lundi, mars 30, 2009

life in V-town

Our train station & cafe.

dimanche, mars 29, 2009

daylight savings!

Don't forget it was last night in Franceland that we sprung forward 1 hour! Now back to 9 hours difference with the West Coast.

I'm going to go change my clocks before I forget :-)

vendredi, mars 27, 2009

a small step

I really need to get my license, but what a pain in the butt. I had some free time at work the other day so I brought the study DVD and went into the teacher's computer lab to practice. Naturally even though the sound was off I gathered a crowd of teachers who were going to "help" me. Haha, 4 of us and we still missed at least 10 out of 40 questions (a failing grade)! I swear that test is pure evil...

After the saga at the beginning of the month I braved the phone and called the DDE to see where my dossier was at.. he took my name and number and said he'd get right back to me. Riiiight I thought. Well 3 minutes later he called! I have a convocation for May 11 in V-town. Too bad we'll be in the States then! I tempted fate by asking if they have a date in April or the end of May. Nope, that's it for V-town! But he said he could arrage a convocation for me after May 18th either in Cherbourg or Carentan (both easy to get to by train). Score! So now I'm just waiting for the official date, 1 more step in the French license saga.. :-)

mardi, mars 24, 2009

baby blanket

A good friend is expecting #2 the end of April and so last month I decided to make a little something for the new one. They don't want to know if its a boy or a girl so I thought I was getting some gender neutral color but now I think its a bit too blue so I'm hoping for a boy! I guess I could always stitch a little pink flower or something if I need to :-)

Anyway this blanket is probably the biggest (size wise) project that I've finished, its about 1 meter square. I wasn't a big fan of synthetic yarn but I thought for a baby blanket it could be really good to have something you can throw in the wash and not have to think about it. Anyway I thought it came out pretty good. I have some left over yarn that I think I'll try making some baby booties out of for another friend who is indeed expecting a little boy (also the end of April! - what happened 9 months ago?) and then I might finally start on some socks for me.. maybe :-)

Oh and I've been meaning to post a little review:

Twilight - fun, got to see "home" and not just a teeny bopper movie, worth watching & good story (I've never read the book).

The Watchmen - big thumbs down, got bored, cheezed out and didn't follow the story well. I think you would have to be a die-hard fan to enjoy it (never heard of it until seeing the movie...)

dimanche, mars 22, 2009

Sunday walk

I went out on a little afternoon walk, exploring V-town. Things here are still relatively new to me, last summer when we moved here I was stuck inside finishing my mémoire and since then the weather hasn't been the most cooperative! Plus I loooove playing with my camera! Feel like I'm finally getting the hang of this SLR stuff! :-)

I took a walk trying to find some castle ruins that Mystery Guest had showed me a while back, didn't find them but stumbled on the ruins of a Roman bath (bottom left corner)! I had no idea that V-town had ruins of Roman baths! I also got some close up shots of the little buttercup type flowers that dot the roadsides right now, can anyone verify if they are indeed buttercups?

At the market on Friday I bought a bouquet of daffodils for a euro, I had no idea that daffodils have a scent but our whole dining room is perfumed with this wonderfully light springy smell, one of those things that you notice but can't really put your finger on it.

Hope everyone is having a sunny Sunday! I heard the weather might change midweek (not that I'm complaining, I don't remember the last time we had 3 straight weeks of sun in March!!!) so I'm soaking it all up!

vendredi, mars 20, 2009

school work

I took these pictures at the lycée where I work the other day. The students are first year high school students (sophomores in the US since French high schools only are 3 years) and their teacher does some great stuff with them. In the beginning of the year they made group posters of the 2 American candidates profiling each one, then they did the environment and now social projects.

I just think that all the posters are great but the social ones were excellent. This is a small high school in the countryside with a mainly low-income, agricultural, white population and I think its great the teachers are educating the students on issues and broadening their horizons such as this in English class. (Most kids have never left the département much less been to Paris or even Caen (a 40 minute drive away!)

I love that they left the posters up in the classroom for others to see (the teachers here move classrooms, not just the students, so one room could be used for any subject and therefore has little decoration besides a chalkboard!)

jeudi, mars 19, 2009

I just want one!

Dear France,

Why is it that you can never remember to pronounce the third person "s" or plural "s" yet you correct me when I order un cookie. "Oui, un cookies, il vous faillait autre chose?"

It is not un cookiezz
nor un browniezz
nor un donutzz.

Thank you,

mardi, mars 17, 2009

USA baby!

Well I can finally announce some good news that's been brewing! We've got tickets to the US in May! These tickets had been going back and forth, let me explain. My mom gave us 2 tickets to the US with her miles last spring and had booked them for September as a graduation gift to both of us (my Masters and Mystery Guest's BA). September didn't work out well so we booked them for August. Then Mystery Guest got offered his current job and although the store closes in August every year it was the wrong two weeks... So we moved them to this August thinking it would be the right 2 weeks. Then a couple weeks ago I was on the phone with Mom and she said that with my upcoming unemployment in May and not locked into a job (yeah, not too thrilled about not having a job yet...) it's too bad we couldn't take advantage of coming in May.

I asked Mystery Guest and he was able to talk his boss into letting us go for 2 weeks in May (not actually missing that much work since there are 2 holidays in there!) but we thought we'd never be able to use the miles because its so hard to get dates. I started looking into prices and the tickets are dirt cheap right now (470e round trip Paris/Seattle!) but for fun Mom called the hotline and got us 2 tickets on the dates we wanted!!! Oh and the best part? Non-stop Paris/Seattle on the way there and 1 stop in Amsterdam on the way back! Oh yeah baby, living it up in style!

So we're off to the US May 1st - May 17th and just need to figure out where were going once we get there! I can't wait!! We're thinking flying down to Southern California to see my grandparents and road tripping it up the coast back to Seattle - oh yeah!

jeudi, mars 12, 2009


Today was Mystery Guest & my PACS-a-versairy! Yea! Neither of us really is planning on celebrating this, I'd rather celebrate when we started dating (in December) since this was more a paperwork formality than anything else..

But any excuse to try a new recipe! Chocolate & Sweet Potato Cake - I thought it could be an amazing combination of 2 things we both love, chocolate cake and sweet potato pie! So after work I came home to quickly make it (had cooked the sweet potatoes earlier that morning) and stick it in the oven so it would be done when MG got home from karate class later. It turned out really well! I used gluten free flours which can be dry and compact but with the sweet potato the texture was amazing! It was a dense chocolate cake but not too heavy or rich and the sweet potato flavor wasn't really there although it really contributed to a silky texture.

I was chomping away at my piece when MG noticed a little something in his... it looked like a piece of egg that didn't get fully mixed, or sweet potato perhaps... but alas, it was indeed a maggot! EEEEEWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW

My first maggot, how on earth it got in there we're still not quite sure (perhaps a sweet potato? I find it hard to believe it would have been in any of the other ingredients, maybe the rice flour?) but it totally put me off finishing my piece. Maybe I'll try another piece later but I'll probably spend so much time picking through it that I won't enjoy it... EW!!!!!

Mystery Guest seems to think that there was only one in there, otherwise I would have noticed - which is probably true.

Anyway I highly suggest you try the recipe, just leave the maggots out.

mercredi, mars 11, 2009

what a day!

Wow what a day, not bad but ranks up there with crazyness! I left (as usual on a Wednesday) at 7:25am to catch my 7:39 train. As I got nearer to the station I noticed a train sitting there, I thought oh, that's funny usually there's isn't a train to Cherbourg at that time, huh. As I got closer I realized it wasn't moving... oh well it looks like its on the other tracks, should be fine.

I got up to the station and realized it was on my tracks but was not my cute little TER but a big Paris-bound train... glup.

On the board my train was supprimé and the next train (leaving at 8:02) was expected with a 30-minute delay.. double glup.

So I called my collegue and then the secretary's office saying that not only would I be late for my 9:15am class but that I was giving them one of their final exams today and so please don't let the students leave! They both said no problem, they would make sure the students stayed.
So I finally arrive at 10am and rush up to the classroom where my angles were waiting for me. But alas, it was a video exam (comprehension) and the TV I ordered was not there... glup glup glup...

Track down the TV guy, admit it was my fault (even though it wasn't!) to appease him and get a TV. He brings it. I rush through the beginning of the exam, turn on the video and glup glup glup glup no pause button on the remote. So I had to sit with my head bent under the TV pausing it as they take their test.

Things go well, I haven't graded them yet but I think the students did pretty well. I had a nice lunch with my colleges and Sarah and I grab the tram to head into town. A few stops in, glup, the tram stops and says that a big demonstration has blocked the tram system and we could wait or get out there! So we got into town and continued on foot.

I went on my way to the pool (told Sarah that if the pool was closed I might have to kill someone) and had a lovely swim. The rest of the afternoon went great, got to see a good friend and have some tea before catching the (ontime) train home.

But man was that a stressful morning! So glad my students kept their cool even after their teacher was on the fritz! :-) I guess its easy when you blame the SNCF ... !

dimanche, mars 08, 2009

un petit cafe?

I saw this yesterday and just cracked up. I like the song but I loooooooove the animation that they did with it... it is so true.. so sad and so true.. Coffee anyone?

samedi, mars 07, 2009

Spring is springing

Yesterday I had to go to Caen but I was able to take advantage of a sunny spring day & enjoy a delish hot cocoa with Natalie and her Irish coffee as excellent company! But as March is just a big tease the grey skies are back again today.. Time to be productive I guess!
In other alcoholic news Mystery Guest came back from work at lunch with a gift from a customer - a 1971 bottle of homemade Calvados...

Should we drink it? Or sterilize an open wound?

vendredi, mars 06, 2009

FO: Socks!

This post is long overdue! I put the pictures up on facebook but totally forgot to blog about them!

Well I finally finished my first pair of socks, like everyone says after you do the first one you're so freakin' proud of yourself for finishing a sock that you have no desire to do the second one! But I managed to plug away at it and get the second one done!

Mystery Guest said he's very happy with his new socks, he says they're soft and warm and of course handknit by yours truly! Plus I think he looks pretty stylin'!

Right now I'm trying to finish up a baby blanket for a friend who is due the end of April, chuggin' along with that.. :-)

jeudi, mars 05, 2009

calling all knitters...

I really want to try to make my first sweater and I have an idea of what I want to do but can't seem to find a pattern that I like... I want to do something like this (its that kind of collar that I'm after...) but in a more feminine version.

Any ideas?

I need to update this blog with the socks I finally finished! I'll do that when I get home :-) I know you're all waiting with baited breath!

lundi, mars 02, 2009

The saga continues...

Well dear readers this is the latest installment of my French driver's license saga...

Last time I wrote back in December I had just sent off my dossier 02 to the Prefecture, the lovely lady at the auto-école helped me fill it out and then I waited... and waited... and waited some more. They said it could take 3 months to get a convocation so I was patient. I tried calling last week but apparently at 11:15am on a weekday people don't answer the phone, must have been pause-cafe..

Now its March and no news so I called the Prefecture. They transferred me to the DDE who said they have no record of my dossier on hand. So I called back the prefecture and they said they have no record of it either! She asked what I sent in, when I replied the dossier 02 formule all filled out she answered with shock, but no pictures? I said no, there was no list of other things to file so I just sent that. "oh, well if you didn't send the 2 pictures and your piece d'identité and and and of course we wouldn't have been able to fill it out!"

Figures, I forgot that I could have used my telepathic powers! Silly me.

Anyway she said she would send me the list of things to re-fill out and send back to her. As soon as she got them she would transfer them to the DDE to be put on the urgent list (after I asked if this was going to take another 3 months!)

So hopefully this will all work out. But to be honest I don't know if I'll pass the stupid code, I worked on it again last night and even paying attention to the pieges I still got TONS wrong because the ones I thought were traps were not and the ones that looked totally normal were...

Gah, if I survive this I'll need a gold medal.

Or maybe I should just drive on my American license and forget all this... works for so many other Americans!

06/03/09 Update: the lady followed through and sent me a new dossier and the list of documents needed. I got it done and sent back yesterday so I hope I'll hear back soon!

dimanche, mars 01, 2009

Gran Torino


That's all I can say. Mystery Guest and I just got back from Gran Torino, what an amazing movie!

The story was powerful, the acting amazing (despite the dubbing...) and Clint was just... unbelieveable. I don't want to say more because I wouldn't want to give anything away but if you have seen it let me know what you think!