Saturday, November 28, 2009

November 2009

November 2009

The month is almost over. I have started writing this on Thanksgiving Day, and I am thinking of family and friends.

The month started with a visit from a colleague of Keith’s from DuVine Adventures. He is French, but now lives in Switzerland. In the winter he is a ski instructor. He had postponed his trip here because something came up he had to do. He arrived on Monday, and the weather report for the next 3 days was rain! The week before had been sunny and gorgeous. They (Keith and Greg) did get out for a ride Tuesday morning before the rain started in earnest. Because of the rain, they had plenty of time to taste some wine too, so the couple of days were not an entire loss (he wanted to buy some wine).

My project for the months of November and December concerns one of my clubs. It all started on the first Monday of November. I had a meeting of my Genealogie/Histoire/et Patrimoine (genealogy/history and heritage) Club.

We are having an exposition of old post cards. The date is December 12th (what?? back up here, did I here that correctly... Dec 12th 2009?? , or is it 2010. That’s it, they must have said 2010. NON? It is Dec 12th 2009 !! oh my).

First they must choose the post cards to exhibit, than Susan will take the photos for the “today” comparison (oh wait, wait a minute...back up again, is my french bad or what tonight? First you have to pick the post cards, then, it is I, Susan, that you are talking about? OK c'est moi ...  and the date again, dit moi (tell me) is Dec. 12th, 2009???). Time frame seems a little short to me, and this is France, where almost everything seems to be at a slower pace!.

I finally got the photos (scanned photos of the post cards) mid last week (19th November). We had a couple of sunny days, and I was out taking as many photos as I could. You have to also know that this is Gevrey and the communes of Gevrey (32 other villages in the commune). Off in my little 106 Peugeot, and 150 km on the road later, I had some of the photos (I back tracked here and there, criss-crossed, zig-zagged...I was all over the place taking these photos).

I started with photos from the villages on the plain (river plain of the Saone River).

You have to also imagine, that I had to find these places. Oh I know where the villages are, but then I would park the car and walk around with a printout of the post card in my hand trying to find the building that matches what I have in my hand!! In the last hundred years, sometimes things change!

I really enjoyed it, I just wish we had more time to take better photos (ah this photos should be a late afternoon photo, but here I am, and it is 10am, it isn’t right for this photo.....tant pis [too bad], CLICK goes the camera).

It is difficult to match the photo at times; they must have had a different lens. The perspective is off. Maybe they used a wide-angle lens?? Who knows? So I take it as I see it. Also, monuments have moved, walls have been added, dormers added or subtracted, trees have grown..!!! 

After the photos have been taken, then I load all the photos onto the computer, do some Photoshop magic (lighten a few of those shadows), and crop the photo to a post card size. The photos taken on my camera (or any modern camera I presume)  are not the same size as a postcard.

Since this is how I spent my time this month, here are some of the photos with the post cards.

Post Card- St. Philibert
St Philibert today
Monument de Mort Gevrey (war memorial)
War Memorail today
Rue Gaizot Gevrey
Rue Gaizot Gevrey

Job is not entirely finished. Still have some more photos to go. I just offered to do Chambolle, and Joelle said there are more of Gevrey coming. WHEN!!! (I have just finished about 35 photos of Gevrey on Wed)!! And now there will be more. Joelle is going to do some of the other villages, Fixin, Brochon, Fixey, and Couchey.

I know we will be ready by the 12th of December, but there is a lot of work to do yet. So I will write a full report on the success of our exhibit at the end of December.

Keith, what has he been doing? Riding his bike every chance he gets. He has a goal for the year and is working towards that end. So if the sun is out, so is he. He has even been out on some questionable days. And of course he is out today as I write this journal. He did 116km yesterday. He is a riding fool, but he always feels better when he is riding regularly. It helps his back too, so there is no downside to it.

We have had a mild fall. We did have that one cold week in October, but that is all. The temperature is in the high 50’s or mid 60’s most of the time. I do prefer this mild fall when compared to what we had last year. Brrr it was cold last year at this same time.

We have recouped some of the water loss from our dry August and September. Not a good year for the mushrooms however. We only found a couple, and without rain, we did not bother to search for more. I do believe though that our winter weather may arrive soon.

I did not turn on the heat until Nov 1st. We had a couple nights that we had fires in the fireplace to warm the house (in October). And now, the nights are cold,we have one almost every night. However last week, we did have a few nights where it was too warm for a fire (the chimney will not draw if it is too warm outside).

The wine this year, especially the red, is another story. It is to be a GREAT year for wine from the Cote D'Or. Will it top 2005?  That forecast is just for the Cote-D’Or (Cote de Nuits and Cote de Beaune). The annual wine auction of Beaune that is held mid-November is the bell-weather of the wine market here (the wine auction for the Hospice de Beaune is one of the oldest wine auctions). Red wine price were up 31%. White not so much, but a good year too. The vignerons here are very happy this year. If you want to read Marie Therese’s Blog (in french) it is here:

Marie Therese and I were going to go to Beaune for the festivities that surround the auction. We have gone for the last few years. However it was pouring rain just before I was to leave for the train (Keith was in Bligny – with the car). So we called it off, it did not seem like a good day to walk around Beaune. Marie Therese said she would stop by later. By the time she arrived in the late afternoon, nothing but sunshine. Sometimes that is how it goes.

I am tossing in a photo that I took this last week. While I was out taking photos, I took these too. The photos are from the village of Noiron-sous-Gevrey. It is the Pont des Arvaux. The monks from Citeaux built a water system for their abbey (aqueduct system). This is part of the system.

The bridge was built by the monks of the Abbey Citeaux between 1212 and 1221.Once the abbey was established at Citeaux, the monks needed to build an aqueduct system for water. Water was diverted from the Sanfond to the Varaud. Then a 10 km channel or canal was built to carry water to Citeaux. This canal passes here in the photo, over the Varaud.

Pont des Arvaux
On Top of Pont- looking left.

See the water in the shadow in the channel -right side

Top looking right..the channel

Probably have bored you enough. I will stop writing about the Post Cards, and photos.and ...

We had friends for a Thanksgiving dinner last Sunday. There were just 4 of us this year. I did a simple dinner, much of it I could start on Saturday. The menu for the day was: sweet potato soup, turkey breast roulades (stuffed with wild mushrooms), mashed potatoes and green beans. It was a nice relaxing day. Our meal started about 1pm and finished around 5pm. We had good friends, food and wine. A wonderful combination for passing a nice afternoon. It was supposed to rain all day, but it cleared about 11am, and it was sunny the rest of the day.

We have another dinner at friends house this coming Sunday (Thanksgiving too). So on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day I prepared a Thanksgiving pizza. I had pottery in the morning and photo club in the evening, chores in the afternoon, so I fixed an easy dinner.

Thursday was a beautiful day here, I even did some lawn work. Got the lawn mower out and mowed down some flowers (perennials). I am woefully behind on getting the garden in shape for fall. Tant pis... I believe it may have been in the high 60’s. Rain is predicted for the next couple of days.

On to another subject, flu season. The Flu A or H1N1 is here too. In France, with socialized medicine, "invitations"  for the vaccine were sent out to all people meeting certain requirement. Also, your doctor can recommend you for a vaccine. But the controversy is the same here as it is in the USA (I presume this from reading the news). A fair number of people are not sure the vaccine is safe and will not get it. 

Here in our little corner, schools were closed last week because of an outbreak in the H1N1 flu. I have not seen a lot of masks yet on the streets, but it may come to that.

Because I have asthma, my invitation came in the mail. Guess I will go on Monday for my shot.

That is about all the news from over here.


Recipe of the Month

Sweet Potato Soup (so good ....)

This is a rich soup, so it is ideal as a starter for dinner. A small portion is sufficient.


  • 1 tablespoons butter 
  • 1/2  onion, chopped   
  • 1/2  pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces 
  • 1 small red potato peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • Dash of ground nutmeg 
  • 1/2  cup of crème fraiche (or heavy cream) 
  • 1 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • Salt and pepper (white pepper) to taste


  1. Sauté the chopped onion in the butter slowly
  2. Add the sweet potato pieces and red potato pieces to boiling water
  3. Boil until tender, 10 to 15 minutes
  4. Drain the potatoes
  5. Add potatoes to sautéed onions 
  6. Add 1 cup of the chicken broth.
  7. Blend until smooth
  8. Add crème fraiche
  9. Blend and slowly add the other cup of broth. You want a nice thick soup consistency, so it is not necessary to add all of the broth.
  10. Add maple syrup and blend thoroughly
  11. TASTE and add salt and pepper as necessary (the amount depends on your taste, and the salt in the broth).