Life's Little Details: Knitting, Sewing, Green Living, Frugal Living and Cooking In A Little Corner of Southern French Countryside.

Monday, October 03, 2005


Originally uploaded by Sheepish.
So, what's this a picture of? Any guesses? No, it's not a badly wrapped gift. Anyone else? A storm door? Not far off. This is what happens when a wife takes things into her own hands.

Explanation: We're white trash. I don't like that expression, because it somehow implies that some other race is always trash, and that we need to specify when white people are. But, it fits here, and I've got no other expression to describe our circumstances.

See, we live in a prefab house that dates back to the late 1960's. The French government housed Syrian refugees in our home back in the day. My father-in-law got two of them for a song. Can you believe his good luck!? They weren't built for luxury, and, well, I'm sure you can imagine they haven't exactly stood the test of time, though, in their defense, I'm thinking they weren't designed for longevity.

Anyway, before we moved in here, it was pretty much unliveable. A previous tenant of the not-so-bright persuasion thought it would be a good idea to use a wood stove (or set a fire or something) in an unventilated room. We painted over lots of black, sooty walls. We got it pretty much inhabitable when forces beyond our control made us have to move in before finishing the "remodeling".

And, since it's been "temporary" for the last three years, we've not made much effort to fix it up. We just kept telling ourselves the new house would be finished in the next few months, and we'd better spend our money and energy there.

One of the things that didn't get done is replacing rotted ceiling tiles in the kitchen. We got rid of the worst ones and replaced them with wood, which was intended to be painted to match the rest. Anyway, to shorten this long story... one of the less-rotted-but-still-not-great ones fell to the floor (insulation and all) one day while we were out. Since we had gotten home at midnight to see this mess, we cleaned it up but didn't actually replace it. Besides, it was spring-time and it didn't make much difference.

Fast forward to October. It's freezing in this room! I warned my sweet but very busy husband that if he didn't get to it soon, I would, and the results wouldn't be so pretty. I believe I even threw in the words "trash bag and tape". This threat appears not to have prompted him to act. So, today, I got to work. And, tada! Whaddaya think? Yep, did that all by myself. It actually matches the fly paper on the other side of the room really well (more about that another day, because it's a lovely story, as well).

So, husbands beware! If you don't get around to those household upkeep chores, your wives may be force to rise up. Yep, we're a talented bunch, and we're not afraid to do it ourselves. I mean, just look at me. The proof is in the pudding, people.

Now, let's just see how long it takes for him to notice (and, incidentally, it's A LOT warmer in here now).