Year of the Dragon. Happy New Year!タイトルをクリックしてください

Long time no see!  I have been off this page since JULY!!!  Sorry!   I'm doing all right, but a week after my last post (Are we over the hump?), a huge rainstorm and flood hit Akita.  It was devastating for many people.  We were safe  by 3 cm, but many in our neighborhood and Akita were not so lucky.  I kind of lost my drive to put up new information.  I hope this year will be better. I was born in the year of the dragon 辰年です。I will turn 60 this year.  I can't believe it!Day of Dragons – A Dragon Survival Game I was surprised for how symbolic the dragon is, how few idioms there are.  I will post a few here for you:

  1. Dragon breath or dragon mouth:  bad breath I always wake up with dragon breath after a long drinking party.  What should I do?Halitosis Remedies: 14 Ways to Keep Dragon Breath at Bay - University Health News
  2. Chase the dragon: use illegal drugs i.e. heroin.  Too much talent has been lost due to chasing the dragon.  We need to find help for these people.
  3. Feed the dragon: send manufacturing jobs to China.  We have fed the dragon for so long that there are no jobs left here.Chinese manufacturing weak, adding to economic pressure | The Independent
  4. Here be dragons: there is something dangerous and unknown here.  This year seems so unstable and risky, in economics, politics, and weather.  The only thing we can say for certain is "here be dragons".Here Be Dragons | From the Still Point
  5. Tickle the dragon's tail: do something risky or dangerousWhy do you continue teasing your wife?  You're just tickling the dragon's tail.  You'd better be careful, she could explode at any time.Tickle A Dragons Tail Tale Humour Funny Greeting Cards
Well, I think that's enough for today.  I'm looking forward to hearing some of your Japanese dragon sayings.

Video and song of the week;

Puff the Magic Dragon

Peter Paul & Mary

https://youtu.be/Y7lmAc3LKWM?si=ZnDuiftVLIGABoT0   I hope we all have a good year this year.  I will do my best to help you improve your English, I hope you will too!

Are we over the hump?タイトルをクリックしてください

Is the worst of Covid-19 over? COVID-19 What do you think?  I hear news about the "9th wave" coming soon, but at the same time, mask mandates have stopped, most of the kids in school aren't wearing masks, and many countries have declared that the worst is over.  I'm not so sure. How about inflation?   While it is still going up in Akita:  higher gas prices, taxi fares, food, electricity etc,  It has started to go down in the USA for the first time in three years.  It gives me hope that Japan will follow soon. Today I want to teach you a few phrases about "over the hump":

  1. out of the woods
  2. over the hump
  3.  turned the corner.
  4. over the worst of it, or over the worst part
  5. on the road to recovery
  6. on the mend
  7. on the way up
  8. in the clear 
  9. out of danger
  10. on the comeback trail
    over the hump

Today's BGM:

Out of the Woods

Taylor Swift

Looking at it now It all seems so simple We were lying on your couch I remember You took a Polaroid of us Then discovered (then discovered) The rest of the world was black and white But we were in screaming color And I remember thinking... [Chorus 2x:] Are we out of the woods yet? Are we out of the woods yet? Are we out of the woods yet? Are we out of the woods? Are we in the clear yet? Are we in the clear yet? Are we in the clear yet? In the clear yet? Good Are we out of the woods? Looking at it now Last December (last December) We were built to fall apart Then fall back together (back together) Your necklace hanging from my neck The night we couldn't quite forget When we decided (we decided) To move the furniture so we could dance, Baby, like we stood a chance Two paper airplanes flying, flying, flying And I remember thinkin' [Chorus 2x] (Are we out of the woods?!) Remember when you hit the brakes too soon? Twenty stitches in the hospital room When you started cryin', baby, I did, too But when the sun came up, I was lookin' at you Remember when we couldn't take the heat I walked out and said, "I'm settin' you free," But the monsters turned out to be just trees And when the sun came up, you were lookin' at me You were lookin' at me You were lookin' at me, I remember, oh, I remember [Chorus 4x]

A hedge or a fence?タイトルをクリックしてください

I'm still on the fence about what to replace our old fence with. In the meantime, as promised, here are a few idioms about hedges.

  1.   Hedge your bets.  Do something to prevent or prepare for future damage or loss.  With the banks failing in the US, it's a good idea to hedge your bets by putting half your money in gold.Hedge Your Bets Meaning – What Is Hedging Your Bets? – Old Blog Posts |  Poker chips, Poker, Gambling
  2. Hedge in.  To make a border or barrier around something.  When I came out of AEON, I discovered my car had been hedged in on all sides by other cars!  I was stuck.Traffic Jam
  3. Hedge fund.  A high risk high return investment. In 2011, his hedge fund had a return of 50 percent.Hedge Fund Strategies
  4. Dragged through a hedge backwards.  Look messy or disheveled.  What happened to you??? You look like you  got dragged through a hedge backwards.Hilarious before and after photo goes viral showing first day at school
  5. A hedge between keeps friendships green.  Privacy is important for good friends also. I didn't ask too much about his children.  You know what they say;  A hedge between keeps friendships green. A hedge between keeps friendships green. | Healthy quotes, Friendship, How  i feel
おまけ:  Hedgehog ハリネズミ I have a family of hedgehogs living in my hedges!Free Animals Hedgehog photo and picture Little hedgehog song:   https://youtu.be/UmbgykJLavY How was your Golden Week?  I spent  three days in Tokyo, visiting my grandkids.  It was wonderful.  Then I was very busy for the rest of the week, but I did find time to finish some projects, and enjoy spring a little. [caption id="attachment_2558" align="alignnone" width="853"] My new sign. New classes start Monday.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2559" align="alignnone" width="853"] I finally finished repairing and staining my terrace. I'm satisfied with the results.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2560" align="alignnone" width="853"] Visited Inokashira Park Zoo with my grandkids. Surprised to see a カモシカ in the zoo![/caption] [caption id="attachment_2561" align="alignnone" width="853"] Had dinner at Sizzler restaurant in Mitaka City. It was delicious![/caption] [caption id="attachment_2563" align="alignnone" width="853"] Enjoyed beautiful azaleas at Senshu park.[/caption]

NEW CLASS INFO   新クラスタイトルをクリックしてください

Free Kids Children illustration and picture 4月より、新しい子どものクラスをはじめます。 定員:7名 月謝:小学生 4,500円  中学生 ¥5,000

  • HOP クラス:  毎週火曜日(1-3年生) 4:30~5:20                            (残り4人)
  • 中学生クラス:毎週水曜日                                 6:00~7:00                             (残り2人)




Thanks to your continuing support, I am happy to announce  new children’s classes.
  • HOP CLASS:                    Tuesday:           4:30~5:20(4 seats open)
  • Junior High Class: Wednesday;        6:00~7:00 (2 seats open
Please register early, first come first served.

A fence or a hedge?タイトルをクリックしてください

Do you have a fence around your house? . . .a hedge? My home has had a tall metal fence around two sides for the last 20 years.  Suddenly in February, it was torn down without any warning.  Our house is fully exposed to the world.  I feel NAKED! We have been thinking about what to put up in place of the old fence.  There are many pros and cons to both fences and hedges.  Please give me some good advice. In the meantime, here are a few phrases, idioms about fences and hedges.Large Banner Image for Hedge vs Fence Blog

  1.   On the fence.  To be undecided about something.  I'm on the fence about building a fence.Sitting On The Fence | Great PowerPoint ClipArt for Presentations - PresenterMedia.com
  2. Good fences make good neighbors.  It's always good to have clear lines marking your side and their side. My neighbor's dog keeps coming into my yard, I guess I'll have to put up a fence.  You know what they say, "good fences make good neighbors".Mending Wall” Video Summary - YouTube
  3. Fence in.  To trap, or feel trapped.  I really feel fenced in by all these Covid 19 restrictions!Free Hands Children'S Hands photo and picture
  4. Go for the fences.  To try your hardest, make your best effort. I'm going for the fences in starting my new classes.  (This comes from baseball, homeruns).Don't Go Swinging For The Fences | Seeking Alpha
  5. Mend fences.  To repair relationships.  I was finally able to mend fences with my high school friend after 30 years of separation.BBC Learning English - 今日短语/ Mend fences with someone 重归于好
Next time, Hedges Today's BGM:  Don't fence me in. Willie Nelson Oh give me the land, lots of land Under starry skies above Don't fence me in Let me ride through the wide open Country that I love Don't fence me in Let me be by myself in the evening breeze Listen to the murmur of the cottonwood trees Send me off forever but I ask you please Don't fence me in Just turn me loose let me straddle my old saddle Underneath the western skies On my cayuse let me wander over yonder Till I see the mountain rise I want to ride to the ridge where the west commences Gaze at the moon until I lose my senses I can't look at the hobbles and I can't stand the fences Don't fence me in   By the way, have you had time to enjoy the beautiful cherry blossoms this year?  Here are a few photos of the last few days. Akita is so beautiful. [caption id="attachment_2534" align="alignnone" width="853"] Taihei River April 9th, so early![/caption] [caption id="attachment_2535" align="alignnone" width="853"] Taihei River[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2536" align="alignnone" width="853"] Kakunodate, Hinokinai River, April 15th, my first time to see Kakunodate Cherry blossoms.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2537" align="alignnone" width="853"] Hinokinai River[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2538" align="alignnone" width="853"] Famous Kakunodate Weeping Cherry Tree[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2539" align="alignnone" width="480"] Skunk Cabbage at Sashimaki, April 15th.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2541" align="alignnone" width="853"] Dog tooth violets at Sashimaki[/caption]

Shopping Part 2タイトルをクリックしてください

To continue from my last post, here are 5 more uncommon shopping phrases.

  1.   Separate checks / split checks.  Divide the bill for each person of a group.  Could we have separate checks please, all I had was a cup of tea. Separate Restaurant Checks Would Spur Harmony and Diverse Friendships

  2. It's a rip off.  Something that costs more than it's worth. $10 for a glass of OJ!  What a rip off, they're taking advantage of us!What is a rip-off? Definition and examples - Market Business News

  3. Shopping spree. To spend a lot of money for many things.   As soon as my Christmas bonus comes, I'm going on a camp gear shopping spree.Go on a Shopping Spree and We'll Guess How Old You Are | HowStuffWorks

  4. Yard sale / garage sale.  Selling your old things in front of your house, or in your garage. We'll have to leave early if we want to find anything worth buying at his garage sale.

  5. One stop shop.  A store where you can get almost anythingCostco is almost a one stop shop, I really wish we had one closer than Sendai!S

Have you had any fun shopping trips recently?

I bought a tent last week, I can't wait to try it out when I go hunting mountain vegetables this spring.

新品Featherstone Outdoor UL Granite Backpacking 2 Person Tent for Ultralight 3-Season Camping and Expeditions

Next time, "Fences or Hedges"

Large Banner Image for Hedge vs Fence Blog

Shop til you drop.タイトルをクリックしてください

In many of my classes, we have been studying shopping.  Unfortunately, the inflation in Japan (and around the world) has  taken some of the fun out of shopping. I did have a nice day shopping yesterday, and unexpectedly found many good deals at Dodger's Supermarket.  So with a little newfound positivity, let's learn some uncommon shopping phrases.

  1. Shopping Therapy. (or Retail Therapy)  Buying something to make you feel better I broke up with my boyfriend yesterday, I think it's time for some shopping therapy.
  2. Shop around.  Going to different stores to compare prices or services.  (also used for dating).  Don't settle on the first man you see, you'd better shop around!  (see video below)*
  3. Shoplift. 万引き One of the signs of the bad economy is a startling increase in shoplifting.A shoplifting incident
  4. Fit like a glove. to fit perfectly.  That suit fits you like a glove. You should definitely buy it.To fit like a glove – Inglés Málaga
  5. Shop til you drop.  To keep shopping until you're too tired to continue. (it's an exaggeration).  I used to shop til I dropped all night!  These days, one or two stores is my limit.Cartoon of the Day: Shop ‘Til You Drop - Inflation cartoon 04.02.2014
https://youtu.be/QOboRbBytiQ Next time, 5 more phrases. In the mean time, I really enjoyed winter camping and snowshoeing last week. [caption id="attachment_2508" align="alignnone" width="333"] Thursday morning -5. Good morning![/caption]     [caption id="attachment_2509" align="alignnone" width="333"] The path to our tents.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2511" align="alignnone" width="948"] On the Babame road, a season's worth of snow.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2514" align="alignnone" width="948"] A beautiful winter river.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2513" align="alignnone" width="948"] Our path through unbroken snow, behind us,[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2512" align="alignnone" width="948"] In front of us.[/caption]    

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