Cheers to 2019!

It’s hard to believe that it’s 2019.  We’ve been living in Osaka for 4 months now, which is also hard to believe!  As you may have noticed, we haven’t blogged for a few weeks now.  It’s partly due to Michael starting his new work schedule this month, but it’s also partly due to a tinge of homesickness that we’ve been feeling.  I think it has to do with the holidays and feeling so far away from family and friends.  It also stems from minor frustrations that creep up on us, like:

  1. Since Michael is the head of household, all accounts need to be under his name, with his official seal on all documents.  Not a big deal except for when…
    1. I need to make a new account at the co-op for Z’s school–only the head of household can do that during normal business hours when Michael is at work, which means, no account can be made and I need to pay in cash at the office.
    2. We need to transfer money to a bank account back in the States.  There are a few extra forms for Michael to approve before I can send money on his behalf.
  2. When we got our cell phones, we had to sign with the understanding that international calls would be prohibited for 4 months.  Apparently some visitor before us got a cell phone, made tons of international calls, skipped out on the bill and returned back to their country.  Because of that inconsiderate, shifty being, we get penalized.  Now you know why we haven’t called you 🙂
  3. Technically, Michael shouldn’t leave work before his boss leaves.  It’s a seniority and respect thing.  I’m glad his boss is British and overlooks that technicality.
  4. The constant smell of smoke.  Japan has gotten better about creating non-smoking spaces since I last lived here in the mid 90’s, but there is definitely room for improvement.  Even while walking down the street with no smokers in sight, there is that faint smell coming from somewhere.

These minor frustrations coupled with the fact that I can’t get a good burrito anywhere leads us to being a little homesick.  But whenever I see something familiar, it lifts my spirits immediately.  For example:

My mother-in-law is Linda and the boys call her Gigi 🙂

Some family members (Stellar is close enough to Stellan, right?)


A random montage of things from home.


I’m not even sure if Mt. RAINIER coffee actually exists back home, but it makes me smile thinking of our former hometown.

I know we’ll keep finding sights that put a smile on our faces.  I’ll be sure to post more as we come across them.  I find gratitude puts things in perspective. I’m truly grateful for our new home, our family and our friends.  Oh, and the amazing food here.  I know for certain that one day I will find that burrito!


  1. So nice to see your blog this morning. It always puts a smile on my face. You all are amazing and handling the day to day challenges of living in a foreign country with grace and tenacity. I’m so very proud of you. I was touched by your post and seeing Linda Bar and Gigi restaurant brought a tear to my eyes. 😢 We miss you all but know we will be seeing you soon. Hang in there. Keep blogging and maybe there could be Lori Burrito shop around a corner you haven’t discovered. The Linda bar will be my favorite hang out when we come for a visit.😜 Have a wonderful day. Hugs to the birthday boy and all. Much love, Gigi/Linda/Mom

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have missed your blogs! Linda Bar and Gigi brought a tear to my eye so I can imagine what it did to Linda! You are on a great adventure and there will be some not easy and down times. I have a great respect for you both for having the courage to take this on! You are awesome!!! Keep it coming!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I can understand why you might be feeling a bit homesick–hang in there. Mike, you can probably get your British boss to leave at quite respectable hours. Just just suggest going for pints. Of course, you’ll be in a pub with them, and not at home. But hey, you won’t be in the office. Also, you still have a Tower Records!?!? Do tell.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s not too bad 🙂 They do hit the pubs and ‘tachinomi’ (Tiny, standing-up only bars) pretty frequently – and through him I found probably the only place in Osaka that knows how to make a proper martini! That’s a good idea, I’ll need to do a post on that 🙂


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