The Little Post That Could


Janet’s patio, February 9, 2010

*chug, chug, chug, chug, CHOO CHOO!*

Oh, crikey.

It’s almost been a month! Today is March 2, 2010, and I last posted on February 4, 2010. *chuckles to self* Not exactly the way to keep a blog, I know. But, I was in the south of France for almost two weeks, from February 8th to 19th, and then February is a short month. So, out of the time that I could have blogged, there have only been 14 days available.


That’s two weeks’ worth of time, huh. Heh.

*pauses thoughtfully*

Okay, what can I say, I am a Lame-o Blogger! *sheepish grin*

Maybe not so much, though.

The previous post,  Part Three about Versailles, has still been going strong. Lovely reader Carole left a long and in-depth comment as recently as yesterday and I just replied an entire blog’s worth back there. Traffic and reads on this site have increased threefold as a result of write ups on the blog sites of author Catherine Delors and Elena Maria Vidal. I am so thankful for their exposure of my site, and I am thankful to all who visited and left comments as a result. Because WordPress does such a good job of tracking stats, I have learned that people have been visiting the site because of searches on Marie Antoinette, Versailles, Kirsten Dunst, and other related terms that have picked up my three blogs on my visit to Versailles. Part One of the three has now had 212 views (96 for Part Two and 38 for the third part, which I think was my favorite part to write about. Based on the quality of comments and discussion there, I think you think so, too).

Those posts did kind of wear me out, though, and as I was talking to my best friend Janet about not blogging more, she said something to the effect that it is not easy to hop back on and post after all that work. Anything is going to seem kind of lame by comparison. But, just like the proverbial horse, sooner or later one has to get back on and ride. I’m on the horse.

Also, I have been in a bit of a funk.

Winter in France leaves a lot to be desired, especially for those who were affected by Xynthia, the storm that hit western France so very hard over the weekend. So far, 51 in France alone have lost their lives in the storm, which caused high winds and flooding, wreaking havoc in the Vendée and Charente-Maritime regions.  The area is in a state of crisis, as are the places affected by the 8.8 Chilean earthquake, and still-recovering Haiti. It’s a wild world in which we live, isn’t it? I am thankful for warmth and a home with a roof and running water. Count thy blessings, eh? That’s good medicine for a funk.

Parisian weather was not too terrible this weekend, with Saturday showing promise of springtime and warmth, although Sunday was wet with some winds that really need to be called “breezes” in comparison to Xynthia’s fury. Still, we’re not entirely out of winter’s dim grip. This affects my mood a lot.

Next, my fellow blogger whom I really look up to in terms of her writing and her life experiences, Betsy Shaw, put it so very well in her recent post, “Art Without Borders“:

I think the culture shock of leaving behind our home and moving to France has stripped us all of a layer of our skin and exposed us to a level of sensation, sensitivity, awareness and humility that we’ve never experienced before.

I told her in comments that I was probably going to use this sentence from her in a post, and here you go. That’s just IT, that’s the shiznit of descriptions of what being in a new culture is like. On the downside, leaving a home behind in one culture to make a new one in another culture can lead to depression and to a sense that everything is turned inside-out and upside-down. On the upside, it means that by being more sensitive, we perceive more, we feel more, and I would argue, ARE more as a result. I think it is why people through the ages have up and gone someplace else to live — it expands us in ways that can be very good for us, stretching our boundaries of self into expanded territory, in the soul-sense.

I liked what Betsy had to say in her blog, as I like what she writes in all of her blogs, so please, if you have time, add her to your reading list both at Numbmum and her posts at BabyCenter: Babe’s Blog.

So, I have been kind of bumming, feeling both hypersensitive and alternately detached, simply because everything is just *too much* some days and detachment is the only way out and through it all. Those are the kind of days I just cannot write because it would seem too bleak, too wallowing, even for me (I have to do it, even though it is not good writing, but I am chuckling for real, so here goes: LOL).

I guess it is a good sign that I am writing then, eh?

Finally, a last component of the funk has been continued food intolerances and associated problems. I have blogged in-depth about some of my experiences here: “I Am.” Since that time, a few months ago, things have gotten worse insofar as what foods cause me to react. Because I was eating so much chicken and rice in prior months, I have sensitized to them, too. They are off the menu for now. Beans? Problematic. Xanthan Gum = OH MY GAWD! I learned at Janet’s that the food additive to give non-gluten flours a bit of smoothness and spring, xanthan gum, makes me really sick. Terrible bloating, tummy cramps, and diarrhea sick. Ugh. Grains of all kinds, even the non-gluten ones, are off the menu, too, because of continued disturbances in my bod with their ingestion.

In case at this point you are wondering, “Why does this happen?”, there is a really succinct article here: Food Sensitivities at WH Foods. The book Food Allergies and Food Intolerance: The Complete Guide to Their Identification and Treatment by Jonathan Brostoff, M.D. (here at Amazon) is a book detailing some of the currently-known mechanisms behind food intolerance and what to do about it.

There is conservative mainstream medicine, there is alternative medicine, and there is fringe medicine. Food intolerances are most accepted by cutting-edge alternative medical practices (in traditional and alternative medical settings) and fringe medicine, and to a very slowly-growing extent in conservative mainstream medicine, too. I have not been checked out by a traditional medical doctor in almost two years, I don’t have access currently to traditional medical care (I am under a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy with the reasons for that right now), and so everything I am experiencing is self-diagnosed based on my past medical history and my current symptoms.  So the HOW and the WHY this is all going on is what I have pieced together with a lot of reading and research and self-experimentation over the past year. It’s not easy to do this on one’s own.

I have been eating a modified diet for just over 11 months now. Totally gluten-free since the beginning, I have now progressed to eliminate the following for the present time:

  • all diary/sources of casein
  • yeast
  • corn
  • citrus
  • pork
  • chicken
  • turkey
  • soy
  • eggs
  • peanuts (and a drastic reduction of other legumes — meaning: no more that a serving once or twice a week)
  • nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers – sweet and hot)
  • grains and most grain substitutes (in addition to the gluten grains: wheat, rye, barley, and oats, such as rice, millet, quinoa. I have been trying buckwheat at low quantities)
  • limiting foods that are high in oxalates (see a sample list here)
  • limiting foods that are high in sugars, including the elimination of refined sugars and the limitation of fruits high in naturally-occurring sugars

Janet drew my attention to this list of 14 foods that are to be avoided if you have a chronic immune disorder by Kenneth D. Fine, M.D. They match my experience of what foods cause me the biggest problems with my health (which I outlined in that previous post of mine entitled “I Am” ). There is other helpful and explanatory information in his presentation at the link there.

Okay, so pretty much I am guessing you can deduce that my relationship with food right now is a bad one. I am highly discouraged at the moment with the whole situation, there is nothing much I can do except try to eat what I can that is not on the list up there, and cross my fingers that whatever is going on with my immune system being overactive in regards to food quiets down. Soon.

I am feeling I am at a bit of an impasse right now. (Do you remember this scene from The Princess Bride? Hahahahaha! I love that scene. Wallace Shawn is so great!!)

As a result, I am frustrated to the point of pretty much not eating. Just for a couple of days, just until I can get my head around a game plan of what to do next, which is probably suck it up and keep eating the bland fish fillets and veggies I have been eating the past three weeks or so. But at the moment I have entered a hunger-strike against life and my body as I am sick of the whole business. I am still eating some raisins, currents, dates, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, and have been eating a few cashews (which I am pretty sure are giving me stomach cramps and diarrhea, still, ugh, unless, of course, it is the high-fiber raisins, *sheesh*), so no worries that I will starve to death.

I’m gathering my wits is all, until I know what to do. I feel like if I can get into a more neutral place in my head with all of this, I will be more clear in following my intuition, something that has been critical for me to do in this whole process.

So it goes.

There is the tale of why I have not blogged much in the past month. I hope that March will be better. I have photos of Antibes here at Flickr (they are not yet very well-captioned, though) and I posted a couple of videos of the snow I experienced in Antibes at YouTube, if you want to hear my narration of snow falling down in the south of France, haha. That might keep you all busy until I can get my act together enough again to write something here.

Hope you are all well, and until next time, I am,

your alien parisienne

Categories: Celiac Disease /Gluten Intolerance, Cross-Cultural Living, Life in Paris, Paris Blogging, Personal Life | Tags: , , , , , , ,

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33 thoughts on “The Little Post That Could

  1. Aimee

    On the upside…I don’t feel bad for not visiting your blog for a month. On the downside…boo on food! You want me to kick its butt?

    • Hey kid! Good to see you here! You have had a TON on your plate which is why you have not been here, but I know we can mutually stalk one another in other places, no? 🙂 It’s all good.

      Yes, please. Kick food’s ass for me! :)~

  2. ((hug)) post more… more photos.

    I feel bad for you about the celiac. I think I told you I tested negative, but there are increased indications that there is something seriously wrong… probably to do with my blood sugar. I’ve pretty much reduced gluten in my diet (ooh, the rice waffles taste just as good as the wheat) and have started to look at specific grains and refined carbohydrates.

    I can’t imagine HAVING to live gluten free.

    I’m looking at your list, though, and wondering… besides water, what ARE you taking in?

    • Hi Kate! I have plans to post more photos! I hope I can get the mojo to do it.

      Yes, I saw that you tested negative for celiac. You know what? After posting this, I had a serious talk with Janet, who keeps coming back to an alternative kind of diagnosis of something called “adrenal fatigue.” She encouraged me that maybe getting some protein in my system and not skipping eating will actually help me and that some of what I experience is not simply food intolerance but a hinky, not-very-adequate adrenal gland function. There are those that think that gluten intolerance can lead to eventual adrenal underfunctioning as well.

      I think what I need to do is go grocery shopping and go ahead and eat some chicken. Some of the digestive stuff I am experiencing can be from a low-functioning adrenal gland, too, and no matter what I eat or don’t will be with me until I can get it functioning better again.

      I hope you figure out what is going on with you, too! I have to say, getting control of one’s health and body is a never-ending puzzle and adventure, eh?

      Thanks for coming by, Kate (hug back).

  3. Lauri

    Oh Karin, sorry to hear about the additional food troubles. You mention that you are unable to see a traditional medical doctor now, but what about an acupuncturist? Their fees are usually much less expensive than an MD. I have GERD, sometimes a severely painful and bothersome case. When I lived in Seattle, I saw an acupuncturist who was also very knowledgable in Chinese medicine. She helped me with both needles AND several different kinds of Chinese herbs. (I’ve been meaning to seek out an acupuncturist here in the Bay Area.) Just a thought for you.

    I love the picture of Janet’s patio. BEAUTIFUL!!!

    P.S. I posted some pictures from my long-ago Paris trip on Facebook. Take a looksy if you have the chance.

    Good luck to you!

    • Lauri – I would love to be able to connect with a naturopath or acupuncturist, I am just not entirely sure how to go about it, and I also know that they are not cheap, too, even if less than an M.D. (although once I can get hooked up in France, an M.D. would be cheaper. Just not necessarily sympathetic. M.D.s here pooh-pooh the idea of things like “food intolerance” and finding a doctor who is sympathetic to what’s going on is difficult). I’m going to keep persevering as long as I can on my own. I will beseech the universe that if it is really necessary for me to find alternative care that maybe I will just bump into someone at my yoga class or something!

      I am so glad you like the photo of Janet’s patio. It is the Best. Patio. Ever. No joke. Except it is better in good weather, lol!

      I just checked out your photos and loved them. You need to come BACK!!


  4. Pagan

    Do I ever understand about internalizing and just kinda blanking out over it all…I’ve been doing the same. I found a series I really like called Supernatural…and watch that a lot in my alone time. Is good and it keeps me from pacing my apartment. *peace*

    • “Supernatural” is a fun series! We have definitely blanked out over it all with that one! 🙂 Yes, it does help to find something to focus on like a book, movie or series. Peace back to you, chica.

  5. Miss T

    Will Janet adopt me?
    just sayin…

    *big hug* here too 🙂

    • You will have to consult with her, Miss T! But tell you what: I seriously think about setting up the Karin and Janet Ashram in the south of France every time I am there, so if we do, you can certainly join us! Thank you for the hug, and here’s another back for you. MWAH. (And a kiss — do they give check kisses in Greece, too?)

  6. Carole

    Wow, Karin, that’s rough. I will say to you what a dear friend always says to me: be gentle with yourself.

    Thank you for the gracious and thoughtful response. You take care. Seriously.

    • Carole — thank you for those kind words. You are so welcome for the response, too! My pleasure. I will take care. My head is in even a better space today about food than in a few days, and I am in fact eating more. Just made some turkey fillets with some sautéed onions and some buckwheat kasha. Chicken made my stomach upset in the past two days (okay, and I confess I brazenly ate some popcorn at the movie last night. It could have been that, too. Ugh.) but I am giving things a Girl Scout try again and hoping that things will start to even out. *crosses fingers*

  7. Hi everybodeeeee!


    I have not made it a priority to reply to comments here today, but I also had a lot less time online that usual today, too, and had some emailing to catch up on. I promise I will come back tomorrow to reply to your lovely words. For now, PJ and I are off to see “Crazy Heart,” which I am *really* looking forward to seeing! I’ll let you know how it is!

    À demain!

  8. Don’t feel bad…we have our lives before we have blogging. You last three posts were so amazing that it gave everyone the opportunity to relish them.
    Sorry to hear about your funk. I have moments like that…sure the food situation does not help though. I am glad that you are back and hope the weather warms up soon as well as your spirits.
    Best wishes 🙂

    • Hi Corine! yes, I have a long time blog friend who has always said, “Life first, blog later.” It is so true. It’s hard to remember to keep it all in perspective, though, when blogging is so much a part of my life! Not just here, but other places, too, for about five years now (all of them are archived personally, but not much is publicly online, though). I am absolutely sure you are right in that the warmer weather will help de-funkify things around here! I do hope so! Plus, with warmer weather it is easier to get away with eating things like salads. Light fare that does well in warm weather! I am looking forward to it! Thank you for the best wishes, Corine!

  9. “On the upside, it means that by being more sensitive, we perceive more, we feel more, and I would argue, ARE more as a result.”
    This is a wonderful insight. Until the age of four, as my dad went from job to job, we went from town to town. So, when we settled in one place for twelve years, I had this ingrained wondering of just when we were going to move again. After twelve years, I had put down my roots and was building my world and was shocked when we had to move again. I lived where I had lived for all of the memories it held. We lived in the next place for fifteen years and it never felt like home. Was it because I was older? That I spent most of my time in other towns than the one I slept? When we had to move from there, I finally took control of my life and destiny. I moved to a place of my choosing. It was a place one the top of my list of places I wanted to live, but never dreamed I would. I had bid for two apartments and the first in a town closer to where I was turned me down, but the second in that place that was too perfect to be mine accepted me. I will admit that as I settled in and made myself a home, I didn’t feel a connection to it for the first year and then I became active in that community and it WAS mine. I only moved from there a couple of years later over a doomed bid for love. I went to a plkace that seemed to hate me as much as I detested it, but the forward motion started in that first dream home caused me to continue to thrive personally inspite of my longing for home. My hell was short lived and I came back to the area, but in a new town (for me).I thought it to be more temporary than it turned out to be. The harder I’ve tried to leave, the more strings appear to hold me here (and really, by now the only reason I would want to leave is to upgrade my actual dwelling as I’ve come to feel more at home in this town).

    My sense of home is what drove me to blog in the first place as when I was in that awful place with all I knew and loved so far away, I needed so to express myself and all that I expirienced. Long e-mails to everyone I knew were the only way I knew how and when I came back here determined never to feel so isolated again, I started social networking. Just like moving to a new town, each place and form of networking took some getting used to. New friends were made, I lost some from site to site, but I also gained in confidence and developed my own style. The ups and downs of life have effected my output and like you, I find that winter brings me to a creative slow down and my life is driven indoors and I’m disconnected from the world (except what I can gleen through the media). What you said about being more sensitive rings so true though, as if we’ve lost a layer of skin and those nerves are raw and exposed. Frightened of the unknown, we notice the little things that go unnoticed by others and make connections. Smaller things will make us happy or sad. I wonder if this is why so many great artists have gone on great journeys? Was it for material or simply to rip away that layer of the familiar that numbs them to the real.

    I am guessing that since your intolorances to certain foods have inceased, it stands to reason that they may also decrease, but sometimes things don’t work that way. If the intolorances are caused by aging, then certainly (without major breakthroughs on that front)they would NOT be likely to decrease. Getting professional help to advise and monitor this more closely is an imperitive (as you are running out of things that won’t cause problems), but I can see instances where mainstream medicine isn’t going to embrace what works (might be different in France, but my expiriences here makes me sceptical). Of course, you already know your options better than I, so all I can offer is a supportive shoulder.

    I had posted comments on your videos (they showed up in my subscription box, heehee), but upon returning, they were gone..

    Ah, see, the alternative diagnosis of a posible adrenal gland is something that shows you need testing and monitoring (or simply have a professional dietition look at the data you’ve gathered on yourself as you’ve done some pretty extensive self testing)

    • Okay! Now for the blomment! 🙂

      First off, there is still one comment on the fourth video, to which I replied:

      I don’t know if you left more, but yeah, I did not see them! I hope it was not that I was too late in approving them. I need to make sure to check my other mail accounts more often. So sorry about that.

      Next, I really liked your insights and extrapolation of what it is to move – what it is to be relocated in our lives and what are the implications of doing so. I liked your observation here:

      What you said about being more sensitive rings so true though, as if we’ve lost a layer of skin and those nerves are raw and exposed. Frightened of the unknown, we notice the little things that go unnoticed by others and make connections. Smaller things will make us happy or sad. I wonder if this is why so many great artists have gone on great journeys? Was it for material or simply to rip away that layer of the familiar that numbs them to the real.

      As for the last part of that, I think it may have depended on the artist, but I really like the idea that they went on great journeys to become less numb. It’s a delicate balance, though. If too many of the layers are stripped away, then detachment and numbing can occur (I think) because the sensory input is just TOO MUCH. But if there is a right balance of stripping away, then the potential to see and feel things in an entirely new way is possible. Anyways, I really liked your ideas and also about how online life is so much like moving into a new town. That is SO true!

      I can see instances where mainstream medicine isn’t going to embrace what works (might be different in France, but my expiriences here makes me sceptical). Of course, you already know your options better than I, so all I can offer is a supportive shoulder.

      You are right — I don’t think that mainstream medicine in France is going to be really of much help, either. From some people I have heard that doctors here are much *less* open to finding diagnoses and instead just throw pills at problems. Ugh. Still, I might be able to get tested for various auto-immune disorders to see if there is anything underlying the problems I am having. If not, then I am still back where I started: handling this on my own. I really do thank you for the support and just reading about what is going on. It lessens the burden to be heard! A lot of the need to write about this is that it helps me gather my wits about me and plan what to do next. I’m already headed that way with having written this piece. Thank goodness. 🙂

      Thanks for your extensive reply, Ken.

  10. Hi Karin,
    Good to see you back online. I hope you get through this rough patch, I’m sure when the weather brightens up and spring finally arrives your days will be happier.

    As for not writing a post for a month, well, what on earth were you thinking? Skulking off to the South of France for a holiday in Antibes eh? A MUCH DESERVED BREAK I SAY! Your last posts were amazing and should be published in a guide book!!!

    “Finally, a last component of the funk has been continued food intolerances and associated problems.”
    This must be a total nightmare in France, I feel so sorry for you and I hope that everything sorts itself out soon.

    • Hi Piglet!! Good to see you here, too. I need to get my hind end over to “your place” again, too. So much to read, so little time. Well, actually, a lot of time, but I read a lot of bloggers! 🙂 I do love it…

      I really am hoping that spring holds promise! I’m trying not to count on it *too* much (I don’t want to put all my eggs in one spring basket, only to be disappointed that spring does not put some of itself in my step), but based on what spring was like around here last year (April and May especially), it is going to be better. 🙂

      Awww, thank you so much for the wonderful words about the Versailles posts. I really was so glad that I could capture the way that place inspired me so much!

      Yeah, food intolerance in France is not my favorite thing I have ever done (I am laughing out loud, quite ruefully at the whole thing!). It’s a bit like torture, is what it is! On the other hand, I have thought long and hard and talked with my friend Janet about the fact that if I can learn to handle food intolerances here in France, I can do it *anywhere*. Anywhere else will be a…. I was going to write “piece of cake,” but then with my whole situation, maybe it should be “buckwheat pilaf” or “stir fried carrot,” haha.

      Thank you for reading and responding. 🙂

  11. Gosh, I am so lucky to be able to eat anything. I don’t know how you do it. I hope you get the whole diet thing arranged so that you enjoy eating and, most importantly, are healthy.

    • Hi Linda! I was happy to be at your blog today, and I am really hoping in the near future I can get to your long and detailed India post! I saw the photo of the chai wallah and got so excited!! What a trip of a lifetime…

      I used to be able to eat anything, and did, in my travels from Mexico to China to Japan. I really miss food adventures, a lot. I don’t know how I do it right now, either, except as they say in rehab lingo “one day, one meal at a time.” I hope it resolves in my life eventually. Yes, the health is the thing I worry about most. I want to have this more resolved so that I can be healthy and happy. A worthy desire/goal. 🙂

      Thank you for stopping by and see you soon on your blog again, too!

  12. Hi Karin, just wanted to let you know, how I enjoyed your photos of Antibes. Despite the surprising snow, the South of France has a special energetics that I always enjoyed. Sorry to hear about your food sensitivities. I can relate, having been there myself. When I was first diagnosed with gluten intolerance, I was also strongly reactive to corn, soy, dairy, etc. The healing of the gut takes some time. A particular supplement called L-glutamine (does not contain gluten, despite the misleading name), as well as coconut kefir and other probiotic supplements have helped me a great deal. Natalia Rose’s books “Detox the World” – she also has several others, but the titles do not come to mind right now – have also helped. She is a certified nutritionist and her approach incorporates a preference for raw foods and juicing. Juices and smoothies, especially green smoothies, have been very helpful to me as well. You can find out more about Natalia’s approach to wellness at There is also some helpful information regarding food sensitivities at and about healthy immune function at I hope that any of this is helpful to you and just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your posts.
    Best wishes, Inge

    • Hi Inge!

      Thank you so much for commenting, and I am sorry it took me a couple of days to approve the comment and also reply. Weekends are a bit busy here for computer time. It’s Monday now, though, and I have the apartment to myself and time to sit and respond at leisure.

      First, I am glad you enjoyed the photos of Antibes! I keep hoping I can post about it. It’s already been a month since I left to stay there. I am amazed at how time flies. Next, I am also so glad to know that you had a struggle with multiple food intolerances at the beginnings of your diagnosis. I am so grateful for the added information about L-Glutamine (which I have read about before, and actually used to take a few years ago when I was trying out the Atkins Diet. It is recommended in their materials, too. I will look for some here!) and also the info about raw foods, immune function, and food sensitivities.

      Thank you so much, Inge!

      Be well and hope to see you again here soon. 🙂

  13. I am so sorry to hear you are having trouble. My friend’s wife has Celiacs and it has wreaked havoc in her life. I hope that you find a way to manage through this 🙂

    • Hello Brocantess!!

      I hope things have warmed up in your neck of the woods and that your unpacking and cataloging is going well. Thank you for the well-wishes in negotiating the food intolerance stuff. It’s helpful to know that there are others “out there” who experience one form of havoc or another. 🙂

      Take care!

  14. “On the upside, it means that by being more sensitive, we perceive more, we feel more, and I would argue, ARE more as a result. I think it is why people through the ages have up and gone someplace else to live — it expands us in ways that can be very good for us, stretching our boundaries of self into expanded territory, in the soul-sense.”

    This will serve as my gospel from now on. Thanks.
    And, sometimes I think that lack of updates on one’s blog can actually be a good sign. It’s good to take time out to simply feel it and live it, rather than trying to capture it by writing it all down. Just my opinion, of course.
    On your diet: I am in awe at your discipline. I realize your body is dictating this, but I wouldn’t last 24 hours without sugar. Bon chance, et bon courage.

    • Hey Betsy! It is good to see you here. You remind me: I have to catch up on the latest Friday installment of yours, too.

      I’m glad you liked the continuation up there of your idea that overseas living makes us more sensitive. Yeah, I have to keep re-framing it all like I did up their for myself, too, lol. It does help to do that, though — positive affirming of what *good* life can bring in spite of the difficulty. In my “good moments” it is easy to remember this is the case. It’s the bad ones where I will need to take a look at this post and what I wrote, too.

      It’s true: a lack of blogging often means there is more living going on. Most times!! Sometimes for me it means I am wallowing in the apartment, too tired to even write, heh! It also means that I am reading a lot of others’ stuff, too, and trying at least to expand my brain and make sense of that which is difficult to make sense of, at times.

      Okay, chick — I know you know my discipline because it was you that used to careen down mountainsides on a board, lol! Same will and strength, just with a different emphasis/focus! So I know you could do it, too. I do really appreciate the empathy, though.

      Seriously. There are chocolate chip muffins, with gluten and dairy and other “bad stuff” in them I made for Paul and the kids this weekend, sitting on the countertop in the kitchen. Even though it has been almost a year since I went off wheat and even though I *know* I bloat to about a five-months’ pregnant size when I eat stuff like that, I keep walking past those muffins trying to fool myself that eating just one could not hurt. Ha! So yeah, thank you for the good wishes. I’m hanging in there, but it is not easy. Still, we do what we have to do when we have to do it, eh?

      Thank you so much for reading, Betsy.

  15. Well, you don’t post often, but when you do it…!
    I can confirm that I also liked your Versailles posts very much and I’m happy you found a lot visitors and some interesting comments!
    As you recently (I saw your flickr photos), I was in the south recently and did not really meet the spring I hoped for. (But it was nice anyhow!) Hope we can make some nice (warm) walks around Paris soon!

    • Hi there, Peter! Yes, when I post it is really a post to be reckoned with. I started writing another one yesterday, too, that is also lengthy. How I wish I were the Hemingway of blog writing instead of the Proust or Tolstoy, heh. Well, not in terms of talent, but in terms of style.

      It is too bad that this year has been so cold all over France, it seems! Brrrr. That the south is not all that pleasant yet is telling, and I keep thinking about global warming. The one really sunny day I had there was worth it, though! I’m looking forward to your write up about the south, too.

      Yes, WARM walks! I really do need to absorb some sunshine soon once it is warm, so I am up for a walk as soon as it seems that sunshine is on the weather program! I’m ready to discover another unknown part of Paris, too.

      Be well, Peter.

  16. P.S. If you haven’t already, go see the film “Liberte.” It’s about gypsies in France during WWII. It’s beautiful and sad and thought-provoking and moving and all those things that make a film great. And… it gives some unique insight into the gypsy culture and their, once upon a time, deep connection to nature. The world was their home, as long as it was the natural world.

    • That sounds really good, Betsy. I am also looking forward to seeing “La Rafle” with Jean Reno and Mélanie Laurent. Sad topic matter, but also very touching stuff.

      I’ll let Paul know that I want to put “Liberté” on the film docket!

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