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Archive for January, 2013

Paris in December Part 2


So far,  you could see that we ate our way around Paris. What can I say, we like our food and has Paris has the most fantastic food. Well, we didn’t just eat our way around Paris, we enjoyed many cultural pursuits as well. This City Girl turned Country Gal really enjoyed the city, once again!

My daughter and I love ballet and especially the Paris Opera Ballet :

Inside the Paris Opera

Inside the Paris Opera

Beautiful

Beautiful

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For the costumes above

For the costumes above

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For the costumes above

For the costumes above

Curtain call at the ballet

Curtain call at the ballet

Curtain call

Curtain call

Curtain call

We also enjoyed some great exhibits in some of the museums in Paris:

Musée d'Orsay

Musée d’Orsay

it was a rainy day but that didn't stop people from coming out

It was a rainy day but that didn’t stop us  or anyone else

This was the exhibit we viewed

This was the exhibit we viewed

Le Louvre

Another rainy day,  but that didn’t stop us. We enjoyed some of our favorite paintings at the Louvre

Just some of our favorites:

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My daughter especially loves the bookshops in Paris. She speaks and reads French fluently so the bookshops are a delight for her. I enjoy them also, even though I don’t speak French:

book shop

La hune one of my daughter’s favorite book shop

Polish Book Shop

Polish Book Shop that always has beautiful windows which we enjoy every year

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Oh, beautiful bookshops!

Shops and Holiday decorations in Paris:

Bon Marche

Le Bon Marche one of our most favorite department stores

Window decorations at Le Bon Marche

Window decorations at Le Bon Marche

Window decorations

Window decorations

I have never seen a merry-go-round in a toy department of any store, but in Paris at Le Bon Marche

I have never seen a merry-go-round in a toy department of any store, but in Paris at Le Bon Marche

Exquisite costumes for a special little girl

Exquisite costumes for little girls with big imaginations

A wrapped up BHV department store as you enter Le Marais

A wrapped up BHV department store as you enter Le Marais

Sorry I forgot some food photos:

A lovely place we went to for the first time

A lovely restaurant we went to for the first time

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No trip to Paris would be complete with out a trip to Notre Dame:

A view of Notre Dame from a bridge

A view of Notre Dame from a bridge

850 Year anniversary

850 Year anniversary

A tastful decoration at the entrance

A tasteful decoration at the entrance

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We were able to book seats for the Messiah at the Theatre des Champs-Élysées- what a wonderful experience:

The Theatre Champs-Élysèe

The Theatre des Champs-Élysèes

Beautiful Holiday decoration near the Theatre Champs-Élysées

Beautiful Holiday decorations near the Champs Élysées

Blue was the color of decorations throughout Paris

Blue was the color of most of the decorations throughout Paris this year

This next video I took from our seats way up at the top, over heads, while standing and leaning. Honestly, it’s mainly for listening to not really viewing because of my view. Sorry. Maybe you can start the video and then close your eyes and just listen. I hope you can still enjoy this beautiful encore:



City Girl Turned Country Gal Brings Culture Into the Stable at Gullringstorp Part 4


My goats had a real treat this morning. They heard one of my all time favorite singers from way back, Sammy Davis Jr. What a crooner he was. I had the great opportunity of seeing him in concert many times during the late 60’s and 70’s in Las Vegas. Mom and I would dress to kill and walk down to the lobby of our hotel and into the show room at Caesar’s or any other large beautiful luxury hotel of the day. I remember my  father handing the maître d’ some cash and we were escorted down front to the seats very close to the stage. Sammy Davis Jr. always gave 110%  at his performances and the audiences always went wild. What a memory… I feel so fortunate for those days to have been able to enjoy , up close and personal one of the all time great stars of the stage .

Sammy Davis Jr. was born Dec. 8, 1925 which meant that he grew up during a most difficult time for the country, especially Afro Americans. He was literally born back stage at a theater and lived in a suitcase when a baby, as his parents were show folk. He started his vaudeville  life at the age of 3 . He was singing and dancing and performing all of his young life. It was not easy for him as an Afro-American. He was a victim of racism most of his life.

This is what Wikipedia had to say about that:

Davis was a headliner at The Frontier Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, but he was required (as were all black performers in the 1950s) to lodge in a rooming house on the west side of the city, instead of in the hotels as his white colleagues did. No dressing rooms were provided for black performers, and they had to wait outside by the swimming pool between acts. Davis and other black artists could entertain, but could not stay at the hotels where they performed, gamble in the casinos, or dine or drink in the hotel restaurants and bars. Davis later refused to work at places which practiced racial segregation.[16] (Wikipedia)

They say that he became an “overnight success” after a performance at Ciro’s nightclub in 1951. Overnight?? That was a success (recognition) after so many years of playing dives and waiting for the “big break”.

He became a member of the famous Rat Pack and toured and performed with Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford. He was also a star of several Broadway musicals and even had his own TV show.

Sammy Davis Jr. was a real fighter. He survived a horrible car crash on the way back from Las Vegas and lost an eye. He was a “trooper” and continued his performing life. Very ironically and so sadly died of throat cancer on May 16, 1990 at the age  of 64. Way too young and what a star we all have lost.

These are just a few of my favorites:


Paris in December Part 1


The beginning of the New Year has been very busy here at Gullringstorp and at Li’l Sis Goat Milk Soap. After all the fun of the holidays, it is time to set down some plans for the new year and to start  putting those plans into action. I have been trying to get up to date with my blog after the holiday absence. I still have much to share about the goings on in my stable.

Before it’s too late, I would like to share a bit of our annual Holiday trip to Paris. This is our 11th year, just my daughter and I we stay at the same family run hotel, visit our favorite restaurants , book stores, churches and museums. We have been lucky to be able to attend wonderful ballet while in Paris for the week before Christmas.

I would like to share some Paris moments with you:

Delicious food and treats of Paris:

lovely basket of bread

Lovely basket of bread

Greek sandwiches on the bridge

Where we get our delicious Greek sandwiches that we eat standing on our  bridge

Breakfast at Cafe Flore

Breakfast at Café  de Flore

Cafe Flore

Café  de Flore croissants

Cafe Flore

Café de Flore breakfast setting

Hot chocolate at Cafe Flore

Hot chocolate at Café Flore,  just the very best

Beautiful setting

Beautiful setting

Dressed hot chocolate servers

Dressed hot chocolate servers. Beautiful handle covers to keep from burning your fingers when you pour

Our favorite falafel lunch in le Marais

Our favorite falafel lunch in le Marais

 

Sauce choices for our falafels

Sauce choices for our falafels

Jewish Quarter

Le Marais, Paris

Tea service at Cafe Flore

Tea service at Café de Flore

Cafe Rostande

Café Rostand our favorite place for a late lunch or early dinner. Fantastic food and if you are fortunate, exciting conversation with a neighbor at the next table.

Chocolate vienois

Chocolat viennois

French Onion soup

French Onion soup

Quiche Lorraine

Quiche Lorraine

Tart au Framboises

Tarte aux Framboises a lovely and delicious end to a fantastic meal

A fun thing in Paris is seeing well behaved dogs sitting with their owners in resuraunts. What's even better is to be able to meet and get to know the cat or dog whoes home is the shop or restaurant. This is the restauant cat at Cafe Rostande

A fun thing in Paris is seeing well behaved dogs sitting with their owners in restaurants. What’s even better is to be able to meet and get to know the cat or dog whoes home is the shop or restaurant. This is the restaurant cat at Cafè Rostand

This little kitty was so sweet and curious. She was a delight to watch.

This little kitty was so sweet and curious. She was a delight to watch.

Just look at that face! What a view as you enjoy your meal.

Just look at that cute  face! What a view as you enjoy your meal.

Famous macaroons of Paris

Macaroons at the famous Ladurée in  Paris. After years of enjoying the window and displays, we went in and bought some for the very first time. Wow!!

A beautiful box to hold beautiful treats

A beautiful box to hold beautiful treats

A chocolate macaroon... just delightfully delicious...

A chocolate macaroon… just delightfully delicious…

Welcome back for Part 2, museums, ballet and Holiday sights in Paris.


Just a Quiet Sunday at Gullringstorp


It’s cold outside but it’s nice and warm and cozy in the stable. This is what I was met with when we went in this morning:

Sleepy little fellas resting together

Sleepy little fellas resting together. These are my youngest little bucks: Toby with the “hairdo”, Winston and his brother Phillip and little Pip, Alika’s son

Don't they look comfy?

Don’t they look comfy? It’s hard to believe that the buck with the large horns to the right is Baby Boy. Do you remember when he arrived at Gullringstorp?  He was just a round ball of fur.

I really love to see my goats relaxed, happy and comfortable under our care

I really love to see my goats relaxed, happy and comfortable under our care

Keriana relaxing with her daughter Fiona

Keriana relaxing with her daughter Fiona

Alika is also comfy and is doing very well since her son Pip moved in with the other bucks

Alika is also comfy and is doing very well since her son Pip moved in with the other bucks

Our oldest buck is full grown but as you can ssee is small. This is Balder, a Pygmy buck. He is a lovely little guy!

Our oldest buck is full-grown,  but as you can see he is small. This is Balder, a Pygmy buck. He is a lovely little guy!

I always love when we get our oat delivery. It just looks so pretty filling up one side of this beautiful old horse grain wooden box.

I always love when we get our oat delivery. It just looks so pretty filling up one side of this beautiful old horse grain wooden box.

This sturdy old horse grain box was at the other end of our stable but was moved to the "feed" room. One side for the oats and the other for the meusli

This sturdy old horse grain box was at the other end of our stable but was moved to the “feed” room. One side for the oats and the other for the muesli 

We also have a hay delivery. Leif has a trailer that fits 20 bales of hay. A really nice sight for this country gal...

We also have a hay delivery. Leif has a trailer that fits 20 bales of hay. A really nice sight for this country gal…

This was once a beautiful huge round bal of straw. It's ok to look like this, as long as my goats get straw on a daily basis. We have an entire enclosure outside full of neat little straw bales, under a tarp to stay dry through snow and rain.

This was once a beautiful huge round bale of straw. It’s ok to look like this, as long as my goats get straw on a daily basis. We have an entire enclosure outside full of neat little square straw bales, under a tarp to stay dry through snow and rain.

Everyone gets a portionn of straw. Hilda lies to "swim" in her straw before she eats and makes a bed to sleep in and eat. Thjere is a real challenge in placing the straw in different places for boxes with more than 1 goat. You have to really plann it out or there will be squabbles.  I like peaceful boxes so I plan ahead where I place tiny pilkes of straw, for each little mouth. Here are our tiniest ladies, Ivy and her daughter Surprise, Iris and Petunia.

Everyone gets a portion of straw. Hilda lies to “swim” in her straw before she eats and makes a bed to sleep in and eat. There is a real challenge in placing the straw in different places for boxes with more than 1 goat. You have to really plan it out or there will be squabbles. I like peaceful boxes so I plan ahead where I place tiny piles of straw, for each little mouth. Here are our tiniest ladies, Ivy and her daughter Surprise, Iris and Petunia enjoy their straw.

It's not so easy with my little boys. So I solve the problem by placing the straw on their table top and they each get some. They can be well behaved for 5 minutes then someone ends up on the table right in the middle of the straw. Oh well. You just have to choose your battles, even when it comes to goats.

It’s not so easy with my little boys. So I solve the problem by placing the straw on their table top and they each get some. They can be well behaved for 5 minutes then someone ends up on the table right in the middle of the straw. Oh well. You just have to choose your battles, even when it comes to goats. Oh, yes, we put up a second hay bag in the boy’s box. Now they have 2 hay bags and a new and improved hay rack.

 

We are expecting more snow here at Gullringstorp. Burrrr……..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


City Girl Turned Country Gal Brings Culture Into the Stable at Gullringstorp Part 3


This morning started with memories from my past. Some made me cry and others made me laugh. I stayed in bed a bit longer to enjoy my memories and try to make sense of events in my past. Events that gave no clue whatsoever that I would one day be in the Swedish countryside raising a herd of goats nor have a business of my own. For some reason it made me a bit teary this morning so my visit with my goats was accompanied by the one and only Bette Midler. I really fell in love with her during the 70’s . I can not say that those were her prime vocal years because she still continues to move hearts as she sings today, those were just important years for me because I was introduced to her.

Of course my goats were treated to a duet this morning, me and Bette Midler. My singing has a real effect on my goats. The girls stand very still as if listening, then come forward for a snuggle and rub. My boys become enchanted with me. They come for their rub downs and hugs. Music is wonderful for all living creatures.

This is one of my favorites from an appearance in 1977. it’s a bit grainy but you can hear it just fine,  enjoy. If tears come, that’s ok:


City Girl Turned Country Gal Brings Culture Into the Stable at Gullringstorp Part 2


This morning I greeted my lovely happy goats with a trip down memory lane. Today they enjoyed with me, a wonderful sound from a group whose stardom spanned from 1928-1982. Most of their most famous songs were from the 30’s and 40’s.  As a young girl and well into my teens, I was attracted to the sounds of the 30’s and 40’s.  I was a bit of an oddity singing songs from that era when other young teens were enjoying Motown artists along with other artist of the day.

One of my favorite groups was The Mills Brothers. I never had the great opportunity of seeing them in person, but my husband has. He saw them in a night club in Gothenburg, Sweden during the 1960’s. He even had a chat with one of the members of the group. Wow ! What I would have given for that experience!

As my goats got fresh hay, straw and clean water and were milked,  they enjoyed the following:

I know all the words of all their tunes so my goats got me singing also. Poor goats, they were my captive audience.


City Girl Turned Country Gal Brings Culture Into the Stable at Gullringstorp


 

This post is a thank you to my daughter.

Last evening I got a tip from my daughter to listen to something on Spotify (I am trying to keep up to date with all the neat stuff out there).  She is a classical music enthusiast to say the least and is the kind of person that has the same opera but by  different performers or conductors. She knows her  stuff, so I listened when she said look for Maria Callas  singing my favorite opera La Traviata. The recording was a digitally  remastered recording of a live performance given at La Scala Opera House in 1955. Maria Callas and   Giuseppe Di Stefano are just magnificent.

My goats get music in the stable all  the time  and they really enjoy it, even my singing. This morning they were treated with Maria Callas in La Traviata.

I was fortunate to find this video on-line this morning.

Enjoy!


What Happens When the Temperature Drops After A Beyond Chilly Day


We had a beyond chilly day yesterday at Gullringstorp. We all kept warm and cozy, including the goats. My pasta sauce was wonderful and I just love my new crock pot.

During the night our temperature dropped even more to a crispy -19 c. The morning view from every angle here at Gullringstorp was just spectacular.

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Crunchy trees and a crunch under our feet as we walk in the snow

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A crispy apple tree

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Looks like a lace covered tree

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Snow, frost and ice crystals

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Really pretty

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Ice covered bush

A crispy pear tree

A crispy pear tree

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Beautiful

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Sorry about the wire in the photo

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The frozen forest across the street

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Lovely

Fence around the front play yard

Fence around the front play yard

Baby goat play yard fence

Baby goat play yard fence

After the goats were milked when we left the stable a cold fog had rolled in

After the goats were milked when we left the stable a cold fog had rolled in giving an eerie look

Cold fog

Cold fog

Ice crystal trees in the cold fog

Ice crystal trees in the cold fog

Max in his warm winter suit and winter boots in the cold snow

Max in his warm winter suit and winter boots in the cold snow

I just love looking at all the ice crystals on the trees and bushes and hedges.

How is winter looking in your neck of the woods?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


A Beyond Chilly Day at Gullringstorp !!!!!!!


It’s a cold day here at Gullringstorp. The goats are fat and happy and warm in the stable. I am warm in my home as the temperatures drop throughout the day from -5c to -15c. We are expecting even lower temperatures through the weekend.

So, what does one do with such chilly temperatures?

Cook!!

Today seemed like just the day to fire-up my new crock pot which I have been sorely missing since arriving in Sweden nearly 12 yrs ago. As a single parent before my second marriage that brought me to Sweden, I used a crock pot very often to have dinner waiting for my daughter and I after a long day at work.

Look at my new crock pot. It came with 3 utensils for safe use with your crock pot.

Look at my new crock pot. It came with 3 utensils for safe use with your crock pot.

What to put in my new crock pot? I know, a yummy warm pot of pasta sauce.

Look!!! Pasta sauce in my new crock pot!

Look!!! Pasta sauce in my new crock pot!

Want a closer look????? Ok…

Yummy !

Yummy !


Video

Just Too Beautiful


A 50-year-old British man has dragged a piano up a mountain in Thailand – so he could play Beethoven for blind elephants. Paul Barton achieved a long-held ambition as he sat behind his piano, just a few metres away for the graceful giants, calmly playing his instrument. He decided to do the challenge to help fund raising for the blind elephants, which live in a sanctuary on the mountains of Kanchanaburi, north-east of Bangkok.