Wednesday, October 26, 2011

If I ask nicely...

... do you think you could do something for me?

I know it's cheeky to ask, but I also know how sweet, kind, and giving all of you are.

(was that laying it on too thick?)

You see, there are some friends of Fifty's that need your help. And I'd really like it if you could help me, help them.

The Citizens For Animal Protection in Houston is in the running for some funding, $100,000 of funding, and I'd really like to fund them.

If you click on this link right here, then click on the voting button on the top of the page (which looks just like the banner at the top of this post) and then select TX – Citizen’s for Animal Protection, then that's that. You've helped me to help them and that makes this guy...

{I'm a lap dog}

... really really happy, and all of his friends too.


P.S.  I know this was a cheeky post, and has absolutely nothing to do with Le Petit Village, so I'll make a deal with you... if you take a minute out of your day to vote for  TX – Citizen’s for Animal Protection, you can ask me any question you want, and I'll answer it in a post (and I promise to be at least 99% truthful).

Sunday, October 23, 2011

it's all gone pete tong

What a weekend. 

I'd call it one big fail but I enjoyed it too much. 

Honey Jr and Honey's Honey came over for dinner Friday night and I totally flubbed it. I was cooking this delicious (downright scrumptious really) recipe; Pan Roasted Chicken with Lemon Garlic & Herbs, and it called for shallots, but I didn't have shallots. No biggie, I'd just use a little onion and garlic instead, but this time, the regular old onion was too strong for the ginger... eeew... my delicious pan roasted chicken with lemon garlic & herbs ended up tasting like bitter chicken with lemon and bitterness. 


(And here's a question... why do I choke when it comes to cooking for other people? Especially when cooking for French people. Because you just know they think that I can't cook because I'm an American, not that I can't cook because I flubbed the whole shallot thing. Either way, fail). 

And then Saturday was supposed to be Princess Day. You see, sometimes The Husband will make these grand declarations like; "Skippie, this weekend you are a princess and I want you to rest and I will do everything." A beautiful idea in theory, but a total disaster in reality. Kind of like communism. It never really goes off like that... he runs around doing things for me, which is fantastic, but 1. I have to get up and show him where things are and how to do things, and then 2. he creates a glorious mess that I get to clean up. Did you know The Husband can make a mess while cleaning? Well he can. 

Part of my Princess Day was The Husband making Chicken Fried Steak for dinner (Chicken Fried Steak makes my heart sing a little...  the stars at night are big and bright ... ). Fantastic. Except how come I ended up making the mashed potatoes, the cream gravy, and doing everything for the steaks except beating eggs in a bowl and mixing flour in another? Me standing in the kitchen dredging steaks in egg and flour and then frying them as I watch The Husband and Honey Jr playing rugby outside my window doesn't make me feel very princess like. 


But we did get to watch Lonesome Dove on TV while we ate our chicken fried steaks. And it was in French. And let me tell you, Tommy Lee Jones in French is pretty darn weird. 

You know what else is pretty darn weird... Fifty getting a package in the post, addressed to him. Why does my dog get post? Who does he think he is, Snoopy?! And on Princess Day. My dog high jacked my Princess Day. 


(The package was a gift from his Texan Chihuahua girlfriends, Molly & Sissy. Fifty will be showing it off in another post coming soon...)   

But you know what wasn't a fail? The French Rugby team. They may have lost, but personally, I'd rather lose like that than win like that. For me, they played like kings and they are champions. 


Thursday, October 20, 2011

toddler bar fights and other such things

This photo has nothing to do with anything whatsoever.
I put a hairband on Fifty, and I took a photo. 
A couple of days later, I found the remains of my hairband. 
Fifty had killed it. 
Lesson learned. 

How does one tell the tale of a toddler bar fight? How could I possibly give the spectacle the proper prose for you to see it the way I did? I'm pretty sure it's impossible, and from now on, I will do my best to film life here in Le Petit Village at all times, because clearly I need to.

Let's see... it was a Friday night at Le Petit Bar, all the usual suspects were there along with two little girls, each about twenty months (that's a total guesstimate), each blonde, one sweet, and one not so sweet (so basically, Sweet and Sour). Everything was fine until there was a dispute over a doll (isn't that always the way), and then Sour shoved Sweet into a table leg and proceeded to go all Mike Tyson on her.

The Parisian broke it up.

You know, a typical Friday night at Le Petit Bar.

I guess you had to be there. But trust me, it has to be one of the strangest things I have ever seen... why... because two toddlers got into a physical altercation over a doll... in a bar.

And here's a fun Le Petit Village fact... In the past two years, five babies have been born in Le Petit Village (it's a baby boom... really), and all have been girls. Maybe it's something in the water. Personally, I blame Chernobyl.  


Sunday, October 16, 2011

all the glitz

I heart the Côte d'Azur, I heart it hard. Because I love that I get in a car, drive only two hours from Le Petit Village (OK, maybe 2 and a half hours) and be in Cannes, a place that is like, the complete opposite of Le Petit Village. It's all sunshine beaches, sparkling Mediterranean sea, and glitz (plus, my friend, Bec, lives there). I could happily watch an afternoon go by at one of the little beach side restaurants, sipping Rosé and slurping on oysters.


Now I'm not knocking Le Petit Village, not at all. Le Petit Village is quintessentially Haute Provence, it's the Luberon, it's all medieval, gorgeous vistas, and lavender. It's a hilly heaven and without a doubt the most beautiful place I have ever lived, but sometimes, a girl needs a little glitz.

Glitz like giant patriotic bonbons...

Random, yes, but still glitzy.

And you want to know where else is glitzy? 


Monaco, the principality of glamour and sad princesses, where The Husband always asks me if I've brought my 'papers' with me. My 'papers'? What is he, the gestapo? (He's scared I'm going to get thrown into jail in Monaco and not have any ID on me. Hogwash. What could I possibly do in Monaco to get thrown in jail? Bec, don't answer that. But I bet the jails in Monaco are glorious and as posh as they come).

I mean look at that yacht. It doesn't get much glitzier than that yacht. And check this out... it was flying a Texas Longhorn flag. Seriously. So of course I wanted to run on board and shout, "HI Y'ALL!" but The Husband begged me not to.

And here's a glitzy seagull...

You know how I know that he's a glitzy seagull? Because he's a Monaco seagull. 

And are you ready for this... 

Monaco's own Le Petit Bar. 

Where I bet they never run out of Champagne. 


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

happy accidents

{the mausoleum}

Do you know what a happy accident is? Well, in case you don't, it's like when you stumble across something completely unexpected, and it's completely wonderful too. For instance, when you find the absolute most perfect pair of shoes, and they end up being like, 30% off... voila... happy accident.

Something like that happened when Disco Gayle was visiting...

We were on our way to spend the weekend at The Husband's Uncle's house in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, and we passed an arch. Although the arch looks like an arch, (and I guess it is) it was actually the gate to an ancient city named, Glanum (and by ancient, I mean  crazy old, like sandals and toga old).

{Disco Gayle & The Husband looking at old stuff}

Yeah, looks pretty old doesn't it? That's because it is.

To the right is a mausoleum, which for being like 2000 years old, looks pretty darn good (if you like, you can read about both the arch and the mausoleum here).  Let me tell you something, It's pretty amazing to be driving down the road, looking out the window, spotting this ancient arch and mausoleum, suddenly exclaiming, "holy snooki, what is that?!" And then when you decide that of course you need to stop the car right now, pull over and look for parking, you end up driving right up to the old asylum where that nutty genius Van Gogh used to live.

See... happy accident.

Van Gogh wasn't there but this statue of him was. 

And let me tell you about Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, I think it's my favorite village in Provence. It's pretty and charming, and I want to live there (but don't tell Cassis I said so). And I'm dying to have a nice evening dining outside somewhere, but since Uncle lives there, we dine at his house which isn't bad at all. You want to know why? Because he happened to be hosting a pizza party when we there (re: happy accident). And here in Provence, we make our own pizzas in outdoor pizza ovens at our pizza parties. And on that night, Uncle made thirteen different pizzas. Thirteen! And both The Husband and Disco Gayle ate a piece from every single one of them. I guess they figured it would be rude not to. For the record, I was rude.

We also went to Arles so we could show Disco Gayle some more old, old stuff. Like that coliseum we're standing in front of. See, old. 

And since it was Saturday morning, we strolled through the enormous market. And as we did, what did we happen upon... an Irish pub... just in time to watch Ireland play Australia in the Rugby World Cup (again... happy accident). 

And you know what happened? Ireland won. 

And that was the happiest accident of all.


P.S. Unfortunately Ireland bit it playing against Wales and didn't make it to the semi-finals. And that's all I'm going to say about that.

Monday, October 10, 2011

the end of summer

{long gone lavender}

How do you spell 'exhausted'?

S A R A  L O U I S E

That's how.

It has been one big doozy of a summer. And I know I touched on the whole, summer has been long gone, thing on my last post, but for me, it literally ended like, last night at 9, when The Husband and I got home from picking up Fifty at camp (again.. the poor thing has been at camp a lot lately) and before that, Marseille airport to drop off Disco Gayle, and before that Montpellier, and before that Avignon (all in one weekend, can you believe it?!). But that's a story for another time.

So here's the deal, I've got loads to tell you, and pictures to show you, but I am a tired old girl so we're going to do this bits and pieces like. Plus, since The Husband and I are planning on being hermits for the next few months and not getting up to much, (minus a crazy November with a weekend in Avignon, a trip to Dublin, and Thanksgiving with the Conjugating Irregular Verbs crew), and I'm not going to have much to tell you, it's best if we stretch this whole thing out. You know. And by this 'whole thing' I mean some tales about traveling all around the south of France, homemade pizza parties, aioli, pétanque, a raclette, and toddler bar fights at Le Petit Bar. It's been a nutty month.
But for now, 

I'm going to take a nap.



Wednesday, October 5, 2011

style: fall edition

I am much obliged to Champagne Blonde for passing on this Stylish Blogger Award to me, it's given me a nice little segue between Texas, and life back in Le Petit Village.
(Since she passed it on to me, she has actually started a new blog called 2onplateaus... that's how long it can take me to post one of these, here she is blogging away on her second blog, and it takes me three months to come up with seven things... I'm a slowpoke.)

So how about a little bit about what I'm looking forward to about Autumn? Seven little bits to be exact. (I'm sure some of you are thinking, "but it's already Fall crazy girl"... true, but you wouldn't know it here. For one, I have a house guest that's been visiting since my Texas holiday so that has kind of put an extension on my summer what with traveling all about and such... Saint-Rémy, Arles, Monaco, Cannes, Avignon, Marseille, and soon Montpellier too... and also, it's been a beautiful sunny 80° everyday, nothing really Autumny about that).



I'll miss the warm weather, of course, but am ready for the wardrobe change. The shorts and whole bare leg thing is beginning to get on my nerves. Plus I bought a really cute pair of shoes in Texas that are clearly made for cooler weather...

They kind of look like boy shoes don't they? Well I don't care. I like them. 

Besides the wardrobe change, I'm ready for a cooking change. Cooler weather means I can cook soups again. I love soups but not in summer. And I cannot do gazpacho and other cold soups. no, no, no. It messes with my mind. It's like I'm looking at a bowl of soup, my brain tells me soup = hot,  I get a spoon, I put it in my mouth and then Y U C K ... why is it cold??!! Gross.

And as much as I'll miss rosé and sipping it outside in the evening with my book propped up to block the setting sun, I'm anxious for evenings cuddled up on the couch, reading in front of the fire with a glass of red instead. It's just plain cozier. And I'm all about the cozy.

We're spending Christmas at French Mommy's this year. I know that's Winter and not Fall, but I don't care, I'm looking forward to it. And yes, it's only October, not even Halloween, and I dared uttered the 'C' word, but you know what kids, it's only 79 days away! (OK, that's kind of far away, but whatever). Anyway, I'm looking forward to infusing French Mommy's home with Christmas spirit. You see, we spent Christmas there two years ago, and had a wonderful time, but it wasn't very Christmasy, you know what I mean? There was a tree and a Christmasy dinner, but it didn't feel like Christmas. I think it's because The Husband wasn't always around that much, and since there weren't any other children (he's an only child and only grandchild on that side), somehow the Christmas spirit kind of left the building, and I've taken it upon myself to bring it back. Heaven help them.

Even though I'm nowhere near a Starbucks (the nearest one being 93.6km/ 58.2 miles away, door to door), I still love all the fall and Christmas flavors (there I go talking about Christmas again). And in November when I go to Dublin, you better believe I'm heading straight for a Pumpkin Spice latte. I'm just peeved that I might be too early for my favorite, the Gingerbread latte. I can't drink one without Christmas Carols swimming around in my head (I'm a strange little person, please forgive me).

And a big summer being over bonus... Fifty is keeping his winter coat on, and that means that me and the Dyson, get to spend some time apart. Don't get me wrong, I love my Dyson, but we really don't need to spend that much time together. A little time apart is good for any relationship.

It was one crazy, fun-filled, action packed summer and I'm tired. From May 1st, until the second weekend in October (as in this coming weekend when we will be going to Avignon and Montpellier), The Husband and I have only spent five weekends in Le Petit Village just chilling without visitors. We were either there or they were here. And keep in mind that one of those five weekends was the crazy Fête and Brazil Day. So yeah, tons of fun, but exhausting. I'm looking forward to some serious cozy, hermit, hibernating. With lots of red wine.

Conjugating Irregular Verbs

Flan'Elle et Prune

Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Cheese

Muffin Loves Biscuit

Samantha Sans Dosage

Would you like to tell me seven things...


Monday, October 3, 2011

Some Down Home Texas Goodness

How do you end a trip to Texas (and the subsequent blog posts)? With some down home Texas fun with friends at the rodeo (Did that sound folksy? I was going for folksy.)

The county fair and rodeo was being held Labor Day weekend and just around the corner from my mother's house so of course we had to go, because what better way for The Husband to sample a big ol' slice of Texas pie.

(still going for that folksy thing)

The fair seemed smaller than I remembered, but still full of cotton candy, turkey legs, and funnel cakes (I'm a big fan of carnie food). And after we got our Lone Star beers, we headed over to the arena for the rodeo. Let me say, I love the rodeo in Texas, love it. Small ones, big ones, flashy ones, they're all pretty great, and I love how they start with the Texas flag being ridden in and around...

Or loads of Texas flags. We really like our flag. 

The parade of Texas flags is followed by one woman flying the American flag. And we all stand for the National Anthem (I didn't get a picture of this because you know, I was standing for the Anthem, hand on heart and stuff). It's pretty moving, especially if you're an expat who doesn't get back home a lot. 

And you want to know what else is really Texas-y?


And playing shuffleboard in a barn...

Even if Texas Girl's South African husband was playing with my French Husband (we're an international crew). They're adopted Texans and that big American flag overhead makes any international brouhaha null and void anyway. 

And beer can chicken. 

That's a Miller Lite can up there if you're interested, but really any type would do. And Texas girl was kind enough to give me my very own beer can chicken stand so I can bring the deliciousness to Le Petit Village, which we all know is totally going to freak them out, but we also know that I'm all about that so win win. 

And clearly generosity runs in Texas Girl's family because I met her Aunt (the sister of Kiki), and you know what she did? Not only did she bring over salted caramel mini tarts (for a savory not really sweet kinda gal like me, salted caramel is the way to my heart... oh my goodness they were little bites of heaven, like angel tooshie bites). She also remembered this post, and gave me a copy of Larousse Gastronomique! Can you believe it?! And not even that but it's a first English edition. I love this woman. I wonder if she'd be my Aunt too?

Proving that Texans aren't the only ones who can be generous, The Husband brought a bottle of Pastis (Ricard of course) along with him so everyone could sample a little bit of Provence in Texas. 

Santé y'all!


P.S. The trip was fantastic and so much more than I could ever blog about, and there was only one thing missing... I didn't get to see my friend Miss Minnesota. Well Miss Minnesota, next year, you and me are going to IHop for some silver dollar pancakes. 

P.P.S. And no little cowboy boots for Fifty although I did look. So we bought him a ball that had little feet attached to it and squeaked, but he loved it so much, he ate off the little feet within an hour, turning it into a plain old ball. and now that thing is MIA, I have no idea where he hides things. 
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