Saturday, March 8, 2014

A patchwork life

Well, the Gala is tonight and I hope the quilt makes a good showing. There have to be a few people out there that will bid on it.

My blog readers must think the only thing I do is quilt to meet deadlines. I really do have a life beyond quilting.

Last Saturday, with my work on the Gala quilt nearly done, I was able to go out to celebrate my #3 daughter's birthday.

I am not a big eater of restaurant food but the five of us had a nice meal at a Chinese restaurant and fun getting together.

Our weather has been blustery and there was lots of rain. On Monday when we drove out to deliver rice to the homeless it was raining and this dirty snow remained along the fence to the parking lot.

When I pulled the car out from under the train lines and into the rain, my windshield turned into a big mud pie from the pollution blowing over from China.

Today the dirty snow pile still remains though a bit smaller in size. This is on the north side of the train overhead so though it gets rain, the sun only touches a very short part of the day.

I hear warmer weather is still a few days away.

This is the porch to the new house across the street. The steps are very shallow but what I see first is the dirt. When we built our house, the builders wanted to put in these same white tiles. They seem to be very popular.
I said "No way!" We had those at our last residence and they were not only very slippery, but in constant need of washing. I chose smaller gray tile. I have other things to do beside scrubbing the walk and steps, thank you!

Friday the big machine squeezed onto our street and dug a trench along this strip. From Tuesday the city will be back to install a curb with a drain. If I believe what they tell me, the lake that gathers in front of our gate each time it rains will become history. The supervisor says they will raise the walk to slope toward the drain and that they will protect my little row of flowers as they pave the road. It sounds a bit too good to be true but I hope he is right.

While my attention was taken up with quilting, I missed getting a picture of the tiny Mejiro on the wine glass and when I looked out the window, the juice was all gone.

Next day I went to refill the glass and both feeder and glass were gone. Now, I know the neighbor to the north is very possessive of his wall, but this wall to the south has been here for the past 50 years, even before the two houses were built on that lot.

The neighbor on the other side of this half of the wall doesn't even have a window overlooking the wall, but somehow, he has become quite possessive of the top of the wall. I had flower boxes of cacti on top to discourage the feral cats from using it as a walkway back and forth. One day I found all my plants taken down and placed in the street outside my gate. I wrote the neighbor a note saying I was sorry and asking him to please tell me if he has a problem instead of dumping them on the street.

Well, it wasn't just plants apparently. The feeder that has been there for many years and was made to go over the wall had been lifted off and thrown on the ground at the foot of his side of the wall along with the wine glass. (There were some flower pots too, I found when I climbed over the wall and squeezed between it and the house to pick them up). Well, once there had been only one house on that lot. Now there are two and I found that there was a marker on the wall where one property leaves off and the other begins ... so ... when the rain stopped, I moved my plants over to the section of the wall west of his part and made sure the feeder didn't cross the line. I don't think the people in the west house will make a fuss because I always sweep their part of the street and pull their weeds. I am a bit disappointed though because I can no longer have a good view of birds as they come and go.

This Bulbul was quite happy to have the juice glass back and took it over. I really hope to get a picture of the Mejiro though because they perch on the rim of the glass and drink all the way to the bottom.

When the sun finally came out, this was the scene between my house ans the train station.

Usually trees here are pruned to within an inch of their lives but I think this one is too tall to reach and has such a round natural shape.

I think it may be a Zelkova but usually their shape is more fan-like.

The crows have taken up residence. It must have a great view.

Today on my way home from Merit badge-day, I stopped off at a small gallery where a friend is holding a craft show.

He had asked for a few of my pinewood derby cars which were on display as well as my "seasons" quilt. Here it is hanging along one of the walls across from the cars and my friend's paintings.

The gallery owner told me it was getting many good comments. I'm glad the people can enjoy it. The small attached cafe had a few nice Hawaiian quilts on the walls.

And last of all, you know I can't go too long without some take-along work.

This little table runner still has a little to go and a binding yet to put on.

I will show the whole thing when it is finished but right now I am quilting in tracings of leaves picked up from here and there.

(some from the states and many from places around Japan)

Now I must stop messing with my computer and sharpen knives. Tomorrow afternoon I will teach knife skills to little kids. There is a rather recent law against carrying knives in Japan and since I will be teaching knife safety, I was hoping to get permission to carry the knives to the classes.

My pocket knife does not meet the standard and I do not want to have it taken away as I was given it when I was ten. After two hours or so dealing with the police, I learned the only permission to carry a knife can be given to carpenters or teachers (but not scout leaders like me) . They recommended I get a written request from the Scout Association and that I always wear my uniform when going out with knives. Aw, gee. I haven't cut up anyone in the last 67 years with that knife and box-cutters ... which are allowed... are far more dangerous. Technically speaking, the police could wait outside a knife shop and arrest anyone coming out after buying a knife. AND... now they know there is a dangerous old lady running around in a scout uniform carrying weaponry. BEWARE!


  1. I am amazed at all you do, between hand quilting, family, church and community you are always on the go and helping others. I enjoy reading your blog about your life in Japan.


  2. Hi Julie
    What a pity about your flowers and now missing the view of the birds. Unlike you I don't have many flowers or plants unless you call the weeds and the mushrooms that grow in the grass flowers but we do get swarms of thrush who swoop down onto the grass to get all the little flies and I can watch them from the sitting room window. I love your seasons quilt, it must have taken so long to finish. Waiting now to see your finished leaves runner. Good luck with the scout meeting.

  3. Oh your quilt is just lovely - so much work - and beauty. And how nice that you got to celebrate your daughter's birthday.

    I was dismayed at the pollution problem - it not only affects nearby areas - but the whole world.

    I hope that you don't have any more problems with the knife - I was surprised to see that teachers may carry knives. What a strange world we live in.

  4. if you see a police man DO_NOT run .. it will just be more reason for them to arrest you!! lol x I feel so sad that your neighbour feels that he can destroy someone elses property and deny the birds a feed/drink ... however hopefully the change of position will work x LOVE the picture of you with the family xx

  5. That's too bad about your neighbor not respecting your property. I see no harm in hanging items on the fence. Your Seasons quilt is one of my favorites from all your quilts. I want to make one with the same color combo....some day.

  6. I wonder what the law says about rotary cutters - there's a lethal weapon if any!
    I am glad your lake will be no more, but sad about your ongoing trouble with the neighbours. It can be hard to live next door to someone who does not approve of bird, plant and bug friendly gardens.
    Congratulations on the gallery exhibition; of course your draft attracts visitors and kind comments.
    Good luck with the Gala quilt!

  7. Julie your quilt is stunning - I love seeing it hanging there! Your neighbor sounds like a very unhappy person. It's too bad when people go to so much trouble to be disagreeable. I will pray for some joy to come into his/her heart. What a strict rule that you cannot even carry a pocket knife. I'm sure that they are looking our for the safety of all but that seems a bit extreme. I know many men here in the south who think they aren't dressed unless they have their pocket knife. And my mother always, always had one in her purse. :) blessings, marlene

  8. How terrible to be homeless in such weather. Your seasons quilt is very beautiful and perhaps your neighbours should take up quilting to occupy their minds with something positive instead of fences! Mary