Sitting Pretty and Making a Statement

Garden Find: The Louisiane Bench


Louisiane Bench


Summer is nearly over here in Minnesota. People will soon be preparing their gardens for the colder weather. Does your garden have space for this French-made, red Louisiane bench? What a beautiful contrast it will make against the golden foliage of fall, the white snow of winter, the chartreuse greens of spring, and then the deeper greens of summer.

Go ahead: Imagine this curvy, poppy red bench in your garden. It has a lacquered steel base with galvanized slats and is covered in a glossy paint. The base receives the Cataphorese process, meaning it is dipped 17 times in an anti-corrosive bath, then powder-coated and baked. It can remain outdoors permanently. Wonderful lines, wonderful color. As the French say, “ooh la la”!

It was featured in the New York Times Home Section in January 2010 and it’s easy to see why. I’d love to see some of these in our city parks here in the Twin Cities. They would further enhance our beautiful public park spaces.

Available in a virtual sea of colors through American Country Wicker.

Find the Louisiane Bench at:
The Conran Shop
American Country Wicker

59″ or 79″ lengths
Free shipping





Bastille Day Remembrance

Bastille Day holds a special place in my heart. It was on Bastille Day in 1955 that my older brother was born. He loved celebrating Bastille Day on his birthday. And why not? Our family loves the French people, the country, the French food and wine, the culture, the history, the architecture, the gardens, the monuments, and the French way of life. Amour de la vie Française!

My brother was a photographer. He spent time in Europe learning the craft and continued to enjoy it throughout his life. Photography and Bastille Day celebrations were both passions for him.

I almost missed seeing the sky tonight. I spontaneously ventured outside at 9:00 p.m. to run an errand. The evening sky was ethereal and I thought of my brother. Perhaps, I thought, he is looking down upon our family, providing a brilliant evening sky to let us know he’s doing fine.

There is a poem that has brought me comfort in times of death. It’s often attributed to Mary Elizabeth Frye although the origin has been disputed over the years.  Abigail Van Buren, the newspaper columnist known as Dear Abby, confirmed Frye’s authorship after researching the subject. There is more than one version of this poem floating around on cards and the internet. I share this one, the first version I read:

Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.

—Mary Elizabeth Frye


Rest in peace, Richard. See you on the other side someday.

“Hump Day” Now Seen in a Whole New Way

Let’s declare Wednesday “Bridge Day”

Wednesday. This is the day people refer to as “hump day”. It’s the middle of the work week. Two days already behind and two days to go before another weekend. We in real estate don’t think of our week this way since we often work on weekends as well as during the week.

I recently viewed a photo of a bridge that took me to another place, mentally if not physically. As I looked at other photos of bridges, I found myself having a different reaction and experience to each one.

I’m posting some of them here for your pleasure. For all of you working today, Wednesday, and thinking about your upcoming weekend, I say enjoy this virtual trip around the world. Use the comment section below to let others know what reaction and/or experience you have from seeing these images.

Hump day is thought about as something to get over or beyond, a challenge, and another day of struggle before the slide into the weekend and its freedom from work and fun. I now like to think of Wednesday as “Bridge Day”.  No challenge, no struggle–simply a picturesque means of getting from one place to another with infinite ways of enjoying the journey.

Bike trail with covered bridge

I’d love to be riding a bike along this trail. How about you? Would you also be riding a bike? Maybe a horse. Walking or running perhaps? You decide.



Charles Bridge in Prague


Chilkoot Bridge


Where are you now?



Where does your mind go when you view this scene?




Avignon, France


Photos courtesy of


Pont du Gard, Roman Aqueduct, France

Pont du Gard is both a bridge and a part of the aqueduct of Nimes, France. It was built approximately 2000 years ago and is considered a masterpiece, both technically and artistically. It’s the tallest of all Roman aqueducts. It’s a simple and elegant structure set amidst the Mediterranean countryside just north of Nimes and west of Avignon.

Pont du Gard, France

The bridge was built entirely by hand using dressed stone without masonry; the limestone blocks were fitted together and secured with iron clamps. It’s composed of three levels of stone arches with the first level used as a road and the third level used as a water conduit.

The first level has six arches, the second level has eleven arches, and the top-level, which supports the water channel, has thirty-five or forty-seven arches (reports vary). The biggest stone blocks weigh close to six tons and came from surrounding quarries, some of which are still active today.

It’s reported to be 900 feet long and 160 feet high (about the height of a 16-story building). Pont du Gard was part of an aqueduct nearly thirty miles long that supplied Nimes with fresh water.

Here’s a photo showing people on the bridge. It gives a sense of its immense size and a close-up view of its ancient architectural form.

Close up of Pont du Gard

Pont du Gard was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1985. They’ve produced a short video about the bridge and ancient aqueduct.


Learn more about UNESCO’s World Heritage here: UNESCO World Heritage