January 31, 2013

Twelve weeks...

January 31, 2013 Photo of the day:
"Twelve More Weeks..."

This afternoon, I attended the first meeting of Southeastern Wisconsin Technology and Innovation Coaches and Specialists at South Milwaukee High School. It was great to network with like-minded educators, to share ideas, and to plan for future collaboration. On the way home, as I drove over the Hoan Bridge, I decided to check on our boat at the Sailing Center. She is safely tucked away for the winter, but just being at the lakefront made me dream of warmer days. Today, the lake is frozen and the wind is howling; the temperature is 7°F, but sailing season starts in twelve weeks!

January 30, 2013

It's back...

January 30, 2013 Photo of the day: "It's back..."
Winter in Wisconsin

January 29, 2013

Il pleut

January 29, 2013 Photo of the day: "Il pleut"

Ô bruit doux de la pluie
Par terre et sur les toits!
Pour un coeur qui s'ennuie,
Ô le chant de la pluie!
 - Paul Verlaine

It has been raining all day. In fact, thunder woke me at 3:00 am. 
Tonight the rain will turn to snow with 4-6 inches expected tomorrow, but for now, Il pleut...

January 28, 2013

January Thaw

January 28, 2013 Photo of the day: "January Thaw"

When I started my Project 365, I resolved to post a photo each day of something that inspired me to slow down and take a closer look. I never promised that every photo would be beautiful.  Some days are harder than others to capture beauty, and January Mondays are particularly difficult. Yet, today brought the annual "January Thaw" to Southeastern Wisconsin. I don't know why, but we always have a few days of unseasonably warm temperatures near the end of January when everything turns dull and soggy. Despite the warmer weather, I actually prefer the beauty of the clean white snow. Besides, I know that the climbing temperatures are only a tease, a clearing of the old snow to make way for February, often our coldest and snowiest month. Tomorrow, the forecast is for 55° and thunderstorms, followed by a low of -6° on Thursday! Winter in Wisconsin is far from over, yet if I squint my eyes at this icy slush on the sidewalk, I can almost see foamy waves breaking on a sandy beach.

January 27, 2013

Rock 2 Remember

January 27, 2013 Photo of the day:  "Rock 2 Remember"

I cannot begin to express how proud I am to work with so many talented and generous students and educators at Pewaukee High School. PHS English teacher, Mike Callies, organized a phenomenal benefit concert for the families and victims of the Sandy Hook tragedy. Mike's two bands, Fat Andy and Rocky Mountain Beaver Pond, and PHS Science teacher Jenny Klemme's My So Called Band were among eight student and local bands that performed for over four hours. Despite the icy weather this afternoon, much of the new PHS auditorium was filled with students, faculty, and PHS families. Pewaukee students and staff recognize how fortunate we are. Students have also organized fundraisers for victims of Superstorm Sandy and the Azana spa shooting. Our Global Solidarity Club runs a coffee house to raise money for our sister school in Uganda, and our French and Spanish Current Issues class also raised $1000 to support Doctors Without Borders.  At Pewaukee High School, we acknowledge that "To whom much is given, much is expected." - Luke 12:48

January 26, 2013

Weekend in Chicago

January 26, 2013 Photo of the day: "Navy Pier"

Strictly Sail - Chicago

Navy Pier Winter Wonder Fest
Awesome Snow Scupltures

The gargoyle was my favorite!

January 25, 2013

Sand dollar

January 25, 2013 Photo of the day: "Sand dollar"

I love seashells, especially sand dollars. 
I love their juxtaposition of simplicity and intricacy. 
If you look carefully, many patterns are revealed. 
When I returned from a trip to Florida in 7th grade 
with several of these flattened sea urchins, 
one of the Sisters who taught at my school 
told me about the legend of the sand dollar.

"There's a pretty little legend
that I would like to tell
of the birth and death of Jesus
found in this lowly shell.

If you examine closely, 
you'll see that you'll find here
four nail holes and a fifth one
made by a Roman's spear.

On one side the Easter lily,
its center is the star
that appeared unto the shepherds
to lead them from afar.

The Christmas poinsettia 
etched on the other side
reminds us of His birthday,
our happy Christmastide.

Now break the center open
and here you will release
the five white doves awaiting
to spread good will and peace.

This simple little symbol
God left for you and me
to help us spread his message
through all eternity."

 Apparently, there are several versions of this legend.
I love that profound beauty and meaning
can be found in the simplest of nature's creatures.

I also like dreaming of a beach vacation
during this bitterly cold weekend in Wisconsin!

January 24, 2013


 January 24, 2013 Photo of the day: "Celebrate"
Semester 1 Finals are over!

January 23, 2013

Winter hues

January 23, 2013 Photo of the day: "Winter Hues"

I love this color palate!

Paris sous la neige 2013

I have spent countless hours wandering around Paris, taking endless photos of the same iconic images of this most beautiful city. I had been anticipating a relaxing, atypical visit to Paris this time, the first time in years that I have been here without students or friends, the first time in over a decade that I had no intention of playing tourist. I planned to slow down, to stroll in my favorite neighborhoods, "faire la lèche-vitrine" (window shop), stop in cafés for coffee or wine, and take less obvious pictures of Paris. That all changed when I woke on Saturday morning to Paris transformed! 

Due to the warming effects of the Gulf Stream, Paris enjoys a very mild climate with an average winter temperature of about 5° Celsius (41° F). There is rarely more than a sugary dusting of snow, temporarily transforming the city into a confection rivaling any at Ladurée, Pierre Hermé, or Angelina. And like a French pastry, this delicious beauty is usually gone by midday. Paris' highest snowfall on record, 15.75 inches, occurred in 1946, but last weekend's 8 inches was the most snow in recent memory. The idea of capturing this rare and beautiful moment was too tempting for me not change my plans and play in the snow! And I wasn't the only one! It's amazing how several inches of frozen precipitation can melt the steely faces of typically chic Parisians. Instead everyone bundled up and slowed down to enjoy the winter wonderland. Although, to be fair, it is difficult to rush about when streets and sidewalks are snow-covered and slippery. 

Cars, Vespas, and Velib' (the city's rental bikes) were buried.

The Métro was probably the best way to get around
if you were in a hurry, but it was the weekend!

Instead, families, couples, and pets filled the parks with peels of laughter 
as they fought "batailles de neige" and built "bonhommes de neige"

Photographers and news crews scrambled to record the magical scenes, and like me, attempted to capture the ephemeral beautiful of snow blanketing Paris' monuments, dark winter trees, green benches, gray Mansard roofs, orange chimney pots, and bright café tables.

Bundle up and take a stroll with me through snowy Paris!
Paris' beauty is evident in both sweeping vistas and tiny details.

The white domes of the Sacré Coeur are barely visible.

Yet, lovers will always find a way to express their devotion!

Give in & be a tourist!

La Tour Eiffel
Le Palais de Chaillot (Trocadéro)

Le Parc des Champs de Mars

L'Arc de Triomphe

Le Jardin des Champs-Elysées

La Place de la Concorde

Le Grand Palais

Le Pont Alexandre III
Les Quais de la Seine

Les Invalides

Notre Dame de Paris

 Warm up in a café:

With an expresso or hot chocolate:

Or dream of snuggling by the fireplace
 in an Hausmannian apartment:

*Le Sigh!*