Monday, August 31, 2015

After A Splendid Summer In The Auvergne, It Was Time To Say Good-Bye

The view of the famous Puy De Dôme volcano in the Auvergne
The stone farm house that has been in my family since 1971, when we lived in France
Built in 1866, we will have to celebrate its 150 years.
It was a very hot summer in Europe this year.
Finishing the tiling of the wood shed, which had been built last summer
Filling the shed with wood and kindling
My son and husband cutting up more wood.
My son taking out an old terrace so a new once can be put in in the future
Ready to whack some weeds.
Checking on the spark plugs of the old scooter
Building new wooden shutters for two windows
Making sure they fit and open
Hanging shutters so they can be stained from both sides at once.  ( My husband's ingenious idea)
Voila! Another job accomplished
Getting ready to sand an old wood floor
First, some boards needed to be changed and damaged areas filled with wood putty.
Back breaking work.
Applying tinted parquet 'oil', which lets the wood breathe better than polyurethane.
One half of the floor done.  The other half will have to wait.  The floor now looks splendid
One of the two flower beds in the front garden

And here is the second one after weeks of weeding and watering
The roses bloomed beautifully this year.
Though I really should not have expanded the garden because it is already too labor-intensive, I couldn't help myself.  i cleared the weeds behind the house and started a new flower bed using irises and day lilies that I thinned out of the other beds. So happy I did it.
I sprinkled some poppy seeds in between.  See the rocks?  They were all buried in the dirt, so I used them to make a little wall.
The linden tree in front of the house that my mother planted in 1975 has gotten way too big, so it will be pruned by someone in the village later this year.
We had some fun visitors this year.  Our neighbor stopped by with her horse one morning.
This little fellow perched on the bottle of hot sauce one morning.
And this unusual caterpillar seemed to have good taste in wines.
Though every summer, we have a list of projects that we need to get done or completed at our family's house in France during our stay,  the bulk of the work always seems to get done in the last few days.
With the help of our son, who joined us in the Auvergne for a short while, we were able to check a few things off that list.  Some others will have to wait till we return, since we always run out of time or because more pressing issues have to be addressed.
On the list this summer where two sets of shutters, the roofing of the wood shed, which was built last year, and sanding of a wood floor in one of the rooms.  That last project was only half finished,  but that is all right.  The house is a labor of love that will most probably never be finished.
Our french neighbors always seem bemused by the Brooklynites who spend so much time working on an old Auvergnat stone farmhouse.  Though it is hard work, it is so worth it.
As we closed the house after a glorious summer and headed to Paris to catch a flight, I must admit that I shed a few tears.  It is always hard to leave this place, but on the plane, my husband and I already planned our next trip back and talked about the list of jobs for next time.  The list of future projects just keeps on getting longer and longer.


Anonymous said...

Just wanted you to know how much I enjoy your summers in France through your photos.

Katia said...

I am so glad. Thanks for reaching out.

Nicola Reder said...

I too love your posts from the Auverne. We stayed at Richard
and Elaine's gite a few years back and loved the area Thank you
For keeping it alive for us!

Katia said...

so cool that you know Richard and Elaine. Spent a lovely evening with them just last week.

Nicola Reder said...

They are lovely people and made our holiday very special with their warm hospitality we hope to go back one day

Katia said...

They definitely are wonderful. The weather this year was absolutely amazing in the Auvergne.

Eric Hancock said...

Your place is beautiful. A real treasure.

I was in Provence for a few weeks this summer. Not nearly enough time.

Katia said...

Thank you, Eric. It never seems to be enough time, does it?

Pascale said...

Beautiful photos. Thanks. I was just in Normandy and Touraine. Haven't gone to Auvergne since I was 12. Your photos are moving Auvergne up my list of places to go next !