Friday, August 24, 2007

Keeping up with the Joneses? (or my brother?)

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!


Tazzie said...

Aren't kitties amazing? They can get into such unexpected places! I can't wait to see how your room rejuvenation goes - there is a lot of it going on in blogland right now!

rumi said...

Wow! What a great project! I am really looking forward to seeing the renovated room. You must be so busy this weekend. I hope both you and Tetsu won't get too tired. Good luck!

rumi said...

The cat is sooo cute!! Is that Lemi? She is really a super model!
I love the picture.

Holly said...

I'm looking forward to seeing the completed project. I'm excited for you.

Lazy Gal Tonya said...

What a cutie pie in her box.I hope the room decor looks (and smells) just the way you want it to! good luck.

Quilt Pixie said...

carpet tiles are so great! Absolutely the way to go and not too hard to install. I'm sure you'll be fine :-)

Bellydancingknitter said...

Good luck with the reno!

Shelina said...

This looks like a wonderful project. I hope that the remodeling goes smoothly and quickly for you.
I am amazed at the amount of remodeling that Americans do, especially when it is just to change furniture around and decorate for the seasons.
When I bought my house though, I did decide that I would update / upgrade something every year, so that the house was in proper shape for selling, rather than waiting until I was ready to sell to update things. This also makes it more affordable to do something every year. When I had a good paying job, I budgeted $1,000 for repairs and $1,000 for upgrades every year.

Laurie Ann said...

Good luck! I hope it all goes smoothly.

Beth said...

I always wonder if God had "household projects' in mind when he gave Adam a "helpmeet!" With some minor projects, I embarassed to say I wait for my husband to go on a business trip and do it myself!

meggie said...

I burst out laughing when I saw your cat!
Good luck with your renovations. I know the dangers. Having a sense of humour is the most important accessory you can have- even if you have to sneak out to laugh behind the partner's back!! LOL.

anne bebbington said...

Oh Tanya - I wish you luck - the only really serious row Nigel and I have ever had was over laying a carpet in Sarah's bedroom when she was a little dot - he was convinced he was doing it right and standing in the doorway looking at it all from a distance I could see that he needed to adjust things but would he listen - OH NO! - the next time it was well worth spending extra on the fitter to save the marriage. Mind you he did put the carpet tiles in the conservatory without incident - a much easier job. As you say just smile and offer encouragement, biting your tongue is often a good strategy at times like this :o)

Quilting Journey said...

Way to go, Tanya! I dearly love my 3 cats...but boy, do I understand! Is your little cat hiding in anticipation of all of the remodeling fun?

Jeanne said...

Best of luck with the new flooring. I'm sure the kitties will love it - a whole room full of soft.

teodo said...

Your room will be wonderful,I'm waiting for pics.
ciao ciao