2012: The last year has been an emotional roller coaster with many trials and tribulations, however life is still good. When a door closes, the good Lord makes sure to open a new window. I feel blessed to have such a wonderful family, and many long-time friends, around the world. Now I am making a new life in my new state, Arizona, with lovely new friends, that I am adding to my life and table. As always, cooking remains a constant passion that brings joy to my life and I have re-started my aviation career, another life long passion. As the old old saying goes, and no truer words have been spoken..... Good food, good wine, family and friends truly are the spice of life! Cheers. 2011: This Expat has just moved back home to the good ole USA. Praise the Lord! I am now living in Arizona and so happy to be back in my country, culture and much better weather. Arizona is a state I have not lived in before, so it will be fun to explore all it has to offer and experience yet another area of the US. 2010: I lived in the Netherlands, for 8 years. It was a big adjustment in country, culture and weather. I think it was a great experience to live abroad. You learn so much and it helps make you a more rounded person who appreciates difference. Nothing like moving away from one's culture for a good reality check and firm appreciation of home! I guess absence makes the heart grow fonder! I love to cook and I believe it is in my genetic makeup. I started as a small child helping my mother in the kitchen. She was a fabulous cook and delighted in baking. My grandfather was a baker by trade and made fabulous baked goods. I acknowledge, though I am able to bake well, it just does not bring me joy. I love to cook multi course dinners. I grew up with mostly Spanish and Italian cuisines, taught to me by my mother, aunts and cousins. My immediate family is still living in Florida. And I am fortunate enough that my family has always stayed in contact with the 3 generations of family still living in Northern Spain! I love visiting my family in Spain, frequently, whilst living in Holland. I sit in their spanish kitchens and watch all the women cook, listening intently, watching closely as to how they make those fabulous dishes. After, with many of the family generations attending dinners and celebrations together. Many of the same dishes I grew up with in Floriday!!! My family may have an ocean between them, but their culture, foods live on! It has brought such joy. I grew up in Florida, surrounded by many of my relatives and extended family members. All on the same block. I was always in one kitchen or another, listening, helping, & learning about all those cuisines and the different languages being spoken! Mealtime was always a celebration with lots of family, friends, food, and wine. Mom's saying was 'the more the merrier'. And I now mealtime brings such joy, to be shared with family and friends, a lovely celebration. I do try to replicate this tradition in my life as an adult. Cooking and meal time is truly a celebration of love and togetherness. I enjoy having family and friends, from around the world, over for a dinner. They are invited anytime and I try to carry on the my mother's motto 'the more the merrier'. Though many of the women, who were so inspirational to me, have now passed on, they live forever within my heart and in the recipes that were past along. I try to follow those wonderful traditions, they taught me and keep them alive in my home. My mother will always be the voice in my head and heart. She was a truly fabulous role model and I miss her dearly. I have had a wonderful career. I worked for an airline for 25 years, and loved every minute of it. With much contemplation I took an early retirement when I married and moved to the Netherlands. My (ex) husband, worked for another airline, and we traveled almost monthly. Though I was connected to aviation, I still missed my career. So when I returned back to the USA, I decided to start chapter 2 in my aviation career and now work for another airline. I have gained another pair of wings! Working for an airline so long, one becomes a airline 'nomad'. I have lived in 5 different states (Florida, Minnesota, California, Nevada and now Arizona) and also a country in Europe. While living in different cities, one of my favorite hobbies has been taking cooking classes from different cooking schools. I adore learning different types of cuisine and having themed dinners in my home. To name a few classes I have taken Spanish, French, Italian, Greek, Mexican, 3 types of Chinese, Thai, Swedish and American Bistro classes. It is lovely to learn so much about a country and culture through their cuisines!