Poem + The French word that looks like Hate, but has a totally different meaning
Pronunication Blooper & Spring Fever in French

Onion & Shamed by the married man's mistress!

My permaculture garden (photo taken in August 2014). A catfight almost happened here....

TODAY'S EXPRESSION Occupe-toi de tes oignons

    : mind your own business

Literally: take care of your own onions!

Improve your spoken French with Exercises in French Phonetics
Listen to Kristi pronounce today's phrase:Occupe

    Occupe-toi de tes oignons: Download MP3 or Download Wav

A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE by Kristi Espinasse

Sometime last summer, a married man and his mistress visited our vineyard here in Bandol wine country. We had, earlier that day, been on a coastal walk along the Mediterranean sea, one in which I lagged behind the honey-haired vixen, whose skin-tight cutoffs hinted of a perfect, bikinied body just waiting to expose itself (later, when we reached the creek, I skipped the swim, opting to remain in long shorts and long-sleeved shirt--hat and sunglasses hiding my squinty spying eyes).

Any discouraging thoughts during that hike were about to rise to a new level when we returned home. Smokey, our 7-year-old golden retriever, bounded down the driveway, clearly on his way to greet the movie star who was now stepping out of her car. I followed, a few steps behind, watching my gullible dog who surprised me by looking past my guest and almost knocking me to the ground! 

(Thank you, Smokey!)

Meantime, Jean-Marc motioned to the man to follow him down to the wine cellar, turning to offer a suggestion for the women: "Chérie, why don't you show CC (I'll call her "CC" for "Curvy Cutoffs") your garden?"

Oh yes! My jardin! It was encouraging to think that, while my guest had undeniably remarkable attributes, I had a remarkable secret garden!

Make that "somewhat" secret. On occasion, depending on my mood, I invite guests to visit my experimental garden, beginning the tour with a cutesie warning: "Please keep in mind," I giggle, "This is not Versailles!"

I don't know why I do this, as the word cutesie makes me cringe, but nothing like the way my guest would cringe when she saw mon jardin! The look on CC's face was more than bewilderment. The corners of her mouth turned up and she let out a laugh that ruffles my feathers to this very day.

"It's called permaculture," I said, naively believing this would shut her up in time to learn a thing or two. 

"C'est moche! It's ugly!" CC snorted, holding her toned tummy for composure.

"Ugly" was a bit exaggerated. Sure, parts of my garden were covered with smashed cardboard (some of which still had packing tape dangling from the ends). Normally there would be straw covering that up, only I ran out (thus the upended chair, serving as weights). Looking around my garden, I wondered what it might be to see it with fresh, heavily mascaraed eyes....

Studying my long-lashed and long-legged critic, who was fit as a firecracker, I decided to appeal to her health-minded side: "But there are no chemicals used in this garden! It is organic!" I said, hopefully. 

Having one last look around my Not Versailles garden, she snickered, "I would rather eat chemicals!!"

Shocked, I watched as Miss Unimpressed disappeared down the garden path, to join the boys in the orderly wine cellar. Smokey, hardly noticing her when they crossed on the path, came to join me.

We sat down on a choice sheet of cardboard, big enough for two gullible souls. My arm resting around Smokey's shoulders as we stared past heaps of compost. I thought about a lot of things, including all those previous garden visitors ("c'est moche!" CC was probably only saying what the other visitors were thinking!). Oh! And that stupid cutesie intro of mine, This is not Versailles

No. This is Beverly Hillbillies! I grumbled, ripping off a stupid piece of packing tape and shoving it in my pocket (to be tossed in the trash later, if I remembered....). No wonder my butt is bigger than hers.  My jeans are stuffed with crumpled up balls of packing tape! 

For a time, I told myself that CC's comment didn't bother me at all. But you know it did. Eventually, I pulled myself up off the cardboard ground, kicked aside a rotting patch of straw, and planted a few more rows of beans.

It is only now, in writing about it, that I realize that I may finally have the last laugh. For someone whose initials sound like "see see", my garden critic sure lacks vision! Just look at the forest of dark green kale rising up among a motley crew--okay mottled bunch of mulch! Look at that bed of parsley (I may not be as sexy as you, CC, but you should taste my recipe called "Pesto in Bed")... and all that cardboard beneath the upended chairs, it will soon be replaced by rows and rows of thriving fava beans. On and on, in row after crooked row my little goofy garden grows!

According to a popular feel-good saying, It is none of my business what you think of me (or my garden!). The French say it another way, which is in keeping with the theme of our story: Occupe-toi de tes oignons. Mind your own business. And I notice, dear reader, that when I mind my own organic "onions" I am much more at peace with the world.



My Mom took this snapshot in August 2014. It reminds me of how much stronger I am, emotionally and physically, after spending time in the garden.

The back yard where I garden. In my mulching frenzy, I accidentally covered up these beautiful (cornflowers?) with cardboard. Will they ever come back? Last night I planted more fava beans in (what I think was....) their place.

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That woman sounds awful. Her looks will fade in time, as they always do. Her unpleasant personality won't though. So you'll get the last laugh in the end.

John  talbott

Wonderful just wonderful

Our French oasis

I am sure your garden is fabulous, cardboard, weeds and all, after all what is a weed? But a plant where you don't want it to be! But I did laugh reading this, often I show guests around our garden here close to the coast in South West France, it's a beautiful old garden, established long before we came here, but my opening line is always the same "These are not the manicured grounds of a chateau but the pesticide and herbicide free organic gardens that we love, so please do excuse the odd weed". I'm going out to mow for the first time this year now, because it is looking rally Moche at the moment! This, by the way, according to my children is my favourite French word, I throw is into every English conversation I have with them!!!


She was the one who should have been ashamed, both for her rudeness to her hostess and for her affair with a married man. You were being kind to someone who was flaunting her sin, so clearly you have nothing to be ashamed of. I would love to see your garden one day.

Sarah LaBelle near Chicago

Well, you know for certain that she was not a gardener. Else she would have been asking what permaculture means, and enjoying every stage of your garden. It is hard to be kind or polite to rude guests, is it not? .

Cynthia Gillespie-Smith

Kristi, so well written! I adore your garden, and your story and photos make me a bit homesick -- j'ai hâte de te revoir!

Petrina in Brittany

Love, love, love your garden! As Tina Turner sang: "Simply The Best". . .!


Ignorance is bliss and your rude guest certainly sounded . . . well. So sorry for her manners. So happy it resulted in several photos of the garden shared with your readers! To my eyes, it is a wonderful garden! Enjoy it!

Nancy Jane

It truly shocks me at the way some people react to you and the things they feel that they can say....wow.


How à propos! Following the previous post and the discussion in the comments regarding the circumflex going away – you use the word “oignon”. Because Académie Française has also moved to eliminate the “i” in “oignon”, making it “ognon”. If anyone wishes to read about the changes, just Google ‘circumflex’ and look at any of several articles written in mid-February about these actions.

Tim Averill

At the first use of the word VIXEN, you had me, and the entire piece was a wonderful satire. Let them eat their chemicals! Now I'll go back to "m'occupant de mes oignons." Tim


Oh, Kristi, I'm so sorry you had to put up with that nasty woman casting aspersions on your beautiful garden. But you are so much stronger now.....I could tell that it didn't bug you as much as it might have in earlier years. You are so empowered by what you do and how you 've become....A strong, confident bi-lingual woman....wife, mother, gardener, friend, writer, home-maker - and many other roles. What you do is perfect; we all admire you so much...And don't forget: where there's bright light, there's shade.....has to be.....And you shine, gal, you shine!!!

Wayne Wallgren

Her loss. I've no patience for those like her. You are the big winner in this and all the better for it.


Hilarious...well written and well said!!! "Pesto in Bed"... PERFECT!!!

Jan Greene

CC will fade and you and your garden will grow stronger every season! Keep up the good


Hi Kristi,

What a funny story! Let's hope all those chemicals "Curvy Cufoffs" ingests causes her to wrinkle early....especially her tight behind.


Kristy she was obviously envious the "real" life you lead: a beautiful, smart, independent woman w/ a wonderful home, job and family life-everything she wishes she had! Glad you didn't allow her moche words to bring you down!

Patricia Sands

Kristi, your garden sounds perfectly wonderful. The love you put into it makes it so! CC did not deserve your time or hospitality. What a rude and, obviously, simple-minded person. Thanks for sharing "Occupe-toi de tes oignons." I'll use it!

Kate Dickerson

You go girl! You are nurturing; she is the opposite. No question who's the better human being!

And how awesome that it's just the beginning of potager season - so much to look forward to!!!

Trina from St. Petersburg, FL USA

Such a well written humorous post with more than one lesson. Her arrogance could be to cover her insecurities; a strong woman with self-esteem would most likely not settle for such an unsuitable mate ... or chemicals on her veges. Your strength shows in your non-judgmental kindness.

By the way, I think a typo in your last italicized sentence. I think you meant "what you think" not was.


I love your garden!!! Keep up the Non Versailles look. It suits you & us, your readers!


Kristi, you were the gracious host, doing your best to be polite and welcoming to a guest whose insecurity is so great as to lead her to be that nasty. You are a beautiful woman whose kindness, compassion, intelligence, and a passion bring sparks magic to everyone and everything around her. Your garden looks HAPPY! I couldn't care less about the pristine manicured Versailles, but I admire permaculture gardens. All your diligent work pays off. I have seen photos of your harvest and it's gorgeous. Thank you for the reminder to 'Occupe-toi de tes oignons.' It's very timely for me.


Il me semble qu’elle n’a seulement manqué de noter la beauté du jardin mais aussi celle de la jardinière.


... Dear Kristi... tho she may not have been 'moche', her personna was 'tres moche' and very hurtful to you. I chalk up insensitive people and their remarks to very bad upbringing ( the French have a saying for this) . People like this will drift in and out of our lives and we need to be aware that they are out to hurt someone..anyone. I think they are so used to doing it and so self absorbed they do not even know when they do it sometimes. She knew and was a complete bitch for acting that way.. She has nothing but someone elses man. Forget her and concentrate on your wonderful garden and family and your super writing... those are the important things in life. Judi, Tallahassee, Fl.

Jackie Clark Mancuso

Quelle salope.... I would have wanted to let her have it but guess you can't do that with guests coming to see the vineyard. You and your garden are the real beauties!

Jules Greer

My Beautiful Kristi,

Thank you for the joy you bring into my life...and, 'OH' the power of the pen! I am happy to see that you are reaching back into your beautiful mind to share some of your very interesting and unloving experiences encountered along the path of life. Oh the stories we could all have if we had the courage...bring them on Kristi...you have made my day with this new chapter in your life. Life is so beautiful. xoxo Mom


I am so happy to have had the pleasure of being invited to see your lovely garden by its lovely gardener

Linda Hampton Smith

Your garden looks like paradise to me! It is full of goodness & joy.



You need to re-examine your thinking:
In the first place, you are a beautiful woman with a spectacular figure. So, no comparisons, please.... she probably spends a gargantuan amount of time working on that abdomen and derriere. Who cares?
You, on the other hand, have an enviable organic garden. She probably doesn't know the meaning of organic.... and would not know how to plant a garden if her life depended on it...
David is right: her looks will fade, as they always do, look at BB!!!

But her rude and crude personality will forever remain. Let's see how Muche she is when she reaches old age.. and all that venom spouts from that mouth...

Shame? Shame on her for being so impolite and rude to her hostess... let her kiss your tiny American foot!!





Ah, but it is never the person in front of us that upsets us...it is what they represent! ;)

Cathy - California

I agree with your comment under the photo of you in your garden (2014) that it makes you stronger in all ways. Many days I know I should go out in the garden and work. But I may be physically or emotionally so tired I can hardly move. Well, I make a deal with myself to go and just pick 10 weeds than I can come back in the house. But what happens? After going out side and pulling a few weeds I forget the deal with myself and I stay out there and actually feel better in all ways. Ah, the magic of the garden.



Chris Allin

Dear Kristi,

Loved David's comment...succinct and so perceptive!

Oh to be young, rude, audacious, callow and shallow. Makes one wonder about the company she keeps.

Whether your story is humorous, satirical, filled with realities of life or heart-rendering thoughts, you often
bring everything together in the end with the very last well worded sentence...which causes me to pause...and then to smile.

Lynne Schweitzer

Love this! I think you got the last word :)

Chris Allin

PS. Just read Fred's comment. He captured it!

Linda D.

As I read today's column, I was struck by two thoughts: That you have every reason to be proud of the life you have created, filled with beauty, creativity, love and connection. My second thought was of how frightened your guest must have been to encounter someone so real and so authentically connected to her life. I believe her rudeness is a direct outgrowth of her insecurity. To constantly be valued only for your physical beauty is a zero sum game. Age and gravity will win in the end, and that poor soul doesn't even have a pleasant personality to fall back on when her lover looks for the next pert derrière.
Kristin, the gifts you share with the world are glorious and yours alone. No need to ever compare yourself with anyone, just breathe and shine, friend. <3

Diane W. Young

Most of us envy your garden and all the flowers and vegetables you grow. I think you're the one who's blooming. "CC" lacks morals and manners. That's a pitiful way to live.

Sharon in North Carolina

Sounds like young "lady" is young and uneducated as well as ill mannered. What would you expect from a woman "dating" a married man. She cares nothing for other peoples feelings, especially her own. She obviously has no taste either. I LOVE your garden and would like to know more about this type of gardening.


I love the photo of you in your wild garden, with huge impressive blooming artichokes the color of royals (purple). Your strong arms showing, in your nice white shirt. We are always are own worse critic. Wait a few years you will look back on this photo and realize how alive, vibrant and healthy and beautiful that you are.

Ahulani McAdam

I agree, Barb. This is a gorgeous, deeply layered image. Your Mom really sees you, Kristi. And we do too. Isn't it our wish for everyone that they see themselves with the eyes of Love? Maybe that is what we need each other for, because we find it so hard to see ourselves with tenderness and awe at our individual real beauty. This picture just knocks me out!!!!

Caryl Witt

I suspect this CC will look back on her life when she is old and still Platinum blond, and discover she is an empty shell of misplaced values. Laugh at her rudeness. Scoff at her shallowness. Feel sorry for her for the joys she will never know. Roll in your straw and plant your fava beans. You know the importance of your garden. I would love a tour...cardboard and all.

Jacqueline Satterlee

Versailles was built on a marsh, and I don't think it ever fed anyone~!


Loved your story today, as always. I remember seeing your gardens almost 3 years ago, time flyes, when you were, I believe, just starting this type of gardening. It's a fantastic idea, and you love doing it. Who cares what people think. If we cared about what everyone thought we would never get to do what we want.

I started getting spring fever last week, preparing my little gardens for planting. Then I ended up with the flu. But so many ideas come to mind this year and I can't wait to get started.

Happy gardening to you!!

Jacqueline Satterlee

Okay, I'm wrong... but it was only for the pleasure of the king at first.

Just a few steps from the Palace of Versailles, near the Versailles gardens, Louis XIV’s vegetable garden called the “Potager du Roi” is open to visitors throughout the year and offers a fascinating insight into 17th century fruit and vegetable production.

But, right about the marsh...

In 1768, Louis XIV who wanted fresh fruit and vegetables on his table each day asked Jean-Baptiste La Quintinie, expert gardener and agronomist at the time, to create an orchard and vegetable garden on unwelcoming marshlands.

Jan in Colorado

I think one could surmise that CC is a very shallow person. Not a whole lot going on in that pretty head! Also, it's painfully obvious that she'd rather be with the men!

Hi to Jules! It's been a while.


Our dear Kristi,
What a pitiful soul(and to quote one of our Southern friends,the word FLOOZY!comes roaring to mind).
What I suspect is that while she was cavorting around with a married man(with every likelihood of being dumped later--or sooner)
she was more than a little jeoulous of you....your beauty,sweet personality,happy mariage to JM,and the joyful life you have created.Smarty pants remarks are a way that some insecure people respond to feeling inferior.
We had a similar situation;the "lady" telling me that we lived in a crummy place,our car was lousy,and she had eaten better food than what I prepared.(she will never know how close I came to physically kicking her out)
I found out later that she was someone to truly be sorry for,full of complexes and a sordid marriage.
We encounter these people for reasons that only God knows and created.Perhaps to strengthen our inner spirit and make us grateful for what we are NOT.
You handled this unpleasant situation beautifully,Kristi,and once again,filled us with inspiration.
Natalia. xo

Cynthia Lewis

My thoughts are in accord with your mother's: you are beautiful inside and out, creative, sensitive, loving and much more. My mouth dropped open when I read the remarks "CC" made while visiting your garden. Only an extremely insecure and thoughtless person could make such remarks. You handled them well and now can write about them in a comical vein. Bravo!

I do think the lovely blue cornflowers will reappear among the fave beans you planted this year and add "joie de vivre" to your special garden.

My best wishes.

Lauren Golden

All of the above plus the fact that CC probably has a story and should be pitied. She obviously has little self-worth but needs to de-value others. She's a toxic person who one must avoid. Triste.

D. Gemignani

First of all that woman is a jerk who doesn't know what she's talking about, secondly, the garden is never ugly and thirdly, (a question actually), why do you keep denigrading your own looks? You refer to quite consistently negative things about your physical being. From what I see, you are a very attractive woman, in great shape, healthy and glowing. I'd like to hear you mention that occasionally.
Keep your lovely garden growing


Kristi, I'm sure her rude comments had nothing at all to do with your garden, which looks like a fairyland. Rather, she either sensed or feared that you disapproved of her, and was reacting to that. Being around you, sensing your values, and seeing your natural beauty, like that of your garden, felt like a put-down to her, even though you didn't say an unkind word.

I would have been upset, too--who wouldn't? But we don't know what kind of life she's had or what experiences led her to play the part of The Other Woman, in exaggerated, soap-opera style. Behind the makeup, the carefully toned physique that she feels she needs to maintain in order to succeed (or even to survive), behind the brazen demeanor and the rudeness is a very troubled woman who feels bad about herself and will do anything to push away reminders of her own inferiority. I'm not exactly saying you should feel sorry for her, just know that she's a complex person and her remarks have everything to do with her, and nothing to do with you or your garden.

Kitty Wilson-Pote

Wow -- what terrific telling of this anecdote, Kristi! I was right there with you, every breath of the way, seething and reacting to the pathetic cruelty of this childish visitor so envious of all you are. Of course Smokey sensed her falseness! I bet CC cried herself to sleep that very night, if her bitterness allowed. Perhaps one day she will emerge from her over-produced cocoon so that she can evolve and be valued for more than her looks. May the authenticity she encountered Chez Vous elicit the strength she needs to grow towards it herself. Meanwhile, through you, she has given us all a marvellously vivid treat! No wonder we love as well as admire you, Author Espinasse!

Dorothy in Rhode Island

I'm not going to comment much on your rude, rude garden visitor. I am a devoted gardener, and I've had all types of garden visitors. Most enjoy it and are ready to learn about plants new to them. But a few come focussed on looking only for a plant that they don't yet have, and only the new or unusual is of interest. Others are proud to tell me they also have a particular plant but theirs is larger, or older (or in some way superior). I've never had someone say the garden is ugly. HOWEVER, I know everyone sees a garden with their own knowledge and experience, and your visitor only brought her total ignorance and lack of curiosity to your garden. After she revealed them, how could anyone have expected more?

On another topic, I remember several years ago in your former location when you had no experience gardening and were just starting out with some plants gifted from neighbors. It is satisfying to learn that you now are someone who loves gardening and has undertaken a major garden project with your permaculture. Of course, gardening is something that so many of us love to do. Welcome to the ranks of dedicated gardeners.

Dawn Johnson

Ditto that first line, how shallow and no class no matter how curvy she looks in her cut offs to be so rude to her hosts. Makes me not think too much of the guy hauling her around


Dear Kristi, And you are a dear, well on her way to the healing that you are looking for. I loved this story of yours, although the title truly had me wondering what it could be about, but then I remembered your gracious Christmas sharings and I knew all would be well.

Your garden is wonderful, and God's gift to you of being so down to earth, even with the beauty He has given to you, is so beautifully shared with all of us. Thank you!!! with so many hearts!!

I feel very sorry for CC, and may she learn real life from God as soon as possible.

I am 72 years old and am asking for tour books for Mother's Day as they will be ever such good reading, I am sure.

Jesus loves you, God bless you, and I could relate to all of this story, too!! C-Marie

Anne Umphrey

I agree with everything folks have said before. Good story you told today. Love the French way of saying mind your own business, "take care of your own onions". Remember that onions when they become old and rotten really stink. So if we think of CC and onions we can laugh at her future.

Michelle Charette

Oh my! There's no accounting for what some people think is appropriate behavior. I wonder how she would have reacted if you would have had the gumption to say to her, "What a rude comment that was!" but alas, you are too polite to resort to such brutal honesty. I would have wanted to say something to that effect but would not have had the nerve. Although I'm sure I would have replayed the scenario over and over again in my mind with me putting her in her place!


Why would a respectable hard-working family like you and your husband have these kind of people as guests in your home in the first place? My European grandmother and mother wouldn't have allowed them the honour. Maybe you and Smokey could have pled an urgent prior engagement elsewhere.

Stacy - Sweet Life Farm

Here's to your own onions, tend to them with care dear Kristi! I will gladly take a seat in your garden with you and Smokey, basking in your beauty as well as the beauty of your little "Versailles" where kindness reigns.


My experience with rude people has always been that they are that way because of deep insecurities. Your beautiful garden, your beautiful home, your handsome and caring husband (and your very cool dog) were all a threat to her and her ego. You come out way on top in any contest with a shrew like that. She was only trying to convince herself. You have one of the best lives and best gardens ever!


Oh my goodness - what a rude person! What I want to say Judy has said just before me. Gosh, i would love to see your garden. And I don't much care for the over-the-top Versailles anyway!

Gudrun Conway

Dear Kristin, I would think that CC was subconsciously envious of you. Envious of your life, your groundedness with nature, your spirit, your wisdom, your marriage. She may have external beauty but you have both external and internal. You get the last laugh!

Marie-Louise LaFond

I guess I'll just go ahead and say it. What a bitch!

Rachel Vincent

Hi Kristi, I love your blog and wish that I could be living a life not unlike your own in France. This was the first time I heard a sound bite of
you saying a phrase in french. It was wonderful to have a voice to go with the pictures. I feel uncertain if I should tell you that you mispronounced occupe. But I want you to know so that you can correct it for yourself, and then we will benefit also. Thank you for all
you do. Rachel in Long Beach, CA

tch your

Kristi . You don't have to worry about her . I'm sure she didn't match your attractive looks & lovely smile You provide good wholesome food for your family , which she cannot match .In fact her whole attitude smacks of ENVY to me !
Keep on digging & sowing & delighting us with your finds in your 'secret' garden
Audrey x

Darcey Small

I love this story Kristi! Glad she went to yours instead of mine since it is full of weeds that I keep walking by but neglecting to pull until it warms up a bit and I can feel the sun on my back. Poor thing, she doesn't have a clue about what a person gains by gardening (in addition to the flowers or food).

Romeo Danais

Ever heard the saying, "Mind your own Ps & Qs!"?

Do you know where that came from?

In Olde New England (or maybe Olde England), if someone was drinking a bit too much ale, and another person suggested that maybe they should 'cut back a bit' - the drinker might say, "Mind your own Pints and Quarts" - as in 'worry about your own onions'!

Lisa Smith

You are a beautiful, gracious soul and I am so happy that you now are having the last laugh.....your garden is a work of art from the heart.
Sad that there still are people out there who cannot see past the surface. Thank you for sharing the joy and satisfaction your gardening brings you. We treasure your thoughts and photos. xx


Dear Kristi,
How funny - I always think how beautiful you are and envy you your classic bone structure and general blonde gorgeousness; I can't imagine you being jealous of anyone! Elle était vache, c'est tout. She didn't deserve either you or your time. She will certainly get her comeuppance. Such a mean spirit will not go unpunished. Your garden is lovely, especially since it has no chemicals. Ignore the whiners, Kristi. You've built a wonderful life for yourself and your family that you generously share with all of your readers. That shows a generosity of spirit that noodle-head will never understand - pearls before swine, etc. Don't waste another bit of your precious energy thinking about her. Occupe-toi de tes onignons is very good - and restful - advice.

Mary  Montague

You and I would get along so well! What a shallow and empty life "CC" has. Love your blog.

Kathleen from Connecticut

I hate to be negative but she might have outer beauty, but certainly not inner beauty. She sounds rather ignorant, just a pretty face and body.
Now, you have both - beauty and intelligence and a great garden, children, husband and blog. What more can you ask for?



Kristi, I loved today's story! Your garden makes me think of my own, and your ugly guest puts me in mind of certain colleagues who seem to relish ridiculing my choices of garden techniques when they overhear discussion of that or of my vegetarian diet. Realize that you are indeed the beautiful one, inside and out.

I love reading of what you're growing and the techniques you use. When you grow old, you'll have the peace of mind of knowing you've followed your heart again and again, and it's my impression that guest will, in later years, only continue her desperate need to think herself superior (though she likely doesn't see herself well at all, down deep).

Helen miller

My gosh, Kristi, I hope you realize that you are a solid, caring, lovely, open person - while poor cee cee has so far not evolved from being a snotty, rude high school brat. Good for you. You have real class!!


Hey, Kristi, she was just jealous of your great garden and marriage to a wonderful guy. Insecure people like her need to put other people down to make themselves feel better. You had it in the title....she is nothing but a mistress. That is a very insecure place to be. Mehh on her. You are darling.

Gypsy Perry

The joy you derive from your own garden is what nourishes you. The mistress lost.

Ruth Brock

I loved your garden when I visited it last fall with Tessa. Everything about it was delightful.It inspired me to make a permaculture garden of my own which I will start on this spring.


How nearsighted your visitor was. I would be delighted to see your (or anyone's) effort at an organic permaculture garden. I hope to see your garden and visit your winery sometime in my future. Keep gardening and carry on.

Tammy straub

vixen mon œil, lets call a bitch a bitch. Sorry she ruined your gracious hospitable moment. She did give yu a great story! Bisous!

Ken Curtis

Sounds like she is likely as toxic as the chemical veggies she prefers. I wonder if she'll ever have a clue that it was you that was the walking grace in your garden, and not her in her cut-offs... Cheers

Diane Hamilton

Magical photo of you in your garden! You and your garden are perfect!

Julie Stove

I couldn't agree more with everything you have said - this woman has a very ugly soul indeed. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder..and I know who's garden I'd rather be in!

Jenine Clifford

Shame on her. A bit of advice from my dear mother.....Never let another rob you of your joy! Please dismiss her unkind words, perhaps offer up a prayer that she might be convicted of her ugly spirit. And go enjoy your beautiful garden!!

Lorna Peterson

I imagine she lives her life as a mistress, as a very sad and empty soul. Underneath, Im sure she is envious of you and your family and lacks self esteem.

David Navarre

I'm going to bet that the mistress treats the married man in exactly the same way. When something isn't perfect, or when she simply wants to remind him that she is the one in charge, she lets loose that whatever he's done is terrible. Such a woman's dissatisfaction with life, as apparent by her inability to graciously enjoy your garden, is going to make her miserable and rather unattractive in her dotage.


Next time, tell CC to go jump in the lake. Your garden is a wonderful thing, both for your family and the environment.

Peggy Wright

jeanne gudaitis

Et tant pis pour elle!
Your dog has good taste.
He went straight for you.
Still, the story is hilarious!

You should make a movie.


Smokey knows a rotten tomato (even a 'hot' one) when he sees it! I am so happy you are feeling so much stronger and confident about your garden and everything, as you have done an exceptional thing with permaculture. Your garden is fabulous. All your interest, integrity and hard work shows! Would love more pics.


I think your garden looks great, never mind her.

I was shared this earlier today on Facebook. You might like it.

People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people my accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God.
It was never between you and them anyway. Mother Teresa of Calcutta.


Your quest's "flavor of the day" sounds like a made up character for a movie- for how else could someone get to be of adult age and still act like a 10 year spoiled brat? Think of how unhappy she must be to never find beauty all around her!
Knew you would receive many words of support after that encounter; Wouldn't change a thing about you, your home, your family. Aren't you lucky, happy to be so surrounded by family, spirit, and garden?

Patricia Cowan

Big Ditto for this comment!


Aw, c'mon, Christie, your garden IS "ugly!" So is ours! Cardboard and stuff all around until it matures and is in it's prime.

And people are like gardens. it's hard to know what's under the surface. We can only hope something wonderful will be happening and the results will be fabulous!

I suspect your nervous little guest left with more than just a smile and an anecdote about her visit with you. Wouldn't it be fun to know what develops under that perfect surface?

Leslie NYC

I couldn't help thinking that the fact that she was so vile was saving you a lot of time!
There was nothing there to hold onto or work with.
In the end she ran off to join the men and you were free.
Too bad for them, but perfect for you!


She sounds like a perfectly awful bitch to me. Good riddance. Don't give her another thought, and enjoy your garden.

Patty, with love...

Oh, quelle bimbo! How tres déclasée, the poor thing. I always feel sorry -after the initial WTF shock - for people like this. Clueless, classless, crude, their self-made air of superiority is generally so over-the-top as to be laughable. One wonders, "what rock, darling, did you crawl from beneath?"

This type of inappropriate behavior is, of course, a blaring, glaring sign of deep inferiority, and lack of guidance perhaps while growing up in how politeness is de rigueur in social interactions. The marvelous world we live in is chocked full of such types and it seems one Is never fully prepared for the encounter! Having grown in the true beauty of kindness and grace, it is always a bit of a shock to be subjected to these neanderthals of The Clueless Realm.

Fortunatly, you knew exactly what to do: parking yourself in the deep and vibrant beauty of yout permaculture garden! This the perfect antidote to this unfortunate encounter. Or, to look at it another way, one could also lift a wee prayer of thankfulness, thankful for the precious lifetime that has taught you what true beauty is and that compassion always trumps the rougher stuff of human nature. Also, at times like this, I am literally brought to my emotional knees with the thought, but for the grace of God...

May Maman Nature coninue to enfold you in her loving arms of her beauty and grace. Oh, and may I someday have the distinct pleasure of meandering through your garden and oohing and aahing all I see! Beaucoups hugs, love...toujours, dear Kristi.

Patty, with love...

Dagnabbit! Shoulda previewed a 2nd time...oh well!

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