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July 17, 2010

Bastille Day!

Joyeux quatorze juillet!

Ok so I know I am about 3 days late on this post because in actuality Bastille Day for the French is on July 14...

Just a little background for those of you not up to speed on your French history.  July 14, 1790 was the day that the French revolution hit its peak.  The rebels stormed "La Bastille" which was a prison in Paris.  The storming of the Bastille was seen as a rallying point for the opposition of the monarchy in France.  It is a symbol of freedom and a reminder for all French people past and present.  The day is celebrated with a parade and fireworks display in Paris.

Surprisingly Bastille Day is also heavily celebrated in the United States and around the world.  In the United States alone over 50 cities hold celebrations including New Orleans, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Chicago, Baltimore, Orlando, Minneapolis, Seattle, and of course, closest to us, Milwaukee.

Bastille Day holds some exceptionally special memories for me.  On my trip to France in high school, we were in Paris on Bastille.  Although we did not get to experience the parade or many of the activities during the day because we had ventured out of the city to visit the home of Claude Monet, we did get to sit on the grass surrounding the Eiffel Tower and see one of the most exceptional fireworks displays I have ever seen.  That trip holds special memories for me and looking back every July 14 I think of the fun I had with some of my best friends!

So once again I say Joyeux quatorze juillet!

A tout a l'heure!
Rachel

July 10, 2010

Productive Procrastination

Whenever I find myself facing a daunting task (this week it was sorting and putting away my clean laundry), I also find myself distracted and willing to complete other (probably that require more work).

For our all staff meeting this month, the Leadership Team decided to show our appreciation for the staff by throwing them an Ice Cream Sundae Bar.  The professional staff brought ice cream and the desk supervisors brought the toppings.  We decided that since it was one of our fellow supervisors birthday and also a staff members birthday we would bake brownies.  This required me to make a double and single batch of brownies.

Since I was stuck in the kitchen for about three hours doing this, I got distracted and started to clean our kitchen.  I started with the dishes that I used to bake the brownies and my dinner.  From there I was prompted to clean the sink, then counter tops, and finally swiffer our kitchen floor.  As I was swiffering, I noticed how dirty it was between our fridge and the counter.  I decided that it was time, I would take the plunge by moving our fridge away from the wall and cleaning behind and under it (a task that we have had yet to do since moving in).

Completing this task actually made me feel somewhat good about myself and also led me to do some other tasks that I had been urging to do since moving in last August.  I proceeded to reorganize all of our kitchen cabinets until all the useless stuff we never used was put away, our Tupperware was reorganized and didn't fall on you every time you opened the cabinet, and created more room for the appliances we don't want taking up counter space.

From there I was still feeling productive.  I went into my bedroom and cleaned it all, even putting away the clean clothes that I had been avoiding in the first place.  From there I decided that I would like to reorganize my bedroom furniture so as to create better airflow and hopefully get some of the cool air from the air conditioner into the sauna which is my bedroom.

I really like how my furniture is now and am a little sad that I will be moving rooms within the next month.  I would rather move than stay in my room for another year however so I am very excited!

A tout a l'heure!
Rachel

July 3, 2010

Sailing in Madison

I tried out something new today that I have always wanted to learn how to do.  I went sailing on Lake Mendota!  It was so much fun and I can't wait to go out and do it again.  We set out from Memorial Union Terrace and were out for about 2-3 hours.  I am nowhere near a master but I would like to think I know a little bit more than the Average Joe.  One of my coworkers knows how to sail very well and I was very privileged that he was able to take me.  It was the most perfect day to be out on the lake!  I don't care if its on a motorboat, jet ski, or now sailboat, 1 thing is for sure and that is that I love being out on the water in the summer!

http://www.hoofersailing.org/