Monthly Archives: January 2011

One World One Heart 2011

Welcome to my blog.

See the winner here.

Today’s Post is part of the One World One Heart link up by Lisa at

A Whimsical Bohemian


This is me, often in the garden. I’ve planted over 40 trees in my yard.

A Japanophile, I looked like this for one hour last October.

A rare photo – who knew the house came with a kitchen? This joke comes from


I live in Hawaii and I can be found here.

Crocheting and knitting are some of my addictions.

Art is another addiction. To thank you for stopping by, one lucky winner will receive a drawing from a favorite photo of theirs.

Like this to


Or this.The winner will be randomly drawn and announced on February 17, using a random generator. This is open to all active bloggers worldwide. Anyone who leaves a comment and has a blog will be entered. Be sure I have your e-mail to contact you if you win this prize and so I can visit your blog.

The winner will e-mail me a high resolution photo for a pencil drawing, in my line drawing style. The portrait will be drawn digitally and free-hand.
Your portrait will be e-mailed to you as a JPG  file so you can print as many as you like at home on your printer. Print it on business cards, stationery or as a print for framing.

I love to barter, if any of you who don’t win, want a portrait.

Have a wonderful time visiting the other blogs. XD

© 2010 Jeanne Litt, All rights reserved.


Posted by on January 31, 2011 in Uncategorized


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The Girl Next Door Grows Up
Blog started this Feel Good Friday meme. Pick one of her prompts and write about it on your blog!


Five things that I feel happy about this week are:

1. 50% of my husband’s co-workers were laid off last Friday and he wasn’t. Hurray! I like the lifestyle he spoils me with.

2. I won two books from Dollycas‘s Thoughts. She does a lot of book reviews and has a lot of giveaways. She also is interesting, kind, thoughtful and one of my favorite bloggers. She has so many giveaways, I knew I was going to win sometime. Yay!

3. My grandaughter’s room is zebra and pink. When I found some zebra yarn I had to make her a blanket. Did you know there are lots of how to’s about fixing dropped stitches and they all talk about stitches you drop and find while you are knitting. I found my dropped stitches after I nearly finished a full size blanket. One thing I love about knitting is the uniform look of the stitches. Mine were out of uniform. After I repaired them, they were glaring mistakes to me.

Since I’m more of a salvage things rather than take them apart and redo them kind of person, I decided to crochet chains the length of the blanket where the mistakes were.

A new design. Once I crochet a border, it will be done. Yay!

4. I ‘took offense’ from an acquaintance of mine. Clearly she was in error, until I looked closely. When I am in a good place, nothing bothers me. I realize I needed to fill me up. Now I’m grateful that it came up as a reminder to me.

5. Two of my favorite blog writers shared about feeling inadequate. They are people who write very well and give me a challenge not to  compare myself  with them. I would lose in all the areas they are so excellent at. It would never occur to me that they could feel that way. Another ‘lightbulb moment’ reminder to me. I am excellent at being me. Am I using the word excellent too much, that’s what we people who used to be hung up on perfection use instead of perfectionist terms. Muhaha.

Did you have an excellent week?

<p> © 2010 Jeanne Litt, All rights reserved. </p>

© 2010 Jeanne Litt, All rights reserved.


Posted by on January 28, 2011 in Abundance


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TRAVEL JAPAN — Sanjusangen-do Temple

Day three in Japan, I took a bus. I’m the kind of person who would walk 5 miles rather than take a bus when I don’t know how to do it. It was less than 5 miles but the tour group gave me such good instructions I figured I could do it. You board the bus in the rear and there are signs in English and Japanese that tell the name of the stop. When you get off you pay 220 yen. I did try to put the money in the wrong place but the driver stopped me and showed me.

So feeling encouraged that I could manage a city bus, I went to Sanjusangendo temple.

I love to be there.

The gardens have wheelchair paths.

You can write a prayer on a piece of paper and tie it here. You can also burn incense or light a candle which reminds me of my Catholic days.

But the really big deal for me is the sense of overwhelming compassion, created by being in a football field size room filled with over 1000 golden statues of Kannon, the goddess of mercy. It makes me realize that however challenging things are, there is more than enough mercy to handle it. It fills you with awe. Photographs are not allowed. I don’t think they could do it justice.

Last time I bought my nearly impossible to buy a gift for husband, a Buddhist prayer for health. He kept it so this time I got him one for energy and I forget, well being maybe?

In 2003 I got myself a prayer for relief of headaches. I gave it to my daughter because I don’t often have headaches anymore, I’m just saying.

I love the idea that a person can create a place designed to invoke a response. It makes me want to make my garden invoke peace or at least neatness.


Posted by on January 26, 2011 in Abundance, Japan, Uncategorized


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TRAVEL JAPAN — Toyoko Inn Shijo Omiya — Part III

Let me show you my cute room in Kyoto. My goal was to spend little on the room in Kyoto and save my budget for the ryokans, ( Japanese style inns).

My tour company told me if I stayed in less than a three star hotel in Japan I would be subjected to cigarette smoke. (A migraine and puking would be my response.)

The Japanese value the purifying quality of smoke, water and alcohol. To them, smoking cigarettes is a good thing. I suspect this attitude of theirs is part of the low rate of cigarette related cancers.

This room was lovely, impeccably clean and very comfortable. The front desk had English speaking people and I was very pleased. I never smelt a whiff of cigarette smoke.

There are some very clever things the Japanese have come up with in their hotel rooms.

There is always access to hot water –

This room has a pants presser –

A fancy Japanese toilet

A tub that is shorter than ours, but deeper and you can soak up to your chin –

The faucet on the sink swings over the tub or you can use the hand held shower.

My favorite innovation is that the tub sits on a tray with a drain in it. If the tub overflows no problem. I suspect they hose down the whole room and it all drains away.

I love impeccably clean. In Japanese the same word means clean and beauty.

Do I know the word? Ah no, Jen, do you know?

They provide a fresh cotton robe each day –

And fresh slippers each day, traditionally worn in the bathroom –

Amenities –

And a face mask –


Posted by on January 24, 2011 in Abundance, Japan


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The Girl Next Door Grows Up
Blog started this Feel Good Friday meme. Pick one of her prompts and write about it on your blog!


My first thought for this post was to look outside myself for something that made me happy, like hearing back from a publisher, ( which didn’t happen.) Then it occurred to me to look inside myself and there was a photo of a little boy reading a book I gave him. He was totally engrossed and it made me very happy to see him enjoying it so much.

It reminded me of my childhood when I discovered books and all the joys in them.

Do you love to get lost in a good book?


Posted by on January 21, 2011 in Abundance


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TRAVEL JAPAN — Toyoko Inn Shijo Omiya — Part II

Hotel breakfast -- rice cakes and pickles.

My favorite flavor rice cake is green colored. You can see a few left in the center row on the tray, and no I didn’t eat them all.

Cheerful ladies worked in a little kitchen  near the dining area from about 5 AM. They declined to let me take their picture.

Vegetable salads

Miso soup


With butter and jellies.

Green tea and other beverages.

My fav -- The coffee machine

It’s good I was alone there, while I  experimented with the buttons on the machine until I found what I wanted — shots of espresso while I spent some time at the free —

Internet access

Then breakfast and out for the day. It was so convenient to have coffee and avoid a coffee withdrawal headache. And I could still enjoy green tea with my breakfast.

Because of the time difference — 19 hours — I woke up at 4 AM the whole first week. It worked out well, I could write in bed for an hour or so before going down to the internet and breakfast.

A day in the life of a princess. Do you love staying at a hotel, away from the demands of your usual life?


Posted by on January 19, 2011 in Abundance, Japan


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TRAVEL JAPAN — Toyoko Inn Shijo Omiya

When I arrived at my hotel in Kyoto, the lady who checked me in asked if I was familiar with their key system. When I said no, she showed me a display and stuck the key fob into an angled slot. Okay “whatever, ‘ I thought.

I took the key and went up to my room, happy and tired. I used the key to open the door and went inside. It was pitch black. I couldn’t get any of the lights to work. I propped the door open for some light and set about trying all the switches in every different configuration I could think of.

Pushing aside feelings of helplessness and failure that pecked at me, I knew there must be some simple explanation, some simple trick to it, like trying to work a computer. Once you know it, it’s easy.

There was an angled slot on the wall and it had a tiny indicator light on it. It was the same as the display at the front desk. I stuck the fob in and voila – lights.

Instantly I went from feeling inadequate to adequate. Life is good. I can do this – get into my hotel room.

This is the Western style room I stayed in at Kyoto.

<p> © 2010 Jeanne Litt, All rights reserved. </p>

© 2010 Jeanne Litt, All rights reserved.


Posted by on January 17, 2011 in Abundance, How to, Japan, Uncategorized


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The Girl Next Door Grows Up
Blog started this Feel Good Friday meme. Pick one of her prompts and write about it on your blog!


This week a publisher asked for the rest of my manuscript after reading the first pages. I am the same person I was with the addition of this VALIDATION.

Please put a good thought on this — a thought of publishing my book or better — for me and for the publisher.

ADDENDUM: Alas, before the post is hours old, I discover the publisher is listed on Predators and Editors and not in the way I wanted to see. Thank you for all your kind wishes. The ‘or better’ that I always look for, is that I don’t have to do all the promoting I was envisioning.

© 2010 Jeanne Litt, All rights reserved.


Posted by on January 14, 2011 in Abundance, writing


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TRAVEL JAPAN End of the first day.

At the end of my first day in Japan, my tour guide Kiyo gave me this with her good wishes. I love that it has rainbow colored ribbon on it.

She also gave me this tiny frog.

It is only about 1/3 of an inch. Kiyo said to keep it with my money so anything I spend will hop back to me.

She was terrific, listening to me, getting me where I wanted to go and fitting it all in.

She left me in a shopping area, after showing me her favorite stores. Is that heavenly or what. The or what part came because I got to find my own way back to the hotel after that. I felt empowered that I could do it. I stopped at Daimaru Department store food court for a bento box for my dinner.

This video shows what the food court looks like. I ended up getting dinner here a few times.

You could get anything from the exotic and mysterious to fried chicken and chocolates.



Posted by on January 12, 2011 in Japan


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TRAVEL JAPAN – The Tea Ceremony

One of the prime things I wanted to redo in Japan was the tea ceremony. Esprit travel arranged for me to attend the tea ceremony at Daitokuji Monastery.

First we went to a sub temple, Zuiho-in for an informal tea ceremony with the Abbot. It was another couple and me and our tour guides. My guide Kiyo interpreted.

Here is a photo of the Abbott. No photos are allowed during the tea ceremony.

The Abbot at Zuiho-in

The calligraphy and flower arrangement chosen for that day.

Besides the historic, cultural, beautiful and spiritual aspects, well probably because of the spiritual aspects: it is fun.

The Abbott is totally present and humorous. After serving us our tea sweets that he made with a nattokinase center, he told us about his daily routine. He rises early and chants for half an hour, then he does housework for two hours and then tea cermony and Abbot duties.

He suggested we get rid of our couches. Kiyo told me he is against them. I guess to prevent ‘couch potatoism.’

I told him if I got rid of my couch, my husband would be sitting on it.

He said I needed to make sure my husband took ten deep breaths before I served him breakfast. I didn’t tell him that I don’t serve him breakfast. He told me that I wield the ‘stick’ in our relationship. You could have fooled me.

I know what stick he is talking about. Once before when I was there, the Abbott showed our group the stick they use to whack monks who fall asleep during services. He showed us how placing the stick at your back induces good posture.

Now this Abbot he looks terrific. He asked how old I was and I gave him the age I felt, (jet lag and all), 135.

He is in his 80’s. He attributes it to the respiratory benefits of chanting and all that exhaling.

He admired my Japanese mulberry socks. I told him my grandchildren wanted them but I said no and kept them for myself.

Kiyo told me, he suggested that she take me to a certain temple. We went there but it was closed. Kiyo told me they serve a special Japanese desert there. I never got back to try it but I did buy some chocolate mochi on Saturday, in case that took care of whatever experience the Abbot suggested for me.

Zuiho-in has beautiful gardens, including this dry garden.

The gravel is meant to simulate water.

This garden has references to the cross and Christianity. This temple was founded by the “Christian Lord,” Lord Otomo Sorin.

And a new bathroom with a toilet seat that lifts up as you enter. It has all the amenities and even an uneven floor to massage your feet as you walk on it.

And fragrant plants outside the window.


The Abbot chose a blue lacquered tea bowl for my matcha. He picks a unique bowl for each participant. Usually it is tied to the seasons.

It was a deep navy blue color. I never have seen one like it. The Abbot asked me why I was there and I said I wanted to return to Japan before I was too old to get back there. My trip was consumately satisfying. I am content.


Posted by on January 10, 2011 in Abundance, Japan, Uncategorized


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