Archive for November, 2014

Light the Advent Candle

Sunday, November 30th, 2014

We didn’t bring to France our ceramic Advent ring (made by wonderful potter Heide Billenstein) so I assembled a makeshift wreath.





Giving Thanks at La Savie

Thursday, November 27th, 2014


Thanksgiving is a big event in the United States, but in the rural Dordogne it’s an off-season quiet Thursday night. The three of us were the only patrons on a Thursday evening, off-season, at La Savie. It’s run by a young couple who gave up their city lives to renovate an old farm and give it new life housing both a growing family and a lovely restaurant with a fresh bright imaginative décor and menu. We celebrated quietly and far from home, but with much gratitude for our present temporary one.





Thursday, November 27th, 2014

For Thanksgiving Day, a poem by Robyn Sarah. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! May this day find you among those you love.


Make much of something small.
The pouring-out of tea,
a drying flower’s shadow on the wall
from last week’s sad bouquet.
A fact: it isn’t summer any more.

Say that December sun
is pitiless, but crystalline
and strikes like a bell.
Say it plays colours like a glockenspiel.
It shows the dust as well,

the elemental sediment
your broom has missed,
and lights each grain of sugar spilled
upon the tabletop, beside
pistachio shells, peel of a clementine.

Slippers and morning papers on the floor,
and wafts of iron heat from rumbling rads,
can this be all? No, look—here comes the cat,
with one ear inside out.
Make much of something small.
—Robyn Sarah



In Monet’s Kitchen

Friday, November 14th, 2014

In honor of the birthday today of Claude Monet (1840-1926), I post a detail of a sketch from a trip to his house and garden in Giverny earlier this fall. Wouldn’t you like to whip up an omelette on this stove?






Armistice Day

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

We walked down to the monument aux morts—a memorial to be found in every French city, town, and village—to attend today’s ceremony.