Thursday, December 29, 2011


With the new year just around the corner, I have been thinking about resolutions and my aspirations for 2012. And one of the things I've realized is that blogging is just not one of my priorities these days. In part, that's because my work schedule means I have less time and energy to devote to it. But in part, it's because this blog has never really found its voice. So after giving it a shot for six months, I've decided to take a break, to spend more time reading, maintaining my French, taking advantage of cultural events, and creating memories with my family, especially given that one of my kids will be leaving next fall for college. I'm not sure when or if I'll come back to this blog. If you want to reach me, my email address is

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

DC vs. Paris: Part VIII The Basics

Moving to some place new has a way of tuning your senses. What's otherwise unremarkable is novel, interesting. Here are just a few things that are part of the landscape in DC and Paris, the kind of things that are essential to a properly functioning city but perhaps unnoticed in the hustle and bustle of daily life.

Trash cans for public use

Trash bins for private use

Parking meters

Oh the details that divide and unite us.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Decorating DC Style Part III

My trusty Canon camera, the one that shot over 7,000 photos in three years living abroad, up and died this week. It still takes pictures but the screen is shot, and technology being what it is these days, there's really no point in investing in repairs. My husband came to the rescue with the new upgraded version of my previously Old Faithful, and this one takes semi decent night-time shots. And so I bring you one more round of holiday decorations, the evening version.

The blowup characters are everywhere with Santa driving a range of vehicles.

You've got your puppies, and snowmen, and of course, a blow up creche:

And lots and lots of lights.

Happy Christmas all.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Holiday Table

As much as the hard core foodies seem to find nothing redeeming in American cooking, I'm always quick to rise to the defense of it. I grew up in a household where few processed products made it to the table and I've tried to do the same now that I'm making 80 percent of the meals in my own house. There's plenty of wonderful recipes in the American cookbook and even if you only make a passing nod to eating locally and seasonally, you won't be disappointed in the lush tomatoes, juicy blueberries, delicious corn, just for starters. Fried chicken, thick grilled steaks, Maine lobsters, what's not to love?

That being said, the food industry is still pushing plenty of crap, passing it off as either delicious or at least convenient. And even if you don't eat this stuff, you have to admit that it's good for a laugh. Take this recipe which appeared in the circulars that come with the Sunday paper:

And if you've recently gotten a clean bill of health from the cardiologist, perhaps you might be game for this:

As for me, I am off to the market with a list of ingredients for the chicken dish on the front cover of Dorie Greenspan's Around My French Table: everything fresh, everything readily available. Bon appetit!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Decorating DC Style Part II

With Christmas just days away, I'm quick like a bunny getting these photos up to share. I suppose that I could keep putting them up until New Year's but honestly, once the big day has come and gone, my enthusiasm for all the fuss drops off pretty quickly. Not so the neighbors who lived across the street from us some years back; there were two houses with a pitched battle to see whose wreath would last the longest. I'm pretty sure that one year, somebody made it all to Easter. Let me tell you though; those were some pretty sorry looking wreathes.

Here's what's looking good in the hood.

Martha Stewart inspired entryways:

All manner of animals bedecked for the season:

A bit of whimsy:

And you'll just have to imagine what this house looks like at night. Trust me, that's a whole lotta holiday cheer.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Decorating DC Style: Part I

Although I don't technically celebrate Christmas, I love the festive atmosphere, the foods, the music, and most of all the decorations. The neighbors are going all out with the twinkling whites, the colored bulbs in the evergreens, the "icicles" hanging from the eaves. There are nutcrackers at the front door, and blow up Santas and snowmen on the lawn, and ribbons and bows and bells and candy canes. Unfortunately, my camera can't capture these displays in anything but a complete blur. So instead of the night time extravaganzas, I'm bringing you the day time's best, starting today with an assortment of wreathes:

Back later in the week with more holiday decorations.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Rides with Style

You gotta admire the confidence of someone who drives a car that looks like this:

And for those who wish to go all out in celebrating Christmas, why stop at a wreath on your front fender when you can go all Rudolph?