Part of this photo will appear in the book "Blossoming in Provence". Note: all book pictures will be in black and white (I want to keep down the purchase price of the book. To fill it with color photos would greatly increase the cost for readers).

si (see)

: if

*Note: "si" means "yes" when used to answer a negative question.
ex. Tu n'as pas encore fini?
Si, j'ai fini!


Si tu peux être fort sans cesser d'être tendre...
If you can be strong without ceasing to be tender... 
                      —Andre Maurois' (from Kipling's poem, see below) 


I wonder if my thoughts are beginning to short circuit? I've been up since the early hours, thinking about what to write today. There are things to write for the book... and things to write for this "thrice-weekly" blog...

A slight panic sets in. Just when I fear this project will come crashing down, there will be a moment of clarity, when I think "Just keep it simple...". 

And yet, I am afraid of leaving someone out of the Acknowledgments section. And I am afraid of choosing the right blurbs for the book (and leaving others out). And I am unsure of how to rewrite the book's description....

...And the dogs have fleas, the kids have adolescence, the house has cobwebs, and I have the flu (or think I do)....

Rather than let confusion set in, I will make the decision to listen to Mom (The Book Director), to include these final chapters (see today's story selections), and so wrap up this project! I would like to end the challenge on an inspirational note... and what could be more inspiring than Kipling's poem (see below)?

And now, here is what I need your help with. Apart from editing the following stories, can anyone tell me whether the Kipling's poem "If" (and André Maurois's inspired translation, "Si") are in the public domain? I would like to print them in my book and I need to be certain the I have the right to do so.

And now, enjoy with me now these inspiring words (as well as the final three story selections for my book... editors, are you still with me? :-) 

SI (Kipling's poem, as read by my son), click here.

Toc : about my friend Martine, who offered me the Kipling poem. 

Lance (one more story about my husband, Monsieur Nature



  If you can keep your head when all about you
  Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
  If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
  But make allowance for their doubting too;
  If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
  Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
  Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
  And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

  If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
  If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
  If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
  And treat those two imposters just the same;

  If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
  Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
  Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
  And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;

  If you can make one heap of all your winnings
  And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
  And lose, and start again at your beginnings
  And never breathe a word about your loss;

  If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
  To serve your turn long after they are gone,
  And so hold on when there is nothing in you
  Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

  If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
  Or walk with kings—nor lose the common touch;
  If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
  If all men count with you, but none too much;

  If you can fill the unforgiving minute
  With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
  Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
  And—which is more—you'll be a Man, my son!

                                       —Rudyard Kipling

For the French translation, and to hear this poem in French (read by our son) click here.



Always good to end things on a sweet note... French sirops at the market in Les Arcs-sur-Argens

A Message from KristiFor twenty years now, support from readers like you has been an encouragement and a means to carve out a career in writing. If my work has touched you in any way, please consider a donation. Your gift keeps me going! Thank you very much.

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For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety