April 30, 2017

April in Pictures

“April hath put a spirit of youth in everything.” 
~ William Shakespeare, Sonnet XCVIII


April 30, 2017 (120/365)

"Sweet April showers do spring May flowers." ~ Thomas Tusser, 1557 
April 29, 2017


April 29, 2017 (119/365)

"The smell of moist earth and lilacs hung in the air 
like wisps of the past and hints of the future." ~ Margaret Millar
April 28, 2017

French Friday: Manège | Carousel

April 28, 2017 (118/365)

 « Il y a quelques rencontres dans la vie où la vérité et la simplicité 
sont le meilleur manège du monde. » ~ Jean de La Bruyère

[This week has my head spinning.]
April 27, 2017

April Showers

April 27, 2017 (117/365)

"Weather is a great metaphor for life — 
sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad, 
and there's nothing much you can do about it 
but carry an umbrella or choose to dance in the rain!" 
~Terri Guillemets
April 26, 2017

Raindrops on Redbuds

April 26, 2017 (116/365)

“Listen as the budding trees dance in tepid showers,
Dreaming of the day they'll see the blooming summer flowers.” 
~ Amelia Dashwood

April 25, 2017

Spring Green

April 25, 2017 (115/365)

"Nature’s first green is gold, 
Her hardest hue to hold. 
Her early leaf’s a flower; 
But only so an hour. 
Then leaf subsides to leaf. 
So Eden sank to grief, 
So dawn goes down to day. 
Nothing gold can stay."

~ Robert Frost, Nothing Gold Can Stay
April 24, 2017


April 24, 2017 (114/365)

"Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. 
Nothing can be done without hope and confidence."  ~ Helen Keller

When I planted sixty-four pink and white bulbs last fall, I dreamed of enjoying bunches of blooms. Instead, I have one perfectly beautiful tulip and 15 more buds that still haven't revealed their potential. Fingers crossed!
April 23, 2017

For the Birds

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 🐥.

April 22, 2017

Earth Day

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!

April 21, 2017

French Friday: Prayers for Paris

 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.
April 16, 2017

Happy Easter

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

April 14, 2017

French Friday: La Sainte Chapelle

 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


Those shoes though!
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.”
April 12, 2017

Soft Skills

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
April 09, 2017

Where there's a will...

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! 
April 07, 2017

French Friday: Fondation Louis Vuitton

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: http://www.fondationlouisvuitton.fr/en.html