Tag Archives: family

Ichiro Stanley, almost 2 years old

Ichiro Stanley hitting 2 years old next week, June 23rd.

yes, he is this adorable *almost( all the time

He wants to go to the sea to swim (we will on 25th), he’s also getting a bike (don’t tell him yet), a Richard Scarry book, and probably some other stuff.

He loves being in the garden, going for a stroll or to the park, musical instruments of all sorts, transportation and work vehicles of all kinds, always crouches down to watch the ants, and looks up to see the moon and the airplanes. He says “hello“ to the plants. He wants to surf.

{photo by Mama with IchiStan rocking an impromptu hat in a post-ramen rain shower}

Address for card, telegrams etc.

Family at Ginkaku-ji, Kyoto

Your Olson pals at Ginkaku-ji, Kyoto (wiki / map / inside kyoto) on a trip in April 2022.

Blurb: Ginkaku-ji (銀閣寺, lit. “Temple of the Silver Pavilion”), officially named Jishō-ji (慈照寺, lit. “Temple of Shining Mercy”), is a Zen temple in the Sakyo ward of Kyoto, Japan. It is one of the constructions that represents the Higashiyama Culture of the Muromachi period.

Your Olson pals at Ginkaku-ji 

Note: I might start making this year’s festive holiday cards just because there is a great photo (taken by a stranger on an iPhone 5) *except i look a little bit chubby, Ichiro just woke up, Ryoko is perfect.

Ichiro: VW, pizza, sweeping, hanging #io

Yes, Ichiro loves snapshots (& VW busses & baths) And now he figures out that these little “pocket robots” capture pictures so he like to review all the pictures of him from baby time – with commentary.

VW bus captain of the future

I am amazed by him every day. i’m not sure how I got this lucky but I’m not gonna ask any questions.

He switched from baby to little man suddenly running top speed everywhere and helping out with the gardening, taking the trash to the corner, raking the yard, and figuring out words in both Japanese and English.

Continue reading Ichiro: VW, pizza, sweeping, hanging #io

Diary: visitors see new life & family + trip to Teshima w/ Ichiro annotations

A mysterious brilliant visitor from overseas – first in three years – captured me, at home, in my new life. This is my family, this is our home.

my adorable family with whom Xo Ryoko, Ichiro (thanks Amber Sensei)

I wandered far and endured plenty to find this life, and immensely grateful for it all. I’m so happy to show someone from my “old life“ what i found & and she understood very well.

and now with remarkable in-laws/grandparents

With out guests coming, we pulled out the special stash of saké, some fermented carrot pickles, housemade miso, and a few other fermented treats. Also started to soak in soy beans to make soy milk; prepared the Bizen yaki ceramic cups & small dishes for sashimi; also have bamboo shoots from our forest. (thanks M-i-L and F-i-L)

garden vegetables and bamboo shoots right out the door

Ryoko also prepared matcha tea in an abbreviated tea ceremony with tea bowls from her great-grandparents and made anpan (anko sweet bean paste in lil pancakes) to go with.

tea bowls and accessories, freshly washed

I should add that, “no, Japan is not open to tourists at this time” – Our recent particular international guest was on a publishing-company-sponsored book tour / meaning the company supported a business visa requiring a detailed itinerary and accepting of various risks / responsibilities etc. visit with issued by Japan consulate in USA before departure and required 10+ various forms, letters, etc.

Out n About to Teshima

the hilltop minimalist cafe where fig farmers served curry and you can chop your own green onions

Briefly: The many islands of the Seto inland sea (nestled between our home prefecture of Okayama and neighbour pref. Kagawa and the 4th of the main island of Japan Shikoku) host a triennialle art festival – not shockingly unheld for a few years – more to say about the economic goodness and reinvention and volunteer spirit but for now, i’ll say:

We went with our guests rather spontaneously (they had planned and reserved museum access) by our groovy “Esquire” van, then walked onto ferry and used various busses around the island of Teshima, ate curry, drank coffee/tea, more curry, postcards, then a walk-on ferry back to Uno port, more art and drive to Okayama station – the busiest day i’ve had in forever but was buoyed by conversation, views and friendship. Further annotations follow:

whilst friends went to museum, r, i and i went to a hilltop sorta café (really some fig farmers putting out a shingle for a few hours a day) and enjoyed views of Inushima (Isles of Dogs) and back to Okayama #panorama

Ichiro, postcards, ships (all sizes) etc

After our day out, in the bath he explained over and over again all the different modes of transportation and conveyance (big ferry boat, small ferry boat, two buses, baby car/stroller, our usual van etc.) he used during that day, using new sentence construction skills with conjunctions and verb conjugations. His magnificent brain spinning – even working out the names of our friends.

this obv was not our ferry but Ichi loved checking out all the fune

Lil dude got a bit of a fat lip running down the hill too fast and tripping but still was able to chill out at a café and enjoy his beverage.

dude knows how to lounge at a quirky curry cafe with Suzuki and Ota san

Papa wrote postcards and drank chai, sitting on cushions and sending geo-coordinates to pals who found us at カレー喫茶 異邦人 near Ieura port across the island from Kubota where we originally disembarked.

Ichiro mailed my postcards for me. “Choose the right portal for postcards Ichiro” i said {update: he did, what a smart fella} Inventory: 2 cards from Teshima to Gifu and Kyoto.

2 are decoys but one whisks secrets anywhere

Ichiro has now learned how to use the coffee bean grinder and insists on being the coffee captain in the morning, two scoops of the right beans, puts on the lid, covers with his hand, inspects to see if it’s the right grind for French press or Moka pot, all very serious & perfect.

And my darlings auditioned for a role in the next Wes Anderson movie (so to speak) with a pose by this blue truck.

blue, red, yellow – the day was my fave sort of weather, warm, breezy and overcast

Back to the port – love the salty smell, rusty metal and reinvention from industrial manufacturing and process to artistic tourism.

Ieura port – like most of Pacific coast of Japan, lots of factories in various states of use or decay, boats/ships of all kinds including container ships and now ferries, all sizes

Dozen+ of these islands with art, more to say but time to head home with my snappy shoes, happy. Thanks family and friends.

Fluevogs, since 1970 (like me) now with new aglets – getting very worn in

Ichiro: 4 views from the road to Shimane

Ichiro: Ohaka Spring Equinox Visit

Went to the grandparents/ancestors graves with the wheelbarrow on the first day of spring to tidy up, add fresh flowers/blossoms, light incense, and say thank you for keeping an eye on us.

cute lil fella is learning to cross streets and look sharp (well that part is easy)

Bonus: First year Wakaba houikuen (pre-school) finished like a wee champion + have a dossier of new outfits, supplies, routines, accessories to prepare for “next year/week”… Involves a festival of stamping /writing “Olson Ichiro オルソンいちろう” onto things. It’s all quite wonderful wonderful.

DaveO51 ~ Birthday Bentos, Bevvies: annotations & evidence

rain storms, cake and gratitude

Preamble: So much to report as we moved into the new/old house in the midst of my birthday (16th) which coincides around “Obon” time here in Japan when folks return to their ancestral hometown/villages for respects to ancestors including washing graves. Usually full of festivals with dancing and snacks. This year, like last, festivals and celebrations are no-go & was squished in with typhoons, vax, errands and… so much wonder.

Let’s begin with the night of Aug 15th (birthday eve if you will). We had moved mattresses and desk (hello) over to Tsuchida “cottage” (now “station”) and then back over (a metre away) with the parents for a massive sashimi feast.

Evidence of such wondrous food!

Then we slept in the new/old house in new birthday present pyjamas (with matcha gelato cones print)!

Such a treat to wake up 51 with this life.

With my 2 cuddlers.

Next, coffee (and tried not to look at the cake in process behind)

Then we headed out for a pleasant session of seitai treatment with the kindly doctor (no evidence of treatment but i did snap my shoe/sock combo in the car so there’s that).

Oh & listened to the national high school baseball tournament on the radio while going to seitai treatment and watching the bullet train roll by. Japan Life indeed.

Then, back at Tsuchida Station, cobbled together 6 + 1 chairs and tidied up enough to have our first dinner in the renewed house.

Such Fun with my squad: father in law Takushi, mother in law Junko plus the Mac the goat farmer, Manami the designer and my Ryoko and Ichiro.

We ate massive deluxe bento boxes of gourmet items + fancy sausages from Doppo Brewery along with growlers of Dunkel & Kolsch made just a couple km away.

Aside: Small scale brewing was legalized in Japan in 1996 after I left the first time and one of the very first was right here near my house – called Doppo – they were a centuries old sake maker that added new skills and product. All *very serious* German styles but now added some more styles using local grapes and other seasonal fruits.

They have these incredible weird fliptop growlers like I’ve never seen before too. Strangely enough, they are brewpub is super close to me but because of corona, I’ve never gone in there to actually eat and drink, just get take away .

Anyhow: of course the goat farmer rolled in with a whole variety pack of German, Danish, Italian and other location brews.

Did i mention the yakiniku wagyu?

*Of course* Ryoko fired up the first use of the new oven and made her first cake, double-double with icing, fruit and nuts and decorations.

Ichiro was duly impressed.

Much laughs with the gang and snaps as evidence and then records in the kura with Mac & Manami. I’m a very fortunate lad.

Plus wrapped it by taking the trash out by midnight in pyjamas.

Memo: Of course, we’re still in the midst of getting settled into the new/old house “Tsuchida Station” amidst rainstorms so I’m a little bit behind in your lovely messages ~ don’t worry, each well noted each will be replied with full vigour and enthusiasm {& likely postcards…}

Ichiro getting settled into the new/ old house

Today was putting away things in the closet and kitchen, we’re getting there, full video tour to follow eventually because you know me, I always need too many projects.

Zam!: Speaking of silly hats and kind words, you know i love a collage (or static montage) and this photo flashback from my dear friend Rebecca in Vancouver dang near brought me to tears. Thanks so much for the awsum snaps of (some of) our adventures and for your friendship and thinking about me. Truly. {& already of daydreaming of Stanley Park picnics with you and John.}

via @Miss604 twitter

You are each and everyone of you so wonderfully kind for thinking about me and sending along your sweet messages. Settled in with hot coffee and leftover cake to write postcards of gratitude, {mostly postcards of me wearing silly hats}.

3 of us Aug 16, 2021 (see Aug. 16, 2020) photo by Mac Kobayashi

Note: if I don’t have your address or if you’re not sure if I do https://daveostory.com/more-daveo/postal-club/

Obviously and fondly, Daveo

“set” for “Castles, Foundations and Pyjamas video (note Jack Kerouac apple pie and vanilla ice cream, Utah Brautigan hat, sweet notebook, 50 & 51 items and other talisman)

PS did you watch my birthday annotations recapping the year video? Includes musings from Saskatoon to Tsuchida & many points & topics, riffs between over 51 years today {yes it involves some poorly played baritone ukulele!}

3 of us, together at first

The 3 of us, together at first

Flashing back to a year tomorrow morning Japan standard time…

You see the first days were complicated as I was allowed in to the birthing clinic for 30 minutes per day — which included all the Japanese social routines of greetings, bowings, as part of logistical side of temperature taking and signing-in while the lovely staff at Sun Clinic efficiently and politely whisked in and out of the tatami room tending to various things.

But amidst it all, we managed to ask a nurse for snap shot > the first of the three of us together and it is a treasure, forever.

He’s our special lil guy.

4 generations of Fujii family women & Ichiro

A couple months back, we visited an elder’s home where great grandmother Fujii (mother’s pre-married family name) is sequestered behind glass while meeting two of her great-grandchildren: Ichiro & his 2nd cousin up from Nagasaki.

4 generations of Fujii family of many ladies + one lil dude

In the middle behind glass is great-grandma Fujii. At the far left and far right are her two daughters

We look forward to a visit when great grandmother can safely hug and hold her new descendent.

So glad our little guy can grow up in a family of strong, smart, independent-minded, polymath women.

Note: other baby in photo was born several months after Ichiro and different body type & at this time, same weight.

Diary: Bubble Family, making steps…

Fujita Olson bubble gang, each cuter than the last as seen in Yubara onsen

Big moves in our lil bubble compound: My wonderful in-laws Junko & Takushi are getting Pfizerized on Sunday here in Okayama (finally).

They are an incredible support to us with our lil baby who arrived amidst *all of this* and help keep us safe, well fed & amused. Super grateful for them & glad shots are picking up momentum. Of course, they ate a “young 65” – are both fantastically healthy & laden with energy but now we can worry a little less when they need to go “over the wall” into the big weird world.

Im next in line i guess (no timeline) but im the most hermity of our squad as well as extra delicate – no big deal, im well experienced about being in chill home mode with 8 years of #MeCFS – i have hobbies, projects & need lots of bedtime.

Keeping a candle for (arborist) wifu’s turn though she is often in the outside places hanging out with trees more than humans. However, of course, looking forward to her being able to singing in clubs and community events – Heck eventually will be able to have a little open house when our home construction is finished, invite folks over for tea & jazz!

Anyhow, that’s the obligatory report with a cute picture of my bubble buddies. Yup awesome each one. Say hello.

PS Ryoko is wearing my sweet handmade Mavili “Catcher in the Rye” hat