Monday, August 30, 2010

Missing Lady Diana on 'Missing Paris Day'

On the eve before the anniversary of Lady Diana's death:
Thinking of you still thirteen years later!
Britain's beautiful rose~

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Coast House~

For my birthday this year (some while ago),
we spent a quiet weekend at the coast,
specifically at the Coast House compliments of friends
who generously offered us a gift certificate in return for using our place abroad.

Just north of Florence on the Oregon Coast and hidden from the old highway
among the cliffs sits an elegantly rustic but updated abode with a self-composting toilet (much less scary than it sounds), loft bedrooms and a wooded or ocean view from every window.

From the parking space behind a large wooden fence covered with hanging moss, one winds along a hobbit trail through the woods and over stream... the little cottage...

...where one is welcomed... tulip and wine bouquets...

The loft bedrooms are a climb (one more than the other) but offer views looking out from the living room windows...

...the loft window...

...and the skylight literally just over bed and head...

With views stretching out over the tops of the cliffs...

...and the stunning, pounding surf of the ravine just below...

...we settled in for a quiet weekend of reading and snacking...


...and pampering.

Or so we thought! The weather started out beautiful, just a little wind, then a few raindrops.

We pulled on our fleeces and ate cheese in pieces...

Even bared everything for a turn in the old outdoor shower.

But sometime into the second day, a storm moved in, shaking the little house and pounding the surf with such force, I wondered if we would fly away. I even determined to take another outdoor shower in the wind and rain, rustling up my sense of adventure, certain it would be delightful if I just gave it a chance. Guess what!? I don't recommend it!

But I do recommend the Coast House. Click here for more photos and rates.

All in all, it was a perfect weekend, the weather even clearing up enough at one point to do some hiking and walks on the beach. And the stormy periods gave me cause to do a little antiquing in Florence which I might not have done with good weather.

Between the Herbs de Provence-covered pork roast and the cake and ice cream (I never miss it on my birthday), the books and the evenings spent watching old movies and Molly online in the Live Owl Box, awaiting her newest baby, we thoroughly enjoyed this Cottage of the Cliffs.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Passion for the Possible~ Teaser Tuesday

Hosted by MizB at shouldbereading.

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.

Today's selection is from Jean Houston's fabulous book:

'A Passion for the Possible:
A Guide to Realizing Your True Potential'.

"As you walk along you discover that you have become more supple. You move with fluidity and grace, each muscle and joint and cell having remembered its optimal form. You are delighted to be in your body.

You are drawn to all that lies before you--flocks of gorgeous orange and black monarch butterflies and ageless, elegantly draped willow trees, an ancient boulder, a babbling brook, an arbor of lush purple grapes. All around you is a light that feels loving, and that sensation of love is reflected in everything you experience--- a misty dawn, the blackness of seeds in the flesh of a watermelon, the salt smell of a sea breeze."

Jean Houston's writing leads you into forays of imaginative visualizations
focusing on the Sensory, the Psychological, the Mythic Journey and the Spiritual Quest.

One of the world's greatest teachers, she conducts Mystery Schools
all over the world. She has worked with some of the greatest minds of our time. And she knows the power of our own minds, working to help each of us explore and utilize its strengths.

"I once made a study of fifty-five of the most creative people in America, innovators like Margeret Mead, Joseph Campbell, Linus Pauling, Jonas Salk, and Buckminster Fuller. Each had sustained a high level of inquiry and discovery in her or his field over many years. Though very different in personality and interests, these creative geniuses, I found, had one important thing in common. They were each familiar with their interior world and believed that its ideas and images could spark their projects. Each had become an archaeologist of the mind,
a spelunker in the cave of inner inspiration."

Go spelunking with Jean. You won't regret it!

Monday, August 16, 2010

I'm Ready~ Missing Paris Day

Ok, I'm ready...

**I'm ready for a piece of Poilane's fabulous Gateau Basque,
**I'm ready for a Kir at a corner table of an outdoor cafe (anywhere) in Paris,
**For a walk along the Seine in the heat,

**I'm ready for the smell of the morning's roasted chicken
from the boucherie below,
**For the sparkle of the Eiffel Tower in the evenings,
**For Bar le Duc in the summer,
**I'm ready for a big slice of Foie Gras
with a small glass of Sauternes,
**For the Paris Plage,
**For a Mirabelle plum tart,
**The aroma of the fromageries,
**Berthillion ice cream while standing on the bridge listening to street artists.

What's your favorite thing about Paris?!

(All photography copyright: Kirsten Steen)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Place Des Vosges~Monday is 'Missing Paris Day'

Welcome to the Place Des Vosges

with its artwork, gardens and vaulted arcades!

A Marais ~4th Arrondissement~ favorite of most tourists,

the Place was built by King Henry IV in the 1600's

and known as the Place Royal.

Occupied by many famous French,

including poet Theophile Gautier, writer Alphonse Daudet (both at No. 8)

and Cardinal Richelieu (No. 21 from 1615-1627),

it was also home to the author of Paris' (likely) most famous stories:

'The Hunchback of Notre Dame' and 'Les Miserables'.

Victor Hugo lived here at No. 6 where he presumably wrote

many of the pages for his famous 'Les Mis'.

It is now a museum dedicated to his life and work.

The center square where there is now a fountain

was once a favorite spot for duels.

While a favorite pasttime of walking the Place is poking in art shops...

(Had to take this one because, well, BECAUSE IT'S VENICE!)

(And loved how this piece, with light behind it,

creates a shadow of itself on the wall

and the shadow becomes the art).

...One of my favorite things is to peek inside open doorways

and see inside the courtyards.

Some things I did not know about Victor Hugo:

** He is known in France even more for his poetry than his novels.
** It took 17 years for his most famous "Les Miserables" to be finished and published.
**He started a Squid fad in Paris through his writings on them in his book 'Les Travailleurs de la Mer'.
** He learned of his young married daughter's death in a newspaper at a cafe in the South of France.
**He was an outspoken critic of the Death Penalty (and is credited with convincing Geneva, Columbia and Portugal to do away with it).
**He became involved in French politics as a member of the Academie Francaise.

Next time you're in Paris,
stop in and visit the Maison de Victor Hugo
at No. 6, Place des Vosges
for a look at where the great novelist, essayist, politician, visual artist and poet
lived, drew and wrote.

Maison de Victor Hugo
Open Tues-Sunday
Metros: St. Paul, Chemin-Vert, Bastille

(Resource: Wikipedia)

(All Photographs copyright: Kirsten Steen)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Change the Script~Buddhist Thought for the Day

"We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make our world. " ~Buddhist quote.

We tend to want to blame our world for what we find wrong with it.
Easy to do, this.

Harder is to remember that our world is what we make it
with every thought, every word, and every belief.

If you want it better, think it better,
see it better, believe it so.

Like writing a book or a script,
change what doesn't work.
Change the words, the thoughts, the scenery.
Change your attitude, your feeling, your belief.

And that old 'silver lining' cliche?
There's a reason it gets used over and over.
There is ALWAYS something
to be grateful for, in every situation.
We only have to search for it
but without fail, it's there.

So, if you find you've been complaining a lot lately,
go do that rewrite!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Notre Dame Random Writing Prompt~ Missing Paris Day

Last week, on the blog, we were back at Notre Dame

so I thought we'd start there again today.

One of my favorite parts of the cathedral

are the doors on the front ~ which I learned

on our recent tour are meant to be reminders of the

beauty of the Garden of Eden.

While my favorites are the doors,

"The Chef's" favorites are the stories told

around the doors and in the arches.

I've never actually written in Notre Dame

though on our last visit earlier this year,

I spent one day trying to write in as many places as I could possibly fit in:

I wrote in 2 cafes, 3 churches and 1 bookstore (Shakespeare and Co),

all in a single day.

I wouldn't say I got alot accomplished with

all that moving around but it made it quite interesting.

Random Writing Prompt:

Picture yourself sitting in Notre Dame right now,

notebook and pen in hand.

Inside the cathedral, time seems to stand still.

In your mind now, the date is 2050.

Write about what is going on outside Notre Dame in 2050

~or go the other way if you find it more interesting.

Write about what's happening outside the cathedral

in 1050.

Happy Traveling!

(All photos copyright: Kirsten Steen)