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Printable Calendar: April | Avril 2013

This comes a couple days early, but I kept needing to refer to April for birthdays and other events so here it is! Hope it's useful to you as well... a very sweet April to you!
Simply download (below), print and cut on the dotted line. I like to use plain card stock but any paper will work.

Project 52: Moments...


"How can we hold onto those fleeting moments in our lives... that otherwise evaporate into the forgotten past? ... The only way to hold onto these moments, in all their beauty and truth and glorious imperfections, without losing accuracy is through a photograph." - Rosanne Moreland

(Re)Introducing Mâche | Lamb's Lettuce


Its story began humbly in the grain fields of Europe as a simple weed. Now Mâche (lamb's lettuce) enjoys prestige as one of the most versatile and delicately flavored lettuces, and the only vegetable in France to earn the label "Naturellement riche en Oméga 3" (naturally rich in omega-3). Mâche resembles watercress in form and baby greens in texture, but is unique in taste - slightly sweet and nutty and easy to eat. The dark green rosettes were first introduced to me by my mother-in-law about ten years ago, served simply with a dash of homemade balsamic vinaigrette. SO good. And to add to its burgeoning list of nutrients (including large doses of vitamin C, B vitamins and folic acid), mâche is extremely low in calories - making it the healthiest of all lettuces!

Though widely available in Europe and specialty/gourmet stores in the US, mâche hasn't become a staple in larger stateside groceries. One reason being that mâche grows very low to the ground, making it difficult (and expensive) to harvest mechanically.

French mâche producers are so giddy they've created a web presence for their gem of a salad, an animated Miss Mâche!

Have you tried mâche? Is it available where you are?

Project 52: Lightness


emerging cherry blossoms + afternoon light...

Double Entendre | Double Sens


Interestingly enough, the term double entendre has no real meaning to a French person; for them, double meaning is referred to as double sens. And the French are notorious for them! More often than not, any casual statement can be turned into a risqué innuendo. I have blushed my way through many Gallic gatherings (while even the children remain unphased). Double sens and tongue twisting word play are a staple in the French vernacular... laughing and playing along is one sure way to warm up to an otherwise cold French crowd.

The ad above for the daily French newspaper Aujourd'hui says: Les Francais aiment l'ouvrir or The French like to open it...

Project 52: Petites Hands


Eager to move on from a fun but meandering photo-a-day Project 366, I've begun a weekly P52, ...less pressure (I hope!) and with a more focused approach to what and how I'm capturing the everyday. A kind reader unintentionally scolded reminded me about my not taking enough shots of family, so I plan to do more of that.

Although I'd like to go at my own rhythm, it's always a good idea to have some direction and schedule (lest I stray like with P366). So last week I started posting to a few P52 sites that looked inspiring and flexible. No strict themes or commitments. One that I particularly like is My Four Hens Photography (hosted by the talented Sarah Cornish) - themes are announced Sunday or Monday and images are posted to an active community on the M4H Flickr group... come join me!

The Landscape: Sunflowers | Tournesols


Just several yards from my father-in-law's home in Gers (southwestern France) are these magnificent sunflower (tournesol) fields that in all their splendor surprisingly become unnoticed by the locals, just simple backdrops they drive past without a second look. I suppose when you grow up around them, one day they just meld into the landscape, like evergreens or wildflowers... or do they? My father-in-law will eventually go on and on about his lovely sunflowers when he's far away from them long enough. Like many of us who leave our hometown, the first thing we miss is often the thing we learned to overlook...

Printable Calendar: March | Mars 2013


Slightly longer days, rising temperatures and fresh drops of color on the landscape; it can only mean the arrival of Spring is nearing, a splendid reason to fête... Welcome March!

For the calendar, simply download (below), print and cut on the dotted line. I like to use plain card stock but any kind of paper will work.

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