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They decided to make it more difficult to do everything, so I’m back at:

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Fall Walk in Provence

Mazan and Mont Ventoux

Here are some photos from my morning walk a couple of days ago. That’s Mont Ventoux in the photo which was taken from fields and vineyards near the house. The steeple is the church in Mazan, and one thing that all French villages have in common is an old church. By old, it could be anywhere from 200 to 1000 years. This particular one has a 12th century tower, but has been rebuilt and restored many times since then. A friend of mine has a wonderful house right behind it which has a lovely garden, entirely hidden from view, quite magical.

These vineyards are table grapes, which is an important crop in this area of the Vaucluse. Wine grapes are also grown, and there are many wineries and domaines very near my home. The vines are now going to sleep, the leaves turning yellow and will soon drop off. Sometimes there are red leaves on the vines as they turn, but I’m told this is the by-product of a virus and is not a good thing.

Fall view from the garden

Its very quiet with the “confinement” as people are staying home. I don’t miss the car traffic on the road going past the house at all. Normally there are cars, scooters, the trucks of contractors and workers, and delivery vans. Although the schools are open, and deliveries are still being made, and building taking place, there are far fewer of the vehicles associated with all of it.

A New Vineyard

This is a vineyard just planted this spring, I don’t know if it will be table grapes or wine grapes. The acreage had been empty for several years, but plowed once or twice a year. In the distance are the Dentelles, named because they look like jagged teeth, a well-known and often painted range of hills in the Vaucluse. As you can see, we are still having good weather, lots of sun, and not too cold.

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Harvest Time

That is a courgette, known also as a zucchini. From my new container vegetable garden, known here as a “potager” or in Italy if you like, an “orto”.
And here are some tomato plants, with lettuce in between.

And more tomato plants.

I ate the courgette for dinner, and some of the lettuce for lunch. I feel quite smug about it.


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Radio Flyer


We all remember these, right? I even have an original in my garage in San Diego, courtesy of my friend Pat. It was her childhood wagon.

Well, I needed a wagon for garden chores, as there is a narrow gate that won’t allow a wheelbarrow through. My fault, I did it, and I knew when I did it. So here is my modern Radio Flyer, purchased on line from Germany for a very reasonable price, and I love it so much. Doris found it for me (in German of course) and it is very well made. Of course it had to be assembled but for a genius like me it was no problem, in spite of the instructions being a bit dodgy. But in English! I think this is something that was made for the American market.

Today I used it to move a planter box out to our new container garden, it worked great!

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The Postal Service? You’ve got to be Kidding.


Well, I have always thought privatizing the postal service was a bad idea, but now we can all see how true that was. Is the insane Trump medicine show now going to let the postal service fail? I think even the smallest and poorest of countries have post offices and mail deliveries. I am seeing the US turning into a developing nation. I am so fortunate to be here, we get mail 3 days a week under the current circumstances, and I exchanged hello with my factrice (woman who delivers mail) today. I’m so sorry …..
bonnie in a country that cares

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Four More Weeks…. and Peonies!

But who cares? About the weeks, not the peonies. Four more weeks to finish my projects, and to start new ones! I just watched Macron’s speech, it was a pleasure to watch a president speak that has a vocabulary better than a fourth grader. And that stays on prompter.

You may be wondering what the connection is between being in house arrest until May 11 and peonies. None at all. But my tree peony is blooming now, a period that is tragically short, and I wanted to share it. Fortunately the plant itself is quite handsome.


Poor thing was here when we bought the place, but it was planted in basically pure peat in the wrong place, and I undertook to save its life. It has grown a lot and this year’s flowering is far in excess of earlier times. I believe I have a total of ten buds.


As to the “confinement” – it is letting up a bit. Some shops will be allowed to open (not restaurants or bars) and we all think that the weekly outdoor markets will resume in a week or so, which will be a huge boost to everyone’s spirits. I fear we will wear masks the rest of our lives, but maybe not. It will make it easier to lie about my age.  So far no requirement to wear them when leaving the house, but on public transport etc. I haven’t worn one yet, but carry one made from a bandanna and rubber bands with me.

Hope all of you are well, the US seems to be pretty scary right now (its been scary for nearly 4 years), and has been a shining example how having 50 states with different laws is really not such a good idea. All I can say, is, “Y’all go to church together, please.”


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Hairdressers are Essential?

Well there is no photo to go with this post. I could provide one, of my hair, but I choose not to do so. Apparently in Japan these people are considered essential and have to go back to work. Am I the only one who thinks this is totally absurd?

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Pandemic Food

So how is everybody doing food-wise during this time of limited access to everything? We have a farmer who sells all kinds of fruit and veg less than a kilometer away, or winery is open and is now also selling lamb from a local producer, and a few other vegs, and we will soon be producing our own food!

Here is a sample of the local produce, these are wonderful strawberries from La Ratatouille, the local guy, taste nothing like the berries I used to get in the US.

And here is our new container garden, which got some plants today – tomatoes, zucchini (we call it courgette), and lettuce. I already planted bean and pea seeds. I’m pretty proud of that big box, I built it out of scrap that was hanging around. Its at the back of the dry garden, as it isn’t particularly gorgeous …..

Hope all of you are doing as well…..

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Acrobatic Tree Trimming

Just before we were all confined to our homes, we had a tree trimmer come and clean up quite a lot of our trees. Shaping, removing dead wood, etc. He goes up in the trees with climbing gear and hangs from a harness so that he can walk along limbs or swing out to reach the ends. Quite remarkable, he is a young, very strong and small man, and does a quite artistic job. I was quite flattered that he asked who had pruned our big boxwood in the center of the circle garden, and said it looked beautiful.

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House Arrest Isn’t As Bad as it Sounds

So this what I see while I’m having my morning coffee. Really perfectly pleasant, even if I can’t leave.

Here is what that garden looked like when we moved in, and the second photo is how it looks now.

The green blob in the middle is a boxwood tree (they are native here) about a hundred years old, which had been pruned into a big egg shape.

As you can see, it turned into a very good looking multi trunked specimen tree.

And here is my dry garden, which I usually do not water at all. Last summer was very hot with no rain, so I rained on it a couple of times. The first photo is how it looked when we arrived. The large box at the back in the second photo is something new, more on that soon …..

Doing quite well here, all things considered. Hope all of you are doing the same.

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