White Chocolate Hot Chocolate- Angelinas

Jillian here.  Before I went to Paris, someone recommended Angelina’s, a pastry shop that has been in business since, I think, 1903. It’s a lovely place and I was told to try the white chocolate hot chocolate. They also have a signature pastry called Le Mont Blanc- it’s meringue, light whipped cream and chestnut cream vermicelli. It

seems they had a summer version with strawberry center and cream as well. I had that and it was so good. The vermicelli was a bit too sweet for me so I didn’t finish the treat but what I did eat, I enjoyed.

Now, about that white chocolate hot chocolate? It was divine and so yummy. I loved, loved it. They brought it out with a neat presentation as well. I got a cup and saucer placed before me then to either side of the cup, they added a small pot of whipped cream and a larger pot of the hot chocolate. I poured some of the chocolate into the cup, then added some cream. It was like heaven.

If you get to Paris, make your way to the Rue De Rivoli and enjoy!!

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Summer is Almost Over

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I can hardly believe it’s September. The kids are back in school and the weather if finally cooling down a bit. August was a busy month for me. I went to New York for the first time. I was there … Continue reading

Harvest Time

imageSeptember is here and with it harvest time. Years ago we used to garden but even with Jack’s amazing green thumb we never had a lot of luck with tomatoes. They grew but didn’t ripen, mainly because of the cool often-wet summers. Not so this year. I had just picked them when I took this photo and have gotten quite a few. Certainly enough to make planting them worthwhile.

Of course having raised beds makes gardening easy. So with two tomato plants and one cucumber I’ve had plenty for me and even to give away.

Okay so now I just read an article that says, “tomatoes don’t have to be a deep red to be an outstanding source of lycopene.” So maybe not as ripe as I’ve been expecting. They are also listed as one of the healthiest foods. This wasn’t the case in the beginning. In the 1500’s they were thought to be poison as they belong to the nightshade family. Starting out as smaller, more like our cherry tomatoes we now have literally hundreds of different varieties. I choose planting ones that are early producing because of the weather. Favorites include New Girl, Jet Star, Fantastic, and First Lady but I usually plant Early Girl, again because of our weather.

What about you, what is your favorite crop in the garden?

Moonglow Awesome

I had what, for me, is a rare opportunity recently. During last month’s Supermoon, I had the chance to go for a night hike in the hills around Mt. Rainier. It wasn’t a long hike, only 3 miles and a 500 foot elevation climb. But that’s a lot for me. I walk most days, but 1-2 miles on flat, asphalted surface. Not rocky, rooty dirt paths that are going up and down.20140808_200132

We saw deer feeding, mountain meadow lakes and wonderful wildlfowers. Hmmm. Painted Ladies were one of the flowers. I don’t remember the others.

We didn’t do this hike in an hour, or even two. It took us four hours. Mostly because we started early, then stopped at the halfway point with other hikers until full dark had settled over the land, so we could see moonglow on the mountain. I wish I could describe the look of moonshine on Mt. Rainier. I think I’ve seen pictures of it, but none of us were professional photographers with the equipment for night shots. There was an…effervescence to the mountain. It was awe-inspiring and a memory picture I hope I never forget. 20140808_210242

The second half of the walk was done by moonlight, which is a little intimidating for a klutz like me. There were a few spots where the trees were so thick, we had to use the flashlights, but mostly, we navigated by nature’s own light. And no one fell. I’ve never done anything like that before and it was one of the coolest things EVER.

This picture isn’t very flattering, but I honestly don’t care.20140808_205407 I was having SO much fun! And I hope you all get or have gotten the chance to see just how glorious this place we live is, whether it’s on a mountain peak or in our own backyards, eh?

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Paris, a Mime, and a Crowd

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Jillian here. My son and I had a wonderful trip to France(for the most part) but I came home with a horrible cold/cough. I’m feeling better now but it was a tough week or so after I got home since I … Continue reading

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Catch A Falling Star…

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One of my favourite pastimes is star gazing. I love staring up into the night sky and observing, trying to get my head around the vast distances involved and wondering just what is out there. On a clear summer’s night … Continue reading

Summer Puppy Fun

I thought it was about time for a puppy update. It’s been like a conveyor belt of guide dog puppies here in the Jones’ household this summer, and as one has left another bundle of fun has arrived, sometimes within a matter of hours.

Whispa playing with toys at four months

Whispa at 4 months playing with her favourite duck toy

First came four month old Whispa, a Golden Retriever. What a little whirlwind! She came with the remnants of an ear infection, but would she let me put her drops in? Not on your life. It took two of us to coax her to sit long enough and that was only with AJ holding tight to a biscuit so she could nibble it and get her mind off what was happening.

Beauty and Zoe

Beauty and Zoe waiting for dinner

Then came sisters Beauty, a 10 month old Lab/Retriever, and Zoe, a 10 week old black Lab. They were probably the most laid back puppies we’ve ever had. We hardly knew we had Beauty and little Zoe wasn’t fazed by anything. They gave us a lot of laughs though, especially when Zoe tried to steal Beauty’s food.

Whispa

Whispa 5 months old

Whispa returned for a weekend. She was okay at first but then we noticed she kept going outside every few minutes to try and relieve herself. After she was very sick in the garden we shot off to the vet. They wanted to keep her in overnight for a scan and x-ray. We drove home through probably the worst thunderstorm for years and spent a relatively sleepless night worrying about our little charge. We were able to collect her the next day having been told she had a nasty bout of cystitis. Poor little mite. But in the way of puppies, after a few shots of antibiotics she was racing around as if all was well in her world again. Phew.

Emily with stick aug 14

Emily with stick Aug 14

Then along came Emily. Eleven months old and the sweetest little girl. As you can see, her favourite thing is collecting sticks – the bigger the better! She bonded with AJ almost instantly and followed him around all week. Every time he left the room she would look at me as if I were personally responsible for his absence. Then came the crying, pitiful weeping that might have had the neighbours wondering if we were beating her or something. As soon as her hero returned, she would be all sweetness and light again.

Whispa came back again, this time with conjunctivitis! Remembering the trouble we had with her ear drops, we braced ourselves for eye drop time. She sat there as good as gold and let me do the necessary without any fuss whatsoever. Go figure!

Tia Aug 14

Tina in full ‘lady’ pose

As I type we’re looking after our friend’s golden Labrador. Tia is such a gorgeous girl…I’ve just realised, all our canine lodgers this summer have been girls! Tia is now five years old and quite a lady. We’ve had her several times before and when we’ve had puppies at the same time, she helps with any discipline required. She tells the pups in no uncertain terms when they’re overstepping the mark and really puts them in their place. She really is a golden girl!

We have a break now for a few weeks, that is unless the phone rings and our supervisor dangles another little cutie in our path. AJ is hoping for a boy next time :) Although secretly I think he loves his adoring little girls following him around. Big softie that he is!