Browsing Posts published in February, 2011

Some of you may recall that before leaving Canada I relieved myself of most of my worldly possessions including my books. I can hear the collective gasp of the writers who grace my blogstep. Out they went, Neruda, Carol Shields, Henry James, Franzen, even Sedaris didn’t make the cut.

I took one book and one book alone, The Places That Scare You: A Guide To Fearlessness in Difficult Times by Pema Chödrön, a buddhist nun who teaches at a Tibetan Monastery in, of course, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. The reasons I kept this one for my current caper should be obvious.

Well today I wish I still had my Bonny with me. I’d race up to her like a chicken with my head cut off screaming, “get me Pema Chödrön on the phone right now. While you’re at it see where Karen Maezen Miller is and what the Dalai Lama’s up to because I have singlehandedly discovered the pathway to inner peace.”

But first let me tell you my Terms of Enlightenment. The answer came to me after a long period of… let’s call it reflection… that involved lounging in bed for half the day, then sitting in a chair for the other half followed by some quality time on the couch ending with a return to bed. It was exhausting.

I started with thinking about how I ended up here. About how I happened to find myself in a small town in France. How I wound up jobless, carless, bookless, hairless. Then I launched into pondering the future. What will become of me? What if I can’t ever speak French any better than I do today? What if I get really sick over here? What if I have nowhere to live come September? What if skinny jeans stay in style forever?

As usual I let my brain run on autopilot and propel me into a state of absolute paralysis. It was in this moment of self-generated mayhem that the meaning of life revealed itself to me. My husband passed me this:

Continue reading “Zen And The Art Of Macaron Maintenance” »



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Wreckgate continues. We are STILL waiting to hear from the second bank. Things are indeed progressing albeit at the usual escargot pace. Today I spent an hour at the bank filling out medical questionnaires so that I can receive mortgage insurance. Now I already have insurance up the whazoo in Canada but French law says, no French insurance, no Wreck. Probably not a bad policy given my state of affairs.

After all this finagling I’m not even sure I want to go ahead with the Wreck now. In case you’ve forgotten we’ve been at this since early October. It feels like it’s been a bit wrong from the start. Now with the benefit of time and distance it’s starting to feel a bit foolhardy. Nothing like signing 45 documents that you can’t understand to stir up a bit of caution. Continue reading “Wreckless” »

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