Friday, April 29, 2011

Friday's Petite Aquarelle

Pink Blossoms

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

cuckoo cuckoo cuckoo

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

You're driving me....

How many times as a child did you stand behind an unknowing goofball and make the hand signals for “you're driving me cuckoo” directed to a giggling group of friends?
And how many of us remember the cuckoo clock that chirped every half hour at our grandparents house? I thought that the little bird inside that clock was just magical. I would play underneath that elaborate little house to be sure to be there when that little bird popped in and out. Until our first spring in France I thought those cuckoo birds were just the fanciful creation of Swiss clock makers.
Imagine my great glee the first time some one said, “Listen, did you hear that?”  Off in the distance I could hear “cuckoo cuckoo cuckoo” exactly like the calls from the clocks and cartoons of my childhood. How wonderful!  For the French, the first call of the cukoo  is a sign that spring has arrived. Every night we’d strain our ears to see who could be the first to hear the well-camouflaged bird. “Cuckoo cuckoo” from one side of the valley followed by “cuckoo cuckoo cuckoo” from the other side of the valley and on and on.
It wasn’t until we were here full time that we began to notice that we heard the call all day long.... starting around 6 in the morning and not ending until 7 or so at night. Cuckoo cuckoo cuckoo cuckoo in a never ending volley of calls. The noon bells of a dozen churches would be less commotion than this incessant cuckooing. Very quickly one understands where the expression “You’re driving me cuckoo!” comes from. 

I’ve asked around and only our English friends are familiar with this expression. To our French friends the cuckoo is an endearment for hello to be used with children. Or the nickname for yellow primroses. One story has it that these spring flowers must never enter a farmer’s home or the chickens will no longer lay eggs. Even chickens don’t want to be driven cuckoo cuckoo cuckoo cuckoo cuckoo.
To experience the common cuckoo click here...

Friday, April 15, 2011

Entrance to a Garden Room

Grand Urn

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Big Blooming Wisteria

Monday, April 11, 2011

Spring Blossoms

What fun it has been to see this region come into it’s full spring glory. Starting with milder, longer days the farm yards start to bustle with animals happy to graze under sunny skies. 

Flower filled window boxes brighten gray buildings. 

Hardy roses and wisteria clamber out of their unlikely placement in cement and pavement. With a good southern exposure some neighbors already have rose blossoms and the perfume of wisteria fills the alleyways and bedroom windows. Orchards of plums, apples and cherries are flowering in waves. Mother nature has sprinkled a lovely carpet of dandelions, feverfew and wild flowers I don’t know the names of. 

If the wisteria can make it so can we!
 And we haven’t even gotten to the lilacs, peonies, chestnut and walnut trees.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Spring Along the Dronne River

A scene from

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Honey..Honey..Are you there?

"I'm sorry, Dear--did you just say 'That's the only French I need to know'?"

Monday, April 4, 2011

Ooh La La

Announcing Ooh La La France Tours!
A big part of my excitement in our move to France was knowing that I was going to start offering tours of our area. 
Figuring out the tour was easy. What was difficult was finding a catchy name that captured the spirit of the idea of a group of women friends spending a fun and adventuresome week together-- in France!
One weekend four of us were touring around the countryside and we were playing with name ideas, ‘Let’s Go Girls’, ‘Friends, Wine and Cheese’, ‘Go Girls Go’ and a few that can not be mentioned in polite company. We were rolling around in the car laughing. Suddenly two voices cried out, ‘Ooh La La!’. Four pairs of eyes looked up and there before us was the most amazing sight, a double rainbow over a castle perched on a cliff hanging over a river. There was a moment’s silence and then four voices rang out - “that’s it!” And so Ooh La La France was named.
Please check out the newly launched web-site for I’d love to hear your comments and thoughts on the site.  I would especially appreciate your sharing this site with as many friends as you can think of!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Friday's Petite Aquarelle

Dreaming of Summer