Guy Fawkes Day

Last week was rough. I’ve been going through a lot lately and been having trouble communicating with people so when I do it comes off wrong or I just end up losing it. I’ve been quite emotionally and I think it’s because of me not knowing if I’m leaving soon or not. There are a few other things but mostly it’s the question of when am I leaving?

I found out my grade for my dissertation finally. I’m happy to say that I passed though not with flying colors. At least I’m done, at least I can say I now have a masters, but until I pick up my dissertation up it’s going to be bugging me about why I got the grade that I did. I can say now that my supervisor was quite hard on me for a lot of things. I do wonder if the English was not up to par but then I would think that shouldn’t account for such a large part of the grade. I don’t know really since I really thought I was doing what he wanted. I know he had to nit pick a lot since he couldn’t find a lot he had issues with but I don’t know.

Anyway it’s Guy Fawkes Day and I wanted to share a little something with ya.


“Remember remember the fifth of November

Gunpowder treason and plot.

I see no reason why gunpowder, treason

Should ever be forgot…”


I’m more than sure I probably shared this last year and with V for Vendetta having come out there’s not many who don’t know what it is that I’m talking about.

However there might be a few. So Guy Fawkes was with a group of men in the early 1600s who were conspiring to blow up Parliament but was caught while he was guarding the explosives. The group was called the Gunpower Plot. I don’t think he was the only one that was caught but I can’t remember. However we were discussing the other night that one thing was for certain, we couldn’t want to die the way he did. Hung, drawn and quarter is not a nice way to go, but he pissed off the King and had to be made an example of I guess.

There are many that might say that we need a Guy Fawkes now with the way the government is going. We definitely need something.

Anyhow it might not be known in America that on the 5th of November bonfires are made all over the place in celebration of the failure of the plot. Fireworks are allowed to be shot off and if you don’t go to a large bonfire, many people just have one of their own. We tried it this year but the fire didn’t last long and we just ate inside until we shot off fireworks. Though I wonder if many have the bonfires in memory of Guy Fawkes since he’s not really considered a villan now. Just food for thought.

©Lisa Helker

Big Events Come in Threes

Have you ever heard that saying, all bad things come in threes. I kind of wonder the same thing for good things and just major events. I’m nearly done with school. In a matter of weeks I will be done. My dissertation is nearly done in the editing process as well.

I have a venue and date set for my wedding next year.

Yep that’s right it all got confirmed this week. I’m getting married at Hawken House on October 6th 2013. I already wrote a blog or two about the place and time. I already have many, many visions of what I want. A good deal of it will be done myself and done cheaply because I don’t have a job and when I do, I’ll be paying off student loans and Mike will be saving up to come over as well as help pay for it. The things I’m thinking about now is the food I want, buffet or seated dinner, who I should invite and what should be our limit on guests and all sorts of things like that. Then there’s another thing. We’re having a reception in Huddersfield after we get married. My fiancé and his mom want it to be like 4-6 weeks after we get married and all I can think about is, will I be able to afford coming over? And will whatever job I have at the time allow me to. I’m actually trying not to think too much about the second one because my mother-in-law wants to plan it and we don’t need to do too much at the moment so I’m putting that out of my head.

So school is nearly done, I will have an MSc and I’m getting married in about a year. The other third big event that has happened is…

My friend Allison who I’ve known since we were boy-crazy 13 year olds, just had her baby at 5:32am central time/11:32 England time. She had a boy who she has named Isaiah John. He’s healthy but he’s currently got a lung infection so they’re keeping an eye on him. So if you care to, send a prayer or thought out to her and her little man.

So yeah this has been a pretty eventful week. This month as well is pretty eventful with Mike having his band competition on the day my dissertation is due plus the dissertation and presentation. I’m hoping things will be a bit more quiet the next few months before I go home :p I want to relax (and find a temporary job) so I won’t have to worry about money spending when I go home. I think we’re going to look into buying my plane ticket home soon. Though we need to figure out a way we can get me a one way ticket and Mike a return ticket on the same plane and hopefully with seats next to each other.

So that’s basically it. I wanted to share my continuing good news. 🙂

No More Teachers, No More Books…

So I’m attempting to write this post sideways cause I have a Grey in my lap. He hasn’t tried to lay in my lap for a while so I’m taking advantage of it. Minnie came in a few minutes after he did and just stopped and stared at him like, how dare you that’s my lap! She a big lap cat. I think I posted once about her getting jealous of my laptop because it was on my lap. So I haven’t had much happening lately. And I realized I’m faced with something I’m rather baffled by.

I have time on my hands. When did that happen?

I finished writing my dissertation last week. And the only thing I have left to do is edit it, or I should say have my fiancé look at it and tell me how to make it more “English”. My supervisor likes to nitpick at how I word stuff because let’s face it, I’m American and I don’t sound sophisticated enough. He says I write like I’m working for Fox News and I don’t know if I should feel insulted or not  by that. But I know that after high school my writing style had to change. I was taking some kind of secondary English/writing class (it was required) and I’m willing to admit that a lot of things such as parts of speech kind of go over my head. So I had the professor give me a pretty bad grade for one paper and he actually wrote on there to see him for help. I did, because I remember I made such an effort and I didn’t want another bad grade for something I was missing. I actually respected him more for that. Then we schedule a time and worked on a paper and he saw where I had weaknesses (I got a free short story book from him too that was just lying in the room we were working in). I wish I could say he completely changed my writing style and changed how I see things. He did change my writing style to something more serious and out of a high school level but I still struggle to see the parts of speech and unless I continually try to do things to figure it out like I had to in school, I was a part of the special school district, I have a learning disability though I couldn’t tell my exact problem because for many years I didn’t know and I have since lost the paper work, all I can say is I don’t have ADD unlike my mom and brothers and that it affected my math and as well as understanding the English language which also helped me to get out of taking any foreign language classes. Not to say I didn’t want to but if I have a hard enough time understanding English, what makes you think I’d get Spanish or French?

Anyway back to what I was saying, that professor helped me and I always appreciated anyone that went out of their way to help me understand things that were baffling me. I’ve found I’ve really enjoyed all the professors I’ve had here but for maybe one (I was quite intimidated by him but I think that was more my perspective of him than what he actually was.) and I couldn’t really say that for all of the professors I had for my undergraduate. I didn’t like a lot of them because they didn’t make me feel like I was worth anything. I was a transfer student when I went to Webster University and I had one teacher tell me that I may have been a junior but my work was that of a sophomore. Gee thanks, you’re so nice. I wasn’t the only one she said that to either, one of my friends who was as well a transfer student was told the same thing. It didn’t make sense that we were being given crap for not going there the whole four years. I don’t think those that are teachers realize how much they can tear a person down with stuff like that, it doesn’t just stop when we grow up, college teachers can do the same. There is giving constructive criticism and then there’s making someone feel less worthy as a person or professional. I’m willing to admit I’m quite sensitive to that kind of thing, remember that incident with the bone marrow donor, I haven’t been able to not feel bad about my weight since then and it hasn’t changed much with the effort I’m giving. I’ve realized I don’t eat a lot but I have my moments, my diet has changed a bit but it’s really hard to exercise when it gives you pain. I can’t be on my feet walking or standing for too long or my left foot starts hurting every time I walk. I’m more than sure I have plantar fasciitis because my mom has had it for years and I recognized the symptoms and then looking it up I see I fit the description. I’ve actually ordered an arch support wrap that will make it easier for me to get around with or without shoes. I might make an attempt with Mel B again :p. Though I will say that even though I didn’t always like my professors for how I felt they treated me, I respected most of them.

Anyway beyond that I guess I’m writing for a few reasons. I got an email today saying that one of my favorite professors has taken a  “voluntary redundancy” I have no idea what that means. I understand voluntary and I understand redundancy. Is it just a clever way of saying retired? My supervisor told me that a few weeks ago when I asked why the email to this professor wasn’t working. It does make me a bit sad because he was always very help and he was funny in his awkward way. I’m hoping he’ll be there when we have the presentations because I want to see him again and thank him for what he’s taught me.

I also had a hit and miss with a job opportunity at school. They have work at the moment but unfortunately it required you to be there full-time. The guy that called me didn’t realize I was still doing my course and won’t be available for full-time work until after these job opportunities finish. But they said they’ll have lots more when school starts. So I’m hopeful.

So yeah I have a ridiculous amount of time. My dissertation is due in a few weeks. So I’m hoping to get Mike to finish editing it by this weekend and I can get it bound next week and turn it in early! (Now wouldn’t that be awesome?) Then I got the presentation to work on. But I decided I would start on that next week.

So what have I been doing? Watching tv and playing on the sims mostly. My internet hasn’t been that good lately. We realized it wasn’t capped like we thought. It’s either the router that needs replacing or it the cable that my father in law accidentally cut through and patched up. It makes it really hard to do anything online at times and with another person here also using the internet it’s kind of like a fight to use it. I can’t really talk to my mom on Skype either since that is the only thing I can do is talk to her. Otherwise the connection goes a bit weird if I look something up.

Oh and speaking of fighting for something. It appears I have competition with Grey. Mike’s friend who is staying with us (I’ve managed to resist writing a rant blog about him) likes the cat as well so when he comes upstairs and does his meow, we both call for him. And sometimes he opens the door before me and manages to get Grey for a few hours. I’m willing to admit I am very jealous. Mike and I talked about it last night. I’m acting like a child that doesn’t want to share their toys because when it came to my cats back home, I was the only one interested enough in them that I didn’t tend to have competition for their attention. They came to me because they knew they could get it from me. Mike noticed one day last week when Grey came up and meowed so I called to him as did Justin and apparently the look I had on my face was that like I wanted to kill him. I probably did but I was getting tired of having him around because he doesn’t do much and it’s hard to get some peace when he playing music and my usual route is interrupted by someone else.

To be honest the only Grey tends to do besides beg for food is sleep in the bed. He probably lays in my lap once a week but he needs to know he’s allowed in and does crave attention at times. It was funny this morning when I got up (I’m still getting up with Mike) and came down, Minnie didn’t even wait for me to get to the bottom of the steps before meowing for food. So I went into the kitchen to get her some food and I look out the window and see this shape. Grey is sitting outside the kitchen window looking in perfectly still. I didn’t have a key for the door so I started to go up and it when I hear him at the backdoor (he was fast!) so I let him in and he’s soaking wet. I had just put some dewormer on him yesterday too so I’m hoping it didn’t wash out. But he got dried and ate and now is sleeping peacefully on me. I’m home alone at the moment. The in-laws went to the doctor and Justin is out for the day. One of his little role-playing games today. So I’m getting some peace even if it’s only for a little bit. Wish I could have gotten it this past weekend with Mike. It was a bank holiday weekend and the last one before Christmas so instead of getting at least one day with jut me and Mike, we had either  Justin, Mike’s parents or some people over. Granted the game night was nice but I did reach a point where I wanted everyone out because I was feeling a bit closed in. Anyway that’s was pretty much it. Rather boring really but I guess that’s better than nothing. I’ll leave you with a few more photos Mr. Grey.

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The End is in Sight!

So I’m taking a mini break from my dissertation writing to update a few things. I only got about a 1000 or so words to go before I meet my word count! I got two sections left to write which won’t be hard at all. It’s just getting my lazy butt to get cracking on it. I can’t believe I’ve come this far. I think I really did wonder if this day would ever come and now I’m kind of like…well what do I do now? I’m still job hunting. I got an email today saying I didn’t make it to the round of interviews for one today. That really bummed me out. I’ve gotten told by more than one person that I do have the skills needed for certain jobs even though I haven’t necessarily worked in those jobs before and I’m getting passed up. It really annoying when even certain retail jobs pass me up but then those are the ones I don’t hear from either so who knows.

There is one that I might have a chance at. I need to call them first but I’m kind of hesitating for kind of dumb reasons. I want to finish my dissertation first. There really is nothing stopping from doing both but I haven’t been this stress free in a while. I still do get stressed but about little things like money and work but I’m not letting it get to me either. I want to get my dissertation done with and out of the way so I can start on my presentation which is pretty much written in itself and get a job while I’m working on that.

And you want to know something that’s really bugging me. I’m constantly critiquing my writing. I keep thinking I need to say do not rather than don’t and not use first person because that’s how my dissertation is supposed to be done. In third person and whatever the term they use for writing words out rather than taking the short cut with the (‘) symbol. My brain can’t bring up what that term they used is but I think you catch my drift.

Grey is still here too. My mother in law hasn’t spoken with the woman across the road since he showed up Saturday. He’s currently sleeping next to me. I have no idea if they’ve spoken to this woman and what’s taken so long for an answer. We’re kind of in limbo with Grey at the moment. We don’t know if he’s staying with us or if he has to go again and it’s going to be so cruel to do this again since it’s been a few days and he’s getting used to being here now. But I can’t really be annoyed with the woman since we don’t know what’s going on. The other neighbor we have spoken to about Grey or well my mother in law has. She’s this sweet older lady that’s from…well I can’t remember I think somewhere from Eastern Europe but I can’t remember which. But she’s sick at the moment, she has some kind of cancer and she lives alone, so my mother in law being a former nurse and an all around good person checks on her all the time, I’d say daily cause it does seem that way. But she was talking to her about Grey coming back, apparently Grey used to belong to the old neighbor’s brother, I think he lived there for a time. But they got another cat, a black one who I swear I never saw outside but she did go out because she ended up having kittens and when that happened Grey was made to live outside for the most part. He only got fed in this one little room that was more like an enclosed porch. So I’m guessing he must be counting his lucky stars because he can come in and sleep here during the day and go out at night and there are other cats around as well. Plus he’s got me, the one person who can never deny him anything including my love. I think I made Mike jealous at times the way I would fret over him and baby him. He made a joke when Grey left the first time about if this means he has me back now. But he loves that cat too. I watched him do the exact same thing I do to him when he’s laying on the bed, bend over him and pet him and talk to him in such a voice that you only reserve for babies and animals. He looked up at me at one point and just said What? and of course we both knew I was looking at him cause he’s a sucker for that cat like me plus I found it quite cute.

Anyway what was I saying?

Oh yeah I am pretty sure Grey didn’t father those kittens cause is missing the boys, though I have no idea when those kittens came around but I’m thinking its part of the reason why they left. Anyway, as far as I know the brother isn’t around anymore and I don’t see why we can’t help take the burden off by taking him. I mean we’ve basically fed him for up to the equivalent of about a month and we’re not asking for money. We’re just asking either please take your cat because we can’t afford to keep doing this or let us keep him. I vote for the second one but that’s just me.

Anyway that’s really about it with everything that’s going on. Nothing exciting beyond Grey happened. Mike’s parents are going away in a day or two to visit his sister and it’s a bank holiday this weekend. Though it won’t be as relaxing and quiet as I would hope for. I don’t know if I mentioned this or not but one of Mike’s friends is staying with us temporary until he find a more permanent solution for housing and hasn’t been all it’s cracked up to be. But I might say more about that later. But anyway I guess it will be us three hanging out in Mike’s room or downstairs this weekend…oh joy!

Things are Looking Up!

So I was debating about whether or not to write a post today since I wanted to wait until I found out about the wedding venue but I think I’ll save that for my other blog.

So It’s Tuesday, Friday is when Grey was taken home. I was pretty miserable Friday and Saturday. We had a BBQ Saturday evening and right before that I moved all my stuff out of my student accommodation. I don’t really miss the place to be honest. But it got my mind off of Grey. I was pretty cranky at first cause I was feeling stressed about where to put my stuff, my lack of money to be able to send stuff home, missing Grey and needing to work on my dissertation. But a funny thing happened. One of my fiance’s friends knew something was up, I was upstairs sulking (I almost didn’t want to come down for the BBQ) and he came up and asked me what’s up. And this is one of those guys that’s kind of manly and macho and likes being a guy’s guy. And he just sat there and listened to me talk about what was bugging me. He listen to me about Grey, and I will never understand why but he’s afraid of cats, so even though he didn’t care that much about the cat story, he listened.

Mike I think the most shocked because I was generally fine after that (until I wanted to go to bed and relax but they were all still here enjoying the fire pit but I’ll just leave that to me being tired since I was up early) and the fact that who it was that got me out of my mood. If he had tried that it would have been worse. I do feel bad about that sometimes but I do sometimes need to sulk a bit before I start feeling better and I also need to be left alone when I sulk. Now Mike wants to fix everything so when doesn’t leave me to sulk long enough it tends to backfire.

But now that it’s Tuesday, I am doing better. Grey hasn’t come back like we predicted, though not to say he might not. Maybe he’s just happy to be home and maybe she’s actually letting him stay in the house longer. Missing him is a bit different to missing any of my other animals. I know he’s safe and it’s not like he passed away. Mike also said we now know I can love an animal as much as I loved Missy. So maybe in a few years I’ll get to have my own cat like that again.

So my dissertation is going better than I thought. I was getting kind of worried for a bit because I was taking longer than I had planned with my transcripts but yesterday I spent the day working on a few things and working out what I needed to have for a complete dissertation. I’m actually about halfway (if not more) through with it. The beginning will be very easy to write since it’s already partially written from when I did my proposal and the biggest part of it, my lit review is basically done though it still needs editing and bits added to it. I got my reference list done a while ago. My data analysis is going smoothly as well. So really the only parts I need to work on and will go smoothly as well since I know what I’m talking about is my reflections and conclusions. I do need to do a bit of work on the methodology but that’s just making it better based on what my supervisor told me. And I got all kinds of information to use for my presentation. So I’m pretty happy with the way things are going, I think my project planning was a bit unrealistic but at least I realize I’m not behind. Anyhow I should probably start working on it now. I want to see what I can get done in the next few weeks before I need to seriously edit stuff.

So things are looking up. Pretty soon I’ll be coming home and this blog will be done. But that doesn’t mean I’m  going to stop blogging. I got the wedding blog now. Maybe I’ll just be writing one about everyday life and living between the two countries. Who knows!

Forgiving, Letting Go and Reminiscing

Right now I should be listening to the last transcript I worked on to see if I can iron out the bits I couldn’t hear very well and double-check that I got everything right. But I decided I needed to write a post.

I follow a couple of blogs on here and one of them posted about being well-healed. It makes me think a lot about the stuff that has happened to me in the last year and recently with Grey joining us. I know I post a lot about cats but I am an admitted full-blown crazy cat lady. Plus there hasn’t been much going on in my life since I’m deep in dissertation writing and still am not planning much for my wedding (though we may have chosen a venue but we’re checking on the price since I have to call to enquire, I’ve asked my mom for help).

The blog I read today and something I said to my fiance over the weekend has got me thinking. Just over a year ago I lost my cat Missy, she was over 20 years old and a cat I had since I was a little girl. It hurt real bad losing her. I remember the day she died my cousin came over to help me bury her and keep me company that day. And that following week was so hard. I did not want to go into work. Not only had I lost my cat but recently my boss had left and I was left to work with someone who I did not get along with for many reasons and was then forced to hide my true feelings that day. I had two co-workers from a different department and one of the other managers to lean on for the most part that day in order to deal with what had happened, they knew something was up and understood. Even though I left for grad school, the last few months there weren’t good. Recently I heard from someone there that though there may be new people nothing much has changed. I feel a lot of the problems had to do with the lack of supervision and ulterior motives. My boss was not perfect in fact she was going though some bad times the last 6 months or so of her working there but I understood she wasn’t 100% completely there mentally for the job. Unfortunately not everyone saw things that way and someone took advantage of that. I’m not sure if I’m ready to go into the details of what happen at least publicly but I have talked to a few people about it. The one individual who had issues with for the last year of my job (and sadly things did not get better but worse at the end) I’ve managed to forgive for the most part. I feel they do have some serious issues to work with that I hope one day they do but I don’t really have any ill feelings towards them anymore just regret that things couldn’t be different.

Anyway I’m getting side tracked from what I was originally saying. Missy and I connected in many ways I have never connected with any other animal. Though I do love all three (now four) of the cats I have encountered since then, they each have their own personality. Mogs was probably the closest I have gotten to having that same devotion I had for Missy. Since we’ve encountered Grey, there have been a few things we’ve noticed with him.

  • He’s not attacking Mogs anymore like he did when he was still with his former owner, though that doesn’t stop Mogs from giving out a few cheap shots when she feels its necessary. It’s going to take her time to tolerate him.
  • He does miss his former owner. He’s been a bit mopey today. I think because yesterday he went over there and she isn’t there. I also think that’s why he’s gotten so attached to me lately.
  • That said, that cat absolutely loves me. My fiance was saying to his mom that he think I’ve adopted a new cat, she said to him, I think he’s adopted her. He tends to follow me around if I call him. I think he’s even responding to being called Grey.
  • He is vocal. Anytime he comes into the bedroom he meows for a few minutes and I have to call to him a few times before he either jumps on the bed or comes over to me. If the bedroom door is closed he will meow and meow until we open it to let him in. Last night he came in late and Mike and I were in bed watching a movie. We weren’t going to let him in but he figured we were still up watching a film. He got on the bed and laid between us.
  • Saturday night I managed to talk bully Mike into letting him stay for the night. I felt so bad making him go outside two nights in a row (though he willingly walked out) that I was near tears each time. This time I wasn’t going to make him leave. Mike being far too tired to argue just let him stay. However at 5am Grey was up and fed and I let him out (I was making sure he didn’t use the toilet on the carpet just in case). Last night Mike was the one to put him outside and Grey didn’t go willingly. We both feel bad putting him out but we don’t know if he’s litter trained and Mogs and Minnie aren’t ready to accept him just yet.

Now that I’ve said most of that and spend the last several days with him I’ve come to realize a few things. He has so many similar personality traits to Mogs, Missy and Indy even a little bit of Minnie. I don’t think I’ve had a cat take so much to me since Missy and Indy. He loves to cuddle with me. He lets me pick up and even hold him like a baby on his back (Something I only encountered with Missy, Mogs will tolerate it for a few minutes but then she wants back down). Right now he’s got his claws in my legs cause he’s been kneading me as I let him have my spot (yeah I’m a sucker) and sleep next to me. I think in a way, Missy sent him to me, to take care of. Mike thinks when Missy died, she was doing it for me, so I wouldn’t worry about her when I went to England. I remember the first time I was meeting Mike in person in 2010. I started packing my bag the first few days before I even left (I was so excited and wanted to make sure I remembered everything). She sat on the very top of that bag at least twice. I remember once coming upstairs to seeing her sitting there and then mewing at me like she wanted to go too. I thought it was so cute and immediately took a photo of her to send to Mike. My mom said she moped around for me when I was gone. Then when Mike came to see me that following Spring, Missy kind of avoided being around us when we were at home and that’s quite unlike her. It was only the night before he left that she came and cuddled with me, after being quite angry that I wouldn’t let her go outside (and locking her and Indy out of the bedroom because he couldn’t sleep with them on the bed). She’d hadn’t been outside in years and she shot out the door that night when I was trying to call Indy who just lapped up the attention Mike gave her. But in the end, Mike felt she knew I had found someone and it was okay for her to go and stop taking care of as much as I was taking care of her.

I might be acting quite silly with the whole Missy sending me another cat but that’s the way I prefer to look at it. I remember she used to lay on top of these pillows in the other room on a bed for when my nephews spent the night. She spent a lot of her time in there that week she passed. She didn’t want to move much and that seem the most comfortable place for her. I’d walk upstairs and see her laying there from the corner of my eye. I’d usually go to her to give her a little attention before I went into my room. So after she passed I’d keep thinking I saw her there when I came up the stairs and then turn and look to see nothing. I remember a friend taking me out to eat at Fitz to get my mind off things and I did well until I got home and saw the empty pillow. I don’t get as upset as I used to and I don’t refuse to think about her anymore for the fear of crying, if I get upset I allow it. I’m healing still but I’m guessing you could say I am well-healed.

Anyway I should probably get going on my work. I got up with Mike today to get an early start on my work and I haven’t touched it yet.

Decisions, Decisions…

So I’ve been engaged just over 2 weeks. My wedding planning has kind of been non existent. For good reason too. I’m completely delved into my dissertation. I’m supposed to be working on my lit review but have also been working on my interviews with writing them up and scheduling them. I think it’s going pretty well. I’ve been working during the day by reading articles and taking notes. Hoping by next week I can start the writing process. Hopefully I’ll have a decent draft done by the time I meet with my supervisor again.

But I realized over the weekend that with me working on this and trying to get a job (because my funds are super low) that I can’t even consider planning for my wedding. It’s not such a bad thing though. It’s one less thing to worry about and we’re not really sure what we’re going to do anyway.

The plans we have so far is that in December I’ll go home and he’ll come with for a visit. Then for the next year I’ll be in the states again and he’ll be here in the UK and we’ll be working on saving up money for the wedding and paying bills. We’re planning for Fall 2013 from the looks of it and we’re gonna make it small and simple because we both want to get out debt sooner so we can have a nice live together raising a family. But we’re going to get married in the states where I’m from because it would be easier for us to have him just come over for the wedding. And then I could come over there because we’ll be married. And we’ll live in the UK for a few years so he can save up enough money  for us to move back and spend some quality time with his family.

It’s a pretty good plan and hopefully it will work. Don’t know what I’ll do about my stuff with my parents. Most likely just have them pack it up and I’ll deal with it when I’m back. Hopefully I can get my mom over to the UK for a visit. I’d really hate to leave my cat though. I’ve already left her with my mom to take care of and I miss that whiny little stinker. I know I’ve put a lot of stress on her and she is getting older. So bringing her to the UK after a year might not be a good idea plus if we’re living with his parents (to save money) three cats would be a bit much and they probably wouldn’t get along. But who knows. I’ll cross the bridge when I come to it.

Anyway for now it’s all about work work work and then come the end of September I can do the fun stuff. I can’t wait to get together with my friends back in the states and plan the wedding. Means I can bake stuff and try stuff out for ideas and plan. It’s a shame I’ll have to plan the wedding with my fiance long distance. But in the long run it will work out.

Anyway wish us luck on our plans and me luck with my dissertation writing! 🙂

Mission Accomplished!

I am done with my coursework!

Beginning tomorrow the only thing I will need to work on is my Dissertation. My proposal is due tomorrow which will be turned in then. I have a presentation going on tomorrow too. I’ve already got one grade back. Which has been good. Unfortunately I’ve been battling another cold which makes it number 4.

I’ve got a project plan going. I had meant to email the organizations I want to interview this week to ask if they were still interested from when I initially contacted them but my cold got the better of me and I was trying to finish everything for my proposal and last paper. And next week I won’t be able to cause I won’t be near my laptop for one reason. I’m leaving it behind.

That would be because my boyfriend and I are going to Blackpool next week! It’s the Last Vegas of England from what I hear. They got a Blackpool Tower Eye, an indoor water park (which is great since the nice weather finished this week), a wax museum, arcades, a Sea Life center, and amusement park. We got a deal for most of it and I can’t wait! Not only will I get to see the coast again but this was something Mike and I were trying to plan with a groupon I got ages ago. I tried to book the hotel back in April but for some reason the numbers weren’t working and I had to contact groupon about it. I originally just wanted my money back but they were only going to give me credit and then I found out that the hotel is going through management changes. So by the time I found all this out and decided to keep the groupon. We thought it was too late to make a reservations and I wasn’t sure if the number would work so we decided to use it in October for when they light the place up for a month.

It’s pretty great that Mike managed to find this last-minute deal. And next week is Jubilee week! So we’ll be relaxing together and celebrating the end of my classes before I seriously start on my dissertation. I’m also gonna start job hunting because I can’t really  putting it off. So I won’t have my laptop with me but I will have both my cameras and be taking lots and lots of photos. I’m definitely posting them on here when I get back.


Again I forget a title…

Hello all!

It’s been a while since I posted anything. Been a bit busy and haven’t had much to say. Though I think I got enough going on now to update everyone.

This week is my last week of attending classes. From here on out I’ll be working on my papers due in May and starting to do more serious work with my dissertation. I already got one paper done with and it’s not due for at least another week. Yay!!!! I got my dissertation proposal due in June which thankfully is not as large a word count as I thought. So I’m nearly done. I’m just wondering what the heck I’m gonna do with my time that doesn’t involve the research and writing of my dissertation due in September. I’ve been job hunting but haven’t gotten around to looking at my resume to tweak it up a bit since I think it’s a different thing over here. I’ll have to have my boyfriend take a look and tell me what I need to do since this was something he did for a job once.

I have been over here for 7 months now. I miss home so much. I was walking into to town today to get the train back to Leeds and someone was mowing grass and the smell of the freshly cut grass and the mixture of the gasoline was making me a bit homesick. It was kind of surprising but I realized that is like the first time I’ve had the smell since being over here. I have no idea what I’m gonna do once September comes. I’ll be with Mike by then because my time in my accommodation will be up. I will hopefully have some kind of job by then. But I don’t know if I’ll be going home in November or December as a visit or for good. Mike is going to come with me at least for a visit but he won’t be able to move with me right away. He can’t afford it plus he needs to find a job over in the states before he can try for a visa cause that will help him get one. I need to find a job in one place or the other. And possibly even my own place if I move back to St. Louis seeing as I don’t know if my parents will still be in St. Louis and I rather get started on my own rather than move back in, though I might need to live with them at first. It’s slowly coming up and I’m not feeling this dread anymore though I keep forgetting I can’t just take Mike with me. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing home again whether it’s for a visit or permanently.

So on to less serious stuff lol This weekend I will be attending my first English wedding. One of Mike’s friends is getting married and me, Mike and his parents are going to be going. I actually had to go shopping this past weekend to get some accessories to go with the dress I’m wearing. The shrug I was originally going to wear is the completely wrong color for my dress since the shrug is white and the dress is cream. So I got something that is a bit of a lilac color which I think will match the dress well. I also bought some earrings a few weeks ago online that match the dress pretty much to a T and then I got some cute hair accessories for cheap from Claire’s since I didn’t just want my hair to be in a semi pony tail or just down. If I had the money I’d have my hairdresser do my nails and makeup but I don’t think I’ll have the time plus I can just do it myself. So enough of my silly girliness. God I hate to see how much I get into the details of my own wedding.

So I am now an instagramer and a member of pinterest. Facebook’s buyout of instagram was actually a good thing because now it’s not just Apple exclusive and I can have the program on my android. I’ve done a few photos already. I got a bit silly with it on Saturday. When I was in town with Mike and his parents we went to this cafe for lunch that had an Alice in Wonderland theme to it. I would have taken more pictures there if there hadn’t been so many people. The food was good and I got to enjoy a Victorian lemonade. Apparently they have a .05 percentage of alcohol in it lol It’s by the company who I think also do the only decent tasting root beer, though the cafe wasn’t carrying it. I think the next time I go to Wetherspoons I’m gonna have to get some of their overpriced root beer. Pinterest I think is gonna be my downfall. Yesterday I got on there for the first time and I think I spent hours just looking at stuff. There was so many food recipes I added to my “to make” list. I only have one board at this point but I think I’m gonna have to make other ones to separate it all out. But looking at that food yesterday which a great deal of it was chocolate, gave me a craving and I saw something to do with reeses and I thought I must have some! Though I haven’t been able to recall seeing any since I’ve been here, I know I talked to my boyfriend about it at some point but I can’t remember what he said. So today when I was getting some food for the week I tried to look in my local grocer’s candy section. I didn’t see any 😦 They are a small place so it might be that they don’t carry it there but I did find a Chunky kit kat with peanut butter. It was the winner of the chunky contest they had for orange, white chocolate, double chocolate or peanut butter. So I grabbed two and hoped it would help the craving. I haven’t had any yet. I think I’ll wait and save it as my movie treat tonight.

So beyond my need for sweet stuff I think my diet is going pretty good. Mike and I had a bad weekend a few week or so back because we were offered takeaways a lot and then we went out to meet up with the second stag party for a few drinks, I guess I was made an honorary guy for the night since I was allowed to hang out (probably because it was the only way they were gonna get my boyfriend to meet for a few drinks), it was fun but not good for the diet. Mike and I are back on track and I’m only a pound off what I was before the naughty food weekend. I thought it might be a good idea to see how long I can go without an alcoholic drink since its empty calories. That or only allow it once a week. I don’t drink much anyway but I’d like to see because sometimes I get those days where I just need to relax and having a rum and coke or a glass of wine helps. And I’ve learned that my commute between here and to my boyfriend’s (especially on Friday evenings) really stresses me out and makes kind of go grr at everything because I can’t handle the crowds. It sets my anxiety into overload and even when my boyfriend tries to tippy toe around me so not to set me off, I still managed to get set off. I hate being like that cause I’m taking my hyped up anxiety of the crowds out on him but I really have no way to control it or at least don’t know of a way how, at least yet.

Anyway, I think that about covers it all. I talked about school, my plans, my new obsessions and current events. Seemed like maybe there was something else. Oh well I’m sure I’ll remember it later and I’ll make an edit or this post :p Might share my instagrams just to have fun. 🙂

Another week goes by, another creep comes by.

I thought that title was clever since I forgot one last week and couldn’t be bothered to think of anything.

So few things I will be talking about. My first week of being off my acid reflux meds so I can get testing done to make sure nothing more serious is wrong. The return of class creeper and another one (who probably isn’t that creepy to be honest but I don’t want to be bothered either way), classes update and what I’ve decided to do since the rejection of the bone marrow donation.

Back when I first came here I got registered with a local doctor’s office so I could get some meds again. Birth control which is awesomely free in this country and should be worldwide if you want my opinion, and my acid reflux medication. I needed a doctor’s approval to be on meds and they asked me if I had ever been tested for acid reflux. I just told them about my terrible weekend of suffering from it and going to see the doctor and all she did was ask a few questions and gave me some samples and if they worked they would put me on it. Well here they like to do actual testing before putting you on anything. It makes sense and I’d rather be checked for more serious things than over medicated. Especially since it’s becoming apparent that stomach troubles are common in my family and in some incidences hereditary. My grandfather had stomach cancer and my great-grandmother and aunt both had ulcerative colitis, the colitis is the possible hereditary thing. And mixing that with stress, I’m a prime candidate for it. So I’d like to find out sooner rather than later if there is a possibility of it and if I can do anything to prevent it. I talked to my mom about it and she is worried (I can tell) and tells me I’m too young to get that. I have a friend with a similar problem and he was diagnosed quite early with it. Like his late teen or early twenties. He had to change his diet and takes meds all the time. One day he was fine and the next day he was in the hospital and diagnosed. I don’t think age matters in this kind of thing. I’m hoping there won’t be anything serious though if there is they said something about putting me on antibiotics. I’m hoping I can eventually be off acid reflux medication.

This past week I haven’t been taking my meds because I have to be off them for at least 2 weeks before they can do any kind of testing. If the meds are in my system it could compromise the testing and make it inconclusive. At first when I was told this I really didn’t want to do it, I think part of it was I was thinking it would cost me something for this testing and I didn’t think the pain of it was worth it plus I couldn’t afford it. I had to reminded that I’m in a different country with different health regulations. So here I am, a week in and I am suffering at the moment. I was doing good all week. Trying to stick with foods that wouldn’t upset the acid and avoid the ones that do. I miss coffee (surprisingly not as much as I thought I would), tea, hot chocolate (which I tried once last week, seemed to be okay but I don’t want to test my stomach too much) and chocolate!  I’ve been rather vegetarian this week too and not on purpose. It’s just certain meats I like I think would upset it. Though I did have chicken over the weekend. But yesterday I didn’t have much for dinner and I figured Mike and I could order pizza (he stayed the weekend) and I could have a garlic bread pizza because I thought it would be safe and he could get whatever meaty pizza he wanted. He got a huge one in case I would want a slice. I did eat one and I should have stopped there but it seemed like my heartburn wasn’t acting up too much so I had like 2 more. I should have only had 2 tops because I woke up in the middle of the night with a terrible turning in my throat that just tasted gross and this morning when I got up it was still there and throughout the day. It wasn’t nearly as bad as it was when I woke up but I’m still being affected by that pizza. So a bland meal is what I think I’ll plan for dinner and hopefully I won’t have any thing bothering me by tomorrow. Thankfully I only have a week left of this. And then I’ll be back on the meds in time for the trip Mike and I have planned.

So last Tuesday I’m sitting in class waiting for it to start and reading a book from the library about the changing cultures of libraries (ironic? Nah it’s kind of what my dissertation is focusing on), when the classmate that made me rather uncomfortable approached me. I had given him my email and he sent me one over that weekend I first gave it. He was asking if I received it and I panicked and said no because I didn’t know what to say at the time. More than a week had gone by and he hadn’t said anything so I thought he wouldn’t say anything. I was wrong. He then confirmed I gave him the right one and asked me to check again for it. Didn’t really know what to say or do. I figured if he emailed again I would answer it and tell him nicely that I can’t help him. Well Thursday I was waiting for another class to start when this guy came up to me asking me if I was in the waiting class and explained to me that he had been gone for the last two weeks and missed a few things and was wondering if the assessment for our semester assignment had been given out. It was but it wasn’t explained. Apparently he had a copy but he didn’t understand it. I pulled out my copy and tried to go over it with him and explain it to him. He basically told me he wanted me to help him with the assignment and I told him I couldn’t do that. At first I said he could go to the module lecturers because they can easily explain this stuff better than I could and were open to talking to students who needed help. He didn’t seem to hear me or was ignoring what I was saying so I had to say no I couldn’t help. He wouldn’t accept it at first trying to tell me some of my excuses were similar to his. I wasn’t backing down though. I was getting rather frustrated with him at this point because it was kind of like, you’re on a Master level program, figure it out! I don’t know any better than him but it seems because my first language is English, I know everything. I’m not trying to be rude about it but I’ve been told stories of people who don’t understand the language very well here try to talk to other students for help and only for that. It’s rather taking advantage of a person, and classmates shouldn’t be the ones helping you with assignments. My other classmates that I get along with don’t do that and we don’t tend to ask a lot of personal questions right away like these two started. After the guy finally let go the assignment he started telling me where he lived and asked where I was. I kind of ignored the question and walked into the classroom because the other class was leaving by this point. Later that night I talked with a friend and my boyfriend about it online and my friend told me just to tell them flat-out I can’t help. I don’t want to complain just yet either because I’m more uncomfortable with the difficult situation they both have put me in. But if this continues to persist I’m going to have to. But Friday I went out to go grocery shopping for the meal I could eat for me and Mike for the weekend. I was sitting at the bus stop waiting for the next one to come when I heard my name be called. I turned to the direction of the voice, it was the classmate from the night before bugging me for help. Apparently he lived just over the road a bit and I didn’t realize it was student accommodations over there. My impression at the time of him seemed a bit better, he was headed somewhere and on the phone. He did ask me if I lived around there. I was vague about it again because I didn’t want to say where and said I commute sometimes from here and Huddersfield. I told him I was headed into for some shopping. He had to go which was kind of relief. But I don’t think he’s as bad as the first guy. I just hope he doesn’t try to bug me again for help with assignments.

Anyway, classes are going okay. They’re keeping me busy that’s for sure. I got my dissertation presentation coming up next month. My supervisor is helping me to prepare for it by getting a few things understood like objectives. I’m not sure what to do exactly with those. Plus I need to focus down more on my subject. I think I have what I want but I still don’t know if it’s too broad. The class I’ve changed to is nice and more my kind of subject but there is so much to read! I think that’s part of the problem with distance learning classes. You really have to figure out what to read and since you don’t have weekly meetings it’s more material to cover. I think it’s going well so far. This past Tuesday class was nice. It was laid back more than usual because of group discussions and it was just me and my classmate Ricardo. We’ve had all our classes together and tend to sit in the same places so we got to talking a bit and since we’ve gotten to know each other over the last 6 months, we both felt comfortable sharing stuff about our personal lives. I think I did more talking than him lol But we talked all the way to Sainsbury’s after class and we talked about a lot of stuff, classes, work, home life stuff for me and about my boyfriend and then we started talking about healthcare and the difference here and there and if there were any things that were different for me and Mike since we grew up in different countries with different cultures. It was fun, I don’t think I get to socialize as much as I used to. I need to try to get together with other classmates I talked with last semester since we exchanged numbers.

The last thing I would like to talk about is what I’ve decided to do since I was rejected for being a bone marrow donator because of my BMI. I’ve been gaining weight a lot of over the years and I’ve tried to stop it but kind of did it half-heartedly. I think it’s because I was happy with myself but I think I do need to be more aware of what I’m doing activity wise and what I put into my body. So I have started doing sit-ups everyday. It’s been awhile since I’ve done them and it really dawned on me how badly in shape I am. Walking is one thing but I can do stuff in my room and still be active. I will be walking a lot more when the weather warms up more but until then I’m doing sit-ups everyday and whatever else I can think of that will help. I am kind of eating healthier at the moment too since I can’t have a lot of foods. Though I’ll be glad when I can eat a clementine or an orange and enjoy a cup of tea without fear of heartburn. Probably isn’t a bad thing either to cut out meats though I really don’t eat much meaty foods when I’m in Leeds. It’s cheaper not to, and the kind of bacon I like is more expensive than the majority sold here. So no major worries. Just need to plan on feeling better and looking better so I can fit into some clothes again and being healthy.