Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Paris Letters - March Letter

Look what I got in the mail today!

March 2014 Paris Letter - high quality copy of the original 

A couple of weeks ago, I read Paris Letters by Janice MacLeod Lik, a Canadian author who is now married and living in Paris. I was enchanted with this easy to read yet moving story about a girl who needs a change in her life and, makes it, one small change at a time.  I am motivated to undertake a few of the steps she took to simplify her life and make her dreams come true...
So, being the curious girl that I am, I checked out her monthly illustrated letters available for about 12$ each. There's also the option to purchase 6 months or 12 months' worth at a reduced rate.

The letter is pretty enough to be framed and this one in particular is a reflection on bridges and river in Paris with a little history thrown in .  Here are a few lines of the poem that was on the back of the letter:

How would you like to be
Down by the Seine with me
Oh what I'd give for a moment or two
Under the Bridges of Paris with you...

Jean Rodor

Janice also included a vintage envelope, a thank you and a note to check out her book and website
Check out her website and her Etsy site where you can check out a few more examples of her letters.

The book is worth the read, I love a story where the main character is moved to make drastic changes in life.  What comes after is inevitably challenging, interesting and involves a lot of growth.  If you like this kind of story, you'll love this book.  MacLeod is generous in her book, on her site and in her monthly letters.

Go on, you know you want to...



Monday, March 17, 2014

Hot Dog!

Our son is coming home for an impromptu visit!  We are elated.  He is in between rotations in hospital and is going crazy in his apartment so for a few air miles, we have our big boy with us for a week.  Then, his dad will drive with him back to Chicago for a visit.  Neither of us has seen Chicago before and because I am teaching, I can't go...  No matter, at least I get to see my boy!

So I'm into my 4th day of a cold and it's not as bad as it could have been.  I'm a firm believer in killing a cold at the beginning.  Lots of fluids, home-made chicken soup, oregano oil twice a day; this has to be one of the foulest tasting liquids a person can take but it's known to have strong anti-bacterial/viral properties.  I feel like I can cope well with my teaching/marking load this week.

On another front, the snow is disappearing with the strong sunshine and it looks like spring is here for real... although I must say I remember a May 19th (my cousin Norman's birthday) when it snowed! I can't wait to use the new deck, so the furniture will be going up in April, I think.

DC has asked that I show a picture of my new hair style. Here it is.  This is me, after a full day's work, doing a load of laundry, washing yesterday's dishes and making supper, eating supper and writing this post in bed. Not bad for an old dame huh?

Talk to ya later,


Friday, March 14, 2014


 I'm down with a cold.  Started feeling under the weather yesterday and by day's end, sore throat and drippy nose confirmed that I'm in for a pound.

So I'm having a sick day (although it's my day off already).  I did all of the usual stuff and then, I thought about something a student said in class this week: "I think Frozen is the best Disney movie ever!" Cold, frozen, that works doesn't it?

So, I watched it, under the blankets, sucking on wonderful little cherry Bentasils that are chewy and throat-healing at the same time.  Cup o' tea, check, comfy, clean pjs, check, lotion imbibed tissues, check, Cheetos, check, magic bag for cold toes, check!

So the movie... what a delight!  A perfect feel-good movie to watch when you're feeling a little blue. The main character is Anna, a princess and her sister the ice queen Elsa.  Now Elsa has ice magic and this makes her a little hard to live with so she runs away.  Elsa, a regular Heidi of the mountains, a real girl guide, takes off to find her sister and bring her home to reverse the state of Arundelle which is under the snow (gee, sounds like Canada) but it feels like the movie takes place in some place like Norway because of the cultural references: reindeer, fjord, clothing design.

She needs help of course, and it comes in the form of two handsome young men, one an ice-seller and the other, a prince... Amongst the supporting actors are:

Olaf, the funniest snowman you'll ever meet. Cute and clever and cheeky he is...

and Sven, the robust carrot-loving reindeer.

This movie is a modern fairy tale where the girls are strong and the men can play a supporting role. It's full of clever quips and  bold references: " pick their nose and eat it!"  Honestly!  It's quite refreshing (no pun intended).
If you haven't seen it, don't wait for a sick day, watch it, you'll love it!


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Just Write Anything

It's blindingly sunny outside, the window is open, the stew is simmering, tomorrow's lesson plan is ready, a load of delicates is swishing about downstairs and I'm sitting here trying to think of something to write.

Should I tell you that I have one month left of teaching and then I'm a free agent for a few months? Should I tell you that the landscaping guy came for the consult on Sunday and promised that work would be done for June? Should I tell you that I had my hair cut yesterday afternoon and that I love it?  That between the school visit and the hair appointment I went to the garden center to purchase four potted and sprouting hyacinths for 4$? That last year's paper whites which, against the advice of the giver, I did not throw out are sprouting again?  Whether or not they will bloom is another question altogether... That I'm almost done the leg warmers for a friend who lent me her office for the semester?

None of the above make the cut for a very exciting post but together they are making this girl very hopeful and content.  What makes for a happy heart, a lighter step? In this case, it's the small stuff isn't it? Take a handful of small stuff things and throw them into a week and pouf!, you've got contentment.

What makes your boat float?



Saturday, March 8, 2014

Lunch with Rose

I had lunch at Duchess today, what a treat!  The company, the food and the conversation were great! Rose and I share a love of French cooking, French history, French decor... When we get together, there is no shortage of things to talk about.

We shared a vegetable tartine comprised of ratatouille with fried eggplant and zucchini ribbons and finished off with a lemon meringue cake.  If you are ever in the area, you MUST go to Duchess.  Today, it was crazy busy but because Rose arrived early and nabbed a table, we were able to enjoy our lunch and conversation amongst the bustle of the busy Saturday va-et-vient. (coming and going)

Rose had a gift for me, a coffee table book that she knew I would love:

This book will keep me busy for several days and will hold a place of honor on the coffee table for months to come, beside the arrangement I made with the narcissus bulbs Rose also happened to give me.

AND, it also happened that the weather, instead of holding us captive at below 20 degrees Celsius, was 7 above today!  We walked to a florist shop to purchase moss to make a bed for the lovely bulbs and had such a great conversation with the florist that we got the moss for free!

I think that we were all ecstatic about the weather and it brought out the best in everyone.

Have a great rest-of-the-weekend!



Thursday, March 6, 2014

A Song

Jill Barber.  I like this voice, unique, takes me across the Atlantic to my other home.

Have a listen.

Bonne journée,


A Gift

When someone tells you something about yourself that you may find hard to take, it might be a gift they are giving you.

It takes such courage to say your truth to someone.  Sure, they do it in movies and books, but telling someone something that you find challenging, hurtful, difficult about them is not an easy thing to do.

A couple of days ago, I gave such a gift to a student.  Said student was not a happy camper.  I said that this was a free gift, to take or to leave at leisure.  Said student said no thanks.

Today, said student went to a colleague of mine to check perceptions.

The gift may have been received.

Got a gift myself today... When the shoe is on the other foot...Thought and thought about it and have concluded:

It was a gift.



Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A Poem

When you go 

                                       by Edwin Morgan

When you go,
if you go,
And I should want to die,
there's nothing I'd be saved by
more than the time
you fell asleep in my arms
in a trust so gentle
I let the darkening room
drink up the evening, till
rest, or the new rain
lightly roused you awake.
I asked if you heard the rain in your dream
and half dreaming still you only said, I love you.

Delicious imagery and simplicity.

This poem was recited by the author Kim Thuy at her talk at the University where I work.

Struggling with the unending cold weather, finding pockets of written loveliness to bring beauty to my day and (I hope) yours.