November 2015 Archives

Plank Pose

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I started running yoga classes twice a week at Satoyama Design Factory. Today nobody showed up, so I decided to combine my yoga practice with some much needed floor maintenance. It's amazing how many yoga poses you can do while cleaning the floor. I extended my usual 45 minutes to nearly 3 hours as I swept, mopped, steamed and waxed the wood floors in the main space. In the lower right picture, you get a before/after glimpse. Still not perfect, but much improved. Maybe next week, I'll do window yoga!

Corner Cow

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This is my friend and neighbor, Corner Cow. She lives at the dairy next door and watches over the intersection from her hilltop stall. From the road below, I greet her, talk to her about the weather, and sing her songs. She knows my voice and turns to watch me pass. She sniffs the air when I bring visitors to meet her.  Yesterday she heard us all coming along the intersecting road, laughing, and turned herself halfway around in her stall to see what we were up to. Good cow.

The dairy is closing next month and Corner Cow will go to another farm. I hope she remembers our meetings.


Friday in Transit

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20 min Walk
45 min Yoga
20 min Walk
30 min Bus
90 min Meander in Shops
30 min Walk
25 min Bus
15 min Walk
2 min Bike

There you go, that's my day. I had to get out of the house today. My bike's been busted for over a week. I pedalled too hard and broke the crank. Tod ordered parts and tools but they didn't arrive until this afternoon. Tod fixed my bike while I was out and now I am fully mobile again.


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Background: I'm teaching my first workshops at Satoyama Design Factory today. It's in my new rural neighborhood and I have no idea who, if anyone, will turn up. Could be little kids, could be elderly neighbors, all of the above or no one at all. I'm OK with letting things flow and I can take on whatever comes my way. Despite that, I am still a little nervous and I'll be disappointed if nobody turns up.

So in the shower just now, I was breathing out to clear my sinuses before doing jala neti...and I honked. I sounded like my father blowing his nose. He had a distinctive honking/blowing sound and when it came out my own nose, I giggled and smiled. Thanks, Dad, for visiting and reminding me that everything is always good. My workshops are going to be terrific.  I'm excited to be sharing circus fun with my new world. 

Courtesy Call

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Our local policeman, Matsuda-san, dropped by this afternoon. He spoke in gloriously slow and clear Japanese to welcome us to the neighborhood and make sure that he had our details for his emergency book. We've had these courtesy calls in Tokyo,too, but this one was a little special.

"If you ever have any trouble, like robbers or an accident or anything, give me a call," he told us. "But we don't have too many robberies around here. Do be careful of the wild boars, though. If you see one of those, run away."

Gotta love country living.

Takezawa Demystified

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Our questions about the mysterious Takezawa of the abandoned house were answered yesterday by Kawakami-san, who runs the gas station and LP gas business in the village.

Takezawa moved down into town and lives in a nice, new house near the barber shop. He truly did abandon the house with no further thought of it. Kawakami-san, who brokers the informal real estate deals around here, asked if we wanted to rent the ruins. Hmmm....

And the question about how the mail got through? Chris posits that there was a truck-accessible track that would take you in pretty close and the mailman walked the rest of the way from there. I guess we'll check that out next time we go up there to explore.

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