Monday, August 26, 2013

Ma semaine in highlights

This past week has been pretty crazy, filled both with mostly good news and plenty of things to keep me busy!  So here are just a few updates:

- I FINALLY received my numéro SIRET in the mail along with my Certificat d’immatriculation au Répertoire des Métiers which means my company is officially set up and I am now an auto-entrepreneur!  After all these months and numerous problems I am so thrilled to have this step finally completed.

- Since my company is now official I also signed up to be able to declare my revenue and pay taxes online.  I filled out the online inscription form and sent in the signed paperwork last week so hopefully this too will be ready to go soon!

- I went into La Poste to look into setting up a boîte postale professionnelle for work purposes.  I was shocked to find that the woman who manages post office boxes in my local post office is extremely pleasant and very helpful.  Generally speaking La Poste is my biggest enemy in France, so I was surprised to walk out of there after a very efficient and painless visit.  I have to go back in this week to sign the contract and everything should be good.

- I finally found someone willing to take my fingerprints so I can send them into the FBI to get my casier judiciare for my naturalization file!  After trying the Préfecture and nearly every commissariat de police in the Bordeaux area I was desperate and on Friday I sent Lionel back into our local police station.  Apparently he looked so desperate that the woman at the front desk took pity on him and explained that normally they can’t do that but she went back into the offices and asked all her colleagues.  One person agreed to do it for us but didn’t have time on Friday.  He gave us her phone number and Lionel called to set up an appointment, so we are supposed to go in Wednesday morning at 8:30 so I can be fingerprinted!

- The kitchen.  This past weekend we once again broached the topic of the kitchen with my in-laws, and for the first time we had a very constructive conversation with absolutely no fighting.  I was shocked.  We expressed our very strong desire to really get focused on the kitchen and to make a plan and get organized so we could get it done as soon as possible.  As we were discussing the steps necessary to complete the kitchen we came to the very horrible realization that, in order to replace the floor, we also have to finish all work in the entryway because the same floor will go throughout and it would be easier to do it all at once.  We can’t install a new kitchen without replacing the floor first and we don’t want to have to sand any more plaster or paint in the areas with the new floor for fear of destroying it.  So, I took charge and laid out what I think is a very reasonable plan for accomplishing all of the work that has to be done and getting the kitchen installed by September 8, so in two weeks. I chose this date because my in-laws leave on an 8-day vacation on the 10th and I really don’t want to have to wait until they get back.  I also don’t want to be in the middle of the work, with what little we have of a kitchen (sink and cooker) torn out and unusable for weeks while they are in Spain and Portugal.  So, while they didn’t make any guarantees, they at least promised that we would all try our hardest to get all the work done in that time.  Basically, if we can get the new floor installed next weekend then there shouldn’t be any problems getting the kitchen installed by the 8th.  But, in order to get the floor installed we have to finish filling holes in the entryway, sand the walls, clean up the plaster dust mess, paint all of the baseboards, paint the doorframes (and there are 5 doors off the entryway), choose paint colors for the entry and paint the walls/ceiling, paint the heater pipes, put the rest of the baseboards back up in the kitchen, paint the kitchen baseboards, do one last coat of paint in the kitchen, fix the weird chimney thingy in the kitchen, remove everything from the kitchen, tear up the old floor, choose a new floor and buy it, and install the new floor.  If that all gets completed by the time my in-laws leave at the end of next weekend then we can buy all the kitchen cabinets, the stove and the oven, the counter tops and all necessary accessories and I can spend every evening next week building cabinets so that we can install the kitchen the following weekend before my in-laws go on vacation.  
Gasp!  It makes me exhausted just thinking about it, but I am very, very motivated to get this done and I have every intention of working from the moment I get off work till I go to bed every night and all day over the weekends in order to make this happen.  And I basically threatened Lionel’s life if he doesn’t work all day every day for the next two weeks to get this done.  I’ve laid out my plan of attack for my in-laws and we are going to all try our hardest.  Basically, I’ve turned into a slave-driver, but there is a slight hope that I might have a kitchen in two weeks!!!!!  At the same time we also have to take care of getting our carte grise for our car, go in for my fingerprinting, I have to deal with my boîte postale, I need to declare my revenue so Lionel can hopefully go to the CAF and we have to deal with a little problem Rasteau has created for use (see below).

- And on the bad news front from this week, Rasteau officially has fleas.  I’ve been afraid of this and then a few weeks ago we noticed he was starting to scratch himself an awful lot.  So we went to Animalis and picked up a flea treatment and applied it as soon as we got home that day.  After about 3 weeks we noticed it hadn’t made a difference at all so last week we applied another pipette.  Still nothing.  I guess that is what you get for buying a product “made in France”…  Anyway, since it didn’t seem to be working we decided to get serious and buy some hopefully more powerful and effective products, though we have to wait until the end of the week to be able to try them out on him. In the mean time, we’ve started to find fleas in other locations in the house, meaning we are infested. Fabulous.  So now, once we treat Rasteau later this week we then also have to wash all the linens and fabrics in the house and treat and spray the entire house.  Thanks Rasteau, just what we needed!  We have now taken to lovingly call him “sac à puces.

Well, that pretty much sums up my week.  Time to get some renovations done!


  1. Sounds like things are looking up! Can't wait to see the finished kitchen.

    Sorry about the fleas though...only the pipettes from the vet's office usually work. The other stuff sold in supermarkets and pet stores are merde.

    1. Yes, things are finally looking up! And I can't wait to see my finished kitchen either :) Here's hoping we get it done on time!

  2. FBI, wow! I just got a statement from my local police station that said I didn't have a record. I figured since there IS no "casier judiciare vierge" in the US, but the French refused to believe it, they could deal with whatever I gave them. And it worked. Good luck with the bureaucrats! I found getting nationality much easier than getting a carte de séjour, though.

    1. I know. I'm kicking myself right now because if I had thought about this before I left the US I could have just gone to my local police station. But my local police station requires you to appear in person and so I have to go the FBI route to be able to get my "criminal history" from abroad. Le sigh...

      But yes, I was shocked by how few documents are required to get nationality vs. the carte de sejour...though I'm not complaining!

  3. What a beautiful blog!
    I just fell in love with Bordeaux (as you can see here: and send greetings from Germany!


    1. Thanks for your comment and thanks for reading! Yes Bordeaux is a very nice city :)

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