Meat on your Bones

First, I need to just share the meatiness of our Thanksgiving with you.

As you know, Thanksgiving is not a Tokyo thing. This means that my husband hauled a very very mean frozen turkey home with him in a tough backpack, along with a frozen chicken and duck, much like how I have hauled frozen lamb shanks (with meat) home on the train after running all over to acquire them from super expensive international stores for Passover. Short of hunting, we sure do work for the meat.

So, meat home and thawed,

My husband deboned three whole beasts and sewed them all up with stuffing

jam-packed inside each bird

and with me as a nurse

on the side.

Meaning I held it together while he sewed

at 3 am.


meat o’ rama



nothing says Thanksgiving like a middle of the night selfie x 2, rt before you force yourself to stop making the crafty place cards/pinecone with feathers with each guest’s name.

btw, none of the guests took theirs home with them! i don’t get it. :/

poor wannabe diy me.

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fine, just leave ’em,

it’s fine. :/


The things we do.

i know it is time to be readying for Christmas and New Years, and yet, I still have fall pics to share, including soo many amazing pics from my trip to Fl to meet my nephew. Here’s to catch-up.

PS I am learning and relearning that I don’t so much care for turkey or chicken most of the time. I’m a stuffing and cranberry sauce and pie girl. It’s the whole “was raised a vegetarian forever thing”. Sometimes I can’t shake it.

But I can shake a tail feather.


Nest 4 What’s Really Up

final words from my one word prompt: nest.

done now. owari desu!

a. From here, I frolic

laze with my babe

lightly lovingly pinch at the fat behind his neck.

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the doxie beast & his boy

if i were a panther, a purring lioness,

a mother owl doing her best-

there would be every color woven, every protection.

Red fuzz fine twine mud and sticks flicker “mine”–

Ours is a den set high in the trees.

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Latest repose, too cool for highchair

And we’d all giggle, knowing this nest is mostly just string, a weaving and tightening–the wonder of fertilisation

as real as the crack in an egg or the surety of spring,

when your kids will feast on wet, wriggling worms;

The accomplishment of holding out your hands to wind–to Him who gives (and takes).

To rain.

You explain to your daughter how like her pink plastic straw, the rose’s stem is sucking up water, pulling it up, travelling into branches and flower.

How we are supported by bark and bones, blood, water, and laughter.

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Braided K, taken by M. Willms

You want to take her to farms to see chickens laying eggs and how they know which will be a new chicken and which will land softly as an omelette in our pan, folding over with melty gouda.

This nest is all wonder, all the science of discovery. A taking part in the production of the ephemeral vs what can be blown down. The tension of singing rockabyes where babies fall out all together all down ashes and houses blowing in, grandmothers eaten wholly by wolves, Peter going out with his gun, the duck getting it first. The shattering of just-Windexed windows and the growing archetype of curiosity & that little monkey. The newfound knowledge H.A. & Margret Rey were German Jews on the run. The neglect in Are You My Mother. It’s all here. Even in the nest. Hidden, folded and stowed in my pocket like flotation devices under your seat with the nauseating discovery that planes don’t always make it.

-Melissa Maternity Jan 2013 WEB-14

Me, pregnant w/ J, taken by the remarkable M. Willms

Cling to trust. Move with the wind, dear daughter and son.

You change your lullabies to match the mood of fostering hope and love. Drown out the news, say the hawk was really a dove. The cushion is just an extra pillow in case we need it; wisdom is planning and practicing your landing, of course.

b. Here, we are like bamboo


Bamboo in earthquakes

springing, deeply rooted

bamboo in tumultuous typhoons

windstorms whoooshing

and the quiet of green drying out again.

Here we teach repair, not abandonment, the making due, the making of joy springing up in our trills. Our quills alighting.

“Michael, row your boat ashore Hallelujah.”

Here there is a song for every feat,

every “tweet” a decision to love.

The singing in our bath, holy,

even though the minute we get out, we may be cold.

7-5-3 Comin Atcha

This was us, three years ago! Now I’m writing more about my experiences as an American living in Japan in other forums than my blog. 

In the anthology, Knocked Up Abroad Again, I specifically get into the question, “How can I even think of raising children in a place so foreign? In a place where, because of the language, my communication is reduced to the language of a small child?” 


In Japan, families celebrate their children with the blessing of shichi-go-san, Japanese for the numbers, 7, 5, 3. Girls dress in kimono for their first-ever time at 3, then again at 7. Boys take part just once, at age 5.

Or friends came over and we just had a day, a special day where you rise early and make sure you have some kind of time for coffee before the place is abuzz. The kind of day when a mother wakes her sleeping daughter to start the process of climbing into the silk folds  of her kimono.

And I swear I love any and all of the shots of me far more than at any picture, at any stage in my life. More than wedding pics. More than you-name-it. Just right here, as we are. Okay, clothed in kimonos, too. But nothing was done to my hair. I did my makeup in a rush, nursing. I have bits of gray hair showing, whatev. It’s all there–real and loved. And it’s ours. It’s us. I’m in love.

The work and peaceful presence of photographer and friend, Mel Willms, is all good.

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We all just BURST with love for this little big girl. Baba, short for Obaachan, grandmother, is securing and tying our girl’s kimono.

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little girl hands

ps i wrote about the makeup/picture issue for our girl here; that was re the day before. on this day, she had on nada, save some Chapstick, maybe.

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Prom King sporting suspenders.

We then left our home, me, rather clumsily, & caravanned by taxi to Rikugien Gardens.

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sweet sweet sweet  n  sweet                              sweet.

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just walking around, looking for donguri/acorns & singing

“The Nutcracker Suite”.

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just before we left, under a gigundo old old kuri tree

which is funny, cuz i read those kuri/chestnut trees take three years to mature, & here we are, celebrating a girl’s big 3.

(Do you know the kids’ song about the chestnut tree? )

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ahhh the best day & we are totally sushified & feeling awesome

To read more accounts, more drama, more humor, more of what it may take being a mother abroad, come support our Kickstarter for Knocked Up Abroad Again!