Sunday, April 30, 2017

Temporary Confinement

So, my gallbladder surgery is Monday and the doc says no driving for five days and no heavy lifting. So, I'm making a list!

Watercolor Practice!

The wonderful Vivian Swift kindly asked if she could embark on a challenge of painting one of my Giverny photos. (Uh... yeah! Please!)

She had been painting scenes from Monet's garden on her wonderful blog and in a comment I had said how frustrated I was with the one I was working on. So in several posts with step-out photos, she is working on the same image I've been struggling with. My two versions are below.

version 1
version 2
My task will be to follow the Vivian method and see if I can get it closer to what I would like using some of her techniques while avoiding copying. By surgery time, we should be two posts in -- the treeline and the center. I'll keep you posted! (And thanks, Vivian! Follow her results in several posts HERE)

Clean the Office/Art Room

I don't expect to finish this but I've just GOT to get this room under control. (This is called showing warts and all! But to be honest, it does look like an episode of "Hoarders." Can you find Lizzie in this photo?) 

OK, it looks extra bad because I had already started messing with stuff so lots more is on the desk than there might be if I'd taken the pictures a day earlier. I know, some who read this and know this room well will quibble. I suspect just straightening out will help loads!

There are supplies I don't use that could use a better home and those I do seem to get out of hand. Even if I can nail a corner or two, I'll feel like progress was made.

Scan, Baby. Scan!

This is my pile of photos to scan. You see the problem.

I won't get through all of these either, but hopefully I can make a big dent in them!

Catch Up on a Few Videos

I have a few videos on WWI I got for Christmas, along with some Brit series I'm partially through and while I don't want to spend my whole time watching TV, I'm sure I'll have some downtime and this will be far more entertaining than the news. (Well, I don't know if WWI docs are more entertaining than the news but probably more comforting, which is a scary thought.

Walk, Walk, Walk

The doc told me I had to walk after the surgery so walk I shall, down to the Ditch and see what's happening and if there is any sign of baby goslings. The nest is empty so they must be someplace!

(Oh, and a clarification in reply to many who mentioned that Canada geese were far from their favorite creatures! I love watching geese at the Ditch. But I have to say they aren't my favorite birds either! Just wait till a flotilla of them comes up on your beach at the lake or walk through the golf course across from the Ditch where they seem to hang out. You'd see what I mean!)


It's been beautiful there and lovelier every single day! 

It's like watching a baby grow -- every day there is a difference.


But the house is clean, the old TV recycled, my new IKEA table for the family room assembled and in place, fridge stocked, sheets changed, laundry done, trash ready for pick-up and books stacked! And of course I'll look forward to visiting you, too!

See you soon!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

"Paris In Bloom" Brings Memories

I am far from the first blogger to mention the beautiful book "Paris in Bloom" by Georgianna Lane on my blog and I probably won't be the last.

It's like eating the most delicate French pastry -- all pink and lovely and so delicious! The photography is to die for.

Not much text but with photos like that, who needs it?

But it reminded me of all the blooms I saw in Paris on my two trips in 2009 and 2012. 

I'm missing those times right now. The recent shooting of policemen on the Champs Elysses reminds me of how much I love this City of Light.

So as I'm Dreaming of France, I thought I'd share a few of my favorite floral photo memories. Like this flower shop exterior. I don't know which is lovelier, the unique potted designs on the table with their tight buds or the beautiful petals on the earth.

I was very fond of the garden on the backside of Notre Dame, Place Jean-Paul II. Not a garden, really. More like a lovely little park, but the blooms in late April were so pretty!

The poppies were brightening up the Jardin des Plantes...

...and so were the peonies. Can you imagine how lovely it smelled?

Of course, Montmartre has more than its share of beauty in its hilly, curving streets. I couldn't resist this beautiful wisteria...

...or the flowers by Montmartre's vineyard, so cheerful on a dark day.

You'll find florist shops everywhere, Left Bank...

Right Bank...

And I believe this was in the Ile St. Louis.

I stopped at this one in the Marais and selected several blooms and bits of greenery.

The result was a beautiful bouquet.

The Marche aux Fleurs never disappoints! I could have spent hours going from spot to spot!

And of course you can't beat the Jardin du Luxembourg for a spot to take in the blooms and rest your feet!

There are flowers on the buildings... front of the cafe's...

...and in window boxes (Shakespeare & Company).

This display was at Hotel de Ville.

And these blooms were in Rue Cler.

Even a hidden courtyard has to have flowers!


So much beauty, so much spring.

So much Paris!

Find a flower or two today and join me as I dream of France!

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Sunday, April 23, 2017

Blog Request and At the Ditch!

Spring has arrived at the Ditch!  And Harry the Heron is back! I've been walking around in the chartreuse mist of early spring, loving all the sights and sounds of nature coming back to life!

But before our walk, a quick request. I love your comments and try to reply personally whenever I can and don't reply on the blog. If you have a recipe request (or another question) and are a no-reply blogger, I can't reply, except on your blog. And if you are no-reply and do not have a blog link in your comment, I can't reply at all!

So, Diane in Wisconsin, I'd love to share the salad info but I don't know how to reach you! And others who have asked a question, sorry if I reply or converse in your comments but it's all I can do! Just so y'all know!

Now, back to the Ditch. Old timers to Marmelade Gypsy know the Ditch is a walking area down about eight blocks from my house. It has a nice paved path and it seems as though there are always people there walking and enjoying the wildlife. Which, of course, I name!

Harry the Heron is a regular. Ditch walkers say he's been back for a bit but I hadn't had a sighting till this past week. And then I was rewarded!

Now only was Harry there but a second heron, Harriet, was also present! It's not often I can verify that it isn't the same bird in a different spot, but this time I was sure (although I couldn't get them in the same picture!)


Don't ask how I know Harry is a he and Harriet is a she. I don't. But you have to name them something -- even though I'm not sure I could tell them apart!

They aren't the only mates on the pond. Gus and Gabrielle Goose have settled in too. (In the photo below, Gaby is at the right, Gus, in the water, on the left.)


Here's a better look at Gus, that little dot that looks more like a lily pad than a goose!


Gaby's been busy nesting and she has quite the stack build up in the water but off the edge of the pond. And she doesn't seem to leave that nest for anything!

However, yesterday I was able to catch her stretching and then feathering her nest. She must get stiff sitting all day!

And look at that! There are two very big eggs!

And she did the most interesting thing -- probably standard operating procedure for geese but new to me. She dug a little hole in her nest and tucked the larger of the eggs in it, and partially tucked the other.

Probably just getting comfy or keeping it warm. Fascinating!

It's pretty down there, too. And will be even more so in a couple of weeks. I call it the Chartreuse Cloud or Chartreuse Mist, when all the green leaves are beginning to sprout.

A few flowering trees. A duck or two or ten. Loads of birds. A little woodland in the city!

Gus and Gaby aren't the only geese. This one was keeping an eye on a critter who was checking out the banks of the pond.

And watching! Eventually this badger or muskrat went back to the water! No harm done. Meanwhile, another turn around the Ditch and here's Harry again!


Of course, sometimes the best thing about going anyplace is heading home. Past the random Ditch tulip (no doubt generously planted by a ditch walker)...


...the dazzling forsythia, nearly having run its course of beauty...


...and the flowering trees.


Home Sweet Home to my Sweet Girl, waiting!

(More likely, waiting for dinner!) I hope you're enjoying the beauty of spring (or fall, if you are Down Under!) and lapping it up no matter where you are!

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