I don’t believe the dictionary, instead I believe my dog. She’s sleeping behind me, never more than two feet away, but never touching unless she wishes to do so. Her photo should be next to the word “nonchalant” except she’s pretending, otherwise she wouldn’t always stay two feet from me.

The other morning around 5:00 she aligned her spine against mine on our bed, to assure I would not move without her knowing about it. She hasn’t done that for a couple of years, but things are different with my husband away on business.

Nonchalant is definitely the word of the day. OED calm, relaxed. I might think of a lady sure of herself at Ascot, with the best hat. Sean Connery as Bond, James Bond. Or Meryl Streep in any movie.

Who doesn’t care about the maelstrom surrounding ones lives? I’ve done change all my life as a kid, at work, in life. I can’t tell you how many because you won’t believe me. I can say that most were very good changes since my birth but change does take its toll.

My word is inured, not nonchalant. I had a new school, new friends and was pulled out, even in high school. Luckily I got to spend four years at the same college. So much for nonchalance. Cheers, Dee

ps My brother and I have agreed to make even a better Cassoulet than I did for our father 25 years ago. It will be a project, lasting days or a week, to better what Dad once called the best meal of his life.

My life has been inspired, I’ve learned, loved, of course lost a great deal. I’ve never shied away, at least for 20 years, from controversy. There is so much controversy about this French dish that I lost my book, Simca’s Cuisine that kept me warm on cold winter nights on my unpaid culinary apprenticeship.

I’ve found the long-lost book, on Amazon, that is the dish to give to my father. Back then, it was my best friend as I was living in an unheated cabin on a mattress just to cook. We’ll fly in and cook, that’s the plan. D


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