Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Return of the camper and the internet

The alphabet quilt was finished just before leaving for camp but because of darkness and rain, there was no opportunity to grab a photograph. 
The size is about 135 cm x 150 cm  or roughly 48 x 53inches. I left the lower corner square blank for writing the baby's name if they wish.

So far this year that makes three baby quilts ... one counting quilt, one I-Spy quilt, and one alphabet quilt. for three Monkey-year babies.

I left many of my cacti bearing flower buds but, as the flowers last but one day, I really did not expect to see them in bloom.

I remember one summer putting them on a tray and bringing them downstairs to the table for my husband to enjoy while I was in the woods with the guys. As I recall, he took some pretty impressive photos of the floral outburst.

In the front right corner of the small square pot are two round green flowers of one of my new cacti that travelled from South Africa. I was gifted a number of unfamiliar cacti by a friend whose wife had died leaving an impressive collection.
As he had no idea what to do with them, they were divided among a number of church friends.
Many of these I have never seen before and my books tend to contain mostly cacti from the North and South American continent so I have yet to learn what they are or what to expect in the way of blooms. So far they seem to like my little greenhouse and are doing their own thing without my help.

When I came home, the prickly pear, which most often blooms while I am away, had two flowers and a bud yet to open.

This plant sits outside all year around in a place hard to reach, so it is pretty well on its own. The wet winter snow piled on top and bent the plant down to the pot in a large loop so I didn't expect it to bloom at all.
This was a cutting given me by a neighbour who had a very tall plant on his front porch so it must be eight or nine years old. I have a few other cuttings made from broken pieces of this one but they are yet to bloom.

The planter of Hostas inside my front gate greeted me with blooms upon my return. These were snatched from the path of the bulldozer that levelled my neighbour's house and garden a few year ago.

There were several varieties and they are all doing well in small planters. These are the first to bloom with two flower stalks.

And, outside my living room window to the west, a hanging pot of Agapanthus has put on a great show

This picture really doesn't  do it justice.

I brought one bulb from my last house's garden and stuck it in that small pot.

Now a few plants have escaped to the azalea hedge and are peeking up through,

Don't you just live plants that thrive on neglect?!!

I arrived home from camp late Saturday night, very tired and with literally tons of gear and craft supplies to unload and put away. I am still sorting and organizing  the craft supplies and figuring out what I can use again next year and what needs to be replaced or tossed.

The supplies purchased by the camp director were completely useless. The leather was soft and already dyed and finished so could not be tooled. Luckily I had taken some of my own as the only "tooling" leather was just suited to making saddles.
Most of the wood for carving also came from my stash and the tools that had been bought, though still in their wrapping, were no use at all. I luckily had brought Japanese craft knives made by Olfa that can be repeatedly sharpened, and every night I re-sharpened the knives for the next class.

After arriving, I was also asked to run a class on the insect study merit badge. All that was given me was the merit badge pamphlet, and being written for use in the States, it was not much use as far as identifying bugs.

I found the scouts so enthusiastic and eager in the gathering of samples, that I decided to drive home one night and pull out my books on Japanese bugs. I was also lucky to negotiate for a scout assistant who could read and translate the information for the gang. With so much rain, there was a lot of running water but not much standing water and we needed to raise a bug from larvae to adult. In such a short time, the only choice was mosquitoes. The puddles could only supply water-striders (and a couple of red-bellied newts) so I raided the bird bath while home. Ah, what we leaders go through!

Evenings found me prepping for the next day's classes, doing Boards of Review for Eagle rank and other advancing scouts, filling out "blue-cards", and running around doing OA (Order of the Arrow) stuff ... Brotherhood walk and ceremony, etc.
I did manage, during a meeting, to mark the border for my nine-patch quilt ... though I have yet to cut it and get it pinned for sewing.

Sunday began earlier than usual as we have gone to just one service during the summer schedule. That meant choir had to meet an hour earlier so counting backwards to include the commute and walking the dog, it meant an early start.
In the late afternoon, the guy came to connect my internet. Yes, from now on, I can do computer stuff at my own pace. Norie, Leia, and Hiro came to help with the setup and we had dinner together at an Indian Restaurant in Toshimaen where we can sit outside and Nikko can come with us.

 Now it is Wednesday. We have had rain and cool days ... but I know the heat will arrive soon.
I am still sorting and organizing craft stuff and working on a birthday present for my eldest son, who's name I have been assigned this year. (#2 daughter is still awaiting last year's tissue box cover)
On Friday I will meet up with a blogging friend. I am SO EXCITED! I LOVE my blogging friends!
We are going to do "fabric town" together. Did I say I am excited? Wish I could see you all as well some day!


  1. Hi Julie, WOW, you have been one busy person! Just love the baby quilts you have been making. They are so cute and colorful. We are impressed with your dedication and energy for scouting, gardening and quilting. How can the rest of us catch up? Hope you can get some well-deserved rest too! hugs from Marina & Daryl

  2. Lovely finish on your baby quilt. It is delightful.
    And what a lovely surprise to come home to all your wonderful plants doing so well.
    Your camp was extremely busy and it looks like you know you have to come with everything you need yourself and definitely not rely on others.
    I am delighted for you that you finally have your internet back. Another bit of red tape out of the way.
    Have a wonderful time in Fabric Town!

  3. I love how the quilt came out and it will be wonderful for visual stimulation.
    You are an amazing leader for the scouts and lessons and memories they will keep forever. We are rainy and muggy, so a quiet day for me, need a rest myself. Seems I do more work getting ready and cleaning up after I get home, lol.


  4. What a busy week!!! Hubby's Venturing Crew is working on their 'Super Activity' that is coming up quickly. No blue cards with this group. Check out my last blog post. I took some pictures of a Scout quilt, hoping that you would be able to see it soon. They did a great job on it. Cute baby quilt!

  5. Some lucky kid will have a great time playing on the great alphabet quilt.
    You sure have been been busy at camp. I hope the Scouts show their gratitude for all the hard work you do.
    No plants could be happier than to be 'neglected' in your care!
    Isn't it a blessing to have access to the internet in one's own time?

  6. You did a beautiful job on the alphabet quilt. Love it!! I love your flower posts and hearing about your work with the scouts too. You need to write a book about your scouting life. i say again, the scouting program is indeed fortunate to have you as one of the leaders. You are just multitalented!!!!! Glad you got your internet working. It puts me in a bad mood when I can't get on line.

  7. I just so admire your dedication to scouting and the deep knowledge you share with the scouts!! Your baby quilt is another Julie original - just terrific with all those colors and so much to see. How I wish I was there to hit Nippori with you!!