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It’s Maude.



Our new grey Toulouse goose. She’s more blue than gray for now, since her feathers haven’t grown in yet, but she’s already claimed her place as queen of the barnyard.

That’s Sweet & Sour in the background. (more…)


Lena and 'Roasted'

Lena and ‘Roasted’

New family members again! The poultry village in the backyard just seems to keep on growing… The sudden appearance of the ducks certainly has nothing to do with the Les Hérolles market we went to this morning… Actually we came back six birds heavier, though we went with only the possibility of two ducklings in mind. But they were all so cute, and we couldn’t decide on the race… and we’re liberal type folk, so why not both? And we threw in two more chickens for good measure to bring the chook flock to a sturdy twenty even. Keep Reading…


The long awaited sequal to: What’s Upstairs by Le Vignaud Productions.

The story of a young chicken named Tchitchi… who grew up so fast! Our little baby Tchitchi is now a mother! She had six little baby chicks hatch- We’re so proud!

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More Photos…

What’s Upstairs?

A perceptive young reader wants to know: “What is upstairs in the chicken house?”

This week, Le Vignaud Productions sets out to tell the story:

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This Must Be The Place

Inspiration of the Day:

There’s no place like home. It’s where we live, work and dream. It’s our sanctuary and our refuge. We can love them or hate them. It can be just for the night or for the rest of our lives. But whoever we may be, we all have a place we call home.

THIS MUST BE THE PLACE is a series of short films that explore the idea of home; what makes them, how they represent us, why we need them.

Produced and directed by Ben Wu and David Usui,
of Lost & Found Films (lostfoundfilms.com).

Roofing Les Verrines

September 20, 2011 – October 31, 2011

Yup, count ’em- that’s almost SIX WEEKS of roofing, and you get to enjoy it all in a matter of seconds from the convenience of your home. I know everyone has been waiting for months for this! The thing is, when you live in a house with no electricity, encoding video, editing photos, and Facebook status updates happily fade away into non-existence. You’ve all been rewarded for waiting so long though with a very in-depth and media-rich experience brought to you by the kind folks at Le Vignaud Productions. (more…)

Konrad’s Les Verrines

Konrad under one of the giant stones at Les Pierres Jaumetres

Les Verrines’ youngest member gets his spotlight! Konrad came to visit with his mom Anika and his friend Josie for ten days and helped with a few projects, swam, ate gummy bears, and played. Konrad even got his “Petit Chevalier” certificate in his young knight training course. (more…)


Dandelion Fields at Malval

Dandelion Fields at Malval

This post has been in the works since way back in April… Countless hours of editing and collaboration have been wasted bringing this to you now, four months later. So, please enjoy… more photos and stories hopefully to come soon.

Love, Jason

. . . . .

By Julianne Dodds

One day late in April we decided to drive up to Malval, where there is an old mill as well as ruins of a millennium-old castle. The fields on either side of the rural road were bright yellow, completely filled with dandelions. It was a beautiful sight: the sunny flowers are not really considered much of a weed in France and are allowed to grow sans herbicide. Penelope made a casual comment about making dandelion wine, but it really fired up Jason’s imagination. He’d never even heard of it before, but suddenly he had a new project.

Neither of us had ever tasted dandelion wine or made any wine before, but luckily Google had us taken care of. We found a few intriguing recipes which we then synthesized into one master recipe.


Bastille Day and the Tour de France

Happy Bastille Day everyone!

Don't ask where these came from...

Don't ask where these came from...

Caught the Tour De France today- What better way to spend the French national holiday? But, who knew the Tour de France had more cars than bicycles? Three hours of waiting and then all the bikes had passed in a matter of seconds. Had I blinked, I would have missed it. A little disappointing it was…


You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere

Strap yourself
To the tree with roots
You ain’t goin’ nowhere…

Gigi’s gone. She left La Creuse this afternoon bound for the sunny south and Dirty Darren and I were left at the train station in Gueret alone… It has become a strangely familiar feeling being left at that platform and wondering where to turn next. Many have come and gone before and I hope many will come and go yet. Still, parting is the bitter fruit of friendship sometimes. If we become accustomed to one’s companionship it is sure to leave a hole when it’s gone…

On to greener Minnasota grass. Bon voyage. We’ll miss you.

We took one last trip to Le Vignaud to say au revoir to Jeanine. Her grandson Damien was there, and he took over my camera for a while. Everyone had to try on my casquette at least once (I think Jeanine looks best in it) and Damien forced Gigi and I to pose and jump for him. Quite the photographer, he filled the memory card in about a half hour and we were left with a few gems.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Just for kicks (since that’s been the theme of the year so far), a short stop motion film for your enjoyment:

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