Monday, March 28, 2011

Velos in Paris~ Missing Paris Day


While I have yet to brave riding the velos for rent in Paris, 
with spring now officially here,
it seems the perfect time.

I'd bike on down to the Eiffel Tower 
to watch the lovers and children 
laying~ and playing~ in the grass.

...Ride down to one of my favorite boulangeries
(with the gorgeous old painted windows from days gone by)
to pick up one of those evil,
full-gluten, white-flour baguettes
to nibble while on the move,
just like The French!

I'd pick up a colorful bouquet of flowers
to attach to my purple, handlebar basket...

Then meander along the Seine,
taking in the cranky bouquinistes
and their artsy used and antiquarian books, 
posters and postcards,
buying a few to send by post.

I'd park outside one of the long-standing cathedrals,
wander in silence and meditate on the smell of ancient dust 
and ghosts of historical significance. 

By now, it's surely time for a decadent patisserie~
or maybe a crepe with fresh butter and jam.
Licking sticky fingers, I'd make my way down to 
the Hotel de Ville for the latest free photography exhibit... 

...Park myself at my favorite cafe 
for a few hours of writing
while sipping a bubbly Kir Royal...
...then meet The Chef at a museum
to glimpse a few painting snapshots of old Paris
before dinner at our favorite, tiny bistro 
in one of the island's oldest recorded spots in Paris.

We'd drop off the bicyclette at the nearest velo a louer location
and metro home in time to see the tower glitter from the bridge.
Ahh, spring in Paris.

What does your favorite day in Paris look like?! 



(Photograph copyright: Kirsten Steen)







Monday, March 21, 2011

Happy Spring and Prayers for Japan


ENFIN! 
Spring has finally arrived!
And I, for one, am truly thankful. 
***********

Among the many ways one can donate help for Japan,
(after sending your donation if you're able)
consider adding your prayers.
Author Jennifer Lauck 
(Found, Blackbird, Still Waters, Show Me the Way)
has started a donation of Heart Sutra prayers through her blog.

"GATE GATE PARAGATE PARASAMGATE BODHI SVAHA"

The Dalai Lama's translation:
"Go, go, go beyond,
Go thoroughly beyond
And establish yourself in enlightenment.

Say it in its original form or in English
and add yours to the count. 
We are over 8,000 prayers and counting. 
Go to her blog below and add your prayers for the people of Japan.

I am dedicating mine to Japan,
to peace for our world in crisis
and for our beautiful, struggling planet. 

Strength

symbol via JNT.com

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

In Honor of Japan...





(All Photographs Copyright:Octavia Hunter)


A few photos today 
either from or inspired by
Japan.  








As we all wait and watch
to see how this tragic story unfolds,
please pray~
for them...
for us...
for our environment...
for our future.


and

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Sending All Angels (and Prayers)...to Japan

Hearts and prayers going out to Japan, 
for the lives lost and missing
and those still awaiting word
and for our earth
which has now shifted on its axis. 
Calling all angels...




(postcard via The Graphics Fairy)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Medieval Walk in Ribeauville~ Travelin' Tuesday


(All photos copyright: Kirsten Steen)


 On a ski trip with friends and family 
in Lorraine's Vosges Mountains in France awhile back,
The Chef and I opted out of speeding downhill 
in the freezing cold on packed snow and ice...


...instead preferring to take a drive 
and enjoy lunch in Ribeauville,
one of the lively medieval villages of Alsace,
with an ample cache of my favorite style of historic abode:
the old wattle-and-daub.



(You can always count on me for
food and window-shopping
as an alternative to skiing.)

I love to wander...
 and wonder what life was like in Medieval times.


I can hear the chiming bells and smell the sharp aroma of Frankincense
wafting from the Gothic St. Augustine and St. Gregory churches...



...See the glow of rosy bloom on farmer's ruddy faces
or the cherry-cheeks of peasant women 
selling homespun wares at market.



...Hear the clop-clopping of horses hooves
and see the scallop shell emblem of St. James adorning pilgrim's hats and robes. 


Except for a few paltry details (like torture, violence, disease, vermin and sewer issues),
I would pay great sums to be transported back in time 
to walk European villages in the Middle Ages. 
When I get a hankering for that old time machine (and can't be in Europe),
I open up one of Ken Follett's "Pillars of the Earth' series
and devour as much of the time and place as possible. 
(While The Chef called them "Medieval Soap Operas",
he inhaled every one!)

Is there a time period you would most enjoy visiting
if you had the chance?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Walks in Paris~ Missing Paris Day


Just a 'plain' corner in our neighboring 7th Arrondissement.
One of the things I love about Paris
is how even a simple, residential corner
can be so visually, delightfully stunning. 

Paris is one of those mysterious, magical places
that makes me feel the need,
on a moment-by-moment basis,
to check my spinning totem. 

Have you checked yours today?!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Costume Malfunction in Alsace~ Travelin' Tuesday


This poor old Alsatian pastry troll 
looks like he's had it! 

Just the words flanking him
give me a rapacious hunger for the sweetness 
of sugar-dusted Gugelhupf (marble cake),
a cold Riesling and the region's famous, doughy Flammekeuche
(tarte flambee made with creme fraiche, onions and lardons). 

Ok that's it,
I'm off to the kitchen!