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.