November 30, 2010

Celebrating the life of a wonderful woman....

My mom is gone but she's always in my heart. She is not near, yet not far... she lives within me.
Five years ago today, my mom took her last breaths and left this world. We were all with her and she is at Peace now. I will see here again, one day!
Me and my mom!
I post these pictures to share my wonderful mom with all of you...
My mom was an inspirational woman, a unique individual; full of genuine humor and full of life and love.
Mom sewed her own outfits and was a fashionita of her time-- Pics from the early through mid 60s.
Mom was a beautiful women- her true beauty from inside shone loudly on the outside, as well.


Pics from the 70s up to the 2005.
This is one of my fav. pics of Mom because her smile was the essence of who she was...
Mom left us too early in life, but I don't think one is ever prepared to loss a loved one, no time is a good time... We've continued living our lives as Mom would have wanted us too, but we can't forget this incredible and amazing woman who had a very special way about her- a way that could light up any dark room she walked into...
My Mom! My mom is Louise. My mom is beautiful, loving and kind. My mom is brave, strong and inspirational. My mom is special to me because she gave birth to me on Nov. 28, 1965. She nurtured me and raised me to be the special woman I am today. She supported me, put up with me, listened to me, gave me good advice, and loved me unconditionally. She was always kind and funny!! I LOVE my mom very much....
Dear Mom,
I wanted to let you know how much I miss you and that I think about you all the time... day and night! It's so hard to be without your beautiful smile, loving words, and warm hugs. You live on in my thoughts and in my heart. You are everything to me. You are the best mom EVER and you have always been there for me. I LOVE YOU MOM!!
Love, your one and only daughter, Leese

November 29, 2010

Early SNOW-- HELLLLLLO WINTER!!!


Who would have thought by looking at the sky in distance that it was going to snow in just about 30 minutes... ??
I think it can only get colder from here on out-- I don't picture it 'warming up' in any way, shape or form! Winter is HERE/NOW- EARLY!!!!! What the _____ (fill in the blank yourself)?!!

Okay, I've been here for 4 years now and this is the earliest snowfall we've had in this region since I've lived here. Alex says it usually snows in late December but it's late NOVEMBER and the first snowfall was on Thursday the 26th and again on Friday the 27th!


Snow coming down at a steady rate at the gare de Sceaux. It was around 4:30 pm on Friday.


At the station- Bourg la Reine.. It was REALLY coming down close to 5 p.m.


And, going to my final lessons at around 5 pm...



What's going on here? Is it GLOBAL FREEZING?! hahhaha! Maybe so, but at any rate, it's COLLLLDDDD BRRR!!!

UPDATE: It snowed overnight (Sunday) and there's even more snow on the ground this a.m. I'll post those pics later on. Wednesday's forecast is snow ALL day long in our region! YIKEEESS!!!

The holidays and EGGNOG!!


One thing that puts me in the HOLIDAY mood is eggnog! I have been drinking this stuff for as LONG as I can remember! I just love the flavour. Some years ago, Starbucks came out with specialty drinks for the holiday season and eggnog was on the menu. I always preferred Peets eggnog lattes over Starbucks, personally!

So, eggnog does not really exist as a flavour here in France, neither does pumpkin (as a cake or in sweets). So, it was something I have definitely been missing during the holidays! Now, thanks to my DEAR friend Tony- who always seems to know what I would like- and who thinks almost exactly like me- I can have the "American holiday season" with me here in France!

Thanks soooo much Tony, for making this possible! It really changes things around, you wouldn't believe!


Here's my STAR eggnog latte in my holiday Peets mug!

One day older..

Thanks to everyone for your b-day greetings and wishes! I had a lovely time at the show, Mozart, l'Opera Rock!I even got to see Yamin Dib (pictured above in red) before the show for a special b-day wish! It was very sweet! Thanks Yamin!!!

November 28, 2010

Happy Birthday to MEEEEE!!!!


HAPPPPPPPPY BIRTHDAY TO MEEEEEEEE!


YAYYYYY!!! It's FINALLY my birthday! After waiting 364 days ALL YEAR long, it's finally arrived...




Today I'll be celebrating my 45th birthday at the Palais des Sports in Paris watching my FAVOURITE show- Mozart L'Opéra Rock. But, this should surprise most of you!!!!
Happy Birthday to me ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪ Happy Birthday to me ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪ Happy Birthday dear MEEEEEEE . . . ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪ Happy Birthday to me!! ♥ ♥ ♥♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥
Hope I have a wonderful birthday - and am blessed throughout the year!


Also, my dear friend, Anne and her husband, Arni in Wantage sent me these lovely greetings via Anne's blog early this a.m.!!!

To my wonderful friend
Leesa
Wishing you a very Happy Birthday,
hope you have a lovely day.
Love and Best Wishes
Anne and Arni xxx

It's always a thrill to be remembered on your birthday so THANKS A MILLION Anne and Arni and to all of my dear friends and family for thinking of me and sending out your b-day wishes!! Now, I can't help but to have a very special day!

My "DREAM" breakfast...

If I could have breakfast anywhere today- I'd choose this cute little coffee shop in La Petite France in Strasbourg....



They have THE BEST cappuccinos and THE BEST pain au choc/praline. I am in PURE heaven when I go here! Soon-- next month!!!!! Can't wait!



November 27, 2010

Candy Corn...

The U.S. has one up on France in the category of Halloween candy-- Primarily because Halloween IS celebrated in the U.S. and NOT in France... I don't even know if these things can be found anywhere in France, but thanks to a few of my WONDERFUL friends in the States, I know have a pretty complete supply (I'm going to freeze what I don't use now and save it for next year)!


This load was from my dear friend, Tony in San Diego, who ALSO slipped in a bad of individual recees peanut better cups, to boot- a FAV. of Alex! Those went right away into our stomachs!!!
I also got some other packages from my Jasmin, Joy, Dan, and Rosemary (who sent a LOAD of them)... I have a really good supply now- THANKS SOOOO much you all!! I REALLY REALLY appreciate it!!

November 26, 2010

BLACK FRIDAY 2010 - LET THE HOLIDAYS BEGIN!!!!!




If you live outside of the U.S. and have not visited the country the day AFTER Thanksgiving, then you may not be familiar with the term, "Black Friday."
Here's Wiki's definition:

Black Friday is the day following Thanksgiving Day in the United States, traditionally the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. On this day, many U.S. retailers open very early, often at 4 a.m., or earlier, and offer promotional sales to kick off the shopping season. Because Thanksgiving always falls on the fourth Thursday in November in the United States, the day after occurs between the 23rd and the 29th of November.

The day's name originated in Philadelphia, where it originally was used to describe the heavy and disruptive pedestrian and vehicle traffic which would occur on the day after Thanksgiving. Use of the term began by 1966 and began to see broader use outside Philadelphia around 1975. Later an alternative explanation began to be offered: that "Black Friday" indicates the period during which retailers are turning a profit, or "in the black."


To all my friends and readers in the good ol' U.S. of A. Happy Shopping!!!!


Miss Callie







Making puree from fresh pumpkin

... is quite easy to do, just takes a long time to cook the pumpkin!


First, cut up the pumpkin and clean out the guts and seeds.



Place the cut up pieces face down on a foil-lined cookie sheet.

Cook at 200F until cooked through- the meat will be completely SOFT.


And last, mash it wish a potato masher and puree in a blender/or just put pieces directly in the blender and puree until very smooth and silky.
When it's pureed, put it in a strainer over a pot and drain out all excess water so that it will be the right consistency to bake with...
*Make sure you do NOT skip this step as the puree contains a lot of liquid.
But, the end result is DEFINITELY worth it!!! Pumpkin strawberry almond bread! DELISH!!!!!