The Bistro

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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”

Paul and I are both in shock too. Wish we could move to Cape Breton Island since we like it up there, but we’re not rich enough. Wisconsin, you let us all down.

Hi Barbara. My youngest son read a few of the posts and when he finished reading mine said, “That’s really nice but I need to process this for a while.” He’s very much afraid that we may enter ‘another ill conceived war where more of my friends die’. So I do understand there is much anger and fear. I’m not sure how I came out of all I was feeling when I gave up on TV watching and just went to bed last night and woke up feeling grateful no one had bombed us, we still had a home… Maybe I’m just feeling resigned to the ‘now’, but that nothing lasts forever? I’m not sure. I am sure that everyone is entitled to their feelings. I echo Barbara’s sentiment: Love and peace to all.

Hi Cathryn, nice to hear from you. Stay calm
I have Louise and the wonderful folks at The Bistro to thank for inspiring me to put into action in communications among family members the importance of being aware of the words we use or think which then informs our actions and our feelings. I’m remembering how often we have spoken about how we don’t care for change when it comes as a surprise but also dear Louise through Gamache telling us over and over that ‘life is change’! So let us not be fearful or depressed or too overconfident, but hold our heads high and become individual beacons of ‘a place where kindness exists’. This country has so much work to do to become a ‘more perfect union’. Actually the entire world needs to be ‘surprised by joy’. What better place to start than in our hearts, our home, our family and our friends and neighbors.

Seems we are faced with a collective fear of ‘what’s next’? I firmly believe it’s whatever we want it to be in our hearts. I personally want to follow in Michael’s footsteps and be ‘the happiest person in the room’. I’m sure there will be many times I fail, but every success in showing compassion instead of judgement, and so on, will be a tremendous victory that will leave me surprised by joy.
Wishing all rembember “all shall be well”.

I can’t imagine what DC people are feeling today. I’m having a lot of trouble figuring out how I’m feeling. Terrified, certainly. I think I’ve gone through Denial, missed Anger, had no-one to Bargain with and went straight to Depression, where I’ll probably make a nest.

Friends, I’m feeling in shock. Hope you are all well. Right now I’m trying to focus on Louise’s advice, deep breath in, deep breath out. Love to all.

Pete has booked a hotel in Quebec for a few days across Christmas. I shall look and see if the Bury Your Dead tour is available but otherwise it will just be wandering the Old Town and eating in cafes and that sounds fine. Canada looks like the place to be.

Oh, Anna – Quebec would be wonderful! You could do the Quebec CityBury Your Dead tour – or even visit the Eastern Townships to get a “feel” for Three Pines. You could even go to the Brome Lake Bookstore!!!!! Get your fill of licorice pipes! Or tool around Montreal which is supposedly, a very European city, very sophisticated! Wherever you are, there will be some wonderful memories made in your first North American Christmas, I’m sure! I have a secret vision of your Christmas tree in a darkened room, in front of a window, and as we look out the window, we see the Capitol all lit up in the background… I realize you likely don’t have quite that iconic a view, but this is MY dream, hahaha.

Barbara – I have struggled with mac and cheese – it’s never cheesy and creamy enough, and the macaroni always seems to come out crispy, not like I want at all. I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to totally cook the sauce, and macaroni first and then maybe just pop it under the broiler to crisp up some buttered breadcrumbs on top. I don’t know how or why I’ve become so “domesticated” lately – if you knew me at any other stage in my life, you’d know that I always railed against the normal “woman’s place” and here I am now, still obsessed with pies and baking bread and cakes… I blame Jane Austen. Through her, I found that History of Royal Food course online, which took me to pastry in the first week. It was all downhill (or uphill, depending on your perspective) from there! Bread is my latest obsession, and I’m getting ready to start going on it…

Hi, There is no real recipe for the mac and cheese we make. I’ll try to remember to measure when I can make it again. Ours has milk, eggs, cooked elbow mac and lots of very sharp cheddar cheese plus salt and pepper. Be glad when I can eat it again.
Anna, Quebec in winter ! That sounds thrilling. I’ve been thinking of how great to take your time and visit all the sites in and around DC. Not having a tour group schedule to keep to would be great.

Thanks Julie. We were talking Christmas trees and decorations yesterday. Erin is very much into decorating and is excited to have a chance to get Christmas paraphernalia…I believe Christmas jumpers and Pyjamas were mentioned! I am thinking of keeping it more low key but could be over-ruled. Also thinking of going to Quebec for Christmas to try and have a white one.

Oh, you’ll be in plenty of time for Christmas! I hope the city puts on its finest for you. And you can make finding the perfect Christmas tree and decorations your first task when you get there – fun!

Poor lizard – er – dog… the critters keep you guessing sometimes. I’m sorry it was such a hard day for your mom. All you can do is keep on keepin’ on.

Arrive same day we leave Julie thanks to old International Date line, Dec 9.
Summer arrived all of a sudden today. Very warm and a beautiful sky. Took Uncle and cousins to see mum. Not easy. She was not in the mood unfortunately. Saw Dad and then brought them home for lunch. It has been a big day.
Dog decided to go all attack dog and tried to take out the big blue tongued lizard outside the back door. The dog wasn’t actually winning. The lizard was over a foot long mind you and fierce. Rescued both of them.
I don’t have any other exciting news. I am hoping Barbara that the freezer is functioning and the home renovation circus is going well. Keep juggling!
How is everyone? Is it getting cold yet Peg? Cathryne are you ok? Millie? Nancy?

When do you actually fly out, Anna? It must be getting soon… (okay, that’s not really a phrase, but you know what I mean).

One of our main TV channels just announced it will have election coverage all day on the day and they won’t be the only one. The world has a lot riding on the outcome, not just the US. We certainly understand the importance of the event.
I have started piling the clothes to go to the US in the library in preparation for the removalist S. Easier if they can just work in one room. It is really happening.

Anna, I often wonder what the rest of the world must think of us with this election. I find it all quite embarrassing! I can imagine that being in DC must be quite the experience right now.

Barbara, I’d love a good mac and cheese recipe, too – I’ve never managed to make a good version. For that matter, I’ve never been able to convince my husband that it COULD be good, hahaha.

Everyone is so busy. Very glad there is progress in the kitchen Barbara. I too love Mac and Cheese! Got a good recipe?
So nice to hear you have been busy with nice things Millie. I hope to have an opportunity to visit the theme parks. Keen to see Harry Potter experience.
I too am keen for an end to the election process. It is a deluge even over here.

Ah yes, Millie – the sense of humor. Probably the only thing that’s indispensable! Glad you are figuring it out, though I’m sorry for the tired feeling. Vern takes some BP pills that do that, and I keep resisting the same ones every time my doctor wonders if I should be on a “statin”. I don’t think it would be wise for me to be any more “relaxed”, hahaha.

I am sooooo looking forward to Wednesday, and the end of the politics for a while at least. It probably won’t take long for people to start whining, though, so maybe Facebook won’t be safe then, either…

Hello all. Still alive and kicking. Just been going to doctors I didn’t even know their specialty existed till recently and going out in evenings to meet family visiting the Theme Park areas of Orlando. It’s a drive, but not over an hour. One night we didn’t get home till midnight and Mike and I dragged ourselves to bed lamenting how, in our mid twenties, we’d dance till two AM, then go eat a hearty breakfast before heading home for a catnap before getting up, shower and heading off to work. How did we do that then?

Speaking of showers, I’m with you Julie. Much prefer them to a bath. Funny, because I have no problem enjoying hot tubs! Your story reminded me of house hunting when our sons were toddlers. Mike and I passed up a house we both liked but it had a clothes shoot and Mike imagined our sons either breaking bones upon landing or getting stuck in the shoot.

He too tends to imagine the worse and makes things harder than need be. When we did eventually buy a house he started building a tree house for the boys. I remember asking him if he planned to adopt an elephant. That thing was so over-built!
Barbara, I laughed at your sentence saying you thought of me often right after your story of your dad having a word for people who over complicated things… I laughed because, for some things at least, I do that! How did you know? 😉 Maybe if I didn’t, things still in boxes would have a home. Not the ‘perfect’ home perhaps but at least a home. I find myself wondering, “Can the granddaughters reach this?” So back in a box it goes because I can’t part with it. That and our son having moved back in my options are limited. I’m going to have to do something soon, though. The garage is so full it’s hard to walk around in there. And of course the Christmas decorations are not reachable because Nick has two motorcycles in front of those shelves. Does anyone think my family would notice if I skipped the ‘dec the halls’ this year? I’m not at the point of Bah Humbug yet, but who knows as the season approaches. I’ve needed to start taking two different BP pills to keep the pressure down for my eyes. No more head splitting headaches, but gosh they make me feel tired. For all I know, this is what ‘relaxed’ feels like. It’s been so many years since I felt naturally relaxed, I don’t remember! lololol. On a recent visit with a cousin who lives in Virginia, he commented how nice it was to spend a few hours catching up without the reason being a funeral. Yep, been a rough four years for the family.

Thanks for keeping the Bistro alive, for the links, Peg. The laughs, Julie and Barbara, the updates on your move and Erin’s schooling, Anna… Thanks all for keeping my spirits up. Even when I haven’t responded, I have tried to read all the posts and I smile.

Best wishes to all and best of luck to all with “what’s next”. May the future bring good things, and if not, a strong sense of humor to deal with it. Sending love…

New refrigerator in place. Men had to remove carport door and frig doors. Will be cool in 4-5 hours. Set an ice tray in freezer to see when it freezes. Then I’ll get frozen food from Carol.
I’m only taking the antibiotic until I see the Dr. the 30th. That means I’ll still be on no dairy on Thanksgiving. Ha ! As if I won’t eat Mac and Cheese then. One day can’t hurt. Dairy reduces the effectiveness of the Med. but I don’t see that as a problem.
To even think of packing to move to another country makes me tired. Yesterday, Sam asked me how we came to have so much junk. I think we are both pack rats.

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