26 November 2011

Fleurs de novembre

At first glance, the vineyard looks like the photo below, or worse, in late November. The vines in the photo have already been pruned, so they look neat and well-tended. Other parcels are much scruffier-looking.

The Renaudière vineyard near Saint-Aignan
in late November 2011

If you walk out there every day, the way Walt and I do with Callie, you start seeing things differently. There is color, but it comes in tiny dabs. (You can click the pictures to enlarge them.)

Not all the wildflowers have died, and there are still roses in certain places around the hamlet and along the gravel road that runs a mile through rows of vines.

We haven't had any more fugue episodes with Callie — faire une fugue means to run away. We're lucky, as Evelyn pointed out, that the neighbor saw Callie down at the bottom of the hill. She hadn't made it to the main road, where there's more traffic, moving faster.

Who knows if she was headed that way. As I said, she usually lies down immediately if she sees or hears a car coming. Problem is, sometimes she just lies down in the middle of the road. I've seen her do that several times on the gravel road through the vineyard.

The weather continues completely gray, foggy, and misty. We have been socked in for days now. This morning, there are puddles on the road out front, so I guess it rained overnight. I slept like a log for nearly 10 hours — I was oblivious.

We are reading, eating leftovers, surfing the web, and walking the dog on our normal schedule. I guess we'd better get used to the gray and fog, because it will probably last for a month or more — unless it gets worse by turning colder. It could snow at any time now. Or not.

Meantime, I got a call yesterday to tell me that the new sofa will be delivered next Wednesday. And the euro keeps sliding down. One euro = just $1.32 U.S. this morning.


  1. The fog devolved into rain here yesterday afternoon.

  2. Each new season brings another experience. And the exchange rate goes up and down. It's just a way of life. Go with the flow I say.

  3. I heard a discussion about the
    value of the euro and why it has
    stayed so high. The theory is
    that European banks are now being
    required to increase cash
    reserves and thus are selling
    foreign investments and are
    repatriating funds, buying
    euros. I also heard mention of
    dollar/euro parity sometime in
    the not too distant future. Keep
    your fingers crossed!

  4. My daughter and her husband are about to leave for 7 months in Germany and Hungary (she's a Fulbright scholar) and are delighted with this exchange rate!

  5. The euro rate is really a classic good news/bad news situation isn't it? Good in that we use American dollars to buy euros for when we are living in France but bad because the value of our home there goes down in dollar terms. Oh well. I guess that's for our kids to worry about.

    Dennis Martin

  6. I like those thistle-like things.

  7. Dennis, Leon, and all, I guess it all depends on whether or not you're trying to live here in France on an income and with assets that are in U.S. dollars. The fact is, the dollar is too low. The euro is too high. I'm not really expecting parity, but a stable rate around 80 eurocents per dollar would be nice. Kristi, good for your D and SIL. Sheila, we shall see.

  8. What staggeringly beautiful photos of flowers. Such delights are one of the few saving graces of this grotty time of year.

    We are also pleased with the change in our exchange rate. We recently transferred some cash at 1.13 euros to the £, which is 10% better than last time. If only we could reach the heady heights of 1.47 euros to the £, which is what we got when we bought the house four years ago !!

  9. Ken, your daily routine sounds pretty good to me! Don't you think there will always be something one would like to change, wherever one lives and whatever one's situation? You have no direct control over the currency rate but my assumption is that you can survive on what you have in pension and there are always small savings to be made on a day-to-day basis if needed.

    Enjoy the good fortune that you have... your relationship, health, living in a beautiful place, independence....

  10. The web jewels are beautiful! Thank you.


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