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Friday, August 15, 2014

A Trip to the Dordogne:Part 1

The Dordogne River

{be sure to click on the photos to view them larger…}

Last autumn we made one of our most favorite trips to France. [ I know.  I say that about every trip to France.:)] Not only did we spend 8 days in the beautiful parc du Perche, but we also spent a week in the Périgord Noir, in the department of the Dordogne.

The Dordogne is a region of France that has become a very popular tourist destination. It has also become home to many British expats, owing, perhaps, not only to its green, bucolic beauty,and the warmer-than-English weather, but also to its honey-colored houses which look very similar to those in the Cotswolds. 

We stayed near the town of La Roque-Gageac,a picture postcard village on the banks of the Dordogne River, in a beautiful little house called La Bergerie.  This cozy spot was part of a complex of gîtes known as Rocquecombe

Here is the property, with three of the other houses which rent to guests by the week.

La Bergerie is tucked away in the pines.  Here we had  our apero every afternoon.

Our hosts, Phillippe and Anne-Marie, graciously invited all the guests for an aperitif one evening.  I had never tasted these delicious cocktails before, but they reminded me of Dubonnet or cream sherry.

The next day Philippe took us all on the most marvelous tour of some the châteaux in the area where we were staying.

This one is in Saint-Crépin-et-Carlucet, about 15 minutes from Sarlat

 Château Pierrelacy,
 a sweet little castle dating back to the 16th century

We were enchanted by this adorable dependance...

…and by this fellow who peeked out to say hello! What was a goat doing in the attic?

I can't remember the name of this castle, but it was abandoned and was in ruins on the backside.  Ooo.  Could I have some fun playing there…!

Chateau de la Grand Filolie
in Montignac

This was our favorite château of all.

We would never had found this had it not been for our host.  In addition to stopping to takes photos here, we also took the time to go on a 1 kilometer randonné on a chemin which completely encircled the  property.

This is a view of the west side of the castle.

I took this shot from the back of the property and made it into my Halloween greeting!

There is so much more to show you from the Dordogne, like this scene from Beynac, one of the towns where they filmed "Chocolat"...

Next time, mes amis…

love, dawne

Friday, July 18, 2014

Europe: Simply Irresistible!

Venetian Lagoon

As you know, we're moving to France very soon,  Lord willing, and although summer here on the farm is idyllic, I'm sort of chomping at the bit. I keep thinking of all those places in France that I could be visiting.  And all of those places in Europe that will suddenly be practically next door! So thank you, Anita,for inviting us on another wonderful European holiday! Hop on over to her lovely blog and join us on a tour of Irresistible Europe!

France is my favorite European country, but Italy is right up there, too.  It was the first place I ever visited in Europe, and it simply blew me away. I was an art teacher at the time, and my colleague and I took a group of students on a tour called Belle Italia.

We arrived in Venice right in the middle of Carnevale!  It has been my favorite Italian city ever since.

the approach to Venice in a water taxi

my friend Betsy  and I immediately got our faces painted.  Hey, it was the '90s!

I cannot describe the thrill of my first gondola ride!

Years later I returned to Venice with my husband, and I must say, the gondola ride is still just as thrilling!  And more romantic!

I can't wait to return to this magical city once we are living in France.  I checked the cost of fights from Orly and we can fly round trip for around 70 euros!

Europe, here we come!

santa maria della salute

Off to visit the rest of Europe on Anita's blog party.   Bon Voyage!

p.s. You can follow me on Bloglovin' or by email.  And I promise to talk more about France from now on!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

My 100th post…The Magazine Shoot and Everafter Farm for sale!

I'm really anxious to start writing about our new life in France, but before I do that, I want to show you the pix that Mark Lohman took of our house for FiFi O'Neill's new publication, Prairie Style

I showed you this cover in my last post, but I had not seen the magazine yet.  Now I have it, and from what I hear, so do a lot of you.  Isn't it a gorgeous mag?  I am thrilled to be a part of it, and to have had such a fun experience working with Fifi and Mark.  They are true professionals, but so laid back and FUNNY!  They had us laughing all day!  But we were also working…hard.  Running back and forth from the barn for props, moving furniture, cleaning behind things that I didn't even know could be moved, trying to avoid cables and tripods, and finding a lost dust bunny covered slipper!! Hey, I was just back from 3 weeks in France the day before!  Who had time to clean?

Fifi arrived with buckets filled with the most beautiful flowers.  I had my own flowers here, but they were sad by comparison.

Watching Fifi work with the flowers was an education in itself.  She can make a beautiful arrangement quicker than I can trip over the cat.

After Fifi arranges the still life on the tea table, Mark photographs it

Mark Lohman
and this is what it looks like

Mark Lohman
And from a distance

Mark Lohman
Behind the sofa

Mark Lohman
If you notice, the mantle is styled differently in this photo.  Fifi gathered all my little farm animals from the staircase in the hallway and "pastured" them on either side of a painting I had done years ago.

Mark Lohman
I just love the way this looks, and have left them right there. Thanks, Fifi!

Mark Lohman

This is the Dining Room that appears on the cover.  They photoshopped the word "Alleluia" off the front of the fireplace...

Mark Lohman

and Fifi swapped the two chairs.  Again, I liked her styling better, and have kept the checked chair in that spot.

Mark Lohman
it's kind of fun to see my stuff through Fifi's eyes. [ But where did I have that tarnished silver hidden?]

Mark Lohman

The guest room...

Mark Lohman

…used to be Mutti's room.  She would have loved the pink roses.

Mark Lohman

and I loved the red and purple hydrangeas

Mark Lohman

Fifi found my vintage Jadite canisters hiding in an old jelly cupboard.  They are still out, as I realized just how cool they are with the Farrow and Ball Dorset Cream paint.

Mark Lohman

And after all, it's the same color as our breakfast table.

Mark Lohman

I love the way she placed my polka dot rain boots on the checkerboard floor of the mudroom

Mark Lohman

With her stylist's eye, Fifi knew she needed another pop of red in this porch scene.  She sent me to find something in my closet.  And that's how my dad's 40 year old red flannel shirt ended up in this shot. He would love to see that.
It makes me smile.  

Mark Lohman

Gazing out over the beautiful peaceful view from this porch, I wonder how we'll ever be able to say goodby to this place.  But it is time to move on to France and let someone else live this wonderful life.

Everafter Farm is for sale.

If you want to know more about this farm in upstate New York please click here, or contact me at

I am so thankful to Fifi, and Mark, for their immense talent, and  for doing such a beautiful job on this visual record of our beloved farmhouse for Prairie Style.  And a special thanks to Barbara Jackseir, who wrote such a warm and personal story. 

And thus ends my 100th post. Time to start a new chapter...

A bientôt, mes belles,
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