It’s All Maya!

If Life is an illusion, then why do I keep banging my head against the wall?

Si la Vie est une illusion, pourquoi je n'arrête pas de me taper la tête sur les murs?

It’s All Maya! header image 3

Summer/Autumn Roundup

November 2nd, 2014 · By Lynn

I’ve had less time than usual these past few months and for a good reason.  My niece/god-child has been visiting us since August and it’s been a whirlwind three months.  We took her to both Normandy and Brittany and to a lot of the touristy places in Paris, although she was here before when she was ten.  She’s now 18.

100_3306.JPG
Katarina at 10 in the Louvre.

20141026_175713_opt.jpg
Katarina at 18.

The café scene is her favorite thing:

cafe-scene.jpg
We’re still drinking, Patrick’s already through!

20141008_1744440.jpg
Enjoying a drink at the Luxembourg Gardens

We went to the beaches in Normandie to show her where her grandma’s ships (LSTs) landed.  I’ve mentioned before my mother was an acetylene  welder in Pittsburgh during WWII.

20140915_165056.jpg

20140915_165225.jpg
Omaha Beach

We then went to Mont Saint-Michel and took a horseback ride on the beach.  It was really a beautiful day to ride.  I hate to admit, I had more trouble getting off the horse than on!  Thank goodness no one took a photo of me trying to dismount my horse!

img-20141010-wa0000.jpg
Katarina and Patrick, Mont Saint-Michel in the background.

dsc07816.JPG
A closer view.

We visited Saint-Malo and walked the cliffs in Bretagne.  The weather was perfect during all our travels and has been perfect since Katarina got here.  It’s now November and we continue to have an Indian summer.

dsc07813.JPG
Saint-Malo

dsc07993.JPG
Walking along the cliffs…

dsc08004.JPG
…and the beaches (Marc and Patrick sitting on the rocks, Katarina going to join them)…

dsc08023.JPG
…in Bretagne.

Back in August I took her to a rock concert here (Rock en Seine) for her birthday.  She was dying to see Flume and I was not looking forward to going to a concert with a bunch of young people listening to groups I’ve never heard of.  We did have a nice time however.  The only negative were the people crowd surfing and almost falling on top of us a few times.

dsc07661-001.JPG
Katarina and I getting ready to rock! (Well, she is!)

In September we watched the fireworks at the Parc de Saint-Cloud.  It’s the biggest firework display in Europe.  It was quite impressive.  Patrick, Katarina and I had a great view.

3933227673_8878bdf8e3.jpg
Le Grand Feu de Saint-Cloud.

We celebrated Katarina’s birthday in a small adorable house by the beach in Morat.  She wanted crêpes for her birthday, so we ate at a crêperie near the beach.  Patrick had asked around for the best place to eat and we were not disappointed.

img-20141003-wa0001.JPG
Celebrating Katarina’s 18th birthday!

dsc08053.JPG
Our adorable house near the beach.

Too bad we couldn’t say the same about her omelet at a restaurant in Mont Saint-Michel.  It was a total rip off!  She ordered the specialty of the house, an omelet and all it had were eggs and air.  There was nothing positive to say except it was fluffy.  No cheese, no salt, no pepper - absolutely nothing, but eggs and air!  I don’t even remember what Patrick and I ordered, but it was far from memorable and all of it way over priced.  A tourist trap to say the least.  So, no photos of omelets.

dsc07908.jpg
Instead, here’s Katarina as a little girl from Brittany.

dsc07913.jpg
Patrick, well as usual, getting a little crazy!

Actually, I was disappointed and surprised about our meal because a few years earlier my mom and I had eaten at a restaurant in Mont Saint-Michel and everything we had ordered then was delicious.  Perhaps we had been lucky.  For anyone thinking of eating at one of the restaurants on Mont Saint-Michel.  I would say, you’re probably much better off dining in Saint-Malo.

dsc07912.jpg
Patrick at home in Bretagne as in Normandie.

dsc07909.jpg
Of course I had to join in the craziness.

dsc07915.jpg
Patrick getting into this a little too much!

How could he not when you’re walking around Dinan?  This beautiful Medieval town has a number of buildings that date back to the 13th century.

dsc07922.jpg
Somehow Patrick’s t-shirt looks out of place.

dsc07925.JPG
They don’t build them sturdy like they use to, but how much longer can these buildings stand?

dsc07924.JPG
Beautiful all the same!

Back in Paris, I did have an incident when we were on our way to Ladurée on the Champs-Elysées not that long ago.  I was walking and didn’t see a small step and fell.  Patrick said I was such a snob for falling on the Champs-Elysées rather than a small side street where no one would have seen me fall.  Instead I was immediately surrounded by a bunch of people trying to help me up.  Everyone except Patrick and Katarina!  They said they were too shocked to move, seeing me on the ground like that.  So much for them helping me!

falling-in-the-street_opt.jpg
Okay, so it’s Scarlett Johansson and not me, but same difference.

At least they didn’t take a photo and send it to Facebook, Whatsapp or Instagram it! It didn’t seem to be too bad of a fall at the time, but I’ve been black and blue for the past few weeks. I landed on my left side and until recently I couldn’t even lie on that side. Thank goodness I didn’t break anything, but I’m still not up to par.

laduree-porte-1_opt.jpg
All that for Lemon Tarts at Ladurée, but yes, they were worth it!

laduree-tarte-au-citron_opt.jpg
Definitely worth falling over oneself. Yes, as long as nothing was broken. Not the tarts, nor my bones!

In October I saw friends from Germany, I hadn’t seen them for over 25 years.  It was great to pick up where we had left off. Their sense of humor hasn’t changed a bit, although we did add a few gray hairs, wrinkles, and pounds. (Okay, I did!)

dsc08242-001.JPG
They’re the same and as funny as ever!

Katarina took a cooking class recently at Cook’n With Class with Patrick.  She enjoyed it tremendously!  Her and I have gotten into a baking mode and have started making Christmas cookies lately.  Katarina made Pumpkin Walnut Cookies all by herself.  Then together we made Russian Tea Cakes/Mexican Wedding Cookies and Walnut Tassies.  Tomorrow we’ll make Kolacky and Rugelah and then we’ll have to go for a walk to get some exercise!

kat-cookn-with-class.jpg
Good job chopping!

kat-cookn-with-class-1.jpg
Ahh, maybe not!

Maya Muses:  The almost three months that Katarina has been here has gone by so quickly.  Each day has brought new adventures and something different from my regular routine. Yes, we’ve had our differences on occasion (she’s a lot like me) so at times we do butt heads and no, I haven’t been able to work on things I need to work on, but I’ve gained wonderful memories and that’s important too.  Our health, both hers, Patrick’s, and mine haven’t been the greatest, but we can’t complain too much.  How can we when life is good!

walking-under-the-bridge_opt.jpg
Katarina and I walking along the Seine.

Photo Credits:  Personal Photos, Scarlett Johansson, and Tarte au Citron

→ 4 Comments

Tags: | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

Stop Destroying The Pont Des Arts! - An Open Letter To Tourists Around The World And Mayor Anne Hidalgo

September 8th, 2014 · By Lynn

jp-2.jpg

Dear Tourists,

Why do you come to the most beautiful city in the world and destroy one of the most beautiful views Paris has to offer?  Why?  Each time I pass in front of the Pont des Arts, I want to cry and, yes, scream at the same time.

Chers Touristes,

Pourquoi venir dans la plus belle ville du monde pour détruire l’une des plus belle vue que Paris peut vous offrir? Pourquoi? A chaque fois que je passe au Pont des Arts, j’ai envie de pleurer et de hurler.

jp-6.jpg

Is this what you tourists consider beautiful?

Vous trouvez ça beau?

jp-5.jpg

I remember what this bridge use to look like before some idiot decided to place a lock on here declaring their eternal love to someone.  (Someone I’m sure they no longer even talk to!) And like a bunch of mindless sheep, you have decided to do the same.

Je me souviens à quoi ressemblait le pont avant qu’un imbécile aie eu l’idée de déclarer son amour éternel à sa bien aimée. (Une personne qui sûrement n’a plus de relation aujourd’hui avec elle!) Vous comme les moutons de Panurge, vous avez décidez de faire de même.

jp.jpg

jp-1.jpg

What is so great about destroying this historic bridge?  Do you think this gesture of yours is romantic?  Do you think your lock is going to be here forever?  Think again!  Your locks are on here for a few weeks or months at the most.  Your locks are ugly.  Your locks are destroying not only the bridge, but the beauty that was once a part of this bridge.

Qu’il y a t’il de glorieux à déruire un pont historique? Pensez-vous vraiment que ce geste soit romantique? Croyez-vous que ces cadenas vont rester là pour l’éternité? Réfléchissez un peu, ils vont rester quelques semaines voir quelques mois au maximum. Vos cadenas sont affreux. Ils détruisent physiquement non seulement le pont, mais aussi toute sa beauté qui lui était propre.

This is what this bridge and view use to look like:

Voilà à quoi il ressemblait avant:

marchalo.jpg

sunset-pont-des-arts-no-love-locks.jpg

6a00d83451b0bd69e201116839a764970c-800wi.jpg

This is what this bridge now looks like:

Et voilà à quoi il ressemble maintenant:

jp-4.jpg

jp-8.jpg

jp-9.jpg

Do you plan on coming here and destroying all our monuments in the same way?  I now see locks being placed on other bridges, on monuments, on lampposts, in front of churches like Notre-Dame and the Sacré-Cœur de Montmartre.

Est-ce votre intention de venir et de détruire nos autres monuments de la même façon? Je vois maintenant des cadenas placés sur d’autres ponts, sur des monuments, sur des réverbères, sur le parvis de la Cathédrale Notre-Dame et de la Basilique du Sacré-Cœur de Montmartre.

no-more-love-locks.jpg

pont-alexandre-iii-love-locks.jpg

pda2.jpg

Are you planning on making Paris just another ugly place in the world?  Why?  I thought your dream to come here was to see the same Paris that down through history has been considered the most beautiful city in the world.  Why come here if it’s to destroy that beauty?  Would you like it if we went to your hometowns and destroyed the best parts of your cities?

Est-ce votre intention de transformer Paris en une ville laide comme il y en a tant dans le monde? Je pensais que votre rêve en venant ici était de visiter le même Paris qui a traversé l’histoire et qui est considéré comme la plus belle ville du monde. Pourquoi venir ici pour détruire tout cela? Aimeriez-vous que nous venions dans votre ville et commencions à détruire vos plus beaux monuments et quartiers?

jp-7.jpg

Do you know that there are more tourists who come to Paris than the entire population of France?  Do you realize that France is a country about the size of the state of Texas?  Do you know that the population in France is almost 66 million people, while the number of tourists who come to France each year is over 85 million?  Thank God not everyone who comes here is disrespectful.

Savez-vous qu’il y a plus de touristes qui viennent à Paris que son propre nombre d’habitants. Réalisez-vous que la France est à peu près de la même taille que l’États du Texas aux USA? Que sa population est de 66 millions d’habitants, alors que les touristes qui viennent la visiter son au nombre de 85 millions chaque année. Heureusement, vous n’êtes pas tous si irrespectueux.

Which one are you?  Which view do you prefer?

De quel bord vous situez vous? Quelle vue préférez vous?

439002500_fa69cf3d5f_m_opt1.jpg

We’re happy that you come if you respect our home, if you take pleasure in what France has to offer, but keep in mind you’re a guest in our home and as a guest, you should act accordingly.  So, please, stop destroying our home and stop placing locks wherever you feel like it.  Not long ago, one tourist, when told that his lock was destroying the Pont des Arts, said “If they take down my lock, that’s okay, I’ll just put another one next time I return to Paris.”  I hope and pray that person never returns!

Nous sommes heureux de vous acceuillir si vous respectez notre ville et si vous aimez ce que la France vous offre, mais gardez en mémoire que vous êtes des invités et que vous devez vous comporter en tant que tel. S’il vous plaît, arrêtez de mettre ces affreux cadenas. Il n’y a pas très longtemps un touriste a fait cette déclaration, “S’ils enlevent mon cadenas, je reviendrait en mettre un autre quand je serait de retour à Paris.” J’espere et prie que cette personne ne reviendra jamais.

no-more-locks_opt.jpg

Maya Muses:  So, dear tourist, you’re not the only one at fault here.  If the owner of the house doesn’t tell its guests to take their feet off of their table then who’s to blame?  The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, was given a petition to do something about this problem and so far not much has been done.  It’s time she takes stronger measures in stopping this horrible vandalism! 

Maya Muses: Ce n’est pas seulement de votre faute. Si le maitre de maison n’est pas capable de dire à ses invités qu’il est très mal polis de mettre ses pieds sur la table, a qui la faute? La maire de Paris, Anne Hidalgo, a reçu une pétition pour qu’elle fasse quelque chose pour résoudre ce problème et à ce jour pratiquement rien n’a été fait. Il est grand temps de montrer de la fermeté pour arrêter le vandalisme de la capitale.

And please all you tourists who love Paris, do your part by saying no to those ugly locks!  To the rest of you who don’t give a damn - stay home!!!

Alors, pour vous qui aimez Paris, dites non aux cadenas! Et pour ceux qui s’en foute - restez donc chez vous!!!

Photo Credit:  Jean-Pierre Arnould, Marchalo, Pierre-Yves Sulem, and Google Images

→ 6 Comments

Tags: | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

Happy 92nd Birthday, Mom!

August 10th, 2014 · By Lynn

happy-92-birthday-cake_opt.jpg

Today is my mom’s birthday and I’m happy to say she is still as active as ever!  She enjoys learning new things everyday and has her own Facebook page, email address, Skype account, and she enjoys playing Candy Crush (maybe just a little too much) on her iPad!

mom-painting-something.JPG
Mom says one day she’ll be like Grandma Moses!

Mom has been taking several painting classes and she keeps getting better at it so you never know.

mom-and-her-latest-painting.JPG

She loves working in her garden (or anybody’s) and when she’s with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, she puts everyone to work.

mom-supervising-the-garden-team.JPG
There’s no “putzin around” when mom’s there to supervise!

mom-at-the-gym.jpg
And no time to sit around unless you’re exercising!

Maya Muses:  Mom is 92 years young and we’re blessed to be able to celebrate another one of her birthdays!  What can I say that I haven’t already said about my magnificent mom!  She’s the best mom in the world and we’re lucky to have her as the matriarch of our family!  When everyone asked, “What do you want to do for your birthday, mom?”  Of course, her answer was, “Forget about a party, let’s go to the casino!”

13.jpg
Mom revving up the Harley to go to the casino!

Happy Birthday Mom!!!  I love you!

Photo Credits:  Birthday Cake and Personal Photos

→ 6 Comments

Tags: | | | | |

When It Rains, It Pours - Quick Get Me An Unbrella!

July 25th, 2014 · By Lynn

when-it-rains-in-paris.jpg

Or better yet, get me a tent!  I have seen no less than ten doctors in one month, all for various reasons and complications.  One doctor who made a house call for my bronchitis, ended up telling me to get dressed and he would drive me to the emergency!  I did, and he did,  he was so nice.

I ended up staying overnight in the hospital.  My first time and hopefully my last!  Well, not counting when I was born, of course, but I don’t remember, so it doesn’t count.  Apparently I didn’t have enough oxygen in my blood.  Who knew that could be so dangerous?  I also had my first ambulance ride.  It was another first I could have done without.

ambulance-cartoon-kip-piper_opt.jpg
Hey, guys! Uh, you forgot to strap me in!

Speaking of firsts, I was tortured (No, the word is not too strong!) when they needed to take blood from an artery in my wrist.  (It’s nothing like drawing blood from a vein. That’s a piece of cake.)  This happened while Mercury was retrograde in Gemini and also during a new Moon.  It was absolutely the worst time to do this if you know anything about medical astrology.  They tried to draw blood 8 times, each time was excruciatingly painful.  They succeeded only twice, the other six times, shall we say, were bonus tortures.

Then I saw an ophthalmologist from hell!  I was afraid there were complications with the scleral buckle I had put in 14 years ago for a torn retina.  No, everything was fine, but it’s a miracle this doctor didn’t tear my retina out!  She was so brutal and the worst part, I think she enjoyed her brutality.  You couldn’t pay me to go see her again!

eye-exam_opt.jpg

To make matters worse, the antibiotics I took, ended up giving me a whole other problem that needed to be treated.  Why do doctors do this when an easy solution is to prevent the second infection from ever occurring?  I mean, is that too much to ask?  Really!

Anyway, I haven’t been on the internet as much because I’m still not up to par.  I’m not sure if it’s the medications that are making me feel this way or it’s because I haven’t fully recovered yet.  Either way, I think I’ll be happy to say goodbye to July and look forward to a healthier August.  Fingers crossed!

eiffel-tower-dance-in-rain.jpg

Maya Muses:  I have to run.  I need to pick up lab work, plus my mammogram results, and yes, this afternoon I have another doctor’s appointment!  Maybe I should put on my dancing shoes….

Photo Credits:  Rain in Paris, Ambulance, Eye Exam and Google Images

→ 2 Comments

Tags: | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

Happy Father’s Day!

June 15th, 2014 · By Lynn

Father’s Day is always bittersweet because my dad is no longer here.  It’s been many years since he passed away, but I think about him not just on this day, but often.  Some years ago, an old family friend of my parents mentioned to me how patient my father used to be with us “kids”.  It was true.  Like most of us, life dealt my dad many blessings and many hardships.

pancho-villa-and-zapata_opt.jpg
Pancho Villa and Zapata.

As a young boy he saw the uprisings, hangings, and rebellions led by Zapata and Pancho Villa that became the Mexican Revolution.  At twelve he climbed the Sierra Madres Moutains with an old man and his donkey panning for gold.  And by the time he was sixteen, much to the sorrow of his parents and family in Chihuahua, he made his way to the United States (legally).  Well, he did tell immigration he was eighteen.

glenn-miller-band-1941_opt.jpg
The big band era.

Dad spoke several languages, he was an avid reader, and shared his love for the arts with his children.  He taught himself guitar and later joined a big band who played all over the northeastern part of the United States.  He was a very handsome man and he planned on staying a bachelor all his life.  Why not?  Life was good and he enjoyed his freedom.  Well, until he met my mom that is.  They met when she was a bridesmaid and he was a groomsman.

425-mom-met-dad-escort-at-berthas-wed_opt.jpg
Mom and Dad on the left.

Mom herself was an independent woman.  A Rosie the Riveter during the war and marriage wasn’t her first priority either.  She was already 26 by the time she met dad and back then she was considered an old maid!  Dad was 45 and well, what can you say when two people fall in love?

409-mom-dad-wedding_opt.jpg
They married a year later.

I have wonderful childhood memories of him taking me and my brothers and sisters to the library to check out books.  We’d pile into the car making all kinds of noise on the trip over.  Coming back home you could hear a pin drop, we’d each have our nose in a book.  Mom never came along on these excursion.  Now I realize it was her down time to be away from us.

Dad taught me how to play guitar and each one of his kids (5 of us) learned an instrument in school. I took clarinet and yes there were times we played as an ensemble. Our own family band.

My father was always debonair no matter where he went. He wore a hat, his Florsheim shoes were always shiny, and he carried a cane.

173-dad-pepe-bea-1962-carmago-chiua-mex-photo.jpg

As I got older, I realized just how smart my father was.  Every time I learned something new in school, whether it was history, geography, science, etc., I would think, “Oh, Dad doesn’t know about this!”  It became a game.  I would come home and ask him, “Do you know….”  There was never a time I could stump him, he knew everything.  Afterwards, Dad and I would sit and talk for hours and I learned a lot from him during our conversations.

I forgot to mention, dad had two serious accidents and he was in constant pain.  Relief came only when he slept.  The first accident occured when I was very young.  He hurt his back, and in those days they operated by taking a bone fragment from his leg to place it in the spine.  Long story short, the operation was not successful.  He not only continued to have back pain, but cramping and numbness in his leg that never went away.  So, for most of my life, my father was in physical pain.

171-mom-dad-rosie-from-photo_opt.jpg
Dad was 55 years-old here with Mom and my sister, Rose.

He could have been bitter.  He could have made life miserable for his family and make us suffer as he was.  But he didn’t.  Instead, my dad had a wonderful personality.  He laughed and told stories (he was a great story teller) and he sang and played his guitar.  Only in the privacy of their bedroom did he let his guard down and my mom could see what he was going through.

The second accident happened when I was in high school and he lost the use of his left hand.  He could no longer play his beloved Gibson.  It was tragic because the music died.  Not his spirit.  He continued on with his other interests, but music had been his love, his salvation.  When he had played, he sometimes forgot his pain.

And then before you knew it…he was gone.

img_0005.jpg

Maya Muses:  That’s what the family friend meant by his patience.  He had his kids late in life. And even when someone is young and healthy it takes a lot of patience to be a parent.  My dad had that patience despite the odds.  He was a wonderful father who showered us with kindness and love.  It’s been many years, decades even, but I miss him as much as ever.

I love you, dad!

Photo Credits: Zapata & Villa, Glenn Miller Band, and Personal Photos

→ 6 Comments

Tags: | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

D-Day June 6, 1944 / June 6, 2014 - The Great Escape!

June 7th, 2014 · By Lynn

Bernard Jordan landed on D-Day and 70 years later, he hoped he wouldn’t be landing in trouble.

bernard-jordan-4.jpg

Yesterday was the 70th Anniversary of D-Day.  There were commemorations, ceremonies, live reports and documentaries for the past several days here in France about the D-Day invasion.  One of the best stories I was following was a human interest story.  89 year-old Bernard Jordan was a Royal Navy Officer and he hatched a plan.  The biggest D-Day celebration was going on in France and he was determined to be a part of it.  The only problem was Mr. Jordan lives in a care home and he’s only allowed a short walk to town and down to the local pub.

bernard-jordan-3.jpg

The still spry and agile veteran put on his medals under his raincoat and headed out the door.  He had made arrangements with a friend to drive him to Brighton Station.  From there he took a train to Portsmouth.  The rest of the way to France, he was going to play it by ear.  There at the dockside he says, “I saw someone I knew and asked if I could go on the trip. They said, yes.”

bernard-jordan-1a.jpg

When Bernard didn’t return home for dinner that evening, The Pines care home called police and a search was put in place for the missing octogenarian.  Everyone was on high alert for the well-known former mayor of Hove.  While they searched the surrounding area, hospitals, bus depots, etc., Bernard had already crossed the English Channel and had checked himself into a hotel in Ouistreham, Normandy.

Everyone breathed a sigh of relief when one of Mr. Jordan’s old comrades telephoned the care home to let them know he had been on the coach with them to Normandy and that “he would come home when he was ready.”  His wife, Irene, who lives with him in the care home was in on her husband’s adventure.  He said, “My wife knew I was going - she supported me. I’m really pleased I did it and I’ll do it again next year if I’m still here.”

bernard-jordan-7a.jpg

Today Mr. Jordan returned to Portsmouth, Hampshire on the Brittany Ferry “The Normandie” to a hero’s welcome.  He was given a hearty breakfast of fried eggs, sausages, bacon, orange juice and coffee.  The crew said his appetite matched his appetite for life and that he was a real charmer with the ladies.  He sipped tea with the 2nd and 3rd Battalions of the Parachute Regiment and they declared him “our new best mate.”

bernard-jordan-5.jpg

Upon arriving on British soil, Mr. Jordan was met by the media.  “I’ve had a really good time.” he said.  “It meant the world to be part of the anniversary.  I just wanted to go over and join in with the commemorations. Being a veteran myself this was important to me and it meant the world to be there. I met some great characters - from old veterans to dancing girls - and I loved every minute.” He went on to say, “It was such an exciting experience - it was a smashing event but it is marvellous to be back. I will have to face the music at the care home now, but that is just one of those things in life.”  Mr. Jordan didn’t have to worry.  The Pines care home was just happy to have their new celebrity resident back home.

bernard-jordan-a.jpg

Maya Muses:  A spokesman for Brittany Ferries said Mr. Jordan can travel with them for free in the future.  I think The Pines is going to have to help with his preparations for D-Day next year.  It seems nothing stops Bernard Jordan when he puts his mind to it.  And just maybe his wife, Irene, will join him on his next adventure!

bernard-jordan-6a.jpg

Photo Credit:  The Daily Mail

→ 2 Comments

Tags: | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

May Roundup

May 31st, 2014 · By Lynn

dsc07568.JPG
The best kind of flowers are those that are bought for no reason except that they’re pretty!

Patrick and I had so many outings in May, I thought I would have time to write about each one, but it wasn’t to be.  It’s said that a picture is worth a thousand words, well I’m glad I took quite a few photos so they can do most of the talking for me.

First of all, we went to several Expos at the Porte de Versaille:

At this one we saw Ruben Sarfati, the young chef who first appeared on Un Dîner Presque Parfait and then was chosen for Top Chef.

dsc07350.JPG

If you like honey, you wouldn’t have been disappointed here.

dsc07358.JPG

There were food and wine stands where Patrick and I took advantage of sampling quite a few cheeses, wines and charcuteries.

dsc07356.JPG

That wasn’t all that was on display!  Plaisirs Coquins was a popular booth too!
Believe me, those aren’t professional photographers!

dsc07426.JPG

It’s so easy to get around Paris on a scooter and no worries about finding a parking space.  You just leave it on the sidewalk. (This is a great little hotel in front of the Luxembourg Gardens.  I use to live next door to this place for years.)

dsc07472_opt.jpg

And because of our scooter, Patrick and I have been taking little trips outside of Paris that we normally wouldn’t visit.  One of them lead us to an American Cemetery in Suresnes.  Who knew?  You can see the Eiffel Tower in the distance.

dsc07400.JPG

The American who supervises the cemetery invited us to come back on Memorial Day.  He said they had a nice ceremony there every year.  Patrick and I decided to go and we weren’t disappointed!

dsc07485.JPG

French and American flags were everywhere.

dsc07508.JPG

I laid flowers on the tomb of a soldier from Pennsylvania.

dsc07511.JPG

It was also the 10th annual Nuit Européenne des Musées.  The museums throughout Europe were open until midnight, some until 1 a.m.  Patrick and I decided to go to four museums.  We only made it to three:

20140517_193233_opt.jpg
There were lines of people ahead of us at all the museums, but the wait was well worth it.

monet-lily.jpg
Les Nymphéas - Soleil Couchant by Monet
Musée National de L’Orangerie at the Jardin des Tuileries

dsc07468.JPG
Delacroix’s atelier at la Place de Furstenberg! Can it get any better than that?

20140517_213430_opt.jpg
Musée Eugène Delacroix

dsc07480.JPG
We got to the Luxembourg Museum around midnight. There was a queue waiting to get in.

20140517_234806_opt.jpg
I wouldn’t mind having Empress Josephine’s earrings!
Musée du Luxembourg

We also spent a day at Saint-Germain-en-Laye.  Friends of mine had lived here for years before moving to the countryside so I know it well.  It’s a nice little town and the chateau and the gardens are a great place to walk  on a beautiful day.

20140413_192922_opt.jpg

20140413_193855_opt.jpg

Another little town that is quaint and makes you feel like you’ve left the Île-de-France far behind is Rueil-Malmaison.  The little streets and shops had us thinking we were on holiday in the south of France.  We plan on going back and spending more time there.

dsc07443.JPG

We couldn’t help ourselves when we saw this butcher shop.  We bought some great filets here!

dsc07449.JPG

Every year in May neighbors get together and have a party.  It’s called the Fête des Voisins.  The goal is for everyone to get to know one another.  It’s a great excuse to eat and drink.  And you know no one is going to complain about the noise because all the neighbors are invited.

dsc07514.JPG

dsc07515.JPG

We were lucky to go to the Parc de Saint-Cloud at the right time.  They have one of the most beautiful fountains in France but the cascading waterfall isn’t always on.  It was this day.  Some people must be in the know because there were quite a few people with cameras for the occasion.

dsc07556.JPG
Patrick getting a little wet!

dsc07560.JPG
You have to keep panning out to get the whole fountain in the photo!

dsc07564.JPG
I had to sit down when we got to the end. (Not really, I love to walk.)

Maya Muses:  These were some of the places we went to in May.  I could write more about our excursions, but I’ll have to save it for another time.  We always end up at our favorite café for a drink before heading home.  No complaints here!

dsc07483.JPG

My flowers not only look beautiful, they smell divine! A lot of the lilies were still closed in this photo.

dsc07540.JPG

This morning three more opened up - simply gorgeous!

dsc07573.JPG

Photo Credits:  Personal Photos

→ 2 Comments

Tags: | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!

May 10th, 2014 · By Lynn

resized-t33za.jpg

Some people think they have the best mom in the world.  I’m one of those lucky people, because I do!  She’s what has kept our family together all these years after my father passed away.  I wrote about her life in a post on Mother’s Day 2010.

moms-dravo-badge.jpg
Mom working at Dravo’s shipyard.

I wrote about how difficult her life had been when it started out 91 years ago.  And the part she played as a Rosie the Riveter during WWII.  It was women like her who built a battleship a day (or a fighter plane every hour) that helped win the war.  I also wrote about her time as a Foster Grandmother for more than twenty years and how she worked in a children’s hospital taking care of sick kids.  She’s more than a wonderful mother, she’s a person who is always giving.

mom-with-her-orchids.jpg
Mom with a few of her orchids.

Children love her and so do plants.  People bring her their sick and dying plants and no matter how far gone they are, the flowers and plants always get better in her care.  I once asked her what her secret was and she told me, “I tell them, ‘you better not die on me!  You’re going to get well and they do!’”

I spoke about her mini stroke and how she willed herself into getting better again.  Over and over she told herself she would recover completely and she did!  Her mind is sharp and she’s as active as ever.  I call her almost everyday on the phone and it’s always the same:

“What are you doing, mom?”
“I’m taking clothes upstairs from the dryer.”  Or, “I’m bringing plants downstairs to put out on the porch.”

mom-at-the-gym.jpg
91 years young and at the gym!

She’s always on the move.  I call her the Energizer Bunny!  People 20 - 30 years younger aren’t as tech saavy as she is.  She has her Facebook page, she reads her emails, and she sends text messages over her phone.  Sometimes I’ll be on the computer and someone will Skype me.  Yes, it’s usually my mom!

mom_opt.jpg
Mom Skyping in her office.

The other day she told me, “Oh, can you call me later?  My doctor’s office is just about to fax me.”
“Fax!  I didn’t know you knew how to fax.”  I said, somewhat surprised.
“Why not?”  Mom said.  “It’s easy.”

She still watches her soap operas, but now she likes to say she’s multitasking.  What she means is, she turns on the TV and turns on her iPad and plays Candy Crush while she’s watching her soaps. She’s too wonderful for words!

mom-and-mariachi.jpg
Mom getting ready to sing a song with the Mariachi band!

Maya Muses:  Yes, she still loves to travel.  As a matter of fact, she’ll be taking off on a trip soon and she doesn’t mind a frozen margarita every now and again.  They don’t call her generation “the Greatest Generation” for nothing!  I call her “the greatest mom!”

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.  I love you!

Photo Credits:  Bouquet and Personal Photos

→ 2 Comments

Tags: | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

No Love In Placing Locks On Bridges - Just Vandalism!

April 8th, 2014 · By Lynn

sunset-pont-des-arts-no-love-locks.jpg
The Pont des Arts before locks.

I’ve written about this problem two years ago and it’s time to write about it again.  The article I wrote was, If You Think Putting Locks On The Pont Des Arts Is Romantic - Think Again!!!  Tourists who come to Paris do not realize, or else they don’t care, how much they’re destroying this city by placing locks on bridges, lampposts, and monuments and then throwing the keys in the Seine.  It started out on the Pont des Arts and now it has become an epidemic that has spread to other bridges.  The situation has gotten out of hand.

no-more-love-locks.jpg
Locks on the Pont de l’Archevêché.

There was a report on the news yesterday (TF1) that the locks on the Pont des Arts now weigh several tons, the equivalent of three large trucks.  It’s destroying the bridge and costing the city of Paris (and the taxpayers) money that could be better spent elsewhere.  Instead, when the wire structure of the bridge breaks under the weight of the locks, the panel structure is replaced and the battle begins again as new locks are once again placed on the bridge by people who are unconscious of their acts, or who just don’t give a damn!  If that’s not bad enough, the Seine is being polluted by the number of lock keys being thrown into the river.

love-locks.jpg
Must people be like sheep?

Tourists were asked, in an interview, if it mattered that they were ruining the bridge; and did they know that their locks weren’t going to be there forever because they’re taken down every six months due to the weight destruction and security of the bridge.  One girl said, it just gave her and her boyfriend another reason to return to Paris and place another lock on the bridge.

graffiti-love-locks.jpg
If this isn’t vandalism, what is? Even the lampposts aren’t spared!

It’s crazy!  Would those same tourists, who don’t seem to care, write on or vandalize a bridge or a monument with graffiti?  Would those same tourists throw plastic bags or containers into the river and pollute it?  I doubt it.  Yet, they have no qualms in defacing a bridge with a lock that they consider a romantic gesture and then throwing the key into the Seine!

pont-alexandre-iii-love-locks.jpg
Hefty fines should be paid for this!

Maya Muses:  Wake up people!  Destroying the city’s bridges and monuments and polluting the city’s river is not romantic! The beauty that was once so evident in Paris is slowly being destroyed by these ugly locks.

love-locks-spray-paint.jpg
Spray painted locks on the Pont des Arts - need I say more?

Some people call them “love locks”, but I won’t even use that term in what is pure vandalism.  Please click on the link below and sign the petition to have the government bring forth a solution to get rid of this serious problem!

http://nolovelocks.com/fr/#petition

Photo Credits:  Each photo comes from a website that talks more about the problems in this post.

Photo #1

Photo #2

Photo #3

Photo #4

Photo #5

Photo #6

→ 6 Comments

Tags: | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

Kids Say The Funniest Things!

March 14th, 2014 · By Lynn

I laughed so hard listening to these first two videos, I had to share!  They’re so funny!  The first one is about an 8 year-old Irish girl, Becky, who wants to demolish her school.

The second is by a 4 year-old little boy who calls 911 to ask for help with his math homework.

Et pour mes amis Français - Mec Si Beau! (Oui, je parle de notre cher président!) LOL!

Maya Muses:  Enjoy and have a great weekend!

→ No Comments

Tags: | | | | | | | | | | | |


Le Coeur des Femmes

Google Reader or Homepage
Add to My Yahoo!


Add to My AOL


Association Laurette Fugain
Association Laurette Fugain


How much longer

before Tibet is free?

Free Tibet!!!
FREE TIBET!!!











No To Gardasil!!!


Noprah!!!


Disclosure Badge








View blog top tags



Locations of visitors to this page
ss_blog_claim=6c4b948d7879cc817ad6b47b6cb7a911
ss_blog_claim=6c4b948d7879cc817ad6b47b6cb7a911
ss_blog_claim=6c4b948d7879cc817ad6b47b6cb7a911 ss_blog_claim=6c4b948d7879cc817ad6b47b6cb7a911