Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Hot and Sweet

Today's breakfast is hot something using hot seasonings.
My friend who live in America sent me some seasonings with "lots" of English books. (Well, about books I'll write later when I finish reading and studying.-- I bet, probably, maybe -- I have to read them.)

These things really suit to pickled rakkyo. Also this year my friend made it, and sent it. I (it means my husband love), seldom eat rakkyo, but I love her pickled rakkyo.

It's hot and humid. So something hot and something sour give us power. Don't you think so?

Well, from this business trip, he bought these things to my students.
When he was invited to an American with a German. The German gave "nutella" to American kids. And the kids were really pleased.
Is"nutella" popular among kids?
And my husband saw it at a supermarket in America. --- I checked the label, it is made in CANADA. Why the German gave it as a souvenir???? It's none of my business. Anyway kids there were really pleased.
So he bought it for my students. I served it with crackers. --- Too SWEET!
"Sweet" is "AME---" in Japanese. (The correct word is AMAI, but slangy word is AME--".
So I said That's from "AME--rica". (kind of RAKUGO), students said "Stupid!"
And he found another thing, MARUCHAN-- cup noodle.
There are a few, so I served them to high school students.
"Oh, MARUCHAN flied to AMERICA!"
Well, Well, it's time to other junior high school students come.
I have to serve these crackers with a silly joke.

Do you know this kind of color pencil?

A verb "blue-pencil" is the first word for me.
And I got it, why we have such a pencil.
It is a half red, and a half blue.
Do you have this type?
Only in Japan?
And these days, "red" part is mainly used, so a new type of this pencil is that;"red" part is longer than "blue" part .

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

How do you check answer sheets?

My husband said

"Mieko, you know it? It's not usual thing in America, to put a circle on the right answer."

"What does it mean?"

My husband said "Teachers, they usually put place a check beside a wrong answer."

Yes, I sometimes place a check beside a wrong answer of elder students.

But younger students loves to get lots of circle. And when they get perfect score I usually put HANA-MARU (HANA means a flower, MARU means a circle).

My husband said "Exactly, I told them about "HANAMARU", but no one could image HANAMARU".

Can you understand "HANAMARU" on this photo?

an Usual day --> a usual day

Well, Well, my husband came back without no troubles. He seems not to catch the swine flu.

(He said, "I conduit find thermography at the immigration checks", we heard at Narita airport to check swine flu, everybody takes a thermographic examination there.)

Yesterday, it was a bad weather. A city of GUNMA prefecture , that is next to TOCHIGI prefecture, took a direct hit from a tornado. It was in the evening. At that time, I was in the house, and neighbors who were patrolling, came to warn me "a tornado warning was announced this area, be careful!"

"Really??, what should I do?" I was just stay inside, and later I knew a tornado hit to TATEBAYASHI city. What a pity thing!

We had a bad rain with big thunder yesterday. These days we have often thunder, and at some of my friends' house, their modems or computers were broken by thunder. So when I hear the thunder, I unplug my computer and computer, though I often forgot to unplug "his" computer.

This morning, it is not raining, but it's not sunny. I did lots of washing, and anyway I put them out -- but will they get dry???? I don' know.

I found MYOUGA in the back garden. Do you know MYOUGA, it is kind of Japanese ginger.

I'm glad to see them again this summer. They suit to cold noodle very much.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I coudn't see the eclipse yesterday.

Yesterday I was in TOKYO in the day, it was rainy and cloudy. And I was on the first basement level. So I couldn't see the eclipse yesterday.
But here in Utsunomiya, while the sun was being eclipsed partly, the clouds broke up and they could see the eclipse breaking through the clouds. I heard it from my students.
Next perfect eclipse comes 26 years later, what will I do? Am I alive?
My husband seems to be busy in America, he sends e-mail to me everyday, but he enjoys American meal (with SHOCYU that he took with him). I would like to have Jan's homemade meal again --- it is my American sister's taste.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

homegrowing herbs

Today, it's not so hot. I went out the garden and quick-weeding for 5 minutes.

It's a small garden. I was there just for 5 minutes without a countermeasure against mosquitoes, and of course I was bit by them.
Now, rhubarb, parsley, SHISO, basil, sage are growing. This week my husband is in America, so I'm alone here though fortunately every day students come. I seem to be able to spend this week with healthy vegetables that are home growing without going shopping for foods (except sweets).

Sunday, July 19, 2009

hot, humid,---summer

Last week, it was announced the end of the rainy season.
So, hot and humid real summer has started.

I had cold shake, but it made me more tired. I like something cold to drink in summer, but sometimes it makes me more tired, though I don't have stomach trouble.
So I usually try not to drink something cold.

For me, in the hot season, something hot seems to be better for me.

I simmered "TOUGAN" (tunka?)with ground meat.
This brunch is a little bit cold noodle (soumen) with hot topping of sauteed egg plants , OKURA, and ground meat with MISO paste.

Anyway -- I have to eat, though I don't have a good appetite, ad for this week my husband is in America on his business, so I have to cook for myself.

I often make sweets. Actually soon some students will come so I prepared jelly.

BUT only sweets are not good for me.

Well, well, do you know "chewing candy"?
Of course I know chewing gum, and candy that we can chew.
BUT I didn't know "chewing candy" that looks like gum before a student brought one for me.

Well, it's the time for students to come.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

What is talcum powder?

When I saw this picture, I remembered a old scene.
When I got out of a bath, my mother used to put Siccarol on my "body", (not feet) to prevent heat rash.
When I was a child, "Siccarol" was a usual thing for kids.
When my kids got out of a bath, I used to put "(Jonson&Jonson) baby powder on their body.
So I thought talcum powder is kind of baby powder.
But it seems not to be right.
Talcum powder can also be used on adults to prevent chafing and rashes.
And the way seems to be different according to countries.
Do you use talcum powder? If you use it when do you use?
Well, when a kid saw this photo, he asked, "Oh, athlete's foot remedy"
Summer, means, for some people (usually men) the season for athlete's foot.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Are they old things?

Humid, Humid, Humid, in Japan.

And it is a good season for mosquitoes. Do you have mosquitoes in your country?
So I burnt a mosquito coil "Katori Senkou" in front of the entrance door.

The smell of it makes "me" or "adults" think of a hot Summer.
Until last year, most students said "the smell of it makes me think of my grandmother's house."
But, this year, to be surprised for me some students said "Stink! Is it the smell of toilet?"

They didn't know the smell of "Katori Senkou".

Actually, these days electric mosquito repellent without smell is usual.
People tend to be nervous about smell.
BUT ---- I miss the smell of old days, these days.

Well, I saw the picture of talcum powder in a English picture book.
Do you use talcum powder even now?
I translated it into "Sicaarol" (it is even Japanese), but nobody knew it.
Now we call it baby powder. But as you can guess from the name, mainly it is used by babies.
Talcum powder or Sicaarol is an old thing?

Tuesday, July 07, 2009


Today, July 7 is TANABATA, the star festival. I'm not sure we will able to see stars in the sky this night, until now it is sunny.
We( though these days the family they have small kids) celebrate this day by putting a bamboo tree at the entrance, and also write our wish on colourful oblong papers (TANZAKU) and hang them on it.

Well, from last week to this week I'm called TANABATA week.
It is a good opportunity to make a sentence with "I hope" (high school students also make another sentence with "I wish").
Students wishes are really concrete, thought sometimes it's impossible.
I hope my Japanese will improve.

The typical wishes are
I hope I will be rich.
I hope my marks improve.
I hope I become a good piano player.
I hope I will be accepted by the high school I want to go.
I hope I will be intelligent.

and sometime material, though these days such kids are getting less because we are surround by lots of goods.
I hope I get a pet dog.
I hope I get a ??? game.

Well, Well, what kinds of wish will I write on my TANZAKU ?
I hope I will rich, in this case, I need to change, I wish to be rich ( or I wish I were rich??)
I hope my English skill improve, -- I should study English though this sentence is not "wish" but pledge.
I hope I will keep my strength and health. This sentence looks like the sentence "I hope I will be intelligent".
Kids and I are not so different.

What wishes would you like to write on the card?

Monday, July 06, 2009


Have you ever heard "HITSUMABUSHI"?
You know Japanese people like eels, though some foreigners say "yuck".
And HITSUMABUSHI is one way to eat eels, and it is one of the typical specialties of NAGOYA in AICHI.
The "real" HITSUMABUSHI is

My husband went to NAGOYA on business the other day, and he bought HITSUMABUSHI-kits at a souvenir shop.
"Real" HITSUMABUSHI has enough eels, but the eel in this kid is a little. So we bought eels at a supermarket.

In Japan eels are expensive. Especially domestic eels are really expensive. So we bought domestic eels, and imported eels, though I know even the snig (baby eels?) of domestic eels are imported. But actually their taste and texture are different. Domestic eels are soft and thin, imported eels are hard , fishy--or rivery (I made this word, they smell like river) and wild.
Anyway we enjoyed eels themselves at first for dinner.
AND--- we got full.
So this morning we made a point to eat HITSUMABUSHI, though we ate out eels we bought for HITSUMABUSHI at supermarket.

We ate them lots of SHISO leaves I picked up from the garden this early morning instead of lots of eels, though there are some cut eels in them.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

late bloomer

At a meeting, a lady asked a question to us.
"How old will your children be when you say "our kids will grow up", or when you imagine the future of your kids?"
And she continued, "Probably when they will enter the university, they will be 20, or they will graduate the university. Until then you (parents) will have been worried about your kids a lot, but if you imagine the future of their 50's, most of worried things might be tiny things for you."

Most of them nodded (in agreement), except me.
I understand what she wants to say, --- don't seek a conclusion quickly.
If on today's test she or he gets a bad score, it's not a big thing.

Most of members are younger than I (some members are as old as I), and their kids are in the kindergarten, elementary school or junior high school. I'm the one whose kids are in the university.

And now, I know "she" : means my elder daughter, is struggling to manage her way the most, and if I think about her life, it might be the first hardest situation. Sometimes she got bad scores, but she could manage her life without big troubles. She failed the entrance examination for the art college, but the college where she goes now is not so bad. (It means decent level, and modestly famous).

(On the other hand in my younger daughter's case, she was provided ambulance service twice, I was called from school sometimes because of her bad scores , and after that of course we had big quarrels, and ---)

But I sigh now, she is going to graduate the college, but --- . Is it "my" result to bring her up or spend our (including my husband) energy (including money) on her education? I know, it is too fast to seek the conclusion. She might be late bloomer. But for her future I think she is standing at an important point. Without thinking now I can't imagine the time when she reaches to her 50's.

Probably I must seek stabiliby too much.And even now I can't imagine when I reaches to my 50's. On a different meaning I'm struggling in my life.
The proverb says, Great talents mature late., I know, but it is necessary to add some words. Great talents mature late while you are seeking, learning, and acting.

Well, this weekend is TANABATA. I use the paper on which we write our wish as the sheet for word test of Junior high school students. And they hang them on the "tree" in front of the entrance hall, instead of SASA tree which I prepared for TANABATA.

My junior high school students are really sassy these days, but -- they are still kids.