May 31, 2015

May in Pictures

"On a day, alack the day! Love, whose month is ever May,  
Spied a blossom passing fair, playing in the wanton air" ~ William Shakespeare


May 31, 2015 {151/365} Sunday Morning Pause

"Now and then it's good to pause in our pursuit of happiness
and just be happy." ~ Guillaume Apollinaire

[De temps en temps, il est bon d'arrêter notre quête de bonheur et d'être tout simplement heureux.]
May 30, 2015

Drops of Rain

May 30, 2015 {150/365} Drops of Rain

"Let the rain kiss you.
 Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. 
Let the rain sing you a lullaby."
~ Langston Hughes
May 29, 2015

French Friday: St. Joan of Arc

[Joan of Arc statue Place des Pyramides, Paris - photo taken in 2013]

May 29, 2015 {149/365} Sainte Jeanne d'Arc

Tomorrow is the feast of St. Joan of Arc, "The Maid of Orléans" (La Pucelle d'Orléans). At the age of thirteen, Joan professed visions of the Archangel Michael, Saint Margaret, and Saint Catherine. Her apparitions directed her to help liberate France from English domination near the end of the Hundred Years' War and to establish Charles VII, the uncrowned heir (le dauphin), to the French throne. Joan was sent to Orléans where, after only nine days, the seige was lifted, leading Charles VII's coronation at Reims in 1429 and ultimately, the French victory in 1453.

On May 23, 1430, nineteen-year-old Joan was captured at Compiègne by a pro-English Burgundian faction. She was handed over to the English, charged with a variety of crimes including heresy and sorcery, declared guilty, and burned at the stake on May 30, 1431.

Twenty-five years after her execution, an inquisitorial court, authorized by Pope Callixtus III, examined the trial, dismissed the charges, pronounced Joan innocent, and declared her a martyr. Joan of Arc was beatified in 1909 and canonized in 1920, becoming one of the nine patron saints of France. In 2012 on the 600th anniversary of her birth, The History Channel published this fascinating article: 7 Things you Didn't Know about Joan of Arc. 

As a Catholic woman, a francophile, and a Marquette University alumna, St. Joan of Arc is a hero of mine. As an undergraduate, I attended countless Masses in the beautiful, little French chapel that bears her name and years later, this place of reflection and solace remains an inspiration to me.

May 28, 2015

Sensory Memory

May 28, 2015 {148/365} Lilacs

For me, the lovely blossoms and intoxicating perfume of lilacs conjure involuntary Proustian memories of restless anticipation -- the promise of longer days free of alarm clocks, plaid skirts, and homework. Working in academia, I still look forward to "summer vacation," although now, I'm happy with an extra hour of sleep, time to reflect and plan, and the occasional day off campus. The blissful, languid days are gone, but the the anticipation of a change of pace remains in the lilacs' compelling fragrance.
May 27, 2015

Dish it out

May 27, 2015 {147/365} On my plate

"Leadership is ... being able to take it as well as dish it out." ~ Larry Bird. During these final weeks of school, we're all feeling overwhelmed. I'm not sure if I have too much on my plate or if I just need a few more plates (and bowls and cups...)!
May 26, 2015

Wild Strawberries

May 26, 2015 {146/365} Wild Berry Blossoms

I love spotting pretty little blossoms where I don't expect them, and I always leave them for others to discover too. Although, once these beauties yield their luscious red berries, I might not be as benevolent!
May 25, 2015


May 25, 2015 {145/365} Beacon

America has stood as a beacon of hope and freedom and so many have fought bravely to defend her ideals. Thank you to all who have made the ultimate sacrifice to preserve our liberty. Your light will forever shine brightly upon us.


May 24, 2015 {139/365} Raindrops

 Of course it's raining; it's Memorial weekend!
May 23, 2015

Purple Tulips

May 23, 2015 {143/365} Purple Tulips

Three weeks ago, I was too early. Only a few orange and yellow tulips were starting to bloom. Today, I'm too late. Only the purple tulips remain. Timing is everything.
May 22, 2015


May 22, 2015 {142/365} Trillium in the Woods

"There is pleasure in the pathless woods, there is rapture in the lonely shore, there is society where none intrudes, by the deep sea, and music in its roar; I love not Man the less, but Nature more." ~ Lord Byron. {I couldn't resist the opportunity to post one more photo of this spring's abundant trillium!}
May 21, 2015


May 21, 2015 {141/365} Bouteilles

“Give me books, French wine, fruit, fine weather and a little music played out of doors" ~  John Keats. Over the next four days, I hope to indulge in all of the above. I'm taking a personal day tomorrow, so memorial weekend official starts for me tonight. Cheers!
May 20, 2015

Curl Up

May 20, 2015 {140/365} Fern

"Only spread a fern-frond over a man's head and worldly cares are cast out, and freedom and beauty and peace come in." ~  John Muir. This photo makes me want to curl up and bask in the sun.
May 19, 2015

Around the Bend

May 19, 2015 {139/365} Bend

 " future seemed to stretch out before me like a straight road. I thought I could see along it for many a milestone. Now there is a bend in it. I don’t know what lies around the bend, but I’m going to believe that the best does. It has a fascination of its own, that bend.” ~ Lucy Maude Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables 

Like Anne, I thought I had it all figured out. Consistency and routine are comforting and safe, but it's the bend, the risk, the change -- therein lies the fascination!
May 18, 2015


May 18, 2014 {138/365} Lingering Beauty

Most of spring's early blooms -- the crocus, daffodils, and tulips -- have faded. Yet these lingering pink and white beauties offer one final glimpse to hold in memory until next spring's renaissance.
May 17, 2015


May 17, 2015 {137/365) Forget-me-nots

Forgive me if, in friendship’s way
I offer thee a wreath of May...
The little blue Forget-me-not
Spring’s messenger in every spot."
~John Clare, To E.L.E. on May Morning, May 1, 1830

{1000th post!}
May 16, 2015

Cherry Blossoms

May 16, 2015 {236/365} Cherry Blossoms

“Loveliest of trees, the cherry now 
Is hung with bloom along the bough.”
~  A. E. Housman

Door County's iconic cherry blossoms
(The dandelions are blooming too.)
May 15, 2015

French Friday: French Pastry School of Chicago

May 15, 2015 {135/365} Ooh là là!
This morning, Ryan, the PHS culinary arts teacher and I, along with ten Pewaukee High School ProStart students, left school at 5:00 to take the Amtrak Hiawatha train from Milwaukee to Chicago. (Note my how my alma mater is represented in the station!)
Have you seen this movie? Kings of Pastry is available on Netflix. It chronicles the journey of Jacquy Pfeiffer, French pastry chef, as he competes for the honor of Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF). Along with Sébastien Canonne, MOF and one of the judges of the competition, Jacquy is also the founder of the French Pastry School of Chicago.

Here is the group with Sébastien.
We got a great tour of the school and briefly watched a master pastry chef teaching about the tradition French wedding cake, croquembouche.

We went into a cooler to look at some showpieces.
Isn't this lotus pretty?
We had expected a hands-on experience, 
in fact, we had hoped to make macarons. Who knew?
Unfortunately the tour only included a walk-through and some candies for the road. We were quite disheartened. By 9:35, it was over.
After the mixup, we weren't sure what to do.
Our return train didn't leave until 1:15.
So we wandered around Chicago...for 9 miles and three hours.
It was too cloudy and humid for the observation deck
of the Sears/Willis Tower.
So we walked to Millennium Park. 
All in all, it was a disappointing day.
Speaking of disappointment...I miss Marshall Fields :-(

May 14, 2015


May 14, 2015 {134/365}
“Tis hatched and shall be so.” ~ William Shakespeare
May 13, 2015


May 13, 2015 {133/365} Bottled Poetry

"Wine is bottled poetry." ~ Robert Louis Stevenson
May 12, 2015


May 12, 2015 {132/365} 

"The raindrops seem to play a sweet refrain.” ~ The Beatles

May 11, 2015

Spring Rain

May 11, 2015 {131/365}
“Love, like rain, can nourish from above, 
drenching with a soaking joy." ~ Paulo Coelho

May 10, 2015


May 10, 2015 {130/365} "Mother"

"Mothers hold their children’s hands for a short while, but their hearts forever."

Thank you to all the mothers and nurturing women in my life: my mom Kay, my grandma Dodo, my godmother Darlene, my mother-in-law Lynn, and all of my real and honorary "aunties" and teachers. I am so grateful for the wonderful example that these strong, caring women have set for me. I'm not a mother in the traditional sense, but I am Piper's mommy (beagles count, right?), Alec's godmother, and Auntie to some great boys. I cherish them as if they were my own.  Happy Mother's Day!
May 09, 2015

Plum Tree

May 9, 2015 {129/365} Plum Tree

“The month of May was come, when every heart beginneth 
to blossom, and to bring forth fruit.” ~ Sir Thomas Malory
May 08, 2015


May 8, 2015 {128/365} Papillons

« Bien que je supporte deux ou trois chenilles 
si je veux connaître les papillons. »
~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Le Petit Prince

[ “Well, I must endure the presence of a few caterpillars 
if I wish to become acquainted with the butterflies.” ]

Butterflies at the Milwaukee Public Museum