Wednesday, December 29, 2010

New Year's day is just around the corner.

Since today our winter vacation has started. This morning Yuki cleaned all windows , scrub bath tab, and change the normal tires into winter tires. Of course I supported him --- to prepare the stuff , and tidy up the stuff after cleaning. Anyway we've done winter cleaning of this year.

I put winter flower in a vase -- too simple and easy.

Tomorrow we are going to TOKYO and to take a bus tour with my mother, my daughters and us. The title of the tour is old Tokyo and recent TOKYO. My mother doesn't know these days sightseeing spot well, on the other hand my daughters don't know old Tokyo sightseeing spot. And Yuki and I are now TOCHIGI-people, so we are not familiar in TOKYO. (We are living there for more than half of our life, the other day I noticed that, and it made me very very surprised.) And on the day we are going to come back here with my mother and our younger daughter and spend New Year's eve here. On New Year's day we go to TOKYO by car again. We visit Yuki's mother and his brothers' family. And on the day we will come back here with our elder daughter. She will go back to TOKYO on 3rd. On the same time our winter vacation will be almost finished.

This week we opened a bottle of alcohol. It is RAKI, turkey alcohol. Do you know it? It is made from grapes, but it is definitely different with wine. It is clear, and being added some water, it charged into white. The smell is --- though it is my opinion, Chinese herbal medicine, and taste is --- really really strong, like vodka. Don't ask me why I explain the taste --- though I "can't" alcohol.(I can sip)

Anyway I'm looking forward to getting a noisy New Year's eve with my family.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tow days before Christmas

Hi there, what are you doing? In Japan it is a holiday. So many family have a Christmas party today, or go shopping for Christmas.
I'm stay home and relaxing. Yuki went to work. From the evening I have usual lessons with having Christmas snacks.
Today it is really warm day, I can't believe it is in December.

For these three months I have been absent from Toast Master's meeting because of my schedule of going to TOKYO.
Without a housewife (who?) the topics seemed to be political or worldwide.

The last meeting, the topics of short speech were 、"Lay judge System","TPP(Trans Pacific Partnership)" and "Domestically bound". If I had been there, I would have not been offered to make a short speech on any topics.
Actually I'm really week at political topics, though it might mean I'm not so interested in the political even if I were a carrier woman.
So I try to think about it.
About two years passed since Lay judge System was introduced in Japan.
If I had a letter to come to a court as a citizen judge, I would accept the role.
But if I should decide whether it would be death sentence or not , what would I do???
Actually some citizen judges who decided death sentence asked some mental care after the trial.
I know Lay judge system is good, but for usual citizen who don't have enough experience, or don't know morals it is a hard task.On the other hand the closed judge system, it means the world is apart from usual common world, has to hear the usual opinions, common sense.
TPP, I know the word, and this word is really important for farmers. What I know about TPP is we can import farm products in cheap terrify, and we can export our farm products in cheap tariff. On the newspaper, the Ministry of Agriculture says, if we accepted TPP, our agriculture would have a big damage. I'm not sure it's true or not. I live in country, so I can buy domestic rice. I can buy cheap Thai rice, but seldom I can't. But probably fast-food industry use cheaper rice, so our agriculture might have a big damage, on the other hand I hear Japanese rice is really popular for its quality and taste. So if they can export in cheap tariff, our agriculture that is said to be weaken, might be active.
Domestically bound-- what does it mean? When I hear this word, I recall a woman who bounded her neighbors. She is a farmer with big farms, around her there are many big farmers, but they lived on each way. She tried to make and sell YUZU -KOSYOU as a product of their area. She made domestically bound, didn't she?
I hope these sentenses make sense.

Monday, December 20, 2010

apple ginger jam and another.

Did I tell you that my favorite way against the cold winter is taking ginger. Usually I use ginger as seasoning, this season I take ginger with sweets and tea.

So I have domestic ginger powder (it means not imported from China), ginger &brown sugar syrup, and of course fresh ginger.

And this time I got apple & ginger "jam". If you were here, you could taste it --- what a shame" You can taste ginger fiber texture so that you hear the sound "Shari, Shari (American sound is probably crunch, crunch)" when you have it.

And another one is milk & sweet beans jam. It's not paste, it's jam.
They recommend to have it with rice cakes (MOCHI), MOCHI is a typical winter food in Japan, and it is necessary for the fast of New Year's Day. Now I'm thinking New Year's Eve and New Year's Day beyond Christmas this week.

Tomorrow I have the last meeting I have to attend this year. Now my "busy" winter vacation is just around the corner.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

I'm a "great" housewife!!!

How's the weather? It has been really really cold. Especially the day before yesterday it was really really really --- really cold. According to the forecast it seemed to have been like being cold February. And on the day the northan part of Utsunomiya they had a little snow.
Well, well, in Utsumomiya this year HAKUSAI (Chinese cabbage) seems to have a good crop. I got some bunches of HAKUSAI. It is two wonderful thing, but for two of us it was too much.
I asked some friends to share them, but they said "thank you but it's enough".
So I tried to make them pickled.
I cut them into three or four pieces. And I dried them for a day.
Next I put cut and dried Chinese cabbage, some salt, some dried red pepper, some salt, some dried KONBU (kind of seaweed), and some sliced of citron in turn into the vat. And put a stone on the vat.

Four days passed, I made it (So I put the photo on this blog.)

When I was opening the lid, one of my neighbor and her friend came to see it, so "Here, it looks good". I shared some of them.
And I shared another neighbor. Tomorrow, I'll go out with my friend. So I keep some of them for her.
The left is just suitable volume for two of us.

Well, this week I had individual interview with all mothers of my students. The last mother came here in this morning. I'm really happy to talk with them. Every mother , though that's natural, dedicate to their kids, on the other hand they seem to have a calm and non-emotional eyes to their kids, or I can say, they are not grand-conscious mothers of which I used to be one.
It is really lucky to me. And they also seem to rely on me as a senior mother. Thanks of them I also keep a calm and non-emotional mother to my daughters.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Each place is different.

Last Saturday I went to JYUGAOKA to participate a workshop. Long long ago I used to live near JYUKAOKA, and I took piano lessons under a strict teacher who lived in JYUGAOKA. About 35 years passed since I went to KYUGAOKA last time. I arrived there ealier than the time the workshop started. So I tried to search her (the teacher was a woman) house. I passed the cake shop (it was still there), turned right, went up the hill --- there were many gallerias both sides of the hill though at that time there would be old "Showa"era houses.

I remembered a house, and it changed into a gallery. So I turned left --- but it was no sign of "piano classroom".
At that time the hill was really quiet, now the hill seems to be popular a hill with gallerias. Many people were browsing. The place looked very present. Among them I felt like an artistic lady.
(Well, Harajuku or Shibuya is famous as a young people's town, on the other hand in JIJYUGAOKA I didn't feel my age.)
On the other hand, here in Utsunomiya, we don't have many galleries. Instead of artistic places, there are many nature fields. Once I stand up on the rice fields or farm fields, I feel like being a human or a child.

And Jan sent me wonderful photos of the Winter Ball in her town. People and places in the photos looked present and brilliant.
Each place is different. And in each place we all have the different way to enjoy our life.

Well, well, and yesterday Yuki and I went to a wonderful Sushi restaurant that has only 8 seats. For us it was a rich night.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christams season

Now it is in the midst of December, everybody seems to rush into the New Year Eve, or the New Year Day. Actually Yuki is packed with schedules of year-end parties,not Christmas parties. Probably the word of "Christmas party" is for kids or for "young" couples. I don't have a schedule of such parties ---- What a shame!
On the other hand, I have some reservation at nice restaurants with Yuki, my friends, and my family. The last event of this year is, as you know, a bus tour in TOKYO.

Last week we had a nice dinner with the Turkey man, Izzet, at a Italian restaurant in TOKYO.
This week Yuki and I are going to a special SUSHI restaurant.
The restaurant is open for a limited period. To tell the truth I tried to go there with my friend, but when I was organized, I heard YUKI grumbling, though he has lot of opportunities to eat out at year-end parties. He said, "quality is different, even though the price may be same".
So I decided to take him to the restaurant, though he will be a driver.

Next weekend I will go a bread tour with one of my friend, I meet once a month at work, but she is too busy to share our private time together.
And on the Christmas eve I will go out for lunch with another friend. This year both of us managed an English class at children center, it is a kind of celebration for ourselves.
And 26th, we are going to go to GINZA to have lunch at a French restaurant and to see my elder daughter's exhibition.

And final event is -- yes, a bus tour with my (touchy or wonderful) mother, my daughters, and us (Yuki and I). This time after the bus tour, my mother and younger daughter is going to come back UTSUNOMIYA with us.

In December, fortunately I'm busy, so I hope I could keep in a good shape, or I won't be in bad shape any more.

be packed with schedules of year-end parties

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

home remedy

This Tuesday my adult student and I talked about home remedy. In the text book some ways of home remedy were introduced like that chicken soup for a cold, mint tea for nausea, grinding some Valerian root for insomnia, and honey-and-lemon tea for a sore throat. Have you tried some of them or other ways?

Now I just came home from the meeting, today's meeting was a kind of my job. The teachers of our branch English classrooms have to attend the meeting. It was a long meeting. But to keep my physical strengthen, I canceled all today's lesson, so this night I will have nothing to do without playing with PC. (Or, Yuki might come back earlier than usual, because he went out of town by car.)

Anyway I'm relaxing now with sweet SAKE KASU(sake lees)-soup. SAKE KASU-soup (I think) works for a cold, and it makes our body warm.
SAKE-lees, ginger powder, and brown sugar syrup

Monday, December 06, 2010

We met "him" after 13 years interval.

Turkish handcraft, traditional sweets "lokum"and traditional Turkish alcohol "Raki", these are present to us from him. Who is he? Izzet is. He came to stay with us 13 years ago.
And last night we met him in TOKYO. My younger daughter also joined us. When we met at a station three of them seemed not to change, but my younger daughter was there. At that she was 7 years old, and now she is twenty. Apparently she changed, and it told us our real age, and our change, it can't be helped.
Now he has two kids, and in Turkey kids already started to learn English in kindergartens. It is said to be natural things to learn some foreign language because of their location. First English, and second Spanish or Russian. And in his case English means "British English". Now I or Japanese people seem to struggle to master English --- compared with his natural attitude to learn English. Though it is just my opinion, Japanese people seemed to divide ourselves into two groups, people who can speak English, and people who cannot speak English. And some people close their minds to foreign countries because of lack of ability to speak English. It's a sham.
Why we don't learn English naturally --- I thought.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

let me advertise an exhibition

My elder daughter is going to participate a small exhibition.
"5 works" at GINZA gallery JOSHIBI from 12. 13 to 12. 27
Anyway she keeps creating something fortunately.

This spring she graduated from college, and she did not become a regular employee. She "declared" to become a (self-studied) artist. Yuki and I wondered if she would get by on a small wage at a restaurant. But fortunately she got a part time job of an assistant at her college. Now she seems to get by on a payment from the college though she lives next to her grandmother without paying rent (I pay it though it is not so much compared with usual rent in TOKYO)

She seems to have some stress because she is between women professors and young female students. So her skin allergy recurred. But it can't be helped. Medicine has developed since she was a child. She seems to get along with it.

Anyway she is able to create her works, so while she has some space and time to keep creating, probably she pursues her art world. As a mother I want her to get a regular job to get a stable life. On the other hand her wildness is reassuring.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

December came

Now already Christmas month has started though today it is just December 2. In the sun room constantly Apple pinatas are increasing, 25 pinatas are going to be made this year. Every student(including adults) bring something small there and put them in each pinata. And the last lesson of this year they are going to come home with their own pinata as their Christmas present.

I already finished decorating for Christmas.
I hang a big sock with the toys of snowflakes, Thanks Jan.

And put some window clings on the window of our living room.

On the wall of entrance I put a picture that was drawn by my "younger" daughter when she was 6 or 7 years old.
I also put a writhe I made about 20 years ago, that was the first my"complicated" handmade for Christmas as a young mother.
And, I put some Christmas eggs that were the last "complicated" my handmade for a mother.
Anyway I don't like sawing or doing complicated handmade.

And on the other shelf, I put some toys that were increasing naturally with my daughters growth.

Today I went to a nursery school to read Christmas books, one of boos was this one.