For a number of years, I’ve been writing a mostly-monthly newsletter and sending it via email to my private list of photography customers, friends, family, and other good folk who are interested in art and creativity. That newsletter was named Lo Vedo Art News, for my Etsy-based photography business, Lo Vedo Art. “Lo Vedo” is Italian for “I see it,” which pretty much covers how I approach photography.
But a while back, I decided to expand the focus (pun intended). While I will continue to write about art and my own photography, I’m also expanding the definition of creativity to cover my own experience living a creative lifestyle in the South of France. You will now see posts about food (with occasional recipes), hiking and the natural world, history, and stories about living a new life in a very old place with old customs that are new to me.
Bienvenue, and welcome to Lo Vedo Life!*
*Should you wish to bid us adieu, simply click on the “Unsubscribe” link at the bottom of the page.
It has taken longer than I imagined it would to get this blog going, but ta da! Here we are!
SEEING RED. I wrote the last post a month ago, and I’m happy to report that the poppies have been eye-popping this spring. I’ve never seen anything like this show they’ve been giving us, and it just keeps going. We have had a rainy and cool spring, and the poppies appear to be quite pleased about that. A short distance from Bize, there’s a field that I drive past nearly every day. It has looked like this for about three weeks:
The flowers around here are bursting forth in an ecstatic springtime dance.
It began quietly enough in January, when tiny blooms began to appear on the wild rosemary bushes that dot the hillsides near where I live. This was good timing: I’ve learned that an infusion made with sprigs of rosemary—especially when there are flowers—is beneficial for the respiratory system, and about half the town had the flu this winter. And beyond that useful tidbit, the lovely periwinkle flowers brightened the landscape through the grey, windy days of winter.
I grew up in Reno, Nevada, home to deep blue skies, over 300 mountain ranges, and legal gambling. My childhood was dotted with the special family dinners when my grandparents would take us out to eat in casinos. This was back in a time when casino owners were local businessmen, usually well-known in the community, and my grandparents knew a few of them.
We played Keno during dinner. (I don’t even know if this still goes on; maybe someone from Reno can tell me.) Every table had a centerpiece holding blank Keno tickets and thick black crayons. Each of us would take a ticket and mark our numbers, then we’d watch the electronic Keno boards that were mounted throughout the dining room, and compare the official numbers with those on our tickets.
I never saw anyone actually place a bet. We did it for entertainment, and probably to keep us kids busy; during the course of one dinner, there were several rounds of the game. And that was Keno, in Reno, in the olden days.
In areas of the world with a predominantly Catholic population, Carnival (spelled Carnaval in France) is the festive period prior to Lent, the time of prayer and penance before Easter. During Lent, people traditionally abstained from eating meat, which may have led to the word “carnival” (essentially a derivative from Latin and meaning “removal of meat”). People also refrained from consuming dairy, eggs, other fatty foods, and sugar.
If you don’t get to eat meat or other goodies for six weeks, then you might have the urge to load up as much as possible beforehand. Let the party begin! Laissez les bon temps rouler!
About a dozen years ago, I made a single New Year resolution: to live more in my heart and less in my head. It turns out this one single thing is a lifelong process, at times frustrating, always fascinating.
In school, I earned A’s in math classes and was told I should consider a career in engineering. For a long time, my hobby was architecture; I used to design wildly bizarre floorplans, and even built models of a few of them. But engineering never interested me, and eventually I chose not to pursue architecture either.
I studied graphic design in college, and that was my first exposure to the cultural division between following one’s head and following one’s heart. We saw the painters and sculptors as the spacy ones who would probably never earn a living with their art, while we were the “smart” ones who used our art to find a better-paying job. I’m pretty sure those “spacy” artists thought we had sold our souls.