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Nov. 15th, 2017

Birthday beach

St. Joseph of Cupertino

Okay, this is a saint I've never heard of, but he's the patron saint of exams and studying. The reason why? He wanted to be a priest but he wasn't very book smart. But he prayed and worked hard and by some miracle, the examiner asked him the only question that he knew the answer to.

Now that's my kind of test.

Eddie is going through mid-terms this week (and today), so I said a little prayer to St. Joseph of Cupertino. Hopefully that will soothe his nerves.

In other news, he's doing well on all of projects and papers. It's the exams that get him down.

Not much going on here. We're in the dark dreary time leading up to Christmas. I find the change over to standard time to be a shock to the system, but I'm glad the mornings aren't so dark.

I'm taking a Chinese Culture class and it is fascinating. The instructor is from China and she knows how to give a lecture. Eddie is currently taking an economics class on India and China, so we've had some great discussions.

Hope all is well with my flist!

And I just talked to Eddie and he said he felt calm and focused during his test and he thinks he did well! So I'll say my thanks to St Joseph of Cupertino. My prayers were answered. 

Oct. 13th, 2017

Birthday beach

Q and A stolen from aggiebell90

Tattoos: None
Broken bones: No
Shot a gun: Nope and I never will.
Quit a job: Yes
Flown on a plane: Yes
100+miles in car: Yes. I hate car trips, btw.
Gone zip lining: Nope and I never will.
Watched someone give birth: No.
Watched someone dying: Yes.
Ridden in an ambulance: Yes.

Been to:
... Canada: Yes. I live here now. I hope to see more of my second home when Bill retires. It's a big country.
... to Europe: Yes - but I only saw a few countries. I would go back in a heartbeat.
... to Washington D.C: Yes - a wonderful place.
... to Florida: Yes - Disney World. East coast beaches.
... to Colorado: Does the airport count?
... to Mexico: Wonderful place - so much natural beauty. I wish their economy was better.
... to Las Vegas: Yes. The people watching is phenonmenal - plus the OTT buildings and architecture. I don't think I could handle it after 3 days - though.

Sang karaoke: No.
Had a pet: Yes, as a child. Hubby is allergic.
Gone snowboarding: No way
Ability to read music: No, but I love music.
Rode a motorcycle: Nope
Rode a horse: No.
Stayed in a hospital: Yes.
Driven a stick shift: I've tried. It didn't go so well.
Ride in Police Car: No.
Driven a Boat: No.
Eaten Escargot: No, thank you.
Seen a UFO: No
Been on a Cruise: No
Eat Sushi: Love it.
Seen a Ghost: No

Oct. 3rd, 2017

Birthday beach

Happy Birthday, Girlspell!

Happy Birthday, girlspell! It's a beautiful fall day here. I hope it's just as nice where you are for your special day. All the best for another great year. *hugs*

Edit to add: What did I do wrong with your name? It's not right.

Sep. 28th, 2017

Birthday beach

Happy Birthday sea_thoughts !

I hope you have a great day - and I hope the weather is better in your neck of the woods. We're having torrential rain. :)

Sep. 26th, 2017

Birthday beach

Message From grandma_kate

grandma_kate gave me permission to share her e-mail with all of you:

As I said in the card, many months ago Live Journal would not let me in when I refused to sign their agreement.  They said that they "banned and deleted” me,  About a month ago I suddenly started getting notices of birthdays.  I have not tried getting in.

I am very well about to have my one year check-up from my new heart valve (a day before your birthday).  Dear Oatmeal hs his diabetes under control but is having congestive heart failure problems and  is scheduled for an angio gram on Oct 5.  Thank God for Kaiser and Medicare.  Clara turns three tomorrow but had her party last Saturday.  Owen is in Kindergarten and will be six in a month.

I pray for your family and Sandy’s and for Megan and her husband every day.  I hope all is well.

Love, Kate

If you want to correspond with Grandma Kate, message me through LJ and I'll send her your email. Or leave her a message in the comments. I don't know about you, but I needed my Owen fix.

Sep. 25th, 2017

Birthday beach


I'm still alive. I check LJ every morning, but I just haven't felt like posting. I don't know why - I think once you're out of the habit, it's hard to get back into posting.

Anyhoo -

Quick update since *checks and blanches * March.

We're still in Nova Scotia. Bill is still working from home. Eddie is still at Dalhousie University. Spring was all about getting provisions for his first apartment he's sharing with four other guys. They signed the May 1st lease in February and I had a lot fun going to thrift shops finding dishes and pots and pans and a table and chairs and all the stuff you need to live. The boys moved in during a rain storm (of course) and yours truly got to drive the truck. Thank goodness they had a lot of burly friends to help, so I didn't have to tote and haul. I told Eddie to try to stay in this place for the next three years because there's a lot to move.

Eddie stayed in Halifax and put out resumes in the city and in Liverpool. He got a job offer from the Museum here in Liverpool, so his freedom from us was short-lived. It was actually a good job and most of his friends were here anyway, so the summer went by quickly. It was nice to have him home and for him to have a few last cooking lessons before he went back to school.

So far they are all getting along great. With five of them living on two floors of an old house they have plenty of space. They're a good blend of personalities as well. So far the biggest problem has been trash day. Halifax has stringent recycling and trash rules and they have had to pay attention. The girls in the apartment below them got a sticker of shame - so they don't want that to happen to them.

We traveled to Massachusetts in April to see Bill's dad and we're going back on Columbus Day Weekend. I'm dreading it. The border crossing is ridiculous and if I see a MAGA hat, I will not be responsible for my actions. *sigh* I'm so discouraged by the world these days.

I've been reading and posting reviews at Goodreads. The reviews I post are of vintage Harlequins that have very few or no reviews. There are a few of us on there that like the old stuff and it's been fun to exchange opinions. Some I remember reading in high school - so I've been at this romance reading for a long time. :)

After reading some of the new Harlequins, I can see why I didn't go further with them. The edtors are really changing the lines. Lots of one night stand romances which I hate and the general trend for Fifty Shades of Gray sex scenes. No thanks.

I hope all of you are well. I'm concerned about grandma_kate. I haven't seen her post for awhile. I'll try to do better with posting.

Edited to add: grandma_kate sent me an email! I've asked her permission to share it here with you. If so, I'll add it. She and Dear Oatmeal are okay.

*hugs to my flist*

Mar. 15th, 2017

Birthday beach

Coldplay - Hypnotised (Official Lyric Video)

Having a Rough Day? This lifts my spirits.

Feb. 21st, 2017

Birthday beach

Waving from behind the snowbanks! An update

We just had back-to-back blizzards here on the South Shore. Today, thankfully, it’s sunny and above freezing and the snow banks are melting.

Eddie is home for reading week. There is no March break this year, so this is it for vacation. They missed three days of classes last week, which is unheard of for a university. We really had an entire winter’s worth of snow in one week and the road crews couldn’t keep up. All their mid-terms were cancelled last week, so they have those exams hanging over their heads but I'm sure they won't worry until Sunday:). Eddie is enjoying university much more this semester. He’s made some new friends and is more confident. Hopefully he’s outgrowing his exam anxiety, and mid-terms won’t be too stressful next week.

The latest curveball for this parent is that after first year, they are not required to live on campus in a dorm. So – you guessed it – they are apartment hunting for next year. Unfortunately, most of the landlords want a year lease from May to May. So he’ll probably stay in the city this summer and work and we won’t have our baby at home. *sigh* Still, it’s the logical next step.

George’s mom and I went up on Sunday to pick up Eddie and while we were there, went along on an apartment viewing. They found a really nice place – five bedrooms on two levels in an elegant old house. There are two bathrooms and two kitchens and all utilities, including internet, are included. They have four roommates on board and two possibilities for the 5th. I hope they can work it out to have that place. The landlord was lovely (and so impressed that these nice boys brought their mothers along). I keep thinking that it’s just as well they have summer in the city to learn to cook and shop and get used to that aspect of independent living before they have to concentrate on their studies – but still – it’s a big step.

And speaking of big steps. I gave Bill a book about retirement planning for his birthday in January. He actually ran the numbers and then talked to our finance guy and they both agreed he could retire anytime with three more years of work being the optimal number. (After that you’re working to pay taxes) We’ve always saved and lived below our means, but it is daunting to think (a) that money really added up and (b) we really are getting old and (c) thank God we live in low cost of living area with healthcare. If we moved back to the States, Bill would have to work at least ten more years. Bill will keep working, of course, but it’s good to know that if something happened with this job, that we wouldn’t have to move again. I’m so tired of moving. We’ve lived in 6 different houses in our 30 year marriage. I’m ready to stay put.

So we’ve been looking at house projects we need to do. Our front entryway and door need replacing. I’ve been leafing through brochures and getting ideas from the internet. This is a mid-century house, so I want to stay true to the style. We were slowed down by the storms last week and with Eddie home this week, I haven’t moved forward on it, but I will next week. It takes time to get things ordered and a contractor lined up – and it will be spring here (eventually).

It’s also tax season and filing in two countries takes a lot of prep work on our end. Every year they want something different, so I’m going through the checklist now.

I’ve been experimenting with bread making and my friends have been enjoying the results. It’s a good winter activity – and necessary after shoveling.

I can’t even talk about our new president. I’ve never written so many letters to my congressman and two senators as I have in the last month. It’s about all I can do from here.

A close friend of mine died of cancer right before Christmas. She was in our quilting group (there were five of us) when the kids were in pre-school and elementary school. Once the kids were in high school, life got hectic for everyone. But I was able to spend a lot of time with her before she died. Bless her, she fought it every step of the way from when she found out in June. She had adrenal cancer (which is rare), but what slowed her down was the secondary tumor in her spine that finally kept her from walking. Her daughter is Eddie’s age and in college. Eddie said he saw her last night at a friend's houses and that she’s holding it together. I was so glad she decided to go back to school, even though her dad is alone in the house. They have a lot friends who will look after him.

Needless to say, it’s been a hard winter.

On a happier note, I finally saw La,La Land. I really enjoyed it. Everyone in the theater laughed when the camera panned to palm trees and the blue California skies and the graphics said “winter.” I also saw Hidden Figures, which I loved, loved, loved. The acting in that was phenomenal. What a cast.

Hope all of you are well!

Feb. 8th, 2017

Birthday beach

Happy Birthday, Bel!

Happy Birthday, tdu000! It's a snow day here, but I imagine you're having different weather in your neck of the woods. Know I'm thinking of you and wishing you well in the upcoming year. *big birthday hugs*

Jan. 27th, 2017

Birthday beach

Happy Birthday, amamama!

Happy Birthday, Berte! I hope you have a wonderful day surrounded by family and friends. I'm sending you lots of loving vibes from across the Atlantic. *hugs*

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