Tuesday, March 29, 2016

New beginnings and continuing challenges


Spring is arriving slowly ... two steps forward and one step back.

These Nanohana (rape flowers) are one of the traditional signs of spring. Though usually seen in fields, these are in planters outside the rice store.

This week, the rice store lady added two planters of beautiful tulips. Those she has to hide inside her gate each evening because of the resident tulip vandal.
I see a few of the bulbs I planted in the weed lot have come up this year but I doubt there will be blooms as they were ripped out last year.

And another new beginning, just across the street from the rice store, is a home going up.

There was a ceremony on the lot that had been cleared with shinto priests and family.

Then the foundation was laid and the posts set in place.
At this point the roof will be put on and another ceremony took place.

A table was set in the north-east corner room and the family all gathered in chairs around the table.

At this point they are passing the saki and making a toast.

The following day, the curtains were drawn around the construction site and the roof was put in place. The shingles are now on and work is progressing.




The side street on the way to the station has about 12 young magnolia trees along the sidewalk.

Every year they begin to bloom first at the east end of the street.

It is something like watching spring walk closer and closer to my house as each tree finds it's time to open the buds into huge blooms.













This picture is just to give you an idea of the size of those blooms.

There are several varieties of magnolia in the area. The others have somewhat smaller flowers  This is the darkest and largest variety.
By the time leaves begin to fall at the end of summer, they are as large and round as dinner plates.

In the park there is a larger tree with smaller white flowers and I think I have seen a star magnolia in some garden nearby.



These sure do look pretty against the blue sky ...

Yes, we did have a bit of blue between the blustery rainy days.











And ... my little orchid ... given me by the man down the street has rewarded my patience with two pretty flowers.



I think it is about ready to be re-potted.







And ...

On my design door you can see the first border added to my nine-patch.

Now the size is 64" x 46".
Bigger but not big enough yet.

I am thinking the next border will have something set on point. I have not done the math so I am not sure what will fit.
Usually I just make the blocks and do the measuring later. Maybe I can set them with some colored sashing to add a few more inches.

I did add one more challenge because last night while going out with my daughter and my husband's cousin for a treat in an unknown shop, I miss-stepped on some pie-shaped steps and almost fell a few meters to the bottom. Luckily, I caught myself on the handrail before crashing into the line of people waiting at the entrance ... but ... I broke my index finger on my right hand in the process. A waiter at the restaurant gave me some ice to put on it ... which the doctor said was a good move ... but the x-rays today showed the joint was broken and it had to be set. Now I have to figure out how to go about my regular routine with one hand. Luckily, I am left-handed but practically everything I do takes more than one hand. (and Nikko is not helping at all) I know they make rubber gloves but I probably won't be able to find rubber mittens. This is going to be another challenge added to my already challenging month of April!