Sunday, May 29, 2016

Lazy Sunday

It is Sunday, and it's almost around 4PM.
Today I decided to be lazy. However as Yuki woke up at 5:30, I also woke up.
Yuki went to play golf from early morning --- and --
I decided to be lazy, it means I don't make any plans to go out.
And I decided to do some things which come up mind.
First --- I noticed some eggs are left, so I tried to make smoke eggs with my quick smoke pan. HOWEVER --- one idea came up.
I went out the garden and picked some rosemary and fennel.
I made special dip-sauce and
I soaked tongue into it --- for about five hours.
It was the first thing I did in the morning.
I cleaned the rooms, organized gardens -- and
I tried to make two-layered tea.

I knew if the specific gravities of two kinds of liquid are different, when they are mixed (slowly, and softly) , they became a two-layered tea.
However --- I failed.


But it was tasty. I used  Mango-habanera syrup instead of sugar,
and I made lemon juice with honey.
I thought the specific gravity of lemon juice would be heavier.
It was right. My mistake is adding hot water into honey  to dissolve honey
Next time I'll make it completely.

While I was cleaning rooms, I also made refresher for shoes and mats using soda powder and some aroma oil.



After having lunch, it was time to  dry the meat.

In the afternoon, I made a leaflet of my club in English, and checked my house budget.


In 10 minutes I'll start smoke.
I hope I can make it.

I did it. A little bit salty. No problem.
I wonder what time Yuki comes back?

Friday, May 27, 2016


Now I'm in my 50's. To round off the number of my age  --- I'm around 60, so I'm called "ara-kan(Kan means 60 years old) generation.
of course Yuki is the same.
I don't know until when he continues works  " for" me. We try to save money for our retired life, however these days it's difficult to use our money for my granddaughter, our hobby, and to visit Tokyo to see our mothers (and Akari)

What I can say, is I've started to count years when I close my English class.
Now having English classes is a kind of my work to improve the quality of our life and gives me energy after our daughters' leaving here, and give an opportunity to interact with young people.

So at the same time I've started to think about my life in my  60's. I focus to make or join a local community to enjoy something through English.
Not to learn, not to teach --- just enjoy something using English.

For example, the other day I held a meeting to make handmade postcards with HAIKU.
Most conversation was Japanese, but we try to translate our HAIKU (the shortest poem with three lines in the world) in English and send them into foreign countries.
(I'll hold it again, so if you join this event, please let me know it. I don't open your comment.)

I'm thinking to hold a temporary meeting, not a regular meeting.
For senior people it's difficult to keep the schedule, they or we sometimes get sick, or sometimes to go to their family to help them, nurse them, or  --- something.

To continue a temporary meeting, I need one-day members? temporary members?  -- so I want many local people to know that I organize such an event.

So I went to ask to put a brochure on the bulletin board at the community center.
They usually accept brochure of meetings which are not commercial, and are holed at a commuty center. So I thought it would be difficult.
---however, they accept it/

I don't know whether I get call from someone or not. Anyway it is the first step to do something I can do in this local area.
And after the talks, I dropped by at a café and had lunch for myself:

And --- I dropped by at a garden shop, bought some seedlings and made this container.

From the evening my lesson started.
It was my Thursday.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

A private rose garden and rose jam

The other day I visited a friend'a garden, and I also vvisit anoternfreidn's garden
The friend, she, is into roses, and her husband also is into fruits. So not only roses  there many fruit  flowers,like blureberies, oranges, YUZU citron, and others  in the garden. 

Of course the garden is beautiful, however The main object to visit there is not to appreciate the beautiful garden, I visited there to pick roses and make jam.
They grown edible roses without using pesticide.

I got these. The pink one is delicious, but the color is too light.
The red one is a little bit bitter,but the color is very vivid red.
So I mixed them.

I boiled them about 15 minutes,and added pectin,

Here it is .
The red comes from just roses. Can you believe it.
 How wonderful the day was!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

School lunch at cafe

If you know about Japan, you've heard about school lunch. At most of elementary school, and public junior high school, school lunch is served every day.
When I was an elementary school children, especially when I was in the first and second grade, the school lunch used to be ---- not so tasty. I hate "powdered skim milk". --- Have you had one?
And when I was in the third grade, usual milk appeared, and ---  sometimes coffee-tasted milk, fruit-tasted milk were served. I would look forward to them.
And the taste of school lunch is getting better, better --- and is really improved. Every kids are looking forward to school lunch, of course there are some students who don't like it.
And I don't know why, anyway these days "school lunch" is focused. In my city a café which is supported by our city started to serve school lunch, every Tuesday.
I went to have it.
Here it is.
The menu of the day is beef-bowl ( rice and tasted-beef are served separately, and we put tasted-beef on the rice by ourselves.), salad, miso-soup.
Usually at school milk is also served, however, the place is café, so milk is omitted.

I managed to come there, so I didn't drink coffee there. I "managed" to go another café to have "delicious coffee".

Can you see the cost?
The usual coffee is served at 300 yen, and espresso is served at 150 yen, and AMERICA-NO (at the café, it is the name) which means espresso mixed with hot water is served 150 yen.
==== I ordered of course AMERICA-NO.
We call such type of coffee American, which means thin coffee with mixed hot water, or light roasted coffee. It depends on the café.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016


Now, it's already in the middle of this week.
This Sunday, Yuki and I went downtown again.
This time our citizen orchestra held their regular concert which is hold twice a year.
There are probably three citizen orchestra in our town.
For us it was the first time to listen to their performing.

By the time the concert started, the hall had been filled. The fee was 1000yen per person.
It was not so high,  in fact  the concert was wonderful than we expected.
On the day there were many events downtown.
We dropped by "cocktail festival".

Each glass, dish was 500 yen. Not so bad.
And a band Yuki's friend joins in played their performance.
Unfortunately  I get drunk easily, so while Yuki was listing to the live concert, I took a rest at a café drinking coffee and cake.

Then we went back by bus. ( Of course we went there by bus.)
Concert tickets cost 2000 yen,
cocktail festival cost 2500 yen.
my coffee& cake cost 390 yen.
And bus fair was 1000 yen.
Not so bad.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Current Japanese snack for high school students

The other day a French boy who is 18 years old came to my house, so suddenly I called on my high school students and hold a welcome party .
And I told them to bring your favorite Japanese snack.
These are like this,
Rice crackers, chocolate with green tea taste, cookies, KINOKONO-YAMA chocolate for adults (it's difficult to explain it. KINOKONO-YAMA chocolate is very very very popular chocolate snack for kids, the shape looks like mushrooms which is KINOKO in Japanese. And the chocolate is usual milk chocolate, but these days a new one was released for "adults". the chocolate is a little bit better, and the mushroom stem is  a crisp pretzel (traditional one is a biscuit), Japanese gummi candy and --
dry squid with vinegar taste. This has a long long --long histry. Yuki used to eat it as his snack.
This time I know it has a CM song.

If you are interested in it, I'll send one to you!!!!!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Making HAIKU and post cards

The day before yesterday  I hold an event at my house. It was "making Haiku in English and  a post card".
Three ladies came.

I served sweet black lentils which I made the day before yesterday to visit the garden of my friend, and, spiced mango jam my friend sent. Perfect! 

Every one made HAIKU
---- Haiku is the shortest poem in the world. It has only three lines and in Japanese it has 5, 7, and 7 syllables. In these lines people feel the poet's ideas and imagination. There is one important point about Haiku, it usually has KIKO, a season word.
KIKO is typical of Haiku. KIKO often expanded the reader's imagination.

There are my HAIKU.
Up up up   A Ferris wheel goes up   over the frying carps.
(People raise carp streamers to celebrate Japanese children day in May)
Thanks  Here is a strawberry with "very"
(Happy Mother's day)
At the garden   Enjoy soft breeze  With homemade rose pie

I sent these cards to some of my friends in foreign countries.
If you want such cards from me, please give me a comment.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

visitng the garden of my friend

One of my friend, she is into gardening. 7 years ago she retired earlier, though she is as old as I. Then she has started "reorganizing " her garden which used to be organized by her mother-in-law. U fortunately her mother-in-law passed away a few years ago. (It means my friend's nursing task finished at the same time). And from next year she holds "open garden" for spring and summer.

She called me so I visited there with the woman who lives next to my house.
The neighbor is 10 years older than I, but she is a good person and (I think) we have kept a good relation ship since I came here about 30 years ago.
When I was in the 20's , 30's and 40's, she always helped me. Now I tried to give some information to enjoy her senior life.

So I decided the day as "enjoying the day".
In the morning she came to my house and cooked for our friend whom we were going to visit.

I simmered black lentils with palm sugar and coconut powder and added some cardamom.
For us, it was the first challenge,--- and "perfect".

Next we baked this which is called "rose pie" using sliced apples and pie dough.

And we had lunch by ourselves at each house. (To tell the truth I needed to take a nap for a while.)
And in the afternoon, we visited the garden.

And three of us had a good tea time.

What a relaxing and calm day it was!

Saturday, May 14, 2016

One week has passed since the busy and enjoyable 7 day holiday.

Today, it's Saturday, isn't it? One week has already passed since the days with my younger daughter M and my ground daughter Akari.
This week, though I didn't think it would be busy, I was in and out so that I couldn't have time to sit at PC. 
we spent about 50 thousand yen for the holiday. I don't know it was expensive, reasonable, or cheep.
HOWEVER, what I can say is that "we owe our feast to "YUKI's PRIZE".
Do you remember that  on the first day of the holiday it was only day for Yuki to play golf, and he won a prize of "meat". The meat had a really good quality.
Tochigi prefecture is a little bit known with the brand meat. Of course it's expensive. And this time the brand meat was prepared as one of prize. And he won it.
When M and Akari came here, we did SHABU-SHABU, which is the way to eat  beef dipping a few second "saying shabu shabu" in hot water. A special shabu-shabu pot is used at restaurants, but we don't have one, so we used a just a big pot. Well, well, my mother-in-law must store one somewhere.
We did SHABU-SHABU using Yuki's prize, ground meat ball I made for Akari (but it wasn't needed, she ate the same meat as we ate), spinach, and SHITAKE mushrooms.

The next day, I fried another his prize "pork" with ginger. They were really soft and delicious.

Then the next day I made hamburger using his prize "ground beef"

Probably we saved about 15000yen at least. Luck us! Thanks Yuki.
This time I didn't mention the cost of his attending fee of the golf game.

And next day I cooked chicken.

and big pan cake.

My oven worked very hard.

Monday, May 09, 2016

Happy Mother's Day

Yesterday it was Mother's day. How did you spend the day?
Well, well, since I updated this blog, one week has passed. Yuki and I had a wonderful, busy, happy, tired, and satisfied about 10-day holiday (--though on Friday both of us worked) doing tasks of "perfect" grandparents.
Next I'll update about our holiday.
On Friday I had a lesson, so my student made cards for their mothers.
I "made" them to commend their mothers. It seemed to be very difficult for them, while in some parts using "English words" made it easy.
For example, they don't like to write "KIREI" in Japanese, but they don't mind the word in English "beautiful".
So they wrote "beautiful", "kind (sometimes)", "funny", "smart".
And I "made" them to write more in Japanese.
To do it easier, I prepared about 100 cards with compliment words. They chose some cards with a big laugh.
For example "genki ga iine" , which means you have a lot of energy, "Shikkari shiterunne", which means you are super down-to-earth.
At night two junior high school students came, I "asked" them to make cards. They said "OK". so they made their postcards to their mother. I "asked" them to present it to their mom. However I don't know whether they actually did it or not. Anyway the touchy students express some compliment to their mother, it is enough.

On that day, Yuki and I "didn't" call to our mothers, because we met them during the holiday.
And though my elder daughter called me, my younger daughter didn't call me because probably it was the same reason.
Yuki and I went out to buy good quality and reasonable "TOCHIGI brand beef"  to a special butcher which it takes about 40 minutes by car. Yuki wanted to do BBQ at the garden with the meat.
I was not so interested in the meat, but I wanted to drop by at a café which recently opened.

The café is in the forest, and serve "Japanese tea with Japanese sweet"

And of course when we got home, we did BBQ.

Well, well, these days I started to check how much we "use" for our leisure, tasty things, and so on.
I'm not going to save money for them too much, just I want to make sure.
One of reasons, my income ( my pocket money from my English school)  decreased, and Another reason is we are thinking about our pension life in 5 or 10 years. ( I hope Yuki will work until he gets 65)

Anyway yesterday we spent  10000  yen on having lunch at a restaurants, buying special beef, dropping by at café, buying beer and fruits for BBQ at a supermarket.