Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Blog and Archives

mmmm last day of the month.. I wanted to post a little something about the "rude french" but I dont know if this post will still be on tomorrow..I mean we are new on Blogger and I dont know if at the end of the month, it just goes in archives...So anyway, we will see tomorrow.

Table for 4..err..3 :o(...by Kim

I'm losing my mind...

Yesterday, I went to the market to buy some groceries, and I bought 4 chicken filets, 4 croissants, etc...I basically thought of food for 4 people...c'est normal, no?? No!

Last night, I set out Pickle's breakfast, his cafe au lait bowl, with the nesquick in it, ready for the milk to be poured in. His plate with a croissant, and an apple. (my mind is still seemingly intact)

Then when Cheese wakes up, he has the same, and mine, I just eat mine plain, no time, off to school (still feeling normal) (here is where I lose my mind) I go to pick up the empty bag of croissants...and WHAT??! who didn't eat their croissant?!?! So i inspect the breakfast scene..recall my memory...okay, make my assessment...there are crumbs on Pickles plate, I witnessed Cheese eating his...now the question is...did I eat mine? (the sad part is, I have to think really hard)........

AAAH HAAA!!! I am sooo pathetic...I waisted a whole 10 minutes on this "crime" when in actuality..This dumb blonde bought as if our frog were still here...He is in fact in Montreal, so I guess I will give this virtual croissant to him! I really miss you, my beloved frog!

Monday, February 27, 2006

Pan-Seared Salmon Puttanesca with Fusilli..by Kim

When I go on other peoples blogs, I especially love it, when they share a favorite recipe! This is not my favorite by any means, and I have now vowed to NOT cook salmon, unless I am being the sous chef to Thomas! It was better than I expected it judging by the smell of when it was cooking. Thomas, on our second night of being together, (after the soup/casserole he made me on the first night, that will be a really funny post in the near future) well he made this salmon dish, that made me fall right in love with him, it had onions, roma tomatoes, garlic, salmon, pasta and just a touch of cream cheese to make it creamy..mmmm.

here is the recipe in the picture, it was very very easy!

4 fillets of atlantic salmon
pan searing flour
2 Tbsp olive oil
6 oz whole wheat fusilli, cooked per package directions
2 cups Puttanesca Sauce (from a jar :o)

1. Coat fillets evenly with pan searing flour; pat off excess.
2. Heat oil in skillet on MEDIUM-HIGH, until oil faintly smokes; add fillets. Turn over when fillets change color one quarter of the way up and seared side has turned paper-bag brown, 3-4 minutes. Reduce heat to MEDIUM; cook 3-4 mintues more, until internal temp reaches 130 degrees; Transfer to clean plattter, let rest at least 2 minutes.
3. Heat puttanesca sauce in saucepan while fillet rests. Top fillet with sauce, add fusilli to pan and mix with sauce.

I'm not very good at the platter presentation..Thomas always makes everything look wonderful when we sit down to eat. Cheese seemed to enjoy the meal very much, did I say Cheese, I should re-nickname him to HAM!!

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Something so simple, but took over 3 hours...by Kim

You probably will notice that we changed our title of our page!! I decided that life after 8/8/04 just seemed way too boring, and if anyone ever saved it on their blogs they visited..who would ever be interested enough to look! So I made up my mind to change it and enlisted my beloved french frog to help me.

After very many suggestions...and each of us saying NO! We had come up with some pretty pathetic ones and some really hysterical ones..probably only hysterical to us..We tried to think of how we could describe what we wanted to sayt, but to keep it short (something I obviously have a hard time with) We were thinking of state animals...New York is the Beaver...and France, well that is the Rooster or as some would say...Cock!...OOOOOh no, we cannot use those names!!!! Especially NOT together..I can only imagine who would be visiting our site! We should definately stick with the frog idea (i know, not too terribly original, like some of you! This is harder than I thought!

So here we are, our new name..I'm quite happy with it:) My poor frog, though, he is probably already imagining all the times I will be getting bored with something and wishing to change it:)

These are a few of my favorite things...by Kim

Rocher Suchard, (even though I can't pronounce it quickly....It is quite frankly the BEST chocolate I have ever tasted..AND its made by KRAFT france...I'm writing to Kraft USA...right now to complain!!!)
Orangina, (I drank this all my life, everytime I could get it..and never once knew it was from France)
Caprice Des Dieux, (this is one of MANY cheese from France I adore..I have been fond of cheese since I could stick it in my mouth, and a few times up my nose, (I was 2!! Don't laugh, its better than the pea, that sprouted in my nose, when I was 3!)
My two wonderful growing boys (blessings that I could not live without, for all the chocolate and cheese in the world..they are my little rocks!)
My French Better half, (My Rock of Gibraltar, this is the most precious of all my items from France, I guess I have been dreaming of this french froggy all my life, and no one will ever compare. He completes me and he is my complete equal..like the yin and yang!)

Julie Andrews on the other hand, found these things to be her favorite things..what are your favorite things..i would love to hear!! (from France, or where ever you are:o)

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things..

Cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudels
Doorbells and sleigh bells and snitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite things

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eye-lashes
Silver white winters that melt into springs
These are a few of my favorite things

When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I'm feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things and then I don't feel so bad...

I do love schnitzel with noodles though..mmmm, maybe that is what I will cook for dinner:)

My french name!

I got this from another blog, from warsaw to paris :o)
I think I'll keep my real name...why oh why did I get Henrietta? I once knew a chicken named Henrietta..on my tante's farm...we ate her before I left Germany!

Your French Name is:

Henriette Jacquemin


Saturday, February 25, 2006

OMG, I found my soulmate on the internet!! by Kim

This is something that I still have a hard time admitting to some people! Its a fact that there is a certain social stigma still attached to this statement. And, If a good friend were to say she was going to meet someone in person from virtual world, I would be like.."uh, I don't think so, there are crazy people out there" or "well you'll go with a chaperone, cell phone, mace and perhaps brass knuckles!" (even though I met my frog prince, not everyone can be soo lucky) No, seriously. you do have to be careful..just as much as you do meeting someone in a bar or out anywhere..(well when you live in USA you do at least)

So, back to my original story..(I mentioned already that I digress alot right?) We started talking online on that day and I think we were online for about 6 hours..(my kids were at Oma & Opa camp at the time for 1 month, so I was a free girl) about half way into talking to him, I suddenly got scared...he had said something like..."I sooo love that too" or something..and I thought...OMG...he could be some murderer, some weirdo, planning to kill me and put me in the freezer, or make a dress out of my skin..eek...or worse...he could actually be my ex husband impersonating a frenchman.....I NEEDED PROOF HE WAS INDEED FRENCH!!....He just laughed and said..i can prove it...I'll show you...I'm like how?? He replied, webcam! So he invited me to his webcam, and I took one look at him...and the feeling of secureness and familiarity was soo strong..and I could not stop from smiling....He showed me a magazine, in french, a page of Este' Lauder..I said...anyone in NYC could get a hold of a magazine in french..what else have you got? So he got some money....and I just said pppff...just admit it you're not french...so he then got his passport and any other paper he could find proving his french identity...(i'll admit..as soon as I saw him, I knew I could trust him, but I was having so much fun making him scavenger hunt:) Oh and right after gathering all his proof for me...he took a long sip out of a perrier bottle..to which I exclaimed.."Oh you're drinking perrier...why didn't you just show me that"

After that we talked for hours and hours. He was moving to Montreal (4 hours from me) in October, and we had decided we would meet. We were both adament about being friends and that there was absolutely no chance that anything could come of this, but we also both agreed and had very strong feelings that we would be in eachothers lives always, somehow! We decided on meeting on 11/11/04. And over the next 3 months, we talked non stop and somehow, even though we had never met...we had a very strong connection...we could read eachothers minds, had the same views on almost everything..it was c'est bizarre, non?

During that time..and while we were waiting to meet..I was soo motivated...well duh, nothing like meeting a person for the first time in your life..that you have a huge gigantic crush on like a schoolgirl.....and amazingly, when I was going to church..and it came time for the praying part...I had nothing more to pray for or wish for...having him in my life (virtually) was doing amazing things!!

While we were talking online and seeing him on webcam...my little guy Cheese, was also interested in talking to the guy on the TV...and Thomas was having fun talking to him....I was telling him, how he was in the stage of asking me what everyting was...and that he was saying to me.."because is NOT an answer" T was saying, he remembered saying that too as a kid, and that If the kids every had any questions...he would be happy to answer them....Well for a 10 and 4 year old....that was awesome...they made it their duty to come up with the most bizarre questions....what is blood made of....how can I make a plane out of a ceiling fan...how do plants feed themselves......AND he would answer every single question...So, suddenly the kids were begging to talk to him on the computer...I was utterly amazed!

So 11/11 was coming very quickly...he had already moved to Canada...We were now talking on the phone all the time...and getting more and more attached....And I started to get sooo afraid, that I had made this perfect relationship and that when we met...I might lose it...I was worried, so worried, that we would lose what we had...I was full aware, and had heard many stories of people having this magical thing...then meeting...and it fizzed, flopped, crashed, whatever! But, I figured, everything happens for a reason...If that is what happens..I have to just trust, it was meant to be that way..and try to figure out the lesson, I should have learned from it!

Originally, I was supposed to stay for a long weekend, like 3 days, but the more we talked and the more we connected...I made it for 5 whole days, almost 6!!! I figured, I might as well take a real chance! The couple of days before...you would think I would be freaked out, no? Nope...I was sooo calm and I felt great! I had primped and preened...I even tried to get a bikini wax...(thats a whole other posting)..I felt great and excited to meet the guy I had been dreaming of for that past 3 months!

Stay tuned..


Friday, February 24, 2006

First day in "the land of the crazy people"..by Thomas

I will let kim talk about all the blabla about us, I wouldn't be good at it. But since I have to write things in here, I guess I will discuss about situations the way I lived them. I read a lot about Americans in France, and thought it would be interesting to somehow reply here. North America through the eyes of a Frenchman.

I will remember my first day in the USA my whole life. It was around christmas 2004. Kim picked me up in canada, and we were talking about everything and nothing...till I saw it! The sign saying "Bridge to USA". Do you remember the first time you took an important exam or interview, I was probably more nervous at that time. Thoughts and questions were spinning in my head. "Oh my God! I am going to USA. What if they arrest me? What if I say something wrong and they shoot me? Why am I going here again?". Before I continue on my story, I think I need to explain few things that would actually explain why I was asking myself all these questions.

There are lots of stereotypes about the French in USA, and eventhough I never fully understood where some came from, every little americans have heard about them. I should say that we do have some stereotypes about americans too. I will not talk here about the fat american with a ketchup stained shirt, a hamburger in one hand and a chubby kid with mickey mouse ears in the other. I want to focus about one idea that is very popular in France... USA HATES FRANCE. I often hear Americans saying French are not grateful for being freed and so on. But here is an interesting point. From both points of view, we will all agree that America played a decisive role in liberation of France. Yet, that is probably where the misunderstanding starts. During my education, here is what I learned! After D-Day, Eisenhower talked to the french radio saying that France was now under American control and therefore should obey any laws promulgated by the American High Command...Wait a second, does that mean that German occupation now becomes an American occupation? De Gaulle stepped in and made clear that France had to be under french command. American troops stayed till 1966, when they finally got kicked out. After that, it would be too long to list all the disputes as the US government never forgave us, and made sure that the American people would think alike. In the end, there is no real anti-americanism in France. Just a defensive reaction conditioned by what we learn in school or what we hear in the media. "America hates us, and wants to decide what we eat, what we should do, how we should do it and so on"

So here I am, very close to the american border, remembering all these stories about this french arrested at the border because his name sounded muslim, these french journalists handcuffed because they were missing a paper in their visa, or even this french lady killed in florida by a lifeguard truck... Gosh, I am so lucky, that I really wonder what will happen to me. At that point of the story, I am not sure I still have nails.

When we arrive, the border officer looks very... like in movies...ready to shoot at me. He asks for the passport and paper, looks at me...Damn he just asked us to park over there and go inside of the building...After awhile, they took my photo and my fingerprints and YAY, I am free to go...er I mean clear to go.

So here we are finally driving in the land of the crazy people. I would love to tell you that at that point I was feeling great, but I was still nervous. Kim probably noticed it as she kept asking me how I was. "Come on, I am in the land of the crazy people, where everyone has a gun and shoots at eachother". She laughed, and explained to me that not everyone had a gun and as a matter of fact she knew only one person who had a gun. Well BELIEVE IT OR NOT!!! While she was making that speech, we saw two guys walking along the road...with guns on their shoulders.

GULP..can you see on my face I am french?

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Thursday, February 23, 2006

slightly before 8/8/04...by Kim

So I will start a little before August 8th. (you'll learn, I digress alot...and the word tangen should be my middle name!)

It was September of 2003...I was married for about 6 years...a very unhappy marriage, I should say..and after more than half of the years of being on antidepressants and being told that I needed to fix my problem and that I was obsessed with the kids...that the kids came first, then myself, then him, dead last. I was used to hearing that on a regular basis.

With a miracle from someone watching over me, I had a 9 month reprise, he was being sent (thank you New York national guard) to New Jersey...he would be home 1 weekend a month. I knew this was my chance to reclaim myself..the strong girl I once knew...and build my strength...I started right away...I stopped taking the antidepressants that I was taking, to get through my life. I went through serious withdrawals, because I quit them cold turkey..but in my mind, I had to do everything really quick! I had less than a year!!

At the time, I had my 20 year old nephew, holding my hand, he was my guardian angel. He made me realize so many things, were more wrong than I had even let myself admit to. I can't tell you how I did it. The kids were thriving, they were so happy and when Ryan would leave for a weekend, they would run and scream when he came home, they would attach themselves to his ankles, cry if he was leaving, scream with delight when he returned. (they do this with thomas, in fact chase will attach himself to his legs and refuse to let go, or he will put him in a death grip and bury his face in his coat, crying not to leave) But the weird thing was, when the dad would be coming home..they would get this weird look, and say...he's only staying for a weekend right? I was completely baffled, was he that bad?? Well basically yes, in a very passive/aggressive way, he was very bad! And being around my nephew, I realized very quickly, that we were living in a very hostile environment!

When the 9 months or so was up, I demanded changes! He accused me of being a control freak, things could only be my way or no way! I told him 3 weeks before halloween of 2003 that I wanted a divorce. I had dreams of having a really amicable divorce! Boy was I in for a rude awakening...

Let me tell you..when you go through a divorce (someone should write a book about this, it would have been very helpful!) People who are the ones being left..go through 4 stages...it depends on how the other person reacts, as to how long these stages last! Here they are - stage 1...remorse, and the I'm going to change for you ploy..stage 2...I'm sooo sad and cannot live without you, look I cry to everyone.....stage 3....I will use manipulation, perhaps use the kids, make you feel really guilty, etc. ...stage 4....I'm very pissed and I will make you pay for this you bitch! (add to that..for the rest of your life!).....needless to say...stage 1 and 2 lasted about 2 days, stage 3 lasted a week, and stage 4...well I am still in that stage...for eternity, I think!

I finally got him court ordered out of the house on veterans day...well he did it himself (another story for another day) but he was out..and could not return to the house!

At the time, I was going to church, to a Lutheran church in town (I'm a fallen catholic;), that my friend belonged to..I was teaching sunday school, it was fun...and during every time when they were asking you to pray...I was praying and praying...to have strength, to do the things I wanted to continue to build up my strength...stupid stuff, like waking up in the morning and losing the extra stress pounds I had put on...I was praying for happiness, for willpower, for control with my finances....everything I could think of!

So almost 1 year later, I started thinking maybe I would date....but then after a couple of nights out, and meeting the same "typical" american guy...I started thinking, maybe I would NOT!! I just kept wishing, I had that best guy friend...thats it, just a guy friend...well any nice guys, had more in mind than that!...Ugh!!

Well here I (finally) am to the day of 8/8/04...I had a friend who, the week before had asked me if I knew of any dating websites that had made any articles of how they started their site or any information on how to do that, because she wanted to start one of her own, and she asked me to ask clients if they had heard of any. Well that day, there was this kid from MIT, who said, yes he had just read an article on this site called Okcupid! I told my friend of the site, and told her I would research it for her. I found the article about how these Harvard mathemeticians had started this website based on algorithms and scientific research and decided I would check out the page!

To my amazement, there was 1 single person within a 50 mile radius from me, so I thought, what the heck!!

When I was a kid...every birthday, I would let go of my helium balloon, with my name tied to it, and wait for my new penpal to contact me...I had more than 10 penpals during my childhood...so to me, this was a little like that...releasing my balloon and waiting for a penpal!

I made my profile on this fun chatty site on the 7th...my kids were in chicago with my parents...so that night was a saturday night, my friends and I walked to the local pub...and I, for the rest of the night, dodged shady guys and laughed at the pathetic pick up lines....drank too much merlot...and headed home..the next morning...needless to say...I skipped church!!!

Which is why I say everything happens for a reason...because on that day...I was looking and trying to navigate this site..laughing at the profiles and browsing...I had not contacted anyone...and suddenly I see this name bisounane...he was 5 years younger than me...lived in Pau, France....cooool! I can't get much farther than France!! So I contacted him..and asked him like 50 million private questions...(which, if you know a french, they hate to answer personal questions..because, afterall, it was none of my business;) But amazingly (yes, he is amazing) he answered them..well first he said..woooo, so many quesitons...we discovered that we were both online..so he asked me if I had an IM program, being the unsavvy computer person I was...I said..what is IM...I have msn messenger...(he's thinking..she has to be blonde, right??) So we got on IM...and honestly from that moment...we had this amazing connection...we talked all the time.....I was crazy...(first, let me just say..I cannot wake up in the morning...I'm terrible!) But I was waking up at 4-5 am to talk to him..every morning......I was staying up....going for a jog after I talked to him...feeling great!

I will continue a bit more tommorow...since I have already gone over the slightly before 8/8/04 and have run a little bit into after 8/8.....

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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

How I found blogworld!

I guess before telling my whole life story, I will begin by telling how I came to find out about blogs. It all began officially, when I met my frenchman, (which is another whole story) you see, I wanted to learn french (a feat easier said than done;) so I found the most fabulous site - french word a day. At the time, I did not realize that it was in fact a blog, but I loved the site! From that site, she gave a link for Corey's blog, which I loved even more, and from there..I just found so many more!

Mainly I was drawn to blogs about expats, catching a glimpse of how life would be, if things were different..was so very interesting to me! I was addicted to blogging. I began begging my french love to do one with me. The cultural differences we were learning about eachother, not to mention the unconventional way for meeting, I thought could help alot of people, and well, create somewhat of a journal for posterity!

I find this whole blogging phenomenon a really interesting and curious way for people to connect...Oh the things we can learn! I see the possibilities of cultural misunderstandings to be abolished with simply just reading about other peoples views and opinions, experiences and mishaps, can teach us so much, that before we never would have learned.

I look forward to comments and whatever anyone has to offer. I'm basically an open book, I always have been, my french better half, is a bit more private, that is part of his culture, We as americans tell all..however, the french are very private, which can sometimes seem rude, but its not that at all, they just are very private. The internet is a funny thing though, these privacy things are not that much of an issue..as the internet can let you talk and share, without telling too much. It truly is a world of its own!