First, a thumb update:
The other day when I went for the first re-bandaging, I was terrified to the point of literally shaking. It took several minutes and about three people to liberate the gauze stuck to the wound, and I feared that I would be faced with a bloody stump when the nurses finally succeeded. Luckily, the existing flesh seemed to have swollen to fill approximately the same volume that the missing bit had occupied. There wasn't any skin, but I didn't have a huge dent in my thumb either. Nor was there too much blood, though I do think that the upper part of my thumb will be yellow with iodine until all the skin cells die and flake off. Oh, well.
I can't do much farmwork without being able to use my right thumb, or to get my right hand wet or dirty (er, showering is also a challenge). However, Jocelyne, the farm owner, is used to taking in all sorts of stray, slightly ill people and so she hasn't pitched me out into the street yet. I spend a lot of time "helping" the way a five-year-old helps: I stand around in the way and do things more slowly and crudely than they should be done, so that when I'm "finished," Jocelyne gets to do them over again, which takes longer than it would have for her to just do them in the first place. I also dry dishes, hang laundry, make tea, organize papers, and eat a lot of delicious homemade/grown/raised food. It's tough.
Next, a cast of characters:
These are the folks that live on the farm. In the second installment, I'll include those that just come over a lot....
Jocelyne- 49 years old, owner of the farm. Looks like a more attractive version of the singer Baby Dee. Longish, blond, wavy/frizzy hair, sharp blue eyes, heavy but not unshapely. She and her home are a bit disheveled; she has more important concerns than whether she serves tea in matching cups or wears fashionable clothes. Mother and foster parent. Currently single. Speaks English well, but not as articulately as a native speaker. Forthcoming about many things, including the fact that science played a large part in the creation of her son and the fact that he has eight half-siblings from five different mothers. Unofficial liason between the huge British ex-pat community and the French natives. Teaches French classes in her home. Admits she has a tendency to surround herself with weaker creatures. Patient, goodhearted. Can birth a calf and skin a rabbit.
Kevin- 8 years old, Jocelyne's son. Blond hair, blue eyes. Very attached to his mother. Often speaks in a whine, but only to Jocelyne. Wets the bed. Was once seen picking his nose in his sleep. Speaks a bit of English. Enjoys chasing rabbits.
Jean- 69 years old, formerly under Jocelyne's foster care. Has lived with Jocelyne for fifteen years. Originally was admitted to her care as a "disabled" person, though Jocelyne says his only disability was alcohol. After her term as his foster caretaker was over, he wanted to stay. Blue eyes, white hair. Speaks like Daffy Duck, but in French, and goodnaturedly. Apparently lost his false teeth, which he wore for their aesthetic effect and never wore when he ate. Likes to watch game shows on TV, which Jocelyne claims is because he likes to look at the Vanna White types.
Melissa- 17 years old, Jocelyne's foster daughter of five years. Brown hair and eyes, overweight. Friendly, speaks a bit of English. Likes to talk on the phone and admire attractive male singers. Attends a vocational school and spends a weekend per month each with her mother and father.
Loup- 16 years old, family dog. Name means "wolf." Poor hearing and vision. Believes he's more spry than he is.
Assorted cats, cows, rabbits, goats, ducks, chickens, geese, and a horse.
2 weeks ago