Saturday, November 28, 2009

Claire's visit

Here it is, almost three weeks since my last post, instead of two. And how was I so busy during that time that I couldn't write a line? I wasn't busy; I just felt more like playing.
Claire and Aurelia came to visit for two weeks. They spent the first full week with us and then went to Six Fours to stay with Pierre and Gillette and introduce Aurelia to the family down there, especially Grandmaman, who celebrated her 100th birthday last June. The photo album above is the same, but since I added the pictures from her visit, I decided to link it again. You can see how much Aurelia has grown from the beginning of October to the end of November. Unfortunately, my camera is kaput. There must be a short circuit that empties the batteries when it's off and not being used. I thought I could beat that curse by opening the battery case when it was not in use, but the other day, just in the short time it took us to go to the park, it managed to empty the batteries. So, most of the pictures are from Claire's or Paul's cameras.
For the most part, we just allowed ourselves to be amused by Aurelia and enjoyed having Claire with us. I didn't miss my painting, though and have now finished my sunflower based on a photo I took at Giverny in August.
Oh my! I am sure I saved more.
Here we go again.
Aurelia is in the "rrrr" stage of communication, with plenty of smiles and squeals. In France, it's easy to move from "rrrr" to "heureux" so that's what adults repeat to the baby's delight (recognition of the baby saying something that we understand?) Anyway, you know how it goes, the more we say "heureux", the more the baby says "rrrr" and you can end up spending quite a bit of time doing that. I have always thought that this is how French babies learn to keep the "rrrr" sound alive for later use. Aurelia's "rrrr" seems to start with a guttural and end with an "eeee" and I understood it as "gris" and that amused her just as much. Needless to say, she loves arms and we grandparents, aunts, and uncle willingly obliged.
Back to the painting.... My sunflower is no Van Gogh, but I like it. While Claire was here, I brought up a painting that I never managed to finish and suddenly realized there was a portrait waiting to come out. I took it back to class on Thursday and Francine immediately saw my point and drew in a Matisse-like face. Now I hope I don't screw it up.
Today, we're having our Thanksgiving dinner. Louis is back from his 2-week training and no one is working today. Laurent is coming over and so is Rita. I'm very disappointed in the poultry lady at the market. She says it's the supplier who prepared the bird, but still, she's my supplier. Whose fault it is is beside the point; it's a terrible looking bird. I'm sure it was raised fine, it's the preparation that's lacking. There is no skin at the neck end. I've never seen anything like it. The lady skinned two chicken thighs to use as patches, but I still was not able to stuff the neck end and was not able to sew the patches in place because the turkey skin remaining was too thin. At the other end, when I stuck my hand in to get the innards, I found a chicken gizzard and two chicken livers. No neck. No fat. I use that stuff and am disappointed they are missing. And, again, not enough skin to really close the opening after stuffing the cavity. I'll let her know what I think tomorrow morning at the market. To make matters worse, I had left the turkey covered, in a big bag, outside overnight because there wasn't room in the fridge. This morning, we found the bag tipped over, the paper torn away and about half a turkey breast nibbled away. Some cat had a nice feast!
Must go now and finish the preparations.

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