“When you are a spiller, you just don’t get worked up about things like this.”
-EMC Maierhofer tonight while making dinner
New Competition: Give someone the amount of money that you would normally spend on a two weeks of groceries. Have them buy what they think you might eat. Spend the next two weeks eating only that food, with only essential purchases in addition to the peer-bought items. The rules and prizes are as the previous competition.
Chris mentioned to me tonight that he has been surprised by the wonderful food we have made here. Working only with items that someone else has purchased for you has made us try new recipes, and a few times, new foods (parsnip and turnip… what do we do with that!?!). Tonight is cabbage night number two, and it is going smashingly.
It was a productive day, though it went much like any other day. We ate porridge for breakfast, walked Muttley to the bakery in Premian (about a mile up and downhill). I have been feeling bad about my French speaking abilities. My biggest problem is that I am too timid when interacting with a French speaker. If they talk quickly, it is worse, but really any interaction just leaves me panicked, and worrying too much about whether they will hate me for the words that come out of my mouth. I know it is silly, but it is one of my perpetual problems, and something I am working toward improving. Chris, on the other hand would giggle through any interaction happily except he doesn’t speak French!
With his support, I decided to get over it, and have an actual conversation with the woman at the bakery. The other day we met an older gentleman named Andree on the street. He was very nice, but I was too nervous, and he kindly switched to English for our brief encounter. The only regular interaction with another person, besides each other, is the woman at the bakery. This morning on our Muttley walk, I worked through a conversation at both the bakery, and the post office. It felt great, and we got a new kind of bread out of the experience.
After our allotted five hours of work, we came inside to warm up, and relax for the evening. I was extremely excited to see three comments awaiting review on this blog. Dear reader, please comment, I do so enjoy contact with you.
Two new comments were from my mother, who asked me about the galette du roi, a traditional French cake eaten on January 6. I have wonderful memories of my Meme, and my mother making this cake, eating the trimmings, and waiting with excitement to see which person would find the ceramic figurine baked into the sweet almond paste between the layers of pastry dough.
Dear reader, just as the quotation at the beginning of this post states that I am a spiller, I am also disorganized both in the physical spaces I inhabit, and in my sweet, blank mind. I am not good with dates, as my husband Chris will tell you. I, most embarrassingly, and as a habit of fear at this point, can never remember on which day in May his birthday falls each year. So it is also with Three Kings Day, which happened to be January 6.
I responded to my mother’s comment in a totally true, and totally evasive way, which is preserved for eternity, and you may see if you wish. Then, Chris and I put on our things, and took Muttley out for a second walk into town. I had been thinking all day about working my way through conversations with French people, and so when we saw the woman at the bakery, I haltingly told her the story of what had transpired since our last meeting (seven hours earlier). She was very nice, and it felt really good to have a sincere interaction, and to recall the victory and sweet memories of Three Kings Day with Chris as we walked home. It is for this reason that I feel I must dedicate this blog post to my mother, “mom.”
Some minutes feel like an eternity here– another day spent moving piles of logs, or scraping moss off of a tile roof, but it is times like just now that feel as though all of that is just a ripening process. I feel like I just started to ripen today. On our walk home, which we have only ever taken in the morning, I noticed a stunning sunset over the mountains, and olives hanging from a tree we pass daily, but only noticed in the new light.