Friday, January 28, 2005

sleeping on a brick!

that's right! for those of you following the saga, we finally got a real BED! we were sleeping on an air mattress until last night, we're not sleeping on air anymore, NO! we found the firmest mattress known to mankind (that's the way, uh huh uh huh, we like it) and accompanying boxspring.

funny thing about greece - you MUST use cash everywhere! it's okay, but a little disconcerting taking big moneys in the midddle of the street for big purchases.. ya feel me? i used to use my card for virtually EVERYTHING, forgoing the need for cash at all (who here is NOT guilty of the 4.85 whataburger charge?) .. but that's not the way here.. and not only that but your bank card is NOT a debit either.. hehe..

it sometimes feels like the modern world 30 years ago, and with the 80s back in style too(envision: white slouch boots with miniskirts for the ladies, gelled & spiked mullets for guys) this is a virtual time warp !!


at the grocery store (skabvenithis, nice name huh?) i found CHIPS & SALSA! (of course mild only, akin to V8 with chunks) and on the back of the bag of chips there were humorous instructions on HOW to eat this exotic food. 1. open jar 2. dip chip 3. eat dipped chip. it' s all written in greek, so i was left to the illustrations to determine the nature of the text, but pretty funny stuff. salsa not bad either, if a bit mild.. i add a little tabasco for the kick.

i used to never care much about tabasco sauce in texas because i found it generally too vinegary for my spice needs.. but NOW it's a regular staple in the lesager kitchen.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

hanging out

my laundryline

this is what my laundry looks at while it's drying on our rooftop in athens.

Friday, January 21, 2005

add 2 weeks

i AM the luckiest girl alive// we found out that our baby is due june 3rd.. the day before my birthday. we decided it would be the nicest birthday gift ever. it will also be fun to share birthday celebrations... even if it's not the same exact day. manu said he thought our kid has the bb nose and the ph forehead... a brewing artisic genius of the highest order.. hheheeh.. that's sweet, huh? come to think of it - i DO recognize that forehead... (see astrobleme for the ultrasound pic if you missed it)

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

the real deal

our friends chris & nicole have just posted some pictures of their small corner of the tsunami relief effort. if you want to contribute to a real person in need rather than an organization, chris is willing to give your donation to the real live people-in-need he has met recently. see tsunami relief pic #8 on mudbug for info.


well we found out it will be a BOY!! (sorry m! you should take it up with ph! since it was his contribution to the dna! -ha! also! PS! i loved! all your! exclamations! it made me! excited!)

in other pg news, i feel great other than the occasional "belly-ache" --because i'm growing so much, so fast, it makes my stomach muscles sore from stretching out.. i eat all the time and havent gained a kilo. it's amazing, and i'm trying my best I PROMISE!

i changed doctors too. this was a very good move.. (at the advice of my new friend in halandri -who is 4-months pg, from new mexico, and moved here in august) my old one just wanted to talk about paris all the time! i mean i like paris; dont get me wrong, but i wanted him to tell me something about what's going on INSIDE MY BODY!! this guy would probably be great for a woman who'd been through it 6 times already, where everything was old-hat.

the new one is way more competent and actually has questions and explanantions - speaks PERFECT english (i mean: is married to an englishwoman), and walks me through the ultrasounds personally.. the other guy just put me in with the non-english-speaking ultrasound technician, to wonder what the heck is all that tv-screen-static i saw?

that's it for now, i'm on my way to astrobleme... i've been told i have a surprise for me there. should i be scared? hehee.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

back to athens

Blog blog blog blog… howdy friends.

Sunday, we went to the highest point in Athens, called “lykabettus hill” it looks like a huge perky boob sticking out from the middle of the city, and up there on a clear day, you can see everything. It was only moderately hazy, so we saw philippe’s mountain with the observatory on it, the acropolis, and all the other ancient stuff near it, the Mediterranean, the peloponnese, huge ships in the water & all of Athens.

After that, we walked through kolonaki (high fashion shopping district) SO – as an aside: It may seem like a small thing, but when I am walking on an otherwise empty sidewalk in an exclusive shopping district where the sidewalks are large, can i reasonably expect that some schmoe won’t plow into my shoulder while passing by? apparently NOT!! I was really peeved for a few seconds, and decided it was too nice a day to get all upset about it.

So, onward to syntagma where we watched the changing of the guards.. again. (Ph is perfecting his penguin imitation now) and saw a juggling act in the big square. The juggler was good and you could tell he’d had real training. The fire juggling on top of his 10-ft unicycle was the grand finale, but the really compelling part was that he was English-speaking and only had a greek vocabulary of about 10 words, and was trying to get the audience to participate. Hilarious stuff, although ph & I were practically the only ones really chuckling, probably because we understood all too well. After the show, we pushed in to give him a couple of euros in his hat, I told him he gave a good show - and we headed off into the... subway.

When I went for a test at the hospital (regular pg stuff, no alarm bells), they gave me a telephone # to call after this certain date for the results, and a code # identifying me & my test. Do they speak English? Good. So I wait for the date, and call at 3pm. No, the line is only available from noon to one on weekdays. After I missed several days in a row, because of the stupid limited time frame, I finally set my phone to ring at 12:15 on a Monday to remember to call. I called, and pencil in hand, I was ready for some information, she said “Okay, you’re test results are in” . That’s was it. They’re IN. so I can come by to pick them up anytime now. Haha.. it takes a little getting used to the way things are done here. At least now, I know to go get the results the next time I go up there, instead of thinking their test-results hotline will give it to me.

Incidentally.. This month we are going to find out (hopefully) if it’s a boy or a girl. Anyone care to put their wagers in? I had a random guy in a coffee shop tell me it is definitely a girl. All I know for sure is I am carrying “low”. now I want someone to swing a spoon over my belly and tell me what it’s going to be! But I guess they don’t do that at the hospital, so ultrasound it is.

in other news, We are supposed to be getting our household items from houston soon, maybe mid-february. Our neighbor-lady loaned us her little TV too, so we can watch movies by the fireplace. They show american films very often with subtitles in greek. It may start to feel like a home here before long!

Bonne annee de paris!

When I am in the presence of English speakers, my french flies right out the window, however I can say I did get to impress a couple of friends of mine in paris. Well it was easy you see, our friend Jo hadn’t seen us in 2 years, so when I busted out with some broken french, he was rightly impressed and even complemented my “r’s” .. but I can’t say I made any real progress this trip, but at least I hadn’t lost too much, which was my real concern..

We stayed at connie and mehdi’s apartment, and we had a blast. I chatted with connie non-stop. Those of you who know her can attest to the fact she’s a real talker herself. We went grocery shopping and bravely warded off colds with hot liquids and oreos. We patiently waited for her lost luggage to be delivered (which did come, thankfully). We looked at every single picture she has– which was a real treat, and her 80s prom pics are a must-see. I also loved the entire album dedicated to all the cats of her childhood. Philippe & connie & mehdi had an ongoing tetris battle – I don’t know who won actually, but it was great seeing them act like little kids “NO WAY! gimme that – I’m gonna beat your score!”

Med was busting buns at the office that week on a deadline, and skated in under the wire when he came home on new years’ eve, so we all celebrated. I had plain-ol-regular apple juice, since the "100% pure apples" cider I found turned out really to be 4% alcohol ,.. oh, right.. TECHnically it’s fruit, yes, but the science of fermentation prevails… sigh, oh well. A small price for a healthy baby.

We took the VERY CROWDED subway up to the river Seine and stood on the bridge by the assembly nationale bldg. We watched the fireworks from very close, and had our backs to the sparkling, illuminated tour Eiffel. All the boats were stopped for the show in the middle of the river, and some hooligans were setting off some smaller works nearby, it was just enchanting

By the time the fireworks were over, the full bottle of champagne had kicked into gear for my “dates”. we walked like the monkees and sang and made merry most of the way home. At home Philippe was playing guitar out the window and connie was telling a dancing guy the street to “get down” (they live on a busy street) .. med snuck off to bed and I was laughing at the show going on in the living room.

noel a la france

Christmas at the Le Sagers was really wonderful it had all the elements of being a perfect Norman Rockwell Christmas. Lets see here. MamaLesager had fresh bread & butter for breakfast with home made apricot jelly & coffee or tea -whatever you like- every morning, when we lazily rolled out of our nice and firm guest bed with the down comforter. Don’t have any slippers your size in the hall closet? Here borrow these for now, and magically new fluffy ones in your size appear the next morning.. and so everyday goes.. Lunch at noon-or-one, café and tiny treats at 4, dinner at 8-ish, tisane by the fireplace around 10.

This is the stuff dreams are made of. … and Then we had the holidays!

It really was great, I helped mama-L make a LOT of desserts, mostly Alsacian-type treats. One very memorable one was something comparable to a gingerbread roll with raspberries-fresh-off-the-bush-and-frozen-since-last-summer sauce and homemade crème chantilly (which is essentially handmade whipped cream, from the french region of chantilly, no doubt). Another one that fabienne was effortlessly gliding through like they must do every year, was similar to banana pudding except there weren’t any bananas, was not only beautiful to look at but delicious too. I tried to take notes at first, but realized quickly it was taking away from the moment of feminine togetherness.. I wished my mom could have been there with us too, she would’ve been stirrin’ and rollin’ and mixin & icin’ and asking the boys to reach the stuff that was too high up like we did.

There was one really funny moment (span of 10 minutes?) I would’ve loved to have had a camcorder in the kitchen: homemade crème chantilly as you may know takes a lot of real “elbow grease”. Mama-L started the project, and as soon as xavier came in the kitchen it was passed to him until he thought his arm would fall off, then I took over, and beat the sweets for a while, until philippe saw I needed a little help, but NoNo came and practically grabbed it out of his hands to “show him how you do it” but he quickly became unamused with the required effort, and passed it back to philippe, who proceded to work his elbow off, around this time mama-L declared it needed “just a little bit more”. xavier had rested up sufficiently, and came in for the final lap.. Ahhh, teamwork.. I know mama-L has an electric beater, but we all know it tastes better when you put your heart and soul into it instead .

Rather than put everything in some logical order, I remember it all as a beautiful smear of experiences, familiar and not. I was relieved to find that families everywhere –even Norman Rockwell families—get under each others’ skin sometimes, particularly at the holidays. All of it was pretty normal stuff actually, but there was apparently one evening I was told I was lucky to have not understood what had transpired. Everyone kept their hats on in a civilized way, although I heard later how someone was being a huge pain-in-the-ass.

The baby made out like a bandit. The best of the best are the stuffed animals we got. I cant decide if the homemade patchwork rooster or the baby-black-sheep is better.. but I have to remember these are NOT FOR ME.. they are for my kinder, who I am patiently waiting for so we can play with the toys!!!

Saturday, January 08, 2005

the web we weave

well i just got done looking at mari's smugmug and it was great. zozo is turning into a little KID before our very eyes!, we also have another friend who did smugmug too and are currently on a round-the-world trip.. and the guy could easily be a travel phographer (so the pics are awesome) it the mudbug link on the right if yr curious to see some amazing pics. i immediately thought tricia should have one too because this is a photographer's website... you can tell, just look at all the geek info about what aperature and schtuff..

so blogging is fun. and i like my clocks alot (thanks lolo).. i also like that i can use this as a springboard for all-a-yall's sites/blogs. so's i dont gotta remember such things in my little pregnant brain. being on a public computer, you miss your favorites menu ya know? it really makes me feel like i get to touch paris, rome, chicago, houston, from athens.. the worlds getting smaller everyday./

also - anybody know where i tell it that i want an email when somebody comments my blog? i couldnt find where you do that.