Daily prompt: Object lesson

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Sherlock Holmes had his pipe. Dorothy had her red shoes. Batman had his Batmobile. If we asked your friends what object they most immediately associate with you, what would they answer?

I posed the question to my husband and our son; I would have asked our daughter, but she is off camping this weekend in the wilds of Otis, if Jack could talk, I would have asked him. My boys had different answers which was interesting; my husband said my handbag or my necklaces because I am rarely without them. My son had me laughing because he had a nice assortment of objects; my iPad, my little Creuset pot that I make my oatmeal with every Monday, Wednesday and Friday or my favorite vegetables, string beans. I was surprised that neither of them mentioned anything from the garden such as a trowel or a pruning scissor, especially since my garden tools do get a lot of use.

I found this was a revealing line of questioning; I am either associated with accessories, with cooking tools or with a writing tool. However, if I had posed the question to one of my closest friends; she would have echoed my husband’s answer, necklaces, because I remember her seeing a picture of me all made up and she said that the only way that she knew that it was me was because of my necklaces.

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I like all of the objects associated with me, which is why I always have them near and dear to me. I have had an illuminating object lesson, nothing outrageous or weird, just simple and practical objects. Well, maybe the necklaces aren’t practical, but they are dear and very valuable in terms of sentimentality, so I can allow myself that because there is no price on sentiment.

Jack in his element

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We have adored all of our dogs; Marshall our Black Lab, the Mayor of Blandford, Rex are most amazing German Shepard, Tuck our misunderstood Beagle who we adored and now Jack our little baby boy. What is very interesting is that out of all of our dogs, Jack is the only one who is a successful hunter. He treats our backyard as his private hunting grounds, he goes on safari on a daily basis.

His little face is so adorable and yet he has the heart of a killer. I have laughingly called him “murderer” on occasion. He is seriously persistent when he has a scent in his nose, he doesn’t let up at all.

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In this series of pictures, Jack had picked up a scent underneath that old statue in the middle of my rosebushes and he was relentless. He spent a good deal of time circling around the statue, scratching at the base hot on a trail. I can only imagine how, whatever was hiding underneath the statue was feeling, on the other hand, I have seen how nonchalantly the chipmunks walk around this place so maybe they weren’t all that frightened or stressed. It does get a little annoying how they do lord it over the place eating my bulbs and buds.

It is the nature after all and Jack’s breed was designed to hunt all kinds of critters, I just never expected him to be so good at it given he has such a lazy nature in the house. :D

Daily prompt: Nosey delights

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From the yeasty warmth of freshly baked bread to the clean, summery haze of lavender flowers, we all have favorite smells we find particularly comforting. What’s yours?

My all time favorite smell in the world and I do not think that there will ever be another smell to replace it comes from France, of course ;)

Imagine pulling up in your car or slowing down your bicycle and pulling into a parking located within a pine tree grove. You either get out of your car or get off you bicycle, you stretch and inhale. You immediately inhale the combined smells of fresh pine, the aroma of sunshine, the faint whiff of ocean air and the clean scent of age old sand. Each note is singular but they marry together into a scent that is exhilarating, intoxicating and pristine. It infuses you with a calm and peace that washes over your body, mind and soul.

I miss that scent so very much; if I could have bottled to tide me over for the months and sometimes years that I am away from France, I would.

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Beautiful isn’t it? One of my favorite places in the world, I can’t ever get enough.

Daily prompt: Reviving bricks

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You just inherited a dilapidated, crumbling-down grand mansion in the countryside. Assuming money is no issue, what do you do with it?

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These two “villas” are precisely what I have in mind when I think of my retirement home for my husband and myself later on down the road in France, not far from my family in the Bordeaux region.

These are neither crumbling down nor are they mansion grade, but for my wishes and desires I am more than ecstatic over the idea that either one of them could be mine. I would be over the moon if ever I found out that I had inherited either one.

Even if money weren’t an issue; I wouldn’t do much more then apply new paint, perhaps new tiles and just make everything clean and simple. I am not asking for much, a smallish home in the countryside near the ocean and the bay to live in France fulfilling a lifetime dream. I don’t see why that couldn’t happen, it really isn’t such an outrageous dream.

The best advice I ever received regarding plants

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Even though I have been gardening for about twelve years or so, I still consider myself a novice. I am always learning and adapting to new techniques and advice. The best advice that I have ever received was from one of my best friends and she helped me pick some great perennials. Her advice was to get perennials that self seed and self propagate; the reasoning behind her advice was based on several factors: economy, growth and sustainability.

I have many plants in my garden that you have seen through the course of my many picture sharings and so you have seen specimens of my dear friends great advice.

The best plants to fill up your garden with are the tall phlox, the cone flowers in all of their colors, hostas and lilies. You can divide them up without worrying about hurting them because they are very hardy and on their own they will do you the favor of multiplying all by their lonesome.

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Happy Bastille Day everyone! Joyeux 14 juillet a tous!

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I have been in Paris twice during the Bastille Day celebrations and both times were wonderful. The parades and the fireworks were spectacular; especially the fireworks over the Seine and near the Eiffel Tour.

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I do like the fact that the French National holiday is very close to the American National holiday given the fact that the French Revolution was partially inspired by the American Revolution. General LaFayette was very close to our General Washington; they spent years corresponding and Lafayette often came to visit George Washington during and after our revolution. Their’s was a beautiful friendship.

I am also nostalgic for France’s National Anthem and one of my favorite movies Casablanca has a beautiful rendition of “La Marseillaise”

This is easily my favorite scene in the entire movie and that is saying a lot because the movie is full of amazing scenes. How beautiful is Ingrid Bergman? How romantically sexy can Humphrey Bogart be in this movie? I first saw this movie in my junior year French class in high school and it has stayed with me ever since.

Daily prompt: Fearless fantasies

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How would your life be different if you were incapable of feeling fear? Would your life be better or worse than it is now?

I would never say that my life would be better or worse, it would just be different. If I had decided to persuade my sister into going a little farther in our back packing trip to Istanbul Turkey with our new friends. I’m sure that my life wouldn’t be different, but I would have memories of Istanbul in my mind instead of having it on my bucket list. That would have been nice.

If I had decided to take the plunge right after graduation and gone to California to pursue law school then who knows where I would be. Honestly that is a huge question, because I haven’t the foggiest notion as to how I would have fared in law school. I do not do well under pressure when it comes to public speaking and that is a big part of first year law classes. Another reason why I didn’t go immediately afterwards is that I had horrible memories of dormitory life from back during my days at S.U.N.Y at Albany so I was extremely leary of what it was going to be like at law school at the University of California at Santa Clara.

My passion for law was primarily environmental and given that salaries for environmental lawyers are a mere pittance; I probably would have been saddled by quite a bit of debt starting out in my professional life; but I would have attorney at law on a shingle somewhere. That wasn’t the primary reason why I didn’t go, but it was in the balance of factors influencing my decision.

Would I have married and had children if I had been an attorney? I am not sure, I can see myself get carried away with my work, not allowing for time to have a personal life.

I do not play these fantasy games except for the rare writing exercise because I cannot imagine my life without my family and I know that I would not have been happier as an attorney, that is just a title.

The relationship between absence and cherish

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Every weekend brings me closer to the fact that though I have a wanderlust nature, I truly cherish my home. Traveling this way and that is interesting, fun and challenging, but nothing is as satisfying as being home, back in the bosom of everything that familiar and comfortable.

I do look forward to seeing the new developments going on in the garden when I come back home. Yesterday when we got home; after doing the big welcome home ritual with Jack and our children, I went out back to see what sprang up in my absence. Here is what is new and exciting this week in my garden.

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Daily prompt: Can’t stand me

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What do you find more unbearable: watching a video of yourself, or listening to a recording of your voice? Why?

I cringe whenever I hear my voice on recordings; I don’t hear what I hear in my head when I am talking to myself, instead I hear a weird, nasal mumbling voice with a weird accent that is not what I know to be my voice and yet it is my voice. You would think that my abhorrence of my voice’s sound would deter me from ever speaking again, but since I don’t listen to it outside my head, I forget how ugly I sound. I posted a video of Jack doing stuff and you can hear me in the background.

I then made a little video to show how I sound in English and in French; I sound awful. I know that there is a physiological reason we sound so very different to ourselves then to the outside world, but it would be nice to have a melodious voice as opposed to the mumbly thing of I have going, I clearly needed diction and elocution classes while growing up, I know that I could change this; maybe I’ll try and do a more patrician accent and manner of speaking, something along the lines of Downton Abbey. That would be a nice change. Where’s my Higgins when I need him.

This is quite the frivolous post, I admit, but it did give me the opportunity to experiment a lot more with techie matters such as uploading media and figuring out how and where to place it. I need all of the practice I can get. It is painfully obvious to me, I had some fun doing this so be prepared to perhaps see more videos in the future.

A glorious day at the Boston Commons

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We are back in Boston and I took the opportunity to walk down towards the Boston Commons, cut through to get to Newbury Street because I needed to go visit one of my favorite shops Lush to get some products. Lush is one of my favorite shops because all of their lotions, moisturizers, soaps and shampoos are made with organic, fair trade ingredients and the company gives back tot eh communities that they visit to get their ingredients from such as small villages in Central America and Africa. I can get behind companies that believe in giving back as much as they believe in being successful.

As I was walking through the Boston Commons; I had to stop and take pictures because it was absolutely magnificent today, a light breeze and the temperatures were in the low 80’s and the fountains were on everywhere to give some needed coolness to the pets, people and the air.

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I adore the city of Boston.

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