Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Surprised by Joy

Laughter is divine and there are many things that make me chuckle or guffaw. My husband's dry, sarcastic humor and my students' creative and sweet spirits are among the precious strongholds that put a smile on my face. However, another venue to connect with the lighter side of life has been blogging. I always say that I need to work on my photography skills and think about creative ways to display my passion for art, home decorating, vintage wares and French life. I have however, found another treasure that outweighs all of the beauty of these passions and serves as a muse for the art of life: friendship. Kindred spirits come together by way of common interests and inspiration has come to me by many unique individuals. I would like to honor one particular blogger pal who I can always count on for a giggle. She is an angel with a comic wit and a writing style that hits me in the right spot. I have never heard her voice, but the tone of her writing draws me in to her farm style kitchen where generous doses of laughter are served up and shared around her abundantly garnered harvest table. I therefore present the March Angel Award to Joy from and the must-visit If you like food, then the second site is for you; she offers down home cookin' with a French flair and elegance and a collage of mouth-watering photos. Visit her at either of these sites and she will draw you in with a twist of country music in FRENCH! She is a talented writer whose literary voice is honest and distinct. Thank you, Joy for the gift of laughter for "The joy of the Lord is my strength!" Isaiah 12:2. And now I share with you a collage of images that illustrate some of the other moments in life that make me smile.Smiling Angel
Provençal décor Nice, France 2002

My favorite: French bread - Antibes, France 2002

Meandering in the streets of my home away from home Eze, France 2002

Bumping into an apprentice boulanger first thing in the morning
Eze, France 2002

Traveling with my beloved in the South of France 2002

There are many more places, things and memories that are important to me but the greatest of all are the lives that have touched mine and to you my friends I say:

Cheer up my heart
and do not fear
The joy of Spring approaches near
Though Winter's threat intense may be
Take flight with my creativity
And now my soul I give to thee
A touch of His divinity
With prose and wit a spirit gives
From Joy whose gift within me lives. -Anita

Merci Joy! A la prochaine!

The Lady of Shalott by John William Waterhouse
All photographs, text and original poetry property of Castles Crowns and Cottages


cityfarmer said...

Well, catch me I'm fainting. I didn't know the entire blog was about joy... you are too too kind, and I adore your joie de vivre...we were destined to be friends.

I 'll link you to my latest post from this evening.

cityfarmer said...

I am re-reading this and you've brought a tear to my eye.
Have never considered myself a writer. I sit down and when pen hits paper, er flows. Like my daughter says..."I have alot to say"!!!!

You are one of the most endearing bloggers I have ever known and I adore the emails, too.

hugs to you dear French soul
let's chat.

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Go in peace sweet angel and keep bringing joy to everyone with your creative mind! Ciao, Anita

Edie Marie's Attic said...

What a beautiful post! I am now so anxious to go visit the City Farmer and meet her!! I love the pictures done by Waterhouse! We have 2 or 3 and they are so lovely and calm.

Bon jour mon amie!

bisous, Sherry

Olde Tyme Marketplace said...

I couldn't agree more...Joy is so deserving of this wonderful award. You sound like a super gal yourself. How sweet of you to think of such a sweet Angel Award...! What an honor!
I hope you have a blessed day!

GrandmaK said...

Enjoyed my visit to cityfarmer. But also enjoyed your lovely display! What beautiful pics you shared! Cathy

The Victorian Parlor said...

What a beautiful post! The poem is wonderful and the pictures divine:) I look forward to visiting Joy's blog!

Lucy said...

I love that last picture on your most recent post. So pretty. I think I found your blog from Edie. I like it lots. Thanks.

Fete et Fleur said...

This is beautiful, Anita!


~Deborah~ said...

Nothing lacks in your photography...I love it! Thank you for directing me to those two blogs...I think I will enjoy them greatly.

Have you visited Mary at Across the Pond? She loves all things French - you might want to give her a visit. She made a trip to southern France in October and has some great photos.

Tracie~MyPetiteMaison said...

What a lovely blog you've got here and it's so nice you've given an angel award to your friend, Joy. I'm off to visit the link now. Love your photos, they do make me long for Chateau Eza, where many beautiful memories have been made for our family.

Parisienne Farmgirl said...

It seems you love my momma! And now, after reading your blog up one side and down l'autre it seems that I love you!!!
Mom told me on the phone today that you are a French Immersion teacher? C'est vrai???
How much would you charge to come to our home for the weekend - I cook great French food from my potager but my French is, well, lacking.
I just need that "click" to happen like when you go to France and after a day and a half your brain just flips over and gives in and it all comes together!
Anywhoo- Mom really appreciates your rave reviews and I am so happy to find a believer who speaks French.
I was just getting ready to start putting Bible verses in French on my sidebar - I got a French bible at one of the flea markets and I use it to follow along with during church - sometimes I am moved to tears to read the Word in that beautiful language...
OK, All that to say, LOVE your blog and I am a new follower!
Bonne nuit!

cityfarmer said...

Now you've met the whole family!!!

missn ya

Anne Marie said...

lovely as always!

Tristan Robin Blakeman said...

I've now read every post and looked at every photo - and I just LOVE your blog. I'm now a follower - and hope you post a often.

Your petit theatre is fabulous - I'm totally envious! And I really am intrigued by that foliage over your front porch roof - it's charming!

I'm so glad that you posted on my blog so I could follow the bread crumbs back here!

Crystal Rose Cottage said...

Thank you for your kind comments and support on my new blog! I am still trying to turn it around and get the kinks out of it. I also love your style with your background and especially loved your pics of France! I took 2 years of Francais but ended up living on the Tex-Mex border for 1 year and didn't understand what was being said! lol
Hugs, Patti

Medieval Muse said...

I've not yet been to France - these make me long to go. What beauty awaits.