Saturday, 31 October 2009

Catch up...


Happy Halloween!
Here are the pumpkins that two of my young students made this afternoon - their first ever pumpkin making....and the Happy Pumpkin is the one I made after they left...and the AMAZING Michael Jackson tribute one is made by a friend in Canada....

Just a few quiet days...the weather turned cold...there are even snowmen icons on the weather forecasts. We started slipping into Okaasan's room at night to make sure the heater is set for morning...
* Yujiro heard he hadn't got the computer instructor job starting in December...which was a real blow because he was sure he had he has to start hunting again.
* I got delivery of my new plaything - a laptop computer. It isn't a cat, but it might keep me occupied playing endless wordgames at work between classes.
* I dreamt of a kitten...Yujiro came home and told me about a supermarket sign advertising 2 kittens needing a home...
* Okaasan is in shopping mode again and comes home with all sorts of vegetables and fruit and chocolate (YEAHHH!!)...but she doesn't always tell YUjiro she bought it...tonight I found some gobo hiding in a box in the kitchen.

* The local baseball team Nippon Ham Fighters lost the first game in the Japan Series playoffs and like most of the people in Hokkaido tonight we sat with our dinner in front of the TV and watched the game....

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Ripening! Ripening!

For all those doubters out there!
Look! The green tomatoes turned red! It worked!
And very interestingly the apple turned into a banana too.
Move over Harry Potter. I should go to the top of the Transforming Class.

We had a nice quiet day here. Beautiful autumn sunshine. I went out with Yujiro while he took photographs for work around Sumikawa, Makomonai and Ishiyama. I was his driver, so he could rubber-neck and try to spot the best angles for shots. We even found the spot for the shot of mysterious rocks, trees and a distant Mount Moiwa. He bought me lunch in a little Italian restaurant. We drove. The fall colors were great. All was well in the world. I even managed to walk a bit here and there...

Okaasan stayed home with the Tv and various piles of half washed laundry. Late afternoon I planted out tulip and daffodil bulbs for next year and she came and peered at me while she hung laundry.
Then she went out for a late afternoon walk - always on the principle that ONCE the sun is setting and the day is almost over...THEN is the best time to go for a walk!

I heated up curry for dinner, and made salad with THE red tomatoes...and then Okaasan said she had a stomach ache and didn't feel like eating anything. So we ate without her and she lay under the heated table and moaned a bit.
Just as we'd finished - up pops Okaasan's head above the sofa: "I think I could eat half a bowl of curry and rice now!"....err...fine..but actually I'd served and we'd eaten ALL the curry....
Yujiro luckily had a curry-in-a-bag thing and is busy downstairs heating that up for her now....

and so it goes. Life with Okaasan.


Cat Withdrawal Symptoms

I spent about 2 hours yesterday morning gazing worriedly out of the windows at a cat that was sitting outside under the subway line seemed to be sitting strangely still for a long time.
Was it the pregnant cat straining to have her kittens?
Should I go and rescue her?
Finally I took some dried food downstairs and decided to have a look and if she was still there after work to mount a rescue attempt.

I opened the front door and looked closer.

It was a brown log.

I need a cat.

Monday, 26 October 2009

STOP PRESS! He likes it!

"I enjoyed it! It's are a GREAT writer"....

That's what he said.

He must want something.

He isn't getting it.

Shit. Now I have to rename this Blog...Okaasan and Him and Me?

I think not. 

Get your own Blog honey!

PS. But thanks for the support...THIS is why I love you. Because your ego is indestructable.

Little bits of good all over...

A gaggle of little bits of good..........

*    The knee is actually making progress! I walked short distances almost normally last week and used the crutch for reassurance. It feels like a normal knee the majority of the time.

*    I started having a social life away from home, a night in a bar in Susukino....a day out to a hot spring by a lake....

*    My step-mum has finished her involuntary tour of the Gloucestershire hospitals and is now back in Cirencester Hospital. Two weeks after doctors said she might die, she is back to eating puree food and walking in the ward.

*    Okaasan cleared a space on her kotatsu table...I actually SAW table surface....for about 20 minutes before clouds of paper, food wrappers and stuff closed in again.

*   One of the black cats in the neighborhood looks pregnant.........

Friday, 23 October 2009

Mother and Son bonding time

Off they went this morning - to a department store food festival!

This old lady is so, so lucky.
She may have to put up with a foreign Oyome-san who speaks in riddles and doesn't hang laundry stylishly...but her son - oh her son! - HE has the kind of part time work where he can take you downtown on a Friday morning and explore the Osaka Food Festival at Tokyu Store!

Happiness for an old Japanese lady.
(and maybe the son is happy to because mum buys all sorts of goodies for him....)

They used to live in Osaka when Yujiro was at elementary school - so it was a real trip down memory lane, they ate all sorts of foods and came home with sesame chicken wings for dinner.

I was working...and a little disappointed today in my knee which is feeling tingly again today.
Yesterday it felt so great. Well, it didn't actually "feel" anything - which IS great itself. I went downtown to meet an old student for dinner. I sat in a bar and felt normal. I got on the subway etc. These past few days I even risked not using my stick and walking short distances...

Obviously shouldn't have.
I think it's time to check with the insurance company whether they'll pay for the knee injections.
6 weeks from now Sapporo will start getting icy at night and I MUST be stronger on my knee by then.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Daikon and Tomatoes

Okaasan and I are getting into full autumn activity.

On the first floor Okaasan is testing the dried daikon raddish, slicing it, adding soy sauce and then making a mountain of plates to weigh it all down and press it into action. Poor lady - she doesn't have the essentials for making pickles etc and so she is having to make do. When her son swept her away from her home in Saitama last year she had to leave behind the things every good Japanese kitchen queen has for pickling and drying vegetables.

On the second floor Oyome-san is laying down about 50 green tomatoes in cardboard boxes with layers of newspaper and ripening bananas and apples...and a lot of hope. Will this actually work, or will I just have boxes of smelly, rotting tomatoes?

Oh and the man of the house? He is out photographing Sapporo for the city records.
But last night was a little celebration: he came home from a job interview pretty sure he'd got it: it being a computer instructor job starting in December, something about teaching NPO staff computer skills.
His face was so happy...someone who has just got job news - it's a special sight.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009're a Blog star.

Tokiko reminded me that I haven't said anything about: Yujiro discovering I am writing this blog about life with his mother.

Actually I was hoping if I forgot about it, it didn't happen.

But it did. He saw the open blog page on the computer the other day.

Yesterday I sent the link to it to his email address and left him a note on the computer telling him he was welcome to read it.
I don't know if he has or not.
Don't ask. Don't tell!!!!

I DO believe that there is nothing in this blog I am embarrassed for him to read. I started this blog last year as a way to tell friends and close students what the whole experience of my new life was like. It saved me endlessly writing emails and letters and having the same conversation with people. And it was a way for me to think-out my stresses by writing.
I don't write anything I wouldn't tell (and do tell) friends. So I don't think Yujiro would be shocked by anything here or feel I've made public any deep secrets.
I hope not anyway. 

I've never done a blog before. And to be honest, I'd never read a blog before,.
I'd be interested to hear from other bloggers: what are the ethics of this? Did you tell the people you blog about that they are in a blog? Did you ask their permission? 
How does it work?

Monday, 19 October 2009

Fell off the diet wagon.

Fell off the diet wagon this weekend - into meat, meat, meat, chocolate, chocalate, beer, wine, beer.

I should feel terrible.
But it was great.
Not a bad weekend either.

Work finished early Saturday because the two little brothers I teach in the afternoon are recovering from THE influenza. 
So Yujiro and I went to the Sapporo Short Fest - lots of strange short films from all over the world, then onto yakitori (grilled meat on sticks) and beer, then actually slept at my English classroom on the Couch Surfing guest bedding because I couldn't drive home, followed Sunday by another bout of strange movies with a friend, then a Korean steak lunch, icecream, shopping and finally home to dinner and Basic Instinct on video.

All good weekend stuff to do and enjoy. 
And I did.

7 pm Sunday evening we both went outside to Bob's flower bed and lit some candles and drank a little beer to remember our neko-chan. One week since he died and we miss him. He used to look at me with such big, deep green eyes. And now he never will.

And news from England is that my step-mum has improved a little and been moved to yet another hospital. It's her birthday soon and I don't know where to send a card. I guess I'll send it to her sister and it will reach her.

And Okaasan stayed with her TV and the heated table. She managed to feed herself Saturday night. She took in the pckle-drying net thing. She enjoyed the curry Yujiro made - her life is good I think. Day to day, TV, wash and rearrange the drying laundry, more TV, food, a walk, sleep - a good life.
She seems to be enjoying the new Hula dance class and even went to the coffee shop last week with a classmate...THAT would be great if she actually formed a friendship. I often regret that apart from us and people in shops she doesn't have any conversations.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Mourning sickness

Does it get any better? This mourning stuff?
No. Not yet.

He cries. I cry. We set eachother off. We find photos of Bob-chan around the house and show eachother.
It's one week now since we rushed to the emergency vets in a post-typhoon storm. We sat with Bob at the ICU box for 4 hours. At that time he did know we were there, he could focus in one our faces and hear our voices. That was all a week ago.
By Friday night...and into Saturday I don't think he knew we were there.

I've been thinking a lot about bereavement. Levels of bereavement.
Should you/can you mourn the death of a cat more than a man?

Of course I know that my Dad is more important in my life than Bob-chan.
And I know that leaving England and the house to come back to my life in Japan was a convenient way of blocking out a whole slew of memories and emotion about Dad.
And all those emotions have been inevitably reactivated by Bob's death last week.

I know.

But. Still. I've felt so much sorrow over Bob's death.

Mourning is I guess a BIG missing of someone and however much I loved Dad he wasn't HERE in my daily life. He was a phone call or a letter away. I have a whole life which he isn't part of. 
But this small tabby cat was here and now. And now he isn't. So MY feelings of missing are greater. Mourning is quite a lot of selfish feeling: what I had in my life isn't here and won't be again.

It's not that the cat is more important than the father - but that the cat's death leaves a bigger gap in MY daily life.

It will get less accute. All things pass yadda yadda. But for now it hurts a lot. Students and friends with pets know the pain and are supportive. But after so much stuff with Dad I feel all-washed out.
I slept until 8.30 am today. Probably a good thing.

And step-mum? Still in the big city hospital I think. I didn't get any news since Monday from step-aunt. So I don't know. THAT situation all seems so distant. I love my step-mum, but there is nothing I can do from here and she has a big loving family of her I feel as if I am on an outter-ring of involvement with her sister and brother and their children on the inner-ring.

Meanwhile....Okaasan is pickling vegetables like crazy. I think she'd like a bigger pot for them. But Yujiro walks away from her after a couple of rounds of I-know-but-we-don't-have-a-bigger-pot conversation. So Okaasan stands there in the kitchen with lots of cut up vegetables and looks puzzled. I'm afraid to go into the kitchen in case it sets her off again.

*  Someone asked me if Okaasan felt sad about Bob's death. Well, not really I think. She had no emotional connection to him. He was just a cat. She comes from a generation of Japanese for whom cats are not pets. Just street animals. Of course she felt regret that a life had ended - she is sensitive to things like that - but when Yujiro told her about Bob and asked if she wanted to see the body or anything she said "No thankyou". And that's fair enough.

It's us who are left with a big gaping hole in our hearts.

And. The black cat was hanging round the garden a lot this morning. He even sat out under our car. I am trying not to talk about him too much to Yujiro, because I think he is not ready.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009


Got up.
Ate a banana for breakfast as part of the diet fight.
Watched Sex and the City...the early episodes.

Went to the gym - training andswimming.
Came home. Cooked lunch.
Took Yujiro and Okaasan and a friend to a small art exhibition by a visiting British artist in town.
Came home.
Drank tea.
Watched the rest of the movie Charade with Grant and Hepburn.
Now watching silly home videos program.
Sent Yujiro out for cheap wine.
...errr....going to cook dinner.

THAT'S my wonderful boring day! So wonderful.
Oh...and there is a small black, stray cat hanging around outside...I haven't noticed him before...Yujiro keeps catching me standing at windows looking at him...

Monday, 12 October 2009

A hard day.

This morning we buried our neko-chan in the flower bed near the front door.
We had a last "group hug" time and we gave him chicken and dried food for his journey.
And we cried. A lot. All day. At hourly intervals.
His food bowls. His toilet box. His scratch boxes. He is everywhere. I keep expecting him to wobble into the room and do that circulating to get ready to jump onto my lap.
I went to bed mid-afternoon. But then I imagined him padding across the bed and under the futon with me.
Yujiro cries. I cry. Then he cries again.

Early afternoon we drove Okaasan to her new hula dance class and we went back to our old house to tell our neighbors about Bob-chan and give them some pictures.
They said they are now caring for Kuma...the stubby tailed stray that Bob always fought with. He is only 5 or 6, but he is sick and dieing. Bob is SO lucky that we spent the money on him to give him a long, long life.

And late this afternoon the vets sent a bouquet of white flowers.
It's a nice gesture. But it made me cry more. I've had so many white flowers recently from students because of Dad. I can't do white flowers anymore. I need something gaudy and tropical - something with lush LIFE.

I opened my email this morning to find one from my step-aunt.
On Friday my step-mum was rushed from the local hospital to the city hospital with falling blood pressure and crises. It seemed to clear naturally. But it is a crises. Supposedly 4 weeks before discharge? i'm not sure what is happening now. I think she is still in the city hospital.

A few minutes ago as I opened up this page to write, Yujiro walked into the room behind me and saw this Blog title on the computer screen. The computer was slow and I couldn't switch pages quick enough.

So I told him: I have a Blog about life in the past year. Would you liked to read it?
So THAT cat is now out of the bag.
I've always told myself...and anyone...that I don't write here what I wouldn't/don't say to friends anyway...but knowing he will read it is a strange feeling.

I don't bother watching American TV dramas anymore. What happens willynilly to me is more than enough.

Time to go downstairs and have dinner.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Goodbye Bob-chan

Tonight at 7 pm our Bob neko-chan died quietly in our arms at the vets.
We finally took the hard decision and we both cried and the vet and the assistants were so kind to us.
We stroked him and held him as the vet injected him and then brought him home - stopping off briefly at Hiroko's,  as she has known him even longer than I.
And now Bob-chan is on the blanket by the window on top of the sidecupboard we got from Tomoko when we moved - all snug in an ICI sports blanket.
Tomorrow I'll bury him in the garden here where he liked to sit in the sunshine and yowl at the local strays.

Bob cat was born in Nakajima Park 17 or more years ago. He was picked up by a Canadian man, then he lived with Sonja, an American EC Eikaiwa teacher in Kotoni...then he lived with Joanne, a South African IAY teacher just off Ishiyama Dori. Then he lived with Joanne near Nakajima Park again...then he came to live with me about 12 years ago...
He was a well travelled cat. He'd been to Obihiro to stay in an apartment while we skied in Tomamu, he'd been to an apartment in Naka-Furano on another ski trip, he'd been to a BBQ by the Toyohira River, he'd been to visit Hiroko in her cancer clinic a few years ago.
He was a fighter, and funny and brave. He liked dried salmon and squid. He liked KFC and anything in a plastic bag. He was very noisy at 4 am in the summer. He walked across Yujiro's face on his way to sleep on my side of the bed in winter.

We will miss him so so much.
Goodnight Bob-chan.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Missing my neko...

He is still alive.
 Still in a box at the vets.
Still starey eyed and twitching.
But they say he eats a lot from a prone position and some of the blood toxin levels are coming down and so...Yujiro and the vet agreed "it isn't time yet"...and we came away dispirited.
I've had a huge, stress-induced bloated stomach and cried off dinner with Okaasan. Couldn't summon the energy to sit at the table and listen to the son/mother chat. I went to bed instead for an hour.

It's a holiday weekend. I should try to do something good this weekend.

Friday, 9 October 2009

My poor neko-chan.

Not good.
He is staying in the vets overnight.
Still shaking. 
But wanting to eat and poop.
But looks bad...his eyes are all starey.

We have to call tomorrow morning again.
I think we'll have to decide tomorrow. I can't see him coming home like that and having quality of life at all.
They are hoping to flush all the toxins out of his body and lower the levels of amonia etc...but...

Night emergency

Just back from the emergency night vets.
At 3.30 am Bob-cat started having seizures again.
We drove to the night vets in the center of town and stayed there till 9 am with Bob in 
an ICU box on medicines/drips/oxygene etc
Then at 9 am we took him back to our regular vets and he looked terrible in the car and was shaking again.
Now he at the vets and we try to go about our regular Friday and wait to hear.
They told us to go back at 6 pm tonight.

And now I have to go off to a day of classes.
Gonna make a LOT of sense as a teacher today!

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Quiet day...

The cat is ok....but very clingy...and every time he flinches over his sore gums I worry.

Yujiro worked on the computer.

I went to the gym (yeah!! 61.7 kg!!) and indulged myself in Sayuri on DVD.
And cooked - oh yeah - it's that unusual it merits a Blog! Yujiro has so taken over the kitchen I hardly know how to boil an egg now.
But I did seafood omlete and salad for lunch, rice and miso soup...
And stuffed green peppers for dinner.

But unluckily/luckily Okaasan wasn't up for trying Oyomesan's feast.
She'd been out late afternoon and eaten wonton and donuts in Mister Donuts. So she picked at dinner and didn't even try the peppers.

It's my fault. She asked me for money mid-afternoon while Yujiro was out - and I'd rashly given her Y5,000 as I didn't have smaller notes.
Yujiro doesn't usually give her so much money - because she goes out on a shopping spree...and this time she went and filled up in Mister Donuts...

So she finally got home and looked pretty tired. She seemed confused about whether she'd walked or taken the subway, so we don't know. But she sat at the table in a daze really and ate a bit of rice and salad.

Getting cold here now - thankgoodness the kotatsu (heated table) blanket came back from dry cleaning. Okaasan can start burrowing for winter.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Loooong day...

Our dear, furry, feisty cat gave us a nasty surprise at 5 am today with another seizure attack - horrible whole-body shaking and thrashing around on the hall floor.

He'd been bad last night with his sore gums and trying and failing to eat - at 2 am I'd carried him into bed...but by 5 am he'd got out to the hall and was into a 1 minute seizure.

He did this twice last summer twice when Yujiro was in hospital - and in an awful panic I'd rushed to the night vets and broken down...tried to get them to put the cat out of his misery and luckily been refused.

This time it was too late for the night vets - so we had to sit up with the cat while he staggered in circles round the living room for over an hour all disorientated. The only light relief was when he circled the poinsettia in its large box and looked a little like a devout Moslem doing the Haj at Mecca!

At 9 am I was at the vets and got them to take him in for the day - I had a busy day at work and Yujiro too was out photographing Sapporo buildings. Okaasan was home with a whiteboard menu on the kitchen wall.

It was a busy day and a bit hard to concentrate...but at 5 pm I was back at the vets and picked up the poor, doped up moggy. He'd had his antibiotics, steroids and God knows what else. I felt bad though because they HAD said to me to bring him in every few days for the gum treatment - and I hadn't done it yesterday (watched TV instead) and this horrible, panic, stressy seizure was the result.

I love this pussycat so very much. 
I know he is old and sick and is going to die soon.
But I can't do it now. This week. This month.
I really, really need him to be ok for now.
I've known him longer than I've known Yujiro - and he means a lot to me.

Other news:

Yujiro took Okaasan yesterday to try out the new hula dance class in the department store culture school. All seemed well and she joined. No shower/bath though...but she didn't seem to remember this complaint.
And we're waiting on the dentist situation too - he says we should wait until the next time she has tooth pain. But the "bad" dentist called tonight to ask why Okaasan had missed an appointment. Got fobbed off with some story or other.

Influenza is sweeping Sapporo now - many schools are closed. One student today said 14 of her daughter's classmates had it!
I worry about Okaasan. She wasn't great tonight. Only ate a bit of dinner and then quitely went back to huddle under the quilt. I switched on the hot carpet for her and was very polite and gentle at dinner.

And so...everyone quietly going to sleep here.
It's been a looong day.

Monday, 5 October 2009

Step-mum progress!

Good news from England.
My step-mum walked down the corridor from her hospital room.
She is eating puree food "quite well".
The physios are starting check her home for the necessary adaptations.
The family are starting to check care agencies and the local authority...
It is all actually maybe going to happen!
She may leave hospital and go home sometime....

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Japanese translations

There are now Japanese translations of the April blogs for "Okaasan and Me".
If you look at April blogs and see (J) in the blog title - then it has English first and then Japanese.
Many MANY thanks to Tokiko and Yukie for making sense of my ramblings and spelling mistakes!

Family stuff...

Quiet day at home - I have no classes starting next week and needed to prep for them.

I got to the gym in the morning and had my 3 months since joining assessment.
Weight up (61.3kg)...but down since I returned from England (63.7).
Muscle power up...a bit.
Left leg a little stronger.
Considering all I've been through in the past 3 months I think that's ok. I couldn't climb to the 3rd floor training room for the first 5 weeks and only went to the pool on the ground floor.
And the main thing all along was major stress relief anyway - just getting my body to do something was the big target in July - because hobbling around was doing my head in. I am still hobbling on a stick - but the pain is less and my attitude is WAY better.

Quiet afternoon. We had a quick lunch outside on the front steps - maybe the last time this year?

Okaasan set OUT for a walk at 6 pm...why does she do this? It is so strange. It is already dark and cold by then. She fiddles around watching Tv and staring at bits of paper all day - why does she finally get out at 6 pm?

We started eating dinner at 7.10 pm. She rolled home at 7.30 pm and I'm afraid I rather testily asked her WHY she went out so late...she says because the weather was bad....hmm...yeah right.
Yujiro says it's because it takes her at least an hour to find the clothes, bag, shoes, umbrella etc....

Anyway - tomorrow HE is doing major Okaasan duty - taking her to a new Hula Dance class...which is one of the department stores in town right above a subway station. It would be easy for her in winter, but maybe doesn't have a nice, big hot public bath.
This old lady is so lucky in life to have this son doing all this stuff for her.
And the older brother is SO lucky to escape it all.
And I? I am lucky me man isn't working so much so he does 90% of the cooking...
and the cat is just lucky to be alive.

Teeth Tantrum.

Okaasan's teeth are still painful - and now she has a bee in her bonnet that the dentist she's been seeing is no good.

At dinner last night (arrival 20 minutes late, we were half finished) she was in obvious pain eating spagetti and salad.

She says the dentist near the station was trying to use a local anaesthetic when trying to descale her teeth - which to her way of thinking is bad. So of course: this dentist is bad, I should go back to Tokyo and see a dentist there.

So that was dinner conversation...we saying that Sapporo is the 5th biggest city in Japan, there are plenty of good dentists here, we'll look for a different dentist for her...Okaasan saying: she tried to use anaesthetic, I don't need that, she is a bad dentist...etc etc etc....

I'll ask around and find another dentist. Maybe this dentist near our local station IS bad...but I doubt it. Okaasan has so many set ideas about how things are done. I expect the scale on her teeth is bad and the dentist thought it best. I expect this is an old person's: I'm A Tough Person I Don't Need Painkillers thinking.


Oh...and I just had a lesson in How to Hang Laundry.
Yesterday Yujiro had a lesson in How to Put Vegetables in the Pickling Pot.
He was a more grateful student than I. I'm beyond teaching. I've been hanging laundry badly for so many years now I am past saving.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Season of change...

All taking a new direction and home life too.

Yujiro went to a meeting yesterday about his job the photographing city buildings - so we talked about HOW Okaasan will manage for lunch from now on. He's been cooking for her almost every day since she came 11 months ago.

My idea is that we'll use a small whiteboard and each day he'll write a list of food suggestions on it. We leave the board on the kitchen table, so when she walks into the kitchen around middday thinking of food she can easily understand what is in the fridge/on the cooker...

If we tell her in the morning: We're out, help yourself - she'll forget quickly and by middday be wondering where we are and what to eat. BUT if there is a whiteboard list on the kitchen table MAYBE she'll follow it up and eat more than endless yogurts and instant noodles.

I bought the whiteboard and pens yesterday...and just as well, when we both came home at the end of the day we  discovered that Okaasan had eaten...4 yogurts! Even though there was rice, miso soup, cabbage and pork...

So...we'll see if the whiteboard list idea works.

The weather was bad yesterday. Okaasan basically watched TV and slept all day. When Yujiro came home late afternoon she said to him: Is it morning? and didn't want any dinner.
You can see how easily old people get confused and don't bother to eat. She is  so, so lucky to be living with us and having some kind of structure to life.

BLOG thoughts: I'm thinking about finishing this blog in November or December. I started it when Okaasan came to live here and I think maybe it has run its' course. The novel is now the routine, the interesting is now not-so-interesting... maybe this should be First Year as an Oyomesan.
Not sure yet...but maybe I'll finish it end of this year...or only do occasional updates.