11. Our Hot Tub-About the only good thing about winter is that it makes it more fun to sit in the hot tub on a freezing cold morning.
10. Garbage Disposal - Yep. One of the greatest inventions of all time. No more smelly and rotting food in the trash under the sink. It goes into the solid waste stream where it belongs rather than in the trash where it attract flies and pests, and then to the landfill where it rots and smells and attracts vermin. If you don't compost, and we don't here in France, or in Moab (got no garden) and can't (skunks in Moab) then the next best thing is a garbage disposal.
9. The Dishwasher - No need for any commentary here.
8. Stores open at lunch between 12:00 and 2:00 - This is a tough one. I do appreciate the pace of life here. When everything is open 24/7, as in the US, it's great when you want something at an odd hour. But it also contributes to the fast-paced life we try to avoid. A double edged sword, indeed. Waiting for the hardware store to open at 2:15 in the afternoon is frustrating when you just need a drill bit or a couple of screws to complete a project. They shut down for two hours after a grueling three hour morning. But the lunch shut down is pretty sacrosanct here, and whenever we go out to lunch we always see some plombiers, city workers in the blue boiler suits, construction guys, etc. I would imagine that standard black lunchboxes don't sell too well here.
7. Blue Cheese Dressing - I know I could make it here with all the great bleu fromage, but has anyone got a tried and true recipe that they could send?
6. Everyone Speaking American English - It has been three months and I have had conversations with only two Americans, and I've spoken to the Canadians who have a house across the street (they have gone back home). Other than speaking to Nancy, and hearing some American or Canadian kids in Carrcassone, that's it. The rest of the English I've heard has been spoken by French, (some good, some bad) and of course British English (an amazing range of dialects, by the way).
5. DVD's via Netflix - A great collaboration between the US Mail and the internet tubes.
4. An Outdoor Place to Sit - Don't have it here. Got it in Moab.
3. Wide Open Spaces - Don't have it here. Got it in Moab. This landscape here in the foothills of the Pyrenees is absolutely gorgeous. The beautiful villages and castles, bucolic landscapes are always pleasant on the eye. But unless you are high up in the Pyrenees, there is no place where you can look out and see the horizon without lots of evidence of mankind. I never fail to enjoy the scenery here , but at times I miss the miles of open space.
2. An American Breakfast - They don't do it here. You can get coffee, croissants and cornflakes, which is fine. I did see an English breakfast offered in Paris just opposite the Eiffel Tower, which is similar, but you can keep them old nasty bangers. So it will be nice to have a plate of fried eggs, hash browns, bacon, toast and coffee.
1. NPR - This is what I miss the most. National Public Radio. I can get it on the internet, Morning Edition, at noon French time, out of Salt Lake City, where it is 4:00 am. I manage to listen to it once a week or so. The evening version comes on around 2:00 am so I have never listened to it.
1. Dry Air - Wait! This is what I miss the most. Two number one's, it's a tie. Dry air, 10% relative humidity. Yeah, this is what I miss absolutely the most. If you've got nice dry air you know what I'm talking about. If you've never lived without humidity then you don't know what you are missing.