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?

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.


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