Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Niche in Time


Bonjour from Campagne Maison




This was actually the first “design alteration” undertaken at the farmhouse. There have been many since and numerous others are scheduled to follow. But the first is the one you never forget, kinda like the first love, the first kiss, the first date, the first dance……..

My niece, the "Design Diva", was the brave soul wielding the reciprocal saw on this project. A few minutes AND a couple of broken blades later, she was forced to move on to bigger toys—I mean tools-- the Craftsman Skill Saw. But, even with that toy—I mean tool—it proved to be a challenge. All I could think about the entire time she wrestled with that saw, as the blade smoked from overheating and squealed from being in a bind, was that scary “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” movie! It was on this very wall that we first discovered the October 1935 issues of the Knoxville Journal, that I wrote about in the post entitled “October”. These walls weren’t eager to give up any of the secrets they were hiding and my fear was that the fight would end only when she fired off one of those gas powered chainsaws.

The wall put up a good fight but the Design Diva won the battle. The opening was made and with the addition of some sheetrock, a lot of plaster, and a little bit of patience, a niche was born. Voila…

Please leave a comment if you stopped by the farmhouse to visit today. I just love having company!

Au revoir,

Monday, March 30, 2009






Island Shopping, Part II



This is the island as viewed from the dining room and the living room, or as the French would say, " Salle a manger" et "Salon".

I hope you found some inspiration in this Island remodel. Please leave a comment so I will know that you stopped by for a visit today.

Island Shopping

Bonjour from Campagne Maison

Island Shopping

In order to establish an open floor plan between the kitchen and dining room, I dismantled the L-shape bar area of the kitchen cabinets and repurposed the base of that section to make a center work island. Believe it or not, deciding on the paint finish was the most difficult decision of that whole process. Every color that I thought would work--you know those vivid sun drenched colors of the South of France—just did not! After about a month of trial and error, the thought occurred to me that I should just paint the finish in brown wood tones. Would somebody just slap me? Sometimes I give way too much thought about things. It must be the sign I was born under—you know, the one that says G-E-N-I-O-U-S…..kidding only!!

I found the grape motif brackets on clearance at Lowe’s for 42 cents each (yeah, I bought the whole box; it was the thrill of the find). The fleur-de-lis was purchased at Hobby Lobby while I was still living in AR. I have forgotten the price of it but I am sure, being the frugal shopper that I am, it was less than $ 10.00. Both the brackets and the fleur-de-lis were sprayed with a nickel finish to match the cabinet hardware. The black tiles that were used on the island top were also close-out finds. I got an entire box of those for $ 8.00. I had to purchase the black grout and the concrete backer board but the trim moldings were leftovers from other projects. If my calculations are correct, the total cost of this project ended up somewhere around $ 40.00.

In addition to being a functional piece for the kitchen, it fits in perfect with my French Country farmhouse d├ęcor. Some savvy shopping skills added to some lucky clearance finds, mixed with a plan and a little elbow grease equals a whole lot of “Island” pleasure. And, that is worth staying at home for…..

Au revoir,

Friday, March 27, 2009

Leftovers

Bonjour from Campagne Maison





This post applies to by my 3 R rules-REpurpose, REfinish, REcycle AND
my motto: Cheap is Good--Free is Better!

Case in point: This ceramic backsplash in the farmhouse kitchen. The only thing purchased to complete this project was the terra cotta and mosaic accent tiles and a few bags of tile spacers. Everything else, including the concrete backer-board, the thin set, and the mortar, was leftover material given to us by family members who had recently built a new home or remodeled an older one. Fortunately, we were able to design a pattern with the assortment of tile colors and that saved us big bucks.
Total cost of this project was less than $ 30.00. I just love it when a plan comes together!

Au revior,

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Distressed

Bonjour from Campagne Maison


Many hours of "behind the scene" work took place before we finally got moved into Campagne Maison. Two of my sisters, their husbands, and my niece pulled a YEAR of weekends, vacation days, and after-work hours to help prepare the "bones" of the house for our arrival. In between the time of us getting our home in Arkansas ready for sale and tying up loose ends, spending as much time as possible with our two sons and grandchildren, we came as often as possible to help.

One of my sisters sat at a burn pit so much that we officially named her The Fire Starter. Her husband installed all the central heating, air-conditioning, and plumbing as well as miscellaneous carpenter work. My other brother-in-law pulled out all the old electric wiring and re-wired the entire house and the outside buildings and istalled all new lighting. The other sister fit in where needed, cleaning, running errands, and making sure that everyone got fed. We called her CWIC...chief woman in charge. My family, all of them, are just that way. When the ox is in the ditch, we get it out! We all work together and if we ever disagree, it is soon worked out and forgotten, and we get back to the task at hand. I guess that is just part of being raised in a family of nine children. You just bond.

My niece, who has been blessed with so many talents that it is unreal, is my partner in design. I call her the Design Diva. She can do ANYTHING! She wears many hats–several of them at the same time. As a surprise for me, she used my 3 R rules and "re-purposed, re-finished, and re-cycled" the farmhouse kitchen cabinets. Knowing that I am a huge fan of the Shabby Chic style, after cleaning and prepping all the cabinets, she painted them Butter Cream, strategically distressed them, applied an Asian Spice glaze, and finished them off with several coats of sealer. She cleaned all the hardware and spray painted it with a nickel finish. I absolutely love them!

For more information about Shabby Chic and designer Rachel Ashwell, go to http://www.shabbychic.com/our_heritage.html

While this is not a style that everyone likes, it is exactly the look I wanted for MY kitchen AND the total cost of the project came in around $ 50.00. Wait ‘til you see the tiled backsplash....

Please leave a comment so that I’ll know you visited with me today.

Au revoir,

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Star of Bethlehem



Bonjour from Campagne Maison


"Ornithogalum umbellatum"

a.k.a. Star of Bethlehem, Nap at Noon, Snowdrop, Eleven-o’clock Lady, Sleepydick, Dove’s Dung…



I am patiently awaiting the arrival of these beauties! I found them growing wild in little patches all around the yard last Spring. I had never seen anything like them before and thought they were too cute not to dig up and transplant in mass into a small flowerbed. Upon digging, I discovered that they were bulbous plants and not root flowers. Interesting enough (or was it as in yesterday’s post: fate, destiny, or Divine Providence?) I had just read an article in the March 2008 Southern Living magazine about Chris Wiesinger, The Bulb Hunter, www.southernbulbs.com/ or www.thebulbhunter.com/.
Chris travels about the South in search of heirloom bulbs which he collects and propagates on his farm in Mineola, TX. So, naturally, me and my inquiring mind had to email Chris and attach a picture of my discovery in an effort to find out if he could provide me with any information about these little beauties. And sure ‘nuf, he was and he did! That man knows his stuff when it comes to bulbs. Kudos, Chris.

If you missed the article in Southern Living, you can Google it and read it along with several other articles online.

I’ve read several gardeners opinions about the flower and it seems to be a toss up among the critics. You either love the plant or you hate the plant, as is expressed in the plants “common names” above. I call it “Star of Bethlehem”….guess you know which critics I side with, huh?
Au revoir,

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

October


Bonjour from Campagne Maison



October

The first week of October 2006, remodeling began here at the farmhouse. One of the first things we did was strip down wallpaper, paneling, and old sheetrock plaster taking the walls down to the original tongue and groove boards. My niece and I were opening up a section of the living room wall when we made a fascinating discovery. In October 1935, some seventy-one years earlier, the house had been wallpapered with copies of the Knoxville Journal. That was not an uncommon practice at that time. Times were hard and a person did what was necessary to keep warm. For whatever bit of insulation that newspaper made, I am sure it helped keep out some of the cold East TN winter winds.

I made the comment to her about how strange it was that we happened to be REMOVING the newspaper the same month, October, that they were PUTTING it up. When we looked further, both our jaws dropped as the issue that was staring us straight in the face was dated October 11th. That was her father/my deceased brother-in-law’s birthday. He was actually the former owner of this property and the only reason that our family, native Arkansans, ever heard of Sweetwater, TN (long story). He loved this farm!

Then, the next date we saw was October 21st, my deceased father’s birthday. We went on to find October 1st, my eldest child’s birthday. All these dates had some sort of family connection. Was this fate? Was this destiny? Or, was it, as I firmly believe, a confirmation of Proverbs 16:9, orchestrated by the hand of an all-seeing, all-knowing God who was directing our steps?

I saved as much of the newspaper as possible and have several ideas of what I am going to do with it. I know that it has to remain a part of the farmhouse's history as well as a constant reminder to me that I am where I am suppose to be at this time in my life.

That is just one in a set of many circumstances, co-incidences, or otherwise unexplained occurrences that have made me a firm believer in Divine Providence. If you have an opinion and would like to leave a comment, please do so that I will know you visited with me this morning.

Au revior,

Monday, March 23, 2009

Collections

Bonjour from Campagne Maison,



We all have them. Most of us have way too many. I certainly have more than my fair share. They are called "collections"-- an accumulation of like things. In my opinion, that is just a fancy term that we all use simply to justify our "need" to have multiples. What is it about that certain item that makes us seek it out? We search the stores, we rummage the yardsales, we probe the antique stores, we research the Internet, WE LIVE FOR THE HUNT!


This is one of my MANY favorite "collections"...my Royal Warwick Lochs of Scotland Blue and White Transferware. I purchased a large box of these dishes at a local antique store several years ago for $ 20.00. The "collection" was full of mix-matched patterns, Loch Duich, Loch Awe, and Loch Dich, that when put together makes more than two 8 pc place settings. Deal, huh???

I did my homework--a little "research" so to speak--on the "collection" to satisfy my curiosity and also to obtain knowledge for a little braggin' rights! They were offered as premiums at Kroger stores in 1972. (I actually obtained a set of Blue Willow from the Big Star stores during that same time frame). That makes them around 37 yrs old.

IF I could, should, or would even consider selling them, let's say, on E-bay--AND get fair market value, I have made a HUGE return on my $ 20.00 investment. Shudder that thought!! I can't ever do that...never....I love them and wouldn't that be like selling one of my kids?

If you have a "collection" that you would like to share on this post, please leave a comment so we can all mosey on over to your sight and take a look. It would be fun to see alot of different "collections" and what it is about them that inspires you to "collect" them.

Au revoir....

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Faux Granite



Bonjour from Campagne Maison...





As most of you already know, I am a firm believer in recycling whenever possible. I live closely to MY 3 R rules... Re-purpose, Re-finish, Re-cycle. I also live on a tight budget, which allows me to express a lot of artistic liberties when it comes to remodeling this 100 yr old farmhouse.




I am currently trying to piece together the history of "Campagne Maison", the moniker that I have lovingly bestowed upon the home. I am a renowned history buff and am itching to know all about the what's, where's, why's, and who's of the homestead. I can attest to the fact that the house is built from lumber that was milled on sight--back when a 2 x 4 was a 2 x 4!! It is solid oak with tongue and groove floors and walls. That is where the story takes a turn because the widths and lengths of those boards--well, let's just say, they're all different. In defense of the builder, knowing that lumber was at a premium and every piece was precious, I am sure that not a scrap went unused. I have made multiple discoveries that I will share one story at a time, many will make you a believer, like me, that it was destined for me to be right here, right now.

Anyway, let's get back to the 3-R's...Faux granite countertops. From the looks of the original cabinetry and laminate countertops, it is my guess that the farmhouse kitchen was updated in the early 70's. I actually kinda/sorta liked the formica, but those of you that know me, know that I wouldn't sleep until I put MY "touch" on MY kitchen. So here goes....

After scouring thru all the granite countertop samples at Lowe's, I found exactly the one that I wanted. Well, exactly EXCEPT for the $ 3000 price tag!! So, I put my artistic liberties to work, researched an article written by Christopher Lowell (who, by the way STIRRED this whole creative thing up inside me that has to come out or else I'll die) on "How to Paint Laminate Countertops". After deciding on just the right paint colors for the desired finish, I went straight to work. Yes, it was work, lots of work. Scrub, Sand, Kilz x 2, Paint x 3, and Sealer x 7--yes, 7 coats. But that was by MY choice since I figured the more the better when it comes to the sealer.
Total cost of the faux finish came in around $ 100.00--a savings of around $ 2900.00. Cha-ching!!! The most awarding thing to me however, is not the cost savings, BUT the comments from everyone that sees them and says "YOU" did that???
The jury is out, are they great or what? Please leave a comment. I'd like to hear what you think!

Au revoir,

Thursday, March 19, 2009

4 Letter Words

4 Letter Words

Bonjour from Campagne Maison...♥

4 Letter Words. There are alot of them. Most of them are bad but today, the worst of them crossing my lips is D-I-E-T.....Yeah, that's the one...

D-I-E-T.. Lettuce, carrots, Sugar-free Jello, boiled eggs..stomach growling, running on empty, could eat the rear end of a skunk..I AM HUNGRY!!

I want a large stack of buttermilk pancakes smothered in real Maple syrup with lots of real butter, and crispy bacon on the side. How about a couple of biscuits smothered in gravy, filled with butter, slathered with jelly or a sausage patty with an egg on a biscuit? Who cares if my butt looks big in these pants? I can't see it anyway. So there. Give me butter--give me fat!! Besides, having said all that, sometimes I think I could go on a water diet and still gain weight.

I need to jump on the bandwagon with Oprah since she likes food as much as me. It would be nice to have a personal trainer, a chef, and an entourage to keep you going in the right direction. My body is willing but my mind is weak. The strange thing is that a few years ago, I earned my WeightWatcher's pin for reaching and maintaining my weight loss goal. That was easy--it was the "keeping it off" that has been hard.

Life...you gotta love it!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

"IT" is finished..

Bonjour from Campagne Maison,



"It", the pantry, has been a challenge but anything worth having usually is and well worth the time and effort involved in doing it. I really didn't know how much I missed having a pantry until we got "IT" finished and all my food sundries and staples transferred into "IT".

As Forrest Gump says, "you never know what you get...." and when remodeling a 100 year old farmhouse, dealing with walls that are not plumb and floors that are not level, you never know how the finished product will turn out. Aside from the usual "disagreements" between two head strong carpenter wanna-bes and a couple of plan revisions, it all came out in the end.

Pictures of the before and after photos of "IT" are in my flickr badge. I just can't get the edge on inserting images into my posts. (Am I the only person left on earth that has a hard time getting a grip in this computerized world? Oh well...that is another post for another day).

Anyhooo...as I sit here admiring the finished handiwork, I find myself wondering why on earth we didn't build it bigger (as all you ladies of the house can attest to). The thought of which project to tackle next is burning bright inside my head. I know we can get at least one more inside job done before the weather gets "right" and we can move on outside. I think I have just the one...

Au revoir,

Friday, March 6, 2009

TGIF

Bonjour from Campagne Maison...
TGIF...that's for sure! This has been one hectic week. My mother was hospitalized last Friday, so I spent four days going back and forth to the hospital to be with her. Next week we have two days of follow-up visits for test results and consultations--and whatever else that crops up from those. At 86 1/2 yrs, I guess that is what a person has to look forward to--doctor's visits. Hopefully we will get thru all of them with no major events.
I am sooooooooooo hoping for a nice warm weekend. The DH and I are building a pantry for additional food storage, which means I have alot of sheetrock work to do in addition to PAINT, PAINT, PAINT. When one of my brothers phones us, I am usually painting. He jokingly told me awhile back that by now I "could have painted the entire house with an artist's brush". He is just about correct about that because it seems like all I do around here is PAINT. I will be happy to see the project finished because "I needs more space for me stuff". Why is it that we always "need more storage". Do we simply have too much stuff? Anyhoooooo....I will share "before and after" pics when it is finished.
The cows are kicking up their feet this morning. They must sense the feeling of Spring in the air. I always look forward to Daylight Savings Time. It takes me about two weeks to adjust but afterwards, I love it. It seems like I have more time to get projects done around the house and there are plenty of those to get done.
Hope everyone has a wonderful productive weekend.
Au revoir...

Monday, March 2, 2009

This Ain't No Bull!


Bonjour from Campagne Maison ,
Campagne Maison got some new jewelry this past week and I just had to show it off! I have had my eye on this French Bull towel holder for almost a year now. He waited patiently on me to purchase him at the local antique store and I am glad that he did! Made of cast iron, the natural color blends in perfect with the bronze colors in the tile and countertop in the farmhouse kitchen. He is almost too pretty to hang a dishtowel on but, I will let him do his duty.
He is not the only new cow on the farm however. It seems like everyday there are new cows born and alot of days there is more than one birth. Yesterday morning the DH and I witnessed something that neither of us have ever seen before and certainly may never see again. Five buzzards were circling the air during the birth of a new calf. The mother was diligently cleaning him up as the buzzards landed, I assume, to attack the calf. The mother ranted and stomped the ground in an attempt to shew them off but those buzzards were relentless in their attempts. The mother mooed a couple of times and as fast as lightning like a stampede on a cattle trail, the remaining herd came to her rescue. They chased off the buzzards and surrounded the mother and her new calf, like a circle of a wagons on "Wagon Train". They remained there until she got the calf cleaned up and on his feet walking.
Mother Nature. She is magnificent beyond our comprehension.
Au revoir,

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Spazo's

♥ Bonjour from Campagne Maison©...

Spazo's© ...


It's Personal..It's Quirky..It's Different..It's Fun....What does it mean? I do not know. For years, I thought it was my daddy's name as it was the only term of endearment that my mother ever called him. Later on in life, I learned that it was a nickname given to him, by whom and for what, I do not know. But, for some reason it has just stuck in my brain, embedded, imprinted, like a colorful tattoo.I am Spazo's daughter and there are six more. Spazo also had three sons. My mother Kathryn, whom my daddy called Kat, is Spazo's Kat.

Once, I named our new Boston Terrier, Spazo. He was spastic, it sounded good, and it just worked! And now, it continues to work. It is officially the name of our Flea Market booth. "Spazo's©" will officially open at the Sweetwater Flea Market on Saturday, January 31st.
Any and all ventures associated with Campagne Maison--Country with a French Twist will now be available exclusively and only thru Spazo's©... Gosh, that sounds professional and that works!
**Dedicated to my dad, Voy Rivers Gillentine a.k.a. Spazo, who went to Heaven on March 1, 1981.

Groundhogs Day 09

Bonjour from Campagne Maison©.....

It was pouring down rain like crazy yesterday morning and all of a sudden the rain turned into the BIGGEST snowflakes that I have ever seen! I would venture to say they were as large as a half-dollar and they were falling as fast as they did when just seconds before--they were raindrops. In less than fifteen minutes the ground, the roads, the trees..EVERYTHING was completly covered in a beautiful, pristine, white velvety blanket of snow. What a gorgeous sight!!
It has been forever since I have seen that amount of snow on the ground. I seriously contemplated going outside to scoop up a huge bowl of it and make snow-cream but with the ozone and the unknown air quality, I finally quenched the urge. It did bring back, however, alot of good thoughts of childhood and of how delicious that snow cream always was (i think it was the vanilla)..YUMM-O...the thoughts, the tastes, the smells, and the great adventures of childhood.

Looking outside this morning, the sun is already shining, that gorgeous snowfall is slowly melting and yesterdays beauty will be tomorrows memory (and mud). Now, I am glad that I went outside in near blizzard conditions and waded through ankle-deep snow to take pictures. Please take a minute to view them in my new album, Groundhogs Day 09 Snowfall.

Life can be fickle but it sure beats the alternative! Have a good day.

Mama Mia

Bonjour from Campagne Maison©....

"Mama Mia"...well, I am disappointed!! I watched in disbelief, and this is my opinion and MY OPINION ONLY, two seasoned actors make asses of themselves while seemingly enjoying doing so! Nothing at all what I expected from Meryl Streep and Pierce Bronson! To me, it was a take-off of "Grease" EXCEPT John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John COULD SING. Meryl and Pierce need to stick to acting! I will admit, however, that a few of the songs did bring back memories. Anyhoooooooo...that being said...

It is spitting snow in East TN again this morning. The flakes are so tiny I can't tell anything about the accumulation but I do know that it is COLD. I am near freezing. The heater is bumped up, but not even that and the housecoat, furry slippers, or coffee are doing their job keeping me warm. Guess Punxsutawney Phil knew what he was doing when he ran back inside his hole on Monday. If I didn't have a busy day ahead of me, I'd crawl back into mine (warm bed) too!

Hope today finds everyone in blogland WARM doing well.

Au revoir..

2 Pot Morning

Bonjour from Campagne Maison©

The weather man says it is going to be in the 50's tomorrow with highs in the 60's on Saturday and Sunday. I sure hope he knows what he is talking about but I ain't seeing it right now. It is so cold here and snow is still everywhere you look! I have--and this is something that I rarely ever do--put on a second pot of coffee!!

Some of the cold air is coming into the house thru all the crooks and crannies that still need to have insulation put in them and from underneath the house thru unfinished flooring. The padding that goes with carpets and floating wood floors can make a big difference in the heating and cooling, I'm sure. That project is still on the back burner awaiting warmer weather and the decision on which direction to go. When the electric bill gets here, that decision may be made sooner than later. Our heater hasn't kicked off since Christmas and that is no lie!

I really do love living in an area of this beautiful United States where I can experience the changing of each season but I am so ready for Spring to get here. One snowfall is all I want to see every year. It sure is a beautiful coming down but the mess of the thaw afterwards if horrible.

On another note.....It was a long movie but worth every second of your time! "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" ...you gotta see it!! I will not tell you anything other than to say ....you gotta see it!!

I have two loads of laundry staring me in the face. Housework is calling my name. To all my friends in blogland, have a great day!

Au revoir...

What Time Is It?

Bonjour from Campagne Maison ©

My DH is a late sleeper but I can pretty much set my clock on what time it is when he finally drags up out of the bed every morning. He loves ALL the "judge" shows, so when he comes traipsing thru the house, I know it is 9:00 a.m. EST and it is JUDGE JUDY TIME!! Then there's Judge Joe Brown, Judge Christina, Judge Alex, Judge Hatchett, Judge Mathis, Judge David Young and BY ALL MEANS--don't forget Divorce Court or all the others that I simply can't recall at this moment!!!! I don't know if he is preparing for the bar or collecting small talk for whenever he happens to go to a bar.

Give me a break--if I hear of one more female letting a low-life boyfriend move in with her, or buy a house together, or sign a loan for him, or let him beat the crap out of her and then take him back, all the while SHE is out working and HE IS unemployed...what has happened to all the girls in the world??? WHAT does she mean when she says "I had no reason to distrust him". Have females become that insecure? Are we that stupid? Are we that desperate for "love"? HELLO.....I thought we burned our bras in the 60's but THAT is another story.

I know what time it is for me right now. Time to get off the computer and start my daily chores. The sun is sneaking up over the mountain top and shining straight into my face right now and I so want to get outside for awhile today.

Have a great day in blogland.

Au revoir...

Drinking Lemonade

Bonjour from Campagne Maison©

Ever have one of "those" days? I find myself identifying with the time travelers on the television series, LOST. One minute everything is great, then as fast as a lightning flash, everything sucks! Today was one of those days. Actually, it seems lately that those days are coming a little more often than what I would like for them to come. If I were writing the script, I certainly would never include any bad days. But, I am not, so I will learn to endure. I keep reminding myself that if it wasn't for those bad days how would I ever appreciate the good ones?

A good friend of mine once quoted "when life gives us lemons, make lemonade", so that is what I did today. I set aside the long "to do" list that always seems to take precedence in my life and found solace in a few much needed luxuries. I took a long hot tub soak, went shopping and spent more money than I should, consumed more than my share of some sinfully delicious fattening fast food, took a mid afternoon nap, called the grandchildren, surfed the internet, and drank, drank, drank that bittersweet lemonade.

Now, I am basking in the glory of my self proclaimed title of "Survivor"....for I have once again earned it and actually wear it quite well......

Bonne nuit, a bientot

La Vie en Rose

Bonjour from Campagne Maison©

This morning, I was awakend by the sound of raindrops falling on the metal roof of the farmhouse. Ahhh....there really is nothing to compare to that sound! Really. Nothing.
With most of the world still asleep and while the sky was still as black as pitch, I took the opportunity to just stay in bed and LISTEN. As I lay there all snuggled warm beneath the blankets, visual images crossed my mind triggering memories of my childhood--the Delta levee, the daily chores of hanging out clothes to dry, playing with special friends, sharing bathwater, beds, and an occasional quarrel with my siblings.

The rise and the fall of all those emotions overcame me as each drop fell, playing its melody with all the beauty and the skill of an orchestra. Every instrument, taking its cue from the maestro's baton..from the slow adagio to the growing crescendo....then total silence and it would start all over again. Start and stop, soft and loud, fast and slow. I didn't want to get out of bed. I just wanted to lay there and listen.

This morning I took the time to "stop and smell the roses", or perhaps in this case, the time to listen to my heart. You know, the earth is full of so many beauthiful things that God has given us to feed our emotions--the majesty of the sunrise and sunset over the ocean, sand and gumbo mud squishing between our toes as we walk barefoot, the call of the crickets for rain, lightning bugs at nightfall signaling bedtime, the eerie quietness of a snowfall, and the sound of rain bounching off a metal roof.

Today, I am glad that I took the time to listen...."La Vie en Rose"

Au revoir,

2 fer' 1

Bonjour from Campagne Maison©

Today is "two for one, buy one-get one free, half-price" day! To my amazement, I have somehow managed to sneak in a little movie time amid those daily duties of house cleaning, laundry, and cooking. If you want to see a couple of good movies, let me recommend these to you:
TAKEN-The same old story line of a retired secret agent man whose stupid teenage daughter goes off to a foreign country with another stupid teenager and gets kidnapped to be sold into a National prostitution ring. Naturally, only HE can save her. It has some suspenseful James Bond type antics with white knuckle moments, nothing special but still worth the watch.

SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE--YOU GOTTA see this one! I was a little skeptical about even watching this one but must admit I was hooked at the beginning. The only thing that I didn't care about was the subtitles--I HATE THOSE. I am sitting there, trying to read them and the scenes are changing faster than my eye/brain co-ordination, so it leaves me wondering if I have missed something--this getting old is catching up with me!! The story line is very good and the actors are phenonmenal. I can certainly see where it is nominated for Motion Picture of the Year, and several other categories. Even though I absolutely loved "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button", I hope Slumdog wins. Makes me even want to watch the boring Emmy's on Sunday night.

Company is coming from AR tomorrow and us folks here at Campagne Maison are excited. We love it when our family comes to visit! Our Mama, the 86 year old clean freak, sat in a chair and cleaned her carpets 'cause they were "so dirty". She has this "thing" about company and her house....She reminds me so much of Martha in the scriptures when Jesus was coming to visit, ...and me........(what can I say--you gotta love her!) Have a great day in blogland..

Au revoir

Auld Lang Syne

Bonjour from Campagne Maison©

Auld Lang Syne...Times Gone By
Family was in to visit at Campagne Maison this past weekend and I just love it when I get to spend time with my family. Now that Mama and the three of us girls are living in East TN, it is a little more difficult for everyone to get together. Work schedules and driving time always interfere with the amount of time we get to spend with each other. J Karen and I worked at Spazo's, so our time was even more limited.
As a family, time has stolen alot of things from us but we will never let it take our memories. And, oh my gosh--what memories!! My mother, at age 86, can recall the past as if she lived it only yesterday. Just like little kids with eager ears, we all sat around her to hear those "same old stories" as only SHE can tell them, urging her to tell us more. She loves reliving the past because she loves talking about my daddy. Even though those times were difficult for her, she managed to raise nine children, keep a clean house, and work as a laborer in the fields. I am sure that reliving those memories are what keeps her alive.
Today as I reflect on "times gone by", join me as I drink a cup of kindness yet...... for those days of Auld Lang Syne.
Au revoir...

The Sound of Silence

Bonjour from Campagne Maison©

There is a pleasant quietness this morning on the farm in East TN. The sun is shining, the wind is calm, and the cows are across the hill out of sight. Only the occasional sound of birds flying in the sky overhead fills the air.

I am suddenly reminded of the song, "The Sound of Silence".

As I hum and ponder over the words I can actually remember from the song, I wonder what thoughts birthed the words to so many of the songs that are embedded in our minds. Was it Simon or was it Garfunkel that had the inspiration for that song? Did something specific trigger their thoughts? Did the flash of the neon signs really stab their eyes?

Silence, (if we let it as I am this morning) can speak to us in a calming way and like an ointment, it will cleanse and heal the soul. However, if we let it, silence can speak lounder than any words could ever say. Like flashes of bright light, words of anger, distrust, hatred, jealousy, bitterness (and the list continues on..) can stab us. Just like a two-edged sword, it can cut both ways. Silence harbored within us, can be deadly as it festers and becomes so huge that it explodes like a volcanic eruption.

Much can be said by saying nothing at all. Simon and Garfunkel summed it up as they penned this verse in the song...

"fools" said i,"you do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that i might teach you
Take my arms that i might reach you
."But my words like silent raindrops fell
And echoed
In the wells of silence

And that is what is on my mind this beautiful Tuesday morning as I sit here, thinking to the "Sound of Silence" for soon that silence will be broken, but THAT is another song.

Au revoir..

Burn After Reading

Bonjour from Campagne Maison

O.K. I know. You are thinking that I must not have a thing to do but watch movies. I wish that were true! I have been lazy lately, that's all. Sometimes a girl has to do what a girl has to do and I had to get some "me" time. I am in no way trying to replace any of the professional movie critics, but I do like to add my "two cents worth". You know...opinions are like *a*...everbody has one. And, I was right about Slumdog...

Burn After Reading....
I am still laughing!! George Clooney and Brad Pitt--how did they ever keep a straight face in this one? Talk about dry comedy. At times, I sensed a little "Oh Brother". George has mastered that stereotype and must have given Brad a few pointers on the technique. My sister, Melanie, says that I laugh at stupid stuff. When she sees something she considers stupid, she has to tell me right away because "she knows I like stupid stuff". What is wrong with "I love Lucy", "The Nanny", "Curb Your Enthusiasm" "Trains, Planes, and Automobiles""Oh Brother"......Just remember, Forest Gump says, "stupid is as stupid does. Anywhoooooooo....you just gotta see it and if you do, let me know how you liked it.
Got a busy day of catching up since I have indulged in too many movies lately. From all of us at Campagne Maison, have a great day!

Au revoir,