Monday, May 27, 2013

More Firewood

I've been working hard to get all the firewood cut and split before rainy season begins in June. I'm a little over half way done.

This is a job which requires good tools. I'm using an older Stihl Chainsaw from the 1970s.  This was my father's old saw, which he generously had refurbished and gave to me.

I also bought these two Fiskars axes. One is a small hatchet and the other is a splitting axe. They're great tools. The oak that was delivered is very nice to work with and splits relatively easily.

Unfortunately it looks like rain is headed our way and will be around for a few days. Hopefully it will let up a little so I can get the all the firewood stacked and covered.

Sunday, May 19, 2013


We received a delivery of firewood. It needs to be cut and chopped, but hopefully it will be enough for next winter. The total cost including delivery was the equivalent of $380. Not bad.


We finally have our dining table put together.

We bought a Mutto Adaptable Table from DWR last year.

After sitting in my Sister's garage and then shipping it to Japan we were excited that we could finally use the table we had purchased long ago.
Much to our dismay the hardware was missing! Replacement parts had to travel from Europe to the States and then to Japan, we have no idea why the manufacturer couldn't send them directly... 
When the package finally arrived, we were short a few nuts and bolts. Luckily we were able to find the right sizes at the home center to complete the build.

Now we are happily enjoying using our big black table.

Monday, May 6, 2013

First Barbecue

Everybody in Japan has a week off in Spring, called Golden Week. So it was an opportunity to invite Yoko's family over for a barbecue. 

Luckily the weather cooperated and we all had a great time enjoying a mix of Japanese and American style barbecue food.

Gardening and Landscaping

Our most extravagant plan for landscaping (for now), is to put in a small lawn at the front of the house. We're finally seeing grass sprouts after watering diligently and waiting patiently.

Lawns are quite rare in Japan, so we're a little worried if it will be difficult to maintain during the HOT summer.
We want to build several raised planter beds for a vegetable garden, but we need to wait until the deck is built as the beds will interfere with the construction. So for now we just have a few herbs, a tomato plant and a cucumber plant in clay pots.

You can also see our Hydrangea and a new tree we planted.
We were given a baby Fig tree. We told Motoki it would be his tree. He's happy that for now he's bigger than it is. It will be many years until the tree has fruit, but by then, we told him, the tree will be bigger.
The entrance received some new plants and a potted Eucalyptus.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Toilet Paper Holder

The second floor bathroom finally gets a toilet paper holder installed.

Grandpa found this for us back in Vermont.

Homework Desk

This area downstairs was designed to be a workspace for kids to do their homework within sight of the Kitchen. We ordered some nice wood and I set to work putting this together. It was a pretty simple design which took just one afternoon to build.