March 25, 2011

My boys... at Koki Beach...

I had all the luck to meet thee best looking guys in PV during my stay!

Here's me and my Swedish 'brother,' Chris... the biggest sweetheart ever!!! I decided to adopt him as my brother!!!!


Here I am with Fred- French Canadian and John - Columbian, who lived in Switzerland for many, many years and speaks French fluently. I didn't mind being between this two hunks!! ; )


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Adios Costa Rica---- Bonjour la France!!!!

Hi Everyone,

I'll be leaving paradise in the tropics for springtime in Pah-ree on Saturday morning early! Just wanted to let you all know, in case I'm not around here for a few days- I'm SURE I'll be SUPER exhausted when I get back!!

See you soon....

Leesa

March 24, 2011

Elizabeth Taylor- A Star is gone!




Hollywood lost a true legend yesterday, March 23. Legendary star, Elizabeth Taylor has left the stage. She died Wednesday of congestive heart failure at Los Angeles's Cedars-Sinai Hospital. Elizabeth was known for her amazing beauty and work in film, and was a legend in her own rite. I will forever remember her as the young and gorgeous Hollywood star, who charmed the world around her... One of my favourite of her films, "National Velvet." Rest in Peace, Liz.



* All pictures taken off the internet.

March 22, 2011

Happy Spring-- two days late- Sorry!



Spring has sprung! Well, so close to the Equator, I don't really notice a 'true' spring season, actually... But, if it's supposed to be spring now, the weather here sure isn't acting 'springy!' It's been cloudy and even a little rainy since Friday and it's now Tuesday. So, I'm a bit bummed because this is my last few days here in Costa Rica and I really don't want to lose my good tan before going back to La France!
COME ON SUN!!! I'm routing for ya! So... I'll try to muster up some spring pics from last year in France sometime today... In the meantime.. Happy Spring to all of you who are really feeling the season!!!



**Images taken from the internet.

March 19, 2011

Happy Purim...


Let's break out the humantaschen.... It's PURIM!




History:

"The events commemorated by Purim took place in the ancient Persian Empire, in the fifth century BCE, under the reign of King Achashverosh. Mordechai, a Jew, refused to bow down and prostrate himself before Haman, the vizier to the King. Haman immediately set out "to destroy all the Jews that were throughout the whole kingdom of Achashverosh" (Esther 3,6). In order to effect his vicious racist plan, Haman decided to enlist the aid of the unsuspecting King
Achashverosh. Since Haman was a very superstitious person, he had lots cast to determine on which day he
should carry out his design. The word for lots is "Purim", and from it we get the name for the holiday. The chosen date was the thirteenth of Adar.

The king, who trusted Haman, agreed to his plan to murder the Jews. For Haman had told him that the Jews were "scattered abroad in all the provinces," and that "their laws are different from those of every people" (Esther 3,8).

Letters, written by Haman and signed by the king, were sent out throughout all the provinces, commanding all persons "to destroy, to slay, and to cause to perish all the Jews" (Esther 3,13). The Jews would have been massacred, had it not been for Esther, Mordechai's cousin, who had been chosen queen a few years earlier. Queen Esther was able to intercede and save the Jewish community from genocide.
Haman was hanged on the gallows which he himself had prepared for Mordechai.
The Jews of Persia were spared and judgments were executed on their enemies.

Mordechai thereupon sent letters to all the Jews,calling upon them to observe the fourteenth and the fifteenth of Adar, "the days wherein the Jews had rest from their enemies, and the month which was turned for them from sorrow to gladness, and from mourning into a good day; that they should make them days of feasting and gladness, and of sending portions (mishloach manot) one to another and gifts to the poor (matanot la'evyonim)" (Esther 9,22).

Some of the nicest traditions of Purim are matanot laevyonim, the giving of gifts to the poor, and mishloach manot, the giving of gifts of food to friends and family..

Purim is known as a time of delicious smells emanating from the kitchen from the baking of the delicious sweets and goodies. Hamantaschen, a Purim cookie named for the three-cornered hat that Haman wore, is one of the favorites.
Click here for a hamantaschen recipe for Purim!"

More about Purim- A very good website HERE.


Images taken from the internet.

March 18, 2011

Mammatus Clouds- I just LOVE these!




"Mammatus, also known as mammatocumulus (meaning "mammary cloud" or "breast cloud"),[1][2] is a meteorological term applied to a cellular pattern of pouches hanging underneath the base of a cloud. The name mammatus, derived from the Latin mamma(meaning "udder" or "breast"), refers to a resemblance between the characteristic shape of these clouds and the breast of a woman." Wikipedia

"Mammatus are most often associated with the anvil cloud and also severe thunderstorms. that extends from a cumulonimbus, but may also be found under altocumulus, altostratus,stratocumulus, and cirrus clouds, as well as volcanic ash clouds.[citation needed] In the United States, sky gazers may be most familiar with the very distinct and more common cumulonimbus mammatus. When occurring in cumulonimbus, mammatus are often indicative of a particularly strong storm or maybe even a tornadicstorm. Due to the intensely sheared environment in which mammatus form, aviators are strongly cautioned to avoid cumulonimbus with mammatus." Wikipedia





**Photos taken off the internet!

I brake for sloths!

Saw this lazy sloth at the Jaguar Sanctuary in Play Chiquita a few weeks ago and thought he was OH SO CUTE!!! The are just darling animals and live here in the trees! Here's the link for the Sanctuary and if you are out in Puerto Viejo, CR... DOOOOO stop by HERE for a tour! It's excellent!

March 17, 2011

Top o' the morning and the luck of the Irish to you!


A really cute website with lots of Irish sayings: HERE. And to learn more about Ireland HERE is a good link for you! I LOVE Ireland and the Irish- Some of the nicest people around!HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY to all of you out there....


March 15, 2011

Beware the....


... ides of March!! I'm a big Shakespeare fan, can you tell.. Just wanted to lighten up the topic since it's been such a rough few weeks now....

The blog,

TRUTH, JUSTICE & PEACE

sums up today's day! HERE is the link to the blog post. You can check it out to read more! Thanks, 'JudiPhilly' for this post and Happy Ides of March to you.. Is that even something we would wish to someone???!!!

Here's what JudiPhilly blogged on the 'Ides of March.'


"Today is the day. March 15th. The Ides of March.

The Ides of March is the first day of the Roman New Year.It also marks the first day of spring in the Roman calendar.

On this day in history, Julius Caesar was warned by soothsayers to "beware of the Ides of March". Apparently, he did not heed the warning strongly enough as he was stabbed by Marcus Brutus on the Ides of March in 44 BC.

It is definitely not a lucky day for some.

As the Chicago Trib notes, Beware the Ides of March, when superstition reigns:
A word of warning to those who believe in lucky numbers, auspicious colors and star-crossed dates: beware. The Ides of March are upon us.

Only those familiar with history or William Shakespeare’s play “Julius Caesar” readily may recognize the reference to March 15, the day of JuliusCaesar’s assassination in 44 B.C. The Roman calendar designated monthly Ides, or midpoint, days that fell either on the 13th or 15th day, depending on the month.

After Caesar’s untimely exit, superstitious Romans well may have avoided launching a business, marriage or other important venture on a date so cloaked in doom it eventually entered the lexicon as a metaphor for impending catastroph (I think we've had our share of catastrophes,thank you!!) **Image and quotes are directly from JudiPhilly's blog.

March 12, 2011

A heartfelt prayer and positive energy and thoughts...

go out from me to all the people in Japan right now. I just cannot imagine what they went through yesterday in that HORRENDOUS quake- I cannot imagine in any sense what an 8.9 magnitude quake would feel like- shaking, rumbling and rocking back and forth for 4 or 5 minutes. NEVER!

And, I'm from California.... I have lived through countless earthquakes, even a few with at least a 7 magnitude, which I thought was HUGE! I don't think anyone can every know what to expect when an earthquake starts to shake...
Luckily for Japan, the gov't has taken very strict reins on building codes, earthquake preparedness and drills to educate people and to teach them how to handle themselves in the event of an earthquake. And, perhaps, maybe-- the people of Japan are somewhat accustomed to earthquakes, as we Californians are- We are always 'awaiting The Big One' with some fear and trepidation, anxiety and awe... well, mainly some paranoia, too.. Like when an earthquake hits--- "Oh my God! This could be THE BIG ONE!" I don't know, I've never been to Japan, and I don't know and can't guess the attitude of the people towards earthquakes... but I can just imagine they have been through a lot of them, too.. But who can ever imagine THIS HUGE MAGNITUDE, unless you have already experienced it!
And, if the earthquake were NOT enough for these people, the TSUNAMI that hit afterwards is just simply UNIMAGINABLE to me, as well... I cannot imagine what that was like when all of the water, dirt, debris- boats, cars, etc. came crashing into the towns- Mass destruction!
I'm really feeling heart-pained for this people... I pray for the families who have lost their loved ones and their homes, for the people who have lost their friends and just for the mass destruction as it will take millions to clean and rebuild. More important is the loss of human life and those who have been injured. I pray for them... They are all in my thoughts...

I have friends who live in Japan, and a former student and his family - mom, dad and two younger brothers. Everyone I know is far from harm's way, but that doesn't mean something couldn't happen, so I really pray that nothing else does!

Explosion and radiation leak in Northern Japan


"An explosion at a crippled nuclear power plant in northern Japan on Saturday blew the roof off one building and caused a radiation leak of unspecified proportions, escalating the emergency confronting Japan’s government a day after an earthquake and tsunami devastated parts of the country’s northeastern coast."


Article and photo taken from the New York Times website- See HERE to read the entire article.

Devastation in Japan- 8.9 Earthquake update


"Japanese news media estimates of the death toll ranged between 1,300 and 1,700, but much of the north was impassible. Four passenger trains had not been accounted for as of Saturday night, The Associated Press reported. Most of the deaths were from drowning, but firefighters and Japan’s Self-Defense Forces were rushing to prevent a higher toll, flying in helicopters and struggling to put out fires ignited by exploding gas lines or overturned space heaters in Japan’s many vulnerable wooden homes."

New York Times photo and report from their website- Please see HERE to read the entire article.

March 9, 2011

LEARN MORE ABOUT FRANCE: ESL CLASSES




Learn More About France And Make The Best Out of Your Summer Vacation


Summer vacations are the best time when one can find out some time for oneself. Students mostly join new courses to utilize this time in a perfect way. However, most of the time, people realize that these courses do not let one enjoy the freedom that would have otherwise been there. ESL is however amongst the top most organizations, that provides language study to students from different destinations all around the world. One can decide to learn French in France during summer holidays. Valbonne s/Cannes is the ideal place of French course especially for the juniors from 13-17 years to spend most memorable time of the life.


The school building is located at hardly fifteen minutes distance from the beaches of Cote d’Azur. Good infrastructure, updated equipments and so many amenities make the course study more interesting. The school has its auditorium and athletic fields to encourage students to participate more and more. There are football pitches, basketball courts and also swimming pools for the students. During summer camps in France each and every student is provided complete supervision for twenty four hours. The school understands its responsibility and takes care of every student from the very first day till the last individually.


The learning atmosphere is particularly tailored for the young students who need to do more and more practice. The chosen topics are motivating and study is conducted in small groups or in pairs. By this way the teachers become able to offer individual attention to each and everyone and students also feel free to ask any query. There are levels designed that range from beginners to advanced. The joy to learn French in France through ESL lies in the kind of teaching practices followed by teachers. The school offers the accommodation facility for the students. There are single and double bedrooms which are well furnished and hygienic with every basic facility. Thus they offer joy of living with multi-cultural students.


Leisure is what everybody looks for and why everyone joins summer camps in France. Keeping this in the mind, ESL carries out the best learning practices and provides a variety of leisure activities. These include: evening activities, sports, and adventure. All of these activities contribute to enhanced knowledge and often one finds lifetime friends during these excursions. The school provides complete security during the trips. All the expenditure is included in the price of accommodation. It is the result of dedication in efforts, modern methods and quality in services that has made ESL one of the top language agencies in Europe. It provides a wonderful opportunity to learn a new language and also discover the beauty of the surroundings.


March 8, 2011

Artisan Confections: More beautiful ARTISAN CHOCOLATES... from the U.S.

Looks like a wonderful gift to give!
So colorful and fun!


How could anyone resist?? I couldn't! I'm drooling over the keyboard as I type. I just love all the fun designs, colours and FLAVOURS!!! Check them out HERE.

Mardi Gras.... Fat Tuesday!




New Orleans is the city in the U.S. most well-known for their Mardi Gras festivities...

"Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, was made a Christian holiday by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582. The Mardi Gras is celebrated the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent which Christians prepare themselves for Easter.

Mardi Gras arrived in North America in the late 17th century, when King Louis XIV sent armies to defend France’s claim on the territory of Louisiana." To read more about Mardi Gras... see HERE.


*Pictures taken from internet.

Feliz Carnaval 2011...


FELIZ CARNAVAL TO EVERYONE!
I have spent most of my life celebrating Carnaval, Brasilian style - since I was a kid up until my late 30s in both L.A. and San Diego. It's one of the most festive celebrations I know. If I could, I'd travel the world to participate in the many celebrations all over the world. Here is a little taste of Carnaval in Brasil. Enjoy!
**Pictures taken off the net.

Mamae Eu Quero


One of my FAVOURITE songs for Carnaval.....

FELIZ CARNAVAL PRA TODOS!!!!

FELIZ CARNAVAL 2011...

Bonne Fête des Femmes....