November 29th, 2013 · By Lynn
I’ve mentioned before that Thanksgiving was always the one day I would get nostalgic for home. Over 40 years later, it’s still a day that makes me wish I was spending it with my family. This year I did the next best thing. I decided to celebrate Thanksgiving with my little Parisian family. Friends I’ve known for over 30 years have become family and so it was fitting to finally celebrate Thanksgiving rather than ignore it as I’ve done in the past.
Not everyone could take a work day off so we were a small group. But if we postponed it until Saturday, it would have been, as one friend said, “….just another dinner.” We had a wonderful Thanksgiving of family, friends, food, wine, and music…then Patrick and I Skyped with my mother and part of the family later in the evening. It was great to see everyone and the Christmas tree already up and decorated at mom’s house.
Maya Muses: Another thing to be thankful for - the advancement in technology that 40+ years ago, an ex-pat would never have dreamed possible! I hope everyone had a Thanksgiving full of love, health and happiness as well!
Tags: family | First French Thanksgiving! | Food and Wine | Happy Thanksgiving | it's all maya | Maya Muses | Paris - Paname | Skype | Special Moments | Thanksgiving
October 25th, 2013 · By Lynn
Jack O’ Lanterns
It seems I just took down the Christmas tree and I’m already thinking how I’m going to decorate our tree this year! After all, when Halloween arrives, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s are all just around the corner.
Our Christmas Tree last year.
Last year we decided to have a Christmas party with friends and I put the tree up early and made batches of Christmas cookies to give everyone to take home. This year we decided to do a Thanksgiving dinner instead. It’s always been the only holiday when I would get homesick thinking about my family having Thanksgiving dinner together with turkey and all the trimmings while here I was in Paris and it was just another day.
Turkey, Stuffing & Pumpkin Pie
So Thursday, the 28th of November, Patrick and I will be busy stuffing the turkey, making pumpkin pies and the usual running around like crazy to get things done in time and telling ourselves, why did we do this when we could have gone out for a quiet dinner instead!*
Mom, Samantha, Katarina & Holly banging pots and pans!
As kids it’s always about ourselves. Halloween was about our costumes and how much candy we’d get. Thanksgiving was about the turkey and how much stuffing we could eat. I, of course, don’t have to tell you that Christmas was all about presents and what Santa would bring. New Year’s Eve was for the grown ups, but in our family my mom and dad would wake us up and we would bang pots and pans in the kitchen, drink some juice and toast the New Year and then go back to bed! (Don’t ask me why, that was our tradition!)
Dinner with friends.
*Now it’s about family and friends and spending time together. Each moment is special as we get older and especially when we’re so far away from family, we indeed cherish each moment together. As for friends, good friends, they’re like family and so we don’t mind running around like crazy! It’s all a part of that moment when we finally sit down to eat and drink and share a meal together and are thankful for our family and friends.
Katarina’s first Halloween! (Five weeks young!)
Maya Muses: Okay, this post was suppose to be about Halloween and turned into a Thanksgiving post instead. That’s all right, maybe I’ll write a Halloween post on Christmas. (That’s what I love about having my own blog, I can write whatever I want.) Happy Halloween everyone!
Photo Credits: Personal Photos, Turkey & Pumpkin Pie and Jack O’ Lanterns
Tags: bang pots and pans | Christmas | Christmas cookies | costumes | family | friends | Halloween | Happy Halloween | it's all maya | It's Almost Halloween! | Maya Muses | New Year's Eve | Paris - Paname | pumpkin pies | Special Moments | stuffing | Thanksgiving | toast | turkey | Where Did The Time Go? It's Almost Halloween!
October 16th, 2013 · By Lynn
Maya Muses: Studies have shown that laughter is contagious and I think this video proves it. In any case, as the saying goes, laughter is the best medicine, so here’s a dose of laughter for you. Enjoy!
Tags: HaHaHa! | it's all maya | laughter | laughter is contagious | laughter is the best medicine | Maya Muses | Too Funny For Words!!! | You Tube
September 30th, 2013 · By Lynn
Maya Muses: I’ve been a bit under the weather with a sore throat and then a bad cold after that! I really haven’t been doing much except sleep and read and then sleep some more. Just recently, I’ve felt better and have gone on Facebook to see what family and friends have been up to and I found this great poem.
It’s called Dust If You Must and was written by a lady from England, Rose Milligan. The words are so apropos since I haven’t had the energy to do much lately, let alone dust my apartment. As Rose said, there’s so much more to life than dusting!
Photo Credit: Google Images
Tags: dust | Dust If You Must | Dust To Dust | Is Anyone Listening? | it's all maya | Maya Muses | Miscellaneous | poem | Rose Milligan
August 28th, 2013 · By Lynn
Have French men changed with technology? You better believe it and I don’t mean for the better. Years ago French guys never missed an opportunity to flirt with a pretty young woman on the street or in the Métro. Today I’ve noticed a change in their behavior. Their eyes are on their smart phone and their ears are plugged to music.
Patrick and I were on the métro the other day and sitting catty corner from us was a handsome young French guy with his eyes down on his smart phone. Not once did he look up from what he was doing. From our distance, I couldn’t see if he was playing a game, looking for love on a website (!) or reading an interesting article. It didn’t matter, he was completely engrossed in what he was doing.
Right across from him was a beautiful young woman around his age (mid-twenties both of them). She also had her head down. From my vantage point I could see she was playing Candy Crush on her phone. After so many stops the young guy looked up saw it was his station and got up to leave. He noticed the girl for a moment as he headed out the door of the train. The girl was oblivious to the whole scene, she was too busy trying to get to the next level of her game.
Years ago, before smart phones, the scenario I’ve described would have been completely different.
He would have noticed her and she would have noticed him. He would have stared at her and she would’ve pretended not to notice. His eyes would have stayed on her until she glanced at him and he would have given her that smile that French men love to give…like they know something about you that you don’t even know…yet! If she was interested a slight smile would have crossed her lips as she looked away.
And that’s all he needed!
If the seat next to her was empty he would have come over and started talking to her, asking her to have a drink with him at a café. If it wasn’t, he would have waited until she got off the train and he would have gotten off with her and then asked.
Ah, yes! Those were the days and it happened all the time! I’m so glad I was young in Paris before technology interfered with flirting and dating.
Maya Muses: Technology is great, but by the number of people I see on their smart phones, I’m afraid that charming flirtatious Frenchman (alas) may be a dying breed!
Photo Credits: Google Images
Tags: café | charming flirtatious Frenchman | dating | flirting | French guys | French Men | French men and flirting | Frenchman | it's all maya | looking for love | Maya Muses | Métro | Paris | Paris - Paname | technology | young French guys | young French men | Young French Men And Technology - Not A Good Mix!
August 10th, 2013 · By Lynn
One of several cakes mom’s had for her birthday!
It doesn’t seem like it was already a year ago we were celebrating my mother’s 90th birthday with family and friends who had flown in from all over to celebrate. Even the mariachi band we hired had to come in from Chicago. (There isn’t a mariachi band in Pittsburgh, what’s with that?) Her 5 children, many of her grand-children, and great-grand-children were there as well.
Mom, after her flower arrangement class she took a few weeks ago. The bouquet she made!
This celebration today is going to be a lot quieter, but mom will be doing one of her favorite pastimes - playing the slot machines at the casino. Now all she has to do is hit the big one today and it will definitely be a birthday to remember!
Maya Muses: Good luck, mom! I wish I could be there with you today. Love and miss you, and Happy Birthday!!!
Mom, after her art class a few days ago (her painting is in the frame) and a fruit bouquet that she made! Yes, she’s 91 and she’s still learning!
Photo Credit: Personal Photo
Tags: casino | celebration | Chigago | Happy 91st Birthday | Happy Birthday | Is Anyone Listening? | it's all maya | mariachi band | Maya Muses | Mom | slot machines | Special Moments
July 31st, 2013 · By Lynn
Princess Kate and Prince William with the royal baby.
A lot of things happened in this month of July and yes my birthday was one of them, thank you very much. No, it didn’t cause the stir or excitement that the royal baby did, but I have to say with all the waiting around to see this new little bundle of joy, when the moment came, it was definitely a let down. The only thing visible was a portion of a fuzzy head and a few fingers wrapped in a white blanket!
Why didn’t anyone say, “Ah, William, Kate, could you move the blanket a bit please so we can get a better look at the royal baby?” With my big mouth (if you read my post on Loudness & Laughter, you’ll understand) I would have turned to Patrick and said, “Can’t they move the blanket so we can see more than just a bald head? I mean jeez, people have been camped out here for 3 weeks to see a baby, not a blanket.”
Prince George, he’s an old soul, and Prince William.
That surely would have gotten their attention! I mean really, is it such a no-no to have them do that one little gesture? I’m sure William or Kate would have gladly obliged. Afterall, they seem down to earth, that’s why people like them so much. (Thank you Princess Diana!) It it wasn’t for her I honestly think the British monarchy would be a dying breed. There’s a world of difference between Diana’s two sons and the rest of the Royal Family.
Scarier than our meanest teacher from grade school.
Speaking about the rest, what about Princess Anne! When asked about the royal baby, she replied, “Well, it’s none of my business….” Has that woman ever smiled? (I think she did once when she was getting married or divorced, I can’t remember which.) On the other hand, when Prince Harry was asked about Prince George, he replied, “I’ll show him how to have fun. The rest I’ll leave to the parents.”
Prince Harry and a little boy having fun.
Maya Muses: My advice to you, little Georgie, stick with your uncle Harry and avoid your great aunt at all costs! You won’t regret it.
Photo Credits: Deccan Hearald Marie-Claire Google Images
Tags: "I'll show him how to have fun." | "The rest I'll leave to the parents." | "Well it's none of my business...." | In The News | it's all maya | Kate | Maya Muses | Prince George | Prince Harry | Prince William | Princess Anne | Princess Diana | Princess Kate | royal baby | royal blanket | Royal Family | The Royal Blanket - Opps! I Mean Baby!!! | uncle Harry | William
July 14th, 2013 · By Lynn
Maya Muses: Patrick and I will once again take a picnic dinner/bottle of wine and go watch the fireworks at the Eiffel Tower! There will be dancing in the streets as there was yesterday, but the long walk home looking for a métro station that isn’t saturated with people will once again make us wonder if we should have watched the fireworks display from our apartment.
Nah, as tired as I’m sure we will be, it’ll be worth it! Bonne Fête Nationale à tous!
Photo Credit: Le Populaire
Tags: 14 juillet | Bon 14 Juillet à Tous! | Bonne Fête Nationale à tous! | Eiffel Tower | fireworks | it's all maya | Maya Muses | Métro | Paris | Paris - Paname | Special Moments | Travel
July 4th, 2013 · By Lynn
Maya Muses: To family, friends and everyone else celebrating today, have a safe and Happy 4th of July!!!
Tags: 4th of July | Happy 4th of July | Independence Day | it's all maya | July 4 | Maya Muses
June 17th, 2013 · By Lynn
Anyone who knows me knows they can’t accuse me of speaking softly. Unfortunately! And when I laugh? Well, let’s just say I don’t go unnoticed, but let me start this post with a question. Am I the only one who has trouble seeing their true body image? I don’t think so. I think many of us see ourselves very different than what we really look like. This brings me to a conversation Patrick and I had about how big (or not big) my butt was.
A week or so after that conversation we were walking down the street and a girl passed by who’s butt was about the size I thought mine was. So I asked Patrick, “Is my butt as big as hers?” Well, the girl quickly spun around and looked at the two of us! I couldn’t believe she heard me! She had been several yards ahead of us talking to some guy and not only that, I had lowered my voice when I asked Patrick the question. Patrick’s reaction was to pretend he didn’t know me and I was some crazy lady talking to herself! (Oh yes!) Later he told me after she stopped turning around a few times, that “…no, your butt isn’t as big as hers.” And “No, you didn’t lower your voice, it was still loud!”
I felt sorry for the girl and wanted to say, “No, you don’t have a big butt!” And she didn’t. It was the way I so eloquently phrased the question that could have made her think she did.
Okay, so did I learn my lesson? Well, yesterday was a perfectly beautiful day and people were out in droves. Again Patrick and I were walking around Paris and a couple comes out of their apartment building. They both had on roller blades, but it was the girl’s attire that made me comment. (Oh yes, I’m a slow learner!) She had on jean shorts cut so short that a pair of Daisy Dukes would have looked like something her granny would have worn. Yes, that short! (Think jean thong and you’re closer to the image. All right, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit. But, just a bit!)
Now if she was rollerblading at Venice Beach, yeah, why not? (But, Paris Plage hasn’t happened yet.) This time I let them get far enough ahead of us and I turned to Patrick and said in a low voice, “Couldn’t she have cut her shorts any shorter?” Well wouldn’t you know it, she whipped herself around and stared at me. Oops! I was ready to turn and look around myself and see who could have been so bold as to say that. Instead, I looked at her and started laughing. Not at her, but at myself because I truly had made an effort to lower my voice and apparently it hadn’t worked. Poor girl, just like the first one she turned around a couple of times and poor Patrick once again went off in another direction!
What can I say? Even my low soft voice ends up being louder than most people.
Funny how laughter is contagious. After that second incident, Patrick and I went to sit at the Café Louis Philippe and we couldn’t stop laughing, which led to other funny memories. One of the best is when we were at home having dinner one evening and listening to Nina Simone sing, I Love You Porgy.
I told Patrick, “That’s one of my favorite songs she sings.”
Patrick said, “Yeah, but that’s from Gershwin.”
“It’s from that opera.” I could see he was starting to think about the name.
“Uh-huh” I agreed.
“It’s that opera, you know.” He’s still thinking. “Oh yeah,” he says, happy he now remembers the name. “Piggy Knows Best.”
I swear I almost choked to death, I was laughing so hard! Tears and stomach hurting - the whole shebang. He comes up with so many priceless sayings! That was a few years ago, but even today if we hear a song from Porgy & Bess we can’t stop laughing.
Okay, so back to yesterday. We’re sitting outside at the café and Patrick says to me, “You look good in white, you should wear white more often.” As many people know, I’m almost always in black, but since it was the first warm day of the year, I decided to wear a white linen shirt. (Black pants of course.)
Patrick had on a pin stripe pair of black cotton pants, so I told him, “Well, I like your pants. They’re dandy pants.”
“They’re what?” Patrick touches his pants.
“Dandy pants. You know what a dandy is, don’t you?” I ask him.
“Yes, of course.”
He looks at me and says, “Crocodile Dandy!”
Maya Muses: I swear I think he’s trying to kill me! I almost choked on my wine. It was the last thing in the world I thought he would say. I didn’t just laugh, I gauffawed and as I said at the start of this post, it wasn’t a soft snicker. Oh no!
Photo Credits: Speak Softly, Daisy Dukes, Cafe Louis Philippe, and Google Images
Tags: Café Louis Philippe | Crocodile Dundee | Daisy Dukes | Gershwin | HaHaHa! | I Love You Porgy | it's all maya | Loudness & Laughter | Maya Muses | Nina Simone | Paris | Paris - Paname | Paris Plage | Porgy & Bess | roller blades | Special Moments | Venice Beach