Sunday, December 27, 2009

I'm ready for the New Year

How are you doing? We already changed decorations in to the New Year.
Yesterday, though Yuki went to work, he came back early and "anyway" cleaned most of the windows in the house. "Anyway" means "instantly", "quickly", and "roughly". It's OK, for "us" (probably when my mother and my mother-in-law come, they will not notice the windows were cleaned.)
Next year, it is called TORA (it means tiger)-DOSHI on the Japanese (or Chinese) zodiac calender. So I put a book which main character is tiger on the shelf of the entrance hall.
And I put some Japanese things on the other shelf and on the wall. ( Can miss-nippon-daze see them?), the right thing on the wall is Japanese kite, the left thing is a picture of Japanese straw sandal, WARA ZOURI. WARA ZOURI has nothing with the New Year goods, but just I love the picture my daughter draw.

Yesterday, I got a box of sweets from NAGOYA. It is called "KAERU-MANJYU". You can see the label of a frog. Frogs are called "KAERU" in Japanese, and "KAERU" has some other meanings. One meaning is "to return". So I'm really happy to get it, because "my daughters are going to return here for a while" (though it means my busiest week in "this" year starts.)
Tomorrow, my daughters will come back.
The day after tomorrow, my mother will come, and we will go to hot spring and stay a hotel. And my mother and my daughters will go back to TOKYO.
On the Eve of New year, Yuki and I will stay here. And on the first day of New year, we will go to TOKYO to meet Yuki's relatives.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

book 4 in Christmas

Yesterday, a friend presented this book to me. Do you know Robert Sabuda? His pop-up books are really famous, I have some, but I didn't have this book. So I'm really happy. Robert Sabuda is introduced as a paper engineer. Actually his paper "technique" is wonderful.
At the night, one junior high school girl came to take the extra lesson. So I unwrapped this book with her.

When we opened the first page, --"c, candle."
The next page --"h, home".
Yes, this book has 9 pages with Christmas"
So I asked her?
What is the next picture???
R -- rain deer.
Yes, wonderful answer, but false.
I -- "difficult". so she said "ink". Why ink? I understand, because "ink " is a typical word that starts with i in my phonics lesson.
S -- sweet.
Yes, good answer, but false.
T -- tree.
I thought it was right, but false
M -- it is difficult for her, so she said a typical phonics word "monkey".
A -- America, she said --- no, no, this book is word-famous.
S --"sleepy" -- I understand her feeling.
If she had paid attention more on this book, it would have been easier to guess the last answer.
She often makes careless miss because of her lack of observations skills, so she came yesterday night. though it is same for me.
From today, each student go back with the apple pinata. Let's enjoyg this Christmas week!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas nowadays -2-

The other day a letter was published on the newspaper.
"These days in December, here and there Santa appears, And every kid think --Santa presents something to me, I can get something from him. -- It makes me a little uncomfortable. I think we need to tell them for what day is Christmas, and a split of service and sharing."

Actually Santa is popular on a comical basis, and Santa is not religious man. But it's difficult to spend this season without the word "Santa". I understand the letter, and I agree with the letter partly. But anyway the remarkable thing to me is, most kids believe Santa. These days a called "dry" or "machinery" period. But kids are always kids.

They believe something with pure childish feeling. I like the feeling. I don't want to argue whether we believe got of not. I think it is not bad to looking forward to coming Santa. Of course these days kids or my students are good at balancing the losses and profits. So they count the presents like this, one is from my grandparents, one is from my parents, and the last one is from Santa. Additionally, in the Japanese traditional way , they can get "OTOSHIDANA, new year's monetary gift". They are completely different from Christmas presents. Some kids think that "On Christmas, I get something from Santa, and on the new year I get money from my relatives." So we need to tell the kids for what is the Christmas and the Hew Year's day in Japan.

Probably while I'm alive, Santa is alive, and the custom of getting OTOSHIDAMA continues supported commercial bases. On the other hand, Santa will never die supported pure childish feeling, and Christmas is celebrated as a family event in Japan. and the New year's ceremony continue as a Japanese family relation event.
On the 2nd my daughters will come back to Utsunomiya after we will celebrate the new year's ceremony in Tokyo. I like this book, I put a photo of this book in Japanese version.
Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus

Christmas nowadays -1-

This is notes for tomorrow, though I'll make a speech in Japanese.
Christmas is just around the corner, I call this week "Christmas week". This time I'll re-think the Christmas week in Japan, to the past, nowadays and in the future.
Long, Long time ago, oh, it's a joke, when I was a child, I was looking forward to eating a round decorated cake with my family, and getting some presents. When my mother cut it into some pieces, my brothers and I would argue always about the size. Cake was special sweet, and especially a whole round cake was special. And butter cream was common, now fresh cream is usual. We had big (but Japanese-sized) gas oven so my mother grilled chicken. Cake and chicken were the perfect feast for us. But I don't remember the phrase " Santa will come tonight!". We were not Christians, but I went to a Christian kindergarten at that time. So I remember playing Christmas pageant, singing some Christmas carols. But they were not strict Christian kindergarten. I think, at that time, Santa was not popular.

I'm not sure, since when Santa has got so popular like nowadays. But I had told to my daughters "You've been good girls, so Santa will come tonight. Let's make big socks of newspaper". Newspaper was enough big, and and really suitable to make socks easily, quickly with glue for them. The scenes were recorded on the video. On 25th morning as soon as they got up, they ran down to check the socks with joy. And on 25th, I baked a round cake and decorated it with fresh cream. And my husband bought chicken at KFC. (At that time, KFC was really popular. Additionally, when my daughters were high school students, some of their friends word part time job at KFC, so we had to have KFC chicken murmuring about the calorie.)

Anyway Christmas was a family event, now my daughters enjoy their Christmas with their friends now, and hew year celebration has been our relation's event.

poahced egg2

Are you enjoying counting days to Christmas?
Well, first I "should to " show the correct way of the poachpod.
Jan sent the photos.
And I put my breakfast photo on my photo page, a lady told the intereseting site of "eggs 4 breatfast".
If you are intereseted in it, drop it by.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

a vending machine

Most of foreign people are surprised at lots of vending machines when they come to Japan.
We can find vending machines everywhere, and they have cold drinks when it's hot, and they have hot drinks when it's cold.
I'm used to the scenery, but yesterday I was really surprised.
I found ramen(noodel) cans, not cup noodels.
I'm not sure, whether they have cold ramen can when it's hot???

Wednesday, December 09, 2009


Mr.Santa already came to Yuki and me. This morning "he" enjoyed the sauce of RHINo PERI-PERI with vegetable dishes. And I tried to use "poachpods".
Are they usual in your country?
Probably I worte before, in Japan "ONSEN TAMAGO" is populer, looks like poached eggs. I sometimes make them using rice cooker. It is easy to make because while we(not we, the rice cooker) cook rice, we can make ONSEN TAMAGO in the same rice cooker.
According to the direction, I tried to use it.

Put a little oil in the pod, break an egg into it, season -- with parsley, and
place in a small pan with about an inch of water in it. When the water starts to create a steam, cover the pan and allow to cook for about 5 minutes

And the directions says
"you will have a perfectly poaced egg (yes, perfectly) that will easily slip out of the pod." --yes, it was easily. but I failed.

Monday, December 07, 2009

in December

At first, now our living room is like that.
Lots of --- can you guess? --- apple pinatas. Last week every student made one own pinata. And this week they put something into each of them. And the last week in December, they will take it back as a Christmas present. We don't break it open, though some will do at their home.
I don't know what they put in them. Anyway I told them and their parents to prepare 30 little things for them.
And in the kitchen, I always use this old heater. Of course we also use usual heater. Though I often write or tell you, we don't have central heating system, and in this area electric kerosene fan heaters are usual. So we put an electric kerosene fan heater in each room. On the other hand I stick to use this old heater.
Yes, it's December. Yuki and I don't have special thing to celebrate Christmas. But this month at my reading shows at nursery school, and at piano shows at KARAKU, I'm going to read Christmas books and play Christmas songs. So I enjoy Christmas by myself.

Well, yesterday Yuki and I had really interesting experience, and we thought " How foolish we are!". Now we try to Skype. So yesterday we called to my friend in America on the computer. The line connected, we heard a recorded message. It didn't tell the name. So we thought it was wrong number, I got panicked, so I click the cross mark on the computer before we heard the recording buzzer.
Mieko "it didn't say ***".
Yuki " Of course, it's her name, what is her family name?"
Mieko "Oh, yes, yes, this phone is for *** and *****. Wait a minute, her family name is, oh, ******, but I seldom use her family name except sending something from the post office. Yes, I understand, it must have told her family name. How foolish we (Yuki said, "you") are!".
10 minutes later, we tried again.
And at that time, we noticed, the line was still on, though I clicked the cross mark on the "Skype" screen.
I turned off the line, and called again.
I could hear her family name, and I tried to leave message,
but this time I wasn't used to speaking to someone in English especially on the phone, so I got panicked again, so Yuki said "hi ----"
and we "turned off " the line.
And immediately I e-mailed to her, saying sorry we left strange message.
This computer quality is not so good, so it might be difficult to talk smoothly on the Skype. But I 'm going to talk to her on the Skype.
The problem is an time difference.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Since tomorrow, December starts

Yesterday, Lea went to the next adventure. She goes to the same high school until June, but her host family changes each three months. I accept her personally. But since next family, a international association group is going to support. So her Japanese life will make a quantum leap.

I bet her Japanese skill improves, and I hope her English skill will also improve. Foreigners with blue eyes and blond hair, sometimes get a lot of stress in Japan, if they are not good at speaking English.
You think it is strange, but it's true.
Anyway, now in this house there are only two elder people, so the breakfast of today is "chin".
It's sound of Microwave oven.

Last week, I read the book of LONDON with members of reading club.
Homemade short breads were served, I learnt the meaning of the song of "London Bridge is Falling Down", and the origin of the subway station names, and some Cockney words like loaf in Cockney means head in English because of rhyming of loaf of bread. (And I talked about curry)
Ms. W was an organizer then, she researched very well. She brought one book for this meeting.But unfortunately nobody has been to LONDON. So until now, I'm looking forward to Tim's report. Sorry, Tim I missed your e-mail.
Now, Christmas is just around the corner. So I decorate the entrance hall with Christmas goods.
This week, my lesson is Craft week. I'm going to make apple pinatas.
On the other hand, instead of Swine flu, usual flu season comes. So I'm really surprised when I open this years medicine. At Yuki's company they give some medicines once a year. An antiseptic is added.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Last One Week

Next Sunday Lea is going to move to the next house. The next mother has two girls who go to elementary school. For Lea it is the first experience to have sisters and for the family it is the first time to spend with a high school student.

Lea, she is really tall compared with usual Japanese girls. But good or bad she is one of usual high school girls. Every phrase she said recalled me of my daughters. Anyway she could survive under me ... What a great girl she is!
She is really natural, so it is easy to understand her feeling, especially when she eats something.
Her big smile when she loves the food makes me really happy, on the other hand when she doesn't like the food she has, she become quiet, and I say, "it can't be helped, it's OK to leave them,", or "Green vegetables are good for your health, don't leave them".

Her usual day is not so hard, but unfortunately I don't have enough time to take her somewhere, and I'm not interested in high school fashion. And she is really interested in girls fashion, but she has to save money to spend about 10 months in Japan. So she doesn't to dare to go window shopping. So she is always looking forward to OBENTOU and dinner.
(Can you hear me, Jan? Yuki and I always miss your dishes.)
She "can" eat rice, so we don't have any problems about food. And she is really interested in food. On the other hand our (Yuki and my) common hobby is eating.
So on Sundays or Saturdays we go out to eat interesting things, expensive things, inexpensive things from a Beef Bowl shop, a ramen shop to a Japanese French restaurant.(Other places are of course a KAITEN sushi shop, TONKATSU, a Italian restaurant, a Udon restaurant, OKONOMIYAKI restaurant, an organic vegetable resturant)
I seldom go to a Beef Bowl shop and a ramen shop, because I don't like them very much,
On the other hand Yuki seldom go to a French restaurant, because he always says "It takes so long to eat."
Thanks of Lea, we could go many kinds of restaurants and Japanese Fast Food Shops.

But unfortunately we don't take her a Chinese restaurant in Japan.
Because the last of December, we are going to go there with my daughters and my mother.
Sorry, Lea.

Now she is making a ad. From this December she start to organise French class in her high school. She seems to get used to her school life finally, and find what she can do here with her school mates.
I'm really glad.

Monday, November 16, 2009

cold, warn, cold, warm

December is just around the corner. These days it has been tough weathers for me. One day it is cold, the next day it is warm, and --. Actually yesterday it was really warm, I see some people wearing short sleeves shirts, on the other hand, it was completely cold.
It is really difficult for me to adjust this weather.
My body is a little bit low temperature, compared with whom?
Do you know your ordinal body temperature? My temperature is usually 35.4-35.6
degrees Celsius. Kids are said to be usually around 36.4-36.7 degrees Celsius.
These days such people who have low body temperature are increasing.

Now, Swine Flu runs riot. In most of schools, many classes are canceled because lots of students are absent from Swine Flu. Fortunately we haven't be caught yet. I hope Swine Flu has gone as soon as possible.. and I need after that usual Flu season comes.

I'm a little bit in a bad shape, so -- I whined in this blog. Sorry.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

book 3

Books, they have lots of kinds. One of my hobbies ( or job) is collecting English picture books. I usually buy them on the Internet. Or I always ask a friend in America to buy books (including used books) when she finds her interesting ones.
She often sends them, and her choice is really interesting and fun. (Thanks Jan)

In Japan at book stores in this city, they don't have deal in many English picture books.
But, the other day, I was really surprised, because I found some English picture books at a "famous" used book store.Most of them are for babies and infants, it means in Japan, it seems to be right that many parents of babies and infants want their kids to experience or learn English naturally.
I bought some of them, they are all 105yen, well 5yen is tax.

Well, Well, the other day "finally" winter goods came to Lea. She got winter her winter boots. And in the box there is a photo book of Bordeaux, because she asked to her mother.

We have lots of travel guide books, but usually don't have such a photo book or "picture book" of a small city.
When I went Augusta, I was really surprised to find the book of "S is for South Carolina". Do they have such picture books of all states in America?
And do you have such a picture book or photo book about your city or town?

Monday, November 09, 2009

book 2

Did I tell you? I organized and attend a meeting of intensive reading once a month.

This month, the book is "London".

Well, Well, I have some questions, though I can research them on the Internet, but I need quick, instant and easy answers.

1. about London Bridge

The first London Bridge was wood, and a new stone London bridge was build in 1209.

On the other hand, in 1013 when the Vikings were on the bridge, Olaf's men pulled London Bridge down, and the bridge and the Viking fell into the river. So the song was born. Well, from 1013 to 1209, how was the London bridge???? Was instantly new wooden London Bridge built?

2. about shops

What are the most popular goods now and what were the first goods when they started in the two shops, at Fortnum & Mason, and Harrods?

3. please give 5 interesting sentences about Queen Elizabeth the second

Well, in this book there is an interesting question.
"You are going to London for tow days. What do you want to see and do?"
In my family, my elder daughter and Yuki has been to London. She went to lots of Museums.
And she recommends Korean restaurants were wonderful!!
Yuki went to London on business, so he had enough time for sight seeing. He recommends to go to Indian restaurants.
But I want to go pottery shops. Unfortunately no one and nowhere in this book tell me the shops including Wedge wood.

One of my student moved to England with his family. Sometimes his mother e-mails to me. She loves England life, especially nature.

Tim sent an interesting report with photos connected with Harry Potter.

So the image that I have about London is; curry, tea, tableware, castles, roses, and Harry Potter.

3 months passed

Since Lea came to Japan, three months passed. So "8th" is a special day for her. Last month I baked brownie, yesterday she baked apple tart for us.

It looks good, and actually it was delicious.

--- while she was making , some troubles happened.

It was really big, we (Yuki, Lea and I) ate half of it, and she took the rest to school today. Her classmates must be surprised and enjoy.

Well, Well, the tart is really good, baked well, texture is good. It's soft but keeps crunchy texture. Sometimes I baked, but I couldn't do like this. This time I knew the reason. Because I always reduce the volume of sugar and butter.

It means she use lots of sugar and butter.

She says " I understand, why many Japanese people are slim." and before she baked it, she asked "may I bake it with usual sweetness?"
Actually it was really sweet, but it was really delicious.

Well, Well, I'll tell you another topic about food.
She doesn't like Japanese pickles that are pickled with salt. But she loves BETTLA-ZUKE.
BETTLAZUKE are pickled with salt and rice malt. Because of rice malt, it is sweet.
I love BETTALA ZUKE, so I'm happy to get a person who loves BETTLA ZUKE.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

cherry blossoms and melons

The other day I read an interesting article on the newspaper. A Japanese lawyer living in NY tried to explain why Japanese people loves to drink SAKE under cherry blossoms, but he said " it was really difficult. " He couldn't find a suitable word of HAKANAI in English, though he has worked as lawyer in NY for a long time. The word includes the meanings of momentary,short-lived etc.

According to a book, when Japanese people see cherry blossoms, they(we) see appreciate falling cherry blossoms, and other people see just bunch of cherry blossoms.

It is interesting to know the difference how people understand about a thing.

And , I'll introduce another topic, though it's a tiny thing.
The other day we (my husband, Lea and I) went out for dinner to a Japanese restaurant. They served 8 small plates at once, including "dessert".
The dessert was slices of melon.

Lea tried to eat the melon at first, so I said "Oh, no it's dessert".
Lea "Why? it's an appetizer."

And it recalled me of one thing, it's melon with fresh ham.
Do you remember that my younger daughter "can't " eat fruit so much, because of their acid. She can eat bananas, on the other hand my elder daughter loves fruit except bananas.
But when we went to a French restaurant, they served melon with fresh ham as a appetizer. My younger daughter could eat. Since then fresh ham is her favorite. On the other hand my elder daughter didn't like the combination, she prefers roast beef to fresh ham.

Anyway Lea kept the melon as dessert. And unfortunately she was too full to eat melon as dessert.

Monday, November 02, 2009


This book is written by GOMI TAROU.
He is a really famous and popular , probably illustrator. He was born in 1945 in Japan. My daughters were into his doodling book. I think his books led my elder daughter to the art world.
Well, Well, this month I'll read this book at nursery schools, at a adult culture class, and to my students.
I don't know the real English feelings, but I understand Japanese feeling.
So when I read these two book, I was really surprised. Completely different. Of course both of them are "right".
First I'll tell you about the title.
Everyone was taught me ----.
And English version is yes, my friends.
In Japanese version, all sentences are written in the passive.
The way how to walk was taught by the cat.
In English version, all sentences are written in the positive.
I learned to walk from my friend the cat.
The difference of these two versions show the difference of nationality, don't you think so?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

the final week of Halloween

As soon as October started, we (students and I) are doing something about Halloween, and this week is the final week.

The main event is baking pumpkin cookies. And I present "last" pieces of candy corn with the poem card. My friend told about a book, she said "it is actually pieces of candy corn".

Halloween of this year is really really wonderful thanks of candy corn.

Sweet Tooth

A handful of loose teeth rattle in my pocket,
triangles of orange and yellow bitten off just so, nip by nip to the white tip.
Oh, candy corn, why do you appear only once a year

Today, it is wonderful sunny, because typhoon has gone. So yesterday it was bad weather, and my lessons were canceled. I was free, so I baked cake.
And because of typhoon, Yuki's business trip was canceled, so he came back earlier with cake.
Yesterday late-night snack, and this morning breakfast are ---cake.
If it happens sometimes, I don't care.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Does anyone know the name of these candies?

I hope someone tell me the names, the photo is not good.

For this Halloween, my friend send me candy corn, and I found a good book for the candy.

And I thought, these candies of the page might have their own names, not just candy.

I thought and did some searching but not complete yet.

One chocolate coin,
Two chocolate balls
Three gummi worms
Four ring drops??
Five Jelly Beans
Six rainbow sour candyies?? ????? though we call them RAMUNE
Seven block candies?? , gum candyies?? or tuffies?? (they are pink and square in the real pictures)
Eight milk candies?? (they are white and something little and orange is on the top in the real pictures )
Nine lolly pops
Ten candy corns

Friday, October 16, 2009

Lea said ---

Lea, she is 17.
We (Yuki and I) are in our 40's generation, Oh, no, Yuki is now 50 years old.
Well, well,
but all of three know the Beatles.
The other day we went to Karaoke shop and sang the songs of Beatles.

According to her the most famous rock, pop, hard rock, punk heavy metal bands are --
1. Green Day
2. Rolling Stones
3. Mickael jackson
4. Yes
5. Queen of the Stone Age
6. The Beatles
7. Iron Maiclen
8. Led Zeppelin
9. Genosis
10. Foo Fighters
11. Van Halen
13. Jimi Nendrix
14. Rink Floyd
15. Nirvana

The bands "I" know are No2, 3, 6, 8 ,12.
And the songs "I" can sing are just songs of the Beatles.

How about you???

Monday, October 12, 2009

candy cone-->Candy Corn

Now, Halloween is getting popular in Japan. So many kinds of Halloween sweets come to Japan. Candy corn is one of them. But the shops which deal with it are few. I know one shop on the net, but unfortunately candy corn already was sold out.
So I asked my friend to sent it for us (including my friends.)
And some bags came with lots of Halloween presents.
I always thanks for her kindness.
--- Ashi o]ikete neralemasen---
I won't ever sleep with my toes pointing to where you are.
The meaning is probably "I am forever in your debt."

Well, Well, Well, and I candy corn like this with a paper(Origami) pumpkin .

And she use it like this.
What a big difference!
Both are OK, aren't they?
And the taste --- unfortunately for me -- too sweet.
it doesn't mean, not delicious, yes, just sweet.
I know NATTO is -- not delicious for many foreigners, and some Japanese.
I prefer jelly beans, and Japanese Konpeitou.
But it's really fun, and cute.
We enjoy Halloween month!

Friday, October 02, 2009

It was easy!!!

We (my family and my students) all are surprised!!! It is easy, it is wonderful, it is scary.
What is "it"? To make Jack-O'-Lantern.
Some students prepared a plastic bag for taking the inside, but nobody did it.
When we opened it, inside is mostly empty. There were only kind of cotton, and lots of seeds.
They scooped with a small scoop at first, but it seemed to take long time, so finally they started to scoop with their hands. And the things they scooped looked ---dirty.
We did it!!
I hope the farmer will plant them next year.
I can buy them at COSTO on the net, but it's really expensive.

Monday, September 28, 2009

aging of population

Tomorrow, I'm going to attend a meeting, and I'm going to say my comment. I don't know whether this comment suits to tomorrow's meeting or not, and this English is good or not, anyway I put my mind together.

Aging of population
To live our elder life calmly, there are two things, one is the things the government should do and the other one is the things we should do. Both of them have to go together smoothly.
Today, the theme is what our government should do, so I will think about the aging of population from one way.
Everybody must think that our government managed by our tax makes a firm commitment to give the place where we can live out our lives as a human. Hospitals, nursing houses, home care system, such facilities and system are necessary
Since “. Long-Term Care Insurance Act” kaigo hoken ho was established, about ten years passed. At that time many people looked forward to the possibility of the job, many people wanted to become a care worker, and some new schools were built. Some businessman quite the job and became care workers. Many housewives got the licence of the second grade care worker. But now, some schools are already under-enrolled. The number of care workers decreased sharply.
Why? Because the job is too hard, no, it’s not right. Everybody knows the job is really hard, but they want to work as a care worker. But unfortunately they can’t live their life from the job. They have lots of volunteer split, but they have to live. If they got high salary like doctors’, many people would be willing to do this job.
In this spring, the rate of nurse caring benefits is going to rise to 3 percent, but it will not lead to rise up their salary. Just they will be able to get from more 300 yen to 1000 yen.
On the other hand new government is going to pay 26000 yen a month child allowance. And they are going to offer high school class for free. Why it does’t work well for the salary of care workers to rise?
Today’s low birth rate is a big problem, I know, but not only to focus the kids but also living elder people and people who get elder in the future. When the kids grow up, they support the elder people, so the workplace to care elder people must be attractive place, the place people want to work.

Well, let me introduce one interesting facility. From this spring my mother-in-law has lived there. She lives in TOKYO alone. She has three sons, but they including us don’t live near. She is 80, fortunately she does’t become senile, she keeps good condition. But she was worried her single life. We were also worried about her daily life, for example she ate one OBENTOU she bought at a near by convenient store with two days. Suddenly a letter came to her, “You are accepted”. According to her she applied the facility to live there when she became 60. And 20 years passed, she got a letter.
The facility is supported by Tokyo city. The people who live there are that they own some property, they manage themselves, but they are worried about their single life, cooking, etc.
There, she has two or three meals at a big dining room with the residents, and nothing, she lives in her room with small kitchen, bathtub, like a small hotel. And now she used to the life in the facility, and makes many friends.
Families are also becoming more nuclear. It means elder people have to live alone or with a partner, surrounded by friend. Nobody can’t live without friends. So I’m glad she made new friends with out going out far away.
While families become more nuclear, elder people become alone. Until now, residents' association or elder people meeting works well. But recently young people don’t like such association they prefer personal activities, and the people who are in their 40’s and 50’s are too busy to keep such communication.
We don’t want to work while we are thinking about our death; we are drawing our attractive elder lives. So pension, facilities, saving money are necessary, on the other hand to keep communication and to have something to do with our resident’s association is necessary.
Now I live with my husband, and I really understand we must not depend on my kids.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


Yesterday we (Lea, Yuki, and I) went to a friend's house, she is a farmer. (I often write about her in this blog.) Thanks for her, my daughters loves vegetables, and we enjoy seasonable foods.
Now in her farm there are wonderful grapes, YUZU, and chestnuts.We (mainly Yuki and Lea) pick them up with special scissors having long shaft???.
We had lunch there, barbecued NIJIMASU ( rainbow trout) and fresh rice ball ( "fresh rice " means newly harvested rice ).
And , yes , we took the leftover.
So our dinner was the following picture. I bother to make a fire with charcoal, and warm the grilled trout, and grilled rice balls.
We call baked rice balls YAKIONIGIRI.
And today's dinner, we grilled YAKITORI on the same grill.
We enjoyed our small autumn in this week end.
Now, usual day will come.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

I didn't know that.

Japanese paper towels ( We call kitchen paper) are also double.
I didn't know that.
Today we go to a freind' house who is farmer to pick up grapes and eat new rice. It is fall.
Have a good holiday.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Well, well, well,

A friend sent me how cook the inside of the huge pumpkins.
Actually, I was thinking "what should I do?" after cut them.
Anyway this week, I show these pumpkins to my students, and next week we try to cut them, and--- probably I suggest my students to take the inside to their mother.

But she(my friend) said the follow thing in the end of the e-mail.
"Truthfully, I usually just use them as a decoration, like you are doing, and throw them away because I feel they are too old to eat by the time I'm finished as a decoration."

It's true. I don't know how log the pumpkins are left on the field of the farmer, and at least I put them for two weeks outside.

Well, well, well, this photo is , yes, tissue.
As you know Lea stays with us, and another foreigner comes to this city from the same group of Lea. She comes from German. The other day she said to Lea
"Did you notice? Japanese tissue is double, in German we usually have double.How about your country?"

Lea seemed to be surprised, because she's never pay attention on tissue.
Me neither. I checked. Yes, the tissue in my house was double.

Well, Well, Well, Well,
though I said I didn't pay attention on tissue, actually I pay attention on toilet paper.
We have two toilet. The toilet on the second floor, its water pressure is low. So we use single toilet paper. but single toilet paper is a little bit hard, so the toilet on the second floor is washlet toilet with warm seat.
On the other hand, the toilet on the first floor is usual toilet with warm seat, and we can use single or double toilet paper.It is trouble some to buy different toilet paper, so usually single toilet paper is settled.
(Do you know washlet toilets with warm seat, some people who come to my house are surprised.)

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Now it is really autumn. It is cold (Yuki says cool) early morning and at night.
The other day I found these pumpkins. Usually Japanese pumpkins are green. So When I knew "orange pumpkins" in a English book, it was really strange.
But Halloween is getting popular in Japan, and some farmers start to plant these pumpkins.
These pumpkins were planted by a farmer as his hobby, so they are not products, though I paid some money to him.
When I found them, they looked not so big, but when I put them in the entrance hall, yes they are very big. Though I'm thinking to make jack-o-lantern with students, I don't know we will be succeed or not.

Yesterday, it was holiday called "OHIGAN". Many families visit their graves, and eat "OHAGI".I don't have grave in this place, and for us it was a usual day. The different thing was eating OHAGI. They are made from spacial rice and as you know, they are covered with bean jam.
This bean jam is rough. Can you see the whole bean???
Actually I don't like whole bean paste, I prefer smooth bean paste.
But by mistake I bought these one. Fortunately or unfortunately Lea and Yuki "can't" understand the difference of taste and texture.

Well, since Lea came to our house, almost one month passed. Her Japanese -- is not improved, on the other hand, her English is improved.
As I tell you, it is difficult for foreigners to improve Japanese in Japan.
So I recommend (or ordered) to write 3 sentence diary. Speaking Japanese and writing Japanese are different, but I think it is a effective practice for her and us to learn "good" Japanese.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


It is the last day of these consecutive holidays, though Yuki went to work as usual.
Yesterday, it was his birthday, now he is 50. 30 years have passed since we knew each other.
For breakfast I served home made cake, and his favorite fish salad, and he went to work.
He got e-mails from our daughters. "Happy birthday,GANBATTENE ( do your best , hang in there, or good luck, or take it easy)"

He is doing GANBATTERU. We want to tell our daughters to GANBATTENE.
I know their lives are theirs, But I want them to have usual life.
What is usual life? It's a difficult question, it seems that when we think about women's life, it's different depends on the generation.
Probably in my mother's generation, women's life means marriage and children.
In my generation, we have tried to work like men while we are bringing up kids.
In their thirties, they have tried to work like men without kids.

and now some? many? young women hope to do a house wife with kids and gentle husband.
They think, it's hard to work and bring up kids on the same time.

I'm not familiar with politics, and I don't have keen eyes to watch the current situation.
But I understand the feeling of the ladies in their 20's.
On the other hand I hope our daughters work as a career woman, or pursue their aim.

Well, well, it's not a good talking on his birthday.
Now fortunately he works at a company as a busy businessman. But next generation come. we are thinking about our 60's life.

Though it has nothing to do with his birthday, the sound "r" of "bonjour" is completely different of pronunciation "R" in English, isn't it?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Septeumber is almost finished

Now in Japan we have "Silver week", it means we have five consecutive holidays. (In May we have five or seven consecutive holidays , it is called "Golden week" --but it depends on the company, kids have usually three or four consecutive holidays.)
For my husband Yuki it is just usual weekend, but this time he takes one day off on Monday.
So we have three consecutive holidays.
and,tomorrow ,we , including Lea, are going to go out somewhere.
And in my mind, Halloween is just around the corner.
Halloween, itself, it's not so popular in Japan, except sweets shop and kid's English world.

Now here and there we can see pumpkin sweets, and here and there I hear "What event are you going to do this year?".
I'm thinking about the event, but anyway, yesterday I decorated something in the entrance hall.
Lea, said "Wow, big ghost".Yes, it's ghost.
At that time a postman brought some mails, and said "I hope we'll have nice days in Silver week".
Lea and I said "???"
He said, "What a big TEL-TEL- BOUZU".
I said, "Yes, I hope we'll have nice days in these holidays".
Do you know what is TEL-TEL- BOUZU?

In the garden, some flowers or herb are almost finished. But a plant is still growing. The photo on the left is the balcony on the second floor. What 's this vine? It comes from, of course, the ground on the first floor. It's GOYA. It has a small flower. I don't know whether it changes into GOYA.
Anyway I should organize the garden.
Well, Well, these days I sometimes get GOTOSUCHI MONO, it means something with local flavor. For example, the city I live is famous for GYOZA, so we have potato chips with GYOZA flavor, or rice crackers with GYOZA flavor. Additionally, my younger daughter recommends saying "GYOZA cashew nuts are yummy." (Usually people who live here don't buy them.)
This week I got Pritz with NOZAWANA flavor, thin rice crackers with UJI-green tea flavor, and yesterday I got rice crackers with SURUGA shrimp flavor. Do you have such things with local flavor?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

This is her France

She will introduce France in the class tomorrow.

And she prepare this sheet.

It's interesting.

If you introduced your country, what photos would you choose?

Depends on the generation, they are different.

I told you to put the photo of ALAIN DELON, she said he is too old---.

Monday, September 14, 2009

a new gadget

Can you see our new gadget?
Do you know it?
It is called "TAKOYAKI-ki".
Do you know TAKOYAKI?
It is a kind of round unsweetened small pancake and there is usually cut-octopus in it.
We put sauce (in my house OTAFUKU sauce) on it.
When my daughters were little, I often made it. Since the gadget was broken, we have not had it.
When guests come to my house, I always put electrical pan on the table ( we call it hot-plate) and make OKONOMIYAKI (unsweetened vegetable pancake).
The other day when we went out shopping, we found it was on sale --just it was 880yen.
We bought it, and last night we made TAOKOYAKI.
The first time, they are usual TAKOYAKI.
I said to Lea, "When my daughters were little, they didn't eat octopus, so I put sausage or cream instead of octopus".
And she grinned.
yes, the second time, she put chocolate and the NUTELLA.
Yuki said "It is abnormal TAKOYAKI", but she ate all of them.
A few days ago, my one word made her angry. The word was "You are a child here in Japan."
She claimed "Don't use the word child".
But-- she is still a kind of child. ( I hope she doesn't see this blog, though she know this blog.)