Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Little P and The Garden

My little P....thank goodness he is a fighter too. What a strong boy he is. It's been about 1.5 since we discovered his growth and took him to the vet. The incision made by the lousy vet is now healing up nicely, but the growth is still very prominent. He's been refusing his antibiotics too. In the beginning, he used to take it quietly without protest, but lately he's been fidgety and frantic. I guess he is "genki" again (which means well in Japanese). He has about the same amount of energy, jumps around everywhere, eats normally, drinks normally, sleeps well. He just has that weird growth on him, which I'm hoping doesn't affect him too much. I love him the way he is, and I hope he stays with us for a while.

In other news, the Garden has been thriving beautifully!!! I'm so happy to see so many green tomatoes!! And for the first time, we have PEAS!! Yay for our little veggie garden! We have 2 small pods of peas right now. I hope they continue growing. Cilantro's doing well except there's small white flowers growing on them and the squash is still growing, no flowers yet.

(small pod of peas)

(so excited to see this!! Yes peas!)

(gorgeous cluster of cherry tomatoes)

Feeling Happy,
The Lady

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

My Grandpa, the fighter

My grandpa is a fighter. 

And leaving is always so hard. So emotionally difficult. 

I had the pleasure of spending a week with him this time, which I am eternally grateful. I would accompany him to his home or hospital where he would get dialysis for his kidney. I would bring him lunches on days off from dialysis and watch him eat, try to talk to him and watch him fall asleep. I hope he enjoyed my company as well. He would mostly cry when he saw me, and after a while, he would just be quiet and stare at my face.

He was never much of a talker, my grandpa. He never really told stories or how he felt like my grandma. My grandma is very transparent (which I appreciated) and my grandpa a bit more reserved. Moreso now, he doesn't talk. But he tells me he is happy to see me with his tears and his eyes. He doesn't have to say much to express that. I know that he wishes he wasn't in this condition and that he could come back home to LA with me, just to visit a while longer. 

Old age and getting old is terrible. I wish I could stop it. But the most I could do for my grandpa at this stage was just to hold his hand and be by his side. I hope he continues to fight and stay with us as long as possible.

(Grandpa eating lunch at his home)
(He loved the bagel I brought him. He loves bagels, especially onion bagels. I'm glad
he enjoyed it)

(On my way back to my aunt's house, I would pass the Hankyu train station. This trainline has so many
memories tied to me and my family. I love this burgundy color train.)

(Outside the terminal at Itami)

(ANA check in counter at Itami)

(I don't quite remember this airport but before KIX was built, this was the airport we used a lot. My dad
has fond memories of this place)

(Waiting area at Itami)

My Bachan's bento are the best. Like literally, all of her children (my mom and aunts) rave about it. Still to this day, they are adults but love having her make their lunches (bento). Likewise, my grandma's grandchildren (The Lady and my sister) love her bento too. She makes the BEST tamago yaki (sweet egg omelet) and I love her onigiri. This was a fantastic bento, my kind of bento. Tamagoyaki, onigiri, hanpen and Japanese sausages. My goodness, it was glorious. When we got to Haneda, we finally got a place to sit and a few minutes before we had to board, so we ate our really late dinner together.

The pros of traveling with an elderly woman is getting upgraded. We were upgraded to Economy Premium and were right in the front row seats. The leg room was fabulous, plus we got little cool things like slippers to walk around the airplane with. I love flying with ANA!! However, this seat did get slightly annoying because I had no where to put my feet again. It just like danged in the air (because I'm short), I wish I had an ottoman or something.

(My grammy, all set and ready to go! I can't believe how lucky I am to still be
able to travel with her!)

.........................And we're back in LA. Wow, big jump. The first few days are always such a culture shock to me. It always has been, ever since I was a child. Coming back is depressing and usually takes me a week or so to get back in the norm of things.

The Man made progress on the ceiling and rushed to finish this all up by the time I got home. The ceiling drywall was screwed in and the lights were installed. We're still missing the two surface mounts, but the recessed lighting is in. Ceiling looks great! Again, the Man has proven he can do anything! (and thank you to the Man and his mom for cleaning up the disgusting mess before I got home).

Caught In Two Worlds,
The Lady

Saturday, May 16, 2015

The garden state

Well, a week being gone and some if not most of the veggies were just destroyed by pests and insects!! The butter lettuce, gone. Absolutely obliterated. Basil, non-existent. Kale, goodbye. Cilantro is doing okay, but needed some TLC. The peas were half eaten, some are surviving but it's not looking too good! So sad!! The only thriving plants are basically the tomatoes. Lesson learned about this......there is no such thing as organic planting. One cannot grow veggies without using some form of pesticides or pest control :(

(At least my tomatoes are thriving, if nothing else)

In other news, of course I've been enjoying my grandma's company while she is here in the States, as well as her home cooking. She's the best cook ever! I love everything she makes, including her world famous (just kidding) Potato Salad, which the Man loves as well, her Kinpira Gobo (burdock roots and carrots) and Shirae (tofu mixed with spinach and sweet miso). All my favorites!

(Chikuwa brought from Japan!)

The Man also finally finished (well almost) his work table project, which we started in February. It came together quite nicely but it's heavy and sturdy as heck. It took both of us to flip this table over.

My grandma loves organizing and one of her things is cleaning up the unwanted weeds and growing plants. She basically took off all the fern on the shared fence so the tomato plants could get better sunlight.

We also planted more basil since the original ones got all eaten up. I also brought back some Shiso seeds from Japan which we also planted. Hope they come out well this time!

Green thumbing it,
The Lady

Friday, May 15, 2015

Hitting too close to my heart

I am so behind with my blogs. Still got stuff to post from Japan and then from Mother's Day, but this week, I was overtaken by the sadness and worry for Little P. 

My little affectionate baby, Little P was playing around last Friday evening in his little tube playground when I noticed a little bump and a blood spot on his side. I immediately freaked out and the Man and I examined him a little closer. Sure enough, like the picture below, he had a growth and had probably been chewing on it. My poor little baby. I cried so much that night. 

Unfortunately, we took him to the wrong kind of vet who had horrible bed side manners and made an incision in his growth, which is now still healing. The second image below shows how swollen and black/purple his growth is because of the vet's carelessness. We regret having him go through that, I'm sure it was traumatizing. We found out basically that it was a growth (not sure if it's cancerous) but it definitely was not a cyst or a pool of pus.

It's been a week now since I discovered the growth on him. He has been in such good spirits. My little boy is such a fighter, his scab is starting to heal better (first day was terrible, it looked so swollen) and he is still running around full of energy. We decided not to go through with his surgery and let him live the rest of his life full of energy as himself. I didn't want him to be weak and in pain after the surgery and who knows if he would have lived through it.

I'm so glad he is still himself and eats, drinks, sleeps and plays around just the same. He lets me pet him as well, which is nice. The Man has been giving him his antibiotics so the cut doesn't get infected. However, his growth is not getting smaller, it's about the same size. It's always so hard to prepare for death. It's inevitable but still, so hard when you get attached and your pet becomes family. I remember when our first hamster, Hamilton, had to be put down. It was such a heartbreaking and devestating thing for us to do. I hope that Little P lives a good, painless rest of his life and just goes in his sleep peacefully. He has brought me so much joy and love in my life, something I will never forget. 

For now, thanks for sticking by us Little P and being a part of our family. We love you so dearly.

Distressed and saddened,
The Lady

Sunday, May 3, 2015

All the glorious foods of Japan

Anytime the Lady goes back to Japan, it is basically a food trip as well as seeing family. Basically binge eat everyday of all the yummy delicious foods that I miss out on while living in LA. Sure, we have great Japanese food in LA too, but nothing compares to actually having Japanese food in Japan, fresh caught fish, Grandma's home cooking, small Japanese portion, and all the things I normally wouldn't get in LA. It was glorious and very indulgent.

And yes, the Lady overate. I was full like every meal. I indulged. But it was just for a week, so that's okay right? :)

(If I could have marbled meat like this - Kobe Beef - I would just die of happiness. There is really nothing like
the marbled Japanese Kobe beef in Japan. Just delicious and melt in your mouth!)

(This case of futomaki and assorted sushi made me so happy, this is glorious!)

(And fried stuff!! Who doesn't like croquettes and kushi stuff?! Love yakitori, especially negima, I could
eat that all day)

(Yes, folks, that is really $6.80 - just about - for a small container of strawberries.
I feel blessed we get such good, inexpensive fruit in LA)

(This is heaven, sashimi galore)

(I just want to cry, there's so many choices!!! And 98 cents for one roll?! Can't beat that!)

(This fluffy, soft, chewy bread from LIFE market defines Japanese white bread. It was so good, so deliciously
fluffy yet chewy and soft and melty.....)

(My aunt prepared unagi for me! One of my favorites! It was delicious, and yes, I
ate this all by myself)

(I am not ashamed to admit it but this was my typical breakfast. The Man would laugh when I send him this
picture. I LOVE Japanese sausages like there is no tomorrow. LOVE LOVE LOVE!!)

(More marbled meat pictures just because. I droll looking at these)

(Lunch at home with my grandma!! This was awesome, fresh hamachi, scallops and cucumber which we made
into handrolls! It was delicious and so fresh!)

(Mmmmm nothing like homemade handrolls, you get to eat as much as you want!)

(My grandma's FAMOUS atsuyaki tamago, which is basically a slightly sweetened
egg omelet roll. She makes this so well!!!)

(Bought some delicious bread from a local bakery with my aunt. This again was
amazing and so fluffy!! How do they do it?!)

(Tempura feast made by my aunt and grandma! This was delicious! Kabocha,
kakiage, renkon, shrimp, tako and chikuwa!)

(I love Japanese eggs. The yolks are deep orange, not light yellow like we have in LA.
They are also rich in flavor and I love eating it like this, onsen tamago)

(Delicious cheese cake my uncle bought home, a little different from the usual
Morozoff cheesecake)

(I must admit, I ate all this for breakfast one day. YES! I'm a fatty, 4 sausages, 1 freaking tamago yaki, toast,
tomatoes and sliced cucumber!! Holy moly, breakfast of champions!)

(One of my favorite cuisines, sukiyaki!! With delicious marbled meat of course...droll....)

(My kind of dinner)

(Seriously can eat this everyday, hamachi belly - just so smooth and melt in your mouth -, amaebi - so sweet
and succulent-, and futomaki, because you just can't go wrong with futomaki)
I am just getting hungry writing this blog. There so much beauty in Japanese foods, from plating, to packaging to every detail chefs and cooks put into preparing Japanese foods. It's obviously my favorite and it really hits a sweet spot in my heart.

The Lady