Archives for the day Thursday, January 1st, 2009

A Happy New Year!!: Part I

Hi,everyone! A Happy New Year!!

You would wish you were cerebrating the new year in Japan,if you read this entry. Especially kids may envy Japanese kids

 Why?? Because you get to have lots of food,and New Year’s Day is the day kids will be getting “O-to-shi-da-ma” from relatives.

What is “O-TO-SHI-DA-MA”??

It is a little envelope with money in it.

 Little kids up to high school kids get O-TO-SHI-DA-MA. Usually start with 1 year grade gets $5 coin and then,as you get older,you get more money from relatives such as aunt,grandparents and so on.

 Then, some kids put the money into their checking account at their bank after spending some money on toys or something else that they wished for.

 Usually,Jan 1st through 3rd are really big sale time over in Japan,and toy stores get so crowded.

 However,the main event on the New Years Day is to visit the shrines/temples.

 Those places get so crowded as well. After that,maybe shopping around and eat traditional dishes “O-SE-CHI”.

 O-SE-CHI is the traditional dishes;there are more than 14 kinds of side dishes. Sweet rolled egg,sweet black beans,seaweed,shrimp,fish sticks etc etc list goes on.

 Each individual dish has its own meaning why it is prepared for the new year.

 For example,shrimp dish. Shrimp has long whiskers,and shrimp is curled up. Therefore,people prepare the shrimp dish wishing to live long until they gets their back curled up.

 How about herring roes? It is prepared wishing to have kids.Teriyaki flavored tiny fish dish is prepared to wish for good harvest in the new year.

 Sweet chestnut dish is prepared wishing for the wealthy new year because chestnut is color of gold.

 You can take a look at the O-SE-CHI dish picture here.

 Other than O-SE-CHI dish,we eat ZO-U-NI.

 Zo-U-Ni is like a soy based soup with green and MO-CHI (Rice cake) in it.

 MO-CHI is made from rice. Rice used to make them is special rice,and they are not the same kind of  Su-Shi rice.

 You can cook Mo-chi in the skillet, and dip them into the sauce made from the mixture of soy sauce and sugar, or you can cook them in the soup.

 When MO-CHI is cooked,it gets puffed up,and it gets chewy a little and sticky,and it really good.

 Unfortunately,when you buy them at the Asian market,the MO-CHI bag is ridiculously expensive. My grandfather used to make MO-CHI from scratch, and I used to help him making them. Freshly made MO-CHI is really good.

 On the New Year’s day,many kids wear kimono. Some adults wear kimono as well. New year in Japan is just like Thanksgiving day in US, and very very busy day filled with lots of tradition.


Jan 01, 2009 | Comments are off | Japan

Why we find vigorous grassy grass around dogs’ pee area in our lawn??

 Have you ever wondered why you have dotted spots in your yard,and particularly around the dots have very bright green, nice-looking lawn growing??

 Or wondered why dogs’ potty area gets yellow lawn??

 Here are some of the tips to prevent your lawn to turn from green to yellow as well as some of the reasons why dog’s potty spot turns yellow with very bright green grass around them.

Why we find vigourous grassy grass around dogs’ pee area in our lawn??

 Dogs’ pee contains “Nitrogen”.

 Nitrogen is actually good for your lawn.However, nitrogen in the pee is very concentrated,and when dogs repeatedly pee on the same spot,the potty area’s lawn  gets burned,resulting turning the spot to yellow dots.

 Some people say that the female dogs squat to pee,and they tend to pee on one spot more concentrated than male dogs that spray their pee around.

 Iowa state University turf grass expert “Nick” suggest that you should spray the water right after dogs pee on the lawn to dilute the nitrogen in the dogs’ pee to prevent the pee burning the grass.

 He also suggests to let your dog pee on the different spots rather than one particular spot.

 Dr Llana from University of Pennsylvania’s school of  veterinary medicine adds that you can let your dog pee on the designated area where people cannot notice from the front.

 Nick and Dr Llana agree that what damaging the lawn is too much nitrogen in the urine of the dogs.

 They also think that if dogs drink more water,it may dilute the nitrogen in the urine.

 I feed raw food diet for our dog “Palette”, which has lots of water in the meal compare to the dry kibble food.

 I have not paying attention to its degree of the damage for lawn by switching of the diet,and I cannot say if the change of the diet changed the degree of the damage on the lawn or not. It maybe interesting if somebody noticed any changes in the lawn when they switch their dog’s diet.

 To read the full article on the dog’s pee vs lawn care,please click here.

 The reason why you see the vigorous grass growth around the yellow spots is due to nitrogen level that stimulate the growth around the edges.

 It is also good idea to think about what grass you would plant.

 Most urine-resistant grass seem to be rye grass or Fescues.

 To read the full article on the tips on the urine-resistant grass for the lawn at allabout lawn website,please click here .

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Jan 01, 2009 | Comments are off | Miscellaneous (dogs)