06 May 2011

A picture and the painting

Still no rain in Saint-Aignan, and temperatures are going up. We are having our summer now. Who knows what kind of weather we'll have in June, July, and August. Yesterday, using collected rainwater, I gave my collard and mustard greens patch, as well as all the potted plants out in the yard, a good drink.

Predictions are for a few showers and thundershowers over the weekend. That's "scattered showers" so we won't necessarily get any moisture. We still haven't planted any tomato or eggplant seedlings outdoors, because the conventional wisdom is that there could still be frost until May 15 or so. A late frost seems highly unlikely this year.

A wild rose growing at the edge of the vineyard

Oh well. It's good weather for painting indoors. Skies are bright so there's plenty of natural light to paint by. I'm pretty happy with the results I'm getting. I'm trying to do a thorough, complete job because this may well be the last time I ever tackle a painting project. One bedroom door is now done, as are the four door frames that needed painting. One door needs another coat of paint, and two others will need several coats — I haven't even started on those two yet.

Watching all these coats of paint dry, day
after day, is good entertainment.

By the way, I got my first American Social Security check this week. What I get would be sufficient to cover most of our costs if the dollar were a little higher. And a little higher it is this morning — the euro is at $1.46 instead of the $1.49. That is U.S. dollars, by the way. If you are coming to France this summer, don't forget to pad your budget.


  1. We had a deep frost here the other night. Good job we had decided to leave our runner bean and bedding plants in the greenhouse for a bit longer. May 5th is the day you should plant out the beans, here in Derbyshire, according to my dad.

    Painting can be hard work but also good therapy - all those hours to be by yourself with your own thoughts and something good to show for it afterwards.

  2. Good job on the painting :)
    Congrats on the SS $!


  3. I have never thought of painting, especially doors, as entertainment, but after all, why not, to each his/her own...

    Jean has a good point about introspection. When and where else could you do it, but in front of a blank space. LOL

    WV is neiva, close enough to neva, Spanish for snow and, maybe, white paint.

  4. Gite near Cognac: Booked
    Rental Car: Booked
    Discretionary $$: Stashed
    Exchange rate: Out of my hands

  5. i just applied to start my social security, which wont come till sept i guess (since i turn 62 in july) mine wont be very much since I havent worked "on the books" so to speak, in many years....I remember seeing the "retirement" year on my first social security info sheet & laughing, since it sounded so far into the future! HA

  6. It seems to me we're about where we were 3 years ago with the dollar. I heard on the news last night that it's something Trichet said about interest rates that caused the € to fall 3 cents in a single day.
    Our tomato plants that we put out a couple of weeks ago are growing nicely. Nights are chilly but not frosty. Been too lazy to plant the rest of the "potager".

  7. "Watching all these coats of 'pain' dry"

    I'm just starting a big painting job and I will soon be feeling your pain. :)


  8. We are still having chilly nights here in Alabama and our heat comes on. Beware-it was down to 38 a couple of nights ago, but my few plants didn't seem to mind.

    Those doors look worth the pain..and paint.

  9. Funny typo on my part. Yes, painting = pain.

    Melinda, I'm like you, I never thought I would make it to 52 much less 62.

    Ellen, you are probably smart to have planted the tomatoes outdoors early, but we are waiting. Never know... But my greens seems to be doing fine.

    BettyAnn, Bon courage for the painting. Mine is nearly done now. Next: till up the remaining two garden plots and get the plants into the ground. Then there are a thousand other things that need to be done. This is the busy-work season. Soon begins the busy-guests season.

  10. We have been watching the euro very closely since we will be in Europe this summer. We expect it will be even higher by the time we get there. I started collecting SS when I was 65 (on the advice of a guy at the SS office), but worked until I was 70. I used the SS money to pay off the mortgage on our apartment.

  11. Well, there's rumors in the press that Greece wants to leave the euro. This may explain part of the decline. If that actually happens, the currency will drop a good bit, unless the ECB keeps raising interest rates.

  12. As of Friday night, the euro is trading around $1.43. I gather that a lot of the price softening has to do with the ECB not raising interest rates this round.

    I still have some from last summer, and some pounds, as well. Figured it was worth hanging on to them.


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