Wednesday, December 31, 2014
Sunday, December 28, 2014
|The Spanish Arch|
While I only ordered one print, I ended up with two by the artist, Sylwia Knop. Because of a mix-up, I actually received someone else's print of the Galway Cathedral. The shipper very generously told me to keep it as an apology for the delay in getting me the right print. I'm pleased with it as well. The tall, thin doorway on the right hand tower of the Cathedral is called the Pope's Door. It opens onto a small balcony where the Pope might greet and bless the people. It's said that it was built tall enough to accommodate the Pope's tall hat called a mitre. This print is very Van Gogh-ish with its swirling skies.
Wednesday, December 24, 2014
Sunday, December 21, 2014
lomo-ish application.I think it's interesting how the effect makes Mary appear to glow. I took this photo during my visit to Ireland at the ruins of the Corcomroe Abbey in County Clare. The 13th-century Cistercian monastery was a favorite place of priest/poet/philosopher John O'Donahue who would perform Easter sunrise services here before his untimely death in 2008. In contrast to most of the monastic ruins I've visited, the cemetery at Corcomroe is still in active use. Our van driver, John's brother-in-law is buried here, overlooked by this lovely statue.
Thursday, December 18, 2014
I have to admit I was puzzled when two boxes outlined in metal pegs driven into the wall of the Mairie appeared.
Even as I watched one of the workmen stretch wire between the pegs creating a grid, I wasn't able to figure it out.
I finally asked Christiane what the heck it was. The answer: it's a heavy-duty trellis to hold and allow climbing plants to adorn the blank side of the Mairie! I can hardly wait to see what they plant here...maybe climbing roses? wisteria? clematis? Should be beautiful when it all fills in. Pretty cool idea, huh?
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
A hedge has been planted along the boundary of the parking area and the lot has been smoothed and graded with its access paved.
The road has also been graded and repaved and new sidewalks added with a stone barrier wall at the T-intersection. There are lights embedded in the wall that shine both directions at night...to the road and into the parking lot.
Solid wood bolyards line the newly-created planters along the road. We're taking bets as to how long they last before someone plows into one...probably after a summer fete! They look nice now, though.
These are the new steps up to the mayor's office and the Salle de Fetes. While these are certainly not handicap accessible...
the lovely and subtle stone ramp that's been built at the end is wheelchair-friendly. The area in back of the building which used to be the playground for the old school has been re-surfaced and two trees planted there. An old retaining wall has been removed and steps built with another stone ramp assuring an open and welcoming space for all the village fetes and get-togethers.
There's one project yet to be completed. I'll be sharing it with you soon. It's pretty cool, I think.
Sunday, December 14, 2014
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Anita usually does a brief review of a writing process each time we meet, and we also share out efforts in response to the previous month's 'homework' assignment. Sometimes we do an in-class writing exercise. We post our personal 'works in progress' via email or on our private blog and invite others in the group to read and critique our efforts. During the past two years, we've developed strong bonds of friendship and trust. Each person in the group has his or her own distinctive writing style, and it's lovely and inspiring to read each others' writing.
Last year author, Amanda Hodgkinson presented a two-day workshop for our group. She'll return again in 2015. We also spent an afternoon with author, Jacqueline Yallop who discussed plot with us. She wants to work with us again next year as well. Tracey Warr, another local author, has expressed an interest in doing a presentation for our group. We feel really lucky to have such an abundance of expertise on offer!
And are we real writers? You decide...Vanessa's first novel was published in July. Gary's crime thriller is with an agent who is working on finding a publisher. Mandy has finished her novel and is shopping for an agent. Anita's novel is completed and she will begin an agent search after the first of the year. And my novel? Languishing in 'My Documents' sadly, but I've started another one and have written several short stories. My writing group keeps me accountable and inspired!
Sunday, December 7, 2014
Friday, December 5, 2014
click here for the full explanation. There will be 32 pastries on sale tomorrow afternoon along with several boules bread which the village men will bake tomorrow morning in Suzanne's outdoor stone bread oven.
The pastis begins life looking like this...a long piece of dough.
The women gently pull and stretch it until it's paper-thin and covers the entire table. It then dries, sometimes helped along by portable fans.
The dried pastry is dotted with sliced apples, vanilla sugar, melted butter and sprinkled with a liqueur. It's folded over and over...
gathered into a circular shape and....
placed in a paper-lined pan. It will bake in the oven until it's crispy and browned on top. You'll have to wait for Telethon photos to see the finished product.
Josiane, Manu, and I were on apple duty. We peeled, cored and sliced a crate plus two big bags of apples.
Monique arrived with her apple peeler when we were about half way through the crate. Things went a bit quicker with her whipping the peels off apples at warp speed. She could peel 3 apples in the time it took me to do one!
The fruits of our labor!
Besides the pastis and bread, there will be crafts on sale as well as hot wine and hot chocolate. There is always a tombola, raffle drawing for great gifts. Last year I won the grand prize...a TV! Dare I win something again this year? You'll have to wait for my blog post to find out.
Tuesday, December 2, 2014
|I love the face on this one|
While there are decorated trees, angels and even a sleigh, it's not your traditional Christmas window. It's more like carnivale meets Noel with plenty of bright colors and interesting characters to spice up the scene.
Merry Christmas from Cajarc!
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
posted a photo of this same spot on a beautiful, light-filled morning. This is what it looked like today when Lucie and I made our morning walk. The Chateau and the houses along the road were lost in the fog...a frequent occurrence when you live in a river valley.
The Chateau looks a little eerie looming out of the fog, doesn't it?
Sunday, November 23, 2014
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
|Lacanau Ocean on the Atlantic coast of France|
Since the nearest ocean is four hours away, the best I can do this morning is wander through my photos and re-live some beach trips here in France. Last winter I spent Christmas on this almost deserted beach in Lacanau Ocean. The weather was fierce...gale force winds with intermittent rain. The waves crashed, the sand blew. It was glorious!
Sunday, November 16, 2014
Today's post just goes to show you that you can find Fascinating Faces in the strangest places. This ray was on display in the Galway Aquarium. I visited him during one of my walks on the Prom. He made me chuckle...kind of goofy looking, isn't he?
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
And thanks to two very interesting blog posts, I have remembered American war dead as well. By coincidence both blog authors are from Iowa where I used to live. The first by Joe Weeg offers a poignant look at Omaha Beach this day. Read "Do You Know Joseph Haymoff" here. Then ask yourself...what young men from your hometown might be lying there in the Omaha Beach cemetery.
Lori Erickson is a travel writer and ordained deacon in the Episcopal Church. Although she is based in Iowa City, her Spiritual Travels take her all over the world. Her post today, though, is about Iowa and an artist's project to honor its veterans. Read "Thanking Veterans, One Rock at a Time" here. As a former Iowa resident, let me explain a little about big rocks in Iowa....they are few and far between! The lack of rocks in the state is one thing that makes it a great farming state. Big rocks are quite special, then. When I lived in southern Iowa, we had neighbors who actually proudly moved their big rock to a prominent place by the lane to their house using it as a landscape feature.
Sunday, November 9, 2014
|St. Augustine's Church|