Saturday, May 24, 2014

Friday's Petite Aquarelle

Rolling Fields

12" x 16" framed size

$120 including shipping 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Jet Lag

Ways to Overcome Transatlantic Jet Lag
Always the obvious choice, caffeine does pose problems for a steady hand when taking snapshots.
Frequent napping helps.
Shopping certainly offers some wide-awake moments.
Alcohol is perhaps the least effective cure for jet lag.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Wild and Wonderful West Virginians in the Dordogne

It is hard to know where to start on a tour of the Dordogne. Should the focus be geology, history, architecture, food, gardens, colors, shopping, leisure!? 

Here is a sampling of the whirlwind adventures of three curious, observant, fun loving, wonderful women from West Virginia. I've tried to edit the amount of photos, but I am trying to immerse you in our 6 day tour as well. Hope you are as happily exhausted at the end as we all were!
Ready or not here they come.
We are not in Paris any more.

We'll start in the gardens of Marqueyssac. A way to dive in gently and get a big view of the  way geography shaped history.

Dordogne River Valley where English and French Castles dot the landscape. The heart of the 100 Years War.

Or maybe the gang wants to focus on the perfect color of blue.

A day full of gardens and, guess what, more chateaux. Jardin Eyrignac.

Chateau de Losse

A little rain wont slow us down.

Geological history has left such a variety of regional colors.

It is obviously noon or there a bouts.

No language barrier here.

I love how each person contributes to the ongoing observations of hidden details.

Then there is shopping and market day treats.

Remember you risked your life flying over the ocean so eat whatever you like!

There were explorations into prehistory. The real cave art is much better than the little diorama, but no photos - only memories.

An afternoon spent where the Romans created an elegant city.

Onto Christian communities with a lot of mysticism.
Here we are on the grounds of a 1st century through 18th century monastery.

Too many stories to tell you here!

Home sweet home for the week.
There were a few moments to slow down and be French.
 Thank you Ditsy, Kitty and Laura for all the new things you helped me see and experience on this magical tour.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Friday's Petite Aquarelle

Calla Lilies Over the  Ocean
12" x 16" framed size

$120 including shipping 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Changing Rhythm

I knew I was off kilter when the afternoon crazy bells started sounding. Closing the garden gate I thought I had a good thirty minutes to get to the bakery and the little village store. But somehow it was already 12:10 and I was going to have to hustle to do my village errands before the shops closed at 12:30. My little brain said, “Welcome home, get back on track, slow down and hurry up.”

There are quite a few things that take some adjustment when re-entering the Old World.

There is the smell of an old house. Closed up for a month one can smell the ages. It’s a mix of a musty damp, an open chimney, and something just old. This perfume is not unique to our home. It’s a rock solid, stone house smell of Old World homecomings spanning hundreds of years.
To freshen up the air we immediately fling the windows wide open. There are no screens in the Old World. Yes, there are bugs, but they just come and go as they like. Yes, even flies. They haven’t killed us yet. We are seldom worried by mosquitoes. I couldn’t begin to explain why pollen isn’t an issue. I bet you couldn’t find a screen in a window for 100 miles around us - maybe 300 miles - and then only in windows of second homes owned by Americans.
The physical problem of reentry is the dreaded jet lag. The first morning back I managed to happily stay in bed until 11:00, well maybe closer to 11:30! It wasn’t until I walked out the gate and heard the crazy bells chiming 12:10 that I really woke up and realized that if I didn’t get a move on down the road I was going to have doors closed in my face by the little grocery and the bakery and we’d go hungry until all things opened up again at 2:30. And was today Wednesday the day the bakery is closed, or Thursday the day the grocery is closed, or one of the five extra holidays in May when everything is closed? No more was I in the land of 24-hour anything and everything. 
When running around in the busy, crowded New World it is easy to forget the intimacy of living in a small village. Remember, Bourdeilles has about 400 full time residents. A walk to the grocery entails speaking to neighbors, the grocery owner and at least saying “hello” to other shoppers. There is no anonymity. On this first outing I entered the grocery just ahead of a man I had seen before but thought was someone just passing through during the winter. A sort of homeless, vagrant looking person. I noticed the owner of the grocery duck into his back room coming out with a bag of day old fruits and vegetables that he handed to the man. Boy, I thought, that’s kind of him. I also thought isn’t that encouraging bad behavior.  Was this really any of my business? I have to continue this story to the next day. That is when on my way home from that morning’s errands I saw the “homeless” man walking the dog that belongs to the grocery store owner. That’s when I realized that there was an exchange happening. A kindness being done by both parties. Not something I might have been aware of in a life of anonymous hustle and bustle in the New World. 

It’s funny living in the middle of nowhere. It’s discombobulating changing worlds. It’s amazing living one’s life to the rhythm of the village bells. It’s lovely slowing down and noticing a few details of small village life.