Wishing Flowers

Image by Joyce Meyer

Too wet to mow, so our farm lawn was full of dandelions that had transformed from their bright yellow flower to a light gray fluff, shining in the evening light. While most people would look at them with distain, referring to them as weeds, my grandson was excited to discover so many wishing flowers. I like how he thinks!

Oh, Paris… What a loss.

My daughter calls with urgency in her voice,“Notre Dame Cathedral is on fire!” I quickly turn the TV on to see the tragic flames as the spire goes down. Immediately, I feel grateful that our trip to hike the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain involved a flight to and from Paris, France. Having a couple of days extra before flying home we decided to hit some of the sights of Paris which included one of the most famous buildings in the world, Notre Dame Cathedral.

The building of the cathedral was completed over the course of 200 years; it was started in 1163 during the reign of King Louis VII and was completed in 1345.

In its history, Notre Dame has endured destruction and subsequent restoration in many periods. However, much of the facade and interior still are true to the original designs. In the 16th century, both the Huguenots and the French king vandalized and changed a lot of the cathedral’s contents. A lot of the features on the cathedral’s exterior were removed because they were considered to be idolatrous, and tombs and stained glass windows were destroyed in the name of modernization. The cathedral was converted into a storage warehouse for food, during the French Revolution, and the heads of many of Notre Dame’s statues were removed.

The Cathedral was at one time in a stage of total disrepair and close to the point of being demolished, but was later saved by Napoleon who himself was crowned Emperor in 1804 inside the Cathedral.

Between 1845 and 1870, a first attempt at restoration took place. A good portion of the previous century’s damage done to the cathedral was repaired, and new additions were built. Most recently, a new restoration program was started in 1991 and has gone on for 20 years with a focus on cleaning up facade’s and sculptures. ~notredamecathedralparis.com

Today’s event has caused quite a step backwards, I’d say…

Below are some of the images I was able to capture during our visit in 2014:

This Notre Dame beggar (Gypsy?) working the line will need to find a new location. Maybe, she’ll try her luck at Sacre Coeur.

I’ll marry you anywhere as long as it’s Paris

Oh, Paris… What a loss of treasured history.

RJ Meyer Arts

Love is in the air as we tour Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France and see wedding photo sessions on the cathedral grounds. My shots are quick little snaps from quite a distance and just for giggles and kicks.

Every day of the year, masses, vespers and the sacrament of reconciliation are celebrated at Notre-Dame de Paris. Since the cathedral is no longer a parish, baptisms, marriages and funerals are no longer held there. Even though weddings are no longer performed in the cathedral, it doesn’t stop brides from using the grounds to jazz up their wedding photos.

2014Paris-1080081hfm20fp20popcmUnlike Minnesota or South Dakota, only brides and grooms appear to be photographed as no bridesmaids or groomsmen can be seen anywhere.

2014Paris-1080080dmvAlthough he was quite close to the action, I believe this photographer is a tourist since the real photographer was shooting Canon and orchestrating the posing.

2014Paris-1080040hfm40fp40pop40plcrIs he wearing flip-flops? …

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“Tis the Season

Guess what I’ve been doing lately? Yep, designing grad cards. Graduation will be here before we know it!

Photography and design by Joyce Meyer.

Two images blended using Photoshop CC and topped off with Topaz Studio “Dreamy Day” action.

One last look…


  • Hike Caminho Portuguese ~ check
  • Stay at Casa Fernanda ~ check
  • Douro Valley ~ check
  • Porto, Portugal ~ check
  • Port wine tasting ~ check
  • Eat sardines and bacalao ~ check
  • Experience albergue life ~ check
  • Meet wonderful people ~ check
  • Eat a Francesinha sandwich ~ check
  • Not get fined on the metro line ~ check
  • Arrive home safely ~ check

Another notch in our belts.

Portugal: Bonus Round #4

Artists and poets still find life’s meaning in a glass of wine. ~Joy Sterling

It is known that grapes were already cultivated in the Douro region around four thousand years B.C. and with the arrival of the Romans in the first century A.D., agriculture became a major activity of the region. While the politics of the region may change throughout history, grapes and wine production remain to be a pretty big deal. I’ll drink to that!

-Douro Valley

Douro Valley view from Casa da BelaVista

Got a Minute?

“Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time Stephen Wright

Joan, Randy & Joyce ~ Porto, Portugal to Santiago, Spain

…washing the dust of daily life off our souls. ~ Picasso

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