Kyo-ha-Kyo

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Yes, it is such a season. Mei-Shun means that there are a lot of 凶=kyo, the worst luck in the omikuji box at the nearest shrine. That might be because the priest would like to make more visitors happier in January: if they draw bad lots on New Year Day, and shrine maidens have to hand gloomy pieces of paper to them, following year would seem lugubrious for both of them.

Thanking U

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… to you, Shin. He cooked Chinese-style pot dish for Mei-Shun on Saturday when lunar January started. If it is Japanese one, the wife is happy to make. However, she does not know how to do for the counterpart of our neighbor country. Full of spice including 花椒=huajiao or Sichuan pepper, garlic and red chili, he fried handmade beef ball and potato starch-coated chicken to put them together into the pot with various vegetables.

Second Resonance

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We have 大寒=daikan, the last and coldest of 二十四節気 today. However, it has been so warm for a few days that Mei-Shun felt really comfortable walking to the nearest shrine. To her surprise, the priest sat still in the main building. She had to ask him omikuji lots instead of helping herself. No.8 大吉=dai-kichi, the luckiest for Shin. What would come next for her?

All the same, as they had on NY Day.

Teeth First

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Mei-Shun visited her home dentist Dr. M today. After a regular check last month, she should have finished it within 2019. However, her careless nature put necessary insurance card somewhere else instead of usual place. She looked and looked for it, took up 30 minutes to drive. This time everything went fine, let her make a new-year greeting to the doctor.

Hi, Daddy

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Shin and Mei-Shun visited mother’s home of the latter today. She has one happy matter to report — her beloved father came back. That means 蝋梅=robai, Chimonanthus praecox descended from mom’s garden bloomed on his birthday January 1st. He must have reached 82 years old to enjoy golf, trekking and painting. Still, welcome back to us on such a cute, shining little flower.

Akemashite Omedeto

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Meow, a happy new year. Mom told me that 2020 sounds like my voice, while I think Japanese has to wait 3030 (pronounced meow-meow). Here our day is set on coming February 22nd with three 2s, dog’s day on November 1st with three 1s (wow-wow-wow). Mom said 11th is better, yet four 1s do not look suitable to me without 22nd month on the solar calendar.

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From Kyoto

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Thanks a million, Shin, a hard worker even on weekends. Following are his souvenirs including 縮緬山椒=chirimen sansho, dried anchovy and Japanese pepper and 千枚漬=sen-mai-zuke, 聖護院 horseradish pickles by Mei-Shun’s request. And the best is a bag of cute, round rice cakes. They are amazingly soft and tasty after a whole day, no need to bake to put into お雑煮=o-zoni, our new-year soup.

Hello, Teddy

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Shin brought home boxes of cookies and tea bags from Hong Kong. His client made a queue to purchase the former, quite popular for decades. Oh, lovely bears prepare for coming lunar new year. Four flavors of shortbreads are within, full of butter. Light texture, not too sweet. Mei-Shun’s favorite is “coffee”, tube-pressed and brown. As to tea, “silver moon” is the best for her among six.

New Moon

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Yesterday was so busy for Shin and Mei-Shun; solar eclipse culminated around 10:00, lunar December started with 朔, 小寒=shokan, the 5th of winter 二十四節気 which means beginning of the coldest season. Well, well, anyway, they walked to the nearest shrine for the 2nd greeting to Gods. And the wife decided her 2019 goals; to gain a Spanish certificate, to take Japanese Instructor exam, and etc.

Eager to watch it safely.

Crab, Crab

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Nobody is that zodiac sign at Mei-Shun’s home. They therefore felt nothing sorry to him, just appreciated. It took longer than a whole day to melt him, so mom-in-law suggested a little bit boiling. The biggest plate and pot helped them to have a gorgeous dinner, while a labor to remove his shell full of thorns. Thanks a lot, Shin, for this sumptuous order and serving your wife.