Welcome home

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When I got home, I had to look for the dogs because the house was eerily quiet. I checked our daughter’s room and I saw that she was at work, so I went to our son’s room and jackpot, the three of them sitting on the couch watching t.v. Lulu on one side and Jack on the other with our son wrapping each dog within one of his arms much like I do when I am at home. They looked adorable, the three of them.

As soon as my son said “Maman’s home” they whipped their heads around and saw me and in tandem leapt off the couch and practically bowled me over. I grabbed the little one and led the big one over to the couch so that I could kiss my son on the cheek. That is when the dogs decided that since Maman was home, going outside was what was on the agenda. They are so funny because it seems that they know which human does what and that even when the other humans do everything for them, they still know that one human is the walking human while the other human is the feeding person and all humans are good for cuddling.

Our children also know that when Maman gets home, dinner gets made for them and I can appreciate that myself because whenever I go to my mother’s house, she makes me dinner, lunch or brunch. Isn’t it great to have a mom who cooks for you? Tonight I made pasta with minced garlic, butter and I melted three pieces of Laughing Cow cheese, I forgot if I had written about using Laughing Cow before when I was out of Parmesan cheese, but it works really well, it makes the pasta nice and creamy. I’m not the only one who cooks for the kids, my husband does as well and we both enjoy doing it for them. We did make sure that they both know their way around the kitchen so that they can feed themselves when we aren’t home but they both prefer it so much more when we feed them. lol. 

  

Food fantasies

I am sitting here in the hotel room in Marlboro MA waiting for my husband to get “home” from work and there is a new commercial for Yoplait’s whipped Greek Yogurt, a new way to have Greek yogurt and my immediate reaction was what would I give for a few days in France right now to have one of my childhood favorite’s, Petit Suisse or Gervais fromage blanc, which has the thickness of Greek Yogurt, the slight tang reminiscent of Greek Yogurt and all of my nostalgia wrapped in a delicous package:

  

Just two of these little buggers, unwrapped and sprinkled with some sugar, mixed up until the sugar dissolves and then viola, a thick, slightly tangy and sweet, absolutely delicious dessert.

  

My next fantasy food is a simple ham and butter sandwich on a fresh baguette. I would then love to have a steaming bowl of soupe de poisson served with the croutons, the grated Swiss cheese and a healthy dollop of rouille which is a garlicky mayonnaise, all served on top of the fish soup.  It is the most satisfying, flavor intensive culinary experience; the croutons topped with a spoonful of the rich garlic mayo, swimming in the burnt orange colored fish soup which has been pureed into a thick soup intensely flavored by a bevy of white fleshed fish, tomatoes and all of the wonderful aromatics that you can think of, topped off with the nuttiness of Swiss cheese, I promise you that food doesn’t often get much better than this.

  

I would then move on to a simple chocolate eclair; and perhaps for breakfast, I would have a few pains aux raisins, then I think that I would at last be satiated for at least a few months.

 

 

 

Mouthwateringly tempting wouldn’t you say? 

Family dynamics

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We are all still getting to know our Lulu and it is still as interesting as ever. Jack and Lulu are strengthening their bond on a daily basis; they adore going on walks together and I see first hand how Lulu adapts her behavior according to Jack’s. I have to confess that Lulu is only the second female that I have helped to take care of and the first, Jacquelina, a gorgeous blond Golden Retriver was from over twenty years ago, but from what I remember of Jacquelina, she didn’t mark her territory as Dylan, the mahogany Golden Retriever, her companion did, she went once and that was it. Lulu on the other hand has begun marking every tree stump that we encounter just like Jack does, first one goes and then the other and to top it off, Lulu spastically does the same thing as Jack does with his hind legs, scratches at the ground to cover up whatever she did; what makes it so comical besides how her back legs flail around and then it looks like she is stretching, is that poor Jack either gets a facefull of dirt or old leaves, he doesn’t look very happy when that happens. They do however walk nicely side by side, patiently waiting for the other while he or she is off sniffing something, the other then approachs to give the once over sniff in approbation. 

I know that I have posted pictures of Lulu sitting on my lap but now it has gotten crazy; I don’t know if Lulu is bound and determined to have my lap because she wants to do everything that Jack does or if it is because she just wants to be very close to me, but either way I have two dogs not vying for primacy, they are just happy to be close together on my lap, Lulu leans over and licks Jack, Jack kisses her back and I have one hand on him with the other on her and they are happy to fall asleep with Jack sleeping quietly while Miss Lulu snores loudly and rhythmically,  making us all giggle. 

 

      

My husband and I are on the road again and I miss them already, I miss the kids as well, but they are busy with their jobs and school, which makes my husband and I very happy besides the fact that they take excellent care of Jack and Lulu. Our daughter is a great mom to Lulu which doesn’t surprise me, she was pretty wonderful with her bunny Jump when she was little and she took very good care of the two ferrets that she had in her room.

I am looking forward to getting back home, but being on the road has its perks, my husband and I get quality alone time which is very important especially when you have to start preparing yourself both mentally and emotionally for the moment in time when your children leave the home. That is one thing that I am not looking forward to whatsoever; I wouldn’t mind how ever long they stayed at home, in my mind it’s their home and they are welcome forever. Having said this I realize that it does one good to separate oneself from one’s parents and I know that it will happen for our children, I’m just not going to rush them towards the inevitable.

Happy Easter everyone!

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This Easter is a nice quiet one, our daughter is working today getting time and a half, so it only us, our son and the dogs. Since we have all been very busy, my husband and I driving here and there and everywhere and our kids working, the menu was decided very quickly and easily, by my husband I think, Eggs Benedict for the meal and chocolate for dessert.

   

   

My husband is the king of the Eggs Bendict and I don’t say this lightly. Our son would probably name Eggs Benedict is one of his most favorite foods and he has eaten them at the best restaurants and hotels and he says that his Papa’s are the best that he has ever eaten. I agree with my son because not only were they divine today, my husband has made them this way consistently for years now. There is something about the combination of the hot thick egg yolks, the zesty thick almost custard like Hollandaise sauce, the savory Canadian bacon and the nice chewiness of the English muffin that makes the taste buds sing in pleasure.

I have to say that watching my husband put the Eggs Bendict together for myself, our son and himself, is akin to watching a master at work because every movement is precise and efficient. I have made Eggs Benedict in the past and it can go south quite easily; between overcooking the eggs, curdling the Hollandaise Sauce or even burning the Candian bacon, anything can happen. My husband makes it look so easy and that is what makes him the master.

Now I will wait for my stomach to do its job and then I think that I will have some chocolates.

Happy Easter!

A simple solution to the world’s problems

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Yesterday while I was getting my hair colored; specifically the minute that Leslie took me over to wash the coloring agent out of my hair, working the shampoo into my hair and spending several minutes massaging my scalp, I had an epiphany; if everyone in the world had access to a weekly head massage via an aromatheraputic shampoo, the world would be a much better place. It never fails, whenever my head is being shampooed by someone else, I get a serious case of goosebumps, the good kind, not the kind that come when you’re scared or cold, the other kind. “If someone can’t do something, it’s okay, I feel good right now, I can’t feel stress, angst, all I feel is relaxed, mellow, so good, I could stay here forever.” That is how I feel every single time I get my hair shampooed at the salon, so imagine if everyone who is unhappy had access to that, how much better they would feel for at least a little while; we should make it mandatory, a public service for everyone. Our society nationally and globally would thank us. I realize that making it happen would be a huge challenge, but in the long run it would be such an incredible gift, a simple gesture that everyone’s well-being was important. We see programs that revolve around getting low income women a step up by in life by helping them become prepared for job interviews with clothes, make up and interview practice sessions so why not extend this concept to head massages as well?

This may be silly but reaching out and alleviating stress on a wide scale would do us all a tremendous favor. Just think of all those people that you have encountered who were short, bitter or anxious, think of what a five minute head massage would do to turn their frown upside down. It is just a thought.

Professionally had my grey washed right out of my hair

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I am right now multi-tasking, my daughter is telling me over the phone that young ladies are going “granny” with their hair and that they are spending major dollars for what I have naturally, the exact same argument that I have used on her when she would color her hair something other than her gorgeous natural auburn coloring. Future parents, you will hear your own words thrown back at you at one point or another, not complaining just putting you on alert. lol.

   

   

I am not very good at the selfie but I love the one with the perspective from below because I got to see how my doggies and the babies saw me, scary was the first word that came to my mind, but they have never seemed scared of me so I guess scary wasn’t their takeaway.

I am getting used to the glass wearing me, I just have to remember to bring them with me everywhere because apparently I now need them more than I thought such as at the hairdresser when I had to sign the receipt, it is no longer a convenience, it has become a necessity. 

Life is never boring thank goodness. :D

Today is a perfect day for spiffy shoes

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We are here in New York and it is absolutely glorious outside, 62 degrees with blue skies and a gorgeous sun. This morning I put on my new shoes that my husband gifted to me for our last wedding anniversary with unrestrained glee. I can’t help it, my feet have been encased in my trusty Merril’s for far too long, I would never complain about my Merril’s, they keep my feet warm, dry and they keep me safe with their rugged soles, but they aren’t the prettiest of shoes. When I looked at the weather for today, my heart and my vanity leapt with anticipation at the thought of walking in New York with my newest loafers. 

   

   

When I decided to take pictures of my shoes, I didn’t want to it to be the typical shoe picture, shoes on the ground. The blue sky was way too pretty to be ignored and it was the most important part of the decision to take my lovely shoes for a stroll outside, so the sky needed to be included in the picture.

My next thought after taking the picture was how incrediably quaint all of the telephone wires and electrical poles appeared. This is a relatively new impression that I have and it is thanks to my cousin Francoise and our friends Claudine, Marc and Alain, who couldn’t help but point out that the above ground configuration of our electrical and phone services seem to be a shout out to the fifties, which is weird considering how wealthy the United States is compared to the rest of the world. I was reminded of this once more by a lovely French food stylist/WordPress blogger, Coco Jobard, while she was visiting Los Angeles a few weeks ago, she posted the most incredible pictures of gardens, architecture and local cuisine. Since so many of her pictures were outside, she couldn’t escape the wires from intruding into her pictures and she mentioned several times in her posts of her amazement at how quaint the telephone and electric poles were, her words not mine.

I was trying to figure out where to place my feet in order to take a shot without the wires and try as I might, without calling too much attention to myself, there wasn’t single shot to be had that didn’t have at least one wire; at least in front of my mother’s house. I suppose that I could have walked to the park and laid down in the middle of the meadow with my feet straight up in the air, but that seemed a little bit over and above the call of duty.

What a spectacular day!

Why pranks on April 1? … Happy April Fool’s Day!

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I am not an April Fool’s Day prankster, I lack the creative juices to concoct clever elaborate pranks worthy of performing on the unwitting, but I do aprreciate a good one every now and again, as long as no one gets physically or emotionally hurt by it. This year I very much appreciated the CERN Institute announcing their discovery of the Force, that was a very clever one, actually I really wanted it to be true. lol

Each year I look up the origin of the April Fool’s Day prank and significance because I forget it as quickly as I look it up, the retention of the reason lasting as long as the day itself in my brain. So according to UrbanLegands.about.com; in France when they changed over to the Gregorian Calendar, some weren’t on board with the changes and refused to stop celebrating the New Year on April First, thus they were called fools or it came to be known as poisson d’avril, actually the new year being in conjunction with the vernal equinox made much more sense in my mind, but the Church saw otherwise and moved the celebration of the New Year to January 1, in the middle of winter. Didn’t someone make mistakes counting with the Gregorian Calendar and that is why we have leap years? We could have left the Calendar as it was, but then we wouldn’t be celebrating April Fool’s Day now would we?

  

Dog dreams

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Before having dogs, it had never occurred to me that pets could dream, when I was little spending time in France with my family and the family dogs; my cousins, my sister and I were more in tune with what the dogs were doing awake than when they were sleeping, so it never crossed my mind that a dog could dream.

Since having our pets Marshall the black Lab, Rex our glorious German Shepard, Tuck our one of a kind Beagle, Jack our baby and now Lulu our little lady; each and every dog has had their own unique sleeping and dreaming pattern. Tuck and Jack, perhaps by virtue of being the smallest, were and are the quietest when it comes to sleeping and dreaming; whereas Marshall and Rex, both dreamt of running and chasing things, perhaps in meadows or forests, their legs would flail as if galloping through the grass intent on catching whatever it was they were chasing. I would bet that both Marshall and Rex were chasing cats; Marshall was often teased by our neighbor Jim, he would  make kitty cat sounds and Marshall would run around searching for the source of the fake meows; it was always good for a laugh. Rex on the other hand, had a real life cat that he was obsessed with, her name was Skittles, he wanted her so badly, but thank goodness for her and for him, Skittles was always just out of reach, not that Rex didn’t try.

Lulu on the other hand takes the cake when it comes to be an active and noisy dreamer, boy can she snore!

http://youtu.be/br3vlnRHtjY

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=963191137025843

These two videos don’t do her snoring justice; she sounds like such a human when she lets loose with her deep sleep snoring, she cracks me up. 

I might be a nobody, but I have something to say

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It is so frustrating dealing with this waiting/rejection game. Intellectually I know that everyone who is a renown author has had to deal with the same challenges, but when you are in the midst of it, it offers cold comfort. I realize that I am one amongst millions who truly, fundamentally want to be published, to share with the world what they have written, to have that moment of pride “I am a published author!” to have the feeling of validation. Knowing that still doesn’t make it easier. 

Last night while at dinner, we were talking about me perhaps getting published and I was getting the pep talk about J.K Rowlings receiving over 200 rejection letters before finally getting signed and that does keep me going. My newest gripe is with the 50 or so literary agents who have yet to answer back in any form. What is that all about? It has been only 3 months, but still it isn’t as if I had sent the entire book, just a cover letter and twenty odd pages of text, how long does it take to read that?

I hate waiting, but on the other hand in the waiting there still resides hope. Answers are definitive, the waiting game allows me to fantasize about a hard cover book with my name in bold letters, my first televison appearance on the “Daily Show with Jon Stewart”, my second appearance on “Good Morning America” and my third appearance on “Live with Kelly and Michael”. Fantasies are fun. 

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