Wednesday, October 31, 2012


So dad asked for an update about the storm.

As a little background, after my celebratory and Badger-filled convocation (thanks so much to everyone for coming! Esp. those who had to sneak in) we then loaded up Sandeep and Christine's car with my stuff (it did not fill the whole thing, so then I was mad I didn't leave more things out of storage to use the available space) and drove down to New Haven on Sunday. At the border we had to get out of the car and go sit in a little room for an hour and a half, no mobile devices allowed, so Sandeep almost went insane from boredom. The customs guys were quite nice though, although I was surprised to find that we had to pay a @$%#%# $6 fee to get the I-94 card (not mentioned anywhere). Nobody had American currency (whoops) so I had to borrow Sandeep's credit card. We then spent an additional hour figuring out how to get our hands on some currency on a Sunday afternoon - double whoops. I had travellers cheques but totally forgot nowhere would be open on the weekend. For future reference - PC Financial cards work at Bank of America bank machines!

The drive down was long and tiring. We checked in, had sushi and pretty much collapsed. The next day I had a place to look at at 10am. It seemed fine, great location, bit expensive, kind of small and old but recently renovated. Sandeep of course asked if the price was negotiable and the guy said maybe. The next place to look at wasn't until that evening at 6pm. We were killing time in between (i.e. rushing around between my work and their friend who was working down here) when the landlord texted offering the place for $50 cheaper and throwing in heat. Sandeep told me that perhaps I should make a satisficing rather than optimizing decision and just take the place. We did a quick cost-benefit analysis (I love nerdy friends) and decided that having a place to put the stuff from the car before they had to leave was more important than seeing other places in worse locations (although cheaper and some furnished). So I called the landlords and sorted out the paperwork that day (luckily for me they were willing to accept travellers cheques!)

The next day the Mishras took me to IKEA and we got a mattress and a bowl and a few bits and pieces (and I got a housewarming lamp from them!) The rest of the story is that they then headed up to meet a friend in another Connecticut town, left later than they meant to, got almost to the border and then Christine realized that her purse with passports had been left at the restaurant. So they had to backtrack, stay over in CT, THEN drive back up, pack up their house and drive to Regina. Except the TransCanada was flooded, meaning they had to go through the States, meaning that they had to drive to the vet's at 7am to pick up their cat's records to get back across the border... oh yes, I am not the only one who is constantly in the throes of infinitely complicated travel arrangements.

Anyway, fast forward to the hurricane. The short story is that I did not get flooded and never lost power  - it flickered but never went out - but I was lucky. My supervisor is still without water, power or heat, with two small kids! Here is a before-and-after photo of the green (I just happened to take a photo on Sunday of the exact spot where a giant oak fell on Monday!)



(you can see the same colourful tree - the big one behind it in the first pic has toppled)

This is scientists examining its roots! 

Thought this was hilarious. Way to cash in, Walgreens.

And finally, here is my house during the worst of the storm. I am on the ground floor, but quite high up as there must be a basement, and we didn't get flooding (just lots of leaves and branches). I have a lot more pics of downed trees but I am sure you get the picture...

So I basically got two days off work with pay (although did do a bit of work from home) and was spared the worst of the damage. Hope everyone else's power comes back on soon!

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Back Home

The time in Guelph was fun.  On Friday morning we picked up a car at the airport (very nice Chrysler 200) and our Brave Badger driver adjusted very quickly to driving on the other side of the road.  We were able to check into the hotel right away and Theresa and I took a little walk around the campus while Geoff napped.  It has quite a mishmash of building some old and ivy covered and others very new looking.  Anne caught up with us  at the hotel and she and Geoff started to sort out the moving details.  The went over to the Mishra's (Anne's friends who were driving her to Yale).  For supper we went over to a Mexican restaurant and had some very fresh wonderful tasting food.  Saturday morning Anne and Geoff attended to more moving details and Theresa and I stayed at the hotel, reading and waiting for Lisa and Richard to arrive.  The hotel is right on the edge of the campus, so we walked over to the hall where the convocation was being held.  We got there right at 1:30 which is the time that the instructions said, and found that the main floor was almost full already.  But we found seats, though not all together.  Lisa and Richard played the "we came all the way from Kelowna to watch our niece convocate, even though we don't have tickets can we sneak in and watch"  card and it worked.  After the ceremony took a few pics, then walked over to have refreshments and meed Mark, Anne's supervisor.  We had a celebration supper at the hotel, then the Mishra's joined us and we drank champagne to toast Dr Ferrey.

Sunday morning up and after breakfast we drove to the Toronto Airport.  A friend of mine who lives in Toronto, but is working in Regina right now also had a 4 pm flight, so I was able to have a visit with her before we left.  In Edmonton it was so nice to have Grace and Allison waiting for us.  Picked up the bags and home.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

St catharines

Am sitting on coffee shop, needing to send off essay-it is only 2 pages, but this can make it harder to analyze what types of nursing knowledge are used in the CNA's report on health care in Canada, and whether these types fit in with my vision of nursing care.
Trip has been busy-got in Fri at 12 am, to Guelph Sat, back to St Catharines on Sun, to Hamilton yesterday, just went to cooking class at Superstore, should be doing essay now, then to janet and scott's for supper and bowling, to Niagara Falls tomorrow, Toronto on Thurs, Kitchener/St Jacob's market Sat, birthday dos on Sun, leave Mon at 7 am.
I need more naps.
All is well here however-Franco told us all about health care in Niagara region.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Home again

Geoff  and Theresa are home. (big sigh) Love to travel,but my bed sure felt good. Theresa works today, so she has to switch gears quickly. I will ease into life a bit slower.
Got an e-mail from Anne. She arrived safely in New Haven with no problems.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Dr A E Ferrey

Very quick post-we had great time visiting in Guelph and are now on to Welland to have lunch with Wensinks.
Great ceremony and visit with Sivak/Ferrey's.
Will try to update during our visit, but have limited access to interweb.
We are still jetlagged, R worse than me.

Friday, October 19, 2012


Are now in Toronto after a busy couple of days. We spent most of Wednesday at the Titantic exhibition in Belfast. It was just great. It is amazing to think how much money has been spent on thst ship, not just the cost of building it, but finding it after it sank and all the memorials, museums, etc. What I liked about the exhibition was the way it showed what Belfast and Northern Ireland were like at the time. I love visiting industrial places where things were actually made.

 Yesterday (seems like weeks ago) we went into Lisburn, the town closest to where we were staying. It turns out that it was a big Irish linen centre for many years and there is a linen museum there, which was really good. The whole linen making process is fascinating. We got to talk to a woman who was weaving on a big loom. Then we went back to the Titanic quarter in Belfast to another part of the Titanic process, the pump house and dock where the finishing work was done. Industrial stuff that Geoff was interested in especially since it involved steam and boilers.

Then to the airport and our flight to London. We did not have much time in Heathrow, as Jude said, should remember to leave at least two hours between flights. Flight was good, the plane was not full so we had room to spread out. Hotel is nice,comfy beds but Geoff and I both woke up early, dang jet lag.Now on to Guelph. Looking forward to meeting up with Richsrd and Lisa.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A wee post

We are sitting in our cottage with our coffee watching the rain pouring down. The weather here has been pretty good for the most part, a mix of sun snd rain but quite s bit of sun.
Monday was an exciting day. It was great to meet Frances and Liam, we got on well, congratulating each other on our wonderful children. They love Anne and we love Del.

We don't have a phone here which makes trying to arrange a meeting awkward. But we spent a couple of hours at the outlet mall at Banbridge where the Hartins live and the girl in the office let us use the phone to make our connection. Outlet malls in Northern Ireland! I was picturing the Shelaillie Wareouse or Leprechauns R Us, but no, it was a regular outlet. As we were shopping with the Master, I got some new things, as did she. Our challenge will be getting stuff home without paying for extra baggage.

Then we got home to a message from Anne saying she and Del are engaged. So exciting. They have been away so don't know any details but are looking forward to getting the scoop in Guelph.

Geoff has been doing a great job as driver. He zips in and out of traffic and whips u-turns when the navigator misses an intersection as if he had always lived here.

Yesterday we went to Bangor to a museum with a most interesting man who told us so much sbout the abbey and the monks there. Then we went to the Ulster Folk Museum which was really great. It was like Fort Edmonton, a town where you could go into the buildings to actually see how people lived. There were even fires going in some of them. We saw a basket weaver and someone weaving linen. Didn't have enough time to see everything. I would love to go back.

We are going to Belfast today to the new Titantic exhibition and maybe explore a bit of Belfast, depending on weather. I don't think Geoff is too eager to drive in the city so we will see if we can walk or figure out the bus.

I'm going to be a mother-in-law!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Thank goodness for the two Gs

Geoff and GPS which mean we can drive around NI and get to where we are going to. Yesterday we drove to the Giants Causeway what a spectacular place. As we have learned the weather is very changeable so we had it all sun, rain, wind. But that did not stop us. First we went down the hill which meant to return to the visitors centre it was up hill, 162 steps worth and we all made it safely.

G was feeling a bit off yesterday so at first we thought it might be a day to hang around the cottage, but he started feeling a bit better around 1 so we jumped in the car and took off. There were only a couple of missed roundabout exits but both Gs got us back on track.

After a supper at the Causeway Hotel (G&T had the stew and I had the sausage and champ we made our way home. A very good day.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Next leg of the trip

Del drove us to the bus terminal to catch the Heathrow Express.Flight was uneventful. When we went to pick up the car we had been upgraded to an automatic snd also got a GPS for half price. Thank goodness for that, there is no such thing as a straight road in this country. Geoff has had to get used to driving here agsin. Our little cottage is cozy. It's out in the country (but not as far out as Windy Yett) so we had to make a grocery run for supper. We are all tired, so probably won't be a late night. Off to the Giant's Causeway tomorrow. It's way up north right at the other end of the country so will take an hour to get there. At some point while we are here we will visit Del's mom snd dad. Looking forward to meeting them.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Vacations are tiring

Today I took s vacation from my vacation. I slept in, did some laundry, sat around and read. Geoff and Jude went out to the Ashmoleun Museum.

Oxford is really great. Even when you are just walking around it feels like a museum. We took a walking tour the other day so got to go inside some of the colleges. The newer ones are 200 years old. Geoff was taking time off that day and we had arranged to meet at the start of the tour, but he didn't show up, so we just carried on. It was good because we were the only ones on the tour. We hadn't been walking too long when the tour guide said, "There's a man over there taking your picture." It was Geoff, he had stumbled upon us. So he joined us for the rest of the tour.

When that was done we took our tour guide's advice and went over to Christ Church Cathedral because there was a service at 6 pm and they don't charge the entrance fee for services. It turned out to be a special service, something to do with the courts so there were a lot of lawyers in their wigs and robes. All very pomp and circumstance.

Then it was off to the Eagle and Child, the pub where C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkein met with friends every week.

Went to the Bodlean Library the other day. Wow. Our tour guide was very chatty; Anne said she kept wanting to tell him to get to the point.

Went back to Blenheim yesterday and it was still amazing. Had time to walk through the grounds. We took the bus there snd back; I feel quite smug about using public transport. Supper at to Del and Anne's local, the Rusty Bicycle, another great pub. I wish we had them at home.

Anne and Del are having supper here with us tonight, Jude's cooking. Only one more day, then we leave for Belfast.

Monday, October 08, 2012


We arrived on Saturdsy without any problem. We again have a nice apartment, in a good location. It's a quiet street but just a walk to the buses and shops. We bought week-long bus passes, much the easiest way to get around here.

Oxford is an odd mixture of students and tourists.

Jude was sick on Sunday; we suspect the fish and chips at the Dew Drop Inn. I mean really sick. Geoff also somehow did something to his back and is in a lot of pain from that.

On Sunday Del drove us out to Blenheim Palace (just Geoff and I, Jude was sick). It is very impressive. We didn't have a lot of time there so will probably go back, with Jude this time.

Met Anne in central Oxford today and she showed us around. I knew it was going to be a good day when Jude found a pair of shoes for me first thing, even before we met Anne. Oxford is so cool, with all the twisty streets, little shops and buildings with gargoyles on them. We took a tour of the Bodliean Library - amazing. Can't even begin to describe it. And a fabulous gift shop.

We also stopped at the Turf Tavern and the owner took a shine to Geoff and took him behind the bar to pull some beer.

Ended the day with a cream tea, bought some stuff for supper and took the bus home.

Geoff has been suffering with his back. We bought a sort of brace thing at Boots, hope it works. And I hope it's not my turn to suffer.

Sunday, October 07, 2012


I am thankful for the lovely weather we have had all fall. It continues to be 21 degrees here.
Richard and I went to church today, then I got 2 travel books for Orlando at Mosaic-for cheap-in the bargain section.
We went to the garden store and bought flowering kale and mums for fall and then spent afternoon cleaning up yard, in our shorts. I pruned roses and now have wounds all over my arms. Roses were 40% off, so we bought a Peace Rose, which is my favourite. I hope it survives the winter.
Work has been going well,knock on wood. I think we are at a point where we have really good nurses there. I was thinking that I would be happy to have family or friends admitted to our ward, and I certainly could not always say that.
Course is better than I thought it would be-I have thought of a nursing theory to write my essay on-Tidal Model. And I already have some journal articles on it.
I just noticed that a bug came in with me-a beetle type thing, which is now crawling on the couch.
Richard doesn't know it yet, but we are going to see Hotel Transylvania tomorrow.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Walk, walk, walk

We have been doing a lot of walking. I was a bit worried about this before the trip but not concerned enough to try to get out walking at home in preparation. Turns out it is fine, my knees don't hurt any more than usual. Anne arrived on Wed. for a couple of days and we went to Regent Street to shop for some professional clothes for her, as that's Mom's gift to her for finally being finished school. We went to Austin Reed, a posh shop, and had a lot of fun watching Anne try on many suits, one of which she chose, along with a dress. We went to Handel's house, the house he lived in when he lived here. He also wrote Messiah there and died there. It was a little disconcerting to see plaque about Jimmie Hendrix on the building and a little exhibit about him. Apparently he lived in the same house. Much later. Checked out the shops and stalls on Portobello Road, some very cool things. Our apartment is very nice. Lots of room and comfortable. Much nicer than a hotel. Went to see Cabaret at the theatre last night. I just love the theatre, it's so exciting just walking in, never mind the actual presentation. My only regret so far is my lack of directional sense. Jude and Geoff are so good at reading a map and knowing which direction to go, snc I am just clueless. I think I could do it if I had to, but I have to concentrate very hard and it takes a long time. Even with their great instincts we have gone off the wrong way a few times.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

A grand day out

Today was War Day. We got going earlier than usual and walked through Hyde Park to the Churchill War Rooms. It's where Churchill and his people directed the war and was absolutely fascinating. When the war ended they just walked away and left most of it all so the stuff there was authentic. Then another walk to the Imperial War Museum. There were a couple of really good exhibits there - one was called the Blitz Experience where you went to a "shelter" during an air raid. The other one was about a real family and their loves during the war.
Jude and I had tickets to see Warhorse but Geoff didn't want to go so we parted ways. The play was fantastic, about a horse during the First World War. We were a bit late due to getting a little lost after the museum but didn't miss much.

Jude and Geoff are amazing at keeping us on track, if it were up to me I still wouldn't have got past the end of the street.

Our place is really nice and on a quiet street.

We are still marveling at meeting someone from Rocky at church. Will, I think she went out with Adam Wahl on high school. She kind of remembered you but definitely remembered Tim.

Despite my hopelessness at directions two people have asked me for help. And I was able to help them both!