Wednesday, July 31, 2013

I like to help the Locals...


31/7/2013

Bonjour mes amis!

I like to help the Locals...

Specific Locals...

As in, the people up the Street...

On Saturdays...

The Men and Women who laboriously show up every week...

So I can search out all their BROCANTE Items!!!

I love to do new things on the weekend, but I really prefer to be in Orléans on Saturday mornings, so I can search the Brocante, or the "not quite antiques".  I mean, these people are amazing.  Sometimes, I think they just scrounge their Grandma's Attic before they show up on Saturday mornings.  There's so much cool stuff.  Do they know what they have here?

The other weekend, dear friends came to visit from Germany...

Beep!  Beep!

Wait a Minute!  That's me, backing up the Truck...

I have to give a little background here...
A few weeks ago, I thought I would only have one more possible Saturday to go to the Brocante, so I went to Dr. J, and pleaded with him that he shouldn't go back to Texas, without atleast once going to the local Brocante.  (I mean, these people faithfully show up every week...we needed to go greet our neighbors, right?)  Begrudgingly, he said "Okay..."!  I was shocked.  Well, what followed was not unexpected, "...But then, you need to go with me to the..."  (Sorry!  I have seriously forgotten where he mentioned I had to go with him).  Anyway, I obliged, MOSTLY BECAUSE I REALLY WANTED TO GO TO THE BROCANTE ONE MORE TIME!!!  He enjoyed it...I think...but definitely didn't need as much browsing time as me.  Oh well...to be expected!  Just his making an appearance was good enough for me!

Anyway, back to our Friends from Germany who visited...
Well, they arrived on Friday night, and we had a long drawn-out dinner, and started to discuss plans for Saturday.  Well, all of a sudden, Dr. J pipes up with, "you really should go to the Brocante on Saturday morning"!

You could have knocked me over with a feather!

The man refused me so many times.  I didn't figure he'd let us take the time AT ALL to go there!

But we did...and we had fun...


Isn't my friend, P.J. so chic with her green shirt and coordinating bag?


Even our boys got "into it"...


And our friend, Doug did a little bartering too!


And after Dr. J left the Brocante, I made a nice purchase!  (And in case you're wondering...yes, I did confess my purchase to Dr. J, and he seemed fine with it...except he still always asks me how I'm going to get it home?  How many more times can I suggest to him that we charter a boat home, so I can do more Brocante shopping?  Next to visiting Châteaux, Brocante Shopping is my next favorite thing to do in France!)

Here She is!


Isn't She Sweet?

I know She looks a little shabby now, but She's French and She's all mine, and She will be a beauty once I work on HER a little bit.


I can call her "HER", because a Lamp (La Lampe, in French!) is a feminine noun!  ( I know you didn't want a Grammar Lesson...but sometimes I figure it's important to explain myself)!


Oh!  I need to mention one other thing.  I got her for Ten Euros less than the original asking price!  Yup!  I'm so good at bartering in French...but I'm sure it also helped that I was ready to walk away...

Can you help me out?  I think I'd like to name Her...but She's got to have a French name...what do you think?

"Colette"?

or

Juliette?

or

Margaux?

I think I'm leaning toward Colette!  It's such a sweet name.  Which would you choose?

By the way...you have a little time to think about this, because I'm going on Vacation.  If I can pop in, you know I will.  Otherwise, I'll return just as soon as possible, because I just love sharing "Jewels" with you!

Until next time...
Jan

Monday, July 29, 2013

Am I a Francophile?


7/29/2013

Bonjour mes amis!

The other day, I spoke on the phone with my Dad...

The first thing he said to me was..."So, you are a Francophile now, huh?"

I've heard the term so many times.  Do you know what this means?

Direct from Merriam-Webster...

Definition of FRANCOPHILE

: markedly friendly to France or French culture
— Francophile noun


Uhm!  Yup...gulp!  I guess that's ME!

That's Us...the three of us...Me, Dr. J, and Jewelius!!!

What was my Dad's first Clue?  I mean, I've been a fan of this...



...for many years!  And, they're all over my house in Texas...AND, I suppose another clue is...

We don't want to leave France...

I mean, it's not fair...

*** I've finally gotten comfortable with going up to complete strangers to ask for help!
*** I no longer have a fear of describing whatever I need (in the best way I know how) in a Store
     (You should have seen me asking for Mosquito Repellant...
       you would have been so proud of me!)
*** I can listen to spoken French for a long time, and mostly comprehend now.
     (You probably shouldn't ask how long I can speak in French,
       but if you ask people who have known me the whole year,
       they will tell you that I have much improved!)

This was bound to happen, don't you think?

I mean, on the other hand, some people go to live in another Country, and they can't wait to return to their Home Country.  We're not like that.  We've enjoyed every minute!

Everyone keeps telling us not to lose our French when we go back.  We're going to give it our best shot...perhaps even speak French at the dinner table a night or two per week...we'll see.  I'm sure I'll have to keep you posted.

For those of you who are wondering about my New Year's Resolution (to complete the Rosetta Stone Program for French), Dr. J and I have been failing at that (just being honest here).  We started out so well, too.  But honestly, we're getting our own education here by just speaking and making embarrassing mistakes!  My excuse for not finishing the program this Summer has been that Jewelius was doing an Internship, and he took the Laptop with Rosetta Stone on it, so I couldn't do the Lessons.  Well...yes...the Laptop did come home at night...but ask anyone who knows me...I don't like to work THAT hard after the dinner hour, which, of course, has been rather late in the evening...afterall, we are living in France!  I know...Excuses, Excuses...

OK.  You get the picture!  I've rambled on long enough...

But, if truth be known...

YES, I AM A FRANCOPHILE...
AND I'M PROUD OF IT!!!


Wishing you a "Jewel" of a Day!
Jan

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Heavens Declare...


28/7/2013

Bonjour mes amis!

I hope you are enjoying a beautiful Sunday!


The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Psalm 19:1


Have a Blessed Day!
Jan

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Street Scenes in Rome...


27/7/2013

Bonjour mes amis!

We have been truly blessed living here in France!  (Have I written that already?  Perhaps quite a few times!)  Last night, we had a wonderful dinner Invitation.  Our friends have a beautiful Garden.  First, we started with an Aperitif toward the back of the Garden, then, we moved to the Table near the house for our meal.  Oooh La La!  Check out the Menu...

Brochette (Shish-ka-bob) with Pork and Chicken, peppers and tomatoes
Baked Potatoes with Crème fraîche et herbes fines 
Pepper and Onion Salad
Humus (Fait à la maison!)
Eggplant (Fait à la maison - delicious!)
Baguette (Naturally!)
Nice bottle of Rosé

It was a beautifully colorful meal!  It was followed by a Cheese Course...because that's what they do in France.  (I think I need to do some Research, to find out how it ever even got started that there is a Cheese Course for meals in France.  I don't think I ever would have thought of it...)

Dessert was a beautiful creation with brioche and fruit, somewhat like a bread pudding, but much more formed with layers, complete with Groseilles (gooseberries) on top for color and decoration.  I know you wish I took a picture, but we didn't bring the camera.  We just relaxed and enjoyed the company of some friends we are dearly going to miss...

Today, I have some fantastic photos to share from Rome, Italy!
Strictly spontaneous...nothing staged...


We popped into a Church for a few minutes...




This guy sure attracted the Tourists!


While we were standing in the street, someone came to clear the path for a parade of people...



Another Tourist Trap...


Ahhhhhh!



A really nice view to St. Peter's Basilica!


Those street vendors make it tough with their cheap prices!  Obviously, my friend showed too much interest in the Scarves.  This guy hung around for a while!  Jewelius does not look amused...


And neither do these guys...



This was a fun little detail on the Bridge...locks with love promises from couples...





I just really enjoyed seeing the locks!  I'm thinking Dr. J and I should have put one of these on, too!





After much walking, we were a tired bunch!


Time to stop for a beer (for the guys)!  The ladies enjoyed a glass of red wine with our Meal!


Naturally, we stopped for a Gelato for Dessert!  My apologies for the darkness of this photo!  It's the only "staged" photo in today's collection, and it's the only one that didn't come out too well!


Thanks for hanging out with me today!

Have a "Jewel" of a Weekend!
Jan

Friday, July 26, 2013

A Garden Stop and St. Peter's Basilica...


26/7/2013

Bonjour mes amis!

Happy Friday Everyone!  Ready for the weekend?  We have plans both Friday and Saturday nights, so we have a lot to look forward to.  I hope you get to do something fun this weekend, too!

We've been renting a Car here in France, but when you rent long term (as an "Etranger" AKA "Ex-Patriat"), you can only rent for 6 months at a time.  So, we rented one car for 6 months in my name, and one car for 6 months in Dr. J's name.  Trouble is...you don't really get 6 full months.  So, Dr. J headed out this morning, to turn in our second rental car.  (Of course, we had to return the car in Paris, and naturally, it's been pouring here this morning).  But, do you know what this means?  This means, we only have a couple more weeks to enjoy Europe...AND WE WILL...but mostly by Public Transport.

Today, I want to continue the fun in Rome and share our final stop at The Vatican...the Gardens!

But first, we stopped for a Pizza Lunch!  Even in the Cafeteria, the pizza wasn't too bad...


We caught a glimpse of the Gardens from inside The Vatican...



And here we are...




A view to St. Peter's Basilica!  (We'll go there in a few minutes...)



Time to go now, so we headed back inside, to see the full model of the area...


Then my friends got ahead of me on the exiting Staircase, because...


I stopped to check out all the beautiful detail!


Cool, huh?


Next, we walked to St. Peter's Basilica...


And got our photo taken!


And then, had some fun!


Our two young men were given the cameras to catch the Parents having fun together!  (I forgot to bend my knees for this one, but atleast I was off the ground!)


Father/Son Interaction!


Some close-ups, including The Square - Piazza San Pietro!





See this line of people?  Wow!  We decided not to wait in THIS line today...


A very enjoyable day!  I'm still pinching myself to believe that I was actually in Rome at all these famous places!

Hey!  It was pouring here this morning, but as I'm finishing up this post...THE SUN'S COMING OUT!  Yeah!  (Actually, we really needed the rain here...)

Have a "Jewel" of a weekend!
Jan

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