(the misadventures of an expatriate corporate dropout)

Friday, April 23, 2010

april 23!

is my handsome son's birthday! bon anniversaire fils!!! how excited am I to be coming the states around the time of your birthday AND your sister's...we'll belatedly celebrate for sure ...

yes folks, Jean-Yves and I are coming to the U.S. !! I'm so stoked to see my family and friends and eat mexican and hang out and see the sights through a tourist's eyes!

how fun will it be to have the tables turned with my dear monsieur! I will be translating and listening to him butcher english ... he'll be relying on me for a change ... it'll be awesome, heh heh...

last week-end we went to the Bassin d'Arcachon for the week-end and had a very cool, kick-back week-end ...what a huge change climate and landscape-wise! it was warm and soft and smiling ...

we're going to fly up to Portland to visit friends Kathleen & David, hit the coast, hopefully see some of my Oregon peeps ... well, just lots on the agenda as we have planned nearly a month there.

Hopefully, I'll have access to the internet to send you notes from our trip ...

Saturday, April 17, 2010


we re having fun in Arcachon....................talk soon!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, April 12, 2010

knock knock. who's there? been. been who?

been halfway to france but now we're here!

so there I was ... at home ... still moving slowly because I feel weakened a bit these days, pahhh! just thinking about lunch when what do I hear but a knock at the door.

I open my door to discover Les Framericaines at my doorstep! I had one of those weird suspended in time moments. you know, where you're looking straight at something but it just don't register! Mr. & Mrs. Halfway to France were here, in person, just taking a chance that I'd be in and my want to pop out for lunch!?!

well, spirits have been quiet on the home front and, once I picked up my jaw and recovered my boundaries a bit, I happily accepted...and we spent the next few hours just yakking and toasting and mange'ing some deliciousness ... at one of my favorite little eateries ... the locals didn't know what to make of us ... 2 boisterous American women (one who glided from rough & tumble american english to perfectly accented french with ease) and 1 genteel Frenchman, lolling over each course with delight.

our rapport was instantaneous and we couldn't catch up fast enough! LesF's and I also did the requisite tour of my project/dump/work in progress maison and my boutique and the newly appointed ateliér! My house was caught (not surprisingly) in its usual state of deshabillé ... an embarrassing assemblage of unwashed dishes in the sink and stuff everywhere. Not exactly what one wants to present to visitors ... mais, tant pis. The first thing I did when they departed was clean the kitchen. (hangs head in shame).

but they were lovely sports about it ... not surprising at all.

We are planning a rendez-vous-redux when I get back from the states...I'm going to wander up their way and check out their scene a bit! fun, huh?

(oh and BTW, I'm still sick. apparently the germs will not be satisfied until they have invaded all of my nether regions. now I'm stuck with some intestinal ridiculousness. and I'm sick of saying I'm sick but I'm feeling a bit broken down by all of this. why me, I entreat ... Pourquoi mois???) le sigh.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

hello. it feels like me.

man oh man, being sick is the pits. and I feel as if I've been ill for months. in reality it has been weeks with a few days interspersed where I felt a bit normal, got all cheeky and went gangbusters only to find myself relapsing into an even worse state than before.

this past week I've felt a bit more myself each day. I still have a nagging cough but it is diminishing (just coughed as I wrote that..heh). week before, I'd get up and make it halfway through the day...only to feel tired or dizzy and take to my bed again for the afternoon.

Jean-Yves and I have worked on the atelier this past week. now that the tenants have gotten their arsehole-selves out, and it has warmed up a bit ... I began the process earlier by moving all of the items in my house's old kitchen and sunroom areas to their new home in my other building. this accomplishes 2 things ... the old kitchen is now empty and swept and I can begin working on renovating that room. next will be the sunroom. Secondly, it organizes all of the boutique and furniture refinishing items into the 'atelier'. I have a second building attached to my house and accessible from the boutique. This is now a workshop / atelier and storeroom. It is a very large space with lots of potential.

So, once I got everything moved over there ... (this is that gangbuster thing I was mentioning) ... this week JY and I plotted out the arrangement. There was an ancient worktable/bench, same as the one I restored for the boutique. We moved that to create a workspace for him. He also has space to store his tools and various work items ... as well as the "coccinelle" (his beloved VW beetle).

He moved all of the furniture pieces into one area, stacked them neatly as they await their restoration treatment. He set up a table where we put all of the jewelry items for the shop. He also set up a shelf and storage area for my paints. Lastly, a spot next to the boutique door housing sacks, wrapping paper and display items.

Wednesday, on my weekly furniture scavenger hunt, I found a big old wood table (in addition to loads of project pieces) which will be delivered next Weds and will be set-up in the middle of the room for my painting projects. Oh, and we have temporary electricity for lighting ... permanent to come.

This will also house our new water closet in anticipation of our Salon du Thé activities. JY will be starting on that soon.

I'll have to snap some photos for flickr.com ... when I do, I'll give you a heads-up.

It is SO cool to have this space now set up adjacent to the boutique. It means I can be working and keep my eye on the shop and serve clients when they arrive. Last year, I had to be in the garden and it was really impossible to know if someone had entered or not.

In addition to all of this, mon monsieur installed new shower fixtures for me in the bath and repaired the water leak. This week he'll be retiling a bit and (fingers crossed) may even get the electricity sorted for me there before I electrocute myself in the bath. How lucky am I?

I have a little surprise, but for now it is a secret. I'm busting at the seams to tell all but for now it must wait ....