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Earth Goddess

A little over a week ago I did a long awaited modeling session with photographer friends Anya and Jyll. It was Anya’s idea to do an Earth Goddess theme, needless to say I was in at the word Earth. I worked for the first time with makeup artist Kimberly of Glamour Eyes and she was great, I can’t wait to work with her again!

The shoot turned out great despite the cold, rainy weather. There was one point where they were directing me to point my foot one way and it just wouldn’t work because it was twitching from being so cold. Good thing you can’t tell in the pics…

Anya Photography

Anya Photography

Anya Photography

Anya Photography

Jyll's Photography

Jyll's Photography

It seems like only yesterday the New Year was turning 2000 and everyone thought our world was going to end because all the computers would crash. I remember spending that New Years Eve with my best friends at the time, Whitney and Christina; we were only freshman in high school. I cannot believe that night was 10 years ago! A whole decade ago! Where does the time go?

I truly believe that 2010 is going to be a year for changes, for all of us if we allow them. For example, Seth and I will get to move back to the states this year after spending a long 4 years in Japan. That’s going to be a huge change, reverse culture shock I am sure! Aside from a huge move, 2010 is also going to be the year I finally learn to love myself; my resolution is to learn who myself really is and in turn learn to love that person. I really feel like 2010 is going to be a great year if we embrace our changes; after-all change is a good thing.

I have to admit I’m not one to often watch Oprah yet alone read her magazine but a few months back as I was standing in the checkout line at the PX the huge words “Who Are You Meant to Be?” on the cover of the her O magazine really struck me. So I bought it and took the quiz inside “Who am I supposed to be?” To say the least I was a bit flabbergasted by how accurate the results were. I figured no better time to share this than with my New Years post about letting 2010 be the year for changes. Right below the photo is the quiz link to take it online and then my personal results. Take the quiz for yourself to learn what you’re striving to be; it will give you advice on positives and negatives based off of your personality results. Honestly this is some great stuff!

http://www.oprah.com/survey/omagazine/20091001-omag-meant-to-be-quiz

YOUR SCORES

Many people have two or three strong striving styles, and they can all be important in leading you to the person you are meant to be. If you have a few “highest” scores, read each matching description, and see what rings most true.

Striving to help: 13

Striving to be recognized: 13

Striving to be creative: 13

Striving to be spontaneous: 16

Striving to be knowledgeable: 15

Striving to be secure: 8

Striving to be in control: 11

YOU ARE STRIVING TO BE SPONTANEOUS

You are an adventurer: Action-oriented, curious, outgoing, and often technically gifted, you live for new experiences. You are drawn to risk-taking and aren’t afraid to fail. Generally restless, you tend to job-hop or choose a field that offers constant novelty. If you had to name your favorite place, it might be the center of attention—you’re a born entertainer, and can easily adapt to any audience. While you collect many acquaintances, you’re less likely to develop deep, committed relationships.

What to watch out for: When you can’t satisfy your thirst for variety and excitement, you may see yourself as trapped, which can lead to impulsive and self-destructive behavior—drinking, drugs, breaking off relationships, ditching financial responsibilities. Try to find value in some traditions; if you learn to appreciate repetitive experiences, you won’t always feel the urge to bust free. And when a new opportunity thrills you, keep in mind that just because it sounds exciting, that doesn’t mean it’s good for you.

Looking ahead: Life will have meaning for you as long as you feel stimulated. That might mean chasing twisters, exploring the polar ice caps, getting a degree in dance therapy, or becoming an astronaut. It might also mean reading new books, attending workshops, or letting yourself get swept up in an intoxicating romance. As a risk-lover with a lot of energy, you’re a natural entrepreneur. You’ll be happiest if you change jobs every so often and travel extensively. Movement is what keeps you going.


So Proud!

My blog has officially made it over 1000 views and I only created it not even four months ago. Now shouldn’t all you stalkers be leaving me some comment love? I’m just teasing. Thanks for viewing, I hope you’re enjoying what you see and I hope you keep coming back for more. You could always subscribe (to the left) and receive email updates anytime I post.

I love you all!

Erin

Hints of Higashi

Seth and I took a much needed weekend escape to Northern Okinawa and I swear I will never get used to the beauty of this island. We stayed in a log cabin at the military recreation facility, Okuma, which was only a 15-minute drive from the area I wanted to explore, Higashi. Since the first couple months I arrived in Okinawa, over 3 years ago, I have been dying to go kayaking through the mangroves up north and that was our big intentions for this weekend. Well, we didn’t get to do the kayaking because it was out of our budget for this weekend trip but we found a nice kayaking place for our next weekend getaway. However, we did get to explore a secret beach, follow a stream to a waterfall and got to see what the Japanese call the “Looking Glass Tree”. Directions for both are below.

For about 30-40 minutes we followed a stream that was coming down from the mountainside into the Pacific Ocean, from the beach we discovered, only to be rewarded with a beautiful waterfall. We reached the waterfall at the perfect time of day because there was a rainbow at the bottom of it the entire time we were there. It’s just amazing that we reached it at just the exact time that the sun would be shining down through the trees to make that rainbow. My co-worker Tina believes it was some sort of sign for us. Just maybe, who knows though?

We had a traveler’s guidebook explaining how to find the tree with amazing, wall-like roots but were having some trouble following the directions. After searching for about an hour on our own we finally came across a conservation museum and the polite Japanese girl working the front desk gave us directions in broken English; luckily I had my number cheat sheet that co-worker, Nao San, created for me so I knew exactly how many kilometers she was telling us to travel. We finally found the tree and it was like nothing I will probably ever see again, some of its roots were nearly up to my shoulder. Looking down onto the roots from above they made intricate swirls and designs; some of which held water. I have tried to learn why they call it the “Looking Glass Tree” but my Japanese co-workers couldn’t answer and the closest thing I could come across on a Google search was that the leaves are a silvery color underneath. I can’t help but remember back to my childhood of watching “Disney’s Pocahontas” where that great willow tree tells her to listen to her heart and of watching “Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” where the wicked queen would ask her mirror (or looking glass) “who’s the fairest of them all”. So, just maybe you’re supposed to look into the water, as if you would a mirror, and hope for the great answers to life. Just maybe this weekend was supposed to be full of signs and answers but as life would have it, I overlooked them all. Maybe next time God… if you are listening… if you are up there.

Directions from Okinawa Explorer 2nd Edition by Kenny Ehman:

First, to get to Higashi:

If coming from the West side of the island take H58 to Nago and use Route 14 to cross over to H329. On the East side of the island take H329 North past Camp Schwab. Continue North on H331 after Camp Schwab. Follow the signs on H331 through Nago, you will start to notice the swampy mangroves on you right hand side and shortly after you will enter Higashi.

To get to Looking Glass Tree:

Take Route 70 North to Taira Village and turn left after the second bridge from center of Village. Turn left at the fork and follow the winding road until a white sign with an arrow is pointing the way on the left. Follow these signs until you come to a lot on your right. Park here and the looking glass tree is near the edge of the woods.

To get to Miyagi Meoto Waterfall:

Take Route 70 North through Kawata Village to Miyagi. About 6.2 kilometers from Kawata you will find Bus Stop #70 on the right along with a small store, turn right directly before this Bus Stop. Follow this road down until a sign and small lot appear on the right. Park here and walk down a trail to the beach, then follow the stream up until you find the waterfall.

Four Christmases

29 Presents and 36 Cards... not including for each other or friends, family ONLY!

Seth and I both come from divorced families so we basically have more than a Brady Bunch family. We watched the movie “Four Christmases” the other day and it has got to be my favorite Christmas movie just because it hits so close to home. Living in Japan we have to get our Christmas shopping, wrapping and shipping done quickly so they can get to everyone in time. This year we bought our family all Christmas presents from our trip to Thailand in October so we had a nice head start. I didn’t realize how many gifts we had until I put them all in gift bags, 29 in all! These 29 gifts are not including any gifts for friends, co-workers or each other; these 29 gifts are for family alone! I had to line them up and take a picture because it was just amazing! I mailed them out last week so I hope you all get your presents on time and you enjoy them! We thought everyone needed something from Asia before we left here; that is, something purchased and made in Asia and not just “made in ___” Asia. LOL! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to our gigantic family!

Thanksgiving 2009

I have been away from “home” for four Thanksgiving holidays now and it’s always the hardest holiday for me. Thanksgiving was the time, from what I recall, that all of the family got together to laugh and tell stories over the best food. Christmas was always a small intimate setting so it’s easy for me to adjust to Christmas being only Seth and I, but Thanksgiving can be a little difficult. This year we went to Seth’s new shop and had Thanksgiving with all of the EOD guys and their families. It was nice to meet all the families but I still miss my good old Indiana Thanksgiving. So, in attempt to bring a little taste of Indiana into our Okinawan Thanksgiving I tempted to make a sugar cream pie. I browsed the internet and found a couple recipes, one of them was actually called HOOSIER Sugar Cream Pie. I ended up with one soupy mess and two gelatin-like blobs that I forgot to add vanilla to. So, three pies in the trash later I made some changes to the recipes and came up with my own. It was no Wick’s, but did the trick for now. For those of you non-Indiana readers sugar cream pie is kind of hard to explain. I guess it is like an egg custard pie without the eggs. It’s kind of a mix between creme brulee and vanilla pudding, but it’s a different kind of texture than those. The recipe is below the pic.

By the way, Thanksgiving 2010 is going to be held at our house in Niceville, Florida. You're all invited!

Erin’s Hoosier Sugar Cream Pie
  • 1  and 1/3 cups white sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, unsifted
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 4 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (9-inch) pie shell, baked
  • 1 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon if desired
  1. Preheat oven broiler to high.
  2. Mix sugar, flour and cornstarch in a medium pot. Add 4 tablespoons butter and half and half. Cook on medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until it begins to boil and becomes thick and creamy. Turn off heat and stir in vanilla extract.
  3. Pour mixture into pie crust. Drizzle 1 tablespoon melted butter over top and sprinkle with cinnamon if desired. Put under broiler until butter bubbles and brown spots appear–about 10 minutes. Refrigerate.

On November 14th our little weiner dog, Willy, turned one year old. He went from this…

To this…

This would be a good time to finally introduce my other babies, Doobie and Kazi.

Doobie Boi sleeping on the fridge. He never ceases to amuse me!

Being the "King of the World" from atop our bedroom door.

He was my first pet after moving to Japan so we are pretty inseperable and I have Doobie withdrawals if I’m away from home to long. Yea, he’s what Smeagol would call “My Preciousss”.

Doobie and I after moving into our new Japanese home back in 2007.

Kazi (Kamikaze), 8 months old, playing with Willy, 3 months old.

Kazi keeping Willy warm after a bath. He loves his little brother, maybe even believes himself to be part dog.

He may be part dog after all, he licks more than a typical dog does; even weighs 0.4lbs more than our dog does, coming in at 15.4lbs!

That's almost 15 and half pounds of puddy tat! He always lays in the middle of the floor on his back and when you reach down to pet him he'll grab your hand with his paws and lick you to death.