June 30, 2014

June in Pictures

The sweet treats of June: raindrops and roses, 
cupcakes, strawberries, and macarons, 
sunsets, good books, and a bit of relaxation...Ahh!


June 30, 2014 (181/365): "Berry Picking"

Rows and rows of ruffled leaves shading
berries so shiny and red they hardly seem real...

"Let me take you down, 'cause I'm going to Strawberry Fields. 
Nothing is real and nothing to get hung about. 
Strawberry Fields forever." ~ John Lennon (1967).

June 29, 2014


June 29, 2014 Photo (180/365): "Macarons"

Mes amis had a layover in Paris yesterday and
were so thoughtful to bring me these sweet treats!
Quels beaux parfums: Framboise (Raspberry), 
Caramel à la fleur de sel (Salted Caramel), 
Pistache (Pistachio), Fleur d'orangier (Orange Blossom), 
and Rose (Rose) -- They're almost too lovely to eat!
These beauties were in Paris just yesterday (Wish I were too!),
but Ladurée insists they be consumed within 3 days.
Macarons don't last long-- They won't wait for French Friday,
but I'm sure I'm up to the task! Anyone want to share ;-)
And of course I'll keep the box. Doesn't everyone?
June 28, 2014


June 28, 2014 Photo (179/365): "Optimiste"

“Un optimiste, c'est un homme qui plante deux glands 
et qui s'achète un hamac.” ~ Jean de Lattre de Tassigny

["An optimist plants two acorns and buys a hammock."]
June 27, 2014


June 27, 2014 Photo (178/365): "Summer Night"

"The summer night is like a perfection of thought." ~ Wallace Stevens

French Friday: Au marché

There's no question that locally grown fruits and veggies are more beautiful and more delicious. I love our Wisconsin farmers' markets at this time of year -- the colors, the aromas, the flavors; yet I always compare them to the wonderful outdoor markets in France where flowers, produce, and hand-lettered signs are all arranged so artistically. Enjoy a virtual stroll through the markets of Aix-en-Provence, Nice, and Paris.

Maybe if you're lucky, you find the last mango in Paris!

{All photos taken at markets in Paris, Nice, and Aix-en-Provence}
June 26, 2014


June 26, 2014 Photo (177/365): "In broad daylight"

Do you recognize this guy with the awesome beely-boppers? I rarely see him and his friends out during the day. I wonder if they're always here and I just haven't noticed them. On hot summer nights when I was a little girl, I'd capture dozens of them in a mason jar. Yet despite the lovely glow of my natural nightlight, I would worry about the little creatures and often sneak out before dawn to set them free. 

"Here come real stars to fill the upper skies, 
And here on earth come emulating flies, 
That though they never equal stars in size, 
(And they were never really stars at heart) 
Achieve at times a very star-like start. 
Only, of course, they can't sustain the part.” 
~ Robert Frost, “Fireflies in the Garden"

Photo courtesy of Pinterest
June 25, 2014


 June 25, 2014 Photo (176/365): "Bee Mindful"

"The bee collects honey from flowers in such a way as to do the least damage or destruction to them, and he leaves them whole, undamaged and fresh, just as he found them." ~ Saint Francis de Sales

June 24, 2014


June 24, 2014 Photo (175/365): "Blue Skies"

"Blue skies smiling at me.
Nothing but blue skies do I see."
~ Irving Berlin

June 23, 2014


June 23, 2014 Photo (174/365): "Favorite Things"

OK, so it has rained every day for a week,
but my sea foam roses are blooming,
and albeit slighted battered by the storms,
they are even more beautiful and fragrant in the rain.

June 22, 2014


June 22, 2014 Photo (173/365): "Nymphéa"

"J'aime l'eau, mais j'aime aussi les fleurs." ~ Claude Monet
(Et moi aussi, j'en suis tout à fait d'accord :)

June 21, 2014


[edited with the Waterlogue app for iPhone 5S]
June 21, 2014 Photo (172/365): "Summer Solstice"

"Spring flew swiftly by, and summer came; and if the village had been beautiful at first, it was now in the full glow and luxuriance of its richness...The earth had donned her mantle of brightest green; and shed her richest perfumes abroad. It was the prime and vigour of the year; all things were glad and flourishing. ~ Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist

[original image]
June 20, 2014

French Friday: The Paris Journal

June 20, 2014 Photo (171/365): "The Paris Journal"

Just in time for a French Friday post, my signed copy of Nichole & Evan Robertson's The Paris Journal Book I arrived today (along with a few extra goodies -- Merci!).  To properly immerse myself in the experience, I took my book out to lunch on the terrace of my favorite local café, chez Mélinda ;-)  

As with an excellent wine or a decadent French pastry, The Paris Journal is a treat to be savored! Start with the wonderful matte cover and lovely, tactile paper (I really dislike fingerprints on glossy covers and images). Linger on each of Nichole's gorgeous photos for a truly unique Parisian perspective -- not a clichéd Eiffel Tower in site. Indulge in the imaginative musings of a jet-lagged American as she spends one day strolling along the Ile de Cité and the Ile Saint Louis, satisfying her cravings for French delicacies, and inventing quirky scenarios for the locals she keenly observes.

The French embrace indulgence while recognizing the necessity of moderation: just one small boule of really good ice cream, a generous slathering of salted butter on your baguette but only for breakfast, a warm croissant or pain au chocolate on a weekend morning, one lovely glass of Champagne or Bordeaux; but sometimes, it is far too tempting not to have just a little bit more. I had a hard time not devouring all of The Paris Journal in one sitting. I had to summon that French willpower to recognize that overindulgence diminishes the delightful anticipation of another opportunity to enjoy such pleasures. Happily, this is only the first book in The Paris Journal series. I look forward to continuing this narrative and photographic stroll through the city that will forever tempt me to return.

Visit Obvious State for more of the Robertsons' amazing work, including Nichole's best-selling Paris in Color bookand Evan's wonderfully clever literary prints.

"Do you know what you would do with a day in Paris?" ~ The Paris Journal 
(Sounds like the perfect challenge to me! Stay tuned :)

June 19, 2014


June 19, 2014 Photo (170/365): "Capital Letters"

Today, I was in Wisconsin's state capital, Madison,
to co-present on Student Learning Objectives in Action 


That's a lot of "capital" letters ;-)
June 18, 2014


These days, my life seems to be filled with WONDER!

photo via Pinterest
 Lately, I've been...
  • reading Wonder by R. J. Palacio. There is so much to learn from Auggie Pullman and his friends and family about life, self-esteem, acceptance, and compassion. 
  • watching The Wonder Years on Netflix. I love the innocence and universal experiences of growing up, the funny kids' clothes from the late 60s and early 70s (What were our moms thinking?!), Kevin and Winnie's evolving relationship, and of course, the amazing sound track (The Beatles, The Byrds, The Beach Boys, The Doors...).
  • listening to "At a moment like this I can't help but wonder, 'What would Jimmy Buffett do?'" Yes, it's summertime and Jimmy Buffett is in heavy rotation chez Larson-Horne. Boats, Bars, Beaches, Ballads is our soundtrack for evenings on the deck (of the house and the boat).
  • wondering how to keep up my French conversation skills. It's been a year since I stopped teaching French, and I've noticed that my opportunities to parle français are limited. I have been watching French films on Netflix and writing emails to my friends in France, but I need to cultivate more opportunities to practice. Perhaps I should Skype or have a Google Hangout avec mes amis, volunteer or teach at the Alliance française de Milwaukee, chat with Max at Le Rendez-vous or Didier at Lake Park Bistro, or better yet, start planning my next voyage en France. It seems I always have wonder wanderlust!


June 18, 2014 Photo (169/365): "Rainy Day"

“The sun did not shine. 
It was too wet to play. 
So we sat in the house. 
All that cold, cold, wet day.” 
~ Dr. Seuss, The Cat in the Hat

Nice and cozy with a good book,
a cup of tea, and an occasional look
through my window as the raindrops fall.
How could I possibly mind it at all? ~ MLH
June 17, 2014


June 17, 2014 Photo (168/365):  "After the rain..."

“There's naught as nice as th' smell o' good clean earth, 
except th' smell o' fresh growin' things
when th' rain falls on 'em.” 
~ Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden