Sunday, 15 March 2009

Typhoon Sunday

Actually the day went very well. Hub had Shou outside helping him weed the grass this morning before going to the park, a construction site and to see the ferry come in and then leave again. They came home, we had lunch and then all had a wee nap.

Hub got a wee lecture from Granny K because we had locked the front door before all going upstairs for a nap - I do this anyway, and unless the day is really muggy will quite often keep the front door locked regardless of where I am in the house. I've seen my share of crazy people so I feel safer knowing that anyone that wanted to come in is going to have to spend at least three minutes having to bypass the locked front door before realising that Granny K's door is always wide open.

The priest from next door was coming over to do some chant rant prayer thing at the family alter - ohigan for those in the know. Don't know what that translates to - something about the coming of Spring. He was meant to come on the 20th but is busy so it was sorted that he would come today - after lunch. Hub and I both knew he was coming but didn't know when. Granny K usually does this kind of stuff anyway - the phonecall came for her and she decided the time. When the doorbell rang we were upstairs napping and the majority vote was that we wouldn't get out of bed to answer the door - what with both of us not remembering that it was probably the priest and well, me not being in a state of dress to readily jump out of bed and run downstairs - not because of anything naughty mind you, just gets less and less comfortable sleeping in trousers when you have a big belly. Jumping and running are no longer on my list of things I can do anyway.

So, after the second ring I do actually venture slowly downstairs to see the back of the priest as he is walking back next door. After first checking Granny K's room I then ask hub to ring her. Turns out she was out in her sewing shed - she thought she would wait out there so she wouldn't miss him. However, it wasn't her fault - despite knowing exactly what time he was coming, it was our fault for locking the door. SIGH. Priestman was called back and chanted away downstairs while we napped.

Other than that and about five other seconds we didn't see Granny K all day - nice happy family day. Although the five seconds she did show up she made a point of telling Shou how mummy had put a lock on her door because she didn't want him playing with her.

Bugger, shit, bitch and more sighing.

Ah well, probably brought a bit of that on myself.

Just to clarify the house situation - as I realise it all started before my blog did and I don't know how much I have written before...

The house that was standing here when I first met hub was the original family home - Hub and both of his brothers were born here - literally. It was Hub's father's family land. Granny K came here as the 'daughter in law' from the next town over. I say that like that because it was an arranged marriage and she had only met her husband to be on two or so previous occassions.

When we started seeing each other - and during our first year of marriage, I would come up every third weekend or so and hub would come the other weekends to Beppu - where I was living and working. We spent more time at my place for obvious reasons - Granny K, and the fact that Beppu is a city and we could go out for meals, to the pub etc. Hub and his previous family had built two extra rooms that were attached to the main house. There was a room for the family to sleep in (him, his wife and two children), and a living room with a couch, TV, and fridge etc.

When I came up we would spend most of our time down there and Granny K hardly ever came down that way.

When we decided to get married I told hub that the current house was just a bit too old for me - the toilet was a hole in the ground and down the end of a long scary hallway occupied by various oversized insects and vegetables. The kitchen was unthinkable - with a two gas burner and a bench the size of a small chopping board. Had it been clean I could have copped but it was crusted over with all sorts of unimagineable shite. In summer cicadas would come in and get so lost they would sing in some dark dingy corner behind the stove or something for days.

So, It was decided that we would reform the house - as, and this might be hard to believe, I actually did like the idea of leaving up the 'family home'. There was some awesome big beams and great sliding doors etc. The builder however said all the wood was infested and it would cost more to reform than to knock down and re-build.

Just to point out here - that had we lived in the house as it was we would have had to have rebuilt within less than five years anyway - and I would not have lasted that long.

So, the old house was knocked down and the new house was started. The plans for this house were done by all three of us - I insisted on some things - like a counter kitchen and separate rooms for the kids upstairs. I also got completely bulldozed on other things - like Granny K wanting two tatami rooms because that was what all rural houses had and we would need the space for the 17 year anniversay of the death of hub's dad (so in other words, for a total of about five hours). I also lost the I want a shower upstairs battle and the 'we don't need that door going out from the kitchen' battle. A lot of other small battles that I had won I realised I actually hadn't when I would come up in the weekends to see how things were going and realise that Granny K had told the builder different to what was on the plans - a few things about upstairs too and she wouldn't even be going up there!!

Added note - I am grateful for Granny K being here though throughout the building process. She was here to give them their morning tea and keep an eye on things - something that, as she liked to tell me quite often, should have officially been my job. In hindsight I should have quit my job six months early and come up then.

After we got married hub bought the family land off his two older brothers - I think he paid something like 25 man (NZ$4500) to each brother. By the sounds of it they were relieved to be rid of it.

So, the land is now all in hub's name and the house is ours - and I say ours because Granny K does not pay for anything and apart from the big gold alter, didn't contribute anything of our huge thirty year loan. No, she isn't working but she still gets her pension and has hardly any of her own expenses.

Two weeks into living in the same house we had barney number one - full on ricky lake bitch fight without the fists. Needless to say I was pregnant at the time ;p
I took some of my savings from NZ and we knocked out a wall to her room and added a kitchen so we wouldn't have to share one. From that point on it was decided that she would have her separate space and we would have ours. Somewhere after Shou was born the black and white turned to grey and things started going pearshaped.

So thats the long of it!! Some people would say that this was still more her place than mine but I feel the opposite.

Hub has been trying very hard lately - and this morning told Granny K, of his own accord, to just get away and go back to her room or where ever it was she was going. He had just told Shou off for throwing something and had put him on the stairs for time out. Shou was nutting out and Granny K came to investigate at the exact same time that I was bringing Marina down the stairs. She tried to laugh and play with Shou over the side of the stairs. Hub sent her on her way - probably because he knew that if he didn't I would have :)

Well, I am off for an earlyish night. The bunster has been head butting me all day and I think I need to get in one position and stay that way for a while.

I took a great pic today of Marina with the cake tin on her head. She was trying all the baking equipment on for size and found the cake tin was just right. I still haven't got the camera cord though so that pic, like all the others lately, will have to wait.

Sweet Dreams, Good Health & Quiet Living


thefukases said...

That's all?

Are you all OK?

Hope it's just a typo.....

gaijin wife said...


Sorry, pressed return instead of tab from the title window.

thefukases said...

Ok now I have to reply again- it looks terrible after your post that I write 'That's all?' :0

I understand complicated living arrangements. My friend A has a similar set up and the other siblings come and go via Granny's entrance and won't even say hello so she never knows who's in the house. No thanks!

Hope everything works out quickly and painlessly for you. :)

gaijin wife said...

I wouldn't mind a bit of pain if it was just quick - or was that my thoughts on childbirth?

Ariako said...

"Hub and his previous family had built two extra rooms that were attached to the main house. There was a room for the family to sleep in (him, his wife and two children), and a living room with a couch, TV, and fridge etc."

So your husband must be older than you is he? And do you ever see his kids from the previous marriage?

Girl Japan said...

SO sorry for my preying questions, but I thank you for explaining the situation to me.. and I don't know what to say-- I think you and your family deserve to be happy, I wonder if the older brothers would help kick in an apt for Granny K?

illahee said...

i understand now why you can't really ship granny k to her own apartment. *sigh* too bad, though. at least you have the land.

gaijin wife said...

Ariako - yes, hub is eleven years older than me. Unfortunately, like a lot of Japanese divorce situations, hub does not get to see his children. I am hoping that now that they are getting a bit older that they will want to come and visit. The deal was that hub would not try and contact them but that they would always be welcome here. They live with their mother in the next town over.

GJ - I have also made my thoughts clear on the shared responsibility with the other two brothers - not to them but to hub. He seems to think it wouldn't be right to get them to help pay for things - when it comes to that. I can't see his thought logic in this - especially as he was the one that had to quit university to come back to Kunimi to live with his mother when their father got hoispitalized. Personally, I think the brothers owe him big time. But I'm just a gaijin so what do I know :p

Sara said...

Wow so interesting to read about your situation and all your renevations on the house. That really stinks that you got stuck with Granny K despite the two brothers being around as well.

If she does go "senile" will you be shipping her to a rojin home? I know that sounds horrible but with three little ones around I can't imagine you'd welcome a "forth" with open arms.

gaijinwife said...

Sara - Definately off to the home when she can't cook for or bath herself. And of course if she starts going completely batty. More than she already is that is!! But, what with the number of people her age all lining up for a place there is the possibility that when it comes time for it we won't be able to get her a place straight away. SIGH.

Lulu said...

Oh wow- I understand now why you can`t just kick her out. Damn hey!

I would love love love my own home though (with a yard it sounds like too, lucky!)- definitely a dream of ours.

Although if it happens in Chiba then it won`t be very big, and won`t have much land but a house is a house!

Would hub put granny K in a home if she went senile? I suppose there are positive to having her there (ie, she can watch Marina if you need her too!) but I can understand why it would drive you INSANE!

Girl Japan said...

You are a far better woman than I, I would have told hubs to take a pick, her or me but with children, it is not that easy-- someone is going to BREAK soon.. but I hate hearing how much of a pain this is for you... it makes me angry for you....

I just hope you can somehow put "YOU" first, you sure have endured a lot of crap, and the brothers not stepping up to the plate.. shame on them...

I don't know what advice to offer other than what I would do.. throw a fit, leave... and I know those are not REAL options for you but I can offer you a place to come to if you need to or want to take a break, have fun, enjoy a mini-vacation.

= )