hamming it up for the camera…

My friend Katy directed me to some funny pet videos.

I selected the following for your viewing pleasure. Since it’s had 6,000,000+ hits, perhaps it’s already made you chuckle.

A ¬†few more won’t hurt. In fact…it’s what the experts suggest…for relieving stress.

ROLL ‘EM!!!

…hope that made your day…or evening…

………hugmamma. ¬† ūüėÜ

one family’s story, japan

TV news reports are jam-packed with videos of the destruction in Japan, including snippets of interviews with those in the midst of it all. Somehow viewing the catastrophe on such a large-scale makes it impersonal, like it’s happening over there, not here. We breathe a collective sigh of relief, and go about our business. I pause every now and then unable to wrap my brain around the fact that under the same blue sky, someone in Japan is desperately trying to hang onto any visible shred of hope that she, and her family, will once again live a normal life, and here I am, living a normal life. “There but for the grace of God…”

Rather than try to retell the story of Hideo¬†Higuchi and his family, I’m giving¬†writer Eric Bellman¬†that privilege since he authored “Winding Road to Reunion Bridges Three Generations,” which appeared in today’s Wall Street Journal.¬†

Ishinomaki city miyagi pref

Image via Wikipedia

ISHINOMAKI, Japan–Hideo¬†Higuchi¬†and his wife sat in their truck, staring at the long lake in front of them. Beneath was the road to their daughter’s home.

The Higuchi’s¬†hadn’t heard from her since Friday’s earthquake¬†and tsunami. Water and debris had blocked the road into town. Phone networks remained down. So when floodwaters receded enough Tuesday to let them through, the couple rushed to Ishinomaki on Japan’s devastated eastern coast, where their daughter lived with her husband and three sons.

“I am not from here,” said the 70-year-old rice farmer, as his bloodshot eyes tried to¬†measure whether his boxy white truck could make it through the knee-deep water. “I don’t know any other way around.”

Flag of Ishinomaki, Miyagi

Image via Wikipedia

“What is the damage like in Ishinomaki?” his wife, Sayono, 68, anxiously asked a stranger. The Higuchis¬†live 15 miles inland from Ishinomaki, in a small city shaken by the earthquake but unaffected by the tsunami.

The Higuchis turned their truck around. The bed of the Isuzu, emptied of the usual farming equipment, held a cardboard box of food and drinks. They were for their daughter’s family, if the family could be found.

The couple decided to try to find the primary school of their three grandsons–Ryo, 12, and the 10-year-old twins, Chihiro¬†and Masaki. In many small towns like this one, schools are often the tallest buildings and likeliest emergency shelters.

But the Higuchis¬†weren’t sure of the school’s name. Pointing to a map, Mr. Higuchi asked people on the street. “Is there a grade school around here? Is it an evacuation center?”

Port ishinomaki miyagi pref

Image via Wikipedia

They wound through the narrow back streets of Ishinomaki, a town of 164,000 people. On the roadsides were¬†sights rarely seen in Japan: men in military fatigues directing traffic, girls with plastic bags taped over their sneakers, old men grilling a fish over a fire in an oil can. A middle-aged woman, bowing with a particularly Japanese shame at the thought of inconveniencing a stranger, held a sign: “Please give me a ride to Watanoha.”

Mr. Higuchi stepped out of his truck and adjusted his baseball cap as he talked to some neighborhood boys. The grade school was underwater, the boys said. People there might have been taken out by helicopter.

The couple found the middle school. To search the four floors of evacuees, they split up. Each room had a roster pinned outside the door, naming the people who slept there and their age. Mr. Higuchi, with thick glasses and poor eyesight, went through more than 10 rosters.

“Oikawa…Oikawa…Oikawa,” he said repeating the married name of his daughter, Miyuki. There are a lot of Oikawas here, so his crooked fingers paused often as he went down the lists.

When Mr. Higuchi asked a cluster of kids sitting near a third-floor window if there was a grade school nearby, they answered obediently. “See that yellow building with a green roof? It’s behind there,” one boy said.

Children in Kimono, circa 1960s. In Ishinomaki...

Image via Wikipedia

Beyond the yellow building was the grade school. It wasn’t underwater. It was eerily quiet. There were evacuees on the third floor, the Higuchis¬†were told. The couple quickly walked up the steps, moving faster than they had all day. Before she finished sliding open the first classroom door, Ms. Higuchi¬†gasped. “Ryo!” She waved her hand, apparently reluctant to enter the room. “Ryo, come here.”

It was her grandson. In the room, also, were their son-in-law’s parents. “You’re all right!” they shouted at the Higuchis.

Three adults, in a display of emotion seldom seen in Japan, jumped up and down holding hands, hugged and cried. The three grandsons were then dragged into the group hugs.

The Higuchis learned their daughter’s home had been ruined by the tsunami shortly after their daughter, the only one home at the time of the earthquake, evacuated and met the rest of her family at the school. The daughter and her husband were there now, seeing if any of their belongings were salvageable. “Thank God, thank God,” the four grandparents repeated, wiping away tears and smiling.

Mr. Higuchi brought his eldest grandson down to the truck to give him one of his favorite drinks. Ryo, wearing the bright blue gym uniform he was wearing when the earthquake hit Friday, started to sip.

“We will go meet our daughter now,” said Mr. Higuchi. Asked if he knew the way, he said, “I’m OK now. My grandson is here.”

“pat-a-cake” kitties, or cool “dudes?”

Good friend Katy sent me this definite stress-reliever. Animals are always good for a hearty laugh, or at least non-stop grinning. In this case, you’ll have to click on the¬†URL below, which I assure you is virus-free. Have had my share of virus attacks to last the remainder of my life. Thank you very much.

The 2 cats in the video are “frenemies.” They definitely get along, although they never, ever smile at one another. It almost looks like a stare-down,¬†which might become a melt-down. Have I¬†piqued your interest? You won’t be disappointed. Trust me. The¬†senior citizen whose posts end up in people’s spam¬†files. But I’m getting it sorted out…one buddy blog at a time. Beyond that, who knows.

Click on http://www.wimp.com/pattycake/¬†for some “cool” fun, dudes. Their word, not mine.

how did they get these felines to agree to do the picture?…i wonder…hugmamma.

dr. amen speaks

Am including this “page” as a post, since readers don’t often click on my pages, running beneath the pictorial header at the top of the blog. So it’s reprinted below so that you don’t miss the good information contained in the accompanying YouTube videos. Enjoy!

Wanted to keep Dr. Daniel Amen’s YouTube videos close by, for when I need a spiritual boost. Watching his animated presence, hearing his laughter, partaking of his great sense of humor, and being reassured that I need not be stuck with a brain that can go askew every now and then, makes Dr. Amen a cherished friend. I like having him on my side; so I¬†want to keep him by my side. His words are not only food for my brain, but more importantly nourishment for my soul.¬†You’re always welcome to¬†visit, when you need uplifting…

a lot to digest, i know…feel free to stop by, often…hugmamma.

i’m a sucker for…

Cats and dogs, kittens and puppies! If you’re a regular visitor to my blog you know I have my share of them, 3 cats and a dog, and a “grandson” who comes to stay once-in-awhile. Of course I think they’re all the “cat’s meow” and the “dog’s bow-wow!” One of these days I’ll capture their antics on video. Until then, my daughter shared the following with me. We had a good chuckle as we both viewed the video at the same time, 3,000 miles of land separating us. Needless to say, there were many “isn’t that so cute”s reverberating through the phone’s receiver.

Whether or not you’re a sucker for felines and canines, I think you’ll agree this video shows the little furballs at their most hilarious. Go ahead and laugh out loud!

laughing’s good for the soul, and the waistline…always remember that…hugmamma.

boogying with Michael Jackson

If you’ve read my blog since day one, it’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Michael Jackson’s talent as a performer. Singing and dancing have always been in my blood, so I recognize the genius that he was. While the internet is rife with MJ’s videos, it’s not always easy finding my way¬†through the miles and miles of inventory to¬†uncover those that keep me riveted.¬†This page is¬†my own¬†catalog¬†which serves as a reminder of the once-in-a-lifetime entertainer that was Michael Jackson. And it lets me “get down with my bad self,” as my daughter¬†has said of me, once or twice.

Am posting this, as well as making it a permanent page beneath the photo header at the top of my blog. “Pages” aren’t always readily noticed; posts are. There¬†are additional youtube videos on the page, “boogying with mj,” that aren’t on this post. Coming soon will also be another page of¬†short films created by MJ. Hopefully there are some Michael Jackson fans among my readers. If not, bear with me.¬†I’m just “getting down with my bad self.” Even seniors have their moments.

i’ve got music, i’ve got rhythmn…who could ask for anything more…hugmamma.

blogging, still mind-boggling

With our recent spate of inclement weather, blogging has not been smooth. My Comcast connection has been operating in “fits and starts.” Is that the right clich√©? I can never nail those. One minute I’m typing away, churning out the words, then “poof,” I get kicked off the internet.

Lately I’ve been running between my laptop upstairs, and the household computer down here in the “bowels of the earth.” You’d think the exercise up and down stairs would’ve lost me a few pounds. But no luck, with the holidays comfortably ensconced upon me, there’s no let up in shoveling tasty morsels into my¬†eager mouth throughout the day. Frustration only increases the number of times, and the portion sizes.

I’m writing to forewarn you about the regularity with which my posts may appear. I’m still here, but most of the time I seem to be blogging in isolation, that is until Comcast gets me back out into cyberspace. I do plan to call them today, and ask if there might be a problem. I wonder how many¬†buttons I’ll have to press to get through their programmed customer service menu, to actually ask my question? I just wish the darned computer would work without any hitches. At times like this is when I feel like flinging it through the nearest window.

The other item I wanted to mention is the modification in my blog’s title. For regular readers who know that my site was known as “Hugmamma’s¬†Attention to Detail,” you might have wondered “Whaaas¬†up?” My lovely daughter and I put our pretty, little heads together¬†is “whaaa happened.”

Maintaining a blog is an ongoing challenge, especially if I want to continue¬†attracting readers. All bloggers¬†face this dilemma. While remaining¬†true to¬†its core message,¬†I must¬†tweak¬†my site¬†every now and then,¬†until it finally evolves into a product with which I’m fully satisfied.¬† I’m not there yet. Much of it is to do with my limited computer skills, like uploading photos and videos. Yes, I can learn; but no, I haven’t the patience. I simply want to write. So¬†as soon as I established the basic platform from which to launch my passion, I stopped¬†wanting to learn.¬†And so it’s my fault that all the “neat stuff” still eludes me.

While I do congratulate myself for coming this far in 4 short months, I’m itching to go farther. Long story short, I felt¬†that the¬†previous title of my blog was not helping to get my “voice”¬†further out into the internet community. The title needed¬†words which were more likely to be “clicked on.” But I didn’t think too hard upon the subject, only mentioning it to my daughter in passing.

As if waving a magic wand,¬†my daughter¬†immediately¬†proclaimed that the title of my blog should be “Hugmamma’s Mind, Body and Soul.”¬†She explained, very eloquently,¬†that my posts already¬†fell under¬†these¬†3 categories. Pet topics like Alzheimer’s and bananagrams involve the mind; food, and all its subcategories, as well as alternative health practices involve the body; and my travel commentaries and philosophical ramblings are “food” for the soul.

Like me, “Hugmamma’s Mind, Body and Soul,” continues to evolve. I hope you’ll¬†stay with me as I continue sharing my thoughts and feelings about the minutiae of every day life, mine…and hopefully, yours.¬†

huge hugs as we¬†head toward 2011, when we’ll all bloom…hugmamma.¬†¬†