2016/08/31

Expensive sweet mango made in Japan

My husband sent grapes as a summer gift to his cousin about two weeks ago.

Grape is famous specialty goods of our neighbor city.

We received a summer gift from them yesterday.

It was mango!




Mango made in Japan is very popular but very expensive in Japan.

I have never bought it ever before because it is too expensive.

I emailed my husband about the gift.

He told me this morning that he promised his colleagues that he would bring mango and eat it with them.

"No way! I want to try it, too!"

I complained to him.

"I will bring only one, so let's try it for breakfast."

He said and cut them.


"Wow! How sweet!"

It was really nice.

Our children don't like mango, so they didn't try it.

My husband and I were able to enjoy eating them very much.


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Launching a rocket

My 7-year-old son made a rocket which they launched into space at the children's house yesterday.

He said all children made a rocket with paper cups first, then he thought he wanted to make a rocket which was more cool and looked more real.

When I went to the children's house to pick him up last evening, the teacher praised him saying:

"Wow! You made an amazing rocket! You are really good at making thing."

He broke into a sheepish grin to hear that.

I thought he remembered that we visited Uchinoura Space Center last December and saw the launch pad of the rocket.

I always look forward to see what kind of works he will make next.


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2016/08/29

Handmade Planetarium

My 7-year-old son and I finally recovered from epidemic conjunctivitis!

My son and husband went to the rental video shop Saturaday's afternoon to return DVDs which my husband rent a week ago.

They bought a craft kit of planetarium at the bookstore next to the rental video shop.

My son was absorbed in assembling it and my husband helped him.

Three hours later, they finished making it.

They closed the shutters in the Japanese room and my son said:

"Come on and look at this mom!"

My 6-year-old daughter and I went there, then he turned on the light of the planetarium.

The starry sky suddenly appeared in the entire room.

"Wow! How beautiful!"

We lay down on tatami and watched the stars going slowly.

We weren't able to go out after my son and I were suffered from  epidemic conjunctivitis.

But we enjoyed staying home.

It was also valuable time for me.


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2016/08/27

Nice dress!

My mother came to our house yesterday to take care of my 7-year-old son because he has not recovered from the epidemic conjunctivitis and was not allowed to go to the children's house.

When I came home from work, my mother said:

"Something was delivered. It has written on it "building blocks", so your son was looking forward to opening the box."

"Building blocks? I haven't ordered it."

I was surprised to hear this.

I looked at the address of the package and said:

"Oh! I understand. It has written on it cloths, neckless, building blocks, shoes. It was only the category of the courier company. It was my daughter's dress for her Electone recital which will be held in October. I ordered it online and she has been looking forward to its arrival. Hey! Your dress has arrived already! Come on!"

"Really? Where is it?"

My 6-year-old daughter was surprised to hear this and came to me.

"Here. I am opening it. Wow! Look! It's really nice!"

I bought a green dress, sliver shoes and white polka dot tights.

"Wow! How nice! I want to try them and show grandma!"

She was excited and started changing her cloths.

"How am I?"

She told us gladly but a little shyly.

"Wow! You are so sweet! That dress looks good on you!"

My mother praised her.

Next to my daughter, my son was watching TV and he wasn't interested in her dress at all.

It was funny but boys are usually like this.

"I want to play the Electone! I want grandma to listen to my performance!"

She started playing the ensemble song which she will play in the recital.

She was able to play it without mistakes.

"Oh, I am looking forward to the recital!"

I was impressed with the effect of the dress.

Actually, it had been already decided which dress the girls will wear at the recital by the teachers and I only ordered them.

It was cheap but very nice.

I thought the teachers know well which kind of dresses little girls are glad to wear.


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2016/08/24

I want to take a bath with mom!

I wrote that my son and I have been suffering from epidemic conjunctivitis since last week.

We haven't recovered from it yet.

I especially had more serious symptoms than my 7-year-old son, I had swelling of the lymph nodes.

After going to my parent's house, my symptoms got worse.

My right eye was also infected with epidemic conjunctivitis and the swelling of the lymph nodes got worse.

I went to see a physician and he prescribed me some antibiotics.

After taking them, I started getting better.

Since I have been absent from work since last Thursday, I finally will go to work tomorrow.
I realized that to keep fit is really important.

I know I have a lack of exercise.

It is difficult to make time to exercise since I work, do housework, and take care of children, but I need to do it to keep fit.

Actually, my motivation of learning English had declined while I was feeling under weather.

To keep healthy is necessary to realize what we want to do.

Since we haven't recovered yet, my son and I can't take a bath with my husband and 6-year-old daughter to prevent infecting them  with epidemic conjunctivitis.

My husband had been on his summer vacation since last Sunday, but now he comes home late as usual.

It means that my daughter has to take a bath alone on weekdays.

"Do I have to take a bath alone?"

She asked me sadly.

"Yes. It is to prevent infection. If you infected, you also have to be absent from the nursery school for 2 weeks. You don't want to do that, do you?"

"Yeah, but it's scary to take a bath alone! I want to take a bath with mom!"

I wondered when on earth my children will be able to take a bath alone.

"OK. I will be at the wash room while you're taking bath. You can leave the door open, so you can see me. You will not be scared, right?"

I suggested this to her and she accepted my idea.

I told my children:

"You will want to take a bath alone when you turn 10 years old. It's normal."

"No! I love mom, so I want to take a bath with you forever."

My daughter said, she was almost in tears.

I laughed when I heard this.

I want my children to be independent, but I also feel that I will be lonely when they grow up.

It depends on each family, but many Japanese parents and children take a bath together.

In my case, I had taken a bath with my mother up until I was 12, but I didn't care that she sometimes took a bath with me.

Maybe it is quite different from other countries.

But I like the custom because taking a bath makes us relax, and the effect of it increases when I take a bath with my family.

I think it is one of the most relaxing times with my family.




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2016/08/21

Fireworks display

Since my 7-year-old son's fever went down, my family visited my parents' house yesterday evening because the fireworks display was held near their house.

We were looking forward to it, but my son and I haven't recovered from epidemic conjunctivitis.

We were going to stay overnight there at first, but we decided not to stay overnight and go home after finishing watching the fireworks display.

We watched fireworks with my parents and my sister.

It was amazing!

You can hear that children who were sitting near us were so excited and shouted with joy in the video below.



I recall my memory of 10 years ago when I watched the firework display every summer.

It was about my father.

In August of ten years ago, he was diagnosed with stomach cancer by a doctor and he had to undergo the surgery.

Since he really wanted to watch the fireworks display, he applied for approval to sleepover at home to his doctor.

My father and mother were watching fireworks together without speaking.

I could see their long history as a couples and parents for me and my sister from their backs.

They must have hoped that they wanted to watch the fireworks display next year again.

If someone is sick, we will not able to enjoy it.

The fireworks display is a symbol of our family's happiness.

I do hope we will be able to watch it next year with all of my family members.


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2016/08/20

Homemade Korokke (croquettes) by my husband and daughter

I wrote that my 7-year-old son and I were diagnosed with epidemic conjunctivitis.

I also have a general malaise even though I don't have a fever and my son had a fever at first, but it had already gone down.

Since my husband is on his summer vacation until tomorrow, he helped me a lot.

He takes our 6-year-old daughter to the nursery school, picks her up from there, goes shopping, and sometimes prepares meals for us instead of me.

I do laundry, prepare breakfast, and clean rooms as usual, but I soon get tired.

When I feel tired, I take a nap.

He takes care of our children while I sleep.

I am really thankful of him.


He harvested potatoes from our garden yesterday afternoon and started making Korokke for dinner.

After he picked up our daughter from the nursery school, he asked her to help him.

Since she likes helping us very much, she was willing to help him.

I know to make Korokke takes a long time, as I expected, they didn't finish it until 6pm though they started at 4pm.

I also helped them, made bread crumbs, put a lot of used plates away, washed them and made room for making Korokke.

My daughter enjoyed the procedures, made balls with mashed potatoes, coated them in flour, dipped them into egg, and dipped them in the bread crumbs to coat all sides.

Then my husband deep fried them in oil.

"Have a taste!"

My husband told me.

I tasted it:

"It tastes great! Oh? It doesn't have any taste. Did you put salt and pepper into it?"

I asked him.

"Oh-oh! I forgot it!"

He said.

"No problem. It is good enough. We can season it by ourselves. Freshly fried Korokke is really fantastic!"

I told my husband and daughter.

The Korokke they made was really nice, so I ate them too many of them.

I was really happy that they prepared dinner instead of me.

I appreciate their kindness.



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2016/08/17

Epidemic Conjunctivitis

My right eye has suffered from conjunctivitis since last Saturday.

It was no so terrible at first, but it gradually got worse.

My son's left eye has also suffered from conjunctivitis since last Sunday.

He also has a slight fever now.

We went to see the eye doctor.

The tests we took were positive, and we were diagnosed with epidemic conjunctivitis.

Since I have terrible eye mucus, it is hard to open my right eye in the morning.

I also have a general malaise and a slight head ache.

Since children with epidemic conjunctivitis must not go to school and children's house by the rules of School Health Law, he can't go to children's house until the end of August.

Regarding adults, we don't have any rules whether those who are suffering from epidemic conjunctivitis can work or not.

It depends on the company.

I called our leader and asked her if I can come to work tomorrow even though I have epidemic conjunctivitis or take a day off tomorrow.

She will ask our owner whether I can go to work.

I do hope we will recover from it as soon as possible.



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2016/08/15

Obon

We visited my parents' house during Obon.

We visited my parents' ancestor's graves, had dinner with my parents and my sister's family, then enjoyed playing with sparklers.

My 7-year-old son likes playing Donjara (picture matching game), so we enjoyed playing it.

(I wrote about Donjara in my past post : http://a-o-j-m.blogspot.jp/search?q=donjara )

My son was so excited because he won the game at first.

Our family stayed overnight there.


The next day(yesterday), my 6-year-old daughter wanted to try the Japanese tea ceremony.

My mother has a set of implements used for serving tea, and she served tea (Matcha) for us when we visited my parents' house during the New Year's vacation.

My daughter remembered it.

My mother's friend is a teacher of Sado (Japanese tea ceremony) and she goes to the kindergarten to teach how to serve tea for children.

My mother goes there with her and helps her to teach them.



First, scoop tea from the tea caddy with chashaku (a small spoon made of bamboo) and put it into the tea bowl.




Then, mix the powered tea quickly using the chasen (tea whisk) with hot water.




Let's have a lovely tea time!


Actually, I am not familiar with the way of tea ceremony, but my mother praised her.

"You did a great job though you are still very young! I know how children who are the same age as you serve tea, they usually can't do it like you."

She was glad to hear that and served tea for all of us.

I thought my mother is really good at praising people.

I want to learn how to praise children from her.



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2016/08/12

Sugakiya Ramen

My husband came home earlier than usual with plastic shopping bags last night.

"Look! These are Sugakiya's bowls and ramens!"

My 7-year-old son said.


I asked my husband:

"Where did you buy them? Were they sold as a souvenir?"

"Maybe. I bought them at the supermarket."

Sugakiya is a popular ramen shop in Aichi prefecture, so I thought this is sold as a souvenir for going back to their hometown in Obon.

I was curious why he bought them, so I asked him about it.

"Because they are very rare."

I agreed with him.

I haven't seen such an interesting set of ramen and bowl.

My children love Sugakiya's ramen very much, so they had opened the box of the gift box instantly.

I asked my husband:

"Are they for us, or is the gift for someone else?"

"For us."

He said.

"I'm relieved. Our children have already opened them!"

"I want to eat ramen!"

My 6-year-old said.

She loves ramen.

"OK, but we already finished dinner today, so I will make it another day."

"Wow! I am looking forward to eating it!"

She said.

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2016/08/10

A dead pigeon

When I took my 6-year-old daughter to the nursery school in the morning two days ago, she told me on our way there:

"Mom, look at that! A pigeon is dead there!"

I looked at the place where she pointed at, there was a dead pigeon which was overturned on the side of the road in front of our neighbor's house.

It didn't have any visible injuries.

"It might have died because it was too hot."

When I picked her up at the nursery school in the evening on the same day, the pigeon was still there.

Ants were around it.

Since I didn't want my daughter to see it, I told her not to look at it when we passed by it.

I hoped that the neighbor would have noticed the dead pigeon and remove it.

But it was not in the grounds of their house, it was on the road.

So I thought it wasn't the neighbor's duty, but it was the duty of all people who live near there.

But I didn't want to get involved.



I found it again yesterday's morning.

I felt like the eyes of the pigeon were watching me, so I lit the area out there.

On the evening of the same day, I saw the eye of the pigeon was pierced by a small twig.

How could someone do such a cruel thing?

I felt indignant to see it and I didn't want my children to see it.

I wondered what I can do in such a situation.

I asked my husband:

"Are you able to remove it if you find an animal is dead on the road?"

"No, I don't want to do it. But one of my colleagues sometimes removes dead animals which he finds, because he feels sorry for them."

He said.

"He is a glutton for punishment, isn't he? I will make a phone call to the city hall or the public health center and ask whether they can remove it or not."

I told him.


When I went to the balcony in my house to hang the laundry in the morning, I saw that the neighbor was cleaning the road where the pigeon was dead.

He had a trash bag, so I guessed he put the pigeon in there.

I really thanked him.

I sometimes have to remove the trash which has been blown by the strong winds into our garden.

In such a case, I always think WHY I have to throw them away though they are not our trash.

But, as long as we live in the community, we need to help each other.

Even such as these caused me to realize this.


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2016/08/09

Too hot

Yesterday's highest temperature around here was 38 degrees Celsius (100.4 Fahrenheit).

It was too hot.

Recently, I leave the air conditioner and the electric fan on all night when we sleep, so that I don't wake up because of the heat.

After we came home, I couldn't put up with the heat and turned on the air conditioner.

I feel there is risk of suffering from heat stroke if I don't turn on the air conditioner.

Furthermore, the swimming lesson held by my son's elementary school was canceled yesterday because the weather forecast said that the risk index of heatstroke will become "Dangerous" in our city in the afternoon, so teachers gave priority to children's safety.

I wasn't surprised to hear about the notice because we had experienced the same situation last year.

As a child, it wasn't so hot like this.

We should seriously consider measures against global warming.




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2016/08/08

Can you do me a favor?

I went to work yesterday.

When I was about to leave home at 8:50am, my children and husband were still sleeping.

I woke my husband up and asked him:

"I will come home after 5:30am, so could you make dinner?"

"Yeah, OK."

He answered.


When I came home at 6pm, my lower back was hurt and I was tired.

My 7-year-old son came and told me:

"Dad hasn't made dinner yet!"

"Really?"

I said and looked at my husband who was folding the laundry.

I asked him again:

"Can you make dinner? I will fold the laundry. You don't know where to put them away, do you? If you keep doing that, I will have to put them away. It is only extra work for me!"

"YOU make dinner, PLEASE! I will finish doing this."

He said.

"Unbelievable! I asked you! OK, forget it. I will make dinner."

He had not washed the bathtub and dishes which were used for breakfast.

I was really irritated.

He often doen't do the tasks which I have asked him.

Maybe it was because he thought it troublesome.

And he might think that I would do them even if  he didn't do them.

I think it is unfair.

He always comes home at midnight on weekdays, so I can't depend on him and I do all of housework and take care of our children alone.

I want him to do housework when I go to work and he takes a day off.

Of course I thanked him to fold the laundry, but what I wanted him to do was make the dinner.

He prepares meals only a few times a year.

After all, I made dinner, washed the bathtub, and put laundry away.

The Bon dance festival was held at the park near our house last night, so my 6-year-old daughter told me:

"Let's go to the festival, mom!"

"Sorry, I can't go. I am exhausted. Please ask your dad."

My husband took them to the festival.

He takes care of our children well, but I want him to help me more when he takes a day off.



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2016/08/07

Hiroshima marks the 71th aniversary of the atomic bombing

Our family watched Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony broadcast on TV yesterday morning.

We try to watch it and observe a moment of silence for victims on the morning of August 6th every year.

My 6-year-old daughter didn't understand the meaning and refused to observe a moment of silence, but my husband made her do it.

She started crying.

I hope she will understand the meaning someday.

I've been to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum once.

I felt the oppressive and gloomy atmosphere as if I could not laugh forever.

But I thought it was my duty as a Japanese person to face the reality which happend during World War 2.

I'm going to try to teach my children how important peace is.




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2016/08/06

How do you spend time with your children during the summer vacation?

I took my 7-year-old son to Karate practice last night.

Since it ends 8pm, I went there to pick him up with my 6-year-old daughter.

After the practice, my son started playing tag with other boys as usual.

While waiting, I asked the mother whose son was also playing tag with my son:

"How do you spend time with your son during the summer vacation?"

She answered:

"Since my parents' home isn't very far and they have cousins there, we often go there and he plays with them."

"That's good for you! Since I go to work, my son goes to the children's house and spends his time there from 9am to 5pm."

I told her.

She looked surprised at this and asked me:

"So you have to make a lunch box every day, don't you? And how about your daughter? Does she go to the nursery school?"

"Yes. My son is like going to school every day. He does his homework there. He sometimes plays with friends, reads comics, draws pictures, and so on. Children who stay at the children's house sometimes go to school together and swim in the swimming pool."

I told her.



I am curious how other children spend their summer vacation.

Since I work even during the summer vacation, my son needs to stay at the children's house until I pick him up.

If I didn't work, I wonder how I would spend the long vacation.

The summer vacation is one and a half months, it is very long.

My son doesn't like going to the children's house very much, but I think it is good for him because he can play with friends, keep regular hours, and do his homework at the children's house.
Since many teachers take care of them, I can work with no worries.

Since I usually have a day off on Wednesdays and my husband has days off on Weekends, he can stay at home three days a week.



As for my 6-year-old daughter, she likes going to the nursery school.

She can swim in the swimming pool every day, and take a nap after lunch.

She can also play with friends until I pick her up.

She often says to me when I pick her up:

"Oh no! It's too early! I want to play with friends more!"

I always have to wait for her for more than 10 minutes.



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2016/08/05

Mt. Fuji from KABA

I am going to write about our trip again today.

We visited Lake Yamanaka to get on KABA which is an amphibious bus.

It drives through the forest at first, then dives into Lake Yamanaka.

After that, it goes around the lake as a ship.

When it was going to dive into the lake, the staff announced this lively.

"Wow!"

When the big splash happened the passengers broke out in cheers.
We were able to see the beautiful Mt.Fuji from KABA.


The staff quizzed the passengers about Lake Yamanaka and our family enjoyed answering them.

This is KABA.


It was a very big bus, but since it is so popular, it was fully booked and there was no vacant seat.

If you want to try it, you should book your seats first.



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2016/08/04

Family trip to Mt. Fuji

My family went on a trip to Nagano prefecture and Mt. Fuji from July 30th to August 2nd.

The weather forecast said that we would have a thunderstorm during our trip.

But fortunately, it didn't rain during our sightseeing.

If you are planning a trip to Mt. Fuji, I would like to recommend to you two splendid onsen ryokans (Japanese style hotels with hot springs).


The first hotel is Hotel Kaneyamaen.

It is located near Lake Yamanaka and we stayed overnight there on the second day.

You can experience a lot of Japanese traditional beauties there.

For example, it has a beautiful Japanese garden.

You can take a walk for a while.

You can experience the atmosphere as if you were walking in the traditional garden in Kyoto.


You can also experience Japanese style "Omotenashi" (hospitality).

They serve us Matcha (Japanese green tea) and Japanese sweets at the tea room.

You can find free fresh vegetables at the Japanese garden.

These are fresh cucumbers and carrots.

They were delicious!


We also enjoyed watching the impressive Taiko drum stage show.


Of course, you can enjoy three hot springs there.

You can see Mt. Fuji from two open air hot springs.

They served splendid Japanese cuisine.

We really enjoyed staying there very much.



The second hotel is Kozantei Ubuya.

It is located by the lakeside of Lake Kawaguchi.

You will be able to see the beautiful Mt. Fuji and Lake Kawaguchi from the guest room.

It was cloudy, but fortunately, we were able to see the beautiful Mt.Fuji and fantastic sea of clouds for a while.

I had a amazing time looking at the beautiful views from the guest room.





The foods and hot springs were also superb.

The staff of both hotels were sensible, well trained, and kind to the guests.

I guarantee that you will be able to enjoy staying there!


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