Today, the 6th January, is the Twelfth Night or Little Christmas or Epiphany.  Whatever you call it, it’s time for us to get serious about cleaning up and cleaning out.  Our land home isn’t grand but it’s surpising how much ‘stuff’ accumulates over the years.  All our closets have been renovated since moving to this condo.  But what was once beautifully organized storage has become ‘quick close the door before things fall out’ storage.

We extracted ourselves from the bed (not lovin’ this flu season) and spent the day tackling two things: one large closet and putting away our Christmas decorations.  At the end we’re pretty pleased with the first ‘rough sort’ results.

Christmas Things

Christmas decorations have been reduced to half. Confession, still hanging onto a few little treasures, but only a few.  I said ‘rough’ sort didn’t I?

We now have a pile of ‘to trash’, ‘to donate’ and ‘to sell’. But inspite of having no particular emotional connection to clothing, I’m finding it hard to get rid of at least a dozen gowns.  I look at them and in my mind can relive each wonderful event, the clattering of fine china and clinking crystal, the lilting sounds of music, the conversations where I smiled and nodded (it’s Frenchland and most of the time smiling and nodding was all I could do). I’m not sure if some of those dresses even fit the way they used to (cargo has shifted over the years)..but really!  Do women (except those of a certain age) even wear full-length gowns anymore? Release the clutter hounds I say! Out with them all!  Tomorrow, my lovelies, you go on eBay to the highest size 2/4 bidder

eBay Bound

 This is partly why I love blogging.  I can talk to you about what I should be or am thinking about doing and voilà.  It’s out there for the world to know, so I’m almost obligated to follow through.

Donate, Sell, Trash

Now onto celebrating Little Christmas…

We’ve been invited to share in the Twelfth Day of Christmas at the home of a friend.  His place is a spectacular display of all things Christmas. Every inch decorated for the season including real candles on his floor to ceiling tree.

Every Inch


Traditional 3′ German Spinning Pyramid

…we dined…

Please be Seated

Oh did we dine!. I think I counted seven courses in all, the final course being the Cake of the Kings (a brief description of its origin here) or in French ‘galette des rois’ which has a tiny procelain figurine hidden somewhere in the filling.  The person whose piece contains the little treasure becomes king or in this case, queen of the feast who then chooses her king to sit by her side for the rest of the evening

The Queen Chose Her King

It was an evening filled with beautiful music, delicious food, laughter, friendship and tradition…and in the wee hours of the morning we returned home, with bellies and hearts full, with heads full of great memories to carry us through winter’s chilly days, and with a bag full of treats for tomorrow’s first coffee.

A Sack Full of Treats


Breakfast is Served



Just one picture is all I have for this post.  No spectacular sunset.  No feisty storm.   Just this one picture that tells the story.

We arrived home after almost two months away.  And a superb voyage it was!  Such a great experience!  We’ll sort all that out as we settle in at our home port.

Our vehicle was left at our condo this year inside the garage because of problems with the breaks two years ago after a summer away.  Expensive lesson learned.  We also wanted to avoid mail accumulating while away and to have the occasional eye on our little land home ‘just in case’.

Two very special people played an integral part in the ease of departure and arrival.  Retreived at our club in fine style, us with enough dirty laundry to sink a ship, served a delicious home cooked brunch with great chilled champagne, fine wine and some truly wonderful conversation and a gift of fresh local corn on the cob. Then to arrive at our land home, a welcome back note and bounty from our friend’s community garden.


Béatrice and Dorian, words don’t begin to express how much we appreciate everything you have done for us, on our departure, during our absence and on our return. As I have said so often, it’s the little things that mean so much.  Un gros merci!  Thank you so much!

….So, I said just one picture would tell the story when as I was writing this my dear Francois realized we were out of a few supplies of the alcohol persuasion and returned with his ‘booty’ in true pirate style…

…neither shaken nor stirred with a slice of lemon and a heart-shaped ice cube.  First ice cube I’ve seen in more than two months.


Desire to Inspire