Saturday, October 31, 2009

Ah! Puppies!

We're fostering 5 week old puppies for a bit before I leave for Japan. One boy and one girl. The girl is much much bolder and the boy is a mama's boy who whines a lot. I have a new found respect for mothers who have to constantly care for newborns. They need so much of your time! At least these fuzzies are super cute. Coleman is somewhat of a control freak so he doesn't see what all the fuss is about puppy mania. He is bewildered by their chaos and likes them much better when they are sleeping.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Coleman Fushihara CGC!

Here in the photo I'm just holding up our class graduation certificate but... Coleman passed his Canine Good Citizen test tonight! I am very happy and Coleman doesn't know the difference. We have had a long journey, Coleman and me. He's been my only constant companion for more than a decade and I've learned so much about forgiveness, patience, and love from him. I am positively sure that without him, I would not have the self confidence or the compassion that I know I've gained in these past ten or more years that I lacked to varying degrees before. He is my love.

Monday, October 12, 2009

My Grandfather and Pakistan

My grandfather was the President of the Japan-Pakistan Association when he was alive. I think it's called something different now but the Japanese trading company that he was President and Chairman of had a lot of business in Pakistan and I remember my grandmother telling me often that he was away in Islamabad or Karachi. I honestly have no idea if the business he was conducting there was good for the people, exploitative, or a little bit of both. I have wished on many occasions while reading or watching the news that he was around to tell me about his experiences in other countries but most likely he would have brushed it off because I am a girl. He was very traditional that way. When I was growing up in the late 70's to the early 90's he was flying around the globe to Moscow while it was still the USSR, Johannesburg while it was still under apartheid, and I'm pretty sure I remember him going to Iran, Bangladesh, India, Brazil, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zeland... the list could go on.
Anyway, back to Pakistan. I was watching two videos up on the NY Times website today about a family in the Swat Valley. The father had been running a school for girls for fourteen years and his young daughter was a smart girl that wanted to become a doctor. They had to leave their home though because of the Taliban. The Taliban had ordered the school closed and the rights of women to even just go out shopping had disappeared. It made me so sad to watch these little girls that didn't want to leave their homes and their school and how much they just wanted to learn. Of course Three Cups of Tea is one of my favorite books and Greg Mortenson is one of my heroes. The author is an American that has been building schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan for over ten years. The strange thing I learned today was that both my grandfather and Greg Mortenson had received the Sitara-i-Pakistan "Star of Pakistan" award. It is one of the highest honors given to civilians by the country for service to Pakistan.
I find it odd that I was given a first rate private education my whole life, partially paid for at some points by my grandfather whose money was partially made in Pakistan, where still today, girls are struggling to go to elementary school. To me it's bizarre and I find that I grieve for these girls there more than I do for other unfortunate people in other countries, probably because I feel some familial connection. I'm not exactly sure what I wanted to say with this post but take a look at the NY Times videos if you have the time.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

From feral to affection hog - Henry

Henry is now such an attention hog that it is hard to walk without tripping over him. His default favorite place to be is between my legs as I'm walking. A far cry from when we first met. He lets us massage him all over and Dave is "practicing" picking him up for short periods of time. I am happy that he's made this turn around but it's almost too much. He is obsessed with us.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Gosh darn it

There is a free Pete Seeger concert on Saturday at Vassar. I can't go because Dave's parents are coming up for the Farm festival at Hawthorne Valley the same day. Would have loved to have gone. I grew up going to super liberal elementary schools in NYC where all the songs we sang were basically.... Pete Seeger songs, Peter Paul and Mary, Joan Baez etc. I still remember all the words.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Julius is released

I wasn't able to get a picture of Julius being released because he was just too fast but we were able to release him back to the wild on Friday. He was totally weaned and ate a lot before he was ready. He got big and fat, just in time for the cooler weather. It was a small victory for me in a week of what seems like defeat on other fronts in my life. GO JULIUS! Don't get eaten!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Hawthorne Valley Farm Store

I can't remember if I already posted about Dave's new part time job at Hawthorne Valley Farm Store. He is working in the produce department 3 days a week. He said that it's really fun to see the local farmers come in with their vegetables and fruits and getting to know who grows what and he makes sure that all the produce looks beautiful and abundant in the store. Next year I hope to be able to sell just one or two vegetables to them as they take small batches as long as it is good quality product grown with no chemicals. The great part for me is that Dave gets to take home day old bread and soup, damaged produce, and odds and ends. Right now we are drinking Vermont Soy soy milk that we got for free and it is SOOOO good. Much better than any of the regular brands. Tastes fresh and light just like the kind you can get in chinatown although I think this kind is organic. We also got South River miso but it's not up to my own personal standards. Maybe it's good if you are not Japanese but I think it needs to ferment more and also be a little sweeter. I had to add mirin and some konbu dashi soy sauce to make it taste better....just my humble opinion. And we always have bread made at Hawthorne Valley, right now we have a nice sour dough. We also get 20% off in the store. Even though he has to drive 35 minutes to work, I think we end up saving money because of the discount and free goodies.