Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Murphy Loves PA!

I just had to do a post about our cat Murphy.

As many of you know, our little furbaby Murphy Lee is living with his grandparents in Schwenksville, PA. Unfortunately we didn't have a lot of time and notice for our move to Okinawa, so we were unable to take him with us.

Well, as much as we would like to have him with us in Okinawa now, it appears that Murphy is making himself right at home with Grandpa and Grandma Miller.

He may not want to come and live in Okinawa afterall. He is just loving it in PA. He's even made a few friends--his co-horts Rusty and Trouble Miller.:)

Take a look at some photos my SIL Denise took for me.....

He's so spoiled, just look at his new toy! Wait a minute, he doesn't even have claws?!?!

This one is classic. "'Scuse me..trying to take a catnap here..."

"Finally, I can sleep."

Mom and Dad miss you, Murphy. Sending you kisses from Oki.

Love, Chrissy & Kevin (Mom & Dad)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

A Time of Reflection....

I'm not new to the military lifestyle, I was raised an Air Force brat. As a child, my family even lived overseas for a while. But I have to admit, this is the first time I've faced restrictions on my freedom to go where I please.

Currently, we (we, meaning all SOFA (States of Forces Agreement) personnel stationed in Okinawa) are in a period of "reflection," a lock down-- to be more exact.

Due to some unfortunate incidents involving U.S Service members and the local Okinawan people, all SOFA personnel are restricted to 'on base' activites only.

Kevin and I live off-base, so during this lockdown, we are not permitted to go shopping at the local Japanese grocery stores, eat out at area restaurants, nor venture out to our beach (just a hop and a skip away from our house).

We are allowed to go from 'base to base,' but going out into the public is banned. It's unclear how long this will last....Frustrating...

Ah well....here's hoping it doesn't go on too long....

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I Love You, You're Pefect, Now Change

I'm having a lot of fun in my show "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change" with the Pacific Okinawa Players.

Last weekend was our opening weekend and we had full houses both nights! Friday night we performed at Coral Cove, a small club at Torii Station (an Army base). On Saturday night, we performed at the Kadena Officer's Club at Kadena Air Force Base. As a matter of fact, yesterday I was checking my mail at the post office at Camp Foster when I ran into a young woman walking out of the post office. She was staring at me and I thought for a moment that maybe I had something on my face. The conversation went something like this:

Me: "Hello."

Woman: "Hi. I know you."

Me: "You do?"

Woman:"Well, I don't really 'know' you. But I know you. You were in the play at Torii last Friday, weren't you?"

Me: (Lightbulb turns on in head thinking "That's why you are staring at me, lady.")"Why, yes I was."

Woman: "The play was a lot of fun and you were very good in the play. Sorry, I knew I recognized you-- but I wasn't sure from what."

Me: "Oh that's okay. I'm glad you enjoyed the show."

Anyway, this coming Saturday, we will be performing at Camp Kinser which is a U.S Marine Corps base. We also have shows at Camp Hansen and Camp Foster at the Butler Officer's Club.

Tickets are still available for those performances, so go out and get them if you can. The price of the ticket includes a 3 course meal AND entertainment.

See you at the show!

Me and the girls of the cast & crew "goofing" around. :)

Ie Shima

For the long holiday weekend (President's Day) and to celebrate my 31st birthday, Kevin and I went to one of the smaller islands off of Okinawa--an island called Ie Shima. Ie Shima is off the north-west coast of the main island of Okinawa and is about a 30 minute ferry ride away.

The island is known as the "peanut" island for its shape and because peanuts are famous here. Ironically, during World War II the island played a big part in the war. U.S journalist Ernie Pyle was stationed here and died on the island. Even today, U.S Marines still have a small presence on the island.

Anyway, back to our trip...

Here's a view of the port at Ie Shima, once we arrived.

Being a tiny island, accomodations can be a bit limited. However, we lucked out and found a great little beach resort called the YYY Resort. This resort mostly caters to Americans, but we were fine with that. Let me just say....The food at the hotel restaurant was soooo good. The first night we got there, Kev and I decided to choose the BBQ option from the menu. BBQ in Japan usually means "yakiniku." A plate with seafood, chicken, beef, and vegetables is provided to you and you do the cooking yourself. In our case, our table top had a gas grill. Take a look at the spread!

A grinning Kevin.

Me holding a plate full of fresh shrimp and fish. The local shrimp is called "kuruma ebi" which means "car shrimp." Don't ask me why they call it that!

It was a bit chilly outside, but we didn't mind.

The next day, we rented some bicycles to explore the island and visit the sites.

We went to a cave called "Niya-Thiya Cave." This cave is very sacred to the Okinawans as it serves as a reminder of WWII. During the war, hundreds of Okinawans hid and took shelter here, trying to get away from the Americans and the bombings. The cave has many shrines paying respect to those who lost their lives here.

In the cave, there is also a legendary rock. Legend says that if a woman lifts it, she will be blessed with a child.

Naturally, Kevin and I decided that I would need to lift the rock immediately. I lifted it twice. Does this mean I may have twins?!?!!?

After the cave, we cycled a bit more around the island. We passed a lot of tobacco farms, sugar cane fields, and cow farms. Some of the cow pastures had baby cows.

Here's a photo of Kevin trying to pet the cows. They were pretty curious and came right up to the fence. :)

Here is another WWII site. This is a pawn shop that was damaged by U.S mortar shells. The locals decided to keep the shop in this state as a reminder of the ravages of war.

Eventually, we cycled all the way to Mt. Gusuku. This is a rocky mountain on the island with great aerial views.

This is a view of the island at the base of Mt. Gusuku. You can make out some cherry trees in the foreground. Cherry trees or "sakura"--bloom early in Okinawa, around January-February.

Here's another aerial view of the island from the base of Mt. Gusuku.

This is the top of Mt. Gusuku (Kev looks exhausted because the climb up to the top was very steep. Geez!)

If we get another chance to go to Ie Shima, we hope to go in the summer when we can enjoy the beach... Until next time!!!
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