Archive for February, 2013

Seems the you tube piece didn’t translate, sorry y’all

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Good Morning Followers! Finished your coffee and croissant? It’s back to work for Bob and laundry for me. Sorry to say, I like getting very little French news on our island. Diving back into American culture photo copy and listening to CNN has left me with a headache; the Pope is leaving (really?), Woodward has been “threatened” by the White House (I doubt anyone could threaten this man), and John Kerry has announced we’ll be giving Syrian rebels some “non-lethal” aide (so we send them money to buy our guns?).

Being an old newshound, I found my way to Politico for the Woodward story. Instead I clicked on the piece about John Kerry speaking French, mon Dieu! “Secretary of State John Kerry decided to show off some of his French-language skills during a press conference in France Wednesday.” Ha, not all reporters have gone to Rome! It seems that while running for President it’s better not to speak French, but knowing how to speak a few different languages might be helpful for a Secretary. http://www.politico.com/politico44/2013/02/kerry-busts-out-some-french-158056.html?hp=r23

Now about our old friend Bob Woodward: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/02/exclusive-the-woodward-sperling-emails-revealed-88226.html?hp=t1_3 Breaking News!! It’s semantics people. The word “regret” was used about implying that sequestration was a manufactured idea by POTUS. I find it fascinating that a little tete a tete between two people is more newsworthy than the actual bit about those humongous budget cuts that just may cut the legs off of our economic recovery. Hello!

Needing a break from such serious matters, between the rinse cycle and the 2nd cup of coffee, I thought I’d leave you with this little pick-me-up. Our First Lady, in her continuing effort to fight obesity, taught Jimmy Fallon a few, fine Mom Moves. Couldn’t help but rock that cardigan Madame Michelle! Altogether now, get up and dance!

PS Thank you Aunt Cait for the picture of Fourchue Bay!

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So long my lovely island. We made a farewell dinner last night at the villa, crevettes in a coconut curry sauce with pasta and salad of endive, beets and Brie. Only when you clean the shrimp, it’s a bit more involved since they come to you with their heads on, their eyes looking right at you. Aunt Caitly and Bob were the best fishmongers, it’s not a job I particularly enjoy.

The night before, we gave the Bride and Groom a date night. It’s a tradition we started when our children were young, one night a week scheduled on the calendar, to go out just the two of you. Bob used to insist that we not talk about babies, but of course that didn’t last long. Still, it was a small oasis in a week of work and dirty diapers, a time to remember why you were procreating in the first place.

Goodbye Saline and sun and sand. Goodbye Cleo, Fabienne and Juan. Rosita I’m so sorry we missed you. Goodbye to our little Fourchue, the bay where we saw a starfish. Remember this island Love Bug when you return to Nashville. I’m afraid the whole co-sleeping thing will be coming to an abrupt end, your nights are about to get back to business. No more parties in your cabana, till the next time.


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There is a silly tee shirt here that says something like, “Shopping is my Cardio.” Ah, if only that were true. The problem with a French island is that the concept of gym workouts is foreign. Even when the Bride spent her Junior semester in Paris, the gym was a strange American place. Yoga, yes, maybe even Pilates has made it this far, but not cross-training or body pumping.

We climb the hills, and we walk on the beach; that is the sum of our exercise so far. Although yesterday we were walking on Petit Cul de Sac and thought for a minute we saw a dead body. Being superstitious only made it worse, I wanted to turn away and walk back to our car. I remembered the last time we found a dead body on this island. A Canadian man had fallen out of his dinghy one night, his blue foot was sticking out from under a sheet on the dock. It was a major CSI moment.

We had to walk off a wonderful moules frites when the gendarmes thought to redirect us around the dead man. At the very last minute…

Then I thought maybe it’s only a hat bobbing in the waves. Probably that’s all. But then we looked, it was a dead goat! Poor thing, it probably lost its footing on a cliff.

I broke into a trot. We had happier times ahead. We had to do a 6 month birthday photo shoot of the Love Bug and take her out for crepe caramel and ice cream. And maybe do some cardio.


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It’s official. The family is here, the Rocker and Aunt Caitly arrived last night to serenade the Love Bug to sleep. Of course she is on Nashville time, so it’s anybody’s guess when bedtime begins.

This morning the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, the saws are buzzing and finally the Bug is dreaming peacefully. I’m flying solo while Bob escorts the kids to the beach. We passed the time desperately seeking a bottle…well, I had a bottle. I just didn’t have the top part. One perfectly great bottle of breast milk, without a nipple.

So I improvised. We had some banana, and she is learning to drink water from a cup. Almost 6 mois, and I can already see she loves learning new things. We may have a French lesson this afternoon. Ou est la plume?

Voila! I found the top! Actually, it’s a Dr Brown’s bottle that was hidden in a bag in plain sight. This did the trick, she fell asleep mid-bottle. We don’t make a lot of plans when we arrive, beyond beach and maybe pool. The Bug has stuck her toes in the sand, had a swim in the pool and developed a new baby syndrome.

This usually appears when she is surrounded by so many people she loves. It’s called FOMO. Her Uncle coined the phrase of our little sleeping sickness…when a baby is fighting sleep so hard, she stares blissfully ahead from one person to another. “Will you play the guitar for me, will you sing?” It is the Fear of Missing Out!


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Je suis Le Balance! This means that my astrological sign is Libra, and before you get all “I don’t believe in that stuff” on me, consider this. Lots of people do believe, and like a good Libran, I’m open to most anything. My Kevin MD list serve sent me an article about two important women who happened to fall recently – Hillary Clinton and Barbara Walters.

The point of the essay was that the media missed the most important point of their stories. Instead of focusing on the newest medical treatments for head trauma, which were the direct result of a fall, news people reported on Hillary’s glasses and Barbara’s broken bone. Instead,they could have used their spotlight to focus on prevention. One out of three people over the age of 65 will fall; and an older American is treated for a fall in an Emergency Department every 15 seconds!

in fact, falls are the 5th leading cause of death, and at the least may lead to a loss of confidence and the loss of independence.

What bothered me about the Kevin MD article was that they mentioned exercise, along with good shoes, cataract surgery, home safety precautions, vitamin D supplements and changing medications that may result in dizziness – but they failed to mention the importance of working on Balance.

Do the tree pose in yoga. Stand on one foot, lean the other on your ankle and count to ten. Or count to three and work up to ten, slowly. Raise your arms above your head when you get really good. Maybe you need to hold onto a chair, but start somewhere and eventually you’ll be able to trip over your dog holding a laundry basket and land on two feet…oh yes, I did that. Bob just tripped on a curb recently, he rolled and got up and ordered his coffee, like a good stunt man.

Let’s get the stigma out of falling, everybody does it! The Love Bug will take many a tumble learning to walk; children fall all the time. It’s just that the consequences for seniors can be severe. Hillary was dehydrated, suffering from a virus when she hit the deck, Barbara fell going about her normal day. My brother Jim recently fell going down some steps and broke a rib. It’s important to raise our awareness as we age, we need to practice balancing religiously.

And we also need to check on AstologyZone website to see if the new moon will be in Uranus. And maybe check for black cats and put away those stilettos?


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We like to read on vacation. Twenty three years ago, when we first discovered this French island, there was no satellite TV, no “wee fee” and certainly no cell phones. Even then we felt it was a pleasure to disconnect from the rest of the world. Our only source of news was the free 1 page “Le News” and I remember reading this one day and not believing that our translation was correct. How could our Vice President have shot someone in the face?

Now that our villa has super-connectivity, we still stay unplugged, by choice. And the 1 page Le News now has 4 pages of advertising. This time the French government has delivered some surprising news. “Coup de Pouce” – very rough translation – the National Council on Medicine has stated that a medical professional is permitted to give a terminal sedation for patients at the end of life, with ‘persistant, lucid, and reiterated requests’.

I wonder if this made the news back home? In other words, the whole country is going the way of Oregon! State by state we trudge along, slowly trying to keep up with science and culture. Our generation, the one that brought you the Summer of Love in 1967, will be bringing you the Winter of Death. We will catch up, with marriage for all like Great Britain, and the freedom to choose how we die as in France. It’s inevitable, progress, love and death and taxes.

Just finished reading The Hummingbird’s Daughter by Luis Alberrto Urrea. It’s about a Mexican saint, about how the native people exult and fear death simultaneously. A wonderful, lyrical read, when it came to the end my Kindle prompted me to “Tweet that you finished this book.” I laughed out loud, since I’m not on Twitter and don’t even keep up with Goodreads. I’m blogging from Bob’s iPad, which he keeps to check with work from time to time, at the airport.

Happy President’s Day everyone aka Valentine’s Day for the Bride and Groom!



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We are traveling again. Can you tell where we’ve landed?

Touchdown makes Bob laugh

Birds and builders compete for attention

Vaval has been burned on the beach

Colors of the sea range from indigo to periwinkle

La cuisine est magnifique

Oops, did I give it away? Time is standing still here. The people are the most welcoming of any island paradise. It’s a place to slow down and breathe, read, knit, swim, and refresh ourselves. Thank you for my Valentine’s flowers.



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Nothing much new today, except that little thing about the Pope. I wonder what his parachute package will look like? Will they give him a condo in the Vatican with a kitchenette; a “memory” apartment option; maybe a nice gold watch? Just watched a podcast about a Hindu holiday in India called Kumbh Mela. Everyone swims in 2 rivers and gets blessed by these naked holy men who smoke marijuana, in a nutshell. I just knew my Catholic upbringing was lacking…but for me it took a Purim festival to figure out we all have different ways to worship. To practice faith.
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This week I took a quick trip alone, back to the Jersey Shore, to my land between 2 rivers, to see the Rocker and Ms Cait in their new, post-Sandy home. After so many years of not driving in the North on their turnpikes and parkways, I was full of faith at the start. My aggressive driving techniques have faded from too many country roads where everyone goes slow and stops for everything. But I crossed the Delaware Bridge with alacrity and managed to avoid bending any fenders. The first thing I noticed was the flags, or lack thereof. The flags that flew over bridges after 9/11 were mostly gone.

Times change, and maybe that’s good. We are really no longer a nation at war, hopefully leaving Afghanistan with the tools to govern themselves.

And speaking of tools. I may have said this before, but whenever a friend’s child would go off to college I’d pack them a tool box for their dorm room – a hammer, screwdriver, some nails. And then, at some point down the road, I told my adult children that I would no longer help them move, from college to first apartment, or apartment to a home. But, I would always be happy to help them “decorate!” Their second floor walk-up in a grand pre-War building is filled with light. Ms Cait found some plants and the Rocker took me on a tour of thrift shops in the neighborhood. And after watching my son build a table for their new nest in Asbury Park, I felt a certain peace.
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Hurricane Sandy may have taken away the boardwalk, and the big time developers may have dismantled the famous painted pony carousel and sold them off for a song, but there is a fresh, new vibe in this town. Everywhere we walked, they ran into someone they knew. A friend from Deane Porter elementary school started a vegan restaurant, “Seed to Sprout,” where you can take your loved one for a delicious and healthy Valentine’s prix fixe dinner. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Cait’s Mom again, and sharing tastes of our sweet potato sushi and kale salad, with gelato that was to die for. It made absolutely no sense that it was made without cream, because it was that yummy. You can “Like” them on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/From-Seed-to-Sprout/323375011030582

Faith is a funny thing. No matter how many storms may roar through your life, in our family, there is something special about the sunshine and strong wind that eventually follows. We will never leave the beach in our hearts.
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Happy Valentine’s Day to all you lovebirds.

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They like me, they really really like…wait. You thought I was eating lobster right? I’ve been traveling lately, but no, I was actually taste testing raw, vegan food. More on that later. Back to the award – Hip Hip Hooray and all that!

I’ve been awarded my very first blogging award. The Liebster is for very “…young blogs – usually of less than 200 followers but (http://tiggerrenewing.wordpress.com) stretched this a bit – and requires (you) to ask your nominees to answer some questions and I have now come up with those.. so here are the questions, and I’ve tried not to be too obvious but:” I know I was confused at first too, but it does say “young blogs” not young bloggers.

1) what is your first memory? My very first memory is of being bit by a bee under the clothes line in Victory Gardens. I was crying and called my foster mother, Nell “Mommy” for the first time. https://mountainmornings.net/2012/05/06/an-early-mothers-day/

2) what was your most embarrassing moment? Asking a rabbi’s wife if she had ever cleaned shrimp before.

3) as a teenager who was your role model? My cousin Bobby Ann. She had gorgeous, red hair and was studying speech pathology in college. She taught me to be fearless.

4) which book do you wish you had written? The one I’m still working on at the moment about the Flapper.
why? Because it will be a best seller, and it explains alot.

5) are there multiple realities? or just the one that we all experience the same? The scientist in me thinks we have the same experience, just different lenses. But sometimes I think time is fluid.

6) where [location] was your first kiss? On the Kindergarten school bus in Victory Gardens.

7) which island would you most like to live on? I’d actually love to live on Martha’s Vineyard. But then I’d be alone since Bob thinks it’s too cold.

8) when writing a thank you letter do you type or use pen and notepaper? Pen and paper.

9) paint or wallpaper in your bedroom? Paint

10) favourite nightwear? Cotton flannel nightgown. I know, too predictable for a nana.

Here is the fascinating thing about blogging. This award came from someone I don’t know in London. Which begs the question Great Aunt Bert asked me once, “Where does your blog go?” Now I must think of someone I’d like to nominate for the Liebster, and pass it on. Oh, and also figure out how to get a “meme” on my sidebar!

So thank you Elayne, I’m truly honored.

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