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Friday, January 31, 2014

Asian Flavors for the Chinese New Year


I met the nicest person today!!! MR and I were parking our car in the centre ville of Dieuze this afternoon, when a red Chinese lantern caught the corner of my eye. A Chinese lantern in Dieuze?!? In the 2 years that I've been in France, I've never seen any signs of Asian anything that wasn't in the big city of Metz or in a 10 kilometers radius of it. MR and I had planned to go check out several shops, but I couldn't help and see who was inside this food truck parked in the middle of the town's square.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Cheese Fondue / Fondue de Fromage


One afternoon I was out grocery shopping, thinking what I could possibly make for dinner that day. Finding meal ideas always seems more complicated for dinner then lunch. I try to avoid cooking meat and eat light at night, but when it's the weekend I like to make an exception. As I was passing by the cheese section, I thought about the Fondue Set LU and AR gifted me last year. I used it once to make a Chocolate Fondue, but other than that it has stayed stored in its box. SO has never had Cheese Fondue / Fondue de Fromage (click here) before. She loves cheese, so I thought she would enjoy it. What I didn't think was that she would it enjoy so much, to the point of climbing on top of the dining table to make sure she gets as much cheese as possible!!!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Middle-Eastern Dessert...Does Anyone Know What This Is?


Friday night was Sushi night for me and my girls. For our desserts, VI brought a Homemade Pear Cake (I didn't miss to ask the recipe!) and AU picked up some Middle-Eastern dessert she really loves for us to taste. I took a bite and while it was way too sweet for my personal taste, I was curious about what it was. It was fried, made with a ton of honey, and was more like a confection than a cake.  AU is in love with this, but cannot pronounce its name. I couldn't and still can't help but want to know what this is exactly.

So here's the question....
Does anyone know what this is??? 

Sushi Night with My Girls


Last October, I met a bunch of wonderful people. They were pretty much struggling the same way as I was and I guess this is what really bonded us together. For professional reasons, we were to spend the month together, but our relationship went beyond a professional one. We were a really good group and it's heartbreaking to know that in the end we will not be working together. I had already envisioned in my mind what working with them would have been like. These people touched me because they helped me through my struggles as I was losing my father at the time. And when we had to move, I was overwhelmed with their support and presence. I certainly did not lack in boxes or help! Unfortunately, circumstances have made it that we are currently taking different paths professionally. We left our last day of training with a silent promise to continue with this friendship. And so we like to meet up with each other every once in a while.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

MR's Birthday Dinner 2014


The day after MR's birthday, we invited my half-sister, her family, my uncle and his family. I say "uncle", but Tonton AR isn't my real uncle. He's my half-sister's uncle, so we have no actual blood ties, but he's always treated me like his own niece. We owe a lot to these people, especially in the past months, so MR wanted to celebrate his birthday with them. It is really a small gesture in return to the strength and encouragement they have given us.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Birthday Scallops in a Mirin, Soy Sauce, and Butter Sauce


It's my husband's, MR, birthday today and he's officially turning 30. 3-0!!! While I am still in my late 20's (yey!), he is now in a new age range. But that's alrightttttt. I'm just praying and hoping that our 30's will be brighter and more successful. We became happy parents in our 20's, but we also lost 3 important people (my dad, my mother-in-law, and my grandmother-in-law) in our lives. I guess that's what life is all about and I am reminded that we live on borrowed time. Regretfully, MR's birthday did not start on a good note. We practically spent the morning arguing. We used to argue about the tiniest of things, but since my dad's passing we've upgraded to the big stuff. We're having a hard time adjusting with this new situation, without our referee whistling time-out when blows are getting too low.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Domino's Pizza in Montigny-les-Metz, France


One evening last October, we were hanging out at home, mostly staring at the blank walls. Dad was once again hospitalized. We were only one man short, but our house was much quieter than usual. A glimpse of life without Dad gave me goosebumps and I shook the thought out of my mind quickly. Dinner time was coming up and truthfully, I had no desire to cook anything tonight. Instead, I thought we could go out on this Saturday night, try something new, and maybe that could take us out of this funky mood.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Losing My Father



On November 23, 2013, I lost my father.  :'(

I used to think that losing my father would be the hardest thing to experience and that I couldn't survive the loss. It was truly hard but I've had no choice but to go on. I experienced the death of my father through a long and stressful process. And at the end, I was almost zombie-like.

A couple of weeks later, I started asking myself out loud, "Is Dad really gone?" I had already prepped my husband of this possible behavior. So every time, he gently pats my hands, gives me a kiss, and answers gently, "Yes, he is gone."

But truthfully, I lost my father a long time ago. In March, he had a heart surgery. While the initial recovery looked positive, the long-term fared rather negatively. I saw my father smile less and enjoy life less throughout the recovery period. It was as if he simply put a death sentence upon himself. Most times I was his personal cheerleader, but my motivation could only go as far. Every time his lungs were full of water, every time his legs doubled in size, every time he had a hard time to pee, every time he had a doctor's check-up, and every time he had to be admitted at the hospital, I saw him lose hope an inch at a time. I might not have seen it then, but looking back I see the signs. There is not a single photo or a single memory of my father smiling this year. He gave up a long time ago, way before he was hospitalized for the last time and way before he asked for palliative care.

Two days before he passed away, he asked again for palliative care from his doctor and in his own words, "he wanted to go as quickly as possible". I felt like I was hit by lightning that afternoon. I heard my father begging for his life to end and I felt powerless. If the intern wasn't there to hold me, I think I would have hit the floor. This little girl was losing her daddy and I realized that it was unfortunately the end. I was just not enough of a reason for him to hold on anymore. I love my dad so much, but it was time to say goodbye.

Two days later, he was gone.

I received a call that Saturday morning, on the 23rd of November from his nurse telling us to come quickly. He was just gone when we arrived, but still warm to the touch.

Neatly tuck in new white bed linens. Cleanly shaved. His hair held back. In his blue hospital gown. All the tubes and medicine lines gone. Eyes closed. His hands tucked together on his chest.

He looked like he was peacefully sleeping. 

I kept in mind that papa did not want me to cry, but this was one request I couldn't give him. I don't remember what I said anymore at that moment in his room, but it was mostly thanks.

Thank you for being my dad, thank you for everything, but most especially, thank you for the gift of life. 




Thursday, January 16, 2014

Finally Coming Up For Air

Hi Everyone.

It's been quite some time since I last wrote here. In fact, for a while, I thought I'd never be back. That I wouldn't find the courage or motivation. Or simply, that I'd never be able to go back to my old usual self.

But this past week, I've caught myself signing in, wanting to say something, but not knowing where to start from.

The past few months have been the worst of my life. I lost almost everything that mattered to me in my life.
One after another and I felt myself being stripped.

But right now, I finally feel like I'm coming up for air after this shitty period of my life. Friends and families haven't seen me depressed, but deep down I know I am a mess. Most days, I look at the mirror and I don't even recognize myself. The emotional, transparent girl that I was has become an almost cold-hearted woman with protective walls up to the roof. I am not proud of what I've become.

Luckily, in the past months, I was privileged to meet new people who I consider as good friends now. Talking to them has helped me in this dark period. The tears could not stop falling the day I finally let the walls break down.

I realized how much good that was for me. As well as how much I missed blogging and writing down my thoughts and feelings. I understand I might just be writing to myself most of the time, but it sure feels good. And I want to start again.


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