Friday, 23 November 2007

a very happy tonksgiving

I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving. Mine was delightful. Alex and I went out to lunch at a local restaurant, le Husky. We had the plat du jour, homemade hachis parmentier which seriously, I can't believe I haven't had this more often. Ground beef, gravy covered with mashed potatoes and a side salad, what else does a girl (see potato addict) need? Funny you ask, a poire belle helene for dessert to finish it off. mmmm, bliss in a big parfait glass. I absolutely love pears and chocolate and vanilla ice cream and whipping cream doesn't hurt either. This thanksgiving meant finishing up some long-awaited projects around the house. My office space is now back at the table instead of crouching over the coffee table and sitting on a cushion in a 2 meter by 2 meter space. It's heavenly and the walls are freshly painted and the windows are awaiting new curtains. Anyway, Thanksgiving was fun. I didn't make a big dinner and it was kind of a relief. But I got to talk with my family and it sounded like they had a huge meal. I missed my mom's pie though. Anyway for this Thanksgiving or I should say, Tonksgiving, my favorite part was dancing in the kitchen and singing Paul Simon with Alex....I got a nikon camera, i love to take a photograph... so momma don't take my kodachrome away....

Thursday, 15 November 2007


Between the blue sky and the fresh, white snow that has fallen over the past week, it is absolutely beautiful here. I should probably include some photos but this time you'll just have to take my word for it. Today, I feel very lucky to live in such a beautiful place and so very lucky to have a cool sister in-law that I get to go to coffee with and a wonderful husband who sends the most thoughtful messages.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

small things

I had a volleyball match this weekend. It was against our rival, Annemasse. I guess, my team's rival, I can't say I feel much rivalry with Annemasse. They were good opponents but still, we killed them in 3 games. The girls were nice though, their setter in particular, making the post-match potluck much more tolerable. I think the thought of meeting the girls on the opposing team is a nice idea, it's just that forced social interaction always seems so... well, contrived.

Anyway, I have been thinking about the holidays and whether or not I want to make an expat Thanksgiving dinner. I've talked it up a little too much so it might be a disappointment not do it but right now, the thought of it makes me homesick. I love Thanksgiving but recreating what I love about the holiday isn't really possible because the dinner is only a small part of it. Thanksgiving to me is my family; first with just my brother and my parents with all of our inside jokes and funny quirks and then, joining with the rest of the extended family to celebrate.
It starts the same way every year with my dad getting the car ready and packed. Letting my mom, brother and I, all know that we are leaving in 15 minutes. 15 minutes, definitive departure. 40 minutes later we pile into the car with books and pillows. It means a car trip over the pass, NPR on the radio, the obligatory rest stop at Indian John Hill, passing by the fruit stand and knowing exactly how much longer till we arrive at our relative's house, my aunt's creamed corn and another welcome opportunity to eat mashed potatoes, a difficult decision between dark meat or light, lots of chatter and laughter, pecan pie and my mom's berry pie, the carafes of coffee that come out after all the dishes have been cleared and the only thing left on the table is spots of fallen cranberry sauce or rings of spilled gravy and, candles that have burned down to short stubs. Talking, laughing and more reminiscing. Slowly moving into the living room and once everyone has found their spot from which to watch, the movie marathon begins, the turkey kicks in and most everyone slowly dozes off.
Thanksgiving is in the small details, the quirky traditions and those simple, special moments shared with my family. Here, Thanksgiving is just another Thursday. So perhaps this year, I'll just savor my favorite memories and call home to see how it's going and hear that my memories were a more pleasant version of the holiday, as memories generally tend to be.

Friday, 9 November 2007

State of Love and Kindness

Molecular biologist at the Pasteur institute now a buddhist monk, that's a nice career path. Matthieu Ricard talks (in english) about happiness ; it's different for everyone. He also includes good insight on chocolate cake. The talk is about 20 minutes long. If you have the time to watch this, I don't think you'll regret it but then again what makes me happy isn't necessarily what makes you happy. Another great reason to listen for the full time, he talks about the MIT study on compassion and how monks are off the charts, more importanly what that translates to physically, the ability to moderate fear and anger, well-being and resistance to sickness.