About Last Night

I guess it was spring fever or something. Yesterday was simply gorgeous; temps were in the 70s and all was well with the world.

Because we were waiting for some artisans at the normal dog-walking time, JM had to stay home and wait and I took each dog out separately for a walk. Everything went well, both were well-behaved and we all were happy.

About 20 minutes after getting back, our plumber, Christian came over to look at a problem Mom was having with her sink. I opened the door to have him come in. Both dogs are supposed to sit and wait when I open the door. Peaches did; Shmoo didn’t. He took advantage of a second of confusion and made a break for it. He’s so fast, you just can’t stop him when he’s in that mood.

The problem is that it was rush hour and he runs straight down the middle of the street. Also, I was in my bathrobe and slippers! I went after him, but he just ignores me. One of the neighbor kids went to the other side of the Bastide to see if she could head him off. By the time I got to the end of the street though, he had already decided to come back and ran right back to me.

In fact, it’s not that I’m worried he’ll run off; I’m worried he’ll be hit by a car. A friend’s dog was killed that way during the last snow storm. It only takes a second, as we all know.

All is well that ends well, but it was really stressful!

Ciao for now.

Randy

Sproing!

That’s the sound of spring, springing!

What a change a week can make. Temps today are in the mid-60s; the sun is shining and all is well with the world.

When we were out walking the dogs we noticed that tons of daisies and other little unknown (to us) flowers were blooming like crazy in places that had, up until yesterday, had only grass and mud. Not expecting so much cheeriness, I hadn’t taken my camera, but I will try to remember to take it along on the dogs post dinner promenade.

It was actually amazing to be walking outside in just a light sweater and feeling almost too hot!

Not only are the flowers springing up, but the citizens of the Possum Kingdom are as well. The old men were sitting on their bench near the river; a sure sign that winter is over! Even my mother is contemplating sticking her nose outside today!

Apropos of nothing, I wanted to mention this recent study done by the French Institut national d’études démographiqes (National Institute of Demographic Studies): French women are not only the most slender women in Europe, but they are also the most dissatisfied with their weight. Their BMI is the lowest, but not content with that they say that their “ideal” weight is inferior to the suggested BMI. Clearly, for French women you really can’t be too thin! BTW, this is not true for French men who generally weigh more than the recommended BMI but actually THINK they are underweight!

Ciao for now.

Randy

This is crazy!

I know it, but I can’t stop myself. I’m actually researching SUN HATS online!!!

The temperature hasn’t been above 0 C (32 F) in days, and I’m worried about the summer! Really, I’m worried about keeping cool in the summer, so I was looking at those hats that have cooling beads inside them. You soak them in water and they’re supposed to keep you cool for hours.

We’re never satisfied, are we? Everyone is complaining about the snow and cold right now, but in a few short months, they’ll be saying it’s too hot. And, to be fair, I’ll probably be amongst them.

I think the thing I really mind most about the weather we’re having, to be honest, is that it makes walking a lot more difficult. I am NOT the world’s most graceful person, as I’ve often said. So, whenever there is any ice outside, I keep worrying so much about slipping and falling that I have trouble walking like a normal person. I DID finally break down and order strap on cleats to wear next year (I’m assuming I won’t have any more use for them this year!), hoping that will help me to at least feel more secure.

I am also going to toss out my hopelessly useless Moon Boots. I mean, really, what is the point of selling SNOW boots that aren’t waterproof? Why would you NEED them if it wasn’t snowing, which is, you know, FROZEN WATER! At any rate, by the time we get back from walking the dogs, especially after the snow has gotten all slushy, I have ice cold, wet feet. I think it’s some kind of communist plot; it’s the only explanation.

I even bought some waterproofing spray that did no good whatsoever. So, the Moon Boots are going to have to go.

But I’m still thinking about that sun hat…

Ciao for now.

Randy

The Final Tally

We wound up with about 18 inches of snow I would say. Our power went out at 7:00; luckily, because it had been flickering, I rushed to get dinner cooked and out of the way, so we did manage to eat (the downside of all electric cooking). We could have lit the fire, but I didn’t want to go to bed with a full fire burning downstairs in case anything went wrong. Chimney fires are a big problem here and I’d rather NOT be a casualty! We do get our chimney swept every year, but we have used the fireplace a lot this season.

I took the dogs for a last potty break at 8:00 and it was still snowing, although by then it was changing to kind of hard, ice crystals, so I think it was already on it’s way out. Then, we just went to bed. There wasn’t any sense in doing anything else. Even though we have plenty of candles and flashlights, you really can’t read (well, WE can’t anymore with our middle-aged eyes).

The dogs were very, very confused, as none of this was part of the approved family schedule! Our dogs are rather Swiss in their outlook on time and scheduling!

Speaking of the dogs, when we took them out at 5, we decided to try the gardens and we just let them run. I knew I’d still have to get them back, but it seemed safer than holding them with the slippery path. They loved it, but any remaining relics of their recall went totally out the window. I had to wade through knee deep snow to go and get them and wound up falling in a ditch. At least with that much snow on the ground I didn’t break anything, but damn, am I sore!

The did NOT want to stop digging in the snow to come back. Peaches has now lost the lovely recall that she had when we first got her and just ignores me to keep playing with Shmoo and digging holes. I’m going to have to work on them both come spring.

At any rate, the power came back up at around 8:15, but by then the dogs were settled and we thought it would just confuse things if we went downstairs again. It was a good decision, because the power went off AGAIN (not uncommon in these big power failures) but finally seemed to come back for good sometime after 8:30.

This morning, the sun is out although it still very, very cold. However, if past experience holds true, a lot of the snow will melt just from the sun.

I did say I liked the changing seasons. I just didn’t expect it to happen on a weekly basis!

Ciao for now!

Randy

Small update

According to Meteo France, the Orange Alert is set to last till about 7 p.m. tonight. They’re expecting up to a METER of snow in the mountains, but for us that probably means between 60 and 80 centimeters, since we’re only about 1200 feet high.  We’re also getting high winds and will have big drifts.

Yikes!

They were right

It really IS snowing pretty hard right now. At 7 a.m. when we took the dogs out, there was a dusting on the cars, nothing sticking on the road or sidewalks inside the village and a light dusting on the road as soon as we got outside of town.

Right now it is 10 a.m. and I would say we’ve had 4″ so far, based on the amount I cleaned off of Beanie. I decided to clean her off, despite the fact that it’s still snowing, because I always wait until it stops and then it’s a major job, especially when the bottom layer has frozen into ice. So, I thought I’d experiment and see if this made my life easier.

While I was out there, my friend Catherine (the baker’s wife) was out cleaning the steps of the boulangerie. Their steps are a real hazard in bad weather, as they are quite steep and we’ve got a lot of old, frail people here who struggle to get up them in the best of weather. I was thinking that I was really sorry I hadn’t bought salt last week when I was out shopping. But, foolish me, I thought we were through with snow for this year.

The most concerning thing is that our power has been flickering on and off for a few hours. I am hoping that we don’t lose it entirely. I can’t open the shade on the skylight when it’s snowing, because the snow buildup on the window itself would keep me from closing it again and that means we lose a lot more heat through the window than when it’s closed. But it means that the staircase is totally dark unless we have electricity.

I had thought we should close up the fireplace for the season; but I guess I was wrong about that too!

In fact, I don’t mind the snow itself; what I really don’t like is the ice after the snow starts to melt then refreezes. I have never been the world’s most graceful creature at the best of times and in the ice I always feel as if I’m seconds away from disaster. When we watched the ice skating at the Olympics last month, I marveled at the way the skaters not only moved on the ice, but how they just bounced right up after falling. I would just be lying there moaning!

Hope your weather is lovely wherever you are!

Ciao for now.

Randy

Don’t Know

How this is going to play out, but we are under Orange Alert for snow and ice! Hey, what was I writing last week about Spring?  I guess anyone can be wrong.

I do remember some of the worse storms we ever had when I was growing up were spring storms, so I guess this is in line with tradition. Still, it’s a tradition I could do without.

I do love snow, but I feel that this winter we have had enough and I am now good and ready for spring. I guess there’s always the chance that it won’t be as bad as they are warning us about; it was apparently very, very heavy in the Vosges and other regions where it struck yesterday and earlier today.

So, think lovely, warm springtime thoughts and keep your fingers crossed!  I will do the same for all of you, no matter where you are.

Ciao for now.

Randy