Sunday, March 26, 2017


I'm fresh out of photos for the blog! Time to get crackin', I guess. Here's a shot of the Panthéon in Paris that I took last spring. On my way to Canada and the US, I spent an afternoon in Paris and took the climbing tour up onto the dome of the historic church. I took this photo on our way up, but I don't think I ever published it.

The cupola atop the dome of the Panthéon in Paris.

It's time, also, to get crackin' on the vegetable garden. I think I mentioned yesterday that I want to plant seeds in the greenhouse. Today is the day!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Springing forward

This weekend we move our clocks ahead one hour to what's called Central European Summer Time. That sounds nice, "summer time." But let's not be too hasty. We have to get through spring, first. We're expecting a week of warming temperatures, and that will be nice. My goal for the weekend is to get the vegetable seeds started in the greenhouse. Tomatoes, peppers, herbs, and other seeds need to be planted now so they'll be ready to go out in the garden in mid-May.

I think this is some kind of hyacinth.

Ken wants to get the garden plot tilled up. That's a big job that needs a few days of dry, warm weather before and during, so that the soil is not just a muddy mess. And then the grass will need cutting. It's starting to grow again. Dry days are best for that, as well.

Friday, March 24, 2017


That's the name of this miniature daffodil variety. Pots of them were for sale in the grocery store recently and I couldn't resist, so I picked one up. That was almost two weeks ago. Then, the plants were much shorter and only one or two flowers had opened. Since then, the plants have doubled in height and most of the flowers have opened.

Tête-à-tête means "head to head" in French.

The living room is filled with spring, at least for a little while. I will have to take care to keep the bulbs safe over the summer and remember to plant them outdoors in the fall. That is not something I'm particularly good at remembering to do, but I'll try my best.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Sofa, so good

I know that Ken just posted a photo of the new couch yesterday, but I took a few photos on Wednesday that I thought I'd post, just in case you didn't see Ken's blog. The room is still not completely put back together and organized. We're waiting for the new rug that will go under the sofa.

Looking toward the northeast.

You can tell that I didn't stage the photos, although I did turn all the lights on. There's a vacuum cleaner in one of the pictures, and there are a couple of moving boxes filled with my map collection to get into the storage closets under the eaves. Still, this is our private living space and we leave all manner of DVDs, books, and other stuff lying around most of the time. Not to mention laundry in various stages of being folded and put away (or not). Don't judge.

Looking toward the southeast. There's the old sofa's brown footstool on the left. Not gone yet.

Ken's desktop computer is up there, which he uses to do downloading and processing of movies and television shows. We do most of our television watching in this room, so it's where the bigger TV set is.

Looking toward the northwest. We've had that bottle of wine corks since Washington, in the mid 1980s.

Before we had the room finished in 2010, it was the attic. There was no staircase, just a ladder that came down to the main level from a hatch in the floor. The rafters were all exposed with just the roof tiles between the inside and outside. The wind ripped through the attic all year long, and sometimes rain got in. The floor was insulated, but not the roof. If you want to see what it was like, click here for some before/after photos of the conversion.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Grape hyacinth

Spring is when the muscari (grape hyacinth) bloom. The little blue flowers resemble inverted grape clusters from afar, but when you look at them closely, each flower looks more like a little bell. I transplanted these from the back yard to this spot next to our driveway many years ago. They've spread a lot over time and now each spring we get a small carpet of blue.

A close up of the blooming muscari.

The weather has moved into a shower phase, typical for March, called giboulées. They're not very strong right now, thankfully, but everything is wet again. And I'm back to building the daily fire in the wood stove. Aargh.

The tulips in this patch don't bloom as they did when I first planted them (thirteen years ago!).

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Loft in transition

We got ourselves a new sofa for the loft space. I only thought to take pictures after we had started disassembling the old sectional. So this is what you get. The furniture is taken apart, moved, lamps are on the floor. It's kind of like moving without having to pack.

Looking north, the old brown couch is scattered so I could vacuum and mop the floor under where it was.

The delivery happened on time, around 10h00, and went smoothly. The guys took the old sofa away, too, which was a great option. The new one comes from IKEA (what doesn't these days?), so it was in about six or seven separate boxes. I spent about two hours putting it all together (including the fabric covers, all separate). And I'm sore from the effort. At least we didn't have to carry it up the two flights of stairs. I still have the ottoman to assemble. Maybe this morning Done! And once we have the room put back together, Ken or I will take some more photos. Eventually.

And just for fun, a view looking south.

But, the new couch is in, assembled, and we're using it. It's similar to the old one, but different in a lot of ways (it's a totally different color). Callie was freaked out by the whole process. I'm sure we'll all be used to it in no time.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Inside the greenhouse

Now that spring is on its way, we're working on making the greenhouse work. I potted up the parsley that I got on Friday. The potting bench is great, and it's not temporary like my old set-up was. I'm liking this!

The parsley is in the pot on the lower right. It will probably go out onto the deck in a month or so.

Right now there is soil (dirt) in that can outside the door of the greenhouse. I have two new bags of soil (dirt) under the potting bench. I thought that I'd be able to keep soil (dirt) inside, but it's not working out that way for now. Ken found some wooden squares for making a step-path, so I put those in on Sunday. They look good!