Sunday, June 24, 2007

Quartier Francais





Imagine yourself in New Orleans, perhaps walking along Esplanade Street, the air heavy with heat and the hum of bees. The sweet and spicy scent of magnolia mingles with the musky odor of pinks. The trees are thick and shady and dripping in Spanish moss.You turn a corner and find yourself in a perdido jardin, a sanctuaire...




My lost garden, my sanctuary. I have a secluded spot that seems worlds away from the reality of suburban living. This little enclave has quickly become eveyone's favorite place to be. Evenings are heaven. The backyard and patio are just to wide open. Exposed. No one came come out without the dogs raising a fuss. Here we have a bit of privacy.











After 2 summers of waiting, my little New Orleans courtyard has at last begun to take shape. As much as the fence initially made me feel claustrophobic, it is now the buffer between me and the construction going on outside.Construction on our block, the closing out of the development, has made life miserable throughout the spring and shows no sign of abatement as we reach the heat of summer. The noise. The mud. Workers from 7am until sometimes 1am. The cars and construction vehicles making driving nearly impossible...



To walk through the iron gate and find yourself in this unexpected quiet spot; to sit and relax to the singing of the water in the fountain, and the tinkle of wind chimes makes life a bit more bearable...





These are photos of the courtyard as it appears now. The fence is still not finished or painted, but it is on the summer's work list. The fence will be painted the same dark green as the house. The pergola top will shade things a bit more and bring down the endless open sky feeling that it has now, making it yet even more enclosed.

Cool and green and shady....












The ferns hanging from the front porch have the same effect. The feeling is one of security and peace. There was so much more I wanted to do, but money only stretches so far. Next year more urns, and perhaps baskets hanging from the pergola?
It is a work in progress....




The dogs love to lay with their bellies resting on the cool paving stones and be lulled to sleep by the fountain. The bullies think standing in the fountain spray trying to catch water droplets, the best game ever.


The gate provides them with just enough of a window on the world to keep track of dogs out for walks or the squeal of the UPS truck tires.


Here's Forrest doing just that...






Life has slowed to summer rhythm with no classes and few train trips. I caught the scent of freshly mown grass this morning after dropping Beth off. I don't mean the suburban "Dad just cut the lawn smell, " that blend of Kentucky bluegrass and gasoline mower. I mean the fresh cut hay kind of grass smell that evokes memories of country roads, fields and farms. The vortex of childhood opens and visions of roadside farm stands on an early summer morning materialize...

The farmer already beaded in sweat bringing in bushel baskets brimming with sweet corn. Cucumbers still cold, damp and dappled with damp earth from their hiding place under the vine leaves. The old lean two of boards with the "fresh picked" signs are gone, replaced by what I call hydrogen peroxide farmers markets. Here in Highlands Ranch, the farmers market is nothing more than an outdoor Whole Foods store, with gourmet vinegars and fancy pastries, ostrich jerky and fruit smoothies.

I want dirt, and the smell of plants that have been growing in the sun. And, despite my being absolutely terrified of bugs, I even want the occasional worm on my corn. My children have grown up devoid of the aroma of earth on their food, with hydroponic tomatoes and cellophane bagged lettuce mixes. We have planted two small roma tomato plants and some white pumpkins in one of our large pots. We have blossoms, will we have tomatoes?



The Renaissance Faire season is upon us again and opening weekend weather could not have been more perfect. Just warm enough, just breezy enough, not too crowded. Faire always comes around before I'm quite ready. My new corset still unfinished, and unable to even contemplate wearing the leather one, I went without. I wore my new Scottish costume that I had finished too late for last season.

The girls and I posed in a quiet spot for photos.



This year Beth wasn't the only one who got to have her hair braided. My hair was gorgeous from the back, but when I saw myself from the front I looked quite bald. If possible, it was even worse without the hat. UGH. That's $20 I would like to have back....




It was good to see familiar faces, and so many people in costume. Our friend Captain Jack Sparrow was there and recognized Elisabeth right away...



We never get through a fair season without some kind of adventure, and Elisabeth had one that will go down in the annuls of family history. While shopping, Elisabeth and Gretchen stopped to watch the giant swing. Since they had no riders, the men who work the swing had cranked it as high as it would go and were surfing it as it swung. One young rogue wearing a kilt kept calling the crowds to come and see his kilt fly up.

Elisabeth stood watching, and said, "Your going to have to crank that swing back higher than that, because I didn't see a thing." With a sly grin our kilt wearing Scotsman pulled a William Wallace, and Elisabeth saw everything!

Without batting an eyelash our regal Queen reached into her bag and pulled out a gold ribbon. With great flourish she presented it to him.

"I've been carrying this around a long time and I think you should have it."


Gathering up her skirts, she turned and walked away with great dignity. A bit further down the path who should she meet but Captn' Jack carrying a very large pink ice cream sundae.

"What happened love, you look a bit pink?" asked Jack. After hearing the tale of billowing kilts, a brief flash of amazement crossed his face, and then without missing a beat or stepping out of character he said, "I've got whipped cream!"



Can you find the pink ice cream sundae?



The cavalier in this photo had his hat stolen by Jack, and it ended up on Beth's head. She wore it for over an hour before the owner found her and lifted it from her head to reclaim it.

"If my hat was to be stolen, I am thrilled to find such a lovely thing lay beneath it." And with that he fell to kissing her wrist.

Upon arrival home, Beth's first thought was a hot bath...






So endeth this tale of ribaldry.

-Tigerlily

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Rodrigo said...
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