Marc Steuben’s Taiko Drum Update

Hi everyone – thanks to all your work, we have two new drum heads! Photo
is attached. These are dry now, so all I need to do for the heads is do
some lacing and drill the rope holes. We have the body, but it will need
some work too, so maybe in a couple of weeks or so I’ll bring everything
to class and we’ll put it together (much easier than making the heads)

See you all this Saturday at 9:30 for regular class. We’ll keep working on
up Matsuri and Renshu rounds.


drum heads dried


Keiro-no-Hi at Simpson UMC

Respect of the Aged Day, or Keiro-no-Hi, was established as a national holiday in Japan in 1966 to express respect for the elders in the community, to recognize and thank them for their contributions to society, to celebrate their long lives and offer special gifts to bring even more longevity to their lives.  It was initially held every September 15th but since 2003 it has been held on the 3rd Monday of every September.

At Simpson United Methodist Church we celebrate Keiro-no-Hi in the fall.  This year it was held on October 26th.  A celebration luncheon was provided for those in the Simpson community that were 80 years of age or older.  The ladies made baked salmon and an asian chicken salad and the congregation contributed special dishes to share.


The special gift this year was Manju, a Japanese dessert. The outside is made from sweetened rice powder or sweetened pounded rice and inside is a delicious filling of anko red bean paste made from boiled azuki beans and sugar or other similar bean paste.  The children of the congregation and their Sunday School teacher folded many origami boxes and inside was placed a Manju and an individually wrapped green tea bag.



imageThe congregation of Simpson UMC truly appreciate and respect their elders.  We are especially thankful for their establishing the Simpson community so many years ago.  All look forward to this celebration each year and we are grateful for the opportunity this particular mini festival allows in that all are able to reconnect and bond with each other on this special day.


Messages Received from Sermon “Unfinished Journeys” Pastor Tezenlo Thong

“Unfinished Journeys”

Pastor Tezenlo Thong

October 26, 2014

 Messages received from Sermon by Tezenlo Thong:

  • What can your personal ministry do to help another on their journey?
  • What can your personal ministry do to help yourself on your journey?
  • Do journeys need to be finished to be successful?
  • Big dreams and journeys are not always fulfilled in the lifetime of the dreamer.
  • The journey itself is important.
  • What is the finishing line of a journey?
  • The lessons learned and your personal acceptance of the same may be the finished journey.

Marc Steuben Makes a Taiko Drum! Part 1


Marc Steuben is teaching his students the art of making a Taiko drum.image

His first task is to find a suitable drum, here he’s using a Western drum which will be quite different when he’s completed the project.  The outside of the drum will be covered with wood slats or a wood finish.

He soaks cowhide in water overnight and stretches it over special made metal rings.



He teaches the students the correct tension for the wet leather and as it dries it will shrink making the perfect drum head.




Here is one of the drum heads and you can see the brand on the hide.





Mark has devised a special stretcher for his drum heads.







Note how he carefully uses a water bottle as a level to make sure he gets the tension even around the entire surface.  😄 he actually forgot his level and was improvising quite clever!




He then drills 10 or 12 holes around the edges and puts a screw through both top and bottom to further hold the leather in place as it dries.

Done for the day.  To be continued……….




Dogs Confess and Today’s Lesson

The new tenants in the house next-door have children.

I caught them teasing my dogs.

One of their toys, a large red and green rubber ball, made it over my really high fence and into my yard.  My dogs quickly shredded it into small pieces! They immediately confessed to me what they had done and that they had found the act of shredding and destroying very satisfying.

Dogs live in the moment and although they were feeling guilty briefly they were back to their happy selves almost immediately.

They are constantly giving me lessons today’s lesson was live in the moment don’t dwell on mistakes you may have made.


Holdin’ Toes

This definitely put a smile on my face!


Holdin' Toes

Holdin’ hands is supposed to be special,
But really, anyone can do it.
Just grab a hand and don’t let go,
That’s all there really is to it.

But my way of holdin’ is a little bit different.
In fact, I’m sure no one else even knows…
Just take off your shoes, and then your socks,
Cuz my way is holdin’ toes.

From Poem Man


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