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I’ve Fallen, and I can’t get up!”The life of a procrastinator, of a TKR.

Okay, well, the time has come. All my 2 years of walking, walking, walking like crazy in France, and even climbing mountains, has come to an end. Oh, I’ll walk again, but I can’t do it without TKR, or , TOTAL KNEE REPLACEMENT. In BOTH knees. I’ve had this bone on bone, no cartilage left, no miniscus even, no cushioning for over 5 years now. I’ve put it off, and procrastinated, and had the knee shots for as long as I can in two or more countries. I’ve worn huge braces under my clothes around the knees which were bulky, hot and a bigger pain than walking without them. I’ve grimaced my way through metro stairs, been picked up at Terminal 1 by a van in Paris to Terminal 2A to catch my other flight to having the wheelchair guy stay with me the entire time never expecting so much as a euro for his trouble. I have made people wait while I climbed into a bus, fallen on the beach coming out of the big blue water and – yes, “I’ve fallen and couldn’t get up”, having waves hit me so hard it knocked my bathing suit totally OFF my body in front of hundreds of onlookers. I’ve had a little girl of 5 hold out her hand to me to help me get up from a low chair at the shore and I had to tell her “Thank you honey, but that’s not gonna work.” (love ya just the same though). I’ve been knocked knee’d and taken a job at a upscale department store with no one knowing the difficulty as I climbed ladders and stayed constantly moving for 7 hours at a time. My husband has fixed countless dinners for me and started my soaking baths too many times to count. Oh, and we carried 500 pounds of luggage from the South of France, up and down 6 sets of stairs at  4 different train stations and onto a ship without actually collapsing from the weight or suffering a heart attack.  A miracle in itself.

It is just time to get the ‘ole knees replaced.

If I didn’t – my life would be slowly reduced to less than I’m doing now. Stairs are already a killer, and most of the time I take one at a time. If I remained the way I was, my sedentary life would be a slow demise to something that I’ve never been before. Still. I’d be sitting a lot more than standing, sitting more than walking, my dog would suffer, cause I can’t walk him. I would suffer. I would gain a 100 pounds. My posture, my hips, my body would kind of atrophy into itself. It would not be pretty. Thus, I go and do what I’ve tried not to do for so very long. Both knees done. One next month, the other the month after. A total of 3 months or more of rehabilitation. Errrrggggg. Lots of physical therapy. Lots of exercises. Lots of pain. And then after? 
Well, I will celebrate by climbing the top fo the Garlaban in Aubagne, France, one more time. (I hope) That’s my goal. Wish me luck If you pray – do that for me ??

Aubagne, France

Aubagne, France.  Another wonderful post from my niece………Once again, those coming to visit us in Cassis, take a look at things we did…….places we visited.  Ali is great at writing and putting it all in perspective…….also a great guest

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Grands Visit Paris – Day FIVE!!

THURSDAY PLAN

(If it’s Thursday in the 19th arrondissement; it must be Christmas!!!!)

Notre Dame (English Tour Thurs 2pm) Towers 10am – 5:30 (last access 4:45) (Paris Pass) –

Do the Ile de France – walk to Centre Pompidou

Centre Pompidou (Closed Tuesday 13 euros, kids free) 11:00 – 9:00pm (Paris Pass)

BUTTES CHAMONT PARK – around 4:30 – to meet a French/American couple, see their lovely apartment, cuddle a cute baby and have real BRITTANY CREPES !!!

WHAT WE ACTUALLY DID:

Notre Dame in the a.m. -went  all through the cathedral, but were advised that the steps up to the top were “closed today”.  Ah well, another strike. Wasn’t too crowed at all! Yeah!    

Walked out and past the famous “green booksellers” on the Seine, towards

La  Sainte-Chappelle, the famous stained glass Cathedral of Saint Louis IX,  the only King who was canonized and who Saint Louis (MO) is named for.  Musee Pass also good for this! SO BEAUTIFUL-especially on a sunny day (was) because the entire top floor is magnificent stained glass.  Our Saint Louis King did it right!   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sainte-Chapelle

A quick-lunch at Kentucky Fried (shhhhh!!)

To POMPIDOU CENTER to see the Modern Art – incredible which also had a MATISSE Exhibition going on!  Outside we found the Igor Stravinsky Plaza to see the famous water art, the LIPS, etc.  Great place for photos!

Marais, next stop – past a “poupee shop” – and a place for beverage (Cassis drinks), to see the cute streets and special shops in the Marais.

Headed past Hotel d’Ville (where the ice skating is during winter) and then

past lovely perfume shops, clothing boutiques and of course on ROSIERS the famous L’as du falafel

http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/Europe/France/Ile_de_France/Paris-99080/Restaurants-Paris-LAs_du_Falafel-BR-1.html

my favorite place for an inexpensive all vegetarian pita sandwich.  No time today – had to get to the 19th! So, to ST PAUL Metro stop where we headed to Bastille (did see the TOP of that column) which is where the famous Bastille Prison was – Fr. Revolution –

Got off at Jaures – walked to BUTTES CHAMONT PARK    images          near my friend’s beautiful apartment.  This lovely park was created by Napoleon III in 1800’s.

http://goparis.about.com/od/sightsattractions/ss/parks_gallery_3.htm

From there – we could relax at  our friends luxury apartment where we imbibed in a FEAST  of crepes and all sorts of beautiful fruits, veggies, cheeses, wines, ciders, champagnes, & lovely desserts (along with sweet crêpe desserts!)  WOW! (And she said this was going to be “simple”!!!) 🙂 Then we  played a really fun game-quiz on Paris where my friends made special cards with all-encompassing French, France, Paris questions – some of which I had no idea the answer!!!  SO! we all learned a LOT and 9-year-old J was the “life of the party” with all his “ I know, I know “ enthusiasm!!   We  surprised them with questions on Saint Louis and on Boston which really was fun too as they weren’t expecting this.  And some of the questions were so weird/funny – on Missouri – Thanks to G & O for finding out those the night before.                               

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The winners of the quiz (my family) received 3 big packages that were another incredible surprise!!  Tour de France shirts/caps, gorgeous scarves, t-shirts,sticker art books, museum books,  key chains, lotions and potions from France’s finest cosmetics and an INCREDIBLE bottle of CHAMPAGNE from our host!   They were spoiled rotten         It was so much fun!!!!        

We left to go back to Apt – but B and I took metro to Trocadero to pick up their suitcases while my husband and my son went back to Apartment with kids. http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/parsp-renaissance-paris-le-parc-trocadero-hotel/

What a night!! Took a Taxi to Gare du Nord from the Hotel and made it with only 2 minutes to spare.  Last train!!!  Whew!

FRIDAY PLAN

Sacre Coeur (9:00 – 6:00) – BUS or M to Abbesses – and then walk

Espace Dali (adults 10 euros, kids 6 euros) 10:00 – 6:00 EARLY AFTERNOON =  Cafe across from VanGogh’s house in Montmartre

or Sandwiches

Amelie’s Cafe on Rue Lepic (Cafe des 2 Moulins) – very 50’s inside –

Happy hour is 3.50 euros starting at 7p – Plats – tres cher

Montmartre   SUNSET – maybe?

CRUISE ON SEINE – LAST NIGHT!!!

What does it take to get shoes repaired around here?!?

When is a Cordonnerie NOT a Cordonneire?   Cordonnerie in French means “shoe repairer”.    That is what is right down the street and around the corner next to my little grocer.

But every time I go in there for a repair, it is met with “NON”.   David had some work to be done on his Mephisto’s and it seemed like a simple repair, but they didn’t have either the laces, or the machine in which to repair those shoes.  So, he still wears them and looks like the true pauvre professeur.  I asked today if they had heel taps to keep  my boot heels from wearing down as I wear them a lot.  “NON” – came the response.  He was washing his outdoor window when I walked by to ask him and to show him what I needed.   I repeated the question because I could not believe that he was telling me “NON’ again. I mean really, what is this store used for? Is it a FRONT for something else?  I said – in very poor french – Que faites-vous ici?  or ”  what are you doing in here” or something to that effect . Obviously I did not get an answer.  I continued walking – and scratching my head.  Where am I going to find a CORDONNEIRE that wants to repair my shoes?!?

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