Hi, everyone. We're still alive over here. And... exciting things happening at Matsu House!
As I write, this is going on:
That's right! Keith and Mr. Inoue are plastering the tea room wall with 珪藻土 (keisoudo). This is so exciting. They finished the floor back in December, just in time for Mom and Dad's visit (because the tea room is also the guest room). However, with everything going on at church, we continued on with bare drywall for eight months.
Meanwhile, a few other improvements have taken place.
All the finishing touches on the bathroom "vanity" cabinet. Dad made and installed the cabinet and cut the other pieces to size. Keith did the wiring and installed the mirror and the light fixture (which Dad made), then did the tiling and put up towel hooks and rings.
Dad made the over-toilet shelf, and after we painted the room, Keith installed it. I picked out the plant.
We also solved a design problem with art. Our house was made for short people. The doorways are short (anyone taller than Keith has to duck), and the original kitchen and bathroom counters were short. What's worse, there were windows in the doors to the toilet room and the bathroom--right at our eye level. Most Japanese houses have tiny windows in bathroom doors, so you can see if the light is on inside... but those are tiny, a lot higher, and have opaque glass. So... we commissioned our friend, Hannah Schmidt, so paint tiny pictures to put in the windows. The light still shines through (and the pictures look really cool backlit) and now we can pee in privacy. Hannah copied photos I took of aka-matsu (red pine) trees on the Tohoku coast.
Keith made me a nice shelf for the laundry room, and hooks to hang stuff. Before it was all out in the front hallway.
We now have a shelf in the kitchen for cookbooks.
Mr. Inoue made us some gorgeous stools for our bar counter back in December. Unfortunately, we never managed to sand and finish them, so they sat around for months... until July! This is my contribution: I sanded and finished them. Now our friends can hang out in the kitchen with us and have a cup of tea or something while we finish cooking the meal!
And last but not least, Keith put this up on our front door. In case anyone had any doubts as to who lives here...
More to come, after the tea room walls are finished!