Early Ehōmaki 恵方巻 for Setsubun

"Ehoumaki" Cedar Park, 2019
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.2, 1/125 sec, ISO5000
“Ehoumaki” Cedar Park, 2019

こんばんは。How’s it going?

Setsubun is tomorrow but we ate our celebratory ehōmaki 恵方巻 this evening because of Super Bowl Sunday. We aren’t really doing anything special for the Super Bowl, so I’m not too sure why Mariko wanted to make ehōmaki early, but who am I to complain? (I also think she may have mentioned a reason but might have had a senior moment) Anyways, this year’s lucky direction is N/NE, so we each ate our ehōmaki roll in silence while facing the lucky direction, as dictated by tradition.

Actually eating without talking, and just thinking about the taste of the sushi, is really great. It’s a special experience, but one that we can have all the time if we choose to just be mindful. I wonder if it would be possible to institute a one-minute of silent eating to begin each dinner? Hmm….

"Sushi" Cedar Park, 2019
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.6, 1/125 sec, ISO2500
“Sushi” Cedar Park, 2019

I hope you had a nice Saturday!

またね~

Decluttering Alma Mater Items

"Old Pullover" Cedar Park, 2019
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4, 1/25 sec, ISO6400
“Old Pullover” Cedar Park, 2019

While going through some of my old clothes, I came across two items from my alma maters, Torrance High School and UC Irvine. The one from high school was my old cross-country jersey. It was cool to look at it again before putting it in the trash. Its last bit of usefulness was to remind me of the good times I had running in high school. Honestly, I didn’t really enjoy cross-country. Haha. But it happened, and it gave me experiences and I learned about myself.

The other item I found is a pull-over from college. I really like the classic design and color, but it’s uncomfortable and not soft anymore. Actually, I don’t think it was ever very soft. Anyway, I was going to throw it away but then Bay decided he wanted it. I guess he’s into “college mode” or something. I’d eventually like to get a more comfortable replacement for the pull-over because I am sort of proud of graduating from UCI. It’s not really high on my list, though. 😄

Who knew decluttering could be so fun?

Reverse Osmosis Water System

"RO Water" Cedar Park, 2019
Photo info: motorola moto g(6), 3.95mm, f/1.8, 1/20 sec, ISO679
“RO Water” Cedar Park, 2019

こんばんは。How’s it going?

Today I had a little project: installing an under-sink Reverse Osmosis Water System. We purchased the iSpring RCC7AK 6-Stage water filtration system which has great reviews, and supposedly simple installation process.

I have to say, the installation for the iSpring RCC7AK was pretty easy. I always get nervous when working on plumbing, but this was really straightforward. The unit itself is designed smartly, with easily connected water tubes, and a brushed metal faucet that matches our main water faucet nicely. It is free-standing, but you can mount the system to a wall if necessary. The 2-gallon tank is the largest part of the unit, and I had to remove the bendy part of the PVC drain pipe in order to get it to the back corner, but that took only a few minutes. The only hiccup in the instructions was that part of it is outdated and referred to a couple of parts that had changed. After looking through the added documentation booklet I found the reference to the correct part, and I was back to the installation.


I won’t go deeply into what Reverse Osmosis filtered water is, except that it removes most of the contaminants that tap water contains. It tastes great too! We’re planning on using the RO water for drinking, making coffee, and cooking. As we get older, we’re spending more time/money focusing on our health, and since we drink plenty of water, having the best water possible seems like a great thing to do. 😄

I hope you had a nice day!

またね~

Tidying Up Papers and Clothes

"Papers" Cedar Park, 2019
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.5, 1/125 sec, ISO3200
“Papers” Cedar Park, 2019

Today I cleaned up a bunch at home (I’ve been reinvigorated in my decluttering!), first with some paperwork that I had way too much of. Today I focused on financial statements of IRAs and 401ks from back before the dawn of time. Basically, I am keeping the most recent statement, and shredding the rest. I have never looked at them in all these years. Which is probably good for retirement accounts, right? Just let them do their thing.

The other week I cleaned out other documents like medical records (I’ll hold onto the last 2 year’s worth), automotive records (why do I still have oil change receipts for my 1999 Sentra which we sold ten years ago?), and documents pertaining to our old house which we sold in 2005.

With most of the papers disposed of, I now have so much space in our office cabinets. It’s awesome!

Next, I tackled my closet and my clothes, which I had pared down quite a bit already, but there were three drawers full of brand new socks, old gloves, and ski hats. It’s crazy how many pairs of new wool socks I had! All those went in the Goodwill bag, as well as a bunch of t-shirts. I was able to discard enough so that I could get rid of one plastic drawer.

There were a bunch of other adjustments I made in the closet that involved throwing out and reorganizing what was left, but now the closet is tidy and airy. It’s such a welcome difference.

I hope you had a nice day!

またね

Things That Spark Joy in Me

"Things That Spark Joy" Cedar Park, 2019
Photo info: FUJIFILM X-T10, 18mm, f/2.8, 1/60 sec, ISO400
“Things That Spark Joy” Cedar Park, 2019

こんばんは。How’s it going?

It seems that everyone is talking about Marie Kondo lately because of her show on Netflix. I’ve seen a couple episodes and read her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, which I enjoyed, and like a lot of other people, I’ve been re-examining the things that I buy and keep. I’ve put together a list of items that not only “spark joy”, but also are things that I use often and if I lost the item, I’d buy it again.

Instead of listing them here, I created a page so I can update as needed. If you have a few minutes free, why don’t you check out my list? (And if you buy anything via the links, I’ll get a small kick-back from Amazon 🤗)

またね~