Tuesday, December 25, 2018

A Very Merry Christmas

Gentle Friends, just stopping by this morning to post a favorite carol ...

... sung by the Choir of Kings College, Cambridge it's a lovely song ... enjoy!!
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MERRY CHRISTMAS
edgar

Friday, December 21, 2018

A Little Winter

Gentle Friends, today is the first day of Winter.... so in keeping with past "First Day's" I've plucked a great version of Vivladi's "Winter" from the Four Seasons, just the first movment....


....  enjoy!!
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Take care,
edgar

Thursday, December 20, 2018

A Little Christmas Baking

Gentle Friends, I got it together enough to bake up some treats for sending out to my Family and Friends, near and far away... it seemed that time just was whooshing by... I was thinking about it all Fall and I finally decided to bake up one of my Mom's recipes... one that she always made during the Christmas Season...  baklava...  a traditional Mediterranean flaky pastry made with nuts (usually walnuts and pistachios), phyllo dough and a sweet syrup of honey and sugar...  

I figured out how much I needed and calculated that five 9x13 pans of the stuff would do...

These are pans 3 & 4 - I only have two 9x13 pans in my arsenal!!

My Mom started making baklava way back in the 1990s and it eventually became a staple of her Christmas baking regime... other things that were staples at my house ... cranberry nut bread, Mississippi Mud Cake, and various cookies, little orange blossom cupcakes... coconut cake and pound cake...  She got the recipe from a good friend in the Museum Guild she belonged to and that's the recipe I used, with a couple of tweaks.... of course... I jazzed up the syrup with a bit of lemon and for the teaspoon of cinnamon that is called for, I replaced it with my own Fall 6 Spice blend.  The fifth and last pan also got another tweak as I was running out of walnuts I ended up just replacing them with pecans (my favourite nut) and it turned out deliciously well!!  Now that the outside gift-baking is done I may end up making a few treats for us and our Christmas guests that are coming .... who knows I get mighty nostalgic around the Holidays!!!
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Thanks for stopping by sports fans.  Right now I have no plans to Post next week I am taking some time off.... but you never know??? 
 Have a super Christmas!!

Take care,
edgar


Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Another Busy Weekend

Gentle Friends, the weekend started off with another wonderful performance... 
this time we were off to the ballet... 

... to see The Nutcracker!!

... this is a video of the SF Corps de ballet dancing the Waltz of the Snowflakes... it is from 2011 but the staging is identical to what we saw.  For our performance towards the end of the piece, it became a literal blizzard on the stage of swirling snow!! It was great!!

... a shot to the stage before it began...

... I got this shot down into the lobby of the Opera House as we were leaving... 

... across the street from the Opera House, the City Hall is now lit for Christmas!!

.... recognize Symphony Hall from last week... it's right next door to the Opera House, all clustered down in the Civic Center area of the City...
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Then Saturday, friends of ours took us out to brunch for Christmas...
to a "new" to us place...
... Alba Rays, a Cajun-inspired place in the heart of the Mission...

... there is a pretty extensive bar!!



... we ordered some drinks, a delicious Bloody Mary a Hurricane and a Peach Cobbler... 

... for a starter, we had a couple of Pancake Souffles...

... the only misstep was the biscuit, not a very good one, but they tried...

... Tom had Boudin Eggs Benedict...

... I ordered a side of bacon, yum, an order of Pain Perdu (French Toast) and a side of some of the best grits ever!!!  Really creamy with a ton of butter and Parmesan cheese!!

...Mindy order Baked Eggs...

... and Rico had Smoked Pork Hash, with house made Tots!!
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... then Sunday night we headed out into the rain to a Christmas cocktail party...

... Adam's house was beautiful and his tree was lovely ... he had a ton of food...

... after Adam's party, we went to dinner at a Sushi place... after dinner, we had one more party to get to... it was Christmas Dessert Party... where they really didn't want me taking pictures... so I didn't, which was too bad...

Image result for evening dessert buffet christmas
... so I lifted this snap from the Internet of a dessert party with a Christmas theme... it was good to get home as it was still raining and had gotten cold... so a warm house was very welcome!!  I think that sort of wraps up most of the social obligations for a quick moment!!
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There you go sports fans, thanks for coming along on the ride... do stop in again!!

Take care,
edgar

Monday, December 17, 2018

A Little Stitchin'

Gentle friends, I've done a pitiful amount of stitching this week.  I had a question last week and just can not find the comment, but it was about this sampler and who the designer is... Jacob over at Modern Folk Embroidery designed this fun piece and you can click  HERE to go there.  I really like his designs and will do others in the future.  This season I've been busy most nights and the weekend was full up again with Christmas fun and frolic (more tomorrow)... here's a snap of where I left off...


... it's crazy how caught up in the whirlwind of Christmas we've become this year, but it's fun and were having a good time!!
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There you go sports fans, thanks for stopping by do stop again!!

Take care,
edgar

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Wrapping up France with visits to...Notre Dame, Saint-Gervais & Saint-Protais, St Sulpice, Saint Sevrain and some Shops Fall 2018

Gentle Friends, for this last of the France Posts I thought I would gather together some of the most lovely churches in Paris... I have been to most of them before and have posted about them in past posts, but they are really wonderful and you can never have enough wonderful in your life!!

First up is Notre Dame, although I've been here a few times, it has been years since I last visited....  so on this trip when I came out of the Sainte Chappel, I mosied on over (both Sainte Chapel and Notre Dame are on the Ile de la Cite)  to see what the line looked like and low and behold, it was next to nothing so I hopped in the queue and in about 5 minutes I was inside...
... you can see that there were people in a tiny crowd but that's hardly any thing like it usually is...sometimes there could be 100's in line waiting to get in...it's kinda crazy... so lets go in...

... looking down the nave...

... one of the side aisles...

... the cathedral was begin during the reign of King Louis VII (reigned 1137-80) in 1160 and largely completed by 1260, though modified frequently over the following centuries.  In the 1790's Notre-Dame suffered quite a bit of desecration during the French Revolution when much of its religious imagery was damaged or destroyed...


... this is the chapel of the Our Lady of Guadeloupe...

... along the choir are these large bas-relief sculptures of the life of Christ...




... the north Rose Window, c. 1250 and is about 12.9 meters in diameter... It's main theme is the Old Testament, but the central medallion depicts the Virgin and Child...

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... after the cathedral  I walked on over to this great bookstore on the left bank...  fun to browse and the books are in English...
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... staying on the left bank I walked over to St Severin.  This church is dedicated to Severin of Paris.  he was a hermit who lived on the banks of the Seine during the first half of the fifth century.  The original small Romanesque church built on this site was built over his grave.  The "new" more imposing structure built to serve the growing community on the left bank was started at the beginning of the 13th century.  It is in the gothic style with a main nave and lateral aisles.  The church was seriously damaged during the 100 years war by a huge fire in 1448.  During the restoration, the church was rebuilt in the Late-Gothic style we see today.  At that time an aisle was added to the north and a semi-circular apse was added to the eastern end with an ambulatory complete with columns... including the unusual, "Palm Tree" central pillar...

... this is a snap of the twisted "Palm Tree" central column... it's really beautiful and doesn't photograph well... and you wonder at the time what was the inspiration for a "palm tree"?

... and here's a better snap of the nave looking towards that central colomn.... it really stands out !!

... looking back down the nave towards the front door and the grand organ loft...

... many of the windows have been replaced with modern windows...
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On to the next church...

... I also visited Saint Gervais/Saint Protais...  the current church was built between 1494 and 1657, on the site of two much earlier churches.  The facade was completed last and at the time was the first example in Paris of  what became French Baroque.

... the nave of the church (built c. 1600-20) is notable for its dramatic and soring ribbed vaulting - it's simple and the star shaped vaults are really lovely.  Also, notice how the lower level of the nave has a real Gothic feel while as you look up you can see the influence of the renaissance....

... in the north transept is a wooden organ and a wonderful painted alter piece of the Passion of Christ...

... painted by Noel Bellemare and his assistants c. 1546


... the High Alter ...
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... the chapel of the virgin at the back of the church behind the high alter is noted for its late Gothic ceiling and beautiful stained glass.

...these glass windows are some of the oldest  windows in the flamboyant Gothic style , made by Jean Chatellain in 1517, illustrating the life of the Virgin Mary...

... looking at the high alter with the Lady Chapel behind and the large stained glass windows that fill the church with tons of light...
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... I headed over to another church to revisit it's loveliness... Saint-Paul/Saint Louis... this church was constructed between 1627-41... the first stone was laid by Louis XIII in 1627... designed by Jesuit architect Etienne Derand...

... it's a big church and really just a lovely quiet space to be in and walk around...

... in one of the transept is this alter with the Virgin Mary ...

... the windows are plain glass and the place is full of light ...
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  I visited Ultramod Haberdashery looking for that replacement ribbon... it's actually two shops 


... ne shop is geared towards hats and millinery... and the other...


... is the ribbon, button and doo-dads.... that's where I headed...

... this place was a lots of fun and full of so much stuff!!!  It was quiet and just me and the saleslady, who was so helpful and found the ribbon I needed...

... it's on a side street and out of the way, but with a little persistence it is so worth a visit!!
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The last church I visited  was Saint Sulpice...

...this church is 113 meters long, 58 meters in width and 34 meters tall, which is only slightly smaller than Notre Dame, which makes it the second largest church in the City.  It is dedicated to Sulpitius the Pious.  Construction of the present building replaced and earlier Romanesque church and was begun in 1646.


... the Baroque interior of the Lady Chapel, rebuilt in 1729 was rebuilt again in 1774 after a fire in the neighborhood which destroyed the chapel and other structures nearby.  The fire happened in 1764, and the Chapel was completed in 1774.  The dome is lit by hidden widows that let in natural light.  The fresco is by Francois LeMoyne and depicts the Assumption of the Virgin and dates from 1734....

In the Chaple of the Holy Angels, the two murals depicted are by Eugene Delacroix... each of the murals are more than 23 feet high, and the one on the ceiling is more than 16 feet across...

... this most famous of the pair is of  "Jacob Wrestling with the Angel"...

... and the second painting, facing the "Jacob" mural... is of "Helidorus Driven from the Temple"...

... and the very last picture from my trip will be the ceiling of the Angels Chapel... it is of "Saint Michael Vanquishing the Demon."  The mural program to decorate the chapel was completed in 1861.  The next day I took my flight back to SF.....
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It was a super trip and I had many memoriable expeirences... 
but as one little girl said long ago.." there's no place like home..."

There you go sports fans, my Fall trip to France.  I do hope you enjoyed it, I always enjoy writing about and reliving the trip.  Thanks for stopping by do stop again!!

Take care,
edgar

A Little Stitchin'

 Gentle Friends, stitching away on the lovely Miss Quertier... and loving it to pieces!!  Here's a snaperoo... ... since I am not doing ...