Currently | 7.28.20
Life in the Age of the Queen
[Explaination of the name in April's Currently.] The stir-crazy has kicked in and I, a lifelong introvert and bookworm and over it! I really would just love for people to behave so that Americans à la moi, can travel again. I did leave the house twice to check out the North Carolina State Farmers Public Market in Raleigh. Bless my heart it is such a delight compared to what we had in Arizona! Real, in-season fresh fruits and vegetables and lots of them! We have stopped our CSA as the quality suddenly went down, but a weekly trip to the farmers market has been a joy and a godsend. Mr. Misadventures has been going every week to get our fill of fresh food.
We also took 3 day trips during the weekends in July. Twice to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The first time was to scout some photo locations and check out the campground we had a reservation for the following week. The second trip was supposed to be a camping trip, however, it was too hot and too crowded. We accomplished what we wanted. We have scoped out some spots for the fall leaf-changing season. This past weekend we did a day trip to the Outer Banks to start figuring out where the best spots are. We have a 3-day trip coming up in August and hopefully, a full week stay in October.
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We are being super cautious, packing our own food, minimizing our contact with others and objects, and staying local. I think it is the best we can hope for at the moment.
Now, onto July and what's been going on in the Misadventures world!
Watching | New Movies
> Several new films came out including Greyhound with Tom Hanks (well-acted WWII sea crossing), Bloodshot (a not well acted military robo-type action with Vin Diesel), and The Outpost (a movie based on CNN Jake Trapper's book about a doomed military outpost in Afghanistan, true story, well-acted but very frustrating). And then there was Old Guard which is streaming on Netflix starring Charlize Theron which I really enjoyed, she is such a good actress and a total bass ass. Something about the movie made me think of re-reading the Twilight series (not a spoiler as the Old Guard are not vampires). And then, funnily enough, Phoenix-based blogger who I adore, Diana Elizabeth blogged and Instagrammed about her preparations regarding the release of Midnight Sun and it seems like more of an imperative to re-read the series before that comes out! But that is books, so let's move on to that…
Reading | The New Parisienne
> I completed the Bruno Chief of Police Series by Martin Walker series, can't say I loved the last book but I love the Périgord setting. I also quickly read The Last Train to Key West – the third book in the When We Left Cuba series which I enjoyed. It involved the intersection of 3 women, Key West and the very interesting Henry Flagler's Florida East Coast Railway's Over-Sea Railroad history and the Great Labor Day Hurricane of 1935.
I immediately jumped into Code Name Hélène which I had greatly anticipated reading based on my friend Kristin's enthusiasm for the book. (She even dedicated a post to a cocktail featured in the story.) This book is more than good. It is well written. I know that may seem odd, but I have read plenty of good books that weren't well written and if you read a lot, you'll know exactly what I mean. The synopsis is well documented, but to be brief it is the story of real-life WWII heroine Nancy Wake who lived fiercely and fearlessly lived and worked in Paris and Marseille as a journalist and then in the Resistance (the real Resistance, not the johnny-come-lately-hop-on-the-bandwagon-at-the-end-of-the-war variety if you know anything about French WWII history) and as a spy. The fact that this is based on a real person just blows my mind and I could not pick up another book for a week after finishing this. I felt like I needed to absorb it and give it its respect.
Thankfully, when I did pick up the brand new The New Parisienne: The Women & Ideas Shaping Paris fro my longtime friend Lindsey I could not have been more impressed. I am only half-way through, but it is good. Really good. And if I am, to be honest, it also makes me uncomfortable, which I also think is good. This book is about challenging the stereotypes of what most of the world thinks of when they envision a French woman. For me, it is complicated. I am 100% aware that the stereotype is exactly that, a stereotype. I have lived and worked in France, I have French friends, I have a French mother-in-law and I keep abreast of all things France by watching television, seeing movies and documentaries and reading books – both the classics and modern fiction. Plus I visit at least once a year.
The women in France are a wonderful myriad of cultures and races, religions, and socio-economic norms. I know that. I fully recognize it. But despite that, I do still love some aspects of that stereotype and don't apologize for my love of blue and white stripes, Chanel, and more. BUT I think it is important to understand that Parisian women come in all shapes and sizes and backgrounds and face the same struggles (if not more in a lot of cases) as their counterparts in America. Lindsey's book introduces you to many of them. And if you are thinking, “that's too heavy for me” at the end of each interview each fabulous Parisian shares her favorite hangouts in Paris – if you follow my Paris Profile series you know I love picks from locals! In fact, Lindsey will be appearing in the series soon!
Midnight Sun from Stephenie Meyer, a Twilight book in Edward's voice.
Paris On Air by Oliver Gee, a podcaster shares his take on Paris.
The Cheffe: A Cook's Novel by Marie NDiaye, the (not very easy) life of a female chef in France.
Best Bite | Rebel Ice Cream
> Previously mentioned in J’adore #82 – Low Carb Lifestyle Food – Edition 2 last year, Rebel Ice Cream is IT! When we were in the Phoenix area there was limited availability and living in an oven as we did, home delivery was not an option. But now that we are in North Carolina, our local grocery store has it AND we can get it delivered without fear it would be melted by the time it was left on our porch! Which is exactly what we have been doing the last couple of weeks. We started with the “Classic” 8-pack/8-flavors case so that I could try the Mint Chip (to die for) and are waiting for our delivery of the “Maverick” 8-pack/8- (other) flavors case. Oh, did I mention these are LOW CARB? They taste like full cream ice cream and OMG they are good!
Working On | More Low Carb Reviews
> At the beginning of June I went back to more conscious carb-counting. I did not want to end up with the “confinement 15” and when I went up 7 pounds I put a stop to it. I have now re-lost the 7 to be back at my overall 40 pounds down since I chose to eat low carb and I have been testing out a whole bunch of low carb foods which I will be highlighting in a round-up for edition 4 of the J'adore on low carb foods. The good news is, this particular food industry niche has exploded and there are so many new foods and snacks to try. I am enjoying the sampling process!
Feeling | Frustrated
> I just want people to wear a mask and do the right thing so I can (selfishly) get back to traveling. I miss Europe and don't want to be banned forever! My company has already converted all events to virtual through next summer so that is a clear sign of where the world is going to be at even 12 months from now. And if the US doesn't get it together as a country it may be years before I can head back to my beloved France.
Planning | Local travel
> I have a lot of vacation days that I need to use or I will lose it (my company doesn't have a rollover policy) so I am trying to find safe local alternatives that are looking like a week on the coast and a week in the mountains. It will all depend on what the Queen is up to and how safe the travel options are. Our 3-day test trip in August will be a good indicator. People say “staycation” but we have pretty much been doing that for the last 4 months, right?!
Loving | Virtual Conferences
> The one upside to her majesty is that so many in-person conferences that cost money are now virtual and free. I have attended a few industry events, as well as some blogging ones and they haven't been bad. I also watched some sessions during the Happiness Festival which took place this past weekend (still available for viewing for free). In particular Shawn Achor who I enjoyed in person at a happiness event sponsored by Buick in 2015. I wrote about it including why happiness has been an important choice for me. It was interesting to see the wide variety of topics associated with happiness and given the current environment, I am all for it!
I know there is a lot of pain and suffering and injustice in the world, particularly at the moment, but finding happiness or joy in a few simple things will help get us through. This too shall pass.
My Favorite Photo | The New Parisienne Flatlay
In the photo: Inside Weather Latte Oval Coffee Table which I customized with retro red (love this table, made in the USA and customizable in hundreds of ways!) and a Bistro Tile Vanity Tray from Anthropologie (I love this great mug from this collection too! I also have my eye on this Clare V. pillow for my Wayfair sofa which I have in a teal blue!) plus Lindsey's first book The New Paris along with her latest release.
Published in July
Coming in August
- Paris Profiles 2nd Arrondissement with (posting Thursday!)
- Paris Profiles 17th Arrondissement with (posting next week!)
That’s my month, what’s CURRENTLY going on with you?
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