Friday, September 22, 2017

season word 0921 red spider lily

Today's word is spider lily, and according to this article it is also called hurricane lily.
Now it's the season of spider lilies. Though in a big city it might be difficult to see them, we see them in the suburbs of Utsumoniya. For people who are into taking photos it is one of busy seasons. Because my friend who are into taking photos says that spider lilies are photogenic. Additionally I 've learned a new word instagenic .

Being photogenic, dark red, spider lilies

Spider lilies broom around the day of Ohigan when we respectfully worship the soul of  deceased like visiting our family graves or having a small party with "eating" OHAGI") .Ohagi used to be a wonderful sweet for kids, nowadays cake seems to be better.

with sweets, make our eyes more enlightened,  decorating spider lilies

from the windows of  a local train, in a row of spider lilies, bring a cool breeze

Though I didn't take any photos of spider lilies  I'll show a photo which was taken 2 years ago.

This month we met Ah-chan in Tokyo, so she doesn't come here., this month. It means probably we won't go out to the suburbs of Utsumomiya to see spider lilies.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

discarding 10 things 0918

Little by little the rooms are being organized. So I tend to discard tiny gadgets every week. They are too tiny to refresh my feeling. It means "we" started to organize the garden. I made some trees lower.
So there are three bags of 90l.

Next I started to search tiny gadgets as usual

I did this job three days ago. I was going to Tokyo, but since the typhoon came, the plan was postponed to next Monday. So I had enough time  in the evening after the typhoon has gone.
And now --- my left wrist hurts. The jog was too much for me.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

cooking 0918

Though I always keep rice, sometimes I really want to eat bread. Whenever I have such a feeling, usualy I don't keep bread. As you know I have HB, it takes more than 3 hours for HB to complete to bake bread. On the other hand I always keep pancake mix which is useful
to make something .When I want to eat bread, it means I don't want to something sweet.
I made two pieces of dough, and put lots of cheese one of them.


Finished. It took about 40 minutes.
While the oven was working, I started to make usual pre-cooked dishes for this week.

I could my bread and potato salad for my lunch.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Karaku in September

This lady who is reading is Ms.Ukai.
Coincidently I met her about -- three or four years ago. She used to belong to a professional theater company in Tokyo, and now she lives in Utsumoiya. She is still an actress in a theater company in Utsunomiya, and also works as MC of lots of events.
I'm a really lucky person to do perform with this professional player, even though I'm an armature.

 After this performance we had  usual sweets sweets.  The performance is not a job, considering this  sweets, our voluntary performance is a very high quality leasure. (Of course, the audience doesn't need to pay charge, just pay for their coffee and something. 

Friday, September 15, 2017

season word 0914 see fire

I don't know the phenomenon "sea fire" occurs in your country.
To tell the truth, I've heard the word SHIRANUI (sea fire), but I haven't see it, I didn't know about it.
This time I learned it occurs in Kyusyu area.

Though I'm not sure you can see the Japanese video, anyway I'll show a youtube site.

This is SHIRANUI festival.

What is shiranui?  Travle to Kyusyu,  during our retirement life,
What is shiranui?, lots of unknown words are left, keep studying

Thursday, September 14, 2017


Nowadays in Japan an old-fashioned way, or you can say, a natural way to clean is reconsidered.
It means to clean with baking soda, citric acid, or sodium per-carbonate instead of synthetic detergent.  I think the reason is that there are many kids and adults suffering from skin allergy.
The two of things such as baking soda, and citric acid "was" familiar when I was a child. They were in my house, and my grandmother's house.
Now, I try doing them sometimes.  I sometimes boil lids and pots with baking soda.

and I usually citric acid (with some aroma)  to soften clothes while the  washing machine is running.
Yuki some times show interest  in the old-fashioned way, because it sometimes works better than synthetic detergent, though he is not a naturalist.(I'm not sure the word of naturalist is an English word, anyway the word naturalist exists as a Japanese word.)
To remove hard water stain of  our bath sink (why hard? because it is very old) is usually Yuki's job, because we have to scrape it hardly, even though we use synthetic detergent, or baking soda paste.
And finally the between detergent  has appeared.

It consists of 5% citric acid and surface acting agent.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017


These are pre-cooked dishes for this week.
This summer the price of summer vegetables were higher than usual because of that strange weather.
And-- while September comes, we see sunshine, and I get cucumbers from here and there.
How do you cook lots of cucumbers?
I fried them with sesame oil and ginger, and add some soy sauce to them to preserve them for a while
When I eat them, it's all right to eat them directly, or fry again with eggs, tomatoes, or anything else.

And I found a can of condensed milk which is almost expired.
So I simmered it with full of  hot water which always covers the whole can, for about 4 hours.

I made fresh caramel cream.
Of course we used them as a jam, but it seems too high calory to get it straight.

So I baked caramel & nuts cake.

Of course we had some for our breakfast, and served the rest of them the day before yesterday when some friends came to my house..

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Lots of chores

Yesterday, I had lots of chores, why? Just I went out all the day the day before yesterday, but I had lots of things.

This Sunday Yuki and I attend the 27th anniversary of Yuki's father.

So I had to organize photos, budgets, my bags.
However the first job was to go to the bank.

Additionally suddenly a friend would come to talk with me about the event of the end of September in the afternoon.
So while in the morning I struggled with lots of things. What I could do is one thing at the same time  but my brain was thinking 3 things on the same time. It means yes, I seem to have enough power to lead some things.

Anyway the first event was done. Next event was to visit my father's grave with my mother.

And today, it is the day of Karaku, it means I play the piano for just 30 minutes at Karaku.
After the performing, I'm going to spend the rest of day loosely at Karaku.

Monday, September 11, 2017

discarding 10 things 0909

Anyway "suddenly" it got cold, though it sometimes hot.
Usually until middle of September, summer heat would linger, however this year it is completely different. So I had to change my clothes.

And, on the occasion I was going to discard 10 clothes, --- as you know I failed.
What I could discard are, some T-shirts, and a sock, the other of whose has gone somewhere.

Though I applied Konmari method to decide whether I should discard it or not, it means I put all clothes in my hands and check whether I feel something from them.
Most of them were necessary for me.

So I gave up organizing my drawers, and check another drawer of my computer desks.
From them, I took out these gadgets.

My task of discarding 10 things this week was finished.

However, Yuki found this electric outlet, and he put it in the drawer of his desk.
It's not my business.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Seasonal word 0907 katydid

Katydid ? What is it? And according to this article, "grasshopper" is said to be a old-fashioned word.
Is it true?
Katydid, why you know, it is what he wants to do.
 (Hi might play the violin on duty.)
Until your life comes to the end, keep nimble, katydid
  (so you never become a bedridden elderly person.)  
Well, I  have already seen mantises and crickets, but I haven't seen katydids yet. (Though I can't distinguish the sound of crickets from the one of katydid.)

Mieko's house workshop -2-

This diary carries from yesterday.
We learned about OTSUKIMI.

Why is the moon in mid-autumn so beautiful?
Because the crispy and bracing air comes along, and the heat of summer subsidies

Another name for chushu no meigets (the name of the moon we see on the day of Otsukimi) is imo meigetsu.
Because it is also the harvest season. So the night has a thanksgiving aspect and we tend to offer potatoes to the moon (not sweet potatoes, SATOIMO which is called yam, or taro.)

And, though nobody did know this custom.
You can "steal" some otsukimi dango ( we also offer rice dumplings to the moon).
Because kids are considered to be envoys from the moon and they are allowed to do so only on the night. Each home tries to display offerings that can be "stolen" easily.

Well, well, nowadays not so many people offer some things to the moon on the night, however, probably many people eat ODANGO on the day.

So we have to cook ODANGO.
We enjoyed cooking odango in not a usual way. I used a gadget, which is usually used to make TAKO-YAKI.

We made it.
Usually people decorate with silver grasses with the dumplings.
So instead of silver grasses, I picked up some lemon grasses in the garden.

Perfect. We had some there, and we shared the rest of them. It was a good souvenir.


Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Mieko's house workshop in September -1-

Yesterday two ladies came to my house and enjoy talking in Japanese and English, and cooking.

Before they come, I prepared my house more neatly than usual
I put some fresh herbs picked up from the garden on a usual artificial wreath.

And I also baked "moon cookies"
They look rough, because the moon has lots of craters.
Why "moon cookies"?
Because we talked about OTSUKIMI which is one of Japanese autumn custom. It means viewing the moon.
The day of Otsukimi this year is, to the truth, October 4th. Otsukimi is celebrated on the August 15 the on the Chinese calendar, so, on the Gregorian calendar it is changed every year.
And usually the moon on Otsukimi is mostly the full of moon. But the real day the moon becomes the full of moon this year is October 6th.
It is said, ancient people enjoyed the full moon in autumn, and named the nearest day of Autumnal Equinox day the 15 nights moon which is the day of Otsukimi.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

How old is my black skrit?

This is the waist band of my skirt.
I mended it, or as you know I expanded it.

This weekend I'm going to attend the 33th anniversary of my father-in-law death.
And I'm going to wear this skirt.

This skirt used to be worn by my mother-in-law.
This is a black skirt, but it is not formal but semi-formal.

When my father-in-law passed away, I needed to put on  a black skirt  while I was doing lot of chores for  preparing for the funeral. I didn't know it, so my mother "lent" it to me. At that time she used the expanded waist band, so I mended it to usual size.
Since then, I have kept it. Actually I put it on again, on the 7th  anniversary of his death.
And this time, I decided to  use it again, instead of buying new one.
And to be my surprised, I need to mend it again , it means  need to use the expanded waist band.
To tell the truth, everybody says I look to keep the same weight still now. Actually the weight is not so changed, but the sizes of my body parts are --- unfortunately, changed.

Well,  does my mother still remember of this skirt?

Monday, September 04, 2017

Utsunomiya Toast Masters' meeting

Yesterday I attended the Toast Master's meeting. This time my role was to evaluate how to organize the whole meeting. So I watched the meeting carefully while summarizing the flow.
I'll show the summarize.

First the meeting was started with table topics in English.
I was the first person to offer the theme of table topic. My theme was "haiku", and (thanks to Tim) I asked them two riddles. One is of course Mr. Toad and Mrs. Toad, the other is my Haiku .
Each speaker I appointed made a speech with solving the riddles.  This theme seemed to make the atmosphere fun.
The next person was Mr. T.  asked for the speech about "leaf," and "falling leaves". They were very seasonal topics.
Mr.H made a speech about Gingko trees. And I made a speech about picking up Gingko nuts.
Have you ever picked up Gingko nuts?
In my high school there were ( and now) many Gingko trees. So the students at that time  used to pick up premature Gingko nuts which fell on the ground, made them matured and sell them at the school festival.
premature Gingko nuts are covered with wet skin. They are very stink. We dag a hole and put them into it, and waited for a month. The skin melt into the ground, So we could get just hard Gingko nuts We washed and dried them, and soled them.

Oh, go back to the flow of Toast Masters' meeting.

Then Mrs.M asked for the speech about the recent J-alert.  It was a very timely topic.
Ms.E and Mr.T talked about their experiences at that time in turn.

Next it was the time for prepared speeches.
The first one was Data Science. the speaker was Mr. T.
He loves science, and I know he wanted to show the detail of the Data Science but he also knew it would be difficult for some listeners. So he introduced what was Data science, and how we were involved by it. The contents were very interesting and easy to listen to.
The next one was Toast Master's Organization.  The speaker was Mr. H. Mr.H is a Toast Master's area governor. On that day he just visited us. So it was a good opportunity for us to know Toast Masters more.

Oh, these two prepared speeches were done in Japanese.

And we also make short speeches in Japanese.
The first theme was just the word "TE N KI".
This word has lots of meanings depends on how to write it in Kanji.  (I didn't notice, What I imaged was just one meaning at that time.) The speaker was Mr.E, She quickly noticed two meanings, and made a speech about two words.
Additionally the two meanings were  weather and turning points.

And the other them was Mr.E asked for the area governor Mt.H. What brought you to become an area governor though the organization of Toast Masters is just a voluntary group, not a workplace.
It was very interesting.

The meeting was about two-hour meeting.

It was fun.

However fortunately there were four members this time, usually we don't have enough numbers of attendee. (And I hardly attend it) .  I hope this group activity will continue, on the other hand I keep thinking I should quick it.

Friday, September 01, 2017


Suddenly it got cold yesterday, though today it is cool not so cold. According to the weather forecast this weekend it seems to be cold again. As soon as it got cold, I had runny nose.  I might have caught a cold, but I think my autumn allergy has started.
This summer I have tried drinking herb tea more than iced coffee. And nowadays I seldom drink something cold. I drink something hot which I added some drops of herb tincture .
I learnt the arrange of this herb tincture which seems to ease the symptom of autumn allergy from a lady in July. At that time I made the bottle of herb tincture using her dry herb leaves which she deals with as her business.
I need to make it more.
Well, well, usually dry herb leaves are not so inexpensive.
I noticed that some dry leaves in the arrange recipe are able to made by myself.
They are fennel, and pepper mint.
I picked them, and dried them.
Leaves of fennel are better, but probably it is all right to use the stalks. (My fennels don't have enough leaves.)

They dried enough.
So this morning I cut them and mix with other herbs I bought on the internet.

And I soaked them into vodka.
It is need to place at list for two weeks.

From today I've started to take medicine.  Anyway I try to do any things (except tough exercise, taking something expensive more) to ease my autumn allergy.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Season words 0831 the Great Kanto Earthquake

Of course I did experienced the Great Kanto Earthquake, however my mother and my mother-in-law did.
And, the Great Kanto Earthquake is one of season words in Haiku world, but it is used as "SHINSAI K". SHINSAI means earthquake and K means a memorial day for  someone's death, or something sad.
SHINSAI-ki is used as a season word in autumn so far, but in few years it will be also  used as a season word in spring, because we had HIGASHI KANTOU Earthquake.
SHINSAI-ki (the Great Kanto Earthquake), my mother who is around 85, what is brought back to her?
SHINSAI-ki, my mother-in-law, always starts to talk about the time when she lived in Manchu (in China)

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

HAIKU shrine

September is just around the corner. It means fall comes.
Last week I was able to visit a shrine with my friend after a long interval.
And it was the first time to go there with a friend.

This is MAMADA shrine to which it takes one hour by car.
And it is also called Haiku shrine.
I'm not sure why, and I haven't searched the reason.
Anyway there everyone can "dedicate" their own HAIKU for free.

I did it, and my friend also did it.
Can you see some strips of paper? We see Hakiu which written by some one last month.

I don't know what Haiku she made.
I made  that
A rush of cool air, brings us the end (of this summer), leaves smile

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Lots of eggs

This early morning, suddenly all Iphones in my house started ding-dong. The ding-dong warned us that a missile was flying  "to" Japan. We turned TV and radio, in 10 minutes a new information came, which was a missile was flying over to Japan. Actually the missile flew over Hokkaido and fell into Pacific ocean.
While the ten minutes, radio was saying try to take over the safe place. But where is the safe place??

Well, well, anyway we had usual breakfast.
Last Sunday Yuki got lots of eggs from his golf friends.
The eggs were brand eggs. So the next morning (Monday's morning) I cooked sunny side eggs simply.

However we have still lots of eggs.
So I made custard pudding yesterday.

Today in the afternoon a friend will come to "practice " the recorder.
I found another new hobby.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Young musicians in Tochigi

I went to listen to this concert which I was known from one of my "young" friends.
"Young friends" means in their 30's.
The musicians in this poster play Japanese instruments.
One of them won a big prize and became popular in Japan.
He made this group with his friends in Utsunomiya.  I hear one of them is his friend from childhood.
And the friend who introduced me to this concert is one of their friend at school.


They are allowed to introduce their Video.

I'm looking forward to listening to their concert whey they are in their 50's.
It means I have to live until 80.

I tend to go to paid concerts which is performed by experienced musicians.
However it is good to support young musicians to go to such a paid concert.
(Though the fee was not so expensive.)

Friday, August 25, 2017

Utsunomiya art museum

Last weekend Yuki and I went to Utsunomiya Art Museum.
There KIGI's exhibition  is being held.
KIGI is a design company (probably) -- it is their homepage.

It is held during summer vacation, so not only for adults even children show interest to a current design world. And to stimulate  and encourage kids, the designers are there. (You can say to promote their products.)
Such exhibition at this museum is rare. So was very interesting.
They allow visitors to take photos, it is also rare.

I bought these plastic bag vase, of course designed by them and made in Japan.

I think they are  very nice to present for friends who live abroad.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Season season Word 0824 Carbonated drink


 Ramune, carbonated drink and soda are all season words in summer. 
 Though Ramune is a kind of Japanese drinks,  the name is delivered from the English word "lemonade".

bottles of Ramune,  being lined up along the window sill, looks cool

with Carbonated drink, wash your hair and head, feel refreshed.
(Nowadays, Carbonated shampoo is getting popular, but it is a little bit expensive, so instead of such shampoo, some people like me try washing our hair with carbonated drink without sugar.)

the bubble of cider, looks cute, though I can't drink
(My grandchild likes to look the bubbles of cider in the clear grass)


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Laughter yoga in August

Some people who visit my blog must have seen the solar eclipse.
How about it?
5 years ago, I saw it here. It was annual solar eclipse.

I found my diary at that time.

Well, well, since then five years have already passed, though my English seems not to be improved.

Yesterday two senior ladies came and did laughter yoga.

As our summer memorials, we introduced our happy, fun, or interesting things in August.

Well, well, we are ladies --- most of things were about food.
The meals at ---- restaurant was nice, we went to Tokyo and to have --- at ---- restaurant.
And all of them were done without their husbands. (This is Japan)
Good meals and fun talk with friends seem to be the most effective medicine to keep our health.

I wrote about Japanese pear.
Unfortunately the first crop of pear was not so sweet --- because of this weather.
I know it, but I wanted to eat the first crop.

So I made pear compote with ginger and honey. I served some after laughter yoga.
Every body enjoyed it.