Ordinary days and dealing with bugs

One of the things I didn’t realize before moving to Japan was that housewives have nerves of steel here. The other morning I had just gotten up and was starting to prepare b-fast and bento for hubby. It must have been around 6:30am and before the coffee finished brewing. I grabbed the table wiping rag to wipe something off of the stove and a HUGE mukade came crawling out of it while I was still holding it in my hand.

Mukade are giant Japanese centipedes. They are poisonous. Here is a nice photo and a horrifying little tale about how they can terrorize you.

Ojisan Jake and the Mukade….

Photo from Ojisan Jake Blog

Sorry-I didn’t think to grab my camera to take a photo but, the above photo pretty much shows what came crawling out of my dishcloth.

Yes, I screamed. My poor husband who was in the laundry room almost had a stroke when he heard me. The dog ran away and hid. I’m sorry but I really hate these things.

That was pretty much the kick-off to horrid bug season here. They are out in full force now. No matter what you do or how clean you are you can not keep any of them out of the house. Last year we had three mukade in the house that I know of. In this old Japanese house they come crawling up from between where the tatami mats are joined. I do sprinkle powder in between the cracks but still they manage to get in other areas. I’ve pushed our little love-seat into the tatami room now because I’m paranoid to sit on the floor like we do in the winter. These things crawl around everywhere but at least I’m up off the floor where they first come up. I’m constantly scanning the rooms…. you never know where they will show up.

If I feel something crawling on me I do a dance the likes of which you’ve never seen before.

The typical Japanese housewife has to deal with these things in her home during the spring and summer.

Speaking of Japanese housewife- I took this photo not too long ago of a Japanese house wife. She had been foraging for spring herbs. I look somewhat like this at times when I’m in the garden. My boots are blue with little white flowers on them and my arm guards are black.


I was leaving exercise class the other day and an old friend came scurrying across the parking lot calling my name. She had walked the mile and a half from her house just to give me a small bouquet of flowers from her garden which I’ve set on the little cabinet in my country-cottage kitchen.


I am so impressed with the thoughtfulness of people that I’ve come to know here. I have to remind myself to be as thoughtful.

It’s been raining so much but today was a fine day. A little cool but sunny and breezy. I had all the windows open and even got to hang the wash outside -versus in the spare tatami room.


I aired out everything that I could think of- that needed airing. Little Chibi had fun running from one window to the other, his nose never stopped twitching taking in all the spring smells.

I went out and inspected the garden. The past two days we’ve had so much rain I feared everything would drown.

Everything seems to be doing ok though.


The Foxgloves are starting to bloom! I love these flowers. This is the second year that I’ve been growing them and I just love them. They remind me of all the fairy tale books that I’ve read about English cottage gardens.

The “corner” is starting to really fill out as the ox-eye daises get fuller and fuller. I see buds on them so it won’t be long…


I’m really loving the little wilderness that I’ve sown in the backyard. When we moved in it was a neglected little Japanese garden. Plain, no variety….but I soon changed that! It is turning into a nice little cottage garden…just what I dreamed of.


The clematis that I thought had died-came back to life! I planted one on each side of the home-made arch. One of them has these spots on its leaves…


I don’t know what it is. I guess I’ll have to do some googling…..

I had some trouble with various plant diseases. It seems that right around the time that the plants start growing our rains set in and then some kind of fungus or something starts spreading….troublesome…


The Hydrangea are starting to form blooms….I learned my lesson caring for them. You have to let them dry up on the stalks after they bloom out and not cut them down like I was doing. It looks like this year I’ll have an abundance of flowers because I stopped whacking them off as soon as they’ve stopped blooming.

Well…time to cook dinner….

5 thoughts on “Ordinary days and dealing with bugs

  1. Your garden looks so lovely. Your foxgloves are a little ahead of mine. I had hubby chop down my autumnalis flowering cherry trees because they were prone to shothole fungus and looked so ugly until July when the summer heat helped. I replanted with a japanese fl. cherry that can tolerate our wet springs. The roses get fungus all the time – but you have to grow roses- those I treat with a fungicide. Most of the time, I am a quite lazy gardener – if you’re a plant diva- you’re gonna end up on the compost pile. Plants need to be hardy and produce or – off with their heads.
    Thankful to add, Oregon has hardly any poisonous and giant versions of scary bugs.

  2. I’m at the point now where a lot of the flowers have seeded themselves and are coming up without my help. I’ve got roses but, yes, they are hard. We seem to have a lot of fungus here. I really hate to spray chemicals because I have a cottage garden with vegetables and flowers in a small space. Plus our little dog runs around back there. I do what I can and don’t expect perfection. I too figure-if you grow..good. If not you are compost and I’ll plant something else.

    Bugs…yes…tonight I went into the “formal” tatami room to get something and when I turned on the light there was a huge huntsman spider on the wall…..at least they don’t terrorize you. They mind their own business. I named her Charlotte and turned out the light. Before I did I told her she was free to eat any and all mukade that were on the premises.

  3. The garden looks wonderful. Isn’t lovely to see everything growing, often on it’s own accord. Things just want to be alive. Enjoy the rain…summer is just around the corner. As are the mosquitoes. That’s Japan after all.

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