Back From Outer Space and A Boy Turns 12

Indeedy, I am back from outer space, 

I’m sure this is a one off return to blogging. Don’t know why I stopped, I just did, and the longer I hadn’t blogged, the harder it became to set off again.

BUT, today is a special day, my baby, he who shall always be my baby, is 12 today. Don’t know how that came around so fast. All is well, happy as a clam he is with his new DSi, not expecting much conversation out of him for the foreseeable future, and he said if I give him 300 yen, when he’s 13, he will not exhibit any raging hormone behaviour, Deal done. Money on the table.

His birthday and a latent urge to blog again makes me share this story with you.

Recently young Jim mentioned to me that when he talks he has too much spit in his mouth. His S sounds come out as sh sounds. Always have done. Have in the past taken him for speech therapy but they said he would grow out of it. He hasn’t.


Anyhoo, he is talking about it, so I said, ‘are you worried? Do you want to go to the kotoba kyoushitsu and get some exercises that will improve it?’

He says ‘no’.

I said, ” it’s the shape of your mouth, remember I told you, when you were born, your mouth wasn’t formed properly, and that’s why you had the operation, and that’s why you were so ill as a baby’

‘I was ill as a baby?’

‘ Yes, I told you before, when you were just 2 weeks old, you were very sick, your organs were shutting down.’


“because you couldn’t get enough milk to drink”

” Couldn’t get enough milk?’

” that’s right, you couldn’t get enough milk, and I didn’t know, and you got really ill’

” why didn’t I have enough milk? WERE YOU WORKING?”

That’s right honey, I’m the kind of mother that leaves a newborn at home with no milk.

Rain, Camp, Men and Boys

Torrential rain all day today. No one in their right mind would think about going off into the woody wilderness with a tent in this weather.
As it happens that’s just what man and boy are doing. The Man and Kev set off first thing to commune with nature, ‘rassel’ some bears maybe.
They were all billy cans and tuck, The Man letting his tongue run long telling how little man really needs to survive and then took everything from the house that wasn’t nailed down.

We are hoping this man to man, father to son, man V nature experience will be beneficial to young Kev, who has been, of late, as we put it to him, ‘no you are NOT bad, you are NOT naughty, you are just making some poor choices.’
So that’s our current theme, ‘choices: learning how to make good ones’
While we are waiting for that particular skill no manifest we are choosing vodka over milk on the cornflakes.

So one of the girls is at work, the other is at juku and it’s just me and my little one.
I get to blog, he gets to Wii. It’s all good.

Excitement mounts for forthcoming visit to the motherland, Jim’s passport hasn’t arrived yet so he might have to travel on his J one, I think everything is done, hope it is anyway because haven’t got time to do anything else before we leave anyway.
A great schedule planned catching up with lots of rellies, a big fat family wedding, a mini road trip with a great friend and loads of people I haven’t seen in absolutely yonks.
The Man keeps telling me the yen is very strong against the pound right now. I think that is a subtle invitation to go nuts with the visa card, but I’ll probably not get him to confirm that before I go.

Okay, out in the rain to pick up studious child.

IKEA and Psycho Neighbour Has a Meltdown.

Press-ganged The Man into taking me to IKEA, for a few small bits and pieces. Not the wisest of choices given back situation but a success in shopping terms. Bought a few storage items that I am 100% confident will help with the general mess and clutter.
Thought The Man would start assembly as soon as we got back but he decided to make dinner first, damn him. Doris was up for a puzzle though and said she`d get going. I love watching her do stuff like this because she is so unlike me.
My way is to open the boxes, get everything out, take up as much space as I possibly can, have pieces strewn over three rooms. Packets of screws and other small bits need to be opened up and lost at the soonest possible moment.
Not young `switched at birth` Doris. She`s very methodical. Collects tools she might need first. Opens box, takes out manual, reads said manual, begins, following the recommended steps. The Man is the same except for the bit where he harumps around a while demanding to know who took his his screwdriver.
I helped out a little bit but it quickly became apparent that it wasn`t my strong suit even when someone is telling me exactly what to do and how to do it. I don`t care, I have been blessed with so very many diverse talents that if I can`t put `furniture assembly` on my resume I won`t loose any sleep over it.
So I was soon, rather rudely I thought, told to bugger off, that I was in the way, and was I `going out of my way to make life difficult?`

I was saved from further scorn by a loud knocking on the door. I opened the door to be screamed at by the whackjob that lives opposite us.
She has issues with our cat.
To backtrack a moment, I`ll explain. We have had problems with her on and off since we moved in. She blows hot and cold, sometimes she is all chatty and friendly and sometimes she is a nutter. She used to have a dog. her garage is built under her house and faces our house. The dog was kept chained up in there all the time. It barked a lot. People walking down the street would get the fright of their lives when it suddenly barked and charged for them as far as it`s chains were allowed. We didn`t really have a problem with the barking dog, dogs bark, tis life. Then she began her letter writing campaign. One said that leaves from our tree were floating into her garage and disturbing the dog, that the dog had a very delicate, nervous disposition and could we stop our leaves from floating thus. Then it was all Jim and Kev`s fault, they were tormenting the dog.
Now, my boys are without doubt on the feral side, but they do not torment animals and this is years and years ago when they were too young to go out alone anyway. Things came to a head when a letter blames my mother-in-law, who had been visiting, for causing the dog untold stress.
Then we stopped trying to reason with her and ignored her. Years past, she continued with the hot and cold.
Meanwhile she has a short circuit camera rigged up in the garage to catch offenders, she had flood lights on sensors. her brother lives with them and he is possibly a vampire, he only comes out at night, but on several occasions The Man saw him beating and kicking the dog.
years past, the dog died.

Now, she is encouraging a stray cat to come to hers. She has laid out blankets ( new blankets that she went out and bought for the cat) on the bonnet of her car, she leaves food and water. She wants the cat to come round, she wants to pet it and talk to it but she doesn`t want to own it, doesn`t want it in her house. So her complaint is that when Ryu, our cat, goes out, this stray cat won`t come round, so we have to keep our cat inside, so that she can pet a stray cat that she doesn`t want to take responsibility for. Then about a week ago we got an anonymous letter. I don`t know exactly what it said but The Man told me it was really bad, the language was very offensive and the choice of words were rude and derogatory to such a degree The Man contemplated taking it to the police. Also he said the author had deliberately attempted to disguise their handwriting.

So, she was at my door, yelling at me, saying the stray cat don`t come round no more, I said, nicely, I don`t understand what you want me to do about it. She said, `keep Ryu inside`, I said ` no can do,` this went on for a while and so I said, `why don`t you speak to my husband (who is hiding under a stool in the kitchen)`, she says, `I`m going to contact the city office.` I said `please do, I can show them that letter your sent`. She didn`t respond to that, didn`t ask `what letter?` just gave me a very long stare.
I had to go out three times after that to pick up and drop off kids and each time she was standing in her window glaring at me.

So we`ve known for a long time that she seems to have mental health issues, but she seems to have really lost the plot now. I am willing to give her some latitude because her mother died about a month ago, and I think this might be what pushed her over the edge, and I have been there with
the dead mother go crazy for a while thing, so I do have sympathy for her, but at the same time, bearing in mind Tora, the other cat, dropped dead for no apparent reason outside her house, I think we need to give her a really wide berth.

Although I am aware I haven’t yet got around to explaining why we were in the forest with a priest in his boxers, it must wait.
My head is not working well, I have a cold. Let’s all say “ aaah”.
Yesterday started off with two chicklets down with a cold. Kev’s feet were also hurting and he couldn’t walk properly. They’ve been hurting on and off for a month or so, which we thought was probably due to growing pains.
Despite repeated requests to go to the doctor and have them checked out, he refused, but yesterday he finally agreed so I said I’d take him yesterday evening.
Strange things going on with the boy, he has been quite calm of late. He’s probably knackered from all the handball practice, and the heat also I signed him up for a summer course in cram school. He claims he is happy with the handball, the heat and the summer course.
So off we went. Now sometime in the afternoon my throat started hurting and then my joints so I figured I was probably getting whatever had felled my chicks in the morning. Kev had made a remarkable recovery by lunchtime, but Doris had slept most of the day and had no appetite.
While we sat and waited for Kev’s x-rays to come back, I did wonder why I wasn’t killing two birds with one stone and seeing the doc myself to get a drip. I wouldn’t normally bother but I have a lot of classes this week and if I can’t do them re-scheduling will be a nightmare with everyone’s summer commitments.
Anyway, didn’t really get past the wondering stage so I am definitely under par today.
Doc says the problem is Kev’s achilies tendon, the combination of sudden intense sports and his recent growth spurt have left the tendons behind.
Nothing to be done but compresses, not to force it when they hurt and to stretch a lot before and after handball.
Off we go. I thought this would be a good time to insist that Kev gets some new shoes. His toes are poking out of the ones he has but he has been refusing. He didn’t really want to but the shop was near the hospital and I was quite insistent. It is almost impossible to buy him any clothes. I can’t just chose something because it will be wrong and he will not go in a clothes shop with me.
So we get to the shop and he says he doesn’t want to go in, ‘too many people’ ( so now we have issues with crowds? Is this new?) and I should just get some and bring them out. I point out that I don’t know what size he is, so how about he comes in, gets the shoes and then leaves immediately, while I go and grab something from the bookshop. He agreed to this, oh how very flexible he is.
So we get to the shoe shop and he says ‘ those” to the very first pair of shoes he sees. So I say, don’t you want to look around a bit more, see what else they have. No, he doesn’t he wants those, and he is going back to the car now, can I just get them.
I say, hang on buddy, let’s measure your feet, make sure we get the right size. Okay, we pick up the box, I say, look they have the same ones with green or black on them too… no, he wants the blue ones, the first ones. We get to the cashier and she suggests he tries them on, he isn’t into that and says he can’t he hasn’t got any socks on.
She says we can borrow some socks. The boy is persuaded. They fit. We pay. He leaves.
I say, hey look, there is a sports outlet there, shall we get some T-shirts and shorts? No thank you. He stares at the ground and exits the building.
I dash to the bookshop and on my way in I spy oh the finest, the very finest notebook I ever did see.
Hard cover, spiral, squared paper. I bought similar ones earlier in the year, but this size was new, B5, yum, in turquoise or pale purple, not a pale purple fan but am working on stepping out of my comfort zone.
I know that notebook would have changed my life, transformed me into an organized, go-getting, achieving, dynamo, possibly even world domination, but I let it go. I was strong. I visualized my bookshelf, ( the very set of shelves that was supposed to change my life a year or so ago), crammed with all the other notebooks that failed in their mission to transform me, surround by pots of pens and pencils that failed me when I needed them most, and I let that perfect notebook go.
Oh how I’ve grown.

I can always go back and get it tomorrow…

Pet Sematary

So, it’s been all heat and sweat here, remembering to water the tomatoes and constant vigilance to win the war against the fleas. I think we are winning, but maybe a couple more weeks of frantic thrice daily hovering.

Cat Chronicles continue, shoot me now, I’m a cat blogger.
Almost home from work the other night, as I’m rounding the final bending I see what appears to be an inert animal in the middle of the right lane.
Mistakenly, I say, ‘oh no, there’s a cat in the road, looks like it’s been hit by a car.’
Barely waiting for me to finish parking, the kids leapt out the car and were on the case, because now, they are the fountains of all knowledge on the subject of dead cats.
Risking their own young lives on the dark road, they dashed in and swooped it up. It too had passed.
So, loving little tykes that they are they gave it to me.
I wasn’t overly keen on holding deceased cat, so another box was procured and I kept them away from my IKEA towels.
So for the second time in a month I have a dead cat in a box in my garden. They wanted to dig up Pet Sematary where Tora is buried but I can barely manage dead cat, I can’t go for decomposing cat.

To be honest it freaks me out a little because Pet Semetary by Stephen King is the scariest book I have ever ever read in my life, it kept me up nights for weeks. Scarier even than all that horror stuff that I read in my early teens. Scarier than ‘The Devil Rides Out’, when a live human child, the devil’s spawn I believe it was, was ripped from the womb.
Even scarier than ‘Audrey Rose’, which held ‘scariest damn book ever’ title for years until Pet Sematary reared it’s freaky head in my house. I can still remember crapping myself when they found George Spalding’s watch at the bottom of the lake with Audrey Rose’s hair tangled in it.Suffice to say I feel a bit strange looking out the kitchen window at night.

Thus, this morning has been eventful. Doris has had a swelling on her mouth for a couple of days that suddenly exploded off her face, I’ve heard of ‘bee-stung’ lips, this is attacked by a nest of hornets, looks like a really bad cold sore. So at 8.30 I called the city office to ask them to come
and remove the dead cat box, then took Doris to the doc where indeed HERPES, was confirmed, I know it’s a cold sore and that chicken pox, shingles etc are all part of the herpes family, but I’m not comfortable with hearing herpes in connection to my teen gal. So to be clear she has the non STD type herpes. Aka. A cold sore, actually as of typing 2 massive cold sores. I think she is really run-down post exams, and training for the inter-prefectural softball tournament and the ending of her softball career at JHS. So I got a load of multi-vitamins and these pick-me-up, 15 green veggies in one capsule type supplements. Hopefully they’ll pick her up as promised.

There has been a little trouble with young Kevvers at school. I got a call from the head of first years, I thought maybe he had won loads of prizes and they wanted me to help him carry them all home, but I was wrong. So had to head off to school with my head down and my big bag full of apologies.

I’m contemplating Plan B: run away and join the circus.

In other news, despite early confidence, Sunshine’s plan to get a job at one of the chocolate shops did not come to pass, but she got a job, three nights a week at the Italian restaurant just down the road, that should keep her busy and solvent.
Stay tuned for nothing happening again in the near future.

How Bored Would You Have To Be?

Sunday dawned fine and sunny. Big plans to rearrange some furniture, bring a massive table down very narrow stairs, re-locate the computer so that if I was actually paying attention I’d be able to see what was going on.
It became quite a palaver, as A could only move to B if B was moved to C, which couldn’t be done in a hurry because C was a total mess and needed sorted. Had to employ the 15 minute method and chase the jobs with some Criminal Minds.
In the morning Jim claimed he was bored, bored, bored, bored. His friend couldn’t play until after lunch.
So Jim-the-wierdo decided to clean the toilet? Even put on some little plastic disposable gloves. Attacked the U bend with great gusto, scrubbed the floor, washed the shells in the little cistern sink, changed the hand towels, picked all the books up off the floor and put them on the shelf, stacked the magazines neatly, alphabetized the tampons.
When he’d finished he peeled off his plastic gloves with a flourish, like Dr Shepherd finishing brain surgery, dumped them in the rubbish and took the rubbish out.
Kev sat around honing his obnoxious skills until club started at 1.
Evening came and miracle of miracles, we all sat around the table and ate together, even laughing, joking and conversing. No one cried, no one slammed off. A casual observer, peering through the window, might, before we had them arrested, be forgiven for thinking we were a family.
So, all in all, weekend not too shabby.

Fudging All Recent Blether into One Post.

So much going on here, so much of nothing really, just the start of the school year with both my kids and the kids I work with, schedules to adjust, new timetables, new classes, new books, just loads of unexciting things to do.
After 12 years of dodging the bullet, my name came up for the dreaded yakuin, no idea how that is going to go, I’m just going to try to go with the flow and try not to let it put me off the edge.
Kev claims he is loving his new school and all that comes with it, and indeed he is up at dawn’s first crack putting on his brand new uniform which already somehow has curry spilled all over it. Much to my surprise he has joined the handball team. On the plus side he will get physically very fit, he’ll be busy, he’ll need to eat even more than he does already and he’ll be exhausted at the end of every day, not to mention, gone all weekend. The down side of this is that joining ‘club’ does fill every spare waking moment and I find it difficult to hang onto a sense of family. I know they have to grow up and do their own thing and life marches on, but I feel club just demands too much time of them, it takes them away form the home for too long, too soon.
That said, despite Kev’s claims of loving school life his behaviour at home has been a little ‘taxing’ shall we say, he clearly feels comfortable enough at home to release all of his tensions, on me, and I’m left relaxing in a cold acid bath just to relieve my own stresses of the day.
Meanwhile Sunshine has eased into her uni schedule, her suddenly expansive social life, and greater freedoms, like an old pro. Although she hasn’t actually gone to any yet, it seems there are a number of ‘all you can drink’ social events coming up and I anticipate a post entitled, ‘when teens start drinking’. some readers may find it a radical plan, but The Man and I may go back to our original idea of just locking her up in her room until she’s 50, a plan we concocted when she was just a few years old and never out of our sight.
Doris has only a few short months of softball left and we need to come up with a high school plan for her, and quite quickly really. yesterday I had the new school year visit from her teacher, who confirmed what I already knew, that Doris is a wonderful gal, possessing all the major qualities one would hope for in one’s off-spring, but that she needs ( rather we, collectively need) to be setting sights in some sort of direction and forming a plan on how she’ll get there.
Young Jim, is in year 5 and a fairly joyous kid when not in hand-to-hand combat with his brother. A re-shifting of bedrooms that did not please him, so he has taken to sleeping in a cupboard, I kid you not, it’s a big cupboard, a spacious cupboard, but a cupboard nonetheless, claims it’s HIS cupboard and he has every right to sleep there is he wants. Then kid who wore nothing but a think windbreaker over a T-shirt throughout the sub-zero winter, has now, now that spring is here and the sun is high in the sky, taken to wearing a down jacket two sizes to small. I’m beginning to notice an oddness in the lad. He also broke his toe at Tae Kwon Dou, milked it for all was worth, begged a lift to school on the grounds he could barely put his foot to the ground, but went to the TKD tournament and won trophies in 3 categories, so I think he is healing nicely.
So Saturday it is. After club Doris is going to Kyoto with my lovely friend Noren to watch women’s pro softball, Kev has handball until early evening and the lad with the broken toe and I are off to work.
American Idol at 9!!
Have a good weekend all.