Friday, September 30, 2005

Found a new cycle on the washing machine. Only took 30 minutes.

Boy, I feel dumb.


I have drawers. With clothes in them! Yay!

Gotta go--the wardrobes are next.

Me and my smokin' allen wrenches. :)

Also--Dr. B has his first cold (le rhume). He now understands why I brought a card of Advil Cold and Sinus with me. I am going to look for others at the store--I don't know if I'll find it, but DayQuil works wonders. I wonder if the French version is called "JourQuil?" If there is a french version...


Thursday, September 29, 2005


We officially have the slowest clothes washer in the entire world.

I used the "turn on at another time" function, and set it to start at
3:30 AM, fully expecting the clothes to be clean and spun when I
arose at 7.

It is now 11 AM.

They are still not done.

I will have the cleanest socks EVER!!!



Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Lucy's Post:

I got a great walk yesterday. Mom took me with her to pick up the girls at school. The girls liked me a lot, especially C, and we took a nice stroll down to the Jardin de Luxembourg in the 5th arrondissement. Unfortunately, there are no dogs allowed in the park, so C used her hands like a bowl so Mom could pour water for me to drink. Then we all walked home and had a snack. It was a long way and I was really, really tired. Today I slept a lot because Mom was with the girls all afternoon. I was really happy when she got home, and we went for a long walk. It was raining, and I got muddy, so I had to have a foot bath. I hate that.

C wrote me a poem and I like it. I gave Mom a kiss when she read it to me. It's on the fridge--the "frigo" in French.

Dad doesn't feel well now--he is getting a cold. I think I'll go sleep under the bed. Goodnight!


PS Mom found bigger cookies at HyperCasino. But they are not peanut butter. Feel free to send some peanut butter ones if you have some laying around.


They finally called!!! Our furniture is being delivered tomorrow, between 7 AM and 1 PM (or "13" as the french so often say--treize) from IKEA. No more living out of suitcases and eating supper on the floor, seated ever so comfortably on a yoga mat.

Praise the Lord and Pass the Allen Wrenches!


Tuesday, September 27, 2005


As I write this I am finishing the delicious "marrons" (chestnuts) I just roasted in our very own (dum da da daaaah!) OVEN! Yay!!!

Yesterday, after work, I left the girls' home and headed to the local HyperCasino (a large supermarket) to get some things for dinner. It was late, and by the time I got home Dr. B said, "you're too tired--let's go out for pizza." As we ate our pizzas (mine with ham, mushrooms, cheese and tomatoes--his had all this plus an egg. Yes, I said egg. The french put really weird stuff on their pizzas!), I was excited to tell him about something I saw at HyperCasino (this is a chain of grocery stores--there is no gambling involved!) It was a small, electric oven--kind of like a toaster oven but bigger--for less than 30€. Parfait! I went today and bought it, and tonight roasted some of the chestnuts that the girls' father, P, gave me. They are delicious. Kind of a nutty, starchy, potatoey, sweet but not really sweet, delicious and hard to describe thing. They are in season through December, and I have seen them falling from the trees all over Paris. Wonderful--now I understand the old Mel Tormé standard... ("♫♪ Chestnuts roasting on an open fire...♩♬")

I am very much looking forward to using our new "four" (oven). I was getting pretty tired of eating just things you can cook in a frying pan (la poelle) or a saucepan (le casserole). The oven is small enough to sit on a counter (about the size of a microwave) but big enough to roast a chicken, make baked potatoes, enchiladas (IF I can find the stuff for them, that is! I have yet to see a tortilla here, and if I find them my guess is they won't be the freshest.) I am so happy to have a real, though miniature, oven.

Anyway, today I also spent some time walking around the Rue Mouffetard area, and then brought Lucy to school to pick up the girls. They loved her, and she was behaving her self quite well. We walked all the way to the Jardin de Luxembourg, but unfortunately there are no dogs allowed in it. (So far, I have yet to find a park here that does allow you to walk your dog.) Lucy was very thirsty, so C's hands became the water bowl as I poured from my bottle for her. We walked all the way back to my apartment (a very long way). We were all tired, so we had a snack before going out to the bus to head back to their home and practice music for a few minutes before their Dad, P, came home. Wednesdays they do not have school, so they will do their homework sometime tomorrow. I will pick them up at their modelage classes (sculpture) near the Louvre at noon, then we head back home for lunch. Their music teacher will join us for lunch, and then both girls have a 1 hour lesson. We've been working hard on their music this week, so I hope she will be pleased with their progress. C said that my tips have been very helpful!

When I got home from work tonight, Dr. B had made supper for me (chicken soup with potatoes and carrots). Very nice, and it was so nice of him to make dinner. We ate a good meal, and I got to try the new "concoillote" cheese I bought, that I had tasted at the wine and cheese tasting at Harriet Welty Rochefort's house. Unfortunately, I grabbed the garlic version, so I didn't like it as much as the plain, but it wasn't bad spread on bread. It has the consistency of vanilla icing (the drippy kind) but is a mild, creamy cheese--kind of like a cheese sauce more than anything.

Looking over, I notice that both Lucy and Dr. B are pretty tired, so I think we'll hit the hay early tonight. À demain!


Sunday, September 25, 2005

Mr. B and I spent the morning together on Friday, going to Egide to get his pay automatically deposited. We expected a long wait, like last time (6 hours), but were pleasantly surprised when it only took about 20 minutes. We got him a haircut (he was very relieved when he didn't come out looking like he'd been hit over the head with a hedgetrimmer), did some walking and looking around in the 10th arrondissment, and then went out for pizza closer to home for lunch. It was a great morning. In the afternoon, I did some grocery shopping, including a hairy moment with the check card. It didn't work, and I didn't have enough cash, and I had to start my new job in about 20 minutes (and it was a 10 minute walk away). PANIC! But, like I've read, once you're in with the french, you're in. The teller stopped everything to help me make it work, closed his line to new customers, and involved another teller as well. He even ran with me to a cash machine (which of course was out of service.) When I told the 2nd teller that the card had worked with her just 2 days before, she was determined to make the dumb thing work. She rubbed it on her shirt multiple times, and kept putting it through the machine. She got it to work, and I made it to work in time. Hallelujah!

The girls I babysit for are great, and I really enjoyed my first day with them. We read books and played music and P. played "football" (American Soccer). I think I am really going to like sitting for them, because I am already looking forward to tomorrow. They are really nice kids!

Yesterday, we attempted to hook up with our friend S. from Slovenia, but unfortunately we just ended up playing a lot of techno-tag. We did head up to the Museum of Science and Industry for a while (looking for her in vain--that place is huge!), and then came home and relaxed for the rest of the evening. We are hoping to connect with her sometime this week. (S, if you are reading this, please email or call!)

Today, we got up and headed to the Marché des Puces at the Porte de Vanves. Paris is known for its flea markets, and I was amazed at the variety of stuff they had. I avoided the temptation to buy anything, though (when we actually have furniture, I will start to think about sprucing up the place, but the earliest IKEA will be ready to deliver is Wednesday, so I wait again.) But, saw lots of neat ideas that got my creative juices flowing. Dr. B said he saw "just a lot of junk"--I guess he has used up his creative juices for the weekend.

Dr. B did get a bunch of little household projects done this weekend. Our clothesline is officially functional! It's a handy-dandy, 5 line pull-out-from-the-wall jobbie, and retracts so it's not in the way all the time. Dr. B also installed some hanging dish racks in the kitchen (à la IKEA), so our precious foot of counterspace is free once more. Yipee! You have to be creative when your whole apartment is only 27 meters squared (That's about 290 square feet.) When we finally have furniture (that's a hint, IKEA delivery people) things will start to really feel homey. Then I can head back to the flea market for some cool objets d'art!

After the flea market, we spent some time walking around the Boulevard du Montparnasse area. Since it's Sunday, much was closed, but we enjoyed walking in the beautiful fall sunshine. Lots of cafés and restaurants, and lots and lots of tourists in the area. Stopped in at Starbucks for a coffee, and took home some to make tomorrow. Though the "café normale" at the cafés is often good, the grocery store coffee is sadly lacking, and I need coffee to get me out of the house in the morning (trust me, this is not a want. It is definitely a need.) We are hoping this will be better, though we have our doubts (it may be a little old.) Some of the greatest food in the world, just steps from our door, and the coffee, sigh, is awful.

Aw well. We can't have it all, can we?


Thursday, September 22, 2005

I had a lovely afternoon today, spent at a wine and cheese tasting at author Harriet Welty Rochefort's home in Paris. She is a delight, and the party was such fun! We tried 14 cheeses and 5 wines, followed by salad, bread, and several dessert choices. Some of my favorite cheeses included Roquefort Carl (sp?)--a sharp, piquant blue cheese, Mimolette (fairly old)--a bright orange, dry and nutty cheese, Cancoillotte (a runny, creamy cheese with a texture like vanilla icing) and Brillat-Savarin, which was smooth, creamy and buttery. She told us quite a bit about how cheese is enjoyed in France. I am looking forward to a trip to the "Fromagerie" for some new delights! (Yes, Wisconsin is not the only place where there are stores just for cheese!) Here is a photo of her and myself in her garden.

Please check out her website and her books French Toast, and French Fried. . Even if you never plan to go to France, they are a trip to read! French Toast is about french culture, and French Fried is all about the food!!! I'll be anxiously awaiting her next project.

Upon returning home, Lucy was very quick to let me know that it was TIME TO GO OUT. So, we took a walk down l'Avenue de l'Hôpital, across the Boulevard de Saint Marcel, and up Gobelins. She is starting to be recognized in the neighborhood now, and is getting many more approving glances, rather than fearful ones. I still speak to her in English, but she can tell from others' tones of voice when they like her, and she wags her tail happily. (Of course, I never quite know how much of what I say to her she actually understands!) We did meet a large German Shepherd on St. Marcel, but he was working as a security dog, and couldn't take the time to play. Lucy doesn't quite understand this, and proceeded to whine as I dragged her across the street. She has really started to enjoy the fact that she can go into businesses and stores with me, but now she tries to go in every open door she sees. She has also developed a healthy curiosity about what goes on underneath Paris in the Metro--I have to pull her away from the entrances with quite a bit of force!

Tomorrow I have my first day learning about my new job. I will be working part-time taking care of two young girls, P and C, after school before their parents get home. They are also music students, so I hope to help them some with their music, and they are learning English at school. While they help me with my French, I can help them with their English--quite a fair deal! I am very much looking forward to getting to know them.

This weekend, our friend S is going to visit us from the banlieue (suburbs). We met her while staying at the lab's guest house. I am searching the "Pariscope" magazine for fun things to do. Maybe a concert and a picnic while the weather is still nice...of course there are always museums...and lovely parks...or a river cruise...

À demain (until tomorrow)...


Yesterday was interesting. After a bout with another migraine (I think I OD'd on the internet--when you've starved for 2+ weeks, it's hard not to), I slept in and then decided to go to central Paris to look for a wedding gift for a friend (hi Jaime!) First problem was that my hairdryer was non-functional, so I had to leave the house with soaking wet hair to go buy one (this is not done in Paris--I was prepared for dirty looks.) So, I put my hair up in a clip and grabbed the dog. I figure, if I walk into Darty (the french version of Circuit City) in the mall with a 60-lb. dog on a leash, no one will pay attention to my wet hair. I was right. Got the hairdryer (and a good one!) and headed home to blow dry, eat, and plan for the day.
Left to head to Galeries Lafayette department store near the Paris Opera. It was a fairly quick metro ride, and when I exited the station, I walked smack dab into the National School of Music. HUGE building with big gold statues on the top and lots of fancy stonework. (See photo above.) A bit much for my taste, but I'm not french. I would have used the gold to pay for more musical instruments, instead!

I walked a few blocks to the department store. Amazing. Everything from 3 euro egg cups to 2,000 euro handbags and up, up up! Dior, Chanel, Cartier, Tiffany's, Hermès, Louis Vuitton--unbelievable. There was a line of about 35 Japanese tourists just to get INTO Louis Vuitton. I yi yi. The photo below is inside the department store. This is the makeup area. Makes Marshall Field's look pretty shabby, huh?

I was a bit overwhelmed. So I walked across the street to their home store, picked out a nice gift (and a pillow for me, and some baggies for Lucy's walks) and got ready to head home. Saw they had Jelly Belly jelly beans. Woo hoo! Got quite excited, but then found that they didn't carry "Margarita"--the best flavor on earth IMO--and was disappointed. They did have "prune". Very french. No thank you. I'll just skip the prune.

Came home and Dr. B stepped in a few minutes after me. Dinner, more internet, and then to bed. A good day.

Today, I am going to a wine and cheese tasting at the author Harriet Welty Rochefort's home. I am pretty excited--more chances to eat! I better get moving, speaking of... more to come...

NOTE: The french word for plum is prune--an American prune is a "prune seché" (dried). I am fine with plums, but was not in the mood for them in jellybean form. I wanted a Margarita jellybean and that's all there was to it. So no jelly bellys for me, I'm afraid.

Pictures worked today, so this post is updated.


Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Good morning! After a lovely evening of answering mail, surfing the internet (oh blessed joy!), and then lying in bed not able to sleep because I gave myself a headache, it's 8 AM and I am up and at 'em. Or not--well not by choice anyway. Our electrician is here to install a new heater in the living room and bathroom (French electricity codes change very often and you have to constantly update your place) and to install a "Radiateur Sêche-Serviettes Électronique" in the bathroom. This is kind of a ladder-looking thing that warms up and you hang towels on it to dry faster. Since we don't have a tumble dryer, it will also help dry other clothes more quickly. Our landlady bought a clothes washer for us to use, which has been very helpful! The washers here do take a lot longer, though (average about 2 hours per load), but I have to say the clothes are VERY clean. No wonder they don't have the multitude of stain-removers at the super-marché! I also bought a retractable clothesline thing to hang up so we can hang clothes to dry more easily. Currently, the practice of draping them over ever hook, doorknob, and piece of furniture we have so far has not been very efficient.

So I am continuing to figure things out here, but it is very different than the US. The first thing is that things don't happen as quickly or efficiently as they should, and people just expect that. For example, we went to the agency Dr. B's fellowship is through to get his first month's pay. Since it was early September (which is the back-to-school time, the "rentrée" and very busy), we had to wait 6 HOURS in the waiting room. We were happy they had couches, but there was nothing to do. No magazines, no books, no TV--zip. We can entertain each other by talking for a while, even a few hours, but 6? A bit excessive. We took two naps each. When we finally got it and got out of there, it was too late to go to the bank to try to open an account, and it was Friday, so we couldn't go until Tuesday (Banks are closed Monday.) Tuesday we got an appointment. For Wednesday. Wednesday (yay!) we got a bank account. But, we had to wait for our RIB (which is a special number they mail you) before we could open a phone account or internet. The RIB came a week later, on Wednesday. So Thursday, I went to set up phone and internet. Got phone done by the next day, but Internet was another story. The salesman forgot to give me my passwords (I went back for them, and then they showed up in the mail the next day, though he had my phone number and could have called me.) Then, I tried the passwords and it still told me it was hooked up wrong. So I went back to the place and said "I don't think this is my fault, I did what it said and he said it would work in 48 hours but it's not working." The other guy working there said "No way, it is 4 or 5 days not 48 hours, he was wrong!" I wish they would get their story straight. You would think a big company like this would have everything figured out, but no. ARGH! At least we have internet, and it is wicked fast.

We do need to finish our visa application process. We went to the préfecture to do the paperwork needed to stay (which the consulate in Chicago told us we needed to do within a week). The lady here in France said "Non, ce n'est pas grave" meaning it's not a big deal to do in a week, and she read the note from the consulate in Chicago and shook her head and threw it away. But, since Mr. B's parents' names are not on our marriage license, we had to get a copy of his birth certificate sent from the US. Plus a list about 12 long of other documents they need. Plus physicals from French doctors, because the physicals we just had last month in the US don't count. Then we try again. So we went to the US consulate for help, and to ask them about insurance. Turns out the US consulate is staffed by a bunch of french people, and we got shuffled from line A to B to C to 1 to 2 to 3 to call this number on this phone who will end up sending you back to line B where they say "no, I have no idea, go see the person in line A" and then you call that number on their phone and they send you upstairs to office 4137 who tells you to go back to line C and eventually we just gave up and left.

So for some reason, I currently do not have health insurance (which most people here say is impossible, that's illegal!) but I don't, so Mr. B is working on that right now. And we don't have our cartes de séjours (the pass that allows us to stay past November) but we are working on it. And no TV yet, but we are working on it. One day at a time...

However, though this stuff is all a headache, other things are absolutely wonderful. We are so close to so many beautiful historical monuments, art museums, and funky little neighborhoods. We can literally walk just about anywhere, and I enjoy getting "lost" with Lucy during our afternoon walk, just to see where we end up. A few nights ago we walked into the Latin Quarter and up the Rue Mouffetard into the university area that has been there since the middle ages. It is called the Latin Quarter because students used to speak in Latin all the time (in the Middle Ages, that is.) It is about a 15 minute walk from our apartment. Little cobblestone streets lined with shops, cafés, bars, sushi places, ethnic food restaurants--just about anything you could think of. The supports were up for the local market, though I am not sure which days that one runs. We have one 2 blocks over from our place that is held on Sundays, Tuesdays and Fridays. It is several blocks long and you can buy everything there. Want a whole octopus? No problem. Need underwear? Yep, got that. How about some tiny, yellow mirabelle plums? By the kilo. A persian rug. Uh huh! Blue jeans? What size, we've got them for infants on up. How about a kilogram of curry powder? You better believe it! Maybe some cheese? We have 47 different kinds of "fromage" at this stand, but if you don't like these, the one a few steps away has another 52! It is unbelievable, but for the french, "c'est normale!"

So if I complain too much, just whack me over the head with a freshly baked, crunchy yet tender, baguette. Mmmm...speaking of which, the bakery across the street is open today...

NOTE from Lucy***

I like this Paris better than the suburb we were staying in before. There are more dogs here, and more big ones, and I have made some friends! There is still not much grass, so I am getting used to pavement, but that's OK because you wouldn't believe how many things there are to smell here! Some people here are still scared of me, but I have also gotten a lot of compliments (one lady said I was "magnifique!") I did get into a scrape with 2 huskies the other night, but Mom said I was just a little scared and really didn't get hurt at all. I shreiked pretty loud though. I have been very good and haven't howled once since we got here, but the french sure need to learn how to make bigger dog cookies. These puny ones just don't cut it. So, if you want to send a care package, I prefer the really big dog cookies--especially peanut butter flavor.

I like to go into the stores and cafés with Mom and Dad. Mom took me on this thing at Italie 2 (it's the big shopping center by our house). She said it was an "escalator" but I just thought it was weird! I put my front paws on, and then they went away from me and I stretched as far as I could but it didn't stop! So Mom pulled my whole body onto the moving stairs and that was pretty freaky, let me tell you. I don't think I like those escalator things. But I enjoy the elevator at our apartment very much, and I like to look at myself in the mirror inside it. The door shuts, and then when it opens we are in a new place!!! Pretty cool magic box, that elevator.

Mom found a store that sells my food, so I am back on the Science Diet. I wasn't too happy about that, because I loved the cheap stuff she got at the supermarché, but she said it wasn't good for me. It tasted really good, but she said "so does candy and Doritos but you can't survive on that for long." OK, so I am eating healthy again. She does slip me a little bit of something yummy off her plate, sometimes. For breakfast today I got a little "jambon" which is french for ham. They eat a lot of ham here! So overall, France is pretty good, but I still miss my yard. I am getting more walks, though, which I like a lot.



Monday, September 19, 2005

Wooooooo HOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!! Finally, internet at home. I am so excited I can barely stand it. It has been quite a challenge, getting internet, phone, bank accounts, etc. in France. I won't bore you with the details, but let's just say things in France happen at their own pace, whether you like it or not, and you just have to deal with it. They even have a special verb for that--"patienter" which means, basically, to patient yourself--be patient. Not always easy, but we've got it and I am thrilled!

I am writing from the floor of our apartment near the Place d'Italie, finishing a lunch of "Velouté de 8 Legumes (amazing puréed veggie soup out of a carton that tastes like heaven), pain au céréales (multigrain bread), terrine de Campagne (from a jar-- a type of meat mixture that looks kind of nasty but tastes like my Mom's meatloaf, only spreadable. My sister will understand just how wonderful that is!!!) Camembert cheese, green olives, cornichons (super sour pickles), and flan caramel for dessert (which you can buy in little cups next to the yogurt section of the supermarket--50 centimes for 4--that's like 60 cents for 4 flan!)

Oh yes, and I am still American--I wash all that down with "Coca Light"--France's diet Coke! (Frankly, lots of the french drink it, so they shouldn't be so snooty about us enjoying Coke!) Lucy is trying to sleep next to me, but would really rather be eating the rest of the Camembert, so she is pretending to sleep and hoping I'll toss her a chunk of cheese.

We've got a bed/couch now, and are waiting for the rest of our furniture to be delivered. I am looking forward to having a table to eat at, and drawers for my clothes. Suitcases are great for a few days, but they sure get messy after a few weeks!

Note to friends and family--we have unlimited calling to the US on our new phone service, so if you want me to call, send a email note with a good time to phone you and I will. Our bill is the same no matter how much I call, so let me call you rather than you paying for international rates. Remember we are 7 hours ahead, so don't ask me to call you at 8 PM your time--that's 3 AM here. I like you all, but not enough to get up in the middle of the night. ;)

The photo above was from a day I spent by myself, playing tourist. I didn't go up in the Tower (I'll save that for a day when someone visits, hint hint), but took photos and enjoyed the beautiful area. The Peace Memorial there is quite striking. Also was able to get my membership at the American Library in Paris, which is wonderful. I am currently knee-deep in a thick novel about the War of the Roses in England.

I am going to post this now, and see if it works, before posting more about our adventures the last two and a half weeks. I have a lot of catching up to do! And I haven't even told you about my new job! (Yes, I already found a job. Amazing! That guardian angel of mine, she's pretty unbelievable, let me tell you...)

Hope all are well stateside--I miss you all!

Mrs. B (or should I say "Madame B" now?) BTW--you should hear the french try to say our last name--it's pretty hilarious. A very proper English name that was not meant for the Gallic tongue, I am afraid...


Thursday, September 08, 2005

Slowly but surely...

Back again!  I am attempting to figure things out having to deal with the web in français, but if this works, it's all good!  This is my first attempt at emailing to my blog to post.  Cross your fingers!

We have had some successes after quite a few difficulties. Things are just a lot harder to do in France (we waited 6 hours in a waiting room with no magazines and nothing to do just to get Dr. B's pay) so it does make it hard to keep your spirits up, but yesterday was a very good day.  We now have a french bank account and a bed/couch combo in our apartment, which means we will soon be able to sign up for phone service and officially move into our new place.  We are set to go on Monday.

There was a problem with Dr. B's fellowhip, so I currently don't have health insurance, but we are working on that.  The bank account took several days to set up (!DAYS!) and required a lot of running around just to get approved.  They actually needed to see the ID card of our landlord in order to give it to us so we had to track her down and ask her for that--like asking for someone's landlord's drivers license just to set up a bank account so they can use our money.  Incredible.  It has been quite frustrating.  We can't get a phone without a bank account, so we have to wait for the paperwork on that before we can set up phone service at home, which means it will be a while before I have my own computer back.  I am really looking forward to that day!  We also need to get our stay approved at the Préfecture de Police, which is another long wait, set for tomorrow.

This all sounds very confusing, I know.  That's because it is!!!  I have never been so confused in my life--the french system is not set up for efficiency, let me tell you...  On the plus side, Dr. B's boss and colleagues have been extremely helpful, and have even loaned us things to use in our new apartment to help us out.  They know it is expensive to buy a lot of new furniture, dishes, etc.  The things I mailed from America haven't yet arrived, but we will still need quite a few things.  We are very grateful for their help and understanding.

In the US, to set up phone, a bank account, internet, and buy household things may only take a day or two, but here you need to plan for at least two weeks, I guess.  We are working on it.  We have talked about going to IKEA on Saturday, and having them deliver some things.  Our landlord (Mme. Margraff) has also been very helpful.  She was a high school English teacher, and likes to speak English with us.  She has given us a toaster to use, and bought a washing machine for the apartment, which is fabulous!  Her son is in a band called Louise Attaque, and they just released a new album.  She said she may be able to get us concert tickets to see them in November.  Her son is the drummer, and she says "they are the best band in France!!!"

Today, Dr. B is in meetings all day, so I am going to go be a tourist by myself.  I want to set up an account at the American Library in Paris (you know me--I love to read!) and it is near the Eiffel Tower, so I am going to go there.  I have a Carte Orange, which is a pass for the Métro (subway) so I can go anywhere in Paris on that.  You buy the CO, then buy a monthly pass that you can use to take trips all month.  It has been very helpful, though we end up walking a lot, still.  That's OK--I can eat a pain au chocolat (chocolate croissant) without guilt!

Well, I need to get some breakfast and take Lucy for a walk soon, so until later...

A bientôt!
Mrs. B

PS from Lucy...

I am not so sure I like these french dogs.  They are all so little and they are mad at me for being so big...I have not made any dog friends yet.  But, though the people seem somewhat scared of me, the ones who meet me think I am a "chien gentil" (nice dog) so that is good.  The guard at the CNRS named François was scared of me at first, but now he calls me his "darling Lucy" and lets me kiss him on the cheek.  I like that.  I wish they had more grass here, but I like it when I find pieces of bread on the street (which I do fairly often!)  I can't wait to move to our own house.  In the city, there will be less dogs to bark at me when I walk by, and more people to give me a pat or two.  Mom says I can go to the boulangerie (bakery) with her.  That rocks!  I am not singing (Mom calls it howling) as much, because the fire engines here (pompiers is what they are called) make a different noise.  Mom says it's a tritone, like if you played C F# C F# on the piano.  I don't know, my paws are too big for the piano. 

I have been a very good girl, though, and am doing my best to support Mom and Dad when they have a tough day.  They like that a lot!

Woof woof!


Monday, September 05, 2005

OK!!! We are here, we made it and we are exhausted. I am typing on a french keyboard, which is different, so please forgive mistakes!

We landed Thursday, and were immediately met by a taxi driver who gave us lots of info and help (and had a van big enough for our stuff and our dog, which is important!) The airport part was easy, which was a relief due to our jet lag. Since we slept on th plane, we stayed up until 7 that night and the next day wasn't too bad. France is 5 hours ahead of us, so now it is 7:44 PM here, while it is 12:44 in Madison.

We spent 6 hours Friday waiting for Dr B's pay at the agency EGIDE with no magazines, no tv, nothing to do---and people said "6 hours--not bad!" AAACK!!!

Saturday we did some shopping to prepare to buy things for our new apartment, which we got the keys for today (Monday), and Sunday we spent at the Louvre museum (which is free the first Sunday of the month) and walking in the area of the Seine river and the Ile de la Cite, which is where the beautiful church Notre Dame is. I can't wait to explore more!!! We only saw a tiny part of the museum, though we were there for 4.5 hours. Yes, we did see the Mona Lisa (La Joconde in French) but I was more impressed by the building itself and the Tuileries gardens that stretch towards the Champs-Elysees. From one spot, I could see the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, the Obelisque, the Louvre, and the Tuileries Gardens. Amazing.

Today we bought a klic-klac, which is a sort of couch/bed combination (but nicer than a futon) which we will have delivered Wednesday, and our electricity, plumbing, and clothes washer will be checked and hooked up on Saturday. Now if we can get a phone and internet, we'll be in business!

I will write more soon--especially when I can use my own computer!

Hugs to all back in the US. We are especially thinking of our New Orleans friends now, and praying for their well-being.

A bientot!

PS Lucy is well, but is the biggest dog I have seen here. She does not like the lack of grass around here one bit, but is being a very good girl.