Friday, June 30, 2023

French apartment renovations, Day 690: Bye bac

Well, it's done. Zari ended up having that difficult passage, the one that Eric helped her with last night, as her piece to analyze. She felt that her presentation was repetitive, but at least it's something we covered the night before since otherwise she would have been totally lost. She had her sports medicine visit after lunch, and the doctor was positive about the prognosis. He does want her to go in and get some sort of scan (not an MRI) just to see what her kneecap is doing and where it's located.

While Zari was gone and Ivy was at school, the rest of us did a deep clean of the kitchen and living room. Dio scrubbed down the backsplashes and the metal shelves. Inga cleaned the chair rail moldings and dusted the furniture. I cleaned the oven, vacuumed the tops of the big furniture, and washed out a few drawers.

When Zari came home, she cleaned out her school folders and had a HUGE pile of papers to recycle...from just 6 months of school!

I got the kids' DCEM renewal applications off. I sent a very nice note explaining why we are renewing with such short notice (I had to wait for my own visa to be renewed) and that we would very much appreciate an expedited renewal if possible, etc etc. Vive la bureaucratie!

I convinced and cajoled Dio and Inga to come to the beach with me. Dio really didn't want to go. "It's so boring at the beach and I'm not even going to swim! Why do I have to go?" I told him he didn't have to, but if he chose to stay home he wasn't allowed to be on any electronic devices (the kids have been on them a lot, despite our best efforts). And...he came!

The waves were picking up when we arrived and kept getting bigger. The three of us had so much fun playing in the waves. Dio sometimes needs that push into action. Once's he out and doing the thing, then he likes it. But intertia is strong with this one.

Eric was already there, treasure hunting. He came back with mismatched water shoes and broken glasses.

Dio and I went to his doctor's appointment in the late afternoon. I didn't even realize it, but it was with a sports medicine specialist! He said it was likely due to Dio growing so fast and the muscles and tendons falling behind the bones. Plus he's not super bulky in his core, so all of the work playing soccer ends up pulling more on one end than on the other. We got sent home with 3 sets of prescriptions (so French!):

#1: 3 different medications to get at the pharmacy: an anti-inflammatory, a muscle relaxant, and tylenol as needed
#2: a prescription for physical therapy, 2-3 times a week at least
#3: a prescription for an x-ray to ensure there's nothing strange going on anatomically

When we walked in the doctor's office, the first thing he asked was, "Do you speak French?" We assured him that yes, we did. He said, "Well I wasn't sure, since you look very Nordic." I suppose that is true if we go back enough generations! We are Norwegian via the Freeze family, Swedish/German/Danish via many of my ancestors.

We had crepes after dinner and played a round of Cover Your Assets before watching Stranger Things. Zari was gone all evening at a birthday party / we're-done-with-the-bac party.
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Thursday, June 29, 2023

French apartment renovations, Day 689: Big day tomorrow

Another hot day. I wasn't able to swim so I'm extra toasty. Zari has her big exam tomorrow morning very early! She is understandably stressed. Eric is in the middle of helping her with the text she knew the least about (due to missing it when she was in the States): a passage from Falaise des Fous by Patrick Grainville. He's far more helpful than I could have been for this particular text.

Dio had a game this evening, but his back was hurting so much that he couldn't play. We made an appointment tomorrow with a GP so that we can get an "ordonnance" for a physical therapist.

Zari has her knee checkup tomorrow with the sports medicine specialist...and also a big birthday party for 3 of her friends (sleepover optional). I hope she can enjoy the rest of her day after the exam.

We are finally making progress on our heat pump / AC system. The new installer we hired (#3) brought up the new system today and is making good progress. Only what, 2+ years to get it resolved?

I'm almost done with La Fille Sans Nom. I'm won over to reading for fun in French. Now to find another good book...
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Wednesday, June 28, 2023

French apartment renovations, Day 688:

Everyone had the day off--the older kids are all done with school and Wednesday is Ivy's day off anyway. We watched an episode of Stranger Things this morning.

Zari and Eric went to her physical therapist about her knee. He helped them make another appointment with the sports medicine specialist on Friday. She's still hobbling around and can barely bend her knee.

I got better screens installed on all of our bedroom windows. For most of them we've been using the cheap velcro & fabric kits, and they have lasted almost 9 years. Now they're old, dirty, and starting to get holes. So now we have magnetic framed screens that should last a while.

We did a few other miscellanious renovation projects, some on our own house. We only have a few weeks left and there's so much to do!

We went through Ivy's clohes and sorted out everything that she's grown out of. The winter things that still fit got packed into a bag for next year.

Eric went spearfishing late this afternoon and came home frustrated--lots of near misses. I took the kids (minus Zari) swimming right before dinner. It was overcast but still plenty warm out.

Dinner was another South African curry with "father-in-law masala." I put in onions, carrots, potatoes, zucchini, bell peppers, and chicken.
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Tuesday, June 27, 2023

French apartment renovations, Day 687: Running, packing, writing

My running preparation in the summer consists of getting my shirt soaking wet right before I leave. By time I'm halfway through my run, it's dry anyway. I didn't jump in the sea today, though.

Eric enlisted Dio and Inga in helping pack and organize. They got the entire attic bedroom packed up and put in the storage room. We gave away three large boxes/bags of shoes, clothes, and other items we haven't used in a while. Apartment living requires frequent culling otherwise you're soon overwhelmed with too many things and not enough places to put them.

I'm working on a publication with Dr. Fischbein about outcomes of 100 sets of twin births at home. Here's one graphic from the article. If you come to the Louisville Breech & Twin Conference in August, hosted by Nathan Riley MD Facog, you'll be the first to hear the results of the study!

What else? We think the piano is all sorted out. First we have to move it to the company that is restoring the finish, then we have it moved to our apartment. It will arrive in the fall while we're gone so it's going to be a very fun surprise when we return in December!
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Monday, June 26, 2023

French apartment renovations, Day 686:

We did some little renovation projects in the afternoon: putting on the end panels on the bottom cabinets and cutting the crown moldings above the upper cabinets.

It's hot and my motivation levels drop as the temperatures mount. Eric and I took a late afternoon swim to cool off.

Eric took the 3 girls for an individualized soccer practice while Dio had his normal practice. And unfortunately, Zari was just walking in the middle of the practice and her knee gave out again! She's icing and elevating and we will need to have another appointment with the sports medicine specialist. She's been going to physical therapy ever since she injured it the first time and doing everything she's supposed to. It's weird because she was running, sprinting, cutting....and it was fine. But she took a small step on it wrong and poof!

She has her big oral exam at the end of this week. The stress is mounting a bit. She's been practicing on the various passages. I think there are 20 and you don't know which one you'll get until you walk in that day. Then you have something like 20 minutes to prepare a 10-minute presentation.

The kids built a mechanical wood marble run that Dio received for his birthday, start to finish. I love seeing them work on things together. Ivy also finally finished her music box kit, also from the same company.
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Sunday, June 25, 2023

French apartment renovations, Day 685: Picnic at the beach

We met up with two other families for a picnic in the late afternoon. The three sunburned children weren't very enthusiastic about going out in the sun, so we let them come late and leave early. Inga swam but Zari and Dio didn't want to.

We saw a few jellyfish near shore. I hope it's not like last year, where we had so many that we had to significantly restrict our swimming.

I made a version of spanakopita with normal pastry crust on the top, rather than layers of phyllo dough because I didn't have any on hand. I oversalted it a bit...oops! Not too much else to report.
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Saturday, June 24, 2023

French apartment renovations, Day 684: Water sports and soccer

Ivy and Eric left early in the morning for an all-day soccer tournament. Dio, Zari, and Inga headed out an hour later to play at AquaPark. It's a set of giant inflatable obstacle courses set directly in the harbor at Saint-Laurent-du-Var. We went there last year as a family.

The group of families and teenagers that the kids were with decided to stop at McDonald's (of all places???) for lunch. The three of them came home mid-afternoon, tired and happy and sunburned.

Ivy's team won 2nd place, defeating OGC Nice in the semifinal and losing 1-2 to FC Lyon in the final. They got home around 17:00.

Meanwhile during my quiet day alone, I went running, met the piano mover guy, and then painted quarter rounds.

We put on a fun movie for the kids (Warm Bodies) and enjoyed some down time.

After dinner, Eric and I went to the beach to swim and cool off.

I started reading La Fille Sans Nom, a young adult novel that Zari got several years ago. I've never read for pleasure in French before. I'm about 80 pages in and enjoying it.
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Friday, June 23, 2023

French apartment renovations, Day 683: Kermesse

Ivy's school had a party/fair (kermesse) tonight, with families invited. I volunteered to help out, and I ended up helping at the refreshment table. A number of parents, me included, had supplied sweet and savory treats. Everything was sold for 1 Euro/each, with funds going to support school field trips.

I was too tired to go running this morning, but I hope I can make it up tomorrow. Instead, I slept in again. What is up with me sleeping in? It's like I've turned into Eric 🙂 He is the champion of waking up and then going back to sleep in the mornings.

I caulked all of the quarter rounds. Tomorrow will be paint touch-up day.

Eric and I went for a short swim in the afternoon. feels amazing to get my core temperature down.    

The piano moving company was supposed to come today, but they ended up rescheduling for tomorrow.

Inga put her cut-off locks of hair inside a baseball cap to see what it would look like with her "fake" hair. Then she tried on Eric's glasses.

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Thursday, June 22, 2023

French apartment renovations, Day 682: Fun with power tools

We powered up the air compressor and installed all of the quarter rounds. Next up: caulking and re-painting over the caulk lines. We also installed the risers where there's a step down into the kitchen.

We have a piano moving company coming tomorrow morning to see if they can get a piano up our staircase. The first company said no, but they are reputed for turning jobs down if they seem to difficult. We made an offer on a piano but are waiting to see if we can actually get it in the apartment!

Ivy participated in a multi-school reading competition. There were 4 schools, each with 4 finalists. She read in the Theatre National de Nice, in the new Salles des Franciscains. She made it to the final round with 3 other people.

Eric and I took a quick trip to the beach in the afternoon, right when a storm system rolled in and thunder was rumbling in the distance. I was going to swim...but then it started sprinkling and I decided to go in. I passed Zari on the way home--she actually swam! I wish I'd gone, actually.

I've been feeling weird the past few days--tired, slightly nauseated, slightly hot, skin that feels prickly.
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Wednesday, June 21, 2023

French apartment renovations, Day 681: Too much noise

It's the Fete de la Musique and we have SUPER LOUD techno music right outside our building. I wouldn't mind a live band so much, but this doof-doof-doof is so annoying. How can people like listening to it, especially when it's so loud it hurts my ears?

(Introvert rant over)

We borrowed a friend's air compressor, wheeling it from her car, across the coulée verte, and through Old Nice to our apartment. At least it's only half the size of the old one we had been using. We still needed 4 people to carry it up the stairs.

I painted the quarter rounds one final time. They'll need touch-ups where I caulk but not a full re-paint. I hope we can get them installed tomorrow or Friday.

Dio has been having lower back pain when he does sports, so today we brought him to a kiné (physical therapist, but also somewhat like a chiropractor). The kiné is actually a friend of ours--his daughter and Dio used to play together when they were in elementary school. He gave Dio a thorough stretching, alignment, and massage. His lower back was a bit torqued so the goal is to unlock the muscles and get things back into alignment. Dio has some simple stretches to do every morning.

We chatted about our kids during the visit...and at the end, he wouldn't take any payment. "You have a large family, no worries. I won't charge you." If we'd taken the time to make a doctor's appointment, get an "ordonnance" (referral), and then make another appointment with the kiné, then he could have taken our carte vitale (French health insurance). But that would have taken a week or two at least.

It's so nice knowing people and having personal connections.

We finished Season 3 of Stranger Things. That's as far as Eric and I ever got. I'm a bit tired of the gore and the violence and the manufactured drama. That's probably why we never made it past season 3 several years ago.
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Tuesday, June 20, 2023

French apartment renovations, Day 680: Summer is here

Zari helped me cut and fit more quarter rounds this morning. I've used everything we have. We have a bit more to finish downstairs, but we have to wait until we get the new doors (in the fall), which means we can't do it until we return at the end of the year.

I was so tired this morning--enough that I got the kids up for school and then went back to bed.

Summer weather hit us today: highs of 29/30 C (84-86 F), lows of 24/25 C (75-77 F). it looks like that will be the case for the foreseeable future.

Zari had a quick consultation at her new orthodontist (her old one retired). She has a retainer and will keep that for now, but may move to a permanently mounted wire in the future. Very different system than when I was a kid with braces!

I had to dress up today to film a short promotional video for a conference I'm teaching at in the fall (2023 Midwifery Wisdom Experience).

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Monday, June 19, 2023

French apartment renovations, Day 679: Quarter rounds

We hauled out some tools for a few hours this afternoon, taking advantage of the empty apartment to cut quarter rounds. We have lots left over and thought we'd use them in lieu of baseboards.

We quickly realized that gluing them will not work well, due to the extreme irregularity of the walls (nothing is straight!). We have a pneumatic nail gun but no air compressor so now we're trying to arrange to borrow one from a friend.

I am more or less back to running 3x a week and hope to also add some weight lifting or HIIT on some of the other days. I jumped into the sea at the end of today's run.

Zari, Dio, and Inga got their US physicals done this morning, since we won't have time to get them done before school starts over there (we arrive a day or two before school starts).

Lots of video editing and scrutinizing today, all as part of a research project I hope to publish.

What else? Oh, here is a beautiful video of Inga scoring at yesterday's tournament.

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Sunday, June 18, 2023

French apartment renovations, Days 677-678: Catching, eating, and looking at fish

It's been a chill weekend for us, so much that I forgot to write yesterday.

Yesterday morning we all went to the beach. We're typically mid to late afternoon beach goers, but since Dio was meeting some friends in the morning, we decided to all go.

We had a relaxing afternoon and watched a few episodes of Stranger Things. I had a Spanish breech live session at dinnertime.

Eric has a new elastic on his spear gun, and he's had amazing suceess catching fish lately. This was Friday's catch and Saturday's dinner: 2 barracuda, 2 mackerel, and a dorade.

Inga had a soccer tournement all day today. Eric joined her in the afternoon. The kids and I stayed home reading, drawying, and playing minecraft or (Dio). I got them out later in the afternoon for a short walk to the port, where there was a photography exposition.

Eric and Inga came home close to 6 pm and were hot and tired. Perfect way to cool off and relax? Go for a swim! Ivy and I joined them for a quick dip in the sea.
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Friday, June 16, 2023

French apartment renovations, Day 676: Reading competition

Ivy is so excited--she is a finalist in a school reading competition. She had to pick out a passage from a book and read it out loud. She had to use a loud, clear voice and make it interesting with no errors. The teachers gave grades and the classmates voted on their favorites.

She chose the first few pages of the book "La Fille Sans Nom." Maybe I can get her to read it for all of you 🙂

Eric's parents left early this morning. We hope they will come even longer next year! Eric was up since 3:30 am. First the musicians who practice in teh basement woke us up in the middle of the night with loud yellng and door banging. Then not that long after, he had to drive his parents to the airport (too early for the trams). Then he had to wait for 2 hours to find a parking spot.

I encouraged him to take a nap once he was back.

I had a good run this morning and then have been working on emails, various breech-related tasks, exciting, right?

All of the kids have a free day tomorrow. It's a miracle! Dio is planning on going to the beach with some friends and maybe we'll all go there at some point. I could use a nice swim and sunbathe.
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Thursday, June 15, 2023

French apartment renovations, Day 675: Exams, chaperones, and choir concerts

Zari had her 4-hour bac de francais ecrit this morning. She came home feeling good about it. She had to analyze a passage by by Denis Diderot from the Salon of 1767. He was a writer/art critic responding to a painting in the art exhibition in Paris called Salon (Hubert Robert's "Grande Galierie antique, eclairee du fond.")

Ivy had a big choir concert tonight. I couldn't go due to a meeting that had been scheduled a while back, but I was able to be a class chaperone to the rehearsal this afternoon. So I essentially got the whole concert anyway! Zari, Dio, Inga, and Eric's mom went to the concert. It's a late night for the younger girls and they may be grumpy tomorrow morning.

We gave the new table saw one final test--nothing. So it is now on its way back to Germany and we hope we get the replacement saw before we leave for the States. We measured and marked all of the wood we need cut, which we're going to bring to our local carpenter and hope he can do it for us. So frustrating to not have a working tool!
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Wednesday, June 14, 2023

French apartment renovations, Day 674: Rain & soccer

We're finally getting rain. The Paillon, which has been dry for the last few months, is running again. We have plenty of sun and heat coming, so I don't mind it being cool and wet.

I've been doing video editing projects and working on a breech course for EMS. Always something interesting going on in the breech world! I have research updates sitting on the back burner, plus taxes to finish...somehow the taxes keep getting pushed back!

Zari has her big written French exam (bac de Français écrit) tomorrow morning. She's understandably nervous but she did well on the trial run (bac blanc). Then at the end of the month, she has her oral French exam. Otherwise she's all done with school for the year.

She baked chocolate almond cookies tonight and I joked that she was stress baking. She's going to bring some cookies to school tomorrow to share with her friends.
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Tuesday, June 13, 2023

French apartment renovations, Day 673: Upholstery

I upholstered the second daybed today--the one under the stairs with the crazy fun tropical velvet. I still need to cover the box spring with matching gray velvet but other than that, I'm done sewing!!

Also here's a picture of the other finished daybed with a mottled teal velvet and fun jungle print throw pillows. Everything is more beautiful and colorful in real life.

It's been great to be home, see the kids, and get back into our normal routine.

We went to a carpentry shop today to get an estimate for the three doors we need made (lower WC, electrical closet, and front door). On the way home, the dark clouds up in the hills behind Nice came closer and we got a bit of rain, which is very much needed. We're in a drought this year.

The kids watched Stranger Things with Eric's parents after dinner and it's creeping them out! We're midway through Season 2.
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Monday, June 12, 2023

Spain, day 4 at 299 km/hr

I got on a high-speed train first thing this morning, heading to Barcelona. I had a wonderful time catching up with my friend, seeing her home and family, visiting her neighborhood, and summarizing the last 12 years in just a few hours. I took a few pictures of a townhouse completely covered in seashells...what a crazy way to cover a house!

I'm back in Nice now and happy that I don't have any more trips until we go back to the States.

I bought two books for the kids--in Spanish of course! One is a graphic novel that looks very fun and the other a novel about a wolf that Inga will like. She just needs to learn Spanish now! Since all of our kids are or will be learning Spanish, I figured these would be a fun way for them to help each other learn.

I also came back with some delicious raw cured ham and beef and hard cheese. I can't wait to try it tomorrow!

Also a picture of the old stone bridge & basilica in Zaragoza, from yesterday's run

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Sunday, June 11, 2023

Spain, day 3

My off day ended up being fuller than expected, but in a good way. I went running in the morning along the river. I'm still not adapted to the hotter temperatures here! It's several degrees (C) hotter than Nice at the moment.

I gave my friend a personal breech workshop, since she kindly lead both activity stations yesterday and missed out on the hands-on training herself. She was very gracious and helped me film a dual-angle Spanish simulation session, with one camera filming her doing the maneuvers and explaining them in Spanish, and the other camera filming from "inside" the mama.

After a late Spanish lunch (3 pm), we headed to the Aljafería Palace, an Islamic palace/fortress dating back to the 11th century. We had a guided tour in Spanish and she translated bits to me. It's surprising how much I can pick up because many words are similar to French, given that I have not taken Spanish except for one semester in 7th grade--which means I remember nothing 🙂

We originally had plans to go salsa dancing, but we were both too exhausted. Instead, we stayed in and had an "early" dinner (8:30 pm). Her partner cooked a tortilla (Spanish omelet made with potatoes & eggs).

I changed my train ticket tomorrow to an early departure so that I can visit a friend in Barcelona, someone I haven't seen in almost 12 years since Inga was a baby! My flight doesn't leave until early evening so we'll have a good portion of the day to spend together.
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Saturday, June 10, 2023

Spain, days 1 & 2

I spent yesterday traveling, with a 4:30 am wake up time. Tram+airplane+train+high speed train got me from Nice to Barcelona to Zarazoga. I haven't been on a high speed train since Dio was a baby. It's so fun to see the landscape speeding past.

Yesterday afternoon my host Laura Sola Sla showed me around the old part of Zaragoza, and we also visited the venue to be sure everything was in place.

I'm adjusting to Spanish schedules, which means late lunches (2-4 pm) and very late dinners (starting at 10 pm).

Today was a workshop from 9 am - 8 pm (adjusted for a later start time and a longer lunch break). We had a wonderful group with two obstetricians, one family doctor, many midwives, and a few doulas and midwifery students.

I'm totally exhausted so that's all for today!
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Thursday, June 08, 2023

French apartment renovations, Day 672: Packing

I'm packing for a short trip to Zaragoza, Spain. I'm going to miss a Saturday adventure--it's one of the rare weekends when we don't have any soccer games.

We started watching old family videos back from when Zari was a baby...and then we kept going...found some super cute ones when all 4 were very small. Sigh...I really have forgotten so much from that stage of life.

Between packing, taking care of emails, cutting out fabric, and other mundane tasks, I was also able to go to the beach for 30 minutes.

I have to wake up insanely early so I'm signing off for the night.
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Wednesday, June 07, 2023

French apartment renovations, Day 671: Couches and bats and Stranger Things

I ran errands to the fabric store and found some little beads that were perfect for the bat eyes. Inga is very pleased that her bat is finished!

I found a microwave at Darty for Le Chateau--one of only two in the whole store that was shallow enough to fit inside the cupboard.

I got the first couch totally upholstered! Pictures tomorrow, I hope. Now for the second couch...

Our brakes are making horrible groaning, grinding, and squealing noises. We have an appointment tomorrow to get them fixed.

What else? Eric's mom made dinner for us, which was much appreciated after a busy soccer day. The kids got introduced to Stranger Things and watched two episodes tonight. I am a bit worried that it will creep them out as they continue watching. It certainly did for me!
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Tuesday, June 06, 2023

French apartment renovations, Day 670: Upholstery, a bit of down time

I woke up at 7 am, asked Eric to get the kids up, and went back to sleep. It's so unusual that I can do this. Once I wake up, that's generally it. I dozed on and off until 8:45 am!

I have a bit of breathing room after finishing several large breech-related projects. I always have more things on my to-do list, but at least I feel like I can take some time for other things.

I took a quick trip to the beach this afternoon for 15-20 minutes of sun and then a 5-minutes swim. I had to hurry back because Inga was getting out of school. Turns out she wanted to go to a friend's house but I didn't know that head of time.

I've been working on and off on the first upholstery project--one of the big daybed cushions. I got it done today and it fit! It was a bit of a surprise whether or not it would, since I had to guess how much to subtract given the one-day stretch of the fabric. It is very snug, which is what I was hoping for. I also sewed two decorative pillow covers. Now I have the two back cushions to upholster and that first couch/daybed will be done!

Inga has been studying for a big history/geography test about ancient Rome. Zari helped her this evening, and I enjoyed seeing Zari being patient and encouraging with Inga.

Dinner was purple risotto (flavored with radicchio, onions, red wine, pork sausage, & Parmesan cheese) and green beans. Dio went to the store and bought Magnum ice cream bars for dessert. I enjoy being able to send the kids to the store. I figure if they want dessert badly enough, then they can go get it !
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Monday, June 05, 2023

French apartment renovations, Day 699: Small world, big piano

We went to look at another piano this afternoon, this time in Nice on the far side of the port. It was listed by a lovely couple; his mother-in-law had just died 2 days ago at the age of 98. She was a pianist and played up until 2 years ago.

It turns out that the couple are both archeologists, and they are friends with another archeologist who is a good friend & colleague of Eric's! Small world indeed.

I think we're going to buy the piano. They told us that they've had lots of inquiries since they listed it last night, but that they would prefer to sell it to a family who will appreciate and use it. We're meeting with a piano restorer this week because the finish is damaged and it could use a face lift. But the interior is in great shape and the strings and other parts were redone about 15 years ago.

What else? I just finished yet another big project--breech for first responders. I have some captions to clean up but otherwise it's done!

I got Eric's visa renewal off today. Now we wait...
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Sunday, June 04, 2023

French apartment renovations, Day 698: Beach, Mother's Day

We enjoyed the slower pace today. We proposed a quick trip to the beach but only Ivy wanted to come with. I sunned myself for just long enough without burning, swam for just long enough without tiring, and napped just long enough without really sleeping.

It's Mother's Day here, which I had no idea of until this morning. As usual, I'd rather have 365 days of action than 1 day of lip service.

Ivy helped me make hazelnut macaroons. Then dinner was a South African curry using leaf masala (recipe from my walking tour guide in Bo-Kaap). It was very good. I'll probably add more heat next time.

I did several hours of work on a EMT/paramedic course. I'm close to being done now! Just a bit more perfecting my slides and then I can encode the video.
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Saturday, June 03, 2023

French apartment renovations, Day 697: Weddings and champions!

Ivy and Inga both had big tournaments today--Ivy in Montpellier and Inga in Puget-Thenier. And...their teams both won each tournament. Inga scored the winning goal in the last minute of the final, when the team was 1-1. A beautiful header.  

Ivy scored 4 goals, including one in the last second of the game.

It's after 11 pm and they just started driving home. It's going to be very late for the girls.

I was gone most of the day at a wedding in the heart of Provence, 2 1/2 hours away. It was in a large Provence mas (originally a farmhouse but now more of a fancy manor/hotel/reception hall) with beautiful olive groves, lavender fields, and decorative kitchen gardens.

Zari and Dio stayed home with Eric's parents.

I'm ready for a day when we're all together! It's been a lot of driving around the bottom part of the country.
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Friday, June 02, 2023

French apartment renovations, Day 696: Filming, string quartet, faraway tournaments

I did lots more filming today and by this evening, I had a new lecture filmed, edited, and uploaded onto the course platform. I am on a roll!

Eric and Ivy left after lunch for a big soccer tournament in Montpellier. This evening was fun time at the campground (which is fancy, with a swimming pool) and dinner with the team.

I had a string quartet rehearsal this morning in Le Chateau--it was nice to have space to play, and I didn't have to worry about decluttering my living room. It's a bit crazy at the moment since I'm upholstering two daybeds.

We ate pizza downstairs with Eric's parents and then watched a movie. Well, we watched part of one movie (The Last Airbender) and decided it was terrible after 20 minutes.

Then we started The DaVinci Code and watched about half of it.
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Thursday, June 01, 2023

French apartment renovations, Day 695: Filming, fish, bats, and more sickness

Ivy woke up with a fever--no school for her. She was very disappointed to miss school.

I worked on prepping a few lectures in the morning, then after lunch got busy filming. I was interrupted about 20 times while the camera was running! I've never had such bad luck. I did manage to film two different lectures and got one completely edited, encoded, and captioned (title shot below, blurred for those pearl-clutching folks who don't like to see babies coming out).

Inga wants to sew a bat stuffed animal, so this evening we cut out the pieces and started sewing them together. I can't do much more until I find some batting.

I sewed 5 small pillow covers for the big L-shaped couch, using leftover fabric from Le Catamaran.

Eric caught two fish this afternoon but had to leave for Dio's soccer game before dinner. We'll eat them tomorrow.

We finally got (another) HVAC person to come fix our ongoing issues. He got everything on the 2nd floor running after much calling the manufacturer, testing wires, swapping around of parts, and grumbling about the terrible job the first installers did.

We discovered a hole in one of the drain hoses that had been plastered over inside the wall--had we not discovered it now, we would have had an ongoing leak behind the wall and kitchen cupboards that would have been a nightmare to fix down the road.
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