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Our New Coffee Station and Feeling Japanese

Our coffee maker was leaking water a bit when we ran it.  After trying to "trouble shoot" fixing it, Nespresso offered us a 50% discount off of a new one (they want to keep us addicted).  The new coffee maker gave me motivation to change things up in the kitchen.
These colorful oil paintings were bargains that I bought at the Long Beach, California flea market.
  (The leaky Nepresso is going back to college with Tommy).  

 Last week, my friends and I took  a morning off and went to

Located inside the Golden Gate Park, it's the oldest public Japanese garden in the United States.
We met a guide with SF City Guides there.  
He gave us a free tour (donations encouraged).

Trust me and take the tour…you will find it interesting.  
This granite basin was for the ritual of washing your hands before tea.

This is a big Buddha…but there is a little one hidden 
elsewhere that we wouldn't have known about without the tour guide.

The gardens are surprisingly serene and cool.
Here is the other little hidden Buddha.

Afterwards we went to Japantown
fun to walk around there!  
At the grocery store, I bought pickled ginger and wasabi for when we buy sushi at Safeway (surprisingly good--but not enough ginger or wasabi).  Then, we had a nice bento box for lunch.
 Afterwards, we went tBenkyo-do 

for the most amazingly delicious mochi, freshly made rice paste pastries.
(Alie, we have to go here…and same goes for any other visitors!)

The Japanese really know how to make lovely paper…
you will find a couple stores walking around Japantown.
 Look at this origami…  made from one dollar bills… no
cutting (according to the cheerful elderly Japanese shopkeeper).
She said "good way to save money--no one want to spend after all that work!"

This is a catfish!  All one piece of paper.
They even got the placement of the eyes right.
There is also a really fun dollar store there…I could go on and on…
just go to Japantown and see for yourself.

Back to our kitchen...
It's good Feng Shui (yes, I know that is Chinese) 
to have organization in a kitchen and "Voila!"
My spoons are flea market finds with "P's" or "M's" on them.
Have you taken my advice and purchased 
one of these Nespresso machines?
If you like a latte or cappuccino, this is your boy.
The cherries must be out of season already…
these were way overpriced.  But notice the turtle bowl.
"Turtles stand for 1,000 years of longevity", 
according to our Tea Garden tour guard.
We all knowingly shook our heads…
but exactly WHO is living 1,000 years?
Roosters stand for success in Feng Shui (this is all stuff I remember from reading a book five years ago on vacation so I am NO expert) and pointing him towards the window keeps the bad energy out.
So, anyway, I'm feeling good, Qi(氣)(pronounced "chee" in English)
positive energy in here.  

But now that I'm feeling Japanese, 
I'm going to drink more tea, 
I really think so.