Thawing Out: Waiting for Spring at the Farm

It has been an exceptionally cold winter and we even had a few snowflakes yesterday morning! Nevertheless, I feel some sign of spring coming when I walk up the mountain path. I pulled up a few carrots, though the cold has stunted their growth. They are tender and sweet!

Hiroo's carrot patch

Hiroo’s carrot patch



Hiroo is coming along fine with his project. Today he mixed cement to make a base for the floor of his hut so I  went up to check on him. Soon he’ll be starting seedlings in little pots though it is still too cold to set them out.


My new project is to learn to ride a bike again.  Whoever said “It’s like riding a bike! Once you do it, it comes back to you!”, didn’t know me! I have very poor coordination! Yesterday, I took my new fold-up bike out  of the car about 1 kilometer from the farm and just barely managed to make it there. I was really shaky and nervous whenever a car approached me from behind!


I was out of breath and a little light-headed by the time I got here. I think I have to take this gradually! My i dea is to go somewhere by car, and get out the bike for the narrow country roads! This way I can get back in the more remote areas to take photos without worrying about driving into the ditch!


I want to introduce the couple from Miyamoto Cycle Shop in Itsukaichi. In the interest of supporting small businesses, I decided to get my bike from them. I enjoyed chatting and getting to know them. I feel they will be supportive if I have any problems with my bike.

My Nifty Folding Bicycle

My Nifty Folding Bicycle

Noriko Miyamoto at her  cycle shop

Noriko Miyamoto at her cycle shop

I want to write more about my bike adventures, but I am having too much trouble with this slow connection here at the farm.

I enjoyed taking some pictures, even on that short leg of the trip here. You see a lot more on foot or bike then you do when you zip past in the car! I look forward to getting a lot of good photos in out-of-the-way places now! Wish me luck!

Mitsuguchi Bay

Mitsuguchi Bay

This month I have put on weight as my thingdayforever2013 challenge was to recreate the dishes in the Heritage Cookbook. I am on day 22 and will have to say that traditional American recipes are fattening. Of all the recipes I tested so far, I liked the Mormon Split Peas Soup best. Check it out on

Now I have to go work off some of those calories on my bicycle!

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Becky nielsen
    Feb 22, 2013 @ 10:34:11

    I didn’t enter thingaday this year but will go check out your entries. the nicest outcome of thingaday was getting to know you! it was also nice to push myself into some other areas of painting, but this year I was busy enough creating to not want to add another deadline.

    Love this post, so encouraging to see the carrots coming from Hiroo’s garden! Spring will be welcome! and your great bike – Al has been wanting to get one like that so when he goes hiking he can leave the car at one end of a trail, then ride to the other end and leave the bike,

    Look forward to seeing the places this allows you to photograph!

    I have a bike that I bought a couple of years ago, and hope to get it out of the garage this year. Last summer it was too darned hot! nd going on the streets makes me a little nervous because like you, I get a little wobbly. I never thought I’d lose that steadiness I once had!


    • leahmama1eah Smith
      Feb 24, 2013 @ 00:31:22

      Thanks! You are the one who encouraged me to blog, which has gotten me out and doing more and taking photos, talking to people. So you are busy painting! Good for you! I still can’t get your blog by e-mail so I look at it when I remember!I always enjoy your insights!


  2. Vividhunter
    Feb 22, 2013 @ 22:23:57

    Great photos! I have a bike just like that. I imagined taking it on the train and going places (except with having to put it into a bag, it’s not that easy…), but that still has yet to happen…


    • leahmama1eah Smith
      Feb 24, 2013 @ 00:33:05

      Thanks! It is shocking to me that I can’t ride far without getting out of breath and having a racing pulse. I need to workout at the gym more so I can ride!! Happy riding to will be spring soon somewhere!!


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