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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Busy, busy, busy

In between doing a gazillion other things, I managed to start remodeling our home. Since winter will soon be here, I need to have the wood stove up and running. I was told that it can get very cold in Tsukahara. It would be a shame to freeze to death during our first winter in Japan. In order to have a working stove, I need to tile the area where the stove will be placed. I cut all of the floor tiles, but I’m having difficulty finding acrylic thin set mortar. Finding anything that has to do with home maintenance is a challenge. In the U.S., I visited my nearby Home Depot or Lowes and they would have everything I needed. In Japan, I visited a home center in Oita City (45 minutes away)and they told me that only a specialist uses this or that. I would have to special order whatever I was looking for…good grief. An example of this nonsense was when I needed to purchase some mortar. They carry only tiny bags of mortar that could cover only a couple of tiles. The cost was 2000 yen. To make matters worse, the grout only came in two colors…gray and white. The person working at the home center didn’t have a clue about using mortar or laying tiles. He tried to sell me a bag of concrete and told me that only specialists use thin set mortar. “Normal people” use concrete. Fortunately, my neighbor’s son works for Diawa House and he brought over some beige colored grout. The color matched our tile perfectly. I’m still working on purchasing mortar.

The chimney pipe also requires installation. A huge scaffold is resting next to our home waiting for me to climb all over it. The plan is to install the chimney pipe before the tile. I’ll need the scaffolding to get near the chimney so the pipe can be secured. Once the pipe is secured, I can install the tile. The stove comes next, then the stove pipe. After all of that fun is complete, it will be time to build a wood storage shed. I also need to install fencing for the yard so that the dogs can play outside while we are away from home. Somehow, I need to find time to repair the leak under the blue tarp that has been hanging on the side of our home for the past year. To complicate things, I need the scaffolding to repair the leak, but I only have two weeks left to use the stand. The mountain weather is unpredictable and it’s hard to determine when a clear day will occur. The best I can do is to keep busy and to get as much done as I can. Did I say I was busy?

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