Friday, April 22, 2016

TGIF (Paris)

Well, folks, it's been a great week in Paris.  So many impressions, sites, interactions, delicious meals, laughs with my husband, meeting new friends,  getting to watch my husband converse in French (there is something so sexy about this language).

Our last day here, we ate a late lunch at this Falafel restaurant in the Marais.  The restaurant that was recommended to us by 2 different friends was closed due to Passover.  Yep, hard core.  So, we turned around and stepped across the lane to this place.  Steve had Chwarma and I, Falafel.  It was delicious, and a completely new food for Steve.

Unfortunately for me, the Falafel came back 3 hours later to haunt the hell out of me.  No last romantic dinner in Paris with Steve.  I spent the night curled on the couch, double up in pain.  What had I done to offend Him so?  Why smite me on my very last day?  Why me? Why me?

Now it is early morning and me thinks I hear chickens in the neighborhood.  Seriously.  Some birds are squawking up a raucous.  I've got packing to do.  Steve took care of his last night as I lay unconscious, grateful for the black darkness.

We'll walk through a few streets to the Rue du Rivoli, where we can catch a taxi to the train station.  Off to Avignon, rent a car, travel to our farmhouse where we'll be for the next week.  Other than last night, it's been grand.

Au Revoir, Paris.  Au Revoir, La Marais.  Let's get together again, shall we?

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Monday, April 11, 2016

Monday Musings

Plascha, a friend in the neighborhood
“Once you have had a wonderful dog, a life without one, is a life diminished.”
Dean Koontz(author, Whispers)
The only thing I won't like about our up coming trip, is leaving our pups.  We have a wonderful sitter, who has a dog herself, so I know they'll be well cared for.  Lucy will get a warm body to sleep with every night.  It's just -- well, I'll miss them.  
Boo, at the park
Lucy, left, meets a new friend, Skippy.

Our love of our dog friends & family runs deep.  I still miss Tikwa, and miss him more whenever I see a yellow lab of his age and girth.  Going through photos the other day, I came upon a video of him romping in the park behind our house.  That kicked in the sweet pain magnificently.

Yes, these creatures love me like nothing else.  Their love sends my endorphins flowing.  Stroking their bodies connects me to all good things.  No wonder dogs are brought into hospitals and retirement homes.  No wonder there are farms where children with various disabilities are able to touch and hug farm animals.  I don't understand people who don't like animals.  Don't they know what they're missing out on?  They're missing all the good stuff.  

We have friends who travel a lot, and so do not have pets anymore.  But they do have their neighbor's dog anytime they want.  In fact, sometimes the dog is with them more often than at its own home.  Their dog daddy is a little jealous, truth be told.  This dog makes these two manly men melt like buttah.  Sophie is a small white fluffy thing.  She loves these guys so much that she waits at her front window for them to come by.  If she sees them, she goes nuts.  It's a match made in heaven.
I am doubly appreciative of our dogs during these trying times.  Sometimes I get a tad too involved in the presidential race and politics.  The dogs are the perfect bullshit antidote. 
Even politicians (especially?) know the value of a dog: “If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.”
Harry S. Truman (33rd President of the United States)

I hope you have a dog in your life.  Even a friend's dog. 

Friday, April 8, 2016


Not in the writing mode, or mood for that matter. but I do hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Monday Musings

What to do when the pollen count is high?  Stay in a do a bit of spring cleaning.  My refrigerator has never been so spotless.  Well, maybe when we purchased it.

The bathroom drawers have been tidied, and expired pills gotten rid of.  Hairbrushes cleaned.

Who knew it took so much to stay afloat in this life?

Yeah, tell it to the Syrian refugees.  The victims of war the world over.  Of plague and starvation.  I am acutely aware of my privileged status.  I can ponder whether it is ethical to eat meat.  Not worry about when and if I'll eat today, tomorrow, next week.

That I can derive such satisfaction from domestic tasks is a triumphant call of the very lucky -- me.

The roses are in full bloom out back, albeit covered with rust.  They still look lovely and I'm cutting the blooms as fast as I can and filling all available vessels.  Rushing back inside to get out of the wind, and, yes, pollen. 

S. gave me this album, a re-pressed vinyl that sounds so warm and real.  Perfect for a relaxed day of sorting, cleaning, musing.

On days when big cleaning tasks need to happen, I like a mix of music I made specifically for the task.  I call it my "House" music.  Pink. Madonna. Bruno Mars.  Pop stuff.

But today, it's Nina.  Languid, sublime.

Monday Musings (On Paris)

Bon Jour from France!  Yesterday was our first full day here, and what a day it was.  Arose at a very reasonable hour, went to a local cafe for cafe et croissant, conversed with a couple of women from England who were visiting for several days.  We had pleasant conversation, and then one of the women very tactfully asked, "And who do you hope wins the Presidency?"  They were pleased and relieved by our answer "Anybody but Trump."  Then, of course, we got into the horrors of  Trump, and the disaster of George W. Bush's presidency, and the glory of our current President.  They said that Europe is watching, and is scared.

Rue du Tresor, Paris
After we left them, we went back to our apartment to plan the day.  We took the good women's suggestion and took the Big Bus tour of the city.  A great way to get an overview in 2 hours.

Lunch at a Bistro several blocks from Not.  We re Dame.  We went as far back in the neighborhood as possible to avoid a tourist trap.  We werre rewarded.  Many families out on Sunday, enjoying the afternoon meal together.  Many children who, by US standards, were well behaved and engaged during the meal.

Then a stroll around Notre Dame, first around the backside because we wanted to see the least often seen side.  Again: rewarded.  Although we were approached aggressively by a group of young teen girls who were trying to scam us.  We forcibly said "NO!" and they let us alone.

We actually experienced our first scam earlier in the day.  Standing outside the Opera, fiddling with cameras, a fellow bent down and picked up a gold ring from the sidewalk.  Exclaiming his joy, he then tried the ring on and it was too small for him.  So he offered it to Steve.  Clearly, a man's ring.  Steve kept insisting this was too much and we could not accept.  But the man pressed him and he relented.  Then the fellow said we could certainly buy him a cup of coffee to show our appreciation.  So Steve gave him 5 euros and off the fellow went.  Another Parisian who witnessed this expressed concern that we had just been scammed.  We thanked him but didn't believe him.  Then I began to wonder.  And sure enough, minutes later, the same scammer showed up, waved an identical ring in our faces and smelly coyly.  He was rubbing our noses in his trick.  We just laughed. There was nothing else to do; we had been fooled for the cost of 5 euros.  5 euros for a good story.  We consider it a fair trade.  Now we are more savy.  N'est ce Pas?

Notre Dame on a rainy day

On the main, a glorious and fun day.  Viva la France.

You Can Go Home Again

 I took a vacation in the first week of May.  I went back to my high school and college stomping grounds, still populated by many friends of...