Well, the alphabet quilt is arranged and ready for piecing. (Thanks to a rainy day)
By the time I had appliqued the letters and sewn the first row, the rain had stopped. I needed to move around a bit after a day inside, so I went out through the gate with my little broom and sweeping bin to clean up the street. I like both the exercise and the pleasure of a clean street.
I usually start at my gate, sweeping south, down one side to the corner and up the other side. I can usually fill the bin at least twice, and empty it into one of the large bags I bring home from rice delivery.
As this road was once a back ally, very few houses open on to this street but on to the larger street on the other side of the block. People who sweep their streets, just take care of their own entryway and ignore the back path.
When the house across from mine was sold, house and garden were wiped out and two houses put in the space. One faces the small road to the north and one faces the path, but it is occupied only occasionally by a very young single male. He doesn't seem to own a broom but his plantings are not too messy.
Next to me on the south is a couple who work long hours. The wife is a librarian and drives a long way to work. Both the couple leave early and return late. Their plantings are one large hydrangea, now about to bloom and a small border plant from Okinawa with purplish leaves and purple flowers in the summer.
The third house to the south faces the back street and the nearest corner houses what I would consider one of the world's messiest plants.
these are often found on the grounds of Buddhist temples and often referred to as sacred anise tree.
The leaves, flowers, and seeds are highly toxic and dried powdered leaves can be burned as incense.
Anyway, this tree is always dropping something... flower petals, leaves, flower stamens, seeds and seedpods... The middle of my sweeping route, at this point the bin is full and I can dump everything into the bag.
Well, yesterday I worked my way to the corner and had finished filling one bag, so went back for another.
Across the street from the house with the messy tree is the "weed lot". I think I have posted about this lot long ago.
Three or four years ago, this lot was a big problem in the neighbourhood.
People passing by chucked their trash into the weeds ... plastic bags, drink cans, cigarette butts, paper, etc.
When a dog pooped here, even on a leash, the owner didn't bother to clean it up. there was plenty of cat poop too from the large collection of cats that get dumped in the park.
Rain collected in the trash and mosquitoes held parties while waiting for the slower walkers. The neighbours complained but no one ever did anything about the problem.
I never took a picture of the weeds, but this is what it looks like now.
The two houses seen in this picture are the backs of the houses facing the park street. There is an apartment to the right and this lot was probably a set-back when the apartment was built. I do not know who the owner is, but for a while it was rented out as a place to park a car.
Well, to get back to the story, as I had to get another bag anyway, I decided to pull up the weeds that were coming up among the rocks. Mostly that is wood sorrel, but there are a few very invasive weeds that will take over if given the chance, and many have seeds that spread by the wind. Because of a rather busy schedule I had not weeded much over the last month.
My friend at the corner stopped by to thank me and offered to take the full bag for trash collection, as the site for collection is nearer her house.
He probably heard the conversation with my friend, because after she had gone into her house, he came out the front door and began yelling at me. As usual I apologised for disturbing him but that only made him more angry. He was yelling that I was a "dorobo" a burglar. Huh? for stealing weeds? That I should get out of Japan and go back to my own country.
Of course I have heard his complaints many times and I told him I would be glad to stop if I heard from the owner of the lot to do so. After all, I had not touched his weeds or the trash they were collecting. Well, my friend, probably having heard the shouting, came back out and walked him off using a soft gentle voice, trying to reason with him. The shouting went on for quite a while but with him away down the street, I took advantage by reaching over the fence and pulling the weeds that were spitting seeds into the lot. I didn't have a bag for the unburnable trash so left it there for another day. My friend came back shaking her head and I could hear Mori-san still shouting in the distance. She offered to take the second bag I had managed to fill during the ruckus,
The tulips were finished and the salvias are beginning to come up along the fence to the south.
Now I am half-way finished with the second row of the alphabet. The morning sweeping is done as the rain has stopped and a wind from the south is blowing those messy anise leaves up past my gate.
I shall leave poor Mori-san alone for a while. I sure do wish there was an easy way to tell when he is out so I wouldn't upset him but he hardly ever leaves his apartment.
How nice it is to have quilting and activities to fill the days so one doesn't have to sweat the small stuff.