Tag Archives: Ryoko Olson

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.

Tree Measures Time (with patience & art)

so much history right here for me and all of it witnessed by this glorious gingko tree – photo by Ryoko Olson, painting by me

A journey of 30 years starts with a single act quitting a terrible mushroom farmer job and hitchhiking to a cow farm to shakedown gear & head into eveywhere. 

Years later, you meet a remarkable girl, throw a raging party with international renegades, goats are swapped for the cows, the espresso is top shelf and the gingko tree measures the changes.

Postcards available on site (at Rural Caprine Farm, Mac Kobayashi, farmer)

PS in reply to a comment, keeping here for keeping:

Yeah travel gets complicated and strangely enough, amongst all the “public health conundrums” and just been in one place for a long time, I’ve had the most incredible 18 months of my life, I almost just accidentally. But Japan is a wonderful place to visit, it’s easy to get around and such a variety of geography and culture and everything from ultra-modern to old-timey coexisting next to each other.By the way, in my endless folder of “almost finished but not quite” essays to put up on my website is a practical guide to traveling while dealing with chronic/complex illness… A few airport/airplane/travel hacks (for lack of a better word) I’ve used to skate around the world while dealing with #MECFS etc

My world switches rapidly between black and white and Technicolor depending on the hour. Do you have this one in your collection yet? Do you know anytime you see something of mine you’d like, I’ll make you a postcard of it. I’d like to imagine I’m on your refrigerator

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.