Archive for August, 2011


Sunday, August 14th, 2011

“At the moment we see something beautiful, we undergo a radical decentering. We willingly cede our ground to the thing that stands before us.” -Elaine Scarry, On Beauty and Being Just

The perfect quote for the beginning of Don Freeman’s book of photographs of Ted Muehling’s  world. I love these images!





Monday, August 8th, 2011

Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved collecting flower seeds. I used to spend hours in the summer trolling through my grandmother Pauline Woolworth’s rock gardens and English garden at our place in Maine, collecting dried seed pods. When I became a mother, and my daughters were a few years old, I took them foraging for lupines, columbines and forget-me-not’s which the girls sprinkled everywhere they walked.

Today, my garden is peaking with cosmos, sunflowers, marigolds, zinnias and poppies. The flowers are fading, leaving behind beautiful seed pods ready to be harvested.  I have to dry them for a few days on some newspaper, out of the sun, before I store them away until next year.

Cosmos seeds C O S M O S   S E E D S


Marigold seeds M A R I G O L D    S E E D S


Zinnia seeds Z I N N I A   S E E D S



Sunday, August 7th, 2011

My artist friend Rebecca who lives in France gave me some brilliant advice this week on a great way to save water. It’s so easy, I can’t believe I didn’t think of it myself: put a watering can in your shower. It will fill up in no time with water that no longer is wasted down the drain, which you can then reuse in your garden. This is especially good for me because my shower takes 30 seconds at least to warm up and all that water has been pouring down the drain, gone gone gone forever…

I use all natural organic soap in my shower which will not harm the plants if some of it gets into the watering can.

This morning, I used the watering can again and also a bucket and I collected so much water :)

This water saving trick works best in a large shower. I wouldn’t do it in a shower + bathtub combination because there isn’t enough room. Safety first.

Fantastic Water Saver


Wonderful Books

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

I have been asked many times what are my favorite books. Here is the short list. I’m sure I left a few out and I’ll remember them in the middle of the night. I also included a few that I loved when I lived in France when I was younger. Marcel Pagnol is a particular favorite of mine.


The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Just kids by Patti Smith

Interpreter of the Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri

Family Life by Elisabeth Luard

The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald

Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Travels with Charley in Search of America by John Steinbeck

The Liars Club by Mary Karr

Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell

The Custom of the Country by Edith Wharton

The Good Earth by Pearl S.Buck

Tales of the Unexpected by Roald Dahl

The Painted Veil by W.Somerset Maugham

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Mountains beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder

Essays of E.B. White by E.B. White

The Rose of Tibet by Lionel Davidson

The Best Stories of Guy de Maupassant

And for some books in french…

Le Chateau de Ma Mere by Marcel Pagnol

La Gloire de Mon Pere by Marcel Pagnol

Le Temps des Secrets by Marcel Pagnol

Le Schpountz by Marcel Pagnol

Lettres de Mon Moulin by Alphonse Daudet

The wonderful books I own and revisit