11/14/2007

Of Weddings and such....


So...finally the day came. After all the fuss and all the worry, it turned out to be a beautiful day. I woke up to the sun shining...a good sign. Three of D's friends had arrived the night before and we had much fun sampling the pina coloda punch and partaking of the goodies his baker friend brought. He came in with a large pallet loaded down with quiche, pizza, sandwiches, pastries, etc., whatever was left at the shop when he closed up that night. He also brought us a beautiful cake.


Soon after we were ready D's family arrived and gifted me with a beautiful bouquet of roses.


Then we were off to the castle ^^



It was so beautiful inside.




It was a very nice ceremony and everyone was in a good mood.





Audrey had fun winning the bouquet!
And it was really good to see D's grandfather again. He's such a sweet man.


After the wedding we all went back to the house and had a wonderful time. We received some wonderful gifts and good food was had by all!

11/07/2007

Voila!


Well, I finished my dress finally! I spent last night hand rolling the hem which is always fun :p I think it turned out ok. Now I just need to make a wrap to match it and that will be one less worry on my mind. Today we go to the grocery store to buy all the goodies to make the fingerfoods. I guess I know where I'll be for the next few days. The Kitchen. I have worked out a menu that I think will be OK. D's mother is also bringing things so I'm sure she will add a French touch to the proceedings. I myself am making Meatballs, Bacon wrapped shrimp, Baked brie with figs and almonds, deviled eggs, mushroom and lardon stuffed pastry, bruschetta and spinach artichoke dip with pita bread. I am also making a pitcher of sangria and some mai tais. Sound good?
11/03/2007

Absent


Sorry I havent posted for..FOREVER! I have been a very busy girl. We have had to jump through several hoops around here to get things taken care of. First off as I stated before I had to leave the country to get my passport stamped. So...we went to England. Since we are on a tight budget and really couldn't afford to go there it wasn't the most pleasant trip in the world. We went and stayed in a little town called Luton.



If you ever have even the smallest desire to go there my advice is DONT. It was four fairly boring and somewhat miserable days. We stayed in a little hotel called the Luton Hotel Residence. The entire time we were there they NEVER cleaned our rooms, no clean towels, no new coffee & tea service, not even new toilet paper! I have never in all my life stayed in a hotel where they didnt clean your rooms and give you clean towel, coffee, etc every day. They also didnt provide shampoo or wash clothes. This was aggravatig as we didnt bring any shampoo along considering all the regulations on liquids. We didn't really think we would need any. One fun moment in the time we were there though was on the night we decided to go out and find a nice pub and watch the rugby game. The game was between France and England so you can probably imagine that it was pretty funny to be sitting with D in the middle of a big English pub full of Rugby fans screaming every time the English made a score. Needless to say we didnt jump up ad down every time the French scored. LOL!
I was so happy to get home after that trip. I can truly say that this place is starting to feel like home. After we arrived home we had to go to the Marie for yet ANOTHER meeting as they wanted to ask us more questions. This time they wanted us to provide an interpreter. We were both a little upset that we had to yet again go get interviewed (interrogated) even though we had already had to go to the police headquarters and talk to them. well it turned out ok in the end I guess. the one lady was quite nice and seemed to be quite satisfied with everything we told her but the other one was very bitchy! (Good cop, Bad cop?!?) She asked so many questions and seemed very unfriendly. The interpreter was even a little put off by her and said she thought she was being unreasonable. She even made a comment that I wasnt talking much...like I could say much when I didnt understand what they were talking about? o0 Well after all that was over we were finally allowed to set a date! We are getting married on November 10th. I have been in quite a tizzy trying to figure out what to wear and finally decided to make my own dress. Yes, I know I'm nuts to even try since I dont have a regular sewing machine here, I only brought my serger. I think I see myself doing lots of hand work *cringe* I dont mind though. I think it might be a little fun. Yesterday D and I went into Bordeaux to the little fabric store I found there and bought my material to make my dress. I found some beautiful taffeta, some nice sparkle organza and a piece of cream satin. I am overlaying the sparkle organza over the top of the satin and making the bodice with the taffeta. One small problem..on examining the bags when we arrived home we realized that the pattern was gone. The sales lady had kept it at the second store we went to to buy the zipper and ribbon. Now we have to make a trip back into the city to get my pattern and if they arent open today then I will lose two days of working on my dress o.o



Besides all the fuss in trying to get our date set at the marie and traveling outside the country I have been busy making things. I started a new cross stitch and I have to say this is the most difficult pattern I have ever picked. I really love the picture though and I've decided when its done I will hang it in our bedroom. I have been using a few blending filaments to give it a bit of a sparkle which I think is giving it a nice touch. D says this will probably take me the rest of my life, I think he may be right!



I have also been working on making a light cover. Since arriving here I have seen several cloth light covers. I had never seen anything like them but I really liked several so I decided to make one for the bedroom and this is what I have so far. Sorry the picture quality is so bad. It has three rows of "petals" the inner one being a single larger one, the second row is two smaller ones and the outer row three smallest ones. I serged the pieces around the edges also lining the first inner petal so it shades the light a little better. After serging each piece I cut a two squares out of cardboard, the one smaller so that it fits inside the first square I then taped the petals so the bigs ones hung down from the inner sides of the squares, the smaller ones hung down from the space between the two squares and the smallest ones hung from the outer edges. Then I cut another square the size of both of the others combined. This one I am going to cover with black material and then glue it on top of the others to hold it all together and give it some stability. then I will run strings from the four corners up to a circle of cardboard that will hang around the light fixture. It took me awhile to figure out how to make this. The ones I had seen were mounted on wire structures and since I didnt have one I had to come up with a viable solution. I think this will work well...I just need to remember to buy some glue to finish it ^_^



My last project I have been working on is a cashmere blanket. I had several sweaters left over from the shop that were not being used so I brought them with me here to France and decided to make a blanket out of them. I first cut them all into strips 7 " wide and of various lengths. I then serged them together to form a patchwork. Yesterday I bought a nice big piece of polar fleece in black and I am giong to join the two pieces together to make a wonderful snuggy blanket to use when I curl up on the couch. I cant wait till it is finished. Im already using the cashmere part before I've even backed it!

To top all of this business off...we have decided to have everyone come back here to the house after the wedding. So...I have to come up with some appetizer recipe as we thought we would have a buffet for the guests. We arent having that many people come. Probably about 10 so it wont be too hard. D's mother is going to make some food also and bring it along. If anyone has a good recipe please send it to me. I have to admit I'm short on ideas in that department. I thought maybe a spinach artichoke dip with pita ? Wish me luck *^_^*
10/04/2007

Enter...












Agen way...







So this weekend we went down to visit D's family again and had a good visit. His Mom took us to the nicest little village and it had cats everywhere (little statues of cats)




I had a wonderful time wandering around and trying to spot the cats and took many wonderful pictures of the architecture.




What a quaint little place!


This sign of the services offered gave me a laugh...you wont see that in the US! HaHA!


A nice display of veggies at the little store there...


...and a pic of D's grandfather. He is such a dear!


While we were there we also went to visit his good friend Matt, who made us wonderful homemade pizza, French Style! He is a baker and makes us wonderful treats. We also had a wonderful fresh fruit tart for dessert the he made.


If you look close enough in the background you can see his passion...he collect LOTR items, and they are quite creepy. Hats off to Audrey for putting up with that in her diningroom :p

Last but not least a pic of my honey *^_^*

9/26/2007

Paperwork = Hell

Well here I am in France and stuck in paperwork hell. It started out OK I guess for the pile of red tape we had to plow through. I was beginning to relax and think this would go OK...then...they told me my birth certificate and divorce papers weren't adequate. Seems I didn't get the proper apostille attached. OK. So I sent off to the US for the proper apostilles...one I'm still waiting for. THEN I get a letter from the police captain here, requiring me to come to the police station for an inquiry. Scary stuff. D calms me down, makes a million calls to friends , etc and comes back with " It's no big deal just making sure we aren't getting a fake marriage". Hmmm, OK. so we go and have this nice man (yes, he was very nice...taken from someone that cant speak French) and he asks D a million questions and then tells us we have been going about it in the wrong direction and we have to go to the Prefecture and apply for a Carte De Sejour BEFORE we get married. SO off we go to the prefectures office. After standing in line for a gazillion years we finally get to a window and talk to a young woman who tells us NO thats not the correct information. 1. They cant keep us from getting married for that reason. 2. I can apply for my Carte De Sejour AFTER the marriage BUT I will have to reside in France for 6 months and have my name on all the utilities, etc. She suggested I pop over to England for a weekend to get my visa stamped and then return so I would still be in France legally having renewed my 3 month stay by leaving. So we return feeling much relieved. D calls the landlord who agrees to put my name on all the old rent receipts since July and also on the contract and he calls the cable, etc and puts my name on the bills also. We both breath a sigh of relief and think we have it all figured out. Then two days ago D gets up in the morning and sits here reading the news as he does most mornings...and turns to tell me he just read some very bad news. They just removed the line from the law saying you can get your Carte De Sejour after residing here for 6 months. SO I'm screwed. I supposedly cant get one now without a long term visa. TO get one of those I have to return to the US. We cant afford a ticket to the US. It was hard enough to come up with the money for us both to travel to England to get my passport stamped. I really don't know what to do next and it is causing us both huge anxiety. I feel so bad for D as he is just beginning his 4th year of college and has been accepted in a second college to get a masters in English Language at the same time as his Computer Sciences Masters. How on earth can he concentrate to do his studies when he's worried about whether I have to leave or not. Any words from the wise out there? Suggestions on what to do?
9/25/2007

Far Away




I went to the edge of the sea today
and thought of you so far away
I know you're there and I am here
and wish that there was near to here
but I went to the edge of the sea today
and thought of you so far away.

9/09/2007

The pyrenees


D and I recently had to make a trip down to Toulouse to take care of some papers at the consulate. The round trip by train was around 130 euros Ugh!




Just to get papers! So...we decided if we had come this far, we would go stay in the mountains with the family for a bit. I'm so glad we did. It was SO beautiful there.



I felt like Heidi LOL! D had told me about the back breaking work they had done on an old barn they had bought up there.



He said he had to dig out a whole area where the earth was almost as high as the ceiling. I guess the place was in rough shape when they started, I only know it was wonderful when I arrived.



What a charming place! There is still much to do upstairs as it is still all one room that runs the whole length of the building, with its high ceilings and rough beams I just loved it. D's mom says they plan on breaking it up into three bedrooms eventually.






This old barn sits perched on the side of a mountain in a cluster with four others.



The view is spectacular and in the short time I spent there I only knew that I could happily stay there much much longer.



We wandered all over the countryside, driving through many little villages and visiting the top of the pass.




D's mom knew every crook and cranny in that valley.



She took us to the nearby village and showed me a great book store that had around TEN shelves of used English books all at around 4 to 6 euros each. Needless to say we bought a stack ^__^



We also found a nice shoe store and I am now the proud owner of two new pair of shoes ( I came to France with only my sandals)






We also visited this wonderful little basket weavers shop. IT was located outside of one of the tiny villages we visited. You had to park in the village and then walk uphill through the streets



(on one of the streets we passed what had to be the cat lady house, there were at least two dozen kitties in her front yard)


then through the fields out to her house.I wondered how on earth anyone could even know it was out there. There were no signs or indications that it was there.


She made the cutest little puppets and I was told they were modeled after the villagers. I just loved visiting her shop. She is very talented and I wanted to buy many things but I'm afraid she was a bit pricey for me =\







Another place she took us was an old ghost town. They had a zinc mine there but then when it quit operating everyone moved away. Spooky!

We also visited a cheese museum.
They had a lot of interesting models and old equipment displayed there, and in the store they sold wonderful bottles of different types of liquer and soaps, etc. I have a bar of soap now made of donkey milk LOL!

And to finish this off...Kyle, here is a pic of a castle for you :p


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