Gypsy's Travels

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Japanuary #18

As you read this, I have boarded my plane and
I am off.....

Have been looking forward to this trip for months! Can hardly believe the time is here. By the time you read this, I will be well on my way to Japan!
I don't really like "tours," but this one promises to be different. There are about 15 of us going and the focus is quilting and textiles. A quilting buddy from my guild is going so we will each know at least one person in the group. Participants are coming from all over the US , Canada, and one from Australia. It should be fun!

PB and I are going a day early and staying on another 3 days. No definite plan yet, but we will surely see some interesting things on our own time. The tour begins by spending a day at the quilt show in Tokyo. It is said to be one of the largest shows in the world. Our Nipponese sisters have only focused on quilting in the last few years. but have made quite an impact in that short time. Hopefully, I will have a lot of photos.

After Tokyo, we are headed to Kyoto for about 10 days. We will be exploring various techniques with textiles, the Shibori Tie-dyeing Museum. I believe we will even have a class in sashiko. It sounds quite exciting.

This will be my 3rd trip to Japan (besides stopovers), and I lived in Okinawa, so the tourist scene is not so high on my list this time. I imagine there have been a lot of changes since we were there previously.
Hopefully, I will have Internet access and can post some of our activities. I am sooo glad we are flying to Tokyo from Dallas. I cringed to think of swimming in the frozen Hudson River.
Sayonara for now.....

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Bottoms Up!

A mission begun 2 years ago has finally been achieved. Seven months of that time has been a debate between the City Council and County on the placement of the proposed $70,000 sculpture that will now grace the corner of 8th and Main Streets in Georgetown, Texas. Some of the people involved were concerned about preserving the integrity of Georgetown's Courthouse, which was recently restored to its 1911 appearance. They were also concerned about preserving any future government funding for historic properties.

The sculpture, entitled "Waterin' the Work Mules," is NOT one of a kind. Similar sculptures, with minor modifications, are slated for family members and one for University Park in Dallas. A total of "20 or 30" sculptures in all. The sculpture depicts a young boy tending two mules on family cotton fields in the early 1900's. The boy is the father of the sculptor and architect, Bob Coffee, of Austin.

Historically, almost all Texas towns built a Courthouse in the middle of the town square. Statues and monuments grace the grassy areas surrounding the courthouses. Some have more grassy area than others. Although the controversy of the sculpture's placement on Georgetown's Square appears to have been resolved, it is still not known whether the mules' backsides will be facing county offices or Council Chambers.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Between Panes

I was lookin' out to see, what he was lookin' out to see......
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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Project Runway

I have been giving the girls bags of scrap fabric which they enjoy tying, sewing, piecing, and draping. This Christmas, I gave Em a sewing basket full of implements, fabrics, and a book. She has been creating some interesting things from all of it. This was an attempt at designing for a runway model, using materials at hand. Even if she never makes it as a fashion designer, Em will probably have fun sewing for herself and others.
They played together quite happily all afternoon while creating this ensemble. Em even put the seams on the inside of the garments.

Monday, January 5, 2009

"Suffer the Little Children...."

Em and Abs spent Saturday night with me and we went to Church Sunday morning. The girls had missed a couple of Sundays and a lot of people were asking about them. Our congregation has a tradition of taking a minute early in the service to greet everyone and "pass the Peace of Christ." Abs uses the few minutes prior to that exercise to write notes and draw pictures which she then passes out to various people. I don't know how she chooses the recipients but they always seem to be delighted to be on the receiving end. Sunday, the girls were given a small bookmark by a frequent recipient of Abs generosity.
There was an almost imperceptible ripple of excitement as Abs seated herself in front of the church with the other children for the Children's Lesson. Abs is totally unaware of the effect she has on others. She seats herself as close as possible to the presenter and eagerly awaits the lesson. Her excitement is such that she can hardly contain herself even though I am sitting near the back of the church desperately signaling with three fingers that she should remember the three rules, which she can recite perfectly.
The presenter wrote a message on a sheet of paper and began asking questions about how messages might have been delivered while maintaining confidentiality. As she pulled out sealing wax, Abs proceeded to give a detailed account of the method, hardly allowing the presenter time to interject comments. I don't know if Abs' knowledge was gleaned from her "Egyptian phase" or the book she is constantly reading on how everything works.
I breathed a sigh of relief as the lesson ended, but it was premature. The presenter had all the children hold hands for a brief prayer. Unfortunately, Abs and Em ended up next to one another. Abs grabbed for Em's hand and Em presented one finger. Em attempted to pull away so Abs held on and "bent the little finger way back and it was on the hand that was broken." Yes, Em had sustained a fractured bone in her hand at summer camp, but we had not heard about it in six months. There was a small tussle and some sharp words right there in front of God and everyone.
I think we must add another rule: Don't sit by your sister.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Where, in Heaven's Name, Are We?

DD-Ki left today with her two in tow. Now it is very, very quiet in mi casa.
On the way to the airport, we stopped by the cemetery to visit DH's grave. Four year-old Lem remembers some things about his Grandfather, even though he was just two when they were last together.
"Where is he now?" Lem asked.
"Grandpa died and went to Heaven," we told him. I read somewhere that it is best not to use euphemisms , so we try to give the children information we think they can process. It is another learning curve for us.
When we arrived at the cemetery, we found the proper headstone and pointed out the name to the children. Lem looked all around and then asked a perfectly reasonable question based on the information we had given him.
"Is this Heaven?"
Our muffled sounds of laughter added a bit of humor to our solemn visit and we did some fast "back-pedaling."