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We took a day-trip to Bath. It was originally intended to be with my Aunty Chris, as she has family living there, but we ended up going by ourselves. Still, it was an interesting time and I'd like to go back and have more of a poke around the Georgian aspects of Bath. We enjoyed seeing the Roman Baths, though, and it was nice to get a good idea of them. My previous memory of them mostly involved my sister falling in.

It was interesting to see how people don't change. When the Romans arrived, they found the locals worshiping a goddess of wisdom and healing at the hot spring by the name of Sulis. She reminded them very much of their own Minerva, and the two quickly merged, creating the temple and hot springs of Sulis Minerva. Much as, here as tourists, we spend our time noting similarities and differences to what we are used to.

Roman Baths pictures… click for them! )
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Caerphilly Castle is the largest castle in Wales, and the second largest in the United Kingdom. An amazing, well researched, well funded restoration of the place was done in the late eighteen/early nineteen hundreds by the then-owners, the Marquesses of Bute.

Click here for pictures of Caerphilly Castle )
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A number of the things we did were to make sure Rhys enjoyed the time he spent in England. One of these, while in Wales, was a place called Folly Farm. It had started out as a petting zoo kind of attraction, but had expanded considerably from that modest starting point. It was well organized and lots of fun.

Click here for Folly Farm pictures. )
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Just realized I've been calling this England Photo Spam and it should be UK Photo Spam, since we were in Wales as well. Our Welsh Relatives would be horrified. :-D

The Waterfront Museum was in Swansea. Mumbles Pier is in Mumbles, which is technically part of Swansea. Techniquest is a Science World type place in Cardiff.

Click for Museums and Mumbles. )
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St. Fagan's was one of the places I remembered fondly from my last trip. It lived up to my memories, and Frazer greatly enjoyed going there. All around him was his heritage, moved brick by brick and beam by beam from all over Wales and reassembled on that site. It was powerful, informative, and amazing.

Click for St. Fagan's pictures. )
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We spent two days on the Gower Peninsula, and one of those we went down to Worm's Head. Worm's Head holds a special place in my husband's heart… Wales was where he had a pivotal period of time. He spent 7 weeks there, during which he grew 7 inches without changing his weight. He hung out with his older cousins and went from the short, fat, insecure kid, to a tall, broad, self-confident teenager. And Worm's Head, for him, holds a sense of power and connection.

When I was back there, 14 years ago, I asked him what he wanted me to bring him back. He asked for a cute little welsh girl and, failing that, a rock from Worm's Head. As it happened, a cute little part-welsh girl came back for him on the plane from England, but my mother also drove me out to Worm's Head, where I picked up a stone to bring back. It still sits on his desk.

Click here for our pictures from the Gower Peninsula )
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On our way to Torquay, down in Devon, we stopped by Stonehenge. I love that place… even more than the stones themselves, which have a great energy about them all on their own, the land itself around the stones pulses and pulls at you. I only put up four photos of Stonehenge, because, really, you have to be there and experience it to truly appreciate it.

Torquay is where Frazer's Aunt lives. It was an interesting (and brief) visit, but we did go down to the beach in Torquay and visit Torre Abbey.

Stonehenge and Torquay )
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Geared as an amusement park for the 8-and-under crowd, Rhys had a BLAST here. We enjoyed seeing all the different kinds of models and statues created from lego… less so the standing in line for rides. As with everything in London, we had a desperately hard time staying hydrated… at least partially because the tap water in London is so incredibly awful when compared to our water, which is the best in the world.

Click for LegoLand photos… )
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Frazer had a great wish to go down and see the White Cliffs of Dover, so we did that one day, making it a day-trip out from London. We also went with my Aunt and Uncle to the Brookwood Museum, which had a ton of old cars, being an raceway and automobile factory until WWII.

Click here for White Cliffs and Brookwood Museum pictures. )
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It was brutally hot in London, and muggy as well. We are terrible tourists, disliking the sun and crowds. However, in order to do any of the things we wanted to do, we had to get over that. :-D And we did, and managed to do tons of touristy stuff without wanting to kill the people around us, or each other. Most of the time.

Clock for our Big Bus Tour of London and Tower of London pictures. )
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These photos, and the associated captions, will have been seen on FB for those who follow me there. For those who don't… enjoy! We had such a wonderful time and it will NOT be another 14/28 years before we go again.

Click for Hampton Court )

:-(

Feb. 21st, 2014 12:50 am
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My husband is too sick to eat the custard he just requested I make. I am rather concerned at this point.
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Because things are CRAZY busy around here at the moment.


Rhys and Frazer looking out at Jug Island (where the pirates have buried their treasure) and plotting a canoe trip out there to search for it.
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The view from the kitchen... it gets even better when you step into the breakfast nook.
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Sunday morning walk in the misty winter weather.
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Okay, so I fail terribly at NaNoBloMo...

Oh well.

Friday, we had people over for dinner and gaming. It was fun, and my friend Pam got to channel Firefly's River, which had us giggling pretty hard...

*negotiating with unsavoury type*
*Lexia is reading his surface thoughts as he sizes us up to see if he could take us on... nervous about her, as she is clearly a spell-caster from the arrogance... decides not to, especially since we have a sizable crusade passing on by*

As we turn to leave, Lexia turns to the merchant/bandit and says, "It isn't arrogance. I can kill you with my mind." Then makes an excellent intimidate roll and rides away as he scrambles away to the questionable safety of his buildings.

It was fun.

****************************************

Still waiting for the strata council to have their meeting. Frazer and I are working hard on not giving in to the urge to pester them with emails every day. "Have you had the meeting yet? Have you had the meeting yet? Have you had the meeting yet?"

It's hard though... desperately want to have it confirmed so we can continue on with the ideas and planning required to make such a big move.

We took Rhys down there and looked at what will be his bedroom. It's currently an office, with brown wood cupboards over a long brown wooden desk along one wall and a Murphy Bed along another. The idea we have is to keep the Murphy bed as a guest bed (and the closets and drawers will work well for storing Rhys' stuff) and get a bed for Rhys that will fit into an odd little alcove that was probably once a wardrobe before the Murphy Bed was installed. The alcove is wide enough for a bed that is 73" wide, so we will have to custom build a bed to fit in there are get a mattress made to fit, but it will work well... then if we have friends over, they can use the Murphy Bed and we can move Rhys' bed into the master bedroom for the duration of their stay.

(Please note... this is an open invitation to pretty much everyone on my FL if you are in Vancouver... we have space. :-D)

We're going to paint the alcove dark blue and put glow in the dark stars up in it, so the head of his bed will be looking up at a sky full of stars. Other than that, most of the things we're going to do to make it a more "kid" room involves posters.

I'm thinking it will be a good space for Rhys... he will have enough room to store all his toys in there, including the big playmobile castles and such. And when he outgrows the alcove bed, which will basically be the size of a European single, he can use the Murphy Bed as his actual bed.

*********************************************

Sit and breath and patience.

*********************************************

Must not email council... must not email council

*********************************************

Had a friend over for dinner last night. Ended up being a hell of a scramble, as I had expected to have the afternoon after Rhys had done swimming and gymnastics to clean the house for company.

Not so much... called my mum while Rhys was running his laps to check when we were going to see Mary Poppins, since I knew she had tickets for us but I didn't have a date in my calendar. Yeah... that was that day at 2pm.

So I went with Rhys to see the Mary Poppins musical. It was wonderfully done. Good production values, good singing, excellent ensemble dancing, and a lot of fun. Then we raced home and I had a minor panic attack/freak out that startled the hell out of my husband. He couldn't figure out why I was freaking out about cleaning up so much... because he had it in his head that they were coming for dinner the following day, not in less than an hour.

They came over, we had an excellent time, and lots of laughter. Probably not my best meal foodwise, but it was acceptable.

********************************************

Today was a nice day. Rhys let me sleep in until 8am, then after I came downstairs I ended up falling back asleep on the couch for a while while he played WoW. When I woke up, I had a cup of coffee made for me by my husband, and sat and actually cross-stitched for a while. Heavenly. Then I got up and started cleaning the house and getting a bunch of the chores that have needed to get done done. Took some breaks to teach Rhys how to cross-stitch (he's making a Christmas ornament for Nana for Christmas), to play a few games with him, and to make food (french toast for breakfast, and some sandwiches for lunch).

I did a huge purge of the books and papers I have lying around. I brutally culled all the accumulated stuff... example lesson plans, copies of articles, Pro-D packages, etc.... I had on the bookshelves upstairs and have crated up all the books I haven't looked at in years and likely never will again. There will not be room for me to keep all my textbooks, so I need to part with them.

In the next month or so, I need to book the flagship and have a huge "getting rid of books" night... both those from our place, and those from the apartment. People can come, take a look at what there is, and take whatever they want. Anything left over in the end gets given to charity or recycled.

Time to finish off my chores before bedtime.

Oh.

Nov. 5th

Nov. 5th, 2013 10:38 pm
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Just a quick entry tonight... Because I'm already in bed and typing in my phone is an exercise in "will the autocorrect be smart enough today?"

Taught my kids "punctuation fu" today. They loved it. Need to find a short piece of text for tomorrow to do with them. It also counts as DPA for healthy schools. Win-win, right? We will see how it helps them as it goes with their awareness of punctuation in both writing and reading aloud.

NaNoWriMo continues apace. The kids are excitedly telling each other how many words they have written. I'm glad they are so excited!

Sleep now.
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Thus... the To-Do, Tah-Dah list makes it's return.

To Do:

- put camping stuff back in attic
- fold laundry
- put laundry away
- put some more boxes in the attic
- clean bedroom
- clean upstairs bathroom


Tah-Dah!

- wake up
- coffee
- make breakfast
- take out recycling
- empty dishwasher
- take out the garbage
- do laundry
- hang curtains
- sort and cull books in boy's bedroom
- dry laundry
- clean kitchen table
- clean kitchen
- clean front entrance
- clean downstairs bathroom
- help boy put away all his toys
- organize kid's bookshelf downstairs
- make dinner
- clean up from dinner


Rhys wants to do one of these for his chores too... so, here are the boy's chores for today:

To-Do:

Tah-Dah:

- make bed
- put your toys in the bedroom away
- put your laundry in the washing machine
- move big toys out of your bedroom
- sweep the floor
- put big toys back
- put away laundry
- clean up toys in living room downstairs
- read
- write journal entry
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Had a wonderful time at the fall Scout camp. We kept the boys busy, busy, busy and they had a lot of fun. So did I, though I was exhausted by the end. A more thorough post will happen soon I that topic.

Ended up having a conversation about attitudes with Frazer in the car the other day. I was asking, having been thinking over my interaction at camp, and wondering if I qualify as an extremely optimistic person.

Frazer's answer was an immediate yes, which he then immediately qualified. It throws him for a loop many times, because if you look at my interactions with people I am optimistic to a fault, even in the face of evidence to the contrary. I would always, always, always prefer to think the best of someone. I will minimize flaws, anticipate miscommunication in any failure in plans, and generally accept excuses for failures to follow trough on things. But, if you take the attitude towards humanity out of the picture, apparently my optimism is significantly less.

It was an interesting commentary on me, and I'm kind of chewing over it right now.

Proud...

Sep. 29th, 2013 12:58 pm
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I have spent a great deal of time the past few days talking to parents about their children, and being away from Rhys for extended periods... and it has made me appreciate the time I have spent with him so much more. I feel like I've been Looking at him differently.

And one of the things that is always fun is seeing him through other people's eyes.

This evening, we went out for dessert to one of the local Greek places, and as we were leaving, Rhys was standing by himself by the door waiting for us. As he was standing there, he got a grin on his face and was waving to someone... it was a teacher from his school (one of the resource teachers as far as I can tell) and she smile and said "hi" to him and, without registering that I was there, turned to her husband/date to comment on how amazing he was at speaking French. Then she saw me and commented on how lovely he was, and how good his french was to me as well. I said that he has always been linguistically strong and she nodded fervently and said she could see that, and that he seemed very strong all around.

What made me VERY happy as a teacher is that this was not one of his regular teachers. This was one of the support staff in the school... which means that Rhys' talents and strengths have been discussed by multiple teachers on several occasions. I am very happy to have him on their radar.

*********************************

Sat down with Frazer and watched the newest Star Trek movie. Despite some giant blinking signs pointing to plot points, it did not disappoint. I will very happily watch it repeatedly.

And now it is very early in the morning and we are planning on Science World tomorrow today, so I need to get me to bed.
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At 10:28 tonight, my mother-in-law finally passed away. We are doing okay. Looking forward to sleeping in a bed tonight with my husband.

I will forever be thankful to John Day for his presence with us, both for Frazer and especially for Mike.

I'm thankful that she is at rest, but there is a hole in my life right now. I have spent the last year, more than that, actually, I have been worrying constantly about them both. It will take some readjustment now.

And now all that is left is the paperwork. Lots and lots of fucking paperwork.
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Because otherwise I'm never going to get myself motivated to do the things I need to get done.

to do:

- dust downstairs
- mark math homework
- record math homework


tah-dah:

- showered
- made bed
- made porridge for breakfast (and thus made husband happy)
- took Rhys to birthday party at kiddie habitrail place
- marked spelling, oral language from lit-circles, and questioning skills
- recorded said marks
- clean upstairs bathroom
- take Rhys to do his charity-laps
- buy bday present for said birthday girl
- wrap bday present for said birthday girl
- made lunch for son and husband (husband is chasing deadlines, so I'm keeping him fed and caffeinated so he can focus)
- washed upstairs bathroom floor
- washed laundry room floor
- washed miscellaneous bits of walls/doors that had smudges on them
- take Rhys to gymnastics birthday party
- deposited cheque in bank
- went grocery shopping
- clean cat box
- pay bills (OMG it felt good to do that... I've been procrastinating on that one because I've been up to my eyeballs in other stuff, and we are now a month behind on bills... however, it's now done, and it's even done with money left in the bank)
- do load of laundry (x2)
- dry load of laundry (x2)
- fold load of laundry (x3)
- put away several loads of laundry
- clean downstairs bathroom
- write cheque for Rhys' school gymnastics class
- read child a bedtime story
- clean off dining room table
- get together paperwork to do taxes
- clean kitchen
- dust upstairs (partially... but enough that I'm going to call it done)
- play WoW

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