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

Friday, December 26, 2014

My Christmas gift to myself

Garden Christmas 01I was unexpectedly able to both start and complete a little outside project that I've been wanting to do for months, just in time for Christmas.  I'm so pleased with how it turned out I thought I'd show you, too.

With a little help from my friend partner, I was able to transform a dead corner of our driveway into a bit of a showplace, despite its continuing rusticity.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas from us to you

Christmas 2014 01Christmas 2014 is upon us, although some of us have been celebrating all month long.  I love the Christmas season and everything it represents.  I love decorating my own house but also seeing what is done everywhere else.

I thought I'd share with you some of the things about the Season that I'm enjoying in my own life.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Having a country Christmas

Country Christmas 01Our village has an annual Christmas market; and ever since the country dance class got started, they always do a little demo during the market.  It actually was in watching them one year that we got interested in that being an activity for us to try.  Too bad we hadn't started when they did originally, as we'd be a lot more advanced now. 

We had a party instead of a lesson our next class time after the demo, and I thought I'd share how we try to have fun sometimes!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Christmas season kick-off

Christmas kick-off 01Having finished our Thanksgiving celebrations of three separate dinners, it was finally time to get into the Christmas spirit of things going on everywhere else around us, as the French don't have to wait until after Thanksgiving themselves. 

So what did we do?  We had another dinner, of course!  Which meant we had to get one holiday packed up and another one set up rather quickly.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Our official Thanksgiving


The American Thanksgiving was the first major holiday we missed when we first moved to France.  So we invited our new French neighbors to share a traditional dinner with us, especially as they had helped us so much just like the Indians did with the original Pilgrims (from whom Doc Leo is directly descended). 

We've been sharing it with the locals ever since, and this is how it turned out this year.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Pre-Thanksgiving, family style

TG II 01Yesterday we had our second of three Thanksgiving dinners planned for this year.  Do you remember the pool party last summer that didn't actually happen quite as planned?  Well, we finally had a chance to make up that missed event with the same two families and all their little people. 

I thought you might enjoy how it all went down in a normally very child-free environment!

Friday, November 21, 2014

A pre-Thanksgiving dinner

TG I 01

As Thanksgiving is a very American holiday (Canada has their own version not related to ours), and as I don't live in America, trying to celebrate it has been an interesting challenge over the years, often frustrating, sometimes amusing, always successful. 

In Paris, I let the American community serve itself and only invited my French and international friends to my house for as traditional a dinner as I could manage.  Down here, my friends are still quite mixed, but my American friends are not part of a larger American community, so I try to involve them, too.  However, I have too many friends to invite for one dinner, so this year I've broken it in three!  I thought I'd share how we enjoyed the first one last Sunday.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Working a vertical driveway

Driveway 01

Not only did we inherit the driveway from hell, it's done nothing but fall apart since we've been here.  Being as parts of it seem almost vertical, we can't just fill in the holes it has developed; but as I want to redesign its shape, we've never done anything very permanent to it.  As the hillside had eroded down right near its edge, part of my project was building it out a whole lot.  So now it was time to try to make some kind of a finished edge between the driveway and hillside.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

A blank canvas to landscape

Classic Hill 01No, I did not fall off the face of the earth since my last post.  Nor did I fall off the side of the hill I've been working on non-stop for the past two months.  I haven't even taken the time to share with you, nor done anything else productive in my life, trying to reach a reasonable stopping point, especially before winter weather strikes.  But now I finally have an empty palette to design.  I thought you might enjoy what it took to get there.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A lacy tunic and skinny pants

Tunic 01After way too much lapsed time, I recently indulged myself and did some more sewing.  I could easily sew instead of doing just about anything else, especially hard stuff like construction or boring stuff like fall cleaning my house. 

While I have a whole stack of projects I'm just dying to dig into, I did a spur of the moment something else!  As it was kind of a fun adventure, I thought I'd share some of the highlights for you other seamstresses out there.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

40 years of adventure

Diana 01Today is the 221st anniversary of the death of the Queen of France Marie Antoinette.  Forty years ago, not only was that not foremost in my mind, I wasn't even aware of such a historical date.  As you can see, I was on my way to the hospital to give birth to my second daughter.

Yes, today another one of my kids turns 40.  While that was one of my own most exciting birthdays, as I was starting my new life in France, my kids don't seem to understand they are not allowed to do that.

It makes me feel old, and I don't like that!

Monday, October 13, 2014

CCC - Sandra makes three

CCC - Sandra 01

The Calvary Chapel Couturières now has another success story.  From a group of absolute beginners who for the most part had never touched a sewing machine before, we had a number of young women create their own little drawstring bag to hold their sewing supplies during the first class.

Then Janka was the first to finish an actual wearable garment, a T-shirt, with Lindsey coming in second, as part of the second class project.  And now we have Sandra, who ended up doing a different garment.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Sewing with cats award

Sewing With Cats 01I am a cat person.  It's genetic.  My grandma was a cat person, I grew up with cats, Doc Leo is a cat person, so it's only natural that our children are also cat people.  I am also a seamstress.  I've been sewing my whole life.  Which means I've been sewing with cats. 

Thus, it was very exciting to be given a new badge that I have truly earned over the years!

Monday, September 29, 2014

An annual fall camp work week -- Part II


My first post on the camp fall clean-up was all about actual cleaning and maintenance.  However, there were two major projects going on at the same time.  One was officially organized, the other was one of my own personal making.  Both enhanced the camp facility.  I thought you might enjoy seeing how it all went as the week wore on.

But first, I received this copy of a publicity for future volunteers showing how much fun our work weeks are.  This is from 2011, showing many of the same people as were involved this year, but it also shows Christina in her last year. 

Particularly interesting is her standing amidst all her laundry before I cleared out her view of the river later during that same week.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

In Memoriam

Hervé Gourdel 01

As I posted my last entry, the first part of our week doing fall cleaning at a camp facility, we got the news of the hideous death of Hervé Gourdel, the kidnapped and slain French mountain guide, by Algerian terrorists.  What was especially poignant for us personally is that he came from the same village as the camp, where we just spent a week, and we go there several times a year. 

It was like he was a neighbor, which brings tragedy so much closer to home.  Also, he was a guide in the mountains I've personally done a lot of hiking in myself, which doubled the familiarity feeling.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

An annual fall camp work week -- Part I

General 01

We recently participated in the annual fall clean-up of a camp facility mostly for disadvantaged kids up in the mountains, as we've done for the past four years.  Not too many capable people have a schedule that allows taking off work, so our "retired" status allows us to be available. 

I thought I'd share just what kind of work needs to happen behind the scenes in keeping such a facility in good operating condition.

Monday, September 22, 2014

The sweetwater town

Dolceaqua 01

As I proposed in my last Rock Village post where we passed through Dolceacqua but didn't stop in, I've compiled a few old pictures of past visits.  While the quality of photos isn't terrific (my old camera wasn't as capable as I could have wished for in the harsh conditions all the shadows provided), putting these together brought back so many memories of the visits we've had.  And taking everybody to this town was a top priority!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

A Seborgan musical adventure

Seb Music 01

As we were wandering around the fun little Principality of Seborga, part of the Italian Rock Villages behind the Riviera dei Fiori, enjoying their Medieval Knights Templar theme everywhere, we came across this amazing little antique musical instruments museum. 

The door was open (most everything else didn't seem particularly animated the day we were there), the entry was free, so we checked it out.

What an amazing treasure trove we discovered!  Perhaps you'll also enjoy some of the highlights I captured.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

A wannabee Principality

Seborga 01

Before its unification in 1861, Italy was divided into a number of city-states, such as Venice and Florence.  A micro-nation just across the Italian border from France, Seborga had a medieval historic importance during the 10-18th centuries, being possibly the first principality in the Holy Roman Empire.  Doc Leo thought this would be a great destination on our recent little Italian vacation, and I thought you might like to visit it with us.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Rock Villages of the Riviera dei Fiori III

Italy III 02As we continued our Italian tour, making our way back from the hills to the coast, we encountered another of the medieval villages dotting the landscape.  This view was taken long distance as seen from Apricale

Its name, Isolabona, means it sits at the confluence of several rivers.  We could tell we were getting back down to sea level, as it was much flatter than all the previous towns had been.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Rock Villages of the Riviera dei Fiori II

Italy II 01

We started out the second day of our little Italian tour on this little sliver of road out in the middle of nowhere, with a number of olive groves all around. 

While the site itself wasn't very exciting, our views were really nice, the weather was great, and nothing was pushing us to be doing something else, whatever that might be, rather than just relax and enjoy life.

What more could one want?

Friday, September 5, 2014

Rock Villages of the Riviera dei Fiori I

Italy I 01

During Doc Leo's last years of employment, he often worked in Italy.  As it was more practical to drive than fly, he usually whizzed by the countryside on the coastal autostrada (turnpike), often wondering what the villages up in the hills were like.  We decided to take an end-of-summer last camping fling exploring a few of them, so you don't have to!  I tried to capture some of the sights for you, but you're on your own for the sounds and smells.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Between a rock and a hard place

Clean-out 01People suffer natural disasters all over the world, such as hurricanes, landslides, earthquakes, fires, etc., often losing everything they own, including their lives. 

While we suffered what I call The Disaster, it doesn't compare, and we are capable of digging ourselves out and starting over.  After a year and a half, with help from a few friends, we finally got started on that task last week.  As you might imagine, it wasn't easy, both emotionally and physically, but it's a relief to finally be making progress again.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A new home for the Babes

Wall 01Once upon a time, we had an ugly hillside (we actually had nothing but ugly hillsides everywhere).  Right outside our kitchen and main outside dining area, there was this ancient falling down chicken coop and nothing but wild irises all over the hillside. 

It was such an eyesore, I had such grand visions, we finally decided to realize those visions.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Classy babes

Babes 01

Isn't she lovely?  Isn't she wonderful?  (To quote a certain Stevie Wonder.)  We got her in May 2007, the week before Doc Leo came down with a problem in his neck that put him in the hospital for six months.  At first, we wondered if trying to get her out of the car is what did him in.  (It wasn't.)

At the time, we were spending a lot of time in Italy, the Doc had a lot of jobs in Rome and it was easier to drive than fly, so we were checking out all statue places we came across, as that was a theme we wanted for our property.  One time, we found this place that supplies the whole world.  Not only did they have good prices, but we could also provide our own transportation, so we did.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

When a family restarts life

24 Years 1

When we were young, we moved all over up and down the East Coast of the US, searching advancement with better jobs.  When we ended up staying a whole 11 years in one spot in Florida, that was amazing. 

Then we made another move in 1990 that changed our lives completely.  On this date 24 years ago, our family minus one arrived in France.  With absolutely no idea what that would mean for our futures.

(We had just come back from a graduation trip to Saint Martin in the Caribbean.)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Twenty years already

IMG_6330cIt's fun to have a baby in the family.  You've met Diggle, the latest baby in our family, who is currently still an actual baby.

But Diggle has an older cousin, and yesterday was his birthday.  A big one.  Our first grandchild has finished being a teenager and has now turned the big 2-0!

And we'd like to wish him a nice Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

TTF - How we go tripping

Tripping Through France - Epilogue

Personal 01

Now that you've seen what all we found interesting along our round trip to Paris, I thought you might enjoy the way we saw it all.

We can be fairly unconventional when we travel (just ask our kids), born out of financial desperation then continued through personal choice.  This is our typical modus operandi.

Monday, August 18, 2014

TTF - Along the route

Tripping Through France - Chapter 10

Along Route 01

As we traveled along the route, we came across a number of fun things, as one does when one travels the small roads, as we did.  I thought I'd show you some of the more interesting bits that caught my fancy.

For starters, here's an example of driving down one of Napoleon's tree-lined straight roads.  Such a pleasure!  Such current controversy!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

TTF - Farmers in the dell

Tripping Through France - Chapter 9


Crops 01France is an agricultural country.  If you don't believe me, check out the toys some kid plays with in his back yard.  (Whoever has taught him the neatnik game really deserves a prize.)  He also has a few small people-sized riding farm equipment.

As we traversed the countryside, we came across all kinds of fields, which were actually rather pretty, so I thought I'd show you just what summer crops look like over here.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

TTF - Alpine sentinels

Tripping Through France - Chapter 8

Bonette Military 06a

In the 19th century, after the various regions in Italy unified into one big country, the French were concerned about protecting their border against potential invasion.  Thus, they started developing a few military outposts along their alpine frontier.  Over the years, they enlarged their installations, and we came across a number of military "ghost towns" along our very high-in-the-sky route.

Friday, August 15, 2014

TTF - Touching the sky

Tripping Through France - Chapter 7

Bonette 01

The routes between the north and the south of France on the east side of the country often go through big chunks of various European mountain chains.  As you get down to the southern area, you hit the western edge of the Alps.  That means you can find yourself fairly elevated from sea level, which we did on this trip.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

TTF - Nature's End of the World

Tripping Through France - Chapter 6

Cascade 1Doc Leo loves Google Earth.  He surfs it whenever he can for as long as he can.  Then he likes checking out as many Panoramio photos as he has interest (and time) for.  He gets a lot of enjoyment out of seeing all the places he'd like to go himself, as well as how all the places he's already been look.  Over the years, he's probably found where most of you live if he's ever been there (or even if not).  On one of his virtual trips, he came across this little detour he surprised me with.  I hope you enjoy visiting it with me.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

TTF - A little old winemaking town

Tripping Through France - Chapter 5

Chablis 01

As we were traveling down the countryside, we found ourselves surrounded by vineyards.  France is full of vineyards.  But we happened to be in the Chablis region, which is a popular wine in America, so I thought you might be interested in how your wine gets its start.

This little roadside map shows the various areas in which the different qualities of grapes are grown.  I think.  It's rather confusing, but it looks so pretty, I just wanted to include it!


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

TTF - Avant-garde Medieval worshipping

Tripping Through France - Chapter 4

Bourges Cathedral 01

Imagine casually walking down some quaint streets in a pretty town and glancing down a side street and being confronted with this view.  Not generally your everyday scene, I don't think.

This is the Cathédrale Saint-Étienne de Bourges, built between the late 12th and 13th centuries, with construction starting by 1195.  It is a contemporary of the Notre Dame de Paris and Chartres cathedrals, all using innovative structural design for the times, such as described in Ken Follet's Pillars of the Earth.

It is still surrounded by many of the original half-timbered houses of the old medieval town, enabling one to really capture the ambiance of the original time period. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

TTF - Bourges, center of France

Tripping Through France - Chapter 3

Bourges 01

We recently met a young Canadian couple who have just relocated to France as missionaries with our church group, and we had a chance to visit them on our way to Paris.  They settled in Bourges, which is only 25 miles/40 km from the claimed geographical center of France.

It was really fun to be able to actually visit a Medieval town rather than just pass through, not to mention enjoying getting to know this wonderful family a bit more.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

TTF - Natural ups and downs

Tripping Through France - Chapter 2

Ardeche 01

France has a number of beautiful gorges, and we took a tour around one of them that was on our route.  The rock structure that allows a gorge to form can create a number of natural formations including high cliffs, caves, grottes, and canyons down to a river that may have caused rock erosion over the eons.  At least, these are features of the Gorges de l'Ardèche that we explored on this trip.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

TTF - Lavender in bloom

Tripping Through France - Chapter 1

Lavender 1This is actually a follow-up to the earlier post on lavender fields, which were either buried under snow or just beginning to bud during the times we happened to be passing by.

Unfortunately, we did not go by our particular comparison field on this trip, so that complete story will still have to wait.  We don't often have an occasion to be in that area at the right time of year.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Tripping Through France - Introduction

Tripping 01

When we recently went up to Paris for a weekend visit with our son and his family, we turned the trip into a little driving vacation lasting about a week and a half.    We had so many interesting experiences, I thought I would take everybody else along with us in an armchair travelogue with a series of photographic descriptions on the various aspects of the interior areas of this country.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Best day of the year

Best day of the year



For as long as I can remember, today has always been a special day.  It was on this date in history that Yours Truly arrived on this planet, and the world has never been the same since!

Friday, August 1, 2014


imageThis is not a weekend to be on French roads.  They are to be avoided at all costs, because in general they will not be avoided!  This is the biggest annual traffic weekend of the year, every year, in France, and it's really quite something.  The term chassé-croisé essentially means criss-cross, a reference to the dance step where the man and woman alternate crossing in front of each other.  In French terminology, it means massive traffic jam.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

At the farm

At the farm 01

Besides living next to a major airport, Diggle & Family also live within walking distance of a little educational farm.  Our visit made a good opportunity for everybody to take him for his first rural exploration.  It undoubtedly won't be his last.

(The Millers Park Farm )


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A virtuoso conversationalist

A virtuoso conversationalist 01


Any old baby can master a silly xylophone.  In our family, we apparently have a budding concert pianist, who gave us a magnificent performance.  In preparation, he managed to promote himself quite grandly in fascinating telephone calls to his potential audience.


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

On being Mamie & Papy

On being Mamie & Papy 01


We just had the occasion to play Grandma and Grandpa to our second grandson, now 14 months old.  Not only is he currently the most adorable baby on earth, he's at an adorable learning stage.  We have so many cute photos, this will be the first of several posts in order to share as many as possible with all of you.


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

CCC - Another Tee!

Two down now, another two to go in the continuing saga of the Calvary Chapel Couturières and the four budding seamstresses who were able to trace out their T-shirt patterns.  While Lindsey has her own sewing machine, it's not properly in shape to handle her fabric, and she was getting rather discouraged.  As I'm going on a little vacation, then she's going back home for a month right after that, she came up to my house so she could get it finished in time to show her mom!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


Petanque 1 Yesterday, our Canadian friend requested our help in cleaning up some property out in the middle of nowhere before a group picnic next week.  As we aren't part of the group, we'll have to find our own activity for Bastille Day; but in helping out, we got a day out away from all our typical responsibilities.  When the work was done, we played a bit.  A game of Petanque (the group's activity), to be precise, which I played for the first time.  So I thought I'd explain a bit about this very French game.

Monday, July 7, 2014

A rain check celebration

On the evening of July 4, 1978, bad weather in Allentown, PA, canceled the annual holiday fireworks.  It was rescheduled.  Three days later, our family ushered in a beautiful little baby boy.  Shortly after his birth, the whole town lighted up in a glorious pyrotechnical display.  We like to think they, too, were also welcoming the town's newest citizen.  Ever since then, July 7 has been a special day in our household.

Fourth of July: Sapphire Blue

Fourth of July -  Sapphire Blue 01
Did everybody have a good weekend?  Did anybody (American, that is) have a more unusual holiday than is typical?  Did anybody not have some kind of barbecue?  Over here on this side of Pond, we had our typical international fete, and we continued our anniversary celebration one last time with one last group of friends, with exactly a one month delay.  I thought I'd share a pictorial of the event.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy Fourth of July


To all my fellow Americans, I hope you are having a festive day today (at least, those of you not being blown away or washed out).  It's a great opportunity to remember our heritage, no matter where we may be finding ourselves physically on this planet.  It's also a great day to barbecue with friends, provided you don't have to work.  Best of all, there might also be local fireworks to enjoy!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Holiday Preparations

For all you Americans out there, what have you all done to prepare for the big holiday tomorrow?  Anything?  Is everybody planning a traditional barbecue, either en famille or with friends?  As it's not a holiday over here, we'll be doing our annual thing on Sunday, so I still have a few days to get things spruced up.  And sprucing up is definitely what I've been doing the past few days!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

When a pool party barbecue isn't

We have a new family in our church around the same age as all my other young-family friends, and we thought it would be nice to get to know them.  As we are not otherwise equipped in either house or terrain to accommodate active little people, we've had a date for about two months for them to come over with another young family once it was pool season.  Nature decided not to play nice the only day needed the whole weekend.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Country Costume Party

As I mentioned earlier, we had our end-of-the-year dance class party this past Saturday night.  Our teacher not only teaches two levels of class through our local village activities association, but she also has her own school elsewhere in Nice.  They have frequent activities throughout the year, this is the first year our group has been invited to join them, so we got to be part of the party, too.  I thought you might like to see more of how the French are more American than we are.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A dance recital, retro/vintage

Our little village has a thriving activities association for all ages in the community. For a number of years, I participated in their hiking club, a marvelous experience in discovering the mountains we see from our house. Loving dance and having no clue how to do anything, I also joined the jazz and salsa classes. Unfortunately, they were too advanced for me, and I quit both after I broke my foot falling in my living room! A few years ago, they started a country line-dance group, which I found amusing being in France, but we didn't get involved. Last year, it seemed like a perfect activity for the two of us to do together, and we've just completed our second season. This weekend was the end of the year spectacle for all the dance classes, including ours.

Monday, June 23, 2014

CCC - The T-shirt

As was programmed during the first class in May of the Calvary Chapel Couturières, the Triple C’s spent the first day of summer learning how to make their first wearable item, the T-shirt I’d worn as publicity to that first class.  Unfortunately, half of the original class ended up with conflicting obligations, and half of those who did come could only stay half the day.  But knowledge has been imparted, progress is being made, and the whole adventure of a sewing club is achieving some positive results.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Olives Niçoises

When we bought our little Mediterranean villa, it came with eleven old olive trees.  Most of them were estimated to be around 300 years old.  While they had beautiful trunks, the branches had been allowed to grow way out of bounds, and we’ve been slowly trying to learn how to correct that situation. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Sapphire Blue: The Cowboys

Not ones to let a good party opportunity go to waste, we were able to continue our 45th anniversary weekend through Monday, when we had a stage rehearsal for our country dance end-of-the-year show.  Since we had to dress in something decent for public viewing anyway, we wore our anniversary duds one more time.  The whole effect was interestingly changed by wearing our brand new cowboy hats, but it was too hot to wear the boots we don't have yet anyway.

Sapphire Blue: The Dinner

While we celebrated a special year anniversary this year, we didn't throw ourselves a big party.  Instead, we invited a group of young marrieds, all under five years, to celebrate with us, possibly inspiring them for their own marriage futures.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Sapphire Blue: Church social hour

Yesterday we officially celebrated our 45th anniversary, the gem color being sapphire.  As I always have for special anniversary dates, I made my dress.  As I always have since our wedding color was my favorite color turquoise, my dress needed to include that color.  Blue and turquoise together, how much better does it get for a blue person!  As my dress was sleeveless, I made a little shrug jacket to go with it.  I think it all turned out rather classy.  I was always too timid to wear hats when I was younger; but if I can't be flamboyant now, when can I be?  So I got a matching hat, just like the Queen would do!

Friday, June 6, 2014

June 6, A Love Story

Once upon a time, two teenagers left home and went off to school.  He was a freshman in college, she was a sophomore in high school on the college campus.  For a job, he was a trainee on the school stage crew with a junior who was needing a replacement.  She developed a great attachment for her college roommate, also a junior.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

On the road again

During the winter, we just happened to make a trip across France that included the same route we just took this past weekend.  As we'd taken a number of wintry scenic pictures on that first trip, we deliberately followed some of the same route this time to take a spring picture of a particular area.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

A perfect hostess gift

When one spends a weekend under the hospitality of someone else, one needs to consider giving the hostess some kind of gift.  Not only is it the polite thing to do, but normally one has a certain amount of affection for the person one is spending time with.  That certainly was the case with our hostess Nicole this past weekend.  The biggest problem with a gift is figuring out tastes, wants, and/or needs so that the gift of choice will be meaningful.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Fete of the wine and the vine

When we lived in Paris, I had a good friend who was a wine enthusiast, and he introduced us to an annual Paris wine show.  We discovered a couple of vendors who became favorites we would look up
A Provençal vineyard along our route
every year. The year we moved down south, we informed the vendors that we were leaving and to take our names off their mailing list.  However, one of them told us that they held their own annual event at their château in the south and invited us to join them there.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

May flowers

March winds bring April showers.  April showers bring May flowers.  What do May flowers bring?  Pilgrims!

Monday, May 26, 2014

It's raining mud!

The Weather Girls and Geri Halliwell got it wrong, at least for our area.  It doesn't rain men here, it rains mud.  Yellow mud.  Very fine sticky mud that doesn't wash off.  It happens several times a year.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Fête des Mères (French Mother's Day)

Many things between the French and American cultures are quite different, while many other things are quite similar.  One similarity example is the two celebrations of Mother's Day and Father's Day.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Pool Time!

Yay, I've initiated this season's pool activity already!  I don't think I've ever been in it in the month of May before.  I got really spoiled with my bathtub warm pool in Florida, with only a couple of winter months being too cold to be enjoyable.  There, it was just for fun, as I had a spa membership for physical activity.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

A whole year of existence

Today is the first birthday of our second grandson. In a way, it feels like our first, as the first one was 19 years old when he became a cousin on our side of the family.  Given that his father was absolutely gorgeous as a baby, and given that his mother is adorable as an adult, how can we help but think that Diggle isn't just the cutest thing on the planet at this moment.  I wish he weren't so far away.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

I won!!!! Yay!

Remember that tank top contest I barely managed to get my entry finished for?  (Well, while it was last minute, I did know I'd make it before the deadline.)  Guess who got the most votes?  Is that super cool or what, to have an online community pick your entry over all the others?  (Check out the winning badge in the sidebar to see the contest results, as well as my review with close-up photos.)

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mother's Day, International Style

Mother's Day is not quite as straightforward when one lives out of the country and has children scattered all over the world.  While the US just celebrated the day, France will not do it until the end of the month.  Sometimes this has caused confusion for my kids, thinking that the US date doesn't count any more but never remembering when the French one is.  So some years, instead of being thought of twice by my offspring, I don't get thought of at all.  Fortunately, our family doesn't need to depend on manufactured dates to acknowledge various family members.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

May 8

Three-day-old parents and infant

Today's date has been important in our family for 42 years.  It has been important on the world stage for 69 years.  I was not aware of the world stage 42 years ago; the only significance of the date was the birth of our first child, our oldest daughter.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Calvary Chapel Couturières

A new club has been born.  And I'm the leader!  I have never taught anything in my life, I don't think, not even a Sunday School class.  After I started back sewing last year, many of the young women in our church began begging me to teach them to sew.  As nobody seemed to own a sewing machine nor had the budget to buy one, I didn't take them seriously.  A year later, I finally got pushed over the edge that they really meant it and were just waiting for me to get serious!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Whew -- Just in time!

Because it ended up taking so much time to get my new blog going, and because I was gone the week prior to that, I wasn't able to get to my latest sewing contest entry until the last minute.  Despite having tons of fabric stash from years worth of sewing activity, I didn't have anything on hand that really seemed to fit the bill for this challenge.  Fortunately, while I usually can't find anything I specifically have in mind in the local fabric stores here, this time I managed to come up with something useful in the first place I checked.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Welcome to my world

Hello, I'm so glad to have you on board as I jump on the blogging bandwagon with this initial post .  This is my first attempt to join this particular world of communication, and it's going to involve a very steep learning curve to achieve what I envision with no clue of just how to go about it.

My motivation for this endeavor is two-fold:
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