Monday, September 29, 2008

Eating at Mister Donut

I have to began by giving this disclaimer. Our favorite camera is "sick" right now as it awaits a new lens so these photos were taken with what I affectionately call our "cheap" camera or our Tiger Woods camera. We call it the TW camera because we bought it for Bill to carry in his pocket for the opportunity to snap a picture of one of his favorite golfers when he was doing security one year for Tiger in Palm Springs. Most of you have heard that story so I will move on to why we look so yellow in this picture and where we are!!

One of our favorite places to eat is Mister Donut. It is actually a chain that was started in the United States, though I had never seen one. This is not your typical donut shop. To start, they don't even open until 9 or 10a.m. and they stay open until midnight. They serve somewhat normal donuts and then they serve more lunch or dinner type items like the famous Curry Donut you will see displayed below. A lot of local Okinawans come in for their meal sets that have a soup-type item and dumplings that we know as Chinese Dimsum. If you're not sure what that is, I'm sure I'll blog about it someday down the line!!!! We look yellow due to the camera we were using and the entire restaurant is painted in a very happy yellow color. The service is great, the music is all in English and the food is fabulous. Our friends, Jennifer and Steve Sutton, shown above, have now been infected by our obsession with this eatery and crave it almost once a week like we do!!
This is what Bill and I had ordered on this particular visit. The donut with the chocolate drisle has been dipped in strawberry with a wonderful strawberry filling. This is my new favorite sweet donut. The pizza looking item, next to the famous Curry Donut, is basically a spicy, mini-pizza with cheese, chicken and some unidentifiable ingredients. We don't usually ask what's in our food, over here, or you may never eat it. Not to say they use questionable ingredients just that they are famous for calling something a Taco and it really is a fritter-type item with octopus in it. Or, you will find corn on your pizza or an oozing egg in or on top of many entrees. Why you ask? We are not sure. All I can say is that dinning in Okinawa is always an adventure but when you find something you like, you will always come back for more!

The quality of this picture isn't great but this is a picture of the famous Curry Donut I have spoken so fondly of. When we first arrived on island Mister Donut was no longer carrying this item but I was pleasantly surprised today to discover they have brought this treat back. I'm not sure if it's a seasonal thing or not but if you like curry and enjoy a crunchy texture than you will like this yummy treat!!! Just so you know, this is not your typical donut. It's not as if they took a Krispy Kream donut and filled it with curry - it's a donut type texture on the outside but it's not sweet like a Krispy Kream. You just have to try it to see for yourself!!!

One of the things I love about Mister Donut is their mocha coffee. With two syrup sugars it's a perfect iced coffee!!! It is rare in Okinawa to enjoy an all you can drink option but Mister Donut was having a special during the month so I could go for seconds if I chose. If I went past two iced mochas I would be a maniac for two days!!! I have a two-a-day limit!!!! Yummy!

All good meals must come to an end!!! And no good ending is complete without a posed, cool picture!!! The happy tank is full and we are ready for the next adventure!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Pondering My Priorities!

I was pondering my priorities today and wondering if it was at all possible to socialize to much. I have been out of the house everyday this week, attending some sort of event and/or going to lunch with friends. Bill has recently teased me that I am perfecting the art of socializing. Seriously,though, I was wondering if I was spending my time wisely and I took inventory of my week.

My week started as I attended the Marine Officers' Spouses' Club (MOSC) and Navy Officers' Spouses' Club (NOSC) Welcome event on Monday. Not only did I get to eat a yummy breakfast, touch base with some familiar faces, schedule more social outings and watch 130 of my closest friends win prizes, but I met several new friends. One of which has been wanting to get together with me to get to know me better - gotta love that!!!

Tuesday I made my way to an all to familiar stomping ground we call PWOC. This is the Protestant Women of the Chapel - an international, non-denominational organization that gathers every Tuesday at Kadena Chapel One to fellowship, worship and "do" biblestudy together. I brought a new friend, Candice, along with my faithful, not-so-new friend, Jennifer - we carpooled and chatted all the way there. I enjoyed some donut holes, worshiped with some of my newest peeps and shared praises of what God taught us through our study this week. I helped put away a few tables and chairs, downed another donut, of course, and headed to lunch. After eating, a group of us headed to a park to enjoy the adventure of a lifetime - taking a ride down a roller-slide. Not a shining moment for me, to say the least , and, unfortunately we do have pictures though they are not in my possesion. I am a big, fat chicken as I hung on for dear life all the way down and managed to catch Jenn in my fearful web!! More on that later.

Wednesday I carpooled with my friend, Julie, to the Newcomer's Brief and joined another friend to "man" our PWOC table. We had the pleasure of meeting several women who are very new to Okinawa as we shared what PWOC is and how we could help them with their transition here. As in good girl fashion, always traveling in herds, the three of us ran errands together and headed off to, yes, you guessed it, lunch.

And as if this isn't enough socializing to make your head spin I am off to lunch, again, tomorrow, with a new friend who I am looking forward to getting to know better. Then I have a nail appointment with one of my favorite Okinawan women that I'm getting to know. She speaks excellent english and I am practicing my Japanese on her. She spends most of her time laughing at me!!!

Friday is booked, too, but I won't bore you with the details!!! I'll blog about that later!!!

My point is that I spend most of my time socializing. Some would call this fellowshipping, spending time building relationships or even ministry. I call it having a whole lot of fun. But, I was starting to wonder if I was socializing to much and not getting enough of the "other" stuff done. Then I came across the devotion that I have included in this blog and received confirmation that I was building lasting relationships. All the while I was "socializing" and having fun I was praying with my friends, sharing their burdens as we discussed life here on our little island and getting to know them better. I'm not saying that eating out everyday is exactly what God's Word is suggesting but I certainly believe I am "leaving a legacy of love" through my relationships. Have you nurtured a relationship today? If not, grab a few friends and have lunch together. Even if you don't get anything else done today you'll have accomplished God's will and fulfilled a basic need!!!

One cool thing: God removed my guilt, relieved my stress and helped me still get some housework done in between all the relationship building activities!!

How to Determine What Matters Most

by Rick Warren

There are three things that will endure – faith, hope, and love – and the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13 (NLT)
*** *** *** ***

The most important lesson God wants you to learn on earth is how to love. Here are three simple truths about love:

1. Life without love is really worthless. We often act as if relationships are something to be squeezed into our schedule. We talk about finding time for our children or making time for people in our lives. That gives the impression that relationships are just a part of our lives along with many other tasks. But God says relationships are what life is all about.
Jesus summarized what matters most to God in two statements: love God and love people. He said, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart. . . . This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the other commandments and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:37-40 NLT).

The point of life is learning to love God and people. Life minus love equals zero.

2. Love will last forever. Another reason God tells us to make love our top priority is that it is eternal: “These three things continue forever: faith, hope, and love. And the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13 NCV).

Love leaves a legacy. Mother Teresa said, “It’s not what you do, but how much love you put into it that matters.” Love is the secret of a lasting heritage. In our final moments, we all realize that relationships are what life is all about. Wisdom is learning that truth sooner rather than later.

3. We will be evaluated on our love. One way God measures spiritual maturity is by the quality of your relationships. In heaven God won’t say, “Tell me about your career, your bank account, and your hobbies.” Instead he will review how you treated other people, particularly those in need.

Jesus said the way to love him is to love his family and care for their practical needs: “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me” (Matthew 25:40 NRSV).

People need to understand that when you transfer into eternity, you will leave everything else behind. All you’re taking with you is your character. That’s why the Bible says, “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love” (Galatians 5:6 NIV).

Knowing this, I encourage you to pray this simple prayer every morning: “God, whether I get anything else done today, I want to make sure that I spend time loving you and loving other people – because that’s what life is all about. I don’t want to waste this day.”

© 2008 Purpose Driven Life. All rights reserved. Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and best-known churches. In addition, Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life and The Purpose Driven Church, which was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th Century. He is also founder of, a global Internet community for ministers.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

OIWC Luncheon

Monday, September 8th, two of my friends, Jenn and Shannon, joined me on an adventure driving to Naha. We attended the first OKinawa International Wives' Club (OIWC) luncheon of the year. Our Okinawan members hosted us at the Grand Hotel and though it wasn't easy for us to find it was well worth the challenge.

Once we arrived at the hotel we were dressed in Yukatas, the summer kimono, and joined many other foreigners (that's us) experiencing this type of apparel for the first time. The yukata isn't easy to sit in. I had an obi tied in the back so leaning comfortably against my chair is not an option.

We enjoyed a 5 course lunch: an appetizer, soup, salad, main course and dessert.

The appetizer was raw fish accompanied by an interesting green and white custard type sauce. I was brave enough to take two bites but that's all I could handle - my friends ate their entire appetizer and enjoyed it. We moved onto the typical Okinawan salad and soup. We opted not to take pictures as these dishes were not as exciting as the other courses. They were tasty though.

Our main course was rolled chicken and catfish

divided by a thin line of mashed potatoes.

The Okinawan people have an eye for making food look beautiful and taste great!!!

I avoided the vegetables, as usual,

and waited in anticipation for our dessert.

Dessert is a local specialty and as you can

see in the picture it was beautiful.

Mousse of "Beni Imo".

After getting the business of eating out of the way we moved on to the entertainment. We were blessed to watch a group of Taiko drummers perform for us from DARC - Drug Addiction Rehabilitation Center. Two of the performers shared their journey from drugs to living a clean life in their best english. It's amazing how stories of over coming life's greatest challenges crosses all language barriers. We enjoyed several performances of local Okinawan music. I call it "Happy Music" as it has this incredibly uplifting beat that you can't help but smile when you hear it. We then joined in with local Okinawan dancers trying to teach us a traditional harvest dance. Most of us never did "get" the moves but we had a blast trying.

One cool thing: Today was a great reminder of why I love Okinawa. Her people are so generous and kind. They love to include foreigners in all they do and since laughter is a universal language we can laugh at ourselves and each other as we try things we have never experienced before. So I didn't eat all the raw fish - they didn't care. They had more fun watching me try to dance in an outfit with a very wide and tight belt (aka Obi) keeping my entire upperbody stiff.

Monday, September 15, 2008

A work in progress!!!

I had great intentions of updating my blog today and even went as far as creating a new post. The problem is I can't figure out why I can't add the pictures I was trying to upload!! It's frustrating when you have a great idea and you can't share it with anyone. Just know that someday soon I will know what I'm doing and my updates will be more frequent and will have pictures, too!!!

I had a great day, though!! I was very productive and it was nice to stay home. I think Socks enjoyed having me around for the entire day. I chatted on the phone with Laura, missed a call from Kim (sorry!), did laundry (it doesn't get more productive than that), finished my bible study, updated my Facebook, had lunch at home with my husband, chatted with Dian, took a nap, and made some progress on the house. The most astonishing thing about my day was that we actually ate at home - this is amazing as it's only the 5th time we've eaten a meal made from our kitchen in over 3 1/2 months. I thought of the Food Network as we were preparing our "Semi-homemade" meal. Bill picked up fried rice at the golf course as he was setting up a tee time and came home and grilled steak. Amazing accomplishment at the House of Traquair!! My motto: "It almost seems criminal to eat at home when there are so many great eating establishments that we still have not discovered!!!!"

One cool thing: I have great friends who love to talk on the phone and a very patient husband who loves to eat out almost as much as I do!!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

A typical day in Okinawa!

I have been doing a lot of driving around this week even with a typhoon looming out there! We all hit the commissary on Wednesday. Actually I didn't, my husband did, since I'm not a big fan of grocery shopping. We are mostly ready to be "locked" down and now I'm not so sure we are going to get hit!!! Nothing wrong with having extra snacks on hand though!!! I spent the morning at the RNCO club on Kadena trying to make changes to my blog and drinking iced coffee. Then it was off to a Stampin' Up open house to hang out with some of my favorite, creative peeps!!! My friend, Myrna, knows how to host a party!!!! Then it was back home for a nippy nap and then back in the car to head back to Kadena for an appointment. My husband waited patiently in the car, after sneeking off to buy me an anniversary present. We will celebrate 15 years on October 2nd. Then we tried to have dinner at Somchai, on BC street, and they were closed. So we headed home and ate at our local fav, Khrua Thai!!! Now we are settling in for the night!!!!

One cool thing - my husband took our dog to work with him this afternoon. He said she looked pathetic and she could sleep in his office as easy as she could sleep at home!!! She seemed to love this outing!!!!