Tag Archives: okayama

Snaps: (more) views from Teshima

More to see at: visitors see new life & family + trip to Teshima

Diary: apropos of nothing (sleeping masks, hockey, mosquito net, laundry)

Really nothing to the usual days except for the brilliance of usual days, appros of really nothing, i annotate for amusement. Carry on in a disinter-mediated manner:

new kamidana house shrine for ancestors – made in Tottori from a slab of gingko wood

Okayama memo: The thing I really like most about is its very “usualness” {aside from being famous for the Momotaro peach boy story and being a “place you pass through to get to other places”} is also almost always sunny but not today (this Cascadian doesn’t mind the rain though).

My 1st era in Japan in the early 90s, was in Tottori (remote w/ kei-truck), later hiding out near Miasa, Nagano. When came back few years ago, found Okayama was just right / Not a hectic sensory overload city but has big hospital, Immigration etc.

Yes, we “lean heavily” into Momotaro folktale here and the image of a peach is scattered all over from statues to utility pole covers and gosh, peaches with a boy coming out of them can look really funny! And apparently it’s the sunniest prefecture in Japan. 

By post: Three pack of organic oatmeal arrived. {always mean to scribble down “tasting notes“ with all the different kinds but never do and never remember which ones were “great“ but all are, you know, good enough} ~ Eat each morning with variety of nuts, berries and sometimes yogurt.

Today by post: hori hori garden tool (this one is artisan made, previously ordered for wife and mother-in-law from off-the-shelf made-in-Japan company) / this one needs sharpened up and it didn’t come with a case/holster :( feels good in the hand though.

Day in the life:

  • ate salad with smoked salmon for lunch
  • loaded our new tiny dishwasher
  • sent a telegram, really
  • attempting to remove chewing gum from a pocket of a favorite shirt with ice packs #pending

now a rest before finishing laundry

Next day: One oatmeal, three coffees, two baskets of laundry, two hockey games… Now switching to loungewear and some tax paperwork. Then maybe repair a wicker stool after lunch.

Update: some arcane tax documents prepared, stamped, notarized, faxed, ready to mail in Duplicate etc. Indian curry and smoked salmon/avocado/lettuce salad lunch with darling. Next (going to try) to put a new seat on this wicker stool with hemp cloth and upholstery thumbtacks.

It’s not a masterpiece but it’s decent. Sturdy Polish hemp cloth, rugged long tacks & see how it goes. Hooray for hexagons!

Continue reading Diary: apropos of nothing (sleeping masks, hockey, mosquito net, laundry)

DIY: 2 trees, 2 flowers, 4 bins

Continuing to “improve the campsite”, ergo:

Two small peach trees, both gifts from Okayama city – the first for getting married, the second for welcoming Ichiro – growing well at Tsuchida Cottage.

Just think, we could get another tree just for having another baby #Idea (get a choice of 6 tree varieties).

Two pots of flowers, planted, sprouting, hanging in baskets on the small bamboo fence in front of the barn studio.

Moved 2 compost bins from the backyard to join the 2 others in the side yard, plus put some of the almost-finished-ish compost under a decommissioned truck tarp.

Note the flagstone rocks previously moved & stacked on a palette.

It’s all quite magnificent. {I’d hope to do more with garden this year but having a really hard time getting energy to do anything but folding laundry. Maybe I’ll try to put new strings on my ukulele (and keep collecting stories like Frederick).}

Diary: (trying) to bounce up with various pleasing tasks

Various notes before heading off on a lil roadie to Shimane prefecture (across-ish on Sea of Japan side). Ichiro’s 1st time outta Okayama-ken. Packing light, hitting a children’s museum & aquarium, staying at a ryokan (pyjamas provided). Minimal dispatches, maybe. (by car but saw this train last time)

– carry on

March 24: Trying to bounce up. Did some shoes maintenance, a bit of creative stuff in the barn, bath with the kiddo, eating healthy and taking my supplements but still… dragging :( just saying this out loud to get it out of my head before sleep. No big deal, should be used to it.

Just trying to be 32% as cool as these guys. You know who they are right?

Plan to do some shoes maintenance today. At least one pair anyway, to get ready for our little road trip this weekend. But really, still foggy and in bed.

Or I might sew another curtain. Possibly test some microphones and a little mini PA we got.

Curious if anyone’s moved into the birdhouse. None of this will happen unless I can get out of bed.

OK, general updates

* doesn’t seem anyone’s moved in to the birdhouse yet

* set up mini PA and tested (& taped) 3 diff dynamic microphones

* gonna try fixing up some shoes but do it outside

[update to update: Of course I did a little photo essay of doing shoes maintenance but it may have crossed the street threshold into “completely trivial matters” which means of course, I’ll get to it eventually. Anyhow, my shoes are ready for a road trip tomorrow.]

My brain is so fogged

Photo: family band vibes, impending

Continue reading Diary: (trying) to bounce up with various pleasing tasks

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.

Ryoko climbing Ginkgo tree

My wife at work – trimming Ginkgo biloba tree at a shrine – Edo-period age, cutting away from power lines (didn’t have to worry about those pesky wires back then), plus fresh up branches and shape.

Yup, she’s roped and laddered. I’m just here doing dishes and laundry. Just showing how she is so cool! #Okayama #Arborist

Scenes of Life from New Year (shrine, Osechi, cards)

Up the hill to the shrine
Various bells, 5¥ coins and claps
Greetings to neighbours 
Evidence follows

Here are the festive cards received so far arranged on a string with help from my miniature assistant. Expecting a load of New Year’s cards arriving today. Yes I love this arts and crafts part of the holidays.

Once I rode this train when I was Canadian.

Now I’ll always know what year it is. A year for making “a circumnavigation, of sorts” >> free verse poetry, snippets of diaries, fragments of letters, unspoken musings, lists and annotations, compiled and abridged – printed, bound, stamped and shipped #Intention

So, how’s your New Year’s day going? We ate osechi variety platters of (often mysterious) food but most is so tasty and all is elegantly and deliberately prepared (despite what the whiners say)

More to follow as we go along, as we go along… tigers roar meow

Diary: Closing Books with Errands and Dreams

If I can make it to 20 steps for my cozy bed to the kitchen, I can have a homemade eggnog and espresso + a ridiculous breakfast of fantastic leftovers – oh but it’s so cozy here! PS xo

Made it (with stollen)

Closing Books of sorts

i love making lists and *trying* to mop up everything nicely (of course never quite works out but hey…)

Over next few days, gonna hit up a seitai session, do some pick up/drop off paperwork for wife’s business, mail out some more New Year’s cards, hopefully drop specs off for new lenses (again), finish up this year’s misc scrapbooks, + release a new video (done). Close the book.

[Update, a day later]:

seitai – check
Kinome errands – check
new years cards – in process
scrapbooking – not yet
video release – done
mae maes video – almost
glasses – not gonna get there
closing books… sorta

Observed on Errands

On an errand to a community center. Where two phones are, where two phones once were & a really nice copier. 10¥.

¥1100 lunch / not sure how it’s possible to be this fantastic. Wife and kiddos lunch plates were great as well. File this under “lousy photos of usual food“.

Bonus of a happy lil boy (note injury by his eye from a table collision and on chin from a floor tom drum)

Been Meaning to Call you

Just to note that I’ve made a lot of phone calls to vocally express fond greetings of late ~ but also have run out of batteries #mecfs and trying to mop up a few projects by the end of the year… 

What I’m trying to say is, “I’ve been mean to call you” and eventually I will. Ergo:

One big question remains for this year “will I get all my browser tabs closed?“ I will not answer all lingering emails however, that’s assured.

Intentions, not Resolutions per se

Also: maybe watched my *beginning of the year type writing out of intentions, themes and musings* for Reiwa 3/2021? Going to try to recap in the next few days. “Let’s go so we can come back.” Weird to say (i guess) but really a mighty year overall. (I foolishly live streamed the session via Facespace and due to a little bit of incidental background music, the video is locked in a steel cage so I’m chalking that up to stupid lessons learned. Open source, open content, fair use ahoy!)

Kei Truck Project

Kei truck dealership guy came by the house today with brochures about a dump truck kei for wife (she’s an arborist and forking out big loads of trimmings every day is a bit much), but sadly dump truck models *only* come in white and with the same crappy seats.

Was hoping she could have a green color to do some branding for her business (Kinome) and comfy seats for sometimes long drives but no go. The “regular“ kei-trucks you can get the extended cabs, better seats and colors. The dump back is the critical part though. Sorta like below>>

Of course the aftermarket/specialty market has all kinds of customized models including colors, lift kits and fancy wheels and stuff but we’re trying to be cheap and cheerful and off the rack.

Oh, this is Ryoko’s business, Kinome. I’m super proud my wife is part of a small cohort of women-owned small businesses doing “rough“ work. Most is fieldwork, followed by teaching hands-on classes but increasingly more and more landscape design (which is great)

Food Annotations

Forgot to tell you that for dinner last night, took goatfarmer’s housemade focaccia bread, piled it with stuffing, turkey and gravy and made first hot open faced turkey sandwich ever for wife and kiddo.

A note from Christmas dinner: I loved making both moka pot and French press coffee at end of meal for folks to make custom eggnog/coffee/espresso/Bailey’s/Kahlúa concoction. Everyone was so confused/surprised/pleased :) I also explained how the humble mokapot is the *very pinnacle* of Italian design :)

Good Night, you are a marvel

Oh that’s bedtime for me. If I owe you replies, messages, notes, favors etc., I’m working on it… Please know I’m super proud & impressed with what you’re doing and especially glad for creators making interesting pods, vids, paintings and poems. Self expression is everything.

Open w/ care indeed (this scrapbook is an archive of 2021 inbound correspondence)

Good night the Internet, thanks for the amusement today.

Diary: notary tasks & musings

Just a little bit excited because we have/get to visit a notary public! To drop a significant amount of ¥ for a stamped single photo copy of a gov-issued document to send to a different gov (a Canadian tax agency if you’re curious) so can check off appropriate boxes. This, dear people, is the career choice I missed out on.

I mean, being a notary, (mostly) you sit at a mahogany desk with an assortment of stamps and embossers, possibly a magnifying glass – mostly for effect, and people come and give you money, you stamp things (after looking at them first of course).

Noting, in some jurisdictions, its basic, i.e.: the “mailboxes etc” franchisee is a notary, or remember when i worked at Kinko’s, there was notary services (but not sure anyone ever used).

Some places though, it’s rather expensive and complicated but when you need a notary… you really need a notary, kind of like an emergency locksmith (another great skill because you can double as a jewel thief).

Related: My Mom at times was a notary in state of Utah and I have her embossing certification stamp – all heavy and metal – but being an honest Cub Scout, I would never think to circumvent proper guidelines and use illicitly. I do use for arts and crafts from time to time. (If you want to see evidence, you’re going to have to ask nicely).

Here in Japan, if one were to become a bilingual notary with certified (by embassies etc.) translation services, would be a really sweet gig.

I might whisper this into my son’s ear each night in the bathtub. Might also be something about being an “emergency locksmith” as noted above.

Folks who imagine what emigrant / “ex-pat” life entails have a strange impression that American Express offices still exist &/or embassies are helpful outposts.

But “NO” is only answer for any service/question/request/anything from the Canadian Consulate/Embassy here in Japan.

Aside:

Note: this photo isn’t technically at the same time but since I mentioned him, here’s a cute picture

Well, my son just blew me a kiss on the way out the door to nursery school. Yes, I’m doing really good at parenting & teaching important things. Thank you for asking.
So this means, change out of my luxurious pajamas into trousers & possibly a tie for my big outing to a notary.

Update: the notary office was the fifth floor of a nondescript building with various usual plexiglass separators, metal desks, fluorescent lights and trays with pens and stamps. The finished dossier was four pages & about 15,000¥. Importantly, I won the “best business card” game. I mean I really have the best cards going anywhere and I always win this very important ritual in Japan. {Plus I want them to remember me because we often need these sorts of services. Look at me, relationship building :-)}

Tea/juice made from pine needles

Back home after a stop at a stationery store, folding laundry and drinking pine needle tea.

Thinking about pals Cam, Chris & others making lovely progress in their professional endeavors. Cheering from the sidelines. Next: organize paperwork to send to gov offices.

I *really* took this snap to look “executive” and share with a friend for a laff (cause I’m far from any sort of executive-ness)… & Yes I’m actually in the stationery store restroom and I am not wearing a tie (obviously). but, these posts look better with some photos added so here we are

PS While at the stationæry store, I picked up a sweet new ink stamp from the discount bin, as well as yet another roll of washi paper masking tape.

I also have a video shot last week in the barn, but then kind of went into “crash mode”. Wanna finish that up before it’s too “stale”… It’s no big deal, it’s not like anyone’s waiting anxiously for me riffing topics about CCCP passports, miracles, Ginsberg’s “Howl” on red vinyl. [Retroactive update: this video “poets, passports and postcards in the Cascadian consulate” is now completed and available for your viewing amusement]

Healing: On the bus towards treatment

So tired, all the time + cant sleep

Waiting for a bus, bound for seitai treatment (now with sunny day scarf & a Mavili cap) / tough MECFS stretch of late, trying to shake it loose.

The seitai treatment is a really good reset for me – but it does sometimes shake loose some long lingering conundrums.

I mean yeah, I’m in a rough patch but I’m doing “things “*every day* where previously I would be in bed for weeks at a time. Anyhow, the doctor is a great dude, has the best record player I’ve ever seen and a massive collection of classical music. That said, times like this I really miss a 90 minute Bali spa massage.

Also thinking about Ayurveda in Nepal, the wonder of helping others, & Cmdr in Diego Garcia. We talked recently about checking in for a three week Panchakarma session in Pokhara and then heading back to Ghandruk, Annapurna District.

My favorite close-by restaurant to the clinic (Grilmori) has moved (or something) and i ended up at a rather unsatisfying hectic lunch experience at a coffee shop – did not document.

But I do have a photo of a sandwich at the hospital that should go on another post but well, it’s not like this is “Important” or anything. It’s a picture of a sandwich and a coffee

So… Back on bus, on way home #wipedout (saw a dead bird on a newspaper)

As usual, just annotating for future reference. Move along or sit down.