Thursday, July 31, 2014


Taken from the passenger side window as we were driving through the French countryside a few weeks ago.

My thanks to the SkyWatch Team, YogiSandy and Sylvia,  for hosting this wonderful meme.

Please click here to visit other sky watchers.

Happy SkyWatch Friday!


I will be adding local scenes as well as sharing vacation posts from now on.

We found these fences while on a Sunday drive around our area of Virginia a while ago.

Thank you Theresa at The Run*A*Round Ranch Report for continuing another great meme.  Click on the blog link to see other participants, and the button below to find out more information.  

Monday, July 28, 2014

The house we rented when on vacation in Normandy.

Today I thought I would show you a few photos around the outside of our rental house in Gouville-sur-Mer, and of some 'local residents'.

 This is the front of the property looking from left to right. Isn't that stonework gorgeous?   I fell in love with this house as soon as I saw it and have to thank Gregg for finding it in the first place.  He googled it!  There were ten of us who slept here and the bedrooms were very comfortable. 

The front door.

 A lovely line of old green bottles were in the front.....

You know me and rusty old things, I adored them.

These were at the front also but on the side wall.

 This was in the back garden.  Looking over the hedge you could see the next door neighbors' house.

 I had not one peeve about this place.  Well, maybe one, we we had to leave eventually!  Next time I will have some inside pictures.

And now we come to the 'local residents'.  We used to pass them on our walks and weren't too far down the road.  They weren't too chatty, more curious than anything else.



 Gouville-sur-Mer is marked in red.  You can see how near we are to England - to Plymouth - which wasn't too far from where I used to live.  As the crow flies I think it is about 60 to 70 miles from Normandy to Plymouth.  



Saturday, July 26, 2014

A poem

This is a poem I found called "Messenger"
by one of my all-time favorites, Mary Oliver from her book "Thirst".

My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird,
Equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast, there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.

Are my boots old?  Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect?
Let me keep my mind on what matters,
Which is my work,
Which is mostly standing still and learning to be
The phoebe, the delphinium,
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all the ingredients are here,

Which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
And these body-clothes,
A mouth with which to give shouts of joy
To the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,
Telling them all, over and over, how it is
That we live forever. 

These photos are nothing to do with this poem, well maybe just a little, as I love the frog whom I think is looking out on nature with what I would say is pure joy.  Yes, I am empathizing.  It is something I relate to wholeheartedly.  Gregg took the shot of the sundial, and I think it is such a neat photo.  

My vacation posts will resume in the coming week.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Food post - A beverage - Fresh Lemonade

I am methodically going through our vacation photos and am in the middle of a post.  It is taking longer than I thought, and as I have had this in the pipeline for a while, well you get a recipe for Fresh Lemonade.

Yes, we all know that there is nothing better for you than good old  

but sometimes when you have company it's nice to be able to offer them a refreshing, cold drink on a hot summer's day.  I found this recipe at Christy's OnoNOMonopia Blog.  It is actually a Copycat Chick-Fil-A recipe.  You can see it here.   

Copycat Chick-Fil-A Lemonade

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes

Serves: 5

2/3 cup sugar
4 cups water, divided
3/4 cup lemon juice (about 6 squeezed lemons)

Squeeze lemons, making sure to strain out the seeds and most but not all of the pulp.

Mix sugar and 1 cup of water in a microwave safe container, then microwave for 1 minute on high.  Stir, then microwave 1 more minute and mix until sugar dissolves completely.

Stir sugar water, 3 cups chilled water and lemon juice.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.


I grew up thinking that Lemonade was actually a Lemon-like Soda Pop and if I remember correctly, the brand my Mum always bought was Corona. At least whenever she gave us a glass, that's what we got, I think.  Memory is a little fuzzy on these things lately.  

It was only when I came to the States and asked for Lemonade, that I learned differently.  Much to my surprise I got something that was made with fresh lemons.  We don't drink it very often but it can get very humid here and if I go out on one of those days, I might order a glass with my meal.  

You can always tell the fresh from that made with concentrate, which we can buy at the supermarket in the frozen section.  I sometimes got it for Brad when he was school-age.  It is fine except that sometimes you would like the kind made with real lemons.  The night I made this I cooked a piece of broiled haddock, oven roasted corn and steamed vegetables.  It went very well together.

We also discovered Limeade when traveling through Richmond, at a small whole-in-the-wall place.  It is closed now but we always stopped for a glass of freshly made Limeade on our way back home.  It was sooooooooo good!  I am going to try this using limes next time. 

My recipe turned out very tart.  I suppose it all depends on how much juice you squeeze out of those lemons and mine were large and had a lot of juice. Both Gregg and I like 'tart' and thought it was deliciously refreshing but you can always have extra sugar on hand for people who need to add more to sweeten.  You can also dabble with sugar substitutes.

And thank you Christy for this lovely drink.  You can find her blog here.  It has a lot of great looking recipes to try.

I also recently came across a really cute cookie recipe, great for your children or grandchildren, or just to have some fun in the kitchen.  I believe it is in Japanese but there are enough photos that you could maybe use your own favorite cookie dough recipe.  To see what I am talking about you just have to click here.  I bet they would go great with a glass of milk.  If anyone has a nut allergy you could also maybe M & M's?  It would be fun experimenting with different treats.

Saturday, July 19, 2014


 The link to Today's Flowers on our home page opens at 12.15 a.m. every Saturday, Eastern Time (US).  The old link will close the previous Thursday at 11.30 P.M.


I found some beautiful flowers in Normandy.


Today's Flowers was created by our good friend Luiz Santilli, Jr.

You can find beautiful flowers from around the world if you click here.

TF teamPupo - Sandy Carlson - Denise

If anyone would like to be a guest and share photos on our home page, details can be found at the top of Today's Flowers web site, which you will find here.

Friday, July 18, 2014


You really have to be careful what you say to a goat you know.


I am joining Misty's Camera Critters and Eileen's Saturday's CrittersThank you for hosting ladies, I am always happy to share my critter photos.


 This is the seaside town of Barfleur in Normandy, a place we visited one afternoon.  I found the following information online.

Barfleur is a commune in the Manche department in the Basse-Normandy region in northwestern France.  It is twinned with Lyme Regis in the United Kingdom.

In the Middle Ages Barfleur was one of the chief ports of embarkation for England.

In 1066 a large medallion fixed to a rock in the harbor marks the Norman departure from Barfleur before the Battle of Hastings.

In 1120 the White Ship carrying Prince William, only legitimate son of Henry of England, struck a rock and went down outside the harbor.  It caused the death of the heir to the English throne and chaos in the monarchy, setting the stage for the period of civil war in England known as the Anarchy.

In 1194 Richard of England departed from Barfleur on return to England following his captivity by Henry VI, Holy Remoman Empor.

The town was burned by Edward III in 1348 and then again during the 15th and 16th centuries.  In 1692 it was just off the coast from here that a great ship battle took place, known as the Battle of Barfleur. 

It is still a big yachting and fishing port today.

My thanks to the SkyWatch Team, YogiSandy and Sylvia,  for hosting this wonderful meme.

Please click here to visit other sky watchers.

Happy SkyWatch Friday!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


This is an artist's impression of the house we stayed in while we were in Normandy.  We were lucky enough to see it before we left, after spending an amazing time here.  Ten family members lived under the same roof for over a week and it was a whole lot of fun.  We were here with my Father-in-Law to attend the 70th D-Day Anniversary, which he took part in all those years ago.  It was an amazing week, one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences that none of us will ever forget.  I will be sharing our experiences and lots and lots of photos.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Last of the photos from Paris

These are the last of the photos of Paris, several of Notre Dame, a few near the Louvre and elsewhere.


Do you notice the hanging copper pots left of center above the shop? 

Here they are!


Yes, I was aware of these magnificent surroundings, but for a second or two I was focused entirely on the dog.  He was strides ahead of his human companion and at first I thought he was lost.  There was no leash involved.  Eventually he turned around to look and it wasn't long before they caught up with each other.  The Arc de Triomphe  is in the background.  I didn't get any closer photos of it because we were spinning around its surrounding roundabout trying to get our bearings.  Also it had scaffolding at the bottom and also canvas coverings which would have spoiled the look BUT there's always next time.  You can read about it here.

 And you can read about the Louvre here.  My son and daughter-in-law spent several hours, in fact all day, at the Louvre.  We had no opportunity this time BUT there's always next time.  I think I am beginning to recognize my very own banner cry.

 There were actually standing blocks for standing on, placed strategically in the area for such a shot. You can read about that glass pyramid here.

Next, onto Normandy.