Tuesday, July 31

Awards Abound

I happen to be married to an award winning film maker.  The Post-Lifers took the prize for Best Short Film at the Mississauga Independent Film Festival.  Pretty cool, eh?  Sadly, they emailed the producers at 7pm Sunday night to say they were top 3, could/would they be attending the awards ceremony that night?  Mr. Lina was tired and watching a movie, not checking email and didn't find out until after it was too late.  He replied to apologize and went to their twitter feed to see they won.  Honestly, the 10 or so short films I saw Sunday were all great.  Good quality of films, these did not look like really low budgets.  I don't know what the other two screenings of short films included but the competition was really good based on Short Films C.

I also happen to be given a little award at work for organizing our team event.  It means I get to pick a prize from a selection dependent on the type of prize.  I struggle picking something every time I get one of these awards.  I like some of the kitchen appliances but I don't really have space for a yogurt maker or dehydrator or bread maker.  They do have two irons to choose from.  I like my iron and it works fine, but every time I consider picking one out just to have a back up.  My options are a T Fal Cordless Iron or a Panasonic Cordless Steam Iron.  Or maybe a small garment steamer?  I like the idea of the steamer but the reviews are pretty brutal.  Decisions, decisions...

In the FAIL awards section, I award a fail to plastic bra pieces.  Friday night we were at our friends cottage, I stretched a bit and heard a pop.  The little plastic hook holding my bra strap and the bra cup together broke.  Bah.  I am not amused.

My uterus also gets an award for most confusion in 2012.  Spotting on Friday was just spotting.  So who knows when my period will arrive next.  Maybe it's a good thing I'm not seeing the doctor until September, I don't have to worry about the non-period, just rejoice that I didn't have to worry about tampons at a friends cottage.

And last but not least, I seem to have been awarded a summer cold.  Every day the symptoms shift a little bit, not so bad to really hold me back but it's pretty annoying.  My ears keep feeling like they need to pop and things sound muffled.  Today there is a bit of a cough but my nose seems to be in better control.  I was going to take a picture of my broken bra yesterday but I just couldn't be bothered.  Mr. Lina made up for the "it's purple" by making our dinner, bringing me beverages and dealing with garbage day on his own.  I sat and crocheted.  He is a very good husband.

Friday, July 27

Fridays Rock

I love Fridays.  The whole weekend is just potential to look forward to.  I do have to work but the pace is different, people are happier.  My drive in the morning is often better (although home is a bit of a crap shoot).  The only ones around me who are really stressed it's because they "flexed" their hours working more earlier in the week and they are hoping to leave early.  We're off to a cottage with 5 friends on Lake Huron tonight until Sunday morning.  It's motivation to get stuff done myself.  But I have a few thoughts to sort out and document first...

I believe it is Day 1 for me.  If this moves past spotting, that's a 50 day cycle.  That probably sounds ridiculous to many of you but it's actually not too bad for me.  Given that it's my first cycle after Pregnancy #7, I figured I wouldn't ovulate and it would take a little time.  50 days is not bad.  It's interesting that it's another 49 days until we see Dr. M again.  So odds are it's going to be a two cycle wait for the next FET.

Mr. Lina was in for a physical yesterday.  He tends to have high blood pressure (mine is generally low), but it was really high yesterday.  Like, "I'd like to see you again in September" kind of high.  It's been this high before, we got it down to the high side of normal, at least low enough that he didn't need medication and the monthly visits to our family doctor stopped.  I guess for me it's a reminder that I'm not the only one who is impacted by all the uncertainty. 

On the plus side, it will give me a reason beyond myself to pay attention to our diet.  I don't cook with added salt, with my food allergies I don't use a lot of pre-made foods, when I am interested in making dinner it's healthy stuff that would fit into the DASH diet.  The thing is, I often don't care or don't make time.  Mr. Lina has to take responsibility for his dietary changes as I do not make his lunch nor breakfast and even dinner there are usually one or two nights a week where one of us is not home or we're eating on the go (perhaps a vendor dog prior to seeing Lyle Lovett last night was not the best choice...).  Still, I have not been good at buying groceries every week, this is a good reason to pick up more fruits and veggies that Mr. Lina likes and push them in his general direction. 

On our drive into Toronto last night, we were talking about his doctors appointment and all the things they talked about.  (Side note, I love our family doctor.  He genuinely cares.  He looks for the big picture of health and asks about everything from work to the state of our marriage during a physical, health is a two way conversation.)  Mr. Lina was expressing much of the same things that I have in my blog.  After that miscarriage (#6), neither of us really cared about ourselves.  Why should I make the effort to take care of my own body?  It's not helping me out, it keeps rejecting all the babies I try to have.  It's interesting that he stopped caring about himself even though it's not his body doing the work with respect to baby making.

Part of this chapter in time needs to be about the two of us focusing on us, as a team.  Maybe I don't always care about taking care of me, but I do want to take care of him.  Maybe if we both believe we're doing something right for the other person we'll find the motivation to help ourselves along the way.

Thursday, July 26

Zipper Fail

I seem to be experiencing zipper fail.

First, I have a metric crap ton of zippers after purchasing a random selection from Fabric Mart, so I didn't worry about the zipper for the dress.  But they are all invisible and it seems the pattern would like me to do a lapped zipper.  Yes, I could switch it to an invisible zipper and I suppose being invisible it doesn't matter if the colour doesn't match but I thought it was a good opportunity to try a lapped zipper and the colour match is important because it would be irritating to have a grey zipper in a purple dress and not all of my invisible zipper insertions have been truly invisible.

So I went to Fabricland yesterday on my lunch hour and I bought two long purple zippers.  One regular and one invisible in case I gave up on this lapped zipper.

The purple in the long zippers is not the purple of my dress, not by a long shot (and Fabricland assortment being what it is, that is as good as it gets).  So far off that I thought about going back to the grey zipper because at least that would look intentionally mismatched.

But no... I stuck to the lapped zipper goal and used the standard wrong-purple zipper. 

The directions in the pattern have caused me some issues with the use of right/wrong and right/left.  Who's left?  The left when it's right side up or wrong side up?  Argh...  Press which seam allowance twice?  You know silk noil isn't so keen on a heavy press.  It makes me nervous every time I pick up the iron.

I went to my closet to find some RTW with a lapped zipper.  Sometimes seeing the final result helps things click.  I did not realize just how prevalent the invisible zipper is until I went to find something else. 

So I went to my Vogue book on sewing and I didn't get that either because their pictures looked like the closed end of the zipper went to the top.  WTF?

Then I went to the internet.  I thought the Coats & Clark method looked easy, I understood reading it through.  Then I got the dress out and nope, it didn't really make sense either.

I found Casey's post on zipper insertion.  Finally, enough pictures to make sense and the left/right/wrong/right issues were clear.  And the first part went in really well.  Then I tried the lap side.  What a freaking mess.  I managed to sew the dress into the zipper, I had folds in the lap part...  ick. 

I thought maybe I'd try it on with the zipper mostly in because sometimes seeing the potential of how good it's going to look will keep me going.  And it was 11pm, time for bed, I could not end on complete zipper fail. 

I went downstairs to get an opinion from Mr. Lina.  I thought the styling would be something he would like and I've held off on showing him how good the skirt is going to make my bum look.  And... he was too busy watching the end of the movie to come up with anymore more interesting than "It's purple".  Really?  It's purple, I had not noticed.  Sigh.  I should have stuck to my instincts of not showing him a partially finished dress.

The dress won't be touched again for a few days.  We're going to see Lyle Lovett in concert tonight and a friends cottage on the weekend.  Can you hear it laughing at me?  Mocking me from my sewing room.  I am going to show that freaking zipper who's boss.  It is NOT going to win.  I am starting to understand the appeal of a hand picked zipper...

Tuesday, July 24

Back in the saddle..

You know where I was this weekend?

In my sewing room.  It's been a while, but I'm back.

Sadly, I don't have anything to show for it just yet.  I'm sure you're not interested in seeing me fix Mr. Lina's shirt where the button for the button down collar popped off taking part of the shirt with it.  From there I went back to working on the McCalls pattern given to me by ElleC.  I have the bodice together and the skirt together, the next steps are sewing them together.  I had to do a lot of grading to the pattern so I'm doing a lot of pinning and trying on as I go.  Besides, sewing in my bra and panties is cooler, AC < iron.  So far, I think it's going to look good.  Maybe not quite the same as the pattern intended but good. 

For example, the skirt fits snug with a little bit of ease, like a great pencil skirt.  I think it's pretty flattering when pinned closed (we'll see how the zipper changes that).  Apparently it was suppose to be big enough to have some gathers at the front, my version will not have that.

The front bodice has gathers (and I did leave space for that) but as I lined up the bodice and skirt there is too much to the back bodice.  Looking at the envelope pictures, I think the back is suppose to have gathers too.  I may not have transferred the "gather here" markings between versions.  I was looking forward to sewing the two pieces together, but I have some gathering to do first.

Our favourite two year old has been talking about Mr. Lina and I, apparently we have gone too long between visits.  Who are we to argue with her?  We arranged a little play date for us on Saturday around lunch.  Her word comprehension is great but sometimes her interpretation is a little more literal than her parents are expecting.  Like... mentioning that her daycare would be going to a pony farm the next day resulted in a very annoyed little girl when she was dropped off at daycare and not a pony farm.  On Saturday, they put off mentioning our visit until they were at the grocery store trying to avoid the pony disappointment.  When they got home she refused to get out of the car because to her, seeing us means going to our house.  She knew her home is not where you find the Linas.  Ah the literal world of two year olds where time has no meaning...  In the end, all was good.  She and I had fun in her splash pool in the back yard, she and Mr. Lina played tickle games and puzzles. 

On the time well spent front, there are some good things to report.  I had an awful lot of time to myself over the weekend (and tonight) as Mr. Lina does more film prep and yes I did waste a lot of time playing solitaire, but not all of it.  I made soap from our soap slivers.  I worked in our little gardens and pulled out a full bag of weeds and trimmings.  As mentioned I did sew and a little mending.  I did laundry.  I found homes for a lot of the clutter in the living room and dining room.  I know that sounds like a pretty lame list, but any one of those things has felt overwhelming at times.  It's a good sign.

Friday, July 20


Thank you all for the lovely comments on my last post.  I said it in my replies but I wasn't sure that I was conveying what was rolling around in my head very well.  Your comments made it clear I did explain myself well and I appreciate all your input.

Wednesday we had a team event on Toronto Island.  It was a great picnic and bocce tournament, time for the 14 or so of us to feel like a team.  With many of us working at our clients office, it's hard to feel like a team sometimes.  If you are looking for a little game to play with coworkers, this was fun.  Everyone had to come up with 3 things about themselves, two being true and one being false.  As an organizer, we asked not to say which was the lie so we could play along.  As we ate lunch, my co-organizer would read the three statements and people would guess who it was.  Then, people would vote by putting their fingers in the air on which was the lie and the person would tell us.  We were earning "money" over the day to auction off prizes so we were a bit fast and loose with scoring.  Want to know my 3 things?
  1. I took French and Spanish classes in high school and university.
  2. I sewed my high school prom dress.
  3. I competed in lifeguard competitions.
People spotted me from those three things but not one person spotted the lie.  Any guesses?

However I think I got a little too much sun and felt pretty crappy yesterday.  I woke up with a headache, a little nausea, dragged myself to the shower and climbed back into bed with a towel on my wet hair.  Mr. Lina said I should take the day off, I felt I have taken enough time off and it's just a headache I should be a trooper... then I got to my client site and realized I didn't have my purse and thus no way to pay for parking. 
I am the win.

I went home.

Working from home as served me well.  I went to bed on time last night but Mr. Lina came to bed later than me (and a little tipsy) with sad news that a friends mother died from cancer.  I knew she wasn't well but I am a bit removed from it all as our friend moved to Saskatoon about a year after I met Mr. Lina so I've never developed a close friendship myself.  Mr. Lina wakes me up to tell me the sad news and mumbling at me that I turned the AC off so he was too hot to cuddle (my first instinct on hearing of something sad) and promptly started to snore.  By this point, I was awake, looking at the ceiling and annoyed he woke me up if he didn't need any consoling.  Sigh.  I was awake for about an hour, I expected today to be another struggle to get up but actually, I feel pretty well rested.

Country Girl Couture posted about sock bun curls (doesn't she look pretty?).  I had never heard of such a thing and ended up following links and videos to learn about sock buns, sock bun curls, headband curls... lots of ways to curl your hair while you sleep and a sock updo.  My hair will curl under or out, it will look curly coming out of hot rollers but over time just looks... kinda maybe wavy.  I'm always up for trying to make my hair do something I know it won't do.  In short, for sock bun curls, you cut the toe part off a sock, roll it into a ring.  Put your damp and producted hair in a pony tails and then roll your hair around the sock ring until you look like Princess Leia and then sleep on it so it dries.  I actually have toeless socks (a gift), I think they are intended for keeping your feet warm while painting your toe nails.  They just seem silly to me, but they finally found a purpose.  My hair isn't quite long enough so I did one at the top of my head and one at the back and today I'm actually rocking a little curl.  Half way through the day it's certainly relaxed but at least it still looks intentional.  A few things I could do to help it along...
  1. Better product from the get go.  I did not put curl enhancing product in my hair, there are likely better products than what I used.  Next time I'd plan to curl it rather than remeber the toeless socks at bedtime and use the right stuff.
  2. Start with it a little damper.  I gather you don't want it too wet because then it won't dry.  I was starting with dry hair and adding water, I could have added a little more.
  3. Stop touching it.  I'm not very good at leaving my hair alone.
I will be trying this from time to time again.  It was easy, it took very little time even for the multiple tries to get it rolled better.  Sure I looked silly sleeping but I don't think Mr. Lina noticed when he came to bed at 12:30.  It would actually be a great option on the rare occasion I wash my hair at night.  I don't like washing my hair the night before because it always does something stupid in the morning, this would avoid that.

Tuesday, July 17

Short Series of Time

This directionless restless feeling is still there but I think I'm getting through it.  If you think of life as a series of short stages, I think when I look back I'll see the vacation as the start of a new chunk of time.  This is going to be a bit rambly, but there is a point.  So what has been going on?
  • We went to see my doctor for our review appointment for pregnancy #7 (I still don't like the M word).  I found myself reassuring him.  He has done what he sees as the best options for us over and over and we still are not successful.  His frustration is abundantly apparent.  So I found myself using my own lines to him, that it's okay, this is just the path we're on and I still trust him.  He can't be in my uterus making it happen, his best is good enough for me.  In talking to my manager about this yesterday, I really felt the truth of that.  Infertility is just part of who I am now, like my weird food allergies and the fact that I'm short, all of these experiences are making me into who I will be and I accept that aspect of it.  He is going to a conference in early September, immunological issues in fertility is part of that so he wants to see us Sept 14th prior to starting on our last cycle (and I did say I'm done after that) in case something new comes out of it. 
  • Initially, I didn't like this, I don't want more time to waste away.  Mr. Lina was the one to specifically ask if we should wait, but as I think about it, it is a good thing.  Summer can go on as planned, my period still has not appeared and I'm not really sure what to count as Day 1 after all the prometrium to put off bleeding.  June 3rd?  June 8th?  Either way, we're at about 35-40 days now for this cycle which is not unusual for me but I have a feeling this is going to be a long annovulatory cycle.  Sept 14th is 53 days away.  It would be missing one cycle, maybe two if I ovulate next cycle and it's short (for me).  It doesn't sound so long looking at it that way. 
  • I think the clutter is really paralyzing me from doing things at home.  I like a little clutter, but it is an overwhelming amount of crap we've let accumulate around the house.  This is what happens when we don't entertain, there isn't someone else to clean up for.
  • Mr. Lina is in movie mode.  They will be filming another short film in August so there are many meetings and planning sessions going on.  The Post-Lifers has got into a few more film festivals.  Mississauga International Film Festival will be hosting them on July 29th so we'll be going to that.  Finally something that is somewhat local for our friends and family.
  • Weight.  I did not put on as much weight as I often do in Manitoba (I have nicknamed it "the land of a pound a day" for a reason), but about 4 pounds did return with me and I wasn't happy with the number on the scale prior to Manitoba.  They need to come off before they become permanent. 
  • On the job front for Mr. Lina, things are still unsettled but he seems less sad about it.  Just in case he is laid off, he brought home his personal books and things.  His manager (a friend prior to working together) has found another job so it's one less person to worry about.  Mr. Lina found out that someone senior was asked for input on essential staff and Mr. Lina was included as essential, so assuming they listen to him things should be okay.  As mentioned, it is less the financial side of a possible layoff, it's the sadness of leaving a place he wants to work at and uncertainty that is causing problems at the moment. 
  • I was happy at work yesterday.  That sounds so simple, but it's been such a struggle to feel that way.  I had things to do but not so much that I was overwhelmed.  I had people asking my opinion about their projects and asking for help to learn software that is new to them.  I left on time.  It was a good day.
  • I have made a little progress on the blanket I'm crocheting, I think I have about 10-14 rows left.  So far, I'm happy enough to give it as a gift  I also worked up the courage to ask my mom if Clone and my SIL know the gender of the baby and it seems like it might be a girl but they aren't sure.  So I guess I'll be sticking to neutral colours.  Makes sense for a first baby anyhow.  I have to purchase the yarn for the boarder unless I just do it all mint green.  The boarder is in two pieces, a bit of double crochet and then a ruffly shell, so I could do the double crochet in white or yellow to break it up and then the ruffly bit in the same mint green. 
  • I had all day Sunday and last night to myself.  I did not sew, I thought about sewing.  I went in my sewing room, and every time I walked back out.  I don't know why really, but it just wasn't where I wanted to be.
This doesn't seem related to my thoughts on short series, but it is.  From now until (at the earliest) September, I won't be doing infertility treatments.  No additional appointments or medication outside of the usual metformin, baby aspirin and prenatal vitamins.  Mr. Lina is making mental headway on adoption so even on that front, I'm feeling pretty good.  As much as pregnancy #7 did not end the way we wanted it to, I'm okay with it and I feel mentally better (not perfect, just better) than I did in the fall or winter.  If I think of it as wasted time, I will end up sliding back. 

I think I need to figure out what this short span of time IS going to be about and own that.  There are things planned - going to a friends cottage, the movie shoot, Summerfolk, my birthday, guests from Manitoba, becoming an aunt, house concerts start up again in September....  no lack of things going on, but it still comes down to me seeing it as time well spent.

Thursday, July 12

Unplugged & Restless

That's about how I feel this week.  I've been back since Sunday and I still feel... unplugged.  Although I have done one load of laundry, my luggage is an explosion in the living room and the washed clothing are still in the dryer.  I forgot to run the dishwasher last night so we're out of spoons and I think we have one fork left.  I lost track of time and nearly missed a meeting yesterday.  I made arrangements to pick up our taxes (yeah, I know that's suppose to be in April, the gov't owes us money so it's not so bad) on my way to work yesterday and forgot.  My manager asked if I was okay because my voice didn't sound right.  I was telling him that I'm going for my review appointment at the fertility clinic tomorrow and I'd be leaving work early for that only to be reminded it's an early close day.  How do you forget to leave work at 1pm? 

Mr. Lina and I didn't really talk about babies on our vacation.  It's like there was a little moratorium on the topic.  I talked to his mom a little about where things stood, I gather he talked to his dad (I think Satan might be wearing a sweater, his dad is not one to express emotion in words).  But as the time in Manitoba came to an end, it was in my mind even if I wasn't saying anything. 

Maybe next year we'll be bringing someone with us to Manitoba.
Maybe next year we'll have to put off our visit because I'll be pregnant or have a new born.
Maybe next year we'll have adopted and it won't be the right timing to leave, too stressful for little people who need routine and stability and may have bad associations with packing up suitcases.
Grandma was 50 when Mr. Lina was born, his mom is 64 now, my mom is 67.  There is something sad in that.

My best friend in high school now lives in Winnipeg.  She is pregnant and I am happy for her, but I couldn't see her.  There was opportunity on the Sunday afternoon to see if she was free, but I just couldn't see her with her due date being well, now.   I don't feel regret for chickening out, but I do feel sad I can't do it.

Mr Lina works for a pretty big company that is laying off a lot of people.  A LOT of people.  Thus far, his team has come out of it relatively untouched.  But this week, things are not looking good.  I'm not worried about him losing his job specifically.  We've talked this over since the layoffs started and we'll be okay on my income and his severance for a while, he could work on his movies for the summer and focus on another job in the fall.  We'd have to change a few priorities, but the mortgage will be paid.  As Roobeedoo's daughter would say, LGO.  But this feeling of the guillotine being close and not knowing who it will be... that's awful.  He's talking about work in the past tense, it's just a rumour mill about who and when and how many...  Let's say it's not helping the mood around my house.

This weekend... I am hoping to be more productive.  We're going a Toronto Blue Jays game tomorrow night.  In the "all you can eat" section, believe it or not.  Hot dogs and popcorn for dinner.  BBQ & board games on Saturday, Mr. Lina is doing movie stuff on Sunday.  Somewhere in there should be time to revisit the purple silk noil dress and see if those bust darts look any better than they did prior to my vacation.  I think I need a little push forward to move out of this unplugged feeling.

In catching up on my reading, I've found a sew-a-long going on that I may be joining.  I say may because my wish list is long enough.  Dixie DIY is a new blog to me, but she's got a lot on undergarments and swim wear and is going to host a sew-a-long on Kwik Sew 3779, view B.  I have made this bathing suit, it's fantastic, I have bought bathing suit fabric intending to make it again.  The shirring is really flattering but not overly difficult.  As someone who's cups spilleth over in some bathing suits, this is good.  If I remember right, I made my top triangles a little wider and overlapped them just a little but I'm curious to see what Dixie recommends.  I know I didn't understand FBA at the time although I at least knew of them.  It feels covered and sexy at the same time.  I had two other bathing suits with me at the lake but I didn't want to wear the others.  I'm sure there were pictures taken of me last week, but here is the suit when it was new, in my kitchen.  Not really the best angle, eh?   

Wednesday, July 11

Back to Reality

My vacation was really lovely.  We ended up being needed at "the lake" for most of our vacation so we never made it to Brandon and spent about 10 days without Internet or cell service.  What did I do?
  • Picked Saskatoon berries, they are a bit like blueberries and have a short season.  Lots of years there are no Saskatoons at all because of a late frost or wind blowing off the blooms.  I've had Saskatoon sundaes, pies, muffins etc while in MB (you don't run across these thing in Southern Ontario) but it was my first time picking and eating them fresh.
  • Crocheting - I have about 2/3 of the centre of a baby blanket done, it's a pretty pattern with shells.  I found it pretty relaxing to do and my in laws didn't seem to feel the need to suggest more things for me to do while I was crocheting.
  • Slitting sandbags or picking pieces of sandbag up after the back hoe/bobcat were done for the day.  I earned the nickname Bag Lady for a day.
  • Taking crap to the dump or recycling or to the flood damaged piles in the park.  The dump is only opened a couple of days a week so they set up spaces in the park (really it's just a field) for people to put all the associated flood stuff like empty sandbags, bales of mouldy hay, dead trees, rusted metal, etc.  The rural municipality (RM) will pick it up from there at some point.
  • Playing cards - 31 is often played in their family, if it was the 4 of us then we'd play Crib Wars, we learned how to play Canasta although I'm still a little fuzzy on the score keeping.
  • On the water.  My in laws have a few boats, I did go out fishing one night (didn't catch anything), out on the cruising boat with the whole family for Canada Day, and on the jet ski (they call it the watercraft) a lot.  It was a good way for Mr. Lina and I to leave his family on shore.
  • Visiting.  Everyone wanted to see what was going on with the 'hoe and 'cat, so lots of people drop by for a beer or tea and then we'd return the visit giving them a reason to put their shovel/rake/whatever down and rest a bit.  Adding to this, the government seems to tell different people different things, sending assessors to some but not others, assessors for land, assessors for property, water stewardship people, provincial government adjusters, most travelling from other provinces only to see 2 properties and leave, it goes on and on.  Visits always involve comparing notes on the latest meeting or conversation or process and then shaking their heads on the whole process.  The people using the heavy machinery also joined us for meals so we'd hear what was going on in Waterhen or Winnipegosis.  The back hoe driver was such a sweetheart.  In his mid 60's or so, I've never heard someone talk about their wife so much.  You'd think Mabel was on the porch with us reminding him not to have seconds.
  • Family visiting.  Mr. Lina has a few family members who are sick and you just never know when the last visit will be.  His uncle has been fighting bowel cancer a few years now.  He was too tired from chemo when we arrived in Winnipeg to see him but he was up for a short visit on our way back.  His great aunt and uncle are also facing health challenges.  Mr. Lina's maternal grandfather died a few months before he was born, this uncle is more like a grandfather to him.  He is on dialysis 3 times a week, his wife has a brain tumour that is causing short term memory loss.  You just don't know, any of them could hang on for another 5 years, but it's good to see them when we can and have a happy memory to hold onto.  When we were in Winnipeg, I spent a lot of time just listening to his grandmother talk.  She will be 89 this fall, so stubborn and pretty much deaf.  It's frustrating for those who spend a lot of time with her but I miss my grandparents and love to just sit with her for a while and let her talk.
  • Enjoying the view.  This got better as the dike was torn down and the moat filled in.  They sure get pretty sunsets with a long twilight.