Thursday, December 17, 2009

Turtle Doves: A Christmas Short Story




      Genevieve Taylor knew it was past time to trim the poor excuse for a Christmas tree but after eighty-five years couldn’t someone else give it a go?  As she lifted the tree skirt from the box of decorations, a frame photograph crashed to the floor.  Flustered, Genevieve rested in her rocker and clasped her trembling hands together.  When the tremor lessened she picked the broken frame up off the floor.  She gazed into the eyes staring out from the black and white photograph of Lloyd in his Santa hat.  Oh, how she missed that smile.
          Avoiding the broken glass, Genevieve held her cane in one hand and the photo in the other as she made her way over to the window.  She peered through the frosted window pane. Clear skies and bare grounds.  Such a shame.  “Doesn’t seem there’ll be a white Christmas this year, Lloyd, she said to the photo. 
When Anabelle entered the apartment, Genevieve could tell she noticed the lack of holiday cheer and décor.  How was she supposed to decorate with garlands, ornaments, and lights when she couldn’t even put out a tree skirt without breaking something? 
 “How are you doing Ginny?” Before Genevieve could respond, Anabelle noticed the broken picture frame and the glass shattered on the floor.  Without a word about the apartment or the picture, she cleaned up the mess.
Sweet Anabelle.  She had always been like a granddaughter to Genevieve and Lloyd.  She had spent her summers in their greenhouse watching the couple work side by side.  As a little girl, she would beg her mother to sit with the Taylors at church.  Genevieve would bring her candies and Lloyd would tease her that she reserved her brightest smiles for him.  When Lloyd’s battle with cancer ended, Genevieve could see how strongly his absence had affected Anabelle.
  “Would it be okay if I help you hang the ornaments again this year?” asked Anabelle. 
After a moments hesitation and a sigh, “Oh sure, honey.  I guess it’s now or never.”  The look on Genevieve’s face suggested that maybe never would be preferable; however, her expression quickly changed to one of determination.  “Well, let’s get that old tree to sparkle with some Christmas cheer.  We wouldn’t want to disappoint Lloyd.”
“No, we wouldn’t,” Anabelle said.  She turned on some holiday tunes then she retrieved the boxes of garland, beads, flowers, and trinkets. 
With unsteady hands, Genevieve lifted the turtle doves by their green ribbon and perched them in her palm.  After running the ribbon through her fingers, she smoothed her hair.  Genevieve dismissed a notion to tell the story.  No stories this year.  Remembering was just too painful.  She passed the crystal birds to Anabelle.
“Aren’t you going to tell me the story?”
“I can’t remember it,” Ginny lied.  Maybe time would go faster if she didn’t have to remember how great it used to be.
 “You were seventeen when you met Lloyd at the Christmas dinner.  Your mom made you a red dress and you wore this green ribbon in your hair.”  Genevieve tried to silence her with a glare, but Anabelle continued as if she hadn’t noticed.  “All the girls were jealous when Lloyd asked you to sit by him.  To be polite, you asked him what he was getting for Christmas.  ‘A kiss from you, if I’m lucky,’ he said. You told him he was very charming, but you were all out of kisses.  Instead, you took the green ribbon out of your hair and tied it in a promise knot around his wrist. What was it you said to him?”  Anabelle urged.
Genevieve couldn’t help herself, she said, “’I promise if you stick around for a year, I’ll have some kisses for you then.’” 
Anabelle laughed. “He held you to that.”
“He sure did.  And after a year of dating, he still had my green ribbon.”  There was love in her voice as she spoke of his sentimental gesture.  On the wave of emotion, she continued the memory aloud, “I can still remember the nervous look on his face as he fumbled with the gift under the tree.” Genevieve looked toward the bare tree and then to the empty space in front of her as if Lloyd was there now. 
“He knelt in front of me, waiting for me to open the box.  The doves were sparkling so much that I didn’t see the ring at first.  But when I did, he said he no longer wanted just the promised kiss; he wanted eternity.” Ginny smiled and looked directly at Anabelle.  “And when a guy like Lloyd Taylor wants eternity; you promise him eternity.”
 The room was silent—both women were overcome.  Every time Genevieve recalled their love story she felt so blessed.  She recalled the love notes, caresses, and looks of admiration from Lloyd.  He was better than any Prince Charming she had ever read about.  His expressions of affection never dwindled even in the years when he had fallen ill. 
“I can’t believe you two dated a whole year and never kissed,” Anabelle said.
“Times were different then.  Love was different. Don’t even get me started on how all you whippersnappers wouldn’t know romance from a fly on your nose.”  She laughed, and her smile erased some of the years from her face.
“Whippersnapper? Ginny, I’m near 30.”
“And that’s plenty young, sweetheart.  Now let’s get to trimming this tree.  It is going to take all day if you make this old lady tell you all her stories.” 
The two women spent the majority of the day hanging ornaments, lights, garland, and beads, as Genevieve told the stories related to each trinket. 
Anabelle was completing the final task of positioning the star on top of the tree, when Genevieve said, “That was always his job, you know. Even if he wasn’t able to be home to hang the other ornaments, I always saved the star for him.  I told him no one could light up my life the way he did.”
The women hugged and looked at the full tree.
“He hasn’t come this year,” Genevieve confided.  “I’ve been waiting, and waiting. But—”
“He will.  He always comes.  He couldn’t miss Christmas with you,” Anabelle said.  Genevieve had shared with Anabelle her belief that Lloyd had spent every Christmas with her since the year they met—even the ones after his death.  Anabelle seemed inclined to believe her.  “Now don’t you worry yourself sick over this!  You get some rest, and I’ll be back in the morning for our Christmas breakfast.”
“You’re right dear.  He’ll come,” Genevieve agreed, but she couldn’t erase the doubt from her voice.  “You shouldn’t worry about being here for breakfast.  You should be with your family.”
“I’ll see them for lunch.  Besides you’re family. You’re welcome to join us for lunch.”  Before Ginny could protest further, Anabelle said, “See you at eight o’clock.  If you’re good maybe Santa will leave you something nice.”  With a kiss on the cheek and a hug, Anabelle bid her farewell.
After her friend’s departure, Genevieve turned off the overhead light and allowed the glow from the tree to fill the room.  A tree full of memories and she felt so empty.  She should be thankful that her mind was clear enough to recall those memories, but somehow it only emphasized the void she now felt.  Why hadn’t Lloyd come to be with her this Christmas?  She knew it was selfish—some would say crazy—to believe he could be there with her, but she never doubted that the comforting voice she heard year after year was his.  All the lights and all the ornaments were meaningless without him.
          Before closing the blinds, she took one more glance out of the window.  Still no snow.  Still no Lloyd.  She settled into her rocking chair.  From the radio she heard the King belting out the lyrics of Blue Christmas.  This Christmas was blue without Lloyd’s holiday cheer.  She closed her eyes and massaged her arthritic hands.
          The disc jockey made announcements about Santa being spotted in the Tri-state area and cheered that in a few short hours it would be Christmas.  It didn’t feel like Christmas.  Bing Crosby began singing White Christmas.  Genevieve opened her eyes wishing for white flakes to create a blanket outside, but she was certain nothing was there.  She shut her eyes again.
          “Genevieve?” It was a whisper—a sweet melody to her ears.
          “I’ve been waiting for you,” she said in almost a sigh.  The tears of pain and relief could be heard in her voice, and a few escaped from the corners of her closed eyes.
          “I know, my love.  I am so sorry it has taken so long.”
          “You’re here now.  How long can you stay?”
          “I’m afraid I can’t.”
          “Oh, please Lloyd, don’t leave me here.  I can’t bear it.” Genevieve was so afraid of being separated again.  Each year the burden of separation was harder, and she was too old to do it again.
          “Has this year been so bad?”  His voice seemed remorseful.  “I should have come sooner.”
          “Why didn’t you?”
          “I had preparations to make.”
          “Preparations?”
          “I recall a certain girl promised me eternity.  It is getting pretty lonely up here alone.”
          “You mean—” she was unable to finish as the realization of his implication filled her heart.
          “It’s time for us to be together, dear.  Eternity has been mighty lonely without you.”
          Genevieve smiled through her tears and released a sigh. 
***
Anabelle entered the apartment quietly when no one answered the door.  After setting the cinnamon rolls on the counter, she opened the blinds so Ginny could see the snow when she woke.  Ginny was reclined in her rocker with her quilt tucked under her arms.  Anabelle set the table for two; the noise didn’t seem to disturb Ginny’s slumber.
As she crossed to wake the sleeping woman, she noticed Ginny’s pale face.  There was no rise and fall in her chest.  When Anabelle lifted a lifeless hand to check for a pulse, an envelope slid to the floor.  Struggling not to cry, she replaced the hand to Ginny’s lap in reverence, and bent to retrieve the fallen envelope.
She gazed in wonder—it was addressed to her.  She removed the letter.  It read:
Dearest Anabelle,
He came.  My Lloyd made it. We’re together for Christmas.
Your love and kindness has meant more to us than you will ever know.  As a token of love and gratitude, please keep
our turtle doves.  We love you.
          Merry Christmas!
Genevieve and Lloyd
          The simple note said it all.  Anabelle wiped her eyes.  Noticing the green ribbon on Ginny’s lap, she lifted the crystal bird and held them to her heart. She leaned over to press a gentle kiss to Ginny’s brow and whispered, “Merry Christmas, Ginny.  I love you, too.  Go enjoy eternity.”


Thank you to Meagan and L.T. for your help.
 


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wednesday French Inspiration





In a previous Wednesday French Inspiration.  I talked about stopping for a snowball fight. We had when we stopped at the Col de la Republique outside of  St-Étienne.  (To learn more about this area in connection to the first Tour de France held in 1903 click here.)  This is another picture from that stop.  As you can see I am the experienced snow angel maker in this picture.  (This post was inspired by reading Lara's post about Snow Angels on her blog OverStuffed.)
 





Today I wanted to talk about snow, why I love it, and how that relates to my love of writing

When the ground is covered with a fresh blanket of white fluffy snow, it beckons me.  There is something so luring about the unpolluted beauty.  It holds so much potential.  




Sorry for all the videos, but these movies just run through my head as I try to explain to you what I feel.

Fresh snow can be a battle field, a canvas for snow angels, a snow man, an igloo.  There are endless possibilities (depending on how much snow you have.)  Pure Imagination covering the earth ready to create your own paradise.  And when you need a break, you come in from the cold and enjoy a warm glass of homemade hot cocoa made from white and milk chocolate a splash of vanilla, and a spoonful of marshmallow fluff.  Imagination and chocolate go hand in hand or they should.    How does this relate to my feelings on writing?  Well it is same thing with a blank page or word document.  It sits there pure and white just waiting for a little imagination to come and be etched upon its surface to create something new, adventurous, a tale of love, or achievement. 

The thing I love most is there is nothing you can't create with a pen and paper, and a lot of times I feel that way about snow.  (of course creating fire with snow may be hard, but you get my point). Words have the power to inspire love, or hate.  Words can cut down, or build up. 


Do you love or hate snow?  What is the best thing you have created with snow? 

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Enough with the peace and quiet; It's time to Party.

I know it has been quiet around this blog recently.  With holidays, birthdays, moving, and traveling I have had a hard time sitting long enough to tell you about what is happening.  I recently got by blog to read count down from 300.  Every day I would put a small dent in the numbers, only to find more there the next day.  But I've catch up on my reading, and I'm ready to party with my peeps.  Will you be my peep?     
    
         

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

                   

Press Play you know you want to...but if you don't that is ok as long as you stay for a minute while I tell you something. As I was reading over here at Cranberry Fries.  She talks about how much she loves comments.  

Do you have a love for comments as well?  I DO!

To demonstrate how much I like comments, I want to tell you a recent event in my life.  Actually I will have to tell you a few things.  When I went to Texas for my best friends wedding, my camera was in a fatal crash with the ground.  My husband performed and autopsy to determine cause of death.  After disecting my friend, he determined the cause of death was blunt force trauma.  He offered to replace my camera with a slimmer more portable model.  I turned my nose up at his offer and pouted about my loss.

I am certain he couldn't stand to see me suffer any longer (it was that or he needed me to stop wasting time searching online for a camera that could make me forget my loss).  He took over the search, and found a camera that came with guarantee to return a smile to my face.

Due to the fact that Hubby and I are both technology lovers, we shop online frequently.  Therefore, the UPS guys are on a first name basis with me.  We kick up our feet and have a golly old time a few times a week.

So anyhow, I was waiting very impatiently for delivery of my camera, but I also had some flameless candles, and other assorted Christmas gifts coming our way.  I had checked online and the camera was one day out, and my candles were out for delivery.  When I heard the bell, I knew my candles had made it safely.

I had to open the package immediately.  (Who waits to open packages?  That is just crazy.)  Underneath the layers of cardboard, and bubble wrap was my beautiful camera.  I am only slightly embarrassed to admit that I may have stood up and danced around my livingroom saying. "I got my camera, I got my camera."  I also apologize to all the people with numbers stored in my phone.  I know you may have been busy, but I had to let the whole world know that I got my camera.  I called a million people or at least I felt like telling everyone.  I may or may not have picked up the camera and kissed it.

A few minutes later my bell rang, I had more boxes.  It was a red letter day.

So you see just how excited I was about my camera. Well that is how I feel about comments.  I love each of them.  I can't wait to open them, I could kiss them.

So you may have noticed that I've changed my commenting section. THANKS MOMBABE  for your help. I am hoping that it will make it easier for all of those stopping by to leave a quick hello.

Throw on a party hat and let's make some noise.

Friday, December 11, 2009

12 Days of Christmas

My family has a few Christmas traditions.  One of my favorites was that starting on the 13th of December each person got to unwrap a small gift (normally some sort of stocking stuffer) We called this the 12 days of Christmas.  While Hubby is not a fan of this tradition (it means more shopping and coming up with gift ideas); I love it.  And Little Princess likes to open presents every opportunity she gets. 

So Starting Sunday I get to open a gift.  YEAH ME!  So in the Spirit of Sharing I want to give you the gift of song.  If you are like me this song will get stuck in your head.  It is my way of passing on a smile.





Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wednesday French Inspiration








Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wednesday French Inspiration






Les raboteurs de parquet (The Floor Planers)



In the collections of the Musée d'Orsay, you can see the art of many great artists.  Pictured above is the work of Gustave Caillebotte.  As I was wondering through the many collections, I found Hubby admiring this painting.  I have to admit; at first sight, I did not have a connection to this work.  However, I have grown to love it the more I look at it.


The skill with which Caillebotte paints is undeniable, but the thing that I love the most is the content.  I love the depiction of hard work.  I can relate to that.  As I labor to decorate my new home, I feel slightly burnt out.  I can see all the work ahead of me. 


So if I have been missing in action these past few months, I hope you will understand that I have been hard at work.  I do have plans to share pictures, as well as some of my writing projects with you hopefully after the new year.  Or sooner if I get a new camera. (My old camera had an unfortunate fall in Texas last month.)

Are the holiday's making it hard for you to keep up, or am I the only one? 


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wednesday French Inspiration


The back of Notre Dame from Île Saint-Louis


In the spirit of Thanksgiving and WONDERFUL food, I am going to share with you one of the best meals we ate in Paris. 

So first I must tell you, if you are going to visit Europe you may want to pick up a Rick Steves book to advise you about where to visit, what to see, and where to eat.  He has amazing taste and interesting facts to share.  Aunt and I wanted to experience at least one AMAZING French meal; therefore, we took one of Rick's suggestions: Tastevin (You really should visit that link and see the ambiance.  Also look at the pictures of the food, especially the desserts.)

The restaurant normally requires a reservation pretty far in advance.  Luckily, we were visiting during the off season and got in without one.  To get to Tastevin, you must head over to Île Saint-Louis, a small island in the middle of the Seine.

(While on the island, we got to watch saw people filming on a side street.  They had changed some of the fronts of the shops for the film, and they had this boxy looking police car that was used in a shot.  It was speeding around a corner.  Very neat. )

Anyhow, on to the food.  The French have their menus set up in various ways, but most of the time they have a set price for a 3 course meal, a 5 course meal and so forth.  And within those price ranges you get to choose from different items.  For the 3 course meal price point, you start with your ENTREES (this is your starter not your full meal).  I think hubby and his aunt had escargot (snails) I had a French onion soup.  (yum)  After the entree plates are cleared, you order the PLAT AU CHOIX (your plate of choice/Main course)  Hubby and Aunt chose pork cooked with Anise (a spice resembling licorice. I'm not fond of aniseed, but Hubby loved it)  Uncle and I  had a plate of beef burgundy and potatoes.  Although it all sounds quite simple, it was magnificent. However, the best was DESSERT. We all choice the same thing -- An apple tart with caramel ice cream from Berthillon topped with a caramel sauce.

We were well fed, and enjoyed our meal tremendously.  I hope you all can say the same thing about your Thanksgiving.  May you be well fed and have a terrific day.  

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!! 


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wednesday French Inspiration



A few Wednesday's ago I told you about the lovely metro ladies who decided that Uncle didn't need his wallet.  After a quick trip to the apartment to cancel debit cards, our group went back out to see Sacre Couer

To expand the amount of sites we would see Hubby decided to get off the metro at the bottom of Montmarte,  at the Pigalle metro stop.  This is the nightclub and redlight district-- the home of the Moulin Rouge.    I actually saw the lights of the red windmill (this is what Moulin Rouge means).  I was going to go take a picture, but I had higher places to go to.  I find it interesting that the lowest part of the area is covered with clubs, and upon the summit is a Basilique.

In the mid-1800 Monmarte became the principal artistic center of Paris.   The picture above is a plaza that artists still gather.  They draw portraits, or just sit high in the sit and are inspired by the beauty below.  But what I love about that plaza is how the artist gather together.  I love that community of talent sharing and supporting one another.

Blogging has become my plaza in Monmarte-- a place were I have met many types of artist.  All of you have provided support and community.  But also a place to share with others a small portion of my talents and thoughts.  I am certain that the artists in the plaza are always encouraged when they are praised.  They are there because they love what they do.  And when you love something it is hard to keep to yourself.


What is your Monmarte plaza?





Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wednesday French Inspiration







Paris at a glance.  Sorry just more views for today.  I promise I will tell you more later.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wednesday French Inspiration



I am in Texas for a wedding and I have traveled with a toddler. So no inspiration just a view and a dream.

How is your week looking?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Happy Halloween???


Would you give this Princess some candy so she will smile? Please?
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wednesday French Inspiration


Fountaine des Innocents


After watching the artist in this post paint Obama my husband went on to find the building that was used as church offices in Paris while he served his mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. While we were there we met two missionaries who were Mandarin speaking. While Hubby was comparing mission stories and getting the number of member he has been out of touch with for years, I took a much needed potty break. (You try walking around Paris all morning and not having to pee.)

I enjoyed seeing the church building, and the missionaries, and we got pointed into the direction of a close place with a good grecque. In my mind it was about time, I was hungry. I mean while those pain de chocolat are great, one of them will not hold you all day. I am not very nice when I'm hungry.

Regardless of my hunger induced grumpiness, Hubby decided to take me to the Marché des Innocents. It was a risk on his part. I was about to turn cannibalistic. His Paris glow must have impaired his judgement, or maybe he knew me well enough to know that when I saw the Fontaine des Innocents that I would forget my hunger and he would be safely forgiven.

It is the oldest monumental fountain in Paris, and it just sits unassumingly in the middle of this plaza. The ease and grace in which it sits is breath taking. I found it inspiring how something so beautiful was just there, no pomp or circumstance necessary. I learned a lesson that day:

Beauty does not have to presented with a big fanfare.

I want to be like that fountain... in Paris. Okay, that isn't what I was really going to say. I want to be unassuming and without pretension. Any beauty of mine, I hope shows just by being me. I also realize that those are the characters in stories that I like best. The ones that are without conceit. The characters that don't hold their merits out as a reason to like them.

Who is your favorite character? Why do you love them?



Monday, October 26, 2009

Did Halloween Explode? Or is that Wall Black?



Do you remember My Girl 2? Well, maybe I was the only person that watched it. But there is a short scene when they are picking out wallpaper for her new room. Her father suggests a floral, she pulls out black. If you did see the movie and you thought that was crazy.... then you are are going to be sending the straight jackets my way soon.





It isn't a joke and it isn't for Halloween.



It's just a black wall in my new house and I put it there.

So if you miss my rambling, and wondering where the heck I've run off to, just know that I'm just painting my naked house. The fumes may be getting to me, maybe that is why the wall is black. Or maybe once I get it all set up it might resemble something a little more classy.

What do you think about black walls? I have more paint and some rollers.... do you need anyone to paint your house.... black?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wednesday French Inspiration



Today's post was inspired by my wake-up call. The delivery guys rang the bell five minutes before my alarm sounded. They were bringing my well travelled baby grand piano. Hubby's grandmother bought a bright orange baby grand piano from a bar in Sacramento that was being demolished as past of urban renewal. Over the years during her ownership, it has been refinished, and travelled, to Casablanca, Toronto, Bandkok, and various cities in the US.

Obviously the picture above is not my baby grand. This musical instrument (I'm not sure maybe it is a piano forte) is found at Versailles. When I saw the piano I recalled the Jane Austen movies. In her books her characters all had such musical talent, or at least some ability. So I guess Now that I have my own piano it is time for me to improve my skills.

My sisters both had piano lessons, I was left to teach myself with some help from them. I was more prone to singing than playing. Regardless, our house was always filled with music. I think some homes have lost the sound of music. Do you agree?

Is your home filled with music? Does RockBand count as musical talent?



Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wednesday French Inspiration



After sometime in Paris my entourage headed south. We planned to go visit some of the castles in the Loire valley. When visiting Chenoneau one of the employees told us that the Chateau de Chambord was a must see. We knew that we might not make it before they closed but we rushed ahead. (Well rushed may not be the correct term. One can not rush through the beauty of the french country side.) We got there and were amazed by the beauty of the grounds. Unfortunately, we were too late to go inside the castle. Regardless, this castle was definitely one of my favorites. I especially loved the double-helix staircases, maybe it is just in my DNA (haha).

The thing I loved so much about Chambord is that I could see the ghosts of the past come alive as I looked over the grounds. I could imagine members of the the court walking the grounds. I can see the women watching from the castle as they watch the hunting events taking place on the grounds. I could imagine descending the staircase with a candle in one hand and my dress hoisted in the other.

The castle whispered its past to me. I loved it. And I would have loved to live the life for a day. ( I would have to return to the 21st century for hygienic reasons.) I have mentioned once before of how I sang in an Elizabethan choir throughout my high school years. Maybe that has added to my love of the past. Wearing the elaborate dress stitched by my mother always drew me back to a lifestyle that is so different than my own, but fueled by the same emotions that we feel today. Perhaps those emotions of the past were felt more intensely when there were not so many distractions.





Do the ghosts of the past talk to you?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wednesday French Inspiration



How many emotions can you feel at once? I think it is possible to feel an entire symphony of emotions. When you are learning something new it can be both frightening and exhilarating.

When visiting Marseilles, we took a day trip down to Cassies a beautiful French town off the coast of the Mediterranean. A small group of school kids were also enjoying a field trip to the beach. They were taken out on water in small boats all attached. The children could operate the rudders, but ultimately they were being pulled by the leaders. (As a parent I think I may be a little apprehensive about allowing my child to go on this field trip, I am a bit of a hover. Of course my first and only child is only 2 so that may have some to do with my doubts.) Being on the open sea, can be scary, exciting, freeing, and so much more.

Watching the children, brought to mind a lot of situations in life in which it is so important to have a little guidance. When beginning a new project or hobby, it takes time to learn. Having guidance and boundaries is key. But eventually you will have to go out with all your knowledge. You must find your own way.

Are you ready to take off your training wheels?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Tired and Grossed Out

First, note is that I'm back in the real world (blogland) but there is still much painting and unpacking to do. The internet being back will make that take longer.

I have read a lot of the posts I've missed commented on a few. And realized I missed so much and I felt sad to be missing it.

I did read a post that MomBabe of Bingham Diaries sent me in my reader (sorry i will link when not tired) about the gross stink bugs of the East. About 4 hours later I see a disgusting black bug skittering across my livingroom floor toward my new fabric. I lift the fabric out the way and find a shoe to smack the life out of the offending bug. 20 minutes later I find another. I lazily leave them on the floor for a while but decide to vacuum them up. about 10 minutes ago I see another one, and I smack it dead as the others. They all seem to be wanting to go to the same place because they all head from the same direction to the same area.

Then I have been hearing some more noise from the general origination place. I am afraid to look. but I will say that when you have laminate or wood flooring these bugs are not only seen but heard. You can hear their little feet tapping merrily across your floor mocking you that they have entered the place you are trying to make your home.

I am completely grossed out to know that bugs are taking over. I am going to go hide in my bedroom. I hope they stay down stairs. And that tomorrow I don't have an army of bugs..... eww another one just met its demise. Ok that is gross. Four bugs. This needs to stop. The worse part is I just watched The Mummy yesterday and my daughter has been talking about the bugs that are in that movie. Now I'm ever more freaked out.


Bed please keep me safe.

Pray for me.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Short Notice Short Sale

After months of waiting for the final decision, I found out 15 minutes ago that our closing will be in 30 minutes. Pictures to come and packing to do. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wednesday French Inspiration



On the grounds of Chenonceau they have beautiful gardens, and wonderful mysteries to discover. This door is one of my favorite finds. It leads to so many questions. Where does it go? Why hasn't it been used for so long that it is covered in vines?

Do you think I would have gotten in trouble if I had moved the vines and burst through the door. Do they have a french mafia that would have taken me out? Do you think the French have a mafia?

I want to here your theory on what is on the other side of the door.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Blogging with my Eyes Closed

I hate that I haven't been blogging very much recently. But I just can't seem to keep my eyes open long enough during the day. I'm not sure why I'm excessively tired. I'm not doing anything that should make it so. I'm not a coffee drinker, but even if I were I don't think caffeine would be a powerful enough drug to wake me up.

How do you wake up from excessive fatigue?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wednesday French Inspiration



After months of forcing my love of France and Paris in your face, I was able to get even Kristina P. to want to come to France. She said "You know, I have never really had a strong desire to go to France. I would much rather go to Italy, and Greece and the Mediterranean. But you make me want to go!" So you my readers all love France, you are all cozy and dreaming of all the pretty things... but today that may change.

I'm not sure why it happened. I am vaguely aware of how it happened. But I certainly learned a few lessons. Before I went to France, I researched Paris Fashion. I wanted to feel like part of the city, so that meant looking the part. So I spent some time surfing the web and found a Easy Fashion in Paris. A lot of the stuff was off the wall, but I loved the music and I took inspiration from the type of shoes, and coats would look fashionable.

Hubby's uncle did not visit this site, and did not try to dress to fit in. With is cargo pants, ball cap, and camera, he couldn't look any more like a tourist.

It is easy to fall into the flow of visiting Paris. You learn how to stand on the moving metro without falling on your derriere, how not to smile at every person your pass, and to listen to Hubby because he lived in the area for two years and knows much more about the way things go down. It is easy to forget that anything bad can happen to you on your dream vacation.

Hubby and I skipped church to see the Eiffel Tower up close and personal, so maybe that set things off to a bad start. Then we met Aunt and Uncle (who attempted to attend church but failed). We headed over to the Musee D'Orsay, and old train station that now displays collections of art from the period 1848 to 1914. I saw a lot of beautiful artwork. I also saw things that I hope you never see such as the origin of the world according to the artist Gustave Courbet. (If your curiosity is peaked and you research this I put a warning on it that you may go blind, and it is inappropriate especially when you are ditching church on the sabbath.)

After visiting the Musee D'Orsay, we wanted to head over to Sacre Coeur up on the hill in Montmartre. We went down into the metro station to wait. I see some nice inviting seats that Hubby just passes. I call him back and he looks at me hesitant but then decides to come sit by me. When the next train, pulls up Hubby goes up further to get on the train. Aunt, Uncle, and I just go to the closest door (this was a bad decision.) As we are getting on the train, some rude girls (Hubby calls the gypsies) push their way through our group, bumping hard into Uncle. There is a musician on the train who was collecting money for his entertainment, he looks up at the gypsies and tells them something in French, and they push their way back off the train. Doors shut, and drama starts.

In about 10 seconds, Uncle realizes his wallet is gone (from his front pocket nonetheless). If you have never felt a dread in the pit of your stomach, that makes you want to puke, then you have never been pick pocketed on a metro in Paris. We get off at the next stop in hopes of recovering maybe at least some of the contents of the wallet, hoping they dumped it and took the cash. And Musician guy heads off the train quickly and proves a better magician than a musician because he disappeared. The wallet wasn't found but it wasn't horrible. Other than his license, and recommend, they got about $100 worth of assorted money, and a debit card that was quickly cancelled.

The part that was sad to be is how well orchestrated they had the act. The musician was working with the gypsies, it was obvious because Hubby said he was telling the girls to be fast and get off the train. Hubby thought the girls looked suspicious while we were waiting but never told Uncle, Aunt or I. He should have followed his gut, but it is hard to do when you are on a vacation high.

The lessons I learned were:
1. It is good to blend in as a local when you are trying to not get mugged. Uncle was definitely targeted because he looked very touristy.
2. Ditching church to see the Eiffel Tower does not earn bonus points with God.
3. Even the city you love can break your heart, and make off with your money.
4. Girls are not afraid to reach into a guys front pocket to make off with his money. (side note about Uncle - He was actually be quite diligent about having his hands in his pockets on his wallet so something like this didn't happen. But he reached out as he was getting on the train to pull himself in. It only took a second).

If you care to share, what is something bad that has happened to you that only took a second?


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Wednesday French Inspiration


What can you create with less than 10 minutes and little paint? If you are my daughter a large mess. :) This guy can create art and entertainment.

After my long unexpected night tour from the Champs-Élysées to Notre Dame, I rested. But when the morning came I wanted to be out in the city. Without much a plan, Hubby and I decided we would go see Notre Dame in the day light. Not knowing the ways of the metro, or the lay of the city, I relied heavily on Hubby to lead the way. We ride a few stops down the line, and emerge from the underground restrooms metro, into the middle of Paris.

After the night before, I was not in the mood for aimless walking, and I wasn't seeing the towers of Notre Dame. I see little shops and lots of fun things, but Hubby keeps walking not stopping to look, and no hand holding like the other Parisian couples. I was getting irritated. (This happens easily for me.) I ask Hubby where we are going. He mumbles some sort of nonsense. By this time I knew I was destined to walk through all of Paris with never getting a chance to enjoy the things that I wanted to do.

Was it too much to ask to just sit outside a café to watch the city go by me, instead of me going by the whole city?

Hubby then says there is a plaza ahead that normally has all types of performers and we should go see if there is anyone there. That sounds good. My feet were still aching from the night before a rest would be nice. I was actually excited to have a chance to soak it in. We get to the plaza, and the guy above is just there trying to convince people to stop and watch. He had finished one show, and would be starting another one when there was a sufficient crowd to feed his ego. Actually he was quite funny and entertaining, and it was just awesome to actually hear people speaking French. No one really seemed to be gathering, Hubby and I were just at the back of the plaza. So we went and sat in front of his work area. He can and talked thanked us for sitting there and said he needed more people like us.

His told people passing that his show would only take five minutes (of course he is saying this in french I really loved that part). They were heading to the museum. What's at the museum that can't wait five minutes? he asks. He said the museum will be there all day, his show will only take five minutes.

His show actually took about eight minutes, but it was so fun to sit by Hubby and just enjoy Paris. Hubby knew what ego-painter was painting long before most people can guess. He did a good job and we tipped for his spectacular then went on our way.

What I loved most was his confidence, and his willingness to put himself out there. When you are mastering your art, are you so willing to put your work on the line with such confidence? I have been thinking a lot about criticism (Lazy Writer had a post on it just yesterday)


If you have time I uploaded the video of his performance to You Tube and it is being processed (blogger was taking FOREVER trying to upload it.) I have no idea how long that will take but the video is embed below in case it actually gets around to finishing the processing in time to be part of Wednesday French Inspiration. If not this is the link and I will send out a reminder when it up for viewing just in case you want to sit back and pretend you are sitting on the stone plaza ground watching ego-painter.






Also, as a side thought. Do any of my readers (if you are still reading the small print at the bottom, have any questions you want answered about me? Any questions about my writing, my French obsession, my life, or when I'm ever going to continue Dreams of Love?

If you do leave them in the comments and I will get to posting some answers.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Summer Reading Thing Wrap-up



I think I have previously mentioned my relationship with deadlines. So it won't surprise you that I am posting my reviews for the remaining two books on my Summer Reading Program list on the last day of the assigned days. I signed up saying I would read three books.

1. The Host
2. Wings
3. My Fair Godmother




My review for The Host by Stephenie Meyers was posted earlier on this post.


I finished Wings by Aprilynne Pike last week. I enjoyed reading this book. The pace is easy, in the beginning a little slow for me. But as Laurel the main characters life begins changing the pace picks right up with it and carried me away in a tale that had me hooked. It was an in your face love story even though there were romantic connections there. I am interested in how these relationships will play out in the sequels. I really loved the characters, and I am impatiently waiting to read what will happen next in their lives.




Noticing that the deadline for reading and reviewing was quickly approaching I started My Fair Godmother by Janette Rallison on Thursday and even with a busy weekend and a slow reading pace I finished it today. I was laughing and hooked from the first page. And now have to say I don't think I ever want a fairy godmother to help me out in my life even if the end result is fantastic. You will laugh out loud, and cry a little. I am going to be telling a lot of people they need to read this book. It is just so fun.


Now that you read that I just loved all the books, you may think I love everything. This isn't true. I read a non list book last month. It is called Boy Crazy. I picked it up as an easy read. I was completely disgusted by the example it through out as completely appropriate. The characters were shallow.

Anyhow I enjoyed my Summer Reading Thing, and have been introduced to some new authors that I will continue to read.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wednesday French Inspiration


Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss photographed by Hubby's Uncle


I am in love with sculpted art. You may have noticed by the number of previous Wednesday posts that have sculptures. There is something so beautiful about how the artists can create so much life and emotion out of a lifeless, shapeless piece of marble. I could spend happy days wandering through the Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities Collection at the Louvre. Each piece tells a story, and I LOVE to be told stories.

Pictured above is the story of Cupid and Psyche. Ordered by his mother, Venus, to use his Golden arrow so that the dangerously beautiful Psyche would fall in love with a vile creature. Bond by his mother's orders, Cupid goes to fulfill his duty, but ends up scratching himself on the arrow and falling for Psyche. The story takes some twists and turns (it is linked above). Let's just say Venus still never likes Psyche even though her son loves her and many issues arise. It really does seem like a fairytale story... I love fairytales.

I love to see the stories around me. You can find them all things. When I was home this past week, we were driving the roads that wind through the country side. I passed the same run down house several times. I wanted to stop and take a picture, but I never did. I could see a story in it. The house was no longer habitable. What had the years brought to that home that had left it so desolate.

Does your mind work like this? Do you see and wonder about the stories around you? Do you create your stories by the things that you see?




Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Spot on Role Play

During our stay at Nanna's house, Little Princess decided she wanted to dress up as a construction worker. Her cousin was dressed as a Doctor. Well, Little Princess must have really been getting into the role, because before I knew it she was peeing on the construction site.
Oops. Potty Training is hard enough without having to train a 2 year old construction worker. Sorry Nanna about your carpet.

Friday, August 21, 2009

My Life According to Billy Joel

Like a million years ago, my bloggy friend Motherboard did a meme post that I wanted to do and never got around to until now. Well here it is. I told you I would get to it.... My timing is SLOW....

Pick your Artist:
Billy Joel

Describe yourself:
She's Always a Woman

How do you feel:
I Don't Want to Be Alone

Describe where you currently live:
Somewhere Along the Line

If you could go anywhere, where would you go:

The River of Dreams

Your favorite form of transportation:

Travelin' Prayer

Your best friend:
C'Était Toi (You Were the One)

You and your best friend are:

Sometimes a Fantasy

What's the weather like:
Falling of the Rain

Favorite time of day:

Through the Long Night

If your life was a TV show, what would it be called:
Shameless

What is life to you:
The Longest Time

Your relationship:
Keeping the Faith

Your fear:
Only the Good Die Young

What is the best advice you have to give:
Honesty

Thought for the Day:
You May Be Right

How I would like to die:

Sleeping With the Television On

My soul's present condition:
Close to the Borderline

My motto:
If I Only Had the Words (To Tell You)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I have to Share

I read Meagan's post yesterday, and totally LOVED it. I wanted to share it with my readers. Not many people have gone over and read her blog. She doesn't blog often, but I love reading what she has to say about why she writes. Since I'm out of town, and not really blogging the way that I would like to, I was hoping that maybe you can go over and read Meagan's post. I don't think you will be disappointed.

Do any of your remember why you started writing? And if you are not a writer, what is your passion and what made you start enjoying this passion?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wednesday French Inspiration



I am late on posting everything. I did warn you that I am out of town. I thought I would have more computer time than I have. So this post will be short. I will tell you more about the perfect day this was taken. But for now I will tell you ... it feels wonderful to kiss the love of your life with your feet in the cold Mediterranean. The french coast is gorgeous.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Rambling, Book Review, and Laughs



I have way too many random items to share with all of you so I'm taking a note out of Motherboard's Book and having a Random Randomness day. If I get to it I will share some tunes.

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When eating some eggs for breakfast my daughter goes to take a bite and says "I eat my chicken." I thought about it and laughed

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Little Princess was talking with Hubby tell him a story, Hubby says "You're lyin'."
Little Princess says,"No! I'm tiger. ROOOOOOOOOOOOAR!"

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Little Princess is learning to dress and undress. She needs three arms to get her shirt off. She gets the dog chasing its tail effect when she tries to get her shirt off. She pulls it over her head but her arms are still trapped as she squirms trying to figure out how to get unstuck. You might have to be there but it was funny.

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I am a deadline slut junkie. I love to flirt with deadlines, and do not function well without them. I might actually get something done in my book if I had a deadline. How did I learn about my addiction to deadlines?

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I am entering the LDS Publishers 2009 Christmas Story Contest. The contest was first announced many months ago, and are due by Saturday. I'm sure it will not be hard to figure out that I did not start months ago. Anyone can enter so if you are a fast story weaver you may still have time. But I hope for my sake and the sake of all those hard working writers that have entered that you will click over and read the stories that have been and are being posted every day. Then return August 16–22nd and vote for your favorite. I can't and won't tell you which story is mine. We want favorites to be choosen for merit not for popularity. So go on over and get a little taste of Christmas.

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I have been needing to post a review about the book I read. The Host by Stephenie Meyer. You can click on that link if you want to read a summary of the plot. I just want to tell you my thoughts on it. I know that everyone reads with different expectations. I expect to be swept up in a story with tenderness, humor, and suspense. Well I was not at all disappointed. I read the book in 3 days. (I am a slow reader so that is fast for me with a book of this length).

I connected with the characters. The book also made me think. Mainly about the connection between loving a person's body and loving their soul- the very thing that makes them who they are. It got me thinking about how we hold on to our loved ones' bodies in the same way some cherish small trinkets of meaning. (ie. coma patients with little chance of awaking--not this did not happen in the book I just thought about it.) And I started thinking about if I could love Hubby the same if he (his very essences) had a different shell.

Also, how much our appearance makes us who we are. Do our looks help shape us? Anyway those were my thoughts. I loved the book. I am not going out to buy it at this point, but I am glad that I read it. And I may read it again in the future, if my current reading list ever diminishes. (Odd's are slim of it getting small but hey it could happen).

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I have also MANY times in the past month why Snow White was the name given to the princess. I understand that White is a fairly common last name so maybe White is her last name. And I wouldn't put it past someone to name their child Snow. But for some reason everytime the Evil Queen says "Snow White!" I think WHY? WHY? WHY?

How about you?

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So my hubby picked up the Stauffer's Animal Crackers, and I swiped me a few. And had a sudden craving to dip them in Nutella. Am I the only one who thinks this sounds really good?

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Little Princess and I will be going out of town this weekend and the following week. I should be on occassionally but will not have as much time to devote to commenting and posting. But you can bet I will be reading. I will try to say what I need to say when I can.

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I warned you that it was random! Sorry no tunes I got to get to packing!
Have a good weekend!


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