Happy New Year 2017!!

Posted January 1st, 2017 in Ume's Thought | No Comments »


Another year passed and here is 2017!

img_5913 img_5924

Wish everyone a wonderful year ahead 🙂

My weird personality – Blood type AB & Pisces

Posted July 28th, 2015 in Ume's Thought | No Comments »


I’ve lived over 30 years and I sure know it is my personality, but it’s really tiring to keep asking myself – “am I doing enough??!”

Ever since I was a teenager, I couldn’t have more than 2 hours of sitting down relaxing doing nothing.  I tend to think I’m wasting time if I’m not doing / achieving anything, and if I think I wasn’t really productive that day I feel upset at the end of the day and that makes me feel bad.  I do want to relax and have at least one day thinking nothing at all, but I can’t!  Is anyone like me? :-I

Now, I’m a full-time mum and spend most of my time with kids everyday around the house.  If you are a parent, you know being with kids uses lots of energy and at the end of the day I’m exhausted.  I do home business (Bagelier) on occasional bases, and I think I do housework pretty well… I try to keep house as tidy as possible, and cook breakfast, lunch & dinner almost everyday.

But, I still feel that I need to do something.  😮

After kids sleep, I often recall what happened on the day.  I “know” I should just forget about everything and relax on the couch watching some movie, but I just “can’t”.

Hmm I’m losing the point why I’m writing this…  I guess I just wanted to write down what I’m feeling.  I want to be with kids as much as possible and I know after my little one starts going to school I will have plenty of time doing “something”, so I will have to wait that for another few years.  I should be enjoying this moment and should think I’m doing things that I should be doing.  If I can really think so, I will be all relaxed and just enjoy my alone time  🙂


Bug Eaters?

Posted March 27th, 2015 in Ume's Thought | 2 Comments »

It was about 2 weeks after my son started going to kindy that I found out there is a backpack filled with books and toys to borrow from local library (part of Better Beginnings service) to encourage kids to participate in reading books.  I went to local library and borrowed this Discovery Backpack, and found some books & toys inside.  The theme was “insects”, and one of the books was The Very Hungry Caterpillar and a toy was a caterpillar which can be turned into a butterfly.  I thought it’s a very good service for kids.  My son Hiro started talking about these small creatures a lot and clearly he became a bug lover, thanks to these books.

Ask A Bug

Then, I was stunned… I was reading one of the books “Ask A Bug”, and spotted a page saying “In Japan, sushi is topped with insects”!!!!

OMG, this is not true….!!!!

My reaction was bit too eccentric, it’s just because I hate insects….

Sushi we eat in Japan is mostly seafood. Some are meat, egg and vegetables, but never insect.  Besides, I do not want to imagine sushi with insect on top.  It’s disgusting…!! I’m not against people in the world who eat insects, just that we do not eat insect sushi in Japan!

Anyway, I was shocked and talked to my friends who are also Japanese.  They were surprised, laughed, and some were furious.  These books should be educational, especially it was part of Better Beginnings program.  I don’t want children to think Japanese people eat insect sushi and my son to get buried.  So I contacted the publisher of the book to let them know my concern.

Ask A Bug2

As soon as I emailed them the story, they replied to me with apologies and told me that they’d investigate where the sources came from. The publisher was very nice and responded promptly, and it seemed that my story spread to their head office in UK very quickly.

I received an email from an editor in UK last night.  It also began with an apology, and said they’ve been consulting with the senior editor on the book.  They were informed  that actually there has been a relatively recent (since 2000) revival of the insect-eating traditions that actually stem from mountainous areas of Japan, and some restaurants in Tokyo serve insect-based dishes as a special offering….  OMG, and there were some links that show articles and photos of sushi with insects!  So Japanese people do eat insects!!!
(Here is the link if you want to see these images of insect sushi… but I warn you they looks gross!!!)

I was shocked, to be honest.  I’ve never seen such sushi (gross…) in Japan and can’t imagine eating them.  Well, I guess some people get appetite when they see insects..  I now know my own country better, haha.

I still think the wording on the book Ask A Bug was inappropriate.  The editor also said that it should have been something like
“In Japan, insect eating once happened in mountainous areas.”
I agree!!

I’m still going to talk to the library to eliminate this book from the library though, till reprints are issued with different wording.


Hello 2015

Posted January 1st, 2015 in Ume's Thought | No Comments »




As always, it didn’t feel like New Year’s Eve yesterday to me as my “New Year” always (used to) involves snow and Japanese New Year’s songs playing across the city.  I wanted to do something “New Year” so I made kagami-mochi (a traditional Japanese New Year decoration) using my son’s Playdoh.  …. it’s too small! And it doesn’t look as nice!!  So my son helped me making real mochi instead.



We have a toy mochi maker we bought from Japan couple years ago.  The machine is kept at the very back of kitchen cabinet and we haven’t used it for a long long time.  Yeah I think it’s about time for this toy to be out of the cabinet.

We made white mochi and green mochi.  My son helped me shaping mochi into balls and coating in kinako (soybean powder).  Very sticky!!


We didn’t forget to make kagami-mochi to put near the entrance door.  It looks flat, but as long as they are real mochi (and hand-made!)



Made some food to munch on New Year’s Day.

* * * * *

Today, New Year’s Day was a fine day in Perth.  Not too hot, not too cold.  I was going to just relax by eating  mochi today, but ended up going shopping.  Shops open on New Year’s Day… even Perth zoo was open!

My 2014 was a big year for me.  Wish 2015 to be a great one too.

Saving, saving, saving…

Posted September 9th, 2014 in Ume's Thought | No Comments »

Ume in Perth

Life has been hectic for the last few months around me, but now things seem to be settling ok and I’m now little excited about what to come next…

My husband and I had the biggest shopping in our life recently, and we are now trying to stay on top of our budget each month.  We’ve created an excel sheet to record our spendings so we can keep an eye on what we spend and what we save on each month.  I actually like saving money – I’d say it’s a kind of my hobby.  When I started working in Japan, I was 15 years old who had several jobs and worked almost 7 days a week & went to a correspondence high school.  All I did in my last teens was saving money.  I didn’t really spend money on fashion and beauty.  I was quite different from my friends and other high school girls in Japan at that time who’s major interests were putting cute make-ups and buying trendy clothes.  My early childhood environment (family issue) was the biggest reason why I kept saving money, but also I had a dream to live overseas, especially in Australia in future, so I kept saving, saving, saving… till I graduated college in Osaka and flew to Perth.

After arriving Perth, I was more a spender than a saver as I was a student and only worked few hours a week at a Japanese restaurant.  There’s not particular reason to save money any more at that time as my goal had been achieved, but I also didn’t go nuts buying clothes and trendy stuff (well, it was rather difficult to do so in Perth anyway…)  Old habit of saving stayed in my vein!

So now, I’m trying to save each month again.  It’s bit hard now as I’m not the only person who is involved in this “saving”.  There are 3 other people (my family) and 2 of them are under 4 years old!   Any tips?  There are things I can’t save any further (e.g. council rate etc) so I’m focusing on food expenses, petrol, gas and electricity bills…  I wish I could get a day job to boost an income, but at the same time I also want to be there for my kids especially while they’re young.  Getting a part-time job will probably happen when they start going to pre-primary, and until then my job is to stay on top of our budget and also do a bit of baking for Bagelier… :p (bagels, anyone?)


Bringing Japan into our life in Perth

Posted August 9th, 2014 in Ume's Thought | No Comments »


Gosh, time flies ….!!!  It’s August already?  It’s been, what, 4 months since I last wrote a post on Umeboss!

Things have been hectic in my life for the last few months – I had another baby boy, restarted my small business Bagelier  (only occasionally), some of my friends decided to move out of Perth so we had several farewell gatherings, and just keeping up everyday with a 3-year-old boy and a newborn is busy enough. :-[


I missed how a newborn baby smells, moves, smiles and wiggles.

I can’t believe my elder son is attending kindy from next year. He currently goes to a Japanese kindy (not a proper kindergarten though), daycare, Japanese book club and Japanese playgroup every week, so I’m sure he’ll be ok going to school 3 days a week, but it’s just that I can’t believe he is grown up to be a school kid soon.

Looking after 2 children is hard work (especially they are boys!) but I’m not quite sure why I started doing the baking business now! I guess it’s part of my personality (my blood) that I can’t just sit around the house – I feel I need to be doing something… I push myself.  It’s a very tiring personality I have!

So, other than baking, most of the time I’m in Japanese environment where people and I speak Japanese only.  I decided to do this way because I wanted my children to be able to speak Japanese in future.  Japanese is my first language and it feels weird if I had to speak English (second language) to my own children. So I made lots of Japanese mum friends and I spend most of weekdays with them, letting kids play together.  Thanks to that, my elder son (3 years old) speaks more Japanese than English.  So my plan is working in spite of the fact that I’m the only Japanese speaker in the house and all my family are overseas.  I know his English will be stronger once he starts to go to local school, but at least he has the base then I believe he won’t forget it.

In oppose to his Japanese, my English is getting worse these days.  Because I spend everyday with my babies I don’t get lots of time talking English now.  I don’t want to be someone who stays in non-English community while in Australia, but I guess I need to stay like this until boys go to school and then I can start spending more time with English-speaking friends and working in English-speaking environment.  Until then…

I sometimes miss myself few years ago when I was speaking only English and forgot how to speak Japanese properly. It was a funny experience – I know all Japanese in my head but words didn’t come out from my mouth.  I was 23, and spent only 2 years in Australia (21 years in Japan) and already forgot how to speak my own language! So I know my kids will lose some Japanese while living in Australia… I’ll just have to keep up talking to them in Japanese as much as I can and it’ll keep our (both me and my kids’) Japanese skill, I hope..

Off to Bali!!

Posted October 31st, 2012 in Ume's Thought | 2 Comments »

Time flies….!!  I haven’t updated Umeboss blog much lately.  And now I’m off to Bali!

It’s our first Bali trip, and my dad is joining us from Osaka, so I’m very excited.  We are staying in a villa in Seminyak for 4 nights. We’ll be basically relaxing, getting massage and walking on the beach!  I can’t wait to try local foods and drinks 🙂  We also go to Tegalalang, Goa Gajah, (typical tourist attractions, aren’t they?) and do little shopping in Ubud!  I still haven’t decided whether we go to monkey forrest or not – bit scared, if monkeys try to kidnap Hiro? :p

Anyway we are flying tomorrow and I think I will go to bed soon.  Hope to update my Bali trip on Umeboss soon xxx

The Thing I Love About Perth

Posted October 20th, 2012 in Perth WA, Ume's Thought | No Comments »

Nature – this is one of the things I love about Perth!!

Although going to the park is one of our daily routine, we had quite a time in the park we went to this morning.  It’s just normal park, nothing special, but with what we did we felt so close to nature.  We played with trees, leaves, sticks, stones, and bugs 🙂


I was amazed how much both of us enjoyed doing these simple things – watching lady bugs moving, collecting pinecones, and making letters with sticks – without toys and bouncing balls.

There are so many parks across Perth and it’s amazing.  I really think Australia is a very nice place for families with kids.
Today’s experience recalled my childhood memory.  I used to climb up trees to catch cicadas and beetles, soaked my body in the small river to catch crayfish, and watched killifish swimming around in the water.  Now I can’t do these things around my house anymore.  Things have changed a lot, and I barely see wild creatures over there.  Lots of buildings, trucks and noises.

Today I felt that we belong to nature and are part of it.  I wish kids benefit from these amazing things out there in Australia.

It’s Only Now

Posted September 3rd, 2012 in Ume and Baby, Ume's Thought | 2 Comments »

When D told me that he doesn’t want any more child, I started to imagine my life of being with just D and Hiro.  Eventually Hiro will grow up to an adult, and have his own family.  So it will be just me and D in future then.  What will we be doing?  Two of us, at home.  We’ll probably be working, but for what purpose?  For a holiday we may be planning, or for a car we may be thinking to buy.  Most of the money we yarn will be used for everyday expenses, and then the rest will be for something…  something what?

We’ll all grow old.  What will we be doing when we are grandpa and grandma?  Hopefully we enjoy occasional visit of our grandchildren, and other than that we’ll probably spend our time doing gardening or some hobbies.  I bet time will go slow around us…

So it’s only now that we can enjoy being busy looking after this boy 🙂

I think his age is the cutest age for children.  We started to be able to communicate (he doesn’t speak properly yet though), and I actually feel so happy to have him around me everyday.

So I enjoy this life now.  Soon it will change, and it will be different.  I will have plenty of time on my own later.  I don’t mind to have one more child, to be honest, but I’m also happy with just him.

It’s only now that I can enjoy being with this Hiro. 🙂

That Time of the Year

Posted September 2nd, 2012 in Ume's Thought | No Comments »

My friends were saying that they got invitation for their husbands’ companies’ Christmas party, and I thought “Christmas? Already?!”  To think about it, it’s already September.  3/4 of 2012 has been gone and only 1/4 remains.  Wow, how quickly can time pass around us?

Soon there will be “Christmas tree section” in department stores and shopping centres, and people will be talking about what to buy for Christmas presents (although many might already have done lay-buy).  Sigh, I wanted to move out from this house by the end of this year, but I don’t know if it’s going to happen.

Oh, today is Father’s Day.  Father’s Day in Japan was in June, so I feel like “again?”.

I baked cookies for D.  And making nachos tonight.  It’ll be enough…

Today, because it’s Father’s Day, entrance to Perth Zoo is FREE for fathers.  I have 1 year pass, so three of us can go there for free (basically).  🙂  I’m waiting for them coming back from Sunday mass.


Problem on UMEBOSS website

Posted August 30th, 2012 in Ume's Thought | No Comments »

I have been contacted by few UMEBOSS viewers that they can’t leave comments on my website.  I apologize for the problem.

I don’t know what is wrong with my blog.  I checked it with WordPress but not certain answer.  I found this though:

” Folks trying to comment now with an email address attached to a WordPress.com or Gravatar account will have to log in first.”

So if you encounter any problems then please try to log in first.  Or email me directly @ me(at)umeboss.com.

This week one of my friend gave birth to her second son.  She didn’t know if it’s boy or girl until she gave birth to him.  She kept it a surprise. I’ve been visiting them at the hospital – newborn baby is so tiny!  I have totally forgotten about that.


Little Depressed Here…

Posted August 14th, 2012 in Ume's Thought | 4 Comments »

I’m gonna write about me now.

I’ve been down recently.  It happens to me sometimes – I don’t know if it is because of my blood type AB, or my star sign Pisces, or the weather, or the flu I’m starting to catch – but I just can’t feel right and have to cry until my tear stops.

Crying has been my method of getting rid of stress since I was a child.  I feel good after crying everything out.

I really have a doubt that I may have depression.  Actually I’ve thought about it when I was little too.  Sometimes I feel that everything around me is so miserable, but I can’t talk about it to anyone else.  I thought no one would understand.

I think hormone is playing the majority, but it could be my blood type AB? Most of the time I’m ok, thinking positively and easy-going.  But suddenly I feel that no one really cares about me and I’m alone.

I think I need to be bit more busy.  If I have really nothing to do, I start thinking about many things in my head.

If I was alone, I’d probably go to another place and do things, like volunteering in Africa.  I could go to a temple in Kyoto and do meditation for weeks.  There are many things I could do…

Hang on.   Now I think that I can still do these things.  It’s my life, and is not over yet.  When I was a teenager I was enjoying everyday because I had a big dream of coming to Australia.  Now I’m here in Australia, and have husband & beautiful Hiro.  My situation here should be a pretty good one.  I feel something is missing, it’s because I have nothing I can look up to future.

Writing about it here made me feel much better.  Thanks Umeboss blog.  Now I’m gonna list up in my diary what I can do in coming years.

Pregnancy Talk…

Posted May 20th, 2011 in Ume's Thought | No Comments »

Oh it’s been raining very hard since early morning today…  The sky is white, outside is noisy, and the air is cold 😀  I just had hot breakfast made by D.

My friend in Shiga is pregnant with her first baby boy, and we’ve been emailing each other every day for the last few months to talk about pregnancy and delivery.  She is giving birth at one of the most famous/popular ladies clinic in Shiga, and I used to go there too for check-ups while I was in Japan.  Thy are so successful that the clinic has three buildings across Shiga now, and the current director/doctor is my mum’s classmate from her high school.  And, I was born at this clinic!  Father of current directer delivered me before he retired. 🙂

Except the original building, the two new buildings are pretty fancy…  The one where my friend is staying is located near the Biwa Lake shore, and she will be having a full course of French foods after delivery.  And, she can chose to have either facial treatment or reflexology therapy using the choice of aroma oil during the stay.  Sounds very nice!

My friend’s due date is May 30, and she is finally going back to her parents’ house to stay there until the baby is born.

Staying at parents house before and after delivery is very common in Japan, and husband usually stays at home alone.  I asked her if her husband is going to stay with her in the hospital when the labour starts. She said he really wants to, but it depends: if her labor starts around Wednesday night to Thursday, he will be able to see when the baby arrives this world.  But if not, husband will have to wait the news at his office.  It’s just because he doesn’t work on Thursday.

Sigh…  Japanese company is so strict and unreasonable. It may be once-in-a-lifetime experience, but his boss doesn’t let him leave the office even for a minute.  It’s Japan thing… Some people can’t even visit their sick parent in the hospital because of work. I think it’s just stupid… This is one of the reason I like Australia.

Autumn Talk…

Posted April 18th, 2011 in Ume's Thought | 6 Comments »

I know this must be the hormone that affects many women after having a baby, or just because of the daunting weather we had yesterday, but I just couldn’t help but think negative about everything yesterday. I was just tired of doing same things over and over everyday… I know it won’t be forever and I should be more concentrating on Hiro’s growth and be happy about having such a beautiful baby. But when I look at the calendar and clock I realize time passes so quickly and I feel like I’m missing something outside the world!

Before I was pregnant with Hiro, I was under lots of stress.  I didn’t know what I wanted to do in my life and should have been doing for the future.  I wasn’t really happy with my situation that time.  But then, I changed the view of thinking and realized that the worry I had was nothing but just my ego.  I realized what the most important thing in my life is, and since then I’ve been pretty happy with my life and more easygoing.  But yesterday, the feeling came back to me.  Not all of them, but some.

Why yesterday, but not today? Yeah it must be either my hormone or the weather.  I didn’t want to talk to anybody, not even with D (especially because we had a fight over a little thing the day before), so I went out for a drive by myself for a while.  Right after I left home, I started to feel much better.  Staying at home all the time is NOT good!  Then I went back home and emailed my mum and friends (still I wasn’t in the mood for talking). After chatting with them over the emails I felt much much better.  I wish my family and close friends were near I live.

Then I thought about my family and Japan.  The happy memories.  You know, actually the real life is tough.  We dream things, but the reality is not exactly the same as what we dreamed.  I keep saying that “I miss Japan” “I can’t wait to go back to my home”, but the things are not the same as it used to be.  My family use to be 6 people, but now there’re only 3.  My mum doesn’t live there anymore.  My dog and cat are dead.  And everyone is getting old…  Writing this makes me feel depressed, but it’s the reality.  Yet I still live in my memory and want to go back there – the place where reminds me of the life I had before.

Anyway, I’m sure it’s just an Autumn talk… We’ve gotta live!

End of March Already!

Posted March 27th, 2011 in Ume's Thought | No Comments »

Today is my dad’s 61st birthday 🙂  I just sent an email saying “happy birthday” and told him to eat something special tonight followed by a big birthday cake.  I was in Japan on dad’s birthday last year and remember eating cake with family.  I can’t believe it was just 1 year ago!  I feel like I haven’t been to Japan for a long time.

Things are still the same around me…  Still bit depressed by the news from Japan, and wearing PJ all day at home. I really need to refresh up!  I don’t normally spend lots of money on clothes and bags, but I feel like doing it right now.  I want to wear nice clothes and make-up, and go shopping and eat something nice!  I also want to have my hair cut too.  Should I keep it long or make it short?

It should be autumn by now, and according to the news, Eastern states are much cooler than Perth (around 22 degrees?)  Yet, it was another hot day with strong sunlight yesterday.  The iPad2 was released on Friday at 5PM, and D headed to the nearest JB HiFi to get few (for his dad, himself and friends), but there’s so many people queueing by the time we arrived and he couldn’t get what he wanted.  I overheard that there’re 1000’s people at the apple store in the city at that time.  1000’s…

Now, I’m spending the most of my free time thinking and planning what to do and where to go in Japan in autumn (autumn in Japan – around Sep ~ Nov).  Planning a trip is the most fun part, isn’t it. 🙂  We probably won’t be able to go out much as Hiro will be there too, but I think we’re going to stay with my family (mostly with my grandparents) as much as we can.  One of my grandma can’t hear me every time I call her, so we need to be there to talk to her.  We’re also going to eat lots of autumn foods, such as matsutake! 😀

Things Lately

Posted March 21st, 2011 in Ume's Thought | 2 Comments »

Things have been little depressing lately… The news about Japan, a tiny argument with in-law, and staying in the house for the most of the time, etc.  We do go out, just to the park nearby and grocery shopping. Even if it’s just a 10 minutes shopping, we need to plan the trip beforehand – check the diaper, feeding,etc. We are still not used to going out for long hour.

I’ve been taking lots of photos of Hiro, and posted some of them to my mum.  I hope it’ll arrive soon!  I can’t believe a stamp for an envelop to Japan is now $2.20.  It used to be $1.30 just few months ago.  Is a stamp within Australia still 55 cent?

After hearing about the extra pumps being added to help cooling down the nuclear heat, I hope things are getting better over there.  I’ve started to plan our trip to Japan (too soon?) already 🙂  First, Hiro needs to get Japanese passport – … well, I haven’t had time to go to Japanese consulate to register his birth yet, but after it’s done, it shouldn’t take time…  It’ll be about 1.5 years since my last homecoming.  To think about it, it’s not really a long time.  But I feel like I’m dying to eat Japanese food there!  (Autumn food!)

After having Hiro, I realised I can eat almost any food now.  Soft scrambled egg, smoked salmon, camanbart cheese…  During pregnancy I had craving for sushi (although sushi is not really my favorite food), so I recently headed to Nishi Japanese restaurant in Myaree to have nigiri-zushi.  I ordered assorted sushi medium – which contains 10 pieces of nigiri-zushi + few pieces of hosomaki (thin rolled sushi).  … Ummmm, it made me realise how much I miss going back to Japan!  The dish was around $22.00…  in Japan, you can get the same amount of nigiri-zushi from a convenience store for around 680 yen.  Yes, I will be very happy with sushi from convenience stores.

Oh, and, my friend brought me some takikomi-dohan (seasoned rice).  She thought I was having trouble cooking 🙂  Thanks E&K, it was really nice.  Japanese food is the best!

Just a Thought

Posted March 20th, 2011 in Ume's Thought | 2 Comments »

I know it may sound little strange, but when I was having dinner with in-laws tonight, I suddenly started thinking about the past – my life before coming to Perth, and the time when I was dating D.

Do you regret something what you’ve done in the past?  Or, wonder what it would be if you had chosen different direction in your life?  Like, for example, you had to make a decision “yes” or “no” at some situation in the past, and you chose “no”, but you wonder what your life would have been if you had chosen “yes” instead.

I don’t (try not to) regret my decisions and my past, but sometimes it comes up to my mind… Where would I be and what would I be doing if I chose different answers in the past?

To think about it, I’ve had so many situations that might have changed my life.  I had a boyfriend when I came to Perth to study English. I left him in Japan, and after awhile things got difficult and I decided to break up with him.  There was nothing wrong with him, it was just me – I just wanted to concentrate on my study and make my dream come true.

When I was dating D, I just happened to stay in his house for few weeks (some trouble at the shared house I was living), then I ended up staying in this house… until now.  I was going to move out the house, but D said “no”.  I stayed, but what if I had moved out and lived by my own?  Would the things be still same as our current situation?

It may be a silly thought…  just wondering.