Choosing a Home or Picking Your Natural Disaster?

When I first came to Japan, I looked around at all the concrete-covered hillsides and concrete riverbanks and thought, “Ugh. How hideous. Why would they do that? Surely that prevents rain soaking into the earth, leading to inundations.” It was YEARS later that I read a tweet explaining that it was done to PREVENT disasters.Continue reading “Choosing a Home or Picking Your Natural Disaster?”


My first few years in Japan, I tossed an awful lot of apples in the compost. You see, I’d slice into them and discover rot. It happened all.the.time. And apples here aren’t cheap! I was frustrated and confounded. And, it turns out, very, very wrong. Those apples hadn’t been rotten, they’d been top-quality fruit withContinue reading “Apples”

Potatoes For Lunch

UsuallyWe eat rice. And I forget about potatoes Until they’re wrinkled and shrunken and sprouting shoots. But today, I remembered. Today, maybe,I needed the extra comfort that only a potato can provide. I found them,In the bottom of the trolley, Where they sit with the onions and, For some strange reason,Kairo pocket-warmers. They were shrunken,Continue reading “Potatoes For Lunch”

First Impression of Tokyo

This is a bit of a throwback, having first appeared on my first blog, which I started just after arriving in Japan in 2006. Sadly, that blog no longer exists. Makes me wish I’d written down my first impressions on paper. The original blog still existed when I started my second blog, which was aboutContinue reading “First Impression of Tokyo”

Silver Linings

Six-ish years ago, my husband and I packed up our life in Tokyo and moved an hour down the coast to the city of Kamakura. We had planned to open a cafe, but after having trouble securing a house conducive to the food-service business, we snapped up a house by the beach that had beenContinue reading “Silver Linings”

Temporarily Stranded

And just like that, flights from Japan to Canada are ending for at least the rest of the month. This has me feeling… strange. In theory, I’ve never not been able to get home. Sure, money and time have always dictated the when, but when it comes down to it, even if I couldn’t affordContinue reading “Temporarily Stranded”

The Handle is There to Help

I made a foolish purchase the other day: a mini trampoline. My husband is not happy with me. I knew he wouldn’t be. I knew he hated trampolines. But the kids are home, the weather is supposed to turn bad, and we’re trying hard to be good and limit trips outside, which means hardly anyContinue reading “The Handle is There to Help”

Fish Faces Are Always Appropriate

So this is me at my wedding in 2010, making a fish face. ‘Cause that’s what I do. I make fish faces at inappropriate times. But really, is a wedding that inappropriate a place for a fish face, especially if it’s your own wedding? Right. It’s a very appropriate place for a fish face. EspeciallyContinue reading “Fish Faces Are Always Appropriate”