Sunday, November 18, 2012


Sometimes it seems like we are just on an extended vacation.  This week it looks like (from the photos) that all we do is have fun.  Actually that may not be far from the truth.

Giving out Blankets

We were able to go to a couple of nursing homes and hand out lap blankets this week.  It turned out to be a fun experience and reminiscent of my days in the Relief Society at the care center near our home.  The first facility was a critical care unit with many residents:

And then we visited this really nice facility and distributed the blankets to some of the day care patients.  They were all excited to get them, especially after they found out they didn't have to pay for them!

Lunch with the District

This week after district meeting we ate lunch at an Indian restaurant.  These places are quite popular in Japan and really tasty as I have told you before.  We usually have the big pieces of  "nam" which is like a huge piece of fry bread and a bowl of curry to dip them into.  They are usually served with a salad and a drink.  Here we are with our food:

Mock Stained Glass!

On Thursday at our children's English class we did a "mock" stained glass project.  These paints are labeled as "glass paint" at the dollar store and we did them on plastic sheets.  It was a fun project and they are doing a little nicer version of them in our branch for the upcoming Christmas party.  But here are the ones we made at English class:

And the some of the finished projects waiting to dry:

Climbing the Hills Above Ishinomaki

On Friday Sister Usui and her daughter Taeko asked us if we would like to go to a nearby mountain (really a big hill) and see the views from above the city.  We drove most of the way up (being the wimps that we are) but ended up with beautiful views on all sides.  Here we are at the top with more wind than we really want:

The beautiful river below:

Ishinomaki below us:

And finally going back down to the car:

Chusonji National Treasure

Then on Saturday we spent the morning with the Thomas'--a missionary couple who work in the mission home office.  They are leaving soon since their mission will be completed and we don't get to spend much time with them because their p-day is on Saturday and ours is on Monday.  But we had a rare Saturday with not much to do so we asked them if they would like to do something together.  They came up with this WONDERFUL idea to go to the Chusonji National Treasure about two hours from here.

There is a temple with lots of gold leaf (no cameras allowed), many shrines, and beautiful grounds.  There are also little shops along the paths and places to have a bite to eat here and there.  AND to make things even better, the fall leaves were out in full view everywhere.  It was really a treasure.  Here are some pictures:

Sister Thomas and I next to a small shrine:

A house with a roof of hundreds of flowers:

More fall foliage:

Three old men:

We took so many pictures because it was so beautiful!

A grove of bamboo.  The trunks are about 3-4 inches in diameter and they are so sturdy because they are thick and have a huge root system:

And the same grove looking up!

Me and the color:

And Calvin the wannabe samurai:

Japanese Pampas Grass

Last week I asked about a paint-brush like plant along-side the road.  Stephen Howells always comes up with great answers to my plant questions.  This time he identified it as Japanese Pampas Grass or "susuki" which means autumn in Japanese.  I also found out that this "weed" is used to make window shades when the tops and bottoms are cut off and the stems are sewn together.  It makes those shades that roll up and down.

Goodby Fall

Autumn is fast leaving Japan.  We had some high winds today that probably blew off most of the colorful leaves. The temperatures are dropping, and I am pretty sure winter is right around the corner! 

And by the way, Happy Thanksgiving to all!  We are thankful that you are reading this and want to keep in touch.

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