Saturday, December 18, 2010


Do I love you because you're beautiful,
Or are you beautiful because I love you?
~Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, Cinderella

Love inspires me to see beauty
and beauty inspires me to love.

This quiet living room from Country Living
has become the inspiration for my own living
space in my new cottage.
I appreciate its subtle plays with texture
and its whispering elegance.

Stay tuned for posts about the new cottage.
I have been settling in,
and it is starting to look like home to me.
Losing my computer during the separation
has made it extraordinarily difficult to put up
new posts. Luckily, I have a dear friend who
allows me access now and again.

I hope you are all well and happy,
dear friends.
Remember to find moments of stillness
to savor
this holiday season.
There is peace, even among the chaos
of preparation for celebrations.
I challenge you to find some.

Until next time...

Monday, November 29, 2010

November in New Orleans

Earlier in the month of November,
I journeyed to New Orleans.
This trip was a birthday gift from a
very special friend.
Growing up in the midwest, New Orleans
always seemed like a foreign country to me.
I pictured it as a place where different cultures,
races, customs, languages all merged into one
delicious stew of humanity.
From the age of 7,
I wanted to go there;
at the age of 41, I finally made it!

The French Quarter

Jackson Square

Our visit included a day spent wandering
through the narrow, crowded streets of the
French Quarter.

St. Louis Cathedral

This, and all older sections of the city, remained
undamaged by Hurricaine Katrina. We were told
these areas are actually several feet above sea level,
and their altitude, if you will, is what spared them.

Louisiana State Museum

Another side of Jackson Square

Colorful streee scene, to match the colorful personalities
we encountered on our journey.

Naploeon House, one of the oldest buildings in the Quarter.
Garden District Highlights
The Garden District is where we stayed.
This is a gorgeous part of the city,
several blocks away from
the hustle and bustle of the Quarter.
It is where the rich and famous have come to live
and play for decades.
Enormous crape myrtles and live oaks line the streets.
Wrought and cast iron fences, balustrades, and bannisters
lend the area a sense of identity.
Pride of place is most apparent.
Every home there is an architectural gem.

Plaque on the fence on Anne Rice's former house

The house itself, encompassing a mere 15,000 square feet!

A Victorian beauty around the corner from the Bed and Breakfast
where we stayed on Magazine Street.

That is me, pausing while our tour guide discussed
the notable and the noteworthy.

This lovely is owned by Sandra Bullock.

Iron, brickwork, and lush greenery define the Garden District.

This was built as a spec house. Can you imagine?
Lafayette Cemetery
Our walking tour of the Garden District included a trek
through Layfayette Cemetery, one of New Orleans'
famous "cities of the Dead."

The cemetery is surrounded by a large concrete wall
and gated openings, only one of which was open.
There is one way in and one way out.

A friendly feline sunning himself and garnering pets from tourists
like myself. I can't help but wonder if this is merely a guise for him,
if he sometimes occupies other shapes or forms.

A silk rose tucked into the backside of a family crypt
seemed a sweet momento to me.

This is the only metal vault in the entire
cemetery. It has appeared in several movies,
including Interview with a Vampire.

A streetscape

Overhanging oaks

City streets

Another shot of me

A view from an "alley way" behind a street of vaults.

The one aspcet of the trip I didn't represent here,
but was nevertheless integral to our enjoyment,
was the cuisine we enjoyed.
We ate wonderful food, ranging from Mediterranean fare to
traditional creole cuisine. It was divine.

New Orleans is fun, vibrant, and romantic.
It is a place where the present
is inextricably infused with the past.
It is a place where acceptance and resilience are
fostered, where the spirit of survival is palpable.
It is a place where all are welcomed with open arms.
I cannot wait to go back!
Until next time...
P.S. I am settling nicely into my new abode, my new routines
and my newly reclaimed life. Thanks to all for your supportive
words and many kindnesses!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Major life changes

In this world of change, nothing which comes stays, nothing which goes is lost.

~Anne Sophie Swetchine

In the time since my last post, my life has taken quite a turn.

Things have been bubbling beneath the surface for a long, long time;

and now those bubbles are like air, floating all around me.

Two days from now I will receive the keys to my new house.

This weekend I will move in.

I will awaken that first morning in my new house

on the day I turn 41.

This house is mine, and this will be the first time

I have lived alone, a prospect I find thrilling.

My marriage is ending due to my own initiative,

but we are parting as friends.

In the coming weeks, posts here may be few

and far between, but I will be back in the swing

as soon as I get settled.

At that point, I will have a whole new place to reveal to you.

Hope this finds you peaceful and happy.
Until next time...

Friday, October 8, 2010


"The difficulties in life are intended to make us better not bitter."

~ Unknown

It happened unexpectedly.
One day everything was
normal and in working order.
The next time I went to get what I needed,
I discovered things had gone badly astray.
My camera, any blogger's beloved appendage,
is broken. I cannot fathom how
it met its demise, but the fact remains
that is is most certainly unusable.
So I thought I'd share some of the favorite
images it has taken for me the past few years.
Peony, 2009.
An Invitation, 2009
Summer Snowflake, 2009
Igby at Rest, 2009
I have been grateful for my camera;
it has served me well.
Farewell, old friend.
Guess what I will be asking for when my birthday
rolls around next month?
Until next time...

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Time worn

"We do not change as we become older; we just become more clearly ourselves."

~ Lynn Hall

Friday photo challenge (1 day late):

This is the door to my guest bathroom.
It came from the basement of my grandmother's
1860's house, where it has dwelled for the past 55 years.
I love its patina and wear marks.
This mirror was purchased at a yard sale.
It sits atop my piano where it casts an eerie
reflection back into the living room.
My daughter said some of her friends recently
commented during a visit that the mirror
actually frightened them. It can appear ghostly in the
right light. I happen to love that!
This week's photo challenge at my friend Chania's blog
Razmataz (click here: razmataz)
is Age. Please stop by to view the other wonderful entries.
These photos illustrate how I like to incorporate
aged elements into my decor.
Things with a past are what give a house soul.
Until next time...

Monday, September 20, 2010

Delicious autumn

"Delicious Autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird, I would fly about the earth seeking successive autumns."
~ George Elliot

On the first day of fall,
the top of my piano is in full autumn dress.
This space, perhaps more than any other in my house,
exemplifies the decor naturel philospphy.
All objects here were found in nature, such as the antlers,
stems of goldenrod, dried bits of moss, leaves, feathers,
shells and stones; or they were found at Saturday morning
yard sales over the past 20 years.
All materials here are derived from nature as well--
wood, glass, ironstone, metals, wicker.
I like the sparkly with the timeworn,
the rustic with the refined.
May you get out and savor the days.
It's fall in North America,
and nature's beauty awaits!
Until next time...

Friday, September 17, 2010


"The moment one gives close attention to anything,
even a blade of grass,
it becomes
a mysterious, awesome,
indescribably magnificent world in itself."
~ Henry Miller
This week's Friday Photo Challenge
hosted by the lovely and talented Chania
at her blog Razmataz
involves getting up close and personal.
This photo was taken a few days ago.
It's a Boston fern in my back yard.
I like the tender translucence of the
newly opening frond, especially for
the way it stands out against the deeper,
more mature sprigs of green.
Until next time...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Back from Boston

The road to Boston and back was winding and long,
with many unexpected turns and twists.
Altogether we traveled through 9 states and across
3000 miles, marking the passage

by state lines and mountain ranges we traversed
(Green Mountains in Vermont).

Here are Steve, Britt and I outside a tire shop in
Charleston, West Virginia following the first
tire blow-out we experienced along the way.

After 3 full days, we arrived at SMFA,
the building on the right.
Boston is beautiful beyond my imagination, with its
well-preserved buildings, neatly manicured parks,
and expanse of stone work. All curbs in Boston are made
of cut granite, with edges sharp enough
to have been responsible for out second tire blow out.

A park across from the school provides a shady spot
to observe the comings and goings of students from
the city's many near-by campuses.
It seems to me that the industry in Boston
is higher education, as it plays host to 33 institutions
of higher learning.

Looking out across the Avenue of the Arts
from the steps of the Museum of Fine Arts.

The gorgeous neo-classical front facade of the MFA,
which is just across the street from the Museum School.
It was where we spent a few free hours while Britt
was in orientation sessions.

The rotunda inside the MFA was painted by
John Singer Seargent in 1921 and relates
various stories from Greek mythology.

A grand staircase leads to the second floor of the rotunda.

A buddha emerges from a lotus blossom in the
Japanese Temple exhibit.

A corridor of ancient eastern statuary beckons.

The courtyard of the MFA provides a relaxing space to
absorb some fresh air and quiet.
Our time in the city was limited with helping Britt
move into her dorm apartment, getting supplies,
and just figuring out how to navigate the city
(no easy task).
After getting her settled, we headed back west,
across the many mountain ranges and rivers,
through forests and valleys,
toward the southern tip of Illinois.

Steve and I are adjusting to the new quiet in
our house and to looser schedules, fewer daily
responsibilities, and more options for meals.

Britt is adjusting to her new freedom, living in a big
city (instead of a small college town),
a new school environment,
and tending to all her own needs.

It is a time of growth and change for us all.
Afterall, change is the one constant in life.

I miss my little girl, but I am in love with the
woman she has become
(sorry for the blurring of this picture--
all pictures of her turned out somewhat blurry,
much to my chagrin).

Until next time...

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Boston bound...

Tomorrow morning bright and early,
my daughter, my husband and I will
be taking to the highway.
This journey of over 1000 miles
will take us across 6 states.

We are heading into the heart of Boston
as Britt, my daughter, begins a new chapter
in her young life.

She is entering the School of the Museum of Fine Arts,
where she will work and study for the next few years.

How delicious to be young and chasing a dream.

I am thrilled for the opportunities that await her---

To study all kinds of art all day, every day,

To live in a place where architectural gems
are treasured (this is university housing),

To have a world-renowned museum right next door

and intricately woven into one's place of
higher learning.

As this beautiful and talented young woman leaves

the nest, I also begin a new chapter in my life.

New adventures await me, and I am thrilled

about my opportunities as well.

I will be away from my blog for the next week

or so. I wish you all well in the meantime.

Until next time...


All images courtesy of smfa.


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