The Enchanting Beatrix Potter

“I remember I used to half believe and wholly play with fairies when I was a child. What heaven can be more real than to retain the spirit-world of childhood,
tempered and balanced by knowledge and common-sense.”

Beautiful words by a beautiful soul!
Beatrix Potter, 2012, Olivia WasteHelen Beatrix Potter 
A whimsical and brilliant
writer and artist.
Born today July 28th in 1866.

Known mostly for her charming sweet
Jemima1children’s books starring such famous characters as; Jemima Puddle-Duck, Tom Kitten, and of course the timeless Peter Rabbit.

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However she was more than just an enchanting
tumblr_luee59rs3e1qaq5smauthor and incredible artist. She was also a natural scientist and conservationist, and she dedicated much of herself to the passion of plants and animals.

What an astonishing women!


A few books that tell her story/stories:
      (Click Pictures for details)
The first is a biography on Potter, the second a collection of her
classic tales, and the last is a book that is all about the places and
2377e7c31526aae7a16b7312aae1ba22.jpgsubjects that inspired her work.

Book Beans: Duchess Tea 
Create your own little Ribby tea party : Steep some classic earl grey and serve
hot with milk and honey. Bake some
poppy-seed muffins and sugar cookies to accompany. Set up your treats and tea out in nature, maybe under a tree. Now invite a friend or two over, or make a little kiddos day, enjoy your afternoon tea!

“There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story.
You never quite know where they’ll take you.”

Beatrix Potter

What Beatrix Book do you love? What character/s capture your heart?

Evocative Literary Lines VI

Today is the birthday of the great playwright George Bernard Shaw

akg895105Known at his insistence simply as
Bernard Shaw. Born July 26th 1856
an Irish playwright whose influence on Western theater, culture and politics extended from the 1880s to his death and beyond. He wrote more than sixty plays, with a range incorporating both contemporary satire and historical allegory.
Shaw became the leading dramatist of his generation, and in 1925 was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

“You don’t get tired of muffins. But you don’t find inspiration in them”

Man and Superman

“I can’t turn your soul on. Leave me those feelings; and you can take away the voice and the face. They are not you.”

Pygmalion

Fun Fact: Pygmalion was the play that was later adapted to the famous musical “My Fair Lady.”

“You see things; you say, ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were;
and I say ‘Why not?”

~Bernard Shaw

Mochas and Musketeers

tumblr_npiufvXZkL1tz1jmlo1_1280Flamboyant heroes, adventure, riveting duels, and of course romance.

Alexandre Dumas
and his swashbuckling  Musketeers have fascinated for ages!
To honor Dumas on his birthday today
July 24th 1855, I wanted to share his many works featuring the most beloved comrades The Musketeers.

Here are the D’Artagnan Romances:

 The Three Musketeers
An adventurous tale of the young man d’Artagnan. Leaving home to travel to Paris, d’Artagnan wishes to join the Musketeers of the Guard. He is not one of the musketeers of the title but befriends Athos, Porthos and Aramis (inseparable friends who live by the motto “all for one, one for all.”) This motto which is first put forth by d’Artagnan, has become a most well known and loved signet. This a historical fiction full of memorable adventure and characters.

Rated: 4.5 on amazon.com Trucos-para-preparar-un-café-5-estrellas-en-casa

Book Bean: Un café
A coffee, plain and simple, but not as we would have in the U.S. Order “Un Café”  and you will get a small cup of plain strong espresso.

Twenty Years Later
Two decades have passed since the musketeers triumphed over Cardinal Richelieu and Milady. Time has weakened their resolve, and dispersed their loyalties. However, treason and stratagem still cry out for justice: civil war endangers the throne of France, while in England Cromwell threatens to send Charles I to the scaffold. Dumas brings his immortal quartet out of retirement to cross swords with time, the malevolence of men, and the forces of history. But their greatest test is a titanic struggle with the son of Milady, who wears the face of Evil.

Rated: 4.5 on amazon.com 

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Book Bean: Chocolat l’ancienne
Rich and decadent melted dark chocolate poured into cups, and served alongside it’s own separate dish of fresh whipped cream. So thick and creamy, I’ll have mine with Un café  please!

Ten Years Later: The Vicomte de Brabelonne
In the English translations the 268 chapters of this large volume are usually subdivided into three, but sometimes four or even five individual books. In three-volume English editions, the three volumes are titled “The Vicomte de Bragelonne”, “Louise de la Valliere”, and “The Man in the Iron Mask.” Each of these volumes is roughly the length of the original
The Three Musketeers.

Here they are in Three Volumes:

The Vicomte de Bragelonne
It is May 1660 and the fate of nations is at stake. Mazarin plots, Louis XIV is in love, and Raoul de Bragelonne, son of Athos, is intent on serving France and winning the heart of Louise de la Valliere. D’Artagnan, meanwhile, is perplexed by a mysterious stranger, and soon he learns that his old comrades already have great projects in hand. Athos seeks the restoration of Charles II, while Aramis, with Porthos in tow, has a secret plan involving a masked prisoner and the fortification of the island of Belle-Ile.

4091536-late-coffee-with-chocolate-latte-coffee-with-white-chocolate-Stock-PhotoRated: 4.3 on amazon.com

Book Bean:
 Cafè latte au Chocolat
Espresso with steamed milk and drizzled with
chocolate on top.


The Musketeers are now in their late 50’s.
They are still vital characters but they are no longer young men looking for any excuse to duel with the Cardinal’s Guard. From this point on, there is a lot less sword play and campaigning (Sorry Swashbuckler fans.)

The focus of the story now shifts to the intrigues of Louis XIV court.

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Lousise de la Valliere
Devoted in large part to romantic events at the court of France’s King Louis XIV. It is filled with behind-the-scenes intrigue, the novel brings the aging Musketeers and d’Artagnan out of retirement to face an impending crisis within the royal court of France.

Chocolat-chaudRated: 4.3 on amazon.com

Book Bean: Chocolat chaud
Otherwise known as good old Hot Cocoa:)

 
The Man in The Iron Mask
Some thirty-five years on, the bonds of comradeship are under strain as they end up on different sides in a power struggle that may undermine the young Louis XIV and change the face of the French monarchy. In the fast-paced narrative style that was his trademark, Dumas pitches us straight into the action. What is the secret shared by Aramis and Madame de Chevreuse? Why does the Queen Mother fear its revelation? Who is the mysterious prisoner in the Bastille?

Rated: 4.3 on amazon.comcafe_au_lait

Book Bean: Cafè au Lait
A coffee with hot milk added (In comparison to the Itallian caff
è latte.) In the U.S.  a café au lait is a drink of strong drip coffee or French pressed coffee, to which steamed milk is added.

 

Fun Fact: Two further sequels to the D’Artagnan books — the novels The Son of Porthos (1883) and D’Artagnan Kingmaker (1900) — were written and published after Dumas’s death. D’Artagnan does not appear in the first novel, which, although written by Paul Mahalin, was published under the pen name “Alexandre Dumas” and is still sold as such. The second novel was supposedly based on one of Dumas’ plays (wikipedia)

Have you read any or all of these novels? 
Please share your thoughts.

Why I Love Coffee

coffebagWhy do I love coffee..? Let me count the ways.
The taste of coffee is comforting and grounding.
When I drink coffee I feel a nostalgia that is hard to explain; a warmth.
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The aroma, the taste, the buzz, the culture, and the connections, all are worthy reasons.
In the morning coffee lifts me up and boosts my day.

I love the culture and variety of coffee:

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I enjoy learning about the different countries that grow coffee.

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I’m intrigued by different roasting and brewing techniques. I love the roasted nutty smell and taste of good coffee beans. Experimenting with coffee flavors and styles can be a lot of fun.

cupsI am fascinated with all the wonderful different ways to enjoy the incredible edible coffee bean.

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Coffee is soothing on a rainy day, and melts away the brittle snow or ice of winter. When a day is full of hustle and bustle, taking the time to enjoy a cup of coffee calms me.

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Drinking coffee also induces community. People like to drink coffee together. It makes talking easier and more comforting. It may be tea or some other beverage, but the concept of sitting around in comfy couches or chairs drinking something steamy and talking, is oh so inviting.

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I suppose many people just drink coffee because it is caffeinated and a good energy boost, and that is certainly a good reason.

However, to me, coffee is an experience; something to slow down for, to savor and enjoy.

Of course what better experience to share coffee with, then
curled up with a great book!
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What do you enjoy most about coffee?

Honoring Hemingway

Today July 21 in 1899 one of America’s greatest novelist was born.
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“There is nothing to writing.

All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”

Ernest Hemingway

An American novelist, short story writer, and journalist.
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Hemingway’s economical and understated style had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction, while his life of adventure and his public image influenced later generations. Hemingway produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the mid-1950s, and won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. He published 7 novels, 6 short story collections, and 2 non-fiction works. Additional works, including 3 novels, 4 short story collections, and 3 non-fiction works, were published posthumously.
Many of his works are considered classics of American literature. wiki.



(Click any of these pictures for some of Hemingway’s great works.)

“There is no friend as loyal as a book.”

And Hemingway gave us so many loyal friends!
Which is your favorite?

Profound Paragraphs X

Petrarch : The First Modern Scholar and Man of Letters

There is no lighter burden, nor more agreeable, than a pen. Other pleasures fail us or wound us while they charm, but the pen we take up rejoicing and lay down with satisfaction, for it has the power to advantage not only its lord and master, but many others as well, even though they be far away — sometimes, indeed, though they be not born for thousands of years to come.” 


Francesco Petrarca
:
Born today  July 20th 1304
An Italian scholar and poet in Renaissance Italy.
387px-Boccaccio_by_Morghen.jpgPetrarch’s rediscovery of Cicero’s letters is often credited for initiating the 14th-century Renaissance. In the 16th century, Pietro Bembo created the model for the modern Italian language based predominantly on Petrarch’s works.
He would be later endorsed as a model for Italian style by the Accademia della Crusca. Petrarch’s sonnets were admired and imitated throughout Europe during the Renaissance and became a model for lyrical poetry. He is also known for being the first to develop the concept of the “Dark Ages.” This standing back from
his time was possible because he straddled two worlds – the classical and
his own modern day. He died July 19, 1374 – one day short of his
seventieth birthday. (Wikipedia)

“Books have led some to learning and others to madness.”
~Petrach

And the fortunate are led to both!:)