Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Recent cooking and sewing projects

Last week, Steven made a Paella which had scallops, prawns, mussels, seaweed and clams. Oh, it was tasty. He made it in a big Paella pan so we can eat this for a few days. Yum! 先週末にStevenが作ったパエリアにはホタテ、海老、ムール貝、はまぐり、わかめが入っていておいしかった。特大パエリア鍋で作ったのでしばらくはこれを食べられます。おいし~。

Another day, I made a spaghetti and meatballs which is Steven's favorite. I used my Italian grandma's recipe. (Noooooooooot!) 別の日ですがStevenの好物、ミートボールスパゲティを作りました。私のイタリア人の祖母のレシピでございます。(うそだよ~ん!)

Also made macha(green tea) muffins with dried blueberry for my friend who ran SF marathon last weekend to wish her a good luck. (heart shape!) She completed her first full marathon with a great time. Yeah!!! 週末につくった乾燥ブルーベリー入り抹茶マフィン。サンフランシスコマラソンを走ったお友達に幸運を祈りながらプレゼント。新鮮なブルーベリーが出回っている今、あえて乾燥ベリーを使ったのは彼女にとって初めてのフルマラソンへ「乾燥」と「完走」をかけて。そのせいではないけれど、彼女は完走した上、すばらしいタイムでゴール。すごい!

From my sewing projects , this is a laptop pillow. I covered a foam which I cut in the same measurements of the laptop with fabric. Attached a wood board (3/16 inch or 5mm thick) to the covered foam with sticky Velcro tapes. It is gentle for my lap and the board on the pillow prevents from a laptop getting hot!! Good idea, huh? I got the board from Homedepot free. I didn't want to buy a 4ft x8ft board for this tiny project and found a broken piece at the store. I brought it to a register and "Could I have this, pleaaaaaase?" with a big smile. It worked. :)

Another sewing project is a casual summer dress. It would be nice for a hot day. The weather is nice and cool last two days so I haven't had a chance to wear this. その他はカジュアルなサマードレスを作りました。ここのところ涼しいのでまだ着る機会がないけど。

This was made a few days later we moved in. We keep our cats in the second bed room when we sleep otherwise they come to our door and scratch the door and meow all night long. However this door has a big gap from the floor and the cats do scratching and meowing from it and hard to sleep with it so I made this tube stuffed with our old Tshirts and socks and attached underneath of the door. They still scratch the door but we cannot hear much because this tube is blocking the noise. Don't get me wrong. I like our cats but NOBODY MESS UP MY SLEEP!!

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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Buri kama - grilled yellow tail collar bone

"Festival maniac" is grilling something again...  Mr.お祭り馬鹿が又、バーベキューグリルでお料理しています。
Ohhhhh, Buri kamaaaaa! They are yellow tail collar bone and the meat around it VERY tasty. We eat this a lot with Daikon oroshi (shredded radish). The one in aluminum foil is sweet potato and the leftover yakitori from the party is also on the grill.

Since we moved in this place, we have been eating out a lot. Not "eating out" but eating in the back yard. Look at the browned skin of the fish...Let's eat! ここに引越してきてから、外食が多くなりました。外食といっても外で食べるごはん。お庭です。皮もいい具合に焦げてる。いっただっきま~す!

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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Lunch with the Gillespies

We invited the Gillespies, my other family in Santa Cruz and had a lunch. From the left, Mariko, Brendan(Mikako's fiance), Mikako, Jean, Jim and Steven. Santa Cruzに住む、私の第二の家族であるギレスピー家のみんなをランチに招待しました。左から、Mariko, Brendan(Mikakoのフィアンセ), Mikako, Jean, Jim そして Steven。

I made Japanese food. (Click the photo to enlarge) I wanted to make something they don't usually get at Japanese restaurants here. I am happy that they liked the food!! 和食を作っておもてなししました。(写真をクリックすると拡大します。)アメリカの日本食レストランではあまり出ないようなものを作ったつもり。みんなに喜んでもらえてよかった。

Main dish was yakitori (grilled chicken) which Steven grilled on our new grill. They were very tasty because the charcoal gives them smoky flavor. They were juicy inside and had grill mark outside. Just like you get at Yakitori Shop in Japan. Great job, Steven! メインディッシュは焼き鳥!Stevenがこのあいだ買ったグリルで焼いてくれました。炭で鶏にスモーキーな味がついて、中身はしっとり、外は焦げ目がついてかりっとしていて、焼き鳥屋さんで出るようなプロフェッショナルな焼き加減!でかした、Steven.

It was a hot day and getting very hot in the house so we sit outside and had dessert, Pannacotta. We were very relaxed and having a peaceful time for a while then.... 今日はとても暑く、家の中はどんどん気温が上がっていったので、外に座り、デザートのパンナコッタを食べました。リラックスしてとても平和な時間がしばらく続いたのですが…。

...the battle had begun! Jim and Mariko started a rubber band fight. Mariko tried to fight back but there was no way to beat her father's speedy shots. Click photo to see their face expressions!

Well, the rubber bands came from the wooden toy gun I got for Steven. Here Mikako is trying to shoot the bottles. She looks like a Bond girl !! 輪ゴムはStevenにあげた木のおもちゃの鉄砲で使うものでした。その鉄砲で今度はMikakoがシューティングしています。

The girls have grown a lot. The eldest sister, Kimi cannot make it today but these three girls are sisters to me and I am so impressed by how beautiful and matured they got every time I see them.

This is the first time I met them in 1983. Kimi was 4 years old. So cute!

Kimi's pic from the picnic last week. She is now so cool!!
先週のピクニックの時のKimi. かわいいでしょ。

This was taken in 1997. From the left, Mikako, her friend, Me and little Mariko! They are so small and cute! これは1997年。左からMikako, 彼女の友達、私と小さなMariko. 本当に小さくてかわいいこと!

I am enjoying watching them grow into gorgeous ladies...feel like a parent of them.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Steven's BIG Project

I mentioned that we had an ugly space by the house before. There were red rocks which keep heat in hot summer so Steven decided to proceed "Go green" plan. 家の横にどうしようもないスペースがあることは前にも書きましたが、夏の暑い中、熱を保つ石をどうにかしなくてはと、Stevenが緑化計画の実行を決定しました。

May, 2009

May 24, 2009
First, he made two boxes and dumped all the rocks in there. Then cover them with good soil.

June 21, 2009

Next, he made base with cement to laying bricks. He was having fun doing it. Moist the cement for a few days to make it harder. 次に、レンガを積むためのベースをセメントで作ります。この辺までは楽しみながらやっていました。数日間は水を撒いてセメントを硬くします。

July 11, 2009 We got bricks. First he was not sure he can finish this because he (or his dad!) has never done it before. He used a level tool each time he laid the bricks...on 90 bricks! レンガを買ってきました。レンガ積みはやったことないので、(お父さんもないみたい!)最初のうちはStevenもこの仕事に不安を感じていました。まっすぐ積むためにレンガを置くたびにレベルツールを使っていました。90個のレンガに!

See, we are getting perfectly straight and leveled brick line! By the way, his Tshirt says Festival Maniac. I got it in Tokyo because he likes Japanese festivals. ほらあ、おかげで素晴らしくまっすぐで平らなレンガの壁ができてるじゃないのお!ところで彼のTshirtは浅草で買った私からのプレゼント。日本のお祭り好きの彼にはぴったり。でも「バカ」って書いてあるのは内緒。

July 12, 2009
Looking good! By this time, he wasn't measuring the water to mix the mortar. Professionals don't measure, they do with their instincts! No measure cups for him!!
July 14, 2009

Almost done, honey! He is putting tiles on the bricks to make them nicer.
July 15, 2009
Yeah! It's done! Look at this beauty! This is a work of art!
He said it was very hard to lay bricks...harder than working with concrete.
"Well, honey. There is another flower box behind you. It is bigger than this one..." I said this in my mind not to my tired husband. :) Instead, I said....
"Great job, honey. Let's have cold somen noodles!"

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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Family Picnic in Santa Cruz

Went to Santa Cruz for the Gillespies' family picnic. It is always nice to see them. We played a card game, Apple to Apple for hours and it was fun! サンタクルーズへギレスピー家のファミリーピクニックへ。Apple to Appleというカードゲームを何時間もしてしまいました。おもしろかった!
Mikako and Brendan have been engaged a few weeks ago! Congratulations!
I made engagement present. Well, I bought pillows and appliqued their initials on them. I could have made whole pillows but I heard about their engagement a few days ago before the picnic. (excuses, excuses :)
Oh, my gosh. I forgot to take pictures of the dishes I made. I brought salmon dip, curry fried rice and white Sangria. It is unlike me to not take food pictures but I was busy talking with them.
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Thursday, July 09, 2009

Gummy for adults

I hate swallowing big pills and most multi vitamin pills are huge. Some of them smell funny and I don't want to open the bottle. When I found this product, I thought it was great. These are fruit flavored gummies for adults which are multi vitamins. I love gummies and I can chew these and even enjoy them to take vitamins. They even look cute. Only problem with them is I need only two pieces a day. I always want to have more and keep looking in the bottle before I put them away.
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Sunday, July 05, 2009

Post July 4 th party

Our neighbors LOVE to get together. The next day of that big party of 4th of July, we had another one in the evening. This is the ladies' club of ours. They took Men's club pic but not on my camera. 家のご近所さんは本当に集まるのが大好き。あの大パーティーの翌日、又もや集まりました。下の写真はご近所のレディースクラブの面々。メンズクラブも写真を撮りましたが、私のカメラにはないので、後ほど。
We all brought leftover from yesterday or cook some fresh ones and made a nice evening gathering. Another night we felt we were lucky to be in this neighborhood.
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Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy birthday, Steven and 4 th of July

Steven had his 50th birthday today, 7/4/2009.

Here is fabulous 50 year old Steven working on his birthday BBQ party.

We invited our friends; Allyson&Clark and their puppy, Ziggy, John&Alice, Cory, Leah, Richard, John&Lil. I am sorry Richard, John and Lil, I didn't take pictures of you. :(
We ate, chatted, laughed and had a great time. So glad they came despite of the long drive.
Allyson&Clark と犬の Ziggy, John&Alice, Cory, Leah, Richard, John&Lil を招いてお祝いしました。Richard, John&Lilの写真がない…。ごめんなさい。大いに食べて、飲んで、笑って、おしゃべりして素敵な時間をすごしました。みんな遠いところに住んでいるのに来て下さってありがとう!

I am cutting honey glazed with whiskey marinated ribs on left. They were superb.

Appetizer table looks good, doesn't it?

Steven made herb stuffed grilled whole salmon and his famous hamburgers. He said he burned them because he was too busy talking with friends but they both tasted great! Our guests liked smoked chicken+mush rooms+ sun dried tomato pasta, too. John made us Margarita and I made Sangria! Mmmmm, delicious! Stevenはハーブやレモンを詰めてサーモンの丸焼きと例のハンバーガーを作りました。おしゃべりに夢中になりすぎて焦がしてしまったと悔やんでいたけど、おいしかったです。スモークチキン+サンドライドトマト+きのこ類のパスタも大好評でした。Johnがマルガリータを作ってくれて、私はサングリアを作り、あー飲んだよお。

Flowers and other decoration in the house.

I arranged some old pictures of Steven. Cute pictures! I am so happy to see him enjoying his life. Seems like our life has been better since we have met so hope we can keep this good pace of happiness.

Since his birthday is on July 4th, we also celebrated it with our new neighbors. It was amazing. We blocked out of our street and all the neighbors came out and BBQ and had fun! There were rocket cars, water slider, jumping house, maze, and had a big fireworks late at night. Everybody is so friendly and they treat each other like a real family. This is very rare and we are so lucky to live in this neighborhood. We even made Tshirts with our street name! How cool is that!

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