About Me

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Southern France
Lynn Deasy is a freelance writer, author, foodie, and garden tinkerer. She lives in a 600 year old house in southern France with her husband, Christophe. Currently, she is looking for a literary agent for her memoir CA VA? STORIES FROM RURAL LIFE IN SOUTHERN FRANCE which examines the oddities of French provincial living from an outsider’s point of view through a series of adventures that provide more than a fair share of frustration, education, admiration, and blisters…. yes, lots and lots of blisters. Lynn blogs every Monday, Wednesday, and sometimes Friday.

Monday, April 29, 2013

It is April, isn’t it?

This is not going to be a happy flower.

Housebound.  Just as we thought it was time to get some early planting done, BAM!  Nature had another idea – and what an idea that was: snow.  I wouldn’t say we were buried with just an inch of snow, but in all honestly, we are only hours away from May, so this is a little off.  We were stuck inside all day long watching the snow fall and counting the hours down when we could perhaps have a cocktail without sounding worrisome.  All our garden plans have been put on hold for the meanwhile as the snow melts and things dry off. 
The strawberries I planted last week are going to hate us…
We can barely see the mountains in front of us.
This flower is not too happy either.


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Guilty.

 I’ve been light on the blog posts lastly, but here’s one of the reasons why:

 This is our vegetable garden.

Look over the stone wall; there’s a third plot slightly visible, and I’m not even going to show you the upper field that is need of weeding something fierce.  As anyone can figure, spring is a time that keeps us busy from sun up to sun down.  Our seedlings are still growing, but other things need to be planted.  We have potatoes and onions waiting for us and this year we need to replace all the strawberry plants.  We entering “round one” of spring planting; which is nothing compared to “round two”.  So, I’m still, but I’m outside when I can be and I promise to keep you in the loop when I can sit myself down in front of the computer. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Passing the hurdle


This is how it starts each year, or least for the last few years for me.  Tomatoes are seeded and we wait patiently for the moment they are big enough to make the transfer to the greenhouse outside, a temporarily stop before they are permanently planted in the garden for the summer.  At this moment, I think the plants will never make it to the garden; they’ve been indoors for 5 weeks now and I wonder why they’re not bigger.  I forget that doubt each year, because by September, with their towering green jungle like foliage, they create a single maze within I can barely walk to water them.  Last summer, I swear I heard a whisper, “Seymore, feed me…”
This is the season where the sounds change.  The buzz of cutting wood is replaced by the sound of someone tilling the garden, roosters go crazy, and the songbirds have come back to nest.  The days are warming, but the air can still be cool; all it takes is the sun ducking behind a cloud or wind from the north to remind us we haven’t yet passed the hurdle.

The tender greens on the trees bring hope; reminding us of spring’s eternal youth; browns slowly start to fade; and the sky turns a brilliant blue.  We have turned the corner on the hardships of the season and can now wax nostalgically about a blazing fire or a filling winter dinner, but haven’t yet forgotten the Siberian winds that rattled the windows or the blanketing snow.  We are close enough to a new beginning to change our focus and look eagerly to begin outdoors, dirty hands and all.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Daylight Savings Easter


The entire lunch was great, but I think the entrée was my favorite: Smoked Salmon Stuffed Calamari, Saffron Hollandaise Sauce, and Roquette Salad
I know I should have written this on Monday, but with Daylight Saving Time falling on the same weekend as Easter Sunday, paired with Easter Monday and visiting family, it just didn’t seem feasible.  For those of you wondering, Daylight Saving Time in Europe falls about two weeks after the United States, and if you think going to work on Monday was bad after the time change, then you don’t want to ever have it fall on a holiday. 
We served grilled leg of lamb, and in typical Christophe style, he fashioned a skewer at the last minute so he could roast the thing on the bar-be-que; the darn hard boiled eggs, that no matter what I tried would not peel, and a carrot cake, that I must admit, was amazing.  It all ended well, albeit certain frustrations (see the egg comment above) and the sun even came out for a while.  It was a good day, and symbolized for us the end of one season and the start of another. Now we can focus on spring work, such as planting, tilling, endless weeding, and cleaning up the garden. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Seasonal labor


 
Here we go again – the season of back aches, filthy fingernails, sore muscles, rusty knees, tired arms and dirt.  Not to mention weeds, lots and lots of weeds.  Yet again, I swear I’ll get the better of them this year, I swear I will. 
You’ll see.
I promise.
Geez, who am I kidding.  I'll start off strong and then fade faster than cheap jeans in hot water. 
darn it.....I hate being truthful with myself.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Got milk?


 
I’m certain one of the unexplored benefits of living in Europe is the ease of drinking out of the liter milk carton versus the gallon.  I would even say it’s 3.78 times easier – and still no glass to wash.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Exact Change Please



On Saturday, I went to pick up a few odds and ends.  Since the total for some nuts and bolts, a paintbrush, and some masking tape were rather minimal, I paid cash.  I handed the cashier a twenty and then patiently waited.  She held the bill her hand and just stared at me.  I felt awkward, so I did a double take to make sure I gave her enough, sure enough, I had.  She looked at me and repeated the total, “18euros and 42 cents”, with an emphasis on the later.  You see, French cashier like exact change, and I didn’t have it.
For the most part, I try to give the cashiers exact change, but I don’t always carry a fully loaded change purse with me.  Sometimes I can give them a penny or five cents to round it out; it makes it easier for them and my pockets a little lighter.  The “voluntary obligation” of always having the exact change is something I struggle with.  I was cashier back in high school.  I learned to make change without the register doing it for me, so I question why the obligation of always having that 42 cents on command.  Isn’t the register full of money to do that exact thing for them?
If I wanted to get philosophical, I can state I am doing my civic duty by helping out another human being by holding up the check-out line as I search my pockets for any spare change to make her life easier.  Or, I can argue I’m hurting society by making that cashier more dependable on computers and not letting her use her brain to do some simple math.  In the end, I’m not sure which is the right choice.  I’m either going to be shamed into carrying pounds of coins or simply have to accept the disgruntled looks.  For someone who’s been working hard on fitting in, I find it strange that I’m leaning towards the later.  But given that many of my pockets have holes and that I absolutely hate to sew, I seem to have no other choice.