Tuesday, November 30, 2010

more language barrier fun

I spent a deliciously lazy Saturday afternoon on the couch, sipping tea and reading The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest while The Husband watched Reportages on TF1 (it's kind of like a docu-feature kind of show).

I was doing an excellent job of blocking out all surround sounds when The Husband spoke and the language barrier fun began...

"This girl, she's a catcher."

Barely looking up from my book, "a what?"

"A catcher"

"Huh?" See, I wasn't really paying attention as I was pretty wrapped up in my book and my tea.

"A catcher" The Husband was getting more annoyed now.

"A catcher?"

"Oui!" With a little huff and puff popping out.

"You mean like in baseball?"

"No, like Hulk Hogan."

"You mean a wrestler."

"Yes, she's a wrestler."

It's all very exhausting around here.

(but funny)


P.S.  According to the ever reliable Wikipedia,  "Catch wrestling is a style of Folk wrestling that was developed and popularised in the late 19th century by the wrestlers of traveling carnivals." Huh. Interesting. I guess this is what The Husband was talking about.     

Monday, November 29, 2010

ode to skype

{disco Gayle}

10:00p.m. Texas

5:00a.m. Le Petit Village



Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Thanksgiving Miracle

{first snowfall}

A funny thing happened on Thanksgiving... it snowed!

There I was, in the middle of my French lesson (with my lovely, patient tutor Sophie), when I looked out the window and saw snow.

Holy Thanksgiving miracle!

And I felt happy. It was like the Thanksgiving Gods, Chief Massasoit and Pilgrim Winslow, perched at their big Thanksgiving table in the sky, looked down upon me and were sad that I was missing out on all the holiday fun. And since they weren't going to rain down turkeys and sweet potatoes (but how cool and yummy would that have been?), they blessed me with snow.
It was really nice of them wasn't it?

But then I felt bad. My friend Donkey has been minding the sheep and he probably wouldn't like the snow very much...


And of course the sheep might not like it either...

{knit me}

but at least they're wearing wool sweaters. 



Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Talking Turkey

Today will be my seventh Thanksgiving outside of the U.S.
I love Thanksgiving. Of all the holidays, I love it the most. It's the warmest, happiest, fuzziest, fun time. And it's not wrapped in a big, red, commercial bow like Christmas. It's all about family, friends, and food.

Plus, since my grandmother was a Wampanoag Indian (the original Thanksgiving Native American), I feel that it's my holiday. Thanksgiving is my 1/4 birthright, the way St.Patrick's Day is my 1/2 birthright (I've got GOOD holidays flowing through my veins). And it's my duty to celebrate in anyway I can, even thousands of miles away and with people who don't know Thanksgiving from Columbus Day, I must.

But no matter what I cook today, and who comes over to eat with me, and how much I turn us saying what we're thankful for into a drinking game, it's not the same.

And since I am feeling a bit blah because I miss home today more than any other day, and I miss my friends, my Dad, and college football, and the whole Thanksgiving kit and kaboodle, I'm making a list of what I'm thankful for today:

The Husband (kind of an obvious). Last night he brought me home doughnuts stuffed with Nutella. Now I'm not normally a chocolate person, but fried dough oozing Nutella! Sweet Georgia Brown that's good stuff!

Fifty (when he's being good, and, calm and not licking). I'm listening to him snore right now and it cracks me up.

My new French tutor Sophie. Bless her.

Skype and my friends who Skype me.

Lapins Cretin. I'm loving these little guys.

(I really want a stuffed animal one but I'm scared you know who would eat it)

And many more things, family, and friends, that I'm lucky to have in my life.

But something I'm not thankful for:

North Korea being buttheads and bombing South Korea. Not cool.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends!

Turkey bisous

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

super stylish

My friend Valerie who blogs all about her life in Italy learning Italian (and soon her life in France learning French) at Living Out of the Box has been so kind as to pass on the Stylish Blogger Award to me.
Thank you, grazie, merci.

And for the seven saucy secrets....
(a warning... none of these secrets are even remotely stylish)

1. My father always told me that I would regret quitting piano lessons and he's right, I do.

2. Showering in the morning gets on my nerves. I'm sure it would be different if I had a steam shower with a rain forest shower head (ah, the good old days) but I don't.  I have a shower the size of a phone booth. And not one of those fancy London phone booths either, a NYC phone booth. Nothing luxurious about showering in a phone booth.

3. I used to have dog named Bono (after U2 Bono, not Sunny & Cher Bono). Lets go ahead and run down all the pet names... the german shepherd, Penny, Scratch the beagle, Happy the mutt, Rainy Day the pony, Mister the black lab, Leroy the chihuahua, and currently besides Fifty, there is a lizard in my dining room (or there was yesterday, I'm hoping that we are in a was situation and not an is situation). What should I name him?

4. I secretly think that Michaele Salahi is really Heidi Montag 20 years in the future and she has travelled back in time with a new name. It's true.

5. When I was twelve, I moved from New York to Texas. On one of my first nights living there, I woke up to find two scorpions under my nightgown, sitting on my chest. Nothing says you're not in NY anymore like scorpions.

6. Currently I have possessions in three countries; at my mother's in Dublin, a storage facility in Texas ($50 a month for seven years. I've recently done the math. I'm not happy), and of course, in France. I am very happy to report that on 29th of December the last of my Ireland stuff will be shipped to France. And I have vowed that in 2011, me and my Christmas decorations and scrap books that have been living in Texas all these years will finally be reunited (and it will feel so good).

7. I'm at a point in my life where a large majority of female friends and relatives whether in Ireland, America, or France are pregnant, or were just pregnant, or will probably be pregnant (again) very soon. Any good vibes you could throw my way would be greatly appreciated, because regardless of what I say, I am not actually aging backwards.

Now technically I'm supposed to pass this on the 15 bloggers, but 15,  that's poppycock! I'm going to go with seven.
(and I'm including their taglines in their own words)

...dailee tidbits... Thoughts, creations, and frequent adventures

A Beautiful Life A blog about my life, the good, the bad, and the beautiful

Bourbon & Pearls And a life in between

du jour So why can't a 50 year old woman pack up and move to France?

Em Dickson (Emily doesn't have a tagline but her blog is stylish, trust me)

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Elegance  (no tagline here either but Justin can seriously rock a bowtie)

Our Transatlantic Love We'll always have Paris...


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Perfect Strangers

Here's the thing about my French... it's coming along.
It is. I swear it is.

It may not sound pretty and be 100% correct (more like 72%) but I'm speaking it. And I probably sound like Balki from Perfect Strangers, but in French, but who cares, it's happening.

Some conversations are easier than others... like when Papa's Wife and I hang out, I'm conversing and laughing and I feel awesome. And with M, we can talk, and more importantly shop. Brother-in-Law, Child Bride and I do OK. Just last week The Husband and I had a great evening with them, and I understood all off the jokes.

But I still have one leap left, one major hurdle in Le Petit Village...
Mr Honey.

Mr Honey's accent is difficult, it's a hardcore south of France accent. And according to The Husband, if anyone in France listened to Mr. Honey they would know exactly where he is from (think southern U.S., Boston, Glasgow and Cork accents... distinct and completely unmistakable). He doesn't sound anything like my French podcasts. Mr Honey and my podcasts sound almost like different languages altogether.

So last night, after a long day shopping in Aix (bonjour Zara!) The Husband and I stopped by The Honey House for a quick hello and apéro.

Mr & Mrs Honey had been out foraging for mushrooms and since they had collected more than enough they asked us if we would like some.  With memories of The Mushroom Incident flashing through my head, I turned my French ears on and decided to pay extra close attention as Mr Honey took the mushrooms out of the sack and told us how to prepare them.

Maybe it was all the Merlot Mr Honey had drank, maybe it was all the Merlot I had drank, but as he spoke and picked up the mushrooms showing them to me, this is what I heard;

"These mushrooms, the sheep kick them and brush their teeth."

Now that's not right.

"uh, répétez s'il te plaît"


The mushrooms are called sheep feet.

And I'm pretty sure that sheep do not use them to brush their teeth. 

I hope.



Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Bee Team

The Honeys driving off to tend to their bees...

{The Honey Truck}


Loving the bee.


Monday, November 15, 2010

A Few Words From Fifty

{I give free hugs}

Bonjour tout le monde!

Fifty here. I just wanted to say a big thank you to all of my friends out there that thinks that man wasn't very nice in calling me a mean name and saying such a horrible thing about me. 

It's true, I am part Staffordshire, (or so the lovely woman at the rescue center thinks and that not so nice lady who gives me my shots), but I'm not too sure. I never knew my father or my mother. My two sisters and I were found next to a dumpster when I was really little. But don't feel bad for me, everything turned out OK, and now I have a real mommy and daddy who are both human, so I guess that makes me human too. 

But just because I'm part Staffordshire doesn't mean that I'm bad. That's plain dogism. Staffs were  booted out of France long before Sarkozy booted out the gypsies (I think that man needs a cuddle). Maybe because the government has been mean to some of my ancestors, that man thought it was OK to be mean to me too. 
(And if they want to kick any dogs out of France, I wish they would start with my cousin Python. He may only be a Jack Russell, but he's meaner than any dog I've ever seen!)

The thing is, regardless of what my father and mother were, I'm a nice dog. I've never bitten, growled, or snapped at anyone (but I have licked... a lot!). My mommy and daddy raised me to know better. And I love people. People give me cuddles, and snacks. I'm a happy dog. 
And if that mean man had been nice to me, instead of being a dogist, and understood that it was those awful church bells that were making me bark, I would have given him a cuddle too. 

OK, I gotta go, I can here my mommy coming. And please don't tell her that I sent this message. If she finds out that I was using her laptop again, I'll be grounded.

À Bientôt!

Free Clipart Picture of an Animal Paw Print. Click Here to Get Free Images at Clipart Guide.com

Sunday, November 14, 2010

them's fighting words

Saturday afternoons are Fifty's favorite time of the week. He gets to run around outside and play with his BFF, Honey Jr, and The Husband.
(I also love this time, I get some quiet, and The Husband gets a little cardio).

Fifty was happily chasing the football when Le Petite Notre Dame's bells rang out. Church bells scare the bejeezus out of Fifty. He looks panic stricken and barks, running wildly around like he's mentally unbalanced.
(I think they hurt his ears... they hurt mine, so they must hurt his).

Right around the time Fifty began to go nutty, a tourist comes walking along and actually said,

"He's aggressive, no? I think he's a bit of an a**hole."

(Fifty may look aggressive but he is the sweetest of the sweet. He approaches people, tail wagging, and if he could speak human, I just know that he would say, "Hi. My name is Fifty, want to be my friend?" 
And then in case you can't tell by the frantic tail wagging that he loves you, he gives you a big ol' lick. He is the opposite of aggressive. And what kind of a person walks up to complete strangers and calls their dog an a**hole?)

Back to, "He's aggressive, no? I think he's a bit of an a**hole."...

The Husband calmly said,"No, I think you're the a**hole" as he and Honey Jr walked closer. 

The tourist's facial expression quickly changed to, OOPS, and he turned and scampered off.

And all the while, Fifty stood there, tail wagging, happy that the bells had stopped and he could get back to his football game.

(And probably wondering why that nice man didn't stay to play).


Thursday, November 11, 2010


Versatile: embracing a variety of subjects,  fields, or skills; also: turning with ease from one thing to another.

I'll happily take that as a compliment. Thanks Lauren at the Au Pair Project.
Lauren is a Californian (with a dash of Cajun... love that) Au Pair in Lyon who takes care of two petits enfants that live with their single dad. It's kind of like The Nanny minus the Park Ave address, butler, and flirting (except the Dad has been flirting with other ladies... and Lauren would know... her bedroom is right next door to his. I recommend ear plugs Lauren.)

And now for my requisite seven secrets....

1. I'm a little confused about this Justin Beiber thing. I have no problem with him staying in his tween domain, but I don't really want to see him in a fashion spread in my Glamour.

2. Kristen Stewart bothers me. If I was an actress (with so many other struggling ones out there) and was lucky enough to be cast in one of the biggest franchises of all time, and work with Jodie Foster, Sean Penn, and Robert De Niro, I wouldn't walk around with such a sour puss all the time. Smile. (But what about the paparazzi... blah blah blah... get over it).
(I'm feeling a little feisty this morning).

3. I love Anne of Green Gables and have been lucky enough to visit Green Gables on Prince Edward Island. A little something crossed off the bucket list.
(But the really cool part about this; I convinced a family to go there on their summer vacation. And then I convinced them to take me with them. I was 11 and very persuasive).

4. On the subject of books... I adore Shel Silverstein and like to give A Light in the Attic and Where the Sidewalk Ends as presents to friends with children. I have no idea why I felt like sharing this, but there you go.

5. More books... when I was young (maybe eight?) my mother gave me a book of Shakespeare for children. It was basically all of his most popular works told as stories (without the crazy language). I am convinced that this helped me a great deal through school. A bit of advice to any parents of young children out there; find this book. (They're still teaching Shakespeare in school, right?). And again, I have no idea why I felt like sharing this.

6. And continuing on with my inner nerd guiding me... when I was a kid I read encyclopedias for fun and I used to do research reports for no other reason other than to entertain myself. Obviously, I was très popular. I also read most of the Trivial Pursuit Genus edition cards. Jeopardy, one day you will be mine.

7. I can't conjugate. There I said it. Leave me alone.

And now for the passing of blogger love...
(Technically I am supposed to pass this on to 15 other bloggers, but you know I never follow these rules, and 15 seems a little excessive, so I'm going with seven. Seven tidbits about me... seven bloggers. Makes more sense).
(and again... feisty)

Conjugating Irregular Verbs... Aidan is a Texan who lived in Dublin and now finds herself in the south of France... sounds oddly familiar doesn't it? Basically this makes Aidan my homegirl and quite possibly, my soul mate.

Fairy Tales Are True... Sarah's blog is beautiful, whimsical, happiness. She makes my inner grouch smile (not an easy feat). Well done Sarah.

Fojoy... Robyn is my girl from way back. She's Canadian, very real, and very funny (but aren't all Canadians funny, eh?)

In My World... Simple math to explain my affection for Beth...
Not Liking Dina Lohan + Liking Maureen Dowd = I like you.

Living Out of the Box... Valerie has left Colorado (again) to spend time living in Italy learning Italian and drinking wine. Next stop France where she will learn French and drink wine. Jealous aren't you?

Living With Mr Johnson... I heart Ahn's blog; the photos, the lobsters, the cocktails, the husband and wife matching sunglasses, I heart it all. And, Ahn got engaged on Walden Pond, as in Thoreau's Walden Pond. That makes my inner nerd all sorts of happy.

Throw Your Arms Around Me... Like most Aussies, B, is mad as a box of frogs (in the best of ways). And she is teaching French children in the south of France. Hilarity ensues.

I'm off to conjugate.

How very fun for me.



une journée de commémoration

{thank you}


Monday, November 8, 2010


The Husband went for his annual check up and he phoned me afterwords...
(We had a a bet to see if he has gained weight since I moved in; he did, 1kg)

He was happy to report that the doctor told him he was perfect (but as he said, she didn't check his brain), and then he told me that when he took his shirt off, the doctor said he had a nice body.


"She said what?" (in a much gentler tone)

"It's OK, she's like 55."

(Apparently The Husband is not familiar with the species known as, la cougar.)

"I don't care how old she is, that's not appropriate."

"It's OK. she was being nice, she asked if I played any sports."

(Try to picture the "it's OK" part being said with that southern French accent. For some of you this may be difficult, but for others, you know what I'm talking about, it's slightly sing-song, irritated, and occasionally followed by a huff and puff).

Since he clearly wasn't understanding, I had to I turn the tables on him and break it down like this...

"If I went for my physical and the 55 year old male doctor said I had a nice body, would that be OK?"

"It's inappropriate"



Sunday, November 7, 2010

turn that frown upside down

{outside my bedroom window}

good morning sunshine


P.S. This photo was taken a few days ago, it's damp and grey outside. Killer clouds hiding Nazi Ghost Zombies have rolled into my windows. I'm going back to bed. TTFN.

P.S.S. For those not in the know, TTFN means Ta Ta For Now (sorry, my inner tween made me do it)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

the art of relaxation

After the usual horrible drive (but bonus... Fifty only threw up once) we got to French Mommy's a little after 10pm. A double cheek kiss, a bite to eat, and straight to bed we went (driving with Fifty is a very tiresome experience).

Around midnight I woke up to someone shouting, in French. French Nana had woken up and began shouting from her room downstairs to French Mommy's upstairs asking if "the kids had arrived" (love that). But they then proceeded to have a conversation, shouting, for a few minutes.

Yes the kids are here, and they were sleeping.

With the exception of being woken up in the middle of the night by a shouting Nana, It was a cozy, relaxing weekend and everything I could have hoped for...

Saturday was spent hanging out at the bar, The Husband was fed his beef tongue, I stuffed myself with Auvergne blue cheese (it's the blue cheese of champions, plus, it gives you crazy wicked dreams). We watched Clermont clobber Paris in rugby and I got to indulge in my crush on Morgan Parra.

And once again I was given loads and loads of presents. I think I get spoiled because deep down French Mommy had wished that The Husband had been a girl (he'd make a pretty one too... all blonde hair and legs).

I sat by the fire all day on Sunday reading. Isn't that the best? Like six hours of none stop reading. I never ever get to do that.
(I'm reading The Girl Who Played with Fire... if you haven't read the Millennium trilogy you should do so now)

Fifty was distracted by all the foie gras and roast beef he was being fed. (I think he might be the first dog to get gout) so I was free to relax without his constant neediness. And The Husband was distracted by his friends...

 {Ellie & Tigger love cuddles}
and his toys...

{vroom vroom}

I love how French Mommy has left his room intact. The Husband went away to school when he was eleven and his room always looks like it's waiting for him to come home... and he's eleven.
(And I'm totally going to be in trouble for posting these photos)

And  I ate twenty escargot! Twenty! I counted and took a photo for posterity...

{that's a lot of Melvin}

I wonder if garlic has the same effect on Nazi Ghost Zombies as it does on vampires? Because if it does, I think I'm good for awhile. 

Ooh ooh ooh... you ready for the best part?  I got to pick out the wines for dinner from the wine cellar (now you know the real reason I like it there). I love it down there so much that if it wasn't so cold, I think I'd sleep there, snuggled up surrounded by all of my friends.


Monday, November 1, 2010

my moment of zen

"Your dog 
     is crazy 
       like Sarkozy"
                                                                                               --French Nana


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