So, trying to catch up on the past eight months before we're knee deep in winter & renovation rubble....I shudder, I shudder....
Fall stumbled in, like a gangly teen....we enjoyed some warmer days, but the nights fell earlier and the dark drove us indoors. Then came the cold. Morning strolls down the lane with Freya had me spotting frost in bits and pieces, and my blessed cup 'o joe was cold before I was finished--blech. But let me not dwell on the negative--there's plenty of that to come!
What we did enjoy....at first....was the opportunity to crack out all our pyro paraphernalia...Fire! Fire! (in Beavis & Butthead form) and take advantage of the enormous fireplace in the living room, the little wrought iron pot stove outside as the sun set, and bonfires in the fields-burning our garden trash with no restrictions--this being one of the fun benefits of life in the French countryside :)
Evening entertainment, in a house with no TV (I know--1 year and counting, can you imagine??!), consisted of reliving vestiges of childhoods past by making s'mores on the fire in the living room whilst at the same time sucking every ounce of heat we could from the flame....little did we know at that moment what was to come!! (Can you sense the build up here? Good, because I won't get to the point any time soon.)
It wasn't all gloom and doom. Fall brought visitors galore to La Maison M-J. In fact, in the space of six months we actually had more visitors in our camping/roughing it/where-the-hell-did-civilization-go state of house then in the last year of our apartment in Paris replete with guest room/guest bath + actual organization and decoration. I'm sure a whole study could be done on that! With the steady stream of visitors came the opportunity to get oh so creative in my camping kitchen (see '08 post 'The Thorn Amongst Honey & Roses), and not to pat myself on the back...*pat pat*...but I put together some damn fine dining on two hot plates, a microwave & a perilously poised oven! (see glazed ham from Thanksgiving--which also included one beautifully roasted & miraculously found bird, my Aunt Fran's cauliflower w/cheese sauce, home-made mashed potatoes, sweet potato bake, corn pudding, stuffing & baguette for a touch of French). Three cheers for that! (Nothing but the finest champagne in those classy mustard glasses!)
In the midst of all this eating (uh, no idea where that focus comes from!) there was lots of continuing research being done, by yours truly, for the elusive architect of our renovation project, perusing of renovation magazines to source ideas, tools & vocabulary (a good activity done under blankets)....random unpacking/re-packing of the maelstrom of boxes acting as our interior decoration (it's amazing how much stuff you want to get rid of when you haven't used it in years and don't want to move it again!) --activity means more blood circulation which = warmth...and most importantly, our family was forced to do one of the things we love best....CUDDLE. Each.and.every.one. You know when you watch those lost in the wilderness movies and they talk about body heat helping you to survive? Yea, we're all about that. Freya & Josie have the best photo proof though, and this just warms the heart.