Saturday, January 26, 2013

Life at the Chateau...



My collage...a fan to stay cool, my art easel needing new pegs, a gardenia plant and lotus plants 
to add to the garden, Tika taking in a swim and making friends with our Buddha, Mr. Thuan 
hosing down new pots and vases, re-potting for our orchids and new signs of growth...I just love that!


Home alone....
I am writing from Chateau Mango today...our home in Vietnam.. dressed in the colour of a ripe mango.
I have been home alone for a week..a most unusual feeling. Mr. H headed off to India and young Connor went off to Dalat, Vietnam for a week long school trip. Tika (faithful canine) and I held down the Chateau along with Miss Huyen (cheerful cook), Mr Khai (driver and keen gardener), Thuan (quiet gardener) and Mr. Tam (attentive night guard). This kind of 'home alone' experience wasn't so alone but it was enjoyable none the less.

The party's over....
The last of our children and house guests departed last week after a five week buzz of activity. I admit there was quite a bit of 'woe is me' going on. It hit me like a lead weight. Miss Claire flew out the door for an early morning flight back to the USA and I felt the rug pull out from under me. We all know the feeling..I call it the 'wind down'. You have to start again, one step at a time. It takes me a few days and  I am happy to report that my few days around the chateau helped tremendously.

Garden, write, read, photos, cook...
I am nearly done with the wreck I call my office, I watched 'Tea with Mussolini' which I love and  the BBC classic 'North and South' written by Elizabeth Gaskell. I admit to having a crush on English actor, Richard Armitage. I have lots of crushes..shhhh (here).  I explored the outer reaches of Ho Chi Minh City for pots and urns for our garden, re-potted our orchid collection, dragged out my art easel for a bit of tweaking, spent way to much time in my favourite books shop, ARTBOOK..., got back to the gym and stepped up my game and spent time in the kitchen discovering old recipes and trying new ones.

Most importantly...I thought of you, dear reader 
and what you might enjoy so..without further adieu..

Linking in from Chateau Mango...

Gardens and food...

Love figs? check this recipe out. 
Personally if I could devour a plate of fresh figs and blue cheese 
with a bit of prosciutto on top..I would. But I have to think healthy...
or so I have been told by my inner self.

I have been tinkering around the garden this week...vying for space. 
Every time I finish reading Gardenista..I run out to the garden 
to fuss with things. It is that inspiring! 
BTW...be sure to check out Remodelista while you are there.


Read ' 10 Easy Pieces: Editor's Favourite 
Gardening Books' by Janet
@ Gardenista here


Visit 101 Cookbooks while you are there...just lovely. 
If you go to 101 Cookbooks..you will want more and if you want more 
you have to visit Thyme...Sarah is the best!


via


One last word on food... Heather @ Lost in Arles posted a fab review 
of the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook which I quickly 
went off to discover. Don't miss this post..she will tell you all about it.



Style, Art and Decorating....

Are you a Style Maven? 
I am not ...but I do have my own style..
which I have been kindly told by friends..is interesting. 
I discovered Hemingway and Hepburn today..
love the site and the name..


via


Honestly, if there was a design sisterhood...
I would put Design Chic at the top of my list. 
Every post is a pinfest for me. In fact, I think it would have to two 
for first place, for Cindy Hattersley keeps me pinhopping too.


via


Speaking of pinfest...I have been doing a bit of that lately. 
I organised my files, consolidated and actually enjoy 
hanging out there now. This week..
my favourite personal boards are Farmhouse 
where I stash my decorating ideas for Tahilla Farm...  
Art where I think about creative places and what can 
happen in them and Create for all those projects.. 
that if you put some thought into it..
you could probably make most of them yourself. 
There is a whole lot of pinning going on there.

For those of you with a bit of caftan love 
and who love checking in J. Peterman now and again.
This Ornate Paisley Caftan...'Apolline' is on sale..
and I for one am very tempted. And you?



and something new...

I love discovering new blogs...today Wallace Gardens..
you can find tweet with Sassy Nancy..here

via Sassy Nancy at Wallace Gardens

Can you tell that I am getting my mojo back?
I will stop there before I lose you all together but I will say
if you want to keep going, you can join me on Facebook 
because there is a whole lot more...thoughts on pots, 
needing decorating advise, the story  "Mrs. Wharton Goes Canoeing"
an Inaugural poemBarn Dance signs
Paris travel tips, a car to love, the story on the pots below.. all here
Hope to see you there!




With parting thoughts and wishes for a wonderful weekend 
to you all..my music crush, James Taylor.
Pass the tissue!

Jeanne xx


60 comments:

  1. Jeanne, my goodness I would say that you have your mojo back! So many wonderful new blogs for me to explore and many old favorites, 101 cookbooks is always on the top of my must read list.

    I always enjoy watching Tea with Mussolini. Speaking of movies, did you see From Rome with Love the last Woody Allen movie? I loved it, watched it on the plane to Paris, and the movie Haute Cuisine is also one of my favorites from the same plane trip.

    I send you best wishes for a wonderful family filled weekend. I cannot wait to see what treasures Mr. H brings home from India! HOpe Conor had a great trip.

    Take care, Elizabeth

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    1. Hi Elizabeth..I did see From Rome With Love and enjoyed it..I have nto seed Haute Cuisine..I love new things to explore. Many thanks and best wishes for a wonderful weekend. :)

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  2. This is such a lovely post! Thank you for letting us have a glimpse of your fascinating life!!

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    1. Hi Sandy...I like your interpretation much better than mine...I would call it crazy...fascinating sounds so much better.
      Thank you.. :)

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    2. PS...I forgot to say, I agree about James Taylor - his rendition of America the Beautiful almost brought me to tears. I have one of his CD's in my car right now and can't get enough. Enjoy your weekend!

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  3. Oh oh, you mean fresh figs, bleu cheese and prosciutto isn't health food? Haha. Whoa theres lots here to check out Jeanne. I'm off to explore some links. And I'm so glad you're getting your mojo back. I can relate to that immediate feeling after the kids leave.
    Blessings,
    Leslie (Gwen Moss)

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    1. Hi Leslie..yes..we can say it is all healthy, feeds the soul, makes us happy, all those good vibes..at least we can say it is good for the hormones. :) Best wishes.. :)

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  4. beauty and bliss. Cám ơn, joan

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  5. Checking in on you from Washington..I wonder how it feels to wear a mango red dress? ;)

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    1. Katy...I love the thought of a mango red dress...sounds exotic and wonderful. I think you just gave me an idea...I will be back with more..Best wishes... :)

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    2. Here you go kkkaty...just for you! :)
      http://cashmerejeans.blogspot.com/2013/01/women-in-redmango-red.html

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  6. Thank you for all the new links Jeanne... Love that you are back with the 'mojo'... I understand exactly how you feel about everyone disappearing... It is so tough... but once we get our legs and our spirits back... it is actually very productive... :)
    Happy weekend... xv

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    1. Thank you Vicki...sisterhood is a wonderful feeling! xx

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  7. Ah, such fun bits and pieces.

    Glad you are on the mend from all those pesky goodbyes. They just never get easy.

    Fondly,
    Glenda

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    1. I have a feeling you are right Glenda..I will follow your lead on that one. :)

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  8. bonjour jeanne! i'm so glad i visited you today! so many great blogs and books to read. i've had smitten kitchen on my wishlist for some time..think it's time to press buy! and i am going to admit something...with 4 kids all at home...i am looking forward to some quiet time! oh to spend a quiet day alone..reading, gardening, shopping... someday. and then i'll wish them all home again. :)

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    1. You will one day Pam..but it won't feel like it now. I remember the days of four at home very well. I recall spending time in the bathroom just to escape and have a little peace and quiet. Enjoy your tribe while you can, it will change one day and then you just might have Paris all to yourself. :)

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  9. Oh hooray! You are so wonderful. As if it wasn't lovely enough of your leaving word of a new cookbook to discover, there is a whole list of goodies to dive into here AND you mentioned my blog as well, for which I thank you. Heartily!

    Hmmm...I know that a week is a long time but I am in real need of some alone time myself. Just to do whatever I please. When Remi asked me if I would go up to Grenoble to assist him, of course I said yes (and was glad that I did) but a tiny part of me was whining over the lost opportunity to watch girly movies and make burritos! ;)

    "North and South" is on my bedstand, I will watch the series after I have read the book. And I am afraid I now am in dire need of fig, prosciutto and blue cheese. That will be eaten this weekend as we are going grocery shopping later and the market is in the morning. You see? I haven't even LOOKED at the healthy option. Le sigh.

    And I vote YES for the kaftan! It could very well become the official uniform for life at Chateau Mango.
    Gros, gros bisous et Bon Weekend,
    H

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    1. I am sure you will enjoy the movie version of North and South Heather..I am embarassed to say how many times I have watched it. I am thinking it would be fun to have a 'kaftan' party...we could have a lot of fun with that theme...perhaps on a creative retreat to Tahilla Farm? Hold that thought.. xx

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  10. Jeanne
    Thank you so kindly for the mention. I have been riveted to your farmhouse pinboard as well. You have such style and grace can't wait to see what you do! This post was chock full of inspiration! When I get home (in sf shopping for clients)I must take a closer look. I am not adept at typing on my I phone!

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    1. If you look closely Cindy...you will see that much of it comes from your blog. I love the way the Pinterest world pins. :)

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  11. Going through my own withdrawal from 5 weeks of Christmas and New Years' visitors. I could do a list here...but, right now, I must run out the door :)

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    1. Would love to see your list Becky...when time permits. Warm wishes from Saigon... :)

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  12. Oh, I know what you mean about how it feels the rug has been pulled out from underneath you. Madeleine LOVED being home so much over the holidays it made me worry. I asked her if she was itching to go back for her second semester...and she said "not really". I teared up and told her how thrilled I was that she loves being home. She smiled and said she is very happy in college, she just doesn't get "down" time like she needs. My little introvert will always be an introvert...I don't why I thought she would suddenly turn into this wild card all of a sudden.

    Jeanne, how fun to all of sudden see my photo! You are so sweet...just like that peppermint ice cream...mmmm. Good luck to getting your mojo back. I have no doubt you'll be off to new adventures in no time. I love your perspective on life and family.

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    1. I know that feeling so well Sarah..you want to pull them in and let them go all at the same time. I am not sure if the perfect balance exists but I will use their happiness as a barometer and so far...it is looking pretty good. Fingers crossed for the next 3 1/2 years! xx

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  13. Jeanne you are gaining back swag my friend. I had this overwhelming feeling last night of how it felt when the kids gave me a big hug. It's so tough and I feel torn most the time. You however accomplish more in one day than I do in a week. I love your hints to new terrific blogs. Now if I could quit my day job & get back to the blogging I love. There is no one I know that lives life to the fullest as you do. BTW, I too would love to take a photography class. How great that you and Miss Claire did so together!!

    Thanks for the wonderful read as always dear Jeanne. xx

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    1. Deb...I would say you are doing pretty well on your own with your photographs, I love them! Those hugs..we are so lucky we can feel them. Hold on tight! xx

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  14. Reading your warm words and sipping a cup of watermelon mint tea has banned the chill for a bit - we've had artic weather here and a weekend in your neck of the woods would be so welcome! Will have to spend some time exploring your links.
    xxoo
    C + C

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    1. C&C...I am holding onto that watermelon mint tea idea...how delicious. Perfect for a late Saigon afternoon. :)

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  15. You've inspired me to look at those links...love Tea with Mussolini and James Taylor!
    Hope that you are settling in nicely Jeanne.

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    1. Thank you Leslie...slowly but surely..it is all coming together.. xx

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  16. Arggg! So much to see here!
    Must return when I have more time. Too enticing!
    And wasn't James divine???

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    1. JT perfection...is there ever anything less? xx

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  17. I'm so sorry your Christmas present and card still haven't arrived. Perhaps I should ship off this year's present in the next few days:-D.

    xo
    Carina

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    1. The post is so slow in Vietnam Carina...but I was thrilled to write to you to tell you it arrived...it will be coming soon in a blog post. "_ xx

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  18. What a delightfully entertaining post. Can we all live vivaciously through you? Thanks for the wonderful pictures and the fascinating narrative. Keep writing, reading, photographing and all of the above. Enjoy the quiet time.
    http://www.writemomentswithgod.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you Rose...quiet time always welcome around here and when it rolls in, your blog is always lovely to read. :)

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  19. Jeanne, your blogs have captured my heart since day one. This post just made me all the more anxious to read more, stay in touch more and ask your advice more! What wonderful insights you have and I just truly can't imagine living so far away from everything I know…and yet I envy you like crazy for getting to explore the "unknown" all of the time! What fun! I know what you mean about the rug being swept out from under…I think I experience it at least once every two weeks…it doesn't get any easier when they head of to New Orleans or to Auburn..which I know probably sounds silly to you when there are oceans separating you two…but I really have learned to take it minute by minute after they leave…and get myself back together and then it's really ok and I enjoy just being with Jim or just being alone. It's a precarious balance I try to keep on my emotions but I also know I love all of life that we are experiencing and am not sorry for one second that we "get" to endure it!

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    1. Carolyn...not silly at all, whether they have moved down the street or across the sea, you still feel their absence. Your consolation is just as you said..we fill our time, enjoy life and be thankful for the time we have with the ones we love. xx

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  20. Now that was a full on blog post! Lovely to hear all your news and how life has been these past weeks with children home with you. The 'peace and quiet' can seem a little too quiet after they have all left I'm sure. I've been thinking about purchasing the 'Smitten Kitchen' book on the recommendation of a few friends, so you may have tipped me over!

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    1. Victoria...I am sure you will love it! xx

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  21. well what a lovely round up :) I do adore a good home alone day ,,, best le

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    1. Thank you BHCH..so glad you stopped by and hope you found a link to enjoy over and over again. :)

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  22. Oh dear Jeanne,
    Not a nice feeling you describe, that moment you realise you are left at home alone, it is a sinking feeling sometimes, but then it sounds like you have pulled yourself together and kept yourself busy. You're never really alone with all of us out there, somewhere in the world.

    Some great links to explore - thank you. I have recently found a blog I'm loving, so visually beautiful with great recipes and France, what more could you want - http://mimithorisson.com/ - give it a try.

    Much love
    Di
    X

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    1. Thank you Di...I love new blogs as you can tell..I am off to explore! xx

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  23. An enjoyable read Jeanne with lots of lovely links. I love Sarah at Thyme and, of course, sweet Heather. I am not much into cooking right now though. My son and I have been sick all this past week with fever and a very bad cough. It has taken a lot out of the both of us. My little one is insisting on staying in bed - something which he has never done. I hope we will be better soon.

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    1. I am right there with you at the moment Loree...sniff, sniff, cough cough. You think you will have all sorts of time to do things and then you realise your brain does not have the strength...at the moment I am writing on a whole lot of cold pills... xx

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  24. So much here to whet the appetite! Time alone is sometimes a very good thing, and I hope you have enjoyed doing nothing more than what you most enjoyed.

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  25. Well, it must be so sad to see the kiddo's go, but it seems like there is lots of interesting stuff going on at Chateau Mango! enjoy!

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    1. That there is my friend...never a dull moment Stephanie. :) xx

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  26. Oh Jeanne,
    It's so sad when we have had our children with us for a while and then they are off again ...... they say that the best parents are the ones that let them go but it's not easy !!
    ..... and, Tea with Mussolini is one of my favourite films. I have seen it so many times as it always reminds me of our holidays in Florence and visits to San Gimignano...... also, Richard Armitage is one of my favourites as well. I loved him in Robin Hood ..... actually, I love him whatever he's in !!!!
    Keep enjoying yourself and cook up a storm. XXXX

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    1. Ah...a fellow Richard Armitage fan. I know those films well Jacqueline. I loved seeing in The Hobbit too...it was hard not to love his performance in that film. I am ready for the second round.. xx

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  27. Hello Jeanne

    I can imagine the quietness when you laughing beautiful children leave. You embrace life and I love seeing your garden and Chateau Mango. I am happy to see your art easel airing in the sunshine, perhaps a spot of plein air painting?

    Fondly

    Helen xx

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    1. I need you Helen to guide me on the plein air painting...it is waiting for you.. :) xx

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  28. I keep picturing boxes and boxes and crates and crates filled with your pots and urns when you move to your New England farm for they are too lovely to leave behind.

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    1. Mary...I am planning the first container as I write. You are so right! xx

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  29. i still can't believe you are living over there!!!
    so exotic!!!

    ....and james taylor singing was the absolute best!!!

    xox

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    1. So funny...I was thinking the same about your experience Renee..Camden, Maine looks wonderful this time of year. I loved your most recent post.. xx

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Can I just say....that I so enjoy what YOU have to say. Just a few words or a
few paragraphs, no matter. If you would like to write to me directly, I would love to hear from you... jeannecollageoflife@gmail.com

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