10 Saturday Ponderings . . .

Mar 21, 2020

I slept with the windows open for the first time this year, and as I type, the birds are chirping me awake. Spring has arrived, and I am oh so thankful.

The boys and I have been keeping ourselves busy here at Le Papillon, from cooking and baking to trimming up the columbines in the boulevards whilst soaking in the afternoon sunshine in a floppy that is more functional than fashionable to looking for and finding even more beauty in the everyday.

In this month’s regular Saturday Ponderings post, I am keeping it light, a breath of fresh air in a week of weary and wonder and worry, so let’s take a look at what prompted my mind to ponder and delight in what was found.

1.Edward Hopper in my office

Spending more time in my home office this week, I have had the opportunity to see the space at different times throughout the day, and the view from my office has always delighted me. When the sun rises, the white farmhouse seen in the image just below becomes silhouetted and is brilliantly spotlighted, so I found it even more captivating when in the afternoon, I happened to look through my window and see this view (picture below). It reminded me of a painting, but at the time I could not put my finger on the artist’s name. Then an astute TSLL reader pinpointed the artist and the painting my picture brought to mind (see two images below).

Edward Hopper’s 1947 painting High Noon, brought to my attention by a TSLL reader upon my posting of the picture of the vast blue sky and roof of my neighbor’s white farmhouse.

2. Furry children company at work

There is nothing better for me than working at home so I can be with my boys. As I shared in yesterday’s This & That, that is the best gift in our current times, and I am savoring, savoring, savoring every moment with Norman (see below) and Oscar (captured in the photographs, but sleeping out of the frame of the picture taken). We walk a couple of times a day, tinker in the yard, lay on the porch, they nap while I tap, tap, tap away. Bliss.

3. Healthier eating habits have emerged, but also more French-inclined eating habits 🙂

When I work from home, having done so each summer for ten years, I can easily lose track of time which means I usually work through lunch if I am engrossed in a post, a project or anything else that has my mind fully rapt.

What has always worked well for me is a schedule I cannot seem to keep when I teach – eating one large meal early in the afternoon, and then a light nibble for a late dinner.

At around 3 or 4 pm is when I am finding I step into the kitchen and make myself a nice meal complete with protein vegetables, some starch, and on Thursday, as winter was ending and spring was beginning, a glass of French rosé to toast to the occasion. My meals are longer and deeply savored. I do not look at the clock and I do not feel rushed. I feel satiated and thus do not have a craving for a second large meal later in the day. I sleep far better, and far more deeply, waking up with a rumbling belly for breakfast when the boys tell me it is time to get out of bed and feed them.

4. Gardening is quickly becoming my medicine and my joy

While I have always dabbled in gardening over the years, I am extremely eager to fully dive into my new yard, and with the help of many experts (from their books, blogs, my own mother, and television series), I feel a wealth of resources are at my fingertips, and it is now my responsibility to make the most of their wisdom.

Monty Don is one such expert I have been looking to over the last couple of years (read his and his wife’s memoir, it is fascinating and oh what a journey he and she have been through – truly inspiring), and I neglected to include the premiere of Gardener’s World in yesterday’s This & That as it kicked off on BBC Two last night. Having been the lead presenter for the long-running series since 2003, the first episode of season 52 aired last night at 8:30 and will continue to air new episodes each Friday through the duration of its season. If you do not have access to BBC TWO, as I do not, you can (as I did – see below) view the entire current and past seasons on BritBox through Amazon Prime.

With his Weekend Jobs shared at the end of each episode, I am taking to his recommending of planting my seedlings this weekend. Be sure to follow along on IG Stories to see how it goes. 🙂

5. Tea Time magazine, the recent issue is for Francophiles!

A TSLL reader brought to my attention last month that the recent issue of Tea Time is their annual French issue. Of course, marrying tea and France is akin to both of my favorite predilections (Anglophile and Francophile) offered in one sitting and in this case in one issue, so I ordered a copy (you can order single copies here). It is lovely.

6. This fashion show is now my all time favorite.

First look above the gowns of Givenchy’s 2020 Spring Couture collection – to the musicians seated “in the sky”. A 20-piece string orchestra conducted by Thomas Roussel played Philip Glass, the American composer’s poignant symphony the soundtrack to Clare Waight Keller’s must-raved about couture, “Une Lettre d’Amour”, or A Love Letter, collection. Taking place on January 21st at Réfectoire des Cordeliers in Paris, the English designer Clare Waight Keller put on a show to rival Chanel and Dior. Have a look at the entire show below (watch it on a television if you are able). And while the music for this video has been dubbed (the music you are hearing is not in real time to what the musicians are actually playing), the song is the same and the energy present. Enjoy.

7. Sending Happy Mother’s Day wishes to all the British mums of TSLL community

What a time for expressing love. Wishing you a lovely day tomorrow, and may we all express our love and appreciation year-round whether a mum or not to those we love and appreciate for the presence in our lives. Here is a brief history of Britain’s Mother’s Day holiday.

8. Finding and enjoying simple Épicerie recipes

Below is a three ingredient recipe that is full of flavor and oh so simple – Kielbasa, bell peppers and onions. Roast for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees with EVOO and salt and pepper, and then enjoy with chutney or Dijon mustard (my onions became a bit more carmelized than I had planned, but they actually tasted quite delicious). (I also shared a new recipe on the blog for your sweet tooth that is just enough sweet, chocolate and nuttiness — Épicerie Brownies).

~View more TSLL recipes here.

~Discover the 34 Must-Haves to Keep in Your Own épicerie in this blog post or for even more detail read chapter 12 in my 2nd book – Living The Simply Luxurious Life: Making Your Everyday Extraordinary and Discovering Your Best Self

9. Norman and I enjoyed what looks to be the last snow in Bend for the season

10. The gift and restorative calm given by journaling

For years I have been a journaler. At the end of each day, recording my thoughts, ideas, worries and wonderings. Currently, I am finding journaling to be especially healing. No matter what has gone on, what news I have heard or not heard, the joy I am feeling, the worries I am weighing, when I put them in my journal, a burden has been lifted in many ways. I can work through things, I can let go of things, I can walk away from things and move forward with a plan and a clear mind and the determination to fill it with everyday awesomeness.

If you have stepped away from journaling or have never taken up this practice, perhaps find yourself a lovely journal, a favorite writing utensil and engage in a simple everyday habit that may be quite soothing for your mind.

And so the weekend begins. May yours be filled with enjoyment in pastimes you now have more time to indulge in, more rest for rejuvenation to bring clarity of thought and exciting ideas to the forefront, as well as time to enjoy the first weekend of spring. Bonne journée.

Past Weekend Ponderings . . . posts

11 thoughts on “10 Saturday Ponderings . . .

  1. Thank you Shannon for your lovely uplifting post. I am excited to be turning 50 in May and I am truly just discovering how much of an introvert I am and how much I enjoy and crave times of solitude. Raising children and nurturing family don’t often leave time to explore solitude and now as my children are older and leaving the nest I am allowed more time to ponder the next phase of my life and sink into more time to think, enjoy solitude time outside, delve into new recipes and enjoy cooking more. Thank you for shedding new light on the joy that is living and loving the simple pleasures. Your podcasts and blog are such treats that I enjoy regularly since discovering them. Thank you for sharing ❤️

    1. Lara, Thank you very much for your comment. 🙂 It is my honest pleasure as discovering my own predilections and letting go of what I thought I “had to do” and how I “had to live” has been liberating beyond imagine, and the best gift we can give ourselves, those we love and the world at large as our gifts are given that only we can give. Stay well and happy early 50th birthday. xo

  2. Lovely post, Shannon. We opened our windows for the first time yesterday as it reached 75° but today it’s back in the 40’s. Still sunshiny and we’re headed out for a walk. I am relishing the sound of birds singing and seeing the little leaves beginning to bud on trees. We haven’t many flowers yet here in NE Pennsylvania but the bulb plants are sending up their emerald blades. Your dog Norman is my dream kind of dog – if I ever get a dog someday. 🙂

    Thanks for continuing to share beauty, hope, and wisdom.

  3. Thank you for this post, Shannon! It’s such a calm approach to Spring’s arrival, a way to let winter go gracefully while creating new rituals for the brighter days. We also enjoy a bigger meal at noon and save lighter fare for supper – perhaps just fish and a vegetable. It allows me to sleep better and wake, looking forward to what the next day brings. Enjoy!

  4. Loved the post. As we all put life as we know it on “pause” it is necessary to where we are and assess where we are financially, emotionally and professionally. It is, hopefully a time for buried dreams to resurface, new opportunities out of the asheshes of the old, and having the resilience to emerge stronger on the other side. I ordered from Palais de thes, not because it reminds me of Paris, but rather lunch at Maison Kayser in NY, which I may not experience again for a while.stay safe!!

  5. Thank you, thank you, thank you for a lovely newsletter and quieting the worries from what’s going on. Your positivity is so up lifting. Looking forward to reading all the posts and catching up with IG this morning. BTW, I have the same (or similar) ladder shelf in my smallish kitchen. It holds my favorite cookbooks, LeCreuset and large pottery bowls. It’s served many different functions over the years. Happy Friday!

    1. Happy Friday Christine and thank you for stopping by. I am not quite sure what ladder shelf you are thinking of, perhaps a decor inspiration pic from someone else’s house that has been shared here on the blog?, but it sounds like a lovely idea. I am currently waiting on shelves to be inserted for my own cookbooks as it will be lovely to have them nearby. Have a lovely weekend. ?

  6. Finally catching up on my email reading, and have been saving yours for this slower Friday morning. Savoring each one, and soaking in all your wonderful thoughts. Thank you for always sharing the beauty in the everyday things. Something I’ve been clinging to even harder these last few weeks. Since our new schedule will allow for a larger lunch as well, do you have some light dinner recommendations?

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