LOUISE PENNY’S

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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”

Erin had shaved ice and I tried some. I read the information on how they make it and it looks just like snow, not like the coarser ice in a snow cone that we are used to. Erin had blue raspberry which gave her an interesting look to her tongue and lips for the rest of the day. Just going to take her to the beach!

So glad you are relaxing – that’s what’s needed at this hectic time of year. The North Shore is always fun – those sculptures are amazing! So different – thanks for pointing them out. Did you have some shave ice?

I wish we were going straight on for snow but sadly we have to go home for Christmas and hubby has work until we go in Jan. Think we picked great time to be in Hawaii for us as it isnt too hot and a nice breeze. Very comfortable for non heat lovers. Paddled in the water yesterday briefly. Veey warm. Going to beach today. Were going to the Palace but a but wiped out so the aim is to relax. My friend here loves the history so we are hearing a lot about it and have seen the country side which is preferable to the tourist zones. We went to Haleiwa yesterday to the galleries. Have you see brass sculptures by Nano Lopez? Very whimsical. Google him.

Millie – how lovely to see you! Yes, I think of your voice as young-sounding and full of energy! Even though I know you aren’t necessarily yourself, but I think you “put up a good front”, hahaha. I am so pleased you got your boxes of books handled – that was weighing on you, I know! AND some Christmas decorating! The three pins together is such a lovely idea! I’m going to try that, too… After Christmas, I’ll check out the sales and see if I can’t get three little table-top trees. I need more room for my hand-stitched ornaments anyway. I have a 3 foot tree that isn’t supposed to be table-top, but I do put it on the table in front of the windows so from outside, it looks like we have a regular tree, hahaha. But if I had smaller ones in a grouping, that would look great and let me have a little “breathing room” as well. I need more tables during Christmas, I think. But I don’t want one more thing to come in the house! Oh, it’s difficult being me, hee hee.

I decided not to color my map – though I now think I might do just the 3 pines… But I framed it and it’s on my desk now, leaning against the wall behind my computer, so I can look at it often. I love the way it looks like that.

My Pride and Prejudice piece hit a snag I’m afraid – I was working away on the lake that sits in front of Pemberley, and I found that I was bored to tears… I’ll either have to find a better way to do that, or just barrel through. I know when I get to the houses, it will be more fun. Anyway, we both gave ourselves 6 more months before we exchange, so I have time. Right now, I’m busy stitching a mobile with nautical themes for my friend Becky’s beach house. I need to then make it into a mobile with pieces of found branches for a really rustic look. Would love to use driftwood, but I’m never actually near a beach anymore, hahaha.

I hope everyone is settling in for a nice holiday, free of stress and full of warmth and fun!

Anna, I can’t believe I turned my back for one minute and you gallivanted off to Hawaii! Lucky girl – where are you and how long are you staying? I love Hawaii, especially Oahu (because they have more museums, etc.) Vern and I are NOT beach-bunnies, but we love the history of the islands, and the music. There are some wonderful tours you can take from some of the smaller lesser-known tour companies there. I had a great time the day we went to two Queen’s houses! Queen Emma’s summer house is small, but filled with artifacts, and then of course, Iolani Palace, which everyone recognizes as the headquarters for Hawaii Five-O. It is a lovely place and they have some great pieces, too.

Are you heading on to Whistler from Hawaii, Anna? After all, you’re halfway there now. The snow has been great for the ski areas, and thankfully, we’ve had no snow. Lots of rain and wind, and there have been landslides and other such things, but nothing close to us, so we’re doing very well.

The expected temp all week here in Hawaii is 27 deg Millie and there is a delightful breeze this morning as I sip my tea. Yes guys, I am in Hawaii. You might be thinking, I don’t remember Anna mentioning a trip to Hawaii, and you would be correct. Sunday afternoon we made the decision to come and were on a plane the next day. Call me spontaneous, or mad, or random (my daughter used the last choice).
We have friends here we wanted to see and we just couldn’t find a minute to do it and time was getting away. My husband is having a long weekend next week and so that was the moment. My daughter and I arrived a few days earlier, yesterday. I haven’t been to the beach yet as we had heavy rain yesterday afternoon but we are having fun.
I hope you are ok Millie and the anniversary was doable? Such events can be difficult and bring up different emotions.
How is everyone else? Barbara? Cathryne? Are u both surviving the lead up to Christmas? Break out the bourbon and branch!
There has been a lot of snow and rain in your part of the world Julie. Stay dry and warm. The snow base for Whistler is looking great. I am still looking forward to the cold!

Hello all Three Piners. I know it’s been months since I wrote and I apologize. I’m doing well and have caught up with all the messages here. I can so relate to the ‘just lots of little things’ like Julie and Barbara mentioned. Only for me and my back some of those little things were huge. Drum roll please… There isn’t a box left in the living room. All the books I kept are in the bookcases. I set a deadline on myself. I had to have the living spaces of this house decluttered by Thanksgiving. I did it. 🙂 I never did find that 1st copy of “A Rule Against Murder.” lol Granted, there are a few random boxes still in the garage but I rarely lose a book. No problem, hubby bought me another copy a while ago. I’m stuck with the Morrow / Finney family after all, Julie. BTW, how’s that big Jane Austen needlework project going that you were working on with a friend?

Loved your comment about imagining our voices. Hadn’t given it much thought till you mentioned it. Maybe because I am a tiny sprout, I sound very young. Anna is right on that account. At least till evening comes and I’m bone tired. Then my voice starts to sound grumpy, impatient and hubby hides. 😉

Speaking of hubby’s, how’s Sam doing, Barbara? Hope he’s much improved. I’m too am getting to where I don’t like going out much any more either. Do you still visit your sister? I hope you two are happily coloring at least a little.

Has anyone colored in their Three Pines map? I haven’t yet. But I know where my map is! lol…

Anyway, then I was determined to at least have some Christmas decorations by Dec 12th. Big day in this area. A boat parade and the sons and their families were coming over. I still haven’t ‘decked the halls’ in the living room (Maybe this weekend), but I put Three Pines on the dining room buffet. They are small but lit up and I smile every time I see them.

Turns out my leg and back muscles aren’t really strong enough to do step stools so I’ve had to slow down this week, but it feels good to know life is getting back to a semblance of normal. At least a new normal.

Cathryne, I do hope you are bearing up well. Your note about getting a bag of gummy bears and eating them in the quiet of the night as you looked out the window just touched my heart. Strength and peace be with you. With all of us, for it seems we all have our own particular challenges.

To those I didn’t mention by name, please forgive me. It’s been a bit of an emotional day for me. I lost my dad a year ago exactly. It made me realize I really wanted to say Hi, I care about you, and think of you all often and putting it off for even one more day was unacceptable to me. I still have a lot of work to do in other areas of the house, (Barbara, I just can’t seem to sit down and write just yet knowing I have so much left to do but your encouraging words are so sweet and appreciated. And Julie, your words of “de cluttering can’t be done all in one go” really helped.) but I needed to pop into the Bistro tonight and let you all know how important you are to me. Sometimes I get all caught up in what I’m doing and think tomorrow… Well, I wish you all many happy tomorrows no matter your circumstances. I too am practicing Julie’s ‘just decide to be happy’. It isn’t simplistic at all, Julie. It certainly isn’t always easy. But I have so much to be grateful for it isn’t always hard, either.

Love and comforting hugs,
Millie

Thank you Julie. That is very kind. I will look after it and get it back to you. Another good reason to get together when I change continents!

There are lots of good things happening in the world it is just we are so swamped by the negative. I was reading about a family who decided with their children not to have an advent calendar but to do a random act of kindness every day. Little things like writing cards to strangers. One act was to write a card to a little girl, about five years old, who was in a cafe and was being lovely and chatting away to the two ladies she was with politely. The card told her Santa was watching and she was in the nice list and complimenting her with a five dollar reward. The girl turned out to be. A foster child who had to be recently removed from her family. The foster carer with her wrote on Facebook how much that card and money meant to the little girl and to her. Every act of kindness goes so much further than we know.

Isn’t it wonderful to think that one person can make such a difference? Even those of us who do much smaller things have an effect, and we should try to remember that when we’re feeling low. It’s a Wonderful Life must be prompting itself into my subconscious, hahahaha.

I would be so happy to pop my copy in the mail and know that you were reading the same well-loved book that I did. It’s a “little” book in many senses, but Helene Hanff’s style is all her own and so accessible. Maybe that’s what we love about Louise, as well – she lets people in so easily. So – DON’T buy a copy!

I am afraid that my hunt dropped to the bottom of my to do pile with dad and everything happening. I shall resume the hunt. I suspect it will come from Amazon.
My latest reading has been Molokai which was fascinating. A friend in Hawaii suggested it as she is visiting the island soon. In an interesting piece of synchronicity, I picked up an old Kathy Reichs novel as I was cleaning and it talked about lepersoriums in Canada as part of the plot line. Weird when that happens.

Heavenly Creatures is quite a disturbing film. Well done but not exactly easy entertainment. Be interesting to see what you think.

I was talking to a friend last night on the phone when he had to run away as he is a surgeon and there was a trauma call. I couldn’t sleep then. I just knew he was in a life and death situation. He was. He rang a short while ago and he had saved the life of a 12 year old boy, literally. The boy was going to die and now he isn’t. I don’t think my friend knows how amazing he is. But that certainly lifts my day, not to mention the boy and his family.

Anna, your comment on Amazon shipping prompts my memory and I was waiting to see if you had managed to find a copy of Helene Hanff’s Apple of My Eye… and then forgot all about it. Did you find one? Or should I pop mine in the mail?

I’ve just started reading a true crime book on the Anne Perry case you told me about. I haven’t yet had the chance to see Heavenly Creatures, though I think it’s available on one of my tv streaming channels. I just need a good afternoon to be able to sit and watch, as I know it won’t appeal to hubby. At any rate, I’ve been thinking a lot about Anne Perry and how she can write such compelling stories of good and evil, and I think she must be speaking from her own experience for a lot of it. I think she has seen both the good and the evil within herself…

Wow, Amazon shipping is amazing. I just received Dads scrabble set and I ordered it five days ago. Impressive and so good as it is big! Hopefully they will be able to store it somewhere in the Home for him. My daughter has already wrapped it in preparation.

Julie, when I went to England via LA for a few days, the jet lag was appalling. I was wiped out for a couple of weeks, waking at 4 am and asleep in my dinner by 5 pm. Luckily we ate early! I think all the physical exercise while skiing helps get the routine going as we sleep early but we are up early to beat the lift queues.

I agree gas fires are much easier than wood, we have one of both. Gas fires feature prominently in my second book which is set in autumn. I don’t like it when it is too hot indoors in the cold as we are usually heavily dressed in snow gear!

We are rainy and dark, but not cold. We’ve had a couple of weeks of bright sunny days and very cold (everything is relative – very cold to us now is about 30 degrees) nights. Our old house has absolutely NO insulation and plenty of places where drafts come through, so it costs too much to heat it, but we figure it would cost more to rip out all the walls and insulate, too, so we just make do. I’ve found that I now consider most Canadian places overheating themselves in winter, and I recall the days when it seemed right to me that you should be able to wear a short-sleeved t-shirt at home! I used to collect all kinds of sweaters and have nowhere to wear them, hahaha. Now I wear a sweater all winter. This old house has a fireplace in the living room that was wood-burning when I got here. When we put on a fire, it would eventually get so hot, we’d have to leave the room, hahaha. Vern converted it to gas about 15 years ago now, and so it gives off a lovely soft heat and of course, is mesmerizing to watch the flames. I love the ambiance of the fire. I also don’t miss cleaning the fireplace, nor trying to light the fire with no kindling. In the evenings, now, we sit by the fire and find we have all we need.

You are much better than I am with the jet-lag. London is 9 hours away from Seattle, and I swear I was still waking up at 3 a.m. when we were ready to leave after 5 weeks. Then it got bad all over again once we were home. Ah well – the fun we had was worth it. Nowadays, I don’t travel much beyond about 3 hours difference and I find that only takes a few days to get used to.

I agree Julie, I hear people with accents only they are more impressions than actual voices. You sound somewhat English. Barbara has a soft drawl. Millie is happy and excited. Cathryne is quieter and speaks more slowly but that could be because I sense she is busy and fatigues and ….worried. I do hope that you are ok Cathryne. I don’t like the sound of my own voice.

I get jet lagged Julie but it is usually only day one and two. We usually arrive in the morning and have to stay awake all day. Some days I can but a couple of trips I just had to lie down and sleep after we arrive. It’s worse coming home as it days time to rests and we tend to wake up at 3 am.

Weather is warming up here especially in the southern states. How are you faring Julie? Is it getting cold? What about you Barabara? It was a lovely 23 deg today but I bet that would have you running for a jumper in Florida Millie.

Barbara, how lovely to “hear your voice”! Isn’t it funny, I actually have given each of you a voice in my head, and of course, when the time comes when we meet and you don’t sound the way I thought you would it will be very disorienting for me, hahaha. Barbara, you have a lovely soft voice, and speak with a beautiful southern accent full of grace and charm. Anna, you of course, have an “Aussie” accent, and sound cheerful and almost song-like. Cathryne is more of a mystery to me. And just so YOU aren’t disappointed, my voice has taken on a squeaky-squawky quality in the past year or so, due to some of my breathing problems. They seem to be playing havoc with my vocal cords. The good news is that there is nothing wrong with them, and I’m able to speak, it just sound funny now, hahaha. I think my public speaking days are almost over now, though.

Barbara, I commiserate with your English friend, and I have given serious thought to moving back to Canada if Trump or Cruz should be elected. Truth be told, there is only one person I would like to be President, and I don’t think he has much chance… I do think both Trump and Cruz will be knocked out though. There’s still a long way to go.

Anna – I am with you on the gun issue. I find it absolutely shocking to still hear people say we don’t have a gun problem, when every one of the guns in their arsenal was procured legally, and who could possibly NEED assault rifles? Surely, even hunters and other gun rights supporters have to see the wisdom in outlawing certain types of guns, but apparently not.

I hope your Mom starts to improve – I have always thought just “deciding to be happy” with whatever lot you got was the best way to approach life, but I know that can be hard, and I don’t mean to sound so simplistic. Still, I’m hoping that’s what I will be able to achieve.

I know your trip to Whistler will be so fun! I hope you don’t have too much jet-lag.

But at least you were using copy and paste. Yay Barbara. Whatever has been keeping you busy I do hope life is much more settled and you can enjoy the events you are looking forward to next week.

Dad is doing better than I had hoped but mum is very unwell and that is a struggle emotionally. They had the Home Christmas party yesterday which was ok for dad but we let mum go to bed as the noise and crowd was too much for her. Two of the carers took turns going in and feeding her while I looked after dad. I found a larger sized scrabble kit for dad on Amazon. The board and tiles are bigger. That’s coming for Christmas too. Nice to get him something other than clothes.

Today is quieter. It is very hot and windy and we are having a quiet time eating the delicious red velvet cupcakes Erin made on her first day of summer holidays. I am happy to be the beneficiary but it’s back on the exercise bike for me! I need to anyway to be strong for skiing. Can’t wait for Whistler. Loving to see snow falling there. Should be a better a cover than last year. If it gets a bit cooler the village should get some snow when we arrive. So very exciting.

The news from San Bernadino was devestating. Even more shocking was hearing the response was for people to buy more guns. Scary.

Back to writing and editing. Sending love and good wishes to you all.

Hi, To All. Things were sort of a mess for the last month or so. Everything seems to have calmed down…….even me. Hubby is at a Christmas Party at the College tonight. The Alumni Board. Last night they lit the Christmas Tree on Campus. It is mainly for children with activities for them and singing Christmas Carols. Didn’t go and neither did Sam. We aren’t really expected to. I love the idea but the nights have turned chilly and I’m trying to stay well so I can attend the only two events I want to … next Tuesday and Friday nights. I really don’t enjoy going out anymore …haven’t for years.

I hope all is going well for everyone. Anna, Glad your Dad is setteling in. You are a member of what we call ” The Sandwich Generation”. You have parents to care for on one side and are rearing a teenager on the other. I wish you strength, my friend. Hope the writing and editing is going well.

Julie, As you said in mid Nov., Lots of little things were happening. You know me. The Jane Austen Party sounds great. Trifle is pretty and always looks so festive. I have to admit I have never made it. Oh, speaking of food. You and Anna talking about seafood made me think of the wonderful oyster dressing we always had with our turkey. There was also “regular” dressing just the same except no oysters. I would sneak back to the kitchen several times after the meal to get “just one more taste” of the oyster dressing. Fried Shrimp , not as large as prawns, are favorite memories of family meals. I could eat a platter of them now. Yes, platter.

The US Signal Corps Band is on TV. It is the concert they play every year at First Baptist Augusta. I enjoy military bands very much.

Thanks for thinking of me when the San Bernadino news broke. I turned the TV on to watch an old program on Antenna TV but the TV was set on the CBS channel so that was that. I must say that I was impressed with all the officials, FBI, Sherriff, and Chief of Police. Each spoke calmly, with a steady, strong, firm voice that said, without saying, “We will handle this and do our jobs”. It was very reassuring.

My English friend and I had Lunch on Monday and she was upset that Donald Trump is being taken seriously since he does not appear to think before he speaks. She will move to her home in England if he is elected.

Thinking of you too, Cathryne. Hope things are going well for you.

Keep writing Millie. Anxiously awaiting your book.

Love, Peace, and the Best to all.

Hi, To All. Things were sort of a mess for the last month or so. Everything seems to have calmed down…….even me. Hubby is at a Christmas Party at the College tonight. The Alumni Board. Last night they lit the Christmas Tree on Campus. It is mainly for children with activities for them and singing Christmas Carols. Didn’t go and neither did Sam. We aren’t really expected to. I love the idea but the nights have turned chilly and I’m trying to stay well so I can attend the only two events I want to … next Tuesday and Friday nights. I really don’t enjoy going out anymore …haven’t for years.

I hope all is going well for everyone. Anna, Glad your Dad is setteling in. You are a member of what we call ” The Sandwich Generation”. You have parents to care for on one side and are rearing a teenager on the other. I wish you strength, my friend. Hope the writing and editing is going well.

Julie, As you said in mid Nov., Lots of little things were happening. You know me. The Jane Austen Party sounds great. Trifle is pretty and always looks so festive. I have to admit I have never made it. Oh, speaking of food. You and Anna talking about seafood made me think of the wonderful oyster dressing we always had with our turkey. There was also “regular” dressing just the same except no oysters. I would sneak back to the kitchen several times after the meal to get “just one more taste” of the oyster dressing. Fried Shrimp , not as large as prawns, are favorite memories of family meals. I could eat a platter of them now. Yes, platter.

The US Signal Corps Band is on TV. It is the concert they play every year at First Baptist Augusta. I enjoy military bands very much.

Thanks for thinking of me when the San Bernadino news broke. I turned the TV on to watch an old program on Antenna TV but the TV was set on the CBS channel so that was that. I must say that I was impressed with all the officials, FBI, Sherriff, and Chief of Police. Each spoke calmly, with a steady, strong, firm voice that said, without saying, “We will handle this and do our jobs”. It was very reassuring.

My English friend and I had Lunch on Monday and she was upset that Donald Trump is being taken seriously since he does not appear to think before he speaks. She will move to her home in England if he is elected.

Thinking of you too, Cathryne. Hope things are going well for you.

Keep writing Millie. Anxiously awaiting your book.

Love, Peace, and the Best to all.

You will be having a wonderful time, obviously, with the snow they’re expecting.

Yes, Barbara – stay away from the news. I am heartsick, of course – how many of these incidents will be too many? When will we do something, rather than just sit and wring our hands?

About five weeks. We arrive on Jan 7. Ordered my Three Pines mugs and Danny and Lucy are shiping them to our hotel. They are so kind and thoughtful!
We had a dusting of snow in the Southern states here in last couple of days. We are swinging between extreme heatxand chill but that is ok.
Been watching the news from California. Once again hoping everyone you know is safe and not caught up in it.
Dont go near the news Barbara. Stick with sports news. Jason Day won the Inaugural Greg Norman award in Australia. Stick with that.
Dad settling well into the Nursing Home. I have ordered him a large print dictionary and thesaurus and a scrabble book for Christmas.
Just sitting with mum trying to get her to rest. Daring not make a noise!

I know I was wishing for snow Julie but t they are forecasting feet of it over the next few days for Whsitler and Washington. I hope my wishes don’t cause you any trouble! Stay safe and stay warm and hopefully you have a fire to snuggle up in front of and think relaxing thoughts.

Haha – you’ve got to stop and think what you’re wishing for, Anna! No – we won’t get any snow here in Seattle, or if we do, it will last a few hours at most. Since I don’t have to go out and drive in it if I don’t want to, it won’t be a problem for me, so wish away! How soon do you come up to Whistler?

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