“If you're skating on thin ice, you might as well dance.” - Anita Shreve [Or take pictures! - MLH]

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icy branches

Week 5 - Composition: Symmetry in Landscape

“It is the harmony of the diverse parts, their symmetry, their happy balance; in a word it is all that introduces order, all that gives unity, that permits us to see clearly and to comprehend at once both the ensemble and the details.” - Henri Poincaré

Week 5: Use Symmetry in a Landscape to create a new viewpoint for this week's image. #2019dogwood52 #dogwood52 #dogwoodweek5

Week 5: Use Symmetry in a Landscape to create a new viewpoint for this week's image. #2019dogwood52 #dogwood52 #dogwoodweek5

French Friday: Une Journée de Neige

« La neige possède ce secret de rendre au coeur en un souffle la joie naïve... » - Antonine Maillet

Paris Apartment in the Snow

J’adore la neige! To me, a snow day is an unexpected gift of “me time” with a magical backdrop. On Wednesday, when we got the call that school was cancelled, Piper and I spent the day playing in the snow and taking pictures before snuggling by the fire with coffee and a good book.

It also snowed in Paris this week. In fact, for the past several winters, Paris has enjoyed a day or two of snow that usually lasts for about 24 captivating hours before things become slushy and rather inconvenient. But for one wonderful day, the iconic monuments and Haussmannian architecture are transformed into an enchanting Parisian snow globe.

Last year, it snowed on my final day in Paris ( March 1 ) — just a dusting like powdered sugar on a perfect crêpe. And, even though I had spent a week taking pictures all over the city, I couldn’t resist venturing out to snap a few new photos of Paris sous la neige.

When I visited Paris for a weekend conference in January 2013, I had no intention of “playing tourist.” I planned to shop the January soldes/sales, stroll aimlessly, and warm up in charming cafés. And then I woke up to eight inches of snow and Paris was completely transformed! I will never forget how much fun I had that day watching children and dogs play in the parks, encountering uniquely French snowmen with high fashion accessories, secretly snickering at posh Parisians slipping and sliding in completely inappropriate footwear while I easily navigated snowy sidewalks in my waterproof riding boots (You can take the girl out of Wisconsin, but you can’t take the Wisconsin out of the girl).

Of course I took beaucoup de photos that weekend. One of my favorites is this amazing apartment building in the 7e arrondissement near the Eiffel Tower. Can’t you just image spending a snow day here? I bet it looks like this inside — those architectural details, that view! I would light a Diptyque candle and a cozy fire in the marble fireplace. I’d snuggle up with a cup of Laudrée tea to watch the falling snow through those amazing windows and the pale winter light casting subtle shadows on the parquet floors. Doesn’t that sound practically perfect?

Of course, to achieve absolute snow day perfection, I would include une certaine belle beagle ;-)

Scenes from a Snow Day

“A snow day literally and figuratively falls from the sky, unbidden, and seems like a thing of wonder.” - Susan Orlean

snowy Piper
Looking Out the Window
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Warming up


“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness?” - John Steinbeck

frozen branches

Finally Snow!

"Kindness is like snow—it beautifies everything it covers." - Kahlil Gibran

snowy deck


"That's the reason a bird can sing -- On his darkest day he believes in spring." - Douglas Malloch

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“Sculpture is an attempt to freeze a moment in time in three dimensions; to connect what already exists in reality to that which exists only in the imagination.” - Hipolito Rocha (Ice Sculptures - Delafreeze 2019)

Polar Bear


“Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.” - John Milton

Vines - St. Joan of Arc Chapel

Tonight, I am grateful for this weekend’s unseasonably warm weather, for some very successful bargain hunting, for precious time with family, for the squeaky clean, snoozy pup on my lap, and for continued inspiration.

Early Bird

“La meilleure façon de réaliser ses rêves est de se réveiller. | The best way to make dreams come true is to wake up.” - Valéry


I have always been a morning person. As I get older, I find myself rising earlier and earlier. My alarm goes off at 4:45 every weekday morning so that I can take my time getting ready and be in my office by 6:15. I love that quiet hour before the work day begins when I can catch up on news, make lists, and be creative. Even on weekends, although the venue is different, the routine is nearly the same. I don’t consciously set an alarm, but Miss Piper ensures that her breakfast is served by 5:00 AM! Rather than “sleeping in” on weekends, it feels even more luxurious to enjoy an hour or so reading, sipping coffee, watching the birds outside our window, reflecting on the past week and planning for the next (with a snoozy beagle on my lap, of course). Affording myself the time to ease into the day ultimately increases my productivity.

English educator and theologian, Philip Doddridge surmised that “the difference between rising at five and seven o’clock in the morning for forty years, supposing a [person] to go to bed at the same hour at night, is nearly equivalent to the addition of ten years to [one’s] life.” Imagine the gift of ten extra years — that’s motivation!