I've gotten my days and nights mixed up. I didn't know it at the time, but it all started Saturday morning when I began to develop a headache. I tried taking a few pills but it didn't help. It stayed with me all day, into the night, and all through the night. It kept me from getting much sleep and it was just as bad in the morning. It may have been worse because all I got done was to unload the dishwasher before I felt too sick to stay upright.
I took a few more pills, and then went back to bed. I must have slept a bit better because it was early afternoon when I finally awoke. The headache was still there, but I was no longer feeling sick.
The problem is that because I slept all yesterday morning, I couldn't sleep well last night. Which just means that I won't have any problems staying awake for midnight to roll around this evening. That is really not a happy thought.
Our landscape has been quite snowy the last several days. It isn't terribly cold, but cold enough (low to mid 30's) to keep the snow around. It was dry all day today and overcast. However, the distant mountains on the mainland were visible (including Devil's Thumb) so the clouds were quite high. The snow covered mountains were highlighted against a deep blue background (rather than the gray clouds).
The only Japanese noodles we are able to get here are somen noodles. This morning I searched the web to look for instructions on making udon. I found some -- from a little bit complicated to really, really complicated. It sounded like an all day affair so I dropped that idea.
But in the process I stumbled across recipes for some of the traditional New Year celebration foods. I spent the afternoon putting together some kuromame, datemaki, and kurikinton. I did not use the rusty nails in the kuromame, and I don't have a cast iron pot, so the beans came out brown, rather than black. The chestnuts for the kurikinton were not of the highest quality. And I had to start with the raw chestnuts -- shell them, and then cook them in sugar. There are no Asian food stores here so no way to purchase pre-packaged chestnuts. And what I had were yams rather than sweet potatoes, so it turned out red rather than yellow. As for the mochi, the only thing I could find in town was a box of mochiko, so I did the best I could with it. It comes out rather soft and mushy. All in all, an approximation of a few of the Japanese New Year's dishes.
As I write, there are just 4 or so hours left in 2007. There are just two more time zones beyond ours, and there isn't much in the way of population in those two time zones. So I think I'm pretty safe in wishing everyone a Happy New Year at this time.