CLAIREINPARIS   47,498
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Getting to know your Spark Neighbour

Thursday, July 03, 2014

It's time for another get to know your Spark friends… borrowed from _BABE_!!!
(I had to add some pictures to make it more fun... some are mine, some I found on the Internet.)



Your go to chewing gum flavour… I don’t like chewing gum (oh dear, it isn’t starting too well, is it?!!!).

Best time of the year… Early Spring as I just love to see Nature waking up, and autumn for the colours of course.



If you were a toe nail polish what color would you be…. Probably bright red, although I am also into dark blue at the moment.



Favorite pie… The lemon and meringue pie from my grandmother.



First record you ever bought… I don’t have a clue! That was a long time ago! ;-)



Current perfume you use… Aromatics Elixir by Clinique, but I will go back to something less strong. Coco Chanel was a favorite for years, and I love Pomegranate Noir by Jo Malone too. (I was amazed to find the picture below on the Internet... my mother has a bottle just like this which used to be my grandmother's!)



Do you have any trophies or awards… LOTS… on Sparkpeople! ;-) Apart from that, lots for playing the piano in my younger years!



Worst day of your life… 15 August 2001. I am immensely glad as I look back to see that no ‘bad day’ came even close to it ever since!



Do you cuss and swear... No.

Celebrity crush you would get a hall pass for… This might feel awfully boring but I don’t have any celebrity crush!

What is the new reward if it isn’t food anymore… Make-up… I like lipstick and nail varnish for ‘little gifts’ to myself.



What makes you the Zodiac sign you are… I am not into Zodiac, but I hear that I am a typical Sagittarius as I love travelling so much and I am very independent.



What is your goal weight.... 82 kilos, which is my maximum for a 'healthy BMI' (I am 6 ft). This is me at about that weight in 2007 with my friend Liz:



Do you think you are a giver or a taker… Both! In my job (I work for an international charity) one could think I am a giver… but I believe I receive much more than I give (do you see my smile on the picture below?!)! And with my friends I am both, too. Isn’t it what friendship is about?



Beach house or Mountain cabin… A little house in the countryside I think! I see so many I love during my hikes (like here in Normandy)!



If you monogrammed your towels...... CB if I did it the French way or CMB if I did it the English-American way.



Someone offers you free plastic surgery, what do you do…. I might do something to my nose, but I would most probably say ‘no thank you’ as I hate surgery so much (why have it if you can avoid it?!).

I might be tempted to time travel back to…. Honestly, in many ways I think it is a privilege to live in the 21st century in the Western world, especially as a woman. Because I love fashion from that time, the 1950s would appeal to me though (you know, just to have a look, but I’d be happy to be back in 2014!).



Nick name in high school.... I didn’t have one… In primary school, I was called ‘La Grande Girafe’ on a couple of occasions because I was so tall already! Then when I saw giraffes in Africa I was struck by how elegant and beautiful these creatures are... so I was actually happy I had been called that way! :)



Now cut and paste this with your answers in the comments...or feel free to post your own blog!

In any case, have fun!!!


  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUDYAMK 7/13/2014 9:57PM

    I rarely chew gum,but when I do cinnamon or black jack

Best time of the year Fall, I love the colors looks like a child colored the mountain sides, God's artistry is beautiful

toe nail polish. very pale pink

Favorite pie, pumpkin

First record was an album the Beatles

Perfume Evening In Paris I found a place that still sells it my father bought it for my Mother after world War II it was in a heart shaped box with the perfume and powder, when I was a little girl I would hide in her closet and smell it. Mom had the powder since then and gave it to me. Every once in a while I open the powder bottle and smell it then I was back to the little girl .I bought Mom a bottle of perfume for Christmas a few years ago. I bought it from Vermont store I sent away for it. I have my own now, but treasure the powder I still have.

Awards for the high jump in races in high school, & awards from work

Worst day of my life, is when my parents divorced, even though the home life was horrid everyone wants a whole family good or bad

Capricorn i do not believe in any of that. I do not allow myself to go there

My goal weight is 136 I have 25 pounds to get there,but it is so hard I keep trying

I love to give it makes me so happy when I give I take the person's smile and keep it hidden in my heart & when I feel down I pull it out and it makes me smile,then I feel good inside and not sad within my soul.

That is hard to say I would love a beach house for the summer to hear the pounding waves, the smell of the sea ,sandpipers scurrying so lightly across the sand, the sand crabs scurrying in their homes, sea grass waving in the sea breeze, sitting at the edge of the ocean with my feet having the waves rush over them as I read a good book in the early morning, I love the cry of the sea gulls. I would love a cabin in the mountains in the winter to hear the sharp wind whistling around the corners of the cabin, I would love to step out and see the freshly fallen snow glistening like a million diamonds on the snow surface, & hear the creaking of the tree limbs in the bitter cold air, & glance at a pond with last springs bird's nest sticking out on limbs frozen in the ice, a reminder that spring will becoming,so I can visit the beach house at the sea~~

My towels would be GLk in script form

Very rarely do I swear and when I do I ask the person that heard me to forgive me & I always say God forgive me I am sorry

Celebrity crush at my age I do not have any,but if I had a chance I would want to talk to John Glen the Astronaut

The knew reward would be some thing unique for my home dating back to the 1950's, I love tablecloths from back then or old lace

I would be afraid ,but if would be safe I would have my sides reduced

I would like to time travel to the future 500 years from now everything we have now would no doubt be considered primitive and to see all the advancements

Nick name from my brothers was Skipper I was playing in the barn cowboys and Indians I was the nurse, one of my brothers was to hit by the other brother that was an Indian with an arrow ( a pretend one) he moved and I said I quit because he moved I jumped up and was running down the barn steps and my youngest brother threw the pitch fork down the steps it stuck in my leg, for months I walked on my toes dragging my leg. They were all mad at me they needed a nurse on the battle field!!! They called me Skipper because I could not walk normal for a while.We still talk about it to this day when we are all together!!

I am sorry I could not give just one answer and I felt I had to explain myself on the answers I enjoyed doing this and reading others also

Judy



>








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BKNOCK 7/13/2014 8:42PM

    Cute!

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EGMINGA 7/13/2014 4:42PM

    What a good idea.

Your go to chewing gum flavor . . . wintergreen

Best time of year . . . I love Spring, love watching all the trees and plants come back to life and the weather is warming up but not too hot.

If you were a toe nail polish, what color would you be . . . Pink

Favorite pie . . . sweet potato

First record you ever bought . . .Beatles I'm sure

Current perfume you use . . . rare diamonds

Do you have any trophies or awards . . . not really unless you count sparkpeople awards

Worst day of your life . . . March 23 when my nephew was killed in a car accident and I had to go tell my daughter it was one of the hardest things I ever had to do since they were so close not only in age but best friends.

Do you cuss or swear . . . I try not to

What is the new reward, if it isn't food anymore . . . movie

What makes you the zodiac sign you are . . .Capricorn responsible
patient
ambitious

resourceful
loyal
>What is your goal weight? probably about 150 but have a very long ways to go

Do you think you are a taker or giver . . . mostly giver but do take some

Beach house or mountain cabin . . . mountain cabin by a lake

If you monogrammed your towels . . . EGM

Someone offers your free plastic surgery, what do you do . . . if closer to goal weight get excess skin removed.

I might be tempted to time travel to . . . mid 1900s

Nickname in high school . . . I didn't have one

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LIVEDAILY 7/13/2014 4:39AM

    Lovely to get to know you a bit better!! The perfume bottle was sweet, and those towels - gorgeous!! There is nothing better for drying dishes and glass than a linen towel, and they're so much prettier, too!!

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JAMER123 7/12/2014 10:46PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
Fun to read!! Thanks for sharing!!

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2BDYNAMIC 7/12/2014 10:27PM

    Beautiful and so creatively done ......... Love all the wonderful pictures to go with ............ emoticon

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KALEWINE 7/11/2014 6:18PM

    So cool! I may be stealing this for my own blog!

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CORNERKICK 7/11/2014 3:26AM

  emoticon

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LISALGB 7/9/2014 11:56AM

    Oh what fun! I love getting to know one another. Thanks for sharing this, Claire. Here are my answers.

Your go to chewing gum flavor . . . I don't usually chew gum, however, I do keep a pack of peppermint in my purse for a quick freshen-up if I need it (example, after a cup of coffee)

Best time of year . . . I love Spring, everything is blooming, fresh and new after a long winter. But, Summer is wonderful too.

If you were a toe nail polish, what color would you be . . . definitely pink or red

Favorite pie . . . pecan (I am from the South, you know)

First record you ever bought . . . I can't remember for sure, but I think it was a copy of "Sargent Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" by the BeeGees and Peter Frampton.

Current perfume you use . . . Pleasures by Estée Lauder

Do you have any trophies or awards . . . not recently, but I have tons of trophies and medals from childhood - I was a majorette from age 7 - 17.

Worst day of your life . . . March 3, 2013, the day Sweet Daddy passed.

Do you cuss or swear . . . only if I am extremely mad, which is very rare.

What is the new reward, if it isn't food anymore . . . I love make-up or clothes.

What makes you the zodiac sign you are . . . I am fiercely loyal and quite stubborn, a true Taurus.

What is your goal weight? 145lbs - got a ways to go

Do you think you are a taker or giver . . . a bit of both, I suppose

Beach house or mountain cabin . . . Beach house - I already live in the mountains

If you monogrammed your towels . . . "LGB" or maybe just a singe "B"

Someone offers your free plastic surgery, what do you do . . . politely decline, too many risks involved

I might be tempted to time travel to . . . the mid-19th century. I am fascinated with the antebellum era

Nickname in high school . . . I didn't have one.

Hahahaha - I'm not a very interesting person - just kind of plain and simple.

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CAPECODLIGHT 7/9/2014 9:22AM

    Go to chewing gum flavor:
Do not chew gum usually. Occasionally, Trident Peppermint

Best time of the year:
Fall

If you were a toenail polish what color would you be:
Pink pearl

Favorite pie:
Key Lime

First record I ever bought:
Joan Baez

Current perfume used:
Opium (rarely)

Do you have any trophies or awards:
I placed third in a Field Day race in grammar school!

Worst day of your life:
Husband leaving

Do you cuss or swear:
Sometimes

Celebrity crush you would get a hall pass for?
George Clooney

What is the new reward if it isn't food anymore?
Sense of well-being

What is your Zodiac Sign?
Sagittarius - you and I share the same birthday

What is your goal weight..
175

Do you think you are a giver or a taker:
Both

Beach house or mountain cabin:
Beach house on Nantucket

If you monogrammed your towels:
SHL

Someone offers you free plastic surgery, what do you do?
Arm lift - maybe

I might be tempted to time travel back to:
1890 - 1910

Nick name in high school:
None



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MILLEDGE2 7/8/2014 9:35AM

    Love this and may steal it from you! I was NOT surprised that we have so many things in common, although I'm on the other end of the height spectrum, being only 5'1". Glad your worst day is so far in the past! emoticon

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SIOL55 7/7/2014 9:04PM

  emoticon

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WILDASTER 7/7/2014 8:36PM

    Dear Claire,
Thank you for sharing, I was happy to see your special qualities. I didn't know you were a piano player! And you are right a giraffe is a very lovely and graceful animal, just like you. I did know your monogram, and even though we have had bad days I hope the good ones stay in the front of our memories instead.

One of my most happy memories is the day we brought Bella home from the hospital! Pure joy.

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KATESCAPE 7/7/2014 7:57PM

    Neat blog~

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SLOWDETERMINED 7/7/2014 3:10PM

    Wow, amazing blog and comments! emoticon Enjoyed reading your blog, thanks! emoticon

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JANET552 7/7/2014 2:20PM

    I loved your blog fellow Sagittarian!

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CJOHNSTON2001 7/7/2014 12:45PM

  I really enjoyed reading your blog,was so interesting,good story emoticon emoticon

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CUDDLYPOLARBEAR 7/7/2014 12:44PM

    another excellent blog

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SHAKESALOT 7/7/2014 10:10AM

    emoticon Will answer later.... short on time. Happy day!!!!

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BEWELL48 7/7/2014 9:19AM

    You give everything such style! Thank you! Love the perfume bottle! Have a little collection myself but none so pretty as that!

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SASSYTHING52 7/7/2014 12:50AM

    thanks for sharing

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KEELYDEUS 7/6/2014 8:37PM

    I enjoyed reading this! Thanks for sharing!

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SHOAPIE 7/6/2014 8:21PM

    emoticon

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MAPFARMS 7/6/2014 3:13PM

    This is fun.

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DAWNDMOORE40 7/6/2014 2:31PM

    emoticon for sharing! It's great to know more about my emoticon You did an amazing job with your blog! Have a emoticon day! emoticon emoticon

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GLOBEE77 7/6/2014 2:18PM

    I really enjoyed the blog.

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BELLAMITZI 7/6/2014 2:06PM

    Go to chewing gum flavor:
Do not chew gum

Best time of the year:
Spring

If you were a toenail polish what color would you be:
Red

Favorite pie:
Apple

First record I ever bought:
Elton John, Yellow Brick Road

Current perfume used:
Stella

Do you have any trophies or awards:
I have a few from my job :)

Worst day of your life:
Losing the love of my life

Do you cuss or swear:
Sometimes :(

Celebrity crush you would get a hall pass for?
Hmmm .. can't remember his name LOL

What is the new reward if it isn't food anymore?
The feeling on achievement ...

What is your Zodiac Sign?
Sagittarius but I don't ever believe in that stuff

What is your goal weight..
165

Do you think you are a giver or a taker:
Giver. I enjoy doing for others.

Beach house or mountain cabin:
Beach house at Navarre Beach, Florida

If you monogrammed your towels:
LJM

Someone offers you free plastic surgery, what do you do?
Get excess skin cut off

I might be tempted to time travel back to:
Depends how long I have to stay there :)

Nick name in high school:
None

Keep Sparking everyone!
emoticon


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KATIEWILL5 7/6/2014 12:00PM

    Sorry I did not cut a paste beautiful picture and the questions were cool I think it is neat that you do not have a celebrity crush alot of them are so plastic anyway The one i like alot died before I was born Garry Cooper . My latest award was 1000 hours excercise in June I thnk I did better than that so far in July alread I havent posted it I like this green you picked

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JEB03253 7/6/2014 11:14AM

    emoticon

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NORASPAT 7/6/2014 8:57AM

    That was fun to read.
HUGS Pat in Maine. I loved it. Alas just before this my recipe timed out after 45 minutes of attempting to compose it. I am done, have to move and start my day.

BEAUTIFUL BLOG, LADY and all Spark Friends emoticon emoticon PAT.

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MUSOLF6 7/6/2014 6:40AM

    emoticon

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PEAR-170 7/6/2014 1:23AM

    emoticon

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BLUEJEAN99 7/6/2014 1:04AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JILLAJ 7/6/2014 12:39AM

    emoticon

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JILLAJ 7/6/2014 12:38AM

    emoticon

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ROXYCARIN 7/6/2014 12:09AM

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BELLENGLISH 7/5/2014 11:06PM

    emoticon Thanks for sharing


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AJB121299 7/5/2014 10:21PM

    nice

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KKLENNERT809 7/5/2014 10:07PM

    I sure love your topics and find them fun to read!

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RENATA144 7/5/2014 10:01PM

  Bon jour Claire !!! emoticon For letting us get to know you. You are so beautiful inside & out !!!
Since I was about 9 years old I, along with my parents performed shows of international folk songs & folk dances. We used our own handmade puppets to tell folk tales. We worked in every type of facility from nursery schools to nursing home, museums, churches even street corners when we were The Puppet Mobile for The New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. For them we performed 2 shows a day. It was very exciting to never know what kind of neighborhood that we were going to. We would tailor each show to the audience. Ie - if it was an Italian we would sing lots of Italian songs, etc.

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DARLENEK04 7/5/2014 9:40PM

  Go to chewing gum flavor:
None....can't chew it...hurts my teeth, even sugarless....

Best time of the year:
I enjoy all the seasons, but probably spring, then fall, winter, summer...each
one is special for different reasons.

If you were a toenail polish what color would you be:
Pink

Favorite pie:
Hmmmmnn, probably Cherry, or Pumpkin, or Pecan, (laughing here)

First record I ever bought:
Love Me Tender by Elvis Presley

Current perfume used:
Chance by Chanel(Red by Georgio is my all time fave)

Do you have any trophies or awards:
Not unless you count awards from my former job(walmart)

Worst day of your life:
When my Dad died

Do you cuss or swear:
No

Celebrity crush you would get a hall pass for?
gee, can't think of anybody at the moment.

What is the new reward if it isn't food anymore?
Shopping for clothes

What is your Zodiac Sign?
Taurus but I don't ever believe in that stuff

What is your goal weight..
130

Do you think you are a giver or a taker:
Giver. I enjoy doing for others.

Beach house or mountain cabin:
Mountain cabin over looking the lake/river/ocean

If you monogrammed your towels:
DK

Someone offers you free plastic surgery, what do you do?
Several things.

I might be tempted to time travel back to:
Someplace in history

Nick name in high school:
none

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DIGIT00 7/5/2014 8:18PM

  emoticon

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DOILIEQUEEN 7/5/2014 7:49PM

    Your go to chewing gum flavour…
Something fruity, but usually don't chew gum often.

Best time of the year…
Spring or fall. Live in Colorado, and I really don't like the snow. I can tolerate the cold most days.

If you were a toe nail polish what color would you be…
Light pink

Favorite pie…
Lemon meranguine or Dutch Apple.

First record you ever bought…
I think it was some Michael Jackson album.

Current perfume you use…
Ananis Ananis

Do you have any trophies or awards…
One or two from high school and those on here.

Worst day of your life…
When my dad passed away.

Do you cuss and swear…
Yes, especially when talking to my best friend. Trying to quit though.

Celebrity crush you would get a hall pass for…
Shemar Moore.

What is the new reward if it isn’t food anymore…
Buying a purse

What makes you the Zodiac sign you are…
Virgo, but I'm not into the Zodiac

What is your goal weight...
150

Do you think you are a giver or a taker…
Giver. Although I just got back from a mission trip, I feel I received more than I gave.

Beach house or Mountain cabin…
Mountain Cabin

If you monogrammed your towels...
MMC

Someone offers you free plastic surgery, what do you do…
Tummy tuck. And get the girls lifted.

I might be tempted to time travel back to…


Nick name in high school…
I didn't have one.




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LADYGSC 7/5/2014 6:13PM

    emoticon

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CORONILLE 7/5/2014 6:11PM

  Bravo! emoticon

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VEG954 7/5/2014 4:42PM

  Wow...
You gave this blog lots of time and consideration.
I enjoyed it to the fullest.
You touched my heart.
Thanks

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FIT4ME41 7/5/2014 2:44PM

    Nice!

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PJB145 7/5/2014 2:43PM

    Your go to chewing gum flavour…
I don't chew gum

Best time of the year...
Fall. In Las Vegas that is when we have optimum temperatures ~ not too hot, not too cold.

If you were a toe nail polish what color would you be…
Plum

Favorite pie…
Apple ~ as long at it is homemade.

First record you ever bought…
It has been a lotta years ~ I have no clue, LOL.

Current perfume you use…
Rare Gold by Avon. Actually I am allergic to most scents so this has been the only perfume I use for 15 years.

Do you have any trophies or awards…
Only Sparkpeople

Worst day of your life…
The day my mom passed

Do you cuss and swear...
Unfortunately yes. When I am very angry, a lot.

Celebrity crush you would get a hall pass for…
I don't really have one

What is the new reward if it isn’t food anymore…
buying a book or going to the movies

What makes you the Zodiac sign you are…
Capricorn. Truthfully though I don't really believe although everyone tells me I am a "typical" Capricorn.

What is your goal weight...
145

Do you think you are a giver or a taker…
I am definitely both. I am a loyal and giving friend but I greatly enjoy my solitude as well and resent when it is interrupted with unscheduled visits.

Beach house or Mountain cabin…
Mountain Cabin

If you monogrammed your towels...
PJB

Someone offers you free plastic surgery, what do you do…
Decline. I might not like the way they look but at least all the parts are 'real'.

I might be tempted to time travel back to…
Actually, I am not tempted to travel back in history. Maybe my own past and make a few different decisions but that's it.

Nick name in high school...
I didn't have one but my friends did call me PJ

I had great fun doing this. Thanks for posting.


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CHUBBY_MOM 7/5/2014 2:42PM

    I just love your blogs, photos and your outlook on life in general!

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LOVINGKATE 7/5/2014 1:32PM

  Great blog. Sure made me think what my answers would be. emoticon


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A couple of nice walks – and some news

Monday, June 30, 2014

Hello dear Sparkfriends,

I am finally home! I always love that moment. These last 11 days in the Netherlands have been busy to say the least and it really is good to be home!



On Friday evening, to celebrate the fact that the most difficult meetings were over, I finally took the time to go for a walk on the beach near the hotel (to answer one of your questions, yes, it was the North Sea coast).









I walked in the water until I saw some jelly fish! There were actually many of them.



Then I decided I needed a break from the same hotel food, and ate some lovely salmon in a nice little restaurant.



I was in a very good mood and thinking how nice it is to have a job where I can travel when I checked my text messages. My father was telling me that my mother had been taken to the hospital and might need some emergency surgery. This is one of the things I dread when I travel… I called him and I could hear my mother next to him in ER saying: “I am not feeling very well…” It broke my heart.



Thank you so much for all your encouragement and kind messages when I shared how I was feeling that evening. It helped so much! I didn’t sleep much that night and it wasn’t easy to follow the meetings the next morning. But at lunch time, my father said my mother didn't need the surgery and had been taken back to the nursing home. PHEW. I was able to follow the meetings a bit better then!



After one last meeting on Sunday morning, I was able to visit a couple of very nice villages in the afternoon.



The first one, Giethoorn, is seen as a little Venice according to the people I was with. It is true that canals are absolutely everywhere, and all the houses are built by the water.



Hello! emoticon Do you like my new red suede shoes? emoticon





The houses, which were built in bricks, were mostly from the 19th and the first part of the 20th century I think. All the gardens were delightful!

















It felt great to be a tourist for a few hours! We visited a pottery…



… and then had a drink by the lake, watching the boats.





We were back on time for the football/soccer match between the Netherlands and Mexico! Netherlands won and I decided to go for another walk around the village where I was staying to see if people were out and celebrating.



Apart from some youth who were listening to some music and drinking beer, the village was very quiet, but I enjoyed my walk.





Some of you have asked me how things are going in the new nursing home we moved my mother to, about three weeks ago. Well, I am VERY glad to say things are going well there. The difference with the previous nursing home is like night and day! The staff is competent, patient, and always kind to her and to other residents. My father actually enjoys his daily visits there! Now that my mother is back at the nursing home after the hospital scare, she is recovering and much less agitated and sad than she used to be in the previous nursing home.
The lesson for me is that it was well worth moving her, despite the fact that my father was scared of the trauma another move would cause her (changes are bad for Alzheimer patients). Since she moved, he has never stopped saying how glad he is we took that decision! A BIG thank you again for all your support through these terrible months when I was lost, terribly worried, and didn’t know what to do.



And now, please excuse me, I must unpack and get ready for a busy day at work tomorrow! Many thanks for reading the end of my ‘adventures’ in the Netherlands!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WHITEANGEL4 7/8/2014 10:24AM

    Thank you for sharing. Such a lovely and delightful place. Would love to visit one day when we have time to store the rat race and travel. Hopefully soon

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BEWELL48 7/7/2014 9:32AM

    I think I mentioned that we had to place my 94 yo mother in a nursing home this past spring. So difficult! Over the weekend she was transported to the hospital for dehydration and possible stoke. Sounds like you made a good decision to transfer your mother to a different facility. These times are truly filled with emotions but guess this is the heart and soul of life!
Sending well wishes and hugs.....
emoticon

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AURIANNE67 7/6/2014 12:36PM

    emoticon
Thanks so much for sharing! It is good to hear that you found a better care facility for your mother, some years ago before she passed away my mother was in a care home where she was neglected and mistreated. It is so sad when places ignore the needs of the people they are supposed to be caring for because, due to altered mental status, their patients do not have the means to speak up.

Apart from the brief scare about your mother, and the endless meetings of course, your trip seems fantastic!

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QTEALADY20031 7/5/2014 12:30PM

    Claire, I don't know how I missed this blog but I did. Netherland looks beautiful. I love the canals and enjoyed looking at your pictures in the villages. The homes look like something out of a picture....yours! The walk on the beach I would have thoroughly enjoyed. Claire, I am so glad to read that you moved your mother to the new nursing home and that she is being cared for by a loving and caring staff, as she should be. I am sure it makes your father happy that you both made the decision to move your mom. Thank you again for sharing your journey.
emoticon June

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WARRIORFIT1 7/4/2014 10:45PM

    Beautiful blog... I don't know how I missed this one before! Gorgeous!

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WILDASTER 7/4/2014 9:45AM

    My dear Claire,
I just saw this today, I don't know how I missed it! I was so uplifted by your beautiful pictures and your news at the end about your dear Mother. I am so happy that she is finally somewhere good and that the staff is kind. That is what it should be everywhere but unfortuately it is not that way. I'm sure that your visits now are more relaxed and joyful if she is more comfortable! I hope you will take more pictures with her in the new place, make some good memories.

How lovely the Netherlands are, your walk on the beach looked refreshing and the salmon dinner looks so very good. I also loved the canal trip, the houses were lovely and all very different. The one with the red shutters I really liked. I love your red shoes too! I have a story for you about red shoes...A great lady we knew always wore red shoes, she was in her late 80's. Her name was Rose Totino, and she and her husband owned a pizza parlor for decades. She was such a joy, I will send you a message later telling telling you why she wore Red shoes!

Have a great weekend my friend,
Annette

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SHAKESALOT 7/4/2014 8:51AM

    Very nice blog! glad to hear your mom doing well. Beautiful pics..... welcome back!!

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CORNERKICK 7/4/2014 1:22AM

  Beautiful pics

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MARYJEANSL 7/4/2014 12:57AM

  I am so happy that your mother is happy and treated well in her new nursing home! And that she didn't need surgery. Thank you, as usual, for the lovely pictures.

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KEEPITUP62 7/4/2014 12:43AM

    Loved your pictures and so pleased to see your mother in a nursing home that is up to par.

I visited Denmark Sweden and Finland a few years ago and your pics brought back some very fond memories with my family. Thank you for sharing.

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CHUBBY_MOM 7/4/2014 12:34AM

    The pictures are beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing them!

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MELNJAY3 7/3/2014 9:57PM

    Beautiful pictures

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JUSGETTENBY42 7/3/2014 9:25PM

    Wonderful

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LIVELYGIRL2 7/3/2014 9:02PM

  Oh Claire, you get to go to the most lovely places. Loved the pictures.

I'm also thrilled your Mom is in a better home, and glad she's settling down.

I didn't realize your Dad was in the picture. That is also very good.

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NONNAOF2 7/3/2014 8:55PM

  I love the red shoes! :-) Once again thank you for the wonderful pictures, I most certainly always feel as though I am on a mini-vacation! I'm so glad that things worked out well for your mother, especially now that she doesn't need surgery and it seems that she is happy in her new surroundings. God bless you and your family! :-)

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RUNNINGYOGINIRE 7/3/2014 7:43PM

  Good to hear your mom is in a better home - that is such a stressful process to see our parents living in a bad place.

Great pictures. thanks for sharing them.

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AMBER461 7/3/2014 7:41PM

  Thanks for sharing your remainder of the journey with us. Your trip to the Netherland I was very interesting I appreciate the pictures very much and your shoes really look great

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BONIFIANT 7/3/2014 6:00PM

    Yes, Claire, I love your new shoes. Enjoy wearing them.

Thank you for the update on you precious mom. I am so glad that things are so noticeably better for you and that both you and your dad can be encouraged about her care.

I don't know what you believe about prayer but I have been and will keep on praying for her and your family. I cared for my mom for ten years and miss her still but don't regret a single moment spent caring for her.
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TORTISE110 7/3/2014 5:31PM

    You have such an eye for beauty! Thank you.

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COOLRAIN 7/3/2014 3:50PM

    Thank you again for sharing your beautiful blog posts with us. I look forward to them.

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DWHATABOUTB 7/3/2014 1:21PM

    Thank you for taking us along on your walk. It's it's so beautiful and green and it's nice to learn a little bit about other cultures.

Amazing there was a pig walking around without a fence. It's so nice that you thought of us and wanted to bring us along with you.

Please don't forget us on your next walk. As soon as I figure out how to upload pictures and such, I will share my walks with you.

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VAINVT 7/3/2014 1:20PM

  Thank you for the beautiful pictures. I love to travel and your blog was like a lovely trip for me.

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JUNETTA2002 7/3/2014 12:50PM

    Fantastic pictures. Thanks for showing me something I will never see in person.

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LSIG14 7/3/2014 12:38PM

  Absolutely awesome photos - such a great way to combine work with vacation. I am envious! Glad to hear the new nursing home is better for your Mom.

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LINDERVEE 7/3/2014 12:16PM

    What a blessing to have the opportunity to visit such a peaceful and beautiful place. Glad to hear your mom is doing better.

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Comment edited on: 7/3/2014 12:17:13 PM

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LAINYC 7/3/2014 12:07PM

    emoticon

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PENOWOK 7/3/2014 11:29AM

    So glad you made it home. How frightening for you that your mom was ill while you were gone. I am across the country (US) from my dad and will visit for a very short visit this month. He doesn't tolerate longer visits, so it's difficult to fly for such a short visit. It sounds as though your time, busy was good. I love the photos, of course!!

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SHOAPIE 7/3/2014 10:38AM

    emoticon emoticon

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STEVIEBEE569 7/3/2014 10:26AM

    Nice pics

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JERICHO1991 7/3/2014 9:45AM

    Thanks. I always enjoy reading about, and seeing pictures of, your adventures.

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SHARONCAPPS 7/3/2014 9:44AM

  Pictures were beautiful and glad that Mom is doing well in the new home. Thank you for sharing

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GLORYB2014 7/3/2014 9:04AM

    I LOVE your new red suede shoes! emoticon

Really interesting blog with beautiful pictures, it was like being there with you!

I'm glad the nursing home is working out well for your mother, it can be worrisome when you're uneasy about a home your parent is in. Happy it's working out for you all!
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TIMEHASCOME56 7/3/2014 8:42AM

    Those pictures are beautiful. Now I want to go emoticon My prayers are for you and your mother.

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GARDENCHRIS 7/3/2014 7:23AM

    I am so happy your mom did not need surgery emoticon I know how all the worrying is not good to be doing, God is still in control.

AND emoticon for the lovely visit to the Netherlands! I just love the house with all the hydrangeas in front! Such pretty gardens.

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KASIUNIA_1 7/3/2014 7:21AM

  The photos are beautiful!
Glad to hear your mother is doing better emoticon

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SHERYLP461 7/3/2014 7:18AM

    You are blessed to have a job that allows you to do so much traveling. I am so happy to hear your mothers new nursing home is so much better than the last, a weight off your shoulders.

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CHERYLHURT 7/3/2014 7:04AM

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WALNUTT1961 7/2/2014 10:31PM

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful adventure! So glad your mother is doing well and you and your father are satisfied with the care she is receiving. That is such a blessing for you both!

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PATRICIA-CR 7/2/2014 6:19PM

    So happy to hear your mother is stable now, and the new nursing home is doing its job greatly. Glad you're also back home.

The photos are to die for. Thanks a lot!

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DOILIEQUEEN 7/2/2014 5:59PM

    emoticon Glad your mother didn't have to have surgery. Love your pictures.

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RENATA144 7/2/2014 5:45PM

  Bon jour Sweet Claire !!! First of all - Thank God that your Mama is better & in a better nursing home with such a caring staff, ( like my hubby's). I'm so sorry that you had such a terrible scare but I'm so Happy that it's better now. Blessings to you & your Family emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Thank you for showing us how exquisite The Netherlands are. Absolutely Enchanting !!! You must one say publish a book of your wonderful travelogues.
Al of my best wishes emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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REGINAROLLINS 7/2/2014 3:02PM

  Sounds like a wonderful experience!!!!

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KANSASROSE67 7/2/2014 2:03PM

    Dearest Claire,

Another beautiful blog!

I am SO happy things are so much better for your mother at the new home. What a blessing.

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LANCER1984 7/2/2014 12:59PM

    Hi Claire, your pictures are just beautiful! I wish I had the ability to travel but money does not allow for it. I know from experience how hard it is to find a good, competent nursing home. Sometimes I wonder why some people got into the helping profession. I'm glad she and your dad are now happy. It will make things easier for you to handle. Wishes for more great days ahead. Karin

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OPALMOON 7/2/2014 12:42PM

    Dear Claire,
This is such a beautiful blog! I just love all these magnificent photos. THe scenery and buildings all look so gorgeous...I imagine all those walks would be memorable ones for you.
Thank goodness your mother did not need surgery and is back in the nursing home - and that the care is so much better and she is so much happier there. This must be a huge relief for you and your father. I hope you are having a good week back in Paris!
Blessings and hugs, Nattacia

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MOMMY445 7/2/2014 10:57AM

    glad to hear that things are so much better for your mom. thank you for sharing such wonderful pictures and glad to hear that you had a good trip.

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JEB03253 7/2/2014 10:47AM

    The new nursing home sounds like it has had a very positive effect on the shole family. emoticon

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MOJO0607 7/2/2014 10:45AM

    How beautiful...makes my traveling bug start itching again. Thank you for sharing, and for opening up your heart to us in regards to your mother's health and wellbeing. May you all find peace and comfort in knowing she is being well cared for in her new facility, and may you cherish each moment you have together.

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SANDRA_E 7/2/2014 10:33AM

    I'm glad that you were able to find a good nursing home for your Mom. It makes such a difference. I'm also glad that she's doing better!

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CARRIELYN56 7/2/2014 8:27AM

    good to hear that your mother will not have to have surgery.
thank you for the walk.... always so enjoyable. emoticon

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

My Sunday in the Netherlands

Monday, June 23, 2014

Hello dear Sparkfriends,

I don’t know about you, but I had a wonderful Sunday! I am in the Netherlands for countless meetings (or so it feels… I am not a ‘meeting’ kind of person!) for over 10 days. Yesterday was my one day off, and my Dutch friend, Cora, picked me up at the hotel on the morning so that we could spend the day together, enjoying some catching up, sightseeing, walking, cycling...



Cora and I have known each other for almost 28 years and I am so glad we managed to keep in touch! We see each other every few years. Here we are on the boat taking us from Volendam to Marken yesterday:



So we travelled to a little village called Volendam, which used to be by the sea, and is now by a lake as the sea has been ‘locked’. Here is what I mean: at the North, you can see there is a dam, on which a road has been built, making this area which used to be the sea a lake.



It was a pretty village, made even prettier by lots of flowers everywhere!











Then we took the boat to the nearby island of Marken, with the bikes that Cora had brought from home for us to use. This is the view of Volendam’s harbor as we left it:



I hadn’t been on a boat for a while and really enjoyed the short crossing!





Marken was so incredibly pretty! A former fishermen village like Volendam, it is touristy but with a lovely, peaceful atmosphere.



Like everywhere I have been in the Netherlands, it was very green and canals were never far away (as well as the lake of course).







Now I am feeling slightly ashamed of myself, but the ‘cycling’ part of our day didn’t take place! We were supposed to cycle back to Volendam by a dam. This would have been a 20 kilometers distance.



But… Cora’s bicycle was slightly too tall for me, and, not having cycled for several years, I really didn’t feel safe! On several occasions I almost fell from the bike, and almost collided with a poor pedestrian who wondered what was happening to him! Crazy French drivers (cyclists!) I tell you!!! :)



So we walked around the island instead, and returned by boat again afterwards. It was still lovely, with all the dark wooden houses to look at!







I enjoyed the little details that made the houses special, like a painting with birds, or the name of the owner, or baskets with flowers…







Marken is a small village, so it was surrounded both by the lake and lots of fields and pastures. My kind of place! : ) We had our picnic lunch facing a pasture, far away from the tourists.





Then we visited the small clogs museum.





Look at these gorgeous carved clogs! Apparently they were made for weddings.



After another failed attempt at cycling -- this is when I almost collided with the poor man on the side of the path, who said (kind soul!) “Please don’t fall!” --, we caught the boat back to Volendam, and then drove to Cora’s home to have dinner with her family. That was the highlight of the day, as I hadn’t seen them for a couple of years and her daughters had grown so much!





We had dinner outside in the garden, which for me, living in an apartment, is just bliss!





Before Cora took me back to the hotel and a full week of meetings, we had a little walk in their neighborhood. See by yourself how lovely it is…



You know me… I was all ‘Awwwwwwww’ when I saw this duck and its ducklings!!!





Thank you so much Cora for a great Dutch Sunday!
And thank you dear Sparkfriends for 'sharing' our day! I hope you enjoyed it. I am now posting this in between meetings and very much hoping I can have a few hours to explore the Netherlands again before I leave. I have visited this country a number of times in the past, and always enjoy it tremendously.



Thank you for reading! Have an awesome week! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GODDREAMDIVA1 7/10/2014 11:17AM

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GODDREAMDIVA1 7/10/2014 11:16AM

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GODDREAMDIVA1 7/10/2014 11:15AM

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GODDREAMDIVA1 7/10/2014 11:15AM

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RUNNERRACHEL 7/5/2014 9:55AM

    Beautiful photos! Thank you for sharing!

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CORNERKICK 7/5/2014 3:19AM

  Great pics

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HYATTI1 7/2/2014 7:52PM

    I son spent two years there but unfortunately he had to come home he could not get a permit to work there and his money ran out. But, while there he loved the country and the people.



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LOVINGKATE 6/29/2014 4:00PM

  BEAUTIFUL photos. Thanks so much for sharing them with us all.

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CUDDLYPOLARBEAR 6/29/2014 7:59AM

    Beautiful photos

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QTEALADY20031 6/28/2014 9:53PM

    Claire, just a beautiful place, I love the houses, the scenery and yes even the duck with her ducklings. The clogs also were just beautiful. What a wonderful and joyful looking country. It was so nice you could visit with your friend and her family! What a wonderful day for you both! Thank you again Claire for sharing your journey. emoticon June

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2BDYNAMIC 6/28/2014 5:27PM

    Gorgeous pictures and thanks much for sharing! Loved them.

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OPALMOON 6/28/2014 11:26AM

    What an utterly beautiful part of the world. Thank you so much for sharing this amazing trip with us Claire...the scenery is just stunning, and it is wonderful that you were able to spend some time with your friend and see her family as well. I am sure it will always hold happy memories for you.

Big hugs, Nattacia

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TREYONE 6/28/2014 10:12AM

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TIHAITIEN 6/28/2014 12:04AM

    Lovely. thanks for sharing.

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JUDYAMK 6/27/2014 9:30PM

    Thank you so much for the walk in the Netherlands.What do you mean when you say the sea is locked? I never heard of that. The Netherlands looks beautiful, you are so blessed to see so much of our world, and to bring it to us,for that I thank you.

Judy

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LINDAKAY228 6/27/2014 4:35PM

    I thoroughly enjoyed it and so glad you got the chance to spend the day with your friend, even if the bike riding didn't exactly work! I tried riding several years ago and had trouble because I was using a mountain bike with way too many gears! I was on street in the town I lived in then and fell over once. Now because of the stroke my balance is way off and I'm afraid to try unless it's one of those 3 wheeled bikes. Someday maybe I'll get the chance to try one of those. At least I can't fall off. The flowers, the houses, everything is just so lovely! I'm glad you got to spend time with her family too!

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MOMMY445 6/27/2014 2:21PM

    how wonderful!

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AURIANNE67 6/27/2014 12:59PM

    emoticon
Thank you so much for sharing your lovely pictures and experiences!

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FRAN0426 6/27/2014 12:59PM

    Thanks for sharing your fun day in the Netherlands. Hope you do get another chance to see more of it before retuning home.

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MVKNET 6/27/2014 12:35PM

  Beautiful pictures. I love the Netherlands. Haven't been there in over 10 years. Glad you has a great time. Nothing like touring with a native. Blessings, Marsha

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JEB03253 6/27/2014 7:36AM

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ROXYCARIN 6/27/2014 2:50AM

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CICELY360 6/26/2014 11:32PM

  Nice pictures

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CORNERKICK 6/26/2014 11:22PM

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AMBER461 6/26/2014 8:19PM

  Thanks for your blog it is very interesting.

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CLAIREINPARIS 6/26/2014 5:02PM

    GEHRSC, I agree with you that Delft is gorgeous! I went there with my friends during a previous visit to the Netherlands and it was wonderful!

MOIMAGGIE, I am so glad I inspired you to be a 'tourist in your own town'! Enjoy!

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GEHRSC 6/26/2014 4:29PM

    Thanks for sharing. I was just in Markam & Voldenham at the end of May. Lovely area. Photos are beautiful. It was raining when we visited. Try to get to Delft sometime. It too is a lovely town. Happy wanderings!

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MOIMAGGIE 6/26/2014 2:31PM

    What a delightful day! Thank-you for sharing it. It's inspired me to spend a Sunday as a 'tourist in my own town'.

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LAINYC 6/26/2014 1:59PM

    emoticon emoticon

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LCRUMLEY81 6/26/2014 1:25PM

  Looks like fun

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SCOTMAMA 6/26/2014 10:54AM

    Now THAT is a Sunday outing that I envy tremendously! What a wonderful way to spend the day -- and I'm sure it offsets the boredom of having meetings all week. What a nice way to spend your week-end.



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DSHONEYC 6/26/2014 10:46AM

    What a blessing it is to have dear "old" friends, a day to explore and enjoy, and beauty to behold.
Just simply emoticon

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KLONG8 6/26/2014 9:59AM

    How gorgeous was your day off with a friend in the Netherlands. Beautiful and thanks for sharing!

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KENSEONT 6/26/2014 9:13AM

  I always enjoy reading your blogs! emoticon emoticon

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BIGDOG18 6/26/2014 8:46AM

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TCTHESHE 6/26/2014 8:18AM

    Wow! Such beautiful pictures on such a lovely day. Thank you for sharing your little adventure with us. I hope you get back on a bike soon to make up for lost time!

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Comment edited on: 6/26/2014 8:18:30 AM

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LAURANCE 6/26/2014 8:09AM

  Thanks again for a lovely way to start the day with your pictures!
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LJCANNON 6/26/2014 8:04AM

    emoticon Completely Beautiful. walk, and it sounds like you are making TONS of Memories in between those meetings. I LOVE reading your Blogs -- They are like personal, guided tours of a Beautiful Countryside.
emoticon Thank You so much for taking the time to share your Blessings with us!!

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WATERDIAMONDS 6/26/2014 7:45AM

    The clogs! The ducks! The houses.

Oh my word, you make me want to travel more than any documentary or sales brochure every could.

Thank you for bringing the beauty to all of us.

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RITASL 6/26/2014 7:38AM

    Awwwwwww! Claire!!!!!
You make my day. You know how to use your time and we benefit.
Love it, love it, love it.


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NYKIMMIE 6/26/2014 7:35AM

    Beautiful pics!


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TINY67 6/26/2014 7:23AM

    emoticon again.

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SHERYLP461 6/26/2014 7:10AM

    What a beautiful place and what lovely friends!

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SANDRA_E 6/26/2014 7:00AM

    Sounds amazing!

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MUSOLF6 6/26/2014 6:00AM

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SHELTER-PETS 6/26/2014 5:56AM

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ROXYCARIN 6/26/2014 12:19AM

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RENATA144 6/25/2014 10:40PM

  Dearest Claire, thank you for showing us the Beautiful Dutch countryside & your sweet & Lovely friends. I Love all of your photos !!! You are Amazing !!! emoticon emoticon

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NORASPAT 6/25/2014 10:18PM

    CLAIRE those photos took me back to my jigsaw days. I had to leave them in England and there were so many photos in your blog that would be great for making jig saw photos. This was a very lovely area. HUGS Pat in Maine. emoticon

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

A very happy hike!

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Hello dear Sparkfriends,

The weather forecast for today for the ‘West of Paris’ area said that it might rain. So I decided to go East! :) And it didn’t rain! I went to an area I had visited a couple of times, but I had never done this specific hike. I thought about TERMITEMOM very much, as I remembered that she commented once that her parents had a house in the area.



It started outside Crouy-sur-Ourcq’s station. These old stations are almost all built on the same template all around France. It was right next to the 14th century donjon, one of the beauties of the village.



I crossed Crouy-sur-Ourcq…





… and immediately after I left the village, I had already made some new friends! : ) I must say those ones were smelly, I didn’t stay very long with them!



I crossed fields throughout the first part of my hike…





and discovered some crop I hadn’t seen before (picture below, I know the two pictures above are barley).



Do you have any idea how these are called? (The crop behind the poppies I mean!) EDIT: My friend Francine told me this is a canola/rapeseed field! They have beautiful yellow flowers in early Spring, and in late Spring they dry and look like this! Wow, I am so glad I learnt something!!!



The little hamlet of Moisy in Montigny l'Allier was one of the highlights of today’s hike (now that I think about it, I wonder if everything wasn’t a highlight in today’s hike though… but I think you might say that I say that all the time, hehe!).



Yes, there were some pretty houses and flowers… but THE interesting part was the Commandery of Knights Templar.



There were a number of buildings, all from the 13th century with some parts added in the 17th century: a chapel, a manor and several farm buildings/barns.





I love discovering so many signs of a rich history during my hikes!



After the Commandery, I followed the Ourcq river, and then the Ourcq canal for a while. It was so refreshing and there were lots of wild flowers too…











I left the river and walked through a marsh.







I was happy to see some wild iris, the first ones I have seen this year!



But the best was yet to come!!! As I crossed some woods…



I discovered some wild orchids I had never seen before! They are called Platanthera chlorantha. My first white wild orchids!







Another lovely discovery in the woods was this 19th century shrine, called Our Lady of the Oak Tree (no idea why, but the Virgin Mary was presented inside a trunk for some reason!).





The last discovery of today was hardly visible actually… The Manoir des Quatre Vents (Founr Winds Manor). I only got a glimpse of it through the gates and the foliage! But the house nearby was very pretty! :) And the chapel too.









So… it really was a great hike! And the reason why it was so happy is that things are finally improving for my Mom and I had a big smile on my face as I walked along the paths. This week my father agreed for her to leave the dreadful nursing home she had been in for the last 8 months and to be moved to a nursing home which we really liked (I cannot believe I am saying I ‘really liked’ a nursing home, but when you have visited quite a number of those, when there is one that is surprisingly nice and professional, I suppose you can say that you like it!). We moved my Mom there yesterday. And things are going so well, it seems extraordinary! I don’t want to seem too enthusiastic, as I know this is only the beginning, but I am feeling much more optimistic that she will, at long last, be well taken care of. Thank you SO MUCH once again for all your support these last few months!



And thank you for sharing my hike today! I hope it also made you feel happy!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MILPAM3 7/5/2014 11:41PM

  lemon pie...mmmm
Thanks for your charity work.
I'm not into zodiac signs either.

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MAYBER 7/3/2014 4:48PM

    Thank you for sharing your hike and beautiful pictures
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MARYJEANSL 6/24/2014 8:16PM

  Those lovely old buildings are so wonderful - I love learning about history. And, although US history is also fascinating, our history doesn't go back nearly as far as France's. So interesting...

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SEDONACAT 6/23/2014 3:15PM

    Thank you again for sharing. My son travels to the Netherlands often on business (from Florida) and this gave me a glimpse of what he may be seeing.

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KMRJPR 6/22/2014 1:15PM

    Beautiful hike!

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JUDYAMK 6/20/2014 7:59AM

    Oh Claire I loved your hike once again. The place with a the blue door and blue window trimming is so beautiful, plus the picture of the little wandering path with the pink flowers. I also so loved the picture with the worn shutters with the lace curtains, You have blessed us all with so much in your writings and photos.Thank you Claire
Judy

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BEWELL48 6/19/2014 12:56AM

    Beautiful as always!
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SUPERSYLPH 6/18/2014 2:16PM

    I hope your mom enjoys the new nursing home she's at!

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KAREN91 6/18/2014 1:11PM

    Your hike was so beautiful that I have decided that I must put a trip to France on my list of life goals for myself. I'm so glad you have found a good place for your mom. I thought about you the other day when I was interviewing for a job at a nursing home in town. Its opening up in July and it will be a 2nd job for me. The reason I thought of you is because they were telling me about their care. It sounded really good to me. They were talking about patients getting up by themselves- that the most important thing is why are they getting up- do they need the bathroom? a snack? something to do? They have a clear box outside each room with pictures of the patient, their family or something that's meaningful to them to help them know that is their room. I was very impressed with Wiltons new nursing home so far. It made me think of you and hope that you find a good place for your mom. I hope things continue to go great at her new home. emoticon

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WARRIORFIT1 6/18/2014 9:03AM

    Beautiful, Claire! I don't know how I missed this one before! And so good to hear about your Mom - that's wonderful! emoticon

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LOPEYP 6/15/2014 5:16AM

    I am glad that you found a new place that you like for your mother.

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ENG_TV 6/14/2014 11:58PM

    Thanks for sharing the lovely pictures. Makes me feel like I was hiking with you!

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KALEWINE 6/14/2014 11:54PM

    One day, if I'm ever in France, I want to go on one of your hikes with you.

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BOPPY_ 6/14/2014 8:21PM

    Great pics.

Thank you,

Lee emoticon

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SWEETPEA20121 6/14/2014 4:27PM

  Beautiful!

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CAPECODLIGHT 6/14/2014 7:20AM

    A happy hike, indeed! The pictures are wonderful, but your news about your mom even more so. Be proud of yourself for being the advocate (and influencer with your father) to get the care for your mom which will ease her days and safeguard her health.

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OPALMOON 6/13/2014 10:19AM

    Dear Claire,
Firstly, I am SO glad you have managed to get your mother into a different nursing home. What a huge relief that must be. I am praying that everything continues to go well.
I so enjoyed your hike and the beautiful pictures you took. The flowers, paths, incredible houses and chapels with so much history...such a lovely part of Paris!
Thanks again so much for sharing your time with us - it is such a privilege to read your blogs!
Hugs and prayers for you and your family,
Nattacia

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2WHEELER 6/13/2014 9:13AM

    Lovely. You have a great eye for composition.

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KRICKET4 6/13/2014 2:01AM

    I am so happy to hear that things are looking up as far as your mom is concerned. Hoping that this will turn out to be the right placement. That should make everybody feel much easier.
As always, thanks so much for sharing your happy hike.

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ALIHIKES 6/13/2014 12:40AM

    Dear Claire,
I so enjoyed your hike! the flowers and the lovely countryside are so beautiful. I also am so glad that your mother is in a better situation. I am visiting my mom at her nursing home in California, she is in her final days (we had last rites with the priest yesterday). It is always a relief that to know that the staff watch over my mom and care for her. I am SO glad your mom will be getting better care!
Love from
Alison

p.s. I spent most of my time in mom's room this past week, but it is a great comfort to take a short walk through the gardens on the nursing home's property

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RENATA144 6/12/2014 11:24PM

  Ever Exquisite !!!

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FRABBIT 6/11/2014 10:52AM

  Wonderful news about your mother and thank you as always for sharing your beautiful pictures.

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KONRAD695 6/11/2014 8:53AM

    Looks like another wonderful hike. Well done on keeping the body moving. emoticon

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WALLPER26 6/11/2014 8:12AM

    What a refreshing experience to follow you on your hike! Thanks for sharing.

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FIFIFRIZZLE 6/11/2014 6:26AM

    What a fabulous treat, dear Claire! an absolutely ravishing walk, plus the good news about your mother.I do hope she settles quickly and that means you can settle, too.
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MADAMES 6/10/2014 10:30PM

    Your blog brought a big smile to my face!

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MRSRIGS1 6/10/2014 2:19PM

    I love pretending I'm on these hikes with you! So much beauty! Thank you for sharing!

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KRILL14 6/10/2014 2:16PM

    Great news about your mother! I hope she likes it there! Wonderful blog as always.

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MILLIE5522 6/10/2014 11:54AM

    Thank you so much for this beautiful blog of your hike. I shall be going to France soon for my summer vacation and I can't wait!!! Meanwhile, your blogs have helped :) emoticon emoticon

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CHERIRIDDELL 6/10/2014 12:17AM

    Your hikes are always so gorgeous.I am pleased you have found a better place for your Mum.

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PURPLEBIRD63 6/10/2014 12:11AM

    Thanks for taking me along your hiking journey,
I really enjoyed it :)
I understand your feelings about your mother and a nursing home.
We had to put my FIL in one almost 6 months ago...
Sooo sad, to say the least! :( :( :( :( :(

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AMBER461 6/9/2014 10:57PM

  Thanks for a great tour of France. Very beautiful pictures.

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RENATA144 6/9/2014 9:22PM

  1 Exquisite image after another !!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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RENATA144 6/9/2014 9:21PM

  Dearest Claire, you have outdone yourself yet again !!!! Each of your photos would be the source of a great painting. Thank you again for showing us the heavenly French countryside emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JILLAJ 6/9/2014 7:59PM

    I am so jealous of the beautiful scenery you have to hike in. Thank you for sharing all the wonderful pictures!!!

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KHALIA2 6/9/2014 4:51PM

  Thank you for such a lovely tour.

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ROSES4ME1 6/9/2014 4:46PM

    Another gorgeous hike I get to go on with you. And then the wonderful news that things are looking up for your Mom's care. Terrific news! Hope this means you can finally take some deep breaths and relax a little.

If you aren't already, you could have a career as a nature photographer. Stunning photos.

Thanks again for sharing. Made my Monday morning at work almost bearable. emoticon

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DOILIEQUEEN 6/9/2014 4:15PM

    Beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing.

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MILPAM3 6/9/2014 4:11PM

  I think I would be wanting to see inside all those historical buildings and manor houses.

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READYRISA 6/9/2014 3:07PM

    beautiful!

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COOLRAIN 6/9/2014 1:45PM

    Thank you so much for sharing your hikes. Your posts always make me smile. What beauty you capture. So glad to hear the good news about your mother.

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STEVENK87 6/9/2014 11:54AM

    emoticon

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LOVINGKATE 6/9/2014 11:25AM

  So happy about your mom moving to a new home with better care. Your mom is so lucky to have a daughter like you. I will continue to pray for you both.
Thanks so much for taking me on such a beautiful walk. I so love all your photos. Such beauty!! Thanks so much for sharing.

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DMCWJR 6/9/2014 11:10AM

  I felt like I was with you. Thanks for the invite. emoticon

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AMYSYOKO 6/9/2014 10:32AM

  thank you for taking us along on your hike. beautiful does not seem to do it justice.... but will have to do. looking forward to our next hike

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JAMIRBLAZE 6/9/2014 9:55AM

    Thank you for sharing all of these lovely pictures! I hope the new facility works out for your mom!

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JERICHO1991 6/9/2014 9:45AM

    Another beautiful hike. Thank you.

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JWARTHEN 6/9/2014 9:33AM

  Thank you for sharing the beautiful surroundings of your hike. I live in Oregon and have some of the same flowers. I love learning about history too. You accomplished exercise and experienced nature and history. Good luck with the care of your mom.
Thanks for sharing. emoticon

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QUAIL75 6/9/2014 9:19AM

    Gorgeous hike and best of luck with your Mom!

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HMBROWN1 6/9/2014 8:18AM

    Absolutely gorgeous! Thanks so much for sharing.

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

Hiking in Picardy

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Hello dear Sparkfriends,

Three weeks without a hike! No no no no way! Well… life happens. Travelling for work, dealing with a very wet weather, and trying to find solutions to various problems... Needless to say I NEEDED a hike today!





This hike which started in Cinqueux, in Picardy, was wonderful. I know, I know, I say that all the time! But really, it was wonderful! : )



It was the simple countryside from the area North of Paris that I know well and love so much…



The fields are just beautiful at this time of the year!



And the gardens too!





But as always, as I walked on the paths…





I had some wonderful encounters (this one was my favorite, aren’t they cute?!)…











After the fields and the meadows…



… the woods were so refreshing!



There were some ferns I had never seen before, quite tall and slim.



And there were lots of wild honeysuckles!



Then I crossed a wet area that was full of flowers of all kinds… Nothing extraordinary, simple wild flowers that made me happy!









Then I crossed Harbercourt. It was a lovely little hamlet, with some nice houses and a chapel that looked straight out of a fairytale! Don’t you think?





And I was back in the woods again, almost all the way back to Cinqueux…



There were lots of poppies on the side of the path as I approached the village.



It was almost the end. But I felt frustrated I had only seen the marsh area through the woods, far away. So I drove there after my hike to take a few pictures…





It was so peaceful and beautiful! A perfect end to today’s hike!
Many thanks for reading! As you can see it was one of my 'usual' hikes, nothing really special today. Yet it was exactly what I love and it made me feel so good! I hope you are all having a great weekend!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARYJEANSL 6/24/2014 8:13PM

  I think I love the wild flowers as much as you do, or almost. They are so beautiful, and they nourish the soul.

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KAREN91 6/18/2014 12:53PM

    All your hikes are beautiful and your pictures always brighten my day! emoticon

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WARRIORFIT1 6/18/2014 9:08AM

    Gorgeous as always! Love your blogs!

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SUPERSYLPH 6/16/2014 12:43PM

    I always love the pictures you share! EVERYTHING looks straight out of a fairytale compared to our big city "cookie cutter" houses!

Comment edited on: 6/16/2014 12:44:38 PM

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CORNERKICK 6/14/2014 1:37AM

  Beautiful pics

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LORIVIOLA 6/9/2014 2:06PM

    stunning. and yes it does look like a fairy tale!
the critters were cute. MOO! Baaah!

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STEVENK87 6/9/2014 11:55AM

    emoticon emoticon

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BEWELL48 6/8/2014 6:25AM

    Missed this before.....just catching up on some SP posts.

Magnificent !

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WRITERWANNAB 6/8/2014 1:47AM

    Gorgeous photos, as always! emoticon

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JOANOFSPARK 6/7/2014 9:57PM

    Extraordnarily beautiful.....I felt as if I were there along with you......so serene and peaceful..... emoticon

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NORASPAT 6/7/2014 9:13PM

    CLAIRE I am sorry I missed this one. My Spark page was set to private and my whole page was re-arranged. I happened to see it on Ginies page so I went to take a look. We have those red poppies in our yard. We always loved poppies in our house and in our school. Thanks for the lovely pictures I have a camera full but cannot down load to my SURFACE 2 tablet. That is frustrating.
I hope your mother is settled by now. I do hope so. HUGS Pat in Maine. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/7/2014 9:14:12 PM

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PHOENIX1949 6/7/2014 5:07PM

    emoticon
Photos after cows looks like we call plume grass.

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MAXY100 6/6/2014 10:10PM

  Nice surroundings with so many flowers! Thank you for sharing

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KRICKET4 6/6/2014 10:07PM

    For me, every hike is wonderful and exciting. Nothing grounds you better than being out in nature. Thanks for sharing your great day.

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LGIOWA 6/6/2014 10:29AM

    Thanks for sharing! I'm going to tour an arboretum and conservatory both with garden areas with walking paths tomorrow, and I was already looking forward to it, but I really am ready to go now!

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HYATTI1 6/5/2014 12:00PM

    emoticon

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MRSRIGS1 6/4/2014 6:43PM

    Picture, postcard PERFECT! Always lovely!

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LAVENDERLILY 6/4/2014 10:22AM

    Thanks for the incredible photos! They made my day!

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CEIL46 6/4/2014 8:33AM

    This is the first time I've seen your blog. Thank your for sharing the beautiful hike. I could almost smell the flowers. emoticon

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LAKEGIRL17 6/4/2014 1:57AM

    I love seeing the scenery in your area...so much different from mine (IL in USA). I'm a hiker too, so I'm going to follow your blog.

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SCOTMAMA 6/4/2014 1:31AM

    Beautiful countryside you live in, I must say, I envy you!

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ROXYCARIN 6/4/2014 12:48AM

  emoticon emoticon

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FIFIFRIZZLE 6/3/2014 1:47PM

    Another beautiful blog, Claire. As soon as I saw itbI recalled a line from a song,
The roses that bloom in Pacardy.... Like the roses that bloom in my heart'
I think I haven't quoted it correctly, but the melody is in. My mind even now.
Thank you, Claire.

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 6/3/2014 12:53PM

    Beautiful! emoticon

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BKT4MANUTD 6/3/2014 11:33AM

  Claire, every time you post I get another mini-vacation in beautiful rural France! What a wonderful break in my work-day - - please don't ever stop sharing your hikes!

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ALIHIKES 6/3/2014 12:55AM

    Claire this was a beautiful hike, thank you so much for sharing it! The poppies were lovely, and I really enjoyed the tall ferns. I'm so glad you went to the marsh and shared the photos of that delightful area. The church really was like a fairy tale chapel!

I think it is very important to get away and enjoy the beauty of nature, particularly during stressful times. I did not hike this weekend (I was visiting mom and spent most of the time in her room at the nursing home) but I was glad the hotel had lovely gardens. But I missed hiking, it helps me keep calm and in touch with the good thinks in life.

Hugs and much love from,
Alison

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CICELY360 6/3/2014 12:42AM

  beautiful pictures

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MILPAM3 6/2/2014 11:33PM

  Even your "usual" isn't commonplace to many of us. Thanks for sharing.

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YMWONG22 6/2/2014 10:40PM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LIVINHEALTHY9 6/2/2014 9:51PM

    Your "usual" hikes have gorgeous scenery.
The pictures are beautiful. I especially like the animal pics.

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WALLPER26 6/2/2014 9:24PM

    Thanks for sharing those wonderful images.

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CAROLJ35 6/2/2014 8:59PM

    OMG!!! What stunning photos! Thanks for sharing!

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RENATA144 6/2/2014 8:36PM

  emoticon Claire !!! I hope & pray that everything is OK with you & your's. emoticon For the lovely photos !!! They always make me feel nice.
Be Blessed emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BANNERMAN 6/2/2014 6:43PM

  Thanks for sharing.

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NYKIMMIE 6/2/2014 6:27PM

    Beautiful! Thank you for sharing.

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LISALGB 6/2/2014 6:18PM

    I just love those big, red roses at the beginning of your blog!! But, I have to admit, as much as I love roses, I adore the scent of honeysuckle. I can only imagine the sweet scents on this hike.
The farm animals are adorable. The one with the sheep and chickens looks like a painting. I love it.
As always, you have managed to "take me away" with you. Oh, how I would love to see these beautiful places with you someday!!

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QTEALADY20031 6/2/2014 5:49PM

    Claire, as always the flowers are beautiful. I thought I recognized a honeysuckle flower. Do you believe I had a honeysuckle bush in my backyard in Philadelphia! I just loved it. You were in wonderful and peaceful surroundings which I am sure you needed on this hike. Thank you again Claire for sharing the "simple" which is almost divine. emoticon emoticon June

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CHEBBA 6/2/2014 5:45PM

    Not the architecture, but the green paths and rural scenes are so redolent of parts of England. Lovely.

I hope that this hike enabled you to de-stress from your recent, but sadly ongoing, problems and worries. Your photography is terrific and the fact that so many people follow you and appreciate your posts is testimony to your talent to engage us all.

Hugs 'n more hugs

J. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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AJB121299 6/2/2014 5:28PM

    nice

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DAISYPETAL 6/2/2014 4:53PM

    OMG, I just happened to see this blog and what a DELIGHT. I am fortunate to live in Michigan where we have the same type of surroundings and I, like you, LOVE it all.

Thank you for reminding me of the beauty of the surrounding countries. We all have our own God given gifts that are simple and BEAUTIFUL! I AM SO GLAD TO MAKE YOUR AQUIANTANCE AND HOPE TO COME BACK FOR YOUR NEXT VENTURE. Thanks for sharing and keep up the good work on being healthy. Hugs, Jude/daisypetal co leader for Females 55 +

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NEWTINK 6/2/2014 4:08PM

    Extraordinary ... You are so lucky to be able to find places like that to hike at emoticon

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ROSES4ME1 6/2/2014 3:35PM

    I see nothing usual about your "usual hikes". They are stunning and look so peaceful. My weekend hikes are generally on trails clogged with other walkers, runners and bikes whizzing by. I would love to experience your "usual". Just lovely.
Thanks for sharing.

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GRACEOMALLEY 6/2/2014 2:36PM

    I so enjoy that you allow me to "share" these outings with you. Thank you ever so much for allowing us to come along with you! I hope all is well with you and your parents.
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ARCHIEMITCHELL 6/2/2014 1:22PM

    It was marvelous to sit at my computer and through your excellent photographs see what you see in Picardy.
An amazing creative blog. forone whoc loves to hike, walk and experience the glory of Creation.
Nancy

Comment edited on: 6/2/2014 1:23:31 PM

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BLUEJEAN99 6/2/2014 1:08PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KNEEMAKER 6/2/2014 12:51PM

  I envy you. I would love to hike that area. Perhaps someday I will be able. Thanks for sharing. emoticon

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CUDDLYPOLARBEAR 6/2/2014 12:47PM

    beautiful photos

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OPALMOON 6/2/2014 11:26AM

    Dear Claire,
Thank you so much for taking us along on another delightful hike through the spectacular countryside in your corner of the world. It may seem like a simple hike to you....to me it is utterly beautiful. It would be so lovely to have walks like this close to home over here too. The little chapel is so sweet, and I loved seeing the animal companions you met along the way, as well as the wildflowers, poppies and those gorgeous roses! They look as if they would have the most incredible scent. Thank you for blessing us with these delightful blogs of your walks. Warm thoughts and prayers to you and your mother and hoping everything improves with her situation and your concerns.
Big hugs, Nattacia

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MAWMAW101 6/2/2014 10:56AM

    After reading your hike, I decided to look in the back yard to see if our honeysuckle was blooming. Sure enough there it was and smelling so wonderful.
Your pictures always make me slow down and see what is right in front of me.
I sincerely hope all is better in your life.
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YIWEN39 6/2/2014 10:36AM

    Waouh! I must say, ALL your hikes are beautiful, but this one... absolutely gorgeous!!! Me thinks maybe I should look for a job up there... what do you say ? ;-)

Take care and do look after yourself,
Lots of love,
Eve

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