Jack made a new human connection


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I hope the audio works for everyone because without it, the narrative gets lost. I’ll do my best to set it up just in case this will be a silent film Jack festival. lol On Sunday, our daughter had her friends over and they are the proud parents of an adorable little boy, a fearless toddler, Jack met his soulmate. Lulu was great, but she is more focused on Jack and the dog next door, Vera, so she smelled and licked the little tyke and that was pretty much it.

Jack on the other hand fell head over heels in love,  it was the sweetest thing, at one point, my husband and I were in our living room watching t.v and we kept hearing this mournful little howl, it was Jack calling for his baby.

The videos up above are showing Jack’s devotion to his baby, we kept him inside to give the toddler and his parents a break because Jack had been barking his ear piercing bark, the one he uses to alert us to “danger” he didn’t want the toddler in the water, Jack was getting annoying to everyone outside who wanted to swim in peace. So back inside he went and where Jack goes, Lulu usually follows.

On a footnote to the second video, not only did Jack pull back the door strip, he was throwing his little body against the door, trying to bust through, he was bound and determined to be reunited with his baby.

Thankfully, he eventually calmed down and came back to his Maman, he fell asleep on my lap with Lulu resting right beside him. All was right with the world once more.

Midsummer day visions of beauty


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I apologize for the brevity of my post but I am having quite the issue, not only with my devices but also with the Internet in general. I consider myself very lucky to have uploaded the pictures, though it did seem to take forever, typing is getting excruciating, each letter slowly appears one after the other. 

Pretty flowers hooray!

Savon de Marseille


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I recently treated myself and our house to a little shopping spree of French soap. Savon de Marseille holds special meaning for me, when my sister and I were little, we would spend hours playing hide and go seek with our cousin Leon and one of the best hiding places was what we called La Cave or the cellar of our uncle’s house. Today the cellar is pristine, tiled and organized, but back then, it was beyond messy, it was littered with cobwebs, musty, rats lived there and it was a treasure trove of everything and anything from our grandparents’ parents things, their things and among the treasures were books, magazines, hard candy, cigarettes and soap, specifically le Savon de Marseille. Our grandfather, after the war worked as an accountant; his clients couldn’t pay him with money so they went back to the barter system, our grandfather was paid in baked goods, candy, cigarettes and soap.

Our uncle still has some soap left after all these years, it just doesn’t go bad, it can take stains out of anything and it’s still made according to the ancient recipe; here is what the website Savon de Marseille has to say about their product along with their explanation of their soap-making process. My affection for the soap was never about the history of the soap itself, it was all about the connection to our grandfather, though I was gratified to learn about its low environmental impact, its purity and reliance of natural elements without any chemical processes.

“Big blocks of olive oil based soap have been crafted since the Middle Ages in the South of France. In 1688 it became law that only soaps made according to strict, ancient methods could bear the famous mark “Savon de Marseille.”

Only a few savonneries (soap factories) near Marseille still make this legendary soap in the traditional manner. But Savon de Marseille is once again being rediscovered for its purity and gentle skin care, and its popularity is on the rise worldwide.

It takes our Maitre de Savon (soapmaster) two weeks to make Savon de Marseille. The delicate mixture of olive oil, alkaline ash from sea plants and Mediterranean Sea salted water are heated for ten days in antique cauldrons, then poured into open pits where it hardens. Cut into cubes and stamped, the soaps are then set out to dry in the sun and mistral winds.

The fine white powder on the surface of the soap is a bit of the sea salt, which will disappear once the soap is wet. This beloved characteristic affirms the authenticity of genuine Savon de Marseille. Fresh Marseille Soap can be a bit moist. Allowing it to dry and harden will make it last longer.

Savon de Marseille is traditionally green or white. The white soap is made with palm oil, the green with at least 50% olive oil. Both varieties are exquisite, ultra-moisturizing skin care. Marseille Soap is recommended by dermatologists throughout the world for dry skin and other ailments. Its incredible purity and moisturizing properties make it ideal for sensitive skins. In France it has been trusted for generations to cleanse everything from linens to little faces.

Savon de Marseille is totally biodegradable, requires little packaging and its manufacture is environmentally friendly. Authentic Savon de Marseille is stamped with its weight in grams – a practice left over from years ago which allowed households to compare prices and plan their inventories.”

My first harvest


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This experience growing my own vegetables is so very different from the last time; last time I hadn’t a clue as to what I was doing, I especially didn’t appreciate the importance of location or sun exposure, morning versus afternoon, full shade versus dappled shade, it is so much more rewarding this time around.

Our first head of green leaf lettuce grown by yours truly, tonight’s salad will be interesting, it will remind me of eating salad at my uncle’s house, my aunt right before lunchtime would go outside in the back with her sharp knife, cut a lettuce head from the base and leave it to soak in cold water for a bit, spin it around and dress it up with her own vinaigrette.

I wasn’t expecting this many squash to be ready for harvest, I knew there were two big enough to be picked, but as I went through the larger squash plants, each one held at least two primed for the picking. I have so many squash plants, most are still small, so this is just the beginning of a long growing season, if the weather holds up like this until mid fall, I could be picking vegetables for a while.

It’s fun when your plants cooperate. lol

A brand new baby rose


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I think I bought the original rose bush about 15 years ago, it started throwing out shoots into the lawn about three years ago, it’s only been the last two years that I have been digging them up and transplanting them elsewhere, successfully I might add. 

The baby shoot may look sickly right now, it’s normal, I had just transplanted it. I’ll give it a few days and I’m sure that it’ll be right as rain.

Over time, I have become more comfortable transplanting either plants or bushes not doing well or young saplings, so far I have been lucky, well except for my purple rhododendron, I couldn’t save it, the fungus had been too aggressive, there was nothing to do for it. I was very sad when I had to get rid of it.

The hope and promise of this baby rose helps keep my perspective optimistic, the way it ought to be.

Zipping around town



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Our car had a troubling issue on Tuesday, while I was driving to Boston. I had thought, the last time we had this problem, it had been taken care of at the dealership. Unfortunately for me I had a four hour drive home because the gear switching thingie wasn’t working and I was crawling along at 40 mph. The dealership was more than accommodating, they lent me a replacement vehicle of my choice and I chose the Smart Car.

This one is brand new and I got flooded with memories of France the minute I sat in the car; fifteen years ago when we were in Paris as a family, our son spied his first Smart Car and he fell in love, we bought him the toy version, he loved that little car, so I was so excited to bring one home.

I had fun driving home, even on the highway, I was zipping along at 70 mph, happy as a lark. I pulled into the driveway and our son, when I walked in the door, asked where is the rest of the car? I laughed, I told him the car was partly a homage to our time in France, he understood immediately.

If anyone can get away with little to no cargo space, I would recommend taking the Smart Car for a spin, especially if you live in a city, parking would be a walk in the park. lol

Progress in the vegetable patch!


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 I have cute little cucumbers growing! They are a first for me, as is the very pretty aubergine blossom, I’m not sure how long it will take for that blossom to develop into an eggplant, but let’s just say I’m excited. The yellow squash are growing and mulitplying by leaps and bounds, I may be forced to start baking squash breads, squash cupcakes, squash brownies, basically find a creative flair to deal with endless squash later this summer. lol

My orginal balloon plant bloomed yesterday:

It got so big and tall as opposed to last year, not that it was small by any means, but I didn’t expect it to get as tall as my large hosta to the left of it. I’m so happy with it, there are so many buds, it’s going to be gorgeous for quite a while, it’s a present that keeps on giving.

Happy Bastille Day/ Joyeux 14 juillet 2015!




The first two images are of the actual prison that was attacked and overrun the 14th of July 1789, ironically there weren’t any political prisoners left, just a few old men in prison for debts and perversion, funny enough the Marquis de Sade was in prison around that time, but just days before the actual storming, he was transferred to an insane asylum, fortuitously for him, he was set free from there and went on to become a judge for future trials and sentencing during the Reign of Terror. He was subsequently fired because he didn’t send enough prisoners to the guillotine, when I say fired, I mean he was arrested yet once again and thrown in jail. He still managed to evade the guillotine and remained in prison until the Reign of Terror eventually blew over.

Fast forward two hundred some odd years later and I had a few occasions to be in Paris during the 14th of July celebrations and they are beautiful, full of ceremony, pomp and circumstance and later on at night, fireworks of course. The Eiffel Tower is resplendent with all of the beautiful colors exploding all around her.

Bonne Fete!

Mindfullness and trying to achieve it


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 The cone flowers are just starting to share their beauty, the majority of mine are a delicate pink with two or three white ones in the mix, just enough to highlight the pinks in their grouping. The delicate lavender flower up above is something that pops up in my garden haphazardly, I have never planted them, they just make their presence known every year, this year I don’t have many, I hope they haven’t decided to pack up their bags and head out of town.

I have been pushing back hard against these feelings of panic, dread and anxiety that are cropping up despite my best efforts. Mindfullness may be a buzz word, I know, but I believe in it, I went out in the garden to take pictures, detailed pictures of nature as its best or at least how she rewards me in my little backyard.  Sitting back on my heels, patiently waiting for clarity and detail of petals to come into focus on my screen, along with the gradation of the background, I could feel my center shifting back to calm. The moment was shortlived because my mind became distracted by the work needed to be done right now in the garden, I often fail to see the beauty of what I have planted and nurtured, for the sight of all the weeding that needs to be done and bang boom, back comes the nauseating flutters of panic, dread and anxiety. I can’t tell you where it comes from, it is somewhere buried deep, I prefer to bury these feelings and concentrate on my more normal setting, easy-going and optimistic, though there are days when being optimistic, despite being a natural way of being, is too exhausting to maintain.

Mindfullness and centering, two words that have taken up the internet, they may seem trite to the uninitiated, but to those who have practiced yoga and/or meditation, the results are pretty wonderful, if only for the peace of mind it can bring.

Writing this down helps a lot, it gets my mind to deconstruct my emotions and while I sit here, typing on my little keyboard, I practise cleansing breaths, they feel really nice; I can hear my yoga instructors in my head, speaking slowly and hypnotically, reminding me to focus on my toes, breathing the tension out of them, then gently proceeding up the legs, next the belly, the arms, the shoulders and finishing with the neck and the head.

Sometimes, it’s as easy as taking a deep breath.

Daily prompt: Futures past


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As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? How close or far are you from that vision?
I can remember, for as far back as my memory allows me to go, wanting to be a doctor. It wasn’t the science that drew me in, rather it was the healing and the nurturing that appealed to me. I remember whenever my young friends would get scraped or beat up, I would run home to get a warm facecloth, bandaids and hydrogen peroxide, all used to put them back together. Blood and open wounds never bothered me, I never went so far as to set a broken bone, but I did fashion myself a splint or two for my sprained fingers over the years. I also was the queen of splinter removal, I did it quickly and painlessly.

My failure became a reality due to my complete disbelief in myself and my capabilities, I let my insecurities and fear dictate my life for most of my youth. If ever there was a lesson my present-day self could give my younger self, it would be to go for my dreams no matter what, it wouldn’t matter which university, which medical school I went to, the most important part would be becoming a healer; chemistry, biochemistry and every other nightmare of a class would eventually be passed, the details didn’t have to overshadow the bigger picture.

My mother read me an article about a women who just got her medical license at 58 years old; I admire that woman so much. The thought of going back to university and medical school doesn’t appeal to me now, instead I am hellbent on getting published and writing as a career, that is the dream that drives me now. I am not going to allow any negativity to stop me from my goal.


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