I am beginning to feel “Parisian”.  BUT, there are a few snags. I need to be more patient about everything.  WELLllllll – Patience is not my strong suit. So, since impatience does not work in Paris, I need to change.  The Parisian French take their time about EVERYTHING.  And take breaks before work. And, years to finish projects.  And one can wait for hours at a doctor’s office or a store for service. So, if I want to get something done, I must be patient.  And “customer service“ does not exist.  SO—–I must change from being impatient and demanding to being patient and nice and waiting my turn, which comes at some time or not.   

BUT how can I change without changing?  And how does one change?  I HATE being patient and being nice. And I love Paris.  So……. What is happening?  I fought back. AND……As a result, I had three “vascular accidents”.  What? Brain strokes. Oops.

Am I having a Kaleidoscopic Shift?  A Fluke?  What is going on here?  Good question.  My reading tells me that I have had brain stokes because of constant stress.  I apparently was in “fight or flight” mode for the 20 years while I was practicing law, and the 60 before that, constantly on the defensive and fighting for an abused employee – the Plaintiff or a person in general.   As an attorney, my specialty was Employment Law (Government Entities in LA and Entertainment law.) I got a good reputation and was constantly busy.   Powerful law firms tried to break me because I was a woman and up in years, but they never did. 

It took its toll on me. And, then when I moved to France with Steve “to do something else”, I stayed there- in fight-or-flight mode. And when Steve died, I stayed there. And when I had a bum knee replacement, I stayed there – in that mode. And when I had a repair knee replacement on the same knee, I was furious and stayed there. And when I moved to Paris “to do something else”, I stayed there. And then when a pandemic arrived at the same time that I did, I stayed there. And, when I was unhappy in the Studio in Paris, I stayed there. And when I moved to a larger apartment in the 16th arrondissement, I had several “vascular accidents” during 2020 while trying to move out of my “fight or flight” mode. Oops. How to change the energy I had lived with for years. How to move into rest and repair mode. I had to change modes.

It is ALL a process of growth and healing and resting so I can heal.

SO, here I am in an apartment, trying to decide how one changes to get better. And, the first thought that comes to mind, is that I must change. What I had done before is no longer working. How? Oops. I went to specialists. I got tests. I just wanted to stay alive. Not die from a stroke. My knees had been botched. I still cannot walk without a cane. And I soon found out that Paris is more expensive than Nice. Specialists and tests (MRI plus) cost me my extra money. So, I am still searching for my answers. What trauma have i not released ? Or which trauma should I work on? I still have a lot of questions. And my biggest enemy was/is fear. And it all costs money. Duh.

Meanwhile, I got another shot of cortisone in my left knee. I got the Pfizer vaccine . Restaurant patios are open. Stores are open. My blood pressure meds don’t work. I have/bought good wine for the weekend. I need fresh flowers. Friends are coming to town. And I woke up this morning. All that is good. And I dumped the garbage without my cane. And I am enjoying writing this post. And a nice person helped me with a snag in my GoFundMe campaign. And, I have gotten a little financial help toward my goal of 5000 euros. So, all that is good.

At present, I am asking for help with raising money for my medical expenses because I am in a bind . That is difficult to do . I keep trying to “think”. Things are Blurry a lot of times. My vision is impacted. My balance is impacted. I live in a fog.

If you are willing to help, here is the link:

So far, I have handled things pretty well. Brain strokes make everything difficult. I do affirmations throughout the day. And I let people help me. And they are. I have tried to change my priorities and my thinking. And I have. I am forcing myself to affirm the positive. And I do. I am forcing myself to write and to think in a fog. And I am.

I think it is happening. Slowly. YES!!

I am changing. Slowly. I am in the midst of a Kaleidoscopic Shift. The most important one of my life. Ouch. It is not a fluke. I feel different on the inside. I choose to smile more.

Soon, I plan to go to lunch in a real restaurant. I will drink Perrier. I am watching my intake of wine. I sometimes just sit and think. I work daily on my French. A friend and former client is coming to Paris for a few days. So, this is a progress report. I am filled with love for most people who formerly irritated me. A lot of them still irritate me. Oops

YES! I am going to live some more. Fear, Fear, go away. Come again another day.

I read an interesting article on Facebook, posted by a friend in Paris.   I am going to share it with you.  I don’t know the writer.  I think he is in the USA.   But, it made a profound impression on me.  I am blessed.  We all are.  Some of us just don’t believe it or know it. 

So, I am finally pausing to smell the roses.  A former client will be lunching with me in Paris.  I am excited.  I have smiled all morning.  That is a good sign.  Here is the article I want to share.  I think it is interesting.  About my ancestors in England in the 1500’s.

Jeremy Hanlon, October 2, 2019, published it on Facebook at some point.  I read it this week.  I don’t know much about the writer. 

“They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot & then once a day it was taken & sold to the tannery…….if you had to do this to survive you were “Piss Poor”

But worse than that were the really poor folk who couldn’t even afford to buy a pot……they “didn’t have a pot to piss in” & were the lowest of the low.

The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn’t just how you like it, think about how things used to be. Here are some facts about the 1500s – in England:

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and they still smelled pretty good by June.. However, since they were starting to smell . …… . Brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it.. Hence the saying, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water!”

Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof… Hence the saying “It’s raining cats and dogs.”

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That’s how canopy beds came into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt. Hence the saying, “Dirt poor.”

The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entrance-way. Hence: a threshold.

In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire.. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme: Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old.

Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could, “bring home the bacon.” They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and chew the fat.

Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the upper crust.

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would Sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial.. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of holding a wake.

England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive… So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (“the graveyard shift.”) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be, “saved by the bell” or was considered a “dead ringer”.

And that’s the truth….Now, whoever said History was boring?”

Best, Jay

Published by jjaywmac

Jay W. MacIntosh (born Janet Tallulah Jewell) is a retired attorney, actress, and writer from the United States, living in Paris, France. She is a member of the California Bar and selected to the 2018, 2019, 2020 Southern California Super Lawyers list. She holds a Master’s Degree in Drama from the University of Georgia and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, and Zodiac Scholastic Society. As an actress, she is a member of The Actors Studio, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS), SAG-AFTRA, and ASCAP, performing in film and television in the United States and France. Her published works include Journal of Janet Tallulah, Volume 1, Journal of Janet Tallulah, Volume 2, The Origins of George Bernard Shaw’s Life Force Philosophy, Moments in Time, Capturing Beauty, JAYSPEAK on the Côte d’Azur, and Janet Tallulah.

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