Friday, August 11, 2017

Return to Tokyo

After such wonderful and busy days with family, it was finally time to return to hot and humid Tokyo.

What a surprise to be met at the airport as I exited security, by my daughter Norie and all the rest ... well the bird and fish stayed home but Leia and Nikko  and my car with Hiro driving were there to take me home.

I got my dog-hair fix in the first few moments before my suitcases were even loaded in the van. Then Nikko, who usually likes to look out the window on trips, lay on the floor between seats and went to sleep.

So ... back home to a month's worth of dust ... dog-hair ... and destruction. While I was away, the plan was for Nikko to stay in the empty apartment on the second floor (with nothing of mine to be chewed up)

Well, the cooler was not working and to make her life more comfortable,  she was moved back to the house. Usually when I am out, I block off the stairs to my sleeping area and the living room Where there are plenty of things that smell like me ... Oh, there were plenty of things to destroy for a dog who has nothing else to do for a month ... how long does it take to break through a barrier or open a door? Not as long an one might expect.

Even while in the apartment, she managed to climb up and get the bird's favorite treat and eat it ... also opened the bag of dog food and gobbled up a weeks worth of food. Several throw-rugs bit the dust and there are still things I am looking for, not knowing if they exist any longer.

The fridge needed to be re-supplied and I noticed that the magnolia (picture above) finally had flowers. Since the buds were trimmed off in the winter, the new buds were not ready to open when spring arrived and the leaves were yet to form. The poor flowers are hiding and not as easy to enjoy.

Next thing to notice, the weeds in the park had taken over. Under all these weeds is golf-course-style grass.

Well, slowly ... one day at a time ... I have been pulling weeds.

The tall grassy weeds are not the only ones ...

just  what shows first.

Right next to these weeds in a fence with a beautiful garden on the other side.

In the spring the park people came and ran a weed whacker over this area. What was left was "dokudami" coming up from roots among the "Dragon's Beard".

Just before I left, I had cleared this whole area and planted more bits of this ornamental in the large bare spots.

Just clearing this small area took well over a week and hauling off many bags of weeds.

The mosquitoes among the weeds are unbelievable in numbers. (and usually they don't find me very tasty)

After getting over 40 bites on the inside of my right arm within minutes, I lit a mosquito coil and carried it with me in a ceramic basket.
Of course it has to be moved regularly up-wind from where I am working, but there is no way I can last a minute without it.

Another change was the complete removal of the three long rows of police apartments.

50 years ago this area was filled with rows and rows of police barracks. The train-line was at ground level then.

During the 70's, the train line was raised up above the roadway and apartment buildings were built.

I'm not sure of the next plan but someone says they will build new apartments in this area.

The saddest part was what happened in this area.

This space was not an apartment but contained two shelters for parking bicycles .
Along the road at the back were five big trees.

Two were cherry trees that shaded the street and brought beauty each spring. Two more were Keyaki or Zelkova ... a relative of the elm family and a beautiful tree. The fifth one was an evergreen oak.

The worst cut of all was this Zelkova which was NOT part of that housing area (which is on the other side of that wall) but shaded the houses at the end of my street, cleaned the air, and cut off not only dust but sound from the passing trains.

This tree was not removed but left as a six foot stump.

Usually people living in this area are quiet and keep their comments to themselves but everyone is shocked with the cutting of this particular tree.

I really wish they would complain to the ward office rather than tell me.

As for quilting ....
The dog runner was delivered to it's new owner and welcomed

While travelling I removed the red fabric behind the Q and the K made with the same runny red fabric. I can't remember where that fabric came from but it is now labeled as an outcast and will not make it into any more quilts.

The frog print came from JoAnn's in Portland. Earlier this week I pinned the sandwich together. It was so hot where I spread it out that there was no time for basting with sweat dripping onto my glasses. Thus ... safety pins.

This week was Vacation Bible School where I led the games. The train to get to town by 8:30 am was so crammed I couldn't find room above my feet to stand carrying game equipment. I decided to take earlier trains where I had a better chance of sitting and then used that time to work on the quilting.

Now there are only a few letter blocks left to quilt and I will quilt inside the picture blocks next... Then the border and find some green for the binding.

Today was one-one day (11) ... In Japanese Wan-wan is the word for dog talk. This day the pet store gives extra points for shopping there so I stopped on my way home for a big bag of dog food. (they also give extra points on Nya-nya (22) day too ... that is what cats say... but even if I buy food for the dog or bird, I still get the points and after a few months, those points amount to a whole big bag of dog food free!

How's that for a useless piece of information? Well, all my wisdom has been tossed out to kids this week!


    Isn't it amazing how many -good- and -bad - things can happen in a months ?
    Well, one thing for sure is that Nikko LOVES you, and he's got quite a few ways to show it to you :D
    Gorgeous quilt, too !... and very inspiring, as we learned yesterday that our youngest daughter (30 years old) is pregnant with her first baby. Isn't that wonderful ? So, next Easter will bring another treasure to our family :D

    Heartful thoughts,

  2. So glad you made it home safely and sounds like you were greeted royally! Your family obviously missed you a lot. Also sounds like not a moment's rest for the weary traveler.

  3. Okaeri! I enjoyed your travels and adventures visiting your family in the States. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Looks like you hit the ground running. I'll be doing that in December, since we'll be gone 2 weeks. We do have a house sitter, but, I don't figure she'll vacuum up all the dog fur.

  5. You didn't waste any time getting back into your routine and cleaning up your area.
    My rugs get destroyed and I am home, lol. The cats use them as scratching posts, so I buy thick wool ones, they can take a lot of abuse.


  6. It sounds like you have come back to a lot of work. Both at home and outside.
    The quilt looks wonderful.
    Hope you can settle back down after all your travels.

  7. Welcome back and now I am on my travels!

  8. Oh my - it doesn't sound like your dog sitter did such a good job. Isn't change hard. I am certainly finding it harder the older I get. There is so much change happening in my town all the time these days. Probably not as much as in Tokyo, but because we are so small a little feels like a lot. Too bad about all the trees being cut though. Very sad. You do sound hectically busy - I hope you are enjoying all your work.

  9. Mom,

    What a sad photo, that tree cut down to the stump. In Urban Forestry where I work, people call in and complain about removals like this, a violation if there is no replacement tree. A very sad loss of a community asset. It is lovely to see the quilt completed though. I miss you and it was so great to talk to you via Skype today. Love and hugs, Julie

  10. Wow! It's a good thing that Nikki only ate the bird food and not the bird! I'm assuming that someone came in to feed them both while you were gone. Good dog to have held down the fort for the whole month, even if he did destroy things.

    Speaking of destroy... that tree stump is terrible but so typical of how trees are treated. WHY DO THEY LEAVE THESE BIG STUMPS! There are quite a few like that along my street too. I hate to see the trees taken down but when they have to be why can't someone artistically trim the trees or remove them completely so that something else can be planted?