Saturday, 14 May 2011


rain, rain, more rain. Rain. Temps 14

there's actually a rain warning out for our area. fortunately we're on high ground, though as some of you have noted, we manage to have floods in the house anyway. Mostly from burst pipes. But, so far, so good.

Watching the terrible flooding along the Mississippi. Terrifying. To see something coming, for so long, and being almost unable to stop it. Then having to make the dreadful decision to open the levies.

closer to home, the flood waters doing so much damage in Sherbooke and St-Jean-sur-Richelieu are receding.

Heavy rains expected all week, though.

I took a photo of our cutting garden, outside the kitchen door. You can see our crop of tulips. Shortly after I took this I cut most of them and took a vase to our neighbours, Guy and Nicole. He was just named the Volunteer of the Year for this area. He is really extraordinary, as is Nicole. He was telling us he's planning to take the First Responders course next month. I'm sure most of you have this programme in your communities, but it's fairly new out here. Neighbours take emergency first aid courses and then are called to scenes of accidents or fires or sudden illness like heart attacks, and try to stabilize the person until professional help arrives. I always find it so moving when people do those things for others.

I also thought I'd show you our asperagus crop. That's the other can see one tall, slender asperagus (asperagi?) So far, that's it. Will have to get the combine out and harvest it soon. Thank God we're not pioneers.

The other funny thing about the cutting garden is that all the spring flowers come out on basically the same day. So we're madly running around sticking daffs and tulips in every container in the house. for a week we're tripping over fresh-cut flowers, littering the place.

Then nothing for another month or more.

Lise will then turn the cutting garden into the vegetable garden, with beans and peas and potatoes.

Yesterday was spectacularly beautiful here. Sunny and not just warm, but hot. Our new barbeque arrived, as did the new patio furniture. A line of outdoor furniture by La-z-boy. Who knew. Fortunately, no recliners. But the furniture looked so good in the showroom. Then it shows up and guess what? It needs assembling. Sofas and arm chairs and coffee table.

Honestly - if your product is called La-z-boy, shouldn't that give you a clue who your customers might be??

The delivery people did the sofa, then left me to put the coffee table together, with the assurance that it wouldn't be difficult.

Compared to what? After an hour and half, in the baking sun and black flies I was ready to plunge the little toy wrench it comes with into a vein. I was longing for the halcyon days of Ikea assembly. The fun-fest of putting together the Ikea wardrobe. That was nothing compared to the La-z-boy coffee table.

It was the most difficult thing I've done since attending my mother's funeral. Though, to be fair, that needed almost no assembly. But, finally, it was done.

I stood, admiring my work. Then the heavens opened and I haven't been near it since.

Am plunging ahead with the book....the fear all but gone. Still whispers of, 'You can't do this, you can't possibly write a book.' Or, if the fear admits, grudgingly, that maybe I can write a book, it finds another tact - "OK, but it won't be any good.'

Silly old voice in the head. always there - but sometimes it will actually tell me I'm beautiful, and kind, talented and loved.

So, we take the good with the bad.

Michael is feeling better - spent yesterday in bed...quite upsetting, deep cough...but fever gone. And he always had his apetite, so I knew it couldn't be that bad. Still, best to watch over him carefully. He's in his big chair now, by the fire, reading me snippets from some medical journal about procedures I can't pronounce by doctors I don't know. But it makes him happy. He also had three of our friend Susan's homemade Eccles cakes beside him and a vat of hot chocolate.

Now - about the title of today's post. If you are as baffled by it as I am, then you probably won't be able to help.

Rachefest is the German title for the fourth book in the Gamache series. In the UK and Canada it's called The Murder Stone and in the US it's A Rule Against Murder.

Rachefeste just came out in Germany - and I'm embarrassed to admit, I don't know what the title means! I honestly don't even know if it should be one word or two. Rachefest or Rache Fest?

But I do know I am thrilled book 4 is available in Germany!! The germans are HUGE readers - very literate and very supportive of the arts. If you happen to live in Germany, or have German friends or family, please let them know about the book. Oh, and can you also tell me what the title means???

And a happy rachefest to all of you!


Susan Fish said...

Babelfish gives the translation as: Revenge Celebration

mgk said...

rache is vengeance or revenge. fest is fest.

A. Wright said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
A. Wright said...

I wondered if Rachefest was Rache for revenge and fest for celebration. The only reason I know R.A.C.H.E is German for revenge is because of the first Sherlock Holmes story "A Study In Scarlet" where R.A.C.H.E was written in blood on the wall where a body was found. Seems only Holmes spoke German and got the significance. The police (Inspector Gregson) thought it was short for Rachel, but Holmes knew what it meant. Funny how things like that stick in your head.

Actually things like that stick in my head all the time. Thanks Susan and mgk for confirming this for me. I was going to checking an online translator, then saw your posts.


Tia in Oregon said...

Just an aside - Was there flooding in Lennoxville as well as Sherbrooke?

Susan said...

I loved your photo of your "asparagi". I tried growing asparagus one year, and waited the requisite 2 years for full growth, and it never really happened. So now I grow pole beans, tomatoes, summer squash and cucumbers. Nothing exotic.
I also love reading your blogs..wonderful. I feel like I know you.
BTW, it seems that the new book is not available for preorder on Nook. Darn. I tried today, and it wouldn't come up.

Meeya said...


I wonder if you watched the contemporary BBC "reincarnation" of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries. The show came out last year. It is absolutely wonderful.

I remembered it because of the word "rache." The first show mentions a translation.


lil Gluckstern said...

Here's hoping Michael continues to improve. You had me laughing with the "vat" of cocoa. Your garden will be be great. Your property is so beautiful, and restful, except for having to put together stuff for it, and the wonderful people you have caring for it. The weather continues to confound, and be destructive. Strange year.

Colombine said...

En effet Meeya, la nouvelle série à BBC sur Sherlock Holmes est fantastique et inspirante! Le mot "rache" a été mentionné et Sherlock l'interprétait comme de la vengeance.

Prompt rétablissement Michael!

suzy said...

Louise: Like you, I have a cutting and vegetable garden...but the difference is that I also put zinnia seeds (and other annual seeds) in rows between everything. The result is bright and cheery flowers until the frost.

Marcia said...


Like Susan, I just love the asparagus crop! It does, actually, look quite delicious. I hope you don't cause yourself permanent damage with the backbreaking work of harvest!