A Girl Who Takes Over The Kitchen


Britney blaring, KitchenAid creaming butter with sugar, Lucy takes over the kitchen making yummy things usually of the cookie variety.  We know that sometimes recipes don’t turn out right, but with the right amount of butter, sugar and love, it always tastes great.


Today’s treats take advantage of the quickly ripening figs we have.  Soon we will have too many.  Soon the hornets will take over the figs during the evenings.  She’s out to make fig bars or fig newtons as I fondly refer to them, but this stuff takes time.  We need to chill the “newton” as well as prepare the figgy part.  A girl who, age appropriately, seeks immediate gratification, is advised to take the time to do it right.  If she follows the recipe, the newtons will surely be yummy.  In the meantime, we’ll have ice cream as soon as it’s done.


Zélie helps by taking everything important and running into the next room all stealth-like.



Tosca unmoved, anticipates meatier morsels to come. She’s not a fig fan.


Though, she’s always up for a photo.

Behold, The Jazz Flute Solo

Publishing words in the form of a blog is inherently narcissistic ( but enough about me … what do you think of me? ).  I’m not one to toot my own horn, but rather toot horns of other people that I find fascinating or thought provoking or too darn cute.  Today, it’s about me.  There’s no shame in my dark secret.  We all have one.  Thanks to Brent and Huey “Scooby Snacks” Morgan, I was hit smack in the face with a talent I had long forgotten.  I was a very good flute player or flautist, if you will.  First chair, all the juicy flute parts as well as the piccolo player.  Gina was pretty good, but damnit, I was better ( bitch ).  Yeah, I came a long way from my humble beginnings as the triangle soloist in Silver Bells ( you sing: silver bells – me: DING – you: silver BELLS – me: DING – It’s Christmas TIME in the city … and it goes on like that ). And yes, I did throw my mouthpiece across the room in a fit of rage leaving a small dent in my flute that I still have to this day. I am an artist, what else can I say. It runs in the family.

Brent listens to various BBC radio shows while he’s doing tractor time.  Huey is one of our favorites.  Huey has a good sense of cool ( or Kool ) that is fantastic to listen to while allowing your mind to runaway in thoughts of “who sampled this?” and “did he just play John Cougar Mellencamp?”  There I was, innocently taking a sit-down while Zélie napped when Huey played “Dazz” by Brick.  Fine groove.  Oh! A sax solo.  Nice.  Falsetto, good one.  As the song progresses your mind wonders with thoughts like “Dazz” … what the heck is that?  “Dazz Dance … Disco Jazz”  OH!  Disco and Ja – wait, what’s that?  A flute?   And there you are, after two minutes and change into the “Dazz” groove you are completely assaulted by a very long jazz flute solo.  It’s fabulous.

I put down my flute at age twelve and picked up some tap shoes and jazz shoes and ballet shoes and modern barefeet.  I didn’t see a future in flute playing.  I didn’t want to continue on in an orchestra or the marching band circuit.  I wanted to be in a REAL band.  But who does flute in a band?  Brick, that’s who.  Brent said that Huey was on flute solo junket the other day.   Flute solos just kept coming.  I remember practicing those jazz flute techniques when I wasn’t playing with the orchestra.  When no one was listening.  Me in my bedroom, tooting my own horn.  With nowhere to go as a woodwind player, I took to the performing arts like a tiger.  All my hours consumed with dance or drama or directing or singing or producing.  The flute, so cute, was shelved never intended to be revisited.

Today, I bring you “Dazz” by Brick via Brent via Huey.

Curtis Olympics


We have Olympic fever over here in Southwest France.  The kids thoroughly enjoyed all the athletic events brought to us on our T.V. for free in H.D.  I don’t care if you’re not into the Olympics or anything sporty, but if it’s in High Definition, you WILL be sucked in.

Way back before we had fields, Brent bought some athletic gear for the kids.  Otto picked up the kid shot-put and threw it like a ball.  Far.  Very far.  Brent went back online and bought the next size up as well as an adult shot-put.


Now, we have a lot of space to throw objects and run distances.  Brent uses the temporary fence posts to measure individual distances.  The kids are really into it ( and that’s not just the gummy treats at the end ).  After the evening events ( it’s cooler in the evening ), Otto went back over to the field and threw more stuff.  He likes to throw, our Otto.  I first noticed this when he was 9-months old as he threw Lamb Bolognaise at our window in our house in Seattle.  His distances grew further, you could see, like on our very last visit to Dad Watson’s in Fremont when he threw a tater-tot landing a direct hit on the back of a ( very understanding ) gentleman two tables away.  Sticks, balls, tater-tots, it don’t matter … that boy likes to throw.


We’re supporting their motivation.  We’re helping them understand their personal best.



The kids have managed to find ways to get to water one way or another.  Minty has new, pink floaties that she only refers to in a pitch that goes beyond my range of hearing ( you may have heard her.  She hits a frequency commonly used in aviation ).  “FLOATEEEEEEEZ!”


She loves her floaties.  She feels confident and able to practice her kicking and sticking her head underwater.


Here’s the other side, in case you needed to see the other floaty with more clarity.  Where did she learn how to pose like that?


Otto is beyond floaties, but goggles are very “now” with the seven-year-old crowd.


Bug is the only cat that hasn’t melted.  The “barn cats” stretch out across the farm begging us to “please, you there, turn down this heat.”


Zélie is still making faces.

Lordy Lordy


Our friend, Sid, turned forty and on the spur of the moment while cleaning up after some serious onion cooking for the big party, posed appropriately for a photo. It’s the squiggle that really makes me giggle. We have a straight line version, but it doesn’t capture the essence of pretending to urinate with a hose. Truly boy. Truly hilarious. Truly refreshing that we can still laugh at potty humor … even at forty.

YouTube Wars

It’s a simple game.  A song with a video that does any of the following:


–        sticks in your head like a little robot bug inserted into your ear demanding that you whistle or hum the chorus throughout the day or you will be punished

–        Is so bad that it has you appreciating its reason for existence ( see see my baby jive a complete clash of Abba pop meets Gwar)

–        Is a damn good song that you would prefer never disclosing your excitement with friends


There are more rules, but they evolve.  You just need to feel it.



Not shockingly, most winning YouTube Wars material comes from the “pre-auto-tune” days.  Once you hit the “back to life” beat, all music goes downhill until you hit Nirvana where the artists can actually play an instrument.  We are a bit stuck at the moment while we wait for the next Nirvana or Beatles or Winehouse.  In the meantime, I’ll stick to the early eighties and below to give you this gem that still ceases to amaze and astonish my being.  The leg warmers. ( worn by dudes! ).  The whistling.  The clap double clapping.  The Jazzercize. For you … Hot Chocolate, Girl Crazy :


Once Again, Out Partied By the Ladies In Their Eighties

It’s village fête time.  Last year we did our local village with the amazing duck carcass feast.  We totally enjoyed it.  This year, we tried out the smaller village fête that served traditional Gasconnes cuisine. As the courses slowly unfolded we realized it was a feast dedicated to how many ways you can serve chicken.  Each course was lovely and filling.  Lots of food.  Too much food.  I love the food.  In the end, we had Champagne ( but not real Champagne from Champagne.  It was produced in the Gers and nice, but we’ll see what tomorrow brings ) with “croustade,” which is a nice apple flakey yummness.


Our friend Anthony came along for the ride and hopefully had his fill of accordion music, crazy french fun and a multi course meal where one course is a little glass of alcohol.  Before the food fun, he partook in a local classic: blonde beer with a gloob of peach syrup.  I’m not sure what he made of this, but as a beer connoisseur, it was his job to try it out.


Brent dusted off his yuppie wear to look fine for the occasion.  I think he’s beginning to feel more comfortable in his blue farm pants, but he looks very cute in his farmanies.


Michael wore his shirt as per usual.  This is how he rolls.  I think he wears his shirt inside out on purpose to gain attention from those i-dotters and t-crossers.  We can’t stand disorder.


Minty had a Coke.  We don’t drink Coke very often.  She could only drink half.

Then she crashed.

Zélie ran around, ran around, ran around, dodged a dude, ran around, ran around, then ate, then ate, then ate.  Hours later, after bopping to the beat and after putting her hands in the air and waving them like she just didn’t care.  Hours after that. She zombied.  Then she mellowed.  Then Brent took her and sleeping Otto home.
The accordian –  sax ensemble was too much for us to sit still so Lucy and I cut a rug to the giving tunes of waltzes i’ve long forgotten.  We were watched and giggled at in a charming way.  We took a bow, had a food fight with the neighboring table then quickly made our way to the Hilux.  Meanwhile, spritely, young ladies in their eighties were dancing the night away.  I was tired.  I aspire to dance the way they dance to the wee hours of the fête.  And they do this in heels.  Gadblessem.