Posted by: octogirl7 | December 21, 2014

Don’t squash your Madeleine!

Not sure if I have previously mentioned, but i LOVE Madeleines.  The cookies.  So when i put some stuff into my pack, i noted that I had squashed my madeleine….not a good thing to do. I even have the molds at home so I can make them.

Anyway, I realized that I hadn’t been reporting on our game playing since arriving in Paris.  We did stop by a game store and get the latest Carcassonne, Gold Rush. It’s a good one, but I like the simple one best.  Just roads. Cities. Monasteries. Cathedrals.  Oddly, Alex gets a lot of cathedrals.  But this is what it looks like: (And Alex won this one.)

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As I said, Alex won this one, but I had won the prior two, so I feel ok about it.  I like it because it’s thinking, about whether to make a road or a city.  And then how to score the most points.  Fun.  Quiet.

And so I talked with Alex about going to church service today.  He helped me figure out how to get there.  This was my ensemble:

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The Payless boots have gotten quite a workout since we’ve been here.  I just figured I didn’t want to show up in church in tennis shoes, my only other shoe choice. And I had foolishly put both pairs of my pants in the wash, with which we are having a bit of a problem.  So the skirt was my only choice.

And glad I wore the boots.  Most of the ladies at the American Church in Paris were dressed in their Dimanche best!

I discovered that I am no longer accustomed to all the robes and stuff of some churches.  The pastor and the visiting pastor and the young pastor all had on the robes.  As did the 22 member choir!  Boy, they had some voices in that choir!  A bit too much Handel and Bach, but hey, I don’t know what they normally sing.  And I don’t know how the contemporary service, held two and a half hours later, went, either.

And of course, since I was without my faithful naviguesser Alex, I did do some wandering around before finally finding the church, which was located more or less along the Seine.  I figured how tough can it be to find the river?  Well, tougher than I thought…If you not right on it, it’s hard to see even if only 2 blocks away.  But navigate I eventually did.  That is one of the reasons I try to leave early for things on a schedule.  So I have time to wander my way there. We all have different skills.  Mine is NOT navigation!

So I arrived 20 minutes early for the 11 a.m. service, and after finding the WC, I sat down as directed by the kind usher.  I was rather surprised to find that there was a female assoc pastor.  And there were several ladies involved in the service, mostly in reading the Scripture.   There were a couple of snappy lines, but I didn’t write them down and they are lost to history now.

The church was lovely inside.  I fidgeted, trying to figure out a way to snap a few photos of the stained glass and the incredible organ.  But I was at a loss to do it, until they made a show of thanking a guy who had been visiting pastor for 6 months.  Others took his photo and I pretended to, also, but mostly was trying to catch how the church looked inside.

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OK, it was a quick shot, but you get the idea.  Nice church and pretty full.  Alex and I will be there for the candlelight service on Christmas Eve.

Now it’s time to report on my love of things French: their chimneys!

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See?  They have a chimney for each room or at least each apartment or office within the building.  They are all shapes and sizes and materials.  It’s kinda cool.  I’m thinking a coffee table picture book, but I’ll have to work to get Alex on board.  He is so far quite patient while I snap photos, but who knows how far I can push him?  Especially when it is cold outside.  And yes, baby, it IS cold outside!

We caught a wild hair this afternoon and decided to go see the markets on the Champs Elysee.  Big mistake!  First of all, they were nothing but a repeat of what we saw in Boulogne-Sur-Mer or Rouen, but there were more massive crowds on the Champs!  We lasted a few blocks, with Alex threatening to get out his rubber slippah to slap people with.  Can’t say as I blame him, since people seemed to think we were supposed to get out of their way, even when they were walking 3 or 4 abreast! Um, NON!

But we did get to see the Arc de Triomphe:

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And don’t miss the flocked Christmas tree!  That seems to be quite big over here. Maybe it’s novel for them.  Or maybe they just don’t have that many real Christmas-type trees.  We have seen some at florist shops, but they are usually less than 4 feet tall, perhaps because of apartment living.

Alex has taken a shine to Poire Williams, a fortified drink that tastes of pears, but also has a little kick.  We noted he was drinking it, and eating one of the wonderful pears we lucked into at the Monoprix recently.  Boy were those good!  I have never had any luck in choosing pears in the States, so glad we made a good choice this time.

Today, coming back from church, I saw a young lady come onto the Metro with what I thought was luggage.  Turned out it was a big battery/generator, to which she had attached a microphone and device to play instrumental music.  To accompany herself with!  The entire car was treated to her singing.  (I use the term treated loosely.)  When she got to “Killing Me Softly,” I was glad that I got off on the next stop.  I felt for her though; there was a time when I thought I wanted a singing career and I could imagine trying that hard to get going too.  After all, I did once sing at an open mic and a couple of times on the street for pocket change.  Yeah, didn’t know that, didja?

We finally stopped into Cafe Janou today for lunch, our neighborhood restaurant.  We were taken to a table about the size of a postage stamp.  You can imagine.  I had to move the salt and pepper shakers to the little ledge on the wall to make room on the table.  But we did have excellent Pot au feu, which was a beef stew that had great flavor.  It came with mustard with horseradish and flavored salt and cornichons (pickles) in little tubs.  We loved the mustard and cleaned our sinuses.  The salt gave it a bit of a kick too.  Wonderful meal.  And though they had Creme Brulee, we opted to have it at some other time when the place wasn’t so crowded.

And since it’s the shortest day of the year, we are resting our feet at home now.  Reading and chillin’.

A bientot!

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