Monday, October 24, 2016

Having fun

The choir retreat more than met expectations.

We got in lots of quality practice time and ...
the part I like best ...

time for fun and fellowship.

On our regular schedule we only have time to interact with our own sections before we have to go and sing.

At the retreat we take Saturday night to enjoy a sip of wine and snacks and lots of fun getting to know each other better.

My weather app on my cell phone predicted rain but as usual, it lied. We had lovely weather, cool and not too humid.

The YMCA where we stayed is being re-built and there was a new reception center and mess hall but other aspects of the place had not changed much.

Like many forested hills in Japan, the area is surrounded by a mixed forest of Hinoki (a false-cypress) and Sugi (Cryptomeria japonica).
Both are called "cedar" ... white cedar and red cedar but as in many places, things called "cedar" are no relation to a true cedar.

I suppose the air-born pollen causes lots of suffering in the spring but here the air was so fresh and welcoming.

No snow yet on Mt. Fuji.

Clouds moved in to decorate the scene but not enough to hide the subject.

This picture was taken from the window in the small chapel (behind me in the first picture).

With a view like that, who needs stained glass?

During the ride down and back ...

Plus while listening to other parts work over their section,

Plus sitting around and sipping wine and jawing,

I got most of the blocks I had pre-cut sewn together.

Well, they are only three inches square finished so not as big as this seems to be.

I am wondering if I put this into a table runner and maybe added a border ... maybe with a bible quote quilted in, if it would be the kind of gift the speaker could use and enjoy.

It is pretty loud and scrappy and though I could use something like this ... I don't know what would be fitting as a gift.

I don't even know what would be a suitable size for a finished runner.

I do have one more pattern I am considering trying and there are some interesting ways those blocks can be arranged.

This bush was outside our practice room. I had to take a picture so I could look it up.

Cotoneaster horizontalis, or Rockspray cotoneaster. The leaves are tiny, round, and evergreen.

We have pyracantha in our park that is crammed with berries too. The rainy summer seems to have made lots of plants very happy. (though, according to my book, this bush does well in arid spots too.)

And, upon my return, I was greeted by this "Hototogisu" or toad lilies along my garden path.

Some of these had been devoured by caterpillars and were festooned with hanging chrysalises.
I am thinking of finding a bug cage to put them in so I can figure out what the butterfly and caterpillar looks like before another year rolls around.

Nikko returned happily from the "dog club" late Sunday evening. She didn't say much but the kennel guy praised her highly enough. (Probably hoping to get her back again ... but I remember a dog from my childhood that no kennel wanted to take so it may not be all talk and bluster.)

Well, so much for the weekend. Now it is back to the real world. It is suddenly chilly and after a week and a half of pre-school runny noses, mine also has become drippy. I need to figure out a layer system that won't be too hot but will save me from the un-expected air conditioned room or the sudden call to an outdoor activity.


  1. I'm so glad you're having a wonderful time.

  2. Beautiful view, and I do hope this time away has given you peace, love, happiness, and time for reflections and looking forward.Love the small squares. I do like your idea of a border with words, perfect finish.

  3. This must have been a very rewarding trip, plenty of good fun and time to sew, too! You are right, there is no need for stained glass windows with a view like that.

  4. Looks and sounds like a great weekend. I like the blocks together. It looks like making order out of chaos, everyone coming together.

  5. What a thrill ! And the cherry on the cake is that you're back with a beautiful, finished quilt top. YAY !


  6. What a beautiful place for a retreat, could just sit and relax with that view.
    I think the blocks look wonderful and it is the meaning behind them, that makes them special.
    I like the idea of incorporating bible verses in it, would be nice on a table that holds her bible.


  7. What a wonderful weekend you had. Good food, wine, company and the sights of Mt Fuji together with stitching.

  8. What a great time - and what a magnificent view - I'm glad you had time to visit and also to stitch. I think the table runner idea is great - anyone would love to have that for a gift. Happy new week!!!

  9. It does look like a lovely location and a beautiful setting. It seems like you had a very enjoyable time.