(the misadventures of an expatriate corporate dropout)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

back to being beat again!

Lots of labor is progressing our projects. The week-end was a brocante whirlwind ... but no purchases to speak of!

I went to three open markets / vide-greniers ... nothing really rocked my world but then I did find a nice chest of drawers (commode) at a brocante. It is pine, but that old, faded pine ... not the yellowy American stuff. Monday JY arrived after his week away and I was so (actually WE were so) happy to see each other and fall back into our routine... some of it anyway. I guess absence can make the heart grow fonder ... there of course is more I'd like to say on this subject but it is complicated...I'll have to leave it at that for now.

But in the afternoon we worked on the café...I cleaned stone and JY began laying out the kitchen area. This means preparing the section where walls and a ceiling must be installed. It has all been very interesting to me to what the various processes associated with building and remodeling. Because of standards for kitchens, we have to install a ceiling over the kitchen area vs. the exposed wood and beams which will be in the rest of the restaurant. These beams are ancient and hand carved, so preparing them to accept a level surface has required some skill (which JY possesses, I do not - obviously!). He has affixed metal brackets and strips to the beams which the 'plaque' (drywall) will be affixed to. We have devoted a lot of thought and discussion to the kitchen layout. We are making the kitchen as small as we possibly can (galley style) to maximize the rest of our space. And we are trying to maximize the functionality of the kitchen space as well. Hopefully it will come together in a way that works ... we are not experts in this regard ... but learning together!

Today we spent the morning researching various pieces of kitchen equipment. After lunch, we decided to work in the garden vs. the café interior and capitalize upon the sunshine that showed itself. It was a good decision, all and all. It was revitalizing to be outside and see the end result. JY strimmed the ENTIRE large garden and treated for ortilles (nettles). Lastly, he tilled and prepared two flower beds where we have decided to put dahlias and other flowers that we love. My job was to rake the ENTIRE large garden, piling the remains into countless wheelbarrow loads and deposit them into the far corner of the garden where we have designated a compost area. I also shovelled and moved 3 barrow loads of charcoal which the former monsieur had stored out in the yard. At some point they were bags ... but had been there so long that soil had accumulated, bag material had decomposed and hordes of ants had set up shop. erghh! We both love gardening and particularly, this garden, so by the end of the day we were tired but relaxed and peaceful and re-charged! It was definitely a good day's effort. I'll upload some pics tomorrow to share.

After JY headed home, I also worked in the potager. when he inspected the garden on Monday, he told me the lettuces were planted too closely and so tonight I relocated every other lettuce, creating 2 rows where there had been one. I also began a sort of a fence. I took willow branches that I had stripped and retained last year, and made a little spike fence surrounding the garden. I then put some chicken wire intermittently since I don't have enough for a continuous fence. Basically, I'm just trying to give my dogs the message to keep out. If I need to ward off other critters, I'll have to do a more thorough job.

I also puttered about, making a little stone border for another flower bed, gathering all of our various tools and implements from the day and returning them to the gardening room ... in case it rains.

By 8:00 p.m. I was worn out. I heated some leftover vegetable curry and, too tired to bother with rice, just ate that. After a hot bath and a bit of this and that ... I've retired for rest and tomorrow's projects ... c'est ma vie!


softinthehead said...

Kim It sounds perfect! What a lovely day full of projects. :) My son and his girlfriend are at our french house at the moment and I am very envious.

Randal Graves said...

Since you're in the green mood, wanna come cut my grass and pull some weeds?

Stacey said...

You're getting all domesticated! When are you getting yer own chickens? Ha!


Notre Vie Juteuse said...

a good worn out. a productive weekend. a sunny weekend. Sounds lovely to me. All of it.

Riana Lagarde said...

wow! that is a whole lot in one day! next time get some long gloves and pick those nettles, they are the best for the compost heap, tons of nitrogen and vitamins. you can even make a nettle tea (nettles in water for a week) for your plants that is better than miracle gro anyday.

hope that you are feeling refreshed and revied in the morning to start all over again. i cant get the dirt out from under my nails, so i'll just leave it there until gardening season is over