Tag Archives: tsuchida cottage

Papa’s Day Sashimi (and socks)

grateful for Ichiro and Ryoko

Father’s Day sashimi, also received a three pack of socks. Thanks to all those have given me sweet and sincere advice to help me be a good papa (especially whilst dealing #mecfs).

Also grateful to my pals around the world who became fathers in the same “strange time of public health conundrum” including the dad’s of Theo, Oliver, Ivan, Ryker, Momo, Auggie, Murphy and so on.

Items: 4 paintings (by BC artists) at Tsuchida Cottage

Tidying up the artifacts, as such, here is a subset of paintings at Tsuchida Cottage and/or Giggling Piglet Studio and Consulate or, in one case, a painting which is still in Vancouver. Joins other paintings by Noriko Miyake, Michal Korman, Vincent Gornall and others.

1 painting by John Ferrie, still on “wrong” side of Pacific

Diary: Luxury life with scattershot actions amidst (in)consequential events

So, to no one in particular, “please don’t mind if the posts seem a little scattershot, maybe not finely-tuned, polished and definitely random”… After all this is about fck stats make art make for the future and let the present peek over your shoulder

#daveo50 turns into #daveo52 maybe “finish” by #daveo63

As it goes, left over from my #Daveo50 “personal archaeology project” as well as other sundry diaries, dossiers and whatnot, I have 380 or so posts in my WordPress “draft” folder / Plus switched from “classic“ to “Gutenberg“ which adds a step. So sort of trying to clear the deck. I’m not telling you this for any reason than to give myself an excuse to say that “not every post needs to be a complete mixed media dossier and maybe just rock them out – just make sure they follow your category naming/tagging conventions” / Reminder: Metadata is important for finding.

I really enjoy the process – especially assembling the items and then hitting “public” and floating them out into the world without any expectation – the part I don’t like is sitting and looking at a screen for more than an hour at a time. So many different topics, era & riffs.

So, instead of finishing “important” things already in the “pending folder” what follows are very basic things, photos included for no particular purpose except for my improbable, albeit somewhat inconsequential, documentation of the “usual days“.

Today, so far, recap:

Drink coffee, talked to a friend I haven’t for 3 years, hung out with Ichiro (before he & mama went to tea ceremony), took binders + stuff to kura, organized some scrapbook items, unboxed some new 7” & 10” records, ordered a 45 RPM adapter, usual dishes and laundry.

Amongst the new records is Mudhoney’s “this gift” Subpop split single (with Mr Epp on reverse) + other 7”s by White Stripes, Sebadoh, Shins more + Live 10” by Jesus and Mary Chain including one of my all-time favorite songs “head on“.

PS Still not thrilled with new phono preamp, but also not very technical hi-fi clever, need a smarter friend.

Continue reading Diary: Luxury life with scattershot actions amidst (in)consequential events

Dim Sum: Ambient Sortganizing in the kura barn studio #video

It’s just me tidying up, please keep expectations in check

Absolutely Nothing of interest, just tidying up – like Japan’s version of Marie Kondo – in the “Giggling Piglet Studio and Consulate” in a re-purposed storehouse barn in provincial Japan.

Music incidentally plays in the background by “John K Samson / The Weakerthans” something something ++ “Back Country New Road” album “Ants from up Here”.

Really nothing, except for a Nepali Topi hat and moving scissors and papers I suppose.

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

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)

Diary: April, tiny steps (are what you take)

April 月 4 / Tiny steps (are what you take)

Oh hello May: after I fold this laundry, going to flip over the nine calendars in the house. Then, make turmeric tea and catch up the dishes while darling wife and wonderful child are at tea ceremony.

So April, more “tiny steps” and otherwise in the last two weeks in the previous 3 1/2 months…ergo:

  • went out into the world and met some people and learned some things about traditional houses and permaculture, even some hugs
  • Ryoko’s birthday and our third wedding anniversary, and other erstwhile milestones (recaps available)
  • so many other birthdays of dear friends! Noting that seems most of my friends, like 85%, birthdays are in August (like me) or an April. I have some wonderful friends and made a lot of phone calls to send best wishes
  • sent a few postcards, this seems obvious but this year I’ve been on hiatus of sorts
  • caught-up-ish on a few “life administration” tasks, answered a whole load of email yet of course, as it goes, more just come in #ImTryingMyBest
  • attended a memorial service for a kind gentle sake master at a Buddhist temple, made friends with the Abbott, exchanged artwork, watched my adorable son nap in a room with 3000 wooden carved Buddhas representing those passed on and who are read sutras annually. Also came home with a necktie, kimono and sake cups.
  • received some very kind packages from near and far with thoughtful and practical treats.
  • news of friends getting married, others having babies, others losing loved ones. As Gary Snyder wrote to Lew Welsh, “teach the kids, it’s all about the cycles”. #Peace
  • continued small steps to improve the campsite (metaphorically, our home) and supporting wife who unflinchingly and constantly takes on increasingly complicated projects like it’s no big deal

As always, more to say, I’m always “behind” but really, far far ahead and eternally grateful for your kind words, positivity, hopes of peace ++ I see your hard work, I see your struggles and always cheering for you.

Fondly, dvo at Tsuchida Cottage

Ichiro heading out to tea ceremony

Happy Golden Week (to those who celebrate :)), otherwise, general happy days in good times to all – from us at Tsuchida Cottage.

[Update] changed the calendars (only eight as didn’t go outside to change the one in the carport), tidied the house, dinner with my darlings and of course bathtime (best time!)

In bed at nine, read a book, zonked out (aside from midnight sleepwalking foraging for a snack) >> now it’s nine in the morning the next day and I feel like I ran a half marathon and drank at least eight beers and flew across 17 time zones. This illness #MECFS is a trickster. But I’m happy.

Oh, I made at least three phone calls yesterday just to shoot the breeze and catch up with friends and family.

Ryoko’s Charcoal Kiln, annotations

Charcoal Kiln drum – improving the campsite

Ryoko has a notion to make charcoal using a 200 litre (50 g) drum as a kiln. She’ll cut in a chimney & stuff it with hardwood and/or bamboo and use charcoal for tea ceremony, grilling & whatnot.

Ryoko’s charcoal making kiln project continues – includes ridable machines and metal work and bricks. I made her an iced chai. #Helping

Also: last week, she was singing on a live stream, this week she’s running a power shovel, she also performed tea ceremony and a dozen other specialty skills #AmazedDaily – and all of it is done like “it’s no big deal, I just figured out how to do this and think it will be interesting“ 

Question: Make charcoal? Why and is this for you or she has been hired?

Charcoal = yes

Why? = for experimenting in sustainability and general arts and crafts (i.e. use chopped down bamboo in a sensible manner + use the finished charcoal for tea ceremony brazier, barbecues and woodstove)So, no not for me specifically, nor for a client. Just “to do it”

PS This morning she transplanted a tree after moving a bunch of dirt at the end of day yesterday for her tea garden in the front of the house, she was up on the ladder pruning branches but I missed the chance to take a picture so you’ll just have to believe me

Diary: “i much prefer the mundane” – campsite tasks and musings

Continuing to document the mundane / usual days >> like another “waiting for a bus (when i shoulda adjusted my flower) to go to seitai medical treatment”.

Really though, just an excuse to say “thanks for all the kindness of late” – its nice to be your friend + poetry, convos & snaps.

By the way, these are the glasses that were broken several weeks ago and now magically repaired… Serving me well since 1994 (on and off)

Bits and pieces or recent days included with minor annotations in captions and so on:

First: No tenants in the first birdhouse, though lots of birdies around, but made another one anyhow. Its like a housing development here (with no strata fees).

i might just put action figures in the houses instead – I make bird houses (even though no birds seem want to live in them). But I get to make them regardless. This has zero cost and minimal skill and maximum satisfaction. No conventions or preconceived notions of outcomes

unrelated: after building another birdhouse, i submitted 3 poems to one place and 2 to another, ergo:

* Barbed Wire Scars (approx 37 lines)
* Alchemists Confer with Hypnotists (approx 32 lines)
* Nowhere to Call (approx 21 lines)
++
* How Shall We Fill This Vessel
* Aye Carpathia

Ichiro Bench project: More scraps into action to make a workbench for Ichiro who digs playing with his tools & pounding nails. Ichiro loves playing with brooms, rakes, shovels and these kinds of things so… will drill some big holes in the right side of the bench to stash in his own tools
Continue reading Diary: “i much prefer the mundane” – campsite tasks and musings

DIY: Hemp curtain , part 2 (with tatami cloth)

Going to try to make the hemp curtain for the back door this afternoon. What do you think for the top curtain loops: the green or the peach?

You maybe caught the first iteration of hemp curtain project for the “old genkon” – this time to cover a rarely-used back door which gets a little bit drafty – still wanted to make sure to look nice with all the paintings I have around there. also had some of this same hemp fabric in black which would’ve been a little bit gloomy for that corner.

(this embroidered cloth is made to be the edges of tatami mats – purchased a highway rest area in the “local made products” section for 300¥ each)

Ok step by step, here we go (notes as captions)

Continue reading DIY: Hemp curtain , part 2 (with tatami cloth)