Wednesday, May 31, 2017

anoter open garden at my freind's house

Since I updated my blog, about one week has passed, and tomorrow it is June.
Last week I visited my friends' house. She is my first friend when I came to Utsunomiya and started my mother's life , so we have been friends for 30 years.
Until seven or eight years abo ( I forgot ) she had worked. And she decided to chose early retirement. Since then she is into gardening. And now during this season her garden is selected one of garden sights by bus tour for garden lovers.
What I can say is "beautiful", and "pretty".
 Of course she says "thanks"
What I can say is just simple flower names like "it is clematis, isn't it? .
And she adds some explanation with bitter smile "yes, it is ******* clematis" (sorry I don't remember the formal name. And it is the reason why her garden is selected as a garden tour site.
She grows not usual or common flowers but also a little bit unusual varieties of flowers.  The word "unusual" might not be suitable, flowers they are difficult to grow.

I like seeing pretty and organized gardens. and I just respect her "hard" daily garden work, though she says it is her pleasure.
There, I found fennel. I know she doesn't use it to cook. So I got some.

 Of course I use them for cooking.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Open Garden among mountains

This Tochigi prefecture is surrounded by mountains, so just 40 minutes drive leads us to mountains.   Some residents in its ashy area among mountains held an open garden activity. They open their gardens and visitor enjoy them walking or climbing the area. It is s kind of their enjoyment of, all free.

It is a little bit cold than Utsunomiya, so,it was not a rose season. However we enjoy tender green, and mountain plants with small flowers.

Of course we see a traditional Japanese garden.

To be surprised, they also held a free cafe room, there coffee, iced coffee or plum soda is served. We had plum soda.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017


Last Friday I was wearing sweater because it was vary cold despite of  late May.
And since this weekend very hot day has been continued despite of late May.
So it is difficult for homemade pre-cooked dishes to keep more than three days.
I cooked fewer than last month.

And the expire date of fresh cream was just soon. So I baked biscuits with fresh cream instead of eggs. This type of biscuits is one of my favorites. Though I am not a vegan, I love it.

Well, today, it seems to become an interesting day.
In the morning, I hold laughter yoga club.
Probably three neighbors come, we don't exchange e-mail address, and I don!t make sure whether each one comes or not. Just at the last club we made a verbal promise.

In the afternoon, I will visit a garden of one of my friend, who opens her garden to public in this season.

And, the center staff will visit my classroom to have a dialogue about the future of my branch school.
Though I did do my best to advertise my s school with in a limited  my budget, I didn't get new studendents. 

Anyway, cleaning and irganising rooms are the first thing I have to do.

Monday, May 22, 2017

high school students' opinions 0519

There were two topics last week at high school students class.
Which would you like to have, lots of friends you can casually hand out with or one best friend you can talk about anything to?

high school student 1

I prefer to have lots of friends, because I can get more information and more knowledge from lots of friends. Getting along with only one or a few friends seems to make my world narrow.
However, I don't need a lot of fair-weather friends. I learned the word" fair-weather friend", who is someone that is your friend when everything is fun and easy, like warm sunny days. However they will disappear if you get into trouble or if you need help. I want to have a lots of friends and of course I know I only need a handful of true friends.

Which form of media (newspaper, TV, the Internet, word of mouth, etc.) do you usually rely on most for informational news ?
high school student 2

I rely on newspaper. I sometimes watch news programs on TV but I don't like to listen to MCs or commentators, especially ones on political affairs. I don't mind listen to gossip rumors. However when I listen to specific commentators of political affairs sometimes, it is difficult for me to judge whether they say right things or suitable things, and I tend to accept their opinions as right unthoughtfully.  Because they seem to be authority figures and knowledgeable experts. And I perpetrate a stereotype.
 Though it is the quickest way to get information from the Internet, sometimes it is difficult to judge whether it is right or wrong.
And of course nothing is more unreliable than word of mouth.
So I believe the information on traditional newspaper, it means not a sport newspaper or a gossip newspaper.
Of course it is not good to believe in believe newspaper blindly. I need to judge whether the writer's opinion is correct or not. To do that, fortunately we have lots of way to get information through not only newspapers, TV, internet, of course and spoken words.
 I really appreciate Jan helping us out this way.


Friday, May 19, 2017

coffee at cofee shops which use home-roasted coffee beans

Probably you guess I (and Yuki) love coffee
Actually we have coffee more than green tea.
However I don't like espresso coffee very much. So I seldom go to Starbucks.
We sometimes go to coffee shops, and we prefer to go to ones which use home-roasted coffee beans over usual ones.
Additionally, Karaku where I play the piano is the second oldest coffee shop which use home-roasted coffee beans in Utsunomiya.

The end of our big holiday, we "managed" to go to a coffee shop in Ashikaga. The shop started about 50 years ago, and it was thought to close because the owner got too old to run it, but his sone took over and still now the taste has been kept.

This photo is at Karaku.

And last weekend we went to a concert and "managed" to drop by at another coffee shop.

We had enough time to have it there, so I asked them to give us takeout styled coffee.

And yesterday, I also dropped by at a new coffee shop where it takes 5 minute drive.
The owner is a lady.

These days home-roasted coffee beans seem to be popular, one of the reason  machines to roast beans
are get by reasonable price (for shop owner)

Do you focus on home-roasted coffee beans?

Thursday, May 18, 2017

literally calendar 0518 with Haiku

 Tender green, enjoy at their garden, a senior couple 

Search for tender green , just 5 minute drive, here in Utsunomiya

The season with tender green, the time to struggle with worms, with bitter smile

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

English activity

Yesterday I did an English activity at the East library.
I got there about 10:40, and waited for  so\me participants after announcing my activity in the library.
No one came, but some mothers and their kids were looking at me without too getting closer.
--- finally a couple of mother and kid came in --- and to make me happy the room was full of people.
Can you guess what I read to them.

Of course the very hungry caterpillar.  The works by Eric Carle are very popular in Japan.
I also read some other books.
To make me surprised, one elder man came in, though he didn't get  closer. Though it might be difficult for you to imagine the situation of the weekday library. There are not so many people, but anyway some people are there, and most of chairs are occupied  --- by -- elder men.
I've always thought how I make such elder men attract to my activities.
This time, I introduced san article on English-language news paper.  I know some men in the library are interested in English, understand English, just not to good at speaking.
Anyway, one man joined in it.
In the afternoon. Two ladies came and we read KONMARI-books in Japanese and English.
It's fun to read books and -- of course to chat together.
I served almond jelly with jasmine syrup (I made). 

Of course I served some to Yuki for our breakfast without fruits.


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Pre-cooked dishes for this week

These Re pre-cooked dishes.
I baked Toufu &a chocolate biscuit. 


This is today's breakfast.

Though it is Japanese, these days I like to visit this site.

Unfortunally, Toufu-biscuit recip is not open on YouTube site. if you are interested in it, please drop by at this site.

Today, I will go to the library to do  a voluntary activity. Unfortunally my friend who was going to help me this year, seem not to come for a while. So I will do it alone. I started this activity because I wanted to do it. First  I was doing it alone, but I felt a little bit lonely and thankfully many audience came and it got difficult to organize it by myself. So I collected some members. However some were moved, some got full time daytime job, and-- I returned to the first step.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Mother's Day

This Sunday, it was Mother's Day. Though I didn't expect anything , my daughters called me. And M sent a box of sweet. (The expiration day is the end of June, so it is waiting for their coming)
After spending lazy morning, we went to a concert. It was held by our local residents  Utsunomiya symphony.
This concert was supported by Utsunomiya city, so children under 15 years old can listen to it for free. However the number of kids was not so large. On the other hand I noticed some kids came there with their father (it means without mother). For busy mothers, if they had free time by themselves on Mother's Day, it must have been wonderful.

Before going to a concert, we dropped by a café. We had to go out there soon, so we asked them to serve it with take-out style, though we drank most of them at the café.
Well, it was Mother's Day. I didn't cook much, but I wanted to eat something good at home.
So we dropped by a butcher,  and bought sparerib. Jut I put them into the oven. And we opened a little bit good wine.

We had a good Sunday.
Now this week has started.


Friday, May 12, 2017

Nursing day and Mother's Day

Do you know that today it is nursing day?

Because it is the birthday of Florence Nightingale, so you can say Nightingale's Day.

Nursing Day, let her my mother tell it (She is over 80),  bring laughter
Nursing Day, have moxibustion treatment by myself , relieve the weariness of our big holiday

On the other hand, this Sunday is Mother's Day,
So the lessons of this week are to make a card.


I already sent some Japanese herb medicine to my mother. These days she is suffering from wobbling.
Well, well, I wonder  if my "daughters" don't notice the day.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

10-day gilding -3-

Last Saturday ( I'm surprised to notice that though it is Thursday today, I feel that last Saturday was long long ago)  it was the final day with Ah-chan.

In the morning, Yuki did usual things -- playing tennis. While he was out, we organized our rooms.
And after Yuki came home, we did the last BBQ -- fried noodle.

Before taking them to the station, we went to see SHIBA-ZAKURA .
We were going to play catch but, it was a sightseeing park. There was a small hill, so Ah-chan enjoyed climbing. (Or you can say that we made her climb the hill)

On Sunday, Yuki went to play golf, and I anyway kept quiet at home to let me cool down.
I organized rooms , did the laundry, and cooked pre-cooked dishes as usual, I read books on the bed.
And our final holiday was Monday. On Japanese calendar,  it was a usual day. However Yuki took a day off.
We could easily get up at 5 -- because we got used to get up early with Ah-chan.
So we went to see wisteria. It is ASHIKAGA flower park.
You might know about the name.
It was introduced on CNN news "dream destination in 2014".

More than 25 years passed since we visited there for the first time with Yuki's mother and father.
At that time, even though there were beautiful wisterias,  there were not so many big wisterias.
Though it was a weekday, at 8;30 in the morning there was a line to enter the parking lot.

And we drooped by a café which is recommended by the master of KARAKU.

We came home by noon.
And both of us cooled down ourselves at home.
The end.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

10-day holiday -2-

In the middle of he big holiday, finally Ah-chan came. So we went out to some places where kids enjoy. All of places, an aquarium , a kids' science museum and a big nature park were the places we often used to go 20 years ago.
And every evening  we enjoyed BBQ in our small garden.

at NAKAWA aquarium

At TOCHIGI science museum

And at a nature park

We have no sea in Tochigi, so we managed to buy these sea food at a special market.

to be continue.

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

10-day holiday -1-

Our big holiday is finished. Let me tell you about our holiday.
The holiday started on 29 Saturday.
It was a usual Saturday. In the morning, Yuki went to play tennis, I organized the rooms and cooked some dishes for the holiday.
And on 30 Sunday, we went to Tokyo to visit our mothers.
We didn't have lunch together, because we had to stop by a farmer's market which opens at 10, and bought vegetables, strawberries and GYOZA.
So on the way we had lunch at a family restaurant of which  we don't have a branch in Utsunomiya.
It was--- a little bit more expensive than usual family restaurants in Utsunomiya, and had less rice. Probably it is the reason why their branches aren't there in Utsunomiya where we have high rice output. (Does it make sense?) The amount of rice in the photo is large size. Here in Utsunomiya it is probably small or regular size, and usually another dish is free.
We talked with each mothers and went back to TOKYO.
Next day, we went to FUKUSHIMA to see thatched-roofed houses.

We bought two Japanese-lacquer cups. Can you see them?
The next day, we bought shopping in the day, and in the evening. M and Ah-chan came.
Our real holiday started.

to be continue.
PS, now it's time to go to KARAKU.