Friday, 26 November 2010

Lest You Think I've Gone Native

Just in case my British friends are worried that, having moved back to the US, I've completely forgot all that I've learnt about being British....

I tried to get in the wrong side of the car today.


This is at least the 3rd time this week.  This time, with witnesses!

Thankful Thinkings

It's the day after Thanksgiving.  That means?  No, not a mad rush to the stores.  I don't DO Black Friday.  It means I sit and get soppy thinking about my life.

Well, as you are already aware, this has been a year of change for me.  Moving Stateside again has had its challenges, but, one of the best bits has been spending extra time with my sister and her family.  I am seriously head-over-heels for my nephew.  He's just the most darling little guy on the face of the planet!  I wish I could show you, but I'm honouring my sister and brother-in-law's requests for no photos (at least right now) on publicly available forums.  Anyway, I'm terribly thankful for the opportunity to be living down the street from him and getting to watch him grow.  He's delightful!  And... I've discovered that I'm GOOD at getting him to calm down!  (This is mostly because I don't mind walking in circles around the house and saying "Shhhhhh!" in his ear for hours at a time.)

However, as much as I love my sister (and let's face it, she's the centre of my universe!) and her family... I love my UK family, too.  And I miss them.  I've been terribly homesick for you all.  *sniff*  So, I'm also very thankful that I don't have to choose between my American and my UK families.  I'm so glad I don't live 200 years ago when it was so difficult to move between locations, even on the same continent!  Never mind crossing the ocean!  Heck, I'm even glad it isn't 50 years ago, when travel was still very much a thing for the elite!  I'm also sooooo grateful for my heart-bigger-than-the-whole-world friend, Vee.  She's been the one to make it possible for me to live on two continents.  And I hope she knows that I don't take that for granted.  She rocks, and I love her.

I'm also grateful for the internet and skype.  Yeay for instant communication across the ocean!  It let me stay close with my family when I lived in England, and now that I'm Stateside it's letting me keep up with my English connections.  Not to mention my other widely scattered friends (Australia, New Zeleand, Ethiopia . . .)

I'm also crazy grateful for my parents.  If I need any sort of help, they're the first in the queue to make it happen.  And, I hope they know I realise that means sacrifices (of time, if nothing else!) on their part.  I love them and wouldn't trade them for any other parents.  Ever.  I got the best of the best, and feel sorry for everyone else (except my sister, obviously) who doesn't have my parents!  Neener-neener!  Yes, of course they drive me batty, but when the chips are down, they really come through.  (And, I promise, I'm trying to be more patient!)

And just at the moment, I'm grateful for my awesome Jeep.  We got blasted by a blizzard, and my Jeep handled the weather beautifully!  Also, grateful for indoor heating (and plumbing!)  It's COLD outside, and I'm glad it's NOT cold inside!

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

That's Travel in Winter!

My parents are coming for Thanksgiving.  Well, that's the plan, anyway.  As things stand, they're going no where.  There's a blizzard (literally, according to the weather report, it's officially a blizzard) that's got I-15 closed basically all along Idaho.  And, a couple hours ago, the blizzard hit here.  I'm looking out my window, and all I can see is white.  Even though it's dark, still... all I can see is white!  Yep.  It's Winter in Utah!  We'll see if things ease up tomorrow.  If not, they probably won't make it for Thanksgiving at all.  Well, that's what traveling in winter is like. I always complained in England that we didn't get enough snow.  So, welcome home, I guess!

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Evaporation; Not Just for Liquids!

I've been trying to put my flat together for a couple weeks now.  And, honestly, I've been doing a pretty fair job.  A couple of things have been on hold, though, because the IKEA loft bed that I bought, with attached desk, under the loft, didn't have screws with the desk part.  Or, at least, I couldn't find any.  It's possible, I suppose, that I tossed the screws when I got rid of the packaging.  But, I did try and locate them before I decluttered.  Never saw them.  Nor a hint of them.  So I made a trip down South (IKEA is at the extreme South end of the valley, and I'm at the North) to get them.  No problem.  The attendant went straight back to the spare parts area to locate the missing bits.  And she found them.... well, most of them.  She couldn't locate one screw, of which I needed two.  So so put in a request and had them shipped to my house directly.  That was back on Thursday of last week.  Fast forward to this Friday.  The screws appeared in my postbox!  Yeay!  Now I can complete my desk, right? 


I go up to my flat, open the package, take the screws out and put them with the other screws, in a Ziploc plastic baggie.  I vividly remember doing this.  I set them down and went to find the screwdriver.  Come back, get the desk bits out..... and the screws have evaporated!  *poof*  Gone.  Seriously.  I took the flat apart looking for them.  I put the flat back together, looking for them.  I've searched for TWO SOLID DAYS for them.  I. Cannot. Find. These. Screws.  (Yes, yes, I know I've always had a few screws loose.  But these ones are missing all together!)

Lois said she'd come help me search on Monday.  Seriously, I really doubt she'll find them.  I've searched every surface, every drawer, every box.  I've even checked the rubbish.  TWICE!  I've looked in all the obvious spots, and started looking in some really strange ones; the dishwasher, the fridge, the bathroom cupboards.... just on the off chance that I wasn't paying attention to what was in my hands.  I have no idea what has happened to these screws!  It's making me crazy.  And, on top of that, it's keeping me from finishing getting my things settled.  I can't set up my office til I get the desk squared away!

Saturday, 13 November 2010

And the Winner Is.......

Sorry this is a couple days late.  Things have been a bit insane!  Anyway, I've managed to get the name drawn, and the winner is.....


Kellie, text me your address and I'll get Shaun to autograph the book for you!  I'm sure both your girls are going to love it!

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Another Book Giveaway!

Another friend of mine has published a new book!  It's called This: A Vampire Cure for Forever, by Shaun Roundy.  I'm giving away a copy of the book that which he's agreed to autograph.  If you want to check out more about him and the book, check here.  The rules for entering the giveaway are as usual:

  1. Leave a comment here. 
  2. Become a follower of the blog. (Leave a note saying you already are, or have now become.)
  3. Post a link from your blog to mine.  (Leave me a note saying you've done it.)
  4. Post a link from your blog to the Amazon listing for the book.  (Leave me a note saying you've done it.)
So, you can have up to 4 entries in the draw.  But, you must do this by Wednesday, 11.59pm Mountain.  I'll post the winner on Thursday.

Congrats to Shaun for his new book being published!


Please note: this drawing is now closed.  The winner is Kellie!  Congratulations, Kellie.


Friday, 5 November 2010

Wow, Masters Students Rock

Some exciting news!  My old boss at BYU, the Chair for the Linguistics Department, is out of town for 2 weeks.  He'd been asked last minute to present at 2 conferences, one in Dubai, one in Nepal.  I happened to pop my head in his office on Monday, and he was leaving Tuesday.  On seeing me, he asked if I'd do him the huge favour (and he's Australian, so yes... he said it with a 'u') of teaching his Master's class while he was away.  Umm... YES!  So yesterday I went down to BYU and taught my 1st Master's class!  And it was so much fun.  Small class, only 6 students, and they were all engaged with the materials I'd emailed them, participating, making really excellent observations or asking insightful questions.  Brilliant.  I may be spoilt for life!