Friday, December 12, 2014

10 days and no quilting!

In fact, the only time I have picked up a needle is to do mending and darn socks!

My house seems to be suffering from the Giant Spoon Syndrome ... you know where the giant spoon swoops out of the sky and stirs everything up.

We are in the process of getting things that have been stored for many years sorted out and disposed of. There must be a dozen large cartons of loose photographs and negatives to go through. Many bring back memories of days past ... when the kids were young ... of trips here and there ... of many Scout functions ... of nature and pets and groups of people that I can't remember.

There are fancy party dishes, kid's clothing. dolls, puzzles and games, antique furniture, and all of it has memories attached so it is not something to send to landfill. A very stressful activity in a busy holiday season.

Meanwhile life goes on in Nerima-ku.

Several neighbors are building new homes and I happened to pass this ceremony just down our street.

After the land has been cleared and before  the construction begins, the outline of the new building is marked out with string in the ground and the family gathers for a ceremony to bless the ground and work about to begin.

Dressed in robes is a Shinto priest and the family is burning incense.

Wednesday another lot was cleared at the end of our street and I suppose there will be a ceremony held there soon.

Choir Sunday went well.
It is a joy to sing great music.

Now we are in Christmas mode and practicing music for the next few weeks.

One is a special piece, O Magnum Mysterium, by Morten Lauridsen.

It will be sung in two Christmas eve services,
a cappella, with a small group, of which I am the first tenor.
Of course we have been having special rehearsals since fall and finally I am beginning to feel a bit more confident.

Returning home after evening practice, I walk down Omotesando to the bus street.
During the month of December, lights have been strung on the huge Keyake (Zelkova) trees lighning the street.

The show brings out crowds to enjoy the atmosphere and of course everyone is carrying a camera ... if not the real thing, one on their cell phone.

There are several overhead crossings and it would seem the ideal place to get a perfect view of the entire street......

BUT, no, there are guards on each side per crossing ... to prevent anyone from going up to the crossing.

True, a few hundred people gathering on that bridge might be dangerous ... but  ... as long as those guards are standing at each end, why can't they let five people go up and then, as those come down, allow that many more? Surely, ten people would not bring the whole structure down.

To me ... and my western mind, it would make more sense and promote a better sense of pleasure. After all, what difference would it make to those guards? It might give them something other to do than just stand at the foot of the stairs.

And, lest someone think they might take a picture from the middle of the street while in the level crossing ... Oh no, there is another guard moving people along.

If you want a view (or even photograph) of the beautiful lighted trees arching across the boulevard, you'd better be quick before you are spotted.

How strange that these guys in the yellow coats owe their jobs to the lighting but they are there to prevent the public from photo ops.

The building with red in the windows actually is putting on a light show in those windows, as it is ever changing behind the avenue of trees.

A project is awaiting in the wings ... a gift for the Women's Conference speaker. It is forming in my mind and I will have to get to it soon if I am to finish in a month.
A darling picture of my youngest grandson hanging decorations on the Advent calendar has come. Christmas decorations await in the cupboard but making room for them in this place is going to be a huge challenge.
I hope your days are going more smoothly than mine as the holidays approach.


  1. You are having a very busy time. Good luck with all the sorting, too.

  2. Sorting out items that hold many memories is hard. For things that you can't keep but still want to 'keep in your heart', use the camera and take a picture.
    Aren't your fingers itchy to quilt? I've had a few days without a needle in my hand and I am already suffering.
    I am glad the music gives you so much pleasure.
    Enjoy the seasonal scenery around your church.

  3. I can imagine how beautiful the streets look with all the lights, but standing in the street is not a good idea;) I want to visit our town but have been sick and not able to get out and enjoy much lately, hopefully this weekend.


  4. Beautiful lights - and I agree - why not let people get their photos. We've done some sorting and re-distributing things lately too - this is a good time for us to go through closets and donate clothes to the homeless shelters.

  5. Beautiful photos Julie. It is very hard to part with things that hold memories.

  6. The Giant Spoon seems to have switched from my house to yours - let's hope that someone puts it back in the drawer soon! In the meantime - enjoy the memories that come with sorting through the cartons. I'm looking forward to seeing photos of your darling grandson - and your project when you get to it. Hope you have a Very Merry Christmas, Julie - ;))

  7. Sorry you haven't been sewing. I won't be sewing for the next week, or so, either. We're getting ready (think major cleaning going on) for my youngest son and his fiance. We haven't seen him in a year. You know how that is. Merry Christmas!

  8. sorting through belongings is so difficult x so I wish you luck .. will some be going to your children to preserve their history? x I love the ceremony for the new house to be built x

  9. I hope your sorting is moving along. It's hard, isn't it??? I've made progress in my house but feel like I have so much further to go. How in the world do we accumulate so much stuff in only 2.5 years??? My upstairs bookshelf is up next. I cringe at the idea of sorting books because I LOVE books. But if I'm storing books I'm never going to read, I'm wasting the space. But I might read it someday! lol See where my reasoning goes? And this is why my book collection gets bigger instead of smaller!

  10. Speaking of blogger problems, the comment we originally left here never appeared. grrr. Anyway, we wanted to say that your photos of the lights are beautiful and we are impressed with everything you are doing... although it sounds somewhat stressful with an awful lot going on! Be sure to take care of yourself... and have a very Merry Christmas!

  11. It looks incredibly pretty from the few photos you managed to steal! Lots of lights in the big city (30,000 people) where I work. When I arrive at work at 7 a.m. it is dark out and the streets are pretty quiet. The lights look so beautiful on the trees - especially the deciduous ones that have no leaves.