Tag Archives: Ryoko Olson

Ryoko & Ichiro hitting big time at Sun Clinic

Ryoko & Ichiro hitting the big time and looking *extra cute* at their check-up at Sun Clinic here in sunny (again) Okayama. Yes, im super proud papa & hubbo!

Diary: to the seashore for pizza & watermelons

Thank you for usual days

Brief evidence of a day trip to Nishiwaki Beach {Setouchi city} and pizza at Iwaburo + meeting up with Ryoko’s jazz vocalist friend Ayumi.

Though it’s just a short drive away, felt like a whole “expedition/holiday” yesterday >> so long since we’ve been out and about. Anyhow, poorly annotated snaps follow: 

* Postbox, at quirky cafe, Iwaburo (also ukuleles, turtles, cats, dogs, goats, and a friendly couple running it who told me about building pizza oven (see below)

* Pizza, handmade & woodfired

Ya know i’m making one of these at home, one of these days (we have loads of bricks and blocks and old ceramic pieces around for starters… a few other projects to finish first… 

Continue reading Diary: to the seashore for pizza & watermelons

Music theory, thunder & friendships #diary

From a rainy porch, riffing gratefulness for friends with kind words and packages, minimal commentary about ridiculous Olympics and various public health situations, hello to my favourite arborist and rain songs ++ tree doctor tests, Kerouac exhibits, future global expeditions with in-laws and importantly, the elusive D chord.

New Album “Freedom Venture Spirits” by “Captain Stag” coming soon ~ pre-order all usual outlets

Rainy Days and Mae Maes #video

Rainy Days in Japan brings a cute new video from my wife’s band Mae Maes for song called “Ame” (rain).

++ includes Ichiro Stanley a few cameo peeks of our house.

Say hello to メーメーズ  Ryoko, Rie, Hatsumi, Keizaburo & Mitsuko.

PS Find Mae Maes on Youtube & FB if that’s acceptable to you. 

Shot at Live House Bird in Okayama

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.

Ichiro 1st Birthday Celebration

Papa! Ichiro! Mama!

Don’t worry Mama, i got him!

Celebrated Ichiro Stanley Thorvald Olson’s first 365 with a crawl around, toss in the air, playtime in his new house with his miraculous Mama plus genki, loving Grandma & Grandpa.

Huge thanks to Morioka san & Ishii san & the parade of crafters for having the fresh slippery maple floors, working sinks, stove in & lights on for his new home.

We did a whole thing where he crawls around with some mochi in a pack (i don’t totally understand but it’s all good) and chooses from some items laid out in front of him as a sort of future-telling experiment, then came some grilled tai red snapper (another tradition) and a cake which we let him make a mess out of (we are usually rather insistent that food isn’t for playing but to be eaten but blah blah blah).

Thank you for all your kind words and support of our little family over this last year.

Ichi says “guuuuuu!”

The future is all your & the present is ours.

Love your Papa

PS Occurs to me I’ve had approximately 342+/- bathtimes with him, it’s our time together to scrub, lounge, relax and talk and sometimes even sing. {Sometimes when I’m in “deep crash mode” I don’t get the pleasure but on my list of energy priorities, it’s my number one thing (followed by laundry & taking mah vitamins :-)).}

Kitchen: making Miso from scratch (ready in New Year)

Pretty sure I earned a Japanese merit badge today. Made our own Miso from scratch! Will sit in this old crock (found in the tool shed & same one used for umeboshi last year) for 8 months.

Summary: Soybeans, Salt, Koji & no air.

Here’s how it went down (lousy photos with annotations): 

Soaked for 24 hours and simmered for 4 hours and cooled down

Oh, this is what the salt and koji (culture) looks like

Mince up the beans with a, ummm mincer

Yup mix it all (salt, koji, miso) up

Squish out the air whilst making tennis ball sized chunks

Squish squish squish into the crock, no air remember

Fill a bag with salt to weigh it down and seal off the edges from air

Put on a label and wait for 8 months (cool place please, in our case, the kura barn) check in later to tell ya how it turned out

Diary: Rocking out (buying stones)

Note solar array and tile roof kominka house in background of snap {past / present / future}

 Wife (arborist/ trad landscape designer) let me tag along on some rock shopping expedition. I am amused at logistics of this supply chain as stones from from around Japan and world here to Okayama.

Also for your amusement, 3 types/varieties of stones observed (& sampled) for use at our home project and Ryoko’s work projects

Happy Birthday Ryoko XO

My dear angels / happy birthday April 28 to Ryoko from hubbo DaveO and our Ichiro-kun

Happy Birthday Ryoko, a remarkable:
Arborist
Gardener
Singer
Momma
Tea ceremony practitioner
Small business owner/ entrepreneur
Painter / illustrator
Landscape designer
Coffee & café enthusiast
Kei-truck driver
Puppet maker
Piano (etc) player
More more more

She’s *always* ready for an outing, a laugh, a song, a soak, a snack, a walk – *always* stops to smell the flowers, document the trees and inspect the leaves.

And always ready to help out someone who’s having a tough time and needs a little support, a gift, visit, card, or compliment.

Switches between classic kimono, jazz café cocktail dress, rugged work wear, and cute pajamas like no big deal. Swooooon.

Always calm, strong & thoughtful >> And *somehow* despite always seeming to be running behind, always perfect timing.

And (importantly)… the sweetest, most supportive & patient, most full-of-sunshine wife a boy could ever hope for.

Smitten, endlessly.

Let’s enjoy the usual days!!

Love your lucky hubbo Daveo & our Ichiro-kun

Fancy black shoes on a muddy dirt path from the nursery school – love everything about this snap

Bonus: We made pasta, had a cake, farmer Mac came to visit

Diary: Day out to Ukan village

I mean, how can i not adore all of this scene? {Ukan village, Okayama-ken}

Visited a shodo calligraphy exhibition at a sake distillery with special floral arrangements made by Ryoko’s colleague Oka-san (true salt of the earth tough guy with a deep gravelly voice leather by perpetual smoking and a heart of gold and an artistic sense of nuance and splendour), who showed us around along with his wonderful young daughter Momoka.

Memo: Oka-san is the remarkable florist/builders/designer/arborist who transformed the goat farm barn into a jazz club & wedding altar for #DRO420

Then, we hit up a little community coffee shop in a mountain valley. Our little guy was a star as always and I was the lucky papa along for the ride.

Just was a really pleasant day out in a small town (Ukan, Okayama) where you can stand in the street and not worry about a car coming by.

2nd Wedding Anniversary Riffs (i would dye for you)

April 20, 2021 – back at the goat farm where we met, were married, now with Ichiro (and of course baby goats and tie-dyes) – thanks Reira for snap

Always more to tell you but… Over the past three days we sort of revisited our 2019 three day wedding festivities #dro420 with a little mini-outings, ergo:

* April 21 pleasant lunch and afternoon lounge around at Mac Kobayashi’s Goat Farm including lovely conversations with four generations of his family / daughter Reira snapped some pics, grandson Sosuke showed off his new glasses, mother (84 yrs young) tool a break from cutting grass to hug and cuddle little Ichiro (who split his time between napping and meeting goats) ~ importantly, finally got a photo with all three of us in our “family tartan“ tie-dye made by brother Daniel

* April 20 rolled to a Shinto shrine, not our “official” shrine but a neighborhood location with no people >> wrote some grateful prayers and intentions on wooden tiles, clap-clapped bowed for the Kami & ancestors, >> enjoyed some of the nuanced details and then some artisan roasted coffee across the lane (where Ichi continued the familial tradition of batting eyelashes at baristas)

* April 19 skipped the City Hall registration and went directly to the jazz bar (which was the scene of the welcome party for foreign guests) but this time was Ryoko Olson’s band Mae Maes rehearsal >> I haven’t seen her bandmates in real life since well, probably their last real show at the beginning of “global health meltdown (TM)” though I’ve seen their faces while editing videos. Enjoyed tea and snacks and music #friendship

Now, resting before an afternoon hospital visit while construction continues outside (we’re camped out in the parents beautiful traditional kominka home on tatami mat floor, glorious raw wooden beams above, sliding rice paper doors) >> Ryoko heading over to the nursery school to help with Ichi’s lunch.

Flashing back to everything that happened these last two years and frankly, stunned by it all.

Completely smitten by my remarkable wife who surprises and thrills me daily, head over heels about this healthy happy little fella who is now in indispensable part of my entire existence, and so very grateful for friends & family scattered around the world for continued support & solitarity. Keep an eye on your post box.

The year ahead will be more changes (i mean, obv) but hopefully fewer “big moves/projects” (i.e. endless registrations and paper work and settling-in and construction and shipping containers and complicated transactions) and more “tiny steps” to make life more pleasant and full of creativity and enjoyment / yes, we have a list and involves post boxes, payphones, sign posts, trees, gardens, paint) ~ also health & rest, please please.

So very fondly from Tsuchida Cottage (soon to be Tsuchida Station)

dvo & fam

 

Diary: Grateful for hanami picnic (& projects finishing)

Downtown Okayama – a canal a nice walking pathway with public art and benches / I also love the covered walkable shopping arcades… It really make a lot of sense and rainy cities say… I don’t know, Vancouver. They’re handy here more for shade then showers

Grateful for the usual days (amongst the tumult) ~ Spontaneous picnic along the canal in pleasantly provincial Okayama. 

The happiest I’ve been to see a DHL truck (those who know, know), expensive price for menial tasks

A few BIG projects recently and no doubt wiped me out despite the dopamine of “finishing” something. So, after a (thought at the time but… really not) final step, we purchased a picnic for a spontaneous hanami along the canal in downtown Okayama. 

Just woke up from a nap and has that Napoleon Dynamite thing going on

Of course these days, a day out in public isn’t common but we found an empty bench and enjoyed the blossoms falling and each other. Noting the “usually” in Japan, hanmi (flower watching) is a big deal with elaborate picnics, jousting for prime locations and often drunken revelry – honestly, this is more my speed :). 

weary from a big project with loads of paperwork and complications (and revealed  of some distasteful truths and misgiving) but ahoy i’m here and in love

Note: Indeed, we buy each other hats… Possibly “too frequently”