Spring for Christmas Day

December 25th here today but you would think it was early spring. I’ve not been out to the garden for a while and the weather was so nice that I couldn’t help but spend some time tidying up.

The passion flower, a voracious vine that I think is in the clematis family, has now fully covered the old rickety trellis that I patch-worked together.

At the end of last winter I pulled out the vine and trashed it-or so I thought. I needed space for the carrots and peanuts which never really grew- I planted them too late.

Anyhow-the vine has made its comeback and I’ll just leave it.

The sun shone so warmly and invitingly that despite being under the weather I dug out my old flowered garden boots, the long-handled bamboo garden rake and my clippers. I set to work gently trimming the long tendrils that had grown over our old brick wall into  Mrs. Umbrellas walkway.


The potted rose needed cutting down before the really cold weather arrived. I noticed that the pepper tree was still producing. It gave me a nice little bucket of peppers to throw into my scrambled eggs.

Piles of momiji leaves covered new grass sprouts. The little tree is now completely bare. Some of the leaves were mixed into the garden and the rest are packed waiting for tomorrows trash haul. A few potted plants were refreshed and the patio freshly washed down.

What a lovely couple of hours spent quietly puttering about the garden. I felt satisfied to have accomplished a bit more of New Year’s Oshoji – the New Year’s Cleaning.

I rested for a bit on the garden bench and just gazed out over the valley. A few scattered cranes winged their way over rooftops. Karasu cawed back and forth from perches on the tippy top of electric poles.

Other than an occasional auto coming up the lane, it was so quiet.

A bit of crochet and an afternoon nap rounded out the day. I’ve been trying my hand at knitting and I’m not very good although the more I practice the better I get. Any knitters out there-advice is welcome.

This week will be all about preparing for Oshogatsu-the Japanese New Year celebration by doing general cleaning. Wednesday we head over to the in-laws to wash windows and help out without whatever else needs to be done.

I have to sit down and write the nengajo or New Year cards. In Japan it’s a custom to send out New Year cards to friends, family, customers and others with whom you want to keep a relationship but perhaps don’t see often. Last year I made cards but this year I don’t have time. We bought pre-printed nengajo.

2017 will be the year of the rooster-so we’ve got our rooster nengajo all ready to be written and mailed. Well..we will. Soon. Tomorrow I hope.


One thought on “Spring for Christmas Day

  1. It’s Christmas morning here, and our weather is very different: it snowed all day yesterday, the evergreens are flocked, there are icicles hanging from the eaves, and it’s 26 degrees F.

    I feed the wild birds, and right now (8 AM) there are about a dozen turkeys pecking up their Christmas meal. The California quail will come by later (I think they are one of God’s cutest creations!), and the juncos and chickadees will show up any time.

    I knit, also, and my advice is to avoid using aluminum needles. They are so slick that gripping them brings on carpal tunnel syndrome for me, making my hands ache so much I have to stop. I gave up knitting for years because of it. Bamboo needles are much easier on the hands!

    Blessings, my friend!


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