Saturday, May 26, 2012

"Chauffeur d'autobus...bougez ce bus!"

or as we say back home, "Bus driver, move that bus!" while awaiting the final reveal of the completed house. Hank, Caleigh and I are chomping at the bit for that glorious day after living a year and a half in a bit of petit hell in our Petit Clos construction zone. At times, nearly freezing to death within our stone walls, sharing one room huddled together with all our pets, rationing hot water (hell, water period when our well dried up last year), rationing flushes due to an ancient "septic system" (in quotes because it was no more than a holding tank we later found out and needed to be pumped on a regular basis), maxing out electrical extensions until our new service finally replaced the ancient one and living under a fine layer of plaster or drywall powder throughout the entire process. Most of the time we actually laughed about our dire conditions; they were just so bad at times that it seemed kind of funny especially seeing that we had intentionally left our comfy, warm home in Southern California. But with summer just around the corner, we are now eager to move forward, free to focus on running and growing our businesses and mapping out Caleigh's continuing eduction as she moves up to Lycee (high school) next year.

Following are a few pictures of what we've been up do.

This is our front entry when we moved in

 Here it is now. Still needing some touch ups and paint and loads of potted flowers i think. Notice the beautiful stone on the back wall that we discovered?

Here is the front entrance hallway that housed our clothes dryer until just recently. It's funny the things you don't appreciate until you have no choice but to put your dryer in the hallway entrance of your home (oh, and constantly try to locate the extension cord that someone snagged so they could use it for something else in the house). And only use the damn thing "when" it's not going to cost you a fortune which is between the convenient hours of 11:30pm and 7:30am.

 Here it is now. The walls are just skim-coated at this point and will be painted next week.

Here's the hallway looking the opposite direction before:

same viewpoint, now:

The kitchen before:
 The kitchen today:

Living Room before:

And after:

The picture hanging wire on our antique mirror above the fireplace broke and the mirror with it out of the blue. Fortunately, Mom and Gary were visiting and found a beautiful painting from a local french artist to replace the empty space.

Of course, they did not stop there and helped us paint our new gates, refinished furniture, gardened,  shopped and even hauled our new shower rod and lace curtains for the clawfoot tub as well as nice sheets for the rooms all the way from the States.

Caleigh's Room avant:

et apres:

And just a pretty picture of Caleigh for the hell of it:

We changed our room names. "The Blue Room" is now "La Chambre des Lavandes" (Lavender Room)



And it has an en suite bathroom with shower.

This is the landing before where this bathroom was built.

Here's the same landing now. Note the new walls where the chairs used to be.

"The Green Room" is now called "La Chambre des Tournesols" (Sunflower Room)



This is the location of the private bath for Les Tournesols before:

And here it is today:

We redid the floors and staircase...well actually, this was my little baby and I think I did a pretty good job.

When this little guy just wasn't doing the trick anymore...

We had the new septic (micro system) installed.

And last, but not least, a digging project we could all get excited about..

About a week from now, we should be able to put our cosy's on (brit speak for swimming costume I believe) and take a dip in our brand new swimming pool thanks to a generous loan from a dear friend and mentor of Hank's.

Just in time for guests to arrive thanks to our wonderful new promotional materials created yet again by dear friend, Megan Welsh at Spring Creative.

Megan also provided the logo art she designed to friend of the family and artist extraordinaire, Harvey McMeekin of Dana Point, California, who has created our signage thanks to my dad and Ginny.

So, we should be ready to go this season thanks to the generosity, support and help of so many. We never could not have come this far without you.



  1. My oh my what beautiful work you ALL have done! Can't wait to see it in person one day.

  2. Weeeeeeeeeeeew, makes me tired just looking at all that you two have accomplished. The "pool boy" appears to be a nice addition and I understand he does vineyards too. I think he deserves one of those commercial barbeques for his, gb