Thursday, March 31, 2005

happy happy birthday baby

Bon Anniversaire!

Today is Steph's birthday, in which he turns... well he's a year older than me! (whew!) Happy Birthday, my love!

He's off to work, and I've got some homework to finish up before class this morning, and loads of housekeeping to do this afternoon, so I will update later today, I hope.


Bon Anniversaire

Yay, can't wait till he gets home!

Monday, March 28, 2005

mellow easter

Yesterday was a quiet and peaceful Easter. As a matter of fact, it was so peaceful and quiet that there were so signs of Easter at all, save the few tiny chocolate eggs wrapped in foil in the candy dish at my mother-in-law's. It could have been any other Sunday, with my sister-in-law and family down from Reims for the day. We had a delicious lunch followed by a charlotte for dessert. We watched a movie. I played checkers with my nine-year-old niece. We ended up even. In my defense, Steph helped the opposition. Then we went home.

Steph was very sad that his mother didn't buy him his annual chocolate chicken. I told him I'd buy him one this week, as I'm sure they'll all be on sale. Are you kidding me? An excuse to buy chocolate? Hellooooo!

I have known for some time that the Easter Bunny does not visit France to hide chocolate and eggs in living rooms across the country, with the really well hidden ones only found a week later thanks to the smell. There are no Easter baskets filled with green plastic "grass" and filled with chocolate and peeps. And, at least in my French family, there is no dressing up in your Easter best to go to church (which means no excuse to go buy a really great new Spring outfit, but I digress).

In France, the church bells all fly to Rome to say hello to the Pope, and bring back eggs and other goodies. I could make a stand and say how silly this is, but we've got a furry mammal scurrying around with baskets of eggs, so who am I to judge? At least they've got a little religion in their story.

So anyway, last night was a very late night indeed. Thanks to a little help from a couple of extremely cool people, I can now watch my American DVD's on Steph's DVD player. Obviously I popped in Pride & Prejudice to swoon at Mr. Darcy for a little while. Steph was playing away at the computer, and I figured I'd watch my movie until he was ready to go to bed, since the movie is about eight hours long. I finally gave up waiting for him at 3:00 in the morning. Turns out, he was waiting for me to stop watching the movie. It was a very "chocolate in my peanut butter" moment:

"I was waiting for you to stop!"

"But I was waiting for you to stop!"

Didn't anyone tell him that men are supposed to know what we're thinking at all times? ;)

Sunday, March 27, 2005

happy easter!

First, let me say a very heartfelt thank you to everyone who left such lovely and encouraging comments the last few days. I am taking them to heart and will make a concentrated effort to get out of the apartment more. A lot of the frustration last week stemmed from the fact that I was sick and felt trapped in the apartment all week. Anyway, your comments were greatly appreciated.

We've been busy the last couple of days, so that certainly helped as well. A colleage of Steph's has moved from Troyes to the town about half an hour away where they both work, and we helped out in the move. Friday afternoon we picked up the rent-a-van and piled all of her things in the back in about an hour. Since she doesn't have a lot of heavy furniture, it was pretty simple. Then Saturday morning, we picked her up and drove to the new place. She's moving from a very small one bedroom studio to a two bedroom two-story house with a garden in the back. It's a wonderful house, with a huge kitchen and bathroom. I hope we'll be able to find something similar when we're ready to move. We were joined by two other colleages and were done by noon. It was the easiest move I've ever participated in.

We're going over to the in-laws for lunch in a little bit, so I hope to post more later today about celebrating Easter in France. I hope everyone has a great Easter, and in the meantime, here's a little something my friend Dana sent me which also really cheered me up:

E-A-S T-E-R EGG with a double G

Friday, March 25, 2005

plateau accomplished

Just got back from an errand to FNAC. Went to the counter to pay for my item, and learned that they can't accept cards as the machine's down. After establishing that paying by check is ok, I take out my checkbook. I guess I hesitated too long, because I couldn't remember if the euro amount or the payee goes on the first line (I've only written a total of two checks previously), because the teller offered to fill it out for me. In English.

Status: Mission Failed

Not even the sight of some guy riding by on his bike wearing capri-lenth jeans on the walk home could lift my spirits.

in between worlds

I must be approaching another plateau, as I can't explain this feeling of restlessness that has been hounding me all week. I need to get up and get out of this apartment more often than I have been, but the weather hasn't been cooperating lately and frankly, there aren't that many places to go. There's only so many times I can walk back and forth across town and I've never been much of a window shopper, which just depresses the hell out of me. I've got plenty of things to keep me busy around here, but there are only so many French exercises I can do before I want to snap the pencil in half and the English books have come in but I'm not exactly sure where to start.

I miss my job. This is fairly ridiculous, as even my manager, who I liked very much, once confided in me that my job was a waste of my brainpower and if it weren't for the fact that I was moving to France, he told me, I should look into going into another line of work. Maybe I stuck it out for so long there because it was easy. Now I'm having conflicting thoughts about becoming an English teacher/tutor/whatever. The idea of helping someone improve their English is very appealing, but is it really for me?

I'd love to be a tour guide for the loads of English tourists that visit Troyes every year, but someone once told me that I'd have to be fluent in three languages, and the pay sucks (but it's better than nothing, which is what I'm currently earning). This is not necessarily a deterrant but I'm not sure where to go to find out if this is the case. I'd have to wait until I'm fluent in French anyhow. I'd love to find a job where I can sit in a corner and process data entry reports all day. Hell, I'll do data entry from home, but people, I gotta start doing something very soon or I am really going to lose my mind.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

this one's for mom & dad

Thirty-five years ago today, my parents gathered up a few friends, went to the courthouse to get married, has a small celebratory dinner afterwords, and then went on a honeymoon to Florida. Hm, that seems strangely familiar...

Over the years, they have been through things that would have broken lesser couples, and yet here they are, very much together. They taught me that a committment is something that should never be broken and showed me with actions, not just words. They inspire me to work at my marriage, so I can show my children the same thing one day.

Mom and Dad spent the last two weeks in Florida, visiting friends and family. Perhaps it wasn't as relaxing as they had hoped, but it was filled with a lot of golf and, I'm sure, a lot of laughter. I wish I could have been there for some of that. Since I'm way over here, all I can do is proclaim on the internet:

Happy anniversary, Mom and Dad! I love you very much!

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

back among the living

Well. Just.

In fact, I am feeling a lot better today (although it's turned into more of a stomach/digestive ailment, but I'll spare you the details). And I'm hungry. I've barely eaten at all the last few days, so food is definately not safe around here today. Actually, I was kind of hoping my appetite wouldn't return for, oh, maybe a week or so, since I could certainly stand to lose a couple many kilos. But for now I'm drinking lots of Water! and eating lots of Fruit! so maybe I can stay on the right path for a change. I got away from Fast Food Hell only to land in Boulangerie Purgatory. I can't win, I tell ya!

I would like to write more, but my computer is situated next to the radiator, which has not yet been turned off. I am quite warm (understatement of the decade), despite the fact that all the windows are open. I need to do laundry anyway, which will make sitting in here unbearable. If you need me, I'll be sitting in the front room, catching up on French homework, which I haven't done since I've been in a drug-induced coma, which is another reason I won't be going to class today. (You wouldn't want me to spread my germs around, would you?)

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go find something to eat that both my digestive tract and I can agree on.

Monday, March 21, 2005

a downward spiral

Here is a quick recap of the weekend's events. Please excuse any spelling or grammatical errors, as I'm doing everything I can to maintain an upright position for the moment...

Saturday we got an early start to the Salon du Livre, which is at the Porte de Versaille in Paris. After negotiating nightmarish traffic around the porte, we managed to get in the door just after noon. After a quick lunch of sandwiches at a concession stand, we started making our way through the huge exhibition. Many publishing houses were in attendance, and many famous French authors were there, signing books. I'm not up on my comtemporary French literature, so I didn't know them, but Steph and my mother- and sister-in-law did, and were mightily impressed. I was deterimined to find something in English, and finally at the end I did. Several countries were represented, including Russia, who is the honored country this year. I had hoped to find a booth for the U.S., or even England, but no luck. God bless the Canadians! In addition to an enormous Quebecois area, they also featured a small Anglophone section. I found a book that seems interesting, and we were ready to go. By the way, the Salon du Livre will continue through Wednesday, so if you're in Paris and don't have trouble reading in French (it's still work for me), I highly recommend it.

On the way home, my allergies were having a field day. Well, I thought it was my allergies. Little did I know it was about to get a whole lot worse. At least the fever chills had the decency to wait until I got home.

Yes friends, I am quite sick, and way past allergies now. Yesterday I spent a grand total of four hours out of bed, the rest of the time sweating and freezing and sleeping with the aid of Benedryl. Today I'm feeling a bit better, but I don't have the courage to walk half a mile to the nearest pharmacy. I will try to go as long as I can without taking the Benedryl, in the interest of staying awake, and will take some aspirin to keep the fever in check. Actually, I couldn't go to the pharmacy if I wanted to, as Steph has taken the bank card with him. Eh, that's fine, I couldn't make it to the corner on my own anyway.

One more thing I wanted to bring up before I fall out of my chair: I am very sad to learn that it seems some people are not playing GISBE very nicely. We have had reports that some people have not yet received a package, and despite several emails, we have heard nothing at all from their prospective shippers. Now, this does not pertain to those of you who have told us that you have shipped your package and it's going to take a long time, don't worry about that. This is to those of you who signed up, perhaps even received a package from someone else, and then disappered. Obviously, we will be taking measures to ensure they will never be admitted to play again, but Tracey and I have been throwing around the idea of a Page of Shame, in which we show the offenders to the world. What do you think?

Friday, March 18, 2005

how could I have forgotten this?

Man. It has been really nice these last few days. *cough* I've found myself just looking for excuses to go run some errands. *sniff* It's been lovely to have the windows open and have fresh air running through the place. *cough cough* It still seems strange to me that they don't need screens on the windows here. *ah-choo! 'scuse me* Nope, we just close the shutters for privacy and open the windows for the fresh air. *blows nose - pardon* We'll have to keep the windows open at least until the proprietor turns the radiators off. *cough cough cough* The only problem? I have really bad seasonal allergies. *ah-choo!!* I've never been in France for more than two weeks during spring, so I'm not really sure how bad this is gonna be. *sniffle sniffle*

So, I'm just kinda wondering if any one has any suggestions. *cough cough cough* Back in the states I took Allegra-D Clartin-D (how quickly we forget) 12 hour medicine, everyday. *sniffle sniffle* Does anyone know if there is something similar here, that I can take everyday and won't put me to sleep ('cause I have Benedryl but it puts me in a coma)? Because if I don't nip this in the bud, it will certainly develop into one mother of a cold. *ah-CHOO!*

Thanks very much. *cough*

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Helloooooooo gorgeous!

First let me say that I've been trying to publish that last post since this morning, so now that it seems to be working, I can write something (arguably) more substantial.

(Update: Well, it looks like I only found a lucky window for my last post, as Blogger is acting funky again. Heaven only knows when I'll get this one to publish!)

It is absolutely stunningly gorgeous here, and spring has officially sprung. The skies are blue and the temperatures have climbed to over 60F. I'd been itching to get out of the apartment all day and was anxious to go, even if it was to go grocery shopping, but Steph was holding me back, as he was waging a very important battle over a tower, or killing elves, or some such. Finally we made it out the door around 3:30.

Click "Tell me more" to continue!

Everyone was out in full force today, enjoying the beautiful weather. Once inside the store, we made our usual rounds. We like to go up and down all of the isles every once in awhile, as you never know when inspiration for a new dish will strike. Once we get to the produce section, we usually split up and meet back up.

I was coming back from a reconnaissance mission, carrying eggs, milk and butter, when I found Steph poking at a display of fresh flowers. He chose a yellow bouquet as I put the items in the cart.

Me: Ooh, who are those for?
Him: My wife. *big cheesy grin*
Me: Well, she's a lucky lady.

It was one of those moments when you just wish that nosy eavesdropper standing next to you actually understood what you were saying. *sigh*

Needless to say, I floated through the store and back to the car, into the bright sunny afternoon, glowing in the spontaneity of my hubby. Suddenly, as we were stopped at a light facing direct sunlight, Steph raised my sun visor.

Me: AAAAH! My eyes!
Him: Sorry! I couldn't see the light!
Me: *whimper*
Him: But but but.... I bought you flowers!


Me: Does this mean you'll be using the flowers as an excuse for the rest of the week?
Him: *strokes chin, raises eyebrow* Hmm...... yeeeeeees... it's a good idea!

Well, there's men for you. That's alright, because I've still got a touch of spring in the house, and they smell delicious.

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Yes, that is a topiary bunny!
The only Easter bunny I'm likely to see!

back to paris

I almost forgot that I'm going to Paris again on Saturday! Apparently there's a book fair at the Porte de Versaille, so Steph and I will pile into the car with mother- and sister-in-law and head to the big town for the day. If you're planning on going, maybe I'll see you there!

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

announcement board

Just a couple of things happening in the Blogosphere that I wanted to mention:

The very funny and clever Ms. Mac is planning a European English Book Exchange, so if you're interested, hurry over there and let her know.

Happy and hearty congratulations to Zoe of My Boyfriend is a Twat, who won a Bloggie for Best European Blog! Please go congratulate her, but whatever you do, don't tell her the blog looks pinkish, as she insists it's plum. *wink*

As for me... well, I'm feeling a bit dull and don't have anything interesting to say, except that my English grammar books haven't arrived from Amazon yet, and they're a week late and it's making me cranky. I've been spending my time eating Doritos and reading trashy magazines. Sounds like a good time in theory, but I'm feeling like a sloth. Maybe I'll go for a walk after class today.

Monday, March 14, 2005

my gisbe package!

When I arrived home on Saturday, there was a box waiting for me on the dining table. It was my package from Katie at Coffee Table Declarations who was my "Secret Santa" in the Great International Secret Blog Exchange!

And my girl Katie Hooked. Me. Up.

Click "tell me more" to continue!

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Katie very very kindly sent me some popcorn (wheeeeeee!), a bag of Doritos (we have them here but I'm sorry, they do not taste the same), some chocolate chips (I thought it might be fun to try to make some cookies but I am really struggling not to open the bags and eat them now!), and a Rolling Stone magazine! Hooray! She also sent me some fun stuff from Boston, including the t-shirt (go Sox?) and a snow globe of Boston, which Steph could not put down. I've never been to Boston, but it's on my list of places to visit, especially since my oldest friend in the world lives there.

So, thank you so much Katie!

Sunday, March 13, 2005

blogmeet extraordinaire

What a wonderful couple of days I've just had! I met so many people, and I even managed to nearly get all the names straight. I met those who seemed like old friends, and made some fantastic new ones. I had so many interesting conversations, and still didn't manage to chat with everyone. I ate nachos (nachos!!) and cheeseburgers. I window shopped and ate Italian ice cream. I drank (more than) several Holy Malonies and didn't fall off any stools (which I have been known to do sober, so this was quite an accomplishment). I ran for a train before it turned into a pumpkin, and talked so much I lost my voice (but even that didn't stop me). I ate incredible Chinese soup and laughed and laughed and laughed.

And all in blessed, glorious English.

Many, many thanks to the very charming and funny petite anglaise for organizing this little taste of heaven. It was much needed, and very very much enjoyed.

Friday, March 11, 2005

i'm too excited to sleep!

There used to be this great commerical for Disney World, where a five-year-old boy is bouncing around the bedroom of his family's vacation suite. His mom pokes her head in the door to see what's amiss, and the boy declares, "I'm too excited to sleep!"

I guess that's me. It is now 6:30. I've been awake since 4:30 and out of bed since 5:30. Hope I can sleep on the train.

While I am gone, please amuse youselves by clicking on this link, and if you have Flash, you will immediately hear the a cappella chorale Accentus singing their rendition of "Komm susser Tod," which my chorale sang Wednesday night. I'm glad I didn't hear this version fist. Be prepared for your brain to melt.

Thursday, March 10, 2005


Hey, thanks everyone for the good wishes yesterday. I did manage to stay awake through the whole concert - adreneline certainly does wonders. We've all been working on various contemparary and experimental music, so it was an interesting concert! My favorite was the performance of the children, who lined up in an arc with the director at the end of the line, and she would feed a small phrase to the student in front of her, who passed it on, etc. Remember the game "telephone," or "gossip?" It was something like that. My chorale sang a short German piece called "Komm susser tod," which we sang at various tempos, which gives you the sense of many chords being played on a piano at the same time, finally resolving to a common chord. It was very cool and the audience seemed to like it a lot (as did I!).

I'm feeling a bit more rested today, which is good since I'm preparing to go to Paris tomorrow to meet my fellow Anglophone ex-pats! I think all the final preparations for my day and a half in Paris are set. Today I just have to pack and make sure I've got all the directions and phone numbers I need. I just got back from my Thursday morning French class, which I'm really enjoying, because it's just me, the teacher and l'iranniene. Her French is a little better than mine, so we're able to move a bit quicker and work on more grammar than in the Tuesday class. I just can't let my mind wander for a moment, though!

If the weather holds, I'm hoping to go on a little walk this afternoon with Steph, and then I've got rehearsal tonight. Hopefully, keeping busy today will help me get a good night's sleep before my journey tomorrow!

Finally, Oz asked how Troyes is pronounced. In fact, it's pronounced "twah," like the number three in French: "trois." It's not an extremely well known town in France, like Toulouse or Marsaille, but I'm told that people in the north know of it because of its magasins d'usines, or outlet stores. Steph says that more and more people in France will be able to pronounce it though, as it is similar to a movie that came out last year.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

someone please check me for a pulse

I cannot explain to you why I am so unbelieveably exhausted today. I've been sleeping fine. Yes, I've had a little extra French communication in the last couple of days than I'm used to, but I'm feeling more physically exhausted than mentally exhausted.

We had a pleasant lunch with the in-laws and my sister-in-law, and then ran a quick errand to purchase more gas for us and the in-laws for our stoves. (Yes, I know, will explain when I'm more awake.) After that, we went to Kiabi and I found a new pair of jeans that I desperately needed (it seems all my clothes from the states have decided to spontaneously combust) and a lightweight black sweater I can wear for the concert tonight.

So yeah, I have a concert for the Conservatory tonight at 6:30. It is now nearly 3:30. I don't dare chance taking a nap and waking up even crankier than when I started, so I'm suffering through it. If I can just get through the concert without falling over (I'm only in two numbers and the auditorium will be nice and daaaaaark) I can then fall into bed. Ooooooooooh beeeeeeeeeeeeeed.........

Right. Just gonna have to go jump up and down or something. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

GISBE recipiant links

Here is a list of links to people who have received their GISBE packages. If you don't have a blog but would like to show off your package and publicly thank your gift sender, please be sure to let me or Tracey know, and we'll be happy to feature you! This list will continue to be updated, and there will be a link in the sidebar for easy access.

Karla atTales of a Texpatriate
Gale at How I learned to stop worrying and love Herring (two entries)
Ashley atAshley's Random Blog
Marie at Blue Ridge Blog
Katia at An Aussie Lass...
Nancy at Everything Just So (scroll down)
Erika at Blah-ditty-blah
Heather at Based on a True Story
lizardek at lizardek's obiter dictum
Mariko at super eggplant
Lili at Greener Pastures
srah at srah blah blah
Tania at Tania with an I
Impossible Jane
City Elf
Sarah at Bienvenue a mon monde
Sis at Day@theBeach
My partner in crime: Tracey Marshall Knows Swedish
Mathieu at Ban Sidhe (scroll down a little bit)
Faith in Florida (scroll down a little bit)
Kinuk in Poland
Elizabeth at my own little space...
Denise at Do you have that in my size???
Brandon at One Child Left Behind
All Things Jennifer
Andrea at Soapbox
Coffee Table Declarations
lia at Chasing Amy
deeleea at Singular Scene

Monday, March 07, 2005

a very special episode

The following was written by Flavia, who lives in Australia. She doesn't have a blog but wanted to publically thank her GISBE secret partner. If you don't have a blog, but would like to do the same, please be sure to let me or Tracey know!

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Isn't everything I got wonderful?? Thaks for letting me put this on your
blog, so Erika can get a big Thank you!

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Thanks so much to Erica for my wonderful GIBSE package, including lots of traditional Green Chilli stuff from Santa Fe, New Mexico.. I'm game to try it soon!! Postcards, a cool fridge magnet...decorative tiles and my favourite..chilli shaped candles (almost tricked my sister into saying they're real chillis and dared to have a bite!heh)

Thanks Erika!

Xx Flavia

Saturday, March 05, 2005

a brain break

Thursday I met C. for lunch at a restaurant/bar that claimed to have a menu of Tex Mex food. I didn't set my hopes too high, having already tried various "American" food here, but it was worth a shot. Imagine my surprise when the food was excellent! It was the best chimichanga I've ever had (chimichangas not being something I would have ordered back home) and I can't remember the last time a Corona tasted so good. Obviously it didn't hold a candle to the mexican restaurant I frequented the most back in the states, home of the Best Cheese Dip Ever (in my humble opinion) but at least I've found a decent substitute for when I'm craving spicy food.

C. and her family lived in the same town as me for four years until last July, when they moved to Troyes. It was great to reminisce about our former town. We laughed about the ice storm we had last year that shut the whole town down while we watched it snow like mad. We sat and talked (in English, I should add) for nearly three hours, and it was a much needed brain break for me. It's one thing to type away and communicate online in my mother tongue, but it really invigorates me to hear it every once in a while.

The other good news is that I finally heard back from the office of Mr. Irish on Thursday afternoon. The only problem was, the email had been deleted by gmail because it had an error or some kind of virus attached to it (thank you Gmail but imagine my frustration!). I had to screw up my courage and call.

I asked for the woman who's name was listed as the sender of the email. We assumed she was the secretary (silly me, making assumptions) and since her name is French, I prepared myself for a conversation in French with Steph standing by to assist. When she answered the phone, I stumbled along in French, but I heard her reply, "Yes?"

"Ooh! Vous parlez anglais?"

"Oh yes!"


Turns out she's another instructor, and I think she is one of the instructors Mr. Irish was telling me about, who are French but have spent several years in England and have flawless accents. She certainly did. I never ever would have known she was French. (Plus, hello, English accents are lovely to listen to!)

Long(er) story short: Mr. Irish actually gave her my info a week ago but for whatever reason had put off sending it to me (er, thanks). But the good news is I finally have the titles Mr. Irish recommended to study up on English grammar, and they should be arriving from sometime between Monday and Wednesday. Time to buckle down!

Friday, March 04, 2005

book of questions #200

You too can play along with Gary at matching tracksuits.

In conversations, do you tend to listen or talk more?

I would have had a very different answer if you'd asked me six months ago. Now that I'm trying to get a strangle hold on a new language, I definately listen more. I have to, because I only understand every other word. At best. I'd never realised that conversation could be so exhausting.

Now, with 20/20 hindsight, I can see that perhaps I wasn't a very good listener. The mind wanders, it takes little breaks, but it can still follow a conversation. You miss a detail here or there, but you get the meat.

Now my mind wanders for a different reason. I recognize a word, and my mind latches on to it. What does this word translate to in English? How does it fit into this conversation? Next thing I know, the conversation has changed, and I'm left behind. In a conversation involving more than two people, I am constantly two subjects behind the rest of the group.

I don't talk so much now. People who know me intimately must be astounded by this information. I was the one who always got notes sent home from school, because my mouth never stopped running. Now I can't. Partly because I'm not sure the conversation hasn't changed. Mostly because I don't know what to say. Or, I know what to say, but don't know how. I say "comment on dit?" (how does one say?) a lot. It's always right on the tip of my tongue and I can't get it out.

This is starting to change, as I become more and more comfortable in this new language. The trick is, will I still be able to keep my mouth shut and listen, or will I go back to my old ways of letting my mind wander and say any old drivel that falls out of my mouth?

Thursday, March 03, 2005

winter wonderland

Woo! It's really coming down now. Hooray for finally getting a proper snow!

I'll try to get some more pics when I go out in a couple of hours.

postcard from the edge

I finally figured out The Mystery of the Scanner (plug it in) so I can now post the postcard that Mathieu kindly sent me on his recent business trip to South Korea. I love how it has a fold to keep what you write private. Clever Koreans. Anyway, thanks Mathieu, and I'm looking forward to the next one!

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

ya learn something new everyday

Steph heard from a friend online that it is snowing south of Paris. I went to look out the window to see if it's coming this way, but for now all is blue skies with a few clouds out to the west. While looking out the window, I noticed something I hadn't before.

"What's that?" I pointed.


"The thing! The... round thing. The tube thing at the top of the window, what is that?"

After pointing and jumping up and down a bit, he finally figured out what I was pointing at.

Turns out it's a small opening for ventilation. I knew there was a small one in the kitchen but I'd honestly never noticed this one before. Apparently, all homes in France are required to have at least two, to keep fresh air circulating through the house. I'd love to say, "Aha! No wonder it's so cold in here!" but the truth is, you don't even feel a draft. It makes sense, in the end, but I'd never thought about it, coming from the Land of Air Conditioning and all.

GISBE Update
Looks like we've got a couple more happy recipients in Gale and Nancy. This is so exciting! My box has been delivered to the post office and should arrive somewhere in the American North East (how's that for a hint?) in about 10 days or so. Please keep Tracey and I updated. Wheee, this is like watching everyone open Christmas gifts, but on an international scale!

lovely sleep

Thanks, everyone, for your lovely comments on yesterday's post. I had a good night's sleep and that seems to have cleared the funk away. I think the winter blues along with some sad news from back home had their way with me yesterday, but today is a new day.

As for today, I'm going to jump into some homework with both feet, as well as ship out my GISBE package. Speaking of which, someone asked if anyone has received their package yet. The only one I know of is Marie at Blue Ridge Blog. Anyone else?

Tuesday, March 01, 2005


Today is the first day in months that is all mine. No babysitting, no rehearsals, no pressing errands. I spent most of the day puttering around the house, doing things that have been sorely neglected: repotting a plant, scrubbing down the living room and kitchen, fun stuff like that.

I have several things I really should do this afternoon, like French homework, or ironing, or writing my blog follow-up on funky French housekeeping. Problem is, I'm suffering a severe case of the blahs. You won't know this by reading, but this has taken ages to write, because I keep staring out into space. I'm fighting the urge to chuck it all in and climb back into bed, or even worse, walk down to the boulangerie for a sweet treat (which I do not need). I don't know if it's my new perscription, or if I'm just hormonal (sorry boys, it's a fact o' life) or what.

Ugh. I'm gonna go stare at another wall. For change of pace, you know.