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June 27, 2011

Trust me, she is growing.

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Wow, it's been a long time since I last wrote on this blog, let alone post any photos of Mona. Trust me. She has grown.

Things are finally getting back into shape after the earthquake and loss of customers. We have our first big trip coming up in August, but plenty of work to do before that. I just wish I was getting paid to do it. But things are looking up and we should not be *as* red as I started to think we would be.

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Its getting tougher now thought that Mona is developing a personality and much more vocal about her likes and dislikes. Used to be I could just pop a banana in her mouth and she was happy. Now she knows how to throw the banana on the floor and smoosh it.

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June 13, 2011


A friend on facebook made a comment about her daughter being payed $10 for selling lemonade, simply because the customer liked the fact that she was doing it, when no one else does it anymore. The comment thread on that facebook post turned into the obvious reaction - scary. pedophile? etc., and led to the lament that life in the neighbor-hood was just not the same anymore.

I read this this morning before I left with my niece and daughter to go pick bamboo shoots with my neighbors. This is not the end of the story, but this is my comment to Kelly (not my sister - a different Kelly).

Kelly, THank you, and I hate to brag (especially because it is nothing of my doing) but this comment thread made me love my village even more.

In our neighborhood we have an "greeting-zone" - a place where everyone is supposed to greet everyone else. We don't really need a zone though, because everyone is so used to it it happens naturally no matter where you are. My niece from the big city just moved in with us though, and is having some trouble keeping the "rule", but she is now fine to wake up in the morning and go in to the neighbors house (no knock needed) and take their dog for a walk.

The school children say hello, good morning, and "tadaima" (a Japanese greeting when returning from work or school) to everyone they see on the road as they walk to and from school.

Everyone shows up at the house of someone who died to pay their respects, even if you didn't really know them well.

Today we had our local tayasumi (田休み) festival ("rice planting is done, Yaay!" festival). See the videos.

We barely made it with our rice fields in time, finishing up yesterday afternoon. Once again, the last in the hamlet to finish. But that is not the point.

I seriously can not imagine going back to a place where we have to worry about our child walking home from school. Where we have to worry about leaving them to play in the neighborhood without supervision. Today, at the festival, I had no idea where Mona was half of the time. When I search, I see her being pushed around in her little bike ar thingy by a neighbor's realtive boy, I see her being fawned over by the old ladies down the street. I see her just rolling in the grass (well, actually it was dirt, but...)

I have photos, but only posting videos for now (easier, because I don't know how to edit them). In the videos you see the preparation of the bamboo shoots, and in the second one our local grade school teacher (my neighbor and one of our biggest supporters here. I have raised her chickens.) giving a display of why I think she is one of the greatest teachers I have ever met.

June 10, 2011

I can Dream, Can't I?

Sorry, still no photos, but two videos I would love to make happen here. Anyone want to help?

The first video is of my sister-in-laws home town of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Apparently it was named by Newsweek as one of the the top 10 “dying” US cities,

Roger Ebert has dubbed it “the greatest music video ever made”.

June 06, 2011

Mona for Mom and the fam

Just some videos (some of them long) of Mona for Mom.

Here is 20 minutes of mona drinking water. I know it is long, but if you are grandma and grandpa you will probably watch it. Around 11 minutes is a good part.

And for the pervs, Mommy giving mona some boob. With a shout out to Toby, Molly, Oscar, Irene, and Johan.

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