Monday, June 27, 2011

Air Conditioning, à la Française

Technically, I should shut the window as well but I've got this thing for constant courants d'air even when it's mind-numblingly hot out there. I'm so not a summer person. Give me snow, cold temps, ice, thick socks, & gloves. Wrap me up warm and hand me a hot-toddy. That's my kind of season.

But as it's said in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8: 

To everything there is a season,
a time for every purpose under the sun.
A time to be born and a time to die;
a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
a time to kill and a time to heal ...
a time to weep and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn and a time to dance ...
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to lose and a time to seek;
a time to rend and a time to sew;
a time to keep silent and a time to speak;
a time to love and a time to hate;
a time for war and a time for peace.

Vivre l'été.

Friday, June 17, 2011

It's My Own Fault

I swear, I hate potty training. 

I, myself, have been potty trained for over 37 years now so sometimes I have to admit to having a wee (no pun intended) lack of enthusiasm/patience/motivation when it comes to the latest member of the tribe tackling this milestone.

See, Rosie has hit that stage where trying to get a nappy on her is like wrestling an octopus and I hate, hate, hate slimy, 8-limbed fish, so she's running around "free." And thus, sometimes she's getting to let things fall where they it were. (Yuck. I know. But this is my fourth, people! Seriously, we have no carpets in the house... I mop after... it's not so bad... and did I forget to mention that I'm slowly going parentally insane?)

Lucky me that summer vacation is nearly upon us and through the next couple of weeks of potty training joy, I'll have 3 other tribe members around to help freak out when Rosie has an accident.


Today was a dress rehearsal for the coming months when after lunch I forgot to put a clean little pair of Dora underpants on the raging turbo turbis and she high tailed it upstairs to MH & Bubba's room. MH, who is home today due to a slight fever, went up a few minutes later to see what she was getting up to.



"What's wrong?" I yelled back as I ran up the stairs.

"THOSE, " he said arm stretched out straight pointing to his toy pile, "ARE NOT LEGOS."

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Move Over Lourdes

So after my little sing-song session with Mary, The Mother of God, yesterday, I'm thinking that I've got a whole new tourist angle for our little village on the hill. Heck, all kinds of people from all over the world make pilgrimages to see Jesus' face outlined on a rind of cheese or formed out of melted candle wax. Can you imagine what they might do to see a singing Mary? And not just a singing Mary, but a Beatles singing Mary?

Just think of the commercial possibilities! The hordes of pilgrims who would come and buy bread from the boulangerie on their way to Pic de La garde. Imagine the rush every morning to buy beautiful replica baquettes of the statue, holding a sesame guitar made from a petit pain. Large, crusty couronnes de Marie, which are just the right size to actually fit on the pilgrim's head, thus making it a heck of a lot easier to carry one's picnic up les éboulées.  Caramel, Chocolat, & Tornado could also be gainfully employed to carry the rest of the picnic, happily transporting to this sacred spot the ham, the wine, and the Jesus round of cheese.

The village bar would also have it's turn in watering the sing-song faithful with cups of the holiest pastis or luke-warm rosé. Just the right things to get one in the mood for singing Yellow Submarine at full voice with a marble statue.We could pipe Beatles songs throughout the village on a loudspeaker, with Let It Be replacing the church bells on the hour. Imagine! Imagine! We haven't even begun to Imagine!

In my excitement yesterday, I chatted about this idea with my running buddy, the one fighting cancer. She looked at me, eyes wide with a mixture of fear & mirth and said,

"I don't care if Mary sang Mylène Farmer with you up there! Please don't ruin les ébolées by inviting bunches of pilgrims to scramble up all over them! Now stop this silly pilgrimage idea thing and go do some laundry!"

And so I did. But I still like the baguette idea.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Maybe She Just Really Likes The Beatles

I've been getting all worked up over all kinds of things that are out of my control, like the school nurse telling MH that he was fat, like my friend struggling with the after-effects of her second round of chemo, like not knowing what The Man & I are going to be when we grow up.... he and I spent yesterday, twirling around in circles, not knowing in which direction to turn. Finally, we gave in to the corkscrew feeling that we had and sat on the couch with a cheap bottle of red.

Today I found myself starting that dangerous swirling thing again and since all & sundry are off at work and school, I decided to do what I do best when that feeling of being out of control shows up: run away.

I threw on my shoes and headed out of the village towards the lava rock covered hillside we call les éboulées.  You can't really run it as much as scramble up it, but when you finally reach the top, you are at the Pic de La garde, a viewing point with 360° views and a massive statue of Mary.

I scrambled up, reached the top, looked around, and then hurled myself down the trail the other side. I ran hard at this point, trying to beat all the thoughts banging around in my head to a submissive pulp. I took a random trail leading off to the right, still running hard, pounding out my emotions, and low-and-behold, 40 minutes later I found that I had looped around full circle, back to the start of les éboulées.

I hesitated for a second but then scrambled up again. Much slower this time, much more conscious of the size of each of these lava boulders. Much more aware of the hollow echo they made as I stepped on them. When I finally reached the top, I put my hands on my hips, took a deep breath, looked up, and realized Mary was staring at me.

"Oh, Mary! What on earth should I do about all this crap?" I said.

And like a thunderbolt, she answered me.

I ran home then, this song still playing in my heart.

I not the religious type, but I've been told.

Thank you, Mary. I'll do just that.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

He Won't Be Wearing Seer Sucker

The last couple of weeks, I've felt like I'm waiting to get asked out to prom. And it sucks just as much this time around as it did back in high school.

I shouldn't complain too much because, in fact, junior year, I had a hell of a time at 4 different proms. You see, I was the best "rent-a-date" on the market. I could go to any dance, chat up all kinds of friends and strangers, dance just enough to be ok, drink just enough to be silly, and, best of all, not really embarrass anyone. Sure, all this kinda changed by the time senior proms rolled around, but who cares.

Waiting to get asked to prom is frustrating. You send out all the clues you can to the person you are DYING to have ask you. You smile a lot. You take more showers than you have ever done in your entire life. You laugh at silly jokes. You pretend to like import records because that what they like. You even offer to drive him and his insane football friends every night to MacDonald's because you're the only one with a car.

You've done everything you can to be charming and witty, pretty and fun. And now, you wait. And wait. And wait.

And then you find out that he actually asked somebody else.

Oh, the life lessons we learn at 16!

The only consolation in my whole prom saga this year, is that I already know that The Man is taking me. He's bought the corsage, we've rented the limo, and we know where we want to go out to dinner. Thing is, we are still trying to figure out where the stupid prom is being held in the first place. You have no idea how frustrating it is to be all dressed up and totally clueless as to where we are supposed to be.

I guess till we know where we are going to dance the night away, we'll just shimmy around the B&B, scaring the children while we play big hair 80s tunes at top volume. Anyone got a suggestion for a prom theme?

I, myself, am voting for this one:

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Subliminal Message or My Thoughts on DSK

At lunch yesterday, MH asked me if there were any male teachers in his school district.

"No," I replied. "There are only women."

"So that means they are maîtresses and not maîtres."

"Yeah," I said off handedly as I cleaned off the table.

He sat there for a second and then started laughing.

"You know, Mom, French is hilarious! You could have 5000 women and then throw in just one guy and TA-DA, we'd say maîtres and not maîtresses. Just throw in one thing male and we win! We are so strong, us men!"

5000 women and just one man and in French the phrase becomes masculine.


Eight years on and I'm still having trouble with this one.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Being Good

I haven't been able to find the right words lately and, I must admit, my desire to write has packed its bags and headed south. I see it sitting comfortably by the sea, sipping margaritas, reading Jerome K. Jerome and thinking that all the good things have already been said before. Yet, here I am once again, trying to subdue my own ego that demands I write something, anything, to prove that I still exist... So here I go. Forgive me for repeating things you may have heard or lived before, but I'm only human and I am the only subject I think I know well...

It's been an interesting couple of weeks for us at the B&B. The Man and I finally saw our parents for the first time since everything exploded and I think we both were relieved that no one got punched or screamed at. Actually, we are both blessed with good people to guide us, good people to love us unconditionally, and good people to hug us until our backs hurt and our eyes water. I thank God for these people who have not judged.

The Man took my parents back to the airport yesterday morning and he told me that just as my dad was about to disappear on the other side of security, he turned back to The Man and said something about how "it's working... we're working" which, knowing my father, is huge.

Our martial troubles may have been ours alone but the waves created a tsunami that hit all kinds of shores.

We're clearing out the debris now, both physically and mentally. We've starting getting rid of furniture that we don't use, toys that are broken, clothes that don't fit. We're seeing our friends again, travelling, playing chess with the kids. Life feels lighter, simpler, and overall easier to clean.

The Man is singing again. A lot. I'm laughing again. A lot.

I find I don't need the words so much when I'm living the emotion.

Yes, my wonderful father, it is working.