27 March 2010

GONE AWAY ON VACATION, I'LL BE BACK SOON!

Hi everybody.  I'm having technical difficulties with my blog and decided it was a good idea to take some time off anyway.  I will be back in two weeks.  I will get in touch with my blogger friends  as soon as I get back.

Take care

Love

Anne-Marie

Gone on Vacation Pictures, Images and Photos

26 March 2010

RELAX ONE WAVE AT A TIME....

I posted 2 videos for you to listen to and relax. The first one is Charles Trenet singing LA MER.  Learning the words of  this song by heart is a must when you are learning French. Its like singing poetry...I heard  Kevin Kline sing it the movie French Kiss.  Its a classic. Then the second video is just sounds of the waves.   Close your eyes and let yourself go....





So, how do you feel? Much better I hope, no....Listen to it again as much as you need to!

Have a relaxing weekend!



FlowersRosesPinkFloatDivider Pictures, Images and Photos

24 March 2010

MINE ARE ON THE WAY......



Today I got to witness the wonder of a spring day. The air and sun felt so wonderful after a long, gray winter. I noticed daffodils pushing through the cold, wet ground. They give me hope that soon green and vibrant colors will arrive.  

Witness a painting from Barbara Nuss, American fine art painter living in Woodbine, Maryland.
Below is her set-up.  She put silk daffodils in a vase. This was her inspiration. You can see that she lightened the background in the finished product. I'm always in awe of talented painters. I cant paint to save my life.  
























Now below are my own daffodils:

(wait for it)










                                                                 
                                                                 
                                                                 
                                                               
                                                              









What can I say......I live in Canada.  But pretty soon, give or take a few weeks they will look like this:
      

Are there any signs of spring where you live?    

      FlowersRosesPinkFloatDivider Pictures, Images and Photos    

23 March 2010

TO BE IN THE MOMENT

It was such a beautiful sun-swept day, I was puttering about in the  bedroom when suddenly this sweet sunny image appeared to me with its reflection on the wall. 

How beautiful, I thought! I wondered if I could capture the moment? The sun's rays would change in a minute. The sun is more present lately. In the springtime, the sun is back shining its beautiful rays in the front bedroom.  I'd have to hurry!

As I gathered up my camera, I found I, too, was reflecting. Thinking. Wondering. How many times had I passed by this reflection not noticing it at all. How many times had I missed the view here and elsewhere while hurriedly rushing about?

I right then and there, renewed a promise I'd made to myself long ago! I would notice and enjoy the simple treasures and my family. They are always there.  I would take the time to see and cherish the charms of ordinary days! I would look for reflections wherever they may be and hold them dear!
Have a beautiful mindful week! 

Anne-Marie


FlowersRosesPinkFloatDivider Pictures, Images and Photos

22 March 2010

THINK PINK - ROSEBUD PINK !

I have spring fever.  I checked  Google and it confirms it. It says that the term applies to a set of physical and psychological symptoms associated with the arrival of spring. It manifests itself with an increase of energy and vitality and in my case, perhaps, delirium. I have dedicated a whole post with many pictures (probably too many, I lost count) on rosebuds.  I hope you enjoy this post as much as I did creating it. 


I love pot-pourri.  I have it all over the house.  I especially like  rosebuds. They are nice to look at especially if placed in a glass container. I love the smell!



I have many rose bushes in my yard.  They bloom all summer long. I love it when its a warm windy day. Their gentle perfume spreads in my  house.













Many artists, painters and poets were inspired by rosebuds (and now bloggers).  Here are two portraits painted in 1909 by J.W. Waterhouse entitled Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May. I love the gentleness of the girl picking roses as well as the one offering a bouquet in a small vase.
 

















I love vintage pictures. I found this vintage postcard from the early 20th century. I you look closely it is decorated with tiny pink rosebuds. I wonder what it says on the back...






















I also found beautiful writing paper.  If I had to write a letter to someone special I know I would used this one.  Beautiful paper inspires me and I feel more creative.   Dear.....


















While I lived in South Africa I took a stamping class.  At the particular studio where I was there was a wide selection of stamps.  It was difficult to decide which one to use.  They were all really beautiful. I was not a particularly talented stamper but I enjoyed watching my teachers create beautiful cards.  Here is one such stamp:  A little rosebud angel.  Imagine using this stamp and then tinting it with different colored pigments. Beautiful!

I had 2 girls so you can imagine the fun I had dressing them when they were little. Pink was a dominant color in their wardrobe as they were groing up. Here is a cute little pair of shoes decorated with rosebuds.  Add a pair of cute lacey socks and a fashionista is born...

While we are on the topic of babies I am sure that you have all heard of Ann Geddes.  She is an Australian born photographer who is known the world over for her stylized depiction of babies.  I could not resist posting these  adorable pictures of babies:
The first in the collection is  two rosebud Easter bunnies: 

















There is a little rosebud sleeping in one.  All together now:  aaaaawwww!




















This is the happiest baby I have ever seen. She loves her roses.......
















Adults love rosebuds as well.  We like to smell them and enjoy admiring their beauty. But  you can make  excellent tea using rosebuds.  I tasted rosebud tea.  One of my students offered it to me for Christmas. Its excellent and good for you:














If you go to Paris you must go to Fauchon..They make patisseries that is out of this world and confitures (jams).  On such jam that I really enjoy because of its unique flavor is Rose Petal Jam.  


















Try it on a baguette with a bit of crème fraîche or cream cheese.  Mmmmm! Irrésistible!  Can you see the curly rose petal?  Mmmm!

  













And while you are at the pâtisserie, why not buy des petits gâteaux au fondant.  They are as pretty as they are delicious!  And look, they have tiney rosebuds on top!

















And finally a touch of whimsy.  Have you ever tried putting rosebuds in an ice cube container and adding a little water, freezing them and using them in  your favorite drink.?  Its always a crowd pleaser.  My daughters
    love them.  Here is another idea.  Why not fill an ice bucket with rosebuds ice cubes.  Serve it to someone very special.....
 
  









Well I hope you enjoyed my theme today "Rosebud Monday".  Pink is a relaxing soothing color.   I might just do this again....

Bonne journée à tous mes amis!

I wonder if my Pug likes pink.  I can just see her dressed in a pink outfit for Easter.....


FlowersRosesPinkFloatDivider Pictures, Images and Photos

19 March 2010

SWEEEEET! THERE IS NOTHING AS GOOD AS THE REAL THING!


 Its that time of the year.  Its time to go to La Cabane à Sucre.  If there are maple trees that grow where you live threre is a good chance that you know what I'm talking about.  During springtime maple trees leak a wonderful sweet sap that is boiled and then becomes maple syrup. Mmmmm!















 
Have you ever had maple syrup before? REAL maple syrup, not the Mrs. Butterworth, Aunt Jemima variety of supermarket syrups that pretend to approximate the good stuff. The subtle taste of real maple syrup beats any other sugary concoction you can put on a stack of waffles, pancakes or french toast. And the province of Quebec is the place to go for a veritable maple experience.





















 
Although the state of Vermont and provinces of Ontario and New Brunswick churn out a fair deal of maple syrup, Quebec pumps out 75% of the world’s supply. And as any blind taste test will tell you, La Belle Province does it right. From small, family-run establishments to huge, assembly-line, factory-like productions, cabanes a sucre or sugar shacks, tap into the pure essence of maple trees all over the province.
















What began as a collection of humble, subsistence operations has become a vital cog in Quebec’s massive tourism industry. Every schoolchild from Montreal to Quebec City visits a sugar shack as part of a class trip every other spring. The season is a busy one for maple mavens, not only because of the inherent harvest – as the snow and ice melts, tin buckets or plastic pipes fitted to maples trees fill up with sap, of which it takes 40 litres to produce 1 litre of delicious syrup – but also because of the tsunami-like tide of visitors. There is no ritual in Quebec quite so genuine and endemic as the sugar shack experience and maple syrup production.



































Although large-scale operations exist in close proximity to Montreal and make all the headlines in tourist brochures, be forewarned: most locals consider them watered-down, fast-food, big-box versions of the real deal sugar shack experience. You can have a great time at these virtual maple-marts, especially if you have a huge brood of children in tow and want a place not too far from downtown Montreal – most have mini-zoos,



horse-drawn sleigh-rides, entertainment and more – but if you’re a true foodie and off-the-beaten-path kind of person, you’ll be disappointed by the springtime crowds.  Obviously, the more remote the sugar shack is,the more genuine it’s likely to be. There are still scores of idyllic, snow-covered sugar shack operations hidden deep in forested regions of Quebec. While it’s certainly not practical for everyone to trek out to the wilderness in search of maple-paradise, more and more international tourists have been game in recent years to explore parts way outside of Montreal and Quebec City





























So what makes a good cabane a sucre? For most, it’s all about the food and ambiance. Small, authentic sugar shacks that prepare the Quebec comfort food of old, in cozy, near-backwoods environs. To most Quebecois, these are the hallmarks of cabane a sucre perfection.


Maple syrup is just the tip of the sugar shack iceberg. While the amber ambrosia is most pure in syrup form, it serves as a vital ingredient in Quebecois cuisine as well. Real sugar shack fare is hearty and originates back to a time when winter survival was a serious obstacle. As such, sustenance, especially for rural folk, had to provide rich nourishment.

Thus, in order for a cabane a sucre to qualify as authentic today, it must serve copious amounts of: thick pea soup, homemade baked beans, meat pies or tourtieres, maple-cured ham, oreilles de crisse (fried strips of salt pork fat), omelettes, Quebec beers and wine and maple-sweetened desserts like sugar pie, crepes and “grands-peres” (yeast dumplings or doughnuts poached in maple syrup).


















The sumptuous feast must invariably end outdoors with traditional maple taffy, where hot, super-concentrated syrup is poured on a bed of fresh snow and scooped up with wooden sticks. Hopefully you have room left to enjoy this quintessential Quebecois treat, known simply as tire. It’s absolutely critical to the sugar shack experience. And by all means, schedule a dentist appointment soon thereafter.

















Here is a collection of pictures of "cabane à sucre".  Some are pictures of the one I went to last week-end.  It's called Cabane à sucre de la Montagne.  Its just 20 minutes from my house. I've also included some historical paintings depicting sugar shacks in 18 and 19th century. Enjoy! 













This is the owner of La Cabane à Sucre de la Montagne. This where I went. It sits at the top of a small mountain. I dont mind walking up knowing I will need all the exercise in the world to burn up calories I am about to ingest.

















Turn of the century cabane à sucre. 













Warning:  ingesting large amounts of sugar may give you the need to climb up a roof...

 We are waiting for you 

MckLinky Blog Hop



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17 March 2010

PAGING DR PINSKY !!!

Today June 26th, I'm joining Chari at Sunday Favorites. 
 
"Sunday Favorites" is a Sunday meme designed to give bloggers a chance to share a favorite post from the past!!! For more information on how to join so you can  republish a past post just click here!

I need a consultation with Dr. Pinsky before this happens to me:

It looks like I'm not the only one with an addiction.  Take a look at this article:

"An annual report from a Catholic counseling service claims computer games are partly to blame for complicating wedded bliss. Troubled home life? Blame the Internet if you're using it to do work, , gamble and of course, play computer games...

 According to the Irish Examiner, the counseling service said the number of people experiencing marital problems "because of Internet use" surged 87.5 per cent from 2007 to 2009. What's more, 15 per cent of the service's clients face "huge difficulties" because of Internet-related activity."

Hi Dear Friends,


Yikes!  Blogging was not mentioned as a problem here.  PHEW!  I'm happy I will not be part of the statistics with "marital problems".   I still think I need to write Dr. Pinsky a letter;  at least, to examine my blogging behavior.  What do you think constitutes normal versus abnormal blogging behavior?  My weakness is that I spend too much time blogging.  There should be a gadget or device that would warn the blogger that his or her time is up:
LADY AT COMPUTER Pictures, Images and Photos  Well maybe not as extreme.  Anyway, Dr. Pinsky, can you come to my house?  Heavy blogging workload prevents me from leaving my home at this point....



blogger barbie Pictures, Images and Photos

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