adventures of an american housewife in the south of france

Mr. Fix-It: Dad’s Vacation

I think if you asked my Dad, “Hey Dave, what was your favorite part about France?  Was it the Eiffel Tower?  Seeing Versailles?  The Mediterranean Sea?”  He would probably say something like, “Hmm, it's a tie between installing the new oven and re-wiring the bathroom lighting.”  Seriously.  I think my Dad is happiest when he's helping others and fixing things.  Case in point:  When I was growing up, it was not uncommon for my friends to drive over and see my Dad washing all the family cars in the driveway.  When they would go outside to leave, they'd find their car had been washed too.  True story.  (And don't you wish you knew me in high school?) So this past Saturday, Dad's part of his vacation started.  We rented a truck and drove to Ikea to purchase a new oven and some other things to help fix up our apartment.  By the time the day was through, we had a new (working) oven, a proper light fixture for our living room, new lighting for the bathroom, and a kitchen faucet that didn't spurt water out in every direction when you turned it on.

Dad and The Hub installing the new oven

two Mr. Fix Its hard at work

Living Room light before - lots of exposed wires

Light After: nice cover!

Oven Before: pretty but doesn't work

Oven After: pretty AND it works!

And I don't have any pictures of the bathroom light before, but all you need to do is picture a light bulb in a crack den and you'll get the idea.

Light After

While the boys were working, Mom made a delicious lunch spread and I....well, I supervised of course.

lunch in Montpellier

Thanks for all your help, Dad!  Now, when will you be back so we can install that kitchen track lighting?

#1 Dad!

8 Responses to “Mr. Fix-It: Dad’s Vacation”

  1. Karen Kettinger Van Druten says:

    What a nice tribute Nat! to your mom and dad. You’re one lucky gal and I know you know it! That’s what’s SO COOL!!!

  2. nate says:

    Great post as usual! However, I am starting to get REALLY concerned that you guys are not eating the proper amounts and types of cheese. I mean, I see some kind of processed cheese on that spread there. Michael is like, from the land of cheese and stuff. Is it too early to be disappointed? Are you guys eating lots of cheese but not writing about it? Tell me!

    • Natalie says:

      nate…i think your fears are confirmed. we’re working on getting skinny in france, mordo style! (well, without the workouts. but still – a combined 25 lbs and counting!) so we’ve been laying off the cheese. mostly because we really aren’t sure what we should be looking for. i really enjoy some cheese called Ossau Iraty (sp?) but i’m ashamed to say i don’t even know what it means!

      but of course i eat a lot of salade chevre chaud ;)

  3. nate says:

    Ossau-Iraty is one of our favorites! Sheep milk cheese from the Basque region. Yum!!

    Sounds like we need to talk though, yeah? ;-)

  4. nate says:

    Ok, here’s some homework. :-) In general, I’d recommend trying to get cheeses from smaller, artisinal vendors at markets or dedicated cheese shops, rather than the supermarket as there’s generally better stuff. That said, supermarkets can have good things too.

    With a few exceptions (gruyere/comte/emmental, fresh goat cheese) I’d also recommend eating these cheeses alone, or with fresh bread, rather than cooking with them or using them as ingredients.

    Congrats on the 25 lbs!! Good trend. Everything in moderation and you should be good. Cheese has lots of protein too. ;-)

    – St. Nectaire (cow)
    – Morbier (cow)
    – Crottin de Chavignol (an aged goat cheese)
    – Petit Basque (sheep)
    – Brillat-Savarin (cow, triple creme similar to brie/camembert but less runny when ripe, and thicker than a cam/brie)
    – Epoisses — (cow, extremely earthy and gooey. Smelly too.).

    – Camembert and Brie (obviously, but look for the good stuff)
    – Comte / Emmental / Gruyere (every day cow cheese, but tasty).

  5. Laura Whisney says:

    You rent an apartment but you have to buy your own new oven and install it? Or am I confused?

    • Natalie says:

      ya, it’s kind of a bummer. most apartments in france (and all of europe if i’m not mistaken) do NOT come with any appliances. i was actually shown a kitchen by a realtor that said “and this one comes with the sink…” so weird! most people have to buy everything. we were lucky that the previous tenants in our apartment left the dishwasher, stove, and oven, and all we had to buy was a washing machine and refrigerator. but the oven ended up being broken.

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