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.

3,650 replies on “The Bistro”

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.

Love hearing your stories Julie and Barbara but very grateful not to be living through your renovations. Still waiting to hear from contractor regarding the ensuit in the flat to get it repaired. He was supposed to be here this week to test the shower for the leak. Not so far and it’s Friday afternoon so maybe next week.
The removalist has just been to assess our load for the US. He looked at Erin’s room and said so stuffed toys are going? Not all of them said me. Good luck with that said he and included enough boxes to pack them. He has raised girls! Ten days and it will be packed and on its way! That makes everything very real.
Glorious day here today. Warm with a lovely breeze. Just beautiful.
Do you have to have steroids Barbara or is that a discussion for the next doctor’s appointment? Good luck getting the freezer sorted!

Julie, what a laugh. That tops the list of “making do”. I can just envision such. You have so many funny stories.
I can’t believe Sam has changed his mind about the cabinets and lights.
The refrigerator is being delivered between 8 and 10 in the morning. Then I have to get the frozen food I stored in Carol’s freezer. I have to check to see how long it will take for the freezer to reach temp.

A kangaroo must be very good luck, indeed! So happy for Erin, and now, of course, reality sets in as she figures “what next?” But enjoy the time now to bask in the glow of a job well done!

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.

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