This week, my brain opened the flood gates to memories, and I have had mind pictures flooding through my mind’s eye. Please take notice that there is NO PERFECT anything because we are all in process. That said, I have been the perfect mother and I have the perfect kids. I WOULD NOT CHANGE A THING!!!! And I had the perfect mother and father who gave me exactly what I needed to thrive in this life. WHAT????????? But, you said….. I know but I have changed my mind.

My sons were the perfect parents to their children and gave them exactly what they needed to thrive.  Bottom line = WE ALL DID A GOOD JOB!!!!!!


My mother was great. She was full of vitality and wit and filled with charm and poise.  And she was soooo proud to be MRS. JESSE JEWELL.  Anna Lou Jewell.  She loved to laugh and tell a joke to make someone else laugh- with a bowl of hard candy on the kitchen table in case company came to call.   And everyone was welcome at her table. And she was soooo happy when I came home to visit.  And a wonderful cook. She prided herself with her desserts – taking recipes from Good Housekeeping and the newspapers.  And her mother passed down family recipes that she duplicated.   The recipes were intuition and feel.  Wow, she was perfect in all of that.  Excellent memories.  And Daddy was a perfect mother to me, too, teaching me life lessons and how to shake hands. He had a cliché for everything and taught me to show off. They were both very protective and kept me safe and sound. 

My Daughter Trascey was the best! She loved her family very much and kept her brothers safe. They would tease her, and she would tease them back. And she loved animals and had a lot of cats and kittens and aquariums and gerbilles and mice and guinea pigs and gardens and projects galore. She was very creative and an excellent writer. And artist. I had her art framed on the walls for years. She liked to sew and cook. She made a beautiful quilt which I have on my bed right now and made great gingerbread cookies and gingerbread men for holidays. And cake was her specialty. She would make all our birthday cakes. Wow, what a talent!!!

And Craig was the best.  He was artist and skilled at woodworking and fixing things.  I always asked his advice about everything.   We did fixers together.  Good looking and excellent worker.   Surfer and athlete.  I still have his woodwork on my shelf today. And, he has grown into an amazing man.  An amazing leader of men who helps people in need.  And he now builds his own dune buggies and races them in the desert, helping veterans along the way. He has always liked the military.  He has his own way with his children, and they are thriving so – the proof is in the pudding.   Wow, what a survivor and a thriver.

I have a list a mile long for Blake. He has been both mother and father to his children. He has an excellent sense of humor and loves music.  Had his own band for years and played guitar, sang, and had fun with friends.  he loved his brother and his sister, and they all protected each other.   Full of mischief. Loves dogs.  Loved his grandmother Nana Lou.  And she loved him. 

As you can see, I have chosen to leave out all the negatives.  In all three of my children, inside each one is that son and daughter that  I have described.  This is a love letter to my family who is alive and thriving today.  I will close with a post I saved –

“I asked an elderly man once what it was like to be old and to know the majority of his life was behind him. He told me that he has been the same age his entire life. He said the voice inside of his head had never aged. He has always just been the same boy. His mother’s son. He had always wondered when he would grow up and be an old man. He said he watched his body age and his faculties dull but the person he is inside never got tired. Never aged. Never changed.

Our spirits are eternal. Our souls are forever. The next time you encounter an elderly person, look at them and know they are still a child, just as you are still a child and children will always need love, attention and purpose.”

~ Author unknown



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Grab a coffee. This may take a while. This post matters – to ME. And I am sharing it with you. THIS IS ONE WAY TO LOOK AT WHAT HAPPENED. There are many others.

Once upon a time, in a small town in the southern part of the United States, a town named Gainesville, Georgia, there lived a young couple, a beautiful young girl named Anna Louise, called “Anna Lou” and a handsome young man named Jesse Jewell – aka Mr. and Mrs. J.D. Jewell. They lived in a small 2-bedroom, 1 bath house on a country road to Cleveland, Georgia, outside of town – called Cleveland Road. In March 1937, Anna Lou was expecting her third baby. She was 34. Jesse had just turned 35 on March 13th. They had two girls, ages 5 and 7. Patricia was the oldest – she was 7. Barbara was two years younger – she was 5. Jesse was hoping for a boy. Anna Lou just wanted it over because this was her fourth try. After this baby, she did want to try for a boy any longer. Needless to say, Jesse wanted his boy. At that time, Jesse was helping his mother in a chicken feed store in town. The south was in the throes of a deep depression and everyone was doing his best to make a go of it. Franklin Roosevelt had just been re-elected for his second term as President of the United States and was frequently giving his “fireside chats” on the radio. Jesse and his mother were struggling to help the local farmers get feed for their chickens and the farmers were struggling to pay.

Across the “highway” on the other side of the street, lived the Lilly’s.  Johnny Lilly and Jesse had been best friends for years. And Evelyn, Johnny’s wife was also pregnant, expecting her first baby. She was expecting her baby in August.  So, in the evenings after work, Johnny and Evelyn would come over after supper and sit on Anna Lou and Jesse’s screened-in porch with Anna Lou and Jesse and talk until around 9:00 p.m.  At that time, Anna Lou would make sure the other two girls were in bed. 

Then, on March 30, a Tuesday morning at 11:30 a.m., Dr. Davis delivered another baby  girl to Anna Lou and Jesse Jewell.  They named her “Janet Tallulah”, after Jesse’s mother.  Anna Lou was glad it was over; Jesse ….  No boy.

That is the way it all began for me – March 30, 1937. I was not a boy. I just turned 85. Lots of life and years in between. I have been reminded of this many times during my life. Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town” and the speech that will remain indelible in my mind forever, “Let’s really look at one another!…It goes so fast. We don’t have time to look at one another. I didn’t realize. So all that was going on and we never noticed… Wait! One more look. Good-bye , Good-bye world. Good-bye, Grover’s Corners….Mama and Papa. Good-bye to clocks ticking….and Mama’s sunflowers. And food and coffee. And new ironed dresses and hot baths….and sleeping and waking up. Oh, earth, you are too wonderful for anybody to realize you. Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it–every, every minute? (Emily)”Thornton Wilder, Our Town. Bottom line. I did not think I was wanted. I was not a boy.

It started with a train whistle in the middle of the night in Gainesville Georgia. The train was on its way to New York. I / Janet Jewell wanted to get far, far away from my family who did not love me and never return. And I changed my name and mentally became another person for a lot of year. I tried too forget about my unhappiness. I left Gainesville Georgia in 1968 and moved to Los Angeles California.

Three unhappy marriages later, Flash forward to 2014 in Encino, California in the San Fernando valley. It started in 2014.  My fourth husband was a good friend and I loved him very much.  Happy marriage finally. 

But Steve wanted OUT of LA.. i loved LÀ.  Steve HATED it. So I -unbeknownst to me – made my move – this thrust / goal to get to Paris. Steve wanted to move back to Sarasota Florida. He lived there for some years after his mother died. I did not like Florida at all. I did NOT want to live there.  So I suggested that we move to France.  WHAT??????  Italy?  Steve was a fully – loaded  Italian. He would want duel citizenship. WHAT? HOW?  USA and Italian.  Okay. And we move to Formula One territory Grand Prix Monaco.  Okay. Nice France.  Okay. Deal. Deal. 

That is how it started. And we burned bridge after bridge . We left no trails to return 

Do not go where the path may lead,

Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail…

I did not know I was planning to stay but I was.  

Am I sorry?  Sometimes. I cannot believe that I burned the bridges and I did not want to return.

I set it up  

Remember “Janet had dreamed of living in Europe for years- as long as she could remember. Every time she heard the train whistle from her bedroom upstairs on green street circle in Gainesville Georgia. The train was on its way to New York where she would take a boat. And live somewhere beautiful.  With lots of trees. In a cozy happy home where people were loving and happy with everything.” I did not know what hugs were. I had never been hugged. 

So Janet began to help Steve get his Italian passport. It took two years. And Jay was an attorney and put her research skills to work.

Jay -my alter ego – subscribed to International Living magazine and Anglo Info website and found a realtor in Nice who was independent and would work with me to help me find a property to rent.  I was also a USA Real Estate Broker in California. I knew what I was doing .  I also watched House Hunters International a lot. Steve did not think we could find anything decent. We did and our contact helped us rent it, but  Steve wanted his Italian passport and he got it before we left for France. I had a trial until the last minute and we departed and arrived on October 1 2015. 

We made a bad decision on moving company. Big mistake. I went for cheapest. Never again. And major downsize and I still took too much. Plus I got rid of things I wanted. It is painful to remember what happened. 

Our contact met us at the airport and we were there ! We did not know that we were there for good and would never would return .   

Lots of decisions good and bad. But we did it and were very happy for 11 months. I was in love with Steve and life and Janet had made it to Europe at last. I was a happy camper!! Then Steve got double pneumonia. WHAT???? Cured but heart failed. He died. WHAT??? Noooooooooo. NOT OKAY!!!!!

I floundered until JANUARY, 2020 and moved to Paris. I arrived but was very rigid. Very scared. I didn’t know what to do. So I broke. Brain strokes. I have had to simplify everything. I did not know I had intended to burn my bridges. I had reached my goal. Oops. Now what . Damaged and broken in Paris, France, during a pandemic and regional war. Oops.  And no one wants anything to do with brain strokes.

“No one is a great poet because she is a miserable drunk. No one is a great poet because he has had a nervous breakdown. Suffering, however, can be experienced as a curse or a blessing; the luckiest is the one who can experience it as a blessing.” ~poet Carolyn Forché

So a blessing? YES!!$

(singing) “To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
And to run where the brave dare not go

To right the unrightable wrong
And to love pure and chaste from afar
To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star

This is my quest
To follow that star
No matter how hopeless
No matter how far

To fight for the right
Without question or pause
To be willing to march, march into Hell
For that Heavenly cause

And I know if I’ll only be true
To this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm
When I’m laid to my rest

And the world will be better for this
That one man, scorned and covered with scars
Still strove with his last ounce of courage

To reach the unreachable
The unreachable star

And I’ll always dream the impossible dream
Yes, and I’ll reach the unreachable star.”

Cautiously optimistic, I realize that I burned all bridges. I am still processing that one. And Paris is just a big city with a lot of buildings.

At least that is one way to look at what happened…… I am sure there are others. Please forgive all of the mistakes. I am doing my best and plan to keep writing anyway.

Best, Jay





Today is my random rambling in case something speaks to you.

I have wonderful memories that POP! unexpected into my mind with a BAM and I try to remember who, when, what, and where. A puzzle game with my brain!   It’s fun!  And you can do it without brain strokes.  Free of charge to all genders.  Haha.  I call it “Bits and Pieces.” 

FIRST Ramble-  My niece Deb Prince Kroll writes a wonderful blog titled “unexpectedincommonhours “ and she posts her photos of nature in the world surrounding her life in the foothills of the mountains of North Georgia Blue Ridge mountains and finds matching quotations. I am using one of the quotes that applies to my brain puzzles. 

How strange it is, sometimes, which conversations or events stay with us while so much else melts as fast as April snow.” — Marlena De Blasi

Second ramble-

“She was damn happy to be alive.

She didn’t have millions in the bank.

She wasn’t at the top of the

corporate ladder and still her deepest

dreams.. though she pursued them

hadn’t yet come true. But still 

she was damn happy to be alive.

She had people to love; a roof over her head;

she had all the essentials for living;

water, gas electricity, food;

she could appreciate the flowers blooming,

the sun beaming and the skies blessing.

She had good books to read. 

She spoke to the moon at She was damn happy to be alive.

She didn’t have millions in the bank.

She wasn’t at the top of the

corporate ladder and still her deepest

dreams.. though she pursued them

hadn’t yet come true. But still 

she was damn happy to be alive.

She had people to love; a roof over her head;

she had all the essentials for living;

water, gas electricity, food;

she could appreciate the flowers blooming,

the sun beaming and the skies blessing.

She had good books to read. 

She spoke to the moon at night.

She often had a good sing in the shower.

And she lived her life with a touch of her own style.

The world’s mindless noise went quiet at the 

sight of her relentless joy. ~”.  S.C. Lourie

Third Ramble – This Easter, whether you are a religious person or not, I invite you to talk about resurrection. If you are one who has failed again and again to overcome addiction of any kind, resurrection says, “Life is worth trying again.”

If you are an outcast, facing rejection and ridicule, resurrection says, “It gets better.”

If you are someone who has played the game for so long that you cannot even imagine life beyond the charade, resurrection says, “Only when a seed falls into the ground like an acorn and can it become a tree or bear great fruit.”

In the end, resurrection is not about the walking dead; it is about those who have found new life.  The one that I find speaks to me is that I played the game for so long, that I must be reborn to bear great fruit. OOPS. “Figuratively-speaking” because I feel like I have hit rock bottom and am finding new life. 

Donna Ashworth words speak to me……


When you hit rock bottom, 

you know,

this is as low as you can get.

There is some comfort in this knowing,

that you’ve seen the deepest, 

the worst, of your depths.

You have some choices whilst you sit there, 

smashed against the cold hard surface.

You can stay, 

or you can see this is a base.

A base to build upon.

A solid, strong floor your new castle will rise up from.

If you are really clever, 

you can make rock bottom the surface,

that you build upon for ever more.

And you need never touch the rock again,

because you made yourself some stairs to climb up, 

should you ever fall. [Can I use a cane?]

The thing about rock bottom is that it’s hard,

And beautiful buildings are made of that.”

Donna  Ashworth

Fourth Ramble

“You get what you’re willing to accept. 

If you want to break multi-generational dysfunction, YOU will become the problem. 

You’ll receive all manner of distortion, projections, and history rewrites. (and in my case, made-up conspiracy theories)  This is especially true if you’re dealing with those who are suppressing guilt.  No matter. If you really want change, you have to stand solid, continue to own your truth, and not argue.  It’s not open for argument.

Allow the belittling mockery.   It’s just designed to draw you back in for more. 

Stand tall in yourself, you are learning to love and respect yourself. 

You’ll find some others like you.

You’re not alone……

And you’re awesome!”

  • Author Unknown


“You may not have noticed, but nothing is normal.

Yes restrictions are lifting and yes we are taking back our lives again.

But that feeling of ‘it being over’, never came.

Perhaps it never will.

Because we are different now.

Forever changed by the last two years, there really is no going back.

Some lost health, loved ones, some lost legacies, business.

Some lost their carefree beliefs that the world is a safe place.

But we all gained too.

We gained some time with ourselves that we may never have taken.

We gained a perspective shift, we know that life is a gift.

And it’s that we must focus on going forward.

You may not have noticed that nothing is normal.

Because you’re different now, 

your normal has shifted.”

  • Donna Ashworth

BEST, JAY (sorry for mistakes)





THIS IS MORE THAN YOU EVER WANTED TO KNOW. And more than I EVER should put into writing. But, I am getting in touch with myself more each day and discovering things I really love about me . These are things that come to mind.  I have required some form of abuse since childhood.  I don’t know why but I chose friends who would criticize me and would treat me with disdain. I did not respect people who were nice to me. And I married men who would feed my needs for abuse. Each one put me down.  

Fast forward to Janet Jewell today at 85, living alone in an apartment in Paris France. WWIII is threatening and a pandemic is outside. Wow. What has happened??? Why has Janet chosen to emerge at this late date?

Janet speaks: “I want to go back and try it again. I want to do better at living my life.  I can’t?  I want to give Janet lots of love and encouragement. I want to have different friends, different husbands and surround myself with people who have love and character. I know who they are and were.  I know who they are now. So anger and high blood pressure propelled me upward and onward and boom. I crashed but did not burn.”

“I still am alive. It is not too late and I am not too old. I have hit bottom and I want to turn around. I may have lots of cracks but I am still Janet Jewell. So this is breaking news for you and me. Janet is back with brain strokes and a past history that is murky. I see names and don’t remember who they were/are. Oops. No matter. I remember the abuse. And I release the abusers and set them free.” MEANWHILE, IN ANOTHER PART OF THE FOREST……

APRIL – ready or not . I am not ready. Winter just returned to Paris with snow, what ?????).  Plus lots of deadlines and birthdays and a wedding . Problems galore. And a war.

The good news is that I have discovered THERE IS NO ONE ELSE LIKE ME AT ALL AND THERE WON’T EVER BE. I AM UNIQUE!!!! Isn’t that wonderful????? And, I had a wonderful birthday and am glad it is over. I am officially 85. Woweeee. Thank you to Everyone for the birthday wishes on March 30. I had so much fun working with you. I hope I didn’t miss anyone. These birthdays are special, especially during these perilous times. As you may or may not know, I am living in Paris, France, and I am healing from brain strokes and a botched knee surgery. But, I am going to try to begin some kind of daily exercise after I get my booster to the booster. Wish me luck.

I want another booster because for over-80, it is recommended. The numbers out there are not good in Europe.   And, as a friend of mine said, “if I die because I touched my face, I am going to be pissed!”  HAHA.  We all want to have “vine leaves in our hair”, like Hedda Gabler’s boyfriend Eilert Lovborg.  She was pissed because he died drunk in a ditch. 

Yesterday was the first day of my new year. It is the beginning of my new journey. Feeling deep sadness and fear about the situation in Ukraine… I grew up during WWII.… and worry about WWIII.

And yet I am overflowing with gratitude…. the sunshine, the rain and the flowers; for my family… particularly my incredible sons who have grown up to be such fascinating men, ….and for my friends… whom I love and feel trusted by; for music… always for music…the great healer and my ability to write my blog almost every week for 6 years.

BREAKING NEWS: And I want to share with you a new discovery that I think is very interesting. A book by a friend of mine – Suzanne White.

DO YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE? THE NEW ASTROLOGY FOR THE 21ST CENTURY READS YOUR PERSONALITY AND DESCRIBES YOUR CHARACTER. This engaging book of character study based on Chinese and Western astrology combined, offers readers not 12 but 144 signs of the zodiac. By blending the two zodiacs, White has created a synthesis of the World’s Two Greatest Astrological systems. White’s accuracy with character reading is positively uncanny! You will wonder if she has been reading your mail. This book is a veritable treasure chest of insights into your own personality and that of everyone you know or meet up with in your lifetime. THE NEW ASTROLOGY FOR THE 21ST CENTURY is a keeper. You will refer back to it many times – for the rest of your life”  



On a totally different note, our ability to enjoy outdoor-dining in cold weather has come to an end, as the outdoor restaurant terrace heaters were banned in France as of April 1st. The measure is expected to save 500,000 tons of CO2 each year. When Covid-19 hit, the heaters were our godsend, enabling us to dine outdoors even in inclement cold weather. They wanted to enforce it a year ago, but postponed the inevitable. So now that we can safely be indoors once again, the ban is in full force. There are a few exceptions, however—”the closed tents of circuses and fairground activities; covered and closed mobile installations for temporary cultural, sporting or festive events; waiting areas in stations, ports and airports; bars, cafes, restaurants whose terraces are entirely ‘covered and closed on their sides by solid walls connected by an airtight joint to the upper wall

“As you sow, so shall you reap.”

“Ask and it shall be given to you, knock and the doors will be opened.”

As humans we’ve been provided with all the necessary ingredients in the recipe for a healthy and happy and a prosperous life and yet we’re still searching for a way to a better life. 

Demand what you want and expect to receive it and the universe will conspire on your behalf. Stop hoping and wishing. We must believe and demand and expect to receive what we want and things will start happening for us. 

I’m showing you the way. You don’t need to take my word for it, it’s based on the laws of the universe.

All blessings.

Springtime in Paris may bring April showers, but also days of glorious sunshine. So, come prepared with a parapluie (umbrella) as well as your lunettes (sunglasses). As Paris continues to reopen, expand, and welcome visitors there’s lots to do and see. Stay tuned……



Support JAYSPEAK, please. I need it.



Hellllo, Viêt Nam!!! I got here just in time!! The whole world is reeling again, and so am I . You should be so lucky to reach 85 because not everyone does. Let’s make it fun !! I am so happy that I will get there soon. Anyway, growing old is a real trip!!!! Well, indulge me. Thanks. March 30 is my birthday – my annual time to take stock. Where have I been (the list is long); where am I now (Paris); where am I going (?????); what matters to me at this time in my life (let’s think about it)? Is there a truth that fits my reality? Aphorism of the week – “Man keeps looking for a truth that fits his reality. Given our reality, the truth doesn’t fit. If you experience it, it’s the truth. The same thing believed is a lie. In life, understanding is the booby prize.” Say what?

85 is a big one. I have made it this far and wow, what a life I have lived. Lots to celebrate that others could not even dream of attaining. Unfortunately, 85 for a lot of people also signals a health dive. But, I am not the average octogenarian so there is room to barter with the gods, and destiny. I may not always be able to deal with my physical health, but I can my mental health and it is getting my attention.

Brain strokes have slowed me down and changed my everything. But I cannot think negative. Negative thoughts bring on the cortisol, which destroys healthy tissues, whereas pleasant or happy thoughts – even just contentment or reading a good book or watching something fun on netflix – bring on the soothing healing serotonin and other endorphins, the happy hormones. They heal the tissue and nerve endings.It is a fact. Thoughts are words, so look at my words – what am I telling myself? 

Am I focusing on the joys which I find in flowers, looking out my window, being in Paris (most of the time)…or on my maladies? Playing the piano is another gift and healer. Writing my blog is outstanding. Being in touch with other people is the other ingredient for health and longevity. I have got a lot to get me through the next years, and I truly believe that attitude is more important than any other thing in life. It determines our reality. That is not pollyanna talk, its quantum physics. So I am going to do this. I still have things to do and places to explore so plan to stay tuned.  

I think this is a good time for a favorite piece of poetry that sounds like good lyrics for a song:


“As time goes by, You will loosen your grip on that rock, The one you always thought was home. And you will realise that home is not a place, it’s a state of mind.

Let it go.

As time goes by, You will learn to see yourself more clearly, The girl who was always too much of one thing, And too little of another, was actually Everything she needed to be.

Let her out.

As time goes by, You will let the simple things become the big, And you will allow the big things to become the simple, And that readjustment will be, The day you really start to live,

Let it be.

As time goes by, you will be forced to say goodbye many times. And your soft little heart will shatter but, It will still beat and that will bring you, All the purpose you need.

Let it beat.

As time goes by, You will stop choosing wealth over peace, You will stop choosing money over time, And you will see that the treasures you need, Are in the smiles and the laughter.

Let them in.

As time goes by, The moments you remember when your life flashes past, Are never the awful memories my friend, it’s the joy,The summer nights, the lazy days with loved ones, The midnight chats and the morning hugs,

Let them happen.

Let them all happen.

  • By Donna Ashworth 

From ‘The Right Words’: 

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B095MZ3XFP/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_6QX0Y2EW59QD6JXJ635M

#time #astimegoesby #atlast #wisdom #poetry #quotes #elenachelaruart #donnaashworth #donnaashworthbooks

Best, Jay





I am changing. I am making different choices. To what? I don’t know yet. But some things concern the following – Why do people choose the lie? When truth is in plain sight? Friends and relatives watch Tucker Carlson. Disbelieve the amazing growth of the economy and the list of positive changes in American life. AND, choose to believe Tucker Carlson? It is a conscious choice. I could go on and on because I feel bad for my desire for all people to get a chance.  Ok. You can label me however you choose to, but I don’t care. It is my blog and Jay is speaking. Just know that growing old is not easy. And not very fun, but I must say that I am surprised at myself. And, I am the one who is in the room with me. And, I must not cry because crying messes up my eyes. Clogged tear ducts.

Belief Systems. I am happy to say that I love democracy, and I don’t like autocratic people. Or régimes. I don’t want a king. No room for mistakes

And if a person believes that what Tucker Carlson says is true, then it is true for that person. And truth staring that person in the face is only the tip of the iceberg for that person. The truth is unknown and your guess is as good as mine . But I think this is what is happening.  Ugh.

I tend not to like that person.

I can see that the truth is happening with my own eyes. 

In acting class, I would try to get all complicated with emotional motivations, and Strasberg would say, “She’s cooking a turkey.  COOK THE DAMN TURKEY!!! The lines are said as she is cooking….”

Bottom line – you create your own reality and I do not want to spend my days living the negative. I cannot live with the negative. I need a pony in shit. The afternoon sun is shining in my patio door and it is warm and wonderful. The Neighborhood pigeons shit on my patio for good luck and I have a half full glass of water to drink. I am not a Pollyanna but I must surround myself with the good people and things. Not reality????? It is as real for me as your negativity is for you. I used to think reality checks were important. I still do but now I look for the lesson I need to learn to move on. What is life trying to get me to learn? What point have I been missing? I am still working on this one . I don’t like admitting that I am/ was wrong. Oops.

I need to find the positive in the aches and pains of getting old and the clear in dizzy. That is how I get through my day. Constantly remembering why I am grateful and happy to keep going in my adopted country and here to stay and choose to stay and missing my family and letting them go. Life will either teach them or it won’t.

It is all Cheap Speech. I don’t want to participate in cheap speech, e.g. lies Cheap Speech. I cannot control what others do. Is there anything that we can do?

“The most important steps to counter cheap speech are the hardest to take. We need to rebuild civil society to strengthen reliable intermediaries and institutions that engage in truth telling. As a starting point, think of all the institutions Mr. Trump tried to undermine: the free press, the opposition party, his own party, the judiciary and the F.B.I., to name just a few. And we need an educational effort — including among older Americans, who are actually the most likely to spread political misinformation — to inculcate the values of truth, respect for science and the rule of law.

This is easier said than done. It will require an all-hands-on-deck mobilization and not just the government: civics groups, bar and professional associations, religious institutions, labor unions and businesses all have a role to play.

The future of American democracy in the cheap speech era is hardly ensured. We don’t have all the solutions and can’t even foresee political problems that will come with the next technological shift. But legal and political action taken now has the best chance of giving voters the tools to make competent decisions and reject election lies that will continue to spew forth on every platform that can be built to threaten the foundation of our democracy.”

– – (author unknown)

This is my thought for this morning as I start this new day with a hot cup of coffee. I have edited it to read nuclear instead of atomic because today is different than before. The following are the words of C.S. Lewis –

“In one way we think a great deal too much of the nuclear bomb. “How are we to live in a  nuclear age?” I am tempted to reply: “Why, as you would have lived in the sixteenth century when the plague visited London almost every year, or as you would have lived in a Viking age when raiders from Scandinavia might land and cut your throat any night; or indeed, as you are already living in an age of cancer, an age of syphilis, an age of paralysis, an age of air raids, an age of railway accidents, an age of motor accidents.” In other words, do not let us begin by exaggerating the novelty of our situation. ⁣

Believe me, dear sir or madam, you and all whom you love were already sentenced to death before the nuclear bomb was invented: and quite a high percentage of us were going to die in unpleasant ways. We had, indeed, one very great advantage over our ancestors – anesthetics; but we have that still. It is perfectly ridiculous to go about whimpering and drawing long faces because the scientists have added one more chance of painful and premature death to a world which already bristled with such chances and in which death itself was not a chance at all, but a certainty.⁣

This is the first point to be made: and the first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we are all going to be destroyed by a nuclear bomb, I let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things – praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts – not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs. They may break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds.”


Know yourself, they say 

and don’t be led astray

but how can I know who I am 

when I’m different every day.

Some days I am the smart one 

with the answers people need 

and some days I’m the strong one 

standing up to take the lead.

On other days I’m sure 

that if the wind blew me too hard 

I would shatter like a glass

into a million tiny shards.

And on those days I cower 

and I hide out from the world

waiting on my inner child

to blossom and unfurl.

And each day I’m surprised 

by the newness that I see

the things I’m finding out

the complexity of me.

So how to know yourself 

when you’re all things rolled in one? 

you simply must decide

to love whatever you become.

By Donna Ashworth


You’ve been getting older since the day you were born.

You wished it faster for many a year, 

now you wish it would slow down and stop.

But asking your body to stop getting older, is begging for your growth to stop too.

Your growth as a human, as a soul.

For it’s only when you accept how time affects your body, that you can actually reap the benefits of the wisdom it brings with it.

Each line is a lesson learned or a hardship endured.

Those frown lines were once worries which you fought through.

Or perhaps it’s a line of laughter, a wonderful mark to bear.

Each grey hair is a shimmering stripe of life you have earned.

A story you can share with those who need to hear how you survived.

Your tale could be their saving.

Your purpose as a woman is to age my friend, 

to grow more wise, more powerful, more beautiful.

Let the world see the beauty time has in store for you.

Trust that you are who you are meant to be now.

It’s time.

You’ve been ‘growing’ older, since the day you were born, 

what a wonderful thing.

—By Donna Ashworth

Mr. Rogers –

“As human beings, our job in life is to help people realize how rare and valuable each one of us really is, that each of us has something that no one else has or ever will have something inside that is unique to all time. It’s our job to encourage each other to discover that uniqueness and to provide ways of developing its expression.”  

This Week

Maybe you could start this week with a brave heart,

Leave the failures of the past on your pillow when you wake.

Maybe you could start this week with a clean slate.

Fresh eyes,

And hope in your soul.

Maybe you could start this week by congratulating yourself on getting through,

So many weeks.

So many times.

So many wiped slates.

So many bold new beginnings.

Maybe you could start this week,

With kindness.

For yourself,


Just to see, if the thing you have been waiting for,

Was always yours to give,


And not out there, in someone else’s hands,

After all.

By Donna Ashworth

Best, Jay and thanks to the writers I have used to make my point. And, apologies for mistakes.


You are what you think you are. You can do and be whatever you think you can do or you think you can be  . There are no limits except the limits you think you have . How you think creates your experiences. 

Think in terms of unlimited possibilities and open your world of unlimited creativity and experiences. 

Forget making plans. Or, at least, have plans as a back-up position. Plans have your back. Life happens.

I am excited because spring is around the corner. I have plans for what I want to do. I am setting goals and I will try to do each one.  They are not big plans but tiny steps that help me come out of isolation. This pandemic was a good thing to justify my do -nothing lack of activity. I could do nothing and praise myself.  I could not walk , visit stores. Eat out.  Wow I was being a good girl. What ???? I now need to walk and show up groomed and make conversation ????  No. That is too hard. I am not used to people. I am used to my imagination and social media. And staring into space. I don’t want to change my plans.  Why?  I am afraid. 

How long can I be afraid? I don’t want to go anywhere or spend money on anything.  I don’t like people anymore.  I don’t want to take Uber or go to doctors or zoom at all.. I want to feel safe on my sofa and watch my favorite programs and have other people running my errands. I don’t want to travel or go anywhere or……

Oops. I have a problem. Does anyone else have these problems or am I the only one?  Well how bad is your brain? Your vision? Your knees ?  Can you walk? Yes. Can you see ?  Yes. Can you think?  Yes. Well. Duh!!!!!  Hello!!! Earth to Janet.  !!!!!!

Get up. Put on your clothes . Grab your cane walk out of the door. GO.  

Be afraid or not.

Breathe or not.

See clearly or not. 



Springtime in Paris – The Best Things To Do In March, 2022

Paris in March is a special time. We know, we know; we say that about every month in Paris! But in the parks — from Luxembourg to the Tuileries to Jardin des Plantes — flowers will be blossoming in a riot of color. Museums are open with new special exhibitions and there’s a lot to do throughout the city. Let’s look at 40 of the best things to do in Paris during March 2022.

Most Popular Activities

Things to Do in Paris March 2022

Bateaux Parisiens VIP Dinner Cruise

Christmas Dinner Cruise

Paris looks great from dry land, but we think it looks even better from a boat cruising down the city’s famous river. On this relaxing ride you see Paris from a different perspective, with all the famous landmarks lit up for your viewing pleasure as you enjoy a multi-course French meal with wine. Choose the Service Premier option for the best seating, the best meal, and champagne — the ultimate experience.


Bateaux Mouches Glorious Dinner Cruise + Live Music

Dinner Cruise + Live Music

Here’s another way to indulge your inner romantic on a magical evening cruise along the Seine, viewing the City of Lights at its best. While you dine on a decadent 4-course classic French dinner, accompanied by live music on-board, your bateau floats past illuminated landmarks like the Louvre, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Eiffel Tower.


Champagne Cruise Along the Seine

Champagne Cruise Along the Seine

The beginning of spring seems to us the perfect time for a relaxed, champagne-fueled boat ride down the Seine. There’s nothing for you to do except sit back and enjoy the scenery. And what a scenery it is! Glide past world-famous monuments while sipping bubbly and discovering that perhaps the best way to see the City of Lights is from a bateaux


Moulin Rouge Dinner & Cabaret Show

Moulin Rouge Dinner + Roundtrip Hotel Transportation

Dine at the Moulin Rouge and marvel at the number-one rated cabaret in Europe. Signing up for this tour is the easiest way to do it since it’s all arranged for you. Take in the amazing spectacle, sipping champagne as you marvel at the costumes, sets, and dancers. Truly a night to remember. Moulin Rouge regularly sells out weeks in advance, so book ahead to avoid disappointment.


Seine Dinner Cruise + Eiffel Tower with Private Transportation

Dinner Cruise on the Seine + Eiffel Tower Visit

There’s a lot going on with this activity — visiting two great Paris landmarks in one night. First of all, your driver takes you on a quick tour of the city on the way to the banks of the Seine where a bateau awaits your arrival. While dining on a classic French meal you view the Paris sights. Choose the 20:30 sailing for the best experience. After dinner your driver escorts you to the Eiffel Tower where you’ll admire the glittering city landscape beneath you. 


VIP Twilight Tour – Champagne Cruise + Eiffel Tower

VIP Twilight Tour

This action-packed evening combines a cruise, bubbly, and a skip-the-line visit to the Eiffel Tower. It starts with a champagne-fueled sunset Seine River cruise followed by skip-the-line access to Level 2 of the Tower. From on high the city unfolds beneath you. Here’s what we love: you’re treated like a VIP with no waiting, no jostling, just pure Paris fun.


Skip-the-Line Guided Tour of the Louvre

Skip the Lines at the Louvre

Don’t spend your precious time in Paris waiting in the long line-ups at the Louvre. This private tour gets you ahead of the lines and into the world’s largest & most popular museum. Group size is limited so personal attention is guaranteed. Highlights include the Venus de Milo, the Winged Nike of Samothrace and of course Mona!


Skip the Lines at the Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower Skip-the-Line Tour

Because it’s so very popular you can always expect to find long lines at the Eiffel Tower. So, we look for ways to skip the queues by booking an Eiffel Tower activity that bypasses the lines. Luckily, we’ve found quite a few of those. Since availability at the Tower changes, the best way to approach a no-wait ET visit is to check with the Skip the Eiffel Tower Lines link below. 


Two Tours in One – Night Bike Ride + River Cruise

Paris Night Bike Tour

Spring arrives this month, and it’s a good time for a fun-filled guided cycling tour around the city’s most famous monuments and landmarks. You’ll cruise around the ancient streets of the Islands and then, at the end of the tour, hop on a river boat for a nighttime cruise on the Seine. A glass of wine is included, bien sûr!


The Catacombs of Paris

Catacombs of Paris with VIP Access

Beneath Paris is a secret world where 6 million Parisians are laid to rest. You can now visit the creepy/fascinating Paris Catacombs with an expert guide who explains the history of this eerie landmark that was created in the 18th century due to the overflowing Paris cemeteries. This tour not only gets you past the line-ups, it also includes access to areas most visitors never get to see.


Historic Montmartre Walking Tour + Sacre-Coeur

Montmartre Impressionist Art Walking Tour

Stroll the cobblestone streets of this historic quartier as your experts guides fills you in on the history and leads you to iconic sights like the houses of Picasso and Van Gogh, the cafe from the film Amélie, Moulin de la Galette, and Place Dalida. On this semi-private tour (maximum of 8 people) you also visit Sacre-Coeur Basilica and go inside to see its stunning mosaics.


Paris-in-One-Day City Tour

Paris-in-One-Day Sightseeing Tour

This smart tour gets you to the best of the city in a single day. Skip past the lines and into the Louvre art museum, take a Seine river cruise , scale the Eiffel Tower with priority-access admission, go on a guided tour of Montmartre. That why we call it Paris in One Day. Everything is included: tour guides, entrance fees, and river cruise.


Private Airport Transfer

Airport Transfer

Here’s another great Insiders tip. Once you finally land in Paris you still have to find your way into the city. If you’re like us, you don’t like waiting in taxi lines. Instead, book a private transfer in advance. Your driver will be there to meet you on your arrival, ready to grab your baggage and whisk you directly to your Paris hotel. Start your vacation with a touch of luxury… and relaxation.


Top 9 Left Bank Hotels in Paris 

Top Left Bank Hotels

Who doesn’t dream of roaming the Left Bank of Paris in the footsteps of Hemingway and other Jazz Age artists? The Saint-Germain neighborhood is charming, and so are the best of the hotels in the quartier. We’ve chosen and reviewed the best nine Left Bank hotels to help you find your home in Paris.


The Top Food & Wine Activities 

Things to Do in Paris March 2022

Cheese & Wine Tasting in a Paris Cheese Cellar

Cheese & Wine Tasting

In the cheese-aging cellar of a Paris fromagerie learn about one of the most important foods in France. Here, your own private cheesemonger introduces you to seven classic French cheeses along with wines that pair with them. The small group is limited to 10 to ensure there’s more tastings for you! 


The Food & Wine of the Marais

Food & Wine of the Marais

This is a glorious food tour that visitors are loving — and rewarding with 5-star reviews. It takes you around the historic Marais neighborhood to visit the top food & wine shops. What do you taste? The best food of France, like cheese, charcuterie, baguettes, chocolate, and the most famous wines. And it all starts out at the oldest food market in Paris.


Chocolate & Pastry Walking Tour

Chocolate & Pastry Walking Tour

Paris + chocolate + pastries. Patisseries and chocolatiers are two of the most important Paris food shops… to us, at least. Don’t miss the chance to go behind-the-scenes on this VIP walking and tasting tour. Taste regional specialties and find out how all those delectable delights are made. 


Bateaux Parisiens Gourmet Lunch Cruise

Seine River Gourmet Lunch

After a morning in Paris seeing the sights hop on a bateau for a relaxing, casual, and affordable 3-course lunch cruise. A Seine river cruise is an essential activity in Paris, so why not combine it with a leisurely lunch at the same time? Sip a glass of wine and watch the monuments of Paris drift by. This lunch cruise is very popular, so book early.


The 10 Tastings Food Tour

The 10 Tastings

Butchers, bakers, cheesemakers — take a culinary jaunt through Paris with a local guide at your side for an Insiders taste of the city’s food scene. You start at one of the oldest outdoor street markets where a cornucopia of fresh food stretches as far as the eye can see. There, your guide introduces you to artisans who will share their creations with you — rich, ripe cheeses redolent of ripened wheat and sunshine; lip-smacking tapenades; and award-winning macarons.


Wine Tasting in the Heart of Paris

Wine Tasting in the Heart of Paris

These fun wine tastings cover a lot of wine territory. Professional French sommeliers deliver (in English) an extensive tasting of award-winning wines — from Champagne to Sancerre, from Bordeaux to Burgundy, from Alsace to the Rhône. It all takes place in a wine bar steps away from the Louvre. 


Gourmet French Food Walking Tour

Gourmet French Food Walking Tour

Take a guided stroll through the food of Paris, exploring and tasting your way through fromageries, boulangeries and wine shops. Sample traditional French foods and find out about the craftsmanship that is involved in producing them. Morning tours are in the Latin Quarter, afternoon tours are in Montmartre.


The Best Ways to Visit Versailles from Paris

Things to Do in Paris March 2022

Best of Versailles with Priority Access + Grand Canal Lunch

Best of Versailles

Don’t waste your time and energy getting to Versailles just to wait in line. Instead, go the royal route on this tour with round-trip transportation, entrance fees, and a guided tour of the palace and spectacular gardens. Of course you’ll see the State Apartments and the Hall of Mirrors, but you’ll also enjoy a classic lunch by the Grand Canal. 


Private Half-Day Tour of Versailles

VIP Versailles

Treat yourself to a royal experience with this private half-day tour of Versailles. It begins with at your Paris address, whence a private driver whisks you to the estate. You also enjoy the services of a professional guide to walk you through the Versaille experience. It’s a day of luxury for just you and your party and perfect if you don’t want to spend a full day at the royal estate. 


Versailles by Bike – Day Tour

Versailles Bike Tour with Skip-the-Line Entrance

More fun than walking is pedaling your way around this magnificent garden and chateau. This is a 2-in-1 tour that starts out with you cycle-cruising the country around Versailles. Your guide takes you through the forests and pastures, to the local market and then on to the gardens of Versailles to visit the historic buildings. Afterwards, use your passes to explore the Chateau de Versailles as long as you like.


The Top Day Trips From Paris

Things to Do in Paris March 2022

Loire Valley Chateaux + Loire Valley Wines

Chateaux of the Loire Valley Day Tour

Perhaps the most famous historic area of France outside of Paris is the Loire Valley — home to some of the most impressive castles in the world. On this tour you can get from Paris to the splendid chateaux of the Loire and back in one day. It takes you on leisurely visits to the magnificent castles on the banks of the River Loire, and also includes a special tasting session featuring the spectacular wines of the region. 


Spend a Day in the Champagne Region

Wine-Tasting Trip to the Champagne Region

Focus on the bubbles on a posh day trip to the Champagne country, just about an hour from Paris. You are met at your Paris address and driven through the beautiful wine country to famous champagne houses. There’s lunch at a boutique winery plus a guided tasting of the Grand Crus of Champagne. Taste as much as you want, you’re not driving! 


Visit the D-Day Beaches 

D-Day Tour

On this small-group day trip from Paris you are driven through the beautiful Normandy countryside to the most important, and most evocative, D-Day sites. The landing beaches themselves, and the nearby cemeteries, can be very emotional experiences. The best way to get there is to sign up for this small-group tour that takes you to the the beaches, the monuments, the museums, and the dedicated cemeteries.


What’s On at the Museums

Things to Do in Paris March 2022

Picasso – Rodin… EXTENDED

Picasso – Rodin

This clever and much-anticipated exhibition is showing at both of the museums dedicated to the title artists — the Musée Picasso in the Marais and the Musée Rodin in the 7th Arrondissement. It demonstrates (perhaps for the first time so graphically) how the two artists, in their own ways, heralded a turning point in modern art.

• Musée Picasso & Musée Rodin
• Ends March 6, 2022
• Information

The Manet Girl

The Manet Girl

This is the first exhibition dedicated to Julie Manet (1878-1966), the only daughter of the Impressionist artist Berthe Morisot, and the niece of Impressionist mentor Édouard Manet. One hundred works feature paintings, sculptures, pastels, and watercolors that retrace her life.
• Musée Marmottan-Monet
• Ends March 20, 2022
• Information

Yves Saint Laurent

Yves Saint Laurent

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of Yves Saint Laurent’s first fashion show, exhibits will be staged at the Louvre, Musee d’Orsay, Pompidou Centre, Museum of Modern Art, Picasso Musum, and the Yves Saint Laurent Museum. Each museum presents a different theme: the Louvre showcases his love of gold, the Pompidou his modernity, and the Musee d’Orsay examines the influence of Marcel Proust. 
• Musée d’Orsay
• Ends May 15, 2022
• Information

James McNeill Whistler

James McNeill Whistler

A large collection by James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) travels from New York for the first time in more than a century to be shown at the Musée d’Orsay in a special exhibition not to be missed.
• Musée d’Orsay
• Ends May 8, 2022
• Information

From Afar: Precious Objects from Elsewhere

Since ancient times, carnelian, lapis lazuli, ebony, and other precious materials have circulated along trade routes. This exhibition highlights these precious materials as well as exotic animals who have traveled between the continents since the Middle Ages.

Georg Baselitz: The Retrospective

View Baselitz’ masterpieces from the past six decades, including the Fractured compositions and his inverted motifs from 1969. 

Impressionism – At The Source of the Water Lilies

This exhibition explores Impressionism with 80 works by Cassatt, Cezanne, Degas, Manet, Monet, Morisot, Pissarro and Renoir, some never shown in France. 

Giovanni Boldini – Les Plaisirs et les Jours

This first-ever retrospective of Giovanni Boldini is an opportunity to discover this virtuoso painter and figure on the social, artistic, and literary scene of Belle Époque Paris.

Marcel Proust – A Parisian Novel

To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the birth of novelist Marcel Proust (1871-1922) Musée Carnavalet explores Proust’s relationship with Paris, where most of his life took place in an exhibition that, for the first time, examines the place of the city in his work.

Albert Edelfelt – Pioneer of Finnish Painting

The Petit Palais continues its exploration of Scandinavian artists with this exhibition devoted to Albert Edelfelt (1854-1905), one of the pioneers of Finnish painting.

The People of Tomorrow – Jean-Charles de Castelbajac

Over at Centre Pompidou is this exhibition-workshop for children by French artist Jean-Charles de Castelbajac to help stimulate artistic sensibility.

The Best Events in Paris 

Things to Do in Paris March 2022

Maison & Objet

Maison & Objet

Discover the latest trends in decoration, design, furniture,accessories and textiles. The live, on-site version is back — at Paris Nord Villepinte. Postponed from January!
• Paris Nord Villepinte
• March 24 to 28, 2022 
• Information

Livre Paris

Livre Paris, photo by Emmanuel Nguyen Ngoc

It’s the biggest book fair in France with 160,000 visitors, 3,000 authors, and 30,000 bookish professionals gathering to share their expertise in the world of writing and publishing. For 2022, the annual event returns after a year off. 
• Porte de Versailles
• Rescheduled for April 22 to 24, 2022
• Information

Semi de Paris – Paris Half-Marathon

The running event attracts 37,000 runners and starts from the Chateau de Vincennes. Cancelled lat year, for 2022 this fun run to returns!

Cinema du Reel Film Festival

Every year his festival unveils a fresh batch of international documentary and independent films. Still slated to run this year, be sure to check their website for up-to-date information.

Salon du Tourisme

What tourism? The pandemic has hit this industry the hardest so it’s no surprise that the annual exhibition was cancelled in 2021. But this year, once again, you’d be able to find thousands of travel professionals under one roof for this international tourism show. Come to discover all the latest trends and forecasts in the travel trade. 

Saut Hermès Grand Palais

The Hermès Horse Jumping Competition is the annual opportunity to watch the world’s top show-jumpers competing in a very glamorous competition under the glass roof the Grand Palais. But, things have changed for this year.

The Grand Palais is closed for a massive renovation before the 2024 Paris Olympics. No problem! The Grand Palais Éphémère — the temporary Gand Palais — was built on the Champ de Mars to host this and other events.

  • Grand Palais Éphémère, Champ de Mars
  • March 18 to 20, 2022
  • Information
Le Salon du Dessin Contemporain

Now in its second decade, the fair presents 72 international galleries with 400 artists and 2,000 artworks. 

  • Carreau du Temple, Marais
  • Rescheduled for May 19 to 22, 2022
  • Information
Paris Bridal Fair

Planning a wedding? Attend the Paris bridal show to discover the latest trends from cakes to cocktails. For 2022 the fair returns in March.

BEST, JAY (the new ‘ME’)

support JAYSPEAK



An old Chinese “curse” is “may you live in interesting times “.  Ok. You have my attention and these times are interesting, but I would like for you to stop now.  I need to catch up.  My mind is defaulting to a worst case scenario because I am coming out of isolation, so STOP!!!

Yep. It is March. My month. My birthday is this month. And, this morning, I am paralyzed with thoughts of nuclear weapons in Europe (my recurring nightmare). I then realized I can only control myself and my safe spot on my sofa in the apartment I am living in. I remembered a post I saved

“Several years ago I invited a Buddhist monk to speak to my Senior elective class, and quite interestingly, as he entered the room, he didn’t say a word (that caught everyone’s attention).  He just walked to the board and wrote this: “EVERYONE WANTS TO SAVE THE WORLD, BUT NO ONE WANTS TO HELP MOM DO THE DISHES.”  We all laughed. But then he went on to say this to my students:

“Statistically, it’s highly unlikely that any of you will ever have the opportunity to run into a burning orphanage and rescue an infant. But, in the smallest gesture of kindness — a warm smile, holding the door for the person behind you, shoveling the driveway of the elderly person next door — you have committed an act of immeasurable profundity, because to each of us, our life is our universe.”

This is my hope for you for the New Year — that by your smallest acts of kindness, you will save another’s world.”

The predictability of unpredictability. I decided to make some lists of things I would like to do if I wanted to. But I don’t want to. And I remembered this meme.  After surrounding all of Europe and the brave people of Ukraine in healing love, I put this on Facebook to calm myself down and searched for my meme.

Outside my window is a new day. I have not lived this day before. And, it is a changed world – a post pandemic world. Putin is NOT Stalin. Ukraine is NOT Poland. WE ARE CREATING NEW HISTORY! I am alive today. The sun is shining. I have food in the kitchen and a cup of coffee by my computer. And, the news is happening outside my window. This is an article that I want to share with you:

“In the United States, the Second World War is regarded as a historic triumph — when the Greatest Generation made the world safe for freedom. In Europe [where I live] it is far more complicated. World War II was a time of carnage, total destruction, mass civilian death, occupation and its cousin, collaboration. The scars of the past still resonate. [I have done and seen this] Walk down a quiet French street and you might glance up at a sign in memory of resistance fighters shot at that spot by the Germans. You can walk into Nazi gas chambers documenting the horror of the Holocaust. Tourists still trace the path of the Wall in thriving, unified Berlin. And the sight of Ukrainians sheltering in underground stations struck a chord in Britain, evoking fabled scenes from the blitz. It took the carnage of a Russian leader ripping up the boundaries of the post-Cold War world. But everything in Europe is now changed, changed utterly.

The predictability of unpredictability. It’s time . The hour of reckoning is here. Will this be the war of wars that is supposed to take us all out because Putin is unpredictable? Did we fail to divide and conquer? Oops . My worst nightmare is happening and I am alive and living in the middle of it. Alone with my active imagination and safe spots. The predictability of unpredictability.

I don’t know but I don’t think so. I need to not think so. Yesterday, I posted this on Facebook (my social media of choice):

“I am happy to report that I am in my safe spot on my sofa in my apartment with a view of the Parc de Princes out my window in the distance. I am getting a lot of information about wartime strategy- more than I need. And war crimes and war criminals. It is fascinating when I can think beyond my anxiety level going bonkers with the thought of nuclear war interruptions. People in my town are very quiet and buying iodine pills but I am stuck to my sofa. My big journey a day is a trip to the mailbox. I will have to get out next week but not today. With God as my witness, I will think about all of it tomorrow. But I must study modern warfare tonight and help Ukraine and all of those people who need help. I am appalled at how politicians and dictators wannabes and dictators disregard laws and agreements. So I am very busy sending love to all of them and handling my fury and knowing that anger only hurts me……. (Please excuse my attempt at levity but I am doing my best to deal with my mental health with a pandemic and my brain challenges and management of life in France.)”

Do you want “safe?” There is not a safe spot in the world anymore. So we must believe that we are safe anyway in order to process the new that is on its way. The predictability of unpredictability.

This is probably what young Jesse Jewell faced when his mother’s feed store was failing. The South was a mess. Famine was everywhere. And it was politically corrupt . Farmers just wanted to eat dinner with their family and needed food for the table.

Daddy was a good man and he loved his mother. He had integrity. I believe Macron has integrity . I believe Joe Biden has integrity.

Does anyone care what I think ? At age 84? I do. I matter. You do. You matter. And I am not too old and it is not too late. The predictability of unpredictability. I am just finding my voice.

“There’s this youth culture that is really, really powerful and really, really strong, but what it does is it really discards people once they reach a certain age. I actually think that people are so powerful and interesting – women, especially – when they reach my age. We’ve got so much to say, but popular culture is so reductive that we just talk about whether we’ve got wrinkles, or whether we’ve put on weight or lost weight, or whether we’ve changed our hair style. I just find that so shallow.”–Annie Lennox

Today’s invasion of democratic Ukraine by authoritarian Putin is important. It not only has broken a long period of peace in Europe, it has brought into the open that authoritarians are indeed trying to destroy democracy.  Ukraine officially declared itself an independent country on 24 August 1991, when the communist Supreme Soviet (parliament) of Ukraine proclaimed that Ukraine would no longer follow the laws of USSR and only the laws of the Ukrainian SSR, de facto declaring Ukraine’s independence from the Soviet Union. The predictability of unpredictability.

Sometimes the strength within you is not a big fiery flame for all to see, it’s just a tiny spark that whispers softly ‘you got this,  keep going.’

Best, Jay





I have always been a practical, pragmatic person with a need to create  with a great need to learn how to do things. And I still am and do. So I must build a post pandemic me. There’s no returns to normal. It does not exist.  And I have chosen to stay alive in Paris and be joyous till death do us part. So I have time on my side. I am not going anywhere else. For now. 

So I need to know how to live with joy and be happy today. Don’t guess what will happen because no one knows. God and the universe are still working on it. I wrote earlier about a new life in the new year but now it is a reality. It is time to get our tools out . 

As for me, I have a brain that works. And I have core beliefs. So I am in process. It is exciting. 

I save things I read that touch me and if I really want to, I share them with you. And I have two different posts to share today.  Now I don’t know where all this is coming from or going to but I am taking you along for the ride. Okay?

Yes, I know. There are things I used to do, like going to stores, lunches with friends, events and dinners but it is all new. New everything. Why? It is a new you. The post pandemic you. And you can choose what you want that to be.  I am still deciding what I need with my other considerations.  I am in process….   I am unpredictable.

What do you choose?  

I choose to be excited about the change going on…

I love this article. It was written by a young woman and posted on Facebook USA. Her name is Jonatha Brooks. –

“What did she know? and when did she know it? That was today’s 4am thought. And it wasn’t about politics. It was about this photo. Me, at 7.

It was about braggadocio, moxie, the wild fearlessness we have before we start editing ourselves. Before we make ourselves smaller so we don’t tread on others’ toes and feelings.

As I remember it, 7 might have been my fiercest age. We were living in an apartment building in SW8, Kensington, in London. My parents were preoccupied with their own drama – way above my head at the time; my brothers were off trying to survive the culture shock of their schools.

So I had the run of the place. I climbed out on the front awnings, spied on neighbors, learned all the neighborhood churchyards by heart, held court with the building’s porters. They called me “Ginger.”

I was in heaven. I loved my strict Church of England School, “Francis Holland School for Girls.” The uniform, the curtseys. I started studying ballet. I was learning French. I got invited to fancy birthday parties at Eaton Terrace homes. Alice Nunnelly, Francesca Hordern. The names were enough. 

I think my inner compass (thank goodness) honed its true North there and then. 

We moved back to the US when I was 9. I hated it. I was miserable. I missed the order, the rigor, the independence. French.

But I kept dancing – maybe the discipline and physical escape protected the remains of that effortless wildness.

I have lately found myself making myself smaller for no good reason. Maybe it’s the relentless tumult of the last few years. Maybe it’s another birthday.

But finding this picture was an awesome reminder.

That little sprite knew everything she needed to know, right when she needed to know it. 

She still does.

Cheers to YOUR inner sprites today.



#jonathabrooke #innersprite #innerknowing

Janet/ Jay at 7 or 8 or thereabouts

And the second article that I want to share with you is a post that I read in several places on Facebook USA , and I love it. It touches my soul. I I think it applies to the world as well as the USA. But first, a cartoon –

“I’m Really Tired of Hatred


“Yesterday while picking up lunch I ran into a friend I hadn’t seen in a few months.

After exchanging surprised greetings and a fierce hug—she stopped abruptly, looked genuinely concerned and said, “Are you OK? You look tired today.”

After weathering the initial sting of her honest but uninvited commentary, I assured her she was somewhat incorrect in her evaluation.

“Not just today.” I remarked matter of factly. “This is how I look now—I’m always tired.”

She smiled widely and then leaned in with genuine concerned and quietly pressed for details: “So what are you tired of?”

I couldn’t come up with an answer that seemed sufficient in the thirty seconds we had remaining before our takeout orders were ready (and honestly I didn’t feel right baring my soul surrounded by complete strangers in front of a full deli case) so I laughed and said, “Oh, you know!”—and quickly changed the subject.

But on the way home her question was still hanging there in my head: What am I tired of?


That’s it. I’m tired of hatred—like, really tired.

I’m tired of waking every morning and seeing that we’re in an another unnecessary and preventable Constitutional crisis.

I’m tired of having to once again channel the adrenaline to confront a new onslaught of real and manufactured emergencies.

I’m tired of having to desperately appeal to public servants to do the decent and humane thing and seeing them again flatly refuse.

I’m tired of trying to convince professed followers of Jesus that they’re supposed to care about other people.

I’m tired of dancing through minefields at family gatherings; doing verbal gymnastics to sidestep relational explosions and to keep loving people I’ve recently learned unsettling things about.

I’m tired of scrolling through racist, anti-LGBTQ, anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic hate speech filling my social media mentions.

I’m tired of being reminded daily of the white supremacy that my former church friends are so terribly afflicted with.

I’m tired of seeing stories of newly-emboldened bigots showing up as neighbors, elementary school teachers, local politicians, and coffee shop patrons—because they feel they’ve had a kindred embittered spirit in the White House for four years.

I’m tired of boastful, nonsensical, intentionally-provocative tweets littered with Democrat slander, wall-building taunts, and abject lies.

I am so damn tired of hatred—and yes, I’m tired of hating it all too.

I’m tired of continually confronting ugliness—and of the increasing ugliness it brings out in me as I do.

I’m tired of walking into a room and trying to calculate inside my head, how many of them there are—and resenting human beings I’ve never met based on my evaluation.

I’m tired of assuming the worst in people because the bumper sticker on their car or the red hat atop their head or the channel they get their news from.

I’m tired of the impatience and irritability always sitting just below the surface of my countenance, and how often it breaks violently through and into my day in angry words in traffic or expletives spoken under my breath or easy frustration with the normal inconveniences of life.

I’m tired of regularly losing my religion as I fight both for and with my faith tradition: being anything but Christlike while advocating for the teachings of Jesus.

I’m tired of feeling a growing hopelessness when I see the people we’re becoming.

I know this fight is emotionally and physically exhausting, that there is a profound personal cost for hating things, even things that merit hatred. I know that it makes my heart less buoyant and far more susceptible to sinking into despair.

I’m trying to make sure I stay a loving person opposing things that make me angry, and not a perpetually angry person—but it’s difficult to tell when you’re swimming in so much enmity every day.

I want to leave a legacy of kindness, a compassionate wake in the waters of this world so that other people who are similarly fatigued by the hatred they encounter here, find rest in me.

Maybe that’s all any of us can do: perpetuate decency and goodness and generosity in the infinitesimal space of the next choice in front of us.

Maybe if we make this world a little bit more loving in the small and the close and the present, maybe the ripples will eventually reach the big and the distant in the future.

Then maybe everyone who’s as fully tired of hatred as we are—will finally get some rest.”

Try not to resist the changes that come your way. Instead, let life live through you. And do not worry that your life is turning upside down. How do you know that the side you are used to is better than the one to come?
~ Rumi

Best, Jay My post pandemic self at the onset…..





A bit of background for this week’s post and its foundation – Last week, the alumni association of a North Georgia college – University of North Georgia [UNG] -put out letter for “love stories of alumni” that involved the old NGC [North Georgia College – It was a military school) .

FYI – maybe 8 or 10  years ago the Board of Regents of the University of Georgia [my alma mater] combined North Georgia College with Gainesville College [where I was Chairman of Humanities for three years- called Gainesville Junior College [GJC]at that time] and all the other campuses of each ranging from Oconee (near Athens) to Dawsonville( which is now an Alpharetta suburb) making UNG 2nd largest in GA.They were interested in campus stories, alumni who  may have met on the way, etc. My friends’ story will be a part of Valentine Day on UNG’s social media. 

Gates, Class of 1957 and Kay , who attended 1956, 57 and again in ’68, but never graduated

You might say one teacher was responsible for our romance! Gates was a senior at NGC and I was a sophomore. He was in advanced German while I was a beginner. We had met very fleetingly my freshman year but both of us had other sweethearts. It happened that neither of those sweethearts had returned. That set the stage for some interesting German lessons. We would meet at the Canteen to review my homework and work on vocabulary. By the end of the quarter both of us made A’s in our separate levels of German. But that’s getting ahead of things.

During fall break Gates brought back his fraternity pin from his first year and half at UGA. He pinned it on me as we sat on the concrete bench behind the old Science Building. The last time we were on campus that bench was still there. At Thanksgiving, I went to Thomasville and picked out an engagement ring. Then at Christmas Gates put the ring on my finger and we were engaged! Pretty fast moving for a marriage that has lasted almost 65 years. The photo below was made at the Military Ball just before Christmas break in 1956. 

Winter quarter went by and both of us had made the Deans list. Of course we had studied a lot because three times we were on a weeks room arrest for such a sinful thing as holding hands on campus. Since my roommate worked nights at the library, she could find us some place to really study and it paid off in good grades. Then we’d have the nice walk back to Lewis Hall that made it all worthwhile. Plans were in the making for an early June wedding in Gainesville. 

During spring quarter Gates got infectious mono and NGC insisted he withdraw from school. That meant no graduation with his class in June. He made a fast recovery and we continued plans for a June 2 wedding. We were married in the chapel of the old First Baptist Church in Gainesville on June 2, 1957. Registering for summer school, Gates was able to arrange to be tutored in organic chemistry by a Professor and by a Captain in Military making it possible for him to graduate at the end of the summer session. I went back to school too. We rented a little apartment on Sunset Drive just behind the infirmary. In fact, Aunt Sara taught me to make corn bread! At the end of the session I pinned Gates’ 2nd Lt. bar on in the military building along with 3 other couples.

Gates’ first duty station was with a Nike Hercules battery in the Philadelphia Air Defense. During the next twenty years, a dozen locations followed. Some were good, some not so good and some great. Early in those years we had one daughter an one son.

After retirement we spent 18 years on the Florida Gulf Coast enjoying life there until the hurricanes and mosquitoes became too much. 

Just after Gates’ 60th birthday in 1996, we moved to North Georgia near Lula in Banks County. The first NGC friend we found just a couple of miles down the road at Adamson’s Hardware. Gardening, antiquing and going to the casino were fun in those years. We have been here nearly 26 years. Our son lives in Gainesville and our daughter in Murphy, NC. Two of our grandchildren have graduated from North Georgia.

Gates will celebrate his 86th birthday on February 9 and I have my 85th in July. His health isn’t good as he has had lots of heart problems along the way. Foot, knee and back problems make a walker necessary at all times. He depends on his Kindle and iPad but typing is difficult. That’s why I am writing “our story”. We celebrated our 50th anniversary at the Alumni House in Dahlonega but plan to celebrate the 65th on June 2, 2022 at home.

Best, Jay


The days of our lives


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