Shopping, Eating and Exploring

Come along with me and discover some off-the beaten paths in Southwest France

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Ah, Thanksgiving. For cooks, (like me) and non-cooks alike it's a great holiday. The menu is set, there are very few surprises. Everyone coming together and pitching in one way or another. One of my favorite holidays, because it is just about the food.

Yesterday, while wandering a little aimlessly around Target, I was approached by a reporter who was querying shoppers about what they were looking to purchase for holiday gifts. I was caught untypically speechless. It isn't that I don't love shopping (I do) or that I am not planning on buying gifts, (I am). My focus has been on what I can MAKE this year for gifts.

In the last couple of years, I have learned to make jewelry, and started knitting again. The photo today is of a couple of elves that I made the other night, needle felting. I use a lot of vintage and antique pieces when I make jewelry, so each piece is unique. I will be posting some of these items for sale in the coming days.

One of the best holidays I spent was up in New Hamphsire. We had just returned from successfully buying our house in France. We were feeling that giddiness from starting a new adventure. The rules for Christmas was, handmade, reused, or recycled. Everyone was busy sewing, painting, knitting, and going through cupboards looking for perfect gifts. I didn't realize what a talented group this was. That Christmas was 10 years ago, this year.

This Thanksgiving, I am so grateful for my husband, my daughter, my friends and extended family and all the trimmings life has brought me.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Beau Temps!!!

The little icon on my phone and lap top keeps me informed of the weather in France on a daily basis. While I lived in New York, we watched the weather channel . My friends in California don't understand why anyone would need to do that. Certainly, in California, we don't need to watch the weather channel. Each day seems to be pretty much like the next, sunny, maybe a little morning fog, cooler in the winter, perhaps an occasional shower or storm might roll in during the winter.

My French friends don't understand my fascination with the weather, either. There isn't a thing you can do about it, so why waste the time endlessly discussing it? Now, their health, that is something worth talking about. The last two weeks, in France, I know they have had buckets of rain. The days are shorter, leaves have fallen, and it is a different place than what I left just a couple of weeks ago. I wonder how all the clothes get dry, most people don't have a dryer.

For a country that doesn't generally like to discuss the weather, they sell a lot of thermometers and barometers. The photograph today is a barometer I bought at a brocante several years ago. I loved the graphics, the size and the fact it had seen it's fair share of "tempetes". I just assumed it wouldn't work. I hung it over my bed in France and didn't give it another thought. That is until a large spring storm was brewing....and viola! The arms moved. It has hung above my bed for at least six years, and continues to inform me of "beau temps" and "pluie".

Tempete: Storm
Beau temps: Good weather
Pluie: Rain