Friday, June 30, 2017

The end of June

Today is the last day of June. Yes, the only month of the year (for me) that has no holidays has finished OR we could say that is has come to an end. My only free days were the four Sundays. I went to all my kindergarten lessons this month. That means one every Monday, one every Tuesday, one every Wednesday and one every Friday. And with my regular school and private lessons I was busy. I was back full time at the gym. I went 9 times in June. But, I only go for one hour. I do 15 minutes on the running machine and 15 minutes on the Cross Trainer. That is for legs and arms. (I was doing 30 minutes on the treadmill but my knees were warning me that that was too much.) I also use three arm muscle strengthening machines but they are for toning rather than muscle building. I am being very careful not to cause any injuries to myself. I've had enough of those. After my training I take a quick shower at the gym. I pay 1,600en for a monthly pass of one hour.  Also in June, I had two violin lessons and one massage. I did a complete cleaning of the vacant lot next door. Finally. I washed and waxed the floor at my school. All in all, it was a good month. 

Thursday, June 29, 2017

June Wedding by Kazuko

Many wedding ceremonies are held in June. I remember my funny wedding. Let me tell you about it. I got married in April, 1983. When we were thinking about getting married we couldn't decide where to have our wedding ceremony. You see, my husband comes from Aomori prefecture and I'm from Tochigi prefecture, two places far apart. And in those days, without the Bullet train, it took about 8 hours from Tokyo to Aomori. So, we had two weddings, one at each place. We had the first wedding in Oyama. We invited my relatives and friends. There were 60 guests in all (total). It was a typical wedding. We week later, our second wedding took place in Misawa, Aomori. It was a typical Aomori wedding. There were many surprises. 200 guests came!. Most of them were strangers to my husband. And, guess what; a magician and Minyu dancers performed on stage. All the while me, the bride, changed outfits four times! I hardly sat down at my seat. It was like a festival. It lasted about 5 hours. When it was over I didn't know what was what! It was then that I knew the difference between a typical Oyama wedding and a typical Aomori wedding.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Vacant lot

It was time to get back and work in the vacant lot next door. Some regular style weds (weeds that are easy to pick) and one type called sugina began popping up here and there. But, it has been a while. I have done a lot of weed pulling there. I started about 8 years ago. It sure is handsome when there are no weeds and the bamboo island is trimmed. So, that is what I did this time. But first, I had to take care of our own garden. I noticed a lot of weeds springing up around back so last Friday AM I got out and worked all around the house outside pulling weeds and tidying up. The bad news was that my small sickle was broken. I had forgotten! So I did my best with the it and finished up. On Saturday I bought a new sickle and gloves. Then after my KenK lesson I attacked the lot next door. I got two tools form the attic. One is a hoe. I use that top cut off the heads of the sugina. I also trimmed the bamboo island as it was getting rather high. I then raked it all up. I filled three garbage bags with weeds and bamboo trimmings. I must say the Saturday night alcohol tasted De-licious!.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Summer Solsitce 2017

The Summer Solstice is one of my favorite days along with the winter one and the two equinoxes. The reason is because, they divide the year into four equal parts. I like the exactness of that. 
1. There are two solstices every year: in June and in December.
2. The June one happens first (naturally), marking the beginning of summer, while the winter solstice marks the beginning of winter. 
3. Of course, the June solstice marks the beginning of winter for those in the Southern hemisphere, while the winter solstice for us, marks the beginning of summer for those below the equator.
4. Summer solstice is also called Midsummer
5. Midsummer is also known as St John's Day. It is the period of time centered upon the summer solstice. It is a time when Northern European celebrations take place on a day between June 19 and June 25 and the preceding evening.
6. The Christian Church designated June 24 as the feast day of the early Christian martyr St John the Baptist. The observance of St John's Day begins the evening before, known as St John's Eve.
Of course you know Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. Now you know a new Eve.


Midsummer celebration in Sweden



Monday, June 26, 2017

Puzzler Answers and Super Scrabble

Only three more Mondays till some well deserved time off during the hot summer. Puzzler Answers: CLICK HERE.

スーパースクラブルパズルは200ピースのタイルを使って単語を作るゲームです。
それぞれのタイルにはアルファベットが書かれています。参加者が(リック先生のアドバイスを受けながら)順番に、ボードにある単語に手持ちのタイルで作った単語をつなげていきます。
完成したパズルがこちらです。ご覧のようにたくさんの単語ができました。
この中に何も書かれていないタイルが4つあります。クイズです!この空白のタイルに入るアルファベットはなんでしょう?わかりますか?

答えは一番下にあります。スクロールダウンして(ずっ~と下まで見て)チェックしてみてください。










































TEST/OMIT                GROOMED/GROOMER                 HORN/HAPPY                    STALK

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Puzzler Hints

I forgot to set up the Puzzler links last week. Sorry! Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE.

先月は、”after”の使い方でしたが、今月は“before” の使い方についてみてみましょう。
基本的には、「前に」の意味です
[時間が順序の)前
[位置・順序が](。。。の)前
。。。する前に、しないうち

1. I never get up before 5 o’clock. 私は、5時より前には起きていなかった
2. right before my eyes 私の目の前
3. It will be a long time before the bridge is built. 橋ができるまでには、長い時間がかかるだろう。
色々な”after” ”before”を使って会話をしてみましょう!Good luck!
Kindergarten yard...Summertime!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Puzzler

So, what was he game for yesterday's BLOG It was UNO! Thank you very much or your fine story, Nobuyuki.  Puzzler: CLICK HERE.

先月は、”after”の使い方でしたが、今月は“before” の使い方についてみてみましょう。
基本的には、「前に」の意味です
[時間が順序の)前
[位置・順序が](。。。の)前
。。。する前に、しないうち

1. I never get up before 5 o’clock. 私は、5時より前には起きていなかった
2. right before my eyes 私の目の前
3. It will be a long time before the bridge is built. 橋ができるまでには、長い時間がかかるだろう。
色々な”after” ”before”を使って会話をしてみましょう!Good luck!







Friday, June 23, 2017

Camping Part 3 of 3 by Nobuyuki

May 6
The sound of rain woke us up. Where did the fine weather of yesterday go? We had breakfast in a hurry, packed our tent and left the camp site. We didn’t finish the most important goal of this travel yet, so we went to the sea food store near the sea. We found the raw seafood, hotaru-Ika, shiro-ebi, ama-ebi, toyama-ebi and iwa-gaki at last. We bought them and ate there for ean arly lunch. They were more delicious than expected. My son focused on eating shiro-ebi and we were totally sated with the fresh seafood.

The rain got heavy. We had no "Plan B" for bad weather. We told our son that we would have to leave Toyama earlier than planned. But our son had a "Plan B" and he insisted on doing it before leaving Toyama. Actually he wanted to play a game together with us. So we spent nearly two hours playing the game. We finally departed Toyama at 4:30 pm. 

A four hour brought us to our home. Fortunately, we weren’t caught in any traffic jams. During the drive, my wife and my son had been sleeping because they were exhausted.

(Question)      What was the game we played? (Answer tomorrow)






Thursday, June 22, 2017

Camping Part 2 of 3 by Nobuyuki

May 5
We got up early in the morning and went to climb Mt. Eboshi (altitude: 1274m).
We started climbing and only a 20 minute-walk brought us to the mountain ridge where we were overwhelmed by the many big mountains in front of us. But I was a little bit worried because there was still a lot of snow on the mountain trail. The higher we climbed, the more snow we encountered. After an additional 30 minute walk, the climbing route was totally covered by snow and the climbing speed got slow. The standard course time for climbing is about 2 hours, but it took 3 hours for us to reach the top of the mountain. The summit had a panoramic views of many large mountains, Toyama Bay and the Noto-Peninsula.
In particular, the colors of fresh green leaves, blue sky and white snow was very impressive. We had lunch at the summit and walked down (descended) the mountain.

After the climb, we went to the sea food store near the bay again, but the seasonal raw sea foods were sold out again. So we bought some meat to BBQ. The dinner menu was almost the same as yesterday, but we enjoyed the grilled beef. At the BBQ dinner, we also enjoyed the sunset view at the camp site. The sun set over the Noto Peninsula coloring the sea and the sky red. It was breathtakingly beautiful!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Camping Part 1 of 3 by Nobuyuki

My wife, our son and I went camping in Toyama Prefecture from May 4 to May 6. Camping in Toyama was the first time for us, so we were looking forward to it. We made plans to enjoy the beautiful scenery and the seasonal foods. My wife requested that we climb a mountain and I added the hiking plan.
May 4
            We left Ageo before 5:00 AM and arrived at the camp site in Kurobe city before 10 AM. When we arrived, we felt the many large mountains were standing right near the city. The camp fare was very cheap, only 500 yen per tent. We paid 1000yen for 2 nights and went to the sushi restaurant for lunch.
After lunch, we went to the station to rent bicycles. But many people had the same idea because of the fine weather, so our plan for riding bicycles along the seaside and searching shinkiros was not realized. (There was a signboard saying shinkiros were sighted on this day.) After that, we went to a seafood store near the bay, but the seasonal raw sea foods were already sold out. We bought some meat to BBQ. We enjoyed the BBQ as usual at the camp site and went to sleep.


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Flag Day USA

I didn't even know it but, last Wednesday was Flag Day in my home country, the US of A. I know many things about "Old Glory". Here are some interesting facts about our flag. The following info is from the USA.gov site.
The Flag of the United States of America is a symbol of freedom and liberty to which Americans pledge their allegiance by standing at attention, facing the flag with their right hand over the heart, and reciting:
"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
The flag consists of 13 alternating red and white stripes that represent the 13 original colonies, and 50 white stars on a blue field, with each star representing a state. The colors on the flag represent:
  • Red: valor and bravery
  • White: purity and innocence
  • Blue: vigilance, perseverance, and justice

One more:
THE 50-STAR PATTERN WAS CREATED BY A HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT.
When Alaska and Hawaii became states 49 and 50, President Eisenhower received thousands of ideas for an updated flag. Almost all of them were for a 50-star flag, including one from Robert G. Heft, a 17-year-old student at Lancaster (Ohio) High, who created the design for a class project. He was one of three to submit the version that was accepted and remains in use today.
Robert got a B- on his project.


Monday, June 19, 2017

Puzzler Answers and Super Scrabble

I have to go to KenKatsu this AM and arrange the details with the staff for our RAM Main Event, July 17th. Are you going to attend? Puzzler Answers: CLICK HERE.

スーパースクラブルパズルは200ピースのタイルを使って単語を作るゲームです。
それぞれのタイルにはアルファベットが書かれています。参加者が(リック先生のアドバイスを受けながら)順番に、ボードにある単語に手持ちのタイルで作った単語をつなげていきます。
完成したパズルがこちらです。ご覧のようにたくさんの単語ができました。
この中に何も書かれていないタイルが4つあります。クイズです!この空白のタイルに入るアルファベットはなんでしょう?わかりますか?

答えは一番下にあります。スクロールダウンして(ずっ~と下まで見て)チェックしてみてください。







































MARCH                           FRONT                       LOVES                     ASKED

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Puzzler Hints

I wonder how the weather is today. Maybe I'll take a bicycle ride. Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE.

先月は、”after”の使い方でしたが、今月は“before” の使い方についてみてみましょう。
基本的には、「前に」の意味です
[時間が順序の)前
[位置・順序が](。。。の)前
。。。する前に、しないうち

1. I never get up before 5 o’clock. 私は、5時より前には起きていなかった
2. right before my eyes 私の目の前
3. It will be a long time before the bridge is built. 橋ができるまでには、長い時間がかかるだろう。
色々な”after” ”before”を使って会話をしてみましょう!Good luck!


This is one of my prime lessons for kids. Do you follow me?

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Puzzler

It's the rainy season so I will stay at home and relax, and study, and drink. Don't forget your bumbershoot. Puzzler: CLICK HERE.
www.playram.org/Week-C-Puzzler.html
先月は、”after”の使い方でしたが、今月は“before” の使い方についてみてみましょう。
基本的には、「前に」の意味です
[時間が順序の)前
[位置・順序が](。。。の)前
。。。する前に、しないうち

1. I never get up before 5 o’clock. 私は、5時より前には起きていなかった
2. right before my eyes 私の目の前
3. It will be a long time before the bridge is built. 橋ができるまでには、長い時間がかかるだろう。
色々な”after” ”before”を使って会話をしてみましょう!Good luck!

A neighbor on his tractor

Friday, June 16, 2017

Waxing Part 2

So, I was up early Monday. I got to the school at 7AM and attacked. I had to move everything to the east side of the room to clear the area. That way, I can wash the entire (whole) space at one time. After washing, I have to wipe off the cleaner with a wet towel (rag). When that dries I wipe it all again with another wet rag. I got a new plastic wax tray and put a new pad on the mop. I spread the wax smoothly on the floor. (This is the fun part). The floor goes from a dull white to a shiny clear floor. Be-a-u-ti-ful. The bad news was that I ran out of wax! I called Mine and lo and behold they had the same wax there. Hooray! I went there to buy a bottle and then finished this 1/3 of the room. After it all dried I put everything back in place. The next morning, Tuesday, I looked at the last unclean area. It was around my desk and sink. I was tired of cleaning. I really had to force myself to do it, but I moved all the furniture out and then repeated the procedure. First, wash with cleanser. Then, wipe down. Then wipe down once more. Then wax. Then after it all dries, put the furniture back. Finished! ... until next time.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Waxing our school Part 1

I decided to wax the floor in our school. We usually ask someone to do it. They are a small mom and pop company such as ours. They are located in Okegawa. I used to ask a different guy to do it. He is located in Omiya where we used to live. Anyway, this time I decide to DOITO: that is, Do It Myself. I started Sunday morning. The floor is not wood so I needed to buy a different kind of wax, I thought. But actually, I had a wax called ALL. It is multi-purpose so I could use it on my school I also bought knee pads so I could kneel on the floor while scrubbing. The areas around the classroom tables and around my desk where everyone walks were quite filthy (dirty). I bought some scrub brushes but they were too weak. The floor cleaner (liquid) was also too weak. I bought all those at ViVa Home. So, I made a quick trip to Mine Department Store and bought some cleanser (liquid type) and some stronger scouring pads. I borrowed a bucket form my landlord for clean rinse water. With all those, the cleaning went very well. I cleaned 1/3 of the room. This was my first time so it was a test case. I now had all the tools I needed. I also had a plan (strategy). I'll finish this story tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Hawaiian adventure by Shizuko

We went to Hawaii last Friday. There were blue skies, slight breezes and we felt "This is Hawaii". We attended our grandson's high school graduation ceremony. We were very surprised as there is a big difference between Japan and Hawaii ceremonies. The ceremony of Japan is very formal with many congratulatory speeches and boring. But, this one started at 8PM! About 400 students entered the hall. The boys were wearing suits and the girls were wearing white dresses. About 2000 guests attended the ceremony. It took two hours. After that we moved to another place. We met our grandson and we finally got home at midnight. We had a wonderful and a great time! We have never had such an experience as this ceremony. 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

A haircut

I got a haircut for the first time in 5 or 6 years. I really can't remember the last time I got one. I decided long ago to cut my own hair. I bought electric shears. You can set it to different lengths. It goes from 0cm to3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, and 21cms. I always used 3 and 6cms. It was easy and only took 10 minutes or so. I did it in the bathroom, so I could shampoo immediately afterward. And I don't really know why, but I have decided to let my hair grow. That is, the hair that I have left. So, last week Tuesday after my Kindergarten lesson I had lunch at Ishizuka noodles restaurant. It is on the NakaSenDou near the K. Then I bicycled back to my school and went to Mine. There is a Barber here called PLUS 11. But, their minimum price is ¥1,500. Way too expensive! So, I walked through the station and went to QB House. Their price is ¥1,080 for seniors. That's me! I was disappointed that I had to wait about 25 minutes. There were two lady barbers and both had customers who had a lot of hair. When my turn came, I was finished in 5 minutes. I'm looking forword to .... whatever results.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Puzzler Answers and Super Scrabble

This will be another good, long week, I'm sure. I'm really looking forward to it. Puzzler Answers: CLICK HERE.

スーパースクラブルパズルは200ピースのタイルを使って単語を作るゲームです。
それぞれのタイルにはアルファベットが書かれています。参加者が(リック先生のアドバイスを受けながら)順番に、ボードにある単語に手持ちのタイルで作った単語をつなげていきます。

完成したパズルがこちらです。ご覧のようにたくさんの単語ができました。
この中に何も書かれていないタイルが4つあります。クイズです!この空白のタイルに入るアルファベットはなんでしょう?わかりますか?

答えは一番下にあります。スクロールダウンして(ずっ~と下まで見て)チェックしてみてください。

















































SENTRY                       MOSTLY                       STEAM                       CELERY

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Puzzler Hints

I have to investigate some things today. I'll tell yo about then after Monday this week. Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE.

先月は、”after”の使い方でしたが、今月は“before” の使い方についてみてみましょう。
基本的には、「前に」の意味です
[時間が順序の)前
[位置・順序が](。。。の)前
。。。する前に、しないうち

1. I never get up before 5 o’clock. 私は、5時より前には起きていなかった
2. right before my eyes 私の目の前
3. It will be a long time before the bridge is built. 橋ができるまでには、長い時間がかかるだろう。
色々な”after” ”before”を使って会話をしてみましょう!Good luck!

"Nine"

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Puzzler

Ahhh, the weekend. What are your plans? Does it include alcohol? Mine certainly do. Puzzler: CLICK HERE.

先月は、”after”の使い方でしたが、今月は“before” の使い方についてみてみましょう。
基本的には、「前に」の意味です
[時間が順序の)前
[位置・順序が](。。。の)前
。。。する前に、しないうち

1. I never get up before 5 o’clock. 私は、5時より前には起きていなかった
2. right before my eyes 私の目の前
3. It will be a long time before the bridge is built. 橋ができるまでには、長い時間がかかるだろう。
色々な”after” ”before”を使って会話をしてみましょう!Good luck!


"My" rice field



Friday, June 9, 2017

Fukky by Kazuko

I worked until 2 years ago. In those days, I was busy so it was hard to clean the house every day. But now I have plenty of time and I can do it. I clean with a vacuum cleaner every morning. Then I should wipe up the floor but I hate that. Actually, my left knee has hurt since I was a child. I feel pain whenever I kneel down. I usually use a magical wiper but I always feel it is not enough. The other day, l saw a wiping machine on TV shopping. I ordered one over the phone immediately. 2 days later, it arrived and I tried it right away. It basically goes straight. But if it bumps an obstacle, it changes direction. It works slowly in every nook and cranny with complicated movement. Finally the floor was perfectly wiped up. I feel good. I love walking barefoot on the floor now. I call it "Fukky" with friendly feelings. "Fukky" is working right now while I'm studying English.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Return to the gym

I was going to the gym 8, 9 or 10 times a month. I even went 13 times once. That started in early 2016. It was going very well. But, one day I felt a bad pain in my left shoulder. Actually it was in the shoulder blade. That lingered (remained) for a long time. After that, I cut down on (reduced) the arm training. That took almost a year to heal. I also thought maybe my violin bowing was wrong or my holding the violin was wrong. But now it has healed. HOWEVER, after that healed I got my hernia. That was no fun at all. I believe I got that because I did to many crunches. Or, I did them incorrectly Anyway, my back has healed and my shoulder is fine, so I am back at the gym. Why? What is my goal? It is to reduce my waistline. And for me, the best way to do that is: 1. diet and 2. running. So, I run 30 minutes on the treadmill (see pic). I do two 15 minute runs. In between and afterwards I do a little arm strengthening, but nothing serious. I also only go for one hour. After my shower there I go on my way. I will be careful.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

June plans

June is my busiest month as there are no holidays. The month before June is May and it has GW. The month after June is July and summer vacation starts. So, I don't go to teach at the kindergartens. In May I did a lot of work around the house and garden. The vacant lot is almost as bald as I am! The floors of the house are all waxed. The car is spic and span. I have done a lot of work on my school projects. My drinking schedule is full. I always drink on Saturdays and maybe one more day during the week. So, what shall I do for June? Of course, the rains will be here very soon. So, I have three main plans. One: clean and wax the floor in my school. I usually ask a local company to do it. But, I want to try it myself this time. Two: wash the walls in our home. They need cleaning. There is also a special situation (problem) so it may take some "ingenuity". Three: Finish my Kids HW for sale projects. The goal is to complete these three before the RAM Event July 17th. If  can do it, I hope to start working on a "One Point English" text. Whew! I'm tired already.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Party Time

As you may or may not know, I decided to abstain from alcohol this year. My goal was to lose weight. I tried for about (around/roughly) 100 days. And I only lost 2 kilo grams. So, I gave up that plan. My new approach (plan) is to eat less and return to the gym. Well, I got back to the gym and I am now off the wagon. Some people thought this was a good idea. One student in particular (especially) is Kenny (see pic; he is the handsome one). He is a classic member of the 3:15 Saturday Kenkatsu group. The students here are all very good at English and try very hard to improve. We speak only English. Now, Kenny likes alcohol very much. So, when I declared (said/stated) that I was off the wagon he immediately cheered and decided that we should celebrate. So last Saturday, after the KenK lesson, he and I took the shuttle to Omiya. We went straight to a "standing drinking" shop for "primers" and then walked to a restaurant. There we met 7 other students from the group and enjoyed wining, dining and chatting. Thank you all very much.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Puzzler Answers and Super Scrabble

No breaks this month. June is always like that. After that comes summer vacation though. I can't wait! Puzzler Answers: CLICK HERE.

スーパースクラブルパズルは200ピースのタイルを使って単語を作るゲームです。
それぞれのタイルにはアルファベットが書かれています。参加者が(リック先生のアドバイスを受けながら)順番に、ボードにある単語に手持ちのタイルで作った単語をつなげていきます。

完成したパズルがこちらです。ご覧のようにたくさんの単語ができました。
この中に何も書かれていないタイルが4つあります。クイズです!この空白のタイルに入るアルファベットはなんでしょう?わかりますか?

答えは一番下にあります。スクロールダウンして(ずっ~と下まで見て)チェックしてみてください。


    





































  EQUIP                        TURRET/TEAR                             POSITIVE                            WOUND




Sunday, June 4, 2017

Puzzler Hints

I wonder how much I drank last night. I'll ask the students next week. Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE.

先月は、”after”の使い方でしたが、今月は“before” の使い方についてみてみましょう。
基本的には、「前に」の意味です
[時間が順序の)前
[位置・順序が](。。。の)前
。。。する前に、しないうち

1. I never get up before 5 o’clock. 私は、5時より前には起きていなかった
2. right before my eyes 私の目の前
3. It will be a long time before the bridge is built. 橋ができるまでには、長い時間がかかるだろう。
色々な”after” ”before”を使って会話をしてみましょう!Good luck!


"Ff"