Sunday, January 30, 2011

Japan's First Sakura, The Disgusting American, and Hello Kitty

What's a sakura?  Better yet, you mean that Sacura in Jackson, TN?  Some people actually can at least pull off sa-kura and hey, I am a southern girl, I once said sa-kura and I actually still do when I am not speaking to people that know there is a difference.  I actually don't see the point in saying it "correctly" unless you are speaking with someone who is Japanese or speaks Japanese.  For the most part I don't think we are expected to say it, "Sakula" and really, sakula is not exactly right.  The R is still technically an R sound but sounds more like a combination of R and L and just like RR in Spanish, you gotta know how to do it just right.  For the easy out, SA-ku-la.  So what are sakura, finally the question is answered. 

They are cherry blossoms and in Okinawa they have to bragging rights of hosting and showing the very first blooms in Japan.  Spring gets to the Ryukyu islands before any where else on the great island of Japan so the sakura festival is in full swing in Feb. as oppose to mainland Japan's April hoopla.  Nago is the place to go to see the tiny blossoms and they truly are a sight to see.  Everyone is out enjoying themselves, taking pictures, visiting the temples, and most importantly spending time with family.  The smells on the street are glorious and they almost over shadow the beauty of the sakura, almost.  There is something amazing about the sakura.  Gentle, delicate, and very small, the pink blossoms are eye catching for anyone who enjoys nature and the scenery of Japan.  Sakura are a Japanese staple and are as famous as the country itself.  

I am DONE with going on culinary adventures at my local Japanese McDonald's.  Those who know me know for the most part I am pretty adventurous when it comes to food and truth be told, not nearly adventurous as most.  When I go to McDonald's I always go out on a limb to try new dishes as I really don't like anything at McDonald's anyway.  I hate McDonald's and very rarely eat there, even for the fries which I happen to love.  So why not try something new?  Well because when I do I pick this.

The Idaho Burger.  A burger with a hashbrown, onions, bacon and 2 kinds of sauce. How could it be bad when it has bacon!?  Well because McDonald's in Japan takes the normal and makes it beyond wonky. It was pretty much the nastiest thing I have tried at a Japanese Mickey D's and that is compared to the McSalad and the Carbonara and I could handle the McSalad.  The Idaho is one of 4 featured in their Big America 2 selection and boy do they have us WRONG!  If they think this is what America is like or what Americans eat they may want to try it again.  While the Texas burger had chili on it and that seems about right, I dare not try it.

There is a new cat in town.  She will join the ranks with Hercules, which depending on how things turn out, will be coming home with us in May or stay where he is until we move back to the States.  Her name is Marie, like the Aristocats.  The family she belonged to before has two little girls that loved the movie.  Marie, is unique in the fact that she likes to chew on things.  Like my mom 2 said, "we like to adopt the cats with special needs."  Marie had a problem with chewing the little girl's stuffed animals to bits and after 2 years of trying the family had to let her go.  So I see her, fall in love with the little "Hello Kitty" and we have since bought her chew toys, which she does not touch might I add.  We don't have stuffed animals, so she has moved on to our socks.  Which works.  We left some out with toys and in the night, after becoming somewhat comfortable with us, she chose the foot coverings off the buffet of things that could be chewed on.  So now we have Hercules, our poor ginger heart murmur kitty and Marie, the white Japanese Bobtail that acts like a dog or a rabbit, confused on which she actually thinks she is.  She probably is just a cat with a different personality and Mark and I are perfectly okay with that, now if we could just get her to stop meowing nonstop at random parts of the day and night.  I doubt that will be happening.  It was funny because I am one of the biggest Hello Kitty fans I know and now I have a real one of my very own, white, bobtailed and all.  Though unlike Hello Kitty, Marie has one blue eye and one green.  How could I leave out a picture of our new baby?  Well that is because she is showcased on facebook and by now those who read probably have seen her.  I am a bad mother I know, pictures of flowers and burgers and not the fur babies.  Here is one of my Herca boy in Ohio from the last Dec.  He cuddled with Mark and I in the bed he shared with my mom as if we had never left. 

Now when will we add real children to our family?  That is for God to know and us to find out.
(As I was typing this, it was discovered by my husband that Marie aka Jaws aka Little Rabbit had chewed a massive whole in one of my new Old Navy shirts I wore once....she better be glad she has truly found a family that is accepting and knows to keep stuff out of her way...grrr, too bad cat pelts are worth what the used to be.)

Japan at a daily glance:
Work is work, crazy as ever, not going to let it stress me out because life is too short.  I have done a fantastic job with giving it to God and not letting it give me a headache.  We are getting prepared for Setsubun. (Feb. 3rd)  Where the children will be visited to an oni (Japanese demon/monster) and the children will say, "Oni wa soto, Fuku wa uchi".
Mark will be deployed this year, not telling when or where because as his wife it is also my duty to keep his operation as safe as possible, OPSEC!  Yes I will be here and nobody better DARE say, "I'm so sorry!!!"  My husband is a solider 1st, good or bad.  God and country.  I'd also like to remind those people I lost my mom, his deployment is small potatos compared to losing my best friend and shoulder or all shoulders.  This, Mark signed up for.  Mom's death, Mom and Dad signed me up for that one, thanks guys.  It really touched me to hear my favorite coworker Ms. Leona say, "I could tell when I saw you Monday you were strong."  It's hard, but God has given me a strength that I had no clue I had, and I am really proud of it.
It has been crazy cold lately, it should start warming up already, but it got cold later than it normally does for what I hear and now it's slow to warm up.  I know, I know, it's not cold like the States cold but hey, I am entitled to my opinion and you are reading it, so deal with it.  50s are cold enough.  Just think, when it was 50s in Wyoming we were coming out of our coats, 50s on Oki we have them and scarves on!

Sayonara from the Scott's!

Monday, January 17, 2011

My hazel eyed girl.

I think of the times I have heard or have said in the past, "I don't know what I would do without my parents, my mom, or my dad," and now I see to find the words ironically funny, odd if you will. The reason being is because I have now found out what I would do without one of my parents, my best friend, my matron of honor. Do you want to know what I found out? I lived.

Now please, keep it mind this mental picture. The moment Mark came to me while I was sitting in a chair in fron of my computer, frantically trying to get in touch with my daddy back in the States and said what I had already feared and yet some how knew, "Talya, your mother passed," I immediately dropped, as Mark held me on my way down, lower and lower, until I was lying on the cold floor. I chanted no, that was all, simply, no. What happened next? My brain became full of information hearing the voice of my mother, father, Mark, Paul, God. I wanted to tell everybody. What was going to be a day of cleaning and visiting for the upcoming holiday event very soon took a turn for the, "I have to get to Ohio." I facebooked, I posted a thread on my avatar site, and most of all I cried, I was in pain. The feelings of telling everybody soon went to I don't want to talk to anybody. I talked to my dad, which thankfully for Sara and Justin Cook, I was able to call him with their phone as except for Skype which was down for the day, I had no way of calling the States. I talked to Mark, at Mark, it was all a blur because Mark had to act on my behalf. Mark tasked himself with washing dishes, clothes, as well as calling his bosses. I talked to Paul, and I couldn't remember a thing we talked about, I just remember saying, "I am thankful she wasn't in pain." My Aunt had contacted Red Cross. In a very short amount of time, I was on my way to Ohio, but not my home. During this time, I cried. If I talked to my boss on the phone I stopped, to Mark's bosses, I kept it as together as I could in a trance. I drove back home from on base and I could hear my mother's voice telling me, "Don't drive while you are upset, wait for Mark to be with you." So as soon as I was in the comfort of my husband's arm, I cried. This happened off and on for days. I had a wall up for some people, actually I would like to think it strength from God, and did not cry while having to do tasks I had to do. Though picking out my mother's funeral flowers and poem to go inside her funeral cards proved to be too much for me, God gave me the strength to be the leader of my family. My step father, "Pops," needed me and I had to be there for him. Now 28 days after my mommy's death I am still here, breathing, hurting, choking, walking, doing. I lived.

It is the worst pain I have felt in all of my 29 years. Not trying to sound old or young, just stating a fact. Anyone who knows my mother or me knows what we mean to each other and the relationship we had...have. There is only one Talya Mercedes Hood Scott and I had only one Pat Florence Gwilym as my mother, the woman that with God and my father gave me life. This is the woman that let a stranger follow her home so that she could give her a pink Victoria's Secret Santa Claus hat. This is the woman that said to me when I was 12, "I am going to keep spanking you until you cry." This is the woman that when I was 10 and feeling low sent a bear and balloons to my school for me just to let me know I was being thought of, even though we were getting canned food from the church because times were hard. This is the woman that bought me Tommy Hilfiger jeans while she was shopping at Wal Mart for herself. She loved her bi-racial child not for the novelty. She raised me with firm kindness dispite of her abusive childhood. She gave me a childhood, she gave me life, she gave me love. I was never afraid to kiss her or tell her I loved her in front of my friends and kiss her. She was my best friend, my mother, and our relationship was/is amazing. Now that she is gone, and I don't share the true understanding of my grief with many, I let myself cry when I need to, I let myself laugh, LOUD! I let myself look at the sky and think of her. I lived.

The day I found out my mom passed away it was my father's birthday, though in the States, it was still the day before. I never once asked God, "Why?" Though if I did, it would be natural. Instead I began to thank Him for the time I shared with my mother, seriously, I did. We all know, tomorrow isn't promised or guaranteed but let me tell you again, tomorrow IS NOT promised or guaranteed. My mother and I knew we loved each other, we knew about our special bond. I love you was replaced by, "Okay I'll talk to you later, muuuah!", a while ago. I love means alot to me it always has, but again it's like the 90's rock song by Xtreme says, what if you couldn't say I love you? Would you be able to show me. My mom sure did, everyday, near or far. I had no feelings of guilt. When I have children of my own it will be bitter sweet. The happiest and saddest day of my life because she was suppose to be with me and Mark holding my hand. Even so, I have no regrets, none. We live to die. My mom was never going to live forever. At some point I would lose her, 29, 39, 49, 59, if not now when? She was always going to die. I take comfort in knowing she lives on in me and she is now with her Father, not just her father, her Lord and Savior. I remain thankful. I still pray and thank God for allowing me to have her as my mom for as long as I did. I thank God! I will not be sorry when I personally know people that lived without their parents far longer than me. Dads, moms, both. I know 2 children, a brother and I sister, that lost their parents in a RV accident while they were on vacation. The children stayed behind and at 6 and 3 they became orphans. Let me repeat myself, I THANK GOD. I do not ask why, it is not for me to ask. My mother lost her dad at 6, another woman close to me was a child when she lost her dad. I thank God. I still have my daddy. Do I want to lose him, of course not! When his time comes can I stop it? Of course not...for that I cherish every moment. I thank God. I am thankful I am living to thank Him.

So, what am I going to do without my mom? Well, she is still with me and I am not dead, yet. Until I am put to rest, I will live. I have so much to live for and no matter what is going on, you do to. We all do. I pray. I take my time. I take baby steps. I lie in bed an extra minute if I need to and then I get up. I get up and I live.

Those that would like to visit my mother's website:

There are so many thank you's that go out and I tried to send them all. For the love, support, condolences, and most of all prayer.

Sorry I was unable to post anything new an exciting about Okinawa for you. I felt I should honor my mom and I know those who read my blog understand. I found out while I was away that I was put on the Kokeshi Roller Dolls team the Sake Bombers and I am super excited. Our colors are green and yellow. My skates should have arrived while I was gone. I will also be receiving my mom's last Christmas gift to Mark and me along with her last letter. I am excited about this as well.

Sayonara from the Scott's, muah!