It’s Gotta Get Worse Before It Gets Better

We finally settled on a contractor for the remodel. Due to the lack of urgency from almost every French contractor we dealt with, we signed with a company from Bergerac to come in with a whole crew of Portuguese guys to get on with it! And this fits our tempo for the project perfectly.

They arrived this morning and already have all their tools unloaded, have moved all the furniture and drapes that we’re keeping out of the house, removed all the old radiators, and have the kitchen down to bare walls and it’s not even lunch time yet. We’re waiting on the trash bins now, to keep the flow of throw-away crap on the move. It’s fascinating here in France that they recycle nearly everything. Really nice to know.

Voila! Kitchen cabinets disappearing.

Voila! Kitchen cabinets disappearing.

And I’ve been trying to recycle as well, by placing ads on English-speaking sites. I have quite a wad of cash so far from folks who could utilize SO many things we had around the house. The pool table went right away, the bookcases were a big hit, and even the used toilet and bidet got several bidders!

Our gardener continues to amaze us with his progress. Sometime through the years when the house was sitting empty and neglected, the shrubs along one side of the house grew enormous. After no response from the owner, the neighbor elected to come over and saw them down. They fell where they fell and have been laying in a huge mess ever since. Christian has been diligently rounding them up and burning them, along with lots of the greener fallout from the pine trees. We couldn’t be happier with his headway.

Timber! Shrubs have fallen and they can't get up.

Timber! Shrubs have fallen and they can’t get up.

Many days of burning those damned shrubs. The log piles are for our future fires.

Many days of burning those damned shrubs. The log piles are for our future fires.

More progress to report. Today concludes the bead-blasting of the darkened beams in the main room of the Maison d’Amis. That process has been amazing as well. Ran into a struggle with the petrified glue from the carpet on the stairway, but we’ll have to attack that with maybe a heat gun and scraper or maybe sanding will work. But overall, the difference is quite amazing and lightens up the dark little ancient house a lot.

Maison d'Amis with darkened beams before we sold the pool table.

Maison d’Amis with darkened beams before we sold the pool table.


AFTER bead-blasting.

AFTER bead-blasting.

Dark ceilings BEFORE.

Dark ceilings BEFORE.

New brighter ceiling. Still old, but much lighter.

New brighter ceiling. Still old, but much lighter.

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10 Responses to It’s Gotta Get Worse Before It Gets Better

  1. Alida says:

    Impressive progress

  2. Paul says:

    Wow, impressive progress and results. I know the finished product will be magnificant and with spring on the horizon I’m sure the gardens will come to life with all sorts of flowers and I’m guessing tasty veggies as well.

    • Cindy Loevenich says:

      Thanks, Paul. There’s lots more to come, but we feel we’re getting a great start!

      We’ve been thrilled with the blooming forsythia, surpised by a delightful row of daffodils, blooming primroses throughout the garden, and even a rhododendron in the secret garden. It’s been frosty cold, but clear as a bell. Lovin’ it!

      Still struggling if and/or where I am going to put the potager. With fresh organic food at the market in town every Thursday morning, it’s hard to see the point.

  3. Gail and Don Bell says:

    I’m so excited for you

  4. Maria and David Hayes says:

    Bon Jour-

    We enjoy following your progress and the wonderful photo journal. Would love to hear from you two via phone.
    Hope you can find the time.

    Good health and good vibes from your old friends and neighbors.

    • says:

      Hi Maria and David. We’ve been meaning to call and keep forgetting. Our days are so filled with craziness that by the time we get home and have dinner, we collapse into comas and forget to call. Just know that we DO think of you often and can’t wait for a visit. We’ll talk very soon, I promise.

  5. Lucy Harendza says:

    Hi Cindy,

    Just had my Cahill Park house painted from top to bottom. Am loving the colors you selected. And it only took a week and a half. Ordered some new bedroom furniture for the two student rooms on the top floor. As soon as they are installed and the house put back in order, I’ll send photos.

    My little remodel ain’t nothin’ like yours, however! Can’t wait to see your homestead when it’s all done. It’s a process, isn’t it.

    Bless you for keeping up the blog. It’s fascinating to see your progress, read your shared stories and glories, and dream with you.


    • says:

      Somehow, your comment ended up in the junk folder! I’ve been thinking about your painting project and wondering if it was completed. Can’t wait to see the results. I’m sure the place is drastically different. Hope you’re able to live with it. As you can see, we are headed for some crazy results with this place. Still fishing for products and solutions, but that’s part of the fun!

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