Sunday, June 30, 2013


Motoki's loft is finished.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


We love living near the water. The pond gives us such a peaceful view. It's also full of life, noisy bull frogs, ducks, and cranes, though no fish.

Recently it's been interesting to see how this algae (?) will form and create interesting patterns on the surface.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Loft Ladder

Construction on Motoki's loft will begin soon. So we went searching for a ladder.
We found a very nice vintage metal and wood ladder which is the perfect size.
The metal caps were a little loose, but luckily the wood was still solid enough to be repaired. I was happy to be able to use my new work space in the garage. Still no lights or doors but it's a nice convenient space to work in.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Garage Door Plans

We hope to have the garage doors built soon.

We decided on double swing out doors. The framing will be covered by a panel which we will paint.

Here is a look at the plans.

Deck Plans

We're getting close to a final design for our deck. We hope to begin construction in July.

Our deck is about 2.3m/8ft. tall so the frame will be made out of iron both for strength and longevity.

We decided to use Ipe wood for the deck. We considered WPC (Wood Plastic Composite) decking, but we preferred the natural feeling of the Ipe.
Ipe is incredibly strong and dense. It actually sinks in water!

Here is Yoko testing out the material.

Natural Ipe is a reddish color. To maintain the color takes yearly cleaning and oiling. If one decides not to oil the wood it will fade to a silvery grey.
We like the look of the weathered wood. So we think it will be a good choice.

Here is a look at the plans for the deck.

Thursday, June 6, 2013


This lawn is not big enough for any sports, but it looks nice and is keeping the slope next to the parking area in place. There is a similar size area I planted on the opposite side of the front steps.

I'm looking for push mowers now so I can cut the grass for the first time.

Kei Truck

In Japan most people drive a Kei designated vehicle. This limits the vehicle size and engine capacity resulting in lowered taxes and costs. Okayama is fairly agricultural so there are a lot of Kei trucks. I always wanted to drive one, and finally got a chance when we bought a couple of used shelves for the garage.

It wasn't as fun as I imagined, I wasn't comfortable sitting so high and close to the front (the engine is in the middle). But it served the purpose well.