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Friday, September 1

Lifestyles of the Rich and the Famous

Everything is put away all neat and tidy in its specific nook and cranny which leaves me with the time, and no more excuses, to write about the house itself. I will not however be posting pictures of the outside on the internet because I don't really enjoy the thought of stalkers trying to kill me dead when Kimono Hubby isn't looking. So if you want to see the outside and area around me, I will send that out via another method. Please just ask! Now if you will follow me for the grand tour...

But before you enter, kindly ring the doorbell and wave hello in the little camera! I will check you out, chat you up and then decide if you look save enough to be let in. Let me be honest though... these days I leave the door hanging open half of the day so just about anyone can walk in. Not smart, I know, but there are so many worker bees milling about that I get tired of answering the door each time. (Stop yelling, mom-s. I promise I will stop this practice as soon as they hook up my TV the way I instructed.) As you can see, our intercom panel has many interesting buttons to push. However, I only know how to turn it on and off. Eventually I will take the time to learn what those other silly side buttons do. Eventually.

As you come in the front door, you enter into a recessed entryway. Japanese people do not wear shoes in the house and you will not be able to do so here. In most houses, slippers will be provided but since we can't find any that fit our monster feet, we just traipse around barefoot for the time being.

One of the more fabulous features of the Japanese home is the number and size of the closets. For instance, downstairs, there are five excessively large closets. One I use as a pantry, one like a linen closet, another a coat closet, and last but hardly least is the most fabulous of them all... two floor to ceiling shoe closets. These were meant to hold all of the shoes for the entire family of eight living in the house. I have found that I have used one entire closet to myself. Kimono Hubby sadly filled only two shelves of his closet so I have since stripped him of the other shelves and use them as I see fit. And that isn't to buy him more shoes either. He doesn't wear half of what he has now. There are a few concepts I am intending to bring forward into my next home back in the States. This closet is one of those things. Do you know, when the movers were putting these away, they referred to me as Imelda Marcos? I don't think they were having as much fun putting them away as I did buying them.

As you leave the entryway, you will find yourself in the living room/dining room combination. To fill space, yes that is a 40 inch flat screen high def TV that Kimono Hubby purchased. After he set it up and stared into the void of Sopranos DVDs that consumed him for an afternoon, I asked him what he thought of his big new and expensive toy. His response... "it's alright." Once I released him from a death-grip choke hold, he had the sense of mind to sputter out that he was just kidding. Next time we want to spend that kind of money, I know a pair of diamond earrings that will suit the bill just fine. And I won't give him such a flippant response.

Past the dining room is the kitchen. This room is in the back of the house and has a tiny Japanese person sized escape door out of it. I have to turn sideways to go through. (Sometimes, the construction here really does nothing for my self esteem issues.) But the room is lovely and white with tiled countertops and flooring. The cabinets are a bit interesting. For people so short, they are mighty high. It takes me a step ladder to reach anything further up than the first shelf. We did manage to get an American sized refrigerator (not pictured on the left with vast empty wall space where things that have found no home lay in asylum on the floor... we are buying more storage next week... hopefully) and an American stove. With regards to the stove, if you come over for Thanksgiving, I am pretty sure that even though it says it is an American sized oven, only a cornish hen could fit. However, I haven't seen any poultry since we got here so it looks like a further downgrade will be necessary to Thanksgiving pork. Yum.

What you can't see under the sinks are the five trash cans. Yes, five. Labelled plastic, burnable, tin & bottles, nonburnable, and recycled paper. There are more categories of recycling but I can't stand the thought of those so I will simply deny their existence. Should they ever show up in my house, I will simply throw them on the front porch and let them rot like they do in West Virginian. Seriously, the Japanese are some recycling fools! Each different type of trash is picked up on a different day of the week which sucks for the person of the house responsible for taking the garbage out, *cough* KH. And get this. If you sort your trash incorrectly, the trash men will put a sticker on it and leave it where they found it. If that happens, you have to bring it home and resort it and put it out the following week. Like hell, I say. If I get a sticker, I'm going to don dark shades and a wide-brimmed hat and take the bag down to the base and drop it there. They only have two types of sorted trash and even I can sort that much.

Happily, we do have a microwave of sorts though I haven't made it work properly yet. And sadly, there is no dishwasher. For the first time in my life, I wash dishes. And. I. Hate. It.

On the wall of the kitchen, there is a panel that controls turning the hot water on and off and also the temperature for the entire house. There is also an extra button to fill the bathtub. From the kitchen. I'm not sure the necessity of this. I did make up a good story which I told my mom and I think she bought it but I can't remember what it was about now. (Hi, mom! Love you!)

Beside the kitchen is a room with a sink, a bathroom sink, and your washer and dryer combination and then a separate shower room. I love the showers here but fear the bathtub. The tub looks like it would be waste high if I stood in it so I just stay clear of it because everyone knows I can't swim. To shower, there is a hose that you can hook onto the wall; in two places so the wee tots can reach too. The Japanese soap up and shower before they get into the bathtub because once the bath is filled, the whole family uses the same water... for soaking purposes only. So you better be clean before you get in. There is even a little spout below the shower hose that you can rinse your feet off. At least that is what I propose it is for because it is too dang low to have any other virtual purpose. Remember that water temperatures are controlled by the panel in the kitchen or there is also one on the shower wall. I keep the control in the kitchen because I have a small evil streak and can be easily amused with KH's shreiking.

The toilet is a separate room and have no fear... it is mostly normal. It is a western toilet that everytime you flush, the little sink on top pours out water for you to wash your hands with. Because there is no sink in the toilet room. This actually kind of bothers me because I don't like having to walk down the steep stairs at night to refill my water glass. And there is no way I am drinking toilet water. I know it is clean water in that one part of my brain, but the other crazy part will just never let it go. (Oh! Did I tell you yet... push up on handle means big flush, down means little flush? How simple was that?)

The second thing I will be bringing back to a home in the States is the bidet action. Oh how lovely it is! The button on the right is for women... hits all the right places. The middle two can be used by anyone. And the orange on is to make it stop. The bottom buttons are for water pressure and I have those babies cranked. Wipe off that disgusted look from your face. The Europeans have been doing this for years and I finally know exactly why.

Up the steep stairs to the second floor and there isn't much excitement here. There are two bedrooms on the right although one is used for the sole purpose of office space until we need to have a second bedroom available. Straight ahead is another toilet room (hate that word still). And on the left is the master bedroom. All of the bedrooms have cathedral ceilings which I just can't get enough of that open and airy feeling they allow. There is one big closet in the hallway and each smaller bedroom has a closet bigger than my walkin at our condo. Kimono Hubby uses one of these, and yet again, he sadly can't fill it properly. In the master bedroom however, there is a walkin like I have never experienced before. And it is full! Of my beautiful stuff! The door opens and clothes line either side through the deep closet. I could share with Kimono Hubby but what is the need when there are so many other massive closets for him to choose from. And we don't share well anyway.

Lastly, there is a bacony off of the spare bedrooms that overlooks the street, or what back home we would call and alley. Above the houses in front of us, far to the left and right, are lush green mountains. Scenery just like Kimono Hubby wanted! We just pretend it is Mt. Fuji herself. The beach is to the right of the mountain but we can't see that as it is a bit of a drive.

Thus completes our tour of the Kimono's mansion. We thank you for spending time with us today on Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous! We had such a wonderful time and we hope you did too!

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