December 30, 2007

1er janvier- non fumeurs!

Got this email from a friend!! What they heck is the point of the law then.... if the proprietor can decide to have a "smoking" area in part of the restaurant...??? 1!!! Makes NOOOO FREAKIN' sense to me!!! We've all had to put up with their smelly smoke... so now, let's have our turn of NOT having to smell the sticky stuff!!!!!

L’interdiction dans les cafés, hôtels, restaurants, discothèques et casinos

En ce qui concerne les lieux de convivialité (débits permanents de boissons à consommer sur place, les casinos, les débits de tabac, les discothèques, les hôtels et les restaurants), un délai de près d’un an a été donné aux établissements dans l’application des dispositions du décret afin de leur permettre économiquement aux nouvelles règles.
Dans les lieux fermés et couverts, le responsable d’établissement peut décider la création d’emplacements réservés aux fumeurs qui doivent être clos et équipés de dispositifs de ventilation puissante.
Aucune prestation ne peut y être délivrée de telle sorte qu’aucun salarié, qu’il appartienne ou non à l’établissement, n’ait à y pénétrer avant une heure après la fin de l’utilisation du local.
La superficie de ces emplacements ne doit pas être supérieure à 20 % de la surface de l’établissement et un emplacement ne peut dépasser 35 mètres carrés.
Un message sanitaire de prévention doit être apposé à l’entrée. Les mineurs de 16 ans ne peuvent y accéder.
Aussi, à compter du 1er janvier 2008, l’interdiction sera totale tant que l’établissement ne s’est pas doté, s’il le souhaite, d’un tel espace réservé aux fumeurs.

December 28, 2007

The world mourns over the death of Benzir Bhutto

Such a tragedy for the world!!!
GARHI KHUDA BAKHSH, Pakistan — Hundreds of thousands of mourners, weeping and chanting for justice, thronged the mausoleum of Pakistan's most famous political dynasty in a raw outpouring of grief for Benazir Bhutto. The government blamed Al Qaeda and the Taliban for the assassination of the opposition leader, who was buried alongside her father.

Furious supporters, many of them blaming — President Pervez Musharraf's government for the shooting and bombing attack on the former prime minister, rampaged through several cities in violence that left at least 23 dead less than two weeks before crucial elections.

Some wept, others chanted "Benazir is alive," as the plain wood coffin was placed beside the grave of her father in the vast, white marble mausoleum in southern Sindh province near the Bhuttos' ancestral home.
(Both photos were found on the internet through a Google image search).

Frost covered leaves on Christmas Day!

Reminds me of the salt on the side of the margharita glass... why would I think of that? I don't even drink!!!

New Year'S Resolutions for Millions of French!

For us NON-SMOKERS here in France, 1 janvier 2008 will be a BIG day to celebrate!! Not just because of the New Year... but because La France will impose it's new law to prohibit smoking in les endroits publiques... let's see if it holds! I think it will.. Will it mean more smokers on the street???!! Probably... as if we don't have enough as it is now!
But, I imagine that even more smokers in France will be resolving to QUIT smoking once and for all this year because of the strict new law! The high price/tax on cigarettes should be enough reason NOT to smoke.. but hey.. we all have our expensive vices!!
Mine is Starbucks.... Anyhow, I will be curious to see how well the new law is followed and it does hold strong, Alex and I will be able to go out to enjoy some live Brasilian music in Paris, sometime... I am TRULY looking forward to this New Year and think it is a milestone for La France. Meanwhile, on the news last night (CNN), I heard that for people caught smoking in the car with children they will incur a fine of $100!!! Go California, go!!! Photo taken by Nitot (some copyrights apply!)

Check out Paris Blog's post regarding smoking.

December 26, 2007

Thiais Village- a new mall!!

Here's the link to Thiais Village, it's right near Belle-Epine and they have a HUGE Starbucks there, as well as a HUGE Ikea... oh.. what Ikea ISN'T huge???!!!! Anyhow.. it's worth checking out if you are in the area!!!

Merry Christmas from France!!

Me at the mall, Belle Epine, where we go every Saturday morning for coffee at Starbucks!!



I get very teary-eyed when I think about my mom, and not having her here with us physically, and I cannot even imagine what it must be like to lose a child... because losing my mom, was hard enough. One of my Myspace friends is Donate4William, a page dedicated to Kim's son, William who passed away not long after my mom did... William was only 16 years old! His mom, Kim created the page for him, and has dedicated her time and life to the very valuable cause, organ donation. Here is a little about William from his Myspace page. I hope that you will visit his page and take the time to find out more about organ donation. It saves lives!!
William "Will" McMahon was an active, healthy, sixteen year-old honor student. During the last week of 2004 he developed flu-like symptoms. In less than a week Will was diagnosed with unexplained liver failure. He was flown from Pensacola, FL to Shands Hospital in Gainesville, FL in critical condition. A miracle occured when he received a donated liver in time to save his life. After his Jan. 2,2005 transplant,Will bravely fought for his life and successfully returned home. There he resumed his passions of surfing and playing the guitar. Almost five months after his transplant Will developed complications and once again he needed a liver donation. We were not as fortunate this time and William passed away May 19,2005. Please understand and discuss organ donation with your family and friends. By doing so you are helping raise awareness of this life saving gift! I would be happy to share this story and talk about organ donation to any school, church or group. If you are interested in "Don't Break the Circle" shirts, magnets or bumper stickers please let me know. You can also contact me at or visit The William Rollings McMahon Organ Donation Educational Foundation to make a donation. Thank you!

Happy B-dy MOM!!!

This is the third b-day without MOM!! We all miss you TERRIBLY Mom!! Love, Leesa

Nora Jones, Come away with me

A beautiful song!

Don't Stop Me Now

What a GREAT song!!!! Who LOVES Queen as much as I do??? What a fantastic singer Freddy was... I really wish I had seen them in concert... I was a HUGE Queen fan as a teenager!!!!

Dedicated to Cynthia and my Mom- Who Wants to Live Forever by QUEEN

I just found out that my mom's childhood friend, Cynthia, passed away! She went in for shoulder shoulder to relieve pain she was having as a result of an injured shoulder. The surgery was successful; however, she developed a blood clot in her leg a few days later and was in the hospital for in critical condition! So sad!!! I had been in pretty close contact with her since my mom died 2 years ago... but because my computer crashed a few months ago and I lost her email address, I hadn't written in a few months.. I was thinking about her in the past few weeks.. how strange life is.... but I had NO idea that her surgery had produced such complications... Tragic!! Cynthia had been my mom's best friend during their childhood and up until age 15, they had remained close friends. She and my mom lost contact as teenagers and then did not reconnect until about a year before my mom passed away. Cynthia made several trips out to California from Philly to visit my mom, up until the end.. and it was soooo great for both of them to spend time together and catch up on all the time that they were apart! Cynthia's husband had passed away just the year before my mom did, and I know how hard it was for her to see my mom towards the end, because she was going to lose another loved one, so soon after losing her husband. Cyn and I had spoken about this on a few occasions after Mom was gone, and though Cyn was deeply saddened to lose my mom and suddenly refinding her after all those years, she was happy that she was able to spend the time that she was able to spend with her! I regret that I had not written to Cynthia in a few months.. I had the address on my other computer (desktop) in the other room, but I had completely forgotten about it... and bottom line.. we never know when we are going to have to go... Cynthia was only 64, just a few weeks before her 65th b-day! I always feel so stricken with saddness when someone leaves us... Let us not take even a moment for granted... Call your loved ones today, even if it's just for a few minutes!!

Queen - Love of My Life

This is one of my many favorites of Queen... It is so well done... It brings tears to my eyes whenever I listen to it!!

This One's for you MOM!!!!

Today would have been my beautiful and beloved mom's 65th b-day!!! I miss her soo much it's beyond words... Mom Loved Queen and so do I! This one's for you Mom!!!!

December 25, 2007

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!!


Just frost, not really snow.. but it looks nice on the ground! Especially on Christmas Day!!!!

December 22, 2007

Tooo CUTE!!!!

Makes me feel all warm n' fuzzy inside! (Not my photo, btw).

Cupcake Christmas Tree

I made a Christmas tree out of cupcakes for the kids and a tres leches cake for the adults!

Santa Claus is coming to Town a Evry!!

This guy IS Santa, or Pere Noel, as he is called here!! He is the image of Santa, let me tell you!! I think that the kids REALLY believed that he was the one and only Santa, too!

Random shot in Paris!!

Here is a HOT example of le systeme D (Demerde)!

Just got homesick!!

My friend, Patty, just sent this picture to me by email with the subject line reading, "Only in San Diego!" As my husband chuckled upon looking at the photo... I got a sudden twitch of homesickness as I thought about the nice weather that San Diego will probably have on Christmas Day!! You GOOOOO, San Diego!!! This is the skating rink at the Hotel Del in Coronado! Beautiful winter scene!!!!

Ohhhhh... It's COLLLLLDDDD!!!

Naw, not really!! Well, not if you are layered up, anyway!! I'm actually doing better than I thought I would with the cold sub-zero temps here this past week!! Thanks to a warm coat, a beanie, a scarf and some faux UGGs, I'm doin' just fine! Enjoy the FROST...

My Christmas Tradition!

Friends who know me well will surely confirm my love for baking... Betty Crocker is my middle name, you know! Anyhow, it's always been a HUGE tradition for me for YEARS, to pass out the goods at Christmas time. Instead of store bought gifts, friends and local merchants of the places I frequently would receive a yearly plate of assorted home made cookie from me! I just loved the feeling of giving.. and I know that people TRULY do appreciate home baked cookies and treats... So, here is a picture of some of the goodies I whipped up this past week to pass out to my students and their families, friends and local merchants in Antony, including my fav. Starbucks in Paris (Montparnasse)! YUMMMMMM!!!

I made some turtles this year!

I have a student who is allergic to wheat... and so I made sure I had some goodies for her... Turtles, chocolate fudge, chocolate bark and an assortment of holiday m&m's, hersey's kisses, recesses peanut butter cups, and peppermint patties - all dressed in holiday foils- a BIG thanks to Tony for lugging about 30 pounds of American chocolates to France!!!

December 21, 2007

Just in time for Christmas!

A very COOL and YUMMY French tradition at Christmas time... Look!! It's the buche de noel.... It's just cool looking at them!!!

December 19, 2007

Le roi soleil(ça marche)


The banks of the Seine!

End of the fall... but it SURE feels like WINTER already... Can you see how high the Seine is?? WOW!!!

Not what it appears to be!!

No... I'm not tokin'!!! It's just a symbolic gesture for ol' Jim!! Long Live JIM!!!!! I sure wish he didn't die... because I would have LOVED to see him perform LIVE... I was a HUGE Doors fan all through high school!!!!