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Tongue in Cheek
Provence, France
Recent Activity
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The Brocante with French Husband. He is getting into it more and more, dare I say way too much. A looking glass, pretty cool it extended too. But it only viewed what you could see with the naked eye, in other words, it was broken. The antique dealer wanted 400 euros for it. I guess you could say it was a bit too much. Needless to say, we did not buy it. Further down the aisle, I spotted him looking at old wool hats that I had never been worn. He bought one. I should have bought one too, but I wasn't thinking hats. What is happening to my French Husband, the man who hates to shop? He spent a good amount of time talking to a man who bought a large stock of old motorcycle gas tanks. The motorcycle tanks use to belong to an artist who use to use them fish out of them. Can you see the gas hole as the eye of the fish? Anyway, I worried we were going to have gas tanks lined up with the books or teacups in our house, or hanging in the bathroom as art. Luckily for me, French Husband did not want to buy one, he just found the collection interesting. He did buy a very heavy ship's wheel for Cassis. It is pretty cool and I would not have noticed it. Also, I forgot to take a photo of it. Though I will when it is in Cassis. Then there was a pair of pink wool velvet chairs that followed us home. How they managed to fit in our car amazed me. But the best part is French Husband thought they were lovely. Oh man, this brocante bug has bit, my man, hard. Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Tongue in Cheek
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There are many things that say, French: The Eiffel Tower, a black beret, a baguette, Edith Piaf's music in the background, cheese, the words Oh La La... and if you put all those things together on a red checked tablecloth along the Seine with a bottle of wine well that is French no doubt. French wine is an art form. It is the color and texture in the landscape, the joyous beginning of many meals and as the color spills it becomes the source of many lively conversations. I know little about wine. I know the difference between red, rose and white. I know if I like it or not by the first taste. I know that Haut Medoc is my favorite and that white wine is not. As you can see I am not an expert. But that doesn't mean I don't appreciate the elements that the dance of wine brings. French Husband pulled out a few bottles from the basement. He lined them up and told me to pick one. I decided on the one with the label that looked like mice had been chewing on it for centuries. It was marked 1999, I always loved Prince. Lesson number one: Peel off the foil top, then if need be (and in this case, it needed to be) dust off the cork. Lesson number two: Take a firm grip on the bottleneck. Lesson number three: Put the corkscrew in the middle of the cork and turn it downwards with gentle force. Turn the corkscrew until you can no longer see the coils. Lesson number four: Listen to the sound of the cork coming out. It tells you something, I don't know what, but the French always say whether it made a good sound or not. Then inspect the cork, it is one of the first signs (other than the label) if the wine will be good. Lesson number five: Smell the cork... Clyour you eyes...imagine the vineyards with the vines intertwine, the buds bursting the first leaves, the warmth of the sun on your back, with your foot turn it in the soft soil feel the earth beneath your feet. breath in time. Lesson number six: Have wine glasses on hand, preferably ones without water spots. I should have whipped these before the photo! I wanted to use our everyday antique wine glasses. But French Husband said the wine... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Tongue in Cheek
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Whatever did we talk about before? Two of Chelsea's best friends from high school are coming over tomorrow, I have mentioned them before on my blog, Domie and Lea. Anyway, Domi just had a baby!! So I think the conversation will shift to baby tomorrow. Wedding talk is lovely and easy planning with Chelsea and Martin... But baby talk, I can hardly wait!! Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Tongue in Cheek
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Last night it rained. The ground was moist, the leaves glistened, the moss along the stone wall felt like a sponge and the birds were happy. As the earth soaked up the rain there was a hum a meditative hum, a silence that sang so strongly I stopped to listen. I rarely have felt let alone hear something so deeply moving as I did this morning on my daily walk. The feeling of life, goodness, wholeness surrounded me. The countryside felt like it was praying, I was glad to take part of the communion it offered. Sacredness. My walk was longer than usual given that nature's choir held me. I would not have noticed the moisture gathering, slowly forming one graceful droplet if I had not stopped to listen and becoming caught up in the harmony around me. I felt fortunate witnessing the gift of life where boundaries seemed not to exist, my cells expanded in a dance with the invisible and visible. I could not imagine it if I had not experienced it. Holy. We live between Marseille and Aix, at the base of Saint Baume, where the path that Mary Magdelene and the Virgin Mary are said to have walked. At the top of Saint Baume is the grotto that Mary Magdelene lived, and myth has it that the river (that looks like a creek) that runs through our town is said to be the tears of Mary Magdelene. In the neighboring town is the Basilique of Mary Magdelene where Chelsea and Martin will marry this July. Today the land was an altar, where spring dared to peek its head after the rain. I took off my shoes, placed my hands on the tree, closed my eyes, and let it be. Grateful I walked home, where I was to learn about the shootings in Florida. xxx "Let peace begin with me Let this be the moment now." Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Tongue in Cheek
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Thank you little flowers that are underfoot, giving way without a cry, as I pass by. Thank you fresh air that fills my lungs restoring me without my constant awareness. Thank you, light that shows me today and guides me towards tomorrow. Thank you, heart, for beating, for dancing within me, even when I do not hear your steady song. Thank you eyes that look like the eyes of many ancestors ahead of me, whose shape I see in the faces I love, who show me I belong. Thank you arms that hold me tight, Thank you word sorry for-giving me the courage to try again and again. Thank you little flowers that reach to the sun after I walk by and scent my days with a fragrance of peace. Thank you I need to say that again and again. Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Tongue in Cheek
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Amongst the items on the brocante dealer's stand was a wooden frame with an image of a little girl holding flowers. As I admired the hand-carved wooden frame, the dealer asked me, "Are you a collector of "Poilus objects" ?" I gave him a look that indicated that I had no idea what he was talking about. "Poilus?" I asked, "I know it has something to do with facial hair... but other than that, I don't have a clue as to what Poilus objects are." The dealer went on to tell me that "Poilus" were infantrymen during WWI (1914-1918) who while in the trenches made small crafts for their loved ones as they endure life in the trenches. (Poilus literally means: "Hairy ones", a nickname for infantrymen who didn't shave, and or who were farm boys.) As the dealer spoke of the Poilus and their art/craft, I imagined the father (of the little girl in the photo) carving a frame for his daughter, from a piece of a Linden branch that covered the trench that he was in... Holding the Linden wood frame in my hands, I felt the hope he must have gathered when he carved the frame for his little girl. In the distance, far from the trenches, far from his embrace, his little girl collected wildflowers. One by one, the prettiest ones. As her mother went about her daily chores. Wildflowers that grew nearby, wildflowers with perfume floating across the miles, connecting their lives to his. I could see the little girl tugging at her mother's apron, telling her she was collecting wildflowers for her daddy. Her mother smiled, then caressed her daughter's head knowing her gesture did not give her sadness away, instead the daughter twirled around with her loosely gathered bouquet, and then ran to gather more. In the evening, when the little girl was fast asleep, and before the mother washed the dinner dishes, she gathered some petals from the wildflowers left on the kitchen table, and stuck them in her apron pocket. Later she would tuck them into a letter before sending it off to her husband. The brocante dealer showed me other pieces of Poilus creations from the trenches, but none of them struck me as the Linden wood frame with the image of the little girl holding flowers. I bought it. When I arrived home I took the frame out to... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Tongue in Cheek
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The end of a lovely day. Continue reading
Posted Feb 11, 2018 at Tongue in Cheek
Rusty little tins with window tops as lids, gave view to precious antique gems that had high hopes to be placed in a crown. Peering into the tiny windows I could see the stones were not necessarily classified by color or by type. Biting my lip I asked the dealer if I could mix-n-match some stones into one rusty tin box for myself. He looked at me like I was a rusty tin box..."I guess that means no-huh?" He nodded his head yes. A second plan came to mind..."How much again for each box?" "$40." Flatly without any fanfare, he muttered. "If I paid you the double to mix-n-match one box, what would you say?" He turned away and walked to the end of the table without giving even me a verbal answer, this wasn't easy. I don't like dealing with grumpy dealers, especially when my toes are frozen! "Okay, what if I bought a few tin boxes; what better price would you give me?" Slowly he turned around looked at me, and without even cracking a smile he said, "How many boxes are you thinking to buy?" Calculating quickly by trying to see the doorway to a cheaper price in his eye I added, "Four or five of them?" His eyes did not twinkle when he said, "Four boxes $160, five boxes $200." Gee, not even two cents less! I glanced at the tin boxes and blew a kiss towards my crown of wishful thinking. Sometimes kissing a French frog doesn't bring you a Prince. "Excuse-me?! Can I at least take a photo?" He didn't say no.....though you might say he didn't say yes either. Saw these at the flea market long ago in Paris. If these were semi-precious stones... $20 a box was a very good deal to be had, maybe even $40... Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2018 at Tongue in Cheek
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Oh, Provence even in Winter your light is an undeniable magic! Continue reading
Posted Feb 9, 2018 at Tongue in Cheek
So true. Three years xx
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Indeed xx
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That was Maggie's goal.
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It is a cocoon. A perfect place to let your hair down, write, paint.. be. The Rosemary bush would hug you too.
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As days pass into years, one after another, Some feel longer or fuller than others, How is that so? Especially when some moments... days, pass by like a wasteland. Did I get anything done today? Was I loving? Maybe those type of days occur for time to water my unconscious thoughts, my hidden desires, like grains that long to come forth? Time has a way of bringing, showing, healing... the ground needs to be made ready. Wastelands can become gardens over time. What I think is a lost day, might truly be the fullest day for my interior self. Is that what life is? A longing to live it fuller, feel it sweetly, hold it closer, dive into it deeper, share it like confetti on new year's eve? Turning sixty has increased reflection it is a given and gladly taken. I do not want to think I should have done more, I want to believe in the garden of time. The longing to be more than yesterday or more than a million tomorrows can hold is simply a quest: Life and love and longing the eternal voyage to becoming whole. Continue reading
Posted Feb 8, 2018 at Tongue in Cheek
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"The Guardian's House, now known to us as the Tiny House, stands in a mature, lovely garden surrounded by ancient stone walls and enfolded by a monumental cypress tree. Rosemary bushes, wild thyme, a magnolia, chestnuts and countless woody shrubs that thrive in this climate circle the house, laced with gravel paths and bulb flowers just now poking up through the green. The villa to which the Tiny House is attached to one side overlooking the mountains and endless greenery. It is more beautiful and though petite, larger than I ever imagined. When Corey let me in off the street through the large wooden doors opened by a lovely brass key, I was astounded to realize I would live in a totally walled, private garden, unseen by the village for countless years, in a typical Provencal house with ochre walls and pale blue-grey shutters. Entering through the ancient wood door using an 8" iron key of equal vintage, I climbed the stairs to the charming kitchen and sitting room completely decorated in Provencal antiques including old oil paintings, potteries, demijohns and vintage cupboards, a room replete with an ancient peeled log beam. Does it get any better than this? Corey had taken the time and heart to make the Tiny House truly an inspiration. Antique terracotta pavers create the floors throughout punctuated by lovely area rugs. As we continued up the perfectly restored stairs to the bedroom and sitting room/bath, the walls were decorated with oil paintings, needlepoint tapestry, paintings on linen cloth, antique French prints, all with age and patina that makes the heart beat very fast indeed! These compliment all the furnishings, most of which are very old and very beautiful. The bed is dressed in French comforters and pillows in black and white toile, quilts in muted neutrals; the chairs, tables, stands are all vintage, some painted a lovely grey-green to harmonize perfectly with the many paintings and other details. It is all beyond charm. It is elegance. The French say elegance is often the result of restraint, simplicity; Corey gathered the collection over a period of weeks, lovely pieces from her own home, from the owners, from their attic of the big house, and a cellar area as well. She also installed all of it. All details of daily modern living are here as well. Corey has put heart and soul into this project, one she... Continue reading
Posted Feb 7, 2018 at Tongue in Cheek
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My daily walk... old bridges, abandoned shepherd shelters, and lovely flora: Umbrella pines, grey-green olives, rosemary just breaking into blue-bloom flowerets, wild thyme, and now the pushing pink-white buds of viburnum, oh yes, the vineyards getting ready for bud-break by month's end. Violets are poking up along the roadside rivulets matching the backdrop of azure sky. Spring is on the cusp. (In Memory of Maggie.) Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2018 at Tongue in Cheek
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(A 1918 pastel that I found at the brocante in Paris last weekend.) Thank you for your birthday wishes yesterday. How grateful I am to have your kindness and friendship shown to me. Sixty is something to think about, or I should say I have been thinking about it a great deal. A reality check, every day should be, but sixty really brings it to the light. The question I seem to hear is "Live your life to the fullest", and then in the same breath "What does that really mean?" Especially since most of us cannot stop what we are doing and start living a life that we might think is fuller, more adventurous, more whatever. I guess I use to think "fuller" meant doing more and I have come to believe it doesn't mean that necessarily. Live life to the fullest to me is to be present to the moments at hand, to be aware "with" my each of my senses. To touch To taste To see To hear To smell Deeply. Not just stop and smell the roses but feel them against my skin, to see each petal, to be grateful for their gift. To live each moment with awareness with gratitude. ..... Regarding the French Antique Guessing Game, the correct answer was not found! A stumper! The most creative guess came from: Jennifer Phillipps, "This looks like an elaborate milking machine for a very large cow......you just have it wrong side up at present.....before they changed them to suction cups! " Below you will "see" the French Antique Guessing Game Answer: A toothbrush holder. Ha! That was not what you were expecting, nor I. xxxx Continue reading
Posted Feb 5, 2018 at Tongue in Cheek
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Thank you xxx Me too x
Toggle Commented Feb 5, 2018 on Sixty at Tongue in Cheek
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Now that is clever!
Toggle Commented Feb 5, 2018 on Sixty at Tongue in Cheek
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Thank you! Yes it is snowing in Paris too, and FREEZING! Martin's dad is doing very well and is back to his doing the things he loves. Thank you for asking. Happy Anniversary as it is coming soon!
Toggle Commented Feb 5, 2018 on Sixty at Tongue in Cheek
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My mom is coming! She has her ticket!!
Toggle Commented Feb 5, 2018 on Sixty at Tongue in Cheek
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I can relate to that! HB Soon!!
Toggle Commented Feb 5, 2018 on Sixty at Tongue in Cheek
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