Friday, October 23, 2009


I am not the handyman in our family but there are some times when I can't get Tetsu to do something and end up doing it myself. Yesterday was one of those days.

We have lived in our house for 17 years. Besides cat wear and tear, just living in this house for that long a time means that things are going downhill but Tetsu doesn't really want to get involved in repairs. In general, Japanese do not do a lot of do-it-yourself work around the house and Tetsu doesn't believe that one can really re-wallpaper or re-tile something etc.

"Sure you can! You just have to have the right tools and a little motivation."

Well, he doesn't have the right tools except for a hammer and saw, and Tetsu doesn't have a lot of motivation either. I have suggested hiring someone but he isn't too thrilled with that idea either. Too expensive. So we live in our house with holes and stuffing hanging out.

We have carpet going up the stairs and over the years everyone bounds up 9 steps, makes a sharp turn at the middle landing and bounds up another 3 steps. Same going back down. And everyone must make their turn at the SAME spot because the carpet wore out just there. The carpet wore out, the padding wore out, the lining wore out. We were down to bare wood!

"Tetsu, can't we fix this carpet somehow? Don't you think it is about time we re-carpeted the upstairs?"

"Do you know how much that would cost? Not while we're putting kids through school."

So the hole kept getting bigger and bigger. I threw a mat over the hole. I grumbled to friends (sorry Tetsu) that my husband didn't mind living in a threadbare house.

The other day one of my friends called to say that she was renovating her house and they had torn up the carpeting in her hallway. It still looked pretty good and she remembered my grumbling so did I want any of it.

Gulp. Well... I didn't think Tetsu would be too pleased with another job to do and one that didn't involve hammering and sawing. Could I do it myself? On Wednesday I went over to my friend's to look at the carpet pieces and had the carpenters there chop off a piece, along with the under padding, for me to take home. Yesterday I got to work.

What a breeze! Why have we been waiting 5 years to fix the carpet? Of course it was a small area but with an Exacto knife and hot bond I had a cushiony carpet on the landing and no hole! The carpet match wasn't bad either! Of course not many people see the landing but it makes me smile to have the hole gone.

This morning Tetsu noticed my handwork and was amazed at the results.

"Great work, Tanya! I didn't think it could be done!"

I have more carpet holes but since the cats are actively widening them I think they don't need my attention right away. But when they do, I'll know I can do it!

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