Sunday, September 12, 2010

More Mountains!

My first week of school went so much more fantastic than I ever could have imagined.  I have met almost all of my teachers, and I introduced myself to more than half of my class.  I think that it is safe to say that I deserve a long nap.  I have been very tired this whole week at school, even though I get nine hours of sleep almost every night.  That phase should pass after a couple of more weeks and more of a set routine.

The climb going up to the house is still unforgiving though, because I am still left breathless and sweating by the time I reach the front door.  The moment I open the door I am greeted not by the wagging tail of Camille, but by the meowing of Minet.  That sound is going to be very hard to get used to.

This weekend was fun though, we went up to Benoit's parents' house in the Juras to get it ready for the winter.  It has a huge garden and so many berries and trees, it was hard to tell what was what.  We went with Natacha and Mélanie, who is another friend of Adélie.  Before we all left in the late morning for the Juras, Anne and I went to the market in the next town over, St. Pierre, to buy all of the goods for that day and for the rest of the week.  We bought some beautiful green beans, local grapes and Reblochon (a specialty of Haute Savoie).  We also bought some loafs of bread and cheese for the fondue that Anne and Benoit made for dinner last night.  I have to say that the four of us girls had a fun time with the garden chores that we were given.  We shook a cherry-plum tree annd picked them up and sorted them all, the good, the hard, and the not-so-pretty that would see a tart or pie in their near future.  We also picked blackberries and got pricked by the pesty little leaves that were found everwhere in that garden; the pricks feel like a less intense bee sting and leave either one or many little red bumps on your skin that go away the next day.  I think that if anyone else saw the four of us, they would think that we had chicken pox on our hands and arms!  We cut off the fresh bloomed flowers because they would do no good if we left them to rot, and we made them into bouquets for the families of Natacha and Mélanie.

I have to say that the two coolest things that we did were climb (mostly) one of the mountains and see a cow farm.  For the mountain, we litterally climbed it and followed a path almost to the top.  By the time we got as far as we did, we all just wanted to rest and appreciate the view which was fantastic. Another reason why we really went no further than we did was because there were cows in our way!  As soon as we got to a flat part in the mountain, we stopped and there were maybe 13 cows staring at us.  To tell the truth, I did not want to go any further because I feared that they would stampede us, but of course they didn't.
Later in the day, we went to see one of Anne and Benoit's friends who owns the cow farm to get some fresh milk.  When I say fresh milk, I mean we litterally got to see him work the milk machine.  There were two sides to the room that we were in with one row on each side that could hold five cows comfortably.  There were little suction tubes for each cow that sucked the milk out and into a piping system that brought the milk into two big jugs.  There is quite a process to be done in the art of milking cows, even if it is using a machine. I am not going to explain the whole process, but if anyone wants me to go into detail, please leave a comment and I will make it its own post.
Even so, we got our fresh milk and ate a deliciously cheesy meal in a 200 year old house made of stone.

Today I experienced my first French get together at a fellow orchestra family's house with the family of Mélanie.  The meal lasted four hours and left me full enough to skip eating for the next week.  There was so much food, I am not even kidding!  Then, to add onto it, I am supposed to eat another dinner tonight!  I will be surprised if I can even stand to look at the food.

Tomorrow I start week two, which will consist of many more firsts that you will only be in the know of if you tune in next week!



  1. OMG - what a treat to read! I feel like I'm right there with you Little P!!! Your new friends sound wonderful. I'm so happy for you. BTW, Reblochon is one of my fav cheeses! SO happy you're catching up on sleep! I look forward to your next entry sweetie. Love, Marcy

  2. I would love to try that Cherry Plum pie - you will have to let us know how it is!!! Miss you and this blog is fabulous - keep going! Love, Mom & Dad

  3. Love love love to read this. It sounds like you're getting quite the leg workout. Miss you girlfriend! -Kirstie (not Lucy haha)

  4. I am getting hungry just reading your blog! Your stories are Awsome!

  5. Haha, leg muscles are a plus!

    It's too bad you didn't ACTUALLY milk a cow - you haven't lived until you've personally milked some sort of livestock (I've milked a goat)!

  6. When you do make those pies......well, you have my address :)

    And as Cam mentioned, I guess it is a plus to have leg muscles!

    Sounds like your having a blast! :)