Sunday, December 16, 2007
This is the table in the family room set for 8. It's a narrow table, so with the chargers there wasn't room for a centerpiece.
This is the table in the dining room. I have used the gold chargers in here before, but decided to change things around this year. We had 10 in this room. The table expands to seat up to 14, but 10 was enough. I always use cloth napkins when I have company. I enjoy finding new ways to fold them. These are some that I believe belonged to my grandmother or great aunt. I don't think they were used much, though before I acquired them. I use them and wash and iron them. I don't do tablecloths, though. My tablecloths are mostly easy-care.
If you want to see pictures of my home decorated for the holidays, take a look here. I was in Norway in June and have had a collection of things Norwegian for a while now, which worked themselves into my decor this year. Growing up we always had Norwegian cookies, breads, flötegröt, sylte, and more during the holidays, so that's when we would remember our Norwegian heritage. So I guess displaying my Norwegian things at Christmas fits in with remembering my heritage and family at this time of year. (I'm 1/4 Norwegian and 1/4 Swedish.)
I wish you a most joyous holiday season, spent with the ones you love, full of laughter, good times all the things you like best!!
Monday, December 3, 2007
Sure enough, the next morning after we got one car started and got some groceries the snow started and continued all afternoon. On Sunday we shoveled ourselves out. We have a walkway to the front of the house and another one going back to the alley, where the cars are, so we really have to shovel both front and back, but a wonderful neighbor was having fun with a new snow-blower and did the sidewalk out by the street. That's a big part of the job, so we really appreciated that.
Now, I've been tagged. I appreciate the honor and am going to try to follow the rules, which say that I have to list random facts about myslef beginning with each letter of my middle name. My middle name is MARGARET, so this is a challenge for me.
I Married my college chemistry teacher in 1972. I like to say he’s much older than I, but we’re really only 3 years apart. He was a 2nd year grad student and I was a 3rd year undergrad when I landed in his Chemistry lab for Chem 101 or whatever the number was. Thirty-five years later, I know it was the right decision.
I Read novels and memoirs in French. Last summer I enjoyed 4 novels by Claude Michelet about an agricultural town in central France, and then read his memoir of his childhood. I’m reading some Colette, now.
I Get to travel to all kinds of wonderful places with my husband. We even went around the world in 2006, stopping in Beijing, Shanghai, Kuala Lumpur, Karachi, Quetta, Dubai, Pisa, Florence and Rome. If you want to see those pictures, they start here with Beijing.
I lived in Africa for a year. In 1969-70 I lived with my family in the Congo. That was before it became Zaire, which is now again the Congo.
(My mother painted this during our stay there.)
I’m a Rosemaler. I started trying to learn this interesting folk art in 2001 and have been working at it off and on ever since. I hope I am still improving and will continue for many years to learn and get better at it. Here is one of my painted plates.
I Enjoy working cryptic cross-word puzzles. A lot of people have never seen these, but they are the standard type of cross-word in England. I am doing some really challenging ones right now written by Frank Lewis for ‘The Nation.‘
I Try not to brag too much, but I’m really proud of our two sons. They both have PhD’s now. James just finished his in October. They live in Boston and Santa Barbara. They have great jobs and are fun to have around. And they’re both single, play the French horn, enjoy sports and outdoor activities, so if you know any sweet girls…. (Just kidding guys.)
My legal middle initial is S. which is the only way I could figure out how to get this one in.
I love Snow and skiing, snowshoeing, sledding or just walking in it. It makes me happy every time I see it, falling, on the ground, even in the form of slush.
(This was taken in our front yard after a big storm last March. We don't have this much snow now.)
Monday, November 26, 2007
I guess I thought we'd done all the towers, but Jim decided while the boys were here again that we should climb some towers, so we did.
First we climbed the 387 (or 402 if you believe a different web site) steps to the top of the south tower of Notre Dame cathedral. Here is a picture of some of the chimera up there. If they don't act as downspouts they are called chimera instead of gargoyles. Notre Dame has both.
The next day we climbed to the top of the Arc de Triomphe. (about 287 steps-I counted) This is the spiral stairway in the Arc de Triomphe. That's my boot in the bottom of the photo and some strangers climbing up behind us.
Here is a picture looking toward the Bois de Boulogne west of Paris from the top of the Arc de Triomphe.
The next day we climbed the steps some of which are outside and others inside to the base of the dome of Sacré Coeur. That was 200 to 300 steps, not counting all the steps that you have to climb to get to the church in the first place. Then for some reason to climb the tower you have to go down to the basement and climb from there. The photo of the church here was taken on the day I visited it with Alice, which was a nice sunny day. It wasn't that nice the day we climbed it, so I don't have pictures from below on that day.
Here we all are in front of the Eiffel Tower. It was a grey day and the line was long to go up it this day, so we didn't.
But we did return the next day when the weather was better. The line was still long so we climbed to the second level and then bought a ticket to ride the elevator to the top. That was about 700 steps, which really felt like a lot. They are numbered on the steps-668 to the second level then about 15 more to the elevators and another 15 to the lookout area at the very top.
This is actually taken from the second level. From the top the horizon is less interesting, because you are so high you are looking down on most of the easily recognized buildings. This is looking toward the Montparnasse tower, with the golden dome of Les Invalides church on the left.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
There are lots and lots of fabric stores in the Mont Martre area. We went into this one and found all these cute little mannequins. They are about 3 feet tall dressed in tailored outfits of all kinds. I took several pictures here. I asked Alice to get behind the table for this one so you could see the size of the mannequins, but I'm not sure it works very well.
And yesterday we took a walking tour of Hemingway's Paris in the left bank area. This is the fountain in the center of the traffic circle where the walk ended. We had lunch in the restaurant with the red awning. We both had Steak, French fires and salad. It was very good. Their bread was also especially good.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
I took more pictures of educational street signs today, which I would like to add here. Maybe I'll get that done soon too. I have walked past some of these without noticing them until today.
Friday, October 26, 2007
I overheard an American ask a guard for directions. The place he asked for was far enough away that the guard couldn't give him complete directions, just pointed in the general direction he should go. The man was pulling a suitcase, but the woman with him wasn't. I wondered where they were going with just one suitcase. No one travels that light these days. I asked him if he wanted to look at a map. I always have a map with me. But he responded "Oh we have a map. We're just too lazy to look at it." Then he added "It really doesn't matter. It's all good." I thought that was a good observation, but he was pulling a suitcase. If I were pulling a suitcase I would want to get rid of it and get out walking without it as soon as possible.
But it's true that here in Paris It's all good. I haven't found an area yet that I didn't feel comfortable in. Sometimes I choose not to go down a certain street because there is a lot of construction on it, which blocks the sidewalk, or because the architecture is mostly post war or between the wars-boring concrete. Those streets are rare, however and I find almost any street I choose has some hidden surprise or interesting shop to recommend it.
So, I have put together some photos of some of the streets I've walked the past few weeks
on this page--Streets of Paris.
Monday, October 22, 2007
There were many booths on both sides of the street for two blocks. This is right in the main street nearest us. Many vendors were selling antiques, and I think nice ones, though I'm no expert.
Items from Africa,
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Monday, October 8, 2007
The very center of Paris is on an island in the Seine. If you've been to Paris, you no doubt have been on this island. Notre Dame is on the island as well as La Sainte Chapelle, two of Paris' most well-known and well-loved landmarks. My mother wanted to see la Sainte Chapelle again, so I waited until she got here to go there this time. You have to wait in line to go through security to get in. We rode the metro to the island and began our visit with the old prison called the Conciergerie. My pictures of this part of the island are here.
After visiting the Conciergerie and La Sainte Chapellle, we walked the short distance to Notre Dame Cathedral. Notre Dame was completed 80 years earlier than La Sainte Chapelle in the mid-1200's.
My mother is back home in Indiana now. It was great having her here and being able to show her a little bit of my life here in Paris this fall. I doubt that she misses all the steps she climbed in Paris.
Monday, October 1, 2007
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Friday, September 28, 2007
Monday, September 24, 2007
We did have a little rain today around noon, but it really didn't last long. I was out shopping and got caught in it, but I had a rain hat and rain coat, so I was fine and I only had two blocks to walk anyway. I was almost home before the rain started.
I'm looking forward to Jim getting home Wednesday.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
As I mentioned before, I went to see a few of the ministry buildings in Paris 7th arrondissement. This photo is of the "salle de bains du roi." The king in question is actually the King of England--George VI. Check this page for the rest of these pictures. Paris Ministries
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Friday, September 14, 2007
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
It has occurred to me that my readers may be expecting pictures of the Eifel Tower, Sacre Coeur, Notre Dame, etc. Well, this isn't my first visit to Paris and I've seen all those things on previous visits. I have been visiting areas of the city that are new to me and doing things I have not done before, so no photos yet of the big monuments. I will visit those and take pictures some time.
I have been to the Place de la Bastille and photographed the tower there. We haven't felt any rain since we have been here, but some days are sunnier than others. The temperatures have been in the 60's to low 70's every day, so just about perfect. Most days I've gone out without a sweater or jacket and usually with short or 3/4 length sleeves.
Here is the Tour Eiffel taken from the top of the Montparnasse tower. It was a little hazy the day we were there. I set my camera to take high resolution pictures and then cropped the photo when I got home.
And here is a photo of Sacre Coeur taken from the parc des Buttes-Chaumont, which I visited yesterday.
And finally another photo from the top of Montparnasse--Les Invalides.
So I hope this will satisfy those of you who were looking for more famous monuments. :-)
I did put some pictures from my walk at Place des Vosges on this web site.
Saturday, September 8, 2007
We passed this church, which was called St. John the Baptist de la Salle. I hadn't heard of this saint before, but I liked the statue of him with the children.
Pasteur lies in the black marble casket and his wife who out-lived him by 15 years is buried behind the gold gate closer to the altar. She didn't think she was important enough to be buried in the same space as her husband, but she asked to be close to him and to the altar. This crypt was built after Pasteur's death and his body was moved here. There was a huge funeral for him at Notre Dame de Paris.
Thursday, September 6, 2007
If you turn and look back down the hallway to the bedroom this is what you see. I think my wide-angle lens makes everything look a bit bigger than it is. I don't have dimensions. The rooms are small, but comfortable. I think we'll be fine here. The apartment belongs to some Americans, who are in the U.S. right now. They have completely remodeled the place, leaving as far as I can tell only the walls, floors, ceilings and crown moldings from the old place.