Friday, November 7, 2008

Welcome to the family!

Well, it's official, Josie's 'period d'essaie' (trial period) is over, the girl is in!!

Ok, like she wasn't already a certified member of the family, she had us at meow on that dark country road! But today, she earned her keep and will be added to the family insurance policy--yes, in fact, this is actual fact--she gets her own medical coverage and insurance policy!!

I walked out this afternoon, and there, laid on the terrace, with pitiful eyes open to heaven, was her first kill--a little mouse. Our mouser is on the j-o-b!! Now, before everyone gets all teary eyed, I am an animal lover of the ridiculous degree, but here 'dans la campagne' (in the country) tolerance, at the level of little creatures we cohabitate with, must be established. And so, if Josie does her job as efficiently as she pole dances (see action shots present), the end is achieved swiftly and little mousy heaven came quickly!

I was a little worried at first that she may just become a comfort cat, based on how much she enjoys cuddling with Freya in her bed (my favourite is the paw on Freya whilst sleeping), and with us in ours (in the morning only), her gourmet food/cat milk tendencies, but she has shown her true colours (and wow has she really turned into a beautiful feline!) and now escapes to the grange (barn) for hours on end, expands her zone of exploration daily--wearing a halter of course--coming in to use her new restroom (closed and with her own private door I might add!) and nourish herself for more exploits. However, let me be clear, when the rainstorms pour down, that delicate creature doesn't leave the warm comforts of home...can't imagine who she got that from---FREYA!

It amazes me how fast she's grown, seems just yesterday she was a tiny ball of grey mewing fuzz, now she's become a sleek, loving & lithe tigress, albeit one that still looks to her big dog-sister for nap time cuddles and first thing in the morning romps & licks! The two of them and their antics have us in absolute stitches and are great company for me when T is on his work travels. I still miss my Big D immensely, it will never be the same, but the new laughter and love make the wound not so tender.....

So, until further updates....feast your eyes on our beloved, beautiful growing Josephine!
p.s. Do note the crazy curly-Q tail she runs around with, sometimes earning her the nickname Josie-Q....but when she's scared, boy does it go straight one ever said the M-J's had run of the mill pets, that is for sure!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

O (bama) Happy Day!!

Not to go on and on and on about really great, so I will!!

But when I woke up this morning and heard the confirmation, of what was noting at 3am when I was up with a scratchy dog, I have to say that for the first time in a very long time, I was actually proud of the American side of my heritage. And usually I avoid political speeches like the plague because all I hear when I listen is "Citizens of X (fill in your locale here) I am here today ...blah blah blah...BS...blah blah blah". However, exceptionally I searched out Obama's acceptance speech and when I found the full version on YouTube, played it. And at the end my pride overflowed into tears. Wow. I'm not a crier, and I'm certainly not one usually moved to tears by a speech, from a perfect stranger. But wow. Obama's words were perfect, and the story of the 106yr old woman who voted, didn't even sound contrived, but truly genuine. I'm not naive enough to think he wrote that speech on his own, I'm sure he contributed, but I certainly hope he keeps those writers on his Presidential (woo hoo, love that!) staff, because they are good, real good.

Now the real work begins though, and the new government has a huge task list to address in order to fulfill the promises of change that have been made. We'll see what happens, but on this side of the sea we are feeling the breath of fresh air and damn, it feels good, so Congratulations America on getting out there and doing what America was meant to do, and showing the world that democracy and your rights aren't something everyone there takes for granted!!

And hmmm....wonder what kind of puppy they're going to get for the girls...

(Apologies for the poor photo, had to take it with my I-phone and upload it instead of trudging out to the car in the pouring rain to retrieve my camera.)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Things you don't expect to find in...your BRA!

There have been a backlog of blog entries queuing up in my bloggy brain as one thing or another jumped to the front and got a posting, and so, as relative calm surrounds me (life has taught me to enjoy this calm as chaos quickly follows!) I'm going to try to play catch up.

Let me set the scene so you can fully appreciate the moment:

This was a couple of months ago, so the weather was, uhm, A LOT warmer (says me sitting here bundled up, drinking hot peppermint tea and sitting intimately close to a heavenly hot oil heater). I was heading outside to do something in the yard and decided that my manual labour would be better served if I could get some sun on my body. And no, I'm not that kind of sun whore people, I wear SPF30 & hats, but it just feeeeeels good. As I was saying, I'm upstairs rooting around in the disarray of boxes littering our bedroom, no order, thanks to the @#$%^!& packers of April yore, searching for my jog bra. A jog bra is appropriate attire in the country for yard work--skimpy enough to allow sun to meet my skin, yet supportive and enough coverage should farmer Jean-Pierre show up for yet another random task in his field.

Finally, I spot my old Energizer bag (see Papa M, like the bunny, just keeps going & going & going :o) ) askew under the skylight, with some workout clothes peeking out half an opening. Aha. Shuffle over. Stick hand in and grope about (appropriate as I'm searching for my bra, no? haaaaaa.) in irritation as my body temperature mounts--I'm in the 'grenier' (attic) on a hot day, and those of you who know me, know I don't do well hot. Spot red, Bingo. Reach in, pull out the bra.....and "aiiiieeeeeeeeeeeeee"..."ayyyyaayyyyeeeeeeeeyeeyee" (please say this in an operatic, high pitched tone for true effect) all that can be heard for acres around.

T downstairs: "Are you OK?". Clump, clump, clump. (T running to the bottom of the stairs as I don't emit operatic screams often, usually only because he has snuck up and scared me.)
Me upstairs: ha ha ha hee hee hee (nervous, hysteric laughter)....clump, clump, clump. (Me carefully descending our precipitously angled stairs.)

I push T outside and lay forth on the white bench exactly what, shall we say surprised me- In. My. Bra.

Yes, your eyes are not deceiving you, that is a bat. A cute, furry, sweet little bat that died in my bra. T says "now, I know that's where I want to die someday (me giving him the eye), but that poor little guy...".

So, apparently a couple days prior, when we left for Paris for two days, and I shut up all the windows that normally stay open all day/all night during warm weather, the little guy flew in. Then when we left and we shut the house up he couldn't fly out and ended his little bat days in my red jog bra. Collective sigh, I know.

And now, I'll leave you to enjoy the other pictures my morbidly inquisitive self took (if you click on them they enLarge!)--I love bats and am happy that after this sad affair we continue to see a couple fly about in the evenings, ridding us of pesky insects. In fact, I'm already forming the plan to make sure we disturb them as little as possible when....IF....the renovations ever start.I know, all the fun stuff happens to me, you're jealous.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

'Allô-Weeyn' Sarthe style...

Well, no Trick or Treaters came to the door last night....siiiiigh....guess I'll have to eat all the candy myself!!...nah, just kidding....we didn't buy any candy....but we did decorate!!Talk about having the work done for you....I had an early morning appointment with an architect here at the house....and no, not a keeper, for those of you wondering.... and this is the stunning decoration nature had prepared for us to celebrate 'Toussaints' or All Saint's Day (Halloween in candy grubbing lands) here in the Sarthe. I got so many amazing shots that just took my breath away with their exquisite intricacy, it was hard to pick a couple favourites for the blog! (to truly see the real shot, click on the pic and it will enlarge) Every which way you turned a web was woven, using even the tiniest thread of grass as support--sometimes nature still astounds me at her capabilities. And these are done every night, but today's dew levels only now let us mere mortals see it--apparently we are in the busy spider season, lucky us. Of course, I'd like to know where these diligent arachnids were when all those pesky flies were annoying us up until recently....ah well, I shall just have to live with the mysteries of nature's timing.

Keeping with the theme of our scary 'Allô-weeyn' (as the French say it) surroundings...check out this cow we met on one of our recent walks....Boo!For once I actually miss the crass commercialism of the U.S. Yes, you read that correctly. I have always loved Halloween--and not just because I was on the world's biggest quest for SUGAR to quench my insatiable sweet tooth--or more to the point, chocoholic leanings, especially of the Peppermint Patty persuasion :) But since early childhood, loved the opportunity to live it up dramatically and be as creative and crazy as our costume trunk, handy supplies & imagination allowed. My favourite is still the year I dressed up us a viking (imagine a blond haired 10-12 year old here), complete with viking attire created from a burlap bag, aluminum covered cardboard sword stuck in belt, drawn on 'beard' with an eyebrow pencil & halloween makeup kit, and viking cap (Anyone remember those bouncy balls you sat on as a kid & hopped around? Well I cut off the top of our old ones as the handles were perfect replicas of viking caps! Talk about recycling...), but the kicker, and extra candy benefit for me on collections, was that I made a perfect matching outfit for my dog Jr. (a black standard poodle & my soul's companion) complete with matching cap...of course she didn't need the fake beard ;)

Today I have to say it makes me sad to see all the kids in their bought costumes, half the fun was the creative process and seeing what people came up with, and planning my unbeatable costume for the next year. Halloween day at school was hysterical every year. I realize now, as an adult, that a lot of the creative aspect came about because my mom just didn't have the money to buy any kind of costume, but that forced frugality of our life instilled a creativity in me that I still harbor today. Yet, as much as Halloween isn't what it once was when I was young, and perhaps commercially it's out of control, I still miss it. But, hark, a small ray of hope emerges as I see the tendrils of commercial teasing reach across the ocean and Halloween creeps into French society, I may just get my excuse yet to dress up again...boowahahahah....(evil laugh)...I know, I know, what am I thinking?!

Happy Halloween, All Saint's...whatever scares 'ya!