Geshia Kokeshi from a collection over 70 years old

Shots from my doll cleaning days for doll sale fundraiser. This collection is from a 103 year old lady that started the collection about 70 years ago. There were several types of dolls and ceramics but the kokeshi were fabulous.

This a video describing the history and different types of kokeshi dolls.

The collection of kokeshi are so cute with so much personality and the details on their kimono, hairpins, and other accessories were so good. The hairpin in on this doll above could be taken off and her head wobbles.

Samurai with a removable sword

What a handsome samurai he is. Love the his facial expression

the buckets on their head are so cute

I love their indigo yukatas with their apron with the writing on it.

I’m now truly kokeshi crazy. I hope I can find some on my next trip to Japan.


My life as caregiver . . .

Started up in full this weekend. Mom fell and fractured her rib. Before this event, it was two pretty healthy older adults that needed a little help with things. Now I have a very proud 91 yo man with the beginning stages of dementia, feeling helpless that he can’t help his 89 yo wife that is healing from a cracked rib. My life has gotten harder.

Quiet spot on the lanai to catch up on calls, emails, and texts

I’m learning as I go as many things I do in my life. Wish there were courses in what to do when your aging parents get injured or start showing signs of dementia. Not sure if it is right or wrong, just doing and trying to insure that both of them are comfortable, feed and rested.

Google has been a great support. Searches on fractured rib and hyperventilation have been a great help.

Thankful that I was talked into the taking the wheelchair by E/S. I has come in handy just for this event. Been wheeling her around the house. I think she’s enjoying the ride. The house is barely handicap accessible, it makes steering the wheelchair a little difficult.

Day 3 She’s progressing as best as can be. She got out of bed 4 times yesterday. One of them was to take a shower then sit in the living room and watch TV. She trying to do her breathing exercises and has doing well with it. But need to do it more. She still struggling anxiety, that leads to her hyperventilating. On day 2, she fainted 3 times because of it.

Dad is handling it okay but seems sort of aimless. It’s really hard for him as Mom did so much for him. He doesn’t know how to turn on the TV or even use the phone.


Day 7 Mom was rush to the ER because she had a fainting episode (I thought it was a seizure because her arms and legs were flaying around) because she wasn’t getting enough oxygen to her brain. She was complaining all day of not feeling right and having bad dreams. She thought she had indigestion.

Once at the hospital, the ER dr asked if we noticed the hematoma on her back where she had fallen. I said yes, that she get those because she’s on blood thinners. Well, the dr said he was worried that with that very large hematoma and her fainting spell that she may have blood in her chest and making it very hard for her to breath.

One CT scan later, she has blood in her chest and a collapsed lung plus not 1 but 2 fractured ribs. ER dr said they would need to transport her to the trauma hospital to have surgery because of the blood in her chest. They needed to put a chest tube in, give her blood and fluids before the transport. They needed to reposition the chest tube with more ct scans and more priority trauma case push her transport back.

Day 8 During our wait, Dad froze, even with 3 blankets on. I took him home at 2:30 (hour 5) to get some sleep before we moved to the trauma hospital. Around 4:30ish they started to prep her transport and I went back home to gather dad. I gave him an extra hour to sleep and we got to the trauma hospital around 6:00.

More waiting and freezing for my dad at the trauma hospital. Our ER dr from the previous hospital came with my mom. He was concerned about her. I need to get his name and tell him thank you.

The surgeon and his associates came and gave us updates. They wanted to get her in the surgery sooner or later. And gave me all the bad news first and at that moment, I made the decision to cancel my trip to Sapporo. My sister was arriving on Monday I was leaving on Tuesday. I had to make the decision. Called my travelling crew that I had to cancel. Sad but I’ll get to Sapporo another time.

Got into ICU and waited for new of when they would do the surgery. First it was maybe Monday then 2:30 Sunday. And around 10:30 Sunday, her nurse came in said it would be at 11:30. All this time, she was a trooper, rarely complaining about pain, mostly about being tired.

In the court yard, where my phone works

During all of this time my phone was in the dead zone of the ICU. Probably too many devices running. I was running down to the lobby get service as everyone was calling to find out about mom. I was working on get someone to watch my dad during the surgery. It was too long of a wait for him.

Thank goodness for my Cousin R, L and J as they came to my assistance with my dad. J got me in touch with R/L and they came to pick dad up and spend the afternoon with him, feeding him lunch and letting him have a nap.

In the meantime, my Aunties J1 and J3 in the missed my text due to the dead zone was on their way to hospital. They wanted to see mom before she went into surgery. They just missed her and spent the afternoon with me talking story and waiting for mom to come back from surgery.

This post is getting long. I thinking of turning this into a monthly post of what my life as a caregiver is. And maybe pass on helpful hints that I learn on the way.

Recipe Testing: Iris’ Hijiki Rice


Our collective agreement for Christmas dinner would be Iris’ hijiki rice and crispy roast pork belly. Iris is my mom’s cousin who is has a lot great recipes that I’m so happy she shares with me. She’s the lead cook at her church’s ladies group which makes delicous food items and hand crafted pieces for their annual bazaar in October.

Hijiki rice was one of the items from the bazaar that was so delicious that I asked her for the recipe and asked if she could show me how to do it. It is a seasoned rice dish with sushi rice with hiijiki (seaweed), vegetables, konnyaku (a jelly-like item made out of the Konnyaku potato) and kamaboko (fishcake)

Prepping Ingredients

chopping the ginger

I got Mom and Dad involved with the prep and the taste testing. At first I thought there was a lot of chopping but I remember Iris telling to use the food processor to do all the chopping.

Our Dinner

It was a very tasty meal and glad we made it. We will be making few adjustments–less soaking of the rice, maybe add mushroom or string beans for our next try.

The Recipe

Iris’s Hijiki Bara Sushi
serves: 12

4 cups (rice cooker cups) of rice-cooked

Filling for rice
3/4 cup hijiki, washed and soaked
1 gobo, chopped fine, soak in water so it doesn’t brown until ready to cook, drain well
1 carrot, chopped fine
1 konnyaku, chopped fine
1/2 Kamaboko (uzumaki, without the board), chopped fine
2 aburage, chopped fine
1 Tbsp oil (should be a neutral oil, like canola)

Sauce for filling
3 Tbsp Sugar
1/4 cup Shoyu (soy sauce)
1 teaspoon Hondashi (instant dashi)
-Mix together well.

Vinegar sauce for rice
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup Japanese rice vinegar
1 tsp salt
ginger, 1″ piece, minced finely
-Mix everything together except ginger in sauce pan, bring to boil and cool. Add ginger and mixed well.

  1. Cut all ingredients for filling [Iris suggest to use the food processor]
  2. Make vinegar sauce, set aside to cool
  3. Cook rice
  4. While rice is cooking, start cooking the filling
  5. Add oil to frying pan on med-high, add aburage until crispy
  6. Add carrots and gobo, cook about 2 minutes
  7. Add hijiki, konnyaku, and kamaboko, cook for couple more minutes
  8. Add filling sauce, turn down heat to medium
  9. Mix well and cook until carrots are tender
  10. Rice should be cooked by then, add vinegar sauce to hot rice, mix well
  11. Then add filling to the rice, mix well

Additional add-in for filling: shiitake mushroom, string bean

My Citrus Nursery

After a watering

Haha! In my dreams. I’ve been raising variety of citrus from seeds since last year. It’s always fun to see the seeds germinate and the tiny leaves to into little leaves and then move into little pots then to the next size.

First of my trees are from my mom’s calamansi and kumquat trees. And I have variety of miniature calamansi from our neighbor, blood oranges that bought from Kokua market, Meyer lemons from my sister and local lemons, one from a miniature tree.

Top row l to r: Mom’s plants with (a bad slug); Middle row l to r: kumquat, mini calamansi, calamansi; Bottom row l to r: empty pot, mini calamansi 3x (the last pot on the right is a survivor of a slug attack)
my cherished blood oranges

Not sure what I’m going to do with all of these little trees but a few of them will move along to our new house once we find it. And who knows how long these trees will take to fruit. The process is fun.

What a stash!

This box was full of stuff

Got an unexpected gift of yarn from a friend of my cousin, it was her aunt’s stash. It came in box filled with plastic project jars filled with patterns, yarn, needles and notes, bags of yarn, many different sizes of needles, and a yarn ball winder. What a great surprise.

Lots of the project in the jars were partially finished projects with notes annotated on patterns. She loved fuzzy yarn of good quality and I thank her so much for her love of good needles that have become part of my ragtag collection.

I’m worked through the collection to see what I could finish, what I needed to frog to because of a missing parts, what would be give-aways, and what mom wanted for her stash. I found a partially finish hat in one of the project jars and that was first to be finished off.

Partially finished brown beanie

The brown beanie was almost done, lots of notes and a great donation knit for my pile of hats to Kuakini Hospital. The yarn had a nice feel to it would keep anyone warm. Pattern was pretty easy, after I read the notes on the pattern to figure out what she altered in the pattern.

Lots of annotations

Mom decided to try her hand on some fancy yarn. I suggested doubling it with another yarn so it’s easier for her to knit. She could pass up it up. Let’s see what she comes up with.

I think it was those dots of color that sold her.

After the brown beanie, I decided to frog bag project in tones of brown. She knitted together Crystal Palace Merino Stripes and a sueded yarn. It was 3/4 of way done but there wasn’t any more of the suede yarn left. I think that’s why she probably stopped. The merino stripes is a fuzzy yarn only a crazy person (me) would have frogged it. After a bit of gentle tugging and pulling, I think I have enough for a pair of mittens. I love the antler toque pattern from #tincanknits that I bought the mitten pattern.

This color way quite beautiful–medium to dark to light

This is as far I have gotten one side just need to finish off the top of the hand section then do up the thumb. This may be my project for my upcoming trip and maybe a hat or baby blanket.

There’s are much more to this stash but I that’s far as I got with doing anything to them They are living in their project jars or waiting to be organize in a new needle folder. More to come on the knitting front. May more yarn from trip. Hah! Because I just don’t have enough.