Back to the garden.

And then I remembered to lay in the masking fluid:

This is the Grande Allee, of course, at Monet’s garden at Giverny (in September, when the walkway is full of nasturtiums):

Lately I haven’t been painting in sky so this means it’s done:

Full page illustration, 8″ x 7″.

Sometimes you can’t get the full effect of Giverny [...]

The price of pricelessness.

This Claude Monet painting of his beloved waterlilies (1905) was sold at Christie’s New York last week,on Nov. 7, for $43,762,500. Yes, that’s 43 million, seven-hundred sixty-two thousand, five hundred dollars. This is of great interest to me because I just happen to be working on the “Monet” chapter of my Damn Garden Book (sketch, [...]

First Things First, Unless They Come Second.

Since the world revolves around me, let me say that there are two kinds of readers in the world: Those who read my first book first…

Scenes from When Wanderers Cease to Roam

…and think that When Wanderers Cease to Roam is the kind of book I should always write…

More scenes from When Wanderers Cease [...]

Take your cat camping.

Yes, it can be done and Sophia (the kitty at the end of the blue leash) has done it. Her humans, Steve and Laura, took the Lady Sophia camping in California and you can read all about it here. I, too, have gone where cute kitties have gone before: this past weekend Top Cat and I [...]

A Paris state of mind.


When I was writing Le Road Trip I stayed away from Paris because I didn’t want any new information or experiences to corrupt the specific memories I was trying to pin down in my Damn France Book. But that didn’t stop me from gathering my Wish List, my Must Do List of people, places, and [...]

Le Road Trip From Nashville to Asheville

The scenic route between Nashville and Asheville on scenic interstate 441 takes you through Pigeon Forge, TN.

Pigeon Forge is the Atlantic City Boardwalk of the Great Smoky Mountains, so Top Cat and I felt right at home.

Pigeon Forge is named for the forge on the Pigeon River nearby. It was so hot in Tennesse — [...]

Nashville Skyline

This is me, at Parnassus Books in Nashville, last Saturday — Bastille Day — yakking about Le Road Trip:

The author takes a minute to familiarize herself with her own book, in front of a bewildered audience.

I hope nobody noticed my crappy Gap trousers that I had to wear because I forgot to pack my dressy grey [...]

On the Road Again


That’s me, on the far left, the only non-blonde on the cover of Long Island Woman (I’m naturally 50 Shades of Gray), in the spiffy hand-made Seattle fleece jacket I got on my last road trip to book stores in the Great Pacific Great Northwest. I’m sorry I’m not here in person for our usual Friday get-together, as today [...]

The Daily Bread

Which is harder: making bread…

or painting it?

I’ve never baked a loaf of bread, but I can tell you that painting it isn’t a piece of cake.

For me, it took a lot of trial and error.  For one thing, you don’t want your French breads looking as if they are defying gravity:

And neither do you want [...]

No Canadians Were Harmed in the Making of this Post.

Poutine, AKA Quebec French Fries with brown gravy and cheese curds — yum!

O, Quebec.

So far, my Canadian readers are polling 3 – to – 1 in favor of me not being such a connarde after all. Thank you, Commentors Michelle, Risa, and Monique, who wrote in about last week’s post about my landing [...]