Nov 2, 2007

A French-Inspired Satellite Party & Giveaway!

Les Rues De Paris by Marilyn Dunlap -

100th Post? Can it be?
"The Inspired Room" is rocking;
A celebration has commenced,
It has the bloggers talking!

Share your thoughts on Hostess gifts,
Your favorite appetizer;
The Giveaway will cause your joy
To surface like a geyser!

- Karen June Miller

There's nothing like a party to stir up the excitement, right? I'm not going to elaborate much since Melissa at The Inspired Room has spelled it out beautifully! She has designed a very clever soirée that won't have you inventing excuses to leave early!

I will say that there is chocolate involved, and that the Giveaway prizes are awesome! This party will continue until Monday (November 5th) and participation is welcome on each day of the party! BE SURE TO MENTION THAT KJ SENT YOU! Oh, and did I mention that there's chocolate?
  1. Click here to see the November 1st post with the instructions.
  2. Then click here to navigate to the 2nd installment on November 2nd.
  3. When you have finished the first 2 postings, the 3rd post (Saturday, November 3rd) may be accessed here.

First thing this morning I went Across the Pond! I took a stroll through the seaside village of
Branscombe, Devon! I stopped for a spot of tea at the Sea Shanty Tearooms in Branscombe, and gazed at a 12th century Norman church while "pegging out the washing to dry." Before leaving, I popped into Ye Olde Six Bells– a former retreat for monks– ducking the low "timbered ceilings" for some hearty pub food!

My lovely, red-headed tour guide is Mary, a transplanted Brit who now resides in North Carolina. Her passion for British culture, as well as her magical musings and many creative pursuits, will have you pulling up a chair! She has the knack for translating the mundane into the "fun-dane!" Do pay her a visit!


Denise at
Hope Tree Studio is hosting her FIRST GIVEAWAY! She will be blessing one sweet soul with a "cute little sterling sliver crown"! The deadline is November 12th. She is also promoting La Maison Rustique, a special Christmas event taking place on November 9th, 10th, and 11th in Temecula, California. You will find further information regarding both of these topics on her November 1st and October 27th posts.

Nov 1, 2007

Robert Goulet

I was saddened to hear about the passing of Robert Goulet earlier this week. He was 73. When he sang, my insides fluttered. His beautiful voice vibrated with such masculine protection and tenderness. As a singer myself, I know that my handsome husband would possess a voice just like this– if he could sing. My husband agrees.

Robert Goulet's trademark song was, "If Ever I Would Leave You," from Lerner and Loewe's Broadway musical, Camelot. In 1960, he portrayed the part of Lancelot in the Original Cast of Camelot, alongside Richard Burton and Julie Andrews. This was a springboard for all 3 careers. quoted Robert Goulet as he reminisced about beginning production with Camelot: "It was the first day of rehearsals and I was too shy to go out with Richard (Burton), Julie (Andrews) and that crowd," Goulet said in 2005, "so I just got some soup from a deli and brought it back to the rehearsal hall. Fritz Loewe was sitting at the piano and he said `Dear boy, let me show you your song.'" When Goulet had finished learning the number, he looked up to see Richard Burton standing there with his mouth agape. Richard Burton's declaration was, "The voice of an angel."

I'm sure this observation definitively marked the moment, since I once heard Richard read a phone book on television and it was akin to a recitation from Shakespeare!

Somewhere around 1972, I met Robert Goulet in Catalina, a small island located 22 miles off the coast of Southern California. (I was a young teenager at the time.) Word had gotten out that he was dining at a small cafe. A friend and I migrated directly to that location and waited for over an hour while Robert and his party finished their meal.

When he finally emerged, we stayed a healthy distance away and followed the group down to the beach. It was there that we gathered the courage to ask for his autograph. I remember that he was shorter than I had expected and that his blue eyes were astonishing! He was extremely pleasant. I'm pretty sure Carol Lawrence, his wife at that time, was there, too. Unfortunately, it wasn't until later that I became familiar with who she is.

Oct 31, 2007


The only way to have a friend is to be one.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

You can make more friends in two months by becoming really interested in other people, than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you. Which is just another way of saying that the way to make a friend is to be one.

- Dale Carnegie


Small service is true service while it lasts;
Of friends, however humble, scorn not one;
The daisy, by the shadow that it casts,
Protects the lingering dewdrop from the sun.

- William Wordsworth

Black Cats

Black cats
have taken a bad rap! Mostly, they seem to take center stage when the dark side is being celebrated. If a black cat is to have a career, they either have to wait for Halloween, find someone with a book of spells, or hire Felix the Cat's agent! Not very promising . . .

I'm not a ghost and goblins gal and there's no fear. I've just had enough brushes with reality that I choose not to give place to it. Nevertheless, there are things about this season that give me pleasure. For example I love the combination of orange and black together seeing adorable costumes on children (today I saw a precious 4-year old Lucille Ball!) candy and sweet treats (especially desserts that include pumpkin) pumpkins in all shades and shapes punch the chill in the air the smell of orange and even black cats . . .

Tournée du Chat Noir, c.1896
Théophile Steinlen

There's nothing like vintage sheet music to conjure up some fur-full images. Perhaps my French friends will assist me on the title of this song. It literally translates as "Turned of Black Cat"– maybe, The Black Cat Turned? This feline doesn't appear to be accepting visitors. (For you lovers of all things French, check out "Halloween in France" for some interesting trivia.)

These playful paws are doing the Rag Two-step! Again, here is some dandy old sheet music in the flavor of the month.

I'm not a huge "fur" person, although I'm a sucker for baby critters. I have owned only one cat in my lifetime and it mewed me into submission. I named her Tirsdag, the Danish word for Tuesday. Our time together was short because, sadly, Tirsdag acquired several diseases. I also discovered my allergy to cats during this period.

Cats do teach us to be flexible . . .

Oct 30, 2007

Olde English Cottage - Carmel, California

The original photo was from It has since been removed from their site. So, please use your imagination.

This photo of a cottage style home in Carmel, California, almost looks surreal, much like a Pixar film. Be assured that this is very real and utterly arcadian. One interesting observation is the sign located directly above the sub-level garage. It reads, "High Tide." Carmel is a seaside community, which leads one to imagine: what would this cottage look like surrounded by a moat?

Almost 23 years ago, my husband, Barry, and I spent our honeymoon in Carmel, California. We stayed in a charming location that offered a room called the Hansel and Gretl Cottage. No, it wasn't the structure showcased here, but it was sweet. It featured a master bedroom built into a loft. The flames of the first floor fireplace danced through the loft banister, creating glowing strips of warmth on the stuccoed ceiling.

Oct 29, 2007

And the winner is . . .

"Let's Go Haiku-ku" Winner!

All submissions for the "Let's Go Haiku-ku" contest were impressive!" The enthusiasm of the participants was contagious! More than once I found myself smiling– even laughing– as the creative spirit spilled onto my blog! We have some poetic souls out their in blog land and I am honored that curl up here!

An unbiased judge helped me in the selection process. The rules specified that each Haiku had to be autumn themed and needed to adhere to the traditional 5, 7, 5 syllable pattern. We first eliminated the Haiku where the syllable pattern was incorrect. (Words can be tricky when it comes to actual syllables.) After this elimination, we based our decision on the Haiku that chose a clear physical scene and followed through with picturesque imagery. This was not an easy task...

So, the winner of the $15.00 Starbucks Card is:

kimberly ann of Nostalgic Homemaking

Ripe gourd, waxen skin

Firm flesh yields to twisted stem
Calling blade, candle

For extra recognition, I will be sending a $5.00 Starbucks Card to:

kari and kijsa of Ask Kari & Kijsa

A swirling leaf falls
Tiptoeing on tufts of air
Nature is dancing

These ladies need to email their addresses to me so that I can expedite their coffee breaks!

Be sure to read the other submissions at the original post, "Let's Go Haiku-ku!" I thoroughly enjoyed the metaphors and cozy autumnal images! DebraK and the dynamic duo, Kari and Kijsa submitted the most entries. Their Haiku kept me amused and ready to sit fireside with a marshmallow-filled cup of cocoa! Steph convinced me that raking leaves may not be so bad. Andylynne created a modern Haiku with some abstract imagery. And, my dear Mom transported us to Hawaiian shores, making a connection between autumn colors and tanning.

With such a great show of enthusiasm, I will need to sponsor another themed Haiku Contest soon!