We are in France now, installed in a funny old farmhouse in the north, just five kms from Belgium. It's in a tiny farming hamlet called Petit Xivry. The owners of our rental house mostly have milk cows... very friendly and curious (owners and cows, alike). The kids like to go over and see the animals every day. It's convienient, as the back half of the house IS the barn. We distinctly hear mooing as we shower, as they are just one stone wall away.
The farm cat has adopted us. She arrived early the first day and moved right in. We fed her copious amounts of milk as she was hugely pregnant and has a very imperious mew. Wednesday of last week, she made me follow her out to the barn. I watched a lot of "Lassie" reruns as a kid and I KNOW when an animal is demanding to be followed. I just hoped nobody had fallen down a well and need rescuing. That happened in several episodes, I think. Anyway, she indicated that I should follow her in behind the stacked hay bales. But the spider quotient seemed pretty high back in there and I declined. She seemed pretty peeved. But the next day when I woke up, JP told me that the cat had been by early in the morning looking for me. He'd had to open the door and tell her that I wasn't up yet.(JP knows all about inter-species communication, too) When I finally went out at 7am, she came running and brought me over to the barn. I could see that she looked quite a lot thinner, so I braved the spiders and was treated to the sight of six sweet little newborn kittens- "chatons" in the local lingo. The mom cat was quite proud and let me hold them. The twins were delighted by the good news and have been having lots of fun with them.
There's lots of hay, ladybugs and kittens. It is SO not Africa nd I am loving it.
What else? Alexa has been to the hospital twice for some check ups. The first Monday we were here, we drove her up to Thionville to see a specialist about her tonsils. We waited over half an hour past our appointment time, but the visit went fast once we got into the examination room.. Alexa laid down, Dr. Klink had a look in her throat and said "Good grief! Have you SEEN her tonsils?"
"Yes" I replied. Impressive, aren't they?"
Alexa sat up and Dr. Klink declared that the tonsils MUST go ASAP. Unfortunately, in the public health sector, "as soon as possible" dosn't mean all that soon. Her operation is scheduled for August 16. She'll be in hospital for two nights, as she is a "difficult" case, due her her heart condition.
Looks like we won't be going to Brittany...we'll be back up here for the last weeks of our vacation.
My camera is malfunctioning, so I have no pics to share. Maybe check out www.ligne-maginot-fort-de-fermont.asso.fr We visited the Fort de Fermont and it was pretty amazing.
I am hoping that I will have better internet access in the Haute Savoie. We leave on Saturday and by Sunday will be in our old house in the Alps.
More soon, I hope!