Joanne P.'s Profile

Joanne P.
Aug 22

Joanne P.

  • Highest
    streak
    2067 days
  • Current
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    2067 days
  • Completed 2067 challenges
  • Joined
    Oct 3
    2011

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American (originally from Chicago) living in France and married 43 years to French soul mate (high school pen pal) Paul. Mom to four. Four grandchildren (one boy and three girls), a grand daughter expected in November. We live in a small country town 40 kilometers (about 25 miles) south of Paris. Hobbies include writing (short stories, poems, blogs), reading, traveling, being outdoors and working in my kitchen. Blog link: http://amazone779.wordpress...
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    Joanne P. is taking time away from Daily Challenge and will be back on August 22, 2017.

    I'm taking a short break to spend the weekend with my family; I'll be back on Tuesday 22nd.

  • Michelle R., Lynn R., Amy C., and 31 others smiled at this

    34

    Good morning!

    This is going to be a quickie as we'll be off shortly to pick up our grandson who will join us on the way to the airport to pick up our youngest daughter (his auntie) and her fiancé as they arrive from Barcelona to stay with us a couple of weeks. It's going to be rainy most of the day, so we'll be out and about, first grocery shopping, then relaxing at home. We''re thinking of heading up to Normandy this weekend, this time going northwest toward the D-Day Memorial at Omaha Beach, then directly east on the northern coast line to visit Mont-Saint-Michel, the tiny island abbey. Right now it's full of tourists, but they will be greater beginning next month (September), pilgrimage time, in honor of Saint Michel (Michael), whose feast day is September 29th. As we'd like to spend some family time together I'll be going on a four day DC break, beginning tomorrow Friday 18th through to Monday 21st, returning Tuesday 22nd.

    Today's challenge - Post a picture of how you made a meal more visually appealing.

    How to do it - Today, do one thing to make a meal more visually appealing. It doesn't have to be restaurant-fancy. It can be as simple as putting take-out food on a plate, adding a simple garnish, pouring a beverage from a bottle to a glass, using real silverware at lunch instead of plastic, or sprinkling herbs on food. Then take a picture of what you did and post it here!

    This is nothing new; I've not the time to look for the photos I took during the previous couple of weeks, but will try and do this during the coming week after we get back, when my daughter and I will put our heads together and come up with a good meal combination; even though she's vegetarian she's a really good cook. Since I'll be off on a short break this won't be possible to do for the moment, except if we have time to do it tonight; we'll see what happens. I'll mark this as done as we have done this before.

    I'm off to start my break; wishing all a good Thursday and end of the week.

    "Post a picture of how you made a meal more visually appealing"

    August 17, 2017 at 9:26 UTC
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  • Margaret V., Cathy S., Wendy B., and 27 others smiled at this

    30

    Good morning!

    Posting after taking care of laundry and morning chores. It's going to be partly sunny and warm today with temperatures at 27 C (80 F). The rain cycle starts up again tomorrow, continuing through to the weekend.

    Thank you, Margaret H and Dileep, for the encouragement!

    Today's challenge - Connect to your community and learn one piece of trivia about your city or town.

    How to do it - Type the name of where you live (city or town, state/province) and the word "history" into your browser. Then take a step back in time and learn one little fact about the place you live. When was it settled? Did it ever have another name? Who made it famous? Share your findings here!

    The town I live in is quite old. It is about thirty kilometers (about 18 miles) south east of Paris. It was a small farm village, with its traditional main street, still present, and side arteries. It grew from 600 in 1960 to 6000 in 1990, principally from urbanization of unused farm land, begun during the 1980s. At present there are about 7,650 inhabitants. It has three grade schools (going up to the fifth grade), one middle school (sixth to ninth grades), a supermarket and a little church, originally built in the fifth-sixth centuries, parts have been rebuilt over time. There are the usual bakeries, etc. I live in the western part of the town, where urbanizing unused farmland with housing developments began some thirty years ago, extending the main street down another mile or so. Since then the southern part of the town, where office buildings and showrooms installed themselves long before housing developments, has now been urbanized, some ten years ago. In order to obtain subventions from the government a town must reach 10,000 inhabitants, thus the objective of the mayor, who is now facing strong resistance from locals for future urbanization on either open space, used as grassy parks for leisure, or purchased farm land. As it is the town is unpolluted, quiet and peaceful; more housing would increase unnecessary population woes along with traffic and associated problems, and raise taxes as a new school, etc. would be necessary in that area.

    The first time the name of the town is mention was in the 8th century; it was a tiny village belonging to high lords who then donated it to a large abbey. A deed dated 998 was found in which the abbey was officially entitled to this donation. Several large mansions were built around the village between the 17th and 19th centuries. Some were transformed to be used in administrating the town; others were left as they are for historical purposes. One of thee, built in 1842, now houses the City Hall. I the old days farms around the village produced fruits, wine and cereal (grains), now only the grain fields subside. The town has been in and out of history, most recently the Second World War, in which it was occupied by the Nazis, who occupied the mansion. As the town is situated along the southern route leading to Paris, Allied armies coming from the south liberated each village as they headed north towards Paris, itself liberated August 25th, 1944. Even though there have been new housing developments during the last ten years in the southern part of the town, the surrounding open fields are still in operation, mostly with grain (wheat, colza), the town still retains its atmosphere of a country village, with tree lined streets, small woods, open spaces and surrounding fields. It's a town where practically everyone knows each other (within nearby neighborhoods) and kids growing up have still kept in touch as they become adults and eventually move out, as mine did. Next year will be thirty years we've been living here and we intend to stay for a long time.

    I hope you enjoyed reading about my town. Wishing all a happy Wednesday and midweek.

    "Connect to your community and learn 1 piece of trivia about your city or town"

    August 16, 2017 at 9:56 UTC
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  • Lynn R., Joe D., Irene R., and 26 others smiled at this

    29

    Good morning!

    Posting after a nice breakfast and finishing morning chores. Today is a national holiday so we'll be taking most of the day to relax, even more so because thunderstorms are predicted for this afternoon. We'll be indoors this afternoon with a good book and watching old movies. It's becoming darker by the minute, the quiet before the storm: no wind, no birds chirping, no movement outdoors. Humidity is slowly rising and temperatures with it to 28 C (82 F).

    Many thanks to Lisa, L, Joanna and Helen, for their encouragements.

    Today's challenge - Punch the air in front of you, switching arms, for thirty second; take a break and do it once more.

    How to do it - Stand with your legs about hip-width apart and bend your knees slightly. Hold your hands up in fists near your face. Punch the air in front of you at shoulder height, alternating arms. Contract your abdominal muscles to support your back, and make sure you don't lock your elbows as you punch. Do this for 30 seconds and take a quick breather, then go back for another 30-second round.

    This exercise is not new; I do it in physical therapy to increase flexibility in my shoulders. At home I strap light weights to my wrists for added resistance. I'll do this exercise with the weights in just a short while as a warm up for my late morning routine.

    Wishing all a good Tuesday and midweek.

    "Punch the air in front of you, switching arms, for 30 seconds; take a break and do it once more"

    August 15, 2017 at 9:45 UTC
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  • Lisa L., Lynn R., Sandy W., and 2 others smiled at this

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  • Lynn R., Monica O., Timothy S., and 26 others smiled at this

    29

    Good morning!

    It's going to be sunny day with temperatures in the mid 20's (78 F), a pleasant change from last week's cool wet dampness. We'll be out and about now that the morning chores are done, heading out the door to get some grocery shopping done. After lunch we'll take the opportunity to spend the afternoon visiting our daughter and the grand kids.

    Thank you, Dileep, for the encouragement!

    Today's challenge - Name one item in your kitchen that helps you eat healthy snacks or meals away from home.

    How to do it - What kitchen gadget or container makes it easy for you to eat healthy when you're on the go? Perhaps you turn to your trusty lunchbox to bring food to work, carry your morning smoothie in a special cup, or pack leftovers and snacks in portion-sized containers. Whatever item helps get you and your food out the door, share it here!

    At home we like to store foods in glass containers, but when outdoors we use portion sized containers, guaranteed without Bisphenol A. They come in handy when snacking outdoors with kids, are easy to clean and put away.

    Wishing all a happy Monday and peaceful new week.

    "Name 1 item in your kitchen that helps you eat healthy snacks or meals away from home"

    August 14, 2017 at 9:54 UTC
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  • Rita H., Ray M., Lisa L., and 26 others smiled at this

    29

    Good morning!

    Posting after taking my time this nice dry Sunday morning. It's going to be partly sunny today with temperatures around 23 C (73 F) during the afternoon hours. We plan to get in a long walk later, then relax the est of the day. Our daughter and her family will have returned from their vacation and take the time to sleep and relax most of the day, so we'll no doubt be seeing them tomorrow.

    Today's challenge - Spend a few moments thinking about a time when you believed in yourself even though others didn't.

    How to do it - Think back to a time when you believed in yourself and followed your intuition, even when those around you were doubtful. Perhaps you embarked on a career change that surprised people, pursued an unexpected relationship, or moved to a place that raised eyebrows. Think about how you felt during that time, and how you stayed strong in the face of others' opinions.

    I think about this often; I wouldn't be where I am right now if it were not for following my intuition and making the choices encouraged by it. Forty-five years ago when my French soul mate asked me to marry me, I immediately said "yes." When my parents, family members and friends were informed of my decision, most of them thought I was totally out of my mind. According to them I really didn't know him, that as a native of France his culture and way of living would be the wrong choice. But he had been visiting me several times a year, practically every three months, because of his job with the airlines (ticket agent). During most of our relationship I was away in university, and came home on holidays or very long weekends. Then he would come to visit. During these times together we would take the opportunity to learn more about each other. This became even more important during the two summers spent in France in between college years in which I visited him and his family. It was the sort of relationship when one knows and feels, deep down, that one has finally found one's soul mate. I felt no mistake about it. But to the others, and even in a small way his parents, who were a bit old fashioned, it was another story. This is primarily because I'm hearing impaired from birth; I grew up with an overall sense of over protectiveness. Everyone wondered if I hadn't fallen into a sentimental routine in which I felt love but it wasn't the real thing. That was very far from the truth. How can anyone say this was beyond me; every one knows that love knows no barriers, has different meanings to different people. For me it was as if I found a love lost beyond time; I felt so good, so true to myself with him, and also with the way he lived. Then they came along with assumptions that life in France would be complicated and the culture shock too difficult; this would be true in the very beginning, but an overpowering sense of perseverance, of knowing that the experience of moving away to a strange place, then getting used life in it, and this all by myself was so strong it was impossible to explain. The French call this feeling "plus fort que soi," stronger than oneself." If it was one's destiny to learn from these experiences, especially if one lived a rather sheltered life, then nothing and no one will prevent these experiences from happening, eve if it meant facing discrimination because of false assumptions about my disability. Mentalities have changed concerning disabilities in France since that time, but the experiences were there. I now enjoy surprising French folks on how I've gotten on in language and culture; for many, especially the older one, hearing disabled persons are assumed to prefer to live in a world of their own. A few do, but not all, and I happen to be one of them. These complications did happen, they were difficult, but they were necessary. During the entire process of going through these experiences I had, and still have, the love of my soul mate to keep me going. Also came the assumptions that due to cultural differences my marriage would probably fail. There were differences but not as strange as the ones I grew up with (now all gone with the modernization of younger generations), which were Italian, promoted by my Italian grandparents on both sides, themselves immigrants to the New World just before the turn of the twentieth century. My husband's family was of Italian/Spanish origins, practicing practically the same cultural customs in their own every day lives. Finally, the same persons who insisted that in the end my marriage would fail themselves experience failed marriages. In all, I never regretted listening to my intuition,my choices and decisions to marry my soul mate and move to another country. They are responsible for making me the person I am today. Forty-three years (of marriage and living in France) later I am very grateful.

    Wishing all a good Sunday and peaceful new week.

    "Spend a few moments thinking about a time when you believed in yourself even though others didn't"

    August 13, 2017 at 11:09 UTC
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      Helen T. and others posted 11 replies.
    • Lisa B.
      Lisa B. replied August 13, 2017 at 18:06 UTC:

      What a beautiful and inspiring story, Joanne! I am so happy that everything worked out as it did for you! And I wish you many more years together!

    • Ginger P.
      Ginger P. replied August 13, 2017 at 21:09 UTC:

      Wow... what a wonderful story.. thanks for sharing.. and I love it even more because of your Chicago roots. Awesome!!

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  • Joe D., Lynn R., Bridget T., and 27 others smiled at this

    30

    Good morning!

    Today is going to be another rainy day, thankfully the last for the time being, tomorrow predicted as overcast but no rain. The grand kids and their family are on their way home from Spain, having left early this morning. They arrive home sometime tomorrow. As the morning chores are done we'll be out and about, taking care of errands then relaxing this afternoon. We'll surely be having the older grand kids over from Monday.

    Thank you, Dileep, for the encouragement!

    Today's challenge - Take two minutes to clean high-touch surfaces in your bathroom, such as faucets and toilet handles.

    How to do it - Grab a rag and some bathroom or all-purpose cleaner, and give a good cleaning to the "high-touch" surfaces in your bathroom - the ones that we typically have our hands on the most. Think faucets and faucet handles, the toilet handle, the shower door handle, the knobs on the medicine chest and vanity drawers, and the doorknob.

    This isn't a challenge but a weekly cleaning habit. I've already already done it with all other cleaning chores this past week, so I'll mark this 'challenge" as done. Weekends are reserved for personal activities/projects, relaxing and the grand kids.

    Wishing all a good Saturday and weekend!

    "Take 2 minutes to clean high-touch surfaces in your bathroom, such as faucets and toilet handles"

    August 12, 2017 at 9:46 UTC
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  • Lisa L., Lynn R., Leah A., and 33 others smiled at this

    36

    Good morning!

    It's going to be a strange day weather wise. Right now the sun is making a brave show through a vaporous white sky. According to the weather people the day will be damp with possible showers coming any time. Temperatures will rise to 22 C (71 F) a pleasant change from the previous cool days. This morning I'll be finishing up all cleaning chores then lunch (and today's challenge and exercise routine) we'll try to get in our daily walk if the rain isn't too heavy. During most of the afternoon hours we plan to relax with good reads and old movies on TV. Next week the grand kids and family will have returned from their vacation; Tuesday 15th is a religious but also national holiday (Assumption); we'll no doubt be spending time with the kids so their parents can get back into daily routine.

    Many thanks to Helen and Dileep for their encouragements.

    Today's challenge - Stand, inhale deeply, and raise your arms up to the sky; exhale, lower them. Repeat two times.

    How to do it - Stand with your feet hip-width apart, arms by your sides. As you start inhaling, raise your arms straight out from your sides and up above your head, with your palms facing each other. Imagine yourself getting taller! Exhale as you slowly drop your arms back down to your sides. Repeat two more times, inhaling deeply and exhaling fully as you do.

    This little exercise is a regular morning habit usually after my daily mountain or tree pose, a daily morning gesture, simply to clear the body of toxins of the previous day and overnight. I can't lift the arms up overhead (shoulder arthritis), but can manage half way, palms turned upwards. As this is today's challenge I'll do it again at noon, this time using it as a warm up, lifting the arms half way as I usually do, then continue arm/shoulder work outs adding weights and lunges.

    Wishing all a good Friday and weekend.

    "Stand, inhale deeply, and raise your arms up to the sky; exhale, lower them, and repeat 2 times"

    August 11, 2017 at 9:17 UTC
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