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French la Vie
Provence, France
Recent Activity
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My mom does not write letters, so that was the first clue that something was off, then there was the handwriting which definitely wasn't my mother's. Noticing that it wasn't her handwriting reminded me that when we see the handwriting of those we care for it is a sign of their evident presence, a sense of knowing someone as if their handwriting was a handshake or a hug, it is that familiar and comforting. Anyway, that letter was not from my mother, but a very funny joke from my two nieces, Marie and Molly. They sent letters with the same humor to my son and their uncle my brother Marty. Each letter is a spin-off of each of our relationships with our mother. Molly and Marie have done such a good job with these letters that I think the two of them should write a book of letters from my mom. They even added flowers from my mom's garden! My brother Marty's letter jokes about not making his favorite lemon pie anymore. As if these letters aren't sweetly fun in their own right when I read my out loud to Yann was puzzled, as he thought my mom had written it. He questioned it, "You mom is going to learn a new language?" It took some explaining for him to understand that it was a joke from my nieces. "Why," he asked, "Are you sure it is not real?" I think I will get a ride out of this one for some time. Continue reading
Posted yesterday at French la Vie
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One week ago today Chelsea gave birth to Gabriel. I was honored to be at the birth which was at a natural clinic in Paris. Gabriel, you came with one glorious push, sliding into this world with a ribbon around your neck and under your arms that slide off the instant you were born. Your mother who was on her knees scooped you up and held you close saying over and over again in the gentlest voice, "I love you, I love you, I love you..." Martin held both of you and washed you with his joy. For the next couple of hours, your parents cradled you in their bed flesh touching flesh, coo-ing to you in music that is made for love birds. Earlier on when your journey first started I asked the heavens that the prayers, thoughts, wishes, words, notes, expression of love sent to you from family, friends, and acquaintance surround you and bring you safely to our side. I thank all of you for your many loving notes I felt your presence during Gabriel's birth. One week. One glorious week that felt like a lifetime and a nanosecond combined. I am returning to Provence to led a French la Vie Group. It was planned before I knew Chelsea was pregnant. After which Chelsea and Co. will be staying with us for two months. Sacha comes for a holiday July 9th. It is going to be the best summer ever! Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at French la Vie
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Happy 27th Birthday, Sacha! (In French to say, Uncle, it is Ton. But just like some say Auntie for Aunt, Ton-Ton is for Ton.) Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at French la Vie
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I asked if I could take him home. Need I say the answer? My friend Lizzie said that when a baby comes into one's life it is as if one is watching Baby TV 24/7 because you cannot take your eyes off of them. My new favorite show "Gabriel". I will be posting baby overload. I never want to leave. Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2019 at French la Vie
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Gabriel was born on June 15th in the morning. He weighed 9 pounds. Chelsea, Martin and the baby shared a beautiful natural birth and are somewhere deep in an enchanted land of love. Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2019 at French la Vie
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So so much more to share. overflowing Joy. We are in that dream state between heaven and earth. The baby has arrived. Details will follow. Thank you for every thought, prayer, wish, dream, hope that you sent. Your love and friendship were felt. Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2019 at French la Vie
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Soon. Chelsea feels good and is happy. Anticipating with joy, not anxious nor worried. Such a special time to wake up wondering, « Is today the day? « Then being curious throughout the day and night with giddy excitement. I haven’t had this feeling since I was a child at Christmas. Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2019 at French la Vie
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The Mystery full ripe womb sacred treasure seen but unseen felt but not held visible but invisible sacred wonder loved and loved and loved now and forever (no sign we are happily waiting) Continue reading
Posted Jun 13, 2019 at French la Vie
waiting for the expected baby with anticipating joy. baby to be I see you wiggling tomorrow maybe? or next week's full moon? the kitchen clock tics Chelsea grows all is good in this moment of elevated dreams to come true. Continue reading
Posted Jun 12, 2019 at French la Vie
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Those shining stars who get under our skin, who capture our hearts, who take us beyond what we ever knew about love. Those shining stars, those who we love, and love us in return. Have you ever known a love like that? Someone who is your star, who leads you? Starlight. Star bright. What happiness I feel when I am around my children. Just being with them and watching them become who they are. How fortunate I feel loving them, knowing they love me and trust me. I loved being their mother when they were babies. I remember thinking that each age: Newborn, Two, Five, Seven, Ten, Fourteen, Sixteen, Twenty... was the best and couldn't imagine that it would be better. I was happily wrong each moment was delicious. I love that they love each other. That they get along, are never jealous and are there for each other. I am happy to watch them at a distant and or close at hand. I wish I would swallow them whole, but do what I can to stand back and let them be. Have you ever wanted to hold someone forever? I wish they would live under our roof or at least next door. First star I see at night. I know I am being gushy and proud, but that is what happens when I spend unlimited time with these two. They make me happy. (Goofing off but I like it.) I have to take ten thousand photos (and I am not exaggerating no matter what Chelsea says!) of Chelsea to have ten without her making a face. Okay, let's say that Chelsea likes to make faces, though when I beg her not too, she will smile briefly and sometimes I am lucky to catch it before she goofs off again. And what is really, utterly strange is Chelsea is the more serious one out of the two of these potato heads. And Sacha rarely goofs off in front of the camera, well with me that is. These two shining stars I have made my wishes come true. And soon Sacha will be home, and Chelsea will have a baby... Nothing better. Continue reading
Posted Jun 10, 2019 at French la Vie
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As I walked around Notre Dame in Paris I could not help but cry. It was shocking to see the damage even if the facade remains mostly intact. The Rose glass windows have miraculously survived, their supporting facades stand strikingly tall and seemingly alone. The windows around the ambulatory appeared to be missing what I could see seemed to be empty spaces replaced by boarded-up plastic shields. Notre Dame is sealed completely off by a wall. I walked in a daze along the river and crossed the bridge behind to see the full effect of the damage I can only imagine the damage on the inside, and how horrific for the parishioners and neighbors who lived near it. Notre Dame will take time to analyze before restoration can begin. The smell of ash was startling. Yann said there was a report that said 300 tons of lead melted in the fire the authorities are asking pregnant, nursing mothers and families with newborns who lived nearby to be tested for lead levels. Chelsea lives further away so it wasn’t necessary. A long time blog reader wrote to me: "Yes, I too read about the lead and was very worried for the people who live and work so close by. No one on the U.S. news talked about humans at the time of the fire, but there are so many shops and food carts and the flower market... I really love to noodle around that area and I have a favorite shop where I buy my Paris "tchochkes "...sachets and tea towels and an ugly magnet for my daughter. Apparently, they were only closed for a couple of days, and the man who owns "my" store said that business was booming. " IThe bell towers and the main facade are intact, the bells survived but remain silent. The organ: "...More recently, during the 20th century, renovations were often the result of strong or sudden changes in the weather and other environmental factors: an overflowing of the Seine, heat waves… Fortunately, the organ was largely spared by the fire that started in the cathedral in the evening of 15 April 2019. However, the dust, soot, and intense heat from the fire will undoubtedly have had an impact upon the instrument. Not to mention the site's exceptional acoustic with a seven-second echo. Its roof largely destroyed, it will be a while before we are... Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2019 at French la Vie
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The game of life is an interest and challenging game one in which you never know how it will end, but you know it will. It can be played with a combination of feelings, ideas, goals, attitudes, thoughts... you can give it your all or give it very little, or somewhere in between. The outcome of how you will play out it is unknown, you can play it well or not, either way, it can change faster than a blink of an eye in a direction you never expected or for which you desired. Some sail smoothly through it, Some have faith with amazing endurance and grace, Some have a rough go and come through with an abundance of joy, others kick and scream and rarely see beauty. Some ask questions, others accept, some see God, some see darkness, others just let it be. The game is for the living. It is for the brave, the weak, the rich, the poor, the happy and the sad. Some see the end as a stepping stone to somewhere better, others don't see it that way at all. In life's toughest moments, how do you go on living? Kate Bowler has been exploring this question ever since she was diagnosed with stage IV cancer at age 35. In a profound, heartbreaking and unexpectedly funny talk, she offers some answers -- challenging the idea that "everything happens for a reason" and sharing hard-won wisdom about how to make sense of the world after your life is suddenly, completely changed. "I believe that in the darkness, even there, there will be beauty and there will be love," she says. This video was produced by TEDMED. TED's Please follow the link above. I found this very interesting and beautiful, her message resonates with what I have felt in my darkest moments: With the death of my boyfriend, having ovarian cancer, my father's death... It made me cry as I felt an understanding seldom expressed by those who have not lived or held darkness in their hands. I would like your opinion, your thoughts. Yann disagrees somewhat to her opinion, he thinks if you do something good then good comes back to you such as if you smile at someone someone smiles back if you throw mud at someone the person will probably act not favorably. I hear what he is saying, we can choose how we... Continue reading
Posted Jun 6, 2019 at French la Vie
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Out of nowhere like the air that passes by something triggers a memory, a feeling, a thought that takes me to a place or an idea that I have or have not thought of before. A magic wonder, serendipity, an open door to discovering something deeper or new. The amazing occurrence of life's tidbits to wonder and awe or simply an aha moment. An antique china bowl with brightly colorful soup spoons, gave way to that passage the other day. Swirling me in a creative sense, that eventually gave way to this thought. Life's unexpected invisible doors opening and leading us further along. Continue reading
Posted Jun 5, 2019 at French la Vie
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Going to the brocante is more than an addiction it is an admiration for the past, for the discoveries I learn and gather about France, French culture and history. A living museum a rare account of the way things were. Going to the brocante is more than finding old things by rummaging through dusty boxes of past lives. Brocanting is the story of past lives, to see first hand the way life was lived and evolved. History gathered in a letter, a dish, a painting, a book, a tool... piece by piece as if a puzzle of yesterday coming together to this moment. Last Sunday I found a box full of 16th to 17th-century documents, some of them from an officer from the Duc d'Orlean. Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2019 at French la Vie
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Before I knew Chelsea and Martin were expecting a baby I had scheduled the French la Vie Journeys. The next one starts on the 25th of June, Chelsea’s due date is the 15th. Fingers crossed the baby is born around then and not born late... otherwise I might be leading the group through the maternity. Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2019 at French la Vie
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A French Riddle engraved on a heart. What does it say? I was at the brocante in Paris when I added a photo of this heart to my Instagram stories. Someone wrote me an hour or so later saying they wanted to buy it. Retracing my steps was as hard as finding a needle in a haystack! Luck was on my side when I found it and asked the dealer what it meant. She said to me read it and hear what you are saying, et voilà I understood. Do you know what it says? Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2019 at French la Vie
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The roses Eden in my courtyard, lush wonders of a hundred petals. Beautiful though lacking perfume. This year there was an explosion of blossoms! Continue reading
Posted Jun 1, 2019 at French la Vie
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My bag is packed. The bus arrives soon, then I will catch the train to Paris. The day has finally arrived, or I should say the next chapter, I am going to go wait in Paris for the baby to be born. Chelsea is not in labor yet, I am going ahead of time I do not want to miss the moment! This moment is around the corner how my eyes fill and my nose stings just thinking about it. OH MY GOD!!! A baby! I am so happy and excited to share these next days with you. Thank you, Susan and Barbara, for the gifts you have sent. They are neatly folded and ready to be used. If I am crying with happiness now I can only imagine how I am going to feel the moment the baby arrives! My Guess is: Date June 10 Weight 9 lbs. a Boy Name Elijah And yours if you haven't already added to the post or by comment early? Continue reading
Posted May 31, 2019 at French la Vie
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