Life's Little Details: Knitting, Sewing, Green Living, Frugal Living and Cooking In A Little Corner of Southern French Countryside.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

To Get the Ball Rolling

I'm not going to sit and post all of our vacation photos in one shot, because I don't have the concentration needed to sit still that long. I will, however, give you a little taste of what we experienced.

First, I have to say that the region we visited, Correze (and specifically a town called Argentat), is beautiful. For those of you interested, it is the area of the country Jacques Chirac is from. For those of you (Dad) whom that thought makes cringe, just focus on the rest of what I'm about to say. It's an area that I find to be particularly lovely, most likely because there are aspects of it that remind me of places I spent much time in during my youth.

From the age of 8 until I was 12, we lived out in the boonies of a suburban area near Tulsa, OK. I have wonderful memories of our wilderness-surrounded home, even if for other reasons, Tulsa is sometimes referred to as the armpit of the US. I, personally, don't find this to be true, even if it is somewhat backwards, economically speaking, compared to other parts of the country. It's an area whose rolling hills are covered with forests of oak trees (and angus cows). It is also a place where moss-covered rocks are scattered throughout the landscape. This is the part I remember, and I it's beautiful.

Another place we visited often when I was child was Missouri. My father was an avid fisherman at the time, and we took several trips to Branson, MO, which is also full of wonderful landscapes. Correze, like the Branson area, is well-known for its trout fishing. So, it is parts of Oklahoma and Missouri that I think of when we visit the area where my husband's mother and her family come from. There are many similarities, though there are also distinct differences that make Correze unmistakeably French.

In this picture, you can see the main difference, which is the architecture. What you don't see are the slate rooves that are typical of the area. They're covered by snow, here, but I promise to share other pictures of them bare. This is the entrance to the town of Argentat, which lies next to the Dordogne river. These homes along the river are the prime real estate of the town. My husband once told me of a family member a few generations back who owned one and lost it gambling. As if to right his ancestor's wrong, my husband's uncle recently purchased a fixer-upper along this very same stretch.

And, just a little update for those of you cheering me on in my nesting (thanks for the encouragement, by the way)... I got a little bee in my bonnet today to clear out some boxes that have burdened our hallway (even if it is pretty wide) for years. I'm almost embarrassed to say it has taken me this long to get to them. They've irritated me since we moved in here, but I've never made them a top priority. They are full of old paperwork and junk, most of which can surely be thrown out. I tackled two of them today, and I think I've got three more to go. I was able to consolidate all of the items my husband will need to sort through, while tossing and saving others. Yay! What a sense of accomplishment.

I also spent some time this morning sorting through our stock of seeds, since I really want to do our garden right this year. I was quite shocked to see the quantity and variety of seeds we already have on hand. Some are surely too old to sprout, but I'm going to give them a go just to see. There will only be a few things that we'll have to buy, though, in order to have all the veggies we tend to eat the most. They are now all sorted, organized and catalogued. I've even planned out some planting for this week. That's the beauty of living in warmer climes. You can plant stuff earlier. So, tomorrow, we'll be putting some seeds in dirt to see what happens.

Oh, and a little tip for those who find them in the same situation I'm in (of having to sift through tons of paperwork in dusty boxes): take your boxes outside if weather permits it. I didn't suffer from the effects the dust usually would have on me, and I got to bask in the sun's rays pretending I wasn't even doing any housework. Not bad at all.