Settling in

We are settling in. We’ve been shopping almost every day since we got here last Tuesday. There were no problems with the closing. Then we set up a bank account. Then we came straight to the house.
We love it here, but have been working on making it more convenient and comfortable day by day. The weather has been lovely. We’ve been going for short walks around the town and the lake.
There are no screens here. The French don’t use window screens. It’s not much of a problem, but there are a few flies. We have been needing a fly-swatter. We forgot to put it on our list, so didn’t get one on our first trip to the store. Then we did get it on the list, but forgot it the next time. On our next trip we looked but didn’t find one. Finally today Jim saw them and put one in our cart. We bought a number of small non-food items like paper, which we forgot to buy when we bought the printer, but mostly we bought groceries. We checked out and brought the groceries home, had lunch and worked on other things.  Later we realized we never got the fly-swatter home. It must have fallen out of the cart. I think we’re just going to make friends with the flies.
We have internet, but no TV or telephone yet. That’s fine.  All we really need is the internet. I managed to get a load of clothes washed today. We had bought a collapsible drying rack a few days ago. I set it up out in our little courtyard. We bought more groceries today and I made beef stew tonight in a baking dish in the oven. It turned out just right.  We had green beans and a salad with it, and crème caramel for dessert. The ready-to-eat desserts available here are wonderful. Last week we had some delicious chocolate pudding. This time we decided to try the crème caramel. It was good.
Jim got the internet set up yesterday when the guy from Orange who was supposed to set it up for us, didn’t show up. We bought a wireless printer/scanner and Jim set that up today.
I have also been weeding the courtyard in back. It is partly concrete and partly gravel. The gravel has plastic under it, but some weeds had started growing up through the cracks in the plastic, so I pulled those up and it looks better now. We also put our name on the mailbox. It was hard getting the little plastic name plate out of the box and then getting it open and cleaned up, but we got it done. We’ve lost the key to the back gate.  Just can’t figure out what happened to it.
My car is in Le Havre. We will drive up Tuesday to pick it up. That’s the earliest we can get it. There was a problem we thought might cause some delay, but it has been resolved. When Jim dropped the car off in Baltimore they didn’t give him back the original title. Later when he called about something else, he was asked if he had the title. They said he should have it.  He said he didn’t have it. They looked apparently everywhere there, but couldn’t find it. The woman Jim was communicating with suggested it might be in the car--that Jim might have left it in the car. Since Jim knew he didn’t leave it in the car, he didn’t have much hope, but I thought maybe someone there had realized the title hadn’t gone with Jim and just put it in the car. Anyway we got a phone call yesterday morning saying they had found the title in the car.  So yay, now we can pick up the car.
Here are some pictures of our little back garden. 
Above is the gravel part between the garage and house.  I’ve removed some of the weeds that show in this photo.
We’re not sure how long the garden has been untended.  It looked pretty much like this when we saw it in May. Except then there was a rose bush in bloom. On the right wall are two pear trees. One seems to have dropped all its pears. The pears on the other don’t seem to be ripe. I am waiting to see if they will be any good.
I think I see strawberries here, among other things I don’t recognize.
That little shrub by the garage is a grape vine!
Which has grapes on it!  I tasted a couple of these and they are delicious. There a 3 other smaller bunches. How do I know when to pick grapes?
And finally here is the outhouse.  It has some old junk in it. The key in the lock still works, but I can’t get it out of the lock. It is on the outside.  I guess I could lock stuff up in there.
Okay, that’s it for today.


Jody Ondich said…
If the grapes are delicious--they are ready! My Duluth grape growing frieds are just picking theirs now and starting to make jelly. mmmmm
Cécile said…
As you can see in the photo some are red and some are green. I didn't know if I should wait till most of them are red in the bunch. But I may pick them tomorrow. We aren't going to be here that much longer.

Of course they do have seeds, but we just have to accept that. Most European grapes have seeds.

Thanks for the comment.
Your garden looks so quaint and inviting. It will be lovely to sit outside there when the weather is nice. Maybe you can make wine if you have enough grapes, after all, you are in France!
Monica said…
Congratulations on getting in and starting to settle down! Only, you hardly are settling down, are you - jaunting off to Poland right away... Congrats none the less.


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