Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Where I'm At

Sometimes it's just good to look around and appreciate what is; get grounded, if you will.

This flat round cement stone is placed at the front of the flagstone base that Pierre rebuilt this year for the old glider swing. He made the swing from a pattern that I sent away for not long after we moved here in 1993.  We can't remember if he found the stone on the property or if a neighbour gave it to us, but we finally found the right place to put it. 

We can sit here awhile and enjoy the sunshine and the view.

The summer tradition is to sip gin and tonics in the swing.  The theory is that the gin helps keep the mosquitoes at bay.  It doesn't really work, but if you drink enough you no longer care about the bugs.  If it's just me sitting there in the middle of the day, though, I might bring out a stitching project or a book and enjoy soaking up the sun, doused generously with mosquito repellent. 

I have to admit that I spend a lot of time in the house.  We put windows all along the back of it to catch the afternoon sun. 
Don't you love the scent of summer-dried laundry? 
And the sight of a flourishing vegetable garden?

This is Pierre's world.  He put in a garden this summer; the first one in our 17 years of living in this place.  The way he leaves his pitch fork stuck in the ground reminds me of Mr. McGregor's garden in  the Peter Rabbit story by Beatrix Potter.  Her books were absolute favourites of mine when I was a very young child,  long before I was able to read the words for myself.  When I grew up and had my own little girl, I read them all to her. 

So far, neither rabbits nor deer have come down to partake of the outdoor salad bar.

The garden is thriving, no thanks to me.  It's such a treat to go and pick a lettuce for salad every night.  You can see here how big the squash plants are getting.

Big blossoms, big vegetable in the making. 

There are some perennial flowers that flourish each year, given to us by another friend who moved away--a lovely legacy.  The Echinacea's centres are whole worlds unto themselves.

Isn't it great to just stop awhile and breathe it all in?

We're having guests arrive from Quebec in a couple of days.  This means we will have to eat lobster as that's another summer tradition around here when we have company.  Everyone knows that you can't argue with tradition.

I hope that everyone who stops by here finds a precious moment of their own in the day to appreciate.


  1. wahouuu I love this place, the house, the gardon and so on ...

    I would like so much to come and visit you and eat lobster like your friends in few days :-)

    you live in a paradise !

    thank you for sharring (and sorry for my english:-)))

  2. i agree, it does look like paradise, and indeed your wonderful post offered me a quiet moment of freshness, calm and contemplation during a busy day (by a coincidence i am in the middle of moving, and sitting with my laptop in a still empty room :-)
    but unfortunately no such amazing garden for me, i am envious (in the good way, full of joy for you :-)

  3. Karine,
    You are most welcome to come by and we will certainly serve up lobster for you! You are also welcome to speak French here as this is a bilingual province (and couple--though Pierre's English is better than my French). After seeing your photos of Ile Maurice I am very flattered that you would apply the label of "paradise" to our humble home.

  4. Roxana,
    You're in the middle of a move? I am honoured that you stopped by to sit a spell with me in the glider swing. It is lovely here in the summer, and I do appreciate it but, ironically, our house is for sale. Though there is no sign up and the real estate agent brings no one around and we haven't even thought about packing anything. Nothing like the possibility of losing what you have to make you appreciate it even more...and maybe even hold on to it a little tighter. But change can be a very good thing, and often sorely needed.

    I hope you'll be very happy and full of inspiration in your new abode, with lots of loving people to come by to share it with.

  5. No deer, no problem. What an amazing garden. I envy you so! The bugs though drag me back to reality.

    Enjoy the sun and lobster!

  6. I have always wanted a swing like that. Bout time I made it happen, I'd say. Yes, very much looking forward to fresh lettuce from my boyfriend's garden - he already makes the best salads on the planet, that's going to be insane!

  7. So, you douse yourself in GIN? Well done, kiddo, fab idea.
    Love that whole set up, so calm and inviting (just leave my lobster in the fridge, I shouldn't be too late getting in and I'll bring a Marlborough Sav Blanc with me. Yes OK a CRATE of Marlborough Sav Blanc...) now shove over on that swing, Owen will be here any minute all sweaty and toady!

  8. so nice to see your environs and special things in yard and home. I adore hanging out laundry. And your house is very lovely. Lucky you. have fun w/your guests.

  9. You must be living in paradise. Have to admit that I never had Gin before, but with countless moscitos over here, probably high time. Will inform you about the result soon. A good Wednesday for you all.

  10. Patricia,
    So cool that you found your way through the Ragzedge thicket to the garden here. I'll be sure to leave a bottle of bug spray on the swing so you can use it if you come by again. Pierre has to douse himself royally with the stuff when he goes out to do weeding or whatever it is he does out there in the evening. He comes in smelling like he's tried all the scents they hand out at the department store perfume counters!

    There seems to be a bit of rain in the forecast, but lobster is still predicted! Thanks for stopping by.

  11. Tattytiara,
    I lusted after such a swing for quite some time myself. I persuaded my father-in-law that he "owed" his son one as he'd given his daughter one for her wedding, so he ended up paying for all the materials.

    If your bf already makes the best salads in the world you will certainly lose your mind over them once he starts using fresh lettuce from the garden. A word of advice from this evening's experience, though: watch carefully for anything moving on your salad plate. That's all I'm saying. Oh, especially if it leaves a sort of slimy trail behind it. In fact, I suggest you be the one to wash the lettuce.

    One Who Knows.

  12. Saj,
    A CRATE of liquid Marlboroughs! Wow! Your lobster is cracked and ready and waiting coolly in the fridgerator. You can just cozy up next to me and share in the heady aroma of my gin-soaked body so that you won't have to sully your tender Kiwi skin with nasty bug spray. We might be able to squeeze 3 to a side in the swing, but I suggest we spread ourselves out a bit so our toady BrOwen will have to sit opposite us, thereby sparing us the experience of feeling that sweaty toadskin you referred to. Poor dear, he can't help it. He'll be great for keeping the bugs away; I just hope he's careful where he snaps that long tongue of his, sitting facing us. Best we pull up our décolletés a bit, just in case.

  13. Sukipoet,
    As I was saying over at Ragzedge, I'm so pleased that you took the time to wander over and visit the garden. I hope you took a moment to sit in the swing (if it wasn't too buggy).

    I do love the place and was happy to be able to share my feelings for it here. I'm in a similar situation to you, though, in that it's time to sell it and move on...only for various reasons am stuck. Oh well, there could be worse places to be stuck in! Meanwhile, making the most of it and it will be lovely to have some guests to enjoy it with.

  14. Robert,
    Don't forget to mix some tonic water with that gin! And a slice of lime with a couple of ice cubes, else it will be disgusting! I didn't consider the possibility of mosquitoes in Athens. I don't associate them with big cities, I guess. I look forward with some trepidation to your forthcoming report on your experience with gin!

    As for living in Paradise, Pierre often says that we do. I met someone recently who lives on a South Seas island and she informed me that there's no such thing as Paradise. So there you go. I guess it's a question of attitude?

    Cheers, Robert--here's to Paradise!

  15. PS, Robert--where are my manners? You must certainly join Saj and me in the swing, just be careful climbing on board not to rock the boat-er-swing too much as we've already put away a fair bit of wine. Lobster should be served soon.

  16. Thank you for the invitation...pleasure seeing your home and garden. I like your glider and would love a gin and tonic no matter the time of day! ha. Your garden is wonderful and oh boy the zucchini is almost here, so nice to cook from the garden. Lobster, fresh salad and friends...enjoy! Paradise must be a state of mind!

  17. ...and (dare I say it) keep our knees firmly in place!! :-)

  18. Beautiful and soulful. How I miss you ~

    WV songesse - a fine way to describe your blog - it sings wise and soulful

  19. Blue Sky,
    How lovely to find you here under the blue sky of my back yard. G&T at any time of the day? You'll fit right! I've heard about the menace of growing zukes (did you ever see the Witches of Eastwick movie? That's what first alerted me) so I know I'd better accumulate a whole whack of zucchini recipes (I have a killer chocolate cake one that never fails). I'm looking forward to tasting all that the garden has to offer...minus the slugs.

  20. SAJ!
    You've made me choke and spill my wine all down my front!!! Mr. Toad is going to have an apoplectic fit when he reads that! We'd best have the medics on stand-by.
    You are too funny. I may have to see if Blogger has a backroom comment box that I can get for our exchanges.

  21. Driftwood!
    What a treat and lovely surprise to have you come by! Do you know it's been YEARS since we've seen each other? Christmas at your place with all that snow and wonderful food, drink, and company. Or was it for lunch at La Rouge on Robinson Alley? At least it's good to know you're living in your own little piece of Paradise. I guess you must be pretty darn excited about your new, upcoming status. I miss you, too.

    Thanks for the kind remark about my blog singing wise and soulful. I often think it's more like howling at the moon, very quietly, mind you.

  22. I'm late, I'm late... for a very important....

    Is there any lobster left ?

    I was hung up in a straightjacket being tested, couldn't get the darn thing off...

  23. Owen,
    There you are at last! We saved you some lobster, yes, and some wine. If you want some gin I can wring out my dress a bit and squeeze you out a cupful; but I warn you, there will be a bit of wine mixed in as Saj made me spit some up when she made one of her ribald comments.

    I'm afraid your sisters have been talking and sniggling about you in your absence. Were your ears burning? Or do toads have ears.

    Were you testing one of the straight jackets with the peekaboo lace? I know you're particularly fond of those.


  24. What a wonderful homestead you live in.. Now I could live there.. you know when you see something that grabs you and you know right away.. yes indeed I love your place..

    Great garden ... This is the first year that I took a break from veggie growing and I have dearly missed it... next year I will plant again...

    and as far as the goings on in that fabulous swing.. does that make you swing higher??

    Moving? do you have anyplace in mind?

  25. Oh, so this is where everyone is hanging out! Is there some gin and lobster left?

    Wow, green grass, trees, a garden and a swing. Looks like you found yourself a little slice of paradise to call home. Wonderful !!

  26. Hi Gwen,
    Gee, after seeing the gorgeous pix of your place I'm really flattered that you like mine so much. Yours seems absolutely idyllic! I must admit, I do love my house and all the green space around it. We have 5 acres, including 3 that belong to the abandonned house next door that is also ours. On the other side of us is what was formerly a Christmas tree farm so we have lots of breathing space, even though we live in the village.

    What's missing here for me is the family/friends connection. I have a yearning to return to the west coast where I'm from. Vancouver's become too big city for me, but Victoria seems awfully attractive. My sister lives there, plus some old pals. Pierre will be difficult to uproot, though,especially now that he has that vegetable garden under his belt. I just feel like it's time for a change, but it's difficult to shake up the status quo at this stage of life.

  27. Hey Stickup,
    Cool that you got your Ass on over here! Or should I say, got on your Ass and moseyed on over. Sorry, Owen is a bad influence on me (and vice-versa, I suppose, to say nothing of the Sagittarian--as you may be finding out). Speaking of Owen, now that he's dashed off to Brittany, there's plenty of gin and lobster left for you!

    Yeah, it's a little slice of paradise here...not counting the mosquitoes (which are far too numerous to count anyway)...and not considering the 6-month-long winter that lies ahead. But we won't think about that just now, okay? Lovely to just "be here now" in the summertime with good blog friends gathered round.

  28. Funny you should say you would like to go to the West coast.. John has been trying to persuade me for years to move there.. US or Canada, west coast. An artist friend of ours moved to Victoria a few years ago to tend a Museum; my daughter and my sister are both in BC, too. And I thought Victoria had better weather than Vancouver too...

    We have been planning to have our house on the market in the near future too, for the same reason... time for a change... although this little village is awfully sweet... and we love our home too. Your place and the care you have taken with it will make it easy for someone to fall in love with it... Time for more adventures, eh??

  29. Gwen,
    Isn't that funny how we're on the same page about selling up and moving on! Maybe we'll end up being neighbours. Westward-ho! (in the old sense of the term "ho").

  30. Thank you very much for your kind words. Currently struggeling with things like jealousy and alike, the drinks surely become more alluring by the hour.
    Trying to return with a Monday post, I'd like to wish you all a good Sunday.

  31. Robert,
    I truly am sorry to hear that you're struggling yet again with certain issues that may interfere with your blogging (amongst other aspects of your life, but the blogging part is the only part I'm acquainted with). I believe I've heard you mention the word "jealousy" before in a similar situation. That's a hard feeling for someone to recognize, admit to, uproot and vanquish. Hard to be on the receiving end of it as well.

    I'm glad to see you still have your sense of humour intact ("drinks more alluring by the hour") but I know you are too wise to give in to the false solace of alcohol as any real solution to anything.

    Good luck with it all. Don't lose sight of what is truly important to you is the only piece of advice I dare proffer.

  32. What a fine looking place you have. I want to sit down there for several weeks and let it all wash over me.

  33. Hello Mme DeFarge,
    What a lovely surprise to have you stop by. Thanks for the heads-up: I won't be alarmed when I see someone sitting out in the swing for the next few weeks. Don't forget to bring some bug spray! Would you like a cup of tea, or would you prefer a glass of wine?