Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I dare you, whoever you are...

... I dare you to share with others the fruits of your daring. Catch a passion for helping others and a richer life will come back to you.

William H Danforth

Thanks to my darling friend Kimberly's very kind, and VERY SURPRISE birthday post, you are all aware by now that I've just hit the big FOUR O! I have to admit, I kinda like it! In fact I love it. I wouldn't be 20 again for anything. It's got something to do more with growing up than growing old. It's all about embodying who you are. 

Stand back! I can feel a Helen Reddy song coming on.  "I am Woman hear me roar ..." (sighs of relief that there is no sound embedded in this post) 

Yup, now my opinions finally have some weight behind them, although we won't go into exactly how much weight of course, and even my MiL listens to me from time to time. At last! It's not unpleasant to be taken seriously, at least some of the time!!

Oh dear, those nine days in Wales, coupled with all the culinary, logistical and decorative preparations for the birthday bash of the year, not to mention the start of the homeschooling Mum role, have obviously had a profound effect on me. But I digress.

Now where was I? That's right! We were being strong,  and daring... That's what you do when you're 40 n'est ce pas?! The wee book shown above was one my dear dad gave me when I was a rather less daring 11 year old and we had just moved to Australia from New Zealand. I've written a little more about it for Gigi's "Legacy" series. If you don't know Gigi already, I suggest you pop over and visit here for she is one of the most sensitive, delicate, articulate poets/writers of our time and I feel very privileged to be included as one of her guests. 

Summer is gradually winding down here at La Rivière. A more reasonable schedule is finally settling in: my new studio is practically finished (if you don't count the calligraphy paraphernalia littering my bedroom floor that hasn't been sorted into shelves out there yet), the messmonsters are feeling ripped off that homeschooling still means reading, writing and doing a bit of maths while we're at it getting used to their homeschooling routine, and I am looking forward to spending a few evenings whiling away the hours visiting you with a glass of wine and a friendly comment instead of painting ceilings, laying concrete, limewashing walls and cooking party tucker. I feel a bit like Dorothy after the Tornado and all that excitement in Oz ... I shall now click my ruby slippers and say, "There's no place like home Bloglandia" 

I definitely have so much to share with you all. In particular, I feel touched to the point of tears for all your kind words and birthday wishes. I've been thoroughly spoilt! Merci. Merci. Merci. :)

So this Thursday night, I shall snuggle down, fluffy slippers on tootsies and glass of wine in hand to spin you a yarn. One I've been promising to tell for a while now. A story of Paris, Bereavement, Fear, Wales, Daring, Strength and Joy. I'm also a wee bit excited to announce that I'm soon going to be interviewed by Laura from the very chic blog 52 Flea for one of her upcoming contributions to Kim Klassen's 'The Inspiration Studio.' But you'll hear about that in due time.

I think I started this post off with a dare. I still dare you. But it's now 23.30am and I'm using my new found woman's wisdom to suggest that a richer life is much more easily accessible to those who get a minimum amount of sleep.  Promptly, on that note, I shall now bid you 

Bonne nuit 

PS - I haven't forgotten my giveaway idea from a month or so back to celebrate my 200th follower and now I can join that to one WHOLE year of blogging and a whopping great birthday celebration!! Some fine French vintage ware is in preparation for a post next week. Stay tuned...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Happy Birthday to you~

Hello there!

My name is Kimberly today I am visiting from across the sea, OVER HERE.  I am so excited to be here, although, truly, I would rather *really* be there, with Ange and her beautiful family (which, as some of you may know, have been my second family for some time now...).

smiling while cutting herbs...

So, as you know, Ange is away this week, and I am quite certain that you have been missing her because, to be honest, she hasn't been posting as much as all of us would like lately.  She has been so incredibly busy - what with summer holidays, and putting in her fabulous new atelier (studio) where she will be creating more of her absolutely stunning work.  (I have seen it first hand and trust me - divine.)

laughing while removing confit~

Now, what some of you may not know is that today is actually Ange's BIRTHDAY!!!  Yes indeed, today, right now, Ange is celebrating a milestone.  I won't say which milestone - I will let her share that with you herself, but let's just say that I will be celebrating that same milestone in November...

she dances while cooking...

So today, I wanted to share with you some of my favorite photos of Ange from when we spent a week together this past April.  You can read about the first day of that trip HERE.  That very first day really solidified our friendship and showed me how incredibly blessed I was to have met her, and in turn, her family.  The second post is HERE - more to come, I promise!

laughing hysterically - maybe next time we will leave a bit more room to get out when we park....

One thing about Ange that you should know is that she is nearly ALWAYS smiling or laughing.  Really, she is quite honestly one of the happiest people I know!  I don't know if I have laughed as much in one week as I did with her, ever.  She has a wicked sense of humor, she laughs easily at herself, and she sings and dances all. of. the. time!  Being with Ange (and her family) is like a constant state of celebration.  It is what I wanted most to bring back home with me when I left.  (okay, that and her entire family, and her linen collection, and have I mentioned French Husband?!?)

always gorgeous~

As you can see, I miss her terribly, I wish every single day that she was closer, and I am already looking forward to my trip back next summer.   Ange - I wish you a marvelous birthday today (yes, I know you are already half-way through it as I am just beginning), and that the year ahead is an absolutely magical one.  I love you with all of my heart my friend, and I can't wait to see you again~


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Patience ...

is a virtue.

Now who was the wise saint that came up with that one??

Abandoned in Cyber Limbo by Orange (the new name for France Telecom but never-the-less still my favourite colour), I have been stranded for over a week with no home telephone or internet connection. Just in case you were wondering why I haven't dropped by...  Of course if I was a non-patient homeschooling mother, I could be driven round the bend with no internet connection (read: no blogging). But today's theme is patience isn't it? So we shall continue to focus on that ;-) with a glass of wine.

And here we are on the eve of my next trip to Wales. Yes - I do leave tomorrow again for 9 days, during which I will once again be deprived of all internet access. This time, however, it's for a good purpose. So there you all are, on the edge of your seats waiting for me to FINALLY give you the low down on the last Wales trip - and here I am off again on the next one. There you all are... You are still there aren't you?

Sigh. I still can't give you the story tonight. You see, it's all a question of breath - and trying to find the time to stop and catch it. Something along the lines of Peter Pan's shadow, my breath has taken off without me and taken on a mind of its own. If you see it, would you mind snaring it, calming it down and keeping it safe until I catch up? 

In the mean time, I do have some news. While all external links to La Rivière were on the blink, this is what has been going on: 

With the help of Beaker, we finished clearing EVERY SINGLE ITEM out of the garage.
(Photo of the garage NEARLY cleared) 

Seeing my new studio (be still my palpitating heart) was built into the right hand half of the garage, we had to fit everything that had been on both sides of the garage into the remaining left hand side. A big hurray to Beaker for the mammoth effort used to efficiently transform a truck load of 'bazarre' as we say in French, into some resemblance of purposeful arrangement within a significantly reduced garage space so he could still get his golf clubs out easily. APPLAUSE!!

And of the right hand side??? 

 Thought I'd try my hand at laying a very liquid concrete floor. I know there's a technical term for this in English but pfffed if I can remember it ;-)

Then painted the ceiling ... Over ceilings for this year! Très passé!

Then rendered (I think. That's what you do with a mix of extra fine sand, lime and acetate isn't it?) and varnished the walls in one day with the extensive help and expertise of one of my very dearest friends.  Needless to say, there was no possibility of reading up on homeschooling curriculum that evening. The zzzzzz stacked up before the head hit the pillow.

Below is just an early photo. The render is now finished, dry - as in WHITE, not sand colour - and varnished. I've also coated the floor in resin to waterproof it and allow it to be cleaned. Housework, did I mention housework? 

Where was I? Oh yes. So the studio/atelier is now finished except for the small task of putting in two doors. One of them was promised to me by the end of July (this year). I think we've already touched on the fact that French artisans don't have quite the same concept of time that I do. When my 'door' artisan passed by the other day and promised that I would have said door installed soon, I asked with a facetious friendly smile, "Soon, as in before the end of the year?" Quite seriously he responded, "Ouaaaaiiii, I think that should be possible." Sigh. Sigh again. Patience I tell you! Patience.

Ok - apart from said door this is the current state of affairs at La Rivière:

Atelier/Studio painted and ready to inhabit, decorate, OWN: Check. 
Homeschooling started: Check. 
Kitchen and dining room ceilings painted: Check
Two new kittens: check
Shelves built for all homeschooling folders: still waiting for the wood. Artisan only two weeks late on promise so far. This is probably a blessing as a minimum of sleep has actually come in handy during the GIC (Great Internet Crash).

So finally dear friends, this afternoon, I wanted to write to you about Wales. I duly sat at my desk, rubbing my little hands together in glee at the thought of telling my tale. But it was not to be as to get to Wales I have to take you through Paris, and that takes time. Patience 

This afternoon we had a minor disaster that was revealed to me when I picked up my newly operational telephone on its very first ring for more than a week. Sad news. My poor little Libellule had managed to slam her thumb in the door at the neighbours so we ended up spending some unplanned time at A&E reassuring her that she was neither going to die, nor lose her arm, in spite of the immense pain. Love. And Patience.

Beaker now has a mixture of vertigo and lumbago, Libellule is miserable with a thumb the size of a house and my bags aren't packed... Not entirely optimal circumstances for a serene trip. Patience. 

Like I said, if you find my breath, keep hold of it for me. In the mean time, I think I'll just pack a big case of patience to take on board.

When I return, all I have to do is cook for 60 people and finish organising the GBB (Great Birthday Bash!!). Then all can go back to a normal routine of homeschooling, sport, calligraphy projects, BLOGGING and housework.

I do hope you'll all still be here when I get back so I can finally grab that whisky, wine cuppa and enjoy a good visit.

It really is you who I must thank for your eternal patience!!

Much love to all.