Sunday, October 20, 2013

Singin' in the rain

This weekend was our choir retreat in Gotemba, in the foothills near Mt Fuji. Every year about this time, the choir takes a pleasant get-away to the YMCA facility for a bit of fellowship and to work on a presentation for "Choir Sunday" in early December.

This year's piece is "Stella Natalis" by Karl Jenkins. This is our second time to try one of his compositions and they are quite a challenge, though once I work my way through the discordant parts, it begins to grow on me. Unfortunately, I was the only tenor able to attend this year so it will be even more of a challenge to hold the section together.

We drove up on Friday evening and this was the view from our fourth floor room Saturday morning.

Rather a good thing I got this picture because, within an hour, Fuji-san had disappeared into the clouds.

The rain began soon after, and though not heavy, it had been rather persistent throughout the weekend.

Many groups within the church are in constant flux, and though members come and go, it is likely that the choir contains the largest group of long-term members and dedicates the largest amount of time with mid-week rehearsals as well as Sunday practice and singing. It is a joy to be part of this group.

I didn't have any big take-along work, but grabbed my container of one-inch scraps and put together six four-inch squares. I have a plan of a pattern to try. I have made it once from three inch blocks and thought I might try it again a bit larger.

After getting this far, I decided this might be a bit wasteful because I have more light scraps that any other and only four in each block are light. I'll have to think how many of these I need to make a small piece like a table runner.
My plan was just to try out a star pattern in my sketchbook.

The rain fell lightly all Saturday night and on through Sunday, and I returned home without an umbrella but not all that wet until I got to the front of our house.

Ever since my neighbor's house and garden were ripped out and two houses were begun in that place, there is no where for the water to go when it rains

From the corner where I am standing to the far end of the street, side to side, is several inches of muddy water. The soil around the construction site has washed into this swamp and when it stops raining, we get a veneer mud, turning to cracked chunks of dirt. (Which then comes into the house on the feet of people and dogs).

Earlier this year, the city tore up and repaved the street, installing this drain.

A lot of good that drain is doing. It is way too high to drain off any water until the water reaches ankle depth. Rather than running toward the drain, the slope of the street goes straight for the neighbor's wall and the puddle fills sections of the street in the other direction to the left.

I wonder if it would do any good to complain to the city? I tend to think this was better when it was just a gravel path.

I guess this may become the new normal. Time to buy a new pair of rain boots!


  1. such a pretty mountain peak! bet you will be glad when the construction is finished! tiny scraps are sometimes the best aren't they many do not seem to realize they can be made into quilts as well. I once made a twin size out of 1 1/2 inch squares with a little larger sashing in between here and there.

  2. I miss seeing Mt. Fuji. I don't miss all of that rain!! I remember when we left Japan for WA state, everyone tried to tell me how much it rained in WA. That was nothing compared to Japan. I've never owned so many umbrellas in my life!! lol

  3. what a beautiful picture of Mt Fuji.. maybe a quilt? Be careful in the water.. and walking on the mud xx

  4. Good to see some snow on Mt Fuji; last time I leaned out of the kitchen window to see, the peak was still all brown.
    I am sure you will carry off your part of the choir concert with brilliance.
    How about using only light squares for a border, and maybe sashing, to even out the imbalance of your stash?
    We had the pavement in front of our road unevenly repaved some years ago. The result is a puddle rich pavement, but nothing as bad as your alley way. You can complain to the Town Hall, but it might be fruitless until there is a major flooding and you are on national TV news.

  5. That is a gorgeous view, nice respite from the stresses of everyday life.
    I like the scrappy look of your pieces and so far they look wonderful together.


  6. Looks amazing Julie. I hope to see it in person next year!

  7. Well done for capturing Fuji-san! I have also been taking photos of flooded roads today, our nearest drain is slightly uphill from our house so it doesn't do a lot of good, it's not as bad as yours though as the water is not trapped by walls.

  8. Nice photo of Mt. Fuji! That's awful about the construction and the location of the drain. Are you going to have trouble with flooding if the area gets heavier rains? Do you have city inspectors? I would think they would want to know and to prevent flooding of the neighborhood.

  9. This is a lovely photo of Mt Fuji. What a wonderful location for the retreat.
    Good luck with all those little squares. And I hope something sorts out with those puddles.

  10. Julie, the photo of Mt. Fuji is absolutely gorgeous. What a magnificent view !
    We love the way you've put the squares together-how cheerful they are.
    Please be careful with all that water -- we will think positive thoughts that the city will rectify that flooding situation.
    Warm wishes from Marina and Daryl