Sunday, April 13, 2014

Freedom for Bart

We let our cat Bart outside yesterday. We let him out because he's 7 and it's obvious that he was an indoor/outdoor cat with whoever had him before us. He was MISERABLE inside. He'd sit by the back door and howl and howl. He'd also taken to scratching at the screen door. So we had a talk about it and decided that his quality of life was probably more important that our fear of something bad happening to him. When we let him out my heart was in my mouth but both yesterday and today he's kept close to the house, hanging out in the garden and laying on the patio. He's been climbing trees and rolling in catnip, which has been a joy to watch. His quality of life just got immeasurably better. I never let my other cats, Frank and Tutz, out. They were indoor cats and I was too scared. Frank would go in the garden on a tie-out but we never let him roam free. The cat we adopted last year (Hank) got out and died which was a horrible experience that I don't want repeated but UGH, we've done it. I hope we made the right decision.


Somebody else enjoying the garden

My Grandad Lloyd

My maternal grandad Richard Lloyd was born in 1898 in Luke St. in Southport. His mum died when he was a baby and his dad gave him to his parents to raise in Hall St. (that house is now for sale and my mum is itching to buy it. I wish we could!). When his dad re-married he went to live with them but at 16 he ran away to join the Great War. He was too young to sign up so his new step-mum followed him to Preston and got him to come home, but the next year, 1915, he ran away again, determined to fight.
He joined the Royal Horse Artillery on the front lines, working with the horses that pulled the cannons and other artillery. My only visual reference I have to the kind of things he must have been involved with is the film War Horse. He (like all the others I'm sure) had a horrible time in the war and he was shell-shocked. After the war he was in a terrible state and throughout his life had nightmares. But he never spoke of it to anyone.

After the Great War he went to the seaside town of Blackpool on holiday and he met my Nana, Mabel. She was in service in Knutsford, Cheshire where her family were from. Her parents didn't like him so they ran away and got married. They went on to have 7 children: John, Stan, Ada, Edna, Ethel (my mum), Mabel (May) and Harold. The oldest, John served in World War 2 in the Royal Marines and my Grandad Lloyd was in the 2nd Army Reserves based on the Isle of Man. Thankfully he didn't get sent into the fighting again. My Uncle Stan served in the Korean War, which I don't know too much about.

My Grandad died one month before I was born, in 1969. I wish I'd met him and knew more about him. I think this might be the only picture I have of him and I'm only assuming it's him because he is stood next to my Nana at my Auntie May's wedding in 1961.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Chocka Saturday & 21-Day BS

Yesterday was a chocked full day! We got up at 7am to join in a local race to raise money for our local primary schools.I did the 5K and Jack did the 1-mile kids run. He did great, coming 2nd in his age range and 16th out of 84 kids. I was very proud of him. I walked the 5K with friends. Next year I'm going to run it!

Jack sets off

He tried hard, bless
After the race we took Jack for his first soccer game of the season. They lost 3-2 but he scored a goal and played really well. It was so COLD though. We just can't seem to get rid of the miserable cold weather.

After  soccer we headed home to clean house for a party at our house last night, We had a few people over for drinks and Craig had cooked pork loin and venison back straps on the smoker. I ate far too much, especially the bread and dipping oil.

Oh quick update on my 21-day spring challenge.... I got home on Friday to find another box of milkshake powder in the mail and a receipt for $132 in the box. Yep, I guess I missed the fine print that said "If you do not cancel this subscription after 21 days we will continue to send you powdered milkshake each month for the criminal price of $132 and even though it's legal what we're doing we are complete bastards for doing it". I called them, had a bit of a rant, returned the box, cancelled the subscription, and now I'm waiting on my refund. When I posted my discontent on the Facebook group's page I was reminded that next time I should read the fine print, since a 21-day spring challenge doesn't actually mean it just runs for 21 days. Huh? Another lesson learned I guess, never to sign up for anything.

And to end of a cheery note, I caught Danny singing to Bart yesterday. It melted my heart.

Danny serenading Bart 

My handsome boy

Sunday, March 30, 2014

My 45th Birthday

What a fabulous 45th birthday I had.

New picture frame from my friend Eric

Quiz night with the British Expats

My friends Maureen & Lyn

Danny's art on display at his school's event

Cheeky monkeys

Lunch at my favorite fried chicken food truck. And yes, those are waffles. 

The boys got me Birkenstocks. So comfy!