It is Savannah's Birthday !
I found her blog this year and must say it is a hoot and I so enjoy
being called sugar when
she comments !
So today a favorite quote for her Birthday...
"We choose our destiny everyday an everyday I choose a destiny of joy"
Savannah, Happy Happy Birthday !
happy. . . parsnip
music. . . Don't Know Why, Norah Jones
Friday, December 31, 2010
It is Savannah's Birthday !
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Close-up of some of the snow on the lower part of the Catalina
Mountain outside of my foothill home In Tucson, Arizona.
Taken this afternoon, the snow is starting to melt by my home but they
haven't cleared all of the road up to the Mt. Lemmon
area, where the town of Summerhaven and our ski lifts are !
A few days early but Winter has come to Tucson !
Commence dancing in the streets !
cheers. . . parsnip
music. . . Dancing in the Streets, Martha and the Vandellas
What I saw this morning after all the clouds lifted, lots of wind,
rain and snow.
This storm blew in with a vengeance from California last night.
They can have it back, Thank You very much !
frozen. . . parsnip
music. . . On A Day Like This, David Bridie
It will be below freezing tonight.
So my citrus trees have the old-fashion C-8 size Christmas light in
them to give off a small amount of heat
plus a good watering to help them combat the affects of the super cold
drop in temperature today and tonight.
You can't tell by this photo but the rain drops were really tiny
snowflakes that melted as they hit the ground.
Pretty but really cold !
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Ok here we are in Tucson Arizona eating the Christmas Durian... or
trying to eat the Durian !
Called the King of Fruit in Asia, the Durian is the stinkiest fruit you
will ever encounter.
Many cities in Asia forbid the eating of the fruit in public places,
hotel rooms and just anywhere where people are
besides your home and I think if they could they would forbid it there
You should eat this fruit in a open field in the middle of nowhere.
Durian groves have nets tied under the trees to catch the ripe fruit
as it drops
as it can cause great damage to any person walking under the tree. The
shell is very heavy, hard and with sharp spikes !
The hard spiky outer shell holds a fruit so aromatic that the
fragrance has been said to resemble dirty socks.
I though it smelled like really cheap bad California Gasoline.
Pull off the inside layer skin to revel the custard like sack that
holds the seed. Discard the seed and suck the creamy fruit
that is suppose to taste like vanilla pudding.
Ours was frozen and I think out of season when picked because it
kinda tasted like onions dipped in gasoline.
We will try again when in season and hopefully a-bit more tasty !
It is just one of those crazy thing one does when family gets together.
spiky. . . parsnip
music. . . Banking On A Myth, Andrew Bird
Thursday, December 23, 2010
This is the second card in the Arizona Christmas series.
Last year was a Cardinal in a Palo Verde Tree,
This year it is Two Mourning Doves In A Mesquite Tree.
I am taking Arizona liberties with the Twelve Days of Christmas. . .
Lots of blogger have been writing why they don't send out Christmas
WELL I AM A GREETING CARD ARTIST AND PROUD OF IT !
wahahahahahahahahahahahah. ( insert evil maniacal laugh )
Except for bills... I decorate envelopes, make postcards and enjoy
sending out greetings.
But that is just me and I know not for everyone.
e-mail is great don't get me wrong I love "talking" to my family in
Japan really fast, instant fast.
But, oh my goodness, a card you can hold in your hand and reread,
it is like a real book and not a "kindle"
It is the fact someone thought enough to send you a card.
Many of my friends ( in my age group = very old and very creaky)
don't need or want a gift, our cards are our gifts
with a note for a visit, lunch or dinner at a later date.
I know someone who can't even be bothered to set up a tree or even buy
a plant ? ? ? too much bother ?
I am not saying that if you have to send out cards and to do so will
make you crazy by all means don't do it.
Enjoy the time with the ones you love and cut out the commercialism of
mass gift buying.
But our go fast instant gratification society is really taking over
and for me wrong in so many ways.
Hey I'm old I get it !
Like getting a mass e-mail is kinda weird to me... especially when
you get one from your x who just told you
how %$^#&%$^@!!*&^^$ you are then lumps you in with 500 other super
very close friends that must
read this most import message he just had to send out ?
I laughed so hard over that one... OMG I need to write a book.
So for all my super wonderful blogging friends, who will never know
how much I really enjoy all your blogs,
I wish you
Merry Merry Christmas
New Year Filled with
music. . . II Est Ne Le Divin Enfant, Anne Lennox
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
What a Night and Day...
Arizona Son's Birthday is on the Solstice, also this year the Lunar
Very exciting !
All night we both kept going outside to view the sky and Moon. What an
One of the best Birthdays ever !
The only problem is the clouds started to flow in after weeks of clear
starry skies, ahead of the storm
that comes in Wednesday.
My new point and click... kept freaking out trying to focus on misty
clouds, bright moon or clouds.
So to drive the poor thing more crazy I keep changing the setting,
candlelight dinner, sunset,
dynamic photo, night scene portrait... I hit them all trying to get
That is why you will see such a change in the photos. Plus at the end
the moon does turn an orange color.
birthday. . . parsnip
music. . . Burning In The Sun, Blue Merle.
We will be celebrating by going out to dinner at Zemams, Ethiopian
Monday, December 20, 2010
Friday, December 17, 2010
I love Christmas Music, the hymns, the carols maybe the fact that it is only played once a year,
when the nights are indeed silent, crisp, cold, stars twinkling, and the wonder and excitement of Christmas Day to come.
For me it was sitting in Church listening to the music and sometimes singing, all our voices filling the church made it so special.
I have many favorite carols, the ones we all know and sang in school and hear in every shop and TV special.
But I also love the ones we don't hear as much, II Est Ne Le Divin Enfant, The Holly and the Ivy, Lullay Lullay.
I decided one Christmas ( after the x walked out ) the children and I should do something different so I took us all to Tokyo, Japan for Christmas. Japan = Christmas ? ? ? Go figure
They celebrate Christmas, kind of, more for all the foreign visitors I think. Their big Holiday is New Year. But was quite fun being there, everyone was wonderful to us and we all had a fabulous time !
Back home looking up Tatsuro Yamashita's theme music for Japan's World Cup Yacht Race Team, I find his Christmas Song that was used for the JR X' mas Express.
A series of commercials starting in 1988, they show people trying to get home to their love ones using the Express Train. In Japan you hear this song everywhere at Christmas like we hear Jingle Bells.
He has a Japanese and English version and it makes me wish I had someone waiting at the train station for me and yes I liked all the old Kodak commercials too !
The whole song can be found on his album Christmas Eve, Moon Records. I had a hard time finding this album but for me it was worth it !
Have fun listening to Christmas Eve and Merry Christmas to you all my special blogging friends !
singing. . . parsnip
music. . . anything by Tatsuro Yamashita
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
I know, I know, I spoil "The Square Ones" but they are my boys and I
and Christmas is coming. . . what is a mumzilla to do ?
I went to Target or as we like to call it "La TarJay" in your very
best French accent please !
It is the very best store in the world you can find just about anything
and I found these barely stuffed doggie toys.
The Raccoon and Bunny are sitting rather squishy on my lap top so you
can see they are really big.
The paws and tails squeak and these sounds drive The Boys crazy.
The problem with Scottie are the Jaws and the need to prove they are
indeed Great Hunters...
delusions of grander abound !
I give these two toys about 15 seconds !
They are so cute I think maybe I should keep them safe for awhile. I
don't think The Boys would mind do you ?
wahahahahahahahahahah woo hoo, ( tear running down cheek ! )
clueless. . . parsnip
music. . . Christmas Is Coming, Miss Piggy and Gonzo
Thursday, December 9, 2010
The Koshikiiwa Jinja Temple was where Mia's Omiyamairi was held.
This Blessing Ceremony is much like our Baptism and is held one month after the birth of the baby up to five months.
The extra time was really helpful for the American side of the family so we could be there for this very special day.
This was why we went to Japan in October of this year but I noticed I didn't post any photos. Both photos are by the very talented mollybot.
The Shinto priest is getting the shrine ready for Mia's Blessing Ceremony.
This is a small but very beautiful shrine is in the Koshikiiwa Jinja Temple.
In the top part of the alter is a round mirror, one of the three symbols of the Shinto Belief. A mirror to reflect your true nature, there is also a sword for power and purification and a jewel for influence over others.
The priest's chants include the name of the baby, date of birth, parents names and most important the baby's address so the Gods can find the baby and bless her. I just loved that last part !
David helped with parts of the ceremony and held an offering of a branch of the Sakaki Tree tied with white folded paper. I had the honor of holding Mia because I was Mia's Grandmother on the Fathers side.
grandmother. . . parsnip
music. . . Breath of Heaven, Amy Grant
May whatever you believe in find you and bless you too.
Monday, December 6, 2010
I just had to post a picture that sleeptako took
of Kogumachan eating.
Even using the dish, spoon and rice the Priest
gave her at her Blessing Ceremony, you can tell she
is not really all that happy with the rice.
I say forget the rice and get the girlfriend some
eating. . . parsnip
music. . . Twist and Shout, The Beatles
more photo's can be found at Mia's blog
Koguma's View at the right column.
Posted by the proud papa, sleepytako
Saturday, December 4, 2010
Japan sometimes seems to have the market covered on Kawaii ! (cute)
but Oh My Goodness ! how cute are two mascots outside Mainichi Broadcasting Building.
Channel 4 TV mascot is a very kawaii Lion. The other (elf-platypus ?) is the mascot for a popular comedy show.
Mascots are everywhere in Japan and I love them !
kawaii. . . parsnip
music. . .Tonari No Totoro, ost My Neighbor Totoro
photos by mollybot
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Fabulous paper fish in the outside wall waiting area for a
restaurant at The Nishinomiya Gardens Mall, Japan.
I fell in love with the purple Sea Urchin ( Uni )
photos by mollybot
Outside waiting area at one of the fabulous restaurants at The
Nishinomiya Gardens a new mall near sleepytako's home.
While you wait, you can pick out what fish you wanted ! Made out of
paper folded and twisted into shape these fish were
absolutely perfect, outstanding and beyond gorgeous ! The
backlighting made them just glow.
Forget the food I wanted to rip these origami fish out of the wall.
The only thing stopping me was I was with daughter mollybot and the
fact my get away would be hampered by my lack of mobility.
Maybe Santa needs need to put one of those motorized scooters under
my Christmas Tree !
hungry. . . parsnip
music. . . Complicated Decision, ost The Last Exile
Monday, November 29, 2010
It was lightly raining, the sun was out, the clouds blowing in from
the north and a light dusting of snow on Mt. Lemmon.
Winter has come to Tucson. The high today 50 and the low 28.
Hope my old citrus grove will survive, I may run out and pick up some
lights to keep them warm but later this week it will be in the 70 +
They are loaded with fruit. If we have a wind tonight they will be fine.
I usually leave them in the hands of the weather gods ! and hope for
dithering . . . parsnip
music. . Suddenly The Trees are Giving Way, Ulrich Schnauss
p.s. the weather warning just came on with a hard freeze tonight...
just might go out and pick up some lights... the small amount of heat
coming off from the light bulb usually is enough to help the trees.
Off to the hardware store !
Sunday, November 28, 2010
The worlds largest statue of the Buddha, Daibutsu.
It is 30 meters tall and weighs 250 tons.
When you walk into the Great Buddha Hall at the Todai-ji Temple and
you see this large, beautiful Buddha before you, is to be engulfed by
I picked this photo so you can see the wonderful workmanship in this
This Temple complex was started in 735, re-build twice after fires and
The current building was finished in 1709.
Thanks to g-mail/internet this post has taken two day and the order
has been messed up.
The photo of the Todia-Ji Temple should be first but I am happy most
of the photos made it to the blog !
wishing. . . parsnip
music. . . Silk, Ryuichi Sakamoto
One of the Kings who protect the Four Directions.
Carved wood extremely tall and beyond Beautiful.
p.s. Thanks to internet (comcast) problems my posts are all messed up and not in the correct order. This photo goes after Todia-Ji Temple and the Buddha, Daibutsu which is still floating around cyber space somewhere.
Saturday, November 27, 2010
The Todia-Ji Buddhist Temple in Nara is the Eastern Great Temple.
The Great Buddha Hall is the Largest Wooden building in the world.
It houses the worlds largest Bronze statue of the Buddha, Daibutsu.
This Temple is a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This photo does not convey how huge, beautiful this temple is and it
is all made of wood !
overwhelmed. . . parsnip
music. . . The Sheltering Sky, Ryuchi Sakamoto
One of the rear support pillars of the temple has a hole through the
bottom, if you are successful in squeezing through you are guaranteed
a place in Heaven.
This is very small, children and teens get through, adults will try
and usually have to back out.
One of my sons was going to try and we all knew he could have done it
but it was a weekend and the line was really long.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Sika Deer, are regarded as messengers of the Gods in the Shinto Religion.
They roam the grounds of the Todai-ji Temple and parts of the city of
You will see them cross the busy intersection in the crosswalk with
the tourists and the people who live and work in the area.
Sometimes they will cross the street by themselves but they don't pay attention to
Red and Green lights. So even if it is your time to drive,
you must wait for the deers to cross the road and they can take their sweet
time. After all it is their City and Temple !
Photos by sleepytako and mollybot
running. . . parsnip
music. . . Vanishing World, Final Fantasy
If you don't keep moving while feeding the deer. . . they will double
team you to get at the cookies. You must keep moving till all the
cookies are gone.
Then show your empty hands, hopefully with all your fingers !
The Deer are very polite till it comes to the cookies !
Sunday, November 21, 2010
On Saturday the big news in Tucson was the Tour de Tucson, a 109 mile
Bike race around Tucson Arizona. The evening news said 9000 people
rode in this race.
It comes right by my street so I was able to see some of the riders.
Quite amazing !
Later that day at sunset an Alien Space Ship arrived with two smaller
ships in tow.
What a fabulous sky !
I didn't play with the colors, they where changing as I was shooting
these photos but the red had more of a rose hue and with the gray blue
of the rest of the cloud it was beyond beautiful.
one of the two moons from Tatooine ? must ask Luke.
amazed. . . parsnip
music. . . Pink Moon, Nick Drake
Friday, November 19, 2010
On a trip to visit sleepytako who was living and teaching in Sanda
Japan at the time, I came to realize how much I love vending machines.
Sanda Is about 35 kilometers beyond the Rokko Mountain range from
This is a big agricultural area known for fabulous Strawberries and
the famous Kobe Beef.
It is about a hour train ride into Osaka through some of the most
beautiful mountains, tree covered tunnels (each tunnel has a name) to
bridges over rocky, crystal clear rivers.
It is visual heaven to this desert dweller.
Sanda is a commuter family town and has a vibrant city area and train
station but I was living out in the countryside so I had a charming
but very small train station.
Next to the train station, there were fields of rice and vegetables
along both sides of the road I walked to get to the apartment I was
You never see a plot of land that is empty in Japan if it is flat
there is always something growing on it from rice, vegetables or
Late one evening after we left the lights of the train station, parking lot, taxi
station and a few late night riders, it was just me and the mollybot
walking down this very dark and quiet road. There were a few homes and
street lights but it was dark and so quiet I swear that you could hear
the rice growing.
Then right before us glowing in the dark standing all by itself next
to an electrical pole and a rice field, lighting our way down the road
was a soft drink vending machine. Softly glowing in the dark all by
itself, just standing there lighting our way.
I came to really love seeing that vending machine on those late night
I miss that walk, I miss that vending machine and I can't believe I
don't have a picture !
But I remember it all, like I was just there walking down that road
again late last night !
glowing. . . parsnip
music. . . A Place We Must Return To, Final Fantasy OST
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
There are many things I adore about Japan...
One of my top favorite things besides Oshibori (the warm soft towels
you get before you eat) are Vending Machines !
They are everywhere (thank goodness) they sell everything and I mean
from soft drinks, beer, coffee/tea, liquor, rice, books, toys,
clothing and food.
Above vending machine is from my favorite car ferry, the Tako Ferry.
They sell the expected soft drinks but also 24 Hour Hot Food !
This photo was taken on the covered deck at the front of the ferry.
Someone near me had bought the #5 and although I don't know how it
tasted ? but it looked really good.
drinking. . . parsnip
music. . .Loopy, Loopy, Takuya Ohashi
photos by mollybot and angryparsnip
Friday, November 12, 2010
Display of the all the wonderful Mochi packages designed by Taro Gomi.
Ack ! the cuteness of this display is killing me !
I would have bought every box there but I knew how much space was left
in my luggage.
This is a link to their shop. See the Fabulous !
woo hoo. . . parsnip
music. . . Gimme Some Lovin', Spencer Davis Group
photo by, mollybot
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Little two bite Mochi
Mochi is made of glutinous rice pounded into a paste molded into
shapes and cooked. You can buy Mochi flour now and skip the pounding
These little sweets were plain Mochi.
Daifuku is a soft round mochi filled with sweet Red Bean paste.
If your lucky you can find Shiominama Daifuku, that have Red Bean
Paste with Cream filling rolled in Sea Salt. Fabulous !
Mochi can also be wrapped around Ice Cream.
Sunday, November 7, 2010
While looking for escape routes just in case I accidentally found myself in possession of a Fugu Lantern. . . a busy Takoyaki stand in old Osaka.
Thanks to mollybot again for use of her photo as I was somewhat busy that day.
hungry. . . parsnip
music. . . Unwavering Decision, Nobuo Uematsu
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
These lanterns/lights are hanging everywhere in the old town of Osaka.
It is all my children can do to keep me from ripping off these fabulous Fugu lanterns and evading the police. I want ! ! !
Fugu story follows below.
River Pig, Pufferfish or Fugu is lethally poisonous if not prepared right.
Well let me tell you forget that, Fugu is rather bland.
Lethal is what you are suppose to drink with it. A lovely concoction of fried
Fugu skin, fins, tail and hot spirits. If the smell doesn't kill you the taste will !
drowning. . . parsnip
music. . . Mad World, Michael Andrew, Gary Jules.
Thanks to mollybot for the use of her photos. I was to busy casing escape routes in case I accidentally found myself in possession of a Fugu lantern.
Monday, November 1, 2010
I adore Osaka Tower ! It is in the old downtown area of Osaka.
It is much loved by the people and was called when first built "The Tower Reaching Heaven"
It is famous for it's neon lights and has a wonderful big clock. One side of the tower also has public service announcements.
I think it has a charm all it's own and I love the retro sci fi look. Unlike the more well known Tokyo Tower that is painted painted red and white, looks like the Eiffel tower and is much taller, I really like the Osaka Tower better ! Very Kawaii !
This photo was taken by mollybot (Daughter) on our last trip to Osaka and it was a super busy day. Right below and around the tower there is a little open space and the best takoyaki stand ever !
I love this older area of Osaka it is vibrant, fun, exciting, a feast for the eyes and of course the food !
Add-on.... I forgot to write that this was festival week all over Japan, so lots of days off from work and school so everyone was out and about ! Fun !
osaka. . . parsnip
music. . . Cloud Age Symphony, Okino, Shuntaro
Many major cities in Japan seem to need a tower.
I think with the older towers they were used as Radio and later TV towers. They also are featured to boost city pride and recognition. There is usually a viewing area, omiyage (small gifts) shop, even a restaurant and bar in several.
Many are designed to look like the Eiffel Tower and one of my favorite clones is Nagoya Tower. It is featured in the 1992 movie Godzilla vs Mothra where the tower is destroyed in a battle . . . ACK ! NOOOOO !
Big Godzilla fan here ! Big reason why Japanese family and friends call me mumzilla.
This is one of my favorite sleepytako (Japanese Son) photo of Kyoto Tower.
Not many people seem to like it's retro look and it is largely ignored in Kyoto.
Both he and I really like this tower and it reminds us of the "Cloud City"
from "The Empire Strikes Back"
Saturday, October 30, 2010
In honor of Carole's Day . . . I give you " Murder By Agave "
31 October 2010
Many people think today is Halloween but it is Carole's Birthday of
the blog... " Dry Bones ".
Mystery writer, great blog name, and born on Halloween. . . the whole
I wrote a post about her on 31 August 2010, sorry I can't get the
link to link-up....
I like the name "Century Plant" better than Agave as that is what I
grew up with in Tucson
but all the titles I came up with didn't seem to fit as well as this
Simple and to the point !
Carole, I hope you have a great day and as Marie said... Let there be
or something close to it.
murderous. . . parsnip
music. . . The Happy Birthday Song, Andrew Bird
If you would like the real paper card... e-mail me your address !