28 November 2009

Quiet Friday

It is still such a funny feeling to be here in France on Thanksgiving. You can't help but imagine in your mind that all the stores are closed, and that people are staying in to have a big dinner. But no, that would be only us doing that.

And then the day after Thanksgiving, you find yourself thinking that you might go out somewhere, but there will be traffic and lines and crowds. But of course, it's not true. It's just a normal Friday. Life is just chugging along — no big deal, no disruptions.

All the photos in this post are this past week's sunrises.

Friday here at La Renaudière near Saint-Aignan-sur-Cher was a very quiet one. I slept late and then immediately went out for a long walk with the dog when I did get up. I did a blog post. For lunch, we heated up leftover lamb, beans, and carrots from 24 hours earlier.

It's been rainy, but not every day.

There were a couple of American football games on television (we get ESPN Europe), and there was an entertaining movie starring Ben Affleck and Gwynneth Paltrow — the kind of movie you can just sink into and keep up with, even if you aren't paying much attention. Then there was tennis on early in the evening (Djokovic beat Nadal), and later a favorite show called Thalassa that this time was all about Greece.

25 November 2009, 8:30 a.m.

Oh, and the factrice (the woman who delivers our mail) stopped by during the tennis, selling calendars. They do that every year. You choose a calendar from about 30 she was carrying, and you pay what you want to pay for it. I picked one that features pictures of farm animals and gave her 7 euros, which was about all the money we had in the house. As she was leaving, the factrice told me this would be her last calendar visit, because she turns 60 in February and will retire. I congratulated her and told her I recently turned 60 too.

No more leaves on the poplars

What a lazy day it was. One bit of nerdy excitement: we got a new piece of electronic equipment that is a combination DSL modem and router, all in the same little box. I had ordered it earlier in the week, and it came yesterday. It took me all of 15 minutes to hook it up, configure it, and get it running. We are hoping it might make our Internet connection a little more stable. I can't tell much difference so far, but the box itself is nice-looking and that counts because it's out in plain view, for now.

The vineyard early one day in November

So there you have it. This morning I'll go to the pharmacy with those mushrooms, to see what I can find out. At noon, we'll drive over to Montrichard (it's 10 miles) for a lunch of roast goose with new French friends. Rain is supposed to start falling again by noontime, with gusty winds. It's still not cold.

Sunrise yesterday morning, with puddles

We've had more than 100 mm — that's 4+ inches — of rain in November. Earlier in the week, I was talking to a man who works in the wine business here. I said something about all the rain, and he said yes, isn't it great? We are hoping that it will continue. We need a lot more rain this winter to compensate for the long dry spell we had last summer, according to this expert.

Sunrise over rows of grapevines

That's something to look forward to, I guess. Water tables need to be replenished.

P.S. There's an interesting article about two little-known San Francisco neighborhoods, Bernal Heights and Glen Park, in yesterday's New York Times. You might have to register to get the article, but it's free. Walt and I used to live in Glen Park.


  1. We had the fatrice call yesterday, as well. We paid €5 for our calendar - for the same reason you paid €7. It was our first ever calendar visit, so we fell like another little milestone has been passed.

  2. Your pictures are beautiful as usual. I never miss watching Thalassa when I am in France (or used to subscribed to TV5 monde).
    I remember well when the "facteur" (never had a factrice) used to come around that time of the year to sell their calendar. Then the firemen stopped by too. When I finish reading my daily blogs, I will check your San-Francisco neighborhood. Hope lunch was terrific.

  3. Great pictures of the sunrises. I haven't seen one in person in many years. As you might imagine, I'm not a morning person.

  4. Hello Nadège, the lunch was great, a really good time. By the way, the pompiers came by this morning with their calendar. There went another 5 euros.

    Starman, come on. The sun doesn't come up until about 8:30 a.m. at this time of year.

  5. I just read the NY times article about your old neighborhood. I have been to San-Francisco 4 times and only for a short period. But I worked on "Falcon Crest" and stayed in Napa. My ex father in law was the make-up artist on "Streets of San Francisco" and "Coma". He and his wife stayed in Tiburon while filming. To me, SF is the most European of cities on the West coast. Great shopping and the fashion is more sophisticated than Los Angeles. It reminds me of a blog David Lebovitz wrote when he went back to SF recently. Don't you guys miss Mexican food?

  6. Don't you just love those "day after a big holiday" lazy days. It's like our Boxing Day. This year we will be on our way to LGP on Boxing Day.
    I can hardly wait.


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