Monday, May 30, 2011

Monday has started with a strong wind

According to the weather cast, Typhoon changed into tropical cyclone (I know this English word this time.) But it still has a strong wind and rain, sometimes thunder growls. Anyway Monday has started.

Yesterday I attended a Toast Master club meeting. Yesterday's sudden topics were that
1. Now it is in rainy season. Do you like it? Let us know tips to enjoy rainy season.
2. This summer it is said we might have rolling blackouts because of electric shortage. And many companies try to escape it. What do your work place try to do?
3. Because of this sad disaster, many events are canceled and we started restrained ourselves to call off events. Now summer is just around the corner. In summer usually we have lots of annual summer events. What do you thing of them?

I made a short speech about No.3 in English. But this time I try to make my speech about all of them.

1 Unfortunately I don't like rainy season. Rain makes my daily-work slow. But from some reasons partly I like rainy season. Because of rain I don't need weeding (though it become a more tough job lately). I don't need to air FUTON (though Futon is felt tobe a little bit wet.) I don't need to wash my car. So skipping such chores gives us free time to do something. We can stay home to read books, listen to music, watch videos, or waxing the floor. And I don't like go out in rainy days, so I cook something with the leftover in the fridge. So it is a good time to clean the fridge.

2 My lesson schedule doesn't change. But Yuki's working days will be changed. He will go to work from Saturday to Wednesday. It means Thursdays and Fridays are his holidays instead of Saturdays and Sundays from July to September. (All car companies & factories do that.) So we (Japanese people) share electricity.

3. I think if we can held events physically, we should do that. Especially summer events are important. And even in the Tsunami-devastate areas if they can held summer events (though the scale may be smaller) , they should to that. Not only financial reasons. Many people are looking for the events, and they'll go back their hometown. So in local area such events are really important. Firework displays, BON-dancing party, summer festival, such events make our nostalgia strong, and the connection among the people in the area strong.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

I made dry-rub

The other day a Thai lady came to my house and had lunch together. In the morning I was a little bit busy, so I had to have thought about something "unusual"(for Japanese) and "easy" to cook on the night before.
"Dry rub" and "grilled chicken".

These days the drawer in my kitchen is getting full of herb and spice. So I tried to make "dry rub". It was easier than I thought. And I rub it on the chicken.

I baked it on the day when she came.


This time I used commercial BBQ sauce; the meat guy BBQ sauce. Do you know it?
For Yuki and me it was an overseas taste, though for her it seemed to be only a good taste. Some people may recommend to make BBQ sauce on my own. I know it's a good idea, but --- I can't be bothered. I'd like to have other kinds of commercial BBQ sauce. What commercial sauce do you recommend, though I don't know whether I can get the one in Japan.

Friday, May 27, 2011

poetry reading

You might know this actor.
This old poem is really really really famous. It is introduced on most of Japanese textbooks in elementary school or junior high school. Nobody can't know this poet Miyazawa Kenji in Japan. (Does it make sense? Everybody knows him in Japan.)

and poetry reading in English

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Wendnesday topic

The refreshment was the cream puff and Godiva's cookie Yuki bought at an airport. To tell the truth I don't like Godiva's chocolate because it is a little bit strong for me, but I "love" the cookies.

The topic was "Home cooking".
Are the foods that you order at restaurants but never make at home? What's the most difficult dish you know how to make?

For me it was "(Japanese style" steak". Cooking stake is the most difficult dish I know how to make. Getting good meat is difficult, and if I got expensive meat at a department store, it is difficult to cook it at proper temperature. So when we want to have stake, we go to a restaurant.

How often does your family sit down to dinner together?
When both of my daughters were here Yuki used to have dinner at his office. And even on weekends he used to go to work. Thanks of this recession, he comes back to have dinner at home. On the other hand since my daughter grew up I've started night lessons from 8 PM. Now there are two members in this house, but unfortunately we have different time to have dinner each other. (It means each of us has dinner on my own.) So we have dinner together twice or three times a week.

And our common curiosity is trying new foods. I like to try new recipes. My friends tell me, or I search something new on the net. These days it is easier to find recipes than in the past.
If you cook, do you like to try new recipes? Where do you find them?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

In one hour, an adult will come. I have to update this blog quickly.
For these two days I couldn't update it because of some problems of this blogger site. It made me irritated. Now I can do it, and I'm really happy.

Last night a girl of my neighbor came with these small cream puffs. Did you remember her? She quited a company this spring and goes to a confectionery school. It's not sure she will be able to be a pastry chef. But she said "I don't want to regret not to go to a confectionery school." Somebody says "She needs to be independent so she's childish and optimistic."

(She lives with her father, her mother passed away when she was in an elementary school.)On the other hand some body says "To do anything what you want, if you are allowed."I agree with both of opinions,though today I won't mention about my daughters.

Anyway today's refreshment for my adult lessons is this sweet & Godiva's cookie.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

a calm Sunday

Last evening Yuki came back from his one-week business trip to the U.S.A. And According to him, to get him out of the jet-lag, as soon as he got up he went to play golf.

Today it is not so hot, not so humid, a calm Sunday. I cleaned all rooms and weeded the garden.

Probably the garden is the best condition now in a year. Until now I am "able" to control it. In summer I can't do that because lots of weeds will start to grow,it is too hot for me to do something outside.
Now MITUSBA (three-leaf grass, or trefoil) are grown well naturally. They are edible. So I often pick up and cook them as well as parsley.

Yuki bought souvenirs for his colleagues at a GODIVA shop in an airport. Usually he buys something at a local market, but he seemed not to have a time to do it. So he bought a bulk of Godiva sweets. And he got this as a free gift.
Can you guess what's inside?

Here it is!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

1000 smiles -- a video

We love paper cranes. When we wish something, we often hold paper cranes. A project was done to encourage people in TOHOKU. People who wanted to participate in this project holed and sent a photo with their paper cranes. And the project team put together the photos and made this video.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Wedensday's topic

Yesterday's refreshment was oatmeal bread.

And the topic of the lesson in the morning was "allergy".
Does anyone you know have an allergy?
What is he or she allergic to?
Do you thing allergies are more common today than in the past?

As I told you, my daughters used to be allergic to something. Unfortunately we didn't find out "to what", not eggs, not flours.
But they naturally avoided taking junk foods. And my younger daughter M doesn't eat most of fresh fruits like apples, strawberries, pears, kiwifruits, and so on. According to her when she has them, she feels her tongue itchy. I've read an article, it says that such fruits have a special acid.

Now I learned a new word "vegan". I didn't know that it meant vegetarian.
Do you know anyone who is vegetarian? Could you live as a vegan for a year-- eating no animal products, including eggs, cheese, and milk?
I don't know any "strict" vegetarians though some of friends including me like to pretend to be vegetarian. It means we try to avoid taking oil.
And I can't live as a vegan for a year, but probably I can do for a half of the year.

How about you?

P.S Jan thanks , we enjoyed this video.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Monday has started

Now it's almost 6:30 PM. I did most of chores of Monday. On Mondays I have no lessons at night, so since now my free time starts.

When I get up, I cleaned the room and had breakfast.
I checked e-mails, and --- started to prepare for this week's lessons.

It usually takes the longest time to prepare a kindergarten student lesson. Today I made some paper color pencils and books with holding paper.
The second longest preparation was for the lesson of high school students. I read stories and studied exercise books for myself.

When I finished the preparation for all of them it was 1 p.m. I cooked YAKISOBA and had it. After that I went to a dentist, and went to a women's clinic --- I have to go both of them regularly.
On the way home I dropped by a gym to workout.

Now I'm home.

What will I cook for me??? Just I'll microwave something for my dinner. (Today I don't need to make something for dinner for Yuki)
And -- now I remember one thing. I have to write a report.

Anyway the first day of this week has started.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Wednesday's topic

First I show my waffle which was served to my adults students. The jam is "red cherry jam". The taste is thick. I didn't get clotted cream, so I served it with sour cream.

Yesterday's topic was "junk food".
Can you come up with a definition for junk food?
My definition for junk food is that
It has poor, little or no nutritional value. And once we start to eat it, we can't stop eating it much at all once. It might be difficult to distinguish whether it is junk food or not when we have it a little. In this case you should think of your lunch box. If you put it as a side dish, it is not junk food, and if you don't want to put it, it must be junk food.

Well, now flowers are blooming. The clematis, the azaleas of the garden came this spring again. I'm really glad to see them again.

The rhubarbs and strawberries are growing up. Before long we will be enjoy them with my waffles.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

To tell the truth ----

This morning I could talk with Jan by Skype. I know she likes positive people, or not only she, everybody must like positive people. And you don't like hearing someone talking proudly.

But, sorry Jan, and readers of this blog, I dare to have done it, and dare to do it, again.

As you know I'm wondering our daughter's futures. Though T(my elder daughter) works full time as an assistant at an art college, she is not a regular worker (her contact term is one year , so she is very unstable, fortunately this year it was renewed again.) M (my younger daughter) is struggling to seek a job next spring, it is an unexpected circumstance.

Of course you might say " Yuki and I gave enough education to them so they are not your problems". Partly it is true.
But I have wanted them to get high-ranked jobs smoothly ---- it sounds selfish, like a having much proud, or show-off.

Of course they are still in their early 20s, it's too early to reach a conclusion. But if they got stable job, I would be also stable in my mind --with much proud. Things are not going well.

On the other hand, it is a good chance to watch myself, and throw away my stingy proud. T seems enjoying her job and her artistic activities, though she often meets something difficult.
M is experiencing the real world by her self, it will make her strong.

I believe they will carve their life by themselves. (on the other hand, after I wrote this blog, I'm worried about their futures, because I'm a mother.)

Monday, May 09, 2011

This blog "sometimes" works, doesn't it?

Last night I got a call from M (my younger daughter), and she said, of course, "Happy mother's day!".

I; Thanks for your calling, but T (her sister) said "you were busy today".
M; Not so busy. I thought I asked T to send Harrods gift to you writing both of our name, so it was enough for this day. BUT, I read your English blog. I didn't know the contents accurately, but I knew "I have to call you"----- if I didn't call, you would be anger at me.

I; You read my English blog???? What's the matter? Thank you for your reading, and thank you for your concern. Don't mind. You are already 20, so you have to act without thinking whether something makes me angry or not. If you had room to breath, you should think and act what makes me and other people happy.
M; HAI-HAI (it means OK, OK, why you are so noisy, strict and didactic).

My mother's day will be finished when Harrods gift reaches me , probably it comes in this morning.

It came.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Mother's day

On my daughter's honor --- they never forgot "mother's day".
In the afternoon T(my elder daughter) called me.
I'm in GINZA, now I sent HARRODS tea & jam. M(my younger daughter) is too busy to come here, but "we" sent them to you. Happy Mother's day!
In Japan we have a HARRODS outlet in GINZA. Probably it is only one direct-managed shop in Japan. Since Yuki bought HARRODS breakfast tea at an airport in the UK, it's been my favorite.

But it's a little bit expensive. So I'm very happy to get it as a present to me.
I'm looking forward to their arriving.

In the morning Yuki and I went downtown. Two (small) events were held. If we were in Tokyo every weekend we could meet some kinds of events in downtown. (In Tokyo they have lots of downtowns.) Here in Utsunomiya, not so many.

One event was GRURI-ICHI, small local food and grocery shops opened their stalls. My favorite bagel shop was one of them. though in 40 minutes later it opened, all bagels were sold out. Anyway I'm glad that such small local shops (usually their owners are young) are challenging to cheer up this small city.

Another event was a cocktail festival. Local pubs and clubs opened their stalls. And local musicians played music. The jazz club where Yuki played the piano or guitar once a month opened a stall.

The downtown itself, unfortunately, was not so crowded, so it was easy to park the car. BUT these festivals were so crowded. Many people are living there including us, so I want this town to be more active.

Well, we bought INCA-KOLA, made in Peru. --- The color was "yellow". But this "KOLA" was produced by coca- cola company.

Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 07, 2011

the day before "Mother's day"

I had only two classes before "Mother's day", it was yesterday. The students were one elementary school student, and three junior high school students. I told them to list some words showing their thanks to her mother .

It seemed to be natural for the elementary school student who was 10 years old, she checked her dictionary, and my picture books.

The words were kind, nice, smart, funny, comfy, strong, gentle, great.

For Junior high school students who were in the first grade, it seemed to be difficult to find "suitable words" to their mother.

Anyway they listed up including some true or negative words, and some flattering words.

kind, gentle, nice, funny, charming, cute, thin, beautiful, noisy, strict, serious, talkative, smart, tired, stingy.

What do you think of them?

This morning I talked about these words with Yuki, and I asked him whether he could list more than 15 positive words about me. He said "yes", though I doubted his answer. Anyway I stopped pursing because I couldn't do that about Yuki.

What we agree with was "our" culture doesn't get used to bring up each other.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Consecutive holidays with foods

First Yuki and I went to TOKYO by car. On the way to TOKYO we dropped by a service aria in TOCHIGI to buy some local products of TOCHIGI as souvenirs. There we found a talked-about (between Yuki and me) sauce. The company of this sauce was introduced on the newspaper just a few days ago. It is a small company with 7 members, but they try to introduce their sauce in TOCHIGI instead of BULL-**** sauce. They use our local water, our local vegetables to make this sauce. Yuki and I bought one for ourselves.

In TOKYO my mother, our daughters and we had lunch at a TEMPURA restaurant. And we picked up Yuki's mother and went back here.

On the second day we drove with Yuki's mother. We played golf in a short course ground, and went to a hot spring, and of course we dropped by a souvenir center. Yuki's mother bought some souvenirs for her friends. There we found "it". This is kind of gut in salt. Its taste likes anchovy paste, the fish is "AYU" which lives in clear rivers. So it is more fishy than anchovy paste.

On the third day Yuki went to golf. His mother and I stayed home in the morning, and in the afternoon she went back to TOKYO.

On the fourth day, Yuki and I went to a Soba restaurant which is a little bit far from here. On the way home we dropped by a small art festival. There we found these things. Do you know them?
They are eatable "winter cherries".
The inside is ---- definitely it' s a winter cheery. This has another name --strawberry. In Europe it seems to be common, but here in Japan it is being common these days.

Well, at the art event I found this pencil holder. Probably you don't know this type of pencil, it is used to play golf to note the score. Yuki and I laughed at this pencil. Such pencil can be change into an art-pencil.

Today, it is the last day of consecutive holidays. I'm at home and organizing the house including PC. YUKI are playing golf.
Our holidays is almost finished with foods. --- probably today we'll go out for dinner.