At the beginning of May 1883, Monet and his family rented a house and two acres from a local landowner. The house was situated near the main road between the towns of Vernon and Gasny at Giverny. There was a barn that doubled as a painting studio, orchards and a small garden. The house was close enough to the local schools for the children to attend and the surrounding landscape offered many suitable motifs for Monet’s work. Giverny is the spot where Monet painted his famous paintings of the water lilies.

The water lily series are extraordinary. Large canvases, beautiful, soulful, depths, layers of paint.  Music on canvas.  If you listen very closely to these paintings, you can hear God whispering…”Life is Wonderful.”

A couple of photos from our backyard.  Loretta, my wife, and full time gardener (when she is not cooking), has worked over the years to cultivate our pond, with lilies, ferns and waterfall.  Call it ‘Giverny-lite’.  Sitting outside with a book on a warm spring day, a slight ocean breeze, Campari and soda with lemon…nothing could be finer.

The photo with the plants and CD’s is our vegetable garden. This is our second season of planting.  We’ll have a wonderful crop of a variety of tomatoes, Japanese cucumbers, zucchini, jalapeno peppers, Japanese eggplant, and of course…fresh spices.  So why all the CD’s?  Well, we have a problem with the birds in the area, particularly the crows, wanting to enjoy our crop before we do.  CD’s reflect light that frustrates the birds and sends them flying in the opposite direction.   I like to call it ‘Beethoven for the Birds.”o