March 22, 2019

The latest from my neck of the woods...and yours?

It's been an interesting week in my neck of the woods. 
How about yours? 
My Monday morning started out like this...I beat the sun, 
waking before it woke me up and was lucky enough to catch it rising 
in all it's glory behind our little mountain. 

I actually sat up in bed, stupefied...wondering 
if I had been missing sunrises like this all winter long! 
Must make note to self to rise earlier!

If ever there was a perfect meditative Monday morning, 
this had to be it! It was a joy to watch, snow or no snow.

I wasn't the only one to take in the view...
I had a few friends come along to get their own perspective.

Word must have spread because before I knew...
their was a wild turkey convention happening at Tahilla Farm!

 Whoever said hanging out in the woods alongside a mountain was boring? 
Not me!

Studio light with a geranium

I wasn't able to spend as much time in my studio as I would have liked this week. Appointments filled my days and a cranky neck and shoulder sent me off for a date with an MRI machine that did not go well. I am blaming it on the moon. 

As much as I love a full moon...
I find it has a strange pull on me and in this case I was right!
Sound familiar?

Anyone else hate MRI machines and suffer from claustrophobia? Well I do and I am starting to think it has intensified with passing years. Needless to say I lasted 10 seconds before I bolted straight up from the machine and admitted I would need something to get me through it. The technicians were very gracious about it, gave me a few booking the appointment for first thing in the morning, going to bed very late the night before and taking something to make me sleepy before the session. Notes taken and I am ready to go back and try again next week...fingers crossed.

Needless to say, I was not able to get to as many postcards written as I would have liked. If I owe you one, please know that I have not forgotten you! 

I did enjoy the view from my studio window one afternoon, spotting two deer making their way across the field.

and then back again the next morning. 

It has been lovely to feel the transition to Spring 
as we move to longer days. My geraniums are loving it.

It is also a reminder to make a date to get some blinds 
installed in the gathering room of the carriage house.
It's going to be a long hot summer if I don't!

The Gathering Room

With Spring comes mud and we have plenty of it in this section of our driveway. We have a big landscaping project underway this spring/summer and on the list is a paved "chip seal" driveway. I go back and forth on it constantly. Part of me hates the idea of asphalt but loves the idea of it's practicality and the other hates the mud but loves the "authentic" country living feel of it. I really need to get over myself and just get on with a decision!

In the meantime, I never leave home without my L.L. Bean Rubber Mocs 
for those squishy mud sessions and in the case of today,
a rain hat and a shopping list. 

Speaking of shopping...
I don't think I hit anything on my list today
except my daily stop into the post office 
and a stop into one of my favorite shops in town,

On my "To Do" list is a page listing
my favorite things places to eat, drink, shop and be merry
around our local town, Peterborough, New Hampshire.
But first, I need to update my Hong Kong notes.
Stay tuned...for both!

Feeling Spring at Bowerbird & Friend Antiques
Peterborough, New Hampshire

Before I set off into the rainy day to visit a Sugar Shack ( it's maple syrup season in our neck of the woods too!) I have a few things you may want to ponder over the weekend....

A Tahilla Retreat progress report... I have been asked and am happy to report that the Tahilla Retreat idea is still alive and well. I decided to test the waters locally first with small workshop based groups. A friend is going to run a focus group with a few women around a new business idea in our gathering room...I am looking forward to seeing the retreat idea evolve.

Speaking of women....I love this initiative by designer, Eileen Fisher: WOMEN TOGETHER. It's definitely worth the time to investigate!

On that note, I have mentioned Laura McClellan and The Productive Woman podcast in a previous post. I always find her podcasts inspiring and it was the case again with her Productive Reading: Atomic Habits by James Clear . I wasn't even halfway through the podcast before setting off to download Atomic Habits onto Audible. I have since listened to it twice. I downloaded it on Tuesday! If you enjoy motivating non-fiction books, you must check it out! You can find the book here and listen to it on Audible here

I just want to thank everyone who suggested I read Where The Crawdads Sing  by Delia Owens. It was fabulous!

In my last post I talked about the fiction books I enjoyed around Paris and I had a few more suggestions from readers. You can find them on the Jeanne and The Brown Paper Book Club page on Goodreads. They are...

Hunting and Gathering by Anna Gavalda
Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
Paris to the Moon by Adam Gopnik
Paris by Edward Rutherford
by Janelle McCulloch

With that,
the postcard lady wishes you a very

My basket of postcards :)

Jeanne xx

Want to say hi?
You can write to me

You can also find me on Instagram here
Follow The Brown Paper Book Club on Goodreads here

March 18, 2019

Dreaming about....a Book Club Retreat in Paris and My Stylish French Box

From my Paris Postcard stash...Hotel Duc de Saint-Simon
Perfect setting for a Paris book club retreat!

If a little dreaming is dangerous,
the cure for it 
is not to dream less but
to dream more, 
to dream all the time.
Marcel Proust

A book lover's dream....
It's a book lover's dream to wander the very streets that inspired Marcel ProustÉmile ZolaSamuel BeckettAlbert CamusSartreSimone de Beauvoir and so many others. You might step into the Salon at 27 rue de Fleurus where Gertrude Stein mentored Ernest Hemingway, or have a drink at the café littéraires Les Deux Magots and Café de Flore, the long-ago haunts of James JoyceF. Scott FitzgeraldEzra Pound and their fellow The Lost Generation writers.

via Abe Books..full article here

"A Paris", 1956 Roger-Viollet
(another from my postcard stash)

Red Toes and Paris...
I have had Paris on my mind ever since, Susie, a reader in The Brown Paper Book Club mentioned that she was in Paris and in need of a good book to read. Actually there are two reasons why Paris is on my mind, but books first. The discussion with Susie progressed and I found myself thinking...wouldn't it be fun, to have a Brown Paper Book Club retreat in Paris? I immediately went off to a salon to have my toes painted red (Paris Red) and while I was there I started to think about all the books I have read centered around Paris.

One thought lead to another (thankfully!) and I started to create a list of the books I enjoyed, ones that would make for great discussions either in a Paris book club retreat or a local one. Knowing that many of you are book lovers as well, I wondered if you have read any of the books below and if there are others you would add to the list?

Novels set in Paris...
ones that I have read and enjoyed.

More books featuring Paris... and more

A traveling book club?
It is kind of a fun idea, a traveling book club and reading books in anticipation of a journey. What do you think? Marcel Proust may be right, this may be a case of when a little dreaming is dangerous and the only true cure is to dream more. Are you dreaming with me?

If so, don't stop there.

I mentioned that Paris has been on my mind for two is books and the other is My Stylish French Box. If you have been following my blog for a while you will know Sharon Santoni of My French Country Home and the many products around her brand. I have mentioned Sharon before and if you are not familiar with her, you will want to be...especially if you enjoy a bit of joie de vivre in your life.

I do!

I know My Stylish French Box well and am always excited when the postman comes up the drive with a box in hand. I have Mr. H to thank for this excitement, it is a Christmas gift that rolled from one year to the next. Very lucky!

The lovely thing about these stylish boxes is that the only  hint we have before it's arrival is the theme of the box. In the last box we knew that it would bring out our "inner Parisienne".  Joie!

Box No. 9- February 2019

I am happy to report that it did! Inside the most recent box...a chic beret from Le Beret Francais; a fun boxed set of notecards from Jean-Jacques Sempe (some of them are on their way as postcards); a handbag perfume from Annick Goutal that I love!; the perfect red lip balm from Pierre Ricaud to go with my red toes; a divine scented candle from La Note Parisienne; an antique pill box that now sits on my desk and a Paris-printed pochette from Odile Baillouel to remind me of Paris every day, all day.

I am such an avid fan of Sharon's My Stylish French Box...that for the first time ever, I am associating myself with a brand because I love it so. I am on board as an Ambassador of My Stylish French Box so that I can bring a little bit of France to your life. It's simple, if you read about the product and purchase one, let them know I sent you. You can read about past boxes here.

One day, I will hit the sales target and earn a free box which I will in turn offer as a giveaway on the blog. A win, I share the love with you! Sharon and her team are taking orders for the May box. I haven't heard what the theme is yet, Spring is in the air, I can't wait!

My Stylish French Box

All this talk about Paris is making me think of French cafes and coffee and pastry and the courtyard above at the Hotel Duc de Saint-Simon...where I stayed a few years ago. I imagine us all sitting there, a group of like-minded book reading souls, taking a coffee break or sipping French champagne after a day of book themed sightseeing... and talking about books! Paradis!

There I go...dreaming again! 

Along the streets of Paris...dreams

Let us be grateful to people 
who make us happy,
they are the charming gardeners 
who make our souls blossom!
Marcel Proust

Jeanne xx

Have a book suggestion or just want to say hi?
You can write to me

Find me on Instagram here
Follow The Brown Paper Book Club on Goodreads here

March 3, 2019

Before and after Tahilla Farm and a postcard update

Tahilla Farm 2019

Happy March! 

As you can see from the photo above and below, we still have snow and if the forecast holds true tonight, we will have a bit more. I like to get out in the fields every now and again to photograph the property through the seasons and years. I often think it would be nice to replicate our little fiefdom on the hill in a snow globe. It would come in handy during long hot summer days when I curse those New Hampshirite's who said we would not need air conditioning...because "it never gets that hot in New Hampshire."  I beg to differ...maybe the snow globe will help. ;)

February 25, 2019

The First Time...and a postcard mailing

Snowy day, Tahilla Farm

I need only to stand 
wherever I am to be blessed.
Mary Oliver

Hello from snowy New Hampshire!

We had some pretty exciting celebrations over the weekend, our little Aussie grandson, Cooper, turned one!

February 14, 2019

Meditation...I get you

Mention the word meditation and I typically sigh in dismay...been there, done that, not for me. End of story.

Until last night.

January 20, 2019

The Keeping Room and The Studio

On this winter day....

"And the world cannot be discovered 
by a journey of miles, 
no matter how long, 
but only by a spiritual journey, 
a journey of one inch, 
very arduous and humbling and joyful, 
by which we arrive at the ground at our own feet, 
and learn to be at home."  

Wendell Berry