Friday, September 14, 2012


I was seriously thinking about being whiny today when I woke up.  I haven't had time to blog all week.  I haven't exercised.  It is a week until payday and it cannot come soon enough because I am b-r-o-k-e.  (Back-to-college expenses for Son #2 are rough on our budget...).  I haven't even been inspired to make anything really good for dinner.  But even as those thoughts were running through my head, I thought-- It's Friday, I am in good health, the sun is shining, the humidity is low, I have a great job, what do I possibly have to whine about?  Oh, and the little message inside my Dove chocolate was inspiring.  (I keep an emergency stash in my desk drawer.  For me and for students who go above and beyond what is expected of them.)

So, instead of complaining, I will tell you about my tattoo.  I will feel free to be myself. I finally did it.  I've been thinking about it for 4 years.  Rarely one to make snap decisions, it was actually the Ex-Ex who made it happen last Saturday.
We went to the new farmers' market in Durham.

I saw some familiar faces there and was pleased at the variety of local offerings.  Fickle Creek, Prodigal Farms, Hillsborough Cheese, Four Leaf Farm, just to name a few of the vendors.  I only bought some little yellow cherry tomatoes to use on a tomato tart destined for Ms. Sunshine's birthday bash.

I took one photo of an interesting tattoo there.

After we left, we just kind of cruised around Durham, as we do sometimes on the weekend.  I wasn't sure where we were headed, but I wasn't driving.  We ended up on Ninth Street, a very eclectic street, with cafes, shops, a biker bar, a laudromat, the Regulator bookstore, and a tattoo parlor (are they still called this??)- or so we thought.  I finally realized the Ex-Ex was looking for Dogstar.  Well, it is no longer on Ninth Street.  It moved two years ago to Golden Belt.  I googled it on the trusty iPhone but still ended up calling the place because we couldn't find it.  I have to hand it to the Ex-Ex, though, he didn't get aggravated and give up even though we were walking around in circles for a good 30 minutes.  I figured we were just going for a consultation.  No pressure.  No pain.  Guess again.  Kohen came to consult with me after about a 15 minute wait.  I already knew what I wanted.  The Eiffel Tower had been in the running for a while, but the Camargue Cross would be it.  I had made up my mind on that one a few months ago.  I wrote about the Camargue not too long ago.  I think that I probably visited it in 1987 with my student group, but I spent a day there in 2005 during my pre-cooking stage stay in Arles.  I took at jeep ride into the Camargue with Safari Robert and a few other Americans.
Black bulls
Pink flamingoes

In Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer there is a church dedicated to the Saintes Maries.

There are statues of the Maries.

And a statue of Sainte Sara, surrounded by candles and prayers.
And thank yous.

You see the cross everywhere, from the first photo of this blog, the cross on the outside of the church, to gates surrounding homes, to artwork of all types.

It symbolizes faith, hope, and charity.
Faith for the gardiens of the Camargue.

Hope for the pêcheurs of the Mediterranean.
And charity for the Saintes Maries.
I've worn a necklace with this cross since 2006.

It has meaning for me.
First Corinthians 13, with its message of faith, hope, and love is my favorite and we asked the minister to read this passage at our wedding back in 1982.
So, I did it.  Don't let anyone kid you.  Getting a tattoo hurts.  Kind of a mix between being burned and cut.  (The Ex-Ex actually asked me if it tickled while I was on the table clenching my teeth trying not to move. Um, no, folks, it does not tickle.)

It is slowly healing.  It is a little itchy. One of my 8th grade girls noticed five seconds into class on Monday morning and shouted it out to everyone.  I explained what it means.  The 7th graders are shy and don't know me as well so they haven't asked.  Has it upped my coolness factor?  Well, since I haven't really ever had a coolness factor, I don't know.  Am I glad I did it?  Yes, I am.  I love it.

Bon appétit, la Camargue et les tatouages!

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