Japan’s Emergency Alert System

The rains, they just don’t stop.

Japan floods: 11 missing, 500,000 to evacuate after days of torrential rain in Fukuoka and Oita


Kumamoto on the left and Asakura on the right.

The JMA (Japan Meteorological Agency) says that this is historical…”Biblical proportions” if you will…and as I sit and write this it is still raining. We aren’t done yet.

And…typhoon season has just arrived.

As of now there are 11 people dead. I read another report that said 20. Who’s right? I don’t know. Only the dead and their families know that answer.

Yesterday we went to the in-laws home to see how things were. I am just ever so continually thankful. The house is located very near the river which had crested. The water from the sewer overflow came up to the genkan but not in the house. My brother-in-law had placed a barrier along the driveway entrance and it helped I guess.

The JMA emergency alert system went off twice on my phone this morning. Japan has a wonderful emergency alert system that I am sure must save lives.

It is a standard part of every mobile phone-I think please someone correct me if I am wrong.

I took a few shots from my phone this morning so you can see what it looks like.

I can’t really read the Japanese well so what I do is I scan the alert message with my google translate app on my ipad. It takes me a minute or so to read it but at least I get the message.

This gives everyone that has a mobile phone the chance to get to safety. Even if you don’t have a mobile phone someone around you does!

The weather report for as far into the future as my weather app goes says…rain. The damage is unbelievable already. I can not even fathom what more rain will do. There has been so much devastation and death already.

Crops in this part have been severely damaged / destroyed. We just finished planting rice, summer vegetables and fruits.

As I type the rain just keeps falling….at the moment pounding harder, coming down in buckets.

My husband is researching how and where we can volunteer to help. Help do anything. Help those in need. I don’t know what we can do but we will find out. I can’t just sit here and say “praise God we are safe”. To me being thankful equals action -we need to get out there and do something to help those who have been devastated by this.

I know that we aren’t alone here in Japan with our disaster. In every corner of the globe it seems that is all there is…disaster in every form.

I am most thankful for the inner peace that I have. Peace during the “storm”. No matter what kind of storm may be raging.

Update: my husband called a government agency regarding volunteerism- they said it’s too dangerous yet to allow volunteers in however they are setting up a system whereby we can donate money and later on relief items. I’ll keep you posted on what we will do. 

Thankful for…..

Everything. I’m just thankful for everything. Having seen many different things on my trip last month and now being back “home” I sense that I am much more content than I was before I left.

Much of it has to do with my personal spiritual life and studies…which I won’t go into here. ( I heard several of you breathing a sigh of relief..lol)

Yesterday was the American Independence Day and I celebrated my freedom with a few Japanese lady friends. We ate watermelon, cornbread (because I brought a mix with me) and I taught them “flag facts” and a bit of history about the day.

I was really surprised that they were so interested and had a great time. I gave them little gifts of American Flag parade “wavers” bundled up with some Japanese hanabi or basically sparklers.

It poured rain the whole day. It poured even harder today! We had such a loud peal of thunder over the house I thought the windows would crack. There are warnings around the nation for flash floods and landslides…I heard people were evacuated.

I always wonder how many people have bug-out bags or some sort of emergency kit? Which reminds me, I need to get into our bug out bag and see if I need to change out the clothing. We have a fairly good sized bug out bag that I stock with various items including our passports and important documents. I also include at least two changes of clothing for each of us and I update them according to season. Don’t want summer clothing in there for a winter emergency and vice-versa.

I looked outside during one downpour and I saw a dragonfly desperately clinging to a bare branch. I grabbed my camera and took this amazing photo of it. The branches were shaking from the rain so it isn’t perfectly focused….but still it’s an awesome photo. Reminds me of a fairy-like creature.



My garden has positively exploded. The tomato vines have covered the little side windows in the engawa.


Today I opened the window and plucked off a few tomatoes. Funny. At least I didn’t have to go out into the rain.

A little girl that comes to my house for English was shocked by the size of my sunflower. This was actually planted by the birds! I’m going to save the seeds and plant them in pots. I’ll have pots of giant sunflowers at our new home!



Speaking of our new home I’m actually getting excited even though the actual move is a ways off. Pinterest has been a huge help in gathering ideas for the interior. I already know what style I want to decorate it in and I’ve got several boards loaded with pictures to help me. Someone asked me how far the home is from here-it’s actually not far. It takes me about 30 minutes by trolley to get there.

I’m usually there Monday’s and Thursday’s for a community class that I teach at the community center.

On Monday the library at the center had their Tanabata decorations up.


They also had some artwork drawn by the local elementary school kids “We are the World -Only One Frower”…..hummm…yes, “R” and “L” are tough to understand here.

I was in the garden again the other day and noticed this awesome bug lollying around on my ajisai bush. The myriad of insects here always fascinates me. This one was really awesome although he flew off the second I took his photo.


I learned early-on to never touch any of them. We have quite a few that will leave you with a nasty sting. They look harmless enough though. I have learned not to “bug” any of the bugs.

This week also had me back into the routine of cooking hubby’s breakfast and bento. He was a bit forlorn when I was gone. Today he hugged me and said how thankful he was that I was home.


I know he loves me for more than just my cooking though.  🙂


Hodge-podge post but it’s real life around here.