Wednesday, February 16, 2011
We have now settled in to the first floor of the farm house, Caleigh has her room, which is for the most part decorated. Cindy and I have the back room on the northern side of the house, and our living room is multitasking as also the dining room and Kitchen. The Kitchen is continuing to be renovated, tomorrow I start grinding one inch deep rows in the wall that will be the route for the electrical wiring. Once the rows in the walls are cleared I will run flexible conduit for the wiring that will control switching and lights. After the conduit is fastened in the small trenches, I will connect either the light switch box, or the plug box, depending on location. What I am essentially doing is roughing in the electrical system, and then pulling in the wiring, after which my Electrician will connect the plugs, switches, and light fixtures. This also allows me to watch and learn then take on more of the mechanical system installation, kinda like give a man a fish and he will be fed for the day, teach a man to fish and he will be fed for life. I also have to complete the Kitchen plans for Tuesday afternoon, for my Electrician to review for pricing.
The kitchen remodel is progressing, and I feel as though I am getting more done on a daily basis. At this point most of the rough electrical is routed into the walls, all that remains is a couple last conduit runs, then I can attach the conduits to the stone troughs and fix them in place with a little plaster of paris. After the electrical is in place the fun stuff starts, I will start removing a portion of the stone wall which will allow me to depress the refrigerator into the wall about half way so it won’t be such an eyesore. We have finally found a window for the kitchen, it is round, not the oval I wanted but what the hell. Most of the ceiling track is in place, after the recessed spot lights have been placed, I can then screw the drywall to the metal tracks. Cindy and I are starting to look for base cabinets and a farmhouse sink, as we are getting to the point where we can start fleshing in the cabinets and wall finish. The small amount of plumbing should be installed this Saturday when our Plumbing / Electrical lead person is available for the day. Cindy spent the last two days stripping wallpaper, and has developed quite a knack for it, she will most likely tackle the remaining bedroom on the second floor, then we can hopefully detail it out, drop in some electrical upgrades, like plugs that work, and switches that will illuminate more than just a bare bulb, picky, picky.
I have made the observation that out nearest neighbor is too similar to Mr. Haney on the old Green Acres T.V. show, always showing up with advice and things or services for sale as he thinks we are deep pocketed Americans. I must admit there are times when I have the same attitude as Oliver Wendell Douglas, of the T.V. show; but do calm down as we are living our dream?
Friday, February 11, 2011
Sunrise hits the frost blanketed countryside in france like a double shot of expresso. The mist starts to rise instantly as the jolt of sunshine awakens the dozing colors. I am in awe as I return to the farmhouse, after dropping off Caleigh at her school bus stop. It has been striking me a lot lately, the quick change that the morning sun reeks upon the ancient landscape. It is a change that is almost instantaneous, it’s like East berlin before and after the wall was torn down, once grey and drab, then lit up after the capatalist colours of commercialism have bloomed.
Each day we are prepared for a certain list of tasks, then one thing or another will cause us to change direction, and focus on a new priotity, sure we are getting things done, but not in the logical manner we would have planned. We could start the day out with me planning to make a run to the hardware store that’s a half an hour away. Then as I’m walking to the car, the man that takes care of the property in exchange for his two draft horses staying on our property will arive, and inform me that he is here to remove the hay from one barn to another. So I stay to help out, and then a couple more hours are added on to that task by him helping us introduce our new loaner horse to his two horses. Cindy and I were interested in looking at a stove we saw for sale in the french version of craigslist, for one reason or a thousand, we weren’t able to meet with the seller, finally we made an apointment to drive the hour and a half away. We get there to look at a reasonabally priced stove, which to tell you the truth photographed really well, well we get there and Cindy is not sold completely. The man however has a lower garage full of appliances and there is this beautiful professional grade stove, twice the price. It honestly was not a bait and switch setup, he would go to Paris once a month and buy some nice new appliances at closeout prices and have really competitive priced equipment. Well since we had driven with a borrowed trailer to this mans shop, we bargained with him and were able to purchase the stove of Cindy’s dream. We got it home as the surreal light of dusk was getting ready for its sleep, knowing full well that tomorrow morning it would need all it’s strength to once again amaze a few lucky people with its trick of waking a lumbering ancient landscape in a flash of brilliance.
The photo above is of Caleigh and Jolten-"JoJo"
Monday, February 7, 2011
Just a quick update, our container, which has all of our comforts of home, crammed into it, is arriving in two days. We will see how the items fared. The kitchen remodel is coming along, I have pulled the wiring for the lights and switches, and will pull the outlets tomorrow. Then I can install the insulation, and put in the recessed lighting units. After that I can pull the T.V. cable and when time allows install the drywall ceiling. Today was me driving to the dump for three trips, it went as well as that chore could go, Cindy went for one trip. Then since we had the use of a borrowed trailer, I loaded it up with twenty bags of empty wine bottles the previous owner thought not to remove himself. I drove to the local recycling bin and deposited individually,617 empty fucking wine bottles, that I didn't even have the privelige of drinking. We are making a small amount of headway in our renovation of an ancient home that has forgotten how to be lived in, the heat takes awhile to warm up a room, the water heater has now started working with us, and the windows have been cleaned, and the view is clearer.