A piano….a cello….beautiful music with which to begin a week of Thanksgiving and gathering to say prayers of gratitude. It’s a time for family and friends to be together for the joy of eating wonderful food, giving thanks and spending time just enjoying life and the beginning of the holiday season. It’s my favorite of all the holidays! I know you’ll enjoy this wonderful video by Titanium as they perform together. Peace be with you all!
Only in New Orleans could I find out about St. Catherine….and the upcoming parade in her honor. In the French tradition ladies who come together every year for this event will once again don their finest chapeaux and join in the annual St. Catherine’s Day Hat Parade.
St. Catherine is the patron saint of milliners and single women. “Catherinettes”, as her French followers are known, make all sorts of wonderful hats in shades of yellow and green. Some of the hats are outrageous and others more simple in nature. The French Catherinettes are women who have not married by the age of 25. Hats are donned for the day as a pilgrimage is made to the statue of St. Catherine to pray for suitable husbands. I love what wikipedia lists for the prayers: The French say that before a girl reaches 25, she prays: “Donnez-moi, Seigneur, un mari de bon lieu! Qu’il soit doux, opulent, libéral et agréable!” (Lord, give me a well-situated husband. Let him be gentle, rich, generous, and pleasant!”) After 25, she prays: “Seigneur, un qui soit supportable, ou qui, parmi le monde, au moins puisse passer!” (Lord, one who’s bearable, or who can at least pass as bearable in the world!”) And when she’s pushing 30: “Un tel qu’il te plaira Seigneur, je m’en contente!” (“Send whatever you want, Lord; I’ll take it!”).
So this coming Sunday, November 22nd, at 10:00, all of the lovely women with their wonderful hats will meet to share champagne, bringing a bottle is encouraged, march together and enjoy the music of Bart Ramsey and members of ZaZou City. It promises to be an unforgettable day AND it will be my first ever parade in New Orleans, Lord willing and my new knee will cooperate!
I cannot wait to meet this fun loving group of women and share in the celebration! St. Charles Avenue at Pleasant Street is the gathering place with this year’s theme “The Hat Pack” setting the scene for a wonderful party!
I love stumbling over videos by artists who combine their talents to create beautiful music. While watching a PBS video of an interview Tavis Smiley did with singer, Judy Collins, they discuss her newest CD, “Strangers Again”. Ms. Collins performs with some of music’s greatest male artists, including Michael Mcdonald, Jackson Browne, Willie Nelson and, a surprise to me, Jeff Bridges. She talks about meeting with Jeff Bridges in regard to what he’d like to sing with her on the album. I knew he sang, but I had no idea about what or when….or where. He selected “Make Our Garden Grow”, a lovely piece from “Candide”, the wonderful musical by Leonard Bernstein. So on this Simple Sunday I’m featuring the music Judy Collins and Jeff Bridges made together. It fits the day and it suits my mood. I hope you’ll enjoy it!
“Begin to weave and God will provide the thread.” This old German proverb stands alone on the page of a book recently sent to me by author, June Hall McCash, “The Thread Box”.
“The Thread Box” is the latest of Ms. McCash’s wonderful books. Unlike her other works of fiction and non-fiction that so many readers have enjoyed, this is a collection of poetry. The lovely simplicity of the books’ cover with its vine of thread, seashells and flowers guides one inside the pages to discover that Ms. McCash can pen poetry in a way so few can.
The book begins with a section on Jekyll Island, Georgia. The author spent countless summers and holidays there writing about the island’s history and providing us with a peek into the bygone days of the Jekyll Island Club Hotel with its rich cast of characters and events. The poetry you’ll find in this first section will have you feeling the squish of sand through your toes as you walk on the beach or gasp as you experience the color of wildflowers along the causeway leading onto the historic island.
June Hall McCash is an award winning author of eleven books of fiction and nonfiction. Her soon to be released work of young adult fiction, “The Boys of Shiloh”, is set in the Civil War and promises to be a great read, not just for middle schoolers, but for any age. But I’m stuck on her poetry for the time being, devouring every line and letting my imagination see the images her words create. I highly recommend “The Thread Box”, it takes you away from the cares of the day and paints pictures of the vast life and experience the author has enjoyed. Just to whet your appetite a bit….here’s a short poem from the book entitled, “Winter Fragment”.
a dusting of snow on the roadway
like flour sifted on the castle floor
to catch a lover’s footprints
in the night
Thank you June, for sharing your words, for showing us a bit of your soul and for creating this wonderful collection of poetry, “The Thread Box”.
Where has the year gone? It’s already November and I can hardly believe it! Autumn is always my favorite time of year. I love the food, the colors and the feeling of the season. I haven’t had the opportunity to get out and explore but soon I will be out and about! I found this lovely autumn video and piano music that I thought you might enjoy on this fine Sunday morning. Wherever you are or whatever you are planning for the day, take some time to relax, breathe deeply…feel the love the surrounds you and say thank you!
Nothing can top Halloween in New Orleans! When it comes to celebrating holidays this city is famous for over the top decorating, parties and PARADES!
This is a city full of lively people who know how to have a great time. Halloween is, perhaps, at the top of the list for yards that say BOO! Louellen Berger’s home on St. Charles is a perfect example of how New Orleanians like to do it up right!
It would be impossible to judge a costume contest as one out does the next! When it comes to holiday style you’ll find it on every corner.
This year the weather may not cooperate but will that stop the Big Easy? NO WAY! Plans are already in the works to move indoors and continue the celebrating.
Safety is always at the top of my list for this night of celebration. So plan your route, keep your children together and, if need be, assign a designated driver.
Most of all have fun! It’s important to celebrate and this holiday, above any other, provides a time to do just that, no presents necessary, just enjoy!
I’m entering week two of rehab after having a full knee replacement on my left knee. Thank God for my physical therapist, Victoria, who comes to my home to push, pull and stretch my knee to its limits! It’s all part of recovery. Keeping myself entertained while still on narcotic pain killers is a bit of a challenge.
I try to write and my eyes begin to close….heavy lidded….naptime!
I’m not a big fan of television, but we recently installed Apple TV and I’m quite happy with my choices, thank you!
I’m loving the PBS series, “Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries” on Netflix. I love the main character and find myself relating to her sense of style, fashion and love of mischief, not to mention mystery.
Ah….to live in the day when women truly dressed like ladies. I’m sure most of the women of her day did not have the sheer guts to self express in the way Phryne Fisher does. In case you don’t know you pronounce this saucy characters first name, “Fry Knee”.
If you haven’t seen this series you must find some time to sit back, have a cup of tea and enjoy. And let me know if you don’t feel like finding a vintage outfit you can kick up your heels in…and of course, an extravagant boa!
We have lots of dragonflies in our yard here in Louisiana. I have always loved to watch them fly, gliding in pairs through the air. This piece, “The Dragonfly’s First Morning”, by William Zeitler suits their flight perfectly. The round about tune that builds then ebbs and grows again lets me see these lovely creatures in my minds eye. What a lovely way to begin a Sunday! A lot of people have told me, over the past few months, that God doesn’t give us more than we can handle and that we become stronger through adversity. I just smile quietly to myself and settle back to find the dragonflies. Wishing you a very peaceful day filled with love and time to do exactly what you want to do!
I have always loved the lily. Especially the pink stargazer variety that you see in the picture above. But did you know that the symbol, Fleur De Lis, is fashioned after the lily?
If you begin to trace the symbol back to its origins you’ll find that it all began in Egypt with the lotus. The blooms would open by day and sink beneath the surface of the water at night, thus symbolizing rebirth.
This replica of an ancient Egyptian hieroglyph shows how the image we call the Fleur de Lis might have begun.
The Fleur de Lis as we know it today came from France. When the French claimed Louisiana it was in the name of King Louis XIV that they did so. The Fleur de Lis was a symbol of the monarchy, almost completely obliterated during the French Revolution.
In current day Louisiana you see the Fleur de Lis everywhere. Flags, wrought iron fences, Saint’s helmets…on and on, the Fleur de Lis can be seen all over the city of New Orleans and throughout the state. It has long symbolized the Holy Trinity in the Catholic church and has also been credited to be a symbol of Mary Magdalene if stories that she traveled to France are true.
I’ve been collecting all sorts of Fleur de Lis for several years now. I love the shape, the symbol, the fact that my nickname is “Lis”, although the “s” is sounded. And what a surprise to realize there are bronze Fleur de Lis embedded in the glass tile backsplash of my new kitchen. I believe I was destined to live here in the New Orleans. My adventures here are just beginning and I cannot wait to share them all with you!
Traditionally I share music that is soft and relaxing on Sunday mornings. But I just have to feature this video today that gives you an idea of what the music of the Cajun’s here in Louisiana are famous for. It’s known as “Zydeco” and I challenge you not to at least tap your toe when you hear it! Dancing to it is even more fun. The “two step” from my Texas upbringing works mighty fine when you are led by a partner who knows how to do this simple dance. It’s more fun than I can put into words. The music is lively, full of positive energy and just what I want to begin my day today. Tomorrow…..I’ll need a few pick-me-ups as I have my left knee replaced. But that isn’t going to get me down…oh no! I’ll be back on my feet finding the music and dancing away before you know it! And just because I won’t be able to get around easily over the next few weeks won’t stop me from posting! Stay tuned for stories and history and more!