Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Chez Nous

David has been home for a week now. Originally he was dreaming about steak for his first meal but when he finally got out he wanted me to make him my Mom's specialtly. Mac and cheese.

We went to see Avengers 2 and got Chipotle to go and the next day he made shepherds pie and the day after that he was craving shakshuka so I don't know how but chemo killed the cells that make him French.

We have stayed in our neighborhood mostly, except to go get his hair did and buy two hats.

It's nice to have him home. We are crossing our fingers and our toes that he has the full 15 days off before he starts the second round of chemo, but every extra day is special. And every day that goes by and they don't call is great. As much as we want this all over with, I think after more than a month we really need a break. It's so nice to go home after work instead of heading to the hospital. And it's great to enjoy the sun and the nice spring weather together.


Monday, April 20, 2015


I always imagined that my first experience in a French hospital would be having a baby. So imagine my surprise when it is not me in that hospital bed but my husband.

Shortly after arriving home after three weeks working in Barcelona David was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia and began treatment immediately. He has been sequestered in his room since March 29th and all visitors have to wear a robe, a mask and a hair bonnet and are not allowed to touch him and have to stay right next to the door in order to contain contamination.

He has a very similar leukemia as my mom. And while my Mom battles it out doing her second round of chemo my brain battles it out trying to think of her and what she is dealing with when all I do is metro boulet hosptial dodo and my body battles it out needing to be two places at once. And at the same time not wanting to be in either place.

There have been many other great and horrible things going on, but this has brought all that minutiae into the forefront and I can just brush it away and focus on being positive.

My boss is a doctor and he said that normally a doctor only comes across this type of cancer once in his career and he couldn't believe that a person could have both their mother and husband suffering from this kind of cancer at the same time.

This is just too fucked up for me to cry over. Yeah I cried the first week but it is just fucking ridiculous.  Throw in a demanding boss who thinks he is helpful by keeping me 'distracted' aka swamped with work, and a revolving door of French people who only turn off the French radio to turn on the tv for three weeks and my brain has just had it. David doesn't want people to feel sorry for him so he doesn't want anyone to know but I cant keep my mouth shut forever.

We kept it lighthearted at first with jokes about playing nurse and Maza Cat-Chatting with him to say mean things about me.

David is really taking this role playing game too far

David and I are in a competition to see who can lose the most weight. If he wins he gets my most prized possession. My 15 year old fat mean cat and I will let her sleep on his side of the bed. If I win I get the full L.A California plastic surgery. Duck lips, nose job and cannon ball implants.

And jokes about fresh baby blood being delivered from the children's ward upstairs every time he got a transfusion.

David finally got h is own cat

Despite me taking away her wi-fi Maza is still sexting David using CatChat. And she told him she can get duck lips too if he wants. This bitch is going to the taxidermist tomorrow.

But that all stopped when he got really sick. For more than two weeks he has had chills and fever, throwing up, can't sleep and has stopped eating.

Ice bucket to cool his intravenous liquids to help lower his fever

It's rough seeing someone you love suffer. And it's worse when you can't touch them at all, not even to pull the blanket up or give them some water or a hug.

And a few days ago, he was fed up and exhausted and told me to write down his funeral requests. And that's when he said the sweetest saddest thing he has ever said to me. He said he wanted his ashes scattered at Bridgeport in California. It's just a small spot on the river where we spent the summers together swimming and playing Uno. And out of the places we have been together it's still our favorite spot.

Needless to say I am learning all sorts of new words. Words I never wanted to know.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Metro, Boulot, Dodo

I signed on the dotted line...... and now I am a full-time employee! With keys to the office and everything. I obviously won't be writing about work because the fact that I was able to find a job when my French is so atrocious is a miracle and I don't want to fuck that up.

I have worked since I was 17 so I enjoyed the first few years off. We consolidated two apartments when we moved to France so organising that mess was a full time job.  We planned our wedding and got married, and I was going to school at Sorbonne, so I was pretty busy. And we moved again after two years, so that kept me occupied for a while. But not having any responsibilities was getting to be a drag. Most of my friends here work, so it wasn't like I was living a the fabulous life of a lady who lunches. And I loved that I had so much freedom, but the only thing I ever accomplished was vacuuming the baseboards or organising everything we owned to fit it into our little apartment.

At the end of the day I was the only one that knew I had cleaned the fridge or put our 35 apartment keys in some kind of order. And housework is not exactly mentally challenging. Also not having my "own" money was depressing. It's one thing to blow money at the sales when you earn it. Blowing someones else's money does not have the same thrill for me. I was super independent before France, and starting over from zero was horrible for my self esteem.

So when I got the offer, I snapped it up and started interning over the summer so I could hit the ground running in September. It's basically office work, but Outlook, Word and Excel are in French, and I answer the phones and speak and write in French all day so it's good for my language skills.

At first I couldn't type anymore because the English and French keyboards are similar so on the French one it's the m and a and periods and commas that are different, but now when I am at home I keep getting q's and ; when I type a and m. I still have a hard time typing, especially on my laptop since I don't type very much outside of work. But that also means I can give away the english keyboard we were holding on to in case I ever found a job. Nothing makes me happier than seeing the back of some useless junk that was cluttering up the apartment.

And my house is a mess. The last thing I want to do at the end of the day is vacuum or change the sheets. But it's all worth it when my measly salary hits our account. It's not enough to even cover rent but it's almost enough and a lot more then nothing.

But most of all, I finally feel like a real Parisienne with my very own metro, boulot, dodo routine.
(metro, work, sleep, repeat).

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Ma Belle-Mère

My mother in law came to Paris to hang out with Maza while we were in Sardina. She decided to organise our hallway shelves while we were gone. (ummm thanks?) I haven't really bothered with the hallway because everything is going to get taken out when it gets repainted due to the damage from the leak in the apartment above us.

I'm pretty sure she washed the windows and floorboards also. We came home to post-it notes everywhere. I think I found them all (17of them so far) but I haven't checked the drawer where I hid my vibrator.

"For good weather (scarves and umbrellas)."

"For winter (mufflers? I don't know the name in English) and gloves".

"You are collecting these?? Here are all the products for cleaning windows!!! Nothing works as well as white vinegar in hot water! Re-sell, donate or throw these away! Kisses!!! "

I'm sure my friends in the US will enjoy their gift of hops from Pas-de-Calais even more now that she wrote poison on every single side.

"Product for cleaning the oven. Caution!!! Don't use in an oven that cleans itself. Use the self-cleaning setting when the oven is already hot!"

"Products for washing curtains!!! Where are they?? Call the police! Someone stole them!"

 (I refuse to put up curtains in the living room because I need all the light I can get in the winter. If the people across from us want to stare at me on the couch I really don't care.)

"Well, where is the candy? That's ok, I'm going to eat some of the chocolate. Kisses."

"Dish towels and hand towels. Kisses!! And some old rags!!!"

"Here, Maza told me that her dad and mom should buy her a scratching post, a big one (?!). She will surely tell you about it."

"Put this in the box of cleaning products when it is dry. Thanks."

"These two small towels I used for cleaning. Let them dry before putting them in the laundry basket. Thanks."

" I bought these rolls to put them on the glass door between the bedroom and the hallway, but I didn't have a ruler to trace with. I'm leaving you the work to do! These are removable and can be repositioned. You have to clean the glass before you install them then leave the glass a little wet for them to adhere. Good luck!!! Warning there are two sizes. One for the top and the other for the bottom."

"I started to replace the felt on the bottom of the chair legs where it was missing but I didn't finish. I asked Patrick to bring these from our house. We have too much of it. A little work for you! Kisses! I didn't put the chairs back around the table so Maza wouldn't be able to get on it. She likes to sit on the chair in front of the window."

She was not a big fan of the Brita water pitcher and left about five bottles of Evian behind. Did you ever notice that Evian backwards spells naive?


"Sorry, some stuff fell behind the washing machine!!! Kisses."

"Beware! Do not leave wet laundry in the laundry basket because it can rust the metal part and the rust can only be removed with a specific product "Rubrigine". Naughty children!"

"These are for well behaved children. But very, very well behaved. The red is for Emilie, the purple is for David. Don't fight over them!!!"

 "I'm sorry but while I was rearranging the books and talking on the phone with Raymonde I dropped a pile of books including your wedding album! It got damaged. For now I'm leaving it with you but I will replace it with mine the next time that we see each other. I'm really sorry kids!!! And I did not have the time to clean the front shelves and back shelves. It was too hot, I was too tired, and my back ached. I will do it next time!".

There wasn't a post it note on this box, but I'm pretty sure she looked inside and found the weed that accidentally got packed in our boat shipment five years ago.

"Products for the dishwasher. Sniff. There is no dishwasher."

If you want room in front push from the bottom and make sure nothing falls behind!!! Kisses."

If you want more room on one side or the other push the dvds from the bottom to make room, but make sure that the ones on the other side don't fall."

"Big kisses to the Parisians!!! See you soon."

My father in law and his girlfriend merely mailed me a card. He sends kisses from their dog Fifi also.

My mother in law did leave candy though.

And I'll never complain about arriving home to champagne chilling in the fridge. Especially after Air France lost my luggage for the second time this year.

Happy Birthday Emily
So anyone out there want a bottle of window cleaner from my collection?!?!