Sunday, March 27, 2011

He he

Watching BBC news talk about the election results from Baden-Würtemburg made me smile, because so many times I had stood in exactly the spot the announcer did. They were broadcasting from Stuttgart.

I felt almost as smug as the day I was channel surfing and stopped and new exactly where they were photographing in Damascus.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


On the way to a Chinese buffet in France today for lunch, we saw a field of camels.

Got the bill for two eye surgeries and four appointments from the surgeon. 456CHF or about US$515. I expected at least another 0 on the cost. All but 10 percent is covered by insurance and mostly I can see again. It is even a pleasure to look at the spot on the ceiling that was invisible for six years prior to the surgery.

Walking down the hill from the village looking at the lake, I passed violets and forsythia. The birds were obviously auditioning for some choral production.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Destination Dijon

My housemate reached into the bowl with five pieces of folded paper. She pulled one out. “Dijon.”
Thus we determined the location of our next mini adventure.

“Let’s not use the major roads, let’s just wander. Thus we crossed the border at Vallorbe and wandered through countryside that could have Norway, the Black Forest or Maine. We stopped to ooh and ahh at lakes and church steeples.

At Arbois, we stopped for what was supposed to be a light lunch with a good dinner planned for Dijon. Instead as we peered out this window, we had the house paté rapée carrots and purple cabbage, trout, chicken, courgettes, chocolate mousse and crème brulée.

The waiter, from the region explained that this was the wine capital of the region and talked of yellow wine (like sherry) and straw wine (grapes dry on straw for three months before the fermentation process is begun).

We found the most interesting statues including hitchhiking bees along the main road and statues in the river running through the time.

We poked around and around, finding Louis Pasteur’s home and all kinds of statues in strange places. Outside the town we found a hotel where we enjoyed the local wine.

A group of businessmen from Holland, Belgium, the UK and US were talking about their project and waiting for Steve to join them, who was on his way for Dijon. They decided not to wait, because Steve always found a reason not to join them for dinner.

The next morning we headed for Salin-les-Bains to look at the pottery studios before heading home.

The weather was rainy and foggy and beautiful. Dijon will be there another time.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Makes the heart feel good

Friday, March 11, 2011

No glasses

Meez 3D avatar avatars games

For those who won't recognize me, I'll either

1. Wear a name tag
2. Identify myself

yesterday at Manana, a TexMex restaurant I go to often, the manager didn't know me.

I can't look that differently. Makes me think that hiding out might not be so hard to do after all, especially if I change my hair colour and don't speak. My accents would give me away in either English or French.

On our white board

We've begun listing things that make us happy or that we are grateful for on the white board also known as communication centre. My next listing will be "this morning." Not that anything spectacular happened, but the day began awash in pleasantness.

I needed to go to the bank to trace down a missing money wire. My housemate needed therapy, which seemed like a perfect excuse to stop at the tea room in the next village. The plates we selected for our treats were like an English garden alive with blue and yellow flowers. The tea room is full of rustic tables, art work, novelties. The tables were full of people talking. My housemate's cappuccino was a work of art with cocoa sprinkled on whipped creme as thick as ice cream.

My housemate left ahead of me for appointment and sneakily paid for my almond croissant and green tea.

Outside the tea room the first spring flowers were being brave enough to show their faces.

At the bank, the teller found the missing money. Not only is she extremely helpful, she always has her nails done with different designs. Today different tiny flowers decorated each nail. They would have been a good match for the plate at the tea room. I confided my desire to some day have my hands done with the lacy henna of the Middle East. She replied with the French version of "Go for it."

I walked back home, about twenty minutes in the sunshine, but the shadows of the trees on the church caught my eye. Still no leaves but birds were singing their little hearts out.

The air is still tingly but pleasantly so. The ground on one patch of farm land has been turned. The snow on top of the Jura is melting, the mountains looked as if they were part of a Monet.

As I said, nothing spectacular, just pleasant. I don't need more.

Potato Sticks and Gin Rummy

The package in the mail with potato sticks brought it all back, a good memory from a horrible time in my life. The gift was from a high school friend, who in the early stages of my separation and divorce, would take the train from Boston to visit me and my infant daughter. M claimed Llara's nose was so tiny that it was a miracle she could breath through it. Neither of us were in good places, but days never seemed sad when we we could talk it out together.

When the baby napped, M and I would play gin rummy and munch on potato sticks. It didn't matter who won, she was a breath of sanity.

Her parents were surrogate parents as well as they had been for me throughout high school. Her mother would visit on Tuesday nights often bringing something for the baby. Her father would do chores, and unlike the husbands of some of my friends, they were needed household chores -- a leaky faucet, a lamp that didn't work -- which had nothing to do with sex. One night he appeared with a big, big grin and a round green moon wagon that Llara loved to ride in.

M and I have shared being foul weather friends for years and later in life were able to transition into being fair-weather friends, delighting in the fact we each have found ways to be happy that we would never have thought possible when one of us would say "Deal," or do "Do you want another glass of Coke?"

So the can contained more that just the potato sticks. It contained a life full of memories.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

My heart is with Wisconsin

"We must close union offices, confiscate their money and put their leaders in prison. We must reduce workers' salaries and take away their right to strike." Adolf Hitler, May 2, 1933" and we all know how well that worked out.