Saturday, November 29, 2008

Half Full

Mom and Cy are now on their way back to Minnesota and I imagine they are:

1) relaxing comfortably on the plane
2) dining on fine cuisine
3) enjoying the USA Today newspaper

I have to imagine it this way because their trip to France included:

1) seats that did not recline AND located next to the toilets
2) rubbish food (at best)
3) no sleep (see 1 and 2)

Can we all give the raspberries to Northwest Airlines?

Never mind. We had a wonderful time! It didn't matter where we went or what we did, just being was the best! Cooler temps and rain - good ol' Brittany rain - simpy brought us next to the fireplace more often. Books were read and stories were told. We laughed a lot (note to Cy: do tell us when you take Mom to the bank, okay?) and we ate enough to shock Weight Watchers into an emergency meeting. We were together for my birthday (me me me!) and we celebrated Thanksgiving with some food from England but who knew? Who cared? Elsie decorated the Christmas tree with Grandma...two talented artists alone with tinsel and baubles...imagine that!
I must say a big hurrah and heaps of gratitude to all the family and friends of expats (especially MY family and friends because this is all about me really, isn't it?) for spending a ridiculous amount of money and long hours of travel to be with us.
I have many days as an expat when I feel the glass is half empty because my closest relationships are many miles and too many hours away from me. But - and it's what comes after the 'but' that counts - when family is here that glass is, indeed, Half Full.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Behind the Hammer

My impatience shows each time I hang a picture on the wall. By the time I have considered placement, angle, height and width - which takes way too long - I am beyond ready for the hammer and nail. To avoid numerous (inevitable though) holes in the wall, Tony will race for the ruler and pencil as soon as he realizes I'm ready to pound the wall.

It's always been better, for me, to use a hammer privately. I don't have the patience for a ruler, and I don't think my use of a hammer is good for Tony's heart rate.

One problem has been not having my own hammer. I always have to borrow Tony's hammer. Which brings us to Problem Number Two: Tony's hammer is either a) no where to be found or b) he is using it.

Years ago Tony gave me my own hammer and I was delighted! Until, that is, Tony kept taking it for his own use because a) his was no where to be found or b) someone else was using it.

Eventually my hammer was lost (?) and I was sad sad sad.

The other day I needed a hammer and, as usual, I went to the garage to get Tony's. It was, as usual, a) no where to be found.

Tony gave me a hammer for my birthday...Happy Birthday to Me! And while many women (or men) may not have liked a hammer for their birthday, I said hallelujah! The thought behind the hammer is lovely. There are nails to pound in the wall because I add or rearrange wall decor more often than I should admit. And that hammer, MY hammer, is a) going into hiding because b) it is MINE! Whoo-hoo!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Color Blind

Yesterday we had lunch hosted by French friends, along with two British and two French guests. Another Rule had to be broken: Do Not Speak Politics. How could I not? It was the day after the most exciting election in American history! Naturally I stated my joy about our President-elect. The French hosts raised their glasses and we all toasted Barack Obama. I thought this was awesome. And then a guest (British) seated next to me said, ''Obama is not black''. I was surprisingly well-behaved (I have Minnesota Nice roots) because I wanted to smack him a good one across the jaw but instead replied, what is he then? British guest said, ''He's American. When are you people going to be color blind? When can this not be about race?'' Whoa... not black and You People? Barely hanging on to my Minnesota Nice roots, I finished my glass of wine and responded:

America is celebrating the first, how would you like me to say this - Not Both Parents of White Skin (?) President-elect Barack Obama. Guest laughed and I continued:

Seriously. This is a tremendous event in our history. I can and I do feel proud that an enormous racial barrier has been broken. This is a monumental moment to celebrate. I think our President-elect demonstrates to America, and to the rest of the world, that we chose the best candidate for the presidency and that race did not prohibit his candidacy or his victory. You see, yes, it is about race and, no, it is not about race.

One day, perhaps in another generation or two, there will be a level of diversity in American government that will prompt people to wonder what it was like in 2008 when the FIRST African American became President.

Thanks for listening.

Oh look, my glass is empty. Please pass the white was made with black grapes. Cheers!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yes We Can!

Obama: Our Victory

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

American Weekend

Kudos to Alexia! Please say with a slight Southern Belle accent for theatrical purposes: she's talkin' American now! Bravo to Me for not breaking The Rule. Much. Well, okay, here's the deal...I just had to say bah-oui a couple times. Right, maybe twenty times. Thirty. Who counted? I might have said merci occasionally. Then there was that time I said bonne nuit. Twice? ANYWAY. The entire weekend was fantastic! Alexia spoke or read or wrote or listened to American words, phrases and jargon for 3 days. YAY!

Alexia receiving her Certificate of Achievement:

Félicitations et bah-oui!