Friday, December 30, 2011

Have a wonderful new year!

From now we're going to go on a short trip to a hot spring with my family, my daughters, my mother, Yuki and me. Our winter vacation has started.

Yesterday Yuki and I went to a nice restaurant to celebrate our work  this year. We had a good time. After that we saw a Japanese movie. Before spending with my family, it was a quiet day.

Thanks for coming my blog this year, see you next year.
Have a wonderful new year.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Today's topic -- Residential area

Two (piano) are lessons are left. After that my "busy" winter vacation will have started.
In the morning a lady came to take my lesson. We talked about our residential area. She lives in the suburb, and seems to like her neighborhood. She said  "It's quiet, and not so many kids.It has more space than the downtown. Though there is a little of public transportation, I don't mind it. Because the may transportation is cars."
I asked "What is one the thing that could be done to improve your neighbor hood?" .
Her answer made me surprised. It was that "I wish if I would communicate more in my neighborhood."
I didn't think of that.

So I asked again "Why don't you start something to communicate more with your neighbors?" She said "It's difficult. Most of them work in the day, and they try to keep certain distance each other."

I also wanted to communicate with my neighbors. So I sometimes invite my neighbors to have tea. Or I sometimes share something that I get. So I think I try to keep certain "comfortable " distance with my "some" neighbors. I don't have any relatives in Utsunomiya, so for us neighbors are really important. Fortunately or unfortunately our neighbors are older than us. So I don't need to compete or compare something with each other. It made me easier to communicate with my neighbors with respect.

In the afternoon two adults came to take my lesson. I asked them about their neighbors. in the residential area of one of the ladies, most of them are elder people. So they often communicate each other. Once a month they go out for lunch.
In the residential area on the other lady, they share something with each other when they get something too much.

How's your neighborhood?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Our club

Somebody might know that I'm organizing a club. The name is English picture book workshop club. The other day two foreigners participated in our study meeting. One-day visit members have to pay 500 yen. (From next year it gets lower to 300 yen.) Why they have to pay to attend just a study meeting?

I started this club about five years ago. The first aim "was" to hold some workshops lectured by  major lecturers. Utsumoiya is a very small city. It' not so far to go to TOKYO by bullet train, but it's very expensive. It's far to go to Tokyo by local train. People living here is calm, it means not so competitive, aggressive. So sometimes it makes me bored. I had thought if major workshop would have been held more. So I started our club. To collect members who are interested to attend workshops about English picture books or English education, I started study meetings. They pay attendance fee to attend the study meetings, we use the money for advertising and place for workshop we are going to hold.

Unfortunately it doesn' t go well. Most of them who attend the study meetings want to attend just a study meeting, so for them paying money is not what they want to do.

On the other hand one of my friends, who teaches English in TOKYO, started to preparing NPO-group to spread her world. She is really energetic.

What do I want to do? I'm not so energetic. This is my favorite phrase "it can't be helped".
 However I don't want to go backward, so I'll do something as much as I can.

While I was thinking about my club, I wrote two articles. It was an English day today. Now it's my lesson time.

Monday, December 26, 2011

The final week in 2011 has started.

How was your Christmas? I bet you enjoy it.
Yuki and I spent simple Christmas. In the morning we did winter cleaning. He washed all windows, of course I helped him.
After that we went out shopping to the suburbs. And we came home buying two pieces of cake  and  fresh vegetables. We had the cake for a snack. Can you see Kahlua liqueur? On the day I had no lesson, so I enjoyed coffee with Kahlua.
For dinner we had simple Christmas dishes with mulled wine. Can you see a small jar? It's a jar of pickles. We bought it at a special French restaurant for Christmas.

The final week in 2011 has started. I already changed decoration into Dragon decoration. Because next year is Dragon's year according to our  calender.

If you tell me about your Christmas, I'm very happy.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve

Today I have no lesson. And Yuki went to work as usual. So for me it is a little bit lonely day.  In the morning I went to workout. I was really surprised at my attendance card. It was the first day to come there in December. I never play truant from gym, I had not been in a good condition to work out. (It's a wonderful excuse, isn't it?)

At noon, I suddenly started to polish toilets.  What a good housewife I am!
It is said  the harder you polish toilets, the more money you would save.
Then I went to see my friend to get a hair cut.

Now I'm drinking apple cider while I writing this diary.

What shall I do from this? I have some books to read --- it might be nice to set around home at reading. Today I'll smoke salmon with smoke pot instead of chicken.
Have a nice Christmas Eve. 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas sweets cooking lessons -2-

 I made Christmas cookies with elementary school students. When my daughters were little, I used to make such cookies. At that time I bought these Christmas shaped cookie cutters.

I prepared dough.The students cut the dough as desired shapes.

At night high school students came. They dressed up the cookies that baked with elementary school students.

We enjoyed the cookies with apple cider. (Thanks Jan)
The leftover was our breakfast with special carrots juice.

Today I'll do the same lessons. I have to prepare dough again.

Christmas sweets lessons -1-

Long time no see you. I'm fine, and this week I'm enjoying Christmas sweets lessons with my students.
I made popcorn snowballs with kindergarten students.
 First we made caramel sauce.

Of course we made popcorn. The popping sound made us excited.

 And we mixed them, and made snow (mud?) balls.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Wednesday's sweets

On wedensdays three adults come to take my lesson.
Yesterday's sweet was  ---

It's Christams version of Japanese cake.
What is Japanese cake?
I found this site.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

It takes a little trouble to make luxury time

My dear friend sent me this cup. It's a cup of Tea Forte. I've heard of the name. And this time I know that it is the company that they invented pyramid shaped tea bags. So all cups are made for the pyramid shaped tea bag.

Of course I wanted to use it. And I wanted to make my own luxury time immediately. But unfortunately I didn't have tea of tea-bags. but ----

I had Taiwan-tea bags. It's ginger-tea.  The bags are not pyramid-shaped, but they are tea-bags. I opened it.

Unfortunately they don't have strip. Do I have to put strip on each bags to enjoy this cup? What did I do???

Monday, December 12, 2011

Every person is different --- that's natural.

A lady's hobby and daily duty is waking. She usually walks with her friend. She said " I don't like walking alone. I "sometimes" do walking, but I don't like walking with someone because walking space is different.

I sometimes eat lunch at cafe alone. (Usually after volunteer work in the morning) A lady said " I can't eat out alone". (She said that she didn't have courage.) Another lady said "you're a housewife, so why don't you eat at home to save money.

Additionally I don't have courage to enter into RAMEN-shop, GYUDON shop, or KAITEN-sushi alone. My younger daughter M preferred (or even now) entering GYUDON shop alone to entering a hamburger shop. It made me really surprised. She said eating GYUDON is better cost performance than eating a hamburger.
If I see only RAMEN shop or GYUDON shop on the way home, I come home with hunger and eat something at home.

That's natural, every person is different.

I made GYUDON for dinner, and I already ate it alone. This is GYUDON,

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas is just around the corner.

This week my students and I was making Big-Apple pinata. Everybody brings 25 tiny things and put them in each pinata. And the last lesson in December they'll take their own pinata as a Christmas or The new year present.
In my house our Santa has already come. Yuki and I couldn't wait to open the box. So we opened it. How wonderful!   Our Santa always knows what we want. Golf magazines, golf gloves, candy, coffee, "apple cider" and so on. I've never see apple cider in Japan. Why? I love it. Instead of it, though we have YUZU-tea, ginger-tea, and so on. 
I almost finished winter cleaning. Do you know my cleaning style? I'll show you. When I looked at my self in the mirror, I laughed at my self. What a perfect cleaning style.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

new stove

If you are Japanese, you must think "You bought a new heater again?". We call stove, stove burner, or range KONRO, and if we use range, it means microwave range.
I bought new KONRO.
I had used previous one for 15 years. Finally the function of automatic light-on doesn't work. So I decided to change it.

Do you know what does it work?
We use it to grill fish or others. It is an usual thing. When I used previous one, I grilled a thing per side. But with this one, I grilled both side at the same time.

As a trial, I toasted bread. But --- it doesn't suit to taste bread. Or I need to train more.

Here is the new KONRO.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

moss balls

Today I went to IMAICHI where it took about 40 minutes by car to attend a workshop. In IMAICHI there is an interesting art gallery, so we (Yuki went to IMAICHI together. While I was attending work shop, he was in IMAICHI library.) dropped by there on the way home.

It was a gallery dealing with moss balls. I bought one for my friend as a Christmas present.
The owner of the gallery was a man who was in his 60's. He opened the gallery after he retired. Unfortunately his wife has already passed away, and his children are independent and lives in other prefectures. So he enjoy his own life in this gallery in this town with the residents in this area. He said "I want this gallery to be open-gallery for my neighbors." Actually the second floor is open for neighbored as a meeting place. It was really interesting for me as an art-gallery, and a open-house.
And we also dropped by a cafe  where Yuki once played bass and piano there.

Today's main dish for dinner was --- this jarred-fish. Do you know it? Probably in your country except Japan it is very popular.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Which was a main job, attending a meeting or eating?

Today I "had to " attend a meeting as an English teacher of a branch school. It started at 10 and finished at 2. During the meeting I was permitted to take only 10 minute break. It was a tough meeting.

Fortunately it rained today, so Yuki played a role of my chauffeur. (Today he can't play tennis because of rain.)

I'll write what I did in chronological order.
I got up at 8. ( I slept over.)
As soon as  I got up, I waked up Yuki.
We went out to eat breakfast at a cafe at 8:50.
We got to the cafe at 9:10.
We ate the morning-set.
He took me to the office.
I attended to the meeting.
(While I was attending the meeting, Yuki went to a barber shop to get his hair cut, and practice golf.)
He picked me up at 2.
And we went to a restaurant to have lunch.(We made a restaurant reservation before-hand).

We came back at 5.
At 8,I was full, so I ate some pieces of  apple, and Yuki ate SOBA.
Now I'll watch TV.
That's all today.

Friday, December 02, 2011

December has started

While The moment December started, the sky got gray. It has been cold. It looks like snow. (Yesterday instead of snow it rained.)
Well, well, we see apples and tangerines at the store. AND my favorite KINKAN also appeared. So I bought one bag.
Most leaves shaded fell.

And "my" Kinkan of this year is ---- too bad.(Last year I got lots of Kinkan). On the other hand even now I got some green peppers and mature green peppers which are into red.
I like this season, because I don't need weeding.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My favorite story book

I'm groaning quietly in front of the PC. I have to write a report about "my favorite story book". I like reading. And I'm quick reader. I tend to read books randomly.So I'm not into a writer, or a book.
What should I write about???

Do you have any your favorite story books?
Do you answer it immediately if you are asked?

When I was a child, I used to read a series of Sherlock Holmes.
Did I like detective stories? I don't think so. I like to read Anne of Green Gables, and Little Women.

I don't remember what I read when I was a teen-ager, though I read a lot or I had to read a lot.
When I was in high school, I liked to pretend to be mature, so I used to read some ethic books like Nietzsche's works, and Kant's works. --- but I don't memorize anything.
Once I was into poems.

When I worked at a company, probably I had no time to read books  fun, I read various computer books and medical books to my work.
When I became a mother,  I read various "mother's books to become a good mother.

When my daughters were teen-agers, I used to read many books which were written how to deal with teen-agers.

And now I tend to read the books which were written about senior life plan,or the life itself. so I face to myself calmly.
Reading book always gives me the direction which way I would go.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Tomomi's art

Yesterday my daughters, their friends and I went to a talk show in Utsunomiya. It means My daughters and their friends came here from Tokyo. And they dropped by this house for about an hour. My elder daughter Tomomi brought her recent work.

And this time they also a bottle of wine for hot-wine, and sweets.  The other day I bought cheap wine and made hot-wine. It was not so bad, but a little bit acrid. The wine she bought was not acrid.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Christmas will have arrived.

Now it is the end of November, in America probably all of them must enjoy Thanks giving day.
And a month later it will be the end of this year, which makes me really surprised. Time flies like an arrow.
I'm finished to decorated some shelves with Christmas goods.
This year I bought this white wreath, which is made from pieces of wood.

I put some Christmas picture books in the living room. This year it is Sunday on Christmas day, so probably Yuki and I will enjoy much fancy feast. Anyway until Christmas I'm busy in doing Christmas lessons.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


This is "the" blue papaya. It feels a little sticky like a yellow papaya, but it's hard. I slice a half of it with slicer and flied them with beef. I made salad a quarter of it. And I pickled the rest


 I made another pickles. It's celery's one. To make pickles, I consciously bought an inexpensive bottle of wine. Of course I don't use all of wine, so Yuki "consciously" drank rest (or most of all) of them.
Half of bunch of celery became pickled celery, and the lest of bunch of celery became celery-liquor.

Jan can you see this page, I miss your pickles. So please tell me the recipe of your pickles source.