Friday, June 24, 2011

It's too hot!

Though according to the weather report, the rainy season in this year doesn't end yet, it suddenly gets hot. For three days the maximum temperature is over 30 C. So I need to water the garden longer than usual or I can say, as long as in summer. This morning I found this caterpillar in the KINKAN-tree.(kumquat)

Well, thinking of my skill of camera, this photo is not bad, is it?

This Saturday a lady will come to my house to have dinner. She is studying at Utsunomiy-university as an exchange student. She came from Costa Rica. She seemed to work as a teacher in her country. Why will come? Because Next month Utsunomiya UNESCO club is going to hold an event, and she will do presentation about her country. And I'm one of main member of Utsunomiya UNESCO club. So we need to talk about her presentation.

The interesting thing is that, this time this event is organized mainly by Asian students. They are from China, South Korea, Mongolia,Kyrgyzstan. And the lady who are from Costa Rica joins them.

You might ask me why Japanese students organize it? Of course some Japanese students help it. But Asian students eager to introduce their country including Costa Rica. For the event the students and I have meetings sometimes, and they are always fun for me.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Wendnesday's topic

Yesterday, it was very very hot even though it's in June and in rain season. It was the first time to turn on the air conditioner in the class room. And I put electrical fans in each room.
Today's theme was "classmates". We talked about our old friend who went to go to high school together.

Do you still keep in touch with your friends from high school? If so, how often do you hear from then? How often do you see them?
Have you ever been to a high school reunion? If so, what was it like? If not, would you like to go to one? why or why not?

I still keep in touch with some female friends, mainly by exchanging e-mails. And I exchange new year cards with many friends including some male friends. My class in the third grade of high school hold a reunion once a year, and our homeroom teacher who is 80 years old join us. Unfortunately I seldom attend it because it is usually held in Tokyo at Sunday night.

Though I sometimes go to TOKYO, I have no chance to talk with them. Most of my classmates live in "TOKYO", but TOKYO is too wide to meet each other instantly. So I have little chance to manage to meet my friends.

On the other hand my mother HIROKO-san who is 78 years old, she holds a small reunion once a year with her classmates of university. --- probably 6 alumnae. Each time they seem go to their favorite sushi restaurant.

Yuki hasn't attend such reunions. Because his high school reunion holds for all students in the same grade (Probably there were more than 200 students), it means it's too big. So he only exchanged new year cards with some classmates.
On the other hand, the other day he joined a kind of reunion. The members were people who joined the company in the same year. More than 25 years passed since they started to be their life as businessmen. They seemed talked each other about their younger days.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Monday has started

Today it is sunny, it seems to be hot. Though being a warm day is good, the difference of the temper char makes me dull. (When I went to Tokyo, it was so cool for me that I put hot body warmer (KAIRO) on the back secretly.)
Anyway today started with watering the garden.

A funny report from the newspaper was that
How to wake up your kids, especially high school boys? The most effective way is to go to the bed and hug him instead of giving a shout. Is it only effective to Japanese kids???

A trouble new house chore is that
it seems to be the time to change the carpet into summer carpet in the living room and the lesson room. It's tough job.

Well, what will happen to me in this week?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

WATARI-UM art museum

This Saturday I went to TOKYO to see an exhibition at
WATARI-UM art museum
in TOKYO.The them of the exhibition was "the wonder of learning". Kids pictures and their videos at a kindergarten in Italy were introduced as wonderful art works.
My daughters Tomo,Megu joined me. Each of us enjoyed them. My elder daughter Tomo and I enjoyed the style of exhibition, and interested in the kid's expression. And "probably" my younger daughter Megu seemed to have empathy with them. From our (Tomo and I) view point, Megu still have such pure, childish, simple and soft feelings. It is one of her good point, and it sometimes makes her unstably.
On the other hand T envies M's character, while she is usually stable , though she isn't a stable office worker.
Megu seeks stability for her life, and Tomo is going on the adventurous way --- It seems to be strange.
And I went to see my mother Hiroko-san. Her back hurts a little but she's OK.

I had a good time but I was so tired that I went back by SHINKAN-SEN.(It's expensive.) You might think it' just 100 km from here to TOKYO, but to tell the truth, it's to far to go often.

Today, I did usual holiday-house chores, it means, weeding, vacuuming all rooms. Now lot of herbs are becoming taller, so I trimmed them. And I put them here and there for example, in the entrance, in the kitchen, and in the toilet. For a while we can enjoy fresh green here and there. (If I often trim and change them.)

Oops. I forgot to write an important thing. Today it "was" a father's day. Yuki "suddenly" (it's my opinion, his opinion is "finlay")decided to buy a new guitar. And as a present to him, his daughters (of course Tomo and Megu) supported with paying. It means they gave him some money --- though it is less than 10 percent of the cost. Anyway he can buy the guitar with the agreement of his family.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Korean pancake

Now, I know it is called hotteok. I've never eaten real hotteok. The other day my friend told to me "I made it". I was so interested in it that I bought a box of the powder. Everything is written in Korean and some pictures.

What I understood is the temperature,the volume of water, and procedure.

Not bad. I might be into it for a while. Though you don't may know it, it tastes like "baked" sweet rice cakes.
I know the reason, the mix power includes rice power.
The difference is that, we have rice cakes with soy sauce (and sugar), these cakes have cinnamon sugar inside.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Wednesday's topic

Are you often late to meet people? Do you mind when people are late to meet you? Do you have any friends who are often late?

About these three questions, I thought about myself. Probably I'm punctual. And I don't like people who are "often" late. And around me the person who are often late is--- my younger daughter. So I had seldom my cell phone to meet my younger daughter. --- because she depended on the cell phone, and used to call me to say excuse why she wouldn't come on time. When she knew that I didn't have my cell phone, she tried to be punctual. And since she started to see job after her graduation, she is punctual.

Well, in March I wrote about two kinds of people, and I said people who are living in rural areas tend "not" to be punctual (or lazy). It might be from not only the circumstance, but also from the way of main transportation, it means "car". We can't estimate the time exactly when we transport by car. Though now I'm used to getting along with the local people here, even now some people make me surprised because they are late for meeting without reason, it means they come to the place lately with proud.

And though I mentioned cell phones. Now many people carry cell phones. How has this affected making and keeping appointments?
The good points are like this
It is easy to avoid not to miss each other on the way, or get lost, or stand someone up.
On the other hand , as I mentioned my younger daughter, some people are dependent on cell phones. They think that they can change the place and time anytime when they call by cell phones. And they forget the people who don't have cell phones, or the case if they don't contact each other by cell phones.

Though it is a usual thing, everything has both sides, doesn't it?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Yesterday I went to KARAKU to play the piano. It is a monthly event or monthly leisure activity for me. Unfortunately yesterday we had no guests. So I played in front of the Master's couple, and helper. I had a good time with three members.
After playing the piano I had a nice coffee and chocolate cake and talked with them.
I was basically babbling, but this time was still special to me because usually I spend most of time at home (though students often come.)

Today three adults comes, so for them (and YUKI) I bought this dry-fruit cake at KARAKU. It is today's refreshment.

Well, from now it is just my complaint.
After playing at KARAKuU, I went to a children center to teach English. (This is my monthly job.)
This time, I "couldn't" do class management well. One "gang" boy disturbed the class. For me it was an 'unusual' thing. According to the staff of the children center, these days the boy often causes troubles. But he was really quiet in front of his mother. I want them to enjoy free atmosphere while listening to my story and teaching without desks, pencils, erasers and textbook. I seem to need to change my policy.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I love soap

Do you use soap, washing cream, or body shampoo? I think it depends on the situation. I usually use soap when I wash my body and face. So one of my collecting is soap.My friend sent me this soap.

How do you use soap? I usually use this cotton net with soap.
It is easy to lather, and "I think" the form is more creamy.

Monday, June 13, 2011

a nest of a pair of swallows

Can you guess what is it? It's a nest of swallows. The other day I found it on the ceiling of our parking lot. There are two swallows. Early morning I look at them, but when I try to take a photo, they fly away. Today I could do it. Can you see something black in it? It's a head.

I told YUKI about the nest. And he understood why these days the top of car is dirty with droppings.
We don't know how many eggs are there. Though droppings are not good, we enjoy watching them.

So Yuki wants to take a good photo --- it means he wants to buy a new camera with a single-lens reflex. Oops, he recommends me to take photos with a better camera. I think it depends on my skill.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Finally --- she did it

Finally,my younger daughter M got an official job offer from a housing maker. Until now the rate of potential recruits among the future graduates in next spring is said to be about 50%. Anyway she could survive. Phew!!!.I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I know students don't go to university to seek for working "at a company", but as one of parent, if their children don't have any specialty or have usual common sense, it is happy for them to work at a 8stable) company. The most stable working place is probably to be civil servant. Unfortunately the exam is "now" very competitive. Some people who wants to be a civil servant go to a special school.And even if they pass the exam, some people must be waited for a few years as an part time employer.

Anyway she is going to start on her adult career. (I learned this phrase yesterday, thanks Jan)

Today it is the last weekday, I will have a calme weekend.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Wednesday's topic

Today 's refreshment was "PECO-chan" roll cake. PECO-chan is a character of a famous cake shop "FUJIYA". Though young kids don't know the character, in our generation every one knows.
So my adult students seemed to be very surprised at it, and be happy.

Today's title of the text book is "high school memories".
1.Have you kept in touch with any of your high school teachers?
2.What are the three most important qualities in a teacher?

We hold a reunion once a year. Unfortunately I don't participate constantly because it is held in TOKYO. And my third year homeroom teacher always join in, though she is now over 80.
She was strict and at that time she seemed to be a little bit temperamental. But when I think about it now, she was not temperamental, "we" students were temperamental because of the period of adolescence. Now she is a playful elderly woman though she likes to preach us even now.

To be a "good" teacher, probably they need to be impatient, to be fair, and to be goal-oriented. Our life is indecisive, so, we don't set a goal. But we need to a small or big goal to proceed to somewhere. So showing such a goal to students are necessary as a teacher.

Monday, June 06, 2011

car pool

Yesterday I read an article about car pool. "Car pool benefits everyone, as each person saves in gasoline, parking costs, and vehicle maintenance, and also the burden and stress of driving is not placed on a single person." Partly it is true.
In Japan car pool is not familiar. But after the disaster for two weeks, Yuki had carpooled with his colleague who lives nearby. Because suddenly we fell into shortage in gasoline and Yuki's workplace was so damaged that they fell into shortage in parking lots.
So carpool benefited saved in gasoline, parking lots.

And ---

The article reminded us of the days of car pool (Now he goes to work on his own by his car.)
Because of car pool, it got difficult to drop by convenience store (to buy his stuff) or supermarket(to help me with house chores). So it saved our money (a little).
Because of car pool, Yuki came home at regular time. (Now the time he comes back is not regular, it depends on his working schedule on the day.) So I scheduled making dinner, and served them which were still hot. Concerning car pool, some parts are good and some parts are not good. Of course everything has both sides.
I know it's not a good expression, after the disaster we had slow days. (I know even now many people in TOHOKU have to be evacuated, and some of them have not enough balanced foods yet.)

Well, yesterday we went a new coffee-beans shop, and bought homemade roasting coffee beans. At Karaku (where I play the piano once a month) the master roasted coffee beans by himself. We like his taste.And this shop's taste was not bad. When we drink enough coffee with good smell in the morning, we feel comfortable and thanks to start the day without trouble. Monday and this week has started. Have a nice day.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

strawberry jam

Once a year Imake lots of strawberry jam. And today I did it.
Yesterday Ms.E came to my house with a big box of strawberry. Some people of the readers of this blog might remember her. She is a farmer and her group succeeded to produce their home-made YUZU-KOSYOU.

I "washed" them (Jan, I did it carefully) took off the hulls, cut them into half, and put them into a pot. Add some sugar and SAKE. And at last I put some lemon juice.
So today's my lunch was pancake with strawberry sauce and fresh strawberries.

While simmering the strawberries, I weeded the garden.

These greens are not weed, they are called MITSUBA, edible leaves.

Well, it is almost the time to prepare dinner. Yuki came back from golf with lots of fresh vegetables (He dropped by a local farmer's shop on his way home.)
The menu is grilled SHITAKE-mushroom and smoked mackerel. ( I have a small smoker which can be used inside.)

Our Sunday is almost finished. It was a good day.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Wednesday's topic

The refreshment was chocolate cake.

On Wednesday we talked about foreign foods.
1.If you went to study for a year in a foreign country, what food would you miss the most from your country?
2. What was your favorite menu item at your high school or college cafeteria?
3. Imagine you are in charge of the cafeteria menu, for a large university. You want to offer some international dishes. Think of three dishes you might serve.

1. I would miss grilled fish, not Sashimi, tempura. I think BBQ fish and grilled fish are different from Japanese styled grilled fish. You might ask me what difference there is. --- It's difficult to explain it. sorry.
2. I would take my lunch to school. But Yuki, he would love "ketchup spaghetti". (We went to the same university). Of course the real name was not "ketchup spaghetti". It was served as meat sauce spaghetti. But it had no meat, no vegetables. So we called it "ketchup spaghetti".
3.I want to offer Tom yum goongo,calzones, and grilled chicken with BBQ sauce and dry rub.