Solo Holes and hulled nuts

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Syka is a new settlement of primarily humans on the east coast of Falyndar opposite of Riverfall on The Suvan Sea. [Syka Codex]

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Holes and hulled nuts

Postby Ashka on July 29th, 2017, 3:55 pm

80 Summer 517

After breakfast, Ashka pulled on her boots, took up the spade in her hand and paced along the line where the beach met the jungle to looking for a spot she was happy with. She needed a clearish patch of firm soil where she could dig a hole to soak fibre without it collapsing or tree and plant roots taking over. Coconut husk fibre in particular needed to soak for most of a season before it could be hauled out and spun and woven. There was a plenty of husk about, which should make it one of her main fibre sources - but it wasn't workable without soaking.

She found a nice firm patch of ground off to the side of where she planned to put the house, set the tip of the spade into the ground, placed the ball of her foot on the top of the spade, and shoved. It went in smoothly enough, but the pressure of the bar made her glad for the protection of her boots. She leaned on the spade, levering it up with a load of soil on the blade. She tossed the soil to one side, but misjudged the angle and sprayed dirt everywhere. With a sigh, she stuck the spade into the soil again for another load. Getting the hole done was going to take a while, by the look of things.

She kept going, wrestling with arms and legs that ached in the unaccustomed actions. The hole got harder to work the deeper it went, and she ended up climbing down into it to get the last bit dug. She tossed the last spadeful of dirt out with a groan and dumped the spade onto the ground beside the hole. She leaned back against the wall of soil, planted her hands just back from the rim, and hauled herself up to sit on the edge of the hole as gawkily as she used to haul herself up to sit on the ship rails.

She wiped sweaty hands on grubby knees and was rewarded with a thin sheen of mud. She had to plan this out, she knew. She wasn't smart enough to do it on the run without a lot of mistakes and doubling back and extra work. She ticked points off on her fingers as she thought of them. She needed to put the spade away and fetch the bucket. She needed to fill the hole with water. It would probably take a lot of trips - she could maybe share that with Chaya, but they only had one bucket between them. It would probably be safer if she lined the walls of the hole with wood at some point, but that wasn't urgent. She needed to gather the coconut fibre together and bring it over to the hole. When the hole was full of water, she needed to dump the fibre in, which would probably make the water overflow.... Maybe it would be better to half fill the hole, add the fibre and then fill the rest? Always before it had been a barrel, not a hole.


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Holes and hulled nuts

Postby Ashka on November 12th, 2017, 10:03 pm

She sighed, and turned her head to stare out to sea. She wasn't sure they fitted in here any more than they had fitted in aboard ship, but at least they didn't fit in any less. She dropped her gaze to her canoe, her boat, all she had left of the sea. "Right," she told herself under her breath, "bucket and spade." She pulled herself the rest of the way out of the hole and plodded across the sand to put one away and collect the other. She cleaned the dirt from the spade, pulled off her muddy boots and set them aside to clean later, then stowed the spade in the tent. She ducked out again, looking for the bucket, and spotted it on the sand between the canoe and the firepit. She scooped it up, and kept going. There was plenty of water in the sea, more so than the little stream of drinking water that crossed her acres, so a saltwater soaking it would be.

It would, after all, get diluted next time it rained, as it probably would in the next day or so. For a moment she was tempted to just leave it and let the rain fill the hole instead of hauling the water by hand, but something inside her rebelled at that. It was her soaking pit. A tool of her trade, or would be. The fibre that came out of it was also going to be hers - and she wanted every step of the way to be hers too. If that meant she hauled her own water instead of doing it the easy way, so be it.

She bent and swept the empty bucket into the waves. The extra weight of the water as she lifted it again jolted her arm, but it pulled on a different set of muscles than the digging had. Water sloshed lightly up to and over the rim as Ashka trudged back to the hole. Runnels of it ran down her leg, leaving streaks in the dirt. At least, she thought dryly, liquid down the outer side of the leg couldn't be mistaken for anything else. She reached the edge of the pit and sloshed the bucketful of water into it, then looked in to see how many more she needed to haul, but the answer was more than she could easily calculate. She sighed, and went back for another load, carrying the full bucket with the other arm this time to even out the work and build muscles on both sides.

Quite a few trips later, both legs were soaked, the edge of the pit was splashed enough to go soft and muddy underfoot, and the pit itself was two thirds full. She dumped the latest bucket of water in, and stepped back cautiously off the slippery mud. Only when she was no longer in danger of falling in did she set the bucket down on the sand and stretch out her arms, rolling her head on her neck to ease the tension. One of her elbows cracked, then the other, and she turned to begin the next stage.

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Last edited by Ashka on December 9th, 2017, 3:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Holes and hulled nuts

Postby Ashka on November 25th, 2017, 10:14 pm

Ashka ducked into the tent and crawled along her bed to the corner where she kept her thread and fibre with her loom, spindle and other work tools. She had a number of coconut husks there and she began to pick them out of the pile. Other bits and pieces -belts, fishing line, thread for mending and weaving - were tangled around them and she kept having to stop and work them free. She didn't have the space or the storage to keep everything separate - at least not yet. Some day when she had the time to make containers, or the mizas to buy them - and somewhere to put them - she determined to make a better set up. Some day, when her house was complete and she had an entire section of it for a workshop instead of a cramped corner... She shook her head over her dreams. Wishes came true from work not from wanting.

She wound the fishing lines neatly, reminded that she wanted to take them up to the Mercantile to trade. The pile of coconut husk grew against her knees, and by the time she had all of it, there was a hefty armful there. She gathered it up and tried to crawl out, but with her arms not being available for support it was harder and she wavered unsteadily, and dropped half her load as she instinctively flung out an arm for balance. She called herself names under her breath in common and fratava, sat down with a bump, dropped her load entirely, and scrabbled for her sack instead. With a sack, she could drag it instead of trying to carry the pile in her arms.

She found the sack buried near the bottom of another pile and hauled it out. She shook it out and checked inside to make sure that it was empty - it was - before stuffing the coconut husk into it handful by handful. It turned out harder than she expected as the wiry fibers tended to bounce out once she let each handful go, and she found herself pushing the existing contents back in every time she added another handful. Finally, she scraped the last of the fibre off her bed with the side of her hand and dropped it into the sack. She twisted the mouth of the sack shut, then resumed her crawl out of the tent. It was easier this time and she made it without further problems.

Climbing to her feet, she dragged the sack out after her, got her balance on the shifting sand, and headed back along the hairline of the jungle towards the pit. The sack also banged against her leg, but unlike the bucket, it didn't leave a trail of its contents down her leg. Her shoulders and arms ached from the earlier work and she paused to shift the sack from hand to hand in a mostly futile attempt to ease the aches. The pit couldn't come too soon, and she picked her cautious way across the muddy patch to its edge.


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Holes and hulled nuts

Postby Ashka on December 9th, 2017, 9:29 pm

The weight and bulk of the full sack meant she had to lean the other way to balance it out and more than once her bare toes skidded on the mud and she wavered, arms flailing. Finally she reached the edge of the pit and grasped the sack in both hands. She opened the mouth of the sack and turned it over to shake the husk fiber out into the water. Some of the husk fell easily, in clumps and matted lumps. Its willingness to cling to other fibres, Ashka thought, boded well for when she came to spin it into thread. The lower part of the sack, where the husk had been repeatedly rammed back in as she filled it, was more reluctant to leave. Ashka shook the sack cautiously, not wanting to lose her balance and join the fibre in the soaking pit, but to no avail.

She growled a wordless sound of frustration deep in her throat and shifted her grip on the sack. When she had one hand tightly grasping one side of the mouth of the sack, she let go with the other hand and thrust it inside to haul out more clumps and knots of husk. Some of the stiffer, more wiry fibres felt almost scratchy against her fingers, but that was one more reason to soak them. The soaking would soften the fibres and ease that scratchiness.

Handful after handful dropped into the water of the pit until at last the sack was empty. She shook it briskly one last time to make sure and stepped back without enough caution. Her feet slithered in the mud, shot in different directions, and she fell full length with an inglorious splat! Muffled giggles erupted from where Chaya had been shell hunting down the beach, and Ashka felt her cheeks heat. She made a sound somewhere between a sigh and a groan and closed her eyes for a moment.

Since she could hardly get much muddier, Ashka rolled like a log across the mud until she hit dryer sand and only then sat up. The sand, sadly, stuck to the mud and damp all over her. Ashka sighed again, climbed to her feet and jogged across the remainder of the beach into the sea waves. She soaked and scrubbed most of the mud and sand from her skin and clothes, as she considered what else would be good to make. Something that would give her aching shoulders a break from lifting and hauling would be good, she thought, if she could think of one. Perhaps she should ask at the Mercantile? She could take the fishing lines there at the same time. She nodded to herself with approval. It wasn't that far from her chosen acres, and she needed to deliver the lines after all. She changed into dry clothes, spread the others over her canoe to dry, gathered up Chaya and the fishing lines, and headed along the beach towards the Mercantile.

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Holes and hulled nuts

Postby Ashka on December 10th, 2017, 6:48 pm

In the Mercantile, as Chaya bounced over to look at a row of metal pans ("I can see my face in them! Look, Ash, don't I look funny!"), Juli greeted the fishing lines with pleasure. "We have a number of people who like to fish, and the lines break, as you know. Now we can resupply when they ask. These are always going to be useful." Juli marked up the worth on Ashka's tally with a smile.

Ashka smiled back with one eye on Chaya, and asked, "Are there any other immediate needs that I can fill for someone? I might as well work on things that are urgent rather than things that are someone's maybe soon..."

Juli considered for a moment, her eyes staring into the distance. "Rainmere did mention she was getting low on plain thread," she said at last, "but I can't think of anyone needing things more urgently than that."

Ashka nodded, and thanked Juli, telling her they'd be back for food supplies soon, then caught Chaya's hand and drew her little sister reluctantly out of the shop. It looked like sewing thread was the order of the day. Ah well, she thought, at least it was finger work rather than shoulder work.

Back at their own patch, Ashka dug out her spindle, a leader thread, and a bundle of ramie fibre. She took them over to her canoe, and sat on the bow for extra height. Taking the leader thread, she tied it firmly to the spindle just above the disk of the whorl. Then she took the leader down over the edge of the whorl, wrapped it three times around the stubby end of the shaft that stuck out below the whorl, and then brought it back up, over the edge of the whorl, and up the length of the spndle to twist through the hook at the top.

With a twist of her fingers, Ashka set the spindle spinning clockwise. She laid two inches of fibre over two inches of leader, and watched the twist of the spindle and thread bind together the fibres into new thread. She let the new thread slide slowly through the fingers of one hand while adding more fibre to the open end of the thread with the other hand. Every so often she reached down and gave the spindle another twist to keep it going. If she didn't, then the spindle would spin back the other way and undo all her work.

The thread grew gradually longer and the spindle dropped lower. Ashka kept an eye on it. Just before it reached the ground, she caught the spindle, preventing it from unwinding. She took the thread off the hook, wound the new thread neatly around the shaft of the spindle, then took the last length of the thread and twisted through the hook to make a new leader for the thread. She set the spindle going once more, laid two inches of fibre over two inches of leader thread and the next length of thread began to take shape.

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Ashka
Spinning between two seas
 
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Holes and hulled nuts

Postby Gossamer on December 12th, 2017, 11:06 pm



Ashka


Experience: Planning +4, Body Building +3, Interrogation +1, Weaving +1

Payoff: A decent place to soak coconut husks, Trading Fishing Lines

Lore: Weaving: Preparing Coconut Husks For Weaving, Body Building: Wielding a Shovel, Weaving: Prepping Fibers For Use, Weaving: Making Sewing Thread

Note: I wish I could have given more weaving. I know she was doing stuff so she COULD weave in the future, but that didn't mean she was actually weaving in thread. Poor Ashka! She always gets filthy and doesn't seem to be having fun in the jungle with all that heavy lifting/dragging/physical labor. I'm trying to give you payoff for it though in a stronger body and being more fit overall. I gave you interrogation for your questions of the Mercantile. :)

Let me know if I left anything out!

Goss



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