Tuesday, July 31, 2012

How was your weekend?

Today it is the last day of July. How was your weekend?On Saturday, Some of my students came to take extra lessons in turn in the daytime, on the other hand Yuki went to practice golf, and play tennis. In the evening Yuki and I went to an electronics store, and finally "bought" an air conditioner for Yuki's room. Though you might not believe, "finally" an air conditioner will come to Yuki's room next week. Every room of our house will have an air conditioner from next week, but "unfortunately" we don't turn on all the air conditioners at once, because we don't have enough electrical capacity. If we turn on three air conditioners at once, our breaker trips.
At the night we had a heavy thunder and lightning and storm. So the power was out three times on and off.

On Sunday, Yuki went to play golf. I also went out with ERI-chan who is a lady living in the next door. We really enjoyed "Utsunomiya".

First we went to eat morning sweets. A cafe opened on the day specially as "July Morning Market".

Then we went to another cafe where a small march opened on the day.
Then we went to a bagel shop, and bought some bagels. These days I prefer bagels than usual buns.
Then we had lunch at a Korean restaurant.

And, we went to an art museum to an exhibition "Light and Dark". It was really interesting. Some works were difficult to understand, some arts were interesting, some arts were "Awesome". Seeing various types of works are really interesting.

 Then we went to another small march. This day here and there a small march was opening. I bought a bag for a song.

And yesterday it was a official holiday for Yuki. So he took me to play a golf. I play golf about twice a year with him. It was the first time to play golf at a golf course this year for me.
This is the golf course and our lunch there. It was a week day for usual people, so we could play at really reasonable price.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Tomato herb comport

Yesterday I got a big tomato in the evening. I thought it would be difficult to eat whole of it at once with Yuki and me.  So I tried to make tomato comport, but unfortunately I didn't have white wine. I thought SAKE might be used instead of white wine--- but before doing it I started browse the Internet. I found an interesting recipe, which is "tomato herb comport".

The ingredients are like this.
  water about  2 or 3 cups
  honey 1/2 cup
  fresh spear mint   10 stalks
  fresh lemon grass     5 stalks
  fresh oregano            6 stalks
Fortunately I grow spearmint, and lemon grass, but unfortunately I don't have oregano, so I use dried oregano, and use fresh SHISO-leaves which is in the same SHISO group as oregano plant.

Put all ingredients in the pot, and boil them. On the other hand, I soaked a tomato in the hot water, and peel its skin. After that I put it in the comport liquid pot and simmer for a few minutes.

I keep the pot cool in the fridge  at night.

What a wonderful breakfast is, today! Additionally this bagel was baked by my friend "HATOKO-san". Thanks HATOKO-san.

I hope Jan and Tracey see this blog.  And Now I'm making jelly with the rest of comport liquid.

This is the jelly I made.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Yuki came back from America. He bought many energy bars for my students to survive this humid and hot summer. Thanks Yuki, they are wonderful souvenirs. And our usual week has started.

Have you ever heard of "oxytocin"? It is a kind of hormone, and it is called a happy hormone.
These days it is clear that oxytocin is secreted when you do somethings for someone from other people's points of view.
Dr. KAMATA , who is also a famous writer, said "Now in Japan it is important to be moved by a little thing, and to do a little thing for someone to live vital."

I heard another interesting thing.  A principal of a nursery school said "these days kids are more childish than their age. BECAUSE they have less every-day experience. Even in the past working mothers were busy, and now working mothers are also busy. It is the same situation, but these days mothers want to enjoy themselves more. So whey they are free, they often play with their cell phones instead of talking with their kids. It means these days kids spend alone even with being with their mother."

Though it sounds easy, it is difficult to do a little something for others.

Well, well, finally I had the pretzel. Auntie Auntie's pretzel. In Utsunomiya unfortunately we don't have them. My neighbor went to TOKYO and bought them.  This is today's breakfast. It's cool. so I made hot pumpkin soup. ( I didn't peel the green skin, so it looks green.) Not having breakfast alone is fun.

Sunday, July 22, 2012


I'm really surprised, because a week has already passed since I updated this blog. This week the temperature changed a lot.   It was a scorching hot day with temperatures over 35 degrees C, on the other hand, these two days it is under 20 degrees C. I'm busy to wear a sleeveless T-shirt, or to wear a little bit thick sweater.
This week fortunately I had lots of things to do, and now I'm really happy to have done all of them without trouble.
Yesterday (on Saturday), I went to TOKYO to meet my mother. We met at TOKYO station and went to a department. We browsed through the department and had a good lunch.

On Thursday and Friday,  I went to nursery schools to read English picture books. All kids seem to have enjoyed with me.  The nursery school I went on Friday, was the first visit for me. So I was a little bit nervous before going there. Both jobs are non-paying jobs, they are volunteer work. But I'm happy to see smile of kids and teachers. And I also happy to be asked to do such a work.
To tell the truth, I sometimes think whether such a volunteer work is my hobby or my job. I sometimes think what is volunteer work. Actually I earn some money to teach English at home, and for me reading English picture books is one way to teach English. So it's difficult to draw a line between a job and a volunteer work. But anyway I enjoy reading English picture books to others, and through this activity I got to know a lot of people in different areas.
On Wednesday I had lessons all day long.
On Tuesday I did a workshop.The thema was " Sweets and English picture books for adults". My friend made sweets that suited the picture books I selected.About 15 people came, who were interested Enlighs picture books or my volunteer activity.

Today I have nothing to do special, just clean the rooms (or you can say it is the most important thing I have to do), and go groserly shooping. And tonight Yuki will come back from America. (Now he is on the airplane.)
So I said "I'm happy to spend last week without troubles."

P.S A blog friend told me that she was not able to put any comments here. Is it true? Luckly some friends gave some comments on this blog. I don't change any setting of this blog. I'm glad to get some comments.

Monday, July 16, 2012


Even though the end of rainy season is not announced yet, it is actually summer. It's really hot, today.
Hydrangeas have gone, instead of them, vine of morning glory and GOYA is growing. They make green curtain.

This weekend I went to NIKKO to work. I dropped by a popular tea room.  For a while I relaxed alone seeing the outside from the window. There I saw SYUKAIDOU and some ferns. I was giggling. The ferns made a good scenery there, on the other hand I'm fighting to weed them in my garden.

A few minutes ago, a deliver man came with this --- a bottle of pickled RAKKYO (kind of shallots)
My friend made it. She makes it every year to present to her friends. To tell the truth, I don't care for  RAKKO, but I love "her" RAKKO. I don't know why, but anyway I love "her" taste. I'm really happy to have such a wonderful friend like her.
Coming her RAKKOY tells me summer coming.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


Today, it's rainy. Sometimes it gets a driving rain. So the windows are getting dirtier and dirtier. I decide that during a rainy season I don't clean the windows. (though, I seldom clean the windows.)
Yesterday it was hot. And this sudden coolness and rain cause me a slight headache. What a bummer! Anyway in one hour I have to go out.

Last Tuesday it was the day for KARAKU, where I play the piano once a month. Coincidentally a chorus women's group were there. As soon as I started playing some Japanese classical songs, they started singing together. Other two single guests were also there, and they were smiling to listen to them. Thanks to the group, everybody there must have felt connected through our music. I was really happy to share that moment.
Having sweets after my performance is one of my happiest moments.

Yesterday my adult lesson was canceled, so I went out for lunch with my friend. The owner renovated her house into a restaurant. The menu was illustrated by herself. How cute!
This is a set of boiled food. The dish is like this.

My friend went to Korea recently. To tell the truth Yuki and I are thinking about travel to Korea. So her talking was really useful to me. Have you ever been to Korea?

If you have bee to Korea, or live in Korea, I'd like to hear your suggestion.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Meg came!

Yesterday our younger daughter came back to UTSUNOMIYA, though she couldn't stay with us.
Since she started to work it was the first time to meet her, though we keep contact with her on the phone or through e-mail. She looked usual, not looked thinner, not looked fatter. She seemed to work hard and enjoy her work. Almost every day she makes lunch and take it to her office. According to her it's troublesome to go out, and she can saves money. (Did I tell you that her hobby is saving?)

She got the first salary recently, and we didn't meet each other on Mother's day, and on Father's day. So she gave me a watch, and treated us with stake.

Regularly it's a day-off on Sundays for her. But on Saturdays it's not a day-off. (on a weekday it's day-off.) So it's difficult to stay even a night with us for her. It can't be helped.

Well, well can you see the bread in the photo? The chef said "it's an old way, but we keep it. These bread absorb extra oil.)

The sauce was salt, soy-sauce with WASABI or onion sauce. Stake with salt was really delicious.
Thanks Meg. We're looking forward to seeing you sooner.

Saturday, July 07, 2012


Today, it is TANABATA (a Japanese star festival). My students and I put (fake) bamboo with strips of paper in front of the entrance..

Usually people write their wish on the strips of paper, kindergarten students and early elementary school students did that. On the other hand junior high school, and high school students vocabulary test using the strips of paper while hoping to get a good score.

The other day I read an interesting advice column in the news paper. The consultor is in her 30's. She seemed to be worried about communication with friends. The answerer said "Usually among women, when a person is in trouble it is easy to become friends. But once the person goes well, the friends tend to be apart because of jealousy. People who are glad to other's happiness are true friends."
What do you think of it? Is it a Japanese thinking way? How about male people?
These days I often think about "level", economic level, education level, physical level, English level. I know each person has each own character. It sometimes difficult to accept other's opinion because of the difference of  the level. On the other hand when we are on the same level, we tend to compete and rise jealousy. How difficult to communicate with others!

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Can you see "them"?

Can you see "them"? what are they???
Probably you see just white dots. They are fire flies. We went to see fire flies to a hot spring nearby last night.

When I came here about 30 years ago. We used to see fire flies around my house. Here it used to be a country side. Now it is a big city.

Near the bot spring there is a small stream. There are fire flies. Actually They grow fire flies to collect people to the hot spring. Last night while we were seeing (or looking for ) fire flies flying we could hear a lecture about fire flies.
In Japan mainly three kinds of fire flies live. GENJI-hotaru, HEIKE-hotaru, and KUMEGIMA-hotaru. (hotaru means fire flies.) Most of fireflies live on the ground, but ten kinds of fireflies live in the water when they were babies. And three kinds of them live in Japan.

In your area are you able to see fire flies?