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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”

How could I not have known? Of course, the Bistro would be here for me in this newest turn of fate. Hugs and thanks to my “ready made support group”. After the results, I will be able to find out if some of my health problems may be related to autoimmune disease. I am always interested in learning, now, there is a new subject.

Hi all.
Thanks for asking about Erin Peg. The exam yesterday was really tough as we knew it would be. Typically no one finishes the paper. Erin probably did 70% of it and thinks she may get 50% in marks. Sounds awful but it is the norm and the marks will be scaled up. Fingers crossed she gets at least 50% as that will place her quite well. One of her friends went home, crawled into bed with a jar of Nutella and pulled the blankets over her head…at least figuratively…possible literally. Erin was ok, just very tired. I had dinner ready to go and she shilled out before crawling into bed early as the storms arrived last night. I am impressed with her demeanor.
We are familiar with autoimmune disease here too Barbara. My thyroid as well so I know hoe Peg feels. My best friend has seven of them, two affect the skin. We have a ready made support group for you!
I will take a look Julie. I love your enthusiasm but my book needs some serious editing and it’s not traditional…

Anna! I’ve just come from reading the Minotaur Blog – actually, they have quite a few – I started following to get the recipes from the Gamache cookbook, but they have a number of very interesting blogs to follow – but there’s a contest at Minotaur for best mystery from someone who hasn’t been published – and I think you should enter! I know The Cove isn’t exactly a “cozy”, but I think it would qualify. It needs to be unpublished, excluding self-published works, so I think it qualifies. You could always ask for clarification… I think you would have a great chance, as The Cove is masterful!

Barbara, I’m so happy that you’ve found a doctor who was able to help. Once you know, even if it might be a difficult journey to wellness, it makes all the difference. Just being on the right path is worth a lot! Peg, it sounds like you know that more than anyone! And I’m so glad the meds aren’t expensive – we seem to be surrounded by astronomical pharmaceutical costs these days, so that’s a blessing!

Anna – fingers crossed here, even though I’m sure I rise so late that it’s all over and Erin has done brilliantly! Chocolate all ’round sounds good to me, hahaha. Now that the weather is getting cooler here, I’m looking forward to some “hot chocolate days”, or should I say “jours de chocolat chaud” (that actually, can’t possibly be correct) in my Gamache mug. I’ve been saving my licorice pipe to enjoy with my first cup.

Thank goodness Barbara that someone finally got to the bottom of the “insect bites which aren’t”! Yay for the new doctor and yay for your persistance. I do hope the dermatologist has a treatment plan for you.
I have no doubt many of you can relate in some way to my many tales of “Life with my Parents”. It’s a common story. I spent today taking chocolates and thanks to those who came to the fore and made life possible. The optometrist was delightful as well and dad can’t wait for his new glasses. They will take two weeks to make up but he is very excited.
Erin is doing her very difficult exam right now so I am typing with digits crossed and locked.
Take care everyone

I am so thankful there are good people who come to the rescue. You talking about walking with your mother reminded me of the endless trips up and down the hall and from room to room with Daddy. I hope your mother ‘s face and gum will heal soon and that your Dad is pleased with his new glasses.
Yesterday I had a diagnosis of the “insect bites”. After places on both arms, left calf and right ankle. A very large blister formed on the inside of my right ankle. I went to the prompt care again Mon and then Wed. I saw a Dr. who had just started with them on Mon. He walked in and diagnosed my illness at once. I wanted to hug him. Finally. someone who didn’t think I would not know I was being bitten numerous times. I had already had a referral to a Dermatologist and had made an appointment for later in the day. The PA walked in and knew at once just like the Dr. earlier. I have an auto immune illness. We will learn what kind in 2 weeks when the reports on the biopsies come in. Then they will know what meds to give me.
Fingers crossed for Erin and you. Thanks to your rescuers, also.

Oh, Barbara, auto immune issues present in so many different ways. I had to have my thyroid removed due to that but at least it wasn’t malignant. Medication the rest of my life but it’s cheap. I hope your doctor can find the right treatment on the first try.

I think you are right Julie, Gabri is right here and screaming is par for the course. The whole day was a roller coaster but at 6 pm we took mum to the dentist despite the fact she was undoing the seatbelt and trying to open the moving car door. That happened there and back and boy is she strong. She wasn’t going to stay at the dentist but we just walked her up and down in the carpark until she got cold and came in and then it took four of us to do what had to be done. The broken tooth was extracted and the abscess drained. The dentist was amazing. I have to go back today and give them a present. He gave me his mobile number and said he would come to the nursing home overnight if there were any problems.
Meanwhile, we found local optometrists who were willing to visit Dad at the nursing home and he is getting new glasses. More chocolates required I think. Some very obliging people in our community.
Actually, my take away from the day was not the things that went wrong but how amazing everyone was. All the staff at the Home were so worried about mum. When we got her back last night they were all keen to do anything to help. As you can imagine, she was extremely agitated and just wanted to walk laps. I walked with her….excellent weight loss technique…but they were standing by to take over as soon as I needed them to. Support is everything.
Thank you all for your support too. However, it is time to cross the fingers again. Today is the hardest exam of all and Erin didn’t sleep much last night….very unusual…so I would say she is concerned. I will keep you posted.
I hope all is well for everyone over there. The sun is shining here.

Oh, Anna – how difficult it must seem! So many little threads in our lives, and when a few of them are pulled at once, it’s hard to know what to do. I’m sure your mum will get better with the antibiotics and probably, the abscess has to go down before the dentist will be able to do much. Meanwhile, the shower will be fixed, the insurance will help and all will be well until the next time. It never seems like that at the time, though, does it? Just one more thing piles on and piles on, and you feel like screaming. You can scream here – Gabri won’t even think it’s unusual! 😀 (I like to think that Gabri is just around the corner, coming with some snacks and drinks)…

Having one of those weeks when fine means FINE. Shower in attached flat has been leaking for ages obviously but we didn’t know. Had insurance assessor out. He was nice. Got call from nursing home first thing. Mum has enormous abscess on face from infected tooth we think. Antibiotics started but waiting on call from dentist. Not sure I can get her there. Oh dear.
Still life could be worse and people pitching in ro help me which makes everything easier

Just spoke to Pete and he made it as far as Toronto so far without incident so the weather didn’t impact his flight.
Spring has yielded to winter again here with cloud and rain and cold. Good day for studying.
I agree about the outside broadcasters. They were doing it during the hurricane and all it did was make it hard to hear and put them in danger while all the while pleading with everyone to stay indoors. Silly.

Phew – cramps in my fingers! I’m so glad the exams are over for a little while at least. I’m sure the next one will go swimmingly, as I’m sure the others did!

The weather completely missed us, but last we heard, was heading up to Vancouver. I hope Pete wasn’t delayed anywhere – that’s likely the only thing that he’d have to worry about – delayed getting in or out of Vancouver… I’m assuming he was heading to Vancouver to catch a flight back to to DC? He can’t have enjoyed much of his time in Victoria, as the weather has been at least unpleasant for the last week now… It seems to be all over now – and we never got much at all right in Seattle.

Glad to see the end of it, just so we can get back to normal news on TV – when did they all decide they should all go outside to report the news? You’ll have reporters standing outside a building that is “several blocks” from a crime scene, etc. – and for the storm, we had not one, not two, but THREE different reports from news people standing on different beaches either talking about how the winds were picking up, or that we were having a “sunbreak” (a weather word only heard in the Pacific Northwest – it’s 15 minutes of sun when the sun dips lower than the clouds but higher than the horizon – our Chamber of Commerce gets to call that a sunny day), or something, but who knows what because the wind was whistling past their mic so fast that all we heard was gobble-de-gook! I’ll be so happy when this particular news “style” is over!

Lake Washington is apparently a sunken home to 109 planes, 50 ships and a coal train of all things so a bridge probably isn’t going to bother it much!
There is some massive storm front but they can’t decide exactly where it will hit. I have been watching because Pete lands in Vancouver in a few hours so hopefully all will be well and you will all be safe.
Our weather was quite cool but warmed up dramatically today. It’s nice that I will see the best of spring and then get winter again. I am happy. I suspect it will be a nasty summer here.
By the way…you can all uncross your fingers and give them a little shake. Next exam a few days away.

You probably know more about the Boeing plant than I do, Anna! I know they are making their expansion plans, but I also feel like they are not getting the orders to justify it, so don’t really know how that’s all going to work out. Since the headquarters for Boeing moved to Chicago a few years ago, we don’t get every little thing reported to us as if it’s breaking news any more, which is good, because we didn’t REALLY need to know every time someone sneezed on the assembly line, hahaha.

Weather here seems just like the normal fall weather right now. They have us bracing for “the storm of the century” starting later today, and who knows? Every fifth time they do that, it does turn out to be a bad storm. But we are used to the strong winds here. Still – in 2006, the rain came down so fast that the streets flooded as we were driving home, and we turned a corner and drove into a deep puddle and totaled the car, because water was brought up into the air intake valve and seized the engine! Later that night, the high winds came, and blew down our fence. We heard it in the middle of the night. My already bummed husband looked out the window and said – “The fence blew down and fell on top of the other car.” In the morning, it turned out it had fallen the other way, so we only had one car that wouldn’t go, which was good. But of course, it was MY car – his was a Triumph sports car that was very unreliable. He’d often drive it somewhere and then have to call me to come get him and bring his tools, so he could fix it to limp home in.

When I first moved here, the first November, Vern was out of town, and the high winds came and apparently, an old, unused floating bridge broke free of its moorings and was floating quickly toward the new bridge, and would cause a lot of damage if it hit it, so the air force had been dispatched to bomb it before it could get too close to the other bridge. I must admit, I wondered, at that point, what kind of place this was, hahaha. Luckily, the main reason it broke free, also sank it before it came to that. They had cut big holes in the pontoons, which let water in when the wind was high and formed waves – that caused it to be heavier than usual and break away, but as it floated, the waves continued to fill the hollow pontoons and it eventually sank. Luckily, Lake Washington is a very deep lake and the bridge didn’t bother any boating traffic. They’ve left it down there as a “wildlife refuge”, whatever that is supposed to mean, hahaha. They had apparently cut the holes in the first place, to store waste from the grinding down of the surface of the bridge (they had intended to resurface it and use it for one-way traffic). The environmentalists said they couldn’t let that waste go in the lake, so they put it in the pontoons. The holes were cut too low, and the weight from the waste caused the pontoons to sink a little lower anyway, and so the waves just filled them up with water. You sometimes wonder how any of these people got these jobs. Now, instead of a little waste in the water, we have the whole bridge, hahaha.

We are not expecting that kind of wind this time, though.

Absolutely Julie. I could see the practical but for her it was all about the emotional release. Erin is at math tutoring today. Time to switch gears. She does have one more English exam for extension but it is a couple of weeks away.
Just watching a documentary on building the new Boeing plans Julie. Wow. The factory is big enough to have all of Disneyland inside. It has roads and a fire department and seven coffee shops inside. Wow.
How is the weather Julie? It’s snowing on Whistler mountain and I saw strong winds predicted for the West coast and Washington state. Stay safe.

What a good idea to burn her notes! Especially since you are paring down for moving, it’s not like she’d be keeping them anyway, and what a good way to get rid of the pent up anxiety!

Having survived English exam number two, I am watching Erin burn her class notes. Its a symbolic moment of purging. Lucky its cool enough to have a fire. Very soothing.

Thanks Barbara. I know typing…crossed fingers makes typing tricky, as if it were hard enough already! I look forward to being welcomed. I will be here all the time with questions I am sure.
Great image Julie but you haven’t missed the real drama…that will be getting the results and we will be in the US for that. Anyway exam number two is and hour away. Less anxiety today. Maybe resigned to her fate….

Wowee – I missed the whole drama! So sorry! I, too, thought of Monet, however, I had a picture of him, with his beret, his palette, and brushes, approaching… with an exam rolled up sticking out of a pocket in his smock! (not that I have any idea what Monet looked like, of course!) I hope it went well, and continues to (which, of course, it will! ) Hang in there, Erin!

Thank you Peg and Cathryne. Feeling much calmer now number one is out of the way. Second English paper tomorrow morning. Relax fingers but be ready to go again 0900 our time.
You made me laugh Cathryne, which I needed, describing the art exam. Very Three Pines of you! I saw a Monet exhibition n Canberra a few years ago. Good fun!
Did I mention our flights are booked? I will be living Stateside in two months….less!

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