Thursday, January 29, 2009

felt balls

Valentine's Day is just around the corner. Here and there we see chocolate corner in any shops. (In Japan it is a "usual" thing to present chocolate from females (from kids to elder women) to males.

Well, I'll not write about Valentine. (on the hand, if some know a good site of Valentine's origins in easy English, please tell me.)

In my class when an event day comes, we make craft. Some or most kids are looking forward to doing instead of a usual "English lesson". In November we made Halloween craft, in December we made Christmas craft, and in January I skipped though I got "huge"booing. And in February I'm going to make felt balls together.

Making felt balls is really easy, we can do it using a plastic case that is a container of small article kids get at a game center, some wool, and, and some soap. You put some cutting wool into the plastic case , add a drop of soap, and pour a little warm water. Put a lid hardly and shake it for a while. Drain the water -- and done.

One of my friend is into making felt balls, actually I was taught felt balls from her. And she gave this necklace. She is a story teller. So When she was making it, she thinking about the book "a hungry caterpillar". Do you know the book?

On the other hand, when I knew felt balls, I though it might be fun to read a book using felt balls. So I made some felt balls for the book "a little yellow and a little blue". Do you know this book?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

about twenty years ago

The other day unusually I got a call from my younger daughter. She started to speak with this phrase "I have a favor ". -- I had a bad feeling. But it was not bad news.

She asked me what kind of electrical appliances there were about twenty years ago. The information seemed to be needed to make her report.

I said to her "most of the things were the same as current things, though a washing machine, a fridge were changed 3 years ago, but you were in this house at that time. Didn't you remember?"

She said "Nothing".
The previous washing machine was bought by my husband when he came to this town, it means it was more than 25 years old. Now automatic washing machines are usual but at that time usual washing machines had a spin-dryer separately.

Well even now the separate type consists. Actually my mother uses the type. On the other hand among young people use all-in-one washing machine with a washer, a spin-dryer, and a dryer.
When we tried to buy new one, at first I chose the all-in-one type, but the door to the bath room was too narrow to put it into the bathroom.

I'll write more about the previous washing machine. There was a rod in the center, which was called "KARAMANBOU"; protect clothes from winding. And the noise was "heavy". When it got quiet, it meant washing was finished. Now instead of noise electric sounds go off.

The previous fridge had two doors, now it has three doors. Both of them are frost-free fridges.
But current one has also alarm. When it' on the jar, another electric sounds go off.

Listening to house sound, we hear a lot of(?) electric sounds; when the bath is ready (In Japan we heat water for bath), when cooking is finished with microwave oven, when washing is finished, when kerosene heaters run over three hours and so on

Is it noisy? We are use to the life naturally.

Monday, January 26, 2009

table topics

Yesterday I attend a Toastmasters meeting in this area, which was the first meeting in 2009. My role was a emcee, it's not good. My English was backward and forward. (On the other hand I was able to speak Japanese fluently.)

A member gave us three tale topics.

1. What kind of things about environmental problems are you going to do this year?

2. How will you or do you continue to get relief from stress this year?

3. What do you think of English education at elementary school.

(Since this spring English class is going to be a regular class among 5th grade and 6th grade students at all public elementary schools in this city, though students don't receive grads. At private schools it's been already taken as a regular class.)

1. A woman made a speech.the summary was keeping recycling much harder. (These days not only cardboard but also just paper were gathered as recycling things not as usual garbage, if we separate paper from usual garbage.)

Yes I agree with her. Some people say recycling cost is higher than burning garbage. It is also true. But it is necessary for everyone to use everything carefully. Recycling will make the attitude grown up more, I think.

2.Another men made a speech. There are three steps. The first step is to try to think positively, the second step is to exercise. while exercising usually our brain is empty (It means we don't think anything). The third step is to go to bed after sipping some alcohol.

There are just my husband's away. He always tries to think anything positively, on weekends he plays tennis and golf, and go to bed earlier after drinking (not sipping) SHOCHU.

On the other hand, I tend to think even a small trouble or worry thing deeply and negatively. I'm a worrywart, and my favorite motto is "Better safe than sorry".

Sometimes I don't have enough sleep. Probably exercising is the best way to release from my stress, but on the other hand exercising makes me tired. (It's difficult to do suitable exercise to me.) So until now reading books, listen to music and having interesting foods are my way to release my stress. (It is another issue what is my stress.)

3. A woman teaching English at an elementary school said, it is always necessary to think why we teach English: for entrance exams to high schools or colleges, or to speak English fluently? Ministry Education suppose to make foundation to communicate with others. What does it mean to communicate? Anyway I hope students always have curiousness and interest to various things , and learn English is one of the way for it.

I also did English classes four times this term in 2nd grade students. Their eyes were shining.

Having interests is the first step to do something, the next step is what? On the other hand, as you know, my English ability does not improve.

Well, today two friends came to my house in the morning and we read an English book and talked about it in English. I served "milk pudding".

Friday, January 23, 2009

It has been cold

Last Monday it was warm like early spring, but since last Tuesday it has been cold. So vegetable stew is suitable and necessary. I serve some junior high school students coming at night. (Yes, from this week my usual classes has started, I'm busy even at night.)

Fortunately my students are still not suffered, Flu has spread quickly. At some schools they have to cancel some classes.
My husband and I are fine, but

For him the schedule seem to have been tight, (He returned home at 9 PM form the U.S and went to work at 8 next morning as usual ). Now he develops conjunctivitis. Of course he went to the eye doctor, and applies eye drops often. I have to separate his towel or things that touched his face from mine. There are only two members in my house, but I have to use the washing machine twice a day.

On the other hand I develop suppurative pulpitis, I use painkiller again.

Sounds like an elderly couple life??
But it's not boring. it's sometimes fun, mostly calm.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Recent days

Now there are two members in the house.
Last week, there was only one in the house, it was me.
My husband went to America on business.
I thought I would go to TOKYO where my mother and my daughters lived.
But fortunately (or unfortunately) I have a job.
And the last week I went to a nearby school all day as a volunteer teacher twice, and I went to TOKYO on my job.
In the daytime I was surrounded with lots of kids and in the evening I talked with adults teachers or friends).
But at night I had dinner alone, a little bit sad I was.
Probably it was the first to time to spend one week alone since "I was born".
I haven't lived alone. Until I married with my husband I lived with my mother and my brothers.(My father passed away when I was 20.)
Sometimes my husband went somewhere on business, until last year I was with my daughter.
(Until we had a baby, probably my friend came to stay with me in such a case.)
Living alone is really hard, I think.
these days my younger daughter makes lunchbox eagerly.
She sent a photo.
Now she was 19. When she was a high school student, it took more than one hour to peel three potatoes.

I asked my husband to small articles to my students. He bought them.
It is a good opportunity for my students to learn American history.

And February is just around the corner. I'm going to make something as a Valentine craft.
The craft is -- making felt balls. Do you know how to do that?
And it means January is going away.

This is the last sweets I got in the New Year's vacation. It is a Chinese sweet, the name is Spring rice cake".

Wednesday, January 07, 2009


Some people say "you seem to like cooking." On the other hand some people say "you seem to be tired of cooking" Both are right. Sometimes it is fun, sometimes it is a bother.

But it is true, I'm interesting in food. So on the fridge I have some interesting (to me) recipes. It is one of things I want to do this year. It means I'll try to cook all these recipes.

To be the truth, during the winter vacation I was tired of cooking, but yesterday my younger daughter send this photo. When she went back to TOKYO, she took "pork" to her home. And the dinner of yesterday was like that.

On the other hand today's our break fast was like that.

Are you interested in cooking? If you are interested in cooking, what kind of recipe do you want to try to cook?


I have a questions, are the following sentences right?

In the lesson, I suggested.

Keep something behind your back quickly, and someone try to ask her "Can I see it?".

Monday, January 05, 2009

2009 began

Happy New Year! 2009 has already begun, and my usual day has just started since today.
My winter vacation was like that;

On the 31st my husband and I cleaned the windows in the house, had dinner ( I forgot the menu), and watched "the" typical Japanese program "KOUHAKU UTA GASSEN" waiting for this new year.
(This program had a rating of 42% this year.)

On the 1st we got up early and left home for TOKYO to attend my husband's family reunion and meet my daughters. We had a party with a feast which was cooked by mostly my sister-in-law.
And we, 4 members came to home here. We grilled beef for dinner.
On the 2nd we drove in our town and went shopping.
On the 3rd we got up early and took a bus tour of YOKOHAMA, of course to eat Chinese food.
There my daughters came back to TOKYO, we came back here by the bus.
On the 4th, I cleaned my house as usual Sundays, my husband went to practice golf.

On the 5th, my husband went to work, I'm preparing for the lesson of this month, it's a usual day.

This year, until March I scheduled some events. So I hope I will go full term without health problems. Teaching English at elementary school in January, workshop for kids and parents at nursery schools in February, and visiting my friend's house in the U.S.A in March. All of them are exciting and fun, what I'm worried is physical strength. BUT I'm looking forward to doing all events, meeting people and seeing my friend again.

Since April-- I don't have special things. So I don't know what kind of things will be waiting for me in this year. Calm year? Exciting year? Anyway I always do my best every day while taking nap.