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.

3,639 replies on “The Bistro”

Oh, boy, can I relate to that! I always say things that I later regret – often because I “over share”…

Glad you had a lovely time. Afternoon tea is such a wonderful concept.
There is a follow up talk on Youtube where she talks about her vulnerability hangover after giving that talk. So funny and true. The whole,” did I say too much, how could I have told them about my breakdown!” We can all relate

It was lovely, Anna! We went to afternoon tea, which is my FAVORITE! So fun to see my friends and chat the afternoon away. That TED talk was excellent – I love the whole vulnerability thing and the idea that you can feel WORTHY of love and acceptance. That’s a huge concept.

Hahaha – “Bistro Bunnies” – cute, cute, cute! I’m off to lunch with friends for my birthday, so will check out the TED talk later – looks very interesting.

Are you going on the tour Paul? Look out for my husband Peter at the DC gig. Say hi from me. He is very excited. If he went in uniform he would be easy to spot but I suspect he will blend into the crowd. Listen out for an Aussie accent.

Wish I could come to one… I’ll have to relish the one I did get to here in Seattle and wait for another opportunity. I know Louise doesn’t want to tour long and hard, as she needs to be home more, and I totally support that! I’ll be waving from the long away sidelines! Cheering her on – knowing there will probably be a few Youtube videos I can watch, and reading the BOOK – trying so hard not to gobble it down in one sitting.

Good for you for making pie, Anna! I’ve been making them now and again – have discovered hot water pastry (thank you, Great British Baking Show) which tastes great but it is a little tough (not a lot, just a little), but will stand up to kneading and fretting and re-working, which is a good thing! I’ve got to go get some butter and flour in the freezer.

Give our love and best wishes to Louise Paul. I am sure the book is fabulous and we are all waiting with great expectations. Tell her we will be discussing it once we have all read it and feel free to pop by and join in!!

2017 I am definitely going to an event on the book tour and I hope I see you Paul and as many Bistro bunnies as I can.

Making my own moment of joy. Mum kicked me out. Seriously I don’t think she knew who I was. So…I came home and made an apple pie. Being meaning to do that for two weeks. Really didn’t have the energy for it but greed drove me on. I want pie! And so I shall have it.

You are all so amazing to say just the right things. Of course I am all teary but you give me the strength to pick my feet up and brave the deep waters. Great analogy Barbara. That is exactly how it feels.
Cathryne, so fortunate for me that the singing Doctor is a real person and he is coming…..I have my eyes open and do find little shiny bits of joy each day it has just been hard to catch them through the tears. You are quite right. I wouldn’t want Erin upset and I sincerely doubt my mother would want me to worry. It is just so sad.
Feeling the hug Julie. Amazing how well it travels across the ocean. Love the met too reference.
Another day has dawned and rain is on the way but rain is necessary and makes the warm spaces cosy. It may also send the painter in my direction as he is working on an outside project. Hoping there are moments of joy in everyone’s day. I do love hearing about them.

((((((((((((Anna)))))))))) (That’s a big hug – about all I can do from so far away). I am thinking of you – such a terrible situation. The others have said it all, but I’m here, with my squeaky – “me too”…which reminds me of “Arsenic and Old Lace” – when Mortimer has finally settled that his dear old aunts will go to Happy Dale to live and keep from harming any more innocent old men. He kisses one of the aunts and other one says in the smallest voice… “me, too Mortimer”.

Anna, What hard times. God’s Peace to you and your Mom.
Oh, how I dread those times in life when the waters are deep and there is no way around. We just have to go through one step and one day at the times. You are in our thoughts.

Oh, Anna, how complicated life can get. No, I agree, you can’t tell your mom she is not with her mother. You are doing what you can. It takes a village to raise a child and we are learning that it takes a village to see a parent through the end of their life. I keep remembering the singing doctor in your book, The Cove, perfect!

Take care of yourself, too, as you would want Erin to take care of herself if you were in your mom’s situation. Complicated but so simple and clear too. You and you family are in my heart in the hearts of many others. You are a wonderful daughter, wife, and mother. And friend. That’s been clear from the start of your warm, supportive connections with others in this special place started by Louise Penny and Paul Hochman and their teams (villages).

Keep your eyes open for wonderful moments and be ready to be surprised by joy and I will too!

Daughter gardens and you cook Julie…win-win!
Accept all praise I say and as you are gracious with it no Big head will ensue.
I was a complete blubbering mess yesterday. Mum was talking about dying and seemed to think it will happen soon. I couldn’t help but sob as soon as I left her room. She was so distressed. I said lots of prayers with her and asked for the last rites just in case. Who knows when it will happen but I do think it is coming. She was upset because she doesn’t want to leave her mum and I can’t even tell her the truth or she will be more upset. Oh dear. It is a big week for me

Well, now, of course, I’m all puffed up since you think I’m so clever, Anna and Barbara! Hahaha – no worries about how long it will take to deflate me, though. My mother always used to warn us about getting “the big head”, which is what she was sure would happen if she ever praised us. Funny how that has become a running joke between me and my husband – “be careful you don’t get “the BIG head”!

Sounds like Pete will be on or near the water at all times here, Anna, which should save him from too much heat! And even though it rains 10 months of the year, and it’s all on water everywhere, Seattle isn’t very humid in the summers, which helps quite a bit. Hopefully, he will be very comfy here. Urggghhh – when a computer dies and you NEED it for work and have to find and get one within a day, that’s enough to make a person crazy! Vern was lucky that way, as the University supplied them with computers, so he just took whatever they told him he needed. I think if he ever had to buy one he’d melt into a puddle. I know I could find something within a day, but if I have the time, I’d prefer to do more research. In general, I always have an idea of what’s the best out there right now, and I am also always thinking about what I will get “next”. I’m leaning toward a Surface Pro, which could be both full laptop and tablet for me, with lots of memory and power. Lots of people these days are combining their phone and their tablet with one of the big phones, but that screen is still too small for me, so I’ll need to combine computer and tablet. I DO think it should have a phone in it too – though I know you CAN Skype with it, so I guess that will have to do. Still – I don’t know why they don’t combine these things more. Oh, wait – I DO know – it’s because they want to sell you more things…

Glad your brother can come and help, Anna. Sounds like you are more than busy enough as it is! And probably still finding so many things to do each day, I’m sure. Why you’re not just whimpering lump, I don’t know. I couldn’t do anything as fast as you seem to be doing it.

Barbara, giving the Senior clubs your teapots is such a nice idea. I know that people will love to have them and they’ll raise quite a bit of money with them. I know I’d always buy a ticket or two!

Vern’s daughter has been visiting the last few days – so nice to have her here. She did a lot of yard work while she was here, which was so nice of her. She says she loves to do it (hard to believe, but I think she likes to do something nice for her dad) We fed her up good (she’s not a cook, and neither was her mother, so she feels very pampered here, as I love to cook), and had a really good visit.

Not too much going on with me now for awhile. Only eight more days to wait….

Anna, sorting financial papers and such just exhausts me. Carol just bundled up the papers and such from one aunt and took it to the accountant and said Help. He had worked with Aunt Charlcie for years so he had a better idea than anyone else would have had.
Glad you are having success with selling things. I’m still delaying posting my ads. I did go through the leftovers from the sale in May and managed to find several bags of items for the Salvation Army. I also picked out some china teapots and such that I’m going to offer to one of the Senior clubs to raffle off at the monthly meetings. They raise money that way.

“Life rafts”. I ran into the family room and told sister about it. We both think you are very clever to have thought of it. Carol and I would have been so busy being upset about the situation we would have never have thought of making the boxes a part of the decoration for the tea party. That is the best “when life hands you lemons, make lemonade.” stories I have ever heard. You have given me a Life Lesson for today. I’m going to try to remember your story when the mess gets to me. Thanks.

Pete will be there at the back end of the week, from Wednesday for a couple of days. A submarine is being decommissioned. There is a story behind it that links to Australia from WW2. Have to get Pete to tell me again as we were both a bit distracted. His computer died so he has spent today getting a new one. Sound familiar Barbara. Great story about the boxes Julie. You are so clever!
I just sold more furniture and am discovering all sorts of household hacks. Cleaning old stickers from Erin’s desk with WD40. It isn’t perfect but it helps. Lucky I like the smell.
Spoken to Dad twice. My brother on his way in. Nice for me not to have to do the hospital run for a change but I do miss him. Off for a coffee with a friend and to see mum. Then more cleaning up. I also manage to sort a bunch of financial stuff. No wonder I am tired!

Hahaha – Barbara, I love that you can decipher the coded message (though they’re mostly pretty easy, aren’t they? “Please come home and feed me”… just about covers it for Vern, I think! I, too, am making a mental note to not throw flour – I can’t even imagine the mess! As for your vanities in the living room – no worries – you’d have a long way to go to beat my story on that. I had wanted to turn one of our bedrooms into a dressing room/closet, and have the adjoining room be our bedroom. It had originally been built, I think, to have the room I wanted for the closet as the master bedroom and the room we now sleep in as a nursery, as there’s not much room in there for much more than a bed. So, I’d bought a couple of big closet organizers from Costco online and had them delivered. We got them into the living room, and left them there until it was time to do the work. Well, I think you know what happened – they were there for 3 years!!!! I had a tea party for the 100th anniversary of the Titanic, and had lots of cute little things like a menu card from the Titanic, and tickets for first class, etc. So I just put great big stickers on the boxes in the living room that said “Life Rafts – don’t bother to open”. I knew I couldn’t hide them (they were way too heavy to move except to open the boxes and take things upstairs one little bit at a time, and we had no place to put them up there, so they really did have to stay where they were). Luckily, people thought I’d put them there just for the tea party, hahahaha.

E.E.E. sounds about right, Anna – and while it’s not a word, it IS a sound you make when you feel that way! I am glad that your dad is improving. I’m sure it’s worrying to know it’s a stroke, but it seems to be one that he can recover from, and that is wonderful news! Meanwhile, the Bistro is here, and isn’t that lovely? I, too, am very grateful to Paul and Louise for this safe haven – or should I say heaven? Either way…

Anna, what is Pete doing here in WA? And where will he be? Depending on that, he might not find it any cooler here. We had 95 here in our neighborhood, though the official Seattle temp was just 91 I think. Today, however, we are expecting maybe 75 which is such a relief. But it’s expected to start heading back up to 90 later this week. And on the eastern side of the state, it will hover around 100 the whole time! Once you cross the Cascade mountains, you get no help from the ocean in moderating temperatures. In the “other Washington” as we say, you will get all the seasons, so it will likely start to cool a bit in September, and be freezing and perhaps too much snow by December. That’s the kind of weather that builds character, hahaha. I hope he will be somewhere very pleasant while he’s in our neck of the woods, and doing something fun. If he can’t have that, then maybe at least something productive.

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