Sunday, September 25, 2011

Girl Talk

On a recent afternoon I had tried calling a girl friend in hopes of finding someone to talk pencil drawings with me. She was out. I was at the Starbucks awaiting an oil change to my car. I sorted through my list and wondered what to do. Just before lunch my car was ready. I picked it up and headed to my husband's office. He was awaiting a lunch date previously scheduled. I was invited to join of course, but as we were heading out the Base gate my friend came along pushing her bicycle. I immediately ditched the boys and asked her if she had time for a chat. I told her, "I need to talk to a girl." Plus I knew with two boys at lunch, there would be no discussion of tile, layouts, or flow.

My friend sat through my bewildering explanation of the drawings and thoughts for our renovation, asking relevant and design provoking questions. I felt concerned and weighted down as I left her house. What to do? She made me realize that I did not have enough information about what we were adding or doing to make the best decisions. Plus a long chat was in order with my husband about house stuff- not what he is interested in doing after a long day at the office.

In an attempt to understand the layout of the addition, I got out the whiteout to see what would happen if I did this or that to the pencil drawings. Turned out the whiteout was really superglue. I ended up with superglue and paper stuck to my fingers for about a day. My husband was more amused by my paper endowed fingers than by the layouts presented. He refused, conveniently, to talk about layoutst until we had actual measurements from the builder. It made sense, but it wasn't helping my anxiety at spending money on a home renovation.

Finally, some where between obentos, undokai, and the weekend, my husband and I received the measurements from the builder and sorted through the myriad list of options for the renovation. Then, with grumbling from a reluctant husband who really just wanted to play his guitar, we were able to mark off the rooms on the floor. This was helpful for considering different layouts. I also forced him through a few photos of bathrooms to insure his compliance with color schemes and styles. There is more to do and more choices, but it is good to find common ground. The vagueness of the renovation had take up too much space within me. In cleaning up the confusion of the layout, I feel back to a more spacious place within me. You don't always realize what is taking over your life until you get another perspective.


  1. Dear Kim,

    Why don't you wait until you are there before decorating? I'm thinking that being in a state of intercontinental flux might not be the best for making these kind of decisions - that you'll have to live in (and look at) for quite a while! ;-) Do it bit by bit and spend the money slowly...


  2. Ahh, I wouldn't call tile and toilets decorating. This is a knock down this and do that kind of thing where you can't really live in the house. We are hoping for an improved layout and adding a bathroom as well as insulation, foundation support, and other stuff that needs to be done before we return. After that is done then perhaps we'll take it slowly as we contemplate the kitchen and just live with it for a time. It is a big job. I can't decide if its better to be away or if it would be better to be around but renting someplace and trying to store my belongings? It is what it is- it is going forward and all of these details are clogging up my brain!

  3. You are supposed to live in a caravan in the garden. :-) It is the Japanese way.

    Tile is definitely decorating, but toilets are perhaps more of a necessity. I hope you getting a nice Japanese squat version fitted?

    My Dad kind of built our house around our ears. Really it was his hobby. I don't remember the earliest part as they bought the house when I was due. I think they did the caravan thing for a few months, until it was habitable - they completely redesigned the rather small interior. Then rooms were added as required over the years. I remember Dad working on house jobs every weekend. Then there were big events like insulating into the loft, Mum and Dad up tiling the roof, foundations appearing, windows and doors moving. When the house was done, he got going on the outbuildings.

    Typically - here's Dad on his 80th birthday...


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