Craig and I are finding ways to cope with my lack of mobility. Since I can’t put any weight on my leg and I can’t manuver well on the crutches, the couch is my home. We’ve realigned it so it’s at a slight angle to the foyer, making my hops to the toilette a little less taxing. There’s nothing available to help me push up off the couch, so Craig helps me get up. I put my arms around his neck and he gently raises me until I’m standing on my one good leg, he then hands me the crutches and carefully follows me as I hop on my one good foot (which, due to plantar fasciitis, used to be my bad foot….what a difference a day makes). Our quaint little airplane-sized toilette turns out to be perfect for me as I convalesce …everything’s within an arm’s reach.
My injury has kept me from one of my joys….shopping at French markets. But it’s helping Craig, formerly a confirmed shopaphobic, to find some delight in his daily trips to the market. In fact, I fear he’s done a 180 degree turn and is becoming a shopaholic. Every trip to the market brings another little goodie for the cottage…tall glasses for ice tea, a sponge mop for the kitchen, softer tissues…he delights in sharing his finds with me and telling me of his forays. He’s discovered that the little town nearest the cottage, Salleles d’Aude, has two grocery stores (epiceries), two bakeries (boulangeries) and a butcher (boucherie). Last week, we didn’t know any of these shops even existed! None of the shopkeepers speaks English, but Craig is having no problems getting what he wants. For a garlic press, he pointed to the garlic and made a squeezing motion with his hand….point understood….voila! For ground beef, he asked the butcher for boeuf then rotated his arm to show a grinder. Not only did he get freshly ground beef, but he got it in two 1/4 kilo packages! He truly amazes me.
It’s summer and the fruit trees at the cottage are heavy with their ripe offerings. There’s a loquat tree near the canal with fruits so small that, up close, they resemble yellow blossoms. It’s provided our first taste of this delicious fruit….plum-like with a slight floral note.
There’s an apricot tree in the backyard; it’s leaves and fruit provide a beautiful canopy over the bedroom window.
To the side of the cottage is a magnificent fig tree. The figs weren’t yet ripe when we arrived, but they’re in their succulent prime now. Jean-Michel hinted that we should share the bounty with them in the form of fig jam! Caryl offered to make the first round of jam and said my turn would come in October with the second harvest…conveniently, Jean-Michel left canning jars in the basement.
Our confinement to the cottage has been good for Felix. With his people home all day, he’s more confident about exploring the cottage during the daylight hours. He’s spending most of the days on his cat tower looking out the front window to review his new domain. The comings and goings of the boats, walkers and bicycles no longer send him under the bed but, since he’s had very little knowledge of other mammals…he only knows people, dogs and squirrels, the horses still send him running for cover. He also saw his first lizard this week (a little cousin to the big brothers we’ve seen). It was on the window ledge sunning itself. He looked at it then looked at us as if to say, “What the heck kind of squirrel is that?” I’m not looking forward to the day when he figures out that he can get his paw under the screen and perhaps present us with a little gift.
An interesting thing about our cat is that he “woofs”. This started one day back at home when we were preoccupied and he needed attention. His normal kitty ploys weren’t working so he “woofed” at us. That certainly caught our attention…and got him what he wanted so now, whenever he wants something from us, he “woofs”. He’s found the bathtub is a satisfactory replacement for the concrete patio he used to love to roll on. He jumps in, rolls around then woofs for a belly rub.
But he’s also quite adept at getting what he wants without woofing. During one of my trips to the toilette, when he saw me washing my hands in the sink, he looked longingly at the stream of water pouring into the sink and meowed melodramatically. Indeed, Craig had forgotten to fill Felix’s sink up with drinking water, a situation that was quickly remedied.
He’s found the stairs and is quite comfortable going up to the loft whenever the mood strikes him. He sits on the edge and looks down on us from above …. no doubt what he considers his true position in life.
Craig bought cat food at the local market and started mixing it with the food we brought from home. Felix very quickly decided that France is all about the food and is now a connoisseur of fine French cat cuisine.
Other happenings this week included finding out my cell phone had been found (hooray), installing our “neufbox” for internet connection with the aid of our Berlitz dictionary (tres bon, Craig!), watching the Bastille Day festivities, visiting with Davis & Kathy (aka Stephane & Monique), friends from South Carolina. Tomorrow, we’ll see what progress my leg is making.
Bonne Nuit ;-]