Friday, October 31, 2008

A Month in Pictures...

Lazy weekend morning.

J helps with breakfast.

R with J making a "bow & arrow" in St. Germain en Laye.

Chair spinning.

I have no idea what they're doing.

How old are you? "I two!" (almost 3 though).


Boys with rocks. Parc St. Cloud.

Making Halloween cookies with Jillene.

Mmmmm. Cookies. (Couldn't get the photo to rotate. Oh well.)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Anna Marie Claret: November 12, 1919 - October 28, 2008

Just shy of her 89th birthday, Tom's mother passed away on Tuesday. We will be returning to the United States (Colorado) November 2 - 9 for her funeral.

I'm happy to see my parents and friends, sad about the occasion.

Rest in Peace, Anna. Say hi to Charlie for me.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


What happens when you mix culture shock/homesickness & weather changes hot/cold/hot?

Answer: A chest cold.

Ick. I've been out for a number of days now (though not as many as it's been since my last post). Most of last week I was just feeling really homesick, missing my friends, missing my Jazzercise buddies, missing my regularly-scheduled life.

And then I got sick, and pretty much only got out of bed to get the kids to/from school. One day I seriously considered calling the taxi company to take me home because I wasn't sure I could walk all the way. (I made it, but fell asleep on the downstairs couch the moment I got home).

Now, I'm better (physically), and my attitude is improving (mentally), and I'm reaching out to people (emotionally).

Hopefully I'll manage a decent posting again soon... This is just a short note to let you know that "yes, I'm still out here..." stay tuned. :)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Not SO bad.

I had kind of a lousy day on Friday. But an interesting thing happened as I prepared dinner.

It was Friday night, and I prepared challah with R (and E "painted" the egg coating on), I began to feel better. As I said the sabbath prayers, and we talked about them at the table, I remembered something good happening too.

Instead of just saying the prayers, we talked about one of them. R & J were old enough to actually add to the conversation. Even A had something to say. And I remembered that what is important is not what or where we eat, but that we're together to do it.

It's still not easy. But neither is it awful.

(On the other hand, I have all-but-one-ingredient for three different meals in my house right now. Arrgh!)

Friday, October 10, 2008

I hate France

Apparently I'm right on schedule for this culture shock thing.

I went to the grocery store today (the small one, in the square) and wandered around for twenty minutes trying to figure out what to make for dinner.

I cannot figure out how to (easily) feed my family and myself. Everything feels like tremendous work. I am so tired.

Monday, October 06, 2008

So when does it get easier?

Here's the thing... I've been here almost three months, and I've learned how to navigate the basics. I've got the kids in school; I can grocery shop and ride the train. I know my way around my neighborhood, and can find my way back when I'm lost.

And yet, it's still hard. We can't just go out to dinner if we don't feel like cooking. Restaruants don't serve until 7:00 p.m. (and bathtime/bedtime starts at 7:30). Doing anything takes planning, packing and scheduling.

All of the recommended activities are either for adults (and/or big kids only), or have ridiculously long lines.

Other families who work with T have gone exploring for weekends, visited wine country, been to the beach, etc. Just getting out of our house is a major undertaking.

I'm not sure it's all culture shock though. Could be, as T points out... the larger the mass, the harder to move. (Our family has a lot of mass!)

I'm just looking forward to being comfortable again - not to be in a constant state of learning.