Wednesday, May 31, 2017

French Mailboxes

I posted a photo on Facebook earlier this week of an American mailbox that Maggie and I saw on our backwoods walk Monday morning. It prompted a comment by a friend who asked what French mailboxes look like. Today's post is in answer to that question. This is the mailbox outside the gates to the Chateau. In the spirit of full disclosure...not all French mailboxes are this pretty!
This is the front and back of mine. The green and red sticker tells the post lady that I don't want the advertising circulars. I can open it from inside the gate which is especially nice when it's raining...I don't get wet.
Patrick's mailbox. The gray capped PVC pipe is for his morning baguette delivery straight from the bakery in Cajarc.
A selection of other boxes that Lucie and I pass every day on our morning walk. The boxes themselves are pretty plain, but their settings are beautiful!
And finally...this is the box to post letters. It's on the wall of the Mairie. La Poste, the national mail service, uses yellow and dark blue as its colors. Mail trucks are yellow with dark blue lettering.
The American mailbox that started it all.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Owl or Gryphon?

A bit of discussion on Facebook yesterday with Maggie and Vanessa. On our walk through the countryside, Maggie and I came upon this iron cross along the road. Crosses are very common in the French countryside, but the critter in the center of this one is not common on them. It looked like an owl to Maggie and me which seemed to be an odd symbol for a cross. Maggie consulted Vanessa on FB and Vanessa thought perhaps it was a gryphon, also odd to me. So this morning I did a bit of Google research...

Gryphons are, indeed, a Christian symbol from the Middle Ages. Who knew? A mythical animal, the gryphon (or griffin) is a combination of a lion and an eagle. To medieval Christians it symbolized the resurrected Christ who had both a heavenly (eagle) and earthly (lion) nature. I looked at some Google images of gryphons, though, and couldn't find any that resembled this guy.

So, I tried owl and guess what....he's a Christian symbol as well! Actually the owl has two meanings. It can represent the Jews who rejected Christ, and it can be a night owl, "one that shuns the light much as Christ shunned the glory of human praise." I'm not sure I like either one of those meanings, but our little owl definitely looks like one of the Google images ones....
What do you think....owl or gryphon?

Sunday, May 28, 2017

International Dining

It doesn't get much better than breakfast on the terrace...with a bit of international flair. Greek yogurt topped with locally grown strawberries, fresh from yesterday's market in Cajarc.
A mug of English tea thanks to my friend, Jean Howling. A dab of lovely rich French butter for my still-warm croissant...

and a dollop of Iowa peach jam, a gift from my friend and jam-maker extraordinaire, Karen Heege. It's like a sweet taste of Iowa summer on my tongue!
And for dessert, luscious cherries picked Friday according to the market vendor and served up in a pretty polka dot bowl made by a regional potter.
Listening to U2 on the computer.
America, Ireland, England, France and Greece
A very international Sunday breakfast!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

This Morning's River Walk

River reflections...
picking white asparagus....
patches of poppies...
new fence going up.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017


I'm so proud of my friend. Mandy Jameson! Today her novel, "Landsliding" was published on Amazon Kindle. Mandy and I belong to the Parisot Writing Group. I've followed her progress on this story from idea, to work-in-progress, to almost done to publication. I know the blood, sweat and tears that went into its creation. I was honored to be one of Mandy's beta-readers. Now I'm more than pleased to see it in print and to encourage you to buy it!

"Landsliding" is a story of relationships and secrets and how the two collide in the lives of Julia and Brendan. Julia's marriage has just fallen apart. She feels alone and adrift; her friends help, but something is still missing. Then Brendan appears in her life. Is he too good to be true? Julia's friends seem to think so, but Julia is smitten. When doubts intrude, things take a dark turn. Secrets have twisted more than one life in this novel.

Dip into the lives of Julia, her family and friends and I promise that you'll be hooked. Mandy's clear, direct writing and fast-paced narrative will keep you wondering until the very end if things are really as they seem or if secrets have obscured reality

"Landsliding" can be purchased on