Tuesday, November 29, 2011


This has been in my head for days.  If I loved it less, that might annoy me.
Ave Maria, gratia plena
Dominus tecum
Benedicta tu in mulieribus,
Et benedictus fructus
Ventris tui Iesus

Sancta Maria, Mater Dei
Ora pro nobis peccatoribus
Nunc, et in hora mortis nostrae.


God is great.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

England 2014

On May 9, 2014, I will turn 30 years old.  As a reward to myself for making it that far (let's be honest, it was a close run thing for a while), I'm going to spend my 30th birthday in England.

I just spent about 30 minutes crunching numbers and I figured out that, based on today's prices, which I realize are going to change in the next three years, it would cost roughly $2,124.08 for me to spend a week traveling around the country.  I've worked out two nights in London, two nights in Yorkshire, two nights in the New Forest and a night in London before my flight back.  I haven't settled exactly on Yorkshire and the New Forest as places to go, I just used them as stand-ins, but I love them both.  I am open to suggested destinations.

Conversely, it would cost roughly $2,820.44 for me spend the whole week in London.  That seemed a little odd to me, but London is one of the world's most expensive cities.  I haven't decided which travel plan to go with yet.  I love England as a whole, but London is, and always will be, my first love.

These numbers include everything from air fare, hotel rental, Brit rail and London Passes, spending money for food and general spending money.  The only thing not included is getting my passport changed, it still says 'Margaret Eaton.'

My mother may have created a monster with this budgeting thing,  I took those numbers and divided them by 128, the number of weeks between now and my 30th birthday.  I discovered that to have enough money I would have to save $16.59 each week to travel around the country and $22.03 each week to stay in London.

This seems entirely doable.  Who's coming with me?  England 2014.

Friday, November 11, 2011

A Musical Soul

I surprised myself the other day with asking Nathan if he wanted to buy a piano.  Wait, what?  See, it's still surprising.

I've been noticing lately that every time we go over to his parents' house, Nathan always settles down in front of the piano and plays "Rainbow Connection,"  one of his favorite songs.  The other day began a full-house search for the sheet music for "Ashokan Farewell" (that song that plays over and over during the Ken Burns Civil War series).  It's another one of his favorites.  We didn't end up finding it and I forget what he ended up playing instead.

He even tries to get me to play, but I can only handle either the top or bottom parts of Heart and Soul and when he tries to play the other part I get thrown off.

Nathan has always been musical: he played French horn in high school band and has been playing piano since grade school, not to mention singing in choir.

Lately he's even found a little protege.  Our niece, Sophie, loves the piano.  Every time he starts playing she has to be right there watching and banging away on the other end of the keyboard.  She even insisted once that her high chair be moved so she could watch him play.

I happened to glance at the newspaper the last time we were leaving his Mom and Dad's house and saw that someone is selling a Story and Clark upright piano for $100.  We're going to wait until it gets a little closer to Thanksgiving and call about coming to see it.

If we choose to buy it, hopefully we can get my brother-in-law's help moving it after the holiday.