Sunday, May 29, 2011

around the clubhouse turn

Monday May 30, 2011;
We have a couple honeymooning in Petit Clos for a couple days; I didn’t get their bath finished due to septic and plumbing issues. They agreed to be test samples, and were really understanding and patient about it. We went to the market at Issigeac with them; it is the most beautiful market town within a 50 kilometer radius. Gary and Susan are on their final week here (Cindy’s mother and Step father) I was so happy they had a chance to go to Italy for a couple weeks as they had been keeping up with Cindy and I on our nonstop seven day work weeks. We had imposed a drop dead date for the second floor bedrooms and one bath room that unfortunately didn’t happen, the rooms were mostly complete, but the bathroom was not functional. Cindy and Susan had been working doing days and days of prep work on the rooms and then finished off the painting, the results are incredible, Gary has been running so many nonstop projects as well. I don’t think there would have been any chance of getting the results we’ve achieved without their eye for perfection. It will need another week and a half to complete it, and then we will finish the upstairs hallway and then start the downstairs hall. That should finish the business aspect of the house, and then we will remodel the first floor bath, and finish with Cindy’s and my room. (Same room)
Yesterday after the market we dropped off Caleigh and Theo at a lake nearby to be with friends, Cindy and I both loved it, so we drove home and picked up our swim costumes and headed back with a pick nick basket. It was the most refreshing afternoon we’ve had in four months, the water was clean and cool, we had rose’ on the beach and relaxed. Everywhere around us families were enjoying their day together, Caleigh and Theo joined us, pretty nice.
When we arrived home at seven Marissa and Eric (the honeymooners) were in the kitchen preparing a meal with fresh ingredients from their day at the market, he is a chef in a really nice restaurant in Napa Valley, and they prepared the most incredible meal. As an example, he prepared a side of mashed potatoes that had celery root, prosciutto, herbs and spices that would have been a main entrĂ©e in most places. The goose and chicken were also out of this world. It was cool to have the kitchen really broken in with a legitimate chef, Cindy’s cooking is phenomenal, but it was nice to get feedback from a professional.
The remainder of this week will be completing the rooms and bath, taking loads to the local dump, and finishing up the electrical for the house. So close but yet so far.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

small assortment of unfinished entries-spring cleaning

A collection of uncompleted posts that I thought I would pass on, but probably should have passed on?
Thursday morning, all the kitchen needs at this point is:
Detail the ceiling with small patches of drywall skim coat to ready for priming, paint ceiling, finish cabinetry installation, install tile backsplash, install bookshelves at desk area, install desk, finish plaster on kitchen wall at dining room wall, clean floor and seal, seal walls, install chandelier, install kitchen faucet and drains, paint trim and doors. Back to work
Saturday p.m.
We have started using the near complete kitchen, after what seems like a month of nonstop work days. There are still a few items that remain, but like the present on Christmas Eve we opened the kitchen early. The only real items remaining are the installation on the exhaust vent above the stove, some touchup plaster, and decorating. Cindy has planned an Easter lunch with Gary and Susan (her mother and step father) and Colette, who is Cindy’s mentor in language and all things French. We had dinner in the kitchen last night with Gary and Susan, who have been here for the last ten days working side by side with Cindy and I. Fell asleep.
Sunday afternoon; taking a break while Cindy has a cooking lesson / Easter dinner prep.
Tuesday, May 3, 2011 sitting down in the kitchen after an exasperating two weeks, I don’t even know where to start. Yesterday we started the day thinking we would concentrate on painting the living / dining room as Cindy’s mother and stepfather had spent a week detailing the preparation of it, but then discovered that we didn’t have any water. After a day of trouble shooting the system we got it running, with the help of our plumber / electrician, and with the help of the man who keeps his two draft horses at our property. (One of them gave birth to an incredible little filly-girl five days ago) The solution was to lower the water pump into the well, as the water table has been lowered lately due to lack of rain.
The kitchen is finished for all intents and purposes; minor details need to be finished. I have placed all my tools in the new atelier (workshop) and need to finish organizing them. The doors that were sticking half way when opened or closed have been dealt with, while I waited for answers yesterday regarding the well. I started the work on the upstairs bathrooms and hope to have one complete in two weeks, we’ll see how that dog hunts. It is difficult to get things done here, as when you start one thing in the morning, another jumps in during the afternoon. There is the never-ending maintenance and upkeep that is required of fifty acres and assorted livestock outbuildings. But luckily Caleigh’s foreign exchange student has arrived for the week, she is this tiny thing from Belgium, they speak Dutch not French it turns out. I was happy that by the time they returned from school the water had been fixed. It’s bad enough that she has to bathe in the dog bath looking shower, but at least there is water? And it’s hot. The things we normally take for granted have been elevated to luxuries when living on a few hundred years old farm. All the mod cons as the British say, Modern Conveniences.
Gary asked if I had and regrets, none really, there are some things that Caleigh went through at her school, but those seem to have passed? And he wisely replied they could have been worse in Los Angeles, for different reasons. One thing that has excited me is the fruit bearing trees on the property, there is one huge cherry tree in our front garden that is ripening this week and I can’t wait, then there are the pear, plum and apple trees as well, but I’ve always wanted a cherry tree.
I have become old, priorities and tolerances are a thing of the past. My daughter has out grown my wisdom, she is wise beyond her years, my wife more tolerant than required, and my dogs more patient than evolutionary possible, the cat however is silent and watching. We have been in southwest France now for over four months, things are progressing more then we scheduled, finances are tight; but manageable. Our family and friends are an ocean away; time zones that would dwarf the Himalayans. We are on a raft, an adventure that H.G.Wells would relish, and one that we approach day by day. The kitchen is for all purposes done, our living room is also done, we are finishing our second floor bedrooms and bathrooms, and we have a couple staying in a room and bath in two weeks, It has been a month since I last posted, there are not enough hours in the day. I am behind on my obligations, calls have not been made to family and friends, facebook is a thing of the past, as I check it on a weekly basis. The T.V. film crew wrapped a couple days ago, the jury is still out on that decision, live and learn. Susan and Gary returned from their two weeks in Italy, they were missed and appreciated, they are so helpful with all our nonstop projects. Caleigh is well, continuing at the French school and excelling with her grades and life. I am non stop actually took a day off last Sunday and slept most of the day, decadent. Well I’m off to finish the tile floor on the upstairs bathroom as now the guests will be here at the end of this week.