HAPPY BIRTHDAY BEL’OCCHIO . . . reflections from the past

Hundreds of blogs.  Words beyond numbers.

Bittersweet memories captured for ever in photographs.

A shared journey of six years.


Fourteen years old and writing for the love of it.


We’ll always have Paris.


The best picnics – jam sandwiches with sisters.


Once upon a time – the best stories always have a fairy tale ending.


The best celebrations – New Year’s Eve in ROXY’S BISTRO.


The best childhood memories – Christmas!


The best way to remember November 11th.


My favorite place to linger in Toronto.


My favorite movie.

Canada 685

A fairy tale comes true.


The poppies from the Wizard of Oz bloom in the garden.


Oswald, gentleman rabbit continue to save the world, one tree at a time.



Glorious memories of a  family wedding in the fairy tale setting of a Quebec sugar shack.

Canada 696

Cooking with friends.

Dinner dellis table long

Dinner with friends.


Enticing recipes from my kitchen, a.k.a. MRS BUTTERFINGERS.


Always, always, the celebration of the garden and the bounty we receive.


The joy of simple pleasures walking the shores of the the near by beach,


and the favorite way to celebrate a birthday – on the beach.



Morning coffee in the garden.

Emil & V on patio#2 touch chin

and treasured moments with good friends.


Friends on the farm – Summer, a thoroughbred princess.


Mocha, the noble dog keeps us safe.


And life on the farm is peaceful and calm and quiet.


The delight of freshly cut peonies.


and magnificent mountains.


and scaling them.


Choosing the perfect umbrella.


MRS BUTTERFINGERS bakes the most decadent of chocolate treats.


Sharing the love of books and reading.


And the projects involving books . . .  an altered book created for my oldest friend’s birthday.


By a Muskokas lake   . . .


dreaming the days  away.


By a canal in Amsterdam.IMG_0975

All these years of bittersweet memories.


21 thoughts on “HAPPY BIRTHDAY BEL’OCCHIO . . . reflections from the past

    • Thank you Joan. It was a big difficult going back over the last six years. So much has happened. I chose photographs that meant a lot to me. I am so happy I could share them with you. Virginia

    • It’s been a long one, Gayle. The good was very very good. The bad is unspeakable. But it is what it is and we must soldier on and look at life through joyful eyes. XX Virginia

  1. Happy Birthday dear Virginia, ❤
    I always think of you when I go past Clafouti's.
    I was ooing and awing, feeling warm, having a couple of my own memories as I went through this post. For some reason, tears slipped from my eyes upon the last pic.
    You are blessed by the bittersweet universe, and you pass the beauty on to all of us! TY!

    • Hard to believe I have been writing blogs on BEL’OCCHIO for six years. A lot has happened. The best part of BEL are the precious friends that are now in my life. You, Resa and your darling Norman, are now a very important of my world. XXXOOO Virginia

  2. Oh my dearest Virginia!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How most amazing and marvelous to included in your most treasured memories! Augustine and I just sat here together with tears in our eyes touched by your warm and embracing love and friendship. What a journey this has been, my dear love; what an incredible and marvelous journey. To have the privilege of being woven into the fabric of you and Lar’s lives has brought such joy and depth to our existence. My head is spinning and my heart is bursting with such love and delight. We love you two so very, very much. How very beautiful of you to share these treasures. Yes, the last picture, so beautiful. You are such an amazing person, Virginia, so very amazing.

    • Dear sweet Tiny. You write such beautiful, thoughtful words you have me in tears. It all began with Theadora. Her blog PEOPLE PLACES AND BLING brought us together. Every photograph of our joyful times has Theadora standing just behind us … just off to the side .. over there by the flowers. The word Paris means Theadora to me. One day we will meet Miss T. in Paris. The champagne corks will pop. The circle will will be completed.

    • Dear Cornelia ,The hardest part of writing my blog this morning, was going through the photographs. For every one I chose there were dozens I wanted to include. A trip down memory lane indeed. XX Virginia

  3. Happy birthday, Beautiful Eye! I am so pleased and grateful to have been following you for much of this time and remember almost all of the photos. You give courage to us all to live each day fully and see the beauty around us even in time of loss. Hugs and much love to you, my dear amazing friend across the miles. Cheers!

    • Dear Jo Nell. Isn’t it just the Best? That we friends – The Tin Man and Augustine, The Lar and Myself and Jo Nell have found each other. Thank you Jo Nell for being such a good and thoughtful friend. I keep the lovely card you sent me on my desk. I even kept the envelope. I treasure your encouraging words. XXOO Virginia

  4. Bon Anniversaire, Virginia!! Another movie! And with beautiful flashbacks. So many smiles! What a perfect way to launch the week. Say, where’s the photograph of your Arc de Triomphe-shaped cookie jar? I have the fabulous cookie jar to thank for finding your magical world. Beautiful post. Was it March of 2012? I think so. Thanks for fab four years of inspiration!! Big Hugs!! ~Theadora

    • So the cookie jar was the beginning of the thread that holds us all together. I was going back through your posts looking for my comments and the remarks of The Tin Man. It was your blog that brought us together, dear Theadora. When I think of Paris – when I write of Paris it is always you in my heart. I consider myself the most fortunate of people to have you and your whimsical flights of fancy, your extraordinary insights into Paris – in my world. Thank you, Theadora, with all my heart – for being part of my world. Enormous hugs and lots of love – Virginia

      • Yes! The fabulous cookie jar was the beginning the Absolutely Fabulous Thread that holds us all together! I’m off now to read the post again. Seamless! Timeless! Here’s to more adventures, words and photographs! Big Hugs! ~T. (And again, thanks for sharing your world and passions.)

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