Tuesday, August 7, 2012

From D.C. to Home

Our last outing with the family was to the Museum of Natural History. The kids have been many times but our goal this trip was to see the giant boa fossil.

Indeed, it was a very large display.

We found it in the back half of a room exhibiting some awesome award-winning nature photography.

The family watched the video several times explaining the details of the snake, the anatomy and construction.
I'm sure the kids can repeat all those details still. I didn't need numbers to know it was huge.

I wish my guru son had come back to Tokyo with me.
My pictures will not rotate and I used to be able to have them do that automatically. I think now that my computer has been reminded of the difference, it is holding out for my son's touch.

At any rate, I made it back to Tokyo, but forget about planned travel. Just like the rest of the trip, NOTHING went according to plan. Cancelled flights and the resulting missed connections, re-routing by a much longer way making arrival a day later. Again a plane that pulled out to the tarmac and then had to return to the gate for repairs after multiple delays. Two legs of the trip with screaming kids in the seat in front and the seat behind. (How did I avoid that with six kids?) And the final leg was in seats built for midgets.
I am not all THAT big. I have a long body but rather short legs (which is why I buy pants in the states where they have short sizes). My feet are about 24cm, about a size 7 or 7.5. So why, with the back of my legs against the seat, were my toes two or three inches beyond the legs of the seat in front? There was barely enough room under that seat for my purse ... let alone my feet! Sleep? Well all the lights were out, it was dark the whole way and in order to sew, my elbows would have gone into the neighboring seats. I can't remember being more glad to get off a plane ... even though I was stuck at the airport until the trains began operation!

I managed to assemble the five substitute blocks for the ones lost on the first flight. Now I will swap them out with blocks in the remaining seven rows since they contain too many of the same fabrics to be all in one place.

Have you ever spilled coffee on your work? Well, I managed to do just that. I tried washing the section where the spill was but was not too successful. These blocks have a lot of small pieces and the resulting seams having to be re-organized with the iron might just drive me nuts. I am now thinking of un-sewing those parts and doing them over. I wonder what my blogging friends would advise.

Shortly after arriving home, I received in the mail this beautiful piece of needlework all hand made by a wonderful friend, Eva Huskova, who I have gotten to know through my blog. Every tiny stitch is just perfect and the butterfly has a very special meaning to me. It was the symbol of the "hidden Christians" in Japan and this comes from the Czech Republic, which my great grandfather left so long ago, bringing the family bible which had been kept hidden under the manure pile for safety, to a new life in America. 

Thank you, my dear friend. I am looking for the perfect place to display this where everyone can enjoy it (without getting things piled on top).

I am slowly getting over jet-lag, which only seems to happen on the return trip. I have had a happy reunion with my family here. Also enjoying my hot-pot  and my shower that I can take by setting the temp. first and sitting down to wash my legs and feet instead of being attacked from several feet above my head.

A month or two before I left home, I had discovered that by subscribing to the comment section of the blog, I could get the comments in my in-box and reply from there. Until then I had been writing down each comment on note paper and looking up the addresses one by one, taking much time and effort. BUT, as usual when things seem too good to be true, this did not last and now all the comments come from "noreply" and I am back to trying to find the addresses... especially hard when there are several people who use the same name. If there is anyone who knows how to solve this problem, I would love to get it back to where it was a week or two ago.

Meanwhile, if there is anyone out there who is a little chilly, I've got a lot of excess heat I'd like to get rid of. I wish the day might come when we can store it somewhere and then take it out half a year later. Then again, I realize there are people paying to sit in a sauna.


  1. Julie, log in to blogger,go to Settings, then scroll down to ..Mobile and email,.. comment notification email,.. click on " add" and enter your own email address, I think this is what you want so comments on your blog also come to your email address. What a way to come home, but the gift is so lovely, a real treasure.Cheers, Jean

  2. What an adorable picture of you with your grandkids. Thanks for "sharing" your vacation with us (although we're glad to have missed those airplane delays!)

  3. What an epic journey home, you could surely have done without that, who were you flying with for goodness sake? I'm glad you're home safely now and can settle down to recall and cherish all the good times on your trip. My bigger grandson would love that boa, I'll show him the picture. I didn't know about the butterfly being a secret Christian symbol in old Japan, it is an even more special image for being that, the hanky is lovely. Coffee on your work? I don't know, those blogs just seem jinxed somehow!! On my blog home page there's a link on the right to sort out no-reply blogging which may be of help. Keep cool and welcome home.

  4. I'm so glad I don't have to fly anymore. I had to fly 2-3 times a year for my old job. I dreaded each trip and I swear! the seat's spaces were shrinking every time I got on another plane.

    Such a lovely gift to receive upon your return. I hope you were able to solve your blogger's noreply problem. Just in case: quiltincats@yahoo.com. So you don't have to look me up!

  5. Yea! You are home! I get jet lag after each trip, even though I usually seldom fly. I think that all the travel and such just catches up at the end.

  6. OK, spill the beans - which airline was it?


  7. It's really amazing how one flight will be so awful and another very good. Space on the plane is truly critical...I know that airlines have to make a profit but sometimes the lengths they go to are ridiculous. Putting the seats that close together may gain them a few passengers but at what cost! I love children but having to fly in close proximity to them can be challenging. It would be nice if places had a section for families. I'm glad you're home because it's always nice to be back in your own space. Your gift from Evan is stunning...she does gorgeous work! I've spilled coffee on something before and I'm sorry to say I couldn't get the stain out...it dyes worse than tea. :( blessings, marlene

  8. Hi, Julie. Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting. I've enjoyed visiting your blog--you have a fascinating life and you ask lots of interesting questions. Your quilts are lovely. I agree about the tiny seats in airplanes these days. So disagreeable. And about that coffee stain--you could just treat the whole piece to a coffee bath and see what interesting vistas open before you. Lots of possibilities!
    best from Tunisia,

  9. Yes all the squares were silk, samples from a friend who works for a textile company. I so sympathise with your travel woes. I too have left sewing on a plane, a nearly completed laborious Hawaiaan block. The blocks are delightful.

  10. Hello Julie!

    wow, I love Natural History so much. Boa means good in Portuguese. I also would see that many times! Your pictures are great! There was no need to have taken pictures with other camera! Thanks for sharing with us so beautiful trip!! Hugs!!!

  11. And what airlines did YOU fly back on? I would have liked to put Tetsu on it just so he knows that it is not just American domestic flights that are out of whack. But both Tetsu and I felt that the seats on this year's flights were smaller. Is that possible? It just seemed like we were scrunched with our knees and the person if front of us' seat were in our face. And absolutely nowhere to put one's own legs. Yes. Very uncomfortable. I would really like to be able to afford to fly business class!!

  12. Mom -- Coffee spills -- I can help! I recently was successful in washing out a VERY large and dark coffee stain from a cotton knit afghan. The stains were old, and it had gone through the drier. I used dilute white vinegar -- about a Tbsp in a quart of water. I put the afghan in the tub and just applied the solution to the stained parts. Then after a while, I sprinkled baking soda on the stains, and gently worked in with a washcloth. I washed it and dried it, and they stains were faded to completely unnoticable (still very very faint if you know to look for them). The afghan is cream colored. I don't know if it is safe on colors, but the internet advice I originally read did not mention any problem to try with colors. Good luck!