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.


  1. I would be struggling to make that , but what fun to use it. Your quilt is looking wonderful, and the lilies, what a show for the end of your hot days.

  2. Keeping busy keeps you young! It is amazing that you can be so active in this hot and humid season; I feel like collapsing!
    The quilt is looking greater every time I see it.
    Lovely liles, but I must say I prefer the red ones.

  3. what a great thing to make with the kids, it keeps them busy, focused and eager.

  4. Fun project - and great teaching/learning experience - you are always so clever. Love the quilt - I've yet to even begin an Autumn project - our nice weather came back for a few days - rain by the weekend - but I have a few projects for outdoors just yet. I want to spray paint some metal chickens, a line of metal cutout quail (they are black and hard to see where I want to use them) and a birdfeeder. It is a great new feeder - but is bright red. It is called a cardinal feeder - but who could see the cardinals on a red feeder (though to be honest - we don't have cardinals west of the Rocky Mountains) but I do want the birds to show up better - so it will be spray painted white also. This is my last painting project for the year - glad to have sunshine and 74 degrees for a few more days anyway. Love the pretty lilies - what a lovely surprise in the Autumn to have them pop up. Enjoy your week my friend.

  5. It's always hard to get enough leaders in Scouts. I keep hoping that my messages to you will arrive in your inbox, not come back to me.

  6. Your tire me out just thinking about all the things you do, lol. You also find fun and unique activities for the kids.


  7. Great activity. When I was a Cub Scout leader, it was always hard to think of exciting activities to keep their minds active and have fun. I loved it though. After your hot summer, you must be looking forward to autumn. We are still having a lot of rain for Spring, my tulips are flowering and buds on my wall of Sweet peas.

  8. Oh my goodness, Julie, you are so busy that we certainly could not keep up with all your activities. We admire your energy ! Your quilt is looking fabulous, and the catapult project is so creative ! No kid could resist a catapult. We imagine that they had a wonderful time making those. Cub Scouts are so fortunate to have you as a leader. And the Red Spider Lilies are so delicate and pretty ! Blessings and hugs,from Marina and Daryl

  9. You sure do have a lot of activity to fill in your time. But that is a.great way to be. Lovely to see the progress on your quilt and i agree that things do speed up when you have done a lot already.
    Enjoy watching the arrival of Autumn.

  10. You are so creative - that catapult is very clever!! Love the quilting and the lilies. Once upon a time, many moons ago, I marked a quilt using slivers of white soap - showed up pretty well on the darker fabrics - and washed right out, too - heehee - ;))

  11. I like the different scales of the ninepatches and the flowers are so delicate - Mary

  12. You are such a fun leader and so creative. Those children are very blessed to have you as their leader. I am loving your quilt. I too seem to always have problems with marking pens....the markings always seem to disappear before I get to quilt. Those lilies are joyous!

  13. Pretty quilt! You sound like such a wonderful leader ♥