we see occasional hedgehogs in france, trotting with their little hopping gaits along roadsides or into the impenetrable scrub alongside walking trails and vineyards. they are considered pests in other parts of the world where they eat the eggs of wading birds. in theory i hate hedgehogs for this–destroying one of my favorite things (eggs) from one of my favorite animals (shorebirds). But if you look at a live hedgehog, hating it is like trying to get mad at a toddler in diapers walking with muddy feet across your newly mopped floors to show you a leaf she found in the garden: “oh, my floors!” you want to say, but what comes out is, “hey cutie, show me what you’ve got there.”
european hedgehog spines
steve and i just started making plans for our next extended stay in languedoc, france. what that might mean is a particularly joyeux noël 2019, where after buying our ducks for duck confit at the duck fat market, we roast a capon in the oven over smoking stems of woody thyme, and then walk through the yellow lights of the village for our christmas constitutional, after perhaps a tiny chilled glass of lemon verbena liqueur. i’m not saying i’m already looking forward to it . . . that’s not what i’m saying.
red pine needles and viburnum berries
i’m mostly holding firm on my quiet holiday vow. i snuck off for a lunch date with my hubby. i’ve been trying to end each day with a fire. i’m going to bed with a pile of books near me. i’ve done well shopping small and local, or else mail order. and i’ve been giving my puggle all the affirmations. in the interest of full disclosure: i’ve mostly been doing the last of these.
we had pasta alle vongole for dinner. so you get seashells for breakfast. actually, if you find shells on a beach, they are seashells. what if you find shells in a colander at the bottom of your sink the morning? are they still seashells? or are they leftover clams? discuss.
cherrystone clam shells
reactive vs active
2018 was a year spent reacting to external stimuli. a hot water heater died. we replaced it. four boilers died. we replaced them. a house had been occupied by incontinent cats and dogs. we stripped it bare and renovated it. my nephew got married. we flew to california to attend the wedding. my husband won a writing award. he flew to phoenix to accept. but today steve and i had a lunch date, where we started letting ourselves dream again about what happens in 2019 and beyond. it was a small gesture, but the balance tipped from reacting to events, to making plans. and suddenly we were at our best again. look out 2019. you are in big trouble.
rubber tree plant