Showing posts with label Grandpère. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Grandpère. Show all posts

Saturday, March 29, 2014


There is a remarkable moment in Elena Ferrante’s novel "The Lost Daughter" when the narrator, a middle-aged professor of literature, recalls a scene from her married life. She has just quarrelled with her husband, and wants to run from the house, “forget it and forget everything.” Her two young daughters enter the kitchen. One of them, Bianca, picks up an orange and a knife, hands them to her mother, and asks her to peel the fruit. Make a snake, she says. The girls sit in front of their mother, quietly expectant. “I felt their gazes longing to tame me,” the narrator recalls...
From a book review in The New Yorker by James Wood of another book by Jenny Offill, titled Dept. of Speculation.  I'm not sure whether non-subscribers can read it in its entirety.

Although I wanted children very much, the reality of mothering came hard for me once the children arrived. I was not a natural, and, though I did my best, I always thought I fell short in many ways. And yes, there were times when I fantasized about running away.

When I read the words “I felt their gazes longing to tame me...”, I gasped, because they describe quite well a thread that runs throughout my entire life (from my perspective) of other people wanting to tame me.

This morning, I told Grandpère about my seemingly life-long resistance to taming.  He laughed, but I had the impression that he thought I needed taming, though he denied any attempts to tame me.  I guess it depends upon one's point of view, because I consider him to be the main tamer who tries to tame my inner lioness, at least since my children are grown.  Still, I admit the possibility that the old lioness is yet in need of taming.  I will buy the two books, because the writers seem like kindred spirits.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


After my adventure-filled day shopping as told in Long Whine - Part 1, we headed home, where I hoped to find peace for the rest of the day.  Alas, it was not to be.

The wireless on my router worked well to connect to the internet on my laptop when I was still served by my previous provider, but, after it was disconnected, I downloaded the router CD onto the laptop, and I was not able to access the internet.  What now?  I downloaded the CD again and still no connection.

In desperation, I called my son and told him what I'd done and asked what could have gone wrong.  He was puzzled and said the connection should have worked.  After thinking a bit, he asked me if the antenna button was turned on.  I did not know there was such a thing as an antenna button on the laptop, and I had no idea where it was.  He said I should look on the front of the laptop.  At first, I saw only a red light, but, when I looked closer, there was a small switch.  When I slid the switch to the right, the red light changed to blue, and I was able to connect.  What I've written sounds simpler and less time-consuming than the reality, which dragged on for a couple of stress-and-frustration-laden hours. 

In between failure and success with the computer, I took a break to arrange the curly willow branches I mentioned in my earlier post.  The branches were too tall for the vases and needed to be clipped.  Out came the wire cutters to cut a number of branches.  As some were too thick for the wire cutters, I had to saw them with a knife.  Nothing is ever as simple as expected, but, in the end, I was pleased with the minimalist effect.

Finally, I settled down with a glass of wine to test the computer connection, all the while fearing that, as luck would have it that day, I'd be thrown offline at any moment.  To my great relief the connection held.  Around 11:15 PM, I decided it was bedtime, so I shut down the computer, and, when I reached to plug in the laptop to charge the battery, I knocked over my half-full glass of red wine on the carpet.  Oy!  Not bedtime yet after all!

After blotting up all possible liquid with paper towels, I continued the clean-up with my ever-handy bottle of Resolve Carpet Cleaner, with not much hope that it would do the tough job of removing the red wine stain.  After much rubbing and scrubbing, I called it a night and finally went to bed.

The next morning, when I examined the area I could still see where the wine had spilled, so I rubbed and scrubbed again.  Later in the day, when the area had dried, I could not see stain marks, so I moved the chair and the magazine rack back into place.  I haven't looked closely again, because there's nothing more I can do if there are remnants of stain, except call in the professionals.
Grandpère's evening was no better.  When he drove to his meeting down the bayou, he went to the wrong house and got stuck in the mud in the driveway.  The owner of the house was kind enough to tow him out, but he was most embarrassed.

End of whine.  I don't know if  I feel better now that I've written about my woes, but it is done.

Sunday, June 16, 2013


For the first time, Grandpère grew heirloom tomatoes in his garden.  The tomatoes don't look beautiful in the pictures, nor are the colors true, but the taste is delicious. The excellent flavor is different from any tomato I've eaten.  Wikipedia says:
Heirloom tomatoes lack a genetic mutation that gives tomatoes an appealing uniform red color while sacrificing the fruit's sweet taste.

The fruit in the pictures are not quite ripe, because GP is competing with a bird to pick the tomatoes whole without chunks pecked out of them.  The tops of the tomatoes never turn red, so the time is ripe for eating when the feel is slightly soft to the touch.  I'm told by a friend that when the tomatoes can be found in stores or markets, they are expensive.  What a treat for me.

Thursday, February 14, 2013



Sorry for the late Valentine's Day greetings, but I just now took the picture of my valentine from Grandpère - three lovely camellias from the bush in our garden.  I confess I was more moved by the camellias from the garden than by flowers from a florist.  Our camellia bushes are covered with blooms, so why not have a few inside?

And for Valentine's Day lagniappe, the photo below shows the lovely sunset yesterday, which made me late for Ash Wednesday services, because I had to have a picture of the splendid sight. I think God does not mind that I was a few minutes late, because, after all, the sunset is God's gift.


Friday, January 4, 2013



Diana: I know I've lived here a long time, but do I like this person? Where is his hair? His arms are hairy, but his head....  Something seems to be missing.

Friday, January 27, 2012


There has never been a day when I have
not been proud of you, I said, though
some days I'm louder about other stuff
so it's easy to miss that.
From StoryPeople.

The story is for Grandpère as a late birthday gift. I'm sad to say the story applies, more often than I'd like.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


Yesterday afternoon, Grandpère opened a can of Mountain Dew in the back yard, took a swig and put the can down briefly to do a chore. A few minutes later, he took another swig, and a bee flew out of the can, but not before stinging him on the lip.

GP seems to have more than his share of odd and freaky accidents, most of them resulting in only minor injuries, thank heavens. He came inside and said, "Guess what happened."

I said, "How did you hurt yourself this time?" with the big one in mind, although I could see that he was in one piece and not obviously bleeding.

Apparently, the bee was thirsty and was attracted to the soda can by the sweet smell and decided to have a swig, too.

"Take a Benadryl," says I.

"No, I don't like taking medicine," says he.

Before long, GP was back in the house with a bulbous bottom lip. Of course! I gave him a short anatomy lesson, telling him that the lips were not far from the throat (like the knee bone is connected to the thigh bone), and that he would not want his throat swollen so he couldn't breathe, and that I would rather avoid a trip to the ER. He took the Benadryl. About a half hour later, I suggested he take another, which he did. By the evening, the swelling had gone down quite a bit.

It's not easy being right all the time when dealing with a stubborn man.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


...Tom, aka Grandpère. Poor baby has an abscessed tooth. Our dentist saw him this morning and gave him antibiotics, but he doesn't do the kind of work Tom needs. If he can stand the pain, he will wait until Tuesday to see another dentist in town. If the pain gets too bad, he can see someone in the next town over on Monday.

UPDATE: Tom saw the endodontist this morning, who discovered that he had two abscesses, instead of one. The endodontist did two root canals, and he (Tom) is feeling much better. I'm sure the endodontist is feeling much better, too, because he make quite a bit of money off Tom. Still, we're not complaining.