Monday, February 29, 2016

The current situation of supermarkets nearyby

In the morning I went out shopping. Though yesterday I also went shopping, I had to do it again to get ground beef. We usually buy fresh meat instead of frozen meat especially ground meat. (It's common in Japan to use ground meat.)  Usually the expiration date is within two days including the day.
If I use it for our family, I don't mind if we use it  the day after the expiration day. However I'm going to use it at tomorrow's workshop, which four people will attend. They must mind the expiration date.
So I went shopping again.
There are four super markets nearby.
The nearest one "T" is convenient because of the distance. And it's not so big so it's easy to search for something. However they don't deal in expensive things because the customers don't call for them. So when I want fish or meat with good quality I go another store.
The second nearest one is "O". I was surprised that though it was Monday (week day), the parking lot was already full. Why? Was it a special day today? According to today's fliers in the newspaper , it is just an egg-sales day.  Inside there were lots of seniors some of them were senior couples.
There, I couldn't get enough ground meat. There were only three packs of 100g ground beef.
The good things of O-supermarkets are that they deal in a little amount of foods like sushi for two people, fresh fish (sashimi) for two people, and good quality & low cost (because of the low quantity). And they are one of local markets, so they deal in local vegetables or others.
So we pay 1000 yen, but we don't need lots of sushi, just for two people, but we need good quality.
It is the reason why the store was full ---probably. (I was convinced of it after going to the next store.)
So I went to another super market. It was a national supermarket, so they deal in various things.
So the price is not so inexpensive, but not so expensive. They are intended for families.
It was a weekday, so it was not crowded. Here I found ground beef.

If I didn't find ground beef there, I was going to another super market which are between a supermarket and a department store. So the cost is a little bit expensive.
Anyway I found ground veer at a reasonable price.
Well, well, I've already organized the room for tomorrow.

Sunday, February 28, 2016


It's Sunday, it's at 11:14.
In the morning Yuki went to get a hair cut, and practice golfing. Probably in an hour he will come back.
While he was out, I did a weekend "mission" which is to throw away 15 things.
And -- solving a Sunday crossword puzzle. The puzzle of every last week is a little bit difficult, anyway I made it.
Do you know what is the strength between HB of pencils and H pencils?
I know the answer, but I didn't know the meaning. It was interesting.

And of course I cooked pre-cooked dishes for this week.
All of things are easy to cook, just simmer, or boil.
The one thing was a little bit elaborated. ( the word "elaborate" is too exaggerated in this case, what is the suitable word?)
I boiled SATOIMO (a kind of yam) while I grilled NEGI (a kind of leek), and after the yams were almost softened, I fried the yams and leeks with olive oil on another pan. After they were cooked perfectly, I marinated  them.

Yesterday I became into a little bit empty. It always happens to me after I go to Tokyo to meet my mother or my daughters. On the other hand If I lived with them in Tokyo, we would have quarrel every day. I know it. All of "the" women (including Akari) when they are together are really selfish.
Anyway the day was finished.
My usual day has started.

In the afternoon we are going to go downtown. Today one of my friends is holding an event.

Friday, February 26, 2016

A living report

I'll tell you how "far" to go to TOKYO by local train instead of car or bullet train! 
Let's start!

I'm waiting for a bus.
The fee is 210 yen to the station. 

Now I'm at Utsunomiya station.
I have to shop.

It's 10:47.
Now I'm in the train, which leaves at 10:56.
I'm a perfect grandmother with lots of bags. The green one is only mine.

One more train!

It takes 10minutes walk from here.

Yuki and our elder daughter joined us, and had dinner together at a Chinese restaurant in the evening. 
It's 19:08.
Now we  are on the bullet train. In 50minutes we are going to arive Utsunomiya, and take a taxi to home. 
So probably at 20:35 we will have been at home. 
How fast the transportation by bullet train is!

Good night!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Nothing special ---today--

Today, I have nothing special ---- it means I'm spending this day lazily.
Today and tomorrow I have no lessons. I was going to go to Tokyo but I changed the schedule. Just I go to Tokyo tomorrow for one-day trip to meet only my grand daughter. (Sorry I don't drop by my mother's house).

So today I have "nothing" special to do.
I thought I was going to go to the theater (early morning we can see a movie for 1000 yen, usually the fee of adult is 1800 yen).
However I was too lazy to go out.

Anyway I did house chores,  which are serving breakfast, doing the dishes, doing the laundry, wiping the floor with clothes (probably it's not a common chore, but I do), and watering the flower. Fortunately weeding is not included yet. I don't like cold weather, but the one thing I like is not weeding .

I made some reports, and now I'm updating my blogs.

Beside me some books are piled up. It's a good time to read them -- but I'm a usual woman, it means when we have enough time to do something, we tend not to do anything.
So I'm just lazy.

Now it's 10:30. It's a good time to have a tea break, though I don't know how many times I'll take a tea break today.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The last volunteer activity at a nursery school

Yesterday I went to a nursery school and did a English activities with kids. It was not a job it was a volunteer work which means was not paid.
I had continued these activities for more than 12 years.

The first volunteer activity related to English was taking the foreigners' guests who stayed with us  to the elementary school where my daughters went at that time. So it was ---- unbelievable! --- more than 20 years ago.
At that time we had few occasions to see foreigners including the other Asian people.
And I started doing an English activity at elementary school as a member of PTA.
And for a while I had continued it as a volunteer work after my daughters graduated.

Then, even in Utsunomiya, English lessons was introduced regularly, which has organized by   ALTs (assistant language teachers) . So my voluntary work was finished.

Next I was asked to come to nursery schools, and started.
Some of them are public nursery schools and the others are half-public & half- private .
I had too much offer from nursery school to manage by myself. So I asked my members to help them.
However it was not enough.
So I decrease the number of visiting there. On the other hand some mothers at nursery school began to show interests to English activities. So spontaneously some small groups  appeared.
On the other hand, at half public & half-private nursery school they decided to introduce English activities regularly, so they hired professional kids' English teacher.
So my voluntary work was finished.

And -- (though it might not be related to anything) I decided to buy a new car because since I bought the car, 13 years have passed.
The history of my volunteer work is closed with my current car. --- Does it make sense?

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Though spring is coming---

First, Thanks lots of comments on my previous diary. I'm really surprised and happy to know that I have many supporters.
Well, I thought if I started today's diary with "urgent" again, I could have got many comments.
And I know "urgent" is effective to use it a few times.

Day by day I feel spring coming. As you know I don't like a cold weather. So I like spring, on the other hand it the season of flu (early spring) and hay fever.

These are our protective measures.
The bottle of splay is used to wet our paper masks, The inside is water & tea-tree aroma oil, and etc.
The middle bottle is a role stick, the inside is also tea-tree aroma, and eucalyptus oil, we often apply it the back  of the ears. And the left bottle , which is also a role stick is for our nose. I and my students often the oil besides of our noses to prevent running nose.

And I got the yellow bottle. Herval Ayurvedic Balm. The smell is really really strong. so it's really effective for the stuffed-up noses.

These days "hay fever" is a common symptom in the world???
If you have a fay fever, or some seasonal allergic, what kinds of protective measure do you get?

Today it is the last day to do an English volunteer activity at a nursery school.
I decided to stop such activities.
I had continued it for more than 12 years.
I decided to stop it by myself, on the other hand when I think it is the last day, I feel a little bit sad? sentimental?
Anyway, it's time to go out.
Have a nice day.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Urgent! Please tell me, somebody!

"r" is for a rope, "t" is for a tire,
and "e " is for ???  " w " is for ???

"m"   is for a mirror,  "d"  is for a drill 
"i "  is for ???

Please help my students and me!!!

Friday, February 19, 2016

winners of bibliobattle

The word of "bibiliobattle"  might not be familiar with foreigners or even Japanese people. Probably it is one of new words recently.
The site is here.
 Bibliobattle is a social book review game which was developed in the Graduate School of Informatics at Kyoto University in Japan.

In today's newspaper the winners of high school bibliobattle contest were introduced. Three students won the prizes.
36 students were chosen to the final stage from around Japan.
And only or unexpectedly more three books are written by foreign authors.

These are

Quiet, please : dispatches from a public librarian  Scott Douglas
Sushi and Beyond: What the Japanese Know about Cooking Michael Booth
Inferno Dan brown
Franz Kafka's The Castle

The last two were made into movies.
And Sushi and Beyond is

Monday, February 15, 2016

After Valentine's Day

How was your Valentine's Day?
Yesterday Yuki and I had a good lunch at a nice café.

And we were going to go shopping to a department store.
We have two shopping centers which are popular with families. and a department store which deals with a little bit expensive things.
Then we were surprised, because we saw a long line to go into the parking lot of the department store, so we gave up. On the other hand usually on weekdays the roads ahead to shopping centers are crowded (their parking lots are enough large but the roads are often crowded.) but yesterday they weren't crowded. Probably wives wanted to buy something more expensive than usual for their husbands?????.
In our case we went to a shoe shop, and Yuki bought two pairs of new shoes.
This is today's breakfast.
Today I opened a little bit expensive chocolate I bought for (Yuki) and me. 

And I put away the decorations for Valentine's Day, and put these HINA dolls to celebrate HINA-festival on March 3.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Before Valentine's Day 2

Yesterday we made heart trees.

And we made big hearts with origami. 

We were folding origami while watching this YouTube.

Why such a difference appears?

Friday, February 12, 2016

Before Valentines day

Valentine's day is just around the corner.
Have you prepared something for the day yet?
In Japan " as a custom" women present  tiny things for men to show their usual thanks (not love).
So I already gave a small chocolate box to the master of Karaku, and bought special chocolate for me and (Yuki) and stock it in the shelf until on the day.
Of course I've presented some tiny things to my students and my friends including audience at Karaku for this week.
This year I found a funny thing which is paper mask with lots of hearts.
It's caught a big hit, though nobody seems to wear it in front of others.
For students I've made Valentine card using "doilies".
For us the word "doily" us not unfamiliar.
A few years ago my friend living in America sent some doilies made by thin PVC.
They are really practical, I've used them carefully and repeatedly for some years. But some of them got dirty and I had to dispose them. Now I have some doilies, and this time I decided to use them for arts and crafts showing the picture book.

How do you enjoy Valentine's day?

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Though it's a holiday.

According to our calendar, today it's a holiday.
It's a simple holiday, it means probably we don't have any special events in public.

On the other hand Yuki goes to work as usual, and I have some lessons from the evening. So for me it's a usual day, except not going to workout. (Because the gym is closed.)
So I thought it was a lazy morning.

So after I finished usual house chores, I started to cook Chinese cabbage with white sauce.
And I noticed I have no Fryer Dustboxes.
I try to make and preserve some fryer dustboxes when I have nothing to do or after read the news paper. However I always forget it.

All of things make me happy.
Though it's OK to spend a holiday alone lazily, I sometimes feel left out.( I don't know what is the suitable word to express this my feeling.)

And I got a call from my friend. in 30 minutes she is to drop by me.

Anyway it is a busy holiday morning.

Jan, do you see it?
When I peel an apple, the skin goes to the box and I throw away the box into the garbage box.
When I measure some powder, I use the box as a cup, and after cooking, I throw away the box into the garbage box.

In my kitchen or most kitchens in Japan we don't have the system "direct garbage" (I named) of you. So many people put a small garbage box at the corner of the sink, but I don't like the way.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Karaku in Feburary

Yesterday it was a day of KARAKU. it means I am an one-day pianist.
For two years I have been doing this activity with a local pro-actress "Masako-san".
We show about 30-minute show. First I play some tunes with piano, and she shows about 10-minute- performance, usually reading a short essay or some poems.
This time she introduced love letters written by famous writers, because as you know Valentine's day is just around the corner.
And I play some tunes again as a background music, it means customers at this cafe enjoy talking hearing my music. (not listen to my music)
And she show about 5-minute performance again. Usually she reads something I prepare beforehand.
And I play the last tune.
That's all.

It's not a job.I'm not a pro-pianist. However I got a chance to play the piano in front of audience coincidentally, and after that I can be served this treat without paying. So it's a kind of job because about a 800yen reward ( If I paid this sweet set) is offered for our 30 minute performance.
I'm a lucky person.
On the other hand Masako-san is professional actress, so usually she earns money from her performance. So in her case it's a volunteer job. Until now she enjoys this performance. Because she can read any things without banding royalty. In Japan we don't pay royalty to publisher or writers on volunteer reading.

So I'm a lucky person from this reason.
However Masako-san seems to be more busy, so I know until when she will be able to perform with me.
Anyway I have a good time once a month at Karaku.

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

A new sandwich cafe

Do you like sandwiches? Yes, I like them.
Recently a new sandwich shop & cafe has opend.
Yesterday I dropped by it.

And this is our breakfast.
Well, well, they said to eat them in a day when you bought, however we ate them one day later.
Don't mind--- probably, anyway until now I'm fine, and probably Yuki is fine.

Valentines Day is just around the corner.
In this season, fortunately or unfortunately I have to read a book of poem.
English poems are always "difficult " to me, probably "Hiku" in Japanese might be difficult to you, foreigners.

Monday, February 08, 2016


This is Sarashi.
Do you know how this is used?
In English it is called breached cotton, (I know now, and it's right literally.)
Fortunately I have kept the rest of unused SARASHI  in a storage.
When my children were baby, I used as their diaper.
Of course Akari doesn't use it. Nowadays we use paper diaper (though some naturalist use cloth diaper)
When my children were child, I often use them as big bandages to wrap their knees,  as a towel to cool their head against high fever, or as a belly warmer.
So all of them except Yuki owed it.
And finally Yuki needed it for this weekend.
Accidentally (not accidentally he practiced play too much) he twisted his low back.
I applied some cold compresses. I think the low backs must be better to be settled. First I suggested to put low-back-band. But it was a little bit too tight.
So I wrapped his low back with this SARSSHI.
It worked very well.
Not too tight, not too loose.

Friday, February 05, 2016


ACHA-- is Japanese, it means "oh no!"
I twisted my food, and went to see a doctor. And I have a chip fracture (this is the new word for me, and I know the word in Japanese, it is the first time for myself to get it.)

Where??? don't ask me, just I walked as usual, a small road was a gravelly path. I twisted between a big rock board and gravelly area.
If you understand and imagine the situation, it means you are senior.

The doctor said, if you use your food very often, I put a cast on your foot.
I thought, my work is ---mainly sitting on the chair, so I won't need it.

However it's my mistake. My join job is house errands. No one is there in my house so I do all things by myself, just take a spoon.

I walk slowly though I can't stand this situation,
On the other hand Hiroko-san (my mother who is over 80), acts very well though she often says (I can't act like you.)
Well, well, though everyone says, when I'm in the situation I can understand the situation on the same people. (How do you say this sentence more familiar in English?)

Wednesday, February 03, 2016


Today, it is SETSUBUN, the day of throwing beans, the day of eating beans as many as your age.
Well, if you are interested in SETSUBUN, please get the information from the net.
Anyway we ate 6 beans each, though I took the photo after Yuki ate one (roasted soy) bean.
If we obeyed the rule, we would have to eat at least 55 soy beans, but it's too much,
So we rounded the number of our age to the 10, and ate beans equal to the number in the tenth place. (Does it make sense?)

Yesterday, I held a small workshop.
Read these books in Japanese and in English, and cooked some meals on the book.
This is Yorkshire Pudding. According to the book, Mary Poppins cuts it into squares for serving.
Though including me four participants were there, nobody knew real Yorkshire pudding.
However checking current Yorkshire Puddings on the net it seems not to be different from this. (the ingredients are not so different.)

If you know ordinal or old style Yorkshire Pudding, please tell me.

Monday, February 01, 2016


I struggled with Instagram. Anyway I did it.
This is my Instagram page for my meals.
I didn't know that Instagram is able to be organized only by iphone or ipad.
I hope you who sometimes drop my diary, and fotolog members come to my Instagram.

This time I put my own photo on the profile place.
I had been hesitated until then, however, these days I had a good photo of me which was taken by my daughter. When I saw ONO-YOUKO exhibition, I did some performance to experience her works. The photo is one of my performances.

Last week I faced into this new computer with Windows 10. I have almost finished to organize it, and the PC and I are settled.

While I was organizing my files and photos in my old PC, I decided to let go of my books.
Now I'm waiting for cardboard boxes.
These days it seems to be very convenient.
I asked a bookseller to buy my old books, then they send some cardboard boxes and take them for free.
It's better than to put them into recycle boxes. Someone might read or buy my books.
I thought I would take them into the library, but most of them are paper books, so they don't deal with them.

Did you remember the word "dan-sya-ri". I still continue to  throw away 15 things in a week.
For me "dan-sya-ri" is more effective that KONMARI-method.