Thursday, February 12, 2015


 It being the perfect day for a little exploring, I took the dogs to Kinugasayama. I've been interested in going because another setter mama lives close by and always blogs fantastic walks there. CACI friends are all going to meet up and go walkies together there soon, so I wanted to get a feel for the land in advance. It was quite a spur of the moment decision. After parking at the shrine, Claire just headed up the hill from the car and off we were, running up and up and up to the top, and then off she went down the other side with us in tow, down and down, mighty exhausting holding back the dogs and jumping down the path! Finally exhausted, we ended up in a valley at the bottom, with only the next hill in sight, so I decided it was time to climb back up the hill before I got too tired. I then realized there was a perhaps more interesting path looping to some ponds, but I was just beyond anything but wanting to get home and eat lunch and rest. What was my surprise when we met Bob and Valencia coming up the hill! 
But I was too exhausted to chat, after all that hill climbing, I'll call when I come again, I said, and off I went in search of a local lunch thanks to Valencia's mum's hot tip...
Fortunately a little old gentleman I asked for help explained the last stages of reaching Wansabo, only to find it was closed on Thursdays, just like Konandai Ange...
I was pretty washed out, so made a beeline for home, more exploring and better luck next time, feeling very pleased with the basic lay of the land and confident I can find my way again :)

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Kimonos and dogs in a box

I was telling a doggie friend how I like to rescue kimonos, not just dogs, and she passed on three boxes worth of kimonos she no longer needed. I've spent the day sorting, discarding, washing, ironing, hanging out, and finally this evening donning her white silk flower komon, checking out which of my obis will go with it.
 The sash is a greyish purple Oshima obi I picked up over twenty years ago, and the obi cord is a gift from a friend. This kimono is very short for me, so I'll have to experiment with tying the kimono lower over my hipbone, not at my waist.  I've just pinned up the checkered nagajuban as the sleeves are a little short as well, I'll hem it up properly for going out. For this kind of spring pale color, the shorter sleeves aren't a problem.  Not an ounce of makeup on my face, just tired old evening me, and glowing skin thanks to Talia skincare.
Inbetween all this flurried activity I of course walked the dogs, and Claire enjoyed jumping in the empty boxes for a nap in the sun while I was about things as you can see in the picture. Below a close up of the coordinates. 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015


“When we become more fully aware that our success is due in large measure to the loyalty, helpfulness, and encouragement we have received from others, our desire grows to pass on similar gifts. Gratitude spurs us on to prove ourselves worthy of what others have done for us. The spirit of gratitude is a powerful energizer.” — Wilferd A. Peterson

...And so today thanks to all your help winning the Xmas photo contest I was finally able to transfer the mighty sum of 100,000 yen, equivalent to roughly $1000 US dollars to CACI Gundog Rescue! Wooooohoooooo! Thank you all again so much, taking the time to vote and share Claire's picture and spread the word about this fantastic English setter and pointer rescue here in Japan. Without your help, this would not have happened. 

I decided to take in a larger dog as part of my contribution to the Tohoku disaster, there were so many abandoned or homeless at that time, and even now...The direct contact with the Kanagawa rescue didn't work out, and encouraging Afghan hound rescue friends led me to Dog Shelter Tokyo, where I fell in love with Sofie (even though she was not directly a Fukushima dog, I figured adopting her would open up space to save an earthquake dog). When Sofie passed after two months, I was heartbroken, but still felt I had a commitment to care for another dog, not as her replacement, but as part of the community effort to help out. And so Claire came, and then Nobunaga and Chiaro di Luna. While my doggies live, I am reminded that the people of Tohoku are still struggling and coping with the aftershock of the disaster, and our ongoing love and prayers and support are with them. 

There are still so many ways to help: if you're not a doggie person, perhaps you will like Apricot, which helps children deal with PTSD issues: