Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year from Paris!

Tonight is New Year's Eve and I hope to be in the midst of the crowds celebrating with champagne. What a delightful way to welcome in 2009!!!!!

Best wishes to all of my fellow bloggers and blog readers.

A bientot.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Posting from Paris!!!

Merry Christmas from Paris. It is beautiful here and all of the people I have met are lovely. Best wishes to all for a joyous New Year!!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008



This is Shadow, who is not happy that I am leaving him.. He hates suitcases and right now there are three in the guest room.. The first was way too big and way too heavy so I dragged in an old one and went and bought another medium sized one.. so now I am taking two medium suitcases instead of one giant one that can't be lifted and didn't roll very well..

Coat was too long.. looked silly so I went & bought another... I don't think I'll spend as much in Paris as I've spent trying to get ready to go.. I can't wait to get there and rest up.. I'm tired. and a cold is grabbing hold of me in spite of orange juice and vitamin C... now I'm just wishing it away..

I probably will not post until I return or if I get to a cyber cafe and can log in and do a short one.

So until next year.. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to all.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Still More Soreze

The Hydrangea seems to thrive in this area and the residents seem to love them for good reason. They are beautiful and lush in bloom.



Near the edge of the village we found a workman painting a lampost. We asked permission to photograph him and he graciously gave us permission.



Still standing in the same spot, I just turned 45 degrees and there in the distance was a field with cattle grazing and the rolling hills beyond. This is such a beautiful area of France. I would love to live here.




Countdown to Paris: 4 days!!!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Still Soreze

One of my classmates walking through an alley in Soreze.



A pretty little map of the area.



Can you tell I'm being lazy today? I've been getting up way too early.. My poor old body is trying to start living on Paris time a week early.. Only 7 more days until departure!!!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

More Soreze

Soreze, like Durfort has many narrow streets of half timbered homes. On a hot July morning the shutters were closed to keep out the sun. The shady side of the street showed opened ones.



I think July must be one of the best times to visit this area. Pots and containers of all kinds just overflowed with flowering plants. The fields of sunflowers were blooming as we drove around the countryside. It was glorious.



Same street, different view.



Paris Countdown: 8 Days!!!!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Durfort and Soreze, France

This is a view of the back of the house in Durfort. The inside has been extensively renovated by Gwen Gibson and her husband with the help of some wonderful local craftsmen. Click on her name and it will link you to her site and her story of how she found it and some photos of the renovation.



The best part of the workshop in Durfort was the almost daily field trips to nearby towns. Our first one was to the village of Soreze. Larger than Durfort, it was still a lovely walkable village with much to see and do. Flowers were blooming in front of almost every medieval home on this street.



The hydrangea seems to be a favorite plant in this area. It was just everywhere and blooming beautifully in early July.



Paris Countdown: 9 Days!!

Friday, December 05, 2008

France

I went to France in July of 2007 to attend this class in Polymer Clay and Book Arts. Dayle Duroshow's Workshop in France. I had met Dayle years before at a doll workshop in Baltimore and really enjoyed her class and found her to be a wonderful teacher and a delightful person.

This class was held in Durfort, a small village in the Languedoc region.. I fell in love with the village, the house we stayed in, the area around it and the country of France. If I once left my heart in San Francisco, I left my soul in France.

Here is the street where we stayed.



This is the view of the waterfall and stream behind the house. Photo taken from the back terrace where weather permitting we ate lunch or dinner.



Gwen Gibson, another artist, owns the home and here is the story of La Cascade

Paris Countdown:10 Days!!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

La Recreation

Since I am leaving for Paris in 11 days, I thought I'd do some posts of photos from my trip to France in July of 2007.

The first one is the restaurant in Les Arques, a small town in the Lot Region that was featured in Michael Sanders' book From Here, You Can't See Paris: Seasons of a French Village and Its Restaurant

I had read the book before going and asked Robin from the B & B in Albas to make us a reservation. It was so beautiful and the best meal I have ever eaten. We sat ouside near the lush wisteria vine that climbed over the front porch of the building.



La Recreation created not only delicious food but food that was beautiful in it's presentation.

Below is a photo of part of my meal.. the stuffed tomato and squash blossom were tiny but delicious.



I will put up a photo or two each day until I leave for Paris and if I can, I'll prepare some others to post while I'm gone.

Paris Countdown: 11 Days!!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Johnny Hallyday & Patrick Bruel - Et Puis Je Sais

A wonderful new friend who lives in London, sent me some DVDs and one is Patrick Bruel's Entre Deux.. a delightful musical production. Today I watched all of the supplemental bits and my old fav, Johnny Hallyday, was shown rehearsing with Patrick.. and I remembered watching this Youtube video awhile back... I just replayed it and I still enjoy it.



Paris Countdown: 16 more days 'til departure!!

IL DIVO'S new CD: The Promise

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving

So much to be thankful for today.. friends, family, near and far. This blogging community that I've become part of is becoming like an extended family. So many delightful people from all over the world meet and get to know each other. It's an amazing time we live in.

My dear friend, Anne, sent me an e-mail asking if I'd seen this Il Divo interview and when I clicked the link it was one I'd read.. but didn't realize that there was a video.. I would just download it to my computer but don't know how to do that so I'm embedding it here and sharing it with anyone and everyone..



I hate Ur's new haircut and straightened hair but Sebastien is as charming as ever. I'm still a bit besotted..

Paris: 18 more days!!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Promise

Il Divo's new album, The Promise is wonderful.. I can't pick a favorite song. I like them all for different reasons. This one is especially nice because of the way the voices separate and then come together. The first Video is Carlos introducing the song.



And this is the recording done in the Arena at Pula, Croatia. Lovely setting for awesome music.



Paris Countdown: 19 days

Friday, November 21, 2008



Went to fill up yesterday and the price was a nice surprise. Some of the other stations had a low of $194.9 but BJ's price was the best. I guess with the markets and everything else down, it's only right that the price of gas drops.

Today the market went up some.. let us hope it continues or we are all going to be in trouble.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Last Super Soap Weekend!




Cathy and I went to the last Super Soap Weekend. We had gone to the very first one 12 or 13 years ago and it was fun.. She doesn't watch any soaps and I only watch General Hospital but it's still nice to see the stars from all the ABC shows. Susan Lucci was booted off of Dancing With The Stars so she was able to be there and Erica Slezak is always charming.

The most fun was the show with Cameron Mathison as host. They bring up three women from the audience and they get to act with some characters. This one was Kelly Monaco and Greg Vaughan from GH. He is so nice.

Later we stumbled on the site where he was doing autographs and what a sweet guy he is. He took time to do photos and autographs and talk to his fans. I snuck in long enough to get these photos. Nice guy and cute, too.

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Louvre

Just thirty more days!! I will be just a block away from this! The Louvre!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Celtic Thunder!!

Last night's show was worth the drive to the far East side of Orlando.., although the arena venue doesn't do the group justice. They put on a rousing enthusiastic perfomance. My friend really enjoyed it and so did I. My biggest disapointment was there was no sign of a kilt until the very very end..

Here's another link with lots of information about the group and wonderful links to videos and songs. Celtic Thunder Google Knol

And here's a Youtube video of my favorite song of the night. It's one that's on Il Divo's new album, too.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Celtic Thunder Tonight!

Tonight my friend, Cathy, and I are driving up to UCF Arena to watch Celtic Thunder perform. Another friend saw them a few days ago and said it was fabulous. We are so looking forward to it.

I'm told that the program is $20 and so is the DVD.. I think I'll wait and if I decide to buy it, I'll get it on Amazon.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Downtown Disney: Festival of the Masters art show
Yesterday I drove to Downtown Disney for the annual Festival of the Masters art show. As always the art was mostly first class. Some repeats from previous years but also some new artists with unique items.
This is the view from in Front of the Virgin Megastore looking towards Cirque du Soleil with Disney Quest on the left. It was a beautiful day.



These next two photos are the work of an artist who has been showing at the show for many years. His sculptures are massive and made of nails. People are always crowded around his display amazed at the work and creativity involved. The artist is Bill Secunda.





Here is a short trailer for La Nouba.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Gas Prices are Down!!

I filled up the tank yesterday and this is what I paid.. The news this morning says that gas has come down a few more cents today.



Gas prices heading down is something to cheer about.. Today's news that almost another quarter of a million jobs were lost in October is not. All those big profits for the oil companies doesn't seem to have "trickled down" to the poor working stiffs at all, has it?

Hopefully the new administration can stop the downward turn and get us on the road to recovery soon.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Hope! Change! A New Beginning!

We have a new President Elect and I couldn't be prouder of my country. We have come such a long way since I first voted in a Presidential election in 1964. Back then we had to be 21 to vote. Civil Rights was still a young concept and what happened last night could not have been imagined then.

Here is President Elect Barack Obama's acceptance speech.


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Il Divo does ABBA

Il Divo has done Winner Takes it All.. In Spanish.. Filmed in Pula, Croatia in the beautiful roman amphitheatre.. WoW!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Paris!

This is a nightime shot of the hotel we are planning to stay in while in Paris.. It looks so lovely... I hope it is as nice as the photos and reviews show it to be. Six more weeks..

Monday, October 27, 2008

More... the Men are Back!!!

Here they are at an interview and seem to be having lots of fun.. beautiful music of The Promise playing in the background.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Trip Update

Well, the tour to Provence/Nice was cancelled but I've decided to still leave on December 15th. I changed the airline to Air France and will fly directly to Paris and hang out on my own until Connie arrives on the 23rd. She heads back to London on the train on the 1st of January but I'm staying until the 5th. The airfare was cheaper if I stayed those extra days and how could I pass up a bargain? Duh? Now I'm paying for the lodgings for three extra days and it's more than what I saved. But hey, who's counting. This will be the trip of a lifetime. Twenty days in Paris!!!! Whoopeee!

We talked about renting an apartment so that we could do some cooking and eating in to save money but I just couldn't find anything either reasonable or available so I checked out some links from Air France for hotel bookings. Some of the ones I really liked were not available. Seems like Christmas and New Year's Eve bring tons of people to Paris but I did find a lovely one right across the street from the Louvre. It is the Grand Hotel Du Palais Royal . Saves walking and taking the metro or buses for me since I'll probably live at the Louvre a lot of the time. And although a bit pricey, it includes breakfast, had twin beds, and an elevator. What more can one ask for?

I will wait for Connie to visit Versailles but may go to DisneyLand Paris on my own.
I've watched some Youtube videos and it is a bit different from our Disney World. More French..

Lots to do and not quite two months to do it. Need to put together a cold weather wardrobe. I'll need to buy a coat.. yuck.. and find some comfortable, yet stylish shoes and I need to walk more to get in shape for all the walking we'll be doing there. I have been riding my bike and that helps a bit but not enough.

More later, a bientot.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Ahhhh, The Boys are Back!!

Getting ready for the November release of their new album, The Promise!!!

I love when Carlos rolls his "Rs" and Sebastien imitates him.. They seem to be really fun guys..

Thursday, October 09, 2008

There is a new visitor to the neighborhood. He's by himself and has been hanging out in the empty lot next to me clacking and hooting loudly. I'm not sure if he's wanting to find a mate or if he's just been evicted from his parents home and is lonely.

I went into the yard yesterday with some bread and when he saw me he just came flying, just a few inches off the ground, to just a few feet from me. He would have gotten closer but I held out the bread. He wasn't at all shy and wanted to take it from me but I dropped it for him.. Not a good thing to get them too domestic. They very easily become major moochers.

I love watching them. Here are two shots from yesterday.




This one was taken this morning when he returned. He could be heard hooting and hollering from a block away. He checked out the entire front of the house looking to see if I would come out and feed him.. Here he is just outside the kitchen window with poor Sassy wondering about the giant bird outside her window.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

To insure that my December trip to Provence takes place they need to book two more women in the next two weeks..

This is a description of the trip.

Ah Provence....there is no more alluring and magical destination on earth. While Peter Mayle wrote about A Year in Provence, you will have eight incredible days to experience all of the wonders of the French countryside and the French Riviera. You’ll stay in both Aix-en-Provence and Nice and enjoy visits to St. Tropez, Cannes and Monaco! Highlights include visits to the studio dedicated to Paul C├ęzanne, winery tours and tastings, and a private cooking class that highlights the delicate flavors of Southern France. You will also attend a perfume making class and create your very own fragrance to take home. Could there be a more incredible momento of your trip? This is undoubtedly one of our most exciting tours for 2008 so book early to ensure you don’t miss out!

And here is a link to more information. Trip to Provence

Be sure to click on the hotels to see how lovely they are. I am so looking forward to staying at the one in Nice.

So ladies hurry up and sign up. It will be loads of fun!!!
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” - Mark Twain

Monday, September 15, 2008

I missed this Saturday night but it's so funny that I'm posting it here.

Monday Morning

I've been back from Merida for a whole week and am still recovering. My poor old body is still on Merida time. We had a good time meeting up with old friends and just exploring the city. We found another bigger Wal-Mart than the one we visited last trip and it was awesome. Here are some pictures of the Produce and Bakery depts. They had a whole aisle dedicated to tequilla.. A wall of bottles and then two rows of special display tables piled high with boxes of it. We bought a nice bottle with glasses for Cathy, who drove us to the airport, but it was confiscated at the flight check-in. Seems you can't take it on the plane in a carry-on. It would have cost twenty dollars to check the bag and the tequilla didn't cost that much. They must have fantastic parties at the airport with all the confiscated booze.




Friday, August 29, 2008

Off to Merida


Tomorrow we fly to Cancun and then the lovely (not) four hour bus ride to Merida. Hope the movie is a good one or two. I'm packed and ready to go and hoping that Hurricane Gustave doesn't get in our way. We've been trying to decide if the plane will fly over it or around it since it's scheduled to be smack dab in our path.

Here's another statistic to fill space until next I post.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Found this on youtube. Annie and I drove past their estate and vinyard when we were there. The map we used spelled it Caix but they spell it Cayx. We didn't know that you could just stop in to see a gift shop. Next time I will.

Luzech, whose mayor was saying that they liked having Danish Royalty for neighbors was the next town over from Albas, where we stayed. We went through it almost everytime we went to Cahors and most other places. Annie rode a bike along the river to Luzech on the day I drove to the market at Montcuq. It is such a beautiful part of France. I'm not going there this trip but it's where I would love to live.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Not Just Christmas in Paris!!

I changed the date of my flight home from France to January 2nd... I'll be in Paris watching the fireworks at the Eiffel Tower on New Year's Eve.. instead of here on the couch watching it on TV!!! What a way to end this year and start the next. I am so over the moon about this.

I am spending money that I should probably use to fix things around the house but I'm thinking it's more important to throw caution to the wind and just spread my wings and fly. I haven't shared this with my family yet since it's four months away and I think they will get their Christmas gifts very late since I intend to shop the markets in Paris for their gifts.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

My Brother-in-Law's Take on my Trip

"For Paris France in the Winter time It is generally very cold,
damp and gloomy. Paris sits on the earth up where Boston is located.
So the weather is close to that. See the following for a realistic
description as it agrees with my memory.

Provence and Nice are not quite as bad. Temperatures in the 40-50F
range with lots of rain. Probably about half of a month is rain,
sometimes heavy. It is more like Ocean City or Virginia Beach in the
winter. Beautiful and friendly but brisk and wet.

Of course it is in the Holiday Month so that everything takes on a
dramatic aire of festival with lights and decorations. I would not "not
go because of the weather." In Paris you will spend most of the time in
Museums and cafe's and sightseeing. You go everywhere by the
underground Metro so you are only exposed to the "weather" for short
periods. A summer or spring day on the "ponts" /bridges of Paris looking
down the Seine is a fabulous experience. A Winter overcast day standing
on the "ponts" / bridges of Paris looking down the Seine is unforgetable
romantic experience for the soul. In other words, there are no "bad"
days in Paris.

Bundled in a heavy coat under your umbrella you will
dream of Toulouse Latrek and Matisse and Gaugin and then view their
works in the new Modern Art museum. Or roam the halls of the Louve, not
in a rush because it is cold and dreary outside, but nice and warm
inside the museum. Sitting outside in a cafe on the "Left Bank" with a
hot coffee or cappuccino warming your hands with a fresh pastry or
"Croque Monsieur" (grilled ham and cheese sandwich) will banish all the
cold and damp. The Christmas lights down the Champs Elysee and
Montmarte districts will blaze away any clouds in the skies. A city
that is over 2,500 years old has an engine of warmth in its heart and
cold, damp, and clouds cannot diminish the charm and experience.

The Cote d'Azur - Nice / Provence is like the wine country of
California. In any weather it is dreamy and full of life. - - except
between noon and 3 pm when all the stores close and every has lunch.
The "old city" of Nice is unmatched in charm and fabulouse sights and
restaurants."

His descriptions just fill my head with wonderful images and the anticipation for this trip is going to keep me floating just a bit off the floor.

Friday, August 08, 2008

CHRISTMAS IN PARIS!!


I'm floating 3 inches off the floor. I just threw caution to the wind and booked a trip to Provence and Nice with Gutsy Women Travel and added a week or more so that I can take the train to Paris and spend Christmas and maybe New Year's Eve there.

My friend, Connie, who moved back to London says she'll meet me in Paris. Should be cold but great fun. My brother-in-law spent lots of time there and sent me an e-mail this morning telling me to go for it. I had already committed to it so it was nice to get confirmation that I'm not totally mad. I will try to copy and post some of his e-mail in another post. His descriptions brought tears to my eyes.

I'm off to lunch with neighbor and to Belk's to spend $50 in free credits. This has been a lovely week and I have much to do.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Going to Mexico!!

Haven't posted for a bit because I've been making plans to go to Merida. My neighbor wants to go down to do some research for their future B & B and since only one of them was able to get time off from work, they asked me to go along. Should be fun. We are leaving on August 30th and returning on September 7th. This time we are flying Jet Blue into Cancun and will do the four hour bus ride to Merida. It's better than driving four hours to Miami and it should be better than our last trip down on Spirit.

It had been my idea to fly Spirit because we could depart from Orlando and the price was low. Stopping in Fort Lauderdale on the way down wasn't bad but coming back and having to go through customs in Ft. Lauderdale and then rechecking their baggage (mine was lost) and then having to go about a mile to another terminal was horrid. More so because my knee had given out on me the last day there and I was dragging around a pair of crutches. We borrowed a wheel chair and they piled all of our carry-ons on me and off we went. We were late because of long lines for boarding passes but luckily the TSA misplaced all the luggage so the flight was delayed. Wish we had known that before racing to our terminal and gate.

I'm working on dropping at least a few pounds before the trip and need to get out and walk or ride my bike a bit to get my knees in shape. There will be lots of walking because we want to check out the neighborhood around the B & B as well as the open air market to price flowers and fruit. Our hotel, The Hotel Colon has a pool and other nice amenities so we plan to do our exploration of the city in the morning then head back to spend time in the pool and then a siesta before heading out into the city to enjoy the night life.

I plan to take lots of photos this trip. Yucatan Today is a great way to get familiar with Merida and the region. So much to do in the delightful city.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Blueberry Hill: Johnny Hallyday and Celine Dion

I found this clip and think it is good. I laugh when Johnny starts out with "I found my Trill..." His accent is delightful. Celine is in top form with her leg guitar but the best part is at the end when they do a Blues Riff along with the host. It makes me smile.



I'm trying to learn French but it is slow going. I e-mailed Oprah this morning to ask if the guy she had on awhile ago who did past life regressions could regress someone to a previous life in which they spoke another language and bring that ability into the present one. I'd like to find out if I ever lived in France and if so could I just be hypnotized and recall my ability to speak the language. Sure would save a lot of time and effort to learn it that way.

Auctions ending tonight and tomorrow night and I haven't written up any new ones although I do have photos done. I'm trying to leave my schedule open in case I decide to drive south to visit an old friend. Not sure yet.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I am Anne Elliot!


Take the Quiz here!

It just keeps raining and raining. I'm getting cabin fever. I did get the car cleaned out and boxes of books loaded for my trek to Ocala tomorrow. Hope it isn't raining the whole trip up.

Here is a new Live Cam at Wavlit of a nest of Baby Barn Owls. They are so cute. Other live cams to see at the site, too.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A Rainy Tuesday


Went out to a late breakfast with friends to Mimi's Cafe and it started raining as I was heading home and it is raining still at 8:30 pm. Mostly a lazy day but did write up three eBay listings to launch tonight and one of them is a lovely Mermaid Doll.

Also sold another DVD on Amazon. That's three this week. Thursday I drive to Ocala and rid myself of about eight or nine boxes of books that I'm donating to the Gainsville FOL.

It seems that no matter how much I get rid of there is still way too much "STuff".

Monday, July 14, 2008

Johnny Hallyday

I found another French singer that I like and as usual I am late to the party. Johnny Hallyday has been around for almost 50 years and is considered France's "Elvis". He does a lot of American Rock 'n Roll from the 50's and 60's but I prefer listening to his ballads.

This one is my favorite so far and I haven't been able to find any of his albums with this song. He does have a video of it that is very nice.

Enjoy!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Another Lazy Sunday

I've already wasted the morning by sleeping in and sitting here playing at the computer. My cold is mostly gone so the past day or two I needed to catch up on the stuff I'd let slide. Sitting around in "Sloth Mode" doesn't get much done.

Today I need to write up a few more eBay listings. I have the photos ready on two more of Deb's Mermaid dolls so just have to tie myself to this chair and hack out the descriptions and get them done. Lots of 70's ceramic sculptures to do, too. They are going to need more brain work than I'm able to do today so they can wait until I'm feeling more alert.

Here are photos of one of the Mermaids:


Monday, July 07, 2008

Wow! Someone just put this video up on YouTube of Sebastien Izambard singing Libre . It's a live TV appearance. No date given but it's before Il Divo. Wish it were clearer and the mike weren't blocking his gorgeous face.

Statistics:

Sunday, July 06, 2008

I Hate Being Sick!!!

I woke up Thursday morning with a stuffy head and sore throat and it's progressed from there to coughing and chest congestion. I feel betrayed by my silly old body. I haven't had a cold or bronchitis in six or seven years. Adds insult to injury that it's summer and not winter. I used to get a two week bout of this every year and usually twice a year.

Quitting smoking and taking better care of myself has kept it away and when any symptom appeared I was able to nip it in the bud. Not this time. My ribs ache from coughing, my nose is sore from blowing and I just hurt all over. I'm hot & clammy and need some good home made chicken soup but it's too hot to make it.

My dear neighbor came over this morning to bomb my garage for fleas. I went to feed the strays and Gracie and came back in with my pink socks covered in the little nasty buggers. My house cats have been treated but Gracie is elusive and I haven't been able to nab her to put the stuff on her. Hope the foggers wipe out the vile little critters.

Dear neighbor is now mopping my tile floors to hopefully discourage any that made it into the house. When I spotted them on my socks, I pulled them off and tossed them into the garage then went into the tub and rinsed off my legs. All the rain last week helped drive them into the garage and probably onto poor gracie. Next project will be to trap & treat her.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

This doesn't surprise me at all. I love Denmark.

The World's Happiest Country!

Tue Jul 1, 3:52 PM ET
And the world's happiest country is..

Denmark, with its democracy, social equality and peaceful atmosphere, is the happiest country in the world, researchers said on Monday.

Zimbabwe, torn by political and social strife, is the least happy, while the world's richest nation, the United States, ranks 16th.

Overall, the world is getting happier, according to the U.S. government-funded World Values Survey, done regularly by a global network of social scientists.

It found increased happiness from 1981 to 2007 in 45 of 52 countries analyzed.

"I strongly suspect that there is a strong correlation between peace and happiness," said Ronald Inglehart, a political scientist at the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research, who directed the study.

And, said Ingelhart, there is a strong correlation between happiness and democracy.

"Denmark is the happiest country in the world in our ratings," Inglehart said in an audio statement released by the National Science Foundation, which paid for the analysis.

"Denmark is prosperous -- not the richest country in the world but it is prosperous."

Puerto Rico and Colombia also rank highly, along with Northern Ireland, Iceland, Switzerland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Canada and Sweden.

"Though by no means the happiest country in the world, from a global perspective the United States looks pretty good," Inglehart said. "The country is not only prosperous; it ranks relatively high in gender equality, tolerance of ethnic and social diversity and has high levels of political freedom."

The survey, first done in 1981, has kept to two simple questions:

"Taking all things together, would you say you are very happy, rather happy, not very happy, not at all happy?" And, "All things considered, how satisfied are you with your life as a whole these days?"

Writing in the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science, Ingelhart's team said they have surveyed 350,000 people.

"Ultimately, the most important determinant of happiness is the extent to which people have free choice in how to live their lives," Inglehart said.

(Reporting by Maggie Fox, editing by Philip Barbara)

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Making a First Quilt!!

My grandaughter is visiting from Kansas and wanted to make a quilt so that's what we are doing. We've also gone to Cirque Du Soleil's La Nouba. We went last year and she enjoyed it and wanted to go again. This year we sat near the center by the walkway where the Clowns do their act and the performers do their entrance parade. A great place to really see the makeup and costumes. As always the performance was breathtaking.

Jenny's quilt front view



Jenny with her quilt front view



Back of quilt



I'll catch up with Blogging next week.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Statistics: Expensive Restaurants



Its a Wacky Wednesday so I'll just post a statistic for now. I want to write something and link to my friend's B & B to be in Merida, Mexico but need some time to do it. Trying to get the house ready for a visit from my Kansas granddaughter. I will be picking her up at the airport tomorrow night. It's her first time flying alone and she is nervous. So am I. I'm hoping they will let me go out to the gate area to meet her. She'll only be here a little over a week and there is so much we want to do. She wants me to show her how to make a quilt. Should be fun.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Farmers Markets


I love farmers markets. It could be because I love vegetables or because of the visual impact of the luscious colors. There is also a vibrancy at a market where people are choosing their fruits, veggies and other foods that these markets offer. The conversations are fun to both participate in and listen to. Questions of freshness, price, size, and origins are being asked and answered as well as the usual meet and greet of old and new friends.

Last year my trip to France was enhanced by almost daily visits to local markets in the smaller and larger villages and cities. The food there is gorgeous to look at and all of it is, by law, grown within one hundred miles. The photo space to the right is where I've been featuring some of the photos from those markets.

This week I went to our local Downtown Kissimmee Market and I took my camera. Here are a few of the photos below.





I realized that while I adored the French markets and had distain for ours, we don't do badly. The prices are more than reasonable and definitely better than the supermarkets and even though much of it isn't grown locally, it is fresh. In the supermarkets most produce has been packaged into units and sealed while the markets offer you the opportunity to touch each item and pick the ones you want. I prefer that to coming home and finding that inside the hermetically sealed packages is fruit or vegetables with rot or mold on the bottom.

Fresh produce is on my mind lately because I'm trying to motivate myself to return to healthy eating. This winter in spite of living in a warm sunny state, I regressed to my northern roots and cooked a lot of winter comfort foods that added pounds in addition to comfort.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Satistics:The Largest Countries in the World



Here's another statistic until I can make time to write a longer post. Busy packing eBay stuff and rounding up ferral cats. Now I'm off to the post office, the Downtown Kissimmee Farmer's Market and perhaps breakfast.

Friday, June 06, 2008

TGIF

This has been a wicked week. Neighbor complaining forced me to deal with the ferral cat problem. The yard had started to look like the Trouble with Tribbles. Picked up the Hav-a-heart trap on Monday. Tossed and turned all night and at 5:30 just gave up and got up. Went out to feed the beasties and set the trap. Didn't take long to catch one.

The humane society is good about promptly picking them up and the worker was friendly and kind. The trap stayed with me and the process was repeated until this morning when they took the captured cat & kitten and the trap. Now I am free of guilt for the weekend and may have to do it all again starting next Monday.

On a good note, I managed to write up listings for two more of Deb's dolls. One of them is a real beauty. Her name is "Emerald". One of the earlier listings is doing very well and still has two more days to go. I need to go hunt down some boxes for shipping.

Here's Emerald


Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Ahh, nothing exciting happening here. Weather is hot and I'm finally listing a bit on eBay. I have a ton of Deb's stuff to list and I did get one of her Mermaid dolls and her Shopping Diva Cookie Jar written up and they will start tonight.

I found this great photo and I'm going to post it for my friend, Anne, to make up for her not being able to attend the retreat...

Anne, is this heavenly enough for you?

The Divine Sebastien Izambard!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Statistics: Ten Best Honeymoon Places

Friday, May 23, 2008

More Statistics: Most Populated Countries


Thursday, May 22, 2008

More Statistics: Cleanest Countries