Field Trip

Last week, I went on a field trip with my spouse to a Japanese supermarket, Mitsuwa Marketplace, which is about an hour and a half from where I live.  It was a lot of fun!  It had a grocery store, a food court, a bookstore, a bakery, and a video store.  It was all very exciting.

2014-07-18 14.46.37I tried chicken katsu (“chicken cutlet”) for the first time, and I really liked it a lot!  I also tried the Miso soup that went along with it.  One of my faults is being a bit of a finicky eater, so I was not sure how I would manage, but I really liked it a lot.  It was also a bit exciting, in that tonkatsu (“pork cutlet”) was a vocabulary word, and it has now changed from being a word on a list to memorize to a real food in my mind!  I also had matcha (green tea) soft serve ice cream for the first time.  It was definitely something quite new, but I think I liked it!

I have to admit to being a bit overwhelmed.  The marketplace was HUGE, with so many wonderful things.  We were a bit short on money, and I have to admit that this was probably a good thing, as it would have been quite easy to spend a fortune there.  I had to keep reminding myself that we can always go back later.  We ended up settling on a few food items, including an okonomiyaki mix and Anpaman cookies.  We also went to the bakery and brought home Melonpan and Kuremupan, which were both quite tasty.

SAMSUNGThe bookstore was truly amazing, with many, many books in Japanese.  I had thoughts of getting a grammar book for Japanese children, a kanji practice workbook, a book of knitting or crocheting patterns in Japanese.  There were just so MANY books, I just could not decide, so I ended up not buying any of these things and settling on the Sailor Moon manga in Japanese.

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I felt slightly guilty that I did not buy something more directly educational or supportive of my studies, but I am very much enjoying reading the manga.  The new Sailor Moon series, Sailor Moon Crystal seems to be following the manga quite closely, so it is fun to be reading the manga while following the series.

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A Productive Day

Yesterday was the second day of our new year, and I am rather pleased that it turned out to be quite a productive day.

My spouse and I started the day by packing up the car with boxed up and indexed files from my former business to take to storage.  We had just enough room in the car for all of the boxes, so we were able to manage to take them in one trip!  The drive to the storage locker was a rather long one, as it is near my former office location, so we went out to breakfast before the drive.

SAMSUNGAside from bringing the old files to storage, I wanted to take an rough inventory of what was in storage.  I have to admit it was a bit overwhelming, and the inventory ended up being an acknowledgment that it was a mess.  Still, almost as a reward for taking the step of bring files to storage, I found some exciting things.  One of which was a book that I knew I had, but had been missing for a long time.  I had been looking for it for over a year, and lo and behold, it was in one of the boxes in storage.  The book was an astrology text by Ibn Ezra, The Beginning of Wisdom.  I am not sure how it found its way to storage, but, I between moving my home and my office in the past few years, and it must have accidentally gotten in one of the boxes that went to storage.  I also found a lovely lamp in storage that I am now using as a bedside table lamp.

SAMSUNGAfter the storage locker, we did some shopping.  I started to get the urge to find a physical calendar/date book.  Now that I am no longer in my former business, which required me to keep close track of the American calendar, I am sensing that it is time to start becoming more attuned with the calendar of my religion.  I had looked online for blank, adaptable electronic calendars, but I was not able to find any.  I did set my Google calendar to Japanese, but that is still not the same.  The only options for the starting day of the week were Saturday (Rhavedi), Sunday (Rayadi), and Monday (Candredi).  None of these options work for this year, as the starting day of the week for us is now Friday (Sucridi), for the Year of Sai Sushuri.

SAMSUNGI was able to find a beautiful personal organizer at the office store that was adaptable enough for my purpose.  The calendar pages are blank with respect to the months and the days.  They do have the days of the week set, but they are not too obtrusive so I can cross them out without looking too messy, and overwrite them with the Janyatic glyphs for the appropriate day of the week.  I had considered using the Japanese kanji for the weekdays.  I decided against that for a couple of reasons.  One of the reasons is that I am not as comfortable handwriting the kanji.  I felt slightly guilty about that, until it occurred to me as an astrologer, it is good for me to frequently look at the Janyatic (and planetary) glyphs.

The personal organizer has a section for a monthly view, which only had room for twelve months, and the Filianic calendar is thirteen months.  On the other hand, it occurred to me that Moura is not truly a thirteenth month in the calendar, but is a month out of time.  Hiatus, of course, is truly out of time, but there is a quality of separation to the month (and season) of Moura as well.  So, our calendar is not truly 13 months, but 12 months + 1 month.

SAMSUNGOf course, on a practical level, the month of Moura is still in time, so I will need to keep track of dates during that time, but the organizer does have weekly pages as well, which I will likely be using much more for day to day planning.  I am going to include the planetary locations on the calendar as well, as I will need to be more aware of the location of the planets on a daily basis now than I had been.

???????????????????On a less serious note, my spouse found a lovely flower tape dispenser to help decorate my home office for my new business.  It might be a little silly, but I do like it!

SAMSUNGOverall, I think that this was a wonderful start to a new year!

Show and Tell

I think it is time to take a break from serious, philosophical posts for a little bit of show and tell.  Along my personal journey, I have been picking up (and making) some wonderful things.  I have already posted some of these things on Temple of the Home on Facebook and Temple of the Home on Tumblr, but I thought I might show you all them too, along with some new things as well.

I did finally finish the autumn gloves I told you about in this article.  Here is the completed pair:

SAMSUNGI also put some new buttons on my summer gloves.  The flowers may be a little silly, but I rather liked them:

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In the new header, there is a picture of a new teacup I just found at an Antique Store.  A little while back, my wonderful spouse found three other really lovely teacups as well.  Here they are:

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Of course, with all of these teacups, one needs a teapot.  Luckily, I just found one:

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I have really been loving Antique/Resale Stores.  One can find such lovely things.  Some of the things that I found were new dishes and a canister set.  Here they are:

SAMSUNGSAMSUNGIt was quite exciting to find dishes with matching cups, saucers, and glasses!

I told you a little about some new things I am trying with my hair in this article.  I found some items that I am seeing as omens that I am on the right path.  First a very lovely vanity set:

SAMSUNGSAMSUNGOh, and the exciting thing is that I found this whole set for $18.  At another store I found a cup to put my hairpins in:

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I was so excited that it complimented the little cup that my spouse had, which she gave me to hold my bobby pins.

Oh yes, at the same store, I found a lovely wooden purse that was just the right size to hold my hair rollers:

SAMSUNGThank you for indulging me in this session of Show and Tell.  It is fun to share the things one finds!

 

Harvest of the Heart

(This article is written by a new author for Temple of the Home, Cure Ocha. She is pleased to meet all of you and hopes you like her humble offering.)

The sacred harvest! Time for it again already?

The sacred harvest! Time for it again already?

In my city’s buyer’s cooperative, the planning has already begun, two months out, for our country’s oddly placed Thanksgiving. A few hour’s brainstorming has already expanded the vague notion that “someone really ought to organize a group buy for these things we will all be needing” to a virtual fair of homemade delicacies, a plan for a leftovers potluck, multiple offers of hospitality to those without family to celebrate the holiday with, and shopping lists for not one, but two kinds of donation boxes to distribute to members of our community – ingredients for those who are too poor to afford them and ready-made for those who are unable to cook their own this year. The whole thing has been a natural outpouring of the enthusiasm and joy which the members of this cooperative have brought to everything this group has undertaken. It has also been a response to their natural desire for harmony.

Now, when I say harmony, I am not surprised if you think first of musical harmony – the creation of beautiful sounds from different notes produced simultaneously. However, musical harmony is just one form of harmony – there is the harmony which can exist between people and the even greater harmony of the cosmos, with which we try to align ourselves when we are being good – the very definition of rightness. The very start of the buyer’s cooperative came from one mother’s desire for this rightness – it seemed wrong to her that all the mothers she knew who wanted to buy the same things online would have to pay separate shipping when they could order together and pay to ship to one house and divide the big order up there with just a little cooperation.

Not actually a portrait of one of our members, but might as well be.

Not a portrait of one of our members, but might as well be.

Understand that in a society that praises competition, self-reliance, and individualism in all its members, it is the mothers, who are often the last to leave the home and hearth due to simple necessity, who still crave harmony the most. Home without harmony gives no rest to the heart, and even a soul-sick society still senses this.

The seed of a single coordinated online purchase has sprouted and grown into a vast enterprise bringing humanely raised meat, organic produce, and other harmoniously produced goods to hundreds of members on a weekly basis. Several of these people are pouring so much of their time and talent in that they operate at what I have heard called an economic loss – that is, their talents could be applied elsewhere for greater monetary gain. At one point I worried that these leaders would discover this and vanish – our society values money so much. However, looking over the posts on the Thanksgiving board, I am no longer afraid. They are, as I am, receiving value – a spiritual sustenance as nourishing as food – from the harmony this group is generating. The opportunity cost of their going to work for wages instead isn’t one any of us can readily afford.

A Magical Day

I had quite the lovely day out and about with my spouse today.  We first went to the weekly Saturday morning Farmer’s Market in our town.  Now, I have been to Farmer’s Markets many places, but in our town, the Farmer’s Market is a community event.

As I started the day, I had a decision to make.  Over the past year or so, I have been introduced to the practice of wearing gloves.  At first, I start wearing them rather surreptitiously, driving in the car and on the train.  A couple of months ago, I visited a dear friend in Mexico who always wears gloves, so I did when I went out and about with her.  I really liked the way I looked and felt when dressed properly and that we wore gloves any time we left the house.  The only exception to this was when we went to the beach.  Then I wore my beige shirt dress, which in my regular life, I have worn to work or church.

SAMSUNGAs an aside, there was a bit of an embarrassing and uncomfortable incident surrounding this.  We went to a small local store.  Sadly, I do not speak any Spanish, so I had to rely upon my friend to translate.  Anyways, the lady at the counter did not speak English, and was speaking to me in Spanish, which I did not understand at all.  There was another lady who was just shopping in the store.  Although, I did not speak Spanish, I could tell by their hand gestures and looks that they were commenting on my attire and my gloves.   My friend told them I was from America to explain that I did not speak or understand Spanish.  The ladies did not seem to believe that.  Later my friend told me that they did not believe that I was American and that I was only pretending not to speak Spanish.  They were pointing to my dress and to my gloves as proof that I could not be American.  That is a bit of a sad statement in a way, but I have already strayed from my main story.

When I came home from Mexico, I became more and more brave about wearing gloves.  One of the things that I realized is that when I was dressing sloppily, I never was embarrassed or self conscious.  Why should I be embarrassed and self conscious about dressing nicely or wearing gloves?

Wearing gloves to the Farmer’s Market was another huge step though.  As I mentioned before, the Farmer’s Market is a community event in the town where I live, so I was likely to run into people I knew, or that my spouse worked with.  Despite this, I took a deep breath and made the decision to wear my gloves!

It turned out to be quite a lovely day.  At first, I found a lovely beaded necklace that went perfectly with the dress I was wearing.  It also came with a set of matching earrings.  I do not have pierced ears, but I thought my grandmother might like them.

SAMSUNGThen we did meet a couple we knew.  I was a little self conscious about my outfit, but they both commented on how nice I looked.  I told them about my self consciousness, and the man said that I was inspiring.  The woman, who is an amazing knitter, talked with me about ideas for making crocheted gloves.  It was rather nice.

After eating lunch at the Market, we went to a Fruit Market/Florist.  My spouse is setting about on a project of making pie with homemade crust and was looking for cherries.   She did not find the cherries, but *I* found something wonderful!  A new coffee cup!  My spouse thinks it is too small, so I did not get one for her.  She is more than welcome to her mugs (especially, as I have already replaced our old mugs with something a little more civilized).  I, on the other hand, can not think of a better way to start my day than drinking my morning coffee out of this wonderful new cup!

SAMSUNGWe continued to shop at different stores, and I think we eventually found most, if not all, of what we were actually shopping for.   One of our trips was to Walmart.  I found myself thinking, and whispering to my spouse, that I was being an influence that was anti-“People of Walmart.”  Then, I internally chided myself for being rather ungenerous.  A few minutes later, though, a woman walked by who was dressed in sloppy gray sweats, looking rather tired and worn.  She saw me, her eyes gleamed, and her tired expression turned into a big smile.  I may be imagining this, but it seemed that something had liberated in her soul, if only for a moment.  So, maybe in a strange way, I was being an anti-“People of Walmart” influence, but in a good way, by awakening the buried and repressed ladies and princesses inside people who may see me.

Our last store was the craft store.  My spouse wanted to frame a poster that we have had for a long time unframed and unused.  She wanted the poster for her office.  Before we went into the craft store, I thought that I had already found such lovely and magical things today, it would almost seem greedy to look for more.  Yet, in the store, there were lovely Hello Kitty glasses that made the little girl inside of me smile from ear to ear and they were on the Clearance rack.  What could one do at this point?

There was a wonderful woman at the framing desk at the craft store.  She was very knowledgeable and helpful, and she talked about how much she loved her job framing things.  Isn’t that such a wonderful thing to hear?  People around are often so grumpy all of the time, and one is always hearing people complain about this, that, and the other thing.  How wonderful to meet someone who was getting so much joy out of her part time job.

SAMSUNGOne sad thing did happen though.  I was retrieving my new necklace to take a picture of it for this article.  The string broke, and beads fell all over the floor.  My spouse and I found most of the beads.  Hopefully, we will find the rest later.  I probably do need to get them restrung on something sturdier, if we ever find the rest of the beads.  I wonder if I was, in fact, too greedy with all of the magical finds today.  At least, I got to wear the necklace today though.  I put it on as soon as I bought it.

Next, I went to a lovely Service for the Filianic Feast of Chelanya, the Golden Harvest Festival.  It seemed quite appropriate that I would have such a day of magical finds on the harvest festival.  Service ended the day in quite a wonderful way!

My spouse is now working on her pie, also appropriate to the harvest festival!  She never found cherries, so she is using blueberries that she did find at the Farmer’s Market.  Tomorrow, I will need to do some housecleaning.  I will admit that housecleaning is one of my most dreaded tasks, but I think I was inspired by the pretty things I brought into the house today!  With such pretty things, it seems wrong to have a messy house.

This evening, though, I will bask in the wonderful, magical day that I had!