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.