June 22, 2002
We are in Provence. Can you say HOT?! My God. I am stunned by the heat. I think I will be OK living here but I have to stay in the shade and not do manual labor in the sun. The first day we got here it was around 3 in the afternoon and we drove up immediately to our land. Maurice wanted to mark approximately where the house will be on our property. We found out that we had to have that area cleared so the architect can get on the land and do his measurements. We decided to save a little money, actually quite a bit of money, and do it ourselves. After about an hour I was feeling a little sick. There is a fountain up in the little village of Vitrolles so after we drank all of a big plastic bottle of Orangina I went up and got some cold water. We got the general area marked off and the next morning while it was cool, and it does get really nice and cool here once the sun goes down, we got ourselves back on the land and started sawing down trees with a chain saw that we rented or clipping them down with a big cutter and dragging everything to big piles here and there. The saw stopped working so Maurice went back into town while I made my way around the land cutting big branches off bushes and little trees so Maurice could get to them with the saw.
The land is covered with these yellow flowered bushes, "genets".
I was there a couple of hours and it started getting really hot so I stayed in the shade as much as I could and drank lots of water. There is some kind of neighbor hound dog that barked the entire time. I don't know if he heard me clumping around or if this is his MI. Down below a donkey occasionally brayed. What bothered me the most were the flies. I sprayed Off all over me and it didn't faze them. I finally started making a "magic circle"of it around me every ten minutes or so and it helped. We are going to have to find a way to get rid of them without wiping out the entire bird population. I'm sure they are going to be a problem.
Finally, Maurice arrived with reinforcements with his son, Benjamin, and a friend named, interestingly, Mathieu. They had brought some cheeseburgers with them from McDonalds which I haven't had in years. That was the best tasting hamburger I have ever had . I think I was really hungry-obviously. I only lasted another hour. They finished in about 4 more hours. So, we got it finished so the architect could do his thing. We will see the plans in a few days. After I got home I discovered huge bites all over my legs. I suspect they are what we call chiggers in the States. Man, do they itch. Ah, the glamour of being a land owner.
The grapes are just starting to grow in Provence
The next day was June 22nd which is St. Jean Day and it is a big holiday, or fete, with the French. I gather that it is a celebration of the beginning of summer. There were fireworks which we saw in a small village of Villelaure where our friend Jean Marie and Danielle live. They are kind enough to put us up when we are in the area AND they have a pool. The fireworks were short but really nice. Then a large bonfire was lit and after it was down to a small size people took turns jumping over it, I guess for good luck-kids mostly. At the end summer, St. Michel Day, there is another celebration. In the past, and I guess now, all of the hay, etc. is put in for the winter and the fire symbolizes this. All of these Saint days have all sorts of traditions that are thousands of years old. Neat. It was a real community happening. I don't know what will be done in our village. It is so small, probably nothing much.
The lavender is starting to bloom. It is harvested in July.
I liked this pot.
July 16, 2002
While we were gone, Maurice had a man come into our property and mow down everything. It really looked bare. He did leave large trees and the olive trees that are growing here and there. We didn't realize how large our property was until we saw all of the brush cut down. There are two levels and we will build the house on the upper level to get the view. We are thinking that we will plant some olive trees down below so we can some day have our own olive oil and also plant a vegetable garden. I'm wondering what will be living in the wild that will want to eat our garden besides the thousands of white snails I see covering the ground. Maybe deer and boar.
One view where house will be. Note runoff from a rain storm in front.
Our house will be here.
Afterwards we had lunch under some trees at a nearby little village called Peypin dÁgues and decided to walk around a little and see what was there. We saw a collection of boar tails and feet on a door and when I went to take photos a man next door started talking to us. He turned out to be Irish, married to a New Zealander. They were doing some renovation of a small place which turned out to be owned by an American from NYC. He was a very nice talkative person and told me there was an American/English club that meets in Avignon and that they are living all over this area. He and his wife are vegetarians and bought a place that they plan to run entirely on solar power. We were wondering about their papers and what kind of status they have in France.
I think the guy in this house hunts.
I got to wondering just what area is encompassed under the name of Provence. There are areas like where we will be in the Luberon National Park, and there is the Cote d'Azure, and Vaucluse. All of this is part of Provence which is just a division of France. Of course, the wine is all carefully classified as to where it is grown. It can be Cote de Provence or Cote de Luberon.
We didn't get a chance to look at the lavender which must be getting near harvest time, although sometimes it isn't done until September depending on the weather. There were fields of sunflowers here and there with all of their faces facing the same way as they followed the sun.
A field of sunflowers
All of these sunflowers are facing the sun, thus the name.
October 20th, 2002
We made a trip to the Luberon for several reasons. First, we had a party for Maurice's 60th birthday and we wanted to have it in a neat little room below the Marie in the village above our property. The room contains a huge stone wheel that used to be pulled by a horse to press olives and then two smaller presses to get even more oil out. There was a date on a stone that said 1899. We had 20 friends and relatives who came and we ate and drank and talked from around 11 in the morning until 9 that night. It was lots of fun.
The olive press
It is nice to see Provence in the Autumn. The vines are covered in either orange or brown leaves and bare of grapes except for a few dark clusters here and there. We passed some workers in a vineyard picking what I guess were the last grapes of the season and then we saw a man pulling a wagon full of purples grapes behind him on his tractor. I wish I had been in the right place with my camera out when he passed.The weather is really cool, almost getting to freezing every morning. It rained the first day we were here and then was windy but the last two days were sunny and beautiful with sun and blue skies.
View of our village from the other side
The main reason we came here was to sign the final papers for our property. We put it in my name due to the Napoleon code which basically screws the(usually)surviving widow giving half of the property to children, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, etc. So this protects me a little. Anyway, I am now a property owner in France. We met in the office of the notaire which was full of 5 men, me and Maurice. It went a lot more quickly than the first time we did the initial papers. The cute dog, Pastiche was there, too.
We spent a whole day with the man who will be our construction manager. He seems like he pays attention to detail, which is a good thing when building a house. We had to do the fun things such as decide how many electrical outlets we wanted and where we wanted them, the color of the outside of our house, placement of lights, etc. At the end we were supposed to have enough energy to pick out tile for the floor and bathrooms. I hope we like what we picked. I don't think it's too late to change any of our choices. Of course, some of the things we choose will add to the cost of our house. The actual construction will begin next month - at last.
This morning we went to what is called a gite for breakfast with some of Maurice's relatives. It was such a nice place full of antiques with thick walls and timbered ceilings. I loved the yard that spread out under trees with a great stone terrace and flowers everywhere. I really would like to achieve the same feel and look in our yard. I think it will take years to get it that way.
Front door of gite
View of fall leaves outside window at gite
Maurice will be making lots of trips here to check on the house and he found a place to stay in while in the area. It's nice but had no exhaust for the bathroom and it smells mildewy to me. Also, there are spider webs every where on the ceilings, something I always considered bad housekeeping, and a resident spider living above the shower. I think it was a do it yourself addition. But, when we were visiting the nice gite, I notice the lack of exhaust fans in the bathroom I saw and there was a huge spider on the wall above the dining room. Maybe this is life in the country. Spiders give me the creeps so I will have to be vigilant.
Pile of pressed grapes outside a co-operative
Back to Provence. They had actually started digging the foundation for our property. There was only one problem-it was in the wrong place. The guys starting the foundation had some old plans or something. It doesn't exactly inspire confidence when something goes wrong on the very first step of building the house. We met on the property with 5 guys who remeasured and now have the right location marked. I left Provence and came back via the TGV to Paris and Maurice stayed there to supervise-this was on a Tuesday- and then found out that they won't be doing anything further until next Tuesday so he could have come back with me but is still there by himself. Just a taste of future fun with building. The famous mistral was blowing a lot while we were there. It really gave the temperature a wind chill factor, especially if it was also raining.
This is where the house will be only 8 feet further in.
Of course, we did some exploring while there and Maurice did the Luberon marathon. It just about killed him as it is a very hilly area, but he finished.
One of the vineyards in autumn leaves that he ran by in the marathon.
A castle in Ansouis that is still lived in by an ancient family
I loved the gold of the fruit, the rust of the leaves against the blue sky.
November 16, 2002
Maurice has been in Provence to supervise what is going on, or not going on, on our property. There is a huge mountain now, from the further digging. He was told if it rained that they wouldn't dig. Of course, it rained the day after he came to Paris for a long weekend so they still have some left to do but they should start pouring some cement for the foundation on Tuesday. The weather report looks like it will be clear for a few days, but rain is in the forecast towards Thursday or so.
The last day I was in Provence, while the men were remeasuring, I was sitting in the car to get out of the cold mistral. I had seen, earlier in the day, some animal droppings. I was thinking maybe they were from the boar that are found in the mountains around here but Maurice said it looked like sheep to him. So, as I sat there, I thought I could hear some angry shouting in the distance, then a dog barking, then sheep bleating. I looked around and a river of sheep was making their way up the road past our property. There were perhaps 200 of them being herded by a sheep herder and his dog. I had my camera and immediately jumped out to take photos. I don't know how often it is done, or for how long or what season, but during this time the herder was moving the sheep twice a day from one place to another. It made me realize that this part of France is still very rural.
Here are a few of them on the edge of our property.
Maurice went back to Provence for a few days to check the progress. There was some and it appears that the clearing and digging that has to be done was finished. It has been an unusually wet fall and so work has basically stopped. They won't start, I guess, until the land dries out some. They also want more money because there were a lot of rocks, something I think should have been factored in at the beginning as they build in Provence all of the time.
View of our property from the road.
View looking towards the road-note the standing water.
Pile of dirt from clearing. Look at all of the rocks.
Maurice took the TGV out to Provence for a day. They have finally done some work. Nothing was done for 2 months due to extremely wet weather. Since they started doing the digging in the wrong place we just don't trust them. It looks about the same to me, as far as the beginning foundation works go, as what I have seen in the States.
Front of property where the land has been extended (on the right)
view of foundation and blocks that are going to be used
this will be the garage
View from up above looking towards the road
The weather has continued to be beautiful in Provence and they are really making headway on the house. A neighbor sent us some digital photos and there are actually walls. Maurice is going down this weekend to check it all out.
This is the back of the house which faces the great view.
This is the front door and the garage.
View from up the hill.
Our neighbor sent us more photos. They actually have the roof on! Maurice and I plan to go to Provence next week or so and check it all out. We are going to have to figure out a way to get there more often. At first we thought of having Maurice live there at a gite but with all of the delays it's a good thing we didn't. Now that things are picking up, we may have to do it.
View from the back of the house showing the roof.
We made a trip down to Provence with my sister, Dianne, and her sister in law, Lynne, to take a look at our property and to show them a little of Provence. Of course, it is the hottest it has been in France since 1942 so it is hard to get out and walk around. We stayed in a gite with a swimming pool which helped, along with the 2 electric fans I lugged along. Cherry trees are loaded with cherries, sun flowers are blooming and the skies were blue.
Napoleon cherries-as they call them here
Love the yellow flowers against the blue sky
We found this guy in a church in Ansous banging away on his drum
A beautiful patio where we had lunch-Les Florets in Gigondas
I liked this chair hanging on a wall in Lourmarin
I would put in some photos of progress on our house but the outside looks exactly the same. We weren't able to see the inside because it was locked up as tight as a drum. No workers were there, we couldn't get the supervisor to answer our cell phone and, I learned, we aren't entitled to the key to our house until they are totally finished. This seems very strange to me. Who knows what is going on inside? The last time we were inside the kitchen counter would have stuck out into the doorway if we hadn't caught the error, and the chimney leaned. I am having more and more doubts about this company. Too late now.
A Feel In Provence
My sister, Dianne, and her sister-in-law, Lynne, came to visit us in Paris. We decided,while theywere here, to also show them Provence. France was in the midst of a horrible hot spellwith tempertures breaking records last set in 1942. It was very uncomfortable in Parisand I knew that Provence would be even more miserable so, as we were packing the car I dragged out two electric fans much to my husband’s dismay.
He could picture hordes of French people laughing at us as we carried them into the “gite” where we were going to be staying. He wanted me to leave them behind but I’ve been in France a couple of years now and I wouldn’t do it. Sure, the walls are all thick, yes, they have shutters on the windows to close during the hot sunny part of the day. I don’t care. I have been in these thick-walled, shuttered buildings and when it is over 100 degrees outside, it is hot and uncomfortable inside and I haven’t found an air-conditioned gite yet.
Off we went to Provence. It was scorchingly hot. Walking the beautiful narrow lanes of medieval towns was bearable only if one stayed on the shady side of the street. Entering the charming little shops was like stepping into a small kitchen with the oven left on. We were stunned by the heat and couldn’t wait to get back to our gite and float in the swimming pool like happy frogs on lily pads.
Gites are places throughout France rather like a bed and breakfast. Sometimes there are little cottages, or sometimes you sleep in the same house as the owners. Breakfasts and dinners are provided. We had found our gite when some of my husband’s relatives stayed there on a visit. It was a charming 200 year old house with thick walls (of course), fire places, antiques everywhere and a resident dog.
The owner was a single man who ran around, served us breakfast, and did a lot of the yard work outside in the huge garden and patio yet to my housekeeping eyes it didn’t look as clean as it could be. It needed dusting. It needed someone up on a ladder getting rid of spider webs. It needed someone to throw out those piles of magazines, newspapers and paperwork.
The kitchen especially needed some serious attention. I knew he had women come in to help him clean but I bet they only made beds, washed dishes, linens and maybe mopped floors. Maybe. Well, sometimes, when something is old and charming in France, you just overlook a few things.
The last night we were there we learned that the owner, Jean-Marie, was in a band that played jazz, but only New Orleans Jazz. He never played or listened to anything else. He played a CD of his band during our dinner, and it sounded very good and professional to me. My sister, Dianne, is a professional singer. I used to sing harmony with her many years ago in a strictly amateur way here and there, mostly in the car on long trips. To show you the level of our ability, our father called us The Canary Sisters. This is not a compliment. He said the same thing about two elderly sisters in our childhood church who sang twice as loud as everyone else, very off key, and held notes two beats longer than everyone, their quavering voices hitting our eardrums like birds hitting a glass window.
Anyway we decided that Jean-Marie could play the piano he had upstairs and we would sing. By that time we had all been well lubricated by some very good local Luberon red that we had enjoyed outside on the patio under the stars with our dinner.
Upstairs we headed to the piano. There was a base fiddle and a set of drums sitting next to the piano too and here’s where I discovered a talent, previously unknown to me, of playing drums. It was a gift, like playing the piano by ear. Who knew?
So this Jean-Marie starts playing the piano. He was very good plunking out a great jazz song. My sister and I started to sing. We had a really hard time staying on key. Or, we were singing on key, but Jean-Marie wasn’t playing in the same key. Finally, Karen and I just started singing and let him play whatever it was he was playing. We had a great time. But watching the video my husband took the next day we discovered that Jean-Marie had played the exact same thing for each song! It was probably the only New Orleans Jazz song on piano that he knew. We were singing some Rock, a little country. Together it mixed like water and oil, but we didn’t know it at the time. We just kept on going.
Afterwards, we went out to look at the fabulous sky with the stars easily seen out in the Provençal countryside with no city light pollution to spoil the view. I easily spotted the Big Dipper but there were so many other stars up there, I couldn’t identify anything else.
Then Jean-Marie went over to Dianne to help her "find a constellation". That’s when he tried to – and I can hardly believe I’m writing this – he “copped a feel”, a phrase which took me a good ten minutes to explain to my French husband.
My sister didn’t say anything, just stepped away. When I looked over she had her arm around Lynne’s shoulders. My husband was furious when he found out about it later saying it was a very inappropriate thing to do not only to a guest, but in front of us.
I wonder if ole Jean-Marie was hoping Dianne would join him in bed later, a bed, I am sure (after seeing his gite), was probably crawling with ticks.
But all in all it was still a great trip. And I was right
about the fans.
Maurice made a quick down to Provence supposedly to see the finished work on the electicity and plumbing.
Do it look like the electricity is done to you?
Or the plumbing? This will be the guest bathroom.
They have almost finished the tile and from the photos I see I like the floor tile. I had a real blank on what I had chosen for our bathroom and was glad to see it wasn't a screaming blue.
Tile around tub in our bathroom
View from kitchen area toward living room.
Stair with wood trim and tile.
Closer view of living room-note small Luberon style windows. There is a sliding glass door to the left.
View of what will be kitchen/dining room from the Living Room.
I learned that the kitchen cupboards, sink, etc, are not included in the cost of the house. We have to do all of that ourselves. We found a company in Pertuis, the nearest town with stores like that, and picked out cabinets, appliances and counter top. As with the key, the kitchen cannot be installed until they are totally finished with the house. The outside of the house is still not plastered. I assume this is the last thing they do.
Maurice has met with a lady to help us landscape our yard, with porches and long term planning for planting of bushes and trees. I would like a lot of trees to give shade but they make such a mess in the swimming pool so that will take a lot of planning. I have to have some wysteria growing somewhere, so that was incorporated. It is looking like we MIGHT be in our house by October. Of course, in France they don't work in August for the most part so that has to be taken into consideration.
September 13-16, 2003
Maurice drove the car to Provence and I met him about a week later by taking the TGV into AIX, a great and fast way to travel. The weather is beautiful in Provence, with the heat having finally died down, and the temperatures were usually in the low 80's during the day with wonderful cool nights in the 50's. Because of the high temperatures this summer, the harvesting of the grapes is taking place a good month ahead of the usual time and the roads are crammed with huge machines that cut the grapes off the vines or little tractors pulling loads of grapes to the commune where they will be made into wine. Sometimes I could see dark purple grapes still hanging on the vines, perhaps waiting for a special type of wine that requires sweeter grapes. One night we also went out to spot Mars, low in the southern sky, closer than it has been in thousands of years. It glowed red and large in the dark skies, easily seen without any city lights to compete.
Church in nearby village of Grambois
Mary casting a shadow
This man sold wine from the region at a tasting market
This man sold local honey
View of a cat in front of his colorful home in our village
Not good news on the house front. We have reached a disagreement with the supervisor of our house and he states we must finishing paying 95% of the cost of the house even though the house is only about 80% finished. He and Maurice got in a huge argument and I don't know when the house will be finished. At one time he told us the middle of September. According to our contract he doesn't have to finish until December so I don't know what that means as far as when we will be able to move in. None of the plumbing fixtures are in, nor the cooling/heatingsystem, the heating units on the walls in the bathroom. We can't get the kitchen installed until they have reached a certain point in the construction. I realized walking around that we will have to buy all of the light fixtures and install mirrors and lights above them in both bathrooms, so we spent some time looking at those in stores. I'm really not happy with how the tile looks in the bathrooms. They just leave the edge bare, without any finishing tile along the raw edge. It looks really crappy but I am told that's it, that's how they always do it. Also, there is no light in the entrance, inside the front door. When I pointed this out, he pointed to a plug and said to get a lamp. Sigh.
unfinished shower (we have to buy and install the glass door, too)
fireplace will be on this wall
Outside where they are starting to apply the plaster which comes tinted, it's not painted
We were at the house about 3 weeks before our so called
reception when I noticed there was no light fixtures and I realized that
this was something we had never picked out. We had only selected the location
of light fixtures. There were bare wires hanging from the ceilings where,
at least, we could screw in light bulbs so we wouldn’t be sitting
in the dark. I noticed that there wasn’t a light of any kind in
the entry way. I asked Stephane where it was and was told there wasn’t
one. He pointed to the electical outlet on the wall. This was where we
would plug in our lamp. I blew up and said it was ridiculous. How can
you have a dark entry way without any light? Both he and Maurice looked
at me like I was crazy and over reacting-this after their many arguments.
Finally we were told that it was time for our reception.
I was working and unable to go and was frankly rather relieved that I
wouldn’t be there to hear the exchanges between Maurice and Stephane.
Stephane had been calling and demanding the last 5% due on the house.
Maurice said no. It was the only hold he would have over this building
company if things weren’t right. He had called a former customer
of our builder and they had said they were extremely sorry that they had
paid the final 5% as there were things that needed fixing and no one was
arriving to take care of it. Maurice also told Stephane that he was bringing
a professional to check out the house on the day of the reception and
was told that the professional would not be allowed inside. I never did
find out why-what could he have to hide? Maurice left to go down to Provence
not really knowing if he would get the key or not. He had demanded that
the heating/cooling unit be installed the day of the reception and they
acted like he was ridiculous to ask such a thing.
Early morning view from the back porch.
New fireplace with top unpainted
New kitchen, no table to sit at.
Bright blue front door with junk in front.
Front of house from up above.
Back of house
Flies, Appliances, and A Trip To The Doctor
The first thing I notice when I walked into our new house
was flies. I hate flies. I assumed that most people did. The next time
we went to the store we got some little plastic devises that supposedly
kept flies out of the room but they didn’t work. When, once again
at a store, almost a daily occurence, I spotted a fly swatter, I bought
it. Nothing like the tried and true. It is called a tapette a mouche here
in France. I was going to tap the flies all right. Maurice laughed when
he saw it and was a little puzzled by my vigilance in killing them. He
has a sort of live and let live attitude but it drives me nuts when I
see two flies having, possibly, what looks like sex on top of something
I am going to eat. I feel like they are dirty. Maurice was raised on a
farm deep in the country so maybe he just got used to them.
November is a rainy month in Provence. It rained so much
last year in November that the laying of our foundation was delayed for
months and, once again, this year November was proving to be wet. Every
morning we woke up to gray skies and pouring rain. I understand this is
one of the reasons vineyards do so well here with the combination of heavy
autumn rains and hot dry summers with the sun baking the roots under the
rocky soil, leading to juciy grapes and the famous wine. There was a lot
of flooding in the south of France with Montpellier getting more rain
in two days than it usually did in two months. Marseille had massive flooding
as well with loss of lives.
I liked this bush against the dark sky
February 10th, 2004
Maurice did the tile in our kitchen. It looked nice with just plain yellow walls but the tiles really add a nice touch and a splash of color.
Maurice putting the tile in place.
The back splash is finished.
The finished job, nice and bright.
They have started putting in the walls for the porch in back. They can't finish until what is here is filled with dirt and then the pool is dug. We haven't heard from the pool guy. He was supposed to start in November, then January, then today. Not looking good.
March 26th, 2004
Part of diary written a few months a few month ago:
Because of the four foot drop out our back door and back porch we realized
that we had to hire a landscaper. It was going to be a huge job requiring
porches and steps all over the place. Our property was actually divided
into two sections with half of it a good 15 feet below our house. Someday
I wanted to have some olive trees planted there as well as a vegetable
garden and we would need some sort of steps to get down there. We were
also going to have a swimming pool installed to help us make it through
the long hot Provencal summers. Several people suggested that the pool
be put down below. I admit that it might look better but I didn’t
want it to be a big production to get to the pool with a safari just to
go swimming. I wanted it to feel like it was part of the landscaping attached
to the house.
I thought I'd put in a few photos of the pool building. They are only about half done. It is done differently from what I have seen in the States. They put heavy gavel on the bottom, then the rebars. The bottom of the pool is covered with cement and the sides will be added later. It looks like a lot more work is involved to me.
Outline of where pool will be.
Tractor delicately starting to dig the hole.
Two of these pipes go at the end of the pool to support it-fear it may slide downhill.
Photo taken from window of worker taking a siesta after lunch.
Rebar on top of gravel.
Cement base. The pool will be built up to top of bars seen on the side.
April 10, 2004
I haven't seen the progress of the pool in a month, or the landscaping. It doesn't look like too much was done to me bu Maurice says someone is out to do something just about every day. The landscaping moves slowly as they are waiting for some large equipement to be moved that is in the way of a tractor. They have partially filled two little "porches" which will then be covered with gravel and some lavendar and rosemary has been planted on a hill going down to the second level of land and needs to be watered each day. It seems to me that there is a lot more busy work done on the pool than needs to be but I'm no expert.
View of pool from porch-dirt will be put put to the top of the walls.
Front of house where some more planting will be done.
View of two porches partially filled.
View of house from below.
Pool from behind.
Inside of pool.
June 7th, 2004
I am writing this from the States. The pool was supposed to be finished before we left for a trip to the States but, true to form, this didn't happen. A week before we left to return to France they finished the pool and today is the day the pool is full with water and the filter is started. We just spent time with my son , Brian, in Texas and I watched as he swept down the pool, checked the chemicals, added shock and chlorine and backwashed. It is coming back to me how much work a pool is. Well, too late to back out now. A few pictures follow that our nice neighbor sent us.
Pool from up above.
Shot of interior of pool with the electrical cord for the light still not attached correctl.
View of the latest work on the area behind our house.
We are now working furiously on getting our landscape together now that we can actually get out and work in the yard. It is too hot to plant anything, though. A man came out and worked for one day and built some nice steps made of stone and dirt and we decided, since he wasn't returning, to finish the job ourselves. It was very hard physical labor carrying large rocks up the hill side and moving dirt and gravel around in a wheel barrow. Fortunately, there is no shortage of rocks. I have to get out early to work as the heat gets to me sending me indoors around 10:30 or so. Maurice can stay out all day and is starting to resemble a gypsy from somewhere in his family line.
View from our living room of the great yellow blossoms outside.
We have to get large rocks up this slope. The steps up will be the wood seen. Note my slave.
View from below of door to pool filter and some of the steps we've done.
Maurice cooling off in the now usable pool-still too cool for me.
Pool cover when we aren't there-required now by law.