jeudi, décembre 31, 2009

Happy New Year!!!

As we are about to ring in 2010 (if I manage to stay awake...!) I thought I'd post a quickie for my ever dwindling readers - not that I blame you!
Between no Internet at home* and of course no blogging at work, a list a mile long of things to blog about but no time it's been a busy end to 2009!
I'm looking forward to 2010 & all it brings, the new house, new adventures and experiences.... I'm sure it will be great!
So have a safe and happy new year and see you all next year!!!

* we were planning on moving the last week of December but there were of couse delays so luckily our landlord is letting us stay until the end of January! But of course for once the Internet gods moved our line on time! So no Internet at home, thank god for the iPhone!!! More house pictures to come, it's looking SO great!

Sent from my iPhone

vendredi, décembre 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas and Best Wishes from MilkJam & Mystery Guest!

jeudi, décembre 17, 2009

Christmas party

Tonight is the office Christmas party and since I don't know what to expect; I've never been to an office Christmas party (and because 90% of me colleagues are British), all I can picture is the drunk karaoke scene from Bridget Jones' Diary... You all know the one right?
Sometime I feel like I live in that movie... Maybe I should rename my blog!

Milk Jam's Diary

Does that have a good ring to it?

Sent from my iPhone

mardi, novembre 17, 2009

No luck :-(

Just took my drivers test, the guy was so mean. He totally stressed me out, it took me 4 tries to parallel park (normally i get it in 1 try!!!) and then he made a snide comment and another one when I didn't understand what he was saying in French. But the kicker was I had to turn right at a stop sign onto a busy road - looked to me left, nothing, then to the right and finally another check to the left: nada. So I went, then as I was shifting up a big jeep passed me and I failed then and there because I didn't pay attention!?!?! I never saw the guy!!
So at a yield sign I was yelled at for not not pulling out quickly enough and then failed for a car I never fricking saw.
Might not get my license for another 6 weeks now :-(

Big boo.

Sent from my iPhone

mercredi, novembre 11, 2009

My new baby!!!

Just bought my first car ever!!!! Isn't she pretty??? 2001 Volkswagon Bora. I think she needs a name... any thoughts??

Fingers crossed I pass my test on Tuesday...

** update, found out that the same model in the states is called a Jetta :-)

mardi, novembre 03, 2009

siding goes up up up!

Just a little house update! The siding is going up!! The west side (above) is done, even all the detail work under the eves and around the windows.
The south side is going up as well and then it will work around to the east and finally the north. Looks great doesn't it???? I love the color! We were worried that it would be too orangey-yellow but it is just the right shade!
In other house news we now have toilets (not installed yet but bought!) and the tile for the downstairs has been ordered - what a headache picking THAT out! The state of the inside really is a construction site, so no photos for now, but it is being drywalled so the heater dude can come in and put in the heated floor downstairs! Yea! No more cold feet for MilkJam! :-)
So that's my micro update for now, got to get back to looking for a car! I pass my driver's test on the 17th now and would like to have a car ready to go if possible, but man do they get snatched up fast!

samedi, octobre 31, 2009

trick or treat

Happy Halloween!

The first couple years I lived in Caen I tried to spread the Halloween spirit, but like so many others have said France just isn't with the program. Not that they should be, they have Carnival and that's fun too.

But they tried, I saw kids dressed up, even had a kid come trick or treating a few days before. When I asked why he was early he said he couldn't go on Halloween cause they were leaving on vacation so he's doing it early.

Yeah, that and broad day light just doesn't cut it kid.

So I stopped carving pumpkins and having candy ready. This year I was tempted to carve a pumpkin but seeing as how we are still in our appartment we don't have a real front door so I decided to save it for next year.

Late this afternoon as the sun was going down I heard the doorbell ring, thinking it was a late birthday present I scampered down the stairs. By the time I got there and unlocked the front door no one was there. I looked around the corner and saw a Mom and her kid walking away, the little boy was probably 3 or 4 years old and dressed up as a ghost. When I said I was sorry but I didn't have any candy the mom told the kid "make the lady cry" and he yelled "BOO!" It was so cute!

Then later once Mystery Guest got back from work we heard the doorbell ring again. This time there was a group of 5 kids, dressed up as witches, spiderman and monsters. When they asked for bon-bons I had to say I was sorry but no candy. I felt horrible! Here they were in the spirit of Halloween and I didn't have any candy! It didn't even feel like some lackluster imitation, I felt like I was back in the States for a minute. By the time I realized that I had some candy upstairs left over from treats for the lycee kids they had gone and no one else came to ring the doorbell.

Next year kids we'll have a jack-o-lantern and plenty of candy for you!!

jeudi, octobre 29, 2009

Fall leaves

PS what do you guys think of the new header?

lundi, octobre 26, 2009

sneak peak

Provided by Mystery Guest

dimanche, octobre 25, 2009

parc asterix

Mystery solved.

Yes, yesterday's post was a picture from the Parc Asterix near Paris! Bravo ladies! Mystery Guest planned the whole thing for my birthday, it was a big surprise! He told me a couple weeks ago to keep the weekend of the 24th open. Then on Thursday he said I needed to pack an overnight bag... I had no idea what was in store for me!

We drove out to Paris Friday night after work and stayed with friends outside of Paris. Then on Saturday we went out to Parc Asterix! Totally kicks Disneyland's bootie!!! I had such a blast, there was some great rollar coasters, we did the water rides (and got soaked!) and even though it pretty much rained all day I had such a great time.

Thanks again M. Mystery Guest! You sure made my 28th birthday special! I got to feel like a kid again :-)

jeudi, octobre 22, 2009

No wheels yet...

Last night I had a driving lesson and despite what the other lady told me my drivers ed teacher doesn't think that I'll be ready for next week. It sucks because at 30 some odd euros an hour these lessons get pricey! Plus with les vacances starting Friday and me working all week it's very hard to get hours.. I agree that it's better to be well prepared before taking the test but I was SO disapointed after having my heart set on my birthday next week!
I was disapointed in myself as well, he picked me up at 7pm directly from the train station, I was beat after a long day of work, the sun was setting and my driving was crap!! I felt like I couldn't remember anything, stalled several times and made retarted mistakes.
I have another lesson tonight, same bat time, same bat channel. I'm going to try really hard not to embarass myself again.
So all is not lost, I have some hours scheduled and at the latest should take the test the end of November. I guess it gives me more time to look for a car...

Sent from my iPhone

samedi, octobre 17, 2009

in the oven

This is in the oven right now. Just thought I'd share :-)

lundi, octobre 12, 2009

heating up

Insulation is going in... la laine de verre is so much fun!!!

vendredi, octobre 09, 2009

lundi, octobre 05, 2009


We found an uber-sexy bathtub today, nevermind the weird looks I got when I climbed in at the store, had to verify and it is indeed nice and deep to be covered by hot water and bubbles...

Can't wait!

samedi, octobre 03, 2009

Pizza Saturday

I recently started a tradition of Pizza Saturdays. See Mystery Guest works Saturdays and gets Mondays off, I work Mondays and get Saturdays off... So it's nice to have lunch together when he comes home on Saturday. That's when Pizza Saturday started, especially after having read the best pizza dough tutorial. I make it on Saturday morning if I have time, if not I've got a stock in the freezer. Since our easy-bake oven is so tiny we can only get 1 pizza at a time, but the recipe makes enough dough for 2 so I make it, divide it in half and freeze the second ball for next time.

To make the sauce I buy the small cans of tomato paste (concentrated) and use about half a can. I add dried garlic, salt, pepper and herbs de provence until its got a nice kick. Then I layer the veggies that we've got (anything from zucchini, mushrooms, tomatoes, red peppers etc..) and then cheese (1 ball of fresh mozzarella cubed and a sprinkle of emmental) and then another sprinkle of herbs de provance. Whatever I want to get golden brown I leave for the top, this time was pepperoni!

Stick it in the oven for about 25 minutes and presto! Pizza Saturday!

(also YUMMY with pesto instead of pizza sauce)

dimanche, septembre 27, 2009


Picture of the day. (no, I didn't drive it)

samedi, septembre 26, 2009

vroom vroom

Last night Mystery Guest and I celebrated the fact that I finally passed the dreaded code... step 1 of getting my French license! Today I went over to the auto-ecole to drop off my paper saying I passed and to see about getting a date to take the driving exam.

It works a little differently - heck - totally differently if you're talking about the license process! But the driver's ed teacher wants me to do an hour or two more before the exam to make sure I'm ready. The cool thing is that they will pick you up from the train station to do your driving practice. So the week before I'll be doing 2 night drives, hope the sun will still be up! Hate driving at night... boo just realized that...

Then I asked when the first testing date would be, October 27th. My. Birthday. LOL! How 16 do I feel right now? Good thing is that if on the driving practice he thinks I'm not quite ready it will just push back the date by 1 week, but what a great birthday present that would be! When she said that I was reminded of this scene...

Let's hope I won't be that blond!

I've been looking for cars online now, leboncoin here I come! Any suggestions? I'm looking for something not more than 5,000e obviously with not too many km and diesel would be nice but not necessary. I see all the French brands but have no clue where to start...

vendredi, septembre 25, 2009

that's all i have to say about that...

Code de la Route: T- 1 hour

Arrived safely in St Lô after hanging out for my connecting train in a random little station with no 3G, or Edge, or cell service at all!!! But brought my laptop & did the code DVD 5 or 6 times. Feeling ok but it is just such a stressful exam with SO much riding on it... Breathe... Got a sandwich and am trying to relax in the sun in front of the DDE for my last hour...

Oh the drama!

Sent from my iPhone

mercredi, septembre 23, 2009

journees du patrimoine

This is probably the first year that I've gone out and done stuff for the Journees du Patrimoine (this year the 19th and 20th of September). Mystery Guest and I went into town to check out the Musee du Cidre and eau de vie. Sadly neither of those offered free taste tests! But they were really interesting and well done museums with lots of local history and KSam would like it cause you see what it would have been like to live in V-town back in the day! The best part was an old cider barrel carved into a bed (see picture) that this guy did in the early 1800's - he said he was inspired by Biblical verses but it was muuuuuch kinkier than it says in the Bible!

It was fun to go into museums and not pay, no long lines out here either. Just a nice afternoon with the MG-man! :-)

lundi, septembre 21, 2009


Blackberry cake. Reminds me of a coffee cake but not, of a cobbler but not really either.

dimanche, septembre 20, 2009

da roof!

Starting to look like a house eh??? Half of the roof is done and the roofer has put the 3 skylights (which open). One is for the loft part and the other two on the sides are in bedrooms. There's still the other side which needs to be done and then we'll have to work on the outside of the house itself - putting up plastic against the plywood and finally the siding and windows! Once all that is done it will be waterproof and looking finished! (from the outside, is still pretty much a gutted mess on the inside...)
So it's all rolling along for now, I think the roof is sexy! The tiles are actually that, tile, made out of terra cotta. But I love the black, red roofs just aren't very Norman!

Work is good but it's really the grind, nothing exciting to post about these days. Twisto, boulot, dodo...

(Twisto is the bus/tram system in Caen).

samedi, septembre 19, 2009

dimanche, septembre 13, 2009

elderberry syrup

After reading about Elderberry syrup on this Garlic Breath (from These Days in a French Life) and on David's fantastic blog I got inspired as I started to see these bunches of black gems weighing down tree boughs in the countryside. Both of these blogs were talking about making elderberry syrup a good month before our Norman berries were ripe... I tried to scope out where I could go foraging... Yesterday the sun was out and after tinkering with my new/old sewing machine (mine broke about 6 months ago and I only just got around to sending it back - still under warrenty - thanks Lidl!) I decided I needed to get out of the house.

Armed with scissors, a plastic bag and my podcasts I took a long walk all around V-town. I tried going down side streets where I thought I might find some trees... only blackberries. Nope, not today, save those for another time, I was after Elderberries.

I found a big tree in an abanndoned lot and managed to bend some of those hard to reach ripe berries down to picking level. I got a whole bag full and on my walk home found another tree, but these ones were wayyy to far out of reach.

Apparently elderberries are really good for you, if cooked and if you avoid the green berries/leaves/bark which apparently contain cyanide! Go figure. I read up a lot, making sure I wasn't picking some random berry that would kill me in my sleep and when I was sure I got ones that looked exactly like the real thing I set to work. Piece of cake, I boiled the berries with some water, a squirt of lemon juice and a little sugar for a good 45 minutes letting them stew a bit. Then I let the mixture cool a bit, ladled it into an old t-shirt and wrung the berries dry. I got a good bit of juice out of them. Then I added 1/2 their weight in sugar and boiled it a bit longer. When it cooled it was thicker but still not a really thick syrup. I'm curious to try it in some of the ways suggested, in yogurt, over ice cream, in water. Apparently it really boosts your immune system, good for winter and this dreaded Grippe A...

samedi, septembre 12, 2009

raise the roof!

Things are going well. Work is good, I was ready for it to be Friday yesterday but it was a good week, there are a lot of little things to learn. Lots of details and forgetting one means things get messed up in a chain reaction - so I'm trying not to! But it is a very nice change from teaching. So nice to come home and have my evening to myself, no classes to plan, no grading... I also get to enjoy my train ride, knitting socks :-) I love it when I get strange looks from people, not only young people but some grandmas give me the funniest look! But speaking of trains I saw the weirdest thing yesterday, a 16 year old girl (and not the nerd, but the cheerleader if you will..) was sitting on the train sucking her thumb! Duuuude...

And for a little house update FIL and a friend of Mystery Guest's finished getting the roof ready - right on time! The roofer came the next day to start! Luckly the weather's been holding out so it looks like he shouldn't have too much trouble to get it done :-) Here's a picture of FIL's work, beautiful eh?
And here after the roofer started. They say it takes about 2 weeks. It will be so nice to be able to close the house up and not worry about the weather while we're working on it.
That's about all for now :-) off to do much less interesting stuff.... grocery shopping, cleaning up a bit... maybe vegg a bit too!

dimanche, septembre 06, 2009

brief update


There's my update! ;-)

No but seriously this weekend flew by... lots to update but I'm sleepy and got to get up early to go to work tomorrow. Decided to stick with the bank, after re-reading my contract the pay is actually better than I had thought... there are different bonuses (13th month etc), plus I just can't beat the atmosphere for the time being.

But in order to get paid I have to have an account with them, so I opened one up yesterday in V-town. My banker here was soooo sweet! Probably my age and a few minutes into the conversation said, well since we're colleagues do you mind if we "tu" eachother? So sweet. Plus I get all sorts of discounts on my account, cheaper bank card, monthly payments etc. So that rocks my socks.

Then today we got up bright and early to go work on the house. The pressure's on, the roofer comes on Wednesday! After huge storms last week the sun was out and it was hot this afternoon. Much better than the wind and rain. Hopefully Mystery Guest & Co. will get most of it done tomorrow (while I'm at work...) so the roofer can do his think starting Wednesday! Then the pictures will really start to change!

So that's about all I can muster for right now, I feel that until I get used to the new job and schedule posts around here are going to be a little sparce, but I'll try to do a little iPhone blogging while on the train too ;-)

vendredi, septembre 04, 2009

Twist of fate...

They always say that when it rains it pours... So maybe this would be
when it's hot it's HOT!
My first day as an office girl went swimmingly (more on that later)
but as I was finishing up today I got an email from the private
business school where I interviewed at back in June... At the time
they only offered me 3 hours a week, not a lot (but not horrible when
they pay 50€ an hour) I tuned them down not wanting to be locked into
a piddly 3 hour contract and forced to turn down something better
because of it.. Today he offers me 12 a week, maybe more.
Quick with the calculator that's twice what the bank pays! But as they
told me there is next to 0 hope of getting a fullyime job with the
school in the future whereas the bank tends to... And all of the
school vacations are unpaid as well, making for some sad months.
Anyway he wants an answer asap but I would feel horrible backing out
of the bank (haven't signed my contact yet). And I would assume they
wouldn't be keen on hiring me back in a years time!

Isn't it so true? You jobhunt for months - nothing - the 2 offers back
to back...

Oh and my train home is 40min late... Boo. Thank god for my iPhone & 3G!

Sent from my iPhone

Le Moulin - aka the best creperie ever!!

mercredi, septembre 02, 2009

Workin' girl

Well it's day number 2 at my new job, can't remember if I mentioned
before that it's at a bank, but it is :-)
Let me tell you it is a huge change going from teaching in a classroom
to working at an office! But the atmosphere is great, very friendly.
So signing off for now...

Sent from my iPhone

dimanche, août 30, 2009

la mere denis

Here's some more Norman history for you! Again out on another geocache, this time over by the western coast we found a lavoir and the cache hidden in the stone wall behind it. We were so preoccupied with finding the cache in between muggle sightings that we didn't notice the board at the entrance to the little park.
It turns out this lavoir is famous! I've never heard of la Mère Denis before but Mystery Guest says that the ad that aired during the 80's is really famous. Considering that there was even a Japanese ad I'd say so!
Here's the original ad for your viewing pleasure (the sound is really low).

samedi, août 29, 2009

vendredi, août 28, 2009

I like this video, it's a good explanation to the obvious.

mardi, août 25, 2009


Playing with my new iPhone app: Polarize... puts your pictures into polariod form - too fun!

lundi, août 24, 2009

Norman History

Yesterday Mystery Guest and I went geocaching in the late afternoon. It was a beautiful sunny day and even though we didn't find the two caches (boo!) we had 2 really nice walks in the woods near V-town. The second cache was the most interesting because the person who set the cache up made sure to put up information about the history of this small town. Turns out that there are some famous connections! The family of Robert the Bruce of Scotland was nobility from this town (the Latin name of the town was Brus) and went over with William the Conqueror back in 1066. There is a footpath dating back from this time where the old castle used to be. They tried to reconstruct it but apparently some wars got in the way ;-)

That's what I love about living out here, there are a million little things like that which are not advertised or have a million people tramping around, even on a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon like we had yesterday. Makes you feel like you discovered something special :-)
Just a little side note about Norman French, it fascinates me to no end that English was not just influenced by French as the history books say, but by Norman French with William the Conqueror. Here are some examples of the differences and how English ended up getting influenced by both Norman and standard French as time went on. (Sometimes I hear old people out here still speaking Norman and it always surprises me that it still exists... however it is not the most beautiful patois... ) Another really interesting read on all this (and more!) is Honni Soit Qui Mal Y Pense. It is written in French but it is a very very easy read, very clear and straightforward. Her books are soooo interesting!

Anglo-Norman morphology and pronunciation can be deduced from its heritage in English. Mostly this is done in comparison with continental French. English has many doublets as a result of this contrast:

  • warranty - guarantee
  • warden - guardian
  • glamour - grammar (see below)
  • catch - chase (see below)

Compare also:

  • wage (Anglo-Norman) - gage (French)
  • wait - guetter (French)
  • war (from Anglo-Norman werre) - guerre (French)
  • wicket (Anglo-Norman) - guichet (French)

The palatalization of velar consonants before the front vowel produced different results in Norman to the central langue d'oïl dialects which developed into French. English therefore, for example, has fashion from Norman féchoun as opposed to Modern French façon.

The palatalization of velar consonants before /a/ that affected the development of French did not occur in Norman dialects north of the Joret. English has therefore inherited words that retain a velar plosive where French has a fricative

PS. Does anyone know what this fruit/tree is??? It grows out by the house and is a little bigger than a blueberry and the inside is yellow and looks like a plumb... but is tiny tiny... any thoughts?

dimanche, août 23, 2009

workin' workin'

Things are busy busy, we're working on the house as much as possible. Got the floor all nailed down yesterday. All of the plywood sheets that will be used as the floor upstairs all had to be put into place, cut to size and then screwed down - every 30cm. That was up to me and Mystery Guest. I went ahead and drilled little holes to make it easier to put the screws in and then he followed me with the battery powered screwdriver. That is a lot of screws people! It was nice and hot too so I'm beyond golden brown these days lol.After all that work on the house we ran home, got showered and decent and drove up to Cherbourg to go to the movies. There are 2 movie theaters in Cherbourg, one big multiplex which shows mainstream movies (and always dubbed) and a smaller one in the center of town that shows more artsy movies and sometimes subtitled. We were lucky enough for them to be showing Inglorious Bastards the same week it came out - in English! I'm sooooo glad we got to see it in English, we were cracking up at Brad Pitt's accent when no one else was and got some good comic relief from that :-)
All in all it was an excellent movie! Normally I'm not a huge fan of Quentin Tarantino's movies just because usually they are uber violent and that comedic violence of Kill Bill just doesn't do it for me... But this movie was just amazing, I think Christoph Waltz stole the show from Brad Pitt, he was unbelievable! Anyway go see it for yourselves :-)

It's Sunday and the weather is beautiful but we're happy to stay inside and veg a bit after cooking in the sun yesterday.

And I'm realizing that in just over a week I'll be going to my first office job ever.. hello! Talk about a big change coming up!! But I'm switching over to a new cell plan with BoogeyTel (that's how I like to say Bouygues) with 3G for my little iPhone so I'll be all connected while training it to Caen 5 times a week... :-)

dimanche, août 16, 2009

another house update

We've been pounding away! Mystery Guest has 2 weeks of vacation so we've been trying to maximize the time - busy! The reason we've really got to get on it is that the roofer comes mid-September so the 2nd floor has to be ready for him by then! Eeeps! But we're coming along, the frame for the first floor is almost done, including the beams that will support the second floor. We're starting to cut the plywood pieces that wrap around the outside (and really make it look like a house!) but now have to get going on the second floor so it will be prepped. After the roof is on at least it will be waterproof on the inside and we can start with things (like insulation) that are not waterproof...

In other news I got a job offer!!!! A couple days ago I got a job offer where I had an interview a month ago starting September 1st. It's just a temporary contract (6-months) for now but with a possibility of extending that contract or getting a full time job (fingers crossed!) Never thought I'd work at a bank, this will be my first job with office hours! But it will be an interesting change, something new and at least I won't have any classes to prepare when I get home or on the weekends!

lundi, août 10, 2009

learning curve.... er rather straight

On this house project I'm the gopher, I hold posts in place and get tools for the boys suspended on ladders. Biiiig learning curve for this MilkJam - don't know what these tools are in English much less in French! Now I can go fetch des pieds de biche and fils a plomb with the best of 'em! (and use Wikipedia in French to find the English translations... )

FIL used to be in the construction business back in the day and his tools may have seen better days but they still cut it. We have the straightest wooden poles you could ask for!

jeudi, août 06, 2009


Busy busy! Mystery Guest has these two weeks of August for vacation so we're gung ho on the house! Trying to get as many extra hands (and strong arms!) as possible! It's starting to take shape, we've got all the load bearing beams up and are now starting to link them all together to make them more stable. The weather's been interesting, yesterday it was well over 30C (over 85F) all day and almost no wind or shade to cool off - we all got sunburnt. Today it started off good but by the middle of the afternoon the clouds moved in and it started pouring buckets. Let's hope for a compromise tomorrow!

Yesterday we all cracked up when we saw a cow run across the field behind the house, about 30 seconds later a farmer followed him trying to get him back. We all cracked up. Then the cow turned around and headed back, then stopped and and looked towards us - then started coming our direction! The farmer followed him and we managed to shoo him over to another field. Good entertainment in the countryside!

So I'm pooped but just wanted to show some construction pictures. We're hiring independent contractors for the foundation, plumbing, electricity and roof but we (I should say the boys...) are doing the rest ourselves... makes for some long days!

dimanche, août 02, 2009

peach pie

I just pulled my first peach pie out of the oven... it smells YUMMY!!! I followed my favorite book, The New Best Recipe. Except for 2 slight modifications: I bought my pie crust (honestly at 40cents a crust and they are gooood in France I'm not going to spend my time making them...) and I cut the sugar in half. I made this pie for the family-in-law and they don't like things really sweet. Otherwise it's looking nummers! I have to let it cool for at least 2 hours, which is fine. It's Sunday and we haven't even taken a shower yet before heading over to their house. Love lazy days.

vendredi, juillet 31, 2009

Sun in V-town

Sitting outside my house having a drink at the cafe enjoying the sun &
a good book...ahhh!

jeudi, juillet 30, 2009


On Sunday Miss A-C drove up from Caen to come visit and we headed to the beach. While lounging on the sand dunes catching those afternoon rays we started talking about Jersey (the island, not the new one!) that we could see across the water. I said that it's so fun to go there and in the summer they often have specials for the ferry. She said the last time she was in England was in 6th grade on a class trip to - Jersey and has always wanted to go back. By Monday morning the tickets were bought (50e round trip for an adult in high season) from Granville. Yesterday we both got up at the buttcrack of dawn and drove down to Granville to catch our 10:45am ferry.

Going through customs on these little boats is always entertaining. A few years ago when Mystery Guest and I went to Guernsey the French outgoing customs forgot to stamp my passport and really were scratching their heads when I came back... "how did you leave?" I guess it wasn't too funny when I said I swam..

This time the French customs were on fire... "Wow a beautiful American passport!" they declared for the whole boatload of people to hear. "So you were born in Switzerland? But you have an American passport?" ... er, yes I'm American. "So where are you living now?" V-town. "Oh la la la out there? What are you doing there?" I'm a student (didn't feel like saying I'm unemployed...) "So what do you study????" uhh.. French? After a wink wink and a nudge nudge when they saw my Amsterdam stamp (uh yeah people I landed there from Seattle, not too into coffee shops... but whatever) They finally let me go.

Arriving in Jersey wasn't any better, they were very stiff-upper lip and grilling me about why I lived in France, why I was coming to Jersey, how long I was staying etc.. But finally let me in, much to the relief of my fellow passengers still green from the very bumpy crossing.

Jersey was fun! Last time I was there with Benette was before I started this blog and we had a great time exploring the whole island by bus, this time A-C and I opted for bike rentals and scooted our way out to the west of St Helier. We found some adorable port towns and a secluded beach where there were just a few kids playing pirate. It was so warm and the water was crystal blue so I quickly got my bathing suit and went for a dip! On the bike ride back (the bikes had to be returned before 5pm) we noticed some nasty looking black clouds approaching so we made the most of our sunshine with a delish Jersey ice cream - one of the best ice creams I've ever had! Tasted like real homemade ice cream, with lots of... well.. cream!

We dropped the bikes off and walked around the shops before they closed (why do stores in England close SO freaking early???) and thats when the downpour started... Buckets I'm telling you! There was no point taking out my umbrella because the wind would have carried it away... so we just suffered through it and went to go for a drink. Thanks to Facebook I found out a couple months ago that a Swiss exchange student who was in my hometown for a high school exchange had recently moved to Jersey! So I contacted him (10 years later...) and asked if he would want to meet up while we were there. So we went for an after-work drink before our ferry. It was perfect timing to get out of the rain and get caught up after 10 years! Thanks Facebook! For that and for Bejeweled Blitz (another reason this MilkJam hasn't been posting much... haha)

Right so this turned into a novel instead of a post so bravo for those who were curious enough (or bored enough) to make it to the end!

To sum things up Jersey rocks! Although I think if I were to go back to the Channel Islands I would prefer the hikes and bike rides of a quieter Guernsey or Sark to explore :-)

jeudi, juillet 23, 2009


I joined JPG magazine a long time ago but forgot about it... when I came across one of their new challenges I immediately though of a picture (the foot challenge) but that one isn't being voted on right now... soooo I got sucked into looking through my pictures to see if I could fit one of the themes. For color this is one I picked, perhaps not the best for the theme but I really like it.

So wonderful MilkJam followers, please go and have a vote if you have a few minutes! I'd sure appreciate it!

lundi, juillet 20, 2009


A few years ago I wrote about my discovery of bagels in Picard and the weirdness of a store that only sells frozen foods. Well today Mystery Guest and I decided to stop by similar store (no Picard in our neck of the woods) to see if they had bagels and this amazing chocolate cake... Well no bagels but they did have a similar cake... it is currently defrosting and we're about to dig in while watching True Blood - can't wait!

Here is the weirdness of the store for you to get a visual image...
No bagels but pancakes! lol Cracks me up that someone would pay 3e for 8 little tiny pancakes (frozen of course) instead of spending 5 minutes to make them... but I guess those are the same people that buy Bisquick at home!

dimanche, juillet 19, 2009

house update

Things are really taking shape out where the house is being built, it has sure changed a lot since last time! They finally got the big rusty truck off the land (the former owner stuck it on the field behind... "for the moment" haha) and the ground was landscaped and the first part of the foundations were poured Friday! They're going to do the rest next week and things are getting all prepped for us to come and put together the frame etc in August!
(I love the picture of Mystery Guest leaping for joy on top of the gravel pile... now a classic!)

While we had our little picnic this afternoon I caught sight of a monster dragonfly buzz around in the grassy area behind us. I crept up on him and managed to shoot a good 20 pictures with him standing perfectly still. What a great model! ;-) I swear the thing was huge though! At least 2.5 or 3 inches long!!

samedi, juillet 18, 2009

a morning walk in V-town

This morning as Mystery Guest headed out the door I took a look outside and the torrential rain from yesterday had finally stopped. There were a few rays of morning sunlight so I headed out to catch V-town as it is waking up on a Saturday morning. There are some really beautiful hidden areas of town. There's one street I wanted to photograph but I got turned around and couldn't seem to find it. I'll go back though, it's all on my front stoop :-)