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 Fairly busy weekend, for us anyway. We borrowed Mom's car on Friday night and did a Costco run on Saturday as well as one or two other stops then had tickets for the IMAX showing of Dunkirk in the evening. I did stuff up the booking for our seats, clearly misreading the diagram for the seating plan and booked seats three rows from the screen instead of three from the back which is what I thought i had done. We did try to sit on the end of a row further back, hoping someone hadn't booked those seats but just minutes before the show started, the actual owners of the seats showed up. We apologized and slunk back down to the lower section which was all but empty so we did sit in the row behind where we were supposed to. It was a bit better. It wasn't too bad though, after all. The IMAX was pretty amazing for a lot of the scenes, especially for the aerial flying and fighting stuff. We don't normally go for the IMAX but thought this movie would be particularly good and it was. It's also in a spot where we definitely have to have a car to access and we don't normally have one. Highly recommend the movie even if you don't go IMAX with it. It's not really got a story as such, there's no romance thrown in as a back story or anything else around the events. It shows the personnel on the beaches, lining up for the ships and the boats to evacuate, the Messerschmitts bombing the ships and the Spitfires fighting them to prevent it.

Soldiers are jumping off the ships rather than go down with them if they're hit. Others are holed up in a beached boat which the Germans start using for target practice so the bullets are banging on the sides of the hull and coming through it and then when the tide comes in, naturally water starts pouring in. Meanwhile, a load of private boats, ferries, lifeboats and the like are coming over from England's coastal areas to help evacuate the stranded. They were conscripted by the navy but often were still piloted by the private owners. I read somewhere that most of the boats in real life were not little fishing boats, but were ferries and larger boats but I there must have been some smaller private vessels, too. The only "story" part of the movie was one of these boats, piloted by the owner and his two teenage sons and what happens to them. They pick up a very shellshocked pilot (or might be a sailor that survived a sunken ship) who's been shot down and is sitting on a floating craft. He doesn't want them to go "back" to France because he's sure it's certain death but the owner of the boat, played by Mark Rylance (one of only two actors I recognized) knows it's the right thing to do. 

Everything else is the soldiers, the fighting in the air, the tension of them trying to get on the ships then the ships being bombed or will the Spitfires shoot down the bombers? There's not a lot of dialogue but you don't even notice it. Kenneth Branagh plays a Rear Admiral who's overseeing the whole evacuation operation. He's good in the role, too. It was after this evacuation that Churchill made the speech about fighting on the beaches, in the air etc. "We will NEVAH SURRENDAH"! 

Anyway. Yes. Good movie. I wish my Dad had been alive to see it, he'd have really loved it. 

We did more errands on Sunday including dropping in at a ComicArts festival to see the lay of the land. We only just found out about it a couple of days before or it might have been something G. could have prepared for and set up a table. We wanted to see what  it was all about with the possibility of him going in it next year. 

We took the car back to Mom and stayed for an early supper/late lunch and came back home. Watched a documentary narrated by George Lazenby about his life, and how he came to get the part of James Bond, but though apparently was offered a contract for more, he never took them up on the offer. Most of it wasn't about Bond, since that was only part of his life.You did get the idea of what life was like in London in the swinging 60s, though. He was a model for awhile and had women and drink and drugs in his life. He's an Aussie by birth and came across very arrogant and flip which he seems to fully admit he was. Kind of interesting, anyway. 

Not sure what's on this weekend coming but the next one, there's a Corrie ping so I guess we'll borrow the car again. they've changed the venue to one a bit of a distance away from where we live. My friend usually picked us up but the new place is close to where she lives so I would not ask her to come all the way to get us, go all the way back to the pub and then take us home again. It's easier to get the car. Mom always tells me she'll lend it any time and wonders why I don't ask more often but I don't like to. We generally do ask maybe once every 5 or 6 weeks. If she comes over to visit on a Sunday, we'll sometimes ask her to run us down to the grocery store and we can then get a lot more or heavier stuff. G. usually goes to the grocery store once and sometimes twice a week to get things but he can only carry so much. 

Also saw that the Fan Expo in Toronto over the Labour Day weekend has some excellent guests but we can't go at this late date, with all our other vacations planned. The Comic Con in Toronto in March isn't nearly as good but we did discover there's a Fan Expo in Vancouver while we're there. They don't have more than a couple of guests announced yet but we'll wait a bit and see who they get. We decided if there's anyone really interesting we'll get a one day ticket. Don't want to spend all our time in Vancouver doing that, there's too much else to see, but one afternoon at the convention centre would be ok! Good timing. It actually looks better than the Comic con because it seems to be a wider focus than the comic one. They call it a Pop Culture festival so it covers a lot more, like Steampunk, science fiction, horror, in addition to comics and anime and manga. We will have to keep it in mind and go to the Toronto one next year. I think it must be the labour day weekend every year. Man, though, the hotel prices are astronomical over that weekend!

We can get a good deal on the flights because I've got a companion voucher for $99 through Westjet which cuts the price of the flights down. Good thing, we'll need the cash for the hotels! Still, a long weekend away in Toronto will be ok. We also think we will try to go back to the UK next year. Ohh.... maybe we can fly to the UK from Toronto and continue our vacation from there. Something to think about. Will have to do some organizing. I don't think we can organize a 3 day layover in Toronto on a ticket to the UK, flying here to TO to London. I think the airline would make us book two separate flights. It would be cheaper obviously if there was a way to book the Halifax/Toronto/London flight as one flight. Anyway, never mind, there's ways and means. Incorporating the Fan Expo in with the rest of the vacation is a good idea, though. 

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 We had a long weekend with a holiday Monday. It was crap for me. A dry tickle cough turned into a chest cold. I stayed home from work on Friday and hacked my way through the weekend though thankfully, it hasn't really hung on as long as usual or turned into a head cold like I thought it was going to on Saturday. Perhaps taking Buckley's mixture for the cough and rubbing Vicks on my chest made that much difference, I don't know. I also drank hot honey and lemon as well and I've been taking iron pills so perhaps that pumped up my immune system a bit. Whatever worked, it did the job. I still have a lingering cough but it never got as bronchially bad as it has in the past. I felt guilty calling in sick on the Friday of a long weekend but it's not as if I call in sick all the time or on Fridays/Mondays. I only ever lose maybe 2 or 3 sick days a year, if that, as a rule though I did lose some earlier in the year because my back was out. 

On another plus, my heel seems to be improving quite a bit. The plantar fascitis I had has been lingering and seemed to have got stuck at the 40 or 50% recovery stage. Last week during Tall Ships, we went to the waterfront twice and walked and I thought I would really pay for it but instead, it seems to have pushed the recovery up a notch. It's far less twingey and sore in the daytime and even at night, just only a bit. I think standing for a longer time might be harder on it but the walking was ok. I think i would classify it as a solid 80% recovered or more which is very good because it should be all ok for our trip in November and our day trips and road trip in September with Malcom. I can now start to try to get out for walks and build up the cardio again without fear that I'll be hobbling around. My back is feeling fairly good, too, as good as it generally gets. I should schedule an adjustment soon, though, to keep it in line. Gotta get my hair cut as well, that was going to happen on Friday but i had to cancel. 

Onward and upward. going to borrow Mom's car on the weekend. G. needs to get bloodwork again and we want to go to a movie, probably Dunkirk and probably on the IMAX. Also need to go to Walmart or Canadian Tire because we need house things like a new mop and bucket and a new cooking pot. I burned one of them by turning the a burner on under an empty pot! Doh! 
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Have developed a chesty cough. Crap. Was up most of the night though I have to say, the desperate act of using Vicks rub on my chest does help. Horrible Buckley's cough mixture does too. Tip: It works, it tastes disgusting, kind of like liquid eucalyptus, keep it in the refrigerator and you can get it down. At room temperature, your stomach may rebel. My dad called it Fuckleys. He was right.

Time for the monthly book catch up beneath the cut
2017 books )

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 First of all, Graham became a permanent resident of Canada one year ago today! Thank you Facebook for reminding me. He's been living in Canada since early April last year but the paperwork finally got approved in July and we drove to the US border to exit and return to get the papers stamped. Don't ask me why,  you just have to do that, cross a border into Canada. If he'd still been living in the UK, he could have done it at the airport when flying in. If already living here, driving 6 hours to the nearest US border, crossing and coming back is the next best thing. We made an overnight trip of it in St. Stephen, New Brunswick. Pretty town. 

This was the Tall Ships weekend and though we didn't get as much covered as I thought we might, we did get to the waterfront twice to see the ships docked and got to see the Parade of Sail yesterday. Also went to a movie, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets on Saturday as well. It was pretty good but not great, for me, though G. loved it. We listened to a review on YouTube and the reviewer talked about there being no chemistry between the lead couple and I have to agree there. I also thought the lead male looked about 14 and didn't strike me as a great fit for the "General" or Commander (I forget his actual title) part. Lots of very good special effects, which we saw in 3D. 
The next movie we will probably try to see is Dunkirk. It wasn't initially on my list but the trailer does look good. I did have a moment when I saw it because I thought how much my dad would have loved it. He loved war movies. He was always interested in reading "real life" stories from WWII and worked with a man that was a POW in a German camp during the war. "Tough as a boiled owl" he'd say, when describing the man. Dunkirk is about the evacuation of several hundred thousand soldiers from the beach at Dunkirk while they were under attack. Even fishermen from local villages along the Channel helped to get the men out. 

Anyway. Tall Ships. Yes. So after the movie we walked down to the waterfront and had a bit of a wander though didn't see that many. We had started at the wrong end! It was warm and humid and overcast and sticky, though so walking was not fun. Met up with my sister and her hubby and we decided to meet up later at a pub on the other side of the harbour. The wait was far too long for a ferry so we took the shuttle bus, a special shuttle the Transit people put on to go from ferry terminal to ferry terminal, express. Perfect. the pub is across the street from the ferry terminal and we managed to get a table for four. Half the tables in there were sporting Reserved signs though I noticed they weren't occupied until nearly an hour after the time on the table sign said.Captain Jack Sparrow put in an appearance, too, likely from the Dartmouth Waterfront pirate shenanigans put on for kids. We waited over an hour for our food, though, which was frustrating. I've been there before and they weren't that bad even though I'd been in when it was busy before. 

Sunday we didn't do anything but Monday we headed back to the Halifax Waterfront and saw the rest of the ships. It was hot and sunny and not always easy to keep going. Lots of crowds. It was a bit disappointing because there weren't as many of the really huge class A ships this year, just a couple. In other years we have seen 4 or 5 or 6 and they are immensely impressive under full sails. 

Yesterday was the Parade of Sail. We'd picked our location and managed to find a shady spot and even had a place to sit, a lucky break though we had to give up our shade after awhile so someone could put their mother's wheelchair in the shade. I didn't mind sitting in the sun and there was a bit of a breeze. G. did get a bit of a sunburn but I had put on the sunscreen so I've escaped the red skin. 

And so the Tall Ships have come and gone for another few years. Last time was 2012. G. enjoyed it. He's never been here in the summer when they've been. 

If you're still with me, My photos are here, which are in a larger album with pics from prior year's Tall Ships
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 It's Tall Ships weekend!!!!!!!! I'm quite excited to see the ships again and there is quite a lot going on in the city as well. There's an Indigenous display on the waterfront where there should be lots of music and costume and that's always colourful. There are the ships of course, and they're free to go on board and have a look around. There are free concerts by local bands all weekend. There is a small island in the harbour that used to be fortified and it's cleaned up and open to the public this weekend though you have to buy a ticket for the transportation and entrance I think. Might do that, might not. hiking around it, though small, is all hills! Fireworks every night. I want to see them at least once, with the ships lit up for the night as well. There's a parade of the crew of the ships, that's a "maybe". I'm taking Monday and Tuesday off because I won't be fitting it all in one day. Tuesday is the Parade of Sail where the ships come down the harbour and back out in full sail. Gorgeous! 

One woman on the bus today said something like "you've seen them once, what's the point of seeing them again".. I can't get enough of them. It's one of my top favourite things about Halifax, the tall ships events every few years. I'll be paying for all that walking, though, because my heel is still sore though there's some improvement. I'll probably be back to square one by Wednesday though if i'm smart, when i do get home after the day out, i'll get the ice out and ice my foot down. That should keep ahead of it some. Home to charge up my camera batteries!

In addition, I think we're going to see that Valerian movie, probably tomorrow since it's looking like a bit overcast and showery. We can play that by ear. If it's not bad when we get out of the movie, we can always go down to the waterfront for a first look at the ships. 
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I stopped by Livejournal just to check up on a couple of people. Saw a couple of notices from the administrators. You can now embed LJ posts elsewhere, and you can now import your Facebook public posts automatically into LJ. But they haven't admitted defeat. Not yet I sense it's close. there's a distinct waft of desperation.

Baby shower for wee Bree next Saturday. I've given her a start on her library, chipped in on something Mom bought her, one of those cross body slings, and I've ordered 3 dozen decorated cookies from the woman at work that also was the one, with her niece, that did our wedding cake. Her cookies are really REALLY good, too.
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 Bloody Air Canada! I suppose they are no worse than most airlines but they do piss me off sometimes. I got a call from the travel agent last night to say that Air Canada had changed the flights for our Hawaii trip, they weren't offering the return flight on the date we'd booked anymore. Or at least not that date. So the options were to shift the flight and hotel by a day later or cancel. But a day later has us on an overnight flight, arriving back in Vancouver first thing in the morning and then on another overnight flight to Toronto that same night. Nooooooo. I might have been able to do that 30 years ago but it would wreck me for a week now I think. But I asked if it couldn't be shifted back a day instead so she checked and said yes it could. I also asked if we cancelled and changed over to a Westjet package (they had a similar one with the same hotel) would we get charged anything by AC. Considering it was AC that moved the goal post, I expected the answer to be No and it was. She got back to me this morning and said it could be rescheduled for one day earlier so that's what we're doing. We'll head to Hawaii out of Vancouver on Nov. 14th instead of the 15th. We get back to Vancouver early early on the 20th instead of the 21st and head home the night of the 22nd. 

So now, I had to shift some other stuff around. I was planning that we would go to stay with my cousin for the two nights before Hawaii but this would only leave us with the one night. Not a lot of time for a good visit. I'd also have to do something about the airport hotel we'd booked for the night of the 21st. I thought maybe, if it wasn't too inconvenient for my cousin, we could go to hers when we get back from Hawaii. That would be a couple of days even if we might be a bit jet lagged from the overnighter. We might even get a day trip in somewhere, perhaps up to Whistler in the mountains. 

I messaged her and she said that would be great, she'd even pick us up and deliver us from/to the airport. I wasn't assuming, though I'd hoped she would. But we could have taken the skytrain from a station out in the burbs where they live. Anyway, with that done, I cancelled the airport hotel and rebooked it for the night before we go to Hawaii. We can take our stuff out there in the evening, have breakfast in the morning and either go into the city on the skytrain or do some shopping and get some lunch in the large mall that's close to the hotel. There's an airport shuttle from the hotel I think. THey'll hold on to our bags until we need to leave. 

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 Yesterday was our "First Face Day" anniversary. G. and I met in a chat room through a mutual friend and we got to know each other through long chats on MSN back in the day when that's how you communicated online. Chatrooms and MSN or ICQ. His dial up connection was not good for any video chat. We did try once or twice but it was frustrating to say the least. I really had a time getting my head around the feeling that I was developing feelings for someone I had never met face to face as was he. It was not in our plan, either of us but it happened. I was planning a trip to the UK, first to London and then to Manchester where I had friends anyway and he offered me a place to stay. Hmmm... I was fairly confident he was safe. I had a friend of mind meet him and have a chat, to see what he thought. G. was perfectly happy to do that which was scored points. He always said and did all the right things. I never caught him in a lie or mixing up his stories, which is something you have to watch for when meeting someone new, sight unseen. I had feelings for this man so I decided to take the chance, since I did have friends not far away I could go to if it didn't work out.

I was going to do my few days in London as planned along with a couple of nights with a friend there. I'd hop on a train to Manchester after that and spend three days at G.'s, seeing my mates and hanging out, seeing if this really was what it felt like. Then I was on my way to Ireland for a wedding and I persuaded G. to come with me so that we could spend a few more days together. I had to get a hotel anyway so I bought him a cheap flight. Again, could always cancel if things weren't working. 

I missed the train. Really. Not being used to these things, the sign I was watching was for arrivals not departures so I was at the wrong platform when the train to Manchester left. Doh. I had to go back down to the ticket wicket and buy a new one way ticket! Luckily I had bought a mobile phone in London so I could contact him to meet me a bit later. The trains between the two cities are frequent so it wasn't a long wait, just an hour or so. I finally arrived in Manchester Picadilly station. 

We had arranged to meet by the Burger King in the station. I went that way and saw him, but he didn't see me because someone had stopped to ask directions. The next thing I know, we're face to face and it felt like the world faded away. I know that sounds corny but that's really how it felt. It felt right. It still does 13 years later. 

We finally got married 2 years ago. Yep. 11 years long distance, bi-continent. We moved over to Skype so communication was a lot easier now that we could video-chat rather than type. It took that long because he had an elderly dad to keep an eye on and he really didn't feel comfortable leaving the country. His dad passed away at Easter, 2014 and we started to plan our wedding that summer. He's living in Canada now officially and with all the paperwork. 

A happy ending :) 
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 We gathered to celebrate my niece's birthday on Saturday and I finally got to hold the wee baby!! She's soooo tiny, just nudging over 6 pounds now, which is more than a pound since she came home two weeks ago. She's doing very well though does have to feed a lot. She's keeping them hopping. Luckily, her husband is very good with the baby and even took over and let her sleep 4 or 5 hours while he looked after Bree. I think my niece pumps out milk for a bottle feed, too, so he was able to feed her. 

Anyway, I held her for awhile and then of course, there were others in line to have a cuddle including her uncles. It's surprising to see how besotted R. is over the baby, someone that never held one before and wasn't bothered but this baby, as he told his sister, is important. Awww! I still have a photo I took of him when he was five, holding her when she was about 6 months old. He's staring at her little face and they're both smiling hard. He kind of looks at little Bree the same way now! Warms the heart, it does. 

Staci's dad is driving down from Ontario next week to see the baby. He hasn't been here yet and planned a trip later in the summer but he's starting a new job in July so he's making a quick drive down now instead. I say "quick" but it'll take a couple of days to get here.  You can do the drive in one day but it's literally ONE DAY, a solid 18 to 20 hours, highway all the way. THat's without too much stopping other than gas, bathroom and a quick food stop. I used to live north of Ottawa and we would do the drive in about 16 - 18 hours in summer, driving all night. We'd break it up to an overnight stop in winter if we did it at all. Where Staci's dad lives is in Hamilton, which is about half way between Toronto and Niagara (which is west of Toronto). Google maps has it as a 17 and a half hour drive but it ends up being closer to 20 with traffic, break stops, tolls and other delays.

I just had a look at the maps and it would take 60 hours to drive across Canada, from Halifax to Vancouver. That's Google Maps not taking into account breaks, time to sleep etc. It's a big country. Actually Google gives the fastest route through the US, about 57 hours. You would have to take into account the exchange rate which isn't great these days though the price of gas is better than Canada's, it being taxed far lighter. I'd still prefer to stick to Canada though. I don't know if I ever would want to drive across the country but it would be a nice drive over the Rocky Mountains from Calgary or Edmonton to Vancouver. 

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You know how frustrating it can be to navigate through all those menus when you're trying to get through to a real person on the phone? It's "press 1 or say ONE" "enter your birth month and year or say the two digit month and two digit year", that sort of thing. I tried to get my automatic reload set up on Starbucks for my Starbucks card/app and it kept kicking out my credit card. Just got one with a new expiry date, you see. It would accept it but then send an email when it tried to reload and say it couldn't authorize it. I noticed a "start" date on the card as well as the expiry so i wondered if that was the problem. So I decided to call up. I had activated the card yesterday so i knew that was ok. The number I called yesterday put me straight through to a warm body. Not so, tonight.

All I wanted was a real person to ask a question. Was there a start date that meant I couldn't actually use it until then? (next weekend). I obediently tapped my way through all the things it wanted to know. But I still couldn't get an option that would give me a real person.  I muttered "oh fuck off", the recorded response came back with  something like "this is not a valid response" ... I navigated a bit more and finally shouted the same thing. Got the same huffy come back but then the recording said to make sure I had my paperwork and they'd connect me to an operator. So there you have it folks, swearing at the recording menu options really does work!

And the problem? I had entered my billing address the same way I always do on every website. I didn't change it from before on the Starbucks site, it was still "apt#-civic# street name Dr." but the woman at the call centre said the card account was set up as "civic# street name Dr. Apt xxx" . The apartment number was separated out. Mind you, that first format is one that Canada Post always recognizes and it's the one I use all the time. Even Starbucks never minded it before. But as soon as I changed it to the one that matched the card account, it went through. Well then. I suppose either the bank or Starbucks has changed their authorization method. I know it's for my own good but I'll have to remember that for other sites, and not be surprised if it kicks back at me. At least I'll know why.

I've changed over my other Visa card at another bank to a Mastercard that will get WestJet (airline) dollars. Air Canada is dropping Aeroplan and will have their own points plan. They actually separated themselves from it a few  years ago but were still associated with it as a partner. They're dum,ping that partnership altogether. They *say* they'll still accept aeroplan points for flights after they change to their own but I am not so confident. And if that's the case, I want to have something else in hand for travel points. Westjet dollars can also be used with Delta airlines and American Airlines, I think as they are partners with Westjet. Westjet is now flying to Gatwick and Glasgow, too, so they're a viable replacement for Air Canada. Possibly at least. Anyway, it's done now. I always had a second credit card as a backup. I've got Aeroplan points enough for a short haul flight already, I may end up with enough for a long haul North America flight by next year. You can use Aeroplan points for other things like hotels and cars and merchandise so I can always use it for that, too but I find the points they want for a night in a hotel is quite high when you can often get a pretty decent price on a hotel if you're patient. I think gradually I'll shift over to the new mastercard as my main one. The Aeroplan card, the bank that deals with it also has a lower version, not a premium type card and I could always switch it to that one. The yearly fee is far lower.

High finances.
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 Father's Day is over with. Since Dad died, I try to keep my head down and shut out a lot of the advertising and I try, but usually fail, to stay off Facebook for a few days. But the Father's Day posts linger for a few days after so I can't avoid it. I'm not one to post photos and sentiment on the day in memory of him. I'd rather remember him privately. I don't think it's a bad thing that people pay tribute to various dads, grandads, and other father figures in their lives, I do the same thing on Mother's day but I find Father's day difficult. It stems back to when Graham and I first got engaged, at the end of May, a few months after he died. Grief was still pretty raw and it devastated me that he wasn't there to celebrate. I think it intensified how hard Father's Day was that year. Everywhere I looked there was advertising, commercials, posters. I couldn't buy my future father-in-law a father's day card because I couldn't bear to look at all the cards. I still can't. Luckily, his birthday was around the same day, sometimes falling on Father's Day itself so I would send a card and add a "Happy Father's Day" on to it. 

It's odd, I don't have the same heavy feelings when his birthday comes around, just a few weeks after Father's Day and not even on the anniversary of his death in January. I remember him, I think of him daily and I really miss him. It doesn't hurt as much as it used to though I can still be caught off guard now and then by a memory even if that same memory might not bother me if I'd had it the day before or the week after. I call them "Dad moments".  The most recent one was seeing a trailer for that movie about Dunkirk. He would have loved it, he always loved WWII books and movies. 

Anyway. Didn't plan to write all that but I'll leave it. 

We were out on the weekend to get a new tube for G.'s hearing aid and ended up getting groceries at two different stores, spending about the same amount in each. Sheesh. Well, we were out of a lot of meat and I tend to stock up if I can get to the shops that have really good meat prices. The one we went to had Tbone steaks on sale for around $5 - $6 or 7 which is about half what you usually see them priced. Mind you, they aren't that thick so I suppose half the size of stead means have the cost! Never mind. We don't need huge hunks of beef anyway.  I have to try to increase my iron intake so a bit of beef now and then will be good. I had some multigrain cheerios this morning, that was iron-enriched. I love those organic pumpkin seeds I got at Costco and I'm out of trail mix for my work stash so I will have to hit the dollar store later. 

The social committee at work is hosting a lunch time barbeque today, I think. We pre-order a hamburger or a hot dog and they give you a package of chips, a drink. They have it set up on the roof of the parking garage next to our building. It's looking a bit overcast but I think the skies are trying to clear so it shouldn't be too damp!
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 Baby BreeVery good news, my niece brought her little one home from the hospital on Monday. Bree is 5 lb. 4 ounces and thriving. Here's a photo. She looks a bi
t overwhelmed doesn't she! There's a link to a few more photos if you click on the photo including one with her daddy. I think she's got his looks around the eyes and his dark hair, too, if it stays dark. My niece is blonde and babies often loose their hair and when it grows in, it can be a different colour. I still haven't had the opportunity to hold her but I'm sure I will now she's home. 

That's the big news of the week. 

In other local news, the Bluenose II, the lovely sailing ship that represents Nova Scotia, has finally been completely renovated and overhauled and she'll be doing lots of sailing this summer, including leading the Parade of Sail when the Tall Ships come. The boat will be in harbour in Lunenburg for much of August and September so when Malc comes to visit, I would really like to drive down there for a day trip and book tickets to sail on her. In all these years, I've never been on board for a sail. Lunenburg is a gorgeous town, a UNESCO heritage place, too. I haven't been there for awhile. I think I took Graham there on his first visit to NS but we haven't been there since. 

I have been making lists of vegetarian friendly restaurants for Malc, too. Most places have one or two dishes but some are definitely better than others and if we want to eat out somewhere, I don't want to always have to depend on Chinese/Thai or Curry. There aren't really a lot of Indian restaurants here though there are many Chinese places all the way up the scale to some really, really good ones. I've also been earmarking a few recipes to make as well. Vegetarian chili is always a good standby as is Lasagna or spaghetti sauce. I have a couple of good vegetarian pasta recipes as well. I suppose i should make sure I have extra tomatoes and cheese and lettuce in for sandwiches and I may look to see what the grocery store has for veggie luncheon meats and get some tins of soup in or I could always make some and freeze it. 

Over to the books...
2017 books )
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The doctor told me my hemoglobin and red blood cell count dipped below normal at my last blood work. I had a colon cancer kit from the hospital that they send out every couple of years to over 50s so she said to do that and send it in. Apparently one common way you can be losing blood is through the stool, especially if you're post-menopausal and not having periods anymore. I had more bloodwork and went back to her. Seh'd had the test results and it's just fine. The second bloodwork showed the offending red blood cell count a little higher, just into the normal range so she thinks i will have to start trying to get more iron in my diet. That's a fair suggestion. I think I've been low-iron in the past because i do have an iron supplement that I always forget to take. I'll have to get back in the habit of that.

Now on to figuring out what foods I can eat. She said things like leafy green veg are good but you have to eat quite a lot of it to make much difference. I had a look online. I hate liver which I mentioned to her but she asked if i liked pate. Oh yes i do like that. She suggested that maybe once a week for a start. Now i'll be looking up pate recipes! Aside from red meats, which we don't eat even on a weekly basis as a rule, I also found out that there are certain beans and nuts and seeds so I bought some trail mix from the dollar store and picked up dollar store stuff, dried apricots, almonds, sunflower seeds, more raisins and things like that. Bought a big plastic container to put it in and I can snack on that at my desk at work. Costco had a large bag of pumpkin seeds so i made some banana muffins also and threw a big handful of them in there. Yummy. All that should help. And try to remember to take the iron supplement pill! I shall be IronWoman!
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Welcome to June! Corrie's been pretty riveting this week. They always pull out all the stops for the week that they also air Britain's Got Talent and since they show it at 9 pm they also make some choices that are more "adult" viewing. Anyway, there were  a few really good storylines peaking and some performances that have to be award winning, if not this year (the awards are actually on tonight) then next year.

I have been struggling with my back most of the week though it was ok enough to go to work on Thursday and Friday. It's still a bit creaky but it will be for a few more days. Went to the chiropractor three days in a row and will likely go again next week though it might have to wait until payday. We'll see. Also have a regular doctor's appointment on Monday night so we shall see how that goes. She was talking about changing my BP meds.

Today, we were going to take a taxi to the grocery store and get some things but a friend called and we ended up going out to lunch with her first and then she took us to the grocery store which made things easier.

when we got back, we got in the elevator with the man that lives next to us. Not sure G. realized who it was because he asked what floor so he could press the button. I said Oh that's our neighbour. I don't know his name but we've exchanged hellos now and then when we've seen each other in the hallway or elevator. He's a chef, I know because usually he's wearing his whites when I see him going to or coming home from work. He was carrying two cakes or loaves and asked if we liked banana bread. Oh yes. He gave us one of them, which was still warm from the oven! Oh my god was it good! There was also chocolate in it and it was fluffy and dense and melty! That's the kind of neighbour you like to have! I bet even if i had the recipe, it wouldn't come out as good as that.

Still enjoying the series The Handmaid's Tale and apparently they're having another season of it. If you are at all familiar with the book, you will know it was left a bit up in the air with the main character so I would imagine they might fill in what happened to her afterwards. Hope so anyway and I hope Margaret Atwood is involved so the "vision" stays on board to what she'd want. It's quite good and you don't have to have read the book first. It keeps to it pretty well and the little changes are not that jarring, plus they've added in and filled in background more than is in the book to flesh it out.
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Literally, a pain in the back. For the first time in about 10 years, my back really spasmed out on me on Sunday. I've had twinges and aches and such but this is the first proper attack in quite some time though not the worst it's ever been I have to say. Stil been bloody uncomfortable. Sunday, doing nothing in particular, just walking to the kitchen it siezed up. Ice, heat, Robaxacet. It wasn't too bad on Monday but worse again on Tuesday so I went over to the chiropractor for an adjustment. My nephew was able to drive me over thankfully. Today, my cousin took me for another one but it's a lot more comfortable today. I think I'll head back to work tomorrow. If i need to go again, he's in the same complex but otherwise I'll go next week for a top off.

Thus, I probably won't get to see wee Bree this week unless we go over on the weekend. Might do that if it's nice. I know one thing, with the extra rest and painkillers, my sore heel has been a lot better, still a little sore but better. I suppose once I get back to normal routine, it will start hurting more again but maybe I can keep on top of it by foot massage and ice. I am pretty sure that's been the major contributing factor to my back problems because I've not been walking right for a couple of months now due to the sore heel.
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 Baby Bree is so tiny! Yet she's bigger than I expected. Not very big of course, still weighs a bit less than birth weight of 3 lb 14 but starting to gain back. The little fingers look incredibly fragile and her arms and legs are so skinny feeling through her jammies. They've taken her out of the main ICU part and taken her to a transitional NICU where it's quieter. It means she's doing very well so that's good. Staci can't wait to take her home but it will be a few weeks yet. 
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 I didn't really do anything on the weekend but rest my foot and my back which has been twinging lately. My back is improving as is, I think, my heel (plantar fascitis) but it's still tender. 

I did get a bunch of hotels/motels booked over the weekend for both our Vancouver leg in November and our Cape Breton road trip in September when Malcom visits. The Vancouver one is a suite hotel and by booking on the hotel website, I could use the government discount which saved us about $150 for the four nights. I just have to remember to bring my work ID card. They didn't say local government wasn't covered so I"m prepared to insist if they give me any grief. I've used it before when I've booked a hotel without any problems. The websites usually say Provincial/Federal which might seem to indicate they don't do the rate for municipal but most times you can talk them round. The hotel site for the one I booked said "Provincial / Government" which, to me, doesn't specify only Federal and that's the argument I'm taking. Anyway, it's called Rosedale on Robson and is in the area of Vancouver near the big stadium and next to the Princess Elizabeth Theatre for any of you that know the city.  Plenty of busses handy and not a far walk to the historic centre and Chinatown.  I have mentioned a milestone birthday and belated honeymoon when booking because you can often get free upgrades. 

For our road trip, it's a lower key, motel kind of trip for the first two stops and in the small city of Sydney, NS, a Comfort Inn, again with government rates. We'll drive to Cape Breton and head around the Cabot Trail. We are hoping to go Whale Watching, weather depending. It's late in the season as far as tourists go and the last time G. and I went, we couldn't get out because there weren't enough booked when we wanted to go in the morning. I think I'll try to book for an afternoon sailing and hope for the best. If I call a few days a head, we might have a good idea of whether they've already got some bookings. Two nights in Sydney after the Trail and we'll drive down to Fortress Louisbourg which is only about an hour away.  Since I'm not sure if I'm taking the whole week off when we get back, I arranged it so we're heading back home on Sunday instead of Monday, just in case I am working on Monday and Tuesday. We may do another overnight trip down the south shore and valley if we can get booked for the night sky observatory at Yarmouth. We tried last year but it was too foggy and got cancelled. 

It will be nice to see Malcom but it will also be a bit of a challenge since he's a vegetarian. We won't mind eating vegetarian with him, that's not the challenge, the challenge is to find some nice recipes. Oh it's not that difficult I know. I just want to make sure everything is nice. He won't mind if we eat meat but I think unless we're in a restaurant, I would prefer we all have the same thing, it's easier for planning meals that way.  Veggie lasagna. Curry. maple curry pasta. I know he likes that. 

I'm planning to go to the hospital after work to see la bebe!!!!! I'll text my niece later to make sure it's still ok to come. Weather's not great with windy showers but I don't care. I really want to meet the wee one. Naturally, I forgot my camera but I have my phone. 
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My tiny great niece is doing well. My niece is busy helping at the neonatal unit, working on pumping milk and helping to look after baby. She's so tiny, like a baby doll! I haven't met her yet but my niece is a bit overwhelmed and quite busy so I'm going to wait and go over after work this week instead. My mother got to go yesterday and was emotional with it. They've called her Bree Alisson. Alisson is daddy Alex's sister and she's thrilled at being name checked. Bree has dark hair, too which her daddy has. If it stays dark. They put little knitted hats on her that look far too big and her diaper, even though it's for preemies, looks enormous!

My sister is over the moon with joy and it's so wonderful to see her so happy. Not that she isnt normally a cheerful person but life has its ups and downs, it's worries and stresses but having a grandchild is such a special gift.

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2017 books )

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 Mom liked her tablet. I know there's going to be a learning curve but I think she'll like using it. We'll have to get her to call her ISP to get her password reset because none of the ones she thought it might be worked and they insist you call technical support to reset it. i can't do it for her because they'll want to talk to her, for security reasons. 

We saw Guardians of the Galaxy 2 on Saturday and enjoyed it quite a bit. We had to stay for all the credits, right to the end because there are little extra scenes thrown in and this one had extras right to the very last. Easter Eggs they're called. Anything related to Marvel has them apparently. Kurt Russel is in the movie and they had a "flashback" to when StarLord's parents were first in love. I thought that looked like Kurt as it looked back in the old days, big hair, dimples, the lot and I wondered how they did it, cgi obviously but it looked quite good. That's what he looked like back in the later Disney movie days! We saw it in 3D, something we don't usually do but depending on the movie, it works well. 

After the movie, we had a nice Thai meal, the dinner and movie being our anniversary outing. We had borrowed Mom's car and got a load of shopping in earlier as well. All that time on Saturday inside stores and the cinema on a day when the sun finally came out and it was warm and lovely. Back to damp and drizzly on Sunday and will be similar for the next few days. 

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