Thursday, November 29, 2007

down for the count

Yes, that very same evening of my last post I was officially sick. And I've been sick ever since. No/low fever, thank goodness, but stuffed nose, running nose and everything in between, plus some coughing and hacking and general moaning. I hate being sick and this has come at the absolute worst time possible.

I still have to tell you this funny story that Stéph told me before I go faint on the couch again. I really thought I was leaving Precious Little Snowflake Syndrome behind me when I moved here, but it turns out that this isn't so. It seems that Stéph received more than one complaint that the curtains in his second floor classroom are always shut and shouldn't he open them to allow the students to get some sunlight? These complaints came not from other teachers but from mothers. Yes, that means that these women have nothing better to do than wander around the school and stare at their children's classroom. That's the exciting life here in Tiny Town.

So Stéph capitulates and opens the curtains on one of the few sunny days we've had here in recent weeks. Of course, the heat of the sunlight in combination with the radiators that Stéph has no control over sends the temperature of the room to well over 30°C (over 85°F) which means they then have to open the windows, plus the glare of the sunlight means that no one could read the board. Stéph kindly asked the kids to tell their mommies what happens when the curtains are open and came home and told me about it and we had a good laugh.

Monday, November 26, 2007

weekend roundup

I finally got to celebrate Thanksgiving on Saturday. We had initially planned to do a little Thanksgiving dinner here at home with a few friends, but a few things popped up to make that not really a viable option, so we decided to crash Doc's Thanksgiving bash instead. There were the usual Frenchies plus the extra bonus of Antipo and the three of us Anglos often were seen sneaking off to the kitchen to snigger and tell rude jokes and general snark in English. It was lovely. Oh - and the food was good, too. (photos to come)

This morning, Stéph woke up with a fever, and he even took his temperature on my old Fahrenheit thermometer. When it popped up 101.2, I told him that he should stay home or go to the doctor, but no, he had to be all manly and trudge to school anyway. Well, first he told me that 101.2 couldn't be a very high temperature even after I converted it for him in Celsius (that's 38.5 for those of you playing at home), he still insisted on going to work. At lunchtime he declared he was too sick to go back and needed to see a doctor instead, but it's hard as hell to get in to see just about any doctor in the afternoons here. Our doctor has a "first come first served" policy in the afternoons, but those tend to take forever. Nevertheless, Stéph was desperate to be able to go back to school tomorrow, so off we went and sat in the waiting room for an hour and a half. Turns out he has strep. Also turns out that my throat is getting scratchy. I am none too pleased.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

happy thanksgiving!

It's that time of year again, when I have to explain to our French friends the concept of "giving thanks" for the good things in our lives. I get the feeling that most of them think it's a quaint puritan ritual framed around an enormous meal, but Thanksgiving has always been more than that for me. I love that there is a day in the calendar specifically set aside to take stock of the good things in our lives, like:

* my health, which I am constantly working towards improving
* my relationship with Stéph, which is always getting stronger
* my family, which is far away but thanks to modern technology, is only ever a computerized phone call away
* my friends, both here and in the States, who are a constant source of joy and support
* this blog, which has enriched my life here in France in so many ways
* my readers, who have managed to stick with me over the years even when I go through blogging droughts like I have in the last couple of weeks!

Today I invite all of you to take a moment and think about what you are thankful for in your lives, and if you feel like sharing, let us know what you're thankful for in the comments. And if you're in the States, have a great Thanksgiving and eat plenty of stuffing, corn bread and pecan pie for me!

PS: I seem to be having some RSS feed issues (thank you to Wendy for pointing it out). I think it's working for Bloglines but not for other readers like Google Reader. I've tried validating through Feedburner but apparently I have some issues and I might as well be reading that page in Greek, so if you are a computer-literate type person and can help me out, please shoot me an email, thanks!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

the slackiest slacker that ever slacked

Oh, hello. *sheepish grin*

I wish I had a really excellent excuse for not updating, but I don't. The weather's getting me down? Actually, the weather has been pretty miserable - rainy, dark and getting colder every day. I can't seem to focus on anything. I'm starting and frogging knitting projects, which is not helping my Christmas present list at all, never mind the fact that Christmas is like six weeks away and we haven't even thought about making a list of things to buy... ugh. Plus I'm thinking about totally starting over on my charity blanket which means I need to get a move on if I'm going to get it done on time.

So, to make up for it, I'm gonna give you a little treat. This song does nothing but make me laugh and bounce around the room like a big old dork. It's in French, obviously, but I think y'all will get the gist of it. I'm not usually a big fan of the comedian Mickael Youn, but he finally got me to laugh with "Parle à ma main," which means talk to my hand!

My favorite bits are the initials written on the hand which totally remind me of "TMI":

PI - pas interessée - not interested
çc - ça craint - that sucks
FBI - fausse bonne idée - not a good idea

And of course, at the end, Christelle gives her number to the guy, and it's a number for information (118 218) like 411.

Anyway, enjoy!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

a walk in the park

The fall break is over and Stéph is back to work. The last week was very quiet, loads of computer and knitting and quiet time, punctuated by a little stomach bug that Stéph caught and kindly passed to me (thanks honey!). I'm sorry I didn't post much, because if I had it would have looked something like this:

Today I knit for a few hours in front of the tv, and then I did a load of laundry, and then we watched some more tv before bed.

Woo! Party time! Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, when the weather was still nice, I took my walk through town, which I try to do as often as I can to get out of the house a little if for no other reason, but this time I remembered my camera. I took quite a lot of photos, which can be seen on my flickr page, but here are a few highlights:

First I walk along this river that passes through our town:

walk in the park 2

Then I walk around the outside of the park and step inside on the opposite corner from where I started. In the park, I pass by my favorite trees, Wonky Tree and his little brother Bendy Tree:

walk in the park 8

At the end of the park is the chateau, which now serves as the Town Hall:

walk in the park 11

Once I leave the park, I pass by the church, which I've never been in, by the way, as its not open for visitors, only church goers:

walk in the park 12

And finally, here's a shot of the main drag of Tiny Town from my lane. You can just make out the church at the end of the street:

walk in the park 13

So, if you ever wondered, that gives you an idea of what Tiny Town looks like. To tell you the truth, I rather kind of like it.

Friday, November 02, 2007

in which we get tricked

Of course, most of you know that Halloween was two days ago. Halloween isn't a very popular holiday here, often thought of a commercial ruse to get the French to separate themselves from their money, which is a shame. I always loved Halloween, from roaming the neighborhood when I was a kid (remember back in the day when you could do that at the tender age of ten?) right up to Halloween parties as an adult.

So imagine our shock and surprise when someone knocked on the door Wednesday evening. We weren't even here last year (Stéph was experiencing his first American Halloween, carved pumpkin and all) so we had no idea that we should expect anyone. In the end we just didn't answer the door because, since we started eating better, we don't have anything remotely resembling a treat.

Turns out, for our neglect, we got tricked. And the funny part is that we didn't even know it until a someone knocked on our door last night. Turns out that a neighbor from around the corner had her son's car stolen and was going around warning folks (apparently there's been a rash of car problems here in Tiny Town), and it was she that told Stéph to take a look at the windshield of the car. Turns out it had been egged and floured, plus a little green food coloring for good measure.

In the end, it's hardly anything to get upset about - lord knows I've seen worse - and Stéph had wanted to wash the car since we got back anyway, so that gave him a little extra incentive.

However, I do think that if you're old enough to egg a car, you're too old for trick or treating. But maybe that's the bitter old lady in me coming out!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

a long weekend away

I can't help it, it just sounds so pretentious - yes we went to the Alps for the weekend. Actually, we have friends there that we hadn't yet been to visit, so it was a trip that was a long time coming. Our friends live just outside of Grenoble, away from the noise and rush of the city. In fact, the poor things have to look at this out their windows everyday:

a room with a view

I don't know how they can stand it.

Anyway, Marc, Pooplette and MP3 were there (as Doc is currently gallivanting around the good ole US of A) and mostly what we did was lay around. It was great! The guys read or played games while I went to town on a new knitting project. There was so much laying around and chilling out that I burned through a skein and a half of yarn!

There was also all kinds of yummy, evil food like raclette and crêpes of both the savory and sweet variety. Plus we took some walks out in the gorgeous country side:

country walk

country walk

country walk

It was a pause that came exactly when we both needed it. Merci pour tous, M & S !!