* Between The Sea (the Med) and The Alps -- {Pronounce: ontruh la mair eh lay zalp}

Saturday, October 22, 2016

When work is joy

Work is joy 1Last month, we participated in the annual fall clean-up at the children's camp we volunteer helping keep in shape.  Over the years, we've all managed to take this property that was falling apart from lack of attention and turn it into a space of beauty and relaxation, although getting and keeping it there hasn't been so relaxing!

We now pretty much do the same things every year, so it would be boring to keep showing you the same activities.  But I like to honor the various people who dedicate their time to this endeavor each year, plus give a bit of a progress report on how everything continues to improve.

I'll start off with my own pride and joy, the pretty fire pit I brought back from a horrible mess several years ago, and now just takes a bit of annual weeding.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Wheat & Lavender

Wheat & Lavender 1Yesterday we ended up having a spontaneous fun experience I thought you might also enjoy.  French towns like to have fun activities in the summer to pull in the tourists, and our area is no exception.  It is possible to attend open air theatre and music concerts, and the old villages like to put on folkloric presentations harking back to their traditional heritages.

Some friends from church were aware of a village festival back up in the mountains, and we all decided to go check it out.  Here are some views of the scenery, the village, and the activities we enjoyed.

Friday, August 5, 2016

A French surprise

French Surprise 1This past year, we became part of a new local community chorale group.  When the year was over, several of us decided we'd like to get together during the summer.  We had a group dinner early in the summer, a great way to develop new friendships. 

However, I was surprised that one couple was aware of my birthday, but they sent me this adorable birthday card.  As we are both into music and cats, it was so appropriate!

Then, another couple invited us to dinner, which I thought was just a continuation of making friends.  In reality, they'd all conspired to throw me a little surprise birthday party!

It was such a fun evening, I thought I'd share my French celebration.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Beach Blanket Birthday

Beach Birthday 1

I have a very good friend who happens to be the same age as my second daughter.  She is a Brit married to a Frenchman and now has three kids.  You've seen them in some of my posts, as we've been involved in a number of their family activities or we have just gotten together.

It turns out that her husband and I share the same birthday, although a generation apart.  Normally they are off on vacation at this time, so we never get to celebrate together, nor do I just get to celebrate mine with my friend.

This year, however, they happened to be around, she threw him a beach party, and I was invited to participate.  So I got a beach party, too.  I thought you might enjoy the ambiance.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Over the Col de la Lombarde

Pass 1

I recently had an opportunity to meet an internet acquaintance in person in Milano, Italy, allowing us to get away for a few days.

Rather than take the open toll road with its 200 tunnels (my grandson and I counted them one trip) through the mountains, Doc Leo decided to take a lesser used scenic route over them.

As we didn't have time to dawdle on the way over, we came back the same way so we could enjoy it more.  I thought you might like sharing some of it with us.

Monday, July 25, 2016

PR Meet-up Milano

PR Milano 1Last spring, I had the privilege for the first time of meeting in person a new friend I'd made on my favorite sewing website.  That pleasure was extended recently by getting to meet two more users of the site.

One visit was fairly local, like the first one, but the second one involved a day's trip into Italy, which we turned into a mini-vacation get-away.

I thought I'd show you some of what we did.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Another village tribute

Village tribute 1

Once again, France has had to hold an official moment of national mourning.  Communities all over the country, from small villages to the largest metropolises, gathered their local residents together for the traditional minute of silence and the laying of wreaths by the communes and other groups.

Our village was no exception, and we joined in to show our personal sympathy with many of the local friends we've made.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Nissa la Bella

Nissa La Bella 1Once again, my adopted country is in a state of mourning because some individual thought he was more in charge than anybody else of the personal destinies of as many people as he could touch.

While there have been recent similar tragedies in both my home and my adopted countries, now both my home state and my current region have been specifically targeted.

Yesterday, we took a stroll along the Promenade des Anglais in Nice to pay our own homage to the fallen along with many other locals.  I thought I would share the photographic impressions we brought back home with us.

Monday, July 11, 2016

At twenty-two

At 22 1Because I happened to have the necessary materials at hand, I decided to enter a Vintage Pattern Contest on my favorite sewing site.  The requirement was that any pattern used had to be older than 1981. 

Normally I wouldn't have patterns that old, having gotten rid of them when we moved overseas.  But as my prize for winning a contest last year was vintage patterns, I now have a few qualifying ones to choose from. 

What I didn't know was how my particular choices would take me on an interesting trip down Memory Lane, starting with when I was around 22 years old.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Creating a Provençal Fête

01 Wine Fête 2016Every year, usually in May, we are standing house guests for an annual wine festival held in our hosts' region.  While the cold buffet is just on Saturday afternoon, we arrive on Friday and stay until Sunday.  Not only does it make a lovely weekend get-away for us, but it provides an opportunity to visit with a dear family at least once a year. 

Sadly, last year's event was cancelled due to the death of their oldest son shortly beforehand, but we were still invited to visit a bit later.

Two years ago, I shared the afternoon's event with you.  Last year, I took you on a tour of the area instead.  This year, I thought I'd show you just what goes on behind the scenes to succeed at this marvelous event.  Doc Leo and I do our best to earn our keep!  Even the youngest generation is getting schooled on how to continue posterity.

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