Sunday, November 28, 2010

Tied up with, no not string... Beautiful Ribbons

Jan of A Journey contacted me and asked for my address so she could send me a little something. Taken back I was - this was a total surprise. Well, I responded and soon arrived a package tied up in strands of beautiful ribbons.

Inside I found two items. One was a little notebook that Jan had decorated with a pretty new cover. The blocks down the front spell my name.

The other item was a beautiful tag with more gorgeous ribbons. I wish the photograph did them justice. The little girl has such a lovely face, and look at the little key charm.

Jan does amazing work of various types. One activity she participates in is Digital Whisper. I do not pretend to understand how any of it is done, but her projects are wonderful. If you have a moment go by and say ,"Hi."

Jan, this made my day. Thank you, sweet lady.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Finally Fall

Sung by Nat King Cole in 1956 for the movie Autumn Leaves
English lyrics written in 1947 by Johnny Mercer
Music by Joseph Kosma

Originally this was a 1945 French song Les Feuilles Mortes (The Dead Leaves) with music by Joseph Kosma and lyrics by poet Jacques Prévert. Les Feuilles Mortes was sung by Yves Montand in 1946 for the film Les Portes de la Nuit.

Autumn Leaves

The falling leaves drift by the window
The autumn leaves of red and gold
I see your lips, the summer kisses
The sun-burned hands I used to hold

Since you went away the days grow long
And soon I'll hear old winter's song
But I miss you most of all my darling
When autumn leaves start to fall

The height of the fall season has usually been here by now, but this year Mother Nature kept us waiting. A few trees had turned golden yellow or red, but only a few and I was beginning to wonder if most of the leaves were just going to go from green to brown and drop off. But it has now turned Autumn in our neck of the woods and I am savoring every day.

This camera can not capture the golden glow that presents itself like a canopy gently covering all, but I hope you can enjoy the pictures nonetheless. They were taken in the area of our neighborhood, or in Stone Mountain Park.

Taken while strolling through Stone Mountain Park

and around the neighborhood.


Autumn is my favorite season ('favorite most', I would say as a kid). It has been so enjoyable taking leisurely walks enjoying the scenery and watching the leaves drift slowly to the ground. A task that I like to do is "The mulching of the Leaves," which I have been doing every weekend since they started falling, and I see that I still have a few weeks to go before I put the mulcher away for the winter.

Did you used to like jumping into a pile of leaves? I is a wonder that Dad ever got them raked up. Maybe that is one reason I like mulching them - it is much easier than raking.

Here's wishing you a lovely fall and a Happy Thanksgiving.

to be posted on Natasha's Sunday Song

to be posted on A Southern Daydreamer's Outdoor Wednesday

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day, November 11, 2010

everyday we thank you for your service

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Italy In a Nutshell

One late winter a friend of ours asked if our daughter could go with her and her daughter, during the summer vacation, to visit friends in Germany, travel into France, and spend most of their time sightseeing in Italy. There they would meet up with other friends who would also be traveling with their young teenagers.

Yahoo map

Oh my, over 5000 miles away.

While we were excited about the prospects of this trip, we as parents, had many questions to ask and details to sort. In the meantime, the hoping-to-soon-be-globe-trotter was looking through travel guides, and German, French, and Italian phrase books; fortunately, she could speak a little French.

Summer came and she boarded a plane anxiously, but looked forward to traveling, meeting new people, seeing new places, and experiencing the world with eagerness and wide eyes. I hoped we had done the right thing in letting her go so far away from us, quietly said a prayer and returned home with a few tears.


After visiting in Germany they took the train to France and later on to their main destination, Italy. Just a few of the places they toured in Italy were the Cathedral in Milan,

photo by Hans Peter Merten

the beautiful city of Verona (remember Romeo and Juliet),


photo by afaulkner526

the canals in Venice,

photo by afaulkner526

and the Vatican in Rome.

photo by Juan Rubiano

While in Rome they stayed in a hostel that served roof-top suppers, where they enjoyed meals and met other travelers.

To our daughter it seemed liked a short stay; to me those weeks were an eternity. But she did return to us with smiles, new friends, a few souvenirs, many stories (of which she did tell us a few), and a suitcase full of dirty laundry.

Our kid had spent over three weeks in Europe, had seen many sights - on and off the standard tourist list, had met many people, had established new friendships and one of the things that she raved about and continued to talk about was not anything that we were expecting. Though I had heard of it before, I had never tried it, and was not even sure just what it was...Nutella.


If you have not read my post A Sure Sign of Weakness, let me tell you that no one had to twist my arm to make me try this creamy, hazelnut, cocoa spread. Are we not a part of the free world? How could I have not known just what this was, and just how good it is?

Nutella is the divine creation of Italy's Mr. Pietro Ferrero, a pastry maker and founder of the Ferrero company. In the 1940's cocoa was scarce due to the rationing during WW II. However, because there were hazelnuts galore in the Piedmont region of northwest Italy, Mr. Ferrero decided to use them in order to decrease the amount of the cocoa, and the idea for Nutella was born.


This stuff is almost to good to be true. Besides being delicious, it is a pretty healthy spread. Nutella is trans fat free, does not have any ingredients that come from gluten containing cereals, and is made with hazelnuts - no peanuts. It can even be stored in the cupboard; it does not require refrigeration.

In our household we have tried it on toast, bagels, crackers, toaster waffles, and yes, I have been known to spoon it straight from the jar.


Do you have a favorite way of eating Nutella? I would like to know.

On the internet you can find many recipes using Nutella. I have selected a few to show you that I think look really yummy.

Nutella Cup Cakes from the Sweetest Kitchen

Nutella Mousse from Delicious Magazine

Special Hazelnut-Espresso Treat from the Novice Baker

Mocha Frappe posted on The Flow on Three Lakes

Has anyone not heard of, or not tasted Fererro Rocher candy. I was well acquainted with this particular sweet product. Made by the folks at Nutella.

And Tic Tacs? Yes, they manufacture them also.

It's true; I might have been the last person on the planet to try Nutella, but I bet I am one of its biggest fans. Nutella has become such a mainstay that it now has its own international day, February 5*. You can get ready for the 5th Annual World Nutella Day by checking this web page


* Sara from Ms. Adventures in Italy and Michelle from Bleeding Espresso and Shelley from At Home in Rome, solemnly declare Friday, February 5th “World Nutella Day" – a day to celebrate, to get creative with, and most importantly, to EAT Nutella.

Due to the lack of ownership of a digital camera at the time of this trip, these photos were taken from various sources.
photo credits: