Saturday, December 28, 2013

New Year is just around the corner.

I put away Christmas ornaments, and put New Year's ornaments.
We finished Christmas with disjointing our Christmas cookie tree.

How "was" your the year of 2013?

The biggest event  for us was our younger daughter's marrige.
I often write about my empty-nest symptom. But this time I found her indevendence.
And this New Year's vacation, she will come back with her husband --- for me -- it's a little bit troublesome. It means we wellcome the couple as a kind of guest.

The next thing was that I could join some interesting workshops, like mind-map, vission-map, like that.
There I met people who are in their verious generation. It made me inspired and made me confusued. It's comfertable to be in an inner circle, but I want to have connection with outside world.

And the thrid thing was anyway my bad health condition. Though it's my favorite phrase "it can't be helped", anyway I often have feeling that I don't want to do anything. Thanks of my English classes, or because of my English classes, anyway I have done something. I don't know whether it's good for me to continue my English classes.

And the forth thing was that I have been keeping this blog. It 's amazing though my English skill seems not to be imrpoved. Writing something in Englihs makes my brain clearly. And my readers inspire me. Thanks to my readrs.

I wish your New Year!

Monday, December 23, 2013


WASHOKU is registered as one of intangible cultural heritage. What do you think of  from the word of  "WASHOKU"?

I read an interesting report on the newspaper.
Japanese people think typical WASHOKU is -- that
They are traditional Japanese food, and the common thing is soy-sauce or soy-beans, (When we cook MISO-soup, we don't use soy-sauce, but we put MISO (soy beans paste) to taste it.)
How many things do you know?

And WASHOKU which is recommend to foreigners by Japanese people are ---
All of them are kind of feast, not usual meals.

Do Japanese people always eat WASHOKU? No.
Is WASHOKU expensive? Some of them are expensive, but some of them are inexpensive.

There is such a question; Do you think these familiar Japanese foods are WASHOKU?
YAKISOBA;  45% people say yes.
RAMEN; 35%people say yes.
EBI-FURAI; 28%people say yes.
TARAKO-spaghetti ;28% people say yes.
Japanese curry and rice ;23% people say yes.

My foreign friends who live in Japan, say "they are Japanese food".
What difference is there between WASHOKU and Japanese food?

If you know the difference, why don't you come to Japan?
Additionally I'll treat "Japanese food".

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Merry Christmas

I know it's a little bit early to say "Merry Christmas", But in Japan it's not a holiday on 24th, and 25 th. But we have three-day weekends now. So many people enjoy Chirstmas this weekend.

All days of last week my students and I enjoyed Chirstmas lessons,--- it means cooking.
These are baked by elementary school students.
And this week we are going to break that cookie tree.
How do you enjoy your Christmas?
Anyway just a week is left until our new year's vacation.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


Christmas is just around the corner. In Japan on Christmas it's not a holiday, so probably many families are going to celebrate Christmas this week end. On 12/23 it's a holiday, "the Emperor's Birthday". So we have three-ends, though Yuki goes to work and I'm completely free.
And probably many families enjoy chickens and cake. It comes from American culture.

What is Japanese traditional feast? Probably it's OSECHI. It's a Japanese New Year's food. The colorful dishes are served in lacquer boxes called OJYU. Do you know that each dish is a kind of wish. Black beans are food for health, because the Japanese word beans, Mame, means healthy. Shrimp are for a long life because they are bent over like old people. Herring roe is for a strong family, with lots of children, because roe has has lots of eggs. And comport chestnuts are for wealth because shinning chestnuts give us an idea of Japanese old gold coins. Every osechi ryori has a special meaning.

My grandmother would tell the oprigins of osechi ryori while we were eating. Unfortunately I don't remeber all of them. We have to pass down the story from generation to generation, while we prepare it. Some families is going to buy osechi ryori like Kentacky fried chiken, some families cook, and some families go travel abroad without having osechi.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

volunteering ethos

The other day I attended a workshop. The speaker was a man who is in his 30's, and live in SENDAI.
SENDAI is one of cities which got a sever damage in 2011 because of the TSUNAMI.
He is a leader of SCHOP-DAN, which is SCOOP group in English.

Since the disaster had occurred, he went to YAMASHITA town (mainly) and dug body parts from the ground. ( the body damaged by TSUNAMI isn't kept the whole figure.) So the group name ordinated to the word scoop. They are a perfect volunteer group, but they don't call them a volunteer group, they just say they went to a friend's house,
I didn't know the following thing. In Japan we have a rule about volunteers. Volunteers don't go to dangerous areas and unregulated places. So if they told themselves to be volunteers, they couldn't enter YAMASHITA town. Because the town was completely ruined, so nobody knew people who would enter the city were good people or robbers. So only relatives and friends could enter the town. Actually the leader's friends lived in the town, and at first the leader went to find his friend (and he found the body.)
He did this work about for a year, and at the same time he started to clean the houses for surviving people in the town.

His work attracted many people, and the group was bigger.
And he knew, there were four types of volunteers.
People who can do what they can do. They are active volunteers.
People who don't do what they are able to do. (It means they don't think what they are able to do. And they are usual people.)
People who want to do what they can't do. (They are an unwelcome favor.)
People who don't do what they can't do. (They are honest people.)

Saturday, December 07, 2013

December has come

Have you finished decorating your house for Christmas?
Can you see a cookie tree? ( I don't know a correct word.) I bought it at a sweet shop, and put it on the shelf in the entrance hall. It really caught the eyes of my students. We'll eat it the last week in December .

This month I seem to be busy. This month two special workshops are going to be held (to celebrate Christmas? or to reconsider this year?)
And I also do Christmas events at nursery schools. I already did it twice. I'm going to go more two nursery schools to read Christmas English picture books.
And I also hold a small Christmas concert at KARAKU tea room.
And a men, who are Turkey, stayed with us about 15 years ago, and this spring came to Tokyo as Turkey government official will visit us to celebrate Christmas together. We had lots of young foreigner guests , and he moved up the ladder the most highly among our guests.

Anyway I hope I'll make it. To tell the truth I cancelled today's meeting because of headache. Today Yuki stays home, and he "is going to" cook (easy and quick) dinner for us. Until dinner time I'll read a book.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

About stress

The other day I talked about stress, but it was difficult to say something quickly. So let me re-think about stress.

• What causes your stress? And How do you recognize stress in your life?
To tell the truth these three month I was being in a bad condition. Poor health causes my stress.
Poor health makes me disappointed, and I feel discouraged. And for me when I don't want cooking, it's the sign to be under stress.

• Have you been under stress recently?
Now, it's OK, but the atmosphere of December makes me feeling busy.

• How does stress affect you?
Anyway I don't want to do anything, especially house chores.
And I don't want to go out either.

• When you are stressful, how do you feel physically?
I feel discouraged, and sometimes I take a medicine of anti-depression medicine.
This September I tried to take a little bit strong medicine, but I suffered a side effect.

• Do you feel tired during the day?
It depends on the day. Sometimes I feel tired, and sometimes I feel contentment.  I think feeling contentment and being busy are the opposite sides to me.

• Can you sleep well at night?
Fortunately I can sleep well.

• Does your stomach hurt?
Now it's OK, but when I eat too much, my stomach tents to hurt. So for these two months I have to be careful of not eating too much.

 ・How do you feel emotionally?
Probably I became old, so these days I don't feel emotionally so often,

• Do you feel nervous or worried about stressful situations?
Yes, a stressful situation causes another stressful situation.
And usually too business makes a stressful situation. So I'll organize my schedule frexiciblly as much as I can.
• Do you get angry easily?
Probably my family say "yes". but my students say "no".
And my own answer is "yes". I'm not patient.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Why do you work?

Why do you work? The most simple answer is to earn money.
Of course it's necessary.

And I know, for women being independent economically is the first step to be an independent woman.
I'm really surprised to hear that in a country recently it is allowed for women to open an account at a bank.

Though it's difficult to explain about the situation in Japan. We don't used to hiring a baby sitter. In my country being a house wife doesn't mean that the woman is uneducated.The reason mothers stay home is not only to nurse kids but also to educate kids. 

Of course some mothers have to continue to work to earn money, and some mothers continue to work if their circumstances make it possible and they want to choose to keep working. Why? They may answer like this; to keep independence, to keep what they are. They tend to think about themselves.

But the other day I hear another answer. She said "I want to make a better future you will live". She seems to be very proud of her job.

If you can meet such a job, you would be very happy.

Well, well, now I work a little? Why? not to earn money, though I want my pocket money.
Why? I want myself to feel being a member of society.
For me, it's difficult to work others.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Three "hei"

I read an interesting report. I don't know you will be able to understand my English sentences, or this Japanese thinking. But anyway for me it's really interesting.

The writer is as old as me, though it's he. And he was born in TOKYO (this means he was born in a big city.) and now he works at UTSUNOMIYA (this means he works at a local city.)

When we were college students( it means about 30 years ago) , we would enjoy our daily lives without worrying about our future especially our jobs. (Of course we know that now it's a hard time to seek jobs even though they graduate from college.) But anyway for those four years students were independent of parents ( though it might had been mentally.)  and parents also independent of their children. At that time the youth would seek three "KOU"s (it means "high") -- high academic background, high income, and tall height ( it means cool looking). And the youth are now parents. they don't want to let their children go adventure, clever parents analyse cost performance even though they can afford to educate their children. And they say  to their children that " three "hei"s  are enough for our lives."  Three "hei"s are calm life, average income, average looking.
So, keeping the pipe with  depending on parents and children each other  mentally and economically, a big city is closed in it self, and a local city is also closed in itself, And unfortunately since they don't have enough money and human resource in local cities,  they tend to become diminished. So the difference between a big city and a local city is getting bigger.

I often feel there is a big barrier between Tokyo and Utsunomiya.
I like this calm Utsunomiya's life. On the other hand I like the active Tokyo's life.
I understand what he says.
On the other hand, an interesting occurs.

This writer was born in TOKYO, and now he lives in UTSUNOMIYA. And he may choose UTSUNOMIYA as the place he will live after he will retire. Actually we will do. The interesting thing is that the senior generation will be complterly different from the generation about 30 years ago. In Utsunomiya's case, it is a middle sized city , so many branches of big companies is coming for these 30 years, it means many people moved to here from a big city including us. Our generation doesn't like to see UTSUNOMIYA getting dimminished. Now we are facing a problem of aged-city. UTSUNOMIYA is a middle-sized city, so it might be easy for this city to be attractive city for aged-people. And if it's an interesting city for aged people, it must be influenced to young people.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013


The other day I talked about parenting with a Filipino lady who is in her 30's and single.
I have two daughters, and fortunately they are already independent. My younger daughter got married this spring, and she and her husband lives in TOKYO. My elder daughter is still single, she pursues her life in an art world. Next week she is going to hold her personal exhibition in TOKYO.
And Yuki and I live in Utsunomiya where is 100 km far from TOKYO. These days we seldom our daughters.
So the special thing about my elder daughter is her strong motivation to make works.
And the special thing about my younger daughter is the attitude not to attach to anything. It means she doesn't pursue her career, but she likes doing work, so she doesn't choose a type of a job. 

The Filipino lady asked some questions to me.
1, Did you help your children with their homework?
Yes, especially I used to help them with their special summer homework. But I didn't help them with daily school homework.
But to tell the truth, probably they didn't ask me to help them. I was interested in doing summer "science" homework.

2. What were some things that you would not allow your children to do?
I think we don't have strict rules. But I like being punctual, and I don't like to tell a lie.

3.What are some things that you would allow your children to do that you think other parents may not allow their children to do?
I didn't compare ourselves with other parents. --- Probably nothing special.

4. Do you think that you are a good parent? Why?
I believe we are good parents. Because I think we've kept good relation ship.
Anyway I did as much as I could.

5. What do you think are some of the most difficult problems faced by parents now a days?
Well, it seems to be difficult apart from financial problems.
Probably all parents are afraid of their children being truant, being bullied and becoming a bully.
These days the contents of bullying is different from old-style bullying.

6. Should a good mother give up her job to stay at home with her children?
I think not to "give up" her job, but if you "choose " to stay at home as a mother, it's not bad. Actually I chose staying at home as a mother so I quit my job.

7. Should women always get custody (keep the children) after a divorce?
At first I didn't understand this meaning. In Philippines, when women dicvorce and her children were under the age of 7, they get automatically custody. In Japan, if children are under the age of 10, mothers tend to get custody, but we don't have a rule.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

A talkshow by a woman

I participate to a talk show by a woman, she talked about her life for 2 hours.
It was interesting. She is around 65 years, nevertheless she wore heels. Though she came from TOKYO by bullet train, I don't know she was wearing heels in the train. She might have changed her shoes for her talk show.

Who is the woman? She is a mother of a famous Japanese singer. But she didn't talk about the singer, didn't talk about the way to bring him up. She just talked how she managed to overcome some difficult situations. And she suggest you should praise yourself a lot.
I've heard such a story.

Close your eyes, and imagine to put a wonderful (wine) glass in front of you. Try to fill the glass with compliments for yourself.
I think Japanese people or I am not good at praising myself. I sometimes hear this phrase, but I forget soon. So it was a good time to consider myself.

To tell the truth for me it was more interesting to listen to additional talk.
She said to women who are busy in doing mother's job. "Please enjoy the time with your kids, it's not so long than you think."
And she said to women who graduated from mother's job, "Please live for yourself".

Though I don't know her real life, but she seems to live "alone". Though she is popular as a singer's mother, she doesn't seem to keep contact with him so often.  So in good meaning and in bad meaning, the phrase "living for yourself" was very convincing.

She also said that when we try to depart for another place, some people leaves move away, but you meet new people.
Those who come are welcome, those who leave are not regretted.
I know this phrase, but it's sometimes difficult to do it. I tend to chase people who leave me.

Additionally I grinned to myself when she said ----
"If you get stuck at home, anyway you go out with one bill (it means 1000 yen). And for a while you keep walking. Probably you feel tired after you walk for one-meter (it means a minimum fee of taxi). So you get a taxi, go home, take a shower, have some drink and go to bed to ignore your family."
Probably it is her one of experiences. BUT--- here in Utsunomiya, we can't get a taxi on the street.

Monday, November 04, 2013

November has come

It's November. New year is two months away.
Last month I enjoyed Halloween months. On Halloween my high school students and I enjoyed doing trick or treat. We "gave" lots of sweet to customers in the restaurants nearby.
It means  that. We visited two restaurants nearby in masquerade. And we asked the customers to shout trick or treat. And we presented sweet to them. It was fun.

Now I've changed the decoration of the entrance shelf.
Can you see a stuffed bird? It's a turkey. Here in Japan it's not popular.
If I have a chance I'd like to "see" a whole roasted turkey. (And it's OK to have a little)

Monday, October 28, 2013

about stress

Yesterday I attended a Toastmasters meeting. The theme of the table topic was stress.
1 What is your stress recently?
I was appointed to give a few minute speech.

--- What is current stress? Now my daughters are already independent, thankfully my husband works hard "for me". My mother and Yuki's mother are well until now. Though we are not rich, but we can enjoy dining out, short trips. You must think that I have no stress. To tell the truth these days I'm not in a good condition because of this weather. This changeable weather stresses on me. They cause me to have a headache, dizziness, and lightheadedness.  It's difficult for me to adjust Utsunomiy's climate. Early morning it's very cold, and in the daytime it's hot, and in the evening suddenly it gets cold. Since I came here, more that 30 years passed, but I can't adjust to its climate either. I've going to see a doctor since I came here, and the doctor's", I've seen some doctors, say you don't seem to adjust to the season of fall and spring in Utsunomiya. In Japan it is said that fall and spring are the best season to enjoy our lives. But for me they are tough season.

2. What was your stress when you were a child?

It was an interesting question. Do you remember such stress? If you remember, it means that it must have been a heavy burden. And if you overcome the stress, it must have given you a big confidence.
For me it was examinations. I hate examinations. So the most wonderful thing when I became adults, I don't need to take examinations mandatorily.

3. How do you relieve you stress?

Some people enjoy being in nature, some people enjoy music. And for me having a good meal.
Fortunately Yuki and I could find a few favorite restaurants. And we are familier with them. When we are tired, familier tastes relieve our stress. Of course challenging a new restraunt is also fun.

4. Are you a stress junkie? or what kind of people tend to be stress junkies

To tell the truth  it was the first time to hear the word. Stress junkies are people who, without even knowing it, use their own physiological responses as a mood-altering device. When we perceive ourselves to be in a threatening situation, we have specific reactions designed to help us either run like hell or battle for our lives: Our blood pressure increases (rushing extra oxygen to the muscles) and our digestive processes slow down (preserving energy).
I found an interesting issue.
Are you a Stress Junkie?
Take this short quiz to see if you might be exposing yourself to too much stress.
  1. Do you dread taking a vacation from work, even a short one, for fear that there will be more work when you come back?
  2. Do you try to squeeze an unreasonable amount of tasks into one day?
  3. Do you believe that you work better under pressure?
  4. Do you feel like you are truly accomplishing something if you are very busy?
  5. Do you leave things to the last minute because you know it will be easier to get done with a little pressure?
If you answered yes to more than one of these questions, you could be on your way to stress addiction.

I thinkg getting businer and sucessful people are, getting heavier stress junkie they are.

5. sorry I forgot the last quesion.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

how do you classify generations

According to the weather report another typhoon is attacking Japan this weekend. I hope we don't have any big damage. Well, before starting today's blog, let me say thanks to some friends. I didn't know that my Japanese close friends check this blog. Though to tell the truth I avoid going out by myself because of the dizziness, I'm OK. Thank you for your concern.

The other day I noticed an interesting way to classify generations.
People who are in their 10's or 20's, are called "mango" generation.
People who are in their 30's or 40's, are called "kiwi" generation.
And people who are more than 50, are called "banana" generation.

Do you understand this way? For people who are more than 60 (I don't want to include people who are in their 50's, bananas used to be wonderful dessert and not so inexpensive. People who are in their 40's and 50's kiwis were new fruits when they were young. So having kiwis used to be a trend.
And I don't know when, but mangoes gained a great popularity. And mango puddings made the popularity bigger.

Do you know other ways to classify generation?
I sometimes classify generations into "SUKIYAKI" generation and "YAKINILKU" generation. When I was young, the family treat was SUKIYAKI, which is cooked one big pot.
When my daughters were little our treat was "YAKINIKU" which is cooked one big plate.

Or I sometimes classify generations into TONKATSU generation and HAMBURGER STAKE generation. The meat meal my mother made used to be TONKATSU, and the meat meal I made to my kids were hamburger stake.
Anway the ways to classify generations I know  are all by foods.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

I was OK, but I was bad, and now I'm OK.

Everyday the weather changes like my condition.
I did all jobs last week, and Saturday early morning ( Yuki and I left home at 5:30) we went to  NIKO to see autumn leaves. Though it was too early to enjoy colorful leaves, we enjoyed autumn.

We saw two falls, one was calm, and the other was dynamic.
We went back home at 9:00. Yuki went to play tennis. I was -- in bed. My dizziness had started again.
Fortunately  I was not so bad, so in the evening I was watching TV.
At night I god really bad, so I canceled Sunday's event, and Yuki also canceled his golf game.
He took me a hospital. I was put on drip.
So I got fine. and I got so hungry that we went to our favorite restaurant. We had delicious pork pot-au-feu.
Yes I have a good appetite. So I'm OK.
In the afternoon, I talked with a friend via SKYPE. The main theme was menopause.
Sometimes my condition gets bad, but it can't be helped. When I'm fine I enjoy my life as much as I can.
I'll enjoy next week  again like this week!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Halloween sweets

This week my students and we are enjoying cooking Halloween sweets.
We don't the event of trick or treat.
But we share Halloween sweets. Some of my students were really looking forward to corncandy. Though lots of sweets are imported in Japan, it's difficult to get corn candy.

Small kids make Jack-o-lautern cookies and ghost cookies.
Junior high, and high school students make pumpkin pie. Can you guess what shape these are?
And the leftover daugh was our breakfast today.

Today I'll do the same thing, so tomorrows' breakfast is going to be the same.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Halloween month

In Japan Halloween is getting popular.
Last week my students and I enjoyed carving pumpkins. We were going to do that in the last week of this month, but this season it's too hot even in fall to keep the pumpkins in good condition.

Each student took their pumpkins  home. So there is nothing on the shelf. However my friend in the US sent me Halloween treats So I put them instead of pumpkins. This week is Halloween treat week.

Moreover she sent me lots of ingredients. In Japan autumn is said to be for enjoy eating. For me it is not only to enjoy eating but also enjoy cooking.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013


The other day I talked with a Filipino woman who is in her 30's .
It was really interesting.
1. Are you a happy person?
People around me must say that I'm a happy person. However my family or some close friends may say that I'm conservative and tend to lack spirit.

2. What are the three most important things for you to be happy?
Health, friends or family, and --- to tell the truth, some money.
Probably we don't need lots of money to feel happy, but at least some money is necessary.
Though you might think I lack good taste mentioning money, thinking about money is important.
Sometimes having too much money makes people unhappy. On the other hand these days the number of young people who "cannot" be dependant from their parents because of earning enough money is increasing in Japan.

3. Does having an animal/pet make you happy?
Yes, for some people having pets is important. In my case, I used to have a cat. She died about 6 years ago. I thought I would have another pet, but I didn't. These days I sometimes go to Tokyo, and I'm away from home. So I don't want to leave my pet alone.

4. When was the happiest time of your childhood?
Probably it was the happiest time when I was in the kindergarten. Because what I remember in that time is just playing. For 16 school-years, though of course I had lots of happy things, I hated exams.

5. Are the people in your country generally very happy?
I hope so.

6. Do you agree that older people are less happy?
I don't think so.
Actually the older we get, the more we have health problems.
But when we get old, we are free from studying hard like our school years, working hard like our business years, nursing kids our parents years. We have a  right to enjoy our free, or I wish I can use the right dignifiedly. And I know these days it's getting difficult.

7. What is or was the happiest time of your life?
As I sometimes moan, I miss the time of living with my daughters.
So the time of living with four members might have been the happiest time.
But I think I won't live with my daughters again. Because they don't listen to me like when they were kids.

8. What is missing in your life that would make you very happy?
To tell the truth, these days I'm not so good. So sometimes I think if I were more healthy.
On the other hand it's enough.

9. Do you feel that you have to work hard and  now in order to be happy later?
As I tell you, I worked enough, though Yuki (my husband) has to work hard more for a while.
So I want to enjoy working. I'm lucky to run this small English school at home. Thanks of students I feel less lonely, though sometimes taking care of kids students is troublesome.

Monday, October 07, 2013


Though it's fall in Japan, according to the weather report it will be hot like summer again today.
It's really difficult (or impossible) for me to adjust to this unstable weather.

However, Halloween season has come.
I already got orange pumpkins. I know for  you it's a usual thing that pumpkins are orange. But for Japanese KABOCHA or squashes are green, so orange pumpkins are not so familiar. So some small students said "pumpkins are really orange, aren't they" when they saw them.
We'll carve them the end of month, because they started to rot as soon as they are carved. So for a while we enjoyed drawing pictures.
Yesterday Yuki and I trimmed trees in the garden, and organized the garden. We have still some lemon grasses, but most of herbs are gone.
I love fall.


Monday, September 30, 2013

What's the punch line to the tall story?

Thanks for your visiting to this blog. Before reading this blog, please read the previous blog " a tall story".
If you knew my character, and if you knew my house, you would realize easily that it's not a true story". But for many people especially who are in their 20's and 30's, it sounds like a completely true story.

Yesterday I attended a Toast Master Meeting, and I introduced this story. There were 7 people, and half of people who are in their 20's and 30's didn't notice it was a tall story. And 4 people have Roomba. One of them are in their 40's, though he bought a Roomba, it didn't work because there are too many little things on the floor to move freely.
Anyway this time I found out, the floor of recent houses and apartments are tortally flat.
The main reason why I don't buy Roomba is that the floors in my house are at different levels difference in level.
Another reason is I can't discard my important kitchen gadgets, Yuki doesn't allow me to discard his t audio "junks". And we can't say good-bye to things which are nostalgic to us.
I think, in 10 years, New Roomba will appear. It will be able to overcome the difference in floor levels. It would clean while floating. If it floated, you wouldn't remove any things on the floor.


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

a tall story

If you've visited my house, you immediatly understand that this story is my tall story.

Well, let me tell you  recently changed my new life style.
Finally I bought Roomba which is automatic vacuum cleaner. It made me free from one of my house chores, that is every day cleaning.
However, to use Roomba I needed a lot of effort.
It was DAN-SYA-RI. DAN means to decline to get things, SYA means to throw away unnecessary things, and RI means to separate from clinging to your things. This idea comes from Yoga spirit.
I'll introduce how I did DAN-SYA-RI.
At first I started from my daughter's old rooms. It was easy, because they took away their necessary things, so all the things which are left  in the rooms are unnecessary thing for them, though they are nostalgic to us and have full memories. Good bye to the memories. it was done.
Next I started Yuki's room. It was a little bit difficult, because he uses the room and what I wanted to throw away and what he agreed to throw away were different, but we have the same gole which is to use Roomba. So I discarded a shelf with lots of junk goods for computers. 20 years ago one of his hobbies was to make a computer, but now he can't catch upwith technology. And I scrapped another shelf with lots of out-of-date audio machies such as  a record player, VCR.
Let's move on!
The next is our living room. It used to be used as a meeting room for our family, but now it is used for guests. So we don't need a book case, TV. I discarded them. The necessary thing is a sofa and a table for senior people who have weak legs.
Well let me go to the final and the most difficult stage. It's our dinning and kitchen. I cleaned this room, while I was putting things to one side.  So I have to discard all of  the things to introduce Roomba.
Now I don't make lunch boxes for my daughters so don't need a big rice cooker. When I want to drink coffee, I'll make a coffee with drip paper. Now there are two members in my house, so it's inexpensive to buy 100% juice than to make juice with juicer. I discarded a trolley table. I checked another shelf. What a lot of machines there were. Yuki and I are getting old, so we don't eat grilled meat so often, it means we don't need electric roaster. Now we don't make rice cakes, so don't need rice cake machine. TAKOYAKI-machine, HOTSAND-machine, and Grilled rice ball machine are also unnecessary. I discarded another shelf.  I also checned a cupboard. We don't need so many dishes such as big plates. I discard a lots of plates and mugs. I made it. Now in the kitchen, the only things are left, which are a sink, a fridge, a table and four chairs, and a small cupboard.

Roomba cleans the rooms when I'm going out.
So when I'm at home, I have lots of free time. What am I doing? I don't have TV. Thanks to DANSYARI, I'm not interested in clicking AMAZON site on the PC.
So I took in YOGA sprit. It means I put a YOGA mat on the floor, and I meditate while I'm thinking what I'll tell about at the next Toast Master Meeting.

Monday, September 23, 2013

This Sunday

This Sunday Yuki and I went to Tokyo and visited the national art center in Roppongi, Tokyo.
Fortunately this year our daughter T won a prise, and her work is displaying  for about two weeks there now.
Thanks to her prize, my mother, my daughter M and her husband, my daughter T and we met together there. Unfortunately my mother-in-law couldn't come because her another event.
We saw her work, and had lunch at a good restaurant.

This time I treated them in celebration of belated the Respect-for-Senior-Citizens Day, marriage of Mr. and Ms.M,  prise of T, and "Yuki's birthday". Yuki became 54. It's the time to prepare for planing about our pension life. The time we support T is limited, though we don't support her a lot.

Then my mother , T , Yuki and I had coffee and tea at this cafe. Have you ever heard of it? It's famous for caramel and chocolate.

Monday, September 16, 2013

to hold in your anger

On the last blog I wrote how we classify our anger. Yesterday I read the subsequent report. The title is how to hold in your anger.  The report says "not to compare anything with others". Yes, yes, Since I can remember, I've been heard this phrase. But I know it's difficult. And the report also says, not to compare with others, you should throw away an obsession with things.
It's easy to write, though it's difficult to write in English.

This idea comes from ZEN which is a kind of Buddhism.
1. Not to seek to be perfect and try to do what you want to do for the sake of it
2. Try to appreciate and be satisfied with every thing you are gotten
3. Not try to think you are always right
4. let insults and so on pass without noticing
5.Sometimes it's better to let it go
6.Not to chase a dog's wagging tail, you should pursue yourself.

(I hope all sentences make sense.)

And if you get angry, you should take a pose and mumble a phrase you decided like "thank you" or " I'm OK".

 Well, do you know that I have one phrase I've decided when I talk to my mother. It is " SOUNANDA" which means "I see, or I agree with you". When I have to talk with my mother, I write this phrase on my palm. Because I tend to deny her talking or give her a lesson.
And these days my daughters tend to deny me when they talk with me.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

laughter and anger

We know laughing makes us happy and healthy. In Japan people say "Fortune knocks on the door where people laugh." Laughter is a key factor to good luck, happiness  and good fortune. This is a universal notion as shown in an English proverb "Laughter is the best medicine". Even doctors agree that laughter makes you feel relaxed and less tense. Even if you are going through hardship, try to laugh as much as you can under stress.
But if you get angry, is it easy to laugh? I read an interesting report. The report says that "if you get angry, try to less anger and try to stop doing actions with anger." To less anger it also recommends to analyse the level of your anger.
level 0; calm
level 1-3; unpleasant, and annoyed
level 4-6; irritated, and quite annoyed
level 7-8; furious and seriously upset
level 9-10; explode and can't stop trembling
It's interesting, though I think while we are analyzing the level of our anger, we are not so angry yet.  But the report also says" if you get used to analyse the level of your anger, you  will notice that your anger you sometimes feel is not so strong. It is the first step to manage your anger".

Anyway fortunately I haven't experienced the level 10 anger.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

interesting questions about Japan -3-

Let me answer the rest of interesting questions about Japan. Three questions are only left.
10 - Did you know that if you go to a buffet restaurant in Japan you will notice people only eat as much as they need without any waste?  No wasteful food.
Yes, it's a kind of manner. We say "Mottainai". Do you know how many people who are starving there are in the world. And who eats the leftover on your dish? Dogs? Cats? No one. It cnahges into trash. And Japan is a small country, we have a limited land, so we have to reduce garbage. Three Rs are really important, reduce, reuse and recycle.

11 - Did you know that the rate of delayed trains in Japan is about 7 seconds per yearThey appreciate the value of time and are very punctual to minutes and seconds.

Yes, it is one of our proud things. And do you know that in a city people tend to be punctual, but in a rural area where people use car, people are not so punctual. One of things which was difficult for me to adjust Utsunomiya's life  is to get used to people who are not coming to my house on time.

12 -. Did you know that children in schools brush their teeth (sterile) and clean their teeth after a meal at school?  They maintain their health from an early age.

Yes, it's true. Is it strange? I don't know since when this habit has been usual. When I was an elementary school student (it means 45 years ago), we didn't have this habit. But anyway my daughters have kept healthy teeth without cavities for 25 years.

13 - Did you know that students take half an hour to finish their meals to ensure right digestion?     When asked about this concern, they said: These students are the future of Japan.

Does question ask about the time to have lunch? Usually at school they have one- hour lunch time. But it includes setting tables, serving lunch, and cleaning away. In Japan, usually school lunch is made in school, and children serves it by  themselves, and eat it at their home room class. We don't have a cafeteria. And after lunch  they have 20 or more minutes recess. So children want to play more so they may eat their lunch quickly.
On the other hand one of surprised things was that at school elementary school students just have an apple, potato chips and drink. Is is enough for elementary school students?

I answered all questions. It was fun.
If you are Japanese what do you think of them and if you are a foreigner what do you think of them?
If I can get your comments, I'm really happy.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Interesting questions about Japan -2-

Let me answer the interesting questions again.
4 - Did you know that Japan does not have any natural resources, and they are exposed to hundreds of earthquakes a year,but do not prevent her from becoming the second largest economy in the world?

It's true. We don't have any natural resources. We used to have coal, but it was dug out. And actually today in Tochigi where I live there was an earthquake. I'm afraid big earthquakes, and I hope we don't have an earthquake like in 2011 again. On the other had we are used to having small earthquakes.

5 - Did you know that Hiroshima returned to what it was economically  before the fall of the atomic bomb in just ten years?

It needed at least ten years to get back to that vibrant situation. Now Tohoku area has been in a bad situation since the earthquake and Tsunami hit there. I hope Tohoku will become vibrant again as soon as possible, though the radiation problem is complicated.

6 - Did you know that Japan prevents the use of mobile phones in trains, restaurants and indoor?

Is it strange? In public rambling on the cell phone makes others annoyed. Quick talk is OK.
But who can decided whether the talking is long-winded or not. So using cell phones in trains are prevented. Though in restaurants it's not prevented, if used your cell phone people would frown upon you. Japanese people prefer being courteous and conciderate.  But I think "indoor" is not prevented. It depends on the place. However many people use cell phone quickly in trains and restaurants.

7 - Did you know that in Japan students from the first to sixth primary year must learn ethics in dealing with people?

Is it strange? We don't have lessons about any religion.But ethics is important. And probably it's easy to learn ethics at school. Because we don't have a big (especialy religion) conflict because we are isolated people. 

8 - Did you know that Japanese, even though one of the richest people in the world, do not have servants?  The parents are responsible for the house and children.

Before the war, some people used to have servants. One of the reason is probably they are big families. And the difference between rich people and poor people were clear. But now most of them are small family, and the difference is not clear.  Some people who are really busy or very rich hire housekeeper. But the cost is very high. And we are not used to let someone do house chores.

9 - Did you know that there is no examination from the first to the third primary level; because the goal of education is to instill concepts and character building, not just examination and indoctrination?

Well, well, what kind of examinations does this question point? we often have small tests, and terminal tests even at primary school, though every primary students can automatically go to the next grade without considering their scores. And every student gets score grade at the end of each term.
And what does it mean "indoctrination". Education at school is done for building character. I think it's right.

to be continued.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Interesting questions about Japan -1-

I got these questions about Japan from .
They are really interesting to me, I read these questions with a laugh. Let me try to answer to them.

1 - Did you know that Japanese children clean their schools every day for a quarter of an hour with teachers, which led to the emergence of a Japanese generation who is modest and keen on cleanliness?

Partly it's true, and partly it's not true.
Actually at school we have cleaning time. All students and teachers clean the classrooms, the gym, the garden and even the toilets. Usualy we don't have janitors to clean the school. For Japanese people it's a usual thing. But I know for many foreigners it seems to be strange. I know an abroad student who came to study about Japanese education selected "cleaning time at school" as  a topic for her  thesis. But I don't think it leads to being keen on cleanliness. Every one prefers being clean to being dirty, don't they? I think cleaning schools suggests  to students that we should organize our things by ourselves.

2 - Did you know that any Japanese citizen who has a dog must carry a bag and special bags to pick up dog droppings.  Hygiene and their eagerness to address cleanliness is part of Japanese ethics?

Well, well, I was really surprised to this question. When you  are walking your dog and he drops, what do you do? Do you leave them there? It's just a manner, isn't it?

3- Did you know that hygiene worker in Japan is called "health engineer" and can command salary of USD 5000 to 8000 per month, and a cleaner is subjected to written and oral tests?

I don't know it. I know that they have the license to be a health engineer, like a teacher, a pharmacist, and so on. But I don't think they earn such high salary. In Japan salary is decided by their career, working place and age.

Now it's time to work. These questions are not finished. --- to be continued.

Monday, September 02, 2013


Unfortunately these days I only update my blog once a week. I want to try more----.
Anyway, since last week I has been suffering a neck pain. It seems not to come from getting a stiff neck, not to come from  muscle ache.
Usually when I get a stiff neck, I get a massage. But last week the pain was so bad that I didn't get it. On the other hand I was recommend to do stretch, so I went to workout and also at another place I took a stretch lesson. The pain was getting less, but--- on Saturday I had a slight fever and I felt so sluggish (languid?) that I was staying in the bed.
BUT I had an appetite. Unfortunately or fortunately Yuki doesn't cook well, so we went out to eat UDON. "When I'm sick, I have NABEYAKI-UDON". It has been my habit since I was a child. (or you can say my mother raised me up in this way.)
Yesterday I had a work all day long. Anyway I managed to do it.
After having a fever, my neck pain is getting less. Probably this week I can get a massage.
Last month a friend said to  me that " I'm careful not to have neck and shoulder pains, because they sometimes causes a fever". At that time I didn't believe it, but now I understand it.
But how am I be careful not to have them? Probably doing stretch is one way to keep away from them.

To tell the truth Yuki and I try to do more exercise.  Last week Yuki and I attended a lecture meeting. We wanted to use sports machines in Tochigi prefercutre health center. Before we use them, we have to take a lecture and a health check.

This is a part of my health check sheet. Can you guess where a circle puts.
"Lack of exercise". The level of visceral fat is four. And my body is not so difficult to burn fat in the body.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Monday again

 Last week what was I doing?
On Monday I met a friend and talked about our summer vacation.
On Tuesday I met another friend and went out to see a sunflower garden.
On Wednesday I had lessons all day long.
On Thursday  a person from my head office came to watch my class.
On Friday ???? what did I do? In the morning I went to workout, and my lesson started at 4. For the three hours What was I doing? Was I taking a nap?
And On Saturday I attended an event all day long as a volunteer.
And yesterday in the morning I vacuumed the rooms and in the afternoon I attend Toast Master's meeting.
And I cooked dinner sincerely.

The other day I talked with a friend who is in her 30's and married but has no children.
I mourned saying "I'm lonely".
It doesn't mean I want my daughter to come back to my house. But anyway I'm lonely.
She suggested I find out what part of myself I like, I try to like myself without considering or comparing with other people.
(Does it make sense?)  Her suggestion was really interesting to me.

I forgot what I was thinking when I was in 20's. Probably I was busy in working, and I was satisfied with myself dedicating to work. It means it was fun to be evaluated my Carrier by someone.
Since I had children, I was busy in bringing them up. It means being with children was all my life and pleasure, though at that time I didn't notice it.
So as she told me, now it is the time to consider myself.

Can you answer if you ask what part of yourself do you like?

Monday, August 19, 2013

Usual Monday

Usual days have started.
I got up at 6, and cooked breakfast. Today's main was sauteed pork and KUSHINSAI-leaves.
After breakfast, Yuki went to work, I started clean the rooms, hanged the laundry out, and I weeded.
When I was weeding, my next-door neighbor was also weeding. She picked and gave these fresh vegetables to me. Thanks Ms.M.
Well, well, how do I cook them?
I'll pickle tomatoes. Have you pickled tomatoes?
These days I like to pickle vegetables. I make the liquid to pickle with honey.

According to my schedule, I "have to go" to workout to keep up the momentum. (I learned this phrase recently from Jan. Is it a correct sentence?)
But weeding and talking outside made me tired. For a while I need to take a rest inside. So I'm writing this blog.

In the afternoon, I'm going to go to a dentist, then I'll meet a friend at a cafe. In the evening another neighbor will come.

Though today I have no lessons, fortunately I can talk many people. So I have no time to feel loneliness though I have lunch and dinner by myself.

Well, well, I have to go to workout.


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Summer vacation -4-

This weekend we are spending as a usual weekend, though I cleaned the house.
We saw this DVD, Tuesday with Morrie. It was really interesting.
After we watched it, I clicked on my PC to buy this book. It's a no fiction story and a best seller book, isn't it? Of course we are going to buy a Japanese version book. After reading it , I might buy an ordinal English book.  Why Morrie can spend his last life so active? He must have been really happy to have such a wonderful student.
When I got much older, will I have such a student? Before thinking about my students. will my daughters often visit us? (Though we just visit our parents a several times a year.)

And we went to this place.Can you guess what this brochure is? This is a shop brochure which opened a few days ago near my house.
It is a massage shop.
It costs from 3000 yen (30 dollars) to 3500 yen a hour. Compared usual massage shops, it's cheaper. These days massage shops are competing, and the cost is decreasing. I thought cheap massage shop may not be good, but anyway  we tried.
Not so bad. I go to a massage shop a few times a year. It costs about 4500 yen. This shop is not so bad, so I can take a massage more at this shop.

Well, well, from tomorrow my usual days will start.
I could a wonderful summer vacation thank to Yuki.

Summer vacation -3-

Later half of our summer vacation, we enjoyed nature.
Do you know what type of this car (bus)? It's a water and ground car. (amphibian car?)  We went to a lake, and rode this car. It ran 7 minutes as a car, and after that needed 5 seconds to change into a ship before a lake. After a rallying call like 3,2,1, 0, it splashed.

This lake is an artificial lake used as a dam. Here in Kuriyama area there 5 dams. They are flood control dams. Well, well, I knew this fact  this time.
After riding this car, we visited a dam, and studied about 5 dams a little.
The water of 5 dams are, of course, used in Utsunomiya, and used even in Tokyo.
The dam is in the mountain. And in the mountain did we have meat again? Not it's the time of SOBA.

Next day we went to hot spring, and at night watched fire works. During this season, firework displays are held here and there. We went to see one of them.

Summer vacation -2-

Last Monday and Tuesday we went to Tokyo. We didn't stay in Tokyo. We took a daily trip there by local train in a row.  Though we could stay with my mother's house, we didn't. Tokyo was too hot, and there is not air condition in my mother's house. So it was more comfortable to spend in a cool (or cold) train in the evening instead of window shopping in Tokyo and to sleep in our house.
The first day we had lunch with my mother at Shinjyuku.
My mother was looking forward to have meat at a restaurant. She can't go to  a stake restaurant by her self. And she goes out for lunch with her friends  at least once a month, but seldom go to a stake restaurant,though she loves meat.
The restaurant is Horikawa.

After that we went to the National Art center in Roppongi with our elder daughter.
American pop art exhibition was held. It was interesting.
 It was introduced how advertising got art, how comics got art. Unfortunately for me comics are comics.

And in the same building another exhibition was also held.
It was amazing. Do you know about a photographer Andreas Gurskey? It is written in the head of the brochure that "are they real photos? " the head is right. I thought "are they real photos". The answer is of course yes. The photo of the brochure is KAMIOKANDEN in Japan. Do you know KAMIOKANDEN? It is  a neutrino physics laboratory located underground in Japan.
Though it is my image, I think usually photo exhibitions are focused on nature, or human. It was the first time to view such a photo of moder facility and to view such a huge size. (The photos which were displayed were really huge.)

The next day we had lunch with Yuki's mother and his brother's families at Shinjuku again.  We had meat again.
And after that we went to another art museum in Shibuya.
Have you ever heard of leonard Fujita? He was Japanese, but he was really popular in France. If you see his pictures without his name, you must think that he is Western.

Tokyo is interesting. Here in Utsunomiya, we have jut two art museums. But in Tokyo there are many art museums.
In Utsunomiya it's easy to enjoy nature, but it's difficult to enjoy such artistic things.

We enjoyed lunch, cafes, and museums. If we stayed in Tokyo, we could have enjoyed music at night. --- But it's expensive. It's the real reason why we didn't stay in Tokyo. "budget".


Summer vacation -1-

Yuki's and my summer vacation finished.
(Well, today it's Sunday and it's a usual holiday. Yuki went to play golf. In the morning I cleaned the rooms for the fist time in a week. Now I'm getting together my memories of my summer vacation.)

 We got 9 days summer vacation including two weekends.
The biggest thing in this summer vacation for us is to buy bating suits.We had not swum for more than 10 years. It means since our daughters were able to go to swim by themselves we hadn't gone to pool.
This summer, it has being too hot. And these days Yuki's is concerning his beer belly. So we decided to go to a "indoor" pool. I don't like to get sunshine. Before going to a pool we had to buy our bathing suits.

I was really surprised that how devolved these days bathing suits are!.
Usual bathing suits (bikini style, one-piece style) still remain, but it seems that a training style is main to swim a indoor pool.
It's really comfortable and easy to hide my body shape.
My thought about bating suits was really out-of-date.

Actually I didn't like to see myself with a bating suits, so when I wore it, I wore a T-shirt and short pants. But now they are not needed. I like my new bathing suit.
And to be surprised, I didn't forget how to swim. I "could" swim well.
I prefer breast stroke to crawl. I'm not good at doing flutter kicks.

The firs two days of our summer vacation, we enjoyed shopping and swimming.

Oh, I almost forgot.
We had a wonderful dinner at a beef restaurant with our friend.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

How should I cook GOYA

Do you know GOYA? I know it's the season of GOYA. And I got lots of GOYA from the neighbor next door. They are raising GOYA.
Their GOYA is round compared with GOYA at the supermarket. Smaller ones are easier to cook for me. But I got lot. What should I do? GOYA is really bitter.

Last night I made GOYA and pumpkin salad. The sweetness of pumpkin softens the bitter of GOYA.

This morning I fried GOYA with tofu, and pork, which are called CHAMPLU. The simple taste of TOFU softens the bitter of GOYA.
I still have some GOYA. I want to use them which are in fresh, but, -- it seems to be difficult. So I'll slice them and freeze them.
Do you have GOYA in your country?

Monday, July 29, 2013

Where we work, and what we work for.

Yesterday I went to TOKYO with four high school students. As I told you, I live in a local city Utsunomiya. It is not a big city and not a small city. It's really easy to live. It takes 150 km from Tokyo.Some people say it's not so far from a big city. It might be true. However in Japan the transportation cost is high. If we use a bullet train, it takes about 1 hour to Tokyo but it costs 8000 yen (about 80 dollars) round trip. If we use a local train, it takes more than 2 hours to Tokyo but it costs 4000 yen round trip.
So it seems to be near, but it's far considering our usual life.

Why we went to Tokyo, the reason is that I want to let them to attend one day workshop at a college. It was free including lunch and tea time. They took three classes, which were college tour, calligraphy lesson, English conversation lessons. And they also had a chance to talk with the alumni about their job. A woman works at a flight attendant, a man works at a big hotel. A man works at a travel agency. They have a chance to use English they learned at college.

Two of the high school students seemed to be interested in what they want to be after their graduation. So they are searching what field they want to study at college.  For them the information seemed to be useful.
On the other hand the rest of two seemed to stick to work in Utsunomiya. It means the number of types of jobs is less than one in a big city. so they are searching what field is most effective to work in Utsunomiya.

When I was young, I lived in Tokyo, so I didn't need to think where I worked. There were lots of types of jobs.
I like living in Utsunomiya, so now seeing the young girls, I have a complicated feeling.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

I lost.

Today it was a day of garbage pickup.  I laughed at myself when I took out the garbage.

This morning when I picked parsley from the garden, I was really surprised at lot of weeds. Probably yesterday rain got lots of energy to the weed. Anyway after breakfast I weeded a bucket of weeds.  Why a bucket of weeds? I decided to weed just a bucket of weeds.  It was enough for me as one of morning chores. Probably next day I'll weed another bucked of weeds.
And I took the weed garbage out. There were already four big bags of weed garbage. Yesterday it was raining, so probably someone got up early and weeded. I lost and I grinned.

Let's change the subject. Have you ever cooked pickled whole tomatoes? Yesterday I got lots of tomatoes.The easiest way to eat is salad using fresh tomatoes. But  I peeled tomatoes in hot water and pickled them. I used rice vinegar, wine, and honey instead of sugar to make pickled liquid.

The pickled tomatoes were delicious. We ate  a whole of tomato easily. Well can you see something green on the plate? It's parsley I picked this morning. It isn't garnish, it's one of morning vegetables. Of course we ate.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


I seldom talk about political things especially in English. Because it's too difficult to express my opinion in English. And I'm not so interested in political things. On the other hand saying that "I'm not interested in political things" seems to show my ignorance to foreigners.. Partly I accept my ignorance, on the other hand I don't like to be told that you are stupid.

Yesterday when I was talking with a lady living in the Philippines via SKYPE, she asked me about an election that was held last Sunday. I managed to tell her about the election. Well, let me write it down as an English homework.

Yuki and I went to vote, the election was held at a school nearby. This time we voted, but it doesn't mean we always go to vote. Actually this time the voting rate was 52%. It was the third worst score.
Why do not so many people go to vote? First many people are not so interested in political things, and they think one vote doesn't make a change in Japan. This time most Japanese people thought that the Liberal Democratic Party must win so it can't be helped to go to vote.And actually it won.

We cast two ballots in the election. First we choose a person, after that we choose a party. I voted for a man who didn't belong to the the Liberal Democratic Party. The reason why I chose him. I've met him (on the street) and he had been a politician and had been doing some things for our city ( I believe) for 20 years. So I wanted him to continue his political life. Unfortunately he lost and he decided to resign his political life.

I chose a party whose head was a lady of the same generation as me. The party was really small, but I liked her character though  I just saw her through TV. She seemed to want the youth more active and energetic. Unfortunately the party lost, and she decided to resign.

I like Mr. Abe who is the head of the Liberal Democratic Party. So I hope he and his party make Japan more active. I don't know whether consumption tax will be raised or not. I don't know whether pension  will be cut or not. These two issues were swept under the rug during the election campaign. I hear lot of negative things in our daily life. Anyway I hope all people live with comfort and health.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Monday has started

Monday has started. How was your weekend?
Yesterday I went to the library to do volunteer work. My group reads English picture books at the library once every two months. Fortunately the room was full of people. This time Stacy helped us. So thanks to Stacy, many people came to listen to us. Not many natives read books well to kids. Stacy loves to read English picture books to kids. So she volunteered.

As I often tell you, I started to do this volunteer work to use English naturally even in Japan. Of course English is a language, so it's for speaking, for writing, and for reading. But in our Utsunomiy'a usual life we don't need to use English.

But reading English picture books to kids (or to people) is a kind of performance. It's a natural way to use English. So I started to do this volunteer job.

Yuki came back from his business trip to the U.S. He did hard work and he ate too much. So yesterday we had a light dinner with wine. For dinner we went to a cheese shop. In Japan cheese is not so cheap. And we don't have many kinds of cheese at a supermarket. So we went to a special cheese shop.

And I made two vegetable dishes. Now it's  the season for corn and onions. I got lots of fresh onions from a farmer last week. I sliced an onion, and eat it. It was not so bitter.

How do you cook if you get lots of onions? I preserve some of them under the eaves (keeping from going rotten and coming vampires.)