Saturday, April 30, 2022

French apartment renovations, Day 493: Grandparents & hidden gold

12,092 steps

Eric's parents arrive late tonight! We saw them once right before the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. This was before we had purchased the communist apartment. A lot has changed!

Inga, Dio, and Zari all had soccer matches today. I ran some errands and purchased a tall, narrow cupboard with 4 drawers and 3 shelves for the closet in Le Catamaran. It fit with one centimeter to spare! I'm trying to maximize storage since the apartment only has the one small closet.

Our house is looking shiny and sparkly--well, not perfect but better than usual. We swept, vacuumed, dusted, washed, and organized.

When I was putting felt pads on the bottom of the secrétaire this afternoon, we had to tip it forward. We heard some things rattling around. I opened it up to show Inga the inside and a stack of envelopes and a gold ring had appeared! We had cleaned it out before purchasing it, but I guess there was some hidden crack that had collected items over the years. I messaged the woman we bought it from to see if she'd like the ring back.

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Friday, April 29, 2022

French apartment renovations, Day 492: Never again!

It just struck midnight and my fitness tracker reset. So who knows how much I walked today?

Why am I staying up so late? I'm tired!! But I have two children who keep trying to stay up later and later, and then Eric is a night owl (off playing soccer, back around midnight). I'd be in bed by 10:30 pm if I were on my own. 

We went to Leroy Merlin (again) and bought drywall (again) and put it up (again). But this time was our LAST time buying drywall. I spent an hour with a kitchen specialist trying to track down the cupboard handles that we ordered but never received. We returned the leftover materials for our subfloor, which was a great feeling. I wish I had pictures but I was busy working. 

Then my night shift (breech work) started. I need a break! It's good that tomorrow is Saturday. 

In lieu of any relevant pictures, here is one that Ivy took and edited. This is what she's like every time she comes home from playing at the park. "It's burning hot in here!"

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Thursday, April 28, 2022

French apartment renovations, Day 492: So much drywall

We did drywall all day long. Much of it was adhered to the walls with MAP, and of course the walls were uneven. When it's more than a few centimeters different along the wall, you can't just glue the boards on because there will be big voids. We had to put a first layer of MAP (daubs about 30 cm apart) to "level" the surface. After that dries, then you daub more MAP and adhere the sheet of drywall to the wall.

It was SO strange using the dot & daub method at first. But now we're old pros at it. I still like wood 2x4s, though, and don't know if I'd ever switch over the to metal rails that are common here.

We are taking a trip to Leroy Merlin tomorrow for the last 8 pieces of drywall and a few other supplies, plus a big load of returns. The plumber is coming in the early afternoon to hook up the shower drain. At that point, all the interior plumbing will be roughed in. We can tile the shower at any point now, as soon as I brush on the final coat of waterproofing membrane (backordered).

After dinner we tested out the scooter ramp. I have some fun videos but Zari was using my computer all evening until midnight! So that will have to wait until tomorrow. Inga was so sad because she never got up the courage to go off the ramp. Ivy went on rollerblades and Dio had several good jumps.

Dinner was creamy herbed pork chops and steamed cauliflower, plus strawberries in marscarpone cream for dessert.
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Wednesday, April 27, 2022

French apartment renovations, Day 491: Building walls and using math

7,277 steps

You know how you studied things back in high school or college and wondered, "When am I EVER going to use this in real life?!?"

Well, I am pleased to announce that the Pythagorean Theorem came in very handy when I needed to make two walls meet at exactly 90° in an imperfectly crooked 15th century apartment.

How I did it: I marked the starting spot of the 90° angle and measured 250 cm down one wall (the long, straight one!) and marked a line. Then I measured 250 cm down the other wall and marked another line. Then I did a² + b² = c² and determined that c should be 353.5 cm. So then I measured until the hypotenuse (the distance bewteen the 2 lines that I had marked) was exactly 353.5 cm and I knew we had a right angle!

Today was dedicated to framing that new wall. But of course it wasn't so simple because I ran out of lumber. So I had to take some old salvaged beams from our demolition 16 months ago and rip them into boards roughly 2x4" and then plane them (because the wood was warped in spots). Voila! Lumber! It just took a while.

Oh, here are pictures of the new secrétaire for Le Catamaran. I love how it has the exact same pattern of inlaid wood. The middle door folds down to make a desk and will be the perfect spot to stow away a TV.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2022

French apartment renovations, Day 490: Happy (real) 13th birthday Dio!

17,959 steps

I have TWO TEENAGERS! I don't feel old enough or qualified enough to be taking care of teenagers. I don't feel like I was ever a normal teenager myself--although what is normal, right?--so how am I supposed to know what to do?

Dio had a disappointing day. We had school and work and all the normal things, and I know he would have liked it to feel more special. Plus he didn't like his presents but he felt bad about not liking them. It's tough being 13.

We did our usual watching of his birth videos and reading of his birth story.

Obligatory link to his birth story & videos:

Pictures comparing newborn Dio to 1-month Dio:

And pictures from the month when he was born:

His super-popular breastfeeding video (4.9 million views):

Eric and I spent most of the day making Dio a scooter ramp, which he had been asking for and watching tutorial videos of for a while. Dio thinks it's too big so we're going to make a smaller one and then test them both out.

We found a beautiful piece of furniture, called a "secrétaire" for the living room in Le Catamaran. I'll try to take pictures tomorrow. I ran errands all over town this afternoon, some for Dio and some for household things.

And now that I'm looking through my blog from when Dio was born, I just HAVE to include some pictures.

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Monday, April 25, 2022

French apartment renovations, Day 489: Framing, drywall, legal headaches

5,625 steps

I like days where I have to figure out how to engineer things in creative ways. That's what I did today, although most of it is hidden. I attached the framed doorway opening to the plaster/rock wall (on the left) and to the iron doorframe (on the right). I then had to build a lip about 10 cm above it that corresponded with the ceiling height so we could have someting to screw the drywall into. The far side of the WC room also needed a lip. Then FINALLY we got that piece of ceiling drywall up.

Then I did some reinforcing of the framed wall in the back. Some of the "studs" (scraps recycled from various demolitions) were thin enough that they curved and moved when pushed on. I also patched in a piece of wood for hanging a heavy mirror on the other wise (WC in Le Catamaran). So we got everything braced and stabilized so that FINALLY we could attach the back piece (green).

A friend came over with some pieces of wood he needed cut. I like being the neighborhood tool shop for our friends! I wish that we had some sort of storage/garage space where we could set up a tool shop and have a neighborhood tool "library." Ah well, keep dreaming...

I spoke with a retired legal assistant today about our heat pump issue. She kept saying "c'est grave" and said that there's really nothing to do except hire an attorney and bring the company to court. Of course we can start with a registered letter setting out all the things done wrong and asking for them to be addressed within a certain date. But, she said, he's very likely to comply.

So maybe in 1-2 years we'll see some closure on this. In the meantime we have to get the compressors taken off fairly soon and then we have to figure out if there's anywhere we can actually mount them...otherwise we have to rip the whole system out and we will have 3 apartments without a heating/cooling system. All due to the installer not putting them where they were supposed to be in the first place and not seeking proper authorization (and not telling us) when he decided to put them somewhere else.

Enjoy these outtakes from yesterday's photos.

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Sunday, April 24, 2022

French apartment renovations, Day 488: More birthday parties...and a time warp

14,407 steps

Ivy's friend had a birthday party at the chateau this afternoon. So many parties lately!

Before the party, I made everyone put on their Breech Without Borders t-shirts (because it was the only matching thing we all had) and take a picture. It's been 2 years since our last family snapshot and things have CHANGED! Zari stood up extra straight to emphasize her height advantage over me 🙂

School starts up again tomorrow after a 2-week vacation.

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Saturday, April 23, 2022

French apartment renovations, Day 487: Happy birthday (party) Dio!

12,227 steps

We celebrated Dio's birthday today with a group of his friends. (His birthday is in 3 more days.) Imagine a group of 9 adolescent boys all crowded into our apartment, goofing off and being 12- and 13- year olds. It was fun and noisy and great for Dio, who missed celebrating 2 birthdays in a row due to Covid.

We had planned an outing to the skatepark, despite rain the forecast. It wasn't raining when we headed out, but the rain started and didn't stop for the rest of the day. By time we arrived, the skatepark was closed but a little soccer field next door was open. Eric and the boys and Inga played for a while in the rain, then came back for lunch, cake, and presents.

Normally the party was supposed to end at that point (4 hours in) but then they all decided they wanted to do an archery combat game. It's a 2-team game, kind of like laser tag or paint ball, only with bows & arrows (safe ones, tipped with big pieces of foam). Inga begged to come along and had lots of fun.

Despite very little time, I was able to pull together a skatepark cake with a half-pipe, complete with graffiti. We would have covered the whole thing in graffiti but we didn't have enough time.

While the boys (and Inga) were away shooting arrows at each other, I walked to a furniture thrift store. I didn't find anything quite perfect but it's fun to look. My feet were soaked by time I got home. I'm ready for warmer drier weather! We're still having to hear our apartment and it's almost May.
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Friday, April 22, 2022

French apartment renovations, Day 486: Work + cake

7,583 steps

Ivy had a friend over all day, and then she went to that friend's house for a sleepover. She's had a very social vacation!

Eric and I put up drywall, including one piece on the kitchen ceiling. We ripped out an old metal doorframe embedded in the wall (involving an angle grinder, a jackhammer, a pry bar, a demolition hammer, and lots of muscle power). Then I rebuilt a new wooden frame to serve as the rough opening for the WC door.

We have to do the same thing to the entry door. The iron door has to go since it is way too tall for the new mezzanine (remember when we carried it down the street to a local metalworker so he could cut off the top 30 cm?). We have a salvaged wooden door & frame that we're going to put in its place. But that's a project for another day...

We bought YET another tool: a sliding compound miter saw. Our current miter saw was not big enough to cut the larger boards we'll be using to rebuild the wooden ceiling.

After a productive work day, I baked Dio's birthday cake. We're having the party tomorrow although his birthday isn't until Monday. By the end of the evening I had a skatepark cake. I baked it in a large oval pan and built a half-pipe in the middle, all covered in gray frosting to mimic concrete. We're going to try painting graffiti on it in the morning with food coloring. Not sure if it will work but we'll try!
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Thursday, April 21, 2022

French apartment renovations, Day 485: Quiet house

3,443 steps

Yet another night waking up at 5:30 am. Ugh. Too many things on my mental to-do list.

Eric and I had a good work day, mostly putting up more drywall. (Well, first was carrying up the drywall from the downstairs hallway...then installing it!)

Ivy was gone last night and most of today at a sleepover. Dio was gone at a friend's house working on a class project. Here is the end result. I am very impressed!

Nothing else terribly exciting today...time to read a book and then go to bed.
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Wednesday, April 20, 2022

French apartment renovations, Day 484: Blessed and cursed by the Covid gods

9,365 steps

Well, I got a message tonight that no one wants to hear: "I have Covid." This was from my obstetrician colleague who is in the middle of teaching breech workshops! In the next 5 days he is teaching 4 full days in 2 different states.

Fortunately, we just happened to have a midwife from MSF who works with Breech Without Borders only 3 hours away from where he is currently teaching...and who could take off and work for a week with only an hour's notice...and who was more than happy to come help out! She is getting in her car as I type.

All in all, it worked out pretty well. But boy, imagine the number of phone calls and emails I had to do this past hour to arrange everything.

The plumber came this morning and did the drain lines. Besides hooking up one little last thing under the shower, he is finished inside the apartment until it's time for the final hook-ups once everything is installed. I did a bit of work in the morning before the usual soccer afternoon craziness.

Oh, and of COURSE I had to wake up at 4 am this morning and then lie in bed with to-do lists running through my head.
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Tuesday, April 19, 2022

French apartment renovations, Day 483: 44!

16,401 steps

I had grand plans to take some fun "44" pictures with the kids, but the day ended up being busier than I had anticipated. I went with Inga in the morning to find a frame for her wolf crosstitch. She's giving it to her friend for her birthday today.

Inga has a huge list of fun things happening over the next 24 hours: her friend's birthday party at the Bois des Lutins (outdoor adventure/theme park), then a sleepover, then an Escape Game tomorrow morning. Her other birthday gifts were 3 fun plants: a sensitive plant, a goldfish plant, and some beautiful blue flowers just for fun.

Eric took Zari to buy some large art paper; a family has asked her to draw a portrait of them, so she has a huge project ahead of her.

So that took us to mid-day. After lunch, Eric took Ivy and Dio to the skatepark and Zari stayed behind to help me. Honestly, I had so much fun working with her! I taught her how to use the jackhammer and she took off a big section of the front wall plaster. I worked on smaller projects: labeling all of the circuits, applying epoxy to a rotted part of the beam, installing the last tiny bits of subfloor in the kitchen.

 We ended the afternoon looking at light fixtures online. Then, on a whim, I asked Zari if she'd like to come to one of my favorite furniture consignment stores. We found a treasure trove of items!

Zari spotted a beautiful wool rug in the same blue tones as the big rug in Le Catamaran. It fits upstairs on the mezzanine. I spied a big wooden porthole mirror/window that pivots open. I can use it as the WC mirror or even to create a small operable window into the WC (replacing the mirror with frosted glass down the road). I also found a big porthole window salvaged off of a boat. It's enormously heavy so we left it at the store and will come back tomorrow to pick it up. This will go somewhere in Le Catamaran...we'll find a place for it!

Anyway, that little flea market trip was super fun--probably more fun than any presents would have been. I got the rug deep cleaned and installed in Le Catamaran this evening.

Eric cooked a veal mushroom dish and bought a delicious strawberry cake for my birthday cake. 

Then we watched the movie Work It. It was surprisingly good. We all got a kick out of the actor who plays Kid Flash doing a totally different role.
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Monday, April 18, 2022

French apartment renovations, Day 482: 938 stairs and butt surgery

14,843 steps

Inga had a great idea for her friend's birthday present, but the thing she wanted to get--unnamed in case her friend and/or friend's mom reads this--was only available in one store which was VERY far away. It took us 8 tram stops, 15-minute walk, and 469 steps to get there! Then we had to retrace our path back home.

We took a fun detour to the park/stade du Ray to see Ivy and Eric, who were there for an all-day soccer tournament. We came by during the lunch break. It was fun to surprise them and have lunch together. Inga played at the amazing playground and managed to get several splinters in her butt. Most she pulled out but there's something still bothering her.

Later on in the evening, I had her lie down so I could inspect her possible sliver. I dug around for a while with a needle and tweezers. I honestly can't tell for sure if there's a sliver or not. It looks like there's something, but it's very deep in the skin and nothing pokes out, even when I dig around. Poor Inga. It can't be fun. I finally gave up and told her to wait and see what happens over a day or two.

I had all sorts of other errands to run, some with Zari and some by myself.

In the evening we watched Love and Monsters together.
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Saturday, April 16, 2022

French apartment renovations, Days 480: Just a Saturday, nothing else

3,968 steps

Ahhh, a nice relaxing Saturday with ZERO soccer tournaments! We did crafts and read books in the morning, then went to the beach after lunch. I put my feet in but chickened out. Ivy and Inga both swam--briefly. Ivy said it was a lot colder today.

It was great to get some Vitamin D together as a family. I'm excited for many more beach days in the new few months!

We did a big cleanup of the living room, complete with some tantrums and tears and hurt feelings and apologies.

I had a breech live session right at dinner time, but otherwise it was a low-key day.
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Friday, April 15, 2022

French apartment renovations, Days 479: A good Friday

9,974 steps

I slept well last night and woke up feeling so much better. A bit woozy but well enough to work on renovating much of the day. Zari helped me in the morning while Eric was spearfishing. By the end of the day we had laid the rest of the kitchen subfloor.

I took Ivy to the beach when she came back from soccer camp. I basked in the sun and she swam. She said the water wasn't too cold, so maybe I will build up the courage to try it!

We live surrounded by Catholic churches and cathedrals, which means we get to listen to the bells every day as well as witness holy festivals. Tonight was the Good Friday processional up the Rue Rosetti, following the stations of the cross. We took the kids to watch for a little while.

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Thursday, April 14, 2022

French apartment renovations, Days 478: Sick leave

Not a whole lot happening today due to half of us being sick. I hardly slept at all last night--typical for me when I'm sick. Eric is the opposite; he goes into a sleeping coma and sleeps most of his illness away.

I had to force myself to get up and prepare dinner midday (boeuf Bourguignon). We had mushrooms that we starting to go bad and I didn't want them to spoil. Zari asked how I did it. "I don't have a choice. When you're a parent, you just have to force yourself to do things because they need to get done."

Dio's worst symptom is a constant cough. Poor kid. I think we're all slightly better than we were yesterday but definitely not well.

But because I was sick and not renovating, I got to watch the Breech & Twins Master Class happening today in Chicago. It's fun to be on the student end of things after being the teacher so often.
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Wednesday, April 13, 2022

French apartment renovations, Days 476-477: Covid 2.0???

Dio started feeling sick yesterday. He went on a planned outing to a skatepark with Eric. Dio only did 3 little ramps and then felt too sick to continue. And...Zari and I got it this morning. I felt fine until about 11 am, when it hit me suddenly.

As a precaution, Dio and I got tested this morning. He is positive--how did that happen? !? And weirdly enough, I am negative but have symptoms identical to his, as does Zari. I wonder if I have Covid but my viral loads aren't high enough to register, given that I have 2x vaccinations + booster + previous infection less than 3 months ago. 

Anyway, it stinks. Half of us are lying around feeling awful. Well, I'm about medium-awful right now. 

But *before* illness hit me this morning, Eric and I made a trip to the big home improvement store for lumber, drywall, joint compound, and floor leveling granules. We left right when I was starting to feel ill. By time we got home, I helped him get the things inside the hallway but couldn't help carry things upstairs. 

What else happened yesterday? Not a whole lot of renovating, but lots of measuring in anticipation of placing a big order of wood for restoring the ceiling. 

We're still trying to sort out the situation with the compressors and it's really stressing me. We are waiting for a 2nd estimate from a new installer. Ugh. 

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Monday, April 11, 2022

French apartment renovations, Day 475: Slave labor (for 2 hours)

7,590 steps

Inga and Ivy went off to soccer camp this morning. Lucky Zari and Dio got to help out with renovating--scrubbing the wooden ceiling in preparation for painting it. They grumbled a bit but still helped.

We listened to a This American Life podcast about two babies switched at birth who didn't find out until they were 42. (And one of the moms knew from the beginning but never did anything about it because she didn't want to sully the doctor's reputation!)

I worked on *finally* getting the electrical panel covers on in both apartments. So satisfying.

In the afternoon Eric and I set the shower base in a sand-cement mixture (5:1 ratio). The subfloor was very slightly not level, so this was an opportunity to get it absolutely perfect in all directions. I am perfectionist like that. You really do want the water to fun the right direction, especially for a "douche à l'italienne" that is super flat with no lip to catch the water.

I worked on getting registration pages ready for a few more locations in Australia: Perth and Adelaide, adding to Brisbane. Still trying to schedule a huge number of NZ workshops in a limited time frame. I think next time we'll go over in January and not have to finish everything before a major holiday.

Here is some footage from yesterday's tournament. I like how they made it Champions League style with the music and other details.

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Sunday, April 10, 2022

French apartment renovations, Days 473-474: Weekend in Marseille

We just got back from a quick trip to Marseille for Inga's soccer tournament. We left yesterday mid-afternoon because the weather in Marseille was overcast with high winds. We found a cheap no-frills hotel, which still wasn't all that cheap because we had to book two rooms. We arrived at dinnertime, whithout having packed anything for dinner, so we went on a walk to a nearby grocery store and then bought doner kebabs at a street stand.

I bought about 30 Euros of groceries (mainly for today, since we hadn't packed much besides some sandwiches), which Eric thought was completely unnecessary. And guess what? The kids ate every single thing and were STILL hungry.

Eric dropped Inga off at her tournament this morning, then came back so we could explore a bit of the area we were staying in (not really Marseille proper--we were near Prado Plage.) We wandered through a huge park and then made our way to the beach.

The big draw for Dio was a skatepark. He brought all of this gear (scooter, helmet, pads) and played there for several hours. Ivy brought her rollerblades. She fell down a lot at first, but by the end she was getting good at the smaller slopes. I had to convince her that she needed to lean forward, not backward--much like bombing a ski hill.

Zari and I basked in the sun. I had a book to read so it was great. We all got sunburns because it didn't even enter my mind to bring it. We've had so many months of wearing winter clothes that I'm still stuck in the wrong season.

Eric went back to watch Inga before we made it to the skatepark. He picked us up mid-afternoon so we could watch the final game. Her team made it into the finals and...they won the entire tournament! She was so excited. She scored 5 of the goals during the tournament, the most of any of the girls. (Not that it's a competition but hey, a mama needs to brag sometimes, right?)

I'm really tired so I'll post videos tomorrow.
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Friday, April 08, 2022

French apartment renovations, Day 472: It's vuh-cation!

8,439 steps

Ivy's pronunciation of "vacation" is so cute. I hope she keeps doing it for a long time.

School is out for the next 2 weeks. Ivy and Inga are doing another soccer camp during the 1st week.

We're going to Marseille tomorrow evening to stay overnight. Inga has a soccer tournament all day on Sunday, and we didn't want to wake up at 5:30 am to drive there. So overnight trip it is!

I got more drywall up, more things jackhammered, more electrical things hooked up. More mess but more progress, as usual.

I offered a cleaning job to all of the kids (5 Euros/hr for cleaning Le Catamaran). Ivy and Inga were eager. With 3 of us working, we got the entire apartment deep cleaned. Every cranny has been washed, dusted, mopped, and polished. Ivy said, "I finally realized cleaning can be fun!" Yes, 5 Euros makes things fun 🙂

We don't pay the kids for normal chores, but I am treating Le Catamaran like a real job.
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Thursday, April 07, 2022

French apartment renovations, Days 471: Sleepless in the South of France

4,247 steps

Well, that was NOT fun. I went to bed feeling pretty much like I usually do: tired. But then my brain went into overdrive and I was wide awake until 5 am, when Eric got up to bring my cousin to the train station.

I managed to finally fall asleep after he left and got maybe 3 hours of sleep. Ugh. This reminds me of my horrible period of insomnia 4 years ago.

Anyway I worked on taxes all day again, feeling like a zombie. I'm going to go read a book and lie in bed and hope for the best.
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Wednesday, April 06, 2022

French apartment renovations, Days 470: More taxes

Besides running kids to soccer and a brief grocery trip, I've been doing taxes all day. I am ready to send off my US and French ones but still have a ways to go with my nonprofit taxes.

My cousin leaves early tomorrow morning. I can't believe it's already been 3 months! I made a delicious dinner to send her off: steamed broccoli, Tuscan butter gnocchi, and the rest of the lemon cheesecake.

Time to hop into bed and read something mildly interesting until I fall asleep.
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Tuesday, April 05, 2022

French apartment renovations, Days 469: Running, drywall, breech

14,498 steps

I started the day with a run along the beach, to La Réserve and back. I always feel so good the rest of the day--I should do this more often! Then I got to work cutting more drywall. Lots more complex cuts, of course.

Probably the most fun thing of the day was boring a 10 cm wide hole all the way through the wall (for an exhaust fan). Luckily it was one of the thinner interior walls that was only about 15 cm thick. Solid lime/cement/who knows what else, of course. In contrast, our exterior stone walls are about 65 cm thick!

Eric helped after lunch. By the end of the day we had put up 1 sheet on the ceiling and a few on the walls. It took this long because of all the wall prep we had to do beforehand.

And I've been super busy putting together workshops for NZ and Australia. We keep adding more locations!

Eric and I had time to go on a walk this evening. He bemoaned missing a beautiful spearfishing day. But he had lots of university-related work in the morning and helped me in the afternoon.
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Sunday, April 03, 2022

French apartment renovations, Days 466-467: Thunder and lightning, very very frightening (and hail...and birthdays)

Wow, we're in the middle of a hailstorm tonight! Very dramatic.

This weekend was fun and exhausting. Yesterday only Zari had a soccer match. Inga played with a friend for half the day. Ivy and I did birthday party shopping and prep. I was so exhausted that I went into bed to read before 10 pm and I was out soon thereafter.

And today...success! We had a fancy pancake breakfast, instigated by Ivy, complete with fruit salad, whipped cream, raspberries, and maple syrup. I was fasting as usual so I didn't eat anything.

Inga made a miniature stack of pancakes for Dolly and other stuffed animals. Then she ate it with gusto.

Then it was time to make frosting and assemble the birthday cake: a 6-layered rainbow cake with turquoise ombré frosting, covered by white chocolate ivy leaves. It's a semi-repeat of a cake from several years ago.

We were all ready by 2 pm, so we headed up to the chateau carrying 3 bags of food and one very heavy cake. I got lots of remarks about the cake on the way up, from homeless people sheltering under the archways near the Rue Rosetti to tourists speaking broken English.

I let Ivy invite as many people as she wanted. After missing 2 birthday parties in a row due to Covid, she deserved it. And we had a crowd! I thought I had for sure brought too much food, but it was almost all gone by the end.

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Friday, April 01, 2022

French apartment renovations, Day 465: Drywall and bad news

7,783 steps

Bad news first: so remember that problems we had with our heat pump installer (among many other things, how he installed the compressors in the wrong place and now the city is involved)? So it's still ongoing and the installer is no longer responding to our messages.

So we decided to bring in another installer--this one a recommended from a very trusted source, our plumber--to take a look at what needs to be done to move the compressors and finish the job. This guy was thorough (he took 2 hours to inspect the entire system from top to bottom) and the news is not good.

For example, the first installer listed a Mitsubishi system on our estimate & contract, but installed the lowest quality system (a brand called Heiwa). I had even asked the installer about it when I saw it was a different brand, and he told me, "Heiwa is made by Mitsubishi; it's identical."

Another example: both systems are underpowered. The one in our apartment will probably be ok but for sure the one downstairs (that serves Le Catamaran and the front apartment) is seriously underpowered and needs to be completely redone with new compressors and interior units adequate for the space.

And it just goes on and on...This new installer is writing up a list of all of the things done wrong on the job. It looks like we'll need to start a formal complaint process with the first installer.

There's so much more but it's really late and I don't feel like writing it all but. But it's going to be huge and costly to get everything done right.

Other news: I worked on drywall today. Eric had a lot going on, so he was only able to help out the last hour. I did some really complex cuts and they fit perfectly the first time!

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