Sunday, November 27, 2016

Sunday Saint: Mary

Mary's Chapel
Abbey Church
Conques
It's the first Sunday of Advent and we wait with Mary for the birth of her Son. Praising and praying....
    "My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord...."
Mary's Magnificat
Luke 1:46

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Colorful Najac

I was surprised how colorful Najac was. Here the tiny vineyard perched on the hillside below the Chateau walls glows golden against the orange forest beyond. You can just see the silvery thread of the Aveyron River as it winds its way through the valley.
This bright mailbox and garden gate caught my eye as I wandered along rue du Chateau.
A gate a little more subtle, but no less lovely..
These apples glistened in the sunlight begging to be picked.
Rest in beautiful peace.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

A Birthday Bash

Chambre d'hotes de la Bastide de Najac
On Tuesday night there was a special celebration in the little village of Najac, deep in the Aveyron.  Bob, one of our fellow writers in the Parisot Writing Group, turned 80 and hosted a birthday bash for all of us at a local restaurant. Twenty-two friends and family gathered to wish Bob well for his next 80 years. It was an evening full of fun, food and drink. Living over an hour away, I knew that there was no way I wanted to drive home after all that celebrating, so I booked a bed-and-breakfast room here. Gorgeous room, lovely host and the view out the front door was terrific....
I've been to Najac several times, but never off-season. I was amazed to find it so colorful and so empty of tourists! I'll be sharing a few of my discoveries later, but here's a taste of color in a photo taken just beyond the church and overlooking the valley below the village.


Sunday, November 20, 2016

Sunday Saint

Place St. Michel
Paris
June 2016
Saint Michael guards the busy corner in Paris where the Blvd. St. Michel meets rue St. Andre-des-Arts at the river Seine. St. Michael, an archangel to Christians and also revered in Judaism and Islam, is a spiritual warrior, the angel of death and the protector of the church. A hard-working and very busy saint!

Friday, November 18, 2016

My Muse

I love to eat my meals here in the sunroom where this is the view from my window. Can you blame me? Even on cloudy, misty days like today, it's beautiful. The river, the trees and the causse have become my muse. Yesterday some cawing crows tucked away in a dead tree inspired a poem. The river shrouded with fog inspired a descriptive paragraph that's become the opening for a novel. And I can't tell you how many gratitude prayers have found their beginnings as I've contemplated the Lot and its banks. This is definitely a room with a view.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Sunday Reflection

'Purple mountains majesties...'
Montana 2016
Trying to put it all into perspective.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Looking with Love

Still trying to wrap my head around Tuesday's election. What are my priorities? Seeing beauty in the world. Looking with love on those most important to me...my family. But more than that...looking with love at my friends and neighbors, at those people who are like me, at those people who are different than me.

I almost had the 'beauty and love' thing going when I read an article that mentioned Sarah Palin as a possible nominee for Secretary of the Department of Interior. I just about fainted. OMG...say it isn't so!

So it's back to deep breaths, praying and thinking about how to actively engage in the political system. Help me, Becky!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Gazing on the Beautiful

After being up all Tuesday night and all day Wednesday watching election returns, victory speeches, concession speeches and transition speeches, I thought I might wake up this morning and find it all a bad dream. Alas...not. There will be a time to regroup and rethink, to pick which battles to fight and to re-energize. There will hopefully be a time not to be sad and angry, not to be puzzled by people's choices, not to be embarrassed to be an American. Alas...today isn't that day.

So, I think today's the time to gaze on something beautiful, step back and ponder the big picture. Yes, the sun came up today (well, sort of...it's cloudy and rainy here) and it will continue to come up regardless of who sits in the Oval Office. I can't change that; what I can change is what I choose to see. Today I choose to see beauty.

I think it's going to take more than one day of this to re-focus my vision and truly see the big picture!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Washday in Burano

Washday in Burano
Venice 2015

For some reason I'm fascinated with photos of people's laundry hanging out! Think this will become a new blog category: laundry.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Brunetti's Cookbook

In my mind I'm back in Venice today looking for a bit of beauty to distract me from thoughts of the American Presidential election campaign. As I've blogged before, I'm re-reading the Donna Leon mysteries set in that beautiful city of palazzos and canals. To enrich my literary visit, I bought this companion book, Brunetti's Cookbook, full of recipes, food essays and excerpts from Leon's novels. Her main characters, Commissario Brunetti and his wife, Paola enjoy simple Venetian dishes made of fresh meat and fish and the freshest of veggies. Many of Guido's cases are discussed over lunches and evening meals shared with their children in the cozy kitchen of their San Polo apartment.
 Here's the dream...a return visit to Venice with this cookbook tucked in my suitcase. I'll rent a tiny apartment, shop for ingredients at the open air fish and veggie markets and cook my days away, enjoying the taste of Brunetti's Venice. Heaven!
Antipasto di mare anyone?

Wednesday, November 2, 2016