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Places like Cosco and Amazon have these packages of white towels in the section for mechanics. Years ago, I bought a package for kitchen towels. As they got soiled looking and ready for disposal, I decided they even worked for kitchen messes on the stove and floor.

Then, I decided to wash them every few days and put out new ones every day. Therefore, they were clean, but just soiled looking.

When guests come, I hang fancier versions. But I have a shelf full of the old and new mechanic towels and I don't worry about what I use them for - and then just throw them in the wash - drying dishes, wiping the counter, clearing the table, water drips from watering plants, messes on the floor - just throw them in the wash and get a new one all day long.

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The Omoide Writing Group sug... The Omoide Writing Group
suggestion for January 2019.
"A story with a surprise ending"
Last year, starting the day after Thanksgiving 2017, we turned my office, on the main floor of our house, into the hospice room for Sam’s last month with us. He passed on New Year’s Eve. With the help of family and friends, the room is my office again where I write, pay bills and keep my desk top TV on for company. I’ve spent a lot of the year sorting, organizing, taking things to the thrift shop and thinking about what I want for my new life.

Planning, shopping, cleaning and cooking for a 2018 Goto family Christmas at our house, with over thirty of us, has kept me busy and helped me get past Sam and my fifty-seventh Christmas Eve Wedding Anniversary this past week.

Today, I got most of the laundry done and went downstairs, which was Sam’s man-cave, to do some exercising on the rebounder, do the rowing machine and watch the SeaHawk football game on the larger TV monitor. Sam’s Medical Dental Building Lab and his work area, throughout his career, was always impeccable. Therefore, his desk remains as he left it, always clean and clearly organized. It’s not easy, but I decide to look in Sam’s desk.

The base of Sam’s work area is this old and large metal desk. But Sam never left any part of our house without his special creative touch of built-in shelves and artistic additions. Right behind the desk top is this old wooden Coca Cola crate on it’s side that houses various work tools (all labeled) and art equipment. A cork bulletin board holds all kinds of drawings and sayings. Over the desk is a shelf with several of his favorite cartoon heroes framed and art collections.

Pulling out the top drawer, on the right side and in the back section, there is a brown file folder. As I open it, on top is the outline we created for his TOMODACHI cartoons and the Shig story Sam drew weekly for the NORTH AMERICAN POST, the five years before he passed.

But the next piece is an old brown envelope with “FIRST CLASS MAIL”, addressed to Goto Dental Laboratory, Inc.; 423 Medical Dental Bldg.; Seattle, WA 98101. The return address is:

Patent and Trademark Office
Washington, D.C. 20231
if UndelIvered Return in ten Days

Inside is the returned hand printed letter, dated Oct 19, 1977:

Please send me the schematic
drawing, description and
any related literature on patent
number #2,482,773, the Hieronymus
I am enclosing a check for
two dollars to cover any costs.
Please bill me if more is required.

Thank you,
Sincerely yours,

So what is a Hieronymus Machine? The first paragraph says:

Patented Sept. 27, 1949 with a page of schematic drawings.
The invention relates to the art of detecting the presence of and measuring the intensity or quantity
of any of the known electro-chemical series of elements of material matter, or the combination of two or more such elements, whether in solid, fluid or gaseous forms at ordinary room temperatures and without special treatment of requiring any change in the material under observation.

My surprise assumption is that the directions for making a Hieronymus Machine was in this folder, and not in his file cabinet because Sam intended to work at building his own Hieronymus machine as one of his next projects???

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Today, I sharpened up some leadership tools for sharing my new life without my partner, by listening to a video interview with Adam Green about leadership. CLARITY OF MY PURPOSE was the theme - getting people to do something they wouldn’t do unless you are there.

For sure, I want to continue our 42 year commitment for QUALITY HEALTH & ENERGY and commitment to leaving a legacy of OUR HERITAGE VALUES.

I looked up “leadership” in the dictionary and the definition is backwards - explaining goals and ideas that get others to buy in.

My sharpened “leadership” definition involves: first establishing CLARITY for MYSELF, sharing the excitement with others so they develop their own clarity for what they want and become leaders themselves. LET THEM be motivated to seek the information needed for themselves.


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It’s almost a year since Sam passed. What I’m missing the most is: “SOMEONE IN MY CORNER” to help me plan for Christmas.

I Love the Christmas Season of warming with heart and connections. I’m filling my mind with ways of making it special with food and memories of our most exciting times.

All my growing up years, we were very poor, but I knew I could ask Santa for one present. All year I planned for that one thing that I knew I could ask of Santa. I have a sister five years younger than me, but I was the one who always awakened at 5am or so to look under the tree. I could hardly wait for Kathy to awaken so we could open our ONE PRESENT. I was just as excited to see her open her present.

This one year around 1950, Terri Lee Dolls was the big thing. I was too old for dolls by then, but my sister was asking for one. Uncle Frank knew Kathy wanted this doll so on their fall vacation they bought one.

When they got back to Ontario and were parked in our driveway, Kathy and I ran out to welcome them home. Kathy saw the doll in the back of their Chevy Station Wagon. Christmas was still a couple months away.

Kathy and I didn’t do this often, but we had an Ouiji Board. After they left we asked the Ouiji board when she would get the doll. I knew it was supposed to be a Christmas present, but the board said: “tomorrow.” Sure enough, Uncle Frank found out Kathy had seen the doll so he gave it to her that next day.

Christmas 1950, I remember waking up and waiting. I was so excited to see Kathy when she found out she got a doll buggy!!

I can hardly wait to see our granddaughters awaken this 2018 Christmas Morning!!! That’s how I’m filling those empty corners for now.

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What are the seeds we are pla... What are the seeds we are planting that fill the fractals in our lives??
Today, I picked up my 11-year-old granddaughter from school and we talked about her morning session in botany. She said, “We talked about ferns and how they are fractals. Daddy taught me about fractals.”

Later, as we were having snacks, she drew a bunch of examples of fractals such as fractal trees, cauliflower and fibrous roots. The trucks spread out to branches and the roots keep branching out - repeating the growth.

She drew the life cycle of a dandelion. I was amazed at how she could draw spanning the whole page and make it look good as an art piece. Then we talked about this ability to see the whole piece of paper in her mind ahead while she is drawing.

I can’t make my drawings and page look good because I can’t think ahead and see the whole page, which is why I say I can’t draw. When I think about drawing, I can only think of the immediate - one small “fractal”?

My 9-year-old granddaughter gets caught up in the immediate action she’s doing and does not have the ability to think a few steps ahead (getting ready for school and getting out the door).

The picture starts with a SEED. It occurred to my granddaughter and me that some of the moments of our own thinking can be the seeds for fractals for our life environment. What kind of seeds are we planting-planning that grow into the structures of our lives???


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Our next door neighbors here in Larkspur are Rajah & Lalima of India heritage. Yesterday we were privileged to be some of the few guest for their traditional wedding ceremony. Rajah's parents and uncle came from Bengaluru.

The day and time were chosen by the horoscopes of the Bride and Groom to be December 13th at 8:30am. We arrived early at the hilltop church sanctuary chosen for the event.

While the guests went into another room for a breakfast, he stage was initially prepared by the priest with:
Fresh flowers – to signify beauty
Coconut – to signify fertility
Rice and other grains – to signify the food necessary for sustenance of life
Ghee (purified butter) – to feed the sacred fire
Kumkum (vermilion) – red powder used for marking the forehead to signify good luck and to say that your soul (husband) is with you

The first part of the formal ceremony included an hour of the Groom, father, mother, uncle and helper dressed as in the first photo performing a series of rituals. It is my guess that this often happened as a party the night before. We guest, continued to visit, take pictures and move around.

Then the bride walked down the isle when we felt compelled to be more formal and was highlighted by the seven walks around the fire signifying the seven vows made to each other.

We then left around noon to attend the luncheon back at the Apartment complex where we live and enjoyed a bountiful array of special Indian cuisine!

Thank you for an extraordinary learning experience!!

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Just in case we only get one ... Just in case we only get one shot at this whole being a human thing, I best decide what sort of human I want to be.
This morning, as part of the week of the Christmas season of giving, at the Waldorf School, I sat for a pre school-day piano concert by Eric and Laura Barnhill. Their son is in the fifth grade with our granddaughter.

I was also sent a morning imaged message: “LEAVE A LITTLE SPARKLE WHEREVER YOU GO” followed by the compliment that I am able to do so.

The morning I first committed to starting my Shaklee Stay-At-Home business in 1976, I decided to begin my business by leaving a positive impression with everyone I met.

I remember going to Marty’s Service Station on Mercer Island and filling our blue Regal Buick with gas. I went into the service office and complimented Marty on how wonderfully he treated us customers with the fact that he made sure his service station was surrounded by flowers he planted and cared for.

Then I went on to Albertson’s to pick up a few groceries and smiled and complimented Heidi, one of the store managers. Her father was Sam’s good high school friend, "Seibo", from back in Nampa, Idaho, where Alberson’s started. Seibo continued to work for Alberson’s as a sign painter. Sam also did some sign painting back then and was known to have painted Christmas scenes in store windows.

Within the the freedom to vent my little annoyances as put out by Mark Twain with his sardonic comments, I re-resolve to deliberately leave little sparkles myself this Christmas Season and on to the next new year!!

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This is kind of a Christmas season serendipity. Monday night, Dec. 3, 2018, I was invited to a talk about Japanese Gardens by Koichi Kobayashi, a Japanese garden Landscape designer. Nancy was part of the audience. We connected because she is excited about “connection to nature, culture and each other”. The following is some of her research:

“I discovered that this ancient wisdom offered insights on what it means to be human in the face of wide-ranging disruptions and hardships that have always been inseparable parts of life on this planet. We all need a visceral connection to nature, culture, and each other to overcome despair and learn to live (and die) humbly, resolutely, and creatively in whatever circumstance we encounter. While I may never fully “grasp” the fabric of my life, the effort to ‘know’ this temple infused me with a late-life sense of wonder. I only wish that I had started down this path years earlier.

Musō’s intriguing life story, beautifully portrayed in A Zen Life in Nature: Musō Soseki in His Gardens, by Keir Davidson, was my starting point.” -Nancy Connery

I ordered the book.

There is unexpected enthusiasm for the suggestion that we form a support group for the Kintsugi Japanese Garden at the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Washington. My vision is that this be a center piece when the “J” is listed on the city tour 100 years from now.

Personally, it makes me feel good about continuing to create and leave the legacy Sam and I started when we married on Christmas Eve 1961. We have five beautiful grandchildren that represent the future generations that can benefit from being, “In harmony with God, In harmony with Nature, In harmony with humanity” which is the message of the gardens.

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"CANCEL CANCEL" -Zig Ziglar ... "CANCEL CANCEL" -Zig Ziglar on negative thoughts!!!
Motivational speaker, Jim Rohn, famously said that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.

Today, Kelly, the girls and I spent the day with the Chang family. they had their house decorated with wreaths on the door, decorations up their stairs, a tree with the star on top, stockings hung and a Christmas towel in the bathroom.

They served us an amazing brunch braised potato slices, muffin pan baked egg rounds, bacon, to die for bread pudding and mimosa. Early dinner was Sausage spaghetti, Cesar salad and fruit. Dinner last night was a Korean noodle dish, rice, home-made Kim Chee and out of the oven chocolate chip cookies.

I am inspired by the way they live, with minimalized organization of their not so big house. I want to copy inviting guests and creating recipes so I can enjoy similar long conversations of “who we are”.

We value our Heritages. We are committed to raising healthy, confident, kind and honest children. We all have difficulties in our lives and share how lucky we are to be away from past dishonest people in our lives. We enjoy pursuing a life of helping others.

We are greatly influenced — whether we like it or not — by those closest to us. It affects our way of thinking, our self-esteem, and our decisions. Of course, we are our own person, but research shows that we're more affected by our environment than we think.

A quote-drawing of Mt. Fujii, personally drawn and signed by Dr. Shinichi Suzuki when we had him for lunch at our house, hangs in our Mercer Island living room. Dr. Suzuki, the world famous violin teacher of the Suzuki Talent Education writes, "Man is a child of his environment."

While it's ideal to be closely surrounded by positive, supportive people who want us to succeed, it's also necessary to have our critics. According to a study in the Journal of Consumer Research, "Tell Me What I Did Wrong: Experts Seek And Respond To Negative Feedback," novices have a preference for positive feedback, but experts want negative feedback, so that they can make progress.

And the more successful I become, the more criticism I'll face. Glenn Llopis over at Forbes wrote about how "6 Types Of People Build Your Mental Toughness," including doubters, critics, and the envious. Without them, we'd never sharpen our skills or develop tough skin.

It takes a while to develop this mental toughness

I want to continue networking to spend time with relatives friends and new acquaintances who inspire me similarly. I will also continue my resolve to "bring out the best" in myself and help others who want to do the same.

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Here's one of my memories about meeting the cute guys at the Thanksgiving conference when I was a senior in high school in 1955:
Our Japanese immigrant parents regularly set up youth conferences and sports activities for their children to meet other young Nisei. My grandpa and parents often gossiped about wayward children who dated and married someone outside the Japanese community (of course) discrimination played a role.
Thanksgiving, 1955, I was 16, living in Ontario, an eastern Oregon farming community with about 5,000 population.
The annual Japanese Methodist Northwest Youth conference held every Thanksgiving weekend drew about 100 youths from Spokane, Tacoma, Portland, Seattle and Ontario. Last year, my friends came back from Spokane with pictures, wrote letters and talked about the cute guys they met.
The 1955 conference was scheduled for Tacoma. I was excited to attend. My family was poor, so I believe our church must have paid my way.
I borrowed a suitcase and packed my only party dress. I wore my one Pendleton skirt, cashmere sweater with matching socks and saddle shoes. Margaret, Reverend Fujimore and I boarded the Union Pacific passenger train in Ontario, heading west. Six hundred miles later, we got off at Tacoma, WA on Puget Sound.
Margaret and I were assigned to the Shintani house with Patti Warashima from Spokane. The latter is now a famous Seattle sculptor and taught at the University of Washington art department. Roger Shimomura did the conference graphics and became a nationally-known artist and retired as a University of Kansas professor.
My Ontario friend was later a national JACL queen. She drew a lot of attention from the boys. She is currently a high-end San Francisco fashion designer.
I don’t remember the religious messages, but I do remember Frank from Tacoma, along with Spencer and Gary from Spokane. For most of the three days, we noticed each other and played coy; ending up exchanging addresses and corresponding for a while after the conference.
After completing college and getting married, I began life in Seattle. I was hired by the UW Library Special Collection in 1970 to document the Nikkei experiences in the Pacific Northwest.
I found similar social experiences spanning the generations in my own family. There are the YPCC (Young People’s Christian Conference) photos in 1930. My dad, Sago Miyamoto is in one of the pictures from a Tacoma gathering. Hana Masuda, wife of Min Masuda PHD who began the Japanese Collection in 1970, told me stories of the fun she had at these conferences.
Going forward to 1980, our daughter, Lynette, is in one of the photos of the GYOP (Group of Young People) conference when her Seattle Methodist church youth made the reverse trip from my 1955 trip in 1980 - to Ontario from Seattle.
Each young people’s conference was highlighted with social events. Non-Methodist local youths came to the skating parties and the Saturday night dance after the concluding banquet.
At the dances, the guys were on one side of the church gymnasium and the girls on the other. Mostly, we girls sat and waited for the guys to come all the way across the room to ask us to dance. Glenn Miller’s “In The Mood” or Eddie Fisher’s “Dungaree Doll” were the most popular. Once in a while, two girls would get up and dance on their own.
I met and danced with Chuck Kato at the 1957 Portland conference. Seventy years later, in the 1990s, Chuck was one of the four founders of our Japanese Cultural and Community Center’s Omoide (Memories) project and writing group, documenting and preserving stories of our heritage values for the children of the future.
Religion remains a strong cornerstone for creating community and connections. I am thankful for this 2018 holiday season, bringing back memories for a fulfilling life. We invite you to come to our Omoide program, each third Saturday of the month—except next month (December) –to share your memories with us as well! Just contact as at

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