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Today was so wonderful in Provence (weather wise) that I just had to rush home and do some house clean up outside. I mean it, too. I was so excited that the weather has been just gorgeous here that I wanted to be outside instead of inside. I made up my mind that this evening I was going to clean up the garden. I felt like I had just done this, but with fall approaching (someday soon) they leaves in the garden are beginning to pile up and it was a good excuse to be outside, but still feel like I was contributing to working on the house.

Dude decided to give up on drywall mud and finish (I suspect he needed a break from the same ol’ same ol’) and he started some much needed work in the garage. We both have been feeling like we are in the movie “Groundhog Day” since every day we work on the house and it’s always the same. So today we felt change was good.

My evening started off with opening our mail box and finding a large, black cat inside. I kid you not there he was all hunched up and looking really scared in my mail box! It seems that Dude forgot to turn the key to lock it and the cat decided it was a great place to nap. Well, you should have seen the look on the cat’s face when I opened the door. His eyes were as big as saucers and he just looked at me all dazed and scared (probably because my eyes were as big as saucers at the sight of him and probably because I screamed rather loudly when I opened the mail box). Fast as lightening, he jumped out of the box, hit the stone wall straight on and fell on the ground. Then he tried to run away, but he couldn’t get any tread (I suppose it’s because he was now brain damaged) and he just kept trying so he could get out of the yard. Finally he was able to get his footing back and off he went. By that time, I was totally cracking up at what had just happened. Never in a million years would I think to have found a cat in my mailbox! I told Dude what happened and he looked at me for a second like I was making it up then he just started laughing cuz he said he was picturing the sight of this cat not getting any tread to run off. I told Dude to please be sure that he locks the mail box next time. There’s no telling what I might find in there, if not.

After that, garden work went superbly. The evening was just wonderful and it felt so good to be outside after months of either being cooped up in the office or at the house. All the leaves and weeds were bagged up in no time and I was even impressed to find no food in the yard from my neighbors. Maybe they read my post on their bad behavior…

I then went to help Dude in the garage. He had managed to clean it out really well and started to work on getting rid of the old electrical and phone lines that had been run ages ago, like when the dinosaurs ruled the Earth. We made some new electrical and water pipe discoveries which continuously have us dumbfounded on how this house even manages to give us power and water.



He started taking some things apart and investigating it some more and found that the main power to the house is also hooked to a piece of wood (just like our other lovely piece of “I don’t know what it is” electrical that I mentioned in another blurb of mine).

Then we took a look inside the plastic box just below it and found a hodge podge of confusion. He said he doesn’t know what the heck he is going to do with.

We also haven’t managed to find how the hot water tank it hooked up, yet. He really needs to run a new panel and get this place up to speed and out of the realm of fire hazard. I don’t want to have to pull this handle which tells me to do so in case of fire. Someone in this house sure thought some thing wasn’t quite right or I am sure this wouldn’t exist!

Another reason why he had to clean out the garage is that we discovered that we have these nasty little things called wormwoods and they are eating our wooden beams in the garage. This could potentially be dangerous since those beams are holding up the second story floor of the house. A couple of weeks ago he purchased this heavy duty woodworm killer liquid stuff. Today was the day he was going to conquer those pesty buggers. So right now, as I am writing, he is down there with his professional sprayer getting every inch of wooden beams possible. Now the company we bought this junk from is in the UK and they promise that if you do it right, you will be wormwood free. They had better be right. I don’t want to wake up one morning and find that my kitchen is now in the garage.

Oh, the joys of owning an old French house. Just when you think you’ve seen it all, something else pops up. I had never heard of woodworms before buying this place. I could do without the extra education. Sometimes learning new stuff is not always the best.

Hopefully I will be woodworm free in the morning. I had better go down and see how Dude is doing and possibly prepare for a short bug funeral.

The Watch Dog

In my apartment complex we have this lady (who just happens to live in the same building) who is the “watch dog” of the complex. Now, every complex needs someone to keep an eye on things, make sure there is no funny business going on and to keep everything in working order.

Here’s the issue with this “watch dog”, she ain’t good. Yup-I’m telling you how I really feel. Folks, she down right sucks!

There are a few reasons why I feel this way and I really think they are justified.

  1. When we first moved into our apartment, there were a lot of issues with people parking their cars in areas they weren’t suppose to. Some of these areas were no big deal, but some of them ended up blocking in other people’s cars and you couldn’t leave or sometime even get into your space. Everyone in the complex has an underground garage. Some of us have two car garages and some have one car garages. In addition everyone has one parking space up above. Now, you would think this is sufficient. Apparently not. French people, just like Americans tend to use their garage as just storage for stuff and then park their cars somewhere else. Well, we used our garage for storage the first few weeks until we could get settled and so we parked our car in our space above ground. There ended up being some chick who would park her huge BMW station wagon directly behind us and up on the curb, but her car was so big and the spaces so small that we couldn’t get our car out. This would piss me off so bad, cuz I didn’t know where in the complex she lived to go and tell her off. (This is where that Mickey Mouse ‘no parking’ flyer comes in real handy). It just so happened one day, that as Dude and I were trying to get our car out of its spot, the “watch dog” happened by. We rolled down the window and I expressed my dissatisfied self to her. She said it was a huge problem and it needed to be taken  care of since these idiots couldn’t be courteous enough to fix it themselves and just not park any where they darn well pleased. What does this woman do to “fix” it?? She has some company come out and install road furniture all up and down the parking lot! What the heck! How is this gonna help?? Now these dump polls stick out from the curb a few feet and we still can’t get the car out easily because they are right behind us! Some fix. She swapped out one problem for the other. At least before, if you knew the person you could tell them to move their stupid car, but how the heck do you move the polls to get out! Lucky for us, we didn’t need to park there long. Benoit is now in the garage. Idiot dog, I tell you.
  2. Which brings me to my next issue. Remember the little situation about our “portail” being broken a while back and this woman couldn’t  get anybody out to fix it the right way? Well, guess what? Since that stupid “portail” never works the underground garages have been broken into about 5 times since we moved in. That makes about 1 time for every 2 months! The poor guy next to us has had his garage broken into twice! Then we found out last week that the people on the second floor had their apartment broken into. If this lady was the “watch dog” that she pretends to be then she would have chased these guys and attacked. What does she do instead? Screw around with some dummy who can’t ever fix the gate. We have the lamest gate. Just put a new one in that actually works instead of continuously fooling around with the one that doesn’t. Lame watch dog.
  3. Then, just when the “portail” actually gets fixed, you wouldn’t believe it! The gate next to it (which is the pedestrian gate) is now broken. Normally there is a code to get in, but now anybody can just waltz right in cuz the lock on the gate in broke. Brilliant! This has been broken for about 6 weeks now, and the “watch dog” has done absolutely nothing to fix it. There has never been anyone out there to even look at it, let alone change the lock and make it secure. So people just come and go as they please. Who gives a care if the portail is now fixed! It just means you can’t drive your car INTO and OUT of the complex, but so what! You can still walk in, carry out all the toys you want, and just have your car waiting on the other side. Some security. Dumb watch dog.
  4. At the same time that the pedestrian gate broke, the front door to our apartment building stopped working. This door is supposed to be added security. You either type in a code or have a FOB on your key chain and run it over a pad next to the door and it unlocks to let you in. Well, the door no longer locks. You just walk right up and push on it and it opens. The dumb thing is, this lady lives right next to the front door and she has to walk in and out of it all day. Does she ever get anyone out there to fix it? What do you think? Bad dog!
  5. Our elevator broke over the weekend several weeks ago. All you needed to do was go to the elevator room and flip the switch to get it going again. Would she do it? Nope. We sat around for four days (because the Monday after the weekend was a holiday, of course) waiting for her dumb self to pay someone to come over for .05 seconds to flip the switch. Ahhhh! I am so annoyed now! Time to maybe put that dog out to pasture.
  6. If that wasn’t enough, this so-called “watch dog” was hanging out when Dude and I came back with our Europcar van rental late in the evening (from our run out to the new house). It was around 9pm which was too late to take the van back so we needed to keep it over night and give it back in the morning. Do you think we were able to park in our spot? No way. Wanna know why? Those damn polls were in the way and we couldn’t fit the van in our OWN parking spot. So Dude swings around back looking for a spot to park this thing and there happened to be a spot (but not a real one) that we could fit it in just for the night. Do you think we got the chance? Heck no! The “watch dog” came running out to her garden and says, “You can’t park there, you can’t park there. It’s illegal. You need to go park in your spot.” Freakin’ illegal? I don’t see a mandate anywhere! Then I told her that we couldn’t park in OUR spot because of her stupid polls and would she like to go remove them so we could. Then she says to go park it out front on the other side of the “portail”. Well we would have, if there was enough space to do so. That night someone happened to be having a party and all the spaces (which really aren’t spaces) were all taken up. What would she like me to do now? I really wanted to tell her off and that she really sucked eggs at being the “watch dog” and that she always concerned herself with stupid stuff and never the REAL issues, but I was my too nice self and didn’t. I think it might be time to put the dog down.



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