Misery Study #3

Here is my second drawing of Misery by Jules Desbois (from the Rodin Museum in Paris), and above is my third. Clearly I'm not planning the drawing well, because I haven't been able to get the whole thing on the page, but I kind of like it like this...same subject, very different result.


Tuesday reading

Happy Tuesday! Some of these articles might be a little intense (all are still excellent) so I recommend the last two to end on a positive note.


 A Word About Transitions from Leeana Tankersley (GypsyInk)
  • Do your best to be kind to yourself
  • Let God into the chaos
  • Let people love you
God-Shaped Hole by Addie Zierman (via Sarah Bessey)
We are, all of us, punched through with holes, living with a little bit more emptiness every  year. And it’s possible to be filled with the Spirit and still feel the void...God is not some perfectly shaped stopper, meant to keep a sinking ship afloat. He is something else entirely – a life boat, a raft. The Rock that we cling to when the whole thing is going to hell.

Good advice about fear (via Smart, Pretty, and Awkward)

Things I wish I could go back and say to my college self. Accurate. (Hello Giggles)

Let's Roar (Paleo for Women)


63 reasons why boy bands were better in the 90's (Buzzfeed)

Catch (You Tube via Hello Giggles)


California, Meet Merville

I was in Merville-Franceville, Normandy for six weeks last summer. I was working for an organization for American college students studying abroad. It's basically a big house where the students live for six weeks and take classes. There were two other girls working with me. Our job was general housework, cleaning, helping in the kitchen, laundry, etc, so nothing glamorous (I have an iron burn to prove it), and it was hard in a lot of ways, but talk about growth outside my comfort zone...and believe me, we will.

Relatively low tide, looking up the beach

The house was about 200 yards from the sand, so I was out there at least once a day. I got to go on some of the field trips with the students (so many pictures, so many posts...), but I think one of my favorite parts about my trip was our proximity to the ocean. I've always found the ocean calming, so my time out there every day really saved me in a lot of ways.

Our house is right behind that first row of houses on the left
The top of the beach was usually covered in shells, which made running interesting, so I tried to time my runs during low-tide because I refuse to run in shoes on sand. The difference between low and high tide was amazing...

I ran sprints that day...can you tell?

Because people still ride chariots pulled by horses

This isn't even the most shells I saw

Merville-Franceville is on the coast of Normandy, not far from the D-Day landing beaches. I love history, so naturally this just blew my mind. Actually the first few minutes of the D-Day invasion happened about a mile from the town--not the beach landings, but the very beginning of the whole operation (Am I the only one who finds that fascinating?).

Down the coast

The town itself is pretty stinking cute. and super small. I could walk around the main part of the town in probably 10 minutes, then houses surround that. It was pretty typical as far as French beach towns go (although I haven't been to many...I'm just assuming here)...restaurants on the boardwalk, bakery, tabac (newsstand meets liquor store), grocery store (a really small one), post office, random little businesses here and there, little park in the middle with a gazebo. There was a farmer's market on Thursday mornings--I bought a pair of shoes there...when in France...

Boulangerie aka bakery aka PAIN AU CHOCOLAT

That's my house on the left, then the gazebo and tiny park/town square

That's basically it. The town borders an estuary/reserve, so there were paths through it where I ran sometimes. There was a playground, swimming pool, and mini golf course along the boardwalk, but they weren't open while I was there. The last couple weeks of my trip, there was a little mini carnival open in the beach parking lot. And one day, a whole caravan of gypsies (They prefer "gens de voyage" literally translated as "traveling people") camped in the parking lot. I had a total Chocolat moment and wanted to talk to them (you never know where you'll meet Johnny Depp) but I got nervous and chickened out. But, like the movie, townspeople really don't like when gypsies come to stay. They only stayed one night and left the next day, but apparently the Merville-ians weren't as excited as I was that they came at all.

Another thing about Normandy? The sun sets around 9 or 10 p.m.


Bored? Here, I'll help.

A brilliant idea (thxthxthx)

Reconstructing the Bridge Metaphor (A Deeper Story): 

"Look, this is hard. You're all tangled up in the darkness. But you're not failing. You are still held, you are still loved. You are suspended over the void. You are in the hard, beautiful middle of faith. You are exactly where you are supposed to be."

Life in the wilderness (Adam S McHugh via Sarah Bessey):  

"The life of faith in this world seems to get expressed mostly in the wilderness. Perhaps this broken, visited, and waiting world is the wilderness."

A courageous perspective. (Nate Pyle via Rachel Held Evans)

A surprisingly interesting history of cereal and how advertising has made us believe it is "healthy" (via Nom Nom Paleo)

My mom is pretty talented (Cindy Greene Paints)

An Introverted Angel by Anne Bogel (Adam S. McHugh)

Speaking of introverts, this book looks interesting...

Okay one more: How to Care for Introverts. (I'm an introvert, can you tell?)

Pinterest, via Lou, Boos and shoes


Easy Paleo

I've been eating Paleo (aka the Caveman Diet) since I got back from France last July. Talk about a diet change...France is all about the bread and cheese. There is so much information about Paleo out there, everyone has a story about how it worked (or didn't work) for them, but the bottom line for me is this: I feel better. I've read a lot of information about the diet itself and the health benefits that come from eating this way, but I realize it might not work the same for others. My blood-sugar issues have disappeared completely, my hormones have mellowed a bit, and I find that I stay fuller longer when I eat this way. I've also incorporated more strength-training into my workouts and have eased up on the cardio, so I feel stronger and better overall.

It's easy to toot my Paleo horn but I have to remind myself that it may not be for everyone, so it takes some graceful navigating when explaining my lifestyle to others.  ("You don't eat bread?!? What do you eat then?" "I eat REAL FOOD, what do you eat?!?" ...not exactly helpful)

I recommend reading as much as you can (or can handle) about Paleo and going from there. It's easier to commit when you know a bit of the science behind it. Plus it helps to have something to say when people ask about it...because they will.

from The Clothes Make the Girl (source unknown)

Here are my favorite Paleo blogs:

For new cavepeople:
 Favorite recipe/paleo lifestyle blogs:
Each of those sites has links to other Paleo resources, so click around for a while and soak in all the information! Just remember that what works for some people might not work as well for others, so experimenting with Paleo is important; figure out what works for you. Whole30 is a good place to start--I recommend it.


Rodin in Pastels

I lived in Normandy for six weeks last summer. My last two days in France were in Paris with one of the girls I had been working with. We crammed as much as we could into that short amount of time and made it through my list of things to see with some extra wandering-and-getting-lost time. Four museums (Rodin, Pompidou, Orsay, Orangerie), the Arc de Triomphe, Avenue de Champs-Elysees, the Eiffel Tower, Montmartre, Sacre Coeur, Notre Dame, the Pere Lachaise cemetery (aka the final resting place of Jim Morrison, among others), the Palais Garnier opera house (original setting of Phantom of the Opera)...am I forgetting anything? Probably, it's all a blur now.

One of my favorite places (a close second behind the Eiffel Tower, obviously) was the Rodin Museum.

The Gates of Hell, Rodin, 1880-1890, bronze

Auguste Rodin was a sculptor, so the museum is made up of a garden filled with statues, as well as a building with more of his work and other exhibits inside (almost 300 pieces total).

The Kiss, Rodin, 1882, originally in marble

Inside the museum are works by Rodin as well as pieces by other artists from his personal collection. The sculpture below is called Misery by Jules Desbois. It's a little creepy, yes, but still interesting.

Misery, Jules Desbois, 1894, terracotta
I have a picture of it from the other side which I've sketched a couple times this week. I've never been great at faces, so I conveniently made this one too big for the page to avoid the head and face.

Crouching Woman is a sculpture by Rodin of a woman in a similar pose. Do we see a theme here?

I'm still working through all my photos, so stay tuned for more from France!




"When I'm not doing something that comes deeply from me, I get bored. When I get bored I get distracted and when I get distracted, I become depressed." [Maria Irene Fornes]

I've been bored lately (to say the least), so I am challenging myself to start creating. Although I tend toward high expectations, I want to be a learn-from-the-process kind of person, so those expectations will have to be disrupted a bit...or a lot. This weirdo post-college-transition year is not my favorite place to be, but I'm (finally) accepting it and am committing to some self-care and creativity.

quote by Banksy via Pinterest