After a lot of smaller jobs which have been done the past two years, it was time to do a big one.....the kitchen. As it was beautiful sunny autumn weather in the Vosges I started with the shutters; they needed a new layer of stain.
After the shutters were ready we chopped some trees for more light and space for annother butterfly garden. And then......we started with the renovation of the kitchen:
After 8 days of hard work the kitchen is almost ready (the furniture will be changed soon and I like to have a new 'cuisiniere'.
A few days ago a kind of wall and door in industrial style got placed in the living room for more temperature comfort....I'm curious to feel the difference during my next stay in two weeks. As I could not find any resting butterflies in the wild meadow and near my house, I did some jobs in the garden (after some rainy days). First I had to remove a lot of weeds before I could plant the flowers I brought.
In two weeks I will remove the other part of the brambles. Again a friend, who lives in the southern part of Germany, will come over for some days. She will help me with this bramble fight.....I'm looking forward to her visit and the cold beer after the job is done!
During my last visit I had a tight schedule for all the jobs I had planned. Due to a bad headache on the first day I could not paint the first part of the ceiling so the second day I had to paint the complete ceiling. I started early and at the end of the day the ceiling was ready and my arm/shoulder 'frozen'....but I was happy and satisfied with the result.
Again I bought some special butterfly plants and planted them and some seedlings in the front garden. Next year I will remove the other part of the brambles and ferns for more butterfly flowers but in the meantime I 'm searching for a small gate to keep the wild boars out of my front garden.
As I see a lot of butterfly photos still appearing on internet, I had good hope to find some in the Vosges last weekend. On Saturday morning I searched almost two hours in the wild meadow. I found a lot, but no butterflies.
After breakfast it was time for an outdoor job....cutting down the young beeches in the front garden to create more space for flowers.
I overestimated this job as it costs a lot of time to clean up everything.
In the early evening the job was fixed and I planted the flowers which I bought from a plant nursery. In a few weeks I will plant some more plants and butterfly bushes as the car was fully packed this trip. My weekend ended with the traditional visit to a vide de grenier, a good cup of coffee and a nice talking/meeting with one of the neighbours.
The weather was fantastic in the Vosges en so I started with a kind of bramble fight in the front garden and while I was busy, some butterflies visited the buddleja which I planted in april. When it became too hot outside I moved inside and started with the painting job. First I cleanded the last dark row and big rafter and the next day (when it was dry) I put on the pimer layer.
Early in the morning I visited the wild meadow near my house as I hoped to find a lot of Chalkhill Blues. Although at day a lot of butterflies were flying around, it was hard to find any butterfly in the meadow. Finally I found three fresh Common Blues....two males and one female.
On Saturday evening I tested a french restaurant nearby and on Sunday morning I bought lovely high-tea tableware on a 'vide de grenier' so this trip became the perfect mix of gardening, painting, butterflies and enjoying 'la douce France'.
In two days I will be in the Vosges again and I guess the butterfly season will be over for this year; maybe some old Silver-washed Fritillaries and white species will be left. For me the perfect opportunity to restart my painting job(s) and to make plans if/to remove a part of the wall plaster/isolation in my living room.
In april the contractor replaced two old rotten rafters (see my blog from 18th February), one for a steel beam....at least that was his offer. Instead steel he used a big wooden rafter. Due to the big temperature differences in the house (at arrival during the winter and after one day heating) I'm glad to have wood but until now I'm hesitating if and how I will paint this big (eye catcher). Any suggestions are welcome.
The beige stove in the corner has been replaced during my last visit by a 'dutch' one with more power and will be tested as soon as the temperatures will fall.
During my stay in October I noticed some fresh woodworm holes in the big old rafters after the built-in bar was breaked down and the other furniture was removed. So my mission for the 'Carnaval Holiday' was 1) to paint the other part of the ceiling and 2) to kill that worm bastards! After the two rows of lower laths was removed I found out that the damage of the woodworms and longhorn beetles were too big. Big parts of the rafters were pulverized and as on these old rafters the chimney and a part of the bain is resting the problem is much bigger than killing some worms. For the first time after having this house I had to think about a certain 'Dutch' television programme.
Fortunately the contractor had time to take a look and soon he will send an offer for mounting a steel beam as replacing the old rafters for new ones is no option. I postponed finishing the painting job for a few months.
Since the handover of the keys on August 7th, a lot of jobs already have been done:
- reparing the shower, as the showerwater was flowing through the ceiling into the living room
- reparing the lamps of the bathroom, as some light is desired during teeth brushing
- cleaning the gutters, as the water curtain which came down was not pleasant
- replacing broken roof tiles, as the rain was flowing over the wooden roof instead of the tiles
Next to these urgent jobs, I started with a very big refreshment job....painting the ceiling and the shutters. When the weather is good I paint outside the shutters and when it's cold and grey I paint inside the ceiling.....a hell of a job for the time beeing, until now I'm still busy with the primer.
Since August 2017 I'm the owner of Maison Bonheur, an old farmhouse in the Vosges. Because of its location in the forest/nature the possibilities for nature/peace/relaxing lovers are limitless.