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Tongue in Cheek
Provence, France
Recent Activity
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Note: Recently we received the wedding photos from the photographer Sophie Epton. I will be sharing a few throughout the weeks to come. These were taken at the reception by the chateau ruin. Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at French la Vie
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Several months ago Yann heard about a group that offered motorcycle tours but not just motorcycle tours, Yann rides a motorcycle nearly every day, rain, hail, snow, in the evening, in the summer, in a suit, in jeans, always equipped and I trust him completely, but tours on vintage motorcycles truly off the beaten path. He signed up. And today he left for a two-week adventure in India. I am excited for him! I cannot wait to hear his stories. I hope he takes photos. I will keep you posted! Vintage Motorcycle Tours. ____ Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at French la Vie
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Martin wanted the suits to be worn Italian style, cut short and worn without socks. And so Yann did it too xx
Toggle Commented 3 days ago on A Favorite at French la Vie
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After the wedding and before the reception outside in front of the church I asked Sophie the photographer to take this photo of us. This facade is right next to the church. I asked the owners who were sitting on their kitchen chairs (to Yann's right) if we could take a photo by their house, they agreed then I quickly told Chelsea, Martin, Yann, Jean-Luc, and Alethe were to sit or stand. This is one of my favorite photos... though in my mind's eye when I asked Sophie to take this photo, I assumed she would keep the owners in the photo and especially the older man above us in his white muscle man shirt who was smoking a cigarette because I thought the contrast of the of the wedding party and the owners and the man upstairs told a bigger and more interesting story. Nevertheless, the backdrop makes the photo super cool. Funny, how I did not take one photo during the entire wedding, nor reception but the images I have in mind are vivid and magical. Thankfully, in the years to come the photos Sophie took will bring my faded memories alive again. Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at French la Vie
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Books at the brocante are as plentiful as going to the library, the only difference is it outside, noisy, and you never need to return them. Books on every subject exist at the brocante: fashion, religion, history, dramas, dictionaries, and from current authors to authors whose names speak volumes: Voltaire, Racine, Proust, Hugo, Baudelaire... the list goes on. Though I prefer to buy books that are old and usually ones from the 1700s and older. Not because I am going to read them, literally, I like them because of their covers, or the engravings inside, or the deckled pages. I truly judge a book by its cover. Old, pretty, under the market value... yeah it's for me. Brocante dealers in France usually price their books on the subject, not how their covers look. How often I have said, "I buy books for their cover." As the Scandalous book alcoholic, that I am I add for good measure, "I buy them to decorate my bookshelves." Religious books such as bibles, prayer books, missals... are the least expensive as they are plentiful. Dominotée and parchment book covers often are the more expensive, and of course, they are the ones that knock my socks off. Below is a peek of some of my books that reside on a church missal stand that I bought years ago for a decorative purpose only. Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at French la Vie
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Happy Birthday, Mom and many more! If you are in Willows please drop by and say hi to my mom. This morning when I called her she said she made cream puffs... "...that way I have goodies if anyone comes over to wish me a happy birthday." That is one of the many qualities that I love about my mom she is always thinking of others even on her birthday! A generous heart, generous soul. xxxxxxxx Photo by Sophie Epton during Chelsea's and Martin's wedding day. Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at French la Vie
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My friend Valorie brought a group of American women over to my home for a private brocante. I told them everything in my house was for sale, and as a reference, I added, "... instead of saying I do not want to sell that, or that isn't for sale I will just announce a crazy price like 10,000 Euros on objects I rather keep then sale." So when I said a crazy price everyone knew I did not really want to let go of certain things. Lucky for everyone I had plenty of things that were not 10,000. Must note that the Brocante bit these ladies hard, they had the addiction nearly as bad as I have it. Everyone left happy and some treasures went to new homes. If you are in Provence please come by to take a peek, and maybe the Brocante Bug will bite you too. Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at French la Vie
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A scarred pumpkin from my cousin Judy. Want to know how to do it? How to scar a pumpkin. See how to scar a pumpkin. Do tell me your favorite pumpkin recipe? Continue reading
Posted Oct 11, 2018 at French la Vie
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'Love is the whole thing. We are only the pieces.' Rumi Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2018 at French la Vie
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Chelsea and Sacha a year ago, right before Sacha left for Seattle. A blog reader of mine asked me about French gifts for her grandson who is four years old. I thought I would add my list of gift ideas (books) for children here on my blog. With that said my mother would suggest that the best gift to give is the gift of spending time with a child by playing with them, cooking, and or simply hanging out with them. Reading was one of my favorite things to do with Chelsea and Sacha. Reading to them also helped me keep English alive in our home. Chelsea listened closely and study the illustrations, Sacha liked to skip pages ahead, then flip the pages back, and asks questions in between (drove Chelsea crazy). Their personalities were defined early on and it was a challenge to read to them with their various styles of learning and listening. Below are a few of our favorite books, plus some that I have learned about overtime. These stories are about France or the French. Everybody Bonjour Paris a Book of Shapes Anatole Barbar The Cat that Walked Across France Madeline This is Paris The Glorious Flight Am I Small? Monsieur Saguette and his Baguette Paris in the Spring with Picasso Continue reading
Posted Oct 9, 2018 at French la Vie
Stories collected, memories gathered thoughts that keep me going on dark days. The patterns in the sky, the unfolding of hearts, life in the monastery and how I learned to pray while cooking. Stories of finding and keeping and losing and weeping, the struggle of having lived when death thought to call. Moments of living the words of a dream: Life continues to continue even when unseen. Memories of childhood and Portuguese donuts and saying the rosary with my cousins. Running in dry rice fields, cracking walnuts, riding motorcycles and walking down the lane. Marty, Mathew, Mark, and Zane. The best deal I ever found in the shadiest puce was the rarest gem. What words tumble from your heart and soul? What words tell your story? What book would you write? Continue reading
Posted Oct 8, 2018 at French la Vie
Chestnut Soup In a large heavy soup pan, saute a chopped large onion, three tall thin carrots, and the heart of the celery with their tender tops with a tad of oil or butter. Toss in 30 or so *cooked chestnuts, stir around until they are coated with the sauteed mixture. Add several (6 or so) cups of cold water. Bring to a boil, then turn the burner down to simmer until the chestnuts are tender. Add a glass of white wine, and a shot of vermouth or bourbon. Nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste. Blend a cup of soy cream (or cream of choice) until smooth. Serve hot. (*Frozen or canned whole cooked chestnuts will do.) Note: I never use stock in my soups. Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2018 at French la Vie
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Some of my favorite photos from my friends Jean and Natalie's antique shop in Lourmarin, a must see. Happy Birthday, Natalie! If you are in Provence and would like to come by my home please let me know. Thank you, Judy, for your visit this week I enjoyed meeting you and your husband, I know our paths will cross again. Continue reading
Posted Oct 6, 2018 at French la Vie
How to Fake French. The clip has four steps on how to fake French, No. # 2 is especially true. Did I ever tell you about the time I had an entire conversation with a French saleswoman by making sounds similar to step NO. # 2. Well, I did, and in the end, I bought a blouse from her shop. Continue reading
Posted Oct 5, 2018 at French la Vie
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After climbing to the third floor you arrive at Gary and Ching's apartment. The landing or entrance is small and dark, it is behind the bathroom wall. Today was the demolition day, and the bathroom was the first room Rene smashed up to itty bitty pieces that need to be hauled down three stories by foot. Just like our apartment, nothing can do left outside, not even the truck after ten in the morning. Oh what fun! Yann is not involved in this project. As it is not our apartment. And so it begins. Continue reading
Posted Oct 3, 2018 at French la Vie
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After renovating numerous homes that Yann and I own, I have been asked to manage my friends Ching and Gary's home that they recently bought in Cassis, a stone throw (or should I say seashell?) from our place in Cassis. The apartment is in the center of Cassis, on the main street with one of the most extraordinary views Cassis has to offer. Gary and Ching's home has a rooftop terrace with a 360-degree view, plus a large balcony off the kitchen/living room area that looks on to the Chateau. The one bedroom, one bath apartment is on two floors. The last time it was renovated was in the 80s and one could live it in as is but Ching and Gary want to update it, giving it a modern clean look. So they asked me an antique die hard to weave magic and stretch her imagination. I am so excited and thankful for their trust in me. The apartment like ours will have everything torn out, gutted and it will be a clean slate to work with. Unlike ours, the floorplan will remain more or less the same. The above photo is the closet ( no exciting except that there is a closet and a big one at that) we will keep the framework but change the doors given it a clean line look. The kitchen/living room has an original exposed stone wall and an old terra cotta floor. The stones will be left uncovered, but the stone floor will be removed. I can hear some of you gasp, "Oh no!" But if a clean line look is to be achieved one or the other, or both would have to go. Decisions are not easy when the elements are old and beautiful. Though the goal is to have it not feel old and hodge podgey. This is part of the kitchen. The iron poles separate and protect the counter to the exposed stairwell going down to the bedroom, and up to the rooftop terrace. The trick in renovating old places is hoping there aren't too many surprises when you start demolishes. We never know what we will find. For example, when renovating our apartment in Paris we found clay pipes embedded in the bathroom stone walls. Rene will do the renovations, and he plans to save what he can: Tiles, fridge, air-condition units, washer, poles... and either sell it... Continue reading
Posted Oct 2, 2018 at French la Vie
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Casting our pebble is a daily choice. We might not be able to save the world or help those in need in another country or place. But we can love and encourage each other every day where we are. The rippling effect. A small do-able gesture that has an impact and sends forth a message of love. Continue reading
Posted Oct 1, 2018 at French la Vie
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Reading about Joan of Arc, such courage and faith she had in what she believed was right and her duty. As she was burned at the stake she said, « Hold thé cross high so I may see it through the flames » Damn that was one very brave woman. I do not have that sort of courage, but I admire those who do. In her words: "Children say that people are hung sometimes for speaking the truth. I am not afraid; I was born to do this" To hear our calling, to trust what we believe and to follow it with certainty no matter the cost. Continue reading
Posted Sep 30, 2018 at French la Vie
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A few doorways in Paris. above photo via Yann. Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2018 at French la Vie
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Je te bénis. Words that were written in an old French prayer journal I found at the brocante. Someone's hopes, dreams, thoughts, worries written down in prayer. Page after page. Someone's grandmother, mother, sister, aunt, cousin, friend, child- How could it be given away? How I would love to have a collection of prayers from my great grandmothers. Reading the journal I saw that her hopes, dreams, thoughts, worries were not much different than my own. Hopes of happiness, dreams of the future, thoughts of my family, worries concerning others and those things we need to work on to be better. The voices in prayer, those of the past, present and to come like a thread weaving the cloth as one, mending the tears, connecting one piece to another, creating a blanket to climb under and keep warm. And to spread out like a picnic blanket to nurture one another, and to wave high as a banner of for each other to see. Are we each other's prayers? Je te bénis, "I bless you" in French. You bless me. May we bless one another in our hopes, dreams, thoughts, and share each other's burdens. Continue reading
Posted Sep 28, 2018 at French la Vie
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Summer lingers longing to stay like children on the beach who run and play and do not want the day to end. Autumn beckons, with a gust of wind, calling of clouds, a collective coolness in the morning and far after when the sun goes down. Summer holds on refusing us to keep our coats on after ten and tempting us to go to the sea and jump in. Indian Summer a fortunate gift a gentle letting go and letting be. Leaves are falling, the pumpkins and grapes have been cut from the vines, the last figs, chestnuts and clementines count the days until their turn arrives and adorn our tables. And this season, this year, this day, this hour, this moment...eternity unfolds with an unseen hand taking us further along the way with the magnitude of wonder. Continue reading
Posted Sep 27, 2018 at French la Vie
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Dates 2019 French La Vie Journeys: Dates available French la Vie Journeys in Provence: April 16th to the 23rd, 2019, Two places remain. April 25th to May 2nd, 2019, One place remains. May 21 to May 28th, 2019, SOLD OUT June 25th to July 2nd, 2019, Three places remain. September... Continue reading
Posted Sep 25, 2018 at French La Vie Journeys