Ahhh, the slow life in the countryside.
The only reason I am finding the time to write this is that my mom has been sending me emails every day asking if I am still alive. Yes, I am - despite a crash on my bike last week that left me with one less toenail, and unable to use my right butt cheek. It's getting better now though.
We've decided to take a two-week summer vacation - mostly. While we still have office work to do, we have declined any customer requests til the end of August to give us some time to focus on our weed field. I can't even remember what we planted there.
Joining us in our summer vacation is Mayu, Tomoe's niece. She will be here until the end of August helping us in the field as well as attending the local grade school from next week.
The reason I have only posted two updates in two months is that we are just so dang wonderfully busy! We just finished a five day family bike trip which followed a couple smaller more "private" trips, including a newlywed couple who asked us for "the hardest you've got", a business-women who thankfully enjoyed the ups and downs of the Akiyama area, and two random strangers who agreed to ride over the 2,000 meter Mt. Shirane.
When we were not riding bikes we were suffering in the Tokyo heat where we gave a presentation about our lifestyle, and a workshop about "seeing connections" at an event organized by a socially conscious human resource agency. Preparation for the workshop caused a lot of stress and fighting between Tomoe and I, but the results were good. I think people left having learned something new.
Now we are focusing on getting all the millet out of our rice field so that it does not go to seed and screw all the neighboring rice fields. I spent several hours there today weeding, but am far from finished. Our other fields are overflowing with cucumbers and goya and peppers. We are drying our popcorn in front of our front door (to the neighbors delight).
There were two "unproductive" days when the village Obon festival took place. Part of my duties were to build the float for my block, and carry it through the village. I was originally signed up to be part of the more important group of people who wear a mask and perform at the festival, but with customers coming I was unable to attend the practice. Maybe next year. I will try to post photos related to this tomorrow...
Finally, one of our baby birds died a few weeks ago. Tochi, the only white bird must have flown into a wall or window and damaged her internal organs. Now there are only four birds flying crazily around our living room.