lundi, décembre 25, 2006

merry christmas!

merry christmas. stop. mystery guest and i alive and well. stop. drinking much eggnog and all around christmas goodness. stop. another update coming hopefully soon. end. :-)

mardi, décembre 19, 2006

ho ho ho!

Things are busy busy! Today I spent the day getting ready for my upcoming trip to the US! I can't wait! So today is last minute packing and then right after work tomorrow Mystery Guest and I jump on a train to Paris. We spend the night there and then embark on our 16 hour journey to Seattle Thursday afternoon.

It's going to be a long trip but I'm getting excited, it's been 2 years since I was home for Christmas and eggnog, real mint candy canes and pumpkin everything are going to be waiting for me! Yippee!!

dimanche, décembre 17, 2006

xmas brunch

To ring in the holidays and upcoming vacation I had some friends over for a Christmas brunch today!!
There was Elf #1.
Elf #2
and Elf #3

And amazing kitchen godess, maker of blueberry pancakes, scrambled eggs, bacon and sauteed taters with cheddar. :-)
And of course a big thanks to Mr. Mystery Guest for the fabulous pictures :-)

samedi, décembre 16, 2006

holiday fun

This afternoon I braved the crazy-Saturday-afternoon-before-Christmas-holiday-crowds for a few little last minute presents (did I mention that I'm leaving in 5 days??? whoo!!!).

Its already crazy going shopping on a Friday afternoon in France (as everything is closed on Sundays) but right before Christmas its just nuts! But I got almost everything I need and to give myself a little reward I stopped by the bakery and picked up a fabulous little pastry. I had often seen it there but never tried, I'll describe its perfection to you as before I could take a picture it was already in my belly!

The bottom crust was made of a macaroon-type dough and was light, chewy and flavorful. Then a very lightly sweetened creamy paste was piped on and topped with fresh raspberries. As I cut into this little gem the raspberry juice had seeped all the way through the cream and crust ... Divine!

jeudi, décembre 14, 2006


I haven't blogged for a couple days, nothing too exciting has been going on. I've been busy with work, Christmas shopping and catching up with friends before taking off for the States in 1 week's time! :-) Did you hear that? Yup baby in 7 days this little Milk Jam will be on a plane zooming over the Atlantic with Mystery Guest! Yippeee!!!

So apparently my conscience knows that I feel guilty about not blogging for a few days because as I was sitting here enjoying my one morning off this week, cup of coffee in hand, reading my favorite blogs I suddenly remembered my dream last night.

Its not often that I remember dreams, and if I do usually I'm too embarrassed to tell anyone about them. But last night I dreamt (or dreamed?) that I went to Paris and met up with a group of bloggers, all those lovely people who's lives I know about and whom I've never met. They were so nice and I had so much fun in my dream... what does that mean?? That is the weird thing about this new blogging phenomenon, you can know someone's life so intimately without ever having physically met the person. I read a blogger's take on this a few days ago, if you get a chance to read Maitress' article its quite interesting.

dimanche, décembre 10, 2006

xmas carols!

holiday season

It's been a busy weekend so far! On Friday night I went with Mystery Guest to see Huis Clos, a play by Sartre. Too bad the interpretation was too modern for my taste, but it still makes me want to read the book.
Then on Saturday afternoon we road tripped out to Honfleur with a friend to go Christmas shopping. There are so many cute little boutiques with regional products and with the Christmas lights its a great way to spend an afternoon! I've got almost all the Christmas presents on my list, good thing too because we're off to the States in 11 days! Yeah baby count them 11...!!
The Anglican church in town is having a Christmas concert tonight so I'm going to go get in the Christmas spirit with some carols. Its such a nice tradition and one that isn't too popular here so got to take advantage :-) Pictures and maybe a little movie to come!

vendredi, décembre 08, 2006

small town life

I read my hometown's paper (pop 8,000) every once in a while. Its a fun way to keep up with whats going on in town.

What I love about a small town is when you get headlines like "Traffic Jam blocks town" and then this picture...

Happy Friday everyone!

mardi, décembre 05, 2006


One of the best things about being in a multi-language relationship is the multi-language plays on words... or at least it is to me :-) I get the biggest laugh out of these bilingual jokes, could be because your brain has to be switched onto two languages at once, or that I have a silly since of humor, or maybe just that I love the privateness that comes with inside jokes...

But here are two of my favorites:

- The chou smells! (Referring to the stinky cabbage, and/or shoes)

-This Château des Taps is divine! (A play on the name of a wine when we were actually drinking water - tap water that is)

tee hee got me a case of the giggles now!

Happy 1 Year my Mr. Mystery Guest!

vendredi, décembre 01, 2006


Thursdays I don't work at all so my plan at the beginning of the year was to spend at least each Thursday in the library writing my memoire that needs to be written! Well until yesterday there was always something that came up and prevented me from having the time or energy.

So yesterday I blocked off all morning to spend in the library. I trucked up there with my books, my trousse and my brain. But the library is just so overwhelming - the research is daunting. Where to begin? How do I find what I need? What do I need? But I was motivated, just being there, the smell and atmosphere that I havn't been in for several years. Rearing to go I dove in.

I came up gasping for air so I went to the documentaliste and they were so nice and although they didn't have time yesterday to explain everything to me they did make me an appointment for Friday afternoon.

Today after an early morning start at work I headed over to the library. The appointment was very very helpful, they showed me so many different ways to do research and really exploit all the research possible. But my brain was sadly not as ready to go, I was sadly missing that energy that I had yesterday so after the meeting I went home with that new information with the promise to go back as soon as possible next week...

mercredi, novembre 29, 2006

photoshop to an extreme

I think I've seen the most disturbing photoshopping ever... it is like Night of the Living Dolls, or perhaps worse.

Those lifeless eyes staring back... ewww!

lundi, novembre 27, 2006

lend me your hand...

Went to the movies to go see prête-moi ta main, a French comedy about a 43-year old guy that is being pressured by his family to get married so he basically hires his friend's sister to pose as his girlfriend...

I thought it was really funny :-) Nothing to deep or anything but a great way to relax.

dimanche, novembre 26, 2006


Do you ever find yourself doing really stupid things? Things with a clear head you'd never do?
God what a d'oh moment today! Just realized that I left my French bank card in the deposit machine... d'oh!!! Had to call and cancel, now living off of the 10euros that I have until I get a new card in a week...

neon blue?

Well here's a quick shot of the new Christmas I was talking about on my street. What do you think? Old? New? Which do you prefer?

I like the rest of the lights on the main street, they sparkle as well so that's really nice when you look down the street and you just see rows upon rows of those lights! Now that Thanksgiving is officially over I'm breaking out the music - Petit Papa Noel here I come!

samedi, novembre 25, 2006

the real thanksgiving...

In order to properly celebrate Thanksgiving we put on a fantastic feast on Friday night! There was a turkey and a chicken, stuffing, mashed taters and gravey, cranberry sauce, green beans, salad, biscuits, sweet potatoes etc... !!

It was so amazingly good, I got up for seconds and almost thirds but saved a bit of room for the fantastic desserts...

2 pumkin pies, pumpkin muffins, cheesecake and gingerbread triffle! Yum Yum!

There were good times to be had by all... even if Oscar was rather scary!

jeudi, novembre 23, 2006

thanksgiving day 1

As tradition holds we celebrate Thanksgiving the day of (Thursday) with the Franco-American society of Caen and the sister-city programs. It is not a true Thanksgiving dinner in the when the menu is concerned but it is fun and the people who invite us are very nice. This year at my table was Natalie, Kristina and Charlie along with some other American study abroad students and a few Frenchies. Here are Natalie and I imitating Charlie and Kristina's pose :-)

After several glasses of that Beaujolais Nouveau... things started getting a little crazy... playing with the flags... etc :-)

There was a contest to see who could guess the number of buttons sewn onto a parachutest suit, alas none of us came close but lucky me I got a sausage! No, we're not dirty just crazy :-)

All clowning around aside it was a delightful evening, the people were so nice but what really touched my heart was a little old man giving a speech (in English!) about how thankful he was that the Americans came to Normandy. How he remembered the invasion as a child and how hurt he was when the US was attacked on September 11th. It was that day that he decided to learn English. He was so thoughtful and thankful and that in my mind is what Thanksgiving is all about.
Happy Thanksgiving! We celebrated the day itself tonight but we will continue the celebration with a real American menu tomorrow... I know I did some work today in the kitchen making my famous stuffing, cranberry sauce and more! Stay tuned for more stories to come!

happy thanksgiving!!!!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!
So many things to be thankful for, I would hardly know where to begin. So here's to good friends, family and of course turkey!

mardi, novembre 21, 2006

turkey time!

I just added a few recipes for Thanksgiving dishes in my recipe blog. These are the dishes that I'll be bringing to our Thanksgiving potluck on Friday night (cranberry sauce, stuffing and cornbread), I'll be adding some more recipes to the blog (pumpkin pie etc) in the next few days :-)

Happy almost Turkey Day!!!

twinkle twinkle

Well that's it, I knew Christmas was starting this year and my blog proves it! When I walked home last night they had turned on the lights in town! 5 days earlier than last year. I had been so excited because I had new lights up on my street but when they turned on I have to admit I was disappointed because they are blue :( I don't like colored Christmas lights, I like them white and simple.

Things are busy this week because of Thanksgiving but I'm really looking forward to this celebration. I placed an order with the butcher today to get a turkey and luckily enough got one! (After going to several butchers mind you, everyone kept looking so surprised - "but why would you want a turkey when it's not Christmas??" As if you weren't allowed to eat them any other time of the year...!)

I'll try to get some pictures of my new lights so you can tell me what you think ;-) and of course Thanksgiving - Mystery Guest's first! Now that's something to celebrate!

On a side note could anyone else log in yesterday? Ever since I switched to Blogger Beta things have been just dandy but I couldn't log in all day yesterday...

dimanche, novembre 19, 2006

weekend news

Well I hope you all out there in bloggerland had a nice weekend. I had a wonderful time relaxing chez Mystery Guest's parents out in the sticks of Normandy.

It's so nice to feel so comfortable in someone else's home. Just to relax and enjoy the weekend and the time away from the city. Homecooked meals, vegging in front of the tv... honestly I'm not sure where the weekend went! But it flew by!

As it was a sunny November day we decided to leave early and make a detour near Coutances to see the countryside. As we had to go off the main road due to road construction we ended up driving by a sign that said "chateau this way" or something to that effect... Ended up wandering around the deserted grounds of a ruins of a castle. I was kicking myself as I had forgotten my camera at home and it was a stunning sight to see, the ruins framed by all the foliage changing color and a magnificant sunset in the background.

I tried to pinch myself but that just hurt.

So I'm making a note of this place because I've got to go back with my camera, but I'm not sure if that day could ever really be captured.

jeudi, novembre 16, 2006


I just got home from a fantastic concert, Mystery Guest and I went to go see Tété here in Caen!!

I havn't been to that many concerts but it is so worth it to see such a wonderful preformance. He really is an entertainer in the literal sense of the word. A complete clown and goof on stage but with touching and catchy songs. I love his random dreads and funky glasses, great to see someone with a bit of spunk in their personality :-)

I'm too tired to write more and would be in bed but I think my upstairs neighbors are having a birthday party...

mercredi, novembre 15, 2006

pop pop!

I feel like I'm regressing to 14 years old... I've got a monster of a zit on my chin! I know I'm getting all personal here but I can't believe the size of this thing! I get my fair share of random zits but this beast is deep and it hurts!

Teaching with this thing hanging off my chin makes me feel like the Wicked Witch from the East... I know usually those things that you feel are huge don't look as big to other people but I swear I'm getting so self-conscience over this! I wish it would just go away already and I can go back to feeling the ripe old age of 25 again...

Beware zit: I'm going to get you my pretty!!!!

cackle cackle!

dimanche, novembre 12, 2006

shakin' down the apples!

Today Mystery Guest and I went off on an adventure with Nature et Decouvertes (basically the French version of the Nature Company). They organize trips of all different sorts during the year. You join their club (cheaper than I had expected, only 6e a year) and then you can take trips with them for a very reasonable price.

We signed up a couple weeks ago to "discover apples". Meeting point, in front of the town hall in Livarot (about 45 minutes from Caen) in the middle of the pays d'auge, the heart of apple country.

After meeting we drove out to a little farm owned by a retired couple and the non-profit organization which runs it. They often hold "animations" for school children about how farms work, the bugs and critters in the little stream and how to respect the environment.

Today was all about the apples!

First was a walk in the rain out to the apple orchards where we took a long hooked stick and shook the trees to knock down the apples. The guide explained all the different techniques as well the local environment. I learned a whole bunch of new words but the only one I remember is woodpecker :-)

Then we gathered all the apples up and took them back to the house where we washed cut them up. First step was making apple jelly. The woman running the kitchen had already cooked up some apples so we put them in the hand-held press wrapped in a rag and squeezed the juice and pectin out. This juice was then combined with the same weight of sugar (2.4 kilos juice/2.4 kilos sugar) and boiled to make the jelly.

Then we made apple juice with the apples we had gathered. First the entire apple (stem, seeds, worms and all!) were grated and then everything squeezed in the same press. We had a basketfull of apples which gave us 1.5 liters of juice.

When all was said and done we had a little snack, apple pie and our juice of course! It was delish! I had never had freshly squeezed apple juice before and it is so good, nothing added, just pure juice. I was surprised at how dark and cloudy the juice was.
Just before leaving we got little jars of apple jelly to take home :-)
It was a wonderful afternoon! I had always wanted to go visit the apple farms during the fall to see the harvest and how things were done :-) And all that for only 5euros, not bad! Thanks Nature et Decouvertes and of course Mr. Mystery Guest!


Last night Mystery Guest, myself and a friend went go to see Flags of our Fathers. After getting off to a rough start (the schedule was misprinted and it was showing an hour later than planned - but we got free tickets cause of the mistake!) I really enjoyed the film.

I feel like recently I've seen a lot of good war films that aren't just the shoot 'em up type. This one was really good because it showed the mental challenges facing a soldier returning home, the war propaganda done by the government as well as the camaraderie of the soldiers.

The film takes place in Japan - the battle of Iwo Jima and the famous raising of the flag photo that we've all seen before. I can't wait for the next film to come out, the Japanese side of the story, this spring - also by Clint Eastwood.

mercredi, novembre 08, 2006

rub a dub dub!

I decided to test out my pride and joy of my appartment... my bath! There are some problems with the tub though... which is why I havn't used it up until now.

1. The bathroom is freezing! Let me tell you how badly insulated it is!!! I keep the door closed because otherwise it would let in that nasty cold air into my living space! No thank you! There is a little heater in there but as it is electric I just can't justify heating a room just to take a pee or brush my teeth.

2. My hot water tank holds enough water for about 2 medium-length showers. As I must have my morning shower to fully wake up this doesn't leave enough water to do that plus dishes etc and then a bath at night.

3. I get bored quickly in the tub, I need to have everybody part covered with nice hot water otherwise I'm cold and I don't like that. But I can't do anything if my hands are in the water so I get bored.

So today I decided that in reference to problem #2 I had gone to the pool this morning for a swim and therefore took my shower there. I also had very few dishes that needed washing up today. Concerning #1, I broke down and heated just my bathroom for 10 minutes while running the hot water so I wouldn't turn into a popsicle. And #3, I discovered the joys of a cordless phone! Did all my phone catching up while relaxing in the tub! Brilliant! Sadly the only downside was the big cut I gave myself while shaving, dangerous zones those ankles are!

Ahh time to crawl into bed and get a good night's rest :-)

samedi, novembre 04, 2006

lights out!

I decided to have a quiet night in, watching 24... knitting... studying?!? Yes, ahem, well I stayed in tonight :-)

I was in the middle of chatting on MSN and working on some transcripts of BBC headlines for work when the power flickered and then cut! Luckly I was not completely in the dark as I had just lit my new candle a few hours earlier... Was it just my apartment? The building? The block?

I poked my head outside my door and tried the hall light. Nada. I looked out through the main door and there was light in the street. Ok so just my building. At that moment I heard keys turn upstairs and someone opening their door to check. I called out and asked if they had power. Nope. Niet.

So I just went home and lit some more candles and decided to see how much work I could get done in the 38 minutes that my laptop battery has (yes, I know its old... poor baby).

Then all of a sudden there was a thunk and the power came back, just like that!


But was very happy this was not while I was hungry! Everything is electric here! The stove, oven, microwave....

And my new candle? Very cheery! :-)

UPDATE: was looking at the news and saw this (and then this) on the front page of the USA Today... Could that be it? My electricity was only cut about 20 minutes and there were streetlights on outside... hummm weiiiiiird.... Thank god I wasn't stuck in an elevator! :-)

vendredi, novembre 03, 2006


I am an addict... a junkie... totally hooked...

My weekly fix is comprised of Tuesday evening Prison Break and Thursday evening Lost. I'm getting better though, if there is a scheduling conflict on Tuesday, I can usually hold out until Wednesday or even Thursday for Prison Break... Progress people, progress...

I've already spoken about this problem that I have, and since I am no longer in denial I was sure that I was on my way to a cure...

Until, that is, when Mystery Guest supplied me with Season 2 of 24... Its just there, one episode after another! Its just too easy to press play once more... Help! I can't stop! Someone help!

jeudi, novembre 02, 2006

ride 'em cowboy!

Yesterday was a national holiday so no one had to work and the town was all closed up. We decided to take advantage of the free time and the beautiful fall weather to go to and take a horseback ride on the beach!

I haven't ridden very much, just a few times as a kid and about 10 minutes at a friend's house when I was 18. I never felt very comfortable, like I would lose my balance easily, and that was just when the horse was standing still or at walk. I thought that trying again might help me conquor some old fears.

I had a blast! We trotted (yes I trotted and have a sore bum to prove it!) down to the beach and then slowly meandered along... It was a beautiful clear day with of course lots of wind at the beach, but lots of people out for the holiday with their families and flying huge kites.

mercredi, novembre 01, 2006

happy halloween!!!

Here's a little fun reminder of Halloween 2006!! I brought my lady friend, Mrs. Mystery Guest and I went as a Magic 8 Ball.

Ask a question and shake!

She's one hot chickie don't you think???

mardi, octobre 31, 2006


I've been really busy recently, the day after my birthday extravaganza a Japanese friend of mine who I met in the States came to visit!

I havn't seen her since 2001 when she was studying in the States so it was so natsukashii to see her again!

I had Sunday free so we went to the local market, picked up lots of fresh fruits and veggies as well as some local oysters! Then we did a walking tour of Caen, luckily the weather was ok and not too cold! That evening we had Japanese food (miso soup and rice) for dinner and Emi had her fresh oysters. She shucked them like a pro!

Otherwise I've had to work so I sent her off on trips around the region, Honfleur and Mont Saint Michel. She is staying to celebrate Halloween and then of to Paris and more adventures!

I'm so glad she came to visit, its been fun to see someone who I havn't seen in so long! But at the same time I'm exhausted from playing host :-) I need a guest room!

dimanche, octobre 29, 2006

time to fall!

Don't forget to change your clocks folks! Its the end of daylight savings, so at least in Europe and America its time to fall back one hour...

Yeah baby last night we got an extra hour of sleep, I love it!

samedi, octobre 28, 2006

birthday celebration part 2

To continue my birthday celebration we all went out to dinner and had a fabulous time and excellent food. The restaurant is really small and cozy with bright colors painted all around and even the silverware has little pictures fruits and veggies inside the handle.

We really chowed down on that soup and other goodies as you can see ;-)

Then Oscar came out with a birthday surprise, chocolate soup with a floating candle! (Glad there weren't 25 of them...!)

Then we moved along to the tropical paradise that is the Che, a Cuban bar that from the outside looks like a hole but inside is full of palm trees, tropical sunshine, mojitos and musica!

So there's the recap of last night with a few pictures for your viewing pleasure. I had one of the best birthdays yet, good thing since I'm officially now old... anti-wrinkle cream anyone??

vendredi, octobre 27, 2006

birthday celebration part 1

Yes folks in just a few minutes (according to my mom at 19h00 on the dot) I will be 25 and to help me ring in my quarter of a century Mystery Guest took me on a lovely drive.

The weather was perfect this afternoon as we headed down to the Suisse Normande, a beautiful region of Normandy just south of Caen. We had a fantastic drive as we watched golden leaves float across little country roads and admire the rivers that cut through forested valleys.

It was the perfect way to spend my birthday afternoon, out in the sunshine enjoying a stunning fall day with excellent company. I'm home for an hour to primp before going out for dinner with friends at Mange ta Soupe and to get some drinks.