Wednesday, December 30, 2015

All members are in Utsunomiya

It's 30 today, unusually all members are in Utsunomiya.

Well, all ladies are making Osechi.


Where is Akari?
She is playing with Yuki---- probably. Because they are on the upstairs, and we don't hear her crying. So, they are ok.

I Gound thisYou Tube,  


If you are interested in Osechi. Please take a look.


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Coming back from Tokyo

Last late night Yuki, my elder daughter T, and I came back  from Tokyo by car.
Well,well,we'll finally I could buy these doughnuts.

 
You might know this. 
They launched in Japan about 5 or 6 years ago, and they caught a big hit --- only in Tokyo. 
Or you can say they have branches only inTokyo.  I don't know they have branches in other cities, however unfortunately we don't have any branches inUtaunomiya.

I used to ask my dangers to buy them when they came back here. However they would say "I have a big bag, so I can't have more things".

And---- I've forgotten the existence of he shop.


However, yesterday we came back to TOKYO  in the day ( when we go to TOKYO by car to avoid congestion, we usually go there very early morning or late night, so most of shops are still not opend or already closed), I notice a branch near my mother's house is open. 
I blamed my elder daughter again saying why you don't tell me the existence of the branch nere my mother's house.

She said " I thought you would have lost an intereseted to the shop".


Anyway I could bought, I have wanted more, but they couldn't be frozen.
These were today's our breakfast.



Well, well in a few hours, "the" adorable and noisy girl comes. I'm cooking for her.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Family winter vacation has started .

My mother who is 80 has come to Tochigi. It has passed three years sine she came here last time.

She doesn't like to take Shinkasen because Tokyo station is congested and complicated for her. So she came here by local train at ease, of course my elder dauber accompanied .

We stayed in a Japanese inn whic has hot springs. "Hot springs", it's prural. Because it has three kinds of hot springs. 


These are our dinner and breakfast.
Now we are going to Tokyo to take her back by car. 

Saturday, December 26, 2015

The new year is just around the corner.



 


Our Christmas party was finished with a big succes.
I'm satisfied with being a cordinater
And as the sun rose, I started to prepare for the new year.
I put away all things for Christams and took things for the New year.

 
I'm finished for preparation. Now I'm at PC and doing some crerical things.
 
Well, tomorrow my mother comes with my elder daughter. Another busy week will have started.
 
I might be able to update this blog via my Ipone though only photos will be up.
Have a happy new year!!!


Monday, December 21, 2015

Christmas week has started

Now the last business week in this year has started. In next week our (Yuki, and my) family task week (as grand parents, and parents) will gave start. Before the busy week (though you can say it's a happy winter vacation it's the busiest week in a year for us), let's enjoy Christmas week. Last week my students and I made cookie trees.



The materials are still left. So some neighbor kids will come to make one this week.


Sunday, December 13, 2015

Finished!!!


What? Today, it's Sunday, Yuki stays home. For him, it was only this day to stay home on Sundays in December. On other Sundays he goes to play golf. 
So I ordered, or asked him to do winter creaming hoe him winter cleaning means cleaning windows. Yes of course I helped him or I did with him. 
There are, ok let's count the number of windows including small one such as the windows in the washroom, wooo 60 windows.
He used a kind of wiper and clean the windows mainly the outside with the wiper and water, I cleand the inside of the windows using cleaner and clothes.
It was a heavy . I hope our shoulders won't hurt in a few days.

Anyway our winter cleaning is almost finished.

I have a plan to have a Chirstams party with my students and neighbors. I started to prepare something for it.


They are kind of pyneatas.

I put something which gives Christmas atmosphere here and there in my house.

Now Chirstams is just around the corner , isn't it?








Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Monday, November 30, 2015

6 guests from 6 countries.

The biggest event of this year for me was finished with big success.
Once a year Utsunoniya City International Association holds a event "let's read picture books in foreign countries together".
It is the seventh time event. I'm really happy to join it this year again.
 
This time 6 people who are from Italy, German, Syria, Philippines, Kirghiz, and Costa Rica joined it.
Of course they live in Utsunomiya. I always surprised that even in this small town some  people come and live from foreign countries and the countries are really various.
 
This time I supported a lady from Philippines. Philippines have two official languages, Tagalog and English. I supported her speaking in English.
It was fun.
Many people and kids joined us.


 
 
 
I participated in this event as a volunteer. But it's really good. Though the spread-over is long, it's almost all day, lunch is served (not so bad) and after the main event we have a small tea party and I get 1000 yen for a transportation cost.
I bought this book from my wallet, so I payed more than I received.
However it's OK, all participants did that, they cooked something, they printed photos in large size --etc. All participants are volunteers including the guests. It was fun.
 
This Japan, of course. I try to listen to world news every day. However it's Japan, it's isolated.
Yesterday at the party I talked with a lady from Syria and German. For them  the issue of refugee and religion is a "real" topic.
I know my English skill is not so good, however moreover I have nothing to talk to them. What I could was just listening to their conversation.
 
She came as a government sponsored foreign student 5 years ago, now she has studied as a self supporting international student. Her parents took refuge to German, now she has no house in Syria
The man from German showed his complicated feeling frankly.
 
I was very surprised. --- This is what I can say now.
 
 

Friday, November 27, 2015

This week

If you are American, you celebrate Thanks giving day.
Last weekend, we had three days-off in a row. It is Labor Thanks Giving day on November 23, though we don't do anything special, just it's a holiday.
HOWEVER, it was a three-day weekend. It means --
 
 
Yes, Akari came. To tell the truth, during the weekend she spend her another grandmother, and came here to spend me for "usual days".
So I tried to do usual things.
We decorate Christmas ornaments.

 
I took her to a nursery school, -- it was a day for my volunteering.
I read English picture books for kids of the nursery school,and Akari could join them.
 
 
And --- after "my" volunteering work, we dropped by a restaurant which accepts babies. (In Japan some restaurants (which are my favorite) don't accept babies, (it's a reason why they are my favorites).
 
This is "her " lunch.
First I was going to share it with Akari, but she ate up all except pickles.
 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Yogurt&cheese cake

Do you remember? I make homemade yogurt at home and have it for our breakfast.
However it's fall, so I don't like to eat something cold though Yuki doesn't matter.
These days I didn't serve my yogurt, and it is left--- what a waste!
 
So I searched for some good ideas on the Internet. How useful the Internet is!
I drained yogurt, it took a day.--- and according to the recipe I found , it is the most important process.
 
 
 
And I add cream cheese, granulated sugar (it is the second important point)
and bake it with water in the oven. (puting water in the pan is the third important point.)
 



Perfect breakfast.
This yogurt& cheese cake can be kept for about four days in the fridge.
So I got another menu of "appetizer for a week"



Today it is the last weekday. It's a long day for me, I have lessons until 10 o'clock.
I'll do my best and enjoy the day with students.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Sunday

Today it's Sunday. Now it's around 5 PM. Yuki doesn't come back yet from golfing.
 
Today in the morning I went to the library and did a volunteer work of reading English picture books.
At first there was only a girl in the room, she came back earlier than starting time and was looking forward to listening to my story.
I thought that I could read books for only this girl.
However, after the announce, some parents and their kids come, so thankfully the room was full of people. I was so happy.

 
Well, after the event, ever one left except me. I felt a little bit lonely-- it can't be helped.
15 years ago ( I started this volunteer work at that time), I used to do such activities with my daughters. So such volunteer works were a kind of "family events".
Now I do by myself. (Sometimes my friends or the member of my reading club join me, however, today no one came)
Anyway, after that I went to a cafe and had lunch own.
 
Well, well, sometimes it's lonely to have lunch alone especially on Sundays. So I need to chose a cafe cautiously.


 
I chose one cafe -- there were "many" women or men who seem to be in our generation or elder than me alone to have lunch like me.
so I didn't feel alone.
Everybody enjoyed their own time there.
 
Then I received acupuncture. Did I tell you, these days  I'm into moxibusion. I learned pressure points from the pratitioner of acupuncture. I got about one and a half your treatment.
 
Then I got home, and cooked appetite for this week.        
 
 


 
Please notice the bottle. I made "vinegar-onion" requested by Yuki.
Now it's a little bit featured for keeping us healthy.
Do you know vinegar-onion.
 
Slice three onions and leave them about 15 minutes. Don't put them in the water.
Prepare a jar. and put 500ml vinegar and add 5 table spoon of honey.
And soak the onions into them.
Finished.
You don't need any oil.
If you are interested in it, why don't you try it?
 

P.S good morning. I add some vinegar-onion to potatoes which is just dimpled boiled with mayonnaise and pickles.


 

Friday, November 13, 2015

Apple cider

 
Now it's a season for apples. Here in Tochigi we have som apple orchards. so we can get applese easily with resonable price.
Yesterday I read this book for kids and share apple cider. (Thanks Jan.)
 
Apple cider is not familier in Japan, however, apple pie, apple muffin, and so on are very very popular.
Do you drink Apple cider?
 
I found this page.
 
 
It's really interesting. I'll try. (And if I try doing it, I'll report it.)
 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

In the middle of fall

Last Tuesday it was a day for me as a pianist. I played the piano, and applied some tunes along  some poems which were read by Ukai-san. Ukai-san is a professional actress.
I'm lucky to do something with her.
This is not a job, but it's a lucky thing to get a chance to play the piano  in public.
After the performance I enjoyed this tea-set.
 



 

Yesterday I got this basil sauce. My friend made it from fresh basil in her garden.
To tell the truth, these days I don't like spaghetti very much.
Well, well, here in Japan basil spaghetti is very popular.
She recommended to use it with toast though French bread is popular to eat with bail sauce in Japan.
I tried. The bread is soft but it's not crunch. However it was tasty.
 

 
Just one strange thing is that --- simmered with vegetables with soy sauce taste didn't suit to the bread with basil.

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Haiku at mamada shrine


Today, though it was raining we went out to see an exhibition and to a shrine.
The shrine is Mamada-shrine, which is famous for HIKU (It is a kind of short poem and the style has 5-7-5 sounds in Japanese.) At the shrine HIKU we make is be able to dedicated for free, and  the HIKUs which are made in the month are showed on the bulletin board in the shrine.
 
Kouyou no  Hitotsu hitotsu to  Tebanashite
Colourful leaves falling down one by one


Hachi kiku no  Enji hounou Omokarou
How heavy such kindergarten kids put the pots of chrysanthemum to dedicate


In the shrine there is a smouring, it's unusual. In this area, SUMOU for kids is popular.
Amefurino Sabishiki Dohou(smou ring) Aki omoi kana
What a lonely smou-ring, looking like sentimental in autumn rain
 


This place is a gallery where my friend holds an exhibition.
She makes accessory with MIZUHIKI which is a kind of string.
 
MIZUHIKI no  Gold hana ni  Kureru Aki
Shining gold Mizuhiki while it's drawing in one autumn day
 
 

 
I hope you understand my HIKU.
 

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

November

Today it's a national holiday, however Yuki goes to work as usual, so for me it's a usual day.
I removed all Halloween goods, and put this stuffed turkey on the shelf.
Here in Japan "thanks giving" is not popular, however I run a small English school, so I show TURKEY (fake). Of course if I have a chance to eat whole-turkey I want share to kids. I get import-turkey, but it's really expensive.
 
In the afternoon, I struggle with icloud for windows.  I has used ipone and ipad. so I started to use icloud. BUT it doesn't work well on my computer.
 
Today's afternoon seemd to be finished with struggleing with the computer.
 
 
 

Our Halloween

November has started, it means the noisy and happy Halloween has gone.
All students including Akari carved pumpkins. (this year I got them from HOKKAIDOU)
 


Some students made spider pancake with Halloween sprikle.


Some students made skeleton hans with pop corn.

And most students (unfortnately two stdudents couldn't join us becasue of their school trip) did trick or treat. Two neighbours opend the doors, and three neigbours helped us.
 
I'm not sure sunce when Halloween has popualr in Japan.
Well, well, here in Japan, Halloween means wearing costumes.
This year here and there Costume parties were held.
At some places, the entering fee got free if you wear costumes.
It was fun.
The main event "trick or treat" is not so popualr, probably not so many houses won't open their house.
 
Anyway Halloween has gone.
Mieko you did a good job! OTUKARESAN(this is Japanese famous word to encorage people.)
 
 
 

Monday, October 12, 2015

Herb tea


Now a new week has started. Though it's a holiday today on Japanese calender, Yuki goes to work as usual. I do chores in the morning, and in the afternoon I'll go out to attend a workshop instead of seeing the dentist.
In my garden SYUMEIGIKU is too full to stand straight. So I cut some of them and "just " put them into the big vase. Not so bad. We feel fall, don't us?
 
Well I coincidentally got this herb tea. Do you know that? It seems to be famous in the US? in the UK?
 
 


I tried to have it. It tastes --- I was really surprised --- like Chinese tea.
I'm really sensitive to coldness, I hope my body temperature raise up to 36 degree Celsius or more.
My body temperature is usually around 35.5 degree Celsius.


Friday, October 09, 2015

How much is it if I asked someone to clean the windows?

Well, well, according to the newspaper, you should start house cleaning (Here in Japan in December is the season of general house cleaning not spring cleaning. Because I think, in December we don't have much pollen, we don't have much rain even though it's really cold.) from this month little by little ( for senior people.)

I think it's a good idea.
What people usually do?
Cleaning conditioners, cleaning  the kitchen stove and a kitchen ventilating fan, and cleaning the bath room and cleaning the windows.

In our case, we usually do cleaning the windows.
(we often skip cleaning conditioners and ventilating fan.)
This house is old, so compared with current houses, we have more windows.
And -- if we were too old to clean the windows ---
I looked up the cost on the net.
It costs 400 yen a pair of large windows currently.

well, well,  additionally, it costs at least 12000yen to clean an air conditioner, and it costs also 12000 yen to clean a ventilating fan.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Toufu au gratin


I don't know how call GRATAN in English, according to my dictionary, it is showed as "au gratin".
Anyway, yesterday I tried to make perfect Toufu au gratin, it means that I used only Toufu to make white sauce.
Just I whipped TOUFU with a little powdered consomme.


And bake it in the oven.
 

Looks perfect. The taste is not so bad, it means -- it was a little TOUFU-ish.
So if you love TOUFU, the taste is wonderful, and you are not a lover of TOUFU, the taste is not so bad.

However it's really easier to make TOUFU cream instead of white sauce.
It might be better to add some soy milk or some cheese (if you don't mind too much calorie).

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

From a radio program

I listened to NHK radio program in English.
It was an interesting article.

This is that Technology & Business: Responding to Your Specific Needs - New Housekeeping Services

(I don't know how long we can listen to it on the net.)

Here in Japan having housemaids is not so popular (among not the upper class), of course I can't afford to hire a housemaid either.

However looking back to about 50 years ago, not only the upper class but also landowners or some middle class people used to hire some housemaids. (Well, my grandaunt was single forever, and worked as a professor at a women university, and she hired a housemaid, which was also her friend, my great grand parents hired some housemaids because there were lots of people to live together.)

Now, it's completely different.

And now we face the population decline  because of the declining birthrate, though increasing the number of senior people.

So for senior people they have no one to help them. It means they might need someone who do house chores instead of them. However the people in their 60's or 70's are not used to accept other people who do house chores or ask something to other people .

For young people in their 30's or 40's, probably after 10 or 20 years, it will be usual that  a couple work "outside" together, (I think doing housework at home is a kind of work.), so they might need a house made, but what such a housemaid does? Do they live in such a big house?
Such couples don't have free time in weekdays, so they can't go to bank or post office  to do fill out paperwork. However housemaids won't be able to take care of such paperwork because these days it's really difficult to deal with personal information.

---- sorry I can't put together my thoughts. (even though in Japanese).

Anyway the article was interesting.

Friday, October 02, 2015

They are good phrases, aren't they?

In your country (not Japan), Is it familiar to talk with a psychology counselor?
I think nowadays it seems to be usual little by little. So these days I  see lots of blog talking about psychology. I'm a little bit fan of two couselors' blogs.

What he said today was that
"people surrounding you look bright and attractive means  that you are bright and attractive."

It is said we love our own kind.
So to be honest, these days I feel blue, however the people surrounding me are still attractive and cheerful. --- It means I still have power to get cheerful!!!!

And
Another phrase was that
Sometimes talking with someone including counselors, is effective, however the final way is just "courage" to break anything saying "let's do it (without thinking".


It's right.
I think, if I feel my courage, it's not the time to do a thing. For that to happen, it's OK to be still, just wait for coming up your courage.

What phrases encourage you?


This is today's breakfast.Yesterday a friend came to my house and had lunch together.I grilled chicken and made marinated beans. She brought green-tea cake. So I shared it to Yuki for our breakfast. It's not leftover.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Do you know the word "head spa"?

Yesterday, coincidentally a woman dropped by my house and gave me "head spa".
And now I checked the word of  "head spa" on the net. -- It is JAPANAESE.
Head means or course head, and spa means hot spring.
Head-spa is a kind of massage on our head to clean the skin of scalp, massage it and recuperation( or healing) the hair--- according to the information I got.

Anyway I had  a 10 minute head-spa. It was good.

She gave a compliment about my skin of scalp. "How soft your scalp is!, so you have good blood flow.".
It seems to be the first time for me to get such compliment about my body or my health condition.
As you know I'm suffering from stuffed shoulders, and sensitivity to cold (to tell the truth today I put a hot compress on my back to stimulate a pressure point against coldness.)

Probably this must work well.

I give myself massage on my head every morning to prevent from losing hair.

Well, unfortunately having soft skin of scalp doesn't mean being clever, but anyway getting a compliment pleased me.

However---
I searched more about soft skin of scalp on the net.

Having too soft (flabby)  skin of scalp means ---

having too bad blood flow
immune compromise
lack of energy
and being negative

These symptoms seem to be applied to me. Automatically I laughed wryly.


How's your skin of scalp?





 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Not so bad

Since last week I've been takeing medicine. It works well. So this weekend I was able to go out with Yuki and enjoyed outside.


Yesterday in downturn an interesting event was held. Some manufacturers demonstrated there works, and many kids joined their workdshop. We would have tried some, however adults had no business doing.

A famouse (though a little) actress came to do a talk show. 


And today  we went to a hot spring nearby. 

And since this evening while we are watching TV, we are slobing at home. 

New week starts soon. 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

I'm at clinic.

Good morning. It's about 9:30 am.


I'm waiting for my turn. These days I have not been in a good condition. I have had Chinese medicine and did this week's job.
However my condition is griping worse , and from this day 5 weekends has started. So only today the clinic us open.

I got here before 9 o'clock.

Every this session my condition tends to be bad because of allergy. 
My allergy causes tiredness , horse voice,  and sometimes a slight fever. 

I hope this condition is caused by my usual allergy.

This afternoon Akari (and her family,it means my daughter and my son-in-law)
So I got up earlier than usual.


Even though I won't be able to cook well, they will manage to do our meals. 



Monday, September 14, 2015

What's this?


Have you ever seen this gadget?






It's a machine of making grape fruit juice.
This Sunday Yuki and I went out to down town.
Though in some cities near Utsunomiya, and some towns in Utsunomiya they have been still in troubles, the situation of  downtown is OK.
In downtown a small fair was held. We dropped by.

She is drawing a portrait---- who? Ours.

We had a calm weekend.