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July 2006

June 2006

How an obsession begins...

A friend's recent entry sparked an old memory to surface and the significance of this memory is just so comical I couldn't believe I had filed it away.  In junior high, we moved in with my grandmother as our new house was being built.  We took few of our belongings with us as we wouldn't have been able to bring a family of seven's objects to my GaGa's immaculate house.  We lived like that for nearly 6 months, I took the bus to school with the kids int he neighborhood that I did not know. I remember trying to act cool. One day, after school GaGa  tells me to get in the car because we're going to run errands.  I always liked going place with GaGa, she'd tell me stories about places we'd pass and she's always hum under her breathe at the stop lights.  That day she took me to a sort of department store, a sort of Target back in the day.  We shopped around and I followed looking at all the things not wondering once what we were doing. It was like that with her, just go with the flow no questions asked.  We stopped in the shoe section right in front of a Keds display and she said to go choose what I liked. My eyes grew large. I still remember that feeling. After looking around for a while, I finally resolved myself to a pair of plain whites Keds. Remember, I wanted to be cool and to be cool when I was in junior high was to wear  the plain white Keds.  Somehow my grandmother had picked up on this. She always knew these kinds of things.  We paid and went straight home. No other errands to run but to get my shoes. Looking back, I see how GaGa really helped my self esteem.  She was amazing like that.  That evening, I modeled my shoes for my sisters who were jealous but knew with GaGa their turn would come. She was always fair when it came to us five kids.  That night, in my pajamas and my Keds, I prepared for bed. Brushed my teeth. Washed my face. And with my Keds on, I crawled into bed and admired them by the moonlight shining through the window.  I fell asleep with the new Keds on my feet and awoke to my mother looking down at me with a puzzled look on her face.  I'm not sure if my mom knew but I knew she would come in and watch us sleep and I'd lay there feeling safe that she was there.  At the sight of seeing the Keds on my feet, she laughed to herself and unlaced them and let them fall to the floor. She pulled the blankets over my exposed feet and went to bed.  When I saw the light go off in my parent's room, I sat up, put on my new Keds and re-laced them again. Took a moment to admire them and went right to sleep.  The next morning when I awoke they were again unlaced and on the floor.  Clearly, this was the moment my shoe obsession began.  I think my mom knew something of it. She never said anything but whenever I wore my Keds, she would always look down at my feet and smile. 


J'aime Mon Quartier Meme

Memes are fun. On a walk through our shared quartier two friends came up with an idea. We love our neighborhood, and we'd love to see what you love about yours!  No, you don't have to tell us 7 things about your home--just post some photos. Tell us what's unique about your neighborhood and why you like it and show us a photograph.  Give us a chance to see what's special about chez toi.

J'aime mon quartier/I love my neighborhood.

Here are the rules:

- Your entry must include at least one, and up to 6 photos.  You can share as much as you like, but give us an idea of what the photo is about, and why you like it.

- Tell us where you live (Example: We live in the 13th arrondissement of Paris, which includes Chinatown, Les Gobelins and La Buttes aux Cailles)

- All photos must be within 20 minutes walking distance of chez toi.  You must have taken the photo to include it, but if you want to link to other sites with more interesting views of your home, feel free to do so.

You should tag at least one person at the end--but can tag a few, if you like.  Make sure you link them, so we can follow the ring!

So, I'll start....

I live in the 13th arrondissement of Paris, near Place d'Italie next to the Parc de Choisy.

Click photos for details.

Photo Bazaar  Tag trend on Rue Bobillot, 75013  Chez Nous  People Watching  Color Uproar  Ding Dong Bazaar

In the mix you'll see Ronica and her hubby, I've included them in my neighborhood meme because they are our neighbors! 

I'm tagging Mrs. B in Paris (my meme partner in crime) and Tricoquine with this meme. :) *edit* I'm also going to tag Ms. Kate at Needles on Fire.  I know she's uber busy but she's recently moved to Montreal and this is a city that totally intrigues me.


**edit** We've started a group at Flickr called I love my neighborhood for people who've done this meme to give the photos a bigger audience. Please feel free to join!


It's almost that time of the year again...

Les Soldes! 

If you were to ever travel to France for the shopping this would be the time to come.  July 5th through August 15th.  For a little history pop on over to Mrs. B's bloggie.   Be ready for it to be hot. Forget about there being AC at les grands magasins like Gallerie Lafayette or Printemps.  And be ready to be ruthless because everyone will be out with one thing on their minds: bargin shopping. I'm talking the first week you might see sales up to 40% off and near the end of les soldes there will be items marked down as much as 70% off.  I've known colleagues to take the day off for the first day of les soldes just so that they'd have the pick of the best things.  I'm not that dedicated to shopping to do that.  Every year since I've moved to Paris, I've picked out one thing that I need (or so I have convinced myself).  This year, I've got my heart set on a new wallet. Currently my wallet has too many things sticking out of the top of it because it's too short to house my over sized  French driver's license and my carte de resident. The wallet is from Brontibay.  It's pink and totally girly.  Something inside of me is saying; must. have. it. But only if it's on sale... :) I might budge on the pink. On verra...


Screenshot_3 Screenshot2_1


So, things that I will not shop for during les soldes? Bras. Bras, and Bras. I'm still very traumatized from the last time I tried to buy bras during les soldes.  The French sales women have a very uncanny touch sensory for realizing your bras size that just too weird for me.  Victoria Secret ships internationally. I'll pay for the extra shipping, thank you.


I take back what I said so many years ago...

Oh, how you were so wise, Omma.

We were sitting at the kitchen table at our house in Olathe. 17582 West 112th St. I watched my mom as she worked her way around her kitchen. Making dinner and mixing cookies for my brother while happily singing to herself.  I was a teenager. 16 years old.  I told my mom that I didn't want to have kids right away and that I wanted to be a career woman.  She turned to me and said you know you might change your mind.  I scoffed because I knew what I was talking about and no one could change my mind, not even my mother.  Well, I've been in the career world and I have to say it's not all that I thought it would be. I guess I had some  vision where the thrill of being a career woman would be enough.  The thrill is gone, baby.  Way gone. Losing someone close to you make you realize so many things.  As I work through all these feelings I'm realizing there are so many other things I'd rather be focusing on right now. Life is just too damn short to wait.  Luckily, my husband is right there to back me up. I love you, honey.   We're starting to make decisions that will change out lives.  We're so excited!  Though I'm no where near the domestic goddess my mother was, I've decided to follow in her foot steps and to teach myself.  So many projects, so little time. I finally feel like I know what to do now.  


A Lazy Saturday


Starting a new project...
Originally uploaded by PutYourFlareOn.

Spending time with your girlfriends is the perfect remedy to settle one's nerves.  Sitting around catching up on eveyone's lives. Laughing together. It means so much. Today was Knit in Public day.  We headed out to the Buttes Chaumont in the 19th arrondissement and found a patch in the shade and knit. Might I suggest a monthly  date of knitting in the parc? It does the soul good. :) Thanks, girls for the company. Looking forward to the next KIP date.


Knitting in Public


Underground Knitting
Originally uploaded by PutYourFlareOn.

I'm planning on doing some knitting in public this weekend. Saturday is the second anniversary of The World Wide Knitting in Public Day.  Will be meeting up with the girls and slathering on the sunblock to enjoy a leisurely afternoon in the park.  Where will you be knitting this weekend?

If you're in Paris and would like to join us, drop me an email and I'll let you know the details.


Spring in Paris

I got up yesterday and our thermometer said it was 15 degrees Celsius (use your desk top widget to figure out the Fahrenheit) and all I wanted to do was crawl back into bed.  This is June in Paris.  I've never experience such variable weather before. I'm surprised I haven't fallen sick yet! (knocks on wood) This time three years ago I had just moved to Paris to be with Julien.  The weather was rather nice, cool breezes yet warm. No need for scarves or sweaters. Then the canicule hit.  I remember once that our internal thermometer registered at 40 degrees Celsius. I'll do the math for you, that's 104 degrees Fahrenheit.  I thought I was going to faint. Having no air conditioning and living on the 6th floor of a building where our apartment had double exposure on either side didn't help to keep things cool.  Insulation in our apartment was non existent.  We spent a lot of evenings at the movies and out doors in the shade.  Before bed every night we'd take an ice cold shower. Our shampoo and soaps were warm like they had been under a heating lamp all day. And we'd break a sweat once we were done toweling off.  So, I think about that summer and say to myself I'll take this 15 degrees Celsius any day.  If I'm cold, I'll just knit myself a stylish scarf but I won't give up wearing my flip flops until September October.