Thursday, January 31, 2013

Ode to Toshiba

My amazing husband tries to convince me every time I get a new computer  all will be fine, the learning curve will be short, I won't lose a thing....and usually I AM the one that loves change around here...but when it comes to technology...I like to use what I know. 

Alas...Toshiba has served me well. She's traveled several times to Korea, VA, TN, TX, WA, OR, Tokyo, Okinawa and more....She was my connection home when I was stranded away from all family during the tsunami of 2011....She's run videos and slides for conferences, training sessions, conference workshops.... I have gotten screens such as this one (and many more) for months and months. 
She crashes - often - like 8 - 10 times a day. I made more frequent use of our EHD.  I noticed it was crashing most often when I was using video or graphics....and so we removed the graphic card and dusted....and we limped along....she snaps and pops now before she dies....we moved from blue screens to black screens. The Donald, our computer master, broke the news to me - it would be silly to invest any more money into Toshiba....

Michael knows my heart beats for Apple. In fact, for a couple of years Toshiba wore an apple....he told me he'd get me a Mac and we went shopping. I can get 2x the computer for a third the cost...and so I now have Sony....

Sony has set by my desk for nearly two weeks. I finally got it (not a her yet) out of the box. How hard could this be? I'd just transfer the files from the EHD, set up Outlook again, download a zillion programs and be off....but see...Sony is possessed by pure the form of WINDOWS 8!  And THAT is what I've spent a ton of time doing this between ministry conference calls, international conference calls, and life.....I've been trying to set up Sony. Seriously how hard CAN it be to remember where the START button is????  I will say Sony doesn't die in the middle of a call and that is endearing....however....Skype "for Windows 8" is also of the evil one.

In fact....I'm blogging from Toshiba....because I've not gotten Picasa to work well on Sony yet....and I had to share these photos....of my dear friend, ministry and traveling partner these past 3.5 years. I am also still clunky on the new keyboard and I'm in a hurry.

Yes, Toshiba may not have been an Apple...but she was uniquely mine....and I'm not sure I can get the DUCK sticker to transfer...and it's a sure thing I'm not finding another over here.

What's a mom to do with love gifts from a 5 yo? Yes, this fish has traveled with me and graced Toshiba for a couple of years....
Alas, the time has come. We'll leave in the a.m. for two weeks of traveling. I cannot take my ipad and TWO laptops....I must choose...and I'm hoping to have  Sony ready to go - because one of these times when Toshiba snaps, crackles and pops she won't reboot.

Goodbye my friend. Hello my new friend. Please understand, I'm sure I'll come to love you and appreciate your strengths.

It is fitting this post was started on Toshiba with photos from her hard drive....and finished on Sony.....maybe the transition will be total - soon.

Choosing Joy!
©2013 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Peanut Butter Chocolate "Larabars" (vegan)

Nolan likes Peanut Butter Chocolate Larabars....I attempted to make some today as our Vitacost order isn't in. My family loved these. I adapted a couple of recipes. 

8 oz pitted dates (2 C)
1/2 C peanuts
2 T natural peanut butter
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 C chocolate
water - as needed added 1 tsp at a time

Combine dates and peanuts in food processor - blend until they form a paste

Add in peanut butter, salt (omit if peanuts are salted) and vanilla. 

If it appears to crumbly to press into a bar; add a tsp of water. I only needed one. 

Add chocolate

Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper for ease of cutting and clean up. 

Plop dough in the middle of out firmly...pack it DOWN....starting in the center...

Freeze at least 15 min and cut. I wrap individually for taking on the road...but you don't have too. These can be stored in the fridge or freezer....

Arielle has liked other bars I've made...but EVERYONE loved these. Everyone. I think they are a bit sweet and was talking about decreasing the dates or increasing the peanuts and cutting back on the chocolate....and Michael said, "Why do you do that? We like them." Ok - then. LOL 

I would suspect the nutritional value is similar to Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Lara Bars, I posted last week. More fat and a bit more protein is my guess. 

Choosing Joy!
©2013 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Sunday, January 27, 2013


Shougatsu is the Japanese New Year Festival. Today we went to the Misawa International Center for Shougatsu after church.

First on the agenda were speeches from base officials, city officials, MIC officials....and then Mochi Pounding. Mochi - is pounded sweet rice cakes....

Stacia was at the front of the line and was surprised at how heavy the pounding stick is. 

Tastes much better than it looks

Lawson loves Mochi

Next we learned how to roll sushi. I have to be really careful of shell fish. He had told me the meat was not crab  - but imitation crab. This is me trying to ask WHAT it was - cod. This really was good and I use to hate it all....I skipped the fish and egg...but the daikon, cucumber and mushrooms were great wrapped in rice and seaweed.

Zander is tutored on how to properly play with the Japanese toys. He loved it.....

so did Stacia!

Arielle tried to avoid the Master Calligraphers. She wasn't in the mood...but .... and when she got a chance she snuck away....he came and found me and stamped her work, "Very, very good," he said.

This lady came as a Navy spouse to Misawa. They liked it here, got out, stayed here and have been here for 24 years. She shows the girls how to play the Koto.....

This is a traditional instrument that plays traditional music and they  really thought Arielle should take lessons. She'd like to.....we only have 5 1/2 months left...not sure how practical that is. 

Choosing Joy!
©2013 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Friday, January 25, 2013

Happy Birthday to MOI....

I have not been avoiding blogging about my birthday because I'm a year older. I welcome another year. I'm thrilled to be approaching 50. I figure when I hit 50 I WILL be respectable. ::snort::  I have not blogged because my birthday this year was a 3 Day Event and I needed it to happen before blogging. 

Last year I was traveling on my birthday. Due to wild schedules, unexpected surgeries and LIFE - we never celebrated it. My family has raised the bar high this year. birthday post: 

De'Etta's Birthday Day 1 - Jan 24th - the day in Japan 
We did school.  I enjoyed many Facebook greetings. I Skyped with Jared. Christina and her boys came over and we discussed the first 5 chapters of Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe, by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson.  She gave me a super cute Flirty Apron and we had a great time connecting. Michael worked late. Akikosan came over and brought something that looks like Moon Pies but are filled with ice cream. I have an "Akiko" rule to all fasting and eating lifestyles. If she brings something over not on my plan I eat it any way.  I appreciated her birthday treat. 

De'Etta's Birthday  Day 2 - Jan 25th - the day in America
We did school. I replied to even more Facebook greetings. I am richly blessed and enjoyed touching base with many I don't hear from well as those I do connect with on a more regular basis. ::grin::  Marvie and Ashley came over for the afternoon. I so enjoyed our visit....and had a breakthrough sparked by a comment of Marvie's. Friendships are such great "sharpening tools" in the hand of the Master. Marvie gave me a gorgeous candle holder with a quote about friendship. It will remind me of her every time I see it.

Michael came home for dinner and then we had GIFTS....lots of fun gifts.....

Arielle knitted socks - and they are WARM

Nolan got me a good read...The China Study 

As I journal my way to freedom I am tearing up our stack of blank journals. Stacia blessed me with a  new journal covered in  cherry blossoms - perfect for journaling while in Japan. 

Fun card full of coupons from all for deep cleaning, organizing and more

Zander got me a necklace with a tree that says "Be Strong and Courageous" - our family vision for the year is "Live courageously." 

Arielle bought me this Kanji symbol for "courage."  This is an encouragement, affirmation and challenge all rolled into one. Those who have followed my journey to freedom from food addiction know there came a point where I felt God let me know He calls me courageous...and I'm simply to follow Him - with courage. Yeah - before the family had a 2013 focus....God certainly works it all together well when He has a message to impress.  This will always remind me of freedom, God's care and Japan. 
Michael gifted me with 3 coupons for rides to the onsen (yes), a coupon for a spa pedicure (YES), and a sturdy silver chain. I also have a new laptop sitting beside my desk which I need to start using one day soon....but what will I do without a computer that snaps, crackles, pops and goes black? ::snort:: 

The birthday cake was a dilemma  I could have made a vegan cake...but the family REALLY likes ice cream cakes....and so I told them to make an ice cream cake and I'd have yonanas. I DO plan to be a nutritarian, but at this point, don't give an alcoholic a drink do you? I need to be careful with trigger foods.  I was SERIOUSLY fine with them picking the flavors and making a cake for themselves. I've been having yonanas instead of ice cream for months.  I left them to decide on flavors....and they decided to ALL have yonanas with me. We did add some mini Reeses cups. 

De'Etta's Birthday Day 3  - Jan 26th
It is also our family tradition for the birthday person to choose dinner. Most often a favorite restaurant is chosen, though some of the kids have requested special favorites and dinner at home.  *I* always choose a dinner OUT. Since time had been at a premium, and my family was determined we would not skip my birthday or the traditions this year, we chose today to be a family outing day and "the meal." 

We headed to Hachinohe - and I discovered the roads from here to there are clear once you get off our farm road....I plan to explore Hachinohe this winter.  We visited the Children's Museum and Planetarium.  We didn't get lost at all! We're getting this figured out. 

Zander grabbed these first photos! He LOVED using the camera we found when we cleaned out Jared's things. 
Taken by Zander
Take by Zander

I was a bit worried when all we saw were butterflies, peacock and a whale skeleton.....Michael headed to the floor above and we found the fun. I breathed easier. 

Room totally covered in mirrors - floors, walls, ceiling

Low ceiling

SQUIRREL - reminds me of my GAFB gals

These magnets were really fun 

Little bikes are rigged to go around a track as you pedal 

"What are they?" - "Um that's how we projected worship chorus' before PowerPoint ...and it worked well." ::snort:: 

It was embarrassing to find Arielle sleeping  at the end of the special English showing they gave us in the planetarium. She was aware of us by this point. It was dark and the reclining chairs were comfy. 

We had fun with this too. You could see your weight on every planet. I need to move to Pluto (which isn't really a planet from what I heard but still is in Hachinohe). 

Arielle reminded me of the organic restaurant in Hach. I'd been once....we stopped by there on our way back to Misawa for my birthday lunch. It's an all-you can eat buffet....

The expectation seems to be lots of little tastes...that green thing was good - though I'm not sure what it was. 

Michael is at a formal event tonight. We didn't think long enough. ::snort:: I did NOT want to spend $200 on a dress I may well outgrow in a couple of months as I'm still loosing steady weight. I have no formals that fit. We thought and thought and couldn't think of anyone my size to borrow from....and then Marvie told me yesterday she had one I could borrow....but we hadn't RSVP'd...and Michael is at the head table so it's a bit hard to sneak an extra in. ::snort:: My man was handsome when he left here. He said he should have sent me to Shimoda to spend the money on the dress - it would have been worth it. Ah - sweet.

The kids had neighborhood kids in to play games for a few hours. We're going to eat left overs and then settle down for a quiet night as we wait for Michael to get home.

There you have it - the story of how we spread my birthday out to THREE DAYS of celebrating!

Choosing Joy!
©2013 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Chemistry "Lava Lamp"

She gathered the supplies and hoped this experiment would work better than the mento/coke thing did......

Everyone got involved

Then they went crazy with the alka-seltzer and food dye

It actually did work well - this is the best photo I got! Sort of a 70's lava lamp thing going on

Choosing Joy!
©2013 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...