First Things First

So if you were setting up a home from scratch, which room would you make your first priority? When we were building furniture, beds came first, followed by dining table and chairs. But what makes our home functional is the kitchen. And ta-dah! She is finally complete (as much as a house’s room ever is) except for microwave, and ready to show. Click on the photos if the images are too small for you.

Yes, those are Stoney’s Speed Racer magnets on the fridge. Racer X is on the side you can’t see. The microwave (should Stoney ever make up his mind which one to get) goes on the counter next to the fridge.

I love my little chicken doorstop!

I would love to hang my mother’s sunflower painting above the sink. However, hanging anything on the walls here is a major undertaking, and of course all walls will have to be restored to the original condition when we leave. Why so hard, you ask? Well, the walls of this house (just about all of them, and this is normal for France) are solid baked red clay blocks. Not bricks: blocks. Over these is plaster, which is either painted or, more often, wallpapered with a texture. The kitchen is painted, but to get through the blocks, you must drill a hole, insert a plastic doohickie and then screw in your holder. Or use one of these stone/masonry nail-thingies that I am unconvinced will really stay up there with any weight on it. We are currently testing it with a Starry Night framed poster in the living room, so if it sticks, maybe I will trust it with Mom’s watercolor.

a  Please ignore my recycling container…an old IKEA shopping bag.

Once the microwave takes its place, my work surfaces will be quite limited, so we built this cart here. It is my produce pantry, too, and the wall behind it boasts our first attempts to get a picture on the wall: plaster will need to be repaired. The basket on the floor contains our shopping bags, which we have to furnish ourselves, or purchase at the store should we forget ours. (The IKEA sack was ,20 euros. Live and learn.)

The view from my kitchen door.

I include the laundry room in my kitchen tour. It turns out it is in constant use, too, because every day is laundry day here. For some reason, laundry cycles are really, REALLY long on the machines. A load will take anywhere between an hour and a half to two hours to wash. Drying is a whole nother animal. Yesterday was so hot I hung the bright-cold wash I had finished on the pole to dry, and in a couple of hours, inside my house, it was. It takes two to three hours to dry it in my dryer!

So the breakfast part of the Smith B&B is ready to serve you! So far, I have successfully made pancakes, biscuits, scrambled eggs, and what looks to me like Canadian bacon. Still working on making some of my other recipes work here, though. Of course, I could always send Theo up to the little artisan pastisserie for croissants. Taking reservations now!

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5 Comments

Filed under France, home & garden

5 responses to “First Things First

  1. Bonnie Dakan

    Pamela, if you will send me your address, I will send you some Command hooks and you can try them on your walls. They promise to not harm the wall. Or it might be quicker to try the internet – Command.

    • 4pam

      A lovely offer, Bonnie! I use Command hooks at home in the States, and think they are wonderful. We looked for them here, and have finally found some variation of them, but not as much selection. I’ve never used them for anything as heavy as a framed painting, but if they are here, I bet I can find an online source! I hadn’t thought of that. Thanks!

  2. Robyn

    Thanks for the glimpse at the house and your life, Pam. The kitchen is LOVELY. I hope the sunflower makes it!

    • 4pam

      Thank you, Robyn! I do, too. It would be much better to wash dishes staring at Mom’s art than to wash them staring at the blank wall. 🙂

  3. Myriahster

    Everything looks so pretty and picturesque! I miss you guys a ton, I wish I was there! Can’t wait to visit. :}

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