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July 21, 2011


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Vince Ricci

Hope so too, Nancy. Good to see you posting again.


It was mountain I had to climb. But how well you know. We're in this together. Hope your family is surviving life in Tokyo. (Especially little Luca.)

Rodney Fong

Being physically and culturally closer to Japan than the rest of the US, the situation in Japan is more so in the forefront of our consciousness here in Hawaii, from the many people that have relatives and friends in Japan, to our dependence on Japanese tourism and people for our economy here. Your expression of how you need to deal with the radiation there makes our concern over how much radiation has gotten into our water supply and food supply like milk seem so trivial. My wife is so concerned about radiation, that she doesn't want me giving milk to my son, opting for soy milk instead, which still could be affected by radiation. How much more you need to be faced with it, even with the spectre of the memory of the original black rain that came from Hiroshima. Because Hawaii and Japan are so linked, your distress has been more aware of here, from the conflicting news stories about the conditions there, to the direct affirmations from people going to and coming from Japan. It is overwhelming to even imagine how you must have to deal with it. So hard to try to not think about it as you continue on with life, but so much harder to acknowledge and accept the conditions that are there. Gambate.

Preeva Tramiel

Nancy, it is good to read your posts again. Welcome back.
And I think you are very correct in your assertion that the time to get back to clean food is now.

Our bodies fend off a variety of insults every day, and minimizing the insults you can minimize should help bolster your bodies ability to fend off the insult you can't minimize.

And look at those weeds! Get out there! Do you some sort of wheeled hoe or weed cutter in that sitation? A lawn mower? I almost suggested a weed whacker, but, um, there's that two-stroke engine smoke thing.....

Lee Isgur

Nancy, I think your comment,("obsessing about what happened in the past is pointless. Life is now and we should not let the presence of radiation consume us. Who really knows, or who can really understand, how much radiation is around us, or what that means in the long run. I certainly don’t.") is right on. Remember the George Bernard Shaw quote; "Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow you'll die."

We are still really only children in terms of understanding the critical elements that will determine our lives paths. I'm currently sitting here in Woodside in a cloudless day looking at and enjoying my garden with really no knowledge of what the future will bring and what I could have done in the past to change it.

It's good hearing from you,



Rodney: Yes, I was a bit impatient with a fellow food blogger who posted from California wondering about the safety of the milk back in March. It seemed so surreal to worry at such a long distance compared to our close proximity. It was a bit like, huh? On the other hand, look at me worrying while there are families much, much closer. Way too close. Can you imagine their lives and how it might be affecting their children? Really unthinkable. So I shouldn't even gripe. We still have our home and food supply. Speaking of which, I'd worry more about the possible GMO soybeans and agricultural chemicals being used on the soy milk, over the trace amounts of radiation in Hawaiian milk. Good to hear from you as well.

Preeva: An underlying theme, that I never quite got around to saying clearly is that despite the convenience store foods, agricultural chemicals, and radiation, I still feel that life in rural Japan is way far and above less deeply chemicalized or over-processed as life in the U.S. I don't think the normal person sees how far food has come away from the simple farm food ate a few generations back by our families. And another thing I forgot to say is that this is the first year we have not had an invasion of the American white moth caterpillars all over the chestnut trees in the backyard. Now that is scary. Really scary. As for the weeds, when it gets bad like this Tadaaki does take out the weed whacker, that said, he did it about 10 days ago. They grow at a phenomenal rate. I was supposed to weed close to the plants, but the book has got to be the priority (don't tell him, though).

Lee: I heard from Betsy recently. She's in Provence and meeting up with Patricia and Walter. I wish. I'll be in California (Berkeley) early September. Monday at Chez? Thanks for the wise words. I still need to make it to Woodside to see the famed "garden."

Preeva Tramiel

No Caterpillars? Hmmmm.
Could be a lot of things, not all bad...
I had a terrible plague of oak moth caterpillars for about 4 years. It got worse and worse, then peaked and declined when the wasps and birds got wise to the caterpillars. Now I hardly notice them.


Preeva: I love your optimism and perhaps you are right, but since this is the 22nd summer I have lived in Kamikawa-machi, and this is the first summer we have been inundated with caterpillars...I'm not thinking it is nature taking her course. And neither does Tadaaki. Also, according to Tadaaki, the skies have been wild at sunset and sunrise (not the I would know as I'm either cooking or sleeping at those times).

Sarah O'Toole

Your posts always give me plenty to think about Nancy - the situations that families in Japan are facing, as well as how we will all face the changing world and reclaim our humanity and connection to this world and to each other.

May you continue to find strength, clarity and hope in the days ahead.


Sarah: I've been wondering how you all have been doing. Christopher is back for the summer. Both he and Andrew bleached their hair blond. Too weird. Andrew is busy working at Ra (Kanchan's new place), and I've roped Christopher into doing the Summer Camps with Alyssia (the only teacher now). Yumiko will be the Teaching Assistant. Her English is really good these days. (I'll be holed up in the playroom working.) Thanks for your sensitive comments. I'm glad that my ramblings provoke some thoughts. Off to the fish shop...


Oh and Sarah, I meant to point out that the smily little purple-shirted boy is Kirin, Kashuku's garrulous younger brother (5 years old) and the other wild man is Ryuki, Mana's 4-year-old brother. Time flies, right?

Karen Seehaus Papson

I've missed your updates, Nancy. Your post - positive, negative or otherwise - enrich the world. Keep on keeping connected to this community of online friends.


Thanks for the encouragement, Karen. I must say it feels sooo, so good to be in a good place writing-wise. Funny how life events (not just the earthquake, et al) can derail us. I'm making good progress on the book and have even sketched out the next blog post...not on natto, though.

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