January 31, 2017

January 2017 in Pictures

"The leaves hop, scraping on the ground.
It is deep January. The sky is hard.
The stalks are firmly rooted in ice.
It is in this solitude, a syllable,
Out of these gawky flitterings,
Intones its single emptiness,
The savagest hollow of winter-sound."
~Wallace Stevens, "No Possum, No Sop, No Taters"

Simple Pleasures

January 31, 2017 (031/365)

"To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter... to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird's nest or a wildflower in spring — these are some of the rewards of the simple life." ~ John Burroughs
January 30, 2017

Blue Sky

January 30, 2017 (030/365)

"I thank you God for this most amazing day, 
for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, 
and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, 
which is infinite, which is yes." ~ e. e. cummings
January 29, 2017

Little Birdie

January 29, 2017 (029/365)

“Happiness is anyone and anything that's loved by you.” ~ Charles M. Schulz

Every morning, Piper watches the birdies.
I think this beagles is looking for her Woodstock!

January 28, 2017

National Marquette Day

January 28, 2017 (028/365)

"Love and kindness are never wasted. 
They always make a difference. 
They bless the one who receives them, 
and they bless you, the giver."
~ Barbara De Angelis 

Happy National Marquette Day! #BeTheDifference
January 27, 2017

French Friday: Île Saint-Louis

January 27, 2017 (027/365)

“Les îles sont de petits continents en abrégé.” ~ Bernardin de Saint-Pierre 

L'Île Saint-Louis is the smaller of two natural islands in the Seine. While I've visited Notre Dame, la Sainte Chapelle, la Conciergerie, and la Place Dauphine on the Île de la Cité several times, I really haven't explored the Île Saint-Louis. Sure, I've ogled the $4 million apartments from a Bateau Mouche.  Of course, I've crossed the Pont Saint-Louis to enjoy an ice cream at Bertillon. I've walked along the quais before crossing the Pont Louis-Philippe or the Pont Marie on my way to the Marais, but I've never really strolled though this oasis of narrow streets and hôtels particuliers dating from the 17th and 18th Centuries. This time it's on my list!

Francophone friends, enjoy this video tour of L'Île Saint-Louis.
January 26, 2017


January 26, 2017 (026/365)

"Snow isn't just pretty. It also cleanses our world and our senses, 
not just of the soot and grime...but also of a kind of weary familiarity, 
a taken-for-granted quality to which our eyes are all too susceptible." ~ John Burnside
January 25, 2017

Tree Hugger

January 25, 2017 (025/365)

“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, "Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.” ~ Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass
January 24, 2017


January 24, 2017 (024/365)

"There are always flowers for those who want to see them." ~ Henri Matisse
January 23, 2017

Blue Monday

January 23, 2017 (023/365)

"How does it feel...?" ~ New Order, "Blue Monday"

Am I blue? Well, it's Monday, it's dreary, and the Packers lost -- all valid reasons; yet seriously, today really is Blue Monday (aka Black Monday). The third Monday of January is reported to be the most depressing day of the year. Since 2005, several formulae containing variables such as weather conditions, debt level after the holidays, time since Christmas, time since failing our New Year’s resolutions, low motivational levels, and feeling the need for change and action have been devised, although none is conclusive. Suffice to say, a combination of any of the above, compounded by an abysmal NFC championship game seem to add up.

Maybe a pick-me-up of flowers & music will help. By the way, the officially happiest day of the year coincides with the summer solstice -- only 150 days from now. Things can only get better!
January 22, 2017

A River Runs Through It

January 22, 2017 (022/366)

“Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it.
The river was cut by the world's great flood
and runs over rocks from the basement of time.
On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops.
Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs.”
~ Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It 

January 21, 2017


January 21, 2017 (021/365)

“Grace and beauty originates from within -- the light 
that glows out and make everything beautiful” ~ Angie Karan

January 20, 2017

French Friday: La Neige

January 20, 2017 (020/365) J-34

« Le bonheur est comme la neige : il est doux, il est pur et... il fond. » ~ Claire Malesset 
["Happiness is like snow: it's soft, it's pure and...it melts.]

On yet another dreary rainy January day, my Google Photos reminded me that four years ago today, I was in Paris amid eight inches of freshly fallen snow! This is a favorite photo that I've never shared. Although, I hope for warmer weather when I return next month, I will never forget how magical Paris was sous la neige.

January 19, 2017


January 19, 2017 (019/365)

"Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, 
order, rhythm, and harmony." ~  Thomas Merton
January 18, 2017

Open Water

January 18, 2017 (018/365)

"But then, in spite of us, and without our permission, there comes at last an end to the bitter frosts. One morning the wind turns, and there is a thaw.  And so I must still have hope." ~ Vincent Van Gogh

[I'm not fooling myself that winter in Wisconsin is over, but today, like the ducks, I celebrate the open water and the hope of an early spring.]
January 17, 2017

Flotsam and Jetsam

January 17, 2017 (017/365)

"For some days now, the temperature wavered between freezing and thawing and it was difficult to tell whether the sediment thickening the atmosphere was rain or sleet or smog." ~ David Lodge... In the wake of the January thaw, flotsam and jetsam blur the lines of the changing seasons.
January 16, 2017


January 16, 2017 (016/365)

 "Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase."
~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
January 15, 2017


January 15, 2017 (015/365)

"Faith gives you a sense of inner strength, a sense of balance 
and perspective in life." ~ Gregory Peck
January 14, 2017

Rooftops - Part 2

 January 14, 2017 (014/365)

"Set your heights more than what you see around you, 
see beyond." ~ Anthony Anderson

[Until, I see the rooftops of Paris again, this view will suffice.]

January 13, 2017

French Friday: Les Toits | Rooftops

le 13 janvier 2017 (013/365) {J-40}

"I sound my barbaric yawp over the rooftops of the world."
~ Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

I'm somewhat obsessed with Paris' zinc rooftops and chimney pots.
Winter's snow and gray skies only enhance their beauty. 
And if by chance,  I catch a glimpse of La Dame de Fertant mieux!

January 12, 2017


January 12, 2017 (012/365)

"The beauty of the natural world lies in the details." ~ Natalie Angier
January 11, 2017

Flower Therapy

 January 11, 2017 (011/365)

"Where flowers bloom so does hope." ~  Lady Bird Johnson
[The weather is challenging this week and I have a cold. This helps.]
January 10, 2017


January 10, 2017 (010/365)

"Whether the weather be fine, whether the weather be not;
Whether the weather be cold, whether the weather be hot;
We’ll weather the weather whatever the weather,
Whether we like it or not" ~ Author unknown
January 09, 2017


January 9, 2017 (009/365)

This pretty princess is 2 years old today!
Happy Birthday, Piper! XOXO
January 08, 2017

January Morning

January 8, 2017 (008/365)

“In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary.” ~ Aaron Rose
January 07, 2017


January 7, 2017 (007/365)

“What good is the warmth of summer, 
without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” ― John Steinbeck
January 06, 2017

French Friday: Point Zéro

January 6, 2017 (006/366)

« Je reviens » - Napoleon | "I'll be back!" - Arnold Schwarzenegger, Terminator

This year, I am reinstating my French Friday series of images and cultural anecdotes. When I return from my trip to Paris next month, I should easily have enough photos to feature every week for the rest of the year. In the meantime, on this first Friday, I will start my journey at the beginning -- at the point from which all distances in France are measured -- not square one, but Point Zéro. 

On the Ile de la Cité, in the courtyard of Notre Dame Cathedral, you will likely notice tourists searching for this very spot and waiting their turn to perch upon it while taking the requisite selfie. Some people spin on one foot while making a wish, others kiss while balancing on it together, yet most people simply stand upon it to "ensure" that one day they will return to Paris. Call it superstitious, but I do it every time ...and I'll be back on this spot in 49 days!
January 05, 2017

Lucky Number

January 5, 2016 (005/365)

"...a number that will be a lucky charm." ~ Coco Chanel

Year 5 of Project 365 began 5 days ago and 50 days from now, 
I leave for Paris to celebrate my 50th birthday. How Lucky!
January 04, 2017


January 4, 2017 (004/365)

"In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron; water like a stone" ~  Christina Rossetti
January 03, 2017


 January 3, 2017 (003/365)

Hygge (pronounced 'hue-gah') is a Danish word meaning "a feeling or mood that comes from taking genuine pleasure in making ordinary, every day moments more meaningful, beautiful, or special... Hygge is about being present enough to recognize and acknowledge an act, moment or feeling when the ordinary feels extraordinary." ~ Alex Beauchamp, Hygge House blog. 

There is no one English equivalent to the word hygge although it comprises the idea of cosiness, contentedness, and comfort in simplicity. Today, the holiday decorations are put away for another year and we return to work. Our home is clean and quiet and its Scandinavian minimalism makes me calm and content. 

January 02, 2017

Questions & Answers

January 2, 2017 (002/365)

"A fresh start. A new chapter in life waiting to be written. 
New questions to be asked... Answers to be discovered..." 
~ Sarah Ban Breathnach
January 01, 2017

Going On...

January 1, 2017 (001/365)

"...Neither an end nor a beginning but a going on 
with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us. 
Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right." ~ Oprah