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To live and enjoy every day to its fullest, use my gifts to help others, I travel to wherever passion finds me.

What Will She Paint?

So many friends I met here...!

Monday, March 23, 2009

LEISURELY DAY

This is a small statue my brother once gave me, and characterizes how I feel today: taking off and "see" the sights like a tourist (see the camera?), whatever they are, on a leisurely pace. No rush, no deadlines. The two painted rocks come from my grand kids.

It's noon on Monday. And I'm still in my robe/housecoat. Have forgotten about the water I boiled for tea, and the Dutch rusk (like toast) with butter and chocolate shavings that is sitting on the counter.
I had such a crazy busy weekend that I need to wind up my steam engine for a while, before my train is ready to take the run of this week. I'll get up now for my second chance of breakfast:)

This last weekend began on Friday when my hubby's commute home starting at 4:00, and for weekend traffic arrives "early." That means 5:30 pm.
We left 6 pm for a birthday celebration of friends at 7:00 pm, at a French restaurant an hours drive away. What happens is very typical of our area.

Ten minutes till seven, my hubby alerts our friends on the cell phone, "We have been stopping and going for longer than half an hour - the freeway is packed (4 lanes one-way), and there must be an accident, no telling when we'll arrive.
Why don't you go ahead with dinner and we'll join you whenever we arrive Oh, there it is in front of us, police car lights flashing."

We find our friends sitting at a window seat. It's the kind of restaurant where the lowest price on the menu for dinner dishes is $18, but we were prepared for that.
I choose roasted duck in Grand Marnier's sauce, with mashed potatoes. Only $6 more. At first I choose Scrimp Scampi, but discovered it was $27. Nah, I'll eat that another time for $16.

I am writing this tongue-in-cheek, because the roasted duck is the next-to-least expensive dish and is at least half of the amount of the price of the dish I usually choose.
I remember a very elaborate roasted duck dinner with several vegetable dishes included in Beijing two years ago for the total price of $50 (for 4 people). But I'll bite my tongue, because after all, we are here for our friends, not for the food (I hope so!).

I am a good girl, I am in a French restaurant and order my dish in French, because the titles are in French. The waitress looks puzzled. "What do you mean?" and she moves over behind me, to see where I have my finger on the menu. I guess French speaking help is hard to find in Los Angeles.

But...the dish looks like an artwork, carefully arranged with edible sprigs and an orchid in the middle. I won't let it touch my heart, because food is food. C'est delicieux. The desserts look so rich that my hubby and I decide to share it.

I noticed that the table is kind of high in comparison to the hard chairs we sit on. I'm thinking, for these prices I want to sit more cushy next time. When I finally get up after 2 plus hours to go to the restroom, I am so stiff that I walk like a drunken sailor, and no, I didn't even have one glass of wine!

When I get back, suddenly the hubby of the other couple gets up and kind of grunts that he has a "Charlie horse"(for international readers, it's an idiom: a muscle spasm coming from a lack of blood flow in the thigh from riding a horse).
One can see on his face that it's very painful.
He tries to talk, but after some time he decides he's going for a walk, saying that that is the thing that helps him the most. Two victims of wrong chairs!

This was only one of the four events I had this last weekend, and leave it now at this to enjoy the rest of my day in the painting zone.

24 comments:

lovelyprism said...

Don't feel bad sweetheart, I didn't even brush my hair today until 3:00 PM LOL!

TheWritersPorch said...

Girl.......come visit the farm!You need a break!
Hope your week goes better sweetie!
Carol

jeannette stgermain said...

lovelyprism,
haha, a fellow compadre in leisurely Monday! Did you also have a packed weekend? Thanks for your encouraging comment!

jeannette stgermain said...

Carol,
I am so used to this, I dont' even think it was a bad or frustrating weekend - just to many events. When my kids were still living at home, I would go to my office and say, "I'm glad I'm here, Now I can rest." (this is a counseling office :) ).
Thank you for the invite to your farm! Life at a farm is physically so hard, I would never survive! I don't know how you do it, with a blog on the side! It's good we all can adapt to our own environment.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

What with one thing and another, it was definitely not a dull evening Jeanette. :) Wee at least the four of you were together to celbrate so the company was good if not the chairs. :)

jeannette stgermain said...

Joan,
It's funny how one thinks of their own life as so normal and the things they go through so common! Have to tell you though, next time I will give a suggestion to the manager (I'll be nice about it).

The Finely Tuned Woman said...

Outrageous prices at that restaurant and then uncomfortable chairs too sit in. Clearly someone there who knows nothing about the enjoyable restaurant experience. Maybe if enough customers complain, something will be done about it, but people in LA don't complain in French restaurants, do they? Probably a cultural thing. If it's French, it must be good and acceptable.

Hope you have a happy Tuesday and a nice breakfast with your beschuit and chocoladevlokken.

jeannette stgermain said...

Irene,
Yes, I know the popularity of French restaurants and anything that is French - actually anything/anyone that is European :). They go gaga over my hubby, because the rich can say to their friends, "O yes, we used a Dutch carpenter. They are schooled better" (which is true!).

Janelle Goodwin said...

Hi Jeannette, I had to chuckle when you mentioned "rusk". I come from a Dutch background. My parents were born and raised here but their parents and grandparents still spoke Dutch, especially when the kids weren't supposed to know what they were saying. Anyway, my mother used to make rusk with milk and sugar for me as a child. Loved your restaurant story!

Scriptor Senex said...

I'm not very keen on figurines as a rule but that one is delightful.

Carmi said...

Thanks so much for the follow! I completely relate to this: I grew up in Montreal, which is legendary for bad drivers and gridlocked traffic (combination of living on an island AND having a mountain smack in the middle of it.) We used to schedule our days around traffic - and more often than not still got stuck!

I've often heard that restaurants deliberately choose furniture to NOT encourage folks to stick around. They want you to eat and leave so they can squeeze in another sitting. Benches in most subways are designed the same way: after 10-15 minutes, you start to hurt.

Cynical, I know. But such is life in the urban jungle, I guess.

jeannette stgermain said...

Janelle,
what a samll world - I have met several Dutch/related people here on Blogger.
Yes, we tried that on our kids too -talking Dutch when they were not supposed to hear! The oldest was 12 when we came here, so she understands, but the 2 younger ones, then 4 and 2 do not understand a word. In Los Angeles there is a Dutch store where I go to every month, because I still don't want to give up my Dutch breakfast.By the way, how is your art going? Hope you're painting!

jeannette stgermain said...

Scriptor
Yes, I hear you, this is the only little statue I hav,e because it came from my brother. I don't collect them:) The story of the snake in your computer was so hilarious that I told my hubby-that was the big news of the day!

jeannette stgermain said...

Carni,
No wonder - this is the first I heard about chairs in restaurants, but I heard about color of interiors - at that time I was doing my internship where all the therapy rooms had a lavender color. They told me that they choose that color instead of green so people would get out of the office quickly. Fine with me, lavender is my favorite color - haha, i'm one of those anomalies.

antigoni said...

You are full of adventure. I don't know French and if i ever go to a French restaurant (which i've never done it yet) i'll probably order ...horse! I prefer go to restaurants where i can read the menu. And i sure prefer a comfortable chair.

jeannette stgermain said...

Antigoni,
The titles of the dishes were in French, but there was a desription of what was included in the dish in English.
In Los Angeles, because it is such a meltpot of different cultures, you'll see any type of food: Thai, Indian, African, etc. The city where we went is one of the rich, and anything Western European is revered there.
Yes, I'm with you, I like comfortable chairs when I'm in a restaurant :)

Reader Wil said...

Well that was an eventful meal They probably make the chairs that hard and uncomfortable to force customers to leave as soon as the food has been eaten.LOL

jeannette stgermain said...

Reader Wil,
Yes, look at Carni's comment above and my response - it suggested the same. Yes, the whole weekend was eventful. Sunday afternoon we went to a house dedication, the Jewish way - very interesting - I like all the symbolic things they do!

Barry said...

What a shame about the chairs, except for the uni-lingual waitress, dinner seemed to be going well.

Shellmo said...

I love that statue - reminds me of the hummels that my father has. Enjoyed your story at the restaurant - nothing worse than uncomfortable chairs when you are paying an arm and a leg for a meal!

jeannette stgermain said...

Shellmo, I just KNEW that someone would refer to Hummel, and I don't know if it is an original - sorry. Maybe you can ask your dad if Hummel signs his work in a particular way? On the bottom of mine there is a label of an antique store. I thought it was worth tsharing this restaurant story! thanks for visiting!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Hi Jeanette! Thank you for your visit and comment. I am visiting you now and enjoyed you amusing tale of the meal. We call that condition of muscle spasm "cramp" here in the UK - it can be very painful.
As you are interested in art I thought I would tell you that afriend who is a textile artist has just come back from a trip to The Netherlands and has visited a wonderful textile artist. If you want to see some beautiful textile work have a look at www.saskia.weishut.com I am sure you will enjoy it. Do visit me again. I shall put you on my blog list.

jeannette stgermain said...

Barry,
thanks for your empathy - if I am able to write about it in a tongue-in-cheek manner, I can't be too traumatized- haha. Thanks for visiting!

jeannette stgermain said...

Weaver of Grass,
Thank you for visiting! Yes, I will visit the Dutch fiber artist's website.
Before I called cramps too, it was the gentleman who introduced me to that term. Always something new to learn with another language :)

Because I commented on World War II, I did not read your newest post, but I will go back there.
As a matter of fact, please do me a favor and click on my "follow me" sign, that way I can put it on my bloglist and see immediately when you have a new post.
Have a good (rest of the) week!