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A Canadian expatriate living and exploring first France now Germany, then BACK to FRANCE (!!!) with her family; former fashion designer, turned unexpected UNLIKELY NOMAD, raising two children, writing, photographing, painting, playing piano (who knew!!) and blogging - and now... full time student at ART SCHOOL!! (I MUST be crazy!!)

Monday, October 30, 2006

Man On A Bicycle

Today we woke up bright and early (since the clocks rolled back here too..) with great plans for the week.

Today is our day for La Musee Des Beaux Arts. The children here have a 10 day break so we have the entire week to do fun things. I will try to post everyday so you can follow our activites...(if you want)

We had a lovely walk there, the sky was bright and clear and it is still really warm. We have not yet turned on our heating (amazing as it is almost the end of Oct and today I am still in short sleeves).

At La Musee des Beaux Arts was an exhibition of Theatre Costume. The kids were interested so we decided to bring along our pencils and try to do some drawing.

It went well, we also stopped into the Modern Art section where the children comtemplated "Man on Bicycle" for some time...

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Star Track

One day a few weeks ago after a terrible day with my children I decided…


That’s IT…! We are making a change.

Well…Here is the change and man does it work well.

Each child has a list of things they can do well.

There is a sheet with reward stars every night for great behavior.

There is a sheet listing rewards the most interesting to them by far…must be the clip art...
Green chip first level takes 20 stars to earn with which they can spend on a first level reward or save to trade. Blue chip can be bought with a 5 "Green Chips" to spend or trade up. Red chip can be bought with 5 "Blue Chips" the reward a big bonanza "Theme Park" day...wooohoooo!!! at the bottom.

And then we keep track on a pie plate.

It took about 1 hour to set up.

It has been 3 weeks now, my kids drag me to do their stars every evening, and they just cashed in their second level “Blue Chip” for a trip to the Toy store after 3 weeks of amazing behavior. We celebrate the great stuff, end the day on a positive note by talking about all the things they did really well, and they are learning the routine chores much more quickly as we review the elements every day.


Huge satisfaction.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Church with no Donation

It is SO nice to see you here....but...the gig is up…

That’s right all you peepers out there (you know who you are…) who don‘t leave a note to let me know you were here…

It is like going to church without leaving a donation, dining and dashing, a blind date where you never actually get to see your know...!

C’mon you gotta let me know you dropped by, I have been feeling like a blogger in blogger-looser-land sitting by myself at my computer painfully pecking postings… for no one but myself…

Oh well, I would say to myself, even if no one is reading it is still a fun record for our kids, you know a journal of our trip…the kids will like to read it in years to come…
Yadda yadda yadda…whatever….

Then I talk to one of you on the phone and you say, yeah by the way I saw on your blog…..


Say hello, bonjour, whatever, let me know what you love/hate, think is stupid want to hear about or just plain old Hi. No??


I know...Yeah whatever… (sheepish smile)

See that little "buttin" just below this text that says 0 comments??
The envelope will take you to email and the button enables you to leave a comment...(let me know if it works ok??)

I’ll see you here soon…and thanks for dropping by!!

Oh and by the way “Shoulds” are not a type of shellfish….(for P and M…)


Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Little Miss Lily Turns Three!!

Lily has had a pretty good time of it this year, what with a birthday party with my family, another with Bruce‘s and still a third here in Dijon with her two best buddies Hannah and Lea.

So what does a three year old like for a Birthday?

Lily was lucky enough to get Polly Pocket, Playdough, a Doctors kit and a bath for her baby doll “Lulu”. sure is good to be three.

Lily LOVES to bake with me and was more than pleased to help make her own yummy chocolate birthday cake.

And then to blow out her three birthday candles and share her cake with her friends.

We played the Lily’s favorite games
”Charades”,“Hot Potato”,“What Animal am I?" and “Pin the Present on Lily“... made even more fabulous by the creative efforts of Riel...

Happy Birthday Lily!! We love you!!

Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Happy Magpie

In my slightly obsessive (ask any one) quest to find antiques to drag home before we leave this place I can often be caught surfing the net for auctions that might yield fruit. My normal routine which includes checking the local “Emmaus”or “Troc 21” (somewhere between an antique and pawn shop) for finds has yielded antique bake ware, turn of the century furniture, art, books and textiles…

Let’s just say one (French)(wo)man's seemingly 150 year old junk is another (expat)(wo)man's treasure….

Though some days I feel a bit like a Magpie…

“Geee, (with slightly unbalanced gleam in the eye) That is a NICE shiny thing….“
“Hmmm….wouldn’t I love to take that NICE SHINY THING home with me…”
“Yeah, let me just tuck it under my wing like that….yeah….there….”

Last week after months of surfing the local sales (finally with enough French to understand) I discovered what seemed like a Pandora’s box of possibility, an estate sale in a small Village called Villiers Saint Benoist about 200 kms N/E of Dijon. Listed on the site were 5 armoires of varying design and age. (Perhaps “THE” armoire?? )

But....Could I pull it off??

FIRST-(FOREMOST)-Convince Bruce it is a good idea.
SECOND-Find a babysitter on short notice
THIRD- Rent a truck to bring home any sort of delightful (large) thing we might find.

Sunday morning found us at the Hertz rental depot picking up a cube van…(nothing like pulling up at an estate auction full of seasoned professional antique dealers with a rental cube van…)

Villiers Saint Beniost clung to the road side like grapes to a vine, the painted claims of long dead merchants peeling from crumbling buildings of half timber, brick and stone. After a quick quiche and a pastry run, while picking up on the gossip from the local pattissier, we wound our way to the chateau through a mossy hardwood forest.

There we found a romantic medieval cottage with its pigonnier, series of pruned hedgerows, gardens and a reflective reservoir stocked with fish for watering the garden. The cottage, rich with the resonance of inhabitants past stood sturdily over heavily beamed ceilings and massive hewn stone fireplaces. Invited inside by the auctioneer to “fait la tour” we glided over the patina of slipper polished tile to view its treasures.

Sort of like a 70's French film set, blustery red faced collectors, stylish jewelry types, well heeled bourgeouis and a few grand old dames , they were all there, plus of course the two amateurs with the Hertz truck.

Needless to say four hours later found the two tired but satisfied amateurs struggling to dismantle a very old and very dusty armoire…

Makes the Magpie happy…

What we have been up to...