Liebster Award

I have been nominated for the Liebster Award by Dana at  The Great Big World As Told by Dana

This award is given to bloggers with less than 200 followers by other bloggers.  It’s a way to publicize & promote your blog,  gain more activity on your site, and acknowledge your fellow bloggers’ awesomeness, despite the lower numbers of readers. Merci beaucoup, Dana, for the honor!

Here are the rules:

  • Acknowledge the blog that nominated you in a post.

  • Share 11 facts about yourself.

  • Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger (Dana) created

  • Nominate 11 bloggers who deserve recognition

  • Post 11 new questions for them to answer

11 Facts About Me:

  1. I officially have 5 followers on my blog, but I know you're out there since I get about 1000 hits each week, and many have mentioned my photos and writing on Twitter, Facebook, and in person. Thank you to Catherine and Jenny who have left so many lovely comments right here on my blog!

  2. I went to Marquette University for nine years. No, I'm not slow. I stayed long enough to earn a B.A. in French & English, an M.A.T. in French, and an M.A. in English, but above all, I learned to always try to "Be The Difference."

  3. I take most of the photos on my blog with my iPhone. Sometimes, I take ten or twenty pictures of the same thing to get the shot I want, but it's worth it. It isn't about the camera, it's about the vision. I once read a story about a photographer having dinner at the home of a great chef. As the photographer shared his photos, several guests commented that he must have a really good camera. After supper, the guests complemented the chef on the excellent dinner. The photographer quipped, "That was a fabulous meal. You must have a really good pots and pans!"

  4. I was adopted and still celebrate my "Gotcha Day" every year. I'm am so fortunate to have grown up with such caring, loving parents.

  5. I wear my grandmother's 1926 engagement ring on my right hand. She gave me the ring when I turned 13 and encouraged me to have the diamond made into a pendant or something more youthful. I am so glad that even at 13, I recognized the beauty in this classic art deco ring.

  6. It has been well established that I am a big fan of the amazing creative, collaborative, and organizational potential of technology, but I still admire pretty paper, great pens, and lovely penmanship.

  7. Even though I love to travel and speak French, I am a very proud American daughter of a World War II veteran. Patriotic music makes me teary, and it is my privilege to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in school each day.

  8. My feet are tiny (5.5 in the US, 35 in Europe). This is the perfect excuse to buy shoes whenever I find cute ones that fit ;)

  9. I have a life-sized cardboard cut-out of my first love, Shaun Cassidy, in my basement. I got him when I was 11. I say “hello” to him every time I go downstairs.

  10. I make amazing paper snowflakes. Ask anyone! The trick is folding the paper correctly.

  11. My Project 365 has been challenging, therapeutic, and enlightening. It has forced me to slow down and pay attention, to be aware of the beauty that surrounds me every day!

My Answers to Dana's Questions:

  1. Why did you start blogging? I have always enjoyed writing and photography. In addition to being an excellent platform for creative expression, blogging has also lead me to discover "kindred spirits" (Anne of Green Gables) around the world —fellow bloggers who share my passion for travel, art, fashion, film, literature, sailing, gardening, and the French language and culture.

  2. If you could go anywhere in the world, right now, where would you go, and why? Paris is always a good idea and always the first place that comes to mind. I would stroll through my favorite neighborhoods and museums, shop in my favorite boutiques, sip coffee or wine in my favorite cafés, and enjoy the joie de vivre! If I could go anywhere that I've never been before, I would love to visit French Polynesia.

  3. If you had the chance to travel back in time or into the future, which would you pick, and what would you want to see/find out? I would love to visit Paris in the 1920's, to discuss literature and drink wine with Hemingway, Fitzgerald, et al, fashion with Coco Chanel, art with Picasso...I totally agree with Gil in Midnight in Paris !

  4. Apple or PC? I'm definitely an Apple! I have a MacBook, an iPad , and an iPhone. I am an early adopter, and eagerly anticipate each Apple keynote and new release. We are issued PC laptops, but I often choose to take my Mac to work.

  5. How did we meet? I believe we met at WAFLT in 2011. I am happy to collaborate with you and an so excited to read about your adventures in France this fall!

  6. What is your guilty pleasure? Shoes, wine, and Chanel lipgloss

  7. At my funeral, I want this song played: "Sweet Dreams, Melinda"?!

  8. What do you think of when you hear, “Wisconsin?” Great Lakes sailing, road trips, birches, maples, cherry and apple trees, violets, trillium, lady slippers, brutal winters, lovely springs, delightful summers, beautifully crisp autumns...home!

  9. What is your favorite season and why? One of the best things I learned from my dad was that each season brings its unique beauty, fun, and delicious flavors. I truly look forward to each changing season. That being said, summer has a distinct advantage for educators ;)

  10. I never, ever, want to do this again: I know it's unrealistic, but I never want to feel heartbroken again. Yet even as I write that, I know that the only way to not feel heartbroken is to not love at all, and that is never an option.

  11. What do you like most about yourself? Physically, I like my blue eyes and what I observe with them (although I wish they weren't so myopic). As for my personality, I like that I am generous with my time and talents.

I nominate these lovely blogs:

Catherine at La Mémoire Vive, Jenny at Spry on the Wall, Carin at Paris in Four Months, Diane at Diane, A Broad, Grace at Will She Love Paris?, Edna at Expat Edna, Nichole at Obvious State, Erin at Like/Want/Need, Sion at Paris (im)perfect, Milsters at Little Pieces of Light, Lindsay at Lost in Cheeseland


  • What inspires you?

  • What frustrates you?

  • What's in your bag?

  • Home is:

  • Most beautiful sight:

  • Favorite sound:

  • Favorite scent:

  • Favorite book:

  • Favorite film:

  • Dream destination:

  • Best advice you've received:

Thanks again, Dana, and thanks to all these beautiful blogs and bloggers who inspire me everyday!

C'est moi!

I am...
a teacher,
a mentor,
a digital immigrant,
a "trailblazer,"
an "early adopter,"
a colleague,
an adviser,
a coach,
a leader.
Je suis MadameMLH, la prof de français.
Does my career define me?

I am...
a traveler,
a sailor,
a reader,
a writer,
a linguist...
Sometimes I speak and write and think in English.
Sometimes I speak and write and think in French.
Do my interests define me?

I am...
fair with freckles,
a blue-eyed brunette,
Does my physical appearance define me?

I am...
Do my attributes define me?

I am...
a perfectionist...
Do my faults define me?

I am...
a wife,
a sister,
a daughter,
a niece,
an auntie,
a godmother,
a friend...
Do my relationships define me?

For the first year of my life,
I didn't have a name: I was Jane Doe.
Miraculously, I was adopted,
given my name: Melinda Marie Larson.
Melinda: gentle, sweet
Marie: the French variant of Mary
"Star of the Sea,"
A name for a girl who grew up on the water,
 for a woman who remains most content in or upon it.
I was named for my maternal grandmother.
I was named for Mary, the Blessed Mother.
Larson: A noble surname, ethnic and geographic
Son of Lars, Scandinavian for Lawrence,
A laurel, fragrant, ever green,
A wreath to adorn the heads of heroes...
I am child of noble victors,
of Door County Scandinavians.
My name is a gift itself.
I wasn't born into the Larson family.
I was adopted, chosen, given this name.

In high school, I was Mindy, in college, Mel.
When I started teaching, I was Mademoiselle.
I was Mademoiselle for years...
Until in Paris, I was suddenly Madame.
I desired to emulate the eternal Mademoiselle Chanel,
Yet I had become a woman "d'un certain âge."
French civility respectfully elevated my female rank.

In 2005, I was married.
I became Mrs. Eric Horne.
I struggled with social convention, 
with "taking my husband's name."
He was considerate and appreciative.
He was disappointed.
He, too, desired to share his name with me.
I added a hyphen,
The gift of yet another name.

I am Melinda Marie Larson-Horne.

My Theme Song ;)

"Roses float across the water and the ice is slowly melting next to you.
In our hideout down by the boathouse, lonely days are through
'Cuz when you walked into that room, I'd never seen two eyes so blue..."