Friday, July 30, 2010


day at the
montpoupon chateau

Thursday, July 29, 2010

peach pops

living in an actual house
as she was raising children,
my mother had the luxury of keeping
a whole slew of cool kitchen gadgets.
of course there were the things
like the crockpot and the griddle.
but then there were fun things
like the yogurt maker,
the nut grinder with the little crank,
the cherry pitter,
and the heated bread basket.

but one of my favorites
was one i remember pulling out
often in anticipation
of those family nights:
the popsicle maker.
chocolate pudding pops!

and now
as i'm beginning to acquire
my own small and humble arsenal
of kitchen wares,
this summer i decided
i must find a popsicle maker.
and find one i did.

these were alice waters' peach pops--
with a bit of strawberry.
any other must try recipes?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

sketch du jour

i will admit
a bigger difference
between this year and last year:
#3 is taking a small dent
in the hours i spend doing this.

so far
i've only done one measly little sketch.

but so it goes.
i still am not giving him back.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

town fair

night at the happenin' town fair

the girls' favorite rubber duck fishing

my little guy

my big guy
showing off for the girls,
winning them prizes.

with the prize: bubbles.
much better than stuffed animals.

and while milla was busy
doing girly things,
avi was taking her turn at the shooting booth,
with her water gun
(while no one was looking)

the candy booth
we successfully got away from
without tears

though i did give in
and buy milla the cotton candy
she's been begging for
ever since the zoo.
it was all fun and games
until she got it mixed up
with her hair.

and of course the carousel,
which we just can't get enough of
here in france.
plus how can you skip the one that's called
welcome baby
and has this guy at the helm?

and then there were the fireworks.
which alex was worried
the baby wouldn't be able to handle
and we'd all have to miss and head home for his sake.
well, instead it was he who slept through it
and the girls who were crying in our arms.
but with a bit of consoling
they started to appreciate
one of those (many) things
the french do best.

Friday, July 23, 2010

bonne maman

oh, and after taming
a 5-year-old's tantrum
that could easily rival any 2-year-old's,
i've slipped into the kitchen quietly
and settled into the sofa to unwind
for the evening.
some take a glass of wine,
i instead prefer creme caramel
(this evening).
that stash of french desserts
in the refrigerator
i recognize
(upon realizing there were 9 different kinds in there)
may be too large,
but how can i help myself?
there are still a hundred kinds
i have yet to try.
and now it's become a nightly ritual.

though don't worry,
the tantrums are not nightly.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

planless day

if only
i could tell you
what it feels like
to wake up in the morning
to a lovely planless day,
only to formulate a rough plan
in the shower.

to throw the bag together,
and then herd all the chicks into the car.

to head down an open road
through the farmland
with the music playing
and the wee ones in the back
wondering where the surprise will take them.

loose plans,
no time limits,
gorgeous scenery,
and fresh, crisp air. . .

those open roads
led us to the rigny-usse chateau.
also known as,
sleeping beauty's castle.

and after a lot of wandering
and searching
and taking a lunch break,
and then coercing avi,
who was a bit nervous
about finding a maleficent somewhere
in that castle,
we finally found the sleeping beauty tower.

and with
"i know you
i walked with you once upon a dream"
playing, avi wasn't so much scared
as she was dancing to the tune.

and then
because we had nowhere to be
and were free as birds,
we stopped by my favorite
azay-le-rideau, once again.

stopped in my favorite shop,
listened to some live music,

watched some street performers,
wandered the cobblestone streets,

stopped for some ice cream,

and then took
those open, beautiful roads
right back home again.

until another planless day. . .

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


the countryside is no place
for entomophobes.
coming from the city
where the only insect we come across
is the odd fly or mosquito,
moving into a house full of daddy-longlegs
has been a little adjustment.

this morning we woke up
to a dragonfly on the laundry line.
when it didn't even move
when i pulled the swimsuit
it had clung to down,
i started to wonder if it had died right there on it.
frozen in the rain? who knew?

well of course avi was the unfortunate one
to be in a room all alone with it,
when that thing
roughly the size of her face
came alive and started buzzing around.
the trauma took awhile to burn off.

this year
dad got us a bug viewer,
which we call the bugger.
i caught this creature in our closet last night.
yes, it still gives me the heebs!

after all the insect activity
and mostly stuck inside on this rainy day,
we crafted our own butterfly.

Monday, July 19, 2010


those airplanes
have once again taken us
to that land we just can't
stay away from for long.

i am breathing deep
all day every day.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


packing 5 people
for two months
with today's airline baggage restrictions
is not what i call
a good time.
i find myself stopping
to do unnecessary things
like sharpening the pencils,
mending that hole,
adding a bookplate in that new book,
scribbling down one more recipe,
just to distract myself
from the task at hand.

the girls,
on the other hand,
are dying to be a part of the project.
finally i decided to let them help
by picking out their clothes,
task by task.
"okay, now find 4 dresses
and lay them on your bed,"
which they did with such anxiousness.
they finally have gotten down the rule
'no unpacking what mama has packed,'
thank goodness.
and we are making progress.

but i just may have to declare
this evening
a movie evening,
while i sift through their ideas
of what to pack.

Monday, July 5, 2010


it really is
just masochistic
to insist on, and then persist
doing something the wrong way.

that chair i pulled
from the garbage heap outside?
i thought there was something to it,
although alex said he saw nothing in it
but all-too-common soviet woodwork
from the 1970's.
that may well be.
but i still gave it a good
5 coats of paint,
and then beat my fingers up
hammering on a new seat cover
with some common thumbtacks.
i know it wasn't the correct way to do it.
and i cursed the project for an hour or so,
but then finished.

we learn by doing.