Why Does Everything Sound Better in French? 

Even having a migraine, with all of its painful and ugly connotations, sounds romantic in French. According to one of my favorite books, Words in a French Life: Lessons in Love and Language From the South of France, by Kristin Espinasse (an American married to a Frenchman and living in Provence), to have a migraine in French is avoir la tête comme une citrouille. Literally translated into English, this means “to have a pumpkin head,” which is amusingly descriptive of a migraine. If, that is, someone is pounding violently upon the pumpkin that is one’s head.

However, I did discover another tip in the same chapter. The chapter is called is Citrouille and is about Espinasse’s rather hilarious attempt to celebrate Halloween American-style with her bewildered French neighbors. Next time vous avez la tête comme une citrouille, simply scream at your pumpkin head “Allez-vous-en!” (get out of here!) Scream as loud as you can with someone whacking at your pumpkin head with a hammer, anyway.

I apologize for my lousy French grammar, by the way. Should mon la tête comme une citrouille ever va-t-en laisse-moi tranquille (go away and leave me alone), I hope to brush up on my college French.

N.B. As always, I use textures from 2 Lil’Owls on my photos, this one included. I highly recommend their entire line of presets, textures, digital papers, and workshops. If interested in purchasing, my affiliate link is https://2lilowls.com/ref/9

Oops

Obviously, my attempt at the A to Z Blogging Challenge was a complete failure. I solemnly promise to do better next year! I’m afraid my depression, fibromyalgia, and migraines (I’m in perimenopause–yay) got the better of me–that, and trying to keep up with my last required class for my master’s degree. As you can see, I like taking pictures of the books I am reading; it makes me feel brilliant and learned, somehow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A to Z Challenge

 

 

I think my migraines have totally addled my brain. I’ve had them all week, just when the A to Blogging Challenge began. I couldn’t find my blog on their Linky list, so I think I might have been removed for not posting. I DID post briefly yesterday about the Challenge, then removed my post because I thought I’d been taken off of the list; I just happened to look at my stats today, however, and I had five visits to that post yesterday. So. I will do the Challenge, starting today. I have to post every day this month except Sundays. So I will post today, starting with “E” and my theme is Healing.

I plan to recount my journey, post about where I am now, and add photos, other images, and quotes (I love quotes, especially poetry) along with a heavy dose of spirituality, the occasional prayer, some tips and tricks I have found that help. I should note here that I am writing about healing in general but also specifically about my struggles with severe PTSD and major depression, along with back surgeries, cervical spine disease, infertility, chronic migraine, and last but not least, fibromyalgia.I also hope to begin a resource list.

I am going to go ahead and post the badge and links to the Challenge even though I might not be officially a part of it. I am looking forward to discovering new bloggy friends from the list (the one I don’t think I am on anymore, lol). I also hope to post a couple of times the first few days to add posts from letters A to D. And next year, hopefully I will be more together and start blogging with “A” on April 1st!

And hopefully, even if I’m not officially part of the Challenge, my posts might help some of my friends out there who are going through a rough stretch.

Friday Five: all around the mulberry bush

Image

Every week, the women over at RevGalBlogPals, an organization formed to support women in ministry who also happen to blog, have a weekly feature, Friday Five, covering a variety of topics. This week, 3dogmom writes (the image above is hers also):

It’s been a week of ups and downs at our house. On Tuesday I received word of the birth of my goddaughter’s second daughter, a blessing to that family, and the hope of the first daughter happily fulfilled. That evening I learned that my sister-in-law, a breast cancer survivor, is facing a recurrence of cancer in her lymph nodes, and probably her lungs. Joy and concern pressing in on my heart has made for a week of lots of deep breaths and deep-in-the-marrow prayer, smiles and tears.

At times like this I my soul finds comfort and seeks expression through my senses. Pinterest feeds my visual need for beauty and color (not to mention adorable puppies, and herds of sheep). Cooking fills the house with pleasant aromas, and the results satisfy my palette. My hands find tactile pleasure in massaging my dogs, and music penetrates and reverberates in the fiber of my being.

When you need to hold disparate parts of your life in tension, what do you do? Share five things that steady your pace, recharge your batteries and invite peace to your soul.

I think I wound up with more than five, but here we go.

My Fibromyalgia Care Kit

This picture shows the most important elements of what I think of as my “Fibromyalgia Care Kit”. When I’m hurting, exhausted, and often, depressed (mild depression seems to tag along after a flbro flare like an uninvited dinner guest), I need my puppy, Fiona, to cuddle with me and make me laugh, and gaze adoringly at me with her huge, melty brown, spaniel eyes. Her softness and warmth has gotten me through many unspeakably painful days, like the days my mom was in hospice and I couldn’t cry in front of mom. So I would come home, crawl into bed under the wedding quilt my Aunt Marie made for me, and Fiona would come and snuggle against my back. She still does.

I love my nightstand, my little nook, that holds my reading lamp, a photo of my husband George and Fiona, a drink (I mean a soda, or cocoa, or tea, not that kind of drink!), and a stack of books. Books feed my mind and my soul. They are like friends, who comfort and soothe my hurts. I have started practicing mindfulness meditation a few times a week, although I’m not very good at it yet. Hugs. From George especially, but from any of my friends or family, occasionally even my therapist. Drawing, with messy utensils like charcoal and pastels, gives tactile satisfaction too, regardless of the result. Looking at photographs, or taking an especially good one myself, and growing flowers when I’m physically able, or getting a bouquet when I need cheering up, gives me a taste of beauty, I keep my mother’s old rosary in my nightstand drawer; there is something soothing about the feel of the beads as I run them through my fingers.

The photos and books, the hugs, the art, my blog, Fiona, flowers, the rosary…all of these things are both celebratory and comforting, frequently both at the same time. They do serve to tie the varying elements of my life together. And so does the grace woven into each hug, every tear, all of the laughter.

books: 2009

  1. The Eucharist and the Hunger of the World, Monika K. Hellwig
  2. Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews, Paula Fredriksen
  3. The Misunderstood Jew: The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus, Amy-Jill Levine
  4. Fortress Introduction to The Gospels, Mark Allan Powell
  5. Social Science Commentary on the Synoptic Gospels, Bruce J. Malina and Richard Rohrbach
  6. John, the Maverick Gospel, Robert Kysar
  7. Written that you May Believe: Encountering Jesus in the Fourth Gospel, Sandra M. Schneiders, IHM
  8. The Middle Ages, Morris Bishop
  9. Models of the Church, Avery Dulles, SJ
  10. The Sacred Pipe, Joseph Brown
  11. A New Christian Paradigm: The Making of Post-Protestant Christianity, Ben M. Carter
  12. Jesus and the Quest for Meaning, Thomas H. West
  13. The Church Unfinished: Ecclesiology Through the Centuries, Bernard K. Prusak
  14. Salt: A World History, Mark Kurlansky
  15. Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World, Mark Kurlansky
  16. Jesus as a Figure in History: How Modern Historians View the Man from Galilee, Mark Kurlansky
  17. Paul–A Jew on the Margins, Calvin J. Roetzel
  18. The Spirituality of Paul, Thomas H. Tobin
  19. Navigating Paul: An Introduction to Key Theological Concepts, Jouette M. Bassler
  20. Angela’s Ashes, Frank McCourt
  21. The Hollow Crown: A History of Britain in the Late Middle Ages, Miri Rubin
  22. Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom, John O’Donohue
  23. The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million, Daniel Mendelsohn
  24. Whitethorn Woods, Maeve Binchy
  25. Saxons, Vikings, and Celts: The Genetic Roots of Britain & Ireland, Bryan Sykes
  26. The Shadow of the Wind, Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  27. The Rule of Four, Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason
  28. The Children of Henry VIII, Alison Weir
  29. On Hitler’s Mountain: Overcoming the Legacy of a Nazi Childhood, Irmgard A. Hunt
  30. My Life with the Saints, James Martin, SJ
  31. The Monster of Florence: A True Story, Douglas Preston with Mario Spezi
  32. Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea: Why the Greeks Matter, Thomas Cahill
  33. How the Irish Saved Civilization, Thomas Cahill
  34. Christianity Rediscovered, Vincent J. Donovan
  35. Doors to the Sacred: A Historical Introduction to Sacraments in the Catholic Church, Joseph Martos
  36. The Catholic Myth: The Behavior and Beliefs of American Catholics, Andrew Greeley
  37. The Amber Room: The Fate of the World’s Greatest Lost Treasure, Catherine Scott-Clark and Adrian Levy
  38. No Place Like Home, Mary Higgins Clark
  39. The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History, John Barry
  40. The Last Knight: The Twilight of the Middles Ages and the Birth of the Modern Era, Norman Cantor
  41. Soldier from the War Returning: The Greatest Generation’s Troubled Homecoming from World War II, Thomas Childers
  42. The Basque History of the World, Mark Kurlansky
  43. Catherine the Great: Love, Sex, and Power, Virginia Rounding
  44. Elizabeth and Mary: Cousins, Rivals, and Queens, Jane Dunn
  45. Devil’s Brood, Sharon Kay Penman
  46. Falls the Shadow: A Novel, Sharon Kay Penman
  47. Queen Emma and the Vikings: Power, Love and Greed in 11th Century England, Harriet O’Brien
  48. Time and Chance, Sharon Kay Penman
  49. Dragon’s Lair, Sharon Kay Penman
  50. The Queen’s Man: A Medieval Mystery, Sharon Kay Penman
  51. When Christ and his Saints Slept, Sharon Kay Penman
  52. The Reckoning, Sharon Kay Penman
  53. The Sunne in Splendor: A Novel of Richard III, Sharon Kay Penman
  54. The Year 1000: What Life was Like at the Turn of the First Millennium, Robert Lacey and Danny Danziger
  55. Here be Dragons, Sharon Kay Penman
  56. Walking on a Rolling Deck: Life on the Ark, Kathy Berken
  57. The Civilization of the Middle Ages, Norman Cantor
  58. Mistress of the Monarchy: The Life of Katherine Swynford, Duchess of Lancaster, Alison Weir
  59. Lucia: A Venetian Life in the Age of Napoleon, Andrea D. Robilant
  60. A Venetian Affair: A True Tale of Forbidden Love in the 18th Century, Andrea D. Robilant
  61. The Gift of the Jews: How a Tribe of Desert Nomads Changed the Way Everyone Thinks and Feels, Thomas Cahill
  62. Restoration London: From Poverty to Pets, from Medicine to Magic, from Slang to Sex, from Wallpaper to Women’s Rights, Liza Picard
  63. The Seville Communion, Arturo Perez-Oerveto
  64. In the Wake of the Plague: The Black Death and the World it Made, Norman Cantor
  65. The Lady Elizabeth: A Novel, Alison Weir
  66. Faith and Treason: The Story of the Gunpowder Plot, Antonia Fraser
  67. Blue Iris: Poems and Essays, Mary Oliver

This year’s list is dedicated to some of my favorite fellow bookworms: Aunts Barb and Jo, Emilie, Liz P., Liz H., Roxane S., and Kristine.

But most of all, this list is dedicated to my darling sister-in-law Fran, who shares my intense love of books and often subsidizes my Barnes and Noble habit, and to my mom, who instilled in me a love of the power of words and the magic of language, as well as an intense curiosity about the world around me.

 

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