Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tuckered out

The moving of the art room is going better than expected. I will try and get some photos in the next couple of days. I have this huge very, very heavy table that had to carried up our tight twisting staircase. You should have seen my two sons, one who has a cast and me trying to lift this monster over the banister, twist and turn it so that it would be in the right position to go into my art room on the second floor. A true miracle was achieved and without a scratch too. Whew! My husband installed new shelves in the closet tonight, another miracle, he he. I even was able to put together my art journal that I will send out tomorrow for a journal swap I am starting. YEAH! I am tired though but it is a good kind of tired. Tomorrow all the sewing stuff will be brought up and put on the new shelves. I am really hoping all of it fits. Well, I am off to bed and to let this sore body of mine rest so that I can start all over again tomorrow.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The weekend

WOW! It was a very busy weekend. Sorry I haven't been here much but I have been living life, going from one thing to the next. Thursday we celebrated my son's 18th birthday. He wanted to have the house to himself when he got home so I took my other son and the grand baby and went shopping for a new car seat. Thankfully he slept while we were trying to make our decision because it was hard to decide when you are limit by price. We did find a good one before he woke up. Gotta love those cheeks :) I could just gobble him up, he is so sweet. I did get to give him a couple of baths this weekend also. We have a good time being silly and taking lots of pictures. He may hate me later for this, oh well.
On their birthdays, our kids get to choose if they want a home cooked meal or to go out to a restaurant. They used to choose to eat at home and now they choose to go out. This time we went to Red Lobster.

He was happy to get coffee maker that he can take with him when he moves out and some money to buy anything else he needs.

Friday I spent the morning with some artist friends learning some painting techniques from Paulette Insall. It was a fast, fun and furious time. I didn't take any pictures of my painting so you will see pictures of that later.

Saturday my husband and I took my son and he girlfriend out to breakfast and then shopped for storage bins and selves to for the big bedroom/art room swap. Gives me a big headache to think about it. I hate moving, cleaning or organizing anything. I have a friend that has told me twice now how much she loves it so I think she is going to get a call this week. After we looked through Home Depot and I imagined what new floor would look like and picked out paint chips and drooled over chandeliers and then left it all there because it was too expensive; we went to the movies and out to dinner. We at out to eat a lot this weekend. That is probably when I finally got to create a couple of pages in my journal, after a month of not doing anything, it was about diet and encouraging myself to stay the course. Only five more pounds to go and I am dinking around. I need to stop with the french fries.

Then on Sunday we went to church and then headed out to eat again to celebrate a cousin's 40th birthday. Then home to start the moving process. My son who thought it would take him a half hour to move all his stuff out of his room was in there five hours and is still not done. Good life lesson. Things always take longer than you think and especially when you have spent the night at a friends house and not slept in two days.
I ran out of boxes and couldn't do anymore in my area. It is going to be a nightmare moving my art room. I feel another headache coming on. I'm kinda a whiner about the whole moving thing, FYI. I am hoping that we are able to get all the big furniture pieces moved today and I can take the rest of the week moving a box at a time of all the little stuff. OK, I had better get started. No time like the present.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Go Beavers!

My husband loves baseball so when the weather turned warm and all the family was going to be home for the night he decided it would be a good night to see a Beaver's game. Surprisingly, everyone wanted to go. We really had a good time. You just have to remember to keep feeding the boys and everyone is happy. Of course, getting them to cooperate for a picture is another story. This was my grandson's first baseball game and as wiggly as he is, he did really good. The trick, and this goes back to feeding the boys, was to buy him a couple of bags of popcorn and he was perfectly happy to sit and eat it one kernel at a time. The challenging part was keeping the other children from stealing from the baby.
Lucky the beaver came by to say hi. We were quite shocked that the baby didn't freak out over being handed to this very large stuffed animal.

It was a pretty boring game until the 10th inning. Yes, the 10th. We didn't get home until about 11:00pm but We won! Only by one point but that is all it takes right? I have to admit that at one point I pulled out my Kindle and started reading until my youngest son started reading over my shoulder and making fun of what I was reading. It just happened to be the part in the story where one of the characters was talking about going through menopause. Makes me laugh to think of him reading that :) Serves him right for reading over my shoulder and making fun of me. Anyway, it was a good time and I'll take as many of those as I can get.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Paris Purchases

I know some of you are wondering and some of you have asked; what did I bring home from Paris? Well, I hardly brought anything home except a lot of happy memories and pictures. But I did get a few items that I will tell you about. I bought a key chain with the Eiffel Tower and Paris on it to hang off my journal when I am done with it. I actually bought this one at the tourist shops behind the Sacre Coeur but there where guys walking around at the Eiffel Tower with loads of these on big rings. I also couldn't resist the pocket watch that has Paris written on the inside and a brushed embossed Eiffel Tower on the outside cover. It was not expensive just sentimental for me. The pink that you are seeing the items sitting on is a scarf that I bought at a street vendor. They were so cheap and everywhere and in every color imaginable. I wish that I would have bought lots to bring home but I really was trying to not spend a lot since the trip was not a planned expense.

The Vanves flea market that we went to was full of very expensive antiques but there was this little boutique that I found this necklace in. I loved the pendant but will take it off the necklace because that part is hideous.

I also bought a silver ring at the very first flea market we went to. It was when I realized that buying something at a flea market that is not priced is really hard to do especially when you don't understand a word of what they are saying to you. I didn't do too bad with this item but when I tried to find out how much an old leather bound Le Miserables in French was I knew I was out of my league. The lady just kept saying a word that sounded like garon, over and over again almost yelling at me and I just wanted to run and hide. After that I just enjoyed looking and didn't buy anything else. I'm so glad I made it home with at least a few items to remember my trip by. OK, I promise to try and not talk anymore about my trip to Paris. I imagine by now you have glazed eyes after days of photos and my rambling on.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

28th Anniversary

Yesterday was my 28th wedding anniversary. My wonderful husband planned for us to spend some time together inspite of it being a busy weekend. We took off in the morning and he took me for some shopping at my favorite jewelry store, Brighton. He knew I have been looking at a particular watch for almost two years now. Then we went to lunch at The Cheesecake Factory and he gave me my card and a cute teddy bear. I have collected the TY bears for many years and so he picked one out for me. I had salmon and broccoli and we shared a cheesecake for desert. It was such a special day and unexpected. Our anniversary is right between both our boys birthdays and so quite often we opt to not do anything because we are celebrating twice in two weeks time already. So, this was such a sweet time of hanging out with my hubby and it reminded me of old times before we had kids. He did good!

Thursday, April 16, 2009


On our last day there we took the RER train out to Versailles. It is so oppulent that it is hard to imagine someone actually living there but they did. Too over the top for me but very interresting to walk through.
This is the front gate. It was open when we arrived but they closed it by the time we left.

Here is the backside of the palace about half way to Marie Antoinette's Chateau. It gives you a good idea of how huge the palace actually was and the enormous grounds. Nothing was in bloom yet when we were there but I could imagine how pretty it would be in a few weeks.

This was just one of the paths leading away from the palace. I loved the trees all trimmed into perfect rectangles.

In the palace itself there were these long hallways and rooms that would hold hundreds of people. this one is called the Hall of Mirrors. We saw lots of gold moldings and beautiful painted murals on the ceilings in every room.

We went out to see Marie Antoinette's living quarters. One was called the Grand Trianon and one was the petite Trianon. They were quite a bit smaller than the main palace and less opulent but still stunningly beautiful
Here was the breezeway that over looked her gardens
I saw so many rooms that day that I now forget whose bed this was but they were all similar in style and size. All the beds looked like they were built for a child. If we had to sleep in them we would have our knees tucked up under our chins to even fit. They must have been really small people back then.

We took the tram ride from the main palace out to the chateau and along the way we saw many ponds with sculptures and statues around them. We also saw the canal where you could rent boats and buy ice cream. We did stop for an ice cream cone and to enjoy the beautiful weather and sites before heading home for the day.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Colorful images in Paris

Here are some random pictures from my Paris trip. They don't fit into any specific category other than I liked what I was seeing and took a picture. So many of the colors in Paris where neutral. Here is some color.

Happy Juice

They have light drinks not diet there.

Metro chair

The buildings are neutral but the doors are very colorful and the doorknobs are in the middle of the doors.

Yes they do have McDonalds in France. I don't know what happened to the second arch though. I only walked by, I did not eat there. Too much good food in Paris to stop here. I wonder who actually eats there? Maybe the teenagers.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Weekend

I am worn out from this weekend. Whew, we had so much planned that today I am taking some time to just sit and let my brain settle. One of the activities this weekend was going to the community Easter egg hunt put on by the local firemen. We arrived five minutes late and it was all over. Seriously, they started on time and those kids cleared the field in two minutes. My little grandbaby didn't know what he was missing so no big deal. We walked around and saw the firetrucks and Sparky the firedog.
As you can see by his face, he was not too sure about this big ol" dog. So we took the picture fast and left. Next time we will be there early. Church was on Sunday and I attended both services to help welcome everyone. It was so fun to see all the little girls dressed up. I remember those days and miss them. All my kids came and that was a treat for me. Then we headed over to the in-laws for brunch. Too many sweets for my taste but it was nice. I got to share my Paris pictures to a few unsuspecting souls. My uncle fell asleep half way through and then woke up toward the end and said how nice my pictures were. It makes me laugh. There were about 17 of us and it is always interresting getting all those personalities together in cramped little house. It went well though and was a pretty nice day.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Easter

I interrupt the regulary scheduled blogging to wish you all a very Happy Easter.
Easter Cross
I baked today a blueberry and cherry strudel and a Rasberry cream cheese coffee cake. We will be going to the in-laws to have brunch and so this will be my contribution along with a veggie tray.

I am looking forward to church tomorrow. I have been gone, as you know, and I have missed being there. Our pastor is such an amazing teacher and I look forward to hearing the story of hope, salvation and redemption on this Easter morning. We will be going as a family and that is a rare thing these days. My son broke his arm today and so instead of working he will be able to go too. I was surprised that fast food is actually open on Easter. When did that happen? Who goes to a fast food restaurant on Easter? How sad that seems to me. I have always been blessed with lots of family around and the ability to cook a meal on the rare occasion when we stayed home. I'm just glad my son will be joining us at church and for the family meal. It just warms my heart to have my family close and sharing life together each holiday. Someday my kids may all have families of their own and we won't be together regularly. I am thankful.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Paris Opera House

The Paris Opera is another huge and beautiful building. It was about a 20 minute walk from our hotel and we did actually walk it one morning. Not to see the Opera House but to go to the shopping mall across the street.

There were statues all around the building and on the sides of it also. We didn't see an opera there this trip but maybe someday.

There were carvings and head busts of the famous people who have performed there. The carvings were by the arches and the head busts were on the second tier inside the circle openings. You can see the in the top picture.

All around the building were these huge lampposts. I bet they were beautiful at night. We were only there during the day. All along the sides were these green statues.

I had a bit of fun posing next to the lamppost in front.
It is hard to believe that this structure was built in the 1800's.
I wonder how many people before me have done this very thing?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Shakespeare & Company

On the left bank of the Seine River, across from Notre Dame is Shakespeare & Co. It has been seen in movies and if you want to know more there is a fascinating article here.

There were lots of people in the cramped little store and at times we had to squish into the books to let people by. Upstairs there were alcoves for reading and looking at books. You could tell it was a hangout for some. But I really hope they don't smoke in there. I never saw any no smoking signs in Paris so maybe they do.The stairs were only big enough for one person at a time but the tight quarters just made it more quaint.
Interspersed with the new books were some really old ones. I should have bought something while I was there but with all the people it was hard to look around. We were really only there for photos anyway. As we were getting ready to leave it started to rain and the person behind the counter started playing the song, Raindrops keep falling on my head". It was hilarious and everyone started laughing and he said it was a tradition of sorts. This was a very interesting place, for sure.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Pere LaChaise Cemetary

We visited the Pere La Chaise Cemetery on a beautiful, sunny Sunday morning. The cemetery stretches out over 109 acres and so we only saw a small portion of it. We picked up a map on our way in and I picked three of the graves I was interested in seeing and then we started our walk. As you can see the site was very old. I don't know exactly how old but I'm sure their website would give that information. You can even take a virtual tour and walk through it yourself.
There were stairs there also but not as many as you would expect. Mostly we just walked on cobblestones that were tilted to the point that you had to really pay attention where you were walking so as to not twist an ankle. All the tombs were right next to each other. Row upon row of the most beautifully designed homes of the beloved that I have ever seen.

As an artist I kept looking at all the detail and thinking I would use some of the design elements in my art. I took so many pictures here. Some were up close so that I could see the design.

It was overwhelming to see so many beautiful structures and I kept wondering who these people where and what their stories where. I did see some famous people's graves. Jim Morrison, Delacroix, Fredrick Chopin. There was a group of teenagers there looking for Jim Morrison's grave and we were all a bit lost because the map was a bit unclear but leave it to the teenagers to find it. It took some maneuvering between graves to find his so that is why we, who were staying on the path, were not being successful. This one was Fredrick Chopin's grave and as you can see, people still bring flowers to honor him.

I think this one may have actually been a chapel for services there. In any case, they were all amazing. The sun was filtering through the trees and the birds where chirping and it was a beautiful morning to walk through the cemetery and take pictures.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Notre Dame

We visited Notre Dame on a rainy day but there were breaks in the weather to take a few photos. I have never been to a huge cathedral before. It was beyond words. I kept looking at all the intricate details and wondering why we don't make beautiful structures like this anymore. Here is a close-up of the entry doors. I was blown away by the beauty. Just knowing that someone actually had to plan and make this building and so long ago too.They still hold services here and as we walked around on the inside we were asked to be quiet so that those praying or listening to a service could hear. All around the inside of the building were individual chapels/alcoves to light a candle and pray. It had such a sacred feeling. Even though we saw signs to be quiet I think I would have been anyway because of the awe, serenity and holy feeling there. No flash photography was allowed but you can see how amazing the stained glass windows were. They were all different and along both sides of the cathedral. I think what impacted me after the details was the hugeness of it all. The ceilings are so high. It just goes straight up to a dizzying height. I sat in one of the chairs that is set up for the services and prayed to God, thanking Him for such beauty and that I got to see it while here on this earth. Can you imagine what it would be like to have this be your church that you come to every week?
After we left the tour of the inside we walked around looking for Shakespeare & Co. As we did this we looked across the Seine river and saw the side of the Notre Dame cathedral. It was more spectacular than the front and I am so glad that we did not miss this.