Saturday, January 27, 2007

New Site for Expat Women

I am happy to announce the launch of a new website, Expat Women.

Its purpose is to help expatriate women all over the globe link up and share advice.

Although I have plenty on my plate, I was pleased to be invited to participate in this new venture as a mentor. I know first-hand how great it would have been to have access to this type of service when I arrived in France in 1990! Life felt pretty lonely sometimes, and it would have been most helpful to be able to contact fellow English-speaking women who were making their lives in France.

Some expat women, usually young newcomers to France, have found me through my blogs and I am always happy to answer their questions and give my advice, for what its worth. This site will make that function official, and contains a lot of great information too.

Check out the newly-launched site and spread the word!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Windows to a French World

It's strange, but until I started blogging, I never really noticed the beautiful and typically French details surrounding me. Life consisted of Peugeot, boulot, dodo : I only woke up to the beauty around me when I took trips outside of Aveyron, because I was on vacation.

Digital photography freed me up too. It's such a joy to snap away, knowing whatever I don't like can be tossed and what I do can be posted, or at least saved.

I am, however, piling up a lot of photos that I would like to share on this blog, but my photo montage techniques aren't up to snuff. For example, I would have liked to do a quadruple montage of four window photos for this blog, but got frustrated roaming around Flickr and Picasa. For you photography buffs out there, are those good places to do simple photo montage? Or do I need special software or to use some other site?

Any and all advice is appreciated. In the meantime, I like this window on its own too...

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Going, going...

It's official. The razing of the Hall Charles in Rodez starts this week. Built about forty years ago for an exhibition, Totem radio reported yesterday that the building was never meant to be kept up permanently. But stay it did, hosting innumerable shows, exhibitions and trade fairs over the past years.

You will probably agree that it is looking down in the tooth, yet it is -- or was -- another funky old part of Rodez that I am happy to be able to capture in this blog. New plans for the Foirail area should make this part of town much more dynamic and attractive.

In the meantime, Ruthénois can look forward to observing plenty of grands travaux -- not just here, but also in other parts of town.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Happy New Blog plus Health Update

First, I want to thank all of you who have sent messages of support and best wishes after my daughter's hospitalization. She has been home all week and we are seeing the doctor tonight to find about when she can get back to school. Although she has a only a small scar, her surgery was done traditionally and so it will take a while for the incision pain to go away.

In the meantime, I have found nothing better to do than create a new blog. Just what I needed!

This new effort, "And So Forth," is going to be my 'just for fun" blog. La France Profonde and Cuisine Quotidienne have very focused subjects, so I wanted a place where I could blog about some of my other areas of interest. Look forward to posts on a highly irregular basis!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Hospital Trip

My daughter was just hospitalized for an appendicitis attack, and my parents remarked on the great differences between health care in the USA and health care in France.

At 7:30 am, I realized my daughter was very ill and that perhaps it wasn't just the stomach flu. I called my family doctor at home to see if she was working. Her husband told me she was already out on house calls before her 9:00 shift at the office.

I called her on her cell phone and she was at our house within 20 minutes. She examined my daughter and said that a case of appendicitis couldn't be ruled out and that I should take her to the hospital. She told me to make sure to call her during the day to tell her how things
turned out.

At emergency, my daughter was in her own room by 9:00. She was examined, tests were done, and by noon she was in a private room in the intestinal surgery department, and operated on at 4:00. She will be staying at least three nights, maybe four, and a free roll-in bed is provided for parents.

To compare, my niece had a kidney removed last year in the USA and stayed one night only. My 91-year-old grandmother took a fall this winter and fractured her ankle, and my family had to fight for her to stay one night in the hospital.

There's definitely a difference.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Bonne année 2007!

May 2007 be a year of hope, happiness and health for all of my family, friends and readers.

Je souhaite une très bonne année 2007 à toute ma famille, et tous mes amis, lecteurs et lectrices!

Here's a Blogger tip for the New Year:

Did you know that by clicking on Blogger photos you can enlarge them to full size? I just learned this a few months ago, and then found out that I'm not the only one who wasn't aware of this possibility.

I'm including the information in this post because today's photo of a sunrise in the Corrèze countryside is worth the click...

(Photo courtesy of Thierry Jouanneteau)