(Another) Haiku for Dad, On His Second Birthday in Heaven

My dad was born 80 years ago today in West Texas as the Great Depression was coming to an end in the shadow of another Great War in Europe, a time before regular Americans realized we’d be involved in that war.

With that backdrop and two incredible and resourceful parents, Dad was raised to be frugal, honest, fair and humble. To use his wits, respect people, and figure out a Plan B for everything. To find the humor and bright side in everything, even if you had no money and had to wash your clothes in the sink. The second of four kids, Dad worshipped his older brother and protected and respected his younger sisters.

fullsizeoutput_2d13
Around 1942, the Harvell family when it was only the two boys; my grandmother’s dress was hand-sewn
fullsizeoutput_2d1f
1953/4/5-ish, the whole family
Frank in High School.png
A band and baseball high school letter jacket and the male version of a Mona Lisa smile

Graduating high school in 1957, Dad attended the University of North Texas for a semester or two before realizing that he’d need help financing that dream of a college education and enlisted in the Army. He was innocent, idealistic and somehow, cool. Check him out with his trumpet in 1958; he called this picture Frank Cool.

fullsizeoutput_2d1d
Dad with his trumpet looking all Joe-College cool; a year or two later he burst a lung playing and had to put it away
Dad in Army.png
Dad in his Army uniform looking very official

Dad met my mom on a blind “coke date” and they married soon after, even though they said later that they initially didn’t like each other!

fullsizeoutput_2d17

I joined Mom and Dad just a year later as he was finishing his service in the army. And then my brother Steve came along.

Kim Steve Frank Nancy.png
That Firebird was my mom’s pride and joy; don’t we all look like we’re in an episode of Mad Men?

We were a close family. Steve and I were always going to write a book called Surviving a Happy Childhood. Maybe I still will.  Dad was my role model, rock and mentor. Lots and lots of years, happy times and memories later, after Mom and my Steve each took their last bows, Dad and I grew even closer. He was immeasurably important to me.

Kim and Dad Thanksgiving 2015
Dad and me, Thanksgiving, 2015

Then Dad went over the rainbow in June of 2017. The grief was breath-taking, harsh and immediate, and yet…there aren’t words to express my gratitude that he was born into this world on October 16, 1938, and that I was born to him and my mom. My life has been incredibly blessed, parent-wise.

So sadness and grief take a distant second place today as I celebrate Dad’s second birthday in heaven. Happy memories take center stage, and this haiku and photo from last year’s Dad’s-Birthday-Post still seem just right.

22491917_10214376041985611_537336697105212003_n
just a normal day in my childhood with the best dad ever, circa 1968

Haiku for Dad

you nudged me into
everything I’ve ever done
you believed in me

Happy birthday, Dad, and I’ll see you on the other side.

© 2018, Glover Gardens

Rooster Ballet Haiku

I met this rooster over the weekend in Wimberley, Texas. He’s quite handsome, isn’t he?

fullsizeoutput_2c2c.jpeg

I think in ballet, this position is called a Tendu.

fullsizeoutput_2c2a

This Hill Country rooster was so grand that he deserved a haiku.

cock-a-doodle-doo
cock’s-comb silhouette ballet
a rooster tendu

© 2018 Glover Gardens

p.s Remind me to tell you the story about “Chicken”. I’m the only one left who lived it.

 

 

Sangria Still Life

Real life at Glover Gardens has been a little too busy for the Glover Gardens blog to be active for the past week or two…but I’m revving up for a revival.

I “catered” a friend’s 50th birthday party in the Texas Hill Country this weekend, spending a couple of very enjoyable days chopping, roasting, marinating, baking and garnishing. And hanging out with cool people in a lovely setting.

fullsizeoutput_2c0f

The menu:

  • Crudités with Caramelized Onion Dip, Cheddar-Bacon Spread and Assorted Crackers
  • A mac and cheese selection: Lobster and Jalapeno Sausage
  • Zippy Pork Tenderloin with French Bread and Chimichurri Sauce
  • Basil and Mint Shrimp
  • Spicy Marinated Mushrooms
  • Peppercorn Beef Sausage
  • Fruit Platter

It was fun! I’ll share some of the recipes with you over the next few weeks, because this is a pretty good fall party menu. A couple of these dishes are going into the regular Glover Gardens rotation. And there was a bonus: the Grill-Meister found and executed a terrific cake called Bailey’s Chocolate Poke Cake. He says he’ll make it again, so you can expect to see it, too.

I like to live on the edge and tried a new recipe or two, including a sangria. I sent the birthday boy’s wife this story from Food & Wine and asked her to pick one. She picked a winner! Any time I get to use star anise, cloves, cinnamon sticks and whole allspice berries, I’m happy.

Eleven Punches to Make this Fall

Made with fruit flavors like apples and pomegranates, and warming spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg, these fall-focused punches are perfect for your next party.

Source: 11 punch recipes to make for fall parties

The Rosé Sangria with Cranberries and Apples was a hit. There was a teensy bit left, and I made it the star of a still life when we got home this afternoon. This spicy-sweet sangria will be on the menu over the holidays here at Glover Gardens. I jazzed it up a little bit and will tell you all about it the next it I make it.

fullsizeoutput_2c0e

Happy Sunday evening!

© 2018 Glover Gardens

 

Autumn Haiku: My Eyes Were Happy

it all just grabbed me
trees sky mountains fence road shed
“my eyes were happy”

fullsizeoutput_2b51

Outside of Jefferson, Colorado. Beautiful, peaceful, inspiring. Credit for the phrase “my eyes were happy” goes to The Girl Who is Always Hungry (as she’s know in the Glover Gardens blog), after seeing similar sights in Jefferson last autumn.

Which reminds me…we also had the Blizzard on a Train last autumn in Colorado while trying to check out the fall color…one year ago today.

fullsizeoutput_16f8

Nature supplies constant wonderment, doesn’t it?

© 2018 Glover Gardens

 

Place Victor Hugo in Paris: Take a Stroll with Me (and a haiku)

A few weeks ago in Paris, when the day’s work was over and my time was my own, I strolled through the busy streets with camera in hand. Dinner can wait, I thought, as I took in the champagne-tinted light on the buildings during rush hour. The image below inspired the post Something about the Light in Paris.

fullsizeoutput_2a6a-1

And now I’d like to share the rest of my little jaunt. A little boy and his grandfather out on their own evening walk stopped to say hello on a quiet residential street.

Out for a walkDSC_0062

As I approached it, Place Victor Hugo captured my fancy. Take a stroll with me around the circle that honors the famous French author and politician, and you’ll see why.

fullsizeoutput_2a3b.jpeg

The sky was dark and interesting, a perfect backdrop for the roundabout and its fountain.

Fountain

There were cars and buses and taxis whizzing by atop the charming and picturesque cobblestones.

There were motorcyclists doing dinner deliveries, and others zipping through the traffic.

Friends
Stopped for a chat
DSC_0023
Keeping out of the way of the bus

There were brave bicyclists, everywhere.

Delivery on Bicycle
A silhouette by the fountain
Brave Bicyclist
Fitting in between the cars
Another Bicycle
Taking advantage of a lull in the traffic

Pedestrians were pausing to stare at their cell phones, perhaps waiting to hear where to meet companions for a glass of rosé.

There was a big fruit and vegetable market, and a small one. The vendor at the small one was very friendly and posed for me.

The customers at the larger produce stand were on the phone, perhaps asking what to pick up for dinner.

There were people lingering by the Victor Hugo metro entrance, and others rushing to get to platform, passing under the gorgeous art deco archway sign. This metro stop has been open since 1900.

fullsizeoutput_2a50fullsizeoutput_2a56DSC_0036

Street crossings happened only on green; traffic lights were well-respected in this busy roundabout.

Waiting at the Light

Dogs were being walked.

After catching the sun’s last golden rays on the buildings (see the first photo above or Something about the Light in Paris), I finally stopped for a quick dinner of smoked salmon at one of the canopied little bistros.

fullsizeoutput_2b4a.jpeg

I have realized that I perceive my surroundings more clearly when I’m out snapping pics. What a wonderful unintended result.

i see more of life
looking through the camera’s lens
framing it for you

Life is good.

For more Glover Gardens posts about the City of Light, click here.

© 2018 Glover Gardens

Happy Fall Equinox and a Haiku from Pike National Forest

We’re at Little House in the Rockies enjoying the fall colors splashed across central Colorado and glorious azure skies.

To celebrate the fall equinox, here are couple of quick shots from yesterday’s day trip exploring Bald Mountain and Montgomery Reservoir in and around Pike National Forest.

ecotourism:
nature’s rugged perfection
on vivid display

 

Montgomery Reservoir
Montgomery Reservoir

Montgomery Reservoir
The mountain road along Montgomery Reservoir, dotted with aspen and pines in the rocks
Fall Equinox from Bald Mountain
Looking north from Bald Mountain in Pike National Forest at the majestic ranges near Breckenridge

More to come! We’re headed out now in search of an aspen canopy near Como and then lunch in Bailey at Aspen Peak Cellars.

© 2018 Glover Gardens

Another Paris Picture, a Perfect Tableau at Place du Trocadero

Yesterday, I shared some recommendations about Paris for a beloved niece who’s on her way to the City of Light.

In preparing the post. I saw some images I had forgotten as I was uploading pics to support my theses about where to go and what to do in Paris.

In the Place du Trocadero, anything can happen. Anyone can be there, taking any kinds of photos. For any reason, with anyone. It is packed with perfectly beautiful people taking pictures.

fullsizeoutput_2aa6

fullsizeoutput_2a96.jpeg

I was fascinated by the tableau below. She looks like a model, right? Great hair, great dress, great shoes.

fullsizeoutput_1c17

But, pulling back a little, it’s clear that the “photographer” is using an iPhone.

fullsizeoutput_1c1f

fullsizeoutput_1c1b

Boyfriend proud of his gal? Friend doing a favor taking model pics? And do they know how iconic they look next to the gold statue-woman posing?

This is just 30 seconds of the never-ending magic at the Place du Trocadero beneath and across from the Eiffel Tower. Go. Experience it. Let me know what you think. (I love Paris.)

© 2018 Glover Gardens

“Aunt Kim, do you have any Paris suggestions?” Indeed, I do!!!

One of my two fabulous nieces is headed to Europe for a week with her boyfriend (that’s them in the photos below), and they’ll spend just over two days in my beloved Paris.

Young, smart and eager to see the world, Melyssa and Steve can be frequent travelers because of their frugal planning and careful research. Plane tickets purchased about 4 months ago for their three-country spree were surprisingly cheap.  I’m thrilled that they wanted my input about one of my favorite cities and happy to share my experiences. I also can’t wait to hear about their discoveries and see their pictures.

General Advice from Aunt Kim

Melyssa and Steve, walk as much as you can, slowly, taking in not just the sights, but the sounds, the smells and the people. With only two days, I would do more walking than anything else and just get a sense for the city. You can go up in the Eiffel Tower or see the Louvre on another trip. I know you’ll be going back, because you will fall in love, just like I have.

paris-metro-mapThe Metro in Paris is great for getting around the city, and usually a lot faster than a taxi or Uber. The traffic jams are reminiscent of large American cities. Get Metro passes and ride when you’re not walking. Your Metro map should be well-worn by the time you leave Paris.

Some more practical tips:

  • Bring super-comfortable shoes.
  • Have your camera (or phone) ready at all times, because unexpected magic will happen.
  • Order food you don’t recognize, keep an open mind and don’t be surprised to fall in love for life.
  • Be ready for rain, but don’t let it cramp your style. Forego an umbrella for a €5 plastic poncho.
  • Be careful of pickpockets and aware of your surroundings, but not afraid, never afraid. Paris is very welcoming, and those age-old stories of Parisians being rude when Americans try to speak French just aren’t true.

Montmartre

Don’t miss Montmartre! Take the Metro to the Abbesses stop, get out and make your way to the Funiculaire de Montmartre, riding it up alongside the famous steps of Montmartre.

Or you could take the steps, but it is a loooong way up, and you’ll already be doing lots of walking. Walk all around Sacre Coeur, where you’ll see wonderful views of Paris.

Montmartre Oak Frames Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower, from just in front of Sacre Coeur (in winter)

Pop over into the tiny little village of Montmartre and check out the shops and artists, looking out for pickpockets. You may encounter roaming artists wanting to draw your picture, but be prepared to pay for it if they do. It’s ok just to say no and walk away. This part of Montmartre is touristy but still worth doing.

IMG_2813.JPG

If La Maison Rose is open, you should eat there. It is famous and fantastic. Your cousin Thomas (AKA the Musical Millennial here in the Glover Gardens blog) calls it “The Pink Restaurant,” and we had a very memorable meal there.  On a cold, gray day, we sat just outside the front door at a tiny table that only comes out when they’re open (which is sporadic) and had steaming hot plates of pasta that revved up our energy for more traipsing.

IMG_2774.JPG
La Maison Rose is unassuming, but wonderful

All the little cafes in Montmartre are great, and the pasta dishes are what I’d recommend.

Pasta Carbonara in Montmartre
Pasta carbonara at a sidewalk cafe in Montmartre

The Museum of Montmartre is wonderful, too. It’s in a series of old houses where famous painters like Renoir painted. It’s not expensive and there are great views. Here’s a post about it.

fullsizeoutput_23e0
The Museum of Montmartre is on a quiet little street close to La Maison Rose
fullsizeoutput_21e8
The view from the back garden of the Museum of Montmartre; the red on the building up high is a flowering vine!

Rue des Martyrs

I like to walk back from Montmartre down the Rue des Martyrs after crossing over Boulevard de Clichy. You can walk all the way to Notre Dame, which takes about an hour. Rue des Martyrs is a historic street that’s protected by city rules governing what kind of businesses can come in (no chains), so you’ll see “real Paris”. You and Steve will love it, Melyssa – it’s like a great big farmers’ market. See my post called April in Paris: Rue des Martyrs for more.

fullsizeoutput_535
One of the many fruit and vegetable shops on the Rue des Martyrs
fullsizeoutput_538
Flower shops are there, too

As you leave Montmartre and cross over Boulevard des Clichy, to get to Rue des Martyrs, you’ll be walking through the Moulin Rouge area where you’ll see a bunch of ads for sex shops and erotic dancing shows, but it’s not scary. I promise.

Notre Dame

When you get to Notre Dame, you can go in without waiting in line if you are going to a church service or to pray. (Say a prayer for me!) You can walk around inside afterward and should – it’s beautiful. I was there last summer just after Papa died, and the building gave me a sense of peace and connection to him. See my blog post about it here.

fullsizeoutput_108a

fullsizeoutput_1c5b.jpeg
Looking up at magnificent Notre Dame

Pont Neuf

After Notre Dame, you can walk over to the Pond Neuf bridge. You’ll probably want to take selfies there with the Eiffel Tower in the background.

img_0137
The Eiffel Tower way in the background, from the base of the Pont Neuf bridge

Pont Neuf is where a famous scene in The Bourne Identity took place; remember when the Conklin boss-man character was on the bridge waiting to meet fugitive Jason Bourne, who then called Conklin from his own office in the building above?  That was the Samaritain building, pictured below. Thomas was doing a Bourne moment there.

fullsizeoutput_7608

It would be fun for you to rewatch the movie after you get home from your trip and check out all the Paris locations you’ll be newly familiar with. I absolutely love watching movies set in Paris and reliving my walkabouts through the City of Light. Hey, maybe we can do a Paris movie night over the Christmas holiday!

While you’re in that area, be sure to walk along the River Seine and see the artists and little shop-booths that open during the daytime and close up like little flowers at night.

Cruise Along the Seine

If you have time, take a river cruise! This one, Vedettes du Pont Neuf, is only about 10 Euro and takes off from near the Point Neuf – I highly recommend it. Take it in the evening and you’ll see the Eiffel Tower all lit up.

fullsizeoutput_1c25.jpeg
On a river cruise, I snapped a sparkling Eiffel Tower, probably about the 15 millionth photo of it
fullsizeoutput_1c26.jpeg
Sunset is beautiful on the river cruise

Public Gardens at The Tuilleries and Jardin des Champs-Élyées

Another great walk is from the Tuilleries Garden through the Place de la Concorde through the Jardins des Champs-Élysées. I love these public gardens so much that I try to get there every time I go to Paris, no matter the weather, no matter the time of year – as you can see in these photos from various trips over a dozen+ years.

Champs-Élysées

After the gardens, you can walk all the way up the Ave de Champs-Élysées to the Arc de Triumph. The Champs-Élysées has high-end shopping and quite a few pretty people in designer shoes, but stick to your guns and wear the comfy ones.

Place du Trocadero

The Place du Trocadero by the Eiffel Tower is also a great place for a view of that iconic landmark.

fullsizeoutput_2a96.jpeg

fullsizeoutput_2aa6.jpeg

Galeries Lafayette and Passage des Panoramas

There’s a great view of Paris from the top of the shopping center Galeries Lafayette roof terrace on Boulevard Haussmann, which is free. It closes at 7:30 p.m. In that area is one of my favorite little places, the Passage des Panoramas, this cool little set of passages between buildings that has great restaurants in it. I found it when Thomas and I did the Paris and London trip in 2011 for his 14th birthday.

fullsizeoutput_7609

fullsizeoutput_2a9a.jpeg

The Italian restaurant on the left (on the right in this pic), just a little way into the passage from Boulevard Haussmann is supposed to be one of the best Italian restaurants in Paris. I haven’t been able to get a table there yet.

fullsizeoutput_2a9d.jpegMy favorite restaurant in the Passage des Panoramas is Canard & Champagne, a “modern French restaurant” that mostly serves duck and champagne. It is divine! And not super-expensive.

fullsizeoutput_2a9c.jpegThe duck burger is fabulous. The paté is fabulous, The duck breast is fabulous. The duck leg is fabulous. The address is 57 Passage des Panoramas. Go there, taste, and be happy.

A Quick Coffee and a Family Memory

While you’re in that area, if you need a quick coffee, visit La Porte Montmartre just down the street. It has a special place in my heart because of the experience that Thomas and I had there, which you’ve read before in this post: The Thankful Foreigner: An Award-Winning Essay from a Millennial.

img_2288
The Musical Millennial (Melyssa’s cousin) in front of the cafe where we met the Thankful Foreigner

Delightful and Inexpensive Comfort Food, Country French Style

One of my other favorite restaurants in Paris is Bistro des Augustins at 39 Quai des Grands Augustins. I did a post about it called Comfort Food Alert: The “Best Gratin in Paris” (or maybe anywhere), which pretty well sums up my feelings about it.

It’s a great place to eat before going on the boat tour from the nearby Pont Neuf.

A Vietnamese Restaurant Extraordinaire in a Area with Superb Street Art

There’s a fantastic Vietnamese restaurant that only the locals know, Comptoir Vietnam at 15 Rue Esquirol, 75013. I found it through a blogger friend and raved about it in a blog post. It’s in the 13th arrondissement, which has lots of street art, so if you go there, be sure to give yourself time to walk around and view it.

fullsizeoutput_24da
Cool street art just down the way from Comptoir Vietnam
IMG_1029
There’s no way to describe how delicious this food it – just try it!

The Latin Quarter

Walking around in the Latin Quarter at night is also fun. It isn’t far from Bistro des Augustins and comes alive at night with live music. No pictures of that yet – maybe you and Steve will collect them and do a guest post!

Have Fun, Be Safe and Collect Those Memories

There’s so much more to do! You’ll have to go back. Maybe one day we can go together.

Love,

Aunt Kim

© 2018 Glover Gardens