Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Furnishing the Lower Farm

So let's have a little house update, shall we? The last time I mentioned it, we were going to pick up a piano, we had one mattress on the floor for Ben and me, and the kids were on cushions on the floor. Things have improved since then, thankfully. We did get the piano, and I got a bee in my bonnet and painted it blue. Actually, it's absolutely adorable, and if I get around to it I'll put up a picture. The kids are getting piano lessons from Brooke, and Knox has taught himself virtually every Christmas carol there is, so we have a constant soundtrack full of holiday cheer. The kids are now in actual beds, which is a huge weight off my mind. The other half of the weight will be off when they get some decent blankets - but the ones they are using currently keep them warm, and so that's enough for now. Ben and I still have a mattress on the floor. None of us yet have dressers or wardrobes (and this is a house with no closets) so everyone's clothes are either still in suitcases or in piles on the floor that we attempt to keep tidy but it never works out very well. Every time a kid pulls out a shirt to put on the whole pile topples over and comes unfolded. So I'm looking for dressers and wardrobes at the moment. We got a couch on ebay - an intensely festive little item that is ruby velvet with a hilarious fringe at the bottom. We're all quite pleased to have something to sit on now in the living room - and even more pleased that we got this zippy number for one pound. Another extremely helpful addition to the living room is a court cabinet, also off ebay for dirt cheap. What is a court cabinet? It's a crazy dark wood unit with cupboards and drawers and pretty intense carving. This is what put some rhyme and reason into the homeschooling - and got all the books and papers and pencils out of a pile in the corner. Aside from a couple of side tables that I picked up for free and two bookcases bought on ebay for Ben's office, that pretty much sums up the entirety of our home furnishings! Little by little we're gradually eliminating piles on the floor - and I can't tell you how much it cheers me up when a pile is eliminated from the floor!


Deborah R Foucachon said...

Hi Merkles! I'm so glad you have a blog--it is definitely a more tangible way of keeping people in touch with your lives over there! My what adventures you're having! I say this with a smile, because I know there are times when it will only seem like an adventure when you look back on it! :) I know England is different than France, but I can tell a few things are the same...sometimes giving you the feeling you are truly in a 2nd world country!
The Dave Beauchamps are doing well, trying to get our "new house"--a 1928 home, fixed up before Christmas--Baby Shannon is due on Valentine's Day, and I am now counting the weeks, anxious to meet her AND to feel normal again...things like putting on my socks without it pushing my stomach into my throat, and getting behind the wheel of the car gracefully again. :)
I love the Skirty! I will definitely have Shannon wearing those! Look forward to other clothing too--LOVE the striped skirts and dresses on the website photos! :)
Please say hi to Brooke!
Cheer and blessings,
Deborah Beauchamp

Heather said...

You only had a couple of people till now check out your blog because we just found out about it. I had been checking out Femina for any posts by you. Love the pictures, but who is the guy with you on the boat ramp? Looking forward to seeing the blue piano.
By the way, we got a doberman puppy, and settled on the name Hero. I hope your Hero feels honored, not insulted.

The Merkle Gang: said...

Heya there Deborah! So fun to hear from you - best of luck on the house . . . I always love a good home remodel! And I had one baby due on Valentine's Day - but she unfortunately didn't come until the 25th. May you be as comfortable as possible until Valentine's - and not a day over!

Howdy Heather! I have a couple more things to add to the piano before I put it on display - completely nutty things I assure you! (But coming soon.) The guys on the boat ramp are Ben, Nate, and Aaron Rench - Nate's agent, who's also in a MSt program here at Oxford and so makes frequent trips over this year. Randomly we all ended up here together at the same time - it was quite the little translplanted Moscow community. And the world needs a few more Heroes . . .

meredith said...

as one of your American expat neighbors, let me tell you about Freecycle - where you can get stuff for free! I'm sure there's lots of furniture on there -- just google it and you'll find it. A quick search has resulted in nine pianos (at last count) so I'm sure you can find some good stuff there --
Merry Christmas - the tree looks gorgeous!

The Merkle Gang: said...

Hey Meredith!
So what service do you go to at St Ebbes? Have I met you before and I'm just being wildly forgetful? We'd love to get you over here for a meal . . . and we do actualy have some chairs and silverware now so it would be reasonably civilized! Thanks for the freecycle tip - I've heard of it, and Ben's looked at it, but I've never managed to - I'll have to get on there. Thanks!

meredith said...

Hey Bekah!
We usually go to the 6:30, and I don't think we have ever met, actually. Your memory functions perfectly, so far as I know! Would love to come hang out sometime -- it's always good to hear an American accent in these parts. If you fancy a country walk, there are several good (flat) ones around the fields in our village... and we could offer coffee and cake too! (hot chocolate for the kids obviously....)

The Merkle Gang: said...

Meredith - we'd love to hook up. If you want to email me sometime at rebekah@amorettidesigns.com then we can get something "in the diary".