Thursday, August 31, 2017

August 2017

AUGUST 2017 (août)

Sliding into fall. August has been hot. Many days in the 90's, and humid at the same time. And the odd thing, although humid we are actually in a drought crisis. It has not rained hardly at all in two months.

Hey it is raining today - and fall,  after 90 degrees yesterday, today we might get a high of  65!

I did not get out much this month (fair weather hiker). Stayed inside and tried to organize some photos. The operative word here is TRIED. Still a long way to go.

( when news around the world is frustrating or depressing, turn and look at what is happening in your "backyard")

Wonder what the photo "pyrale" is about? It is a butterfly that is invading France. It is now here in the Côte-D'Or. It kills the bush called boxwood (in french "buis"). They swarm in like a plague. In the upper part of Gevrey people have their houses covered with the pyrales. And why is this significant and I am putting it in my Blog? The Reserve Naturale Combe Lavaux is known for its' boxwood. It grows wild and is a significant part of the greenery of the Combe Lavaux. The combe is about 500m west of Gevrey, a place I spend a lot of time hiking through. Have to see how much gets destroyed.

It is time for the vendanges (grape harvest). It is usually around the 20th of September (on average), but due to the unusual weather this year, it is starting this week. Grapes are plump and numerous. Although there was the frost 22nd of April, the fires that they burned here saved the grapes ( I think Chablis was hit hard, and some regions south). There has not been a hail storm yet, so after 4 years of disasters, this may be a good harvest. Fingers crossed.

There were a couple days that were not too hot. I ran up to the Haute Côte to take a few photos of two villages, Urcy and Chamboeuf.
URCY_Artist owns this house

Urcy_A Lavoir -usually has a spring of fresh water. 
Inside the Lavoir- a place to wash cloths. The basin holds water
(but dry now with the drought)
and one would kneel at the side and wash cloths

in the fields by Urcy

Urcy belle vue
the church of Urcy
On to Chamboeuf
Chamboeuf _horse pasture
Chambouef from above

Chamboeuf _church and mayors office

After climbing up to take the photo of the village from above
I sat on the bench, it is  there to sit on and to enjoy the scenic view.
Then one morning before the heat climbed too high (22nd of Sept), we went to see the art show in the stone quarry of Villars -Fontaine (limestone quarry). The paintings are on the wall of the quarry.
First photo to get a perspective of the size of the paintings

Still painting, artists worked the whole week on
their paintings

They were also making plaster castings of people (actually wrapped one in plaster, photo below). We did not volunteer! The casts were then put on display. I presume people (victims) picked a pose and theme?

there were about 100 when we went on Tuesday. Wonder
how many by Sunday when they closed the exposition

casting this young lady in plaster!
France has a celebration of heritage (patrimoine) during the month of September. It is called the "Journée du Patrimoine"  and this year it is the weekend of  16th and 17th of Sept. For Gevrey we are preparing a small exposition of the different kinds of "patrimoine".  We are preparing charts on Architecture, Industriel (old comapnies of Gevrey), Nature (the Combe Lavaux has a mushroom and flower unique to the area), Stone cutting, Music (songs of Gevrey), Source (springs) of water, Caves (grottes), Vines, Michelin road signs, and the old railroad called Tacot. Need to get these ready by the 15th!! So I will be busy next week.

Keith, not much to report. He had a good ride out west and returned the first week of the month. Then he had to document it all, and write his journals in Crazy guy on a bike.(

One last photo! Since the family has moved and we are the official owners of the cat, I had taken a photo of the cat, Tim, to give to the family (especially the boy who was going to miss Tim). Have to say that Tim was not at all cooperative.

All this brings me to the end of the month. Like I said "It was a quiet week (month) here in Lake Gevrey"

Recipe of the Month
Salad with peaches (or nectarines)

I do not have much for you today. After all the hot days, I did very little cooking. So I will just give you one of my favorite salads.

  • Lettuce
  • Peaches sliced
  • Pecans (I get a snack pack that is slightly salted)
  • Vinaigrette
  • Feta cheese crumbled


Put your favorite salad lettuce in a bowl. Using avinaigrette ( I make my usual and add a little honey for just a touch of sweetness), toss the lettuce with a little. Add cut up peaches, cheese and pecans. Pour a little more vinaigrette over the top and serve.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Juillet 2017

       July 2017

It is the month for national celebration, in the USA ( 4th of July ) and in France (Fête Nationale 14 juillet).

For the Fête Nationale, there are fireworks too. It seems to be an universal mode of celebration.
In Gevrey, the band marches from the center of the town down to the stadium where the fireworks display is done.

For me, this was one busy month! Of course, maybe you are all tired of my notes on the Tour de France, but it was important to the town and to me.

Luckily, the weather forecast changed and we could start putting up the decorations. Remember all the flowers we made! Here are a few photos of "tarting up" the town.
Getting our 18 "maillots" (jerseys) out
to hang (note blurred faced- without
written permission from the person,
private photos with facial ID not allowed), except
at public events. 
Decorating fence grills along the route

Finished- Tour de France in paper flowers
the T and D and A a little hard to see in the photo.
Hanging the maillots-there are 4 of each color,
Yellow, Green, Polka Dot and White

Old bikes on the main route decorated with flowers

Polka Dot jersey and hanging no parking signs

Main route with some flowers for color

2 jerseys - one at the entrance and one at the exit
And then the day of the TOUR arrived. The Place des Marronniers, has two halves. One side was set up for the "Relais -Etape" (VIP's) and the other had kiosks  and a Grand (very BIG) screen set up by the Tour for everyone to watch the Tour live. Benches and chairs were scattered about and people sat under the Marronniers (chestnut trees) to watch the tour. It was a very hot day, well into the 90's.
(I stopped at the kiosk official and bought Tour de France T-shirt).
There were several  food stands well supplied with bottled watered! It was all very festive afternoon here in Gevrey.
 Of course I took photos as the caravan came through and then the Peleton. I did not get a lot of loot from the caravans, but sufficient little prizes - a hat, bottle of Vital water, a box of apple juice, small pack of sausages, and a key chain. Here are some photos.

VIP section, I was on the other side in the hot sun!!



Caravan - did not get a chicken!! Have no idea what they
gave away.

Entertainment- Bicycle fun

Checked out the race between Caravan and the actual arrival
of the riders- the climb to Urcy
Here they come

Froome in the YELLOW jersey. Sky team had yellow helmets
because the team had the most points

and more

and more
Then it was over. I took Saturday off, and then had to clean the house because a friend was coming to visit. I was leaving on Friday to meet her in Bruges, Belgium. She would be coming with her car on the train from England, then drive the hour to Bruges. I went by train from here.
Wow, what a beautiful city. Here are a few photos, and they somehow do not capture the true essence of the city ( also we took a walking tour for 2 hours on Sunday morning. I had set up my battery to charge on Saturday evening and arrived at the tour meeting place only to find a dead battery!! Nothing open Sunday morning that sold lithium batteries. Found out the outlet in my room did not work, so missed some very scenic places- and so it goes. By the way, the tour was excellent )
There are canals in Bruges

The traditional stepped peak

Passage out of a garden

Liked the sign on the left

A row of peaked roofs

Markt square 

The Halle with the belfry-83 meters tall! Markt place

Markt place and restaurants- Saturday morning at 9am
It was practically empty?

Bicycling is huge and  lots of places to park

Carriages to rent on the Markt place

Notre Dame- 112 meter tower! And inside
a Michelangelo statue of Virgin and child

Another canal with plants on the bridge- lots of leaves

Traditional photo of the canal-tourist spot

Note the helmets!!

bike parking

Hey- Blackbird!! OK a restaurant, not Lake of the Woods


Did not notice the man waving when I took the photo
Gothic church of Jeruzalemkerk dates from 1428 
I think there may be a return trip to Bruges. So much to see and we were there only 2 days.
It deserves more time.

On the drive back to Gevrey, we stopped overnight in Reims (pronounced more like "rance").
We took a tour of HG Mumm champagne house with a tasting.
No longer use oak barrels to ferment the grapes. These old one
are just part of the tour.

Bacchus of course. Lighting difficult in the

Long row of magnums of Champagne

And tasting time 
When we came back to Gevrey, we did more wine tasting. Chris comes once a year with a car so she can bring back some wine. French wine from here is much cheaper direct than the price she would pay in England. So tasting we did!! And then wine with dinner!

But on Saturday before she left, we went for a walk with MT and her sister. The butterflies were everywhere. It was amazing, if you disturbed the butterflies, hundreds would take to the air! The weather had cooled some, so it was a nice day for a walk.
Le Tabac d'Espagne

Sylvain azuré

Le Tabac d'Espagne

How many butterflies ?

L'Ecaille chinée- bright sun faded the far side. If the wings had
been open, the wings below are red/orange with black dots.
This one was a hard photo
to get!!


Keith left on a bike trip. He is in Normandy and got wet on Thursday. It rains in that region. He is now in Brittany. He has been on the road a week, no firm date when he will return. Some camping and hotels when it rains or camp grounds are full.
There he goes, all packed and ready
I am continuing the process of taking photos of the villages. On Friday I met with the mayor of Chamboeuf and took a couple of photos. I mainly took photos of the interior of the church, however I have one panoramic from above the village. Chamboeuf is above Gevrey on the plateau, part of the Haute Côte.

On Saturday the 29th, I went for a walk with MT and her sister. Our quest? A cave, to be exact the "Grotte de Roche Chèvre" near the village of Ternant. And success, here are a couple of photos.

Inside the first "room"

Fellow spelunkers

A drop of water
I will admit I am not the best cave explorer. I stayed in the first "room" near the entrance, my fellow explorers went on to explore other chambers!

That rounds up this month.

Recipe of the Month
Tomato sauce (sauce des tomates)
Today's pick-few big ones ripening now

My tomatoes seem to be ready all at the same time. I made a small batch of tomato sauce with cherry tomatoes. It was soooo sweet and soooo good ( I ate a few spoonfuls just as is). A small batch is ready to use and there is no canning involved. Just make and use on pasta, a pizza, or a sauce for whatever, or maybe just plain(dip some good bread in it). It will store a day or two in the refrigerator.


  • 800 grams fresh tomatoes (chopped if large, cut in half if cherry tomatoes)
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon oregano dried
  • 1 teaspoon thyme dried
  • 1 teaspoon basil dried
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped (this depends on your taste and the strenght of the garlic)
  • 2 teaspoons salt or to taste
  • Fresh basil chopped ( to add on top of whatever you make)


  1. Wash tomatoes and peel if you want or skin is tough (with cherry tomatoes I do not peel, but it is up to you)
  2. In pan, add oil , garlic and onions and gently simmer 
  3. Add tomatoes herbs and salt and pepper
  4. Simmer on low for 30 minutes
  5. Taste and adjust
    1. If too much acid in the tomatoes, and 1-2 tbs milk or cream
    2. If tart (some tomatoes are not as sweet as others (mine are sweet), just add a couple tsp of sugar- not too much!!
  6. Depending how saucy you like it, you can not blend at all, put half in the blender or put all in a blender. I go between chunky-no blend, to blending about 1/2. Only blend it completely when I can it for the winter.