VB Star of the Week: La Grenouille! - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 09-02-2013, 07:16 AM
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Behold La Grenouille, our new Star of the Week! La G hails from Canada, and has graced our pages since March of this year. Her interview will go through Sept. 9th.

 

 

Our trepidatious rules- :eek:

 

-Please ask only a few questions at a time, so everyone has a chance to participate. (You can come back often to ask more questions!)

 

-Anyone can be a VB Star. If you would like to be a VB Star, just send me a PM, and we'll arrange to get you into the hot-seat! In the event no one comes forward, it will be up to our current Star to choose next week's victim, er, interviewee. If you're asked to be a Star, but don't want to be one, you may take a pass; likewise, the current Star is free to pass on any questions they are not comfortable with answering.

 

-Please keep our posting rules in mind, and let's keep this PG-13 or better. And remember, if our current famous person expresses an opinion with which you disagree, please do not give an argument in return. This is an interview, not a debate!

 

NOTE- If you'd like to read about our previous Stars (they go back several years,) all of their interviews are archived in the Meet Outstanding Users forum!

 

 

Some things you will definitely want to know about La Grenouille!

 

Quote:
 -Real first name? Isabelle
 
-Age? 42
 
-Sex/Gender Identity? Sex? I’m a human female, living with a human male.
 
-Relationship status? Married

 -Location (as specific as you are comfortable being)? Québec (still part of Canada)
 
-Religious beliefs (or lack thereof)? That one: lack thereof
 
-Political leanings? Left (it’s ingrained North of the border)
 
-Are you a vegetarian, vegan or raw foodist (or something else)? Vegan
 
-What is the meaning behind your username?
The obvious one is that I’m French speaking, and the French have been called frog for ages. But as I registered on VB as a vegan, I couldn’t help thinking about the only animal I ever killed for food with my own hands. I was 6, and my friend’s father had us catch and kill frogs so we could have a “feast”. I remember my friend not really having the knack for it. She’d slammed the frogs over and over before they died. I cried at some point, I think, but we still ate them all. My username makes me think about that whenever I log in. Something I had buried so deep I had to wait over 30 years to face it for what it was: slaughter, cruelty. So I suppose it’s sort of a tribute to all the frogs I ate in my life. Call me crazy.
 
-Have you ever met anyone famous? Actually, quite a few. Many local personalities, but among some youmight  have heard of: Jean Chrétien, when he was Prime Minister of Canada. Bryan Perro, author of Amos Daragon. Céline Dion (and that’s when I started hating her - I was 11, I still hold a grudge). Luc Plamondon, author of Starmania and Notre-Dame-de-Paris. But maybe this is getting too obscure...
 
-Do you live with any companion animals? Yes. I live with two Maine Coon cats, Azraëlle (female) and Barbouille (male). They are great cats, but I will not buy from a breeder again. I’m looking into vegan cat food, but I still have too many questions unanswered to take the plunge. Talk about complicated ethics. I also have a human husband, and two human kids, a girl and a boy. My husband is still an avid omnivore outside of the home, but we all eat vegan in the house. My kids would be vegan all the time, if it wasn’t for their grandparents.

-Where is your favorite place that you have visited? I lived in Uruguay for almost a year, and I sometimes wish I never left. I felt so at home there: the rythm of life suited and soothed me, I loved the weather, and, mostly, the people.
 
-What do you enjoy most about being veg*n? The discovery! The experimentation! I’ve always been known as a great cook, but I was in a low point in my cooking life when I became vegan. I felt like “been there, done that” too often. And I was annoyed in restaurants, because it was never as good as at home (that hasn’t changed!)... You know, when things get too comfortable, sometimes they just get boring. Turning vegan changed all that. It opened so many possibilities I would have never thought of exploring: recreating a taste with vegetal products, making my own cheese, all those new products i didn‘t know even existed... Cooking has become a chemistry experiment, and it’s real fun again. I feel I’ve been reborn in my kitchen. Even my screw-ups are fun! 
 
-With whom would you most love to have dinner? Josée Blanchette. She’s the newspaper columnist who opened my eyes to the treament of animals, and she’s something all right. I would actually like to be with her, but also to cook for her, as she seems to believe being vegan means eating mostly soft foods. My experience is the opposite: never before have so many things “cracking” and “snapping” undermy teeth. I’d like to show her she can still have texture in her culinary life.
 
-Do you have any secret talents? Secret talents? Secret? Nothing secret, I’m too much of a show off! 
Well, if you really want to know, I published a novel when I was 19. Unfortunately, I didn’t pursue that career... Sigh. Well, at least I have plans for my retirement!
 
-What dish/recipe can you make that knocks people's socks off? My creamy chèvre has had people drooling! 

-What's your favorite restaurant? Right now, none. For a while it was an obscure restaurant in my home town, because they would cook my meals with my very own cheese or sauce, but it’s closed now. Since turning vegan, I haven’t been anywhere else (except Subway and Boston Pizza). I’m planning on trying a few vegan places in Montréal, among them Crudessence.
 
-What do you do to cheer yourself up when you're feeling blue? f there are adult humans in the house to take care of the kids, I put on my shoes and go out running. 
 
-What's your biggest cooking/baking disaster? A vegan “ham”. I threw the whole thing away. It didn’t smell right, it was all mushy, and it tasted like crap. Oh, and it looked so weird... Like... vomit, really. The kids werescreaming  “Yew! Gross!” at the top of their lungs whenever they opened the compost bin to throw something in it!
 
-What's the one food/product, that you'd love to "veg*nize"? Ham! I’m still working on it!
I’ve been an omni for over 40 years, and I didn’t go herbivore because I didn’t enjoy animal products. Well,  I couldn’t enjoy them anymore, but on another level. Anyway, it tasted good, and it smelled good, back then. And I find that it helps my whole family living vegan to have familiar foods around. It helps me, too. I mean, how could I ever miss “real” bacon? My tofu bacon is just so good, it’s become the “real” stuff.
You guessed it I’m not party of the school of changing my whole approach when it comes to tastebuds and textures. My idea is to make it as easy as possible to stick to veganism. And so far, “faux” is working out pretty good.
Hence, I’m still trying to veganize ham.

 

Now's our chance to sound the secrets of our latest celebrity!


"There is more wisdom in the song of a bird, than in the speech of a philosopher...." -Oahspe
"The thing is, you cannot judge a race. Any man who judges by the group is a pea-wit. You take men one at a time." -Buster Kilrain, The Killer Angels -Michael Shaara
"Anyone who doesn't believe in miracles isn't a realist." -Billy Wilder
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#2 Old 09-02-2013, 07:31 AM
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Hi La G, smiley.gif
I would like that tofu fakin bacon recipe of yours, for starters smiley.gif
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#3 Old 09-02-2013, 08:04 AM
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If I visited Quebec but didn't understand French, where would I have trouble getting around or being understood?  

 

What kind of novel did you write? Was it published in French, English, or both?

 

Where have you visited in the United States? What did you most and least enjoy about interacting with Americans in our own environment?

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#4 Old 09-02-2013, 08:53 AM
 
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Originally Posted by LedBoots View Post

Hi La G, smiley.gif
I would like that tofu fakin bacon recipe of yours, for starters smiley.gif
I’m really so sorry... There is a ban on me publishing recipes until my book is released! Myoko Schinner (http://www.artisanveganlife.com/) has a pretty good one, though!

Isabelle, aka La Grenouille
My blog (in French): L’herbivore — http://lherbivore.ca
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#5 Old 09-02-2013, 09:29 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Joan Kennedy View Post

If I visited Quebec but didn't understand French, where would I have trouble getting around or being understood?  
The majority of Québec’s population speaks English as a second language, and everybody had English lessons in school. It’s only in the rural areas, or small towns, that you might have some problems. However, just say “Bonjour! Je ne parle pas français...” and they will do all they can to assist you out. We’re quite a welcoming bunch. When we see someone trying, we’re always happy to use our sometimes poor English to help.

Quote:
What kind of novel did you write? Was it published in French, English, or both?
It’s a sci-fi novel for kids 12 and up. That was in 1992, such a long time ago... The story is about my brother’s friend getting caught in Marioland (only it was called Marloland). The Nintendo box gets stolen, and my brother and his friends go to the rescue. The CIA, the FBI and our very own Royal Canadian Mounted Police get involved. Somewhere in there we meet his annoying four-eyed big sister...
Today, being caught in a videogame is a daily occurence, but at the time,it was quite new.
The novel was written in French and has never been translated.

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Originally Posted by Joan Kennedy View Post

Where have you visited in the United States? What did you most and least enjoy about interacting with Americans in our own environment?
I’ve mostly been on the West Coast, in New England, Virginia and Florida, basically. Been to New York City about four times, too. And I rode my motorcycle to the Center States a bit.

What I like about the United States is meeting people on a one-on-one basis, especially outside of the big cities. Even when the political convictions are really set and totally against mine, I found it was always possible to discuss in a polite, even humorous, manner. Contrary to what we might feel looking from the outside, the US is much more complex on the inside, and there is no clear-cut US personae. The complexity one finds when traveling in the US is fascinating.
Oh, and they love my accent! ... I’ve been more welcome in the places I visited in the US than many places I’ve been to Canada!

What I dislike the most, but admire still, is that idea that most United Staters have that what they have/are is the best in the world. Even in private conversations you can feel it transpiring, even from those critical of their country. “US is the best.” And if it’s not the best yet, it’s bound to be.
It’s annoying for those of us who live elsewhere. At the same time, it is something I wish my people had a bit more of: pride.

Isabelle, aka La Grenouille
My blog (in French): L’herbivore — http://lherbivore.ca
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#6 Old 09-02-2013, 11:09 AM
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What did Céline Dion do, to get herself on your bête noire list?

 

Do you have blue eyes, like your avatar?

 

What's the title of your novel (including translation?)

 

Do you speak Spanish?


"There is more wisdom in the song of a bird, than in the speech of a philosopher...." -Oahspe
"The thing is, you cannot judge a race. Any man who judges by the group is a pea-wit. You take men one at a time." -Buster Kilrain, The Killer Angels -Michael Shaara
"Anyone who doesn't believe in miracles isn't a realist." -Billy Wilder
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#7 Old 09-02-2013, 12:35 PM
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Hi La Grenouille

 

What's the best thing about being Canadian/living in Canada?

 

Does being part of the British Commonwealth serve any useful function?

 

If you won 10 million Canadian dollars, what would you do with it?

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#8 Old 09-02-2013, 02:03 PM
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I just noticed these threads - what a great thing to do!

 

--

 

If a film was made of your life, who would you have play you?

 

If you could hold a world record, what would it be for?

 

What's your favourite food?

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#9 Old 09-02-2013, 02:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Capstan View Post

What did Céline Dion do, to get herself on your bête noire list?
I was 11. Céline was 13. She was just starting out, and touring shopping malls. It was the Christmas season, and I went to the mall with my best friend, who was 13, just like Céline. She was on that small stage, and we got room right in front of her. She was singing stuff like “Little Red Nose Raindeer”, “Glory Alleluia”, “Jingle Bells”, you know (in French, mind you). So we sang along, just like everyone else.

We had a good time, and decided to go buy her records. She was signing autographs at the disc store, so we hurried there after her show. She signed my friend’s record covers (she bought two: the X’mas one and the first Céline non-X’mas one). I had money only for one, so I chose the X‘mas record, it being the Holiday Season and all.

So there we are, at Belleville Musique. Céline is ripping the plastic protecting the record’s envelope, signing the records (those were 33’s, huge envelopes) and passing them to the cashier. She had just signed mine (“À Isabelle, Joyeux Noël, Céline”), and was handing it back to me, when she suddenly says: “Oh! It’s you! Thank you so much for singing along with me! I love it so much when little girls sing along with me!”

What? LITTLE GIRLS? My best friend was her age! I looked her in the eye, and said, as coldly as I could muster: “I’m NOT a little girl.” And I left, never buying the damn record. Which I regret today, because I’m sure I’d have kept it, and it would probably sell at a good price on ebay!

But I still hold a grudge. My pride was hurt. Naaah, really, I don’t. But for years, I did.

And one funny Céline thing is, my husband had his high school locker just besides hers in that same year... But I didn’t know my husband back then.


Quote:
Do you have blue eyes, like your avatar?
Yes, I do!


Quote:
What's the title of your novel (including translation?)
Le mystère du Marloland (Marloland’s Mystery, I suppose)


Quote:
Do you speak Spanish?
Yes, I do. I had to learned it when I got in Uruguay. I don’t practice it much, but it comes back easily enough.
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Isabelle, aka La Grenouille
My blog (in French): L’herbivore — http://lherbivore.ca
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#10 Old 09-02-2013, 02:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by leedsveg View Post


What's the best thing about being Canadian/living in Canada?
It used to be that we were recognized in the rest of the world as peacemakers, progressive, and open. Now, with the Conservatives in power for so long, that has gone down the drain. Our government is now pro-Israel (with no room for objectivity), it has created a ministry to spread religion around the world, is against abortion, pro-death penalty and tough prison sentences, right-orientes... and backwards, too. It is trampling on human rights (and cares not about animal rights), and I could go on and on. All in all, it’s a bleak future.

So now, the best thing about living in Canada is that we have four marvelous seasons: hot and humid summer, beautiful automn with the trees in full colours, winter with snow and really cold weather, and spring where everything (and everyone) can feel reborn.

Does being part of the British Commonwealth serve any useful function?
Absolutely none whatsoever.

If you won 10 million Canadian dollars, what would you do with it?
I would move back to my home town and open a refuge for animals. That’s in the plans already, but with that kind of money, I wouldn’t have to wait. I could do it NOW, and hire the best veterinarians, and the best people to help — and pay them, too!
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My blog (in French): L’herbivore — http://lherbivore.ca
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#11 Old 09-02-2013, 03:05 PM
 
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If a film was made of your life, who would you have play you?
Glen Close, I think. We have the same nose! Of course, I’m not that old...


If you could hold a world record, what would it be for?

The greatest number of words translated in a single day! (I’m a translator in my day job)
Not very imaginative, I know...

What's your favourite food?

Lasagna! And now that I’ve got the hang of making cheese, it can be made perfect again!
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My blog (in French): L’herbivore — http://lherbivore.ca
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#12 Old 09-02-2013, 10:40 PM
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1. If you could become the head of state (monarch/premier/president) of any nation in the world, which would it be and why? What kind of policies would you change/implement?

 

2. What are your kids' favorite vegan foods? What does your husband enjoy the most that is vegan?

 

3. If you could begin a commercial food enterprise, which food would you market and why? Would you have any international aspirations for distribution?

 

 

Aristede:book:


"Now listen, I know you've got to think about your image, 'cause image is important to you, because of course your friends are gonna dictate your actions through the rest of your lives, and I wouldn't want you to step away from them and become an individual, that would almost be too much!"...

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#13 Old 09-03-2013, 05:46 AM
 
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1. If you could become the head of state (monarch/premier/president) of any nation in the world, which would it be and why? What kind of policies would you change/implement?
Wow. That’s a big one.
My first thought was the United States, where I would put a ban on industrial agriculture (I can do all I want, right?).
Then I thought about Russia. I’d start with bringing a real democracy there...
Then I thought about France. The first thing I’d do is reverse those stupid school policies where kids are obligated to eat meat at lunch time in “cantines”.
And then I thought it would be best if I ruled the whole world. I would stop the raising of animals for food, I would implement a full public health insurance, a real environment protection policy, education about food and health in schools... peace on Earth, blah, blah, blah...
Then I’d have to build an army to trample all those demonstrators who would riot against my policies...
Sigh.

2. What are your kids' favorite vegan foods? What does your husband enjoy the most that is vegan?
The kids are big fans of my chinese pineapple tofu. My husband‘s favorite is my peanut butter seitan. Funny, they’re both “asian” type dish.

3. If you could begin a commercial food enterprise, which food would you market and why? Would you have any international aspirations for distribution?
Cheese, most definitely. That, I believe, is the thing that is hardest to let go for omnis. If I could sell cheese that tastes good and melts – don’t talk to me about Daiya – with variety, strong and smelly as well as smooth and mild, I think more people would embrace veganism. And yes, given the money, I would çertainly love to go international, starting south of the border. Of course, the ultimate goal would be France, the queen of cheese...
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My blog (in French): L’herbivore — http://lherbivore.ca
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#14 Old 09-04-2013, 03:58 PM
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What is your favourite type of music? smiley.gif

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#15 Old 09-05-2013, 03:12 AM
 
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What is your favourite type of music? smiley.gif
I am quite ecclectic in my choices. I love classical music, symphonies, mostly, even a bit of opera. Even my children ask for it sometimes.

But when I run, it’s pop, remixed popular songs, most of them in English, some in French (Loco Locass, Radio Radio, Stromae), and folk for recup (Lisa Leblanc, mostly). Oh, and I always swim to the Bee Gees... I know, I know. Tacky, aren’t I?

And I have my old time facorites, like Leonard Cohen, Édith Piaf, Jacques Brel, Georges Brassens, Léo Ferré and... Elvis! (yes, Vegas years included!)
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My blog (in French): L’herbivore — http://lherbivore.ca
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#16 Old 09-06-2013, 07:43 AM
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How is it you came to be living in South America?

 

Other than Canada, the US and Uruguay, what nations have you visited?

 

What nations would you like to visit?

 

Getting back to a film based on your life, would this movie be classified as a romance, action/adventure, war film, science-fiction, or comedy?

 

Whom do you most admire from history, living or dead?


"There is more wisdom in the song of a bird, than in the speech of a philosopher...." -Oahspe
"The thing is, you cannot judge a race. Any man who judges by the group is a pea-wit. You take men one at a time." -Buster Kilrain, The Killer Angels -Michael Shaara
"Anyone who doesn't believe in miracles isn't a realist." -Billy Wilder
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#17 Old 09-06-2013, 11:12 AM
 
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How is it you came to be living in South America?
It a past life, when I was working in the telecomindustry, I had the privilege of fulfilling a contract in Montevideo. It was one of the greatest moments of my life. The work was awful, stupid boss, long hours, but just being there made it worthwhile.

Other than Canada, the US and Uruguay, what nations have you visited?
In the summer before attending university, I did like many others before and after me, took a backpack and went on a tour of Western Europe. Western as in, in those days the East was closed. You didn’t go there, it was right before the fall of the Berlin Wall, but it was still scary just to think of crossing into East Germany. So I lived in youth hostels for two months, doing big cities in England, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Switzerland... All alone, like the tough girl I wanted to be. It was a great adventure. So glad I brought that 500g jar of peanut butter with me, though... I was on a very tight budget, and bread PJ was the only thing on my plate many times!

While I was living in Uruguay, I forayed a bit in Argentina and Paraguay. My plan was to come back home by bus, but I was homesick by then, so I took the fast way home.

Later I visited the North of Spain, with a push down to Madrid, returned to Paris a few times...


What nations would you like to visit?
Great Britain is the first one on my list. I’ve only been to London, and I’ve always been a big nerd for British history. I want to see Wales, Scotland, Ireland, and all those “shire” I can’t pronounce the name of...

Getting back to a film based on your life, would this movie be classified as a romance, action/adventure, war film, science-fiction, or comedy?
A tragi-comedy, very neurotic, full of unbelievable coincidences (you know, those things that happen in real life but that look too far-fetched in fiction?). There’d be me with my screwed-up relation with my family, my addict of a brother, my snobby aunts, my down to earth husband, my anxiety prone daughter and her bear of a brother, a bunch of psychotherapists, great and insiring moments, plainly funny blunders and mistakes to cry for...

Whom do you most admire from history, living or dead?
Winston Churchill. The man was far from being perfect, and his stance on India was plainly wrong, but I admire how he stood up to the Germans in World War II. We often hear or read that the United States won the war, but I believe if Churchill hadn’t been there, I’m not sure the States would have ever gotten involved. Germany would have taken England, and the whole history would have been different.

I know Churchill is still a controversional character, but still. I think he was a great man.

Among the living, in history without capital H, I have great admiration for Nicole Joncas, who since 1992 holds the fort at the Teja Sanctuary, in Alexandria, Ontario. I’ve just learned about her, I’ve been watching videos and reading about her work, and I think she is amazing. I plan on going to help her as a volunteer soon enough. http://youtu.be/GCBbysV0QKo.

Isabelle, aka La Grenouille
My blog (in French): L’herbivore — http://lherbivore.ca
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#18 Old 09-07-2013, 07:44 PM
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Why are the French called frogs?


"There is more wisdom in the song of a bird, than in the speech of a philosopher...." -Oahspe
"The thing is, you cannot judge a race. Any man who judges by the group is a pea-wit. You take men one at a time." -Buster Kilrain, The Killer Angels -Michael Shaara
"Anyone who doesn't believe in miracles isn't a realist." -Billy Wilder
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#19 Old 09-08-2013, 08:35 AM
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Tropical beach or lush forest for a vacation?

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#20 Old 09-09-2013, 03:48 AM
 
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Why are the French called frogs?
Probably because frogs are a delicacy in French cuisine? I don’t see any other reason. Or maybe we just croak too loud?

Isabelle, aka La Grenouille
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#21 Old 09-09-2013, 03:53 AM
 
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Tropical beach or lush forest for a vacation?
Actually, I’m a fan of both. We camp a lot during the summer, with or without the kids. We love camp sites where you don’t see/hear the neighbour, in the middle of the forest. We’re lucky here, as there are lots of natinal parks that give us just that. This year were our very first vegan camping trips. I was just soooo proud, I managed to make it as tasty as last year’s (my husband was a it worried at first).

And in the winter... Well, let’s say I’m not against taking a week off everything with my two feet in the sand. I just don’t know how it would be like now, me being vegan...

I work from home, so when I’m on vacation I always book a few days in a completely different landscape. Just to completely cut off – from work, from home...

Isabelle, aka La Grenouille
My blog (in French): L’herbivore — http://lherbivore.ca
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#22 Old 09-09-2013, 09:39 AM
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Thank you, La Grenouille, for sharing your experience and knowledge with us! Our celebrity has selected River to be the next VB Star!


"There is more wisdom in the song of a bird, than in the speech of a philosopher...." -Oahspe
"The thing is, you cannot judge a race. Any man who judges by the group is a pea-wit. You take men one at a time." -Buster Kilrain, The Killer Angels -Michael Shaara
"Anyone who doesn't believe in miracles isn't a realist." -Billy Wilder
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