black car with hatchback area holding red impatiens and lavender

|| 23 April 2017

That Time Of Year

It’s that time of year in Provence-sur-la-Prairie. Now that spring has brought warm days — and some rain — it's time to head to the plant stores and come home with the car laden with young plants. For the most part I grow perennials — iris, daylilies, roses, chrysanthemums, stars of Bethlehem, daffodils. But each spring I do buy begonias or impatiens for the five matching black pots that sit in the plant stand near the front door.

Some herb invariably does not make it through the winter. Basil never does. So, as usual, I bought basil. This year I am trying again with lavender. The drought killed all my lavender I had so carefully tended. Then when the rains finally came, the standing water killed all my big areas of oregano and thyme. Now I have those two safely in pots on the patio now where I can control their water supply.

This spring I also bought dill and rosemary. Fresh dill has so many delightful uses in cuisine. Cucumber and dill sandwiches are great with a Darjeeling tea for afternoon tea. And fresh rosemary is my preference for rosemary and garlic chicken. The dill and rosemary will go in pots. Potted, they can be moved around. Perhaps I can find the location where they are the happiest. And safest from the slug population.

The store did not have chives. I hope to find them at another store. I have given up trying to grow herbs from store-bought seeds. But if I begin with a young plant, chives will usually do well in a pot. Even on a kitchen windowsill.

It's also that time of year in France. Election time, that is. The first round of the presidential election is today. Bets are that for the second time in its history, France will have a woman in the runoff election. We shall see.

image: Anne's car with red impatiens and herbs for this spring's planting in hatchback. The little black car was originally christened Chanel. But when I realized it was the fifth car I had owned in my own name, I updated her name to Chanel No. 5

be chic, stay slim — Anne Barone

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|| 20 April 2017

Happy 90th, Betty — and Merci

Without my friend Betty in Corpus Christi, you would never have had the Chic & Slim books. A number of individuals were very supportive of the Chic & Slim effort, but no one more than Betty.

This week, as friends and family celebrate her 90th birthday, I want to say an official Chic & Slim Joyeux Anniversaire & Merci. So many women in so many countries are chicer and slimmer — and happier, as a result of her help and support when the first two books were being written.

In the photo above you see my riviera view of the bay that I saw when I glanced up from my computer or notebook. Many of the books' chapters were written when I was seated in those chaise longue in the cabana shade. Or in one of those chairs on the deck. It is the view Betty is seeing when she looks out during her birthday celebrations.

Happy Birthday, Betty, and Merci ! — Anne Barone

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