Saturday, October 16, 2010

On approach

My brother, Jerry, visited Don and Mary (another brother and his wife) recently and took them flying in a vividly blue Pennsylvania sky.
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"That's a sweet-looking ship... Beechcraft Bonanza..."

I don't know a thing about flying, so Terry pitched in with the subject above this picture.
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Welcome hug

Donnie and Jerry
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Jerry performing the pre-fright

Mary looking nervously for Don, hoping he's not going to make her do this alone.
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Don doesn't know much about flying either, but thinks this might be instructive.
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What the heck makes that thing stay up there?
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October 16, 1793

I've listened to, and loved, Antonia Fraser's "Marie Antoinette: The Journey" more than several times. Every time I listen to it, I learn something new. The most recent go-round ended today, coincidently, on the anniversary of her execution. So, I walked seven miles this morning, listening to an account of the last days of her life, the trial, her execution and a prologue. My mind was whirling with pictures and thoughts to post. In the end, I decided the topic is too large for me to do it justice today and will only post this montage that I found online. Long live the Queen.
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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Mary Belle and Dad


Posted by PicasaAn  important event I've been remiss in reporting is that my dad remarried in July.  His wife, Mary Belle Bordone, is a longtime friend of the family, but one whom we'd not seen in many years.  I can't think her name without remembering how much my mother admired her and admired the fact that she goes to Mass every morning.  In fact, if I
remember correctly, when I was a little girl and my dad
was a prisoner-of-war, my mother told me that Mary Belle went to Mass and prayed for him and the other POWs every day.  Mary Belle's husband, Dick, was a close friend and shipmate of my dad's on the USS Independence. Capt. Bordone had also been shot down, but rescued, during the Vietnam war and passed away several years ago, at about the same time as my mother.   They had very good-looking sons and daughters.  Their sons, Mike and Bobby, played Little League in King's Grant.   All the junior high aged girls threw themselves at those handsome Bordone boys.  I was among the shameless and Kim, enthusiastic, but more restrained, was right there with me.  I'm very happy for my dad that he has such a kind, lovely, funny, warm, spunky wife.  

Why, yes, I do have a son.

My son, David, doesn't make many appearances on my blog, because he doesn't make many appearances in front of the camera.  He probably prefers not to be on the blog, but can't avoid it forever.  Right now, I'm in
Boston, sitting in a coffee shop, reminded of David, the coffee shop enthusiastic / English major.  He'd love this place - brick walls, heavy wooden door with brass fittings, old overstuffed mismatched furniture, wood plank floor partially covered by worn oriental rugs, local characters talking loudly with Boston accents, and the radio playing pretty good music.

David

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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Happy Birthday, Nisha

Nisha and her mom, my dear friend, Danielle, were in Paris several years ago on the day one of the Harry Potter books was published and scoured the city for this English edition. (And, because Micah also loves Harry, and because Danielle indulges my children's every whim, they brought home a French edition for Micah, who wanted one though she speaks not a word of the language.) Today, I want to wish sweet, beautiful Nisha a special day. She's in California, a college freshman, getting ready to study theatre at USC, and I want her to know we're thinking of her. Sweetie, because you're so far away, and we miss and love you and want to celebrate your day in a fitting manner, we're going to Anthro and I'll encourage your mom to spend beaucoups on "a little happy", as my mother used to say, to put in a post-birthday care package. Spoil yourself on your birthday! xoxo
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Monday, September 6, 2010

Hotel L'Academie

Situated in Saint Germain des Pres, the hotel's location could hardly have been better. I looked at a lot of hotels online and chose this one because, for one thing, I liked the look of these cozy rooms and, best of all, the website said it's the former home of the duc de Rohan. .. The interior has been gutted and renovated and, besides, I read somewhere that it had actually been the home of his guardsmen, but no matter. It was close enough for me.
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We got very attached to this place!
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Our hotel was about four blocks from the Seine and the bridge to the Louvre.
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Paris AND a thunderstorm

This was my lucky day. Two of my favorite things.
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Every time we walked across the bridge over the Seine and approached the arched entry of the Louvre courtyard, my heart sped up. This entrance led to so much. The first day, we went to the Louvre but, on subsequent days, we took the same route to Place de Concorde, Champs de Elysee, Tuileries Gardens and other destinations.
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The Coronation of Napoleon by Jacques-Louis David

To prevent the detail from getting even less clear than this, the painting has been cropped. Only the center is shown. The painting in the Louvre is 30' x 16'. David painted himself into the gallery. He also included Napoleon's mother (top left in chair) who refused to attend in protest to a family squabble between Napoleon and his brothers. Napoleon is shown preparing to place the crown on Josephine's head.



A self-portait of Madame Elisabeth-Louise Vigee-Le Brun with her daughter. She was Marie Antoinette's favorite portrait painter.
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Dining Room of Napoleon III in the Louvre

Now that the ancien regime was no more, how did the people feel about the opulence of the Napoleons?
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Saturday, September 4, 2010

We were enjoying an omelette when we realized that our clock was wrong and it was really two hours earlier than we'd thought. Lucky for us, a short ride on the RER and we were among the first through the gates of Versailles.
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It didn't take long for this courtyard to fill up and by late morning, when we left, the line to get in was at least several hours duration.
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The Royal Chapel at Versailles

The site of Marie Antoinette's and Louis-Auguste's marriage.
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Versailles Chapel

This upper tier was reserved for royalty and persons of honor.
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That's my girl

Micah, in one of the windows of the Hall of Mirrors. From the look on her face, I can see that she gets it.
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