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This new year has started off slowly and carefully, like a false start leading to a more steady pace. In the first week of January, I didn’t feel like doing anything at all and after careful consideration, came to the conclusion that it was just post holiday season fatigue plus deep winter slowness. So, I gave myself some slack and let the week slide by while pondering my options for this new year. I really hope it’ll be better than last year which started with five days in the hospital with pneumonia in February. Loads of vitamins and supplements seem to be staving off even the mildest colds this year. Keeping my fingers crossed!

It’s easy not to fall into a deep winter slump when the sun is shining and dear hubby takes to the outdoors to clean up the yard. The hens followed him around, checking out what yummies they could find in the freshly raked lawn. So, we all decided to follow his lead and enjoy the few days of spring in winter. They are calling for rain during the week.

Cleaning up the yard.

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We finally got rid of the useless apple and plum trees. They will be replaced soon.

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The girls under the olive tree. Lots of goodies to be found!

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The hen that got broody. Hopefully she’ll do it again this spring.

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This hen found a rotting fruit and is really enjoying it.

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Sometimes we lock them up in their run.

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The winter veggie garden with some swiss chard still trying to grow.

It will be much smaller this summer. I’d like to get a couple of ducks.

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Hermann the tortoise is sleeping in his box. I really hope he comes out in the spring.

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Lio built this wall last summer to tame the slope. I planted some Jerusalem artichokes with hopes that they’ll create a nice border next summer.

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Budding Forsythia

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The baby hedge is growing slowly but surely and one day it will block the view behind the house and we’ll be able to use that nice, cool spot in the summer.

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Christmas wreath without it’s decorations. Still pretty.

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Happy New Year to you all!

Jennifer is a Canadian/American, living in the South of France for the last 18 years. Married to a frenchman who's job forces him to spend a lot of his time overseas, she has learned to cope with all those everyday challenges brought about by her sometimes crazy life. Adapting to a new culture, raising children, taking care of animals, growing a vegetable garden, cooking for her family and friends, teaching cooking classes and trying to maintain a fairly organized and inviting home. Here are some of her thoughts about it all.

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