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Keepsake dice with Tom's initi... Keepsake dice with Tom's initials given to Sam Goto in 1951
We took a side trip to Northern Nebraska on a 1995 fossil hunting trip through Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota where Tom had lived. All through our 30 years of marriage, I had constantly heard from Sam, “The best steak I’ve ever had was on the trip to Cody, Nebraska, with Dad and Fred in 1951. Tom knew how to age it and cook it JUST RIGHT!”. We could never duplicate that memory, but we tried one more time.

Smiling, we commented on the Highway-20 sign, “CODY NEBRASKA, Population 177”, “Civilization? In the middle of miles of nothing.”  We were greeted by children, vigorously waving from their yards, as we passed a couple houses. Easily finding the only restaurant, we parked, climbed the few old steps and opened the weather protecting double doors. The place was almost empty as it was already 2PM. Sam could see two seventy-plus ladies at the far wall booth, with tips already on the table. Without hesitation, Sam walked briskly over and asked, “Have you lived here long?”

One of the ladies, with questioning eyes and a tilt of her head, happily answered, “Yes!”.

Sam quickly went on, “My Dad had a cousin named Tom…”

She grinned and interrupted, throwing up her hands, “You mean Tommy Miyoo?! I used to work for him! I started as a teenager.”

Here’s what we learned:

Grandpa Goto had a cousin,
His name was TOM MIYAO.
He came from Hiroshima,
And worked at cooking chow.

He might have worked on the railroad
Spending time at the local bar.
We know for sure he lived in Grandview, Montana
All through the first World War.

He learned to deal cards In Billings,
Then was Winner, South Dakota, bound.
Tom was a regular gambler,
But one of the nicest ones around.

Old Jack Stotts brought him down from Winner
To manage the Cody, Diamond X Cafe.
Tom drove a fancy green convertible,
Visiting Goto cousins in Nampa, Idaho, that way.

Once he lost his diamond ring,
The help looked high and low,
Through the one street alley of Cody,
A week, a month or so.

Staring out the restaurant window,
The sun flashed on a facet.
Tom ran out to the alley,
Recovering his valuable asset.

When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor,
Tom thought it was a disgrace.
He went several days into hiding 
And wouldn’t show his face.

They say Tommy was patriotic,
And all were recipients of his treats.
As men (some women) left for service,
Each got money, cigarettes and sweets.

Don Adams, the postmaster, laughs about,
Hershey Bar treats for his one-year-old son.
“Go wash, face dirty,” Tom would chuckle,
Making sure the duty was done.

According to Mildred Chubbs, his waitress,
Whom we’d met at the Cody Bar and Grill.
She’d worked through the late1930s and 40s,
Meeting us relatives, was a special thrill.

It turns out she is the town historian
And with Helen, her friend,
Went home and got some pictures,
Taking us to the cemetery at the end.

Tommy was a drinker
Which was his final downfall, and alas,
He chased some whiskey with ammonia
The cleaning lady had left in a glass.

The grave read: July 7, 1888 - January 21, 1963
Tom was 74-years-old when he died.
Colorful, but unremarkable gambler, drinker,
At a distance, his relatives had decried.

But those who live in Cody, valued him as family.
And to his grave, residents still bring flowers,
Thanking him for years of love and service,
Painfully, remembering his final hours.

No, we did not have a chance to try a steak in Cody. A few years latter in Dallas, TX, we came close with a $30 steak at one of the hotels there.

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Quote that has been on our kit... Quote that has been on our kitchen fridge for 50 years!!!
"We need adversity to keep us vigilant, safe and to learn." - Arthur Brooks
I just awakened from a nightmare!! In my dream, I all of a sudden lost the convertible car I was driving along with our dog and purse in which I was carrying a few hundred dollars. I managed to call my husband and retraced my steps, but finally, we decided I had to get a job with my nursing skills to make up for the loss.

Nothing like waking up to find that it was a dream!!! The seed for loving life more this morning.
Today, I'm listening to Tim Ferris as he interviews Arthur Brooks, Harvard professor of Happiness studies who grew up in Seattle. It also drives me crazy to hear the standard goal in life: "I want to be happy!" I like his suggestion that we work to achieve "HAPPIERNESS".

Brooks says, "Three big areas one can address to work on HAPPIER Is:
     1. Looking for Enjoyment.
     2. Finding Satisfaction.
     3. Deciding on Purpose and Meaning for one's life."

There is one question Brooks poses with which I disagree. In searching for meaning he suggests: "What are you willing to die for?" 

I look at life here on earth a little differently.  Dying is easy.  It's not something to be afraid of. Life and struggles are a privilege. I think the question should be, "What are you willing to live for?"
Two incidents have clarified Meaning for me. When our first daughter was born, I stared at the miracle of life who was nothing a year earlier. I occurred to me that I would see great grandchildren! I decided I wanted to see responsible, kind, resilient, truth telling individuals. Therefore, I asked myself, "What do I need to do to parent Lynette, who would need to parent her future children to parent?"

We're almost there as our first  grandson is getting married soon and Lynette and Joe have done great so far. Of course, the purpose needs to extend to the children of all five of our grandchildren with building character.

The second incident was in 1972 when I was a teacher's assistant at Stevens Elementary School in Seattle. Juanita Thomas was my head teacher and I learned so much from her with many deep philosophical discussions. One night I had a dream that I was carried up in rapture and ALL I HAD TO DO WAS BELIEVE.  I do believe in God along with doing what's right. All the requirements of various human led groups are choices that I may or may not want to abide by, depending on what I want for social connections.

For sure, I'm happier to be daily listening to good advice, starting each morning with thoughts of thankfulness, making plans for being happier each day and sharing with others on this blog.

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My soul is like a million-piece jigsaw puzzle. The purpose of this life of mine is to work on my own puzzle and at least work to put several thousand pieces together this lifetime if there is reincarnation. 

I spent a lot of my growing up years watching work on my parent’s puzzles to learn how to work on my own puzzle. I also watched work on other mentor’s puzzles to learn. Getting a formal education, being married and raising children helped me learn more about setting an example, creating part of the picture, for future generations.

Now that my partner is gone, I’m spending a lot of hours listening to podcasts that are giving me brief glimpses of the picture on the cover of my puzzle box.

I’m excited to see some of the pictures of memories coming together with my puzzle as I share stories. It’s also a whole lot of fun to help other friend’s work on their puzzles as long as I am clear that it is their story and I don’t neglect my own!

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Using the power of prayer Using the power of prayer
The last book Sam was reading was HUMAN DESIGN by Greg Braden. What is most important about who I am is to be continually awakened in my consciousness by his current podcasts. 

One path that I want to avoid is that machinery is replacing many parts of our body with the movements of AI. On the other hand, many of the actions of our human cells are no different than being fed by news and loud negative voices around us, and then we let that run the actions of our cells like a robot. 

People like Greg Braden tell us that he is a proponent of new science. The wonderful part of science can be for us to learn: NEW WAYS TO OVERCOME! That's brought us to the lifestyles we can now enjoy.

Here's a list of suggestions:
    *Awaken my consciousness and Reprogram my beliefs
    *Discover my Potential & never limit myself
    *Recognize Emotions
I'm learning to communicate with animals, plants and the beautiful  universal energy that is way more powerful than I thought. The evidence is the synchronicities that are part of my fulfilling life!

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Finding the best of life in ever... Finding the best of life in every hour!
So often, we highlight tragedy or bad news. Well, today is absolutely a great banner day! I awakened after a good night of sleep. Deciding I should thank my guardian angels, I included this in my morning gratitude list.

Checking my email, I found the draft of a 10-page article I helped write for the COLUMBIA MAGAZINE - out of the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma. Julianna is a terrific editor and has done wonders with pictures and drawings. It is scheduled to come our in the Winter Edition of the quarterly magazine of Northwest History. Ten pages is 1/3 of the magazine. Deciding that family would want copies, I contacted a few cousins to see about a pre-order list.

Next I got a call from Gary, whom I cornered for help on filing my taxes. He came over with my papers and told me I’m getting my deposits back. I told him that we nned to celebrate by having a Sashimi Lunch at Ginza in Bellevue. 

Because of our OMOIDE presentation last Sunday on a national TADAIMA on-line October project. I got an email from Hana in Connecticut. She wants our OMOIDE program to be part of a national story-telling endeavor.

This afternoon, I got a call from David. I’d almost given up on my offer to help his wife with some seizure and health issues with a health program that I have successfully used the last 40 years in my program for family and health counseling. David and I now have a date to get together and talk about it on Sunday.  It gives me motivation to be patient and continue to share. 

I had a dental appointment with my new dentist, Dr. Jennifer Strelow. Instead of going all the way to Bothell with Dr. Carmody, who bought out Dr. David Branch’s practice, I can now go 5 minutes away to downtown Mercer Island. Jennifer was amazed with Sam’s work in my mouth. I told her my bridges are at least 40 years old. For years, I have heard comments about Sam’s exceptional margins and extraordinary craftsmanship. Since her office is across from Mercerdale Park, I got some exercise walking around the perimeter path a couple times.

It’s still only 6pm. There may still be more to this day?? Meanwhile, I’m preparing a Martha Steward weekly delivered meal. The best part of the plan is that it is healthy and the box comes with just the ingredients that are needed. Therefore, everything is fresh and we know what’s been included.

Sam and I took hot baths every night all our married life and I continue. As explained by Samurai Matcha in his podcast, a hot bath is getting a warm hug. 

As I cuddled in the warmth, I could hear the girls singing and harmonizing, getting ready for bed, as they do almost every day!

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Zachary Tamusaitis is part of ... Zachary Tamusaitis is part of the UC Santa Barbara Swim Team!
I live too far away to watch his swim meets, but it's fun to be part of the family that gets these kind of pictures and be able to help celebrate. 

The last time I was with his immediate family in Burbank, I enjoyed his cooperative nature and the respect he has for his parents, brother, sister and extended family at the memorial of his paternal grandfather. He almost won the card game several of us were playing.

I'm also told that he is a pretty good cook in the house where he is living near UC Santa Barbara campus. I have no idea now, but he had good grades at Notre Dame High School and was recruited to be on this team.

Yeah!!! Zach!!!!

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"HEALTHY CELL" is Goto-Heal... "HEALTHY CELL" is Goto-Health's super-ego like Jiminy Cricket
EGO: unconscious tape recording of past - conscious expression of self
ID is our hormonal instincts - can be influenced by environment
This week I'm enthused about SAMURAI MATCHA and his podcast about 7 Japanese Habits:

1. VISIT FAMILY GRAVE:  Grandpa Nakanishi bought 12 plots in the Kent Japanese Section of Hillcrest Cemetary in 1925 when Japanese were discriminated. Uncle Hiro remembers mowing the grass before it was incorporated into Hillcrest so now they take care, but it is still segregated. In some. ways it makes us special.

2. PICK UP TRASH: When we lived on Seattle's Capitol Hill in the 1960s, the girls and I pulled their wagon around the block on May Day to pick up trash.

3. HARA HACHIBU - eat until 80% full: The girls being conscientious as teens for looking good, this is no issue.

4. GOCHI-SO-SAMA:  Respect for the food, the cook, the food sources, nature and work of providers. We started saying ITADAKIMAS before eatging, but can introduce this appreciative ending. We've gotten lax about starting and ending our meals together, but appreciate that most of the meals get everyone there close to the same time. 

5. KOTO-DAMA - care in use of words: Use our Healthy Cell/Jiminy Cricket to guide us. So far the girls are pretty good.

6. KEEP THINGS ON TIME:  Example is how there is an apology if a train in Japan is even 1 minute late or early.  Our family is working to embrace "YOYU" - translated to "extra" when it comes to time for something, money for shopping, preparedness for presentations, space between obligations and rest.

7. TIDINESS: This is a daily hassel in our home.

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Here's the link to register for the Oct 15, 3pm Zoom
Me, Margaret, Chuck and Del R... Me, Margaret, Chuck and Del
Reflections are because Sam took the picture, from our deck, outside the kitchen window
Last Thursday, organized by Mary Abo, with her daughter Julie, Kimiko Marr recorded our OMOIDE (memories) stories for a national broadcast on October 15th. 

OMOIDE at the JCCCW (Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Washington), the “J”, is our writing group. OMOIDE was started in 1991 in my kitchen with Del Uchida, Margaret Yasuda, Chuck Kato and myself. We gabbed, had refreshments, sometimes included our spouses and did some writing. Christmas 1993, we used Pagemaker, went to Kinko for copies, folded and decorated construction paper covers and self-self-published a bunch of Christmas presents for family. We did that two more times.

In 2003 we became a program of the newly created Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Washington. Ats Kiuchi joined the program and helped us get a Kip Tokuda Civil Liberties grant from Washington State to publish OMOIDE IV. Aki Sogabe donated her Kirigami cover and my husband Sam Goto did the story illustrations. OMOIDE V is a compilation of OMOIDE I, II and III.  Now, we are getting organized for OMOIDE VI. 

For 20 years we have met on the third Saturday of each month, except December, from 1 - 4pm at the J. It was virtual during Covid. We have hot water from the kitchen and share refreshments between readings and kibitzing about our 500 word stories of incidents (two-minutes is the average attention span without another incident) from our memories. Directed to 5th grade, adults are telling us how much they are enjoying the stories.

Stories are important, getting together is important, and psychologically it is fulfilling. My purpose in life is sharing good heritage values with my kids and future generations. It’s a lot of fun!

Go to and the Hosekibako (jewel box) to purchase OMOIDE books.

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Nothing like having teenagers around to liven up our rainy week here in the Pacific Northwest. 

Yes, she turned 16 and now I don't have to drive her to 6am Drill Team practices 4 mornings a week and pick her up after school. But yes we have to negotiate for the use of my car.

Mom is constantly reminding, "You can't go stay overnight or have anyone over unless your room is clean!  Take out the garbage! Time to take out the recycling...."

Mostly, we are proud of watching them learning to find who they are and want to be; trusting both good and faulty decisions are part of learning.

I'm grateful to be close by and enjoy the activities!!!

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Last night I went to Bea's 60th b-day celebration. She's from Hungary and a lot of her dance group friends were there. Her husband, who is also from Hungary, put together the music and lighting. My picture shows just women, but plenty of the men participated in the round dances. Lots of food! Loved it. 

Our Japanese ethnic gatherings are much more subdued. But now I'm remembering my father-in-law. He enjoyed his parties in the "old days". He often got up and danced and sang, to the embarrassment of all his kids and wife.

After last night, I have a new appreciation for our parents and their dance parties. Sam and I got up and danced the jitter bug at our neighbors wedding one time. That wasn't someting we did much. When we first married, we used to have banquets at the end of the bowling season with dancing. Too many of us Japanese heritage individuals continue to worry too much about sticking out, "the nail that sticks out gets pounded down?" 

Now that I'm 84-yrs, I might be willing to try looking a little stupid and doing more dancing???

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