Thursday, April 15, 2010

Blizzard of March

In March, we had the biggest snow of the year, a metre dropped over a day and a half of constant snowing.
Here's a few photos (taken from the view from the new apartment)


The week between Christmas and New Years, our little pad became hangout central. Here with my sister-in-law Anne-Helene, and brothers-in-law Eric and Gregoire. The kids are hanging out in the background!

Volcanic winter sunrise

It's a cold, rainy, truly awful day. I'm waiting for Guillaume and the kids to arrive. I left the house briefly against my will to buy bread in honor of their arrival. No bread would be no big deal in my life. But to my French beloved ones, no bread is a CRISIS and could transform me instantly into Marie Antoinette in a revolution re-enactment. Not good. In Europe, history is only a breath, or sometimes a baguette, away.

So I'm home, making a cup of coffee, and have decided to snuggle up to the computer and post a couple of random photos that didn't get shared earlier. Voila. Enjoy

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Wild Kingdom

That's right folks, it's a regular Mutual of Omaha program here. My little kitten's in heat!! And she's only 4 months old. They grow up so fast these days...

Caterwauling. Cat-a-wailing. Got the etymology lesson, now when will it stop? According to my google search, guaranteed within 4 a few weeks.

Just called Guillaume at the hotel (he's missing all the fun--on road trip to pick up the kids) to let him know that his cat is insane...

We had no idea that kittens went into heat so young. Camembert is going to have her first doctor visit very soon.
p.s. Mimi -Thanks for requesting a foto of Camembert. Here she is, her insane self!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Les Angles--View from the Old Apartment

Going Backwards--Moving in, The old Apartment

As promised, at long last, I am going to start adding photos.

Going backwards, here's the first apartment, normally a tourist rental by the week. Wonderful big windows but ill-equipped.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Joyeuses Paques!

I'm here, I'm back! Perhaps this is just a holiday blog, as my last entry was for the new year...
So now it's Easter, sign of spring, symbol of rebirth, and here, it snowed last night....
So if I had had the time to write these past few months here, the entries would have been something like, "Cold here today, worked twelve hours, seem to have a problem with my shoes" ..."Really cold here today, shorter day, 10 hours, feet hurt"..."Delivery day. 28 rolls. Started at 5 30am, finished at 9pm. Feet hurt." "Getting used to cold! -4 now seems like a warm morning", etc. Consider yourself filled in and lucky to have missed out on posts such as these!
High season is truly a marathon (from Dec 1 - Feb 28 we had three days off, one of which we moved), but I enjoyed the challenge and my work colleagues made it fun. One last post-script on the winter season: as a special newcomer's welcome, this winter was the coldest one here since 1967.
As of March 31st, I'm no longer working in the grocery store, (just working two days a week teaching English) so now we are beginning the other side of the tourist town rhythm. And I am, quite frankly, ready.
I live in the Capcir, the name for this high plateau tucked among the mountain peaks. (which by the way, is also nicknamed the little Siberia of France) Originally, there were 13 villages here, of which only 10 remain today. One disappeared due to the plague (only two women survived), one due to war, and Creu, they don't know why. But if you ask me, it's because it's just too windy there. The ruins of Creu are just the other side of the lake, and Guillaume and I drove over and walked in to the remaining rock towers and walls of the original castle. Hard for me to conceptualize that I am walking on the ground of a village that was officially recognized in 965....As always, we forgot to bring the camera, but I will go back soon and take photos as it is beautiful in a spare way: grayish-yellow granite, some partially covered with bright orange or green lichen surrounded by heather-dusty green fields.
On the way there, I was thrilled to see a few white and purple wildflowers bravely pushing up and on the way back, we spied the furry and skeletal remains of a deer. Signs of the cycle of death and rebirth everywhere.
On the domestic front, Guillaume and I moved again, "en pleine saison", the beginning of February. A better-equipped apartment, on the other side of town. Most things remained in storage or very roughly moved in. So now we are rolling up our sleeves, emptying the reserve, building shelves for our books (mostly Guillaume's, he has about 600). It is currently chaos--half unpacked boxes everywhere as we reorganize, but it feels so good to finally really settle in. (As a consequence of the move, we were without internet for a month. Who knew it took so long to move service a half mile across town...)
And last, but not least, Camembert! In February, we had some extreme days. When I would walk to work in the morning, it was -17, a fierce horizontal wind making it impossible to see and throwing up "turbillons", tornados, of snow. During that week, the employees of the ski shop next to the grocery store discovered a little black kitten that didn't have the reserves to survive such extremes. The mother was too wild to take in, but they rescued the baby and started looking for a home for her. Guillaume and I couldn't resist, so in the middle of the busiest part of the season, while the kids were here with us, we said, YES and adopted her. She was tiny, in shock, and severely emaciated. So scared and in shock, that she would fight me to eat. I had to swaddle her in a towel like a little baby and force-feed her with a syringe. With the advice of others, I finally stumbled on the key--tuna water. It turned her desire to eat back on. Now six weeks later, she is loving, adventurous, has tripled in size and constantly wants to eat! Guillaume and I brainstormed all kinds of cool names, but somehow Camembert (the stinky cheese from Normandy) stuck. Guess it's a good thing we never had children, God bless the unborn Brie and Stilton.
I've been promising since I arrived here, but now I mean it: Photos coming soon!! Love to all xox