Friday, January 13, 2017

Friday the 13th~Teas and paints and cookies...and Mr .Ed....no Jack:)











These cocooning days..bring out my favorite CDs..and Spotify..

..honestly..who knew one day we would have Blogging? Pinterest? Spotify? Tumblr?

So much at the tips of our fingers..not to mention Twitter and

Snapchat and Skype..

Facebook..

I have so many reservations re FB..for me.
Just for me;)

Yet I read FB..and often have bought things on FB..mostly old things you cannot find here and there.


And ..online ordering..which makes me wonder..what will happen with the chain stores..same fate as magazines?

I found out I could order online..Walmart..free shipping..over $25.00 to my nearest post office..groceries..make up..anything..things that are not available here..so many people hate going shopping..and going out in the winter..and they have my Stash's Licorice Tea♥

This is fabulous for people in the country etc..or unable to get out.
Especially in glacial temps as we will experience again tomorrow.


It 's not in a proud way that I mention shopping..my dearest friend..does yoga..tai chi..works at palliative care and will soon be doing soup kitchens..her world is filled w/ travel..art..simplicity..
I don't know where I come from.

I was happy to find a use for those waterbrushes I bought on EBAY.
Very different method of releasing water and I found some of the bristles came off..one day I tried splatters~perfect..you simply make the color and water fall off the bristle.
I like what it does..

I also love when a talented artist shares tutorials.

Fridays..most..many Fridays..Vivian Swift posts a blog entry..Friday the 13th was a lucky day..lol.Today actually:)

She posted a tutorial..go see..

I love tutorials..but I find on Youtube..I have to keep pausing and I have to start..stop..start..stop.

But when it is simply a visual,non-moving tutorial..I find it much easier.

I would never have thought of painting trees this way..that's why it is interesting..as maybe we can use the techniques in our own style..on my part, I have not found my style..
and Chinese White..I don't think I had ever opened the tube..today I remedied that ... I went overboard with Chinese White on a little project.
All or nothing I was today..glitter ..stamps etc..all in a tidy craft room might I add:)


We had  balmy weather last week..some days..
..so no fire..but the battery candles..Susan has some too..as I stood in the kitchen this evening preparing dinner looking into the family room..I thought..I love this..warmth and food cooking and the glow of safe candles after all of the Christmas season has been put away..
neatly..
I think I went on a rampage..the whole Christmas area..is organized.for this year..not alphabetically but pretty near..
..the craft room? Well I have see-through bins now..Walmart ..$6.00..big enough but I need two more.
I can actually SEE what's in there..

and I may get an extra one  for certain other things..
..bags of clothes and purses..were set up outside for a clothing etc.. drive..
don't picture the latest fashion and fancy purses..I keep everything for too long and more.
Most of my clothes are old..old..or from Costco..yes..since I stopped working..we run in and out of Costco..and I see something ..and if I need it..I go for it..my favorite slippers that I wear EVERY day..are their Nuknuks.
Or from when I am out with my daughters and they say..look mom..this would be good for you..
I even have a pair of over the knee boots I bought while out w/ one of my girls..they reminded me of my black suede ones I wore w/ my black hot pants working at Dalmy's when I was 17.
The word Hot Pants kills me now.

I have worn them once.

Having seen Kinky Boots..I am going to start wearing them:)

 Re the clothing..etc drive..I asked if they accepted crewel work?
Yes..so out that went also..out of maybe 60 I have made in my lifetime..I think I have kept 3.

I always do crazy things like this in January..Sept brings on a frenzy too..and late March -April..a cleaning one.

I was not like this when I got married..LOL..the exact opposite..my mom did everything for me♥

I had no idea I was living in the lap of love and luxury back then..:(
But I was.

So..getting back to cocooning..Marie brings out the baker in me:)

Try these ..they are easy easy..I am not a sweet eater but wow..the batter was amazing;)
Yes I eat batter w/ raw eggs ..just a lick sized bite.

And that's not what has affected my health;)..I mean 1 .5 eggs beaten into all this sugar? Come on..:)
They please Littles..Promise.I got thumbs up and more please..

One day..I will try and do a post of all the recipes I have made  illustrating  ALL the recipes..made from Marie's blog..it just seems overwhelming right now because of all my organizing;)
Yes there are that many scattered through years of blogging.
Merci Marie.Beaucoup.

On a final note..How wonderful was President's Obama's parting speech?
I cried.
I was elated when he won..I am sad to see he and his family go.


We are all bundled up here..even Jack~

Bon weekend~




Saturday, January 7, 2017

These past few days~
















The weather has been so erratic..from beautiful fairy-like days to freezing rain and power outages..
some longer than others..up to 3 days..we all fear a repeat of our great ice storm in 1998.
I am sure you heard of it..it was all over the news.

We need to have a polar bear's coat..

The weather makes for stunning vistas..as the view from one of our kitchen windows shows so well....so grateful to have lovely views on both sides..and..

I love our street..

I took a short walk with my camera..
and right now am sipping licorice tea..Stash's..last pouch..I love this one..

..this morning I made chicken noodle soup and Paul Hollywood's ciabatta..a very very wet dough,harder to manoeuver..but they look ok..I cut off an end..and it is good..
I received a sourdough starter for Christmas..and put it somewhere safe..just found it:)

In the country ,where we live..the trees are decorated with snow and ice..arches line the streets..in a very magical manner.. white snow..quiet..serene..

The boys have been x-countrty skiing with their dad..I'll get there and on my snowshoes when the weather is more clement.
Noah is taking downhill..:)


Montréal,where I was one night this past week..is so different..no snowbanks..roads are right down to the cobblestones or asphalt..the lights are on..in many many places..but what another world..

..my daughters brought me to see Kinky Boots for Christmas..we went January 5 th..out for a quick dinner and a glass of wine before,and then walk across the street to Place Des Arts.
Full house..
Amazing amazing amazing show..riveted by the talent..the costumes the songs.
It is 5 stars in my books♥
If you have a chance..
we were sitting so close..so close..so perfectly close.


For some strange reason,it feels to me as if the New Year was so long ago..and Christmas even more.
Maybe because it passed in the blink of an eye to me?
Or maybe because I am old and everything seems that way.

I went to the post office this week to pick something up and the postal lady behind the counter said something very nice to me..
I left thinking..geesh it doesn't take much to make someone's day:)
I like to say nice things and it drives Jacques nuts sometimes..I'll say..to the cashier..I love your earrings....I like your tattoo..you're so nice..bla bla bla..
So I thought to myself..maybe they like it as much as I did..
so..I am going to do it even more...Jacques..be warned:)
He laughs because when we leave stores..even the $ store..he says..I know..they're all your friends.
Well why not? They really are all so nice and friendly.




The boys have been on Christmas break..busy busy doing things....a lot of drawing too on the bad days..youtube videos how to draw Marvel superheroes..have to tell you all 3 are great at them..so concentrated and intent! Noah has been so busy too w/his mom as she is a teacher..so she has the same holidays as Noah~

I may have a cook/baker in my future..and a beautician..who said little boys aren't fun?♥
Oli was over one day and said:" Can I brush your hair nana"?
Ummm..YES!
So I went upstairs..gathered brush and clips and bobby pins..and scrunchies too..I loved every minute..I had PINGtails too.


Photos,courtesy of his mom~taken with her phone camera..and the other 2 boys got the same spa moment..
I still can't believe cell phones take pics like these in a bathroom..perhaps I should have bought a phone instead of new camera gear..;)
my daughter gave me her old one:)her Samsung..will be taking some ah ha..phone pics too I guess:)
Grateful to her to have thought of me♥


Noah slept over NYE..I think I told you that..
in the morning I made eggs that I used to make for our girls..you cut a circle..a heart..a square in the middle and drop and egg in the pre-buttered toast..flip..and serve..a drizzle of pure maple syrup ..and there you have it..
His mom..Mylène emailed me w/ this collage..he made some for himself at home♥



Collage,courtesy of his mom~Phone too!

Have a nice weekend..I am staying put.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Snowflakes keep fallin' on our heads~Hygge..











And then we have ..outdoors~




Is everyone done?

We're not..I cannot bear to put Christmas away yet..

maybe it's our climate..our gardening zone:)

I still like the fairy lights and candlelight..how everything looks so warm and comfy..

I think they call it Hygge..a Danish way of cozy..

It could be my middle name.

I read about it in this months' issue of Dr Oz..( not my favorite at all..sorry Dr. Oz)~

Makes sense to me..staying at home..duvets..tea in china cups,music we love..books to read..recipes to make..looking at the Christmas cards we received,looking through photos of Christmas' past.
Lisi Martin art♥  Our friends from Germany sent us this one..
Painting..saving art we love to Pinterest..a new calendar..
stitching..a fire going..one dish meals..


New Years eve..our party was with Noah..he came for a sleepover..we watched BFG,which means Big Friendly Giant..just sharing with all the nanas ,moms,dads  everyone..just so you know that's what BFG means..

We watched the movie with Noah..who knew every line..and believe me this child doesn't sit in front of a tv all day...LOL..he is so busy..but at night..dark..cozy..Hygge..he loves it.
Animation has changed so much since my day and my daughters days.
I had Little Lulu..and Felix The Cat..nothing like this..I had The Friendly Giant and Jerome..Captain Kangaroo and Johnny Jelleybean..I was on the show Magic Tom..I was 9 or 10.

He asked me to say the time in French..seems not as many people were bilingual over 50 yrs ago..you were either English(blokes) or French (Pepsi ,frogs..or French Fries)..and this made for great television.
Trust me..my mom would have gotten me there by bus..
I don't even know if my dad knew I was going to be on..until I was on;)


today in Montreal...it's totally different..

Even though we have Bill 101  many..are bilingual..
mostly the younger people..I have aquaintances that don't speak or understand French.
It would actually make me sad when they made fun of the French language.
I am right smack in the middle..French parents..that were educated to be perfectly bilingual..

I was lucky.They educated me the same way.Except not perfect..my mom could hold her own..a translator..and always up to date on everything.

To me..the more languages you can speak and understand..the more people you can become friends with.

Anyway BFG was good..although I found the mean giants...well ..downright..ugly and mean.The Villains.

We also watched The Parent Trap which I still love..she was quite the young actress..Lindsay Lohan..I showed Noah photos of her today..I think he still thinks they are really twins..

Natasha Richardson..what a shame what a shame:(♥
Dennis Quaid and she were quite the match in that Parent Trap..

So..back to Hygge..I pulled out a Christmas memory  book I keep w/ photos and envelopes with photos from most years..I think I am missing 2 yrs..anyway.. Noah looked through every page and every photo♥

Kids/Littles..LOVE seeing old photos of themselves..their cousins..their uncles..
lol that has changed so much..
We called our aunts and uncles..Aunt Jacqueline..Uncle Guy..our teachers..were M.Achard (I had a crush)..Mr Sweeney.
In some classes it is simply the first name..in some..Mme Mylène etc..
I really liked the old way.

For Noah's NYE I made him..profitéroles..
I shared them here first..it was so dark by then..I was unsure how to photo them..you get the idea..I loved the ones w/ chocolate ganache and silver stars..they proved to be the fussiest to photo.

Making them for him was Hygge to me.

So I would love to share words of wisdom for this New Year..but honestly..what's going to happen..will happen.

I have no words of wisdom..no word for 2017.

Those are my words of wisdom..  none..ok  maybe more Hygge.♥

I admire everyone who can pinpoint a word..I just can't.

PS..See that guy w/ the red tuque?

We've been married 43 years ..soon enough ..and ever since the beginning..he has made paths in all our front yards and backyards.

When the girls were little in snowsuits..that they could hardy toddle in..with (snotty noses..yet so cute to us..you only know a cute snotty nose when you live in the Tundra..red red cheeks..beautiful smiles..and runny noses;) ..lol) .
When they got older and made snowmen..when they came to Florida..when they had boyfriends..and when they married..
he has kept the magic of winter going where we live..the Hygge of it..shows up everywhere in the winter landscape.

Never complains.

I love looking at all the pretty paths.

Hygge to me..♥

I also love making cottage pies..a mess and a bit of standing in the kitchen and washing things after..but then at dinner time..well you can have your glass of wine w/out cooking..

Fred gave me that beautiful pepper/spice mill..the crank comes off ..then the top..you fill..grind..and it is caught in the bottom part..
Hedgehog holds my table salt..not my Kosher or Sel De Mer~
Maldon would be happy there too.

C'est tout pour aujourd'hui..

C'est assez..lol.








Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Our Little Christmas~




Christmas eve morning through the window~



The potting shed looking quite festive~



We didn't have far to go..so the weather could be frightful..it was beautiful actually..not frightful:)
Caroline and Frédérick hosted Christmas Eve..and I was relieved they didn't have to host w/ out power like last year.
Fred is an amazing cook..I mean pheasant with wild boar stuffing for a starter?And Roasted Goose with Calvados and apples?



Their home looked beautiful..see that snowman bag? Katie to me..how sweet was that?



Little monkeys♥
Santa gave them each about 12 pairs of socks in their stockings..their mamas were happy.





So we had a wonderful Christmas eve..we were all there..Giuliana and Adamo also.
It makes me happy that they want to come and be with us..

There was a Littles table..and the adults table..it's such a good idea..

As I said the food was so good..I don't know why I just keep eating and eating the appetizers when I know there will also be starters and a main meal..
Boxing day I tried to sway myself away from the sucre a la crème..and the shortbreads and Christmas crack..who knew something not good for you and so sweet could be a downfall for me.The first and the latter had a strange hold on me this year..and sweets are not my thing..

After dinner..LET THE FIREWORKS begin!Thank you Fred~
How wonderful to think of doing this..the kids are in awe..and so are the adults..this year Katie's family joined us and another family on their street..magical..
I never had Christmases like that.
Even a toast of champagne.

Christmas morning was at our home..I love that too..everyone comes in their pjs..and we exchange gifts..stockings and Santa has been here.
Noah got an electric keyboard..they brought it downstairs and all of a sudden I heard a gifted virtuso playing Fur Elise etc..!
I looked at his mommy in surprise and she said:"mom they come pre-programmed".
:) The little virtuoso..made all the gestures a pianist would make..very funny.

I think I had shared with you the flat gingerbread houses I had made in preparation for a cake..this was it.
I was pleased with the finished result..albeit..it weighed 10 lbs I am certain..
last year I had seen cakes like this and knew I would make one..

I can't find the link:(
The cake recipe I used..is this one..you can find it on a few links here and there.
I used one cup less icing sugar asked for..and I would use one less again.the cake is good..dense yet moist..but I would have preferred a fluffier icing...so less icing sugar.

Christmas crack?
Here you go..

the above is ONE of many variations on the web..I have tasted with pecans..and smarties..and sprinkles on top of the choco..I used slivered almonds..

Sucre a la crème is a fudge that is very popular at Christmas..I have made many through the years..thermometer..no thermometer..sometimes hard as a rock..sometimes a sloppy mess:(
I have found the recipe that works for me..to a T..and it could not be easier.
Again..all these recipes are not part of a Weight Watchers menu..or  someone who does not eat sugar.
All these things are for a sweet tooth..as indulgences...as Christmas treats..

La recette

Grease an 8x 12 pan..and lay parchment

1 1/2 cups of heavy cream..here it is 35% and I buy the whipping cream
3 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup of butter
3 cups icing sugar..



Mix the heavy cream..butter and brown sugar..bring to a boil.lower the heat a bit and boil for 6 minutes.
remove from heat  and add the icing sugar..
mix until homogenous

NOTE..I use a hand beater..I just knew when it would be perfect..it's not instant..you will see the consistency change..the ridges will remain ..not HARD..but as if soft peaks kept their shape..spread in pan..refrigerate.
I made half the recipe in a 6 by 6 pan..square springform..
I did not refrigerate..this is QC:)  
Cut when cooled..
Also I put 1 drop of Watkins Maple essence..I am on my last drops..you can't find that here.
A few of the comments/opinions say the fudge stays  too soft..not..you have to keep beating till you see what I said:).



PS..after much searching..I found my link..it's Martha Stewart Town Square cake recipe..  you will find the templates there although smaller and the cake is all different..as I mentioned I did not make her cake recipe.
I loved making this..I made the gingerbread ahead it stores well.
I made the cake at the beginning of the wek and froze the 3 layers..I knew it would be easier to ice..the rest..you just add what you like.
2017..so soon?  In some ways it flew by..in others it dragged..a year is mostly like that don't you find?
Straight lines are hard to draw.
All the best to you and yours.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Soon~it will be Christmas day.






 Photo..courtesy of their mom..Lucas with Katie's dog.The big brother..the sweetie who likes to scare his nana and jump on her sofa and toss the cushions♥





Photo, courtesy of their mom
Oli..still has all his baby teeth..wish he could stay this way..forever.
He's the last Little.
Photo courtesy of Caroline

Do you remember eating snow?
I do:)!
Lucas loves his funny face here ..he told me to look at it..
the only little girl..on their street ..Katie....is right here..w/the boys♥
Smart..funny..not shy..lots of conversation..personality plus.
And how cute are they all?
She is the one that has said :"and when we are all older I will live in my house with my kids and the boys will live in their house with their kids".
I think they are adorable together..


Every year..I look through my old Canadian Living Holiday Baking magazines..some are 2006..they are the only Canadian Living magazines I have saved over the years and I have not found any the last 4 -5 years..

It's something I like to do..
one of my small traditions..

It's not Christmas without linzers..

I love the flaky cookies with the jam filled centers..cut outs and a dusting of icing sugar on top.
A classic.

You can go here for one of 3 of my favorite Linzer recipes..

That's the year I started blogging..makes me a bit nostalgic to see and remember how some of us got lost..
there were some good bonds..
hope everyone is well~

We made our tourtières..
A tradition..in a French Canadian home..
my mom made them..Jacques' mom made them.
To Jacques..that taste and smell  are  Christmas to him.
Scents have such powers over us..for memories.

I made a chocolate house instead of a gingerbread house this year..and named it: "Linger Lodge":)




It will be on the children's table I guess..Christmas eve..Adamo..Giuliana and Lucas..will be at the big people's table:)
Marshmallow roof on  the chocolate one:)..a little white tree inside..Ferrero Rocher shrubs..
I still have things to bake and I am looking forward to them..



Cards do add love to a tree..

A little while ago..I mentioned our family Christmas stockings..
I must admit..every year when I take them out..several things go through my mind..

#1.
 I was taught..step by step how to make these..the materials were sent to me to get started.
Photos of her doing the stitches were sent.
Prior to that I had asked someone I worked with if she could show me the stitch in person..even though I did crewel and needlepoint for years..years ago..the process escaped me for a stocking.
I was met with impatience.
Let me just say..you never forget a kind act..and lol you rarely forget an unkind one..case in point at my office.
Back to the beginning..so ,I have never forgotten the time,patience,and generosity of the person that got me started on these.
That's number 1:)

#2.
When I pull them out now(they are stored  in my mom's hope chest)..I can't really believe I stitched them all  as there are 11. 
I never thought I would get through one.I promise.

#3
I don't think I could do them today..not sure..but I don't think so.I was extremely motivated to not let the person down..and I wanted to create them so my family would have them long after I am gone.

#4
So many stitches!!!!

#5
I stitched a few of them in Florida on the beach..our friends would come and peek..and I did finish   a couple in their entirety ..right there.
 #6

They are so big!
18 inches plus to the base not counting the foot
I have bought wine to put in my son-in-laws stockings and the clerk has said to me..you cannot fit a wine bottle in a stocking....well I can..2 plus stuff ..I am sure.

#7.

The kind kind kind kind woman..here..that turned my tapestries into the beautifully lined and velvet stockings..w/ a fabric hook..and all the binding.
I had gone to Arnaldo the tailor..sweet as ever  he was but he said:" I am afraid I cannot turn your stitched stockings into stockings..but I know someone w/ fairy fingers  who makes all kinds of things for the church bazaar".
He gave me her number and I called her..
I had to take a chance..

A beautiful widow..in a cute cute house..greeted me with such kindness..I knew one of her daughters and son-in-law by chance.
She agreed..
To begin with..she did my mentor's stockings too..quite a few if I remember..and she did mine..all 11 of them.
Her workmanship enhanced the stockings 10 fold.
I am always always grateful to her♥
We exchange a Christmas card ever since..wishing each other well.
A wonderful woman who cherished her husband and talked about him with such love and pride.

On every one..I try and add something linked to the person in my family..On Mylène and Caroline's there are tiny initial charms that were theirs as little ones..some pearls from one of my mom's broken necklaces.A small police car for Alain..the Littles names on each one..Jacques as the  the patriarch..mine as a gardener etc etc..the latter 2 don't get filled..we are just that way..we don't need anything..

As I type..they are filled and on the sofa of my craft room..they will come out Christmas eve.
Re very first one I ever made..was for Frédérick..and how appropriate..the snowman father holding the baby snowman's hands.
Geesh I even get teary writing about them

My wish is that they do remember all the Christmases..past present and to come w/ even their families much later on.




Max..my little fashion icon:) one of the  MVPs for his football team that won the provincials..he was so excited..
he kept telling us..IF we win the regionals..we go on to Provincials..inside we were thinking..you are dreaming big, Max.Well he proved us wrong..dreams do come true♥


He is living up to his shoveling obligations...so cute.



Noah had to wear a Christmas sweater today..his mommy dolled up a black one..♥
My other fashion plate:)

Photo courtesy of Mylène~

His look:)  Mom said he was not too sure..hahaha I love it.



 Thank you for all the nice friendly comments this year..Jacques reads them all..and has said numerous times..:"they are all so nice on your blog..or..  tes commentaires sont tellement gentils..and it's so true.
Thanks for all the posts you post..about everything..inspiring..I learn so much.

I wish you peace and love
I read this..and I thought..yes that would be my wish for everyone..
I want to add health too.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Ten days left..and the Littles are excited..











Fast approaching ..December 24th and December 25th..
I do love the preparation..nice..I remember when I worked I would bake and freeze starting October..
one thing I love about not working anymore..is that I can now do it in December..it just feels more in the spirit for me..
We had abeautiful snowfall..the first that takes your breath away..I just feel bad for  Jacques..the snowblowing etc..
Max ..he still has a few more shovelings to do..if you remember I bought a gift cert..for the less fortunate and the benefit was stair shoveling and he has been once..this snowfall our son-in-law came and did the front steps..

..but that's not the story I want to tell..

..this is..

Frédérick  told Caroline he was going to Costco to pick up food..w/ 3 big boys..they need to do groceries..a lot..

anyways..Caroline said she looked in her fridge this morning and it was almost empty..I said:"Fred just went to Costco.."

She said..ah yes..but (she didn't know)..everything he bought..was for the less fortunate..bags of rice ..cereals....canned goods..etc..apparently he told his co -workers that at their Christmas dinner they all had to bring things for the less fortunate and he would deliver it all.
I mean..♥

That's my sweet story.

So as tradition calls for..I made Auntie Bernice's shortbreads again..some in a pan..some shaped like this..I like the round pie shape..last year also I did one..

I made cut-out ones..and burnt a batch..trying to do 3 things at once..;)A different recipe..
That was not the sum of my bloopers this year;)
Thank goodness everyone bakes..:)

Some cards are just too pretty to not use as tree ornaments..case in point this lovely cutwork card♥
Family and friends photo cards..my daughters friends..:)
Those get hung on the tree..my daughters have beautiful cards made at Shutterfly..Noah's is not here yet but the  other boys one arrived 2 days ago..

Some of the Littles are getting a gift and their stocking..but mom knew they would like a gift certificate..
happy I had these little baskets and tags for the 6 of them~




You know how much I love the ocean..fresh snow and a blue sky..gives me the same awesome feeling.Awe.Awe of nature..
Miracles.
Christmas is a short 10 days away..and before we know it 2017 will be around that very corner..
I love having a desktop calendar ..or 2  ..but I like one hanging in my art room..in front of me..


I have this one to look forward to all year long..every month is so adorable..all different..the calendar is a little jewel.
Marie makes them.
It's already on my wall so photo is off a bit..I shot it directly on the wall♥  Cuter than most calendars on the market..I'll show you every page through the year.

La recette..for the shortbread..


1 lb of butter
1 cup of icing sugar
4 cups of flour..here I go crazy and substitute dome for rice flour..flakier.
Bake at 300 ..1 hr.
Cream butter and sugar..add flour..knead..
Pat into 8x8 square molds..or a round one..and prick w/ fork.
There are several shortbread recipes on my blog..Just enter shortbread in the search bar that Linda showed me how to add.:)

BRR it will be in the minuses over night..BRRR