Thursday, October 29, 2009

Living Visualization Picture Book~ San Francisco

Something's working! Whether it's the Angels doin' their Fetch-and-Make-People-Happy-Thing or the proper amount of affirming and visualizing, vibrating at previously intended levels or what-not, things are happening.

Yesterday I got word that one of my short stories won an Honorable Mention in the Writer's Weekly 24-Hour Contest. Besides being Honorably Mentioned, it also means door prizes!

And after spending some time this summer trying to create the perfect Writing Retreat but not finding the suitable elements so as to make it affordable, not too distant and without taking too much time off work, a writer friend invited me to join her and another writer at the OWC (Oregon Writer's Colony) Beach House. One week a month is set aside to be used as a Writer's Retreat at a VERY reasonable price and I have booked myself in for at least 2 of those weeks next year, possibly more as we get closer to scheduling dates.

And the biggest news...After putting it out to the Angels a short time ago, 'The Ed' found that our carrier 'suddenly' lowered their mileage amount criteria for European Travel after the new year.
So we are booked for early next year to return to our Home Away from Home (Paris) to check on things, eat some Foie Gras, visit family and shop the open air market. Not thinking this was possible any time soon, we are elated and find the rain slightly less bothersome. Travel has a way of enhancing one's perspective.

Speaking of which, I've decided that as we go along here, this blog will also serve as a sort of Living Visualization Picture Book and since I hope to one day (once again) live in or near San Francisco, I am occasionally including shots to remind me of my inspiring City.

The above photo was taken at the little Hyde Street Park at the top of the hill (up which the Hyde Street cable car travels) and directly across from Lombard Street. You know! The Crookedest Street in the World?! If you go past the tennis courts and follow one of the little paths to the right all the way back to the furthest corner facing the Bay, you are greeted by a most famous and enchanting bridge.

When we lived in the City when I was a teenager, our house was three blocks from this little park and we walked our two dogs here (Peppie and Camille~a black, male poodle and a blonde, female afghan). While the neighborhood has become even more gentrified than it was when we lived here and most businesses have changed venue or at least owners, Swenson's Ice Cream still serves some of the same flavors it did in the early 70's.

What is your favorite City and/or memory about a snapshot where you grew up?

(Photography copyright: Kirsten Steen)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Monday is 'Missing Paris Day'~Petit Palais in Paris

This photo of the Petit Palais seemed appropriate after my Angel post. This exquisite building was created for the Universal Exposition of 1900 and houses the Musee des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris housing works by some of the best Impressionists including Pisarro, Cassat, Manet, Gauguin, Renoir and Morisot.

Avenue Winston Churchill, 8th Arrondissement
Metro Stop: Champs-Elysees-Clemenceau
Open Daily: 10h-17h40
Closed: Mondays and Holidays

I'm putting it out to the angels for another trip to Paris soooonnn!
Will keep you posted!

Bon Semaine!

( Photography copyright: Kirsten Steen)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Angels in the Air

Sorry to be away so long but I've been kept hopping these days. As I told a friend yesterday, Boy, make a little request to the Angels for more work and then...STEP BACK! Not complaining. Thrilled, appreciative...and in awe.

Last week as I was listening to a tape about angels on the way to my newest work venue, I pulled into the parking garage and had a few minutes to keep listening and put my head back before going in. Straight ahead, at eye level just a few feet from my car was the license plate of the car on the next level---in my face. And the word on the plate read: ANGELZ!

So as they say...Be careful what you set your heart upon!

(Artwork from The Graphics Fairy.)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Monday is 'Missing Paris Day'~Doorway Series

During some of my travels, I 've been known to take Door and Window Series photographs and this is from a little French town, the name of which I have forgotten. This door makes me think of all the things I am missing about France: Foie Gras followed by the taste of Sauterne, champagne before dinner, escargot, open-air markets, the rushing sound of the metro, boats on the Seine, old cobblestones.

And Family! Missing all of you!

Happy Lundi!
(Photographs copyright: Kirsten Steen)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Teaser Tuesdays

Here's how to play:

*Grab your current read,
*Open to a random page,
*Share 2-3 “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page,
*Please no spoilers!
*Share the title & author.

This week's selection is from Alvin and Heidi Toffler's "Revolutionary Wealth"~

"Tomorrow's economy, for example, will present significant business opportunities in fields like hyper-agriculture, neurostimulation, customized health care, nanoceuticals, bizarre new energy sources, streaming payment systems, smart transportation, flash markets, new forms of education, non-lethal weapons, desktop manuracturing, programmable money, risk management, privacy-invasion sensors that tell us when we're being observed--indeed, sensors of all kinds-- plus a bewildering myriad of other goods, services and experiences.

We can't be sure when these will or will not turn profitable or how they will converge. But understanding the deep fundamentals will reveal the existence, even now, of new needs and previously unidentified industries and sectors--a huge 'synchronization industry,' for example, and a 'loneliness industry.'

To forecast the future of wealth, we also need to look not just at the work we do for money but at the unpaid work all of us also do as 'prosumers.'"

Must read on to find out what 'prosumers' are exactly.
And...programmable money? Ok, I'm Googling that one!

Have a good week!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Monday is 'Missing Paris Day'~Adorable Little French Girl

This Monday instead of a Paris photo, let me introduce you to The Most Adorable Little French Girl who will tell you a story. A friend forwarded this to me and I'm happy to share it with you.

Makes me miss my adorable little French Baby Girl and her stories. Wishing I'd gotten some video footage of the French songs she used to sing. Just like her mother, when she was small, she sang constantly. Every nursery rhyme and tune from preschool, every television and radio jingle, every single thing her head could remember or put to music, she sang it. In the car, in the bathtub, while getting dressed in the morning and while petting the dog.

And just as I most likely whined often enough, "Please stop making that noise", Baby Girl's brother has also stopped the 'infernal' singing.

Tres triste! So enjoy this story today because next year, she may be done telling them.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Monday is 'Missing Paris Day'~ Tour d'Argent

The Tour d'Argent has been serving Parisians and tourists for over 400 years. Beginning in 1582, it served the likes of Henry IV, the court of Louis XIV, the Duke of Richelieu and Madame de Sevigne. Alexander Dumas used the site in one of his books.

While no longer considered "The Best" Paris dining experience, it is still considered one of the best views with a meal, looking out on the Seine and Notre Dame. And the ducks are still numbered, now having served over one million!

This gastronomic museum, situated on the rez de chausee, is filled with exhibits and memorabilia regarding the history of French food as well as of the many famous patrons of the restaurant and inn. It also serves aperitifs before the meal.

Some friends asked recently what fine dining restaurant they should try for a one-time experience while in Paris later this month. This might be the one.

Anyone have any other suggestions? Le Procope? The Jules Verne? Would love your input.

Tour d'Argent
15 Quai de la Tournelle
75005 Paris
Metro: St. Michel

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Ode to October

Ode to October

As I sit among the oaks
in the warm October sun
and the turning leaves twist and dance before me
out above the meadow

a lone, silky spider's thread
sails along a breeze,
visible only for a moment
in a crystal flash of sunlight.

Moss sways in trailing rivulets
like the dreadlocks of a forest nymph
matted with twigs and leaves
and soon to be dripping with winter's tears.

The last of the season's dragonflies hover and dart
and now in the sun's path,
hundreds of gleaming, powder-white objects swarm,
basking in the sun's cloak of radiance,
invisible just a moment before.

The scent in the shadowed places
reeks of summer's early morning,
Earth's own tangy sweetness
emanating from piles of warm, dying leaves

smelling of pumpkin and sawdust,
swimming holes and overturned earth.
A small plane overhead hums its nostalgic, rumbling tune
taking me back to my grandmother's garden

of spiny artichokes and pickling cucumbers.
In the kitchen, applesauce bubbling
frothy on the stove,
swelling the house
with its tempting sweet tartness.

A fire crackling
before the freshly-cleaned hearth,
sending billowy bands of sweetly charred, smoky resin
to fill the quiet neighborhood.

In summertime on this walk
I duck into shady dells
and avoid the benches
drenched in scorching sun.

Today, the shadows are cool and biting
and I search for sun-warmed rocks
while yellow jackets hover an inch from the ground
as if searching for lost change.

Red berries perch atop bare stems
amid tufts of dirty cotton balls.
Dying leaves bed the trail
and whisper to me as my feet drag them.

Small oak leaves flicker and twirl
madly, franticly to their deaths
while larger leaves drift in slow motion, silently,
gracefully to their own last bed of scented needles.

An elderly lady bug,
spots dimmed and fading,
climbs the mountain of my shoulder
and at the top takes flight.

Poem & photo~ Copyright: Kirsten Steen
Photo: Chartres Cathedral
Poem posted last February.