Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Spain Happens Soon

This is a bit of this and a bit of that post.

It has been awhile since I have tapped the keyboard to fill in this space.
Sometimes, it seems that you just don't have that much to say.

Winter has been long here for us Québekers.
On the weekend I drove through snow-covered roads with barely visible tracks and blowing snow
that reminded me of January.
Today the birds are singing and I am hopeful that they are telling us that spring will arrive.....soon.

The cabane à sucre is coming into season here.
Good thing, as we are in need of a new batch of maple syrup for cooking.

It is funny how these seasonal events really mark the year and give us a sense of belonging and stability.

Certain events at this time of year seem so satisfying,
heading out to our favourite sugar camp and buying our supply of maple syrup
is one of them.

We will most likely take some new syrup to our daughter who is living in Spain right now
finishing off her final year of university perfecting her Spanish.

And that brings me to what is really occupying my thoughts....SPAIN.
Yes, next week, we board a plane and head off
for an adventuresome road trip
through Andalusia, Spain.

I have been making some tough decisions about what to take and what not to take.
I know always hard planning for a trip isn't it? :)

I know what I will be searching for and purchasing while there ....
a moroccan pouf ....

and hopefully some lovely spanish pottery....

We have lined up some great stops on our trip
and since I am taking along my camera I will be posting as often as possible
to share this trip with you.

A lot will probably get up on Instagram as well
but I do want to capture and share some of the interesting little stops we have planned.

I am going to document the trip from start to finish....
so I hope you enjoy a little vicarious traveling through us. :)

See you at the airport!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Colour in the Kitchen

So it sounds like I am talking about a big change in our white kitchen....
But here's the thing.

What do you do when you have a very long winter
paired with some very cute and colourful little tin plates.
Oh, and a white kitchen.... that is important.... especially when it has been very white outside for several months now.

Well, you find a place to display them of course.

It is crazy how the desire to have spring arrive early
paired with...
my finding these little plates tucked away on a shelf,
inspired me to get them on the wall.

I still love our white kitchen
in the dead of winter
when the snow is blowing out there
and the temperatures have plummeted....
I find a certain solace in the little hits of colour around our home.

These plates are dear to me because they belonged to a friend that passed away from cancer a few years ago.
I had always loved his little antique collection of tin boxes and plates from China.
Fortunately I was given the opportunity to choose a few of his possessions as keepsakes.

So, they are extra special and it also makes it
feels somewhat spring-like in here today.

The birds have appeared at the feeder in large numbers and the sun is shining
and these little plates are making me smile.

Does a little hit of colour around your home make you happy?

Monday, February 16, 2015

A Joyful Cottage

Well, I feel like a bear this month...
snuggled into a state of hibernation just trying to make it through this cold winter.

In the meanwhile,
I have to share with you a wonderful experience that I have had meeting
Nancy from the blog,  A Joyful Cottage.
We have been exchanging a series of emails and
she has beautifully transformed our conversation into a blog post about our little home.

I am not sure if you know about a series that she writes
 based on Living Large in Small Spaces,
but check it out at her blog.
Simply click on the image and off you go!! 

Thank you Nancy for showing us that
 there are more people than we realize, 
living large in small spaces.

A Joyful Cottage

Monday, February 2, 2015

Miss Cole

Some time ago,
I pinned an image to Pinterest of a slip-covered slipper chair with the intention 
of creating something similar.

I actually wrote a post about it a few years ago...yes, years. 

But it has been a project that comes to mind every time I see that chair.
And then,
I saw this image and decided.... girl, it is time to get 'er done! 

The Peak of Chic Blogspot

Sewing for me,triggers a lot of memories.
Some lovely times with my mom
and a few very vivid images of my grade 7 Home Economics teacher...
Miss Cole.

Home Economics with Miss Cole was about sewing, cooking and even learning how to plan a budget.

Miss Cole, at the time, seemed ancient to me.
She was unlike any person that I really knew.
So different.

Well, then again, there were the White twins.
They dressed in identical matching outfits with matching patent leather purses carried on the same arm and matching spray-net hair-dos.

But back to Miss Cole.

She was referred to around town as one of the Cole sisters, a spinster and a very conservative lady.
She had pretty high standards for us girls and was somewhat put off by the fashion style of the time, although not completely fazed by it.

But first let me situate you in the times...

In those days,
the school staff organized contests for best posture,
I can still see Norah McGuire walking around the halls balancing books on her head to help secure her win.

The girls came in one entrance to the school and the boys came in another.
There was a playground for the girls and one for the boys.
The strange thing was that this was middle school, a school for grade 7 and 8 students.
All of us were coming from elementary schools with mixed playgrounds.
But once here at Senior Public, the sexes were delegated to the east and west sides of the school.
The north side was out of bounds and the entrance for staff and parents was located on the south side.
Pretty serious stuff!

Anyway, Miss Cole,
seemed like an oddity to me.
Her clothing was very old-fashioned,
she was often seen wearing an apron around the school
and appeared completely ignorant to all the comments that fed off of her strange attire.

I was not sure how she was going to teach me anything.
I had already developed an interest in cooking.
Although in those days, the foodie revolution was a movement still waiting to be born.
Between the Galloping Gourmet and Julia Childs I was already busy mixing up heavy sauces and experimenting with ingredients in our fridge to see what went with what.

I also came to her Home Economics class with a preconceived idea of who she was.

Miss Cole lived in a really big old house with her sister,
not far from my own home.
I sort of felt sorry for her.
Her house seemed so quiet all the time, not a lot of action really.
They had a big Pontiac in the driveway that seemed to get a lot of use on Sundays.
Miss Cole was the driver...I think.... and her sister would sit in the back seat.
Anyway, there was always one driving and another sitting straight and tall in the back.

So the first day when I walked into class and realized that Miss Cole was my Home Economics teacher....
well, I was a bit stunned.
There were a lot of giggles in the room as the girls settled in to what seemed to them the most ridiculous of courses.

First up was a cooking class on making pudding.
I was paired up with Debbie Smith who I barely knew but certainly had every desire to befriend at the earliest possible moment.

We chatted and moaned over the whole affair
while unintentionally burning our pudding.
Of course that made us instant celebrities around the school
given the objective by most to hijack this class at all cost.

But Miss Cole merely spoke to us about the importance of stirring, regulating temperature and
keeping our noses active.

Secretly I admired her calm.

Over the course of the year, we embroidered our initials on tea towels, learned how to sew in a straight line and were even given the option to embroider flowers on our coveted bell bottom jeans.

And by the end of the year,
I knew how to sew.
And I was pretty good.

I had made a quilted coat that I hung on to for several years after that.
My bell bottom jeans were covered in flowers from waistline to the bottom hem, although I do believe my mother was responsible for that.

I learned how to use our sewing machine
which made the receiving of my own Kenmore model many years later, all that more special.

And I can still hear Miss Cole saying.... "girls, find some old material that has still got some life to it and re-purpose it."

So, Miss Cole,
this project is for you.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Loving Life

Well, there are still boxes of Christmas decorations in the basement that need to be put away.
But, I finally feel that I am back...in action...feeling great.

To celebrate we headed off for an evening of snowshoeing with friends
along the St. Lawrence river.
Trust me, if you have never gone snowshoeing at night you are really missing out on something special. We had our headlamps with us but we really didn't need them.

The quiet is amazing,
the lights of homes along the river is really enchanting
and sounds of snow and ice crunching beneath your snowshoes adds to the sense of adventure.

A few more months of winter so time to embrace it.
Yep, back to loving life!!

Oh and I actually have a project that I am working on and hoping to share with you this week.
Thank you for the get well wishes.
Very appreciated.

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