Monday, September 12, 2016

Set your goals and shoot high


It has been a while since my last post.

Sometimes life gets in the way.

Last Friday was my first pack meeting of the school year.  With the large turnover of people in the Tokyo area, we say goodbye to cubs and parents and leaders every spring. Our first meeting is run with crossed fingers, wondering how many new families will show up ...
How many new youth ... will anyone step forward to fill the leader gaps?

So ... the plan was, I take over the kids and the parents meet with the committee and leaders to go over all that "stuff" ... fees, schedules, uniforms, books, activities, recruiting, etc.

So ... I had the kids sit in a circle in one corner of the room and gave the other half to the adults.
We went over the 12 points of the Scout Law and how we might apply them to our little project ... just things like "helpful" (some things may take four hands),  "courteous" ( do we snatch the scissors away from the guy next to us or might we say, can I use those when you are through?) Thrifty? well, this is a recycle project. Clean, yes, in the end there we must leave the room cleaner than we found it.

I had prepared the milk cartons, cutting, folding, and taping the box and punching holes in the needed places. The kids could choose a box, a colored rubber band and a skinny tan rubber band, a toothpick, a plastic spoon, and a set if chopsticks.

The process was ... break chopsticks in two.
choose the one with the widest top and tape the colored rubber band to the wide end with the yellow tape. ... Tape the plastic spoon to the other end of that chopstick and then pull the end of the colored band through the hole on the end of the box. (I brought a crochet hook to use if it was needed) ...Put the toothpick through the end of the colored rubber band that had been pulled through, pull it tight and tape the toothpick in place.
The second thin rubber band was used to lash the first chopstick (spoon face down) to the first one that was half-way through the holes at the forward end.
Then the second chopstick was pushed through the other side and adjustments were made in position and length of the spoon-stick below the lashing.

I had brought pom-poms for the kids to practice shooting their catapult as they finished while I helped those who needed help with the lashing or adjusting.
When everyone had finished, I called everyone back to the circle and we discussed how we could use these creations to make a game that would be fun for everyone. (we had three sisters joining the activity, one of them a three-year-old ... who actually did a good job of keeping up).

Our second set of ammunition was mini marshmallows. When the parents were finished, we formed our closing circle, and because we pass a squeeze around the circle, the catapults were placed by the owner's feet while the reflection and announcements were finished. (We managed to fill the empty positions with new leaders stepping up) The reward for following these instructions was a hand full of mini-marshmallows to take home (or eat as the case may be).

With the prep-work, teaching, meetings, and plenty else going on, not a lot of quilting got done.

Nikko and I had to go off to the little fabric store near the far station to get more blue thread just to finish the inner triangles.

The other day I finished the round and since I had all that new thread, I decided on blue for the outer triangles.

I have to say, having quilted so many of these triangles already, the speed has picked up considerably.

I mark two or three at a time and then move the hoop to the next set. I am using a pen with ink that disappears with water, but in this humidity, it often fades before I get to the spot.

The outer border will be quilted with white. I am hoping by the time I get there I will have figured out a good way to mark the floral with the pattern I have in mind.

Red Spider lilies are one of the harbingers of autumn.
They come up before the leaves and are hardly noticed until they burst in joyous bloom along the borders of rice paddies and forests.

I was surprised to walk around the back street and see these pale pink lilies blooming in the raised bed between our house and the street.

Maybe they wanted to get their show time before the red ones take over.
I glanced in the front pot to see if I might have missed them coming, but they have yet to even poke up through the soil.                                

 Early morning onigiri delivery has begun with my delivery on Monday. Nikko was glad to greet and be greeted by her Shibuya friends. Work is stacking up for the rest of the week. My son has been working out the mailbox issues. Mr Google is still in battle gear but I have not thrown out yahoo so who knows when the next challenge will appear.