samedi, décembre 25, 2010
dimanche, décembre 12, 2010
We stopped in a coffee store that does fantastic coffees and teas and I discovered that they also do flavored coffees! I haven't hardly seen any stores in France that sell flavored coffee beans! They had hazelnut, vanilla, mint-chocolate and brownie! I bought some hazelnut and having been sipping that goodness this morning.
We also stopped by But and picked out a new mattress (you know yours has bit the dust when you wake up in the morning with a sore back, a butt print and realize staying at friend's houses that their fold out sofa is more comfortable then your bed at home...)
We found a great one on sale in a Queen size 160cm (ours is a double, standard 140cm French bed) so we got that as well as the new bed to put it on! Only sad part was that they didn't have any more delivery trucks so we have to wait until Tuesday to pick it up... I can't wait!!!
Otherwise most of the Christmas shopping is done, just a few more gifts to pick out... :)
samedi, décembre 04, 2010
vendredi, décembre 03, 2010
jeudi, décembre 02, 2010
I had asked my manager and she said that if we are snowed in and out of days off for this year we can take them from next year which is good, I would hate to think I'm not only stuck here but loosing money from my paycheck!
Snowdays are fun but not being able to go out and enjoy a day off cause the car is stuck in the driveway isn't as fun. Oh well, lots to do around the house that I had been putting off... !
dimanche, novembre 28, 2010
Friday the sun came out and melted some of the snow so I was able to drive into Caen after work to partake in our annual Thanksgiving dinner!
The lovely Sarah came in from Paris and then came home with me afterwards for a relaxing weekend in Normandy. Little did she know snow was on the menu!
Yesterday it snowed all morning but fortunatly melted away in the afternoon so we were able to escape and drive up to get some groceries - 25km away by Cherbourg they had over 6 inches of snow!!!
And this morning we woke up to a lovely hard frost that you see in the picture, the cows munching away and their breath steaming. Hopefully we won't have any more snow! It is beautiful but when you live out in the middle of nowhere like we do it makes life really difficult!
samedi, octobre 23, 2010
samedi, octobre 16, 2010
> The b&b guy trying to get his Nikon battery charger to work with my Canon... Système D at it's best folks... No, it's not a bomb! Didn't work too well however so I bought a travel charger.
> Today we went to Pont du Gard, St Rémy (where Van Gogh's mental hospital is) and les Baux - beautiful! All of the sights were just breathtaking!
> Oh, and did I mention the food???
> 2 more full days, I highly recommend Provence in October, warm weather, fall colors & no tourists!
> Sent from my iPhone
vendredi, octobre 15, 2010
Yesterday we visited Gordes and the area around.
mardi, octobre 05, 2010
My Dad and Anne came to visit the week before and sadly they left just before these "heritage days" as I guess you would call them, because I know they would have loved all of the activities as much as I did! Plus all the visits were free! We did a couple of tours last year.
First stop on Saturday was a guided tour of the stacks in Valognes. They only open once a year or for specially organized guided tours (but you have to be part of a school to get access to those ones). The librarian was really nice and very interesting. She explained the history of the library and it's collection (larger collection of medieval books than that of the Univeristy library in Caen!) Apparently one of the members of the bibilical school in the 17th century was an avid book collector and donated his collection to the church and should the school be closed to the city of Valognes. They have an extensive collection of pre-printpress books, all orginal maniscripts including quite a few illuminated ones.
Afterwards we trundled down to Saint Sauveur which has an equally cool castle as well as a museum for one of its well known writers (had never heard of him before moving here). I had wanted to see the museum but never wanted to pay the hefty entry fee. I'm glad I didn't pay! The museum is great, its really modern, lots to read and see and well organized. The only problem is that if you don't know who this guy is or the books he wrote it really isn't that interesting.
vendredi, septembre 17, 2010
post yesterday I had to go double check my own carte de sejour to see when I arrived... 1 day later! Today is my own 7 year Franciversary!
I don't think I ever denied the possiblity that I might stay longer than the initially expected 1 year but I guess I never thought I'd be here permanantly and on the road to citizenship (fingers crossed!)
But here I am, almost 29 and loving living out in the home we built with Mystery Guest. I'm still looking for the job that I'll wake up excited about but all things considered I'm sure that will work itself out, just need to keep an eye out! I guess that's where my "itch" is these days, could be worse though :)
So here's to all of us 7-year Franciversaries! I know there are a few more of you out there!
dimanche, août 29, 2010
Step one: rent a rototiller from the local hardware store, 25 euros for a half day.
Step two: rototill the dirt.
Step three: call on the willing father and girlfriend to rake the rototilled dirt taking out stones and big old weeds, allow for a whole day for both sides of the driveway.
Step four: give girlfriend a break since there are only 2 rainjackets when it starts raining buckets and so she can take pictures and nurse her blisters.
Step five: mix the grass seeds with fertilizer and sow the dirt.
Step six: take the roller that the grass store lent you and roll the seeds into the dirt.
Step seven: sit back and wait for the grass to grow... 1 week later we have a little green haze starting!
samedi, août 14, 2010
I couldn't resist throwing in a ton of those hydrangea shots... they just explode like fireworks around here!
samedi, juillet 17, 2010
mercredi, juillet 14, 2010
We ran into our neighbors and sat up on the rockwall with them to get ready for the fireworks. They were supposed to start around 11 but ended up starting around 11:30. The medieval castle is just the most amazing backdrop to the firework display!Here are a couple shots, I had fun testing out my tripod (a Christmas gift) and getting used to the manual setting on my camera. For a first attempt I thought they turned out pretty good :-)
vendredi, juillet 09, 2010
The procedure itself has changed since July 1st. This basically gives the local government much more power over the decision rather than just processing the file. Now the local government gives a yes or no answer, passes along the file to the national government who validates it.
The main reason for this change is that in the past it used to take 12-18 months to hear back. Now because everything is done when you first drop off the file it is supposed to speed up the process and not have the national government re-do all the work that the local government had already done. They said it should cut things down to 8-9 months! If it's under a year I'll consider that progress!
So its all out of my hands now, the guy was really positive sounding and said that there shouldn't be any reason why things don't work out. The only thing I can think of is that I only have a CDD (temp contract) and not a "real" job with a CDI contract but we totalled up all my jobs and in the 6.5 years that I've been here I've worked a total of 5.5 years. Basically all those summers I was between jobs added up to around 1 year but that's not bad.
And now the wait begins... fingers crossed!
jeudi, juillet 08, 2010
mardi, juin 29, 2010
Ok so I still haven't ordered anything from them simply because I haven't had time and because there are just SO many choices! (that and I'm trying to watch my oh-so-girlish figure these days *cough*) But after their first blogger contest that I entered and all the wonderful things in the gift basket I thought I'd give it a second try! Plus even though Thanksgiving is a long way off it made me think that it would probably be the cheapest place to get some pecans for my pecan pie - and karo syrup! That way I can actually make the real thing this year...!
lundi, juin 28, 2010
vendredi, juin 25, 2010
My Mom is coming to visit in October and we decided to run off somewhere together. Since neither of us has really explored Provence we're heading that direction. We'll probably be there 2 or 3 full days and are looking for a recommended B&B (not too pricey hopefully) and possibly a half day or full day cooking class (in English) and any other recommendations for the Avignon/Aix area!
We're looking to stay more inland and avoid the coastal part but other than that any ideas or thoughts would be very welcome!!
Edit: We ended up staying at the Ralenti du Lierre which was fabulous!!! Run by an adorable couple (one of whom spoke quite good English) with spacious clean and beautiful rooms with a huge freshly made breakfast. Several of the nights we were the only ones there and they made us feel so at home giving us suggestions for the BEST restaurants I've ever eaten at in the area! I'd go back in a heartbeat!
We had booked a cooking class but 2 days before the woman called to say that the chef running the class had to be rushed to the hospital so it was canceled and too late to get another one. But that's ok, we ate so well at the restaurants we pretended we had cooked it ;-)
dimanche, juin 20, 2010
breakdown of our expenses for The Scottish Vacation:
(time of travel exchange rate £1 = 1.20€ sadly much high than when
we planned the trip a couple of months ago.
2 round trip tickets Beauvais - Glasgow on RyanAir 132€
1 weeks car rental through Hertz £165 (1 exploded front tire to be
covered with Gold card insurance, hopefully not too much of a pain...)
1 week's expenses about £500 including B&Bs, entrance fees to several
castles/museums, 1 pub meal a day and gas.
Most B&Bs were around £30 per person with room rates listed as such
rather than per room. The cheapest we found was Ness View B&B right on
Loch Ness at a total of £25 per person. But the breakfasts were so
good and filling usually we would only have a banana in the afternoon
and then dinner around 6pm in a pub which would cost between £5 - 7
The UK has always been one of the more expensive places to travel and
Scotland as well is pricey. Had we been lucky and timed the exchange
rate when it was at 1.12 it would have been just that much cheaper.
I'd say all in all we spent just under 1000€ for both of us for 6
nights in Scotland, not too bad but I would have loooved to stay
longer on the Isle of Skye. That was one of the most beautiful places
I have ever been!
Sent from my iPhone
jeudi, juin 17, 2010
Loch Ness and the Isle of Skye. We have seen furry cows, eaten lots of
fish & chips and great Scottish breakfasts (no haggis thank you...)
and even clipped a small curb and blew a tire...!
We're staying on the stunning Isle of Skye and the tomorrow driving
back down to visit Edinburgh before flying out Sunday.
The weather has been spectacular and I only wish we had more time..
Nows a good time for the volcano to send another ash cloud over, I
wouldn't mind having an unexpected prolonged vacation...!!!
dimanche, juin 06, 2010
samedi, mai 15, 2010
vendredi, mai 14, 2010
samedi, mai 08, 2010
It's only gotten worse and worse as I got older. The over the counter stuff stopped working and each year I started taking stronger and stronger prescription allergy meds.
Last spring I went to my doctor and asked for something super strong, I was really suffering. She gave me the prescription but recommended to get treatment. I had never heard of allergy treatment but got an appointment with an allergologue in November last year. He did the usual allergy tests and indeed my only allergy was pollen. He recommended doing a désensibilisation treatment over the winter.
I had two options, the more traditional shot where you go in once a week to get one, or the newer treatment (that Miss Ksam did and told me about) which is an oral treatment. I opted for number two of course.
The treatment consisted of taking an eye dropper and putting X amount of allergy drops under my tongue every morning and holding it there for two minutes. That's it. No pain, no inconvenience - easy as pie.
Now allergy season is starting up and instead of being all stuffed up, runny eyes and so congested that I can't sleep... I'm as happy as can be!! Allergy free (so far, my worst allergies used to be a bit later in the spring...) After a follow up with the doctor he said that I may have some allergies this year but it should be considerably less than normal. I'll continue to take the treatment but twice a week instead of every day until December when I have another follow up.
So far I'm loving this option!!! (plus with the health care and my mutuelle I didn't pay a dime..!) I should have done it years ago!
samedi, mai 01, 2010
samedi, avril 17, 2010
I would love some vacation right now but I'm so glad I'm not waiting on an airplane somewhere!
samedi, avril 10, 2010
I had asked Mystery Guest to kindly call the garage last week and book an appointment in for me. I thought bad enough a woman calling a garage but a foreign woman? Hello rip off! So he booked in an appointment for me at 9:00am today and confirmed over the phone with the guy that it will cost me 70-80 euros. I dropped off my baby this morning and cause the garage is kind of in the middle of nowhere I got a loaner car:Now I've heard bad things about loaner cars but this is my first time getting one. Oh my GOD is this thing crappy! Some old Ford with the most ancient gear shift I can imagine, windshield wipers that wouldn't turn off and absolutly no power. There are a couple of big-ish hills between the garage and home and I could barely get up them at 70km an hour... poor cars stuck behind me, I felt so bad for them being stuck behind this piece of junk!
Anyway made it home in 1 piece but decided to park it infront of the neighbor's house, didn't even want to try to bring it up the driveway! I have to go back at 11am to pick up my car and I know I will appreciate having Dora back! Let's hope the dude sticks to his price as well...
samedi, mars 06, 2010
Home is going great, we are all moved in and getting things done bit by bit. I painted over the loft last weekend and we'll see what we work on tomorrow. Today I'm going to relax, enjoy the sunshine and head over to the coast to check out the farmer's market. After being cooped up in an office all week all I want is to stretch my legs and take deep breaths of fresh air. Today is the day for that!