The Birat Family Chronicles..

Les tribulations d'une famille éparpillée...

Date: 5 septembre 2009

Guess we can share Karen’s letter here!

Dear Kathie and J-P,

I am at the cabin for the last weekend of summer, thinking of you and feeling like I should have written before now, and remonded of that my Melissa’s email of her wonderful children’s clothes. I am trying to buy the little pink dress (12 mos) for Belinda but cannot figure out how to fill in the order form. Could you ask her to send me the dress and I will send her a check back? 1508 Lockwood Dr Northfield, MN 55057

Well, the summer went by and I had no vacation, thanks to our work on pandemic and now another project for the department of health on insurance design that is actually closely connected to the effort for health care reform that is underway here now. Obama is getting shafted by the crooked lying republicans and seems to be losing a lot of Americans because they are so effective in undermining him. So much for an intellectual trying to lead Americans down the right path.

It is a beautiful quiet night here, with the full moon rising over the lake. I brought one cat with me, and he made me feel guilty when I left to buy groceries by following me to the door. Tomorrow, one of my colleagues will come up and we will work/relax for a couple of days.

Excitement builds for the wedding on Oct 3! Kerry is diligently trying to remove as many references to God as possible in the wedding ceremony, which will be performed by a friend who is a retired minister (liberal, but he does, as he puts it, have a couple of limits). There will be poems by Mary Oliver and Denise Levertov. I will try to share the program with you. I am working on a little reflection to give at their wedding too. I’ve rented a bed and breakfast in Stillwater, and it will be a 2 block walk to the historic courthouse where the event will take place. Wish you could be here! My cousin form Sweden called to say they could not come, and now we are talking about my coming to present at a conference next July and visit them. I hope that pans out. Abstract is due Oct 1! You know how that goes.

Belinda is a light in my life. We are making a transition to the school year now, meaning a new baby-sitting routine at my home, but a former student who is jobless found out I was looking for help and will be a nanny for Belinda. She has experience working for the Y with pre-schoolers of all ages. Belinda is only 7 months, but almost walking, so I think I have a good lead on a stable care arrangement, thank goodness. Now I just have to pay for it. Two weddings and a baby in 1 year’s time – sounds like a movie title – has me a little strapped.

Big news in addition is that Kerry quit her occupational masters degree program and wants to teach children literature. She concluded it was not her calling, but literature is. And frankly, I think either could be her calling but she knows best.

So that’s a little update. I start teaching next Thursday – Biomedical ethics. I look forward to it.

Hope all is well with you.

Love to you both,



Bon, on a fait plein de courses aujourd’hui, y compris aller voir du parquet pour installer au premier étage. On a à peu près choisi qualité et style. On veut maintenant faire venir un artisan pour avoir un devis.

Il ne fait que 20°. On dirait l’hiver, glagla.

Dans le courrier hier, il y avait une lettre dont les bords étaient à découper et maman m’a dit que ce devait être des points de permis de conduire. Grosse frayeur ! J’ouvre en retenant mon souffle : oui ce sont des points, mais… en plus !!! Le point que j’ai perdu il y a un  an à Limoges m’est rendu. Donc encore deux ans à conduire sage comme une image et je me retrouverai à la tête de mon capital de 12 points….

Naomi, il faut que tu nous racontes ta nouvelle maîtresse, tes nouveaux copains et tout ce que tu as déjà appris depuis la rentrée.

Cette fois on est allé sur le site des petites choses. Entre la jolie petite modèle et les beaux habits, on ne sait pas quoi dire… Le site est très clair, très élégant et agréable.