Monthly Archives: August 2012

Confession #7: Hands across the water

I’m not Catholic, and I regard one’s beliefs as highly private despite the trend in American political elections, so this post isn’t about religion per se. It’s about what one religious icon says to me, over and over again, as … Continue reading

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Serious Cirrus and the Cloud Appreciation Society

Last week before the heatwave hit, I ventured out on the bike to clear out the cobwebs and was stunned by the artistic activity on display in the sky. Someone, something, had taken out the giant paint brushes and dabbled … Continue reading

Posted in AROUND US, FRANCE | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The more things change…

Last week at the vide-grenier of Nitry, I was immediately attracted by these four issues (dating from 1949-1950) of “Rustica: Journal universel de la campagne,” a magazine devoted, as the title suggests, to country living. I thought I was buying … Continue reading

Posted in FRANCE, SO NOTED | 3 Comments

Tomorrow, in tiny packages

We’re in the midst of a heat wave here in France. Canicule. The temperature doesn’t even drop sufficiently at night for the house to catch a breather. Fortunately, the old walls are thick and well-insulated and, yes, we make it … Continue reading

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Closed/Week in review

Monday “The gentlest architecture” In appreciation of well-designed housing: a bird’s nest that fits in the palm of the hand. (Read this.) Tuesday “Object beauty and elbow grease” A look at the old tools that give a kitchen functionality and … Continue reading

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Thoughts on gender and two watering cans

I’ve been searching assiduously for an old watering can. The galvanized kind. The kind that’s already lasted forever and still has life in it. New at the gardening store here, they are 60 euros. That’s a pretty strong case to … Continue reading

Posted in FRANCE, ITALY, THEY SAY | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

Child’s-play chocolate cake

When the skies are blue and the days are long and the sun is hot, our sweet tooth needs attention that doesn’t require much time in the kitchen. Something that whisks together quickly, needs little time in the oven and … Continue reading

Posted in FRANCE, SAVORING | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Of creeping, clinging and climbing things

My parents were both professors at a university whose oldest buildings were clad in thick ivy. I loved entering these buildings with their gothic-arched windows and their swags of green leaves, as much a part of them as brick and … Continue reading

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Object beauty and elbow grease

It’s no secret that I like old things. But I’m not an indiscriminate lover of antiquity or junk. I like old things I can use with a little effort and no electricity. I keep some of these objects in my … Continue reading

Posted in FRANCE, IN THE HOUSE | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The gentlest architecture

The weekend passed with little excitement, lots of work, and variable weather. Nothing major happened, which, as we all know is a sort of blessing in disguise. I took long walks with the (younger) dog when time permitted; the old … Continue reading

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