Monday, June 30, 2014

Facebook 101 – Part 1 – The Basics

 After we published our first book in 2005, we attended a conference where Penny Sanseveri was the keynote speaker. She spoke about being on social media. At the time, she listed these as the basics:
  1. Website (We already had our site
  2. Blog (I already had one and posted erratically. Your blog can be connected to your website.)
  3. LinkedIn (We each had a profile here for work, and it’s important to add your author status on this site
  4. Twitter (I had created an account, but I didn’t have a clue about what it was about. I still don’t, but I finally linked this to my LinkedIn account, so all my posts to that site automatically post on Twitter as well.)
  5. Facebook (I had a profile but only used it to find old friends and family. I had no idea how powerful a marketing tool it could be.)

Lately I have been talking to quite a few people who’ve said, “I just don’t get Facebook.” Since I now have over 1700 friends and spend quite a bit of time on the site, I think I’m prepared to help you understand what it is and how to use it.

Facebook is primarily about communication. Some of my fellow authors joined Facebook solely to promote their books. A few only posted about their wonderful tome to the point where I skipped over what they had to say every time I saw their names. (There is a Hide option, and I have used it so I didn’t have to see the endless promotion. More about this feature later.)

So, how does Facebook work?

Facebook has three different kinds of sites, and each serves a different purpose: Profile, Page, and Group. This week, I’ll talk about your Profile. Next week, I’ll cover Groups and Pages.

The profile is the basic way to begin using Facebook. When you go to for the first time, a Sign Up button appears in the upper left section of the screen. The next screen asks for additional information like your email address and other basics, including a photo. Professionals should always include a good, recent headshot. You must create a password. Make sure it contains upper and lower case letters, numbers, and another character like: !@#$%&.

Once you create a profile, you can find the link to your profile page in the dark blue strip at the top of the Facebook page. The link will be your first name.

Complete your profile by using the Update Info button. On the next screen, you can add information about your work, your relationship status, your birthdate, schools you attended, your current location, etc. These details will allow others to find you more easily.

Now you can begin to add friends. Locate the search bar (the white stripe with the magnifying glass on the right side) at the top of the page. The easiest way to connect with friends is to go to your email address book and copy the email address of someone you know. Paste it into the search bar and click the magnifying glass. For people with somewhat common names, this is the best way to locate the correct one. However, you can also type in the person’s name. You will be given several suggestions. I usually select: Find all people named “whatever.” When you locate the right one, click the name.

This will take you to the other person’s Profile page. Hopefully, they have a photo so you can verify their identity. If the profile is for the correct person, click the Add Friend button. This sends an email message to the person. They can choose to accept or ignore the request. If they accept, you will receive an email telling you they are now friends.

Some of the kinds of folks you may want to consider as friends for Facebook:
  1. Family members - I found several long-lost cousins this way, and we’re all thrilled to be back in touch with each other.
  2. School friends - I am currently preparing for a high school reunion and have spent the last year hunting for classmates. Many of them are on Facebook, and it has been fun reconnecting there ahead of the event.
  3. Work friends – I have Facebook friends from nearly every job I’ve ever held, and I enjoy staying in touch with them.
  4. Fans – As authors, we really love when people who enjoy our books become our Facebook friends.

Once you have a few friends, begin posting. This can be tricky. Some people love to post every small detail about their daily lives. Others only post the most basic information. Still others just share the photos other people post. You need to decide how much and how often to post, but in order to have visibility, I’d suggest once a day at a minimum.

You can post from your Profile or from your Timeline.

The Timeline is your Home page. It’s where you see your friends’ posts. This location allows you to engage with your friends. You can Like their posts, Comment on them and Share them. You can also Hide the post or all their posts by clicking the small downward arrow at the top right of the post. Select your preference from the dropdown.

If you Like a post, your friend will see your name when they look at the post.

When you Comment on a post, you will receive an email every time someone else adds a comment. Feel free to delete these as they arrive in your inbox, but occasionally, you may want to add something to the conversation. (It’s all about communication, remember.)

If you like something someone else has posted, Share it. It will then appear on your own profile and show up on your friends’ timelines.

1.    Do share exciting news in your life. Your friends will celebrate with you.
2.    Do post milestones like the publication of a new book, a good review, a new cover, etc.
3.    Do take a hint from what others post. If you like something they do, don’t be afraid to do the same. Just make sure the content is your own.
4.    Do wish your friends a happy birthday.
5.    Do NOT troll your friends’ friends list and invite everyone to be yours! It’s extremely bad form, and your friends will catch on if you do this. You can look over their friends to see if someone you know appears on their list and extend an invitation, but Facebook frowns on people who send friend requests to lots of folks they don’t know. I can honestly say I know who all 1700+ of my Facebook friends are and how we are connected.
6.    Don’t write overly long posts UNLESS you are posting an update (like during a health or other crisis) and you want to reach all your FB friends at the same time.
7.    Do enjoy the give and take and treat each post as a conversation.

Any questions so far?

Next week: Groups and Pages

Monday, June 23, 2014

France 2014 - Finale

April 22 – Tuesday

Another great breakfast at the hotel. We arrived right at 7:00 a.m. when service is supposed to start. However, the doors did not open until 7:10. All the great choices we had come to expect, including the croissants and bread.

We brushed our teeth and then gathered our bags to check out. Discovered breakfast was included each day, so we had no extra fee for that. A very pleasant surprise!

We had arranged for a shuttle to the airport the day before, and we boarded the van at 8:15 along with five others. Lots of traffic and an accident slowed our trip, but we still arrived at the airport nearly three hours ahead of our flight.

Good thing! The line to check in at American Airlines snaked back and forth in front of the baggage check-in, then continued for a couple of blocks into the next terminal! Yet another long line. A guy who travels often said it wasn’t usually this bad, but we were still in the middle of the spring holiday. Note to self: do NOT plan a trip during that week!

When we finally got to the first staging area, we had to go through a security check—not the last. At this point, they scanned our passports, then asked the usual questions: purpose of trip, who packed the bags, did anyone give us anything to take with us, and was our luggage with us at all times, etc. A yellow sticker was applied to the back of our passports, and we were allowed to continue.

Another line to get to the self-check-in where our passports were scanned in a machine. Mine went through fine, but for some reason, the machine didn’t like Larry’s (maybe because it was bent) and issued us a ticket to take to a help clerk.

After another line, we finally got to a person who was able to process our reservations and provide our boarding passes. He also checked the one bag with our gifts in it. No fee!
Next, we went through customs. No issues there. Finally, we were routed through the French equivalent of TSA screening. Once again, our boarding passes had TSA Pre-check on them. However, they don’t recognize them in France.

So we stood in another line to have our bags run through the machines. For some reason, they pulled my backpack for hand-check. I’m not sure whether it was the tin of mints, my toiletry bag, or my makeup bag which caused the concern, but all were checked and cleared.

By this time, we had to make a mad dash to get to our gate.

Pre-boarding had begun by the time we reached the gate.

The flight was packed, but we had no issues.

Since we left at 11:30 a.m., lunch was served, and the food was quite good. (Of course, it came from Paris!) The entrée was chicken and vegetables in a light sauce with gnocchi. It was accompanied by a salad, roll, cheese, crackers, and a cookie.

Since we’d be flying in the daylight, we tried to stay awake. Two movies were shown, but unfortunately the screens were small and at some distance from our seats. The first film was Frozen. Since we’d already seen it several times, the video wasn’t too important, and we enjoyed listening to the music again. The second was Spiderman, but we opted out of watching and read instead.

We were supposed to be in the air for nearly ten hours, but we arrived forty-five minutes early into Dallas-Ft. Worth.

Customs went fairly quickly, and our TSA Pre-check got us through those lines ahead of the other passengers. What a great perk!

Re-checked our one bag and then took the SkyLink train to the posted gate: C7.

Our tickets were behind one another, so we went to the podium to inquire about changing to seats together. The only ones available were in the last row. Since we both had aisle seats, we decided to keep them.

We were informed the gate had been changed to C8, so we moved to that one.

About half an hour later, we heard an announcement that the gate for San Diego had been changed to C21—in another terminal. Back upstairs and onto the train again. Then back downstairs for the long walk to the gate.

After settling in, we got a pretzel and a soda to share.

But another gate change necessitated a move to C20.

During the time we were changing gates, additional changes were announced for St. Louis, Baltimore and a couple of other cities. We began to wonder how anyone ended up at the right place, but somehow they did.

Nice flight into San Diego without incident. Just ahead of us were a couple of young recruits. For two of them, it was their first flight. They were cute and reminded us how exciting flying used to be. The flight attendants gave each of them some snacks as they disembarked and made an announcement that they were onboard. They received a round of applause. Nice touch.

We collected our checked bag and then walked outside where we had a short wait for Bob to pick us up. He arrived with Rich Zodnik, and we quickly loaded the bags.

I rattled on about the trip all the way home. We still wished they had been able to go with us, but Bernie’s surgery had been the day before, and having her shunt put in was far more important. Bob’s surgery was scheduled for May 1, so once they recover, we may be able to think about doing it all again next year with them.

We were glad to be home, but we certainly had a terrific time and would consider repeating the experience.

We were in bed by 10:00, happy to be back to our own pillows.

Final Thoughts

  • ·         Everything good we’d heard about Paris was more than accurate.

  • ·         We never saw any of the rude behavior we’d heard about from Parisians. Quite the contrary. Shopkeepers, wait staff, clerks all went out of their way to meet our needs—with smiles and friendliness.
  • ·         The reputation for French food is more than deserved. The best ever!
  • ·         The countryside was absolutely breathtaking, and the gardens we saw were stunning.


  • ·         Lorna – The early morning Lauds service at Mont Saint-Michel was the absolute highlight of the trip for me. The whole place far exceeded my hopes and expectations.

  • ·         Larry – The visit to Normandy was inspiring and brought home the significance of D-Day in a much more personal manner.
  • ·         Seeing the chateaux and churches made us aware of the incredible history of the country. We are now reading more about it after having seen these fabulous edifices.
  • ·         Nighttime views of the city from the Eiffel Tower provided an amazing panorama of Paris. Seeing the sparkling lights come on to illuminate the tower felt like we’d been transported to Wonderland.
  • ·         Once we got the hang of it, thanks to our tour guide, the Paris Metro was extremely user-friendly and efficient. What a great way to see the city!
  • ·         The trip itself covered great distances and many locations, some of which we would never have found on our own, and all of which we enjoyed.
  • ·         We were with a terrific group of people. We loved meeting each and every one of them.

  • ·         Our tour guide, Virginie, was perfect in every way. She was born in Britany, but lived in California, Idaho, and Florida before moving to England. She has a superb understanding of her own country’s uniqueness and of the kinds of things which interest Americans. She also took great care to be sure each of us found the experience(s) we had hoped to find during the trip. In our case, she succeeded well beyond our dreams, and I believe everyone who traveled with us had a similar experience.

  • Would we go back again? In a heartbeat.
  • Would we repeat the same tour again? Absolutely!
  • We plan to attend the trip reunion in Edmonds, WA next January where we hope to see some of our fellow tourists and Virginie and her husband, Olivier.

I stole these photos from Dick McConnell who spent the entire trip with a really good camera around his neck. He convinced me to take my good one next time!

Have you been to France? What was your experience like? Would you return?

Monday, June 16, 2014

France 2014 - Part 8

April 20 – Easter Sunday

After breakfast, which we enjoyed with Kathy from our tour group, we headed for the small church around the corner for Easter Mass in French.
The service was supposed to start at 9:30, but it began a few minutes late. We felt right at home. Even though this wasn’t as large as the major cathedrals we’d seen, it was still quite a bit larger than our little church at home.
The large medieval nave was filled with wooden chairs, but only about sixty folks filled them—about the same number as we normally have for our first service.
I had hoped for inspiring organ and choir music, but there was no choir and a wheezy old pipe organ. However, we have been badly spoiled by our organist at home. I’m quite certain she could have made the instrument sing. Unfortunately, the one who played this day didn’t have the same skill.
There were two priests, one of whom acted as a sort of cantor.
I was able to figure out about 10% of the words, but did recognize the tunes of “Amazing Grace” and “Thine Be the Glory” as well as The Lord’s Prayer and The Apostles’ Creed. After our amazing service on Mont Saint-Michel, however, we had already experienced Easter.
When we got back to our room, I Googled to see what would be open on Easter Sunday. I discovered that Musee d’Orsay would be closed on Monday when we had planned to use our tickets. Since we were leaving on Tuesday morning, we were only left with Sunday afternoon.
So we got ready and headed out. We were becoming very comfortable taking the Metro. We received extra tickets from some of the folks who left early and couldn’t use them, so we had enough to get around.
We arrived outside the museum about noon, but even though we already had reserved tickets, we still had to wait in a long line to get inside. Over an hour later, we finally made it in the door.
Since we had already seen the artwork on the main floor and the impressionists on the top floor, our goal for the day was to see the special Van Gogh exhibit. Of course, we found another line to get into the exhibit. However, once we entered, we found fewer crowds than we had encountered at Versailles and the Louvre.
The exhibit was worth seeing. Several familiar paintings were included, but the most familiar (Starry Night and Irises, for example) were missing.
By the time we finished, it was about 3:00, and we were ready for lunch. We decided to go to the museum restaurant since we could sit down there. Again we found a line, but this one went quickly.
What a gorgeous space! Ornate chandeliers hung from the ornately painted and gilded ceiling.
We each ordered a half-size chicken Caesar salads. Served with a delicious roll, it made for a perfect late lunch.
When we left the museum, we walked down the street to check a few small shops and do a bit more shopping.
Back to the Metro station and back in our hotel room by about 5:00.
I had picked up a banana at breakfast but hadn’t eaten it. So we shared it. Then I caught up with email, Facebook and this journal.
We watched a little TV and then turned the lights out.

April 21 – Monday

Woke with the alarm at 7:00 a.m., showered, washed and dried my hair, and dressed for breakfast. When we got there a little after 8:00, Sharon and Chuck from our tour group were just finishing before checking out. Had a few minutes with them before they left.
Kathy joined us just as Chuck left. Caught up with her while we ate.
Updated my journal, answered email, and reviewed Facebook. We ate the banana and apple we’d brought back from breakfast.
Because it was our last day in Paris, we decided to head back over to the street near the Musée d'Orsay to do some last-minute shopping since we’d seen some nice things the day before. Also, most of the museums as well as lots of restaurants were closed due to a bank holiday.
We’d been going everywhere by Metro and felt very comfortable getting around the city. Larry said it was like using public transportation in Osaka, but I reminded him we could actually read the signs in Paris (even though Larry couldn’t pronounce them).
When we got out at the museum stop, it was drizzling. The museum itself was closed, and the huge crowd of the day before was gone.
We found everything we wanted easily and at reasonable prices.
Back to the hotel to repack our luggage. I was happy I’d brought an extra nylon bag we could check since we had so many gift items. We had also abandoned some clothing, including shoes and pants, along the way, so we had more room in our suitcases going home.
Since by then, it was about 4:00, we decided to go out to the neighborhood for an early dinner. On our way out, we arranged for the airport shuttle at 8:15 the next morning.
We headed in a different direction than we’d gone before, but most of the restaurants and cafes were closed. Still, we enjoyed the walk.
On the way back, we stopped by the patisserie and bought some macarons to take home. This time, they only had three flavors, but we knew all of them were delicious.
Les Petites Canailles, the restaurant next to the hotel, was open, so we went back there again. The same young lady we had seen before was working. We were glad to see her again, and she recognized us. Larry ordered the plat du jour—veal in a savory sauce with carrots and beans served with a tiny salad and about half a cup of rice. I had the Caesar salad with chicken.
After we ordered, we spotted Linda and Sheri from our group passing by. I ran out to see them because we’d given them the extra set of tickets for the Orsay and wanted to make sure they knew it was closed on Mondays. The tickets were good until Wednesday, and they weren’t leaving until Thursday. Larry gave them our last Metro ticket since we wouldn’t use it before we left. They were on their way to do laundry, so I gave them the primer on how to work the machines.
By the time we said goodbye, our meal was nearly ready.
Our food was very good. We decided on one last dessert in Paris, and the waiter who had taken over for our young friend suggested a sampler with coffee. The plate arrived with three tiny cups, each with a different dessert: blancmange with a delicious raspberry sauce, chocolate mousse, and crème brûlée. Each was about three bites and just enough. These were served with a cup of ‘American’ coffee. Yet another delicious meal.
When we returned, we charged all the electronics. Larry listened to my iPod while it was charging, and I worked on Facebook, email, and my journal.
We will cherish all the memories of this fabulous trip for the rest of our lives.
And we are about ready to head home.

To be completed...

Monday, June 9, 2014

France 2014 - Part 7

April 18 – Friday

Got up early for breakfast, even though we could have slept in. We wanted to see those in the group who were leaving as well as to say a final goodbye to Virginie.
We arrived at 7:15 a.m. (breakfast started at 7:00) and were the only ones there. The rest showed up after 8:00. Mas and Susan had left the hotel at 4:00 a.m. for their flight. She said she didn’t plan on sleeping at all. We’d eaten with them the night before and had said our goodbyes then.
We’d also said goodbye to several others who would be leaving before breakfast.
We had hoped to see John (or Jack or Jacques or Ernie…) and Soledad. They were leaving early in the morning, and we guessed they’d decided to skip breakfast. John had been concerned about catching the ‘Rosy’ bus to the airport. Virginie had a hard time figuring out what he meant. She kept picturing a pink bus. At last, she figured out he referred to the Roissybus.
His main concern was taking the Metro to the Opera stop in time to catch it. (Apparently they made it as we heard from them the next day.)
We were able to hug Mike and Gary before they left. Some of the others intended to stay at the hotel for another day or two, so we hoped to see them before they left.
We had planned to visit Versailles on Saturday, but Dick and Jeannette reminded us it would be the Saturday before Easter and the place would probably be really crowded. They planned on going on Friday before leaving on Saturday morning, so we decided to go along with them.
On the train, we were surprised to hear live music. An accordionist and saxophonist played Latin songs (“Besame Mucho,” “Cielito Lindo,” etc.) between a couple of stations and then went through the cars asking for money. From the reaction of the French passengers, we got the impression this was not encouraged. Although we had seen several street musicians, this was the only time we saw them on the train.
We arrived there about 10:00 a.m., and found a mob scene! Lots of school groups as well as tourists. It took about an hour to get tickets and another hour to get inside the chateau. We got our audio guides and then followed the signs for the self-guided tour. What a mess. (Once again, Bob would have been extremely frustrated with fighting through the masses.)
The most important thing, of course, was the hall of mirrors, and we were able to take in the size and elaborate decorations. We also appreciated seeing the king and queen’s bedrooms.
Even though we skipped the narration in some of the rooms, it still took us over an hour and a half to make our way through the entire place. We had said we’d meet Dick and Jeannette outside at 1:30. It took them until 2:00 to fight their way out. We were not surprised as they were behind us, and every minute the crowd grew larger and denser as more people pressed in.
During the half hour we waited, the temperature dropped and the wind increased. We were chilled and tired.
They are farmers and gardeners, and we knew their primary objective was to see the elaborate gardens up close. We had seen them from the rooms in the chateau and had taken pictures. For us, that was adequate. So we said good bye to them. They headed toward the gardens, and we left to get a late lunch.
By the time we made our way out and walked back to the area near the Metro station, it was after 3:00. We were very hungry!
We found a little café and sat inside next to a window to warm up. I ordered onion soup, and Larry got a Caesar salad with chicken. Along with the usual bread, the meal was perfect. By the time we finished, we were warmed up and ready to return to the hotel.
We found the Paris Metro quite easy to maneuver through. It reminded us somewhat of the Osaka system, but in Paris we could read the signs! Virginie had given us a large map, so each time we set off on an adventure, we figured out which line to take, where to transfer, and where to get off. We made it back to the hotel without a hitch.
We rested and I did some more writing on my journal. At about 6:00, we split the Twix bar I had gotten at the farmhouse a couple of days earlier. Larry had eaten his, but I’d tucked mine away. It became our dinner.
At 8:30 p.m. we headed out once again for the Eiffel Tower. We had tickets to go up in the elevator at 10:00. We had given Ray the extras we had bought for Bob and Bernie, but because we were all going separate ways during the day, we hadn’t planned on meeting them there. Good thing!
The plaza surrounding the tower was very crowded, and the lighting was low. Even if they had been there and somewhat near us, we wouldn’t have seen them.
We tried using our tickets at 9:30 but were told to come back at 10:00. We walked around, and Larry took some photos.
At about 9:45, we went back to the entrance for those who had reservations and tickets. That line wasn’t too long, but the one for buying tickets snaked along for quite a distance.
As we waited, we encountered two groups of kids. One was a bunch of squirrely boys who appeared to be a mixture of American and French kids about high school age. They punched each other, talked loud, wandered off, etc. Typical kids.
The other was a group of high school-aged girls. Although they giggled and talked, they were better behaved than the boys. Again, typical.
The guard finally decided to let the boys get in line and go in. (I figured she wanted to get them corralled inside.) The adults with them had a hard time giving them their tickets because they continued to punch and push each other. But they finally got through and into the queue.
As we waited, we began to talk to one of the adults with the girls’ group and discovered they were an orchestra, band, and choir from Sydney, Australia on a European tour. Fifty-four strong, they had already performed in Amsterdam and had a full schedule ahead.
We were reminded of being in Israel with Kim’s choir in 1984 when they sang in Manger Square in Bethlehem on Christmas Eve. (Here’s the video. It’s not great because we were using the state-of-the-art equipment of the time, and this was copied from a third-generation video tape.) Our kids were typical teenagers until the director lifted his hands and they opened their mouths. Then they sounded like angels.
The girls entered ahead of us in a much more orderly fashion than the boys. We had to go through a security check. (We’d had to do the same thing at several other places during the trip.) Then on to the line for the elevator—or more correctly, the inclinator. We had one of these behind our place in Japan to get to the bottom of the hill. The cage descended and ascended on a diagonal.
Just as we were about to enter the cage, the lights came on the tower. Small white twinkling lights sparkled on the tower, defining each girder. Although we couldn’t see the entire effect, we imagined it must have looked like a giant Christmas tree.
We reached the second level and got out. The air was freezing and the brisk wind made it seem even colder. But the sight of the city sparkling below was worth the chill. We went around the entire tower. Larry took some photos.
We stayed up there about half an hour. By that time, we were thoroughly chilled and decided to go back to the ground.
We retraced our steps and were soon back at the hotel, cold, tired and ready for bed.

April 19 – Saturday

We decided we’d eat a large breakfast at the hotel each day and then have a late lunch. All the dinners eaten late in the evening had become too much.
We slept in to 7:00, showered, dressed, and got to the dining room at about 8:00. After breakfast, during which we didn’t see any of the rest of our group, we came back to the room.
We thought we’d take a rest day since we’d been on the go every day since we arrived. I worked on the journal while Larry read and watched TV. I also caught up on mail and Facebook.
Around noon, Larry decided we needed to do one last load of laundry to carry us through the last days of the trip. So we loaded up the dirty stuff and headed out to locate the place Virginie had pointed out to us on our walk to our final dinner.
We found it easily and set about getting our clothes clean. Amazingly, if I paid attention to the words, I could actually translate most of them. Since we were already familiar with the French laundry system of a central master money panel which made change, dispensed soap, and managed all the washers and dryers, the process went quickly. Overall, it took a little over an hour and a half to complete the chore.
We returned the clean clothes to our room and then decided to forage for food. We checked out several small places in the neighborhood, and finally settled on a small café down the street, Les Petites Canailles.
Our waitress was adorable. She spoke a little English, and we could figure out what we wanted from the menu. I ordered a chicken burger, and Larry got the Caesar salad with chicken.
Both came with lots of onions, which we were able to remove. Mine also came with bacon, but it was undercooked in the manner we’d seen in England and Australia and New Zealand. Larry put it on his salad.
My chicken was breaded and fried, but it was too tough to bite through. The bun was soaked in a cheese sauce which reminded me of melted Velveeta. I had no choice but to disassemble the thing and eat the innards with a knife and fork. The accompanying pommes frits (French fries) were crispy, but there were far too many of them. The small salad on the plate was a nice treat.
Larry ate his salad and said it was pretty good. His chicken was also breaded, but his was cut into strips and appeared to be breast meat. (Mine looked more like thigh.)
He had seen tiramisu on the menu when we ordered and had determined to try it. I left room for the fruit tart of the day. However, those were sold out, so I had to ‘settle’ for crème brûlée again. Such a sacrifice!
We finished with coffee. Mine was plan espresso and Larry got his with cream.
As we ate, we observed a young family with their two little girls. The older one was quiet, but the little one (maybe three-years-old) was wandering all over the place, hanging on the railing above the stairs, hiding behind a stack of chairs, climbing… She obviously wanted her parents’ attention.
We laughed because they reminded us of our neighbor kids Claire and Bridget. Claire is the oldest and is responsible. Bridget is a character and would have been doing all the same things this little one was doing. And she had a big grin on her face the entire time. They provided a great show while we sipped our coffee.
We took a long walk to settle our lunch and ended up at a chocolatier and bakery. We nearly went by, but I saw macarons in the window. We went inside and ordered one of each of the six flavors. (They’re tiny—about two inches in diameter. At least that’s what I told myself!)
Since tomorrow is Easter, I also picked up a small bag of chocolate bells. These are the traditional candies for Easter here in France. The story is that all the bells from all the cathedrals in France fly away to Jerusalem every Good Friday and return to ring on Easter Sunday.
When we returned, I worked on the NY Times crossword puzzle until my eyes wouldn’t let me see it any more. (I’m sure I have a cataract in my other eye which will have to be removed when we get back.)
Then I started in again to try to complete this journal to get it up to date.
We listened to music and read and wrote until about 7:00 when Larry fixed some coffee and we ate the macarons. I may have to get some to take home with us. They are amazing!
By 9:30, I’d accomplished my goal, so we turned out the light and settled down for the night.

To be continued...