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Let the new year begin, renovations back on track!

After a little well needed holiday visiting family in the US we are back in our little muddy corner of the French countryside and are kind of regrouping and re-organizing some of the rather large tasks at hand in the work we are doing to re-habilitate our little French farmhouse.

The to-do list is long but this year feels exciting as we have gotten past some of the big work like connecting utilities, putting a roof on, and putting in the septic system (whee! fun stuff!). So we are now (almost) ready for the bathroom, kitchen etc. and have to really decide things like, what kind of floor do we want? Old terra cotta tiles? Wide wooden planks? I’ll tell you one thing, the bathroom will be new, fresh and clean and have under floor heating!

So I am excited to get this year underway with a renewed energy to attack our project, including sharing our experience here with you. Let the learning curve begin!

Please sign up for our newsletter and we’ll let you know what’s going on here at Out Little French Farmhouse!

Kristi

 

 

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On the brink of perfection…

The new year has started, and for me it gets to have several layers of delayed fresh starts, each one feeling a bit fresher than the last.  Sure there is the actual new year, but that often gets lost in some social shuffle or pedestaled enigma which kind of takes away from the pleasure of a simple fresh start.

 

Then we had our return home, back to France from our holiday visit to the USA, so we had a fresh start here. Well, a jet lagged start with delayed luggage and a week or so of cleaning, unpacking, and dealing with a deep freezer gone bad (I should be terribly upset about all the food lost in that deep-freezer melt down, but to be honest I am loving the excuse to chuck it all out and start anew). Visions of some kind of inventory control for the freezer is playing about in my mind. Some of the meat we threw out was a total mystery to me. Bad freezer management, on the to-improve list.

 

So, it is Sunday, my usual day to kind of regroup and mix it up with enjoying family down time while also cleaning and prepping for the week so we can hit the ground running Monday morning. I find that the Monday re-boot really matters to me so if I focus on a good start, it seems the whole week rolls out at a nice pace.

 

This week I am extra motivated, this week (mid January!) is my personal “real” start to my new year. I have the house in order, my son’s everything in order, I am ready to get to work and start some new projects. So today I am prepping in a bit of overdrive and am excited to get to it.

 

I have quite a week set out in front of me and I may be asking a bit much of myself but…that is probably the best way to go about doing almost anything!

 

So here is a shout out to all of us Wild Riders cranking into new things, fresh starts and continued efforts!

Kristi

 

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The Creak of Creativity…

My son is about to go off to summer camp for the first time. He will be away for a week and while it is not the first time we have been apart, it is the first time I will be home in our house and not need to take care of him.

My original plan was to make the most of the time and get a ton of things off my big to-do list. But now, with only a couple days before he leaves, I realized that all of those tedious things can be done when he’s here.  He doesn’t stop me from cleaning out the attic, or finally going through and decluttering my clothing.

So I paused this morning and considered, what are the things I cannot do when I have to be “on” in Mom mode? I think being lazy came to mind, visions of movie binging with cups of coffee, naps, reading a book uninterrupted. That was followed by the gleeful idea that I could lay off menu planning and cooking “real” meals.

But then, more importantly, I thought about the kind of selfish time it takes to be creative.

I can’t help all the creative ideas I have bubbling to the surface, but for the last decade I have kind of squelched down my creativity to the level of jotting notes or sketching out whisps to save for some other time.

So, while I may do a bit of movie binging… I plan on trying to re-awaken some of my creative projects.

Let’s see how it all goes.

 

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A Decade of Domesticity?

My son is about to turn 10 years old.  We are both feeling the immensity of this declaration of a whole decade of his existence.

He has really impressed me with his personal awareness, like, he’s not 8 or 9, he’ll be 10.  It feels old to him, and like a big deal. He has been openly appreciating still being “little”, giving lots of kisses and snuggles. But I can see for him it is an important milestone. 10.

When I think of him I think, yeah, he’s almost 10 years old, I need to remember to let go a bit more and let him be older, let him take on more responsibilty, give him the chance to feel out some independance.  As a mother of an only child I will need to remind myself of these things regularly. But still in the sleepy morning fog of motherhood I sometimes need to stop myself from cutting his french toast. I fight against this as the holdover of toddler level care still seems to hang in the air.

When I think of myself, I am a bit kicked in the gut, a whole decade? I have dropped off of the productivity churning real world and gotten lost in domestic tedium for a whole decade?

How did that happen?

I was never a real home-maker wanna be, I didn’t have dreams of baking fresh bread in the morning or decorating the house for the holidays.  But here I am, the very all-domestic care taker of our family.

So as my son passes into his second decade, I will need to adjust my maternal settings, but for now we have a bit of time to indulge in his still being “little” with extra snuggles and kisses. Get it while it lasts.

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Rock the Electoral Vote

The year 2016 has been a Wild Ride in the political realm that I did not anticipate.

The results of the election have left me stunned and worried about the general atmosphere among my fellow earth-mates. So much aggression going on.  Let’s pull it together people!

I am happy to be a part of the Pantsuit Nation, and I would have loved for Hillary to win. I also have beloved friends and family members who expressed their feelings and concerns by voting for Trump this election. I support democracy and so I support their right to vote for the candidate of their choice.

As the days unravel and we see more about what Trump may or may not do, or who he may or may not put in positions of power, I am inspired to activate our system of democracy as it has been set up in our constitution. I call out to the Republican members of the Electoral College to consider using their constitutional right to not place their vote for Trump.

This election inspired protests against the results as well as passionate responses from both sides. I feel for myself the best reation is to send out sincere and thoughtful support towards these electors in hopes that they will feel courageous and make a stand for a better nation. Place your vote for Hillary. I imagine these electors will feel a lot of pressure from every direction, and I want them to feel that we are out here, cheering them on and asking them to make a good choice.  I hope that some of them want to change the direction of this Trump election process as much as many citizens do.

To place a faithless vote is not an easy choice. It will take bravery on the part of the elector to stand for what they feel is better for our country.  So I ask all of you to contact the Republican Electoral College and let them know you support their faithless vote.

I have a place to start:

Postcards for Progress!

I want to make it easy for us to contact these electors. To begin with we need to contact the Republican Party of each state, especially where the vote was particularly close.  I would like to find out who the individual electors are (who can help?)  but let’s start with the headquarters and move from there. The phone lines have been unresponsive so I think we need to use the post office to let them know we are out here!  

I have created a couple simple printable documents, front and backs of a postcard incuding some useful addresses already to go.  Print the front/ print the back/ cut… and send to the top priority states. I am asking some of my creative friends out there to make a better looking document, but for now, a simple statement is a start.

Get out your pens and fill thier mailboxes!!

Postcard front  (Simple document with face side of 4 postcards per page with “I support YOUR faithless vote!”

Postcards-addresses-1  (Back sides with addresses for the Republican Party office for: Florida, Iowa, Ohio, Pennsylvania)

Postcards-addresses-2  (Back sides with addresses for the Republican Party for: Wisconsin,Arizona,Georgia, NC, Wisconsin)

Postcard-adresses-3  (Back sides with addresses for (Republican Headquarters DC, and Michigan, plus blanks)

I will also be creating individual posts for each of the close-call states to be able to create comment-updates when we find out who the individual electors may be and how to contact them directly. Please feel free to add helpful comments, keep in mind anything unpleasant or agressive will be deleted.

Let’s work together to Rock the Electoral Vote 2016!

-Kristi

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Rock the Electoral Vote! Start here.

rock-the-vote

Inspired by our recent election I have learned a thing or two about this Electoral College that is, once again, getting everybody all worked up.

The important point I learned is that once a candidate has won the popular election in that state, the winning political party chooses one electoral voter for each vote the state is allocated. So they are chosen by the winning party. But, the electors are not obligated to vote in line with their party. They can break away, and this is called a faithless voter.

This is very, very rare, but it CAN happen.

To be honest, I am not confident we can change the outcome of this election, but I am inspired to express my disatisfaction by putting any effort I can into supporting the Electoral College, the very same Constitutional tool that has put Trump in his “President Elect” position, to choose a “faithless vote” and mark for history that we the people do not choose a pussy grabbing bigot for our President.

Choose a faithless vote!

I have started by trying to find out how to contact this mysterious college of electors. I spoke to someone in Washington who gave me this information, if we want to contact the selected electors we need to first contact the Republican Party office for that state. I will start here by posting the top 5 states we need to contact and list the GOP contact information for that state, I will make one post per state so we can leave comments with any updates, names and contact information for the actual electors. Everyone can help, find them, call them, mail them.

We have until December 19th to make a difference.

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Fisherman John Get Back to the Lake!

P1020586   I had a wonderful experience creating a video about getting my Dad out of the hospital and out to his favorite fishing spot. Here are the results of my successful Kickstarter project (forever greateful!)  that I have posted via my Wild Ride Living Youtube channel, if you have not seen it yet please check it out,

Please give it a thumbs up and subscribe to my channel. I will be adding more in the upcoming year!