My husband the chef

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My husband is a great chef and he never minds taking over in the kitchen especially when I am not feeling well. I have been exhausted for the past few days and having him come in and do all the work is such a gift for me. Our children are always happy when he takes the reins in the kitchen; he made veal scaloppine picatta, sautéed baby potatoes and baked vegetables.

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My birthday celebration in New York

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I had a fantastic weekend celebrating my birthday with my mother, my sister and her family and of course my husband and our children. We went to my sister’s and I just love spending time with my niece and nephew, they are growing so fast. Jack was with us and he is always a hit with them; he loves running and jumping with them and they love hugging him.

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I took just a few pictures because I was busy speaking with my sister about what is going on with her and I was joking and teasing my niece and nephew, but we ate very, very well. My sister made this tremendous gaspacho, a cold soup of tomato richly flavored with garlic, I made a pig of myself because I boldly stated that I would finish the rest of the container and I did. It was absolutely delicious; the tomato wasn’t acidic or bland, it was exactly what a ripe tomato tastes like, only enhanced with liberal use of raw garlic. It was so good that I cleaned my soup bowl with my bread.

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The next item on the menu was a light salad of greens and tomatoes topped with poached lobster and blanched new potatoes, dressed with my mother’s vinaigrette. It was very good, slightly decadent, but offset with the clean flavors of the greens and tomatoes.

What I was really waiting for was dessert; there was a Saint Honore which is the cream puff and pastry cream French idea of confectioner’s heaven, there were chocolate eclairs, my personal favorite and little cheesecakes.
Dessert was delightful and followed by coffee, really hit the spot. It was a wonderful family get together.

Landscaping as done by a professional

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My mother hired a landscaper and wow did he do a beautiful job! My mother’s front yard is beautiful and elegant with clean lines that whisper effortlessly created and maintenance free. The Landscaper with his crew of three worked from 8 am until 2 pm and the transformation was extraordinary in that short of a time span. My mother is so very happy and I am just as happy for her.

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In case anyone is curious the landscaper’s business name is Lorenzo Landscaping. His sign is displayed tastefully to the side of the front yard. He did an excellent job with the cleanup as well, the sidewalk was groomed and washed down with the hose. Definitely a job well done.

Daily prompt: Sound right

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This is clearly subjective, but some words really sound like the thing they describe (personal favorites: puffin; bulbous; fidgeting). Do you have an example of such a word (or, alternatively, of a word that sounds like the exact opposite of what it refers to)? What do you think creates this effect?

The first word that popped in my head was nubile; a very sexy word in my estimation. The next word that followed was languish, staccato slipped into next place; these three beautiful words fit very nicely between sound and meaning. Then I thought about fast and slow.

I pondered the words fast and slow, thinking does the word slow sound slow? Does fast sound fast? Do they sound right only because I know what they mean and does it makes sense only because those words are ingrained indelibly with those meanings?

In French the word for fast is vite and the word for slow is lent; same issue in French as in English; do the words mirror in sound their meaning or is it knowing their meaning that makes the sound make sense?

Words, sound and meaning, I would say that they are all inter-related, I can’t think of an anachronistic relation between sound and meaning in relation to the word. Good topic to think about; it made me appreciate the richness of our vocabulary either in English or French and how lucky I am that I can flip from one to the other. Words are good, where would we be without them?

Happy Birthday to me

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Today I am 47 years old. I know that I should not complain, the alternative is so much worse. Cameron Diaz said it extremely well “growing old is a privilege” so I am privileged today.

It is amazing to me what seeing the signs of getting old does to one’s inner dialogue, it raises all sorts of questions. I am often thinking of what does it mean to age and what does wisdom have to do with it, if one gets more open to ideas or more closed off? I hope that I stay open to new ideas and new styles, I don’t want to close myself off from new trends, that wouldn’t be any fun.

I wish that my memories didn’t feel as if they were rapidly fading and that I could remember more things crisply and in color, instead of the sepia toned memories that I am still luckily clinging on to or perhaps my failing memory bank is simply a symptom of menopause, I hope so because that means that as soon as I am done with the menopause, my brain will start to work again. I am keeping my fingers crossed on that one.

Late last night after midnight, I got to open my cards and my presents; I got so spoiled for my birthday. My cards were very funny and also very sweet. I love cards, they show that someone took the time to find something just right to wish you a joyful feeling, just the act of looking means a lot.

I love all of my presents; my gorgeous new handbag, my spiffy M&M lounge pants and my beautiful white shirt. I am incredibly lucky and privileged to add another year under my belt and to have such a wonderful family to celebrate it with, life is truly wonderful.

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Daily prompt: Writer’s Block party

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When was the last time you experienced writer’s block? What do you think brought it about — and how did you dig your way out of it?

I think that I have already written this before, but since I am not sure, I’ll write it again; since no one has ever seriously had a speaking block, there isn’t really any reason why one would have writer’s block, the solution is to simply write, even if it is just gibberish, gems may peek out from amongst all of the rubble.

Those words resonated with me and have helped me on more than one occasion. I wrote just the other day that I was having troubles with my novel, it has nothing to do with writer’s block, it is more of an emotional block and that is fine. I will get back to it.

Right now I have been polishing my political essays and I am up to 350. Once I have polished and edited the complete year’s worth, I will be able to cull the weaker ones from the ones that I am proud of and I will be writing to a few publishing houses to see what my chances are with it getting a yes. So I am very excited about this. I haven’t any issues with writer’s block when I am writing for my personal blog and especially when I am writing my daily political essays, the words just flow and I am very thankful for that.

I think that the keys to writing are perseverance, discipline, hope and faith in your story. If you have all, a few or even just one of the ingredients above, you are on to something. Just keep writing.

Apricot blooms

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As I was walking past the window, the color of apricot caught the corner of my eye and when I turned to get a better look, I couldn’t believe how many open blooms I had on my favorite hibiscus. I have always loved the color of apricot; the first time that I decorated my own room when I was seventeen, previously I had always shared a room with my little sister, I chose the color apricot as the color scheme. I remember going to the Laura Ashley store in the upper East side with my mother to pick from all of the beautiful wall coverings, borders and accessories. That store was so tasteful and sophisticated, I felt like a grownup picking out samples from their huge books, sitting on a settee, beautifully upholstered in a rich brocade fabric.

I remember baking a flambeed apricot tart for my 18th birthday celebration in France, I had also baked an apple tart as well. We were so many at the house that one tart wasn’t enough and I didn’t want to make two of the same, I wanted to experiment and expand my baking experience and repertoire.

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I’m pretty sure that the tart that I had made all those years ago, looked very much like the one in the picture. My love affair with baking started even before this, I started baking in my early teens and as I got better, I loved it even more. There is nothing like seeing the appreciation in someone’s eyes when they taste your homemade dessert, it fills you with such a wonderful feeling that you want to do it even more.

Our musician has returned!

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My husband and I were so happy to welcome our traveling/touring musician home. My husband made him a barbecue chicken and pork sandwich wrap, he was so happy eating some home cooked food in his belly. He proceeded to tell us all about his band’s adventures and experiences living in a van for over two weeks. His favorite show was the one they performed in Brooklyn New York, the venue was small, the audience was intense and it translated to the band. His band even made some money, which he was very proud of because that meant that ticket sales were good for his band outside of what the other bands were generating, so that gave our son and his band some confidence in their appeal to the public.

I am so happy that he had a great time, but I am even happier that he is home. I missed him and Jack missed him a lot. Jack gave our son a parade when he got home. His little tail was going 20,000 leagues a minute, it was such a whirlwind of movement, I am surprised that his tail didn’t propel his little body up in the air.

In other news, the garden is starting to wind down a bit. My roses are trying to bloom again, but these nasty beetles are eating, not just my new rosebuds, but a lot of other plants in my garden. I am not sure what these beetles are called, but they don’t come until mid July. I hate bugs so I am not really into touching them or squishing them, perhaps I will find a homemade solution of vinegar and such that I can squirt them with, I would love to see them leave my poor plants alone.

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What a birthday celebration for my husband

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Today was my husband’s birthday and I hope that he had a nice one. He asked for a bouquet of love which I was more than happy to go harvest from the backyard.

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We went golfing with my husband’s cousin and his son. I didn’t play, I watched because I was way too exhausted, but my impression of golf was that it is really, really hard to play. There are so many different strokes that you have to master, so many ways to hit the ball and too many variations in terrain. Watching the three of them play definitely impressed golf’s difficulty in my head. John, our cousin hit a sign and made a huge dent.

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Finally, when we got home, I rushed around to get the two remaining pizza doughs rolled out and assembled with sauce, cheese and other toppings and into the oven. I am not sure what happened, the only thing that I can think of is that the dough being at rest for so long, maybe needed to be kneaded some more or it needed more flour, because for the first time, both pizzas stuck to the pizza grate. However did that unfortunate hiccup stop us from devouring the pizzas? No, it didn’t.

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I was a little stressed with the pizzas being stuck, but no one cared, we dug in however we could and honestly the pizzas tasted really good.

I hope that my husband had a good day.

Guardians of the Galaxy: a movie review

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I loved it! So did my husband, our daughter and our cousins. We have my husband’s family visiting, my family really, so our family basically, for my husband’s birthday celebration and seeing Guardians was part of the birthday package.

We loved the story, the acting, the action, the humor and the heart. How in the world can Zoe Saldana be so extremely attractive green and eyebrow-less? She is such a cool character, I want to be her if I ever get to be a Marvel action person when I grow up.

I did get attached to Groot, I wanted to take him home with me. Rocket the raccoon, not so much.

Love the movie!!!!!!!!

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