Thursday, February 22, 2018

Has been

I am a has been.

In my village we can walk everywhere including to buy fresh baked bread, meat, sit in a café, go to the doctor.

Sometimes progress is slow, because neighbors and friends stop to talk.

Those days are gone.

Most of the time I walk with Sherlock our new mixed-breed puppy. The greetings, usually start with Sherlock being called, patted and cooed over. After a time they will remember like Jack Kennedy brought Jackie to Paris, I am the one who brought Sherlock to the street and greet me with Bonjour or Bonsoir depending on the time of day and I will be asked about his progress.

However, it is getting worse. I was out yesterday and left him home. I saw my neighbor who came up to me and instead of her usual "Bonjour" it was "Ou est Sherlock?"

I told her he was at home.

I'm not jealous. The dog is too cute. Let him have his day in the sun. I am okay with being a has been.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018


Mimosa -- One of the joys of spring is mimosa. The trees in full bloom look as if the sun dropped from the sky.

I also love mimosa in my house. The scent is delicate a small whiff of happiness.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Pentagon Papers


At 16 I was a cub reporter for the Lawrence-Eagle Tribune. I was fascinated by the process and loved to watch the the type being set, the presses running. I loved covering my hometown of Reading. I remember breaking a story about something the Selectmen did wrong and the next time I was at a meeting, one of them yelled at me.

I started to cry. One of the other Selectmen, said, "Go easy on her. She's just a kid." I was embarrassed because I cried even though I was proud of telling the truth about officials doing something wrong, no matter how small it was.


Rick and I went to see the Pentagon Papers, the French name for The Post. The scenes of the press room crowded with reporters typing out stories, linotype and presses running were like flashbacks.

The story of the Pentagon Papers was also a flashback because I had followed it eagerly in the news. It was the end of my innocence when I realized how much many governments, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Nixon, Johnson  had lied, how many people had died Americans and even more, Vietnamese.

The Americans who died thought they were defending their country. They weren't. They were defending politicians who didn't want to be humiliated by losing a war.

The revelation that the U.S. injected itself into the 1954 Vietnamese election, just reaffirms what I've been saying that if Russia interfered with the 2016 election, it was no different from the U.S. interfering in other countries' elections.

The coziness of people in Washington between press and leaders seems the same.

The Washington Post risked everything to bring the truth to the American public. Tom Hanks at one point in the film said the purpose of the press is to serve the governed not the government (the idea not the exact quote).

Not much has changed. The government is still lying to the public. Young men and now young women are going off to fight wars based on lies. The U.S. is still interfering in other countries' governments sometimes behind the scenes sometimes with bombs.

As the folk song "Where Have All The Flowers Gone" says, "When will they ever learn?"

Rick has a dueling blog at

Monday, February 19, 2018


It was a good 15 years ago and I was shopping at Co-op, a Swiss grocery during my lunch hour. The store carried household stuff, too and I as I headed for the cash register, I saw a fitted sheet, of red terry cloth. There were no other colors, but I thought it might be warm in winter and cool in summer.

I was right.

As a minimalist I try to have as little possible, so that sheet was used almost nightly UNTIL . . .

. . . Sherlock.

This was the male puppy we ended up out of pure love at first sight instead of an older female dog we were looking for. One should never go into a rescue center with exact expectations.

Although he had his own bed, Sherlock decided that sleeping between my husband and myself was a good idea. In the cold room he buried under the blankets.

Puppies chew.

The sheet ended up with holes. Although I mended them, it happened again.

I have said goodbye to my sheet. A new one is on the bed, but it is not terry cloth.

Sigh. RIP and thanks for all the lovely nights.f

Sunday, February 18, 2018


I am not domestic.

I do not necessarily love ironing.

At the same time I want my home to be neat and welcoming and I like the feel of my PJs, t-shirts and sheets ironed more than wrinkled. I do Rick's too because I want him to have the same pleasure.

Thus I clean, neaten and iron.

Our flat came with an ironing board.

Sort of.

It was narrow and wobbly.

My cheap heart never wants to replace something that works.

However, once we got Sherlock, I was afraid he'd bump into the board and be seriously hurt if the iron fell on him.

My solution was to wait till he slept or was out for a walk with Rick to iron.

My husband had a different solution. He bought a new ironing board, one color-coordinated with the flat. It included the rest, which makes it safer. It is also is wider making ironing easier.

I was raving about it to my husband not just to let him know that I appreciated his thoughtfulness. I felt like I was doing some kind of advert as I listed the board's merits, and a bit silly. 

But when I went to bed last night on clean, ironed sheets in clean iron pjs, life was good.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Thoughts and Prayers

Thoughts and prayers
Thoughts and prayers
Thoughts and prayers
Thoughts and prayers
Thoughts and prayers
Thoughts and prayers
Thoughts and prayers

The mealy-mouthed politicians mumble those words after every shooting. Or take a few seconds to tap them into a tweet. Thoughts and prayers were promised for 9 school shooting alone this year.

So what are in those thoughts?
  • Can they imagine the mother finding a dress with which to bury her dead daughter?
  • What are the father, brothers, sisters, grandparents, aunts and uncles doing?
  • Do they even know the names of the dead?
  • Their hopes?
  • Their strengths?
  • Their weaknesses?
And how much do they pray? Will they go to the denomination of each victim and pray? Light candles? Kneel by their bed at night? Make donations?

Without action, their words are meaningless, so much drivel. The next time the same words and the same results...nothing.

I wish everyone would send a politician who uses this meaningless phrase and then do nothing send them a check for a campaign contribution in the amount of THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS.

Thursday, February 15, 2018


Goal 1: To take the little yellow train, Le Train Jaune, up the mountain to Fort Romeu

Goal 2: To introduce Sherlock to snow

Method: To be up at 5 to leave by 6 to arrive at 8 and catch the 8:30 that arrives around 11. Spend and hour and go home.

Reality: Woke at 5 and drove out of Argelès by 5:48.
  • Arrived at 7. It didn't take two hours.
  • Found a bakery and wandered the walled city that has existed sine the 1098.
  • Went back to train station.
  • Bought tickets.
  • Waited for train.
  • It didn't come.
  • Went back into the station. 
  • Girl pointed out on schedule 8:30 train only starts in April.
  • Next train would get us home too late.
 Decided to drive up to Fort Romeu to enjoy the beautiful scenery from the car.

Stopped about half way up and let Sherlock play in the snow after he was car sick. He appeared to enjoy it.

Turned around and came home still enjoying the snow-covered mountains.

Stopped for sushi (me) and hamburger (Rick).

Had a wonderful time.

Rick has a dueling blog at