Friday, December 28, 2007

Was your Christmas merry?

Christmas has come and gone. Hard to believe it is already done for this year. Work, craft shows, being behind everywhere... suddenly it is Christmas day and I am not ready. I wrapped "zero" gifts. DH got what he got unwrapped, what he got me was wrapped by the store. I don't remember the last time I went through the wrapping paper section in a store and looked at paper. What they have here comes in boxes, on end...and doesn't stimulate the imagination. Or at least not mine, because I walk by them like they are not here. I did look at ornaments this year and buy some more for our tree...which I put up. Love the tree up, watching its twinkling lights at night, watching the ornaments move when the building does (15th floor, building moves with wind and vibrates with the metro at times). Different neighbors come and see the tree. Obviously from what I have seen, we do ours more much differently than most others I see here. Many different types, sizes, shapes, colors of ornaments, from many years and all over. Home made, plastic, glass, metal, name it, it is on the tree.

I have a friend in Michigan who does their Christmas on Jan. 6...the day when the wise men were said to have come and given the gifts to the holy child. That concept runs through my head a lot, but makes it difficult with us both working. Still...I like the idea.

We were alone this year. Jacqueline, my "belle mere" was not here, nor were we with her or any of Michel's family. Mine are all back in the US. Did not invite anyone over for anything. Thought about it. Mentioned it to DH..he said you don't do that here. (Inviting only for some appetizers and holiday cheer.) My reaction? I am American... by now they should expect us to do things differently. Again, I can laugh at that, as we carry many of the French customs with us when we are back in the states. I like how they do things here also. So we are a blend. Like coffee I guess. Which I am sipping my first cup of the day while I write this. I had to reboot the computer and noticed I had not written here for (OMGosh) quite a while. Guess I won't say exactly how long. See what I mean? Behind. I did get most of our winter clothes out, there is still a box or two I am missing...must still be down in the cave (the name for the room we get underground with our apartment, like a cellar). By the time I find them it will be time to put them away. Hmmmm.... seem to be rambling.

I hope you had a MERRY CHRISTMAS

Monday, November 5, 2007

The Marche de Noel

Or, the American Church/WOAC Art and Craft Fair. It is amazing how many of the french do not understand the concept of a craft fair. They use the same word but differently so then of course it became an exposition...but that did not work. LOL, too many "other" things fall under that word heading. So this year, it got an official name change. Marché de Nöel. That actually lets the other population here that are not English speaking know what is going on. Here are some photos of when we were at the German School fair, but it does show our items even if they are a bit crowded on just one table. I even have added some new items this year, and must get some printing done for his cards....At least a multiple pack. Time...time...need time...

The grab bag

I suppose I should put it on. Oh, we also have another kit ready to go into the store. It is called An Art Nouveau Surprise. I will get to that in another post... Our weekend went by in a total blur. I spent most of it working on the art fair I am coordinating for the American Church in Paris. We are trying something new this year, and putting it on the web with vendors listed with what they sell and photos, we will have a hand out at the door with a complete list and telling where the rooms, and different things are found. The hardest part is getting the word out! If you are interested, you can see it by "clicking here".
Too bad most of you don't live around here, you could come and shop and have fun!

November already!

It is foggy out today. It has been cold, damp and blah for a bit now. I am Halloween decorations are still not up, some are not done, so guess I will just move on and try and get them done for next year and be early for a change. We did get the 2nd kit done and in the store on the 1st of the month!! Want to see? Between the two of us we had fun with this one. Michel's bat wings and ghost are translucent, he has multicolored hairs on his spider and a "lacy" web rather than a regular old one. He even created a brush for me for the barbed wire which was fun! His idea of a haunted house is not exactly mine, but his is at least very colorful. I had the most fun with the papers. Rich, bright and some multicolored with lots of depth, design and some even look very dimensional. I find I have the most fun creating papers for some reason, which works out well because he enjoys the elements. We combine on some of the odds and ends. I also managed a grab bag at the beginning of the month which has not been "opened" yet, first one. We will change them with what we put in and how we do it with each one, but they seem to be fun! I also did one layout of my grand daughter using the fright kit... hmmm did I keep a small enough copy to put here? Must go and check! Ok..found it! Of course when I showed dh the LO, his first comment was... you distorted the ghost. I said is reaching for her hat. It was on purpose and fun. (Deep sigh) Sure seems difficult some times.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

1st Halloween kit in the store and an extra paper pack :)

We finished it!! I managed to get it into the store yesterday! It is called Halloween Fun. We also did an extra paper pack...which will coordinate with both, yes, you read right, both Halloween kits. The next one to be released soon is Halloween Fright. I figured that way people who want fun kits can get the fun one, and others who want fright...get that one.

There is such a wide variation between people and what they like/don't like at Halloween. Halloween is one of those holidays that is very controversial, especially with a religious background. The biggest problem is the hype that goes with the holiday making it a must "I want to go trick or treating" by the kids...parties, events at school, neighborhoods have private things. It is everywhere, even here in France now!

How did I get off what I was saying? The kits! Ok...I will show you the .gif's of the Fun kit and the preview of the paper pack...but the Fright kit is still in the wings, literally, waiting to "fly" out!

Remember...we sell only at!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A pleasant fall day

Was setting here sorting through e-mails, answering what needs to be answered, posting, downloading and drifting off to dream land. Yup! Worked all morning, ate a quick lunch and off to get groceries with my little cart. One of these days I will actually take a photo of it and post it. I have talked about it to friends often enough. Anyway, got home and promptly put away everything and sat down at the computer with a large bottle of cold water and away I went. Next thing I realize I had dozed off while waiting for the network to give me the pages I want, and looking out the window at the beautiful blue sky. Did not last long, unfortunately. Is hard to doze well when you have your head propped up on your hand. ;) Am feeling bright eyed and bushy-tailed so to speak and will finish up what I started. What I was thinking about as I dazed into the sky was doing up a Halloween kit. We had talked about it before, decided no, not to bother this year, but now, think I will. Seeing all of the really adorable fall/pumpkin/Halloween themed layouts and kits around has put me into the mood. Guess that means no more day dreaming, dozing or even blogging...need to go to work! Have a wonderful fall day wherever you are!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Party Time!

Everyone loves a good party. In thinking about that, and knowing it was 1 year that Club Deco came into being and 2 years for Deco So, we decided it was birthday celebration time. The items could also be used for other parties and celebrations, such as showers, anniversary, going away....just leave off the candles!

Here is the description about this kit:

Its time to party!! Whether it be a birthday, anniversary, going away, having a baby, Paris Designs has the party kit for you. Bows, gifts, balloons, cake, candles, lots of fun, bright party colored paper and an invitation/journaling note you can make your own!

This kit includes:

35 background papers
9 bows
12 misc embellishments
6 word art
2 quick pages

218 MB

Only available at!

August--Country Potpourri

"Check" it out!! Ohhh...sorry about the play on words. This was one of the most favorite kits so far. I love the country feel of this kit, and the picnic embellishments I am so thrilled with!! Again, Michel did a great job!! The bar-b-q has smoke! Hopefully you will have as much fun using this kit as we did making it. Below are the details:

Summertime! This is a time for picnics, family and friends. If you're like most of us you'll be snapping those photos left and right. With Paris Designs Country Affair those pics will fly from your camera to your pages.

Whatever you're looking for from picnic baskets to hot dogs or watermelon this kit is filled with elements to make your page jump. Color schemes abound fitting all your needs, from pinks, purples, blues, greens or beiges.

Included in the 96MB kit are:
28 backgrounds 12x12 300 DPI
2 Quick Pages
11 ribbons
57 assorted embellishments

Only available at !!

July Kit

We did get a kit for July and August done before we left as well. Here is July's Journey Traveled. This one is perfect for any kind of trip you want to take, long or short.

Kit includes:
2 quick pages
65 misc embellishments
23 ribbons, straight and curled
24 back ground papers

This kit is 186MB
total, with old fashioned ads for places to eat, stamps for mats, curled and straight ribbons for accents along with signs, different modes of transportation...and the list goes on!! Michel did a wonderful job on elements in this one, (We tend to split up doing things in the different kits, this is a team after all!) water around the ship, clouds around the airplane and balloon, not to mention smoke coming out of the train smoke stack. I could go on but you can see for your self. This kit can only be found at Deco Pages. Each of the countries seen on the European map are made separate as well as the complete case you happened to live outside of the US or gone on vacation somewhere in that general direction.

Has it been more than 3 months?

It is so hard to believe that so much time has passed. Well, we did spend 6 weeks in Michigan, with many days resting in the sun, soaking up those rays on our tired bodies. During that time I don't think I spent more than a few hours on the computer. It was in the hot upstairs, and when I was not busy, running or doing something I needed to do, I was in the glider, reading a book. That's right, with a cold drink or hot coffee, depending on the time of the day. That was my "hiding spot" to relax and refresh. Normally, trying to read a book means a page when I get into bed, if I manage to stay awake long enough for a full page.

We visited family, friends, worked on the house and deck. Did not get everything done we wanted, but we never do. Had a nice time though!!

What did we do before we left? We got everything ready we could...and did get a couple of kits done. We had a ball with this was just bright and fun to do, complete with an empty bathing suit, laying ??? Where ever you want to put it... ;) HERE is the link for this kit! It is on sale right now for $4.00. What does it have in it? Here is the description and the contents of the kit...I will let you read for yourself.

This fun filled kit will supply all your summer scrapping needs, from quirky Quick Pages, to kites flying in the wind. It has everything you could wish for on a summer's day. Fill up that glass, kick off those shoes and grab Paris Designs newest kit - Sun Kissed to make your day complete. Kit includes:
24 patterned papers
6 plain papers with texture
9 arrows/signs
12 brads
6 drink glasses
7 overlays
3 quick pages
8 straight ribbons 17 inches long
9 curled ribbons, 12 inches long
8 staples
9 drink stirrers
3 kite and 3 butterfly tags
30 other assorted embellishments

Total 178 MB/139 items

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Paris Designs~Track and Field Kit

This kit was a special request from a Deco-Page member. She said there was nothing out there for Track and Field so we came up with something. This was definitely a shared experience between Michel and I, and you can usually tell by the different styles. We figure that we compliment each other so that works well. Talk about learning a lot! You are forced to learn all kinds of things when you design. But it is loads of fun (lots of work also) but we enjoy it. Each month I think, OK, we are coming up with zero for new ideas and each month we manage to come up with something new. Guess we can say we get a medal for this kit, for crossing the finish line and the fact that we don't quit trying.

Leaf Melody Spring

The kit I worked on and did all by myself... and is in the store. I was really happy with it, although it doesn't have Michel's touch. It is called Leaf Melody~Spring, and the preview should blink (I say that because it is doing nothing at this moment!) It has been a busy month and it is almost over. The month, not the busy time. Ever just KNOW you are behind or just barely keeping up? Well, I know that. We are still designing away...but not much else is getting done except for designing and work. Yes, I know, other things must get done also, but at this moment in time it is not happening. I hope your month is working out better!

Monday, June 4, 2007

3 new members on our CT team!!

We also have added 3 new members to our creative team. Welcome ladies!!

Physioscrapper, franlk, and Northlight have joined our team, bringing us all around the world.
Again... WELCOME to Paris Designs!!

We have people from Canada, USA, Norway, Sweden, Philippines, South Africa, Australia and France! I would say that pretty well puts us all over...and we love it. Working with all of the different ladies is and has been a joy to us and they all do such great work. It is always a pleasure and quite often also fun to see what they have created out of the kits we send them. They all seem to know how to 'scrap outside the box' in their thinking and that is great. We really appreciate all they are doing.

Great job team!!

Been a busy couple of weeks!

Wow... I thought I was keeping up with things here and see I am behind, again. Michel and I have managed to put another kit into the store, Ever After. It was a big change from our normal strong, rich colors that Michel prefers...this is more of what I love. Soft, frilly, gems, lace, bows and ribbons that shimmer and are almost transparent. The flowers we added were from real flowers so they are very life-like, right down to a small bug on one!! We also got another kit into the Club, for club members.

This month the Deco-Pages club is close to a giga in items for club members to download. That is not a small amount of items!! Be sure to go to Deco Pages and check it out. They are also voting on a new logo to change the look at the site, we have just put out a CT Call for the Deco Store... new things are happening all through Deco-Pages! If you have not checked it out before, be sure to do it now!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Ideas are just bouncing around!!

The wonderful thing about designing is one thing leads to ten others. Of course that is providing you are not in a creative dry spell. I am setting here this morning looking at the sun shining finally, our "badly in need of cleaning" apartment and a list of the next things I need to try and get done and think "I want to go out for a walk." I should but I won't, unless I pack a little lunch and make it during that time. With the camera of course.

I was looking through the site, reading threads and coming up with all kinds of ideas about add-ons to the kits we have, splitting them up, our next kit going into the club (is a fun and very colorful month coming!!) and know it will be a busy weekend and that I need many more days of being able to set at the computer uninterrupted (meaning not fixing meals, not sleeping, not going to work, you know the little things) to be able to complete my list in a timely fashion.

I have some kits to work on for the creative teams I am on as well. Just picked up an adorable one from Mona Minnie at Scraptures, called Fruity Fresh and a package of double stitched frames to go with it. I think it will make some great layouts, her kits always do!! I also have one from Carolyn Rupley at Deco Pages, Day at the Beach and two from Mary Ridgway, also at Deco Pages, Golden Summer and Simplicity. Get my thought process here? I am definitely thinking of summer, fresh fruit, beach time, picnics, vacation.... you got it. Also a great time to come up with even more ideas to create!

Well, so much for my dreaming of what is to come.... back to work!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Our Wonderful Creative Team!

As of right now we have 5 people officially on our creative team (not counting myself). They are, in alphabetical order, Cinna, Colette, MrsB, NW Lady, and Tacha. Their layouts using our kit are popping up around in different sites. Deco-Pages is a sure thing though. Michel created a "blinkie" for them to put into their signature. So if you see this anywhere in a gallery, you know they are one of our wonderfully creative team members!! Leave them some love and let them know what a great job they are doing in their creations!

Well Dressed Man

This is our 3rd kit actually in the store. It is exciting to watch our kits grow. Each time we get one finished we end up with 2 or 3 more ideas brewing, not enough time to do them all, YET! I have done 3 layouts using this kit, and hardly touched it. I also found it to be very versatile to use. Doing this helps me decide what else we may need or want in the kit, or, what doesn't work well. Hope you like it as much as we enjoyed working on it! This can be found under Paris Designs in the Deco-Pages Store!

A Mad Ride in Time

Ever since we became a real design team, time has just sort of become on a different zone for me. I think of it as Paris Designs Time Zone. My days just disappear, running from thing to thing, trying to stay at least semi-caught up, at least not going further behind. Well, it was not working. I ended up resigning from being a moderator at Gotta Pixel. Miss all the great people there as I don't get there as much, as often, nor for the same thing. Now I just come and go there, like any other member. That happened Sunday, May 20. Today, I resigned from Scrap2Basics. I learned a lot from doing all of the different things I did, but love where we are at now. Not only at the Deco-Pages site, but also as a design team working together. Speaking of which...we now have 3 kits in the store!! You saw the one below, here is a preview of the 12 quick pages that are packaged up and in the store. I had a ball with these. A good friend, Cinna, helped with 3 of them, she loves to do quick pages! She is also on our creative team so she gets to work with the kits. I will tell you more about our CT team shortly. Hope you enjoy seeing them! They can be found at the Deco-Pages Store!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Shaina's Birthday

Shaina's birthday was yesterday. Of course I for some reason was sure it was the 27th. Her mom laughed at me and is not for 2 more days. I said, are you sure? She laughed harder and said, yes, I was there. So...I said, ok, don't give her the e-mail cards yet and I will recall on Sunday. They both had a good laugh over the fact that Gma Patti got confused. I said, just think, in ?? number of years, you will be like me. That got more of a gulp than a laugh, but I got a good laugh from it! I did a quick layout of Shaina with the new kit. Ok, since you asked so nicely again... here it is.

The photo is actually 2 different ones. The background of it is from their trip to Paris at the terminal in Detroit...where it plays music and changes colors. The part of the photo with her was when they took the photo of her on her great grandma's bed after getting her hair all braided. I just extracted the 2 areas and put them together for the layout. Digital is so wonderful... no more pitched photos because they are not what we wanted or turned out badly. They can always be used for something!! There are 3 of us who are Taurus. Shaina, Michel and myself. My daughter is Aries. A bunch of strong wills there! is late and I am off to bed.
Night all!

We did it!!

Well, we actually uploaded our very first kit into the store today. Had loads of little bugs to work out but it is done! Yipee!! You want to see what it looks like?? Ok, since you asked :) here is the preview of it. You can look at a closer detail at the store at Deco Pages. We had a ball making it, must have said several times, ok, all finished. Only to have him come home the next day and say, I made a couple more things for the kit... want to see? So I would laugh, say sure, great, look at them, and they were... but the kit kept getting larger and larger. We are already discussing an add on as he was "thinking, oh, there are other things we could do for the kit also. LOL. Here is the link! We are both thrilled with it, hope you are too :)! Deco-Pages Store!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Trying my hand.... and now we try our hands together!

Big news!! Michel and I have been accepted as a design team at Deco Pages!! I have really not said much to anyone, but now it is official, I can say it. Interestingly I also entered a contest the same day I was put on the team, for designing the banner. My design is above. The voting will be after April 30. who knows, maybe it will win! The kit I used was Mary Ridgeway's January Club Kit, at Deco Pages. It should be in the store soon for sale separately. It was a big decision and step for us. Up to now I have been "dabbling" in design, and heavy into creative team (CT) work. I love that aspect, but as that is also needed, designing quick pages, doing CT work for for our own kits, I am getting both worlds. My list of things to do has just gotten much much longer with the acceptance to the team though. I am lucky my hubby takes an interest in design also and we can do this together. We can spend hours working on new items, papers, discussing colors, what we need, changes that need made. Now if we could just get a "wife" to clean the house and make the meals, life would be wonderful. This wife doesn't seem to do a good job of that, spends way too much time here in front of the computer (laughing). And with that you would think we would be loosing weight. Guess all of that setting does not help because that is not happening either! Keep watching... you will be some of the first to see our creations!

Friday, April 6, 2007

A Friend in Need

I have a wonderful friend. Well, I have many, but this one comes and goes to Paris periodically and we manage to have a lunch, a talk and lots of laughs. We always laugh together. She and her husband lost their dog a couple of years ago. It was a horrible time for them. I received a note from her 2 weeks ago I believe, said they had "adopted a new dog, it was time". When she told me poodle, I thought, no way... you see dogs with their owners and see why they go so well together. For me she needed an Airedale. Tall, flowing, thin... moves with a natural grace just like my friend. Well, I received a photo last week of just the dog and I though, hmmm... just maybe because the dog for one thing is obviously tall, his head is the same height as the back of her couch. Poof went the picture in my head of this noisy small toy poodle. (I have known many like that unfortunately!) This morning while trying to wake up I was reading my e-mail.

Side note here... for those of you who get e-mails from me in the morning, you should realize it is the very first thing I do with my 1st cup of coffee, so if it does not make sense at points within the body of the e-mail, you now have the knowledge of why!

Where was I? Oh yes, my e-mail this morning. She sent me a new photo of her with the dog that her husband had taken. She was taking a well needed break from cleaning before company arrives and was relaxing with the dog. Poof went the remaining photo in my head of them and the dog I had thought would be great. Nothing can beat the real thing! This is what I call a friend when needed.


Somewhere I have a sign that says: “Are we having fun yet?” I should have found it and put it in the window of the van as Terry left with a string of errands to do in town. Might have given people a chuckle as they struggled to keep their vehicles on the road and hats on their heads in the wind we are having today. The weather forecast was right on with the warning of high winds. It always fascinates me to watch the trees in winds of scary velocity. Amazing so few lose their balance or lose limbs. Last Sunday there was wind during a rainstorm. First-born son was helping Terry prepare an area for re-seeding. He was raking and about an hour after he finished a large white pine branch came crashing down where he was working earlier. Sure would have been a bad way to start the week if he had been beaned with that branch. Could have killed him.

I keep trying to equate the roar of the wind with spring because after all this IS a spring snow and windstorm but it sure sounds like winter wind. The last hurrah of winter I hope.

I wrote the words above on Wednesday. Today is Thursday and the blowing, drifting and snow accumulation is still with us. The roar of the wind has not diminished so on we go with this storm of Easter week. A friend emailed they were back in SW Michigan from their winter as snowbirds. “We returned to this mess” was the message. Then he made the comment they will be interested in what I find nice to say about this storm. Hmmm – let me see – I was missing the few days of not having the woodstove warmth and smell and now we have that again? How about the extra moisture is good for the water table? How about the birds are clinging to, underneath and nearby the feeders continually so we can watch them up close and personal all day long? Oh yes, I love the sculptured drifts the wind whips up for us? Plus the awesome power of nature is showing its strength? We are in the middle of it here in the forest and that is a sight to behold. Yes I know, I am stretching it but those are positive things. There are negatives of course. A drift on our hill has River Ridge Road closed. In fact a huge drift had to be shoveled out of the way before Terry could open the overhead garage door and get out the snow thrower. Reluctantly we are going to have the road plowed tomorrow. I say “reluctantly” because the ground is thawed and that means lots of dirt gets picked up with the snow. Our expert snowplow guy says he will just make a path, not push anything back on the sides so there should be a minimum of mess. We do need the road open for safety reasons though and currently we cannot get out. We are missing a dinner party tonight we had been looking forward to attending. The outdoor chores related to the coming of spring are certainly on hold. All are negatives.

Ten days ago the temperature was 71 degrees, the breeze was spring-like and the sun had definite warmth as I sat on the lower deck. Today the temperature is 22 degrees, I am saying; “what sun?” and the breeze has turned into the roaring wind of a snowstorm. However the good news is it is April and this is just a glitch in the countdown to spring breezes, the sound of peepers, the birth of baby birds and critters, and the end of winter. Really it is. Trust me on this one.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

A weekly column

A dear friend of my mothers writes a weekly column and sends it out over the e-mail. Unfortunately she sends it as an attachment and my mom can't get it. So, now she sends it to me and I copy paste, take out extra spaces, make it smaller, and then send it to my mom. As I was reading it over this morning, I thought what a nice column it was...and that I should add it to my blog. I think this week I will put a layout I did, feels appropriate for the column.

by Ann Blakely

Because of a bunch of testosterone crazed tom turkeys I was up much earlier than I wanted this morning. When you hear them gobbling off in the forest it is muffled and actually is a happy sound because it is a harbinger of spring. However the happy part is not present when they are right outside the bedroom window. Unless you have heard a baker’s dozen of strutting toms gobbling all at once, you have no idea the intruding loudness. Terry can sleep through it, but not me, so I got up and started my day. I looked out and not only were they strutting and gobbling in the driveway, they were pooping all over - very rude of them.

This past week has seen many changes that herald the march toward spring.
The chippies are out. The raccoons are out. The geese have come back according to our upriver neighbors plus they saw a robin and a redwing blackbird. The snow pack is shrinking rapidly, the river is rising, the roof is nearly bare and even though the temperature is currently only 28, it is bright and sunny, so the remaining roof and deck snow is continuing to melt. The deer yarded up here to be near open water have started moving off to their summer grounds. Now we are left with trails of deer poop and the ever-smelly turkey poop appearing out of the snow and thawing to cause a barnyard like fragrance wafting through our clearing when the wind is in the “right” direction. Otherwise the scent carried on the wind is that of coming spring. Not yet the earthy smell of the forest floor, but a promise of it.

As the snow melts from under the feeders, a winter’s worth of seed shells is exposed. Squirrels are digging through them for missed seeds. Yesterday there were four black squirrels and two red squirrels so engrossed in digging into one of the piles they were paying no attention to each other.

We are into that annual ritual of the college basketball tournaments. March 2005 was the first time Terry could watch every single game if he wanted to as he had retired the end of ’04 – and mostly he wanted to. He still does and in-between games and at half times, he goes outdoors and does chores or gets something to eat and then back to rooting for his favorites. I will watch a game here and there but life goes on for me during March Madness while basically it slows to a crawl for Terry. He has wireless headphones so even if he has to do something else – of mild importance - because nothing could be more important than the game – he can wear the headphones without missing any court action. Makes him happy and that is good enough for me.

As the snow melts I am anxious to see what if any damage has been done to the trunks of various shrubs. The last couple winters voles have gnawed extensively on several of them. Plus this winter the red squirrels ate so much bark off the big lilac by our bedroom window that some large branches fell off. Not a good thing. Terry says the lilac is very hardy – I hope he is right because it is badly scarred.

I can hear both goldfinches and chickadees singing right now. Such cheery little voices. Are they serenading the winding down of winter and the coming of spring – or maybe just the joy of a bright blue sky and the precious gift of life. Sounds like something we should serenade too.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Another day another lake and family outing

This one was when we went to "the bay". It is actually Barnes Park, which is just at the whopping village of Eastport and is part of Lake Michigan. We have a choice when we head in that direction. We can swim and have fun at that park (Lake Michigan) or go to Torch Lake and swim and have fun there. We usually opt for the Bay because it has bigger waves and is normally warmer...but the walk out in the water is very stony. Another gorgeous day for this family time also. The left photo is Shaina, my grand daughter and the right photo is Shaina heading out to swim, float and play and Michel, my husband, looking for stones I would guess. We do that a lot there. There are no shells, only stones. We usually take our frisbee, noodles, a cooler with water and pop and our big towels and just spend a few hours in the water and sun. Some days when it is really windy the waves can literally knock you off your feet, and those are the fun days! That day the breeze was cool and Shaina asked if she could wear my t-shirt. It is a short dress on her, but it worked. She dried off and warmed up, then gave me back my wet shirt and said "thanks". Well, I hope you enjoyed our 2 days at the beach!!

Lets look at summer

I don't know about you, but I am tired of winter. The sun was out for a while today, on my way back from the grocery store. It is good it was because it helped me dry out from getting rained on going to the store. I have just decided that even if I am tired of winter, we can look at summer in some layouts. Think warm, think beach, think family picnics and relaxing. My daughter just sent me a note about this one. She was happy I did it for her. Guess that means she liked it. As she has been having a really tough time I am glad maybe she smiled when she saw this. School, bills, work, homework, winter, lots of snow and now car problems and a sick daughter...I guess I would be a bit at the end of my rope also. We were at Log Lake, a park and camping area just outside of Kalkaska last summer when this was taken. It is half way between where my daughter lives and where we stay when we are in Michigan, and close for my mom and brother. It is our annual birthday/family picnic with family and friends. We spend the entire day there, eating, playing games, blowing bubbles, swimming, talking and of course, taking photos. Knock on wood we always have good weather when we plan the day!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Beautiful sunrises, not beautiful weather pics!!

I cannot believe I have just misplaced how ever much time and not blogged! I did get a short, and I do mean short monthly letter out to everyone, and have gotten a few replies. I told everyone to watch here, this is where I am keeping things up and have done zero... 'bad toad'! It has been a busy week, I worked every day this week and but will only work 4 days next week, Monday thru Thursday. Friday Michel is taking off and we will have a 3 day weekend together. I also start French class next week, Tuesday morning, so will have to work in the afternoon that day instead. Eeek! French class is beginning again. And she said a test that morning to see how much we have "retained" or know for those who will be new in the class.

Everyone has been talking my last challenge for Gotta Pixel was on the weather. I did a layout, and realized we have hit every single kind of weather this month. You can see above that we had (top left, top right, bottom left, bottom right) rain, fog...which was so think you could hardly see the building just next to us! Sunshine, a beautiful day, several actually, but I only took a photo of one, and that small one on the bottom right. The arrow is pointing to the snow which is piling up against the window. That was actually the 2nd time we have had snow since my challenge started the 27th of January, but only got the one picture that you could actually see we had snow. We used to say in Michigan that just wait a bit, if you did not like the weather right now it would change. As you can see, I can say the same thing about Paris!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

And give it another 10 minutes...

After snapping a few photos, returning to the computer with my fresh cup of coffee I go back to work. Of course at that time of the morning I also seem to gaze out the window when I think, or daydream, or what ever it is I do... and within 10 minutes I see even greater color...grab the camera and away I go. Poor Michel, trying to sleep and I am running back and forth, opening windows, and of course making noise! I think our side of the building is lucky, I never see such beautiful sunsets as I do sunrises. What a great way to start the day!

My morning sunrise first part...

Well, went to bed by 11:30, finished reading a book and still could not fall asleep until close to 1:00 a.m. this morning, so when I woke up at 6:45 a.m. and could not go back to sleep... after trying unsuccessfully, I got up and of course got on my computer. I happened to look out and noticed beautiful colors so grabbed the camera and away I went. This was how it started out, but to me it looked a much deeper orange/red. Funny how what we see is not what the camera eye sees.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

And of course, it is Valentines Day!

Happy Valentines from our home to yours!

It has been a wonderful day. I got up, early, as normal. Of course with the concert I had forgotten to buy bread for a sandwich for lunch for Michel. Off I trudge in the rain to buy a demi-baguette. I figure, ok, it's Valentines Day, so I also buy a croissant avec beurre (with real butter) for him for a surprise. I notice he is being really, and I do mean really slow this morning, but I have to go to work, so I don't pay much attention. I make his sandwich (even include a little note), eat a quick bite, do a tiny bit on the site at Gotta Pixel and off I go. I come home after work to find him home, candles lit, a very nice lunch prepared, beef roast, french fries, paté with fresh bread, and some vegies for a starter...and a drink for me. Oh my, this I could really get used to! The surprise was on me. Apparently he had taken the day off to surprise me and wow, did he. We ate, watched a great movie, "The Guardian", he did some upgrades on my computer, I took a little nap and here I am. Blogging. I will have to try and make him a nice dinner, but it is hard to top this, especially since this was grocery shopping day and I have not managed to leave the apartment since work. No answering the phone, no work after lunch, just relaxing and spending time with each other. Yes indeed... it has been a very nice day!

Speaking of church and the choir...

Last night we went out for a quick dinner and after enjoyed a wonderful evening at a concert. A perfect pre-valentines gift from a friend, who gave us tickets to go and see, and of course hear him sing. It is the first time I have heard him sing, and there was orchestra and choirs. It was fantastic!! The sign read: Concert, Cantate Saint-Nicolas, Hommage à Benjamin Britten. The concert was held at Notre Dame de Paris. Stuart Patterson was the singer, other than the choir. He is a tenor and has a beautiful voice. He also has a website and you can hear his voice for yourself, in more than one language. He travels all over the world doing concerts. I can't imagine being able to sing like that. The music was great and it told an entire story, with a small choir of girls (not seen in the picture) at one time behind us, another time at the other end of the church, another time in the center, but each time it was like a conversation between Stuart, the choir behind him, (you can just see one person at the far right in a blue robe) and the other choir. We did purchase a program so we will have it to go with all of the pictures that I managed to take. Here is the link for Stuart's website. Go take a look and a listen!

Over the course of the evening and the walk back across the bridge to the metro I took more than 120 photos. Poor Michel, I just kept stopping and snapping. It is evenings like these, or any times like these that I love having a digital camera. You just delete the ones that are not good and the rest, download into the computer and you are ready to go! Keep watching, you will see more as I go along. Just not tonight. (Smile!!)

Little funnies from church bulletins

My mom sent me these. I have seen many like it before, they come around from the newspaper headlines, fun signs in real life, doctors office comments, and some of my favorite, the church bulletin comments!
  • The Fasting & Prayer Conference includes meals.
  • The sermon this morning: "Jesus Walks on the Water." The sermon tonight: "Searching for Jesus."
  • Our youth basketball team is back in action Wednesday at 8 PM in the recreation hall. Come out and watch us kill Christ the King.
  • Ladies, don't forget the rummage sale. It's a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Bring your husbands.
  • The peacemaking meeting scheduled for today has been canceled due to a conflict.
  • Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our community. Smile at someone who is hard to love. Say "Hell" to someone who doesn't care much about you.
  • Don't let worry kill you off - let the Church help.
  • Miss Charlene Mason sang "I will not pass this way again," giving obvious pleasure to the congregation.
  • For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs.
  • Next Thursday there will be tryouts for the choir. They need all the help they can get.
  • The Rector will preach his farewell message after which the choir will sing: "Break Forth Into Joy."
  • Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24 in the church. So ends a friendship that began in their school days.
  • A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall. Music will follow.
  • At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be "What Is Hell?" Come early and listen to our choir practice.
  • Eight new choir robes are currently needed due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.
  • Scouts are saving aluminum cans, bottles and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children.
  • Please place your donation in the envelope along with the deceased person you want remembered.
  • The church will host an evening of fine dining, super entertainment and gracious hostility.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Thoughts about being there

I have been thinking off and on about the 'stand-in mom' (cat) in the story below. Just instinct or is she a good 'mom', even more than just being a good mom? Those are not her kittens, they are not even close to being cats. They are baby skunks. It is one thing to give them the nourishment they need, but, to wash them, carry them around and show them to visitors? She probably did not even do that with her own kittens. Animals understand much more than we give them credit for. We can't understand them, they are the dumb animals. They understand us. And they care.

Anytime I have had a cat it has come when I called its name. Our last one would stand by the door just before my husband would arrive home. If found that interesting because he was not one to walk in at the same time every night. Normally, about 10 minutes before he would come home, Whitey would go and set by the door. If I yelled at him for something, he ignored me until I apologized.

Dumb animals. How many stories do we read, hear about, where an animal saves a human. We train dogs to aid the blind and physically challenged. Some animals know when a person will have a seizure. Animals know when you are sad, happy, angry. They stand by us regardless, love us. And back to the stand-in mom. she obviously has enough love to take care of baby skunks. And show them off. So they are different. She takes care of them. I wonder what she will feel when they are removed because they need to go back to the wild, or will they end up in a zoo somewhere? Will she wonder what happened to them? Where they are? Are they ok?

Dumb animals. How many times have we been a 'stand-in'. Stand-in mom, friend, helper, worker, listener. It is one thing when you want to be that stand in. Totally another when no one else will do it. And if we really want it to happen, we have to step up. Do we give it our best? Do we go the extra mile? Or when we are 'stuck' with something that maybe we really don't want, are grumbling about the fact that we are again stuck with having to do something, take care of someone, whatever it is, because the original person who was supposed to do it walked out? Are we proudly showing off our accomplishment and giving it our all, regardless, or are we just counting the seconds until we can get out of the responsibility and hassle of having to do the unwanted task.

On the other hand, if someone is doing something that we did not want to do, are we at least being supportive? Not complaining about the fact it is not how we wanted it done? Not nagging or grumbling at them for not doing it how we thought it should be done? Accepting that it is being done and thanking them for doing it?

Yes, I guess that there are definitely dumb animals on this earth. I am just not sure which species we should think of when we say that.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

What happened here??

This was from a friend of mine, who also sends me interesting little tidbits. My first thought, before I read the text was she was in the wrong place at the wrong time... but after reading I learned she was just being helpful by standing in for a run-away mom!!

One week after being born, six baby skunks were abandoned by their mother. Luckily, we had just weaned five kittens off of our resident farm cat a day before and hoped that perhaps she might take them on as her own. She was reluctant at first, but she let them nurse - a positive sign. Two weeks have gone by and the six little "Stinkers" are thriving and their new mom couldn't be happier. She has become quite devoted to them and even carries them around to show them off to visitors

Sooty Escapes!!

My daughter thinks of me often but doesn't write much... at least about what is going on in her life. Instead I get all kinds of little goodies in my inbox. This one caught my eye and I thought I would share it with you. Poor little guy... but not sure if I think that because he got found and caught, or because he was so totally wiped out!! LOL.

I just went and looked and the print is too small for you to read, so I will retype here what it says:
A guinea pig called Sooty had a night to remember after escaping from his pen and tunnelling into a cage of 24 females.
He romanced each of them in turn and was yesterday the proud father of 43 offspring. Staff at Little Friend's Farm in Pontypridd, South Wales, have now secured Sooty's pen and begun looking for homes for the guinea pigs.
His owner, Carol Feehan, 42, said: "I'm sure a lot of men will be looking at Sooty with envy. We knew that he had gone missing after wriggling through the bars of his cage. We looked for him everywhere but never thought of checking the pen where we keep the 24 females. We did a head count and found 24 guinea pigs--Sooty was fast asleep in the corner.
He was absolutely shattered. We put him back in his cage and he slept for two days."

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Queen Cowabunga!

Ok, so I am having just too much fun with this!! This so funny, unusual layout is done by a friend of mine from Sweden. Carina I am finding out has a great sense of humor which has just shown up for me, starting with this layout. Up until now I have known her to be very sensitive, understanding, patient, a great supporter and if you are down, she will perk you up. But this sense of humor? Have not seen it until now. I told her that I was going to post this on my blog and every time I need a pick-me-up I will just look at this. Normally her layouts are very serious, but I am thrilled to say that we have uncovered the hidden side of her!

If you would like to see credits for this layout, and go from there to see the rest of her gallery, just press this link! Cinna's Gallery

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Oh my!

I have been lucky enough to be able to do the layout pick of the day at Gotta Pixel. I get to pick the layout that I think is the best out of all of the incredible layouts that are put up each day, for one week! It has been exciting and fun and I am thoroughly enjoying it, but was not prepared for it taking quite so much time out of my day. Tomorrow is my last day and I will be sorry not to be still doing it, but also breathing a deep sigh that it is over and I will have a couple of extra hours a day I can actually update more here!!

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Awesome Layout!

When I saw this layout in the gallery I had to contact her and see if I could get a copy. She not only sent me a copy of her layout, but a copy of all of the photos they took on their honeymoon as well so I could do my own layouts also!! Isn't this an awesome photo?? I will have to get busy and see if I can't do some layouts of this great sea turtle her dear husband so wonderfully got photos of. This was in open water and he used (I think she said) an underwater camera. So we can give all the credit for the wonderful pictures used in her (elenasworld) layout and the ones to follow to M. Franklin. She said she was too scared to actually get to close but her husband was very brave and got close to get some great ones. They were taken in Maui in October of 2002. Considering this is Turtles Rainbow... I think we need to continue to have photos of different turtles!!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

A Wake Up Call

Logged into Gotta Pixel this morning, checked the moderators area. Bam! One of our mods is in the hospital, had a heart attack yesterday some time. Her daughter left the message for us so we would know why she was not around today. Her mother, who she is care giver to, is due to go in for some surgery tomorrow. Yes, she has been tired, and yes, she has had more stress. But a heart attack? She is "around" my age. I noticed that friends on line were posting prayers, get well wishes. I also noted that my "on line friends" I chat with, all stopping in to say hi. First question? How are you? Then we talk about our friend, Mary Lynn.

Are the rest of my friends doing what I am doing? Thinking about everyone they have lost, from what, at what age. Realizing time is flying by. We are all complaining about being tired. Too much to do, not enough time. How do we put our lives back into some order...for me personally, how do I find the time to do what I want to do, along with what I must do, and still have time for giving to friends, family. What are my priorities? How do they fit with my goals? The thought that is never far from my consciousness "How is Mary Lynn doing?" Concentrate, think, plan. But!?! Time is racing. My thoughts race also. The wake up call has come. Do I answer?

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

A Thread in a Weaving

If this photo looks a bit "snowy" to you, it is because it was actually snowing quite hard when I took the picture this morning. This is looking out our living room window, across the street to the nursery school (on the left) and junior high where you can see the lights on, more on the right. This was around 9:30 a.m. this morning. Michel was disappointed because it stopped and all melted. He was hoping to get what the rest of Europe has been getting. No such luck. I was happy it did not stay though.
We were supposed to loose our power this morning, so I turned the computers off and ironed. All morning. Got it all done, well, until I do more laundry that is. Feels nice to be caught up with ironing, and not too far behind in laundry. While I was ironing I was thinking about how each person comes into our life for a reason. We may not learn what we are to learn right away, but our lives have changed. I like to think of each person as a thread. Our lives are weavings. Each person who we have come into contact with is a different color thread, and it is added to the fabric we call our life. If you have ever done any weaving, or worked with fibers, you would know that each time you add a different color to what you are working with, you end up with a totally different weaving than you had before. I think we are changed by each person, whether we realize it or not. Even if those people have left our lives, and the thread is pulled, or stops, it leaves a remnant of what it was, or the thread ends, but even that changes the "cloth" once again. The same person comes and goes throughout our entire life, that color comes and goes. Ever wonder what your weaving would look like? You could try doing a quick sample. Use colored pencils. Take a different color for each family member and close friends going up and down. Then start across with more friends, partners, people who you know have made a huge impact in your life. Then think about all of those people who you "think" only passed through quickly, but the contact was made. You gained or gave something, maybe both. By now you should have run out of colors of pencils, or crayons, even if you used the huge multi-pack. Our weavings should be magnificent, full of color, texture, design. And whether or not we realize it, we are also. How much do you touch those around you and change the weave they call their lives. For the better? Some day we may know. Some person may call us up and say, "I just wanted to say Thank you... for touching my life. I have never forgotten when you..." or you may have someone who touched you. Did you ever tell them? Maybe it is time to start looking! It is never too late to realize that people who are in our lives make a difference, and those whose lives we go into, we touch. Be gentle, be nice. Leave a thread that someone will remember with pleasure. And keep an eye on your weaving!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Staying Positive

I received this photo from my daughter from Christmas. It is a great photo and I just had to do a layout of it. The only problem is my daughter is not in it. That would have been so wonderful to have her in it also. Even my brother is waving and looking happy and relaxed. Normally when a camera comes out he grabs his pose. No smile, and same stance... or he is frowning. (I am sure because I am not around to pick on, just kidding he would say after). (smiling) Maybe I will try and add her to it, make another layout. Then when I am down or depressed, I can see all of their smiling faces looking at me saying hi.

Have you ever noticed how difficult it is to stay positive? Have you ever noticed how many negative people there are around? I wonder how many people truly have no idea how what they say affect other people. I am normally quite outspoken, and often find all of the problems with a situation. I know this because I have been trying to refocus... look at the good side of things. I know I am not alone in this. Another friend is fighting the same issues, negativity, getting punched down from all sides without her deserving it. Days like yesterday I just wanted to step back and say OK, I am done. Done trying to be positive, done trying to be correct in all I say and do and still get either no help or shot down. Then a ray of sun would come out in the form of one person saying or doing something so nice, helpful, kind. And I think...that is what I am needing. An angel in the form of a person saying something just when I needed it. It is so much easier to find the negative popping up in your face, but to focus on that maybe just one small thing... and staying positive. It is hard. It makes me rethink about what I am saying, and an old saying comes to mind that my grandmother always said. If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all. (Laughing out loud) What a quiet world it would suddenly become if we all remembered and followed this!! So think at least twice about what you are going to say before saying it. The person on the receiving end may be crushed by some little thing you are saying, just because it is the straw that broke the camel's back (another of those "grandma" sayings). Try to be positive, kind... and if that is not what is going to come out of your mouth... don't say anything at all.

PS. Speaking of being positive, I added another blog link that I go and visit. The Life of Mrs. Miles. She is always good to read and helps me refocus also!!


I thought I would share with you an older photo of the men on my moms side of the family... older ones that is! The one on the left, that was my great grandpa Guy. Next to him was his son Paul, my grandfather and surrogate father for most of my growing up years. The little guy on the shoulder is my uncle Elwyn. He just passed away this last year, the last of the 4 to go. The shoulder he is on is great uncle John. He was guys brother. Obviously he was in the service at that time. This was early 1900's. Love those boots and pants, all tucked in neatly. Life was hard then. I am not sure they were aware of it as we are now looking back. You know, no modern machines to make life easier... maybe not easier but more of a family connection. Families stayed closer to each other, saw each other, family and friends helped each other out more. We used to have Sunday family dinners every week. It was a more restful day. The stores were all closed of course. As soon as we were home from sunday school and church we would all change our clothes and relax. I remember smelling the smells of dinner cooking, watching my grandfather set in "his" chair and read the sunday paper. I was allowed the funnies after he was done with them. Trying to keep my little brother from annoying me as was his habit of doing. (smiling) He still tries to do that as well! I would quite often go with my grandfather to his mom's and stepfathers house (one set of my great grandparents) to make sure they were all ok, see if they wanted to come for dinner. Usually they were just getting ready to set down to their sunday meal as well, that grandma had cooked, on the wood stove. Grandma did finally get an electric stove, but only used it for canning on hot days in the fall. Couldn't trust it as well as her wood one she used to say. (Laughing) Bet we would not say that today! Well, I have rambled off the initial subject of the photo it seems. Now I am in France, and what is left of my close family is in Michigan. Cousins are spread out all over the USA. Things may be easier now, but I am not sure all is for the better.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

An empty corner

Well the month is over. Yesterday afternoon the tree came down. I don't know which is more work, hours to put up, hours to take down and put away. We can now see out those windows, (even if they need a good cleaning) and hubby can get to his plants. But how empty that corner looks! Bit sad really. Now I can get to my boxes, files in the corner, wall paper book, which I use the papers for decorating boxes I make, either inside or outside. I can get to my sewing machine stored down on the side of the couch. Start working on crafts again for this fall when we do our craft fairs. Yes, I can get to all of those things, but I miss the tree. I do like the extra space I now have. We need every bit of extra space we can get for our apartment is very small. 47 square meters (hubby says 49). A tree which takes up at least 1 meter square takes up space!! We are also both 'pack rats' so to speak. We both love art and crafts, creating, and of course there are always those "things" that you know someday you will use. He paints using watercolor, he used to do pastels, now he is into designing digital items I can use in scrapbooking and trying out all of the different tutorials. I sew, frame, build boxes and books (cartonnage) , counted cross stitch, tole painting, bead work and digital scrapbook. So we need our stuff. People who don't create just come to our apartment and see lots of stuff. Those who create come and look and say ohhh you have such a great supply of items! (Laughing) It is all in the perspective of the person. Ok, we have 1 meter back of space and I can see all of the positives for taking the tree down. But I miss the tree.

A bright corner of happy memories

I think one of the things I love about the holiday season besides the wonderful feeling of love in the air is the lights and the tree. Every year I think, ohhh what a job to put it up, move this and that, some of our stuff goes into the "cave" (cellar room that comes with our apt.), our love seat goes and visits a neighbor for the holidays, unpacking all those fragile things, arranging the lights... but I do it, with hubby's help on untangling the lights. After we are always both so glad we took the time to bother. The little hand- made angel at the top looking down at all of the other angels, items and us. Each year my wonderful husband says, this is the best looking tree yet! Laughing I say "thank you sweetie, but you say that every year!" He laughs and says but it is!! It rests in that same corner every year, for about 1 month from start to finish. At night we turn on the lights, and watch it twinkle, and say aren't those lights pretty?! When there are strong winds I watch the items gently sway on the tree. (We live in a very tall building and have lots of wind here!!) Each ornament was either hand picked when we were some place special, hand made by myself, my daughter or my grand daughter. Some were bought at craft fairs here in France, but were also hand made. We will look and say, oh remember when we were there? Remember this trip? This fair? The tree of blinking lights, bits of cloth, plastic, metal and glass becomes a corner full of memories shared and a months worth of days and evenings worth of enjoyment.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

A new day dawning

I set here watching the sun rise and planes descend and rise from Charles de Gaulle airport. Oh, I can't see the airport, only the planes in the sky leaving their white trails behind them as they rise and descend. I can tell a lot about the weather outside from my vantage point at my computer. I see two or three smoke stacks with their smoke going gently off to the left, hmmmm there is a breeze. Sun is shining but I can feel the cold radiating from the window. A nice morning at least! No rain today I believe, the sky was not red when the sun came up. The sky is a clear blue except for the planes. A beautiful day to get out and visit our marché downstairs. This is a view of it taken this fall from my neighbors apartment. Her side overlooks the "Place" at Place des Fetes where we live. You can tell it was October, the trees are just starting to make a bit of change and there are lots of them. You can only see a part of our marché it wraps all around the parc at the Place near the top of the photo, and it also continues past the bottom of the photo and around the front and off to the side of our building. It is a big one and it is here 3 times a week. Shopping out your door. Fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, fish and poultry, cheese, clothing, shoes, household items. Not much they don't sell actually. I used to go for all 3 days, not I go only when I actually need something, as I get tired of trying to get through and around the masses of people there talking and shopping, pulling their little carts, pushing babies, with their dogs on leashes, all walking at a different pace. Of course in the middle of all of this is the metro station at both sides of the parc, and the parc itself. (Laughing) If you think I am misspelling words, you are probably seeing them spelled the french way. I tend to mix things that way now after 8 years. In my speech also. Frangleigh we who live here call it. But, today we do need to get to the marché! Off I go!

Saturday, January 13, 2007


The last 2 days have been a bit trying. End of the week, 2 crops, and having to come face to face with unforgiving and quite nasty people. It seems that as soon as Christmas is over, people become nasty. Why is that? The thought that they have to be good to get a present from Santa is still in the back of their mind somewhere? Tempers are short all around. I see it on sites, I see it in the metro, on the bus, in the stores. Not sure why... no money left from too much spending for the holidays? Having to go back to work? Winter setting in? Not enough sun light? Lingering sickness? Many have been sick all over the world. I hear the same stories from people in different countries, all sick with the same virus.

I have an interest in digital scrapbooking and am involved with different sites. I became involved for several reasons. I enjoy meeting new people, learning new things, being creative and it not involving spending lots of money. I have met so many wonderful people, who give and give without asking for something back. Kind people, with problems, people who need an ear to listen. They need to know there are those out there who care. Oh yes, there are also those who demand respect, obedience and would drain you dry if they had the chance. I was reminded these last 2 days that I need not let my focus stay on the last type of person. It needs to on my God, on my faith, and for me to continue to do what I know is right. Listen if someone needs to talk, give moral support, let my scrapbooking also be a way of sharing my faith. If people cannot accept the truth of situations, I will know I tried and their blindness is not on my shoulders.

I added a new link in the blog section. Hummie's blog called Life Analyzed. If you have a minute check it out. I just finished listening to the song "as the deer" that brought back so many memories of singing in the choir, my faith and my need to focus. She is another who is looking at her focus, her needs. I think this time of year, with New Year's Eve resolutions all around us it also forces us to look at what we want. A new year, a hope renewed that this will be a good year, without sickness, poverty, death of a loved one. A year where people will listen if I need an ear, will give me moral support and lift me up when I am down. If we can do that for each other it will indeed be a good year. A good way for the refocusing to begin.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

The visit of my belle mere (Mother-in-law)

Sunday, January 7, my "belle-mere" came for an overnight visit. She always looks elegant and this weekend was no exception. It was the first time we had seen her since July, before we left for Michigan on vacation, and she was happy to be able to spend some time with us. She took the train from Nemours to Paris which takes around 45 minutes. She said the trip was fine and she enjoyed our open air Marche (market) before coming up to the apartment. It was nice catching up on the rest of the family and hearing about the months between the times we saw her last. As this is the season for big, rich dinners we over-ate at both meals. The typical "special meals with guests and/or family are always an event. This day was no exception. The good dishes, special wine and champagne glasses and with it comes the knowledge that there will be several coures. Appetizers, first course which this time of year usually means foie gras de canard with a fresh baguette, after we had porc roti, endive, and homemade french fries. The french fries are my hubbys favorite and seems also his mom loves them as well. There was the cheese course and dessert with champagne and after coffee, freshly ground. I actually left out the salad course with the first meal, but we did manage to have it with a late dinner. As lunch started around 2:00 pm, it was not done until close to 5:30 pm. So when at 8:30 pm I decided we must eat at least a light dinner, I was really starting to feel as if it were not two separate meals, but one long one with a short break. We finished eating at 11:00 pm. Hubby and I both had work in the morning so by 1:00 am I was more than ready to go to bed. 6:30 am comes very early when you have a late evening. All in all, with the exception of the fact that my brain stopped translating the "French immersion" by the beginning of dinner, I felt the visit was a success.

Friday, January 5, 2007

A layout for my granddaughter Shaina

This was a layout I did for a challenge at Gotta Pixel. It is a scripture challenge. I am a moderator on the site so I try and be active in the challenges and forums. They are fun to do and I usually end up learning something in the process and at times stretching out of my comfort zone. This kit was for a designer at Deco Pages, Becky Casey, and the kit is called Country Love. It felt soft and comfy so I used it for the challenge.

Shaina was just a few hours old in the photo on the left. We did not know at that time that she had food allergies to things that her mom was eating and she was getting through the milk. Normally, after the babies eat, they are happy, content, and sleep. She would scream for hours. We were so happy when it was finally discovered what was causing her screaming and discomfort. I was not able to bond with her as much as I would have liked due to the fact she would only settle down with her mom those first few months, and after that, I ended up in Paris France! At least now that she is getting older we have gotten to know each other more and I do get to spend time with her in the summer when we are home on our vacation. The photo on the right was taken on the day she was baptized. I just love the baptismal dress she was wearing and the cute little head band.