French Witch

Writing a journal blog in English is such a relief to me.  I don’t know why but it gives me a certain comfort. I guess because I have had a good solid life in the States? Or I had so many sweet memories back then? Anyway, most of memories are somehow camouflaged in a good way. Talking about a fond memory, I have to tell (you) about Aunt Marise in France. I believe in her past life, she must have been a white witch.

Aunt Marise has a green thumb; whatever she touches in her vast backyard, everything revives and beautifies. She’s an amazing gardener who has such enchanted hands.

Just standing her yard in the early morning is therapeutic. A heaven, indeed.

Her house is in a sleepy-hollow-y village in the Western region of France. A quaint village in the middle of rolling hills of wheats and sunflowers.
I get so excited each time I visit there.

Her rose bushes are thriving. She loves roses; as I wonder in the yard, there are so many varieties of roses growing. But also there are different kinds of flowers, herbs, and vegetables flourishing.

Theo, the cat is roaming in the garden. Theo is a male name but this cat is female. When they found Theo, it was so tiny that they couldn’t tell its gender. Therefore, Aunt Marise and Uncle Michel named the female cat as Theo. But eventually Theo grew and bore a brood of kittens one day!

 I love her garden. I can wonder around carefreely. My mind goes everywhere enjoying its serenity.

Roses, roses, and roses…

So, I made and brought her family rose éclairs.

Aunt Marise also loved my rose éclair licking even her fingers with rose créme légere. She exclaimed with delight it was the best one which she ever had.

Her magical hands produce great results.

Not only her yard, but also at her home. She makes beautiful drapes and tassels. A witch’s hands creates enchanted items, you know.

Also, she is a good cooker, but I’d say, Uncle Michel is rather an avid cooker always preparing yummy meals for her.

Last year when we went there to say “Good bye”, she gave me beautiful flowers from her yard.

And small sweet-scented roses without pesticide to make something magical by myself. I took it as a test to become a witch but darn it; my ordinary brain didn’t work well and made just a rose liqueur in “eau-de-vie” given by my father-in-law. I haven’t checked the fragrance or its taste since then. It’s about a time to open it!

More than these, I received the token of a magical witch. A clear liquid filled in the used whisky bottle. She just told me to use it for my gâteaux for special occasions. But she told me not to open it until April 10, 2011 which was exactly one year after she made it.
Being a trainee witch, I rebelled her command and opened it a week before that for making a special “tarte d’anniversaire (birthday tart)” knowing Aunt Marise would allow me to do so.

It’s an orange liquor with splendid citrus scent and flavor. Now one year later, it has turned in an orangy yellow color. What a magic she has put it in! Her recipe is disclosed passing secretly by certain women to women in her region. She showed us the process of it but she said never reveal it. There is a secretive recipe to add it in as a syrup, she told us that she never passes this recipe to anybody, even her daughters just yet. A wonderful mystery.


Like a really bad joke

Yesterday was a 1-month-memorial day since the disaster of March 11th. In our region, frequent earthquakes are usual everyday things. According to the news, there have been more than 13,000 quakes after March 11th. They come in all different degrees and strengths, of course, we get agitated when earthquakes are big but frequent shakes are so normal that we don’t feel almost anything. However, yesterday was different.
The day started a fairly big quake in the early morning which we were pretty alarmed. But the day went by as usual. As the dusk started falling, when I was stuffing a coffee-flavored butter cream in the Café macarons-de-Parisian, there was a bizarre sound coming from the earth, a familiar noise foretelling for a big quake. We were suddenly alarmed because the sound was huge and horrifying. And as the alarm sound came from my cell phone notifying a huge earthquake, a sudden sweeping shake arrived. Alas! again…

We opened the door for establishing an escape route, closed the gas, and then held the micro oven in place which hit on the floor hardly last time, but miraculously was ok. Now as I’m writing this, another big quake arrived!!! We are under the immense stress, for sure.

Anyway, three of us felt and took it somberly yesterday after another huge quake. My husband who never experienced earth shaking until he arrived in Japan was totally shocked this time which is very unusual for him to act like that. He was just shaking his head and sighing so many times as if by doing so, he could have corrected the never-ending problem. As for me, I was hysterically laughing whenever something different came up.

I had to laugh in order to cope with the stressful situation. According to my brother, there was a long line of cars at the gas station again last night for those who were scared of fuel shortage.

One thing I’ve realized, after a big quake, we hardly can use any telephone; it doesn’t matter if it’s a fixed line or a cell phone. All is saturated. We were isolated in a total silence.

Our region has been facing two serious threats currently: ongoing earthquakes and rather high-dose radioactivity. I pray for the quick and complete solution for the nuclear plant in Fukushima and who knows about earthquakes??? They never seem to stop coming! At least, several times every day; sadly it’s a part of our daily life. But, we never give up! We just have to keep going. As a human being, the only thing we can achieve is to proceed forward, which I believe. Well, but if things are getting worse, we all have to run away, don’t we? LAUGH!


One Month After

A calm sunny morning I have today. In fact, today looks very similar as March 11th. It was like another ordinary early spring morning. Today I pray for the lost lives which the big earthquake and Tsunami have savaged brutally. It’s been a month now.

As for me, outside may not change that much, only my hair is growing a bit longer. But inside, I can feel it’s changed quite a little. Nothing can be the same, I assume. It seems I have a tiny block of sadness in me; it’s almost like a sorrowful acceptance.

The only remedy for healing is time.  

And love and lots of TLC.


Quite often, we receive calls from the family and relatives in France. We feel connected tightly with them in their concerns and thoughts. I would say I miss my mother in-law’s Canelé de Bordeaux!?