fresh eggs

fresh eggs
my daughter's hens laid these gorgeous eggs...almost too pretty to eat, but they are scrumptious

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Across the Pond with Music, and of course....Susan

Susan has inspired me for YEARS....I'm telling you YEARS!!
But when she wrote, "A Fine Romance," so different from anything else she had ever written....well, I took her inspiration to heart!!  I may have left out a pair of shoes in my suitcase, but that book was coming along with me!! 

So our journey begins.... after a night in NYC, we boarded the QE2

I looked at all the people everywhere, and even though it was typically an 'older' crowd, there were plenty of families, small children, even a baby or two!

 And....here we go!
 Bye-Bye NYC.... and that pool?  Well, I don't know if anyone went in it....but I sure wasn't going in it.... but it was lovely to look at...
 They handed out flags for us to wave as we passed the Statue of Liberty....
 And there it was............the main lobby and these lovely flowers, which I watched being changed mid-crossing..........very elaborate...just beautiful!
 Here's the dining room, just like in her book.............the pages were coming alive!!

 Blessed.............it made getting older not so bad afterall....
 And the statton-island ferry............. sure enough!

Now, we're ready for our first meal............table for two?  YES!!
 The shows were wonderful............

 And this cruise had ONE stop..........so we got our land legs on and headed out.  We didn't buy any of the excursions.......we chose to explore the place ourself: Halifax...it was lovely!
 Halifax is part of Canada....
 There were LOTS of shops and restaurants
 And Cunard himself lived there!!
 The Halifax public gardens were breathtaking............
 Scrumptious, aren't they?

 Wherever there's a moose, there is me.........
 Here, some of the locals dressed up in vintage attire....
 There's Cunard.....he knew what he was doing when he started building ships!

Well, we walked and talked and then it was time to get back onboard and sail away....


Ahhhh, time for afternoon tea!!  (Yes, I'll admit that we did this every day!)  Well, you've got to do something if you're not swimming in the pool, right?
 Cute little teapots with the Cunard logo on each...
 And fantastic deck chairs...............like in the movies!
 See the gal in the red coat?  shhhhh......that's James Taylor's wife...remember how I told you the family was on the crossing and they were going to perform?
 The night before his first performance, he did an hour plus long talk with the cruise director.  It was pretty fascinating.........I learned that the Beatles actually got him started!!
 And, here's the line that people stood in to shake his hand and get his autograph.
                      There he is!!!
 The concert was fabulous..............see the woman in the middle?  That's his wife.  See the young boy with the microphone?  That's his son Henry..........one of his twin sons.  But, they don't look alike.  You'll see him later...........
 Yes, A Fine Romance came with me everywhere............I was telling everyone about it....
 There's another shot of his wife in the middle and his son.
 What an entertainer...........I've listened to him since I was a very young teenager.  Dream come true!
 And this is the ascot ball....and this little girl was such a hit with her darling dress and cute hat!!
 And my book came to the ball, too.................

I had to have it handy in case I needed to talk with someone about it...........or get an autograph or two in it, right?

                                               LIKE HIS SON HENRY, maybe????



Yes, it's blurry, but it's the only one I have of him...... and I didn't want to keep him waiting.  He wanted to run off  (literally, he and his brother and friends ran all over the ship)  What a sweet young man he was....very polite and kind. 



Well, I'll close for now.............Southampton is in the distance....time to pack up...


Stay tuned and I'll tell you a little bit about England....

Friday, January 9, 2015

Inspired at Sea by the Wonderful Susan B (Susan Branch)

I've been a fan of Susan Branch for a long time.  I'd have to reconstruct everything....but I know it's 25 years plus....I'm a homebody, too.  In that, I mean that I adore taking care of my home because it is the holy ground upon which I love my family.  My life, like everyone else's, is a tale of twists and turns...some lovely, some painful, some downright amazing!
This is a LONG overdue post of something that happened in 2014...that is a combination of God...well, actually, it's all about God because HE creates it all.  He helped me to find Susan Branch when I needed her and resonated with her.  He helped me to find the love of my life, and HE orchestrates the learning....
Well, without getting too mushy here, I just want to tell you that 2015 is about this REAL girl getting to the point....enough trying.....let's do this!  Put all the learning so far and let's go! 
So, what does a major birthday, James Taylor, Susan Branch and the love of my life all have in common?  
Waiting.....

Waiting.....

Waiting.....

Ready for this one?  

The QE2

How so?
Susan went on the QE2 with her beloved Joe and wrote about it in her book, 
A Fine Romance...(SEE HERE)
James Taylor and his family were headed to a European tour and decided that the QE2 would be a good way to get there...
I had this major birthday AND I love James Taylor music (most favorite ever)
and the love of my life booked US on the QE2 to celebrate all of it in 2014!!
Well, I can't just sit around and have tea every day.  OK, well, yes, I had afternoon tea everyday.   More about that later.  I had to take some classes, learn something!!
So, here's one of those events....

The pastry chefs on the QE2 did a tremendous group of classes on how they create some of the amazing pastries, candies, and cakes for the cruise....
the breads were gorgeous and I heard fantastic (I'm GF)

Sushi anyone?  Now, I can eat some sushi!

Here's the head pastry chef....he was kind enough to answer lots of my questions, show me some techniques, and get his picture taken with me

Of course, A Fine Romance, had to come along on the adventure

croissants....oh my

desserts, whipped cream....ooooh!

tiers of calories everywhere!

And Cunard imprinted chocolates to enhance the desserts just in case the dessert itself wasn't fancy enough

I did have some salads (with a side of mashed potatoes) just to even things out

back to desserts..  pretty?  YES!

how they made their filled chocolates....loved this.  I have these!

the carvings were exceptional....not sure if I'll ever master these

I could eat ice cream

oh goodness...those cherries were warm, too

chocolate, chocolate

and more chocolate!



OK, lots more to come.....what we did....besides eat dessert and learn how to make desserts...

We did have to PAY for this indulgence......

                   stay tuned!!
                                                                               
probably burned off the frosting on one piece of cake here!!!


xoxo

The Real Girl