The shortest month of the year has always felt like the longest to me, and so far February 2019 is no exception. Any other month you’ll always hear me saying how the time has flown, whereas I looked at the calendar this morning and exclaimed ‘Cripes Louise it’s only the 19th?!’ Not because life has been boring, quite the opposite , but rather because I feel like I’ve already lived several days in February multiple times. Possibly a groundhog effect, though I think it has more to do with a month that’s way past Christmas but supposedly a prelude to the prelude of spring.
Although with both kids back home and a busy real estate market, there hasn’t been much time to think about anything other than getting through the next day on the calendar.Valentine’s Day and then a long holiday weekend haven’t helped, either. My sweetheart and I did something rather “Extra” for Valentine’s Day this year, by signing up for one of those French food and wine pairings at The Minocqua Brewing Company, down in the big city dontcha know! By Extra I am of course referring to the teenage rating system, whereas things are either Extra (special) or Basic (common) according to a vague yet oddly specific set of standards as put forth by 17-20 year old girls. Put it this way, you don’t want to be a Basic “B”, and B doesn’t stand for Betty. (Side note: for a highly entertaining 2 minute skit of a doctor diagnosing a Basic B, performed by Seinfeld’s David Putty, click here. It’ll explain a lot. I should also note that there are a few light swear words and generalities so specific they’ll make you gulp, so if you’re easily offended you have my permission to skip it.)
I’m not sure why we decided to be so ‘Extra’ this year with our dinner plans, but other than using way too many letters those French really know what they’re doing in both the kitchen and the vineyard. Our ‘Amuse-bouche’, which I’m guessing does NOT mean Amusing BS was a pate´ with pistachios on grilled toast paired with the crispest champagne I’ve ever tasted, and it just got better from there. Stuffed escargot, Coq au vin, Vichyssoise (not pronounced Vicky’s sauce btw and no they didn’t forget to heat it up), Chateaubriand, and Cream puffs for desert. And all of it served with an accompanying French wine that went perfectly with the course it was served with. Some white, some red, some bubbly, but all of it wet which is the extent of my standards for the wine I drink. Admittedly Basic.
Thankfully, I had already set a large glass of water and Ibuprofen next to the bed before we left, just in case. I had a 9am closing the next day with a walk-through just prior for my Van Vliet Lake listing, and I didn’t need the lingering effects of Sauvignon Blanc to cloud my morning. It was a good thing I was on my toes too, as not everything was as it was supposed to be on the walk-through. Before anyone signed on the dotted line we had to solve The Case of the Missing Musky Mount, which we managed to crack just in time thanks to the help of some local slueths and some creative transportation. Mr. Muskellunge made it to closing, which went smoothly from there on out. I may not be an expert on French wine pairings, but as a real estate agent I think hunting down a 51-inch musky in February makes me somewhat ‘Extra’, non? Oui mon cher, cela fait!
Considering how active our real estate market has become, I have a feeling the need to stay on point won’t be letting up anytime soon. An absolutely gorgeous winter has helped many snow-loving visitors finally decide they’d like to be residents, even if only for part time. Between breaking trail by snowshoe into listings unplowed and an afternoon of skiing with potential buyers for the Indianhead condo (have I mentioned my job is awesome?) my mind has also been turning with spring marketing ideas and yes, just maybe a little bit of warmer weather, si’l vous plait?
Um, not so fast Bridgette Bardot. I bet you can almost guess what I’m going to say next, that we’d all better plan on remaining present in the here and now no matter how long February starts to feel. Because when it comes to winter hanging on in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, we seem to get a kick out of being really, REALLY Extra. Case in point, we’ve got 6 inches of fresh snow expected tomorrow and another dumping lined up for the weekend. If I start daydreaming about tiptoeing through the tulips anytime soon, I might end up needing to be heavily medicated by April.
Ah, take heart mes suiveurs, as they say in Wisconsin, if you don’t like the weather hang on a minute! Even winter must loosen its grip on the Northwoods eventually, and until it does every fresh snowflake adds to the beauty and contrast against a crisp blue sky. Quoi? You’d rather spend Springtime in Paris and not Northern Wisconsin? Mon dieu! If you are lucky enough to be in Presque Isle you should know it is the very essence of the French version of the northwoods. Not just the name of this silly blog, the translation from French to English for Presque Isle is – did you guess? – Almost an Island, from where these greetings are sent. With love.