So today, in a desperate attempt to try to control my stress, I've decided to try to look at the bright side and post about some good things (no matter how insignificant) that are happening chez moi:
1. Though the kitchen still isn't done, it is at least FINALLY finished to the point where I can not only use it, but also store all of my kitchen stuff and food in the cabinets! And sometime this week I will finally be able to move my refrigerator into the kitchen as well (because I'm moving it in there this week whether or not my father-in-law has finished what he wanted to do in that corner and he'll just have to deal with it)! Soon I won't have to go into the freezing cold garage in order to be able to cook a meal!!! The fact that I finally have kitchen cabinets also means I've been doing an insane amount of shopping for all the kitchen gear I haven't been able to buy over the past few months because I didn't have anywhere to put it. However, after purchasing new pots and pans, various storage accessories, wine glasses, serving dishes, kitchen gadgets, cutting boards, a fancy new food processor, baking dishes and pans, and a dishwasher (!!!), I must admit my bank account is feeling a bit stressed as well. But talk about retail therapy!
2. I got a package in the mail from my parents yesterday containing all the American foodstuffs I will need to get through the holiday season, covering Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas! Thanks mom and dad!
3. I also got another package this week containing a very exciting purchase I made:
I'm so excited to FINALLY have a slow cooker in France, and not just any slow cooker but a Crock Pot brand slow cooker! After hearing horror stories about the various brands of slow cookers that could be found in France I got worried that I would never be able to have a slow cooker here. And I just love them because they make it so easy to make a warm and delicious home-cooked meal. So I started digging around on the internet and I finally found the site electriqueshopping.fr that sells a variety of different Crock Pots and ships them to France. It certainly shipped from the UK as everything is in English, but it comes with your choice of a UK plug or European plug. It certainly cost a lot more than what it would have in the US (60 euros for the 6.5 liter slow cooker!), but at least shipping was only 5 euros. I can't wait to try it out!
4. Besides working on the kitchen and dealing with the nearly constant stress of my in-laws' less-than-productive presence, I've been very busy getting ready for Halloween. At the beginning of September our only good friend here in Bordeaux, Matthew (who moved here from Paris shortly after we left for the US), asked me if I wouldn't mind hosting another Halloween party like the one I threw back in 2010 (and which, looking back through my blog archives, I apparently never posted about). Apparently Lionel's friends were all very impressed by that party and they still talk about it and Matthew's wife has always regretted the fact that she missed that party. So Matthew wanted to see if I would be up for throwing another one and trying to get all of our friends to come in from across the country as a Halloween party/retrouvailles. I immediately agreed because, well, I love Halloween, I love throwing Halloween parties and I love trying to come up with all kinds of Halloween-themed foods and drinks. Not to mention the fact that Lionel and I haven't seen his friends in two years and I know he's pretty bummed that we haven't had the time or the money to travel all over France and visit them. I figured we could try to guilt them all into coming by not only making it a sort of fête de retour and Halloween party but also making it our crémaillère. Lionel was very pessimistic and kept insisting that no one would come, but in the end everyone RSVPed yes and they've all arranged their various forms of travel and will be descending on Bordeaux in a week and a half! There will be 8 additional people staying in our house for the weekend and one couple decided to get a hotel nearby. So we've been busy trying to figure out all the logistics, getting sleeping arrangements sorted out, shopping for Halloween costumes and decorations and preparing the menu. We are both really looking forward to it and it's pretty much the only real bright spot in what has been an otherwise very stressful and dull autumn.
So all in all, I guess things could be much, much worse and I'm looking forward to posting pictures of my kitchen soon. And I gotta admit, writing this blog post has definitely helped bring my stress level down a bit!