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”

So I give my comments at the end…..just found The Bistro…wish I was sitting in front of the fire with Gabriel bringing me a latte. Was visiting Magog,Cowansville area in June at Manoir Hovey (Vive Gamache) package. Loved every second. Just read Nature of the Beast. ..absolutely delicious reading.

I can imagine it would be very hard to figure out what to do, Anna. My parents brought us kids up to be nomads to a certain extent. My brothers both reacted by finding a place to live when they were young and staying there forever. I, on the other hand, have never minded moving – this is the longest I’ve ever been in one place, and I know it’s because Vern just can’t bear the thought. I understand it. Being 15 years apart, we are of two different generations, really. And his generation is such that the biggest and best thing you can do is own a house. It’s ingrained into him, and he will never feel that an apartment will give the same value. I feel differently, but there’s not much I can do. We did have another little talk about it, and he just can’t even see that what I’m saying is seriously what I’d want to do. He’s still in the “You’re kidding!” mode when he hears me say we’d be more comfortable in a condo. To him, it’s a step down and after a lifetime of work, he doesn’t want to step down, and I don’t blame him. He doesn’t see it, and so I will just have to grin and bear it, and de-clutter as I can. There may come a time when we’ll have no choice, and while I have said that that’s the worst time to decide to move, he just isn’t seeing that at all, so here we’ll be for the foreseeable future. It’s a nice house, in a lovely neighborhood, I just hate to see the weeds taking over… That’s another story, though.

If it were me, I probably wouldn’t hesitate to sell now and buy another house when you come back. But there are reasons why you might not – for instance, if you think that what you’d get for the house now wouldn’t be enough for you to buy a comparable house when you come home. And if you really love THAT house, whose to say you could even find a comparable house? But being absentee landlords is hard, and the costs involved in maintenance can be high… Do you know how long you will be away? I somehow am thinking it was two years? If that’s the case, and then you definitely are going back home, I’d probably rent it out… but if there’s a chance that at the end of a contract, you might be signing another and staying longer… as you say, it’s hard to think of it from all angles…

I remember you hurt your back Julie. I do hope it is getting better. I was wondering if you had any further thoughts on moving? I ask because we had the house values again today and I am starting to wonder if we should sell. I can think of lots of reasons not to but in the spirit of decluttering, the idea of getting rid of all non essentials when we are in the States is very liberating. If we rent it there will be maintenance issues and tenant issues and if we don’t rent it then we will be missing out on a lot of income. So hard as I do love the house and the idea of being without a base here is a bit scary too.

Yes, the empath discussion had a big impact on me. Mostly in understanding a little better why I take so many things to heart. I was intrigued by how many of us (empaths) found this site – I’m sure it was some kind of signal to us that it was safe to talk here… all I know is I’m so glad we all made our way here… Barbara, you made me giggle when you said I have the most unusual interests, hahaha. I do seem to go off on tangents, one interest taking off from another… I am one of those people who has never understood how anyone can be bored… it’s never made any sense to me at all, when there are so many things to do, to find out about, to read… I guess I’m one of the lucky ones.

Anna, I’m so pleased the pie continues to work even with taking a short-cut here and there. It’s past time I put another cheese pie together, I think… and of course, I keep forgetting to put the ingredients in the freezer. Today for sure! If I could remember in the “morning” (around noon for me), I’d be able to make a pie in the afternoon (say, 6-ish). And I’m not forgetting that meat pie which I am determined to make soon. I’ll tell you all about the pie lady when I go to her class – don’t know yet when I’ll make the time, but I WILL. I’d love to get Becky to come with me.

Meanwhile, don’t know if I told you, but I hurt my back last week, and have been on pain pills for some time, which make me kind of dopey. I’m almost back to normal now, though, so hopefully, any crazy things I’ve said won’t come back to “bite” me, hahaha.

Yes, Millie I well remember the discussion. I thought you might be dealing with feelings. Like Anna said, we will be waiting with open arms. Sending caring thoughts and understanding to you .

Love the pie website Julie. I just ate a slice of my second applie pie. Erin says it is better than the first one. Phew!
I cheated big time and made it in a couple of hours and still the crust wasn’t soggy. I just chopped butter and put it in the processor with the the flour straight from the pantry..no pre freezing. Mind you, it’s -10 C here today and no heat in the pantry so it was cold! Might be different in summer. I rested the dough in the freezer for ten minutes only then rolled it. Much easier than when it was really cold. I did pop the base in the fridge for a few minutes while I rolled out the top. Thought I had brought disaster on myself as I drained but didn’t let apples cool. Nope. All good. I reckon that recipe makes fool proof pastry even without the freezing so thank you again!

Dear Millie,
We will be waiting for your return with open arms. Take care. Sending calming thoughts. Deep breath!

Pete says it is 32 deg and 85% humidity in Mobile Alabama. -10 with wind chill here!!!! Prefer the cold

Julie, Without a doubt you have the most unusual interests. There is no telling what you will come up with next. I realize that many times one of your interests inspires another. Your mind stays so busy. Waiting to see what your next idea will be . I hope you continue to have fun and enjoy all your hobbies.

I have found the coolest blog about making pies! This lady was in a discussion group at the class I’m taking online about historic food, and the best part is she just lives nearby. I intend to take one of her pie workshops! http://artofthepie.com/

Anna, you are right – it’s the fear and the expectation that everyone might have a gun that does the most damage. The very idea that anyone would have a law that says it’s okay to have an assault rifle, and to take it with you to a meeting just frustrates me to no end.

Thank you Barbara for the reminder that I am strong. I kept repeating that just to get through yesterday. Things aren’t bad, just hectic and more than a little emotional for various reasons.

Remember, what seems like years ago, there was discussion about empaths? I’m in overwhelm right now. So forgive me all but I’m going to take a break from most email, Facebook, and even the Bistro, till Louise’s book comes out. May you all find joy in unexpected moments and may life be good to you. Many hugs.

Loss of taste! Poor Barbara. I love my food and I am not sure how I would manage. Mind you I could be thinner…..
I have bought more apples. There must be pie! Was the pear pie a high top or a tart?
Military Barbara, a long time ago. I must say I was happy to wave my gun bye bye as it went back to the armory.
Interesting comparison between our countries on our news yesterday: A police officer was castigated for drawing his weapon and pointing it at a man who had tried to evade a random breath test operation. It was seen as very excessive to draw his weapon. I am very glad that is the case here, that the expectation is different. Police don’t expect citizens to have weapons for the most part so , while they are usually cautious, the level of fear on both sides is not there. I think that is what concerns me, the fear leads to fear leads to regrettable actions.

Oh a pear pie sounds delicious, Barbara. Do you do anything special with the pears? It sounds very elegant! Our news here in Seattle is full of police now being fearful to be called out. We had an incident a few years back where four officers were shot and killed by a mentally unbalanced man, and I think the Dallas shooting has brought back a lot of those fears. I think that the police officers who were around then must suffer from PTSD. Everything just seems so sad these days.

I made a pear pie Sat. I had been craving one for sometime. My mil made the best pear pies. When I was opening the box of pastry, there in large letters “Made in Canada”. It was the Publix store brand. It tasted just as I had remembered. With my loss of taste I never know when I will be able to taste. Just comes and goes at will.
Core exercises are very good the therapists say. Anna, I love that you and Erin are involved in the same activities.
Anna, a few pages back, you mentioned training with guns. Were you in the Australian Military or law enforcement ?

Hi, Millie. Miss you and think of you often. You are a strong and outgoing lady. Hope things are going well for you and your family.
Meanwhile the newspapers and TV News continue to be tragic.
Good wishes for all.

Erin and I both do a core class once a week. Very important and helpful for lots of reasons.
Been a busy couple of days. Hope everyone is well. Anyone made a pie?

Anna – I think strengthening my “core” (sounds like I know what I’m talking about, right?) is probably what I should do, but when the pain is so bad I can’t imagine doing any exercises… At least it doesn’t happen very often – this is the second time in 7 years… and I’m retired, so don’t need to worry about missing work or other commitments…

Barbara – that jumping to page 1 has been happening to me, too. It seems to happen only when I try to reply to a specific post, instead of just going to the bottom and doing the general reply. I have to remember not to do that…

((((((((((((Millie)))))))))) I know how that “overwhelm” works – peace, calm and giving yourself permission to “just be” are foremost. Isn’t it nice that Louise’s book will be out soon now? I can’t wait to discuss it here.

It was back spasm that laid me low last week. Physio helped a lot with out the hangover effect of pills. I have to drive every day so being woozy would not be good. Thinking of doing another apple pie today.

Connie – how kind of you to put up a FB page for us to talk as well. When I do get back on FB, I’ll join. We should do our very best to keep in touch however we may, but I will say that my stitching group used to be a Yahoo group, so got emails. For whatever reason, everyone puts up very short posts on FB, whereas we used to have long conversations on the emails… Part of it may just be that people “moved on” to a point where we wanted to be in touch, but not to have drawn-out conversation. It’s much more now – here’s a picture of what I’ve done recently and everyone responds with one or two words… We have a “check-in Thursday” where everyone writes a little bit about what they’ve been up to all week, and that is always much more interesting…

For now, FB will have to wait for me, as I realize how drawn into the political debate I was getting, and it was feeling less and less like a debate and more and more like people taking turns hitting each other over the head…

Cathryne, I think you are probably right that each time something like this happens, a few more people decide they have to stand up and eventually, change will come, but some days it sure does seem slow in the coming… I can’t imagine the horror of having something like this happen. The really ironic thing is that the demonstrators and the police in Dallas seemed to have been interacting respectfully and peacefully until the gun shots – up until that moment it looked that this was a big step forward. Yes – protest, but peacefully, and the police seemed to be there to talk with people, not for “crowd control”. It’s very sad.

I’m so happy to see all the apple pies – Costco’s version is wonderful (but huge – I only bought one once because it took us so long to get through it, just being the two of us.) If I were to do it again, I think I’d cut it in half and freeze half of it. I don’t know how it would freeze, but it couldn’t be any worse than all soggy and starting to get moldy, hahaha. I dreamed last night of making a raised meat pie – I know just how to do it now, as it was a very practical dream, hahaha. I even said to my dreaming self – you don’t have any hamburger in the freezer, and then said right back to myself – but I have several pounds of sausage meat! And I do! hahaha

I’m sticking close to home the next little while – I managed to hurt my back (goodness only knows doing what – probably picking up a book!) Every once in a long while (the last time was 2009, according to my Dr.) my back just goes into spasm… very painful, and pretty much constant for about 5 days. So I ran in to see the doc yesterday and got a prescription for pain pills, which make me very whoozy and dizzy, so I get to sit around doing nothing now until I don’t need to take them anymore. Seems like there’s always SOMETHING with me, hahaha.

Take care, my friends…

I keep having trouble with the site jumping back to the comment section on page one when I try to comment. This has been gfoing on for 4 days or so. I just had a long post that was going to post on page 1.
Julie, hope your back improves. Sister and I have bad backs. They can be so annoying.

I just wanted to add that I started a Facbook page called, “Three Pines Bistro” for an additional resource to talk everything Armand Gamache! Navigating might be easier….. the conversations may flow easier. FYI.
We can message directly to each other, etc.

Connie, I don’t FB so I can’t drop in. Maybe you can drop in here and share thoughts when AGR is released. You obviously feel deeply for the characters too. We’ll get more on point when we start reading AGR. Please drop in to share whenever you want. We are all Three Piners together.

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