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Mexican Teddy Bear Chainsaw Massacre at Farmers' Market

Sunday, May 05, 2013

There was a bit of fuss in the SP community this week about an article someone published elsewhere on the web titled Women Should Not Run, are something to that effect. I have not read the article but from others' comments it sounds as if the message - only doing the same cardio exercise, i.e.. running, without cross-training and strength training, is not a good idea for anyone - got lost in the in-your-face title, author's presentation and the fact he may have been selling something. Presentation is everything people...come across like an ass and your good message is lost; come across as more boring than watching paint dry and the same thing happens.

Hence the blog title! Got your attention didn't it?

There is actually a point to the title; several points in fact.

Today is May 5, or Cinco de Mayo. Last year at this time I was in Queretaro, Mexico visiting a supplier with some coworkers and we asked our contacts how they celebrated the holiday. They looked at us blankly and said "What?". They explained that maybe further south, around Mexico City or Puebla, that people might celebrate but it is not a big deal or holiday in Mexico (or at least in that part of the country). They were astounded when we told them in SE MIchigan it was becoming a bigger "holiday" each year. They just could not understand why we would celebrate a minor holiday of another country...until we explained it was an excuse to eat ethnic food and drink beer (kind of like St. Patty's Day too).

There is no real Mexican food in France, at least not that I have found yet. I miss it a lot. The closest you can get is an Old El Paso taco or burrito kit, which is just not the same thing. The salsa isn't even medium, let alone hot. Making your own Mexican food & salsa is an option...but not all the ingredients are available. Refried beans, jalapeƱos, habaneros, tomatillos, cactus, etc....not to be found. It is a tragedy. I will be smuggling seed packets back with me after I visit home next month. And I will be visiting the local Mexican restaurant, probably more than once, while I am there.

Today I learned that I have been assigned to the Teddy Bears in Spring team for the 5% Challenge. Last year I was a Cat, which make sense, but now I am a feline amongst the ursines. Go Teddy Bears!

Wednesday I worked some more on my hedges with my new hedge trimmer. It is VERY loud but does the job. Unfortunately I also discovered that I need a longer extension cord and a step ladder. My little household step stool is just not high enough. So my hedges are kind of weird looking right now. I'm going to borrow a step ladder from a friend next week so I can finish the trimming. Here is a picture of a portion of them; it does not really give you an idea of how much there is to do :

And here is my little "toy" lawnmower. I swear my son had one when he was small that was this same size, only with a shorter handle. Despite its size it works well enough for the size of my yard. Having to drag the cord around is very annoying but I'm not going to pay a lot for something I'm only going to use a few dozen times and can't take home with me.

When I'm home I'm also going to see if I can get a rolling edge trimmer for the sidewalk & bring it back. Here the only thing I have been able to find is basically a flat blade on a stick...which takes forever to use and really does not do that great of a job.

Some other spring pictures :
View from my backyard:

Start of my container garden :

View of the front of the house :

Close ups of my hibiscus and the other flowers I can never remember the name of :

Every Saturday in Compiegne there is a farmers' market in the town center. I mean every weekend, even in the winter. They set up in a row down one of the streets; I was not able to get a good picture because of the set up. They have veggie stands; trucks selling rotisserie chicken and potatoes and others for meats and fish; cheeses and breads; and clothing & shoes. Now that it is warmer there are more vendors so they are starting to branch out into the cross streets.

I had to go into the town yesterday morning to wash our comforters at the laundromat and wandered around the market. It all looked and smelled amazing. I was brave and stopped at the truck that had the giant wok thing of paella and ratatouille and bought a small container of paella. Next week I will be even braver and buy some veggies, they looked so much better than the ones in the store.

Since I couldn't get a picture of the market here is the Hotel de Ville in Compiegne, kind of like the town hall / government offices. The market is set up right across from the little park you can see :

A new store opened on Friday called Carre des Halles that I wanted to check out, which is part of the reason I didn't get anything at the farmers' market. The store is kind of like a Nino Salvaggio's or maybe Trader Joe's. All fresh fruits / veggies and meats and a small section for other cuisines. They had some ingredients there that are not at the regular grocery stores (still no Mexican though) so it will be a regular stop for me now. I also had to go to the Biocoop, which is the organic store, to get more groats. I also got some red lentils, so I can try the recipe that was in the SP e-mail a few weeks ago, and some buckwheat. No idea what I will do with it yet but it is something new to try and I never saw it back home so I'll take advantage of the opportunity. I bought some Japanese style buckwheat noodles, green olives and arrabiata sauce for another recipe.

I also checked out a few different garden stores and bought the flowers I can't remember the name of, some Roma tomato plants and an heirloom yellow pear tomato, and sage & parsley plants. My parsley seeds are not germinating, I think they are too old, so I got tired of waiting.

And I now have a drying rack for clothes so I can hang them up outside. I have always been jealous of the people who have clothes lines and now, while I don't have a real clothes line, at least I can set up my rack on the deck and hang up my laundry. Every little bit helps the environment; I try to be green when I can.

Today I have my version of Chef Meg's Kentucky burgoo in the crock pot for tonight's dinner. I kept mostly the same recipe but was tired of chicken so I used beef and veal to go with the pork. AND...I now have a bay plant so got to use a fresh bay leaf instead of a dried one, along with the parsley and thyme from my garden. I found the thyme growing in the tiny little flower bed the owners had planted at the bottom of the driveway. It is 1 foot wide and about 5 feet long and has mini daffodils in most of the space. But when I was weeding it the other week I found the thyme hidden amongst the weeds.

My running is progressing again, slowly it seems, but progressing. Last Sunday I did 2 miles without knee issues; today I did 3.5 miles. I'll build up my mileage this month and if all is still well start running the HMs again in June.

And now I am going to sit outside and enjoy the sun! TTFN!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    very cool pictures and thanks for sharing!
    1844 days ago
    Love your pictures and account of your market adventures. I don't think you'll find any Mexican food there--it's even hard to find Spanish food, but you did get some paella. Good luck with the running; I'm having to cool it right now because of knee issues. So hard...because I love to run. Oh well...You're going to love doing the challenge with the Teddies--I guarantee it!!! :)
    1845 days ago
    How great to see your place!

    You may not know this, but there are places in the US where you can't get decent Mexican food... True dat!
    1846 days ago
    Great pix. Your backyard looks pretty awesome. Welcome to the Teddy Bears. I started the 5% challenges a whike back on a different team and I really like the Teddy bear's better. See you around the blogs. Good luck in the challenge.
    1847 days ago
    cool pix emoticon
    1847 days ago
  • FROSTY99
    Thanks for sharing the pics-just seeing them brings France to mind! You make sure that life is never boring!
    1847 days ago
  • DAWN14163
    I love the French markets. I know what you mean about the lack of Mexican - here in Belgium it's the same, Chinese and noodle houses to cobble dogs with but no Mexican or Indian.....I don't think they like spicy food!
    1848 days ago
    Sounds like a fascinating place to live! And, yes, your blog title reeled me in emoticon
    1848 days ago
    What a super narrative (and I am so jealous of your location, even if it's lacking for Mexican ingredients). I love the pictures, too. Thanks for sharing all of this!!
    1848 days ago
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