Friday, April 24, 2009

The music which makes me smile and hum

A Japanese blogger friend of mine from the English learning website had written about this lovely CD in her site. This afternoon, to tell you the truth, I dropped by at the CD shop just to check the Carpenters latest new album commemorating their 40th year since they formed a brother and a sister duo. I looked through the featured numbers and they are almost all the one I have. I really like Karen's singing. Her voice is really superb. Oh, where am I? Let me talk about the Carpenters some other time. Back to about this lovely CD.  While strolling around the aisles in the store, I've just found this lovely jacket illustrated by a famous Brazilian artist. Then it reminded me of a CD which my blogger friend was talking about. All the familiar songs are arranged into bossa nova sung by a woman and a girl. It's very soft and relaxing music. I like it and glad that I've found it today. You can try some of them from this site. I like "ABC" so much.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

study on unfamiliar theme

This Saturday our volunteer group for interpreting has an annual workshop.
Since I am one of the staff members, I've been busy organizing the program, making arrangements with the staff members, making email correspondence with the members.
It is indeed time consuming to get all the things done before Saturday.

The thing is I'm too busy setting this workshop to make time studying for my own.
The theme for the workshop is on The 10th Conference of the Parties, which will be held in Nagoya on October22, 2010. There 'll be about 7,000 participants throughout Japan and from abroad. So we are sure that there should be volunteer opportunities for us.
Of course we are amateur interpreters, so we won't be in charge of official interpreting. Yet we're supposed to get prepared for its main theme " the biological diversity".
There are lots of words and phrases for biological topics which are quite unfamiliar to us.
We set a quasi-situation which likely happens between two persons along with an interpreter and we actually make an exercise to interpret. We also make a practice on interpreting one's lecture.
Sounds tough, but it will l surely be very useful and worth taking part in.
Well all I have to do now is to finish this post and get started with a little bit of study.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

From our garden

It's the season of Chinese citrons in our garden.
We have two Chinese citron trees and every year they grow fruits.
I wrote the post on this topic last year and the year before the last as well.
It's been repeated and here is my post on Chinese citrons fruits for the year of 2009!
As I usually do (see my previous post), I picked up as many as 150 fruits!
I gave about a half of them to our neighbors.
And for the rest, I enjoy making marmalade, juice and jelly.
Making them to marmalade takes many steps peeling, slicing and cooking.
It'll take some time to make them to marmalade.
So I've decided to start from jelly this year.
Maybe I prefer jelly to marmalade since it has less sugar in it,
and, I suppose, so do the rest of my family.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Going out with my husband's mother

My husband's mother lives with us. Every other Friday it's a check-up day for my husband's mother. She is generally in a good shape without having any serious inner organ diseases. She keeps her own schedule every day starting her day in the morning with sweeping up fallen leaves in our garden. Just due to the aging, she rarely goes out of the house for herself for shopping or visiting friends as she used to do before. When we lose any opportunities to expose ourselves to outward world, we feel isolated and finally got frustrated. She sometimes get into that mood without knowing what to do all by herself. For her, visiting her home doctor every other week is a day to dress a little bit holiday clothes rather than to see a doctor.
It won't take long until her doctor finishes seeing her since she rarely has any problems except just minor troubles.
So after the doctor, she makes it a rule to drop by to the department store right in the station building to enjoy window shopping or sometimes enjoy picking up some of her favorite sweets.
When she feels her feet are all right, she loves to go down to the outdoor garden in the station building which is taken so much good care of by the gardeners. She walks with her stick very slowly but can't walk too long. Yet she prefer to walk rather than to sit in a wheelchair.
Today there we found the new appearance of the arrangements of lovely spring flowers. Too bad I left my digital camera in the car. I took some with my mobile phone camera which were not so good results but still good enough for her to enjoy afterwards at home to look at. There were little dolls sitting in the flowers here and there. They were so cute. We'd love to have some in our garden.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Here you are

Like you pick up some of your favorites from a chocolate shop, we stop by at a wagashi(Japanese sweets) shop and get some. Here I show you some I got today. This wagashi is named " flowers fileds". Aren't they cute. It has even butterflies flying over the flowers. And it is all made from beans paste cooked with good quality of sugar. You will see two more sweets at the back with a Japanese tea bowl and a powered tea container in a bag. It's a small but happy moment of tea time on a hectic day. Try some by all means when you get here!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Such a surprise!

I participated the spring swap that Dionne had arranged for 26 blogger friends. I haven't experienced a swapping before and I even didn't know what a swapping is at all until I ran into Dionne's blog. It's her idea to call for participation to her blogger friends. Since I am such a fan of her and her splendid blog, I was sure it would be worth of taking part in.

My swap partner is Kimberly and we emailed each other several times and got to know a little bit of us. She wrote me a very generous and kind mail and made me feel so happy and relaxed about sending out a package to her.
I picked up some little things Japanese and sent out on April 1 as Dionne instructed so that every participant can get the swapping gift around the same time.
My package was delivered to Kimberly. It took about a week to get to her. She wrote about it in her blog at once.

So finally across the ocean, the big package from Kimberly arrived this morning.

The bell rang and I knew it must be one. I ran to the door and saw the postman standing with such a big box in his arms. Wow!

I opened it and look at this! So being springly wrapped. Now what's inside???

I couldn't believe my eyes. There are so many goodies in the box.
different kinds of Chocolates, candles, a little poem book, handmade greeting card and bookmark from Kimberly, a wooden bird and eggs, a wrap of glass pieces, a post card of her town and especially her art in frame is really great. It's my joy that I got her art.
How could ever she been so nice to some one abroad. Thank you so much. I've been so exciting the whole day today.
Thank you Kimberly for taking so much time and so much postage to send many goodies for me. Yes, we are qualifed to be awarded the "international posting award" or something.

We stay in touch. And my thanks go to Dionne, as well. You've made every participants and readers linked together.

Monday, April 13, 2009

What a surprise!

It's Monday morning here .
The postman rung the bell and I found him
standing with a big box in his arms!
How could you think of sending me such a big box by air mail!

Thank you so much, Kimberly!

I love everything and your art in frame is really great.
I am happy it arrived before I leave for a job.
I'll write more in detail tonight.
I'll come back with more photos tonight.
Thank you so much again.
Here are lots and lots of my thanks.

And I thank you to Dionne, who made this possible.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Farewell luncheon for a friend

I went out with my friends of china painting to the Chubu International Airport. It's a unique airport because it's not only the place for passengers leaving or arriving on planes but the fun place for visitors like a group of families, friends or study tours to spend a whole day eating, shopping, visiting small galleries in the building, and what's more enjoying the spa with the airport view.
Since there is one fancy restaurant at the head of the observation deck, we've decided to have a farewell luncheon for a friend who is going to move to another city located in northern part of Japan. We enjoyed a lunch and strolled around the shopping area and most of all, we enjoyed the endless talks. It was such a good day.

Friday, April 10, 2009

My first plate

I've just finished my first plate and I'm so happy with the result. Well, one of my good friends is my teacher for this china paintings and without her good instruction, this large plate would never have been completed. It took four steps in all. I've started from pale colors on a background and flowers first and sent a plate into a electric kiln at my friend and at the next time I drew flowers adding some more details using a bit dark colors and sent it to the kiln and repeated this two more times until I finished drawing flowers. Unlike the European paintings represented in Meissen works, my friend explained this drawing belonged to the American style. I liked the whole soft images of the flowers. Glad I've done with it. Now I'm very interested in learning china paintings at classes by a professional teacher. Maybe I've got to find and get more information from my friend.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Cherry blossoms in full bloom

For these days we had unexpectedly cold days about a week. The chilly morning air has delayed the cherry blossoms buds for blooming. It is about a week delay, according to the weather forecast. We've often started our conversations about the arrival of the cherry blossoms with families, friends, neighbors and even store clerks. And finally yesterday the weather turned to be perfect for viewing cherry blossoms. I drove to the Nagoya castle park where more than a thousand cherry trees have been planted. Some of them are really old like 100 years-old. I went out with my daughter and my husband's mother. We are very happy that we can enjoy the cherry blossoms right in the center of the city. It won't take more than 15minutes by car.
We used a rental wheelchair for my husband's mother who feels much safer on it for a long walk. We strolled around the park about an hour. The cherry blossoms were just in full bloom and it was really a breathtaking view.
Our national flower is said to be chrysanthemums but in fact for many Japanese, cherry blossoms have been so much special and so much loved since the ancient era. People see their own lives in delicate features of the cherry blossoms. We are so much touched by the fragile blossoms and short range of full bloom. They surely give us a courage to live up our own lives with all hopes.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Bon Bon Chocolat

Amazing! These colorful chocolate are the ones I picked up from the shop in Tokyo Midtown. Fingersize bars called Bon Bon Chocolat have 17 varieties of tastes and every color tells its flavor and taste. The round ones are named Chocoron which are chocolate-glazed macarons. I'm glad that I brought home some boxes of these unique chocolate since they only have their shops in Tokyo and Paris. (Why not in Nagoya?) Anyway it's just a little excitement!
The name of this pattisserie is Sadaharu Aoki.