Tag Archives: vinegar

Diary: Stumbling into the year, skipping ahead with heavy blanket

Guess was a sign in my last diary riff when i said:

Well yeah, I’m wiped out from all the last while but was able to spread so much love to family and friends which is truly an honour. I’m not good at the “pacing” so much – When I get my mind on something, I burn through the adrenaline and related neuro-chemicals to do it.”

Blerg: From Jan 5 or so til Jan 31, mostly in bed, very ill. Various (backfilled and possibly previous published elsewhere) memos here for no reason aside from reminding myself. ergo:

Jan 19: Got some sleep last night, thanks new weighted blanket, crossed out “January“ on my to-do list and replaced with “February, maybe“. Gonna *try* to get up, catch up laundry and dishes (Including putting away the extra fancy China still out from holidays), and read some letters.

Weighted blanket came with a weighted eye mask which brings my total count of sleeping masks up to *at least* 37 but none of them are “perfect“. Note to self: consider giving out poetry and art and concentrating on just making great sleeping masks for the world. #SideHustle

Update: washed some dishes, folded some laundry, ate some food, took medicine, now will either organize next fortnight’s supplements or put away the “extra fancy dishes“. Rolling slow. Also packet of “A2” size drafting paper arrived for wife’s design project.

Jan 18: Left house, getting treatment. EOD

Note to a friend: “Was back at the doctors yesterday, got some more medication, managed some sleep last night so that helps. Tiny steps, trying to keep positive thoughts. PS A weighted blanket should be delivered today.

Some terrible stomach virus completely laid me out and just as I was getting bit better, what was suspected as “the thing” but test came back negative so more likely just some nasty nursery school cold/flu. My body is just completely battered and worn out & weak & immunity = 0 :(“

Notes: Thanks for your kind words, it’s really got me discouraged. I mean with this chronic/complex disease I live with (#MECFS), I spend a lot of time being “sick“ but this has smacked me upside the head and left me spinning & struggling

Thanks for all your sweetness kind people. Just fired up a 42° bath, going to rest a little bit more than have my very best time of the day with a soak with my little dude (who seems to be getting cuter every day still, and talking more and more every day as well)

Jan. 17: Still “deep in the shed“

Gonna fold some laundry in bed (and think about ordering a weighted blanket) + continuing listening to the @cbcgem series about Quebec from “dark years“ to bombs and such with the FLQ conundrums. Recall: How to Start a Revolution: Episode 2: The Stranger

Jan 16: Very sick for last 10+ days / many IVs, meds & frustration – did scribble some postcard therapy & listen to various radio/esque programmes, i.e.

Jan 16 con’t: Got to say, super grateful for medical system here in Japan. I go to the “Big Central Hospital” monthly to see neurologist (check-in) but for “day to day” incidents, see a kindly, diligent and thorough doctor at a nearby mini clinic w/ xray, ultrasound & lab, scrips, all in-house.

Jan 5: Come on you champion virologists and super computers and mathematicians and investigators and clinicians and researchers

Diary: Annotations on the Re-start (calendars, milk, beard, drums…)

Regrouping: Well yeah, I’m wiped out from all the last while but was able to spread so much love to family and friends which is truly an honour. I’m not good at the “pacing” so much – When I get my mind on something, I burn through the adrenaline and related neuro-chemicals to do it.

Anyhow blah blah blah, I made *a lot* of Internets and documentation, wrote some intentions for the year ahead, started some new traditions, closed some books, open some others, practiced much generativity.

Still in pajamas and robe but going to try to get up, filter some persimmon vinegar, put the miso into smaller containers (yes I made persimmon vinegar and yourself both from scratch!), maybe trim down the Santa Claus beard…

Stretch goal is un-trim the Christmas tree.

Just a note to say I am thankful for all of your comments, participation in my life, cards and letters, late night dispatches and affection in general. 

Christmas Tree down and replaced with 1-1/2 drum sets! left some twinkly lights up for Ichiro

Sending extra kindness to those who are feeling the blues, struggling with health conundrums, &/or loss of various kinds.

Postal Notes: PS Great cards yesterday – Like really fantastic, great details and I love love love a good family year recap newsletter. Thank you so much! ++  one “late but well intentioned” batch out today. Both foreign and domestic.

Ferments: Bottling up housemade vinegar (Persimmon, Ume and Ginger) and Miso (in peanut butter jars) at Tsuchida Cottage. So much macrobiotic goodness!

Rather satisfying project bottling homemade vinegar (Persimmon, Ume & ginger) Of course, well documented, ergo:

Basically, halved persimmons – leave skin on, stack in a vessel, add some “living” vinegar, rocks on top, cheese cloth and wait 1-2 months. Keep an eye to make sure mold doesn’t develop, eventually “decant” the liquid into another vessel, cheese cloth back on, wait a while more, eventually filter it. Strain into clean vessels, add labels. Nice to have some vinegar “mother” to start but skins have natural bacteria.

Sign post (finally, slowly): Next/current project is making a sign post to point to familiar and/or loved places. Will go on this cut tree – mounted in concrete base (also has a weather station on top).

Using scrap wood left over from our construction project and just doing “cheap and cheerful“ quality level.

Sparks include: Got Woody’s Revolutions printed and on stand-by

via Billy Bragg + Lance and Jay

As well as Shawn Parkinson’s annual artsy one page calendar (see previous iterations in intentions video). Note decent colour match on the washi tape and meta snap of Mrs Maisel.

Ok, one more envelope to address *and* this month’s “postcard as a service” postcards are printed! Gotta figure another/different/better system than current though.

Diary: DIY Firestarters, Vinegar, side cart… (+ usual supplements and hospital)

What follows are simply sundry odds and ends from mostly late Nov, (bit of early Dec). 2021 with an emphasis i suppose on a few DIY projects as we continue to settle into our reno’d home, doing loads lil tasks and looking forward to each day. Pardon, brevity and repetition, this is me chronicling the usual days of a poet-storymaker+house-husband+oldish-papa, doing my best.

First off… Making fire starters in the car port with paper egg crates, sawdust & paraffin in a sorta double boiler on a canister stove.

One of these in the woodstove with no other paper or whatever and a single light and you are good to go. Works so well (though next time use soy wax and also recommended by others: dryer lint).

Also from the DIY file is persimmon and ume vinegar, freshly decanted / will filter in bottle in a few more weeks. Such natural macrobiotic goodness.

Flashback to decanting vinegar:

“& voila / persimmon & ume vinegar decanted >> In a couple weeks will filter & bottle (bottled some ume cordial & syrup while at it)

Filtering persimmon vinegar while listening to @TBeanpod / Seems oddly appropriate and glad you were brave enough for IKEA because no way I’m going there :-) if it can’t be delivered or bought at the recycle shop, it’s just off the list”

Another quick DIY project… A little rolling cart for the kitchen for fruit and serving tea and drinks and what not. Ordered used, delivered next day, total about ¥3500 ($30 USD ish). Casters on everything!

Next up, some hemp canvas panels to go over the drafty doors that were skipped over in the renovation. We hung hooks and cut bamboo poles/rods/.

We eventually need a couple of curtains for some view windows but want to get those special made by the noren makers of Katsuyama. 

Memo: I just folded the laundry (yup again) and now onto dishes. Thank you for your support of my creative projects of late.

Related: Made video with books which arrived by post incl about Hunter S Thompson + Neal Cassady 50th anni (sent / signed by daughter with postcard photographs by Carolyn), and a dude in Scarborough who published letters to friends while traveling the world (sound familiar?)

Lots of videos coming out, don’t expect anyone to watch *all* but if you’re really smart, you will :-) #notaplug

Super fun/strange, got a call on not-so-secret-but-no-one-ever-uses Japan VoIP number *and* it was a wrong number asking for Etsuko-san. Replied “I’m just a regular guy named Dave”. Anyway, was my excitement while organizing supplements for next fortnight & watching hockey.

Put in another big order with @iHerb / A company which continues to amaze me with their incredibly fast (free!) delivery of unique items – although they’re definitely having some “out of stock” issues

PS Got the laundry folded (yeah i know i always say this), nursing a cold so I think going to a special event tonight is going to be off the list… was first time to go out in well, forever – however have persimmon vinegar to bottle and/or start on New Year’s cards + vids to edit > tmrw online meditation “retreat”.

(Another day) gotta get ready to go to big city hospital for a bunch of scans and tests and what not #mecfs …

Thanks for hanging out while *sorta nervously* get ready by sending out little dispatches. Wishing best days to everyone wherever & whoever you are. be your own revolution

Lost in translation and somewhat translucent but back home in bed

File under “things I love”: this new heavy duty, cast iron, small footprint, front loading, side cleaning woodstove in our cottage in provincial Japan. Cozy and safe. With an arborist wife, always have a stash of heavy hardwood to burn – hot & slow.

Stash the ash in the compost and brought in a new little stack of wood.

Anyway, getting towards the end of the year so rocking out a little projects to finish up strong. This afternoon is another doctors appointment, hopefully the last for the year.

Tomorrow is some picture framing festival and some Santa Claus voice recording, the following day the Grannys from the Silver Center are coming to clean. 

Good morning and good night from our home , Tsuchida Cottage, Okayama, Japan.

Diary: Tsuchida station grounds projects, various

Busy around the house, now the construction is “done”, doing some garden, yard, landscape, and kura/naya jobs… the glorious mundanity of the tiny things which make all the difference. Be prepared, nothing *shocking* or exciting, just the usual days.

Hemp cloth wrapped on shelves made from wedding dais / under the dust cover is 1982ish Yamaha GT-2000 turntable & analog amp plus TEAC cassette/CD/usb/1/4” deck. Thats not *all the records* but a solid batch.

Another string of lights *and* Palau static montage… legit handcrafted speargun etc etc

Wood splitter, borrowed from forester Ukan and parents split up this rack / its loud & ornery but does the job

All hardwood – mostly oak and maple, odd bits of others (arborist wife often bringing home big chunks) This was all F&M-in-law. Epic. I’ll fire it up though (i just encourage)

Breaking rocks in the hot sun… (Ryoko has made a time-lapse of this rather intensive, long project…)

Continue reading Diary: Tsuchida station grounds projects, various

Kitchen: Ume vinegar, syrup & cordial (bottling etc)

[continuing from: Kitchen: Umeboshi Time with Crock & Rocks (+ pickles & jam)Kitchen: Umeboshi update (drying after salting, before salting again) &  Umeboshi update, part 3 (adding shiso and back into the crock}

Ume Chronicles continue (catching up from April 16, 2021)

Last year June, we harvested a load of Ume (Japanese small sour plums of a sort) from the neighbour’s tree and made several items while coincidentally waiting for our little baby to arrive (as you can see from my *sophisticated labeling system*, was started June 16) Oh and the baby arrived a  few days later on June 23rd).

Continue reading Kitchen: Ume vinegar, syrup & cordial (bottling etc)

Kitchen: Kaki (persimmon) vinegar (filtering & bottling)

Kaki Vinegar, Bottled-up (catching up from April 21, 2021)

Kaki (persimmons) are all around us here in Okayama so we end up with bushels > I’m finding every which way to use: from jam to dried to pickled/lacto-fermented and specifically today, vinegar.

While getting the kitchen ready for construction, so… figured should bottle the batch started last year. 

Started by stashing a bunch of chopped up, unwashed persimmons in a big glass jar with “the mother” from some apple cider vinegar – weighed down with rocks to keep submerged – last year in November (as seen on label above). Continue reading Kitchen: Kaki (persimmon) vinegar (filtering & bottling)