Saturday, August 27, 2011

Canary in a coal mine gets a vacation

In as much as we considered the house ready for guests, we believe we missed the window of opportunity. We arrived in France December 27th, and started the renovation process thinking we could complete it in six months. Well eight months later, although really proud of what we accomplished, Cindy and I realized that it just isn’t at the level of completion that we require. We were lucky as Cindy picked up some freelance work that will hopefully bide us through the winter, and into the spring. If that holds true, then I have a chance to finish the house during the remainder of this year and next spring. This would allow the house to be completely detailed, winterized, and ready for guests (clients) next season.
In another matter, we are toying with the idea of setting up two safari tents on our east prairie, as it faces the sunsets and has beautiful landscape views. If we do pursue this idea, I would have all winter to fabricate built in kitchen units and bathroom modules. The idea is to set up these really custom interiors but have it wrapped inside a traditional African safari tent exterior. We have seen a few from researching it online, and it is amazing how peaceful they appear. Essentially as you view them from the outside they typically have large spacious deck areas, with defined seating, dining, and common areas. Then inside the huge tents, which have a second fly tent over them for weather proofing, there is a small kitchenette, living area, with a master bedroom and attached bathroom. The secret is that as you walk into the tent for the first time, you are blown away at the level of detail, although it looks like a safari tent on the outside, on the inside it should feel as though you just walked into a designer’s house. Again we are just thinking of the potential it may hold.
This week has been a blast as Cindy’s father and wife are visiting us; they are staying in a cute townhouse in Duras. They have friends visiting for a few days prior to them all going to the La Roque Gageac area, where they have a rented house in the most beautiful village in France. It was that same village we stayed in four years ago with them, and it was the initial image we had of France, a really great first impression. So we could blame them easily for the move here, but I wouldn’t do that? It was prior to their arrival that Cindy and I realized the nonstop work days had to end, I had dropped more weight then I should have, as had Cindy. Thin is nice, but this was dangerously thin. We slowed down the pace and even decided to start working outside, we really needed to have the place look more inviting, and sure it’s a work in progress? But it was like Pisa; nice once you get in but looking like Soweto from the approach. If you are from Soweto, I apologize, not because you are from somewhere that looks like the inside of a pig’s backside, but if I hurt any feelings. They stay here one night then go to Duras another, then when their friends arrive they will stay with us for the remainder of the week before they leave for a week in La Roque Gageac. It has been so fun for us, and especially for Cindy, it gives her a chance to really visit with Wylie and Ginny. Caleigh gets a kick out of Wylie’s humor, inappropriate yes, hysterical definitely. We were given this above ground pool by a friend, he said if it works great if it doesn’t hold water chuck it. Well Cindy and Caleigh spent a day washing it and I rigged up a waterline from the house and we proceeded to fill it, after a few hours it was obvious that it would be fine, once filled it was laughable in appearance, but functioned fine. There have been a few days where the temperature was in the 100’s, and after limbing fallen trees in the prairies and depositing them into the burn pile, I would drive the big diesel tractor back to the house, I would stop by the pool and take off my overalls having the trunks beneath them and jump into the pool. Priceless, we will get a legitimate pool in the future, but for those days when heat exhaustion is staring at you in the face, the prescription is immersion in cool clear water.

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