"Those who have experienced Paris have advantage over those who have not. We are the ones who have glimpsed a little bit of heaven, down here on earth." - Deirdre Kelly






Saturday, December 13, 2014

Ensignement...

Mint tea and history - the perfect way to begin every day

"In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn."
- Phil Collins

Hello my lovelies, oh how I have missed you!

I have not posted since mid-October but once I tell you why, I think you'll understand... On a sunny July afternoon, my History Department Chair (and friend) called me and asked if I was ready to return to my calling - teaching. To my surprise I said yes. No, I didn't miss the interminable academic vs. administrative politicking, or the shitty pay, or the lack of career upward mobility. But I did miss daily engaging in my love of history (in the written word and all its other forms); I missed the challenges, frustrations and rewards of class discussions. But, simply and most powerfully,  I missed my students. So, after a two year hiatus, in September I returned to the classroom - and that's when things got really interesting ;-}

Humanities 250 - The Contemporary World (Fall 2014)
  
The first thing I learned when I returned was that I had to deal w/ a whole new 'kind' of student: often falling asleep in class (in 9 years of teaching that's never happened), they had very rarely done or prepared the assigned readings, refused to participate in discussions and refused to fulfill the requirements of term paper writing. I had to deal with a lot of attitude - theirs and mine!  In addition to mommy hood, writing and art - something had to give/go - je suis desole

I was floundering, trying to find my footing. Then I remembered that my brain, passion, sassiness, stubbornness, Chanel Rouge Allure #99, and 5 inch heels are formidable tools - so I started wielding them, refused to take no for an answer and something wonderful happened.

Humanities 240 - Converging Hemispheres (Fall 2014)

I stopped second guessing myself, got my game together, demanded even more from my students, and they... responded in kind. While my first semester back was a bumpy lumpy ride, it was all good in the end and I am eagerly looking forward to next semester. Stay tuned...

But I have not ceased or even slowed down in my Paris-loving life or ways - I just haven't been blogging about them. Yeah, I know, shame on me ;-}  In my convertible - with my trusty notebook, cameras, Coco (and sometimes Mr. G.) by my side - I have had some wonderful adventures Parisienne that I just can't wait to share with you. 

I've just begun my Winter Break. And while I still have a formidable pile of final term papers to grade and final grades to submit - I could not wait one moment longer to return to my beloved Pour l'Amour. So please bear with me as I jump on my virtual T.A.R.D.I.S. for the next few posts. It's good, si bon, to be back.

Vivre! Rire! Aimer!

Temple
Writing 101 (Fall Semester 2014)











Friday, October 17, 2014

A great ending to the week


"The earth is art, the photographer is only a witness."
- Yann Arthus-Bertrand

I recently sold one of my Paris photos to a client in North Carolina. She was so kind to send me this photo of it framed and hanging (lowest row, center, the largest one). Coolness. Can't stop smiling ;-}

Vivre! Rire! Aimer!



...something wickedly awesome this way comes...


By the pricking of my thumbs,
something wickedly awesome this way comes!

Tonight I met the subject of my next Postcard to Paris. Here are a few hints: Toile fabric imported from France, reproduction Edison light bulbs, an elevated train, Miraval Rose wineSimon Pearce, and the above photo. Yeah, it's gonna be good. Stay tuned...

Vivre! Rire! Aimer!

Temple



Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Mums' the word...


Standing on the sidewalk in front of my house, 
on the street where I live.

"Fall...The time when everything bursts with its last beauty,
as if nature had been saving up all year 
for the grand finale." - Lauren DeStefano

While Fall is ostensibly known as an ending, for me, this fall has heralded a new beginning. Late in the summer, the dean of the history department at my former workplace called me, relentlessly courted me and asked me to return to teaching. To make a long story short, I said yes. I've missed practicing my calling and missed my students. And I'm woman enough to freely admit that it's nice, and oh so satisfying to my ego to be missed, needed, wanted, called and relentlessly courted ;-}

So, for the last few weeks, four days a week, every morning, I grab my professor's goody bag, slip on a pair of 4+ inch wedges (or ankle boots), slide into my convertible, press play on my iPod and head to work. When I last taught, I drove the family SUV to and fro. Now I tool around in my beloved convertible.


View from my dashboard

Driving a convertible in the fall provides all kinds of incredible, majestic views to the world: sun on my face, wind whipping through my hair, the bluer than blue sky dotted with fluffy white clouds. Coming home from the university, I often find myself exiting the highway at whim. Leaving behind the gray listless concrete express lanes to follow wherever the sunlight leads me. Finding my way home by meandering down local roads, streets and lanes - the only prerequsite being that the road I travel is lined with trees. The better to enjoy the polychromatic fall leaves. The other day, while I was meandering down a road close to home, I saw a grocery store I've passed a thousand times without a second glance. But on this day the store had HUGE gorgeous potted fall Mums out front - yeah, you know I had to stop. Big as bushes planted in the ground, the Mums were on sale - 70% off AND fantabulous? SOLD X 2! It took two strapping gents to wrestle those floral monsters into the back seat of my EOS. 


And it was all kind of wonderful to drive home with a garden in my backseat. Don't know how mom and I did it, but we managed to drag the mums out of the car and onto our front door stoop - mischief managed. 


Bonjour Fall ;-}

Yes, Winter and what she brings - cold, sleet, snow, slush, gray skies, the top up - is in the near future. But for now, Mums' the word.

Vivre! Rire! Aimer!

Temple

Saturday, October 04, 2014

hello glorious fall!


Standing at my mailbox on the street where I live

"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower - Albert Camus

Last Friday the weather was absolutely fantabulous! Mr. Gorgeous surprised me - took the entire afternoon off so we could enjoy the last bit of summer, perfectly mixed with the first strains of Fall. We loaded Coco into the convertible and headed out into the bright colorful beautiful world that only Autumn can bestow...

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Captain, my captain.


Robin Williams
21 July 1951 - 11 August 2014

O CAPTAIN! my Captain! Our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weather'd every rack, 
the prize we sought is won;
The port is near, the bells I hear, 
the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, 
the vessel grim and daring:
But O heart! heart! 
heart O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies, fallen cold and dead
- Walt Whitman






Tuesday, July 29, 2014

French Market Baskets, a Sweet Obsession

A few from my prized collection.

"I will have find a way and I will have you.
Like a butterfly. A wild butterfly.
I will collect you and capture you.
You are an obsession." 
- Animotion

Leave it to the French to find a way to render the ubiquitous plastic shopping bag beautiful…

I first discovered French Market bags in the early 1980s. My mother took my sister and I to live on the French Riviera for a summer (I was 12 years old). And for two amazing life altering weeks we lived on a yacht, operated by a husband & wife team. He was the captain and she ran everything else (including him ;-} Every morning we woke in a different port: Elba, Corsica, Cannes, Saint-Tropez…And every morning, before the sun had finished rising, the captain's wife would grab two or three large leather handled woven baskets and head to the outdoor markets to do the days shopping and she always invited me to tag along. The filled baskets were so pretty! Baguettes, colorful fruits, packages of meat and seafood wrapped in wax paper tied with twine, and flowers bunched into a cacophony of brilliant colors.

Photo: Quel Objet

It wasn't until years later, when I was an adult, that I began to use French Market baskets for any and everything I could conceive of. Beneath my bathroom sink they hold my towels, I use them exclusively for my small market and farmer's market shopping, I use a small one as my Spring/Summer purse, there's one on the backseat floor of my car that holds my wraps and sweaters and I have a gigantic one for my clothes hamper/laundry basket.


"Baskets of Beauty," Pininterest 

French Market baskets take the mundane, the everyday, the practical and renders them beautiful. They encourage you to find the lovely in the the smallest things, in the most expected places. They are a tiny piece of Paris. They are the sweetest obsession.

Vivre! Rire! Aimer!
Temple

Debut of my newest French Market bag:
France, circa 1940s. Love!


















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