This is French la Vie's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following French la Vie's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
French la Vie
Provence, France
Recent Activity
Image
Each of us has a story to tell. I have so appreciated and enjoyed each story being shared. Here is my story. As a young girl, I dreamt of being a fashion designer. I would design clothes from scraps of cloth for my dolls. My family didn’t understand that desire to be a creative soul, so after a while, my dream left me, but it must have really just been tucked away in a corner of my heart. As I was approaching forty years old I began evaluating my life. Where had I gone? I had married at 21 and had two children by the time I was 30. I was a mom and a wife, but that little tickle in my heart was still there. Finally, I put a voice to this dream and went back to school gaining a degree in apparel design. I didn’t become a famous designer, but I had a 25-year career as an apparel pattern maker and technical designer for several well-known companies in the Portland, Oregon area. I was proud of what I had accomplished and I think my family was too. I retired from Nike at 65 years old. While I was at Nike I began coming across blogging. Corey’s beautiful blog was the first one I discovered. Whenever I needed a few moments to break at work I headed to her blog and took a mental holiday. It brought me so much joy. After I retired I decided to write a blog, Delights of the Heart. With my last bonus check from Nike, I invested in a “big girl” camera. Well I didn’t even know-how to turn the camera on, but with blogging, forced me to learn. Blogging and taking pictures gives me an outlet to share and still have a creative outlet. While I was working at Nike I realized I had one more dream. It was to have my own business. After making a list of the things I loved I realized I loved drinking tea. Simple isn’t it? Just sit and drink tea all day I thought. Do I open a tearoom? No, that is a restaurant. Being involved with product development I would love making products for other tearooms. I developed a line of jams and jellies made with tea and sold them wholesale to tearooms for 9 years. Now I sell on Etsy "Marmaladys", a line... Continue reading
Posted 11 hours ago at French la Vie
Image
Since I could not decide on my story, so I am giving you vignettes of my 69 years. ​​ Annya and her son Jackson My daughter Annya was one of the last babies born in the Yosemite National Park hospital, called Lewis and Memorial. When it came time to deliver my baby, we had to drive from the southern area of the park called Wawona (4,000 ft elevation), up and over a mountain pass of 6000 ft to get to Yosemite Valley where the hospital was located. It was the first snow of the season. Her father’s last name is White, and we joked that we should call her “Snow.” I absolutely love cats, kittens, and baby goats. I have also become infatuated with the Blue Merle Australian Shepherds, which seems to be a favorite dog in France. My favorite poets are Mary Oliver, Rumi, ee cummings, and Haziz. I am now living in France, a lifelong dream. I moved here when I was 66. Even though it took a while to get here, it just goes to show that it is never too late to follow your dreams. I have never been happier in my life! ~~~ I have 3 tattoos. I got the one on my arm a bit after I got married at 62 (not for the first time, may I say). It is a quote by Mary Oliver, “He is exactly the poem I wanted to write.” I live in a small village in the south of France. I tell time by the church bells chiming. And occasionally looking at the clock… Ms Amelia, our 1975 AirStream Trailer https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/1486208 During the summers, we go back to our cottage in Connecticut. We have a 1975 Airstream trailer in our backyard (we have an acre of land), which we rent out on AirBnB. I love the snow and occasionally insist that we go up to the mountains so I can get a cold nose and feet. Does my husband like the snow…? Not so much! I have sea kayaked in Glacier Bay in Alaska and on Baffin Island, off Canada’s northeastern coast. (I found these at the brocante in France and dye them myself for my craft fair.) I love going to brocantes. While I do not have the Brocante Bug as bad as Corey, I do love wandering the rows, finding things I have no idea what... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at French la Vie
Image
I believe at one point or another in our lives we find ourselves searching for something or someone to guide us, to help us along this life’s journey. Finding Corey and following her blog for over 8 years has been like finding a treasured jewel at the Brocante. like many of you fellow readers, I start my morning with a cup of coffee, sitting down with my computer and diving into Corey’s World. She has a tremendous gift of weaving her tales and imagery that spark my heart. I have been with her through the good and bad days, learning by the love she so tenderly gives to family, friendships, and the magical Brocante. (My French Brocante Treasures) Taken at the Brocante where we met C & Y Imagine, visiting one of the Brocantes in France and the serendipitous moment I turned my gaze and saw Corey and French Husband from afar. “Look that’s CORRREEY!!! “ I exclaimed with bubbling excitement to my husband. Granted my husband also knew the famous Corey after years of me sharing something I had read from her blog. So we casually stalked them and introduced ourselves. Although the March morning was bitter cold, Corey and Yann greeted us with warmth. We chatted for a few minutes and I happily shared my precious treasures I had acquired at this market. Two small hand-forged butterflies that would fit perfectly in my suitcase back to our home in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. I was so taken with the moment of meeting Corey and Yann that I completely forgot to capture a photo of us together. I regret that, but hold hope that I will someday have a chance to spend more time in France and meet them again. With the most sincere gratitude, I pray we will have many more years of reading Corey’s blog and feeling like an extended part of her family. I was going to end my guest post here... But with a little more prodding from Corey, I will share a bit more about my life. Alas, I have never been very confident with my writing skills. However, my persevering temperament and grit has been my source of strength and gotten me through most challenges. I have always believed in following my dreams. As a youngster, I told my mom I wanted to be an artist when I grew up. She responded... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at French la Vie
14
Image
Years ago, I reconnected with someone I went to high school with, and through him, I found Corey just in time to see the Paris apartment renovation. When the apartment was done, my husband and I spent a week there. Walking up the stairs and into the space was a bit like finally reaching the Emerald City. I’m honored to be a guest blogger and to have the opportunity to share a bit about my love of weaving and dyeing fabric. This is my grandson. He’s playing an instrument that belonged to my dad who was a big band musician who played with some of the greatest. He also did Broadway Theatre so I’m thrilled that Jasper took his guitars and other string instruments. Like Corey, family and friends are everything to me. In addition to my family, the community has always been important to me and varies with where in my life I am. In these days of COVID, I’ve connected through FaceBook, to a community of weavers. Weavers are a creative and supportive group, which is important as we find ourselves isolating. My love for weaving started as a textile design student at F.I.T., the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. Weaving was a required course so I walked in and sat down at a loom. Who knew that you could take threads or yarn and arrange them vertically (the warp) and horizontally (the weft), interlace them, and get fabric? I was hooked. Not only had I found my passion; I found a world of people, a community in which I finally felt comfortable. I’d always loved working with color, but this was a new way to play with endless possibilities of shades, hues, textures, and weave structures Some, who were at F.I.T. at the same time, went on to greatness. Calvin Klein married a girl in my class. Antonio Lopez went on to become one of the most successful illustrators in the business, hanging out in Paris with Karl Lagerfeld, Jerry Hall, and a host of others. I do wish I’d saved the sketches he did of me when I had a long, thin neck which was the piece of me on which he focused. Now I’m 75 and in the Nora Ephron cohort with regard to my neck. I moved into “the city” as soon as I could convince my parents it was ok,... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at French la Vie
13
Image
Hello Friends! I’d like to thank Corey for reaching out to us all and inviting us to share a bit about our lives. I’m Penni, and I found Corey about a year after she began her blog, ‘Tongue in Cheek’. I will rewrite a message I sent her a bit ago, changing the pronouns "I’m not really into antiques, France is fine- but I’ve never been there, and probably never will— I stumbled on Corey’s blog about a year after she started and I stay because of her literal Spirit. She’s genuine. She’s real. She’s poetic, intelligent, and constantly positive. This blog is a soft place to land. I have found much peace in her conversations and observations. I am inspired to be more because of the familial connection she has with her readers. I don’t always have something to add, but I always read. I admire her dedication to God and family, and the way those things are reflected in her posts, photos, and yes, antiques. I love that she shares her prayers and hope. I thoroughly enjoy her relationship with Yann; and have gushed over all the renovations. She is a constant light. " I met my husband when I was 15, married him at 18, and had the first of our five children when I was 20. Our life was simple and sweet with plenty of ups and downs, but we had so much fun and have the best kids ever! Our #1 child was a FireFighter until just recently, he was headed to be a Captain, however, a life long illness required him to make a career shift, so he is now an Arson Investigator married with 3 boys, his fun wife works as a Preschool Teacher for the severely handicapped. #2 is a store manager at a tile company, where he shines because he loves sales and design, he is married with 5 kids! Which keeps his clever wife plenty busy. Our #3 is a “Dental Hygenius” (hygienist, lol) who loves science, her patients, travel, fashion, the fine arts, and being an activist for good social change. #4 was a Journeyman Wireman but injured his back, so now he uses his artistic skills to redesign cars, trucks, and other vehicles. He’s the SAHDad of 3, and manages the house while his sweet wife works as a Pediatric Oncology RN. 6 years ago we lost our... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at French la Vie
14
Image
Bonjour! My name is Amy. Here is my story. It’s about adventure. Surprise. Disappointment. Music, art, discovery. It’s even a little juicy. First, I am from North Mankato, Minnesota. I live in a charming old Craftsman-style bungalow that I love despite its quirks, creaks, crookedness, and the occasional wayward bat they are always gently shepherded outside in a net, accompanied by lots of screaming. This silky little creature, SamTheCat, showed up on my doorstep on Halloween 15 years ago. He lets me live with him. He does Allow me to introduce you to the love of my life: my ancient, huge, cast iron clawfoot bathtub. It’s part therapist, part healer. The statue guarding the tub is Bathrodite. She’s a good secret-keeper. I have a huge garden I dug up with an old shovel divorce therapy, 1999. This summer, I made a stone circle in my garden for “sacred” activities like smoky fires with friends and laughing way too hard and eating waaaaay too much cheese and chocolate. I studied English with a writing concentration in college then immediately went to work for a printing company as an advertising copywriter. Also, music, I have played the piano since I was 10, and continued playing and pursuing choral studies in college. But a beautiful harp at a Renaissance fair stole my musical heart and changed the course of my life. The harp quickly went from “Well, this will be fun…” to “Having weddings and events booked through the years.” As soon as I earned enough I purchased a concert harp from Lyon & Healy in Chicago. I still worked as a copywriter, but I spent all of my free time performing. Playing in cathedrals and at county fairs, at weddings and funerals, for dignitaries like Mikhail Gorbachev, and for preschoolers. I have made four recordings plus a DVD based on an original song. I also started giving concerts on St. Patrick’s Day and at the holidays. I’ve played for thousands of people, and it brought me joy to share the joy of music with each of them. But in 2009, softly, quietly, came the whispers of restlessness. At work, I was supposed to be writing, but instead, I was daydreaming, wondering, “What if? What else?” And after 10 years of giving my own concerts, recording albums, playing at hundreds of weddings and events and accompanying orchestras and choirs I began to look... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at French la Vie
14
Image
For many of you, this is a very unusual Thanksgiving. It certainly is for my mother and family given that it is the first time my mother is celebrating alone, not preparing her cherished feast, nor having to chase my brother Marty from biting off the turkey cookies’ heads, though I bet she is secretly happy not to have had to make those pesky cookies... and at the same time wishing without a doubt that my brother Marty would run in and eat every single turkey cookie. My brother is in the hospital. A week ago or so my mother called the family to say she preferred for the family to celebrate Thanksgiving within their own homes with their families and not come over this year due to Covid, to be prudent. My mother is first and foremost faithful in her belief to do what is right and that love prevails. Faltering from that would go against who she is as a woman of faith. I admire my mother's bravery, her strength, her guiding light that she has led us by without wavering especially when life throws curve balls and the road seems long, she is a constant source of unending possibilities to lean on. Amazing. When I asked her if it was going to be hard to be alone on Thanksgiving day she replied, »It is just another day that is how I am going to look at it. I am thankful and pray every day in gratitude, for my family, and those who have asked me to pray for them. I would rather everyone be safe than celebrate this one day together. » It is another day to be thankful in a year that has constantly reminded us that nothing is certain, and what is important. A year where heroes in everyday clothing have shown us what it means to be counted on, who have stood up without question and worked tirelessly for humanity. A year where toilet paper was the golden egg and luxury of safety was another stab at poverty. A year that has brought to focus on how divided our nation is and made us question reality from fiction. A year like none other that I have experienced. Nevertheless, it is another day, a gift, like every day, every moment worthy, sacred, and taken for granted at times. Another day to give thanks, to pray,... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at French la Vie
26
Image
Like many of the other blog posters who have shared about themselves here, I’ve wondered if I should accept Corey’s invitation to tell a bit about my life. Don’t we all wonder if we are “good enough” or “ interesting enough? Finally, I thought I’d just throw that doubt out the window. So here’s a bit about me. I’m a native Mainer now living in North Carolina, a change that has been a real culture shock. When my husband retires in a few years, we will move further north and also hope to live part of the year in France. It would be wonderful to meet Corey after reading her blog for so long! I love everything about French culture. My husband even proposed to me at the top of the Eiffel tower, using a giant fake ring in case I dropped it over the side! My work life has been varied but in the last 20 years I’ve worked in the law in varying capacities, with a foray into owning a flower shop, which was partly great fun and equally as stressful. I’ve been a court reporter and now organize violent crime cases in our police department. It’s never dull though does make me wonder how people can do the terrible things they do. My admiration for First Responders grows daily. With my hubby Garry at the Berlin Wall. Like Corey and all of you, I’ve loved antiques for as long as I can remember. I still have my first “real” purchase- a lovely petite Queen Anne writing desk, which I found covered in grime at the back of a shop. A little elbow grease is all that was needed to bring it back to life. Oh, and purchasing 9 random old skeleton keys to unlock it! At Marimurtra Botanical Garden in Spain Travel and photography are my two passions. Like the rest of the world, this year’s journey to the Middle East was postponed- a great disappointment. My husband Garry and I have traveled to many countries together and I hope to many more. I’ve filled my spare time roaming back roads searching for what I call “Rust and Ruin”- abandoned houses and buildings that call me and my camera. Garry and are (apparently) renovation addicts we have spent the last 3 years renovating a lake house in Virginia. Dare I say this will be our last reno?... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at French la Vie
Image
"Thank You for Trying" Some 15-ish years ago, my wife and I were simultaneously struck mad and, at the height of our insanity, decided it would be a grand idea to buy a 1-bedroom flat in Paris. We had just welcomed a baby boy into our lives and thought, “What better time than now to embark upon an ill-planned and extremely expensive adventure?” In fairness to our younger selves, we did have several things going for us. I’d studied high school French and could inform people that I was going to the beach or tell them whether it was or was not currently raining. My wife had an impeccable fashion sense and knew how to point to things that she liked on a French menu. Both of us were surprised but undaunted when neither of these skills proved adequate to negotiate a foreign real estate contract. Fortunately, the universe and, apparently, France, smile upon idiots. We watched an episode of House Hunters International and learned of a New Yorker who specialized in helping Americans buy Parisian property. She found us an apartment we could (mostly) afford and introduced us to an expatriate couple who’d sold everything they owned to move from Texas to Paris, arriving with little more than a stack of French flashcards and a willingness to do whatever it took to live their dreams. We asked them if they’d like to manage vacation rentals of our flat, newly acquired in the heart of the Neuvieme Arrondissement’s bars, brothels, and strip clubs. They marketed the neighborhood as a “lively and authentic French experience” and welcomed countless visitors over the years that followed. After that, we did have occasional bouts of lucidity and would ask one another, “What have we done?” But each time, the food, wine, and beauty of Paris would romance us and drive us mad once again. In the early days, we treasure hunted the brocantes, sailed toy boats with our son around the Jardin du Luxembourg fountains, and carted him on our shoulders through the streets for the Fetes des Vendanges. Later, we would host dinners for friends, take in plays, and enjoy concerts. We would negotiate for water with the confused drag queens at Chez Michou who didn’t understand that there was only so much champagne we could drink. We would drag our jet-lagged selves to Corso Trudaine, because we had to have that one... Continue reading
Posted Nov 23, 2020 at French la Vie
19
Image
Hello Everyone, My name is Lieselotte, I live in a valley right in the center of Austria, surrounded by mountains and forests. My husband Dieter and I were lucky to get to know Corey and Yann a couple of years ago when they were on a motorbike tour through Austria. We found them “très sympathique“; but anyone who has had the chance to know them personally will know what I mean. Corey was fascinated by what she called “coffee hopping in the alps“ – the fact that you can hike from one mountain chalet restaurant to the next for a coffee (with milk fresh from the cows around you), homemade cake, or meals. She also introduced me to the "Sound of Music" The church on top of a hill near our village must have reminded me of that film scenery (frankly, it does quite look like it). We visited each other again a couple of times in the following years. and again here. On one of these occasions- I think it was in summer 2013 – Corey took me to a Brocante in a small village called Entrecasteaux in Provence on a Sunday morning, and we spotted: Brangelina. We later sat near them in a very deserted Creperie, pretending not to know who they are they didn't recognize us, either. Some summers later, in 2017, Dieter and I (and dog Luna) were on the way to Spain by car. We were near Corey's and Yann's we decided to ring their doorbell unannounced. We were so lucky - Corey was home. Her mouth wide open with surprise naturellement she asked, “Did I miss something on my calendar?“ We spent a good time catching up. I have only just retired from my job as an English teacher for Secondary School students. I loved my job very much until a depression from severe exhaustion forced me to quit, and I started my quarantine a year before Covid -19 turned up. Recovery is very slow, and I have to take things easy, supported by my caring husband, our son George who is 24, and our beautiful dog Luna. Our beautiful countryside is very inviting for walks and bicycle rides, and there is enough space to keep a safe distance from other walkers, joggers, and cyclists. After resting in the mornings, trying to recharge my energy batteries with the help of meditation, I spend as... Continue reading
Posted Nov 23, 2020 at French la Vie
Image
I first came upon Corey‘s blog in 2007 accidentally as I sat in my kitchen in Australia helping my 7-year-old daughter to research a school project. The link Google brought me to was a story about gold bead necklaces traditionally gifted to young girls in Marseille to mark special occasions as they grew up. I was captivated. For a brief moment I was unaware of my messy kitchen, the pile of laundry waiting to be done, and young kids running around asking me to do things for them. I came back to her blog later that night when the kids were tucked up in bed and I scrolled through story after story. In Corey‘s blog, I found a place to escape where I could look at beautiful photographs and read stories of French culture and experiences. It brought me back to my childhood. Every July my parents would pack up the car and we would go on the overnight ferry to Le Havre to embark on a driving adventure around France. For four weeks we stayed in small campsites eating baguettes and soft cheese and fruit, so much fruit. It was so very different than my normal life in Ireland. Our holidays in France were a reprieve from the rain, from school, from chores. It was exciting, colorful and the smells as we walked through markets were of foods I had never tasted and flowers I had never seen. Corey‘s blog brought those images back into my head so vividly I could smell the flowers and feel the warm sun on my skin. It was around this time that my dad in Ireland became unwell. Over the next few years, he was diagnosed with dementia. I was living in Australia with my husband and three children the distance was difficult to manage. Corey put a blog post up about some little trinkets she had found in the brocante and asked people to comment if they wanted to be sent one of the items. Amongst the images, I saw a small religious medal. I felt such a strong connection to it. When Corey messaged to say she would send it to me I asked her instead to send it to my father in Ireland. I’m not sure if Dad ever understood why an American woman in France had sent him an unexpected letter with a small religious medal but he understood... Continue reading
Posted Nov 22, 2020 at French la Vie
12
Image
I am a finder, and maker. I am a 67-year-old woman, I am lucky I am happy And I found my tribe. I hate to travel, but the opportunity to spend a week roaming around Provence with Corey as a guide seemed like a worthwhile endeavor. Corey took us to a small market in her village, while the others in the group shopped and wandered, I watched as the vendors did a dance that was familiar to me. I loved being a street vendor, For many years I sold at a weekly flea market in Seattle, I loved the pace of my Sunday mornings. Unloading the van, putting my tent up, going for coffee with my Fremont friends, Pursuing the wares, hunting for a hidden treasure before returning to set up my own wares, Then petting the dogs, chatting with customers, and selling my offerings. With the pace and swirl of it all, I recognized that same swirl in vendors in France. In fact, I have never been to any Flea market that I did not. That is my tribe, I know the dance. The language barrier was frustrating. I wanted to tell them I know you. I understand your day. But instead, I watched and wished that I could join them. I started my street selling at a young age, I grew up on an idyllic bit of a farm. It was my job to work the farm stand in the summer, my uncle Joe sold Dungeness crab that he had pulled from traps hours before and I sold whatever was ripe, laying, or blooming on the farm. My future husband remembers when he was around 8 years old driving by our farm stand one day, I was yelling at cars to stop and buy these damn flowers. That was the beginning of my retail training I honed my trade by doing Markets and small boutique shows. I was talking to my husband's oncologist. She asked about a show that we were hoping he would feel well enough to do. She asked what it was like, I told her it was like a very prestigious oncologist convention, except we are all a bit shabby and not as educated, That is a show I do in Spokane Washington, it is what is considered by most to be the creme de la creme of shows here on the west coast. I... Continue reading
Posted Nov 21, 2020 at French la Vie
19
Image
Hi Everyone! I don't know about you, but when I got a message from Corey, asking me to consider doing a guest post on her blog, well... I had just finished reading about Rebecca the Metropolitan Opera singer in NYC, and thought... how do I follow that? Then I read about Jennifer in New Zealand, and again, I'm thinking... how do I follow that? Then I gave up. What could possibly be of interest to Corey's readers about my life? And besides, she probably wrote to all her followers, so she will never miss me. WRONG!! Yesterday I got a little "reminder" that she would love to hear from me. Oh dear... well, here goes... I'm an American, living in the South of France. Maybe that's interesting? I landed here about twelve years ago, with my work. I work for CRU, a Christian organization, doing Leadership Development Consulting, from a Christian point of view. It's been gratifying. I'm NOT looking forward to retiring and moving back to the USA. I love living in Europe and have actually lived most of my life in Germany, Russia, and now France. They say we become "third culture" people not quite American anymore, and not completely European. I've experienced that whenever I go home to Florida/Michigan each year- well, not in 2020. An artist's drawing of my village: Cagnes-sur-Mer. It's a charming village, on the Mediterranean, complete with fishing boats and palm trees on the main avenue. Not far from my village is the Principality of Monaco. This is the inside of their main shopping mall at Christmas, 2019. There's a stark comparison. That's interesting. How did I meet Corey? I met Corey once, many years ago, when I first arrived here. I was researching blogs about France, and up popped "Tongue in Cheek". I LOVE antiques so I called Corey and arranged to meet up. She was doing a sale in her friend's home, so it was the perfect afternoon excursion. While there, I found a beautiful old (obviously!) painting of some lilacs, a still life, with a dark, smokey patina. It jumped off the wall, into my arms, and a good thing too, because just as I was paying for it, Corey's husband Yann mentioned that he was eyeing it for his office. Sorry, Yann. Life in the South of France has had its ups and downs. The ups are the friends,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 20, 2020 at French la Vie
21
Image
I’m so excited to be a guest here! I met Corey through blogging when we both were just starting out blogging back in 2006. I, along with several others where invited to a wonderful BLOGGERS tea party/slumber party in her hometown in gorgeous Northern California. My grown children were a little concerned that I would travel to someone’s home that I had never even met in person. They called my blogging friends my imaginary friends. Little did they know that some of my favorite people are those that I initially met through blogging, and teaching at my Soulful Painting retreats & workshops I offer across the country. I love how women (and, some men) gather to nurture themselves and others at all kinds of retreats, almost always coming away with lifelong friendships that may have not otherwise happened. This is what happened that sweet weekend in California So, yes, as I mentioned I’m an intuitive artist/painter, and facilitate others to trust and tap into their creative goodness. I have a passion for nature, stories, history, layers of a life lived, intrigued with common and out of the ordinary objects that translate into a symbolic language a language that is universal stories layered just beneath the surface. My simple mission is to express how I see this beautiful world, how to learn and grow from my life's lessons, and how to take hold of my dreams and make them into real tangible life. I love the ocean, the color periwinkle, peonies, and blue bell ice cream, the laughter of my children and grandchildren, a full moon, sunsets, music that makes my soul stir, and dancing to that same music. I enjoy teaching workshops because it's sharing at its best with like-minded people. More than anything is having my family being the center of my world they are my greatest inspiration and gifts. My love for vintage lead way to having had a funky antiques store & eatery Mabel Annie’s where I would also teach at art retreats like Art Unraveled, Art Fest, and Art & Soul. during five years in our sweet tiny tourist town just north of Kansas City. Mabel Annie’s was featured in Romantic Homes that opened up many opportunities to meet people from all over the world. How thankful I was for the people that would walk through my shop it always felt like meant to be encounters.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 19, 2020 at French la Vie
10
Image
When Corey invited her followers to share their stories, it seemed like the least I could do in thanks for all the beauty, positivity and joy she has shared with us. I have not had the pleasure of meeting Corey in person, but it could have happened more easily four years ago. Let me explain. My husband, Mick, teaches at Savannah College of Art and Design. SCAD has four campuses. One of them is in Lacoste, France. Mick was offered the chance to teach there for a quarter in January 2017. Prior to leaving for France, a friend, Rita Szarka, who had met Corey when she owned an antique shop in town, mentioned that I should follow the Tongue in Cheek blog. I’m so glad she did! With much preparation and excitement, my husband and I left the day after Christmas for nine weeks at the SCAD campus in the medieval town of Lacoste. Lacoste is relatively near Corey’s home by car. Unfortunately, we did not have a car at our disposal. We used school vans to transport students to local markets in Isle Sur la Sorge and Apt. We traveled to Nimes, Paris, Avignon, Lyon, and Marseilles. It was an amazing experience. While my husband taught, I volunteered in the school library and helped drive students to various events. The experience will stay in my heart always. I hope to return to France one day and finally meet Corey and thank her for the daily reminders of that special time in my life. A street scene in Lacoste. Mick and I in the Opera House in Paris Mick and I on the aqueduct in Nîmes. Views from our apartment and from the hillside of Lacoste. What was my life like before and after Lacoste? I was born and raised in beautiful Ohio and was the third child in a family of six kids. My 97-year-old lively mother and four of my siblings still live in Ohio. One sister resides in North Carolina. Carol, Mark, Paul, Mom, myself, Anita, Janet I met my artist husband in college in our first class, an art course. Later we married and raised two sons who are very talented guys. Both live now in California. I am a retired Language Arts teacher. I loved my 34 years teaching middle school students and stay in touch with many of them still. In 2008 my husband... Continue reading
Posted Nov 18, 2020 at French la Vie
Image
I've been an avid Corey follower for the past ten years or so, having first been introduced to her transformative writing in a magazine article, she wrote about her 'French Husband'. Corey's story and pictures sent me immediately to her blog and I've been entranced ever since. I love Corey's perspective of being immersed in a land that is so different, yet equally as beautiful as her California origins... and of course, all the characters that go with her stories. For my part, I have a background in writing, broadcasting, friending, teaching, and mothering. I live part of my life in Belleville, Ontario, Canada, and the other part in North Wiltshire, Prince Edward Island, Canada. Belleville is filled with stately, brick homes, and a lifetime of friends and memories while North Wiltshire is a land of colorful clapboards surrounded by an ocean of fun and mystery. I love both places equally and as a freelance writer, I find inspiration around every corner. My two kids are fully grown now and after the death of my second husband a couple of years ago, I found it to be a perfect time to visit France, meet Corey, and get a first-hand sampling of the geography surrounding her interesting life. It was the trip of a lifetime I'd fully recommend a month's stay at Corey's 'house next door' to anyone who loves quiet village life, church bells, mountain trails, and relaxing under all that is France. Now, during Covid times, life has rolled me into another beautiful chapter. I've fallen in love with a Canadian man who lives near Corey's home in California. It took being in my sixties to be so lucky. My beau Peter is the brother of my friend, Mark, here in Belleville. When Mark was rushed to hospital I found Peter's name on Mark's Facebook page figuring his brother would be a good place to find out more information about my friend... and unexpectedly that led to so much more. We are blissfully, passionately, contentedly in love. Mark is doing better and will soon leave the hospital. In the words of Harry Chapin, favorite storyteller, "All my life's a circle" ...a really cozy, fancifully-filled circle within our small world. Best, Shelley Wildgen Continue reading
Posted Nov 17, 2020 at French la Vie
Image
Words from the French letter above... My Darling, Received, Yesterday, "After" tranquility ... Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2020 at French la Vie
Image
Haven't the guest posts been lovely introducing us to each other in a more intimate way discovering who we are over these many years from comments? Artists, Lawyers, Singers, Homemakers, Lovers of life, and goodness sharing in faith a bit of themselves revealing more than a name. There are so many of you, actually all of you I would like to hear from will you give it a go send me an email with a bit about yourself? I know I am not the only one who would be pleased. Our stories are a few lines in the great book connecting lives past present and yet to come weaving lives lived and loved, tangled and tango, step by step intricately together yet apart. Okay, this isn't a great book but it is a part of my life shared in fragments over fifteen years in which you have played a part. I am grateful for your being here checking in encouraging my cooking, praying for me and my family, laughing at my few jokes giving a nod to my brocante passion coming to visit me most of all your comments all 150,337 of them on 6391 posts and over ten thousand photos I lost count. I am gently challenging you to send me something about yourself a longer comment, a poem you enjoy, a mantra, a recipe, photos, a bit about yourself. I know these are trying times and some of you are going through difficult days ... Share your story of the joy and or of the struggle, God knows I have and your guidance has been meaningful to me. Tell me a bit about yourself because I would like that and those of you reading this would like it too. I hope to post Guest Posts throughout the rest of November. I await your guest post. please send to coreyamaro@aol.com Continue reading
Posted Nov 15, 2020 at French la Vie
Image
During the last few years in November I (Sacha) have taken part in the trend of growing my beard and or mustache as a way to draw attention towards The National Men's Awareness Month. But this year for The National Men's Awareness Month I am taken it a step further. By joining the Fundraiser efforts and doing my part to help... I am selling many of my original photographs for the first time. The proceeds will go to The Distinguished Gentlemen’s Ride, an organization sponsored by Movember. (The National Men's Awareness Month.) Check out their page: www.gentlemansride.com Photograph sale #13 California, Pink Clouds 2020 Photograph Sale #2, Seattle Moon Rising 2020 Photograph Sale #1, Seattle Skyline 2020 Photograph Sale #3, Willows, Foothills 2020 Photograph Sale #10, Venice 2019 Photograph sale #11 California, Rolling Hills 2020 Photograph sale #9 Venice, Rialto Bridge 2019 Photograph sale #7 Italy, Lake Garda 2019 Sacha's Photograph for Movember Men's Health Awareness FundRaiser #6 California, Windmill 2020 Sacha's Photograph for Movember Men's Health Awareness FundRaiser #5 California, Nest Photograph Sale #5 Seattle, Guitar 2020 ___ My photographs are 17 x 22 inches on high-quality paper $100 apiece (shipping worldwide included). https://www.instagram.com/sacha_rollandbenis/?hl=en Send me an email: Sacha.rollandbenis@gmail.com for more information with the number of the photograph that you would like to purchase profits go to Movember. PayPal only. All currencies accepted. Payment upfront. Shipping ASAP. No returns More information about Men’s Health Awareness 1. Men’s Health Network – www.menshealthnetwork.org 2. MHN YouTube – www.youtube.com/user/MHNMedia 3. Men’s Health Resource Center – www.menshealthresourcecenter.com 4. Show Us Your Blue – www.twibbon.com/Support/mens-health-awareness 5. Prostate Health Guide – http://www.prostatehealthguide.com/ 6. Men’s Health Month – http://www.menshealthmonth.org/ Thank you in advance for taking part in this fundraiser. Sacha Continue reading
Posted Nov 14, 2020 at French la Vie
Image
“I Died at the Bataclan in Paris,” in commemoration of November 13, 2015 By Laureano Soares – Montréal, Québec, Canada Translated from Portuguese by Katharine F. Baker and Emanuel Melo “I Died at the Bataclan in Paris,” in commemoration of November 13, 2015 By Laureano Soares – Montréal, Québec, Canada Translated from Portuguese by Katharine F. Baker and Emanuel Melo For a brief moment, I felt the pain my twitching eyes closed, My hands and my fingers clenched life poured out of me, I fell to the floor. I could no longer hear screams or moans; my body was covered with a sheet and never again shall I see sunlight, I didn’t have the fragile good luck of the wounded. I’ll never set foot on the road that I saw in the distance with tenderness, it was all over. A sordid and sad end. I was one of those chosen from among the masses a victim of wars, of ideals, I was another Abel in Cain’s clutches." After five grueling years of classical Latin from grades 8 to 12 in the Berkeley public schools, I swore I’d never study another foreign language again as long as I lived. So of course I wound up in mid-life learning another language and becoming a translator! Cue ironic laughter. But why Portuguese? Because after my widowed father died, I discovered that my family had hidden his Portuguese ancestry from me all my life, so I wanted to learn about my stolen heritage. Here’s how my family’s Watercress Soup led to my pinpointing where in the Azores my paternal grandparents were born: “From soup to nuts: How a family recipe drove me crazy searching for my Azorean roots” I didn’t plan on becoming a translator, only to learn enough Portuguese to go to the Azores to research my genealogy. Obviously, the situation got out of hand, but I couldn’t be happier about it. Here’s a funny story about how I became a translator: “All Hail, Blue, and Gold!” (Cal fans will recognize the song) HOW I MET COREY One of the early works I translated – My Californian Friends: Poesia, by Vasco Pereira da Costa – included a long poem about a Holy Ghost Festa, titled “Queen Nancy.” As the September 2009 publication date for the bilingual edition loomed, I began preparing a website in support of the book, but since I’d grown up... Continue reading
Posted Nov 13, 2020 at French la Vie
12
Image
Hello, My name is Pam, I am 74 and have never “canned” anything. My mom did the canning but not me. Whenever I wanted something "canned", I would ask her and she would do it I loved her canning. My mom passed 10 years ago. My brother who is 69 and a widower lost his job of 50 years last March due to Covid. My Brother thought we should make our mom's canned corn relish he asked me if I have my mom’s recipe. Yes, I said. We canned 14 pints of corn relish. Looking for the corn relish recipe lead me to my mom’s chili sauce recipe. My husband and I canned 6 pints of chili sauce. Using tomatoes from our little garden. Then my brother said do you have mom’s tomato preserve recipe? No, I didn't. Could not find it anywhere. BUT I did find a tomato jam recipe online. We agree it was better than mom’s (lol) and we loved it. We have each made it three times actually three double batches because we had that many tomatoes. The recipe is for a single batch that I doubled three times. Turned out great but from what I have read it is not recommended to double a recipe when canning. Though it worked out for us and is OMG-delicious. Canned Spiced Tomato Jam 3 cups prepared tomatoes (about 2 1/4) lbs 1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon rind 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice 4 1/2 cups white cane sugar 1 3/4 ounces dry pectin (I used Sure-Jell) yellow box Prepare tomatoes wash, scald, peel, chop. Place chopped tomatoes in saucepan and heat slowly to a simmer. Stir constantly to prevent sticking and burning. Cover and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Measure 3 cups of cooked tomatoes into a large saucepan. Add lemon rind, allspice, cinnamon, and cloves. To make the Jam, Sterilize canning jars. Add lemon juice to the prepared tomatoes in a saucepan. Measure sugar and set aside. Stir powdered pectin into prepared tomatoes. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. At once stir in sugar. Stir and bring to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Then boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off foam. Pour hot jam into hot jars. Leave 1/4” headspace. Wipe rims... Continue reading
Posted Nov 12, 2020 at French la Vie
18
Image
When I first started following Corey, I was deeply entrenched in Silicon Valley working in Tech, a newly remarried mom of a tween (God Bless my husband), and running as fast as I could on the proverbial hamster wheel. As a full-blown Francophile, Corey’s photos and writing piqued my interest and provided a nice diversion from my then overly stressed out life. Fast forward to now... We are retired and live in Carmel Valley, Californi, we are empty-nesters with three rescues dogs @DogsofCarmelValley. (Lucky Dogs Gala Fundraiser) We are up on a hill in Carmel Valley which has inspiring and ever-changing views. We, like many Californians (and other western states), have been affected by the fire. We evacuated in August with the #CarmelFire getting about a mile away from our home. One of those reminders to cherish every day. Even before the pandemic hit, I have been experiencing a bit of an existential wake-up call. I had assumed being a retired, empty nester would be a natural, even euphoric transition. Well, it wasn’t… I realized that much (too much) of my identity was tied up with my work and motherhood. Without sounding too cliché, I had definitely lost my mojo. My husband and I dealt with retirement differently. He retired years before me and never looked back. I needed to redefine my sense of purpose – I took on some local marketing gigs and actually really enjoyed it. I built a website and put out my “Shingle”: Wendy Steel Marketing. It was so gratifying to do work, not for the money or accolades but just make a very direct impact. I got involved in non-profits and the local chamber of commerce. Being engaged in the local community afforded me with new meaning and precious friendships. My latest love project is doing social media for Peace of Mind Dog Rescue . All of my dogs are rescue dogs and it has been so gratifying to help raise awareness and find homes for senior dogs, hey I’m a senior too, so I get it! When the lockdown went into effect here, I took on gardening projects which were so cathartic. I spent weeks pulling out an invasive genista around our property. It was dirty, sweaty, exhausting – just what I needed. Blood, sweat, and tears. And, inspired by Corey, I took in the beauty around me – I continued to spruce up... Continue reading
Posted Nov 11, 2020 at French la Vie
Image
The big 8-0 this year. My name is Jean Munroe. Your other posters have led such glamorous lives that it is intimidating to add mine. Your invitation is so generous and compelling, though, that I want to participate. Me indulging in my inner child Paul, my husband, and partner in crime Jean's Son, Daughter-in-Law, and grandson. I met glass artist Laura Pesce in a tiny town in Italy. She has become a friend we have met up with her three times since then, once in Pisa when she was flying in and we were flying out. As a child, I wanted to be an artist, my path led elsewhere. I photobombed a Race for the Cure in Greece. I am a 50-year survivor of breast cancer as of November 2020! ____ (When he was 16 I gave him a perm and made him a Hawaiian shirt overnight, my shy son became the Magnum superstar! Unfortunately, I cannot find one with the shirt.) After a divorce from an abusive husband, I raised a son with no financial help, went back to college by going to night school, and then went to law school. After ten years as a legal aid lawyer, I went into private practice for another 24 years. (In front of my law office about 20 years ago. I turned part of my law office into an art gallery and had shows for different artists, including glass jewelry and mirrors from Laura Pesce.) As an attorney, I was more of a rabble-rouser. In my practice, I encountered hundreds of battered women. The law enforcement and legal resources were thin on the ground for these women. I found a little-used statute providing for an order of protection and convinced one judge to apply it. We went from a handful of OP’s a year in our county to over a thousand and that number continues to grow. We now have a justice center where a victim of domestic violence has an array of services available, from legal to housing to support groups and more. When I went into private practice, it seemed to me that people were not really getting their voices heard and that lawyers were giving them cookie-cutter remedies. I read about mediation, took a course, and immediately started pushing it in my cases. In 1995, our state passed mediation laws, and shortly thereafter, we formed a statewide mediation... Continue reading
Posted Nov 9, 2020 at French la Vie
16
Image
There is a poet in Montana that calls himself a "light chaser" - I think it fits him and it fits me. I love all kinds of light, moonlight, sunlight, candlelight just about any but that harsh overhead lighting in strange buildings. It's not that I mind the dark, it has its place but oh...that light! A few years ago I wrote a piece about light after witnessing a rainbow in the sunset on the solstice while the almost full moon was rising. It impressed me and the image stayed with me so I began thinking about the place light has in my life. Here's part of what I wrote: "It seems to me that each holiday celebrated around this time of year, when the days are shortest, revolves around light. Or maybe I read that somewhere, Stars, candles, menorahs in memory of a miraculous light, Kwanzaa candles celebrating community... and I think I know why. So now you get to hear about my theory of the persistence of light, aren't you happy? Light is there to show us the path we are on, whether it is the right one or to show us where we have strayed, no matter how we resist it. Feel like I am in the dark? Wrong path. Can't seem to see what is right in front of me? Wrong path. Why is this so hard for me to learn? Must be bad lighting. And those people in my life that shine a spotlight on what I am doing right or wrong? Lighthouse keepers trying to keep me from crashing." I still am enamored by light, it's why I live where we have sun 350 days a year, why I live in a small house with floor to ceiling windows on the south side, why I run out to see the moon, why I gather people around me who are sunny and cheerful, and why I use to put my boys in the car and chase the sunset. My son lives in Austin and so gets me funny things like candles with Willie Nelson. He calls Willie my patron saint. I am a light chaser and a mother who taught him to love light too. Often he calls or texts me to go look at the moon and sends pictures. I am also the mother of a son who died at 16, he was blind... Continue reading
Posted Nov 9, 2020 at French la Vie
23
President-elect Joe Biden's Victory speech "My fellow Americans, the people of this nation have spoken. They have delivered us a clear victory. A convincing victory. A victory for “We the People.” We have won with the most votes ever cast for a presidential ticket in the history of this nation — 74 million. I am humbled by the trust and confidence you have placed in me. I pledge to be a President who seeks not to divide, but to unify. Who doesn’t see Red and Blue states, but the United States. And who will work with all my heart to win the confidence of the whole people. For that is what America is about: The people. And that is what our Administration will be about. I sought this office to restore the soul of America. To rebuild the backbone of the nation the middle class. To make America respected around the world again and to unite us here at home. It is the honor of my lifetime that so many millions of Americans have voted for this vision. And now the work of making this vision real is the task of our time. As I said many times before, I’m Jill’s husband. I would not be here without the love and tireless support of Jill, Hunter, Ashley, all of our grandchildren and their spouses, and all our family. They are my heart. Jill’s a mom — a military mom — and an educator. She has dedicated her life to education, but teaching isn’t just what she does — it’s who she is. For America’s educators, this is a great day: You’re going to have one of your own in the White House, and Jill is going to make a great First Lady. And I will be honored to be serving with a fantastic vice president — Kamala Harris — who will make history as the first woman, first Black woman, the first woman of South Asian descent, and the first daughter of immigrants ever elected to national office in this country. It’s long overdue, and we’re reminded tonight of all those who fought so hard for so many years to make this happen. But once again, America has bent the arc of the moral universe towards justice. Kamala, Doug — like it or not — you’re family. You’ve become honorary Bidens and there’s no way out. To all those who... Continue reading
Posted Nov 8, 2020 at French la Vie
24