Saturday, May 26, 2012


Spending the day shopping at the street market in Isle sur de la Sorgue
May 17,2012

I don't know if you have ever traveled to Europe, but I am addicted to it.  There is just something about being in a new place that is very different from home.  I love everything about it.  There are however, a few things that we as Americans take for granted that the Europeans seem to live happily without.

Ice- never comes with a drink, not coke or tea.  Forget having it in a glass of water.  I know from being in New England it is not as common there either, but usually you can ask for it.  I figure the New Englanders are just too cheap to take up space in a drink with frozen water (sorry all my NE friends- this is a generalization of course!)  But in Europe, ice is used to keep things cold in a freezer and not to be consumed in a liquid drink.

Soft sheets and towels-never take for granted your indoor dryer and fabric softeners.  Most laundry is hung outdoors to dry in Europe just like your great-granny did it.  So no thick fluffy towels or 700 thread count cotton sheets unless you are staying in a 5 star hotel and paying the big bucks to sleep a few hours.  You're in Europe, for pete's sake, don't spend it in a hotel!

Washcloths-who knew that not having a washcloth would make any difference?  It's all in what you are used to, right?  A couple of our gals even bought some while we were there since they are not provided.  It is pretty universal in Europe not to have them. 

Shower curtains-some places do have glass doors for showers, but if there is a tub, there isn't a shower curtain.  You have to do the best you can to shower and not flood the entire bathroom.  OK, so it was me who flooded the bathroom in Paris the first day.  And given that you only get one towel for a week, you learn to direct the water so it doesn't spray all over the room. 

Toilet seats- now here's the "touchy" subject!  Few places have a separate men's and women's.  That means there usually isn't a seat on the toilet.  Guess it saves cleaning time?  No problem with keeping the lid up or down?  And that is if you are lucky enough to find an indoor toilet in a public place.  Yes, they still have the "holes".  I found it funny that they would have fancy metal hangers for purses or coats in the same room.  And usually have electric hand dryers.  I remember my dad telling me about the "water closets" that he saw when he was there during WWII.  Still there.  Maybe even some of the same ones? 

Despite the minor differences in things we deem as "normal" in the US, we 6 Tennessee gals plus 2 Minnesotans did a fairly good job of contributing to the ailing economy of France on this trip consuming delicious meals, pastries and desserts. And maybe a bottle of wine or two.  Not to mention the clothes, scarves, linens, and other items we all bought and brought back.  It was a hard job, but hey, somebody had to do it without ice on this trip!

For Memorial Day, let's not take for granted the lives and sacrifices of our military.  Enjoy your weekend.


Thursday, May 3, 2012


Women Painters of the Southeast Show
Jacksonville, FL
D with Marsha Savage (Smryna, GA), Candy Day (Ellijay,GA) and Karen Rose (Gainesville, FL)

It struck me over the weekend how Social Media has taken over a great part of our lives.  I was attending the opening of the Women Painters of the Southeast show at Corse Gallery in Jacksonville, FL.  Fortunately, the participating artists had nametags because it made it easy to put names and faces with the Facebook posts of my friends.  This photo has 2 friends of mine, Marsha and Karen, whom I met at different times and different years.  Candy is a new friend who is one of my FB friends and it was nice to meet her at the show.
This is Terry Mason (Sarasota, FL) and Diane Mannion (Sarasota, FL) who are part of the Light Chasers Plein Air Painters of the Suncoast.  I paint with them when I am in Siesta Key.  We just had a show at the Celery Barn in Sarasota last month.  It was good to see both of them.  Wandering around the gallery was Katie Cundiff, another plein air artist from Sarasota.  I put a face to Dot Courson from Mississippi another FB friend. There were others in the show whom I knew but weren't there for the opening: Lori, Dawn, and Diane from Nashville, Jane from St Pete, Barbara from Montgomery.  I hope they get by sometime to see it.  It really is a spectacular show, if I must say so myself.  You can see the entire show:
Funny thing also happened.  My husband does work with Karen's husband's company.  They knew the same people.  Small world, huh?
I am now looking forward to being in other shows with artists from FB world and making those Social Media Connections. 

Have a great rest of the week, I'll be getting ready for my workshop trip to Provence next week.  I hope to be able to post from there and keep you connected!