(the misadventures of an expatriate corporate dropout)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A request for help ...

LaFramericaine has been on the job, looking in to the terrible accident that occurred yesterday in California, involving a busload of French tourists. She has asked for help in getting the word out, particularly to folks with ties in California ... that might be able to help.

Since many folks I know DO speak French and have friends throughout the state that also do, I'm asking that you read LaF's update and contacts to consider if there might be something you could do to assist.

She's done much of the heavy lifting in terms of investigating what's going on ... so I'm going to quote much of her update here:

"34 French, 1 Canadian, and 1 American passengers of the Orion Pacific tour bus had a terrible accident on Highway 101 in Soledad, California yesterday as it made its way from the Monterey Peninsula toward Los Angeles. I have just spoken to Paula Herrera, the coordinator, for the Monterey-San Benito chapter of the American Red Cross.:

Monterey-San Benito Counties Chapter
American Red Cross
942 Lupin Drive
Salinas, CA 93906-3910
Phone: 831-424-4824

I called her office earlier today--(831) 375-5730--and left my number and she just called me back after a day that has been non-stop, since 6am, attempting to help the victims of this tragedy.

Currently, there are 6 confirmed deaths. Six French tourists who left France on April 18th for what might have been a dream trip, a trip of a lifetime, an exciting, long anticipated tour of the Left Coast of the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave from which they will never return. Can you imagine the anticipation and delight with which they each set forth a week and a half ago, never knowing that they would end their lives here on, what for us would be, an unremarkable section of Highway 101? I can imagine it only too well.

In addition to the confirmed deaths, there are individuals in hospitals spread out over Monterey, Salinas, King City, San Jose, and Fresno. There is a 12 year old girl--a little French girl who does not speak English--whose mother is in an intensive care unit just trying to stay alive. Caring volunteers are trying to allow them to see one another and keep the child from being taken into custody by Social Services.

There are men and women who are married to one another who are located in different hospitals, in different towns, with different grades of injury. One is going to come out of the hospital and need to go to find his or her loved one, alone, in a foreign country, traumatized, and in need of a friend, someone just to sit in a waiting room with him or her.

There is a father, in a state of panic, no doubt, having to fly from France on the spur of the moment, god protect him from the cost, in order to find his child in a hospital in Fresno. Can you imagine being him? The worry, the stress, the uncertainty, the cultural and linguistic difficulties, never mind the cost. Renting a car? Finding a hotel room? Paying for a hotel room? Talking to a doctor or nurse about a prognosis? Having no one to talk to about his disbelief and emotional distress? Arranging a return?

There are people in the hospital who will be there for weeks, healing and hoping to live a normal life. They are going to need their loved ones to visit them everyday and to talk them through the hard part. There is going to be PTSD.

So, given all that, I beseech you to read about the accident, talk to everyone you know about the accident, write about the accident, raise awareness that we have, suddenly, in our midst a small subset of people with very special needs who just got blindsided by an event that could happen to anyone of us every time we decide to get behind the wheel and go visit Grandma. If you know any French people or Americans with very sturdy French-language skills, call them and ask them to call the American Red Cross in any one of the cities I listed. Ask them to call the San Francisco French Consulate. Ask them to volunteer to help one or several victims of this terrible accident. Their skills and their compassion are sorely needed.

Also, please support your Red Cross. I did not even know that the Red Cross intervened in such events, but they do. Train wrecks, bus wrecks, automobile pile-ups, they are there problem-solving and helping to save lives and/or put shattered lives back together with nothing more than spit and baling wire and your caring, compassionate help.

By the way, the French Consulate has two representatives in Salinas as I type, sorting paperwork, reviewing travel insurance papers, looking for passports, identifying people, relaying information to SF, and fielding questions and trying to protect--along with the Red Cross--the tourists from inquiring eyes in a hotel where they can be with one another. Nevertheless, the French Consulate is not going to do the outreach that is needed to find friends and supporters for the people who are going to be in the hospital for coming weeks, if not months. Please ask yourself what you can do to help and then call up the Red Cross and the SF Consulate and give them your name and phone number and tell them what you are willing to do."

the mung.

I have it. you don't want it.

well, I know you are all very preoccupied with the swine flu. poor dears. But what about me and my mung? I have 2 occurrences and while JY insists they are spider bites or some other insect...I believe I have developed a slow-incubating, late breaking skin fever that will eventually be documented in the annals of disease history. I can't even BEGIN to entertain the notion of an eight-legged creature investigating my being in the night, sampling where necessary. I'd have to run screaming from the room.

On a side note, I looked for corresponding pictures to share with this post ... but they were just too hideous for words.

I have an approximately 4" in diameter rash just below my right collarbone that itches like mad. and of course I scratch. and rub. and irritate to a frothsome frenzy. right now, my skin patch could pass for that of a 82 year old woman. red. itching. transparent. bumpy. weepy. bothersome.

I fully expect, with the help of magni-enhancement, to spot slimy 8 legged creatures creeping about below my skin.

My current remedy is the consumption of one bottle of 12% wine, red white or gris, per day to distract from the incessant desire to scratch. to a bloody pulp.

I've yet to determine what my excuses are on the non-itching days.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

I love the Dordogne in the spring time ...

Yesterday was sunny and hot. So warm in fact that I spread a blanket and sunbathed in the afternoon ... yes, the kind that involves a bikini.

Today I have a log fire. It has rained all day, grey and chill.

This is not a bad thing. other than because it was so warm yesterday, I watered the garden a bit at night. today mother nature is watering! Also, I don't feel bad about staying in and working on non-house, non-garden things.

I went to Perigueux this morning and bought one of those all-in-one printer doodads. Yeah, it was 99euros (HP wireless) with a 10euro rebate. But, sending something FedEx to the states is about 50-60euros a pop. I have 2 transactions that I can now scan and email, which more than covers the investment in the printer.

So I got myself the thingamajiggy and came home and actually figured it out on my own! mostly in French! when I opened the box, I discovered directions in Espanol, Portugués, Polski, Greek, Deutsch, Francais, Italiano and Nederlands! ummmmm.

Of course, my installation disk was not recognized by my computer. grrr. But I persevered, and found a place to download the driver. and did so. and even got my laptop to recognize my device, wirelessly (listen to me talkin' all techy and shit)...

So, now I can print. and scan. in color or black and white. and photos even. the machine is smaller than the ones I've seen in the states. it has spots for memory cards too.

I've already scanned and sent one big batch. Still all thumbs though. I mean all thumbnails. cos I couldn't figure out how to compress or batch the stuff. So I had to send 5 emails, each with 4 or 5 individual thumbnails. sigh.

But ... I'm more automated and now I don't have to drive to Thiviers to print stuffs. I forgot about THAT savings. yay me!

Other indoor projects now awaiting my attention ... figuring out the tv-sur-ordinateur feature of my wireless package ... setting up a facebook store for Mignonne ... linking our new facebook store, our blog and our ebay and etsy stores all together (now THAT will be a coup-de-force, should I manage it) ... online searching for used resto equipment ...

I wonder what the weather will be like tomorrow?

Friday, April 24, 2009

looky me, looky me!

I'm turning into a regular femme du ferme here what with my radishes and carrots and mache poking their heads towards the sun. Not to mention the hollyhock seeds I've been gathering through my travels that I have now planted against a sunny wall and send good omens towards. Or the walk through the marché today where I ogled every stand offering fraises, judging quality and price. After which I basked in the sun on a café terrasse, sipped my espresso and weighed the options. I returned to one of my favorite stands where an old man brings a meager selection each week ... but there is always one standout! Last year all of my peppers came from him. I bought his last 8 baskets of berries and returned home and ... *gasp* ... prepared jam!!!

now before we get too excited, let me say that I used French pectin and an American recipe and I'm not sure it is setting up so well. But I prefer freezer conserves so even if it isn't perfect it is going to taste divinely fresh because it isn't cooked. If it is a little more syrupy ... so be it. I have 10 containers and I will definitely need to gift some because I don't eat that much jam in 3 years! but I think I can also use it for little tarts and such ...

I've been searching for dahlia tubers but looks like I missed the boat. It has been so long since I've really practiced the art of gardening that I've forgotten so much about the timing. I'm trying to do some better research and planning so that next year I'll be on top of it. For example, next year I'd like to have a strawberry patch of my own. But I think I've completely lost the mark on that one. And I want peonies too. sigh.

But my wisteria is Monet worthy and my lilacs (deep purple and white) have scented the garden delightfully. And I've got roses everywhere. The plants I mean, no flowers yet but the garden will have masses of roses I hope.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

happy birthday to you!

The only thing I truly don't like about France is that my kids aren't here... *le sigh*

Joyeux Anniversaire, Ian! yep folks today is my favorite son's birthday and I love him a lot! and it doesn't make me happy that I can't give him a big hug and kiss today ... I had to settle for a phone call. But I suppose when I lived in the U.S., it was the same the last few years since we lived in different states!

well, isn't he lovely?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

back to being beat again!

Lots of labor is progressing our projects. The week-end was a brocante whirlwind ... but no purchases to speak of!

I went to three open markets / vide-greniers ... nothing really rocked my world but then I did find a nice chest of drawers (commode) at a brocante. It is pine, but that old, faded pine ... not the yellowy American stuff. Monday JY arrived after his week away and I was so (actually WE were so) happy to see each other and fall back into our routine... some of it anyway. I guess absence can make the heart grow fonder ... there of course is more I'd like to say on this subject but it is complicated...I'll have to leave it at that for now.

But in the afternoon we worked on the café...I cleaned stone and JY began laying out the kitchen area. This means preparing the section where walls and a ceiling must be installed. It has all been very interesting to me to what the various processes associated with building and remodeling. Because of standards for kitchens, we have to install a ceiling over the kitchen area vs. the exposed wood and beams which will be in the rest of the restaurant. These beams are ancient and hand carved, so preparing them to accept a level surface has required some skill (which JY possesses, I do not - obviously!). He has affixed metal brackets and strips to the beams which the 'plaque' (drywall) will be affixed to. We have devoted a lot of thought and discussion to the kitchen layout. We are making the kitchen as small as we possibly can (galley style) to maximize the rest of our space. And we are trying to maximize the functionality of the kitchen space as well. Hopefully it will come together in a way that works ... we are not experts in this regard ... but learning together!

Today we spent the morning researching various pieces of kitchen equipment. After lunch, we decided to work in the garden vs. the café interior and capitalize upon the sunshine that showed itself. It was a good decision, all and all. It was revitalizing to be outside and see the end result. JY strimmed the ENTIRE large garden and treated for ortilles (nettles). Lastly, he tilled and prepared two flower beds where we have decided to put dahlias and other flowers that we love. My job was to rake the ENTIRE large garden, piling the remains into countless wheelbarrow loads and deposit them into the far corner of the garden where we have designated a compost area. I also shovelled and moved 3 barrow loads of charcoal which the former monsieur had stored out in the yard. At some point they were bags ... but had been there so long that soil had accumulated, bag material had decomposed and hordes of ants had set up shop. erghh! We both love gardening and particularly, this garden, so by the end of the day we were tired but relaxed and peaceful and re-charged! It was definitely a good day's effort. I'll upload some pics tomorrow to share.

After JY headed home, I also worked in the potager. when he inspected the garden on Monday, he told me the lettuces were planted too closely and so tonight I relocated every other lettuce, creating 2 rows where there had been one. I also began a sort of a fence. I took willow branches that I had stripped and retained last year, and made a little spike fence surrounding the garden. I then put some chicken wire intermittently since I don't have enough for a continuous fence. Basically, I'm just trying to give my dogs the message to keep out. If I need to ward off other critters, I'll have to do a more thorough job.

I also puttered about, making a little stone border for another flower bed, gathering all of our various tools and implements from the day and returning them to the gardening room ... in case it rains.

By 8:00 p.m. I was worn out. I heated some leftover vegetable curry and, too tired to bother with rice, just ate that. After a hot bath and a bit of this and that ... I've retired for rest and tomorrow's projects ... c'est ma vie!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

jane you ignorant slut ...

and now for my week-end update!

Today I arose and puttered about, eventually making a vanilla coffee to accompany a piece of apple crumble.

I put a load in the washer and proceeded to get dressed for a drive to Perigueux...my aim was to leave by 11 so I could stop at a trocante (thrift shop) before noon closing ... when I started my car it was 11:37! (I don't have a clock in my house except the one on my cell phone which I ignore).

So ... I shifted my itinerary and mosied into the centre of the old village and browsed the open air market. To my delight, because of the season there were loads of live plants and veg on sale. I bought 2 sacks of herbs and flowers and then went on for my 1:00 haircut. Then, after a distracting visit to a little shop where I bought 2 sundresses ... I went to the troc to return the used electric mower I had purchased (I negotiated a 4 day return before I did, thankfully) because it wouldn't hold a charge. Turned around and bought a little project table and a bamboo mat for my house. The table is a small, low square coffee table, the size I've been wanting for my salle a vivre but not the right color. It has fat bamboo legs and a wooden top. I'm going to paint it and be very happy with my 15euro investment. I still haven't found the aim of my visits, 1 or 2 old chests of drawers. There are 3 vide greniers tomorrow and I hope I'll have success there. wish me luck!

Tonight I'm meeting Amy and Eric for a bite and to hear some music (French group) in Chalus before they head out for their great Spanish adventure.

So ... that's what's on for my week-end!

(no. there is no Jane in this story and therefore I haven't called her a slut. But it got your attention, didn't it?! It always got mine when I heard Dan Aykroyd utter those lines ... and got my big laugh too ! ... guess you'd have had to be there.)

Friday, April 17, 2009

Thank You Utah for Neno's Award ...

I'd like to acknowledge an award given me by Utah Savage. Most folks know I kind of shudder at awards, but this one has a lovely intent ... simply share the reason you love blogging. It was given by a person who obviously loves her blog ... keeping it entertaining and as an outlet for her terrific writing.

I have a love/hate/cringe relationship with blogging. I love the diarist aspect of my blog and yet can't write about everything I want to due to propriety and trying to be a bit circumspect. I also enjoy my (far too) occasional forays into the *real* writing element of my blog. I get angry with myself for my inconsistency in that regard. And then there are the many times when I reread my work and cringe ...

But the blog has also provided me the opportunity to document this crazy experience and life that I'm living. Maybe someday when I'm gone my kids (or others who care) can have a chuckle over my escapades.

And of course, the totally unexpected factor of blogging. That would be you ~ my readers. When I started this process, I never imagined the discourse that would ensue. The opportunity to find others on my same journey. or dreaming about such. or just enjoying the sideline view. Who knew I'd also encounter so many really talented folks, who write with sincerity and warmth and heart? And actually take the time to come by and read my blather, and share a word or two ... of encouragement, humour, advice, mocking, counterpoints ... and all the rest.

Blogs are like thousands of little salons around the world, where people gather and mingle and chatter and debate ... the only thing missing are the cocktails!

thank you, Utah Savage.

I'm not going to single anyone out ... I'm not very good at tagging, it stresses me out, but I truly would love to hear from others how they started and/or why they love blogs and blogging. Please share a comment if you're inspired!

The aims of this award:

As a dedication for those who love blogging and love to encourage friendships through blogging.
To seek the reasons why we all love blogging.
Put the award in one post as soon as you receive it.
Don't forget to mention the person who gives you the award.
Answer the award's question by writing the reason why you love blogging.
Tag and distribute the award to as many people as you like.
Don't forget to notify the award receivers and put their links in your post.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

jardinage ...

I believe I mentioned we started the potager last Friday. Since then, I have added tomato plants, a zucchini and today a row of jalapenos. Friday we put in carrots, radishes, green beans and mache.

The radishes are already sprouting!

Today I also created a little herb garden just outside of my sun room. There was already a small, raised planting bed bordered with old stones. The space is only about a meter long, but we'll see what I can get out of it. I put in 3 lettuces, cilantro, chives, 2 types of basil, 2 types of parsley, savory and thyme. I'm sure, if they all start and thrive, they will be crowded in there! good!

let's see...what else ... JY had told me to swing by the trocante and check out a small electric mower he saw there. So a swingin' I did go. I got there at noon ... and dashed in. The fellow was nice ... no pouty looks because it was lunchtime. I came for a specific item, he could see I wasn't trying to sneak in and browse. He rummaged about and found it. It looked cute and they gave me a 4 day return option so I bought it. It has this chunky battery that you charge. I charged it overnight and part of a day and then took it out there and ...... drum roll ...... c'est NUL! that's right ... it's crap. So back it goes on Saturday. the blades whirred like the dickens but no GOOD cutting to speak of and it kept stopping.

but now I know that, yet again ... JY is right. I DO need a mower that isn't meant for a 180 pound man to wrangle with. So I'm on a quest.

Oh I know what else. I put up the cool rose trellis that the old owner fashioned in his forge. It is circular, bilevel and kind of rusted and cool. you position it over the rose bush and then the rose can grow up it and around. It is kind of bent to the side so it reminds me of a slanted sundial. I love it. and it was free. and a relic from my home. My house has given me so much, so many materials to work with.

my current wardrobe.

I wish you all could see the tags ... chuckle. For the sizes! good thing I have a new pair that wasn't in the wash or I'd have to stay home. or wear pants with suspenders...

Monday, April 13, 2009

i swear.

if I hear another non-French person begin a sentence with "the French ... " blah blah bla eyeroll knowing nod ...

or read another non-French blogger add another post regarding the deficits of the citizens of the country who is currently hosting their stay / new life / cheap holiday house/ career change / time out from the economic crisis or whatever other purpose brought them here.

I mean REALLY folks. de temps en temps? okay. understood. we all get frustrated with an occurrence here or there. or have thoughts to share on a certain anomaly observed. in balance.

but if it is part of your daily vernacular. or how you keep your blog traffic up. by picking away at every aspect of the people you are co-existing with. by mocking nearly every instance... be it the food, the workers, the people, the weather, the difference in style, the laws, the dress, the products, the traditions, the culture, the service, the stores .... comparing it and them to YOUR beloved place of origin ... by sounding like a complete, over-generalizing moron. with condescending snark that your friends and followers titter over.

well. maybe you should just take your miserable butts back to whence you came.


Sunday, April 12, 2009


I'm dissatisfied with the recently whiny direction of my blog. I've thumbed (figuratively) through my archives and I used to be a lot more interesting. AND entertaining. what's to come of me? harumph!

Well, instead of whining about my whininess, I'm just going to forge ahead with another activity update. Last week was spent in continuation of the café. Not as much progress was witnessed but if you check out the flickr account, you'll see we did finish retexturing one wall with a golden plaster, including the fireplace. The stones on this west wall were smaller and not very pretty, although two larger pieces were left uncovered. JY also fashioned a new window sill.

I helped with the mortaring, which led to some problems. In fact, I don't think there was a day last week that didn't behold a Kim misstep (le sigh, oops! more whining) but I AM a novice and couple that with I am a novice who isn't fully fluent in the language.

Case in point, JY gave instructions on mixing the plaster in a big cement mixer. Now I could fit inside this thing and tumble, and it has this big mixer thing spinning inside (technical term) which makes it kind of scary.

Standing side by side, he demonstrated the formula. "First three sand" (he shovels 3 spadefuls of damp, coarse sand into a bucket, skims the top like he is measuring flour, and heaves it in the whirring mixer. "Then two cement", he dumps white cement powder into a separate bucket, "wait and add some water, let it mix and then five more sand". He hands me the shovel and grabs the powdered tint, a bright ochre ... and measures some in as I shovel the cement. I toss that in and start shovelling sand as he comes back. The bucket of sand is HEAVY and hard for me to lift, let alone empty into the mixer. But I'm determined to do it. He continues shovelling and I watch, noticing that this time he is not putting just 3 spadefuls. I realize that he meant 3 buckets-ful not spades-ful and I have to tell him I've gotten it wrong. A storm gathers on his brow but quickly passes as he corrects the amount in the mixer, shrugs and says he isn't sure if it will be okay. I of course am devastated at my failure. But now I have it right and the first mixerful is depleted and we are on to the second. This time I'm shovelling and he adds the color. By the third round, I'm on my own. I've got the three buckets sand in, the two buckets cement, the water ... feeling pretty frisky and then I realize JY wasn't there to add color. I get it in and add more sand...but it doesn't mix thoroughly and the next day will show what Kim's handiwork produced ... two lighter streaks as the wall dried.

Sigh. but its done and now as I look since they are kind of symmetrically showing on either side of the fireplace...maybe it won't be awful.

The plaster continues its way out the door to the garden and eventually the sun room will have all new walls. For now, just the wall the clients will pass is rebuilt and looking swell.

Also completed this week was a BricoDepot run for electrical and plumbing supplies. Because JY was sidelined with a sick child, the shopping was done by me, which meant sorting out the list with JY and then braving the world of bricolage (DIY) in French. I survived. Feeling accomplished, I decided to tackle the Chambre de Commerce on my own and see about getting a vendor's license for the markets/brocante. I am now enrolled (hopefully) as an auto-entrepreneur and will be able to pay tax into the system which should result in qualifying for a carte vitale (health card)! We will go through a similar process together when we complete the paperwork for the café later in the month ... but I'm now going to be official...this week or next.

Friday JY tilled a huge space on the property and we began our potager. The soil is good but it hadn't been turned in some time and the tilling was difficult at first. I followed behind, hauling big armfuls of weeds and matted overgrowth into the wheelbarrow, creating a big pile in the back corner which will house the compost pile. The second and third passes were easier. We (well mostly he ... I was rather scoffed at, I mean instructed from afar :/ ) planted rows of carrots, radishes, mache, and haricots. I rather deserved scoffing at, I inquired about watering the seeds and ran off to get my homemade watering can, an old plastic milk bottle with holes gouged in the top. JY looked askance at this American city girl and rolled his eyes. When he later stood for 15 minutes or so and soaked with the hose, I was rather embarrassed. Secretly satisfied later though, when it rained into the night (and all day today). Harumph, guess he doesn't know EVERYTHING! ha!

I'm on the look-out for tomato plants to embellish the starts underway in my kitchen. I've got all the seeds ready and the small bed prepared for the herb garden which will be right outside the sun room. And two window boxes of flowers are now sprouting, indoors still. Oh and my new climbing rose to plant. Tomorrow I may hit the trocante (thrift store) in search of a used mower. And there's a brocante/vide-grenier (flea market) I'm considering. And coffee with a new friend.

Next week, no partner here as it is spring school holidays and JY is taking his son to the beach. for some kind of 3 wheeled beach sailing? he sketched it for me and I'm sure it happens in the states too, seems like I've seen such out in the desert. but anyway. I'm going to be continuing on preparing things for the jewelry stand. and working in the garden. and trying not to be too lonely but instead busy; not too whiny but instead more reflective.

Look at this picture of a potager until I take some of my own tomorrow. There were lots of photos of pretty potagers, but this one is more like mine at the moment. I even have the makings of that little fence you see, if I decide to do so. We were in a hurry to get things in, no plan was developed. I've still a lot of open space so maybe I'll look into that (a plan) too next week.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

saturday morning...

tried shaking off my blues with a walk into the village this morning. It was a cool, not cold, and moist morning with a light, dewy drizzle off and on.

my first stop was my favorite little boutique where I was dropping off some jeans to be shortened. every jean or pant I purchased here has required the same routine, even though all the french women I've seen are petite like me! but I love this little nook with lots of cute clothes and a friendly mademoiselle to assist. In fact, it is called Mamzelle so I probably shouldn't be there! ha. next I strolled up to my favorite boulangerie where I bought a tourte (round country loaf which lasts longer than a baguette) and a brioche with sugar crystals instead of my usual croissant. On to the little bar facing the plaza, where I had a petite café and enjoyed my brioche. so much in fact that I walked back and bought another for tomorrow morning. As I sat and sipped my coffee, I spied on the couple in front of me. Not young, but still loving ... they cooed and nuzzled like love birds as they enjoyed their pains aux chocolats and I recognized the meaning of the phrase 'love birds' ... their little kisses made soft smoochy sounds as they smiled and pecked.

le sigh.

after the 2nd trip to the boulangerie, I walked up to the patisserie and bought one small tarte aux fraises and a small paquet of sarments ... chocolate dipped orange zest. as I walked up the street, I noticed another little shop had finally opened, I have been observing the renovation of the space for months. It is another chocolate shop, Belgian, called Les Deux Venises. The region of Belgium they are from is called the Venice of the North, Brantome is the Venice of the Perigord, thus ... the name. The gentleman was quite kind and a little shy, so I bought a few chocolates and gave some encouraging feedback. A sweet little shop, and for my efforts I left with a couple of extra chocolates, gratuit!

on to the horlogerie where I finally made the drop off of a wristwatch that I haven't been wearing. It is a vintage Hermes, turquoise, more jewelry than watch as it has this really cool cover that is a pyramid like stud, you don't even see the watchworks unless you wish to (by lifting the cover). I've never grown an affinity for a timepiece, but I love the look of this one. so there it is, for examination and pick-up on Tuesday.

I strolled back and tried to concentrate on the beauty that surrounds me. the life I'm slowly creating. my haves vs. my have nots. I dropped off my items at home and continued my walk the opposite direction to the little fleuriste up the road from me. I picked up a new climbing rose, Queen Elizabeth, for my trellis pot in the garden. and a small bunch of ranunculus, red with interesting leafy green centers, for my own morale.

a friend just recently commented to me that she had been bemoaning her desire to return to Europe for her European life. And husband reminded her that where we go, we take us along.

it is true, i've brought *me* here ... and while there has been growth, there are parts of me that I imagine will remain sad and unfulfilled wherever I wander. for now, I'm going to just let them be, offer comfort and succor to those wounds as best I can ... and try to accept that parts of my path this go around may not be meant to change...ever.

I do wish you all could walk along with me next time. for it is a truly lovely place I've landed.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

had a brief discussion this morning concerning the quote I have up from Madame de Staël...

like I'm some expert (not) but it does ring true.  how men think just being there conveys desire and women bemoan their man never expresses love, desire etc. anymore ...So much one reads or hears about differences between men and women and blah blah blah ... wait a minute ... I don't want to write about Mars vs. Venus ... or even think about it any more.

but I can say that it seems to be my fate to desire those who don't seem to possess the same level of desire as me... and to be desired by those whom I feel little for ... ah cruel fate and unkind destiny ... each time I vow I am done with desire and men in general and yet ... find myself returned to the palace of longing.

j'envie l'envie ... zut.

it does seem women are more fully content with the knowledge that someone loves and desires them ... once this knowledge dissipates, angst sets in.  whereas men are about the chase.  the prize.  

back to your regular programming.

Monday, April 6, 2009

plagiarism at its finest ...

the lovely Madame LaFramericaine is over there celebrating her blog birthday ... and that got me to thinking ...

hey, wait a minute !!! hasn't it been ... well I'll be damned, it has been MORE than a year since ... sheesh ... 

yep that's right folks.  March 21, 2008 I dipped my toe in the blogging wading pool and decided to take the plunge ...  documenting my experiences with the biggest adventure in my life ... attempting to live my dreams...

click HERE to read my very first post...

and here is one MORE I'd like to share from early on as I reflect upon change ...

how do you think I've done so far?

thanks to all of you for your support, patience, forbearance with my quirks, encouragement and general camraderie ... 

je t' apprecie!  chaque personne ... vraiement!

beautiful ...

You're beautiful, that's for sure
You'll never ever fade
You're lovely but it's not for sure
That I won't ever change
And though my love is rare
Though my love is true

I'm like a bird, I'll only fly away
I don't know where my soul is, I don't know where my home is 
(and baby all I need for you to know is)
I'm like a bird, I'll only fly away
I don't know where my soul is , I don't know where my home is
All I need for you to know is

Your faith in me brings me to tears
Even after all these years
And it pains me so much to tell
That you don't know me that well
And though my love is rare
Though my love is true

I'm like a bird, I'll only fly away
I don't know where my soul is, I don't know where my home is 
(and baby all I need for you to know is)
I'm like a bird, I'll only fly away
I don't know where my soul is , I don't know where my home is
All I need for you to know is

It's not that I wanna say goodbye
It's just that every time you try to tell me that you love me
Each and every single day I know 
I'm going to have to eventually give you away
And though my love is rare
And though my love is true
Hey I'm just scared
That we may fall through

*Song "I'm Like A Bird", written and sung by Nelly Furtado.