mardi 24 avril 2012

Spectacular garden for this house for sale

Check out yet another nice home for sale under the page La Vallee de la Juine!

Ancient restored farm for sale

Check another home for sale under the page La Vallee de la Juine!

Forcing spring and flower farm

Every Sunday (or almost) I put on a dress, take my petite princesse and off to church we go.
It is a 30' ride which is our time to listen to classical music (until we get really sleepy or bored of it), and then we switch to dancing music, she waves her arms and says 'dans mamo, dans!' 
And have our mother daughter talk. Um...she's starting to speak you know.

She enjoys going because there are plenty of kids the nice lady nun takes under her wing at a certain moment during the service and they get to go into a small cottage, color, eat and drink kid stuff, listen to stories and whatever else all the kids do when they come together.

I, on the other hand, am usually alone waiting to eventually make friends, but since everyone mostly comes with their better half and the whole family, I am patient.  I say that because I really wanted to go the the Easter service which was held during the night on Easter's eve. It supossedly started at midnight and a lady told me they all bring food, get together in the church room there somewhere, crack the red eggs and eat and chat's an Easter tradition. There was no way I could have done that with my girl, and with my husband non plus. So I thought I need a girlfriend, one from those ladies who do come to church, but who can maybe come alone sometimes, like me...

On our way back we stopped at this beautiful 'flower farm', where I like to shop once in a while.
Got all my wedding vases here, including the tall ones below.

But this time I wanted to buy some ...don't know the name, these things in the white pots:
(Our back yard is in progress, we need to choose the stone for the patio but just couldn't wait, I planted my ...things!)

And look how amazing their store is!

located in  the suburb Forges Les Bains, 91470

If I don't come with specific ideas of what I need- which I often don't - I get lost in there and forget the time. "Luckily" la petite princesse doesn't last for long so I am bound to make fast decisions. Hard I tell you. Just look below and you'll agree.

They cary anything you can want, need, or discover that you want when you see it, plants for the garden, for the indoors, flower baskets, bouquets etc. etc.  

How about this hortensia hanging! that left me hanging...

Looking for birds

Look at all the orchids! and the cage compositions, how cool is that, wish I took a closer cage pic

The little hearts in Frech and English!

Got me one of these small orange things,
I like them so much but they have such limited life span under my care :(

contemplating a japanese tree, like here this first one,
 for a corner in the garden once it gets arranged a bit

and my favorite flowers lately, the hortensias.

So on the road, we came accross some really good looking horses 

and couldn't take enough visuals of the breathtaking yellow fields I was telling you about, they're everywhere and it sometimes feels like parts of the sun have burst in them
(even if it was rather cloudy)

For the first time we stopped at this outdoor activities site. We passed by so many times and now I thought I'll just see what this is about.
It looked so cool! You can actually slide down on ropes from one tree to another one, get to climb trees - my girl shouted at one moment- monky, monky! at the people in the trees, so funny.  
I can't wait for her to get bigger so we can get in there!


And what better way to get back home then ...just enjoying the sites on the way back home.

Have a great one, a bientot!

vendredi 20 avril 2012

Blog help...?

I have been going crazy here trying to figure out how to design my blog page. I must have tried all google blogger offered templates and personalizing options, but it's nothing like the amazing blogs you have out there! I keep wondering how can I make a cute header like that??? I am not a technology savy person, I don't even know how to use all functions of my phone, I know, I suck...

So how do you do it, can anyone help me...pretty please? All I want is to display some pictures in my header, create nice 'page boxes' to the right, you know the common easy blog stuff...

All input much much appreciated.

mardi 17 avril 2012

The French and faith

I find faith is missing to the French. There is lack of a spiritual support for those (French too) who would need it, were they ever to search for it.

What I find sad is that it is sometimes difficult to find an open church on Sundays in the suburbs because of the lack of pastors and the fear of being robbed. Sometimes the same pastor needs to serve many churches and then the services are done by rotation. That is not even the point. The point is the French are not big believers, why have/keep a church open if no one will go. It is striking to me how someone from an under developed country can praise God even after a disaster hits them, and a French who has everything he needs, can say ironically - well, He was not there for you today, bummer.

The reasoning can be (got the real French input here, can't you tell) that the French are - generally - cultivated people, they are (self proclaimed) smart and schooled and educated and for such a person it is simply not conceivable that a story like the Bible can be true - Come on, you are a smart gal, how can you believe in such things. Whereas the poor people who don't have their minds/pockets open to education, believe, because they have no choice.

Hm, tough one. Well for starters, the Bible says Believe and do not question or research - too much - I'd add. Because I did tend to research and think from an outsider (philosophers, atheists, scientists)'s point of view, objectively. And you know what, you can get sucked in. But at the end of the debate, it's only those who have experienced a certain 'touch' of grace who can understand and resist in faith. I have my share. And there were times when nothing could have convinced me that what went on was anything other than God's presence. Objectively speaking. There was no logical, human, cultivated explanation. Some people invoke coincidence way too often and without even being convinced. It is just the only explanation at hand even if they know it's wabbly, it's easier that way. Because God doesn't force our hand. He wants us to come to Him. And I believe that unless you are ready to give Him a chance you will not be able to experience any kind of different feeling/thinking/grace.

So I wait. I wait for my husband who is not a believer because he really annoys me sometimes when we are on the subject. And I am convinced that if I were able myself to be closer to God and a real believer, a real real one, I could be so much more peacefull and satisfied....

lundi 16 avril 2012

Blogging ...part 2, our house

So did not get time to get those castle pics yet because it got cold around here, windy and rainy and not fun to stay outside. In the meanwhile I have some personal pics of our house and garden. It is a continuous work in progress that at this stage seems like it's never going to end. And since we are contemplating to move, we don't even know if and how to end it!

We got this house in 2009, it was a bit of a rushed buy because we needed a house fast. From everything available on the market I fell for this one even if....well I tell you it frankly stunk. And that is literal. Dog poop was actually laying in the middle of one of the bedrooms. In fact at one moment we were even wondering if it was dog poop (that was my husband wondering). There was cheese on the countertop trying to beat the blue cheese in a contest to becoming the smelliest new cheese in France. The garden was a small jungle, but I admit I kind'of liked that aspect until we discovered an improvised recycling (and not only) deposit behind the plants. The hardwood floors in the dining room were covered in a dotted pattern made by random splashes of oil and grease. The truth be told the owners were not present very often and when they were, well the cleaning wasn't their thing.

Despite all I had a 'coup de coeur', I was immediately attracted by this house, I thought it had great potential. The top floor was all a huge painter's studio which I totally dug. It is not so big anymore because the isolation work has cut quite a bit in volume, but we split it in 2 and it is now MY studio and our bedroom. It feels great to have my room, after years of living alone I need this space with all my little nothings and as much as I try to get this space neat, there's always something that ends on my desks...
Here- framing work in progress.
This is supposed to be my creative corner and place for all the little nothings I aquired along the way.

This is our kitchen now,
 and this was before

and here is my vasselier, one my favorite pieces in this house (found it on Ebay), it hosts my collection of blue plates I brought with me from Chicago.

And you can figure out which room this is.
If you like the big angel pic, I made it :) while I was pregnant.

Outside the house, here are my 'green creations'. 
hortensia 'garden' ,

rose area - no roses yet but they are there trust me,

                                 my herb garden ( I know, I need practice) and ...the back door.
Waiting for everything to bloom, I know it's hard but just imagine. Ok, I will post more once it does.

I always liked the country aspect of living. I like to create small gardens, it brings pleasure to the eyes every time I see it green (just invented a verb) and blossom. So thankful to have a garden even if it's rather small and there's no place for veggies... (tried tomatoes in pots, just 2 -tomatoes- came to life).

jeudi 12 avril 2012

Around here

I don't really know how to start blogging. So I will with a short description of where I landed a few years back when I left Chicago.

This area of Ile de France is called La Vallee de la Juine, not too far (about 45 min south) from Paris.

When I first came here some years ago, before my definitive move, I can say I thought -' this is it', this is what I was unconsciously seeing in those wonderful pictures taken by an artist- can't remember the name- and displayed annually at the art fair at Merchandise Mart, and not only.
It was there where I found myself staring away at giant vibrant pictures of narrow streets, stone houses with colored stores and flowers hanging off the fences, sun, storylike gardens. And the famous french glycine (above) which you do need to smell at least once in your lifetime.

I actually saw peackoks in trees!! It was a castle garden, not all trees here have peackoks....

This time of year the yellow fields of colza flowers are breathtaking - just teoretically because they smell...bad. 

As for house architecture, there are two traditional styles that came with the original settings around here - the Maison de maitre aka the master's house, and the ferme/maison en pierre aka the stone cottage house and sometimes the 'barn' house. Even today I am still oscillating between which one I would have, if I could choose the perfect of one style.
I admit I am daily looking at houses, for pleasure and recently for business, since I re-started working in the real estate this year (there are many more styles today but the 2 remain the prettiest and most sought after).

There are plenty of castles close by, which make the strolls so much more pleasant especially now in the spring. I will come back with pics, a bientôt!