Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I'm a full time homemaker

Watashi ha sengyou shufu desu

So maternity leave started yesterday. I tried to actually do stuff and not just fool around on the internet.

1) I did laundry.

At the Pumpkin Palace, like most Japanese households, we line dry, but cedar pollen season has started, so I hung everything in the spare tatami mat room. It's currently estimated that about 20 to 30% of the Japanese population is allergic to cedar pollen, and that number is growing. Both the Pumpkin Daddy and I are allergic to cedar pollen, but our allergy is mild compared to most people, and we can get away with not using meds. Which is a good thing, because I couldn't take it if I did right now. Unlike ragweed pollen, which I understand is the big allergen in North America, cedar pollen rides the wind for long distances, so even if you are miles and miles away from the cedar forests, you can have the itchy eyes and runny nose. And there are a lot of cedar forests. After WWII, Japan was faced with a housing crisis. It was clear that lumber would be needed to rebuild the charred wasteland compliments of the American air raids, and also to house the beginning baby boom. Cedar was a hardy, fast growing tree, and the government encouraged forestation. It was a good idea at the time, but as it turned out, it was cheaper to import North American and Asian timber, so the cedar trees just grew. And grew. And bred. And now we have a source of decreased productivity in the general workforce, and a major source of revenue for the pharmaceutical companies. Laundry dried outside is a pollen magnet. Plus, the Pumpkin Palace can use the humidity the drying laundry generates.

In addition to the usual laundry, I washed the curtains in the master bedroom. They are "make do" curtains that used to hang in the Pumpkin Daddy's bachelor pad. They looked a bit gray, so I tried chlorine bleach, but they didn't get any whiter. The only thing I have to show for my trouble is a strange brownish spot on my black maternity top where I accidentally splashed it. Oh well. I'm hoping to trim and hem them to a proper length later this week or perhaps sometime next week (like I said, they are make-do curtains).

2) I dusted and swiffed upstairs.

3) I started to gather up the paperwork I needed to do my taxes. I can't find the part of my life insurance form I have to cut out and paste to the tax paperwork. But at least I know what I need to look for now, right?

4) I went grocery shopping.

5) I cooked dinner (oyster stew, salad, garlic bread, broccoli stir fry).

And my favorite:

6) I took an hour long nap when I felt the usual wave of pregnancy-induced uncontrollable mid-afternoon drowsiness.

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