Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Great Evening of Laura Faroult

If you're in Leran, you already know that Mademoiselle Laura Faroult, formerly of Leran, didn't win the Miss France competition that took place in Martinique in the Caribbean. Laura's parents, Nelly and Thierry, ran the bar in Leran our first summer there. Thierry and Nelly had two daughters, the other being Virginia, and I could never tell them apart. I was always asking "Which one was that?" after one of them greeted us with two or three bissous. Beautiful Laura became Miss Albigeois Midi Pyrenees and had hopes of becoming Miss France and then Miss World. She had my vote, indeed, if I'd had a vote.
Thierry and Nelly live in Lavalanet now and I do believe that Laura is attending college somewhere, perhaps in Montpeiller. If you peruse the archives of North of Andorra from the summer of 2007, you'll find pictures of Laura (or perhaps it's Virginia) before she was famous.

This little article mentions that all of the region of Laroc d'Olmes, and beyond, were totally behind the idea of Laura becoming Miss France. Alan and Eileen Simmons, who sent this article with their Christmas card, wrote on the page, "Sadly, Laura didn't win, but it was good to have a celebrity close to here for a time!"

Monday, December 28, 2009

Passing Gas

When we first looked at our new/old house we liked it and it didn't take a second viewing to sign on the dotted line. However, when we accompanied the home inspector on his tour, we noticed a foul odor in the house. We made the incorrect assumption the methane gas smell was coming from a dried up p-trap. A little water to the suspected trap and a infusion of fresh air and the odor was gone.

When we next visited the house the odor was not present, so we assumed the best, and then, as we were moving in, the odor became overpowering. It turned out there was a broken sewer drain pipe, and I will not bore you with the details of the sleuthing it took to find the culprit. But eventually, after a couple of plumbers, the home inspector, the gas company emergency crew, the city sewer experts (?) and a host of other workers offered their opinions, we ripped into a basement wall and found this drain pipe.

For scale let me tell you that it's a 4" cast iron pipe and it had a half inch crack running the length of the piece. The crack was on the top half of the pipe, fortunately, because no sludge or waste material leaked out, only gas. Sewer gas contains a host of bad stuff that can make you sick or give you headaches at the very least. And it stinks. The thermostat would turn on the furnace and begin to combust air, and when that happened, because it's a tight house, the combustion would begin to suck air from the sewer pipe and spread it throughout the house. Dee-lightful!

All things considered, it could have been a lot worse. We haven't gotten the bill for the work yet, and it won't be cheap, but whatever it is we will gladly pay it.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Moving In

We're spending money like drunken sailors. Today a new furnace is being installed so that we cans save money down the road. Likewise, the electricians are here, working in the attic, so that we can safely insulate up there and save money on our heating bills. Money to the electricians and the insulators and furnace installers,and before long we'll need a plumber. It costs to hook up the phone and the TV and the Internet. It's only money.

Boxes are everywhere, loaded and unloaded. Tabletops and counter tops are full of stuff. But moving in is more fun than moving out, that's for sure.

Monday, December 7, 2009

We're Out of Limbo.....

...but technically, we're homeless (in the U.S. anyway). We've closed on the property in Moab but we don't close in Montrose til Wednesday morning. Half of the deal is done. The credit union released the money to our buyers late last week, but it has been like waiting for the other shoe to drop. Technically we are squatting on their property. But they are nice folks and we have the rest of the week to get our belongings moved out. We had to cancel the movers when the deal was in limbo and we couldn't get the same dates again.

Snow is falling in Moab and Montrose and the adventure resumes tomorrow when we head for our new town.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Livin' in the Land of Limbo

Today was supposed to be the day we closed on our new house in Montrose. Yesterday was supposed to be the day we closed on the sale of our place in Moab. None of it happened.

Our buyers, through no fault of their own, found themselves without the funding they had arranged for months earlier. The credit union association had picked last week to do an audit on 13 credit unions in Utah. Funding was frozen. Our sale and purchase were on hold. And as I write this, they still are. There are rumors that the funding may reappear at any moment. Until that happens, we are living in the land of limbo. Most everything except our toothbrushes are packed and ready to go. But there is nowhere to go.

Our buyers have scrambled to find alternative financing, both private and with other financial institutions, but it all takes time. A week ago, when we found out that everything was on hold, we were sure the entire sale would fall through. But now, I know it will happen. We just don't know when. Tentatively, we are set up to close on the 14th in Moab, and the 15th in Montrose. If the funds from the credit union re-appear, it may be sooner. Try arranging your movers with those parameters, not to mention your life.

It was a stressful week and we can hope the worst of the shit has already hit the fan. If it hasn't, were standing by with shovels.