Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Little Tiny Baby Puppy

To quote Ioana...:)

Today I had Calvin at the Speciality Animal Hospital.  Monday he had an accident with a car and his pelvis is fractured.  They were very positive about him and he's in good health and no other problems and so they wanted to do a surgery to put a metal plate on his pelvis to join the fracture and heal it.

So - I left tiny baby puppy at the hospital this afternoon.  He's pitiful as he saw me and he wanted to get up and I left and he was trying to get up.  

If you think of it, he should have surgery tonight at 10 pm.  Please pray it goes well, pray that Cal doesn't have a lot of pain and pray he recovers quickly.  They say he should be up and walking in 24 hours - like human ortho surgery - the sooner they're up the better.

And please pray for me ... :(

Little tiny baby puppy ....

It's 9pm - update... Me Coolidge came through surgery splendidly!  It was a bad fracture but the surgeon said he was pleased!  Now we pray that he continues to heal and walks well after some healing!
Thanks for your prayers!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

My Weekend With Deer and Friends...

This weekend Sean and I headed up to Minnesota early Saturday morning to help   my BFF ... with my BBF:). Mel is looking to rent her basement out so she needed to get some things taken care of and Team Sealison (pronounced Shalison:) came to help!

So while I took the hard part of talking to, getting pedicures with and taking Mel out to dinner, Sean was lazing around under a sink trying to get faucets connected and water running!  That man seriously single handedly installed a new toilet, a new sink and vanity, new light fixture, new medicine cabinet and new shower head in Mels downstairs bathroom.  He was a freaking amazing Bob Villa --- no, better than Bob Villa because my Sean Villa is extremely cute and sweet too!  Bathroom - DONE!  

Poor guy worked his tail off all weekend until about 1 pm and then Team Sealison hopped back in their awesome mobile and hit the road home.  

So here's a new discovery - Minnesota - November ....

In case you're having a hard time telling what's protruding from the backs of those trucks...
DEER - DEAD DEER!  Piled up, strapped down, legs flapping, tongues lolling ... Dead dead deer!  Soooo disgusting!

So Sean drove straight from Rochester to Ohare and dropped me off.  I'm now standing in line for a 10:30 pm flight to Denver.  We're doing two trials there - hoping to get out Tuesday night but right now scheduled to come home Wednesday afternoon:(.  We'll see!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

My Adorable Boy!

No I'm not referring to Sean, although he is adorable!  

The adorable I'm referring to today is my baby Calvin!:). 

Over the weekend I cleaned all around the house - weeded, put lawn furniture away.  And all the while I did this, Calvin took up different positions around the yard, always in leaf piles.  He loves leaf piles!

And then today I dropped him off at the groomers.  I had him on the leash and the groomer opened the little half door to the back "waiting" area where he has large kennels.  As the groomer opened the door I took Cal off his leash and the groomer was talking to me so he didn't grab Cal's collar right away.  So as we were finishing our conversation, Calvin walks into the back area and walks right back to an open kennel, walks into the kennel and just lays down, looking out at as as we finish talking.  Oh my word!  I could have died it was so adorable!  And SMART!  But he takes after me that way - adorable and smart!:)

He'll be so happy to come home with a short hair cut because he's been SO hot lately, even in the cooler weather.  My adorable Airedale!:)

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Japanese Catch Up

It's sounds like an Asian condiment doesn't it?:)

I'm standing waiting for washers to run so I figured I'd take a few to finish up posts from last week.

Back downtown at a facility doing some trials for a new company that may private label with us.  I feel so validated and back to normal being back on CS.  I love helping get dirty clean!  And then they have awesome new washers here!  The cart washer that they send the big carts through is beautiful!  

So my last two days in Tokyo were spent with my friend Seiko and her husband Drew.  Seiko and I spent the whole day together on Saturday.  We were going to go up to Nikko as was recommended to me, but Seiko was wanting us to take the bullet train up at 7:30 am and I had gotten back to the hotel at like 9 or 10 after a long day on the "road".  So we opted to just go shopping!  My happy place!

We headed down to a department store (which is actually just a store that looks like a department store but all the different departments are actually different stores.  My mission was shoes... They have awesome ones there!  We wandered through the whole department and every time I found a boot I liked Id ask for my size and they'd say the largest size they had was the one below me!:(. So sad!

Finally one woman volunteered that I should go to the 5th floor.  When we got there - I discovered why they didn't have my size!

It's a slam and a compliment - they consider me to be a larger lady!  But they consider me to be "model sized".  Ouch - hmm:)

We then went and got pedicures.  Me feet were horrible from walking all week.  Wasn't exactly the experience at home but still good!

We finished about 6:3 and got my bags from the one hotel I was staying at and switched to my new hotel.  It was gorgeous and had all these restaurants so we found a tempura place as we were starving.  Seiko then took the trail home and I enjoyed the massive jacuzzi tub in my room.

Great sleep Saturday night and then Sunday morning I got up and took the Shinagawa train to Shinjuku and then found my way to the express train to Chofu.  At Chofu, Drew met me at the train and then we walked and talked for about 15 minutes to their apartment.  What a difference from Tokyo!  There was open land and we walked past a little dairy farm by their house and Drew tried to call the cows - cows don't listen that well!:). We got to their apartment and Seiko was waiting to give me the grand tour.

Oh by the way, I have to show you on the train... Miss Purple.... Purple hair, purple clothes, shoes, bag....

Seiko, Drew and I then walked to their little Japanese church where Drew whispered the sermon to me... He did a pretty good job translating and once in a while Seiko would help out.  

Afterward they took a church Christmas photo which they insisted I sit in on.  Kind of funny but cute.  Then they had a little lunch where we sat around and tried to speak English together - some of them where pretty good.  We left around 1 and then walked around Chofu and ate lunch and did a little shopping for a friend of mine at home who used to live in Japan.

One of their favorite funny restaurants... They all dress like American Cowboys and they say "Hello" and "thank you" on English with their Japanese accents.

We all ended up going back to Shinjuku to get a few more things.  
So Japan makes me laugh because they love their hello kitty.  I told you about jackets and clothes and now, it they make construction a happy thing with hello kitty!

After finishing shopping we headed to dinner - my last Okonomayaki for the trip!  It's Drews favorite too so we all enjoyed this little downstairs restaurant together!
Sooooo good!

Monday morning I got to sleep in a little then I ate breakfast and took around the hotel grounds that were these beautiful Japanese gardens.

Ran and got some Starbucks and back in time to catch the bus to the airport!  I honestly was so ready and excited to be home!  I've been gone so much and I missed a lot of things!  The flight was actually overbooked that I was on so I was extremely grateful to be put on a direct flight instead of going through LA!  Just got me home earlier and back into Sean's car and arms!  It felt so good to be back there!

Last international trip of the year and I'm pretty sure I'm ok with that!

God Is Good To Me!

Alison's goofy, gushy post to say....
Sean and I marked our one year of dating today!  He's pretty amazing because he researched and found this place that did Romanian and Hungarian cuisine because he just wanted to get to know me better through my country love!:). It was such a special thing for him to even think of that!

Here's to another year of growing in God and our faith, growing in our understanding of each other, growing in our reaching out to others and growing in our love for each other and God!  

Friday, November 6, 2015

Tiny Rooms But So Comfy Beds!

The hotel we stayed at last night is one of those teeny tiny Japanese rooms where you can barely turn around...
But the bed was so comfortable!!!  I slept like a rock and was in complete shock when my alarm went off at 6!  Deep deep wonderful sleep!  It was a good start to my day to wake up having slept and having the complete, immediate function of both of my arms!

I started my morning with a starbucks run and then got back to the hotel in time for them to pick us up at 7:45 for the first training session in Osaka.  We drove to the offices, which were once called Elk, but they were bought by Canon but still retain the name even though all the other offices are Canon.

I love going into facilities and offices around the world and seeing our product either going out the door or in use!  Wheres Waldo... Find the gallon boxes and those are ours!

Ron and I have gotten the training down pretty well so we can get through it pretty consistent in 3 hours, which we did and then headed to return the rental car and eat lunch before we got on the express train to Nagoya.

As promised - they got me my Okonomayaki at a little restaurant in the train station that loudly  welcomes you by everyone on staff giving this Cheersy-Norm like yell.  
And then we were seated in these little booths where they lift the seats and have you put your bags underneath then you sit down at a table that has a hot metal table top on it where they place the okonononayaki once it's been cooked.  You put on these paper bibs and sit there for about 15 minutes waiting for them to place this amazing delight for your mouth in front of you!

This one was smaller then I've had before and it came with noodles.  Okonomayaki is this pancake like thing that has veggies and or meat mixed into it.  The big ones I've had before are kind of like layered pizzas but nothing like a pizza.  And then they put this amazing sauce on the top.  Seriously my mouth is watering - I think I need to get another one before I leave...

After lunch we headed up to the express train again where we took off on a train headed towards Tokyo.
Unfortunately, mom, this is as close as I got to seeing Kyoto...

About a half an hour later we arrived in our last city, Nagoya.  
We're doing our last training here... 

And then Ron and I catch a taxi back to the train that goes to Tokyo and were done for this speed business trip!

So cultural discovery...
In China they send their kids to their parents to raise them while both parents work.
In Japan the women do usually stop working to raise their kids, but it's very typical for the husband to be sent somewhere else to work.  You can say no but it just means you've probably shot your career in the foot.  For instance a few of the guys we worked with were from Nagoya or Osaka and have been sent to Tokyo to work.  Because housing is not as easy to buy or sell, the wife will stay in Nagoya with the kids and her husband will go and live and work in Tokyo and come home like one or two weekends a month.   One of the guys who is with us is from Osaka and spent 15 years in Tokyo while his family was still in Osaka.  He's just been transferred back to Osaka and they're now trying to readjust to actually living together.  Crazy!
Incidentally, internationally speaking, my friend Ioana in Romania had been texting me news... She was just part of a 30,000 person protest who were standing up to corruption in the government.  As of yesterday, the prime minister stepped down - and now she's asking for prayer that they get good and honest people in the government!  

Update... It's now 6:15 pm and we were supposed to leave to get the train at 6 and the director of sales here is like "blah blah blah in Japanese" and in my head I'm screaming "shut up shut up shut up!" And my butt is so sore after sitting here for three hours and I have no clue what these people are saying and I just want to be on that train headed back to Tokyo!  This can't last forever...right??!!!!

And we finally did get on the train about 7:25.  We got back to Tokyo station about 9:3 and then got on the train to Shinjuku.  I love Japanese people!  First of all, we get to the escalator to the train and everyone forms this politely perfect like - if it were China, we'd still be back there trying to fight our way onto the escalator!  And then we get on the train and everyon is falling asleep.  There's so many people on the train that people can just sleep standing up because they're pressed in like sardines.  And then there this little Japanese business man standing in the corner by the door doing this sleep dance with is upper body - around, forward, backward, swaying... Totally out of it!  

I'm  ask at the hotel and so happy I'm in he south tower that's newer and has nice beds... Can't wait to go to sleep!  
Seiko comes tomorrow and we go out and have some fun including pedicures!!! Yay!!! My feet are so stinky and tired and ugly right now!  I'll be so happy!!!
Back in Tokyo!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

More Toilets - What A Classy Country!

We just boarded the plane for Osaka.  It's crazy - they start boarding only 10 minutes before they take off and Ron says they always take off on time!  

So security is weird here because you can actually take a water bottle or larger size through - they just put it in this machine that detects whether there's metal in it.  Weird...

We (or I) grabbed a starbucks and then went to sit at the gate.  I left my bags and went to the washroom.  And how nice and clean and classy they were!  I got in and, I'm gonna be graphic here but it's part of the story, and sat down on the heated seat and all of a sudden this loud rush of water started coming out of a speaker behind me... Seriously!  It was dual purpose - the sound made me pee and then the sound covered up the sound of me peeing!  Ingenious!  Love it! I rate Japan number one in bathrooms!  Lol - that turned out to be a little pun there:)

We're just taking off and as we pull out - everyone on the runway who's unloading baggage or directing planes or anything, they're stopping and they're doing this grand waving procession as we roll down the runway.... I feel so acknowledged and appreciated! 

Oh - I'm sharing an awesome steet sign saw this morning on the way to the airport... I love signs!

More later once our day begins!

Ron and I are now on the bullet train headed up from Fukokoka to Osaka.  Our training was in Fukuoka.  We arrived via plane from Tokyo around noon and then walked around the corner from the airport and ate lunch at a ramen place where Ron and I sat next to two gushing teenage girls who loved America and practiced their broken English on us.  It was kind of cute:). 

Oh I do need to insert a thanks to mom for teaching me how to use chopsticks - I'm always thankful every time a bowl of udon or ramen is put in front of me and I can expertly maneuver with chopsticks because there's nothing else here!  Not that if want to be using a fork with my udon in Japan!  No thanks - I like the challenge of a good chopstick!

After ramen we walked about 10 minutes to the Canon offices.  We left Tokyo and it was a cool fall morning, we arrived in Fukoka and it was HOT!  I became a sweaty mess on the way to the office!

Training done and Ron and I were dropped off at the train station.  I have my pict with the Chinese bullet trains so here I am in Japan with theirs!

So Ron was telling me that this is an old train that I'm by because the new ones look like a platypus in the front.  We're actually on a platypus train right now.  Apparently Japan has so many tunnels that every time the old train would go through you could feel it slowing down because of the wind resistance so they made these new platypus ones so they break the wind (yes you can laugh at that phrase..:).

Oh I have to share another hilarious Japanese sign!... 
Take that selfie stick and you goofy people using them!

We should get into Osaka at about 7 or so.  We'll stay the night there tonight, do the last training sessions tomorrow morning in Osaka and then take the train to Nagoya for the last training and then take the train back to Tokyo.  I have no clue if we'll end up having time to go to Kyoto tomorrow as we didn't have time tonight!... Sorry mom:(

We ended up going out to eat with our colleagues here in Osaka.  We did the Japanese style where they give you this tray of sauces and then they have these fried bite things that they bring out two at a time and line it up with the sauce that they recommend it be paired with.  There was everything from fried lotus root to beef, fish paste and quail eggs...
My favorite was the shrimp that came out with legs, eyes and all!  I chomped down in everything but the tail:(

They asked me what my favorite Japanese food is and hands down - it's Okonamiyaki!  So they told me that that's where we're going for lunch tomorrow!  Yay!  Tune in tomorrow for what this delicious food is!!!:)

Oh - and here's a sick little tidbit that makes me happy... I just found out that there's a starbucks two blocks down from us - it opens at 7 and we don't get picked up until 7:45 ... Yay!!!!  I'm running on coffee this week!!!!

Night night from Osaka!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Fulfilling My Mothers Dream - Maybe...

I'm sitting in the lobby of my hotel in Tokyo waiting for my work colleague.  We're taking an early bus to the Haneida airport in Tokyo where we'll meet with our associate from Canon in Japan to get on flight to Osaka to do training with the sales force there.  It's gonna be a long long day!

I'm praying that at least the hotel in Osaka has better mattresses... Or at least has mattresses!  I think the "mattresses" here are just chunks of plywood - I woke up at 3 this morning and panicked that I had lost my right arm!  It woke up long after I was awake - and couldn't get back to sleep so... I was up at 5 and enjoyed a leisurely breakfast. Ron and I were just supposed to eat at the aiport - I'm not telling him I already ate because, well, my good friends know my motto is "I can always eat!"... Or at least drink coffee!

So before I left, and whenever I've cento Japan before, my mom always bombards me with comments about "you have to go to Kyoto!"  And I usually respond, I'm not going to see Kyoto - I don't even know where it is!  But today - if our timing is right and if those Osaka sales guys don't ask too many questions of us, we may take the train from Osaka to Kyoto!  It will be dark and we probably won't be able to see much but - tell my mom that I'm goin to Kyoto!  Maybe...:)

Don't Judge A Country By Its Toilet Seats

Or maybe you should judge a country by its toilet seats...  All I know is Japan would be the classiest country in the world!  I'm seriously always infatuated with their toilets!  They play music, the spray scents, the wash your touche for you or mist them lightly.  And my absolute favorite thing is, when you sit down on them - almost anywhere - it's warm and cozy!  Japan is number one in my toilet ratings!

So the other amusing thing about Japanese bathrooms is, in a lot of hotels here (having stayed in a few) they do these mood bathroom things that they install in the rooms.  It's really queer as its this tiny thing that you can tell is ore manufactured.  So weird.

Today was technically not a long day.  It's interesting working with Japanese as opposed to Chinese.  Japanese seem to be much more scheduled and they stick to it.  We started in the office at 10 and were scheduled to just talk business for two hours, then do lunch at noon until one and then one until 5 we did training.  Right on schedule.  Ron did most of the training in Japanese.  He moved here in 1993 and married a Japanese woman and moved back to the states a few years back.  It's nice working with him as we're about the same age and we just work together really well.  Anyways - I sat and nailed with my eyes open for about 3 hours while they all spoke Japanese.  And then at 4 I did my part of the training and had it translated so 30 minutes took an hour.

After the training we went back to Shinjinku by where I was staying.  We dined at one of those take off your shoes and sit on the floor restaurants.  I got a look at my feet when I got back and I'm so embarrassed... Ugh.  Anyways, we had a pretty good Japanese meal that wasn't too much - opposed to Chinese dining which goes on forever and you're so stuffed.  Oh and even better, we weren't fed duck feet or elk hearts.  Thank goodness!  Japanese consists of a lot of chicken which made me happy. And then we were given little cups of sake which wasn't as bad as Palinka but surely wasn't good.

Tomorrow we leave my hotel at 7:20 a.m. To catch a flight to Osaka to do training there.  Tomorrow will be a long long day..

But as I sat occupying time this afternoon, I stumbled upon the most adorable picture ever!!!!  I'm going out tonight on Jasmine and Calvin cuteness!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Long Flight - Hello Asia!

13 hours!  We're finally on the ground!  The older I get the longer long flights seem to get!

I just stood in line to board a limousine bus to Shinjinku ...

My eyes are heavy but I'm determined to stay awake until bed!

A boring flight it was not.  I chose my seat wisely I thought... 33C - exit row by the bathrooms, aisle seat.  It's that exit row that has all the space between you and the next row and the flight attendant jump seats are facing you - bathrooms convienently and annoyingly located to the right.  I was seated next to a cute, petite Asian couple who actually were American Asians still with those little accents.  The wife was about 60 with a white "Hello Kitty" hoodie on - complete with a hood with hello kitty ears which she wore most of the flight.  No comment...

I started the flight with an airline snack that made me chuckle ... 
I didn't eat it...

And towards the end of the flight when they were passing out disgusting trays of powdered eggs, I grabbed the treat my awesome Sean brought me this morning!

So my aside from food flight adventure!...
Midway through the flight I was sitting in my seat with all kinds of snoozing heads nodding all around me, intent on a new Aries I downloaded on my laptop.  BBC with Daniel Craig, Archangel --- if you are interested in Russian history it's a must.  I couldn't take my eyes off the screen.  But then noticed a woman come to that open area and stand presumably to wait for the bathroom.  I looked up for some reason and she just looked strange so I kept looking - and she kept looking stranger - and then all of a sudden - bam, she fell backwards, hitting her head on the exit door!

Because everyone else was snoozing, I was the only one to see and jumped up and just tried to get her eyes open.  She opened them briefly and then I jumped back over to my seat and pushed the call button a few times.   I was kneeling by the woman just trying to keep her from falling over into the crack by the door and he jump seat and finally some attendants came and the hello kitty woman was awake by this time.  So here we are, 4 flight attendants, me standing in the aisle - this poor woman sprawled out on the floor in this tiny area by the bathroom.  They got he oxygen tank and were fixing her oxygen when Hello Kitty woman volunteered she was a retired ICU nurse fr New Jersey.  They ended up calling into a hospital on the ground and they had her laying there with oxygen for a while and ended up icing her bumped head and by the end of the flight she came back to thank us and say she was sorry to inconvenience us.  

Well, that took up like an hour of the flight... So I just had to entertain myself for 12 more...:)

But seriously - people are pretty stupid... There's a woman sprawled out on the floor and they're hell bent they've gotta go that way to the bathroom but you know it's that gapers stare thing going on.... And then there's his tiny Caucasian/Asian looking lady who must have gotten up about 20 times during the flight and was litterally doing this gymnastic stretching thing all up and down the aisle, so when fainting lady is laying here, Caucasian/Asian is doing stretches RIGHT by us - in fact she brushes the flight armed any head with her foot on one of her stretches.  Argh... People...

So I landed and turned my phone on... I feel very very loved as all of my Asian country friends either emailed or texted me with panic demands of why didn't I tell them i was coming and comments of that sort.  Honestly friends!  It was a last minute trip so it was not premeditated exclusion!;)  In fact - this is the first international trip I've ever done where I only brought a carry on.  It's seriously crazy!  It feels like I just flew to D.C. Or San Francisco or something - not Tokyo! The only thing I have in my bag besides my stuff is two jars of Nutella for my friend Seiko!  I begged her to let me bring other stuff!  I feel like I don't get my monies worth if I don't bring 3 bags!:)

It's getting dark now - the weather is nice like when I left home.  I plan on grabbing some bring to eat and falling into bed!  I have training session with our private label company tomorrow morning - but thank goodness not too early!

Night night from Tokyo!

Monday, November 2, 2015

On My Way

I got settled in my seat and this ticket dropped out of my bag and I panicked because I was in the wrong seat - and then I looked again and the it was my Tokyo to Bangkok flight ... And I laughed and thought - Oy vay!  Here I go again!

I'm settled into my nice aisle exit row seat by my tiny Japanese elderly couple seat mates.  13 hours and they just gave us our flight route which takes us over Russia where they'll turn off our radio communication because "there's nothing to hear"... Hmmm...

Off I go to Tokyo!  I've got my cross centered life book and my English/hungarian bible and some BBC videos on my laptop - I think I'm ready to settle in!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Off Again

Kim pointed out to me the other night when we got together that my falls are always crazy... And I guess she's right!

I had rumors of it but then a confirmation while I was in Budapest that work is sending me to Japan to help with some training for sales reps for a company we private label for.  So as soon as I've gotten back and unpacked my ginormous suitcases I'm packing up my small carry on and taking off again for a week!  I leave at noon tomorrow and fly straight to Tokyo.

But for today Sean and I worshipped together at church this morning and then Sean surprised me with an awesome afternoon up by some of his old haunts.  We went to brunch at this woodsy kind of place in somewhere in Wisconsin:). And then we went hiking at Pike Lake in the kettle moraine area .... We took the dogs with us and went up to the top of this hill and then I climbed up a tower at the top and looked out all over and was even able to see good old Holy Hill!  The colors were basically gone but it was such a beautiful day that who cared!  

Oh and we can't forget the Halloween packers themed display!  Weird!  They're skeletons in case you can't tell...

Great afternoon!  Beautiful weather!  Even better company!