With Love for a New Year

With Love for a New Year

Are you familiar with ‘tatting’?

Tatted lace is made with one or two finger-held shuttles and very fine cotton, a bit thicker than sewing thread. I was visiting a friend in Quebec nearly 30 years ago and his (at the time) 92 year-old grandmother lived with he and his family. She saw me crocheting and asked if I was tatting. I’d never even heard of tatting before.

She showed me the basics and gave me a tatting shuttle. There’s a trick to it, which took me a couple of weeks to get, but I finally did, and the rest is history… I’ve been tatting off & on ever since.

The last couple of years it’s been more ‘off’ than ‘on’ but I picked it up again over the Christmas break and have been glad to get back into it when time allows. There’s a life lesson in there that I was reminded of, but first, let me bring you up to speed…

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Road Trip down the Loire Valley

Road Trip down the Loire Valley

Back in October, I took the long road home from a teaching day in Angers.

The day was beautiful, the onset of evening was slow coming, and no one needed to be picked up at the station in Châtellerault. Overall, the opportunity was too good to pass up.

I’d intended to document it long before this, but whatever the reason (there were likely a number of them) it didn’t happen until now.

Care to join me on an open-top drive down the Loire River Valley?

Gentle Warning:
This is my longest-ever blog post (3,500 words – about a 22 minute read). If you only have a few minutes, I’d recommend saving it for a time when you can enjoy it over a big steaming mug of coffee, not a small. 🙂

Ready? Let’s go…

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Our 2020 Christmas

Our 2020 Christmas

Christmas more or less snuck up on us this year.

Besides the fact that we’re not getting any younger, I really chalk it up to the fact that Covid19 made it such that the school year was pushed back, beginning in September, meaning that classes (and the related marking, evaluations & such) were also pushed back. So it seems like we were all working right up to the Friday before Christmas.

Is it just me or did it sneak up on you as well?

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Cheesy Christmas 22: Tomme aux Fleurs

Cheesy Christmas 22: Tomme aux Fleurs

Back on Day 19, we had a Spanish cheese (queso Manchego) and I mentioned, at the time, that it was the first non-French cheese to make it into our Cheesy Christmas menu. I also mentioned that there would be one more in the days to come.

Technically, that’s not true. This cheese was produced in France, but it’s roots are much farther east… in Austria…

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A Walk Around Chambord

A Walk Around Chambord

Every once in a while I post a #Travel Tuesday post, just for fun. Today is one of those days.

As so many of you have been aware, Covid-19 lockdowns have affected just about everyone in some way, shape or form. One of the big things, here in France, has been the confinement that kept us almost exclusively at home back in the Spring and quite close to home in the Fall. Although we managed to get out and about during the ‘in-between’ times, once the second lockdown hit, we were limited to local trips, for specific reasons and always with government issued paperwork.

That’s why a recent Saturday was a real treat for me.

I needed to go up to Seine-et-Marne (77) for work, back on the 12th, and had all the appropriate paperwork to justify a trip out of my region. Since, on our attestation we have work-related tick-boxes and a tick-box for short periods of outdoor exercise, I took full advantage of both boxes and broke up my 3.5hr drive home with a walk around Chambord Castle.

Join me as I give you the short version of a one-hour stroll around one of the incredible castles of the Loire Valley.

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Cheesy Christmas 19: Queso Manchego

Cheesy Christmas 19: Queso Manchego

For today, we ‘left France’ for our cheese of the day.

I’m not sure why this surprised me really. No one said specifically that Cheesy Christmas was a ‘French cheese only’ promotion, but somehow I just supposed that it would be. That being said… it’s one cheese out of nineteen to date, and in the remaining few days, there will only be one other cheese that’s not French.

Vamos…

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