Monday, April 27, 2015

Stromae is on Jimmy Kimmel Live tonight!

I cannot tell you how awesome I think Stromae is.  He is a Belgian singer, rapper, and hip hop artist né Paul Van Haver.  His lyrics are topical, sometimes funny, sometimes in your face, and full of meaning.  The tunes are highly danceable and his deep voice makes you want to sing along with him.  Of course, it helps quite a bit if you know French because that is the language he sings in.

Best Mac background ever

Have you been wanting to learn French?  Now is your chance with Stromae's music.  First order of business: watch him on Jimmy Kimmel Live tonight, April 27.  Then buy his album on iTunes and listen to it over and over and over.  Then I would recommend watching his videos and interviews with him.  You won't regret it.  Non, je ne regrette rien!

Je t'aime, Stromae!  Venez à Kansas City, s'il vous plaît!  Mes élèves et moi irons vous voir sûrement.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Guest Speakers from France

I had a fun day at school yesterday with my two guest speakers, Antoine and Marion.  They are French interns learning about how firefighting works in America.  I brought them in to expose my students (and my fellow French teacher's students) to real-life French young people.  I was hoping that our students would try out their French speaking skills with these wonderfully friendly young people.

I think everyone had a great time, even the shy kids who weren't confident enough to ask questions. Marion and Antoine are planning on coming back soon and bringing two more French interns with them.  Next time, the students will be better prepared and will work in small groups so they won't feel as self-conscious when attempting to speak French.  I'm really looking forward to it!

Merci bien, Antoine et Marion!  À la prochaine!

Au feu, les pompiers!


Saturday, April 18, 2015

Taking a Trip Down Lavender Lane

Most people who know me know that I love the lovely plant called lavender, or Lavandula.  I dream of the day when I will have enough land to make a go of being a lavender farmer, but until then I will grow it in my suburban lot and go visit real lavender farms.  

My favorite place to visit lavender farms is Sequim, Washington, which is located on the Olympic Peninsula, and is a 2-hour drive from Seattle.  Every year Sequim holds a lavender festival and a farm faire in July.  Apparently, there are so many farms there that they veered off into two different groups and formed two different organizations.  My husband and I were lucky enough to go there in 2011 and I can't wait to go back some day.  I just looked it up and we live 1,950 miles from Sequim.  *sigh*

This year, the festival/faire is from July 17-19.  Click here  and here for more information.

During the festival/faire, you can visit several farms, attend a street fair, listening to live bands play, or participate in a cycling event called Tour de Lavande.  Of course, the area is home to breathtaking scenery and you can visit the beach, which is one of my very favorite things to do. The Juan de Fuca Strait is spectacular!  

Being from Kansas, I don't get to see the beach very often.  Nearby towns include Port Angeles and Port Townsend.  And you're not too far from Forks, if you still want to relive a little bit of Twilight nostalgia.  Sequim is also close to the Dungeness Spit, Olympic National Park, Cape Flattery, and the Hoh Rainforest.  There are so many places we would like to go back and visit.  It was a fabulous vacation. 

Why am I writing about it now?  Sentimentality, I guess.  But also because I realized I didn't have very many of my own pictures of lavender on my Lavender Pinterest board.  I am going to remedy that by linking this blog entry to that board.  

So, without further ado, here are a whole bunch of gratuitous photos of lavender from our marvelous trip to Sequim:

If you ever get a chance to go to this area of the world, I highly recommend it!  Going in July would be even better, but I am certain this place is gorgeous any time of the year.  

I love you, Olympic Peninsula! This Kansas girl really misses you!

Paix et lavande!


Friday, April 17, 2015

Gray fox amigurumi

It has been a tough week for me at work.  I sat in on three teacher interviews, we had our second annual French National Honor Society induction ceremony, and I came down with sinus/allergy issues to top it all off.  I took today off to recover and rest, and I am glad I did.

I was able to finish this sweet little gray fox amigurumi that my daughter requested.  I got the pattern from Pepika's Etsy store, and it is adorable.  Initially, I had a few problems figuring out how the head was made which resulted in this little guy's head being a bit too big for his body.  But that's OK.  I still think he is precious and so does my daughter.


What project are you working on?



Thursday, April 9, 2015


If I may be so bold as to quote John Linnell and John Flansburgh:

"You're older than you've ever been 
And now you're even older, 
And now you're even older, 
And now you're even older, 
You're older than you've ever been
And now you're even older, 
And now you're older still."


We all know that aging is a fact of life, but it is brought back home even more when one witnesses her parents aging quite literally before her eyes.

In February, my dad was admitted to the hospital for various ailments and he remained there for three weeks.  He went to a nursing/rehabilitation facility after that and he is still there.  He isn't the same person he was before going to the hospital, but he is still my wonderful dad.

Yesterday, my mom had cataract surgery on her right eye and I took her for her follow-up visit today.  She is doing quite well, thankfully.  After that, we both went to visit my dad before I had to go to work.  In this photo, you will see my mom leaning in to hear what my dad is saying.  It looked like a lovely photo op.

Aging isn't the funnest thing life has to offer, but I consider myself very lucky to still have two living, fabulous parents.  Mom is 77 and Dad is 78, and they will have been married 51 years this summer.  We should all be so lucky to live that long and have such a lengthy marriage.

Plus, I think they look kind of cute together.

Maman et Papa, je vous aime!



Oh, and here is a link to the TMBG video of "Older".

 Je vous aime aussi, John et John!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Spring Has Sprung!

My favorite time of the year is upon us.  Here are a few pictures of Spring that I have recently taken:

At my polling place today:

In my parents' yard:

In my backyard:

And in my front yard:

And my all-time favorite lilacs haven't even bloomed yet!  I'll make sure to post again when they do!

Joyeux printemps!  Happy Spring!


Saturday, April 4, 2015

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Updated pictures of Shirley the Turtle

I fixed Shirley's hat and I'm deciding on whether or not to make her a cute little scarf.  In the meantime, I took her picture on our back deck.  It was really windy and I'm glad she didn't fall off.  I put a little purple washcloth underneath her to keep her clean.  What do you think of her?

If you would like to try to crochet a sweet little turtle of your own, find this very well-written, easy to follow pattern by Pepika at her Etsy shop here.