Monday, January 30, 2017

La Belle Vie

               Am I happy about the recent election here in the US?
 Well... non.

For many reasons.....  let's explore...     I disagree with the overall tone of the new administration - and administration is the word and tone is too subtle -

come on!!!

It's 2017!! : multiculturalism is, almost,  out!! Except with you. Who are you????

Where is your fear coming from?
Feel it and tell me. Feel it and explain it to me as best you can.
Do we not want the same things:  family, food, fun.    ????
Do we not????

My walk, my simple walk with my simple dog in my simple park is so sacred I can almost not profess it.  You have to know the same things - you have a dog. You have a child. Why don't you want the world to live - for more children? for more dogs?  - for more people who breathe for the first time that day when they walk their dog - ......for all of us?  Is it so hard to take care of your Mother???

Not gonna get me down.  Freedom isn't free.  And don't take the good life for granted.

xoxoxox    La

Friday, January 27, 2017

My 2017 goals for this blog

I just need to write more, for one thing!
 The purpose of this blog is for me (and anyone else who enjoys it) to reinforce the belief that life is created by your thoughts and to keep myself on track with those thoughts and subsequent actions. It's not realistic for me to think that I'll be moving to Paris anytime soon: I appraise real estate and have no license to do so in France, we own a few properties in the Cleveland area that we also manage and my husband's job is representing manufacturing business in Ohio. But I so love the joie de vivre of the stereotypical Parisienne and I know it would be easier to embrace this living amongst other practitioners in that gorgeous city with it's beautiful buildings and life affirming scenes on every corner. So I created this blog - Paris on the Cuyahoga - to bring Paris to me. Both Paris and Cleveland are cities divided in half by a river, the Seine and the Cuyahoga respectively so I found this to be appropriate.

In 2017 I will write more.

In the current political climate I've been more active than I've ever been (well, since the 1960s and '70s) and that is very European. Maybe we've taken our freedoms for granted just a bit too much.

I've been implementing and experimenting some facial massage and other facial care products that I will share.

I am valuing my time with my family more.

I am constantly curating my life so that it holds only the best for me and my loved ones.

So I guess my goals are to keep on and keep up. Consistency is key.

Please comment if you have any ideas, questions or ??? for me. I'd love to hear from you.


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Soup Cleanse: Delicious recipe

Bonjour. I consider myself a skilled, ardent and appreciative soup creator. My pots of warm love (eww is that weird sounding!!??) are well reviewed by those who know. This attribute alone will constitute one of the (few) better things on my epitath.
 Let's be real: most soup is pretty darn healthy. Yeah you can cream it up with, well, cream or sour cream, cheese - but even then: it's eaten by the spoon, it's basically a liquid, you have to eat A LOT to really overdo a portion. It's easier for your hardworking intestinal track to process due to the liquidity and smaller, well cooked vegetables and proteins simmered in soothing, healthy broth. Most soups begin with a mirepoix (celery, carrot, onion and often garlic) so we begin with healthy vegetables, almost always and almost always add more. And olive oil - we simmer the mirepoix in the golden juice of the noble olive. So soup is mostly- almost- always healthy.

But this, this soup cleanse soup, it is a wonder!! Easy, inexpensive, vegan, cleansing, ultra nutritious and absolutely delicious.   You will make it over and over as I do. Beta carotene baby!

Sweet Potato Cream Soup

8 sweet potatos - I quickly scrub and dry them and bake, intact, at 400 degrees for about an hour.
                            When cool I cut them in half an squeeze the potato pulp into the following:

This is made while the potatos bake:
One onion sliced and sauteed in about a tablespoon of olive oil. Add
one to two tablespoons of minced garlic, don't burn it! Lightly salt. After a few minutes of sauteeing on low-med heat add 8 cups of vegetable broth and bring to a simmer/low boil. You can partially cover to speed up the process and then:
This is when you add the pulp of the sweet potatos. Add a bit more salt, lightly. Lower heat and let cook softly for about 10 minutes. Let it cool and then puree with blender in batches (or immersion blender). Check seasoning add: salt, pepper for sure. Then you can add: hot sauce, sour cream (this is not a cleanse variation!) or go your own crazy way. A healthier variation is to add ginger, grated raw (about a tablespoon) would be great - toss right into the broth before pureeing.

Delish, enjoy!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Living with intent

Why is your (delicious) morning coffee so important? Beyond the caffeine - it's because it's a ritual, a way in which you treat yourself, first thing (?!), every day. Self love. Deliberation. Curation/deliberation, the world is wide and there is always room for more - but I want to live a life, here where I am now, that resonates and calms. That feeds the concentric circles of La.  So I must choose, often, and make the effort to upgrade when I can; make the effort to know what I want; organize,think, have the discipline to implement this new way.
I guess I'm thinking this way b/c we are thinking of paying off some real estate to live in our current home indefinitely.  We are facing winter cold currently and snow. Is that what I want? I love this house: our kids were all born and raised here, it's got a layout that works for us -  it's a 1953 era home, well built, with details like lovely hardwood floors and a large wood deck we designed with railing walls including an old, folding brass elevator door bought in Toronto and wrought iron railings salvaged from somewhere (behind the bike shop??).  We have grapes and golden raspberries and other well established perennials in our gardens. We are 1.1 miles (1.77 km) from city center. Just a bit too much for walking (for me, at this point!) and it's just a bit more to my preferred Aldi and Target etc. The bottom line: do I want to really dig in, here, at Elmwood? Can we stay really long term? Do we want to remodel the kitchen (we must) and first floor full bath? I actually picture an older woman from a blog photo - probably from - walking alongside her basket laden bike, elegantly pushing it as a very practical shopping cart. This time that woman is me.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

My love/hate/really hate relationship with Facebook

This isn't very well thought out but I woke up early and feel like ranting about facebook. I really hate it. It's one of those things that you can't cut loose even tho you hate it. I found out about the sudden death of a dear friend via facebook. I was filled with doubt and anger and disgust and fear at postings by 'friends' during the recent election. I scroll the vacant lives of people I don't really know or care about. I wonder if I can delete my account and live with the FOMO that might result?  In full disclosure I am one of those musicians who use facebook to promote gigs and, wow!, wonderful tool! Amazing, free way to do what used to be accomplished by a copier, a stapler and someone with the desire to plaster up the available, appropriate telephone poles and bulletin boards with your flyer. So on the one hand - as I said, amazing. On the other hand, who are these people??? Seriously I have friends that I don't know. It's my fault, I accepted them and they are probably people that have seen one of my two bands or friends of friends etc. but I don't care what they are up to. I get seriously riled at their, or their friends, inane comments, posts, rants. Then I see one, sweet thing that inspires me. Or get some important information and keep scrolling.
I have got to quit this.......but......are you on facebook? what are your thoughts?

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

11/26/2016: from my journal

Just back from Toronto - the nuclear family (minus cfj of course) on our annual Thanksgiving holiday. Our long weekend destination has been Baltimore for a few years as cfj finished at Loyola but....2016, she's in Thailand and we're heading north.
Musings: There is definitely a European feel to Toronto and, altho subtle, it's very refreshing. Cities are made for walking or there is no point.  I think I like the small florist shops every few blocks or so the most. The chandelier purveyors catch my eye every time too. How many can a city support? I wonder this time and again as we pass yet another charming coffee/bakery/cafe or vintage clothing retailer. All local merchants. Cannabis stores. (local? not sure on that?!). Assorted gated, hidden, painted, locked, half forgotten doors leading to the mysterious apartments occupying the upper floors of these pleasantly busy businesses that line mile after mile of Queen Street.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Good Thoughts and Yoga with Raquel Welch

That's the secret to a happy life. Good thoughts. If you can hold onto them.....
Good morning (on my end at least). It's been awhile. Recently I rediscovered an old love of mine:
Raquel Welch's yoga video from the 1980's.  youtube is incredible,  and I love this workout. An hour and 20 minutes of slowing down. Of breathing. Of being worthy of the attention I'm giving myself. Such a gift -  and the kicker - I try to do it every day!
In addition I'll be walking Scout in the woods.  We've been happy with the wonderful autumn weather here this year, (we walk no matter what's going on out there!) and I'll be researching the soup cleanse a bit more altho what I've seen so far basically jives with my "regular" soup. Soup is healthy no matter what - even the richer, fattier ones - because it makes you slow down in the moment. The soup "cleanse" uses homemade broth and or miso, one purees all soups, heavy on the prime ingredients garlic, onion, ginger -  all the usual suspects when it comes to fighting illness. There is some real estate business to do, an email regarding an other real estate issue and I'd like to repot my new ferns.  Huge boston ferns!! Summer patio plants were destined for the landfill, sitting on the tree lawn awaiting their fate. It makes me so happy to have saved them and to love them so.  Win win. Swimming is on the agenda and the wood floors need mopped. Ambitious!! But this is a 2 - 3 day plan. xxoo La

Friday, November 20, 2015


Hello, just a quick check in to clear my head a bit and see if I can verbalize my latest musings quickly. Bottom line is I'm taking a break from everything but (what I can see as) essentials right now. In other words my blog and some other writing that I've recently re - begun are going back on hold.

 I know I'll still write for myself, but right now the (admittedly self induced) pressure is off on that front and actually it feels pretty good. I'd like to focus on editing myself a bit: it's nice to believe I'm a Renaissance woman all "oh I can do everything I fancy" and perhaps to a certain extent I can -but the more I do the less I enjoy it and probably don't always do my best and what's the toll of that?  Also for me it's begun to feel a bit like the discipline trap: "I am free and don't need routines (ie discipline) -- both of these mindsets I have been known to buy into. I need to clarify and have routines.

So the Renaissance Woman and the Discipline Trap have a an anti motto : "You can do anything but you can't do everything" (don't know who said it first). So clarity, editing/curating, discipline all will bring a self directed pleasure. I'm beginning to see that a certain amount of selfishness is key as well.
Not to say I won't be back - and if so I certainly hope it's not 5 years again!

Friday, November 6, 2015

The celebration of a Routine

Just a quick note to share the results of my most recent goal/routine. I've dabbled in playing keyboards for years but got serious in June and signed up for lessons (again). Tomorrow night I am playing keyboards, live, with my husband's band at a local club. This is a thrilling thing for me and a positive reinforcement of the power of intent and follow through.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Little Parisian House - Your Neighborhood

We moved last week - ugh to the physical act of that - and I've started a series on it - "Little Parisian House on the Prairie" (there is one prior post and yes, it sounded like a good title at the time, LOL). Every move I make now that we  are back at our beloved Elmwood gets filtered: does it contribute to a simple, luxurious, deliberate, european inspired lifestyle?  Yesterday I ran some errands and pondered how different my daily routine is now that I am living in the same town yet a mere 2.5 miles away from where I was living last week. This neighborhood is more residential yet I am closer to one of my favorite haunts, the library. From this location I can ride my bicycle to the bank, library, post office and grocer easily. I have a wonderful park across the street with woods and trails upon which to walk Scout. We have a private backyard deck and I spend large portions of my day working from there which is so luxurious to me.
I realize that not everyone has the ability to move. Believe me I feel that living in Paris would be the ultimate reinforcement to live a beautiful life everyday yet I won't be moving there (real) soon as much as I desire it. I guess my point here is to really think about your daily routines and what life you want to be living if and when you get a chance to move. Location does influence your life. It's possible to create a beautiful existence just about anywhere (it's all in your mind, remember) but the reinforcement that come from environment is really powerful and I've experienced that first hand this week.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

European Breakfast Part Deux

As mentioned in Part 1 on breakfast on the continent - I love this meal. I don't necessarily eat a lot, but I just love the components.  Also, this is where I get to start ruminating on the differences between the European and American lifestyles which is the intent of recounting our 3 weeks spent in Europe this past April. I am intent on recreating this lifestyle for us as much as possible here in the CLE. I've been on this journey for years and have collected a lot of information, hence Paris on the Cuyahoga which is my way of helping to define this lifestyle, embrace it and spread the word about it.
In Leuven, Belgium our daughter Clementine (who'd been living there since Sept 2014) chose a bio (organic) resto for breakfast.  It was thrilling for me to note the similarities between this meal and how we eat it at home. First, there is one long, pine table set with trays of jellies, jams, spreads like nutella, sugar, salt and pepper. Altho there are a few other small tables most of the clientele sat around the big table and soon there was room for us too. Cafe au lait - perfection in a ceramic bowl. Soft boiled eggs served in egg cups. The omnipresent european spoon - small  with a long, fine handle. Assorted breads: toasted, seeded, hearty, fine. We dined and I observed the (mostly) women eating with us: well dressed - simple but looking pulled together; conversing and leisurely consuming their meals; pulling off small bits of bread, buttering it carefully before popping into their mouths. Enjoying and socializing.
For our final breakfast we ate at our hotel and breakfast was included. This was the most fantastic hotel breakfast I've ever had the pleasure of eating. Tables set with linen and good silverware. The lavish display featured all varieties of cheese and pate - these in individual containers. Big baskets of bread: croissants, hearty bread, seeded rolls, rustic white bread. REAL scrambled eggs. Bacon, potatoes, yogurts and fruit. In heaven!  I chose 2 cheeses and toasted bread and cappucino. Jake and Clementine had eggs and potatoes and bacon. All wonderful, I wished for the strength to go for some pate but couldn't muster the appetite.

Europe makes it easy to live this way. Here we need to tweak what we've got to get what we want. I start every day with cafe au lait, I'll share my easy method for making it another time if you'd like it?
Then usually some toast. I take my time and pull off bits of toast, butter it one bite at a time. Enjoy it.
If I'm alone I read: the paper, a book - whatever.  Of course I do breakfast after the early routine I've developed, described in another post, of water and walking.  Then I write this blog.

Bon appetite!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Wrap up on Routines and Rituals

In order to continue to create a life that feels good and rings authentic I believe that one must constantly check in with oneself and take charge of necessary change. Intention is where it starts. Intentions are the fuel, they inform where we want to go in life. Who do you want to be? What do you want to do? Where do you want to be?
 Routines and Rituals are the engines, the discipline made into daily/weekly/monthly routines that will take us where we want to be!

"Except our own thoughts, there is nothing absolutely in our power"  Descartes

Your thoughts create the world you live in. Think thoughts that take you where you want to go.
You have the power - it's right there in your mind.