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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”

You’re right Julie. It does seem odd to discuss other books here. But we are readers and want to share our joy with other readers. Jeri Westerson’s new book, “Silence of the Stone” is out. I enjoy reading about medieval times and her research is very good as well as the writing. I am anxious to follow Crispin on his latest adventure.
You remind me of my sister. She believes that if you can have it delivered to your door, why would you dress, drive to where ever, wait in a line in a store, and drive back home . I often use a shopping service—my husband. It works well. Usually. He is so restless and talks and reads to me when I am concentrating on something. It helps him and me. I just love to have the house to myself with Petey and Ms. Gray.
I think I’ll send Sam to buy Jeri Westerson’s book and Janet Evanovich’s Tricky Twenty-Two.
Evanovich’s books aren’t great writing but they are too funny for words.

Great to hear from you Anna. I was concerned as to what was wrong. Now I see. I had to stop and get my breath after reading your post.

I hope your Dad recovers soon. It is so frustrating to have a loved one ill and not be able to “make things right”. I think of your Mother often as my MIL nears her 105th birthday on the 22nd. I am saddened that I will not be able to attend her funeral due to my estrangement from the family. I’ll remember her in my way and say a prayer here by myself while they have the funeral.

Not a sick dog, too. We are not going to give Petey the steroid inhaler the Vet wanted. I just can’t upset him by trying to give him another inhaler twice more a day. More and more we are fortunate if we can get him to let us give him the ProAir inhaler once a day rather than twice. He is aging and he is less patient with what to him is just an annoyance. If he bites one of us, the Dr. is required by law to report the incident and an investigator will come to our home. Petey adores everyone but like any dog does not understand why we put the inhaler around his snout and hold it there for 12 seconds.

Is Erin excited about being a Senior in High School? At least that is how we describe it. I can’t remember what my friends said when their English grandchildren were in their last year.

Hope your arm is mending. I never realized what an inconvenience having one arm not working was until rotator problems.

You gave me a huge laugh when you wrote about discussing murder locations during dinner.

The newsletter gave the name of the new book. It is located in Three Pines so we get to catch up on our friends.

More later, Folks.

Hi everyone. I too saw Paul on Louise’s FB. So nice to put a handsome face to the name.
Well, I am home. The dreaded lurgy was a nasty one. I would think I was a bit better and try to ski only to find I was terribly breathless and it would be back to bed. Then halfway through the trip I slipped on ice walking back from dinner and whacked my left elbow on the pavers. I thought I had escaped with only a dent to my pride but as the shock wore off I discovered I had wrenched my arm from shoulder to wrist.
I did get a little skiing in basically on the last day of the holiday but it set my arm throbbing for the plane ride home. One of the first priorities when I arrived back was to get an X-ray, which is ok, and have arm taped and put in a sling to rest whatever has been sprained.
Then I discovered my dad very ill with urinary sepsis. Darn it is taking a while to sort that one out with miscommunications between GP and Nursing home, their fault not the GPs. Fingers crossed the right antibitics will be on board today. We had him on one but the nasty bugs are resistant to it. Poor dad is feeling awful and it’s no wonder.
Mum has been good which is great as I don’t think I could handle too much more…did I mention the dog has been throwing up and Erin has started her last year at school….
I gues you can tell why I have been a bit quiet lately.
Glad to hear you have a new doctor Barbara and fingers crossed all goes well. Sorry to hear about the sinus infection, that can really lay you low. I am hoping that has improved.
You are a busy girl as always Julie. It is so exhausting to be outside our comfort zones and scary. I did that once on my ski trip and it still has me shaking. I went on a run that my brain registered as a sheer cliff…it wasn’t but to me it was the same thing. Mind you, this was with my sore arm and the lurgy so I was very breathless. Not a good time to stretch anyone’s comfort zone but I did survive.
Awaiting Louise’s next newsletter but with a sense of trepidation with the excitement. I do worry about Michael. The prospect of learning the title to the new book is thrilling though.
I have done some research for my third book as well as the Whistler trip where I discussed murder locations with local friends. My husband said it made for weird dinner conversation.
How are you Millie? No snow I take it in Florida? Hopefully you aren’t dodging tornados or other nasty weather.
Take care everyone. The world is a bit tipsy turvy here at the moment!

Paul Hochman! It was nice to see you today on Louise’s FB page, smiling out at us, wearing your thinking cap! I am green with jealousy!

It has been so quiet lately. On some level, I feel guilty talking here about other books we’re reading, though I know that Louise understands that she can’t write fast enough to account for ALL our reading needs, hahaha. I’m having a nice quiet stay in these days. I think I’d never get out of pajamas if I were left to my own for long. As it is, I’m finding out how many things I can get delivered instead of having to go out and buy them, and it’s making a hermit of me!

Still, it’s nice to have a few weeks with no responsibilities. I keep saying “yes” to things outside my comfort zone, so this summer, I’m teaching a glass on faux grain painting. My business partner and I have for a few years, made paper mache boxes that we grain painted and filled up with needlework tools and sold online. They sold really really well, and people were always clamoring for them. Now that we’re not doing it anymore, I told one group in Utah I’d teach them how to do it on their own. Of course, the time they picked was August. It will be far too hot for people to be outside working on the boxes, and far too messy to be inside. So, I’ve got to do it in a slide presentation! Yoiks! I’ve almost got it all planned out, and now need to paint a box while taking photos of each step as I go along… Plus, I need to make it something that others who are not there can download and follow along on, so not only do I need to talk people through it live, but my written instructions have to be clear and thorough… What is wrong with me that I keep agreeing to do these things? hahaha

Hi ! The snow was gone by 2 PM and never stuck to the streets. No problem with ice either. We had the beauty of the snow and none of the problems others had. I almost feel guilty.
Still dealing with the sinus problem that laid me low. Not even being able to read was miserable.
I checked LP’s Facebook page and started the day with a laugh just now. Her Jan. newsletter brought tears. She is so sincere and caring.
Everything has been quite in the Bistro lately. I hope everyone is doing well. Would love to hear from you even if only a few lines.
Best to all.

Oh, Barbara – I’ll worry about you and Sam driving in the snow! I hope it really is gone by then. The news brings so many images of people stranded, and terrible car accidents. I hope you feel well enough to visit with your sister – sometimes those sinus colds can take hold and not let go. If you were so ill you couldn’t read, I imagine you were very miserable, indeed! I’m here in the sunshiny Pacific Northwest (okay – for the moment, the sun is shining at least) and hoping you are not too cold and sick. We won’t get any of the white stuff, still, but plenty of driving rain, which is a sign of a very bad storm that, once it’s passed through here, will turn to snow in the rest of the country – I hope very much that temperatures are soon mild enough to turn to rain for them… Though the flooding images aren’t really any better.

I was at a needlework guild meeting yesterday for which I was teaching a class on advanced cross stitch. There was one woman in the class who managed to suck all the air out of the room, and I feel that my mood will take some time to lighten. I did come home with a heightened awareness of how lucky I am!

SNOW !!!!! It is snowing again. At 4:30 AM Sam let Petey out and snow was on the ground and still falling. It started again a few minutes ago. It isn’t sticking to the patio or streets which is good. I hope the streets don’t ice.
Sam will drive me to my sister’s this afternoon so I can spend the night with her as usual. Our schedule has been interrupted because I have been sick. I didn’t go last Sat. I am recovering from a severe sinus infection. Too sick to read. For me that is really sick. I’ve spent most of the time in bed. At least I’m not dizzy now.
The weather is so bad up the East coast. I hope the people come through safely. I worry about the animals, too.
Don’t think you’ll get any snow, Millie. Florida does get a light dusting sometimes doesn’t it ? The Northern part of the state I mean.
Everyone stay warm and safe.

Barbara, I’m so glad you like the new Dr. – that’s one of the most important things, I think, to feel at ease with a Dr’s orders – to like and trust him or her. I know that sounds kind of frivolous, but it’s not – we have great instincts – the reason we might not like a Dr. is because we know they are not doing what’s best for us…

Opening the flood gates and having homes flooded out is awful – the choices we face sometimes can be heartbreaking. Even if there is money given to people to help mitigate the devastation, nothing is going to bring back precious belongings lost in the floods – photographs, especially. I am glad that basically ALL of my photographs are on the computer and therefore, also in the cloud, so they can’t be lost. Even all the old family photos – we scanned them in years ago for my parents’ funerals and shared them around the kids, so we all have a set. Mine are in the cloud, so I will always be able to get them back even when I lose a computer. Actually, wouldn’t that be a good project for kids to do for families – scan in old photos and put them on the cloud, so everyone in the family can have copies, and also so they won’t be lost…

I’m still busy reading along in the Anne Perry books – I had read what I thought was all the books available in the Monk series long ago, and but clearly either I hadn’t, or it was so long ago that she has done so many since… I don’t know how fast she writes – Louise’s one book a year seems lightning fast to me – how much faster could you do a good job, and Perrry’s books are full of research, though I expect a lot of it is almost second nature to her now as she must have been researching Victorian London for years now. But this latest one I’m reading is all about the life on the river and the docks, and the Pool of London, which is a term I hadn’t even heard of, but basically, the London Bridge was so built-up all around the pilings that it basically almost stopped the flow of the Thames in a big part of the river in the city and formed a “pool” which is where all the ships docked and unloaded cargo. The life of the poor people who lived on or near the wharfs there had to be hard to research, and she goes into great detail. I’m enjoying the books, and even more so now that I know some of her history, as I think it colors all of her discussions about good and evil.

I stand corrected. There is a Federal Law that bans the use of bed rails in nursing homes. I understand the dangers but falling on your head is also dangerous.
Anna, are you home? Hope you have recovered.
I see the new pulmonologist this AM. Couldn’t get warm late yesterday and head congestion came during night. At least I have an appointment.
The practice my former Dr referred me to did not answer the phone for two weeks after a call to say I needed to reschedule. The machine had the message that I was calling out of office hours even though I was not. I hope all goes well today.
On another, and more interesting topic, I learned last week that the dam shown in the Hunger Games was Thurmond Dam near us. Digitalization was used to show the dam with all the flood gates fully open. Recently, the Army Corps of Engineers, which manages the dam, opened all the gates fully due to too much water coming in from rains north of us. They waited too long and had to release so much water that homes along the river flooded. The gates were open for days. The local news showed breath taking views of the water roiling through the gates. Many pictures were on facebook as people posted pictures of themselves by the dam. The gates are not often opened fully so some wanted pictures.
Must dress for Dr.’s appointment.

Oh,Barbara – such a time as you’ve had! I’m glad you are seeing a different doctor – there are some things that are just too important to let things lie, and your health is definitely one of them! I hope the new doc can make a big difference for you!

I can’t imagine that there isn’t something that could be done to help your MIL… when someone falls out of bed that often, it becomes such a danger at that age… I constantly worry that my poor hubby is going to fall out of bed… I get up in the night and come back to see him barely hanging on the edge of the bed – this is from years when my hot flashes meant he couldn’t be touching me or I’d be burning up! Well, that’s all over now, and I’d welcome him being closer, but of course, now he is trained, even in his sleep, hahaha. I have to keep waking him up and having him move. If he fell, I certainly couldn’t get him up, and I don’t see how even paramedics would get him down the stairs (we have a very narrow staircase that they had trouble getting me down – they wouldn’t let me walk, even though I could). He’s a big man. I have a new rule now, for if either of us needs a paramedic again, and that is to get downstairs and wait for them there.

Anyway – it does seem to me that guard rails ought to be available if a patient isn’t going to fight them… safety first!

This, too, shall pass, I know – but it gets frustrating, doesn’t it? Meanwhile, at least it’s a nice, crisp day. My friends are all going to Georgia today – I have one friend in Poughkeepsie, and two from here, who are attending a conference on needlework for MESDA (Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts) which is in Old Salem, in NC. They are holding their conference this time in Athens, Georgia as there are some things they want to study that cannot be moved. I took a look at the schedule and then at the location of the suggested hotels, and realized that the museum is on campus and the hotel just outside, and my friends would want to walk – it’d be about a mile, which I can do, but not at a brisk pace, which they would want to do. Unfortunately, it became clear to me that it was better to skip than to try to change their expectations. If we’d been able to get a hotel further away then we’d have to rent a car, and I know they’d prefer not to do that, while I would definitely prefer to do it, so I decided to just let it be.

You made the right choice, Julie. Athens is very cold and windy in winter. My Jr. and Sr. years of college were there. I hope your friends fair well and have a fun time. I never liked Athens in winter.
Like you I can walk at my pace. No speed walking or power walking for me. When Sam retired and started accompanying me everywhere, we had a few discussions about walking too fast. He still walks 3 times a week at the Y but just has to slow down when we are out.
I often had to remind the boys I dated in my teens that I was short and my steps were much shorter than theirs.

Hi to All. This is a beautiful sunny crisp day in Ga. As it should be this time of year. I’ve enjoyed reading the posts and learning all that you are up to. What an adventuresome group. Skiing, ocean kayaking, swimming with the wild creatures. WOW you folks leave me breathless LOL. I usually am away. Joke on me.

Yesterday was unbelievable ! After months of no pulmonologist, the situation settled. I have never dealt with such an unprofessional practice .

A person I was talking with at the grocery store was a former patient of the same Dr.(who married and moved) as I. She told me about her new Dr. Yesterday, I got my records from radiology at the hospital he had used. I also got a print out of his office records and took them to the Dr. I will see on Fri. I have been off one med since August.

Petey had a recheck too. We will be scheduling tests for him in a week or so. He has to complete some meds first. He will then go on flovent inhaler in addition to proair.

The 25 year old TV started acting weird along with all the other trouble a few weeks ago. We have a new flat screen and Sam has just assembled the stand\table. Next an appointment with the cable company. I watched both episodes of Downtown Abbey on line. Great to see them again.

Hope you are well Anna and your husband too, Catheryn.

My MIL fell after getting out of bed Sat. night. This time they did take her to the hospital and then back to the nursing Home. They say it is illegal to use bed rails on nursing home beds. Third fall in less than 3 months. Sam’s family accepts whatever they are told so it will happen again. I can’t think of it without wanting to scream. There must be an answer. I have not interacted with any of them since 2002. I can’t do anything to help.

I’m going to visit the Bistro and look into the fire.

Peace, calm and contentment to all.

I hope you scribbled down the details of the apartment Julie. That sounds like a great dream.
I managed to get out of bed and head to lunch with a couple of new friends and did a little walk in the snow. It has been snowing all day. So beautiful as long as you don’t have to shovel it.
The skiers have been home and out again to the pool or après ski. Hopefully they will collect me for dinner time.

I hadn’t heard it before, either, but didn’t think to go look it up – just kind of “extrapolated” as I do, and thought it was maybe short for “allergy” which then got extrapolated to any kind illness with coughing and congestion… I wasn’t that far off the mark, hahaha.

Anna, as I read you asking if I wasn’t the one who’d spent Christmas in the hospital, I thought to myself – “Oh, THAT, that was nothing”, hahaha. And luckily, it wasn’t anything awful.

Interestingly, I woke up this morning walking through an empty apartment to see if I wanted to buy it… Designing and decorating my “dream home” does take up most of my daydreaming time, but this is a first for it to be my night-dreaming topic, too! Hahaha. I do hope that apartment exists – it was perfect for what I want to do…

The Seahawks certainly managed to squeak through – but maybe they’re owed one after last year’s debacle!

The dreaded lurgy was from the Goons but it is very common vernacular in Australia! Didn’t realise I was using an uncommon term. It’s a favourite of mine. Sorry to hear your husband is sick Cathryne, it’s not nice!

“coming down with a nasty lurgy…” Anna, I had to look up the word ‘lurgy,’ a word I don’t remember seeing or hearing before. THE DREADED LURGY, what a wonderful word/phrase. I think my husband has it right now.

You are too funny Julie. Aren’t you the one who spent Christmas in hospital? We all have crazy lives but that is life, never bland. I am actually enjoying a day with nothing to worry about but me and my tissues. Of course, if there was someone here to make the tea that would be good too. Just have to enjoy whatever comes our way although easier said than done.
How are you Barbara? Is it cold down south? Millie said Florida was cold, for Florida but warming up again. Hope you are ok too Millie!

I looked up the Sharks Cathryne. Very sweet really. Prettier than wobbegongs but similar kinds of creatures that we have. I was interested to see that La Jolla sharks are primarily pregnant females!
I totally understand about putting out fires every day. I think the most tiring thing is that there is always something to fix but it does have smoother patches.
I am drinking lots of Earl Grey tea. The hot chocolate is a little rich for me right now. So hoping this cold is short lived but I lay in bed and watched the Seahawks win. It was a lucky win for sure but I am not complaining. My friend was watching in Australia and we video face timed during the game so that was good fun and he could explain the finer points of the game. I laughed when my daughter was doing that the other day, watching TV with her friend beside her on the iPad but hey, it’s quite a good way to have company and I know I won’t be sending my bugs over the wifi!

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