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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.

3,656 replies on “The Bistro”

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.

May not snow in DC Julie, but looks like Quebec City will have some and that is where we will be! Funnily enough it has snowed in Australia on Christmas Day in the mountains and maybe Tasmania.

Wow – it’s crept up fast, hasn’t it? I would feel very hard done by if I moved so far away I lost a summer. Now, I could lose a winter, no problem, hahaha. But, you will get two springs close on each other… I hope you have a white Christmas in DC. I think you might. When I was little, I didn’t understand why people would “wish” for a white Christmas, because I didn’t know there was anywhere where it didn’t snow all winter. There was never any question of whether I’d have a white Christmas, hahaha.

It’s the same anywhere where it snows infrequently including DC. When it snowed here there were so many car accidents! We definitely don’t have snow removal equipment so it was safer to wait until it melted which took a while. Loving all the snow falling in Whistler. This time in two weeks we will have arrived in DC. Still can’t believe it. A week after that we go to NY and then Quebec. It will make a change from the building heat here.
Love to all.

Not here, but I think it is in the mountains. We seldom get snow right here in Seattle, though never say “never”, hahaha. When it does snow the whole city stops because we have no snow removal equipment, and nobody knows how to drive in snow without chains (which they put on when they go to the mountains).

Yes, Happy Thanksgiving to you all. Hope the weather is what you want it to be and all are safe.
Is it snowing up your way Julie?

Ouch! I can definitely see how that would get old fast. Plus – obviously, you want your kids to do well in life, and having to have come back home must seem like a bit setback… I hope you soon have your house (and life) back to normal soon.

No danger? Two little girls (turning 3 & just turned 4) are coming over! We used to “hide” things in the guest room. Well, Nick is still here so that’s no longer an option. It’s the smallest bedroom in the house and he has it packed to the rafters.
Am I a bad mother for looking forward to the day he moves back out? Honestly, seems like every day he takes over more of our house! The living room is his ‘office’ – till football comes on and dad tells him to get his stuff off the sofa… It may seem like minor stuff, but he’s 30 and Mike and I had a ‘system’ we developed after the boys moved out. It’s all turned upside down. And there’s his dog, too.
Yep, definitely in panic mode.

Millie – you sound so upbeat despite everything. Or is that just the panic setting in? Either way, you are clearly full of life and activity and how fun will it be to have your space all organized, the party just over, and still be feeling the sugar high of the birthday cake? I often think it would be a great way to do something – take EVERYTHING out and not let much back in… but, of course, I lived two years with boxes of “stuff” from the office in my dining room, so I KNOW the danger! But, everyone who’s coming loves you, so really, there is no danger at all… Have a wonderful party and rejoice in your newly organized sewing/craft room!

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