Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Tasha Tuesday

With Bert this time. They really do seem to get along, at least for short bursts. Tasha is the aggressor, but Bert doesn't let her get away with too much. When he's had enough, he leaves. But he's a good sport. And Tasha is much less aggressive towards Bert than Callie was.

Tasha and Bert spar on the rug just inside the doors to the deck.

And they do have moments of tenderness, if you will. They take turns licking each other's face. And sometimes they just sit around next to one another. It's cute. The big change is that Bert gets to spend more time in the house than he used to when Callie was around. And I think that, as he gets older, he likes that. And he'll like it even more as winter comes along.

A loving embrace. Ok, maybe not.

I'm planning to make Tasha's first appointment with the groomer for next month. She needs a bath and a good brushing, and I think it would be good to get her used to going to the groomer sooner rather than later. The groomer in Saint Aignan also does boarding, and we think we might try that next year. We're thinking about going to Paris for our 35th anniversary next June. We've never boarded a dog before, but if we start Tasha while she's young, she might get used to it. Still, it's just thinking at this point.

Monday, September 18, 2017

The lower field

This is the "wheat" field that Tasha and I walk around when we go down the hill into the valley on our afternoon walks. The field is not always planted in wheat. Sometimes it's colza (rape seed), once in a while it's sunflowers. This year the crop looks like millet. The field will probably be harvested soon because, at least to me, the seeds look ready.

A field of millet. The river is just behind the tree-line on the left. Our house is up the hill to the right.

There's another field pretty close that's planted with the same millet. I don't know if it's owned by the same people or not, but it's likely. So, we have grapes up on the slopes where we live, and other crops down in the valley below us. The grapes are not grown in the valley because they need good drainage. That's a contrast to much of California's vineyards which, at least in Napa and Sonoma, are mostly planted on the flat valley floor. They get much less rain there, so drainage is not an issue.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Change is our friend

Fall is officially just a few days away and the signs of change are upon us. The leaves on our tilleul (linden tree) are starting to go yellow, as are the leaves of the tall poplars on a neighbor's property. Here and there are some deep reds, like on this plant in the woods.

A pretty crimson on the forest floor.

And it's not just the leaves that are changing. We got a note in our mailbox yesterday informing us that the local baker is discontinuing bread delivery as of next week. That will be a big change for us, since we've had bread delivery since the fall of 2004, nearly thirteen years. It's not a hardship, but it's the end of a convenience. On the upside, we'll be able to get bread from the different bakeries around our area, giving us a wider selection of tastes and textures, and the occasional pretty pastry will be less easy to resist. Oh, poor us!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

A walk through the woods

I've just recently started walking Tasha on an old route I used to walk with Callie (and Collette before her). The path goes from the north side of our house down through the woods into the river valley, loops around a wheat field, then connects with our road to come back up the hill to home. Now that Tasha's ok with a leash, I can take her on the road without having to worry about cars.

The path down through the woods to the river valley.

There is a variation of this walk that doesn't involve the road at all, and that's what we did on Friday afternoon. We can take a turn before we get to the road and make a different loop through some fields and around a small orchard before climbing back up the hill through the woods to the house. While she had her harness on, and I had the leash, I didn't have to attach her at all for this walk. She was very good and stayed close to me the whole time.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Montparnasse tower

La Tour Montparnasse was, until 2011, the tallest building in Paris with fifty-eight floors rising to 209 meters. Completed in the early 1970s, the tower sits at the southern end of the rue de Rennes, just in front of the Montparnasse train station. It's an office building, but it has an observation deck and restaurant at the top that are open to the public.

The view of the Tour Montparnasse as seen from the dome of the Panthéon.

The neighborhood just north of the tower is where I spent much of my study abroad year back in 1981-82 and the tower was always a landmark (among others) for finding my way around. I've been up to the top several times over the years and highly recommend it. I've never found it as crowded as the other popular monuments in the city and the views are spectacular.

Thursday, September 14, 2017


Still lacking new photos, I'm posting another view from the Panthéon in Paris, this time in the building's crypt, under the main floor of the former church, where many luminaries of French history and culture are entombed. The light is not bright down there, there are multiple passages and chambers, and it's full of visitors (like me) wandering, looking, and taking photos.

The ceiling of the crypt. No tombs or tourists. May 2016.

We were supposed to have a lot of rain over night, but I don't think we got as much as was predicted (update: we got 15mm). The wind blew fairly strongly all day on Wednesday and into the night, but it seems to have calmed down now.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Roof vents

This image is from last year when I went to Paris before my trip back to the US. I took the tour up to the dome of the Panthéon. Most of the climb was up interior stairs, but part of route took us out onto the roof. I thought these vents, at least I assume they're air vents, poking through the slate tiles on the roof were interesting looking.

Part of the church's roof just below the base of the dome.

I don't have many new photos right now. Part of the reason is the overcast and showery weather and part of the reason is that we're walking Tasha on her leash for the time being. It's hard to hold a leash and a camera at the same time. She's doing very well on the leash, so that's good.