Friday, October 30, 2009

PhotoHunt: Bags

I thought I would have a difficult time with this subject matter - not so! I couldn't decide which photo to feature because they are from places I love. So, I have posted two from the North End of Boston: bread boy and pizziella's et al in bags. Also from a Kapiolani Park Craft Fair (Oahu) and my wonderful Italian treasure, Lara, whom I met serendipitously while taking family and friends on a tour of Rome. She is a remarkable woman and got us into places within the Vatican only she and Constantinople knew of! She fed my desire to see more and more and more Caravaggios.

Gratitude Friday: Silence

I cherish silence as a way to meditate and pray or pray or meditate....or just be. As I get older, I understand that moments of silence are like whispers of calm. A pause helps to keep my world from rockin and rollin when I want it to be more like a waltz.

I consider myself today a very spiritual person, maybe not so much religious - in a Catholic sense. Prayer has been something recently arrived back in my life.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Saturday, October 24, 2009


Sailboats - cleat and boon sail. Typically common things tied in sailing.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Gratitude Friday: Girlfriends

May there always be work for your hands to do, may your purse always hold a coin or two. May the sun always shine on your windowpane, may a rainbow be certain to follow each rain. May the hand of a friend always be near you, may God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you. ~ Irish Blessing

Spent some quality girlfriend time savoring a long-awaited reunion dinner. We toasted to us – having known each other for over 40 years. Seen each other through divorces, deaths, children’s births, serious health and emotional issues, renewed romances, memorable trips, momentous decisions, and many hysterically funny and sometimes embarrassing situations. As one friend put it, there are things you can tell your girlfriends that you can’t tell your partner or your family.

Photo courtesy of web

Thursday, October 22, 2009

An Invitation in Dead Time

Fortunately, I have worked with one of the gentlest, wisest, most caring people in the Jesuit order. Indirectly he taught me daily something new about myself and realizations about my spirituality. Along with his passion for contemporarizing spirituality, he was a crafter of thoughts with words.

I still keep one of the sentences he used in some of his talks, and thought I would share it, this personal question, with you.

“What is your defining horizon?”

This was just one question he would ask you to ponder in ‘dead’ (spare/free)time. I thought that was truly painting a visual picture!

I'll share with you mine: when my mom died I was young and did not realize the impact her death or her influence and the depth of my loss until I had children; a counselling session while going through divorce proceedings when I realized I could and would survive; a Mother's Day card from my son, broke because of med school, but presented a most thoughtful letter about being a son to me; remeeting Ty.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wordless Wednesdays - GirlFriends

Where would we be without them?
PS: Gratitude Friday will feature same topic!

Monday, October 19, 2009


What fun is it being cool if you can't wear a sombrero. ~ Calvin and Hobbes

Saturday, October 17, 2009

PhotoHunt: Water (our choice)

Sticking with the 'water' theme (see Gratitude Friday this week - Rain).

The surf boards are a visual gift of Lahaina - although not uncommon for sure, they aided in making an early morning eye-opening a treat for me and Ty in Maui.

The other photo is of Portofino from the trail above the city - lovely, photogenic, wealthy Portofino ... The Italian and French Riviera - need I say more?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Alhambra (Granada) Spain

Kathy at ( and I have shared our stories of Andalucia - especially the Alhambra. We even blogged common photos.

Since my return from London, I have become eager to learn about the line of monarchy and thus the history of England (bear with me). So, I have been devouring historical fiction novels about the notable queens and notorious kings. Presently, I am reading, The Constant Princess, which is a novel about Catherine of Aragon - youngest daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella, Princess of Spain and Wales (Arthur's wife and then dutifully, faithfully and tragically - Henry VIII's). The book describes the entrance into the Alhambra after the King and Queen of Spain defeated the Moors. The author, Phillippa Gregory, describes the Alhambra like poetry: "But the little doorway is like a keyhole to a treasure chest of boxes, the one opening out into another. ....Their very names are a poem: the Golden Chamber, the Courtyard of the Myrtles, the Hall of the Ambassadors, the Courtyard of the Lions, or the Hall of the Two Sisters. It will take us weeks to find our way from one exquisitely tiled room to another. It will take us months to stop marveling at the pleasure of the sound of water running down the marble gulleys in the rooms, flowing to a white marble fountain ..... Every window frame is like whitework embroidery - the stucco is of fine, so delicate, it is like sugar work by confectioners ..."

I hope to paint you the picture of the Alhambra in your minds - it is truly breathtaking to see..

Photos from the web.

Gratitude Friday: Rain

I'm grateful for its nourishment. Sometimes, a little solitude is a good thing. Rain can instill a reflective mood.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

London: Changing of the Guard

The Changing of the Guard is a brilliant display of pageantry and was fortunate to build into my schedule while there. The parade begins at the St. James Palace where the Queen's Regiment and the drum and pipe band practice their drills then parade to Buckingham for the actual exchange of duty. The Queen's Household Regiment of horses, Scottish, Welsh and Irish wolfhound (at least he represented Ireland on that day) approach from another direction. Most of the guardsmen are on working duty and most have seen active duty in either Afghanistan or Iraq.

When The Queen is in residence, there are four sentries at the front of the building. When she is away there are two.

The crowds begin to gather well before the 11AM parade begins. We couldn't even make it across the street to the statue in front of the palace, the best viewing place because the police had roped off the streets. Thinking the London traffic and cabbies get used to this 'slight' inconvenience!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Quote - Re-energizing

Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. . . . Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.
~Carl Jung

Monday, October 12, 2009

London: Windsor Castle and The Eton School

Queen Victoria's statute heralds the entrance of Windsor Castle. The history of Windsor Castle includes two stages following the signing of the Magna Carta (amazes me how old England is and how NEW the US is). Elizabeth I used this castle as her primary residence. It has survived bombings of WWI and WWII and also survived a fire in 1992 which began in the private chapel. It was repaired and hosted the marriage of Charles and Camilla in 2005.

The prestigious Eton School was founded in 1440 by Henry VI. Eighteen prime ministers as well as Princes William and Harry are famous Etonians. Even Thomas More and George Orwell are graduates. The school uniform is a black tailcoat and pinstriped pants - like our formal tuxedos!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

PhotoHunt; Sports

It's too hard to pick one. In no particular order:-) Naturally, there's the Red Sox's beloved home, Fenway Park, the oldest ballpark in the country; BC Football, the team near and dear to my heart and work; Of course, the Cape provides the Falmouth Road Race each year, a family event, and there's the Shark Festival off Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket (photo not to be viewed by those with weak stomachs), and weekly there are sailing regattas off the coast of Falmouth and around the islands. The PMC is not only the longest cycling race but also the largest fund-raiser for cancer research. Lastly, there's a photo of my niece's daughter's English soccer team. We were fortunate to make one of Caroline's games. She's the youngest and smallest on the team (orange shirt), but scored her first goal at this game...way to go!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Gratitude Friday: Oceans

I think salt air from the ocean runs in my blood. It's soothing, it sustains life and, sometimes, it can take life away. Makapuu Point - almost lost my life there in Hawaii if it weren't for a friend's help who noticed I couldn't swim against the rip current I found myself in unexpectedly. So, I'm grateful for the force of Mother Nature witnessed in the beauty and power of her oceans. And, grateful that Eddie was around that day...

We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop. ~ Mother Teresa

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Last flowers of the year ...

London-Gardens at Hampton Court

As promised, the gardens of Hampton Court and all their beauty. Henry VIII barged down the Thames from London in the summer and entered through the garden gates to begin his summer interludes. The manicured landscape and peaceful feeling of being with nature brought me back for an afternoon of leisure in these gardens. The weather being warm and sunny of course helped to make this an afternoon delight.

Monday, October 5, 2009

London Hampton Court

What can I say about this picturesque palace that belies the naughtiness of Henry VIII's? It was the first of the palaces and gardens I saw - near Thames Ditton where my niece resides - so it remains the grandest in my mind's eye. You can actually see the mistletoe growing as balls in the tree at the front entrance - who knew? The architecture is distinctive with its chimneys and gargoyles and statues and gates - wonderfully crafted iron gates painted gold. This was the only place (including the museum) which would not allow photos taken inside the palace. I did manage to get a photo of the art in one corner of the queen's room.

Ghosts are said to haunt the place. Guess Henry's influence permeates all eras. Henry took over the palace from Thomas Wolsey, Archbishop of York, and favorite of King Henry VIII, who lavishly transformed Hampton Court into a splendid work of art. Over the centuries, with various owners, the Palace grew. The red bricks bring a harmony to all the forms of architecture prevalent in the buildings. It is truly a place you can spend a full day to visit.

The gardens - oh the gardens - are masterfully sculptured pieces of art. To a gardener, it was a delightful day strolling around beauty. But, the gardens will be a separate post as I'm having difficulty widdling down photos in this post about the palace.