Tuesday, August 28, 2007

What Are you Reading Meme

What Are You Reading Meme
This particular book meme is floating around out there, and so I thought I would give it a try.
I pulled this off Literary Feline's blog.

What are you reading right now?
The Historian to try and finish the New Notions Challenge by Sept 31.

Do you have any idea what you’ll read when you’re done with that?
Possibly one more travel book to complete the Armchair Travellers challenge and another book (the last) for New Notions. Right now I am 2 books short.

What magazines do you have in your bathroom right now?
Dont have any in the little boys room. I seldom read magazines. I might buy the occasional National Geographic or Todays Parents (canadian parents magazine) and some genealogy mags when I can afford them.

What’s the worst thing you were ever forced to read?
The Bible I think.

Admit it, the librarians at your library know you on a first name basis, don’t they?
Yes, but whenever I go in, the first question is usually "Hows your son?" or "Where is your son?".

What’s the one book you always recommend to just about everyone?
It depends on what the person likes. And I usually only recommend something if I am asked.

Do you read books while you eat? While you bathe? While you watch movies or TV? While you listen to music? While you’re on the computer? While you’re having sex? While you’re driving?
Eat - yes if I can do it without making a mess
Bathe - No I prefer to shower (I used to read in the bath when I was living at home, but that was over 25 years ago).
Movies & TV - actually when I watch movies on DVD, I usually read the subtitles.
TV - NOPE but then I seldom watch TV anyway
Music - seldom listen to music - would actually prefer to read.
Sex & Driving - Nope - too busy

When you were little, did other children tease you about your reading habits?
Nope I was a loner. I spent every lunch hour at school at the library reading.

What’s the last thing you stayed up half the night reading because it was so good you couldn’t put it down?
As I mentioned in my blog last week, The Sugar Camp Quilt, and have read several others in the series since then.

Extra Credit Question

When growing up did your family share your love of books? If so, did one person get you into reading? And, do you have any family-oriented memories with books and reading? (Family trips to bookstore, reading the same book as a sibling or parent, etc.)

My father is a bookaholic, and he taught me to read when I was 4. When I was growing up, he and I had great conversations chatting about books, politics, world & local events. We still do, although now it's done by email.

My mother seldom read anything outside of her Bible and her Devotional book. But lately she has started reading other books. Her last email said that she had just finished the first book in the Elm Creek Quilts series.

Now as a parent myself, my parents have sent me a number of my old books I owned when I was a child. Books like - Snow (an early Dr Suess type book) Ping, How John the mouse learned to read, and my 4 volume collection of Disney books. My son is not terribly interested in them though.

Not a lot of memories other than knowing I ALWAYS had a book with me no matter where I was going. Still do.

Memoirs or In their Shoes Challenge

Bad Bad me,
I havent posted for 5 days. Haven't been reading much either because right now my eyes are doing crazy things. Hubby says I'm just getting old, (I am ONLY 43) but I am also only 1 month post-operative so it might be related to my surgery. Dont really want to go back to the ER, because that will mean sitting there for 4 hours and NOT being able to read - I WILL GO CRAZY!!! LOL
Besides it will be the second time in one month, and I have this thing about being a nuisance.

Anyway, I went through my TBR pile today and have sorted out what books I do want to read for the In Their Shoes Challenge. Here are some of the books I plan on reading.

Elizabeth by Randy Taborelli (Elizabeth Taylor - not Queen Elizabeth 1 or 2)
History Play by Rodney Bolt (Kit Marlowe)
Christina Queen of Sweden by Veronica Buckley
Rene Angelil (The making of Celine Dion) by Jean Beaunoyer & Jean Beaulne
Out of the Flames by Lawrence & Nancy Goldstone (Michael Servetus)
Me & Shakespeare by Herman Gollob (a memoir)

I will put these in the Sidebar and will add more if I find any. I also promised to make a button, so I better get on and see what I can do.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Madeleine B Stern Obituary - New York Sun

Just a quick link to the SUN newspaper for Madeleine's Obituary, so I don't breach any copyright.
Madeleine B Stern Obituary
My next mission is to find more of Stern & Rostenberg's books to read.

And here is another Obituary from the New York Times

And I found another interesting obituary as well. In Memoriam

The Quilting Bee - SUGAR CAMP QUILT - Review

The Sugar Camp Quilt
By Jennifer Chiaverini
Published by Simon & Schuster 2005
Website Elm Creek Quilts Series

One thing I have never mentioned is that I grew up with Quilting. I don't do any quilting myself. Heavens no, my sewing is very bad. My mother has been Quilting for as long as I can remember. I can remember seeing her with piles of small squares and triangles of fabric stuffed in a Quilting bag. Even now she still makes Quilts for her teenage granddaughters.

I'm sure one of these days she will make a Quilt for my son - if she has not done so already. The only trouble is that it would cost a fortune to send it from New Zealand to Canada. And so while I dont take part in any Quilting groups, I am interested in reading about them. Every now and then I hear stories of samplers from 150 years earlier, being discovered and women interested in finding out who made the sampler and what happened to her.

Quilting is one of those hobbies that women can do anywhere, and even do in groups apparently. I was at the library yesterday and I came across a book called THE SUGAR CAMP QUILT, so I had a quick glance through it. This particular book is the 7th in a series of 10 novels about a Quilting group in Creek's Crossing, Pennsylvania. Most of the books do take place in the Present time, but there are 2 books written in the past. The Sugar Camp Quilt is one of those.

Dorothea Granger is 19 years old and the temporary school teacher at Creek's Crossing. She is also an excellent Quilter. She lives with her parents on her Uncle Jacob's farm, where they grow oats, wheat and maple trees. Every thaw (when the snow starts melting) the family must catch the maple sap running from the trees to make sugar. Sap runs dont last very long (maybe 2-3 weeks in Pennsylvania) although up here in Ontario the sap run can be from 4 to 8 weeks long, depending on the weather.

Uncle Jacob is a grumpy man. After his wife & 2 young sons died of scarlet fever, he vowed to never marry again. When his sisters family (Dorothea's mother) lost their farm to a flood, he allowed them to move in with him, but then promptly put them to work on the farm.

But Jacob kept one secret from his sister & brother-in-law. Every evening he disappeared and went for a walk. One day he demanded that Dorothea make a quilt for him. A special quilt, "one like my mother used to make". The pattern was like no other Dorothea had ever seen, and even Lorena (Dorothea's mother) had never seen such a pattern amongst her mother's quilts.

When the Quilt is finally finished, Dorothea expects the quilt to be on his bed. But instead she finds Jacob using it to clean the dirt off his boots. "This Quilt can be cleaned in the wash," says Jacob. But Dorothea is horrified and very upset.

Shortly after, Jacob dies of apoplexy (possibly a heart attack) while crossing the stream one evening. His wagon is found in the Elm Creek, and the horse is missing. One of the neighbours comes to see the Grangers to pay his respects. He says he has something important to tell them.

"Questions? What Questions?" Dorothea asked. "Why could he not be seen?"
"He didn't want any of you folks to know". he directed his gaze at Dorothea. "Except you. He was very proud of you. He thought maybe you could be told. The older he [Jacob] got, the more he wished he could ask for your help. But he knew it was too dangerous."
Robert's voice was slow and direct. "Too dangerous for what?"
"Helping runaways"
The room was silent.
"My brother-" Lorena paused and started again. "my brother was no abolitionist."

Thats right. This book is partly about how the Sugar Camp was a station on the Underground Railroad to Canada for runaway slaves before the Civil War broke out. The Quilt is the map to the next station. Chapter one takes place in 1849.

I started reading this book at 9pm last night. I could not put it down, and ended up staying up until 12 midnight just because I just HAD to know what happened next.

For those of you who do quilt, I know you will love this series. I really want to read more books in this series.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

RIP Madeleine B Stern

This just in from Philobiblos.
An announcement from Eric Holzenburg at the Grolier Club that just came across the lists:

"Madeleine B. Stern, surviving partner in the antiquarian book firm Rostenberg & Stern, and co-author with the late Leona Rostenberg of a number of memoirs of their life in rare books, died peacefully at home on Saturday after a brief illness. She was 95 years old.

For those of you in the New York area who may wish to pay their respects, a memorial service will be held to[day], Tuesday, August 21, at Campbell Funeral Chapel, 1076 Madison Ave. (at 79th Street), at 11 am."

Another great member of the biblio-universe gone to their rest. Philobiblos will post a full obituary soon.

And if you want to read the review I wrote about one of their books - you can click here. Rostenberg & Stern have inspired me to perhaps become a bibliographer. How I am going to accomplish this, I haven't figured out yet. But right now I am recuperating, so it can wait.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Lost in a Good Book - Review

Lost in a Good book
By Jasper Fforde
Published by Hodder & Stoughton 2002
Website Jasper Fforde

All I can say is that Jasper Fforde is a GENIUS!!! This is the second book in the Thursday Next series (I reviewed the first book - The Eyre Affair - a few weeks ago), and I LOVE it, Simply LOVE it. As the back cover quote says - "Douglas Adams would be proud".

This book (as I said) is the second book in the series. It involves Thursday Next, who (at the end of the first book) had just gotten married to her long time beau Landen Parker-Laine. Within one month Landen has been eradicated (not eliminated). Purely for the purpose of blackmailing Thursday into doing what the government wants. And that is to release Jack Schitt from the pages of Raven (Edgar Allen Poe). This happened at the end of The Eyre Affair.

While Thursday keeps refusing, she tries to find a way to release Landen by herself, and ends up finding a lost & unknown Shakespeare play, saving the world from total annihilation. Along the way Thursday meets Miss Havisham who teachers Thursday how to travel through books, becomes a police officer in the pages of books, deals with Neanderthals, discovers that she is pregnant and tries to tell herself that the baby is indeed Landen's, (because noone else knows anything about Landen since all knowledge of him, except Thursday's memories, have been eradicated) and takes a few trips through time, courtesy of her chronoguard father. Thursday also meets the Red Queen of Hearts and the Cheshire Cat (at least he used to be the Cheshire cat until the county borders were moved).

This series is crazy, but Thursday is a thoroughly likeable character. She's in her thirties, smart, well read, knows how to look after herself, married late and will have one child. Exactly as I have done. I think thats why I like her so much. There are 5 books so far in the series. The 5th and latest was just published this year.

If you are looking for a wild, crazy and hilarious ride, something like Alice in Wonderland or the Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy, you have to read these books.

Here's the Wikipedia Article.

An interview with Jasper Fforde

Geist Atlas of Canada

I was doing my rounds of the Blogs today, and I came across a mention of a new Canadian Atlas at Literary Word. I LOVE maps, and this I had to check out. The Geist Atlas of Canada
Now I really REALLY REALLY want to get a copy of this atlas for myself.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Catcher in the Rye - small discussion

Then this morning I went to the bookstore and bought The Catcher in the Rye. I’m sure the large part of me is Holden Caulfield, who is the main person in the book. The small part of me must be the Devil.

I went to the building. It’s called the Dakota. I stayed there until he came out and asked him to sign my album. At that point my big part won and I wanted to go back to my hotel, but I couldn’t. I waited until he came back. He came in a car. Yoko walked past first and I said hello, I didn’t want to hurt her.

Then John came and looked at me and printed me. I took the gun from my coat pocket and fired at him. I can’t believe I could do that. I just stood there clutching the book. I didn’t want to run away. I don’t know what happened to the gun. I remember Jose kicking it away. Jose was crying and telling me to please leave. I felt so sorry for Jose. Then the police came and told me to put my hands on the wall and cuffed me.

Statement of Mark David Chapman to police at 1 a.m., Dec. 9, 1980, three hours after the murder of John Lennon.

I was discussing books we read in High School with hubby this morning. Both of us have been out of HS for more than 20 years now. He said the only book he can remember reading, "...had a red cover. I liked it. About a young boy in the thirties.".

So I asked him what was it called. He can't remember, other than "It's a famous book. Same one the man who shot Lennon was holding".

Still doesn't ring any bells with me. So I do a quick google and find that Chapman was holding a copy of Catcher in the Rye.

Interestingly enough, I have never read this book. It was not on any of my HS English class reading lists. I have heard a lot about it, so I think I may borrow it from the library and maybe give it a try. It can be my last book for the New Notions challenge, since I dont feel like reading Shakespeare right now.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Current Book News from around the World

Horror author Stephen King spotted in Australian Outback.
Stephen King causes chaos in the Aussie Desert.

SYDNEY (AFP) - Best-selling author Stephen King was mistaken for a vandal as he horrified an Australian outback bookstore, local media reported Thursday.

A customer at the store in remote Alice Springs raised the alarm after noticing a man walk in off the street and begin writing in several books, manager Bev Ellis told national radio.

"As the owner of a bookshop, when you see someone writing in one of your books you get a bit toey (touchy)," Ellis said.


Fashion book by Victoria Beckham coming out in November

Posh Spice's new book to be published by Harper Collins

HarperCollins announced Thursday that the former Spice Girl and wife of soccer star David Beckham will have a book out in November, "That Extra Half an Inch: Hair, Heels and Everything in Between."


According to HarperCollins, "That Extra Half an Inch" will offer guidance on everything from how to dress on special occasions to "how to feel confident and look great every time you leave the house."


Since I belong to the Harper Collins Canada First Look program, It's probably time I gave a plug for HC. I've had some excellent and interesting books from them this year. Including the one I am currently reading - so hopefully there will be a new review up tomorrow or Monday.

Social Comment on Atwood from my Dad

My Dad sent me a wonderful e-mail today. He reads as much, if not more than I do. And now that I am older, I find it invigorating learning his thoughts on books he has already read, that I am just being introduced to. So here it is. Oh, and Dad lives in New Zealand, of course.

I'm enjoying your book-blog. It seems that you have more time for reading now that you're in the convalescent phase. That must be a nice positive amidst the negatives and inconvenience etc. I'm glad you're recovering well and that the swelling you experienced recently is nothing to worry about. However it definitely pays to check out these things!

"The Mystery of the Nile" sounds interesting, although I'm constantly amazed at how people do all these wonderful adventures with an IMAX film team trailing round behind them. It reminds me of the (only) IMAX film I've ever seen about climbing Mt Everest. It was that season when a terrible blizzard hit the summit and many climbers died, including a NZer, Rob Hall, who was guiding a client and who elected to stay with his client and die with him rather than leave him to die on his own. Anyway, the producer, John (I think) Krakauer wrote an excellent book called "Into Thin Air", which is engrossing if you're interested in travel in the Himalayas. It takes the Everest story beyond the old classic climbers into the new era, when it is just another peak to be climbed by any reasonably fit person who has the money to hire a guide. I found it quite fascinating.

I see you've discovered your fellow citizen, Margaret Atwood. I very much enjoy her books - she writes well and is always provocative and challenges your thinking. She has a talent for taking an idea and pushing it to a logical, if extreme, conclusion. What she has done for the fundamentalist right in USA in "The handmaiden's tale", she has also done for the possibility of the biotechnology industry getting out of control in "Oryx and Crake". Another dystopia, but makes one think, could it happen? I guess the answer is "maybe", but not necessarily.

The interesting thing about dystopia books is that by giving the warning, a writer may exercise a sort of secular prophetic function (like Jonah in the Old Testament) so that society is encouraged to take actions that avoid the possibility becoming realised. After all, "1984" is a great book and in 1948, when it was written, it looked very possible. However, when 1984 rolled round, the world was, in fact, quite different. This is not to say that Orwell got it wrong. His writings made people aware of the dangers of tyranny, both from the left and the right, and thus reduced the danger. I must say,also, that some of his themes concerning the use and abuse of language will always warrant constant vigilance.

I'm always intrigued that writers looking to the future rarely see good things happening. On the whole, we seem to be a gloomy race, who expect things to get worse rather than better. One of the good things about growing older is that I can look back over 70 years and see that, in spite of our forbodings, the world is, in many ways, much better than it was in 1937. [yes, my dad is 70 years old] In 1937 both Germany and the Soviet Union were ruled by two of the worst regimes the world has seen. Both are now gone. The big colonial empires are dismantled and more people are living in freedom than ever before. There were huge famines in Bengal and China which went unnoticed by the world; nobody cared. I don't want to sound like a Pollyanna, but we have a lot more to be thankful for than we have to complain about. Sure there are some ways in which the world has got worse - we just need to keep it in perspective.

This is not to say the world is perfect. It never will be. People will always be, as Genesis says, made in the image of God, with a huge potential for goodness and creativity, but fallen and thus also with a potential for evil.

Don't I ramble on! Still, it's Saturday morning here and I have a bit of time. I hope you have time to read it.

My favourite Atwood is "Alias Grace", about a murder committed in mid-19th century in a town just north of Toronto. I understand it's based on an actual event. I recommend it. ***** (five stars)

Love Dad.

Thanks Dad.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Mystery of the Nile

Mystery of the Nile
By Richard Bangs & Pasquale Scaturro
Official Website
Based on the Imax Movie - Mystery of the Nile (2005)
Book Published by Putnam 2005

I spent several hours at the ER yesterday waiting to have some swelling under my incision looked at. Turns out to be a small problem, nothing to be concerned about - according to the surgeon, but the 4 hour waiting time allowed me to finish reading this book.

This was a brilliant travel book. With lots of adventures, fascinating history, clashes with crocodiles, clashes with military rebels, border guards and bureacracy, malaria & other tropical diseases, and personality clashes as Pasquale and his friend Gordon, plus other crew members, aim to become the first people ever to paddle down the ENTIRE length of the Blue Nile - from Central Ethiopia through Sudan and Egypt to the Mediterranean sea.

The Blue Nile contributes over 80% of the water flowing into The Nile, and also contributes most of the Silt that fertilises the Nile during the Flood season. The other 20% of water comes from the White Nile that originates from Lake Victoria in East Africa.

Pasquale Scaturro

(from Wikipedia)
On April 28, 2004, geologist Pasquale Scaturro and his partner, kayaker and documentary filmmaker Gordon Brown became the first people to navigate the Blue Nile, from Lake Tana in Ethiopia to the beaches of Alexandria on the Mediterranean. Though their expedition included a number of others, Brown and Scaturro were the only ones to remain on the expedition for the entire journey. They chronicled their adventure with an IMAX camera and two handheld video cams, sharing their story in the IMAX film "Mystery of the Nile," and in a book of the same title.

The team was forced to use outboard motors for most of their journey, and it was not until January 29, 2005, when Canadian Les Jickling and New Zealander Mark Tanner reached the Mediterranean Sea, that the river had been paddled for the first time under human power.

On 30 April 2005, a team led by South Africans Peter Meredith and Hendri Coetzee became the first to navigate the most remote headstream, the true source of the Nile — the Akagera river which starts as the Rukarara in Nyungwe forest in Rwanda.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Handmaiden's Tale by Margaret Atwood - Book Review

This is the very first Atwood Book I have ever read. I chose this one for the New Notions Challenge. Apparently this novel was made into a movie back in the 1990s. I think I'd like to see it.

The one thing I didnt like was the lack of personal details. The main character in this novel is called Offred after the patriarch (Commander Fred) to whom she currently belongs. She is a Handmaiden - her job is to be fertile, and bear children. We never find out her real name. Although we do know she was married to Luke in the "before time". With Luke, she already has one daughter. The daughter was given to another childless family. Offred also never states her daughters name either.

The patriarch (Fred) has already had 2 handmaids before Offred arrived. All handmaids stay at each location for two years during which they must be legally raped once a month (called the Ceremony) in front of several witnesses, and she has two years to become pregnant. The previous two handmaids, one of whom hung herself, did not become pregnant. If you do not become pregnant, then you are considered an Unwoman and sent to the colonies or to the whore house (where the Jezebels live).

It is always assumed that any lack of pregnancy is the girls fault - never the mans. The man is NEVER allowed to be tested or proved as being sterile, whether or not he is.

Fred's wife Serena Joy, asks Offred to lie with Nick, the chauffeur, and perhaps become pregnant that way. Serena belives that Fred is sterile. She badly wants a baby. Offred does what she is told - to refuse can be dangerous - although we do not know if she becomes pregnant or not.

The book ends very abruptly when a black van comes to take Offred away. Nick tells her its ok, they are from the resistance, they will help her to escape. But we know nothing for sure, except that she went somewhere where she had time to tell her story onto 30 audio cassette tapes.

Movie - The Handmaiden's Tale starring Natasha Richardson as Offred.

This book is about legalized rape and about men being in control, more than anything else. Control the women and dont allow them to think for themselves or learn anything independently. Cut them off from everyone else, change their names and split up the families - especially where a second marriage is involved.

The whole idea was to take society back to Biblical, Old Testament Times, and literally follow the rules set out in the first 5 books of Moses. Where it says that the family patriarch can use a handmaid to have a child if the legal wife cant have any.

Anyone who opposes the system is hung up by the neck. Any female caught reading will be hung. Any female accused of being a traitor or a resistor is hung.

If I were to ever find myself being treated like I was an ignorant female, I would want to kill myself. I have a very active brain, I love reading, and I could no6t stand to live in any society with such strict rules. Especially one where women are treated as nothing more than brood mares.

In any case, I would end up being an "Unwoman" since my reproductive system is already in bad shape. I was very lucky to be able to have even 1 child. So I would have the choice, to become a whore, (called Jezebels) or be sent to the colonies (where the toxic waste levels do eventually kill you).

The horrifying thing is that some parts of this novel are already happening for real. Where the church and state are no longer separate, and abortion is now (sort of) illegal again, and anyone who opposes the current system (or follows the wrong religion) is held as a "possible suspect" without trial.

More Info on this book

Study Guide to The Handmaids Tale

Another study guide to The Handmaids Tale

Monday, August 13, 2007

And another new Challenge - Themed Reading

Wendy (Caribou's Mom) is hosting another new Reading Challenge in 2008 called Themed Reading challenge. Choose at least 4 books with a common theme. Challenge runs from January 1 through June 30, 2008. This one, I also want to join. Sign up at the above link before January 1 with your list of books. Do NOT state your theme - thats for the rest of us to try & guess.

Index Librorum Liberorum Challenge

There are 2 new challenges I want to join.
One is Index Librorum Liberorum - which is the Vatican List of Prohibited Books.

Participants are encouraged to select books or the oeuvre of authors to read, mull over and share with like-minded individuals at this site. The Beacon for Freedom of Expression has a database that allows sorting by country.

This index is notable because of the many illustrious fiction writers, poets and philosophers that have been honoured with a place on the list.

The Wikipedia also has an excellent list of notable authors who were placed on the list at one time or another. (Scroll Down the Page)

The rules for this is you have to read a MINIMUM of 3 books from 3 different countries from any author whos name was put on this list. The challenge starts on September 1st 2007 and ends on August 31st 2008.

Because of the incomplete nature of the list (see Beacon link above) readers are allowed to choose any works by the authors on the list rather than being limited to specific works. You may sign up to the challenge at any time and choose as many or as few books as you like: the only requirement is that at least three countries are represented.

The other Challenge that is in the planning stages is The Autobiographical & Memoir Challenge by Vassily. No details yet, but this is one Challenge I would have liked to host - if I had only thought of it sooner.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Are men really superior to women?

Spent an hour at the library last week, and grabbed a copy of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaiden's Tale. Which I have chosen to read for the New Notions Challenge. Since I have never read any of her books, I've chosen this novel because I like futuristic novels, and I cannot imagine any world where women are not allowed to read.

I seldom like stories where men act superior to women. But this book I will continue because 1 - I've already started it, 2 - it is interesting in its own way, 3 - I need to complete this challenge.

When are we going to ever stop teaching our kids that men are superior to women. In some areas, yes they are, but certainly not in all areas.

You know, one could consider this novel the women's version of 1984 (by George Orwell).

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Update Number 2

Thank you to everyone who has sent their condolences, thoughts and prayers.
We do appreciate them.

Hubby is now back home, but arrangements for his mom's funeral will continue. She is to be cremated and then later her ashes will be buried alongside her husband (My FIL who died in 2003) back in the old home town in Northern Ontario.

Am glad Hubby is home. It has been very tiring, the last 2 days, getting up and take 5 year-old to daycare, trying to stick to the routine. So Hubby's taking over the routine again. I hope I can stop being so tired eventually.

Son seems to be taking this all quite calmly.
Where is Daddy? he asked the other night.
Daddy's gone to the hospital, His mommy is very very ill.
Is she going to get cut up like you mommy?
No, its too late for that.
Is Daddy going to get cut up like you?
No, Daddy's not going to be operated on. He's fine. He will be home in a few days.

As long as Daddy's not ill and does not need any operations, then the world is ok - according to the son of this house. Since he didnt see his grandmother very often (usually summer, thanksgiving & Xmas) she was just someone who he saw every now and then. But it always meant a visit to Uncle Mike's. He loves going to his Uncle Mikes home. As has been mentioned before, there are older cousins, and cool video games.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

My MIL passed away this evening at 9.21 Eastern Time

Well she hung on until all her 4 of her sons could get to the hospital and say goodbye. (The last one came in from Calgary). And at 9.21 PM this evening my mother-in-law slipped away from the bonds of this earth.

Hubby called me 10 minutes later. I am sorry I couldn't be there to say goodbye, but hospital requirements mean that I must stay home and manage her youngest grandson. Today is exactly 13 days after my operation.

Had all my staples taken out today by the family doctor.

MIL taken another turn for the worse.

The Babysitting arrangements for Sunday fell though - again. Same as last weekend while I was in hospital. So I have just spent all of Sunday and most of Monday babysitting my son. Something I should NOT have to be doing, if the babysitting service was doing their jobs properly.

Well, we got the second phone call on Saturday, but we are still in Toronto. Apparently my MIL was kicked out of Hospital after having a second stroke, Saturday. The Doctor said later, that that should never have happened. Since noone really knows whats going on - the phone calls go between my home in Toronto, my brother-in-law in Niagara Falls, and the remaining brothers of the family (one in Scarborough and the other in Calgary). Noone is giving out any accurate info. We finally called the hospital at 9pm Monday to see exactly how MIL was doing. They said, she should hang on until morning. But she is definitely not doing well.

Hubby said blow the arrangements (there was some idea that BIL would pick Hubby up and take him down to the Falls) but that fell through because Hubby doesn't like driving at night. And he does not like driving on roads that he is not familiar with. And Niagara Falls is a totally new area. So Hubby will buy his own Bus ticket to get there. Tickets are cheap and trips are plentiful.
Thanks goodness for GREYHOUND.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Update - wont be any new reviews for sometime

Am still not much in the mood for reading. Surprisingly enough I am not in any great pain. Tylenol#3 seems to cover this quite effectively.

Hubby's mother has taken a turn for the worse and is now back in hospital. She was undergoing radiation for lung cancer. Hubby is frantic with worry as our car starter mechanism is broken, and if we cant drive down to Niagara Falls, we cannot say good bye. He has already been strong and born the brunt of my operation very well. Now he wants to be the good eldest son and be able to say farewell to his mother as well.

So if we get any phone call tomorrow (Saturday) and I dont respond for several days, we could all be down in the Falls. Brother-in-law from Scarborough should be able to fit us into his minivan.

In all the 7 years I have been in Toronto, I have NEVER been to Niagara Falls.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

The Meme of Four

Noone has tagged me yet - so this is just FYI

The Meme of Four

Four jobs I have had or currently have in my life:

1. dinner assistant in an seniors home (my part-time HS job)

2. call centre for the telephone fault service - stuck here for 6 years and hated it.

3. Media Monitoring Research Assistant - Both in NZ & Canada - was a very interesting job.

4. Data Entry Research Assistant

Four countries I have been to:

1. New Zealand

2. Canada - did transit through LAX for 3 hours enroute in Nov 2000

3. Australia

4. Solomon Islands

Four places I’d rather be right now:

1. Mt Cook, NZ (winter time down under)

2. Alexandra, NZ (winter time down there)

3. Somewhere in SW France (close to the Pyrenees)

4. DEVON, UK (sea breezes)

Four foods I love to eat:

1. Chocolate

2. Mashed potatoes

3. Boiled rice with curry-lemon sauce.

4. Hubby's crock pot meat stew - delicious.

1. Not Tagging anyone - This is just FYI

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Mommy has Funny hair

You wanna see what I look like? Well, since I came home with one quarter of my head shaved, and my son said my hair looked funny - he actually laughed.

So today I went out and made a drastic cut. Hubby says it was a good idea. I just have to remember to keep a hat on when I am outside, and take it off inside. Its a good thing my hair always grows fast. For those of you I have actually met, may still recognize my face, and yes I still have a Line of Staples.