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For the Birds

April 23, 2017
April 23, 2017 (113/365)

One of the most peculiar traditions in Paris is  
the Sunday bird market on the Île de la Cité.

Here is the Wisconsin version of the Marché aux Oiseaux:
Chickens at the garden center and visiting our nephew's new peeps 🐥.

Earth Day

April 22, 2017
April 22, 2017 (112/365)

"On Earth Day, we celebrate all the gifts the world and nature make available to us. We recognize our complete dependence on its bounty. and we acknowledge the need for good stewardship to preserve its fruits for future generations." ~ John Hoeven. It's Earth Day and it's doesn't get much "earthier" than these tiny treasures I discovered today!

French Friday: Prayers for Paris

April 21, 2017
 April 21, 2017 (111/365)

« La prière est le plus grand rempart de l'âme. » ~ St. Augustin

My thoughts are with Paris and all of France again today
as they recover from yet another terrorist attack and 
prepare for a very important presidential election this weekend.


April 20, 2017
 April 20, 2017 (110/365)

"Why do two colors, put one next to the other, sing?" ~ Picasso
In this case, they're singing my school song -- "Ring Out Ahoya!" 💙💛


April 19, 2017
April 19, 2017 (109/365)

"The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don't go back to sleep." ~  Rumi 


April 18, 2017
April 18, 2017 (108/365)

“But, instead of what our imagination makes us suppose and which we worthless try to discover, life gives us something that we could hardly imagine.” ~ Marcel Proust. Yesterday, I spoke of my eagerness for own trees and flowers to begin blooming and of consoling myself with pictures at the garden center. This morning, I was greeted by a profusion of pear blossoms right in the school parking lot. Mother Nature continues to delight and amaze me!


April 17, 2017
April 17, 2017 (107/365)

"Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience." ~ Emerson

Now that it finally feels like spring, I'm so eager for my garden to start blooming. I worked hard planning and planting last year and I can hardly wait to see the results this spring. Each tiny leaf and bud is a thrill to behold. Yet, as Emerson so wisely advises, nature will take her own sweet time and I must learn to be patient. In the meantime, I'll keep planning... and taking pictures at the garden center -- These apple blossoms are available at Ebert's Greenhouse Village.

Happy Easter

April 16, 2017
April 16, 2017 (106/365)

"This is the day the Lord has made.
Let us rejoice and be glad." ~ Psalm 118:25


April 15, 2017

April 15, 2017 (105/365)

"Colour creates, enhances, changes, and reveals" ~ Kiff Holland

French Friday: La Sainte Chapelle

April 14, 2017
 April 14, 2017 (104/365)

« La foi met la quiétude dans l'esprit, comme la bonne conscience
met la quiétude dans le cœur. » ~ François Salvat de Montfort

La Sainte Chapelle, located on the Ile de Cité, was built in the 13th Century by Saint Louis, the king of France, to house a sacred treasure -- the Crown of Thorns. The  blessed relic was moved to Notre Dame's cathedral treasury in 1806, but the chapel remains a masterpiece of Gothic architecture -- a jewel box of stained glass, practically hidden behinds the walls of the Palais de Justice. 

The upper chapel, once only accessible to the royal family

The lower chapel for the royal attendants


April 13, 2017

April 13, 2017 (103/365)  “Creativity takes courage. ” ~  Henri Matisse

Throwback Thursday to three week's ago when I attended Art in Bloom at the Milwaukee Art Museum. Although the collection of paintings, sculptures, and floral arrangements are always inspiring, this may be my favorite photo from that day. Imagine the joy in donning a big, pink tutu (to match your pink tresses) and yellow strappy sandals (perhaps sans lucite heel) just to spend timing creating something original and beautiful!

Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could indulge that sense of whimsy -- to allow ourselves to play dress-up and color more often? As Picasso said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once [s]he grows up.”

Soft Skills

April 12, 2017
April 12, 2017 (102/365)

“Nothing is so strong as gentleness. 
Nothing is so gentle as real strength.” 
~ Ralph W. Sockman


April 11, 2017
April 11, 2017 (101/365)

“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” ~ Cicero

That's my plan for Spring Break 2017 (well, + a beagle).
Any suggestions? What are you reading these days? 
What books do you read over and over?


April 10, 2017
April 10, 2017 (100/365)

"A single crocus blossom ought to be enough to convince our heart 
that springtime, no matter how predictable, 
is somehow a gift...a grace." ~ David Steindl-Rast

Where there's a will...

April 09, 2017
April 9, 2017 (099/365)

Just because the slips are empty doesn't mean you can't go sailing!


April 08, 2017
April 8, 2017 (097/365)

"Every spring is the only spring, a perpetual astonishment." ~ Ellis Peters

That first spring day when things start to pop! 

French Friday: Fondation Louis Vuitton

April 07, 2017
April 7, 2017 (097/365)

"Architecture should speak of its time and place,
but yearn for timelessness." ~ Frank Gehry

On March 1, I decided to defy the rain and gray skies to visit the Fondation Louis Vuitton -- a cultural center designed by Frank Gehry and funded by the LVMH group of luxury brands. The Foundation is located adjacent to the Jardin d'Acclimatation in the Bois de Boulogne, bordering Neuilly-sur-Seine. The $143 million museum opened in October 2014 and contains pieces by many modern and contemporary artists such as Jeff Koons, Ellsworth Kelly, and Olafur Eliasson to name a few. I was fortunate enough to be there for the exhibition of the Shchukin Collection, featuring Impressionist and Post-Impressionist work by Monet, Renoir, Degas, Picasso, Matisse, Gauguin, Rousseau, Pissaro, Braque, Van Gogh, Toulouse Lautrec, and more. That exhibition closed on March 5th.

Anther installation that I was lucky to view was The Observatory of Light by French artist Daniel BurenIn May 2016, the twelve billowing "sails" that contribute to the conceptual ship shape of the building were covered in 3,600 translucent filters. The thirteen hues create a kaleidoscopic effect that changes depending on the time of day and season. The colors are vibrant and the effect is fun -- I'm sure it would be stunning on a sunny day. On May 11, this temporary installation will close. Yet as brilliant as it was to observe and as much as I'm embracing color this month, I really do prefer the white sails against a clear blue sky.

Vintage Louis Vuitton trunks on display
One of many models for the Fondation's structure
The sails of the terraces covered in Buren's vibrant hues

A peak at Paris' skyscrapers near La Défense

Just a glimpse of La Tour Eiffel
Permission to come aboard
The original sails of the Fondation Louis Vuitton (above and below)
"White sails" photos borrowed from the Fondation Louis Vuitton website:

Outside the Lines

April 06, 2017
April 6, 2017 (096/365)

"You have to color outside the lines once in a while 
if you want to make your life a masterpiece." ~ Albert Einstein

So in keeping with my April color theme, 
I chose these brilliant pink tulips 
instead of my usual white -- baby steps!

If you like...

April 05, 2017
April 5, 2017 (095/365)

"Give crayons. Adults are disturbingly impoverished 
of these magical dream sticks." ~ Dr. SunWolf, 2009

I have to admit: I still love to color
Lately, I've been enjoying the Color Therapy iOS app --
It's the digital version of a coloring book 
and your fingers are the "magical dream sticks."

When Skies are Gray

April 04, 2017
 April 4, 2017 (094/365)

“Mere color, unspoiled by meaning, and unallied with definite form, 
can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways. ” ~ Oscar Wilde

My January photos, rather unintentionally, featured the muted tones of winter skies and barren trees, while February's crimson hues and March's verdant shades were quite purposeful -- a challenge that both guided and frustrated me for two months. April began as a literal and creative breath of fresh air, motivating me to work and play outside. When the day was done, I had taken beautiful pictures of flowers waiting to be planted, fuzzy baby birds, and a brilliant sunset. Feeling lighthearted -- released from my own restrictions, I chose a photo of bright yellow ducklings to start the month. Then it started to rain. Sunday, I joked that Eliot was right about April's coquettish cruelty and featured weeping cherry blossoms. Monday, as the rain continued, I offered forsythia as a sunny surrogate. But now, after three days of constant showers, Saturday's beautiful weather feels like a particularly malicious April Fool's prank. So as not to succumb to this week's melancholia, here's the new challenge: April's photos will feature all the color that Mother Nature is selfishly withholding.

Sunshine on a Cloudy Day

April 03, 2017
April 3, 2017 (093/365)

"April showers bring May flowers."

Rain is in the forecast all week to contribute to the cause.
In the meantime, here's a bit of sunshine on a gloomy Monday.


April 02, 2017
April 2, 2017 (092/365)

"April is the cruellest month, breeding  
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing  
Memory and desire, stirring  
Dull roots with spring rain."
~ T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land


If Eliot was right, this weekend was indeed cruel. The gorgeous weather on Saturday was so motivating that we cleaned up the yard, pruned trees and perennials, burned sticks, and laid fresh mulch in the garden beds. Yesterday, it almost felt as though you could watch the trees budding, but today's gloom confirmed that April is the ultimate tease. Still, even a day leaves me optimistic. 

No Foolin'

April 01, 2017
 April 1, 2017 (091/365)

"There are no ugly ducklings." ~ Loretta Young
... just cool chicks today!

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