LOUISE PENNY’S

The Bistro

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”

Probably just your diplomacy kicking in, Barbara, that you can’t remember what your Dad called people who make things unnecessarily difficult! Hahaha! I can relate to the “having things on hand for several years” as that’s Vern’s MO, too. We buy things when we find them and they’re a good price (sometimes on sale, sometimes just a “find”), but he has NEVER (and never would, I’m sure) decided he didn’t like something later. He always admits that he has no taste, and defers to mine, which is nice, because I did my heels in, hahaha. Good luck getting two bathrooms done soon! I still remember my main bathroom remodel (and our only full bathroom). If I tell you we went about a year (had to be 10 months) of only being able to take baths, and at that, one of us would go to the basement, pass a hose up through the clothes chute, turn the water on, while the other one filled the tub with it, and shouted down instructions on when to turn it off, and when to add just cold water to make it okay to use without scalding ourselves, would you feel sorry for me? hahaha – I’m sure you wouldn’t be surprised. The worst thing of it all was that I HATE baths – I feel like I’m trying to get clean in a big tub of dirty water. Vern didn’t feel that way, and to save on all the hassle, he used my water after I was finished – I’d NEVER have done that, hahaha. Of course, with so much to-do surrounding the whole thing, as you’d imagine, there was never more than about 3 inches of water in the tub, too. I get the shivers just thinking about it now!

A kangaroo ! Would have to be a good sign. Seeing a rabbit is considered a good sign by my sister and me. You and Erin have earned some fun time.
The Dr’s nurse called yesterday. The biopsy verified the diagnosis and I have to continue antibiotics until Nov 30th., the date of my next appointment
Turmoil here this week as Sam drives
plumber and me mad. Installing new vanities in both baths. We have had most of the items on hand waiting for years. Now he doesn’t like the medicine cabinets and the light fixtures are iffy. Petey and I just hope to survive. Daddy had an expression for people who make everything as difficult as possible but I can’t recall it.
I often think of Millie.

Well done everyone. Stand down from finger crossing. We have survived. Last exam not too bad. There was a kangaroo standing guard on the oval when she arrived at school this morning…we took that as a positive omen.
Wow. It’s exciting for me. She is a bit too tired to cheer but we have dragged her out for lunch and delighting in telling everyone she is now no longer a school girl.
It’s a lovely day here. Sending you all a bucket of my good cheer and relief…until the results are due!

Yay, Erin! Yay, Mum! Kangaroo too!

Patricia Skalka is on my long list of authors to try. I think her books are set in Door County, the bit of Wisconsin that sticks out into Lake Michigan. The early French explorers called it Death’s Door (English translation of course) because of the terrible storms. It is quite the tourist area now.

Best of luck to Erin. How exciting ! Embarking on what will surely be an amazing future. I can’t remember how I felt. Too many years ago.
Anna, I can not even imagine how such an event must feel to a mother. You would feel weird as you said.
Hugs and blessings to you both.

Thanks for all the links Peg. I had a listen. So funny…a friend walked in while I had the interview playing and asked what I was doing….just listening to Wisconsin Public Radio, like dah! I am a ‘pantser’ rather than a plotter according to the descriptions of writing styles listed by Patricia Skalka. She has a lot in common with Louise in terms of wanting to write for the sake of the characters but a much longer jump in time between stories. Have you read her novels Peg?
Erin just getting ready for her last exam and last trip to school apart from the final evening assembly in December. I feel so weird!

Anna, we must go in spurts in the Bistro. I feel the same as you do, check several times and nothing and then there’s a nice reward.

And I have more news. Goodreads has nominated A Great Reckoning for Best Mystery and Thriller of 2016. Vote at https://www.goodreads.com/choiceawards/best-mystery-thriller-books-2016?ref_=pe_2701710_213329640

For my Larry Meiller Show mention above, he has a 90-minute time slot and usually has two separate guests, 45 minutes each minus news breaks. That’s how a bit would be near the end and yet 30 minutes in. Seemed weird to see that in print so I figured it best to explain.

It’s funny but I check for comments and there is nothing new and yet Peg and Julie’s messages are ahead of mine so were posted earlier. Guess there is long distance delay! Heading over to read the newsletter but nice to see you both!

Last exam in the morning. The chemistry tutor has just been and says she is prepared. Physio worked on untangling the muscle spasms in her hand and arm and we are doing heat and massage. It really is like being in a marathon! Looking forward to life opening up after lunch for tomorrow.
A friend of mums visited her today. He was her neighbour when she was a child. While, unfortunately, there was no recognition or interaction from her, she was quiet and settled and coped with the visit. That is so much better than it could have been. I am so grateful it was a pleasant visit for both and the staff had gone to great lengths to make mum look beautiful and gave her a necklace and bracelet to wear. Such things mean so much.
I do hope everyone is alright. I am thinking of you all and hoping your worlds are stable. If they are not, hugs and strength from me to you. Thank you all for supporting Erin and I through her exams.

Just read the newsletter – so poignant! Louise is being so very brave. I loved the idea of the park bench in Central Park! What a nice spot that will be for Louise when she’s in NYC. New York is probably my favorite city in the whole world (like I’ve been to so many, hahaha). I hope she gets to enjoy all that NY can offer.

Peg, thanks for the heads-up on the program – I’ll be on the lookout for it.

Louise just got a nice shout-out on Wisconsin Public Radio’s Larry Meiller program. He interviewed Wisconsin mystery writer Patricia Skalka and she was mentioning her own favorite writers. Download of the program will be available a little later if anyone is interested.

I do love winter and getting cosy by the fire. I hope Peter has worked out how to turn the heating on in our DC flat…he hadn’t last week but I have asked him to make it a priority please.
I too am thinking of you Millie. Hoping all is well and the eyes have stabilized.
Erin did two exams today. Physics wasn’t too bad and everyone finished early but that doesn’t tell us much. At least she had time to check her work. English was tricky but she did her best and that’s all you can do. One to go! Chemistry on Thursday morning our time. She has walked in the door and immediately sat down to study. I think having a good physics exam has given her a bit of a boost. Thank you all for sending positive thoughts and energy.
Windy but sunny here. Summer is a month away and we are still using the heater. Not to worry…it usually changes in a day and we will have the air con blaring.
Love to all!

I always think it’s best not to think, Anna! hahaha Of course, when I think about it, that can’t be true. ;-0 I’ll be thinking of Erin and the next batch of exams – any end in sight? Our weather is … predictable. Rain, rain, and more rain. But that’s okay – it’s not really cold, so it all balances out. I hope you are otherwise doing well, Anna.

Barbara, I’ve been thinking of you and how you’re doing with the new regimen. I hope it’s helping…

And Millie – I am thinking of you, too. I like to think of each of us curled up in a big overstuffed chair by the fireplace in the bistro, with a big Gamache mug of hot chocolate in front of us!

Hope everyone is ok? Barbara any news? Have you started steroids?
Tomorrow is a big exam day, two to do so a long day as well. Hopefully we shall get a better exam than the math ones.
Not much news from this side of the world. The weather is crazy and I am busy in preparation for everything. If I think about it takes my breath away so better not to think…..

(((((Barbara))))))))) – well, now you have a diagnosis and a treatment plan! That is good. I know having to take steroids of any kind are troublesome, but it sure beats the alternative. I did a little bit of internet reading about pemphigoid, and the good news is that they say that most patients react very well to treatment, so hopefully, they will be able to find a good way to help you. Having other issues to deal with is certainly not ideal, but I have faith that you will find the right way…

I’m so pleased that your sister was able to bring you a treat – it means a lot, when you know how difficult it was for her to do it! Such love. I hope that the antibiotics are not needed for long, and you can get back to “real” cheese.

Oh Barbara…Carol did an amazing thing because she loves you. When you are in a down time just remember that act and I am sure it will provide some comfort. I can just imagine how she had to push herself to get the fake cheese to you!
We accidentally bought soy cheese on our last trip to Whistler. I am afraid it didn’t do the trick for me but I am glad you are coping.
Steroids are very tricky. My friend with all the autoimmune issues was on very high doses for two years and I saw first hand their effects. Do be wary of the emotional and psychological side. I am sure your doctor will help monitor and adjust medication. If it is low dose steroid it isn’t so bad. The weight gain is a big challenge but you can do this. Maybe skip over Louise’s food descriptions for a while! We are with you Barbara.
Erin had her last session with her math tutor today. We gave him a present but, quite unexpectedly, he gave her one too which was lovely. It isn’t a present that would excite most people let alone teenagers but Erin was excited. It’s an enormous textbook of mathematical functions. She hugged it to her chest and exclaimed that she wanted to go to University so she could understand it all! It was very much an Erin response….the kid who was enraptured with the scientific calculator she received for her birthday last year. Apparently, during her two hour sessions with the tutor, she would ask to look in the tutor’s copy of the book to break up the lesson so now she has her own. Next exam is tomorrow afternoon our time. Send energy if you any spare!

I have pemphigoid. There are 2 types and the biopsies will determine which. One very good thing happened this AM. Carol went grocery shopping and brought imitation cheese to me. I can’t have dairy while taking the antibiotic. I crave cheese and eat it as a snack as well as in many dishes. She doesn’t drive to my house because of the traffic. She has to drive on Washington Road to get here from her house or the grocery. Today she did. Sam met the car in the drive and got the package of cheese. He would never have found it at the grocery…she had a problem finding it. I can’t believe she forced herself to drive here because I wanted something. Poor Darling. The cheese isn’t too bad.
Anna, I love your stories of Erin. Her friend has good taste to go to bed with a jar of Nutella.
Sounds like the perfect response to extreme stress. Burning class notes……very cathartic. I usually tear paper into pieces and then burn them. Had a big laugh over her typing with her toes. I could just see it. What a personality.
Peg, like you said at least the thyroid wasn’t malignant.
I will probably be placed on prednisone permanently. That brings another group of problems.
Weight gain….which I certainly don’t need and prednisone makes me more easily annoyed. Just perfect for my bipolar. I’ll just have to wait and see if a change in the bipolar medicine is required. I’m sure there will be a way to work it all out if there is a problem.

I did email the competition to clarify the rules Julie.
Thinking of you Barbara. Did they say which autoimmune condition?
My studying child is currently typing her computer password in with her toe while holding her hair in a Princess Leia style….because she can and it is a distraction from calculus!

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