Sunday Thoughts

“We seek the divinities that are sitting disguised.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Good Sunday morning, dear friends.  

Welcome to my ‘Sunday Thoughts.’  I began my Sunday posts(June 30, 2018, visit here) in order to share something short, but meaningful ~ something to touch your heart.  In a world which can often appear harsh, I believe it is especially important to see beauty,  read and contemplate beautiful words.  We then have something lovely to tuck away in our minds.  

So this morning, I am sharing what speaks to me as heartfelt desires of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.  Goethe was born in 1749 and died in 1832.  Clearly, he lived in a different world.  However, his thoughts remain relevant today, and I believe they continue to be some of our most basic hopes and dreams.   I hope you will find them poignant.

“Health enough to make work a pleasure,

Wealth enough to support your needs,

Strength enough to battle with difficulties and overcome them,

Grace enough to toil until good is accomplished,

Charity enough to see good in your neighbor,

Love enough to move you to be useful and helpful to others,

Faith enough to make real the things of God,

Hope enough to remove all anxious fears concerning the future.” ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goeth

 

Many thanks for visiting.  

Wishing you and yours a wonderful day and week ahead!

 

Au Revoir,

Sandra

 

 

Photo: via tumblr

Changing Seasons

“It isn’t obvious yet, the earliest signs are ever so slight.  Still, there is a soft feel to the air and the first subtle smell of change ~ That scent of seasons shifting, moving from one into the next.”~ Neva

Good morning dear friends.  Can you actually believe it is September?  Beware, we will blink and it will be Christmas.  Even though the seasons seem to pass so quickly, I do love the change and feel blessed to live in an area where we truly enjoy all four seasons.  And, I will tell you, “I am at the stage of my life where I am not interested in rushing anything.” 

I want to savor the beauty of each day, watch the leaves dance as the wind blows them about, marvel at the changing light in the garden, listen to the crows chattering, dream about a long winter with my splendid stack of books, and appreciate the ‘changing seasons.’  All, while enjoying wonderful cups of tea ~ taking time to be.

And a marvelous cup of tea, in a beautiful china cup, on a chilly autumn day is truly something to be savored. 

“Ah, September! You are the doorway to the season that awakens my soul.” Peggy Toney Horton

As autumn approaches, I believe there are subtle changes that occur within each of us.  Our hearts begin to dream of many things.  Such as, dressing our homes for the season, a special gathering to host, or a few new recipes to try.   Whatever one may be dreaming, the slower pace and beauty of autumn provides the necessary inspiration to turn these dreams into special moments. 

“The little road says go, the little house says stay; and O, it’s bonny here at home…” ~ Josephine Preston Peabody

   Box Cottage

When autumn arrives in all her glory, does the “little road” beckon you to go, but your sweet home is tugging at your heart to stay?  And, who wouldn’t want to stay in this charming home, after all, it has a name ~ ‘Box Cottage.’  You know how I feel about homes with names.  They stand a little taller simply because their owner decided to show them an extra bit of love and give them a name.  Anyway, to me, there is just something special about being at home in the fall.                                                                   A stack of love waiting to keep you warm.

I enjoy decorating our home for fall and making preparations for the cooler months ahead.

Something as simple as a few branches of autumn leaves in a vase, adds beauty and charm to a room.  And, they make me smile.

 Or, enjoying a warm afternoon gathering the last wildflowers ~ always such a treat.

“To say it was a beautiful day would not begin to explain it. It was that day when the end of summer intersects perfectly with the start of fall.” ~ Ann Patchett

“Autumn asks that we prepare for the future ~ that we be wise in ways of garnering and keeping. But it also asks that we learn to let go ~ to acknowledge the beauty of sparseness.” ~ Bonaro W. Overstreet

 Fruit and vegetables ‘put by’ in the cellar.

The raw and simplistic beauty of hay in a perfect meadow.  Oh, how I wish I had words to describe the smell of fresh cut hay.

“Food, like a loving touch or a glimpse of divine power, has that ability to comfort. ~ Norman Kolpas

I thoroughly enjoy cooking and love to be in the kitchen on an autumn day, especially if it is raining.  Preparing something wonderful for our loved ones is such a joy.

 A simple, but marvelous soup can elevate ordinary to extraordinary.  Try my butternut squash soup recipe, visit here.

 And, when followed by a lovely sweet treat  ~ you have perfection. I believe you may enjoy my recipe for a rustic cranberry-pear galette, visit here.  

Most of all, during this glorious season of autumn.  

“Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn.” ~ Elizabeth Lawrence

And,
“Try to remember when life was so tender
When no one wept except the willow.
Try to remember when life was so tender
When dreams were kept beside your pillow.
Try to remember when life was so tender
When love was an ember about to billow.
Try to remember and if you remember
then follow
follow.”
Thanks for visiting.  Know how much I appreciate you.
Wishing you a beautiful and slow September! 

Au Revoir,

Sandra

 

 

Notes:  “Try to Remember” ~ Lyrics written by, Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones

Photos:  Tumblr and Pinterest ~ I do not claim ownership to these photos. These photos are the work of tremendously talented people, I have compiled them for your enjoyment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Beauty

“What a desolate place would the world be without flowers.” ~ A. J. Balfour

Good morning dear friends.  I hope this finds you seeing blue skies this morning. 

Today, I am sharing the “Enchanted Garden,” by Kevin Kern.  The piece is a tribute to his parents.  I hope it begins your day beautifully.  Find your coffee and enjoy!  visit here 

 

Thanks for visiting.  Wishing you and yours a most beautiful day!

 

Au Revoir,

Sandra

 

 

Image ~ viatumblr

Youtube ~ Kevin Kern and his great-niece, Sadie

“Beauty In Common Things”

 “The only difference between an extraordinary life and an ordinary one is the extraordinary pleasures you find in ordinary things.” ~ Veronique Vienne

Last week, while looking for photos, I came across the cover of this lovely vintage book.  While the cover design is so pretty, it was the title that captured my attention ~ “Beauty in Common Things.”  The words have been on my mind.  So today, I thought I would share my thoughts.  

“Beauty in Common Things,” inspired me to think of the truth to the words, and how I much I believe our ability to live life well truly depends on recognizing such things when we see them.  The words also resulted in my thinking about my blog ~ why I began writing it.  And, am I being true to the reasons why I began?

“I’d like to add some beauty to life,” said Anne dreamily. “I don’t exactly want to make people KNOW more… though I know that IS the noblest ambition… but I’d love to make them have a pleasanter time because of me… to have some little joy or happy thought that would never have existed if I hadn’t been born.” ~ L.M. Montgomery, Anne’s House of Dreams

Actually, my thoughts are exactly those of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s, “Anne.”  You see, “ I want this blog to be special for you – something you look forward to in our crazy world, a source of inspiration.  I want the blog to provide a “pleasant time, some little joy or happy thought.”  A tiny gift you receive as a result of your visit.  I want the blog to be a “well of sweetness.”  Basically, these were the reasons I began writing my blog, almost two years ago.  My heart had grown weary of so much ‘ugly’ in the world.  Therefore, I decided I wanted to do something which would add a little beauty and joy to our daily rounds.  I feel I have lived long enough to have something worthy to say and if my efforts bring joy to even a few ~ I feel as though I have been successful.

 Translation ~ The Bird Garden

“The simple things are also the most extraordinary things, and only the wise can see them.” ~Paulo Coelho

When you visit the well at ‘Maison de Jardin,’ I want you to drink and enjoy the beauty.  Beauty, such as fabulous home interiors, lovely textiles and needlework, wonderful gardens and magnificent views of nature ~ all accompanied by beautiful words. But especially, I never want to become so immersed in the grand that I fail to show the “beauty in common things,” like cheerful late summer dahlias or a barefoot girl with a bouquet of delphiniums.

“Remember honey, ~ “The earth loves to feel your feet and the wind wants to play with your hair.” ~ Belle Fears, my grandmother

What is important to me is that you take away something of beauty you can carry in your heart.  Lovely words, written by some marvelously talented soul or an image you can keep tucked in your mind while you are in the middle of a spinning world.  I want my blog to touch your heart through the “Beauty in Common Things,” things such as my blogging friend, Penny posted on her blog a couple of weeks ago.  When I saw her post, my heart smiled ~ yours will too. And, by the way, the name of her blog is, “Enjoying The Simple Things.”  Visit here.

“Beauty Inspires Your Love For Living” ~ Alexandra Stoddard

Personally, I believe the love of beauty lies within each of us.  I believe it is truly in our hearts – even if we do not know, or recognize it.  Often, a moment of grace opens our eyes to beauty.   Beauty is everywhere, in everything and in everyone.  It inspires us, moves us forward, enhances our homes and can make life sweeter for ourselves and those we love.  It holds power and is a vital component to living well.

Possibly this is why I am drawn to the French way of life.  Their style of living is not about wealth.  It is about slowing down, taking time to notice the small things, sharing moments with those they love, and not filling every moment of every day with, ‘something.’  They understand quality as opposed to quantity in everything from food to home furnishings.  They are creative, they well know new does not necessarily  mean better, and they are absolutely not a ‘throw away society.’ Perhaps this style is a result of all they have endured. The brutal horrors of war ~ not once, but twice during the 20th century.

 Indeed, the French understand living well and have shown me an enlightened way.

“Pleasure is spread through the earth In stray gifts to be claimed by whoever shall find.” ~ William Wordsworth 

As I stumble and make my way through this blogging world, know I promise you my best always.  My blog may be for some and not for others, we all enjoy different things.  It is my platform to scatter joy and beauty in our world.  And, hopefully, inspire you to do the same.  By being open to, and aware of beauty, I believe we can make a difference in our world.  Because beauty and grace make us a kinder people ~ really it does.  And, it can have an enormous ‘ripple effect.’ That, is up to each of us.  

For those of you who have been following me, I hope you will continue. I invite you to share your thoughts about my blog ~ both likes and dislikes.  If you do not wish to post a public message, you can always send a message under the “contact” section of the blog.  It will go directly to my email and not be visible to the public.  You and your comments are important to me.  

I want to sincerely thank everyone who is reading this, especially today, for your time.  For me, it was important to remind myself and my readers the reasons I opened the doors to Maison De Jardin ~ to inspire, share my great passion for beauty, and to scatter joy.  And, to inform those readers who may be new of a little history.

So, won’t you put your hand in mine, together I do believe we can make subtle changes in our world toward good.

Wishing You a Beautiful Day !

Au Revoir,

Sandra

 

 

A Few Notes:

Well of Sweetness” ~ are the words of Susan Branch

Beauty Inspires Your Love For Living” ~ are not only the words of Alexandra Stoddard, but they are also the title of a talk she gave in Clarksburg, West Virginia during April, 2008.  The talk was open to the public and was attended by over 250 people.  It was organized by, yours truly.

Photos:  Tumblr and Pinterest ~ I do not claim ownership to these photos. These photos are the work of tremendously talented people, I have compiled them for your enjoyment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Sunday Thought

“As the years pass, I am coming more and more to understand that it is the common, everyday blessings of our common everyday lives for which we should be particularly grateful. They are the things that fill our lives with comfort and our hearts with gladness.” ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder

 

 

Wishing you and all those you love a beautiful day.  One that “fills your heart with gladness.”

 

Au Revoir,

Sandra

 

 

Image~viatumblr

 

Let Them Grow To The Sky !

“Of all man’s works of art, a cathedral is greatest.  A vast and majestic tree is greater than that.” ~ H. W. Beecher

I so love trees and I’m sure you do too.  But, I am concerned about our trees.  Many are being struck with various types of blight and disease.  Wildfires are destroying acres of forest lands and others are falling into the hands of unqualified ‘so-called professionals’ or what I refer to as ‘Tree Hackers.’  Oh you know them, the companies who do not have a clue how to properly prune a tree and send their employees up a tree with chainsaw and rope ~ a tree’s life shortened by their handiwork. 

Additionally, in our part of the world, we are losing trees and beautiful forests to the drilling companies.  Acres of wonderful lush green woods, home for wildlife and man’s enjoyment, now look like a war zone.  This is happening throughout North Central West Virginia and in much of the Appalachian Mountain Region and other regions of the east.   However, I know you didn’t arrive for a visit to hear a sermon. So, I will refrain and share a few of my favorite trees and their beauty.  And, while what I am about to share are a few favorites, do know I appreciate and love them all.  

“To be poor and be without trees, is to be the most starved human being in the world. To be poor and have trees, is to be completely rich in ways that money can never buy.” ~ Clarissa Pinkola Estés

 A glorious Weeping Cherry in bloom.

Oh, the beauty of a Weeping Cherry in bloom on a beautiful spring day ~ is truly a gift from above.  And to see its branches gently swaying in the breeze is a treasured sight.

And then there is the magnificent Ginkgo, often referred to as the Maidenhair Tree.

We had a ginkgo at our home in Virginia.  It was a gift from my mom, as she knew I thought they were wonderful.  At the time she gave the tree to us it was about two feet tall and when we sold our home, the tree had grown to the second story of our home.  It was a beauty and before we moved I took a few of the leaves, in green and gold, and had them framed.   The memory of that beautiful tree and the joy it brought, is with us every day. 

 A Ginkgo dressed in her autumn finest.

Ginkgo’s can have a lifespan of 1,000 years or older. In China, the oldest ginkgo is about 3,500 years old.   The ginkgo has quite a history. It is a living fossil, with the earliest leaf fossils dating from 270 million years ago.    It is known to be one of the most distinct and beautiful of all deciduous trees.  The tree has unique, fan-shaped leaves turn a stunning yellow in the fall. It tolerates many urban conditions, including heat, air pollution, salt and confined spaces. And, it is easily established.  The ginkgo is hardy in zones 3~8.

“The best time to plant an oak tree is 25 years ago.  The second best time is now.” ~  James Carville

One certainly could not write a post about trees without mentioning a magnificent oak tree.  My goodness, the stories oak trees could tell and the secrets they know.  The picnics they have enjoyed, the animals they have sheltered, the names of sweet loves they proudly wear, and the swings they have held are just a few.  We planted six oak saplings at our home in Virginia, three on either side of the front pasture.  Saplings my husband had dug in the woods.  When we planted them, I told them,“Now you can grow to the sky.”  Just recently, a friend drove past our old home and wrote to let me know ~ our dear trees are still standing and they have ‘gone to the sky.’

“I thought it would last my time –
The sense that, beyond the town,
There would always be fields and farms,
Where the village louts could climb
Such trees as were not cut down
…”
-Philp Larkin

 Sugar Maple’s in their fall color.

Now, I wouldn’t be much of a West Virginia girl if I didn’t say a few words about our gorgeous state tree, the sugar maple.  The sugar maple is often referred to as a hard maple or rock maple.  It is one of the largest and most important of the hardwood trees.  These trees can live 300 to 400 years and they become brilliant beauties of red and gold in the fall.   The sap from the sugar maple is used to make maple syrup.  Their trunks are tapped in the early spring to collect the sap.  Beautiful specimens of this tree are found in all 55 counties in the state of West Virginia.

“Time spent amongst trees is never time wasted.” – unknown

“And in the thickest covert of that shade, there was a pleasant arbor, not by art, but of the trees owne inclination made…” ~  Edmund Spenser

 Lovely Golden Rain Trees in bloom.

“A beautiful girl with golden curls,” are my words to describe a golden rain tree.  Oh, how I hope you have seen one.  If you have, you will understand when I say, “A glorious sight always remembered.”  My mom had a golden rain tree in the corner of her garden.  I have special memories of the two of us just staring in awe on a June day, with the sun glistening on the tree’s beautiful golden curls.

The golden rain tree lends grace and beauty to the landscape throughout the entire year.  But this tree is more than just a pretty tree. Golden rain trees are hardy, they thrive in tough urban environments and do well in a wide range of soil conditions.  Their beauty makes for a lovely sight near patios, in parks, and along city streets.  The tree is hardy in zones 5~9.

 

“The care of the Earth is our most ancient and most worthy and, after all, our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it, and to foster its renewal, is our only legitimate hope.” ~ Wendell Berry

The definition of the modern term, tree hugger is, Someone who is regarded as foolish or annoying because of being too concerned about protecting trees, animals, and other parts of the natural world from pollution and other threats.”  While I hope I have never been annoying, I do not believe loving and being concerned about our trees, wildlife and the natural environment is foolish.

There are many small towns and large cities across our land,  which have written ordinances into their charters in order to protect trees and the environment.  And, the work the Arbor Day Foundation is doing, with regard to the education of the public about the importance of trees, is amazing.  Their work has had a tremendous ‘ripple effect.’  In New York City, the City Department of Parks and Recreation conducted a program called the “Great Tree Search.” New Yorkers looked for trees of unusual size and age, those linked with historic landmarks, and trees of unusual species or location. On Arbor Day, they held a big party to celebrate New York City’s Great Trees.

“Trees are poems the earth writes upon the sky, we fell them down and turn them into paper, that we may record our emptiness.” ~ Kahlil Gibran

I hope you have enjoyed your visit today, and perhaps gained inspiration to plant a lovely tree or to take time to stroll among them.  At the end of this post you will find a bit of additional information and the date for Abor Day, 2019, should you want to plan a celebration with a group in your community.

Wishing you a most beautiful day! 

and 

“Remember to tell your local trees they are beautiful today.” ~ Unknown

 

Au Revoir, 

Sandra

 

Tree Tidbits:

When planted around our homes, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a young, healthy tree is equivalent to ten room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day.  They renew our air supply by absorbing carbon dioxide and producing oxygen. 

April 26, 2019, is Arbor Day ~ visit here for further information.

 

NoteImages via tumbler and Pinterest.  I do not claim ownership of these photos, I have simply compiled them for your enjoyment.

 

A Sunday Thought

“When you experience true beauty, you find yourself being lifted by the wings of harmony.” ~ Alexandra Stoddard

Wishing you and yours a day of beauty and peace.

 

Au Revoir,

Sandra

 

Photo: viatumblr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In The Kitchen, at Maison de Jardin

“Oh, I adore to cook.  It makes me feel so mindless in a worthwhile way.” ~ Truman Capote

Happy day, everyone!  I hope all of you have been enjoying these summer days, they do seem to pass so quickly this time of year.

I realized the other day, it has been quite a while since I have sent you any recipes.  Therefore, I will correct that this morning.  I am sharing a few scrumptious, as well as easy, recipes which I have recently prepared and thought you may enjoy.

My first two recipes are from August 2018, issue of Cook’s Illustrated.  It is a wonderful magazine if you enjoy cooking.  

 

Braised Cod Provençal

Note:  Thick, meaty fillets of halibut, snapper, bluefish, monkfish, and sea bass are all good substitutes for the cod fillets.  However, you must have nice crusty bread to soak up all the extra sauce, which is almost as good as the fish.

2 Tbls. extra-virgin olive oil, plus a little extra for drizzling

1 onion, halved and sliced thin

1 fennel bulb, stalks discarded, bulb halved, cored, and sliced thin

salt/pepper

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 (14.5-oz.) can diced tomatoes, drained

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 tsp. minced fresh thyme

4 (6 -8-oz.) skinless cod fillets

2 Tbls. minced fresh parsley

Heat oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering.  Add onion, fennel, and 1/2 tsp. salt and cook until vegetables have softened about 5 minutes.  Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Stir in tomatoes, wine, and thyme and bring to simmer.

Season cod with salt and pepper.  Nestle cod into skillet and spoon some of the sauce over the top of each fillet.  Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and cook until cod flakes apart when gently prodded with a paring knife – about 10 minutes.  I cooked for almost 20.

Transfer cod to plates.  Stir parsley into sauce and taste for needed salt or pepper.  Spoon sauce over cod and drizzle with extra olive oil before serving.  I served with a garden salad.

Crab Louis Salad

Note:  According to the culinary research experts of Cooks Illustrated the first Crab Louis type salad was on the menu of a restaurant in San Francisco, named the ‘Old Poodle Dog,’ founded in 1849.

Dressing

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup sour cream

1/4 cup finely chopped green bell pepper ( I used a red pepper, I feel they are sweeter)

2 Tbls. chopped pitted green olives

2 Tbls. chili sauce (do not substitute ketchup)

5 tsp. lemon juice

2 tsp. chopped fresh tarragon

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

Salad

1 pound good quality fresh backfin crabmeat

2 heads Bibb lettuce, torn into 1 1/2 inch pieces

7 1/2 ounces  of grape tomatoes, halved

3 Hard-cooked eggs, quartered

1 ripe avocado, halved, pitted, quartered, and sliced thin

For the dressing:  Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl.

For the salad:  Gently toss crabmeat with 1/2 cup of the dressing in a bowl.  Mound lettuce onto a serving plate.  Arrange tomatoes, eggs, and avocado around lettuce.  Top lettuce with the dressed crab and serve with remaining, 3/4 cup dressing alongside.  Serve with a nice crusty bread.

Crème Brûlée ~ Without a Torch

This recipe is easy and I have had it for so many years, I don’t remember where exactly it came from.

Note:  This  will make 4 (8-oz.) ramekin servings

For the Custard

5 large egg yolks

1/2 cup sugar

2 cups heaving whipping cream

1 tsp. good vanilla extract

dash of salt

For the Topping

1/4 cup sugar

Position a rack in the middle position of your oven.  Preheat the oven to 325.  Have your ramekins and a large casserole pan off to the side and ready for use.  (I use a 9x3x12 baking dish to hold the ramekins.)  

In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar. Whisk vigorously until the mixture becomes creamy, cohesive and lemony in color. Add the cream, vanilla, and salt. Whisk until smooth and combined. 

Carefully divide the mixture between your four ramekins. It should fill them about 2/3 to 3/4 full. If your ramekins have bubbles on the sides, try to pop them with the side of a spoon.

Pour about 1/3 inch of water in your baking pan. Place the ramekins in the water, so that the sides are submerged. The water should come about halfway up the ramekins. If the water level is too low, gently pour more water in the side of the pan, avoiding sloshing water into the ramekins. 

Place the baking pan with the ramekins in the preheated oven. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour (in my oven 1 hr. 10 min.), checking every 5 minutes after the 40-minute mark. The cook time can vary depending on the thickness of your ramekins and oven. You’re looking for the custard to be mostly “set” with a little jiggle in the middle. Remove the pan from the oven, and gently remove the ramekins from the hot water by lifting with a spatula. Set on a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes, then transfer to the refrigerator to cool for about an hour. You want the custard to be completely set before moving forward.

Near the end of your cooling time, set the oven to the broil setting. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet.  Make sure that the tops of your custards are free of condensation (their naturally moist texture is fine, but you don’t want any beads of moisture). If needed, gently blot the tops with a clean paper towel. Sprinkle the remaining sugar over the tops of the custards.

Place the baking pan in under the broiler for 3-5 minutes, monitoring closely, or until the sugar has melted into a satisfyingly crispy, browned crust. Enjoy your perfect crème brûlée!

I hope you will enjoy these recipes, my husband gave them outstanding reviews.  Give them a try~ you will make Julia proud!

 

Bon Appétit!

 

Au Revoir,

Sandra

 

 

Note:  Images ~ (Via Tumblr) Unless otherwise stated, I do not claim ownership of these photos. These photos are the work of tremendously talented people.  I simply compiled them for your enjoyment.

 

 

A Few Pretty Things

“The beauty is pleasing to the eyes, the sweetness charms the soul.” ~ Voltaire

Isn’t she pretty?  I wonder if she has a name.

Good morning, dear friends.  I am so happy you are here this morning, and I do hope you will enjoy your visit. By now, you must know I love gardens full of flowers and, well,  pretty much any and all lovely things.  So today, I thought I would share a few things I found while in pursuit of specific photos and information.  Or, I should say, “I am sharing my distractions.”  It does seem, beauty finds me.  Therefore, what I am about to share are photos I consider to be beautiful and which touched my heart.  

While my photography skills are slowly improving, I do not always have gorgeousness at my fingertips to photograph.  At least, not the visions which continually float in my mind.  Oh, but they are in internet land. Whatever did we do before the internet?  I have divided my finds to make it easier for you to navigate and, hopefully, to prevent you from feeling as though I have taken complete leave of my senses. 

Be sure to find your coffee or tea, get comfy, and  enjoy ~  ‘A Few Pretty Things.’ 

 

“The voice of beauty speaks softly; it creeps only into the most fully awakened souls.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

“Arranging a bowl of flowers in the morning can give a sense of quiet in a crowded day ~ like writing a poem or saying a prayer.” ~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh

For me, something unexpected always enhances a floral arrangement, such as the honeysuckle vine in this lovely arrangement.

“I cannot imagine a world without the sight and fragrance of a flower.” ~ Rachel Ashwell

Or a world without visits from special friends.  You know, the ones who make you feel like it is a privilege to be with them.  Seeing a praying mantis in our garden makes me almost giddy with excitement.  I think they are quite special and amazing. 

“Architecture is frozen music.” ~ Goethe

I do love and admire gorgeous architecture.  And, to me, the ‘old’ holds unmatched beauty.

This magnificent angel spans three stories of an apartment building at 57 Rue de Turbigo in Paris. With massive wings unfurled, her feathers brush against the fourth-floor windows of the building.  She was designed by architect Eugène Demangeat in 1860, who at the time was an art student at the school of fine arts and architecture; école des Beaux-Arts et Architectue.  She remains today and has come to be known as the ‘Paris Angel.’

A beauty in Bourgogne, France.

You can almost hear the stories coming from this lovely lady.  I am sure she has lived, and hopefully is continuing to live, a fascinating life.

Something wonderful must be about to happen in this beautiful room.  Wouldn’t you love to attend?  Oh, I certainly would. I could spend hours in complete awe.  The artistic ability and craftsmanship in the architectural details are magnificent.

 “The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” ~ Maya Angelou

I wonder if this beautiful home has a name.  What would you name her?  

“Still round the corner there may wait, a new road or a secret gate.” ~ J. R. R. Tolkien

Pretty iron gates are something I have always admired, perhaps it is because I always feel beauty lies beyond.  These two were in my view last week.

“Ever since I could remember anything, flowers have been like dear friends to me, comforters, inspirers, powers to uplift and to cheer.” ~ Celia Thaxter

These stunning window boxes would certainly “uplift and cheer” anyone who happened to pass by.

Did you know the French believe the color blue on the exterior of a home keeps away evil spirits?  My sweet husband painted our front door a lovely shade of blue.  

Perhaps, this is what Vita Sackville-West had in her view when she said, “Flowers really do intoxicate me.”

 

 

“Surrounding yourself with beauty is a sublime experience.” ~ Unknown

Classic and timeless elegance ~ tablecloths to the floor make my heart sing.

Soft and beautiful.

Perfect, for resting and refilling your inner well.

“One day the first greens appeared on our table; then the first carrots, still tiny and so delicate, so bright.  Oh, there were very few of them, so few that one would have thought they were for a doll’s dinner, but if you could have seen our hands clasped in wonder!  If you could know what an unforgettable miracle it will always be for me, the memory of that birth, in the middle of war, of living, growing food.” ~Fernand Lequenne, My Friend the Garden  ~ A Month in the Country

The quote above has been in my ‘little book of special things’ for many years.  When I first read it, I truly realized how blessed my life has been and what I have taken for granted over the years.  Having beautiful fresh food from the garden is a luxury, not one to ever be taken for granted. 

Love, skill, and fresh ingredients equal excellent taste as well as beauty.  Cooking for those you love is a privilege.

“Smile, it is the key that fits the lock of everybody’s heart.” ~ Anthony J. D’Angelo

Precious ‘little ones’ always make us smile ~ don’t they?

 

“It was a glorious evening, the sun seeming to hesitate in the process of setting, as if it couldn’t bear to end the day. It was teetering on the horizon, throwing ribbons of pink and mauve across the sky like life ropes, and the air was sweet with jasmine.” ~ Kate Morton

 

The End

Dear friends, I do hope you have found in this post “beauty which pleased your eyes” and “sweetness that charmed your soul.”   And, perhaps inspiration and good thoughts to carry with you through the week.  Thanks so much for your visit! 

Wishing you and yours a most beautiful week ~ enjoy these summer days !

 

Au Revoir,

Sandra

 

 

Note:  Images ~ (Via Tumblr and M.S. Lambiotte) Unless otherwise stated, I do not claim ownership of these photos. These photos are the work of tremendously talented people.  I simply compiled them for your enjoyment.

A Sunday Thought

“If we opened our minds to enjoyment, we might find tranquil pleasures spread about us on every side. We might live with the angels that visit us on every sunbeam, and sit with the fairies who wait on every flower.” ~ Samuel Smiles

“Nature is painting for us, day after day, pictures of infinite beauty.” ~ John Ruskin

 

Wishing you and yours a beautiful day of “tranquil pleasures!”

 

Au Revoir,

Sandra

 

 

 

Note:  Image~viatumblr