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Some Luck Comes Our Way

We finally had some more luck come our way today. Yippey!

There’s this electrical store just down the street from where I work and at lunch time (well a bit after that since you can’t interrupt the sacred lunch hour) Dude and I went to scope it out. He was looking for tracking and wire channel so he can get our ancient electrical system all up to modern day acceptability. (If you haven’t had the pleasure of seeing the way our electrical is run in the house, I will just tell you that it was done in the time of Roman rule).

Right now we still have all kinds of flex tubing that Dude recently put in, hanging down in the garage. There is also an old panel on the garage wall that he’s changing out. Dude needed to have some way to hold the flex going across the top of the garage and down the side walls for our new electrical runs and make it all neat and tidy and have it go into the new panel. Believe you me, running new electrical in a 300 year old house is not an easy task. Although, I just get to watch and supervise, Dude has to do all the work. There are some things I will help with and some I won’t and the electrical stuff falls into the “won’t” department. I’m a big chicken with that kind of stuff.

So back to the store part. Before going to this electrical store we tried our old stomping ground of LeRoy-Merlin. They had some of what we needed but they didn’t have the accessories to go with it. How ya supposed to complete the job without the rest of the goods, I ask you?

So today at this electrical store he was able to find the goods. He even found a guy there to help him and who spoke some English (score three points for that one). There was one down side, though (I guess that means we have to take away a point), the enormous costs of the stuff. The one thing that’s always a big shocker to us is the price. We thought the stuff we found at LeRoy-Merlin was fairly decent in price, but sheesh! This electrical store was outrageous. If you learn one thing about Dude in all of this, make it the fact that he doesn’t like getting jacked around! It seems that there is just no way to get around saving money on certain materials here. He always feels like he is getting jacked around on prices for tools and materials. This stuff isn’t even the cream of the crop so even though we came away with what we needed, it still leaves you a bit unfulfilled when you hear the money getting sucked out of your account!

On a lighter and even happier note, I am also happy to report that Sara, over in Le Petit Village, passed on her Happy Accident to us because right next store to the electrical place we found this guy who makes all great things out of metal (gates, tables, décor, etc.). Dude had this great idea to pop on over to see if we could find our elusive UPN for the side of the house (you know the one that the guys at Point P had no clue about and we’ve been trying to hunt down for a weeks). Guess what?? This guy had a piece! Well it was an IPN not a UPN, but that was good enough for us cuz it’ll work. The man at the store was really nice and patient with us as we mangled the French language trying to explain what it was that we needed. He eventually went into his back room workshop and rummaged through all his scrap pieces and voila, he found one! He was even nice enough to cut it in half for us and it was only 36 Euros. Mais oui, I would say that was a happy accident that we had today. Thanks for the good karma Sara 🙂

So now we get to drive all the way home (one hour) with this stuff sticking several feet out of the trunk of Benoit. The electrical stuff is too big for us to close the back hatch so this should be fun. I hope it doesn’t rain (it sure looks like it’s going to) and I hope that everything that’s in the back of the car ends up at home with us and not littering the road or someone else will have a Happy Accident (well maybe not). I guess that would all depend on if they find it or hit it!

PS-I forgot to tell you that today is our 1 year anniversary of landing in La France! What a crazy year it has been!

Well Begun Is Half Done

All day long I kept saying these words to myself and hearing Mary Poppins saying them, as well.

You know in the movie when Mary Poppins tells Jane and Michael about playing a game and it’s called “Well Begun Is Half Done”, then Michael says that he doesn’t like the sound of it. Well, I don’t like the sound of it either. In the movie  it refers to Jane and Michael tidying up their room and for me it refers to the fact that we continuously have to do things over and over and it always starts out well and then it only gets half finished because something doesn’t work out so good.

Today our “well begun is half done” happened to be the drywall in the two upstairs rooms. Dude has been saying lately that it’s looking pretty good and we can soon primer the walls. Well guess what?? Our brand, spanking, new drywalled walls are cracking. That’s right. Right up the middle in the identical areas of both rooms.

It seems that since the house is made out of concrete it’s continuously expanding and contracting and it’s pulling at our new drywall. We had put in a metal rod and a clee a few months ago to fix this problem since there is a big crack in the side of the house. The rod and clee were supposed to push the house together and stop the crack from getting worse. Then we put up new dry to hide the rod and also to put in some insulation. Well the clee is on one side of the house (the library side), but the other side (Tinki’s room) needs to have a metal UPN to pull it together. We have been having the hardest time trying to get this. Now with the weather being warm during the day and cold at night, the house is heating up and then cooling down and Dude thinks this is causing the drywall to contract and expand with the temperature which is probably the reason for the initial crack in the outside wall of the house.

Great! He did his best to fix the issue, but we seem to be having the same issue with our new wall!

He already fixed two of the cracks and then today he goes upstairs to put another finish coat on the walls and voila, another crack appeared today.

The crazy thing is that it was there during the day, then as soon as the temperature dropped it disappeared and the crack he fixed the other day started to bulge. Now we are desperately in need of finding that stupid UPN.

I already tried looking on line and of course all these metal places won’t answer your email questions and when I call they say that they won’t sell you just one short piece. I even took a picture of one over to Point P to ask those guys where to find one and those losers looked at it like it was from outer space. No one there even knew what it was and those stupid things are on houses all over the place here! FIRED! That’s what I say. How the heck can you work in a construction store and not know what a metal UPN is??

So tomorrow we are headed to a metal shop that is near my work. This guy makes all kinds of neat things and maybe he’ll have a junk pile we can fish through to find it. Once we do find it then we have to figure out how to get it on the other side of the rod (which is in our neighbor’s yard). Then we have to hope it works and our drywall (and outer wall) stops cracking. We can’t paint the walls until then.

I’m still hearing Mary Poppins and it’s translating to “one step forward and two steps back”.

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