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Back in the Saddle Again

27 Apr

Wow, it has been quite a while since I sat down to write about our life on the farm…you may think that I am just way too busy but in fact, I got lazy. You see, we didn’t sign up to have internet in our cottage – so in order to check my email or browse online or post, I needed to walk a whopping hundred yards to the office to do so. I was pretty good about this in the beginning but then, well, I got lazy.

So, after nine months of living out here on the farm, I finally decided it was time to plug back in to the world wide web. I avoided doing so for a variety of reasons – but mainly because it’s a pain in the ass. And this exercise did fair any better.

I dialed up the phone company to hook us up, hoping that it would be a simple switch (the cottage has had internet in the past). Of course, this was not to be, but not for the reasons I expected.

This little town I now call home did not have any more portals for me to hook into. I had to have the poor guy on the phone explain this to me several times – no portals? So, you are telling me that all the people behind me that may move to this town or decide one day they want to be connected to the outside world simply cannot? Are you serious?

Yes, as he so patiently explained, indeed they cannot and either can you.

Toto, we are not in Kansas anymore. I guess this is one of the oh so subtle downsides to living in a small town.

In the end, I purchased a router extender to extend the service from the office to our house. Et voila, I now have the whole world in my living room again.

It feels good. It feels new and fresh. I can look something up in a click of a button again! Hooray for technology!

In any event, I hope this allows me to start writing again….so if you are still out there dear readers, I’m baaaaaaack!

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Raising Bi-Lingual Kids in London with Severine Loram

10 Jul

I met Severine in college and it was hard not to instantly fall in love with her seemingly effortless style and charm. After college, she went on to study at the London School of Economics where she met her husband. Having grown up both in America and in France, I was interested to hear her thoughts on bi-lingual childhood and raising kids in a country in which she did not grow up. I am thrilled to share with you a peek into her life in London and I must say, even after two children, her style and charm are still completely inviting and inspiring. Plus, her kids are quite possibly the cutest children you have ever seen.

Q: Tell us about your family – who lives here?

My husband Paul, our two children Violette (3.5 years) and Félix (20 months), our golden retriever Lola and myself.

Q: Where do you live? Will you tell us the story of how it came to be yours?

We live in an Edwardian house in Fulham, a leafy part of South West London. We moved into our house just 2 months before Violette was born and as I was planning a home birth, I was desperate to move in and get settled before the birth. We were also very lucky to find a house walking distance from a fantastic bilingual “maternelle” that Violette now attends and Félix will attend next year. Our neighborhood is very bilingual, which was one of the main reasons we wanted to move here.

Q: How did you decide to live in the city? Why did you choose London?

I initially left New York to pursue a Masters at London School of Economics. I wasn’t planning on staying long term, but I met Paul and 10 years later, the rest is history!

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Following the Guidelines – Ayurveda & Me

2 Jul

I am having a bit of trouble following some of the recommended eating guidelines from my Ayurvedic Doctor. It’s not necessarily what I am supposed to be eating, although I am missing my fancy cheeses and artisan bread, but it’s more about how I am supposed to be eating.

Here are some examples:

  • Eat in a peaceful, quiet setting, either alone or with people that you feel relaxed around. It’s important to never eat when you are upset. (Seriously? With two toddlers I wouldn’t call our meal times peaceful…productive and entertaining but not by any means in a quiet or calm manner. More of like a rock concert on acid – could be a good show or a total bummer.)
  • Eat sitting down. Do not eat while performing another activity. It is best not to talk while chewing your food. (Uh huh.)
  • Eat moderate amounts at a moderate pace, taking time to enjoy your food. (I look more like a starved hyena ripping through his kill – always looking over your shoulder for predators wanting to snatch your dinner)
  • Meditate on your food, taking the time to be grateful for nature’s gift of life. (I’m not even going to go there)
  • Sit quietly for a few minutes after each meal. (When pigs fly)

 

Finding Utopia

19 Jun

Last night I read an article in the latest Vanity Fair that gave me goosebumps and ideas – a sometimes venturous combination. There is something about the 1960’s that does this to me – it gets me every time. I know I have the benefit of time on my side where I get to read and watch about the best of the times and skip over all the dark and dreary bits, but still, it was a magical time to live. I am sure of it.

“If you were between 15 and 30 that year, it was almost impossible to resist the lure of that transcendent, peer-driven season of glamour, ecstasy, and Utopianism. It was billed as the Summer of Love, and its creators did not employ a single publicist or craft a media plan. Yet the phenomenon washed over America like a tidal wave, erasing the last dregs of the martini-sipping Mad Men era and ushering in a series of liberations and awakenings that irreversibly changed our way of life.” Vanity Fair, June 2012

These articles spark a desire for the ultimate utopia – where everyone is kind to each other, people live within their means and it happens to be sunny all the time. This place doesn’t really exist, I know that, but a girl can still dream can’t she? I have visions of living in a community where everyone likes each other, socializing is fun and spontaneous, there are tons of kids running around free and spirited, that darn sun is out most of the year and there are rows and rows of fruit trees, veggies patches and plants as far as the eye can see. (I told you this was utopia remember?) Oh and I also want it to snow in the wintertime…with mountains nearby and the sea as well. (Let’s just take this dream all the way, shall we?)

Maybe it’s the vibe of these types of articles that set me down this path – they are always so romantic and engaging. Nostalgia is a dangerous thing sometimes but I don’t think it is a horrible way to set some goals. I want what they had. Is it even possible anymore?

So I am off to find some cool places to live. I will start interviewing and investigating. If you live somewhere dynamic and want to share it with me, contact me. I’d love to hear all about it.

Photo Credits: First Photo, Second Photo, Third Photo

Blooming Garden…Spring Has Sprung

30 May

I know in some parts of the country Spring sprung many many weeks ago but here in Seattle Spring can be very indecisive. Snow in April is not unheard of but either is 70 degrees in early May. She usually brings plenty of rain and little dabs of sun but this year we have seen more sun with just the perfect amount of the wet stuff. My garden is in full swing. If little fingers can resist picking green berries and hard figs, I think we will have plenty of goodness to gobble up later this summer.

Kale and a random assortment of lettuces, spinach and anything else my daughter decided to throw in the mix

Strawberries…cannot wait for these

itty bitty basil

string bean and snap pea teepees

cilantro. for a great tip at making your cilantro last look here.

As summer brings us our bounty I will give you more of a tour of our yard…we had to sadly cut down a 60 year old cedar tree a few weeks ago (it was dangerously leaning and we were told by the professionals that it was indeed a hazard tree meaning it has to come down now before it falls on your neighbors house) so portions of our yard are still under general construction. We don’t have a very large yard but we have managed to pack in plenty of veggies and fruits thanks to some permaculture design help from my sister. All in all we are growing: pears, plums, hardy kiwis, blueberries, a wide assortment of herbs, strawberries, a variety of greens, snap peas, string beans, carrots, fennel, grapes, tomatoes, figs, and raspberries. We like to get our money’s worth.

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