With Ichiro strapped on whilst outdoors, Dave and some dodgy camera work walk around the yard and gardens of our home in Okayama, Japan. Stops include: picnic area(s), Ryoko’s tool shed, location of upcoming house addition, various wood piles, bamboo grove, Mother’s vegetable garden, the kura grain barn turned art studio and (of course) a persimmon tree.
Appearances by father Takeshi, Ryoko of course, and the neighbour lady stops by to see the cutest baby.
Happy Birthday to my ray of sunshine Ryoko! Every day is the most wonderful fun with you. Let’s enjoy tea, cake and picnic today (& kiss :)).
Ryoko’s birthday came, of course, in the midst of the pandemic and all that, but, we did some great activities starting with lunch at Mac’s goat farm the day before then we drove to Setouchi to (socially safely) pick up a custom made cake by the same baker who made our wedding cake which we really didn’t get to eat. Then enjoyed a wonderful picnic lunch with the parents (who live “inside the wall” with us).
That night, sparked the candles in the cake and I sand (what I am sure is a magnificent version of) happy birthday etc. etc.
The boulders are moved by a steel tripod, chains and a pulley system and as such, assuming one is careful and strategic, *fairly* non-heavy work aside from pushing the cart with the boulder to the location to dump it off.
Time-lapse of a rock moving session:
The relocated rocks are used to build up a retaining wall of sorts to support a drainage ditch… When offloading from the cart to the ditch, we added leftover bales – really bales – of bubblewrap from the shipping of my archives to protect a hard plastic pipe in the ditch. Quite fun rolling the rocks into position!
Then using a few more to put a ring around a big plum tree to make a picnic park area.
Quick notes: relocated these three big old foundation boulders using a tripod and pulley to make a little ring around the plum tree for picnics with the kiddo, and hopefully you
there’s a big pile to move in order to make space for 5 more fruit trees (we have the saplings living in pots: orange, lime, grapefruit… )
the boulders were moved using brains not brawn with a steel tripod and pulley system made it very easy as long as you were smart and careful. :) It’s quite ingenious as those mighty heavy rocks were moved with just me, pregnant wife and the wonderful tiny mother-in-law
Next, we fixed up the area next to Ryoko’s tool shed with a potted olive tree, lemongrass, and various other plants…
On this Shinkonryoko (honeymoon) ramble, we ventured from our home in Okayama to various locations, most of which are noted on the accompanying map. We had planned a tentative map a few months earlier but streamlined the ramble a bit for logistics and keep tuned-in to calm locations.
So many trains, various accoms, pals, museums & kisses. Back where we started at Tsuchida cottage, Okayama.
Next up: spouse visa application, so many thank you cards & documentation (scrapbooks, photos, archiving), and fixing up our lil home (and more kisses)
Update: May 24, 2019
Spouse visa underway! Immigration office was well… an immigration office and not very pleasant but we jumped through appropriate hoops, scribbled necessary information, turned in various photos and the like and celebrated with a burger.
Guidelines for trip: roll variety of “just right” speed transportation; visit forgotten/under-appreciated/known museums, hot springs and shrines; spend time with curious folks to bring gifts and stories, plus variety of accommodations.
Update: Progressing well on all requirements. Details follow…