Friday, March 29, 2013

Lawn Care

I've traveled a bit in our world, but before this morning I have never in my life seen anyone, anywhere, combing their lawn. But this man was out there whistling and combing his lawn with a tool that looked like hairdresser's razor comb, on a stick, like a rake. There were big piles of brown grass to one side. The lawn he'd finished did look better!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Mail Delivery

My sister and I have a running joke about how bad La Poste is. Our address is 1 Rue de l'Église, which is immediately adjacent to 1 Place de l'Église and this has caused no end of problems. I've practically taken to running naked in the street in an attempt to get the postman's attention so as to alert them to the difference in these addresses. There are too many postmen and the weather has been too cold...

Anyway, found a video that explains it all:

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

New Old Armoire

There is a flea market in Paris that is legendary, but no one would call it affordable. We have been stunned at the prices they've invented. We were just certain that there are more affordable options patronized by the locals and last week Tata took me to the REAL flea market.

I was charmed by this antique armoire. This is not our usual style; like Helmut Lang I think I might have been influenced by our watching of Game of Thrones. 

I don't know if we'll bring it home with us or not. We are lucky that we get to try it out before committing like that. And if we sell, armoires of this era go for a lot more on eBay so it's basically a risk-free trial.

Daddy says this armoire is like another house - it has doors, windows, curtains....

Anno 1719 - that's pretty old

As wood carvings go I think these are pretty. They remind me a little bit of our work. Note the pegs holding the joints together.

Here is a close up of how the pegs work to join the pieces of the cabinet together.

How to know if this is real? I don't know.

More pegs holding it all together.

Here's the inside of the lock. I don't have a key so I can't know if it works.  It seems a key can be made.

This is the outside of the lock. 
There are places where it is in poor condition. That's why it was so inexpensive.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Garlic in your belly button

Lots of friends are talking about ways to beat the flu. But our nanny has it all figured out. All you need to do is take an unpeeled clove of garlic and put it in your belly button. Put a band aid over it so it can't fall out. Leave it there three days. Works for her every time!


Friday, February 1, 2013

Snowy Days: Scary for Everyone

Actual French Driver, do not try this at home
The French like to joke about how unprepared they are for snow, and how when it snows everything stops. After watching this driver wind her terrified way down a fully passable street, I have a single simple suggestion for road safety. She's cleared herself a 2" by 5" peephole on her windshield, perhaps a bit more snow removal would go a long way for safety?

That said, I'm happy that the local expectation is that everything stops. If these drivers are on the road I most certainly want to stay home.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Oh Happy Day!

The cold has ended. This morning we threw open the windows and they're still open.

That is all. Hurray!!!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

How cold is your apartment?

This sounds like a 'Yo Mama' game. How cold is our apartment? The olive oil went solid in the pantry...

Primroses are the only organisms happy at this temperature

Friday, January 25, 2013

Rave of the Day: Pre-made garlic and herbs in butter

Today's rave is for a convenience food I never knew I was missing. What you see here is a log of pretty good butter, already infused with a healthy dose of garlic and parsley.
My cell phone photo was terrible so why not add a filter?
This product is meant to live in your freezer. You take it out and cut off a slice whenever you need to sauté something, for grilling, or prepare a few snails as Escargot de Bourgogne. Certainly, it is something you could make yourself, but that defeats a little bit of the purpose here. This is a convenience to make daily life more tasty. If I'm spending an afternoon cooking up something special I don't mind peeling garlic and chopping herbs. It's when I'm rushing to make some kind of food item after a day of work and with a toddler commanding one arm and hip, that is when this product rocks my world.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

25 Ways to Wear a Scarf

When in France, don't forget to wear a scarf!

Here's a fun video to perfect your scarf tying. I find I tend to the Bunny Ear and the European Loop. But I want to remember to try the Infinity!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Quick Foie Gras Burger

Perhaps all I really need to do for this post is translate the text of the ad. The rest of it sorta speaks for itself...

The Quick Foie Gras burger

Quick'n Foie Gras
Block of Foie Gras from France


With the Quick'n Foie Gras good resolutions can wait!
A real slab of French foie gras delicately pan fried on a pure beef burger with onion sauce and lettuce on a whole wheat bun with split wheat. Here is a good way to prolong the pleasure of the holidays, at a low price!

Indeed 290 converts today to $3.86. I would worry about any steak and foie gras that cheap.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Checking things off the list

My New Year's resolution is to have a more positive attitude about life, and specifically this adventure in France. I know that things are what we make of them, and I know I don't want to look back on this time with regret. So I just have to buckle down and do the things I'd hoped to do. Easier said than done but here's a start.

One thing I've wanted to do for a while is make another set of Clotilde's Napkins. I say 'another' because I made an orange-themed set and immediately gave them away to Michele, the mother of Eric's best guy-friend Malo. So I ordered some more fabric and my sister brought it when she visited in September and then it sat for four months. Let's say it was marinating.

The finished product
What finally brought the project to fruition was an antiques market in the Marais. I always hunt down the antique linen stall and continue my quest for white-on-white bed linens with my own monogram (have to keep it challenging or I'd bring home too many beautiful pillowcases and linen sheets...) In that stall was an alphabetical box of labels that had been manufactured to mark one's clothes back when garments were sent to a communal laundry. Here is my set of "CT" initials:

Antique garment labels
They just happen to be the perfect size to 'label' my napkins. It makes me happy to mark them as my work, since Anonymous was a Woman. (note, I do not consider these to be masterpieces of American art, just my own pretty napkins).

Napkin labels are sewn into the existing seam. Doubled over there is no raw edge.
To add to our lovely tablescape we have these pretty napkin rings. They should be redundant since the point of the mismatched napkins is to ensure that each person has his or her own print, but since we already had 'Madame' and 'Monsieur' rings I include them in the photo.

The labels came in a gross (144 labels, what was happening with the metric system back then?) so I have plenty more for plenty more napkins. But that will be a much later project.

Plenty more labels!

While I was sitting here sewing these, on Sunday January 13, 2013, I got a text message from my sister. Her water had broken and she was sitting in a hospital bed awaiting the arrival of my nephew Edward. I finished the sewing thinking of her labor and chatting with her when she was available. Now I can't look at these napkins without thinking of him. Edward's birthday napkins. I suspect this is another set I will be giving away....