January 3rd, which means it’s time to go back to work. And it was an incredibly busy day! But I’m feeling energized and looking forward to new challenges and getting lots done.
Speaking of getting lots done, Mariko cleared the top of our kitchen island of all the clutter, and we’ll try to keep it nice and tidy. My first thought when I came home from work and saw the island was, “Oh no! My wife has left me and taken everything!” 😱 But then I realized that this is simply part of the decluttering of our house (and lives?). This was confirmed later when I wheeled the trashcan out to the curb. I don’t think I’ve ever felt such a heavy trashcan! 😄
Whereas yesterday was a relax-day, today was busy being productive and getting the year started on the right note.
First, I cleaned up the toys that were scattered all over a table upstairs, putting everything into either the Goodwill box, or the trash bag. Then I took photos of the table so that we can sell it on Craigslist. I also took photos of Koa’s IKEA bed frame and mattress so we can list that for sale as well. Besides getting rid of furniture we don’t use anymore, we’ll have a bit of cash for a nice meal or two! 😄
Next up on my list of things was to take two boxes of books 📚 to the used bookstore to sell. The boxes were pretty heavy so I put them on a little hand-truck so I wouldn’t hurt my back. Better safe than sorry!
The bookstore was extremely busy and I was maybe 7th in line to get my books appraised. After about an hour my name was called and I was offered $36 for the lot. It was more than I was expecting! 😊
After leaving the bookstore with a smile on my face, I headed over to Costco to pick up a few groceries. That place was also a madhouse today. One of the ladies working there said that they were closed yesterday, so everyone was here today. Makes sense. Luckily I was there before it got super crazy. When I left, there seemed to be even more people arriving.
When I returned home, the mail lady pulled up with a package I was eagerly awaiting – my brand new Moto G4 phone. 📱 It’s been about 2 years since I got my previous phone, so I was happy to finally have a fast phone again, with plenty of space for apps. Setting it up was painless and it’s very familiar since it is just a supercharged version of my old Moto G2 phone.
And what about that first photo of this post? Well, Mariko was busy as well, organizing the pantry. It looks great, and having everything in its place makes for a less stressful living environment. It’s nice to simplify!
Today we started off the new year in typical Japanese fashion – we feasted on Osechi 🍥 and drank saké 🍶 all day while watching Japanese new years specials on TV. 📺😆
Did you know that each different food in osechi-ryōri represents some kind of good fortune? I don’t know all of the meanings, but if you are curious, you can check out the Wikipedia osechi page. They list some of the most common foods.
Mariko prepares our osechi, and I look forward to eating it every year. It takes a couple days but it’s a worthwhile tradition. The food is delicious, beautiful, and it’s a great way to start the new year. 🎊
I’m posting this as we watch the 67th Kouhaku 🎵 and countdown to the New Year. So far it’s a good show and I really enjoyed Shingo Reena‘s performance! She always does well, and with so much coolness. This year she was dressed in a black kimono reminiscent of a funeral wear. It was pretty awesome.
Earlier tonight we met some friends at their restaurant and enjoyed some amazing food, including way too much sushi. 🍣 But it was so good I couldn’t resist!
I wanted to share one achievement that I accomplished this year – blogging each day. I’m not sure why I wanted to do it, but after a month or so, it just became a habit. I don’t put too much thought into each post – most of my daily posts are written before I go to bed and are just little recaps of my day. I admit that there were a few nights that I didn’t finish a post, but doubled up the next day. Mainly because I was busy, or on a cruise, or drank too much. 😜 But who cares, right? I enjoy this part of my daily life. It’s fun, and I think that expressing myself in written (typed) words keeps my brain a little bit sharper. It’s like mental exercise. 💪
Well, I hope you had a nice day! And HAPPY NEW YEAR! 🎉
While Mariko is preparing the New Year’s osechi feast, I am in charge taking care of the kids and running other errands. That included buying a new hard drive for one that is on the blink, taking Bay to get his haircut, dropping Koa off at his friend’s house, going to the pet store, dropping Bay off at the mall, picking up our dog Lani from the sitter, changing out water from the aquarium, giving Lani a bath, cleaning the battery terminals on my minivan, and picking up dinner (In N Out, yay!).
I got a lot done, but one of the fun things I did was to buy a new phone! My Moto G2 is getting really slow, and Mariko and the kids have been telling me to upgrade for a while now, so I finally pulled the trigger and ordered a new Moto G4. There is a good deal on Amazon right now – the 32 GB version for $189 (normally $229). I really like my G2 but it only has 8 GB of internal storage so I have run out of space for apps. And it’s not like I have a lot of apps, but the standard Google apps have gotten so big that they take up almost all of the internal memory!
I’m pretty sure 32 GB should last me a while, and of course there’s the SD card so I can pop in my 64 GB card for my music and photos.
The phone arrives in a couple days… can’t wait!
Today’s photo is of some carrots that Mariko carved into beautiful flower shapes. They will be part of the osechi, or Japanese new years food.