Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I Survived the Bush Years

I'm thinking of making a new tee-shirt (get out an old plain one and some indelible ink markers...)


(and on the back)

500,000 IRAQUIS
50,000 AFGHANS
and over

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The cold has fled and the rain has settled in. I haven't seen the sun in three days. My shadow is missing. Bleak and gray describe it best - and I must have a streak of groundhog in me, or bear, because all I want to do is hibernate until spring come back again!

I took the dogs for a walk in the drizzle today - they don't mind if it's rainy or sunny - Auguste's tail wagged the whole way. Nothing much else to report - school started again, the house is quiet during the day, and I've started work again (keeps me busy, thank goodness, or I might start really cleaning the house or something!)
I read 'The Pyramid' by Henning Menkall and loved it. Another great mystery book by an incredible author.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Book Roast!

The Book Roast Team: Blogless Troll, Christine Eldin, Dee, Diesel, Jason Evans, Sarah Laurenson, and Shona Snowden, were back in action Monday, January 12.

They're hosting a party that includes one hot publisher, two terrific agents, and six fabulous authors. (I insist on the fabulous part because I (yes, 'moi'!) am among them!

The schedule is below: Monday, Jan 12: Mystery Publisher
Tuesday, Jan 13: Eric Stone
Wednesday, Jan 14: Agent Lucienne Diver
Thursday, Jan 15: Barrie Summy
Saturday, Jan 17: Elysabeth Eldering
Monday, Jan 19: Mystery Publisher
Tuesday, Jan 20: Traci E Hall
Wednesday, Jan 21: Maggie Stiefvater
Thursday, Jan 22: Agent Nathan Bransford
Friday, Jan 23: Jennifer Macaire (Please drop by that day and visit! Actually, drop by all days, it's a lot of fun!)

Check it out here

Saturday, January 10, 2009

More about snow

Well, the thrill of winter has gone - it happened on the second day when we woke up and there was no water - the pipes were frozen. Everyone had to go to school - work - Paris, so I was left holding the hair dryer, sitting in the frozen shed with the water pipes, a pile of newspaper, and a halogen light I grabbed from the living room.

I thawed the pipes, wrapped them in newspaper, noticed a joint was leaking slightly (Old, rusty pipes - they ned to be replaced ASAP) and set up the halogen light so it was shining on them and (hopefully) creating a little pocket of warmth in the cold. It was - 14C, which works out to be about 8°F.
The next morning the pipes froze again, and this time my husband volonteered to man the hair dryer. I re-wrapped the pipes (the newspaper had fallen off) and then wrapped them again with a polo wrap for horses, lol. Bright red. Very festive. Light is still on in the shed, so our electricity bill will be be horrid for this month.
But it's lovely to walk in the snow, play in the snow, slide in the snow, and throw snowballs at everyone.

Monday, January 05, 2009


It's snowing today - there are 3 inches of snow on the ground, and traffic has pretty much ground to a halt in this area. I tried to take my son Seb to the train station, but at the top of the hill a truck had slid across the road and blocked it, so I went back. My husband had to go to Paris, so he left early and took Seb. It's mid-term exams, and Seb had to get to the university for his first exam. I am wondering if he shuold stay in Paris tonight if he has more tomorrow - the forecast is for more snow.

Since it rarely snows here, the back roads don't get salted. Everything is quite slippery. I had to go shopping and drove Very Slowly, and only saw about three other cars on the road - everyone going Very Slowly.
Our village streets are salted, which is good, as we live on a steep hill. If the snow gets too deep, there is no way in or out. As I write this, the snow has stopped, which is probably for the best. Three inches of snow is about all we can handle. But in the Alps it's a different story. Here are pictures of number two son on his Christmas vacation trip! (Lucky guy!)

Friday, January 02, 2009

Wild Boar Hunt - Auguste the Bold

(Hervé gives orders - hunters listen intently - beaters look for the parts of the forest with the least brambles)

About a dozen of us decided to go wild boar hunting yesterday. It was Bernadette's idea - after the New Year's dinner, we'd meet the next day around noon at her place for a three hour hunt. So, the next day (I was barely awake at noon, but gamely stuffing myself into warm pants, thick socks, and an old coat). We stood and shivered in the cold wind while Hervé, the forest guard, explained where we'd be going (the beaters, me, my daughter and five friends) and where the hunters would be posted (my husband, Bernadette, Benoit, and two others). Then we piled into the pick-up and drove to the forest, with Auguste on my daughter's lap absolutely shaking with excitement. Auguste Loves to hunt. He's a small dog, and the brambles are hellish for him. He has to leap like a dolphin to get through them, and the woods are nearly all brambles. But he's got an amazing nose, and he has a voice that is deeper than you'd expect from such a little guy - and once he's on the trail, he starts to bay and it sounds like a bell - all in cadence - Arroo, Arroo, Arroo - you know he's following something.

(My daughter, starting off - note the long stick to beat the brambles with)

Well, we started off, and after about ten minutes of casting around, Auguste found a scent. Off he went, baying and bounding - disappearing into the forest. But you could hear him. He went off about a half a mile, and then suddenly a shot rang out. It was too far for us to know what had happened - it was a boar, that much we knew, but who'd gotten it and was it dead? Another shot rang out. We kept going, the beaters yelling and banging the trees with our sticks. About that time, a wild boar surged out of the brambles right in front of me, but it dodged the line (a very skinny line, with only a few beaters strung out over a quarter mile) And it headed to safety. We saw many, many roe deer. They were big and fat, and sprang over the brambles with leaps five and six feet high.
(After the drive - my daughter, a friend, and Auguste, all pretty tired, in front of a shooting stand)

When we got to the end of the line, before turning back to do the last part of the drive, Benoit, who had been posted at the point of the hunt, told us that Auguste had driven two boar his way, and he'd gotten them both. We called Auguste, who was standing on 'his' boar, and he reluctantly followed us to the end of the drive. But there were no more boar - he found a couple roe-deer, but he was too tired to give chase. We gathered at the meeting point while a couple hunters went to collect the boars in the pick-up. I was exhausted - I'd been walking through brambles for three hours, and it felt just like I've gotten over the flu, lol.

The boar in the pick-up -one small, one very large (we weighed it - 102 kilos!)