Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Step One: Make More Coffee

Our coffee machine broke a couple of weeks ago and with the pending possibility of upping sticks, we bought a cheap and cheerful replacement at Carrefour. It's a lovely little white machine that makes ever so cute steaming noises while at work. The only downers are that it's white, and therefore likes to show off it's hard work, and it drips everywhere when you pour out the coffee. The other bummer is that it doesn't turn itself off automatically after 2 hours like the last one we had, so I have added another level of stress to my life: I shout and fight, get the tribe into the car, head off for destinations far & wide only to suddenly wonder, about 45 minutes from home, if I turned the coffee machine off.

On the positive side of things, since we don't own a microwave chez nous, there is a new found joy when I can stumble into the kitchen, frazzled and freaking, and find that the coffee I made after The Man left for work is still there and hot. Sure, it's thickened up slightly, but hey! Coffee soup! That's what's for dinner!

I've needed this overdosing of caffeine this week. Trying to sort out flights, nannies, clothes, toys, stuff, crap, friends, dogs, life is intense. But I'm sure you already knew that. In about two weeks, everything changes and we have two months of nuts. Even though the knot in my stomach is for something positive this time, I'm ever so glad I can still drown the sucker in a nice strong cup of Guatemalan.

My first cup coffee in the morning is the most perfect because The Man brings it to me and we sit in bed, stare out at the hills behind the house, and enjoy the peace. These days are flying. We sip as slowly as the minutes can allow.

An hour later and my second cup is done, just as the sun peaks out from behind the church. I hear the boys yelling for Nutella and the background noise of Rosie's favourite Wallace & Gromit film.

My cup is empty. But overflowing.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Fasten Your Seat Belts

Wow. Whoa. OH MY GOD! I got that wonderful job. And now, everything changes.

After 9 years in France, 11 years in Europe, I'm taking my people back to chez moi. I arrived with a fuzzy malamute and a backpack crammed with t-shirts and coffee mugs and now, I'm leaving with 4 little people, a fuzzy Brit, and suitcases filled with Lego.

I have no idea where to begin with anything. I have no idea how to say goodbye to all that we've lived at the Birth Control Bed & Breakfast. I'm beyond excited and miserably sad.

I know in my heart this is the right thing to do. It's time for all of us to move on and do new things, become the people we want to be in a place where The Man & I think everyone will bloom.

I sit here, staring out the window at the village church, and I'm in awe how the weather reflects my mood. It's stormy out there, windy with the clouds swirling around the steeple. But just when I think it's going to finally rain, there's a flash of lightening and glimpse of brilliant blue sky.

I hear the kids fighting with each other in French as Rosie tries to squeeze next to them on the couch.

I hear Typhon howling as the church bells chime.

I see my neighbours heading up to the boulangerie for bread.

I watch the clouds.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Almost As Bad As Waiting for Your Due Date

I'm having one of those problems of thought block yet again this week. My mind is a jumble of past, present, & future and I really wish I could clear it all out.

Adding to my wonderful mental mess is that fact that I'm waiting on news about a possible job. I've interviewed roughly three times with the company and I really, really, really want to land this. Trouble is, if I do get it, this job will radically throw us all up into the air. Such fun trying to live day to day and plan for the immediate when there's a chance that the immediate we know won't be the immediate we live.

So until I know what's up, I'm back to impersonating a pinball machine as I wander around the house, cleaning up random Oreos that Rosie has licked and left laying about, listening to Bubba make deep philosophical statements like, "funny how all fish sticks are made from all kinds of fish, but I only like fish sticks and not all kinds of fish."

The Princess is obsessed with earrings and make-up, MH with Airbus 380s, and the dogs with finding a cold spot in lock-down to beat this amazing summer heat that has finally arrived.

The Man laughs at me as I try to stay calm, pointing out that staying sane has never been an option since 2002. He's working on part 3 of the 'Great Wall of the Village on the Hill' and believe it or not, the end is actually in sight. The psychological release of this is massive. I see a happier, zenner Man in the not too distant future.

So, my imaginary friends, patience. Take a deep breath with me and look around us. Perhaps this is the calm before the storm. Or not.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Can I Get Them All Electric Collars?

This morning started off nuts. Here's me, running around like a mad woman, trying to sort out some stuff on-line, doing laundry, dishes, and entertaining the tribe when my cancer-kicking running buddy stops by for coffee.

We have a good chat about all the wackos in the village, figure out how to solve all the worlds' problems, and decide just which running show is the bomb, when another friend and her three peeps show up for lunch.

And unfortunately, as her peeps came in, they let the dogs out.

But fortunately, la neighboure had her car parked out front of our houses so we zoomed off to rescue the furry friends before the three of them could be stampeded by a very big, very large group of angry Limousin. Nothing like the smell of cow-poop in a small French car.

We get the dogs back into lock-down, I start setting the table to eat, and then it dawns on me that MH is missing. Turns out, he had taken off on his bike to find the dogs as well and still hadn't returned.

I waited. I waited. I panicked. I called everyone in the village. Then everyone in the village went looking for him.

And low-and-behold, not 5 minutes after everyone had gotten into their cars and driven hours towards Paris, MH returned, very sweaty and almost as angry as that herd of Limousin. Of course, at this point, I couldn't call anyone to tell them he had returned because they were all still out there looking for him.

We jitteringly sit down to eat, jumping up from time to time to tell kindly villagers driving by that MH was now home, safe and sound, all the time thinking to myself, "what a hell of a morning."

Cue coffee and a deep sigh of relief.

Silly, Dig.

'Cause now, where, oh where, was Rosie?

We checked the attic. We checked the bedrooms. We checked the basement. We checked the closets. We checked the pool. We checked the lane. At this beyond panic overload, I ran to the back garden and up the back alley that leads into the village. Still no sign of her anywhere.

I reached the boulangerie, hung a left, and ran hard back towards my house.

And who do I see then? My cancer-kicking friend, eyes wide, giggling.

"MON DIEU! I just pulled into the village after looking for MH and who do I see banging on the front door of the boulangerie looking for bon-bons? ROSIE!"

Cue heart attack and tears of relief.

Mon dieu, indeed.