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Tinki Finally Has A Bed

What started out as just wanting to put a dresser in Tinki’s room today (so she could finally take every article of clothing out of her suitcase after 7 months), actually turned into a bigger production. Dude said that since we were going to take a break from any more major projects for a while (we are trying to save money and also take a breather from working on the house) that means no painting or flooring, we might as well just put up her bed, dresser and book shelf so she wouldn’t have to feel so much like a transient.

So began the project which took us all afternoon. Luckily everything worked out and we had no major issues (that’s a miracle in itself, I tell you!).

Tinki’s bed is a bunk bed set that we bought about 20 years ago for our older two children and it’s been through all of them. Now Tinki has it all to herself. It’s a really nice solid oak set with a dresser and bookshelf and it has actually made it through 4 children, 4 major moves and 2 years in storage. Definitely part of the family heirloom collection 🙂

The set was taken completely apart when we moved here and in the end we had a lot of pieces for it. Putting it together required both Dude and I, and for a while, we even needed Tinki’s help. Some of the pieces are really heavy and the bed has bolts to keep it together.

First off, we had to go down to the first floor apartment to find all the pieces. The apartment is the holding place for pretty much everything we own right now.

After Dude dug out the pieces from the apartment, he then handed them off to me to bring through the garden then through the garage and then I left them at the bottom of the staircase on the ground level and Tinki took them up two flights of stairs to the 3rd story. We actually had to use our furniture dolly so that Dude could pull the dresser up the stairs and Tinki and I helped by pushing the dresser from the bottom. This piece is the heaviest piece of the set and our staircases are curved at both the top and bottom so it was touch and go for a bit, but in the end we got the dresser into her room.

After all pieces were laid out in the bedroom, we got to work on putting it together. Dude was able to find all the bolts, drills and the ratchet necessary (this was a first)to get the job completed. I can’t believe we actually found everything we needed and the job went without a hitch.

Now Tinki has her bed, a dresser for her clothes and shelves for all her knick knacks. There’s still dry wall on the walls, concrete floors and wires sticking out of the dry wall, but at least it’s a start.

She has already picked out the colors she wants her walls to be but paint is expensive so we’re waiting on that. I’ve already picked out my flooring but since Dude hates it we might just be living with concrete FOREVER.

Oh well, at least Tinki will sleep comfy and cozy in a real bed instead of on the floor where she has been since moving in! Oh, and she does have sheets on the bed now, too 🙂

The First Day

Instead of writing about our first day in the new house. I decided to show you.

I’m glad I have some camping experience in my background!

I have a feeling we will be living like this for a while.


Moving Day

Well, we rented a truck to finally move all of our stuff into the new house. Both Dude and I wished we would have had a few more weeks to accomplish more things, but it was not in the cards for us.

As a result we are going to be living in a construction zone for some time.

The day we rented the truck started of just fine, but then we found out that someone else in our building was moving out the same day and their truck blocked the front entrance. We had to park a ways away and make a trek to the truck. (We also got a late start-not my fault!) It was only Dude, myself and Tinki since we are such DIY-ers and can’t bear to pay for anything if we don’t have to!

The boxes weren’t too bad, it was the fridge, washing machine and stove that gave us some problems since the truck we rented didn’t have a lift gate and was missing the ramp. Boy, were we upset about that. We actually went to the rental place three weeks ahead of time to get a truck with a lift gate or ramp and what do these guys give us? Nothing, that’s what. Dude and I were sweating bullets cuz the back of the truck was around 5 feet high and with just us, it was gonna be a chore. Oh well, we had no choice but to deal and guess what? We actually did it. We lifted the fridge, washing machine, oven and some heavy furniture into that thing. I’m not saying it was easy, but we did do it.

It took us nearly three days to load the truck, drive to the house, unload the truck and get back to the apartment. I had to call the rental place cuz we weren’t able to take the truck back by closing on the second day. They were super nice about it. I’m just glad no one was waiting for it!

Having to take the truck back the next morning was a difficulty I hadn’t planned on. That was the day we were suppose to meet the owners of the apartment we were leaving to do the walk through and give back the keys. Our rendez-vous was at 10am and so we had to have the truck back at 9am. We rushed home that night and stayed up until past midnight boxing up some last minute stuff that wouldn’t fit in the truck and cleaned the apartment.

Then we over slept cuz we were so dang tired from the move and that made us late to turn the truck in which in turn practically made us late for the walk through. We made it back to the apartment just in time!

I have to say that we had some of the nicest apartment owners imaginable. The dad and mom of the owners of the apartment live about 10 minutes from us and they watch over everything since the owners live in Paris. The mom and dad were super to us and the dad is the most adorable person you could ever meet. I would love to have him as a grandpa. These guys never bothered us while we were there. They only told us in the beginning to ask for anything that we might need and they would help us out. When they found out that we had come from the states and all our stuff wouldn’t arrive for a couple of months, they gave us plates, silverware, cups and a microwave to use. How cool, huh??

When they came over for the final walk through, they told us how much they appreciated us renting from them and thanked us a million times for keeping the apartment so neat. The dad just wanted to chat the morning away. He asked for our new address and said he had friends not far from our new place and if they could call sometime to come by and see us. We, of course, said yes and meant it. They’re very lovely people and it would be nice to keep in touch with them.

After the walk through, Dude, Tinki and I all went to my office. I had been away for three days with no access to phone or email and needed to get some work done. I couldn’t believe it! Everyone and their mother were after me for something or other. I had put my “Out of Office” assistant on to let everyone know that I wouldn’t be available, but that didn’t stop them from hounding me.

My goodness! These guys just got back from three plus weeks of vacation (I had to wait for them) and they were hounding me cuz I was gone for three days! I wasn’t even on vacation, dang it!

I had so much work to catch up on that I didn’t finish until 9pm that night. As a result, it was too late to make the drive to the house. It still needed to be cleaned up from all the drywall dust before we could sleep there so do you know what happened? We spent the night at my office! Yup! We three rolled out the sleeping bags we had used the night before (to sleep at the apartment since all our beds were at the new house) and we sleep on my office floor.

I have to tell you that I don’t highly recommend that. I was really uncomfortable since the floor is quite hard and the cleaning people of the building arrived at 5am to clean the place and woke us up! One thing that did work out, however, is the fact that my office has a coffee maker so I at least I got a hot cup o’ joe! Since I was already at work, I did some work for the day and then we packed up around 1pm and took off for the house.

Once there, we had to clean and get somewhat organized. We were up until 5am (again) just so we could be comfortable. I have to say, that I am starting to get sick. For real sick. We’ve just been doing way too much and we have so far to go still.

For now, all three of us are in one room and it also happens to be doubling as the living room, dining room and kitchen (since the fridge is in there with us). Hopefully we can have this wrapped up soon. I kind of feel like we are living in a hotel since my clothes are still in a suitcase and we don’t have the oven set up and there is no stove. It’s cold food for now.

We let’s see what we can accomplish tomorrow. Hopefully, we can get a little more organized!

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:)

Moving Stuff

Yippey, My Stuff Is Here!

The day our furniture arrived from the states, we were overjoyed. After no beds, tables, dressers or anything remotely close to convenience, we couldn’t contain ourselves. The morning of the arrival I got a call from the three guys who were going to come and help us unload our stuff. When we had left the states we had rented a 20 foot shipping container and that thing was packed as tight as possible. It possessed all that we would have in France. Of course, we had to sell some of our things, including two cars and a jet ski, but anything that could be crammed into that container, by golly was.

The guys that came to help us were three Frenchmen, one of who had lived in England for the past 10 years. He actually called himself “Froglish”. Killed me! He had the craziest accent, sort of cockney with a twist.

The guys were great and really worked their butts off for the whole morning. See we live on the 4th story of our apartment building, but we also have a garage underground. Since our apartment is half the size of the house we came from in the states, some of our stuff was to go in the apartment and get unpacked and the rest of the stuff was to be kept in boxes in the garage until we bought our own place.

I was designated the referee and stood at the front door of the building and told the guys whether the boxes should go into the garage or onto the elevator. We had a great system going and the whole container was unloaded in about 4 hours. Yes, 4 hours! I told you it was 20 feet of all my worldly possessions.

The only casualty was when Dude decided to help with our bed. We couldn’t fit it into the elevator because the frame was too tall. He and one of the guys proceeded to take it up the stairs. The problem is that the stairs in our building are spiral and narrow. Before they even made it up the first flight, Dude raise the frame up and hit the stairwell light and it fell to the ground and shattered into millions of tiny glass pieces. It would have to be him that did it! The stairwell is made of concrete and there is no carpet to buffer the sound. The crash was so loud, that it was practically deafening. Boy, did all the neighbors come running fast. I felt stupid. “Hi, were the goofy Americans that just moved in. Sorry that we’re already breaking stuff and being noisy.  We’re just trying to live up to your expectations of loud, noisy Americans. We might as well get that out of the way now”. Thanks, Dude!

After that fiasco (and subsequent clean up of glass pieces), the guys went to lunch and told us they would be back to help us unpack! Help unpack?? What a treat. No one helped us pack it up before we left!!

While the guys were gone, Dude, Tinki and myself got busy with starting the unpacking party. It was a mess. We had so much stuff packed into such a small space that we didn’t know where to begin. Tinki and I voted for getting the beds together. Both she and I were determined to not have to sleep another night on the tiled floor!

Once we finished with that it was on to the dressers, pots, pans and dishes. The guys came back and helped us empty all our boxes and even took ALL the trash with them (thank goodness cuz there was no where to put that stuff).

After all boxes were emptied, the moving guys took off and left us to finish finding places for all of our junk. We stayed up half the night trying to hook up the TV’s, DVD players and desk top computer. We were so excited to have them that we couldn’t  wait to get them all set up. That night I literally jumped into my bed and I slept better than I had in the last couple of months.

I am so happy that our stuff didn’t get lost at sea or stuck in customs. I won’t lie to you, I had some nightmare’s there for a while that our container would be lost in a storm (I had seen it happen on the news) or that customs would have some issues with the enormous amount of paper work we had to give them. Good news, none of that happened. It was as smooth as it could be.

I think when we move again, I will be calling those guys to come help. I figure they will be up for it as long as I tell them that Dude will keep his hands off and let them do it. I don’t need another broken light on the way down!

By the way, here is Tinki on the day our furniture arrived. Look at how happy she is! I just love her to pieces 🙂


Inappropriate Name

I have no idea what this company does and I was afraid to look on their website to find out. This is a seriously inappropriate name. Someone didn’t consult the Urban Dictionary before writing this on the side of their truck.

Move In and New Stuff

We actually made it into our apartment two weeks after arriving in France. It is pretty small but it does have a balcony with a view of the Mediterranean Sea and it sure beats the cramped hotel room we were all living in!  Once in the apartment we had to wait a week before all of our appliances arrived from the store we had bought them from. We did not bring anything appliance wise to France since the voltage is different here and it would have been much more of a hassle. Every new item we had to buy was so much smaller that we had in the states and it wouldn’t have fit anyway!

Because of the one week wait on our new-found purchases, the day we moved into the apartment we had no refrigerator, no washer, no dryer and no oven. We did, however, have a stove top so we were able to cook anything you could put in a pan! We ended up going to a store here called Boulanger, which is sort of like Best Buy in the states. I love this store! I could spend hours just browsing around looking at all the cool stuff I could buy, IF money was no object. Unfortunately, it is, so browsing is mostly what I do.

Thanks to modern technology, you can browse to. Sit back click and browse away….

Ohhh, back to reality. This store is where we ended up getting all of our stuff and they promised to deliver. Sweet-since I could only fit the microwave and coffee machine I had bought into my microscopic Renault Clio that we had rented (the one that now has a big dent in the side door and falling off side mirror due to dude’s accident). Off we went to set up the microwave and coffee maker in the apartment. Around 5 minutes later, we were done! That was easy. Now all we had to do was wait for all of our furniture to come from the states and we would be set. Those eight weeks felt like forever. I was getting pretty tired of sleeping on the tile floor.

My Arrival

Even though this was posted today, all this actually happened back in October when we first arrived. I only got around to telling my story today.

I actually made here! The trip was awful and I am not even going to sugar coat it. We got up at 5:30am on Sunday to leave by 7:30am to get to LAX. It rained on the way (but that was nothing compared to the rest of our trip). Everything went great at the airport, no issues there. The flight was really great. I recommend Air Tahiti Nui anytime! You should have seen the food they gave us (chicken and rice with veggies, bread, chocolate mousse, cheese, crackers, coffee) and for breakfast (waffles with raspberries on top, fruit, yogurt etc). I think it was the best airline food I have ever had! I should have know that our bliss would not last. Once arriving in Paris, it was all over. We arrived at 9am at Charles De Gualle airport. We were suppose to catch the TGV at 11:50 to be in Marseille and pick up our rental car at 3:30pm and make it to the hotel by 4pm. That never happened. Instead, we were told that our train had been canceled due to the strike and we would not be able to take another train until 2:30pm. So we parked ourselves and all of our luggage (6 very large suitcases 30″ and 3 carry-ons 20″ my computer and my daughters backpack)in the train station for 5 and 1/2 hours. Mind you, it was freezing in there. They do not heat the train station. Once on the train (it was a little late) we had to make every stop imaginable because not enough trains were running. It took 4 and 1/2 hours to get to Marseilles. By the time we got in, the car rental place was closed. It was now 7pm at night. I went to the ticket both to find a train to La Ciotat and was told that we would have to wait until 9:40pm ( 2 hours and 40 minutes in the station) before we could leave and it would be on a bus, not a train because they weren’t running any more that night, that dropped us off, God knows where, some place in La Ciotat. So we went to find a ATM machine (which was outside in a shady area, and I don’t mean under a tree, in Marseilles)and got some money to find a taxi to take us to La Ciotat. Well, the cars here are very small. So we didn’t fit too well and in the tax station there were 5 guys trying to literally tie our luggage on to a Ross/Jacob sized car. The taxi driver left the back hatch open and tied the door down over our luggage. We also had luggage in the passenger’s side of the car from floor to ceiling and Michael, my husband and Presley, my daughter, and I each had a piece of luggage on our laps in the back seat. We did finally made it to our hotel, but it was 10:30pm (we were supposed to be there at 4pm). We did not have internet or a phone in the room and the heat and television didn’t work. We also didn’t have any food.(We decided before getting a taxi that we should eat something in the Marseilles station so we did that. I can’t believe my first meal in France was stupid McDonalds!! That was the only thing open, but at least we got dinner)

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