samedi, mai 15, 2010

sweet smells

Sweet smells of ripe strawberries and lilacs - the sun has finally come out for the first time in May! Let's hope it stays that way...

Things are good around here, been busy and gearing up for a busy weekend to come.

vendredi, mai 14, 2010


Dramatic evening skies out of the kitchen window.

samedi, mai 08, 2010


Hayfever, allergies, whatever you want to call them. Blech. The bane of my spring every year since I was in college. I never had any allergies as a kid, seasonal or otherwise. But once you live in the Willamette Valley you will get allergies - that's what the locals say anyway.

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

across the pond

I've been at my job for almost 9 months now. In the office about 75% of the people working there are English, 24% French and me. Little old American me.
In the beginning it was interesting and fun to compare these differences between American and British language and humor. I've always had English friends and we've always had a blast, I've never felt any tension between Brits and Americans other than the brother/sister relationship of good natured teasing. But now I'm really starting to get fed up with references to me being American. I was hired because I speak English (and French), my own English, what I grew up speaking. I was not hired for my British culture or language and I refuse to change the way I speak. I know when in Rome but guess what, I'm not in Rome, I'm in France.
I admit, I have changed one word, yes, I have given in and write cheque instead of check. When on the phone with English customers I am clear, articulate and I know what I'm talking about - they understand me. With my colleagues I say pants, gas and I pronouce the "h" in herb.
I've recently had rude customers on the phone when after I admitted that I misunderstood what they were asking (not due to language differences, simply because there was a misunderstanding) say, "oh, that's OK, you're American." No joke, he was dead serious.
Why they have to nitpick everything I say because it is strange, weird sounding or different is beyond me. It's not like they have never heard an American accent. They all have English satallite TV at home, rather I should say they have American satallite TV because all the shows really are American anyway. They obviously understand American English and I am getting beyond annoyed with people teasing me (even if it is meant as good natured and not mean) for everything that comes out of my mouth. (I'm not even going to go into the comments they say about the French...)
In the 7 years I've lived in France I have not had as many rude comments for being American (even during the Bush years and "freedom fries", sorry "freedom chips") as I have had in the last 9 months at work.
Grow up people you obviously must be bored at work if the only thing you can think about to talk about all day is my accent.
Sorry, rant over but this has been getting under my skin for the last few weeks.