A giveaway, blog talk, jet planes and 'pot city'

From Vietnam...with love.. a Giveaway

Rather than saving the best for last, I am going to start with it...for those of you in a rush, I don't want you to miss this wonderful Vietnamese cookbook which I am delighted to give away. Secrets of the Red Lantern was written by Pauline Nguyen with her brother Luke's helping hand and Mark Jensen. This is more than just a cookbook, it is a journey, one that is rich in history, one that takes you from war torn Vietnam to Australia and back to present day Vietnam. I keep this book and two others written by Luke close at hand. They wander with me from kitchen, to living room to porch to bedroom and back to the kitchen again. It is that kind of story...it sweeps you up and offers wonderful recipes, all beautifully photographed.  If you win this cookbook, or are so tempted you want to run out and buy it...I promise you that your house will smell as wonderful as ours...and the taste (if you like Vietnamese food) will be sumptuous and memorable.

What do you have to do to enter? Just leave a comment... or write to me, jeannecollageoflife@gmail.com and I will gladly enter your name into the pot. I will draw the winner
on Monday, September 24 at 6:00pm.

Speaking of comments.... 'capcha free'

I would like to take a brief moment for a bit of blog talk...the technical kind. I don't know about you...but I groan, sigh and dramatically fall off my chair every time I see this...'CAPTCHA' codes. Actually, it is more like a shriek, when I am reading and commenting via my iPhone...something I regularly do. You can imagine my surprise when a kind reader, Shirley, wrote to ask if I could turn them off on my blog. I had no idea I was also putting other poor readers through the same agony. I am now 'captcha' free ( I hope) and am still able to screen my comments before they are published. I may pick up an occasional spam comment now and again but it is worth it if it makes it easier for people to leave a few words at the end of a post. Especially for those of you who do not have a blog and find the whole process daunting. If you still find it difficult to comment, please let me know! I am a great believer in keeping it simple...
Want to turn off you 'captcha' codes? It is simple...Teri will tell you how... here

Leaving on a jet plane...again...

I am heading back to the USA on Thursday to see my daughter, Miss Claire, who recently started her first year of college. Parent's Weekend is calling and I am answering...by way of Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and Connecticut. I had this brilliant idea, months ago, to start house hunting for property in Maine and New Hampshire and tie it into this trip to see Miss Claire. You may wonder...didn't I just move to Vietnam? Yes...but...well...life has a way of taking many interesting twists and turns, as we all know too well. One day, that fork in the road will come again... if only for part of the year, I want to be ready when it does. It may be a dream...but they do have a way of becoming reality, especially when you have a determined woman at the helm. I have 980 miles to drive in 10 days...solo...in peak autumn weather. Timing is everything. :)

Before I leave you.....

I have to share a little excursion I took recently in search of garden pots. If only it was as simple as the ones above...I may not still be nursing the headache that started last week if it were. I was told the place to buy pots was outside of Ho Chi Minh City, that it was better to go to the source than buy from the local shops. It all sounded good in theory until I arrived...

 I can handle the odd few...

but put them all together...

and my head starts to throb.

I looked one way and then the other in the opposite direction, 

and thought..surely some little imps were playing tricks on me.

I want to meet the person who can walk into this sort of atmosphere
and say 'that one, that one, that one and that one. Done!'
It sure wasn't me on this occasion.

I do have my favourites and some that I will happily leave for another.

You might wonder if I purchased any pots that day? The answer is no.
I obviously took a lot of photos...and since then I have been
observing each one and working on a plan. What I don't need is 'pot city' 
happening in my garden, what I do need is a selective few 
and maybe just a few more than that.

With that, I leave you with the biggest thank you ever 
for the lovely comments and birthday wishes
you left on my last post. I wish I could meet you all in person, 
you have to be some of the most genuine, warm and lovely people on this earth.

You know, if and when you are ready for an adventure, 
of the Asian kind, you know where to find me.
Chasing bicycles in Vietnam, per usual....

My favourite picture of the day, streetside... in Ho Chi Minh City. 

Don't forget to leave a comment for the giveaway..
as many as you like. :)

Jeanne xxx

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