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Join us here in The Bistro for a discussion on the entire Gamache series. Feel free to ask or answer any questions about any of the books or the series as a whole.

Discussion on “The Bistro”

Yes, Anna, and hampers are important, visually as well as practically. This way you can choose. Is there a Container Store in the area? I Love Container Store.
Barbara, I hope that in the midst of your Christmas shopping you’ve found some pretty, fun things for your new bathrooms.

Upon rereading I realize that it sounds like Erin and I ran for the flight and left Peter behind. He was on a totally separate flight from Sydney to LA and was delayed in Sydney. So we’re we but only by an hour. For Pete is was several hours. Anyway we are all together now as I make lists for what we need to buy to get the apartment more homey. Some things boys don’t think about like laundry hampers…..

Anna, welcome! So glad you are all here, safe and sound. I hope Washington D. C. looks especially beautiful with all the holiday decorations.
You’ve been in my thoughts as you’ve said goodbye to family and friends and country. I hope that your dad is getting pleasure from imagining you on this wonderful adventure. And, knowing that you and your sister are closer together now!
Luckily, you have the stability of the bistro to visit whenever you need a familiar retreat in the midst of new experiences. A cup of tea, a licorice pipe, muffins, a warm fire, and a duck or a lion dog or a weasel dog for undemanding company.
Love and best thoughts. It sounds like you’ve made a great start already!

Heeelloooo everyone. Thank you for the warm welcome Barbara and Julie. It helps take the edge off the freezing cold, even though the sun is shining. Our removal arrives on Tuesday so it was off to the outlet malls for coats, sweaters and hats. Oh and warm boots. Everyone was so helpful and kind. A customer behind us in the queue gave us one of his discount vouchers so we saved another 20%.
The flight was good but Pete was delayed and missed his connection. E and I ran for ours…well walked fast. All good. Will write more when I am less jetlagged but glad to be in the same country. Love to all!

Oh, that snuck up on me! I do hope you’re here, Anna, and the long flight is behind you, and you are comfy and happy in your new digs.

Welcome to the USA, Anna and family! Don’t know if you are here yet or not and too worn out from shopping to figure the time and probability. Hope DC has her best face on.
All the best to each of you.

(I can’t believe we are in the same time zone)

Thank you Nancy. So lovely to see you. I know there are good and exciting times ahead. I am so grateful that I have wonderful friends like you all to show me how many good people there are in the world. Just feeling a bit strained by the farewells…which are delghtful and surprising but emotional.
Watching the weather and noting the Arctic freeze awaits. Looking forward to that after the humidity! A White Christmas will be quite the experience.
I tried the cartoon but it said I had to be logged in. Never mind. Thank you Peg. Is it getting chilly for you?
Merry Christmas everyone

Anna, it is indeed getting cold here in SW Wisconsin. Not ready for this but then we never are. The livestock waterers for the sheep need to be heated now, and the water dish for the outside dog and cats has to have the ice knocked out several times a day and get refilled with warm water. They can all drink from the creek but it’s nice to have something warmer than ice water available. Only one of the cats, an unneutered stray tom who has adopted us, isn’t allowed in the house. The sheeps’ coyote protection dog would be horrified to be forced into the house away from his charges. The Border collie pups like being out but prefer the house, or wherever people are.

Oh, Brrrrr, Peg! Ice water for the critters sounds so c-c-c-c-cold! We have “cold” weather here in Seattle right now – goes down to the teens at night, and not much above 40 in the day. I expect that to warm up in the next day or two. They’re calling for snow here tonight, but I’ll be surprised if we get it, and even then, it’s supposed to turn to rain overnight, so not really a problem for us.

I remember very well those cold winter days in Winnipeg, not to mention Thompson, Manitoba (halfway to the arctic circle!) So glad I don’t have to deal with that anymore.

Oops on the cartoon link, all. Julie is correct about it linking to MY comics collection and of course worked when I tested it. She found the main Raising Duncan link but it just goes to the current day. Select December 7 to see the FINE cartoon and my comment with it.

Lots of love to you Anna. Change is so difficult but who knows what good things await and how many wonderful new friends? All the best to you.

Thank you Julie. Thank you Barbara. As Louise says “All will be well” but it is a difficult time. We had Christmas yesterday and it went well. Dad had a great time and watched Rugby and Cricket with Peter before a simple lunch of ham salad…his choice…which was good because it was a hot day. My older brother came and it was nice to see him before we go.
Lots of phone calls and things to do today. I am sure I will feel better when I tick a few more things off.
I hope the Christmas spirit brings peace and kindness to everyone in small ways and large. Thank you all for your love and support as it does make life easier for sure.

Lots of hugs and peaceful thoughts for you Anna. How hard this must be. You are a very bright, caring, giving person who is feeling an understandable sting just now. You will call on your inner strength and push forward, I am certain.
Remember the Bistro is always open and the fire is warming to our hearts as well as our bodies.
Best thoughts to you and your family.

Oh, I can just imagine the wrench as you leave your favorite haunts, your parents, and your home… I hope once you and Pete are reunited that a lot of the fears will melt away, and you can just feel excitement at your new adventure.

No wonder things have been a bit quiet here, everyone has a lot going on.
Dear Barbara, I know it can be hard to deal with a chronic process as we all like to get better right now! I am pleased it is heading in the right direction. Having the bathrooms done is at least one load of your mind and I wholly agree with Cathryne that you should have a pamper zone. Don’t forget foot balm and fluffy towels.
I know it is hard to have Christmas spirit when life is overwhelming. Perhaps a downsized Christmas that is small but beautiful. A little tree or a small arrangement on a corner table of simple decorations. One of the loveliest displays I have seen lately was a silver branch with little white lights and a golden reindeer in front. Very elegant.
I am also juggling and it’s hard when Christmas is a rushed effort. Perhaps you hear my mini meltdown yesterday because it was loud enough. Everything I am doing I have to do three times and I am running out of days. Three goes to get the headlight on the car working, three attempts to find a mobile phone that dad can use which will work at his nursing home…not yet solved but a new one ordered, three attempts to get his reading glasses right…..I think you get the picture. Nothing is simple at the moment. Surely fatigue is making it feel worse!
We are doing Christmas tomorrow. Have some presents wrapped but need to shop and cook. My bag is lying on the bedroom floor with things piled around it that I have to remember to pack…dreamt about that last night! Pete arrives tonight. I am tracking his flight. If you didn’t know, you can plug any flight number into google and it comes up with a bar telling you how far into the journey the plane is, if it is on time and usually what gate it is landing at. There is also flight tracker. Pete is currently 25 min late but should be in close to time with favorable winds.
Sorry you have been ill Julie. Sounds awful but hopefully you are feeling better and staying warm. The Arctic freeze is supposed to be pushing through this weekend. I am similar to you. I have lots of tabs open on my iPad and quickly scroll through. I will take a look at the restaurant review. I love Italian but it doesn’t always love me! I am sure you understand.
Here is to Surprised by Joy. I will try Cathryne. I am hoping once I get on the plane I will stop crying and start having fun. The tears are for my mum mostly but the waitress serving me at one of my favourite cafes burst into tears on Thursday. She overheard me talking to the owner about my trip and hadn’t realised we were going. Her reaction overwhelmed both of us. I feel more connected to this place than ever as I leave. I have moved lots and have quite felt this wrench before…..

Anna – when I first get online, I open about 8 tabs on my browser, and work through them – first up is always the Bistro – then I read my blogs. So I’d moved along to the blogs, today, and found one that was extolling the virtues of a restaurant that had been recommended to her in D.C. – it’s Italian food, and I have to say, their dinner menu looks very enticing. She had gotten the recommendation from someone who reads the blog, so was reporting back on how astoundingly good it was. Thought you might like to take a look: http://www.osteriamorini.com/washington-dc/index.php

Oh, Barbara, it really does sound as though you are on the mend! I hope so – you need to feel free of it! And happy that Carol has found her Christmas Spirit! I’m like you at the moment – it doesn’t feel much like Christmas to me, but I’m trying to move beyond it. I was down with another bout of that flu or whatever it was – it was five days in all, and two of them almost unbearable with stomach pains and vomiting. It felt like food poisoning, but we didn’t eat out, and Vern ate exactly the same things as me, and didn’t get sick, so I don’t know. I’m thinking perhaps I’m not being as careful as I should be about lactose. I didn’t used to have such a violent reaction to it, but I didn’t used to have it at all, so I guess that’s not much of a guide.

You must be so pleased with the bathrooms being done! Those long projects are so satisfying when they’re finished, aren’t they? I love Cathryne’s idea of treating yourself with some special soaps and lotions, and maybe some pretty new hand towels.

Louise is definitely who I’d like to be if I ever grow up. She is so honest and hopeful and open to the joy she finds around her. It is my wish that she will always find that joy just around the corner. That’s my wish for all of you in the Bistro, too.

Barbara, so glad you are doing better medically. I know, antibiotics can have side effects, especially over time, but I hope they continue to do their job well. You’re on your way!

Your bathrooms are done! Treat yourself to some favorite soaps, lotions, something to make them even more special and yours. Maybe Ruth will surprise you by showing up in your bathtub, or Rosa! A bottle of scotch or a couple of small fish would probably be appreciated.

Hello and Merry Christmas to Carol! Do you like to bake together or decorate together? Or maybe conspire on an unexpected gift or two!

I loved Louise’s newsletter. So honest and thoughtful. Her brother’s response was wonderful; people want to help but don’t want to overstep or push. She reached out and the reaction was immediate. She is a brave and wise woman.

Surprised by Joy should be the motto of this season and I hope you will have many of those moments!

Hi. All. A quick update. On Wed. the PA saw me and was pleased that the places had healed so well. I no longer need to wash,apply medicine and bandage twice a day. However, I’m to take the antibiotic for 2 more months. I don’t like that because I have been on one or the other since mid August. He explained the process of trying to reduce the body’s “need” to produce the outbreakings. I still need to put the ointment on the place that keeps breaking out. Alternate days though now. Then gradually reduce usage.
To more interesting topics. The past few days have brought much needed rain. Still at drought level though. It had been said that the leaves would turn brown and fall without changing color. The rain a few weeks ago and the few freezing or near freezing temps, saved Fall. The trees are a riot of color. I enjoy the many colors when I look out across the yard.
Very good news is that Carol seems to have an interest in Christmas. I’m almost afraid to say so for fear it will vanish. After 5 years of trying to damper my enthusiasm, I have no “Christmas Spirit”. Maybe soon.
Oh, more good news. Both baths are done. That should be enough to lift my spirits.
Louise’s newsletter and facebook posts are always interesting. Cudos to her for trying to continue to live. Michael would want that I am certain.
Hope everyone is happy, safe and well.

I am sure so etching similar happens in the States…there are definitely places that have a warm Christmas over there. If I remember correctly, it was warmer in NY on Christmas Day than it was at my house last year. Not the case this year I don’t think. Although it hasn’t been too bad so far as far as heat goes….it is coming in spurts rather than prolonged spells.
Out for another busy day and Pete is flying to South America while my brother reports from Switzerland. Such a global life.

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