purple wildflowers

Images: purple wildflowers blooming at Provence-sur-la-Prairie this summer.

|| 23 June 2022

New Wildflowers

Every year I always have a number of varieties of wildflowers in bloom here at Provence-sur-la-Prairie. This summer a newcomer has arrived in the far back section of the garden. I have no idea what it is. I have never seen this particular wildflower before.

Since we are hotter and drier than normal this year (lots of days over 100 F. and we are still June) I suspect this wildflower prefers an almost desert climate.

In any case, I find the pretty color and star shape delightful. Fun every morning to check to see which clumps have put out new blooms.

|| 19 June 2022

Summer Schedule

I have never had much stamina. Despite being attentive to nutrition and proper rest, keeping up an adequate energy level has always been a struggle for me. This has not improved as I have grown older.

Fortunately — or unfortunately depending on how you perceive it— I am not consumed as some people my age (late 70s) with trying to prove that they are still as energetic as they were when they were much younger. I am not. If I am sensible I will adjust my lifestyle accordingly.

So in the coming weeks, for Nouvelles you will be getting largely photos. Little text. But something a couple of times a week (usually on Thursdays and Sundays) that I hope will amuse or enlighten you. — Anne

|| 12 June 2022

Pain Relief For A Sprained Back: Arnicare Gel

It's HOT. The forecast for the afternoon high here at Provence-sur-la-Prairie is for 108 F. (42 C.). That is the bad news. For the good news I will tell you that my back injury has made great progress toward healing. I want to recommend to you an article and a pain relief product that were helpful to me in case you should find yourself with lower back pain from an injury. More . . .

|| 2 June 2022

French on Vacation Food

Today an update to the previous Nouvelles about chic Frecnch vacation style. The focus is on food. More . .

|| 29 May 2022

Chic French Certain Age Holiday Style

About a week and a half ago I injured my back. But I am happy to report that I am finally getting the pain under control. At a future time I will share with you what I have learned about treating pain from back injuries — with reminders about how to avoid injuries. But our Chic & Slim Special Correspondent Kat is still traveling and she has shared some chic French certain age fashion information. Photos also. More . . .

|| 22 May 2022

Machu Picchu Chic

Our Chic & Slim Special Correspondent Kat has been traveling in South America. This week she emailed that she had climbed Machu Picchu, the historic Inca city in Peru — and survived the climb. Kat included a photo. More . . .

19 May 2022

Élisabeth Borne: New French Prime Minister

Élisabeth Borne, the French minister for labour, has been appointed prime minister – the first woman to hold the post in more than 30 years and only the second female prime minister in modern French history.

Élisabeth Borne is a civil engineer by training, a graduate of France’s prestigious École Polytechnique. At 61, she is chic, slim & certain age. A good personal style role model for those of you who favor natural gray hair in an easy-care style, eyeglasses, and classic tailoring.

You can read more about Élisabeth Borne in The Guardian.

Élisabeth Borne becomes France’s first female prime minister in 30 years.

15 May 2022

Victoria Special French Issue

The 2022 Special French Issue of Victoria Magazine is out. This is a particularly elegant issue. Page after page, photographs show us how much this is so.

There is an article on Provençal elegance. Even in the French countryside, there is an abundance of elegance.

Another article in this special issue describes the delectable elegance of a visit to the historic perfumery Oriza L. Legrand in Paris. A quote from Coco Chanel reminds us:

“No elegance is possible without perfume. It is the unseen, unforgettable, ultimate accessory.”

The Victoria Special French Issue (May/June 2022) is available for sale now.

|| 12 May 2022

Weather Alert Radio

Recently when i mentioned in a Nouvelles that I had stayed up late to follow the weather, I received helpful information in an email from Sandy who also lives in an area where severe weather is a too-frequent problem. She wrote to recommend a device that can give you warnings directly from the national weather service. Merci, Sandy.

She wrote:

I just read your most recent Nouvelles. I wanted to mention, in case you may find it helpful, that they sell rather inexpensive (~$30) weather alert radios which will wake you up if you need to go to the basement in the event of a tornado in your vicinity. When you first get it, you plug it in and tune it to your local NOAA office. Thereafter, you will receive a loud alert when there is a tornado warning for your county.

The only downside is that it will probably scare you and your cats out of ten years’ growth when it goes off in the middle of the night.

I have the Midland NOAA Emergency Weather Alert Radio, model WR120. Good luck!

Yours truly, Sandy

You can read more about the WR120 NOAA WEATHER ALERT RADIO on the Midland website.

|| 8 May 2022

Chic French Window Washing

When during her recent trip to France an email arrived from our Chic & Slim Special Correspondent Kat with the subject line What you wear to clean your windows, I was not sure what to expect. Above you can see the photo attached to Kat’s email. More . . .

|| 1 May 2022

A French Collection

In a previous Nouvelles, I told you about a wonderful website for French-flavored information useful for Chic & Slim. Today I have links to information on A French Collection that might interest you. More . . .

|| 24 April 2022

Church Attendance in France

Last Sunday after I shared with you our Chic & Slim Special Correspondent Kat’s report on Easter Sunday in France, Kat emailed concerned that from that report you would get the impression that all the French in her area did on Easter Sunday was to go to the pâtisserie to buy pastries and breads and fancy dark chocolate confections. Kat wanted to assure us that a great many French go to church — not just on Easter Sunday, but regular Sundays as well. She sent comments and photos. More . . .

|| 21 April 2022

Parisiennes on Holiday

Our Chic & Slim Special Correspondent Kat, still in France, has been on the lookout for Parisiennes holidaying in Normandy to show us what they are wearing this spring. More . . .

|| 6 March 2022

Caffeine Zaps Iron Absorption? Yes, No, Sometimes

If we are following the news these days, there are enough disturbing reports and images to keep us awake at night without an excess of caffeine. So sometimes we need to cut back — even when caffeinated beverages generally do not bother us.

Scientists have done a better job taking the caffeine out of coffee without destroying good flavor than taking it out of tea. When caffeine is removed from tea, the results are not always tasty. Certainly not as satisfying to my taste buds as regular teas — both black and green. So I look for good decafs. More . . .

|| 30 January 2022

Eye Makeup Tricks for Certain Age

Once, when I was in my late 40s, I was in conversation with a woman of impeccable chic in her early 70s. The one exception to her head-to-toe chic I noticed was her eye makeup. She looked as if she had black rick rack on her upper eyelid and her eye shadow extended out onto her face.

Oh dear, I thought. Did that mean when I was her age, I would have all over the place eye shadow — and that I would have to choose between no eyeliner and a messy, zigzagged line? I need my eyeliner. I have small eyes, and without eyeliner, I look squinty-eyed and shifty.

Unfortunately, as we age, like other parts of us, our eyelids are often not as taut as they were when we were younger. This looser skin makes it more difficult to apply eye makeup precisely. What to do?

Never fear. Our Chic & Slim Special Correspondent Kat to the rescue with some certain age eye makeup advice. More . . .

|| 27 January 2022

Making French Pain Seigle (Rye Bread)

Actually I began the starter on Tuesday. Wednesday progressed to the "sponge." Now today Thursday has been dough and bake day. A long, tiring process. (I understand why those French bakers are such burly men.) But I am hoping when the baking is complete that I will think the bread worth all the work. And all the cleanup !!

I have been photographing the process at the different stages. I will tell you about the experience soon. Right now I am going to wash a LOT of bowls and pans. — Anne

|| 23 January 2022

France-Themed Website To Explore

Recently I received an email with a link to an article about those French baguette vending machines. (Merci, Adele). The article was on a France-themed website with which I was unfamiliar. Well designed and with wonderful photography and interesting articles.

If you have not previously explored A French Connection, you might enjoy doing so.

Baguette Vending Machine Article

A French Connection website welcome page

|| 16 January 2022


Susan in Hamilton is a fan of the blog That’s Not My Age created by London-based Alyson Walsh. Recently Susan sent text and a link for an article by a guest writer on the blog encouraging walking. Merci, Susan.

A walk? you say. But it’s so COLD out there!

Properly dressed, you can find a walk in the cold invigorating — not uncomfortable. I like wearing my three-layer Covid masking for cold walks because it keeps my nose warm.

Of course, when you return from your walk in the cold. a mug of steaming tea tastes wonderful.

Why walking is good for you on That’s Not My Age