Summer 2016

Summer 2016
Summer in Tsukahara

Spring in Tsukahara

gkimbal's Spring in Tsukahara album on Photobucket

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Preparing for winter

It looks like phase 3 of the remodel will be delayed until next spring. The contractors have been very busy. We were hoping to get a new roof, siding, veranda, front entry, slider door to the future sun room, and a few other things, but it will have to wait. We’ve waited four years so another 5 months isn’t a big deal. Actually, it will give me a little extra time to get the observatory built. If the timing is right I can have the roofers install a roof on the observatory and the house. That would save us some money. We’ll see how it goes. Erika gave me the “thumbs up” to begin construction on the observatory in March.

I’ve been preparing the outside of the house for winter. All of the gaps have been caulked. The siding and deck have been stained. I also installed gutters on the remodel. The outside of the remodel needs to be painted, but that will have to wait until the rest of the house has had new siding installed. In Japan, taxes are scheduled to increase from 8% to 10% next year. We want to have the remodel completed before the tax increase.

I’ve been installing a perimeter fence over the past few months. The deer have been getting out of hand. Hopefully, the fence will deter the deer from entering the property, but I’m not counting on it.    George

The siding has a new coat of stain

Rain gutters are installed

Perimeter fencing
The deer are not afraid of us or the dogs. They completely destroyed Erika's garden , the Japanese maples, and all of the fruit trees. I seriously doubt a fence will keep them out, but we have to try something.

The veranda and entry will be replaced and completely renovated. More on that later...

The roof and chimney will be replaced. 

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Urgent! Please read

Erika brought this to my attention and urgent action is needed. I had no idea that in Japan unwanted dogs and cats are being gassed to death. The animals are then burned before they are even pronounced dead. This inhumane treatment of animals must be stopped. 

Please take a few minutes to sign the petition to stop gassing unwanted pets. 

The petition can be found here (English) or here (日本語). Thank you for your help.



Friday, October 2, 2015

Fourth Year

Yes, it’s been four years since we started our new life in Japan. I find that as time passes, I appreciate where we live and what we have accomplished even more. The honeymoon phase is over and real, everyday life has settled in. Yeah, I know...the same old stuff. Well, not exactly. The main differences are that we chose where and how to live. Those two differences have been critical in shaping our thoughts and attitudes. Speaking only for myself, my life here is much more enjoyable and relaxed. Many of my previous aches and pains I suffered from in the U.S. have magically disappeared after moving here. I'm guessing it has something to do with having to deal with less stress. Perhaps I'm enjoying life a little too much? Much of the stress has fallen onto Erika's shoulders. I won't go into any details, but I'll say that Erika is very busy.

For the past year, the blog has been dominated with remodeling news. Hopefully, the remodel will reach a point to where I can take a break. I know it's wishful thinking as I have a gazillion projects waiting to get started. For example, Phase 3 of the remodel will transform the exterior of the house into something completely different. I'm not exactly sure what the "makeover" will look like, but it should eliminate all of the exterior maintenance and leaks. That's saying a lot considering how much work it takes each year to keep the log house from rotting and falling over. I can guarantee you that the outside will not look anything like the inside. Curious? Stay tuned...      

As always, thank you for reading our blog. You are encouraged to comment on any of the posts. It's been a great four years and I'm looking forward to continuing to share our life at Home Sweet Home with you. Cheers!       George

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Autumn BBQ

We had a few adult students over for a BBQ this past weekend. Ryosuke, Miyuki’s son, also joined in the festivities. After giving a quick tour of the remodel, we sat down for some food, beer, and wine. Ryosuke spotted a deer in the bushes. Later, Kirasan, Eiko, Ryosuke and I took a short walk to see Kirasan’s farming skills. Yosuke and I continued our walk with the dogs around Tsukahara. As always, roasting marshmallows was a big hit. I think Yumiko enjoyed that activity the most. Ryosuke was kind enough to show us his dancing skills. I think it was called, “Kagura”. When I worked in Shonai, I remember several teachers talking about Kagura. It’s a form a Shinto theatrical dance. It’s amazing that Yosuke (or anyone for that matter) could remember all of the dance moves. 

We had lot's of laughter, food, entertainment, and conversation. All in all, I think everyone had a delightful time. 

The BBQ started at 3pm. Everyone tried to speak in English, but...

...after a few beers and wine, who cared.

Kiley enjoyed her bone

and so did Lucky

The BBQ winded down a little past 7pm. 
I want to give Miyuki a special “Thank YOU!” for coordinating the event. She took care of all the details and designed a really nice flyer…in English.          George