You snooze, you lose, Slow News.

Inspired by one of the fellows I follow here on WordPress, I thought I would type out a quick update on my life.

Slow, indeed! My days seem to pass as thickly as molasses. There is no pressure to complete work and projects. I didn’t mention in my last post, but school is to be closed until May 6th. Classes are to resume May 7th; however, the Hamamatsu mayor said that, should PM Abe extend the duration of his state of emergency, the city will do the same.

So, what have I been doing besides being a lazy blob? Well, I’ll show you.

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I thought I would give cinnamon rolls a shot on… the 19th? Something like that. They didn’t turn out well at all. The yeast seemed to be the culprit, as it had expired a long time ago. Having gone out and replenished my stash, I tried again.

And look at how nice they turned out!

I honestly was so surprised and ecstatic. It had been so long since I had had a good cinnamon roll. Obviously, these were no Cinnabon, but there was something so pleasing about enjoying these.

I disobeyed the whole social distancing thing, hopped on a bus, and went downtown to share these with my friends. Bless their hearts. Carla said,

“Thank you so much Ashley!! They were amazing. … My friend Marie didn’t realise you’d baked them – she thought they were from a bakery!” (she has her own site, too! You should give it a go)

and Mr. M (his ID done been snatched) said,

“They certainly were the genuine article. I’d pay money for those, true fact.”

I gave the tray in the picture to my neighbor down the street to enjoy with her children. She commented too that they were very good. Couple with my various other hobbies, I’m on the sure path to filling, at least part-way, my grandmother’s shoes. That woman is amazing, I love her so much!

Anyway. Yeah.

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Then I tried my hand at chocolate donuts since donut shops are not a dime a dozen around here.

If you want it done, best to do it yourself, right? Isn’t that way it goes…?

At first, I tried frying them, but after I made the oil way too hotI thought it would be best to hang on to the remainder of the dough and try again some other time (it got baked).

It was a rather sticky and expensive experience. One cup of cocoa powder cost me about $4 USD at my local supermarket. As hindsight is 20/20, I’ll have to see what Amazon Pantry has baking ingredients going for.

Leaving the bit about adding chicken-fried oil to the fresh oil aside, I found my donuts tasted better the day after. I suppose the sugar glaze had ample time to soak in and make it taste that much more delicious!

Have you ever tried making cinnamon rolls or donuts? If yes, how did it go? If not, what are your reasons for not trying?

Next up is, after seeing one of my friends enjoy her home-grown garden, I wanted to do the same. I’m no stranger to growing vegetables, as I’ve been successful with cucumbers back home in hot AF Las Vegas. It’s hard to believe that, once upon a time, Las Vegas was a flourishing tropical oasis. NOT NO MORE.

Anyway. After digging up… ha.. see what I did there?… No? That’s OK. After digging up some garden starter ideas on the internet, I decided to make a trip to the hardware/gardening center a ways away. They didn’t have much in the way of herbs, so I ended up going with these guys:

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Photo was taken April 27, 2020

I planted radishes, basil, Japanese basil (shiso), and two kinds of lettuces. A long time ago, my breakfast diet was typically eggs and toast and/or hash browns drowned in ketchup. Nutritious, I know. Now, I enjoy a green salad with my eggs (sometimes I’ll throw in yogurt, natto, toast, soup, or some kind of meat too!). This free lettuce buffet will help me cut down on the grocery bill just a smidge.

Have you tried growing a garden before? Let me hear about it!

Lastly, did I mention before that I’ve started uploading videos to my YouTube channel? I can guarantee 100% that it’s the most boring material you’ll ever watch and listen to. But as a challenge to myself, I’ve been reading Harry Potter.

Unfortunately, the videos’ve come to a standstill as I’ve run into a snag with receiving strong enough internet. Thanks but no thanks, corona, you’ve gone and closed McDonald’s. It was my closest provider of speeds capable of uploading a video file. I won’t lose heart though. Some real internet will be in the works once I’m able to secure an installation date, but… who knows how long that’s going to take? UGH.

At least I’ve got some dinky pocket WiFi to tide me over. I’m not a big user, you see.

In the meantime, I hope everyone is staying sane and healthy!

Self-isowhat?

Never would I have thought that I’d be stocking up on non-perishables and learning how to make a mask. Sure, the folks who have believed the zombie apocalypse would be coming all along have been prepared for ages, but what about the rest of us who can’t even grasp the idea? Part of me is still in denial.

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My stash of water, and newly acquired items: tissue, toilet paper, flour, tea, curry rou, udon noodles, chicken stock, rice, canned tomatoes, honey, and dressing.

According to the NHK, Japan’s largest broadcasting network, 197 new coronavirus cases were reported as of Saturday in Tokyo. (April 11, 2020), 674 nationwide. Just before that, dear ol’ Prime Minister Shinzo Abe finally caved and agreed to issue a State of Emergency (plus stimulus package!) for the 7 prefectures most currently affected by the outbreak. While many people, including myself, are on the fence as to whether or not his measures will be effective or not remains to be seen.

In wake of this “soft lockdown,” my own prefecture and Board of Education has advised the closing of schools as well. I consider myself lucky in that I’m still receiving pay and my company is working as hard as it can to keep the business up and rolling. Unfortunately, many are not receiving the same kind of care. The General Union, based in Osaka, was kind enough to get the most current information together and put it upon their website.

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The mask that was never finished.

None of us thought we’d be in this kind of situation.

With mask buyback programs in the works (at least in Wisconsin), closeted seamstress and grandmothers working their fingers to the bone churning out homemade coverings, and people walking around with water bottles on their heads, it’s clear to me that there’s some confusion going on. (Seriously, the number of memes on this stuff is lit.)

My real question, though, is: How hard is it for people to understand that they just need to stay home? The closest I get to going out is usually stepping out onto my balcony if I don’t have business to conduct elsewhere. And… by “business to conduct,” I mean go buy craft stuff from the 100-yen store and donuts from Mr. Donuts. HOWEVER, DO AS I SAY AND NOT AS I DO. There are tons of ideas for people to search for on the internet now.

Heck, the activities they choose don’t even need to follow someone else’s plan! They can make and follow their own! This is the age for ingenuity and critical thinking. For too long, as a society, we’ve been soft and comfortable with our sheltered lives!

TLDR; I’m feeling guilty over my conduct lately while all my friends and family have been so good about self-isolating.

Seriously, though. I want some donuts.