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Tongue in Cheek
Provence, France
Recent Activity
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All in a day, I am in Paris 'cause my friend Cheryl (from Australia) is here with her daughter. Chelsea Sacha and Fabrice are in Provence, they went hiking again, along the coast in Cassis and then up Garlaban. Their new selfie mode. A big plus about hiking along the coast means diving and dipping are possible. We live in the Provencal rocky foothills, one of the mountain tops is called Garlaban. It is the area that the French author and movie director wrote about: Manon of the Source, My Mother's Castle, My Father's Glory... Chelsea, Sacha and Fabrice hiked there yesterday morning and sent me photos of their adventure. A tiny snap of Fabrice sitting on the edge. The stairs are done! Now the rest can unfold into shape. Joel the talented ironsmith made them. Awestruck I am. Late last night I joined Cheryl and her daughter at Gaspard de la Nuit for dinner. My nephew Georges is the chef. It was his birthday last night. If you are Paris, looking for a traditional, throwback to by gone days and of course an amazing menu you will want to try Gaspard de la Nuit in the Marais. The other day I went hunting in Paris for a summer truffle with Georges. He made a delicate dish with it last night. Gloryville feast! Tell them Corey sent you, then Georges will come out and practice his English! http://www.legaspard.fr/en/ Gaspard de la Nuit is open from 7pm to midnight every day. 6, rue des Tournelles 75004 Paris Tél : 01 42 77 90 53 All in a day layers our senses collect feed for the soul. xx Continue reading
Posted 11 hours ago at Tongue in Cheek
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Back in 2008 a person could take photos in the Orsay. My friend Cheryl and her other daughter Grace (from Australia) are in Paris visiting. Today they went to the Orsay in Paris. As photos were not allowed I thought of this post I wrote back in 2008.... Musee d'Orsay in Paris has Monet, Renoir, Manet, Picasso, Degas, Corot, Van Gogh... to name a few. The paintings are breathtaking and I never tire standing in awe by them. This time while at the Musee d'Orsay I asked if I could take photos. I was surprised to learn that if I did not use a flash I could take as many photos as I pleased. So I did. Claude Monet. As I was focusing on one of the lilies I noticed his name... Have you ever noticed his signature? I hadn't. The lilies I have seen and admired but never have I stopped to notice the signature nor the frames to these masterpieces. I became the nutty tourist running around taking photos of signatures, corners of frames and other tiny details such as brush strokes and closeups of hands. Renoir's Van Gogh's golden straw. Van Gogh signed his paintings: "Vincent" and often in the strokes of color of his painting's background. Gilded wood and plaster each frame is unique, artwork in itself. Rows and rows of art... at every angle, in perfection. Musee d'Orsay's two famous clocks are surrounded by gilded frames. Chunky monkey frames. The Enameled numerals were my height. Dabs of paint, splashes of color, defined brush strokes, genius works of art... frame the stories, history and lifestyles of these artists. The expressions of time, place, emotion... moments that do not change with time, layers upon layers of intertwined lives caught on canvas surrounded by golden halos. Monet's lilies silently float. Musee d'Orsay Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Tongue in Cheek
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Standing tall on the trail. Verdon, Sacha's photographs capture their experience. Verdon Fabrice, Sacha's friend since they were both three years old. The beginning of the trail, six hours, in the Gorge de Verdon in the Var region of France. Girl power, she gets it from me. Selfie of the group. My Handsome Show Off on nature's stage. A six hour hike completed in three hours. Because he can. Dancing rocky mountain high. Goof balls. Made it to the top. Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Tongue in Cheek
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Every summer as far back as I can remember, Sacha barely out of diapers, the three guys (French Husband, Fabrice, Sacha, plus one tough cute cookie named Chelsea do some sort of crazy endurance outing for pleasure. As much fun as they proclaim they have, I know I would freak out the first rope, cliff dive, rock climb I would have to do to keep up. My idea of fun is not at all in the realm of this sort of thing. They promised they would send photos, which came in as snapchats. All the photos are from Chelsea and Fabrice. Guess which one? The hike involved going up and up and up... From experience I rather not recall nor say I have had, French Husband often gets lost, yet claims he knows the way. So whatever the map says triple it and that is what you will do when you are with him. Does not triple the fun. French Husband often begs me to come along, trying to pretend it is a piece of cake, or a glass of wine, or a walk in the park... Yet when they return, I ask Chelsea, "Could I have done it?" Her response is always the same, "No way!" When I said it looked like a beautiful walk, they laughed, yeah it was way more than that. Sacha and Fabrice have been friends since they were three years old. We use to live on the same street. Happy after all. Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Tongue in Cheek
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Every summer as far back as I can remember, Sacha barely out of diapers, the three guys (French Husband, Fabrice, Sacha, plus one tough cute cookie named Chelsea do some sort of crazy endurance outing for pleasure. As much fun as they proclaim they have, I know I would freak out the first rope, cliff dive, rock climb I would have to do to keep up. My idea of fun is not at all in the realm of this sort of thing. They promised they would send photos, which came in as snapchats. All the photos are from Chelsea and Fabrice. Guess which one? The hike involved going up and up and up... From experience I rather not recall nor say I have had, French Husband often gets lost, yet claims he knows the way. So whatever the map says triple it and that is what you will do when you are with him. Does not triple the fun. French Husband often begs me to come along, trying to pretend it is a piece of cake, or a glass of wine, or a walk in the park... Yet when they return, I ask Chelsea, "Could I have done it?" Her response is always the same, "No way!" When I said it looked like a beautiful walk, they laughed, yeah it was way more than that. Sacha and Fabrice have been friends since they were three years old. We use to live on the same street. Happy after all. Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Tongue in Cheek
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Every summer as far back as I can remember, Sacha barely out of diapers, the three guys (French Husband, Fabrice, Sacha, plus one tough cute cookie named Chelsea do some sort of crazy endurance outing for pleasure. As much fun as they proclaim they have, I know I would freak out the first rope, cliff dive, rock climb I would have to do to keep up. My idea of fun is not at all in the realm of this sort of thing. They promised they would send photos, which came in as snapchats. All the photos are from Chelsea and Fabrice. Guess which one? The hike involved going up and up and up... From experience I rather not recall nor say I have had, French Husband often gets lost, yet claims he knows the way. So whatever the map says triple it and that is what you will do when you are with him. Does not triple the fun. French Husband often begs me to come along, trying to pretend it is a piece of cake, or a glass of wine, or a walk in the park... Yet when they return, I ask Chelsea, "Could I have done it?" Her response is always the same, "No way!" When I said it looked like a beautiful walk, they laughed, yeah it was way more than that. Sacha and Fabrice have been friends since they were three years old. We use to live on the same street. Happy after all. Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Tongue in Cheek
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As far back as to when Sacha was barely out of diapers, okay maybe not as far, the three guys (French Husband, Fabrice (Sacha's childhood friend) and Sacha, plus one tough cute cookie named Chelsea do some sort of crazy endurance outing for pleasure. As much fun as they proclaim they have I know I would freak out on the first rope hang, cliff dive, or rock climb. My idea of fun is not at all in the same realm as this sort of thing. They promised they would send photos, which came in as snapchats. All the photos are from Chelsea and Fabrice. Guess which trail they took? The hike involved going up and up and up... From experience that I would rather not recall, nor say I have had with French Husband, let us just say he often gets lost, yet claims he knows the way. So whatever the map says imagine tripling it and that is the true distance you will do when you are hiking with him. Though it does not triple the fun. French Husband often begs me to come along, trying to pretend it is a piece of cake, or a glass of wine, or a walk in the park... Yet when they return, I ask Chelsea, "Could I have done it?" Her response is always the same, "No way!" When I said, "It looked like a beautiful walk." They laughed, "Yeah it was way more than that." Which meant it was a fantastic beast of pleasure. Sacha and Fabrice have been friends since they were three years old. We use to live on the same street. Happy after all. Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Tongue in Cheek
Posted 4 days ago at Tongue in Cheek
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The French President declared that today at noon there would be a moment of silence. I was in a massive hardware store when over the intercom I heard, "We will respect the moment of silence ..." The entire store stood still, people bowed their heads, the store music stopped, a moment of utter silence and reflection took place. It was so moving, powerful, sobering... in that moment of silence I heard courage, beauty, love... prayer in its finest. Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Tongue in Cheek
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Chelsea took a few days of vacation to come home, and to be her friends Domi and Leah (friends from the sixth grade.) Leah lives and works in Milan, and Domi works and lives in Guyana. We had dinner, which started with melon filled with limoncello, why not. Chelsea is wearing Leah's glasses, because she is silly like that. A few stories about them here: http://willows95988.typepad.com/tongue_cheek/2012/12/the-lasting-thing-called-friendship.html and here http://willows95988.typepad.com/tongue_cheek/2014/07/chelseas-french-friends-conversation-mishaps-.html and Sacha's first kiss (Domi's sister) http://willows95988.typepad.com/tongue_cheek/2006/03/french_kissing.html As a parent I see now that my children will always be my children, and that no matter the age or distance between us they are and will be my darling little ones in my heart. After dinner, the girls went into Chelsea's old room, that looks more like a storage unit and tried on Chelsea's old clothes. You see Chelsea is the same height and size as she was when she was thirteen, plus she rarely and I mean rarely gives anything away. She has clothes from when they all first met. Teasing is order. Today Chelsea went through her closet and gave bags of belonging to salvation army called Emmaus in France. It was odd to see her going through her things and bagging them up for a new life. Do not get me wrong Chelsea is not a hoarder, nor is she a spendthrift, she takes such good care of her things. She had pens and pencils from grammar school, she just never saw the need to buy new or give up what she loved. But the day came for things to move on. Do you friends from childhood? Do you keep things or give them away? Do you wear the same size as you did ten years ago, twenty years ago... yesterday? Hug those you love xxx Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Tongue in Cheek
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The moment tragedy hits, soon there after a piercing reality that life is a balancing act of both frailness and strength, and when tipped life seems it will never be same again. At first it is painful, seemingly unbearable at times, and in the same breath someone might recall a silly moment shared, and peels of laughter will pour. You see life does not stop even during times of grief. What does happen is isolated fragments of feelings and thoughts, a freeze frame of time, a depth so deep one feels raw to the core, tender to the bone and stark naked to every memory and emotion. And there in that raw truth life's hand plants gracefully seeds of hope, courage and forgiveness, in an insufferable soil of ones heart. And in time healing blooms, and one remembers love without shedding a million tears. ... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Tongue in Cheek
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Photo via my childhood friend Laurie SF I wrote about Laurie here.... http://willows95988.typepad.com/tongue_cheek/2012/05/living-in-france-1.html The photo was taken in Nice on the Promenade des Anglais. Also, today my friend's daughter, Natacha you may remember her when she came to visit in 2011, wrote this on her Facebook. Natacha is French/American and now lives in the States: "I'm overwhelmed with grief. A City right next to the one where I spent every summer of my childhood with my grandparents. My grief is made worse by the apprehension that I feel to know that racism and islamophobia will increase with these latest attacks. That ISIS is going to continue to take advantage of these roma, that the French Muslim and Arab origin will be the next victims in French society and with the state of emergency extended as daesh has wanted. All this while hundreds of innocent people died in recent weeks in identical attacks in Baghdad, Dhaka and Istanbul just before the celebrations of the eid which reflected the same universal values that we commérait today. We are united and identical in our grief and our initial reactions in us make sure that those that we love are safe. Let's not let ISIS continue to take advantage of these attacks in dividing us. Freedom, equality, fraternity for all. Let's not forget these dear values the following months." Thank you for outpouring of love and friendship poured towards my family because we live in France. Every prayer, thought, email, message, text, phone call... that you sent I imaged it going forth to those who need it, those who were in Nice yesterday. Continue reading
Posted Jul 15, 2016 at Tongue in Cheek
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We came home, all four of us, we had not all been together since Christmas, the minute we walked in my phone was buzzing, "Are you safe?" Yes we are. I am speechless. My prayers are with those who suffer this evening. XX Nice XX xxx Continue reading
Posted Jul 14, 2016 at Tongue in Cheek
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One thing leads to another. I met Ching and Gary years ago through blogging. They would say each time they visited, "When we retire we are moving to France, and you will help us find a house." I sold Ching items from my brocante, now those things are coming home. One of the best things about looking for a house is that you get to go inside and look at the house! Century old houses makes it even more interesting. Gary and Ching wanted to live in an old village house, which are called Maison de Village, these type of houses are usually on three to four floors, ours is on three floors. We looked at a few... they found one that caught their heart in Lourmarin. I wish I had found it first, I love it, but I do not need another house Ching has asked me to help her set up and design the interior, oh twist my arm, pinch me, but do not tell me this is a dream. The other best thing about house hunting in France is going to the villages and exploring. How easy to get 10000 steps in without counting. Ansouis was one of them, the house we visited was in the shadow of the castle. Dang isn't that just terrible. How many painted shutters do I need to see before I turn a blind eye? Countless. Are you looking for a house in France? If not let's pretend! No, I am not kidding. Yes I am. No I am not. Are you? Just say yes. If their offer is accepted then they have found their nest. More to come. Continue reading
Posted Jul 13, 2016 at Tongue in Cheek
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During the last few days, between renovating two houses, running a blog, keeping up with guests in Paris and the tiny house, brocanting, cooking for three hungry men, having friends from the States visit... I have been with Gary and Ching house searching in Provence. We have visited several homes in the last three days, and today I think they have found their nest!! More photos to come and details to follow, but for now I am crashing to bed. Continue reading
Posted Jul 12, 2016 at Tongue in Cheek
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That was the question of the day! France!
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He is back. Happy. So glad to have him here to hug. I won't ask for how long, or if he is going to go back to the US to find work, no I won't ask. I won't. I won't hold him back. I will try not to that is. Oh man why do babies grow up? I am going to lock the door. He is home. Who knew that love like this could be so strong? He came home and went straight to the fan zone in Marseille with Yann and our family friend Arnaud. Squeeze-able love! Photos by Sacha on Snap Chelsea and Sacha both in twenty four hours, a dose of forever after goodness. Continue reading
Posted Jul 11, 2016 at Tongue in Cheek
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yeap that is true!
Toggle Commented Jul 11, 2016 on A Love Surprise Last Night at Tongue in Cheek
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AH you!
Toggle Commented Jul 11, 2016 on A Love Surprise Last Night at Tongue in Cheek
1 reply
Harder than imaginable!!!!
Toggle Commented Jul 11, 2016 on A Love Surprise Last Night at Tongue in Cheek
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Last night French Husband and I were surprised to see Chelsea and Mr. Espresso coming home. Nothing better than having extra love. As the evening fell I quickly took some photos, better blurry than not at all. We had a lovely dinner outside serenaded by the cicadas. Chelsea went back to Paris today and Sacha arrives tonight. Just what a mother needs, her little chicks coming in and out to brighten the day. Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2016 at Tongue in Cheek
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Good idea. I will try to do that. It is easier to show and tell, then to write about it. So first I need photos. My friend Jan said I should do videos, webinars... if videos weren't so complicated to download I would!
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Several times a year throughout France massive international antique fairs happen. They are different from the brocantes. If ever you want to see the mother lode, find the source, the root, the beginning and the end of antique happiness then any of these international antique fairs are a must. You do not need to be a professional antique buyer to enter, though mostly professional antique buyers go. Whatever you buy that day must be taken with you or by your transporter by the end of the fair. No credit cards are accepted. The towns in France where the international antiques fair happen are: Beziers, Avignon, Montpellier, Lyon, Chartres, Lemans... the international transporters are at these fairs too. The first international antique fair I ever went to was back in 1996. When I went inside, I could not move due from overwhelming emotion, nor could I believe the amazing display of history in front of me. I stood their with my mouth dropped open starring in wonder. Twenty years later, I feel the same way but am not awestruck with emotion. Sure the antiques have changed, not as old, not as ornate, more repurposed pieces and new kids on the block called mid century modern. But still there is plenty to be surprised about. Mind you the antiques fairs are not inexpensive, nor are they for the inexperienced buyer as the fair moves fast. Nevertheless whether you are buying for yourself or for a shop, whether you are filling a suitcase or a container, if you love antiques you have to put this sort of antique fair on your bucket list you won't regret it. Not a single photo that I took does these fairs justice. I did not go to take photos, instead I snapped a few on the side as I walked around with my friend Lisa, (her home is in the recent French Cottage by Victoria) as she looked for some pieces for her newest add on to her home. If ever you want to go and need a guide, a translator, someone to negotiate for you, send me an email I love doing just that. Or if you want to give me a blank check and say, "Have at it." Well duh, I will call you my hero and lick you feet forever. Doesn't that make you want to give me a blank check, hehe. Everything you... Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2016 at Tongue in Cheek
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Summertime xxx Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2016 at Tongue in Cheek
The photo is deceiving. They are not as steep as the photo indicates. I will take photos when it is completed.
Toggle Commented Jul 8, 2016 on Update: Cassis at Tongue in Cheek
1 reply