A lot happened in this short month!!
February is always the shortest month of the year but, DAMN, we got A LOT done this month!! I had to review January's blog entry to figure out where we left off and - YES - A LOT has been happening around here!
What have we accomplished to this point? - at the house:
1. We have a west side back door, a south side window, and a north side door in the barn! In January, we managed to get the walls opened up for the doors and windows but now those have been installed. There are now exit points on all 4 sides of the barn! The north side door - or should I says doorS - was actually a reopening of an older/original passageway into the house. We installed 2 doors because the structural walls are about 18" thick so one door opens into the barn and the other door opens into the house. This will provide extra noise and thermal insulation and, obviously, make it more convenient to get to the barn when it is really wet and miserable outside. It's already proving to be VERY useful as we are receiving all of our building supplies in the barn and then using them for the work in the house.
2. We blew out the bathroom by removing the hall and walling off the previous door into my room. In doing this, of course we needed to open a "new" entrance to my room which we decided to place in the salon adjacent to the fireplace. While opening up that wall, we discovered that there was originally a passageway there already! Since we both love restoring old stuff, we've decided to keep the wood framing for the original passageway and we've mounted the new door to my room on the "fake" portion of the interior wall as to not interfere with the passageway framing which we plan to restore and make look nice. The new bathroom walls are up, the tile is in on the floor and the bathtub surround and we even have tiles in the toilet room floor!
3. We completely gutted the kitchen and utility room area. We removed the former wall between the kitchen and the utility space and rebuilt it further back on the other side of the carport door so now you come directly into the kitchen from the carport. We've also relocated the door to the utility room to be on the other (right) side of the room which gives a lot more potential in the kitchen! Basically, you can now enter the kitchen from the carport and there is a door immediately to the right, upon entering, that will grant access to the utility space which will have a storage freezer, laundry machines, and a pantry rack. Most of the walls are up in the utility room and kitchen area but it still needs tiling and the rest done. The walk in closet, which is on the other side of the utility space, has already had it's floor installed but I forgot to get a photo.
4. We're making some progress on our septic situation. When we purchased this home, we knew that we would need to completely redo the individual sanitation system because it is old and does not meet current regulations. We finally had an expert team come out to assess the current situation and they will provide their expert recommendations so that we can start getting that work underway. As of the time of this entry, the current system is located on the west side of the property but it is way too close to the home's foundation. As such, our current plan is to have a much smaller, more efficient, and better contained unit installed on the north side of the property. This will put the unit closer in proximity to our existing 24M well but, since this is a renovation of an existing system and the new systems are better contained, we are being told that this should not present any issues.
5. We're starting to prepare for some of the vegetable garden work! In addition to the interior house work, we are also continuing to work on the grounds. In January it was mainly a lot of general clean up and there is still plenty more of that to do! I did decide to have the two trees, that were growing IN the fence line, removed - which also tore out the fence that they were growing in/through. We've ordered some tools and are working on sourcing posts and fence wire so we can start to rebuild the fence. In the meantime, I've been using VegPlotter to map out and plan our new vegetable garden and I have started laying out some of the structure in real life! We have a ton of passion fruit vines that are growing and I have germinated and am growing several other vegetable varieties as well so that should be a lot of fun to see grow over time.
What else is new?
1. We both have our "Carte Vitale" which is vital to being able to get reimbursed for medical expenses in France! I've seen my general practitioner, completed my first A1C blood test, and done my resting cardiology exam. I have also scheduled a full blood panel, my active cardiology and an endocrinology appointment. I've also seen a specialist who cleared my Type 1 Diabetes so I can start to pursue a driver's license in France. Lots of medical stuff to catch up on!!
2. We're getting married!! After collecting all the paperwork needed for a French person to marry a foreigner in France, we finally have an accepted marriage application and will be tying the knot at the end of April in Habas, France! It was moderately amusing that he only needed to provide a few pages of documentation and I had to scrounge up TONS of stuff, have it Apostilled in the States, mailed to me, officially translated into French and finally submitted! I mean, yes, I get it but - wow! It's been accepted though and we are just waiting for the official public listing.
Well, the weather should be starting to warm up and I am eager to start digging around in the garden and laying down some roots! We're hoping to get the interior electrical upgraded, plans for the kitchen installation done and hopefully start the kitchen, and then just finish the bits and pieces on the rest of the house. I think we have everything we need to finish the bathroom (as soon as the electrical is done) and we should be able to wrap up both toilet rooms as well. Our bedroom and closet shouldn't need too much more...which is also the case for my room.
As for the rest of the house, we definitely need the electrical upgraded and then we need to think about what we're going to do with the walls and such. The devil is always in the details and we haven't really gotten that far yet...
Again, for WEEKLY wrap ups, check out my YouTube Channel. It's faster to video record with voice and put together short updates than wordsmith what I want to say on a regular basis. As stated last month, I will try to post a similar summary on a monthly basis for those who prefer reading something.
Thanks for reading and I'll catch you up next month!
I was born at Stanford Hospital and have always lived within about 30 miles of there. This is where I'm documenting my move from CA, USA to the South West of France.