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Tongue in Cheek
Provence, France
Recent Activity
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Lined up along the entrance of the Mas in Provence the Plaintain have stood for over a hundred years, giving shade in the warm summer days and a stage for the cicadas to sing. This afternoon I had the pleasure of meeting new friends and sharing lunch in their beautiful spot. The road leading to the Mas is surrounded by sunflower fields, when I arrived I felt that this place was literally a slice of heaven. Blue and yellow, the heart of Provence during summer time. I wish I could share every inch, detail, whimsy, elegance, corner, nook, and soul of this incredible place. As it is private I cannot, but how I wish I could. Instead, close your eyes and imagine the heart of Provence the warm summer days, the striking blue sky that has lured painters to speak about the light with their paintbrushes. Imagine fields as far as you can see with sunflowers bowing their heads, and the majestic Plantain leaves fanning you to sleep. In your dreams go back in time as you enter the Mas surrender to the beauty, history, and art leading you deeper into a graceful way of living. I was overtaken by its spirit. Thank you J. and D. Continue reading
Posted 7 hours ago at French la Vie
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The sun sends forth the last rays of light, it pours through my kitchen window and spreads across the table, I smile as I witness the simple beauty of the moment. the surrendering of the day. Shadows arrive, hush tones fill the air and in the near distance a silence rings out, the mood changes as gracefully as the curtain falls. What is your favorite time of the day? Continue reading
Posted yesterday at French la Vie
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A green milk bucket of zinnias from my Mother's garden sat on the yellow kitchen table a few summers ago and often many summers growing up. Memories flood my mind whenever I see them. Childhood, my mother, and her garden, us kids riding our bikes down the lane, ice cream, cousins, summer... a strong colorful sensation of love. What reminds you of your childhood home? Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at French la Vie
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you are funny!
Toggle Commented 3 days ago on Pie is Tarte in French at French la Vie
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I wish you could be here too xxx
Toggle Commented 3 days ago on Silent Song at French la Vie
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I am spoiled. I have a good life. I have a family who loves me, food to eat, a roof over my head. I am healthy and in no pain. I have running water, more than enough to water the flowers in my garden. I am safe, bombs are not falling from the sky. Decisions are easy- what should I make for dinner? Do you want me to take that to the post office? Would you like sugar in your tea? When I had ovarian cancer, I was still spoiled, I lived. There was medicine readily available. I had a soft bed, a toilet to throw up in and someone to hold my hand. I had more prayers offered for me than all the prayers ever said at Notre Dame. My daughter who was three at the time told me, "there are angels dancing above your head" I had faith to believe her. The hardest question to answer: Why me? Why am I generously spoiled while most of the world suffers beyond belief. The biggest challenge is to remember to live the gift of my life, every day as lovingly as possible. Is that too hard to do? To pick up my harp, and play knowing others cannot. Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at French la Vie
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My mother makes pies ten times a day. The moment my mom reads this she is going to say, "Oh that Corey, I certainly do not." Okay then, at least once a week, usually on a Monday for the family dinner. One thing is certain, my mom is known for her flaky, buttery pie crust. Banana cream, coconut cream, lemon meringue, chocolate, blackberry, apple, apricot... to name a few of the fillings. In France, a pie is called a tarte with an "e" at the end. There is a bakery in Cassis, called the "La Tarte Tropezienne" by far the best bakery in town. Their desserts are pieces of artwork plus they are as delicious as they look. I could dive into them head first! Have you ever been in a pie eating contest? I have I think I was in the eighth grade or maybe the seventh grade. I do not remember who won, but I do remember the pies were chocolate with a mountain high of whip cream and that is was crazy fun. Come to think of it was I the only girl in the contest? I know Mitchell was in the contest too. Anyway, in case you are ever in a pie eating contest (you never know), I am going to give you a big hint about how to win: Dive in head first turn your head around and around so that most of it remains on your face Which makes for less to eat. Wear a shower cap. (P.S. I would never think to enter a pie eating contest with a tarte as beautiful as the one above, nor one of my mother's pie. They are worth savoring every bit, let alone my mother's reaction which would not be pleasant. Gee, she points a finger if I sneak a spoonful of uncooked cookie dough!) Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at French la Vie
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Hi Leigh, My friend Mari, from Back Home Living in Texas invited me to speak at her shop back in 2009, we have been friends ever since. Mari was in France for the wedding and to fill a container of antiques for her shop. On the last day of her trip Mari took this photo of me, in our house next door that she was staying.
Toggle Commented 5 days ago on A Change is Coming at French la Vie
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I hear what you are saying. Though I love that Yann picked this name for my blog, and as he is French and fluent in English I am going to go with his idea. A big touch of love in the faux pas of translation (it is the story of our communication Franglaise!)
Toggle Commented 5 days ago on A Change is Coming at French la Vie
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After years literally of saying that I wanted to change my blog's name, After writing and posting every day since 2005 to this blog of mine, I am changing the name of my blog Tongue in Cheek. Though the blog won't change, just the name. Because I am hopeless how to come up with a name that would represent what my blog is about and dragged my feet trying to figure something out, I asked French Husband what I should do. He said right off the tip of his tongue, "Corey you share what you love, you share your life our lives, your stories about living in France... French La Vie could be the name of your blog, The French Life." I smiled a mile long, hugged him then online to see if the name was available and it was and I bought the domain. Soon I will change the address, though my blog will continue coming to you as it has been. I will fill you in as I set it up. French La Vie Stories collected while living in France. (Photo via Mari) Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at French la Vie
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Sunday without brocante, though there were plenty going on. Yann and I went kayaking in Cassis, I held paddles, splashed around but Yann’s effort took us out and about. Shutters half closed we took a nap, or I should say Yann did. Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at French la Vie
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Walking along the streets of the neighboring village, I was happily surprised to find the olive tree surrounded by pansies. The pink backdrop adds perfection. Midday and the shutter is half closed. Basil ready for pesto. The hike up to the clock tower gave me this perspective. In France, the center of town is often, if not always, a maze of tiny streets mounting in a circle with the church in the middle. ..."ERIE" is on the end of many French words. Do you know what this sign says? As soon as someone says, "Cremerie" I am going to say, "Voila!" Up above the city, from one church tower overlooking another. If you want to see the backroads of France, then go on the back roads. If you want to see how the French live, then visit a non-touristic village and stay there for a week or so and immersing yourself in the daily life of a small town. The foothills of Provence. Garlaban in the distance. I wanted to ask him if he sold wine. But then thought he might think I was flirting and ask me up. As I walked away, I thought I should have asked him certainly, he had wine for sale. Looking up at the clock tower. A facade next to the town hall, called "Hotel de Ville". The massive, century old, olive pot, now used as a plant holder. Thought you might enjoy a few postcards, from the village next door to where I live. Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at French la Vie
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A storm is brewing in Cassis. Thunder sets the tone, rain followed and the beach emptied within seconds. French Husband went sailing the other day with a friend, and the friend brought along two teenage boys and a big dog. The bunch of would-be sailors are out depending on French Husband. When I heard about the dog I thought, "I am so glad I did not go with them." I am not worried, though I did walk out to the beach last night thinking, "I hope you don't sail in a storm." Life Ebb and flow, Give and take, Love may it come steadily upon your shore, Soft, smooth, even... And then when it goes back to the deep profound sea may it sing. .... By two in the afternoon the sky clears, the sea reflects its color, the beach bathers have returned. And I am certain French Husband did not even blink an eye. Continue reading
Posted Aug 9, 2018 at French la Vie
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That is was unbearably hot?
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me too!
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Late this evening I walked from our apartment to the seaside, it took me three minutes. Taking my sandals off I stepped into the sea the water wrapped around my legs which felt like a needed hug, the water was warmer than I have ever felt. Delicious and inviting. Very few people were around, a few were swimming, it was 11pm. I took off my dress, threw it behind me and went on in. Pure bliss. Later I stepped out, put my dress back on and walked home to write this post. Continue reading
Posted Aug 8, 2018 at French la Vie
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French Husband hates shopping. Any type of shopping: Food, Furniture, Paint, Light bobs (as he calls them, and I never want him to stop calling them 'light bobs') Clothes, especially clothes. He shops for buildings and I buy his clothes. For Chelsea's wedding if I hadn't pulled him to the shops he probably would have shown up in his stans, jeans, and a well-worn tee shirt. By the reactions of our friends, I think they were surprised he didn't. As shopping for clothes is one of French Husband's biggest pet peeves, he dares not to complain about what I bring home for him to wear. Flowered shirts, Pink sweaters, Long overcoats, Pastel scarves, Polka dotted underwear, Black socks (some things must remain basic), Red patent shoes... Wear it or go naked is the underline thought. Though... Naked might not be a bad option. Do you like to shop? I prefer to shop for others than for myself. Continue reading
Posted Aug 7, 2018 at French la Vie
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French ephemera. I have a thing for it. Crazy truth, it is an addiction. Whenever I see old French paper I have to stop to check it out, touch it, study it and because of it I can often tell the age just by the feel of the paper, or the type of handwriting... old letters, documents, cards, scraps have become my favorite thing to target at the brocante markets. Name cards, invitations, announcements... Bits of history of a story once lived. Words that echo similarities to the lives we live now. A recorded history without knowing it would come to this time, giving us a window to glance back into seeing ourselves. Menus from weddings, birthdays, baptisms, anniversaries... "Hello, How are you? I have missed you. Did you see the Marie and John the other day? Unfortunately, I was not able to make the party...." Handwritten music. Stacks of paper that appear as artwork to me. Being married to French Husband has made me a "Lifer" in France. When I arrived I already had a thing for old things, for example, I wore my grandmother's tattered wedding dress when I was married and had Chelsea and Sacha baptized in an antique massive bread making bowl. I am a bit, okay more than a bit nutty for old things. A few years ago I saw an antique dealer that I have known for years. He was retiring. Last weekend I bought a book from him that was dated 1739 regarding the marriage of King Louis's daughter. It was one of the best things I have ever found. He invited me to come to his home as he knows I love old paper. Photo via Lorna. The amazing book I bought from the man I have called, "The Paper Guy" for years. Books without covers, exposing a certain je ne sais quoi? I told you... I have the Brocante Bug bad. Please tell me you flip about something not human too? Something that makes your heart do a happy dance, and you feel like it is love, and have to remind yourself, "Hey Chickie, you know this is just a thing, you gotta take your enthusiasm down a notch or two." And your Enthusiastic Self-responds, "Shut up" in a gleeful way and keeps digging. Right? Shelves, boxes, baskets, drawers FULL. I seriously doubt I can retire from that sort of passionate... Continue reading
Posted Aug 6, 2018 at French la Vie
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The question I am most often asked is: Where do you go to find antiques? I have compiled a list so when I am asked I can link to this page. Below you will find links to sites that tell where and when antique markets/brocantes take place in France. Or if you want to come to stay with me taking my hand and letting me show you my world of antiquing, every corner of beauty, peeking into my friend's homes, attics and art studios. Of course, we will do more than antiquing! Antiquing in France lends itself to exploration, the journey weaves through the countryside, goes hand in hand with discovering places on the side of the road, delicious lunch breaks, and wine. If you are interested let me know. BrocBrac Ten Best Antique Markets in France Insider's Guide to Antiquing in France Active Map to Antiquing in France List of Antique Fairs in France French Listing of Antique Markets Brocantes by Regions A list of where to find Brocantes in France Continue reading
Posted Aug 5, 2018 at French la Vie
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My mom back home watering the trough turned flower bed which stands at the beginning of the driveway. Our routines after Chelsea's wedding come back to play allowing us to take comfort in the familiar, giving direction after happily intense emotion, and a way to pad the ache of saying goodbye. My niece Molly, one of the five nieces who came early June for two weeks in France, sent me this photo of my mom with a message that said, "Isn't she the cutest?" Yes, she is. Yes, you are. Thank you, mom, for watering our hearts and lives with your love, for putting us first, for leading the way with your beautiful example of devotion and steadfastness. Continue reading
Posted Aug 4, 2018 at French la Vie
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Yesterday's salad post and your comments made me think of a salad that my friend Annie use to make: Repost memory from 2010 ------------------- My friend Annie talked about a salad she had as if it were her new best friend. She described it in detail: the crunch of its voice, its tangy personality, its unexpected freshness and with curiosity, like one, has when one is first in love: She wondered what other flavors it might have if mixed with an added ingredient. Yesterday late afternoon French Husband, Chelsea and I stopped by Annie's to say hi. As we talked and drank our sparkling water with Pulco Annie jumped up with more energy than a five-year-old and said, "Corey I made the Orange Onion Salad, you gotta taste it!" Now, that might not sound unusual, offering a taste of an Orange Onion Salad at five in the afternoon but let me tell you in France that is as rare as Martians coming over to visit. I knew at that moment that this salad had to have a real pull on Annie's French heartstrings. Annie brought out the Orange Salad, handed me a spoon, not bothering to give me a plate. Love does that it makes you do things you would never think to do. I hesitated, doubting briefly the goodness of oranges with onions. The thought of it made me pucker my lips, though Annie's enthusiasm reassured me, I scooped a mouthful. The moment the Orange/Onion combo hit my taste buds I was smitten. "Who knew!" I exclaimed. French Husband and Chelsea, as if I were Goldilocks, followed suit. We went home and made it for dinner. Orange Onion Salad: One large sweet white onion, thinly sliced. Marinate it with two or three tablespoons of olive oil, one or two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, Grey pepper with a hint of nutmeg. While this sets aside doing its thing, Peel and skin, three large oranges peeled, then cut in thirds, Mix the two together. Serve as is, or over rice or on an avocado. (My Friends over at Facebook: Clarice Fox-Hughes adds pistachios, and Mary Marsell-Farrell uses red onions, with raspberry vinaigrette instead.) Have you had Orange Onion Salad or a variation of it? Continue reading
Posted Aug 3, 2018 at French la Vie
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How to make French bread and tomato salad. In the land of baguettes, where a bakery is on every corner and bread is baked in a wood oven once and sometimes twice a day, where buying a baguette daily is as natural as breathing, having a day old baguette around is common. Hence French Toast, or as they say in France, "Pain Perdu," a direct translation is "Lost Bread," was created as a dessert, not for breakfast. We live in a small town, where the only fast food is the bakery and take out pizza. To say I cook often is an understatement. Sure there are a few restaurants in town and I am, I don't like to say it, but a food snob. I don't appreciate going out to a restaurant unless they can cook better than what I can do. Don't get me wrong, cooking better than me isn't hard to do, what I mean is if I am going to go to a restaurant I expect it to be good which isn't hard to do in France but in our town that isn't the case. With that said when a baguette is sitting on my kitchen counter feeling sorry for itself because it can be used as a hammer, instead of smeared with cheese, a tomato salad comes to the rescue. The Recipe: Chop half of a bowl full of garden fresh tomatoes. Fill the other half with dried hard baguette, in bite-size pieces. Add a few crushed garlic, Two handfuls of fresh basil, Two fresh balls of buffalo Mozzarella chopped, Olive oil (about half a cup or more), salt to taste, and toss gently until well mix. Cover and set aside. This salad is at its best if it sets for about an hour, tossing it every now and then helps saturates the bread and flavors. It can be kept in the refrigerator overnight and served later, toss before serving. Fresh, wholesome ingredients, including a "sorry for itself" baguette, is simple fare. A glass of rose adds the voila to the meal. What is your favorite summer salad? And do you like to cook? Continue reading
Posted Aug 2, 2018 at French la Vie
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Over thirty years ago I lived in San Francisco and worked for the Catholic church you see I wanted to be a priest, and well you know how that turned out. During that naive hopeful wannabe time, I met quite a few people, and over the years have remained friends even at a distance and more often than not rarely or never see them again when I moved to France. Jennifer is exactly as I remember her thirty-some years ago: Bubbly, fun-loving, happy, easy going, genuine, organized, creative a friend I wished lived next door. Jennifer and her husband John and their daughter Laine came to visit us for a few days. Lucky me! We went to Cassis and had a ball. Cassis enchanted them instantly. John and Yann are like two peas in a pod with their antics. Pretending to fall off the cliff... Thank you thank you! I hope to see you sooner and hope you stay longer. xxx Nothing can change love. Continue reading
Posted Aug 1, 2018 at French la Vie
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Summertime on the Mediterranean... where the days stay late into the night. Blue and inviting. Bandol. Walking along the coast, one village to the next, like collecting seashells, each one is prettier than the last one, and you want to find just one more to go see. Twilight doesn't mean the end of the day. A dip in the Mediterranean, La Cioata. Cassis White cliffs and a transparent sea. Along the coast of Marseille. The Bleu Train a must (a commuter train which hugs along the coastline between Marseille and Carry le Rouet...) If you come to Provence, make sure to see the small ports: La Cioata, Cassis, drive along the Route de Crete, Bandol, Toulon, walk along the stone wall seaside path at Cap Ferrat, or go inland Turbie, Peillon... or take the train de Merveilles from Nice into the countryside, I promise you, you won't regret it. Sanary. Sanary Cap Brun, Toulon. France, along with the French Mediterranean. Summer retreat that feeds the soul. Continue reading
Posted Jul 31, 2018 at French la Vie