Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Flower Happy

Last Friday I went to Giverny with two other women from my older kids' school. I was very excited to be invited, and to be able to say yes. I've been here for ten (eleven!?) months. I'm starting to feel comfortable enough to explore more. (Of course, it helps to have someone else drive.)

Giverny is the place where Claude Monet lived, gardened and did many of his more famous paintings. It is a place filled with flowers and with light.

I am not a photographer normally, but I really had fun trying to make good pictures from this stunning garden. You can't not take pictures here. Tell me what you think...

Looking out the bedroom window from his maison.

Puff ball.

Two flowers growing together.

Irises are my all-time favorite flower.

They smelled as wonderful as they looked.

My friend Laurie appreciating a Japanese Maple.

Looking off THE bridge.

Another bridge.

Another bridge across the water. Apparently the lillies bloom in July and August. I'd like to go again, and bring the boys & T to see it.

I think they'd like the bugs too.

And other growing things.

Tania & Laurie & the Weeping Willow.

Gotta remember to look up too. These were above us.

This amazing flower, grows from...

These cones that resemble pinecones! They came in every color of the sunset - red, pink, orange, purple, peach!

More irises.

Don't know what these are, but I like how I caught the light.

There I am with Laurie, along the garden path.

This is a better picture of the path.

I thought the slug was cool too - hanging by his own slime.

Another iris.

It had just rained, and water droplets were on everything.

If you enlarge this, you can see the bumble-bee flying up into the flower. They all but disappeared inside.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Spring in France

It occurs to me that if I want people to read my blog, I ought to post occasionally. Or something. Anyway, without further ado, here are pictures in no particular order. Yes, I know I need a new camera.

This is A. I don't remember what he was building, but he was VERY proud. A photo was requested & provided.

J & R have found a partially built tree house in the forest nearby. They have taken it upon themselves to continue the project. As you can see, they have added a number of ties, and many branches. T says to point out to Aunt Barbara the excellent use they have made of potholder-making kit you provided to R on his 6th birthday. Good they're getting some use.

This is R during his report on Mexico. He worked VERY hard on it, and was VERY proud of himself. For "International Day," the second-graders prepared a quiz for the parents, asking questions about various countries. That is R's question: "How do they say 'chewing gum' in Mexico?" (Answer: chicle).

Lilacs growing in our yard. I love them. T thinks they stink. But since I'm the one home most of the day, I get to bring them inside as I please. Fortunately for him, the roses are now blooming, so I guess I'll pick those next. (Our yard continues to delight!)

Playing with the camera. I love how lilacs are actually a whole bunch of little flowers, rather than just one big one. Wonder if that's what makes them smell so strongly?

In the fall, I collected nuts & berries from the neighborhood. There are so many things blooming, I thought I'd try doing it again, but with flowers.

On Mother's Day, I celebrated by leaving the kids at home in T's care, and visiting the part of the city called Montmartre with a (new) friend. This is one of the re-stored windmills that the Moulin Rouge is modeled after.

We went to Montmartre with a tour guide, who told us a number of wonderful stories. One was about this man, walking through a wall. Apparently, he wasn't very bright, and accidentally divested himself of the ability to walk through walls mid-stride. Oops.

At the top of the hill is the famous Sacre Couer, with throngs & throngs of people. I remembered this from my second trip to Europe, as a teenager backpacking. This day they were singing Bob Dylan songs on the steps overlookign the city. I remember Beatles songs. My friend wondered why they don't sing in French. Dunno.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Drum roll, please...

The title of my book will be:

Peace in Paper: A radical step-by-step guide for embracing organization as a path to serenity

Now I get to work on the back cover copy, and then back to the table of contents again. (For the few of you who don't know... I've been working on this book for eight years.) The end is in sight. Hooray!

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Cool Stuff

I just read the coolest article. I love my Fast Company magazine because it keeps me up on what's happening in the world, trend-wise. I learned about Twitter long before anyone started doing it.

One of the things I really liked is that someone decided to do it, long before there was any way to make money off of it - it just seemed cool. This is what happens when you experiment with things. Way cool!

On another note, I am working on my book again. The title I'm noodling over is this:

Peace in Paper: A step-by-step guide for using organization to find serenity and manifest dreams

I know it's too long, but it's getting there. Comments welcome.