A Study 

This morning I was musing over my French life, which actually should be called my American life in France and decided I wanted to do more blog posts about my observations and personal experiences. Specifically observations of the people around me. I have to admit I am taking this inspiration from a guy who took his experiences working at Target as a cashier. They were funny and even cute. I don’t expect mine all to be the same, but I do hope that you will all find them interesting. I feel a bit more challenged then the Taeget guy because most of my interactions are limited to observations and nonverbal cues. 

So in no special order. Here are my recent experiences:  

I was riding the metro when I received the call that Lily had cancer. I immediately started crying and I cried the whole way home. A very nice French girl took pity on my tears and very sweetly handed me a pack of tissues as she exited the metro. She was in a different section of the car and walked to me to give it to me. 

Again on the metro, we were at the stop I needed and I lifted the door handle repeatedly and the door was not opening. A man who was probably in his late 20’s early 30’s tapped my shoulder and kind of giggled as he motioned to me that the door opened on the other side. I thanked him in French. He laughed a bit more and said a few words in French that I did not understand. I think he was being silly and joking a bit with me but obviously I can’t be sure.  

Link and I had went to retrieve our dogs from a pick up point and we had to take the tram. We had transferred from the metro to the tram and we were waiting at the station. Two of the RATP workers approached is and told us dogs were not allowed on the tram but they would make an exception for us today. I thanked them. They stayed in our car until we left. I am not sure if it was not ensure we were not ticketed by someone else or if it was because of another reason.  Link and I felt very conscious about the whole ordeal. 

Helping a Girl Out 

I always see school school children in the morning when I walk with the boys to their bus stop. I love to see them and observe and listen to them. Often, the smaller ones will notice my dogs and talk about the ‘chien’. 

This morning I noticed a lot of older girls holding the hands of their younger sisters. It’s very sweet and makes my heart happy. As I was walking behind one set, I noticed the younger sister had accidentally tucked her dress up under her backpack. So her knickers were showing. By this time she was pretty close to school, but I had to say something. 

So I attacked the attention of the older sister and with a bit of motioning got the message across. Phew!  The crisis was averted and no more knickers were being displayed!  

Yay for me!  When I came home I explained to Superhandsome the issue and he gave me the French words that I will need if I need to alert a little person again. 

Hopefully I can remember them and help a fellow girl out. ❤️

Octoberfest in Munich 

The Germans take Octoberfest and their beer pretty seriously. We arrived at the airport in the morning and took the train into Munich. 

Initially we had thought that the costumes were just for tourists but as we traveled closer to the the festival more and more Germans boarded the train in costume. So when we got off the train we found a shop and those of us who wanted to part take, left dressed accordingly. 

Here we are after spending the afternoon at the outdoor seating of one of the beer halls. 

The atmosphere inside the beer hall itself was amazing.  Seats were hard to find as most tables are reserved well in advance and so many of them are corporate sponsored now days that it is hard to secure one. People wer eating, drinking, singing and dancing on tables. 

A lively, very traditional German band was playing as well. 

We were able to eventually find a table outside. And we were lucky enough to find some nice people to chat with.

 We found out that the attendance seemed down this year.  Easily pinpointed to the recent attacks in Europe. 
We were also advised to eat while we were drinking. It was suggested a liter of beer and then eat. Otherwise the hangover the next day would not be nice!  

Around sunset we headed out to see the rest of the festival.  There were so pretty big rides along with some smaller ones like the bumper cars. Rides and I have sadly grown apart as I have aged. So, I avoided them all. 

After a long day in the sun, we called it an early night. We had more beers to find in the morning! 

A Wine Filled Week 

Things have been pretty crazy in my house. Lily has been receiving radiation 3x a week. Last week her white blood cells were too low and she could not have chemo. The good news is that the radiation seems to be working. Her tumor has shrunk considerably, her face now looks normal. Such a relief. 

It was a crazy week for me though. I had to balance Lily’s treatment schedule witha wine  certification class. I then ended the week by teaching my first Champagne class to a lovely bunch of women. It was definitely a bit nerve wracking and I stumbled a few times. But I learned a lot and I’m making some changes for my next class. 

After a crazy busy week I now find myself on a plane headed to Germany for October fest. In someways I would love to just stay home and clean and take care of the things in my house that desperately need it from all the neglect it received last week.  I am in good company though. We are traveling with a group of Sean’s work colleagues. One of the other wives returned from the US yesterday and she is jetlagged. 

It should be an interesting trip. Superhandsome read a lot about the beer festivals. The main takeaway was we should expect to be beer soaked. So we packed accordingly. I’m sure it will be very busy this year. We have had a beautiful fall and the weather in Germany is suppose to be perfect, sunny and 70 degrees. 

On to Octoberfest 

Summer and Rentèe

Spring and summer have really flown by and  I have been miserable at writing on my blog.  I was caught up in a few other writing projects and we also thought that we were going to be moving back to the US in August.

I spent the spring wrapped up in family things.  During my free time, I pursued my photography more and really spent time learning in a class with my new camera.  It is always been a hobby, but it is one that I am starting to become more serious about.  I am happy to say that I met a friend that is also working on her photography as well.  So, we have spent time wandering Paris together taking photos.

We were a bit low key on our holidays this year.  We spent a week exploring Ireland with my parents.  We took a quick weekend at home and the kids and I headed to England to see our friends.  Superhandsome joined us near the end of the week. We came back to Paris 4 days before school started.  Two of those days I spent in Burgundy with a friend.  I came back just in time for rentèe.

Summer is quickly transitioning into fall in Paris.  The leaves are already turning, though the weather is still warm.  We are finally having some of those perfect days, though they are still a bit on the warm side, at least it is cooling down at night to make sleeping comfortable. I feel that we truly did not experience a summer this year and it is disappointing.  It is made worse since fall seems to already be in process, at least according to the leaves that are falling on the ground. It still smells like summer and today it definitely felt like summer too. On the bright side, fall lasts a long time in Paris.

We passed our 3rd year anniversary in Paris at the end of July and we will soon be passing our 5th year anniversary of being overseas at the end of September.  This will likely wrap up our last of year of being overseas.  I will have my two oldest likely entering University in the fall of 2017.  They are looking at both the UK and the US.  Though after our trip to Ireland, I wonder if my oldest will try to go to University there.  He really enjoyed Ireland.

I ave also been working on genealogy.  I have reached the point where it is time for me to hire someone to continue.  I am happy that I have traced part of my family back to Hungry and in the process connected with US cousins that we did not know that we had.  It has been exciting for sure.  I have also found out that it might be possible for me to obtain my Hungarian citizenship!  It would be very nice to have a passport that would allow easy stays in the EU.

We are officially staying in France for one more year.  It will likely be our last.  I have some loft goals for the year, the first is to finish all three of my books.  I also am intending to do a wine certification, start ballet back up, continue my work outs at the gym, do a bit more traveling… I have so much that I really need to sit down and put it all in a calendar to map it all out.  So with that, I guess it is on to a busy year for the Bearys!




Our Precious Lily

In July, our kitty Lily started to sneeze.  I watched her closely and she seemed to feel ok.  After two weeks though, I grew concerned.  The sneezing was not getting any better. When she would sneeze, large amounts of snot would come out and her poor nose was now looking raw and red.  A trip to the vet was made.  He tested her snot and then gave her drops and antibiotics.  Things seemed to ease up a little probably with the help of the decongestant.

We went to Ireland and when we came back she was sneezing and her inner eye lid on her right eye was visible.  So, we took her back to the vet.  He was surprised and sent me home with a homeopathic breathing treatment.  It was also not helping.  So, the day the boys and I went to England,  dropped her off at the vet.  He put her under and tried to stick a scope up her nose to see if he could determine what was going on.  Her nostril was completely blocked.  He gave Superhandsome instructions that she needed a scan at a vet clinic in Paris.  On returning from England, I made an appointment to take her back to the vet (Dr Haigi) that fixed her leg.  From there we went ahead with the scan.

The scan was done yesterday.  I left the house really early with Lily and went into Paris.  I dropped her and headed to the gym.  As I was on the metro headed home, the vet called me to tel me that Lily had cancer and they asked permission to do a biopsy.  I immediately told them yes, to do it and I burst into tears.  I cried, the ugly cry, all the way home.  I was able to pull myself together enough to call Superhandsome to give him the news.  The stop before I got off to go home, a very very kind soul walked toward me and handed me a packet of tissue as she was exiting the metro.  Her gesture, while so small was very touching and it made me cry harder.

I cried on and off all day.  I tried to distract myself by reading a book but I was not the most successful. I made a phone call to Dr Haigi and promptly burst into tears again. The clinic that preformed Lily’s scan called me to say that I could pick her up at 2pm if I wished.  Which I did.  I left the house in a rush to go and get her.  I made it the clinic and listened to the Dr explain to me the scans that Lily had done.  I wanted to rip them off that wall and ask the doctor if they were sure that this was my Lily.  It had to be some mistake.  But instead I listened as she tried her best to explain what was happening in Lily’s brain.  Tears rolled down my checks for most of the explanation.  The kind woman felt bad that her English was not ‘the best’.  I told her I understood her and for that I was grateful.  I knew that she was trying her best in this extremely difficult situation.

The results of the scan are frightening.  The tumor which started in her nasal passage has grown and seems to be very aggressive.  It has dissolved bone in at least two places and has entered the orbital of her right eye which is causing it to bulge.  It is also starting to cause her face to become slightly misshapen and can be detected in her mouth visibly.  It is causing her problems eating and I am sure that she has to have a horrible headache.

I explained what I could to Superhandsome by text and he asked me to take her and her results straight to Dr Haigi.  It was a long trip by bus that started out in a light but steady drizzle.  I grabbed my sunglasses as I ran out the door, I was not sure why until I found I had some woman openly staring at me.  I pulled them down over my eyes and shut her out.

I made it to the office and tried to pull myself together to tell the staff who I was and to try and cobble together enough French to ask if Dr. Haigi could see us. It was hard because every time I think about it, tears leak out of my eyes no matter how hard I try to stop them. The front desk girl realized who I was or remembered me and was kind enough to pull me back into a exam room.  I imagine that it would not be good to have me sitting in the waiting area weeping.

Dr Haigi looked over the horrid scans and said that he could do surgery and likely remove it all along with doing some reconstruction.  But then he saw something that made him slow down, while there is no cancer in her lungs, there is suspect mass in her abdomen.  He gave Lily some anti-inflammatories and told me that we had to wait for the biopsy report before anything could be done.  So, now we wait.

The thought of loosing Lily is devastating.  Lily and I spend our days often in different parts of the house.  She is often downstairs curled up on one of the boys beds.  When it was just her and I with Chip, they often followed me around the house during the day.  When Cèci came she started to spend more time downstairs.  Cèci often wants to play and chases Lily, Lily likes to play on her own terms and chase is not her preference at all.  They do occasionally play, but it has happened less and less often and I guess I know why now.  It’s hard to want to play when you have a massive headache all the time.

From a young age, in England, Lily spent her nights each with different boys.  She cycled between each of their rooms.  When we moved to France, she was free to sleep with whomever she wanted to.  I would leave our door cracked open in hopes that might want to sleep with us.  She would occasionally, but not often.  A few times she came up on the bed and Chip would be grumpy and growl at her so she would leave.  Instead she always came to visit us when we were getting ready for bed.  She starts out the night with Sunshine Boy, then she will come and say her goodnights to us and then go on to sleep with whomever she decided to visit or whomever needed her the most.  I have noticed that she does know who is having troubles or would benefit the most from her quiet presence.  This spring my oldest son was having a very hard time and she has stuck very close with him, spending many nights with him.  My wonder, sweet precious Lily, has bonded with all my boys and she loves them all a lot.  She knows and goes where she is needed.  She and I take care of our boys.  Lily will even sleep with Superhandsome when the boys and I are not here.  I can’t imagine our life without Lily.  And right now, all I can do is wait for the answer that will tell us how much longer we may have left with her.  My heart, our hearts are breaking.We don’t want to think of life with out our precious Lily.


The Case of the Missing Recycle Bin

We have a pretty small recycle bin.  For a family of 6, it is barely adequate and often we put out extra in a sac or box as well.

A couple of months ago, ours disappeared.  We know this because out bin is marked with our address.  We figured it was a mistake and it would be returned soon.  So we grabbed another bin that was there.  It was from a nearby address.  Soon that one disappeared as well.

In desperation, I grabbed another one.  We have kept a very close eye on it and we put it out just as the recycling is collected in the evening and bring it in soon after.  Why all this fuss?  Why not just ask for a new one?

That would require a visit to the police station where they would require me to bring a French speaker to help with the process.  So, I am doing my best to avoid the issue…. I know, sad, right?  Ugh!