Sunday, July 05, 2015

Summer time

We've had a few thunderstorms over the past twenty-four hours. The first round went by us to the northwest on Saturday mid-morning, with a second round to the east of us quickly after. Then, around four-thirty this morning, the lightning and thunder started up again. And, once again, the storm just skirted us. We did get some rain both times, but not much.

These wild chicory flowers were mowed down in the prime of their life on Friday.

The town came by on Friday and mowed the shoulders of the dirt road that runs out through the vineyards behind our house. A lot of the tall grasses are gone now. And so are many of the wild chicory plants.

Saturday, July 04, 2015

What's on tv

The Tour de France gets under way this weekend. While Wimbledon moves toward its final matches next weekend, the cyclists will be riding through northern France. Then they'll head south for the big climbs in the Pyrenees and the Alps.

It's been 30 years since a French cyclist won the Tour.

What NOT to watch this week. Our tv magazine rates shows and movies using a star system: one star is ok, four stars is best. They use another symbol for really bad movies: the red dot. It means "à zapper" (change the channel!). The editors often include comments about the movie that make me laugh.

Monsters! Actually, mutant wasps. Ick. It's orignal title in English is "Black Swarm."

Les guêpes mutantes (Mutant wasps). Canadian made-for-tv movie. Directed by David Winning, 2007.
With Sarah Allen, Sebastien Roberts, and Jayne Heitmeyer.
Genetically modified wasps attack a town in the American countryside.
This television movie starts out like a competent B-series film, but rapidly becomes a Z-series movie that descends into the ridiculous. A real stinker!
For adults and children over 10.

Friday, July 03, 2015

Vines in summer

It's hot! And Thursday was a little more humid than we're used to. Sleeping last night was not very comfortable. Today is expected to be the hottest day of our little heat wave, topping out at 36ºC (96.8ºF). The people that work out in the vineyard have been starting in the early morning hours to avoid the hottest part of the day. This morning I noticed they were already out there working when I got up at 5:30; it was just barely light.

A sunny, hot, summer morning in the vineyards.

I also "work" in the morning, doing whatever chores need to be done. First and foremost is watering the vegetable garden, then the potted plants around the house and deck. I'm also still, slowly, moving things back into the den. After lunch, there's Wimbledon to watch on television while we just sit, trying not to get too warm. Today is a good candidate day to get the hose out and let Callie get soaked. She loves that.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

The den is done!

The repainting of the den got finished on Tuesday evening when the contractor and his son reinstalled the radiator. Ken and I spent Wednesday morning washing the windows and the floor, and wiping down the cabinets. Then I moved my computer, printer, and scanner back in.

The milk chocolate walls make the cabinetry really pop out. The color is actually called "ours brun"  or "brown bear."

There is still much to do. I have to get the carpet back in (after some thorough vacuuming), and move one of our cabinets in. The single bed that was in this room won't be back. It seldom got used, so there's no point in keeping it there. We will store it in the garage and have it available if we ever need it. The cabinet that will take its place is filled with kitchen stuff. It's currently downstairs in the entry, so every time we need something from it, we have to go downstairs to get it. Now, it will be in the den and access will be much easier

Another view with the computer stuff all set up.

Then, of course, I have to get the curtain rod up and, once the furniture is in place, pictures on the walls. I don't really want to drill holes in the freshly redone walls, but they can't stay pristine forever. Finally, I have to get the new light fixture that I found for the ceiling. There's no rush for that, but we'll probably make an Ikea run sometime in the next few weeks.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Periodic puppy pics

Here's Callie, hard at work. Most mornings during the pruning season she will find the cast-away trunk of a dead grape vine and carry it back to the house. As summer approaches there are fewer and fewer of these out there, but every once and a while she'll find one. And home it goes. We've got piles of them for burning during the winter. And they make great barbeque fuel.

Callie carries an old vine trunk back toward home.

The den work is done! Today I'll start the process of moving back in, but first I need to clean the windows and floor. The contractor cleaned up the floor, but I want to go over it again for good measure. Then I have to put the curtain rod back up. The first thing that will get moved back in is my computer.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The grapes are forming

The grape flowers are now nearly all gone and little grapes have taken their place. These will (hopefully) continue to grow through the summer. The bunches have already bent downward with the weight of the new fruit, looking more like what you'd expect. Right now they all look the same, but as fall approaches and the berries ripen, they will take on their colors, either dark (red) or light (white).

Brand new grape bunches on the vine.

The color is on the walls in the den. It looks like milk chocolate. Quite a change for us, but I think we like it. This morning will see the final coat of paint. Our contractor said that he would return later in the afternoon to clean up and re-install the radiators. His son helps with that. Then we're done, except for the moving back in part. More photos to follow, of course.

Monday, June 29, 2015

It's still "during"

With no work over the weekend, the den renovation continues this morning. So far, the radiator has been removed, sanded, and painted with a first coat. The old wallpaper is gone, the walls and ceiling were sealed, sanded, and primed. New binding paper went up on the ceiling and walls and the ceiling received two coats of paint. Wow; writing it down makes me realize how much has already been done!

Not much to see, but it's coming along.

Today we'll see the first coat of color on the walls and I think the radiators (there's a second one being done from another room) will get their second coats as well. The radiators are laid out on the deck, so we have to watch to make sure cats and dogs (you know who) don't walk on them. I know one dog who already has, but fortunately they were dry enough when she did it.

The ceiling is finished, at least.

We're hoping that everything will be done by Wednesday. Then it will be time to do a good cleaning of the floor tiles and start moving back in. I've picked out a new light fixture for the ceiling (from Ikea) that I think will be nice, but we have to go to Tours to get it. A shopping trip is in our near future. I will post photos of the finished work at the appropriate time.