Hues of blue and gray

Be it the skies or the water, my eyes have been attracted to the different hues of blue lately.  La Bretagne really knows how to show off if you know to look!  A few sights that have caught my attention lately…

Daoulas at dusk…

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Mushroom hunting!

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The day Brittany had yellow skies…

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Sit and think a bit…?

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What is next…?

And just like that it is March!  Fully into the “new year” (and yes, it takes me this long to adjust to writing the year!), and on to thinking about spring which is just around the corner, summer…  And well, what is next.  The past few years after about 18 months in one place we were already beginning, mentally at least, to prepare the next move, the next place, sometimes even already looking at houses.

So, we’ve hit the 18 month mark.  August 2017 will be two years here, and for some reason, I’ve got la bougeotte.  I find myself perusing housing ads online, dreaming of one place or another, one type of house or another.  I don’t know if it is just the frequency with which we have moved that makes me feel this way, or maybe it is some deeper part of who I am, or maybe the infamous Breton weather gets to me towards the end of winter…

It is something I’ve often noticed in my second born child.  No matter what we do, when we ask if she had fun or liked the activity or outing, she always replies with something along the lines of “It would have been better, if…”  This usually frustrates me to no end, and now, I recognize myself in those words quite strongly, and I’m not quite sure what to do with the feeling.  I dream about doing perma-agriculture in the Limousin, tourism in Bordeaux, une maison Normande

I wonder if part of it also isn’t worry or concern about someday actually finding a job, or career.  While I am actually quite happy at home, home making, gardening, caring for kids, chauffeuring them around to one activity or another, I sometimes feel uncertain if it is a wise long term choice.  If I get a job, I’ll pay quite a lot for in school lunches daily, before and after care and they will all have to choose after school activities in consequence of parents getting home later, every school break for years will involve expensive day camps, among other day to day “difficulties”.  But, this is the reality of many children. Though, I am not sure that actually finding a job would change much our monthly bottom line, for now.  I often consider sitting the CAPES to become a French civil servant teaching English, but worry about the potential of being sent to a job far from home.

It feels like I am atop a fence of a cultural divide.  Where I grew up in the US, having a stay at home parent wasn’t unusual.  It seems to be a bit more of a rarity in France.  Most families have two working parents, even if one is only working part time, or picks up somewhat random jobs throughout the year.  I’m sure that extra retirement pension is pretty handy later in life, but at what cost?  For now, as MrB is gone just about every other week during the school year, finding a job and being alone at the helm those weeks seems huge.  And, yet, I’m sure many families do it, and many parents are solo all the time…

So all these words to say, I am happy where I am but I don’t know where I am going.  And while sometimes I love the feeling of being on the edge of something, I’m feeling quite apprehensive about it, currently.

 

Limping along

… what our reality feels like these days!  Not due to injury, just trying to have a foot everywhere all the time!

I’ve got so much happening.

I have to work on Christmas shopping, which feels weird as I have 2 children that still have birthdays before then.  Speaking of which, 2 birthdays and their respective parties to organize, and a house to have clean and tidy for both!

I’ve been spending a lot of time wrestling with my California ballot. In addition to the federal elections, there are 17 measures submitted to voters statewise, even one from my district.  Wading through all of that information to make a hopefully informed choice, is time consuming.

My laptop went all wonky with the latest iOS update, though if I am honest it too was already limping along before then.  I have to take it in for repair, I hope.  One thing about living fairly rurally- no Apple store with a Genius bar nearby!  They’ve suggested a local person that is approved by them, so, hopefully he can be my hero du jour.  I can also hope it won’t be too pricey.  Both may be in vain.  I really do need that laptop though, and I definitely do not want to be replacing it at this moment in time, so, here I sit, fingers crossed.

We changed banks, this is not easy anywhere, but I think French red tape takes the cake here.  We still have a few accounts lingering at our old bank, along with their fees, so I would really like to get those closed, asap as well.  It is a bit like a dog chasing its tail- around and around we go, hoping to one day actually catch the end goal!

My day to day life is also generally busy when school is in session, volunteering at school, cooking, cleaning, keeping up on laundry.  None of it seems huge in the moment, but, it all adds up to busy days.  My great plan for today is to hopefully make some applesauce with apples from the yard and an apple tart or maybe a pie.  Because nothing sounds better right now then a gorgeous slice of apple pie warm from the oven, to just sit with and enjoy in the moment.