Follow by Email

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Bon Voyage

 Something fantastic has happened to me:  I will move to France and be a part of a three-person team that directs and manages the Sisters of St. Joseph International Centre in Le Puy. The Centre sponsors retreats, pilgrimages, conferences, and visits from guests.

The sisters were founded in Le Puy in 1650, and they have branched out to congregation all over the world--including the community at Nazareth.

Since I will be gone for 2-4 years, I'm selling my furniture.

Check out the following items and if you are interested in a piece or two or three, please contact me through a FaceBook private message.

Queen-size futon couch (73.5” x 34") that can fold out into bed.
Cover included



Two futon chairs (32.5” x 33.5”) with frames that fold out flat

$50 each


Coffee table with slats – 42” x 27.5”




Amish-style claw-foot round oak table on a pedestal 54.5” with two 12” leaves and five matching chairs


Set of antique dishes – red floral pattern



Antique mahogany corner cabinet 69” high 
(top) three shelves glassed in; 
(middle) drawer 4” deep
(bottom) two shelves enclosed


1960s vintage formica buffet 60” x 15” with two sliding doors, two interior shelves and three drawers



Antique oak Singer sewing machine with foot pump (34” x 16”)



Vintage 1940s-style enamel kitchen table 24.5” x 29.5” with leaf and four vinyl-covered chairs




Formica table (without drawers) with removable steel legs
59.5” x 29.5”


Adjustable height formica table (36” x 30) with metal legs (no drawers)



Wednesday, April 26, 2017

A Tribute to the Past -- and on to the Future

After I left Kalamazoo College in 2011 where I spent 11 years teaching education courses, I felt as though my academic career were over. After all, I had been in a premier institution with the best students. How could I possibly do better than that?

So I packed my stuff in banker's and paper-ream boxes and put them in my garage just in case I found another academic job. Then I promised myself that I'd know when the time came to give up. At that time, I'd burn all my academic papers, lesson plans, handouts and articles in a big bonfire.  

For the next 6 years I wandered. I spent one year at Michigan State University teaching at James Madison College and the College of Arts and Letters. I thought I'd land a full-time slot, but didn't. I took an Oxford Seminars' course in English as a Second Language and became certified. That allowed me to teach English to international students at the Center for English Language and Culture for International Students at Western Michigan University for four years. I enjoyed this work very much because I shared my native language with students from all over the world; I had finally found my way into international education! But over the past 2 years as enrollment precipitously declined, I realized I had reached the end of the line. There just wasn't enough work and I'd never find a full-time job. That's when I realized that the time had come to "retire" from academic life. Fortunately, about the same time, an opportunity to live and work in France came along, so I didn't mind "the end" as much.

I celebrated this new turn by "rekindling" my promise to myself and burning all my stuff to a crisp. Fortunately, I found Rose who had a place for me to do this and the knowledge of building and controlling a bonfire. I am very grateful to her for helping me to end my academic career in my own official and ritualistic way.

Now I identify myself as a writer with a new ministry in France. Not bad, eh? Two life-long dreams come true. They're are my "Tuscan Sun."

All gone!

Les Aventures de Madame Beaubien: Gallo-Roman Museum

The Romans tramped all over Europe and Lyon was one of their major cities. Back then the city was called Lugdunum, and its connection the rivers allowed them not only to control Gaul politically and militarily, but to conduct trade in the Mediterranean.


The photo above is the amphitheatre the Romans first built in 19 A.D. It had a capacity of 1,800. It was expanded in the early 2nd century to house 20,000.

Roman mythology is rich with its many gods, goddesses and accompanying characters. Here are a few of them exhibited in the museum. It's amazing how well preserved they are.


Cyclops. You have to look closely for the eye in the middle of this fellow's forehead, but it's there.


Fortune--represented as a woman.

Hermes--messenger god                              Neptune--god of the sea


Dionysus--god of wine--in mosaic


Dionysus riding his trademark panther (in mosaic)


Zeus--king of the gods


Artemis (Diana)--the goddess of the moon and the hunt 

an aristocratic Roman woman

Dice the Roman soldiers used to play with in their spare time.

The sun marks the entrance to someone's house


The Hydra, one of the monsters of mythology


The Larme let people know they were entering the cemetery section of the city.

The Romans established and maintained an extensive network of roads in Gaul with Lyon as the center. Rivers connected Gaul to the Mediterranean Sea.

A Roman design of a mosaic floor. They were sticklers about filling in every space with all those little tiles.


A cool, calm Roman soldier