Thursday, August 30, 2012

You sould praise three things and scold one thing

I read an interesting article in the newspaper. These days people who can't scold not only kids but also subordinates are increasing. If a boss scolded his or her subordinate, he or she might be accused of power harassment. So many managers take coaching lesson how to scold gently.
In my generation it used to be usual to be scolded by someone (parents, teachers, managers), but these days here and there we hear "Before scolding you should praise. It is a good way to raise kids. Don't scold them." And these days people who are not used to be scolded seem to increase.
While these days people are not good at scolding someone. Sometimes they confuse with these words, scold, yell, and warn.
Anyway I'm not good at praising and scolding someone. I'd like to take such a coaching lesson if I had a chance.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Festivals in Utsumoniya

Next week school will start, so this weekend is the last summer vacation for kids.
Yesterday in Utsunomiya there were many but small events in the evening.
Yuki and I went out to the main street by bus.

In front of a big department store, BON-ODORI dance party was held.
In the main shopping street, there was a big Jazz concert for free. (Do you know that Utsunomiya has a catch phrase of "a town of Jazz", and of course another catch phrase is "a town of GYOZA".)
And along the river there was a "marche", which was temporary markets corner. And a small concert was also held.

And at some art galleries, they open night gallery with candles.

We enjoyed browsing holding a glass of beer (Yuki) or a glass of iced coffee (Mieko) in one hand. And we came back our home by bus at night.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Summer vacation with Leah

Leah, who is a French girl, and had stayed with us for a while two years ago as an exchange student, came to Utsunomiya to enjoy her summer vacation. This time she stayed with us for four days. First she came to Japan, she couldn't speak Japanese. After one year passed, her Japanese improved very well. Now she is studying Japanese and French to become a French teacher in Japan at college in France. So her Japanese is getting better. This time we talked each other in Japanese.

I took her to take a work shop to make TONBO-DAMA , which is a big glass ball, and we make through lamp work.

Then I took her to a house of my friend, who is art teacher, drew this.
And the final is "here it is"---- the most suitable seasonal sweet "KAKIGORI".
This ice is not usual ice, it is NIKKO (it is the name of a place) natural ice, which means the ice is frozen spring water naturally.

We enjoyed this summer in UTSUNOMIYA together.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Summer vacation in Korea

How was your summer vacation? Now every thing has returned usual.
Yuki, our elder daughter T and I went to Korea, unfortunately our younger daughter didn't take days-off in this season.

When we arrived in Korea, the scenery looked like Japan except characters.
Anyway our busy tour started, because our free day was only one day.
First we visited a palace where Korea king's family used to live.
We had BIBINPA and REIMEN , which are typical Korean food , for lunch.

And we visited a Korean town where there were lots of art galleries and cafes. T seemed really enjoyed visiting galleries, and of course I enjoyed visiting a cafe though I only visited one cafe.

and of course we had Korean YAKINIKU for dinner, which was a purpose of Yuki.

After dinner we climbed up Soul tower.

And on the way back to hotel we got Korea massage.
It was a busy tour. Next morning we went back to Tokyo.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Summer vacation has started -2-

Everybody knows Yuki is into playing golf.
Well, well, it's good to do something with him sometimes. So I challenged playing golf. I just only hit a ball, but it doesn't fly far, so playing golf is for me walking golf course. Walking 18 halls is too much, so we did 9 halls.

After playing golf, main events were waiting for us. We went to a hot spring nearby, and had SOBA-lunch.

It was a perfect day.
Now I'm at home alone. Yuki wasn't satisfied 9 hall golf, so he went out to play golf again. I cleaned the rooms and from now I'll prepare for going to TOKYO and KOREA.

I met Mr. HIROSHI, who is a monkey. Have you ever seen a monkey performance?

Summer vacation has started -1-

Ten-day summer vacation has started.
Yuki and I are in Utsunomiya the first half of the week, then we'll go to Tokyo and Korea. Unfortunately our younger daughter couldn't take summer vacation, so we won't able to see her, but we'll to go Korea with our elder daughter.

Well on Sunday a big tea event was hold in Utsunomiya. Of course I went there. We could taste more than 50 kinds of tea. Lots of tasting made me satisfied and my stomach "TAPOTAPO", which is an onomatopoeia and sounds like tapping a soft belly.
We also got tea-smoothie.
I learnt something about tea there.
So I tried to make "plum tea" at home. Probably raspberry tea is popular. I kept frozen plum in the fridge, so instead of raspberries I used plums. "Perfect".

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Lateral thinking

Yesterday I went to a workshop in UTSUNOMIYA, and there I took four seminars.

The first one is about children English education. The theme was "follow your dream".
The second one is a conversation seminar. More than 10 English native speakers were there, so participants enjoyed talking in English.
I had lunch for free.
The third one is "no arts, no life". I learned the word "lateral thinking" which is the way to think out side of the box.
Do you know the word? For me it was the first time. Lecturer showed us some lateral thinking puzzles. I gave up! What a stubborn brain I have! Classical Lateral Thinking exercise is here.
For example
There is a man who lives on the top floor of a very tall building. Everyday he gets the elevator down to the ground floor to leave the building to go to work. Upon returning from work though, he can only travel half way up in the lift and has to walk the rest of the way unless it's raining! Why?

The answer is
The man is very, very short and can only reach halfway up the elevator buttons. However, if it is raining then he will have his umbrella with him and can press the higher buttons with it.
(I wrote the text in white. please trace two lines, so you can see the answer.)
At the workshop, a site of Gregory Colbert was introduced.

The last one is Japanese short story in English, which is called RAKUGO.
I'll introduce a short story, I don't know whether you understand Japanese joke. But I hope you enjoy it.
At home
Father; What? our neigbor didn't led you his hammer?
Son; No, He said it would chip.
Father; Oh, he is so mean. A hammer never chips. It's made of steel. Well, let's use ours.

Sunday, August 05, 2012


Since I updated this blog, one week has already pasted. Last week twice I went to nursery schools to read picture books. It's really fun to read books to kids. They show their emotion straightly, when they feel fun they laugh loudly, when they feel bored they start yawning naturally.
Except going there I was almost at home this week, though I went to workout three times a week. Some students came in turn to take extra lessons. Some had to brush up, some needed help for their summer homework. Sometimes I went out to have lunch with students to take a lunch break. It was interesting to talk with them at a RAMEN-noodle shop.

Today electrical workers come to put an air conditioner in Yuki's room. Yesterday we reorganized his room, and threw away a bookshelf and a desk. It was a big jog. Did I tell you? These days I try to throw away ten things (including a little thing like a sticker) to seek simple life. My kitchen seems to be getting more simple. And this time instead of ten things, we threw away ten big bags of garbage,so Yuki's room also seemed to get simple. Now "I" am waiting for their coming, (Yuki went to play golf already.)
For Yuki and me, recently we that that "space" is the most valuable thing in our house.

A few years ago in Japan a phrase of "DAN-SHA-RI" became a big thing. Lots of books came out.
 "DAN" means to refuse getting things, "SHA" means to throw things away, and "RI" means not to stick things. We tend to keep lots of things thinking sometime we might use. Of course we need "some" extra batteries, "some" extra tissues, "some" extra plates, but we don't need "a lot". It's difficult to draw a line between "some" and "a lot". Anyway I try to do "DANSHARI" little by little.

Jan, when you come to my house again, you must shout "Mieko, you did a good job, what an organized kitchen it is"! I'd like to hear this phrase, so I try to throw away ten things every day.
Well, well, for me, it is one thing to organize the kitchen, and it is another thing to keep the kitchen clean. I'm not good at cleaning.