Thursday, October 31, 2013

Kaiten Sushi

We sometimes go out to eat at a kaiten sushi place.  I saw this article recently on RocketNews24 and thought it was funny.  How to make sure kaiten isn't taihen.
ScreenHunter_239 Oct. 25 16.21

ScreenHunter_241 Oct. 25 16.21

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Start of a Flat Christmas Tree

I can’t say I thought much of yo-yo’s in the past, but after the shawl I made earlier this year, I think they are kind of fun. My new project is a wall hanging for Ted to hang in his office.  I think this is a good decoration for Japan because there is so little space for such things. I decided on green yo-yo’s for the tree and made a background of red squares. The reverse side of the wall hanging is Christmas fabric (12 Days of Christmas) that Margaret sent me. So far it is just sandwiched together with pins.

I’ve also pinned the yo-yo’s to see how it might look. Nothing is stitched down yet, so it may change. I’m already thinking about the embellishing!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Monday Morning Star Count 172

I completed 17 more flowers this week and continued joining flower clumps.  I have one strip that I think is the right length.  My plan is to continue joining flowers to make strips of this length, then join the strips together to make the quilt top.  How does that sound?

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Small Talk

I recently did a lesson on small talk with an English conversation class of three adults. They understood the lesson and practiced with me and each other.  It was great – they totally got the concept and were able to put it into practice.

I modified the lesson to make it a little more structured, and used it with my university class.  When I introduced the topic and asked if anyone knew what small talk was, some thought it was using little words when talking, others thought it was talking quietly.  They had never heard the phrase “small talk” before.  We discussed what it is and when to use it and how it is different from introductions, which we have practiced in the past.  I divided the class into small groups and gave each group a card with a situation and some topics as examples, such as several students get to class a few minutes early, or they see someone they know at the grocery store or a sporting event. I didn’t hear anyone get beyond the topics on the cards during that class period. This week, I had them pair off and I gave them situations verbally without examples, and I was very pleased with what I heard. Not only did they come up with topics, some even used appropriate questions for the individual person they were talking with. I love my university class and the private English students I have (all adults).

My other English teaching job is at a children’s English school. I started working there in April and signed a contract for the school year, through March 2014.  This week I was asked to commit to another year (April 2014 – March 2015).  While I expected this situation to come up, I thought it would happen in January or February, not October.  I didn’t give them an answer, even though I know the answer. I don’t want to be put on the spot to say I don’t want to do this another year. What are the chances that they won’t ask me again this week?

Several people told me they thought the Japanese pumpkin from our garden (that I posted about yesterday) was a weird shape, and I agree, it is weird. This is how it is supposed to be, though. Weird, but true.

Inspired by the Suffolk Puff Christmas tree that Margaret made, and using some of the fabric she had left over, I’ve started making one too.  I want to make it for Ted to hang in his office and I’d love to get it done in time for this year. It’ll be November in a few days! I’m going to try to finish it before December. We'll see how it goes.

Saturday, October 26, 2013


Our summer garden has come to an end, but we will be enjoying kabocha (Japanese pumpkin) for some time to come.  Our kabocha vines had many kabochas.  This has become my favorite vegetable, so I’m sure we will plant it again next year. It’s kind of funny looking and not like the orange American pumpkin. The shell is very hard and they will keep for a long time.

 Ted cuts it open and scrapes out the seeds, then cooks it in the microwave with a little water.

The rest of last night's meal was stir fried vegetables with shrimp and scallops. (Ted adds bacon to his.) What a good cook Ted is!

Friday, October 25, 2013

More Baby Bibs and Sushi

Two more bird baby bibs are finished this week.  Very cute!

I made sushi by myself this time.  Who knew it was so easy?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Maruyama Zoo in Autumn

Last year we bought year-long passes to the zoo in Sapporo and we have more than gotten our money’s worth from them.  We really love going to the zoos and aquariums.  Being used to the zoos in the US, where animals have larger spaces, I wasn’t sure I would like the small zoos here. The animals don’t have large places to move around, but as a result, you can be incredibly close and really see the animals. I never get tired of seeing the animals and they all seemed to like the cool fall weather the other day.

Even though I like the reptile house, we only had time for the outdoor animals this trip.  We’ll see the reptiles again in the winter.  There are no giant pandas at this zoo, but I have to say the red pandas are pretty cute.


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

TAST 86 - Turkman Stitch

This week’s Take a Stitch Tuesday stitch is the Turkman Stitch.  I tried it out with perle#5 (red) and perle#8 (blue). You can join in at any time with these stitches.  Check it out at Sharon B’s Pintangle blog.


Goodies from Margaret
Look what I received in the mail yesterday from Margaret.  She recently made a Suffolk puff Christmas tree and had some extra fabric. (You can see it here, near the end of the post.) I’m going to make one for Ted’s office wall and I’d love to do it for this year.  We’ll see.  The magazine has some beautiful pictures and I am so happy to be able to read the articles too.  Thank you, Margaret!