Saturday, January 27, 2007

The Big Dive

After much research and advice-seeking, I finally decided to just change my Blogger template for my major blog, La France Profonde. I was a little disappointed that the templates offered with the Beta version were the same old same old, but I just couldn't stand that lime-green heading any longer. So it's gone!

I also changed my Flickr badge, got rid of a few other items, and got to try some of Blogger's new functions, like the drag and drop sidebar system. It's pretty cool! It all feels like spring cleaning...

Friday, January 26, 2007

I'm Finally on New Blogger! And so...

After weeks of trying, today I was finally able to make all of my blogs "migrate" to New Blogger.

What does that mean? I thought it might mean categories, but now I'm not so sure.

I have already been tempted by promises of being able to change my layout, but at the same time, Blogger warns about the many elements we will lose if we make a change...hmmm...

I suppose And So Forth, being a new blog, will be a good testing ground!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Bruce and Broccoli

I decided to take a blog comment wander yesterday evening, and it led me to a great place.

1. I started out with Anne Cuisine and read her post about pork roast, all the while wondering why mine always turns out dry.

2. In the pork roast comments , there was a word from Jann. I couldn't quite remember who she was, even though I knew she had already left comments on Cuisine, click...

3. Oh yes, that's right, she writes Traveling Food Lady and had just written a spiffy post about Oeufs Cocotte . Her recipe is identical to mine, so I just had to leave a comment...

4. And while there, why not take a look at all of the other bloggers who had commented? I'm sure glad I did because I found (drum roll, please) a site that combines two of my passions: music and cooking!

Yessirree, on C for Cooking you can read about a young man's culinary adventures, and each post is accompanied by a music clip. When I saw Bruce Springsteen's Thunder Road -- perhaps my favorite Springsteen song -- linked to a broccoli dish (see the January 17th post, I don't know why I can't seem to get a permalink) -- I knew this would be a blog for me.

Now I could quibble with the choice of broccoli to go with this richly evocative song, but who can argue with a great concept?

The only problem is I don't have a computer in my kitchen -- yet...

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

A Wine from My Past

As some of you know, I am an occasional contributor to Wine Sediments, part of the Well Fed food blogging network. We host a monthly blogging event called Great Grape Day, and this month's featured grape variety was Zinfandel.

Since Zinfandel is barely used in French wines, I really didn't have much to I decided to go back to a wine-drinking galaxy far, far away...

Monday, January 22, 2007

Expat Women, Unite!

I am happy to announce the launch of a new website, Expat Women.

Its purpose is to help expatriate women all over the globe link up and share advice.

Although I have plenty on my plate, I was pleased to be invited to participate in this new venture as a mentor. I know first-hand how great it would have been to have access to this type of service when I arrived in France in 1990! Life felt pretty lonely sometimes, and it would have been most helpful to be able to contact fellow English-speaking women who were making their lives in France.

Check out the newly-launched site and spread the word!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

My Future European Home?

Since I now have dual French-American nationality, I am a European citizen. I sometimes wonder if my future may hold a life in one of Europe's capitals -- I'm not sure I will want to stay in La France Profonde forever.

According to a quiz that I picked up on It's all illusion anyway , another fairly new blog, this is where I belong:

You Belong in Amsterdam

A little old fashioned, a little modern - you're the best of both worlds. And so is Amsterdam.

Whether you want to be a squatter graffiti artist or a great novelist, Amsterdam has all that you want in Europe (in one small city).

It actually sounds like a good match. I have been to Amsterdam and loved it. Generally, I am quite attracted to Northern European cities and have even imagined a life in Stockholm , but I do worry about the long winters. Amsterdam might be a good compromise -- and my husband got the same result!
Try the quiz yourself and tell me what you think. I doubt it's very scientific, but it's fun.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Blank Blog Syndrome

One of my reasons for starting And So Forth is to explore the blogosphere on subjects other than the very specific ones I cover on La France Profonde and Cuisine Quotidienne.
Posting to both of those blogs has become fairly complex, as I usually include a photo and also develop a very specific theme.

I want And So Forth to be less focused, a blog I can post to quickly when I find some fascinating information or when I just have something to say about one of my many interests. But it isn't that easy to get started, and to liberate myself from "blank blog syndrome." This blog looks so empty compared to the others!

Yet, they started like this too...even worse! When I got them going, I didn't even know I could modify my sidebars, so for a couple of months, all I had on them was some link to Google News.

I guess I have come a long way in one year. I really would like to post to And So Forth every day, but we'll see what comes of that resolution!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

A Name for What I Suffer From

My English students here in France are sometimes surprised when I can't immediately find the English translation for a word that I understand perfectly in French. Sometimes it's because there isn't any real translation -- an excuse I may have hidden behind a few times, to tell the truth!

Other times, however, I just can't remember the English word. I knew it once, and would of course understand it immediately, but it isn't in my brain anymore. Apparently, this phenomonen is called first language attrition. According to researchers at the University of Oregon, our brains may close off access to our native language as we become fluent in a second language -- a type of compensation process.

I originally found this information from a press release on EurekAlert, a site devoted to scientific research news.

Now I know how to explain to my students why I'm not always a walking dictionary!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

More Than Coincidence?

I've noticed that bloggers like to count posts and celebrate blog birthdays. I like to look for resemblances between my blogs and others. I'm always interested in blogs which have the same template, or the same theme -- and today I ran into a big coincidence!

Jann of Traveling Food Lady , with whom I have had only a few blog contacts, started a new blog on the very same day I started this new blog...and we not only have the same Blogger template, but she is planning on writing about French food, which is the subject of one of my "established" blogs, Cuisine Quotidienne ...

More than coincidence? At any rate, I'll be anxiously following The-French-Link!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

The Blog to End All Blogs

If you want to see what being a true blogger is all about...don't read my posts!

Check out Ali Thinks.

Hey, Ali, I created this new blog to find a place to write about people like you!

Friday, January 05, 2007

Just For Fun

I feel like starting another blog. Just for fun. Just to be able to write about some of the things that don't fit into my other blogs, La France Profonde and Cuisine Quotdienne:

Writing and wine

Books and blogs

Teaching and travel

Lots of Links

Music, Movies, and More…