Hopefully this is going to be the last picture you see of these Japanese tatami mats. Tomorrow, Tetsu and I are going to try to put down carpet tiles.
I came back from the States two weeks ago and walked into the Japanese room to be met with a smell. The smell has been around for awhile but believe me, a month of heat, dampness, unrestrained cat habitation and closed windows had made it extreme. (Sorry for any of you squeamish people.) I have mentioned before that though Japanese tatami mat rooms are beautiful and convenient, they are a bit of a mistake if the owner has cats, and we have four. Sooo.... A couple of days after coming back to Japan I put my foot down and made some declarations!
"Tetsu, there is no way I can use that Japanese room any longer. The smell is too bad. We have lived in this house nearly 15 years and have never changed those mats. I am not out of line to insist that we make some changes!"
Tetsu sighs. "You've been to America. You've seen your brother's nice house and the changes he's made there. Now you want to start fixing up ours."
"Unfair!! It is not just my brother's house. People in America are constantly renovating and re-painting or re-carpeting or doing something for the up-keep of their homes! Our house just sort of sags into disrepair! There are only three weeks left til summer vacation is over. I'm going to hire someone to come and take out the tatami mats and put down flooring." (Then at least I can wipe up after the cats.)
"We can't afford that. I'll do it."
"Ha! You always say that but you don't have time (or know-how.)"
"No, this time I really will. It will save a lot of money."
Last Saturday we went to a interior and housing superstore and checked out options. How does one put in flooring? How about linoleum? How about carpeting? How about carpet tiles? Yeah! They lay down easily. They can be removed one at a time to be cleaned. They can be replaced in spots. We decided that is the way to go.
Today, my job is to get everything out of the bookcase and off the computer desk and tomorrow we will move any other furniture out of the room entirely. Tetsu is planning go go to the hardware store and buy enough lumber to put a heavy foundation for the floor in and Sunday he hopes we'll be able to lay down the carpet tiles. (which we've already bought! We're committed to this project!) I can foresee irritation and arguments tomorrow but I will try to be a sweet, helpful wife and keep him plied with ice cold drinks and praise. I may not get around to blogging tomorrow but keep me in your thoughts (27 years of marriage is at stake!) Maybe Monday I can show you a carpeted Japanese room!
This is what greeted me when I took a look at the bookcase this morning. Scared me out of my wits! I didn't know she could get in there!