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Feb. 15th, 2016

Jack and Doctor

Travels and Books

On a slight impulse, I booked flights to the UK for T and I on Friday. My parents are coming over for 3 weeks in March, so T and I will be flying back with them and spending 10 days up North. I haven't been back in the UK since T was 10 months old, so almost 4 years ago, and this will be the first visit that T will remember. I feel as though I should have a ton of stuff to do, but aside from getting T's passport renewed there's nothing really to do until it comes to packing. Since we'll be staying with Mum and Dad, I'll be limiting clothes and doing lots of laundry. I'm hoping to keep it to one suitcase for the two of us, make it easier for the return journey as there won't be extra hands to help.

Spent 4 days in Toronto at the beginning of the month for work. For once it actually felt like a productive use of our time. Our VP listened to our feedback from last year's conference and built this year's agenda with our requests in mind. The social aspect was also good this year; we got to escape The Riddle Room, and have a night of bowling and pool with many members of the organisation, not just those within business resources. Toronto was unexpectedly balmy - last year we all near froze to death, this year we were sweltering in our thick coats and heavy boots!

Read The Moondial by Helen Cresswell on the way back from Toronto. It was one of my favourite books when I was child, and for some reason it had been on my mind recently, so I decided it was time for a re-read. It was much less dense than I remembered it, and although things moved along a little more quickly than was believable, it's still a solid story. Now reading Joel Hynes' Down to the Dirt - I went to the library looking for Gone with the Wind, but it was checked out and the Hynes' is what I ended up with! So far so good. It's a pretty raw, brutal, style of writing, but knowing what I do about life around the bay in Newfoundland it's definitely ringing true!

Jan. 28th, 2016

GS Snapshot

Book Thoughts

Written in My Own Heart’s Blood – Diana Gabaldon

I read this not expecting to be overly impressed – and I wasn’t disappointed. At this point in the series (this is book 8) I’m beginning to think Gabaldon’s lost the plot. Gone is the fast pace of the earlier books, replaced with drawn out scenes that are as repetitive as they are nap-inducing. There seemed to be no real focus to the story; we were meandered from one scene to another with no common thread to pull us through. There were hints of this with An Echo in the Bone (book 7), but it was very evident here.

So why am I still reading? Hope springs eternal... I loved the first 4 books, and now each time a new one is published I find myself hoping that Gabaldon has regained that earlier flair. And brevity. Not that 500 pages is brief, but compared to the 800+ of WiMOHB it’s positively succinct. I fully expect a book 9 some time in the next 5 years, and I fully expect I’ll end up reading it. What I don’t expect is that I’ll love it.

Jan. 19th, 2016


Winter. Blah.

So sick of winter. And really, it's barely started. But we got 31cm of snow overnight - took M three hours to shovel out the driveway, in front of the house, and the back of the house (that's our emergency escape route). I drove to work this morning, on badly plowed streets, since it seemed slightly safer than trying to walk on narrowed roads. Looking out of my office window right now and it's sunny with blue sky. 5 minutes ago I couldn't see my car in the lot due to the snow. If you don't like the weather, just wait 5 minutes...

So far this winter we've had snow, then a couple of warm days leading to a thaw. Aside from the potential for flooding, this is good because it means we don't get huge snowbanks everywhere, and it's easier to clear a path as you still have somewhere to put the snow. But they're telling us it's going to stay cold now, which means this snow will be sticking around - and will no doubt be added to.

I know, I'm whining. But... it's winter. And I whilst I enjoy some aspects - sliding! Snowman building! Warming up with a hot chocolate and Bailey's! - for the most part it's just long and stressful.

Jan. 8th, 2016


(no subject)

Happy New Year folks! Hope 2016 brings you much health & happiness, and sees the fulfillment of many dreams!

This post is mostly for me. I'm always looking for ways to encourage myself not only to read more, but to read stuff I wouldn't normally look at - widen my horizons, if you will. I saw this challenge on a blog, and whilst I have no intention of trying to read 50 books in one year, I do like the idea of having a list of ideas to follow when it comes to choosing my reading matter. If you're really lucky, I'll update as I read books that fit one of the ideas ;) Also, if you have a book that fits an idea and you want to suggest it, please feel free! Can't guarantee I'll read it, but I can always add it to my to-read list :)

A book with more than 500 pages - Written in My Own Heart's Blood by Diana Gabaldon
A classic romance
A book that became a movie - Down to the Dirt by Joel Hynes
A book published this year
A book written by someone under 30 - Down to the Dirt by Joel Hynes
A book with nonhuman characters
A funny book
A book by a female author - Written in My Own Heart's Blood by Diana Gabaldon, Lady Audley's Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon, The Moondial by Helen Cresswell
A mystery or thriller
A book with a one-word title
A book of short stories
A book set in a different country - Written in My Own Heart's Blood by Diana Gabaldon
A nonfiction book
A popular author’s first book
A book from an author you love that you haven’t read yet
A book a friend recommended
A Pulitzer Prize-winning book
A book based on a true story
A book at the bottom of your to-read list
A book your mom loves
A book that scares you
A book more than 100 years old - Lady Audley's Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon
A book based entirely on its cover
A book you were supposed to read in school but didn’t
A memoir
A book you can finish in a day - The Moondial by Helen Cresswell
A book with antonyms in the title
A book that came out the year you were born
A book with bad reviews
A trilogy
A book from your childhood - The Moondial by Helen Cresswell
A book with a love triangle
A book set in the future
A book set in high school
A book with a colour in the title
A book that made you cry - The Moondial by Helen Cresswell
A book with magic
A graphic novel
A book you’ve never read before - Written in My Own Heart's Blood, Lady Audley's Secret
A book you own but have never read
A book that takes place in your hometown
A book written in a different language
A book set during Christmas
A book written by an author with the same initials
A play
A banned book
A book based on or turned into a TV show - The Moondial by Helen Cresswell
A book set somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit
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Jun. 8th, 2015



Well, I had planned to post here more often, but since it's been 5 months, that obviously didn't happen. I keep flirting with the idea of starting a blog, but since I can't even keep this updated, I can't see me faring any better with a blog that's all me (supposedly) all the time. At least here there's something else for people to look at!

The past few months have just flown by. I spent 5 days in Chicago back in May which was glorious. Went there with my bestest friend and just hung out. Oh, we did stuff: Willis Tower, Shedd Aquarium, Steppenwolf, Second City, segway tour through Grant Park; but it was mostly about just spending time together. My friend lived in Ontario for 7 years and since she's been back we make the effort to meet up as often as we can. But! She has two kids, I have one, so our meet ups are usually a quick bite at lunch, or an evening running errands, or play dates with the boys. We're always on a time crunch. Having 5 days to just wander and talk and not look at the clock was simply wonderful.

T is now registered for kindergarten. I shed a few tears over that! Kinderstart (incredibly pointless program where kids go to the school for 2 hours every month) begins in October and then he'll start kindergarten proper in the Fall of 2016. At the moment, he'll be the first intake of pupils to have all-day kindergarten (as opposed to just 2 hours a day), but with a provincial election looking, and a sorry-looking provincial economy, who knows if that will go ahead?

Reading has fallen completely by the wayside this year - although I did whizz through Iain M. Banks' The Business on the flights to and from Chicago. I have done a LOT of sudoku, and I'm actually getting really good at it! I find myself completing those puzzles before bed during the time that was formerly reserved for reading. I started Diana Gabaldon's Written in my Own Heart's Blood on the way back from Chicago, but as I expected, it's really not holding my attention. The first 4 books were good, but I find now it's all getting just a little too repetitive. And no, I didn't watch the TV version of Outlander.

Jan. 12th, 2015

Jack and Doctor

Monday, Monday

So. Freaking. Tired. This was supposed to be my weekend to myself. M was going to take T out to his parents and I was going to laze around; reading, knitting, watching bad TV - you know, the usual stuff. Instead I was woken at 6.30am on Saturday morning by T throwing up over himself, the bed, and me. So, we kept him in town since if it developed into anything I wanted to be close to the hospital. The morning was an endless merry-go-round of T playing happily-T sitting quietly-T throwing up. Repeat. Around lunchtime it stopped, but he still wasn't himself so he curled up with Daddy while I made a start in clearing out our bedroom. After an hour or so, M and I switched so he could deal with all the crap he had left around the room.

Still have no idea what made T sick. We all had the same for supper on Friday night, and M and I were fine. T wasn't sick yesterday, but he didn't seem keen on eating either - couldn't even tempt him with a TimBit. He did eat breakfast this morning, so I'm taking that as a good sign.

Swam last night for the first time in about 6 weeks. I'm not feeling it as much as I expected I would, but maybe that joy awaits for me tomorrow. We practiced all the strokes except butterfly (which we won't be learning anyway!) and since there are more people in the group this time, we actually had to swim rather than stand around and chat for the bulk of the lesson!

Almost done with The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Thank goodness. I was really enjoying it, but now I'm kinda sick of all the twists and turns and just want it to be done. About 30 pages left, so I should reach the end tonight. Then it's on to the Doctor Who Shakespeare Notebooks. Can. Not. Wait. :D

Jan. 2nd, 2015

Jack and Doctor

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to you all! May 2015 be filled with peace and love, and see the fulfillment of many dreams!

Christmas was a fun but busy time. My parents are staying with us, and with the myriad visits we received from friends and family, it has felt a little like my house is not my own at times. But! T had a fabulous time and LOVES the drum-kit we bought him. He plays on it several times a day, and at the end of each "solo" will raise his sticks in the air and say "yeah". Not sure where he got that from, but it really is cute! He then looks around to make sure we're all applauding - if you're not, then he will stare at you until you do. Apparently the rockstar attitude starts at a young age!

One perk of my new job is that they close the provincial offices between Christmas and New Year, so although I had to check voice-mail and e-mail daily, I was not expected to be in the office. Since I only received two messages in total, it was relaxing not to have to get up and be somewhere at a specified time each morning.

Mum, Dad and I watched a few movies - The Grand Seduction, The Grand Budapest Hotel and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and I even read a book: The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill. I bought it months ago, but it has lain on the shelf ever since - commercials for a mini-series of the novel nudged me into reading it. Having finished that novel, I started in on The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë. I'm only about 100 pages in but I'm enjoying it, even if it's not as racy as the blurb on the jacket would lead you to believe ;)

Dec. 23rd, 2014


Happy Tibb's Eve!

December 23rd. The baking has not happened. Nor has the gift wrapping. But! I have finished the shopping, the liquor store has been visited, and the cards are written. MiL is cooking Christmas Eve ham tonight, because tomorrow her other grandkids are appearing in a Christmas pageant. I have about 7 hours of work standing between me and a few days off. Not sure how many since there are conflicting reports, but general consensus is I can walk out at noon tomorrow and not return until January 2 :)

T's daycare had their Christmas party yesterday. A little sing-a-long, a visit from Santa, and yummy goodies to eat :) Santa had a sack with a gift for each child. When T's gift was pulled and his name called, he decided that instead of him going to Santa, he would go sit in the kids' armchair and wait for Santa to come to him! Which Santa did, being an obliging old elf.

Finally spent a Chapters gift card I was given last Christmas! Picked up a copy of John Forster's biography of Charles Dickens - illustrated edition. It's an abridged text, but also annotated. I've made a start, but it weighs a ton (in reality, just under 5lbs) so is hard to hold up - not good for bed-time reading. One of my goals for 2015 is to read more. I find I read a lot at the start of the year, then it just tapers off. I haven't really read anything since about August.

Dec. 19th, 2014


Good things are a-happening!

M and I went out last night and I am now thisclose to finishing the Christmas shopping. Tonight I plan to go through everything I've bought and see what I still need to get. If I'm remembering correctly, I only have a couple of little things left to pick up. Let's hope I'm right!

Whiskey-kitty is doing much better. He is using the litter tray again and his poop is more solid. He's also happy that my parents are here, since my Mom adores him. He is spending most of the day on their bed and getting plenty of head scratches and treats.

T saw his physiotherapist yesterday and whilst she has not signed off on him, she will no longer be making regular visits. We will see her at the 6-monthly clinic check-ups and she will be available to us if we have any concerns, but otherwise she feels he is caught up to where he should be.

Unlike this time last year when we were buried under several feet of snow, it is still lush green grass here and actual sunshine. As much as I enjoy not having to shovel or fight my way to work along unplowed sidewalks, it's not really very Christmassy. But! We dug the Christmas movies out of the basement and this weekend will see some baking happen. Also, gifts to wrap and cards to write.

Dec. 9th, 2014


Of parents and kitties

My parents flew to Montreal yesterday and arrive in St. John's on Friday. I feel completely unprepared. My plan for this past weekend was to get the house completely cleaned and tidied ready for their arrival so that this week was all about maintenance. Hubby however had different plans and we did very little. I now have three evenings to get the place straightened out, bearing in mind that by the time Small Child goes to sleep I only have maybe an hour before I need to go to bed, and if I spend all that time cleaning then I have had no time to relax all day. Sigh.

Guess I just need to hope my parents don't mind if the house isn't sparklingly clean!

Whiskey-Kitty has been pooping in the basement. At first we thought it was because a blob of poop had caught on the fur by his butt, so we had that shaved off by the vet. He used the litter tray a couple of times, but then went back to pooping on the floor. And it's not normal poop, it's liquid. Back to the vet we went, and came home with antibiotics (for a suspected stomach issue), and cream for his sore butt. First couple of days were great - ate his food, pooped in the litter tray - but then over the weekend he stopped eating. I figured it was because the antibiotics changed the taste of the food (it was powder I mixed in with the wet food) so stopped adding the medicine. He started eating again Sunday, but puked all over the living room rug this morning :( He's around 13-14, pretty old for a kitty, and is definitely having a hard time getting around as well as he used to. M would get him put down in an instant (he has no time for cleaning up cat poop/vomit), but I hate the idea of putting Whiskey down just because he's getting old. At the same time, we have a Small Child and I have to take his health and safety into consideration.

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