Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Turning of Another Page

Well, folks, it's been a year.

Personally, it's been a busy one, as expected. Two French courses under my belt with a third to start in a couple of weeks. I have rediscovered a love for the classroom, long dormant and thought to be dead.  After a couple more of these courses I am going to join my local French association, which will get me much needed practice actually communicating. I don't want to join just yet, because I'm still a rank beginner and I have a horror of looking foolish. But I will.

The highlight of the year was of course Eva's surgery, which has so far been an unqualified success. She drank some water too quickly yesterday and bitterly regretted it...yes, even water can cause problems now...but overall I have to say she's done exceptionally well making one hell of an adjustment. I can't imagine having my diet so radically restricted, but she's done it almost without complaint. She has lost almost a quarter of her body mass, her diabetes is cured, and she has a good deal more energy than she used to. There's still a long way to go, but I couldn't be prouder of her.

Work for me has improved beyond measure. Going on nights, surprisingly, was part of the improvement, but even coming back to days I have been made to feel like I'm a valuable member of the team, and there are team-mates I bound out of bed in the morning happy that I'm going to see.

My niece, Alexa, has grown so much in a year that it's hard to believe she's the same person. Here's a girl, not yet two years old, who knows and correctly uses several gestures of sign language; who can pair most of them with the correct English words, and who is, to boot, one of the best-behaved toddlers I've ever met. If I could have been guaranteed a baby like her, I wouldn't have had *any* hesitation. about having one.

I've reconnected with a long-lost friend this year, and hope to do the same with a couple more in 2014. I continue to be eternally grateful for my friends, including of course the one I married.  Every one of you enriches my life more than you probably know.

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We've engaged maids here in the Breadbin. This was a decision not lightly made -- it costs -- but everyone we've talked to has told us that once you insert this particular item into the budget, you find money to keep it there. And everyone's right. Given the level of clutter around here and the fact that I can't bring myself to care about cleaning things that refuse to stay clean, yes, I have to say everyone's right.

Of course, this past week they only managed to get the main floor of this place up to spec, but such is life when you try to burn the house down. Yes, 2013 will go down in history as the Year Ken Summoned The Firetrucks.

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The wider world has seen its share of scandals; every level of government I look at seems beset with them. I haven't written about them near as often as I used to, partly because my readers have expressed a preference for the personal side of this blog and partly because it's all just noise. Politicians are dirty, right? I can't bring myself to care to write about things that refuse to stay clean.

I still believe the economy to be a LOT more wobbly than our minders in Ottawa and Washington are letting on. I won't out-and-out predict a crash...let's just say I wouldn't be surprised.

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Pop culture. The best movie I saw this year, and one of the best movies have have ever seen or will ever see, was GRAVITY. And I am not a Sandra Bullock fan. But she had better get an Oscar for this, and if Cuaron doesn't land at least two, you know the Academy was bought off.
Music:  I'll give you my two favourite songs of the year, one in English, and the other en fran├žais.
Novels: The best book I discovered this year was Patrick Rothfuss's Kingkiller Chronicles.  I am currently reading NOS4A2 by Joe Hill which was actually published this year, and if it sustains this level of horror it'll be right up there.

I want to wish everyone reading this a happy, healthy 2014 full of love. Here's some to start you off.







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