Inspire!

Cooking With the French Impressionists

“I was thrilled to sit at one of the tables where the master had eaten his lunch and dinner. I was aware that he had been everywhere in this room.” ~Alexandra Stoddard Gracious Living in a New World This is one of my favorite cookbooks. I love using recipes from books that add meaning to…

The Magic of Candle Light

“A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.”~James Keller Today I’m writing about the magic of candle light! One of these days I’ll get some spectacular photos of my candle chandeliers. For now these will have to do. You can see my dining room chandelier on my post “Paris Party 2″… and my porch chandelier…

Armchair Travel & Caribbean Fare

“The market ladies sell spice necklaces–garlands of cloves, cinnamon bark, bay leaves, cocoa beans, mace and nutmeg–that are irresistible. I now have them hanging all around the boat, making it smell spicy and delicious. Mangoes are in season, and literally falling off the trees–an embarrassment of mangoes, to someone from the north. We feel duty…

Here Comes the Sun

photograph by Melissa Placzek My brain is overflowing with ideas today and wouldn’t let my body sleep in. The idea of a French press got me to my feet at about 5:00 AM. Is there any better motivator than coffee? It’s suppose to get up to 70 degrees here in Minnesota today. I’m figuring if…

Geocaching: High-Tech Treasure Hunting

photograph by Melissa Placzek “A sense of curiosity is nature’s original school of education.” ~Smiley Blanton Have you ever wanted to search for hidden treasure? We heard about a sort of ‘high-tech’ treasure hunting sport some years back, called geocaching. We’re hooked. It’s really not hard at all once you get the hang of it,…

Book Reviews-My Favorite Garden Themed Books

“God gives all men all earth to love, but since man’s heart is small, ordains for each one spot shall prove beloved over all.” ~Rudyard Kipling My favorite garden-themed books: Two of the most beautifully illustrated books I’ve ever read are In and Out of the Garden and South of France-A Sketchbook by my friend…

What Inspires?-Old Books

“Books let us into their souls and lay open to us the secrets of our own.”  ~William Hazlitt I got up before the birds today and decided to do some writing before I have to get Gracie her breakfast and walk her down to the bus stop. Sometimes it’s hard to get up before everyone…

Summer List

“If a June night could talk, it would probably boast it invented romance.”  ~Bern Williams At the end of every summer I make a list of things I want to do next summer that we either didn’t get around to, or that we didn’t do enough of, when the warm weather was still upon us.…

Snow Ice Cream

“There is nothing in the world more beautiful than the forest clothed to its very hollows in snow. It is the still ecstasy of nature, wherein every spray, every blade of grass, every spire of reed, every intricacy of twig, is clad with radiance.” ~William Sharp When I was younger my little brothers and I…