Close Encounters

Of the tree sheep kind!

We were out on our lunch walk when Peaches went totally bat shit nuts! There was a squirrel on a tree (very low tree too) right in front of her! The poor squirrel was trying to get across the path to a tree closer to the river, but Peaches was having NONE of that, thank you very much!

Shmoo (on leash) felt that he needed to get involved, but at least I was able to drag him away. We didn’t want either of them to hurt the poor thing. We have lovely, red squirrels here. They are much sweeter than the evil, grey gang squirrels in L.A.

Realizing that there was no way he was going to get past the hound of hell, the squirrel made a run for an alternate route by going back the way it had come and through another garden. Of course the Peach took off in hot pursuit.

Normally, she has an excellent recall and even comes back from chasing after cats. But I’m afraid the provocation of a squirrel hunt was too much and she just went BC deaf and blind: “I can’t see you; I can’t hear you, so you can call me as much as you want, I’m not coming!”

Finally, because she was chasing it into places I consider dangerous (there’s a semi-abandoned garden that looks more like a dump than a garden), I decided I had to go after her and put her on leash. Luckily, after I climbed a low fence and got to within a few feet of her, she actually DID come to me, so I was able to clip on her leash and tell her what a good girl she was, even though I wasn’t “feeling” that way inside!

I guess the squirrel made it safely across the path. The dogs are now both sacked out, dreaming dreams of squirrel hunts with “happier” endings.

Ciao for now.



The past two days have been “waiting” days. You know the ones: a delivery is coming, a workman is coming, but you don’t know when and you’re not even 100% sure IF.

Yesterday I was waiting for two deliveries. One of them finally came much later than I expected, but the second one never showed up at all. I felt as if I’d wasted my entire day. I couldn’t really concentrate on much, because I kept waiting for the door bell to ring.

Since I work upstairs and the door is downstairs, when someone rings the bell it means I have to run with the dogs trying to push me down the staircase, then calm them down so I can open the door.  I am sure that the dogs know something is up, because they won’t settle either. And, because we didn’t know what time to expect someone at the door, we had to take the dogs for afternoon walks separately, something which disturbs the force.

At about 6:00, when the second of my deliveries hadn’t come, I figured the heck with it, and just locked up the shutters. I wanted to get comfortable and start making dinner without being interrupted.

That delivery finally came this morning, but they called this time to say they were coming and there was a good explanation about what had happened yesterday. Although that IS why God created cell phones…

Today, the electricians that we’ve been wanting to do work on Mom’s apartment were scheduled to come at 9 am. They in fact DID come at 9 am, which is really something of a miracle in my opinion. But they keep needing JM to go over and look at things or explain things to Mom or something or other. So, once again, we’re on tenterhooks, feeling unrelaxed.

It’s a silly thing to whine about I suppose, but it is an interference in a normally very routine oriented existence. And, there are other things I really need to do but feel that I can’t because I need to be here.

Now I’m waiting for the insurance company to process the paperwork on my poor little cell phone. More waiting! Enough already.

Ciao for now.


A Discovery

I love the new smartphones. They are so much more fun than the old phones. However, this week I discovered that they do not stand up as well to being dropped as their predecessors! All I can say is that I learned to lessons: one, it’s really good to have an all inclusive cell phone insurance policy and two, you really SHOULD put them in a solid case.  The first one I had, the second I did not, making the first thing even more important!

So far, I have been impressed with the way my claim is being handled. I went back to the Mobistore in Lavelanet where I bought my phone in July and the guy there didn’t seem the least bit concerned about what had happened to my phone. Apparently besides have a screen that was in about a million pieces, it had also suffered some internal water damage, which turns out to be a good thing for insurance purposes. They appear to take two weeks to process claims for breakage, but only three days for water damage. Why this is the case, I have no idea, but it strikes me as good for me.

At any rate, he wrote out a report that I signed. That was very helpful, because I feel extremely insecure about my written French, and that, combined with my rather horrid handwriting, meant it would have taken me an hour to write what he was able to do in three minutes. Then, he made copies of all the relevant paperwork and called the insurance company. They had me repeat my story and asked if the phone was working. That was hard to answer, since I hadn’t wanted to really use it since the touch screen was basically just a mass of shattered glass!

Instead, I put the salesman back on and discovered that despite the Academie Francaise and its attempts to keep the language “pure,” English is making ever more inroads into daily French life. When the Mobistore rep told the insurance company about the state of the phone, he said, “Ca Bug!” which I found hysterical. There were several posters around the shop that also had odd French versions of English terms such as “Pokez” and “Likez!”

I was given a temporary phone (not as nice as mine, so I can’t really do email or internet on it without a struggle), and told that with luck, I should have a new phone next week. I needed to send my dossier and my old phone to the insurance company, then they will process the claim and send the money directly to the Mobistore, who will call me and I can go in and get a new phone.

That’s the theory; now to see how it works in practice. Everything will take longer, unfortunately, since today is November 11th and a holiday here, as it is most places I would imagine.

WHEN I get my lifeline back, I do have a Twitter account now. It’s @rloff if you are interested.

Ciao for now.



We changed from daylight savings to standard time yesterday. I truly HATE changing from one system to the other. It’s like having jetlag without actually going anywhere. I’m not sure which is worse, losing the hour in spring and always feeling as if I’m running behind, or gaining the hour in fall and feeling that “stuff” should be happening, but it’s still too early.

Of course, the truly difficult thing about it is trying to explain it to the dogs! They just don’t get the concept and they are acting like the CGT (French union) ready to go out on strike.

Peaches wants me up and out of bed at 5 am! Sure, I tell her “Go back to bed,” which she does, but only for five minutes at a time, so I really don’t get any extra sleep.

In the afternoon, they want their dinner at 3:30, because to them, it’s 4:30! Today, I was in the kitchen, having just baked a cake. I was trying to unmold it and I felt a mighty wallop to my back; Shmoo had hit me! He wanted to eat and he wanted to eat NOW!!!

I finally compromised and fed them half an hour early. I’m hoping that I can get them onto the new schedule by tomorrow or the next day.

I think we all need to start a campaign right now to stop this nonsense once and for all. Let’s pick a time and stick with it!

Ciao for now,