Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Daily life

My friend Sebastian asked what I might be up to, on any given day. So, let me tell you now..... Calvin had it right.

The days are just packed!

For starters....



Charge the batteries.




A completely ridiculous setup, pretty much everything is wrong, but we can get away with this for the time being, because our needs are so minimal. IPad, laptop, and maybe a phone, our lives are VERY simple.



When it rains, we collect the water runoff from the roof. The gutter along one side of the cabin will fill this container in short order, given our 160-200" of rain annually.





The water gets used for.....




(Nice tub, eh?)




Yep, just like grandma. Actually, her setup was considerably more advanced than this. She had a wringer, to squeeze out the excess water. We just twist.
After use, the now dirty "graywater" goes to the expanding garden plot, particularly the bananas. Gotta keep those bananas happy!
There is such a wealth of natural building materials on the site, that it is difficult to know where to begin. Currently, I am still in the gathering phase, but the pile of invasive Guava is growing taller by the day.
Each of those "sticks " is 3"-4" in diameter and 30' long. Also very flexible, so curved, arched forms have been in my thoughts lately.
There is tons (literally!) of lava rock that is begging to be used.

I've been stacking rock, building some planters for the many ornamental and edible (!) plants that our kind landlords have provided (Thanks, Robin and Tatiana!)

I've also learned that a lava tube can double as a beer cooler..... The most awesome beer chiller ever! Hawaiian beer, too.


******* and *******


A neighbor guy gave me some ginger beer he brewed.... Oh, sweet heavenly nectar!


I will be making this in the future! Soooo good! And...... I've got that perfect cave....... Lava brewed cider, ginger beer, root beer, hmmmm.....




Ellie has a different set of priorities. She found a chasm that needs bridging!




Frustrating to try to get a good photograph, as the the chasm is nearly 15' deep here (but, of course, doesn't show properly. She was seriously death-defying or, at the least, risking a nasty stick in the eye!)









Random stuff is occasionally for sale in our neighborhood, by the side of the road. Just people making a buck.





Pig (wild!) Sausage, caught the pig just yesterday....3 for $10. That's 3 huge links...... Maybe 4 lbs, total.



Spicy, delicious




I've started clearing out an area for the new forge.



I'm VERY eager to start banging hot metal again.



So, on any given day, there is a lot going on. So much needs doing, and even though I am busy all day long, little gets finished, it seems.


  1. Watching your new setup is very interesting to me. I complain about my tiny cluttered shop and now think that I am just a big whiner. I am going through my tiny work area with a bull dozer today. If anyone was around today they would be getting a lot of shit for free. Do you need help getting rid of your beer? You mentioned lava tubes - do they pose a threat of random sink holes? Thanks again for posting your adventure.

    1. Hi Paul!

      I feel like I am watching someone else do this, too. This whole thing is so.... different. Just last month, I was working on building more efficient storage in my workshop, now..... No workshop, my tools are still packed in boxes, and I don't even know how many planes I have here. I want to pull one of the kanna out of storage, just to remember what planing wood feels like, but what am I gonna do, plane down a branch, haha?! Everything I have is round!

      My good friend Brandon gave me a froe before we left, always knowing the perfect gift to give, but for the life of me, I can't find the damn blade! I really have no idea what I've got for tools here. How far I've fallen, haha!

    2. Oh, and the lava tubes are everywhere here, but hopefully don't spontaneously fall into themselves too frequently. The general topography is VERY convoluted, and a bulldozer was needed, just to provide access to the site. Occasionally the dozer cut through a tube, revealing the interior, but I haven't found any that go very far.

      Beer is expensive here, so brewing my own might actually save me some money, although from past experience that isn't usually the case, haha. Come visit, and I'll share!

  2. Thanks Jason! Nice to see some daily life pictures.

    I bet in a month the forge will be running... And you need to do something with those plastic buckets. Wooden ones are in order there, it's no excuse you cannot find your bucket making froe and kanna.

    Man, I'm sooooooooo jealous.

    1. Totally!

      Remember the Japanese rice tub making video we were watching not too long ago? I guess that it's time to sh*t or get off the pot (that's the subject for an upcoming post, BTW).

  3. Replies
    1. Junji, my friend! So good to hear from you!

      The kanna are still sleeping, but your Nata has been a great help to me, and soon.... the Chona you found me! I am looking for the perfect branch to use as a handle, but.......very soon I will find it (and I have many to choose from). I still enjoy seeing your "list" of great tools, many thanks.

      Arigato, Jason

  4. Jason,

    My comments are keeping disappearing?!? Anyway, I am glad you are doing good out there. I have been very busy since the end of the last year, and this morning I came here and saw what you have been doing... Can't believe how you live there with your family! Sooooo crazy and sooooooo interesting! I ADMIRE you!
    I have to tell my family about this, and want to know what they have to say!

    1. Oh,i know! Not just "Blogger", but my iPad, everything is acting strange for me also. Thank you for your comments, and please give my best wishes to your family.

      This is crazy and strange, and fun! Best is the warmth. Living in Oregon, I was only hot maybe 6x in 10 years. Now I get to sweat every day, probably not as hot as Kobe, but it feels good to me, for a change.

      Again, I can't thank you enough for finding such great tools. It seems strange to think, but your Japanese tools have brought me here, and really changed how I work. My life now is quiet and brings peace, but if not for you, I would be using noisy expensive power tools for all of this (or possibly not be here at all).

      My thanks.


Like all of us, I am figuring this out as I go, so when you see something that is incorrect or flat out wrong (and you will!), let me know. This is a learning process. Real people and names, please. Constructive comments and questions are very welcome, but hate speak/politics are not! Life (get one!) is too short.

Thanks, Jason