Thursday, September 21, 2017

THE SECRET TO A GREAT ADVENTURE

Hubby keeps asking me where I want to go on our next big adventure, and I keep waffling around. First it was Tuscany. Then it was Quebec. Now I'm thinking we might just have to go back to Paris, even though we've already been there several times.


"Why?", you may be asking. Well, our greatest travel adventures seem to have occurred after I stumbled upon a novel that takes place in that part of the world -- especially when it's a novel written by a foodie. And, hoo-doggie, have I ever stumbled upon a Parisian treasure trove! The book I am reading is The Library of Light and Shadow, by M.J. Rose. It's too early to know whether I will love the novel itself, but what I found inside is priceless, nonetheless. The story hops back and forth between the main character's past and present -- a past where her first love took her on a "secret tour of Paris -- every spot chosen for her enjoyment and delight." First stop? No. 34 Passage du D├ęsir, a chocolatier, where he purchased one small sack of chocolate-covered orange peel. Back outside, he opened it and pulled out a piece.

" 'Open your mouth, and close your eyes. Don't bite on it at first, just let it start to melt. There's an art to eating fine chocolate.' I did as I was told, and he fed me. My body reacted to the delectable citrus and cocoa flavor and also the intimacy of the act. Once the chocolate covering had melted, I chewed the candied peel. Before I could open my eyes, Matthieu leaned forward and kissed me..."

I told my hubby we really need to go back to Paris so we can follow the path of their secret tour, and do everything that they did. Everything. Only problem? This mythical tour took place in the 1920s, so I have no way of knowing if any of these places are still there. My hopes are high, however. When I see the amount of detail the author puts into her descriptions, I have to believe these are places that she has actually been to herself.

Speaking of epic adventures, remember this little travel journal?


Remember how, when I finished it, I felt compelled to send it out into the world, just to see what happens? Well, guess who got an email yesterday from Art Journaling Magazine, saying it has been selected for publication in an upcoming issue?  SQUEEEEE!!!
 

Monday, September 18, 2017

MINIMALIST MOTIVATION

King of the Castle
There's nothing I like better than to get a group text from one of the kids saying "So what's everybody up to this weekend?" Saturday we got one from Alexis. Apparently Nate had a work-group-bonding-thing to attend on Sunday (guns and barbecue in Lockhart?) so she and Goobs were going to head our way. That's my signal to scurry, and get everything we let slide since his last visit back to babyproof status. Then comes the fun part! Choosing from amongst all the great toys and books we have been gifted with, and setting up a few "play stations". This time we went with zoo animals, since he hadn't seen those in a while.

He absolutely adores this book!
Then I added just a few tiny fall decorations which I thought might catch his eye, even though it's still in the 90's here, and hard to get in the mood.






The only problem with the baby-proofing part is that each time I think I've got it all figured out, he goes and raises the bar on us. Literally. Now, not only can he climb into those big ol' chairs,  he can also grab the big dining room chairs by a leg, drag them around on the smooth wood floors, and stand up in them to reach all the breakable stuff that was previously unreachable. Now what do I do? Could this be the true motivation behind the younger generation's love of minimalism? The big ceramic pumpkin will be the first thing to go.

Midway through the visit we headed into town to grab a bite at The Leaning Pear. I can't remember the last time we had brunch there -- probably not since Hays City opened, since it is much closer to our house. I was shocked at all the new brunch items they've added to their menu. Especially this one -- Fried Chicken and Biscuit with Sambal Honey and Kimchi! It's got my son Austin's name written all over it!


We capped off the visit by checking out the new toy store that just opened up next door to The Pear.

 
Uh-Oh. We're in trouble now! (More likely from Hubby than from Calvin)