Thursday, May 29, 2008

Several things

1. As soon as my computer is fixed, I'm going to post a recent picture of myself so you can all see my World Famous Nose. Pre-break, of course.

2. They now sell Oreo's at the grocery store here. I was very excited about that. I liked them as a kid and thought my kids should at least try them. Verdict? Boy2 likes them and Boy1 doesn't because they don't taste like real chocolate.

3. And he's becoming an expert on real chocolate. I've taken to making big batches of chocolate ganache spiced with something - cinnamon or allspice or ginger - a couple of times a week and serving it warmed and poured over fresh fruit - this week strawberries, nectarines, pears and peaches - after most meals. It's either that or chocolate sorbet.

4. Did you know that a big fat tablespoon of chocolate ganache in your morning coffee makes the world seem like a peaceful wonderland?

5. I'm currently posting from an old laptap. Because the other computer is being repaired. Well, mostly cleaned. When the computer fixer guy took the side off, we both gasped. The dust! The hair! The little fan thingies were choking on me and my sloppy vacuming.

6. As if my World Famous Nose hadn't suffered enough, my hay fever is out of control and has degenerated into a horrible cold. First broken, barely healed, and now being blown every 12 seconds. You can feel sorry for me now.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The nose job

Or we could also call this a great opportunity to use a fancy French word and impress French people with my vocabulary. The actual act in itself is known as pulling a Boy2.

See, ever since he's known how to walk he's done this thing. He walks and talks at the same time, rare multi-tasking for a male (sorry, couldn't resist). But he likes eye contact when he talks (seriously, sometimes he'll be telling me a story and if I look away, even for a second, he'll say, 'Mama, I can't see your eyes,') so if the person he's talking to is not walking with him, say, out of the room, he'll keep looking at said person and he'll keep walking and he'll usually slam into a door or a door handle or a door frame. There's a tube of arnica on every floor of my house.

So, last sunday, I was in Boy2's room, talking to him and walking out of his room at the same time and must have miscalculated where the door frame was because I slammed into it, left side of my nose first. Hard. Tears streaming down my face hard, not because I was crying but because apparently that's what happens when you break your nose. Who knew?

Right, the fancy word. Le chambranle. Which, if you go to google translate, means chambrale in English. Yeah, right. I think it actually means wooden door frame.

My nose is fine, small fracture, no black eyes. Just the bridge was colorful, blue and then yellow and now fading.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Bad seed

I went to the acupuncturist's on friday. I love acupuncture. I've been going, off and on, for years and years. I started in Seattle. There's a school there, NIAOM, that has a clinic where interns treat you (under supervision, of course) and it was cheap so when I was in graduate school I started going once a week. And I kept that up for years. And then when I moved here I found an amazing acupuncturist in Nantes, Dr. Butat (in France acupuncturists have to be MD's) and I saw him every couple of weeks until I moved to Laval. Since I've been here, I've been less regular but still fairly consistent, particularly when I'm busy having my ass kicked by life.

So that's like 17 years of acupuncture. I've had a lot of needles in a lot of places, some more or less agreable than others. Kidney 1, middle of the sole of the foot. Ouch. Hurts bad, very bad. And then there are just the points that are jumpy on me, but you learn to deal with that. I've always trusted my acupuncturists and the treatments are always beneficial.

None of that has changed. But jeez. Friday, she put this thing on my ear lobe, up kind of high on the lobe, which corresponds to something important, no doubt, but I was having trouble with the pain so I forgot to ask. Seriously. She needled my ear but it fell out a couple of times so she said, "I'm going to put a little something that'll stay for a bit." I was thinking one of those little pellet things with the adhesive that you leave for a few days. Um, no. Which I should've figured out when she told me to take a deep breath. She pushed this THING (I think it's called a seed in English) hard into my lobe and now I look like I've got a new piercing.

Except that it hurts. When I move the phone to that ear, when I brush my hair, when I roll over to that side while I'm sleeping, and when I bump into things.

Speaking of bumping into things, did I tell you that I broke my nose last week?

Friday, May 23, 2008

What could I possibly respond to that?

Boy2 has something wrong with his right eye. It's probably a stye or pink eye or some other childhood eye thing. I noticed it this morning when he got up. After breakfast, I suggested eye drops.

"Mama, you can't put things in my eyes."

"They're not things, they're eye drops. They'll help your eye feel better."

"My eye feels fine and you can't put things in my eyes."

"Why not?"

"Because my eyes are a treasure."

"Who told you that?"

"Well, no one. I just know it."

"What makes them a treasure?"

"Good things are hidden and found there."

So here's my question for the day: where are your good things hidden and found?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

More bedroom details

And still nothing slutty.

So, here's something interesting. The whole mattress and box spring world is a little different here. Different sizes, of course. My new bed, is, as mentioned earlier, 140 centimeters wide, which is the standard double bed here. Frames. I've never really seen bed frames like at home. Sometimes people just have a mattress and it's put on top of what they call a sommier à lattes, which is kind of like a frame but with horizontal slats of wood. Or some people buy a whole bed frame with a headboard and all that. I just wanted a regular box spring which I thought came with feet. Which I discovered is not the case.

Once the guys got everything into my room, I unwrapped it all and found that the box spring had no feet. But it did have four very nice holes where feet could be screwed in, if such feet could be found. I finally got dressed and dragged the boys to Leroy Merlin, which is our equivalent of Home Depot. But smaller. At least the one in Laval in smaller than any Home Depot I've ever seen. And there I found I whole little section devoted to bed feet. I found some I liked, not too short because I don't like beds that are too low, for reasons that vary. I brought them home and screwed them in (how intelligent is that? the holes are a universal bed feet hole size!) and put the bed on its feet and added the mattress. And realized that I'd gotten very tall feet and was now looking at a princess bed. Seriously, it's level with my upper thighs. Which is, it turns out, the ideal height for boys to run and jump on.

As for how the bed is, well, it's firmer than my last bed which is always good. It sleeps well although I'd say it lacks a little give. Don't we all?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

How my bed got into my bedroom

So, I've got a new bed. I ordered it a few weeks ago.

Last wednesday at 8:00 a.m. my doorbell rang. I wasn't dressed yet but my sleeping attire wasn't shockingly slutty so I walked out and unlocked the gate. There was a man and his truck was behind him blocking the street. He said he was there to deliver my bed. Yeah! I shouted and then said, "Where's your partner?" He said he didn't have one, the bed wouldn't be that heavy. I must have looked doubtful or surprised because he reassured me, no problem. "Even up to the second floor (first for Europeans)?" His turn to look surprised. What did I mean upstairs? I explained that leaving it in my dining room wouldn't do much good and I certainly couldn't carry it upstairs myself.

So, I tried to be his partner. We tried to get the box spring up the staircase. And got stuck halfway there. We twisted and turned and acknowledged defeat.

Please understand, the pit is nothing like the cellar and I really wanted my new bed. In my room.

I left him holding the box spring in the entry and went in search of help - the strong masculine variety. I found a neighbor's son, 20, tall and strong looking and, most importantly, willing to help. Of course I was asking for help and gesticulating madly under his window so, really, what choice did he have?

Mover man and his new partner tried the box spring - staircase thing. Same results. At which point I'm thinking, St. Anthony, finder of lost things, you'll be required to find my sanity if I end up sleeping on a bed in the dining room.

The window was the only other option. As mover man started to move into impatience-I've-got-a-schedule-to-keep-land, I raced to the garage to get the ladder. We (mover man and I) climbed the ladder together with the box spring in hand and lifted it up just high enough for neighbor's son to grab the plastic wrapping and hold it while I climbed down the ladder and raced up the stairs, climbed onto the radiator to reach over the wrought iron scrolly things and grabbed the plastic and held it while mover man pushed higher, neighbor's son and I pulled as he pushed then we held on while mover man let go and raced up the stairs to take my place.

And then the fun began. They were both on the window sill with one foot on the radiator and had to flip the box spring to get it through the window (from the scrolly thing to the top of the window is 155 centimeters and the box spring is 140 centimeters wide). It took them about 5 minutes.

The mattress, on the other hand, made it up the stairs.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Out of a pit

of dust and despair I shall rise.

I swear.

No, really, it's totally on my list of things to do. The rising out of the pit thing.

And I'm going to post for real tomorrow. And it might even be funny.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Customer service, à la française

This is actually kind of funny. My friend Beth (the one who lives in Barcelona) is coming to visit me this weekend. It's another bridge weekend, in more ways than one. But mostly because the 8th is a holiday, lots of people are taking off the 9th and then monday the 12th is also a holiday (la Pentecôte).

Anyway. Beth is flying into Charles de Gaulle airport, taking a shuttle to downtown Paris and then taking the TGV to Laval. The SNCF, the French train company, has a website where you can purchase your tickets. Yeah, right.

Of course the SNCF knows that tourism is huge in France. It's a major market. So their website's all international looking, you can choose the language and everything. Again, yeah, right.

Because what Beth and I discovered today is that when you go through their whole deal and chose your dates (which they make you do twice for no obvious reason) and times all is well. But then they ask you where you'll be picking up the tickets. Beth is flying in on friday so she'll be picking up the tickets at the train station in Paris.

And of course, when you say you're picking the tickets up in France, you suddenly become a French speaker and are therefore sent to the French section of the site. Where you are required to go through the whole date and time giving deal again (yes, again, twice).

Forme sans fond?

Monday, May 05, 2008


Doesn't necessarily mean finding. As is evidenced by the data compiled by my site meter.

It's interesting to look at how people end up on your blog. Most of them come from places unknown but sometimes they come from searches. And often times, they only stay for a minute because they didn't find what they were looking for.

My favorite is, of course, the Mary Kleyweg search. Which comes up every once in a while.

Other favorites: wheat drawings (from an odd conversation with Boy1), baguette viennoise, some words may hide others, label things in my room in a foreign language, and La Maison Renaise.

Which, by the way is now called La Maison... and will be opening in its new location May 13th. I've been inside, it's going to be beautiful and it's even closer to my house now. And open on mondays. And open early in the morning.

No need to search for me, you know where I'll be.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Trèfle à quatre feuilles

When I was very young and even just younger, I was very lucky. I suppose I still am, just differently. Back then though, I was lucky in the good luck charm department. I found four leaf clovers all the time and once stumbled upon a ladybug nest, hundreds of them winking at me and wishing me luck for years and years to come.

Boy1 has apparently inherited the lucky gene. Yesterday was a hard day for him and he said the only thing that could help was a good luck charm. And he has somehow managed to find, in the past 24 hours, three 4 leaf clovers in our front yard. Those of you who have seen my yard can imagine how unlikely that is. My yard is smaller than your average American garage.

It hurt to have to tell him that all the four leaf clovers in the world can't change that which cannot be changed.