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A Look Back at Winter

Now that winter is officially over, here’s a quick look back in pictures…

The view from the bedroom window in winter.

The view from the bedroom window in winter.


A House With a Blue Door

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…)

Roofing Les Verrines

September 20, 2011 – October 31, 2011

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…)

A New Garden

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…)

The Biggest Courgette

Every year in the summer, the gardens are full of plenty of fresh vegetables of all kinds- Even though we had no garden of our own this year, the neighbors are always happy to help out and ensure that we get our daily ration of veggies. Perhaps the most prolific of all is the lowly courgette (zucchini)… They come in all shapes and sizes, for all tastes and purposes. Throughout the whole summer, there are courgettes all over the village and they grow so fast, no one can possibly eat them all. (more…)

First Things First

Lena, Ready for Action

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…)

Postcard from Le Mas St. Jean

In Front of La Chapelle du Mont St. Jean with the Renault