Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A ~ Z of Marvelousness: I survived the 2013 A to Z Challenge!

A ~ Z of Marvelousness: Z is for Zucchini


  • The marvelously versatile Zucchini is from Italy. The French call it "courgettes" and in South Africa they're picked very young and called "baby marrows".
  • The Zucchini plant grows extremely fast and if you plant two Zucchini seeds, you should be able to have enough Zucchini for family of four for a season. 
  • I can't wait to take pictures of the beautiful yellow Zucchini flowers and make a yummy Zucchini Flower Tempura afterwards (hopefully from this little seedling on the picture).
  • Here's a couple more recipes: Zucchini Bread and Zucchini Fries

Monday, April 29, 2013

A ~ Z of Marvelousness: Y is for Yoga


"Yoga is a way to restore our lost wholeness, our integrity as complete human beings, by unifying the personality around a center that is silent and unbounded." Alistair Shearer in his translation of The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

Saturday, April 27, 2013

A ~ Z of Marvelousness: X is for Xenodocheionology

  • Xenodocheionology (za-noh-doh-ka-NOL-a-jee)  is a noun meaning 'the love of hotels or inns.' The word comes from the Greek words xenos meaning stranger or guest and dechesthai meaning to receive.
  • It is what I suffer from...
  • This marvelous hotel is the Omni Mount Washington Resort, Bretton Woods, New Hampshire - one of my favorite hotels.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A ~ Z of Marvelousness: T is for Tango


  • Aahhh, the marvelous Tango....was first danced more than a hundred years ago in Argentina and Uruguay and soon spread to the rest of the planet.
  • I took this picture in La Boca, Buenos Aires, where the Tango is everywhere...
  • As teacher Cacho Dante says: "The tango is a feeling that is danced. That's why it is not choreographed, though it can have sequences, like all feelings. You can dance love, rage, happiness, pleasure, every mood. The tango is not a dance to demonstrate ability but rather an interpretation of feeling. It is not just moving your feet and posturing. The tango is Argentine, but it belongs to all those who understand its feelings and its codes.

Monday, April 22, 2013

A ~ Z of Marvelousness: S is for Spice


  • I took this picture at the marvelous Spice Souk in Dubai, UAE. 
  • As you approach the souk, the aroma hits your nostrils. I had to practice serious self control not to go wild buying every spice imaginable. I left with some lilac Frankincense in a round silver jar that smelled divine, Saffron (to make pretty yellow rice) and pieces of chocolate that looks exactly like little rocks...going to Spice Things Up a bit!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

A ~ Z of Marvelousness: R is for Red Hair

Red Hair

  • Red hair is the rarest natural hair color in humans and the term redhead has been in use since around 1510.
  • It is believed that redheads have fiery tempers and sharp tongues...
  • Redhead Day is celebrated in the Netherlands every September. The two-day festival is a gathering of people with natural red hair. Marvelous...                                                                           
  • Thursday, April 18, 2013

    A ~ Z of Marvelousness: P is for Pomegranate


    • One of the most beautiful fruits out there!
    • It is traditional in Greece to break a pomegranate on the ground at weddings and on New Years.
    • Apparently the pomegranate has 613 seeds.
    • I like the marvelous pomegranate seeds in a Pear and Blue Cheese Salad.

    Wednesday, April 17, 2013

    A ~ Z of Marvelousness: O is for Oldies

    Oldies (Old Pictures)

    • I love old pictures...
    • This is my mom, on her wedding day in 1965. She looks so happy and beautiful.

    Monday, April 15, 2013

    A ~ Z of Marvelousness: M is for Murals

    Mural ~ the Apotheosis of Washington

    • The marvelous “Apotheosis of Washington,  in the eye of the U.S. Capitol Rotunda in Washington, DC, was painted in 1865 by Constantino Brumidi. 
    • The mural depicts George Washington rising to the heavens in glory, flanked by female figures representing Liberty and Victory and surrounded by six groups of figures. The mural is suspended 180 feet above the Rotunda floor and covers an area of 4,664 square feet.
    • It took 11 months to finish.
    • Apotheosis means “the raising of a person to the rank of a god, or the glorification of a person as an ideal”. 
    • George Washington was honored as a national icon in the nineteenth century.

    Saturday, April 13, 2013

    A ~ Z of Marvelousness: L is for Lego


    • Lego originated in Denmark and is an iconic toy brand with a huge following. 
    • These are called Lego Modular Buildings - the "Grand Emporium", "Palace Cinema" and "Town Hall"  - hundreds of little blocks - built by a marvelous 10 year old. 
    • The minifigures are waiting for the mayor to make a speech...

    Friday, April 12, 2013

    A ~ Z of Marvelousness: K is for Keys


    “The pianokeys are black and white
    but they sound like a million colors in your mind".
    - From "Spiders web” ― Maria Cristina Mena

    Thursday, April 11, 2013

    A ~ Z of Marvelousness: J is for Jeff Koons

    Jeff Koons ~ Sacred Heart

    • This marvelous steel heart, tied up with a gold ribbon, is by one of my favorite sculptors -  Jeff Koons - and it was part of the "Jeff Koons on the Roof" exhibition on the roof garden of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City in 2008.

    Wednesday, April 10, 2013

    A ~ Z of Marvelousness: I is for Ivy


    • Frank Lloyd Wright is attributed with saying "Doctors bury their mistakes, architects cover them with ivy…” Ivy might not be the focal point in many gardens but it’s always a crowd-pleaser ~ a good way to “green up” just about anything.
    • The climbing ivy that graces buildings has a long history of medicinal use. Herbalists used it to treat arthritis, bronchitis, dysentery, and whooping cough. It even helped for skin problems like eczema and sunburn. Ivy might reduce stretch marks.
    • Ivy symbolizes friendship, fidelity, and affection.
    • How marvelous is that?
    • I took this picture in Portsmouth, NH, USA

    Tuesday, April 9, 2013

    A ~ Z of Marvelousness: H is for Height


    • "The true way to be humble is not to stoop until you are smaller than yourself, but to stand at your real height against some higher nature that will show you what the real smallness of your greatness is." Phillips Brooks
    • I took this picture at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, USA

    Monday, April 8, 2013

    A ~ Z of Marvelousness: G is for Graffiti

    Graffiti (or is it Street Art?)

    • What's the difference between Graffiti and Street Art ? this
    • This marvelous yellow wall might be the perfect cross between the two...

    Saturday, April 6, 2013

    A ~ Z of Marvelousness: F is for Flowers


    • Spring flowers...promise of warmer days and brighter colors.
    • Giving flowers dates back centuries - originally bestowed for their medicinal and herbal characteristics.
    • A small bouquet is also called a nosegay, tussie-mussie, or posy...
    • The "Language of Flowers" - to express feelings that can't be spoken.
    • I took this picture at the Portobello Market in London in Spring.
    • "There are always flowers for those who want to see them." Henri Matisse

    Friday, April 5, 2013

    A ~ Z of Marvelousness: E is for Eating


    • "Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are." - Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, author of  "The Physiology of Taste".
    • These beauties (halva, baklava and turkish delight) are from Mohamad & Samir in Jordan. 
    • Marvelous: traveling and eating.

    Thursday, April 4, 2013

    A ~ Z of Marvelousness: D is for Dubrovnik

    Dubrovnik, Croatia

    • Marvelous: The beautiful, medieval city of Dubrovnik. The color of the sea and the the sky are almost exactly the same…
    • The city is a UNESCO world heritage site and was founded in the 7th century. It is seriously rich in history.
    • The city survived the Croatian war of the early 90's a little damaged but will probably continue to flourish.
    • Definitely a “must see”...

    Wednesday, April 3, 2013

    A ~ Z of Marvelousness: C is for Coffee


    • I prefer my coffee black but enjoyed this particularly pretty cup at 71 Irving Place, Gramercy, New York City, Irving Farm being one of the best coffee roasters out there.
    • Where to even start singing the praises of coffee? The smell of coffee on a cold winter morning, sitting on the sidewalk, people-watching, sipping on a cup of coffee. Fellow coffee drinkers (the great like-minded) agreeing that coffee is always a good idea... Anticipating that first cup of coffee is often the greatest motivator to get out of bed.
    • I know that Java refers to beans produced on the Indonesian island of Java but it does rolls beautifully off the tongue…
    • A guy called Sheik Omar discovered coffee. After being exiled from Yemen, he started chewing on berries from a shrub to foil starvation. After roasting the bitter berries, he discovered their flavor and after boiling them he discovered the deliciously fragrant taste of coffee… People were so impressed with his discovery that he was invited back to his country and made a saint..

    Tuesday, April 2, 2013

    A ~ Z of Marvelousness: B is for Beach

    Beach, Key Biscayne, FL, USA

    • Turquoise water, white sand, blazing sun, lots of fun, maybe even throw in a picnic and a few palm trees – can it get any more marvelous than that?
    • This is Key Biscayne Beach, FL, a five-mile-long barrier island just off the coast of downtown Miami.
    • I took the picture after climbing the stairs all the way to the top of the historic Cape Florida Lighthouse 
    • My favorite beaches: Copacabana Beach (Rio, Brazil), Blouberg Beach (Cape Town, South Africa), Kho Phi Phi Beach (Phi Phi Islands, Thailand), and the beautiful Boracay (Philippines).

    Monday, April 1, 2013

    A ~ Z of Marvelousness: A is for Amaryllis


    • Amaryllis Belladonna – even the name sounds marvelous...
    • One tall, elegant stem and a cluster of huge, red funnel-shaped flowers.
    • In Greek mythology,  Amaryllis was a shy shepherdess in love with a guy who only loved flowers. Because he would only love someone who brings him a new flower, Amaryllis pierced her heart daily for a month and from her blood sprang a crimson flower.
    • It means “to sparkle”…true inner beauty emanating outwards
    • And native of the Western Cape region of South Africa (as am I)