A friend, inspired by my new feathered companions, recently loaned me a book written by Annie Dupery- a Parisian actress relocated to la Creuse… In Le Poil et la Plume she describes eloquently her reasons for relocating to this ‘forgotten’ part of the country, and her endeavors raising both chickens and cats (Fur and Feathers) in her rural garden… The opening text of her book puts it perfectly, (in words better than I can conjure) so I have left them in the original French (rough English translation follows). (more…)
We have chickens! Does that mean it’s a farm yet???
Actually this is a little bit old news, since they have been with us now for two weeks- but I wanted to give them some time to adjust before they got the paparazzi routine… Now they are happily adjusted, enjoying their freedom, and pecking around the garden… no eggs yet, but we will give them a little more time to come up with the rent before we kick them out.
It’s definitely spring! In La Creuse, that usually means a lot of gray, rainy days… But there’s a good bit of sunshine mixed in and when the sun shines, even for a brief moment, it’s amazing. The color of green everywhere is intense, some kind of shade of green which can’t really be described or captured in pixels… You will just have to come see for yourself.
Just a few smaller projects happening, getting the yard cleaned up and ready for spring/summer… The garden is underway, still lots of digging to do though… The weather is warming up fast and the ground is starting to dry… The chicken coop turned out to be a more thorough project than I had intended, but it should be finished soon. The girls are arriving next week.
I had been stumbling down the little hill on the side of the house for long enough and I decided it was time to finally put in some stairs down to the garden. Of course the old fence had to go as well, and when the fence was gone it was clear the whole rock wall needed to be rebuilt. One thing led to another and a simple project turned into a few days of hard work! After two days of hauling boulders around, I could hardly move! Then it was time to break down some palettes to turn them into a reclaimed wood fence to finish the deal… Yeah Anika, I finally used the wood you and Josie broke last year!
So, the weather had been typical Creusois spring time (lots of rain and gray skies), but there has been some sun here and there… Plus the upside of all the rain is that everything is so GREEN. Spring is definitely here… (more…)
Yet another project that was months in the making- This one has been worked on by at least four people over a span of two months! In the middle of all that the roofing extravaganza began and the door was put on hold multiple times. It was a project that was long overdue, from the very first day I saw the house, that old, ugly brown door was the first thing I wanted to rip out!
We picked up the door way back in the middle of September. Odette told me there was an old door that the now deceased neighbor had long ago given to her now deceased husband that she had always thought would look great on the house. I didn’t expect much, but we went over to rummage in the barn and found this beautiful old door, made by hand of solid oak. The years had made their mark, but nothing a fresh coat of Le Vignaud Blue couldn’t fix. (more…)
Yup, count ‘em- that’s almost SIX WEEKS of roofing, and you get to enjoy it all in a matter of seconds from the convenience of your home. I know everyone has been waiting for months for this! The thing is, when you live in a house with no electricity, encoding video, editing photos, and Facebook status updates happily fade away into non-existence. You’ve all been rewarded for waiting so long though with a very in-depth and media-rich experience brought to you by the kind folks at Le Vignaud Productions.(more…)
Konrad, Anika, and Josie had just just shown up to spend a few days kickin’ back and enjoying the French countryside. I didn’t wait long to put them to work cleaning one of the last of the ‘big messes’ that had been bothering me since we arrived! (more…)
Although this post is titled ‘First Things First’ it’s important to note that we had already done quite a lot of work to make it to this point! This was already our third trip to the ‘new’ house- twice last year, just CLEANING, killing the ivy growing up the walls, cutting down the mess of vines and brambles in the yard. This time around we had already been back for over a month- Once again cutting down all the mess that had grown up while we were gone, making our weekly trips to the Déchèterie with loads of trash, stripping the old yellow wallpaper from the walls and doing drywall, and various other projects.
But- First things first, we needed a toilet! We also needed a shower… So I set about to build a Dry Composting Toilet system and an outdoor solar shower. Of course, the ol’ bucket system just wouldn’t cut it. I wanted something that would not only be functional, environmentally friendly, and cost-effective, but also something that would look nice and pass even the most discriminating of tastes. I broke out the woodworking kit and got to work building a toilet that one might even describe as… beautiful? (more…)