Greetings readers, new and old!
It’s been a long time since I posted anything… almost four months.
Amazingly, my readership has not changed! Erm… maybe it’s not desirable that site visits are the same regardless of posting frequency (or plain old lack of posting).
I figured a first post back could be part update, part links of neat/fun/beautiful/delicious places in Alberta. All the topic tasters will be future posts.
Let’s roll back the clock to mid-August 2015. Hilary is sick as sick as sick can be for weeks upon weeks upon weeks. Boo hoo!
Japan takes on Alberta
My brother-in-law from Japan arrived in time for the conclusion of my marathon illness. We, along with more family (uh huh), took on central and southern Alberta.
Hitoshi and his brother flew in an antique biplane (ya know, the ones where there’s no lid on the cockpit and you get to wear a groovy, canvas headpiece) at the Reynolds-Alberta Museum, hiked the famous Sunshine Meadows along with a grizzly bear or two and made it to Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, braving seriously soupy, smoky air from forest fires in Alberta, BC and south of the Canada-USA border.
I visited the Fish Creek public library in Calgary with our toddler (it was fun! they had a fabulous play area! !!!!!)
Yup. Travel definitely changes with little ones.
Marie Kondo – My Hero for Life
September’s theme was cleaning and tossing all due to inspiration from Marie Kondo, tidying leader of leader of leaders.
I read her book, “The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up” three times.
I love her.
As of December, my tidying madness has slowed down. It’s okay though as it can take about six months to get your things in order.
My unsolicited advice… if you already don’t own much and are somewhat allergic to shopping, then toss only when you’ve got a backup. (Ahem. Lesson learned.)
Anniversaries galore and favorite Japanese restaurants
October is a special month for Hitoshi and I. We have both of our wedding anniversaries!
In Japan, the official wedding is a pile of boring (or possibly hilarious) paperwork at city hall.
The unofficial version is any ceremony you have following whatever you believe in.
We could happily celebrate our events with cupcakes and tantanmen every week but instead went for dinner.
Set to the beat of a grand taiko (Japanese drum), here are some of our favorite Japanese restaurants in Edmonton and Calgary.
Izakaya Tomo, Edmonton
Hot Stone Rice Bowl, Calgary
Red Heads Bagel Cafe, Calgary
Yuzen Japanese Restaurant, St. Albert (city attached to north boundary of Edmonton)
That we have four to choose from is a big deal. Hitoshi and I were massive restaurant snobs for the first, oh, six years living in Canada.
Yes. It’s taken us that long to find any restaurant that passes our strict standards.
I’ll do a separate post on these fabulous eateries but for now, enjoy the links!
A dream realized – taiko in all its muzukashii glory
Muzukashii is a word you will hear about a billion trillion times if you live in Japan. It generally means “difficult”, and like many other Japanese words, is layered with feeling and easily applied across a multitude of situations.
I hollered out this word prior to stomping my feet and jumping wildly around my practice drum while trying unsuccessfully to master (ha ha) choreography, stance and a song in my second ever taiko workshop put on by Kita No Taiko. (KNT is an Edmonton taiko group that is celebrating its 30 anniversary next year!)
Taiko looks deceptively easy but is ridiculously difficult. The first workshop in late November was easy peasy pants compared to number two the next week. In the words of my junior high school students, it made my brain hurt.
It also made my body ache… taiko is a full-body experience.
I’m not easily deterred though and signed up for a four-week taiko course hosted by Booming Tree Taiko, a professional taiko duo also in Edmonton. I’m already counting down for February 2016!
What has been keeping you amused/occupied/contemplating/any other adjective you see fit to use these days?