Tuesday, June 30, 2009

When we went house hunting in nearby towns, we saw this beautiful, classic French house for sale. The garden had great potential, but it was a bit out of our price range. But this is the house I would buy in France.
Here is the chapel, awaiting new windows, which will one day be installed. Perhaps Uncle Jim will dust off his stained glass making skills, and attempt this project. Something more modern, perhaps? But we would like to retain the sacred heart design that is there, of course.
These are some views from the many beautiful windows at Le Maffey. The poplars were there for the week I was visiting, however today they were cut down to be sold. It made us all sad, but we know that more trees will grow, and now the view is just different. This home, which was once a barn, now has lots of light from various windows, skylights and large glass doors. They were great for observing the torrential rain that came again, and watered the garden for us.
These are two sweet French boys, Martin and Gabriel, who played together in the field all afternoon, then came inside for some chocolate brioche that we had purchased fresh that morning. Some say that this is the "best brioche in the world" and I would not disagree. This is our typical french breakfast, good organic bread with hazelnuts, chocolate brioche, for a special treat for one day, and chocolate for Gabriel. Of course he must dunk his bread, as he is French!

I have had a little time, between making jam and picking the harvest from Pia's garden, to sketch around the property. This is my favorite view of her chapel, which will one day become a music center, with lots of love and attention. Perhaps it will also shine again with new stained glass windows that will be a focal point of this beautiful and ancient building.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Yes, it is true, I am off to France! I had imagined that I would write about my upcoming trip to France before I left, but with all that packing and planning, I never managed to let everyone know where I would be for the next 5(!) weeks. I am visiting my niece and great(really great) nephew in Feins, France for a week, and lest you imagine me strolling the streets of Paris, you should imagine a much more rural existence for this week in the country.
This is my sweet niece Pia and son Gabriel, all dressed in pink. They love their new country life, and have many good friends here who I have met. See next photo.
As I mentioned, this is the coutry life, and one of the goals on my "life list" has been to learn to milk a cow. Dear Pia remembered this, and arranged for me to go to a nearby dairy farm last night to do this. Wow, what an experience it turned out to be! We rode our bikes there, and got caught in a big thunderstorm, complete with lightening and hail. It poured for 45 minutes and finally the kind farmer,Jean-Yves, drove us home.
Today I went with Pia to Rennes and while she worked, I strolled through Jardin Thabor to see the roses, and I came upon this beauty. What is she thinking about, I wonder? The gardens are magnificent at this time of year, as they usually are. I also saw a wonderful exhibit of handmade books in the Orangerie. It was inspiring and I especially liked the work by Milena Moriani.

Monday, June 15, 2009


We had a wonderful art weekend with Portland Art Collective at Menucha in the Columbia Gorge. The weather was perfect and so was the company. I got a chance to do a journal painting from the viewpoint.