Winter Camp

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Jan 272018

We went to winter camp to make a winter ornament and rice cake.KIMG1619

We need three pieces of lucky bamboos.

We went to a mountain to collect pine cones and other natural materials as symbols from the winter season.

KIMG1623 KIMG1630 KIMG1633 KIMG1634

Next day, we steamed rice.KIMG1641

While we are waiting for rice, we enjoyed bobsleigh on a fall leaf slide.KIMG1644 KIMG1646

We pounded steamed rice.KIMG1655 KIMG1659

We had rice cake in soup, desert rice cakes with sweet soybean power and sweet red bean paste. KIMG1660 KIMG1662

We pounded rice very well. It is very soft.

 Posted by at 7:31 am

Winter Update

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Jan 062018

Just before the Winter break, there was a science exhibit at school:

And a musical performance:

We celebrated Chanukah.


Also, ook care of a piece of crap worthless cute dog (which bit me and bit a hole through my favorite shirt.  Now it will take months to find a replacement shirt.

piece of crap dog


At the beginning of the Winter break, we went to an outdoor modern art installation:

exhibit 2


lava fields

We also climbed a few local mountains.

In Yokohama, we celebrated New Years and rang in the year literally on a bell at the local temple (at the top of a mountain).

new years bell

On January 2nd, went to Costco.  Note to self… do not go to Costco on January 2nd.

costco line


On January 3rd, we celebrated Haga’s grandmother’s 100th birthday.



We had a big party.



Grandma received a certificate of recognition from Prime Minister Abe (who I think of as a less crude version of Trump, but this is a nice gesture).




There were performances…

And we made sure everyone know their age…







 Posted by at 11:05 am

2017 Sports

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Nov 282017

Kenaz is in a primary soccer team.171006kobe



Akiva is in a middle school sports team. He plays 4 different sports, baseball, basketball, soccer and volleyball through the year.cms_file_71882375_med

He is number 21, the tallest in his team.


Akiva plays a first base.




Bouldering became an official sports in Tokyo Olympic 2020. We have an indoor gym in our city.




 Posted by at 4:30 pm

Fall Extended Weekend

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Nov 282017

We combined shopping at outlet mall with hiking on rocky mountain in Gifu.KIMG1552





 Posted by at 3:49 pm

Fall Update

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Nov 082017

So it’s been a while. Whithout further worthless words on how long it’s been, here is the fall update for the Covners in Nagoya.

Haga and Kenaz had their Birthdays. And so we did a sushi party.


For Kenaz’s birthday, we went to the trampoline park, where the kids created opportunities for injury.

We also had Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. We didn’t go to any Jewish community because there are none in Nagoya. And our bread was not round. I will work to improve on this for next year.

Other things of note… we went on a major (by my standards) road trip for 4 days. ON the first day we went up into some mountains (update on the name later). We first walked in a redwood forest, then travelled up to 2500m elevation.


alpine 3


There was ice there, and after we left, snow.


alpine 5 - Copy



We stayed at an onsen… a Japanese bathhouse resort.  We slept in a tatami room and bathed at the public bath.  The water is heated by the volcanic activity.  Outside the whole place smelled of sulfer.  We were not allowed to go to the vents because the sulfer gas was too thick.


alpine 8 - Copy


alpine 9 - Copy


alpine view - Copy




Alpine meadows were really beautiful.  But this is off-season.  In the winter, the whole place is snowed in; in the Spring, it’s covered in flowers.









We hiked down 1000m (and about 3 hours) to a bus stop at a lower level.  Our hike followed a creek bed through mountain bamboo forest.  It was rather slippery, but thanks to my REI – bought Keen boots, I didn’t suffer any injury.



We later drove to another guest-house.  From there, the next day, we went to this village that is a UNESCO site.  The traditional houses with grass roofs are famous in that area.


grass roof 2


The village was beautiful.  However, I believe in seeing this for what they are.  The village was actually a secret military – industrial factory where serfs manufactured silk and gun-powder.  They also took care of VIP prisoners at a near-by penal colony for samurai.  Underneath this grass-roofed house was a large compost pit.  Straw was mixed in with Caterpillar manure and compost.  After months, this mixture would be mixed with charcoal ash and then boiled.  The resulting material would then be brought to another side and mixed with sulfer.


grass roof1

Other things that have happened: Halloween.


Akiva had sports practice so couldn’t really get up into a costume.  Kenaz went to Halloween activities at school as a Cereal Killer.










Haga dressed as a cute hippy chick.


 Posted by at 11:13 am

River in Gifu

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Nov 082017

These are pics from a trip to a local river. We went there in September, about a month ago. Later today will post the full Fall update.





 Posted by at 10:42 am

Covner Training

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Aug 152017

Note: in the end, Akiva decided to ally with Kenaz and defeat Grandpa, who had cheated heavily.

 Posted by at 1:28 pm

Jesse’s Birthday

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Jun 042017

So it was my Birthday. Not saying my age because I stopped counting. So there is that.


Akiva and Haga were on separate school trips, so we didn’t celebrate much on my birthday.  Kenaz and I hung out and ate ice cream after school.


On the following Saturday, we hung out around the house, did some gardening, and had a great sushi party at night.
sushi party

And cake.


Next day… beach.

checkers 2







And after beach, went to Costco… pizza and sauerkraut.

 Posted by at 8:40 pm