Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Birthday America!

アメリカでは7 月4日に独立
     On July 4th, 1776, America declared its independence.
 The anniversary of this day is a special time in America
  where many people enjoy picnics, barbeques and fireworks.  
                                                                                                     When my family gets together for a barbeque party, I am always asked to make a watermelon basket.  It looks festive and the fruit is very refreshing on a hot day. 
Trim bottom of watermelon
to keep it from rolling
Draw zig-zag basket pattern
on watermelon
Cut along zig-zag line
Carefully take off side pieces
Scoop out watermelon
Fill with favorite fruit

Another easy picnic food ~
wrapped mini-dogs
All you need are cocktail wieners
and seamless crescent dough

Cut dough into small pieces
and wrap around cocktail wieners
Bake at 190 degrees C
until golden brown
                    The makings of a great 4th of July picnic!
S'mores ~
graham crackers, chocolate and
toasted marshmallows

The grand finale... S'mores and fireworks!

Happy Independence Day!
  • declare  (宣言する)
  • independence  (独立性)
  • anniversary  (記念祭)
  • fireworks  (花火)
  • get together  (集まる)
  • ask  (頼まれる)
  • festive  (祝祭の)
  • refreshing  (爽やか) 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Good Cup of Joe


Because of my busy schedule, I usually do not have time to sit down and eat in the morning.  However recently I was given a couple of ginger scones from a friend and enjoyed a simple, yet very delicious breakfast.  A good cup of joe and some sweet strawberries made the meal complete :)  


  • schedule(スケジュール)
  • recently   (最近)
  • couple of   (二、三の)
  • enjoy   (享有する)
  • cup of joe   (コーヒ一杯)
  • complete   (完成する)



Coffee grinders are fun to collect.  You can find many different styles at various prices.  These are just some of the many coffee grinders I have collected over the years.

"NO. 1
(New Britain, Connecticut)

PAT. OCT. 21.73

Eight O'Clock Coffee was introduced to Americans in 1859.  By 1930, it was the most popular brand of
 coffee in the United States. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Simply Delicious!

When the weather warms up, the last place I want to be is in the kitchen.  I would rather be outside spending the long summer days with my kids at the beach or taking the dog for a walk.  One of my kids' favorite dishes that gets me out of the kitchen quickly is Cauliflower Pasta.  It is a recipe I got from my Italian aunt.   

 1 head of cauliflower
    1 sweet onion
    8 strips of bacon
    475 ml of chicken stock
    cooked spaghetti

Slice the bacon and chop the onion.  Saute them in a pot over medium high heat until brown.  Add cauliflower and chicken stock.  Cover pot and cook over low heat for about an hour.  Serve over cooked spaghetti and sprinkle with a little parmesan cheese.   



  • rather  -  prefer  (むしろ)
  • spend time  (時間を過ごす)
  • take a walk  (散歩する)
  • dish  -  food, course  (料理)
  • head  (カリフラワーの一コ)
  • strip  (切れ)
  • slice  (切る)
  • chop  (刻む)
  • serve (よそう)
  • sprinkle  (ふりかける)



Between 1830 and the 1940's, yellowware could be found in many
American kitchens.  It was mostly used for mixing, baking and storage.  Many bowls were decorated with colored bands.

Yellowware は昔アメリカの家の台所でよく使われて、

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Green Thumb

Summer ~ time to get my hands dirty.  There is something about planting and tending a garden that always makes me feel inspired.  I don't have much of a green thumb, but luckily the annuals and perennials I like are not only beautiful, but also very easy to grow. 

First a trip to the home improvement store to get what I need: dirt, mulch, and of course flowers.  My favorite flowers for planting are red impatiens.  They are perfect for my shady front yard.  Then I am ready to start planting.  A few hours later....


Besides flowers, I like to use other things to decorate my garden, such as an antique seed planter and an old rusty wagon.  Over the summer I will post more pictures as my garden continues to change and grow. 


  • plant  to put in the ground for growing  (植える)
  • tend  -  to care for (世話をする)
  • inspired  -  energized, encouraged (気分が晴れる)
  • green thumb  -  talent for gardening (園芸の才能)
  • annuals  -  plants that live one season (毎年植える花)
  • perennials  -  plants that live more than one season (毎年育つ花)
  • mulch  -  organic ground cover put around plants (木屑)
  • shady  -  out of the sun (日陰の下)
  • decorate  -  trim, adorn(装飾する)
  • rusty  -  covered with rust (さびた)


Speaking of antiques and gardening, 
I found some old seed packets at an
antique show years ago.  I thought 
having them framed was a good way
to display them. 


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Welcome !

Hello and welcome!  After much hemming and hawing, I have finally decided to join the online community and give blogging a try.  As indicated by the title of my blog, "Simple Treasures," I won't be writing about anything thought-provoking or life-changing...I will leave that up to the experts.  Rather I will focus on enjoying the simple things in life that are often overlooked in our hectic daily schedules. 

I have been a bilingual tutor for over 20 years.  I work with Japanese families who have been temporarily relocated to southeast Michigan teaching them English and helping them adjust to their new lives in America.  I love my job.  Not only does it give me the chance to help those in need, but I also get to meet many interesting people.  Although I welcome all readers, this blog will be written mainly for my students and for those people looking for a unique way to improve their English.  I look forward to sharing much more with you.  Let me know what you would like to read about.  I hope you enjoy the blog :)


  • hem and haw   -   to hesitate (口ごもる)
  • indicate  -  show ; mean(指し示す)
  • thought-provoking  -  interesting ; exciting(示唆に富む) 
  • leave up to  -  to let (someone) make the action or decision(まかせる)
  • overlook  -  forget ; ignore(見落とす)
  • hectic  -  busy ; chaotic(ごちゃごちゃな)
  • temporarily  -  briefly ; limited (仮に)
  • adjust  -  adapt ; conform(適応させる)
  • unique  -  different ; special(特殊)


Besides my job as a tutor, I also enjoy working with a few tools and my hands making racks, shelves and ladders out of beat-up wood and antique hardware.  Not only is it fun to be creative, but pounding nails with a hammer can also be a great stress reliever.  For those who are interested, I do take orders and can make them according to desired style and size. Below are just a few examples of what I make.


I am always looking for ideas for new designs.  Let me know what you would like to see.
Come back often to check out pictures of more styles.  If you have any questions, would like to see more pictures, or would like to place an order, please feel free to contact me :)