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Day 4 was a much easier day to stick with the program than the previous day.  I got to sleep in till 7:30 so it’s pretty amazing what an extra hour of sleep will do for the tired soul.  Today we started out at 9:00 with the market in Eygalières and what a beautiful day we had again.  It was a little chilly and breezy but sunny nonetheless.

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I love this view of the market looking back to where the parking was because in the background you see the majestic rock mountains.

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This was where I bought my smoked paprika.  I had ran out of it from my last trip to France 6 years ago and this was high on my list of spices to get.

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A cat caught my attention as I was walking along the market and I couldn’t resist.  What a beautiful alley to walk down.  This wasn’t the first time kitty strolled down this lane.  He walked past the vendors and turned down this lane as if maybe he had visited the fish guy and got his morning snack.  He wasn’t in a hurry, and neither was I.

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In the square was this beautiful old building.  I love the history of these small towns.  I love the color of the shutters, the vegetation growing up the sides and the stonework.  In fact I stood here for a bit just marveling at the beauty that surrounded me.  The bustling of people in this spot, deciding which street to go down and really, there wasn’t a bad choice you could make.  People were smiling and chatting, tourists were there shopping for their food as they were living like the locals for a brief week or two on holiday.

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And I turned toward this section of the street and discovered this gal where I bought my lavender Savon de Marseille, or lavender soap.  Our chef Herve had warned us at the first market that the Chinese are making soap and calling it Savon de Marseille, even though it’s counterfeit so I was alert to fake soap!  Sleuth that I was, I asked her about the origins of her products and they were local I was assured.  I knew she was telling the truth because her products proudly bore the mark of the regional association with which products are registered.  I also have friends who make soap so I know the consistency and the markings of imperfection, which to me, are truly perfect.  She had wonderful soaps, lavender bud sachets, essential oils and little gifts and it was here that I bought some gifts to take back home.

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After having a café crème in the center of this small town and regrouping, Deb and Susan told us about this antiques store.  This is an antique chandelier in one of the rooms I found myself in.  My heart skipped a beat because  when I saw it, it reminded me of the one my mother in law had in her foyer, down to the cut Murano crystal drops and candle drippings.  I fought the urge to want to buy it because practicality overruled sentimentality.  1) I would have to rewire it and 2) I didn’t need it.  Letting go….and right now writing this I just remembered my boudoir doesn’t have a chandelier……and this would’ve been perfect!  Sigh….let go Tammi, you’re back home now my dear.

 

You remember me saying in a previous blog post about driving by patches of poppies?  Well today it was decided that after we got back to the house from the market, Susan and I would head out to find a patch of poppies so I could act like a silly girl and get my photo shoot taken surrounded by their beauty.  Christy Turlington I’m not, however she can’t make draperies like I do either so we both won’t quit our day jobs! Ha!

 

In hindsight, I should have hit the bar for a glass of wine first to loosen up and let go…..

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It was so bright outside it was hard not to squint and we waited for a cloud to come shade the area but it blew away instead…so…make lemonade out of lemons and hey, this was my only opportunity and I wasn’t missing it!  I got my picture taken with the poppies!  Woo hoo!

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This was another patch of flowers by the roadside that caught Susan’s attention so we pulled over.  When we got out of the car the first thing I noticed was the sound of the breeze and how the flowers were gently blowing as if whispering secrets to one another.  I took a 30 second video to remember the sight and the sound of tranquility.  Go to my Facebook page Here to see and listen.

 

Next stop:  find food for lunch and while we’re at it, how about some wine?

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We ended up here at La Pintade Chaponnee in St Remy de Provence and since Susan had been to this place earlier in the week stocking up, it seemed the logical place to go.  The gourmet dishes of food were presented in only the way the French know how, pleasing to the eye and more importantly, delicious!

Since we needed more wine at the house, we came to this part of the store in the back and the owner was more than happy to oblige us with a tasting, of which we wholeheartedly accepted.  I noticed the dark tapered bottle of Moscato on the top shelf in the cooler and when asked if we’d like to try it, well the answer was obvious.  And let me just say that I liked his idea of a tasting because he gave us a full glass.  I remember Susan and I looking at each other when he poured and I wasn’t going to tell him to slow down!  Here is what I loved about that moment and the French savoir-faire:  even though he and his wife were working, he had such appreciation for her that he called her back to join us in a glass, because after all, it was her favorite!  And you know what they say…keep her happy!  Enjoying a good wine with new friends….

Needless to say we came home with this and 3 more bottles of different wine plus gourmet food.  Just in time for me to get changed and get ready for the next activity lined up for us.

Sketching and painting.  This was the lesson in letting go…truly

 

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We got our easels and set up our station in front of the object we wanted to paint.  I loved this window with the climbing roses so I remember thinking, this is going to be easy because I sketch out my drapery designs for my clients and this another window, right?  HA!  We had to do a charcoal sketch first.  NOT easy at all!  And we had to create shadowing.  Hmm.  My eyes are trained to see details first and I had to let go of that.

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This shows my charcoal sketch on the shutter so I had that as a reference to paint from.  An empty canvas….  But now we have to work backward by putting the first layer on, no details, just shadowing outlines.  I had to look beyond the detail of how I wanted the flowers to look, the way I wanted the iron scrolling to look.  Letting go of what’s in front of me and looking through it to get to the deepest level.  Indicative of how I need to be applying this in my life.  Letting go….

We got little dabs of different paint colors on our plastic tray and had to create our own palette.  Oh boy, what colors did I want?  Did I want to be authentic in what I was painting or did I want to have a little fantasy and use colors that normally wouldn’t be used?  Letting go….

As I was trying really hard in this Type A OCD brain of mine to separate layers, I still kept trying to get that detail in.  Our artist was very patient with me..not yet Tammi..we’re working on the background, detail later.  I found myself getting frustrated because I could care less about the background…..let me paint these roses!  And then she admitted to me that she is just like me….she had to learn to let go…

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I forged on however and did let go..realizing this was an exercise I needed not only here in this scenario but the scenario I call my life.  And I did really start to enjoy it once I looked past the detail and focused on the background and how that is more important as it sets the tone for the painting.  This was a lot harder than I thought and I kept talking to myself….muttering under my breath about how hard this is, I can’t do this right…..blah blah blah! Because the Type A in me seeks perfection and there was no way I could be perfect at this.  I couldn’t even control the paint on my brush, are you kidding me?

Monet has earned ever more of my appreciation.  I had to step back many times to get the sense of what I was doing because I had the finished goal of the charcoal sketch I was working towards.  Finally I was allowed to paint the detail!  Yay!

This is what I ended up with:

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So I had such a difficult time letting go I needed to stick my feet in the pool and grab a drink!  My reward for sure!

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We had a pétanque lesson by the pool after the painting session which was a lot of fun and even at that I was told to loosen up!  I was too stiff with my upper body.  Ha!  It sounds like a running theme for me today, huh?

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But how could I be so anal when surrounded with this beauty?

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Many thanks to Georgina, one of the Canadian girls who took this photo, catching me pouring another glass of rose, with a smirk on my face, because Shelly to my left, had such a dry sense of humor that I loved and I still giggle about our aperitifs together 🙂

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So yes, this day was a great lesson in learning to let go…..I can’t control everything, nor should I want to.  Growth is about accepting and continuing to move forward despite our own personal obstacles we put in front of ourselves.  Bust through, emerge lighter and stronger.

Yes, let go…..

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