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Our Lady of Paris

see by Linda Hopkins

us viagra On Monday morning, while I was sitting in a waiting room as the oil in my car was getting changed, I received this text from my daughter, Marissa.

dove acquistare levitra online sicuro I quickly searched Notre Dame on Google and immediately saw images of the fire. As were millions of others around the world, I was devastated.

I got up and changed the channel on the waiting room TV from the game show it was on, to NBC. Tears did stream from my eyes while I listened to Lester Holt describe the scene playing out in from of me.

Before digital photography, we used to get our photos processed and kept them in photo albums. Seems like a novel idea now. The photos in this album are from 1997

Once the car was done, I came home and watched for hours more. When the announcement was made that the next 90 minutes would be crucial as to whether the two front towers would continue to stand, I could take no more. I went to Target to get a vaccination for shingles that my doctor had ordered. Then to Home Goods to wander aimlessly, finding nothing that brought me even an ounce of joy, leaving empty-handed. That tells you how devastated and depressed I was feeling.

This photo was taken on our first trip to France, in 1997 to celebrate David’s 40th birthday. This is the lead and wooden spire that fell in the fire. The copper statues were removed before the renovation began. It is believed the fire started in the attic under this spire.

The 90 minutes was almost up, so I headed home and was beyond relieved to hear that the towers were expected to stand. I watched a bit longer and once again could not bare watching that inferno blasting out of Cathedral Notre Dame de Paris. (Notre Dame de Paris translates to Our Lady of Paris.)

This photo of the front two towers was taken in 2000 when I was in Paris on my way to work with Barb Fenzl at La Combe en Périgord, a cooking school in the southwest of France.
Another trip in 2005 to La Combe with Barb. I visit Notre Dame every time I go to Paris. It is the first place I go, always!

It is the Mother church of France and it truly felt like our mother was being injured and possibly dying. I turned it off and instead, starting searching my computer and albums for happy photos of all the times I’ve been to the Cathedral over the years.

In May 2007, I took Marissa on a mother/daughter trip to Paris and London. It was the summer between her freshman and sophomore years at UA. Our first stop, Notre Dame, of course. This is Marissa’s first encounter with a gargoyle. I absolutely adore this photo!

If you’ve been there even once, you know those feelings. The feelings and knowledge that the beloved church that has stood for over 850 years and holds such majesty and humility is being so violently threatened. Of course Notre Dame holds great meaning to Catholics like me, to all Christians around the world, but it also houses art, poetry, literature and priceless antiquities of mankind. It is a true icon of civilization. And icon of what is best in our humanity.

Now it feels ironic that on that day Marissa and I visited the Cathedral, there was a fire under one of the bridges between Ile de la Cité (the island Notre Dame is built on) and the other side. May 2007

Notre Dame has survived the Crusades, the French Revolution, two world wars and so much more. It is the most visited structure in the most visited city in the entire world. Thirteen million visitors a year, approximately 30 thousand a day! It is a gothic masterpiece.

Statue of Joan de Arc
Photo Credit: Marissa Hopkins 2008

In 1909 Joan de Arc was beatified under in Cathedral Notre Dame by Pope Pius X. You feel all of that whether you are in its shadow or inside its sacred walls.

I’m certain that at least some of these brave firefighters (pompiers) were amongst the nearly 500 that fought the fire on Monday, April 15, 2019.
Photo: May 2007

There is so much to be in awe of. From the flying buttresses, the gorgeous rose windows, and the wonderful gargoyles. My family loves the gargoyles!

May 2007
Marissa returned to Paris in January 2008 for a semester abroad. She told me that she often went to the Cathedral when she felt homesick or just needed quiet time alone.
Photo Credit: Marissa Hopkins 2008

(I’m taking a break here to let you know that all of the above was written on Monday afternoon and evening. Knowing I would not post this until Wednesday, I tried to write in the past tense.  Everything below was written on Tuesday afternoon, after seeing and learning what had survived the fire.)

At the end of Marissa’s time abroad, we went to pick her up and enjoy a two-week family vacation in France and Italy. We arrived the day after Connor’s 17th birthday and immediately went to Notre Dame. It was Connor’s first trip to Europe.
May 2008
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April 17, 2019   8 Comments

2,000 is worth $200

Good morning and a very Happy 2,000th Post Day to you!

I’ll bet you didn’t even know there was such a thing as 2,000th Post Day but there is in the world of LesPetitesGourmettes.com! http://maientertainmentlaw.com/?search=dogs-prednisone-5mg This is my 2,000th post! That’s quite an accomplishment if I do say so myself. To celebrate this milestone, let’s have a contest and giveaway. Since I don’t have $2,000 laying around to give away, how about I give away 2,000 pennies? Wait, that’s only $20, that doesn’t seem like much of a treat. OK, let’s make it 2,000 dimes or $200. That’s a nice prize, right?!?

I’m going to split that in two and give away two (2) $100 gift cards to Target or Trader Joe’s. The winner(s) will have their choice since I know that not everyone has a Trader Joe’s in their town but I’m certain that a majority of you have a Target. If you can prove to me that you don’t have a Target either (Mom) I will consider making it a gift card to … Walmart. There, I said it. Don’t shop there myself but will make the exception if absolutely necessary, because I’m just that nice! There will be two ways to win and if you complete both of them, then you’ll have a chance at both gift cards or two entries in the contest.

click here Here is the first way you may enter to win: Leave a comment on every post here on LesPetitesGourmettes.com during the month of April. That includes this post and the previous post from April 1, 2019, and every post from now until April 30, 2019. Now, I don’t post every day, so you’ll probably only need to leave comments on about a dozen posts. I’ll remind you every now and again. I’ll gather up the names of all those who leave a comment on EVERY APRIL 2019 post and those names will go in the pot for the first $100 gift card. (This means that Shelley and Nancy already of a leg up on the rest of you since they left comments on the 4/1/19 post already. Thank you, Shelley and Nancy!)

viagra generico 25 mg italia pagamento online a Parma *I should also mention that leaving comments on Facebook, where these posts show up automatically, does not count. The comments must be left here on LesPetitesGourmettes.com. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the comments there, but rules are rules, y’all!

propecia with an on-line prescription The second way you may enter to win: Get on Instagram and if you haven’t already followed my Harmony_Boards page, do that! Next, get a minimum of five (5) of your Instagram friends and family to follow the Harmony_Boards page. Here’s the tricky part of this way to win, I will need to know that you sent them there to follow the page. So they will need to send me a DM or leave a comment on one of the photos letting me know that you suggested they follow Harmony_Boards. I understand that this is more complicated than leaving a comment on a post, but it is another way to win, a way to have two chances and maybe win BOTH of the $100 prizes. That’s pretty cool!

There is no “also-ran” in this contest. If there isn’t anyone who leaves a comment on every post for the month of April, that $100 stays in my pocket. Ditto on the Instagram portion of the contest. I’ll still love and appreciate each and every one of you, but I’m not just giving money away for nothing here! I’m not Oprah or Ellen, after all.

The winner(s) will be drawn, notified and announced on informazioni viagra generico 200 mg a Verona Wednesday, May 3, 2019. There are no restrictions on this contest, any and everyone may play and have a chance to win. Good Luck! xoxo This contest is not endorsed, sponsored or supported by either Trader Joe’s or Target.

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April 3, 2019   12 Comments

not a recipe and not an April Fools’ joke

This was supposed to be a recipe post. I have a couple of really great recipes for you, but this is not one of them. Sorry. And I wish this was an April Fools’ joke, but it’s not.

Instead, this is a story post. The story of my knee and what is going on with it. If you’re wondering, “Am I supposed to know that there is something going on with her knee? Should I go back a few posts and see what I missed?” No, I’m going to tell you all about it now.

Back on February 26th, my dad and I drove from Phoenix to Austin, TX in one day. I picked him up at 3:00 AM and we headed out on our 16-hour adventure. I’d rented a minivan, loaded it up with Marissa and Jeff’s childhood stuff, large Christmas gifts from this past year and a patio set I was giving to them. I had planned on making the drive myself but my dad insisted that he come along to “help” me. OK, he’s 87 and how many road trips will I really have the opportunity to spend with him? So I invited him to come along for the ride, to HELP me.

We got as far as Tucson, a mere 1 hour and 35 minutes into our 16-hour drive when it happened.

I had stopped for gas and a bathroom break. He insisted on helping, but by the time he got out of the car, I’d already put in my credit card and put the hose in the tank. I was heading in to find the toilet. Unfortunately, this place did not have a toilet, the clerk told me the next place over had one, sorry. Dang, now I have to hold it! I walked outside (mind you it was still pitch black outside) and walked past my dad, who was standing near the back of the minivan, I went to step over the gas hose to get back in the car and at that exact moment, he took the nozzle out of the tank, lifted the hose and I tripped on it. I tumbled to the ground, slamming my left knee hard on the concrete. As one does when one falls and is embarrassed, I popped up and said I was fine. He said he was sorry and we got in the car and drove to the place with the toilet. He didn’t need to go, so I hobbled in, cleaned up my bloody knee, noticed that my middle toe on the left foot was swelling (I had sandals on) and went on our merry way.

Although my knee, and subsequently broken toe, hurt like hell, the rest of the trip went off without further incident.

The inside area of my left knee had stabbing pain for a few days and felt healed up in about two weeks. The broken toe also mended nicely.

So why am I mentioning all of this now, more than a month later? For good reason, I assure you! I woke up last Tuesday morning, turned to step out of bed and nearly fell to the ground. The pain in my left knee was blinding! I downed a bunch of Advil throughout the day and vowed to myself that if it was like this on Wednesday, I’d go to the doctor. I woke up Wednesday and called to make an appointment, it was that bad! They took x-rays, said it may be a torn meniscus and gave me an order for an MRI. I have the MRI scheduled for Thursday of this week. I wanted to get it that same day, but insurance is making me wait. I’m far from happy about it, I even pulled out the old cane, which I had purchased in Hawaii years ago, now that’s desperation! But onward and upward.

Fast forward to this past Saturday. I had four Harmony Boards to make. The first was a pickup scheduled for 8:30 AM. I woke up at 6:30 and got started on it and by 7:15, I knew that there was no way I was going to be able to make the three remaining boards. To say that I was in pain is not descriptive enough…

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April 1, 2019   8 Comments

Pantry Stories

In this photo, there are two doors. The door on the right opens into my laundry room and the door on the left opens into my pantry. I prefer to keep both of these doors closed. I don’t want to look at my washer and dryer and I most certainly don’t want to look into my pantry.

If my pantry looked like this inside, I’d consider leaving the door open every now and then.


If it looked like this, I’d never close the door! This is what we call #pantrygoals! My guess is that the people who own these lovely pantries don’t cook quite as much as I do. Ya think?!?

Unfortunately, up until the afternoon of February 23, 2019, my pantry looked like this.

I know, it’s A LOT! But I cook A LOT! The thing is, it was organized and I knew where most everything was and could get my hands on things rather quickly and efficiently. For instance, that plastic tub on the floor in the center of the photo, held the dry fruits that I use for Harmony Boards.

And a Harmony Board is what I was making on that Saturday afternoon of February 23, when the unthinkable happened.

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March 11, 2019   2 Comments

… I’m back…

Hello! Is anyone still out there? Have you completely given up on me? I’m hoping not.

I’d like to say that since filing for divorce in January 2017, I’ve found it difficult to get back into blogging consistently. But if I’m completely honest with myself, the struggle started before that. I began to get less and less consistent when I was preparing for my daughter’s wedding in early 2015. Four years later and I’m finally ready to get back on the horse, for real this time!

I know all too well that I’ve said that before. In November 2015, I even titled a post, “I’m baaaack” – that was a couple of weeks after Marissa and Jeff’s wedding. Then, in February 2017, I wrote a post titled “back in the saddle.” But this time it is different. I am settled into my new single life. Settled in my home, where I feel more comfortable than I’ve felt in years. Settled in a new exciting business – Harmony Boards. And feeling settled with the personal growth and changes I’m making in myself.

Les Petites Gourmettes will always be a cooking/recipe blog but I’m ready to get a bit more personal with it too. My kids might think, “More personal? DO NOT Get MORE Personal!” They feel as though I overshare already, at least when it comes to them. But I don’t plan on talking about them so much. I’ll be talking more about me and how I truly feel about things. Don’t worry, it won’t be getting heavy, in fact, I hope for it to be more real and more heartfelt. I was holding back before because I was not always in a good place. I’m in a good place now. And I’m ready to open up to that.

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March 8, 2019   26 Comments

Espresso Martini

We’ve been celebrating my mother-in-law, Patricia Hopkins, and her upcoming 92nd birthday all weekend long. She, along with her oldest son, my brother-in-law, Roger and his daughter, my niece, Megan, flew in on Thursday. Mom’s birthday isn’t until the 13th, but this was the weekend that worked best for everyone’s schedule. Marissa is also in town, making it doubly special.

On Saturday afternoon, Megan was craving an espresso martini. She’d asked my nephew, Brandon, to make one for her a while back in Chicago and was disappointed when he didn’t create it for her. Brandon fancies himself as quite the mixologist, rightfully so. You may remember one of his creations that I just had to reproduce when I returned home from a trip to the windy city.

Anyhow, after I put together the makings for the espresso martini, Megan and Marissa felt the need to taunt Brandon on Instagram.

I put together a trio of Harmony Boards for our appetizers last night. I found the cute little pumpkin-shaped boards at Michael’s a couple of weeks ago. They were on clearance for 70% off!

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November 5, 2018   No Comments

the perfect comeback

Instead of a recipe, how about a little story about my experience at Costco today?

You know how you’re in a situation and after you walk away you think, “Why didn’t I say, “this that, or the other?”

Yeah, it happens all the time, you don’t think of that perfect response or comeback until the situation is over and you’re away from it. Happens to me all the time too.

You know why? Because we don’t have TV comedy or drama writers following us around. It’s hard to think of the perfect thing to say in that second when you’re caught off guard.

Well, not today!  (actually, by the time you read this it will have been tomorrow, but as I write it, it is today.)

Today I had the perfect comeback and I couldn’t be prouder of myself. Here’s the story –

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October 17, 2018   No Comments

savings bonanza

I’m in Carlsbad, CA at my timeshare this week with Marissa and my cousin, Michelle Lorts. Michelle and I drove over on Saturday and picked up Marissa, who flew in from Austin, TX.

This is the view from our balcony. Not too shabby.

We’ve had a wonderful, relaxing and coooool week thus far. Not missing the 110+ degree AZ days one single bit!

Here are Michelle and Marissa out in the front of the resort under an African tulip tree. Isn’t it gorgeous?

But the real news I have to share is the amazing deal I got on wine at Von’s (Safeway in AZ) grocery store. We went in to buy some orange juice and a couple of bottles of Michelle’s favorite Sauvignon Blanc, Brancott Estate. When we strolled down the wine aisles, we immediately noticed that all the wine was on sale with yellow tags on every shelf. The Brancott was regularly $13.99 a bottle and was on sale for $9.99. Sweet!  Michelle grabbed 2 bottles.

Then I looked a little farther down the aisle and saw a couple of red tags among all the yellow. Upon further inspection, I saw that the Robert Mondavi Oakville Fumé Blanc which was regularly $34.99 a bottle was on clearance for …..  wait for it….

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August 9, 2018   5 Comments

yellow is the new red… and green

Do you remember a few posts back when I shared my excitement over finally being able to grow something, besides herbs, in a garden?

Well, are you ready to see the surprise harvest?

The surprise is that I forgot what I’d planted. I thought it was zucchini and watermelon but turns out it was watermelon, cantaloupe and English cucumber. This weekend I had another wonderful surprise!

The watermelon was not your run-of-the-mill red fleshed watermelon, it is yellow!

I had completely forgotten I had planted the super cool yellow instead of the everyday red. I was overjoyed but honestly a little disappointed too.

Disappointed because I’d looked for yellow watermelon in the market when I was creating the Harmony Board for Lisa’s birthday last week but I could not find any. And there it was – in my own backyard the entire time. Doggone it!

When shopping for the board, I may not have found the melon I wanted, but I did find yellow kiwi at Costco. Did you even know there was such a thing? I discovered it a couple of summers ago, but this was the first time I saw it at Costco. The green kiwi is the smaller fuzzy one on the left. The yellow is slightly larger and has no fuzz.

Just as with the watermelon, they taste much like their everyday cousins.

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August 3, 2018   No Comments

Thursday round-up

First up, I want to share with you the generic viagra free trial pack Harmony Board that I created for the birthday dinner celebration for my dear friend, Lisa, on Tuesday night.

I’m spending my summer working on a business plan, website, social media pages, logo, etc. for comprare viagra generico spedizione veloce a Venezia Harmony Boards. Kim and I are going to her family home in Canada later this month to escape the heat and to brainstorm and plan the launch party for late summer or early fall.

Of course, I’ll keep you posted once we have the date locked down.

Secondly, while I was going through the photos on my computer looking for some pictures I took back in April, which I needed for my last post, I came across something I’d meant to share, but then forgot all about.

If you remember in THIS POST from May 2nd, which was about my backyard remodel I said,

“In a future post, I’ll share with you all the drama that occurred on granite delivery day. It was quite the thing.”

Do you think July 26 is too late to finally share it? Hopefully not, because here we go.

Photo credit: Lifted from Ronnie’s FB page

On the early evening of Wednesday, April 4, 2018 my friends and former neighbors, Mike and Ronnie Jaap, stopped by to see my backyard remodel. They were considering using the same company I was using and wanted to check out the progress over here. Afterwards, we had plans to go out for dinner.

Earlier that day, in the late afternoon, a load of granite had been dropped off in the road on the south side of my house. The pile was in the street on the other side of my double gates. The pile had orange cones on all sides. This is common practice around construction projects and is allowed.

It was about 6:00 pm as Mike, Ronnie and I were walking on the far north side of the backyard, talking about how happy I was with Garden Plus Landscape & Pools. Suddenly, we heard a loud crash and looked toward that double gate on the other side of the yard to see a huge plume of dust and dirt explode over the gate.

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July 26, 2018   2 Comments