Tag Archives: woodstove

Festive Omnibus Annotations (church, shrine, tea, gardens, fire, poems, snaps)

So many things to tell you but I’ll scribble in Postcards, 1 by 1 because each of you deserves custom-made inky artifacts, right?

And coffee in fancy cups, and crocheted pen/cil + quilted stamp bags, and fancy postboxes.

Don’t you?

Anyway, briefly (ha!), for starters – not capable of brevity):

* Hot springs visits with over-the-top performance in quirky confines {note: have a post from a previous visit to share one of these days…}

* Pork belly, woodstove yams Kabocha squash etc. dinner

* Gorgeous new blue herringbone cashmere scarf and my own fancy Hanko stamp (previous was a ¥500 vending machine version)

Continue reading Festive Omnibus Annotations (church, shrine, tea, gardens, fire, poems, snaps)

Reminder: planning, finishing up and do the basics

This week: no scheduled hospital visits, wife super busy with work, so… trying to catch up, finish a few tasks as well as keep the house rolling as we stumble towards end of year

The “basics” means manage laundry, keep up on dishes, make tea and rice, prepare hot bath, and light a fire as needed.

And if feeling all right (plus get medications, nutrition – my weak point – and oxygen into me) i can do some creative project and/or make a phone call or two.

As for “holidays” this year canceled my usual family and friends Christmas dinner party cause I just don’t got the energy but, we still will be doing new year cards (300), presents for Ichiro of course (he wants a trumpet and/or a bulldozer, not a toy bulldozer, one he can drive around… Not sure which one is less probable), and will decorate a tree, make hot chocolate on the woodstove, sing some songs etc. (One good thing about Christmas in Japan is there’s a lot less expectation around the whole dealio).

Continue reading Reminder: planning, finishing up and do the basics

First woodstove fire of season (a single flick)

First wood stove fire of the season last night. That’s all glorious hardwood in there…

one flick and only one flick

I get very excited about this point since I come from the land of softwood where it takes dang near half a trunk full to get you through a weekend of camping.

(Being of Ayurvedic dosha), I’m very proud (yes Leo) of my ability to light this variety of slow and hot burning wood with only a single flick of a lighter.

Airflow is critical as are my freshly-made batch of egg carton/wood shaving/soy wax fire starters.

It’s a beautiful little cast-iron stove with a good sized cooktop which is great not just for a kettle but for a big pot of soup or sometimes even a cast-iron griddle.

Do you have a fireplace or woodstove? What do you like to burn in it? What are your favorite fire making style/techniques?

Festive Greetz Cards Scrapbook Time (backwards)

In front of a wood stove, Dave stashes cards from the “string of honour” into archival book while recounting tales of the wonderful folks who sent greeting cards and letters to Tsuchida Cottage.

Very grateful for your friendship and lovely correspondence.

Along with banter about:

* having several scrapbooks on-the-go at all times

* special collections and on-going correspondence

* topsy turvy start to the year

* “lap projects” like mending and scrapbooking

* thoughts about last year (lots of paperwork!)

* theme for this year (letting go)

and usual digressions, meanderings and anecdotes (i.e. hanging stereo speakers and maybe something about solar panels). Oh, there is a Dymo LabelMaker in action.

Very grateful for your friendship and lovely correspondence.

Meanwhile I’m trying to tidy up the room a little bit so here are albums of postcards/greeting cards etc., duly annotated by Dymo label.

PS if I’ve missed sharing your card I probably shared under separate cover / somewhere else, or will do another time (thinking of you Astrid in Germany who’s art is already hanging up).

Musing: fires, volcanos, axe handles & cycle of children

This shelf, containing “danger on peaks” was itself dangerous and not aesthetically pleasing so now it is a garden planter box

March 13, 2022: I went to sleep last night – first night without a fire in the stove for some time – on tatami mats reading “Danger on Peaks”, dedicated to Carole, woke up as my Ryoko took little Ichiro to school, recalling Gary writing about being a 63-year-old stepdad taking a 10-year-old to school in the carpool, and thinking of myself at 10 years old on 95th Ave. in Surrey, getting ready for church the Sunday morning when Mt St Helens erupted, remembering the feeling of the unusual rumble (was not an 18 wheeler), and thinking of Gary coming down the mountain as a 13-year-old to learn that Japan was bombed and “nothing will grow there for 70 years“ and how Hiroshima is just down the road from me, indeed wonderful noodles, activists & parks.

Poured fresh French Press coffee, and picked up my robot and read Wang Ping’s remarkable recounting moments with the axe handle, with the boy-now-man (about my vintage) who the axe handle was created with, with the poet (who had been just up the road in Kyoto, probably pass through here at some point), together throwing hatchets into a stump, then into a barn (no food allowed to prevent pests, like my kura), pulling out Ezra Pound and Han Shan, pages falling open to the exact place, and marveling at the un-coincidence of it all. Such treasure.

It’s all about the cycles as Gary said to Lew. Or was that vice versa?

Also, Ichiro – a year and a half old – loves no toy more than the brush and scoop to clean the woodstove & darling Ryoko now has the skill to light the store with a single match with help from my special arts and crafts made from egg cartons, soy paraffin and sawdust learned from my mother, her ashes on the altar.

Hail the fire queens, axe carvers, and pantry mice!

Axe Handles
BY ©1983 GARY SNYDER

One afternoon the last week in April
Showing Kai how to throw a hatchet
One-half turn and it sticks in a stump.
He recalls the hatchet-head
Without a handle, in the shop
And go gets it, and wants it for his own.
A broken-off axe handle behind the door
Is long enough for a hatchet,
We cut it to length and take it
With the hatchet head
And working hatchet, to the wood block.
There I begin to shape the old handle
With the hatchet, and the phrase
First learned from Ezra Pound
Rings in my ears!
"When making an axe handle
                               the pattern is not far off."
And I say this to Kai
"Look: We'll shape the handle
By checking the handle
Of the axe we cut with—"
And he sees. And I hear it again:
It's in Lu Ji's Wên Fu, fourth century
A.D. "Essay on Literature"-—in the
Preface: "In making the handle
Of an axe
By cutting wood with an axe
The model is indeed near at hand."
My teacher Shih-hsiang Chen
Translated that and taught it years ago
And I see: Pound was an axe,
Chen was an axe, I am an axe
And my son a handle, soon
To be shaping again, model
And tool, craft of culture,
How we go on.

Diary: a day in the life(ish) – woodstove, meta-ness, voting, tidying

Good days and bad days and wind and rain on rotating Mondays… Got up / some things done yesterday {hung some art and usual dishes and laundry} but still in bed today… This illness is a fickle beast #mecfs / So many creative projects in my head > patience and time are my allies.

Note to self: remember to put the ointment on the rabbit’s broken leg (this is not code for something)

So anyway, I got up & did couple of things around the house (the usual laundry, make tea & soup) + wrote one special postcard) – completely wiped out and now curled on the couch looking at the dishes to wash. Dear wife has taken wonderful son for his 18 month medical check in. This is all.

The aforementioned postcard is for a special mail art exhibition at a bookstore in North Carolina. Mail art cancelled postcards from around the world will be displayed for fortnight and then slipped into books to be surprises for unsuspecting patrons. This hits all my keywords. Note Momotaro washi tape.

This adorable, custom café-style kitchen – now with freshly washed dishes and slow cooker full of lentil soup –brought to you (in part) by Bill Janovitz’s “Walt Whitman Mall”. Now back to the couch, fire in the woodstove, tea/snack & name-stamping diapers.

Continue reading Diary: a day in the life(ish) – woodstove, meta-ness, voting, tidying

Castle, foundations and pajamas (from Saskatoon to Tsuchida)

Castles, Foundations and Pyjamas (from Saskatoon to Tsuchida)

Along with {amusing} ukulele meanderings, daveo recaps recent year including hot springs trip, nursery school colds, new pajamas, house building, legitimate emigration, stopping time, hospital visits, finding home, and various birthdays and gravesites, brain strain on new chords and kana, meditation & patience while waiting for sashimi and vanilla ice cream to arrive. 

Plus musings about company advising (really), Kerouac exhibit (story pack forthcoming), gratefulness for “go bags“ and other treats in the mail, conundrums about “not doing enough“ and struggles with computer eyes, usual stuff about postcards & paintings but especially about being grateful for family and friends and you and life and perpetual motion while sitting still sheltered.

Gratefully and Fondly, daveo51