Thursday, March 24, 2011

Poetry Group

The Redwood Coast Writers Center (another Dream Maker Program of the Ink People Center for the Arts) has a poetry group that meets on Wednesday afternoons at 2:00 p.m. in Arcata (Humboldt County, Calif.). They looking for serious people who want to bring new work to discuss. No cost, no age limit. Contact Daryl at (707) 822-6170 if interested.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

One Week, Two Demos

It's been a busy week for tea ceremony demonstrations.

Sunday, March 20, was our monthly tea demo and talk at the Ink People Center for the Arts. No one attended, so we made each other bowls of tea and Harvey-sensei taught us warigeko  as we practiced folding our fukusa.

Tuesday, March 22, Harvey-sensei, Laura and Kristin demonstrated Chanoyu to a class of about 40 students of Asian art history at Humboldt State University. Harvey gave a short lecture and demonstrated ryakubondate-temae. Then Laura and Kristin kicked into high gear and made bowl after bowl of tea for students who wanted to try matcha -- they whisked individual bowls of tea, then poured it into paper cups. Best of all, their efforts were well received.  Gambatte, Team Humboldt!

Why Cats Don't Do Chabana

Photo by Laura Dodd

Our cat Nikko takes great pride in rearranging our chabana, which we now call "Nikkobana."

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Eureka Sakura Report, March 22

Grotto and F streets, Henderson Center

Old Town Gazebo, 2nd and F streets

Eureka City Hall, 6th and L streets

Eureka Sakura Report

What is the saying, hope springs eternal? After more than a week of terrible news from Japan, we are ready for an eternally hopeful spring. Let's celebrate O-Higan!

Eureka's cherry trees greet the spring with freshly-opened flower buds. On my way home from work yesterday I took note of the status of several of my favorite trees:

Eureka Gazebo in Old Town, 2nd and F streets

Eureka City Hall, 6th & L

Henderson Center Pharmacy, F and Grotto streets

Umpqua Bank, Henderson Center, Grotto St. between E & F streets

Cherry Blossom Bakery, Henderson Center, E St.

           Residence, Lucas and Harrison streets -- status TBD

Our own cherry trees are not far behind. The Kanzan in the front yard didn't get pruned this year, but still has good form. It is a dark pink variety that blooms late. The Yoshino in the back yard is an early bloomer, its buds are ready to burst open.

Sakura icons are from the website, which features a beautifully interactive sakura report. Total eye-candy.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Helping Pets in Japan

This is from
Below is a list of a few organizations helping animals in Japan. I’m sure there are many more, so please feel free to list them in your comments below. All of these organizations can use donations, and I’ve provided a link so you can easily make yours. Japan is a country who loves it’s pets, and while the animal lives are not valued more than people’s, they are still valued. Thanks for not forgetting them in the aftermath of this terrible tragedy.

Animal Refuge Kansai (ARK) gives homeless animals the chance to live a happy life, free from fear or danger, in a loving home. No discrimination here. They often take in abused, abandoned, unwanted, sick, injured, and senior animals. So, it’s no surprise that they are doing their best to take in as many animals as they can manage who became suddenly homeless on March 11 as a result of the Tohoku-Pacific earthquake and tsunami. Your online donation will help them provide care for more homeless animals. You’ll find a direct link for donations through paypal on their home page.

World Vets is a non-government 501c3 nonprofit organization (NGO) providing veterinary aid around the globe in collaboration with animal advocacy groups, foreign governments, US and foreign military groups and veterinary professionals abroad.  Their work spans 25 countries and 6 continents and addresses not only veterinary issues, but also human health issues impacted by zoo-notic diseases in developing countries.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Making Buuz for Mongolian New Year

Mongolian New Year is held at the Lunar New Year in February. We celebrated with friends, made buuz, played knucklebone games and toasted one another with Mongolian vodka. In Mongolia, making buuz is a communal event. Groups progress from one household to the next, first helping to make, then helping to eat the tasty dumplings.

Recipes aren't necessary, but you can find them with a quick Google search. Essentially, the dough is flour and mixed with enough water to make a dough. Knead until smooth and let rest. Roll out snakes of dough, cut into walnut-sized lumps, roll into a ball then roll into flat circles with a rolling pin. Take a spoonful of filling -- traditionally, a mixture of mutton, onion, garlic, perhaps some cabbage, salt and pepper -- and place it in the circle of dough. Pinch the dough around the filling and repeat many times until you have enough buuz to fill your steamer. Steam the dumplings until the filling is cooked through. Enjoy with beer or vodka.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Donate to Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Efforts

Updated Tues., March 15


Red Cross officials say donors can text REDCROSS to 90999 and a $10 donation will automatically be charged to donor’s phone bill, or donations can be made directly on its Web site.

"Among the generous supporters of Obubu in Japan, tea lovers who have helped us pursue our dream of spreading tea and tea farming around the world, we are announcing the From Tea Lover to Tea Lover Donation Campaign to help the 50 customers hit by the recent earthquake and tsunami in Northern Japan."

"Please complete the form below to make your donation. On behalf of Camellia Teas of Ottawa, we would like to extend our heartfelt thanks for your contribution."

In addition to the Red Cross, friends have also suggested these websites:



And even if you're broke, you can try to raise awareness:

This list is from the New York Times website. (More information about giving, for this and other causes, is available online from the GuideStar database and on nonprofit agencies and the BBB Wise Giving Alliance.)
Red Cross officials say donors can text REDCROSS to 90999 and a $10 donation will automatically be charged to donor’s phone bill, or donations can be made directly on its Web site.
Information is available on the organization’s Web site.
CARE is one of the world’s largest private international humanitarian organizations. Their offices in Asia are on high alert and have ensured that staff are informed of the tsunami warnings and other related developments.
Information is available on the organization’s Web site.
GlobalGiving is working with International Medical Corps, Save the Children, and other organizations on the ground to disburse funds to organizations providing relief and emergency services to victims of the earthquake and tsunami. Donors can text JAPAN to 50555 to give $10, and larger increments can be submitted on GlobalGiving’s Web site.
Information is available on the organization’s Web site.
Information is available on the organization’s Web site.
The Salvation Army has been providing food and shelter to Tokyo commuters who were stranded when public transportation was interrupted by the earthquake. They are to send a team to Sendai, a city about 250 miles Tokyo, to assess the situation there. Text JAPAN or QUAKE to 80888 to make a $10 donation. (Make sure to respond “YES” to the Thank You message you receive.) Donations can also be made on the organization’s Web site or by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY.
To make a donation, visit Save the Children’s Web site, call 1-800-728-3843, or text JAPAN to 20222 to donate $10.
SHELTERBOX.ORG is a disaster-relief organization that focuses on providing survival materials such as tents and cooking equipment to families displaced by disasters.
Information is available on the organization’s Web site or by calling (212) 836-1486.

Friday, March 11, 2011

"How to follow the Earthquake" from 'The Atlantic'

How to Follow the Japanese Earthquake on the Web

A guide to news and information resources from across the Internet that will help you stay on top of this developing story.

A massive 8.9 earthquake struck about 80 miles off the coast of Japan, wreaking havoc on one of the world's most disaster-prepared countries and generating a devastating tsunami.
As in recent natural disasters, traditional news organizations, one-off sites, and Internet crisis agencies have swung into action. This is your guide for where to find information and resources about the 10th-largest quake since 1900.

News Resources

General Resources

Resources for People in Japan

Resources for the Pacific

8.9 Earthquake, Tsunami

At 5:30 this morning, we were awakened by a "reverse 911" phone call: an emergency service that alerted us to a tsunami warning created by earthquakes in Japan of magnitude 8.9. We are unable to reach our friends in Tokyo, Yokohama, Shizuoka, Choshi and Kamisu. We pray that they and their loved ones are well.

We can do little but check FaceBook, Twitter and YouTube feeds for information. As the day progressed, we collected these links. Please share what information you have.

James Harada's blog and twitter feed from Kamisu, Ibaraki-ken!/jimkenhara

Video of tsunami surge at Sendai

Japan Society of Northern California's relief effort