Dec 29, 2009


I knew I haven't blogged again in a long time but didn't realize it was so long ago !
The kids are at home for 2 weeks. My son has been in a great shape and I think I'll only be able to relax and rest when he'll be back to school.
On the last few days, I have been trying to sort up my books, and magazines and papers and craft stuffs as we will be moving in March in our new house. In the meantime, and that's the challenge, while I am busy at ly stuffs, I have been trying to reduce his TV time. It's not that he's asking for but I took the bad habit to let him enjoy 1 hour twice a day when he doesn't know what to do because I was lasy to help him entertain himself. Bad mom, I know !
His sister cannot take care of him, it's a fight after 10 minutes...or the bedrooms are like after an atomic bomb !!
On the picture, you can see my son's shoes, he was really impatient to get his gifts from Santa. We put the stockings on the fireplace and our shoes under the Christmas tree. Our tree is also a mix of both culture, you can see a Cookie Monster ornament !
Our Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas lunch was typically French with noix de St Jacques, canapés, sanglier and some bûche de Noël glacée.
I am trying to dedicate more time than usual to clean up the house but time flies really fast. When I want to take a break, it's almost (American) dinner time. Cooking 2 meals a day exhausts me and I feel like I am spending my day cooking, loading and unloading the dishwasher. The kids usually have lunch at school and my husband at work. Not very typical of families around here where half the moms I know stay at home and pick up the kids at school for lunch at home. That's nice but I don't want to be rushing back and forth and have my day cut in pieces where 2 hours straight twice a day is only what you can get if you do that.
Work has not been at the top so I worked on widening my network. I admit I took more than authorized to do home stuffs or errands but I feel like I am freaking out in the inside when my to do list is growing and when errands become urgent dozens of errands ! Maybe I am a little bit control freak but my mind is at peace when I have "check, check and check" !
For now, I still have my menu of New Year's Eve to think about. We have guests over so I need to do something quite fancy even if they are very good friends.
I do not want our dinner to be too French, like having to take a 2-hour nap after the meal...but still, French people tend to be pretty "traditionnel" about Holidays meals. My father for example cannot spend Christmas without smoked salmon and oysters.
Well, let's see what I can find in my cookbook and then, off to Picard ! (my best "crustacés et poissons" provider).
Happy Holidays !

Sep 28, 2009

Our beloved Tigresse

Saturday evening, after multiple errands altogether (we usually do errands in 2 teams), we came back home. Our daughter found our beloved cat in the backyard, suffering a lot of pain.
When I saw her, I knew she had been poisoned like Lili, our cat that passed away last year.
I still wanted to have hope and we rushed to the vet's office. Unfortunately, the vet couldn't be back until 30 minutes and no one else was on call.
I pet her during all that time and asked her to fight for life. I talked to her and talk to her and talk to her...
When the vets finally arrived, it was too late. Actullay, we arrived home too late.
It's a lot of pain for all of us but what makes it even worse for me (what I shouldn't do, I know) is those "what if...".
What if I hadn't mopped the floor and didn't care about Tigresse going inside the house when we left. What if I made her go inside when we left as I usually do. What if I didn't mind about the comforter being in the Dry cleaner for 3 weeks so I had to go with my husband on that errands'trip instead of staying home...and being able to get her inside or finding her right away when she ate that poison.
What if we didn't stay too long at my daughter scout's meeting when we picked her up. What if the dry cleaner didn't talked to me for 5 minutes about the new dry cleaning customer card.
What if, what if, what if...
It's not one thing, it's all of them piling up that made us leaving her outside and coming back home too late. I know that what happened to her could have happened the next day or the next week. Maybe it could have happened 2 weeks ago or 2 days ago and what I chose to do and not to do at that moment saved her but still, I feel so angry...and so sad. I miss her very much.
We buried her in our land, soon-to-be new home.
My son melted down when we told her goodbye.
We will love her forever.
"You are in our hearts forever Tigresse, tu es dans nos coeurs à jamais".

Sep 17, 2009

Doctors & Hospitals

I always hesitated before posting : because I am not sure the subject I picked will interest you or because I am not sure I'd be able to write more than 10 lines. Everytime, I feel like I am being negative about France...
Bottom line, I do not post anymore => Bad !
So I'll try today : I have been very disappointed with French medicine and French doctors since we moved back from the US. Everything that I feel like being normal before, I really dislike them today. It goes from not having a yearly check-up to the way pain is ignored or worse, pain has to be !

Let's start with the obvious, as a women : the OBGYN appointment. Men don't know a lot about it but I can tell, it's not the appointment you want to go every year ! It's pretty much uncomfortable. Well, in France, it's twice uncomfortable because you are naked when you have your exam and you talk with the doctor. Who wants to have a conversation being naked ? I don't. So I decided that next time, I'll bring a long TS and see how it goes.

Then, as a mom, the yearly exam your child has with his pediatrician. Same problem here. My daughter never gets a chance to get dressed after his exam because he doesn't want to wait. So she goes down from the examination table and walks to get her eye exam or her weight taken...
Any problem or small issue is talked in front of the child but without him being asked about. Would you like it as an adult ? No, clearly no. And I am starting to think it's typically French as it's widely the case. I remembered hating that when I was a kid so I talked about it with my daughter and ask her : is this something you noticed ? How do you feel about that ? She did notice and she does hate it ! Same goes with pain. Most of the doctors will kind of deal with your pain. For children, no way, they have like 99% chance of "lying" or over-estimate the pain/ underestimate their resistance to it. My daughter had to get antibiotics through "intraveineuse" 3 times. The first time, at the Children's hospital,they had given her a patch of emlar so she was fine. The second time, the nurse came home and my poor baby started crying and saying it hurt. So I ask the nurse to do something about it. She said that basically that was nothing that could be done. So my poor baby cried for 3 super super long minutes and at the end, was begging me for help "mommy, mommy, mommy...". It was heartbreaking. So I called the Children's hospital to check with them. The nurse should have diluted the antibiotic with saline solution so it wouldn't feel like burning in her I rushed to the pharmacy (it was Saturday evening, and we don't have any CVS or Walgreens in France). When I explained that to the nurse the following day, she started to tell me that she didn't believe some of her adults patients when they said they were having pain until...she felt herself that very same pain. It was unbelievable !
So next time, I'll get all the infos before having any procedure done to my children...and to myself !
And of course, "le meilleur pour la fin", the dentist. And that'll take me a whole post. The dentist is everything. I even heard a friend saying "My dentist doesn't like to give too much anesthesia so I started feeling pain while he was using the drill on a cavity I had. I told him and he said "don't be childish, you are just fine"......?????!!!!!!

Aug 24, 2009

Summer Time

Hello !
As you can guess, my new job took me way too much of my free time as I had to work also most of my evenings and very often half of my week-ends.
Anyway, I was lucky to get 2 clients as soon as I started and I enjoyed my first two months in the job.
Then I went away with my family and cat to Brittany (one day) on our way to the Alps. For once in a very long time, we took time to do everything : travel, lunches, dinners, naps, postcards and we did what we haven't done in years during Summer Time : nothing !
It was the very first time in 12 years that I didn't plan anything, no visits, no places to be, no museums, no nothing !
So besides the fact that the Alps were a great place to be during Summer, we came back home relaxed and all very happy of all the moments that we enjoyed being together !!

May 31, 2009


I love Anne Roumanoff since she started...
Enjoy the video of "Harmony" !!

Post of August 24th : I just realized that my link didn't work so I found another video I like :

May 27, 2009

Unlucky day !!

Well, this time it was a pretty unlucky day. I would say like Sam that it is all a question of perspective but still....I felt unlucky !
First, I started my day with being 15 minutes late. When I am late for going outside on Wednesdays, it's always 15 minutes, I don't know why.
Then I couldn't use the "luckily-my-watch-is-15-minute-ahead" ("en avance", is that correct ?) because I had this kind of vehicule in my lane :
In the picture below, I am behind him :

Then I had to pick up someone in that kind of neighborhood : in the green zone.
If you notice, if you take the wrong street to enter the area, you are good to drive all your way down that street and try to find another one to go in. It took me two "enterings and outings" before finding my way ! And of course, the streets are as narrow as they can be in no U-turn possible !!
Agrandir le plan

After that, while my daughtre was opening a cabinet door, it almost felt on the floor. So we have now that :
Nice, isn't it ? And I can't get you pictures of my son's rash (he might have again the Fifth disease) or about the plate I accidentally dropped on the floor this morning or about the tiny wound my kitten got I don't know how....
So I guess I am done with luck cycles !! No "lucky day" tomorrow, just an ordinary day, pleaaaaaaase !!

May 7, 2009

Lucky Day !

Today, it was one of those day were I thought "Gosh, I am so lucky (something's must be wrong elsewhere in my life !!).
Everything I had to do went really smoothly and I might have 2 clients for my real estate business without looking for them. Like the rest, all happen without me looking for it. I do love this kind of day and already look forward for the next one !!

I left this morning for a doctor's appointment. For the first time in 2 years, I didn't forget to ask for a referral for a "phlebologue" (I would appreciate any comment that will give me the word in English !) and for what she told me, he looks like a great one !

After that, I went to a lab for some blood test and for the first time, I found a great spot (I unfortunately have a car too long for France narrow streets) in an always crowed area (Susan, if you read me, it was in le Croisé, remember last time I parked in Inno ? !!!).

The lab couldn't make the blood work before an hour so I went nearby to a small supermarket (Monoprix) where I had a sweater to return. I was going to have a quick look to men's clothes (I always like shopping for my hubby). I finally ended with clothes for the whole family, there was a huge sale (pretty amazing for France and that time of the year, merci la crise !). I even found a great bag I was looking for my work (not too serious but pratical to hold files and documents) 50% discounted (in the men section of course !) and a "cheche" like Katie Holmes in one of my magazines (I liked the style of it first and then, it's even more funny if it's on a magazine !).
I feel great when I buy exactly what I've looking for in weeks.

They had a good sandwich section so I had a quick lunch onsite. And I also like being able to do whatever I need without wasting time and gas ! They had also the most amazing chocolate cake, it was nice (I am a huge chocolate fan !).

With that in mind, I feel relaxed and when I met someone at Office Depot after my blood test, she might have felt it because we chatted and she asked me to find a house for her ! Yeah !

After that, I drove to some "jardinerie" with a pet section. I just had a kitten and needed to buy something to save my couch from her claws. It's called "arbre à chat" (cat tree ?). It's ususally quite expensive given the use and all the time not very stylish on the color choice. I know the concept of it is not stylish at all but it's much much more useful than it's bad looking.
Anyway, I was looking around for the second time of the week (couldn't convince myself to buy one the first time !) and bang, a promotion : 12 euros ! And not too ugly !

Then I rushed to my haircut appointment right before school pick-up. And there, I chatted with someone and find another potential client !!
At school, I also chatted with 2 moms I know and had useful informations I could have never gotten without their help ! Yeah again !

With all these nice things happening, I forgot to mention the "arbre à chat" had a defect and the tree wasn't inside the box but well, I went back and made a quick exchange.

So I do hope that as much I am kind of bragging with my luck, something really unluncky won't happen to me in the next couple of days !! In France, they have some sort of (bad mouth) quote that says "avoir une chance de cocu". Usually, it applies to men but.....
Whatever happens, I won't keep you posted on that subject !!!

I really like a lot the song below and today is a good day to post the video !!

Enjoy that long week-end !!

Questions about Swine Flu in NPR

The article is here.

Apr 22, 2009

Spring is too much here !!

So my daughter and I are suffering from allergies : headaches, burning eyes, sniffing etc.
This is really the first time it's happening to them so it seems weird for me. I never never had that kind of reactions when I was a kid and half my life, I lived in the countryside : 7 years in the beautiful Alpes de Haute Provence. I remember going to the dentist in Manosque long long before it was included in Le Luberon.
Anyway, it's weird. I have been having migraines since Saturday. It kind of never stops...I am miserable. I will end up going to a doctor see what she could give me. I found a great GP recommanded by my neighbor. She doesn't give you a long prescription and can even give you no prescription at all !! And the best thing is that she won't give you any antibiotics until you really need them. It's a thousand miles from what I had when I was a kid. It's pretty refreshing.
You won't believe me but I do really miss my kids pediatrician. He's great, caring and one of the best doctor I ever met. Dr Yogman, if one day you read my blog : WE MISS YOU !!!
That doesn't mean I haven't found great doctors when we moved back but they are....French !
They don't include the kids in the process, especially the dentist. The kids are supposed to stay quiet, not to complain and cope with pain. Unbelievable !

The worst part, I guess, is going to the OBGYN. When she starts examining you underneath, you are simply naked and stay like that until she is done. I DON'T LIKE IT !!!!!

For X-rays, I remember in the US having a heavy lead-apron on me at the dentist. Here, any X-rays that's not too close to your belly doesn't give you the right to that protection. So now, I always tell them I might be pregnant.

Last example, we had to take my daughter to the lab for a blood work. The needle they used was supposed to be kid appropriate but she was crying the whole time the poor thing. And the worst is that the lab girls told me they used the same needles for babies ! The only solution they gave me was to stick a special patch on my daughter arm 1 hour before the blood work so she wont't feel any pain !!!!!!!

I know it's the way things are done here and nobobdy even asks questions or thinks there could be another way but I am convinced there is something to do here.
Like environmental stuff, you can start little and ask for things to change around you.
It might work, it might not work but it's worth trying. And I'll try !

Apr 2, 2009

Spring is here !

I really love love this time of the year where you can leave windows open in the morning and smell fresh nice air. Right now, I have quite a lot of birds singing, it's nice.
My daughter had to work recently on the theme of Spring and more specifically the transformation Spring brings to Mother Nature. So we went around in our backyard and in the neighbors' too and took some pics I am sharing with you today. We were "hunting" for sprouts (bourgeons ?) and I realized that grown-ups (and me first !) sometimes forget about simply looking around.

Besides that, we had again our virus attack at home (stomach bug this time !) so I got really late with paperworks and home/work organization. Twice, 2 weeks (2 different "teams"). Luckily, I wasn't hit both times but I keep my fingers and toes crossed !!!

I finally drop off the latest member of the family who was sick at school this morning so I am ready, not to work a lot but at least to catch up with everything. And you'd be happy to know that posting this message was second on my list ! Hope to come back later !
Enjoy Spring !!

Mar 16, 2009

Mood of the day

My favorite (and my son's too !!).
Enjoy !!

Mar 13, 2009

So Sorry

Dear readers,
I am so sorry I haven't posted (again !) in so many weeks.
February was a very busy month for me. I had to deal with my daughter and me being sick on and off (we had been struggling against one or many viruses), my company installation stuck by paperworks and people not doing their job and finally, my son's baptism at the beginning of March that really kept me running almost 24/7.
After so many things going on, I had some sort of breakdown. The one you usually have when you using 200% of yourself until the job gets done. You suddenly feel so exhausted that you realized you forgot yourself and need a huge amount of me time and rest.
I am finally back on tracks and hope it will stay like this !
I hope you are all ready to celebrate Spring !
See you soon !

Feb 3, 2009

Still sick...

Unfortunately, I woke up quite sick on Monday morning and had to stay in bed all day because of a high fever. Today, I had millions things to do (like checking my bank account) so I was at my computer almost all day. I still feel bad. My body aches, I should be in bed and rest but I will rest with a peaceful mind now that I have balanced my account and after picking up the kids at school.
They stayed at after-school program. It's only 1 hour but it's still cool as I avoid all the crowd of moms and dads and kids and toddlers and babies and cars at usual pick-up time. At 8 euros an hour for both, it's same as hiring a bb sitter and the oldest get to make her homework with the teacher. Sounds a tiny advantage but when you are sick, looks great !

About my switching operators, it didn't work that good. All my calls are rerouted immediately to voicemail but I hope to get it work by tomorrow.

Except from that, nothing new on the small business side, I am waiting from papers from the bank to get another paper from another company to be able to get finally my license. Same old, same old...

I am looking forward to Valentine's day this year. I already planned a cool dinner at home.
It might help me forget I lost my beloved cat one year ago this same day but I am not sure...
Anyway, got to go pick up the groceries : I found a great service like a drive-in for grocery store, order online, pick up 1h30 after without leaving your car !!

I hope my friend Susan ( is feeling better !
Speaking of being better, I'll have my daughter checked by her doctor tomorrow, she is still very pale. Wish us luck !

Jan 29, 2009

Sunday is "Nothing Day"

I feel better today. I am not sure if the virus escaped my body or if the homeopathy medecine I took yesterday did the work but I am ok...for the moment. BTW, if you feel like having the flu, take 20 drops of L52 5 to 8 times a day, it's yucky but it's working !

About Sunday, I always miss the stores open on Sunday. An American woman told me that we were lucky in Europe to have that rule so people have at least one day to take care of themself and/or their family. She said "they don't have anything to do so at least, they have a good time off". I like the convenience as much as I hate doing my grocery shopping on Saturdays.
Anyway, I switched operators for my cell phone to get a Blackberry and a decent calling plan to call the US and Europe. My current plan goes until January 31st with another operator. So I asked them to start my new plan on February 1st. Logical. "I am sorry, Madam, we cannot possibly do that, the 1st is a Sunday." So I told her "So what ? How about telling your programm I want the 1st and I'll be good". No, it's like I was being rude to her ! So I have to wait until Monday. Then she told that it wouldn't be at 0:00 but around 3:30pm. All I have to do is turn on my phone around that time and wait ! I love technology in France !
Like for the modem, the guy told me : "turn on your modem, set up all the wires and wait around 7 to 14 days to get connected to internet "!!!!! Holly Molly ! How come we cannot have everything in the next coming hour ? Why ? Does the modem need a 10-day warming up ? Do we suffer from a lack of technology ? Is this because there is not enough competition ?

Jan 28, 2009


My daughter and I are both sick. It looks like some kind of virus but it's weird because it lasts forever. In 4 weeks, we were sick 3-4 days each week except one. High fever (for her), fever symptoms and headaches for me.
Blood tests are fine and medical exams too so I guess we need rest, tylenol, vitamins and chicken soup !
So don't be surprised if I don't post for the moment.
I hope we'll feel better soon.

Jan 20, 2009


I am watching right now the live video of the inauguration (on Ya*hoo), it's GREAT !!

Jan 16, 2009

Pour La Belette Rouge !!

Take good care of you !

Talking about The President-elect... the local branch of my bank today. Not a long talk but I wanted to mention it, especially to my American readers. I dropped by before school pick-up to deposit a check. That check had our address in the US so the person in the bank asked me if I lived in the US (I was almost going to tell her "no, actually, this is a fake address so we can bragg !!"). So she asked me right away, really curious to hear my answer : "So what do you think of Barack Obama being elected ?". I wasn't prepared to have a talk about it, having spent the last 10 minutes driving around the block to find a spot. For the first time since we moved back, I ended parking almost illegally, almost careless of the traffic, very Frenchy !! Anyway, I was caught by surprise. I just said "It's great, I am very happy". Do you know what she said ? "Me too, I am really happy that he was elected. He has a lot on his plate and I am afraid he won't be able to succeed on all the battle fields but he knows that. I am confident about him. Did you hear about his letter to his daughters ?"...
I was "bouche bee" as we say here (I used to say "J'etais scotchee").

Good news, my company exists legally and officially since Tuesday, I picked up the papers this morning. I have an interview on Tuesday to get financial guarantee and business insurance. I spent all day creating my business cards and brochure on the computer. It's funny but OMG, you should see the size of the pile of laundry waiting to be fold ! Not mentionning that my fridge is almost empty and that I didn't sat for more than half an hour this week !

There is a serious numbers of flu in the North and my son has 4 cases in his classroom today. I cross everything I can he won't get it !!
I'll keep you posted ! Enjoy your week-end.

Jan 9, 2009

Organic Food

What do you think ? What do you do ?

Jan 8, 2009

My Small Company

Well, it's almost official so it's time I talk about what kept me busy since December started.
I dropped off all my documents at that famous "guichet unique", one single-counter for setting up your company named "CFE (Centre de Formation des Entreprises)". I forgot how painful and stressful it could be going to an administration and hoping you haven't forgot anything. I was prepared but still...
I was like anxious when the women across the desk looked carefully at all my documents, comparing and reading while frowning her eyes. I was literally holding my breath. Then I thought, "something's missing, that can't be the end of the world"...except that I was freezing only by getting there. I was used to freeze in Boston for a few months every year but I guess the body gets used to warmth !! I couldn't imagine coming back for one paper...and there it was, she said there were 2 problems !
I was lucky with the first one, the "jurist of the house" was reachable (not mine, the CFE's), it was quickly solved. Besides, it shows I was right so that gave me a little confidence (not saying a little power !!). The second one was a mistake I made (by not double-checking a legal add I sent on Christmas week) but she still took all I brought saying my file was pending. It lasted around 10 minutes and it took me 1 hour to get there back and forth...Anyway, I am almost done now.

I just need to buy a laptop and a printer/fax machine/scanner, what I was going to do to today.
Then get my license as a real estate agent (still need to sign and gather lots of documents) but that's the last step.
Then, and that's the scary part, I am free to go...lucky me !!
The economic situation, even in France, is not at its very best. The first year I was out from "College", there was an economic crisis and it was really tough to get a job. I was supposed to work for a CPA to be able to do after a year my "3 year-internship" but couldn't.
We are protected in France and we don't realize that. We have insurance for all and preschools are free. We can also receive money just by having more than one kid and being a SAHM (not too much but still).
But it takes forever to set up a company and it can be very complicated if you don't know the legal part...
I can't stop comparing the US and France although I know it's not a healthy thing to do. I promise I'll do my best to be positive. I will try to infuse through my new job that customer attention and business-being-always-pro state of mind I appreciated so much there. That is how business have to be run. I believe in trying to change things around by starting little, one day at a time, being a role-model.
I have other battle-fields but that'll be a subject in a different post.
I wish you all a HAPPY NEW YEAR. May 2009 be one of your best year, May 2009 bring joy and peace to your family and the friends you love.