Thursday, December 28, 2006

flower arrangement for the New Year

This photo was sent by my elder daughter. Today she arranged these flowers for the New year. She lives next to my mother's house. My mother was a teacher of Japanese flower arrangement. Even now she enjoyed arranging flowers.
According to her mail, they picked these flowers in my mother's garden and did it.
She said "Grandma looked happy".I understood, because her grandchild (my daughter) did it together. My daughter "had to "do it, but she also seemed to enjoy it.

Arranging special flowers for the New year is needed to welcome new year like arranging Christmas tree for Christmas. Actually today I also did it. Well, in my case I just bought a bunch of New Year's flowers and put them into a vase. Though it is excuse, we don't have daffodils because this area is too cold for them to bloom. I'm really surprised daffodils already open in TOKYO though they might have bought daffodils.

I'm really glad for my daughter to be dutiful to her grandmother instead of me.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


Do you know YUZU-kosyou? It is kind of YUZU paste which is mixed with peels of YUZU and green peppers. ( The green one on the left is also made by green pepper which is not ripe yet.) It has a wonderful fragrance and spicy taste. It really suits to soup or pot-food (NABE RYOURI).
My friend has made it from about 4 years ago. She is a farmer. She started it without any special reason, just shouting "MOTTAINAI; (what a waste)". Because every year many "YUZU" are left on the trees in the garden without beging used.
At first she sold them at flea market, and I helpd her. ( I made labels).
Next year some women (who were her neighbors and farmers) joind her, and they bought a specail machine to peel the skin, and made them in the processing houseof the town instead of her house. And they made and sold YUZU-kosyou more.
This year they got subsidy from the town, and sell as the specailty of the town.

She is always smiling. Sometimes she says "I met many troubles becasue I was not born as a farmer". But she is always smiling. And she often brings many veg or rice taking care of me.
Thanks Ms. EZURE, I love you! You always encourage me!

Now I have to call her "Executive Ezure".

Sunday, December 24, 2006

How is your Christmas?

25th is a weekday in Japan, so most Japanese must be enjoying this weekend. (Now it is Sunday.)
My mother didn't come, so I'm not busy, I'm spending this weekend as usual weekend, but a little bit cook harder.
Though yesterday it was Saturday and a national holiday, my husband had to work from the afternoon. So I cooked my specail fried chicken for brunch.

After burnch he went to work, and my daughter went out to meet her friends.
So I decided to go out to do 30-minute exercise.
After that I bouhgt a bootle of wine , cheese and fresh ham.
At night we enjoyed them at late snack time.

And today, everybody went out except me. I'm going to tidy up some closets. Am I boared? not so boared, because tonight we are going to go to a guiter concert. I'm a housewife, so being at home is a usual thing on "weenends". AND next week I'm going to go out for lunch with my friend sometimes!

Well this pot is "new", I bought it for myself as a Christams present.

How is your Christams?

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The word of "farmer"

Before keeping today's diary, I'd like to say "thanks" to Jan.
Yesterday she sent an e-mail, and taught me useful words. She suggested to use "a strawberry farmer" instead of an orchardist , and moreover told "an horticulturist of straberries" is better.

I really understand, thank you.
I always welcome such e-mails and comments.

Well, the word of "farmer" recall me one thing.

More than 10 years ago, when I visited to my daughter's school on parents' day.
A New Zealand lady was invited to tell us about her country. Besides her one man was standing as a volunteer interpreter.

She told "farmers" having sheep. He interpreted "NOUKA no hitsuji ga --- " and was confused. And of course we (parents and kids) were also confused.
His interpretation was right, "farmers" means "NOUKA". BUT in Japan usually "NOUKA" don't have sheep , usually they grow rice, vegetables. so we heard the Japanese sentence strange.
He needed to add some extra explanation, "in New Zealand it is usual thing for "NOUKA" to have sheep". (I think he didn't know that.)

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


This week is called "Christmas week" in our class, so I read some Christmas books; for example we enjoy "I SPY Christmas version", and after that we do craft. Upper glade students make snowmen, and lower grade students make these "Mr.SANTA". Of course the final step of both craft is put "CHIRORU" chocolate. It is fun and yummy.

Well, I'll tell another interesting topic. Though I told you that I had attend "Jazz chants work shop" the other day, immediately I try to do chants in my class.
The chant is like that (singing along jingle bell song)
Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, What would you like to want?
Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, What would you like to eat?
Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, Where would you like to go?
Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, ------- let's have fun.

To the third question, lower grade students said "star, moon, future , etc".
What a pure and wonderful image do they have! (though a student said "go shopping")

and upper grade students said -- nowhere special!
So I suggested them "what word do you choose to "please "me" ?"
the words are like thatt
ravel, the world, the space, the Mars, and --hot springs, cram school, high school
For upper grade students I'm really an elderly woman (OBASAN) and a little bit strict "teacher".
Anyway we are enjoying this week.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


I got these straberries from a friend. This season the price of straberries is really high, so I'm really happy to get it.

This prefecture is well-known for straberries, probably every year's pack of straberries is a top in Japan. The straberries have a brand name : "TOCHIOTOME".

One of my husband friends is an orchardist of strawberries (though these strawberries were presented not by him). He works for these 4 monthes and earn all money for his life. He grows specail "TOCHIOTOME" and sells them to famous fruit shops and restaurants in big cities. For the 4 monthes he is said to work really hard without sleeping. After that his usual life seems to be gracious.

Well, go back to these straberries. When my daughters were little, I always bake a round cake and decorate it with lots of straberries and fresh cream. NOW my daughter said "instead of usual banana-yoghurt, make straverry- yoghurt. It's more healthy than cake".

it is right, so this morning we had "healthy" straberry yoghurt , of course my husband too.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Carolyn Graham & Jazz chants

Do you know Carolyn Graham?
Her books are mainly publised from Oxford.
Acccording to the Oxford press, she is ihtroduced like that;

Carolyn Graham is the creator of Jazz Chants® , which connect the rhythm of spoken American English to the beat of jazz.
She developed the technique of jazz chanting during her twenty-five years of teaching ESL in the American Language Institute of New York University.
She has also taught at Harvard University and has conducted workshops in the NYU School of Education, Columbia Teachers College in New York and Tokyo, and elsewhere throughout the world. Ms. Graham is the author of numerous Jazz Chants® books, all published by Oxford University Press.

Yesterday I went out to attend her workshop. It was a kind of "trip" for me, because it was a two hour local train trip.

It was "exciting", "amazing". I was really impressed.
It was a lecture but it seemed like a "concert".

I always think to my self that I'm not good at enjoying something without thinking profits
. I tend to seek profits for events what I pay money.

For example, I go out to eat something, I always think the valnce of the contents and prices.
And I ofthen think when it's a good dish "though it's a little expensive, but considering the contents I have to accept the price".

I attend a work-shop (especailly lecture how to learn and teach English), after that I think whether it was useful for me.

though the other day I did a 30 minute exercise, after that I thought that it might be effective to keep in a good shape.

This time, I really enjoyed without any excuse.
Reconsidering myself well, I always enjoy "music". "Plaing the piano" and "listning to music" always make me calm and relaxed. And this time the "show" (though it was a "lecture") gave me a lot of fun.

Friday, December 15, 2006

I did 30-mitnues-exercise

I "dislike" (or hate) excersise. My friends who know me very well, knew it, apparently I seems to be good at sports. (just I praised my self)
On the contrary I'm not in good shape. Coldness ( and probably aging) makes me worse.

This winter my right sholder always hurts. According to the doctor I'm suffering a light hernia symptom of cervical vertebrase. (I'm not sure this sentense makes sense) because of the coldness and aging.

I'm really disappointed. I know I'm getting old, and I alreday have a light menopausal disorder.

ANYWAY I need exercise to warm my boday.
So I went to do 30-minutes-exercise using instruments in a fitness club. Recnetly the fitness club opend, and it is getting populer among women who don't like sports very much.

Not so bad, my family recomends to continue it.
If I don't hesitate to go out there, I can do it probably.

Now I look for partners, who persistently ask me to go there.
About doing exercise, I'm really negative.

snowmen with chocolates

Next week my students (I teacn English and piano to kids and some adults), and I are going to make these snowmen, and they will take them filled with some chocolates to home as a Chritstmas presents.

Can you see some tiny chocolates? They are called "CHIRORU" chocolates. They are really populer among Japanese kids, especailly the black sesami taste (the rightest side of the chocolates).


I was boiling "ZENMAI" (kind of SANSAI--edible wild plants) while I was doing "winter cleaning".
What is "ZENMAI"? If you intereseted in it, please check this website.

These days I'm into using "slow cooker". It' really useful and helpful for us. I cooked "zenmai" using "slow cooker". Do you use "slow cooker" ?
Well, and have you eaten "zenmai" or "sansai"?
If you visited Japan, and stay somewhere without sea, probably you must welcom by dishes of "sansai" instead of "sashime".

Anyway I did "winter cleaning". Though after "winter cleaning" , the rooms and kitchen get dirty. But I just do usual simple cleaning. I finised a December job of a housewife.

the photo of sky

Can you guess where the photo of sky was taken? A few weeks ago my yougher daughtr went to a school excursion to OKINAWA.
Yes, this is the sky of OKINAWA.

This week she finaly developed the film, and showd them to me.
Most of photos are the photos of her friends without special views of OKINAWA. It can't be helped, because she is "just" a girl, and she said " We(my family) have been to OKINAWA, at that time I took lot of photos of OKINWA, so I didn't need more". It sounds natural.

Anyway she re-started to take photos of sky.

When she was a junior high school students, she often took photos of sky; and one day she watchd the sky too much, she had a traffic accident and was delivered to a hospital by ambulance, fortunately she didn't suffer case, of course now she was really fine.

BUT when she was a high school student she stopped doing it, and she was always impatient. Now she seems to get herself together and started to take photos again.
I'm really glad.
This Christmas Eve we are going to classical guitar consert together.

I changed my diary website.

Hi, this is Mieko. I changed my diary website. If you link my previous site, please change it to this cite.
AND if you are a new visitor, please link it! I want to be a friend with you.