Follow Me?

Please excuse me for the blatant self-promotion, but Google Friend Connect is going to disappear in a week or two. That’s that little box down there with 56 friendly faces declaring they love me enough to follow me. (Thank you. I love you too).

The thing is, Blogger is jealous and they don’t want the WordPress folk who benefit from a superior platform to also benefit from a superior method of following other people’s blogs. So they are going to disarm the widget for all WordPress bloggers.

So would all you 56 folk (and anyone else who is so inclined) kindly follow me some other way? You can get e-mail updates of every post I write by clicking on the little envelope button over to the right there and inputting your e-mail address when it asks you. You can also subscribe to my Facebook Page where you will also get regular updates of new posts that go up. (I won’t mention RSS feed because if you know what it is, you know how to find it). 

And as long as you’re at it, you can also follow me on Twitter or Pinterest, where you’ll not necessarily catch all my latest posts but where we can chat in real time or inspire each other with our online cork boards. (Those of you non-techies, just ignore that last bit).

Thank you for humoring me.

As long as you’re following me, would you like a tour? I promised that my Before and After shots of our house would not be limited to the upstairs and there are even more shocking changes downstairs. So I thought we could take a gander through the rooms since I just vacuumed.

I try to do that when I have guests.

The downstairs was basically a basement. Dirt floors on one side and cement floors on the other. One side is underground with the windows just at earth-level (the windows were boarded up), and the other side is split-level – not underground at all.  The ceilings are low, and some of our very tall friends (pro- basketball player) cannot stand upright, but the foundations of the house are not deep so we couldn’t dig down to get the floor any lower.

Here’s one view of the basement

which started this way

and is now Young Lady’s room.

I know right?!

Here’s the other side

with this raw wall

(oh yes, and a peek at the plumbing prep under the entire floor)

This gets split into two bedrooms and a bathroom.

And here’s the raw ceiling

which is now this

the boys’ shared room.

In the middle we built a wall

and installed a shower

and a toilet

so we could have a two-bathroom home for our 5 member family.

On the other side it was a little cleaner, but not livable. This

became this

and this.

See that hole we knocked out of the outside wall to make indoor stairs and a back entrance?

And from the other angle you can see that we also built a wall on this side to separate the laundry room/entrance from our bedroom.

(My husband built the linen cupboard but it’s waiting for doors and track lighting on top).

Here’s the little corridor.

This used to be how you’d access the basement,

(underneath the outside staircase) but it’s now a window in our bedroom.


became first this

Then this.

If I waited until Sir built doors for the all cupboards and hung all the paintings, we would all be waiting forever for the finished shots. Luckily I’m not a perfectionist.  And when you think about how far we’ve come …

(this was our garden in full construction throttle).

The entire remodeling took us a year to make the place livable, and two years before it was properly furnished.  Of course we were living there the whole time (with a crawling baby) right through the dust and lead paint, the cold, the banging hammers.

Sir took this picture of us from outside our bedroom window, early on in the cold of winter when the downstairs was mostly finished, but we still needed to go outside to get to the upstairs for the bath and the kitchen.

Looking back at this time, I try to put things in perspective about my life now.  It was a really challenging time for all of us and yet we made it through. You’d think with this hindsight I would refrain from running around stressing about new posts and cleaning for my sister’s visit and entertaining children who are home from school and worrying about when we are going to start the Spring gardening preparation – you really don’t want to spend an hour inside my head.

But … follow me anyway!



I love to hear from you, friends. You can comment using the box below or your Facebook profile. But FB doesn't notify me of new comments, so if the post is more than a week old and you want to make sure I see your comment, it's better to use the comment box. Merci!

I am the daughter of a symphony musician who was raised in upstate New York, and I simply breathe all things classical, be it music or 19th century literature (English and Russian). I married Sir Renaissance in New York City, and before I knew it, he had swept me up and brought me back home to his own country. So here we are. Three children, a rather ordinary life in a rather exceptional place. I am now ‘A Lady in France.’

Posted in Le Pavillon (The House), Tout le Reste (Everything else)
27 comments on “Follow Me?
  1. Carole says:

    Wow, you had a LOT of work done! I don’t know how you did it, living there the whole time. You deserve a medal.
    The workmanship is beautiful.

    Following you on Pinterest now.

  2. Lauren Chasey says:

    lou- it looks amazing!!!!!!

  3. Lia says:

    How lovely! Remembering our parents’ work on the houses we grew up in, I’m thinking that sometimes the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree… even if it’s across the pond. And, I’m impressed that only two years resulted in such a marvelous change! Also– I’m been following you via RSS… thanks for including that as an option.

  4. The transformation is simply amazing!!

    (and you’re already in my RSS feed)

  5. I already subscribe to you by email, and follow you on Twitter and Facebook.

    I don’t do Pinterest, but if I did, I’d follow you there.

    I’d follow you anywhere.
    In fact, now that I’ve seen the reno, I may be booking a flight to France.

    (I mean, you kind of asked for it. Wait. You didn’t? Well.)


  6. SissiPhoto says:

    I remember seeing your place 2 1/2 years ago. Wow, it looks great now!

  7. joann mannix says:

    Whoa! What an amazing transformation!

    I have never lived through a remodel. I’m not sure I’m strong enough for that challenge. But we did build our house and it was STRESSFUL. I can’t imagine having to live in the midst of all that chaos.

    Your new digs are beautiful.

    Oh, and just so you know, I like you, I really like you! On Facebook and Twitter and all the rest.

  8. Mom says:

    Beuatiful transformation. You both should be proud.

  9. Galit Breen says:

    I would follow you anywhere, girl! (You’re already in my feed, but still, I so would!)

    And the renovations are so very wonderful to see!!


  10. Oh my goodness! DId you do all of that work yourselves?

    Off to make sure I’m following you on facebook. We are already fast friends on twitter and the very addictive Pinterest:)

  11. Oh, home before and after pictures are my favorite. I can’t believe all the work you did to your home, so completely amazing, so much work. You all are troopers.

  12. Giving Gardener says:

    Really lovely, Jennie! I like the colors and the brightness of all the rooms. Still can’t believe that’s a basement! Sending best wishes and will follow via Facebook.

  13. Andi says:

    A lot of people are moving over to Google+. But whether or not you do that, I read a blog post that recommended sending an email to your GFC followers (which I didn’t even know existed) to let them know to follow you another way. I did the email blast and got a lot of people who moved to my Google+ page.

  14. I am jealous of Young Lady’s bed/desk combo. I’d like to have one of those myself. :)

    I had my kitchen remodeled and nearly lost my mind. My hat’s off to you!

  15. Alexandra says:

    Already follow you and subscribe, dear lady. How and why would I miss out on one of the most unique, authentic places of writing on the internet??


  16. wow. and you’re still married? because I know 1, 2, 3 couples (no lie) who remodeled their houses and in the process remodeled themselves right out of a marriage. Unbelievably stressful & yet you managed to come through with humor and windows intact. Plus it’s just LOVELY. That picture of the kids through the window, in that blue-ish winter light? Perfect. Enjoy spring in your garden!

    • ladyjennie says:

      You crack me up. Still married – the stress didn’t implode our marriage or even shake it, but it was certainly stressful. (Especially when my husband was in Dubai on business for 3 weeks and there was a fire on the rubble outside from the workers throwing their cigarette butts).

I'm Jennie. Welcome to A Lady in France! I write books, and also this blog on faith, French culture and recipes ... ( To continue reading, please click here. )

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