Spring is here. Chinese medicine and macrobiotic practice that spring associated with the Liver organ. (One of my books, “Love, Sanae” has a list of five transformations of each seasons’ organs, foods, emotions, and temperaments, etc.) I was diagnosed Only Weeks to Live with stage IV Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma of the Liver almost four years ago. I just…
Have you heard Language of flowers?
If you never heard of it, you are not alone.
It is known as “Hana Kotoba” in Japan, the direct translation is “flower word”.
I never heard anybody talk Hana Kotoba in English so I had to check and it shows Language of flowers and Wikipedia said Floriography (language of flowers) is a means of cryptological communication through the use or arrangement of flowers. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Language_of_flowers
Meaning has been attributed to flowers for thousands of years, and some form of floriography has been practiced in traditional cultures throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa.
I heard “Hana Kotoba” when I was around 8 years old when I started to have interested grown my own flowers. I was curious that each flower has meaning and I have thought of it whenever I grow flowers and plants and felt connections with them.
As I grew up I have started to use Language of flowers meaning when I send flowers to family, friends or people and let them know why I chose this flower for them. I believe that people who received flowers appreciate more than just receiving the flowers and I feel joy using Language of flowers too.
It is wonderful for me to share Language of flowers with you!
My first language of flowers that I picked is Japanese Ume Plum Flower.
I chose it because it is also a January flower in Japan (now I looked at the date and it is the end of January, but I made it！).
As I checked Language of flowers on https://hananokotoba.com/hanakotoba-ichiran/
Japanese Ume Plum Flower showed Language of flowers in Japan,
「nobility」, 「faithfulness」, and 「patience」
and in the West,
「Keep your promise」,「fidelity」and「beauty and longevity」
I did not realize there were different meanings, but I thought that is understanding too.
My father had a Japanese Ume tree in the garden which was just a flowering ume tree so no plums and it was a beautiful reddish color.
The one I shared here is the Japanese Ume Plum Flower that produces plums.
You might hear that Japanese Ume pickles (Umeboshi).
It is a medicinal and traditional pickle of salty and sour in Japan.
I have been making my own Japanese Ume plum pickles every year with organic California Ume plums. Last year I made famous Japanese “Nankou” Ume Plum pickles, Enzyme juice, Jam, and Sauce.
My friend, Kazuko used to make her Umeboshi plum of organic Northern California so I also offer aged Umeboshi plums that she made and my Umeboshi plums if you are interested.
If you know how to use/eat Umeboshi plums then they will help for longevity just like one of Language of flowers meanings so whoever made this language of flowers meaning knew that Japanese Ume plum can be medicinal.
This year I am trying to grow my Japanese Ume plum tree so I hope to see the flowers someday in January.
I feel fortunate to keep some of the Japanese traditions, especially I have been keeping “Hatsuhinode” Japanese tradition for many years here in America.
“Hatsuhinode” is viewing the first sunrise of the New Year.
According to both Shinto belief and Buddhist tradition, “Toshigami”—the god of the new year, harvests, and the spirits of ancestors—arrives when the sun rises on New Year’s Day. If you stand outside and make a wish during the sunrise, you will be blessed by Toshigami and your wish will come true during the year to come.
I have two dreams of “Hatsuhinode”. One is to view the New Year sunrise from Mt. Ryugatake to see “Diamond Fuji” and the other one is to climb up to Mt. Fuji to view the New Year sunrise.
Because I have had physical challenges both mechanical parts and internal organs past 27 years so these are probably just dreams, but I enjoyed viewing “Hatsuhinode” from Santa Monica mountain every year with my husband, Eric, and the dogs’ family. I remembered that I even went to see New Year sunrise when I was in a wheelchair so I will continue to view it for a long time.
My New Year sunrise routine is no matter what time I go to bed at new years’ even night, I get up about 5 am and leave home around 5:30 am.
New Year’s sunrise time is usually just before 7 am, but every new year’s morning has different weather.
I remember one new year it was so foggy and could not see anything, but just before new year’s sunrise came up it got cleared up.
It was the mysterious new year’s sunrises I ever saw.
I love to be on the hill when it is still dark and the sky is indigo blue and slowly reddish-orange light is oose out.
I believe this is the quietest moment of the year and I am able to feel the silence before the god of the new year coming.
I have experienced unconsciously the peaceful joy of tears wet my cheek which is very precious.
This year of 2021, it was very windy.
When I hiked up the mountain wind blow so strong I was almost blown away.
The wind blew off and bought New Year’s sunrise clear and blighter.
Since 2020 was a very upheaval and challenging year of Corona Covid-19 various pandemic for the whole world.
It was a sad and difficult time.
Because of stage IV lymphoma cancer that I had three years and a half ago, I have been taking care of myself carefully. I started “a new me” life and have been practicing social distance before the pandemic came, so I am kind of used to it, but of course, I feel lonely to not see a few frineds that I was seeing and spend time going out for lunch and dinner.
My husband, Eric and I do our best to be kind to each other more than ever and practice self-empathy.
We found out some of our friends got Covid-19 various after Thanksgiving and flighting right now so my wish for this 2021 New Year sunrise…
“Wishing us and everyone in the world a safe, healthy, peaceful, and healing new year!
And full recovery for people in the world including our friends to heal soon.”
There is no Japanese tradition to go to New Year sunset and make a wish, but I thought making another wish or more wish with gorgeous New Year sunset might give us a more excellent spirit start so we also went to see the New Year sunset at Santa Monica beach.
We watched sunrise and sunset on New Year’s day; we appreciate “Sun” so much. Sun’s hard work for us, earth, and nature.
No matter what, the sunrise shows blight light, which I feel hope and strength, and the sunset promises us faith and trust for the next day.
Sun is truly god for us!
Swiftly flow the days
Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers
Blossoming even as they gaze
Swiftly fly the years
One season following another
Laden with happiness and tears
Nature always teaching us, humans.
Let’s notice the blight side over dark shadow and enjoy this moment!
The last day of 2020.
The whole world has been to go through an upheaval year.
This America has had the most Covid 19 virus-infected in the whole world;19,455,045 cases and 350,778 death was reported so far.
The sad year of 2020.
Not Pandemic related, but I have had my own painful experienced this year.
I have been meditating every day more mindfully observe and purified my mind to see the blight side.
I’m ready for the new year of 2021.
Christmas weekend, Eric and I went to North Fork, California (near Yosemite) with our six dogs and two cats family.
For the first time, we just did not do much, ate, slept, did meditation, walked in nature, and watched Netflix.
We came back to Santa Monica and we had lots of rain three days ago.
It was a beautiful day today.
Looked at the sky and felt sunlight.
I spent a slow relaxing time and just planted shallots in the planter on the rooftop garden.
Usually, I feel I needed to plant much more after rain, but it was just shallots and I was satisfied and relaxed.
I am learning to do much less.
Animal family is also relaxed when I am relaxed.
I am grateful for this relaxing last day of 2020.
Grateful to have health and welcome 2021.
Grateful to Eric and the animal family to live with me.
Grateful to family, friends who support my soul.
Grateful to my garden, trees, flowers, plants, and birds.
Grateful to sky, sun, moon, ocean, mountain, and nature.
Grateful to be able to write this blog.
Grateful to people who read my blog.
Grateful to 12 steps program.
Grateful to Vipassana meditation.
Grateful to macrobiotics practice.
Grateful to myself.
Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart.
I want to introduce a tasteful new year mocktail (none alcohol cocktail) with elderberry which I love to make tea and introduce on my blog before
I am in 12 steps program and sober for almost 36 years so I am looking forward to drinking this special mocktail to enjoy.
New Year Elderberry Mocktail
Makes 1 drink
- Peach juice
- Infused elderberry and white grape juice (*see below how to make)
- Lime juice
- Fill a champagne flute or a glass about halfway with peach juice.
- Gently pour infused elderberry and grape juice over the top to create layers of color.
- Add a squeeze of lime juice to add.
Pro Tip: Using a spoon to catch the initial splash helps to maintain the two-tone color.
*Infused Elderberry and White Grape Juice
Makes 6-8 drinks
- 8 ounces organic white grape juice
- 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup dried elderberries, to taste
- 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup dried lemon peel, to taste
- Put all ingredients into a saucepan over medium-low heat.
- Heat to approximately 200°F, just before boiling.
- Remove from heat, cover with a lid, and let infuse for 30 minutes.
- Strain the grape juice into a separate pint jar.
- Store infused-grape juice in the refrigerator—it should be used within 5 days.
Recipes source from https://blog.mountainroseherbs.com/elderberry-bellini
I moved to the house where I live now in 1985.
When I moved, I noticed right away my next neighbor, the older couple, Joe and Virginia, had a big beautiful loquat tree ( I think it was about 20 feet) in their back yard.
I just moved and I did not know them yet, but I had to give my compliment to them about their loquat tree. Joe and Virginia did not know much about loquat except it produce fruits. I told them leaves have health benefits in Japan and Asia.
The loquat trees that I see here in the Santa Monica area produce smaller and little sour fruit than those I saw and tasted in Japan. But I am grateful to see loquat trees are here.
I got loquat leaves from Virginia and made tea and extract for wound and skin inflammation like my mother made in Japan. Later, I got a seedling of a loquat tree from the next neighbor and started to grow my own loquat tree in my garden. It took time to grow, but it has been growing well and I have been using their leaves for making medicinal teas, skin compresses, medicinal hot water for body scrub/rub, and moxibustion treatment.
* Loquat (<i>Eriobotrya japonica</i> Lindl.) is a subtropical fruit tree with high medicinal value native to China. Different organs of loquat have been used historically as folk medicines and this has been recorded in Chinese history for thousands of years.
** Also, Loquat leaves are listed for their health benefits in Japanese Pharmacopoeia (Nippon Yakkyoku-hō,) the official record of approved medicinal herbs, published by the Government of Japan since 1886.
Loquat flowers are modest-looking and the color is very pale cream. It is the season right now to bloom here.
Most people here in America don’t know much about loquat leaves benefits so I want to introduce what I use for it every day as body/rub today here. I will write about loquat tea some other time.
Generally, in macrobiotics practice, we recommend body scrub/rub.
The body scrub/rub helps activate circulation and better energy flow through the entire body. It helps to discharge excess fat accumulated under the skin and open pores to promote smooth and regular elimination of any toxins. It also promotes clean, clear skin.
The body scrub/rub can be done once or twice daily, in the morning and/or at night, before or after a shower or bath, but apart from it.
I add loquat leaves because in Japan, where I grew up using loquat leaves as a traditional cure for preventing and treating respiratory ailments and have many benefit of preventing and treating respiratory ailments.
Also, loquat leaves contain compounds demonstrated to lower blood lipid and sugar levels and alleviate inflammatory skin conditions, including atopic dermatitis (eczema.)
I love the earthy greenish (when you use fresh leaves) aroma of loquat leaves when I apply scrub/rub to my face and body every morning.
I did it when I was taking chemotherapy, when I broke my legs, when I was going through PTSD, when I was feeling “shit” and sad, and loquat leaves body scrub/rub always have helped me and lift me up to start my day.
If you are going through your hands/fingers or legs with side effects from chemotherapy (neuropathy, nerve pain, numbness, or weakness) like I did or/and other medications, you soak your hands and legs in loquat leaves hot water (it should be very hot, but not too hot to get burn yourself) and rub/massage them inside the hot water.
Doctors don’t know this kind of holistic healing method so if you ask them, they might not recommend it. You are taking medication so you have to do this for yourself with commitment. It works for me so I do this every day. I hope you try it for at least three months and get the benefit.
Here is how to make and apply medicinal loquat leaves hot water for body scrub/rub:
- Add two heaping tablespoons of loquat leaves (dried or fresh) to 4 cups of cold water in a stainless pot.
- Heat to a full, rolling boil.
- Turn heat down and let simmer for 15~20 minutes.
- Strain the leaves and put medicinal liquid in a bowl of glass or stainless (not plastic).
- When you can put your hands in, then dip your organic washcloth (cotton or hemp), squeeze or wring out excess liquid and start scrub/rub your whole body one section at a time and dip the cloth and squeeze or wring out the liquid again.
- If it gets cold, must heat it.
- I start from my face, ears, neck, shoulders, chest, arms, hands, fingers, belly, back (you might need a longer cloth if you want to do it all by yourself), thighs, legs, feet, toes, and I go back up and also do the area I have pain, pressure, or discomfort.
- The skin should become pink or slightly red. This result may take a few days to achieve if the skin is clogged with accumulated fats.
For your animal family:
When you apply loquat leaves scrub/rub for animals (puppies/dogs & kittens/cats) make medicinal hot water shorter simmering time of 5 ~ 10 minutes to make it less intense and make sure to cool it down so it is not too hot for them. If they taste or drink it, there is no harm, but if they are especially puppies and kittens, I will not encourage them to drink because it might be too stimulating. After all, their digestive system is too venerable.
It is beneficial if your animal has skin issues and fleas’ itchiness. It will soothe their skin and help and preventing fleas if you apply every day.
Especially, puppies and kittens up till 1-year-old at least are fragile and fleas love their skin. I would never recommend any chemical flea treatments and flea shampoo to puppies and kittens so instead, I gave them gentle scrub/rub using this loquat leaves warm water for them after I comb with a flea comb. I will write about this subject another time that how much these chemical is harming our beloved animal family.
Below is Lani, who is four months old, getting loquat leaves body scrub/rub and he enjoyed it so much and was getting sleepy. You can see the liquid I made for him is much lighter than the one I use for me above photo.
I do this for myself every morning, almost no matter what.
I also recommend and offer it for my family including animal family, friends, and my clients, whenever I can.
If you do not have loquat leaves, you can scrub/rub your body with sea salt hot water: 4 cups hot water with one tablespoon sea salt. For animals, use one teaspoon sea salt.
If you do not have sea salt then just do with hot /warm water.
I know that scrub/rub helps my skin and my bloodstream move smoothly and purify and activate my blood. Also, help my animal family getting benefits for their health.
I hope this blog helps you and your animal family’s health.
Nalu (mother) and Kai (father)’s puppies are growing smoothly.
These puppies have been teaching me about what preciousness is in life.
After three weeks old, some puppies’ teeth started to show up, but some of them had no sign of teeth so I could see their growth difference as much as their dognality (personality).
Nalu is a tall, slender, active dog so she did not grain too much weight when she got pregnant. After she gave birth, she lost weight. I want to make sure she gains weight.
Nalu ate lots of protein (beans, tofu, natto, etc. ) and sweet rice, which helps produce milk and gain weight. She also ate mochi (sweet rice cake) with nori seaweed every day.
She ate three times a day and morning snack and afternoon snack and after dinner snack.
Four weeks old, all the puppies’ teeth are growing and they started to play with each other so much. I knew that weaning time was coming so I started to make their fast weaning food.
I have done this many times, but I was hoping that this litter puppies also like my homemade weaning food for the first time.
These are some recipes I have been using and published in my Healthy Happy Pooch (HHP) book.
Puppies weaning food for breakfast and lunch (ingredients are all organic)
4 tablespoon rolled oat
4 tablespoon soy, almond, oat, or rice milk, soaked
1/2 teaspoon dill weed
1/2 teaspoon raw carob
1 teaspoon apple sauce
1 pinch slippery elm
1 pinch powder kelp
1/2 tsp flax seed meal
1/2 teaspoon Vegedog supplement
Mixed in a blender in the beginning.
They loved my food!
Look at Lani’s face.
As they grow, I add boiled sweet potato, broccoli, and carrot to their breakfast and lunch food.
Also, I add cooked beans and pasta instead of conventional puppy food (kibbles or canned food).
The pasta is very digestible and chewable so they like a lot.
Snack and Treats (ingredients are all organic) for the mid-morning and mid-afternoon
- Fruits: Apple sauce and/or mashed banana
- Cooked vegetables: carrot, sweet potato, squash, or soft broccoli
- Cooked whole-grain pasta
- Whole-grain bread with seed butter (pumpkin or sunflower) or dipped in lukewarm vegetable/miso soup or fruits juice
- HHP homemade sweet vegetable paste for puppies (Healthy Happy Pooch (HHP) page97)
- HHP homemade chia seed pudding and sesame seed paste (Healthy Happy Pooch (HHP) page 102)
- Nori (dried sea vegetables)
- Natural, organic plant-based dry puppy food
Puppies weaning food for dinner (ingredients are all organic)
1/4 cup beans soft-cooked pureed
1/8 cup brown rice soft-cooked, pureed
1/8 cup raw carrot, grated
1/8 cup raw leafy greens (kale or collard), finely minced
1 pinch powder kelp
1 1/2 teaspoon lukewarm vegetable soup or purified water (moisten food, if necessary)
1/2 teaspoon flax seed meal
1~2 tablespoons Natto (fermented soybeans )
Mixed in a blender a little bit.
Quantity needs to change/add as they have grown, also depending on what kind and size of the puppy.
I believe all my animal families come to me to teach me so I am grateful to learn more.
One more thing I cut their nails for the first time.
As you see, I did while they were asleep.
When I was younger, I never thought that I was just going to marry and have a child when I grow up. But after I turned 38 years old, I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and could not have the baby; then, I realized that I wanted to connect with new birth.
Of course, I did not know how to experience a new birth of life at that, but the universe had a plan.
The first dog lived with me in America was Sakura (meaning my favorite flower in Japan, cherry blossom); she was eight weeks old sheltie mix and came from a shelter.
I have adopted many more dogs and cats from shelters and rescues since then naturally.
After I recovered from ovarian cancer, I read a book by Nakako Yamamoto’s “Henry Heals People.” This book was about how Nakako trained her dog, Henry, to be a service/therapy dog.
I always wanted to train my dog to be a service/therapy dog and go to hospitals and senior centers as a volunteer, so this book gave me a good clue to make it happen.
One year before I read Nakako’s book, I adopted eight weeks old Shepard mix puppy from a shelter, but she died three days after she came to my house. I was so shocked and cried out so much in sadness.
I went to the shelter and told them what happened to the puppy.
They said, “It is less than one month so you can exchange for any other dog.”
The puppy was not something like I want to exchange my sweater.
My stomach got twisted as I was so upset hearing that.
I also found out later that she was sick already before I adopted her.
It was such a painful experience.
After I had this awful experience, I had a chance to raise eight weeks old Golden Retriever puppy. It was a very well-known breed dog, so I should be happy, right?
But I am a kind of odd person who comes to popular things so I was not attracted to what most people like.
My husband, Eric, choose a little puppy girl, but I was not sure about this most popular kind of dog at first. Anyway, I named her “Kin,” meaning gold in Japanese, and raised her with Sakura. Sakura was a grouch older dog, but Kin put up Sakura’s stubbiness and was very patient.
Kin convinced me that why many people love Golden Retriever dogs and also showed me how kind-hearted and sympathetic a dog she was.
By the way, one of my books, Healthy Happy Pooch’s front cover photo is Kin and Sakura on the beach.
Kin looked different than usual Golden Retriever, slender, athletic, and short fur so most people thought she was Labrador, but not eating enough. She was always friendly to other people and other dogs, but she was a serious dog and supporting my emotions a lot so I felt that I could do anything freely when I was with her.
I did many things with her and went to many different places.
When I deiced to go studying Macrobiotics at Kushi Institute in Beket, Massachusett, Kin came with me and I saw her walking down to the Becket General Store with my teacher Michio Kush sensei.
I crossed America driving twice and one time Eric and I went to Prince Edward Island in Canada with Kin and her two puppies (Dore and Kula).
I trained her to be a service dog and passed a test to be a volunteer for the Los Angeles Children Hospital.
Later, I had an opportunity to have Kin’s puppies with a champion golden retriever male dog then I helped to birth Kin’s puppies in 2000. This was my first dog midwife practice and I did know anything about being a dog midwife.
Kin was 3 years old, but she taught me how to follow my heart.
I kept her daughters (Dorem Kula and Oro) and later I got another opportunity to raise Kin’s ground puppies.
They were dogs, but Kin was my dog daughter and I had dog ground daughters then later even great dog ground kids.
I never dreamed to have my kids this way, but they were really my kids and made me feel so real and happy.
Watching Kin’s happiness with her daughters and after she passed I watched her ground puppies’ birth and raising them as healthy happy puppies and dogs were my happiness.
One of Kin’s ground-son, Kona (he was Dore’s son) became a wonderful service dog and he helped Patric Ivison for about eleven years and he just retired the last year.
I am so proud of Kona.
Experiencing and helping new birth of dog’s lives is very fortunate in my life.
There are too many dogs at shelters and rescues so some people have judged and criticize me badly for birthing new puppies. I am not expecting everyone to understand or accept me.
I am not a bleeder.
I am also not birthing puppies for money.
I am raising healthy happy puppies.
I am committed to finding guardians who raise my puppies.
I have raised 18 dogs and 7 cats including 5 dogs and 7 cats from shelters/rescues in the last 30 years.
I also contribute to work as a volunteer for one of the rescues “A Purposeful Rescue,” to help animals who have had trauma, injured with Animal Communication, Animal Reiki, Bach Flowers Remedy, and Animal Massage, etc.
About 2 months ago, our Nalu gave birth to her six healthy puppies.
Our Kai is a father.
Because of this pandemic, the veterinarian hospitals were not open as usual so I was a little concerned if something happened to Nalu’s puppies what I was going to do, but everything went great.
After Nalu’s water broke, she gave birth to the first puppy in 15 minutes.
It was the most smooth births I ever helped with new puppies.
I communicate with Nalu and also gave her Animal Reiki when she got a little tired after she has four puppies. After Animal Reiki she gave birth to two more puppies. She did a really great job!
I remember being a midwife to help Kin’s puppies’ birth was the closest I felt that connecting to new birth once again.
I am grateful for the universe’s plan for me.
Many people are going through so much struggle this year because of the Pandemic, but we had no problem finding people who want to raise these puppies right away. I will post later all the puppies’ photos with people who adopt them.
I wanted to post photos and these puppies story,
but I really wanted to focus my time to raise healthy, happy puppies so there was no time till now.
Yesterday, Masayo who adopted one of the puppies sent me a message “Made your homemade treats from the Healthy Happy Pooch book. It took time to make them so I felt your love for these puppies. Thank you very much! These puppies are happiest puppies in the whole world”.
I almost cry when I read the word “Happiest puppies in the whole world”.
It is my life mission to raise the happiest puppies in the whole world!
I appreciate to new lives of puppies so much!