FPS News- the fractional ownership solution
   March  2008
in this issue
Growing your investments in euros
April in the Minervois
A Winter Citrus Preserve
What's so smart about "le Smart Car"?
French Woman Don't Get Fat and Do Get Lucky
Pay It Forward
Growing your investments in euros- March 2008
by Ginny Blackwell
Euros One of the real benefits of participating in the Living and Investing in France conference last week was the "wake up" call I heard relative to diversifying my investments abroad. I consider myself fairly saavy in terms of foreign exchanges, portfolio diverisification, and investment planning. After all, our first French purchase in 1998 was a trial by fire and we emerged barely singed. I'll never forget the day when we were poised to transfer about $200,000 to the notaire in France and simply asking him whether he thought we should send the funds in dollars or have them converted to francs first. Innocent question, right? In fact, sending them over in francs saved us almost $10,000 for our first home purchase in France! Read on...
April in the Minervois-
by Ginny Blackwell  
April in the Minervois

 I remember April in the Minervois (the geographic area surrounding the ancient Cathar city of Minerve) as a time of doors opening. As the Canal du Midi starts filling with early barges, the villagers resume their 4PM daily walks canal side, interspersed with bicycles, baby carriages, even a horse or two. This new beginning leads to the almost non stop village festivities which mark the region from May through October. Festivals...


We are delighted to announce that Maison Bleue LLC,  (homeshare near Carcassonne)  is scheduled to close around April 3rd.  Corresponding with that, four families have plans to visit the house in March/April with phone calls and inquiries arriving daily from other Francophiles and international nomads. One such France lover shared the following helicopter tour of the Languedoc: see tour.

A Winter Citrus Preserve- French style

-1 lemon
-1 orange
-1 grapefruit


Cut all the fruit into pieces and run them through the food processor until they are cut into very small pieces. Soak these ingredients  in 1 1/2 liters of water for 24 hours.

The second day, cook on stove top for one hour.

The third day, weigh the mixture and add  1/2 of its weight in sugar. Cook for one more hour.

Advice from Veronique de Lescure ( http://www.au-chateau.com/Chambost.htm)- Try to choose organic fruit and/or citrus fruit in season. She likes this recipe better than the orange jam because the grapefruit makes it a bit less sweet. 
What's so smart about "le Smart Car"?
Smart Car
 This funny photo of the Smart car parked on a dime in Paris, reminded me of our friend Roger's love of this car when we first saw it in 2001. Roger made us stop to take a photo of it at every turn. Here is what they say about "le Smart": Driving a smart is like driving a smiley face down the road. Everyone becomes your friend. You drive more politely because you feel like you know everybody. It's incredible!    Read on...
Photo compliments of Nizas.com
Try not to hate them: "French Women Don't Get Fat and Do Get Lucky"
  by Pamela Druckerman

An article putlished this February in the Washington Post caught me chucking out loud, scratching my head, nodding "yes"... and ready to retire in Paris when I'm, "well, ahem", older...  read more

Pay It Forward

La Tulipe  

We're not alone in feeling increasing uncertainty in the way life on our planet is unfolding. Why not take this checklist yourself, and act accordingly. Please, do pay it forward!  (Based on 4.8 million Sunset magazine readers) If every reader...

  •         Replaced one incandescent light bulb with a compact fluorescent bulb, we'd save 2 million pounds of CO2 per day.
  •          Reduced their driving by ONE mile every day, we'd save 4.8 million pounds of CO2/day.

        Washed their clothes in cold water, we'd save 2.4 billion pounds of CO2/year.

        Line-dried ONE load of laundry once/week, we'd save 836 million pounds of CO2/year.

        Turned down the thermostat 2 degrees (to 68 degrees) in winter and up 2 degrees ( to 78 degrees) in summer, we'd save 26 million pounds of CO2/ day.

        Unplugged their electronics when not in use, we'd save at least 13 million pounds of CO2 per day.


Why NOT do these things? We'd save 20 billion pounds of CO2 per year, the equivalent of 2 million fewer cars on the road for ONE year.


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Contact Information
Ginny Blackwell   phone: (001) 585 905-0849 email: fpshares@gmail.com