Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Atelier Inaka

Some people might know that I love visiting cafes. Once a month I play the piano at a cafe Karaku. I like playing the piano, and I also like to visit there and talk with the owner and his wife.
I sometimes visit cafes. I have some favorite cafes in Utsunomiya.
The other day I visited one of my favorite cafes, it's Atelier Inaka.

It's a cafe, but there coffee isn't be served. They serve tea, herb tea and Japanese tea. The cafe is managed by just an owner, who is Mr. T in his early 30's. He was born as a son of a famous Japanese sweet shop in Utsunomiya, so he has brought up with Japanese tea. Though he is young, he doesn't drink coffee and actually he doesn't like coffee very much.
At the cafe he serves at least two cups of tea, and sometimes three cups of tea. So customers can stay there without hesitation.
The style of cafe is really unique. There are only six seats. (He organizes the cafe and also deals with dishes. So selling dishes is also his business.)  Since he opened the cafe, two years will have past next moth. I knew a one and half years ago, at that time I was really worried about the future of the cafe. It seems to be successful. I'm looking forward to watching the future of him and his business. If I had a son, I wonder I would have such a feeling on my son.
Anyway it's fun to talk with him. Thanks Mr. T.

Monday, May 27, 2013


How was your weekend? Not so bad. I've been suffering from a little dizziness, but it's OK. The medicine works well. Last week I didn't drive. (It's difficult to live in this area without a car.) I had to cancel one meeting. Anyway I could give all lessons to my students at home.
Two friends visited me in different days with sweets. Talking with friends forgot my dizziness, and I could refresh.
Both of them are in the same generation, it means they are in their 50's.
One of them is a housewife. She moved to Utsunomiya about four or five years ago. She seems to get used to Utsunomiya's life these days. She seems to enjoy her life with lots hobbies. Her family has to move a lot due to her husband's job. On the other hand fortunately or unfortunately her husband's parents live here, and they are getting old, so she starts to think to settl down in this place. If she decides to settle down here, I'm really happy. (It means Yuki and I also consider this place to settle down, even though our mothers and daughters live in Tokyo.)
Another friend came from the next prefecture. She is also an English teacher. She started the job as a a kind of hobby like me. But now she had to work because of this business depression. This spring she put in lots of money to advertise to get new students. Fortunately the advertizing worked, this spring she got about 20 new students. ( On the other hand I didn't have new students this spring.)
She decided to keep working until she is 65.
Actually I also want to keep this job as a part of senior life. In my case, I want to offer my house as the place where senior people get together and enjoy English.
Anyway I talked with each other about our senior life.
Well, well, talking about senior life, I feel, the life in my 60's is just around the corner. 
On the other hand, though I talked with my younger daughter who is 23, she seems that her life in her 30's is far away. I envy her !!!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Three types of mothers

This week I met three mothers. They are completely different types.

One of them is 32 years old, and Last Friday the fifth girl was born. (She has five kids and all of them are girls.) Her eldest daughter who is 11 years old, is my student. I love her, and I love her family. Her husband is an office worker. so I think it's not easy to manage their life. However they seem to enjoy their simple life. I know they seldom go out for dinner but they often enjoy having a BBQ. The mother is not a grade-conscious mother, but she and her husband let their kids take one extra lesson. Their eldest daughter takes English lessons and the second eldest daughter does soccer practice. The others are too small to take extra lessons. They educate their kids well. Having five kids is not usual in Japan. And probably it will be probably difficult for all kids to attend university. But I think the five kids can manage their own life. They have enough inner strength.

I also met a mother who is as old as I, but her youngest son is still a high school student. This spring he could enter the highest level  high school in Utsunomiya. She is really proud of him. She is a homemaker and her husband is a doctor. She said clearly "the last work that parents can do is to let (or make) our kids enter into a high level university.
She is a really grade-conscious mother. I don't agree with her idea, or disagree with her idea either. I understand her feeling, though I failed to let my daughters to enter what you call a high level university. And Yuki and I didn't graduate from what you call the highest-level of university.I'm little bit worried about her if her sons would go off the rails.

And at the gym I met a mother who is a little older than I. Last year she was fighting cancer, and now she overcame. There are four members in her house, her husband, her son, her daughter and her. Her son is 26 year old and now he has a part time job. When he was at university he suffered from depression. He managed to graduate from university, but he didn't get a regular job. Her daughter works as a contract employee. She also didn't get a regular job here in Utsunomiya, though she graduated from university in Tokyo because of this economic depression.
But the mother is really active and powerful I like to talk with her. In two weeks we'll go to lunch after the gym.There are various types of people, I know. Everybody is not wrong. Anyway what they have in common is they still live with their kids and busy as homemakers.

Monday, May 20, 2013

My dizziness has started again.

Monday has started. Though I cooked breakfast, I'm not good. Yesterday I went to read English picture books at library. After doing volunteer, I went home and was in bed. Now the medicine is working, but anyway I have to go to clinic to get more medicine.
I hope all events in this week will not be canceled.
Have a nice week.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

How to combat depression

Yesterday Tracey came to teach English to our members. Three of us attend it. Everybody made a three-minute speech.
I talked about "how to combat depression".

Have you felt depression? If you have, how do you combat depression? Some experts suggest counting your blessing as a way to combat depression. Take a moment to mediate on you life and highlight all the positive things. You might be surprised at how good your life actually is, when you summarise the good things instead of the other way around. If you foster an attitude of gratitude, you'll lose focus of all the negative thins and forget your blues.
It's a really positive way, don't you think of it?
However, when we are too sad, it's sometimes difficult for us to imagine positive things.
There is another suggestion. When we are sad, we tend to choose something to cheer us up. However according to Ohio state university researchers tragedies are equally uplifting. When characters betray each other, we feel positive about our relationships. Characters in disgrace make us value our own honer and other qualities. Instead of dwelling on sadness, tragedies let us reflect positively on our selves. I know a proverb that fight  fire with fire. It's a strong way to combat depression, but it might work.
To reflect these suggestions to my life, when I meet positive people I feel positive and it makes me cheer up. On the other hand I'm sometimes tired of doing house chores, especially looking at a messy room. However when I visit my mother in-law's house, it makes me relived. Her house is really messy, so I' always satisfied with my self saying my house is tidier than her house, I'm a better home maker.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Happy Mother's Day

How did you spend yesterday "Mother's day"?
I called my mother, and Yuki called his mother. On the other hand I got a bowl of flower from my younger daughter, and got a call from my elder daughter (She said later she'll send something.)

Yesterday it was a really warm day. Though it's Mother's day, Yuki went playing golf. (It's OK, because I'm not her mother.) In the morning I did some chores and made some reports. To tell the truth I've wanted to go to an event which was held outside, but I'm not confident of my health condition. (I'm still suffering dizziness a little.) So I gave up to join it.

After having a quick lunch by my self, reading a book, and attended a meeting. The meeting is usually held once a month organized by a young lady. She is really active, so when I'm available, I join it to meet her. Some new members also joined the meeting. I like the meeting, because everybody is always active and cheerful. Usually the members are younger than me and have a job. Yesterday two homemakers came. These days I sometimes feel inferior being a homemaker without a regular job (including raising children), when I attend a meeting with young members. So thanks for two homemakers, I could relax at the meeting.

When I came home, Yuki already came home. He didn't have a bad score (it means not so good score.) I cooked SARA-UDON for dinner. And we watched TV. We had a really relaxingSunday.

Monday, May 06, 2013

Ten-day holiday -3-

The last half of holiday our elder daughter Tomo came here. I was getting better, so we went to Sibukawa city which is in the next prefecture to Tochigi. We went to two art museums.

Shibukawa city is surrounded by mountains. It's like Tochigi, but probably the mountains are higher than ones in Tochigi. The scenery was so beautiful.

At the first museum, Tomo could meet her favorite artist and talked with him. The artist makes works using paper like T.

The next museums was HARA Museum Arc. It was a famous museum. They usually show modern art. This time they show conceptual art. Unfortunately it was too difficult for us to understand.
During the drive I felt dizzy, so I lay down with blanket in the car. However the beautiful scenery made me feel better.
Today it is the last day of the holiday. Yuki is playing golf with his friend. I'm relaxing at home. I still feel dizzy slightly, but it's OK. Though it was too bad that I had to cancel two things, I had a good holiday.

Ten-day holiday -2-

After my fever went down, I was suffering dizziness. I was at home quietly while listening to the radio. Yuki was watching DVDs he borrowed from the library. However I had a enough appetite. So we went out to our favorite restaurant.
I ordered grilled fish, and Yuki ordered simmered pork.

Without doing something special we had relaxing time at home. Of course Yuki drank wine at home with good cheese we bought in TOKYO.


Ten- day holiday -1-

We had a ten-day holiday which is called Golden week.
The first three days Yuki and I went to TOKYO to meet our daughters, my mother and my mother in-law.
This time my younger daughter M moved out. Until April she had lived with her elder sister next to my mother's house. And in June, she is going to get married. So using this long holiday she moved to an apartment and started to live with her soon-to-be husband. We helped her moving. It was the last thing we could do as her parents.
Accurately M and her soon-to-be husband Y hand in a document for marriage after the moving. So They already got married, M's family name is changed. And their wedding ceremony is going to hold in June. Am I happy? Am I sad? I have had a really complicated feeling. Watching a couple makes me relieved, on the other hand I feel empty and lonely.

Anyway our stay in Tokyo was busy and good.
Well, well, the next day I came back here, I had a fever. I was going to invite a friend, but unfortunately I had to cancel it. For two days I was in bed. One of the days Yuki went to play golf, and the other day he changed wall paper in the toilet.  Since this house was built, more that 25 years passed. These days we are always thinking to refurbish this house. Three years ago we changed the floor of the kitchen. Thinking about refurbishing is fun, but thinking about the cost makes us feel depressed. We are not venturous people.
Now in the garden our clematis started to bloom