Monthly Archives: January 2016

Holiday home for home

Packing crate

Bill put the puzzle pieces together.

For many years we have rented a variety of accommodations for vacations through one of the online booking services for homeowners who rent out their places. It’s given us the chance to spend time in a riverside cabin, a lakeside bungalow, an oceanfront condo, an Irish castle, and a couple of French chateaux. For the last few days we’ve been in Atlanta at a house with a theater, a British pub, a gym, a steam shower, and lots of other amenities that really made it feel like home. Oh yeah, it IS our home…or rather it WAS. Read the rest of this entry

Let them eat meat

Empty freezer

This freezer used to be full.

Marie Antoinette is credited, perhaps erroneously, with suggesting that if the starving peasants had no bread they should eat cake instead. Since we’re trying to use up all of the remaining food in our house these days there’s neither bread nor cake left but there’s still plenty of meat. You can have steaks of many varieties and thicknesses, chops, a roast, ham slices, salmon fillets, chicken breasts, and even an 18-pound turkey. No carbs, just all protein ready for a quick weight loss diet. Bring on the bacon! Read the rest of this entry


Visa application

Visa application

Coming up with the name for today’s post was rather fun for a couple of reasons. The first was the choice of titles since it has to do with getting a visa. Since the French consulate in Miami accepts credit cards to pay the 99 euro fee, it could have been “Visa for Visa”. A takeoff on the expression “easy-peasy” since this whole process went very smoothly once we got to the consulate brought to mind “Visa(y)-peasy”. And of course the original French vis-à-vis that we’ve adopted into English meaning, among many things, “face to face”, would have certainly worked since we had to apply in person at their office that looks out onto Biscayne Bay. Instead I chose this one word that at first glance might not seem to have anything to do with today’s topic, but that’s the other reason why naming it was fun. Read the rest of this entry

And then there was one

One key

Only one key remaining

When Bill and I were working we both had a pocketful of keys: the house doors, the cars, the Club security bars for the cars, our work building doors, various office keys, locker keys, etc. Bill had to repair more than one pair of pants that didn’t hold up to all the extra weight. Last night we sold our one remaining car and now we each have just one single house key on our ring. It’s really a burden lifted, figuratively and literally. Read the rest of this entry

Ducks in a row

All of our ducks in a row

All of our ducks in a row

It’s taken us a while to assemble all of the documents that the French consulate requires to apply for a long stay visitor’s visa and I think we’re now ready. There are 10 offices in the US and while each follows a similar list of requirements (passport, application, fee, etc.) some tell you specifically what must be included on each document and some want more information than others. The Miami consulate website shows a pretty general list without many details. Here’s what they have requested and how we have complied: Read the rest of this entry

Tons o’ fun


Over a ton of trash in the back of our rental truck

Earlier you may have read Bill’s post about coming to the conclusion that we were going to need more than a trash can to get rid of years’ worth of accumulations. This morning we rented a 15-foot truck to haul things away. Yep, we’re still in the purging process although what went into this 10’ X 15’ foot metal box on wheels was never destined to make it to France in the first place. In addition to the cost of renting a truck and driving it to the municipal landfill (aka county dump), we had to pay 38 dollars for leaving just over a ton of mostly leftover construction materials behind. Read the rest of this entry

What’s for breakfast?


I’ll have raw oats and a cup of hot water, please.

The French have a reputation for eating some weird things such as snails, frog’s legs, stinky cheese with the “smell of angel’s feet” and every part of a pig except the oink. For the real adventurous there’s always tête de veau; yep, a good ‘ole complete calf’s head plopped onto your plate ready for you to chow down on…yum! Read the rest of this entry