Monthly Archives: August 2011

French Wiring Makes No Sense To Me

I found out today that I don’t like running flex. I already said I hated to hang drywall studs and rails, well I hate flex, too. They have the dumbest stuff here. Everything electrical is run on this stuff that you would put only in your car in the states. What’s more, you can’t pull it through the studs because it gets stuck! We spent so much time finishing up the master bedroom and kitchen that the day was passing us by. Dude and I still hadn’t had time to figure out what we were going to do with the kitchen.

See, all our cabinets are going to be put in later, after we move in, but in order to run the electrical you have to plan out what you want so you have all the lights, plugs and switches in the right areas. I’m having a huge issue with the kitchen because I absolutely HATE everything that France is throwing at me in the way of cabinetry. It’s all this modern junk that just won’t work in my ancient style house. I definitely want to be modernized, but I don’t want it to LOOK all modernized. This is a problem and Dude keeps harping at me to hurry up and figure it out.

Well, I told him that I knew what I DIDN’T want, did that help? He said, “No!” So he ran the all the lines according to what he thought is should be and I guess we will just have to work around it and find something that will work for us. I can do that……I think.

Once the flex was all run in both the master bedroom and the kitchen we got to run the phone lines. So now I felt all professional and stuff. I was really getting my construction on these past few weeks and learning a lot. I had no problem with the learning aspect. The problem that both Dude and I were having was that everything we did was taking too long. We had to do things and then REDO them a bunch of times because some of the materials were just crap, some of the things we wanted just weren’t working out and of course, there was only the two of us. If Extreme Home Makeover were here, they could have busted this job out in no time. Unfortunately, they aren’t in France. We just had to keep making do.

The phone wires had to be fished through the two rooms and then all the way through one of the flex lines down into the garage and across the ceiling of the garage to the other side where the main panel was going to be. What a pain! Luckily Dude has this awesome item called Fish Tape.

This thing is the bomb and he brought it from the states. They don’t have it here. Tant pis for the French, seriously. He was able to put the Fish Tape into the end of the flex and send it all the way up the “autoroute” to the master bedroom. This is where he attached all the phone wires. While he was in the master bedroom, I was in the garage pulling on the Fish Tape which was bringing all the wires down to me. This worked like a dream and there is no way we would have gotten those phone wires through that stupid little flex they have here without it. Thank goodness for some great inventions and Dude’s insight to bringing it with us!

Next was the hanging the drywall in the kitchen. This went okay, the problem came after we hung the drywall. With the wall closed up, we couldn’t see where we placed all the flex for the electrical. They have the stupidest system here! They don’t have electrical boxes that hang on the studs and then you run everything and THEN you hang the drywall. Oh…NO…. They do it all backwards and crazy. First you run the flex, then you close up the walls with drywall, then you have to play hide and go seek to find your flex runs, then you guess where the holes for the boxes are going to be, then you cut the holes in the drywall and hope you found the right spot (cuz that’s where the boxes sit-not screwed down to the studs like they should be!), then you have to try and find your flex lines to put them in the boxes and then you run your wire.

Now I am not an electrician, but this is the stupidest, time wasting, piece of junk that I have ever heard! It’s all backwards. Luckily for us, Dude told me to take pictures of the wall before we covered it with drywall or we would have never remembered where we ran the lines! How lame is that??? What would we have done if I was not so snap happy???!! We would have had to tear out all the drywall, is what we would have done. Then Dude and I would have been in the paper the next day cuz we would have jumped from our third story window out of total frustration for the construction stupidity that goes on here.

Well, thanks to my photos, we figured out where to cut the holes for the electrical boxes, but then we still had to fish around blindly to find the flex to put into the box! Another problem… the holes for the boxes were so small that we couldn’t get our hands in them to find our flex! Dude was sooooooo pissed by now, cuz he is an electrician by trade and knows how it should be to make life easy and the job to flow, and this was not the way. We were battling with another time wasting issue. Also, you can’t cut the holes in the drywall any bigger to reach your hand in them cuz then your stupid little box won’t fit! Ahhhhhhhh!

So now because we couldn’t find our flex lines we had to invent a tool to drop into the holes to grab the flex and pull it out. Then when going to put the flex into these rinky dink boxes, there was no way for the flex to stay put. It just hangs in there ready to fall out of the box at any moment! There is no such thing here as flex connectors to keep it in! That is a safety hazard right there, folks. If my house was made out of wood, every night my prayers would start with, “Dear Lord, please don’t let the flex fall out of the electrical boxes and catch this house on fire…..” I am dead serious about that, too.

So, once again, after using what we learned from MacGyver and wasting away more hours, we finally finished the ONE wall we had to do in the kitchen.

All the while, I am hearing Father Time ticking away and now we have only two weeks before the big moving day and a house that is nowhere near being finished 😦

If you want to see the photos of our house renovation , they appear on Flickr. To get there just click on the “More Photos” option under Photos on Flickr.

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Maybe I Won’t Be In The Dark Ages After All

Well guess what happened today? SFR called me back to talk about transferring my “Neufbox” to my new house. They decided to give it a whirl again to see if they could make it work for me. I happen to be one of their best customers:)

We started out with the same old questions: What is your current address, what is the name on the account, when are you moving, do you want to keep the same service?? Yada, Yada, Yada.

I breezed right through those ones cuz now, I’m a pro.

Then we got to the really hard question (well for SFR not for me): What is your new address? I told them the same one I gave them the other day, but this time with at twist. I told the lady that we were the only house on this street and that maybe if I gave her the name of the street that “T’s” into us, it would help her find it.

I ran outside and down the street looking for the street sign (since I don’t know that street name by heart). Then she looked up that street in her nifty computer and wouldn’t you know it, she was able to locate it! Yes! Maybe we were getting somewhere.

Then she asked me what the old owner’s name was. I answered that question the day before so I figured I would get a 100% on it today. I gave that to her and she said that she didn’t have that name down, she had another one.

Then there was just silence on her end. I heard crickets people. Was I suppose to guess what name she had or was she just gonna help me out with this one? Finally she gave me the name and lucky for me I recognized it as the name of the sister of the old owner. The reason I happened to know that is because the brother and sister were the ones who actually sold the house to us for their dad. That was super lucky on my part or else I would have had no idea and would have gone right back to zero. No thanks.

I let her know that the name she gave me was the sister of the old owner and now, I was in like Flynn. She said that I was all set and they could transfer my Neufbox. Score!

I was super thrilled about this, but completely confused by how we ever arrived at where we did. Cuz it makes total sense that my house, on the street that it’s actually on, doesn’t exist for SFR cuz they have the house on the street that “T’s” into our street and the name on their account isn’t the old owner’s it’s his sister’s. Don’t you think that makes total sense?!

So off I went happy for the day, well, except for the fact that I have to wait two whole weeks before the transfer is done. That means no internet and no television for two weeks! What the heck are we gonna do with ourselves??

Oh wait, I know….. finish the house remodel:)

Oh The Thrill Of Fresh Fruit

Well, when the going gets tough in France, the tough go to the outdoor fresh fruit and veggie market!

This place was amazing. I happened by it one day (actually it was the day I was stalking Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, but that’s a story for another day).

Anywho, as I was saying, I happened upon this wonderful little market of fresh produce and could not resist. Do you blame me? I think you would have stopped, too. When I look at these picture I seriously want to just dive right in. Look at how marvelous this stuff is! Can you smell the freshness??? Is your mouth watering?? Cuz mine does every time I look at these photos.

Ahhh! The small joys of France. They are really needed when your times have been tried!

I think I will go have a nice fruit salad…. or better, yet, a fresh fruit smoothie:)

 

It Could Be Back To The Dark Ages For Me

This morning I went over to SFR to have them transfer my Neufbox   (internet, fixed line, and television) to our new house because we will be moving soon. I knew that this would be somewhat of a difficult feat, but little did I know how hard it was really going to be.

My morning actually started off pretty good. I first went to the bank to let them know about the move and my super, great bank said “OK, no problem. We can change your address for you immediately”. You know what? They did just that and I walked out of there just 5 minutes after I arrived. The day was starting off super duper.

Next stop, SFR. This is where my day started to come to a screeching halt. First off, I couldn’t get into the store. Their sliding glass door only works when you leave, but won’t let you enter. That’s a brilliant way to get customers. Some lady on the inside had to come and rescue me. Thank you whoever you are, I hope your time at SFR was worth it.

Once I made it inside the secret fortress, I had to wait awhile before speaking to a customer service representative since there were a few people in front of me. It was hard to tell what number I actually was because the French don’t really know how to queue up. So I just stood around and pretty much guessed when it was my turn.

Finally, I was called over to be waited on. The guy behind the counter asked what I wanted and I said that it was super simple. I was moving soon and wanted to transfer my Neufbox to my new house and I even had the phone number so he could look it up. He wrote my info down and made the call to the main customer service to find out what to do. I couldn’t believe how many buttons he had to push because he just kept going through that stupid voice menu you always get when calling and then once he finally made it to a real, live, human voice he had to answer a bazillion questions. Finally he gets off the phone and says, “You have to call this number from your fixed line at home and then push the #1 and then push the #1 again and tell them what you want.” REALLY? ARE YOU SERIOUS??! All that time with pushing buttons and having a stupid conversation and that’s what you came up with! Good grief. What a waste of time.

So, back home I went to go call these goof offs from my fixed line. I finally get a hold of someone and she asked me for my current address, I gave it to her. Then she wanted me to verify my name and fixed line number, I did that. Then she wanted to know when I was moving, I told her. Then she asked for my new address, I gave that to her.

She told me to hang on the line for a minute. Then she came back and asked if I had the old owner’s name, I gave that to her. Then she asked if they had an SFR account or line to the house. Now, how the heck am I suppose to know that? Was she trying to tell me that was the one vital piece of missing information I should have had when we all got together to sign the final agreement for purchasing the house? Cuz we all sat around while the notaries practically told everyone’s life stories and the SFR thing never came up.

Was this lady at SFR for real? I told her I didn’t know and that the house had been empty for a long time. Most likely since way before SFR even existed so to just please put it down as a transfer to a new home and call it a day.

She put me on hold again. Then she came back and said that the street on which my new house sat didn’t exist. What was going on with the world today!!?? Were the planets aligned all funny or was there some meteor shower raining down stupidity? I told her that I had been to the house, that it did exist and that there is a sign on the street with the name of the street on it and that I had already received my EDF and water bill with the name of the street I had given her. Those two entities didn’t seem to have a problem.

She said there was nothing she could do because they couldn’t transfer a line to a home that was on a street that didn’t exist. I asked her what the heck was I suppose to do.  It shows up on Google maps?! She told me to call back in 48 hours with the name of a street that DID exist and then she could help me. (Just kidding she didn’t say that). She might as well though, because she just hung up and wouldn’t help me anymore.

Now I have no idea what I am suppose to do. I am faced with going back to the dark ages of no television, no internet and no fixed line. My only hope is to go to the agency that sold me the house and see if they can help me out. They’re the ones who got my EDF and water all set up for me so I am hoping this will work, too. I need some real divine intervention here. I hope this all gets sorted out soon or the person you see walking around the streets ranting and raving will be me.

The Gopher, Clean-up Supervisor

Today was the day we really went to town with punching holes all over the dang place in this house. The house needed to be upgraded somewhat with some new electrical, phone and data lines, and Dude wanted wiring for surround sound, too. Oh why not have it all when you pretty much gotta start from scratch anyway. We needed to run everything from the garage and go up through the ceiling of the garage into the second story and keep going up to the third story.

After that, all the wiring needed to be run in the kitchen, master bedroom, library and Tinki’s room.

This meant that we drilled large holes in the ceiling of the garage which leads up to the master bedroom that now how a large hole in the floor, up through the ceiling of the master bedroom which now also has a large whole, and then finally ending up in Tinki’s room which now has a large hole in the floor, too.

After that we proceeded to run the flex line through the “hole” autoroute we just drilled for. This was no easy task since we had to get a lot of flex lines into each of the holes and we had to keep going back and forth drilling (we found more uses for that Metabo) and chiseling and making the holes wider so that we could run all the lines we needed. Everything is made out of concrete, rock and large wooden beams so this was a big pain just like all the other tasks we have had to do.

When the lines were finally ran we were able to get to work on drilling holes in the wall that separates the Master bedroom and the kitchen.

So now, besides the holes in the floors and ceilings, we have four large holes in the wall separating the two rooms so we can run the flex lines through them from the master bedroom to all the stuff in the kitchen. I sure hoped this house was going to make it through all the holes we were creating. We had enough stupid cracks in the structure already and didn’t need any more!

I was pretty confident about the floor holding (with all the glue still on them), but with the walls, I was a little unsure.

Before we could finish running the flex lines, however, we needed to go frame one wall in the kitchen. Just like the day before it was loud and noisy with the metal studs, rails and drilling. This time, though, we were prepared thanks to keeping all the tools and supplies together (you’re welcome Dude) cuz mostly that’s my job. My new name is “Gopher” cuz that’s pretty much what I do all day. Oh, and I’m the clean-up crew, as well.

I did get to drive a few screws into the framing, but it was difficult so I petered out and let Dude continue on with it. I am too much of a wimp for stuff like that. I prefer to watch him do the work while telling him how to do it. I figure I am a pure genius at that so I will stick to it as much as possible. Might as well do what you are good at, right?

Once we were done with the framing, we had to go upstairs to snap a line (look at me go with that construction lingo). We needed to know where we were going to place the large rods for hanging the clee on the side of the house to pull it together and hopefully stop the crack from getting any larger.

How we got stuck with this job is cuz Mr. Professional gave us a bid for 10 000 Euros to do it way back after we signed the “compromis”, but before we signed all the final paperwork and we were like, “Heck no!”

Dude said he could do it himself and we were not gonna spend that kind of money. Now, the reason I believed Dude could run a 12 meter long rod and tie a clee to it (and told him he had my permission to do it) is that he has been in construction longer than we have been married (which is a long time) and he can do just about anything when it comes to the construction trade even thought he has never done it before. So I said, “Go for it, Dude. I will supervise.” Remember, that’s what I’m good at.

If on the other hand, Dude had never picked up a tool in his life I would have said, “Get out your check book and pay up cuz you’d screw it all up big time”. I would have really said that to him too, cuz I am someone who just tells it like it is. If you ever meet my brother –in-law, George, just ask him. He will say it’s true cuz he always comments to me that I do that.

Anyway, there we were in the library and Tinki’s room snappin’ a line to get ready for the next big day of drilling. Dude was so worried about the huge holes he was going to put into the side of the house that he couldn’t stop talking about whether it was a good idea to do it or just leave it alone.

Between you and me, if I had to snap that line then he needs to just get over it and make the big decision. I’m the supervisor and I just tell him what to do AFTER he makes the decision.  See, that’s how it works here. That way, I don’t get in trouble only he does 🙂

So after we snapped the line, guess what?? You got it! We drilled another large hole in the wall. This time it was the wall between the library and Tinki’s room cuz that was where that large 12 meter rod was going. I hoped that I wouldn’t come back the next day and the house was in ruins.

Well, another day of work was finished and we kept telling ourselves how behind schedule we were. I don’t think I want a schedule any more. It’s not working anyway……

 

 

 

 

 

Framing Is Not Fun

Today was the day we were going to tackle the framing for the drywall in the master bedroom. This room was going to be the most work since we had to frame two walls, one of which has a large window.

Before beginning, however, Dude wanted to take the remaining 10 pieces of drywall that we had left in the garage the day before and take them up to the third story to get them out of the way. I was definitely not looking forward to that since the second flight of stairs is a little steeper than the first flight and the doorway is shorter, as well.

Off we went carrying each piece one at a time. This took a while. Here’s how it looked.

Now, I believe, I can call myself Wonder Woman, but only because I wonder how the heck I was able to help him get that stuff up there!

Now it was time for the framing. We got all the metal studs and the rails we needed, plus got all our tools; screws, anchors and nails, drills, the Metabo (yes-we were able to find something to use it for), measuring tape and level. One tool eluded us, though. The tin snips. I had no idea what the heck these were, but Dude told me to go and find them anyway.

“I don’t know what they look like”, I said.

“You know, TIN SNIPS”, yelling at my like that was gonna suddenly enlighten me on what the heck these were.

“Dude, I don’t know what you are talking about. You have to explain to me what they look like or how am I going to find them?”

“Oh, come on! They have yellow handles on them”.

Cool, thanks. That helps tremendously. So off I went searching for something with yellow handles. I went hunting around the tools and after what seemed like a lifetime found my little, yellow-handled tool.

“Here”, I said, “Found them”.

“Those aren’t it. Those are the wire cutters”, he said.

Dang it! I went back to the tools for some more hunting. Luckily I found another tool with yellow handles. Back upstairs I went.

“Here”, I said, “Are these it?”

“No, those are pliers”.

“Dude, can you just come look for them cuz this is gonna take too long. I seriously don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Off he went and guess what?? He couldn’t find them either! We must have looked around for those things for like two hours, no kidding. He was so pissed. The problem is that we just have stuff everywhere and it is making it really difficult to work and find things we need.

After our hunting trip that lasted FOREVER, Dude finally found the tin snips.

We started framing the outer wall of the master bedroom. On this wall we also hung some orange sheets of insulation, but needed to leave a small space between the insulation and the wall so that the wall could breathe properly. There are a lot of moisture issues with the wall.

I swear this framing business is a bunch of hog wash! I totally know what I DON”T want to do in my next life. It took us into really late in the evening before we finished and with all the loud drilling and clanging of the metal studs and rails, we probably are already on our neighbor’s hate mail list.

Framing for drywall takes entirely too much time. All the measuring of the studs and rails and walls, the drilling of every single hole to put the screws in, the anchoring of some screws, the custom cutting of the studs and rails before hanging them so they fit onto the wall, the screws that don’t work and you have to keep working at it to get them to hold the metal studs and rails together because they are not well made,

(by the way, don’t buy these screws, they’re stupid and don’t work well)

the fact that you have to be extra careful or you’re bound to cut your hands on the metal, you have to use three different drills, five different screws, two different levels, a couple of measuring tapes, pencils, markers (so you know where to drill and where you need to put all the electrical stuff later on) and on, and on, and on. By the end of the day, Dude was super frustrated cuz this was not going well. I was taking us entirely too long.

I, on the other hand, thought we were doing well and was completely oblivious to his point since I had never done this before, so I was feeling pretty good about the day. He sure was working hard to burst my bubble and bring me down to his level of feeling crappy. I was just glad that we finished the framing in the one whole room! Yaaay us!

He had a point, though, we still had a lot more to do and our moving day was getting ever so closer.

Guess what we got to look forward to the next day??? More framing. Yuck.

 

If you want to see more photos of our framing extravaganza , they appear on Flickr. To get there just click on the “More Photos” option under Photos on Flickr.

La Cadière-d’Azur

Extreme Materials – Amongst Other Things

Today was the big day. By that I mean, big truck, big materials and big money spent.

We started the day out by picking up our large truck from ADA at 10:30 am. I know, late start, but hey, we’re on Latin time. The nice lady at ADA new exactly who we were cuz she said she recognized my accent. I’m not sure if that is good or bad, but she at least understood what I wanted! We inspected our ‘camion’ and signed our life away for it. Thing to do number one……..check.

Off to LeRoy Merlin. Now, I know that I said I was much happier at Point P. The thing is, Dude was happier with the prices at LeRoy. He said by buying our items there we would save a few hundred dollars. Don’t get me wrong, that’s a great thing indeed, but it was still a problem for me cuz I hated giving my hard earned cash to non-helpful people. If I was rich, I would have just gone over to Point P and given those helpful guys my money. I was in a pretty bad mood at LeRoy’s and it got worse when we were trying to get all of our items and still, no one would help us.

We drove our truck around the extreme materials section and proceeded with the loading. We needed 17 sheets of regular drywall, 3 sheets of hydro (greenboard) drywall, 50 metal studs, 20 rails (the studs and rails were for framing the drywall), lots of insulation, 8 large bags of morter, 1 bag of regular drying joint compound, 1 bag of fast drying joint compound, 1 tub of topper finish coat and 52 large bricks.

For all of this loading , it was just me and Dude. Seriously. No one came over to help. Here’s one guy and a lady and not one of these guys could say, “Could I help you?” What the heck do these workers do all day! At Point P someone would have helped.

Now ladies (and some guys out there) have you ever had to lift, carry and load full sheets of drywall before? These things are seriously heavy and Dude and I had to lift them off the shelf, carry them to the truck and load them in one at a time! This took forever because my name is not Wonder Woman even though I would like it to be.

Then we got down to getting the metal studs and rails. The studs were hooked together with metal ties and I needed someone to come over and cut them so I could get the amount I wanted. You have to be really careful around these things because they are super sharp and will really slice your hand up. So I walked over to Mr. NonHelpful and let him know what I needed. Do you know what he did? Instead of grabbing the special cutters needed and following me out to do the job, he just handed me the cutters and said when I was done to bring them back! That is a load of junk, I tell you! A woman with no gloves and needing assistance to cut metal and he just hands me the cutters and goes back talking to his coworker, Mr. NonHelpful 2. What ever!

So after that, Dude and I finished getting all the materials we needed and we headed over to pay the big bucks. I have to hand it to Dude we did save quite a bit of money, but I was still mad about giving it to these guys. By now it was nearly 1pm (that’s how long it takes when you have strong man with weak woman and no Mr. Helpfuls around). We were behind the schedule that I had set out for us that morning. Oh well, at least we got everything we needed. Thing to do number two……..check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Off we went barreling down the country road with all our goods. When we made it to the house we were like the unloading bandits. You should have seen us in action. We were obviously better at unloading than we were loading. The only really hard part came when we had to take the sheets of drywall (one by one and each weighing a ton) up the stairs. I thought I was gonna die, no lie! You can’t hold them flat you have to turn them on their sides and that folks makes them quite difficult to carry when going up steep stairs. We ended up taking 10 up to the second story and leaving 10 in the garage for another day because by now we were running behind my schedule again. See the rental car place closed at 6:30pm and I wanted to have the truck back to them that night just to make it easier on us. Well, the unload was now complete, at least. Thing to do number three……..check.

We needed to run over to Point P to get some more joint compound and some roofing material. We headed out and found that they were temporarily out of the joint compound, but they did have the roofing material we needed so we bought 9 sheets of it. This is for a little section of roof just above the apartment bathroom that no one sees so we weren’t about to go all luxurious with it. It was here that we ran into a little snag. Michael’s bank card and mine decided not to work anymore. I got nervous thinking that possibly there is a daily limit to what you can spend and we surpassed that with getting the truck and materials at LeRoy’s. Good thing Dude has a spare card for emergencies (which he considered this to be) and we got our goods. Thing to do number four……..check.

Back to the house to unload more stuff and to use our rental truck  to hall a bunch more crap we needed to get rid of to the dump. Yay, another fieldtrip! You would not believe the amount of junk we needed to throw away due to this major remodel job. We had old carpet, old wood, old appliances, old metal, old furniture and Dude broke apart the wooden wall of the shed cuz he is going to make a new one out of the bricks we just bought. So that went into the rental, too. We had that truck filled pretty good by the time we were done. I just hoped we could clean it out really good before we gave it back! By now it was 5:00pm and we were a half hour behind schedule. Get in and go! That’s what we did. Thing to do number five……..check.

So now, we are barreling down the road heading towards the dump. I called the rental place to double check what time they closed. The nice lady said 6:30pm on the dot. That didn’t leave us much time to unload all this stuff, clean out the truck, put gas in it and get it back. Dude started driving so fast that I was actually hyperventilating. I got really scared and held on so tight to the door that I seriously had white knuckles. These little country roads are small and windy and I am not ashamed to say that I was terrified.

We finally made it to my favorite dump without an accident. (You go Dude. A+ driving.) This place is cool and the people are nice. We sorted all our stuff into the appropriate bins and left all the stuff that needed to be smashed and burned for the end. That’s my favorite part. It’s actually really cool to see. Once all of it was unloaded we got to work on cleaning out the truck. It was a complete mess in the back and I wanted to leave no traces. We swept and cleaned and actually got it looking pretty good. Off we went to put some gas in it. Thing to do number six……..check.

We now had 40 minutes to get gas and make it to ADA and we were exactly 40 minutes away! I hoped there would be no hang-ups at the gas station. Wrong. When we arrived, there was a line! I told Dude that we had only 20 minutes to get gas and to get to ADA. We were still quite a ways away. So while Dude was filling the tank I was preparing to pay. What a team. Now, with the rental your only suppose to put in the amount of gas that you use. This stupid truck didn’t tell you the truth and we were sitting there just guessing. Then Dude accidently turned on the truck while he was filling it with gas so he could check the gauge and it jerked forward and scared the bageemies outta me! We finally just decided to call it quits, paid and flew outta there like a rocket. Thing to do number seven……..check.

Every 3 minutes I was telling Dude how much time we had left and he was seriously haulin’ buns by now. In between the times I was telling him that we weren’t going to make it, I called the bank to find out why we were getting jacked around with our cards not working. The bank lady assured us, in a very nice way, that all was good. It was the stupid store’s fault! I swear nothing like someone else trying to give you a heart attack for no reason. I can manage just fine with that by the enjoyment of eating unhealthy foods. At least I had a great time while waiting for my heart attack to come on!  Well, we finally made it to the town where we rented the truck and we had only 5 minutes left. You aren’t gonna believe this but we slid in the gate with that thing at 6:30pm on the dot! Go team! Even ADA was impressed. Thing to do number eight……..check.

We felt so good about our day that we decided to continue it and made another stop at LeRoy Merlin to pick up some plastic wrap and a few more items before they closed for the night.

Then we headed over to the market to do some grocery shopping. That was awesome since we were both dirty and sweaty. I felt the waters part as we walked down the aisle throwing items in our cart. I figure that might be the way to go if you are in a crowded store and you want to get out in a hurry. Just go smelly and dirty and you might get her done in record time.

By the time we got home it was nearly 10pm. Boy were we exhausted, but we felt great because we finally got a bunch of things accomplished all on the same day! Freakin’ miracle I tell you. Finally something went right for a change 🙂

Non-Helpful, Helpful and This Is Icky

Dude and I spent most of this day at a couple of hardware stores. He had been busy gathering a list of what we were going to need in order to get this house useful.

So after much thinking (on his part cuz he’s the brains and I’m the beauty of this mission impossible) we decided to head over to LeRoy Merlin and get some idea of the prices that this money pit was gonna do us in for.
I find that the people who work in the tool department to be very helpful, indeed. I truly like them! The people who work in the extreme materials section are altogether a whole different ball of wax. They have to be the most unhelpful workers EVER! Maybe they only get minimum wage or something. If not, then they should be cuz they don’t do anything.

When we got to the extreme section, we couldn’t find prices on the things we needed and if we did, they weren’t even labeled right. Dude started to go ballistic because nothing was labeled and he needed to hurry up and stop wasting time in order to get the info for this so-called budget of ours.

He took some notes down and found a few prices, but we also had two extra irritants. The material names and packages looked nothing like we were used to in the states and we didn’t know what brand or type was best so we had to guess (since no one was being helpful).

Then, we found that some of the items we needed weren’t even in stock.

I went over to Mr. NonHelpful worker cuz he was the only guy around and asked when a certain item would be in stock. Do you know what he said?? He said, “I don’t know, maybe Friday or sometime next week.” Then Mr. NonHelpful worker just walked away. JUST WALKED AWAY! I couldn’t believe it. Way to go King Merlin (cuz that’s LeRoy Merlin in English).

So we were left again to fend for ourselves. We spent way to long there in our opinion so I had the brilliant idea of heading over to Point P to see if we could find what we needed there and get some comparative prices.

When we got there, I was pleasantly surprised by the helpfulness of these guys. They told me where I could find everything I needed. Dude and I walked over and found what we needed and guess what?? Mr. Helpful worker walked right up to us and asked us if we needed to find something specific. We showed him our over-budget list and he showed us where everything was and he was even patient enough to listen AND answer all our “I am a dumb American who bought an old house here” questions.

We thanked him and started doing our price comparisons. As we walked around and gathered our info, we happened upon some other things we might need in the future. You know what? Mr. Helpful came back over to see how we were doing and said if we needed anything to just ask.

I love this store!

While shopping around Dude and I started to get a little dazed and confused because the French put everything price wise into increments like per meter (regardless if you can even buy it that way). Why the heck would you put a per meter price on something when you can’t buy less than 3 meters of it? Just put the freakin’ price on the thing people! Why do these stores make you do the extra math to find out the prices! Hate it! You know why? Math is my worst subject so I just stood around checking things out and let Dude take care of that math stuff.

When we were done, we took our list and prices in to the store to have Mr. Helpful the second give us an accurate breakdown. He did it, too!

We left happy about the help, but not so happy about the prices. For what we needed it was going to cost a small fortune.

By the time we got back to the house it was getting to late to start any projects so Dude said he wanted to clean out the ducts above the kitchen vent. This should be good.

I ran for my camera cuz who knows what you’re gonna find in a house this old. As it turns out, Dude had me in stitches with his comments. What he found was a little gross and to hear a grown man say the word “buggies” just cracks me up.

Well, I think he is going to have to crawl up there to see what else he can find. I’m not doing it! As least we felt a little cleaner after that. He was so grossed out that he was the most willing person to take an ice cold shower (since we have no hot water in the house, yet). I forfeited cuz cold showers are not my thing.

So, I started to go downstairs to clean up and found this little guy hopping around near the top step.

I couldn’t believe he actually made it that far since it would have been quite the climb for him. As I went to get something to put him in to take him back outside, he decided to go visit Dude while he was in the shower. Little pervert. I scooped him up and took him back outside. Guess what?? He immediately hopped right back into the house and up the stairs! This time he was scooped up and taken way out into the garden. I haven’t seen him since, so I hope he is alright.

Next up for us is spending money. But first we need to go rent another truck because Benoit was not going to be able to help us out with getting the extreme materials to our house.

Le Bouchon de Tourves

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