Hello Friends, Hello 2021

I have just updated my business website. Please visit: norikomarshall.com

Since 2020 has been a year of isolation, I barely had a chance to see you. So I decided to share my humble, almost miserable, not-so-exciting 2020 album with you. I hope my album will be richer having more of your presence in 2021 and on.


I decided to become a Zen buddhist in late 2019. I still try to sit daily, but sometimes, it is interrupted by Bünbün.


The tea ceremony class was cancelled. So the long-hybernated Teddy Bear was dragged out to accompany me for the ceremony…

Asian Camellia shipped from a nursery in South Carolina last year, finally started to bloom brightening the virus ravaged, dystopian downtown scenery.


I was living with the outdoor man from Vermont for so many years. Alan introduced me to snowshoeing, kayaking, crosscountry skiing and so forth. Last few years, I am slowly bringing back all these activities to my life.

My new pair of Rossignol is waiting for the new adventure in the snow!

The outdoor-sport-ready Subaru, though, stays in the garage most of the time, as I try to use public transportation for my transportation needs.


I attended numerous zen events at Chobo-ji before the pandemic started. The zen cooking prepared by monks there are extremely delicious and satisfying. It also inspired me to go back to my roots.

Up until I left for college, I spent every evening cooking with my grandma. The food is mostly vegetarian, and my grandma and I prepared many things from scratch.



They are fascinating. According to Paul Stamets, the famous mycologyst in Olympic Peninsula, “Mushrooms can help save the world”. I have a dream to design and install a mushroom garden to treat stormwater. Please let me know if you are interested.

Before I sold my orchidarium (due to lack of space…), I tried mushroom kits inside the orchidarium. The project was extraordinary successful. I dried the fresh Shiitake under the sun for a few hours to induce Vitamin D production.

I used to help my grandmother to sun dry Shiitake mushrooms in the sunny patio in rural Japan.


Basically, the most responsible thing for me to do this year, is staying home (because of the darn virus!).

Yet, I occasionally crawled out from home and took a walk either alone or with friends. I treasured every moment the rare opportunities I had with Genki and my friends.


…the pandemic and the constant harrasments from the wreckless president and his brethrens, were not enough, we were forced to hide even deeper in the house due to the smoke from the forest fires.

In the photo, I am pointing the Space Needle from the roof garden of the Mosler Condo building where I live. The sunset during that time was very orange-red. Eerie. Something out-of-this-world.


Dylan, my older son, has published an important paper on Biochemistry at Harvard. It is well-received, and he is happy with the fruitition of his hard work.

Genki, my younger son keeps working at Uwajimaya. He has become pretty fluent in Japanese. His plan to go to Japan has been postponed (due to the xxxxxxx pandemic).

Alan and his partner Kari are leaving San Jose to live in Port Orchard after this Christmas. Welcome back Alan! Alan’s side family and I have had several Zoom meetings during the pandemic. It, to me, is kind of a lifeline.

My brother, Kenji took an early retirement from the professorship at Kanazawa University due to an ailment, and came back to Kyushu to live with our mother. He said the best thing happened to him in his entire life was marrying Fuku-chan. Ah, such a wonderful thing to say.

My sister, Eriko’s family is thriving. Her ever-responsible husband, Junichi-san retired from his civil engineering work this year. Congratulations!

Eriko’s daughter-in-law, Saori is an accomplished, international pianist. If you request, I can send you her blogsite information. Many say her music is healing.

The most of the photos in the album on the left are photos taken in 2019, as traveling is discouraged until the situation changes.


How I position myself in bed is dictated by where my kitties are positioned in my bed. Not disturbing sleeping cat is very important to every cat lover.

My emothional health during pandemic is saved by my cats and online communications with my family and friends.



My fellow resident, Elizabeth and I prepare a welcome basket for new residents in the condo building. I bake a bread for the basket.

I also started a book club at my condo building.


This is the only trip I had this year.

Kyle, Antoine and Abby basked in the sun at Ruby Beach in Olympic Peninsula. We hiked near Lake Crescent, and bathed in the emerald water.

Marsha trotted in the wild for everyone’s delight.