Monday, March 31, 2008

My new term has started!

Today it is the last day in March, but it is MONDAY, so my new term has started.

But unfortunately, this term I don't have any new students. on the other hand every student in the last term keeps my lesson this year. So It's OK.

As a last lesson in March, I invited a famous English-drama teacher, and my students and she made an English drama for 2 hours in a hall, after the lesson their parents came to see the drama. Everybody (students and parents) look excited. I believe they really enjoyed using live English there. I love seeing their exciting and delightful faces. This year I'll enjoy "English" with them, though sometimes I must scold or encourage them.

This term, I decieded to hold my concert with my friends in summer. The title is "Collaboration with JAZZ and English picture book". Piano and English&Japanese story teller is me, song and other story tellers are my friends. AND of course bass is my husband.

The master of the tea room (I play the piano once a month there) assist us.

It is one of events for my "second" life.

Yes my second life has also started.

Today my husband I had breakfast without kids. So I sent the photo to them using my"cell phone" . Actaully I bought my own cell phone, because from April the telephone fares with family is "free".

Friday, March 21, 2008

woodworking "cherry blossoms"

What's this? It's a set of wooden cherry blossoms chopstic holder. Each petal of a cherry blossom is a holder.
Who made it? I made it.
I cut lots of wooden plate with jigsaw. I needed to practice using a jigsaw, so before makig it I made some wooden plates; a carrot, a maple, a cat.
When I practiced, I cut zelkova tree plates. After that I cut 5 kinds of tree plates. (I'm afraid I forgot the names). So the five colors are natural colors in the trees themselves. I applyed natrual pure oil to bring out their color clealier.
If the oil begins to peel away, applying olive oil make them recovered.
Now I'm in my spring vacation. I'm realy enjoying my vacation.
I did the work at a studio. It took about 1 hour from here by car. My friend drove me there.
We had a good time there from 10 to 3 including homemade lunch.
Usually I feel that I'm always run after by time. But today I realy spent calm day.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

convenient kitchen tools

These days I bought two kitchen tools. They are really convenient.

Now there are two members in this house, I'm still a house wife. And even if I were single, I would be a house wife. Though some (Japanese ) men enjoy cooking, most women enjoy cooking. On the other hand most (except my husband) enjoy do-it-yourself, probably. (I hear "what an old-fashion thinking!")
Anyway these tools are really convenient.
This one I bought at a 100-yen shop (kind of 1$ shop, or one coin shop).
We can cut leek really thinly like a hair. In Japanese the way of cut "SHIRAGA-NEGI" (SHIRAGA means white hair).
Now it is the season of UDO, I cut it thinly.

Another one is a glass bowl to make pickles for one meal. It's not so expencive.
Last night I put some cabbage and carrots, and this morning "here you are".

Did you find some intereseting or convenient kitchen tools these days?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Did you update it?

What is "it"? Here! This is a present from my daughter's father to my daughter.

The day before yesterday, it was "White day".

Do you know "White day"? On the day in Japan men "have to " presentg something to ladies who presented Valentine chocolate to the men.

Do you have such a custom in your country?

Anyway my husband did. And he asked me whether I updated it in my blog. He says "it's not fair, if you updated only her Valentine chocolate.

So I did it.

BUT where is the present for me?

Nothing. It can't be helped.

Actually he had forgot the day until I told him.

On the day my dauhther mumbled "though I know it, anyway it was white day, and I gave Valentine cholate to him, it was not leftover"

So I told to him. And yesterday he asked me where the good sweet shop was.

So we (my husband and I) dropped by at "my" favorite sweets shop.

He bought it by himself, and I bought sweets for my family.

Actaully the chocolate I boungt on the Valentine's day, was shared with these three members.

So the sweets I bought was also shared with us.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

all lessons in this term are finished.

Yesterday it was the last lesson in this term. From today my spring vacation has begun.

In the last adult's lesson, we enjoyed having a light snack: sour daugh bread, homemade jam and margarine through this book written by that Eric Cale.

In this book he introduced an origin of pretzel.

Until I read this book, I didn't know that pretzel was bread.

Lately pretzel crackers seem to be common in Japan. It was the first time for me to know pretzel cracters when we went to America about 10 years ago. We (my daughters and I) ate them in the plane for the first time. At that time for us they were strange taste. But during our staying in America, here and there we "met" pretzel crackers. So We brought them to Japan as one of souvenirs.

And now I knew, pretzel bread was made without milk.

So I baked sour daught bread again, because it is also baked without milk.

These days I'm really into picture books especaily about "food".

From next term, I'm going to held a small workshop "enjoy English picture books through reading and eating by aunt Mieko's way" with some charge (not volunteer work).

As soon as I finished all lessons in this term, I started to think about next step not to be caught by empty syndrome. (Unfortunately I've been caught with by a pollen allergy.)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Came back from Canbodia

Who? not me, my daughters and my mother-in-law. And now my younger daughter came home and is still in bed.Yesterday I talked with her.
It seemed for her to have had many or some troubles with her grand mother and have had lots of valuable, interesting, and enjoyable things.I was able to expect some troubles would happen with my mother-in-law.So I also talked to my mother-in-law on the phone yesterday.
But anyway generally the trip seemed to be good for everyone.Actually all of them came back JAPAN without troubles.
I'll tell you each complaints later. Most of them were caused by the difference of their generation.
Well, the most surprised thing for me was that;she (my younger daughter ) said "I reconsidered you (me), your (volunteer) work is actually needed. I'm proud of you."
What ? What ? What happened to her?I was really surprised.
As you know, my family is registered as a host family. We had lots of guests from various countries. Some guests came from Asian developing countries. Because some of my friends are really eager to do some volunteer work for them (for example to collect and send unused stationery). The friends are really attractive. Against my surface I'm not so eager to do volunteer work, but more I know them, more I want to do something with the friends. I always think that I might be a hypocrite, so I hesitate to do something for people or refugee directly, but I want to help or do something with my friends.When my daughters were small, they did together without thinking. But older they got, more they hesitated to do such volunteer work. Because they also think themselves to be hypocrites.
And this time they went there by themselves. Probably places they visited were not so poor area. But for them it seemed to be enough. Doing what we can do is necessary. Pretending to be sleeping is insincere.So my younger daughter seemed to reconsider me.
AND my daughter seemed to talk a lot with some Japanese girls who are doing volunteer work there. And --- I don't know, what will happen.
But anyway this trip gave a concrete opportunity to look at another world.

Monday, March 10, 2008


Yesterday I got fresh eggs and fresh HIJIKI from my friend.

She has some hens, and lives near the sea. So last weekend her husband (he is a vet) went to the sea and pick HIJIKI.

We (Japanese ) usually use dry HIJIKI picked this season. So only this season we can eat fresh HIJIKI.

There is no sea around this city, so the fresh HIKIKI is a great present.

On the other hand there are mountains arount the city. I get(not pick) fresh SANSAI (edible wild plants) easily and inexpensively. I got UDO.

This time I inew, UDO is a JAPANESE vegetable, so the English name is "UDO".

Have you hard of it?

Today's breakfast was a sunny-side-up egg, and HIJIKI and UDO salad.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

sour dough Itaran bread

These days I try to cook something after reading picture books or books in which some meals or sweets are introduced.
And I try to bake Itarian bread using sour dough.
What is Itarian bread? Is it right that it is bread using olive oil istead of butter and including Itarian sezoning?
Anyway I tried to bake it with that home bakery. ( Did you remeber I bought that appliance last year?)
I heard some sour dough is hard to use home bakery, but some sour dough is "easy" .
So I bot SHIRAGAMI ferment, and I tried.
Well done!
On the other hand I got some BUNTAN (looks like grape fruit, but sweeter), and make peel.
Well done!
So next week I'll bake ORANGE bread with the home bakery.
Cooking is fun -- until now. (Probably after a while, I will be tired of cooking.)

Friday, March 07, 2008


This morning I found some buds of FUKUJYUSOU in the garden.
Yes, "real" spring is just around the corner.
Though I turn on the heater early morning, in the afternoon my stduents ask me to turn off the heater. I know it is getting warm though I put hot compass on my back.

Well, untill now I don't any news from my daughters, it means they are in safe travel.
Today, it is the last day of this week, after adult's lesson, I'm going to go out for luch with my adult students to celebrate late HINAMATSURI.
(It is said we have to put away HINA dolls right after HINA MATSURI, if we don't do that it is said ladies can not marry. BUT all of us are married women, so we don't mind celebrateing HINAMATSURI later.)

Monday, March 03, 2008


Today it is HINA MATSURI;a girl's festival.

This morning we had special sweets that was sent from my friend living in NAGASAKI.

This sweets is one of specialty in NAGASAKI.

HINA MATSRU has another name. It is MOMO no SEKKU. MOMO means peaches, and SEKKU means a celebration. And in NAGASAKI Kasutera (kind of pancake) is really famous. So, it seems to be natural to bake KASUTERA decorated MOMO there in this season.

Did I tell you?

My job of making lunch box finished. Instead of it, I bought a new box, and keep making three dishes .

Light green; pickled vegetables

Orange; marinated carrots

White; simmered yello tail with leek

AND this specail sweets

My husband and I had it this morning.

And probably my daughters and my mother also had eat the same sweets last night.

Yes, now there are two members in this house.

Anyway this week has started.

This week my students and I are going to craft easter eggs again.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

graduation ceremony

My younger daughter graduated from high school. It was a good ceremony.

This time I really thought that it was like my "ceremony".

It might be the last time sing traditinoal songs for a graduation ceremony, and to sing the national anthem, and to wear my blue suit.

I really thought my mother's job has finished.
She went to this private school for 6 years, through the junior high school and the high school.

When she entered the high school, her feet was so small that she bought specail shoes instead of regular shoes. So se didn't need to worry about the pain because of new hard leather shoes; she had worn kids' shoes for a few years. Her friends would envy her.

She and I had lots of troubles about friends, fashion, and grade though those troubles were usual things for the awkward age.
I really thought the ceremony was not only for her but also me. I really realized I also graduated from mother's job.

Today my husband and I ate this sweet. On the surface there are the emblem of her high school and the director's name of the school.
Well, the last father's job for him is carrying her stuff to TOKYO by car.