{About LeAnn}

.A sketch my friend, Jean, did of me several years ago on the corner of a napkin as we  were having coffee one day. ~L  (as seen on linen & 
May 8, 2010 - I've been blogging for almost a year now, however I only recently got around to filling out the profile form that Blogger provides.  It wasn't that I didn't want to share about myself, I just find it difficult to commit to such brief answers!  I don't like forms or rating systems for that reason...I always want to add a qualifier.  (That admission already says volumes about me, right?!)

Anyway- I finally listed a few books  I have loved, but to commit to them as my favorite books? Of all time?  I have a hard time with such limitations.  There are numerous movies I find deeply moving or extremely funny -many genres that I love various aspects of...but again, the idea that I have to narrow it down to just a few and I don't get to explain why? Too limiting! 

"Just give me a number!"  I can hear my youngest sister's exasperation now.  She's one of those people who always wants a rating on everything (movies, meals, men...) 

My retort and life mantra might be something akin to, "Don't fence me in!"

In any event, at the urging of my readers, I've committed myself to add this "About Me" page to linen and lavender today.  No more procrastinating.  Rather than waiting to have a completed bio all pristine and neatly wrapped up and ready for presentation to the world I'm going to look at this as I do myself -"a work in progress."  Random snippets about me...thoughts, ideas, memories --whatever and whenever the mood strikes me.  No pressure.  As I'm known to say: "Perfectly imperfect!"

. . . . .

A favorite poem:  

WITHIN my stone-walled garden
(I see her standing now,
Uplifted in the twilight,
With glory on her brow!)

I love to walk at evening
And watch, when winds are low,
The new moon in the tree-tops,
Because she loved it so!

And there entranced I listen,
While flowers and winds confer,
And all their conversation
Is redolent of her.

I love the trees that guard it,
Upstanding and serene,
So noble, so undaunted,
Because that was her mien.

I love the brook that bounds it,
Because its silver voice
Is like her bubbling laughter
That made the world rejoice.

I love the golden jonquils,
Because she used to say,
If Soul could choose a color
It would be clothed as they.

I love the blue-gray iris,
Because her eyes were blue,
Sea-deep and heaven-tender
In meaning and in hue.

I love the small wild roses,
Because she used to stand
Adoringly above them
And bless them with her hand.

These were her boon companions.
But more than all the rest
My birthday and one of my favorite flowers, beautiful lilacs, image by LeAnn as seen on linen & lavender
I love the April lilac,
Because she loved it best.

Soul of undying rapture!
How loves enchantment clings,
With sorcery and fragrance,
About familiar things!

-Bliss Carman

Click (here) to read a post about Bliss and his poetry.

Lucignano Italy, from left to right:  Kim, Alex, LeAnn (as seen on linen & lavender .net)
Kim (my youngest sister) Alex (my daughter) and me
on a memorable girls trip to Italy.

. . . . .


~I like novel ideas and creating things. My observation skills and in-depth analysis of everything I see around me every day is both a curse and a blessing, to be sure.  For example, I'll be sitting at a restaurant enjoying a lovely dinner but also space-planning or thinking of solutions for a better ambiance in the place or...well, the list goes on.  Somehow, I'm able to be absorbed with whomever I'm with and enjoying that moment, but  at the same time, I have a side of me that is busy noticing and working on such things. Then there's the numerous "inventions"  or methods I have devised to do things, quicker, more efficiently or more beautifully.  I'm sure my poor family -or anyone who is around me for any length of time- will attest to the "curse" aspect of this as I'm constantly musing out loud on these ideas...You know what would make that so much more convenient?  We should put that there, install a handle there and....     Anyway, you get the idea.    That's me.  I'm that person.

~If from reading the above you are imagining that I am some version of Martha Stewart -a perfectionist who lives in a pristine place with everything placed "just so" and operating at peak performance all the time...Don't.  Imagine instead someone more like the Absent-Minded Professor:   A good-natured character with some great ideas and always good intentions, but most times off on too many tangents to be completely put together(!)

~I have a reverence for special traditions and treasure time spent with family and friends, but too much of the same daily routine makes me crazy.  I like to know I can go and do and be and change things up, exploring new ideas and ways of doing things.

~I love to read and discuss philosophy.

~I'm enthralled with the Science Channel's "Through the Wormhole" and similar genres.  Good old Morgan Freeman is the host of this particular program and the topics cover all the questions of the Universe and the human experience:  Quantum Physics, The Sixth Sense, Is Time an Illusion? -to name a few.  I am loving how advances in the fields of science and spirituality are overlapping more than ever before these last few years.  I believe our ability to be open in this way is what will ultimately allow us to make great strides in our spiritual evolution.

~Joseph Campbell is a favorite philosopher, writer, teacher.  He is known for the phrase, "Follow your Bliss."  Listening to his lectures and reading his books does my heart good.  He was such an intelligent, thought-provoking person and for all his knowledge remained humble and down-to-earth.  Love that about him.

~I am a designer at my core and do it either formally or informally wherever I go.  When I'm not working on other people's projects, I can be found initiating a new project of my own.

~My design taste runs in the genre of European Country...the juxtaposition of rustic and elegant elements is what speaks to me.  A chunky time-worn farm table with a dripping-in-crystals chandelier above, for example. (Read more about my design tastes and why I chose the title "linen & lavender" (here.)  

~I love to travel and my favorite place in the world is Italy.   I feel so much creative energy there...It emanates from the stones, I think!  France is a close second.  I have often said that I must have lived in France before because I feel such an affinity for the French lifestyle but feel I've been there and done that in some ways.  Maybe that is why I've been so drawn to exploring Italy this time around.

~I have plans for a unique spa/retreat combination and have looked and am still looking for property in the countryside near Florence.  (Though parts of France have been calling me lately too so I am keeping an open-mind.)  

~I have a daughter, Alex, who I love dearly and admire greatly. I had her quite young (20) much younger than I ever imagined I would be having a baby but it has been wonderful and I wouldn't have had it any other way.  She is now taller than me and frequently likes to pick me up in a crushing bear hug and say things like, “Oooh. My cute baby mama!”  
"Peace" Left:  Alex, Right: LeAnn on my birthday at the Getty Museum (image by LeAnn for linen & lavender)
Alex and Me April 12, 2011

~My ex-husband (Alex's dad) is a great man and I am grateful to him every day.  Though he lives and works on the other side of the world, we have remained good friends and he has always been there for Alex and me. 

~I have written two children's books -one just recently and one back when Alex was a baby.  The latter is  a story that I would tell Alex most every night to lull her to sleep.  

~I am spiritual, but not religious.  

~I am happiest when I meditate daily...even if just for a few moments. My favorite place is in my garden on a sunny morning...Listening to the fountain and watching the birds and the butterflies.

~I really believe in the power of yoga for a healthy body and outlook on life, but sometimes have a hard time getting to the mat. (Which brings me back to meditation where I ask myself: “What's up with that? Why do you have to make things so hard?” -But then I realize I'm not supposed to be arguing with myself during meditation...Breathe...)

~I enjoy photography and capturing the exquisite beauty of flowers -and the whole of nature- is a favorite pastime. The photographs on this page are some I've taken in beautiful Southern California where I currently reside.

~I love trees.  Flowers and trees make me really happy.

Tree Meditation (located in Palos Verdes, California) image by LeAnn as seen on linen & lavender

~My Grandpa Harris was one of the most influential people in my life and I often quote one of his silly sayings I grew up hearing, e.g. “The moon, the moon, the big fat....Grandpa!” or “You-son-of-a-gun-of-a-kid.” or “Goot hell, Glenna!”  -Just randomly…out loud ...It's my way of saying “hi” to him. :)

~My Grandma Harris (Glenna) was the most giving person I have ever known...A great example and inspiration.-- Both she and Grandpa...amazing people –and I get to be related to them! 
"Essence" image by LeAnn, rose blossom detail in my garden (as seen on linen & lavender)
~I have always been close to my mom and find it hard to believe sometimes that I have lived most of my adult life several hundred miles from her.  Though, whenever I see her, we pick right back up and it is just like we were never apart.  We share the same silly sense of humor and she and Alex and I can giggle ourselves to tears reminiscing... One of us will bring up one of our many zany adventures one particularly long drive through the winding mountain roads of France...and we are right there again.  Good times.     Love you, Madre!

~I enjoy writing. I have since I was young (from poetry to silly skits) and I am getting back in to it more lately...blogging about some of my trips has been fun and I'm currently working on a book about some of my adventures in Italy.

~My favorite wine varietals fall into the realms of Zinfandel, Syrah, Brunello di Montalcino and pretty much anything with “hints of chocolate” in the description.  I would live on a vineyard if given the chance (prefer someone else running it, however.)  I would be in charge of the garden and house design, most likely.

~As old as I am, I still don't know what is in -and/or even the name of most mixed drinks. I have to ask my daughter. (Unsophisticated and a wee bit sad really...but true.)

~I admire Oprah and agree with a lot of what she expresses about life and spirituality.  Also, I admire many of the people she does:  Eckhart Tolle, for one...his outlook and spiritual philosophy.  Dr. Wayne Dyer is another.

~One of my all-time favorite fictional authors is Paulo Coelho.  I've adored most every book he has written. Umberto Eco is another favorite. And like most every other female in the world, I loved Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love.   You can find some of my book recommendations (here.)

~One of my all-time favorite movies is “Chocolat.” Simple story, but powerful messages.

~I have an inexplicable love for Celtic music.   I appreciate many genres of music, but I've always wondered why I feel such a connection to certain Celtic ballads.  

~A (Vedic) astrologer did my chart a couple of years ago and told me I was a counselor in my last life. And, among other things, said I would make a good marriage/sex counselor in this life.   Any takers?

~I enjoy cooking and trying new recipes. Also, the stress of trying a new recipe on nights where I'm hosting a big dinner party…or so it would seem.    See some of my favorite cookbooks (here)

~I am a great masseuse and I love having my feet massaged (by someone else.)  I strongly believe the world would be a better place if we had regular massages particularly the feet.

~I have large (long) hands (and they are inordinately strong, too). I have even had strangers walk up and say, “You have really big hands.”  You might think that would bother me, but I'm proud to have the Harris hands.  They allow me to do things I love -like re-arrange a roomful of furniture whenever the mood strikes me. :)

~I enjoy good espresso (a cappuccino most mornings), but as often as possible, try to drink a mix of green tea and black tea instead for the health benefits (green tea for the anti-oxidants and black tea because green tea seems boring  without it.)

Our Mika, "Eye of the Mika" by LeAnn (linen & lavender)Thanks for MY new lawn! - Mika, image by LeAnn (as seen on linen & lavender)
  ~We are a family of dog lovers and bond deeply with them.  We currently have a dog named "Mika" (pronounced Meek-uh and means "new moon" in Japanese: 美香).  She is a chow-shepherd mix we adopted when she was about 5 years old.  Prior to her we had Sasha, a beautiful blonde Golden Retriever we raised from a puppy.  When Sasha passed away, it was as though we had lost a family member and it took us a couple of years to even consider taking on another.  Though Mika has definitely been more of a challenge (she had a tough life prior to us), she has made great strides and we love her to pieces.   
Mika checking out the surf in Venice, CA by LeAnn (as seen on linen & lavender)
more about Mika [here]
~Some of the foods I love would be: ciabatta bread, truffles, Sicilian olive oil, toasted almonds, good aged cheeses, figs, dark spicy chocolate,  good port. (And, I might add; I have had the good fortune to have all of the preceding at one sitting.)

~I am an INFP personality type. (Representing a whopping 1% of the population, I’m told. Whoo-Hoo! Go team!)   If by chance you haven’t heard of Carl Jung's theory on this and the Myer-Briggs Personality test, here are a few options you might enjoy:

~To my faithful readers all over the world:

"Thank you!" in many languages  written by LeAnn as seen on linen & lavender

. . . for spending time with me here!
LeAnn in Cortona, Italy at city wall overlooking valley below, as seen on linen & lavender

Email me here:     leannatlinenandlavender {at gmail dot com}

~l&l  is about a lifestyle ...a way of looking at and moving through life.   Home,Garden,Travel, -a compilation of sources, ideas, images and musings on living with beauty and balance every day.

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a few of our favorite things

a few of our favorite things
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Italia! per sempre

Be Love.

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l&l collection no. 12 - It speaks to me.


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