I mentioned my friends Kathleen and David were here for a week. I've had trepidations about hosting visitors in my "under construction" home ... yet not only did they make sure their stay was hassle-free, they actually came with work clothes and did projects! gasp!
Kathleen arrived and scrubbed my makeshift kitchen from head to toe, organized some of the cookware and the fridge! David dug a hole in the garden where the petite solarium will be extended, removing dirt and a huge concrete foundation block from a space about 2 feet deep and 4 x 4 feet wide! They both resituated an old metal arch to the smaller garden, securing it so it now supports the ancient grapevine that Jean-Yves redirected from the rooftop of the solarium.
While they were here, my wood was delivered. The wood was dumped in a huge pile by my atelier entrance. The four of us quickly and systematically stacked three lines of wood (not sure but I do believe it exceeds a cord or 2). Further, David went and bought a huge woodsplitter ... (it scares me) and split at least half a cord of logs into pieces that will burn better. My wood was kind of wet and thus smoky.
Kathleen and David pitched in on shoveling wheelbarrows full of sand from the stone-cleaning process in my new kitchen, hauling it out into the garden to a spot where someday a wood deck will emerge.
And this doesn't begin to cover the free life-coaching sessions from Kathleen, listening to me natter on about my insecurities and frailties during this life upheaval.
I'm sure I've missed loads of things - oh yeah, here's another one: David cleaned out (as in bailed water and ooky gook and mosquito larvae) from a huge old washing sink in the garden, some sort of stone and then found corrugated metal that just happened to fit perfectly as a cover. They are worried about me getting malaria, I think!
I, in turn, carelessly tried to torment them by planting nail polish remover next to what appeared to be make-up removing pads and Kathleen almost blinded herself .... and David grabbed a bottle of what he thought was water but was watered down Windex and took a huge mouthful ... but thankfully didn't swallow much. I joked with them that on the next visit I would have to kid-proof the house.
They pretty much bought all of my meals out AND drinks. We cooked together often, sharing lunches al fresco in the garden, the 4 of us workers taking a break.
I've never had such amazing houseguests ... and it isn't like they were repaying Ritz-level accomodations, either. They have left their mark on this experience and there will always be a "room at the Inn" chez Mancha ... just for them.
Merci beaucoup and bises to my dear friends!
(you can check out the flickr stream for more pics, link in my sidebar...)