Monday, August 31, 2015

After A Splendid Summer In The Auvergne, It Was Time To Say Good-Bye

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The view of the famous Puy De Dôme volcano in the Auvergne
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The stone farm house that has been in my family since 1971, when we lived in France
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Built in 1866, we will have to celebrate its 100 years.
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It was a very hot summer in Europe this year.
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Finishing the tiling of the wood shed, which had been built last summer
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Filling the shed with wood and kindling
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My son and husband cutting up more wood.
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My son taking out an old terrace so a new once can be put in in the future
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Ready to whack some weeds.
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Checking on the spark plugs of the old scooter
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Building new wooden shutters for two windows
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Making sure they fit and open
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Hanging shutters so they can be stained from both sides at once.  ( My husband's ingenious idea)
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Voila! Another job accomplished
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Getting ready to sand an old wood floor
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First, some boards needed to be changed and damaged areas filled with wood putty.
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Back breaking work.
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Applying tinted parquet 'oil', which lets the wood breathe better than polyurethane.
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One half of the floor done.  The other half will have to wait.  The floor now looks splendid
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One of the two flower beds in the front garden
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And here is the second one after weeks of weeding and watering
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The roses bloomed beautifully this year.
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Though I really should not have expanded the garden because it is already too labor-intensive, I couldn't help myself.  i cleared the weeds behind the house and started a new flower bed using irises and day lilies that I thinned out of the other beds. So happy I did it.
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I sprinkled some poppy seeds in between.  See the rocks?  They were all buried in the dirt, so I used them to make a little wall.
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The linden tree in front of the house that my mother planted in 1975 has gotten way too big, so it will be pruned by someone in the village later this year.
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We had some fun visitors this year.  Our neighbor stopped by with her horse one morning.
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This little fellow punched on the bottle of hot sauce one morning.
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And this unusual caterpillar seemed to have good taste in wines.
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Though every summer, we have a list of projects that we need to get done or completed at our family's house in France during our stay,  the bulk of the work always seems to get done in the last few days.
With the help of our son, who joined us in the Auvergne for a short while, we were able to check off a few things off that list.  Some others will have to wait till we return, since we always run out of time or because more pressing issues have to be addressed.
On the list this summer where two sets of shutters, the roofing of the wood shed, which was built last year, and sanding of a wood floor in one of the rooms.  That last project got only half done,  but that is all right.  The house is a labor of love that will most probably never be finished.
Our french neighbors always seem bemused by the Brooklynites who spend so much time working on an old Auvergnat stone farmhouse.  Though it is hard work, it is so worth it.
As we closed the house after a glorious summer and headed to Paris to catch a flight, I must admit that I shed a few tears.  It is always hard to leave this place, but on the plane, my husband and I already planned our next trip back and talked about the list of jobs for next time.  The list of future projects just keeps on getting longer and longer.



Of Bourgogne, Beaune, And A Hospital Dating From The Middle Ages

Baune and Bourgogne wine country
Baune and Bourgogne wine country
Baune and Bourgogne wine country
Sculpture by Bruno Catalano
Baune and Bourgogne wine country
Baune and Bourgogne wine country
The courtyard of the Hospices De Beaune, founded in 1443
Baune and Bourgogne wine country
Baune and Bourgogne wine country
Baune and Bourgogne wine country
Baune and Bourgogne wine country
Baune and Bourgogne wine country
Baune and Bourgogne wine country
Baune and Bourgogne wine country
Baune and Bourgogne wine country
Baune and Bourgogne wine country
Baune and Bourgogne wine country
Baune and Bourgogne wine country
Baune and Bourgogne wine country
Baune and Bourgogne wine country
Baune and Bourgogne wine country
Baune and Bourgogne wine country
Baune and Bourgogne wine country
One of the highlights of our trip to France this summer was a trip to the Burgundy region, to Beaune, its wine capital, and to some of the famous wine producing villages right outside of town.

Beaune is a charming historical city with beautifully preserved architecture. Its most splendid building is the Hôtel-Dieu or  'Hospices de Beaune', founded in 1443 as a hospital for the poor by Nicolas Rolin, chancellor of Burgundy, and his wife Guigone de Salins.  Here, the Sisters of the Hospices de Beaune took care of patients and orphaned children until 1971, when patients were transferred to a newer facility.

The Hospices' spectacular 160 feet long grand hall still features some of the original sick beds, each with its own table and chair and a shelf for the patient's personal belongings.
A visit to the Hospices also includes the huge kitchen where the sisters prepared food for the sick, and a wonderful pharmacy, filled with herbs and potions in ornate jars.

The Hospices de Beaune charity owns 60 hectares (150 acres) of the region's finest vineyards in Côte de Beaune, Côtes de Nuits and Pouilly-Fuissé. The cru and grand cru wines produced on those vines is auctioned off in early November each year.

Beaune is surrounded by charming villages and vineyards, lots and lots of vineyards.  One can stop to sample wines almost everywhere,  which we did.  2015 was a particularly hot summer in France.  It will be interesting to taste the vintage once it is put in bottles.

Baune and Bourgogne wine country
Baune and Bourgogne wine country
Baune and Bourgogne wine country
Baune and Bourgogne wine country
Baune and Bourgogne wine country
Baune and Bourgogne wine country
Baune and Bourgogne wine country
Baune and Bourgogne wine country
Baune and Bourgogne wine country