Journeys that surround us fascinate me. It makes no difference if it's flowers, creatures, or people; each has a story. Sometimes the stories are shared.
The gardenias at Mahogany Oaks told me their story while I visited, and reminded me that they share a story with Mom and Dad.
At the urging of his brother, Dad left LSU and came to St. Louis where he met Mom. These two southern boys moved north, and both married local girls.
Mom loves flowers. She and Dad had many occasions to get dressed up in evening clothes. He'd always bring her a corsage or bouquet of some kind. I loved listening to Mom tell me about the time that Dad brought her a flower she didn't know. He'd told her it was a flower from "home"...a gardenia. Gardenias are not easily found in St. Louis. (I'd bet that men like my Dad weren't either.)
Having hunted for them in St. Louis; finding this huge shrub of gardenias at Mahogany Oaks made it even more special. If it weren't so wet, I'd have found a way to get in the very middle and just sit there. I'd close my eyes, soak up their aroma, and let the breeze brush my face and soul with their lush, white, velvet flowers. I wonder what other stories we'd conjor together?
From south to north, from bud to white that wanes to yellow; gardenias will always say Mom and Dad to me.
Some evenings are just perfect...perfect friends, perfect ambiance, perfect views, perfect restaurant, and a perfect waitress.
You can't go wrong with any evening that begins at Mahogany Oaks. We began John's birthday celebration evening at the Mahogany Oaks Bar (better known as the MOB) and then carried the festivities on over to Friends in Madisonville.
Friends had been a favorite of my gang. The stories they did tell. Flooded out twice and recently reopened, we had more to celebrate than John's birthday. We celebrated that re-opening of a favorite, memory filled location that had been "face-lifted" and enlarged. Being right on the Tchefuncte River with a view of John Goodman's home nestled into the others on the other side of the river, didn't hurt either.
After fun and food at Friends with friends, the moon lit our path back to the car and all was right with the world. Congratulations to John on his birthday and Friends on their reopening! I'm sure we'll be back! Happy Saturday Everyone!
Having just written last week about Monet's Nympheas at l'Orangerie after Pat and Monsieur Honey's visit in Paris; the lily pond at Mahogany Oaks screamed my name. I've seen very few of these ponds that are on a piece of land where they can sprawl and "live" uncontained by a structure of some kind. I had visions of a Japanese Bridge reaching across the middle of the pond, as I stood on the back veranda watching the rain.
Fortunately, I'd just been out and taken my shots before the afternoon deluge of thunderstorms hit. It was already soggy, but I was undaunted. Had I been any later, I'd have needed my waders.
It was easy to have visions of Monet and Giverny as I wandered and shot, but John's Momie was right there along wth the rest of us. So much of Mahogany Oaks is a tribute to Momie, that it just seemed right that she'd be walking right along beside me. Thinking of her gave me patience, helped me pay attention as I walked into soggy bogs, and encouraged me to get the very best shots I could. I realized that this too, is a tribute to her. She always makes me smile.
I leave you with a special TGIF from Momie, Monet, Mahogany Oaks and Me! Special thanks to John and Mike and a Happy Weekend to All!
As much as Sammie Cat and I love New Orleans; it's nice to escape, if even for just a day away. We're heading off this afternoon to spend a "day in the country" with our friends John and Mike. Oh, the French Taxes and July workshop preparation will still be waiting for me. But, after a couple of nights and a day away with friends...I'll be refreshed and ready to charge ahead again. See you on Friday!
When I have friends who are going to Paris; I have a list of my "musts" in the City of Light. The two oval rooms with floor to ceiling Monet's at the Musee de l'Orangerie are number one.
There are many days when I'm just passing through Paris on my way home or returning to the states.
On those days, I've found myself grabbing a cafe au lait, a pain au chocolat, and one of these green metal chairs right outside the museum just so I can be close to the Nympheas. I prop my tired tootsies on a nearby chair. I close my eyes and pretend I'm standing all alone in the middle of one of the rooms. There, I can pirouette and dance undisturbed, surrounded and cuddled by these magnificent works of art that speak to my soul.
Their size and presentation are breath-taking. Because they are almost impossible to describe to people; I bought the book about them and the history of their journey. You learn more about Monet and alternate sites for the installation, but when you unfold one of the paintings that takes five full-sized sheets of paper to contain just one; you are able to grasp some their magnificence and indescribability.
Don't miss the magic of Monet at the Musee de l'Orangerie!
Havng survived a weekend of workshops and a week on the run with a friend from out of town; I'd set my Friday aside for me. I got busy right away with laundry, cleaning, purging, sorting and cooking. About half-way into baking the marinated catfish and cheese stuffed meatloaf; I invited Stew and Eric over for dinner. I'd scooped some mozzarella "pearls" so I was ready with all the makings of a tomato basil mozzarella salad. (It's rare that I can offer my guests a choice of entree!) But, the piece de resistance had to be the Henri Bourgeois Sancerre 2013.
Cafe au lait and beignets at Morning Call had been a nice way to say thanks for picking my friend up at the airport, but I knew that Sancerre would be a perfect "merci" to Eric. Not only have Stew and Eric helped with "pick-ups", but I've already told you about my early Friday evenings over on Dupre Street when Eric and I are having a wine and sometimes "milking" the box down to the last drop. Here it was...Friday, a perfect time for dinner together with a very nice bottle of wine. It was fun to watch Eric savor every moment. And, it was a very nice companion to the marinated catfish.
Huge Merci to all of my guys on Dupre Street. Eric, Stew and Louie Boy have become an important part of the "rebuilding" of my emotional infrastructure here in New Orleans.
We are about to become even more colorful here on Columbus Street. My old reliable favorites and the garden haul I brought down from St. Louis are doing their jobs. I'm sure the rain, heat, and humidity are making everyone happy! Even with all of the leaf-eating, grazing, creatures; everyone has blooms and either bloomed or are about to. I'm feeling very "green" at the moment.
I am hoping that we have laid the foundation for ongoing beautiful springs and summers here.
I'm about to go out and enjoy it with a cup of coffee and my journal.