Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year

It's New Year's Eve and all is quiet. Alan went out to lunch with a friend. Ralph is in St. Louis -- his sister-in-law passed away a couple of days ago and he drove up for the funeral. This was his brother Tom's wife and it is very tragic. Not only to pass away at the holidays but to pass away so young -- she was in her late 50's and had cancer. She got extremely ill very quickly.

So, it has been a bittersweet holiday. It has been nice having Alan home -- since he has been studying for final exams we haven't been doing a lot. He has been very very good and staying in his room and studying. It's very hard for me to not go into his room when he is studying and I have probably interrupted him more times than I should have!

But, because he has been so "quiet" I have found this holiday to not be too bad. Usually we are doing a lot more and I get more tired. But, this has been a good one on that side of things.

Well, I guess while the house is quiet I'll try to retire for a nap. I really notice a difference when I don't get my rest.

Hope everyone has a great new year!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005


I promise to write much more soon -- this was taken on Christmas Day.
Hope everyone had a great holiday.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Christmas Time

It's a few days before Christmas and all through our house it is pretty quiet. Alan is home and studying hard since his finals are January 4th. What a great way to spend your Christmas vacation. Ralph is taking some time off while Alan is home. We are trying to visit with friends when we can and relax at the same time. Alan's girlfriend, Jennifer and her parents and sister are coming over for dinner on Christmas as well as some other friends. That's what Christmas is about -- spending time with those you care for and all of these people are as close to family as we can get down here in the South. I miss being with my family in Illinois, but maybe some year we will try to do that.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and I'll post again soon -- I promise!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Funny things

It's hard to admit doing stupid things -- I certainly have my share of that lately. I think that I need to stop trying to cook when others are not in the house. On Friday, I decided to try to make some cookies. I got out my ingredients and turned the oven on. A few minutes later there was smoke coming from the oven --- when I opened it I found that I had but the sticks of butter in the oven when I got them out! I had a real mess on my hands. That's what happens when I try to do things when I'm tired. A friend of mine who has Alzheimer's once told me that her smoke detector was her kitchen timer! At least I caught it before the smoke detector went off -- I did think to turn the fan on to get rid of the smoke.

In England, I had one day where I could not remember where I had been the day before. I tried and tried and got so frustrated. We were doing so much, and eventually, with a little prodding from my husband I remembered parts of my day. I guess that is why it isn't a good idea for me to travel by myself.

More On England

This is my first attempt at putting photos in my blog so you will have to forgive my sideways
photo of the Canterbuy Cathedral -- I can't figure out how to change it! If my son is reading this, perhaps he can fix it!

The top photo is me in the small town of Sandwich -- it was a very quaint town, but you can see that the streets are very narrow. I didn't like going down them in the big double decker bus!

The second photo was taken in Whitstable, a town on the North Sea -- these little "beach houses" that are behind Pody, Rick and I are owned by people that have boats on the North Sea to house equipment, change their clothes and just to hang out in while they are at the North Sea. The amazing thing is that they cost $20,000 in American money -- and we don't think that includes the land!

The third phot is the Archbishop of Canterbury talking with Father Christmas. Father Christmas was much more popular than the Archbishop. See post below for more on that! Then the photo of the Canterbury Cathedral.

The last photo is of Pody and I with a volunteer in the Royal Navy Lifesaving Institute (I think I remembered the name correctly) -- anyway he had just finished a training mission in Whitstable -- they volunteer to do lifesaving tasks on the North Sea. He kindly let Pody wear his hat and pose for a photo with us.

I have more photos but since this is my first venture I'm going to see how this works out.

Thursday, December 08, 2005


Well, we are back from a wonderful trip to England. We spent most of our time with our friends, Pody and Rick from Illinois. Pody is teaching in Canterbury this semester and what a lovely city. It reminded me of going to a Renaissance Festival. It was so beautiful. The Canterbury Cathedral is just a five minute walk from Pody's apartment and it is so amazing.

Pody got us tickets to a Christmas Carol concert at the Cathedral one night and it was a candlelight service with their boy's choir singing. You can just imagine how that was. And on Saturday morning, there was a Christmas parade and Father Christmas met the Archbishop of Canterbury at the end of the processional. Then there were carols and a small ceremony. Father Christmas garnered much more attention than the Archbishop. The amazing thing that Pody and I both noticed was that if this had been done in America there would have been security all over the place with barricades and crowd control. But not the case in Canterbury. The parade was not what we think of as a parade here -- it is hard to describe but soon I will post some photos on the blog. But the meeting of the Archbishop is a big deal and there was no one "protecting" him or security. And, Pody and I actually got to speak with him....which was even more amazing. Pody had greetings for him from the University of Illinois where the Archbiship had a god daughter that attended there. Someone casually said to Pody before she left Illinois, if you ever see the Archbishop send him our regards. Well, who ever thought that would happen but it did!

I guess the funny thing to me was that when I was in England over 30 years ago, I stayed with some friends in Manchester. They had a dinner to go to in London and they took me along and at the dinner was the Archbishop of Canterbury. I had no idea who he even was (I was only 18 and pretty ignorant about all that stuff) and I got to meet him and talk with him. I wasn't real impressed at the time because I really didn't know anything about the Church and all of that stuff! It is a different Archbishop now, but to think that my path crossed with the Archbishop's twice is something I would have never thought would happen.

Pody has been sick with a cold and I felt bad as she and her husband played host since she was sick, she should have been getting some rest.

I did o.k. -- got tired but we did a lot and that was to be expected. There is more to tell and I will at another post with promised pictures. I just wanted to give you a quick post and let you know that we have returned. I'm anxious to share our adventure with you.