Wednesday, October 31, 2012

We are in the fall . -2-

My friend came to my house with a big present.
In her garden, it is the best season for grapes, and YUZU citron.
This year she and her friends made YUZU-KOSYOU, which is paste of YUZU citron and pepper. There are two types, red one and green one.
This year she got an order from a famous stake house in Utsunomiya. Her YUZU-KOSYOU is getting popular among restaurants here little by little.

Last Sunday I attended a Toast Master's meeting. The topic of table speeches are autumn of sports, autumn of foods, and autumn of reading. In Japan the season of autumn is described with foods, reading, sports.

What foods do you enjoy in autumn?
Yuki and I ate grilled SHITAKE mushroom and roasted ginkgo nuts.
Last year we couldn't eat mushrooms because we were afraid of cesium contamination from FUKUSHIMA nuclear power station. This year the level of cesium recovers to the usual level. So we are able to enjoy mushrooms. MATUSTAKE mushroom is the most famous and expensive mushroom in Japan. We can buy one or two MATUTAKE mushrooms but we chose quantity so we enjoy eating a lot of fresh SHITAKE mushrooms.

What sports do you enjoy especially in autumn?
Sorry I don't like sports very much, but I do walking the most in autumn. And I want to increase my body strength to get through this winter. I try to go to work out more -- at least twice a week.

What books do you read recently?
I've just read this book.
Every body seems to be interested in the election of  the president in the US. Even in Japan I see the news. I don't support both of them, but I'm interested in the result.

How are you enjoying this autumn?

Monday, October 29, 2012

We are in the fall.

A new week has already started. How was your weekend?
Early Saturday morning Yuki and I went to Nikko to see autumn leaves. We left home at 6am, arrived RYUZU fall at 7:40 am and came home at 9 am.
We took some photos, and had AMAZAKE which is sweet drink made from fermented rice.  Nikkko was very cold so AMAZAKE warmed ourselves.
Why we left  home so early? Because this season the road to Nikko is very crowded, we wanted to avoid the traffic.
Why we came home so early? Because Yuki had a tennis lesson from 10 am . He didn't want to cancel it. (Actually while Yuki was taking lesson, I was working out at gym).

In the evening, there was a small festival downtown in Utsunomiya, We went out there by bus.

It was a cold night. So we ate Hot TOFU. Yuki drank beer and wine. I tasted sangria. It was "delicious". I don't drink  red wine much, but this sangria was really good, not too sour, not too sweet, not too strong.
Both of us got cheerful mood with drink, and came home by bus --- and went to bed. The day started very early and finished also early.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Today it's rainy and cool. A new week has already started.
Do you use a schedule book? I used to use one, when my daughters were with us.
There was a report on today's news paper, which is written how to use time effectively. They recommend to use a schedule book which is separated by an hour. If you use such one, you can manage time by an your effectively. Actually my husband uses such type.

Well, well, in my case, it's enough for me to have one additional thing on regular lessons. So I don't need such kind of schedule book. I use a monthly calender, and write down one additional event on it. I try not to put more than three events on it.

Tuesday; our club meeting
Wednesday; lessons all day long
Thursday; English activity at a nursery school
Friday; English activity at a nursery school
Saturday; work shop in IMAICHI (where it takes one hour from here Utsunomiya by car)
Sunday; going to a festival with my friend
Monday; English school meeting all day long

I need to take a rest between coming home and starting lessons. so I didn't have time last week to go to work out. (This is what I want to say, not an excuse.)

On Wednesday in the lesson, we enjoyed cooking Halloween cake.
On Saturday in IMAICHI I had a good lunch.
On Sunday, the festival was fun.
I took a friend who was from GABON there. The festival was about agriculture. For her it was the first time to see a real tractor. She seemed to be so excited to get in it.
On Monday, before meeting Yuki and I had a good breakfast at a hotel near Utsunomiya station. Yuki had to go to Tokyo on business, and I had to attend a meeting from early morning, so I skipped to cook breakfast at home.

Well, today I'll go out to attend a workshop about "MIND MAP". It sounds interesting, doesn't it?

Monday, October 15, 2012


It's sunny, and cool morning. In my garden SYUMEGIKU has started blooming.

Yesterday I attended a meeting which is organized by 30-year old lady. The attenders were three ladies in their 30's, two men in their 30's, 70-year old man, and me Their common thing is that all of them are working people (except me), even the 70-year old man is still working. He runs his own company.
And another common thing including me is that their hobby is English.

Though it's difficult to tell you concretely, the atmosphere was completely different from the housewife's meetings or mother's meetings. I felt all of them were completely independent. And they tried to share fun with others. Probably housewives and mothers are eager to share fun with their family. Their eyes always are on their family. On the other hand single people always look outside to do something with others.Though I couldn't speak English fluently as usual, I enjoyed the meeting.

To tell the truth I'm giving up to improve my speaking skill. On the other hand, I bear the title of "Kid's English teacher". So I "have to " speak English more fluently.
It's my big stress.

Anyway Monday has started. Let's enjoy this week.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Halloween month has started 2

This week most of students enjoyed carving Halloween pumpkins.

And they also enjoyed cooking.

We call them skeleton hands.
We call it spider cupcake.
The last big event is "trick or treat". We are going to visit three neighbors the week after next week.

Halloween is, I know, October 31. So it might be too early to do such activities. But the last week in October high school students will have tests, and from next week the six grade of elementary school students are going to go on school trip which is three days two nights trip. So some students will not be able to come to take my lessons.
I'm happy all students did Halloween activities.

Next week some women will come to enjoy English talking, so I'll cook something to enjoy Halloween month.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Halloween month has started

I call this month "Halloween month". We do some Halloween activities with my students in this month.
First, thanks to Jan, we got "the" traditional Halloween sweets which I've never seen in Japan until now.

The traditional corn candy is yellow, orange and white one. We (my students and I) call it healthy tooth. The one with brown top is called "a cavity". But the brown part is chocolate, so it's popular among us. The pumpkin shaped one is also popular among high school students, saying "cute".
Our Halloween month has started with tasting corn candy.
And we also carve Halloween pumpkin. I got some of them from a farmer, and two of them were grown by my adult students. Even in an adult class, adult students and I carved a Halloween pumpkin.

I didn't get enough pumpkins for each student.(Even if I got enough pumpkins, I couldn't have enough space to keep them.) So we decided to share them.

Well, well, have you ever tasted "biltong"? My friend who is from South Africa made it and brought it. It looks like beef jerkey, but it's more sour and less sweet. The main flavor is coriander. She explained how to make it. It sounds not so difficult. I'll try to make it.

Monday, October 08, 2012


According to the calendar, today is the last day of three-day weekends in Japan, though Yuki goes to work.
How was your weekend? Did you enjoy it?
On Saturday we went to a "ventriloquial show" (,which is the latest word I've learnt).

Have you ever seen a ventriloquial show? It is excellent and unbelievable.
Why he or ventriloquist can do that?

On Monday we went to NASU where it takes one hour from here by car. We thought it might be crowded. So we left here before 7 AM. Of course one reason why we left early is to avoid the traffic jam, and another important reason is---- to enjoy breakfast at a popular restaurant.

The restaurant opens at 8. We got there around 8. Some people were already waiting. When we got out there, many people were waiting in line.
After that we went to a small art festival.
We really enjoyed the places. Around noon, we went back to Utsunomiya. As our expectation the road from Utsunomiya to NASU was really crowded at that time.
We had a good weekend.
Well, today I'm enjoying my holiday. What am I going to do? Anyway I have to organize the house.


Thursday, October 04, 2012

Outdoor Activities 2

There are three questions. If I get your comments, I'm very happy.
1. What is the most exciting sports event you have bee to?
    What was the most exciting moment? Did you tell others about it?
2. What is the most expensive ticket price you have paid to see a live event?
    Was it worth it?
3. What is the biggest crowd you have ever been in?

1. I've been to watch a pro baseball game only once. Though I was not a big fan of both team, cheering a team with big fans was exciting. When a batter hit a home run, it was the most exciting moment. As soon as I came home I told about the game to my mother. Because she was a big baseball fan, and even now.

2. I've been to SUZUKA where is the west of Nagoya to watch F1 race only once. Yuki and I won the ticket. The ticket price was expensive for us at that time, and the travel cost using SHINKANSEN was also expensive for as at that time. Of course it was one day trip.
Now I can say "it is worth". Because if we went to see F1 again, we have to go abroad.

3 Though every summer festival is crowded, when I went to the summer festival in the city, suddenly  we had a big rain. So all people who were outside ran into the arcade. The arcade was so crowd that I felt to be difficult to breathe in. And I got sick.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Autumn has come.

Are you enjoying autumn? Here's my entrance.

Do you see spider lilies in your country? Now it is the season of spider lilies. Today my friend and I enjoy driving. There is a road called "spider lily street".
About for 1km we enjoyed such scenery. Harvest season is just around the corner, so the combination of golden rice ears and dark red spider lilies is great.
It is the good season for autumn fruits, such as grapes, pears and persimmons.
I found an interesting column in the newspaper.
This year  grapes in a bunch are not all of the same large size. Such bunches are called "family grapes". ( I don't know what we call the grapes which are all of the same large size, probably they are high quality.) When the flowers opened in spring, they didn't seem get enough rain. So the market price of the grapes is lower than usual. Our Japanese sense of value about fruits seems to be distinct. In foreign countries, it is said "Fresh fruits are good, processed fruits are better". Here in Japan whether the taste of fruits is good or not is judged by fresh fruits. Of course the size, the shape are very important. We don't judged the taste of fruits by processed fruits.

Anyway we enjoy autumn.

Monday, October 01, 2012


How was your weekend?
As expected, typhoon came, and left. Fortunately we had no damage.
This Saturday in the afternoon Yuki and I "did" house chores. We changed the summer carpets in the rooms into winter carpets. Actually it is fall (though it's hot today.)
On Saturday night we went to a private concert hall to listen to a young Jazz man, whose name was HAKUEI-KIM. It sounds like a Korean, but he grew up in Japan, and studied music in Sidney for 11 years.Yuki said "He is really influenced by Keith Jarrett!"
There were about 50 people. We really enjoyed the concert, and we love the private concert hall.

On Sunday, Yuki went to play golf. I went out in the down town alone.
I attended a talk show, where a famous socialist talked about how to enjoy this aged society.
Her name is Keiko-Higuchi. I didn't know that she is 80 years old.
Though you might be surprised to hear that, first I would have hesitated to attend it alone. But anyway I went there. And I was so surprised most of participants came alone.
She said "Of course women have to be independent, and senior people also have to be independent."

She also said " we are in the place no one has ever been, we are the first generation who live in this aged society. We don't have aged culture, so every one's daily life is making a new aged culture."

I was listening to her talk with a wry smile. Her age is between my mother's and my mother-in-law's.
I don't listen to two lady's talk well, but I listened to Keiko's talk show hard.

At the night typhoon came, and passed.
Let's enjoy this week.