Friday, April 15, 2011

Not Perfect.

Somewhere between my last few blog post and this one, I got an idea that this blog should be "Perfect", or at least somewhere close to it. Other blogs I read seemed so perfect. Other people's lives also seems so perfect; or at least so much better than mine.

Ah, that's what happens when I compare. I freeze up and do nothing. Along the way, while comparing myself to others, I found this phrase:

"When I compare I despair."

My life will never be "Perfect", my blog will never be perfect. With that...I will continue to blog as best I can...
a Not Perfect Girl

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Cooking with Sophie.

"What did I miss?" I asked Ana-M as she rushed downstairs to let me into Sophie's sunny and spacious Paris apartment.
I was 20 minutes late, even after leaving my morning French lessons early.
"Oh we just put the lamb in the oven. It's covered in hay, and it's wonderful!" Ana explained as we entered the apartment.
"Hay?! Did she just say hay?", I asked a woman standing in the living room, staring at my blank expression.
"Yes, but don't worry, she got it from the pet store, it's in a sealed bag, so its fresh!" Ana-M added with even more excitement.

In Paris, I've learned to keep an open mind about new experiences, especially in cuisine. I opened my mind even wider when another women explained the white asparagus were somewhat of a swamp vegetation.
Hmm, lamb cooked in hay, with a side of swamp vegetation?! "Okay." is the only thing my open mind could think as the surprisingly fresh herby aroma of hay and lamb filled the room.

"Gigot d'agneau au foin" is the name of the dish, Sophie explained in French with her soft French accent it just sounds so much more delicious.

"Did you go to cooking school?" I asked Sophie. "No, I learned everything from my Grandmama." she explained as she flipped the thinly sliced potatoes in a skillet with a quick flick of her wrist.

Carving the Lamb
A Simple Delicious Dessert

After a few more cooking tips, demonstrations, questions and answers, a sampling of a Traditional French dinner: Gigot d'agneau au foin (Leg of Lamb in Hay) was served.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The American Church in Paris makes a Wonderful Afternoon.

After checking morning emails, my reading glasses get caught in my hair and the left side breaks in half as I remove them. Snap! "$#&*!" I reply, as the morning begins.

Brushing my teeth in a hurry for church, "Crack!" says my toothbrush handle as I scrub my back teeth. "You're kidding me?!" I say to the brush as I lay it on the sink. 

Rushing to church; It's rainy and cold as I stand shivering at the ATM machine, waiting to get my monthly cash allowance. "Billet ne sont pas disponibles." Bills are not the message I get. No Cash. I can only smile and walk away. 

Arriving at the train station, ah alas, the train is scheduled to be on time. My luck has changed so, I decide to buy a bottle of water to relax and enjoy on the ride to church. Standing in front of the machine, pushing buttons, I hear a voice beside me, "Madam, that machine is not working." a woman explains to me in English.  
Why was I not surprised? 

This was the morning I explained to my friend Ana-Maria as we met for coffee and lunch after church.
"Oh, you should write about your morning in your blog!" she replied enthusiastically.  
Finally making it to church. Today's Program, resting in my lap.

I arrived late.  This is the view from the balcony.

First Sunday of the month there was communion and special presentations.
(There's my friend Ana-Maria down there.)
I couldn't resist capturing the beauty of the main window as the pastor pointed out Jesus in red and the stars above His head.
Even on a rainy overcast day, the windows are still so beautiful.

The refreshing April Showers and the inspiring church service cancelled out the morning craziness, and started the beginning of another wonderful afternoon in Paris.