10 July 2010

make it what you want it to be





I'm not sure if you have noticed it or not, but sometimes, I get a tiny bit wrapped in my dreams of France. I won't use the word "obsess", but I do think about living there. Often.

The thing is, right now, for me, for us, that isn't a reasonable option. Oh, don't get me wrong- one day I WILL live there. It may not be full-time, but one day, I will have a home there, and I will spend as much time as I can in that sweet French home.

But for now, I think what I really want to focus on is how to bring France to moi! Because, when I look around at my current surroundings, they are pretty fabulous. We have this wonderfully quaint little farm, with animals and gardens and lots of property. We have a fabulous character home that now has an absolutely delicious kitchen. (I won't even mention how amazing my little family is because they would be in either place - so that is a given!)

So then, what is it that is missing, aside from a French address, the French markets, the French language... Drat, there I go again... Let's start over.

There are things that I would like to incorporate into our life that I either don't take the time or simply haven't made the effort thus far. But today is a new day, and it is time.

~I want an outdoor eating area that is comfortable and charming. I want to eat our meals there whenever it is nice enough to do so.

~Speaking of meals, I want to take more time preparing fabulous meals for my family - not only for dinner, but lunch as well. We don't spend enough time sitting down for our meals - something that is really enjoyed in France. When I was there this past April, we sat outside and enjoyed wonderful lunches in the sunshine and it is one of my favorite memories.

~I want to shop at our local markets more often. I love walking through the market, visiting local vendors, hearing about what it is they sell, and going home knowing that what I am going to feed my family is from our own state, raised, or made, or grown by a local farmer. I love that!

~I want to use my vintage items daily rather than only for special occasions. I brought home some fabulous silverware, not to mention a GORGEOUS linen sheet that is currently drying in the sunshine on the line (see photo above). I want to have enough silver to use it every day, rather than just have it out looking pretty. I mean, why not, right?

~And then there is the laundry line. Another thing that was used every single day Chez French family. I love how everything smells of sunshine and summer breezes when it comes in off of the line! At the very least, I want to dry my whites as it is so nice to have them bleached by the sun.

Finally (for now) I want to *putter* more often. I want to stay home, wear my sun hat, wander through the gardens pulling weeds or picking berries. I want to sit in the hammock (something I RARELY do) with a book, do more stylized photo shoots in Mabel, and ride my bicycle when I go to visit friends who live nearby. There are so many things I can do right here on our little piece of paradise to enrich the life I currently have. I simply need to make the effort and do it!

Have a marvelous rest of your weekend mes amies,
xx


42 comments:

KarenSue said...

I love to "putter" I do it all the time. Puttering in Paris might be nice. I was looking at that market on your last post, just a little to far from Orlando Florida.
Enjoy your day!
KarenSue

Kelly said...

oh I just spent the whole day at local markets and a fruit farm there is somthing nice about bring fresh veggies and fruit home and I even bought a bottle of peach wine that was made by a local orchard here....and I love clothes lines...I made my own years ago with two old tress and some hooks and made a pulley system...I love it...you might not live in france yet but you can have your own little paris where you live...as today at my house a little bit of county.....

Chez Zizi said...

That sounds so fabulous. I would love to do the same. I would also love for my 40th birthday to go to Paris.
Zizette

Mikal said...

What a joyful wonderful life you describe... and I know you'll make it come true! It sounds like perfection too. :)

Laura @ 52 FLEA said...

Hi Kim...
To be able to see all the wonderful things right in front of you, to be grateful for your blessings and to be content is a gift...It sounds as if you truly have a little paradise all your own and it is so lovely to see that you recognize that.
The silver lining of losing my job in March has been that now, for the first time...there is time to putter.... and I love it!
I dream of spending time in beautiful France too...my one week in Paris eleven years ago was such a tease! The relaxed lifestyle, beautiful and old buildings and of course...the delicious and leisurely meals are so much a part of the appeal. OK, now I'm getting carried away too! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I love your wonderful old linen sheet!
Have a great rest of your weekend.
:)

teresa sheeley said...

I have thought of this same thing often. My grandparents who came here from France, lived the life you speak of; and a little passed onto my maman; mostly the garden and providing good meals. We have a quaint winery down the road; I would love to ride my bike to with a basket, they just need a bakery full of baguettes! I have never been to France, but only have what my family has passed down as things the French would do. Love this post!

annie mason aka junky gal said...

What wonderful sentiments! You have inspired me; it's actually a similar life to how country folk used to live here, in previous generations. I'll pause for thought...Bonne soir...Diane

GLENDA CHILDERS said...

You are describing intentional living ~ which I love. And when I look at your list of things you love, they are all very manageable. How lovely is that.

I went to the Junk Market today ~ didn't see you though. We got there about 9:30.

Bought an adorable small plate FROM FRANCE ~ almost bowl shaped.

Then we went to Crate and Barrel :)

Fondly,
Glenda

MEG MITCHELL said...

I feel like I had written this post but you did and you hit it right on with what's happening in my life as well. I always dream of living in Paris ... even for 2-3 months would be a treat. I am pulling out my Limoge dishes and using them everyday. And I love to hang everything outside on the line ... especially sheets. Smells so wonderful.
Meg

Dustjacket Attic said...

Honey I relate to this and understand you, good luck to both of us.

I love your photo, but I always do you clever girl.

hugs DJ

Flower Patch Farmgirl said...

Those just happen to be many of the things I love, too. Who know I was a closeted Francophile? :)

Jen Kershner said...

You are well on your way to your dream life and I love your ideas for incorporating more of a french feel to your life. It inspires me completely! I hope all of your french dreams come true.

fairmaiden said...

I'm with you. I gave up on dreaming of living somewhere else about 10 yrs. ago and decided to live that European lifestyle I love here. Riding my beach cruiser to market, buying local organic produce, carrying it in my wicker bike basket and canvas bags, puttering in my own gardens, just slowing down and savoring the simple. I already cook and bake homemade...and am still always trying to slow down even more. I am alot happier...and you will be too! It's alot of fUn. and you will be suprised at how many people you will run into that are trying to do the same thing. At present I am trying to find some nice woven baskets to use for grocery shopping.

Cathi said...

I myself adore the simple pleasures in life and do incorporate them daily. I definitely need to get out the bicycle more often than I do and pedal to the Farmers Market...

I dried my clothes out on the line today too...love it!

I will be in Paris for my birthday in less than a month - I can't wait! :)

Lovely post!

Chatelaine said...

That is so true. You can make your home and surroundings like a little piece of France.

I am trying to decorate my home so I always feel like I am on vacation in Europe.

Shelly said...

Long walks, artisans, leisurely meals with produce/cheeses and yes-a bit of "sweets".
Less waste, no strip malls, style in all things from food to home to clothing.....
I've yet to "DO" Paris, but I absolutely fell in love with Strassbourg in the Alsace Provence, felt like I'd lived there in a former life or something....I'd move there in a heartbeat if I didn't have my family and freinds here....

But I try to emulate a more simplistic and yet appreciative life here too.....

Now, if only I can find a spot for that clothesline! (My sister in Germany has one and my cousins in Holland did too!)

Thanks for sharing!
Hugs,
Shell

Ticking and Toile said...

Sounds absolutely wonderful! One of our daughter's just got back from serving a 2 years mission in France and loves the french lifestyle so much. She talks a lot about the markets, the food preparation, the relaxing at mealtimes.....sounds so completely opposite of our lifestyle....I say lets bring it over to the USA....slow down, enjoy, savor & putter...:)

xo,
Shellagh

Teresa said...

Happy PUTTERING Kimberly!
xo

Missing Goat said...

I love the sound of that - putter, read, relax, ..all while the laundry dries on a line. Ah, the life. I think I will get a clothes line too - I've put two up for photo shoots here on the farm, but always take them down after.

VICKI ARCHER said...

It sounds like you are already most of the way there Kimberely...enjoy your beautiful paradise, xv.

Simone - honeyandfizz said...

What you want sounds like bliss!
Loving the idea of puttering, the hammock and bicycling to friends:)

Ange said...

France should model itself around you my sweet. Don't forget the sun that shines down on my sheets is the same one that shines down on yours. SO in a way, your sheets have the same sunkissed perfume as the ones in the South of France.
In spite of the markets, the silverware and the vintage fabric ... my French life is missing a bit of Kim Pazzaz!!

Sarah Elizabeth said...

I am living my dream of living in Italy and also lived in France for a year. I too was looking for the lifestyle that you talk of. The thing is, in reality it doesn't always quite match up to the dream. Your post has reminded me that we create our on lifestyle wherever we live. Good luck creating your little pocket of France!

Olive Cooper said...

Puttering is wonderful. When I retired I quit wearing a watch and time is much more fluid and I putter much easily. Your French culture can easily be cultivated on your lovely farm. Best wishes...olive

Jeanne said...

I am so with you on this one Mimi...I have been puttering all weekend and have been fascinated by laundry on the line. Only wish it looked half as good as yours!

All the best...

Jeanne:)

the VG huis said...

Awww your words paint such a vivid picture. I can see you riding a vintage bike equipt with basket full of flowers. I too love our farmer's market and love to support local. I've been thinking about where to put in a clothes line for the last month. I love this post....makes me feel very blessed even though I don't have the surrounding I crave. Have a wonderful day. Stacey

the cinnamon post said...

my laundry line went up yesterday and today my sheets are going to be hanging...i never thought i'd be so excited about something so simple...love all your french affections too!
~Tara

Cabin and Cottage said...

Bravo! Jacqueline

red ticking said...

love to putter... at home... farmers markets... garden... everywhere!
and this plan of yours sounds perfect.. enjoy every moment... xx

Privet and Holly said...

My mom's motto when we were growing up {and moving A LOT} was "Bloom where you are planted." The funny thing is, I often chafe at not living where YOU are living and tend to forget all the wonderful things that I can savor right where I am, including all that you mention. You are right, it is simply a mind-shift. Thanks for the great reminder.
xx Suzanne

Playing Sublimely said...

My husband and I were in France last fall and I too fell in love! I write about it often, I can't get Paris out of my mind. Nice to meet you!
Amy

Miss Sew & So said...

i completely agree with your thinking...a while back, when we still lived in australia- i did just that- i began to use my beautiful white bone china for EVERY meal- the 3 kiddos used it for EVERY meal...i took all things plastic & ikea to oxfam- and we used the things that we had collected- that made us happy....we took the beautiful linen pillows to the outside couches...i made picnic rugs with the french striped fabric i had been saving- and we sat in the garden on them all the time....& my 12 year old big girl *talks * about HOW we live all the time....things are definately precious, special & to be respected...but they are part of our everyday life...& our children have shared them with us- not just our dinner guests...
i love this post- as i feel we have adopted soo many of the things you have suggested you will begin to incorporate into your lives...we use our vintage china everyday...we ride our bikes through the village to school...we bake bread....the children are learning daily to cook...our milk & eggs are delivered each day on our doorstep- from the local organic farm....these are the things- as you say- that should make up everyday life- be part of our families story- not just holiday love.....
thankyou for these lovely words - as i think we can all do more to capture the life we want when we talk about it together...
melissa x

Anonymous said...

I know how you feel- my husband is English and I spent a few years living in England with him. Now that we're back in the US- I miss it the way you miss France. I try to incorporate a bit of our English life into our daily life here (bit difficult but I try!) One of my goals is to have enough proper silver to use daily. I do use a clothes line all summer long with wooden pegs and a cute little bag that says "pegs" on it bought in a market in England. Like you with France I will live in England again- not if but when. (PS I did live in France- near Toulouse in Blagnac- when my husband worked at Airbus....I didn't like it! But I'm an anglophile so.....)

Dr. Aldona Spiegel said...

Hi Mimi,
I found your blog by way of French essence. It is amazing how many of us think alike. I am in France now, we rented a house in Provence for the month of July. It is wonderful: the fruit tastes amazing, the scenery is beautiful, the weather is great. You feel like you want to capture every moment, but in truth I often wonder, am I appreciating it enough? I feel that way at home as well. Most weekends with the family are amazing, despite that I often dream of France. In some ways it is a curse to always think that " the grass is greener" somewhere else. So I have also made a resolution to really appreciate my home now and be happy. I will also be turning forty this year, in December, and it is a real milestone. I hope to figure out how to keep content, is it so much to ask?
Xx

Anonymous said...

I live in New England and learned a very long time ago to live the life you dream of living...your post is exactly how I have been living for many many years now...you can live in a dream or live your dream and I am happy to see in your post that you will be living your dream! It sounds like you are exceptionally blessed already!

Jenna said...

Mmm, I am with you on les reves de la France. It'll happen! Catching little bits and pieces and incorporating them into your daily life seems like a great way to do it (in the meantime).

Do you have any recommendations for good books about living in France? I always love readying real-life accounts...

Jacqueline said...

Dear Kim,
Just a little thank-you for your lovely comment while I have been away at my sisters. I have been a hopeless blogger for the past few months and am now trying to get back on track.
It's lovely to hear you enjoying your own surroundings and not pining for France too much. I guess that I am so lucky as France is just a couple of hours away. My husband and brother-in-law are just back from Le Mans and had a great time. It is so easy to hop over the Channel with the car..... but, you have such a beautiful home and fantastic outdoor space and it sounds as if you are making the most of it. I'm sure that your little part of France will materialise in the future. Lots of love to you. XXXX

paige said...

you inspire me!

oh & lets give 3 cheers for puttering! love puttering

Rachel said...

sounds like you have great plans!
i like trying to make everyday special. last night i made a mini pink cake with strawberries just because i wanted to see a little bright pink cake in my refrigerator lol.
oh and i agree having silver sounds wonderful.
i often dream of far off places, but like you when i look around i realize jeez alot of people probably dream about being right where i'm at! :)

Lori said...

You said everything perfectly Kim and I know you will make it happen. Why do we rush around all the time? It seems like every Monday I am wishing for Friday but then the month is half over and we ask where the time went?? I cannot wait to see your "wish list" become a reality! xo

Ashley Stinson @ The Hillside Home said...

Glad to hear that I'm not the only one who obsesses--err, daydreams--about living in a far away land. Most of the time it's Paris for me. Once in a while it's Greenwich Village. And other time's it's a beach house on the East Coast... maybe Rhode Island or Connecticut (I never knew Connecticut was spelled that way... had to spell check it... funny). Anywho, thanks for the reminder that we can choose to bring some of those places to us each day...

Lesa said...

First let me say that I love this post, reading it made me feel like I was in paris now. You know, it's like the simple things in our lives really makes it meaningful and special... and taking the time to enjoy them fills our life with true joy. thanks for this post.