Monthly Archives: June 2015

First Friends to Visit


Kent’s parents came in April and they were our first family visitors, but last week our first friends came to see us.  Sarah and Helen Morris.  We have been friends for years.  Helen is a student at Liberty with Michael and Robert, and her brother Eddie lives with them.

They have been doing some touring on their own and also spending time at our house.  We spent last Saturday in St. Andrews and Sunday at church and in Crail which is on the sea.  These ruins are the St. Andrews Castle and Cathedral.

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We also went to the coffee shop where Kate and Wills met.  We had a scone with cream and jam.  We also walked around the town and saw the bagpiper playing on the street.

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You can tell the town is preparing for the British Open.  It starts on July 12 and they say about 100,000 people will be coming.  Should be exciting!

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Jackie and I drove around Paris to see the sights.  She has lived there so long that it is nothing for her to drive through and around without any trouble.  Here are some sights by car.  I cannot remember every name so I’ll put what I think.  If I am wrong, please comment and let me know.  Thanks.


Above- riding into the city in many lanes of traffic.  Next, the Eiffel Tower.

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The Louvre is several buildings like our Smithsonian.  Here is one of them.


The famous Arc de Triomphe.


Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Paris.


The next photo I cannot remember.  Sorry, but it is a pretty building.



I am so glad I went to see Jackie.  We had such a good time.  This summer we are blessed to have visitors like we did in Santiago.  That’s why it took me so long to finish this post.  Next, I’ll share our first summer visitors……



Saint Germain-en-Laye

Saint Germain-en-Laye is a town near Jackie’s house.  I don’t know if they consider it a suberb but it is a high end area that cost as much to live there as it does in Paris.  Most of the popular stores have moved out there so the people who live there don’t have to go in to Paris to shop.  We ate lunch there and walked around one day.

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They had a cheese shop with so many cheeses.  We have over 80 here but I am not sure how many are in this shop.

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Tomorrow is pictures of Paris.

Jackie’s Friends

When we had the car trouble Jackie called her friends from Poland to help us.  They work on houses and can fix anything.  They came to France and their families are back home.  They live on her property so they have become good friends.  They were so nice and even though they didn’t speak English it was nice to meet them and try to communicate.  Unfortunately, I cannot spell their names in Polish, but I do have their picture.


Jackie’s friend Joelle came for dinner when we had the veal.  I had actually gotten to meet her when she came to visit Chile.  She is such a nice friend to Jackie and I hope she calls herself my friend as well.  She speaks more English than I do French so she tried and we could have a little conversation.

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Lastly, I met Tiphanie Jackie’s daughter.  We had the fancy meal together.  She lived in Chicago from age 7-10 with her family so Tiphanie knows English well.  She said when they arrived in Chicago she didn’t know any English, but within 6 months of immersion she was talking without a problem.  She has 3 sons and a daughter and works in a bank in Paris.  She loves to run and she and her husband do races in the forests.  They are running at the end of June and she will run 46 km and her husband 146 km.  That is a long way!  Since I came back I have decided I should try running- I am up to 10 minutes!  I don’t want to push myself too much!  I decided I would add a minute a day on the treadmill and see how it goes.  I get so bored.  Does anyone have suggestions?  I do listen to music.


The market and a Paris restaurant

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Twice a week the village Jackie lives in has a market set up in town.  It has meats, cheeses, and produce.  All fresh and delicious.  The top picture is 3 different types of pate’.  She bought some veal and foie gras which I had always heard of but never tried.  She invited a friend over for dinner so we were buying food for the meal.

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The above meat is veal with bacon and cheese and pepper around it.  It was so good.  The other picture is rabbit pate’ with the foie gras in the center.  I was glad I tasted it but it’s not something I would eat a lot.  Jackie said they force feed a duck or goose until their liver explodes and that is what you are eating.  She loves animals so doesn’t eat it much because of how they produce it.

The last night we went to Paris and met Tiphanie, Jackie’s daughter.  Tiphanie likes to try different restaurants and this is one of her favorites.  It was one of the best meals I have ever eaten.  The food was amazing and the service was attentive but not overbearing.  I got to try truffles which smell bad and don’t look appetizing, but are really very expensive and delicious in the plate I was given.  They look like a mushroom.

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I had a chocolate souffle for dessert and then they brought out another tray of miniature desserts including one in an eggshell that was similar to a panecotta.

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Finally, the baquettes.  They love their baguettes.  I think each village must have a bakery that bakes fresh bread.  They also had delicious looking pastries as well.

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As you can tell I loved the food.  Tomorrow I’ll introduce you to new friends….

New Foods

One thing I enjoyed about my trip and Europe in general is their more relaxed way of life.  Kent and I are always in a hurry.  I don’t know why but we just are.  We even eat fast.  So, visiting  Jackie was a nice interruption and slowed me way down.  I love the way they take time for coffee or a glass of wine.  It’s just nice.

The first night we had a relaxing dinner at home with cheese, bread, a Polish sausage, and a glass of wine.  It was perfect for when you aren’t really that hungry but want to eat something.

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The second day we went out for lunch at a typical French restaurant.  We had a “salad” with goat cheese and beets and a fish dish with grilled vegetables.  It was so delicious.

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The next day was the surprise dish that could never be served in America.  We have friends (the Dinnie’s) that we used to eat lunch with almost every Sunday after church when we lived in Richmond.  Every time we would go to a burger place Bob would order his burger rare,  and every time they would tell him they couldn’t serve burgers rare.  This dish is tartare.  Jackie told me it was raw beef which I was thinking that I like sushi so maybe this would be similar to seared steak.  I was wrong.  The first picture is how it came on the plate to us and the second plate is how she fixed it.

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To make it the way they like to eat it they stir in the egg, the herbs, ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and Tabasco.  They eat it like this or with french fries.  I did eat some but I told her it was so out of my comfort zone that it was mind over matter.  It really wasn’t as bad as it looks, but it was an unusual dish for an American.


We finished the lunch with coffee and a few “mini” desserts.  This tray included a creme brulee, panecotta, a crisp cookie, and a macaron.  A little taste of yummy!

Tomorrow, the village market and the amazing dinner we had in Paris…..


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Versailles is a popular tourist spot outside of the center of Paris.  We arrived around 11am and the lines were zigzagging all around the front of the entrance.  We decided we would go look at the gardens.

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Versailles is so expansive.  It seems to go on and on for miles.  We took a little train around the outskirts of the gardens.  We met a nice family of 3 sisters, a brother, and a friend.  They were missionary kids and had come over to tour together before they found jobs.  They were from the DFW area in Texas AND one had just graduated from nursing school at Liberty and another sister had just graduated with a masters degree from JMU!  And their grandparents live in Vinton, VA (not far from the farm)  It’s such a small world.

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Tomorrow will be the new French food I tried!  Can’t wait to show you that.


Last week I went to see my friend Jackie.  If you’ve been reading my blog since Chile you have met Jackie.  We are actually friends from there.  We met at church over a year ago and were instant friends.  She is so fun to be around and we get along really well.

She lives part time in Chile and part time in France.  She is a widow and her kids are all grown up and on their own.  She lived her early years in Chile and then came to France and married Bruno.  They had 6 children (one of her triplets died as an infant) so she stays busy with her grandchildren, kids, her house, and her friends.  We had a great time.

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I arrived at the airport and almost as soon as we started driving back to her house the engine light on her car came on.  So, we had to take a little unexpected detour to the Volvo shop and then find a rental car that was available.

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This is Jackie and her dog, Sally.  In France you can take your dog with you anywhere-even restaurants.  Sally is getting over the death of 2 of her dog friends so she and Jackie go everywhere together.  After we took care of the car situation we went to her house.

Jackie lives in the outskirts of Paris.  You actually feel like you are in the country, but you can drive to Paris without traffic in 10 minutes.  She has a big beautiful house that is perfect for relaxation and spending time with friends and family.

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She is a horse lover and they have all you need to enjoy your horses.

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One of my favorite things was being able to sit outside in the warm weather.  It was so nice to just sit out on her patio and sit in the sun.

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More to come tomorrow….

Yoga Video

A few weeks ago Margaret, Carrie, and I were talking about how sad it will be when we leave Scotland and won’t have Madeira for our yoga teacher.  They were telling me that it’s not always easy to find a really good yogi.  So, we decided to make a video to take home with us.  Then Margaret (the go-getter organizer) contacted a production company and set up all the arrangements for us and Madeira to be in an official yoga video.

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Margaret rented a studio on the sea and we met there Saturday for a few hours.  It was a beautiful setting to look out the window.  Above is Mia the videographer and Madeira warming up.

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This is us before we started.  All smiles, no sweat.

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Getting ready.  Madeira smiling.

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This is Margaret, Carrie, and Madeira after.  We did 2 hours of yoga and it exhausted me.  Kent and I drove to Costco when I got home and I was still having to take deep breaths.  It was so fun and when we get the download ready maybe you all could watch and see if you would like to download and do it at home?  I know she’s a good teacher because I can do a back bend now which I haven’t been able to do since high school!  Stretching is good!

Lots more to share next time.  May be a few days until you hear from me again!


Kent ended up staying in Athens for 2 nights just because of the logistics of the trip.  It is hard to believe that Paul preached there and was in the same city.

The last night he was there he ate dinner with some people he met at the conference.  They were from Bulgaria, Australia, England, and the US.  It’s amazing how far people will travel to be at these meetings.

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One interesting thing about Greece is their plate tradition.  For those of you who don’t know, it is very interesting.  At night when you go out to a restaurant they start dancing.  Then after a while they have a stack of plates and they start throwing them on the floor smashing them to pieces.  I decided to look it up to see how this got started. Tradition says it started when a rich family invited a poor family to eat at their house and to make them feel better invited them to break their plates.  Another site said it was to get rid of the plates used in the feasts surrounding the dead.  Whatever the reason, it is a sight to see.  I think there are youtube clips available to watch if you are interested.  It’s not done angrily but in a happier way.

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