How to Hate Spring, the Season That Everyone Loves

How to Hate Spring, the Season That Everyone Loves

My Two Springtimes

 

Here in Quebec, we have two springs. The first is ugly and sad. Here are some pictures of the early spring in our area.

Mosaïque (crédit photo Phrenssynnes)

As you can see, the beautiful snow of Christmas, white, flaky and romantic as one could wish, becomes a horror at the end of March and April. Winter is black, white, long, and icy. Seasons in-between are almost as painful. That’s what makes us such fantastic people!

Here is why

First, we have an incredible sense of humour. The comedy industry is thriving in Quebec. Well, at least before the pandemic. 

This ability has developed into a keen talent for self-deprecation. 

Denmark has a reputation for Hygge (pronounced hoo-gah) and Quebec for Ah! Ah !

Bon vivant

The other thing that defines us is our epicurean side.

Often in Quebec, the second spring appears by magic. 

Boom! 

One morning, we wake up, and the heat and the sun burst. Spring emerges with daisies, daffodils, bright sunshine, and birds chirping. 

The typical Quebecois gets out from his hibernation, wakes up like Mother Nature, and goes crazy.

 Literally. 

He takes out the barbecue, starts the pool, mows the lawn, drinks beer or wine in a terrace café, rides his bike or convertible, and plants flowers. The Quebecois want to do everything. He must enjoy every drop of this radiant and rare sunshine.

Which picture is the most beautiful?

 

The third feature is that we have strong morale.

You know the principle of mental toughness. We must get through these temperatures. Learn to look at life positively and focus on beautiful things.

That’s what I want to show you in these photos.

We learn to reframe.

Tulipe et cuisine (crédit photo Phrenssynnes)
Tulipes (crédit photo Phrenssynnes)

Justin Cox has posted a newsletter asking how we will beat the summer heat. He lives in Orlando, Florida and has to resign staying in his air-conditioned home to protect himself from the heat wave.

In Quebec, it’s the opposite

Summer is the season when we enjoy the outdoors. Winter is so cold here, so it obliges us to stay in our warm homes. My husband and I are avid downhill skiers, cross-country skiers and Nordic walkers, yet we have to limit our outdoor activities because of the cold. When the thermometer reads minus thirty Celsius outsides, we appreciate the warmth of our fireplace.

From May to September, however, even when we finished our sports training, we spent as much time as possible outside. We read and eat in our garden when the weather permits.

Our experience is the opposite of Justin Cox’s. We stay cooped up in the winter and outside in the summer. Even though we both live in the northern hemisphere, we live thousands of miles away.

My answer

In answer to Mr. Cox’s question, I plan to

  • bike
  • picnic
  • barbecue
  • run
  • swim
  • canoe 
  • gardening

As for all Quebecois, summer represents to me the joy of living and the time of festivities. After the long winter months, we want to make the most of this heat, which, I must admit, is not as overwhelming as in Florida. And we visit the Sunshine State in our first spring!

Final thoughts

The moral of this story is that no matter where you live in the world, the most important thing is to have sunshine in your heart. And regardless of the season!

What about you? How do you experience spring or summer?

Phrenssynnes

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Three Original and Unexpected Ways to Help The Planet

Three Original and Unexpected Ways to Help The Planet

Inflation and climate change

You don’t have to be an economist to see inflation all around you. All costs have gone up, groceries, gasoline, clothing and other good.

In addition, we can see the effects of climate change in our daily lives. For the past few years, temperature variations have surprised us. Storms are multiplying in virulence, and the melting of the ice at the North Pole is in the news.

We must not let ourselves be overwhelmed by discouragement.

My sister, an eco-responsibility fanatic, tells me that every gesture counts.

These reasons motivate me to rack my brain to spend less and try not to waste. We can take the example of the habits of our parents and grandparents who lived during the war. Out of necessity, they developed ways to save.

I hope to inspire you with these three small actions out of the ordinary.

Rouge à lèvres (crédit photo Phrenssynnes)

Saving money to help the planet

Those who follow my blog know that I am a lipstick fanatic. It’s my go-to for moisturizing my lips and looking less tired. A brush designed to apply this makeup product allows you to use a smaller amount. You can also go to the bottom of the tube to use the whole stick.

Bâton et pinceau (crédit photo Phrenssynnes)
Teapot in the garden (credit photo Phrenssynnes)

Recycle to help the planet

I always end up breaking the lids off my teapots. Instead of getting rid of them, I try to find a way to recover them. Here is my latest find.

I made a bird feeder out of this teapot. A good ball of absorbent cotton in the spout keeps the seeds from falling. I used a clip in the handle and hung it on a hook.

And it works, I saw birds pecking at the offered seeds, but I have yet to catch a photo of them in action.

Another example of recovery comes from my mother-in-law.

Recycle a plastic net by placing several solid soap scraps inside. We tie the whole with a clasp of a bread bag. And we can wash our hands with this new soap that allows us to use the small pieces of soap easily.

Savonnier (crédit photo Phrenssynnes)

Utilize to help the planet

I find that tomato paste wins the worst food waste contest. Recipes that use this ingredient only require a small amount. We’re stuck with leftovers even if we buy the smallest can. Here is my list of dish ideas that include tomato paste. Plan several recipes that contain it in the same week. 

 -Beef bourguignon

– Spaghetti sauce

Thai Turkey Meatballs 

Veal Sauté with Olives

– Turkey Osso Bucco

Portuguese Pork Stir-Fry

-Soup

Another trick is to use tomato paste tubes because they contain less than cans.

Final thoughts

Do you find these ideas irrelevant or insignificant? Tell yourself that if we try to apply this to all our daily habits, it will eventually count. Having this reflex for each of our actions must be developed.

Planning and organization is another secret to recycling, saving and avoiding waste.

Do you miss motivation? Imagine if the lack of supply’s products increases, perhaps we will find it difficult to obtain essential goods.

Let’s face it! How catastrophic a shortage of lipstick would be in our lives! Ah! Ah!

I invite you to share your ideas and healthy habits in the comments. Together, we can change the disposable culture and help the planet.

© Phrenssynnes

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How to Hate Spring, the Season That Everyone Loves

How to Hate Spring, the Season That Everyone Loves

My Two Springtimes   Here in Quebec, we have two springs. The first is ugly and sad. Here are some pictures of the early spring in our area.As you can see, the beautiful snow of Christmas, white, flaky and romantic as one could wish, becomes a horror at the end...

Three Original and Unexpected Ways to Help The Planet

Three Original and Unexpected Ways to Help The Planet

Inflation and climate change You don’t have to be an economist to see inflation all around you. All costs have gone up, groceries, gasoline, clothing and other good. In addition, we can see the effects of climate change in our daily lives. For the past few years,...

The “Behind the blogger challenge” 4 things you can learn about Phrenssynnes: What’s in it for you?

The “Behind the blogger challenge” 4 things you can learn about Phrenssynnes: What’s in it for you?

Rachel from Jasperden’s Health asked me to participate in the “Behind the Blogger” challenge. I accepted because the benefit to my readers will be to discover other attractive blogs. Olivia Lucie Blake is the one who started this challenge. I invite you to visit these other blogs to discover all sorts of interesting things.

Behind the Blogger challenge

To respect the challenge’s rules, I should present four facts that my audience does not know about me and invite other bloggers to participate.

You may wonder why I agreed to write about such a light topic when the planet is burning with another wave of Covid. Again.

I find this topic too narcissistic but I did it anyway.

I know you don’t give a shit about the colour of my lipsticks or my opinion on cinnamon.

But sometimes, in difficult times, it’s good for our mental health to take our minds off things. Talk about some unimportant subjects and have fun.

Bla Bla Bla

 

Without further ado, here are some fun facts about me.  I’m sure this will spark some heated discussions in your homes. Ah! Ah! Trying to be ironic, here.

My friends and family often tease me. I have chosen to reveal to you these little things. I will be at your mercy and, you can make fun of me too. It’s alright since I have a good sense of self-mockery.

The shy girl

I am a shy and introverted person. I am more comfortable with my computer and books than with people. I have trouble speaking in public.

It makes me suffer from the impostor syndrome and the purpose of this blog is to help me correct that.

Lhom, my husband, teases me about it. He doesn’t believe or understand my struggle to go to a simple cocktail party. And my sister tells me that a glass or two of merlot cures everything.

I hate going to the dentist

When I was a kid, my dentist would not anesthetize me before practicing a teeth reparation. He would tell me: “If it hurts, scream.” Guess what I did?

He learned when he was in the army, so he worked fast.  I wasn’t as brave as a soldier.

Now, I brush and floss my teeth like a maniac. So, I don’t need to have dental work done.

I am sure that I am not alone.

Cinnamon

I execrate cinnamon in apple pie. It has become an inside joke in the family. But maybe my readers have guessed that because there is never cinnamon in my recipes.

Contrary to what many people think, my opinion is that apples and cinnamon do not taste good together. I can detect the slightest bit of cinnamon in a pie.

However, I love cinnamon buns.

The lipsticks

I love lipstick. I have the dull complexion of people with blond chestnut hair. I have to brighten my face with colour on my lips. Otherwise, I looked tired.

I like their poetic names: Love that red, Certainly red, Cherries on snow, Gentlemen prefer pink.

I always carry at least two lipsticks in my purse, in case of emergency.

Lipsticks collection

I would like to challenge:

Isabelle from Les chroniques d’une jardinière ordinaire.

Josée from Des mots et des images 

Helena from Helena my beauty over blog

Christine from Des roulettes sous les pieds

It would be fascinating to have them participate because Josée and Isabelle are from Quebec, Helena lives in Finland and Christine in France.

If you want to read more about Brittany's Brexit adventures

Brittany Brexit et le fleuve Saint-Laurent

This challenge is popular in blogs from the UK. I would love this challenge to go around the world and introduce you to blogs from many countries. That would be fun.

Here are some questions to have a serious discussion with your loved ones this weekend. I see you, around a coffee, or with an aperitif in hand, discussing fervently!
Does your lipstick have a romantic name? How do you feel at the dentist’s? For or against cinnamon?

Thank you for your time and for reading. Don’t hesitate to leave me a note, I love reading your comments.

Phrenssynnes

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How to Host Holiday Parties Like a Pro While Having Fun

How to Host Holiday Parties Like a Pro While Having Fun

Planning for the holiday

 The secret to stress-free entertaining is planning. The best way to do this is to make a comprehensive list of things to do and schedule them on your calendar.

 You’ll also want to check the hours of operation of the businesses where you’ve ordered.

 Have someone other than you do last-minute shopping if possible. It would be disappointing to hit your nose on the door at the baker who made your yule log.

 Mark your schedule for when to take certain things out of the freezer.

 Confirm arrival times with your guests.

 

 Ask for and accept aid

 

 For the holidays, the key to having fun is working together as a team. Tell the kids that they are to be the elves who help mom!

 And if the sister-in-law offers to bring dessert, we’ll accept! But remember to stay in control of your kitchen. If the room turns into a mess and that gives you more work to do, we’re no better off.

 

 Have a strategic plan

 

 When setting the menu, don’t forget your budget. How many guests will you host? Is anyone have food allergies? Simplicity is an important key. It’s possible to have a festive, easy prep, ahead-of-time dish. Try to cook everything, or almost, before the day of the party. Putting colour to a plate will give a Christmassy look. Add touch with basilic leaves, cherry tomato, cranberry, olive. Green and red are holiday colours.

 Check your cooking times to ensure no temperature conflicts and only one oven!

 If you’re entertaining a smaller number of people, you can have a more elaborate meal. Yet, save the gastronomic experiments that need impressive skill for another time. You want to make great memories. You don’t desire family and friends to remember for years how you messed up this recipe on Christmas Eve 2021.


 

 

AD/ Click here to read Phrenssynnes on medium.com

 

 


 

 For a large group, consider having a simmered dish. Or plan a meal that doesn’t need too much last-minute manipulation.

 You’ll also want to get all the dishes and serving utensils out in advance. Climbing on a chair to rummage through the top of your cabinets in your sexy little dress is not ideal. And it will avoid the nasty comments from those who are starting to get tipsy!

 

 Divide the tasks between the elves

 

 On the morning of the big day, make the cooking schedule for each food as detailed as possible. We want everything to be in sync.

 Place cold drinks in the refrigerator and prepare ice cubes.

 We plan to put more toilet paper in the bathroom.

 We decide who will shovel the entrance so we can be welcoming.

Click here to read more Phrenssynnes’s articles

 Look or feel like a pro for the holiday!

 

 You will also plan in the program a moment to shower, to make yourselves beautiful and to rest a little to be dazzling!

 

 

Thank you for your reading and I wish you Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Phrenssynnes

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Tim Denning, Millennials and Baby-Boomers

Tim Denning, Millennials and Baby-Boomers

Tim Denning and the Millennials

I recently read an article by Tim Denning on medium.com, and I suggest you read it. This text is a response to his writings.

As an introduction, I would like to say that I am a baby boomer. And I love avocado toast!

Raw Fish and Baby-Boomers

If someone had told me forty years ago that I would eat raw fish one day and that I would like it, I would have said: over my dead body! Yet today, I eat and love sushi.

(more…)
Florence Foster Jenkins, a Unique Artist Who Touched Me Literally

Florence Foster Jenkins, a Unique Artist Who Touched Me Literally

How a bad singer got me out of my writing block

These days, I have difficulty finding inspiration, so I decided to listen to a movie. Some people will say it’s procrastination, but consuming culture makes me feel like writing. A muse tickles my fingers when I visit a museum, read a novel or listen to good music. And Ankit Singh suggests just that in his article on medium.com: How to write when you don’t feel like it at all.

I settled down that morning to watch the movie: Florence Foster Jenkins with Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant. I sat in my living room, but instead of having a dish full of popcorn, I had a notebook and a pencil with me. In case a muse visits me while viewing.

You know, from reading my article on Michelle Obama’s book Becoming, I’m not a musician. I like music, but I don’t understand it from a technical point of view. Despite this, I can attest that Florence Foster Jenkins was singing in an abominable way.

Who is Florence Foster Jenkins

I did some research on this singer. She would probably have inspired Hergé for his character of Bianca Castafiore. On Wikipedia, you can even hear an excerpt of her singing through a sound clip!

According to the same site, Florence Foster Jenkins “is an American socialite and amateur soprano who became known, and mocked, for her flamboyant performance costumes and notably poor singing ability.”

The picture with Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant reveals that Florence contracted syphilis, at the age of eighteen, from her husband during their honeymoon. She lived to be seventy-six. In the movie, a doctor who had examined her remarked that he had never seen this, someone who had survived this disease for more than fifty years.

A rich and generous woman

Florence was a rich heiress who had no children. After her divorce, she had a platonic relationship with her agent, St-Clair Bayfield, who protected her from bad reviews throughout her career.

She would have liked to be a pianist, but her illness prevented her from doing so. She had a scar on her left hand with damaged nerves.

At the end of her life, she sang in front of a packed public room at Carnegie Hall. This happened in 1944 and she had offered a thousand free tickets to soldiers of the Second World War. She entertained them, but maybe not in the way she wanted. They believed in comedy.

Carnegie Hall 2021 photo credit Kit4
Carnegie Hall 2021 photo credit Kit4

This movie raises questions

In any case, she did not suffer from imposter syndrome!

How do we define success?

By being rich, can you afford anything, including a performance at Carnegie Hall?

Can we live our artistic fantasies if we are our own patrons?

Is deluding yourself good for your health?

Or is it more the practice of art that helps to survive a serious illness?

Final thought

Her career is a striking example of the superficial values that prevailed in some groups of rich New York society at the time. To some extent, with her knowledge of musical art, Foster Jenkins had to understand that she was not the best soprano in the world. Her love of singing makes her perseverate and certainly the pleasure she took from this activity.

She demonstrated courage and generosity as she walked up to Carnegie Hall.

Mrs. Foster Jenkins despite her lack of talent was unique. She sang for about thirty years. Two films were made about her story. Her deep humanity moves us. And that’s why we’re still talking about her today.

I can tell you that listening to this movie touched me and I admire this bad soprano for her courage and unbeatable perseverance.

On her deathbed, she said: “It will be possible to say of me that I did not know how to sing, but it will never be possible to say that I did not sing.”

Is it Florence Foster Jenkins or Meryl Streep’s performance that managed to untie my fingers?

But my page is no longer blank.

Phrenssynnes

P.S. If you want to read more about Phrenssynnes and culture, click here.

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How to write a love letter in 5 easy steps

How to write a love letter in 5 easy steps

The love letter

How to express your feelings towards your lover, whether on Valentine’s Day or any other time of year? May I suggest the love letter? What could be more romantic than giving a passionate handwritten missive? It will be more ardent than a text message.

Since I am a woman, I write this article for the female gender, but the advice can apply to men.

Are you petrified in front of the blank page? Is your pencil paralyzed in front of that card with hearts on it? Follow these five easy steps, and you will charm your lover. Maybe you will even bring tears to his eyes.

1-Make a draft

Take a sheet of paper to make a draft and perform a brainstorming session. Never write directly on your card or the sheet of paper on which you will transcribe your ultimate message.

2-Brainstorming

Write everything you like about him. Remember why or how you fell in love?

List all his qualities. Apart from leaving his smelly socks lying around, he must have good attributes.

Find quotations or love poems. Even if it has quotes marks and you cite the author, it will stir up emotions. He will appreciate that these words evoke your love story.

Link for some famous love letter.

Link to some love poem.

Remind him of a humorous moment from your romantic history.

Tell him what you appreciate about his body.

lettre-damour

3-Make Rhymes

Continue in draft mode and choose some words from your brainstorming inventory. Prepare a list of nouns that end with the same sound, regardless of their meaning. Let go, even if some words are unrelated. It can give you new ideas.

4-Compose

Continue in draft mode and put ideas together. Classify them. Do not hesitate and select intense words. Let all your love spill out onto the sheet of paper.

5-Transcription

Select a card or simply a beautiful sheet of paper and transcribe it with your best handwriting. Always end with I love you or love. You sign with your naughty nickname. Create one if he did not give you one.

The complete package

You can scent your envelope or put a red or pink lip print on it. You can send it in the mail. That is always pleasant to receive something other than bills.

Do you prefer the option of hand-delivering it after you have made yourself beautiful? You will get to see the emotion on his face when he reads your words!

Let’s go, you can do it!

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How to Hate Spring, the Season That Everyone Loves

How to Hate Spring, the Season That Everyone Loves

My Two Springtimes   Here in Quebec, we have two springs. The first is ugly and sad. Here are some pictures of the early spring in our area.As you can see, the beautiful snow of Christmas, white, flaky and romantic as one could wish, becomes a horror at the end...

Three Original and Unexpected Ways to Help The Planet

Three Original and Unexpected Ways to Help The Planet

Inflation and climate change You don’t have to be an economist to see inflation all around you. All costs have gone up, groceries, gasoline, clothing and other good. In addition, we can see the effects of climate change in our daily lives. For the past few years,...

How to Host Holiday Parties Like a Pro While Having Fun

How to Host Holiday Parties Like a Pro While Having Fun

Planning for the holiday  The secret to stress-free entertaining is planning. The best way to do this is to make a comprehensive list of things to do and schedule them on your calendar.  You’ll also want to check the hours of operation of the businesses where you’ve...

Tim Denning, Millennials and Baby-Boomers

Tim Denning, Millennials and Baby-Boomers

Tim Denning and the Millennials I recently read an article by Tim Denning on medium.com, and I suggest you read it. This text is a response to his writings. As an introduction, I would like to say that I am a baby boomer. And I love avocado toast! Raw Fish and...

Florence Foster Jenkins, a Unique Artist Who Touched Me Literally

Florence Foster Jenkins, a Unique Artist Who Touched Me Literally

How a bad singer got me out of my writing block These days, I have difficulty finding inspiration, so I decided to listen to a movie. Some people will say it’s procrastination, but consuming culture makes me feel like writing. A muse tickles my fingers when I visit a...

How to write a love letter in 5 easy steps

How to write a love letter in 5 easy steps

The love letter How to express your feelings towards your lover, whether on Valentine's Day or any other time of year? May I suggest the love letter? What could be more romantic than giving a passionate handwritten missive? It will be more ardent than a text message....