows before packing.

But for today, I'll take a hot bath and go to bed.

5 days to the final shipment
8 days in Texas
18 days in America

July 04, 2008

Moving Update 7/3

What I & my husband did today;
*Decided how to do about our bedding.  Because the shipment takes weeks, we just can't peel the sheets off the bed and pack them (hint; weeks of humid and very warm condition combined with used sheets. Gonna be filthy.)  We are not going to take them with us all the way from L.A to Toronto to New York, where we travel before going back to Japan.  We really don't have any choice than to throw them away, except to wake up early on the moving day and wash & dry them before packing. Our decision is throwing them away.  I have a few new sets for each already packed and shipped.  But I know some part of my heart tells me "Hey, just a thin single layer cotton fabric or two.  It doesn't take long to dry up!"
*Learned that I can't make online application on Change of Address at USPS.com.,  because we need  our mails to be forwarded to my husband's office, which means family address changed to business address.  I am not so sure what they are worried about, but they just don't accept it.
*Learned that all I have to do to let mail forwarding done is (or so it looks like is) to go to the nearby post office and get a form (which comes with Lowe's coupon and everything), fill it and post it.  I don't think it makes sense.
*Went to post office anyway and got the form.
*Got a copy of medical record from the doctor's office (my husband).
*Made an appointment for my daughter's check-up.
*Packed and sealed one box.
*Packed several more boxes but not sealed.
*Bagged several garbage bags. But garbage truck doesn't come on regular schedule (Friday) this week because of the holiday.  Really hope they come on Saturday.  Really.

Although every day I feel I could scream/sob/giggle all day, sock knitting is keeping me from breakdown.  My project right now is Back to Basic from knitty.  It would be easier to knit on 2 circs, but I only have DPNs on hand.  Not really a big problem, but a little fiddly.  
Next is going to be Ambrosia Socks from Knitting Daily, if not a lacy scarf I am daydreaming frequently.  Like Leaf Lace Scarf by Janet.  

Happy 4th of July!

8 days to the final shipment
11 days in Texas
21 days in America

July 03, 2008

Moving Update 7/2

What I did today;
*Made online application for the turn-off of electricity. On the course of that, I realized I didn't remember the spelling of "electricity". Now I know it.
*Made online application for the shut-off of gas.
*Made a phone call asking the cancellation of the phone service. I had my sock knitting while waiting for them to get an attendant. While I was admiring my own cleverness to do so, I got an attendant and got upset because it was so quick.
*Saw one of my English teacher to tell her I'm leaving.
*Went to cable TV (& internet service) office and made cancellation.
*Got Handy Manny Tool Box Toy for my daughter (as a birthday present from me.)
*Baked Shoo-Fly Pie. (Confession; with store-bought pie sheet. Used Tyler Florence's recipe for filling.)
*Remembered that I have to make an appointment for my daughter's check-up.

9 days to the final shipment
12 days in Texas
22 days in America

July 02, 2008


My daughter's birthday party went good.  We all had a good time.  Now, it's time to come back to real world, but today is my day off.  Sort of.

These days, I am knitting one project at a time.  
It started with BSJ Newcastle.  I wanted to concentrate to it, because it was my first try on the famous pattern, because it is a very special gift knitting to a very special friend.

And finished this pair. Actually, I had started it before BSJ but I set it aside while I was on BSJ.
Adult TOFU side
Pattern; plain toe-up short-row heel K2P2 all-over.  Basically, I use Universal Toe-up Sock Recipe from Knitty or Toe-to-Top Crew Socks from Simple Socks Plain & Fancy by Priscilla A. Gibson-Roberts.
Yarn; South West Trading Company TOFUtsies, colorway 787  ~0.6 skein
Needle; Brittany 5 in DPN, US 1 1/2
I love this needle.  The length is just right for smaller sock (like mine or my daughter's), I love its unfinished surface.  

Next, came this.
Jay side
Pattern; Jaywalker by Grumperina
Yarn; ONline Supersocke 100 Holiday Color, colorway 999
Needle; KnitPicks Harmony US 0 DPNs

I had to frog the swatch to complete a pair.  The Recipient wears US women 10, and this pattern eats a lot of yarn.  I like this colorway, but looks like it's gone.  I can't find any online store to carry it. 

And next, came this.
Pattern; my own stranded design from the bottom to cuff, toe-up the rest, and grafted together where stranded part and ankle rib meets
Yarn; KnitPicks Essential Navy (22g, insufficient) and Ash (40g, made 10g leftover. uggh.)
Needle;  KnitPicks Harmony DPN and Brittany 5 in DPN, US 0 and 1 1/2

If I had enough yarn, I would have knit them toe-up all the way.  I wasn't sure for the amount of  Navy yarn.  I ended up unmatched heels (one in almost Navy, one in half-and-half of Navy and Ash).  Thinking of the way I wear them, toes and heels are always in the shoes and nobody wouldn't notice.  I can live with them.  I just wanted to make sure the stranded pattern part is perfectly as I planned.  And it is.  I am happy.

I am knit-wisely in a state of travelling already, thus, this series of sock knitting.  "Small" means "socks" for me but I am getting just a little sick of it and browsing a lot of scarf patterns online.   Maybe... in Toronto.... some Maple leaf-ish yarn (I have no idea what that is, though) for a simple lace pattern like Omo Scarf.

The stories I hear in Ravelry about confiscation of knitting needles at the airport was scary that I decided to send most of my needles away in the 1st shipment.  I now have only short (no longer than 7 in) DPNs, KnitPicks Harmony, Brittany, and bamboo needles in Japanese standards in my knitting bag.   I am going to check-in my Harmony and Brittany needles when we fly, only carrying bamboo DPNs (which in worst case scenario, I can buy new sets after we arrive at Japan ) with me.  Harmony and Brittany sets I have is just for fingering weight sock knitting, up to US 3, but my  bamboo DPN goes up to JP size 7 (compatible with US 6).  Lacy scarf... here I come...

I could cast on three sock projects at the same time right now even if I had to use the same size of needles for all of them, and more if I could use different sizes, but something in my mind tells me to try keeping on knitting one at a time.  Traveling makes me think to live on minimum.  It is good for me.

10 days to the final shipment
13 days in Texas
23 days in America