Friday, July 15, 2016

A Very Sad Day

Yesterday, I left my class at the Alliance Française at noon. We wished our teacher, who is from France,  "Happy Bastille Day" and some of the students were planning to attend a local Bastille Day celebration. When I arrived home, I learned about the tragedy in Nice.

I  watched the fireworks on Bastille Day from le Jardin Albert 1er in Nice some years ago. It was such a beautiful setting! So many people gathered together to celebrate freedom on a balmy summer night.

Terrorism and the murder of innocent people is unpardonable.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Retirement Project:A Pet

our first visit

During the last year, Monsieur and I have been sharing our common interest: a puppy called Tilde.
Tilde (M. made up the name). I wanted Sophie or Phoebe but her name is Tilde (pronounced Tildee).
Tilde just celebrated her first birthday with a visit to the dog-groomer and a birthday card from one of the neighbours.
our first outing

A few week-ends ago, Monsieur and I took Tilde on her first overnight driving trip. Our destination, Ellensburg Washington for Dachshunds on Parade. We found this fun event on the 
Internet and we decided to attend. Three hundred dachshunds and their owners in a small town in Central Washington State!!

Tilde has a very comfortable fleece-lined Sherpa carrier. She has a chewy stick and a toy in her cozy domaine. We stop regularly at rest stops so that Tilde can have a break.  

Tilde is now a part of the family

We stayed at the EconoLodge in Ellensburg. Why do non-smoking rooms in travellers' motels 
always smell as though someone smoked? Our room is clean and dog-friendly so I guess that a little
mustiness won't kill me.

Tilde has a trick! Tilde plays soccer. If we kick a full-sized soccer ball, Tilde runs after it and "dribbles" it back with her nose. She works at her trick every day with Monsieur who takes her to practise on an empty field. Tilde performed  her trick in the pet  show.

Oh, my goodness! Tilde won a giant trophy. It is almost bigger than she is. Tilde came in second in the pet tricks contest.

Tilde plays soccer

Such a big trophy for such a small dog!
Tilde is my first pet that I have raised as an adult so she is a different sort of retirement learning project for me.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Word of the Day:Insouciance

Fresh flowers are part of chic

I am a "word nerd". This morning, when I awoke, I was pondering the concept of "chic". I have
been following Fiona Ferris's Thirty Chic Days for ten days and my early morning contemplation, over my bowl of fresh strawberries and my cup of café au lait, led me to the word "insouciance" literally "the quality of being without worries."

Learning and practising a language is always chic. Some of my Sorbonne classes were held at Reid Hall where Jacqueline
Bouvier and Susan Sontag also studied.

Chic women do not worry. Their clothes are appropriately chosen and suitably maintained.  Their small closets are organized. No worries! Their home, whatever size it may be is clean and a vase of fresh flowers sits on top of the dining table. A fresh salad, daily walk and bit of time for contemplation... A life characterized by insouciance!

If I owned these shoes (from a shop in Place des Vosges) I would fly about the streets.

That's an oversimplification but....if we have conquered worry, our being is freed up for so many
other activities. We can smile and be gracious just because.. Worriers are always thinking about themselves and the possibility of disaster. Most of us will experience loss, disappointment and sadness in our lives.  Our bodies and our minds will alter. Most certainly, we will die and those we love will leave us.  But most of us will survive a missed bus or even a missed plane, an awkward moment, or a small financial setback. At my age, I know these things to be true.

There is so much around us to enjoy:even nature in Paris.

Okay, back to my original thought. Why is it easier for me to be insouciant when I am away from home? It's not just France but I'm equally worry-free in Mexico. First, I usually live in a smaller apartment and have someone who cleans once a week. Several apartments that I have rented have been supplied with books and music that I have enjoyed. In Oaxaca, I volunteer at a library so I have a source of free books. I don't drive when I am away from home.  I am by nature a flâneuse so walking to do my errands is not a hardship. Seafood, chicken and vegetables are my favourite foods so I eat them. I skype Maman each day and Darling Daughter e-mails when she needs to communicate.  Monsieur and I e-mail but we both benefit from alone and autonomous time.

fresh seafood in Paris

Why oh why is worry part of my life at home? No situation in my life can be improved by worry.
Worry impedes action and is decidedly  unchic. Worry causes stress which causes ill-health. From
a religious perspective, worry implies a lack of faith. In conclusion, for my next 20 days of chic, I will try to let go of worry, anxiety, apprehension, second favour of true Gallic insouciance.